Author Topic: My New Life  (Read 16084 times)

dharma108

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2016, 09:40:06 PM »
Dude, The NewMe.   Thanks for your post I am feeling super inspired by your progress! Stay strong.


thewhitewindow

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #51 on: January 28, 2016, 11:27:42 PM »
Hello, I'm a 20 year porn addict.  I wrote The Darkness in this forum in the 30-40 section.  I read your post a couple times and I have to say I had the same feeling about having a counter.  It's a 'badge of honour' in a way and I think it's missing the point.  It actually reminded me of Instagram, where it's about how many 'friends' (days without PMO) you have.  Numbers mean nothing.  It's GREAT people have abstained from it, I'm not taking that away, but I'm not using it because I don't want to let myself down if I do relapse which will entice a binge.  Better to not have it.

For me it's much more deep seeded than this.  I am treating Porn like I have an addiction to alcohol where it's one hour at a time.  I remember once awhile back doing dishes one min and thinking 'I've fucking GOT this', to jerking off five min later.  It was that fast. 

Society needs a campaign like the D.A.R.E in the 80's where everywhere you looked it was about Don't Do Drugs. 
Crack cocaine was a bit of a pandemic in the early 80's.  Sad part is I think porn is a huge money making industry and the statistics are staggering of how many people watch porn.  It's never going to go away. 

I have to live with my porn addiction like a disease and treat it as such. 

Great post man, it really got me thinking.

TheNewMe

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #52 on: February 22, 2016, 04:50:03 PM »
@dharma108 that's awesome to hear! One of the reasons I post is because I hope I can help others in the same situation so your kind words mean a lot.

@Window when you get further into recovery, hopefully you'll feel porn slip away and a relapse will be further and further away. Make sure you're recovering and not abstaining though. It's great to hear that you've realized what porn is doing to you and that you want to recover from it at such an early age! Stay strong!

TheNewMe

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #53 on: March 07, 2016, 12:17:09 PM »
Does anyone here have ADHD/ADD and could provide me with some insights on how it affects your porn addiction? Please PM me (or respond in this thread if that's more comfortable).

Objectified1

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #54 on: March 08, 2016, 04:58:34 PM »
Thenewme,
I see you haven't posted in a bit . How are you doing now? I've read your journal and wow, what a help. Very eye opening. You sound a lot like my husband. However, I can't get him to talk much. He won't tell me about his triggers, temptations etc because he feels he is hurting me more when he does. Admittedly I dot. React well at times when we talk. I try but sometimes it's all just too much. Any advice on how I can get him to open up more?

TheNewMe

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #55 on: March 09, 2016, 03:26:02 PM »
Hi,

Thank you for your kind words. I always like to hear that what I write can help someone else, so that means a lot  :)

First of all, I don't tell my wife everything either. I don't tell her about all my triggers and temptations because sometimes it's not helping or healing, they're only hurtful. If it's something I know will hurt her or us, then I keep it to myself. So when your husband says he doesn't want to share certain triggers or temptations, don't assume he doesn't want to be honest. It can be to protect you. I don't know your husband so this comment is just a general rule more than speaking to you specifically.

With that said, I'm sorry, but I don't really have any good advice as to how you can get your husband to open up, other than tell you the realization I made that made me open up more to my wife. The concept is simple, but doing it can be more tricky :)

I realized that I had to BE REAL. One of the things us porn addicts are very good at is making a wall between us and the world and everyone around us, a facade that hides what's going on behind closed doors. In the beginning of our relationship, my wife had no idea I had a problem with porn because I had already spent so many years building up these walls that made it seem to everyone around me that I was fine and everything was great, and my walls kept them from seeing what was really going on. 'Till this day my closest friends don't know that I have a porn problem. I haven't got the courage to tell them quite yet but I plan to.

BE REAL sounds easy but it's really hard. Basically it means that you should live your life as you are instead of faking that everything is fine. I had to start being honest with my wife about what was going on, my thoughts and feelings. I started to tell her when I wanted to watch porn and I was afraid of a relapse. I started sharing more about what turned me on, triggers that I found difficult to handle and so on. I told her when I was tired because I always find it more difficult to stay away from porn when I'm tired. I refused to watch certain shows or movies because I knew it had a type of nudity or sex or just a girl that turned me on.

The concept I got from a book called BE REAL BECAUSE FAKING IT IS EXHAUSTING (and no, you don't have to read it to learn the basic concept). And that's what I realized. Because once you've built those walls to keep everyone out and hide what you're ashamed off, you constantly have to maintain those walls and that's especially exhausting when you're married and living with someone. So, I realized that it was exhausting to keep faking it, pretending that everything was ok and hiding what was going on from my wife. I was tired of it and didn't have the strength to do it any more. So instead I decided to be real, honest about everything and stop faking it.

