Zander Reboot - Light at the end of the tunnel

zander13

Well-Known Member
So here is a quick summation of where things are at.

Things, overall, have been simpler. I spend nowhere near as much time obsessing over the symptoms. I only write/comment to myself and others when things are fairly awful, and I'd say that over the past 2 months the awful stuff has only taken up ~40-50% of my time. Maybe a little more, maybe a little less.

It used to be 95%. So yeah, good stuff.

Sad thing is, my ceiling is still rather low. I still don't get to be a true person yet. Just because things aren't awful doesn't mean they are stellar.

Everything is a slow grind. And it's nowhere near a linear process. I may get MW 6 nights in a row, then have 8 days where I never see an erection. Same thing goes with every symptom to varying degrees. Sleep has been perpetually fucked, and this is the symptom that I desire most to be alleviated. Once my sleep get's normal I'll be one happy camper.

Sense of smell is the thing that I seem to be noticing most lately. I never realized it, but these withdrawals, believe it or not, eradicated my sense of smell. Only recently have I been observing that the world is full of various odors. It's like I completely forgot that it was a thing to be experienced.

To me, it's all tied together. It's all reward system related, and it all involves more than just the brain. My digestion has been piss poor (still is), and I know for sure that it is tied to these withdrawals. It's a full body issue. At least when it has gotten as bad as mine has (the addiction, that is).

As far as timelines are concerned, I no longer think in terms of "I should be better by 'X' date". I've surpassed most of the long term success stories. I no longer have a barometer. I guess, if I'm being honest, I hope that things will be much better by month 30, but I'm also not married to the idea. the number of months, at this point, are for me to measure my success, and to feel pride.

I still don't have much perspective on the experience so it's hard to form conclusions about it. PAWs are hell. I think they teach you stuff, but I also think they are plenty of easier ways to learn. Maybe I'm wrong though. I dono. What I do know is that, in my experience, the only way to beat this thing is for a lot of little things to line up. I'm not going to list what those things were for me because my experience is my experience. And I'm not even finished yet. I could still fuck up at any moment. I still get urges. My brain still craves porn.

Bottom line is that I'm not all the way there yet, and I'm not going to spout my success to anyone until I've actually gotten to the finish line. But things do seem to be easier these days. Healing is still taking place. It's just taking a long, long fucking time.

Oh, and I'm exactly a week short of 29 months.
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
@zander13 , I see your frustrations and read your entries back a month. I thought deeply about your concerns and slept on it before waking up to some realization...

Total Reboot:
1. Refuse
2. Replace
3. Restore
4. Resurrect

I feel you've done 1 & 2 but your frustrations maybe from not enough 3 & 4.
There may still be some disconnect with your feelings and emotions which are very important to overall recovery.
You crave because you have not completely replaced P with other better sources of joy and comfort.

I believe while PIED is a result of PMO, its recovery only comes from restored relations with reality, and has little to do with just refusing PMO.
We need to go out, find real world joys, become happy with normal life and the world again, and when our spirits are sufficiently restored that sleeping champion will rise instinctively with vigor to embrace the world again.

Heal your feelings
Connect back to your emotions
Let go of any hurting past
Collect only happiness of today and tomorrow
In time spirit and body will be restored.

My own thoughts are here: https://forum.rebootnation.org/index.php?threads/13720/post-232054
 
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zander13

Well-Known Member
@TakeActionNow I respect and appreciate your thoughts my good sir. And I think that the spirit of what you are saying is completely on point.

I also don't think that I could have done much better than what I've done. Withdrawals seem to be a unique experience to every nofapper out there, which makes sense given the intricacies of humanity as a species. I'm happy with what I've done and how I've handled things, and as I said rather recently, I'm seeing improvements occur naturally. I've had to play the long game, and the experience has become so uniquely my own that I kind of operate off of my own script at this point.

Appreciate the thoughtful input.
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
@zander13 I fully respect your efforts and choices, and I am very glad to see that you are happy with yourself and your progress. That is the most important. You are right that it is a long game, and for us long timers, one that keeps getting better and better. Take good care of yourself and keep on moving forward.

Wishing you the very best.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Another reason I'm excited to leave PAWs is that I'm really craving a proper perspective on all of this. I also want to feel the sensation of looking back at the journey I went through. It'll help me speak about it with others more easily. When I'm in the midst of the shit it's tough for me to articulate it to others.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
@viking1234 good luck with everything.



