Author Topic: See them grow up  (Read 21203 times)

Rex

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #200 on: May 28, 2019, 08:37:49 AM »
I'm finding it harder to resist cravings for P today than I have at any time since 8th January, so I hope that journalling what's going on is going to help, because I'm all over the place and came very close to falling off my wagon just a few minutes ago.

I've read that the stages of a relapse are 1. emotional relapse, 2. mental relapse and 3. physical relapse. My emotions are in a place where relapse feels like the most natural thing to do. I'm anxious to the point of physically trembling. I'm jumpy and very ill at ease. I'm absolutely in the "mental relapse" zone; my chimp is telling me that I could cope with a little bit of P and that it would help me settle. It's telling me that fantasy is fine, as long as I don't M/O. It's reminding me that life had more of a buzz to it when I was using. My human brain knows that's all bullshit and that my chimp just wants a way out of the anxiety. I need to let my Chimp have its tantrum without acting on its suggestions. I need to buy a minute. Journalling this is helping. Breathing exercises are helping. Letting the chimp shout is helping. OK. That's better. I've bought myself the time for my human brain to get back in control. i know that P isn't the answer. I remember how bad things used to be. I know why I'm anxious and I can find other solutions. I have a lot of conflicting work stresses pulling at me. I'm concerned today that my job isn't safe and I'm not in control. I've realised that I'm working from a coffee shop that used to be a P-browsing haunt in the bad old days. I'm going to write a plan for how to manage those conflicting stresses but first of all, I'm going to log-off and leave this triggering location. Alright. I am back in control. Sorry to unload my stress here, but writing it really helped me to stay present and not give-in to the cravings.
Be safe and strong today. P is not an option.

workinprogressUK,

One of the things that I have come to really understand in this whole reboot process is how the brain plays such a huge role in the addiction.  If you can beat the brain you can beat the addiction.  No matter how hard the brain wants you to revert back, it will begin to lessen in its power the more times you beat it.  Don't give in, when the cravings hit, the brain is trying its best through tremors, anxiety, and all its other bag of tricks (many of them PAWS symptoms) to get you to fall to PMO.  Do an Internet search for techniques to stop panic attacks, these type of techniques help to push the brain into doing another task which causes it to stop tormenting you with the PAWS type symptoms.  For instance if you count backwards from 100 to 0 or other similar techniques to get the brain working on something else it stops the cravings and PAWS symptoms.  Think of your brain like a computer, if the computer can't stop doing a task, then give it another one that bogs down the processor and its memory so that it can only work on the task you want it to work on.

Keep fighting, remember no matter how bad the cravings and temptations get they will lessen and go away.  Time is on your side, wait it out and win!  This reboot is won on the long game, the brain has the short game, but if you play the long game you'll aways win.  The more times you beat the brain, the brain will eventually learn its new norm without PMO and the reboot will be complete, and you'll have total victory. 
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 08:40:53 AM by Rex »
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idunno

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #201 on: May 28, 2019, 12:54:37 PM »
I hope you make it through today, WIP. You'll be laying the ground for even more success in the future. Hoping the best for you.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #202 on: May 30, 2019, 05:08:14 AM »
Think of your brain like a computer, if the computer can't stop doing a task, then give it another one that bogs down the processor and its memory so that it can only work on the task you want it to work on.

Keep fighting, remember no matter how bad the cravings and temptations get they will lessen and go away.  Time is on your side, wait it out and win!  This reboot is won on the long game, the brain has the short game, but if you play the long game you'll aways win.  The more times you beat the brain, the brain will eventually learn its new norm without PMO and the reboot will be complete, and you'll have total victory.

That's great advice, Rex. Thank you for your encouragement and for helping me learn new ways to stay on track. Really appreciated.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #203 on: May 30, 2019, 05:08:54 AM »
I hope you make it through today, WIP. You'll be laying the ground for even more success in the future. Hoping the best for you.

