Author Topic: Not gonna go it alone  (Read 29908 times)

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #875 on: January 22, 2020, 10:03:44 PM »
Hey man, we're in your corner 100%.

Of course you are going to feel upset, that is part of life. It AWESOME that you already understanding with yourself for feeling this way, that is some really high level emotional awareness, plus you are disputing your self-criticism. It may not have worked with PH but the whole episode including how you are handling it ending is showing huge signs of a strong and strengthening recovery.

You will feel pain of course, but I recommend let's CONSCIOUSLY decide what this means. It's like that study... Cleaning ladies, two groups of them. One group got to see a presentation about how healthy cleaning was, how they were exercising and burning calories, the other, control group saw nothing.... The group that was taught how healthy there job was, lost weight and got fitter and the other did not! Telling ourselves what events mean and what they are doing to us can DRASTICALLY change how they will effect us over time.


This event is you getting STRONGER AND BETTER as a man. This will boost your confidence in the long run because you did your best and were able to accept the result and handle the pain with strength. That is bad ass and is toughening you up, making you more resilient. These are very attractive qualities. I think handling adversity, building resilience are very manly and attractive qualities. So in the future you will have even more of these qualities and you can allow this experience to boost your confidence and future motivation to do even better in the future!

Evidence of that is again you have all the right ideas to go from here! I say diving more deeply into other aspects of your life is the perfect solution for right now, there is not need to ruminate. You can dive into other areas as the emotions fade over time, then enjoy the increased strength and resilience and confidence this can bring in the future, as well as perhaps learning from the situation once it's all calmed down.

Keep going strong man! You're always an inspiration to us on the forum! The way you are handling and thinking about this is a great example to all who are reading...

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #876 on: January 23, 2020, 01:50:34 PM »
Hang in there, @Blue. You did the best you could with the tools you had. You cannot dwell on this too much, but put it down to a learning experience. Your mind will go back over it and everything you could have done differently. Completely pointless thoughts. Feel free to not pay them too much attention.

As far as I see it, you now have two options.

1) You give it one last shot and fight for her. Make a grand gesture like going to her house with a big bouquet of flowers and tell her you're crazy about her and that you want to be with her

or

2) You put it down to a learning experience and move on. It sounds like you have already chosen this option.

It hurts, but I guess you can put it down to the divine/universal timing (what you want to call it). We don't get to decide our fate, but if we love ourselves and others enough, maybe we can get pretty close.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #877 on: January 23, 2020, 08:04:24 PM »
Hang in there blue.  That happened to me a few times before I found my gf.  After a few weeks break, get back out there and start meeting people again.  As a member of the club that knows your inner thoughts from your journal, I can confidently say you are quite a catch and exactly what many women are looking for.

Thanks, squid, I really appreciate it. My attitude toward myself has been to think that I can't be a catch because of my past, but I know that's wrong and I'm working on repairing that pattern of thinking. But it does mean a lot to hear it from someone who does know a lot of my inner thoughts.

Hey man, we're in your corner 100%.

Of course you are going to feel upset, that is part of life. It AWESOME that you already understanding with yourself for feeling this way, that is some really high level emotional awareness, plus you are disputing your self-criticism. It may not have worked with PH but the whole episode including how you are handling it ending is showing huge signs of a strong and strengthening recovery.

You will feel pain of course, but I recommend let's CONSCIOUSLY decide what this means. It's like that study... Cleaning ladies, two groups of them. One group got to see a presentation about how healthy cleaning was, how they were exercising and burning calories, the other, control group saw nothing.... The group that was taught how healthy there job was, lost weight and got fitter and the other did not! Telling ourselves what events mean and what they are doing to us can DRASTICALLY change how they will effect us over time.


This event is you getting STRONGER AND BETTER as a man. This will boost your confidence in the long run because you did your best and were able to accept the result and handle the pain with strength. That is bad ass and is toughening you up, making you more resilient. These are very attractive qualities. I think handling adversity, building resilience are very manly and attractive qualities. So in the future you will have even more of these qualities and you can allow this experience to boost your confidence and future motivation to do even better in the future!

Evidence of that is again you have all the right ideas to go from here! I say diving more deeply into other aspects of your life is the perfect solution for right now, there is not need to ruminate. You can dive into other areas as the emotions fade over time, then enjoy the increased strength and resilience and confidence this can bring in the future, as well as perhaps learning from the situation once it's all calmed down.

Keep going strong man! You're always an inspiration to us on the forum! The way you are handling and thinking about this is a great example to all who are reading...

And, quit, you've been a constant support, and I really appreciate it now. I appreciate your insight that my way of handling it is a sign of progress, and I also really like what you're saying about choosing how to interpret the effects of this situation on me. It can and will make me stronger and better if I let it. And I want to let it.

Hang in there, @Blue. You did the best you could with the tools you had. You cannot dwell on this too much, but put it down to a learning experience. Your mind will go back over it and everything you could have done differently. Completely pointless thoughts. Feel free to not pay them too much attention.

As far as I see it, you now have two options.

1) You give it one last shot and fight for her. Make a grand gesture like going to her house with a big bouquet of flowers and tell her you're crazy about her and that you want to be with her

or

2) You put it down to a learning experience and move on. It sounds like you have already chosen this option.

It hurts, but I guess you can put it down to the divine/universal timing (what you want to call it). We don't get to decide our fate, but if we love ourselves and others enough, maybe we can get pretty close.

I'm really glad you were here and posting when you were, Non-Dual Adventurer. I can always count on you for good insights and sound wisdom. Yeah, I think option 2 is where I'm headed (I sort of tried option 1 earlier in the week, and I don't think anything else would be very well received).

