Zander Reboot - Light at the end of the tunnel

zander13

Well-Known Member
@Dantes Thank you kind sir. I'm going to continue to try my best. Hope things start falling into place for you as well.

 

zander13

Well-Known Member
17.25 months into this. Still enduring a lot of psychological and emotional pain, but I'm also feeling more optimistic lately. Starting to think about the future more. Hope my optimism doesn't bite me in the ass. But even if things really start to fall off, it's comforting to know that this shit won't last much longer than 24 months, if that. It won't last forever.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Per usual, just as I start feeling optimistic I have a day like today. No more getting excited about things, it's just too much of a letdown.

2 years is the expected amount of time to start feeling relatively normal, and I need to stop expecting it to be otherwise. 2 years is 24 months, and I'm only 17 months in. That means I still have over a half of a year left. That's a long fucking time.

6 months normally wouldn't be that daunting for me, but I've already endured 17 months of nonstop difficulty. I'm worn down. I'm beat up. Bruised and shattered. On days like today it is quite difficult to the summon the energy needed to move through the day, especially when there is no guarantee that tomorrow will be any better. It's very hard to make sense of all of this. The only thing that I can think of is that enduring all of this hardship is sharpening me as a person. that's really the only thing I can think of.

I often worry about how many years I have left on this earth. If I die early, then this will be wasted time. But if I have a decent run at things, then maybe I'll be able to look back on this time and not totally regret it.

I know we need the darkness to appreciate the light, but this amount of darkness seems excessive.

I'm just bored of this process. Bored of complaining. Bored of having to wake up feeling so damn shitty. I'm never going to lie and say that I'm happy when I'm not, and today, I don't feel very happy. I feel downright miserable.

Once I get out of this I plan on making some big, big changes. I'm going to move somewhere exciting, and I'm going to put myself out there in ways I never have before. I just read a description of my astrology signs that stated that I'm the kind of person to have grandiose ideas but oftentimes crave security so deeply that I'll abandon my aspirations. Well I'm not going to fall in that trap. I need to forge something using all of the wreckage of my early life. I really, really want to become a happy person. I, so badly, want to experience all of the things that life, if we're lucky, has to offer. Most of all, I want to find love. To build my own home. To feel as if I'm truly a man.

That is all for now.
 

ukquit11

Member
Keep going man! I have read through pretty much the whole thread today and the way that you simply won't give up even when you have relapsed in the past is very inspiring. It may take a while, but I know you'll get there, we all will!
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
ukquit11 said:
Keep going man! I have read through pretty much the whole thread today and the way that you simply won't give up even when you have relapsed in the past is very inspiring. It may take a while, but I know you'll get there, we all will!

Thank you very much sir. It's nice to know that I'm not speaking into a vacuum. Good luck to you as well.
 

Jeks

Well-Known Member
zander13 said:
Once I get out of this I plan on making some big, big changes. I'm going to move somewhere exciting, and I'm going to put myself out there in ways I never have before. I just read a description of my astrology signs that stated that I'm the kind of person to have grandiose ideas but oftentimes crave security so deeply that I'll abandon my aspirations. Well I'm not going to fall in that trap. I need to forge something using all of the wreckage of my early life. I really, really want to become a happy person. I, so badly, want to experience all of the things that life, if we're lucky, has to offer. Most of all, I want to find love. To build my own home. To feel as if I'm truly a man.

Yeah man, thats also what gets me to hold onto. We can not loose our hope. I think the information, that 2 years seem to be some kind of peak most of the time can be also quite calming. You know, that you were feeling better before and that you got out of it one time.


If you are feeling depressed, try to not put much pressure on you. Do what you think makes you less miserable. Everything else has lower priority on days like this.

Keep going zander. It will get better soon for sure.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Jeks said:
zander13 said:
Once I get out of this I plan on making some big, big changes. I'm going to move somewhere exciting, and I'm going to put myself out there in ways I never have before. I just read a description of my astrology signs that stated that I'm the kind of person to have grandiose ideas but oftentimes crave security so deeply that I'll abandon my aspirations. Well I'm not going to fall in that trap. I need to forge something using all of the wreckage of my early life. I really, really want to become a happy person. I, so badly, want to experience all of the things that life, if we're lucky, has to offer. Most of all, I want to find love. To build my own home. To feel as if I'm truly a man.

Yeah man, thats also what gets me to hold onto. We can not loose our hope. I think the information, that 2 years seem to be some kind of peak most of the time can be also quite calming. You know, that you were feeling better before and that you got out of it one time.


If you are feeling depressed, try to not put much pressure on you. Do what you think makes you less miserable. Everything else has lower priority on days like this.

Keep going zander. It will get better soon for sure.