Thanks idunno. Really appreciate your encouragement and fellowship.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #204 on: May 30, 2019, 05:17:01 AM »
Happy to say that I made it through my rough spell on Tuesday. Very grateful. I was surprised and humbled by how hard the anxiety gripped me, and how persistent my chimp was in cajoling, encouraging, demanding me to relapse into p. I had to use a bunch of techniques to get through; distracting, removing, pacifying, refocusing. I'm grateful for the time I've had in recovery and even for past slips, which have helped me learn more about the way my own brain trips me up. Hopefully, I won't have another day like that for a while. Relieved to be in calmer waters with a better perspective on things. So..... onward and upward. Wishing you strength and serenity in your own fight today.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #205 on: June 04, 2019, 11:30:08 AM »
Continuing to struggle with inability to concentrate or feel pleasure, lack of energy, low mood. Caused me to research Rex's point about PAWS a bit more. Really interesting and I'm grateful for the pointer. It's certainly a neat explanation for the way I feel. It fits.
On the other hand, the articles tend to say that PAWS often coincides with stress, which, I think is a trigger, and that PAWS could also just be unresolved issues bubbling back to the surface, which again trigger P cravings. So I'm not sure if I buy-in to PAWS as an illness, as such. Or whether it's just the way I feel when unresolved issues and anxiety surface. 
Key thing is to be aware that I'm going to have bad spells that will last for a few days at a time, and that they're likely to continue for anything up to 2 years. It's good to know - thanks again REX.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #206 on: June 05, 2019, 09:18:52 AM »
Mood and ability to concentrate are better today. Grateful for that as I accomplished nothing over the last few days. Maybe that's just something I'll have to put up with from time to time? I remember a therapist once telling me that I "might just have to cope with being miserable", which doesn't sound hugely constructive but actually was. I can't always expect life to smell of roses. Keeping very busy. Started a new training course in sports coaching at weekends, as well as taking up mountain biking, which is giving me a new source of positivity, as well as a way to lose skin and blood. Staying focused on the good things in life. 

jixu

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #207 on: June 06, 2019, 06:12:23 AM »
That sounds like some good new stuff, plus it gets you outdoors more, something I'm trying to increase myself.  Keep going, it is a daily battle indeed.

idunno

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #208 on: June 08, 2019, 12:30:02 PM »
WIP, it's kind of funny, maybe because I can relate so much to it, but I feel like saying "Good job being miserable!" And I mean that in friendship, of course. :) I never thought that being miserable could be an accomplishment, but it really is! Like what I've been going through with my wife at times recently, and what your therapist said -- it's a major thing just to get through a wee spell of misery (much less an intense, long one) without sinking our own boats through porn.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #209 on: June 10, 2019, 06:19:26 AM »
"Good job being miserable!" And I mean that in friendship, of course. :) I never thought that being miserable could be an accomplishment, but it really is! Like what I've been going through with my wife at times recently, and what your therapist said -- it's a major thing just to get through a wee spell of misery (much less an intense, long one) without sinking our own boats through porn.

We're agreed on that, my friend. Never used to be able to cope with feeling low. Always needed to feel buzzy. It's definitely progress to be able to recognise and live through a bit of misery or melancholy.

That sounds like some good new stuff, plus it gets you outdoors more, something I'm trying to increase myself.  Keep going, it is a daily battle indeed.

I think the more outdoors and sociable I am, the better. Same for you? Just been reading some relapse prevention stuff and I'm reminded (for the thousandth time) of the need not to isolate myself and not to spend any more time than necessary with a screen in front of me.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #210 on: June 10, 2019, 06:50:01 AM »
I wrote on 28th May about the 3 stages of relapse, and how I felt like I'd been in emotional relapse and had moved into mental relapse, and I was fighting not to physically relapse. I stayed on the right side of the line and the acute stress dissipated. But in managing my cravings today and doing my study, I can see that I'm still in the muck and nettles. I DON'T WANT TO RELAPSE. But I'm irritable, introverted, closed, anxious and feeling generally uncomfortable with myself. My automatic/chimp brain and my present/human brain are in conflict. Suggestions to use P, cravings, minimization, justification... the stuff we all feel when things aren't going well. I took a screen break; went outside and did some breathing exercises that i feel help me to stay present.... stop myself drifting off onto autopilot. Anything to create a delay - some sort of firebreak between emotion and action. Then went for a little walk and had an out-loud talk with myself to remind myself about how much I have to lose; how shitty I feel when i use P, how much i dislike myself, the shame i feel, how emotionally absent i become as a parent, how ineffective and unproductive i become at work and how dysfunctional i am as a husband. My chimp tells me that it'll be different but I KNOW that it won't be. It will be a car crash again - like it always was. These tactics have all helped. I feel like I've ridden-out the storm and bought myself enough time to stop. Final piece in that jigsaw is to share my weakness and fear with somebody.... which i guess is anybody who reads this. One day at a time. I didn't slip this morning. Hopefully I won't slip for the rest of today. I know I'm fortunate. I count my lucky stars to have a few months of sobriety in my computer that provides a foundation for resisting the temptation today.

