Author Topic: Removing this negative aspect of myself  (Read 395 times)

Shanman

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Removing this negative aspect of myself
« on: June 24, 2017, 04:53:24 PM »
I've never used a forum before..started trying to get to 90 days about 4 months ago, but I ultimately want to quit porn & masturbation forever. The longest I've gone is 14 days. I'm currently on day 10 and after having some pretty sexual dreams recently have been getting the urge to look at porn. I decided this time to come here to reboot nation with the hopes that joining here will help me be more successful.

I'm 21 and must have started PMOing around the age of 11-12. I've only ever had a handful of relationships with girls and only a couple of actual sexual experiences. For a while in high school I was super addicted to porn ie. watching every day + multiple times/hours some days. For 3+ years now I've watched it maybe a couple times a week and in the last 4 months I've had a number of weeklong runs, but not much longer than that. Hopefully having tapered off like this my reboot will not take super long.

I've had constant fatigue + brain for about 5 years now. I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and treated for depression but feel like PMO could have had a large impact on my health, as I haven't noticed many effects from treatment. I also had really bad acne at one point and feel like when I approach 2 weeks without PMO that, while not as bad now, it improves (currently my second time approaching that mark). I've built up a pretty good exercise routine at this point and try to get outside + read + learn guitar in my spare time. I don't have many friends so that makes it harder for me.

I don't want this to be too long but basically I hope this forum can help me out and I hope my presence can help other people too!
« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 07:47:48 AM by Shanman »

Shanman

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Re: Hoping turning to forum when craving will help..
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2017, 06:45:08 AM »
I actually did succumb to my urges yesterday..which I guess is a setback but overall I still feel like I am moving in a positive direction. One interesting thing to note is that I remember seeing on YBOP that people report a reduction in flu-like symptoms when stopping PMO. I have had a pretty constant presence of mucous/slight cough/needing to blow my nose for years which seems to go away after 10ish days of no PMO but came right back this morning after last night's "relapse."

Shanman

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Re: Hoping turning to forum when craving will help..
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2017, 09:39:03 PM »
I haven't posted in a while; didn't receive any responses before so didn't feel like this was really gonna help but hey here I am again. I'm currently on day 11, which marks my second longest streak to date. I currently can't sleep and feel quite restless. This has happened before, and I did go to the gym earlier and work my legs which it happened after last time, but there are plenty of other times where I do that and this doesn't happen.
I just looked at the potential softcore pornos on late night HBO, which I did go to for a while in the past couple months. I tell myself that I'm exposing myself to things like that in order to put myself in a situation that in the past would have led to me PMOing but that I can now exert self control and not watch/not have the actual desire to watch. This could be risky though as that behavior is what has led to me PMOing in the past.
I told my therapist about my porn use yesterday, which is the first time I've told anyone. That was quite liberating.
I do feel tired now so I guess I will try to sleep again but my legs still feel restless..this sucks. Not sure if it is reboot related or not but not being able to sleep when tired is just plain shitty (just stating facts..).
I will say that I felt pretty great today. Flu-like symptoms have reduced again and I felt more confident than usual. Just now things feel like they have gone downhill and I wonder if it's my brain wanting that dopamine.
Anyway, peace (if anyone reads this).
« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 09:43:11 PM by Shanman »

Retro Gamer

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Re: Hoping turning to forum when craving will help..
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2017, 05:22:20 AM »
Hey man, well done on your current streak. I hope that it will go successfully. We know how you feel, we're all in the same boat. Everything you mentioned in your introduction rings true with me as well and it's interesting to see how we are all akin. The bipolar and depression is probably not genetic and not supposed to be there naturally. I am certain that it is porn related and I have read a lot of sources of research which prove that behavioral addictions such as P and M can cause all kinds of mental health problems. I have gone through the exact same. But I am a few years older and those symptoms for me have subsided greatly to the point were they are nearly non-existent. Everything started improving in my life and in my head only after I began steering clear of this horrible habit. So you are doing the right thing.

