Started Friday July 3rd

Cosmo

Active Member
Wow, Norm. Great insights here on the tools that have helped you forgive and see yourself more clearly, as well as the steps you have taken to get to where you are now and how they've transformed your life in a positive way. Your statement that, in the absence of porn, viewing women in a non-objective way is much easier for you gave me some hope that I could also rise above my ogling ways. So, thank you for writing this. It's truly inspirational.
 

Leonidas

Active Member
Massive response, TheNorman.

As you said, therapy can be a very powerful tool for recovery, but also for life as a whole.  Problems will constantly resurface, so we would be best off having maintaining a solid army of strategies to help us deal with these 'barbarian incursions'.  But as you said, there is a problem of cost.  Where I live, these services -- which should be classified under Health, but are not -- are NOT covered by the national health care system.  One has to be prepared to bleed a significant portion of one's income to make do with a bare minimum of one therapy session every two weeks for the next 6 months or so.  Even so, in my limited experience of therapy, the help has mostly materialized along general lines: improving disposition, self-confidence and acquiring the wisdom that "my problems" are actually more common than I thought.  Along specifics, like uprooting bad habits, it has not worked out for me.  Disclaimer: I am not referring to EMDR, as this seems to be a more novel approach compared to the more traditional ones.

So question is: what to say to someone who is on the fence about therapy?  Is therapy going to fix a problem like a mechanic is going to fix a car's combustion engine?  Hardly... it would not be helpful to set someone up for high hopes only for disillusion to set in.  But there is plenty of potential for therapy as way to become stronger as a person, more resilient, etc.. and again, all of that has to be measured against the cost.  Not easy!!  But if it were more accessible... then hands down, everyone would have the potential to learn from such an experience.
 

TheNorman

Active Member
Thanks LIGA. I have found the best thing about avoiding that second look is that feeling of control you get. A glance is unavoidable: You don't want to drive into a tree or walk into an open manhole or something by trying to avoid looking. That second look though, when you don't take it, feels like flipping the bird to that inner-chimp. I really like flipping off that chimp and letting him know he's not in control.

Leo, I totally know what you mean about how prohibitive therapy is from a cost standpoint. The only guarantee in therapy is that you will have a lot less money when you're done! That being said, I started through my works benefits program which was free. One of the biggest things that I gained from that was a suggestion to check out this very forum. I think therapy can take many different forms (like coming here) and a lot of them won't work for a lot of people. I am very grateful that I was able to find (and afford) something that has helped me immensely but I also know that where I was at, just doing anything was going to be better than what I was doing, which was PMO/Mindless internet surfing/checking out/lashing out randomly and so on. So to someone who is on the fence I say: Do whatever you can do to move forward from where you are now. Every little bit you move forward is that much closer to being a better person and that much farther from a place where you know things weren't working.
 

TheNorman

Active Member
Headed away for the weekend and looking forward to some time with the family and friends. Still doing well on most fronts. I will try to check in from the beach! Stay strong brothers!
 

TheNorman

Active Member
Back from an amazing and exhausting weekend away. Nothing to report on the PMO front which is always good news, especially when the whole weekend was on a beach. The "no second looks" method has been working very well in empowering me to prevent any kind of leering or ogling. In other areas however I did make some poor choices that were probably helped on by not sleeping enough and eating too much junk/drinking too much beer so I will be learning from that and drinking a lot of water tonight and going to bed shortly. Stay strong brothers!
 

Joel

Active Member
Welcome back! and a big congrats for your behaviour on the beach - something that I've found so difficult.

eating too much junk/drinking too much beer

Yes, sometimes recovery can mean leaning into other indulgent behaviours. First 90 days - I wouldn't worry too much (so I've been told). AFter 90 days, it's time to try to improve these other behaviours, something I'm finding a bit tricky!
 

