I think I could feel my brain rewiring

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by quitprofoo, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. quitprofoo

    quitprofoo Member

    I discovered Your Brain On Porn on June 2nd of this year (2012). At that time I was 32 years old. I am now 34 years old. (I started this journal when I was 33.) I am male. I have been trying to quit pornography since I was 17 years old.

    This is my first Web forum, so if I seem rude or dumb it's not on purpose. I also have extreme difficulty socialising, so if I look uncaring or arrogant it's not intentional.

    I don't want to tell much of my story yet, partially because it's hard to think about. It's rather traumatic. I'm glad I joined the forum and have been rewarded many times for posting.

    I looked up Internet porn on dial-up Internet when I was 16 years old I think. This was in my parents' house on my dad's computer, in the family rec. room.

    I don't know how long it was between getting Internet access and me using it to look up pornography, but it was probably less than three months. It felt like a long time to me, though.

    At first it was just softcore pornography I guess, but I think I got addicted right away.

    The new hope I have because of Your Brain On Porn is that my brain can be rebooted and that addiction to Internet porn is not the same thing as sexual addiction (so there's a new way to treat it). I think everything Your Brain On Porn and Gary Wilson says is true and helpful.

    This section of this post is not the best, I'm trying to describe my first reboot attempt:

    So despite not really designing to reboot I think I was partially committed to it anyway and I tried not to go with the rebooting anyway, say from June 2nd to the end of August, about 90 days. Again, this was not an official goal, and still isn't, but I'll tell you what's happened.

    I had relapsed (not really a real relapse I think) about four or five times that month, June, and I think twice in July and two very minor ones in August so far. I still want to reboot but don't think I really want to or can.

    End section.

    Also I was thinking that since I had addiction to Internet porn so long I needed at least a 90 day reboot, probably a 90 to 120 day reboot. So that's what I tried at first.

    At certain points of turning down pornography and replacing it with other activities in June and July I think that I could really actually feel the neurons in my brain rewiring, and the white matter sinking out of my forebrain and leaving and going back into the midbrain or wherever it is that they belong. I think that I could feel some self-control and my will power being restored.

    A couple days ago I took a stab at running and it was extremely revealing and I probably ought to make an article about that and how I'm having difficulty about running, which I think is one of the first things I think I should do to replace pornography in my life with other habits.
     
  2. quitprofoo

    quitprofoo Member

    What I am most afraid of

    In some of the rebooting accounts from Reddit noFap (I was never really familiar with reddit) some of the people ended up proposing to their girlfriends on day 88 or something like that of a 90 day reboot. I think that stuff like that is what I fear the most about officially attempting to reboot, either me being 100% successful and having a changed, new, good real life even with a wife and a family and being in a community, or worse, me being completely reckless and proposing and getting married when I'm 100% not ready and don't even know if it's the right woman or not and spending years faking it and being extremely unhappy.

    Gary's right about pornography being all about unreality too. I think I have a very, very hard time with reality, or maybe I just fear messing up in reality.

    I don't think I'm one of those people who can really go without sex or sexual activity of some kind and so that's one of the reasons I fear permanently quitting pornography, and masturbation. I am not a person who can have sex outside of marriage, due to my personal and religious beliefs. Will I end up marrying recklessly just because I'm straining incredibly against Internet porno? Probably not, it's probably just a fear.
     
  3. quitprofoo

    quitprofoo Member

    Previous posts and usernames

    I joined as nuclpow once and made a few posts there. I'm glad I did but wish I'd picked a better username. I deleted the account and created a new one... then I changed the name to just quitporn2 because I didn't want my first name in my posts here.

    Someone named Natsuki, a young female member, posted a long post about depression medication, and I extremely wanted to help. But after reading the post three times I realised there was nothing I could do because the post was about a question I actually didn't have the answer to. She said she was concerned if that was an appropriate forum for her question but I think it was.

