Zander Reboot - Light at the end of the tunnel

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:

zander13

Well-Known Member
Today has been a continuation of yesterday in mood and overall feeling. Things have a dark tint, and I can no longer even think about reading.

I've been getting caught in a pattern of feeling good for a couple days, assuming that I'm doing reallllly well, and forget that I still have these periods of relative immobility. I need to stop putting the cart before the horse. I need to remain realistic. Expectations cannot get too high. I am still pretty sick. And I still cannot live as a normal Zander could. Not 5 days ago I was enduring a cataclysm: it's not like I've been flyin' high for a month straight or something.

Yes, a lot of progress has been made, but this is a very serious addiction that has brought me to the brink of suicide. It's not going to just fall off of my shoulders like a pillow feather.

I need to be better with realism. I need to temper my day-to-day expectations and to take each one as it comes.

I had to quit my job today because I endured around 8 hours of extreme distress whilst manning a cash register, in charge of an entire store. It was a nightmare for me. My thoughts turned so negative so fast.

A large part of me thinks that I'm a quitter. I can't even hold down a cashier job for fuck's sakes.

But I need to trust my gut. Am I really quitting because of laziness or selfishness? I don't think so. That job would have been perfect if I were to stay at the happiness levels I had when I got it in the first place. This disease warps my perceptions of stress, anxiety, paranoia. It runs deep and it runs red.

These 2.6 years of recovery are still my number one priority, and it's all I really care about. The idea of having to endure another 8 hours that were similar to yesterday is a simple matter of cost/benefit analysis.

I feel awful. It's going to take me a while to accept and forgive myself for quitting, but it is what it is. I need to take a step back and re-align myself with what's really going on.

A healthy me won't have to worry about shit like this. I just have to keep reminding myself this fact. If I were "normal", then I wouldn't have to constantly navigate my life around moods and withdrawals and pain. I wouldn't have to pray that a job shift will coincide with an okay mood. I wouldn't have to hope that I'd be able to have the ability to read whilst there was a lull in customer foot traffic. That's not normal and it fuckin sucks.

I feel like I'm letting a lot of people down by quitting, but I'll get over it. Time heals these kinds of scenarios quite well. What I need to do at this moment is try and find someone in my life whom I can call and get this off of my chest with.

Sorry guys. I feel like I'm not setting a good example. I wish things were different.

Also, I hope that I'm saying sorry because I'm sincere, and not adopting an "aww sucks" mentality in order to put myself in a sympathetic light. It's really hard to tell with this shit. I dono man. My mind is racing.

Gotta keep tryin' my hardest, and to not let idealism and excitement warp my vision. I still have healing to do.

Going to set most of my focus today on not relapsing. It's something I can actively control. Also going to try and workout, eat well, and make it through.

For money, since I'm starting to run out of savings, I'm going to try and start freelance writing again when I can find pockets of "okayness". I'm not in immediate financial distress, but I'm on my way.

Regardless, please don't judge me or provide tons of advice. Encouragement is fine, but I'm not really in the mood to be told how to do anything. Hope yall can understand. I'm feeling quite vulnerable by writing all of this out, but I gotta get the truth off of my chest so I don't carry the burden alone.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
You did the right thing, Zander. You have to take care of yourself first, right? It wouldn't have done anyone any good if you were performing under those emotional conditions. A job can cause a lot of emotional stress, and create an unhealthy environment for us inwardly- and you did the right thing.

Be well.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
You did the right thing, Zander. You have to take care of yourself first, right? It wouldn't have done anyone any good if you were performing under those emotional conditions. A job can cause a lot of emotional stress, and create an unhealthy environment for us inwardly- and you did the right thing.

Be well.
@Phineas 808 thanks man. Hope all is well.


31 months today.

Mind has cleared up. Time really does take care of stuff like that. Just gotta ride it out.

I walked in thinking it would be a breezy, part time gig-ish type thing, but shit never turns out how your mind imagined it would.

I'm fully confident that shit like this won't fucking matter to me once I clear the final hurdle, so there is no use in wading in it.

Getting through this addiction, which has plagued me since 8th grade, is a priceless commodity.

