Author Topic: See them grow up  (Read 20671 times)

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #100 on: June 12, 2017, 08:28:26 AM »
Nothing new under the sun, is there, SS  :)

Bleeuuuurggghhh!! Just had a big trigger moment. Sometimes things come out of left-field that I can't control. Other times, like this one, I get over-confident and flirt with things that I know I shouldn't. On a fitness website, looking for some motivation. Allowed myself to dwell on the wrong kind of image. ZAP! Big blast of dopamine and now my head's buzzing and my ears are ringing and I have cravings for P. Idiot! Time to RUN. Shutting down and going for some fresh air. Glad to have this site as a "first aid" location when things get sketchy.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #101 on: June 15, 2017, 06:43:26 AM »
Still very focused on recovery. Enjoying, for the most part, a re-read of the YBOP book, although the numerous mentions of the fact that prolonged porn abuse has been proven to cause irreparable damage to grey-matter was a little deflating. I'm keen to dig into some of the reference research too. Managed my inner chimp through a quarterly work meeting that I find very stressful, and got through for the first time without hating myself, colleagues or boss. Wow!

I don't know if pressure to relapse is cyclical. Do any of the longer-term guys have any thoughts on that? Assuming any of them reads this  :). I'm at around 150 days p-free now. No fantasy. 1 M. But I feel more cravings now than I did at 90 days. Anybody else had similar, please?

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #102 on: June 19, 2017, 03:40:56 AM »
Still troubled by craving for P. Like a nagging, mild, hangover. Will be a good day to check over an old rehab book and do a little exercise on "remembering how shit life was at rock bottom". I think I'll get through the day but it's going to be one of those tooth-grinding, unproductive, anxious and unfocused ones.

Wish me luck.

workingonit

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #103 on: June 20, 2017, 12:32:03 AM »
Hello Workinprog,

Have you seen the bit about hypofrontalism?  This is the bit that gets me.  It means we lose the ability to reason, think clearly and make sensible decisions (like using or not, but there are other life choices we make that might be seriously affected). Here Dr Kevin McCauley describes how hypofrontality works.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=146&v=jkOl7QIXxlQ

You should watch all the videos for PleasureUnwoven as it is really interesting. 

Now according to his video the 'addict' is unable to refuse the intense emotional obsessional experience that keeps bringing the brain back to the addiction.  They cannot reason that there are consequences to their additive actions.

But you can, and do.  You know the difference between using and not.  Now you are re-wiring to bring your brain back into focus.  My memory is really bad.  It is because I do a job that does not stimulate me, have gone through years of intense stress (on top of the porn addiction recovery) and do not use it (aside from trying to remember stuff I seem to have no capacity to remember.   

But I can, and do!  I am learning new ways to memorise names.  I have always been terrible.  What are you like at names?  Now I assign something to each person I meet.  Sally became Mustang Sally, Rebecca became Becks, Jamie (and his magic torch) Alison (Baba and the forth thieves) the point of neural plasticity is that the brain can change so you need to change it.  It changed with the addiction, right? Maybe you will not be what you could have been due to the porn, but their is new research into the brain and recovery from serious trauma and it is all about forging new pathways.  Neurons that fire together, wire together.

If it does not come from an expert and if I am not really interested in doing something (usually through being too lazy) I do not try stuff.  But if I can become excellent at remembering names then what new memory tricks could you learn?  What new things could you learn? 

Be positive and be focused on something.  I am starting small with the names but am going to try something else visual next, not sure what......

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #104 on: June 21, 2017, 09:12:08 AM »
That feedback is so informative. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Really appreciated. I'll go check out the video. But you;re right that I never managed to win with reason. Never managed to talk-down the chimp, who always took a  "fuck it" attitude to risk. The riskier... the more intense the hit, right?

And for what it's worth.... I suck at remembering names. Where my car keys are. What my kids are supposed to be bringing home from school... and all the other stuff that just never mattered to my addict brain. Good at faces, mind. I can easily recognise people I only met briefly 30 years back.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #105 on: June 22, 2017, 10:05:16 AM »
Very good watch and read. Confirmed a lot. My layman's attempt at explaining what I think I learned;

Years acting out have damaged the bits of my brain that correctly attribute value and priority, as well as the bits that help me understand and benchmark my behaviour. So not only is my decision making fundamentally impaired, but I'm no longer able to see how wrong my decisions are.

Kind of explains to me why I continued to make some really, catastrophically, bad decisions and evidenced some very nasty and anti-social behaviours for a couple of years after I stopped acting out.