TheNorman

Active Member
Feeling very strong in my no PMO but struggling with a lot of other things. Not being very good at communicating with my partner, something I found to be much easier and more natural and lately just way more in my head. It's not enough to just move away from PMO after what it has done to our relationship, I need to let her know where I am at so she isn't left thinking there's more lies and secrets lurking behind the scenes. Work is piling up in waves and at times I find it overwhelming and I get resentful as I was told we would hire another person to help with the work and have heard nothing on that front. I then worry that if I'm able to keep my head above water without that person that hiring someone will just result in them or someone else getting let go down the line when the work isn't as plentiful. Then there's the kids and covid and school and all that shit...just struggling a bit all around I suppose. I'm very grateful that porn isn't even an option for me but I certainly don't feel as powerful or energized as I did earlier on. Better to feel like I'm treading water rather than drowning I guess.
 

Cosmo

Active Member
Norm - I can relate to the "work piling up in waves" stress that you're feeling. It's been that kind of week for me as well. I guess these are extraordinary times for everyone, with stress from COVID and the messy collision of our private and work lives being the new norm. Hope things will ease up for you soon. Hang in there!
 

TheNorman

Active Member
Thanks LIGA and Joel. It's late and I'm still working but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I had therapy tonight which always helps. It's easy to be frustrated with feeling under-appreciated and overworked and not so easy to be grateful to be employed during this covid madness and in a job I (mostly) enjoy. I am recommitting to my tomato-timer and getting my ass up on the 5 minute marks instead of languishing at my desk. The weekend will help too even if I have to work a bit during it. Here's hoping we can all use the weekend to find some calm and comfort!
 

workinprogressUK

Well-Known Member
TheNorman said:
It's not enough to just move away from PMO after what it has done to our relationship, I need to let her know where I am at so she isn't left thinking there's more lies and secrets lurking behind the scenes.

Good call. Got to work so hard to rebuild that trust. Can't make any assumption that it'll just reappear over time. And communication's the key. Well done on staying clean through it all!
 

Joel

Active Member
Good stuff, Norm. Hope you're feeling recharged!

I also suffer from lack of affirmation for the work I do. I'm going to experiment this week with pre-work gratitude (I'm glad I'm well, that i get to do this work, and not all those other jobs i've done in my life...) and a post work celebration (you did it, punch the air! well done for being awesome!)
 

TheNorman

Active Member
Thanks Joel and WIP. I have been much better at communicating and being grateful for the job that I do have. This weekend flew by and the reflex of coming here when bored at my computer is a good reminder about how much opportunity and boredom can be a recipe for PMO if you don't keep your guard up. Work is still a bit of a sore point but by using the tools I've learned and involving my wife instead of getting work-tunnel-vision, it's been much more manageable. Tomato-timer was really helping and then I got away from it so I'm back to using it as a great reminder to get the fuck out of my chair and move around which is so important to my state-of-mind.

My therapist is a big believer in the rough cycle of threes, three weeks, three months etc. being common falling down points for recovering from addiction which reminded me to look up how long it has been. Today is 94 days. In therapy I talked about how I was struggling a bit with things and she is excellent at helping see the positive in things. She asked me if I ever would have thought that 94 days was even a remote possibility and I had to admit I never would have believed that was possible. I am reminding myself (and anyone reading this) that every day you add to your total, or work towards getting better is a day to celebrate. Any day that you feel down or make a mistake is a good reminder that those mistakes don't feel good but you are so capable in making the next one a good one again.
 

Cosmo

Active Member
She asked me if I ever would have thought that 94 days was even a remote possibility and I had to admit I never would have believed that was possible. I am reminding myself (and anyone reading this) that every day you add to your total, or work towards getting better is a day to celebrate. Any day that you feel down or make a mistake is a good reminder that those mistakes don't feel good but you are so capable in making the next one a good one again.

You're setting a great example for the rest of us to follow, Norm. I appreciate the encouragement to celebrate the incremental daily victories and to not wallow in our mistakes. Hats off to you on having this perspective after 94 days and best wishes on continuing this amazing run.
 