    I'm still concerned about members, men or women, young or old, who may be suffering from medical depression in this forum, including myself. People should get help, which would include:
    • a family doctor, probably a psychiatrist or psychologist
    • medication, possibly counselling
    • friends and family
    • community support
    • other forums!
    • real life groups
     
  4. quitprofoo

    quitprofoo Member

    Replacement habits (new habits to make)

    I believe Gary is right, that you have to replace addiction to Internet porn with new, natural dopamine habits. These are the ones that I think I have to do:
    • Meditation
    • Running
    • Cooking
    • Basic socialising
    • Writing
    • Prayer
    • Other socialising
    • Participation in this forum
    • Cleaning (household chores)
    • Volunteering or employment or school
    • Guitar, typing tutor, VIM tutor

    I believe that between all these habits I will replace Internet porn and all other pornography permanently, and have a much better and healthier and happier life, and end up having ordinary social contacts and friends and family and community again, and possibly also a permanent place to live, employment, and many other benefits.
     
  5. quitprofoo

    quitprofoo Member

    Old habits to quit

    I believe I need to quit these habits, in addition to Internet porn, in order to recover. Other people have posted these similar things in Reddit noFap and on this forum and I think they're right.
    • Pointless computer and Internet use, especially Web browsing
    • Needless TV watching
    • Junk food
    • Laying on my bed and thinking or doing nothing
    • Staying inside and not socialising
    • Not shaving or showering, or otherwise taking care of myself
    • Masturbation
    • Sexual fantasy

    People who say that using your computer or the Internet for no reason while trying to quit Internet porn is counter-intuitive and counter-productive are right. I probably ought to use my Internet for quitting porn (this forum) and a few other things only, perhaps only half an hour to an hour and a half a day.
     
  6. quitprofoo

    quitprofoo Member

    Relapsing

    I feel like I am on a long, slow binge.

    (updated later:)
    I think I am over it now and have not acted out any further on it (hooray!).
     
  7. quitprofoo

    quitprofoo Member

    What I like about Your Brain On Porn

    I think that Your Brain On Porn is right about just about the following things:
    • Internet porn being different from paper pornography
    • Internet porn addiction being an addiction just like any other
    • Internet porn addiction being different from sex addiction
    • The Coolidge effect and novelty powers Internet porn addiction
    • Internet porn showing me more hot babes in 20 minutes than my ancestors would see in several lifetimes
    • Internet porn addiction is all about dopamine short circuiting, and the limbic system
    • You can rewire and reboot your brain, and that that's exactly what you should do
    • Will power and forebrain diminishing, white matter collecting in the forebrain
    • "Edging" is basically just as bad and can make things worse
    • His list of natural dopamine rewards (time in nature, normal human socialisation, exercise,
      running)
    • Every time you say no to porn your brain rewires a little bit to the proper way
    • Even that suggesting eating a salad as an alternative is a really good idea
     
  8. quitprofoo

    quitprofoo Member

    About a month ago I experienced a lot of positive results from my unofficial attempt to reboot, which I had started on June 2nd.

    Everything was a lot clearer to me as far as thinking and thinking things through. I think I could feel the neurons in my brain undoing some of their wiring and doing better wiring. I think I could feel my brain rewiring. Also I really felt like white blocking brain cells in my forebrain were leaving, and that my will power was partially being restored, and some of my self-control.

    This was after about 45 days of unofficial rebooting. I think I have only relapsed three times since then. I still feel like I have mostly relapsed though, and I don't know why. It could be because of an unrelated mental condition.

    I was going to post again with many further benefits I received some 70 or 80 days into my reboot. They were greater, but also required me to do a great deal of A.A.-, S.A.A., godly, and Christian style things for the full reward. And then I relapsed a bit after that, but I think I should post both of these stories, the further benefits and the relapse.

    Also I haven't acted out again on that binge I was talking about a couple posts ago, I have refrained. Going to this site, Your Brain Rebalanced, instead of pornographic Web sites, has helped.
     