There's definitely a strong impulse to trash myself and give myself a lot of grief for blowing it, but I'm taking it as an advanced course in replacing negative self-talk with something more humane. Right when I start to think I want to change my relationship with myself, life throws me into the deep end. I didn't sleep much last night, but in one of those late waking hours something in my brain said, "You do like her, and she is a really impressive and good person. But you have to acknowledge that, on a really basic level, she was not doing much to meet your basic emotional needs and wasn't showing any real signs of moving in that direction either." I guess, at the bare minimum, I should expect affirmation and support from the women I let in my life.

Oh well, it's been a hard day, but it's had its bright spots.

I had a long conversation with a friend/teacher from church this morning. He asked me how I was, and I just told him. So he brought me into his office, closed the door, and just let me be in pain, which sounds odd but it was really good. He didn't try to fix things or make it about him or anything. He just let me hurt and offered some comfort. I really appreciated the way he handled it. I even confided in him that I had a history of addiction and that that also makes me deeply inadequate when it comes to women (so having this happen just feels like a confirmation of what I believe about myself). He had a lot of good things to say about that too, and it really meant a lot. Just talking to him and having him listen helped me to get in a frame of mind where I could go to class and deal with that like a mostly normal person.

I had a work thing that I was supposed to do tonight, but I emailed my supervisor and just said I wouldn't be there. I never take time for myself, but I decided I would today. Instead of going out to a far corner of town and being out until late pretending to be happy for other people, I came home, heated up some food, and watched some comedy shows for a while.

It has been a long time (years, honestly) since I have cried, but I cried a few times throughout the day. Sure, nothing we had going was very serious, but this was the first time in a long time (also years) that I really let myself have feelings for someone. So of course it hurts. I put myself out there in a way I haven't for a while. I want to be sure that I don't let this close me up all over again.

I still feel pretty unsure of what's next. In my circumstances, it feels like it will be a while before anyone really viable could even come along, but that's all right, I guess. It will just give me more time to grow and put myself in a position to be even more prepared. I don't know: anything could happen at any time.

At the very least, I'm feeling better right now than I was 24 or even 8 hours ago, so that's something. I'm going to bed very early tonight, and I'm hoping to be on even firmer ground in the morning. I guess the other good news is that this is a prime time scenario for porn to try to weasel its way into my life, but it's so far MIA. I don't want to numb this pain. I want to feel lit and learn from it and see where it takes me.

And tomorrow is the first stop.

Zel99

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #878 on: January 23, 2020, 09:37:33 PM »
The guy at your church is awesome. It helps to know that there are people out there that care enough about you to let yourself go, and open up to them. You know where this could end up (PMO), but you know that it's not going to happen. We both know that it gets better. You said yourself that you feel better than you did a few hours ago.

It sucks that things didn't work out. Keep us posted.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #879 on: January 24, 2020, 08:10:21 PM »
The guy at your church is awesome. It helps to know that there are people out there that care enough about you to let yourself go, and open up to them. You know where this could end up (PMO), but you know that it's not going to happen. We both know that it gets better. You said yourself that you feel better than you did a few hours ago.

It sucks that things didn't work out. Keep us posted.

Thanks, man, I really appreciate your input! Having someone who could just let me be me and feel what I was feeling was really important for me yesterday. And it's good to have your support too!

A better day

After feeling like a wreck yesterday, I went to bed early and got like 9 hours of sleep, which was really good. I woke up feeling much better, and I really was in better spirits all day. There were moments of sadness that hit me here and there, but I just let myself feel them and reminded myself that I was going to learn from this.

One thing that I woke up today feeling determined to do is to stop feeling like I have to apologize to everyone in my head for existing. I have always felt like people were willing to put up with me but would really prefer for me not to be around. So I'd do things like not sit directly next to people (always leave a chair or two for buffer), not invite people to do things, not contribute much to conversations, just try to be as invisible and inoffensive as possible. But that's not a real or healthy self-image, so I want to be less apologetic about who I am. (Ph sent me home with a note that said she thought I was great, any girl would be lucky to know me, etc, etc. It was kind of a weird bummer note, but it did make me think differently about how I think about myself and portray myself to other people.) Step one, I played music (on an instrument) in my apartment for like an hour after dinner. I have always been so nervous about playing music in my apartment because I thought it would be inconvenient for my neighbors, but I decided not to apologize for having musical skills today. It felt really good to play. I haven't really played my instrument in a long time (a little bit last year, but not like today). I just lost myself in it, and it was awesome.

I also stopped by my church on the way back from school today, just to check in and say hi to the guy I talked to yesterday. The front door was locked, but there were a couple people inside, and they let me in. One of the guys there was joking and playing around, but he said, "Oh come on, don't let in." And then a girl shot back, "Yes let him in: he's awesome." Simple and not something I want to like brag about, but it was crazy that I heard someone say that on the same day that I decided to think I was awesome. A reminder, I guess, that my way of thinking about myself is not the truest or most helpful way of thinking about who I am. Other people can think I'm cool and not just be misinformed or stupid.

A little while ago, YouTube suggested a random video that caught my attention so I watched it. It ended up being some lady of a different religion talking about being single. She said, "God doesn't show you gold and then give you silver." I know that kind of thing isn't for everyone, but it was reassuring to me. I often fall into thinking that missing out on a quality woman means I'm just going to have to make do with someone I'm not as interested in because that's what's left for me. But it was a good reminder that I don't meet and date awesome women so that I can end up with an okay one (this probably all sounds very sexist...) The point is, I don't have to think about this as a loss. Sure, it didn't work out with Ph, but that doesn't mean it will never work out with someone as good (or better!) in the future.