It may sound easy but in our day and age where everyone tries to be perfect (in social media, how they dress, their careers, possessions and so on) it's very hard to be open and honest about our flaws and shortcomings. But I think it's also something we shouldn't be afraid of because in the long run it hurts us so much more to hide behind our walls then to live open and honest (and this goes for everyone, not just porn addicts).

I don't know if you got anything from this. I wish I had a few easy advices for you but I'm not sure that exists in this case. I think for your husband to open up he first needs to decide to live open and honest - maybe you need to do so as well? Just remember, in some cases, some things are better left unsaid because they hurt more than heal and it has to be up to your husband to decide what's helpful and what's hurtful. As long as he's honest about it :)

Wish you guys all the best!

Objectified1

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #56 on: March 10, 2016, 03:19:54 PM »
Thanks for the answer. It is very helpful . I agree with you about living honest and open. I always was quite open with him. I am not the type to keep
Things to myself. However, since all this porn stuff has come out and I no longer trust him, I am not open with him like I used to be. I keep quiet, I don't tell him things and I keep (although unconscious to a degree) a distance between us. I feel that if I did see him opening up, i could have trust him more and once again be open with him BUT. I do see him opening up a bit but not a whole lot. Again thanks so much for your reply. Keep writing, it's encouraging!

TheNewMe

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #57 on: March 21, 2016, 07:27:12 AM »
The most difficult time of my life

Update on my recovery: I'm about 6 months into recovery. That fact alone is motivating me to stay clean. I have moments where I could've relapsed, moments where I really want to look at porn – which I think is because I haven't had a dopamine high in so long that I fear for my soul! (ok, not really, but it can be frustrating at times) – but the thought of going back to 0 and the thought of failing motivates me to stay away. But other things in my life is really difficult right now so I only have one thing I would like to point out based on my experiences of the last few months: The No Arousal Method is crucial!

The last couple of months I've been a bit on and off with the whole No Arousal Method, or NAM (you can read about it in the first post of this journal if you don't know about it yet). I've had periods where I've felt exhausted and sick of the whole recovery and stopped using the NAM. In other words, I've had periods where I've allowed myself to look at girls' bodies on the street, at university or when a hot girl shows up on TV or in a movie, just like most guys do every day of their life really. Those periods, where I've stopped using the NAM I've really struggled to not relapse. I tell you, there's a direct correlation between allowing myself to look at girls' bodies, which I believe activates the brain's reward center for the wrong reasons, and struggling with porn.

After a period where I've not used the NAM and came close (or at least closer) to a relapse I've picked myself up and re-focused on my recovery and more importantly, I've started using the NAM again, realizing that without it I flood my brain with visual pleasure which then quickly puts me on the edge of a relapse. And as soon as I focus on the NAM again I'm back in control, back on safe land far from the edge of relapse.

I think I can safely say that I would never make it to 6 months PMO free without the No Arousal Method and I stand by that statement. Note that this is my personal experience and that other people have (probably) recovered successfully without the NAM before but if you're struggling I would at least try it.


ADD and depression go hand in hand
In the January post I told you about the process I'm in trying to figure out if all (or at least some) of my problems at school and in life in general are symptoms of a more serious underlying issue. Now I've been to a neuropsychiatrist. We talked for a while before I did about two hours of testing, which was exhausting! A few weeks later I had a session with him where we talked about his conclusion based on my personal history, the conversation we had and the tests I did. He made two conclusions; 1) my symptoms point towards ADD and 2) I have moderate depression, which I wasn't aware of.

First of all, he explained how an ADD diagnosis is not like a medical diagnosis like, i.e. cancer. You either have cancer or you don't and it can be proven 100%. ADD on the other hand can not be proven 100%. All they can really find out is what's more likely. So based on all my symptoms, my history and the tests I did he concluded that I most likely have ADD. So at the end of the month I'm going to meet with my doctor again and figure out the way forward and whether or not I want to be on medication for the rest of my life.

Secondly, the first time I met with the neuropsychiatrist I tried to hide that I felt sad and struggled getting through this difficult process. One of the tests I did however concluded that I have moderate depression (no hiding at the psychiatrist I guess...). He explained that being depressed is very common during a process like this and especially if you get the ADD diagnosis. It's like finding out you have a handicap and that it has affected your life and every decision you've ever made. I don't know if it's easy to put yourself in my position but it feels like your entire life up to this point has been a waste and that you have to start all over again only to realize that it's too late to start over again because you're too old, you already have a huge student loan and no degree or career to show for it.