Hope it ends soon man.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Decided to take a break from this forum. Probably won't be posting here as much moving forward, though I can never say anything with absolute certainty.

Starting to feel more connected to life, so an online forum no longer holds as much appeal.

Now understanding why most guys do end up slowly disappearing from these places. It's a natural progression. I believe that true healing has will have occurred when I hardly spend any time online at all. That's where I want to be.

If I enter another deep valley then I might get a little more vocal, but I'm actually trying to make a decisive effort not to do so.

Good luck.

I'm 953 days clean now.
 
Great to see you're feeling that connection more - hope you're enjoying it!
Thanks for all your posts. Was always helpful to read the views of someone with more sobriety under their belt
Stay strong and enjoy the next phase (and 1,000 days will be the next milestone - absolutely amazing!) 💪
 

Blondie

Respected Member
Rock on Zander. We all have an end point for being here, and I'm glad to see you've possibly reached that moment for yourself.

Almost 1000 days, amazing!

Thanks for being an inspiration.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
@particularly_respecting @Blondie @Gabe Deem @Phineas 808 Thanks for the support fellas. Means a lot, truly.


I spent ~2.3 years without many signs of improvement. I received the random signifier here and there, but, overall, I had to rely on faith.

Lately, I see fractals of light all the damn time. I still have rougher days, but even on the rougher ones I'll notice a new mile marker. For instance, yesterday night I got hit by a pretty intense anxiety spell. Heart racing, inability to focus, racing thoughts. Normally, the anxiety deals with existential woes such as death, getting older, extreme loneliness, and other guttural, below-the-belt worries. Last night, the anxiety dealt with my career aspirations. Instead of playing video games and waiting for the pain to pass, I was on reddit and google searching out people's stories, thoughts and, opinions about the two paths I may take. I was searching my soul for the right answer. I was considering my future. I was caught between two good decisions.

This morning, though I am still not fully clear or free of withdrawals, I was able to smell the world. Sounds kinda weird to read aloud, but it's true. I was immersed. My sense of smell has been gone for so long that I forget what it's like to have it. And the colors, ohh the colors. The vibrancy of the trees around me shot out like green, brown, and pink cannons. Explosions of life. For the normal bloke this is the world as it has always been. For me, it's a fucking miracle. It's all new. All of it.

I don't know how long it will take for me to be completely free of the symptoms, but I no longer care as much. The PAWs no longer completely dominate my life. They are now being forced to share it with work towards to brighter future. I'm consistent with workouts, diet, to-do lists, and many other things. Though I still struggle a lot and am sometimes forced to do the bare minimum, I'm being fed more than enough to keep me satiated.

I'm still traveling back in time. I now kind of understand what has been going on with me. As I progress further and further I travel back in time. For example, there was a one month period where I randomly got the craving to listen to a certain genre of music. A genre that I hadn't listened to in ~5 years. It came out of the blue, and it happened quite organically. My mind was sorting through the files of that time period. Same songs, even.

During another phase, I really got into the show The Big Bang theory. Also organic, also out of the blue. That was a show I used to watch ~6 years ago.

This has happened dozens of times, with various modes of thought, entertainment seeking, and habits from certain areas of my life. I'm performing calisthenics to workout currently, and, funnily enough, there was a time in my past when I was obsessed with figuring out how to do a muscle up.

I think this observation may help a couple people.

Another simple lesson that I had to experience in order to internalize it is this: cravings truly are like waves. They dissipate, always. Even the really intense ones. Beating them starts with self-knowledge. You gotta be completely aware of what's going on upstairs at all times. Self-awareness is just fucking massive. When they arrive (they always do, no matter how bullet-proof you think you are during this particular streak), you gotta find a way to distract yourself when they hit you. For me, I try and focus on tangible objects in the room. And I shift my focus from one object to another. It's like a quarterback snapping his sweatband after a bad pass: it's an indicator that he's moved on and is now locked in the present moment. It's a symbol for yourself. In performing this task, I am actively trying to ground myself in the world around me. And if the cravings are more massive than my frontal lobe then I'll leave the room and enter a new environment altogether. One time I just got in my car and drove around until they went away. Anything to live in the now, as opposed to living in your thoughts and imagination/memory.

