Author Topic: Started Friday July 3rd  (Read 7224 times)

TheNorman

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2020, 07:24:13 PM »
Another positive day. A little different too. Waiting on two large projects to get handed off so in a holding pattern without much work today. In the past that would have meant hours of mindless internet surfing with some porn mixed in. Instead, I finished some coworker assessments, organized a bunch of files, updated a bunch of software...just did the kind of stuff I should do on slower days but never get around to.

As for you UK lads: I don't know what any of the terms or teams you're referring to means. "Scouser" MCFC etc. I'm just catching on to "PMO" "SO" etc. Where's the glossary for that soccer stuff? ;)

UKGuy

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2020, 07:48:28 AM »
Especially for you TheNorman....

Scouser - someone from Liverpool who supports either Everton or Liverpool (I was wrong about UKWIP, he is Everton)
Geordie - a Newcastle fan
MCFC - my team, Manchester City. The equivalent of Scouser/Geordie for me is 'Manc' short for Mancunian, which also applies to Manchester United fans.

'Scousers' and 'Mancs' as a generalisation have what could be described as a fierce rivalry for a range of historical reasons. Liverpool and Manchester United have a particularly hostile relationship. Also local rivalries are evident - Man City and Man Utd don't like each other, and although a little less fraught, Liverpool and Everton are also not best of friends.

Unfortunately Liverpool took the Premiership title away from Manchester City this season (first time they have won it in 30 years), so I suspect that both WIPUK and I have similar feelings about that one, and therefore a temporary sense of unity!

If all of that doesn't completely put you off, we can suggest a team for you if you'd like based on favourite colour/area/fan stereotype/whether you like the underdog etc!!! The only danger is that if you get too absorbed by it, team losses can lead to depressive episodes and PMO triggers!!

TheNorman

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #27 on: July 21, 2020, 09:17:16 AM »
I'm a big hockey guy and my team is pretty piss-pour these days, although thanks to COVID they qualified for the play-in round when in reality they wouldn't have had a sniff at the playoffs.

Although I am quiet curious about all the slang and terms involved in English Premier, there is little to no chance I will watch it. It's not the game itself because I enjoy playing it the odd times that it's going on, and the fans enthusiasm adds to the experience. It's the diving. Seeing guys thrashing around every time someone grazes their shin pad, trying to get a free-kick or a card against the "assailant" just makes it unwatchable for me. That sort of thing happens in hockey, but the league calls them out and fines them for it, the punishment to the "assailant" that caused them to dive is less severe and the chances of a player repeatedly diving becomes much less when the game itself allows someone to grab that "diver" during the next faceoff and punch the ever-loving-shit out of them.
Radical honesty time: I have embellished contact in hockey on multiple occasions. That's probably why I dislike it so much. It holds a mirror up to part of me that I can't stand!

All that being said if I cheered for a team it would probably be whoever is closest to Oxford (where some of my family traces back to).

UKGuy

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #28 on: July 22, 2020, 09:12:04 AM »
Oxford United it is TheNorman! They are in League 1 (3rd tier, but just missed out on promotion).
The diving is a lot better than it used to be in the Premier League since they introduced a video referee, but I know what you mean.
I went to see a local ice hockey game a couple of years ago - quite enjoyed it but it is very much a peripheral sport in the UK.
Hope the week is going well for you.

TheNorman

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #29 on: July 22, 2020, 09:49:44 AM »
Oxford United! I didn't know about video referees being part of the game now, that is good to hear. I have had "world cup fever" in the past. Who knows? Maybe part of my growth and acceptance of myself means letting go of things that would have me feeling "above" sports or books or whatever. My daughter is reading Harry Potter and it was one of those things I turned my nose up at just because it was so popular, but I recognized that was some kind of "hipster-too-cool-for-school" negativity that doesn't help me.

As for where I'm at: I'm feeling really good. My balls still ache a little but I haven't PMO'd since July 2nd and MO'd since July 4th so this is the longest I have gone without either since I MO'd at 14 years old. I'm much more present with my family, I'm much more focused in my work, other than my balls I feel quite good health-wise even though I haven't been as active as I like. COVID and working on the mental/emotional side has taken priority.

And as for hockey: I can definitely see that it's very much a third-tier sport in the UK. I'm Canadian, where it's #1 (and probably #2,3,4...) We do love basketball and baseball and football and soccer but hockey is a very omnipresent cultural presence. Live hockey games are by far the best way to watch the game. The speed, intensity and roughness are all lost a little on TV.

Thanks again for your support UKGuy. I appreciate having you on my side of the pitch! (That's a thing right?!)

