Zander Reboot - Light at the end of the tunnel

zander13

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys for all the support.

So I have a lot of stuff moved in at this point, but I'm still missing a few pieces that'll finish off the new apartment.

Once I really start feeling good I'm going to re-assess what I want going forward, but, for now, this is a great place to get through the final stretch of this addiction. Who knows how long it will take. Can't see it going past the 3 year mark, but who really knows.

Once I'm out of it for good I might still want to give NYC a try. No rush. If I end up loving Richmond too much then I'll just stay put.

Can't ever forget that my main goal is to get rid of all withdrawals.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Woke up this morning and am now fully behind this plan: I'm going to stay in Richmond until I'm completely out of PAWs. My lease is for 3 months, and I believe that it will go month to month afterwards. This is perfect. If it takes 3 months for me to be healed then I'll try and leave then. But if it takes longer then I'll stay longer.

In the meantime I'm going to work, save money, and become as fit as possible. I've already lost ~15 pounds in the last 2 or so weeks, so my body is still fairly receptive to exercise and diet. I'm also going to walk as much as I can (I live in a VERY walkable part of Richmond) so I'll have no problem walking large distances in New York.

I will not forgive myself if I don't end up giving New York an honest go. It's been a dream of mine for a while now. Part of me is attracted to that city because I'll never feel as if I have my head wrapped around it. I love variety, and I love exploration. Stuff that is never ending is my cup of tea.

As always, I just need to stay consistent and to stick to my ultimate goal of leaving PAWs. It'll all be worth it at the end. All the pain and hardship will make victory that much sweeter.

God bless you guys and for your courage to combat this shit.
 
Last edited:

zander13

Well-Known Member
Sadly, I'm starting to think that I'm in the midst of another dip in form. Though I've had some good moments, I've noticed that my motivation to do things is lessening, and my moods are getting lower and darker.

We'll see if this is a just a blip or if I'm in for another long flatline. I'm guessing the latter.

My goal, as I said before, will always be to conquer this addiction for good. Where I live doesn't matter, because once I leave this addiction behind I'll be content with who I am. Then, it's just a matter of maximizing an already happy disposition.

I knew that I had more pain on the horizon because I'm still not connected to the world all the way.
 
Last edited:

Blondie

Respected Member
My goal, as I said before, will always be to conquer this addiction for good. Where I live doesn't matter, because once I leave this addiction behind I'll be content with who I am. Then, it's just a matter of maximizing an already happy disposition.

Love this. Fucking A.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
@Blondie Lol thanks man. :D


Funny thing is, I bounced back from the doldrums and am now feeling good. My libido is starting to return. Felt attracted to the waitress I had whilst eating dinner with my uncle and cousin. In fact, she and I shared some extracurricular eye contact as she passed our table one of the times. Sounds benign and small, but it was exciting for me. She wasn't a perfect 10, but just a girl who was young and had a glow of sexuality about her. I really like women, I'm figuring out. They are fuckin beautiful. Don't know how someone chooses when there are so many out there.

Fuck man, shit might be really changing. We'll see. Still expecting the worst, because 2.5ish years of this has trained me to do that. No celebrations just yet, but I think I may be slowly getting out of this. Who the fuck knows. Fingers crossed.

I have always remembered this metaphor I heard when I used to be obsessed with self help shit. Apparently, a bamboo stays in seed form for a ridiculously long time. And then, when it does finally start to blossom or sprout or whatever you want to call it, it shoots up like a rocket. Think that's how this story is going to go for me, or at least I hope that is how it will go.

Also, on the flip side, I could still have months of more pain to come. Can never truly get my finger on the pulse of these withdrawals.
 
Last edited:

zander13

Well-Known Member
Yeah seems after I hit that emotional highpoint I'm now trending downwards. Still have to see if it's temporary or a little more permanent. Kind of a downer, but I knew that I had more pain to endure. The pain is the only road I can take to get to where I want to go. There is no avoiding it.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Time to weigh out the good and the bad:

Good:
-starting therapy again this Friday with the therapist who basically started me on this journey of self-discovery. Very important person to me and can't wait to reconnect, even if it isn't in person. Last time I saw her I was suicidal, so it'll be nice to show her how far I've come.
-pretty sure I landed a job that sounds pretty damn ideal for me
-have a date tomorrow with a smart girl (electrical engineer). As I've gotten older I realized that intelligence is very important to me when it comes to women. we'll see how it goes. not putting much pressure on myself or the date itself. Just hoping I'm in a serviceable mood when the time comes.
-situated nicely in my place. got everything, for the most part, set up
-lost ~20 pounds
-libido has never been more prevalent. I feel attracted to people quite often now, though a lot of the times it's still a lustful kind of objectifying attraction. Big difference between using a girl as an object and seeing them as a person. Porn taught me to use and to objectify. This, I feel, will be one of the last things to go. As long as the poison is still in my system I won't be able to be totally present with another human.