I know I have unresolved issues that are dragging me back to this place and I need to work out how I can open-up those closed parts of my brain, but I don't yet seem to have the capability to do that without destabilising myself. I find it incredibly difficult to be assertive. I'm the "nice guy" who's so full of shame and guilt that instead of being honest with my thoughts and feelings, I just say "yes" to placate people and then seethe with hidden resentment. I need to work on becoming more honest and assertive. So much learning to do.... but I'm a willing learner.

Thanks for reading. Glad to have shared a few things and got them off my chest. Hope you have a strong day.

cranm329

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #211 on: June 10, 2019, 08:11:23 AM »
Hi WiPUK
With you in all this. Can empathize. A couple of perhaps crass observations. Chimps either live in caged enclosures in zoos or are free to live naturally in the savanna. Perhaps shame is the result of our chimps being locked up in the wrong place? I recognise that my inner self (chimp or Id) is sending me primal messages to act out sexually. That part of me wants a lot more sex than I'm getting and without the moral/religious/social constraints. Don't live in shame, it just leads to pain and depression and so more addiction. Be kind to your chimp and let him free in a safari park of healthy fantasy. All the best and enjoy the bananas (just lightening a very serious situation for us all) :)
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 08:42:12 AM by cranm329 »

BigMog

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #212 on: June 10, 2019, 03:14:49 PM »
Hi WiPUK,
Well done for hanging on in there. Good to see you’ve weathered this particular storm.
I identify with the lack of assertiveness and confidence. It’s been pointed out to me on a number of occasions. As with many things, including porn problems I don’t think there’s a magic bullet, but  I think doing all the good things we’re doing to beat PMO should help over time.
Keep strong!

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #213 on: June 17, 2019, 07:16:09 AM »
Chimps either live in caged enclosures in zoos or are free to live naturally in the savanna. Perhaps shame is the result of our chimps being locked up in the wrong place? I recognise that my inner self (chimp or Id) is sending me primal messages to act out sexually. That part of me wants a lot more sex than I'm getting and without the moral/religious/social constraints. Don't live in shame, it just leads to pain and depression and so more addiction. Be kind to your chimp and let him free in a safari park of healthy fantasy.

Hmmmm. I don't know. I spent years and years self-soothing in fantasy as a young adolescent, before i had access to P. The P i got hooked one was the same as the stuff i fantasised about and i found that the two went hand in glove. I appreciate your advice and especially the effort to lighten the mood, but I don't think this is the right way forward for me.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #214 on: June 17, 2019, 07:37:17 AM »
A week ago i was "hanging on in there" to quote BigMog. Glad to say that I stayed "hung on in" and I made it through. I'm on more solid ground now and being more proactive in managing underlying issues. I place far too much emphasis on work success as a way of defining myself. I'm currently under a lot of pressure and my job prospects aren't so secure. But I am not my job and my job is not me. it's just something i do to earn money. If and when i no longer have this job, there will be alternative ways to earn money. There are things about my situation that i can change, and i need to make those changes confidently. There are things about my situation that I can't change, and I need to accept them and not obsess about them. Focus on the things i can control. P cravings are frequent when i feel this pressure, but luckily they're not very powerful. It's a bit like the old "chinese water torture" though. Pissing me off. Like "perimeter testing"... trying to find a weak moment or a weak point. I'm looking at "If-then" plans as a tactic.

bob

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #215 on: June 18, 2019, 07:46:14 AM »
Work,

This are wise words my friend...

