Author Topic: Back on the wagon, part 3  (Read 2326 times)

UKGuy

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Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« Reply #50 on: July 27, 2020, 03:49:21 PM »
Day 80

Still clean. It's been a bit of a slog the past week - I've felt tired and grouchy, and haven't been sleeping well.

I had a bit of a moment on Saturday night. I sometimes play online Scrabble and I woke up in the middle of the night. I played a game and then I felt really tempted to do what I have done in the past.

(CW: description of what typically happens)

I start with one fairly 'safe' chat site, but then that's never enough so I go to the chat room where I know there are hundreds of women online. and then before I know it, I've got my KiK reinstalled, a fake snapchat, Skype, the works, and I've MO'd and I've probably given some woman an orgasm or two, and then that's it, I'm back to day zero. And then because I've blown it, I think 'well, that felt good, I'll have a few days off the wagon, I mean I have been *mostly* clean before now, haven't I?' And the one night of talking to the woman is not enough, because it's fun and for a while we can get off on the fantasy, but then that woman is enough so I go talk to someone else... and then before I know it, I'm talking all day, I'm sneaking downstairs at night to talk, feigning illness to get a night in a spare room to myself. I'm taking pictures of myself and sending them, and I'm receiving them. And I kid myself that it's the internet, that it's just fantasy, that because this time I'm careful and everyone's in their 20s or 30s it's alright. It's just fun. And it starts to interfere with my sex life, and I have to plan when I'm going to have sex based on when I'm not too worn-out from all the edging.

And then four months later something happens to shake me out of my relapse and I'm back here again.

Anyway.

I had this moment of clarity, at 12:30am Sunday morning. I was lying there and I felt an inner voice, or God's voice, or whatever, saying "you have have all of *this*, or you can have all of *that*. But you can't have both." And I laid in bed next to my wife, thinking of her, our house, our family, all the things we have, and I weighed that up against the thrill of talking to women online.

And I switched my phone off and went to sleep.

Day 80.

Thank you SO much for sharing this PE30. It is very timely for me. I too feel like I've been having a bit of a slog. Some of it self inflicted (good night out with my friends on Saturday - saw too many nice looking women out and drank too much - hangover is a major trigger for me), some of it circumstances related to Covid (nothing too serious but hassles I could do without which are impacting family harmony) and I think to be honest, some of it just to do with a natural lull in terms of my motivation. To cut a long story short, the temptation to engage in the type of activity you detail has been high, and persistent over the past 48 hrs. I've been on the forum but not particularly felt like typing anything. That said, my defences have been solid - something I am genuinely attributing to a 'rewiring effect', but deep down I know that if the current circumstances and my mindset persist, the attraction of PMO could realistically get the better of me, and perhaps even with a conscious decision on my part.
Therefore to read your articulation of the binary nature of this choice in your last paragraph and both the way you remind me of the emptiness of PMO versus the warm and loving way you talk about your wife and family - something I can relate to very much - has had the effect of galvanising my spirit and intent at I time when I needed it badly.
Congratulations on getting through your own challenge Saturday night and reaching the 80 day milestone, and a thankyou once again for the inspiration you have given me.

TheNorman

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Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« Reply #51 on: July 27, 2020, 07:53:15 PM »
Man I always found just playing scrabble to be tuff. Tough. Joking aside, the way you wrote your post PE30, I felt like I was there. I don't have my phone anywhere near me for that very reason. It would often start with something innocent and mindless like cribbage or whatever but it almost always ended in something else. That took a lot to be able to hear that choice and make the right one. Something that you won't win any medals or recognition for, but a top prize for sure.

workinprogressUK

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Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« Reply #52 on: July 28, 2020, 04:58:34 AM »
Powerful post, PE30. Thanks for sharing. Congrats on reaching 80 days - especially having faced that late-night temptation.

PE30

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Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« Reply #53 on: August 18, 2020, 01:14:51 PM »
Hey there. Sadly I ended up succumbing to temptation - I think I got to day 87? - and had a couple of bad weeks. I'm back on it now, day three.

Lessons learnt: my brain will take even the tiniest of opportunity for rebellion and crowbar its way. It starts off small but it's very difficult to get back on track.

Also I think I'd emotionally relapsed before the physical relapse. I'd started pining after the old habits. Question is: how do I turn myself around when I start feeling that pull of temptation? I need to get better at it.

