Flatline since I started the reboot. 50 + days in

Submitted by matchlight on
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Hello everyone!

So glad to be here, happy to have found this site and its companion YBOP. Although this is my first post, I have been reading the blogs since I started my journey of rebooting my brain 44 days ago. The blogs and articles keep me going and have helped me not come close to relapsing. I am starting with the blogging now as I am hoping for advice, support and honesty from this community as I continue with my reboot.

Here is a little about me.

I am a 42 year old, white, divorced professional. 3 great kids that are with me half time. Actually, they are with me full-time, but that is for a different post. (And not really related to my addiction). I have been a constant user of porn and sexual fantasy since I was 14. Since around 9, I also have had an extreme habit of escaping into my daydreams. Daydreams where I would go for hours at a time. I have given up both of those habits and am proud of my 44 days of reality. :)

I have been a user of porn, phone sex, online chat, Second Life avatar sex. You name the solo fantasy, I've been there. I have gone a couple times to lingerie shows, but usually avoid them.

I have been in therapy twice before for my sexual issues and at times I wonder if my time in therapy did more harm then good. As a young man, I had serious questions about my sexual fantasies and thoughts. I also have OCD and the combination of both the OCD and deviant fantasies created tremendous shame in me regarding my sexuality. I was constantly testing myself to see what aroused me and when it did, I assumed that was who I was.

Over the years I have worked at being sober, involved with Sexaholics Anonymous and so on. I would go for a month or so and then relapse.

I think what is inspiring me today (and for the last 44 days) is the belief that I can "rewire" my brain. That with time I may come to look back on these past years (decades, really) and know that that person is gone. I look at the average 90 days of rebooting to get on track and I think for me personally that may be wishful thinking. Somewhere in YBOP I read that shame (when a part of the MO) acts as somewhat like an "amplifier" in making those neural pathways even stronger. Well, 25 years of shame with a twice a day masturbation habit....I imagine I'll be posting here for a while :)

But what do I have to lose? Nothing worth keeping.

And a life to gain.

Wish me strength for my journey.

MatchLight

Comments

Great Job

44 days no PMO is pretty darn impressive. Im 22 days in myself. Keep us posted. Its never too late to turn back and do the right thing

51 days!

have a minute to update. Feeling pretty good although I am dealing with stuff. My 2 outlets, fantasy and PMO are gone and I'm at times having a rough go of adjusting. Interestingly enough, I haven't felt the desire to PMO. But I am depressed, irritable, and dealing with some anxiety. I've been having some trouble catching my breath. Was 90% sure it is anxiety related, but went in and had it checked out anyway. EKG and Chest Film all came back fine and my O2 levels are good, so it is anxiety. I have a general physical exam schedule for Tuesday, so will have a chance to talk to my doc about my abstinence from acting out.

Marnia, I did read through the article you suggested. Some great stuff in there! It is great having such a fantastic resource within these 2 websites.

Had a sexy dream last night. nothing sexual happened, but it was a lot of fun flirting (in the dream). Amazing how vivid it was and that I can still remember most of the aspects of it. Down to the blouses the women were wearing.

I'm feeling fortunate that I'm not struggling with the desire to act out and come close to orgasming. I think it is referred to here as edging. The last times I had tried to stay sober, about a month in I started reading erotica, would go on Second Life, then spiralled into phone sex and fantasy....None of that this time. I believe this is the farthest I've gotten in a long time in terms of days.

Marnia asked about insight I might have being a bit older (or a lot older) then a lot of you here. My insight is that if you found this site before marriage or children, you can count yourself blessed. The catalyst of my marriage breaking up was porn. Porn held me back in so many ways....emotionally, sexually, financially. If this had been around when I was in my late teens/early twenties, who knows where I'd be today.

That being said, I am very grateful to have found this page. I read from the blogs and forum every day and believe that this site and YBOP is making a huge impact on my rebooting.

Matchlight

Sorry the anxiety

is still a beast, but I'm glad you checked out all right.

It'll be interesting what your doctor says about abstinence. The standard medical protocol is that sexual addiction is impossible to fall into strictly from overstimulation. Millions of young guys are proving that wrong - given that they recover quite well when they give it a rest.

But for the common symptom of porn-related ED, most doctors just hand guys, even young ones, a trial pack of Viagra and a referral to a sex therapist to discuss their issues. Docs don't even check for, or mention, the possibility of addiction. Instead, they write them prescriptions for ADHD meds, anxiety meds and depression meds - on the assumption that those conditions are always the primary cause of any distress. Of course, sometimes they are the cause, but it pays to experiment a bit and understand the stress of withdrawal before concluding which disease is causing the symptoms.

