Losing My Mind (and Building a New One)

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by TheNewDrew42, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. TheNewDrew42

    TheNewDrew42 Fapstronaut

    Link to previous journal: https://forum.nofap.com/index.php?threads/hfr’s-journey.226851/
    ___________________
    P (-), M (-), E (-), T (2)

    I'm gonna start fresh. I took a break from journaling for a while, mostly because I didn't figure there was much to say. Things have been going very smoothly with my life, my marriage, etc. That is, until a couple days ago.

    No slips, no relapse...just a somber realization of the damage that has already been done, and some negative thinking trying to take hold of me again.

    So let's back up. I have reached a six-month milestone without the PMO monster controlling my private time. Some of my previous journal talks about that journey, with a good chunk of it from the perspective that I am a failure and would always be a failure. Well, you don't get to this point by just "not failing" every day. I had to start actively succeeding.

    So what has that looked like? The most impactful things have been to open up to some of my closest family and friends about my addiction. One of these friends is also my coworker, so I always have an opportunity to talk to him. He also provides LOTS of judgment free encouragement. The other "best thing ever" is the internet filter. SO much of the temptation to slip goes away when I have tools in place to keep me safe. I have learned much about Betrayal Trauma and how my selfish acts affected my wife. To the best of my ability, I have taken steps to minimize further damage by changing some of my behaviors that are triggering to her. Some examples include taking shorter showers with a transparent curtain, turning all computer screens outward so they are always visible, and never traveling alone overnight for work. In addition, I am actively shedding the "porn brain" fog, and allowing myself to be more present in the moment. This has led to me being kinder at home, helping out more with things that need done, and being more mindful of my wife's emotional needs. I compliment her more than ever before, and I do not take anything for granted. When in the throes of addiction, I used to feel like life was "dragging me around by the hair". I feel so much better about myself now. I am eating better (we're all trying Keto), exercising at the YMCA, and I'm trying to practice meditation more. I'm no longer a Human Fail Robot...I feel like a new man... a New Drew! Hence the name change.

    The past couple of days, though, I've noticed a shift in my wife's demeanor. It was subtle at first, coming off as some slight offhanded comments or her turning her cheek when I went to kiss her. A notable decrease in physical touch (my primary love language). So it got us to talking on Saturday. To summarize, she feels uneasy when I am in bed with her most of the time. We discussed whether it was only if I was in bed first, or if we went to bed at the same time, or whether I came to bed later. There did not seem to be a difference. So last night, we agreed to sleep separately, with me in my son's room with him (he has two beds). I had to leave early for work today, so I have not had a chance to hear how last night's sleep went for her.

    So, my mind begins shifting toward a negative outlook. Wondering if I've really accomplished ANYTHING. Well, I don't have to look much further than a text my wife sent me a couple weeks ago celebrating my six-months porn free. I KNOW I'm on the right track. There are a couple shortcomings in my strategy, some false assumptions (i.e. that neither she nor anyone else really wants to know the details of my day-to-day efforts). That's the other reason I started a journal over. I relocated it to this forum as it seems like it might be more appropriate for me, being married with children. I don't always have the time to write as much as I have just now. But I can make more of an effort, since I know it's useful to someone.

    So I thank my beautiful wife for re-igniting the fire of commitment.

    Forge Further Forward!
     
    mrtumnus likes this.
  2. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

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    Congratulations on your 6 months!
    I can see why you may be thinking negatively because of your wife's behaviour. Was there any explanation for the uneasiness?
     
  3. TheNewDrew42

    TheNewDrew42 Fapstronaut

    ___________________
    P (-), M (-), E (-), T (2)

    For reference above, P = porn (+/-), M = masturbation, E = edging (as defined on the Pornfree Radio podcast to be any "porn behavior" or substitute - the key is intent), T = temptations or cravings (scale of 0-5...zero is no thoughts or cravings at all and 5 is worst case to where it's occupying every waking thought and requires intervention).

    Yesterday, I had a talk with my wife again. We had a more in depth conversation where she explained that the trouble sleeping COULD BE from residual Betrayal Trauma, though she is unsure of when it started and it could have existed prior. It has been a difficult week. She has been very irritable this week, and I continue to feel like I'm walking on eggshells. That is something I've been trying to control, because that "lack of connection" feeling has caused me to withdraw and act out in the past. It is coming up on that time of the month (which I lovingly used to call her "dark blue pill" week, when she was on birth control). I know it is temporary, and we will get past it, so I am just going to sit back and let it pass.

    In the meantime, we'd spent the last two nights sleeping separately just to see how it went. The first night, she slept terribly. The second night, she slept fantastic. So we talked yesterday, and I referred her to a book I'd heard about called "The Body Keeps the Score". It discusses trauma and how it affects the subconscious brain and body. I have not read it, but it seems like it could be a good resource.

    Last night, we slept together because she invited me. I felt happy and relieved that she wanted to try that. And she said this morning that she slept very well. That also makes me very happy. I am sure we will keep experimenting to see what works best, and I am willing to hold the space for her as she discovers what is going to work best for her.

    So we are moving forward with positive vibes. It is a good feeling to have - and I've already noticed a change in my own demeanor today so far as a result.

