Zander Reboot - Light at the end of the tunnel

zander13

Respected Member
Day 81


Another day another dollar. I'm in the midst of one of my "bad days", but the funny thing about it that I don't really feel that bad. I know as the day goes on it will get worse (I think as a result of my relapses occurring at night), but compared to when I first began this final streak, my bad days aren't that bad. They really aren't. I think meditation has a lot to do with that. Meditation has been the biggest factor in my success. Scientifically, it strengthens my frontal lobes. Ephemerally, it helps me be keenly aware of my thoughts, moods, and emotions. It allows me to observe my mind from a third party perspective. Without getting too into spirituality, the idea of meditation and mindfulness has given me the gift of awareness. True awareness. I see things for what they are. Ego is ego, withdrawals are withdrawals, emotions are emotions. It all passes eventually, no mood or thought or sadness lasts forever.

I never want to get too cocky or arrogant about this addiction, because I know how powerful it is. It's better left alone--ignored. Instead of focusing on fantasies or past scenes (which rarely occur anymore), I take some deep breaths and center myself on my breath. Then I do my best to steer my head away from porn. I acknowledge it and do my best to move on. I ignore any movie or show that contains explicit material and if I do happen to come upon pornographic scenes, I either fast forward the program or turn it off immediately. It's that simple. I advise anyone struggling with this problem to think about using this method. It's all about the little things. There is no grand gesture involved when it comes to beating this addiction. It always comes down to the little things, the minor moments. Sometimes a little luck, too. This shit is so fucking powerful that even if I felt like I've done everything right, down to the last percent of a percent, I'd still, in the beginning of my reboot, feel urges so powerful that I thought I'd lose for sure. And as we all know, one loss usually equals a few others. The hardest part about getting back on the horse is getting back on the horse. But it must be done.

I've rambled and I've preached. But it helped me to read other people's successes, so I want to pass as much information along as I can. If I didn't know that other people had successfully conquered this addiction before me, I would have had a ridiculously difficult time beating it myself. Not saying that I've beaten it, I don't think I'll ever say that (I have too much respect for it's potency and persuasiveness), but yeah. Hearing about methods of success and examples of success was good for me.

On a more statistical level, I have MW almost every day of the week now. I think I've begun to tap into all of the headway I made last year (~230 days clean), which goes to show that relapses don't set you back all the way. I remember that before my relapse, I could get hard to touch alone. I'm starting to get back to that state again. Feels really good to have movement down there. It really does.

One final thing I want to add is that if we addicts want to beat this thing, we can't live life like everyone else. We can't be on snapchat, or instagram, or facebook. I mean I guess you can, but why risk it? I'd find it near impossible to beat this problem if I saw bikini shots on the regular. The internet has given us great gifts as a human race, but it has also brought on a tremendous amount of evil. Addictions are just a click away. They live in your pocket. It's our jobs to safeguard ourselves against all of the smut that lives on the web. Advertisers know how to get guy's attention, it's no secret that on any given webpage you're going to see something sexual. It's bullshit but that's capitalism for you. Doing what it takes to win the almighty dollar. I'd say it's a shitty way to run a country, but the alternatives seem even worse. Anyways, I don't want to get into politics.

Sorry for rambling, I guess I have a lot on my mind. It's going to take a while for me to psychologically recover from this addiction. It's one thing to recover erections and zest for life, it's another to get over the amount of time wasted, pain endured, and shame internalized.

The best part about beating this thing is being able to be proud of yourself. I firmly believe that. When it comes down to it, the addiction will always be a gigantic, threatening, killing machine. We just need to get big enough to defeat it. The addiction doesn't shrink, we just grow bigger than it.

Peace. And good luck to all. I truly hope everyone beats the fuck out of this no good trash.
 

zander13

Respected Member
Day 82

Had one of the worst dreams of my life last night. It was a vivid, somewhat lucid dream where I relapsed to porn and everyone important in my life hated me for it. I felt the emotions as I was experiencing them in the dream. I woke feeling like shit, and apparently, when I relapsed in my dream, I had a wet dream in real life. So weird. Just goes to show that I'm not at the finish line yet. It still has a heavy presence in my subconscious. This addiction is so powerful it's ridiculous. And the thing is, porn is only becoming more relevant in today's culture. I think we are the tip of the ice burg when it comes to PMO addiction. There is no way that kids and teens of this era are not being affected by porn, perhaps even more heavily than us. That makes me sad to think about, but I'm definitely going to be around to help when shit inevitably hits the fan. We all know how hard it is to beat something so cunning and destructive.
 

