Once an addict, always an addict?

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Submitted by Reloaded on
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Is this a true statement? I think most people misunderstand what it means. Your natural defensive mechanisms come up when you hear this but all it simply means is that there will always be the chance of relapsing meaning your never truly out of the woods with your addiction. You can go 5 days, 30 days, 100 days, 300 days, 5 years, etc...but the addiction can be triggered at anytime so its never really safe to say that youll NEVER do it again no matter how many days go by. Now it doesnt mean you can never stop the addiction, it just means it will always be there, even if its a speck in the corner of your mind, its still there. Thats why its so much easier to take part in your addiction everyday for a year than not to do it for a year. IMO one part of recovery and rebooting should be for the person to never say never. It may sound pessimistic but why set up delusions for yourself that will end up making a possible relapse even that much more painful. It is what it is and if you exaggerate in one way than you will exaggerate the other way too.

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Thanks for this wisdom

I don't think people have to label themselves "addicts," but I do think that some of us have sensitive brains, which, when battered with too much stimulation...will slip into addiction.

This means that even when we return our brains to "normal" for us...we are still defenseless against too much stimulation. We may get away with indulging for a little bit...but we are at the top of a very slippery slope.

Still, I think it can be even more constructive to think of this sensitivity as something like an allergy...as one guy here said. "Some people can use Internet porn...but I'm not one of them."

Disagree to a point

I used to believed that was the case but my own experience tell me it isn't. In my teens I was a video game addict..used to play 5-8 hours daily. I went through a radical change in my early 20s and for some reason I don't feel any pleasure playing anymore. The other day I was setting up a console for my younger sisters and they had a game that I enjoyed in the past a lot. I try to play a little but couldn't feel any pleasure out of it. It was like I had to force myself...like I was doing some work that I didn't enjoy at all.

People become addicts for a reason...we live in conditions that are out of sync with the necessities of our human body..there is something that push you to seek that "fix". When you get that fix through the ways nature intended too( music, relationships,meditation,healthy food,etc) and resolve what pushed you to it in the first place, you don't find any pleasure there. Habits are hard to break but when you replace it with positive ones, if becomes very hard to return to your old habits. You can try but the *insert addiction* will not do it anymore for you. Your body and brains changes and adapt. Sure you could taste/try again the *insert addiction* but it will be not the same and because of that, to return to be an "addict" you will have to work your way to it...think will be kind of hard as quitting for example PMO in the first place. So the body and brain can adapt again to these conditions.

I feel there's truth in your

I feel there's truth in your words. Nowadays, if I happen to relapse I will not even want to think about porn or masturbation for the next 2-3 weeks. This is quite interesting considering when I used to PMO daily I felt "horny" all the time.

Using this logic, the time between potential relapses should get longer and longer over time. Yet another reason to continue trying.

I see what your saying and it makes sense

But I think PMO is a whole other animal. I think a lot of us have gone through phases in life. I remember when I would think about nothing but skateboarding then it was collecting comics then baseball cards, and there were some others too. After a while I would lose interest in it and move to something else. I hate comparing PMO to other addictions because I think its a hybrid of a lot of different ones but look at alcoholism. A recovering alcoholic can possibly go into a bar or a liquor store but it would be extremely dangerous of him to take a drink. The difference with PMO is that there are cues and triggers all over the place. If it were just porn we were talking about then I would totally agree with you but when you add MO thats like saying you were addicted to video games while drinking red bull and smoking weed. Perhaps its possible for an addiction to just drop off on its own, im not going to be a hypocrite and say thats impossible. But to me once your mind has opened the door to the addiction then its there for good. Its like seeing something very traumatic, you cant unsee it. You may try not to think about it or even forget about it but its stored in your memory banks for life and one day you might see something that could trigger the image again.

substitution is the key

finding out what PMO does for your life, for you...and then substituting something better. Once you've done that, you're good to go. You probably won't have any problems with relapses. But if you just quit and don't substitute, then a lot of times the problem will manifest again.

The best substitute in my mind is a loving long term relationship with a woman with whom you have a lot of physical intimacy every day. Lots of snuggling, holding hands, cuddling, whether it's watching tv scrunched up with your bodies together, etc.

Karezza really helps a lot because you can have intercourse most days or every day and it just gets better and better. Many people here are quite young and can't imagine sex without orgasm, and neither could I before. But the benefits of the combo if lots of bonding and Karezza are so wonderful and pleasurable that PMO doesn't hold a candle to it.

Substitution is the key.

If you are single and don't have a girlfriend, you can still quit PMO but you want to find a girlfriend as soon as you can. It just makes this immeasurably easier.

Relapses happen so long as you have no engrained substitution behavior that is replacing the PMO and I mean not just the physical act but the time, the emotional part, how it may get rid of your loneliness, etc. Ask yourself what PMO does for you and find something to replace it that is better.