Author Topic: Not gonna go it alone  (Read 36115 times)

Zel99

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #900 on: February 04, 2020, 09:16:50 PM »
I agree with you on the last part about dating. You seem to have a unique situation with a combination of a smaller community and faith preferences (and there is nothing wrong with that). I would try to push myself as much as possible to get out and do activities with others. It can be unexpected when you get the opportunity to begin a relationship with someone, but it's more likely to happen when you're out there in your community, trying to make connections with others.

You also recognize that you're having some temptations to look at p subs. It also seems like you've done a pretty good job at either distracting yourself, or consciously remembering (writing) why you aren't going to give in to temptations. Keep it up.

Start contacting some friends from your church (male and female). You're right, it doesn't have to be about finding a relationship. Continue building connections with others, and have a good time. I think you have the right mentality when it comes to this. Good luck

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #901 on: February 05, 2020, 03:44:52 AM »
There are probably way more women out there not too far away that also share your religious beliefs than you even know.  The question is, how do you go on more first dates with them.  I believe that dating is the best way to see if you like dating someone.  It might be online dating or a specific app for your religion.  Or maybe local faith centers or rec sports, or volunteering.  Volunteering is a great one and is also fantastic for meeting new friends.  I did a ton of volunteering over the past 7 months and it has been very good for me and my community. 

In my own experience, I was raised very religious.  In fact I didn't go to a traditional school, all of my schooling K-12 was in churches.  So I can relate with you blue and understand maybe more than most.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #902 on: February 05, 2020, 09:36:14 PM »
I agree with you on the last part about dating. You seem to have a unique situation with a combination of a smaller community and faith preferences (and there is nothing wrong with that). I would try to push myself as much as possible to get out and do activities with others. It can be unexpected when you get the opportunity to begin a relationship with someone, but it's more likely to happen when you're out there in your community, trying to make connections with others.

You also recognize that you're having some temptations to look at p subs. It also seems like you've done a pretty good job at either distracting yourself, or consciously remembering (writing) why you aren't going to give in to temptations. Keep it up.

Start contacting some friends from your church (male and female). You're right, it doesn't have to be about finding a relationship. Continue building connections with others, and have a good time. I think you have the right mentality when it comes to this. Good luck

Thanks for the input, Zel! I appreciate the validation and insights. Yeah, the more I've thought about it today, the more I think I'm just going to try to go live the kind of full life I want to live and build whatever connections I do along the way. Like, today, I realized that there are things I imagine doing regularly "someday" when I'm in a relationship/making more money/whatever. But I can do some of those things now: I'm just not doing them because of a made up rule in my head. There are things I have definitely been putting off because I've just been weirdly waiting to have someone to do them with, but that's not a real reason to put them off.

There are probably way more women out there not too far away that also share your religious beliefs than you even know.  The question is, how do you go on more first dates with them.  I believe that dating is the best way to see if you like dating someone.  It might be online dating or a specific app for your religion.  Or maybe local faith centers or rec sports, or volunteering.  Volunteering is a great one and is also fantastic for meeting new friends.  I did a ton of volunteering over the past 7 months and it has been very good for me and my community. 

In my own experience, I was raised very religious.  In fact I didn't go to a traditional school, all of my schooling K-12 was in churches.  So I can relate with you blue and understand maybe more than most.

Thanks, squid! Yeah, I'm sure there are more women out there than I realize (I know the ones in the immediate vicinity, but it's a big state. There's got to be a way to widen my circle a little and to get to know more people. I'll think about seeing what I can do there. I'm also really glad that you can appreciate where I'm coming from. Just having other people understand counts for a lot.

Better day

Things were more back to normal. Some aftershock urges, but nothing out of control like the last two days. School and homework today. Met a friend to wish him a belated birthday. We talked for a while, and it was good. It started getting late, but, instead of just being quiet and giving up my agency to someone else, I just said, "Well, I've got a few things to do before tomorrow." Stood up for myself in a gentle, appropriate way, set a boundary. It felt good.

Been thinking more about dating. Like I wrote just above, I'm thinking the plan is just to put cool things on my calendar and invite people to come without getting too worked up about it being a "date." Why shouldn't I put cool things on my calendar? Don't I deserve to do cool things even if I'm single?

Finished listening to Jen Sincero's book today. I can't say for sure, but this feels like it's a life-changing book for me. It's really making a difference in how I want to see myself and my life and what's possible. Why shouldn't I think that I deserve good things, that everything I really want in life is already out there waiting for me, and that universe is on my side? These are all things I've heard/thought before, but the way she presents it has really sunk in. I borrowed the e-book version, and I'm making a list of things that she says to do, sort of like worksheets for myself. It's time to change how I feel about me and about where I'm going in life (because I generally feel bad about myself and like I'm not going anywhere good in a hurry).

One thing she said that I'm replaying in my mind right now: "You aren’t a better person for feeling guilty or bad about yourself, just a sadder one."

So I've messed up in the past (even recently). I can dwell on it and make myself feel awful. But feeling awful for its own sake isn't productive or helpful. Now's the time to let go and quit holding myself back.

