Reboot Nation

Journals => Ages 40 and up => Topic started by: ToomuchisToomuch on October 02, 2020, 03:59:54 PM

Title: Moving on For Good
Post by: ToomuchisToomuch on October 02, 2020, 03:59:54 PM
Hello Everyone,
It has been a positive experience in reading some of the content on this forum and understanding that there are many of us in this fight for our lives and souls.  Strength comes in numbers, and there are a lot of us. 

My own personal story has had it's many ups and downs over the years.  In 2015 I can say that I hit rock bottom.  My porn addiction had raged on for most of my life and had expanded into other things, like massage parlours and cheating on my girlfriend at the time.  I started attending SAA meetings three times a week and went through the emotional ups and very low downs through many months over that year.  I was able to abstain from my porn addiction and discover parts of me that I had not previously known existed.  The journey through the lowest depths of despair led to some of the best times of my life.  I met my current partner and now spouse.  I found a personal strength and honesty within myself, and that resulted in some very positive personal growth. 

It's now 2020 and over the past five years, slowly and surely, my addiction has worked its way back into my life.  Where once I was completely honest with my wife, I know have secrets.  I have begun to act out more and more, first with pornography and then back into massage parlours and even escorts from time to time.  I feel the bottom once again coming up on me and I need to do whatever I can to stop this descent into the lower depths once more.  I love my wife.  I feel torn apart internally for what I have done, and what kills me is that she has no idea that under the surface of my honest exterior lies a person full of regret and shame.  My wife knows that I have a porn addiction.  She does not know the rest of it. 

My last form of acting out came on September 11th and then 12th.  The 11th was with a prostitute and the 12th with porn.  My wife was out of town.  In the weeks leading up to those days, I could not get the notion out of my head to act out.  it was constant.  I battled internally with myself, had internal arguments with myself, and eventually it was the bad wolf that won out, like so many times before.  And since then, I have been able to abstain from acting out, mostly because of the shame I am dealing with.  But the seals are starting to break again.  I can feel the pull beginning again, and dammit I know that I am heading for another bad situation if I don't stop this here and now. 

So I am writing to you all for help.  I cannot do this alone.  I am meditating regularly, with a focus on avoiding cravings, and just letting those thoughts pass by.  I have an appointment with a therapist coming up.  I want to attend meetings again.  I am listening to an Audiobook called It's Not About the Sex, which is giving me strength as well.  I will continue to come to this site when sitting in front of my computer instead of the alternative.  I want to win this fight.  I did it once, but let my guard down.  I won't make that same mistake. 

Thanks for reading, and I would very much appreciate any other suggestions on moving forward.   

Title: Re: Moving on For Good
Post by: LetItGoAlready on October 02, 2020, 10:17:51 PM
Hi Toomuch,

Welcome. I'm really sorry to hear about your struggles, especially knowing that you made such great strides in your recovery 5 years ago. I'm sure you know this, but any variant of sex addiction thrives on secrecy and shame, and as long as we remain in the shadows, disconnected from others and even ourselves, there is little hope of getting better. That's why I commend you on coming here and being open about what you're dealing with right now. This is a great place to come for help, share your struggles, and feel supported by a community of people who are dealing with many of the very same issues you describe.

As for moving forward, I'd say you've taken the first big step already, and that's coming clean to everyone here. The next step in the process is to keep coming back no matter how things go, whether your success is spotty at first or you soar to new sober heights from Day 1. This forum is littered with journals that sadly never got beyond a post or two, so be the guy who keeps coming back even when your heart's not in it or you're drowning in shame. And be here to help others, too, because God knows we could all use the help.

I wish you lots of luck, my friend. Take care!   
Title: Re: Moving on For Good
Post by: ToomuchisToomuch on October 06, 2020, 11:53:01 AM
Thank you for the feedback "LetItGoAlready"

Today I have some items that I need to get done, in order to deal with my shame.  I first am going to go to a walk in clinic and get tested for STI's.  This is something that is difficult but I must face it.  I also have a discussion this evening with a therapist and hope to continue to work towards my mental health and sexual sobriety.  another tough thing to do with complete openess but necessary. 

I am feeling distracted, and worried that the barriers of shame are beginning to wane and dissolve, leading me on a path back down a road of relapse.  I need to stay vigilante, and focused.  Writing here, is an activity that I truly hopes help.  I just finished the audiobook "It's not about the Sex".  It was a good listen.  I just downloaded the book "Life after Lust".  I find it helps. 

the constant battle with my inner addict grows wearisome, and even a moment of letting my guard down can lead to a negative sexual activity, even if that means looking a pictures on the internet.  It is a struggle of willpower and exhausting at times.  Bit by bit, piece by piece, moment by moment.  A better life lies ahead.  I must take solace in that thought. 