Samarkand Searcher

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #106 on: June 23, 2017, 07:27:31 AM »
hi

ditto for names and faces! I have noticed that my memory is worse when I am full on PMO and everything else multiple times a day! I am much sharper when I don't.

Same for the fuck it attitude? Did you have any childhood trauma? I think that this can lead to people being wired differently when it comes to getting a buzz from things?


workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #107 on: January 18, 2019, 12:09:17 PM »
It wasn't my intention to be active in here again but I've fallen off my wagon, and this place helped me maintain a long spell of sobriety last time around, so here I am.

Ten days into this reboot, having spent the last three months of 2018 out there, before three weeks sober during December. I'm grateful, in a small way, that my acting out was mild in comparison to years gone by. That hypofrontality is something I managed to get on top of, and I'm better at moderating my own behaviour and not doing crazy stuff. The thing I've found the most difficult to deal with, after living clean for anything up to three years at a time since I tried to get a grip of this in 2013, is how little pleasure I find in my life as a recovering addict. Holidays, hobbies, wins at work, social events and even the company of my family provide little joy, and people around me are noticing how little enthusiasm I show for things that ought to light me up. I've seen it referred to as addictive anhedonia, and I guess it comes from having overloaded my dopamine sensors with junk for so long that they're de-sensitised to "normal" pleasures. That's something I'm going to try to stay sober long enough to repair a little. It would be nice to smile a genuine smile.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #108 on: January 21, 2019, 10:33:17 AM »
Grim day. Cold, grey and still. Nothing happening at work. I feel agitated but not energised. Triggered by the boredom and by habit. Held out so far. I think I'll grind it out OK. Work meeting in 30 mins stopping me from knocking-off early and hitting the gym. If I hold out until tomorrow, I'll have 2 weeks without. That's sufficient motivation not to give up.

joepanic

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #109 on: January 21, 2019, 11:03:52 AM »
2 weeks!!!!  a good milestone   take in your meeting and change your routine in going to the gym a little later   I found it was always good to change things up a little  keep it interesting   sort of embrace a slight unknown   you never know what you might find there   The great songwriter Neil Young once quoted   "I don'   t always go down the middle of the road   Once in a while I aim for the ditch  its a rough road but you find more interesting people there"  and from those people you might find more acceptance  and support   So look forward to changing it up for a few days and perhaps your mind will be consumed by getting through something different

     Cheers  looking forward to seeing you start a 3rd week

       Post often it helped me it will help you

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #110 on: January 22, 2019, 12:39:24 PM »
Thanks joepanic. Like a lot of guys here, the gym's my "happy place". Training is something that really creates flow and a sense of self confidence for me. I'm a little cranky just now because I'm carrying a bunch of little injuries and glitches that are stopping me from doing what I like to do there. But thanks for reminding me that there's a lot of pleasure in changing things around and trying something new.

Took the time to read back through this blog. Looks like i managed nearly 160 days clean before something triggered a relapse 7 months ago. Can't remember what it was, but I apparently had plenty of warning signs and opportunities to RUN. I've always been an arrogant prick. Probably thought i knew better. Oh well. I am where I am, rather than where i want to be, so I'll take the learnings from that fail and do the best that i can from here. Can't begin to tell you how grateful I am to be sober today!

Wishing you all success.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #111 on: January 23, 2019, 10:18:25 AM »
Checking in. Enjoying reading the journals of other posters. All OK today.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #112 on: January 24, 2019, 06:02:19 AM »
I read this in my morning newspaper. It's about NY resolutions, but I saw a lot of crossover for me in addiction recovery, so I thought I'd post it here.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jan/10/struggling-with-new-year-resolutions-willpower

Key takeaways for me;
- Don't try to achieve too many objectives at the same time; Staying off P takes up all of my willpower reserves. Denying myself a beer, or a piece of chocolate, when I'm feeling shitty, because I'm tracking my macros.... well that's only likely to make me less able to resist P next time the Chimp starts screaming, so I should chill-out about 100kcal of carbs
- extroverts need external and 3rd-party validation of their efforts. I'm an extrovert, so it's good to post here and be part of a crew
- "Changing habits is a motivational marathon".... don't i know it!

