25 months and still in flatline

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

  1. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    Today might be a little rough, just gunna gut my way through. I can now say, with almost certainty, that things are on the up and up. I'm still going to have harsh, harsh days before it's all said and done, but I think they won't occur as frequently, and I think the positives are only going to get even more positive. Could be wrong though.
    Shady likes this.
  2. Thoreau737

    Thoreau737 New Member

    I'm new to this. What is flatline? I'm 14 days in, just starting my journey.

    I've struggled with porn for 25 years since I was 10 years old. The hardest for me has been the idle time. Reading others' success stories has been helpful for me this weekend
  3. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    @Thoreau737 There's some stuff at yourbrainonporn.com where you can read about it. They're, essentially, withdrawals, but with some specific symptoms that only come with an addiction to porn. No libido is a common one, as well as anxiety, some depression, shrunken junk, and a couple others. It can last a long fucking time, but for the majority of men it's like a 60-90 day ordeal, sometimes even less.

    On my way to month 27. If this shit last 3+ years that'd be fucking awful. Starting to think along those lines. No way of knowing anything. But Jesus dude, it's already been 26 months and I still experience symptoms every fucking day. Unreal.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2021
    Thoreau737 likes this.
  4. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    Gotta keep moving forward. The other option is relapse, and I don't plan on ever doing that again.
  5. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    I just read a story where the guy left a 20 month flatline after he rewired with a woman. I believe that I'm going to follow his lead. It's time to start getting back out there. I don't know how, but I want to begin. Dating sites scare me because last time I used one it was too much like porn and it sent me back towards the dragon, so I gotta do some brainstorming.

    It's time. I'm fucking sick of waiting around for this shit to end. Time to take some action.
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  6. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    Already starting to make more money as a freelancer than the menial job I took up. If I land the project that's up in the air then I'll be done. My sleep is so fucked that it's really hard to adhere to the schedule anyways. Freelance is nice because if I wake up at midnight (like I did today--common occurrence), then I can get shit done as opposed to dreading going to work with little to no sleep. I like my labor-intensive job and will probably get another one once I move to New York, but for now I'm prolly going to move to full-time writer.

    In regards to PAWs (flatline), all I can do is keep going. The wave of severe urges seems to be gone for now. It's all cyclical, so they'll be back in another 2-3 months. Unless I finally break free from the pattern I find myself in.

    Not much else to say. These are my tentative plans for how to move forward:
    -keep working as a freelancer, develop a portfolio and reputation, begin working on more lucrative projects. At same token, don't want to work for clients aimed at "content creation". Fuck that shit. I respect honest businesses/ventures trying to bolster their sales, but I don't respect spewing out horseshit to get clicks. I've already said no to a couple of clients who are all about that kind of garbage. I also had a client who was clearly on Upwork to find an underling that would do his bidding. He was one of those people who was offended by the fact that I was more intelligent than him, and was playing these weird mind games from the getgo. What a fucking douche. Thankfully, every other client I've had was kind and aware that my ability to write and create was greater than theirs. Play to your strengths in this world, and don't let your ego get in the way. I'm a dumbass in a lot of areas of life, but I'm a good writer. I know that and try to act accordingly. I really can't stand people's thirst for power. It's like the worst instinct humans have. I really, really despise it, and I have a keen meter that can spot it from a mile away. I know that the reason I'm like this is because I grew up with a Dad who was all about control, but still, it doesn't mean that I'm wrong.
    -move to NYC once I have a solid enough nest egg to rely upon
    -upon moving, get another menial job to help pay bills. It's nice to have a routine, especially upon moving to a new place. I need to stay grounded and be around people in such a new environment.
    -eventually go back to school for either mental health counseling or something literature/creative writing based. This will depend on being close to fully recovered from PAWs. Don't want to make a decision that big whilst under the spell of the flatline. I still don't know exactly who I am or what I want yet. I think the ideal situation would be to be a therapist as a day job and write in the mornings, but I'm worried that one occupation will take away from the other. So that's just something I'm going to delegate to father time. He'll figure it out.
    -all while doing this, I'm going to make a more concerted effort to meet women. Especially once I get to NYC, though I don't want to limit myself while I'm still in my hometown. The title "working freelance writer" might help me out in this process, though the biggest thing will be my lessened social anxiety and tiny amount of libido and masculine energy, though those 2 things waver constantly. It all depends on the day, and sometimes the hour.
    -to not force myself to do shit when I'm really down. I need to continue to trust my instincts. No need for undue pressure. Can't force things when it comes to this flatline.
    -continue to stay humble when it comes to the risk of relapse. I'm an addict and a half. If I start letting my guard down I could get majorly fucked. Can't get cocky or arrogant. I'm no better than anyone else on this site. I just have days behind me. And those days could get erased with the click of a mouse. Once the door gets opened slightly the whole thing could fall apart.
  7. johnnylea