I wish everyone the very best life possible.  I wish you all to find peace in your minds and on your journey.  Don't beat yourselves up.  I will try and show sympathy to myself as well. 

Kind regards,

Title: Re: Moving on For Good
Post by: jixu on October 06, 2020, 01:23:59 PM
Hi Toomuch-so glad you have come here.  Please don't try to rush and pressure yourself to "figure it all out" right away.  This is a one day at a time tortoise and hare type of deal-easy does it.  Try to get sober a few days and the thinking will clear up.  You are so right-a better life lies ahead.  Congratulations on making this commitment.   
Title: Re: Moving on For Good
Post by: Jayd on October 06, 2020, 01:45:01 PM
Hi Toomuch, one thing that has helped me in the past is to keep busy, find something new as it keeps your interest. You have a good thing going on with the wife and all, try not to let it slip away. Never has an encounter with prostitutes come up with the satisfaction of making love to a special one. Keep your guard up and good luck!
Title: Re: Moving on For Good
Post by: ToomuchisToomuch on October 21, 2020, 03:36:41 PM
In the last couple of days, especially at the end of each day, I have found that I have been feeling extremely exhausted.  When I am in that state, I know that I am vulnerable to potentially acting out.  I have been in bed at around 9 PM and have crashed pretty hard.  My belief is that it is due to the larger amount of willpower being used each day in abstaining from all lustful activities, as well as pushing myself a bit too hard in other areas of my life.  Yesterday, I woke up and willed myself out of bed to go for a thirty-minute jog.  I told myself that I needed a victory to start the day.  I finished all 30 minutes of it, and at the time I was really proud of myself for getting up at 5, getting on my running clothes, and getting out onto the street.  there have been many times that I have gotten up but not out.  But I did it this time around.  So a good job! 

But the unexpected result later in the day was that I completely had this over the top negative reaction to undercooking some potatoes and carrots for dinner.  They were essentially one step above raw.  But the feeling of failure was very strong and I had to admit to my wife what was happening.  Normally, it would not be so bad, just laugh it off and throw everything in the microwave.  But last night was just a punch to the gut for some reason.  I was literally clenching my jaw.  My wife, being the amazing person that she is, was very understanding and took over cooking detail.  And thinking back on the entire situation, I chalk it up to just using up all my willpower and mental energy over the course of the day.  So that something pretty minor had such a major impact on me. 

So my take away on this is to just give myself a break here.  Just acknowledge what happened, and admit when I am pushing myself too hard.  For all accounts, I had a really good day yesterday, so I will put that little mishap into the category of just being human.  I know that I will have negative thoughts and feelings, and just need to recognize when I am going through those, and take a moment to calm myself.  It is a weird experience when looking at it from an outside perspective.  The internalizing of everything can get out of hand pretty quickly, and the next thing I know I am blaming my wife for something that she has no knowledge of whatsoever.  And I have not even mentioned anything to her.  It will happen again I am sure.  But I need to remind myself that life is not perfect.  I can only strive for excellence and show compassion to myself when shit does not always turn out as planned.  easier said than done. 

Another note is I had a pretty graphic pornographic dream last night.  pretty vivid, and I almost look at this dream with some weird sort of fondness, because I definitely felt pretty good from it.  Then the dream ended and reality came back to me and I had to really fight hard not to let it escalate, or manifest into the real world.  And another victory there.  During my morning meditation session though, it really presented itself in my self-conscience, and again had to acknowledge those thoughts, but then gently push them aside.  Let them flow away, and not dwell on them.  I will be telling my wife about this dream later on tonight as well.  I think it helps. 

It is crazy to believe that I have any sort of fondness for porn or acting out in sex and lust, but I have read that this does make sense.  Porn has always been there for me in my life.  When I have been feeling down like last night, I could always get my dopamine hit from acting out and going on a journey into lust and porn and sex.  When that happened, it felt awesome.  It is the aftermath and the overall shitty feelings of guilt and shame that I need to get porn out of my life.  So I must say goodbye to my old connection to porn.  And I think this is also why this journey is so hard for me sometimes.  I am not the most social guy in the world.  I don't have a whole heck of a lot of friends to truly confide in.  This is probably another consequence of having a life long porn habit.  Porn and Sex were always there for me.  A hidden friend that I went to.  But there is no human connection there.  There are only small shots of pleasure followed by long stretches of self-pity and low self-worth and low self-esteem.  So again, goodbye old friend.  I cannot have you in my life anymore. 

