Author Topic: Gay guy reboot  (Read 22334 times)

Phase2

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #25 on: January 01, 2016, 10:22:52 AM »
Great post, Now-Man. Congratulations on making it to a point where you can start to reap some of the benefits of this journey. I agree that you are not done yet--but its clear you have a great perspective and understanding of the complexities of all this. And that includes relationships, monogamy and non-monogamy. Your approach is thoughtful and sincere. So keep going. Our challenges will continue, but it's great to see you are making progress. Happy New Year!
« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 05:03:20 PM by Phase2 »



now-man

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2016, 03:16:39 PM »
Thank you Lyon and Phase2, it's really helpful to hear what you shared. I had felt at times like I was tying myself in knots if I had to view this whole reboot through a single lens. Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone. I like what you said about being mindful, sounds like the right approach for me.  :)
« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 07:31:19 PM by now-man »

lyon03

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2016, 03:08:27 AM »
My pleasure. As Leon has often shared, we need to define 'addiction' and 'recovery' ourselves. But we also have to be mindful that our basic addiction is to dopamine and we porn addicts get our dopamine hits from artificial sexual stimulation like screens. I'm actually quite happy to read about your open relationship. This is a debate we as a society need to have. (I am a huge fan of Dan Savage's column in "The Stranger" and have recently listened to his latest audiobook.) My own experience seems to gel with Dan's basic premise that human beings aren't naturally monogamous. Given the high divorce rate and amount of cheating, we as a society need to address a basic truth that something is wrong with the current paradigm.   

And I think the gay community is redefining relationships as we gay men tend to be more open (if not agressive) about our sexuality. While married, I 'cheated' on my wife every day by watching pornography. I was in fact having sex with a screen because my own personal sex life was so unsatisfying. Porn is often a gateway to hookups via Craigslist, sex apps (like Gridr), prostitutes etc. I like Savage's term 'monogamish' which means mostly monogamous, but in a relationship that is open and honest enough to allow for some extra-marital fun. If this works for you and your partner, great. This is what works for me but I've realized that it cannot be at the expense of my primary relationship.

But enough of my rant...how is your reboot going my friend? I look forward to your next update. Happy New Year to you and your husband.     
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 02:00:19 PM by lyon03 »

now-man

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2016, 04:35:46 PM »
Hello gents,
Great stuff Lyon, thanks for the insights. I'm still plugging along, my 90 days is within sight. Not that reaching that point will necessarily change anything, but I can certainly say that it's been worthwhile so far.

In the last week I've noticed signs I may be coming out of my version of flatline - I've felt a bit horny, noticed some smells that turned me on; found myself thinking about hookup options; had really solid, long lasting morning wood almost every day; got flirted with by a very hot guy, and watched my arousal meter hit the red zone.

I'm not doing anything about any of it. Just watching. I considered that I could M with my morning wood, first time I've had that impulse. But it didn't feel 'necessary.' I've been reading posts and YBOP, and I just don't trust that the dopamine circuits are rebooted. I guess my standard for knowing when it's time to 'do something' with my wiener is this: when I don't have to wonder, or decide, or think about it; when I am naturally led to it. I can wait for that. And I think I know the difference between being naturally led to it and feeling the craving for a dopamine hit. The first is easy, fun and light, the second is stressful.

I see how fortunate I am to have my partner. I'm going to see him again in a few days. It will be a brief visit, so don't know if we'll have the opportunity for nookie, but either way is good. I think that if and when I am naturally led to having sex, I want to do it with my partner a fair bit before I do it with someone else. I'm feeling as close to him as ever. Sometimes in our phone conversations I find myself getting chubby down there. Not full on hard, but it feels good.

After coming this far, I want to get as much advantage out of this reboot as I can, without being over zealous about it. I want long lasting effects, not an overnight change. I read an interesting thread earlier today, started by Stevew, titled: The longer you have an addiction the harder it is to quit... where a couple guys talk about the thrill of starting a reboot, making positive changes, then the challenge when the novelty wears off.

