Rat in the attic

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

  1. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    If you keep it to just one or two you'll be fine.

    I remember the last time i made it to around 90 to 100 days, the first and second PMO did almost nothing to my state of mind, but the third took me down into the abyss and back into full blown binging. There seems to be a point where you re-activate the circuits and they easily wire back together. As you've been abstinent longer it might take more sessions to get to that point, but probably not that many more.
  2. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Thanks 40New30.

    I have let myself down. I underestimated (again...) how strong the compulsion is. How strong the addiction is. I had it under control for so long but it was there, strong as ever, waiting.

    I can't believe how bad I feel right now. The contrast with how I was and who I was just 7 days ago is so stark.

    It's something to hold on to- that memory of clarity and joy in simple things. I can turn this around, I know it.

    Stay well.
  3. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Some random thoughts about this relapse (because random disjointed thought is all I am capable of right now).

    I don't know how anyone functions O-ing every day. How I feel right now explains a lot about my life, especially my lack of career success.

    The "rebooted me" is still in there somewhere- 4 Os in 6 days cannot destroy 450 days' worth of new grey matter and brain connections. I've been doing this since 2012- I know how it works.

    This is a bad slip, but it doesn't mean I have to stay in the pit for 6 months.
  4. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Don't even worry about the past, not your slip and not your previous triumph over P. The gains you made are still there so get to the matter at hand and stop MO'ing. Defeat the bargainer now!

    Oh, and congrats and all you have done. Very impressive!!
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  5. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    I completely understand.

    I have been down all of these paths, all of the different cycles...from long streaks clean to short binges, to short streaks and everything in between.

    The thing that has kept me very safe lately is knowing that a relapse really, really hurts at any point in your life for the rest of your life. You're right it won't push you don't into the abyss with a short binge, but it will feel like that for a while. It hurts.

    That no PMO guy is inside you, waiting to emerge again (soon). It isn't the orgasms which hurt your brain so much it was the PMO, those circuits will be in our brains for the rest of our lives. Reactivated soon quickly, unfortunately.

    I used to think I would get past the danger zone or that a relapse wouldn't "hurt too badly" at some point. It hurts, and that keeps me more vigilant than ever before even when I go far.
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  6. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Thanks guys. Last night the strange, doped up creature seemed to recede into the background. It helped that my cold/flu thing is almost gone, and interacting with my wife and kids helped to snap me out of it.

    The most disturbing thing about being in that state is how oblivious I am to what's going on around me- i have to ask my family constantly to repeat themselves, and when they do I am not even listening. The contrast between "being present" and "being away" is massive. I look back on the week just past- i didn't help my kid with their homework for 6 days straight, so they got behind, I made no progress on my side projects, only just made the deadline I was working towards on my day job. It was a excellent demonstration to me of how much time PMO wastes and how it robs of us agency and opportunities. It also steals from those around us in intangible ways. What if my kid had said something really important to me last week, something that they had been struggling with- bullying, some identity crisis or worse, and I just didn't notice... People are counting on me to be there in the moment with them and notice their struggles.

    Besides that I felt generally shithouse.

    So back onto the righteous path- zero fantasy, no perving, no touching my dick and above all, no porn.
  7. Gone fishing

    Gone fishing Active Member

    I know exactly what you mean. PMO causes us to retreat into shameful isolation. It isolates. It can also literally throws us off balance and effect our ability to talk and think.

    The good news is that you will get better after a few days.
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  8. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Back on track after the relapse. I'm in a very different place mentally than before the relapse. I felt so bad during and immediately after the relapse that when my mood improved a few days later I could have jumped for joy. Ever since then my mood can best described as elevated. In one sense the relapse "reminded" me what PMO does to me, but in another it allowed me to experience PMO as a brain not caught in the PMO cycle, after many months clean of it. The contrast is stark.

