Author Topic: See them grow up  (Read 46893 times)

Joel

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #425 on: October 12, 2020, 10:49:51 AM »
Me and my brain seem to be in a pretty good place currently. Not much conflict or dissonance. Other than a single, small, slip a few weeks back, I think it's about 5 months since I last looked at P. I could kick myself for that one lapse, but on the other hand, I'm encouraged that the trend is broadly positive. I feel focused, purposeful and present most of the time. Hopefully I can keep things on this even keel. Logging off now and heading to the gym. Wishing you strength in your own battle.

Sounds good, Wip. Let's keep moving forward!

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #426 on: October 13, 2020, 04:42:17 AM »
Thanks Joel, TheNorman, LIGA. Your support and encouragement very much appreciated, as it always has been.

Things remain generally good. Still keeping myself grounded in positive, offline, life-affirming activities. Looks like gyms may be closed in my area soon, as I live in a covid very hotspot. That'll take some getting used to if it happens, but I'll adapt. Had my first guitar lesson at the weekend. I always regretted not being able to play an instrument and now seems like as good a time as any to have a dabble.

Not sure who it was that recommended "The Dobber" and his Porn Free Radio podcast, but I'm finding that to be a good source of energy. Last episode I listened to was around "taking ownership of changing your outcomes" and it gave me a real buzz. I think the single most positive thing I've changed in the last 3 months, is accepting ownership, control and accountability for my own thoughts, emotions and actions. I'm not controlled by P. If I relapse again, it will be because I choose to use P. Staying clean is in my power. I've known that for a long time, but it's easy to become passive when the pressure's on, so it's great to remind myself.

More power to you all today.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #427 on: October 14, 2020, 09:26:43 AM »
The last 7-8 years, since I first committed to putting sex addiction and porn addiction in my past, have been the most productive of my adult life. I'm in better physical shape at 49 than I was at any stage in my teens, 20's or 30's. My mental health is off-the-scale good compared to the way it used to be. I'm no longer self-destructive. My career has taken off and I'm financially secure. The fact that I'm still here struggling, just a few weeks after my last slip-up, shows that I still have a lot of work to do and a lot to learn. But life's no longer a string of lies, held together with paranoia and subterfuge. I don't live in fear any more. I am so grateful for this better life. I need to remind myself more often how far I've come and how much better it feels to be me. Thanks.

UKGuy

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #428 on: October 14, 2020, 11:24:00 AM »
What a great and inspiring post WIP.  Enjoy the fruits of your persistence - you deserve it.

Joel

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #429 on: October 17, 2020, 05:00:14 AM »
Ditto that. Thanks WIP - awesome post

LetItGoAlready

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #430 on: October 17, 2020, 03:52:18 PM »
Double ditto. The fact that you are still here struggling with the rest of us after all of the progress you've made over the past 7-8 years tells me that you are committed to living a life of integrity. Congrats to you, WIP. You should definitely be proud of how hard you've worked and how far you've come.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2020, 04:52:16 PM by LetItGoAlready »

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #431 on: October 19, 2020, 04:04:34 AM »
Thanks guys. I appreciate your support. I don't know about you, but I find it much more difficult to feel positive about my own actions than about anybody else's. I saw this quote, attributed to the Buddha;

"You yourself, as much as anyone in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection".

I find that really hard to put into action, as I suspect many of us do. I never felt those emotions coming in my direction from my parents and I suspect those attachment issues may have a part to play in my fragile emotional health and low self-esteem. This year has seen an improvement in my ability to see the light and beauty in the world. I'm getting better at accepting myself, too but, to paraphrase the Chimp Paradox, rewiring my internal computer to be less paranoid after years of chimp-dominated programming, is slow. But it is still progress and that's worth celebrating.

