Omega Man: Journal

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Omega Man, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    I found this forum via yourbrainonporn.com, via a random link on Twitter. I visited YBOP out of curiosity. It hit me like a ton of bricks to say the least. It also made me smile as I read rebooting accounts — and even when I read the physical symptoms of a porn addiction. It was odd that I was happy to realize I was a porn addict, but devouring the information and testimonials on the site answered a lot of problems I've been struggling with for the past 5-10 years.

    So lets set the scene in this initial post. I never thought I had a problem with porn. Sure, I knew I was into it probably much more than others, but so what? I didn't look at it as "bad", I wasn't embarrassed about masturbation or even porn for that matter. I always assumed those who had an issue with porn were just embarrassed to admit it to others — "everybody does it".

    The past five years in my life have been awful on the inside, even if outwardly things were great for the most part — at least "on paper". I was unaware of what exactly clinical depression was until recently, and discovering it made me realize it was exactly what I was going through. Too self-sufficient to think I needed help, I never talked to a doctor. But its been very apparent that I suffer from clinical depression, and it has gotten worse and worse over the past five years.

    Coincidentally, I also started working for myself from home about 4 years ago. I'm not gonna lie, I thought about how great it was going to be to be able to jerk off anytime I wanted. Confusingly, my happiness diminished as my business and certain aspects of my external life got better. It was confusing and added to the hopelessness and depression I was dealing with.

    I was relatively compulsive in my habits. I had a (backed up, of course!) hard drive dedicated to porn. I cataloged it, edited movies down to my favorite scenes within scenes. Cataloged and rated videos and photos. Content-wise I never really escalated to anything different than what initially did it for me (another excuse as to why it wasn't a problem); it was more of an escalation in time, collection and time spent. And of course actually using it! Sometimes I'd spend hours collecting and organizing, and not even actually put it to its intended use! I tend to be a bit on the organization side of personality type, at least when it comes to my digital files (porn or otherwise).

    I knew I was escalating my habits, suspected it was a bit out of hand even, but it never really bothered me. Again, I just thought that as usual, I was just unashamed and was one who was willing to take things further than others, as in other areas of my life. But things weren't so great. I've been single for quite some time now. I was never good with women to begin with, but I had my share of experiences back in college and even dated for a bit. I would never in the past have considered myself socially isolated, always seemed to have a group of friends and interest from women to some degree. BUt things were slowing down in that area, and as I watched friends and siblings move on with their lives and starting families of their own, I was stagnating.

    My socializing lessened, I withdrew further. I grew more awkward in social situations (not that I was all that great prior, but never this bad). I had attributed it all to me just "playing a role" in the past and trying to fit in. I told myself I was just being the "real me" now, and I was just more introverted and socially awkward than I realized. I was just no longer faking it. Still, it seemed odd to me. I would indeed retreat to the world of FAP to get a jolt of escapism, then proceed to ease back into my life of minimum ambition, zero motivation and lessening happiness with everything and everyone around me.

    The depression worsened, and the episode frequency increased. I tried vitamins and supplements like omega-3, vitamin D and tons more. I quit smoking after 20 years of the habit. I started walking every day and exercising. I started daily mindfulness meditation. The depression eased for a bit, but always returned. There were times the depression would be so bad I'd have no libido for days, still I'd be cataloging my collection or adding to it. I'd even force myself to jerk off just to get the temporary rush.

    When I stumbled on to YBOP last week, it was like a flash of inspiration. I realized I had most of the symptoms, and some I'd not even realized I had — blaming it on my "true" personality coming out as I "matured" and stopped trying to fit in. And being a left-brained skeptical, cynical rationalist, the information on YBOP was just what I needed. A physiological explanation as to what was going on. Learning about the biology of the addiction and how it was warping my life and my mind was the kick in the pants I needed. Immediately I locked up the porn hard drive (I know, I know…) and set myself on the No FAP 90 day challenge popularized on Reddit.

    I realized that despite my intellectual indifference to porn, there was a biological factor I had never even considered. Reading about porn ED was the wake up call. I'd basically given up on pursuing and even avoided getting involved with women after a few experiences years ago where I was not up for the task with some attractive, interested women. It was too embarrassing to go through again. I decided I'd rather go without than go through that with anyone else. Looking back I realize this only served to fuel the porn and masturbation intensity levels. I had blamed myself, my personality, my mind, my upbringing, my past, my insecurities. I blamed everything but the porn.

    I don't know if eliminating this addiction will cure any of the issues above. But just as I quit smoking to try and narrow down or eliminate the cause of this unknown suffering and degradation in my life, I knew immediately after just a few minutes on YBOP that I had to do the 90 day challenge. I had to find out. I had to at the least eliminate it as a culprit.

