Dealing with Shame, PIED and Addiction!

Nico

Member
Got to laugh - today's reading from The Language of Letting Go:

New Relationship Behaviors: September 17

We talk much about new relationship behaviors in recovery: allowing others to be themselves without over-reacting and taking it personally, and owning our power to take care of ourselves. We talk about letting go of our need to control, focusing on self-responsibility, and not setting ourselves up to be victims by focusing on the other person while neglecting ourselves. We talk about having and setting healthy boundaries, talking directly, and taking responsibility for what we want and need.
While these behaviors certainly help us deal with addicted people, these are not behaviors intended only for use in what we call “dysfunctional relationships.”
These behaviors are our new relationship behaviors. They help us in stressful relationships. They can help us get through times of stress in healthy relationships.
The recovery behaviors we are learning are tools—healthy relationships skills—that help us improve the quality of all our relationships.

Recovery means self-care—learning to take care of ourselves and love ourselves—with people. The healthier we become, the healthier our relationships will become. And we’ll never outgrow our need for healthy behaviors.

Today, I will remember to apply my recovery behaviors in all my relationships—with friends and co-workers, as well as in any special love relationship. I will work hard at taking care of myself in the troublesome relationships, figuring out which skill might best apply. I will also consider ways that my healthy relationships might benefit from my new relationship skills.

Excerpt From: Melody Beattie. “The Language of Letting Go.” iBooks.
 
Thanks. I feel like porn was definitely self-soothing, and food can be used like that too which is part of the kink. The kink is about a deeper unmet need in early life and seems to offer lots of attention and nurturing, just a really messed up version! I am still trying to learn to give myself that in a more healthy way, and do the work - I have faith that a relationship will reflect that in time.
A relationship will definitely reflect that in time......you seem like a really interesting guy, and from what I've read are able to implement some really healthy rituals and practices into your life. I saw further back you talking about the inner child, have you read this book, it's really good? https://www.amazon.com/Going-Deeper-Impacts-Sexual-Addiction/dp/B084Z66BZR

Incase you're wondering why I'm lurking around forums like a total weirdo.......my story is I'm in love with a porn addict! I am trying to learn as much as I can about this condition to help me come to terms with the betrayal trauma I have experienced........my gorgeous man couldn't find it within himself to save our relationship, even though on paper, he had what most men would kill for, so I had to walk away (sad face)!
 

Nico

Member
Looks like an interesting book thanks. I did wonder, and guessed it might be something like that. I think this issue causes so much suffering, and I am sorry you went through that. Maybe your walking away might be the wake up call he needs, that was the case for me with an ex and alcohol a long time ago. Still, you looked after yourself and are working through the trauma and grief, and I am sure it was really hard to walk away. I am sure it will get easier and perhaps is a part of your journey to find what you need. There is a partners section on the forum and probably a lot of wisdom there, have you looked at that?
 
Yes I have looked at the partners forum and I will write a post at some point, but some how I find more comfort in the men's stories, I like to know my man is not alone, if that makes sense, that this has become a real problem in relationships and society....... although some of the stories scare the living daylights out of me:oops:
 

Nico

Member
Wow, this book - 'Going Deeper - How your Inner Child Impacts your Sexual Addiction' by Eddie Capparucci is amazing, thanks Beautiful 1973. I am onto the second chapter and it really hits home..

"I have learned addiction is directly correlated to the emotional pain and trauma that continues to haunt the inner child. And by learning how to connect, comfort, and soothe the “Kid,” we can experience successful outcomes in managing our sexual addiction...

..While you are consciously unaware of the negative memories, your inner child is fully activated and re-living previous emotional trauma, which he desperately wishes to escape. And he escapes by driving you toward destructive sexual behaviors to help him feel a sense of comfort rather than fear. He is running the show
"

I know past trauma drives my issues, and therapy didn't really help. I am hoping that this book might..
 

Nico

Member
Day 35. Interesting day yesterday, I had some time free at work and was reading that book. I had to make a list of all the traumas or childhood memories of pain, humiliation, abuse, neglect etc and I imagine later in the book will learn ways to work with them instead of seeking to soothe activated trauma by acting out. Was quite hard really, and when I finished the list i felt emotional, and thought 'no fucking wonder..!' Now I guess it is a case of learning exactly what triggers those in life/relationships so that I can be more aware instead of being driven by unconscious need for soothing. I like this, it feels important. Ive known that trauma is behind addiction for a long time, but its far less obvious how to deal with it. Can get to know it with the mind, understand it - but I also remember going to a TRE class and the teacher said she spent years talking about her trauma and then went into the body to release it. i loved that, and find breathwork really good, shaking, and emotional release sessions. I feel drawn to working on both mental and physical/emotional sides of it..

One of the biggest for me was neglect/not getting needs met - followed by violence if I expressed emotion (Im sure I am not alone in this age group to have got whacked for getting emotional!?) No wonder then that some emotions create trauma response or a need to run away into porn or fantasy. I am not going to get lost in my story, as I feel thats a danger of psychoanalysis, but its very helpful to dive in and get to know this kind of trauma/trigger for addiction or compulsive escapism!
 