Still, we're all in recovery, and it's an ongoing battle. I go again and I commit myself clean for another 24 hours. We'll take it 24 hours at a time.
Clean since 8 May 2020

PE30

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Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« Reply #54 on: August 18, 2020, 01:16:04 PM »
PS: one thing I'm trying to do this time round is own up to my failures sooner. If you look at my posting history, it sometimes takes me months to come back on here. I need to face up to my own shame and not see it as a barrier to recovery.
Clean since 8 May 2020

TheNorman

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Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« Reply #55 on: August 18, 2020, 02:13:47 PM »
Owning our mistakes is a huge part of learning from them, instead of wallowing and or denying them. Glad to see you back here with a newfound resolve.

PE30

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Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« Reply #56 on: August 19, 2020, 12:53:04 PM »
Day 4

Am struggling mentally today. Work is so tough and I feel like I've lagged behind over the past few weeks. I'm not where I wanted to be. I feel a bit adrift, to be honest. I don't know what the right next step is - I don't want to give up a job I love but I'm finding the emotional toll increasingly difficult to bear.
Clean since 8 May 2020

UKGuy

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Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« Reply #57 on: August 19, 2020, 01:14:45 PM »
Hey PE - good to have you back, and look on the bright side - you're 2 days ahead of me in your total!!
Seriously, I can relate to how you are feeling. What's important is that you're back here and with friends.
For me, stepping back from here for a holiday was a big mistake. (you can read about it in my journal if you want all the gory details). Being here is such a good habit, and I know personally that being part of something - helping others, feeling appreciated and supported is infinitely more preferable to PMO - it boosts my self esteem, I learn, I can be 100% honest, and occasionally we have a bit of a laugh too. Would getting involved a bit more and a bit more often help do you think? Stay strong - you've been doing great and your progress is not lost!

PE30

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Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« Reply #58 on: August 20, 2020, 10:04:18 AM »
Hey, thanks for the message. There are a good few people on here who have been supportive and I really do appreciate it. I want to get to a stage where I feel like I've got encouragement and wisdom for other people, to pay back a little bit, but I don't feel like I'm there yet.

I do feel like this is a good place to talk and be honest and accountable. I did look into Sex Addicts Anonymous but the meetings are in Cambridge and there's not really anything local that would be any good for me. I can't do this alone, that's for sure.

Anyway, we're on day 5. Small steps.
Clean since 8 May 2020

Georgos

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Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« Reply #59 on: August 20, 2020, 10:28:38 AM »
Hi PE, don't know where you are based, there is a SAA at the South Bank Centre apparently and also one in Enfield, which is easier for me, though I don't know if they are up an running at the moment, I have friends in Enfield, and have visited a couple of times on the tube, sorry train, last time I travelled overground I got really paranoid that the service was only for intelligence agents (yes I know I'm crazy but that's how it felt), and Enfield felt like it was on complete lockdown by the Cuban police (another delusion about the balance of power in the UK), I know Cambridge quite well having been denied a place there and visited my classmates who did get a place whilst at university, I also used to attend seminars on logic and mathematical foundations at the maths department there as part of my research master's course at UEA. What always annoyed me was that whilst the university buildings were wonderful, the town itself seemed devoid of life, there was only one coffee shop if I recall, "Clown", I believe it was called.

Oxford is much better for real life, my brother studied there, and is now a high achiever, although he did have to pay as I recall,

With regards to sex addiction, I really suffered from childhood, starting with the first time I visited Cyprus and saw the UN trucks and the high priestesses of Afrodite,

As I mentioned many times, things really went downhill when I started smoking marijuana and the full confession and attempt at Christian repentance of a rapist imprisoned in a Cuban jail for crimes he committed in the United States under the guise of freedom fighting materialized in written form in my parent's library,

This is a serious example of the power of marijuana, my parents genuinely did not buy the book that I found in their attic, it really did appear via the "Startrek" transporter, why I was selected to minister to this particular gentleman, I don't know, I was underage for marijuana at the time, so perhaps I was being tested rather than trusted,

Anyway, I am moving on now that I know the truth, I understand now that the claims of the book being revolutionary were inflated by a forgiving coverup, so that is why I was confused as to the man's reputation,

I don't want to get into the subject of fake news, truth is a many sided diamond as my teacher used to say, we only ever hear what we want to hear, and that is usually ourselves,

I have been following your progress along with mine since I joined this site, you always seemed to be one of the more successful "rebooters", I'm hoping you can continue your success well into the future,

Good luck with all the hard work you are putting into your recovery,

All the best,

.G.

