25 months and still in flatline

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Zander, Nov 20, 2021.

  1. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    Title says it all. Haven't PMO'd once in 25 months.

    Anyone else experiencing a flatline this long?

    The mental symptoms are the worst, though none of it is fun. Struggling almost everyday with withdrawals. Very debilitating. Worried it's going to take me 3 years.

    I'm 30 years old, and can't believe this is my life.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2021
  2. Doper

    Doper Well-Known Member

    You haven't orgasmed in 25 months?
    You feel you've been in a flatline THE WHOLE TIME?
    What are the mental symptoms?
    What are your withdrawal symptoms?

    RATIK GUPTA New Member

    Same here brother

    The first 30 days felt vey amazing and after that its like a hell out here.

    My body is freezed.
    I dont even feel like getting out of my bed .

    Sleeping almost 11 hours.

    I was severely addicted to pmo.

    My age is 20 years.

    PMOed almost 7-8 years , 3-4 times daily.

    Dont know whats happening in my body.

    Conditions where still better when i was in addiction, but nowadays its too much i cant handle but left with no other option.
  4. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    I did orgasm with a girl for several months towards the beginning of the reboot. I don't think it affected the timeline though.

    Mental symptoms: depression, anxiety, social anxiety, fatigue, just an overall feeling of darkness, inability to feel the world around me, lack of proper perception, vision is blurred and 2D, and some other things.

    Some reboots take much longer--I'm seeing more and more stories of guys taking 2+ years. We're a new generation that started watching porn at a young age.

    I could have sex if I wanted, but it wouldn't be fulfilling. My natural libido still isn't really here yet, though I've had some glimpses over the past month.
  5. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    Welcome to the flatline. It's worse than anything I've ever experienced. But yeah man, all I can do is keep abstaining and hoping for better days.
    tarconi_union likes this.
  6. CleanBootsBaby!

    CleanBootsBaby! Well-Known Member

    I have yet to see someone that went monk mode and complains about flatlines for so long (someone healthy, I mean). I'm not "calling you out" on your claim, don't get me wrong! Just offering some suggestions, if I may.

    Yes, sex counts against your timeline. Other than that, did you cut any other stimulation in the mean time? Things people use as P substitutes (Instagram, Facebook, Youtube - you know, al those titillating videos and images)?

    I am asking because I've see people edging to P substitutes for years, masturbating, and complaining about their timeline. Of course, this may not be you - again, just asking.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
  7. Doper

    Doper Well-Known Member

    If a relatively young person suffers from erection problems, then it's quite possible porn my be playing a big role. You seem to imply that erectile function is not an issue for you, and it is quite possible that the rest of your symptoms may have little or nothing to do with porn use, especially since you have not watched porn or masturbated in a VERY long time. If in the time you have not been watching porn (and especially since you have been celibate), you have not noticed some change in your symptoms then I would really advise to look elsewhere when trying to solve your issues. In these 25 months, what else have you looked at in solving your issues?
    Also, you are not going to get the drug-like high that you get from porn (and which you crave), from regular 'ol sex. So on a sexual level, you may be functioning to a sufficient and normal level. If you can get hard for women, it means your body and brain are working together sufficiently, just because you aren't getting a big dopamine blast doesn't mean there is a functional deficit.

    So obviously, keep at it. But I'd be hedging my bets. I do not feel that the symptoms you mentioned are the kinds of symptoms that stick around for long after porn cessation. If I've been watching porn for a while and it's given me PIED, the PIED will stick around for many, many months, but anxiety, depression, social anxiety etc. that you mentioned, is gone within days. That's just my experience.
  8. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    @Doper I think it's a bold decision to go to someone else's journal and assume a great many things about issues that are vitally important to that person's life. I'm always wary of people who are willing to offer such bold advice to complete strangers on the internet with just about zero context other than a small block of text that they (I) wrote down in a cursory manner to begin with. Are you honestly trying to help, or are you, in a very subtle manner, trying to wield a small amount of power by putting yourself in the position of being the "knower" in this situation.