Nice to think that right after I hit month 30 I'll be in a new city: one that's far enough away to where I truly feel untethered to the one I currently reside in. I'm just so damn excited by this prospect. I think the move will really help me deal with any remaining symptoms I'll be experiencing. I also think it will really help me with perspective. Last time I was away from "home" for an extended period I loved every moment of it. Setting truly is an important facet of life for me.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Trying to be positive as of late, but I have to admit that the past week or so has been quite difficult symptom-wise. I do not feel like a human these days. I feel completely disconnected from this world. It's truly a lonely experience. I am totally out of the moment. I watch the clock like a hawk. Time inches by. It's fucking heartbreaking. And boring. And just exhausting. Getting to that point where I'm asking myself "how can I feel this badly this late into the game?"

I'm promising myself that once this storm passes (who knows how long it will last--but hopefully not TOO much longer. Shit's been brutal and reminiscent of months past) I'm going to try as hard as I fucking can to connect to others. I'm going to try and outmuscle the symptoms, like some rebooters have mentioned to me as of late. I'm just sick of this nonsense.
 
I watch the clock like a hawk. Time inches by.
Is this because you're looking forward to moving to a new city?
Definitely think a move is a great chance to reexamine your routine and make any changes you want to

Hope all is well - thanks for keeping us updated on your progress
Very interesting to read insights from someone with major time under their belt
Stay strong! 💪
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Is this because you're looking forward to moving to a new city?
Definitely think a move is a great chance to reexamine your routine and make any changes you want to

Hope all is well - thanks for keeping us updated on your progress
Very interesting to read insights from someone with major time under their belt
Stay strong! 💪
Nah it's called anhedonia: has something to do with dopamine and pleasure. Time slows when life isn't pleasurable. When it get's bad enough I just want time to go by so that I can return to a state where things aren't so shitty.
 
Nah it's called anhedonia: has something to do with dopamine and pleasure. Time slows when life isn't pleasurable. When it get's bad enough I just want time to go by so that I can return to a state where things aren't so shitty.
Ah right - okay. I misread - that sucks brother

Hope things start looking better soon
Seems you have a good attitude though - you know it's gonna get better so it's a case of just wanting the time to go by and get it over with
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Ah right - okay. I misread - that sucks brother

Hope things start looking better soon
Seems you have a good attitude though - you know it's gonna get better so it's a case of just wanting the time to go by and get it over with
Yeah that's exactly where I'm at right now lol. You nailed it on the head.


Seeing the world more clearly the past few days. Also been experiencing a slew of more difficult stuff. I think that withdrawals are really getting to me this time around because my perception is sharper, along with my working memory. Since I'm more in tune with the world I'm also more in tune with pain. Makes sense, seeing as how addictions are often used to numb pain. With one comes the other. Also realizing just how much damage porn did to my psyche. Only just recently are my frontal lobes starting to fire somewhat properly. Though I experience bouts of anger I am better able to stifle it and not let it overtake my actions.

What porn did to me was turn me into a complete hedonist. I used everything. The world became a means of gathering pleasure. I lost my soul, in a way. Makes sense that at the age of 30 I'd need a fuckton of time to undue that kind of personality morphing. It completely changed me as a person. I still don't even know who I truly am. Everything is still so constantly in flux that I don't know which way is up. It's fucking bonkers.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Have never seen the world more clearly than I have the past week or so. I knew my vision was blurred and distorted, but I didn't realize the extent of it. I'm sure past versions of myself could see like I can now, but I don't remember the sensation. I feel like every time I relapsed I became a different version of myself, and there is no way in fuck I can remember each copy. Consistently not relapsing is the only way I've been able to somewhat construct a unified version of who I am, though I'm still pretty fuckin' clueless about most things. I still can't even tell if I'm a depressive person or if these symptoms just turned me into one.

Overall this is good news. I'm at the end of a 5+ month flatline I figured out. I haven't had "reprieve" days since mid October. I think I have about another week or so of symptoms before I will truly break free from this flatline and be on the other side of something. Or I'm wrong and I'll just dive right back into the deep end. Confidence in my predictive abilities is abysmal, and for good reason. This shit is impossible to predict, or know. The whole idea of recovery not being linear is a true one.

