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June 9, 2019 at 1:36 am #298069
Great points Anita and thank you again for your insight. Yes, I realize that those of us who have experienced OCD give way too much meaning to thoughts than other people. For me it was really not knowing that every thought I had did not reflect me and learning this started helping me piece thing together. I realize though that other people who do not have ocd symptoms did not need to learn this and that is interesting. I guess control and not being able to handle uncertainty was for me the driving reasons for me to develop ocd symptoms. That why I end up ruminating because it’s this perfectionist trait of needing to know every little thing because the unknown feels scary much. Accepting this unknown when over-analyzing proves unhelpful is helping me calm down.
I realize with the doubts around my porn habits that I will need to just accept those doubts and accept that if I want to quit that is all that matters. I will welcome the doubts and not react to them. This is hard because a part of me feels conflicted because what if those doubts raise another good point that I should analyze a little. I liked the critical angle of analyzing if shame was attached to my reasons for quitting porn because it made me think and reevaluate any decision to quit that may bring about shame like feelings so that analysis was actually very helpful. Again balancing healthy introspection v rumination is the balance I am learning to be conscious of and more importantly learning how to react healthy to doubts and not fear them or get angry at their presence.
I remember in my last thread that you wrote that anxiety always move from one issue to another and whilst my current issue is still on sexuality but more on another specific issue, it is interesting that just as I came to start healing from my sexual orientation issue, the reasons why I was quitting porn then became the next issue. Before sexuality I off course have a life history of anxiety over various things. Your feedback helped me out a lot in realizing the obvious connection in all my anxieties throughout my life has been a fear of the unknown. Almost every anxiety was focused on needing answers. Needing reassurance. That little kid inside me who didn’t have emotional support developed fear as a result and a need for reassurance all along. Thank you dearly Anita. None of what you wrote in my last thread went unnoticed. I think I needed to really see that the doubts would never stop for me to give up on trying to outsmart it. Every doubt brought a “this is the last doubt I’ll research and analyze” and just as I did that, I’d have a moment of peace but also fear of another doubt looming in the background and sure enough another doubt would come and rob me of my peace. With this current situation at least I am able to really start seeing that this is what may be starting to happen here. I am starting to go down a familiar path but this time I have more tools and wisdom to try to do better and not let this issue drive me down into depression as the sexual orientation one did. This is the hopeful me. Doubts linger in my head now if what I am even writing is true. Maybe I still haven’t figured this all out and I may get pulled back into the sexual orientation anxiety again. Maybe I’ll never recover. I am choosing right now to accept those doubts. To accept all of it. It’s okay. I am still alive. Breathing. I can go for a walk. I can eat something nice or watch something nice. Doubts don’t need to ruin my day. So many dark days, so many times thinking engaging with the doubts would make it better. It doesn’t. The only answer seems to be accepting the unknown and trying my very best to engage myself in thoughts, habits and behaviours that make me feel good about myself and help me live in my reality and not run away from it. At least this is what I’ve learned.June 8, 2019 at 10:55 am #298013
Living life as a theory. Never thought about it that way. Really good points Anita, thank you. I guess I was trying to understand ME. Why the ME in my fantasies did not connect to the ME in the real world. My desires in fantasies were different than the real world.I needed to make sense of that. I think those questions were normal but it was how I ruminated on it and allowed it to lead into obsessive thinking that alerted me that my issues are actually an issue with not being able to emotionally handle uncertainty. I didn’t receive a lot of emotional support as a kid and I can see that scared kid was looking for reassurance. A hug. And now I see how uncertainty brings up that scared little child who is confused about something and needs reassurance. I am not a kid anymore. I can learn to let go from needing every answer. It’s okay, I won’t drown. The fear doesn’t have to be there anymore. I can relax into acceptance.
You ask about why it the sexual roeintation question matters if I have no real world desire to be with a man or woman and that is a logical question. Well my mind made me doubt my real world feelings. Doubt took over everything. I’ll give you an example, I looked at a womans cleavage. A thought told me to look at her cleavage. I don’t know why the thought told me to do so. It was the height of my anxiety but doubt made me doubt it was the anxiety doing and so I couldn’t even use that as an excuse for why the thought appeared and still don’t. I then analyzed what the thought mean’t. Did having the thought and complying with the thought mean that I was attracted to her? Doubt then made me question what I always knew about myself which is that I have never felt any attraction to real women. It then made me doubt what attraction felt like.
It made me think “well since I dont feel a desire to date or be with anyone, how can I be sure that I can decipher what attraction feels like if”? So doubt led me to ask my mom, her boyfriend and anyone else who would listen what attraction felt like. Lol, now that I recollect some of their facial reactions to those questions, it makes me laugh. I am a grown woman asking these questions. Someone told me I’d want to kiss and be with her. I didn’t want to do those things but doubt kept telling me “are you sure”. In the end, I saw how mad this all was and how none of the doubts were stopping and had to resign into the position that if I was attracted to her I would have to just trust that I would somehow know. The anxiety and doubt made me question my real world feelings mainly because I had the faulty assumption that fantasies and porn habits must connect with the real world. If it does for others, it doesn’t for me. Making peace with that and being okay in my truth and being different has been the ultimate healing for me. Things don’t have to make sense. I don’t know where that thought came from.
I don’t have to know all the answers to every thing.
The woman cached me glimpsing at her cleavage, I wanted to run away in that moment from embarrassment. Later I wondered if she thought I liked her. All kinds of negative thoughts held me in hostage. Who cares, you know your truth,I’ve been trying to say this to myself when those flashbacks occur.
I haven’t seen a medical team to be honest. I have always believed my issue to be a cognitive one. Learning new techniques to overcome old ways of thinking. have seen improvements through using the above techniques of acceptance and letting go. I do need to work through learning when a thought is introspective and therefore helpful and when it is rumination because my issue is every thought is important to me. I realize I have the faulty assumption that every thought or issue reflects something or means something about me. With the quitting porn thing, doubt just comes along and I am certain it has to do with the fact that uncertainty is what is at play. Any reason I give myself to quit porn ends up being attacked by doubts by my mind after a week of embarking on a non porn journey.
Yes, I do work at the animal shelter and it has been really brilliant. It seems me and animals there get along really well. The therapy practice is something I have been reevaluating only because I am not sure if it was something I wanted to do because I too was in pain or if its really my dream. I have decided that just taking time out to see where life takes me in terms of what I am passionate about is okay. Right now I am good.
Thanks again Anita. Just writing this post and the thread in general has helped. Wishing you well.June 7, 2019 at 12:25 pm #297887
Hey Anita, thank you and I hope you have been doing well.
So I am overthinking it. Figured as much.
Yes in the past it was my sexual orientation anxiety specifically only that caused a very dark period in my life.
In my real world, I do not desire intimacy with anyone and this is because beyond maybe thinking a guy is cute I do not have the desire or yearning to entertain a date or be sexual or romantic. I noticed at a young age how different I was from my peers but thought when I got older it would change, nothing has changed to be honest and I have come to embrace this as my truth especially after talking to my mom and boyfriend about relationships and desire and I noticed that other people have a real desire for partnering with someone and failure to do so long term can actually cause them to feel like something is missing. Whilst I do lean more towards a romantic attraction to men in the real world and had opportunities to date the reality of dating (both the beauty and difficult parts) doesn’t seem alluring enough. There isn’t a strong pull to do so physical or emotional. I remain open to this changing and will be open about maybe trying out dating but I only want to do this if I have a strong pull and desire to do so not so I can gain experience and see if I like it or if that makes sense.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by seekerofsolace.