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Messages - humaninprogress

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Ages 30-39 / Re: Third Time's the Charm
« on: September 13, 2017, 12:41:25 PM »
Day 20

Setbacks in dating are tough. Yet again I met someone I thought there might be some potential with, and yet again it didn't work out as I'd hoped. I feel pretty defeated and sad, even though I've been through this before and know that the feelings will fade soon enough. The secret is to let myself feel them and not try to escape them. Easier said than done!

Porn, sexual intrigue, and throwing myself into (yet another) dating situation have long been my go-to for avoiding the disappointments that come with the end of relationships. I'm pretty determined to let myself just feel this junk this round, not medicate in any way, and begin to shift the focus onto myself.

The real challenge for me is to connect with myself for the feelings of love and security that I need. It's so tempting to look outward to other people to get those needs met. Leaning on friends and family is one thing. Looking to get those needs met from people I've only just met and hoping they don't drop the ball is just insanity. Yet that's what I do, again and again.

I'm not looking to be a hermit. Quite the opposite. I want and need abundant loving connections if I am to step away from my addiction for good. I just need to get the bulk of that sense of connection, love, and security from the one person who is always here and will never drop the ball, flake out, of suddenly abandon ship: me.

Dating is not for the faint of heart. Accepting rejection is just part of the dance. Dealing with that rejection without falling into unhealthy patterns is my main goal. I'm not naive enough to think that if I keep doing what I've always done I'll get something different. I know I have to do things differently.

Looking within for my love/security instead of looking without is a huge shift. Eventually it will become second nature. I'll be much less emotionally needy, and my chances for a successful relationship will improve. I've heard it said from 12-steppers that withdraw is all about getting to know yourself minus your drug of choice. It's not always easy work, but in the end it pays huge dividends.

Stay strong, guys.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Third Time's the Charm
« on: September 07, 2017, 10:58:15 PM »
Day 14

About to head to bed. Today marks 2 weeks of freedom from good ol' pixel prison. It also marks one week without orgasm. I've set up another account to help keep me sober through financial accountability. Can't recommend it highly enough. My goal? To make it until my 40th birthday in early March without porn or porn substitutes of any sort. So far so good. Stay strong everyone.

Great posts Aether. Really appreciate the time you put into this, man. I've never had much success with hard mode. I seem to only make it about 18 days before caving, but you've really helped me see that this might be the way to go. Definitely something for me to reconsider. Best of luck in your journey.

Ages 30-39 / Re: 92 days
« on: September 07, 2017, 10:46:34 PM »
Hey there, Jasongrid. I'm also a 39-year-old gay dude. Congrats on 92 days free from pixel prison. I've completed 90 days myself, and like you I didn't seen any miraculous changes. When I don't orgasm for a week I notice a much bigger difference than I do just going without porn. I don't have any words of wisdom, but I can totally relate. For some of us I think the benefits of avoiding porn take a little longer to manifest. I've heard some say it can take 18 months...

Ages 30-39 / Re: Third Time's the Charm
« on: September 06, 2017, 10:25:33 PM »
Day 13

A couple of quick observations before heading to bed as I (yet again) approach 2 weeks of freedom from porn.

1. If I'm ever going to have any permanent success with giving up porn I have to learn as many ways as possible to quiet my inner restless 3 year old. Therapists call this self soothing. Tonight I didn't know what to do with myself. I was beyond restless. So I just headed out the door for a walk. I ended up walking to a friend's house about a mile up the road and having a glass of wine and a nice little chat. Just what I needed. Giving up porn isn't enough. I have to replace it with something, namely connection.

2. I have so much more energy and time when I'm not flushing it down the toilet by looking at porn, looking at "gray" material, masturbating, and endlessly looking for sex. Maybe I don't always know what to do with myself and all that extra energy/time, but it's nice to have it. I'm not a strict NoFap-er, but I will admit that I feel better when I'm not wanking regularly -- even if it makes me feel pretty edgy at times.

3. Being active here helps me stay sober. It also helps me cope with the inevitable discomfort of giving up my go-to safety blanket for most of my adult life. My goal right now is to show up here, post in my own journal, and support others' journeys by posting in their journals. It's helping.

That's all I got for now. Stay strong everybody.