You read this collection of self-reports about others' symptoms, right? WITHDRAWAL

My advice on marriage, as in

My advice on marriage, as in life, is that timing and commitment are everything. I believe that marriage, sharing a life with someone who you love can be an amazing thing. That being said , in marriage you truly have to be "all in". If you are having significant struggles in your life, whether sexual, emotional, financial, or career wise, how can you be ready to give so much of yourself to another person? And especially with the sexual struggles we share, as there can be so much shame and secrecy around them? I don't believe that many marriages can survive when they start with secret, shameful baggage.
Before you think about marriage (or even a serious relationship), be “all in” with commitment to yourself. Get yourself healthy, sexually and physically. Have some money in they bank. Have a decent job that you enjoy and that has potential for advancement. Have male friends and hobbies that are male-centered. Find an outside sport you enjoy. Be happy with who you are. Then, go looking for that special someone..And if you find her....and the timing is right...for both of you....move your relationship as forward as you see fit.

Hey matchlight, Marnia

Hey matchlight, Marnia mentions a lot that sometimes us "older" guys (I'm 36) reboot faster because we didn't start with internet porn all those centuries ago when we started masturbating. Hopefully that will be our case and you will be able to reboot without any problems. Sorry to hear about porn ruining the important things in your life. My father went through the same thing, porn ruined his marriage to my mother and ruined his life...and that was with just magazine and video porn. Anyway, good luck with everything and check into the sites a lot, it will probably help to keep you on track. Oh, and if you've read any of the reboot accounts you'll know that depression and anxiety are par for the course while rebooting, I've been lethargic as hell lately. It should lessen as you keep going forward.

Thanks prodigal,

Thanks prodigal,

I appreciate the advice. No other way to go except forward. I'm feeling that by closing in on 60 days, i'm creating more and more internal resistance to acting out. I don't feel that urge to PMO when I'm home alone (as I am right now). I've also mentioned before that I believe a part of my problems is escaping into fantasy that doesn't have anything to do with PMO. One of the ways I'd escape before was to put some music on with headphones and the blast of my favorite tunes with the volume knob on 11 would send me into an amazing rush. (damaging my ears in the process). well I haven't escaped this way since I started my PMO moratorium, but I find it interesting that the songs I would escape to give me a "residual" rush when I hear them even now.

I'm also curious if there are any postings about people that have completed their moratorium on MO and how they are doing weeks / months after the fact. Am curious about your struggles, your achievements, especially from those without a significant other.

Matchlight

Flatline since the beginning of reboot, 50+ days in

Hey All.

Looking for a little advice. I described in my last post how I've been dealing with anxiety and some depression. I read through the withdrawal symptoms and was encouraged to see that what I had going on were some of the possible body responses to rebooting. I have another concern that I was hoping people may have dealt with.

A little history.

A few months ago I was part of a sexual roleplaying community on Second Life. If you don't know what Second Life is, it is a online computer game that allows people to interact with each other through an avatar. People from all over the world are involved. Sex is just a part of Second Life, there are many mainstreet activities there, but my focus was always of a sexual nature. I had quite a few friends and avatar "lovers". People that enjoyed the same type of sexual fantasy as I did.
I have never been one to watch much porn online. For me, I liked interacting with another person who shared my fantasies either through phone sex or SL. I found that my imagination was far better that the pictures and videos I found. I would read erotica at times, as my imagination could run with that. Also, I had caught a few nasty viruses and quite honestly, it wasn't worth it when I could read erotica and fantasize or play Second Life and find what I was looking for. While playing, I could get lost in my imagination for hours. A lot of wasted days.
The last time I was playing on Second Life, I said something crass to another player and was taken to task on it. My response was...."I'm going home to rethink my life" I cancelled my Second Life account, blocked the phone sex company, and have since been sober. Started browsing different forums and have had a relatively easy go of it.

And in there lies my concern. I am not sure whether it is a blessing, but I have expereinced very little libido in the past 55 days. I've not fought any urges, no morning wood, very few sexy thoughts. A couple times, I've felt some arousal seeing a good looking woman, but overall, not much has gotten me going.

So, some might read this and think "lucky bastard, 50+ days and not one night climbing the walls." I am grateful for that, but I guess I'm curious if there are other "seasoned" (older) men who feel like a switch was turned off when they decided to reboot. And stayed off. Right now, I feel like I could go on forever without sex. And that's not what I want. I think it might also have to be the fear that if I do awaken the libido and have sex, that the chaser will follow and I'll be back into my old habits. Every single time I've tried to quit, I always relapse. And relapse for months at a time. I've never had a simple "oops" and start over after a day or two. It's always months or years of "relapsing".

I know that we all reboot somewhat differently, I guess I'm just looking for some encouragement and advice. Thanks.

Oh, I've also was tested for testosterone level last summer. It came back normal, low end of normal, but normal.

Matchlight