My flu-like symptoms have all cleared up now. It's interesting that you mentioned it because I completely forgot about how much I used to suffer with all that. I had allergies, but now it seems like they are all gone. And as for the forum, I find it a big help and very motivating to keep in the reboot mindframe and it really helps when craving. And there are lots of interesting and helpful suggestions, tips and techniques from other forum users. The success stories can be very motivating and inspiring to read through as well. During this reboot I'm doing a lot of studying on the subject of psychology and addiction, and everything related. And it helps immensely. I'm so glad I came across YBOP and this site.

Keep at it Shanman.
All the best
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 05:41:23 AM by Retro Gamer »

Shanman

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Re: Hoping turning to forum when craving will help..
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2017, 07:27:40 PM »
Hey man, well done on your current streak. I hope that it will go successfully. We know how you feel, we're all in the same boat. Everything you mentioned in your introduction rings true with me as well and it's interesting to see how we are all akin. The bipolar and depression is probably not genetic and not supposed to be there naturally. I am certain that it is porn related and I have read a lot of sources of research which prove that behavioral addictions such as P and M can cause all kinds of mental health problems. I have gone through the exact same. But I am a few years older and those symptoms for me have subsided greatly to the point were they are nearly non-existent. Everything started improving in my life and in my head only after I began steering clear of this horrible habit. So you are doing the right thing.

My flu-like symptoms have all cleared up now. It's interesting that you mentioned it because I completely forgot about how much I used to suffer with all that. I had allergies, but now it seems like they are all gone. And as for the forum, I find it a big help and very motivating to keep in the reboot mindframe and it really helps when craving. And there are lots of interesting and helpful suggestions, tips and techniques from other forum users. The success stories can be very motivating and inspiring to read through as well. During this reboot I'm doing a lot of studying on the subject of psychology and addiction, and everything related. And it helps immensely. I'm so glad I came across YBOP and this site.

Keep at it Shanman.
All the best
Thanks Retro Gamer!

Yeah you're right, I have benefited greatly from an educational standpoint from YBOP and sites like Reboot Nation. I just never joined the forum(s) before so I feel like I've already ~read my share~ so to speak (not to say that it isn't still helpful to read others' posts).

It is interesting because I have read a lot of accounts of people with Bipolar and while I have had several discernible manic episodes I don't really feel bipolar. It's quite incredible to me that even mania could be caused by a behavior such as this. It becomes more and more clear to me that this is likely the biggest cause of all (/most/many) of my problems over the past 5 years or so, or at least the biggest contributor.

Do you have any suggestions of research to read that you mentioned? I withdrew to take a break from school in March but I was/am working towards a degree in psychology and do have a lot of interest in addiction in general. I took a behavioral neuroscience class at one point that went pretty in depth but (ironically I guess) I haven't retained much knowledge that I can readily recall during my time at university, I'm sure largely because of the symptoms that come with PMO.

I'm currently reading Man, Interrupted by Philip Zimbardo (& Nikita Coulombe) which I highly recommend (and if you haven't seen it, The Demise of Guys TED talk and accompanying e-book). I also read a book on Buddhism recently, a lot of the concepts of which I find are greatly relevant and insightful in looking to understand and overcome addiction. 

Anyway, thanks for your comments and I was gonna ask how long you've been rebooting and such but I guess I can just look at your profile :)

Peace

PS: to keep the journal going I am currently on day 12 and felt tired most of today but most importantly didn't relapse last night and was able to sleep after posting on here

PPS: I now read through your journal and see that we are around the same number of days as one another. Also you didn't sleep last night..I hope today went OK! Stay strong!
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 08:04:10 PM by Shanman »

Retro Gamer

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Re: Hoping turning to forum when craving will help..
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2017, 09:05:55 PM »

It is interesting because I have read a lot of accounts of people with Bipolar and while I have had several discernible manic episodes I don't really feel bipolar.