TheNorman

Active Member
Thanks LIGA. As much as I'm really focusing on the positive I did become a little defensive at the concept of this being a "run". I actually thought when I read that "This aint no fuckin' run. This is who I am".
I guess why I felt like that is from early on I made my focus fixing the things in my mind and in my life that made PMO such a source of escape. I also know it sounds a bit cocky and I own that too!
I'm really focused on embracing and enjoying the space in mind that is now free from the shame and endless chemical chasing that is porn that the thought of trading that in for even a second is unthinkable.

This week has been much better. More manageable workload certainly helps. I've working on keeping a gratitude journal to help soak up the positive things in my life.
I'm also working on changing my language. Instead of saying "I need to do" I'm saying "I would like to do" as saying I need creates a tension and a pressure within myself whereas "want" frames it as a nice thing to pursue.
Looking forward to a long weekend to get out in nature and enjoy the beautiful fall colours.
Thanks to all for their support.
 

Joel

Active Member
Hey Norm. I really respect this 'non-run' aspect to your change in lifestyle. This challenge isn't easy, but it is simple - an identity shift - and you seem to have got the support you need to be making it. I've been hard on myself too despite equally surprising progress - I just can't believe I've been a slave for so long and it's taken me so long to make this progress. I purposely stop every now and then and take a moment of gratitude for not being a slave today.
 

TheNorman

Active Member
So true. Sometimes I am caught up in thinking about something like work or the kids or covid or anything really and then realize how much more space I have in my mind and my life now that I've stopped entertaining the hyper-sexualized thinking that porn encourages. Gratitude is very important. I'm grateful for every day that my mind travels this new path because it leads to a much better place and better life.
 

workinprogressUK

Well-Known Member
TheNorman said:
So true. Sometimes I am caught up in thinking about something like work or the kids or covid or anything really and then realize how much more space I have in my mind and my life now that I've stopped entertaining the hyper-sexualized thinking that porn encourages. Gratitude is very important. I'm grateful for every day that my mind travels this new path because it leads to a much better place and better life.

That productivity gain's one of the things I'm most grateful for. Amazing how much time we must have wasted back then. Fantastic how much more we can achieve without P clogging-up our brains.
 

TheNorman

Active Member
Amen WIP. I've replaced the dopamine hit of the endless scroll on porn sites with looking for my next book to read which I think is a pretty good trade! I've maintained a healthier weight, I'm sharper, better rested, better focused. I'm just...a better person. I think we get caught up in the trap of thinking "I'm a degenerate" and that becomes an excuse to stay down. What's the point of striving for more if you believe you're not worthy of better or that you can't achieve it?

I see the amazing potential in myself that people told me my whole life was there, but I hated myself too much to believe them. I'm working hard to prove them right and that sad old version of myself wrong.
 

TheNorman

Active Member
My wife and I had a heart-to-heart last night about feeling disconnected. I keep regressing to creating narratives that keep us from being vulnerable and trying to spend more time with (oh she's got a headache, she wants to watch her show etc.) and without communicating about it she feels like I'm avoiding her when that's not the case. I want to do a much better job of having an open dialogue and not get into my own head so much.

I haven't felt tempted or triggered, I've been pretty productive with work and around the house. I have upped my dinner-making to two nights a week (Burgers and oven fries tonight, let's not go too crazy just yet!), I have been more patient with the kids. Lots of little wins so not going to beat myself up but know I can be even better.

Hope you're all finding your strength.

 

Joel

Active Member
TheNorman said:
Amen WIP. I've replaced the dopamine hit of the endless scroll on porn sites with looking for my next book to read which I think is a pretty good trade! I've maintained a healthier weight, I'm sharper, better rested, better focused. I'm just...a better person.

Awesome, inspiring stuff. The work you're doing with the family sounds good too. Not easy, but good :) Onwards!
 
Top