So it was another big day, but a much more positive one. Here I go into a weekend of not apologizing for myself and just living life!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #880 on: January 25, 2020, 02:27:46 PM »
Great stuff man! Wow, I really was inspired to hear what a great person you spoke to at your church. It sounds like you have some awesome insights and I'd say keep working on them! Awareness is the first step, so bit by bit your attitudes will change.

I am in total agreement about the see gold, not get silver thing! There's always another girl! Also that does not sound sexist at all! No need to apologize to imaginary criticism that you are not allowed to move on from a girl and expect a better one. If someone finds that sexist, they are silly and you are not required to apologize to that That is simply an emotionally healthy mindset. You don't need to apologize for feeling confidence and increased self worth!

Anyways keep up the good work!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #881 on: January 25, 2020, 08:54:56 PM »
Whoa, I don't know how that last part of my post turned blue! That was surprising to see today.

Anyway

Great stuff man! Wow, I really was inspired to hear what a great person you spoke to at your church. It sounds like you have some awesome insights and I'd say keep working on them! Awareness is the first step, so bit by bit your attitudes will change.

I am in total agreement about the see gold, not get silver thing! There's always another girl! Also that does not sound sexist at all! No need to apologize to imaginary criticism that you are not allowed to move on from a girl and expect a better one. If someone finds that sexist, they are silly and you are not required to apologize to that That is simply an emotionally healthy mindset. You don't need to apologize for feeling confidence and increased self worth!

Anyways keep up the good work!

Thanks, quit! You're exactly right. No need to apologize for being confident and hopeful for the future. Right when I'm talking about not apologizing for myself, I go and do it. It's all a process! (And, to be fair, being in graduate school has conditioned me to extra sensitive to things that might offend certain people. Old habits die hard). I appreciate (and need) the validation!

Today was okay

Things started out pretty good, and I actually got more done than I expected to. I got groceries, filed my taxes (so early!), did homework, made soup, meditated, played music again, caught up on so many emails that had piled up during the week.

As the day went on, though, I started to feel a little more blue. Maybe it was just being alone with my thoughts all day, maybe it was the rain. I don't know, just some understandable waves of sadness. Nothing as intense as earlier in the week, but still. I think it's kind of that feeling that there are good things in the future but not really in the near future, so I'm feeling a little bit adrift. I guess I can relax: rejection hurts and healing takes time. I don't have to expect to just snap out of it after a couple days.

25 days into the new year. I'm just getting started!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #882 on: January 26, 2020, 07:58:17 PM »
More of a normal day today. Went to church, came home and got some things done. I wanted to clean my apartment, but I didn't end up having time. It needs it, but it just didn't happen and that's okay.

Some easier waves of sadness came and went today, nothing too intense, so that's progress, I suppose.

I have a habit of watching a show or something when I have dinner (it's like my only chance to watch things during the day), but I decided not to today. I made pork chops with Brussels sprouts and apples, and I just sat down in quiet and enjoyed the food. It was a good experience to just be quiet and calm and to enjoy eating. It also made me think of how cool it will be someday to have someone to cook for, but not in a desperate way, just a calm kind of "someday" way if that makes any sense.

I've got a lot to get done this week, so it'll be busy. But that's probably good. Less time to get trapped in my head.

Onward and upward!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #883 on: January 27, 2020, 08:26:26 AM »
Great stuff man! Haha yeah I feel you on college/ graduate school teaching that sort of thing.

Sounds like things are going well! Cool to just enjoy your meal quietly, it's been awhile since I have done that, but it can be really nice and peaceful. Also cool that you experienced a healthy desire for connection during it. Keep going strong!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #884 on: January 27, 2020, 07:43:28 PM »
Thanks, quit! Always good to know you've got my back.

Another day

I think I'm going through the stages of grief, lol. I can't really explain it, but I was really angry for the whole first half of the day. Angry at Ph, angry at my life, angry at the laundry room door. I don't usually feel anger, but I was boiling until a little after lunch time. Then things started to settle down.

I've been noticing a streak of procrastination in myself lately. I let emails pile up in my inbox and little things like that. Today I had to do something for a presentation later this week, and I had the hardest time getting myself to start. I just felt heavy and de-motivated. The good news is that I have a deadline, so that motivated me. But I just sort of realized today that there are things that I want and need to do that I just put off because they feel too big or too important (which is kind of a weird contradiction to put something off because it's important, but oh well...)

What I want to do and need to do (but have been putting off all day, lol) is to put those things on my schedule and in my calendar as if they were classes or work. There's always time to go to class because it's scheduled in. I always feel like I don't have time for those other things and end up putting them off, but that's not because there isn't time. It's just because I haven't set aside time, and that's something I realize I want and need to do. So that's the plan: tonight before I go to bed, I'm going to schedule in the things that I want to do and make them a part of my week just like school. Somebody straighten me out if I come back tomorrow and haven't done that.

W4tchmak3r

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #885 on: January 27, 2020, 08:10:57 PM »
Hey Blue

Oh man can I relate to this. I am a notorious planner and to do list person. I’m no no means perfect but I might have some tips for you. Planning your day out like that can be super beneficial, but it can be just as harmful, particularly with the level of micro management that you put upon yourself.