It's even more painful and difficult to think about my marriage and my wife. Except for the first year or two I've found marriage difficult and I've struggled to be a good husband. Some of the negative symptoms and behavior due to ADD include:
- I don't like being touched (hypersensitivity) so I don't like cuddling, something my wife loves.
- I'm rarely in the mood for sex and now, due to my recovery, I KNOW it's not because of porn. 6 months into recovery and I rarely want sex more than twice a month. This is of course hard on my wife as well as it makes her feel ugly and unattractive. Knowing about my ADD helps her feel better about herself, knowing it's not her fault but she would still like to have sex more often, like normal couples.
- Sex is boring. To a guy that sounds crazy, I know, but to me sex is actually boring just like school can be boring. Still trying to wrap my head around that one myself.
- I'm only able to focus on a few things at once and the focus is never balanced meaning that when I'm focused on school or any other interest I may have that month (interests change often) I give my wife close to no attention what so ever. A normal husband should be able to have lots of interests but be able to balance them so that his wife gets the attention she needs, work gets the attention it requires and what's left over he can use on interests. I give some attention to school (even though it's not really enough) and then I give almost all my attention to whatever other interest I have that week or month.

If you were entering into a relationship or marriage and your partner to be told you that he/she would rarely be in the mood for sex, would find sex boring, don't like being touched so no cuddling, and would only give you attention for the first year or two, would you enter into that relationship? I know I wouldn't and it makes me feel horrible. I feel like I've imprisoned my wife in a terrible relationship and that if she could choose again with all this new information available, she would've chosen differently.

All in all, I can see why the psychiatrist said it's a natural reaction to be depressed. I am depressed and it's really difficult to live with. I feel like my life so far has been a waste and that every decision I've ever made has lead me to nowhere. And I have nowhere to go either. I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel and I feel like I'm dragging my wife with me. I don't even see a proper end to this post.

Elephants!

recovering

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #58 on: March 22, 2016, 05:21:23 PM »
hey I'm sorry of your horrible feelings and I hope you don't give up because you made it really, really far in reboot! very impressive and I look up to you because of that and awesome posts you are writing. I can't think of any words to help but I'm sure other guy here will write to you if they have any advice or help for you.

keep together man and hang on, porn is not an option!!!

Objectified1

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #59 on: March 22, 2016, 08:25:38 PM »
I am by no means an expert on anything but I felt like I should comment on a few things you wrote. The sex thing, it could be connected to your ADD but not necessarily. Depression can cause a guy to not be interested in sex. As well, it Is a fact that the more sex you have the more desire you have to do it. The less we have the less of a desire. Maybe if you tried having sex a min of once a week or something even if your uninterested your desire would increase with time. I would research add and possible causes to see if it could actually be cured naturally as I have head lots that it can be. If we eat improperly or food that we are sensitive to we can have symptoms similar to ADD.  As well, it takes a lot of men, my husband included, sometimes up to 18 months to regain a natural libido after porn. Everyone's different in that regard.  So don't rule out the porn as the cause of your lack of libido yet. Hope things get better for you. 6 months is a huge accomplishment!   
« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 05:34:34 PM by Objectified1 »

TheNewMe

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #60 on: March 24, 2016, 04:31:53 PM »
So, this depression is a bitch. I'm really struggling and I've had a couple of relapses this week as well. I feel exhausted all the time even if I get enough sleep and I just stay home doing nothing all day. I can't get anything done because everything just seems pointless anyway. It feels like everything up this point has been a waste of my life and it feels like this handicap (ADD) means I can't do anything productive or useful with my life going forward either. I'm not happy in my marriage and I don't think I'll ever be a good husband to anyone. I mean who wants to be with someone who is only gonna give you attention for the first year or two of the relationship then ignore you, someone who doesn't like being touched, who finds sex boring and therefore never initiates it, who doesn't wants kids and is interested in anything else than you? In a way I'm glad I'm not single because that is one depressing personal ad, but at the same time I feel shitty for keeping my wife from being happy with someone else.

I'm really at a low point right now (as you can probably tell) and I think my relapses was just a desperate search for some kind of 'high' or relief. Or it could be that I just was too exhausted to fight it anymore. Everything seems pointless anyway so why fight for this recovery? (No, I'm not able to think rationally or logically right now).

From the moment I wake up until I fall asleep it feels like I have a lump in my throat, like I'm about to start crying at any point. That in itself is quite exhausting. I went for a long walk the other day to try and clear my head a little, but in the end I had to rush home because I was afraid I would start crying in public.

My wife is visiting her father this week. She'll be gone until Monday and I'm not sure I want to tell her how bad things are at the moment. I feel that would be very selfish, to put this on her when she's trying to rest (she has some back problems she's trying to recover from) and have fun with her family. I feel like I need to talk to someone, but then again, what's the point? It seems like nothing matters right now, I don't matter either. 

Sorry about this depressing post guys.