Bad:
-definitely back in a flatline, and I know this because my appetite, today, is non-existent. That's the easiest sign to read when it comes to flatlines
-with flatline comes anxiety and depression, though they come in waves they still rock my world
-anxiety manifests itself, on occasion, by making me feel as if I'm letting a good number of people down. I constantly feel as if I should be doing something more, though I'm not capable of doing the things I'm anxious about not doing. It's this otherworldly feeling of being constantly watched by some unknown, faceless entity whose opinions mean a lot to you.
-still can't read
-still dealing with this crap after 30.5 months
-flatline means I have, at least, a couple months of difficulty left, though I'm guessing it'll take 3+ years for it to fade. That's a long fucking time, and I'm not getting any younger. Could also be seen as a positive though, because I'm still much closer to the finish line than I am the start. Depends on the day and the mood that I'm in.
-been meditating daily but my brain still isn't very receptive to that kind of stimuli. going to keep doing it just to have the habit down, because one day it will start to affect things.
-dreams are still stuck in the past. Tired of having to relive all of that shit, though it's obviously necessary for me to do so.
-haven't been able to watch movies or fictional television in a long while
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Didn't end up liking the girl. Oh well, still a good experience in that I'm gettin' back out there.

Need to not get too ahead of myself. My goal in coming here was to continue to heal. I'm still an open wound. I still have pain to endure. I got a job, got a place to stay, and am away from where the addiction began. That's all I need at this moment in time. When things like the ability to read come back then I'll be in such a different headspace that it won't even matter what I aspire to or think about at this moment.

Also: Haven't been focusing on the most important piece of the puzzle lately: I can still relapse at any moment. I need to humble myself before any addictive thoughts sneak through and do it themselves. I need to stay extra vigilant, because though I'm experiencing lust I'm also experiencing heightened responses to other forms of sexual stimuli.

Edit: As today has gone on I now realize that I'm experiencing a rough day. High anhedonia and depression/anxiety. Just gotta keep pushin'.
 
Last edited:

zander13

Well-Known Member
@particularly_respecting Yeah you're right, but sometimes you gotta say how you feel in the moment. The more honest I am the easier it is for me to cope. Thanks for the kind words.



It's a lot to wrap one's head around, even though I kind of knew it was coming it still sucks now that it's actually here. These things usually last~3 months. That's a journey.

So I have this job. Started yesterday. Worst day over. Had to start from scratch knowledge and training wise. Tonight will also be fairly difficult because I'm not so intelligent at the moment and I have to remember all of the shit I learned yesterday. Once I get in the groove it'll all be so much easier and it won't be a source of too much stress. It'll help the minutes and hours go by faster during this flatline due to the way working plays with our sense of time.

Besides that I'm going to have to do what I can to get by. The reason I hate these flatlines so much is because I spend so much time just waiting for time to pass. Internally I'm probably learning a lot about myself and life, but I'm also living as a hermit, listening to the same radio stations and music and watching below average forms of entertainment. I so desperately want to be myself. Whole.

Still, since my goal is to get to a place where I can read, the pain must be endured. I'm just so fucking worried that I won't reach that point for another year or something. I just want to get started. I want to begin my life's work. It's torturous in a way--to have to wait this long. 10 days away from 31 months. Still cannot fathom how a porn addiction could take this long to heal. Truly sinister forces at work.

Edit: Just met with my therapist which allowed me to gain some perspective on this thing as a whole. Only caveat is this: once I leave those types of conversations I'm still left with the day to day drudgery and bullshit. But still, I need to cling to the notion that there is meaning to the pain. That it's change for the better, and that in a way it has helped me grow as a person. Couldn't happen any other way: this is the hand I've been dealt.

Just get the fuck better, brain. I want to get some shit done.
 
Last edited:

Blondie

Respected Member
Sorry to hear about that Zander, I really am. I love you attitude though, because it seems no matter what, you just keep on pushing on, and that's fucking inspiring man.

This too shall pass.

And yes, a new job can be extremely stressful. I get it, I hate new jobs! But if you've learned anything over the last 2 1/2 years, you know none of this shit has anything on you like quitting porn does. If you can do that, you can do anything.

Just remember all the new things you've experienced over the last while; crying for the first time, noticing and appreciating beautiful women in your presence, going on a date! Hold on to these moments because they will get you through to the other side.

So fasten that helmet and get on that bronc, there's a beautiful sunset shinning for you soon!

Best

Blondie.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Last night was a fuckin' rough one. Reminiscent of old times. This morning brought the same "energy", as the kids are saying. When I have a rough evening followed by a rough morning, it usually goes one of two ways: a shit morning followed by a somewhat easy evening, or a shit morning that leads to a really, really shit night. Right now it's too early to tell.

I'm in the valley. Who knows how long this one will last. If I lose sight of everything in the coming days then I need to, if nothing else, stick to the golden rule: don't fuckin relapse. Stay vigilant. My brain is fucked because it's trying to get me to relapse. Discomfort is nothing more than the poison trying to get me to drink more poison. And I have fucked my brain up so severely that the pain is both severe and long lasting. The poison is deep in there. And it wants to stay in there. I can still feel the remnants of past porn scenes lodged in my subconscious. It's a sort of mist that envelopes my brain. It's almost always there.