Last edited:

Nico

Member
I am aware I am posting a lot, but I feel kind of excited about the work I am doing and hope it might help someone. So having written out a list of all the traumas or situations from infancy through to early adulthood, today (following the prompts in that book) I listed all the ways those traumas can be triggered. One of the key insights I got was that any sign of failure or rejection (from thoughts about work, to being out of shape, to mess, or unhealthy food, or comparison with others in successful relationships, or more successful or wealthy friends bla bla..) or confirmation that I am not good enough and unlovable..triggers a need for soothing. Another was that any signs of needs not being met, triggers a desire for someone or something to meet them but also that they will not..or else run away from the feelings through the dopamine hit. Anger as well - fear of expressing it through old traumas triggers the need to run..to hide, repress, soothe, comfort.
Obviously the process isn't complete, and being an addict I want it fixed NOW, but it seems the key is to learn to manage the wounded child in the unconscious - for whom these triggers activate real distress and reliving of the trauma. Firstly by being aware of the process, and building trust that the triggers can be managed and soothed in more healthy ways. Feeling very grateful for the book and a way to address the root causes of this addiction
 

Nico

Member
36. I am getting ready to give someone a healing session before work so have to be brief. I feel tired as I did overtime over the weekend, but pretty good, one more long shift then I have two weeks off so am going to London to see family, and maybe Glastonbury. I am making a commitment to keep working through that book but unless i have time at work later its not going to happen today. Its not easy work looking at the traumas and inner child, but as I read i can see its the key.
I feel slightly anxious about the session this morning - I am not sure what she will want and am still practising and gaining confidence in the trainings i have done. It may be breathwork and involve emotional release, or may be a shamanic healing. My client is the woman who taught me reiki and other things years ago. She is attractive, and the other day told me she always thought I was hot. Still, its not about that this morning, its about holding space and loving presence. It will be interesting to watch my responses though - I have female friends but work around men only, and only see women when I dance. I haven't been this full of spunk since I was a kid, but hopefully I am in a flatline (please haha)
 

Nico

Member
😅 I am trying! And it is trying..

Thanks yes the healing went really well, got creative and combined breathwork with other things and she found it 'epic!' I didn't go into lust at all, which surprised me, I was in proper healing mode. The good thing is she is going to recommend me to all her clients/students/friends.

I've been on this diet, using Huel a lot, and have taken off about two stone now since I started breaking away from things. Still, the old behaviours tempt me - I was thinking of getting a pizza or something tonight at work and the temptation struck me to get two and send her pics as she obviously encouraged that kind of thing. But I won't, I might not even get one. Its like this hunger for her attention hasn't quite left me, even if intellectually I know that isn't the attention I am seeking. I will have to put into practice some of the things from this book I am reading about paying attention to the inner child instead (🥴 change is hard lol)
 

Nico

Member
It is great actually, just writing out the various temptations takes the power out of them. Its a lovely element of accountability and fellowship, knowing we are all dealing with these pulls and triggers. I really appreciate it here :)
 

Nico

Member
Day 37. I was looking at that kind of number at the beginning and had a lot of doubt about whether I could do this. Ok I was pretty determined, but having tried so many times and failed that gave me a sense of trepidation. I am definitely feeling now that this is long term change, and it feels a lot more doable thanks to the inspiration on here, and that its become more normal not to look at porn. I had blue balls and a bit of pain last night, and there is still a lot of pressure today. But actually this is just a sensation, it is no different from the morning chill on my skin or the energy in my hands as I type. If i really go into it and experience it, its not that bad, just tingling. I can also breathe it out, spread the energy or pull it up the spine. That has to become the thought response rather than oh shit I need to x y or z.

It is only thought that can turn that sensation into a craving, it is only thought that can make me relapse. Its the same with trigger feelings - ok at times I might have feelings that often lead to wanting to soothe or escape, but again a feeling is a feeling, only thought can make me act out. So I am focusing on feeling feelings directly and sense sensations directly. None of them in themselves mean porn has to be sought out, they are just feelings and sensations arising and passing. Even if the thought does come, or the temptation, or the craving, they are just thoughts and cravings arising and PASSING. A craving is really only mind made, so with the mind can be unmade. So in times of temptation I have to remember that this too shall pass.

Now that porn is not an option, and in trying to be stronger, I suppose its all about learning to be with all the triggers, being vigilant for the kinds of feelings or situations which activate the 'need' to soothe or escape, and learning to sit with them, let them be soothed by presence and loving awareness. Look after that needy part of me with other forms of TLC.

