I think I could feel my brain rewiring

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

  1. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Well-Known Member

    I can very much relate to your problem using the internet way too much. After managing to get porn under control, I still had (and to a degree have) the problem of using the internet mindlessly. The problem is, that as soon as I start using my desktop computer, there is always something to do. Tabs are opened, news sites are checked, I'll look up if my rss-feeds have something new, I skim through forums like these, I check my emails, I read about interesting stuff, I watch a few youtube clips, I chat with friends, [...]. And when I'm done doing it, I can repeat the process because the news sites that I checked in the beginning have new articles again, my rss-feeds probably have new alerts, and so the cycle begins again.

    The problem, as I see it, is not any of these mentioned activities, nor all of these activities combined in one sitting but going through them over and over again, day in and out. We do it because it does not require any special mental focus or a lot of attention. And because of the reason it has become habitual, it is very hard to snap out of once the wheel has begun spinning.

    The solution is not to use the computer (or your internet device of your choice) at all until you have made up your mind what you wanted to do initially. Using it mindfully so to speak. And I made it a rule not to use the computer until I finished all of my tasks I decided to get done this day. If I need to use the computer for some of it, after finishing the task, I turn the computer off again.

    In the beginning, it is a very hard thing to do, but the positive is, you will notice how much time you have which you can use productively* and how much you are able to get done (*you can also use your time productively for leisure or entertainment. I'm not saying you should spend all your time for self-improvement or so but personally, I came to a point where I wasn't even 'calm' enough to read a book anymore so this is very helpful for me...). Beware of the possible void though or of feelings of feeling useless. But this can start a very beneficial process of stopping procastination.

    I can highly recommend you the book 'Atomic Habits' by James Clear where you will find a lot of practical hints about the above mentioned things. His conclusion is very much that if we struggle to achieve good habits or refrain from bad habits, most of the time it's the fault of our 'system' we operate in not a problem of our motivation or intentions. By purging your 'system' of omnipresent distractions, it will become so much easier for you to become aware of what you want or should do and to get it done eventually. It was a true eye-opener for me. The funny thing is, that the information the book contains is really nothing world-shaking but nonetheless probably disregarded by the majority of people. So, it's good to be reminded of the fundamentals every now and then. Because everything you built upon it depends on a strong foundation.

    Hope this helps a bit!

    Take care
     
  2. Doper

    Doper Active Member

    As someone who spends an average of 10 hours a day in front of a screen, yeah, I get it. Even though I use it in a pretty useful way (I think, maybe it's the addiction talking), to make money, and am into pretty dense topics and not messing around on social media or whatever all day, it still is an addiction and makes me feel like I've thrown my brain into a blender. I think the "void or feeling useless feeling" you get when not "using", is just part of the brain rewiring process of internet use. It is akin to the porn craving feeling. I think the reason you get it is that when you're on the internet, so much information is getting blasted at you and you are navigating around so fast, nothing else compares to it; this speed of information and navigation feels like incredible productivity is being achieved, and so real life feels unproductive, because real life is slow. But it's just a mirage. Yesterday I was doing something actually productive outside with a loved one, and all I could think about was that it was not productive, and I had to get back in front of that screen to get the productivity going again. It's insane. It's an addiction. It is prison. It is just as tragic as porn addiction, probably more. I know people who are definitely not addicted to porn but are hopelessly addicted to roaming around on a web-browser for several hours at a time and are objectively getting nothing done but swear to high heaven they are productivity wizards. These people's lives are no less annihilated by this type of behaviour than the worst P addiction cases we can find on these boards. Life pissed away.

    So my questionable excuse is a monetary need to use. If you don't need internet to make money, I'd highly suggest getting rid of internet and just watch the withdrawal fireworks start exploding; Just to see what it's like, if only for a time. I can't imagine what it would be like for me, massively more intense than porn withdrawal I'd bet......Oh looks like I'm going to have to cultivate some real hobbies, my free time just went up 1000%. It's a shitty time to start with the covid, but seemingly lots of people don't take that too seriously so who knows.
    What I'd do is get rid of the internet, and just so it doesn't end up looking like some withdrawal scene from Requiem for a Dream, or Trainspotting or some shit, just subscribe to a cable package so you can watch some TV. TV may not be as intellectually stimulating as internet use CAN be, it also takes away the dopamine addiction constant searching. Searching channels just doesn't have the same effect as searching news, or social media, or porn tubes. Another thing I thought of is getting an ereader or tablet without wifi (maybe this doesn't exist), and just load a bunch of books onto it. I could read books all day.
    I think the withdrawals would be bad for a bit, but then would pretty quickly go away for good, once one learned new ways to live their life. It wouldn't be anything like the long drawn-out cravings one gets for PMO. I don't want it to seem like getting rid of internet should be scary or something. It has to be done, and how much pain is brought about by it is positively correlated to how important it was for the person to do it. I fully plan to get rid of it for at least a few months......just not quite yet o_O....I've got this one thing to do and then I'm out.