KW1989KW

Active Member
Doing great man. Keep it up. Regarding that wet dream, you saw that I posted something from the success story (6 years PMO free). There is a section that discusses wet dreams or what he calls leaking. There are Kidney qi stretching routines that are supposed to help with this kind of thing. Personally I have not experienced this as of yet. But I am going to work on these stretch moves just for the hell of it. Good to stretch anyway.

I am in the same boat as you regarding the younger generations. I am going to do what I can to prevent P from taking over. It ruined my life for a while and I am just happy I have found a path. Thanks to this forum and brothers going through the same thing.

Talk soon,

ImOnMyWay
 

zander13

Respected Member
Day 87

Had a bit of a scare last night. I was the horniest I'd been since the beginning of the reboot. I began to fantasize about girls after reading a triggering Success Story on YBOP. Honestly, I was so horny that most things were triggers. I also made the mistake of touching myself to test for erection. It came alright. Along with the familiar rush of chemicals in my brain and a thumping heartbeat.

I didn't act on anything, but I don't even want to be in those kinds of positions again. It had me texting old girls late at night and losing some self-respect. I woke this morning and felt depressed and lonely, and then I took a cold shower, got dressed up, and went outside. I feel safe now, but this experience was a kick in the nuts for me. This is exactly the time I relapsed my last reboot, and now I know why. I'm out of the worst part of the flatline. I'm becoming turned on by things, like movie scenes, suggestive success stories, and other things of that nature.

The way I'm going to approach my reboot for now on is simple. No arousal (no movies, tv, etc.), no touching of the package, and a rule that I will only spend time in my room for sleep. I get caught in these lonely trances when I spend too much time in my room. It's not good for me. I used to have the excuse of "I'm withdrawing and therefore not ready to be social", but that excuse is clearly fading. I need to toughen up for this final portion of my reboot. This is the time when I need to solidify positive sexual habits. Because last night, if one of the girls I texted came over (like how my imagination, the squirrely fuck, was picturing it) then I would've been using them for masturbatory pleasures. They would've been objects. And I would've felt immense guilt and shame right after I came.

I want to approahc this reboot from a loving point of view. I don't want to get my rocks off for the sake of rewiring, or ego-boosts, or anything like that. I want it to be meaningful. So, as of now, I still need to remain in hardmode. I'm a severe addict, and I need more time to let go of the porn-ish fantasies. Because they are still there.

If anyone has any good suggestions on how to actively rid yourself of the subconscious pull that porn has on my life, please let me know. I so badly want to put it behind me. Or at least 90% of it. I'm tired of being scared. I'm tired of having to worry. I just want to be a normal person. Sometimes I think that I will never get back to where I was before I started watching this evil.

Sorry I can't be more optimistic, but it is what it is. Good news is I didn't watch any P, though I do feel like I activated some of the pathways. Just like Gary, Norman Doidge, and any other well-informed anti-porn expert knows, the pathways we formed in our brains are deep. They're like heavy flowing rivers. Everything tries to flow into it. I think, for am moment there, I got cocky. I was so happy about my newfound libido that I stopped approaching my addiction as strictly. It only took a few hours for it to make its move. It almost got me I think. Thank God it didn't. Beating this addiction needs to remain my number one priority. Over sex, over ego, over everything. It will ruin me if I don't remain careful. And honestly, it's not that hard to do the things that are required of me. Just stay in public. Make efforts to be around people. For some reason, when I'm in a certain mood, doing those things seems near impossible. Our greatest fears lie in anticipation.

Peace out boys. Wish me luck on my updated journey. And good luck to the rest of you, and stay vigilant.
 

zander13

Respected Member
Update:

I realized, with the help of my parents, that there is a reason for this addiction's hold on me. I am not well mentally. I've been avoiding this for years now, but finally the truth has pushed its way to the surface. I'm going back home tomorrow and I'm going to check into a hospital so I can figure out what's wrong with me. I think I jsut have so much pain that hasn't been addressed. There are just some things in life that I cannot fix alone. No amount of meditation, good habits, or willpower can solve problems as deep as the ones I've got.