For me, I’ve found the best help is setting an HONEST schedule/to do list. As much as you want to be, you’re probably not capable of achieving a super productive schedule straight away (plus you’re only human). My focus is on increasing my productively, but also increasing PROPER relaxation time. Making time for productivity is easy, you got that. But it’s properly assigning time to relax in the way that you want to, and the way that you feel good about it that’s the tricky part.

Reading a book, watching a single episode of TV, gym, musical instrument, meditation, checking in on your gaming progress... hell even just doing nothing! Just make sure it’s something that you actually look forward to doing and aren’t stressed or pressured about. When was the last time you preplanned to give yourself actual time off and didn’t feel guilty about it, but felt satisfied? Give a go planning some decent time like this into your schedule. The goal is to feel more relaxed so you’ve got more focus for the productive stuff. And also that you stick to your productive goals so you can hit your relaxing rewards.

Most importantly, treat yourself with the compassion and honesty that you’d treat someone you loved. If you slip up, acknowledge it, pick yourself back up and aim higher next time!

Hope this wasn’t too preachy, I got stuck in a pretty big “I’m not doing enough” rut a while ago, when really I just wasn’t giving myself enough slack to actually start performing better.

Best of luck with everything man! You got this!
« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 08:15:41 PM by W4tchmak3r »
(Exaunt)

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #886 on: January 27, 2020, 11:23:00 PM »
Thanks, quit! Always good to know you've got my back.

Another day

I think I'm going through the stages of grief, lol. I can't really explain it, but I was really angry for the whole first half of the day. Angry at Ph, angry at my life, angry at the laundry room door. I don't usually feel anger, but I was boiling until a little after lunch time. Then things started to settle down.

I've been noticing a streak of procrastination in myself lately. I let emails pile up in my inbox and little things like that. Today I had to do something for a presentation later this week, and I had the hardest time getting myself to start. I just felt heavy and de-motivated. The good news is that I have a deadline, so that motivated me. But I just sort of realized today that there are things that I want and need to do that I just put off because they feel too big or too important (which is kind of a weird contradiction to put something off because it's important, but oh well...)

What I want to do and need to do (but have been putting off all day, lol) is to put those things on my schedule and in my calendar as if they were classes or work. There's always time to go to class because it's scheduled in. I always feel like I don't have time for those other things and end up putting them off, but that's not because there isn't time. It's just because I haven't set aside time, and that's something I realize I want and need to do. So that's the plan: tonight before I go to bed, I'm going to schedule in the things that I want to do and make them a part of my week just like school. Somebody straighten me out if I come back tomorrow and haven't done that.

I do that too Blue.  The most important or meaningful it is the more likely I am to put it off.  For me, I think it's a fear of success, of letting people down that might come to depend on me. 

You have a good head on your shoulders and you know what you need to do.  I would encourage you to take some you time as well.  Get out in nature or something else that you really enjoy and that will recharge you.  Charge up my friend, I have a feeling good things are coming soon.  Sending good vibes your way,

-squid
« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 11:25:57 PM by squid »

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #887 on: January 28, 2020, 08:35:16 AM »
Well if you almost never feel anger, it's okay to feel some for sure! In a way this is all a practice for handling emotions as your self (pmo free). In a weird way, I think this is GREAT preparation because life throws things at us, handling a breakup has led many to relapse even after really long streaks, so this is something of a mini break up, so getting through this is great preparation for whatever life my throw at you.

Funny you mention the calendar thing. I don't always do it, but scheduling things into the calendar feels amazing, the key is it's not about like "ra ra I need to do more!" Think of it as making life easier. When I tasks written out on paper or a calendar the brain doesn't need to store it, it's hard to explain but more gets done and it takes less effort. I also agree with Watch about not over doing it. Say there are 4 tasks I want to do today. I don't need to schedule all 4 everytime, maybe I schedule 3 of them, I can do this without feeling rushed and working at an even pace with some gaps between them so I am not rushed, life can still happen etc. The cool thing is without the calendar maybe only 2 or 1 of the things get done AND it takes more effort.

So cliffs: With the calendar I feel like I can get a lot more done but I don't go to absolute peak capacity, in this way MUCH more gets done AND with less effort it's win-win. Scheduling leisure is huge too. Say put on the calendar when your going to see a funny movie, it's gives something to look forward to and you can think about it to motivate self through more boring tasks.

Really glad this topic came up, I have been skimping on scheduling and not using calendar as much as I'd like, so good reminder to do it

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #888 on: January 30, 2020, 09:23:33 PM »
Most importantly, treat yourself with the compassion and honesty that you’d treat someone you loved. If you slip up, acknowledge it, pick yourself back up and aim higher next time!

Hope this wasn’t too preachy, I got stuck in a pretty big “I’m not doing enough” rut a while ago, when really I just wasn’t giving myself enough slack to actually start performing better.

Best of luck with everything man! You got this!

Thanks for the input and support, definitely not too preachy! I feel like, if anything, my goal is to put the important things on the schedule so that I actually do them. Like I don't value class more than other things. It's just that class is on my schedule. Really, I feel like I want to make sure that I get to the things that would actually be fulfilling and energizing instead of just losing hours watching videos because it's easy.


You have a good head on your shoulders and you know what you need to do.  I would encourage you to take some you time as well.  Get out in nature or something else that you really enjoy and that will recharge you.  Charge up my friend, I have a feeling good things are coming soon.  Sending good vibes your way,

-squid

Thanks, squid! I think I need to figure out what me-time would actually look like. I feel like I mostly alternate between doing things for other people and then just spacing out watching something. Like, really, what would I do in a day if I could do what I wanted to do and didn't feel exhausted from all the other things? I don't know that I really know, but I do feel like charging up is the right thing to do. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction and giving me something to think about!

