Author Topic: See them grow up  (Read 22931 times)

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #125 on: February 05, 2019, 04:53:34 AM »
A lot of resentment in my system today. That's going to kill my progress today if i let it fester. I spent a bit of time thinking about it this morning. The people that i feel resentment towards have actually benefited my long-term health, even if that wasn't their motivation. I wasn't taking accountability for my failings and selfishness and in every case, they saw through that. I have no reason to resent or blame. I'm a seriously lucky bastard and I owe them gratitude and forgiveness. This has happened before, when I'm in recovery and I'm glad to have the opportunity today to confront it. Previous successes I've had in staying off P have coincided with me seriously screwing-up in other ways... booze... violence... drugs... emotional distance to loved ones. P has been a comfort blanket i wrap myself in to cope with my resentment and when i took away the comfort blanket, the resentment comes flooding back and I get an almighty hangover. No wonder I suffer P cravings. What's clear from thinking about this and writing these notes today is that I need to deal with these resentments and get rid of them. If I don't come back grateful and more appreciative tomorrow..... could somebody please kick my ass?
Thanks for reading and very best wishes to you in your fight today.

http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com/2014/01/resentment-and-addiction-from-sa-white.html

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #126 on: February 06, 2019, 11:20:36 AM »
Not typically a counter of days, but yesterday I reached 28 days with no P, M or O. I count that as a little landmark. Pride? Not at all. But it's an indicator of progress. I worked out a lot of that resentment yesterday. Still been a bit road-ragey today and lacking cognitive focus. Work productivity has been very ordinary, but at least I'm clean. Increasing my reading without trying to spook my wife. One of the things I find most upset by, as I continue to learn, is the abundant evidence that recovering addicts like me find it very hard to feel pleasure, or happiness. I saw it referred to as "Addictive Anhedonia". I guess it's a natural outcome of the sensitization/de-sensitization effect and it's no surprise to read studies connecting this to partner sex. The passage below particularly struck me.

"masturbatory conditioning may lead frequent consumers to prefer pornographic to partnered sex, ultimately leading to sexual disconnect between them and their partners and lowered sexual satisfaction. The more dissatisfied with partnered sex they become, the more they may perceive that pornographic fantasies and solitary masturbation are preferable to sex with their partner, and the more frequently they may consume pornography."

Vicious circle. The more porn I consume, the less my brain enjoys real sex. The less my brain enjoys real sex, the more it craves porn. Outstanding  >:(. Well, hopefully the same virtuous circle can be created too. That's what I'm banking on. I linked to the abstract below.

https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/relevant-research-and-articles-about-the-studies/porn-use-sex-addiction-studies/associative-pathways-between-pornography-consumption-and-reduced-sexual-satisfaction-2017/

Into London this evening. I need to keep my eyes down and avoid scanning. No objectification. Wish me luck, please, as I wish you the best of luck in your recovery today. Thanks!

BigMog

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #127 on: February 06, 2019, 05:26:18 PM »
Hi WIPUK, Hope it all went well in London today.
Well, as I understand it, the negative effects of porn are reversible. I keep seeing mention of brain “plasticity” in articles. I guess we all need to keep working on growing the right neural connections! ;)
Keep strong!

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #128 on: February 08, 2019, 09:28:31 AM »
Hi BigMog. Thanks for positive reassurance. Believe me.... I am pinning my hopes on brain plasticity! Hopefully we both fire 'n wire the positive neural pathways.

