Zander Reboot - Light at the end of the tunnel

zander13

Well-Known Member
I've had a lot of sex with girls, but I've never done it without the addiction latched onto my psyche. The first experience I had I couldn't get a boner for a bj. I was 16 years old. 16. After that I managed to lose my virginity at age 17 and have had 3 serious girlfriends and several other one nighters. But recently, say the past year, I've had next to nothing.

I've spent the last five or so years of my life with the knowledge that I had an addiction, but continuing to relapse. Not until I fully informed myself and actually read the science and watched the videos did I really start grasping what was going on, and how awful this addiction is. I hit a rock bottom of sorts, with thoughts of suicide coming popping up in my head. I never planned how I was going to do it or even fully acknowledged the idea, but the fact that the word even crept up into my subconscious was enough for me to take drastic measures. I moved into an apartment with no internet connection, got a flip phone, and started going to SA meetings. I did that for 3 months, in a brand new city, before the withdrawals really started to hit. I was more depressed than I had been in my entire life. I quit the school I was attending and moved back in with my parents. I was so scared and so anxious and depressed that I had no other place to turn. Withdrawals are no joke.

So let me reiterate. I'm 25 and living with my parents. But I've also the best I've ever been. I still have bouts of anxiety and depression and my flatline is still going strong, but I'm 167 days into this thing, and I like to believe that I can see a faint glimmer of light at the end of this tunnel. Regardless, I wanted to post on this forum and spread the word. I wanted to chronicle my journey so everyone else can benefit. Because that's how I've been able to build this streak. By learning through the example of others, especially GABE DEEM. He is my hero.

It's 8:38 at night right now, and this day is almost over. But that means tomorrow is 168. And that fact alone makes me happier than anything else. It's my life's greatest accomplishment up until this point.
 

D22clarka

Member
Wow, 168 days! That's wonderful! I'm on day 1. I'm sorry to hear about the anxiety and depression. I know first hand the effects of both of those things. But man it sounds like you are making great strides on the road to your recovery. That's something to feel proud of! Thanks for sharing your story/progress with us! Keep us posted on how you are doing! Because it truly is an awesome thing you are doing right now. :)
 
S

Stowe2010

Guest
Zander, keep up the great work! I can speak for all of us when I say that you certainly give us motivation and hope that recovery is possible. The worst thing we can do about our problems is nothing and you have proven that with the success you have had so far. Keep going strong my friend.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Day 169

@ Stowe and @D22clarka Thanks boys. Means a lot, it really does. Nice to have such a comforting community on this forum. I want to give back as much as I can. Good luck to the both of you.

I woke up feeling more like I did as a child than I ever have before. I reached a new high today. I know that an upcoming low is right around the corner, but these occasional highs make it much easier to traverse through the lows. I totally agree with the notion that although recovery is far from linear, the trend is an upward one. There's much to look forward to, I feel as if I'm only halfway there and I already feel magnificent. To think that only 6 months ago I had the word suicide in my brain. Now my thoughts have naturally gravitated towards hope for the future, and ideas of my new life and how I'm going to go about doing it. Hell, I'm already in the process.

It's funny how in this life, you can't really force yourself to do things. I mean you can, you always can, but I've found that if you let yourself heal, healthy impulses to act beneficially for yourself come naturally. You naturally want to do productive, positive things. It's almost as if men are wired to go out into the world and succeed, so we can secure a healthy, virile mate who will help us expand our lineage. And when we're addicted up to our eyeballs, that natural inclination is removed and we feel depressed and lifeless. funny how that works right?

Anyways, I just want to say good luck to everyone on this forum and all of the other websites dedicated to stripping porn from our lives. I know how shitty it is to be a porn addict. It's the most taboo thing I can think of. If a guy is a drug addict and he heals, he's a fucking hero. No one doubts the obstacles he had to overcome. But when you tell people that you're addicted to watching girls have inexplicable things done to them, or worse, there's not much room for sympathy is there. It's a tough, tough reality to face. Because it's a lonely fuckin habit and a lonely fuckin' addiction. We mostly have to face the demons on our own, or at least that's how I thought of it. But that's not true, because places like this forum exist. With real people who's lives are so ridiculously comparable to our own. We've all read the same story a hundred times. But thant doesn't take away the individual pain each person suffers. I know all about that pain. And I want to help out as many people as I can at this point in my life, because I wouldn't wish this disease on my worst enemy. It's dreadful, but also beatable. At least so far, I still haven't made it out of the gauntlet.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Day 170:

2 weeks until 6 months. Feeling great this morning. I wake up early naturally. I feel happy, naturally. Everything is more natural. Bad day is around the corner but I'm loving these good days, I thank God for them.

