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Messages - PE30

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1
Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: August 27, 2020, 06:49:44 AM »
Day 12

Agh... I feel so down today. Work is ridiculously tough; I seem to be under pressure from all angles. Struggling to find joy in anything.


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Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: August 26, 2020, 10:29:04 AM »
Thanks both, that's really helpful. I think there's a certain primal reaction when we get caught out or we get shamed for our behaviour - or something happens and we think "what the hell am I thinking / doing?"

You know, like that feeling you sometimes get after a session, where you're spent sexually and the bubble of seduction has burst and it's 3am and you're sat downstairs on the sofa knowing that you've crept downstairs. And you stop and think "this is gross, it needs to stop"

But actually sometimes it needs something stronger than that. I think that sometimes these 'rock bottom' moments are there to jolt us into action, like CPR for the brain.

Anyway, it's day 11 - still keeping it going, one day at a time.


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Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: August 25, 2020, 01:27:19 AM »
It's day 10. I can't say I'm feeling particularly secure in my reboot - but maybe that's a good thing? Maybe it's good to be on my toes for a while, to really weigh up why I'm doing this and what it's going to look like in the long term.

I'm so weak in this area and I need to build up strength and resilience. Not motivated by fear but by love and all its manifestations.

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Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: August 24, 2020, 02:18:58 AM »
Well, I'm on day nine. Feels like a bit of a struggle this time around but maybe that's a good thing? So many of my longer-run reboots have started with a period of time where, through guilt or fear, I've been motivated not to revert to my old habits. The problem is: guilt and fear only last a certain amount of time. I'd rather do this based on a positive love for all that is good, that I can dwell in whilst I'm not caught up in addiction. There has to be a life beyond this life, a community beyond the recovery community.

Anyway, I started the morning off well - sang some Christian worship songs with my wife. Am now about to start the working week.

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Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: August 21, 2020, 08:45:44 AM »
Thanks Georgos! I'm a little way from London but I know Enfield well. And yes, Clowns café is still there - they serve a cracking lasagne if memory serves me correctly.

I'm on day 6 anyway. Not gonna lie, I feel tempted today, but I'm posting on here. All I have to do is keep going, one day at a time.


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Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: August 20, 2020, 10:04:18 AM »
Hey, thanks for the message. There are a good few people on here who have been supportive and I really do appreciate it. I want to get to a stage where I feel like I've got encouragement and wisdom for other people, to pay back a little bit, but I don't feel like I'm there yet.

I do feel like this is a good place to talk and be honest and accountable. I did look into Sex Addicts Anonymous but the meetings are in Cambridge and there's not really anything local that would be any good for me. I can't do this alone, that's for sure.

Anyway, we're on day 5. Small steps.

7
Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: August 19, 2020, 12:53:04 PM »
Day 4

Am struggling mentally today. Work is so tough and I feel like I've lagged behind over the past few weeks. I'm not where I wanted to be. I feel a bit adrift, to be honest. I don't know what the right next step is - I don't want to give up a job I love but I'm finding the emotional toll increasingly difficult to bear.

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Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: August 18, 2020, 01:16:04 PM »
PS: one thing I'm trying to do this time round is own up to my failures sooner. If you look at my posting history, it sometimes takes me months to come back on here. I need to face up to my own shame and not see it as a barrier to recovery.

9
Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: August 18, 2020, 01:14:51 PM »
Hey there. Sadly I ended up succumbing to temptation - I think I got to day 87? - and had a couple of bad weeks. I'm back on it now, day three.

Lessons learnt: my brain will take even the tiniest of opportunity for rebellion and crowbar its way. It starts off small but it's very difficult to get back on track.

Also I think I'd emotionally relapsed before the physical relapse. I'd started pining after the old habits. Question is: how do I turn myself around when I start feeling that pull of temptation? I need to get better at it.

Still, we're all in recovery, and it's an ongoing battle. I go again and I commit myself clean for another 24 hours. We'll take it 24 hours at a time.

10
Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: July 27, 2020, 11:49:10 AM »
PS: the safest thing would have been to not play the game of Scrabble. I shouldn't be on my phone at that time of night while my wife is sleeping. Regardless of how innocent a game of Scrabble is, it's daft of me to put myself in that position.

11
Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: July 27, 2020, 11:45:27 AM »
Day 80

Still clean. It's been a bit of a slog the past week - I've felt tired and grouchy, and haven't been sleeping well.

I had a bit of a moment on Saturday night. I sometimes play online Scrabble and I woke up in the middle of the night. I played a game and then I felt really tempted to do what I have done in the past.