I noticed the benefits of being in flatline, where I wasn't at all thinking about M'ing, hooking up, etc. In the last week, when those things came to mind again, I almost felt a sense of disappointment. Like: is that all there is? Those things are so familiar. So, I'm leaving it alone. It's gonna have to come and find me. It's gonna have to draw me in with convincing genuineness and depth. I'm not budging that easily. :)

lyon03

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2016, 07:29:39 PM »
Great post my friend. I see you're rediscovering natural sexuality and natural attraction. I'm not at all surprised someone flirted with you because when you radiate sexuality, people take notice. How wonderful that your partner's voice is also causing a stir. There is nothing more fulfilling than having someone desire you, or perhaps being desired. I liked what you posted about the 'novelty' of recovery wearing off. I think you're on the right path for more than just a porn reboot. Your insights suggest a deeper insight that this is truly a life reboot. Keep posting as I'm learning a lot from your journey. Be well. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION. 
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 07:34:18 PM by lyon03 »

hans32

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2016, 01:59:31 PM »
I am very grounded and inspired reading your posts.  Keep up the good workmy pink army brother!

bob

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2016, 06:24:11 PM »
It seems like a lot of the guys are coming from a religious/morality perspective, or one in which the only viable option for sexuality is intimacy within committed monogamy.

I just wanted to say that I appreciate your thoughts on the religious/morality perspective.

Phase2

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2016, 04:37:41 PM »
I guess my standard for knowing when it's time to 'do something' with my wiener is this: when I don't have to wonder, or decide, or think about it; when I am naturally led to it. I can wait for that. And I think I know the difference between being naturally led to it and feeling the craving for a dopamine hit. The first is easy, fun and light, the second is stressful.

I like this line. It took me a loooong time to figure this out so I wanted to highlight it again for anyone else looking around. There have been many times since my reboot that I have forced the issue of having sex only because I was able to get it at that time. (If it's not readily available, you have to take it when it comes). Which means that there were times when I had sex when I was probably not truly 'horny'. With the help of a small dose of Cialis (despite the side dish of anxiety), I've been able to do pretty well since my reboot--which is great. However, I feel best on those other occasions when sex is at hand and I'm not thinking about it at all. My body is simply ready, horny, not anxious at all--just eager to go. These are the times when I don't think Id need Cialis at all. And if it weren't for my reboot and abstaining from MO, I doubt I'd have ever had these feeling again. So, again, I'm thankful to YBOP for helping me get to the point where I can experience natural, eager horniness again. My goal is to find a partner with whom I can exercise these urges with when he and I are both ready--and not have to rely on random hookups or good timing to have a sexual encounter.

Anyway, I encourage all the men out there to concentrate on that subtle difference. Truly Horny vs. Bored/Anxious/Forced Horny.

Cheers!



now-man

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2016, 02:11:01 AM »
Greetings gentlemen,

Things are going well. I had a short visit with my partner, not expecting to have a chance for physical play. Surprise! We were going to head out for lunch but didn't make it out the door before our clothes were off. My equipment responded with initial robustness, then flagged a bit, then kinda met me halfway. This time I didn't mind. I appreciate whatever process it's going through, and it can take whatever time it takes. More importantly, I feel closer to my partner, and more turned on by him. That was a big bonus. I realized I had kind of numbed myself with porn viewing (and seeking hookups) to the point where I wasn't as turned on with my partner. It was a very good feeling to be really attracted and turned on with him.

I had to leave after the short visit, but then changed some plans to travel back and spend a couple more days with him. It just felt like we need more time together, and it's worth my making the effort.

We had another spontaneous session. It started out just playfully when he was headed out for an errand, but we were both getting more and more turned on. I said "you better get out of here" and before you know it, clothes were off and we were going for it. My member held up a bit better than the previous time, not 100%, but progress. But the feeling of connection and genuine arousal was solid throughout.

We've had a physical relationship for over 16 years. It's gratifying and humbling to feel as connected as ever. There's more depth to it now. He has been very supportive and encouraging around my reboot, and letting me know how much he wants to be with me. It's sobering to realize how my "little private sex life with my PMO" took me away from something that sweet and valuable.

I haven't noticed any chaser effect this time, maybe at least in part because I came down with a cold. Now I'm back home, just resting and getting well.

I'm noticing over the last week or more that I have less and less attention pulled when I see a sexy man. I notice, but I think maybe the dopamine pathway has calmed down, it doesn't have that 'grab you' feeling. Also, I've had zero experience of thinking about PMO (or MO for that matter).

I think I'm about a week from 90 days PMO & MO free. So far I really like the benefits! I think there's more to go.

Patrick

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2016, 06:44:03 AM »
Awesome post, now-man, this sounds wonderful and gives me hope. Take care and good luck. Life is magical without P.


harry

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2016, 12:19:10 PM »
Hello now-man,

Glad to read things are going well for you! It gives me hope for my future.


now-man

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #36 on: January 24, 2016, 08:03:06 PM »
Today is Day 90. It’s pretty quiet. I’m full of gratitude for what I’ve gotten from this reboot.

It feels like I’ve slowed down and become more present. Small things are more valuable.