    Just remember there are millions (billions maybe?) of people that wouldn't be to emotionally/mentally effected if their internet were taken away, I have a number of friends that do not have computers. They have access to internet, they just don't care to. I know a couple hot chicks that use flip phones and have lots of money to burn if they wanted the latest iphone or whatever. Texting is all they need. But maybe I just live in a strange place.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2020
    -Luke-, nuclpow and Pete McVries like this.
  3. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    @Pete McVries, @Doper. Thanks a lot you two for your explanatory posts to my journal. I read both your posts carefully.

    You perspective is confirming to me that I'm addicted to the plain internet, and that I'll get withdrawal symptoms. I plan to keep my internet, but try to use it only in a planned way, in organised use.

    I avoided the internet most of today. It wasn't hard. I listened to the radio a lot and read a chapter of 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson.

    I later listened to some talent show music on YouTube on my computer, which I feel like I needed, a little bit.

    I shouldn't even be on my computer now. I'll see how tomorrow goes.
     
    Doper likes this.
  4. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    Status

    No P, sexual fantasy or M since last. I have been very much limiting my computer and smartphone use. It was a little difficult sometimes, but overall I feel a lot better. I even think it's making it easier to refrain from sexual fantasies and M. I make an exception to limiting computer use: I'm allowed to listen to music, watch TV and movies on streaming services and Youtube.

    I seem to like reading more than I used to and I might be finding it easier to do chores.

    Edit: I need to get an e-reader and a musical instrument I think, to give something healing for my brain to do, and also to help it grow a little.

    To-do

    Keep on very much limiting computer use. Keep an eye on how this affects my desire to F and M. Edit: Get an e-reader and a musical instrument.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
    Doper likes this.
  5. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    Status

    No porn, 1 FMO. Bleah. I think I have too much going on to focus on my goal of quitting FMO. It's not even my goal anymore, I am trying to quit excess computer use. I think I also may have been triggered by some highly sexually tense television I didn't expect. I eventually stopped watching it.

    I unintentionally had nudity on later, although I definitely looked if I could see a boob.

    I'm gonna keep on trying to quit my internet use and still try to quit FMO. Just as long as I stay away from porn.

    To-do

    Same as my previous to-do, but also make a list of things to do that aren't the internet.
     
  6. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    Status

    No P, or O since last, but some F and M. Staying off the computer has been getting more difficult, but I've achieved spending most of my day off the computer. So it's an improvement.
    I'm mostly watching TV and listening to music instead of uselessly wasting time on my computer.

    To-do

    Stay off the computer and the internet still. Maybe read a little more.
     
  7. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    Status

    No P, one FMO. I'm not trying hard to resist FMO.

    I've mostly been successful muchly reducing my internet use. Today I kept looking at my closed laptop and wanting to go use it pointlessly. It was a little tough.

    To-do
    • Positive visualising
    • Reading books (physical books and on my computer)
    • Chores
    • Get rid of old computer stuff
    • Go out
    • Go to a store and buy things
    • Volunteer somewhere
     
  8. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Well-Known Member

    What always helps in achieving the things mentioned on your to-do list is to practically make a list with the smaller tasks that need to be done in order to achieve the goal. It's even more helpful to set concrete dates and times of the day for the tasks so that you make a contract with yourself so to say. Studies have shown that this drastically increases the chance for these tasks to actually being done.