That's right, it's because you're probably not. And it's important to remember that doctors are not always right, especially when it comes to psychological matters. A lot of the time doctors will actually diagnose you and prescribe medications to you without really getting enough information. And most of the time the patient will mention what he suspects is the cause and then the doc will basically just agree. There's a copious amount of mental disorders out there, honestly it's ridiculous just how many there are, and it is possible to label every single person with one or another of them. Hence why doctors so quickly and easily label people with something. What the real problem in our case is (us porn addicts), is that we have an overactive and fried reward circuit which causes all kinds of emotional swings and disturbances. And because our frontal lobes - which deal with self-control - have been weakened, we start getting bipolar and depression, we find it hard to stay composed.

Shanman, an interesting research paper I remember reading somewhere (I can't remember the exact source and location, athough it's probably on YBOP) showed how people who were exposed to pornography from a young age had a higher rate of ADHD, bipolar and depression than people who did not start using porn from a young age.

Do you have any suggestions of research to read that you mentioned?
 
Not particularly. There's plenty to learn all over the internet and it's all educational and interesting. One book I highly suggest though is called 'The Chimp Paradox'. This book is great. It explains so much and it's in an easy to read and understand style.

Yes I've seen that TED talk you mentioned, it's very good. Most TED talks are very good. And in regards to the Buddhism, I agree, it's an interesting philosophy and you can learn a lot from it (that and 'Daoism' too).
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 09:54:57 PM by Retro Gamer »

Shanman

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Re: Hoping turning to forum when craving will help..
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2017, 01:51:15 PM »

That's right, it's because you're probably not. And it's important to remember that doctors are not always right, especially when it comes to psychological matters. A lot of the time doctors will actually diagnose you and prescribe medications to you without really getting enough information. And most of the time the patient will mention what he suspects is the cause and then the doc will basically just agree. There's a copious amount of mental disorders out there, honestly it's ridiculous just how many there are, and it is possible to label every single person with one or another of them. Hence why doctors so quickly and easily label people with something. What the real problem in our case is (us porn addicts), is that we have an overactive and fried reward circuit which causes all kinds of emotional swings and disturbances. And because our frontal lobes - which deal with self-control - have been weakened, we start getting bipolar and depression, we find it hard to stay composed.

Shanman, an interesting research paper I remember reading somewhere (I can't remember the exact source and location, athough it's probably on YBOP) showed how people who were exposed to pornography from a young age had a higher rate of ADHD, bipolar and depression than people who did not start using porn from a young age.


This is all very true and I tend to believe it's best to remain skeptical of doctors. It will be interesting to me to see how things go for me as I reboot in regards to this because I feel like more than anything my emotions have been numbed, and when I have felt emotions that has been "mania" to me. I wonder if the symptoms arising from PMO were masking legit bipolar, or perhaps like you suggest it is a direct result of it.


Not particularly. There's plenty to learn all over the internet and it's all educational and interesting. One book I highly suggest though is called 'The Chimp Paradox'. This book is great. It explains so much and it's in an easy to read and understand style.

Yes I've seen that TED talk you mentioned, it's very good. Most TED talks are very good. And in regards to the Buddhism, I agree, it's an interesting philosophy and you can learn a lot from it (that and 'Daoism' too).


Thank you sir, I will check that book out. I have looked into Taoism (? spelled tao pronounced dao?) too!

Shanman

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Day 15=new streak, uncharted waters
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2017, 11:33:03 AM »
I guess it's time I update my journal. I don't really have much to say except I'm now on day 15, which I'm pretty sure is the longest I've gone without PMO since starting around age 12. I do feel like I'm gaining a more peaceful frame of mind, with less anxiety and more confidence. I've also noticed a decline in my bodily acne, as well as a clearer throat and perhaps deeper voice. It will be interesting to see how things go from here. I wonder if it's possible that many of the symptoms I've felt over the past number of years have been the result of weaning off porn, as this decision to break completely has been quite a long time coming. I haven't read any stories about that though. I guess it would be hard to tell. I feel like things are getting better pretty linearly without adverse symptoms, which from other people's accounts doesn't sound right. I may be speaking too soon on that..for now I feel good though. And that's what matters :D