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #903 on: February 06, 2020, 08:52:49 AM »
Hey sorry I am a little late! But I read everything. I think the idea of doing lots of activities with people is an excellent one. I definetly think zircon99 and squid made great points, going out have lots of fun doing things, and that volunteering may be a good option.

One aside: Maybe take some time to write out your motivations for qutting porn? Or reflect on them? Just because it seems like a big part of the focus is on the upping social life and hopefully dating in the future but, we've got to remember the FOUNDATION is staying clean. So first things first. Ensuring you avoid the P-subs : solidify your recovery a bit more, this is sooo important. Both can be done at once. I mention this because I am in exact same boat, looked at P-subs, took the time to write out my motivations etc. and it really helped me to break the cycle.  I think let's both re-raise the standard. We each went months and months (nearly a year for you) without any p-subs right? So let's get back to that, it'll make everything else go more smoothly (better functioning brain), not leave that door open for a huge problem that will undermine/wreck the progress in every other area.


But anyways doing lots of activities sounds like a great idea to me. It's win-win in so many ways. It also contributes to the dog chasing the car thing and catching it... .. Once in a relationship, we are going to want a balanced life, not every spare momentum will be spent with the girlfriend/wife. Plus, marriages take some work and effort. Having outside connection and fun, I think is crucial. Finally of course doing more, knowing more people will 1) Make you more desirable to women: Women like when guys are socially saavy, know many people. They are also simply more attracted to a man when other people seem to like him and especially if someone they know likes him or even just knows him. 2) Knowing more people being out more, way ups the chance of meeting a girl.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #904 on: February 06, 2020, 08:00:25 PM »
Thanks, quit! I'm on board with what you're saying. Time to re-raise the standards.

A little more rocks today

A weird road this morning: I woke up with a persistent thought that I should look up something p-related just to see if it existed (what a silly thing to think). Anyway, I did. Just saw that it existed, didn't look around. Got in, got out. But I got dragged back to it after I worked out. Then I discovered that somehow my webfilter had gotten reset: I thought I was in a "safe" place, but I was in the open ocean. Long story short, that put me in a fixing the filter panic mode, and it took a while to figure out what had gone wrong, but I finally fixed it. But  not without seeing some things I wish I hadn't. There was one second one site where I saw girl and her name, thought in passing that she was good-looking (in the addictive way) and then had to find out more. As soon as I found anything about  her, I realized that I was wrong. She wasn't attractive or interesting at all.

So, I messed up for sure, but I'm also doing all I can not to add pain to the process by beating myself up for it. It happened. I can't change it. I can only change what happens moving forward. I was fooled for a second into thinking that a porn actress was actually attractive, but a minute more digging taught me that she wasn't. That's how it always is: I always think porn is full of beautiful people,  but it always reminds me very quickly of how ugly it all is. It just isn't what I really want. Nothing I'm actually looking for is there. It's all empty, disappointing promises.

I had a really good conversation with my church teacher/friend today. We were talking about having a positive outlook, being grateful, assuming that the best is going to happen instead of the worst. Things like that, and things that I have been hearing a lot in the last couple weeks. It feels like the universe is giving me the raw material for a major paradigm shift in my life, and I'm feeling ready to dive in. It's no surprise that addiction would throw a tantrum and try to keep me from taking this step forward. That's sort of where I'm thinking right now. How I feel about my life is a choice, and I don't have to put my energy into feeling bad about everything. I can choose to do and think things that will tear me down and drag me into addiction, or I can think and do things that will make me feel good about myself and my life. It's a choice, plain and simple.

Tonight, the whole drive home, I could feel strong urges building up in my body. Now that I'm home, I still feel them. But I'm reminding myself it's a choice. More than that, though, I'm trying to affirm rather than punish myself. In the past, my strategy was to tell myself, "Thanks, but no." and it worked. But I don't just want to shut myself down. Tonight, I'm thinking about what these cravings are trying to tell me, what do I really want? I don't have a clear answer, but I have been putting my hand on my chest where I feel the urges and just saying, "I'm here. I'm listening," and that seems to be pushing the urges away. Maybe all I need is some gentle attention, and who better to give it to me than me?

The plan is to march forward into a happier life, happier by choice whether things change drastically or not. (But I do think they will change: just yesterday, I went to a class that has been really hard for me, but instead of complaining in my head, I said, "Today, class is going to be good, and I"m going to learn something useful." By the end of class, I had learned a couple things, realized that I understood things way better than I thought, and left feeling much more confident. All I did was change my attitude going in. And that's what I want to do more of. Just change the attitude going in, and the rest will follow.)

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #905 on: February 06, 2020, 08:05:37 PM »
Good stuff blue, keep focusing on what you want and put your energy there.  Starve those negative brain pathways and feed the ones you want :)

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #906 on: February 07, 2020, 08:09:46 AM »
In my opinion the urges are pretty simple, you looked at porn briefly a few times this week and that activated the urges. I think looking up to see if something NEW exists is quite dangerous and would definitely lead to more urges. It's something new for the addiction to chew on, think about etc.