    Examples:

    Volunteer somewhere
    - You need to find places in your area where you can volunteer
    - You need to read in on these places once you've found them and make up your mind which are your favorites
    - You need to contact them and apply eventually

    Solution:
    • Thursday 4pm-5pm: Use google to find places to volunteer in my area
    • Thursday 5pm-6pm: Gather material so that you can read in later
    • Friday 4pm-6pm: Read about the possible volunteering places and make up my mind which are my favorites
    • Monday 10am-11am: Contact places beginning with my favorites and ask if it would be possible to volunteer and if you could trial work

    Go out
    - You need to make up your mind where you want to go and what you want to actually do
    - Checking the weather would be advisable

    Solution:
    • Thursday 3pm-3:30pm: Check the weather for the upcoming days to find a sunny day
    • Thursday 3:30pm-4pm: Use Google Maps to check the surrounding area and make up your mind what you actually want to do. For example: Do you wanna go to a park nearby and take a stroll or go there and read in the sun? Is there a nice neighborhood worth exploring?
    • Thursday 4pm-4:30pm: Set a date for the activity
    • (Set time & date) : Go out and do it
    • *Bonus: If you liked going out, make it a habit and repeat it every two days or so

    Often times if we set goals for ourselves but do not exactly know how we want to achieve or work on them, they are destined to fail. It's not that we are not motivated enough or that our ambitions are/were weak but it's rather the case that small obstacles often times seem very hard to overcome and we sabotage ourselves in the process or postpone tasks indefinitely ("I wanted to go out but I wouldn't even know where to go and what do to. I bet, I'll feel stupid strolling around aimlessly. The weaher isn't so great anyways, best I stay home!"). Converting goals into small achievable tasks and schedule them for yourself increase the chances of them actually happening by a large margin.

    Hope this helps a bit! :)
     
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  9. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    @Pete McVries, thanks for your post!

    I was referred to a place near here that might have a volunteer opportunity. It remains for me to write a cover letter and finish a resume to e-mail to them.

    There is also a park near here I enjoy going to. It's about ideal for a place to go out for a walk to. It remains for me to go there regularly.

    But I plan to take something like your advice for the other things that I have to do that are less planned.

    Status

    No P, F or M recently. I still think reducing my internet use makes it easier for me to refrain from F and M.

    Speaking of refraining from the internet, I was outside today and I chose to spend a few minutes hanging around in the back yard. I ended up spending an hour out there it was so pleasant. I feel like I have not enjoyed being outside that much in 20 years (though that's just a feeling, it might not be that long). I think it's because I'm abstaining from being on the internet most of my waking hours. I think it's progress! It's great.

    To-do

    Make a to-do list, follow Pete McVries's instructions, work on my cover letter, visit the park.
     
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  10. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    Status

    No P, one FMO since last. I don't know how I'm going to quit FMO. It's like it's a part of me.

    I have still been using the internet minimally. I don't think I'm in withdrawal anymore, but I think in order to quit internet addiction I need to come up a lot of things to do that are outside and constructive. I may need to work up a whole life in order to quit internet addiction.

    I was tempted to FM today and I thought that I'd just think, "Women's bodies are amazing." to myself. This worked, I thought that thought about 8 times and I didn't FM. I plan to keep trying this thought thing.

    I did some positive fantasising and I imagined living in a house with a wife and family, with a lot of bright sunlight and a lot of music and singing and a lot of getting out to do things. I don't know if I'll ever be able to do all that, but maybe some of it. I find it discouraging that I probably won't be able to have a normal life, but any improvement would be worth it.

    To-do

    Get out of the house more. Do more constructive things, whether on my computer or otherwise. Keep positive fantasising.

    Edit: I went to the park and spent a little time there. It was good.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2020
    Shady, -Luke- and Pete McVries like this.
  11. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    Status

    No P, 1 FMO. I've been using the internet more, but not too much I think.

    I need to do more IRL things. Maybe I should try rewarding myself more. It might be hard to do that because I have low dopamine for all normal rewards due to internet porn addiction. I'm not sure when I'm going to recover from internet porn addiction, though FMOing regularly is not helping. I think in order to recover from internet porn I have to have more of a life, and interaction with others, and maybe even someone to have sexual activity with.

    I'm not sure how I can get there from here, except by doing a lot of work that I'm not motivated to do. Low motivation is also a symptom of porn addiction, too, I think. I guess I can keep my eyes out for small improvements I can make a little at a time.

    Edit: I've been spending much of my time awake lying in bed listening to music or watching TV. I think this is slightly better than being on the internet all the time, but not much better. I'm not sure what to do for having more IRL activities.