    Drew
    ________________
    Feed the Right Wolf!
    Forge Further Forward!
     
    mrtumnus and Nicko Stretch like this.
  4. TheNewDrew42

    TheNewDrew42 Fapstronaut

    ___________________
    P (-), M (-), E (-), T (1)

    Yesterday (Wednesday) and today (Thursday) have been really good. Both nights my wife was able to sleep well, with me next to her. We were intimate twice yesterday. This morning I went to the YMCA, and then my wife and I had a Micro-Date for lunch before I had to go to work (I am working 2nd shift today). It has been a great 24-48 hours of connectedness.

    To provide some context to the title of this journal, it comes from the subtitle of a book that I'm listening to called "Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself" by Joe Dispenza. The subtitle is "How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One". In it, he talks about how neuroplasticity, quantum mechanics and spirituality can be used together to break old habits and create new ones around your desires. He tends to get a bit woo-ey for me in some of his ideas (like being able to cure your cancer just by thinking about it hard enough), but I like the basic premise. The mind is a very interesting place. Habits and thought patterns can be broken - even very old, deeply rooted ones - and new ones can be formed just by exercising the neurons. It's an area that I'm trying to dive deeper into, because I could use some new thought patterns in quite a few areas of my life (not just for living porn free).

    So not really a ton to day today...just continuing to stay connected with my wife, and stay connected with the positive energy around me.


    Drew
    ________________
    Feed the Right Wolf!
    Forge Further Forward!
     
    Nicko Stretch likes this.
  5. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

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    I love the sound of the book you are reading. I am a big fan of neuroplasticity.
    One question, and I really do not want any details, but when you say intimate, do you mean physical closeness in general or specifically intercourse?
     
  6. TheNewDrew42

    TheNewDrew42 Fapstronaut

    Hi Nicko! Thanks for listening! In the statement above, I specifically meant sex. I know intimacy can include many non-sexual things as well, so I'll try to be more specific in the future. :)
     
    Nicko Stretch likes this.
  7. TheNewDrew42

    TheNewDrew42 Fapstronaut

    ___________________
    P (-), M (-), E (-), T (1)

    Its been kind of a busy weekend, and kind of not. Yesterday (Saturday), and today, my wife spent most of the time in the garage doing Etsy shop work. It's getting to be Christmas order time, so she's getting busier. So I have taken on the responsibility of keeping the house in shape, and keeping the kids entertained, fed, and helping out. We did...okay. Things are not spotless around the house, but it's not a hideous disaster either. I have been working on laundry (loads of it...pun intended), and the kids started helping with the sorting. I cooked dinner, went to the store for more groceries, and took down the Halloween decorations. I was also able to play a little video games and get some time here on the forums. My wife has been upbeat and happy all weekend - which makes me upbeat and happy as well.

    My best friend and coworker told me about a podcast he listened to (Russell Brand) where he interviewed a guy named Wim Hof. The Iceman. So this guy does an interesting meditation that allows him to stay in freezing cold water for ridiculous amounts of time. And he says the technique can be learned by anyone. So my friend is practicing the technique. Seems interesting, and maybe something I can work into my Trigger Response Plan.

    Drew
    ________________
    Feed the Right Wolf!
    Forge Further Forward!
     
  8. TheNewDrew42

    TheNewDrew42 Fapstronaut

    ___________________
    P (-), M (-), E (-), T (1)

    Today was a really busy, and kind of frustrating, day. Kids had a snow day, and it ended up being an "e-learning" day. So all 4 kids were home with an average of 2-3 hours of homework to do. What a chore that was to keep everyone focused while they wanted to go outside and play in the snow. My wife was working in the garage most of the day on Christmas orders (through her Etsy shop), so I worked from home today so I could assist. I took the youngest to her doctor's appointment, took my oldest to his recreational therapy appointment, ran a couple of errands and helped the kids stay focused on their school work. And I did some work in between all of that. WOW that was pretty draining. Good news is that's all done now, so i'm going to relax for a little bit before bed.

    Anxious attachment is a bit of an issue for me, and I NEED to grow beyond it. The past few days, my wife has been very busy trying to satisfy orders and stay on top of her work. I'm doing my best to take care of everything else so she can focus on it without having to worry about all the other stuff going on. Well, when she gets really focused on her work, she tends to become more detached from me emotionally. She significantly reduces physical touch, kissing or other affection. I get wierded out by that, and immediately I'm in "what did I do wrong" mode. I've talked with her about it before, and she has explained that she just gets hyper-focused on work and it's nothing personal.

    Why does this seem like a new issue to me? I think it's because I used to be able to just numb out with porn if my needs weren't being met. Well, that's not an option anymore, so I have to sit in these emotions, and deal with them like the rest of humanity does!

    I want to take some time and talk about all of the resources I've been using. I also want to share a bit of my thoughts about each of them and why I love them and continue to use them. But that's going to take a bit of time, and today's been a long day. So I'll just tease that here and I'll leave that subject for next time.

    Drew
    ________________
    Feed the Right Wolf!
    Forge Further Forward!
     
    fadedfidelity likes this.

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