    I don't even feel the need to explain myself to you or anyone else. If you don't think that my issues are porn related then that's fine. But don't share that opinion on my journal. I know myself thoroughly, and am quite aware when I have issues that are completely unrelated to PAWs. If you want to convince yourself that withdrawals aren't that big of a deal then do it somewhere else. I don't know your story, but I'm assuming that your mere presence on this forum means that you have yet to rid yourself of this addiction. How do you know the answers to question that you have yet to answer? Plus, wouldn't you agree that every person is different, and that recovery is going to be highly personalized depends on multitudes of variables (I'm talking millions of variables).

    Anyways, unrelated to what I said above, I need to remind myself why I'm doing this in the first place. I want to feel things again. I want to see the world in 3D. I want to experience love, and the anxiety and vulnerability that comes along with it. I want to travel. I want to prove myself and to prove doubters wrong. I want to transcend what's expected of me, and to break out of pigeonholes that were established when I was a much lesser version of myself. I want to enjoy reading fiction again, and to feel nature down to my bones. I want to help people. And, most of all, I want to see what it's like on the other side of this addiction. I want to finally beat it. Can't let this evil win.

    I can't give in to relapse. Lately, the urge to watch porn has been strong. It comes in waves. Usually the strongest urges are accompanied by the most uncomfortable psychological, emotional, and spiritual withdrawals. It's a living hell, and I'm still quite flabergasted that they are still as potent as they are this far into the game. But I've read enough stories of guys taking 2+ years for the flatline to fade, and I'm prepared for mine to take even longer. There's nothing else I can do. The only decision, when it comes down to it, is to either relapse or not relapse. The symptoms are there without any choice involved. They are inevitable. The only choice I have is whether or not I give in to the pain. Relapse, at this point, would just be my lame attempt at making the withdrawals go away. Another relapse would, in short, ruin my life. I no longer have any time to spare. It would be catastrophic. I've lost all of my get out of jail free cards. This thing has turned into a full blown monster, and it seems to be pretty fucking difficult to overcome. It's going down swinging.

    Losing hope is a death knell. I can't allow it to happen.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
  9. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    25 months. No PMO, no edging, no watching anything remotely sexual. No Mature TV, no R rated movies with nudity, absolutely nothing.

    These journals are for me at the end of the day. I want to express myself in a more public forum. Not many other places to talk about PMO addiction, so these forums are what I turn to. the whole advice giving portion of this "community" is more of a circle jerk than anything else. The best way to teach people is to succeed and to report your success. And to be honest about your travails along the way. More people are going to have stories similar to mine. I am already aware of 10+ people, more near the 20 mark. Google "2+ years PAWs nofap" or something like that if people are truly perplexed by my situation. You'll find several examples of guys who had to struggle for a while. It's just the reality. I started watching porn very young. And I relapsed a lot. The damage accumulated.
  10. Hi Zander,

    Firstly, congratulations on going 25 months without porn - that's an impressive accomplishment. I hope that despite the pain you're in that somewhere within you there is a sense of pride at yourself for the focus and willpower you've demonstrated. It's painful that you've been exposed to such addictive online porn so young and that it's resulted in so much pain for you now.

    I've been off porn for close to 3 years now and I can relate to some of what you say. While I don't have any desire to watch porn anymore, I still experience negative psychological symptoms. However, what I've learned, and what has helped me, is to explore the underlying causes of my porn addiction. For me, I was led into porn as a way to cope with the emotional pain of my unmet childhood needs. Without porn to manage my pain, I'm forced to face it. This can be an extremely challenging process, similar to a Dark Night of the Soul in spirituality. Though I've been free from porn for nearly 3 years, I'm still working on the pain that led me to become an addict.

    If any of this resonates, you may want to consider some of the things that have worked for me:

    - meditation
    - nature walks
    - physical exercise
    - counselling/coaching
    - CBT
    - loving-kindness

    I'm currently travelling around Europe with my partner, enjoying nature and living a richer life than I ever have. It's certainly got it's challenges, and I'm daily confronted by the ghosts of my past, but from what you've written above I'm living something similar to what you are seeking for yourself.

    I wish you all the best in continuing your journey. You're doing amazingly well and I'm confident there will be a light at the end of the tunnel for you.
    Zander likes this.
  11. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    @LivingBeyondPorn I just woke up so I'm too groggy to reply to everything that you said, but I picked up Gabor Mate's book about 2 months ago. I'm totally with you. This whole journey has been about understanding myself and, by doing so, starting to love the person I'm discovering. It was the only way I could stay abstinent.