Ages 30-39 / Re: My Journey
« on: September 06, 2017, 10:07:46 PM »
Hey there, Mediadude. Just stumbled on your thread. Your reboot journey reminds me of my own in many respects.

I know what you mean about the first time having so much momentum and ease. Maybe you aren't feeling that way right now, but I assure you your 42 days of sobriety aren't lost. Maybe your reboot isn't a continuous upward linear trajectory. Doesn't matter. What matters is trying to get back in the saddle.

I've fallen my fair share on this journey, but I always get back up. And you know what? After several years I can easily go really long stretches without porn. That said, I've learned my triggers -- and yes, dating apps, shows with nudity (i.e. Game of Thrones), social media, and Google image search are typically the beginning of the end for me, too.

The struggle is worth it. Every time you piece a stretch of sobriety together you'll learn something. One day you'll look back and see that a non-linear journey taught you more than getting it right your first shot ever could have.

Stay strong,

Ages 30-39 / Re: Third Time's the Charm
« on: September 05, 2017, 05:37:03 PM »
Thanks, RealityCheck. Appreciate your comment. It's only just now dawning on me how huge the need for connection is in my life. When I'm medicating with porn and excessive masturbation I don't really notice it as much. When I take those things out of my life I suddenly have this huge hole to fill. It can be pretty intense at times. Definitely trying to stay positive. Gratitude is definitely a game changer!

Ages 30-39 / Re: Third Time's the Charm
« on: September 04, 2017, 08:32:07 PM »
Today I find myself face to face with the very reason I've escaped through porn for so many years: a pervasive sense of disconnection. What I mean by that is that as soon as I stop getting attention from friends, family, romantic partners I feel lost, empty, and utter disconnected from them.

I'm not sure why this is, but it is. I've tried my damnedest to fill this void with porn and romantic obsession, but the truth is that the only way to fill this void is to connect to myself, look inward for the approval and the acceptance I crave. When I pause for a minute, become mindful of my body, and feel a sense of gratitude I feel infinitely better. I feel connected, plugged in.

When I feel connected to myself in this way my sense of disconnection from others fades considerably. And when that sense of disconnection fades I no longer crave porn or for some new romantic partner to rescue me from my boring life. Instead I feel fulfilled and confident.

Yet again I am going through a time when I'm into someone who isn't reciprocating my affection in the way I'd like. I want more text messages than I'm getting, I guess, more clear indicators of interest. At times the longing for that attention/affection is overwhelming.

It's important for me to just stop for a minute here at the end of the day and acknowledge that I don't need someone to rescue me. In fact, no amount of external attention or affection can ever remove this sense of disconnection from me. Only I can face it, soothe that part of me that feels abandoned and that begs for someone--anyone!--to love me.

This is why I use porn. This is why I compulsively masturbate. This is why I'm always on the look out for my next romantic crush. I'm desperate for connection. Fortunately there are other ways to get that need met. Posting here is one of them. Even if no one reads this post, it's a good reminder to myself that I can fill the void in healthy, non-addictive ways.

On that note, I'm going to bed. Early start tomorrow. And being well rested definitely helps face my sh*t and stay sober another day.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Start of my journey
« on: September 04, 2017, 08:12:44 PM »
Heya Woody, thanks for posting. Congrats on 14 days without PMO or MO. That's a big accomplishment. Giving up PMO has always been easier for me than giving up MO. I admire your determination.

Ages 30-39 / Third Time's the Charm
« on: September 03, 2017, 03:04:55 PM »
Hi everyone, back after a brief hiatus. Summer is always a tricky time for me in terms of my sexual sobriety for a couple of reasons:
  • People are wearing less clothing in general, which is very triggering
  • I tend to have less structure in my life
  • After working hard during the fall, winter, and spring I start to feel entitled to a "little treat"
This isn't the first time I've fallen back into bad habits during the summer months. In fact, over the three years that I've been chipping away at my sexual sobriety I've fallen in a hole every single summer.

To my credit, after slipping up for about one week in May I made it through June and July without looking at porn at all. However, August arrived and I caught the "fuck its," and I was off to the races.