Ok sometimes I might not have the resources to do that due to fatigue/overwhelming emotion, and at those times any distraction will do rather than act out. In recovery circles we talk a lot about the 'fuck it' button, where you reach a point you just don't care any more, you've fought the craving to a point where the fight leaves you and its so easy to say fuck it. But this is always preceded by trigger situations and emotions, leading to plaguing thoughts about using, and if you are exhausted you may not have the mindfulness or determination to counter it..which is why I feel its so important to have strategies ready for these kinds of moments. When it is hard to be with what is, whatever that might be, if trauma is activated and not enough energy to do the work and unwind longstanding neural pathways, my strategy is to lie down and put on a hypnosis, or put on a game or movie. Obviously exercise or nature are great too, but that isnt so appealing to me if I am really tired.

The good news is neuro-plasticity, and that over time new pathways of reaction to trigger/sensation/thought are created. I know this is true from previous addictions - once I was obsessed with alcohol and absolutely could not imagine life without it..now I barely ever think about it, and if i do its cool and distant and very easy to manage. All the old trigger situations are very distant memories, and I can sit with drinkers with zero compulsion to drink. So that tells me this will happen with porn as long as I do the work and keep it in the day, and that there are no insurmountable triggers.

Just for today I will meet my sensations and feelings and cravings with loving presence
 
  • Like
Reactions: GBS

Nico

Member
i had a feeling while writing this morning that it would be bloody ironic and a bit humiliating to relapse after spouting all of this, and while that that may be ego based, the act of making the process public gives that little bit of accountability and puts another barrier in place. Even though there is a lot of shame involved, I would recommend journaling on here for many reasons but that is a great one.
 
Oh @Nico don't feel shame over sharing your thoughts and feelings, it's powerful stuff and your journey is helping so many people, including me
I feel blessed that our paths have crossed x

Have you read any of Brene Brown's books, might be your next read? ;)
 

Nico

Member
Thanks people - I was sort of writing about the shame to encourage others to start journalling, but I certainly have shame from time to time, especially at first or about sharing specific triggers. Oh well facing fears and getting vulnerable is needed I suspect. I have heard a few of her talks Beautiful1973 and will have another look - and the feelings mutual :)

I haven't relapsed, and really appreciate the support, the accountability helps a lot, and I agree there is no shame in relapse its a part of the journey and a part of mine for a long time, but its a part of the journey I am sick and tired of! 'This time its different!' lol, how many times have I heard myself say that, but actually I really do believe that at the moment - THIS IS IT.
 

Nico

Member
38 hard mode. This really isn't easy some days, but the difficult days pass. Its like a long walk through different landscapes and weather, so I know sunny days will come. I finished work yesterday for two weeks of leave and wanted to celebrate but not use food or sex, but have almost run out of ways to celebrate now. I did go dancing and at times was totally in my body and the music, at times journeying while dancing. I had a beautiful slow hug dance at the end as well. Then I had some triggers, a couple of rejection type ones. It's like I feel this need for attention or validation, and if i don't get it, which i didn't, I want to soothe or escape. It was very late at night, and I ended up feeling defiant.. the thoughts were 'fuck this' and 'what's the point.' I know how I should be responding and can't always do it, but at least I could recognise the warning signs. I guess I was too tired to meet all of that with loving presence as I resolved, but in the end realised I just needed to go to sleep. I often stay up too late, and am suffering for it today, I feel messy and its hard to write. I used to love being creative deep into the night, producing music, and of course also PMO as well. I had some seriously erotic dreams, was having amazing sex and kink with the woman I am still a little obsessed by.

I don't really feel to share too many specifics about the kink here, but one of the elements was a kind of obsessive focus from her on me. It seems to meet something I missed in early life and I crave it still, but have to learn to give myself more attention and love. I wonder if part of it is that I miss the connection, touch, the needs that a healthy relationship would meet, and it would be helpful to focus on that instead, even if it is case of deferring gratification. I am on a pretty hard diet too, and I think sometimes I want her to encourage me to indulge again!

Going back to the poison tree analogy, it still has a lot of airspace and is dominating the garden, and I wonder if that's because i am not yet nurturing the sapling of healthy sexuality and love. The reboot feels at the moment like a kind of limbo where kink desires are still strong, and there is no replacement except a kind of discipline of recovery and some difficult inner work. I wonder if introducing mindful masturbation, or even better, meeting a partner might help with this new growth. But I can't look for someone to rescue me, and want to become my best self for my future partner. This is just my mind overthinking it and fighting the hard mode i have decided on. I need to reframe that thinking - this suffering is fuel and a catalyst, and the replacement is building a stronger and healthier being and perhaps this hard work is the roots of the new plant that is growing, or will grow, if I keep going. One day it will become effortless, it will naturally grow on its own, flower and fruit. Just for today I will trust in the process of recovery, allow the messiness and trust that in time these roots will sprout and grow, into fresh air, and in time open to the sunshine.

Speaking of sunshine, it has just come out and I am going outside with a coffee to pray and meditate. I need to hand it over and focus on gratitude. I love journalling, its helped me talk myself out of messiness and into a more positive state :)
 
Top