The only objective thing I can say is that the past 4 days have been easier.I hope, you are somewhat okay, man.
Until I leave the flatline, I won't ever feel "good", or "normal". I read a document that interviewed 4 or 5 24(+) month flatliners, and they all kind of said the same thing: the flatline was fucking awful, and it didn't go away until it went away. Never during their time within it did they feel good. But once it lifted, they felt as if they had "superpowers", which, to someone like them (and me), that just meant that they felt how normal people do.
Since I started masturbating compulsively at such an early age, I've never known what it felt like to be "normal" as an adult, so I'm sure I'll feel as if I'm Superman for a while, until I somewhat get used to it (going to try my hardest to never forget how dark this shit has been).
I'm 4 days away from month 19. That would mean that I won't leave this flatline for another 5 months, at the least. That's fucking hard to fathom, but I can't dwell on that all day every day. These days, I just do what I can to make it through the really hard times, and try and do my best to eek out as much pleasure during the okay times.
Good thing is I'm planning on leaving this flatline a much happier person than when I entered it. Never as a kid was I all that happy. I'm sure I'm forgetting all of the positive stuff because I feel so damn shittily all the time, but when I look back all I remember is a lot of anxiety, and fear, and shame.
I've since learned, throughout this journey, why I felt the way that I did, and in doing so enabled myself to actually stay clean from porn, because for me, porn wasn't just a hyper addictive thing that my brain got hooked on from repeated viewings. I buried my emotions in that shit, especially anger. I hated my father, but I didn't know it and really suffocated that hate.
Some days I like to believe that my flatline is just my brains slowly letting out all of the negative stuff I used porn to repress. I'm angry like all the fucking time during this flatine, and I like to think that it's because I rarely ever, ever showed any anger as a kid. I didn't know that I was allowed to.
My Dad really fucked me up, and therapy allowed me to see that, and to attempt to heal from it. I'm not reading a book about growing up with an emotionally immature parent, and it's one of those instances where you feel as if you could have written half of the thing on your own. He checks almost all of the boxes.
The sad thing is that the realization of my Dad's misgivings was only the beginning. I think, for a lot of people, those therapy sessions would have served as springboard to a brand new life. But, for me, I was left with withdrawals and active addiction. I couldn't just act out my newfound realizations. I've had to wait, for fucking years, to finally unleash my true(ish) self onto the world.
I really, really hope that it will all be worth the wait. But who knows. The funny thing about life is that I could die tomorrow, never having known what it was like to be free from all of this. That's just how it goes. It couldn't be any other way, because without time things would have no meaning or significance, but it can, without question, be a cruel mistress. I could die tomorrow, and thinking otherwise would be a disservice to myself.
One thing all of this pain has brought me is a deep well of empathy, and as soon as I'm fit for reality in its truest sense, I'm going to go out there and try and help other folks who have endured similar fates as me. There is always room for growth. Things can be different. Books can be read, ideas can be introduced, paradigms can be shifted.
I want to one day forgive my Dad, but for the time being, I kind of hate him. I know it's not his fault that he's all stunted, emotionally, but it's jsut really tough for me to grasp someone's complete lack of motivation to look inward. Yes, our parents can fuck us up, but once we hit a certain age it's up to us to fix it. Maybe I got lucky enough to have the time and money to afford therapy, but yeah, I think I would have eventually fixed some things because addiction is hard to ignore, and kind of forces you to confront your own demons. If you don't, then you'll find yourself relapsing over and over and over gain, without ever truly knowing why.
I've seen some success stories where people blame themselves for being selfish in their addictions. To me, I don't subscribe to that notion. I like to think that oftentimes addiction is just a reaction to devastating events and/or circumstances. We are so fucking vulnerable as kids that it's really tough to not get affected. Especially if you're an emotionally sensitive, introspective kind of person. We internalize a lot of shit. We blame ourselves, and try to "fix" our personality in order to make things somewhat even keeled.
I forgive myself for the mistakes I made as a kid. I just did not have any tools to cope with my parents. It's, honestly, no wonder why I turned to porn. It numbed shit. It gave me pleasure, and allowed me to kind of change who I was on a fundamental level. Since porn made me callous, I could be the "man: I thought I was supposed to be: cold, powerful, "tough". Those kinds of stupid, American-y things that are blasted down our throats as we interact with mainstream culture.
I'm obviously an opinionated person, but what you have to understand is that this is my journal, and I'm using it as such.
I'm starting up therapy again to let some of this anger out. I still have a fuck ton of it locked up inside, and I really don't want it to be there anymore.
This is a long-winded response, but sometimes you gotta get it out.
So yeah. Past 4 days have been, objectively, easier. Doesn't mean I'm doing well, just means I'm not feeling acquainted with the devil.
I will feel a lot more pain until this is all over. that's really hard to admit, and makes me pretty fucking terrified, but what can you do. It own't be easy. But hopefully the end will be worth it.
I'm still waiting to take the bag of mushrooms I have in my freezer. I don't want to do it until I feel healthy. But man, oh man, I can't wait to experience those bad boys. I want to start seeing life from different vantage points. I kind of want to do my best to unlearn all of the bad habits I picked up growing up the way that I did.
Oh, and thanks for asking.