A lot of recovery involves the details. The day-to-day things. Everyone, after a relapse, can summon a newfound sense of optimism and purpose. That "Fuck it dude, I'm actually going to do it this time! I'm going to recover and become a brand new evolution of myself!! I'm going to implement x,y,and z habits and use this failure as a springboard to become a super saiyan!!" That optimism will fade. You can't use it as a permanent fuel source. The day-to-day is where you either win or lose. The habits. The learned lessons. The hard-earned knowledge. Don't watch R-rated movies. Ever. It's akin to alcoholic attempting sobriety whilst going to bars every weekend. Won't happen. Sex/nude scenes have bit me in the ass more than anything else, so now I just avoid them. Same with sex talk. I love old radio, especially the funnier, edgier radio, but I skip all of the talk about sex and women. Not worth it. It'll activate those pathways and lead you down the rabbit hole before you know what hit you. It's much, much harder to climb up the slip-n-slide than it is to avoid it altogether.

Also: edging is the true relapse. Most guys aren't addicted to orgasms, they are addicted to edging. Edging is worse. It's what fills you up with endless amounts of dopamine. It's like snorting line after line after line of coke. Don't be obsessed with not ejaculating, be obsessed with avoiding porn and edging. Too many times I see guys who think edging was an avoidance of something more sinister. Nope. You did the MOST sinister, and only avoided a healthier version of a relapse. Binges are what maul your brain, not quick sessions (though those aren't good either).

Take any advice anyone gives with a grain of salt. Including mine. I usually don't give it out but since this is my journal, and it's not directed to anyone in particular, I figure I can give myself a pass. This is a personal journey for everyone.

Overall, I haven't made it yet. I can relapse at any moment. I need to remain humbled. Forever. This addiction will humble the greatest of men. I need to stay the god damned course. Humble till' I die. It'll always be there. Always. I still need to avoid sex scenes and sex talk. I still need to ride out cravings. I need to get to a point where I don't objectify women. Where I feel their presence as opposed to intellectualizing their good looks. I need to get back to the sexuality I had before all of this stuff happened. When I liked a girl in my gut, and was attracted to her because something deeper than the mind was taking place. Instinct.

Going forward, this will be how I post. I'll gather a bunch of info and dump it out when it starts wanting to be spilled. I'm definitely not out of the woods yet. I still deal with pain and small bouts of depression and anxiety. It's going to fight to the bitter end.

Honesty is important for me, and I want to say, again, that I still feel pain. It's not all roses. I still have days ahead where I'll feel self-pity. I'll still have days where I'll curse God. I'll still have times when I feel like this shit is going to last another year. It's not done with me yet.

That's it for now.

-Zander
 

Blondie

Respected Member
I love this Zander. I like that you're progressing through all of this shit and are starting to see the light on the other side. Fucking A brother!

Everything you wrote here I agree with, but I really liked what you had to say about edging. I completely agree with your assessment here. As I guy who only slipped a few times over the last two years, but all those times edged for probably five hours at a time, this rings completely true to me. The damage those hours did on my progress is still hard to wrap my head around - god I wish I would have just gotten off quickly!

Crack cocaine indeed!

Keep killing it man.

Best
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I like this new approach to your journal, and your day to day experiences, Zander!

Though everything you say above was good, I wanted to comment on a couple of points:

Another simple lesson that I had to experience in order to internalize it is this: cravings truly are like waves. They dissipate, always. Even the really intense ones. Beating them starts with self-knowledge. You gotta be completely aware of what's going on upstairs at all times. Self-awareness is just fucking massive.

This is so true. And you've probably seen a similar thing between urges and feelings of anxiety, that they come in waves and invariably dissipate no matter how intense. In fact I've stolen some helpful tactics for dealing with anxiety to use in relation to urges to act out.