    Had an intimate encounter with my wife this morning which might be a sign that things are changing. I got a semi and we started having PIV- in the past I would I fantasize to get completely hard but i wasn't getting any imagery playing and deep down in my gut i didn't want to go there and so we just made out. She O-ed, I didn't, and I was OK with it, just bummed out that my libido wasn't strong enough or rewired enough yet. Better that I guess than firing up the wrong pathways. During previous reboots I've "permitted" myself fantasy in the context of SO to perform, but now I figure fantasy at any time is out of the question. I want to be present, in the moment, and experience the real thing for real.

    On a side note the other day I came across the concept of Vīrya which means hero/sperm in Hindi but which in Buddhism means "energy", "diligence", "enthusiasm", or "effort". Wikipedia says "It can be defined as an attitude of gladly engaging in wholesome activities, and it functions to cause one to accomplish wholesome or virtuous actions." I looked into it a bit and found its connected to the idea of Brahmacharya or celibacy in Hinduism. I started reading a treatise on it by some swami but it contained language like "moving a mountain is easy, but overcoming lust is not easy yadayadayada" and i found it quite depressing and urges soon followed. It is tempting to believe all that stuff about celibacy being heroic and the foundation of greatness- all i know is i need it to be an ordinary, functioning person.
  9. Gone fishing

    Gone fishing Active Member

    Brachmachayea does not necessarily mean abstinence from sex, it's more a mindset, not being attached or craving sex in a lustful way.
  10. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Developing methods and theories about human sexuality is as old as cave men. We are all searching for that magic bullet that will cure all our ills. I've read so many books about self-actualization and in the end I still sat down and whacked off to P. Finding YBOP is as close to a magic bullet as I've ever found. It's like the discovery of antibiotics for porn/sex addicts. We've rewired our brain and we need to reset that. After we've found our ordinary, functioning self, again then we can see if we want to be heroic, or not. Don't watch P and don't fap. In a way it's more of a probiotic, because we are doing something for ourselves, rather than attacking something inside.

    You are what, 42? I'm 56 and my plumbing, now that I've given up P and M is working fine; this was not always the case. I've had ED and I've suffered DE. You are showing promising signs with your wife. It's worth it for you to keep on your present trajectory. YOU are worth it.
  11. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    I've used fantasy during my rebooting to get hard and to ejaculate with my SO. And while I know it isn't right...sometimes I needed it to have successful sex. Over time I know that things will get better, I have had times in the recent past where I didn't need fantasy at all to be extremely stimulated -- so getting to the point where it's like that every time is on the horizon.

    Man, I am so glad you rebounded and didn't go back into the pit of hell. So glad of that fact, because I can literally feel the pain of going back there, and it is hell.
  12. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    I made it to Day 52 before relapsing. I had this weird feeling for 2 weeks or so leading up to it like a cloud following me round, not depression, just "antsy" i guess. I put it down to a longish period going without O, and the build up of libido, but I have gone 100+ before with no O so it was probably more dopamine related after the recent relapse. As before it started with fantasy, and despite all my protestations before, I entertained it and elaborated on it mentally. I was sick again at the time, not as bad as last time, but still a virus. I went for several days fantasizing, thinking it's OK, as long as I'm not writing it down I'm OK, I can step back, but then I wrote some down and it was a slippery slope then, looking at porn-like stuff on youtube. I didn't look at any hardcore porn this time round, but I'm still calling it what it is- a P relapse. The old dopamine rush was there and mental fuzziness afterwards.

    This time there was lots of rationalizations, "I can handle fantasy", "Normal guys fantasize, I've proven I can control myself, I can control fantasy too", "M once every 10 days in sync with my natural libido cycle" etc etc. After 3 days of constant fantasy, some youtube, and 2 Os, the "hunger" was there to continue with it and disappear entirely from my life, but then I had a window of clarity and some old mottos kicked in "Feed the good wolf", "Back to basics- no fantasy". So sitting on 2 days clean. I don't know how long this streak will be- I started the last one thinking my will to quit had never been stronger, but then the cloud descended and I just kind of stumbled into it.