Happy Friday. Very grateful to be clean and feeling pretty good, despite a trip to the big city. No P, M or O since start of January. I read a good article today on "the fix" website, which provided me a welcome reality check about recovery, and not expecting everything to feel great. I need to reinforce my learning and experience by this kind of reminder. I will have ups and downs, I will feel unwell from time to time, I will grieve for my lost crutch and at some point, my chimp will try to derail things. I have my BIG strategy and my little tactics. I've been here before and fallen down, but each time I try, my brain is less reliant on P. Dropping the url in here for future reference and reading.

https://www.thefix.com/living-sober/some-pitfalls-early-sobriety-avoiding-fuckit-bucket

Have a great weekend. Hoping we all log-in sober and sane on Monday.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #129 on: February 12, 2019, 06:16:49 AM »
Coming up on 5 weeks without P, M, O or any other manifestation of my S addiction. I'm a very long way from healed but I feel strong in relation to addiction recovery. As long as I keep recovery front of mind, I'm confident that I will resist the cravings. Typing that reminds me of a good phrase I heard from a fellow recoverer in an old 12-step meeting;

"If you're not working on your recovery, you're working on your relapse".

I mustn't get complacent and let myself drift back to bad habits. React to any cognitive distortions. Stay present with this stuff and keeping up my study, especially because I'm going on ski holiday this week and they're always a big trigger for me.

I need to find the way to reconnect emotionally with my wife too. We're currently like two old friends, respectfully co-habiting a house. There's no emotion in either direction. Again, I've been here before and I believe that I need to prioritise getting free of the addiction before I work on trying to put a spark back in our relationship. For the millionth time I find myself wishing that I'd never let P into my life. No point crying over spilled milk though. I'm not a victim. Onwards and upwards. I can think about that another day.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #130 on: February 13, 2019, 10:06:36 AM »
Reading about resentment again today. A former boss got in touch yesterday to see if I could be interested in coming to work for him. Thing is, the last time that former colleague spoke to me was when he fired from a job I really enjoyed, for reasons that I thought were unjustified. It's an event I've struggled to rationalise and it set off my inner chimp something special  >:( >:(! Then I realised that this happened nine years ago. NINE!! WTF? And I've still not gotten over it? That kind of resentment is just swilling around inside me, rotting me from the inside out. I dug out the famous quote below;

“Resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

It's been attributed to everybody from Buddha to Nelson Mandela to Carrie Fisher of all people, but it appears, like so many good quotes about "not fucking yourself up", to have its roots in AA back in the 1930's. I'm trying to work through this resentment and find a bit of peace. With the benefit of hindsight, the job was in a toxic environment for me and it was a really fertile environment for my S addiction to get really deep and nasty. I'm not yet ready to call this guy up and thank him for firing me, but I'm getting a bit of perspective. I'd really like to find a way to reduce the power of my "fight, flight, freeze" reactions. Need to find a way to let life flow around me. Find myself a bit of equanimity. I'm glad I wrote this today. Gives me something to work from. Wishing you strength in your fight today.

Corey_Balboa

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #131 on: February 13, 2019, 03:53:26 PM »
Hey workinprogressUK funny enough, your last post reminds me an identical situation. I went back to work in a company I hated but, because of the cash, I wanted to give it a try one more time. Guess what, people don't really change and about ten days after I already felt that things won't go very far.

Toxic people is really a problem. Their ghosts stay in your head and their shadow make you go into directions you wouldn't have chose at first place. I made a psychotherapy years ago and, at one point, it's hard to explain but I decided by myself to expel these toxic people out of my world. I won't be able to explain everything but the fact is, I chose to block them, erase every remaining trace of them ( especially social media) and deliberately forget them. It's just awesome how you can actually persuade yourself of things. It made my life much better.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #132 on: February 22, 2019, 04:47:34 AM »
Thanks CB for getting in touch. I hope you're well. I totally agree with your perspective on "toxic people" and their attempts to poison others around them. I find that part of the trick is working out who those individuals are, right? Because those people can be pretty good at hiding their true intent. My fave "head-shrink" book has a big chapter on recognising that there are probably very few people that each of us can truly trust to have our back when the shit hits the fan, and I've tried similarly to you to remove the toxic people, truly cherish the ones who are on my team, and not take the views of the inbetweeners too seriously. I hope that has worked for you.