Man, I have been getting a lot of help using SMART lately. Just using the booklet and worksheets plus listening in on online meetings. I listened to one guy talk about just repeated some worksheets each day really helped him get clean for 13 months, due to the constant motivation boost. I did a worksheet and it's made my urges go way down. It seems like more motivation makes urges a little weaker or subjectively weaker since the will is stronger maybe. Anyways maybe this worksheet could be helpful as a reminder of whats important to you. You can download it and probably finish it in 15 minutes (it's pretty quick). Obviously up to you, but I think you are in a similar boat to me, could use  a motivation boost, reminder of what you are fighting for to break out of these increasingly dark grey areas. And this worksheet was a pretty quick way to do it as far as they go.

Man, just get through these urges get back on solider footing and good stuff'll be right around the corner!

Here is the worksheet, it's called the hierachy of values:

https://smartrecovery.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/HOV.pdf?_ga=2.194486573.1268032184.1580994840-1986241150.1575431233

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #907 on: February 07, 2020, 06:08:31 PM »
Blue, have you thought about going on an artist date?  This is a date with yourself where you treat your inner artist and inner child.  Something like going to a movie, a play, a museum, on a hike, something to give your inner artist new material to play with and to give yourself space to form new thoughts and new art.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #908 on: February 07, 2020, 08:43:21 PM »
Man, just get through these urges get back on solider footing and good stuff'll be right around the corner!

Here is the worksheet, it's called the hierachy of values

Thanks, quit! I downloaded it and will take some time tomorrow to work on it. I think you're right: I need a little shot in the arm to get my head back in the game. This might help.

Blue, have you thought about going on an artist date?  This is a date with yourself where you treat your inner artist and inner child.  Something like going to a movie, a play, a museum, on a hike, something to give your inner artist new material to play with and to give yourself space to form new thoughts and new art.

I haven't, but I like the idea. I think something like that could be really good. Thanks for the idea!

Rough night, better day

I had a hard time sleeping last night, and I made some rookie mistakes. I feel like a lot got thrown at me, and I didn't handle it very well. I was unusually cold all night, had to go to the bathroom a lot more than usual, and I dealt with a recurring wave of urges that I didn't handle as well as I wish I had. It's like I would wake up with an intense urge, find my way to p-subs, spend a little time with them and say "What am I doing? This is really stupid stuff, and I don't even like it." Then I'd go to sleep for a little while and wake up again and repeat the cycle. I drifted out of sub territory and had some run ins with p, but I turned right around. It's like how dopamine is about craving and not pleasure: I didn't want P, I wanted to anticipate P by staying just a step away from it. Long story short, the night was kind of a trainwreck. I wish it had gone better, but I also realize it could have been worse.

On the bright side, I patched a couple holes in my internet defenses, learned how to edit a file on my computer that makes it impossible to turn off the safesearch when I'm using google, and decided to make some other adjustments that will help (the phone now spends the night far away from me, and that will probably make getting up in the morning easier to turn off the alarm as a side bonus).

It was a long and busy day, and I managed to do the things I needed to do, but I've been seriously tired all day (obviously). Throughout the day, I've been thinking about how I have a choice: I can either beat myself up for the mistakes that I made this week, or I can accept that they happened and that there's no changing them and that I can only do better moving forward. I had a lot of impulses to berate and punish myself today, but I tried to set those aside and just tell myself that I was sorry and that I forgave myself. I don't know that I actually have forgiven myself, but I'll come around to it.

I also started reading Non-Dual Adventurer's perfectionism booklet, and a lot of what it was saying hit the nail on the head for me. I think the trouble I had in December really took the wind out of my sails, and a part of me gave up on taking recovery as seriously as I had because I wasn't doing it "perfectly" anymore. But it's not about being perfect. It's about progressing, and I can still do that even if I have made some mistakes recently.

I could be tricking myself, but I really feel like I'm on the verge of a breakthrough. A year ago, I was frustrated with my continuing lapses, and I had to dig down and find something in me that I hadn't found before. And that took me through a lot of clean months. Now, I know a lot of things about myself and my recovery that I didn't know before. I have a lot of tools to deal with the symptoms of addiction (urges, etc.), but now I'm really starting to understand the underlying causes more clearly. That's where I'm going to put my effort.

Step one is to continue to be more optimistic. I had the thought today that porn is really only interesting when I'm feeling miserable. It doesn't even register when I'm feeling fine. Porn has nothing to offer me when I'm happy, and it has me trapped when I'm miserable. So it's time to take my feelings more seriously and to mount a counterattack on porn by choosing to be happier. I'm frustrated, disappointed, embarrassed, angry, but the only option is to keep trying and keep moving forward. Yesterday does not need to hold tomorrow hostage.

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #909 on: February 07, 2020, 09:36:53 PM »
Sounds like you're in a storm blue.  I have something to give you: "This too, shall pass".  You know what you want, you know what you need to do, you know what is at stake. 

