Author Topic: See them grow up  (Read 20668 times)

cranm329

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #175 on: April 18, 2019, 02:56:54 PM »
Well done WiPUK. Amazing achievement. All the best with the swollen ball. Hope that the doc is able to give you the all clear.

switched_off_again

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #176 on: April 19, 2019, 11:40:36 AM »
Thanks Mog. I'm finding it easier to stay in control than i used to. Cravings are pretty mild and infrequent but I think it's important for me to stay "present" now, rather than complacent.

I think it's 100 days without P or M today. That makes me especially glad when I think of how completely owned by P I used to be. I've had streaks this long before though, and fallen off my wagon eventually. I'm studying more than I did in past rehabs - just to keep it in focus.

I don't know about anybody else, but during my reboot, I really tried not to touch down below any more than strictly necessary. Inspected my nuts the other day in the shower and one of them feels big and weird. Problem is, it's so long since I checked them out that I can't remember if they used to feel that way or not  :o Facing up to the need to get down to the doc's and present him with my neglected nutsack after 100 days of hard-mode reboot. What could possibly go wrong  :P

I hope the doc is a him ;) Hope it checks out ok and congrats on reaching another milestone (100 days not the swollen ball!)... Also think that your awareness of the continued risk of relapse will stand you in good stead.
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 #177 on: April 22, 2019, 08:34:02 AM »
Thanks, guys, for your positive vibes. Doc thinks it is an epididymal cyst, which is nothing to worry about. I have no reason to second-guess the good doctor and he's sending me for a scan, just in case. In other news, still P & M free. Wife and I made love a couple of days back, which was a relief in more ways than one, as our relationship has lacked intimacy recently. I think I can say that I'm now in the maintenance phase of the change/recovery cycle. Need to stay focused on healthy behaviours and routines to minimise likelihood of relapse. I feel strong now; in control. Long may that continue!

Wishing you strength in your own recovery today.

cranm329

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #178 on: April 22, 2019, 02:15:49 PM »
Glad the lump sounds innocent.

Prodigal son

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #179 on: April 24, 2019, 10:48:57 AM »
Glad to hear you got some good news.  Keep it going!
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workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #180 on: April 25, 2019, 07:17:52 AM »
I read a few articles this morning on here, ybop and on The Fix website. One quote from a relapse prevention article on The Fix struck me;

An essential recovery tool for sidestepping relapse is avoiding isolation. When we are alone and in our heads, we are in dangerous neighborhoods.

I work from home, alone, in a one-man function. I live in the countryside with no local amenities or contacts. I don't go out to the pub or have any real friends within 200 miles of home. My main hobby is training at the gym, which I largely do alone. None of these are complaints. I'm one seriously lucky bastard to be able to live in the beautiful countryside and not have to commute to an office, and I'm probably the most sociable guy at my gym. But I need to recognise that I've chosen a lifestyle that's a relatively "dangerous neighborhood" for my recovery. I have to try hard to make my default answer "yes" to any social opportunity, when my natural inclination is to introversion. That's something I'm going to focus on, miserable old bollocks that I have become  :).

Full of work anxiety this week. My personal administration is poor as a result. The weather has turned bad after a glorious weekend. I'm unhappy. So what? Lots of people are unhappy lots of the time. I don't have the "get out of jail" card for unhappiness. Just need to deal with it and Shut The Fk Up. Shit stinks.

107 days without P or M today, though. Typing that caused me to exhale fully and feel a lot of positivity. Life has gone from being a chaotic and at times catastrophic roller-coaster, to one in which I can accept having a sad-on. Progress!

cranm329

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #181 on: April 25, 2019, 03:24:22 PM »
Thanks for encouragement WiPUK. I relate to the isolation thing. Dangerous. Socialising at the gym/sports centre is a lifeline and gets us off recreational device use.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #182 on: April 30, 2019, 10:24:26 AM »
Checking-in. All OK. The odd "flash" urge to use, but I can currently swat them away. Hope that continues to be the case during a tough spell at work. I've signed-up to do a new sports coaching course as an opportunity for personal growth and to be able to make a contribution; to give something back. Need to keep finding ways to fill the void that used to be P. Life is very much better than it used to be.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #183 on: May 03, 2019, 07:13:51 AM »
Friday afternoon. I'm troubled; prevaricating over tasks that I'm on a deadline for. Confrontational and resentful. My inner chimp has plenty of useless advice to offer, one of which, as always, is to act out. For fuck's sake! Why is my brain so slow to re-wire? I've been at this for 6 years now and the cravings still make me feel so uncomfortable. Really glad to be here today, because reading the journals from other recoverers is a powerful source of inspiration. Partly because I'm at heart a team player. Partly because I'm an arrogant bastard and it would dent my stupid ego to fall over again in front of you all.

