You know you have a problem when...

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Submitted by Musician on
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- You are up at 5 in the morning writing this blog, even though you have work in three hours.
- You stay up later and later each night looking for the newest thrill. This includes:
- Eating cereal with more and more sugar (childhood habit). Come on dopamine!
- When you're upset because you don't have enough of that sugary jam you eat that cereal with (I usually dump 3 large tablespoons of jam with the sugar. Got hooked on this by accident in Finland 6 years ago. How I'm not fat, I have no idea).
- You enjoy your girlfriend's body more and more, but prefer to go on the iPod Touch and websurf (not porn)
- You enjoy your girlfriend's body but you need to go to the living room and watch TV
- You go to kiss your girlfriend's vagina and you get a vivid image of enjoying performing a lot of oral sex on a boy from teenage years and totally getting off on it (long story, very sick and twisted, and all of it was related to dopamine in retrospect, I will not go into this here. Very similar to how many of you transition to gay porn. Same dopamine induced thing, and I really doubt I ever want to repeat it, especially since I see myself and have always seen myself with a woman, I think).
- You surf the internet, twitter, and whatever new places you need to visit because everything else has become mundane.
- You refresh google news because you're not satisfied with the number of deaths reported in Syria. I swear to God, when there was no new news after a couple of minutes on some crazy bombing in Syria, I felt a dopamine low. How fucked up is that? I'm getting off on people dying en masse!

I know I have an addictive personality and a bit of an obsessive nature (it was present since I was little). On the bright side, here are two things working for me:

1) I am not reinforcing my addictions with orgasm. This is a big one.
2) My brain is rebalancing. I am sure things will even out.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. I'm not ready to give up the internet yet and a lot of other things, especially as I am doing this reboot, but I am concerned that I will be replacing the porn with other things. Not having orgasm is good, since I think it may be the strongest reinforcer (other than some substances, I guess). But I think I will need to make changes in my life (don't know what or when yet). Are there certain things I should do now? Or just hang tight and pat myself on the back for 25 very productive days?

I also am a little peeved at the industries pandering to these addictions. The Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa would always remark about the Coca-Cola culture we are living in today (much more innocent in the 70's and 80's when he was alive than today), and all the false colors and tastes we are used to. He would say meditation is the way to regain ourselves, but I personally had no idea what shit we are in. Just quitting porn is the beginning of seeing what many other problems I have. Just the glimpses of sanity highlight the myriad insanity in my life.

Comments

Well...

First, it makes sense that your pubescent/adolescent brain "recorded" that ever-so-exciting orgasm and all the related cues as Important.

This same phenomenon probably also explains why many child abusers eventually admit they were abused as children. I always wonder if this is what happened to Michael Jackson....

Our brains are hypersensitive at that age. They're primed to latch onto sexual cues. But can they automatically alter our fundamental orientation? I think it's the reinforcement we engage in afterward that eventually does that. In other words, the exciting event starts the process...and then we innocently collude with that memory...and create massive confusion.

If you're giving your girlfriend oral sex, you guys are really heating things up. That's okay, but may be making your rewiring task tougher.

Also, Internet porn addiction is an addiction to highspeed, so when you're feeling restless, read a book instead. Highspeed can keep you awake, looking for that next novel, shocking bit of information. Listen to yourself...you've pinpointed a big part of the problem. Limit your Internet time.

*big hug*

Yes,

I think I should limit it to checking/sending mail and this blog (though not too much). I think that my obsession with the news is the same pathways to dopamine rush. I think I will need to become aware of what sets me off and see what I need to limit or give up. This is hard and painful, but may be necessary.

I think with the oral, I was just "bonding". It wasn't really sexual as it was pecking affectionately. But it did set me off, which is good to know.

Yes, even

this site can be problematic for those with compulive streaks. Can you put on headphones and play an electronic keyboard? That might be good nightime therapy for you.

That's true

Or do reading or something. For me, I have always used this stuff to shut myself off from my mind, to numb myself. That's the hardest part in all this, to face my mind which wanders off into dark waters. It's like a really hard to control, aggressive dog quite often.