Zander Reboot - Light at the end of the tunnel

zander13

Respected Member
A while back I said that I was going to learn a lot in the month of January. Well, I did and I didn't.

I learned that no matter what happens moving forward, I am, without question, through the most difficult parts of the reboot. By far. Nothing is as extreme. I've gotten out of the deepest valleys.

What I didn't learn was just pushed back to February.

The next week is going to tell me a whole hell of a lot. I'm either at the start of something or the end of another. Starting yesterday I started thinking that I'm in for another 3+ month cycle of the same shit but to a lesser degree, but today has me thinking that I'm actually at the end of the same cycle I've been in since October-Novemberish.

If I am indeed at the end of the cycle, that would mean a great, great many things. Just pondering the notion has me ridiculously excited, because that would mean the premonition I got yesterday was wrong. If I'm at the end, as opposed to a beginning, then I still have a perdio of relative bliss ahead of me. It'll be brighter than any I've had in the past 5 years or so. Not kidding. Yesterday I thought that I would have to wait another 3 months to see what was on the other end, but if I'm right about today then it'll be here really fucking soon.

If I'm at the end of the cycle then that would mean I'll experience improvement that are completely foreign to me. I'll hit a level that I haven't reached since I started this journal wayyyy back in the day. When I first starting posting, I made it to the finish line at around day 205. That feeling I got on that day is what has kept me going this entire reboot. I got a taste of feeling like a person, and it was so fucking glorious that I don't want to bother trying to put it into words. It's heavenly.

I'm 20 days away from 28 months. I haven't made any mistakes. I haven't fantasized, haven't peaked, haven't masturbated. I've done almsot everything right. And the thought of having to wait another 3 months to reap any sort of reward was really starting to get me down yesterday. But perhaps I was wrong. The next week will tell all.

Fuck dude I'm getting too excited. If I am at the beginning of another cycle as opposed to the end of one then I'll be pretty fuckin devastated. The thought of another 3 months of this bullshit with only minor improvements in pain levels sounds so fucking boring. Just boring. Repetitive bullshit. I just want something new man. I'm tired of this nonsense. I really am.

I'm really setting myself up for a fall here. Whatever. I think a part of me doesn't even believe that what I'm saying is accurate. I have an internal pessimist that still believes that I'm never going to get out of this and that I'm doomed forever.

We'll see what happens. I'm fucking nervous dude.
 

zander13

Respected Member
Still cannot discern whether I'm at the beginning or the end of something. Starting to think that I'm at the beginning, but I'm not going to call it for another coupla days or so.

This thing is taking a long time. But I kidna knew that would be the case for a while. 3 years most likely.
 

zander13

Respected Member
Yeah I'm calling it. I'm in another span of rough ones, not that I've ever really left it. It's time for me to face the music: this is all just one long flatline, and there is no use trying to discern what, when, where, or why anymore. It'll end when it ends.

Healing is happening, but it's occurring at a snail's pace. Binge edging did me in in the worst possible way. All of the pain is just my brain trying to get me to turn back to edging, which is why it lasts so long. My sessions would last for hours and hours.

Fuck it all to hell, to be blunt. 2 weeks away from month 28 and I still have a ways to go.
 

k-fff

Well-Known Member
Yeah I'm calling it. I'm in another span of rough ones, not that I've ever really left it. It's time for me to face the music: this is all just one long flatline, and there is no use trying to discern what, when, where, or why anymore. It'll end when it ends.

Healing is happening, but it's occurring at a snail's pace. Binge edging did me in in the worst possible way. All of the pain is just my brain trying to get me to turn back to edging, which is why it lasts so long. My sessions would last for hours and hours.

Fuck it all to hell, to be blunt. 2 weeks away from month 28 and I still have a ways to go.
Keep on trucking, Zander, I’m rooting for you.
 

zander13

Respected Member
A decision has been made. Since I'm still not in a good enough state of mind to go straight to NYC, I'm going to instead move to Richmond temporarily. Going to stay in an AirBnB for as long as I need to make more concrete decisions.

At this point I just need a change. I've lived there before and I know some people who currently reside there so I won't be flying completely solo.

I'm excited to switch things up.

I'm also going to start dating as soon as I can.

At this point in my life any change is good change.
 

zander13

Respected Member
Still completely blown away by how bad things are this late into the game. Spirits are low atm. Just can't believe that this is my reality.
 

zander13

Respected Member
I've gotten some good omens over the past few days.

We'll see where they lead.

No matter what things are easier. And they will continue to trend in that direction. Even when things are "rough" they're probably only half (sometimes 1/4th) as rough as they used to be, and it never lasts as long. Not even close. the waves are getting smaller, and shorter. Just like a psychiatrist once told me would happen with PAWs.