Started reading a very detailed and very interesting paper that Gary Wilson's a co-author of. It's accessible through ybop and the academic study is linked below. I will finish reading over the weekend but the bit that has me worried is the statement that "abstinence from internet pornography is sometimes sufficient to reignite desire in coupled sexual relations". Sometimes. In the meantime, relations at home are tense and frosty, perhaps because we're approaching our wedding anniversary, which is a date my wife always associates with my sex addiction and lack of trustworthiness. She suggested on Wednesday night that I might be using P again, because I forgot something important. I have no right to indignation, having lied repeatedly to her over the years. But it really hurt, and my chimp brain started screeching that it shows why I shouldn't bother trying to fix my marriage and I shouldn't bother fighting the cravings. I have very little desire for her currently. That hasn't sparked back up after I stopped using. She feels unloved. I know that if I used a bit of P, I'd feel immediately horny, maybe we'd have sex and she'd feel wanted again. Without P, I don't feel motivated. I have no answers, other than to continue plodding along, feeling miserable and hoping that staying off P will result in the outcomes that I'm hoping for. None of the other options are viable. This is the least worst. Got to keep fighting the urge for instant gratification and be confident that reward will come in time. No turning back. P is not an option.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5039517/

jixu

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #184 on: May 03, 2019, 08:14:28 AM »
I am sure that I speak on behalf of many here by stating that you are a real asset to this forum.  The combination of raw honesty and seasoned wisdom and encouragement is both refreshing and useful.

Recently I have been attempting a new wife strategy: change the pace, change the place. Maybe give it a shot. This is not rocket science, but I
feel that I haven't done it enough in the past.  I find that when we say "our communication is bad" or "we aren't communicating on the same wavelength" or that type of phrase, it really means we are not connecting; there is tons of communicating going on, but no real depth of connection. So, I think the key is to amp up the shared activities, and try to do them outside the house.  Sure, watching a movie together at home is okay as far as it goes, but when we leave the house I find we engage in more meaningful discussions, and even random topics can pop up. Even a small thing like getting a treat on a Tuesday night on the spur of the moment can prove beneficial and break the routine drudgery cycle. Tomorrow I am going to suggest a certain activity out of the blue-she'll probably think I'm on street drugs or something!

Hang in there!

   

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #185 on: May 06, 2019, 06:14:00 AM »
Thank you, jixu. Really appreciate your positive vibes. i really needed them at the back end of last week. I felt really low and the resentment was messing with my head. On reflection, I can't assume that staying clean and being happy go hand in hand. Staying off P isn't a fix-all for my other challenges.

I feel much better today, after a very busy and sociable weekend. Intimacy was better at home. Pleased to have tightly moderated my alcohol intake during a holiday weekend here. Alcohol and the day after are both triggers for me to slip and I struggle when I've partied. It's a relief to have stayed focused on my processes and to feel stable and stronger today. 

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #186 on: May 07, 2019, 07:01:36 AM »
"Mood follows action" - My brain tells me I'm not in the mood to do something that I know is good for me, so I need to force myself to move. Make myself act. And my brain will follow?  Supposedly what we do influences how we think and how we feel. Hmmm. I think I buy this hypothesis. "80% of success is showing up". The Marshmallow Test. Thinking Fast & Slow. The Chimp Paradox. Enough credible "neuro" research out there to convince me that the messages my brain gives me first and fastest often present the easiest / laziest course of action, rather than the best one. Just having a brain dump here, so please forgive me for making even less sense than usual. I was tired yesterday evening and my Chimp told me that I'd worked hard and earned a night off the gym. But the gym was in my schedule and I hadn't been on Sunday, so I got hold of myself and got to the gym. Trained the session I had planned. Performed less well than last time, but I felt really, bloody good for going. "The only bad workout is the one I didn't do". Training hard puts me in control. As well as training my muscles to be more efficient, it trains my brain to resist the easy / lazy option that my Chimp presents first, and commit to the difficult / rewarding option that "i'm not in the mood to do". It gives me the confidence to persevere when things get difficult. Things often get difficult, right? Staying in recovery is hard. Even harder than Bulgarian split squats, ffs. I need to keep taking the right actions in order to maintain the right mood. I need to keep pushing for a better understanding of how my own fucked-up brain works too.   :D working through these thoughts has improved my mood!