Thanks for the wise advice and for the kind words of encouragement. Excited for me to join you at the finish line.

Sadly, if my excel doc proves to be accurate, the next 8 days are going to be the bottom of the valley. Last time I was in this period, things got really dark. I'm trying my best to prepare myself, but there truly is no way of getting myself ready. It won't be as dark as the last time because things have been steadily improving (in the overall picture), but it's still going to be mightily difficult. I could be wrong, but I don't think so. My gut is telling me that I'm at the precipice. Wish me luck. 8 days is a long time. Might be bitching a lot the over the next week.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
My prediction was a little off: today (tonight, specifically) is the first day I can bitch about. Since 5 o'clock PM I've felt pretty damn bad. Not super bad, but pretty shitty nonetheless. Strong anhedonia, anxiety, cynicism, a little anger are some of the symptoms I'm experiencing right now. The next couple days will be quite indicative of how things will be moving forward. Either things have gotten much better, or I'm still in for a period of intense darkness.

When I say "darkness", I'm trying to encapsulate this mixture of feelings that I experience during certain portions of my flatline. Darkness is the perfect word because I start getting attracted to dark things--things dark enough to fill the void that intense, fetishized pornography created when I left it behind. The color of my mood is scarlet red, sometimes bordering on charcoal black. It's a time when I get intimate with true evil. And I know that sounds dramatic, but I can't put it any other way. It's fucking insane, and in those periods I cannot relate with another human soul on the planet. It's the most lonely headspace I've ever been in. And I hope to God I never have to go back there. So when I say that the next week or so is important, I am speaking out of fear of the darkness. Now is the time, based on my excel doc, when I'd be going through the ordeal. I may be wrong, and I'm off by a week or so, but yeah, I'm within range of it.

If it does come I need to do my absolute best to try and keep control of my thoughts, and to remember that it won't last forever. This is very, very difficult to do when I'm in the midst of the black, but yeah, I can always try.

During my first couple of reboots I never neared the kind of darkness that this current one has, so don't let this scare any newcomers. It's a product of kindling, which entails long periods of abstinence broken up by intense binge sessions. I'd make it 180 days, binge for 3 days, climb out, make it another 90 days, then binge again. I did this for years, and each reboot grew harder and harder. Over the last two years I completely lost my mind, experiencing intense anxiety, including a severe fear of death. My fight or flight system got so fucked up that I could barely fucking move, let alone drive. It was a part of my timeline that I will need some time to properly address and revisit. And this reboot has been just as difficult, in its own way.

As I said, I'm praying to every deity I can think of during the next 2 or so weeks. I don't want to get that dark again. And if I don't, that will be a huge, huge indication that I'm truly on the up and up. I can tolerate the milder symptoms, especially when the anhedonia isn't extreme.
 

Jeks

Well-Known Member
Good luck for the upcomming days bro.
You made it out one time, you will also make it out this time.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Thanks Jeks.

I'm definitely in a down period. I was correct about it being so. If it get's any darker, we'll have to wait and see.

Regardless, I interacted with my parents today, and am sitting here in this chair having completely regretted my decision.

I so badly don't want to fall under the spell of my father, and yet I do stupid shit like I did today, resulting in me feeling the same emotions I felt when I was a powerless young kid. Fuck do I feel bad for that young version of myself. My Dad is such a fucking bully. And I mean bully with a capital B. He'll weaponize good weather to his advantage. He'll literally use a nice day as a way of showing off how much more of a man he is than me. I kid you not. Never have I felt more misunderstood than I do when I'm around him. We're just totally fucking different people. But I don't want to give him a pass because of that fact. Yes we are different, but it's not like a difference that occurs in a sitcom where one housemate is messy and zany, while the other is neat and tightly wound. No. It's much different than that. Some days it feels as if I'm Luke and he's Vader. But not the Vader with the helmet off and the mortal wounds at the end of the 3rd--he's the Vader that wears the mask and chokes people from 10 feet away with an invisible force. I know that's dramatic, but that's just it feels right now.

I'm sure that the depression and other symptoms are amplifying how poorly I'm reacting to our interaction, but I also know that where there smoke there is fire. I learned, from people outside the webs of my family, that people can be encouraging, and empathetic, and smart in different ways than the ones that land you six figure salaries. And I'm now worried that since I'm no longer near those people, I'm forgetting that there is another way to be.

I so badly don't want to fall back into my old ways of thinking, because those are the blueprints that lead me to addiction in the first place. That idea of this happening scares the shit out of me.

I texted a good friend and started a conversation so that I don't have to live with this trepidation on my own.