I believe in you.

Seriously

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #910 on: February 07, 2020, 11:22:34 PM »
I personally really like the thing I heard, and already stated "If you got 10 months free and lapse for a week and then get another month free you have 11 months free". I think that mindset could help. Getting the fundamentals back, like you said a shot in the arm as well as a bit of a reset, just mentally I mean.

I think really taking the time to almost "redecide" that porn does not have a place in your life anymore. I think long ago on one of the journals we were talking about how QUALITY of reboot is very important. If you rededicate and really cut out ALL of this stuff. Re dedicate to being porn free, regardless of anything else. Very quickly you'll be back in business, if all the little gray areas are cut out within a few weeks I think you'll be feeling a hell of a lot better.

Remember we don't just go to porn when we feel bad, porn makes us feel bad! It throws the brain for a whirl. So before finding the underlying issue, cutting out the gray areas and all the dopamine nonsense is the first step. So your brain at least physically and chemically has the ability to feel good. I just wrote a bunch about SMART but maybe it'd derail the journal a bit so I'll write it in my journal, I think it could be helpful.

Anyway man, you can get back in the game. Rededication and in a few weeks there will be some big wins.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #911 on: February 08, 2020, 09:25:55 PM »
Sounds like you're in a storm blue.  I have something to give you: "This too, shall pass".  You know what you want, you know what you need to do, you know what is at stake. 

I believe in you.

Seriously

Squid, this really means a lot. I'm really grateful for your continuing support and for your belief in me. I haven't had a good track record of believing in myself, but it helps me to know that other people really do believe in me. So thank you.

I personally really like the thing I heard, and already stated "If you got 10 months free and lapse for a week and then get another month free you have 11 months free". I think that mindset could help. Getting the fundamentals back, like you said a shot in the arm as well as a bit of a reset, just mentally I mean.

I think really taking the time to almost "redecide" that porn does not have a place in your life anymore. I think long ago on one of the journals we were talking about how QUALITY of reboot is very important. If you rededicate and really cut out ALL of this stuff. Re dedicate to being porn free, regardless of anything else. Very quickly you'll be back in business, if all the little gray areas are cut out within a few weeks I think you'll be feeling a hell of a lot better.

Remember we don't just go to porn when we feel bad, porn makes us feel bad! It throws the brain for a whirl. So before finding the underlying issue, cutting out the gray areas and all the dopamine nonsense is the first step. So your brain at least physically and chemically has the ability to feel good. I just wrote a bunch about SMART but maybe it'd derail the journal a bit so I'll write it in my journal, I think it could be helpful.

Anyway man, you can get back in the game. Rededication and in a few weeks there will be some big wins.

Quit, you're exactly right. I need to rededicate, recapture the fire that was driving me last year. I guess it sort of became routine, then I made some mistakes, and I lost the motivation. But I can get it back, and I am getting it back. I just have to decide.

And you're right about cutting the junk out right now no matter what. That's the first step. Fixing the underlying stuff is my long-term strategy (and maybe the fuel for my next round of motivation). We turn to porn because we feel bad, and it makes us feel bad in return. It's a vicious cycle, but we can break it if we square our shoulders and decide not to give in. There are good things ahead. I just have to remember that and get back to work.

A good day, honestly

For the first part of the day, I really wanted to make myself feel bad about the week, but I just tried consciously to surrender those feelings and focus on today. By the end of the day, I feel a little regret, but I'm not beating myself up. I feel more clear-headed and more optimistic about what's ahead. So that's a good thing. (I also wanted to call today a "pretty good" day, but I decided not to be lame about it and just commit to calling it good.)

When I was at the store buying groceries, I also bought a notebook that I have labeled "Recovery Journal." I want to write it in every day and use it as a tool to work through the attitudes and beliefs that are holding me back. It's recovery from addiction, but also recovery of self-worth and things like that. My first entry today was to work through the hierarchy of values sheet that quit posted. I learned a few things: my core values seem to be a unified sense of self, security/stability, faith, human connection, and creative output. Obviously, porn messes with all of those. It wrecks my sense of self, makes me feel unsafe and insecure, messes up my faith, prevents me from connecting with others, and puts me in the wrong headspace to be creative. It is literally opposed to everything I really want most in life. So that's a pretty clear sign that it can't stick around.

I also realized that all my beliefs surrounding those core values are pretty messed up. For example, I have this idea that people only like me because of what I do and not who I am. If I make mistakes, I assume that people will like me less. Plus, I don't approve of myself, so I am super dependent on other people's approval. Making a mistake puts their approval at risk and makes me think they won't love me. But none of that is real! Like I told my teacher-friend last week that I was a recovering addict, and our relationship hasn't changed, except maybe to get a little closer. So clearly my beliefs are wrong, but I didn't really realize that until I wrote them down and looked at them. So it's a good reminder that writing things down is helpful (and thanks, quit, for the worksheet!)