Part of my addiction involves voyeuristic tendencies. It's a part of my addiction that I am particularly ashamed of. In my late 20s I figured out that I could spy on people exercising in public or sunbathing at the beach, maybe take an occasional picture, and then have material to think of later in my "private time." There have been times when I've even orgasmed watching people because I found it so arousing.

I've not talked much about my voyeurism here because this is mainly a forum for overcoming porn addiction. Still, I have to bring it up because part of my getting sober--and staying sober--is a policy of full honesty. Secrets lead me to unhealthy places.

The one other thing I feel like I should mention as I start this third round of rebooting is that I am a compulsive dater. When I'm not dating someone I have a tendency to feel lost, frighteningly alone, and I can easily become depressed. This, in turn, often leads me to dating and/or hook-up apps, which quite often leads me back to porn. My solution? Keep dating!! But I'm starting to wonder who I am without that crutch. Maybe being completely single for a little while might do me some good.

To say I'm sexually complicated is an understatement. I think this is probably true for most of us here. Three years ago when I first started this process I thought I would reach my 90 days of sobriety and be a changed man forever. I've hit 90 days several times now. Am I changed? Yes, in some ways. I certainly know a lot more about my addiction and about myself. But I also still have occasional slips/relapses, and I've yet to find a way to do this perfectly.

On that note, today I am recommitting myself to another period of sobriety in an attempt to rewire my brain so that I can enjoy a healthier sex life, ideally with someone I love one day. For me sex is completely linked to intimacy. I've certainly had my fair share of casual sex, but it has taken a toll on me. I'll probably say more about that in the entries ahead, as it's been on my mind lately.

Today I commit to avoiding porn (including p-subs), voyeurism, and photographing anyone without their prior consent. I believe my life to be the sum of my daily habits. To that end, I want a life that only includes sex in a healthy way. Pretending that porn is my only issue hasn't worked for me. I have to deal with the whole story. Today I begin another chapter.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Coming Back to Reality
« on: September 03, 2017, 02:36:28 PM »
Hey there, RealityCheck,

Good to read your posts. I see a lot of myself in your words. One thing that really jumped out of me is what you said about needing to always date someone for fear that you are somehow wasting your youth if you aren't. I completely get it. Occasionally I try to take a short break from dating, but I tend to fall into a funk when I do. It has something to do with how we define ourselves, I think. This is true for me at least. I think I define myself in part based on who I'm dating, whether the person is attractive, whether I'm good in bed, how interested they are in moving forward.

Fantasy is a slippery slope for me also. Since my main addiction through the years has been porn it has often been easy for me to justify using fantasy to get off. But I'm only kidding myself when I do. Fiction is fiction, whether it's coming from a computer screen or inside my brain.

Thanks for posting your story. I'm looking forward to keeping up with your progress.

Stay strong,

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reboot Restart -- 100+ days and counting!
« on: June 17, 2017, 11:28:32 PM »
@ Achiever@32 -- I last PMO'ed 35 days ago. After about 190 days I fell off the wagon for about one week. Even though I don't feel like I'm starting completely over, in some ways being thrown back into a flatline has certainly felt like it. Curious to hear more about your story.

@ andyjee86 -- Thanks for weighing in, bud. You are absolutely right that the only way forward is to never go back to P or PMO, no matter how deep the flatline. 500 days is a wicked long time to be in a flatline, but like you I'm in it to win it. I've also had semi-regular sex during my reboot. Maybe it slows down the neural reset, but it has also helped to keep me sane.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reboot Restart -- 100+ days and counting!
« on: June 10, 2017, 12:47:57 AM »
Still in a deep flatline. Really surprised by this, I must admit. I have absolutely zero interest in sex at the moment, and this after a full week without an orgasm. I'm 39, in good shape physically, have no medical issues, and I'm not particularly stressed about anything at the moment, so I'm not sure what's going on. I can only assume it has something to do with the fact that I looked at porn several weeks ago again. Hopefully it will pass. Regardless, I'll keep posting here. Staying away from porn isn't just about having a better sex drive. It's about being a better person.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reboot Restart -- 100+ days and counting!
« on: June 05, 2017, 10:52:53 PM »
Hi 32, thanks for posting. I remember when I first started this journey. I would see guys with long-term sobriety under their belts and be amazed. Reaching 180 days was once science fiction for me! Early on the going wasn't always easy. I used to think a lot about porn, and I missed the routine of daily PMO. Once I got a little time under my belt those neural connections weakened, and now I hardly ever think about porn at all. I've still got a long way to go before I'm 100% "healed" of porn addiction, but it has definitely gotten easier as I've gone a long. I hope this journal provides some strength for your own journey.