    johnnylea Member

    Can I ask you a question zander? Where is your everyday attention and energy in your body when you go about your day. Can you actually feel your body or are you in your head a lot? Can you feel yourself move as you go about or are you in your thoughts? I believe many of us who have become addicted to porn are in what is called a leaving pattern, we leave our body and all our energy is purely in our heads. We have become stimulated by the mind only that we ignore the rest of our body and focus purely on what we are watching or inputting into our minds. I think there’s a very good chance if you really put effort into feeling your body a lot your libido could very well come into play again over time.

    there is a book called the five personality types by Stephen Kessler that addresses this and gives practical advice on what you can do to get into your body. Please don’t read it however if you are depressed or have anxiety, you need to be in an open mind and relaxed to read and accept what he is saying and where he is coming from. It’s not a personal attack on anyone who identifies as a certain type but it can be hard to digest if you have unresolved issues inside of yourself and trigger them. If you have ever watched early Elliot hulse and his intro to bioenergetics and Reich a lot of these ideas interlink. Bioenergetics is another invaluable resource to come back home to the body as well. If you have any thoughts or questions I’ll be happy to discuss further.
  8. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    800 days today. Seems like a significant milestone.

    What I realized today is that I don't even fucking know what it's like to not be in a flatline. My mind will probably be blown to smithereens.

    I'm going to try extra hard to not make decisions about who I am or what I'm going to do. It's all so fucking pointless. Not until I'm out of this will I have any idea of what it is that I truly want. All of this is just filler time. It's giving a fake steering wheel to the child in the front seat. I'm not actually driving the car right now.

    I am on my knees praying that I don't have to endure another 3 month cycle of horrid sleep, deeply painful stretches, and overall darkness and pain. I'm fucking sick of them. I'm now in the home stretch of the most recent one and it's been brutal. I don't trust anything because it comes and goes depending on where I'm at in the cycle. I'll have vivid dreams for a stretch of 5 days, but then they'll disappear and will not return for another 2-3 months. Life is not meant to be lived like this.

    After today and possibly tomorrow I'm going to have some easier days. And then, after that, I'm going to have some really fucking hard ones. And then, after that, I'll be out of the cycle I'm currently in and will have a buffer time when symptoms are at their lowest. My last buffer zone lasted ~12 days, and that was when I reported some of my "improvements". If I remember correctly, I was actually experiencing the sensation of optimism for a hot minute. Boy did the last 3 months beat that the hell outta me.

    I don't know what any of this will truly look like, but what I'm most scared of is when the buffer zone ends. If I re-enter another cycle then I'll be fucking crushed. I'll endure it--but I'll be super devastated. These are precious days of life. I'm fucking tired of just watching them go by. It's insanity. This thing has been around long enough. It's time for shit to start changing. I want to feel things again man. I want to try and pursue my dreams before I get too old and rigid. Time is ticking at this point. 30 is 30. I'm not 24 anymore.