Woo!

And had a normal sex dream last night. I was the person engaging in the act, not watching someone else. Good signs all around.

Happy Valentines day, hahaha
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Day 173

Not much to report. I've still been very up and down. The past 3 days I've been in a pretty depressed state, and that was because my body was craving porn. Craving=depression, because all the brain wants is its fix. It'll make you feel as uncomfortable as it can so you feed it what it wants. And it's a fucking strong impulse. It's goal is to catch you in an unaware state of mind. Mindless technology binging is usually how I get there. Watching youtube or reading articles I didn't intend to, one after the other. Videogames are another one. It's all kind of related anyways. It's all massive amounts of pleasure through artificial means. Rewards without effort. Clicking and button smashing. Technology is a major tool for our society, but it also is a major threat. Somedays I'd prefer a world without the internet.

Had a dream last night where I watched porn. Kind of freaked me out, but once I came to I realized it was only a dream, and that I was still okay.

Little over a week until I reach a half year mark, 7 days if I'm counting 180 days as 6 months. I still have a while to go, but the improvements are coming. Slow and steady. I'm thinking 9 months will be the length of my flatline.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Day 183

Slow and steady. Not as many changes have occurred over the past week or so, other than the fact that I made it 6 months.

I still have more bad days than good ones, but the bad ones aren't nearly as bad and the good ones are pretty darn excellent. Today, unfortunately, is a bad day, and I can tell by the brain fog and ever constant tugging feeling I am experiencing in my nether regions.

I need to stay vigilant and always be on the prowl, because the last thing I want at this point is a relapse. I never want to experience this rebooting process again. It's something that I need to experience in order to become a man, but going through it more than once would be masochistic.

I really can't wait until I'm at least a year into this journey. I want to know what it's like to feel normal. I can tell I'm well on my way though.

6 months though. woo!
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Day 191

Morning would occurs more than it doesn't at this point in my reboot. I get it 5/7 days. That alone is so ridiculously encouraging to me because it is a phenomenon I never had the pleasure of experiencing the past 25 years I've been alive. It's like a whole new world is opening up to me. I cannot stress enough how WORTH IT this journey is. It's hard as hell, but so fucking worth it. I feel like a real human today. I can't imagine what things will be like a year into it. I have so many things to look forward to.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Day 14

I'm back. It's been a long road since my last post. Made it 250 days before I relapsed. Since have had streaks of 30, 60, 90, and now back to 14. I've never been closer to the finish line, but need to make sure I tie up loose ends and fix the emotional reasons why I relapse. I need to continue to build up on my values and to create a life that doesn't need the instant gratification of PMO to manage my emotions. Because that's what it turned into--a way to deal with uncomfortable emotions.

God bless everyone here, because we are the only ones who know how difficult it is to break free from this addiction. Especially when you began as a teen or younger. My parents, my friends, my brothers. they don't understand. i think they want to, but it's impossible. Only when you've gone through it can you understand the pain.

Good luck!
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Day 26

Feeling good. Confident about the success of this final reboot. My mind is strong and my emotions are stable. I feel as if I've slowly but surely replaced the gratification I would get from my addiction with life habits that are more productive/rewarding. It's really a matter of replacing pleasure with authentic happiness/satisfaction with life.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Day 32 or 33

Good day today. A pattern is beginning to emerge in my recovery journey. I have 4 days of good moods, decent libido, and energy/motivation. Then I'll have 2 days of cravings, which are basically withdrawals. At the end of the second day the withdrawals hit a crescendo of pain, and then fade away. I'll usually have a wet dream around this time.

Since the last time I relapsed was in the morning/early afternoon, I'll feel a craving during that time that will only last for half of the day. I'm convinced that our withdrawals/cravings are directly correlated to our relapses. Since my relationship with porn has turned into long streaks broken up by binges, the withdrawals only occur on certain days, but are very intense. Very, very intense. Mindfulness is a must for me, since being aware of the state I'm in is key in avoiding relapses. I'm pretty confident that I will defeat this thing on this streak. I've never felt closer to the finish line.