And now for a quick update...

I am about to head to bed, but before I did I thought I would post a quick entry about my current flatline and some of the stress it's causing me. It's now been a little over three weeks since my one week PMO-fest. Giving up porn again has been surprisingly easy. But the deep flatline that I'm in currently is taking a toll.

Tonight I went on a date with someone I've been seeing for a few weeks now. The last time I saw this person I felt something sexually, but tonight I felt ZERO, even when kissing and being close at the end of the date. Needless to say, it was more than a little awkward. Early on in dating that chemical spark matters a lot. Not having it tonight definitely did a little damage, I could tell. The end of the date was super awkward, and the good-bye kiss was sort of tight and mechanical. I totally had to force myself to do it.

I have a first date on Wednesday with someone new, so I'm already a little concerned that this new flatline will cause problems there as well. Even more than that, I'm terrified that some part of me is permanently broken because of porn. I'm scared that I'll always prefer pixels over people no matter how much sober time I get under my belt.

For anyone reading this who is flirting with looking at porn or going back to PMO at all, just remember that you might be able to give up porn rather easily again, but there's no way around the damage you'll do to your recovery. It sucks, but there it is. Hopefully my story can be the cautionary tale you need to keep you from clicking that first provocative link....

Ages 30-39 / Re: Intro Nevergivingup
« on: June 03, 2017, 05:26:56 PM »
Hey there, Nevergivingup. Welcome!

I recently went 180+ days without porn or PMO, fell off the wagon for about a week, and then started another round of sobriety three weeks ago.

My ED problems are better, too, but like you I also end up failing after some time, and I have a pretty long refractory period myself. I'm 39 now, and I would honestly be completely happy having sex about once every 8 or 9 days. Like you, I'm single, and I worry that it causes problems with dating.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about your journey. Stay strong!

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reboot Restart -- 100+ days and counting!
« on: June 03, 2017, 05:21:12 PM »
Posting again here just to claim my spot and renew my commitment to this ongoing recovery process. Even after 180+ days it was so easy to fall back into old habits!

It's been about two weeks now since I got back on the wagon, and it has definitely been much easier to give porn up again than it ever was before. I have more sexual control in general, even when it comes to fapping and voyeurism. I just don't feel as compulsive when it comes to sex.

This message board was critical to my early success in stepping away from porn and PMO, so I want to be more regular about posting here and being supportive of new guys just starting their journey.

One thing I can say for certain: giving up porn is worth the short term discomfort and pain. AND IT GETS EASIER!! Keep at it everyone. Here's hoping we can all say we've been clean for 180 days at the end of the next 6 months.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reboot Restart -- 100+ days and counting!
« on: May 24, 2017, 12:33:34 AM »
I haven't posted here in over 3 months. I ended up getting to 189 days clean time and then fell back into PMO for one week. That was 9 days ago. Giving it up this second time was easier than the first time, but now I'm back into a flatline, something I hadn't dealt with in a long while.

After my heartbreak around the beginning of February I made an effort to date again, but I really wasn't ready. Now I'm in a much better space, and I've joined a dating app. I don't care to meet people that way, but it beats hanging out at bars. I've gone on a couple of dates from it, so it's working to some extent already. The only downside of starting to date now is this f*cking flatline. Maybe keeping my dick in my pants for a while isn't such a bad thing in terms of getting to know someone.

I'm heading to bed but wanted to write a quick post before I did. Glad this message board is here. Stay strong everyone!

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reboot Restart
« on: February 05, 2017, 05:28:58 PM »
As of today I have 105 days sober time under my belt. No porn, PMO, or p-subs. I'm also down to masturbating only once per week at this point. The upside? Lots of energy, and I never even think about porn. The downside? There are times when I am bouncing off the walls. Not sure if it's necessarily sexual energy, but it's pretty raw and more than a little crazy making.