    To end, I'll list a couple of things I've noticed that are actually positive:

    -My dreams have been more vivid the past week. Once again, I don't trust this to last, but that's a thing.
    -I am getting this weird influx of memories from when my flatline wasn't so awful. Hard to describe. Vibes from 3-5 years ago that I thought were lost forever. Kind of a mindfuck, though I also attribute it to my position in the "cycle". None of this shit makes any sense.
    -my perception is still gradually improving. I'm even more aware of my symptoms and exactly how they are affecting me. I'm also much more aware of what day of the week it is. Crazy to say, but a year ago I literally had no idea what day it was at any given time. That's how cognitively destroyed I was.
    -I rode out the cravings. They left as abruptly as they arrived. I don't expect them to return for another 3 months or so.
    -I'm at 800 days. The longest reported recovery I've seen is 827. There is another guy who is in his 40s who took 3.5ish years, but I don't want to even imagine another year of this. I prefer to look at his case as an extreme outlier at this point, though I'm not completely ignoring it. It could be me.
    Edit: actually, 827 is still the longest REPORTED recovery I've seen, but I'm also aware of a handful of guys who are actually past that date and are still in withdrawals. So, in a sense, there are longer periods than 827--they just haven't fully recovered and written a report about it. One guy is at 30 months (he says he is basically recovered except for some lingering social anxiety), and another is at ~28. There's another somewhere around there too but I can't remember.
  9. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    Dude I'm just so excited to see what lies ahead. I can't wait for the time when some of my questions finally start getting answered.

    I just really, really, really hope that it doesn't 3 years or longer. I would really like to start feeling like a person again before I turn 31 years of age.

    I want to start dipping my feet into my passions again. Mainly, I want to start reading fiction again. So fucking badly.
  10. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    I'm gunna go out on a limb and say that dreams, more than anything else, are the truest indicator of progress. Once my dreams start getting regularly vivid and positive then I'll know for sure that I'm near the end.
  11. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    Fuckin' bored as shit today.
  12. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    Still in the midst of the rough spot. It'll probably end up last for another week or so. Once again, I wish I could just get it over with, but I have no control over this thing.
  13. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    Wheels are in motion. I'm now fully in the process of arranging a move to NYC. Contacting landlords, etc. I may not be out of the flatline but I'm still going to do it. I'm tired of letting this shit control my every move.

    I'm scared shitless but I feel that it's time.
  14. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    Got in contact with some landlords. Going to be a longer process but I've begun it, which is all that matters. Only a matter of time now that I took that all important first step.

    As far as the flatline is concerned, I'm thinking it's going to take 30+ months before I'm somewhere near what a normal person is. Depressing, but I gotta keep on living.

    Will ended up being a 3 year affair I think. For some reason kindling is the worst thing of all.

    Hopefully the symptoms will start to get easier. That would be nice. But for now, they cycles still continue as they always have, so there no huge chance has occurred yet. And I mean that: no major symptom has been alleviated and/or removed from the equation.
  15. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    Interacted with my father for a tad too long today. I sometimes forget, due to distance, that the man is really a true-blue narcissist. I've done my research, and it's an unavoidable truth. There is no conversation involved with him. He is talking at you. Zero empathy. One-way street traffic. And it comes from a place of deep insecurity. Makes me hate him. It's cowardly behavior, and I can't forgive someone who is cowardly. A complete refusal to look at oneself is a total failure of character and utterly unforgivable. God damn does it make me angry to think about.

    I feel so bad for the younger me. God damn that shit can cause some damage. It's no wonder I developed a sever addiction, and I'll always, always resent him for doing it. Blaming him has helped me so much in my recovery. I no longer hated myself. Fuck that. Prick.

    Moving to Brooklyn in the Spring. My mind is set, and once I set my mind to something I cannot be swayed.

    Almost 27 months free of PM. I O'd early on in the reboot with sex, but that never caused any sort of lasting damage. Sex will forever be a fun, highly pleasurable activity for me. It's fuckin' awesome.

    Funny how whenever I speak to my father I need to write paragraphs about him in order to process the marks his insanity leaves on me. Sometimes I call someone up to vent, but, sadly, there aren't many people I can truly speak to. I am a very lonely person. I have a good ass friend who also does not like his father, but he's not the kind of person I can speak to regularly. His Dad fucked him up so bad that it's impossible to simply sit down and have lunch with him. Too bad. Still love him like a brother.

    I have nothing to lose. I'm starting from scratch. It's a daunting prospect, but I'm sure it'll become exciting once I leave this flatline. Negativity caused by depression is no joke, and it clouds just about everything. It's something that needs to be overcome on a daily basis. It's a fight, every day. An invisible fight, but a fight nonetheless.