  9. quitprofoo

    quitprofoo Member

    About my unofficial rebooting attempt

    I was going to attempt 90 to 120 days after reading Your Brain on Porn on almost the very begnning of June (this year, 2012). But I wasn't going to make it an "official" or "real" rebooting attempt, even though now, for the first time, I believe I can quit pornography permanently if I get all the required ingredients together and give it a really honest try.

    I had scheduled my life to stay in this one place, the place where I am staying now, for at least three months, which is just over 90 days of course. I thought that that would be a great time, especially having nothing else to do, to do this reboot. But I still wasn't going to make it official.

    I didn't want to make it official partially because I just didn't want to try all out, or seriously or really try. I just didn't want to out of laziness, or discouragement, or lack of energy, or just not wanting to discharge and exhaust myself and hurt myself more for no reason. Also from reading the list of things you are supposed to do to quit I don't think I seriously have a real chance.

    These are the things you have to quit or not do, or start doing to quit Internet porn that I am having trouble with in my current situation. I don't want to say what my current situation is, though.
    • No needless Internet use, especially pointless Web browsing
    • No pointless computer use
    • No excessive TV watching
    • No sugary or fatty foods
    • Must exercise
    • Must meditate
    • Must spend time in nature
    • No junk food
    • Must go running

    I'm having difficulty with most of those because of my living situation, and because I have very great difficulty just going outside and off the property, for example for running. Another difficulty I have with running is just having clothes (jeans) that fit and won't fall off of me while I run.

    I actually had been succeeding somewhat at meditating, which I believe is mostly sitting still, preferably on the floor in a cross-legged position, with my hands up like you see in those eastern meditation things. I think I should keep my fore-finger and thumb in a circle like you see, but I don't need to keep my other fingers all splayed out like that. Then I think the point is to spend some time, but not too much time, letting thoughts hit you and wash over you and just not respond to them for a while. I think that I should do this every day, probably in the morning, for five, ten, twenty, or up to forty-five minutes. I am having some success in doing this but mostly I really, really don't want to, particularly not every day, not as clock work or schedule.

    See my later post on Time in Nature.
     
  10. quitprofoo

    quitprofoo Member

    Time In Nature (one of the requirements for a solution)

    Time in nature is my favourite rebooting solution.

    There is an undeveloped area near here beside a power canal. The undeveloped area has trees and other plants, and the grass is cut so I can actually walk there. There is a ditch in one part of it and has a larger variety of plants and flowers. It also has a larger variety of insects like ants and grasshoppers I can watch.

    In retrospect it's a pretty ideal place for time in nature, especially since I think hardly anyone else ever goes there.

    So I resolved to try to go there every day, every morning for calming down or meditation or just the required time in nature like I said. But since doing that, I never did.

    This site is a ten minute walk away, and that is too far for daily use. It would have interfered with day-to-day things. So I actually haven't been there since.

    I found a new source for time in nature though.

    In the back of this building there is an area in the back, where you can sit and there are plants, including trees and rose bushes and assorted loose, tall grass and weeds, and assorted bugs like ants and flying grasshoppers, which I can spend time in without having to leave the property or go up to the front of the area (which I am having some difficulty doing for some reason, as above) that counts for time in nature, and does indeed make me unwind and relaxes me. This I think I can do every day, although I also think that I don't need to do the time in nature thing every single day even in order for proper recovery from Internet porn addiction according to the principles and teachings of Your Brain On Porn, this Your Brain Rebalanced forum, and other forums.

    Also, and I think this is important, when I can not go outside to spend time in nature because of thick rain, watching the thick rain counts as spending time in nature.
     
  11. quitprofoo

    quitprofoo Member

    Told my psychiatrist all about Your Brain On Porn--he might be here!

    A few days ago I told my psychiatrist I had found this Web site called Your Brain On Porn, about how Internet porn addiction is a real addiction, and how you can reboot your brain and what my progress was and everything I could think of about what Gary says about addiction to Internet porn and rebooting from it. This was significant and I wasn't even sure I was supposed to do it at the time, but I think I was, now, and I think it was okay even if it wasn't.