TheNorman

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #30 on: July 22, 2020, 08:56:19 PM »
A death in the family and some online arguments with my dad; in the past both could easily have been triggers to allow myself to wallow in some self-pity. Instead both were handled with acknowledging the emotion, but applying logic to not let the emotion overcome me. (In case you can't tell, I had another therapy session!)

My therapist and I are going to part ways as I move onto the next step which is EMDR. I both dread and look forward to it. I'm feeling really good though, and want improvement to be my new dopamine high. I got a run in tonight too which felt good as I have been neglecting the physical a bit too much lately.

TheNorman

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2020, 08:43:18 PM »
Very busy day which helps with the mind staying focused. Was frustrated with some coworkers not getting back to me about stuff that prevented me from getting some work done but vented to my SO and moved on to other work and it was fine. Balls feel better in case anyone was wondering so was either just in my head or was indeed from doing squats after not doing them for a long time. I've scheduled an appointment with my new therapist; the one that EMDR may happen with. As my current therapist calls it: Levelling up.

Feel rock solid at the moment. Enjoying reading Harry Potter, thinking about getting into "football" and haven't PMO'd in 20 days. Three things I wouldn't have imagined 21 days ago.

Go Yellows! (Thanks to the Oxford United wikipedia page for the nickname reference)

workinprogressUK

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #32 on: July 24, 2020, 05:22:59 AM »
I thought their nickname was "The U's", TheNorman, but it's a noble cause. Much more credible to support a lower-league side than a preening bunch of multi-millionaires from The Premier League. Gotta love hockey, though; a sport where punching a dude repeatedly in the face is only a mild misdemeanour.

Sounds like you're really embracing some changes, throwing yourself into it, and finding some real strength to achieve your objectives despite work and family headaches. Great work. Hope you have a solid weekend!

Joel

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2020, 09:18:01 AM »
Blimme, Oxford Utd, that takes me back; think they had a good cup run in the 80s?

Glad to hear about the progress. Onward!

TheNorman

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #34 on: July 24, 2020, 07:45:05 PM »
The "Yellows" seemed a bit odd but at least "chant-able." Go "U's" will take some getting used to I guess.

Had another good day but maybe not as present as I can be. Sports starting up is both a welcomed and dreaded distraction as I worry I will swing too much over to it as way to fill the void. I had a large volume of work this week that I finished...early. Felt odd but when I look back at how much I used to surf around on the web or walk around talking to coworkers it makes sense.

Noticed a few guys haven't been around for a bit on here. Hope they're doing ok, and if not hope to see them back so we can help support them and they can let us in on the challenges they've faced. Maybe it's sports coming back online but I definitely feel like we're a team here.

TheNorman

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #35 on: July 25, 2020, 07:22:59 PM »
Bit of a different day today. I could have easily let my mind and eyes wander which in the past would have been a huge trigger. We went on a social distance visit/walk with some family at a park. Lots of women around, swimming or walking their dogs. Thanks to the great conversation I was having and my focus on not objectifying women, I wasn't phased or looking at any of them. It felt good, like I was very much in control of my thoughts and actions. Not something I could say only a short while ago. On the walk I was talking with my cousins partner who I get along with great. I told him some of my stuff about therapy and what I am working on. (Again nothing about porn as it's still very much a family issue in that it does affect my SO, but the time will come where I can be open about that too.) He was so supportive and we had some nice discussions about toxic masculinity and how men are really conditioned to not deal with emotions properly. That's three men (outside of this forum) that I've opened up to a bit about my struggles and all three have been amazing. Having those guys react so positively really reaffirms that I'm not alone in my journey.

Here's to a good Sunday to go along with today!

TheNorman

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2020, 08:11:26 PM »
I'm not sure I wrote about this before, but part of my coping with feelings of inadequacy and shame, I would lie to avoid confrontation or conflict. I racked up quite a bit of credit card debt from just not paying attention to how much was on the card as well as some impulse buying. Rather than just talk to my SO about it, I hid it from her and took out a lower interest loan to try and make it go away. Well, when my house of cards came tumbling down and I confessed about how much porn had become an issue I also let her know about this money that I owed. She has been incredibly understanding and patient and that has helped me get it down to almost nothing. It will be paid off by the end of this month. Living without secrets and lies has made my quality of life just so much better in every way imaginable. I wouldn't say it's easier by any means. It takes a lot of work, but it's so much more fulfilling.

Hope you all had a great weekend!