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #187 on: May 10, 2019, 06:30:15 AM »
Friday 10th. Checking-in. Clean. No P or M since 8th Jan. Four months and I feel broadly poisitve. Currently feeling some libido. I really, really hope this could be the end of a long and worrying flat-line. Was in London the last two days. Cards in the windows of phone booths triggered me. Difficult to suspend my eyesite, without walking into lamp posts. Kept walking. Deep breaths. Forced myself to think of something else and tell myself verbally that I'm not that person any more.

Read this today on a mainstream, UK, media outlet... albeit a liberal one. Reminded me of the stories of so many guys in here and I felt strengthened by reading it on "prime time" rather than on a specialist website. 
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/may/10/my-life-sex-addicted-porn

Moving into the weekend feeling strong. I have a new book due to arrive tomorrow - another perspective on rewiring that I hope will provide new ideas and inspirations. I'm very grateful to have this website to help me stay clean, and for the fellowship of other contributors and recoverers. Hope I can stay clean. Porn is not an option.

Cstan98

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #188 on: May 10, 2019, 05:05:21 PM »
WorkinProgressUK. Can help me to pass 18 days to become 4 months. What advices for me?

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #189 on: May 13, 2019, 06:21:15 AM »
Hey Rick. Thanks for the note. I read your journal and I want to congratulate you, first, on 18 days clean. That's a great start. On reflection, my advice to you is to focus on expanding the number of positive interests and sources of fulfillment in your life, whatever they are. You seem very focused on the size of your penis, which I can't imagine is going to change by abstaining from P. If you continue to focus so much on something that you feel negative about, you're just going to reinforce negative vibes about yourself, and that can't help. I have to say, Rick, I'm really not the guy to help you with your penis size worries. But I wish you every success in staying off P.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #190 on: May 13, 2019, 06:44:42 AM »
Monday. No PMO. Played a game of rugby yesterday for the first time since a serious injury a couple of years back. Playing made me feel more connected to old friends that I'd become physically and emotionally isolated from. A split eye and a twisted ankle are a small price to pay for that fellowship  :). Started reading a new book last night; "Rewire; Change your brain", which seems to build on themes explored in books like "Thinking Fast & Slow", "The Chimp Paradox" and "The Buddha's Brain", that I feel comfortable with; we have an automatic (emotionally driven) brain and a logical, thinking, brain. And we spend a lot of time trying to improve our thinking brains, but for people like me, with a history of self-destructive behaviours, developing better ways of managing the automatic brain are potentially the most worthwhile investments.. Hopefully the author will help me find some of those management strategies and tactics.

Still being triggered. Still feel like there's a potential slip around every corner. I'm getting so much better at reducing and managing the triggers, though. Super grateful for that. Just got to keep working hard and not get complacent.

cranm329

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #191 on: May 13, 2019, 11:04:24 AM »
Monday. No PMO. Played a game of rugby yesterday for the first time since a serious injury a couple of years back. Playing made me feel more connected to old friends that I'd become physically and emotionally isolated from. A split eye and a twisted ankle are a small price to pay for that fellowship  :). Started reading a new book last night; "Rewire; Change your brain", which seems to build on themes explored in books like "Thinking Fast & Slow", "The Chimp Paradox" and "The Buddha's Brain", that I feel comfortable with; we have an automatic (emotionally driven) brain and a logical, thinking, brain. And we spend a lot of time trying to improve our thinking brains, but for people like me, with a history of self-destructive behaviours, developing better ways of managing the automatic brain are potentially the most worthwhile investments.. Hopefully the author will help me find some of those management strategies and tactics.

Still being triggered. Still feel like there's a potential slip around every corner. I'm getting so much better at reducing and managing the triggers, though. Super grateful for that. Just got to keep working hard and not get complacent.
Quote


Right with you in this. Must get hold of the chimp book. All the best keep your frontal lobes pointing forwards!

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #192 on: May 13, 2019, 02:29:32 PM »
Great update my friend. Rooting for you!

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #193 on: May 14, 2019, 09:00:30 AM »
Reading Rex's journal earlier. He made a great point about slips / falls / relapses having their foundation long before the actual act of looking at P, saying that the process starts as soon as we rationalise P as an option. It troubled me, because I'm regularly tempted to rationalise P. I'm guilty of cognitive distortion... especially emotional reasoning and disqualifying the positive. That twisted thinking can result in messages that P is OK, which I know isn't the case, and I have to wrestle back control from my chimp. It'd be easier not to have to wrestle. Much more productive to maintain a mindset that minimises cognitive distortion and emotional reasoning and lets a little positivity in. I need to stay open to learning new stuff every day.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #194 on: May 17, 2019, 04:45:18 AM »
Friday check-in. No PMO. Still standing.
My libido is slowly returning. I'm starting to notice women around me and have feelings. I find it confusing because my first reaction is to give myself a mental slap and try to shut those feelings down, as evidence of slipping, or objectification, or relapse. But maybe they're just the kind of normal feelings that guys who haven't been compulsively using porn for their entire adult lives feel? Lived for so long as an addict that I don't really know what normal is  :(. I'm really enjoying learning, though. I'm confident that I'll stay clean this weekend. Friends visiting and lots of socialising in the plan. I need to get my alcohol plan fixed and stick to it. Can't be arsed triggering myself through lazy boozing.
Wishing you all a successful weekend. 