Back from holiday today. I was right to be nervous because, as always, I'm suffering cravings today on returning. I took a deliberate decision to end my holiday on thursday night, so i'd have friday to organise myself and de-stress, before the hectic family weekend and flying out on work travel on Monday. That feels like having been a really worthwhile investment in compromise. The cravings were mainly brought on by being really tired on the way home, after a really intense week in the mountains. A bit of cognitive distortion, with part of my brain telling me that "X isn't fantasising" or "Y isn't porn", which was clearly bullshit. It got me thinking about the HALT acronym, related to Hunger, Anger, Loneliness and Tiredness. I had a quick read to refresh and refocus this morning. The URL is below. I was glad to be able to recognise the risk and manage it.

https://www.thetreatmentcenter.com/blog/halt-acronym/

Relieved to say that I've had no P, M or O since the start of January. Hopefully I'll get through today and into the weekend OK. I hope that anybody who's interested enough to read this will have a strong day today too.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #133 on: February 25, 2019, 11:54:37 AM »
Travelling in Eastern Europe; an itinerary full of triggers, based on past acting-out. I've resisted, helped by reading The Chimp Paradox and updating my recovery plan with some bits that were missing. I need to remember that it's not enough for my PFC to be 100% committed to recovery, because my limbic system needs to be 100% committed too and that's a battle I've not yet won. I still get the anxieties, associated cravings and distortions of logic that tempt me back to P. This remains a grim slog. I have another day clean, which is something to be grateful for. But I don't feel like I'm winning the long-term battle for sanity, happiness, connection or sobriety. I guess that's just the way it is. I need to live in the here and now, stay present, not get ahead of myself, be grateful for what I have and hope to come out the other side some time.

Corey_Balboa

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #134 on: February 26, 2019, 03:51:29 AM »
Hey mister, I see that we are going the same doubts and tormented thoughts. Hold on, you are doing great so far. Your HALT concept is pretty accurate, and helps to put things in perspective. Well do it !

Cheers

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #135 on: February 27, 2019, 07:43:43 AM »
Hey CB. Thanks again for the input. It's so encouraging to get positive feedback.
I had a lot of travel time Monday-Tuesday, which allowed me to get a lot of study done. Did some addiction-specific stuff but also some focus on happiness, which i think was worthwhile. Many years wallowing in my addiction have made it hard for me to feel happy. Did a couple of exercises prompted by some reading and identified a list of 10 things that can immediately improve my happiness and 10 things that improve it, but with a delay involved. The "immediate" list is proving really helpful. I'm not going to be a dick and type it all out here, but this morning I really enjoyed an espresso in my garden with some music playing; all three simple little things on my list.
8 weeks sober today. No P, M or O for 56 days. Grateful to be feeling OK and to the people on this forum for helping to strengthen me.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #136 on: February 28, 2019, 09:13:19 AM »
Thursday. Emotionally flat today. On the other hand, work stress is low. Feeling a lot of compassion and affection towards my wife. Organised a babysitter so we can go on a date night together. Being proactive about fixing a weekend away with the guys. Reflecting on that, I'm a lucky boy; OK job, nice wife, some friends. Clean so far today and confident of staying that way until tomorrow.

switched_off_again

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #137 on: February 28, 2019, 07:05:53 PM »
Travelling in Eastern Europe; an itinerary full of triggers, based on past acting-out.

Hi WIPUK - god, how this resonates with me! Years of addiction to certain sites has completely skewed my perception of and reaction to certain countries. Madness....

Sounds like your mind is in quite a good place at the moment. Long may it continue!
This is my old journal. Just I ever feel the need to read from start to finish.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16467.0

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #138 on: March 01, 2019, 10:12:14 AM »
Thanks, guys, for your feedback. Much appreciated.
Just checking-in. All OK. No gremlins.

Rex

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #139 on: March 01, 2019, 10:22:55 AM »
Thanks, guys, for your feedback. Much appreciated.
Just checking-in. All OK. No gremlins.

workinprogress,

Great work, you are doing great!  Congrats on hitting the 2 month mark free from PMO. It will continue to get easier in the third month but keep vigilant and don't let your guard down.  Keep up the hard work, the victory is yours!