Also: edging is the true relapse. Most guys aren't addicted to orgasms, they are addicted to edging. Edging is worse. It's what fills you up with endless amounts of dopamine. It's like snorting line after line after line of coke. Don't be obsessed with not ejaculating, be obsessed with avoiding porn and edging. Too many times I see guys who think edging was an avoidance of something more sinister. Nope. You did the MOST sinister, and only avoided a healthier version of a relapse. Binges are what maul your brain, not quick sessions (though those aren't good either).

In agreement with Blondie above, edging was the true relapse for me. In fact, between August of 2021 and through February of 2022 of this year, it had become quite the habit, along with p-subs. I could have a technical win against P, PMO, and even MO but the edging was worst of all. In fact, I came to the conclusion that for me around that time, it was better that I have a straight up lapse into my 'red-line' behaviors rather than just keep endlessly fighting bouts of edging. As you said, the dopamine was a greater dump during those times than getting 'one off'.

The reason for me that MO is a red-line behavior (and not edging) was that MO often led back to P, and I see P as an elaboration on the MO experience anyway. But you're absolutely right, and I knew this, too. But I treated edging and p-subs as a kind of 'buffer' against acting out to P, PMO and MO. Was this a mental trick to offset the other obsessive behavior? Or was this a self-deception, a free-pass I gave myself. Though when I rejoined RN (2020), I knew that I was keeping this addiction alive in an ICU of my mind, on the drip-feed of p-subs and edging. Now, it has become absolutely necessary to concretely deal with that habit, and I'm now enjoying success. This includes a warriness and vigilance which is constantly being tweeked and sharpened. In that vein, I like your 0-tolerance for all the nonsense that could lead to these behaviors.

Good going, Zander! Proud and inspired by all your accomplishments and the humble vigilance that goes with them.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
2 days short of 32 months.


I used to think that I'd have a grand moment when all would be well and the symptoms would all completely fade at the snap of a finger. I no longer hang onto that notion. Improvement is incremental-squared (incremental to the second power). Slowly acquiring clearer vision. Slowly acquiring a sense of smell. Slowly acquiring a solid, steady appetite. Digestion was a slow process as well, though that is almost completely fixed. Every inch is hard-earned. Pain is required to continue moving forward. This process doesn't give me a choice.

I do hope that the really tough days will suddenly go away. That I still believe might happen, so I guess there is faith in some sort of "aha" moment.

Other improvements are subtle, and often short-lived. Each cycle is a microcosm of my entire brain/CNS recouping its abilities. Just so happens that I'm at the end of another one (lasted ~80 days days). One of those subtle things I've noticed is laughter. Oftentimes throughout this reboot I've been able to laugh, but during this cycle it's been fairly prevalant. I'd say I've experienced some form of laughter 1/3 of the days. Also been able to maintain a solid workout schedule lately. Another nice addition. I've also been able to read for longer periods, and to maintain focus a little more easily. My cognition is the slowest attribute when it comes to improvement. I've been so fuckin' dumb for so fuckin' long, so it has been nice to notice an uptick.

Motivation is still at the low end. I think, when coupled with social anxiety, it becomes quite difficult for me to leave the house on certain days. In fact, for the past ~2 weeks I've been a hermit. And I don't force it. I don't judge myself. I know that the desire to be out in the world will return as the cycle progresses/ends.

Another thing that's at the low end is creativity/empathy/ability to feel emotions and love. It rarely happens, and makes life quite bland. Anhedonia is still a massive fuckin' issue. It's the fucking worst, actually. God damn do I hate anhedonia. I want to feel joy again.

There is still an ever-present film that separates me from life. Also a major bummer, though it has gotten thinner during this current cycle. That might even be qualified as an improvement. Nature seems more vibrant. Colors explode more. I can also smell flowers and fresh-cut wood and other shit like that, though it all comes and goes still.

I've observed the lengths of other long-timers and I think the truth is unavoidable: this new breed of PAWs sufferers (rare breed, but there are plenty more like me), who I imagine started early and hard-core, are taking 3 or so years, as opposed to 2. Still waiting on a lot of success stories. In fact, I haven't read a concrete one since a user on another forum named DonQuixote recovered after ~24 months. And this one guy on reddit who took 40-some months (absurd).

