Dealing with Shame, PIED and Addiction!

Nico

Member
39. Feel better about recovery today, had a nasty headache yesterday and had to cancel some plans. I get them fairly often from the occipital area going over to my eye, and sometimes they are debilitating. Got it again today, but not quite as bad. I think its from my snowboarding days, Later today or tomorrow I am going to London, and am looking forward to seeing my family and old friends although i am aware there are triggers; chiefly my Dad's complex marriage (she is unwell, and its taking its toll on him, she is demanding of him at the best of times) some dynamics with my sister and stepsisters, and the fact I've gained weight since last time I was there, partly from fatigue/overworking but mainly dating a feeder..and that usually gets some comments.
Due to my kink I have a complex relationships with my weight - I love it and hate it. It was sexy and fun with the feeder, but I knew it couldn't last and losing weight and doing this feels so much more wholesome, and I want a healthy life and relationship. My weight has gone up and down with this conflict. Its annoying to me as I get a lot of judgement, and I often can't exactly explain the reasons so people just assume what people assume. My sister knows, she was in 12 steps for food at the same time I was with alcohol so we are very close. Oh well, i've taken off some of the weight, and its going well.
Last time I was in London was not long after breaking up with my ex, who was clear from the start that she wasn't into my kink and didn't like my body. This upset me at the time, and possibly should have been a red flag but I was in love and wanting to change, so used it as fuel. We did yoga together and walks, and it was great actually, eating well but healthily. So by the end I was looking good and my family were really happy with how i looked. It did make me a little uneasy in the bedroom with my ex, and was a relief after that being with someone who loved bigger guys, I could sort of relax a bit. One extreme to the other, but in reality both wanted me to change just in different ways. Anyway if there is judgement and comments, I am going to take them as consequences of my addiction rather than personally.
I will have to stay focused on recovery, getting on here and reading while I am there, it would be too easy to be swept up with family stuff. My strategy to deal with drama and triggers will be to take time to meditate/journal in their garden, and call friends or get on here if tempted or triggered. Also to focus on accepting everyone as they are, and giving and helping rather than on my stuff.
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
"My strategy to deal with drama and triggers will be to take time to meditate/journal in their garden, and call friends or get on here if tempted or triggered."

Excellent approach!
I myself learnt I need 3 days to let an emotionally moment settle. In the meanwhile I try to go slow and not rush to outcomes, because I would invariably make mistakes.

"Also to focus on accepting everyone as they are, and giving and helping rather than on my stuff."

This is also huge.
So much of PMO is about getting what we want. Learning to let go is the biggest help for moving on happily and contentedly.

Enjoy your time back home!
 

Nico

Member
Thanks! Yes well I am here, went to Glastonbury on my way to London to buy some presents and had a coffee with a friend who's also quitting PMO which was nice. I had a lovely chat with my Dad last night. I haven't seen him, or my sister and nephews/nieces for well over a year. I was blaming my job as I simply didn't have the energy for a trip after a long and often sleepless shift, but I can see that PMO contributed to the fatigue and brain fog. I really want to try to help my stepmum out, as she is in a bad way, just waiting to understand how. I am hoping some of my professional skills might be of use, or healing, but I am not sure if she will be open and also don't yet understand what she is experiencing..a lot of diagnoses and medications, and like me they are frustrated with mental health treatments available.

Its day 40. Feels surreal after so many failed attempts! No temptations at all last night - I recalled previous stays here, trying to quietly PMO late at night on a creaky chair, and saw it with distaste and shame. I had some messages from kink contacts, and felt no desire to be pulled into acting out, so massive change is happening and I want to appreciate that and celebrate it. It feels really good to finally take charge of this thing. I feel a kind of diamond clarity and energy in me and behind my efforts which is what I need. I feel well supported by friends and people on here, and by something less tangible - a higher power. I feel a lot of gratitude, and I don't want to jinx it but I feel unstoppable!

Still, no room for complacency and I am going to do the work today, then go to my nephew's party later and enjoy family.
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
@Nico - you are unstoppable, man. You (and so many others) are my hero. Never go back. Please. Those who don’t see the light live in darkness….that could be the most profound piece of BS I have ever written, except I have written a ton of bullshit in life, so the bar is very high!
 

Nico

Member
“Author Andrew Bauman discusses this concept in his popular book, The Psychology of Porn. “We sexualize our wounds in a desperate attempt to heal our unaddressed pain. Porn can help for a short time and temporarily meet many of the core needs (love, touch, emotional attunement, pleasure and delight) we may not have received as a child,” writes Bauman. “For example, if your parents were emotionally distant, you probably longed for intimate connection. Though you were powerless to control what you received or did not receive from your parents when you were a child, as an adult you choose to have power and control over this deep unmet longing for intimacy by using pornography to attempt to tend to that core wound.”
 