    In the past I had mentioned to him that I thought I was addicted to pornography before, but I don't think he took me as seriously as I thought it was serious. In fact it was almost frivolous from my point of view. I can understand the pyschiatrist's (not just him, the typical psychiatrist) view on it though. With all kinds of people hallucinating, or thinking of having sex with dogs, or being so suicidally depressed they might kill themselves, some out of control pornography consumption might seem hardly an issue.

    This was a good occurence, me telling him this. I was actually prepared and was going to tell him, but he jumped the issue by asking me "What do you think is your biggest problem in life right now?" and I made the young man who was with him, a medical student, go out of the room while I told him, which was completely unnecessary and wrong and I later told him when he came back in and had other conversation and he was impressed with me, so I should have let him stay in.

    He asked me if they were under age or if I was attracted to anything bizarre, such as dogs, and I said no, and he asked if it was "just to excess" and I said "yeah" and confirmed that, but really that wasn't so accurate. He also asked me how much time I spent in this activity and when I said "ten hours... a week" he was relieved and said he was afraid I was going to say per day. He did mention about me being unable to get it out of my head (obsession) and I wanted him to understand that, but I still feel like I didn't get the message through.

    Later, feeling like I wasn't seriously addressing any issues with him in a top-down or organised fashion, I left him with a sheet of paper listing how acting out (to pornography) and resultant crises and recovering from all that was the thing taking up most of my time, and other problems I thought were current, filling the page. I don't know if he read it much. I also mentioned I was a sex addict once to him, trying to tell him that right off the bat to make it a priority, but I don't think that I should have done that and it didn't help at all.

    My point is I was trying to tell him that I thought pornography addiction was my biggest problem, in fact, that it was interfering with any psychiatric treatment and every other thing in my life that I wanted to do, and that I was only really able to explain this to him after telling him about the Your Brain On Porn Web site and all the information on it (including how addiction to Internet porn causes major brain changes just like any other addiction), and, I guess, how interested I was and how significant it was for me. Also I never told him and still haven't told him that my pornography thing was still mostly an Internet porn thing.

    I originally saw the psychiatrist over medical depression, not pornography, and the medical depression was definitely there long before my pornography problems. I definitely believe, as Gary says in the TEDx talk, that pornography addiction causes depression too!

    I have a lot to say on depression, and relating to pornography addiction, and on anti-depressant medication (there have been a couple threads about that lately) but that will have to be another post.

    This was originally going to be a post on meditation and how my psychiatrist said "meditation" at the same time I did when I was mentioning things I was supposed to do to get cured of Internet porn and do the reboot, but I never got there. Maybe next post :).
     
  12. quitprofoo

    quitprofoo Member

    Second set of positive results from rebooting

    I want to write down the positives I noticed in my second month of my unofficial attempt at rebooting. I did a lot of other things to make my life better, too, like doing God- and Bible- and A.A.-related things, so that may make the results appear more positive than they really are, but I will try to keep them separate.

    I got invited to my dad's house after so many days or weeks of not consuming Internet porn, or doing much of the other bad habits (like pointless Web browsing or too much TV) and I was a lot more alert and sharp than usual. In fact, I think that he noticed it. (I think that my dad knows most of what's going on with me and pornography, but he doesn't pay attention.) Now for the positives:

    I was a lot wittier and more confident, but that's not really the main positive. It's just that with my increased (non-diminished) mental capacities I was able to make value judgements on what to do, on just about everything, so I was able to speak up and do and say things that were moral and going to have consequences ten times more than I normally would have. I appeared to be confident and having wit, but really it was just that between my brain clearing and sharpening a bit from going mostly without porn for a couple months, I was able to make decisions and be myself more than I normally should be.

    What I mean by moral decisions are like... well, for me, everything's a moral decision, which shouldn't necessarily be so, but it is so for now. So I was able to prepare and cook supper for him and the rest of my family even though I normally have very great difficulty in deciding to do things with buying food or deciding what to do with it. In fact, I normally have a terrible time with things that I have done that I thought were wrong at the time, but in this case I just went ahead and had a very highly successful supper with my family even though I thought I was severely wrong to buy the products I was cooking and preparing for them.