What this has taught me is that once I'm through with the harsher symptoms, I need to work really fucking hard to build a life outside of the one I grew up in. I need to build me own home, as I stated in a previous post. And I'll fucking die trying. The world doesn't quite understand how hard I'm willing to work to prove a whole bunch of people wrong, though my motivation won't come from that specifically, but rather a stronger desire just to be a happy man. The proving people wrong part will just be a bow on top.

I think one of the first hurdles that I'm going to need to jump through once I reach the finish line of this race is to learn to accept the fact that I'm capable of doing things grander than I have lead myself to believe. I need to grow the confidence that is required to truly go out on a limb. I need to take risks, and to believe that I can overcome the inevitable adversity that comes with putting your neck out on the line, especially when the emotional support from a father won't be there. If I have dreams that don't involve falling under his influence than he won't support me. Yes, he will say words and make gestures, but in his heart I don't think he knows how to truly want what I think is best for me, because in his head, he knows what's best for me better than I do. His ego is just too large to see the world through any lens other than his own.

Whatever, I've already wasted too many words on the man. He is who he is. I can't change him, or anyone else. All I can do is to conquer this addiction, and watch as other pieces of life naturally fall into place.

This entry, above all else, is just a way of me drawing a line in the sand, reminding myself that where I'm at now isn't all that life has to offer, and that my family's way of going about the world isn't the only one.

That is all. Good luck. And God bless my mother for dancing around those fuckin' eggshells her whole life. With an ego like his, you gotta be a Russina Ballerina to maneuver around that minefield. Fuckin' prick.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
I definitely attribute my rant last night to both circumstance and the state of my mood. I am now extremely confident that my predictions were totally correct, and that the next three days will be really fucking difficult. Once they're over, I'll feel really good, but I need to get through this upcoming period in order to get there. I'm really scared about how dark things are going to get. It's not something one can prepare for. It takes over my entire psyche. It completely alters my personality. I'm fucking petrified, and I can't stop thinking about it.

Each cycle is easier than the last, so hopefully when this stretch arrives again in 2 months it'll be much less severe in nature, because I'm at a point where I no longer tolerate feeling this poorly. I have higher expectations of how I should feel on a day to day basis.

I told someone I know about how hard the next several days will be in hopes that I don't feel as alone. I know I won't be able to be around people, but maybe them knowing will help out a little. Fuck man. I'm so scared.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Had a wet dream last night, and experienced the chaser effect most of today.

What I've learned about the chaser effect through both simple research and by analyzing what I've experienced:

The chaser effect happens because men need to get it when the gettin' is good, so after an orgasm our brains want us to have more because we'll never know when we'll be able to procreate again, and it wants to better our odds in any way it can. For most males, this would result in more cravings for regular sex, but, because I've fucked my brain up with porn, my brain equates sex with watching porn. So cravings for porn increase by a large margin, hence why I feel cravings as we speak.

Basically, men stay aroused after orgasm, and if our sexuality is strongly influenced by porn then that's where our brains turn to.

 

Jeks

Well-Known Member
Good luck on making it through this tough period. Try to think thoughts and do things to endure your situation. Remember, that you made it out once before. You can definitely get better again.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Stretch of days haven't been as bad as I thought, but they still haven't been great.

Today was such an odd mixture of quite difficult periods and stretches of not bad, borderline good.

The next two months will be interesting to observe.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Feeling down and angry. Comes in waves, so hopefully it'll dissipate by the end of the night.

Pain is happening during very specific parts of the day. During the lulls thing aren't so bad, but rough times are still no fun.

It'll for sure take 2 years.
 

PKCowned

Member
Zander13 - I?ve been reading through your journal and I am proud that you are working through this the best way you can. I know this road is challenging, I am on my second round of 90 days, with a partner, and have been PMO free, with 3 MO relapses, since the beginning of the year. I just want to give some advice and ask a question.

First, my question - I?ve noticed that one of the things we do in this reboot community is compulsively focus on things such as the flatline, but one of the things that?s so cyclical about this thinking is that if our libido and brain is not given the correct, proper and real life stimulation that our body was designed to work with, it can be really hard for our libido and arousal systems to feel they are functioning properly in the first place. You are doing great with abstinence, but how are you doing when it comes to introducing either a partner or some other forms of real world stimulus via rewiring?

Finding a way to move your brain out of counting days and flatline cycles is truly the only way you will ever recover, because someone who is recovered does not worry about such things, instead, they live in a new symbiotic relationship with their libido and outside worlds. This form of compulsive thinking is 100% a libido killer. If possible, I would limit the amount of journaling and tracking to simply once a week, and do your best to focus on other things at that time. When you compare your weeks, it?ll give you more room to analyze the way you felt during that period, and might give your brain the needed space it needs to recover from the anxiety associated with tracking ?progress?.