I know I have plenty of more bad days ahead, but I must take advantage of the good ones.

God bless and keep going fellas. This is the only way we can secure a normal, healthy life. There is no way around this addiction. We gotta go straight through it.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Day 37

My emotions are very topsy-turvey. I can go from feeling depressed to feeling slightly euphoric in a single day. I hope this means that my brain is on the verge of healing for good. Lord knows I've done my due diligence--I've fapped maybe 20 times, total, in the past year, and most of those faps were parts of a single day's binge.

I'm still undecided on how much relapses affect our recoveries, but I'd definitely advise avoiding them. Of course they are necessary to learning about your own weaknesses, but I'd say to be as proactive as possible when it comes to this recovery. relapses hurt. Bad.

Like I said, I hope that I'm near the end of this journey, or at least to a point where the withdrawals aren't so bad.

I think that once I hit the 3 month mark I'll be in a very good spot, but who knows for sure. This is an unpredictable process to say the least.

Good luck everyone. 
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Day 49

Still going strong. It's been an uphill battle, like it always is. Very ready for this process to be over (?), if that's ever a possibility. I just want to get to a point where I'm too happy with my current life to even think about sabotaging it, though I know that there isn't much rationality when making the decision to cave in. Life will go on.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Day 65

Bad day today. Cycle continues. Hopefully I will bounce back tomorrow. Good luck everyone
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Day 70

I fully realize that the number of days I have been clean from this addiction is not the most important aspect of my recovery, but as a human I'm drawn to statistics and metrics, so I'll continue to post what day I'm on because I love having some kind of anchor when it comes to this abstract disease. I need something tangible in a world of intangibility.

I had a weeklong flatline starting around Christmas Eve, and got out of it New Years Day after a night filled with odd dreams, morning wood, and another wet dream. I've had about 5 or 6 of those so far during this particular reboot.

In 2017 I'd say I relapsed a total of 20-25 times, and most of those were binges that occurred over a span of a single day. I'd say I spent 5-6 total days in the porn-induced haze. The rest have been times of abstinence. And I still wouldn't consider myself anywhere near I want to be, though I'm very optimistic about where I am right now. I've adopted a mindset that I can only describe as "willing to do whatever it takes". Cold showers, meditation, success stories, telling my loved ones about it, working out religiously. I've finally gotten to a point where I'm confident in my ability to do whatever it fucking takes. I guess I just got to a point where I hated porn so much that I could not let it fucking take another extra day from me. I'm doing my penance for all of the times in high school that I'd jerk off onto my bedroom carpet at 2 a.m.

I know that I have an addictive personality. And, sadly, I believe that it has caused this addiction to dig its claws particularly deep into my brain. But what can I do about it now besides beating it one day at a time? Nothing. That's the answer. And it has taken me years and years of failure to get to it. Some things can only be learned by doing. I'm a firm believer in that idea. Even though there are already hundreds of stories/people/accounts that are filled with the correct information, I still needed to fail in my own way before I could grasp what the successful rebooters were saying.

Gabe Deem is the fucking man. I plan on turning around an helping people just as he does, though on a much smaller scale. I truly believe that if I can help one person through the hell that is rebooting, that I've earned my keep. I would've paid thousands of dollars to find a person in real life who would take the time to walk me through this process, step by step. The first thing I would have wanted to hear is that beating this issue should be my number one priority. Above a career, above friends, above school. This thing needs to be taken care of before any real success can be had in the areas I've just listed.

The way my addiction has been going as of late is 3-5 "decent days" followed by 2-7 "bad days". Since I've already experienced 3 good ones, tonight being the end of the 3rd, I expect to entering another span of "bad days" shortly. No matter how much I try and prepare for them, I'll never get used to them. They hurt like hell every time. But I have no other choice, I need to do the best I can. I need to try and stay positive and to realize that I'm so much better off that where I was before all of this. I'm on the cusp of something great. Just need to keep going, no matter how many more days I need.
 

KW1989KW

Active Member
Zander13,

Great story and remarkable work done! I commend you on your journey and the steps you've taken to beat this S.O.B. You are so correct in your statement about failure of your own. One cannot completely understand until they have tried, failed and tried again. Only this time you have the steps and the knowledge to succeed. I myself went through a similar stage and still feel I am in and out of it. The night of New Years Eve I had prepared myself for the thought of a possible overnight stay with my friend. I felt great and knew I could make it work if the time arose. When she had left that night, a sudden sadness fell over me like a weighted blanket carrying me to the bottom of the ocean and the next morning I MO'ed. This was my emotions taking control. I should have meditated and allowed myself a thought in the positive, but I acted. This past week I have been down on myself wondering what I did wrong. I allowed myself to get so excited about the possibility that when it didn't happen I was at an all time low. This is my failure.