I've also been thinking a lot about the one of the 12 steps that involves surrendering to a higher power. I haven't really "done" 12 steps, but I have read about it on and off in the past. Anyway, the idea of a higher power has been on my mind the last few days. For as important as my religious faith is to me, I haven't really let it play a strong role in my recovery. I believe in a higher power, but I have refused to surrender my addiction to it. For some reason, I have felt like it was a problem I have had to solve on my own. But it's not. So, even though I don't really know how to "surrender" my addiction to a higher power, that is something I'm going to work on too. Today, for example, I just said I was giving up my bad feelings about this past week and myself, surrendering them. Just that gesture, I think, really helped me to feel better. I just focused on doing today instead of worrying about yesterday, and it was a good thing. So it feels like I'm headed in the right direction on that one too.

So, overall, it was a pretty good and (surprisingly) productive day. I bought groceries, worked in my recovery journal, did yoga, cleaned my apartment, planned the week, wrote an outline for a paper I've been putting off, wrote a list of questions for an interview that I have to do on Monday, got some things ready for church tomorrow, cooked dinner, and got started on a vision board. The book I've been reading/listening to talked about vision boards in a way that really made sense to me. In the past, they sort of sounded like hokey magic, but I'm understanding now that they can focus our attention and motivate us. So I spent some time collecting pictures for a vision board to put up by my desk. That's one of the next items on my agenda. Get a motivating sense of direction, and then get to work.

Onward and upward!

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #912 on: February 08, 2020, 09:29:38 PM »
Great momentum blue!!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #913 on: February 08, 2020, 09:54:03 PM »
Sounds like all good stuff! Glad to hear the worksheet helped. I think the journal and writing in it will be a massive massive help. I have been focusing on using more writing and tools, although today I didn't feel too good. I have gotten through these days fantasy free easier then I can remember, normally i'd only get a few days. So the writing exercises and everything really works.

I really like the HOV it really shows how the addiction is against our values..... it can be helpful to review it or even re write it often.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #914 on: February 09, 2020, 08:16:23 PM »
Great momentum blue!!

Thanks!

Sounds like all good stuff! Glad to hear the worksheet helped. I think the journal and writing in it will be a massive massive help. I have been focusing on using more writing and tools, although today I didn't feel too good. I have gotten through these days fantasy free easier then I can remember, normally i'd only get a few days. So the writing exercises and everything really works.

I really like the HOV it really shows how the addiction is against our values..... it can be helpful to review it or even re write it often.

Yeah, I think writing will be a huge help, too. I have always heard/read that you really have to write things down (goals, limiting beliefs, etc.), but I have always been like, "Why would I write them down? I know what they are already." But yesterday helped me realize that actually writing them down and seeing my internal thoughts on paper gives me a different attitude about them. So I definitely think that I'm going to keep doing it (it's weird how we resist doing helpful things because we think they won't work. Like, what's the harm in trying?)

Better day

Sundays are good resets, usually, and today was no different.

On the whole, Church was good. Some day, I'll be totally over Ph, but it wasn't today. Long story short, she showed up today with some guy I have never seen before (he could be a relative for all I know), but it put me in tailspin mode for about 15-20 minutes. I was thinking things like how she could just come up with some guy like that, what was it that made him better than me, other unproductive things that were totally not rooted in any real evidence. Then a thought popped into my head: the book I've been reading has a section on gratitude and it says to face difficult situations by saying "This is good because..."  So I stabilized my tailspin by saying, "This is good because...because...now that chapter of my life is closed up. She's not an option. I don't have to worry about it. And now I'll be totally open to receive whatever awesome woman comes my way next."  I think that's going to be a good tool in the future, a little way to turn something difficult into a moment of gratitude. Definitely going to try to remember that trick.

After church, I had a long conversation with my church leader about addiction, recovery, etc. It was sort of long and rambly and it didn't really tie anything up or solve anything, but it felt good just to talk openly (honestly, I mostly listened while he talked about things he has learned in his life to deal with similar things). I guess I just sort of felt understood, supported, not judged (I spend so much time judging myself). It basically just ended with him telling me that what matters is that I keep trying, and that's not very profound or anything, but it was reassuring. Because that's definitely what I'm doing, still trying.

There's a not of emotional discomfort still in the center of my chest (probably related to Ph, guilt for messing up this week, but hard to pin down for sure), but I'm feeling better about things generally. It's a new week, and I'm armed and ready to face it with deliberate optimism.

Good things are coming

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #915 on: February 09, 2020, 10:42:10 PM »
Yes!  You are still trying and are still doing super well!  Take a read at your early journal and see how far you've come :)

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #916 on: February 10, 2020, 12:14:31 AM »
Sounds like you handled the situation well. It is great you used what you read.

You'll definitely meet a better girl than her.

The writing is huge! Really using it more myself now.

Also I want to ask hows the fitness going? It is becoming a major goal of mine now too, get a little stronger gain a little muscle. My gut is telling me literally looking different will be a great way to help get over past things. Not a ton just say lose a few pounds of fat replace them with muscle. I am working on this myself. It's kind of the stereotypical classic way to get over breakups as well. 