Shanman

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16
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2017, 06:45:24 AM »
Waking up this morning, I felt like my nose/throat/mucous that seems to have been declining since starting rebooting is nearly gone (this has had a constant presence for years). The acne on my body also seems better again and the dark lines under my eyes seem to be disappearing. I don't know how much of this is me looking for change and/or feeling placebo effects, but I'm quite sure these are real things. It can be kind of hard to believe at times that physical things such as these are impacted, but it does make sense based on how the brain practically controls every aspect of the body. Today I am more aware of how 16 days is really so little in comparison to where I want to get (ie. forever..) so now that I am on my longest streak I think I will become less focused on the day number but still will keep track of it.

Shanman

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Placing less emphasis on day count after "relapse"
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2017, 07:42:26 AM »
I "relapsed" the other day. I put relapse in quotes not to trivialize PMOing when that is what I'm trying not to do, but because I consider each time that happens to be a learning experience and something that shows me the way I was going about this was wrong. The conditions were already there for that to happen, so it is those conditions that need changing.

I am currently on day 3 or 4 of this new go at quitting PMO. I have recorded on my calendar the days that will mark 30/60/90/120 but am not consciously aware of exactly which day I'm on or which days in the future will be "important." In reality, there is nothing special about those days; they are just markers to show progress. I think this mindset will allow me to focus more on the here and now.

When I PMO'd the other day, I was triggered pretty strongly by a reminder of doing so in the past, so I then started looking at a youtube channel with videos that I did it to that time. What I realized and have known for a while without really analyzing it is that what I do is look at a video ~to see what will happen~ (as if that's a mystery...). I guess I have/had a misguided expectation that I could look at something arousing and THEN make the rational decision that that isn't what I want to be doing. What really happens, however, is that I may do that, but then I will inevitably come back later after that circuit in my mind has been activated. What I always end up doing is watching a bunch of videos and (I think this is the correct usage) "edging" until I either cum without any physical contact or just a small amount of physical contact at the end. This would possibly seem to be even worse than physically masturbating, as my body/brain learns to orgasm without any/minimal actual physical contact. So really the solution to this is that I cannot afford myself the opportunity or make the decision to even view things like that in the first place. That might sound obvious and is really the basis of rebooting but it's a lesson that I only just learned/realized for myself. I think that is an important point, as it is often only once we experience something for ourselves that we may really take a lesson/message to heart.

I still feel like where I am at is significant progress. I feel like even though it's only been a couple of days that the short-term benefits I have noticed other times are returning more quickly this time. I can also be proud of the fact that I have only done it once in 20-some days, which I could only have said one other time since age 12ish I think.

I did feel kind of bad when I did it just because I had made several posts on here with the basis that I had developed a mindset that would allow me to be successful and gave other people advice based on that. I guess that is a positive of being part of a community like this: that I have that kind of accountability that gives me an extra sense of negative feelings that come with PMOing. I don't want to be hypocritical and I want to be able to practice what I preach.

All the best to everyone on their respective journeys.

S

Retro Gamer

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Re: Removing this negative aspect of myself
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2017, 09:41:31 AM »
It happens to all of us, Shanman. We learn from our mistakes. Well done for not giving up and getting back into the reboot.  :)

Shanman

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Re: Removing this negative aspect of myself
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2017, 04:04:56 PM »
Thanks man :)

Shanman

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Re: Removing this negative aspect of myself
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2017, 02:14:28 PM »
I find myself once again on day 3 of no PMO. On the surface this might seem like another setback but I don't see it that way. I am being very strict with myself in terms of resetting that counter. I classified as looking at porn several days ago continuing to watch a YouTube video for about 30 seconds after it had me aroused. I think it is important to understand that something like that IS porn, whether it contains nudity or sexual acts or not. That is artificial sexual stimulation, and in making the conscious decision to keep watching it I failed the commitment I have made to myself to quit porn and masturbation. Similarly, a couple of weeks before that I looked at some pictures that had me aroused for no more than a few minutes. These are my two failures in recent weeks. I've gone 21 days with no masturbation, and 38 days with one PMO and the two porn viewings previously mentioned. While technically only on day 3 of no PMO, this has been huge progress for me.