Rex
________________________________

BigMog

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #140 on: March 02, 2019, 10:47:18 AM »
You’re doing well WIPUK!
Keep strong!

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #141 on: March 04, 2019, 06:05:35 AM »
Monday. Enjoyed a very rewarding weekend. Improved connection with my SO. Date night was a good idea.
The thing I'm most grateful for today may sound a bit weird but I've thought it through repeatedly over the weekend. It's coming up to 6 years since my S addiction had its "rock-bottom" moment. At that time i moved out of the family home and into a residential rehab. On the back of that, I enjoyed 3 years clean of P before a relapse. I fucked-up plenty of other things during that 3-year period, but P and S acting out weren't in the picture. During the last three years, I've enjoyed stretches where i've been clean for over a year but I never held on for the long term. I've suffered slips and had three or four relapses, but on each occasion, the relapse behaviours were less extreme and it was easier for me to take back control of my mind. Every one of those spells in recovery has helped my brain to re-balance and made my neural pathways less reliant on P or other acting out. This reboot has, so far, been significantly easier than any of the others. I'm taking nothing for granted. I still experience triggers and feel pressure, but they're nothing like as powerful as they were 5 years ago, when the cravings made me physically ill and mentally unable to function. So today I'm really grateful for those past attempts. Each attempt has repaired me to a lesser or greater extent. They were all partial successes, rather than failures. I'm cleaner and stronger now than I was last time. I risk falling off my wagon at some point, but every attempt builds my foundation for permanent success. If you're reading this, every effort you make, even if you slip or relapse, helps build your foundation of strength too. I'll stay clean today. I hope you will too and i wish you every success 

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #142 on: March 05, 2019, 10:47:24 AM »
Clean today and grateful for that. Not untroubled, though. Through the flatline phase and I'm enjoying healthy, emotions and connections, but the same progress is making me crave unhealthy ones too. Got myself into a couple of grey area situations and I need to avoid doing that again. Looking at them from a glass half full perspective, I have to be pleased that I got out without a slip. But i was tempted. I was thinking about them today and doing some reading. The key takeaway from that reading was a refresh on Seemingly Unimportant Decisions, or SUD's. My chimp has always found them to be the easiest way to get around my defences. I'm prone to cognitive distortion of the truth in these instances, and I can easily kid myself that I'm clicking on a training article about glute exercises because I want to train my glutes at the gym tonight..... rather than because glute training articles typically target female readers, and often feature female motivational photographs and video. I bullshit myself so convincingly in these instances and it has happened twice this week - once online and once offline. I'm thinking back and I recall a couple of past slips last year, which started with being on a tired day and letting my chimp brain convince me that this kind of SUD wasn't important or deliberate and in so doing, putting myself in danger and testing myself unnecessarily. The upshot? I'll avoid "peak hour" at the gym, when the circuit training classes take place in the room i lift in. I'll also blacklist those training sites with the "motivational" imagery. It's good to know the enemy but if I can avoid bullshitting myself into taking risky SUD's, I can make my life a lot easier and less stressful.

Wishing you every strength in your fight today.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #143 on: March 07, 2019, 10:15:28 AM »
58 days without PMO. Feeling some distance between my current self and my old addict self, which i can only think is good. Earlier today, I had some past acting-out behaviours pop into my memory and I was a little surprised not to feel any disgust or shame, or "I'm no longer that person" mindset. I'm still that person. I just don't do those things any more. Hopefully I won't do those things ever again. Hopefully it's not just a short-term behavioural change that I've white-knuckled myself through. I really want to rediscover a set of values and attitudes I can live my life by. Shit.... I'm weary. Recovery uses up a lot of bandwidth, doesn't it? It feels so good to be clean today, though  :).