    I really want to have sex with someone just to get it over with. I'm scared of dating websites, but I dono. They seem to be very efficient at obtaining casual sex. But they can fuck up a reboot, and that's something I'm quite afraid of. I ponder it quite often, especially recently. My libido is starting to show itself, at least for now. Who knows if it'll disappear. Which is why I want to capitalize on its presence while it's here.

    Writing on these forums can be therapeutic. I already feel better about the "talk" I had with my Dad. God damn do I feel shitty when it's just me and him alone.

    The sleight is almost clean. I think I'll be a somewhat humanly presence at around month 30. I'll probably be somewhere near my true self at the 3 year mark. I hope it happens sooner, but I think those are safe estimates. This thing is taking a long time. Porn is still lodged in my subconscious. Fuckin nuts how deep it is--like a fishhook that went in like a knife. All the way to the bottom.

    I switched up the layout of my apartment because I needed a change. The winter isn't helping with my mood. I'm a depressive person as it is.

    Overall, my goal is to stimy my loneliness. I'm sick of it. And I'm trying to do everything in my power to get rid of it.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2022
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  16. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    @Dark_angel I completely disagree with just about everything you said, and find it offensive that you're so willing to come to my journal to post give advice to a complete stranger, assuming a great many things about what I am and am not doing. Please do not return here.
  17. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    This cycle has taken much longer than I expected, but I think it will finally come to a close soon. Because of the prolonged nature of this flatline cycle I haven't been able to learn as much as I thought I would in the month of January.

    What I have been able to learn is that I have, without question, already been through the harshest versions of my symptoms. Months 17-25ish were the pinnacle of shittery. Now I'm experiencing lesser versions of them. Still not fun, at all, but they are indeed lesser. I'm now at a point where they are more of an annoyance than scenes of brutalizing pain. Sometimes they take me to crappy places, but nothing like what they used to do to me. I'd say anhedonia is the worst of them all. Bored all of the fucking time, and still can't really pursue my passions.

    I have several scars on my forearms that can attribute to the depths the symptoms took me. I learned that one reason cutting is employed is to help a person feel in control of pain. It provides a small hint of agency. I also think there was a small teenager inside of me who wanted to let both myself and others know that I'm in deep shit, though, funnily enough, I made sure to hide them whilst in public. Now I look down at my arm and see them as reminders, and as caution signs.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2022
  18. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    Been reading about narcissistic parents. Truly eye opening. Nice to feel like I'm not alone. There are a lot of other angry, somewhat broken, lost, confused people out there. I've had to build myself from the ground up. I shattered my original foundation and restarted the construction from scratch. I pieced it together through reading books, reading thousands of interviews, watching videos of people I admire (obsessively), and stealing what I could from the people who are currently in my life. I've cobbled together a paper mache father and mother.

    I'd call therapy the concrete. It was a pretty major part of the project, and I plan on returning to it once I make the move to Brooklyn, NY in the spring. Changed my life.

    One thing this addiction did for me is point out the fact that something inside of me was majorly wrong, and in order to overcome it I had to completely re-arrange the pieces inside of me. The two ended up going hand in hand, though the withdrawals now only appear to be excessive. I've learned my lesson--it's time to move on, Mr. Flatline.

    I've aged 10 years in the span of 2.3 I'm now more emotionally mature than my entire family, and more of an adult than they will ever be. Enduring the amount of pain I've gone through accelerates growth. It'll humble you, give you a second's pause, then humble you some more. Battering ram style. Took me to depths I could never have imagined were possible. And it ain't over.

    Had to contact a couple close friends to blow off some steam in relation to my parents. Every once in a while it gets to a breaking point. I'll either completely blow up on them (which is akin to screaming at a scarecrow), or I can bitch to a couple of my buddies for a half hour. My anger levels are now normalized, but I cannot let myself forget how they make me feel. At this point I cannot forgive them, because I don't want to be that battered spouse who returns to her abuser. My tendency to forgive people needs to be fought. I cannot let time and distance sway my opinions.
  19. Zander

    Zander Active Member

    27 months today
    hope2overcome likes this.
  20. hope2overcome

    hope2overcome No Love, No Sex

    congrats! How do you feel? Do you feel more productive and get more done?

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