My second piece of advice, one in which I don?t really see on this forum ever, is to go seek help from a sex therapist. The vast majority of them are all acutely aware of Porn addiction, Sexual compulsion and dysfunctions such as PIED, and if you have insurance, most are very affordable. Having an additional outlet, plus advice from someone in person, does soooo much for reducing stress surrounding recovering from porn addiction.

I wish you the best, and am here if you want to talk about any of this further. Best of luck on your recovery bud!
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
The internet is a tool. Of that I have no question. But I'm also quite tired of it.

PMO addiction isn't something being readily talked about at coffee shops, let's not kid ourselves. But for guys like me, I need an environment to have some discourse about it. We all need to express ourselves to others, I don't care who you are.

Bringing these two facts together, I am kind of forced to go online to seek out some form of back and forth with humanity when it comes to my porn addiction.

I'm nearing 18 months of abstinence, and I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And as I've progressed in this journey, I've noticed quite a lot. And they aren't all happy observations.

In fact, one of the saddest observations I've made deal with how the internet affects interpersonal communication, information sharing, trust, etc. etc. I've also noticed how it's presence has affected newer generations of humans. Not a lot of it is good.

I'll put this bluntly: no longer will I tolerate people coming onto MY journal and offering any sort of unsolicited advice. Because, as with most "advice" I've received throughout my life, it's more of a form of either talking to oneself, or worse, using a perceived position of power to make oneself feel above another. Every once in a while I've come across people who are kind/empathetic/compassionate enough to give "advice" whose sole aim is to help me out, but, mostly, I've observed that it's mostly a form of control and/or a power grab. Especially on these forums.

I want to continue to be able to express myself, warts and all, on this website. It's a good place for me to vent. It helps me remove the sludge that accumulates in my psyche as I trudge along this path. But every time someone posts something that makes me regret my vulnerability I recoil a little, as one tends to do when feeling misunderstood.

So please, folks. Don't offer me advice. If I ask for it, then yeah, answer my questions. Other than that, don't come on here and try to tell me what's what. I have acquired a little too much self-confidence to allow people to try and make themselves feel big through passive aggressive, one-sided "advice".

Here's a tip for any wannabe advice givers: don't relapse. Abstain from porn. Be kind to others. Watch what you do/say. Listen more than you speak. Lead by example (this one is fucking huge). If you truly know the keys to success then display yourself applying those virtues to your own life. And then go to the success stories section, when you're all finished, and post your story.

I want to continue using this forum as a tool, but I've become more and more reticent to post my true innermost thoughts the last couple months. And I can't help that feeling. It has occurred naturally.

I'm a private, sensitive person, so some folks may wonder how a few off the cuff forum posts have caused me this distress. Well my answer is this: the internet is not a vacuum. There are other, real people on the other end of the satellite laser beam. People with their own issues and worries and pain.

I'm guilty of being a butthole online myself. I'm no saint. But in such tender places, like this forum, I make sure to be as empathetic as possible. I encourage you all to do the same.

The reason I am posting this is because I have learned that holding stuff inside is no good. In fact, unexpressed emotions, deep in one's heart, provide quite fertile fields for addictions to grow. That's where mine started. Years and years of stuffing my true self down my own throat created a cesspool that was ripe for addiction. Porn just happened to be the first vice I was old enough to cling to.

What's funny is that I'm providing advice as I write this, I've just noticed. But the thing is I'm writing this on MY journal. It's not directed towards one single person. It's just me posting my thoughts and observations. So though I'm guilty of pontificating, I at least do it on my side of the fence, where it's more of a shout into the void as opposed to a public conversation.

I don't want to crucify anyone, but please, don't post on my page without truly examining your motivations to do so.

Maybe this will lead to no one ever commenting on my stuff again. Well, if that's the case, then so be it. I'm doing the hard work that this addiction requires, though I know that I'm one second away from having to start all over again.

The margin of error, for me and my brain, is quite slim. I can fuck up at any point. So, above all else, I need to keep making smart choices.

That is all.
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Well said, zander!

I can so relate to all this... Especially someone coming along, particularly after a lapse I've posted about, and commenting in some "one-size-fits-all" piece of advice, it creates a chilling effect on posting any further on one's own journal!

I recently worked through this, and had to dig down and say, "How can I return to posting in my journal as best helps me (being my own journal and all)?" Who am I really posting for? And only when I could do that did I return to it... But, like yourself, I don't have very many outlets out there, and this issue kind of needs one, at least to where we can use it as a sound board, and receive only (hopefully) positive support with an occassional well thought out, good intentioned, honest helping hand.

And I've also been guilty of the same, offering advice like it was candy. I'm sure I've given some folk a cavity or two.

Wishing you strength for your journey, but I hope my comments aren't too anoying... ;)
 
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