Let this be an example to some of you: there could be problems that run deeper than just the porn addiction. I am now aware that I fall into this category. Now it's time I turn this reboot in a majorly different direction. I need to start addressing the pain and insecurities that I got going. I'm not well.

Good luck to all of you. At least I know I'll be abstaining while I'm in the hospital. I'll hit day 90 in there.
 

zander13

Respected Member
Day 90

Just got out of the hospital. Got diagnosed with major depressive disorder and got bumped up to 450mg of wellbutrin. Feeling better than I have in a long time, though I'm weary of how long it will last. Still though, it's a relief to know that some of my perceived "withdrawals" were actually symptoms of depression. Sometimes I get caught up in painting my depression symptoms as withdrawals, and start obsessing about my addiction rather than the true culprit behind most of my woes. I truly believe that I took to porn so well for a couple reasons.

A.) It's a dopamine rush of the highest order, and since my brain is inefficient when it comes to dopamine, I immediately began to enjoy the newfound feelings that it brought me, probably not dissimilar to how Wellbutrin makes me feel now (at least when it's at 450mg).
B.) All of the other reasons that can be found on YBOP.
C.) Played well with tendency to isolate when I'm depressed.

You don't have to agree with my assessment. It's all personal at the end of the day. This addiction, as well as mental illness, are personal matters. In the end it's up to us to get it all figured out, and maybe some mental health professionals. So FOR ME, depression is enemy number one. I'm still going to follow all of the habits I've been using to combat my addiction as well, but I should no longer mix up withdrawals with symptoms of depression. They are totally different.

I still know that a relapse would hurt me a great deal, especially since I'm starting to get my libido back in a big way. I get erections from merely thinking about girls now. Real ones. It's almost a difficulty to stop fantasizing about real women. I kept telling myself the other day "this is what all men must deal with. Attraction to almost every girl they see. I'm going to need to learn some self-control now, but in a totally different arena."

Also, when it comes to my moods, 90 days definitely isn't hurting me. Though the majority of my depressive symptoms are caused by actual depression, I am still aware of the anxiety and depression that withdrawals cause. If I was a betting man, I'd say that the majority of relapses, especially to the uninformed soul, are caused by the severity of withdrawals. Looking back, when I first started to abstain, they'd get me every time.

Well that's it for now. I've posted a lot of opinions so take everything with a grain of salt. This is just my particular experience.

Good luck boys.
 

KW1989KW

Active Member
Congrats on the 90 days bro. Now continue on this path and all will work out. Glad to see you were able to battle some inner demons and come out strong. I feel this reboot is more than just stopping P. It's bettering yourself in multiple categories. Keep up the good work.

ImOnMyWay
 

JB1997

Member
Zander,

Congrats on reaching day 90! That's incredible about your stay in the hospital, and I think that's a very powerful thing to share with everyone on the site. I don't know what you were thinking or going through that brought you to talk to your parents and go to the hospital, but I think it is inspiring to just have the idea that anyone can reach out for help regardless of what their problems are. I think it's interesting that with each streak that you have been on you have realized there are various cycles where you have good days and bad days. How did you come to realize this? How did you pay attention enough and notice those cycles of how you were feeling during those time periods. I think that's incredible, and something that would help me a great amount. For example, knowing if I am going into a bad stretch of a few days...before that stretch starts, I think would be helpful to really just keep myself from fantasizing or viewing porn.