A number of unusual things have happened recently - a close friend was killed in an accident; my next door neighbors' house burned in a fire; another friend had a medical emergency and died; I just had a minor surgery two days ago.

What I appreciate is that I feel simply present for these events. I feel more human. If I were still PMO’ing, I think there would be a numbing followed by a vague sense of disappointment in myself. With PMO’ing, and the dopamine rush as a familiar and ongoing experience, it’s almost as if "things should seem more important than they do.” Without it, things are more just what they are.

A small recap of my reboot thus far:

In the beginning I had a lot of urges to look at porn, surf hookup sites, and my attention was easily hijacked by seeing attractive men. It wasn’t especially difficult for me to not to give in to the urges because I had only just learned about the connection between porn and erectile dysfunction, and the chance to reverse my ED was a far more compelling goal.

After the first couple weeks I learned from this forum about porn substitutes, and realized I had been using a couple of those, so I eliminated them. I could feel the conflict within, a part of me not wanting to let go, but again, the chance to get my boners back was much more important to me.

Then, as the urges started to fade, I realized that I had not actually been horny in a long time. I had instead been getting off to images, using my body chemistry to get a high, basically out of boredom and avoidance. I was already experiencing the satisfaction of getting more things done and feeling like I was more fully inhabiting my life. And I was curious to see if and when I would feel a return of genuine horniness.

I has come in gentle increments as I’ve had a chance to spend short visits with my partner, who is currently long distance. He has been supportive, endearing, and quite the stud. In short, I feel as close to him as ever, and I feel turned on sexually with him - I hadn’t even fully looked at the fact that I had feared that was gone. I’m really, really glad that’s not the case. It was just displaced by the intensity and novelty in streaming porn.

I don’t even think about porn or masturbation now. I’m not concerned about whether I’ll want or need to M again. I'm also not as concerned about what my dick is going to do or not do. I don’t yet feel complete with my reboot, and for now I want to keep rewiring for the real thing with my partner. I may eventually have a romp outside the relationship (that is our setup), but it’s going to have to be really clear to me that it’s time, and that it’s not going to negatively impact what I’ve gotten in this reboot.

A few other things that have been supportive along the way:
-I cut back on my alcohol consumption, from having wine 5 nights a week, to having a drink twice a week or less.
-I’ve been seeing a chiropractor regularly for the first time in many years. He says he can repair a slightly squeezed disc in my lower back, and I’m going for it. Feels good to support my body.
-I haven’t changed my fitness routine too much, I was already pretty comfortable with that. It’s not very intense but it does the trick. I can say that I enjoy it more, so actually I think I am spending a little more time and effort on it.

Overall, I haven’t approached this thing zealously. I’ve kind of taken it slow and easy. The only thing I’ve seen as critical and been diligent about is: no porn and no masturbation. I started out wanting to find out if my ED was porn induced (and hoping it was, so I could reverse it). I’ve had lots of solid night and morning wood, and some successful boners with my partner. I wouldn’t say it’s 100% yet, but definite progress. But even if I hadn’t already gotten what I wanted with my member, the other benefits of being porn free would be well worth it. I really prefer the state of my energy and the way I spend my time.

A very dear friend came to visit from out of town. She looked at me and said “You look amazing, really, really healthy and shining” which was surprising because I felt quite tired at the time. I said “it must be the reboot!” It’s beautiful how the energy freed up from attention to PMO can be spent in ways that are more life enhancing.

Really glad I found Your Brain On Porn and Reboot Nation. And thank you gentlemen, for your support, camaraderie, and courage in sharing yourselves!

bob

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2016, 10:07:20 PM »
Wonderful post and great that you have had such success at getting to this 90 point.

Way to go!

harry

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2016, 12:19:59 AM »
Hey now-man, congrats on 90 days! Excellent post - I'm inspired by your success.


Patrick

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2016, 01:45:10 AM »
Well done now-man and congrats on 90 days! Being present is a wonderful gift of your reboot. I wish you many happy P and M free days. Good luck on your ongoing journey.


lyon03

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #40 on: January 25, 2016, 02:49:13 AM »
Excellent post my friend. You are a very talented writer so I encourage you to keep sharing your reboot journey. You wrote something about living in the moment that really resonated with me. I probably didn't understand the concept of 'being present' until about last October. While a porn addict, my addiction was like a squirrel running around in my head. It distracted me from my life while also burdening me with a crushing sense of guilt/shame. Like you, I'm also enjoying the happiness that comes from living porn-free. But you completely nailed it: once free of addiction it gives me the peace of mind to deal with the highs, and sometimes lows, of my life. You're right that this is more of a life reboot. Be well my friend. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.

avesraggiana

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #41 on: January 26, 2016, 11:25:16 AM »
Thank you so much for sharing your success.  What you've written inspires me to look back on the last thirteen months since my joining reboot nation. I know the successes have been there for me too. 