TheNewMe

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #61 on: April 04, 2016, 06:41:16 PM »
Sorry it took so long to reply, guys. I'm not doing too well, but I'm going to the doctor tomorrow and hopefully he'll have a solution. Or at least some hope to offer me.

@recovering - porn is definitely not an option but it became one in my darkest hours (to sound a bit dramatic). I felt like I just needed some kind of satisfaction or something to make me feel good to overshadow the depression for just an hour or two. Of course it wasn't satisfying and I felt even worse afterwards. I didn't binge though and I'm 8 days PMO free now. Hopefully I'll make some progress with this whole ADD business and depression and hopefully there are better days to come. Thank you for your support! It means a lot even though I don't always reply immediately :)

@Objectified1 - My wife and I have had problems in our sex life almost since we got married. We had sex before we got married and by the time we were married and living together, it was already becoming boring, even though that was the period of our relationship where we had the most sex. Since I haven't been depressed since I got married, I do believe ADD is the cause (although I agree that porn could still be an issue), but you are absolutely right that there are a lot of things I could at least try to better our sex life. Exercise, eat healthy and of course have sex more often, even when I don't really want to. Right now it's really difficult to focus on anything other than the depression, the ADD and what happens next (going to the doctor tomorrow, hoping for some good news/advice/hope!) but thank you for your post. It was an eye-opener and I'll take it into consideration going forward!

TheNewMe

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #62 on: April 08, 2016, 03:29:10 PM »
Day 12

Struggle with thoughts of porn today. Really want to google almost anything as long as it leads to naked girls. Played NHL16 for about an hour to take my mind of things but it didn't help. Thought posting here might help me stay accountable.

(Wow, a short post for once!)

TheNewMe

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #63 on: April 19, 2016, 03:09:13 PM »
Day 2

It's been a struggle to get going in my recovery again. I hoped I would be able to get right back to staying clean after my first relapse after 6 PMO free months, but this has been a lot tougher than I thought it would be. Can't do much else than try and try again. I'll get back into the right gear soon enough. In the meanwhile I've decided that I can't let P get any more of my time than necessary. What I mean is that usually when I relapse I often spend 2-3 days thinking about it, how stupid it was, beating myself up. It's like I feel I have to beat myself up for awhile before I can finally forgive myself and move on. Well, all I'm doing then is giving P a lot more time and attention than it deserves. And even worse, I'm making P a huge deal in my life when the goal of recovery is to diminish P into an insignificant part that I can ignore and throw out. A tiny part that never gets my attention long enough for me to have another relapse. So, I've decided to change tactics. If I have a relapse, I immediately clear my history, recognize that it was dumb, forgive myself and move on to more important things right away. The goal is that within an hour of a relapse I've dealt with what happened and put it behind me. My thought is to diminish everything P related, both the looking and the relapse.

Let me make one thing very clear; I'm not trying to say that a relapse is not a big deal. It is, and I hate every relapse. Right now I can't seem to control the relapses and I'm struggling to "get in the groove" again. I hate it and I hate myself every time I have a relapse. So, I'm trying to take control of what I can control; the aftermath. Instead of spending 2-3 days beating myself up, I'm just trying to process everything more quickly, forgive myself more quickly – while not taking the relapse lightly, mind you – and move on with my life. Hopefully making the aftermath shorter and less significant I can more quickly get back to working on my life in general which I think is key to beating this thing once and for all.

Best moment of the week (and it's only Tuesday!)
One of the worst things about P is that it reduces women into objects, bodies whose only purpose is to excite and entertain the male gaze. Since I've looked at P since I was a teen, P has seriously ruined my view on women as I've gotten older (see Reply #4 on page 1). With few exceptions I've been a man who has struggled to see the value in women. I know that sounds absolutely terrible but I've struggled to see and take the person inside the body seriously and has been more focused on the body and what it would look like naked. I've tried to change this view for a long while – that's part of what the No Arousal method is all about (see reply #9 on page 1) – but haven't felt a significant change in my view. The worst part is, and I'm being brutally honest now, I've reduced my wife to just a body as well at times. Of course I know her well after 9 years together, but I have also been overly focused on her body while we've been married. I haven't been in love with the person as much as the exterior if that makes sense. And after a couple of years of marriage I realized that we didn't connect on a deeper level than the superficial and physical one. I.e. we never really had any long interesting conversations, something I value and I thought we didn't fit together anymore because I couldn't see myself growing old with someone I wouldn't be able to talk to properly.