I'm also wondering when the waking up with morning wood consistently started for you. I'm on day 35, and I've noticed a little bit more of an erection in the mornings when I wake up, but by no means not a full erection. I also do wake up to an alarm clock. I think your story is incredible, I just read all the posts. Meditation is something that I am getting into and want to try. Do you do guided meditation? I think the most inspiring parts of your story for me are the amount of times you have relapsed, but you have stuck with it and continue on this journey. Just paying attention to how your body feels and not giving up is something that I think is incredibly powerful. I'll be sure to check this thread periodically, as I want to stay informed with your journey!
 

zander13

Respected Member
JB1997 said:
Zander,

Congrats on reaching day 90! That's incredible about your stay in the hospital, and I think that's a very powerful thing to share with everyone on the site. I don't know what you were thinking or going through that brought you to talk to your parents and go to the hospital, but I think it is inspiring to just have the idea that anyone can reach out for help regardless of what their problems are. I think it's interesting that with each streak that you have been on you have realized there are various cycles where you have good days and bad days. How did you come to realize this? How did you pay attention enough and notice those cycles of how you were feeling during those time periods. I think that's incredible, and something that would help me a great amount. For example, knowing if I am going into a bad stretch of a few days...before that stretch starts, I think would be helpful to really just keep myself from fantasizing or viewing porn.

I'm also wondering when the waking up with morning wood consistently started for you. I'm on day 35, and I've noticed a little bit more of an erection in the mornings when I wake up, but by no means not a full erection. I also do wake up to an alarm clock. I think your story is incredible, I just read all the posts. Meditation is something that I am getting into and want to try. Do you do guided meditation? I think the most inspiring parts of your story for me are the amount of times you have relapsed, but you have stuck with it and continue on this journey. Just paying attention to how your body feels and not giving up is something that I think is incredibly powerful. I'll be sure to check this thread periodically, as I want to stay informed with your journey!

Terry Crews, that African-American actor who was in white chicks and other silly movies, and I believe was involved with Old Spice at one point, talked about how he beat porn on ESPN and shit sometime last year. He also has some youtube videos about it. What I remember from what he said was that in order to beat this thing, you have to become very aware of yourself. Very in-tune with your feelings, thoughts, all that fun stuff. For me the easiest way to do that, by far, is to meditate. My advice is to get the headspace app on your smartphone and do the guided meditations. It's nice to have someone walking you through it in the beginning because it's a weird sensation to just sit down and listen to your breath for 10-15 minutes. Once you start doing it consistently, which is easy and hard to find excuses not to, you can start doing it with others. I love meditating with someone else, it makes it so much easier. I did it with people I knew well, like my brother. They say it takes like 6 weeks for the benefits to really kick in, but you'll notice a certain calmness after the first few. And, as advertised, it get's you in tune with your thoughts, which is the most important aspect of beating this shit. It's almost like it gives you an extra minute of clear thinking before you relapse. It turns it into a choice, as opposed to something that sneaks up on you without even realizing it. Good stuff man, good for anyone too, not just red-palmed jizz fountains like us.

God speed man and thanks for commenting, no matter what people say, having people respond to your shit is a nice feeling.
 

zander13

Respected Member
ImOnMyWay said:
Congrats on the 90 days bro. Now continue on this path and all will work out. Glad to see you were able to battle some inner demons and come out strong. I feel this reboot is more than just stopping P. It's bettering yourself in multiple categories. Keep up the good work.

ImOnMyWay

Couldn't agree more on this being about more than just porn. That's a terrific insight that makes this addiction seem more a part of your life journey rather than one, colossal mistake that has done nothing but ruin your life.

Thanks for the post brother. You're killing it.
 

zander13

Respected Member
Day 93

Had withdrawals for only a day and a half in total. Usually it's two days and an entire morning that I have them. I don't know if it was an anomaly or if I'm just starting to really get over them. Either way, I feel great today, especially since I no longer feel depressed. It's like all of these weights that I've been lugging around with me are finally being lifted. I don't want to get too optimistic or cocky about my mental health, but I do have a right to feel accomplished that I'm approaching normalcy. And by normalcy I mean having the same shot at happiness as people who are neither depressed nor addicted to porn.

I realized today that my drive to quit has never been higher. I want it so bad. And the reason that my motivation is so high is because I've tasted what progress is like. I figured out what it feels like to have really good days. To feel happy, and horny, and in tune with the world around me. So my advice to anyone who is willing to listen is to be patient. To trust the process. Even if you don't feel any different after the first month, keep going. Maybe you feel even worse. I know I did. But that doesn't mean you should stop. Because you're going to have a really good day at some point. A day where your mind is clear and your love for the world is doubled. And when that happens, remember that feeling. Journal about it. Etch it into your memory so that when you start feeling crappy again, you'll know what you're working towards. You'll have an extra kick of motivation--real proof outside of success stories and forum posts.