Nico

Member
41. Going strong, another busy day seeing old friends and am enjoying it. I was horny through the night, so had a bit of a tussle between wanting to touch and play and just leaving it alone. I left it alone, but enjoyed the touch for a few minutes. Not masturbating, just trying to be sensitive to the sensations. I notice I am more able to tune into natural eros, like the pleasure of a shower, and enjoy subtle pleasure. Dad's got a powerful thick shower, and it was hitting some stiff muscles, and when I closed my eyes and sank into the feeling it became almost orgasmic. I think this is important for my resetting, becoming able to notice more and more subtlety in touch and pleasure, retuning the sensitivity again. Not just touch either, noticing sunlight on the plants, and how much beauty there is in life. I have to believe that becoming really in tune with pleasure can allow me to enjoy sex again without the stories.
 

Nico

Member
I had a lovely day with friends, though I was aware that they are all in seemingly happy marriages and have families, and that this might trigger some insecurities. Like why couldn't I make relationships work, and what's wrong with me. Obviously PMO, and alcoholism, play a part in this, and it is a consequence but I think it touches a deeper insecurity or complex of not being enough for 'her.' This is the basic wound in me.

Also I have relaxed my diet being on holiday, and indulgence and feeling full can trigger the kink and makes me want to reach out to my feeder lady. We still share messages, even though I told her since she couldn't commit I was pulling away. She finds it kind of sexy that I am not really able to, as control is a part of it. I feel so torn about it - finding her was like finding a needle in a haystack, and being with her made sense..two rarely matching people. I miss the way we turn each other on. I also had this idea, which my therapist encouraged, that acting it out with her might be quite healing. There are elements of pampering and spoiling, and we even brought in the mummy domme dynamic in some ways. Obviously its dangerous, but so exciting. I know deep down I want something more wholesome, and don't want to ruin my life with a kink based on wounding. She wants to see me again, and of course I want to but now I am committed to healing I have no idea what to do. This isn't PMO, but it's a very grey area for me..and a weakness.

I think I need to write about and visualise the best relationship and sex life I could hope for, and shift my focus to sacred and beautiful connection and sex. But it almost feels like two men are in me wanting different things, or perhaps more realistically a man and a wounded child! If I am honest, acting out a fantasy never seems to match the expectation.

Anyway today is 6 weeks hard mode, and I am doing ok. I felt really horny last night, but managed to get into the sensations and see that there i nothing in the sensations that means I have to act on them, its all just thoughts interpreting sensations. There's just things to work through and heal, and perhaps a tough decision to make. I am a bit tired and bleary this morning, which adds to the confusion. I am going to meditate and pray, perhaps more clarity will come.
 

Nico

Member
All good, day 43. Had a lovely time babysitting two of my sisters' kids yesterday, and enjoyed getting to know them better. I have been feeling a desire to move back to London to be closer to family. They say the roots of addiction are lack of connection so it might be good for all of us!

Generally horny, and noticing compulsions to seek female attention on dating sites, not sure I am ready but at least it isn't triggering any desire to PMO or anything. Just getting interested in the raw compulsions and what they distract me from. I guess at heart I am seeking that divine union or wholeness, an end to the search and the happy ending. Or just love. A new healthy sex life. A new relationship seems so attractive, even though logically its better to wait until I am further down the road. I know time alone is important, but I have also had quite a lot of that! I suppose that what I seek I need to find in myself..oh I don't know. I am hearing the phrase from AA - Self-will run riot..perhaps I need to surrender to divine timing and hand it over. I want a healthy relationship though, and that is progress in itself. Anyway the main thing is that just for today PMO is not an option, and nor is MO. I will find ways to help my Dad and his partner out, and do some more reading from the inner child book.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I guess at heart I am seeking that divine union or wholeness, an end to the search and the happy ending. Or just love.

I can wholly relate to this, and I think this is at root and underlying my own neediness for a woman's attention, lust in public, and general acting out via social media, and on to the 'red-line' behaviors we're all here to quit.

Blessings to you!
 

Nico

Member
Day 44. I jotted down numbers like 45 in my calendar as milestones, very close to half way to 90 days. Honestly I didn't really believe I would get there but I nearly have. Didn't sleep so well, some of the family tensions are getting to me, things seemed good with my sister's family but she told me that she is planning to separate from her partner and that the kids know. I felt really sad about that, and yes my own parents had a messy and occasionally violent divorce when I was about 14, so I know I am bringing baggage to the situation. I think it may be time to get home soon.