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #144 on: March 11, 2019, 03:59:46 AM »
Another Monday check-in. A little bit tatty around the edges today after a sociable weekend. Alcohol at a level i don't feel comfortable with, given how much booze and hangovers trigger me. Some triggers are unavoidable. Some shit is going to happen in my day. So there's no need to make things any more difficult for myself by over-indulging in stuff that triggers me. That said, I'm still clean of PMO and very motivated to stay that way. I just remembered something from the weekend that I really wanted to get down in here today. How good it feels to not live with a liar's fear. I remembered the stress i felt when I acted out; the fear of discovery, the anxiety of constantly lying, the worry about my wife or kids picking up my phone or looking at my laptop or seeing a bank statement. Life is so much better like this... knowing that I don't have to worry about any of those things any more, because acting out isn't something that i do any more. Wish I could say that I was confident that it'll always be that way but I'm nowhere near that yet. Still feels good to be clean today, though. Something to be very appreciative of.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #145 on: March 13, 2019, 09:44:54 AM »
Wednesday. No PMO and very grateful for that. Back from a business trip and overnight social with my team in central London. Annoyed to have had more booze and less sleep than I should have. I feel a bit rough today, which I wrote only two days ago was something that I'd avoid feeling. But here I am already, with a hangover and a bunch of triggers to avoid, resist or fight. Dickhead. Need to be more respectful of the sacrifices i need to make if i'm going to beat this and stay clean. Can't have my cake and eat it.

On the brightside, despite lacking discipline, no slips and I feel strong. Made some good decisions; stayed in the same hotel as colleagues, didn't turn on the TV, didn't fire-up my laptop in my room. Plenty more travel coming, so i need to keep up with those. I think I will make it through today. Wish me luck!

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #146 on: March 14, 2019, 09:51:44 AM »
Just checking-in. On solid ground today. Feeling good. Busy with work. Training later. Started tracking my diet macros again, which is a discipline I enjoy. Something to feel control over. Still no PMO and no urge for P. Need to stay focused and not allow my cognitive distortion any head space. Over 9 weeks clean and very grateful for that. Life is so much more rewarding without P.

cranm329

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #147 on: March 14, 2019, 09:59:20 AM »

Totally agree. Well done. Thanks for encouragement to stay focused.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 10:03:05 AM by cranm329 »

switched_off_again

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #148 on: March 14, 2019, 07:26:34 PM »
Great stuff! 'How good it is to live without a liar's fear.' I totally, totally empathise.

Sad to admit, when I was caught in the grip of P, there was a few times I cycled home from work at lunchtime to check I hadn't left a browser open. Same happened on several morning's after...

I'd feel guilty when I heard stories of people being raided and caught with bad stuff on their laptop, even though my tastes were always pretty tame (relatively speaking).

I'd imagine a time when my ISP didn't have a log of all the porn sites I'd visited.

I'd worry that any scam phone call was actually someone who was going to blackmail me...

All out of proportion stuff brought on by guilt and the associated anxiety...

It really is nice not to have any of that...
This is my old journal. Just I ever feel the need to read from start to finish.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16467.0

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #149 on: March 15, 2019, 08:42:20 AM »
'How good it is to live without a liar's fear.'
Sad to admit, when I was caught in the grip of P, there was a few times I cycled home from work at lunchtime to check I hadn't left a browser open. Same happened on several morning's after... I'd feel guilty when I heard stories of people being raided and caught with bad stuff on their laptop, even though my tastes were always pretty tame (relatively speaking). I'd imagine a time when my ISP didn't have a log of all the porn sites I'd visited. I'd worry that any scam phone call was actually someone who was going to blackmail me... All out of proportion stuff brought on by guilt and the associated anxiety...

It really is nice not to have any of that...

Absolutely, my friend. I read your post and I couldn't help but feel that old anxiety and guilt  :(. Made me feel genuinely nauseous. The risks we took. The stupid decisions we made. The complete warping of priorities!

Feeling good today. Rewarding week at work. Looking forward to breaking early and heading to the gym soon. Busy weekend ahead. Only the mildest P urges. Cautiously confident of staying clean for the weekend.