We'll see how long it ends up taking in total. At this point I'm not content with improvements. I want the whole shebang. I want to leave PAWs completely and to feel my emotions 100% of the time.
 

zander13

Respected Member
Ironically enough, yesterday and today (so far at least) have been pretty rough.

I still stand by my statement that things are easier, but days like yesterday and today remind me that it's still a game of relativity. Shitty is still shitty.

On days like today my perceptions get skewed heavily towards the negative side of things. Especially when I get 2-3 bad days in a row. My mind begins to go ultra defensive, and laments the whole world in an act of desperation and protectiveness.

I cannot allow the withdrawals to take over my perspective tonight. It can already feel it trying to do so as I type this out. The world is dark at the moment, but it won't stay like this forever.
 

zander13

Respected Member
Finding myself not having as much to say on these forums.

Just waiting until I can start saying more positive things.

I have so many thoughts on the nature of the withdrawals but I need certain chapters to end in order for me to put my "findings" on display.

Once I leave PAWs I plan on creating a bunch of content for the kinds of folks who are more long-termers.

The word content is stupid to me, but I guess it makes sense in this context.

Cannot wait until I get to post some success stories.

Jumped through all of the hoops except signing the actual lease for place in Richmond.

Still so hard to know what the right decision is given the volatility of my moods/existence, but I'm pretty damn positive that it's a good step.

I want to get to a place where I'm excited to do things, as opposed to acting out of desperation. I don't want to choose the least worst option, I want to start choosing the best one. I'm still very much in survival mode on a day-to-day basis. I'm not thinking "I have to choose from all of these fantastic options", I'm thinking "what's the best way for me to feel the least shitty at this very moment". Not a fun way to live.

In 2 days I'll be at 28 months of no PM. I O'd with a girl in the beginning of the reboot, but I don't count that as any sort of bad thing. I miss having sex. It's awesome.

I'm done making declarations about timings of things. I've almost completely let go. It's going to take as long as it has to, and the more I fight it the more discomfort I bring to an already difficult situation.
 

jberg

Member
Finding myself not having as much to say on these forums.

Just waiting until I can start saying more positive things.

I have so many thoughts on the nature of the withdrawals but I need certain chapters to end in order for me to put my "findings" on display.

Once I leave PAWs I plan on creating a bunch of content for the kinds of folks who are more long-termers.

The word content is stupid to me, but I guess it makes sense in this context.

Cannot wait until I get to post some success stories.

Jumped through all of the hoops except signing the actual lease for place in Richmond.

Still so hard to know what the right decision is given the volatility of my moods/existence, but I'm pretty damn positive that it's a good step.

I want to get to a place where I'm excited to do things, as opposed to acting out of desperation. I don't want to choose the least worst option, I want to start choosing the best one. I'm still very much in survival mode on a day-to-day basis. I'm not thinking "I have to choose from all of these fantastic options", I'm thinking "what's the best way for me to feel the least shitty at this very moment". Not a fun way to live.

In 2 days I'll be at 28 months of no PM. I O'd with a girl in the beginning of the reboot, but I don't count that as any sort of bad thing. I miss having sex. It's awesome.

I'm done making declarations about timings of things. I've almost completely let go. It's going to take as long as it has to, and the more I fight it the more discomfort I bring to an already difficult situation.
I think it's okay to say whatever is on your mind right now, and no need to wait to say something "positive." I am grateful for all that you have contributed to this forum! What I consider a success story is that a bunch of guys are finally being honest with themselves and with others, and are finally taking responsibility for their lives instead of medicating their feelings with periodic dopamine overloads. If that isn't positive, I don't know what is. Keep it going--for the past 28 months you have engaged in imperfect struggle called reality. And you are inspiring me to want to do the same!
 

zander13

Respected Member
I think it's okay to say whatever is on your mind right now, and no need to wait to say something "positive." I am grateful for all that you have contributed to this forum! What I consider a success story is that a bunch of guys are finally being honest with themselves and with others, and are finally taking responsibility for their lives instead of medicating their feelings with periodic dopamine overloads. If that isn't positive, I don't know what is. Keep it going--for the past 28 months you have engaged in imperfect struggle called reality. And you are inspiring me to want to do the same!
Thanks for the kind words. Very much appreciated. Sometimes I forget that nice people are reading the shit I have to say. Thanks again, and I wish you luck on your own journey.


I'm watching a podcast atm and the two men are talking about sobriety. Marc Maron is one of the two speakers, and he just reported that he is 23 years sober. He's a hero of mine, and him talking about his 23 years had me feeling proud that I'm at 28 months. I want to one day say that I have 23 years under my belt.

Things are going to change within the next 6 months. They've been changing throughout the entire 28 month journey, but the next 6 months will probably be more monumental.

Also: keepin' the people of Ukraine in my thoughts.
 
Last edited:
Finding myself not having as much to say on these forums.

Just waiting until I can start saying more positive things.