I've also recently been very angry again. I was kinda dating someone who had just gotten out of a relationship, and it ended kind of badly for me a little less than a week ago. The anger that is coming up feels very similar to the anger that surfaced when I first gave up porn a little over three months ago.

When I first quit porn/PMO I remember being filled with rage. I would sit at red lights and scream on occasion (which actually helped a lot!). I just remember being absolutely furious for several weeks in a row.

So all of this has gotten me thinking about my sexual addiction stuff in general. Was I addicted to the affection I was getting up until recently? All the texting, phone calls, and hanging out definitely got me high like a drug. So am I just going through physical withdrawal again in a different way? Was I addicted to my own brain chemicals yet again?

I know there's such a thing as love addiction. I actually used to attend some SLAA meetings about 10 years ago because I wanted to break free from porn (and I'd also had a string of very unsuccessful relationships that got me thinking about being a little healthier in that area). So I know that there are some people who get high off of romantic encounters. I just wasn't really under the impression that I was one of them.

Now I'm beginning to think differently.

I think I'm handling the anger quite well, all things considering. I'm not wanking to porn to escape it. Hell, I'm not wanking at all hardly any more because of some boundaries I set with M/MO a few months ago. Mostly I'm just feeling it. And I'm getting in some great workouts at the gym!

Now it's time to get a little work down. All this energy is compelling me to get out of the house more and be much more social than I've been in a very long time. If I finish my work early I'll go out for a beer with a friend. Who knows? Maybe I'll meet someone else to get high off of...I mean, connect with. Lol

Ages 30-39 / 90 Days and Counting!
« on: January 22, 2017, 01:07:11 PM »
Well, I made it! After 20+ years of a mostly daily porn/PMO addiction and many attempts to quit, I have finally made it to 90 days without porn or PMO. I had one small incident with some p-subs but without any masturbation. Other than that I totally stuck to my bottom line. "Progress" is hard to define in this reboot, but I definitely feel like I made some strides.

I've posted other recap posts, so I won't repeat all that stuff, even though it still holds true. One thing I will say is that for any of us who are having a really hard time not looking at porn "just one more time," know that the acute pain of withdrawal is actually relatively short lived. There are certainly other challenges along this road, but the overt cravings only lasted a few weeks for me at most. Actually, after the first week or so I was more or less in flatline, so I didn't even want to get off!

Another thing I'll say is this: sobriety from porn has opened doors to a life I never thought possible for myself. I truly respect myself--maybe for the first time--because I know I can face life without needing a baby blanket and pacifier. Life can be gritty and hard at times, but I can face it. I don't need to constantly sugar coat it to cope. At age 38 I feel like I'm finally getting my proverbial sea legs as an adult.

I wish I could go back in time to all those times I thought "just one more time" and make another choice, anything to break the cycle. I staid on the merry go round for longer than I ever expected to because I was afraid of missing out, being bored, feeling challenging feelings, and denying myself pleasure. Little did I know I was denying myself the greatest pleasure of all: life!

If you haven't stopped yet, trust me, it is 100% worth it. If you're struggling to string together multiple days at a time, I encourage you to get as angry as you possibly can and cut the cord once for all. (If perpetual failures like me can do it, so can you.) And if you've already got some sober time under your belt, thanks for being here and for inspiring me to take this journey for myself. I don't have super powers, but I have a life now.

180 days here I come!

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reboot Restart
« on: January 18, 2017, 11:08:12 PM »
@Beingpure -- Thanks, man. Overcoming that auto pilot is the real kicker. Like what you said about the most successful people being able to control their emotions. That's a great mental image for me.

@gazz -- Appreciate the support. Best of luck to you in your journey.

Quick update before bed:

Today was rough. I'm in total obsession mode over this romance-that-never-was. There's something about the situation that is just pushing all my buttons. I can hardly think of anything else. It is taking every ounce of strength I have right now to not restore contact, sent "just one more" text, or make a phone call I know will only lead me further down the proverbial rabbit hole.

I remember from early withdrawal from porn that my cravings were always worse late at night right before bed. That's true with this, too. The best thing I can do right now is get off the computer, brush my teeth, and get to sleep as quickly as possible. 80+ days ago I did that with porn, and I've made great progress. I can do that with this romance obsession, too. If I can kick a 20 year porn habit, I can handle a little heartbreak the same way: one day/hour at a time.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reboot Restart
« on: January 18, 2017, 10:20:45 AM »
One of the greatest benefits of giving up porn and PMO is the gift of increased self control in all areas of my life.