    I had/have emotionally insecure parents (read a great book about this), and you're exactly right about unmet childhood needs.

    I'd love to hear your story sometime.

    I'll write a bigger response when I'm feeling up to it. Thank you very much for saying all of that.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
  12. @Zander I'm very glad my words resonated with you and I look forward to reading your reply.
  13. CleanBootsBaby!

    CleanBootsBaby! Well-Known Member

    Sorry, brother. I feel blessed not have started my addiction over the Internet, but transition later, and in lesser capacity. You could very well be one of the exceptions, due to several reasons.

    What can I tell you? Keep doing the right thing. The other variant is going back to the original depressing pit. One way will eventually lead you to success, the other will drag you in the darkness and keep you there.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
  14. CleanBootsBaby!

    CleanBootsBaby! Well-Known Member

    Brother, don't get me wrong, I am not going to challenge you on this statement...far from me the intent. However, I've been through the Dark Night of the Soul (following a divorce, loss of finances and pulverized health...the Dark Night was on top of that) and I just hope what you're saying here is a comparison or hyperbole, for your own sake, because it is something that is beyond words. It is the ultimate experience of abandonment one can live. All the other sufferings were incomparable. I hope no one, ever, goes through something like that. I have no enemies, but if I had, I wouldn't want that over any pf them.

    Did you read Saint John of the Cross' book on it? I am not Catholic, but I very much resonated with it.
  15. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    Going to set a new goal for myself: just make it through the next 3 months and see what happens. 3 months. I'll try my best to wait until the 28 month mark before I truly re-evaluate where I'm at.

    I'm going to give the next 3 months a pass: if they continue to be rough as hell, then I'll accept that. I need to stop getting upset at the length of time it's taking, it's just adding unneeded friction.
  16. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    Currently sitting in front of my computer by myself while my favorite uncle and his kids are in town. I'm humiliated because I'm having too harsh of a day to see them. Depressing, depressing stuff.
  17. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    hopefully things will truly start turning a corner within the next 30 days. that would be ideal. i just want to see something major happen. i want a big change to occur. if not, then that's how it goes.

    start a new job next monday. i'm hoping that things aren't too bad once that day arrives. i want to be serviceable if nothing else.
  18. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    brain is craving porn tonight. gotta stay vigilant. rough day.
  19. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    Start work in 4 days. Hope to God I won't be feeling shitty during training.

    Fuck man I want this shit to be over so badly.
  20. MasterKrug

    MasterKrug New Member

    Zander, your journal is giving me strength. I'm about to turn 30 this month. I'm on day 1. I've heard a lot of stories of long healing times. Keep up the good work, it's helping me (and I'm sure others as well) to hear your story.

    I'm curious to know if you've tried what was suggested below.

    I'm interested in knowing because if you have done these things, then I personally do not have any ideas as to what would make for such a long recovery time some people experience. However, if you haven't yet, I have a hypothesis.

    That hypothesis being: NOFAP is about rewiring. That to me, means two things. One, quitting the bad habit. Two, starting up new ones.

    I've heard that dopamine is more of a motivation creating neurotransmitter, than one of pleasure. It does a lot of other things too, relevant in motor control and speech. (stuttering is often a symptom of dopamine issues and many porn addicts report increased stuttering after binges).

    ANYWAYS, another way to consider this, is that the dopamine system in a way acts like an ATM machine or bank teller, that regulates your energy. I know I can watch porn for hours, yet some days it's hard to summon the energy to cook or even decide what to eat. Why? I assume it's because that energy bank teller, the dopamine system, sees porn as worthy of my energy and deals thus it out (and the effort of other activities not worthy of much energy).

    So to continue explaining my hypothesis, a long recovery time perhaps is a symptom of still needing to create new pathways and experiences the dopamine system/energy bank teller, deems as worthy.

    You are doing a great job on the first step of my hypothetical program, which is cutting out the bad habit. The second half is important too. The suggestions above would be examples of things that naturally create dopamine and other reward chemicals, and so perhaps would be one way to address the long recovery time.

    I'll add, I notice that if I still watch a lot of youtube or video games (even reading too much), that I don't recovery as quickly on a streak, compared to times when I keep up with healthy habits.

    It would be very helpful to me if you give your thoughts and let me know if my hypothesis has any ground in regards to your situations.

    Best of luck to you brother.

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