    Also an edit: Lately I've been finding myself touching my genitals for no reason again.

    To-do

    Don't be so hard on myself. Reward myself for chores and for doing well on quitting internet porn, a lot. I've been working very hard on this.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
  12. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    Status

    No P, and only a little F or M since last. At least I'm not looking at porn, which is such a relief. I'm still addicted, though. Not sure what to do about it except to build a life for myself piece by piece until there's no room for porn anymore.

    I went back to using the internet most of the day for a couple days. Today I stayed in bed and I think I felt the withdrawal symptoms of quitting internet addiction.

    Still sometimes touching my genitals when I don't need to.

    I've been stressed lately about a dentist's appointment and a psychiatrist's appointment coming up, which is one reason I haven't been doing much to quit internet porn. I am also struggling with mental health issues, I think I might have depression and I'm sure I have anxiety. I guess I have to work on those things next, before I work on quitting porn.

    To-do

    Go to psychiatrist's appointment. Maybe go back on medication that's supposed to help with depression and anxiety.
     
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  13. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    Status

    No porn, probably 1 FMO since last. I have not been limiting my internet use much, but I feel okay.

    I made it to my psychiatrist and he thinks I'm pretty healthy. I can take anti-depressant medication if I start to feel depressed, but so far I'm putting it off, hoping I don't really feel that depressed yet.

    I think my next step as far as a life plan is to get rid of some computer parts. There are too many in my apartment. I can donate them to an electronics recycling place. For some reason I don't want to, though. I guess it's social anxiety and a tendency to hoard that's keeping me from getting rid of even the most obvious old and broken parts. But I still think this is the next thing to do, after my dentist appointment. I feel like the corona virus is making me think I shouldn't go, but it's just to drop off electronics, it will be fine.

    Like Jordan Peterson said, "clean your room". I think that cleaning and organising my apartment a little more could do a lot to help with internet porn addiction.

    To-do

    Go easy on myself and don't torment or bug myself about my dentist appointment tomorrow. After that, try to bring an old monitor to the computer recycling place later in the week.
     
    -Luke- likes this.
  14. TrueSelf

    TrueSelf Active Member

    I know this helps me. It's nice to not have clutter around.
     
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  15. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    Status

    No porn still (hooray). Possibly 1 FMO, I don't really know. Unfortunately, I am not even really trying to quit FMO. I have not been able to figure out a way to get around it, to get a plan of attack for it. Frankly I'm so relieved that I'm not looking up porn that I don't mind the FMO so much. Although I still have an addicted brain and the really diminished frontal lobes because of it, and I think that really affects my personality and who's willing to be friends with me. I need to find some kind of replacement to sexual fantasies.

    I brought the old computer monitor to the electronics recycling place with just five minutes to go before I thought the place closed for the week. I feel better now that I've gotten rid of the thing. I think it's encouraging me to get rid of more stuff that's broken or that I'm never going to use. I think I'll work on that before I work on volunteering or trying to get a job.

    To-do

    Try to get rid of a little more computer stuff next week. Try reading books to see if it helps me not have sexual fantasies.
     
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  16. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    Status

    No P. One FMO.

    Sexual fantasies

    I read a slight amount. I think it's not going to block sexual fantasies. Boy do I have a problem with sexual fantasies. I guess most people might have sexual fantasies, but not as extensive and detailed as mine. Also my fantasies are inspired by text porn I read a lot of when I was still looking at porn. I can't get a erection without porn or sexual fantasies, which helps prove that I need to quit sexual fantasies in order to quit porn. Another thing proving I need to quit fantasies is that I'm 350 days mostly clean of porn and I still don't have my pre-frontal cortex functional yet, or even improved at all, and also I still have PIED. Basically, sexual fantasies are entirely messing things up for me. So, I'm going to try and make two lists, one for continuing with sexual fantasies and one for stopping it.

    Downsides of having sexual fantasies:
    I think it's going to be really difficult for me to quit sexual fantasies. I think the first article is true for me, I've had so much masturbation and sexual fantasies that the neural pathways are extremely well-wired by now, making it difficult for me to quit. I think the article on captivity is true for me since I hardly ever go out, or enjoy contact with a fellow person, or go on long walks or spend extensive time outdoors, or even work for a living or volunteer. On the C. S. Lewis quote on masturbation I think I'm attached to my fantasies and will have a really difficult time letting them go. I think I'm really challenged here.