Well if you almost never feel anger, it's okay to feel some for sure! In a way this is all a practice for handling emotions as your self (pmo free). In a weird way, I think this is GREAT preparation because life throws things at us, handling a breakup has led many to relapse even after really long streaks, so this is something of a mini break up, so getting through this is great preparation for whatever life my throw at you.

Thanks, quit! Lots of good thoughts, but this especially. I've been a little terrified all week that this mini break up would send me into a PMO tailspin because every situation like this before has done exactly that. I had a weird flashback/fantasy that was pretty strong yesterday, but that's been it. Even with my emotions going everywhere, the addiction side of things has been pretty stable, and it's only going to get better as I get over the hump. It's all learning, and it's all good experience (I guess I just always naively hope I can be done learning and just get to enjoy things, lol).

Wow, it's been a busy week

The last couple days have been crazy for school. A bunch of deadlines clumped up together, but I'm through the worst of it now, and I should  be mostly in the clear this weekend.

Like I mentioned, my feelings have been all over the place. I sort of feel like the mini break up was an acute, short-lived pain that has mostly subsided, but it also stirred up a lot of deeper pains that have come to surface. So instead of the sharp pain of being rejected, I'm sort of feeling the broad ache of being alone and wondering what I'm really doing in life and when/whether things will really turn around. No big deal. But I guess it's good on some level. It's shaking things up and bringing deeper things to my attention. Still not very fun but it's manageable.

Good news, though: I got an invitation yesterday to apply for a summer program at the college I did my undergrad at (and where I would love to end up working someday). If I get accepted, they'll pay for travel, and it would be a good opportunity to re-connect with people there so that I have some good connections when I go looking for a job in a couple years. It's not a sure thing, but they did tell me I was recommended by one of the professors there (so someone remembers me!). It's something positive, though, so I'll take it.

Here's to finishing the week strong and figuring out what a good me-time weekend is going to be!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #889 on: January 30, 2020, 11:13:44 PM »
Man that is awesome about the invite to the program! That is a big deal especially if they are paying for travel, that means they are really willing or at least considering investing in you! That is awesome and a great step towards getting the sort of job that you want, plus sounds like a really good way to spend the summer and reconnect.

Yeah man it really is cool how you are handling this, as much as it may seem hard, compared to what one would expect you are making this whole mini break up look pretty easy. Keep up the good work! Definitely it is solidifying the recovery, building you up for the future as well.

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #890 on: January 31, 2020, 04:32:09 AM »
Congrats on the program invite blue!  That's really awesome :)

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #891 on: January 31, 2020, 07:06:51 PM »
Man that is awesome about the invite to the program! That is a big deal especially if they are paying for travel, that means they are really willing or at least considering investing in you! That is awesome and a great step towards getting the sort of job that you want, plus sounds like a really good way to spend the summer and reconnect.

Yeah man it really is cool how you are handling this, as much as it may seem hard, compared to what one would expect you are making this whole mini break up look pretty easy. Keep up the good work! Definitely it is solidifying the recovery, building you up for the future as well.

Thanks, quit! Yeah, it does seems like a good sign that they want to bring me out for a week or so. It'll be interesting to see if it ends up happening. I have until the end of the month to apply (and something due on the 16 that needs my attention first). But it seems like a good chance to connect with old people and new people. Who knows what could happen?

And thanks for saying I'm making this whole thing look easy. It definitely doesn't feel easy, but I guess it could be worse. If nothing else, I feel like I'm bouncing back okay, not getting stuck. What can I do but move on?

Congrats on the program invite blue!  That's really awesome :)

Thanks, squid! It is pretty cool. I'm excited to see how it all goes!

Busier day

I think today was the last hurrah for one of the busiest weeks I'll have for a while. I had to give a presentation in a class today, and I was really nervous about it. It's not in my department, and I feel pretty lost. But I did the fake it till you make it routine, and it worked out really well. And now that box is checked, and I don't have to do it again.

Since yesterday, I have been thinking about what would really be energizing and fun to do. What could I do to spend quality time with myself and not just do "chores"? I haven't really settled on anything yet, but I do want to set some time aside tomorrow to charge the batteries and do what I want to do.


squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #892 on: February 01, 2020, 04:17:25 AM »
Great idea blue, have fun with it and be creative.  Recharge!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #893 on: February 01, 2020, 08:07:32 PM »
Thanks, squid!

Pretty all right day
I took a day for myself (sort of).

The big part of my day was dedicated to cleaning my apartment. I sort of lost my handle on keeping it tidy in the last couple weeks, and it really needed a scrubbing. Everything is back where it belongs now, the carpet is vacuumed, the shower is gleaming. It was work, but I really thought of it as doing a favor to myself and not as a chore. I clean up if I have someone coming over, so why wouldn't I give myself the same courtesy?

I wanted something to listen to while I was cleaning, so I just looked through my library's audiobook selection to find something that was available right away. The first thing on the list was a book called You Are a Bad*ss (keeping it PG, lol) by Jen Sincero. It's all the usual self-help stuff, but it was really resonating with me today. The parts I listened to talked a lot about limiting beliefs and how our subconscious really holds onto these beliefs and undermines our efforts to achieve things without us even knowing it. There was also a lot about accepting how awesome we are and just going out and giving our gifts to the world instead of holding back because we're feeling insecure. Anyway, I really liked what she was saying, and I liked the way she presented it. I'm going to keep listening to it, but then I want to get the print version because I think I'll retain it better if I read it.