Joel

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #432 on: October 19, 2020, 12:32:55 PM »
Treat yourself as you would a friend - I've found this useful

TheNorman

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #433 on: October 19, 2020, 03:27:52 PM »
Self-compassion is by far one of the hardest things. Even compliments and affection from others can be easily cast aside because they "can't understand" the issues you have and therefore you discount that love as being misguided. Porn is very good at fostering those feelings of self-loathing and shame and then you wallow in it instead of giving yourself that little sliver of grace that you can grab a hold of and use to move forward. It's so important to celebrate that progress because it allows that little sliver of grace to become more visible.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #434 on: October 21, 2020, 09:43:37 AM »
Stressful week. A couple of scruffy nights' sleep, which is very unusual. Negotiating with a prospective new employer at the same time as trying to keep on top of my current job. This is a chicken-shit thing to stress over in the current environment, and I'm not expecting anybody to erect a statue to recognise my toil, but work remains one of my two, consistent, sources of cortisol and I'm jittery. Is it pushing me towards P? Thankfully not yet. Very low libido in general. I'm getting used to this lack of physical desire. Not especially worried about it at the moment but hopefully something wholesome will provide a spark soon.

jixu

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #435 on: October 28, 2020, 07:45:58 AM »
In these circumstances today having steady employ is an achievement; to have a job and to be wanted by others is indeed statuesque!  Hope it works out for you-anybody would be stressed by that.  Keep the faith!   

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #436 on: October 28, 2020, 07:57:13 AM »
Thanks Jixu. Faith kept. New role accepted. Handed in my notice last Thursday and been placed on gardening leave. I really appreciate how lucky I am to have been given these opportunities. In some regards, I've made my own luck but there's a big portion of good fortune in there too. Part of the outcome is that I'm no longer sat regularly at a desk or on my computer, so I felt the need to check-in here. Somebody moved my cheese, or maybe I moved my own cheese, but I'm adjusting to a new rhythm of life without work. Clocks changed here too, which always brings me down for a few days until I adjust to that. All things being equal, I'm in a very good place and grateful for that. Wife got very upset with me this morning over an outwardly small thing. I think she's really feeling the pressure of continued lockdown, with no end in site. The drastic reduction in human contact must be really hard for outgoing, extrovert, sociable people like her. I have to be more sensitive to that and try to fill some of the void for her.

Thanks for reading. Wishing you strength today.

Leonidas

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #437 on: October 28, 2020, 09:59:31 AM »
Thanks for the update, WIP.  The fact you did not mention PMO even once is what made it significant to me: that you've moved on!  And interestingly, life is bringing out the best it has to offer!

Being more on the side of introversion myself, I can see how the current situation bothers me somewhat less than it would a more extroverted person like your wife.  Have you considered just talking that over with her, what are the things she's missing out on, what is particularly hard..?  I mean, it's tempting to go in with an agenda such as trying to make her feel better or try to 'fill that void' as you said... but perhaps all she needs is to be listened to?

Enjoy the 'gardening leave'!

Joel

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #438 on: October 28, 2020, 10:36:49 AM »
Sounds great, Wip. Sounds like you made your own luck :)

Best wished for you and the wife pushing through lock down. Tbh, now summer is over, and with no end in sight, introverts like myself are starting to suffer. Guess I'll just push on with the pile of books I've always put off reading.

TheNorman

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #439 on: October 28, 2020, 11:37:10 AM »
Congrats on the new gig WIP! Not to read too much into it but you moving into a different job could also be a source of anxiety for your wife, add Covid lockdowns in there and it's no surprise she may be getting overwhelmed. You being aware and compassionate is going to help for sure.