I'm clean today and grateful for that. I miss my old behaviours and the pleasure they brought me. I've not yet found other pastimes that come close to replacing them. But remembering the damage they did to me is enough motivation to stay clean today. If you read this, I wish you every success in your own mission.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #113 on: January 28, 2019, 05:53:23 AM »
Monday morning and I feel anxious; back at my desk with my computer for company and not very much to occupy my mind. My chimp is bothering me with what my human brain knows are cognitive distortions. I'm tired and unmotivated and the chimp is offering P as the solution; telling me that it's only a little look or a little fantasy and no big deal. Checking-in here makes me pause and let's my rational brain take back control. Helps reestablish a bit of balance.

Thanks for sharing your journals and progress and challenges. It's really motivating to read some of those logs. Wishing you success in your own fight today.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 05:55:28 AM by workinprogressUK »

BigMog

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #114 on: January 28, 2019, 09:36:03 AM »
Stick with it WIPUK. You’re doing well!

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #115 on: January 29, 2019, 09:47:11 AM »
Stick with it WIPUK. You’re doing well!

Thank you Sir!

Still clean. Three weeks. Grateful for that. No major cravings. Some of the old trigger behaviours are becoming less problematic, too. Making a few changes, which seem to be helping. My counsellor always told me "you spend all your time doing. You need to spend more time just being". I've always felt guilty at rest. Never really watched TV or films or chilled-out. But my kids are getting to an age where we can share the same sources of humour and I've started watching a couple of "12 Cert" comedies with them.... real juvenile, inconsequential stuff, like "Grown Ups" and "Wayne's World". It's nice to find myself laughing my ass off at the same jokes they are. Very grounding. Still don't know where any of this is headed, or what my end game is beyond staying in recovery. I'm sure the bigger picture will become a bit clearer when I have a bit more sober time under my belt and my synapses have started re-wiring a little. Here's hoping. I'm up for the fight.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #116 on: January 30, 2019, 07:32:57 AM »
Having "spammed" just about every other thread with my half-baked ramblings, time to write-up my own.
Still clean and going strong, but i was triggered a couple of times in the car today. Stuck in traffic for ages because of snow, with nothing to occupy myself. I'd had some vivid dreams last night, so my system may have been unconsciously running hot. It was just an outdoor advertising poster for a fashion brand "eyewormed" me. It's not always the BIG things that pull the trigger, is it? I haven't had to deal with specific triggers much over the last few weeks, so this was bad (increased risk of relapse) and good (an opportunity to work on my prevention tactics). I'm not religious, but I keep in mind a little phrase a fellow sufferer gave me years ago "the first look's on God". What I take from that is that I can't control that I see something and my brain notices it and a synapse fires. What I can control is whether I dwell on that image and start to make connections in my brain about how i process the image; I just can't afford to look again! That was the right first step. I also switched on some music in the car to refocus my mind on something else. The urge passed. I'm grateful for that and for the things I've been able to learn from you guys and other people in recovery over the years. Onward and upward, I hope!

dlansky

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #117 on: January 30, 2019, 06:12:14 PM »
I appreciated your "half-baked ramblings" in reply to my post. ;-) Triggers do abound, don't they? Dropping my teenage daughter off at high school and seeing what some of her classmates were wearing was a bit of a trigger for me this morning, but I too had to refocus.

Funny you ended your post with "onward and upward" -- I happened to end my post the same way today. Is that phrase used a lot in the UK? The reason it was on my mind was that I was listening to a podcast yesterday in which C.S. Lewis' last "Narnia" book, "The Last Battle," came up during the discussion. Lewis uses the phrase "onward and upward" in the book to describe his vision of heaven, in which we are not in a sort of static state of awe in God's presence but constantly moving in deeper and discovering him evermore deeply. I thought the phrase also described what I want my life to look like -- constant growth and improvement.
Back again to make a lifelong change.

switched_off_again

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #118 on: January 30, 2019, 06:41:27 PM »
I'm not religious, but I keep in mind a little phrase a fellow sufferer gave me years ago "the first look's on God". What I take from that is that I can't control that I see something and my brain notices it and a synapse fires. What I can control is whether I dwell on that image and start to make connections in my brain about how i process the image; I just can't afford to look again!

I like this! Look elsewhere, think of something else, count down from 10, anything! Just don't dwell on it!
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 #119 on: January 31, 2019, 08:57:48 AM »
Funny you ended your post with "onward and upward" -- I happened to end my post the same way today. Is that phrase used a lot in the UK? ..... I thought the phrase also described what I want my life to look like -- constant growth and improvement.