One thing that I have been aware of is the foreskin on my penis climbing back up to where it used to be when I was younger. Years of masturbation had it well below where I think it would normally be. I was keeping an eye on the acne on my thigh and back as well as the feeling of mucous in my throat/nose, but both of those things seem to have stalled in terms of progress.

S

Shanman

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Re: Removing this negative aspect of myself
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2017, 10:06:03 AM »
Today marks day 30 of no M. I just went through my calendar and made some more calculations and projections about my day count/pmo ratio which made me feel good. While I am only on day 6 of no PM (owing to the P in my previous post followed by one more), I am on day 30 of no M, with 3 very brief softcore P's, and day 47 with one PMO (and those same P's). I focus on P and M because I had O's in the form of wet dreams. What's more, going way back, today marks 93 days with 10 PMO's and 107 days with 12. That amounts to an every 9 day average during that period-9 days was my all-time record (since around 2007 when I started) in May. Among the 10 and the 12, there were two "triple relapses," where I PMO'd 3 times pretty much back to back (to back). So really that is 93 days with 6 occasions where I PMO'd, and 107 days with 8 occasions (averaging about every 14-15 days since the beginning of May).

It feels good to look back and see this kind of progress :)

My next milestone is to get to 17 days of no P or M, which will be a new record for me.

One more thing to add is that I am still convinced that my acne, particularly on my thigh and probably the rest of my body, is tied to this. I was treating it for a while with products from the dermatologist which never seemed to do anything, but now the stuff on my thigh is the lowest that I can remember it being in a long time.

Shanman

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Re: Removing this negative aspect of myself
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2017, 02:52:31 PM »
This is becoming a hard (no pun intended) battle for me. I PMO'd twice today. I was actually OK with doing it the first time because I felt like I have been making enough positive changes in my life. I know that is rationalizing things but truth be told my convictions about the effects of porn have dwindled. Perhaps I need to re-educate myself. After the second time, though, I did feel annoyed and a bit disgusted with myself. It was to a film that I had had on my mind for quite some time, so to put a positive spin on it I was "getting it out of my system." But I've said that at least once before. And that was months ago.

On a non porn-related note, I went to a local mindfulness community last night where we practiced sitting and walking meditation as well as having a dharma discussion. I can't say enough how positive of an experience that was. I plan to go Mondays and Fridays in addition to my 3x a week at the gym, and this Sunday I also start volunteering once a week.

I feel that as I incorporate mindfulness into my life and develop stronger bonds with other people that, as I am already on this path, the natural end product of that will be abstaining from porn and masturbation. I have had some loose goals of wanting to be at 90 or 120 days by a certain point in time, but I keep pushing those dates back. By the end of the year is a good goal, as I expect to be going back to university in January. I'm not being too hard on myself as far as dates go, though, as it's really about changing my mindset. I can say that on occasions like this I do truly feel like a drug addict.

Hopefully I won't have anything to post for a while and when I am back it will be to announce a success (next up is 17 days of nothing).

All the best and peace.

Shanman

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Re: Removing this negative aspect of myself
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2017, 02:57:19 PM »
Reading over my journal I am struck by how pathetic my efforts have been. It's time I turn this ship around.

vince75

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Re: Removing this negative aspect of myself
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2017, 03:39:01 PM »
Stay strong man, again, we've heard it a thousand times but, a relapse is not going back to zero, you've built a lot in between, you have a good foundation. I see it myself, even though I relapse at least 10 times this year, the withdrawal symptoms are not as bad as a year ago, small progress is made each strike!



Shanman

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Re: Removing this negative aspect of myself
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2017, 03:43:13 PM »
Thanks man. I realize that. I really appreciate your response, and it's good to hear that long term benefits do show up even after a year of what some might call "failures."

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Re: Removing this negative aspect of myself
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2017, 03:38:29 PM »
Not failures, set backs but the foundation is still here, strong!