Then yesterday something amazing happened. I was thinking about our current situation which is ok but certainly not perfect. Or good for that matter. I'm waiting to start psychiatric treatment for ADD in July and have been forced to take a break from my studies. I don't have a job and it's difficult to find one. Instead the plan is to use this time, at least until I do find a job, to think through my life, my choices, try to reconcile with the ADD diagnosis, get over my depression (see reply #57 on page 3) and find out where to go next, what my future is. Meanwhile my wife is working close to full time despite having a bad back, struggling with some undiagnosed stomach pains and on top of it all has to support a useless husband (at least that's how I feel right now). She is so incredibly patient with me, supporting me through this whole ADD process and my struggles with P. She's selfless, still loves me and stands by my side through everything.

I thought through all of this yesterday and realized that even though for the first 9 years of our relationship we've both created this unbalanced, unhealthy relationship between us where I'm in charge of everything and has to make every decision, basically being the foundation of our relationship (see reply #21 on page 1) , this was certainly not true now. She is the rock in our relationship, she is the one holding us together and holding us afloat while I struggle through my stuff. And all of a sudden it was like that unhealthy balance in our relationship was gone. In a second I completely changed my P induced view on women, saw my wife as my equal and felt like I fell in love with her all over again. But this time I fell in love with the person, not just a body like P has taught me. I was cooking dinner when she arrived home from work. She complained that she felt like she had gotten fatter in recent weeks (we've both allowed ourselves some junkfood lately). I went over to her, gave her a big hug and told her that I would always find her attractive and I almost got tears in my eyes saying those words.

I don't think this was some kind of magical moment that will make P go away forever or fix every problem we have or may face in the future. But it was a special moment and I'll cherish it and keep that view on women clear in my head for as long as I can. I've had a view on women that I've always hated and have tried to change for a long time. Hopefully yesterday was a turning point that I can build on. The No Arousal Method needs to be back in full effect, not to avoid triggers, but because it' necessary to comply with my new view on women, the wonderful people they are, not just walking attractions to please a male gaze. At least not MY male gaze.

TheNewMe

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #64 on: April 25, 2016, 05:42:09 AM »
Day 8

Progress, even though it's slow, it's steady and that wins the race right?

Had sex twice with my wife last week - first time was amazing and the next I had trouble staying hard throughout and struggled with images from porn in my head. But we're working on it.

In terms of the whole ADD thing I have now received a letter saying that I'm accepted into psychiatric treatment although my first session isn't until July 28th. It's a long time to wait but in the meantime I'll have plenty of Life to work on :) Taking small steps, that's what it's all about at the moment. It can be frustratingly slow at times, but I have to respect the process and make the most of it while I can.

TheNewMe

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #65 on: May 08, 2016, 12:27:38 PM »
Accountability is important - Day 8

As the journal here indicates, I've really struggled after my initial relapse after 6 months PMO free and I've struggled to make it any longer than a week without another relapse. I finally had a talk to my wife a few days ago and told her how difficult everything was at the moment and we agreed that she'll ask me more often how things are going and will keep me more accountable. Just that she knows that I'm struggling at the moment helps me stay away from P. I was home alone from Friday to Saturday and had very strong urges to relapse. If I hadn't had that talk with my wife I'm 100% positive I would've relapsed.

TheNewMe

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #66 on: May 11, 2016, 02:31:51 PM »
Day 11
Right now I can't see any progress and I know I have to be patient and stick with it. It's like I'm going through a really dark tunnel right now and I don't see the light at the end yet but I know if I keep going I'll eventually get out. These last three days, including my last update, my brain has been foggy - I feel like I constantly have to battle with images that pop into my head, fantasies designed to pull me back into the world of P. And on top of it I feel a great sadness, like I'm saying farewell to something I love or can't live without. This feeling of sadness is not new; I've felt it before during recovery - it's one of my withdrawal symptoms - and I know it will pass, but when it's at it's strongest, it's really tempting to give in and go back to P.

In the next few days I have a few things on my to do list that I have to focus on and try to accomplish, both because it's important things I need to work on, but also because I need to fill my time with something meaningful as I cut P out of my life:

1. Get serious about the No Arousal Method again:this is a thing I've struggled to manage lately and girls' bodies, even though there's no nudity, are triggers that I have to avoid. Not only that, but I need my whole view on women to change. I've objectified them for too long and it needs to change.

2. Work on my life: I'm still figuring out who I am with ADD now close to being confirmed. Step 1 in that regard is to 'reframe my life' which means I need to take another look at the more painful memories in my life and see them in light of having ADD. Step 2 is to forgive myself for the bad things that has happened, the bad choices I've made and the things I've struggled with before I start forming my life from now on and into the future. This process takes a while - especially for someone who has ADD - but I need to work on it much more than I have so far, so that's a clear goal in the days and weeks going forward. I've also been offered to take a test and have a 1-hour conversation with a career counselor that should help step three but I need to work hard on step 1 and 2 first.

Well, that's at least two points on my list so far. Might add a few more although I don't want to put too much on my plate. I'd rather be able to do 2 well than try to do 5 and fail.