I also spent some time making a schedule and to-do list for next week so I have some sense of direction. Then I sat down with some blank sheets of paper and just started writing what was coming to mind. I made a list of things that I think are awesome about me, and then I took a turn into processing my limiting beliefs. I think I hit on some important things that I can work on related to my schooling, work, relationships, and other things. For example, I realized that, just maybe, I have a hard time accepting that any woman could actually like me because basically all the women I know in my family secretly can't stand their husbands. Like a few years ago I was with my grandparents, and my grandpa was crying talking about how much he loved my grandma and how lucky he was to have her, but whenever he wasn't in the room, my grandma was complaining about how hard it was to live with him. I don't want to make too big a deal of that, but that is the sort of thing I grew up seeing. So I'm A) deathly afraid of marrying someone and having them secretly hate me and B) pretty sure that all women secretly hate their husbands, so C) I'm toast either way. Maybe not so surprising, then, that I have a hard time feeling secure in relationships. It's got me thinking, anyway.

Besides all that, it has been a quiet day, and I put all my school and work and other obligations on hold. I just took a day to relax, get my living space in order, and start to get to know myself a little better. I didn't figure everything out (who could in an afternoon?), but I took some steps forward. And there will be more forward steps to come, I'm sure.

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #894 on: February 02, 2020, 06:01:26 PM »
Man that is such a huge insight! That is great you are writing all the positive things about yourself and I think insights like that about what you see in your family are soooo important. We see these examples and our mind just thinks that's the way things are. I think seeing lots of great examples of the opposite (even in books) can really help. I know Tony Robbins talked about this, he had to find good role-models first through books. There are tons of women who absolutely adore their husbands.

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #895 on: February 02, 2020, 07:57:37 PM »
Thanks, quit, that's a really good idea! I need to find the role models for the beliefs I want to adopt. I was wondering, after having that insight, what I could even do to start changing the belief, but this is a good concrete step to take. Like it makes theoretical sense that there are women who adore their husbands, but I've never seen it in real life. Looking for it could go a long way to tearing down those old beliefs.

Decent day

Went to church, and that was pretty good. Ph was there, and it was harder than I expected. I sort of thought in the last week and a half that I had gotten myself on firmer ground, but it was different when it was real life. I mostly just went into avoiding mode, which probably isn't the best way to handle things long term, but it's all I had in me today. Nothing wrong with knowing there are better ways to handle things, and nothing wrong with acknowledge that I was doing all I could.

Anyway, it put me in kind of a funk for the rest of the day. Not as strong as it has been, but just a reminder that it's not just memories but also something I'm going to have to deal with. These things have a way of mellowing with time, so I guess I won't get too worked up about it. Just keep going.

I meditated, napped, cooked, cleaned up. I think I'll do some extra yoga tonight, just to take the edge off. I've been thinking about shaking up my workout routine. It just hasn't been doing it for me since the new year started, so it seems like it's time for a change. YouTube thought I would be interested in calisthenics, and I think it might have been right. I like the idea of starting at absolute 0 and gradually working my way up to things, and that's definitely what I would have to do at this point. Plus, I like the idea of something I can do at home without having to invest a bunch in equipment/weights. Who knows? Something to try at least.

Mostly quiet day, though. Back to the grind tomorrow, but it's a grind from home. More chores and homework, so it should be manageable.

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #896 on: February 03, 2020, 05:00:52 PM »
Totally makes sense! It can be hard to envision something we haven't seen... I know Arnold Schwarzenneger talks in his book about how much his mother loved his father, though it's a small part of it. Zig Ziglar is another solid one. I wonder if there are some good examples in your church too?

It's totally natural too feel that way upon seeing Ph, it is a tough and awkward situation. But you took all the right steps to handle the emotion, in a way it's another opportunity to take care of yourself and your emotion in a healthy way: cooking, meditating, napping in place of PMO. Which is great! Life is always going to throw difficulties at us, that is true for everyone, recovery is about handling them in a healthier way, which you are doing! Not about not having them.

Great idea bout mixing up the workout routine. I've read and found in practice new fitness routines and goals are one of the best things for building momentum. The great thing about working out is nearly everything works. Yoga can be good, lifting weights or calistenics! People debate these things but any of these things can lead to great fitness, great strength and a great physique. It's only when the goals become very specific, like competing in a powerlifting competition (must lift weights) or gymnastics (must do calistenics) that it really matters a lot.

Working out, getting stronger is such a confidence boost. It's like it's in our DNA just physically being stronger and fitter makes us feel more confident. It's also great since progress is so tangible, you can really measure it objectively so it's nice mentally for building momentum. 5 Reps today 7 next week and a month later doing 15! Say you do 6 push ups now and 1 chin up, you work up to 15 push ups and 10 chin ups you'll be like 50% stronger and it'll feel great. I fully support that plan and I think it'll be huge for the next step forward in life! I have been flirting with getting more serious about my fitness, with a few false starts lately. So good motivator for me so hopefully I'll get a program started up soon too, which'll be cool if we're doing it at the same time. It's like a next level of recovery where it's not just about avoiding PMO but now using that new space in our lives for something really positive.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 05:02:32 PM by quitforeverthenwin2 »

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #897 on: February 03, 2020, 08:28:40 PM »
I appreciate a lot of what you said, quit. It's been a bumpy day, and it's good to finish up with a friendly voice.