That phrase is indeed used a lot here in the UK, although being British, you probably won't be surprised to read that it's typically used with a degree of pessimism. I have to go out in the rain without a coat? "Oh well.... onwards and upwards". My country has blindly voted to trash relations with our nearest neighbours and biggest trading partners? "Onwards and upwards"! I spend 6 years trying to rewire my brain, and although I still get tripped up by a dumb advertising poster, I won't let it get me down"....... "Onwards and upwards":) Your interpretation is far more inspiring!

Thanks for reading switched-off, dlansky. Really appreciate your feedback. Engagement helps me stay on track. As for the "count to 10" or similar, switched-off, i totally agree with you. Our chimp brains process stimuli 4x faster than our thinking brains, so we need to find any way we can to buy time for the thinking brain to manage the situation. I did a 10-step programme and although it didn't work for me, I think that without knowing it, the old AA guys had something with the "give it up to my higher power" thing, because it just bought them a bit of time to say "no".

Clean today. Coming down with a cold but otherwise, feeling pretty good. Wishing you every success in your battle.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #120 on: February 01, 2019, 10:03:42 AM »
Friday afternoon. Glad to have made it through another working week and into the relative calm of the weekend. Twenty something days and things are calm, but I guess I'm in flatline. Hoping that when i eventually come out of that and start to feel some emotions, I'll be able to keep control of them. But I guess I should focus on today and let the future look after itself. "One day at a time", and all that. Being addicted made me very insular, antisocial and isolated. I'm really trying to be more sociable and make real connections. I used to do that naturally but I find it really hard nowadays. I'm such a miserable bastard. I have sports hospitality with a bunch of guys tomorrow afternoon, so hopefully I can keep my chimp boxed. I know it's beneficial, even if i feel like an outsider.

Wishing you every success in your fight over the weekend. Hopefully I'll check back in OK on Monday.

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #121 on: February 01, 2019, 10:28:07 AM »
Friday afternoon. Glad to have made it through another working week and into the relative calm of the weekend. Twenty something days and things are calm, but I guess I'm in flatline. Hoping that when i eventually come out of that and start to feel some emotions, I'll be able to keep control of them. But I guess I should focus on today and let the future look after itself. "One day at a time", and all that. Being addicted made me very insular, antisocial and isolated. I'm really trying to be more sociable and make real connections. I used to do that naturally but I find it really hard nowadays. I'm such a miserable bastard. I have sports hospitality with a bunch of guys tomorrow afternoon, so hopefully I can keep my chimp boxed. I know it's beneficial, even if i feel like an outsider.

Wishing you every success in your fight over the weekend. Hopefully I'll check back in OK on Monday.

Hello awesome work!
An,d this is an awesome way of thinking ”One day at a time”

Keep up the good work!
Tom

dlansky

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #122 on: February 01, 2019, 08:31:27 PM »
My country has blindly voted to trash relations with our nearest neighbours and biggest trading partners? "Onwards and upwards"! I spend 6 years trying to rewire my brain, and although I still get tripped up by a dumb advertising poster, I won't let it get me down"....... "Onwards and upwards"!

I kind of admired your country for "Brexit" myself, but I guess we'll see how it all works out.
Back again to make a lifelong change.

BigMog

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #123 on: February 02, 2019, 04:59:27 PM »
Hi WIPUK, A little while back you mentioned about your counsellor saying you should spend time just “being” sometimes instead of “doing.” I’ve been thinking about that, and I think it’s a really good point. I know I’ve gone on a few times in my journal about replacing the porn with other activities, often projects to improve myself, but just doing something relaxing, definitely not porn, is good too. So watching films with your kids and laughing with them is a perfect example of a “being” activity. My equivalent is watching “Brooklyn 99” with my daughter. It’s really silly, but somehow, as the squad is a thinly disguised family, I find it quite uplifting.

Keep clean! I know you can do it.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #124 on: February 04, 2019, 06:57:05 AM »
Thanks for your feedback, guys. Good to get the reinforcement that we're in this together.
Monday. I came through a very sociable weekend clean. I spent time in the company of some people I've previously screwed-up with and I didn't feel anxious or antagonistic, which is a big relief. My recovery landscape has changed a little, in that I'm no longer flat-lining. That might be because it was a more alcoholic weekend than I'm used to and a hangover tends to trigger me. I think they do for a lot of us, right? Yesterday my emotions and sexuality were more pronounced than they have been through January. I need to be extra vigilant this week, and have my little tactics and plays to hand. Knowing what i need to do.... and Doing what i need to do.... haven't always joined-up, but I'm focused and aware, so i have the groundwork done and i just need this to stay more important to me than anything else. Looking forward to a successful week, and, if you read this, I hope that you have a really strong, positive week too.