    I've said it before (last relapse I believe), I don't know how I lived so many years in that place, the dopamine rush, the downer, the fuzziness and the hunger, the vicious cycle of fucking PMO. It's not business as usual anymore and it never will be again, because despite these recent relapses I know what's out there for me.

    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  13. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Ain't this the truth. Your journal is saturated in good advice and wisdom. Keep 'er going, bud.
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  14. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    You're spot on, we can't fantasize or touch our dicks anymore because it leads back to uncontrollable behaviors eventually. Get back on track and very little damage will have been done. You're simply relearning how much your brain is wired up for these things through all of that conditioning.
  15. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    Totally recovery is abstinence, growth as a human being, and total remission of negative symptoms and consequences. You will always be an addict (the brain changes will always be there, just unwired), and you will probably experience occasional dangerous urges for the rest of your days.

    If you don't realize that you're set up to fail.

    Most days are easy after a while, but there are hurricanes out in the sea that are coming. If you don't know that, you're setting yourself up to fail.
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  16. Clips4Souls

    Clips4Souls Member

    HAHAHA. bro, it sounds like you're body is telling you to head to tibet. climb a mountain and talk to a guru about libido control. I wouldn't knock it until you try it.... ;)
  17. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Hey devnull- thanks for dropping by!

    Like 40 said, it's like alcoholism and other addictions, it can be managed, and managed to the point that your life is very full, and effective, and enjoyable, but I've learned the hard way that the addiction will be there waiting in times of stress and sometimes just come out of the blue (actually it's never out of the blue, but the reasons are below our awareness- part of our task is to work out what those reasons are)- and that's when we need to remember the toolkit of techniques we developed in the early days to get through.

    These rough patches become less frequent with time, so when I did my long stretches I could go for months without thinking about porn or fantasy and the addiction itself moved to the edge of my awareness. Days and weeks fly past when you're in that state (really living) and the day counter becomes irrelevant. The danger is you can become complacent during the good times and forget how powerful the addiction is when it does come knocking.

    The benefits of the reboot are great, many of them are totally unexpected- breaking free not just of the PMO cycle but the pleasure of orgasm itself frees you up in many ways. Your life becomes no longer about the next O but about... (insert childhood dream/whatever you like here). Sexual function improves too, ironically, as sex becomes less important.

    Glad my ramblings helped, even if it's a parable of the reboot fuck-up.
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  18. Jam

    Jam Active Member

    Great post ANM - that was really helpful to read. You and 40 have shared some incredible insights into the long term nature of this addiction. Like devnull said, it is easy for someone like me, just starting out, to get this idea that total healing lies out there at 90 day or 180 days or something. Thanks to both of you for persevering and sharing the stories.
  19. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    We're all helping each other, man. Hope you get back in the groove easily and go into cruise mode again soon!
  20. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    @Jam, thanks for your kind words. As YBR continues to grow I figure there will be more and more journals like mine and 40s, of guys documenting years' worth of struggle and change. My recent relapses feel different to my earlier ones because the brain truly does change during long periods of abstinence. Hopefully it has now changed to the point that I can abstain for the rest of my life. If not, I'm not going to take it too hard, because NoFap is now my default mode and that's a huge improvement.

    Had sex with the wife 2 days ago and I was relieved to find the recent relapses have not destroyed my sensitivity. It took me 350 days to regain sensitivity this time round and I would have been pretty pissed if a few short edging sessions was all it took to lose it. Now that PIV feels good again hopefully I can start rewiring properly.

    Another positive aspect of the reboot is having more time, greater focus and creativity, which = more $$. I'm a freelancer and since the beginning of this year my services have been in more demand because the quality of my work is just better than before. And I have the reboot to thank for it.
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.

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