Started a new workout routine today. Less aggressive but more thoughtful and engaging than what I have been doing. I'm not trying to do anything amazing, just really build some fundamental body awareness and strength. I don't just want to do it, I want to learn to do it right. So I didn't work out as hard, but I felt energized after it instead of bored and wiped out. So that's a good step forward.

Then I had a pretty productive day. Washed my clothes, caught up on emails, cooked some food. I reached out to a couple friends that I haven't talked to in a while, and I found out they both are going through a rough patch. So I tried to listen and encourage them and let them know that I'm there for them. Not something I usually do, but it felt good.

Then in the late afternoon, I felt a huge urge for porn. It was like a big wave that came over me. I decided to get up from the computer and start cooking dinner. It wasn't a very involved recipe, and there was a lot of downtime, and I ended up losing a lot of time today to porn substitutes. Not happy about it, not proud of it. It tough getting anything through my web filter, but I managed to find things to scratch the urge.

In the aftermath, I have a few thoughts:

1. I felt a real heavy sort of hopeless feeling in my chest. I think I'm feeling fairly hopeless about the future right now (for a variety of reasons that are not true but feel real). When I thought about looking for P and p-subs, that feeling went away. It was gone, and I wasn't worried about anything anymore. Obviously, that is a false benefit, but it is also real. Of course my brain would push me to look for porn when I'm feeling that way: it learned that porn works. It's a one-way ticket out of feeling that way. So that's something to learn from. That feeling puts me at risk, and I need to find other ways of dealing with it.

2. Wow, porn is boring and ugly and a total waste. It's not the porn I want. It's the feeling porn gives me. In the past, porn has felt freeing, exciting, dangerous, beautiful, etc. Today, I was aware of the effect that it was having on my body, but my heart and mind weren't in it. In the past, I thought I knew what I was looking for when I was looking for porn: the hottest body and the biggest high. Today, while I was scrolling through my heavily censored internet connection, I stopped myself and just acknowledged that I wasn't going to find what I was really looking for online. No picture of a hot body is going to fix what hurts. The things I really want in life just aren't there. I've been able to think through that before in quiet moments, but it really hit me in the moment today. In the end, flirting with porn fell flat. I'm still vulnerable, so I can't check out, but it was just disappointing. Sure, it made me feel a little better for a moment, but it didn't take long for me to realize it wasn't going to fix anything. So I gave up on it and did something else.

3. I'm really, really down on myself. I don't allow myself to believe that good things are on the way. I tell myself that the work I do has no value. I magnify disappointments into disasters. I tell myself that the future is going to be better, but I secretly don't believe it when I say it. But there's no real, legitimate reason for me to treat myself that way. What did I do to me to deserve that? I've been changing my behavior and changing my habits, but now I think it really is time to change how I think about myself and my life in fundamental ways and to take more control of how I make myself feel. My life isn't bad, and my future isn't bleak. There are a lot of things going for me. I just have to believe it.

So I'm not going to get too worked up about the slippage today. Of course it happened: I pity partied my way into it. I know what the problem is. I don't totally know how to fix it, but I know that I want to. I know that I'm going to start taking real, deliberate action to challenge my pessimism and to rebuild a more uplifting, positive, and healthy view of life.

Onward and upward (for real!)

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #898 on: February 04, 2020, 02:47:57 AM »
Quote
Wow, porn is boring and ugly and a total waste. It's not the porn I want. It's the feeling porn gives me. In the past, porn has felt freeing, exciting, dangerous, beautiful, etc. Today, I was aware of the effect that it was having on my body, but my heart and mind weren't in it. In the past, I thought I knew what I was looking for when I was looking for porn: the hottest body and the biggest high. Today, while I was scrolling through my heavily censored internet connection, I stopped myself and just acknowledged that I wasn't going to find what I was really looking for online. No picture of a hot body is going to fix what hurts. The things I really want in life just aren't there. I've been able to think through that before in quiet moments, but it really hit me in the moment today. In the end, flirting with porn fell flat. I'm still vulnerable, so I can't check out, but it was just disappointing. Sure, it made me feel a little better for a moment, but it didn't take long for me to realize it wasn't going to fix anything. So I gave up on it and did something else.


Wow that's very profound and mature.  Today was really rough for me too blue.  Not with porn but with the binge gaming.  I relate to your frustrations and I think it's incredible that you were still able to be there for your friends, be productive and get things done even on a day where things feel kind of hopeless.  Those days come to me too sometimes.  They always pass, but it's hard to remember that in the moment.  And good on you for being there for your friends.

Did you find an activity that recharges you?  For me it's hiking but I haven't gone hiking in a long time, my brain tricks me into thinking playing games will recharge me like hiking, but it doesn't.  It drains, not charges. 

I think porn is like that too.  You use it but it doesn't stop the craving at all.  On the other hand, sexual activities with my girlfriend leave me satisfied for like a whole week   It's totally different from porn, it's way better.  Have you tried online dating? 

I know the thing with ph was a bummer but don't let that put you off dating.  You're a total catch, and if you want a relationship you have to go on a bunch of first dates.  And when you least expect it, one of those will turn into something better than you ever imagined. 


BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #899 on: February 04, 2020, 08:30:22 PM »
Wow that's very profound and mature.  Today was really rough for me too blue.  Not with porn but with the binge gaming.  I relate to your frustrations and I think it's incredible that you were still able to be there for your friends, be productive and get things done even on a day where things feel kind of hopeless.  Those days come to me too sometimes.  They always pass, but it's hard to remember that in the moment.  And good on you for being there for your friends.

Did you find an activity that recharges you?  For me it's hiking but I haven't gone hiking in a long time, my brain tricks me into thinking playing games will recharge me like hiking, but it doesn't.  It drains, not charges. 