Last but not least, I know I haven't been a great support to you guys on the forum lately. I've been very caught up in my own recovery, the ADD process and the likes and I haven't been able to be the supportive brother that I want to be. Also, relapsing after 6 months took a lot of my confidence away and for awhile I thought I was 'unqualified' to help anyone else. I know that it's stupid to think like that and I'll try to be a better brother going forward! :)

Thanks for all the support so far. I truly need it!

TheNewMe

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #67 on: May 11, 2016, 02:54:42 PM »
Oh, I forgot to ask a question I've been wondering about lately. Or actually two.

1. How can I know when the reward center in my brain has been triggered by visual stimulation, i.e. a hot girl or the likes? I know that sometimes if I see a hot girl, doesn't have to be any nudity but just something that is exciting in one way or the other, I get this like calming or relaxing feeling in my body, almost like using nicotine. Is that the dopamine going through my body and does that mean my reward center has been triggered? Or are there any other signs or ways to know when that happens?

The reason I ask is question #2:

2. I believe I read somewhere that Gabe Deem said that if your reward center is triggered by P or any other form of visual stimulation, that counts as a relapse (maybe I'm remembering wrong). So, what's your view on that? When is a relapse a relapse? I've always thought a relapse is a full PMO - watch P, M and then O. But now I'm not so sure. Maybe just looking at something deliberately that I find arousing or a turn-on is enough to call it a relapse?

Would really like some input from you guys (and if someone knows where I can find those comments by Gabe Deem I'd appreciate it!)

Georgos

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #68 on: May 12, 2016, 04:12:57 AM »
Hi MyNewLife,

I wanted to share some thoughts with you... as it says in my journal, I suffer from psychosis, and I have to take medication. Now psychosis is not ADD, but my experience with mental health institutions and psychiatry does cross over. The first thing to say is that Western Science does not understand the brain, hardly at all. Many of the drugs that are available were discovered by accident, and why they work, if they work, is not understood. None of them "fix" the brain, or treat the causes of mental health problems, they all simply give different sensations that may or may not mask the sensations you are feeling because of your condition. And indeed, even your condition is just a label with no real correlation to anything in the brain, an umbrella term for a collection of subjective descriptions of sensations/behaviour some of which you may have and some of which you may not. So, the upshot of all of this is I would be very wary of going down the route of Western Medical Science with regards to mental health, even wary of accepting the label for any condition. I am not saying don't seek help, I am simply saying be aware of what kind of "help" it is that you are receiving. There are lots of options from psycho-therapy to Chinese medicine, I am not going to advocate any of them per se, though I am happy to share my experiences with them, but I will say that to my mind the worst option is (Western) medication. If it is a crisis, then yes it can be necessary, but if you can manage without then that is much better.

The second thing that I wanted to talk about, relates to your most recent question, and is kind of related in that it deals with brain chemistry. For every drug that effects the brain, the brain has its own natural chemicals that it uses which are similar. In the case of arousal, these chemicals are natural to begin with. So for me, I don't have a problem with my reward centre being triggered by visual stimulation. It is natural. The problem is how you react to that trigger. Do you go an look at porn, or do you simply smile and feel good. Over the years, the porn addict has strengthened the pathways that link the reward of visual stimulation to looking at porn. The task, for me, is to lose these pathways by breaking the connection, reprogramming my brain to different behaviour. Now for you, it may be easier to avoid visual stimulation altogether, some people go into the mountains and become monks to avoid people altogether, this is your choice, I am not judging. However, for me, I don't want to lose my natural ability to smile when I see something I find attractive. There are questions of ethics, in your attitude towards women, do you simply view them as visual stimulation, which is what I think you may be struggling with. But ask yourself the same question with regards to a flower. If the visual stimulation of a flower makes you smile, do you want to lose that. This is a journey that you have to make, but for me the ideal is to see beauty in everything whilst not being ashamed to see the ugliness that exists in reality, making connections between your senses so that you are not just sensing with your eyes, but with your third eye as well (if such a thing exists). The journey for me is to become a well-rounded individual. Note I am not saying abandon your NAM approach, fasting of food can be beneficial, discipline can be beneficial, but try to go deeper into shaping your being and focus on the whole, rather than the individual sensations. Thank you.

p.s. I think your point about the difference between "recovery" and "abstaining" is very helpful, thank you.

TheNewMe

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #69 on: May 13, 2016, 07:26:36 AM »
Hi Georgos and thanks for the response!