UKGuy

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2020, 03:09:55 AM »
It seems as if you are going through a real period of personal growth TheNorman and in doing so, discovering the real authentic you. It's great to see. I agree with your comments around the forum being a bit quiet at the moment. Perhaps its reflective of people's spirits generally - covid fatigue and all? I think there's also a natural ebb and flow of enthusiasm and engagement as with all things in life. I'm feeling a bit of that at the moment I suppose. I make sure I log in every day as I think that's a good practice that keeps my journey front of mind, and it's always great to read how you and others are doing even if I don't reply on that particular day. Have a great week and keep up the inspiring good work my friend!

workinprogressUK

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2020, 05:32:51 AM »
Sounds like a solid weekend, TheNorman. Nice one! Glad to read that "Living without secrets and lies" has made such a positive impact for you. I think life's less stressful that way.... in the end. No more needing to cover the tracks and worry about being found out. Have a good week. Up the U's!!!

TheNorman

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #39 on: July 27, 2020, 08:07:06 PM »
Pretty good day, thoughts were good, work was slow but I was able to fill the time productively instead of using it as an excuse to surf around and find trouble.
The weekend was great, had some quality time with my SO.

*Trigger warning/question*.
I have MO'd and PMO'd 6/7 days on average since I was 14. The longest streak of not doing either was probably a week at best. Since July 3rd I have MO'd twice, both after spending some "quality time" with my SO and then using that as my fuel for MO (she was aware that I would be doing so as well). Both times I was completely present in my thoughts about her and my desire to be with her. I do worry that at some point I will MO and my thoughts will flash to porn which would feel like a step back but like I said, the two times were entirely about my SO in my mind and I felt no remorse after either time. My SO and I haven't had sex since this started either because I can't guarantee that my mind won't wander to porn. Is MO and or sex something that you guys have avoided for those reasons and if so when did you feel like you could without it being an issue?

Interested to hear any insights you guys may have.

workinprogressUK

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #40 on: July 28, 2020, 04:55:21 AM »
I have avoided sex with my SO at points in time, because I didn't feel able to participate without "brain porn" and, at those times, it felt more important to me to avoid the P than to have sex. With the benefit of hindsight.... I'm not sure it was the right course of action.... for me, because it sent out some seriously confusing signals to my wife, and probably contributed to emotional and physical withdrawal on both sides. I'm not saying it's wrong for you.... or right :-). I'm much better able to separate the two nowadays and stay present, after many years of stumbling recovery, but I still cross the line sometimes. For me... and again, these are just my experiences and views.... I've been more able to stay mindfully in the moment when I've felt a warm, emotional, connection with my wife..... than when I just felt horny and wanted to get my rocks off. Don't know if that makes any sense to you or others. Wishing you a successful day.

TheNorman

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #41 on: July 28, 2020, 06:46:19 AM »
That makes a lot of sense. There have been times in the past where we were being affectionate with each other and I've become more aggressive, which is not my loving mind at work, it's the testosterone-fueled horniness mixed with some bad P influence. Something to keep an eye on and continue to communicate with my SO about where I'm at.

UKGuy

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #42 on: July 28, 2020, 06:59:19 AM »
I took the decision as part of this 'reboot' to never MO alone, something which I shared with my wife. I've imposed it on myself as a bit of a 'red line' in the same way that I have tried to with fantasy. Reason being if I cross those lines, then escalation becomes much easier at some point in the future. So, if for some reason sex is not on the agenda, my wife may 'help me out', and failing that I may MO myself with her present. Not necessarily right for all, but works for me, and has her approval. Just need to get it down from 3 times a day now (only joking!!)

Leonidas

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #43 on: July 28, 2020, 10:39:44 AM »
*Trigger warning/question*.
I have MO'd and PMO'd 6/7 days on average since I was 14. The longest streak of not doing either was probably a week at best. Since July 3rd I have MO'd twice, both after spending some "quality time" with my SO and then using that as my fuel for MO (she was aware that I would be doing so as well). Both times I was completely present in my thoughts about her and my desire to be with her. I do worry that at some point I will MO and my thoughts will flash to porn which would feel like a step back but like I said, the two times were entirely about my SO in my mind and I felt no remorse after either time. My SO and I haven't had sex since this started either because I can't guarantee that my mind won't wander to porn. Is MO and or sex something that you guys have avoided for those reasons and if so when did you feel like you could without it being an issue?

Interested to hear any insights you guys may have.
As people recovering from extensive porn use, we are 'primed' to be afraid of the link between M and porn.  We're afraid of relapsing tomorrow, or worse of never being completely free of the patterns.  Thing is, if the fear is extinguished then the likelihood of porn ever being a problem again will virtually be a non-issue.  So more than anything, we should be addressing that fear.  The camaraderie and social support on this forum is a boon for recovery; but the focus on not M'ing because it might lead to P, might not be as helpful.. worse still it can actually fuel fear.