I have so many thoughts on the nature of the withdrawals but I need certain chapters to end in order for me to put my "findings" on display.

I agree with jberg. It is very interesting for me to read about the thoughts of someone who has achieved such a long period of sobriety.
It seems people often drift away from the forum after achieving some length of sobriety, so we never get to read about whether they maintained it and if they did, how it affected their life

In a weird way it is even more encouraging to read that it is not all positive
It's more realistic, not so black and white, and it seems you don't regret it despite the negative emotions
That is both helpful and inspiring for my own journey
 

zander13

Respected Member
I agree with jberg. It is very interesting for me to read about the thoughts of someone who has achieved such a long period of sobriety.
It seems people often drift away from the forum after achieving some length of sobriety, so we never get to read about whether they maintained it and if they did, how it affected their life

In a weird way it is even more encouraging to read that it is not all positive
It's more realistic, not so black and white, and it seems you don't regret it despite the negative emotions
That is both helpful and inspiring for my own journey
Well thank you for being so kind. I hope things go well for you.


Today is fucking shitty. the past 4-5 days have been shitty. Definitely don't have anything positive to say today. Spirits are very, very low. Anger towards the world is very, very high. Not good at all. So lost. So confused. Nothing makes any sense to me. I can't trust my thoughts or emotions.
 

zander13

Respected Member
The more that time goes by the more I realize how much I don't know.

Is the pain of these withdrawals all chemical/scientific, or am I processing all of the pain that I used the addiction to ignore?

Are there greater forces at work, or can the equation be boiled down to far too much time spent whacking off to porn? Has all of this pain and torture occurred because of teenage addictions, or am I dealing with generations and generations worth of familial pain. Am I an emotional tuning fork or is my brain simply damaged?

How do emotions work? I don't understand them. I don't often experience them. I don't know how to experience them healthily. I don't know how to go about expressing them in real time.

I don't know if the withdrawals are hijacking my sanity or if I'm onto something when I read about narcissistic parents. Are they fucked up or is my mind warped? Am I nuts or are they nuts? Will all of this seem laughable in 6 months or are these real emotions and questions that are as serious as they feel at this very moment?

Why would I be drawn to books and websites about fucked up parents if mine were angels?

I'm just so confused and alone right now. I truly didn't understand how much life can hurt. It hurts so fucking much.

I so badly want things to be good again. I'm tired of feeling so alone all the time.

I just want to feel things and to trust my thoughts and to haver the capacity to work hard at overcoming my struggles.

Good Christ am I alone. I don't trust anyone.
 
You are not alone! Your journal is a huge inspiration to myself and I am sure many on this forum (just look at the views!)

Will all of this seem laughable in 6 months or are these real emotions and questions that are as serious as they feel at this very moment?
It can be both. But I do think that going through the pain now will make you stronger and make the pleasure sweeter when it does come

I just want to feel things and to trust my thoughts and to haver the capacity to work hard at overcoming my struggles.
It seems to me you are already putting in incredible work to overcome this - and however much pain you are in now, surely you wouldn't go back to when you were deep in your addiction? So it must be working, even if it's a long process!
 

zander13

Respected Member
You are not alone! Your journal is a huge inspiration to myself and I am sure many on this forum (just look at the views!)


It can be both. But I do think that going through the pain now will make you stronger and make the pleasure sweeter when it does come


It seems to me you are already putting in incredible work to overcome this - and however much pain you are in now, surely you wouldn't go back to when you were deep in your addiction? So it must be working, even if it's a long process!
Thanks for the inspiration and kind words my good sir. I really do appreciate you taking the time out to spread goodwill. Thanks again.


Feel compelled to write something today because it's a shittier one. I feel particularly inept and stilted today. Worst it's been in a week or so.

Moving on the 28th of April. Excited for that day to come: I need to give my brain a shock. Maybe it'll move a couple things around.

It's all about perception and perspective with me. Bad mood=bad life. When the withdrawals are infecting my psyche the whole world get's colored in blacks and greys and reds.

Still traveling back in time. Digging to the core. I hit pockets of the past where I was interested in certain things, and for a brief window of time those interests will seem real, as if they were coming out of the blue. Then they pass and I'm on to the next window of time. It's truly unreal.

Like I've always said, the journey will be over when I get to the version of myself before porn happened.

Wish I could just feel things again. I really want to get to the end of this "journey" and start working on my passion full time--creative writing.

The reboot has taught me a lot, no question. But I'm tired of the lessons. I want to feel unencumbered for a while. I want to return to the moment.
 

zander13

Respected Member
Entering another shit phase. Need to do my absolute best to keep my spirits up and to not let pessimism envelop me. It'll be worth it. I know it'll be worth it.

Turns out today is a very, very dark day. withdrawals are quite powerful atm.
 
Last edited:
Top