Crawling from the wreckage

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Anger can be a powerful motivator- or a demotivator. Use that anger as a laser to focus your resolve and to tweek your method as needed. But don't be angry at yourself so much, as you reacted naturally to what you saw- it cued you. In that moment, nonjudgementally, just become aware of your breathing (is it shallow?), check your pulse rate. Notice how you're reacting physiologically... Then, without judging whether it was good or bad that you looked at that, just take some deep breaths (3 - 5) then check your pulse again, see how it slowed down?

No matter what 'triggers' you, how you respond is always in your power. And just slowing that response down, without judgement, is the key to making better choices.

Good job, brother!
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
Had some time to reflect on the incident - in a reasonable way, not in a negative, obsessive way. The porn addiction saw me having intense sexual fantasies as a result of poor mental health. It always led to PMO. Now that I'm 100+ days clean, those fantasies and urges are fading, but often make a comeback. Having sudden sexual urges out of the blue doesn't make sense - I see them as misguided instead of natural, like, let's say, enjoying a friendly chat with a sexy waitress at a restaurant.

I know that recovery isn't a clean, linear path from A to B. However, I find it curious that I was able to experiment with MO earlier in the reboot and generally had satisfying experiences. With recent MO, the experience hasn't been great; you would think that this would happen earlier and get better as time goes by.

Anyway... Back on the long walk again after stumbling off the path for a moment.
 
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TakeActionNow

Respected Member
I experienced similar.
It may be our brain normalizing.
Neurologically, nerve endings are stronger when used often, but like memory, will fade over time with disuse.

Viewed differently, this normalizing may be good in that it makes mundane daily life better as things are more comparable now than before when PMO was dominant.

I prefer this state as I rather not be too distracted mentally and physically.
 
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Blondie

Respected Member
This makes sense to me @TryingHarder and @GBS, and it's something I've experienced as well.

When we've been on this shit so long, we literally have no idea what is normal or what is the addiction talking, which, when you think about it, it pretty scary. I know for me around the 3 to 5 month period I really started to notice big changes, like my mind was starting to figure out that the old ways were never going to come back. This is good. This is what you need. The reason some of these things, like MOing for example, felt okay right after the beginning of your reboot, was because you were still close to ground zero and all the old habits built around it, but thankfully, those habits are now dying. Thus, a new man is born.

This won't last forever, and things will return to a more "organic" experience, but for now it's a great sign that you brain is figuring out that things won't always be as they use to be.

I know for me, some of my biggest flatlines, my limp dick etc. happened during that time. It was like my brain was still riding on a high for the first couple of months, and then it realized the party was over, and every sexual experience after that was pretty blah or none existent.

Fuck... and society tells us that porn is just as normal as taking the garbage out. lol.
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
That’s REALLY helpful @Blondie and highlights why this forum is so important. It’s brilliant to have an experienced older bro like you tell us not to be scarred or worry about things that seem intuitively weird. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I am hijacking @TryingHarder thread here. Just think our journeys will all have some really strong similarities once you get past the 100 day mark. So good to have some views on what the second and third hundred days are going to be like. I just hope you say that nice surprises await!
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
Day 105 (no PMO), day 2 (no MO).

Still feel like I'm on thin ice, since yesterday I once again found myself doing some image searches that I should really stay away from.

When we've been on this shit so long, we literally have no idea what is normal or what is the addiction talking, which, when you think about it, it pretty scary. I know for me around the 3 to 5 month period I really started to notice big changes, like my mind was starting to figure out that the old ways were never going to come back.
Interesting, @Blondie, since, as mentioned, I felt my resolve was stronger at the 30 - 45 day point in the reboot. Occasional MO was working out for me, with a libido that seemed to be returning to normal, and I seemed in a good place.

I'm still in a good place, but the addiction is certainly trying to make a comeback.

Well, here's me shouldering the load again and slowly but surely heading towards my real goal - 6 months clean, which will be in October.
 

Blondie

Respected Member
So good to have some views on what the second and third hundred days are going to be like. I just hope you say that nice surprises await!
Yes @GBS, there are many benefits and surprises awaiting you as the days go by. I'll have to write a post about what I've experienced over the last while on my thread. I've been thinking a lot about that recently.

@TryingHarder: I think that's completely normal what you mention about your resolve waning since you first begun. I liken this journey to climbing a mountain, where you have all kinds of energy at the beginning and are just thrilled to be there, but as you go on and become tired (usually around the middle section) you can easily lose your focus and mental resolve. This is when you need to take a step back and ask yourself why you're doing this crazy climb in the first place.

Of course as you mentioned, sometimes you just have to shoulder up and and have faith that that sunrise at the summit will explain the mystery of all this to you, if only you can keep trekking.

Best
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Still feel like I'm on thin ice, since yesterday I once again found myself doing some image searches that I should really stay away from.

I found for myself (between 8/21 - 2/22) that p-subs, or images from social media (along with edging) became its own habit. Though I sought to stay away from P, PMO and was in a pretty good streak up until last November, I had through repetition created a habit within a habit... And of course, left unchecked, as proved true for me (though I did fight it), the 'new habit' caused a downfall toward older behaviors.