Sexual compulsivity has been HUGE for me since I was about 12 years old. Once I discovered porn around age 15 I was off to the races. I've pursued inappropriate sexual relationships more often than not, and I'm ashamed to say I've also struggled with voyeurism at times over the past 6 or 7 years. To say I've been sexually compulsive is a massive understatement.

So learning to sit with sexual energy over the past three months has taught me a very important lesson: I am strong enough to endure any feeling, and eventually even the strongest feeling will pass. I don't need to do anything to "get rid" of the feeling. Scratching that itch one more time will never make it go away for good. The only way to do that is to not scratch it and feel the itch.

Now that I've had some practice with sitting with the sexual "itch," I'm more able to sit with other itches in my life. I have a little more self control in all areas of my life. That doesn't mean I always behave ideally, but it does mean I am my best self more of the time. That's a pretty good start!

Right now I'm struggling with letting go of a love interest with someone who simply wasn't available. We had a really intense connection, but the timing didn't work. At some point I had to admit this to myself. Now I'm working to accept that moving on is the best alternative in the short term. Who knows what the future may hold? Maybe this person will become suddenly available at some point, but that's not currently reality.

Learning to parent myself is one of the hidden gifts of sobriety. Facing life head on without porn or some other fix isn't easy. That's a reservoir of strength I can draw on for other difficult tasks, including my new journey of getting on with my life after accepting that the person I've fallen for simply isn't available.

This reboot has taught me to take each day as it comes. I wake up, do my morning routine, exercise, cook meals, attend to tasks around the house and at work. Some days, especially early on, putting one foot in front of the other was the best I could do. Other days I hardly thought about the loss of my addiction at all. In time these days became the norm, and I experienced a greater freedom than I could have ever imagined.

Because I have this experience with the most difficult thing I have ever faced, I know I can get through the loss of this relationship that never actually got off the ground. I'll put one foot in front of the other, take care of myself, reach out for support--just like I did with porn.

This reboot hasn't been easy, but it's been a real blessing. I used to think it had something to do with sex. Now I see that it has everything to do with growing up and learning to be my own good parent, my own best advocate. Nobody else is going to take care of me for me. Today I can say with confidence that I don't need someone to rescue me. No thanks. I know how to rescue myself.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reboot Restart
« on: January 16, 2017, 07:41:49 PM »
Ha! Thanks, Mikel. Funny to think how far away 90 days once felt when I was starting this back in October. Now the idea of doing another 90 doesn't seem like a problem at all. Sobriety is just normal now. Those are words I thought I'd never hear myself say.

I'm just coming off a rough couple of days. Relationship stuff, not porn stuff. The person I'm interested in just recently got out of a relationship, and the whole situation is a bit more complicated than I'd like. Took two days off over the weekend, which was kinda tough. We've been talking more or less non-stop for a solid month, and then bam--nothing. It actually felt like early porn withdrawal! So strange.

One thing that amazes me is just how little I think about my penis at this point in my reboot. Considering that I used to think about it all the time early on, especially worrying about what would happen if I were in a sexual situation. Now I literally don't think about it ever except when I wake up in the middle of the night with a woody that keeps me from using the bathroom.

I haven't really been in many sexual situations since starting this reboot, but I can honestly say I'm just not worried about whether I'll get an erection or not. I'm only really interested in having sex with someone I connect with emotionally anyway, so if I'm a little nervous at first and am slow to get an erection, who cares? Masturbating less often definitely helps with this too. Right now I'm masturbating about once a week. That feels about right for me. The strangest part is that without the constant visual stimuli of the internet I don't even miss it.

Tonight is going to be an early night for me, I think. It's dark out, and even though I thought I might try to go to the gym, some winter nights like this one it's just nice to curl up in bed and go to sleep early. I'll be sure to post a full update at the end of my initial 90 day reboot. For now, though, I'm signing off for the night.

