Yeah there was a time when I was so fucking close to feeling normal. It was the first serious reboot I ever endured, and I was at ~210 days. That's all it took, back then, for me to feel pretty fucking good. It was magical. I still remember this one day I had so vividly. I was watching the movie Shutter Island, and I'd never felt more engrossed in a movie in my life. It was as if I was Leo Dicaprio experiencing the world that Martin Scorsese created. The weather, the atmosphere, the emotions. It's etched into my memory, and I oftentimes use that day as the evidence I need to prove that these withdrawals are what's causing my issues, and that they do eventually go away. I remember music sounding profound, and I was able to sleep like a wee little baby.
I think it's a lot easier to draw up positive memories/motivations/emotions when I'm feeling decent. But on those dark days, I have to go a little deeper to keep from doing anything stupid. It's more fear based, but it has worked thus far. I know that if I relapse I'll be forfeiting years and years of my life, and at the age of 29 that's no longer acceptable. I don't even want to imagine the kind of place I'd be in if I relapsed. It'd be too dark for words.
This is very, very serious for me. I've smashed my brain into a pulp, and this is no longer some adventure for me. There are no more second chances. I used all of them up earlier on in my recovery.
If you read my journal, which, I know, is quite long, I think anyone would be able to spot this evolution that I just mentioned. I used to only post things on my good days, and they were usually quite positive, hopeful, endearing entries. My symptoms weren't as severe (not even close), and I knew that I'd be just about cured within a year if I stuck to my goal. But as time has progressed, and I've binge relapsed after these long streaks, my brain is so fucked that the symptoms are debilitating, and my whole entire body/being/mind is completely distorted and fucked up. No self-pity in that statement--it is what it is. And I'm the only one that can get myself out of it.
Nonetheless, I appreciate the reminders, because who knows, maybe, the next time I'm feeling like I'm in the 7th layer of hell, I'll try even harder to sprinkle in some nice thoughts. Who knows though, things get so fucking dark man. I wouldn't wish those mind states on anyone.
Hopefully 2 years will be the magic pill. If not, then I'll just have to keep going past that threshold. There's no other option for me.
Hopefully, once this is all said and done, I can continue posting on this forum, offering advice and whatnot. I can be the poster-child for the folks who have got it really bad. Sadly, I'd imagine that as time goes on, there will be more of us. I hope to God I'm wrong, but I think all of this is going to get worse before it get's better. Our society needs to undergo some changes if we're going to battle this problem on a scale that it needs to be battled at. It's like Germany in the early stages of WW2. They (Germany, perhaps more of Europe) kind of turned a blind eye to all of the evil going on underneath the surface, preferring to maintain the surface/face of the nation rather than pointing out the darkness and causing a ruckus. Maybe that's too harsh of a metaphor (nothing will ever compare to the atrocities of the Holocaust, not even close), but my point is that this porn issue seems to be pretty fucking bad, and yet nothing about it is entering the mainstream in any kind of credible way. I think the majority of people on this earth are being affected by it, but not everyone is sensitive enough to even realize what it's doing to them. We, the unfortunate ones, were hit so hard by porn's vileness that we couldn't choose to ignore it even if we wanted to.
Just think about the evolution of our culture the past ten years--step sibling stuff, pornstars used as gamertags (indicating, to me, that porn has entered the cannon of our popular culture), sending nudes in middle school, instagram models, blah blah blah blah. I know I'm a boomer, but the trend seems to indicate that porn is fucking things up. I'd bet that, in bedrooms across the world, things have grown worse as well. For me, porn altered my sexuality from the get go. I treated women as objects, and acted accordingly. I'd wager that I wasn't the only one, and that that kind of behavior is still going on today amongst our youth. Probably more so.
I feel passionately about this issue because it has damaged my life in such a profound, inescapable way, so perhaps I'm blowing things out of proportion, kind of like how an alcoholic tends to believe that alcohol is evil not just for him but for everyone, and that most of the world is comprised of burgeoning alcoholics or currently practicing ones. Anyways, good luck to everyone. Keep fighting the good fight.