LetItGoAlready

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #440 on: November 01, 2020, 04:04:01 PM »
WIP - Full credit to you for staying positive and self-aware, and for having compassion for your wife's suffering during the lockdown. You're making great progress here, and that is something to celebrate and feel good about.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2020, 07:57:28 PM by LetItGoAlready »

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #441 on: November 13, 2020, 04:38:37 AM »
Such a relief to have a laptop again. Have felt a bit lost without being able to come here in the last week or so. Still on "gardening leave". Once I'd completed all the stuff I'd planned, I've felt a bit pointless and lost. When I'm triggered, I usually have an understanding of the source. When I was triggered this week, there didn't seem to be anything.... maybe that lack of purpose is what caused it? The amazingly good thing about gardening leave, even in lockdown, is that I can spend lots of time outside, which I'm doing. The good thing about not having had a laptop, is that P hasn't been an option outside my own head, which I'm managing to avoid by focusing on that "live in this moment" vibe. Hopefully I'll be able to post more often now.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #442 on: November 15, 2020, 05:07:10 PM »
Continuing to say "yes", wherever possible, which saw me in the sea this very cold morning, much against my better judgement. Appears to help me stop isolating and getting inside myself. I'd become a "no" person during my more deeply addicted years. Desire for P still presents itself, though. Being busy and staying offline seem to be as good a defence as anything. I'm worried about what will happen when I'm back at a desk, online all day. For now, things are peaceful enough.

UKGuy

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #443 on: November 16, 2020, 11:05:18 AM »
Glad to hear you're making the most of your gardening leave WIP. When does your new gig start?


LetItGoAlready

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #444 on: November 16, 2020, 11:39:03 AM »
Well done on staying busy and offline, WIP. The time away sounds like it's helped you get outside of yourself and focus your attention on other things. Wishing you more peaceful times ahead, friend.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #445 on: November 20, 2020, 09:32:16 AM »
Supposed to be last day of gardening leave today. Found out this morning that my "employer" actually terminated me last week, without notice, consultation or notification, and stopped paying me last Friday. I'm shocked to the point of shaking like a leaf. They've decided that I did something that breached my contract and summarily stopped my salary, without process or notice. Despite knowing that they are absolutely in the wrong, I feel guilty and ashamed. That's what a lifetime of lying and living in the shadows has done to me. Even when I'm in the right, I feel guilty with every breath, especially when somebody levels an accusation. Because I feel guilty for all the things I've done wrong without being caught. My chimp is screaming at me to drop-out and hide in P until all this goes away. I've been doing OK, staying offline, avoiding trigger locations, activities and TV programmes... living mellow, other than for the odd bit of fantasy that creeps in from time to time. I'd hoped to journal today about the good stuff I'd listened to and thought about on Porn-Free Radio. Instead I'm here feeling angry, powerless and humiliated. Serenity prayer; what can I control? My response to the company (I've written that. Complete) and my response to these deeply troubling emotions (in part why I'm writing here). What can't I control; their actions. I just need to focus on taking the trouble out of the emotion.... or the emotion out of the trouble. It is only 1 week's salary. I have used that week very positively to do all sorts of house fixes that would have cost a lot of money if I hadn't had that unexpected free time. My ex employer has paid me 3 weeks' salary to do 4 weeks of DIY, training, learning, time with my wife & kids, walks on the beach. I've had worse returns on investment! Of fundamental importance in the current economic climate.... I have a really good job to go to on Monday morning. I am massively grateful for that.

Fifteen minutes ago, I was on the brink of dropping in to a P site and throwing this in "the fuck-it bucket". I'm not going to. Intercepting myself and coming here to work through my thoughts and feelings has not only prevented a slip (and perhaps a relapse), but it has made me feel much less anxious, upset and emotionally stressed. I sometimes question the value of journalling here, but instances like this one confirm the importance. My chimp brain still wants very much for me to numb-out with P, but i'm not going to. Heading to the home gym to train, with another recovery podcast on my audio. Hopefully panic over. Dealing with being triggered and in a heightened emotional state is so tiring! I need fresh air.