We'll see what happens next. I could lose this newfound ability to see in 3 dimensions and be back in the cloudiness, but I dono. If it sticks around then I don't think I'll have much more to go before I can just start being a real person. I'm definitely pretty close. Maybe 6 more months. Hopefully less. I'm definitely much closer to the finish line than I am to the start.

I'll be sure to update this journal as soon as I observe bigger changes.
 
I feel like every time I relapsed I became a different version of myself, and there is no way in fuck I can remember each copy. Consistently not relapsing is the only way I've been able to somewhat construct a unified version of who I am
Really interesting perspective - first time I've heard it expressed like that
Thank you for sharing!
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Really interesting perspective - first time I've heard it expressed like that
Thank you for sharing!
Thanks for the support. And yeah, that's just my experience. We're all just so different that it's really tough to speak as if anything is a hard and fast rule for everyone. Hope no one takes it as gospel or anything.


Think I am about to endure the last difficult stretch of this 5 month flatline. It's going to last ~3-4 days. I can already feel it as I type this. Just need to try and laugh in the face of adversity as much as I can. It's almost over. This 5 month slog through the mud is almost caput. Just gotta eek out this last week or so.

We'll see what happens next. I'm 2 weeks away from 30 months. It feels like an exciting time, especially when I consider the fact that I'm leaving this upcoming Wednesday for my new city. My lease doesn't start until the 28th but my cousin is letting me stay with him in the mean time.

Really hoping that the departure from the 5 monther coupled with the sensation of being in a new place will kickstart things into a much higher gear. No matter what I'm going to start dating. Might even give the dating sites a try, though if I do I plan on doing so mindfully and with a plan in place. We'll see how things go. It's all about how fragile I feel within my abstinence.

I'm both excited and scared. I think I'm more afraid of wait waits for me in the coming days as far as withdrawals are concerned, but I wouldn't be a human if I wasn't also nervous about all of the changes taking place.

Really, really ready to not feel so alone. My goal is to find a community. I want to feel like I'm a part of something larger than myself.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Don't think it's COVID. That's good.

As the world get's clearer so do thoughts of myself.

Porn really changed me. I could have been a role model for my younger brother. I could have been the one to show him how to do things properly. But I haven't been.

I used people, mainly girls, as a means of pleasure. All throughout my life I did this. I became wholly selfish.

Thing is, this addiction, at least partly, was in reaction to my Dad. He doesn't possess much empathy, and he's borderline narcissistic, so I coped how I coped. I truly believe that addictions never occur in vacuums: they are adaptations. My personality and genetics clashed with my upbringing.

Role models are important. Thank God I was able to find some through travel and the internet. Therapy helped the most probably, but here are many others I can think of who showed me that things can be approached differently.

Now I'm startin' to see myself for who I truly am at this moment. It's not all good. I've burned a shit ton of bridges. I've used a decent amount of people.

This addiction, for me, was a lot more than just its appearance at face value. It kind of deals with everything. It's a defining thing. My whole life is somewhat wrapped up in it.

Boners do end up becoming subordinate to the other improvements. The fact that most of us begin because we want to fuck properly kind of says it all.

To me, not worrying as much about erections is the truest sign of improvement. If you pay attention to a lot of the successful personas in this "community" you'll notice that they all end up talking about how they started off because they wanted proper erections, and ended up leaving with a completely new appreciation for the other stuff that comes with leaving the addiction behind.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
At the very end of a 5+ month cycle. I guess you could say that my recovery consists of long flatlines interspersed with mini reprieve periods.

The reason I know that I'm at the end is because of experience, instincts, the stuff I wrote on this forum in the past, and excel (I pulled the spreadsheet back up because I knew something was going on).

The end of a flatline is always the hardest. Been like that since I first started rebooting. So I'm in for some rough shit. Last night was the beginning, and shit got pretty nuts. A lot of negative emotion--mostly visceral anger.

I'm both excited and scared. Excited that I'm at the end of this flatline, but scared of how rough this shit will get. It's an expensive toll to pay.

Wish me luck. I'm at a pretty momentous point in my recovery. I worked hard to get to this point, and I've been waiting for it for a while.

Just over a week away from 30 months of abstinence.

Might be posting more for next few days just to cope with the bullshit.

I pushed back my move day till' Saturday because I don't want to be going through this shit whilst driving and/or sleeping on my cousin's couch. Hopefully this is the last time I have to navigate my life around these symptoms. I have a wedding on the 30th of April and I'd love to be feeling good considering I'm a groomsman.
 
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