So I will continue to get up and run and work out, and be wary of old habits resurfacing after doing those positive activities, in which I have acted out when feeling good after a workout.  I can only hope that things will get better.  I believe they will, but sometimes it's hard to see the road ahead when your going up a hill. 

Looking at my count, I am currently on day 39. 

Title: Re: Moving on For Good
Post by: TheNorman on October 21, 2020, 05:50:04 PM
I recognize a lot of what you're saying my own journey. My therapist very much believes that there are some patterns to watch out for as far as days/weeks/months coinciding with struggles (30 days, 3 months, that sort of thing). You being right around the 30+ day mark makes sense. I too struggled around that time, not with PMO but just general mindfulness and awareness. You're also right to notice that by actively thinking about being better you're using energy - of course you're more tired than before when you just drifted along! That will balance out a bit. You're doing really well and should be proud of your progress!
Title: Re: Moving on For Good
Post by: ToomuchisToomuch on October 22, 2020, 02:50:09 PM
Hey Norman,
yeah you are probably right, there are phases of recovery, and it feels like I am going through a bit of a lull right now.  The changing of the weather coinciding with this portion feels like a bit of a double whammy.  It's darker, it's colder.  Not the easiest time of year to quit, but really is it ever easy? 

Still feeling it a bit today.  I will discuss with my therapist in our next session as well. 


Title: Re: Moving on For Good
Post by: ToomuchisToomuch on November 01, 2020, 11:56:00 AM
So recently I have felt some urges to act out.  Especially over this past week.  I actually started to engage a bit with these thoughts, instead of pushing them away.  And I wonder if this means that my defences are weakening.  It is small little things and I know that they are triggered by stress at work.  Tiny footsteps that I know will lead to bigger steps if I allow it.  It's so crazy, but one allowance turns into two, turns into three...and then it's just easy. 

I acknowledge that I am noticing this pattern and how it starts and I know where it will take me.  In the past, it felt like I didn't have a choice.  Like I was destined to go down that path once more.  This time, I do feel a bit stronger, but wary because I could still end up going down that path and ending up in that hole.  Meditation has been helping though, and I will be doing some of that right after writing this. 

Anyways, following the urges, I did look very briefly at somethings online.  I wanted to see if an xxx comic story that I had been following had updated.  Wanted to see if there was any progression in the story or the characters.  There wasn't.  And I was very thankful for that.  I didn't miss anything.  But my mind and my inner addict wanted there to be progression.  Wanted there to be.  The thoughts of wonder came very quickly while I was vacuuming.  And before I knew it, I was opening my phone and going to the site and checking if there was any advancement.  It happened very quickly.  I looked but then I closed it down.  No harm.  No further indulgence.  But I fear that a seed has been planted for future weak moments.  So I wanted to share, and hopefully weaken the significance of this experience.  And continue to move forward. 

Still haven't indulged to any further extent.  My wife and I are trying to get pregnant, and I believe that is added motivation to save myself for those intimate times with my wife, instead of by myself in front of a computer. 

Forty-Nine Days in the books.  Day 50 is today. 

Title: Re: Moving on For Good
Post by: LetItGoAlready on November 01, 2020, 12:56:01 PM
In the past, it felt like I didn't have a choice.  Like I was destined to go down that path once more.  This time, I do feel a bit stronger, but wary because I could still end up going down that path and ending up in that hole.

Toomuch - Knowing that you have a choice is a powerful realization. It's okay to feel wary of falling in the same hole again. That means you recognize P's power and, in recognizing that power, you can double down on preparing and anticipating for when those urges strike again. 

I fear that a seed has been planted for future weak moments.  So I wanted to share, and hopefully weaken the significance of this experience.  And continue to move forward.

A second testament of your strength is that you came here to be accountable when you felt you had crossed a line. That's awesome. Keep doing that. It takes courage to break out of the habit of keeping your "weak moments" to yourself. We have all trained ourselves to be fiercely protective of our PA, not just out of shame and fear that we may be found out by someone else but out of a desire to keep our options open. The latter reason may not even register with you on a conscious level, but if you really dig down and ask yourself "why is there a part of me that wants to keep this a secret?" you may find that it's because part of you wants to continue to live in the shadows free from accountability.  Anyway, kudos to you for bringing that behavior out of the shadows and accepting accountability for it.

Still haven't indulged to any further extent.  My wife and I are trying to get pregnant, and I believe that is added motivation to save myself for those intimate times with my wife, instead of by myself in front of a computer.

Forty-Nine Days in the books.  Day 50 is today.

Sounds like a solid reason to want to stay away from triggers. Congrats on making it to 50 days, and keep up the good work!