I also just chatted with my friend about working on body language and tonality, speaking better more confidently etc. we talked about changing these things can change how we feel and how people react to us so it's a big win. IDK I am kind of rambling but I think that both things matter our internal state but also doing things to effect how we come off on the outside, because it can change how we feel on the inside and how people react, which can change how we feel...

I guess I am bringing it up because although, maybe not the best/most positive motivator but PH bringing in another dude has me pissed off lol,  and has me thinking all that pissed off post breakup stuff :  look better get fitter, all that sort of resentful to start, but ultimately positive breakup stuff.

Zel99

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #917 on: February 12, 2020, 01:43:00 PM »
Just read the past week of updates. I can see a clear upswing. Whatever you've been doing, keep at it. Your thoughts about Ph in church are totally reasonable. I'm almost more surprised that it didnt affect you more, but you wrote that you had a "better day". Props to you for being real with yourself and recognizing how you're feeling. In the end, you stayed positive and are slowly starting to move forward. Have you had any outings with friends yet? Don't forget to stay occupied with others and be social! One thing that I really love to do is have a board game night. It's a great thing to bring people together, especially if the weather is kind of bad.

Anyways, seems like you're staying on track. Keep it up.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #918 on: February 12, 2020, 09:40:59 PM »
Yes!  You are still trying and are still doing super well!  Take a read at your early journal and see how far you've come :).

Thanks, squid! I will! It's so easy to lose the larger progress in the middle of smaller dramas. Thanks for the reminder!

Sounds like you handled the situation well. It is great you used what you read.

You'll definitely meet a better girl than her.

The writing is huge! Really using it more myself now.

Also I want to ask hows the fitness going? It is becoming a major goal of mine now too, get a little stronger gain a little muscle. My gut is telling me literally looking different will be a great way to help get over past things. Not a ton just say lose a few pounds of fat replace them with muscle. I am working on this myself. It's kind of the stereotypical classic way to get over breakups as well. 

I also just chatted with my friend about working on body language and tonality, speaking better more confidently etc. we talked about changing these things can change how we feel and how people react to us so it's a big win. IDK I am kind of rambling but I think that both things matter our internal state but also doing things to effect how we come off on the outside, because it can change how we feel on the inside and how people react, which can change how we feel...

I guess I am bringing it up because although, maybe not the best/most positive motivator but PH bringing in another dude has me pissed off lol,  and has me thinking all that pissed off post breakup stuff :  look better get fitter, all that sort of resentful to start, but ultimately positive breakup stuff.

I appreciate your support (especially you being mad about Ph bringing another dude. It's oddly reassuring to have someone getting mad in my defense, even from far away over the internet, lol. Glad you've got my back.)

The fitness is coming along, I think. I'm dipping my toes into calisthenics, and enjoying it so far. It's only been a week and a half, but I'm just taking it slow and trying to learn how to do things right (instead of rushing for results). Just working on building basic strength right now, but it's too soon to say for sure what's happening. I think, for now though, the big win is that I'm enjoying working out in the mornings. I feel better doing this than I did with my old routine, so that feels like a path to greater sustainability.

I'm also hitting my internal state pretty hard (more to follow). Things ending with PH was frustrating, painful, and all that. But it did kickstart a renewed push for introspection and positive progress. So I guess it's not all bad, the kind of shock to system that wakes you up a little. I feel like I'm learning so much right now that I don't honestly know that I would go back to her if she came around tomorrow and said she was wrong. I might be like, "Yeah, maybe, but you'd have to step it up" lol.

Just read the past week of updates. I can see a clear upswing. Whatever you've been doing, keep at it. Your thoughts about Ph in church are totally reasonable. I'm almost more surprised that it didnt affect you more, but you wrote that you had a "better day". Props to you for being real with yourself and recognizing how you're feeling. In the end, you stayed positive and are slowly starting to move forward. Have you had any outings with friends yet? Don't forget to stay occupied with others and be social! One thing that I really love to do is have a board game night. It's a great thing to bring people together, especially if the weather is kind of bad.

Anyways, seems like you're staying on track. Keep it up.

Thanks, Zel! I appreciate the validation. I haven't really gotten a chance to get out with friends much yet: the last few days have been busy, but I might get a break in the action soon. And then I can start thinking more seriously about socializing.

Decent day

Missed a couple days ago because the forum was down (glad it wasn't just me!) Then I got in super late last night.

But I'm here today and glad that I'm still marching along. Pretty normal day, but I'm really working hard at facing things with a new, better attitude. Instead of putting all my energy into feeling bad and thinking that things aren't working out, I'm telling myself that things are basically good and only getting better. Has it changed anything? Maybe only how I feel, but that's a huge win. I'm feeling pretty good, and it's mostly just because I'm letting myself. Go figure.

i can't endorse the idea of a recovery journal, just writing out thoughts and working things out on paper, strongly enough. The last couple of days, I have embarked on a project of working through limiting beliefs in different areas of my life. I made a list of parts of my life that could be better (work, school, relationships, etc.) And now I'm just working through each one to figure out how and why I'm holding myself back.