I'm lucky enough to have one of my closest friends being a psychologist who knows my situation and has already helped me a lot. In addition I'm in a group of other people who have ADHD/ADD and I'm getting a lot of information and help from them as well. I'm still learning about it and how to live with it and there's a lot of great help out there. I'm probably a bit more positive towards western medicine than you (as several people in my group are on medication and in some cases it has changed their lives for the better) although it depends on the quality of the healthcare system where you live as well. Where I live you're not put on medicine right away and a psychiatrist evaluates you and makes the final decision on whether or not you should. In some cases he will decide you're not allowed to be put on medicine for a number of different reasons and if he decides to put you on medicine, it's always in addition to therapy and you're closely followed by said psychiatrist as long as you're on medicine. Where I live medicine can be a good solution, but never the only solution so I feel safe enough putting my trust in our healthcare. My case isn't being handled by just one person either but in addition to the psychiatrist, whom I will meet with next, I've already been evaluated by my regular doctor and a psychologist.

ADD is, as you say, an umbrella term that is useful IMO to describe several different symptoms being present at the same time. It's like depression. You can't 'catch depression', but the term is still useful to describe what's going on in a person, what kind of symptoms are present (although to treat it you need to specify the symptoms). However, I disagree with you on ADD having no correlation to anything in the brain; non of the ADD/ADHD symptoms exist if not IN the brain so ADD/ADHD is nothing if not ALL in your brain. I'm not a scientist so I don't know too much about the brain myself but I don't see how my ADD symptoms can exist outside of the brain. That doesn't make any sense to me at least but feel free to elaborate.

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Regarding the second point I did eventually find what Gabe Deem wrote about what a relapse is:
"A relapse is when you intentionally look at porn. If you accidentally come across porn, that is not a relapse, if you keep watching/looking at it that is a relapse."

I think that's what you echo as well? Gabe continues by saying: "Everytime we come across porn and say no we strengthen our frontal cortex (decision making)" which I think is what you're getting at as well? I think we agree on this point but I want to nitpick on a tiny, but important detail in what you said which is this:

"Now for you it may be easier to avoid visual stimulation altogether, some people go into the mountains and become monks to avoid people altogether, this is your choice". You probably exaggerated to make a point but it's an exaggeration I've heard from multiple guys regarding the NAM and it's one I really want to kill off.

First of all it's taking the NAM to an illogical extreme (become monks and live in the mountains separated from all people) which is harmful because you make a method seem so extreme you have to become a monk or something similar if you're ever to live by it - which is very far from the truth. Secondly, you set that up against something we all want to do, which is "smile when I see something attractive". You're not smiling at someone's bum are you? And if you're smiling because you're staring at a girls boobs I'm not so sure she's smiling back at you... The NAM is all about smiling at people but it's meeting people face to face, to make eye-contact. So there's no conflict here between following the NAM and smiling at someone you find attractive like you suggest, quite the opposite; It's part of the point of the NAM. Move your eyes from her body to her face and make eye-contact. Then smile. Thirdly, the NAM is not about shame either and if you think it is, then I've done a poor job explaining it!  :)

It's also important to point out that the NAM is not a be all, end all kind of deal. You can recover with or without it but as any type of visual stimulation - whether it's nudity or not, on the streets, on TV or on the internet, it all depends on who you are and what turns you on - can be a trigger, the NAM can be a very helpful tool in your recovery, not just to treat women differently, but also to avoid potential triggers - I.e. if you're turned on by girls in yoga pants at the gym, it's probably not a good idea to stare at them. But I completely agree with you that the most important part of recovery is "shaping your being, focusing on the whole". That's the crucial part for me right now - finding out and shaping who I am with ADD and without porn addiction. But the NAM is something I want to be a part of who I am.

Thanks for the reply again. We may not agree on everything but that's often the most helpful, to have healthy discussions that forces us to think things through and reflect. If I've misunderstood anything you said please correct me or elaborate.

Also, your reply helped my motivation last night (see post below) :)


Day 13
I've been home alone since yesterday morning and believe me, I wanted badly to look at something last night. I was tired (haven't slept a lot lately) and that's when my defenses seem to go down. But reading Georgos reply and knowing my wife holds me more accountable now than before helped me stay away from anything. I played Xbox the entire evening, which probably wasn't healthy either, but at least it helped me take my mind of P images and fantasies that my brain craved. When I woke up today those urges were gone and I'm relieved I held out until it passed. When those urges try to overtake you it can seem never-ending and that the only solution is to relapse to make those urges go away, but it's like an aerial attack: hold out and eventually it passes. Just head for shelter and stay alive until the cravings pass :)

TheNewMe

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #70 on: May 16, 2016, 05:05:24 PM »
Day 16
Things are going a little bit better. I'm more focused and motivated to use the No Arousal Method and that helps me take the recovery more seriously as well. Yesterday my wife went to her mothers house to spend the night and I was home alone all evening and night until this evening. So after she had left I sent her a text telling her to make sure she asked me how my recovery was going when she came home today. I just had to remind her so that I knew I would be held accountable and it really helped me stay far away from P, let alone my computer, all evening long. I feel like I'm taking more responsibility for my recovery again, which has been lacking the last month or so, and that feels good.