This shit is a plague upon humanity, and I refuse to believe otherwise. I play a game called League of Legends when times are tough (want time to pass) and I oftentimes see player names like "stepsis" and "stepbro" and the names of pornstars (hope this isn't triggering). And I mean often. Warped, fucked up genres are mainstream. I can't even imagine how deplorable the "content" has gotten. I mean, it's just vile, and ubiquitous. And it's so fuckin normalized. It's so alienating to be aware of this scourge and to have society accept it so thoroughly. Not to get too political, but societal values, in my eyes, are completely askew. So weird how the worst things are ignored, while attention is given to the trivial bullshit. People are so ready to avoid the truths that underpin their thoughts and actions.

Humanity lets me down a lot of the times, so I've made a conscious effort to create my own little bubble. I have passions and interests and I try and stick to observing those (still can't really engage in them, as I said). Only when I'm really down do I start feeling this doomsdayish, so I guess a part of me is apologizing upfront. I've also spent a lot of time indoors and have a limited perspective. I really hope that the dummies are the loudest, and that most folks are just trying to enjoy themselves.

I don't know how long this reboot is going to take. The not-knowing is kind of heartbreaking.

Overall the past 2-3 months have been the most revealing. I'm now receiving a constant supply of evidence that things are improving. I no longer fuel my recovery gauges entirely on faith. That's a good thing. Just a matter of how much more pain I have to endure. It's getting quite old, and monotonous.

This experience is life-changing. It's toughened me up a great deal. I've learned a lot. I feel myself to be a completely different person than who I was in my early 20s. My confidence has sky-rocketed. I've come so ridiculously acquainted with my inner thoughts that not a thing goes by that I'm not aware of. No thought goes by undetected. I've also built up a ton of scar-tissue, which I know will make the difficulties of life seem less daunting. I may have said this before, but when I hear about the complaints of others I wince. "How can that be bothering you so deeply?" The pain I've endured is an armor. And its character. Before this "experience" I didn't have much of either. If I tried to become a novelist I would have had nothing to write about. I lived behind a mask. I ignored large swaths of territory within my soul. I hated so much about who I was. Family, location, and immediate surroundings can really mess with a person, though I am fully aware that so many other people in this world have it much, much harder. Still though, getting fucked with on a spiritual level, as a defenseless child, is fuckin diabolical, and I resent the people whom I blame. I can't wait to fuckin show some of these fuckwads that my blueprint is fuckin' better than theirs (I obviously have a lot of anger to work through. Tis' a good thing in my eyes, it is no longer directed at myself, and it's an emotion.) Jealousy is a nasty thing. People want you small so they can feel big, at least the ones that I grew up with. Hope y'all can understand that I only recently have started to get exposed to good people, so I'm quite cagey when it comes to trust in others.

Speaking of material planes, I've been able to formulate plans. A lot of them. God knows I've had more than enough time to think about it. I now have things to look forward to, and within the next half-year I'm going to take action, regardless of how I feel. Things are only going to get easier. It's time to start building something. A significant portion of said plans is to turn around and help others. I'm planning on becoming a therapist.

On the side I will write creatively. And read widely. I think variety is a spice, and the place I plan on moving to (NYC) has a plethora of options when it comes to advanced degrees that occur during the night, for folks who work. Maybe I'll be a creative writing professor one day. Who knows where life will lead, but this is my rough outline. I figure I need to start moving, and rely on steadily increasing momentum. I want to experience a lot and live as hard as I can. This whole porn thing has taken up a large chunk of time.

Libido isn't something I worry about or take stock in. It comes and goes. I'll let my future decisions about career and life-trajectory dictate my love life. Need to expose myself to like-minded people. Need to get myself out there.

Kind of fearful of exposing so much of myself to strangers, but once I leave this site I'll be gone, and I'll never meet any of you in person. So who gives a shit, honestly. I have wisdom to share.
 

arcana

New Member
Hi, I admire your diary, you are a super strong person.
Tell me, do you ever have wet dreams and how do they affect you?
Is there a hangover?
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
@arcana I used to get them more often than I do now. Maybe one a month, possibly once every 2. They used to give me 1-2 day long hangovers, but now it's not as noticeable. The hangovers entailed an increased desire to watch porn, a fuzzy feeling in my brain, and a loss in manliness/confidence. It was as if they drained any small amount of masculinity I had going for me. Now I get the fuzzy feeling and that's about it. And it doesn't last all day, but only for a couple hours.

