Rat in the attic

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by A New Man, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    If you step away now you've done very little damage, but you have to do it NOW. You can do it. Praying for you.
     
  2. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Thanks 40. That means a lot.
     
  3. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Yesterday was pretty rough with urges. I need to approach the next few days and weeks with massive caution- I can't kid myself that because I was at 300 days I am mentally in a better place than I was 300 days ago. The addiction is powerful- that's why hitting a good streak is hard (and precious). Last time I had to hit rock bottom before the streak happened- rock bottom meant dead dick, emotional numbness, social withdrawl, self-loathing. The streak happened because I was sick and tired of being that guy.

    This near-relapse yesterday came out of nowhere. I was feeling good, happier than I had been in ages, dick was beginning to work properly again. I guess I let my guard down- that's it. So foolish, to risk everything again for a cheap thrill. I can't handle sexual fantasy and I certainly can't handle porn. It drags me down the rabbit hole and i get completely lost- it takes over my imagination and my mind.

    It's tempting to think "300 days clean, it's just a blip", but that's a lie.

    Treat it like day 1. Back to basics. Zero fantasy. Keep busy. Beware of auto-pilot mode ("the glaze"). Focus on family. Protect the gains.
     
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  4. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    Zero fantasy is a big one, it has always kept me safe when I have stuck with it, when I have diverted from it I have gotten into trouble.

    Yes, be very careful for a month or so, but honestly one brief lapse won't do that much after 300 days. You might feel like crap for a few weeks or get some weird symptoms but it will be nothing like if you had binged. I've been in both spots and one slip can even do absolutely nothing to your brain, but that second slip is a f'ing doosy.
     
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  5. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    You hit the nail 40. The 2nd slip is the difference between a blip and a plummet.

    Day 3 post-slip was tough but day 4 the mind had calmed down and i'm doing it "easier" now. Need to watch out for urges around day 10-14. That's when I usually get them post-O and, on reflection, when they have happened after PMO relapses in the past. Knowing these rhythms is important.

    I just celebrated my birthday. I was so relieved an happy to not be in the midst of a relapse for it. I got to enjoy it with my family. Also not relapsing was a kind of birthday present to myself- here's to another year clean.
     
  6. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    Very happy to hear that, it slip will have echoes, it could be a two weeks or even a month away. It sort of just like the slip, you weren't expecting that! Maybe the best thing it do is work on your escape plan for when it does come. I immediately get outside and make a phone call to a friend or family member. Getting out into public and talking kills it.
     
  7. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    10 days after my Day 297 P-relapse I had a big WD which messed me up pretty bad. I got serious cravings for 2 days after. I searched torrent sites for my old favorite stuff (my P blocker does not recognise torrent sites as porn), and was just getting off on reading the movie titles, and yes, looked at a tube site for 3 minutes or so. While on said tube site a pop-up appeared which said "This is Lisa calling..." but I misread it first as "This is Life calling". I shut the browser. On the 3rd day after the WD the cravings stopped and haven't returned (yet anyway). I'm not out of the woods yet, but the immediate crisis seems to be over.

    Side note- i have bitten my nails for as long as i can remember. Now, at the age of 42, i've decided to quit. I thought it would be impossibly hard, but it has been pretty easy. The key is awareness. The first step was realizing I was even biting them. Then I realized there were specific times when I'd bite, like when first sitting down at the computer. Once I was aware of it i was able to exert some will, or distract/redirect myself and hey presto my nails are growing again. Very useful things they are too.
     
  8. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    When you say messed you up pretty bad, what are the symptoms? I'm curious because I just wonder what it would be like after almost 1 year clean and then having a small misstep.
     
  9. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    When I say it messed me up, my mind was aflood with serious urges to look at porn, and fantasy. Before i started the reboot (over 3 years ago now) i was always in that mental state, but having been clean for a while the circuits have changed to the point that my old normal now feels like an altered state- easily distracted, feelings of disconnection from my family, head filling with porn imagery- it felt weird and bad. I got a lot more triggered when looking at women in the street and was perving way more than before the P relapse. That's all though- no depression symptoms (that is not something i suffer from thankfully), just addiction-related stuff.