    I was also able to speak up several and hint that one of my brothers was possibly doing something unwise, because I was able to think through the moral issues with my brain, which is a big deal bcause I'm several years behind in doing that with my family, and they really don't expect that--or want me to do it.

    This also applied to me and some social interactions at another family and social gathering, actually a wake, were I had not seen many relatives in many many years, and I think for 90% of the time I was wise and did things right, which is severely inconvenient for some relatives who would prefer I stayed diminished and troubled and outside of real life and out of their hair, but I was able to do it due to all the God and A.A.-related stuff, and my unofficial rebooting attempt so far.

    So that's a big deal. Also, after all that, I relapsed, but only a little. I expressed myself with it in the "long, slow binge" comment above, but like I amended the comment, I think it's over with.
     
  13. quitprofoo

    quitprofoo Member

    I want to keep posting

    I went for a grocery shopping trip today and due to my brain partially rewiring I was able to make decisions about what to pick up and buy much, much easier. In fact, I think I did an excellent job and am really proud of myself! And all my decisions are moral decisions (which, again, is probably not right), too.

    In fact, this decision making improvement is making me think that I will lose my moral sharpness or moral compass or something, if I don't have to think things insanely through to buy a container of rice. Will I lose intelligence or intellect over all if I have no reason to tax my mind on serious moral issues? I think it will. Maybe I should take up war games or chess or something, or amateur theological debates...

    Also, I got a microwave! I am really proud of myself for my microwave, too. I think it happened as a result of this forum, where someone said something about overly hesitating and over-thinking things, which is definitely one of my busiest problems.

    I want to keep posting (adding on to this post). I was insanely (I mean in a good way) able to make decisions at my grocery store today, and I say insanely because I normally make things insanely too complicated and I'd have to be insanely good at it to get out of it intact. I think with this (greatly improved decision making) and many other positive changes, mostly due to practicing the suggestions of Your Brain On Porn and posting to and reading from this forum, I am partially recovered already and I'm really happy, though I don't feel it. Thank you thank you thank you very, very much.

    Perhaps didn't get the exact right microwave, though...
     
  14. Lysander

    Lysander Member

    Glad to hear that your seeing positives happen for you. Keep plugging away.
     
  15. quitprofoo

    quitprofoo Member

    Thanks, Lysander.
     
  16. quitprofoo

    quitprofoo Member

    More of my porn story

    I can't remember when I got started on anything to do with pornography, but it was probably when I was 14.

    I didn't get Internet access at home until I was 16. It was dial-up Internet.

    But by 17 I was probably using regularly.
     
  17. quitprofoo

    quitprofoo Member

    Linux Mint download failed, and read Rockhardington's posts

    Rockhardington's post to another forum he includes in his signature is incredibly good and makes me want to quit sexual addiction over all, not just Internet porn addiction.
    | http://www.nomoremrniceguy.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17966

    I need to start exercising.

    Also my download failed 662 MiB in after a little over two hours.

    Binged slightly on unnecessary food eating.

    Oh, yeah, also importantly:

    I relapsed to M and fantasy this morning. Some of it was fantasy anyway. Some of it was not, and was rather disturbing perhaps.

    No porn though. Been thinking a lot about it, especially when my computer is out!

    Meanwhile I am contantly thinking of sex or doing something sexual with someone, especially people I know. Never actual sex though, just sexual *things* like talk or intimate talk about sex or masturbation or some other forms of outercourse. Never actual ordinary sex, intercourse. I believe a lot of this is due to me abstaining from Internet porn, but a lot of it is due to me having intentionally started that habit (thinking sexual thoughts when depressed or what) and me just still having the habit.

    It will probably take some time to break (or ease up and be replaced).
     