(CW: description of what typically happens)

I start with one fairly 'safe' chat site, but then that's never enough so I go to the chat room where I know there are hundreds of women online. and then before I know it, I've got my KiK reinstalled, a fake snapchat, Skype, the works, and I've MO'd and I've probably given some woman an orgasm or two, and then that's it, I'm back to day zero. And then because I've blown it, I think 'well, that felt good, I'll have a few days off the wagon, I mean I have been *mostly* clean before now, haven't I?' And the one night of talking to the woman is not enough, because it's fun and for a while we can get off on the fantasy, but then that woman is enough so I go talk to someone else... and then before I know it, I'm talking all day, I'm sneaking downstairs at night to talk, feigning illness to get a night in a spare room to myself. I'm taking pictures of myself and sending them, and I'm receiving them. And I kid myself that it's the internet, that it's just fantasy, that because this time I'm careful and everyone's in their 20s or 30s it's alright. It's just fun. And it starts to interfere with my sex life, and I have to plan when I'm going to have sex based on when I'm not too worn-out from all the edging.

And then four months later something happens to shake me out of my relapse and I'm back here again.

Anyway.

I had this moment of clarity, at 12:30am Sunday morning. I was lying there and I felt an inner voice, or God's voice, or whatever, saying "you have have all of *this*, or you can have all of *that*. But you can't have both." And I laid in bed next to my wife, thinking of her, our house, our family, all the things we have, and I weighed that up against the thrill of talking to women online.

And I switched my phone off and went to sleep.

Day 80.

12
Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: July 20, 2020, 06:35:42 AM »
Day 73

Still going strong. There are a lot of positives: my relationship with my (including our sex life) is going well; I've got plenty of work to be getting on with; I'm in otherwise good health.

I do worry about the woman I mentioned in my post at the top of the thread. She has my address, she knows where I work, and so on. It would be easy for her to continue to make my life a misery. I can only hope that she will continue to heal, and that by trying to do the right thing and manage my behaviour in the longer term I'll have a stronger case to document my recovery, should anything become more public. Ultimately the people I was most worried about (the police and my wife) already know what's gone on, and I'm still married and living a free life. I guess these are just the consequences.


13
Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: July 14, 2020, 03:59:54 AM »
Day 67

Still clean and going on. I can't say that I'm feeling amazing at the moment, and life feels like a slog from time to time, but I guess that's all part of the journey, isn't it? There's no miracle cure to this, I just have to keep doing the same thing every day. That's all I can do. And trust that one day, brighter things might come, and that I won't feel this way forever.

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Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: July 07, 2020, 12:26:26 PM »
That's a good point. Maybe, rather than "I don't trust myself", I could say "I'm self-aware and vigilant"...

15
Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: July 07, 2020, 01:41:32 AM »
Day 60

Am pleased to get to 60 days clean. Feels like a milestone.

I don't feel particularly good or proud about it. In a way, that's no bad thing: I think that I'm far too easily led to believe that I'm okay to let my guard down, and then a minor slip turns into a full relapse. It's nice to be reminded of my temptations: yesterday I had my laptop rebuilt at work and realised that I could now access web-based email on my laptop. And so my brain started thinking "ooh what else might I be able to access?" But that's only going to lead me to ruin.

So I think that for now I need to retain this feeling of unease, retain a lack of trust in myself, on the basis that this will keep me vigilant. 60 days is a start.

16
Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: July 02, 2020, 03:09:29 AM »
Day 55

I've been watching Bojack Horseman of late. A lot of the things he says - and does - are depressingly relatable. Anyway, there's this bit at the end of the second series (mild spoilers) where this old running man comes up to him and says "It gets easier. Every day it gets a little easier. But you got to do it every day. That's the hard part. But it does get easier."

I think that's so important in terms of recovery. It gets easier. Replacing those horrible negative thoughts, choosing not to go on porn, on chat room sites. Choosing to see yourself as something worth investing in, someone that is likeable, someone who isn't destined to make the same horrible mistakes until death...

We've got to do it every day. That's the hard part. But it does get easier.


17
Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: June 29, 2020, 05:55:41 AM »
Day 52

Just thought I'd check in briefly to let you know I'm still clean, on the wagon, doing okay. Mental health is up and down but today hasn't been too bad so far.

Best thing is to take this moment by moment.

18
Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: June 24, 2020, 09:54:51 AM »
Day 47

Again, my well-being is up and down. I keep having weird flashbacks to the things I did. I'm overcome with guilt some of the time.

You know, my boss asked me about my well-being today and was joking around, like "so are you going to tell me about some underlying mental health issue? Have you been sectioned?" and I just laughed about it and brushed it off. But really, my mental health is so up and down at the moment. The problem is that it never stays down for long enough for me to feel like I need help. Thinking about it: I had a pretty poor day last Thursday, was okay Friday and over the weekend, and am struggling today. I am still able to do my job to a decent standard... so I don't think a mental health practitioner would be particularly interested.