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #195 on: May 20, 2019, 12:45:41 PM »
Monday. Still clean and feeling good. Been studying, which makes me more confident that I can stay in recovery this time. That said.... my brain aches a little!

Learned today that the behavioural change model that I'm most comfortable with, the one that goes pre-contemplation - contemplation - preparation - action - maintenance - termination is called the Trans-Theoretical Model (TTM) and it was developed by Prochaska and DiCelemente in the '80's. Basically says that our ability to successfully change problem behaviours is largely governed by two factors;

- Decisional Balance - our evaluation of the pros and cons of that change.... the good old balance of greed & fear
- Self-efficacy - the extent to we feel individually capable to deliver the change

Prochaska also went on to develop the Strong & Weak Principles for behavioural change. This bit has really got me thinking. The research evidences that we are much more likely to move from Pre-Contemplation (no intention to change) to Contemplation by fear, rather than by thoughts of reward. To move from Contemplation to Preparation is about 50:50 and from Preparation to Action requires about twice as much accentuating the positive as focusing on the negative. And as we attempt to evolve through the action phase, into maintenance, we become increasingly likely to do that through focusing on positives rather than negatives.

I reflected on my own journey and it really resonated. When I think back to my Pre-Contemplation days, when I was happily acting out, positive motivators had no impact at all. It was the negatives that had the power to make me change at that stage; the "rock bottom" moments, like getting blackmailed or beaten up and fear of being kicked out of the family home. They were the things that put me in therapy and moved me to Action, rather than nice stuff like spending more time with friends, or being emotionally closer to my wife. But now that I feel like I'm in the later stages of Action and maybe even entering the Maintenance phase (which typically only happens after about 6 month clean according to Prochaska), it's all about the positive. It's not the fear of being caught that stops me from relapsing. My motivations to stay clean are now all about a desire for the good things in life..... relational strength, investing in friendships, staying fit, learning new skills, doing well at work, spending quality time with my kids etc.

I think that lines-up with a lot of the thinking around this site and some of the things I've read other forum users say; once we've made the commitment to recover and started to live without P, even in the painful, early days, we're more likely to succeed if we focus on the positive new things we can experience without P in our lives, than the guilty, shame-filled, negatives.

I need a lie down  :-[. I need to shut up  :-X. I actually need to get back to work, but I'm really glad that I invested in some study today. Link to one of many interesting articles below, if you're interested. This one covers three different behavioural change models.

https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/documents/1409/behaviour_review_theory.pdf

« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 12:48:19 PM by workinprogressUK »

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #196 on: May 22, 2019, 09:46:40 AM »
"Rewire" book is giving me a lot of food for thought. According to the author, most people subconsciously construct a relatively positive paradigm for themselves, which protects them from feeling negative thoughts about themselves. I don't think I've been very successful in building that bubble for myself. Leads to a very negative self image.
Wedding anniversary this week is a source of stress and negative emotions here. My feelings of guilt are stopping me from asking my wife about her emotions. I expect her to ask if I have been 100% clean for the last 5 years since our rock bottom moment and I know that I'd have to lie, or tell her that I've only been clean for 3 months. I have low confidence of being able to manage that conversation, so I'm avoiding. There's no emoticon for a chicken on here, is there  :(.
Other than that, I'm OK. Bloke jumped in front of a train on my commute home yesterday and killed himself, which puts things into perspective.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #197 on: May 27, 2019, 05:32:17 AM »
Public Holiday here today. Often challenging for me. I don't know why I trigger so often on these days. Maybe because I typically work, while most of my mates have the day off and it challenges my "shoulds vs wants" resentment. I guess the fact that I'm writing that means it probably has something to do with it. Only working the morning, though, so will be away from tech and doing outdoor stuff with the family for the afternoon. Otherwise, all good. Wedding anniversary was the most successful in the last five years. Still clean.

cranm329

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #198 on: May 27, 2019, 07:32:48 PM »
Glad anniversary went well. Congrats staying clean.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #199 on: May 28, 2019, 05:02:09 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.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 07:38:58 AM by workinprogressUK »