  18. quitprofoo

    quitprofoo Member

    Why I want to quit pornography

    A few days ago I remembered I was supposed to make this post. The post would be a list of all the reasons I want to quit pornography. It would be one of the most important posts I would ever make on this forum. It's inspired by literature I had read before I found Your Brain On Porn, and from two recent pages (the first of which I can't remember):
    | http://yourbrainonporn.com/your-brain-on-porn-series
     
  19. quitprofoo

    quitprofoo Member

    withdrawal

    I spent almost hours screaming into my blankets. [ Edit: This might not necessarily have been related to Internet porn use. ]

    I can't do anything else (if I don't let myself watch TV or behave frivolously), so I have to deal with
    reality, which involves screaming loudly. Yes, I actually think it does at this point, but after you do
    that, you still have to deal with reality.

    So I'm partially over that fien (like a caffeine or cigarette fien?) and still propose to continue with
    changing my behaviour to do with looking up on-line pornography, that is, addiction to Internet porn.

    I should probably post my progress (or lack thereof) on the various means I am using to quit my
    addiction to Internet porn.

    I am using the recommended means, which are:
    - Meditation
    - Running or exercise
    - Social interactions
    - Eating salads
    That's all I can remember right now. I ought to post my progress on all of the above, but I don't
    want to make a new post, so I'll write it out in this one.

    For meditation I am partially successful. Actually I was already partially in the habit. In fact I am
    doing rather well at this. I already described in a previous post how I sit on the floor cross-legged
    and my forefinger and thumb touching and try to wait patiently for twenty minutes or something. The most important part is to let thought hit me and not respond to them--or react to them. I also
    saw a bit by a Harvard neuroscientist saying he does meditation on TV today. There was a masterful post on meditation to another journal that describes what I think everyone ought to do as far as meditation, but I have lost it since.

    For exercise I have done nothing for a long time. I am sometimes pacing in my room. I ought to be
    running in my room (which is perhaps rather silly but is better than nothing), or on someplace outside near hear. Nowhere have I done that yet, as far as running, which is probably the #1 thing to help me quit porn, even greater than meditation. Actually I have a really long story to do with the city recreational pathway near here that I should probably be running on. I am going to
    write out that post now.
     
  20. quitprofoo

    quitprofoo Member

    The pathway near hear I am supposed to run on (do running on)

    When I was 17 years old I threw away an item of pornography, a little plastic device where you could switch photographs inside it around, in part of an attempt at a really determined attempt to make a decision generally to behave like I knew I ought to and specifically not to look at pornography anymore, which I knew (or thought) was wrong, and a big, relevant deal for me. I guess I knew that
    pornography affected me more than most people.

    So I threw that thing away with my hands and it just sat there in the pathway on the stones. I
    should not have left it there. I should have gone and gotten it, and just thrown it out later in a
    public garbage can or something, preferably a deep one.

    Now, this wasn't an official pathway at that time. Actually I had to go through an opening a fence
    to get there and it wasn't an official civilian approved area.

    Many years later I got on my knees and prayed to God that someone would find it and throw it out, because I believed I was wrong to have just left it there where someone could possibly find it, such as a child or a young male teenager or young adult male or middle-aged adult or anyone.

    Well, perhaps God heeded my prayer. Now there is a really really nice official city recreational trail there, and probably some worker removed my discarded pornography many years ago, or it was buried under the stone and asphalt, if it was still there. So it's definitely gone now. I've been there and checked.

    What is the particular relevance with this and me and pornography addiction? This same pathway where I tried to throw away pornography permanently 16 years ago is the same pathway where I am to restart my efforts to quit pornography, this time with a sound, practical plan that will work if
    I do all of the requirements and give it a good, earnest effort.

    In fact, running down (and up) that path is probably the very next thing I need to do to quit addiction to Internt porn. Will this remove a lot of my guilt to do with not quitting porn? Will I be able to face all this and do this? Mostly I think that this all points out to me that I was an actual pornograph addict since I was 17, probably 16, and have been trying to quit it for 17 year...
     

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