I don't know. I need to be kinder to myself. I've been trying to get clean for years now, and I'm making progress. Maybe this pain is part of the process.

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Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: June 23, 2020, 05:55:07 AM »
Day 46

Back to work today after a long weekend. It was my wife's 40th birthday and we all had the day off. Was a really great day with the family, and really made the most of it, in spite of the various lockdown restrictions etc. (In all honesty: we're not the sort of family that copes particularly well with big gatherings, so it was nice to have a celebration without the pressure of having to include and cater for others).

My wellbeing is still up and down. I think we all had such a nice day yesterday that we're feeling a little 'lagged' - almost like I'm hungover, except it's not that (I had one drink just after lunch and one just after dinner, which is nothing to write home about). Maybe it's just a slight feeling of anticlimax after such a good day.

Things I'm grateful for:

1. That everything went so well yesterday
2. That my work in-tray wasn't too horrendous today

Something positive about myself: God is working through me, in spite of my failures.

20
Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: June 20, 2020, 04:23:58 PM »
Day 43

Still hanging in there. Temptation is low, just need not to slip, keep it up, one day at a time, clean feels good. Clean feels right.

Grateful for:
1. The area where we live
2. Some success at work this week

One positive: I am not afraid to show that I'm happy

21
Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: June 17, 2020, 08:48:48 AM »
Day 40

Always feels like a bit of a landmark to get to 40 days. Jesus was tempted by the devil for 40 days and then the devil fled from him. I feel like temptation is never too far away so I need to remain on guard.

I've not been on here for a few days as it's been a busy time. Work has been particularly demanding but I have been quite productive today. I am trying to eat less sugar during the day, which is helping with my energy levels and productivity.

Am grateful for:
1. the sound of birdsong outside
2. the ability to talk to other people

One positive thing about myself: I'm not afraid to say sorry.

22
Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: June 14, 2020, 01:36:18 PM »
Thanks both for the encouragement!

Day 37

Just quickly checking in as it's been a few days. Things are going pretty well so far, am beginning to feel a bit calmer. Will post more tomorrow when I have a little more time.

Grateful for:
1. my lovely family and a great weekend with them
2. the ability to cook and eat good food

One positive thing about myself: I'm quite creative, I think.

23
Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: June 11, 2020, 01:53:33 AM »
Thanks UKGuy - I'll check that out :)

Day 34

Had another nightmare last night but it was more of a fleeting sadness than anything. Otherwise, slept well. Is anyone finding that time is moving really quickly at the moment? It's Thursday, but it doesn't seem so long since it was the previous Thursday.

I've been thinking a lot about guilt. I think that it's been holding me back - in that my previous reboots have been characterised by fear, rather than by a change in character. That said, I do feel like I'm able to reflect on the mistakes I've made in the past. Ultimately I need to learn to forgive myself and to regard myself as a new man, and not as the same person I was that made those mistakes.

Busy day ahead, so I should really crack on.

Things I'm grateful for:
1. a house to live in, that's big enough for the family and keeps us safe
2. a job that challenges me and allows me to do good for others

One positive thing about myself: I am a caring and considerate dad.

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Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: June 10, 2020, 01:40:52 AM »
Day 33

Had a horrible dream last night relating to what I'd done and the aftermath of it. I was feeling a little better yesterday but I'm going to have to find the strength to recover today. I keep praying for healing for the whole situation, that's all I can do. That, and being as diligent and reflective and loving as I can be, each day.

My wife and I are praying in the mornings, which helps. I'm so glad to have her in my life.

Things I'm grateful for:
1. my daughters are coping so well with lockdown
2. I slept almost uninterrupted last night, other than the nightmare

One positive thing about me: I have a good sense of humour.

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Ages 40 and up / Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« on: June 09, 2020, 01:30:49 AM »
Day 32

Feeling a little better today. I had a chat with the employee assistance service at my work about the whole situation in the original post - and they reassured me about a few things I was worrying about. We have a plan of action, in any case.

If I think about it, I can be quite proud of myself right now: I am under really serious stress at work, and things are not going amazingly, but I'm staying clear of porn and chat rooms and I'm seeking to make things as good as I can: praying with my wife, seeking God, being as good a dad as I can be, and working hard.

I am by no means out of the woods mentally, but it's nice just to feel that slight lifting of the pressure I've been under for the past month.

Two grateful things:
1. for being able to see my daughters more as a result of lockdown
2. for a bit of sunshine this morning after a miserable few days
One good thing about myself: I don't give up easily.

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