So, things are going good at the moment :)

TheNewMe

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #71 on: May 25, 2016, 01:05:48 PM »
Coming up on a month
Had to come on here today and write as I'm struggling today. The last week or two have gone by rather quickly and I've been doing very well. Most days I have rarely if at all thought about P or felt any kind of draw towards that. Most days I've been doing things and not had any issues putting any thoughts about P away immediately and with ease. No thoughts or images have lingered and I've felt really good.

The key to this recovery attempt compared to when I was struggling just getting past the first week, is the No Arousal Method. No doubt in my mind. When I only allow myself to look girls in the eye or I look away it's like I feel much more in control of my recovery, of myself, my eyes and consequently, my triggers. I do believe a girl's nice butt in tight pants can be a trigger - absolutely. I think the NAM removes a lot more triggers than I'm aware of as well as it gives me a great feeling of being in control, which helps me take control in other important areas as well. Anyway, on to today's struggle.

:WARNING: MAY CONTAIN TRIGGERS:
So I've been feeling great the last couple of weeks, being in full control of any triggers and feeling good about myself. Today though, I've struggled a lot more. The day started fine enough even though I woke up after just 3 hours of sleep so I've been tired all day. But I still felt good this morning, drinking my coffee, playing a video game that helped take my mind of things. Later in the afternoon I wanted to put on a live concert on youtube and sit outside in the sun and read for a while. I searched for a certain festival that I like which would give me what I was looking for. But the first video that came up was by someone who had made a video journal of their trip to said festival. Most of it (it was rather short) was innocent, just pictures of dudes drinking beer, going to concerts, packing their tents etc. But in the middle of everything they had footage of a woman who had stripped naked and was giving the guys a show (she looked to be a professional and hired to do so). It was only a few seconds but I saw enough for the image to be stuck in my brain all day. I've done my mental exercise a few times already (last time just before writing this) so hopefully it'll stay out this time.

A tiny iceberg can sink the Titanic and just a few seconds of the wrong images can be enough to ruin my recovery. I'm at least glad I reacted the way I did, turning it off, using mental exercises to get the image out of my head and focusing on other tasks so that it would stay out (although I struggled to get rid of those images for good). I think that's the right reaction but I wish I hadn't clicked on that one video (I thought youtube had a strict no nudity policy?!).

I'm doing better now, but today was a bad day. Hoping for a better one tomorrow.

TheNewMe

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #72 on: May 29, 2016, 12:01:49 PM »
Apathy is a dangerous place

Since I've been down this road before, I know that what I'm currently experiencing is normal, but boy it's difficult. I don't know if anyone else has been through what I choose to call apathy before but if you have you can probably relate and maybe offer some advice or just encouragement.

By Apathy I mean a period of time where everything just feels meaningless and pointless - the recovery, my marriage, my sex life, whatever else I'm doing in life (school, career, hobbies). And when everything, even sex with my wife, seems pointless and not something I want to engage in, P is just a click away and I struggle to come up with any good reasons for not having a major relapse. P seems awfully close right about now..

In my mind I know all the reasons for why I should stick to recovery and I even know that this period will pass. And hopefully things will be better afterwards. But apathy rarely goes hand in hand with sound reasoning and logic. It's almost like a mini-depression and I struggle to find any motivation to not have a relapse. I occupy myself with football today, but my mind still wants to conjure up images and fantasies I have to bat away. I can feel my motivation dwindling and I don't know how long I'll keep batting.

Any encouraging words are appreciated today!

(and any other day for that matter :) )

Objectified1

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #73 on: May 29, 2016, 03:17:48 PM »
You are doing well so far. Keep it up. Occupy yourself with things when you are feeling this way. Something to keep you super busy. Take on a large project or commitment that won't leave you any free time. Even if you don't Want to do it. Then it's not about
Whether or not your relapsing. Your far to busy to think about it. Sometimes you have to make the decision your head is telling you to make even though it's not what you feel you want to do. Don't let your emotions run you. You run them.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 03:20:23 PM by Objectified1 »

TheNewMe

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Re: My New Life
« Reply #74 on: May 30, 2016, 08:18:28 AM »
Thank you for your comment, Objectified1. I think I might struggle for at least a few more days, but I'll take your advice and try to keep myself occupied. I have a meeting with a psychologist on Thursday I'm going to try to prepare for, and I have an idea about a few large projects I might start tonight to keep myself occupied. I think I might have a talk with my wife tonight as well about what's going on. Maybe that'll help as well.

Anyway, thanks again. It's easy to feel alone with these issues so it's always nice to get some feedback and support :)