    I'm starting this journal on Day 6. I've been keeping a personal journal with any noteworthy experiences, and will probably post the best ones here. I can say that so far my house is a LOT cleaner that it has been before starting the 90 day challenge!
     
  2. youngoldie

    youngoldie Onwards comrades - we have to go back!

    Welcome here!

    I think you will do it! Reasons: You didin't go to extreme leves of porn (same as me). And you made a straight cut after finding out the reasons. And you were able to quit smoking. And, same as me, you thought it normal for you, to be out of society.

    I made it within about 40 days, then I felt working well and back to normal. My ED was vanished, and I had better sex than ever before. Okay, I had a loving wife, which was helpful. But still I have the feeling you will make in a good way.
     
  3. buzz

    buzz New Member

    Welcome to the forum. Interesting insights regarding links to depression which I can relate to.
     
  4. Dangerous Dave

    Dangerous Dave I don't need a weapon; I am a weapon.

    Welcome. You have come to a forum where many men with similar problems are now on a good path. The men in this forum have seen it all. By and large, almost every man has made great improvements. The chances are very good that you will receive plenty of feedback that you will find extremely helpful.

    Like you, I was actually happy to discover that I had a problem that was fixable. It was actually comforting to know what I had, and how I could go about fixing it.

    Others may disagree, but I believe that masturbation is the main problem. M devitalizes your mind and body. M disrupts the chemical balance in your brain and body, leading to a whole host of problems, such as anxiety, nervous tension, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and depression. Because you are devitalized, you are functioning in a mind-altered state. Your mental capacity is impaired. Chronic M is like a painstakingly slow form of castration.

    Porn is the drug of choice. It is the most potent form of filth that will lead us to the dopamine rushes addicts crave. Then there is the law of diminishing returns, when you need so much more to satiate your desires that you begin searching for either more bizarre and deviant forms of pornographic entertainment, or just more quantity in order to feed your addiction.

    Regardless of how bad you may be, if you stop yanking to porn, you will become more personable, likeable, confident, healthy, and successful. You will have more physical and mental energy. You will have more friends. You will have better intimate relationships. You will feel like a new person. You will finally discover the real you.

    You should know that even if you have wanked for years, you can go a long way toward a full, 100% recovery in just a few months. And you should see tangible improvement in weeks.

    If you think your life is alright now, just wait until you reboot for a couple of months.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    Thanks for the warm welcome and the encouraging comments. I have to say that even after a few days I felt as if I was noticing an improvement. My inner skeptic wants to chalk it up to placebo, but it's almost too strong to deny.

    Ad Dangerous Dave mentioned, I was glad to see all the symptoms listed, it felt like I was reading a laundry list of my own downfall and from the positive reports from others, I was relieved to know that I might be able to fix this funk I've been trapped in.

    Even tonight at a Super Bowl party, I felt like I was "on" socially. I haven't felt like that in years. Thanks agin for the kind words, and I hope I am able to offer some helpful contributions to this community. I've already gained quite a bit from the honesty of all the others who've posted already.
     
  6. bright_eyes

    bright_eyes Master of My Own Mind?

    Regarding how you felt "on" socially at the Super Bowl party, I salute you. You are already reaping the benefits. We can choose to live like mushrooms in a dark world, or like flowers in a world of light. Good luck to all of us on our journeys.
     
  7. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    One benefit I've had since the beginning of this quest is a lowered libido. It's been quite easy to avoid relapsing so far. One thing I've found interesting is that I'm realizing most of my urges seem to have been "why not?", almost like back when I was a smoker, I'd find myself smoking cigarettes I didn't even want. It was like I was eating all the cookies in the jar, even though I didn't want them, just because I could. Knowing that I quit smoking (and even finding it repulsive now) is a huge benefit. When I was a smoker, I thought I'd never be able to quit, so why bother trying?

    Back when I was first teaching myself to play guitar, I practiced a lot. For months. With no results. In fact, I found myself actually getting worse. I gave up, and put the guitar away for 2 or 3 months. But then I decided that I wasn't going to give up, because others can play the guitar and that meant there was no reason I couldn't. To my amazement, I picked up the guitar and the Blues scales I'd been practicing for months was suddenly flowing out of my hands with no effort. I felt like Neo seeing the Matrix. It was awesome! Now, I'm a pretty weak guitar player (but I can play the Blues scale!), however that feeling of accomplishment has stuck with me for many other things I've needed to put my mind, and my time, into.

    Around that time I discovered the book "Mastery" by George Leonard (good overview and outline here), a martial arts instructor who believed after decades of teaching students that he'd found the key to mastering a skill. Interestingly his theory dovetailed exactly with my guitar experience. In short, he states that there's an initial burst of success (or increase in skill), followed by a long period of slight and gradual improvement, punctuated by a decrease in ability which lasts for a short period of time, which is then followed by a quantum jump in ability. From here, with continued practice, there is then a plateau which one must work through until the cycle repeats. I wouldn't be surprised if that same pattern plays a part in beating an addiction.