I think porn is like that too.  You use it but it doesn't stop the craving at all.  On the other hand, sexual activities with my girlfriend leave me satisfied for like a whole week   It's totally different from porn, it's way better.  Have you tried online dating? 

I know the thing with ph was a bummer but don't let that put you off dating.  You're a total catch, and if you want a relationship you have to go on a bunch of first dates.  And when you least expect it, one of those will turn into something better than you ever imagined.

Thanks, squid! I've been trying to remind myself all day that I made a mistake yesterday but that I didn't blow up my life. Of course I didn't, but I think that's my inner perfectionism kicking in. Recovery doesn't have to be perfect to count. I'm still learning, still trying, and still moving forward. I'm doing the best I can in a bummer period of life. It's understandable that my addiction would be more appealing, but I don't have to let it take root.

I also really like what you said about porn doing nothing to dull the craving and real connection leaving you filled up for a week. That's a really great thing to keep in mind. I also have a lot of thoughts related to other things you said, but I think they fit in with where my head is today, so I'll address them a little later.

Okay day, not perfect

Some wins and losses since my last post. Before bed, I fell into the subs again (stayed up about an hour past my bedtime). I found some random site for some random magazine that had some nudity. Anyway, I managed to get myself to bed, sort of fully prepared for a whole night of bingeing (because that's what happens when I break). I was in bed, trying to fall asleep, then I started to get up for my phone and said, "No, you don't need to do that. Just don't do it." So I left my phone where it was and ended up sleeping through the rest of the night. And that's something that has never happened before (being triggered strongly and then being able to sleep instead of staying up all night bingeing). So that's a win. But then in the morning I really wanted to make sure that I blacklisted that site on my webfilter, but I couldn't remember the exact URL so (stupidly) I had to find the site again so I could block it...and lost another hour or so scrolling around before I actually blocked it. So that wasn't a perfect ending, but the gap in the armor is locked down. Hopefully I'm in the clear now on that one.

After realizing more deeply than before that I just use porn to feel better, I sat down this morning and made a list of 50 things that make me feel better when I do them. Then I printed them out, cut them into little pieces of paper, and put all those things in a bag at my desk. Now my plan is whenever I start to feel bad and don't know what to do and just want to escape, I'm going to reach in that bag, pull out one of the 50 things and do it (and repeat as necessary). There's all kinds of things like meditating, posting here, texting someone I haven't talked to in a while, going to the store to get a treat, etc. This is all part of a new mission to recondition my brain to think of other things instead of porn when I'm feeling bad. It's like an emergency mood-boosting kit.

It has been a pretty normal day after that.

But, squid, you've got me thinking about dating (I've been thinking about it all week), so I'll just throw out some thoughts. I'm interested to hear what you all think.

I'm sort of torn on dating right now. On one hand, I don't want to let this disappointment shut me down, but on the other, there's just not a lot out there right now. I think we've talked here before about how my faith is important to me and important to who I'm looking for in a relationship. Like, of all things (maybe besides being a woman and speaking a language I understand, lol), being on the same page beliefs-wise is pretty fundamentally important to me. (I'm happy to hear thoughts on this, but I'll probably politely ignore them. My mind's pretty made up on that front.) But here's the thing (and this is where I'm more open to thoughts): that puts me in a small community with pretty limited options where I live right now. Long story short, I know everyone already who is dateable, and I also know that I haven't been very motivated to date any of them (for any of various reasons). I mean, I could just to do it, but I don't really want to and I have a hard time convincing myself that dating is worth it purely for its own sake (because, on some level, I don't especially enjoy the whole process...but I guess who does?) Anyway, that leaves me feeling like I'm sort of out of options until something beyond my control happens (like someone moves here). Maybe more than being rejected by Ph, I think this is what's messing me up the most: yeah, it hurts to get dumped, but it hurts more to think that now I'm just out of luck for the next six months or whatever. Better luck next time (if there is a next time...!)

And maybe online dating is the answer, but I'm not too sure. I did it for the first half of last year, and it was a deader than dead end. Maybe I didn't take full advantage of it, but it just felt like a wasted experience. It did give me the feeling that I was at least doing something to move forward, even if I really wasn't (like it was a dating placebo or something, lol).

So I don't know. Those thoughts are going through my head, but I'm also settling into a kind of acceptance that this is just another chapter in the story of my life. The author is keeping the readers in suspense about whether the hero will ever get the girl, but I'm also confident it will happen eventually. Just a bummer when it's always "not yet."

Maybe this is relevant. Who knows, but it's coming to mind so I'll ramble a little longer. I had a really great relationship several years ago, like truly amazing (I thought), but it sort of suddenly disintegrated. I was moving away for school and lots of things were happening, so I can't say exactly why or how it just ended up not working out, but it didn't. But that girl set the bar for me in my mind. Why should I put much energy into anyone who doesn't hit the bar? (Feels mean to say, but it's also just how I feel...)

Maybe this is the answer (and it's what I was thinking about this morning): maybe right now I just need to find things that I want to do, going to shows, walking in parks, trying restaurants, etc., and I just need to find people to go with me. It won't be about dating, won't be about finding a relationship, just about doing things that I really like doing and don't do because I feel weird doing them alone. Then it won't be about whether the date worked out or whether there's a relationship in the works or anything like that, it will just be about whether it was a good time or not. It'll just be about living my best life and inviting women to come along from time to time.

Lots of thoughts. This is such a long post. Thanks for reading. You all are great!