    Lately I've had the thought that there's nothing wrong with having any sexual fantasies that wouldn't be illegal in real life. I've also had the thought that my life is bad enough (it's not really that bad) and I may as well make myself happy with extensive sexual fantasies. I've also had the thought that it keeps me optimal or primed for sexual attachment with a real woman, which sounds like complete nonsense now that I write it out. I guess I'm not going to write out the second list after all, this paragraph will do.

    I think it's going to be really difficult for me to quit sexual fantasies. I already said that, but it seems to be true. I put away my sperm rag again for the hundredth time. I am not sure what I can do to stop sexual fantasies. YBOP suggested putting a red X over the fantasy whenever it came up, and to keep doing that until it went away. Earlier I tried saying "goodbye" to any fantasy as it came up, and I think this worked, but I don't know if I can keep it up. I don't have the willpower for it. I'm just going to create a random list of things that might help me quit sexual fantasies:
    • Going to church, and other church related group activities such as bible study or socialisation meetups
    • Reading a lot, especially fiction
    • Edit: Go outside for a walk, or any outdoor activity, or at least hang around in the yard
    • Trying to write stories
    • Piano playing or some other authentic musical creativity
    • Pursuing a romantic relationship and being really open and honest with the person, without getting into the details of the sexual fantasy
    • Volunteering or working for a living
    Okay that's it for this post. It's messy, but it might be a start to end of sexual fantasies. I plan to try saying "goodbye" to sexual fantasies as they come up and see if that helps.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
    Doper likes this.
  17. Doper

    Doper Active Member

    Just as soon as a thought comes up, immediately block it out. If you keep doing this hundreds or thousands of times, you will get good at it and that will be the habit. If I look back at when I was successful, this is what I did. It gets massively easier, and every time you do it you get better at it. That is fact. And get rid of the sperm rag. I personally do not own such a product.
    Back when I had REALLY bad PIED, I couldn't even wack it to fantasy, so you aren't at rock bottom or anything, but no doubt the fantasy will keep the the PIED entrenched, just remember, if it feels good you are going backwards. If it feels bad you are going forward. A good rule, I got from Terry Crews, is that if something feels like the thing to do RIGHT NOW, it almost invariably is the WRONG thing to do.
     
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  18. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    Status

    No P, M or O since last. I did a few minutes of fantasising, but I managed to stop it in time. It was weird, I kept trying to stop it, but I kept continuing it, too. It looks like withdrawal from sexual fantasies will be difficult. @Doper, yes I plan to say "no thank you" each time a sexual fantasy that I wouldn't or couldn't do in real life comes up. Also, I think my sexual fantasies are actually porn fantasies, since they're based on text porn I read over the past 20 years. I think that's why they're so hard to quit. Also I haven't had real sex for who knows how long, which discourages me from trying not to have sexual fantasies. In the future I think I can get rid of the sperm rag.

    To-do

    I still need to reward myself for 150 and 300 (or 365, soon) days clean (from internet porn). I was planning on going to a restaurant for that. I also should reward myself for refraining from fantasies, although I'm not sure how I'll do that. I need other things to do to replace fantasising, but my best idea so far is to watch (non-nude) streaming television.
     
  19. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    That's amazing stuff ! Much respect ! I hope you find the right way to reward yourself :)
     
  20. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    @Thelongwayhome27, yeah only after 17 years of porn addiction did I stop viewing it. I'm still addicted to porn fantasy, though.

    Status

    No P, F, M or O since last. I've turned down sexual fantasies several times and refrained from masturbating. But just now I went to watch a TV show that had nudity in it, but I didn't expect nudity in the episodes I watched. It doesn't help that I focus entirely on the nudity and stare at it if I can. So now I'm somewhat triggered and wanting to watch more of that show, but I might not be able to watch it ever again. (Except maybe in some utopian future where censored versions of all media are available for types like me who wish to eschew nudity.)

    Edit: I don't know what I'm going to do about being triggered, but I guess watching more Netflix is a bad idea. I'll try watching music videos instead.

    To-do

    Go easy on myself, I've been doing fine. Get out to reward myself if I can.
     

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