    I'd also highly recommend "The War of Art" and "Turning Pro" by Stephen Pressfield. Although focused on art and creativity, the principles in the book apply to sticking to something and seeing it though. It's a great resource for anyone wanting to make something happen — be it writing a book, building a deck on the house, or in this case, establishing a new you.
     
  8. Dangerous Dave

    Dangerous Dave I don't need a weapon; I am a weapon.

    Thanks for the book recommendations. I will put them on my reading list. Good to hear you were "on" in a social setting. That will soon become your equilibrium.

    It's good to hear you are not struggling so much during your first week. I didn't either, although many have. Every reboot is unique, just like every human is unique.

    Most reboots are not perfect. Down the road, you may relapse or struggle with temptation. Hopefully it won't be too bad. As you reboot, temptations may arise in a very sudden manner, from out of the blue, when you least expect it. I would suggest you think about what you will do if that happens. Having a plan of escape beforehand will help you get the hell out of harm's way before it is too late.

    You may lose all sexual desire for a while. I never did. Perhaps my case wasn't so bad. In any event, that is flatlining, and it is normal. It is part of the process.

    A short relapse will not significantly undermine your progress. A full blown binge to porn over multiple days will set you back considerably, so please do not binge. Good luck!
     
  9. ezagent

    ezagent Guest

    Just considering the possibility of change is way beyond the reach of many men. The fact that you're thinking critically about the time that goes into P and M is commendable. I'm 100% with Dangerous Dave about M. It's evil. I can state reasons no more elegantly than he, so I'll just agree.

    At this point I'll suggest that you keep in mind the mechanics of dropping a bad habit. A little voice will remind you that it's time to get your dopamine rush. You'll probably feel it with physical craving. At that point it's up to you to override the little voice with the executive decision to drop the habit. Turn your attention elsewhere. If you're in a place or setting that creates pressure, change it. Even a brief break is enough to snap out of the temptation to regress.

    How strong are your reasons? Have you considered the benefits of leaving P and M behind? Are you tired of the consequences? Comparing lists of benefits and consequences was very helpful to me.

    Each day that goes by gets easier. Days turn to weeks, weeks become months before you know it. You only have to concern yourself with the moment now. Escape the inclination to regress, which is only a momentary urge, immediately when it appears, and those urges grow farther apart until before you know it, you're free.

    Be strong!
     
  10. LTE

    LTE Master Of My Domain

    I couldn't agree more.

    This weekend was a rough sonofagun. I was foggy as Hell and just not up to speed. I thought about a non-porn, non-fantasy masturbation session but I couldn't do that to myself. This morning I feel like I learned something good about myself. Masturbation is no longer a soothing prospect. That's a good thing.
     
  11. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    I seem to have flatlined before I even started! The user reports are great so one knows what to expect. In a weird way, having dealt with the depression outside the No PMO Challenege might be beneficial to be able to deal with any depression that arises due to the challenge, and not think "ah, the stuff doesn't work — I'm still depressed".

    Thanks for the encouragement!
     
  12. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    I think making a list might be a great idea. In general, what has drawn me to this quest was

    • the desire to stop feeling like crap all the time,
    • to stop the sense that my mind has degraded,
    • end the cycles of clinical depression
    • to regain my confidence
    • regain my wit and social skills
    • regain passions for my interests and activities
    • reignite an interest and desire in women and relationships
    • reignite and deepen my friendships and family connections
    • bring back my motivation for my art and business
    • to feel happy for no goddamn reason once in a while!

    These goals were the same for quitting smoking, starting meditation practices, and exercising. Those have become staples in my routine, but still weren't the key. I don't want to place too many or too high of expectations on the No PMO, but like the others it's something I need to do to find out.

    I could sense change even on Day 2, in motivation, nervous energy (just do something!), and in the days after I noticed more color to my face, my eyes seemed less sunken or dark underneath (the last two are tough to gauge but I noticed it). One thing I noticed was my skin was drier. Years ago, I used to have to use a skin moisturizer in the winter due to dry skin, but I noticed in recent years I didn't need to any longer. On Day 2 or 3 I noticed my skin, especially my face, was dry like in years past.

    Even on Day 2/3 I noticed the Brain Fog lifting as well. It's tough to gauge this one properly, as I sensed myself coming out of a 3-6 week depression funk right before I started No PMO.
     