I appreciate you all on this forum. Those who journal and teach me something every time they write. Those who comment, advise or support on my own story. Those who stay in the background, but share similar stresses and pressures, managing them in whatever way works for them. Maybe sounds pompous, but I really am grateful to you all for your fellowship. I wish you so much strength for your own recovery. Take care. 

jixu

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #446 on: November 21, 2020, 07:20:57 AM »
The actions of your former employer constitute an item of unimpeachable evidence confirming the wisdom of your job switch!  The gardening respite you had doesn't come along often in this life-seems to me the whole thing was a providential blessing!  Stay clean and have a good start to the new employ.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #447 on: November 25, 2020, 01:16:45 PM »
New job started and feet haven't touched the ground. I'm clean but I'm troubled. Over the last 7 years trying to drag myself out of the pit, I've rarely found that life without P is happier than life with P. I'm grateful not to have been using recently, because life is more predictable, productive and manageable when I'm clean. But happier? No. Maybe those "security" benefits should be enough. I don't dismiss them, for sure. Maybe I need to focus harder on "living in the moment" and manage my expectation about what happiness is, and how important it is relative to other benefits. Maybe it's just the added stress and insecurity of starting a new job, at the same time as trying to manage the stress caused by my shit-house former employers, within the restrictions of a 4th month of Covid lockdown? I sincerely believe that nothing worthwhile is achieved without sacrifice, though. I just don't see a light at the end of the tunnel. Lots of articles posit that the Dopamine soup I've inflicted on my brain, through years of acting out, will have reduced my sensitivity to other sources of pleasure, in line with standard addiction neuroscience. I kind of hoped that neuro-plasticity would eventually see that hypo-sensitivity rebalance over time. Maybe I'm too impatient or maybe I'm back to the underlying issues in my existence that pushed me towards the P opportunity in the first place? "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing". Maybe I read too much or maybe I haven't yet read enough. Either way, my commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is weaker this last two weeks than it was before. Relapse will make things worse. I can't be arsed with that guilt and fear. I need to control what is controllable. Accept the things I can't change. Maybe it's as simple as a workout, some good music and a glass of wine with dinner? Small pleasures releasing manageable amounts of "happy chemicals". I'm glad I came here to get these thoughts and feelings organised. I feel better for it. 

TheNorman

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #448 on: November 25, 2020, 02:16:40 PM »
I don't think there's some super noticeable line from before P to after where happiness is suddenly so much more intense. It's death by 1000 cuts. It's small poisonous mouthfuls of shame and regret. Life doesn't necessarily get better in every way. It gets better in THAT way, that you're not living with that one thing that keeps you down. You're in a tough spot with your fuckhead former employer and with another lockdown. Don't let the present struggles discount the positive things you've done for yourself and others (especially myself). We're here for you, even if just to listen.

workinprogressUK

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Re: See them grow up
« Reply #449 on: November 30, 2020, 07:58:14 AM »
It's small poisonous mouthfuls of shame and regret.
That was a really nice post, my friend. Thanks for the support. You've set me off on a train of thought, now :-)
Shame & regret in lots of small portions... you're right about that. Lots of items stored away on that database for immediate retrieval. Not using P means I'm not adding to it as readily. On the other hand... using P often numbs-out the shame and regret I feel about other facets. It's a regular topic on here that many of us can remember in Technicolor the painful or shameful events in our lives, but struggle to recall the positives. But you are absolutely correct; it's really naïve of me to think that not acting out with P or S will fix other broken components in my life. That's like doing bicep curls and complaining that my French isn't getting better :-). My P behaviours are only a small part of the entire me, so fixing my P behaviours is only directly going to fix that one, small, part of me. It has indirect influence on a lot of the other stuff, but you're right. I need to stop seeing P recovery as a general tonic for a happy life.

Sooooo…. wasn't planning to think about any of the above when I logged on. What was I planning to say? Realised at the weekend, that I'm falling back to setting expectations too high. Sense of entitlement, leading to everything needing to be "special" or fun. Inability to just get shit done, unless it makes me feel happy and buzzing. I don't have any right to think that every moment is going to be champagne and fireworks. I got pretty good through the summer at living in the moment and seeing the "amazing" in small things. That's going to be my focus this week.