I started today on dating/relationships, and I worked on dismantling the belief that I'm just not good enough for an amazing woman. I realized that I have this idea that I should be lucky to get anyone, I'm being picky, etc. But then I asked why I feel that way? What about me disqualifies me from a relationship? I sat for a while and made a list with only two things on it: porn and being sort of closed off emotionally. Then I asked what qualified me for a good relationship, and I made a list over a page long. It's not like I was bragging to myself, just being honest about good qualities. When I saw all that I could bring to a relationship sitting next to what I think is disqualifying me from one, the two bad reasons just didn't seem to measure up. I had to ask myself seriously, "Is you addiction in its current state really so bad that it cancels out all the good things you could offer to a woman?" Honestly, I had to say no. It just doesn't. I'm not perfect, but it's fairly well controlled in normal circumstances (still working on acute emotional distresses and being at home with my parents for example). So I caught myself in some all-or-nothing thinking, discounting positives, and magnifying negatives. By the end, I had written in my journal, "I'm good enough for an amazing woman because I am an amazing man." Maybe a little dramatic, but I've been saying it to myself all day as an affirmation that directly responds to the limiting belief that I discovered today.

I think that's a process I want to work through as I keep writing in my journal. Find the limiting belief. Work through it. Replace it with a better belief. Make it into an affirmation that I can repeat to myself when the old beliefs creep in.

It felt good today to tell myself that I don't have to settle for whoever I can get. I can hold out for an amazing woman because I'm good enough. Who knows what will happen, but it feels good to feel good in the meanwhile.

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #919 on: February 12, 2020, 11:44:28 PM »
That sounds like great reflection blue especially about relationships.  And of course the argument that you don't deserve an amazing woman does not hold up at all.  I'm tempted to lay it out and explain why having used a lot of porn in the past and being a bit closed off barely tips the scale when looking at your level of emotional intelligence, your drive, sense of community, romantic inclinations and compassion.  But you already know this.

The thing is blue, if you invite a few amazing women out on dates, odds are a few will say yes.  And if they get to know you, odds are one will want to keep you around that you want to keep around as well.

Dang man, it's like you're hungry and are sitting under a ripe apple tree.  If you just stand up and select an apple, you won't be so hungry anymore.  You deserve good things.  Be your own champion and get rid of all those dangerous thoughts of self limitations, of fear, of I'm not good enough, of I don't deserve this.  No one deserves it, all we can do is the best we can and give back to the next soul at the soonest opportunity.  #blessed

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #920 on: February 13, 2020, 12:44:03 AM »
Man great stuff! Great reminder about the recovery journal, I think it's a brilliant idea. Also great to write out and challenge the limiting beliefs... I listened to a talk from a guy who did just that. He is very likely not someone who's footsteps you are looking to follow in (he dates like 6 women at a time!). But he was talking about how he was so shy and awkward when young and he set the goal to be the best in the world with women, he started by spending months doing just what you are doing challenging every single limiting belief he had, in his journal.

Journaling can really work magic and it's a great way to use and cultivate your writing ability.

Nice that you wouldn't take her back, bollocks to PH! lol. Like you said, if the min breakup is what is leading you to realizing you have worth and journaling your way to understanding that further, which I think it is. It is certainly a positive thing. Sometimes we are disappointed by something but it was almost meant to be and leads to something better, even if it is painful in the moment. We don't always know, actually we usally don't... the greater plan.

Keep up the good work! Glad the forum is back

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #921 on: February 13, 2020, 08:31:55 PM »
That sounds like great reflection blue especially about relationships.  And of course the argument that you don't deserve an amazing woman does not hold up at all.  I'm tempted to lay it out and explain why having used a lot of porn in the past and being a bit closed off barely tips the scale when looking at your level of emotional intelligence, your drive, sense of community, romantic inclinations and compassion.  But you already know this.

The thing is blue, if you invite a few amazing women out on dates, odds are a few will say yes.  And if they get to know you, odds are one will want to keep you around that you want to keep around as well.

Dang man, it's like you're hungry and are sitting under a ripe apple tree.  If you just stand up and select an apple, you won't be so hungry anymore.  You deserve good things.  Be your own champion and get rid of all those dangerous thoughts of self limitations, of fear, of I'm not good enough, of I don't deserve this.  No one deserves it, all we can do is the best we can and give back to the next soul at the soonest opportunity.  #blessed

Squid, this is such a kind, thoughtful reply. I know I always say that I appreciate what you say, but this is especially good. It feels good to be shedding the limiting beliefs and attitudes and connecting with the awesome inside me, and it's really reassuring to hear a confirmation of it from someone outside my head too. So thanks for the backup! This road would be a lot worse without you.

Man great stuff! Great reminder about the recovery journal, I think it's a brilliant idea. Also great to write out and challenge the limiting beliefs... I listened to a talk from a guy who did just that. He is very likely not someone who's footsteps you are looking to follow in (he dates like 6 women at a time!). But he was talking about how he was so shy and awkward when young and he set the goal to be the best in the world with women, he started by spending months doing just what you are doing challenging every single limiting belief he had, in his journal.