Sorry to lecture but I wanted to share my insight. The closer you get to winning the more you'll want it.
 

zander13

Respected Member
Day 95

For me, the biggest challenge of rebooting has always been the complete loss of my creativity. Whenever I have quit porn for an extended period of time (as an adult), I lost my creativity as soon as I enter into the flatline. It seems that the only time I have been able to be creative was when I was still in the throes of relapse. As I've gotten older, it's only gotten worse. I lose all of it. The mind that I could once rely on to be clever and witty as hell disappears completely. My writing sounds stifled and ordinary. All of the things that made me who I was disappear. So, in essence, I lose my identity during this fucking rebooting process.

The past few days I've realized that because I feel indifferent about life while rebooting, I feel indifferent about my future. I feel stuck. I feel as if I don't want to do anything with my future. It makes me so upset to think about the amount of time I've wasted with this bullshit rather than going after my dreams of making headway into the creative field. And now, I've gotten to the point where I worry, daily, if I'll ever get it back. I've spent so much of my adult life waiting until the next day comes, so that I'll have a chance of feeling normal again. Of being able to enjoy the things that I used to enjoy.

What makes this anxiety worse is that I don't know if its my Wellbutrin that's making me un-creative, or the process of withdrawals. Or a mixture of both. All I know is that it better come back soon, because life does not seem worth it if I can't do the things that I love most in this world. I read some writing I did when I first graduated college, and was totally shocked by how good it was. Lively and funny and entertaining. Nowadays, whenever I try to write something creatively I immediately get frustrated by my lack of motivation and innovation. I'm just like everyone else now. Boring prose. Little to no humor, and the stress that accompanies those fucking stupid cunt punching inabilities. I've had it with this shit I swear to God. I know I haven't mentioned this before, because I wanted to be positive about this process, but to be honest with you, I'm angry. So angry. I'm angry at myself for getting involved in this mess, angry at the lowlife losers who take advantage of girls to make smutty, sin-riddled porn videos that zombify the masses and make good people like me depressed and disappointed with what should have been a great life. I have all of the tools, friends, family, and resources to be a success in this world. But, as of now, I'm nowhere near what I would consider success. I'm, so far, a failure. It's a fucking shame man, and rebooting seems to only make it worse. If I don't start turning it around soon, I don't what in the fuck I'm going to do. Maybe spend all my money on a trip to Europe or something. Slum it around and accumulate some experiences, so that IF my ability to be creative returns, I'll have some fodder to work with.

I saw a Noah Church video yesterday where a kid emailed him after day 90 saying he was contemplating suicide. He felt stuck and lifeless. Then, a month later, he emailed Noah again and told him that he had sex with a girl all night or something and that he considered himself cured. Hopefully something like that will happen to me. Because I shouldn't be feeling the way I do. I've been mostly abstinent from porn for around 2 years. Maybe 30 days of relapse in total. I mean what the fuck? Do relapses affect me that much? My worst span of porn viewing occurred when I was 18 year old for Chrissakes. I'm 26 now, and I feel worse than I did, creatively, than when I was 18. How in the fuck does that work man? Where's the God in that? There is no God, if you ask me. He wouldn't let something like this happen to so many innocent people. How is this thing part of any plan? Please tell me because I'm interested to hear the rationale. To me, it seems as if Darwin was closest to being right about everything. We're simply a mixture of water and atoms. And because of the way we've adapted, things like video games and porn are too much for some people to handle healthily.

I'm going to take a break from this forum for a while, because I want to come back with some good news. Something that will once again light the flame of hope within me. Because without my ability to write stories, poetry, and other shit, I don't want to be a part of this world. I mean I don't think I'll ever kill myself, but I'll resent the world for robbing me of my reason to be hopeful and excited.

Sorry for the negativity but this is actually once going on inside of my head.
 

zander13

Respected Member
day 101

Came out of a flatline several days ago. Now am better than ever. More proof that this stuff really works.