Gunna go for a walk. One of the reasons I chose Richmond is its walkability, at least in the area that I'm living. I like the idea of stepping outside and feeling like I'm a part of the world.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Yeah man last night ended up being a doozy. Today might be even worse.

I used to have days like these ALL of the time ~6-12 months ago, but now that my working memory/emotional range/cognitive awareness are all amplified I view the symptoms as even more debilitating. They haven't gotten shittier (if anything they're probably a tad bit lighter in severity, though not by much), but I'm now more aware of them. Before I had a rough time differentiating days/weeks/months, but now I can remember any given yesterday, and sometimes the day before that.

Good news is that whenever I get shellacked by the harshest artillery I usually have some nicer days immediately after. Usually. Can't predict this shit, but it won't stop me from trying. Gotta feel like I'm in control somehow, though I'm really not. I have no grasp on this addiction's nature.

If today ends up being awful then I'll be back with an edit. I can't keep all of this stuff pent up inside. I need to express myself somehow.

Edit: ended up being another rough one. Shoot.
 
Last edited:

zander13

Well-Known Member
Rebounded from that rough phase.

Dreams have been fuckin' wild lately. Ex girlfriends are all over the place. As are my family. Some good, some not as good.

During these lull times my libido kicks back up. Might not last too long but I went on a long walk today and was attracted to quite a few women.

Sorry I'm bouncing around so much. Just the nature of my shit. Trying to be as authentic as I can.

Shit is moving forward. I can't deny it.

If I feel shitty again (I know I will), then I'll just report it as accurately as I can and do my best to endure it gracefully.

Life will slowly start to open up to me as the next 6 months progress. The possibilities of it are intimidating, but I'm confident that once I start re-engaging with my passion (novels and writing) I'll be well on my way to carving out my own niche. From then on I'm going to search for like-minded people.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Yesterday was not too shabby and this morning was pretty damn good. Was able to read, and read fairly well. Not fiction yet, but a biography of my favorite writer. Pretty darn satisfying.

It's now 4:58 p.m. and depression is setting in. We'll see if it lasts all day or if I rebound from it before the night is over.

My brain is bouncing around. Don't really know what to expect or when to expect it.

My sleep is also getting better (though I still expect this revelation to be short lived due to the amount of times it has done so in the past 2.5 years).

I've gone too far forward for any complete reverses. All I can do is keep surviving, keep trying my best, and keep staying PMO free. Time is taking care of the rest.

I'll keep trying to be as honest as I can about all of this. This depression is pretty rough, so we'll see where it leads. It's not painful, per se, but it's just a state of sadness. Not surprised: when I first started this reboot, and many times since, the 4-6 p.m. range was always difficult. Hopefully it goes away but I'm open to it sticking around. I've already been shown enough improvements over the past 2 days to keep me going for a while.
 
Yesterday was not too shabby and this morning was pretty damn good. Was able to read, and read fairly well. Not fiction yet, but a biography of my favorite writer. Pretty darn satisfying.
Good progress! I can definitely feel years of this addiction have crippled my focus and I struggle to read like I did before too
Just curious, when do you think you'll be able to read fiction again - is it a concentration thing or more emotional, like being able to connect with the characters, etc.? Or something else?
Thanks again for your honest posts - always a great insight to read from someone with serious time under their belt 💪
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Good progress! I can definitely feel years of this addiction have crippled my focus and I struggle to read like I did before too
Just curious, when do you think you'll be able to read fiction again - is it a concentration thing or more emotional, like being able to connect with the characters, etc.? Or something else?
Thanks again for your honest posts - always a great insight to read from someone with serious time under their belt 💪
It's all of those things. Still hard to concentrate, still hard to process large amounts of words at once, and still hard to feel the required emotions. My imagination is still stunted as well. I already lost my ability to enjoy reading: it went just as fast as it arrived.

Thanks man. Hope all is well with you.


So, that depression led to a very, very difficult day today. My brain is bouncing all over the place. Shit got real dark, real fast today. I was reminded that this addiction is very, very, very serious, and that it's a battle for my life. It's fuckin nuts man.

This battle is still one for the ages. I'm still super fucked up. I still have a ways to go.

What else can I do but keep battling? There's nothing else.

One thing I need to remind myself is that it's not time to make longterm plans. I'm still too mercurial and not in touch with my true self.

One day at a time. That's still all I can do.

Also, it's not time to date. Or even think about it. That shit will come as my spirit slowly returns to me. Forcing things is just a recipe for a letdown in many different departments. Some folks will disagree: but I know myself and what I'm going through on a daily basis. I need to do my time still. Parole hasn't arrived just yet. I want my best self to shine through, and after tonight I now know that I'm still not there yet.

Fuck man I know I just said it but tonight was such a brutal reminder of what kind of stakes I'm dealing with. God damn is this stuff serious. And brutal.
 
Last edited:
Top