Journaling can really work magic and it's a great way to use and cultivate your writing ability.

Nice that you wouldn't take her back, bollocks to PH! lol. Like you said, if the min breakup is what is leading you to realizing you have worth and journaling your way to understanding that further, which I think it is. It is certainly a positive thing. Sometimes we are disappointed by something but it was almost meant to be and leads to something better, even if it is painful in the moment. We don't always know, actually we usally don't... the greater plan.

Keep up the good work! Glad the forum is back

Journaling is the best! I've always been skeptical of it, but then I tried it and I'm convinced. You're right that I'm probably not after dating 6 women at a time, lol, but it's awesome to see that it's something that worked for someone else. It's also really encouraging to see that that guy didn't fall behind for spending some time straightening out his limiting beliefs first. There's time to fix what's going on inside of me first.

If things had worked out with a woman sooner in my life, I wouldn't be here now working on limiting beliefs. Maybe I would have come around to it eventually, but I wouldn't have felt the need to as much. So, on some level, it really must be a good thing that I get this time to dust the skeletons in the closet (if not get rid of them entirely, lol) and make peace with myself and my life. That can only be a good thing for myself in the long term and for a relationship whenever it happens.

Trusting in that greater plan and doing my best to make the most of the gift of time that greater plan is giving me!

Good day

Busy day, but good. Met with a teacher, had class, did a volunteer thing. Started journaling about the limiting belief that all the women I know hate their husbands so any woman I let in my life will eventually hate me too. Obviously false, but deeply rooted. We've talked about it a little. I didn't really resolve it today, and that's okay (that's what tomorrow is for). I got sidetracked on trying to figure out what the basis of love really is. Like why do we love people? What makes a person love another person, like enduring, long-term love? I ended up today on the idea that we love people who love us, but that seems a little too circular to be very satisfying. Then I just sort of sat there thinking about how I don't really know where love comes from and does anybody know? But then I had to go class, lol, so I'll pick that philosophizing up later.

I've been scrambling to get a paper done this weekend for a conference, but I just found out that the deadline got extended another week. That's good, but I'm still going to try to get it done by the original date. That will just give me a little more time to get some feedback or something before I submit it (and keep me from messing up other deadlines with procrastination). Either way, it's good. A little cushion to take the panic out of getting it done.

I got home a little earlier tonight than I have the last couple nights, which is good. The end of the week is a great time to get an early bedtime in, and I think I might pull it off tonight.

Oh, before I hit "post," I just remembered something I heard in a relationships book I was listening to today. The book was saying that there are too many people who ruin a brand new day first thing in the morning by bringing yesterday into it. Just leave yesterday behind and move forward. No amount of feeling bad/resentment will change the past. We can only let it go and move on.

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #922 on: February 13, 2020, 10:45:04 PM »
Sounds great man. Seems like the recovery journal is the perfect new wrinkle/layer to add to your recovery! Great quote by the way! Not much to add but just keep up the good work, sounds like a solid day!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #923 on: February 14, 2020, 08:42:54 PM »
Thanks!

Busy day

I guess busy just means I had to be on campus a lot longer than usual. Not exactly productive, but time consuming. Oh well, it's all good.

My recovery journal work this morning led me to the affirmation "I love generously, and I am loved generously." Very Valentine's appropriate, lol. Came to the realization that love is always a choice: there's nothing I can do to make someone love me, so I don't need to worry about that. Just give my best to everyone and wait for someone who's willing to give their best to me. That should do it for relationship limiting beliefs for a while (until I discover more). I think working through school/career stuff is coming up next for me.

I finished that book I was reading, and it had a list of other books at the end of it that the author recommended about all sorts of things. Definitely all in the self-help zone, but I'm in self-help mode, so it's all good. I'm looking forward to tracking them down and pumping some more good knowledge into my brain.

Not gonna lie, had some waves of discouragement hit me at various points through the day, but they didn't stick around too much. I just tried to turn my thoughts to more positive encouraging things, and it helped. Holidays are always a little weird (whether they're big holidays or not). It's like there's an imaginary pressure that I put on myself to have an extra good day because the calendar says it's a special day, so then I end up feeling a little disappointed when it turns out to be a regular kind of day. If the calendar didn't say today was supposed to be special, I'd probably be feeling 100% fine. Our own expectations can sometimes be our own worst enemies.

Long way of saying tomorrow is a normal day, and that's a good thing. I have a decent amount of work to get done, but I have a lot of the day to do it, so it should be good.

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #924 on: February 14, 2020, 11:41:06 PM »
I totally understand what you mean about holidays... I get that with weekends sometimes. I feel like I "should" be doing something fun. I think having a path to follow, recovery or whatever can help. Like we know what is important, so the day matters less.

Sounds like a solid day, and yeah self-help books, if they are good are great... Zig Ziglar still my man but people have success with all sorts of them