You're the third friend in a fortnight, amongst my friends in reboot nation, who has reminded to take a closer look at popcorn substitues and dopamine hits.   If I'm being honest with myself,  it won't take me long to realise that I haven't been completely scrupulous in not engaging in those behaviors - I engage sexual thoughts all the time, and while they feel good in the moment, I'm becoming aware of the possibility that doing so sets me back.

Thank you for your intelligently written and inspiring report.


Beautiful Disaster

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #42 on: January 26, 2016, 12:09:57 PM »
Congratulations on making your mark that you set out for yourself! I very much enjoy reading your posts and the encouragement that they offer. Chin up and don't look back!
Do or Do Not...there is No try

Phase2

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #43 on: January 27, 2016, 02:45:37 PM »
Congratulations Now Man. 90 Days is a profound achievement--proud of you! You write so well and have a clear, intellectual take on things: your contributions to Reboot Nation are very important so thank you from all of us for that! I'm sure you've helped a lot of us more than you know.

You have inspired me to stay strong against the P-subs. I dumped Scruff again about a month ago and plan to stay free of it. Without any real agenda, I have noticed I've drastically slowed down on my drinking too. I'm not sure if it's related to my reboot: it didn't start until recently--a year into it, but I welcome it. Clean living with a clear head (minus squirrels running around in it--haha Lyon), that sounds good to me.

Cheers everyone. Stay strong!



now-man

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #44 on: February 05, 2016, 03:04:34 AM »
Hello gentlemen,

Day 101 PMO and MO free. I’ve been keeping up on the posts here and feel supported by that. There’s a lot of really thoughtful, heartfelt sharing going on, and beautiful, loving support between the men in here. I’m really touched by it.

I’ve had a lot more close female friends than male friends in my life. I have valued women’s willingness to be vulnerable and share openly. I have thought that men didn’t have those qualities. I wonder now if it’s been more a case of me not being willing to be open and vulnerable with men. As a gay boy growing up in a military family I always thought it was just being smart to protect myself from ridicule. So I think I’ve been quite guarded in my interactions with men.

Whether that was a helpful strategy or not, my eyes are open now to a different perspective. I am very moved by the communication going on here between men. It’s one of the gifts to come out of the dysfunction of porn - for us to be sharing the basics about our sexuality, our fears, our equipment failure, our relationship struggles; and the ripples that flow out from there into our self esteem, shame, anxiety, and how to live each day.

I feel such connection with you men, and such gratitude for your honesty. Yes, it’s online and anonymous, but in a way that doesn’t matter - we’re human beings making contact, and from the stuff I’m reading, it’s the real deal. In some ways the anonymity and written format allow for more openness, without the filters of personality, identity, body.

I also feel myself relating to men in ‘real life’ differently, affected by what I’ve experienced here. I’m seeing men more without my filter of protection. They seem more endearing, I’m more open and interested. Actually, there are ways I sometimes find women annoying - talking too much, interrupting, over sensitive, emotionally needy - and I’m appreciating the male contrast - say what you mean, get to the point, stand up for yourself, show some guts. Of course these are generalizations, but I appreciate them in a new way.

So thank you men, you fucking rock!

My reboot is flowing along nicely. I have been home for a solid month, very unusual for me as I travel most of the time for work. I’ve loved being earthbound at home. I went off coffee, just figuring I’d throw another little log on the fire of this reboot. I really love coffee. I look forward to resuming our love affair. And for now, a little adrenal rest couldn’t hurt.

My partner has passed through several times in his travels, and we’ve had lovely close time together. Both of us getting over colds, then me recovering from minor surgery, so mostly low key. But I did get randy one day. (Possible trigger material): We were sitting together working when I snuggled up to him for a bit, and before you know it we got in the shower and he got me good and hard and brought me to O. It was especially nice because I didn't even touch myself, just made out with him and held onto him. (end)

I would say my boner gave it’s best performance to date. Looking forward to more :)
« Last Edit: February 05, 2016, 03:09:42 AM by now-man »

lyon03

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #45 on: February 05, 2016, 04:21:22 AM »
100+ days! Where did the time go? Reading your posts is like getting an unexpected email from an old friend so thank you. For everyone who is wondering how reboot can change their lives, you've demonstrated how we can change in just two to three months. I particularly loved this:

"So I think I’ve been quite guarded in my interactions with men. Whether that was a helpful strategy or not, my eyes are open now to a different perspective. I am very moved by the communication going on here between men. It’s one of the gifts to come out of the dysfunction of porn - for us to be sharing the basics about our sexuality, our fears, our equipment failure, our relationship struggles; and the ripples that flow out from there into our self esteem, shame, anxiety, and how to live each day.
I feel such connection with you men, and such gratitude for your honesty. Yes, it’s online and anonymous, but in a way that doesn’t matter - we’re human beings making contact, and from the stuff I’m reading, it’s the real deal. In some ways the anonymity and written format allow for more openness, without the filters of personality, identity, body. I also feel myself relating to men in ‘real life’ differently, affected by what I’ve experienced here. I’m seeing men more without my filter of protection. They seem more endearing, I’m more open and interested. Actually, there are ways I sometimes find women annoying - talking too much, interrupting, over sensitive, emotionally needy - and I’m appreciating the male contrast - say what you mean, get to the point, stand up for yourself, show some guts. Of course these are generalizations, but I appreciate them in a new way."

I re-read this section substituting the word 'men' for 'me' because I think you've also started to see yourself differently. I've often referred to my own addiction as a 'porn fog' or 'porn glasses.' It was impossible for me to see the goodness in people (particularly men) when all I saw were potential extras in a mental porn orgy. Years of porn addiction wrongly trained my brain to see sex everywhere. You've reminded me that long-term friendship, caring, and intimacy are much more fulfilling than short-term erections & orgasms. Don't get me wrong, I love sex. But I now see sex as more of an intimate connection rather than some exercise that ends in a squirt. You're like the gay Oprah of reboot! "Now you get a car, and you get a car!" Happy Friday my friend. I hope to meet you some day for cocktails and a few laughs.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2016, 04:27:27 AM by lyon03 »

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #46 on: February 05, 2016, 09:10:44 AM »
Hey Now-Man,

I sent you an email asking about what the 3 principles were.  As a gay man myself I just want to congratulate you on your reboot. Day 3 of my reboot and trying to 'get clean' of 20 years of addiction to porn and sex.  Your words are very wise and and something I am looking up to.  You're really an inspiration to me.

I just posted something about my 'Day 3' in My Darkness (my story).  Making this forum count and work for me. 

Thank You and I'm so proud of you.

harry

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #47 on: February 05, 2016, 11:08:30 AM »
Hey now-man,

What an extraordinary post. You really captured the essence of how I feel about this forum. I was explaining it to a friend the other day, and I told him how touched and moved I am by the fact that men, who are total strangers, can come together in such a supportive and helpful way. Sure, the anonymity helps, but I agree with you, it doesn't really matter. There is a real connection taking place on this site, and people are improving their lives as a result.

I am really grateful to have stumbled upon this forum.


now-man

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #48 on: February 05, 2016, 12:22:05 PM »
Thank you gents, sweet to hear from you.

Okay Lyon, if I'm the "gay Oprah of Reboot" (ROFLMAO!!) ;D you've given me the perfect opening for what I came back to post.

TheWhiteWindow asked me about something I'd made reference to early in my journal, and this was my response to him:

The reference to The Three Principals is something that RN member Patrick shared with me. Here's a link: www.3pgc.org
I visited the site and saw that it could be helpful. I didn't really dive into it so I can't tell you much about it. You might reach out to Patrick for more information.

Something that I have gone into in depth is The Work of Byron Katie. I've taken a lot of different paths in my life in the self-help, life enhancement, spirituality domain. I've gotten tremendous benefits from all of them. But nothing comes close to the profound peace and understanding I found through Byron Katie's inquiry method.

It's a process of questioning your thoughts and beliefs, elegant in it's simplicity, but with radical (in the best possible way) results. It's a system of inquiry in which you guide yourself and find your own answers to some basic questions. It's a way of healing the mind from what turns out to be simple and innocent misunderstandings - the source of suffering. You can read her book "Loving What Is", and she also has a website with lots of information, videos, resources: www.thework.com

I'm glad you asked TWW, I hadn't thought to share this before.

Also, thanks TWW for bringing me and several others across the boundary or our 40+ thread. It's great to share support across the border!

« Last Edit: February 14, 2016, 03:40:34 AM by now-man »

Harry Molaski

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Re: Gay guy reboot
« Reply #49 on: February 05, 2016, 03:54:05 PM »
I'm going to stick around for the free iPad giveaway, Oprah!
Harry