M or sex is basically a way for a man to psychologically affirm himself (as you put it, "engage in your desire to be with your SO").  The fact you felt no remorse is proof enough that there is nothing wrong with how you approached the M.  It is crucial I would say, in defining our past quest for porn as an unskillful attempt to 'connect' with our sexual identity.  So a mental porn image that pops here and there out of the blue is not going to spell your doom!  As long as you mindfully decide to sidestep porn and instead choose to connect to your own vision of sexuality, you have little to fear of it reverting back to P...

BigChanges66

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #44 on: July 28, 2020, 12:49:09 PM »
Thanks Leonidas.  Your comment about connecting with a sexual identity raises an interesting question.  It seems that as some of us go down the P rabbit hole, myself included, the fantasies that trigger it often change to the point where the identity developed in the use of P is different or very counter to our IRL sexual identity.  So is part of the rebooting process re-engaging with a healthier sexual identity while disengaging from the P-related identity?  Can this happen concurrently or do you think a person has to disengage from P first before re-building that healthier sexual identity?

In reading through some different threads, the answer may different for those guys that are in a relationship compared to those that are single.  Is there actually the potential for the SO to be helping re-build that identity that could also help re-build or strengthen that relationship?

Just letting my thoughts ramble here.  Hope everyone is doing well.

Thanks,
BC66

TheNorman

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #45 on: July 29, 2020, 09:30:26 AM »
Thanks Leonidas and BigChanges, I definitely see the mess I've let porn make in my head in relation to sexual identity, hence why I'm avoiding a lot of sexual things as I try to wade through that. My wife and I have kissed and cuddled and I've been affectionate with her and I MO'd after some affectionate time with her and that's all felt really good, not just physically but emotionally (which was a big part of me that was shut off to so much emotional connection stuff).

I had my first therapy session with my new therapist and it was very much centred around how I have used things like drugs and porn to help cope with traumatic things in my past and emotions I wasn't able to deal with. I am working on dealing with ways to work through things and sex and sexuality are part of that. I will be doing Brainspotting/EMDR as well going forward so I will post how that goes.

Thanks again for all your feedback guys. My therapist wanted me to look at the things I've accomplished so far and give myself some credit for those achievements. I'm extending that to all of you here:

You're making positive changes and you should feel very good about that. You've done something brave by coming here and you're doing something remarkable by working to improve your life.

workinprogressUK

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #46 on: July 29, 2020, 09:41:37 AM »
You're making positive changes and you should feel very good about that. You've done something brave by coming here and you're doing something remarkable by working to improve your life.

Congrats on that. You are making positive changes. Your brain chemistry is changing for the better and your outcomes will improve as a result. You've taken the road less travelled and you should be proud of it.

Joel

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #47 on: July 30, 2020, 02:13:50 PM »
Hi Norm,
Great work on the positive changes. I find it hard to answer questions as I feel like the blind leading the blind. But do you know 'porn free radio' (matt dobschuetz)? It's a great resource - hours of content so I listen to bit every day and stay inspired - loads of answers there. I'd recommend it. Keep on crushing it!

UKGuy

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #48 on: July 31, 2020, 03:56:42 AM »
It's really great to witness the incredible progress you've made in the last 4 weeks since your first post TheNorman - also the contribution you have made to this community in such a short space of time. Great to have you on the bus!

TheNorman

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Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« Reply #49 on: July 31, 2020, 10:20:27 AM »
I feel such gratitude for this forum and for you guys. You have all helped me see so many of my own struggles from a different, more healthy perspective. Thank you all so much for taking the time to offer advice, or stories of your own struggles.

My SO and I had a long emotional talk last night about a lot of things, but one of them stemmed from me visiting my office. Some of my coworkers were triggers for PMO in the past. All part of the ogling, hyper-sexualization that porn helps to flourish. I had gone to drop off some files and assured her I would go in, drop the files and leave without visiting, but when I found out who was there (all "safe" people in my mind) I went in and said hello.

This was a good example of thinking only of myself and what I was comfortable with and not considering that knowing about that past behaviour is very difficult for my SO and I should be avoiding anything that brings those feelings to the forefront. Once again, we had some tough talks about it, and I'm proud of how I handled it.

It is so hard though, working through all this stuff just within myself while being aware of her feelings while also not withholding things even though I know it will be tough for her to hear as it's important I am open and honest...It's dizzying. We are getting ready to go north to our cottage for 3 weeks. It will be a very welcome chance to relax and spend time together without work or other distractions. Don't worry though! I'll be checking in here often.