  13. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    Day 7 Recap

    Some random observations on Day 7 about the previous 6 days:

    I had a lot of pent-up energy over the past few days. I ended up cleaning the hell out of my bathroom and bedroom. Interestingly, a lot of it was the result of noticing the clutter. I seem to have just allowed it to not bother me before, but after 2-3 No PMO days, instead of walking by and thinking "whatever, who cares", I had a real urge to just get it cleaned up. It wasn't even a thought or a rationalization, it was almost a physical urge to clean up, organize and declutter. The only thoughts I had were "it'll take 2 minutes to do this, why put it off? Just get it done".

    EDIT: One thing I wanted to note here was how I seem to be more aware of clutter — in the past I would just walk by it, having already mentally assimilated it, whereas now I am noticing all the little scraps of paper (and stopping to pick them up and throw them away). It's not some OCD thing (I don't think), but it's like my perception has changed. These things stand out more clearly, and I want to change them. Perhaps related, when I was young I was a very neat and organized kid, but around 10-12 I started becoming a bit of a slob. Curiously this coincided with puberty, and needless to say I was a addict back then for sure.

    As mentioned above, on Day 2 or 3, I noticed my facial skin color had changed. It was more of a reddish color than it had been. Not in a bad way, but in a healthy way. It also seemed that my eyes were less sunken or hollow in the sockets, like there were grayish bags under them that had gone away and "filled back in". Also with a more healthy color.

    My skin started becoming dry as it used to in the past (during the winter). That hasn't happened for at least 5 years that I can recall, and coincides with the timeframe that seems to be related to my turn for the worse — the time when all my symptoms started creeping in. Things like depression, apathy, low self-esteem/confidence, etc.

    My energy levels today seem to have plateaued or even dipped slightly, and I woke with a headache and a bit of lethargy. I am dealing with a 2-3 week cold that's been going around, and it keeps coming and going so could be related to that. But the lack of Brain Fog and focus are still here. No depression or negative thinking just yet.

    Week one almost complete!
     
  14. Dangerous Dave

    Dangerous Dave I don't need a weapon; I am a weapon.

    I recall experiencing temporary plateaus in energy and enthusiasm, followed by bursts of improvement, followed by another plateau of some sort. There were some lulls as well, which is normal. I also had weird dreams and my normal sleep patterns were disrupted. It was not a big deal going through it. It passed after a month or so. After approximately 70-80 days, I leveled off and believe I have reached a new equilibrium. I have more energy and enthusiasm for even the most mundane responsibilities in life, and cannot recall any dips for the past 3 months. This sounds quite normal to me. You're beginning to recover in earnest.

    After 3-4 weeks, people began to comment about a sparkle in my eye, and how good I look. I believe the situation with your skin and eyes is real. You are getting into balance chemically, and that will improve all physical characteristics of your body, including your hair, complexion, eyes, internal organs, extremities, everything. Stay with it!
     
  15. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    @Dangerous Dave - thanks for the confirmation. And happy to hear about your situation. Even though we don't know each other, I can sense the positive outlook even in your writing. That stuff is very inspirational. Being so early in, I need all the help I can get for the bumps in the road ahead. Tha ks again.
     
  16. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    In the process of zeroing out my porn hard drive. 882 GB.

    Yes, GB. And no, I didn't forget a decimal.

    Zeroing out the backup hard drive on the laptop. Getting rid of it all in one fell swoop.
     
  17. Dangerous Dave

    Dangerous Dave I don't need a weapon; I am a weapon.

    Glad you got rid of your stash. Doin ok?
     
  18. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    Yesterday started a bit of a dip in my enthusiasm and energy levels. They haven't dipped down to former levels, but I miss the energy I had the first week. Hopefully that will motivate me to keep at it. Deleting the stash was easy. I did it when I was hung-ho on purpose, knowing the addiction would talk me out of it later on, justify its existence. The lower motivation & energy have led to thoughts that this whole process is a waste, and that throwing 20 years of an expertly cultivated stash was dumb. But I know it's the addiction talking. Just tough to quiet it at times. Reading the science behind this is what keeps me on track. And of course the success stories and support from the forum friends.

    Oh, and moderately bad headaches the past 2-3 days, including today. Nothing major, but kind beating me down in general.

    My most recent motivation has been that the few times I've had any type of PMO urges, they were mostly about looking at porn and also MOing to it, but little urge for just the MO itself. A little lightbulb went off, realized that an urge to look at the P, and not an urge to just MO in general, was an indicator that this is something I need to fix.

    I've been keeping notes here on my end, plan on updating things here soon. Just been busy with work and trying to keep myself socially occupied. Thanks for checking in on me DD!
     
  19. youngoldie

    youngoldie Onwards comrades - we have to go back!

    You make fine observations about yourself. Just go on!
     
  20. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    Thanks YO, trying to analyze the experience on both the psychological and physical sides, to help out any future No PMOers. I know when I read something that "clicks", it helps with the motivation to continue.
     

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