    It was a very close call. I wasn't putting up much of a fight tbh (as evidenced by my surfing torrent sites)- the reason i didn't relapse i think was because the urges lifted around day 3-4. Also, unlike previous relapses after a long streak, this time i was genuinely hoping for the urges to end- in the past the relapse sort of gained momentum as i looked forward to the next stage of relapsing, whereas this time i was filled with genuine dread and was constantly thinking "no way, i know where this ends". Your messages really helped me too, especially the one about the second relapse being the deal-breaker. Thanks mate.

    The lesson I'm taking from the episode is the addiction will always be there. In the same way it helps to be aware of short term cycles like the chaser effect and flat lines, we need to be aware that the addiction will continue to raise its ugly head at different times for the rest of our lives and we need to at least be aware of that (not taken by surprise) and have strategies for dealing with it. My mantra for next time it happens is-

    Sexual fantasy is never OK (for addicts like us)
    Focus hard on what you have to lose (improved sensation, better intimacy, time + a thousands things you cannot measure)
    Know that the urges will end, and soon (you're going to throw away hundreds of days of sobriety because you couldn't hold out for 1 more day?)
     
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  10. Tony74

    Tony74 Guest

    A New Man, reading through your posts are helping me tremendously during my reboot. Thanks for posting. Keep up the great work. You are doing great.
     
  11. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Thanks for dropping by Musicman! I just wandered over to your journal- congrats on hitting 90! You're doing great too, and helping a lot of people along the way.

    MILD TRIGGERS BELOW

    8 days ago I had evening sex with my wife for the second time in 3 years. Actually last time (mid-2014) evening sex preceded a major relapse so maybe there is a lesson there for me. I'm almost at 400 days now which is when we started having good sex last time. This time I'd gone about 40 days without an O (no WDs)- the closer my body comes to a WD the more urges I tend to get and the more I struggle not to perve at women in the street. Anyhew on the night in question I did some mild fantasizing as we got into bed...and I got an erection! I was very surprised and wondered what the hell to do with it (lol). Anyway, fortunately my wife was up for it and we had a very nice time. I did fantasize a little during the sex, but sensitivity has now returned to the point that PIV itself feels good. Edging destroys nerve endings and the actual physical pleasure of sex. It's totally possible to have the best sex of your life at 40+ if you've been deadening your dick since puberty.

    Since that night my wife's attitude to me has changed significantly. It's like we're on the same side again. It makes me realize how important sex is for a healthy relationship.

    The problem is, of course, that orgasms mess with the rebooted mindset. The chaser arrived regular as clockwork, this time complicated by the thought that "fantasy helped me out the other night and therefore cannot be all bad", which contravenes the first rule of the reboot, which is No Fantasy, because a) It always escalates and b) It always escalates. I have entertained mild fantasies each day since then and even written a few down- deleting each time because it's the old hoarding behaviour and what am I writing them down for if not a massive relapse and back to square one?

    Honestly rebooting is like snakes and ladders but without the ladders.

    I'm hanging out for day 12 and the next mini flatline.

    Another observation- the morning after the O I got quite a lot of attention from women in the street but inside I felt like a whipped dog and could barely look anyone in the eye, especially guys. It was weird. Interesting how much an orgasm disrupts your energy, state of mind and social presence.

    I think what I had a taste of the other night is what most guys who are not addicted to porn and fantasy experience- mild, sex-enhancing fantasy (i just wrote fantasy-enhancing sex...talk about a Freudian slip!) but also being in the present moment enough to really enjoy the experience for itself. I wish I could have both, like a brain undamaged by years of fantasy and porn, but I've got to be realistic. Learning to navigate sex and natural libido (learning what natural libido actually feels like for a start) without it morphing into fantasy and PMO is my challenge now. NoFap and the reboot are the preconditions of my new life, else I'm going to be fighting the same old battles till the day i die.

    A final thought- my wife seems happier than she has been in years. And here I am entertaining mild fantasy again... How. Fucking. Selfish.
     
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  12. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    Great update, brother. Glad to hear of your success!
     
  13. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Had another close call 4 days ago.

    I was getting spontaneous boners the evening before. It had been a month at least since my last O. I woke up at 4am and started fantasising. It is winter here and getting out of bed is not really an option. I got up 6.30am and opened some "private" browsing windows and did some google searches (recently I reinstalled windows on my machine and had not reinstalled K9 bluecoat yet). My mind was literally "buzzing" with fantasy and associated sensations of detachment- but the porn session didn't last very long, maybe 2 minutes. The porn I looked at was less arousing than the fantasy I had been working on- my imagination is much stronger these days and the scenarios I am able to think up are much more arousing to me than porn. Of course the temptation is to go looking for new imagery to populate these fantasies, i.e. pornland, which destroys/replaces imagination quickly.