But I am not my job and my job is not me. it's just something i do to earn money.

There are things about my situation that I can't change, and I need to accept them and not obsess about them.

As you, I struggle to understand the rationale for my behavior with porn/sex. I use to ease pain, self doubt, and insecurity. And my work environment plays a major role in this challenge.

Thank you for your honesty.

Peace
« Last Edit: June 18, 2019, 07:53:17 AM by bob »

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #216 on: June 20, 2019, 09:05:38 AM »
One M. I think i just wanted to more than i wanted no to. If I track my journal over the last couple of weeks, I can see that my resolve hasn't been as strong as it was. Still no P. And no feeling that I'm going to relapse into P. Maybe that will prove to be pride before a fall, but I think that's unlikely.

BigMog

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #217 on: June 21, 2019, 03:06:13 AM »
Stick with it WIPUK, there are several of us cheering you on from the sidelines.

jixu

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #218 on: June 21, 2019, 08:07:34 AM »
Keep going WIP; do not give in to the fleeting equivocation.  Like BigMog said, we are with you!

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #219 on: June 22, 2019, 05:22:08 PM »
Sincere thanks for the support, guys. I really appreciate it. Makes such a difference.
Saturday night here. Just finished my homework and prep for a training course I'm at all day tomorrow. I feel calm, in control and at ease with myself. Happy to have made it through another day without P.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #220 on: June 24, 2019, 04:08:17 AM »
Monday. Had a great weekend; training course I did yesterday was sooooo stimulating and rewarding. Just loving being out of my comfort zone and learning something new. It's keeping my boredom trigger absolutely at bay. Can't recommend enough the benefit of finding stimulating, "real world", stuff to keep my "human" brain, occupied, energized and present. I'm away overseas again today, and I'm going to refocus on some of the tactics and techniques that have worked for me in the past to avoid triggers while travelling. No need to reinvent the wheel. Just need to know what has worked for me in the past and keep doing it.... until it stops working for me in the future. The key is to stay present and focused on that... not let things drift into chimp / automatic brain territory. Hoping for a serene and productive week. Wishing you all success in your own fight against ugly P.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #221 on: June 26, 2019, 07:32:16 AM »
Survived the travel trigger. Had to buy new headphones at the airport because i forgot my regulars. Expense was well worth it. Music has a lot of power to influence my mood and stop my brain from drifting - especially when I'm tired or bored as I inevitably end up on business travel. Stayed off the hotel TV. Only 1 beer with dinner and kept the laptop turned off when i came back. Trained in the hotel gym Monday night and Tuesday morning. Walked to my meetings. Enjoyed the fresh air and the exercise. I know broadly what works to keep me stable and avoid temptations. The key is executing on the strategy and tactics consistently.... not getting lazy or complacent. Too many sad stories in this forum remind me how easy it is to fall off my wagon again.... and how difficult it would be to stop a slip becoming a binge. I don't know about the whole "mindfulness" trend, but I am absolutely 100% convinced that while not relapsing into porn is something that i keep front and centre in my conscious, thinking, "human" brain... something that I think about, focus on, plan for, prioritise and make sacrifices to achieve..... i don't relapse into porn. When it stops being a conscious priority is when I'm in danger of slipping. Hopefully I can get better at maintaining that focus.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #222 on: June 28, 2019, 06:43:44 AM »
Getting close to 6 months without P. That's an achievement worth fighting for. Can't take anything for granted. It still takes effort, every day. I didn't like SA or the 12-step process, when I was in them. But a lot of the catchphrases work for me;

One day at a time
Progress not perfection
You're either working on your recovery or working on your relapse
Recovery is a journey, not a destination
An addict alone is in bad company

Writing here is part of working on my recovery. I need to take more time out to appreciate how fortunate i am to be in recovery. I've been incredibly lucky. I know that working hard helps me stay lucky.

allforone

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #223 on: June 29, 2019, 11:05:37 PM »
6 months will be a big achievement! Stay strong. We are fortunate to have found this website and support each other here.

BigMog

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #224 on: June 30, 2019, 02:29:42 AM »
Six months! Nice job WiPUK. Keep doing the things you’re doing.