It took me some effort, but thankfully changed this for the better!

In short, repetition built these chains and only repetition will break them. So, okay, maybe I lapsed (for example), but if I find myself repeating the behavior, I have to know that I'm in a dangerous place of encouraging old habits, or creating newer (bad) habits.

Be well.
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
Let me clarify: while sexual urges are (or should be) natural, what I'm experiencing is stress and anxiety that manifests itself in sexual ideas.

Friendly chat with a sexy waitress + sexual thoughts + masturbation (or, better yet, actual sex) = good

Feelings of loneliness, bad day at work + sexual thoughts + masturbation (or worse, porn) = not good

In other words, any sexual urges I'm experiencing aren't about sex. They are about poor mental health, which is what the porn addiction was all about for me.
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
More reflections on what I'm going through at the moment and what has been my situation for many years under the shadow of a porn addiction...

I have unfortunately been single and mostly celibate for most of my adult life. Poor mental health led me to a porn addiction - what I really needed was to improve my life, make new friends, find a better job, and have meaningful relationships with women.

Any addiction comes down to bad behaviour that gives you some kind of rush and numbs the pain or distress you are feeling in life. Porn provided me with a dopamine rush and a sense that I was in control. The porn girls on my computer screen would never say no, were always there when I wanted them, and all they wanted to do was make me happy. When I give my head a shake, I understand how disturbing and grotesque this was. The sex wasn't real, the girls weren't real. In reality, I was someone dealing with depression fapping in front of my computer every night.

The porn addiction did so much damage to my libido and sexuality. While I have had partners over the years, and sex with them could be fun, my general experience for many years was depression + porn & masturbation = relief. And so instead of having a healthy libido - the desire to have sex, be sexual, have some naked fun with someone - my libido was rendered false. All of my so-called sexual urges were really about me being upset about something in life.

It gets weirder. If I equated porn and masturbation and the sexual fantasies that accompanied those acts with "feeling better" or "solving my problems", what has that done to my libido and sexuality? Instead of sex being something fun and positive, it's strange and twisted inside my head. Suppose I had an actual partner - would my desire to have sex with them really be about depression? "I want you to make me feel better. I'm going to make you perform sexual acts on me to prove that I'm smart, I can solve my problems, the people who disagree with me are wrong, and a hundred other things that are making me sad." Certainly, that was all in my subconscious every time I jerked off to porn and indulged in sleazy fantasies - because, hey, that's what those girls are there for.

These thoughts are awful. This is why I really want to rebuild my libido. In the real world, I like to think I have never lost my perspective on women. I don't see women as mere sexual objects, and yet what was I doing every night with the girls on the screen? How do I reconcile respecting women and treating them decently with what was going through my mind while watching porn?

So I sense that it's going to be a long road for me to get back to a space where sexual desires are genuine and expressing my sexuality (either through masturbation or sex with a partner) is a good thing instead of something perverse. I really thought this was starting to happen earlier in the reboot when I had a few positive and fun MO experiences. Now I've gone back to thinking I have to stay in monk mode until I can untangle all of this and find some clarity.

Day 107 (no PMO), day 4 (no MO).
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
Wow, I almost relapsed last night. :mad:

Some unexpected anxiety and stress was getting to me, and the fog of depression closed in. I think I'll do a Google image search of something sexy. Hey, that feels good. Oh, let's turn off "safe search" on Google. And there it was: suddenly, I had a page full of porn images in front of me. That lasted about 2 seconds and then I realized what a giant mistake I was making. Deleted my browser history, shut down the computer, and spent the rest of the evening offline.

Man, the first 90 days of the reboot weren't easy, but it certainly wasn't as difficult as I was anticipating. Now at 100+ days I'm finding myself tempted and coming dangerously close to a relapse.

Fuck that. No relapses, no retreat.

Day 109 (no PMO), day 6 (no MO).
 
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TryingHarder

Active Member
It was a bit like something out of a science fiction movie, where the hero gets his mind probed by evil aliens. I won't share what I my image search was, but in that 2 seconds with the safe search off, I glimpsed 2 or 3 of my favourite porn girls. Talk about triggering... o_O

This is exactly what I was talking about earlier. Any sexual urges I have are NOT about sex, they are about depression.

I despise what this addiction has done to my mind.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Sorry about your down feelings lately, TryingHarder! I know all to well how that goes, and how that illicit mateiral (if you will) presents itself as the medicine or the escape into fantasy.

Consider it just a bump in the road and go on. The temptation will be to repeat that, either out of curiosity, nostalgia, novelty, or whatever- especially the next time you feel stressed, angry or sad. In a non-judgmental way, just breathe through any urges that come up and just let them pass- neither feed nor fight them.

This happening during 'tripple-digits' is something that comes with extra self-blame, like more is expected of you being 'this far' in the game. But all those considerations are just thoughts. Beware of what's called the 'abstinence violation effect' (AVE).

You got this, brother!
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
@TryingHarder - we’ll done for resisting - that in and of itself is just a brilliant thing. You were set a test and you aced it. You are strong enough. We are all strong enough. Keep going
 
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