    I fantasized a lot of the morning. By 10am my system had calmed down a bit and I reinstalled K9 on the machine. I wanted to install something on my phone but it is an Android and I'm not sure I can shut down Chrome in that way. I should figure it out now before the next crisis.

    The next day i was expecting bad urges but it was OK, like it never happened. I still feel like that now. It was a close call but I stepped back, again. My default mental programme is NoFap and the addicted self feels like altered consciousness.

    I don't know what to make of these close calls (I had one around day 295 that was longer and involved edging). Some guys talk about building resilience by exposing yourself and walking away. I don't believe in that, but that appears to be what I'm doing, whether I like it or not. I try to rationalize it, thinking there may be a way to integrate fantasy into my life in a healthy non-addicted way, but I don't think there is.

    Having said that i continue to experience improvements, especially in mood and outlook. I mentioned a few posts back there was a health crisis in my family late last year. The person involved was really shaken by it, and i wondered to myself at the time, what is the worst thing about dying? The other day I figured it out- it is leaving the people you love. I don't give a shit about what happens to me after I die (I don't believe in the afterlife), but the thought of never seeing the people I love again is HARD. Knowing that has intensified my relationships. I don't believe I would have realized this if I had still been Fapping. Another thing I do now is I procrastinate less. If I see a thing that needs doing I just do it- as a result my environment is a lot neater and cleaner than before- even the places you can't see are clean. I believe this is a reflection of greater internal order.

    Just keep going.
     
  14. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    I think we'll always have to deal with triggers and temptation for porn, the important thing is that you shut it down. That's all that really matters.
     
  15. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    I posted this somewhere else and it helped someone so I figured I put it here too.

    I think there's more than one kind of flatline and a guy can experience different types during the reboot, and more than one type at the same time.

    The first is associated with the O-cycle, or the "crash" and "build-up" of desire that follows an orgasm. Basically not feeling like sex for the few days after an orgasm.

    The second is associated with the brain re-learning to enjoy real sex. Guys who have been PMO-ing for a long time have distorted their natural reward (dopamine) system so they only associate pleasure with PMO and get a "buzz" from it and the anticipation of it. I think the flatlines a lot of guys talk about around here are this in-between phase, where they are no longer indulging in PMO but they haven't made new associations with real sex yet either. This is why so much emphasis is placed on rewiring.

    Third is the "flatline" that happens before the penis regains full plumbing and nerve supply. PMO and edging in particular deadens nerves. It takes months and months for this to improve. When it does, PIV (penis in vagina) feels a lot better, which makes rewiring to this kind of sex much easier. In my case I regained locking erections around 6 months and am only now beginning to get improved sensitivity, after 1 year clean. Maybe younger guys recover this faster.

    I'm still waiting for true arousal erections to return- that's because I'm still stuck in the type-2 flatline, and need to learn to associate pleasure with real sex again.

    Most of you guys already know this, but it's worth repeating.
     
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  16. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    OK, so the above is fucking incredible advice. Thank you!

    I've seen some good progress, but it's great to know the wiring just keeps getting better and better.
     
  17. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    This rings true, especially for heavy former edgers like me. It absolutely can take many months to see big improvements; it is interesting to note that though the science here focuses on brain changes there are also changes to the muscles and nerves in the groin, pelvis, testicles and penis for many of us.
     
  18. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    I am in a bad way right now- PMO-ed yesterday and again, just now. Neither was a very long session but it is the beginning of something potentially very bad/damaging. I have zero-ed the counter (I was on about 450ish) and am checking in to be accountable at least somewhere for my actions. I'm coming down with something and getting sick has always been a danger zone for me- no excuses though, just go to fight like a mutherfucker now to not completely destroy the gains.
     
  19. Gone fishing

    Gone fishing Active Member

    Seems like you have relapsed before at about 18 months. Your doing good. A PMO or 2 every 450 days shouldn't lead to any significant problems.
     
  20. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Yeah, it occurred to me earlier how close the timeframe is- it also happened around the same time of year (springtime here). I just need the system to calm down, which may take a few days, and then go for another good long stretch. Cheers Nofapado.
     

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