And thanks for the compliment. Hope all is well.
 

arcana

New Member
I've been rebooting for 2 years now and 5 months of hard mode and double emissions still put me in a flatline. It feels like the emissions are slowing down my recovery.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
I've been rebooting for 2 years now and 5 months of hard mode and double emissions still put me in a flatline. It feels like the emissions are slowing down my recovery.
I wouldn't stress over it too much man. You can't control them. As long as you stay the course then everything will resolve itself. I completely understand the worry about every tiny detail, especially when you accomplished as much as you have. One of the hardest parts of this process is the not knowing. Hope everything turns out for you.
 

zander13

Well-Known Member
Am a little shocked by how difficult the last week was. Just as rough as any.

I'm now almost out of it though. Things are once again lighting up. I was able to read, and to go out to dinner and laugh with a friend of mine.

Keep getting snippets of evidence that things are (edit: constantly) lookin' up. That's all I need man.

Will detail this later.
 
Last edited:

zander13

Well-Known Member
Still grinding.

Will give a proper update when I have more data. Still gathering bullet points. This is the longest "cycle" I've had to go through. Definitely think that means something. The porn carved such deep divots in my brain that the sanding process is taking a while. Still have random memories pop up in my consciousness all the time. Scenes from childhood, teenage years, college years, and more recent stuff. Everything is slowly coming into focus. Wild. Time machine type shit.

I want to get to a point where I'm grateful for this whole thing. I already feel it sometimes, but I also have times when I regret having to spend so much time alone and in pain. I want to pursue my passions. That's all I'm asking. And love. I want that back.

Edit: Just went for a walk down my street (10 minutes each way) to get some tea and was surprised by how clearly I was seeing the world around me. It keeps happening. I get more and more connected to my surroundings, like the veil separating me from life is thinning out. Which leads me to my next revelation: I felt attracted to the women I was passing by. This has happened before in spurts but this time it was strong. It was more instinctual. And it felt so damn good to experience. I'm starting to get glimpses of what I've been missing for 15+ years. Still not all the way there, still more prices to be paid, but it was really nice as it was happening. So happy with my decision to move to Richmond: walking, for me, is a tremendous way to gauge progress and to savor my surroundings. It's all tree-lined, intimate, and gentle. It's a quiet place, and that's what I need as I continue to heal. It was a good choice.

I read (studied, to be honest) a success story from a guy who took 27 months to recover. He said that living with PAWs was akin to living without a soul ( I don't agree 100%, but I agree with what he was trying to get at--it turns you into an empty husk). Without masculinity, a man is robbed of an essential part of his essence. It's all interconnected, in my eyes. The urge to reproduce is a fountain head for growth. It's the source of a great many things. Most things. We are products of evolution, and the desire to live on is quite important (this is all opinion).

I can't believe I'm getting there. I really can't. I need to force myself to not get cocky. But man oh man, that walk really said a lot to me. More evidence.

As I said, I think more debts need to be repaid. I need to ready myself, as I've always done, but I also need to try and explore and connect. Starting over at the age of 30 isn't easy, but a clean slate can be exciting. Glad I'm not settled--it would have been a compromise no matter what. This whole ordeal has allowed me to learn who I am, and what I want. I see it as a shedding of the armor that I layered on as I moved on from childhood. You are who you are when you're born, and that's what I want to get back to. I have always used this maxim as one of my guiding artifacts of faith: I can return. I can get rid of the decayed terrain and reveal the luminous core. I want to shine. Life has the capacity to be so fucking beautiful, and one thing PAWs has taught me is that I now know how much each moment deserves its proper due. The black contrasts starkly with the white. Makes it pop.

Fluffy shit. Obviously, life occurs on a more granular level. Gotta hold some honesty and realism alongside the optimism. I got some shit to endure before I arrive. Still at Helm's Deep. Still defending the castle.