PE30

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Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« Reply #60 on: August 21, 2020, 08:45:44 AM »
Thanks Georgos! I'm a little way from London but I know Enfield well. And yes, Clowns café is still there - they serve a cracking lasagne if memory serves me correctly.

I'm on day 6 anyway. Not gonna lie, I feel tempted today, but I'm posting on here. All I have to do is keep going, one day at a time.

Clean since 8 May 2020

PE30

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Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« Reply #61 on: August 24, 2020, 02:18:58 AM »
Well, I'm on day nine. Feels like a bit of a struggle this time around but maybe that's a good thing? So many of my longer-run reboots have started with a period of time where, through guilt or fear, I've been motivated not to revert to my old habits. The problem is: guilt and fear only last a certain amount of time. I'd rather do this based on a positive love for all that is good, that I can dwell in whilst I'm not caught up in addiction. There has to be a life beyond this life, a community beyond the recovery community.

Anyway, I started the morning off well - sang some Christian worship songs with my wife. Am now about to start the working week.
Clean since 8 May 2020

PE30

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Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« Reply #62 on: August 25, 2020, 01:27:19 AM »
It's day 10. I can't say I'm feeling particularly secure in my reboot - but maybe that's a good thing? Maybe it's good to be on my toes for a while, to really weigh up why I'm doing this and what it's going to look like in the long term.

I'm so weak in this area and I need to build up strength and resilience. Not motivated by fear but by love and all its manifestations.
Clean since 8 May 2020

workinprogressUK

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Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« Reply #63 on: August 25, 2020, 04:23:24 AM »
The problem is: guilt and fear only last a certain amount of time. I'd rather do this based on a positive love for all that is good, that I can dwell in whilst I'm not caught up in addiction. There has to be a life beyond this life, a community beyond the recovery community.

Congrats on getting a solid start. Ref "guilt and fear", the most reliable science says (to me) that behavioural change is best kick-started with those motivations, rather than with "positive love for all that is good". Human's don't tend to make any big change unless their current state becomes untenable, hence the whole concept in a lot of addiction recovery of "hitting rock bottom" before you can start to rise. Once we get into an established pattern of recovery behaviours, change is best maintained by "positive love" and an embrace of all the good things that life can give us, in part because the "guilt and fear" fades, and also because we create one hell of a big vacuum where our P habit used to sit, both in terms of the way we spend our waking hours and in how we deal with stress or pain or anxiety, and if we don't fill the vacuum with positive stuff...… well.... you can complete that sentence with the fruit of your own imagination. So in my opinion, for what it's worth, you're doing it absolutely right... don't be afraid to focus on how fucked-up things were as an active P addict.... but open your mind to the possibilities of new hobbies, pastimes and passions as you get over the early hangover and into the brighter spaces.

Just my opinion. There are guys on here that I know don't agree with this. You'll always view the world through your own perspective anyway. Congrats again!
« Last Edit: August 25, 2020, 04:25:15 AM by workinprogressUK »

ZiggyBoo

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Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« Reply #64 on: August 25, 2020, 09:48:31 AM »


I totally agree, I think it's important as time passes and motivation wanes that we continue to remember how fucked up things were! One of the key aspects of all of my relapses (and there's been many) is that I have forgotten the pain, suffering, shame, guilt and fear of my actions.

PE30

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Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« Reply #65 on: August 26, 2020, 10:29:04 AM »
Thanks both, that's really helpful. I think there's a certain primal reaction when we get caught out or we get shamed for our behaviour - or something happens and we think "what the hell am I thinking / doing?"

You know, like that feeling you sometimes get after a session, where you're spent sexually and the bubble of seduction has burst and it's 3am and you're sat downstairs on the sofa knowing that you've crept downstairs. And you stop and think "this is gross, it needs to stop"

But actually sometimes it needs something stronger than that. I think that sometimes these 'rock bottom' moments are there to jolt us into action, like CPR for the brain.

Anyway, it's day 11 - still keeping it going, one day at a time.

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PE30

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Re: Back on the wagon, part 3
« Reply #66 on: August 27, 2020, 06:49:44 AM »
Day 12

Agh... I feel so down today. Work is ridiculously tough; I seem to be under pressure from all angles. Struggling to find joy in anything.

Clean since 8 May 2020