I have managed to work my recovery pretty well considering I am here, but I feel a slight cracking around the edges, and some behaviours which SAA would call middle circle are creeping in. That means grey area activities - they are not inner circle (definitely do not do - like PMO, looking at porn) I might check dating sites, a social network site related to kink for messages, or replying to them (I have friends I chat to often on there) and even found myself wanting to read a kink story yesterday. There has been contact with my feeder friend, and her wanting to see me, but as a friend on here helpfully asked - is it worth jeopardising my reboot and recovery for? No doubt it would be fun and sexy, but it would also fan the flames of kink, be the end of hard mode, and very possibly lead back to PMO..so I have to focus on what I truly desire which is not that, it's a healthy connection, but hell there is a lot of conflict and temptation. I was also asked if I would be attracted to her without kink, and I would, so actually there is also more normal desire in the mix which i hadn't really thought about before.

I am very clear about what I must not do, but less clear about how to manage grey area stuff, and also that the compulsions seem to be really strong at the moment. I wondered about a MO to relieve pressure, but I have a worry that if i let down one barrier the rushing water will take them all down. I set myself this hard mode reboot, but if opportunities for sex and connection come along I don't know if I could turn it down lol..and I don't know if that is right or wrong. I do know I avoided intimacy and sex due to lack of confidence and this addiction so avoiding it in recovery seems daft. I need to find some journals of other single people and see what they did about all this!
 

Blondie

Respected Member
Hey Nico, congrats on almost day 45, truly amazing.

I would definitely watch out for some of those middle circle behaviors. Grey areas can be quite hard to judge correctly, so it's best to just shut it all down from my own experience, especially when you're only a month an half out from ground zero.

To MO or not to MO, that is the question. It seems from my experience and everyone else, that sometimes this works, and many other times it just sends us straight back to PMO. You won't know until you try it, but I would suggest you holding it off as long as possible.

I see no problem in having sex if the opportunity arises. Real intimacy, even for one night, is always better than porn - period. However, if the situation did happen, I would try to not to get off, or perhaps, only once to see how you'd feel afterwards.

A lot of this is really an individual thing, and is hard to judge from the outside.

Porn is our problem, everything else is up to you.

Best brother
 
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Nico

Member
Hey Nico, congrats on almost day 45, truly amazing.

I would definitely watch out for some of those middle circle behaviors. Grey areas can be quite hard to judge correctly, so it's best to just shut it all down from my own experience, especially when you're only a month an half out from ground zero.

To MO or not to MO, that is the question. It seems from my experience and everyone's else, sometimes this works, and many other times it just sends us straight back to PMO. You won't know until you try it, but I would suggest you holding it off as long as possible.

I see no problem in having sex if the opportunity arises. Real intricacy, even for one night, is always better than porn - period. However, if the situation did happen, I would try to not to get off, or perhaps, only once to see how you'd feel afterwards.

A lot of this is really an individual thing, and is hard to judge from the outside.

Porn is our problem, everything else is up to you.

Best brother
Thanks for this, very helpful!
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Got your back @Nico , I agree with @Blondie too.

I have found the concept of middle circle to be unhelpful honestly. The longer my recovery goes on the more I see my original middle circle stuff as inner circle. We all know what we want and we need no distractions. Go get it.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Oh, all the grey areas, lol...! I know how it goes, brother. For 'middle-circle' behavior (what I might call 'orange-line' behaviors) is often where we need to face our true inner motives, or better, how the lower-brain is using these things for quick dopamine fixes, which, as you know, only serve the overall unwanted behaviors.

Changing the habits that lead into these is of paramount importance and help, like, when, where and what for social media, and what are your overall phone/pc habits...

To control the 'middle-circle' behaviors, you want to be careful on two fronts: 1) That you're not overly restrictive, as this typically blows up in our face; and why? because it's so disempowering. 2) That you're not vigilant enough, and allow too much of this and that, which serves only to lead us back down toward the 'porn-pit'.

Between these two paradoxical places, we have to find our self, know ourselves, and what is or isn't a lapse or slip for us. What do we enjoy and allow that's not simply a dopamine hit? I think we know more than we realize. But to be overly legalistic or restrictive here only serves to tell ourselves that outside stimuli controls us, and this place only keeps us in perpetual 'recoveryism'.

Blessings.

P.S. I agree that sex with a real woman is far more preferable to P, PMO. Even if this leads to orgasm, all the better, in my opinion. At least you're rewiring your brain away from fantasy into real-world sex.
 
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