I feel weird saying all of this positive shit. I hope its not fake or manipulate or overly sentimental. I don't know. Is what it is. It's really, really fuckin hard to refrain from emotional manipulation. One of my favorite writers was allergic to it. He knew that he could make any one person feel just about any way he wanted them to. Language is powerful. I don't know how authentic I am whenever I write this shit. It's too on the fly for me to truly analyze it in terms of capital T truth.

One more edit: Doesn't mean I'm not trying to be as honest as I can.
 
Last edited:
D

Deleted member 28870

Guest
Still grinding.

Will give a proper update when I have more data. Still gathering bullet points. This is the longest "cycle" I've had to go through. Definitely think that means something. The porn carved such deep divots in my brain that the sanding process is taking a while. Still have random memories pop up in my consciousness all the time. Scenes from childhood, teenage years, college years, and more recent stuff. Everything is slowly coming into focus. Wild. Time machine type shit.

I want to get to a point where I'm grateful for this whole thing. I already feel it sometimes, but I also have times when I regret having to spend so much time alone and in pain. I want to pursue my passions. That's all I'm asking. And love. I want that back.

Edit: Just went for a walk down my street (10 minutes each way) to get some tea and was surprised by how clearly I was seeing the world around me. It keeps happening. I get more and more connected to my surroundings, like the veil separating me from life is thinning out. Which leads me to my next revelation: I felt attracted to the women I was passing by. This has happened before in spurts but this time it was strong. It was more instinctual. And it felt so damn good to experience. I'm starting to get glimpses of what I've been missing for 15+ years. Still not all the way there, still more prices to be paid, but it was really nice as it was happening. So happy with my decision to move to Richmond: walking, for me, is a tremendous way to gauge progress and to savor my surroundings. It's all tree-lined, intimate, and gentle. It's a quiet place, and that's what I need as I continue to heal. It was a good choice.

I read (studied, to be honest) a success story from a guy who took 27 months to recover. He said that living with PAWs was akin to living without a soul ( I don't agree 100%, but I agree with what he was trying to get at--it turns you into an empty husk). Without masculinity, a man is robbed of an essential part of his essence. It's all interconnected, in my eyes. The urge to reproduce is a fountain head for growth. It's the source of a great many things. Most things. We are products of evolution, and the desire to live on is quite important (this is all opinion).

I can't believe I'm getting there. I really can't. I need to force myself to not get cocky. But man oh man, that walk really said a lot to me. More evidence.

As I said, I think more debts need to be repaid. I need to ready myself, as I've always done, but I also need to try and explore and connect. Starting over at the age of 30 isn't easy, but a clean slate can be exciting. Glad I'm not settled--it would have been a compromise no matter what. This whole ordeal has allowed me to learn who I am, and what I want. I see it as a shedding of the armor that I layered on as I moved on from childhood. You are who you are when you're born, and that's what I want to get back to. I have always used this maxim as one of my guiding artifacts of faith: I can return. I can get rid of the decayed terrain and reveal the luminous core. I want to shine. Life has the capacity to be so fucking beautiful, and one thing PAWs has taught me is that I now know how much each moment deserves its proper due. The black contrasts starkly with the white. Makes it pop.

Fluffy shit. Obviously, life occurs on a more granular level. Gotta hold some honesty and realism alongside the optimism. I got some shit to endure before I arrive. Still at Helm's Deep. Still defending the castle.

I feel weird saying all of this positive shit. I hope its not fake or manipulate or overly sentimental. I don't know. Is what it is. It's really, really fuckin hard to refrain from emotional manipulation. One of my favorite writers was allergic to it. He knew that he could make any one person feel just about any way he wanted them to. Language is powerful. I don't know how authentic I am whenever I write this shit. It's too on the fly for me to truly analyze it in terms of capital T truth.

One more edit: Doesn't mean I'm not trying to be as honest as I can.
You're a strong dude at 30. Today is my 34th birthday and I am in hell - that is how it feels.

Have you encountered PIED issues or with dating in general? That's my biggest issue with this.
 
Top