God bless and good luck
 

KW1989KW

Active Member
Keep it up my friend. More good to come. I love that feeling when you wake up and feel like everything is just great. Flatlines come and go, but managing them is key. Knowing the cycle and understanding yourself will make you feel better. Over time this will become just another thing we tackle in the thing we call LIFE!

ImOnMyWay
 

zander13

Respected Member
106

Might be back in flatline--don't know yet. Regardless, had 6 or 7 good days in a row. Most ever. Need to remain vigilant and to continue to solidify good habits!

Here is a great site that will help anyone struggling with this stuff. Take a look.

https://fightthenewdrug.org/blog/
 

zander13

Respected Member
Day 109

Still feeling good. At a point where I'm going to start actively pursuing girls. I need to start wiring my brain back to real women. No more excuses about that. I want to start building a new database of experiences with real women--add fodder for dreams, erections, etc. Not saying I think of girls as fodder, but you know what I mean. I want to truly move on from PMO, in every way.

Focusing less on the minor details of the reboot and just taking life day by day. My moods are much better overall and I find myself being interested in real life again. This makes it easier to not obsess about things.

Good luck everyone
 

zander13

Respected Member
Day 110

Think I'm in another flatline. So hard to tell these days. Had a wet dream last night but it was a porny one. I'm quitting video games for good, I definitely have a slight addiction to them as well. When I was in high school my routine was smoke weed, porn, video games, more porn. I've cut weed out and cut porn out. Now I need to get rid of video games for good. F A P. Fun, active, productive. Gabe Deem said it all. Check out his post in success stories if you haven't, he has one of the healthiest mindsets about this I've ever read/seen.

Edit: Hard work is required. I need to actively rewire my brain to F A P activities in a major way. Once weather get's better I'm going to make a point of hanging out in nature.
 

zander13

Respected Member
Day 112

Had a very realistic dream where I relapsed. I even felt the surge of dopamine before I woke up. My subconscious is still under fire. I believe the reason for this occurrence was because I've been watching more movies, trailers, etc. with racy shit in them. I've also been reading a book that has some sexual stuff in it. I need to quit all of that shit right now before it's too late. I feel good about where I'm at, but I CAN NEVER GET COCKY. I need to remember how insidious this shit is. It'll sneak up on you so quick. Meditation and mindfulness are key, I need to refocus my energies on those two things.

Besides all that, I actually had a good night last night and a good morning. My moods are unpredictable as is my junk, but I see that as a sign of the pendulum swinging back and forth until it finally rights itself.

I plan on going back to grad school in the summer, which leaves roughly 4.5 more months of reboot time before I start putting myself under more extreme stress. At some point I need to just get back out there and live life. The school is in a big city, and I hope that'll help wire my brain. I think it will. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I CAN DO is to avoid relapse and to continue to build good habits. Mindfulness being the most important.

One last note: I started to get a little creativity back these past few weeks, and as a result I turned creative writing into my top priority. I partially blame this shift in priorities for my recent mistakes. I'm just not ready to shift focus away from this addiction yet. I need it to remain my number one focus. If I ignore it, it creeps up so fucking fast it's unreal. Which makes me question my decision to return to grad school, though I do not know how I'll be in 4 months time. Things change so much during the rebooting process, literally no day is the same as before. It's the most destabilizing thing I've ever experienced in my life. ZERO consistency from day to day. None. I want to beat this shit so fucking bad I can't even tell you. It's the hardest thing I'll ever face in my life. I truly believe that, and if I can get over it, then I'll literally fear nothing this world has to offer.

Anyone out there having a tough time gathering a streak, you need to convince yourself of how serious this addiction is. Don't make it an afterthought, or it will continue to wreck you.

I know I'm an extreme case because I have an addictive personality, and that I started way too young. I began using PMO as a way to deal with my emotions, and once you start doing something like that, addiction really sinks its teeth into you. Some of you may not be as severely addicted as I am. If that's the case, then you can ignore my bitching about how bad it is. I have an artist's disposition, and because of that, I'm a little more emotional than other people. And shit just affects me more.
 

djh590

Member
hey man congrats on your on your 112 days thats a big deal especially in your case.  Its almost impossible for people not afflicted with this terrible addiction to know what we are going through.  It takes a real strong person to make it as far as you have man.
Stay strong, we will overcome this!
 
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