Stay strong, everyone.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Leaving it all behind.........
« on: January 12, 2017, 10:25:08 PM »
Man this reboot is weird. Felt fine yesterday with a clear head and today I feel uptight and irritable. Think it may be due to tiredness, maybe something else as well but the up down nature of it all is quite odd though.

Story of my reboot in three sentences. I'll hit 90 days in just a little over one week, and even though I do feel more consistently better than I did early on, I definitely hit a wall from time to time that really surprises me. Tiredness plays a big role for me for sure. When I'm having a particularly heavy day I'll often take a nap--resets my whole day.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reboot Restart
« on: January 12, 2017, 10:20:09 PM »
When I'm around women I like the look of, I can flirt, joke around and generally be ok. But when it's someone I REALLY like, I'm like what you said, sometimes confident and other days all over the place. Mental.

Ha! This is so me, Mikel. I don't know what makes me so insane around this stuff. Hopefully I'll meet the right person and settle down soon. Dating is tough, especially early on. I've been dropped like a hot potato on more than one occasion, so I'm always convinced that everything could end any second. I'm not saying I want to rush into a serious relationship, but I'm definitely ready to put early dating behind me as soon as possible.

@Beingpure -- Thanks for chiming in. Appreciate the words of encouragement and support!

Today was a bit of a rough one for me on an emotional level. I'm doing well with sexual sobriety. Haven't looked at porn in over 80 days. It's hard to believe that the 90 day mark is just around the corner! Seems like just yesterday that I started this journey. Fortunately the pains of early reboot are behind me. Only now, however, are some of the deeper emotional issues starting to come up.

The emotional stuff I've been going through today is around my potentially starting a new relationship and dealing with my abandonment issues. It's familiar baggage that has haunted me at the start of every relationship I've ever been in. The difference this round is that I actually want to face the pain without resorting to escapist tendencies like porn or masturbation. This morning I went to the gym and had a great workout because of it. Feeling those intense feelings while working out actually felt cathartic. It sounds silly to say, but I think I may well have gotten some of it out of my system for good. Only time will tell.

It's funny how giving up porn and cutting back on masturbation has made me so much more willing to face my sh*t than before. I just feel so much more grown up and adult than I did even just 4 or 5 months ago. Knowing I can face reality without any self medicating gives me more confidence. I feel more powerful somehow. Life is still hard, of course, but it doesn't seem impossible. Even the most painful days will pass. I only have to think back to early withdrawal to know this is true.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reboot Restart
« on: January 08, 2017, 01:47:45 PM »
I haven't posted in a couple of weeks, but I'm still on track. About a week ago I had a very close encounter with a slippery slope and almost fell on my ass, but I was able to pull back--just barely. I've been vigilant since, and I'm working on avoiding triggers again. That seems to be the thing that works the most for me in this reboot.

One big change since the last time that I wrote is that I've started talking to someone I think I might like to date. This person was in a relationship until very recently, so I need to be careful and go slowly, which is easier said than done. Things have moved pretty quickly, and I'm currently in the phase where one day I feel confident and the next am a bit of an anxious mess. The really tough thing is not being able to control any of it. When I'm just starting to date someone I like I'm always like this. It's not exactly comfortable, but I'm trying to avoid sabotaging things by getting ahead of myself.

What I'm amazed by is just how quickly I've gone from the isolationism of my early reboot to wanting to date again. I think I had assumed I would want to date again sometime this spring. Rebooting isn't a linear process. One day I'm up, the next I'm down. However, this reboot has put me in touch with some very real inner strength that I wasn't aware of before. If I can break 20 year habit I can do anything. It's really easy to get swept away in the anxiety of early dating. Every now and again I have to remind myself that I now have the ability to sit with uncomfortable feelings. Learning to resist porn and masturbation has given me that ability.

As for sex, I haven't gone there just yet. A few months ago I think I'd hoped that I'd have rock hard erections all day at this point, but that definitely isn't the case. Morning wood is more frequent than before. When I'm in sexual situations I seem to pre-cum more that get fully hard. At this point I'm hoping that will change. Even still, I am noticeably more aroused by real people than I have been in a very long time, and that feels great. My desire to look at porn or masturbate has shifted in a big way. Sobriety, in many respects, is its own reward.

Happy New Year, guys. Stay strong in 2017!

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