Moving forward we need to take these experiences of "our" failures and turn them into positives and learning experiences. I have full faith in you that you will conquer this. You have the ability, knowledge and support to keep you going.

Keep up the hard work. You are already far along in your journey. Many steps forward from what once was!!

Best of luck my friend,

ImOnMyWay
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Day 75

My last round of ?bad days? ended yesterday in the afternoon. I expect to have 4-5 ?good days? before the withdrawals hit again. It is very nice to know my addiction?s rhythm like I do. Makes it much easier to cope with everything.

Morning wood is getting more and more consistent. At around 90 days I?m going to start fully attempting to retire with a real live female speciemen. Had an opportunity to this past weekend but was weirded out by her age (21). Should?ve just pulled the trigger but what are you gunna do? It was nice to feel attracted to her, and was a huge hit in confidence. I?m getting to the point where I?m truly tuning in to the realities of life. Emotions, dreams, monetary realities are now beginning to slowly make their way into my consciousness. I expect that as I further progress I?ll begin to expend increasingly smaller amounts of energy to fighting urges. My brain will, through neuroplasticity, build larger maps for other activities besides jizzing onto my belly. Sorry for the crudeness but I felt it was warranted.

I know rewiring will be my final task, and I look forward to the process. It will be the most liberating experience of my life. I have a lot of anxiety tied into the act of sex, and a successful completion of it will do so many things for me, not the least of which being a boost in confidence that can only come with that sort of thing. It?s validation of the highest order.

So long for now my good friends. Good luck to everyone, and don?t ever get cocky about this shit (this includes me). Complacency is perhaps our number one enemy.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Day 78

One thing I realized today was that in order to truly free myself from this mess, I need to alter the way I approach the world. I've been operating under faulty values for a while now, and not until today did I realize just how moronic the map I've been using has been, map being a metaphor for the guidelines I've set in place for how to live life in the correct way.

The most important thing I need to focus on going forward is connectivity and putting myself out of my comfort zone. I need to constantly be willing to put myself under duress, that is the only way I will grow. I need to have my worldview challenged at every turn. I need to be willing to make mistakes and to be wrong about things. I'm a perfectionist at heart, but that is no excuse to let myself be surrounded by a bubble of safety.

This has happened to me before--I find a good amount of success with a reboot and then find myself in a void of sorts. Abstaining from porn becomes easier and it no longer is an immediate threat--once this shift occurs, I no longer have a clear, definitive purpose. I'm basically on par with the rest of the world. I'm no longer as "different" as I used to be, I no longer have an excuse as to why I'm not fulfilling my potential.

I understand that I always need to be vigilant about porn, and that I'll never be allowed to view it or fantasize about it again, but it's time that I turn my attentions to al of the holes/problems/issues that have resulted from me putting all of my energies into beating this thing. I need to grow the fuck up. I need to figure out exactly what I want, what I need to do to get there, and then start taking the steps. I don't want to be a pulsating, nervy ball of unfulfilled potential. I want to be the guy that lives life to the absolute fullest.

It's going to be hard, because I think, deep down, my brain is wired to want to get home as fast as possible, be alone, and masturbate myself into an oblivion. I don't know if that will ever fully go away. But it's my job to fight that impulse and to remain out of the house. To be in front of others and to engage with the world. No more excuses man. It's time to saddle up and get after it. To take full responsibility for where I'm at and to do my best to remedy everything that has "gone wrong." I'm only 26 years old, I have time. But I don't want to waste any more of it. I have all the skills required. It's just a matter of sticking with something. Of not quitting when the going get's rough.

The more I fully engage myself in my life and with the world around me, the less I'll care about morning woods and minor withdrawals. I know this because I've been there before. I've lived hard enough to where the addiction is a minor nuisance. I don't want to downplay its potency or its danger, but I also know that as long as I take the proper steps each day, that I'm going to be fine. Most of the habits I need to beat this thing are already in place. Now it's time to focus on the other stuff.
 
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