Author Topic: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot  (Read 54689 times)

camus

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    PORN IS NO LONGER AN OPTION...EVER.
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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2016, 03:34:44 AM »
Hey Gabriel, you have a lot of insight into your addiction. I have similar thoughts as I progress through porn withdrawl and start thinking; 'maybe I can control it this time', or 'perhaps I can just stick to soft porn' or 'porn is a normal healthy thing which men enjoy'.

In AA they say that alcohol is 'cunning and baffling' and in my experience, the same is true for porn. At the moment I have to acknowledge that any thinking whatsoever that minimizes the effect porn has had on my life, is my addiction, not me.

Stay strong brother :-)

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2016, 07:07:04 AM »
Planned on watching a five minute scene from a movie I've already watched several times.  Ended up watching the entire movie, so now I'm sleep-deprived.  If I can't get to the "neuro-chemical auto-pilot" from watching porn, I'll settle for a "Die Hard" movie. 

I could use some sleep.

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2016, 06:54:03 AM »
My major focus will be on trying to manage isolation.  That's my Achilles Heel in this game.  The good news:  I'm happily married!    8) 8) 8)

I can tell already that 2016 is going to be a great year!

Gabriel

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2016, 09:18:18 AM »
I'm feeling OK today.  I've come a long way.  Had many, many successes.  I've got nine years of monogamy.
Will be talking to my therapist about this stuff.

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2016, 10:13:05 AM »
Am bookending that I'm going to check out the fencing club today.    It's two blocks from my place! 

Having a great week.  Went to a face-to-face meeting today.  I try, and generally succeed, in attending five face-to-face meetings a week.

Love you all,

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2016, 12:42:57 PM »
I'm just experiencing my first major challenge.   

In the past, I would get this crazy idea about wanting to view a porn (related) video related to any particular nonsexually related task.  Any task, athletic or mundane, just viewed in a porn setting.

I just had a thought related to an activity I've been investigating, and how it would be to see that activity pornographically.

Wow.  I feel upset, and even sick about these thoughts.  I'm actually feeling dizzy and nauseous right now. 

This nausea and dizziness are probably the perfectly normal reaction to sexualizing something nonsexual.  I'm actually starting to feel sort of depressed just writing this.    I need to take a break.

Thanks,

Gabriel

 

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2016, 01:20:19 PM »
Well, I just suffered through my first episode, for this run, of nausea related to sexual thoughts I had which disgusted me. 

I survived.   I experienced dizziness and nausea.  I blogged about it here (new behavior).  I made some outreach phone calls about it (have done this before, but not within the past several years).    I seem to be back on the beam now, but you know how that goes.

I investigated Fencing, which apparently includes fencing against members of the opposite sex.  (There is almost no physical contact.  As little physical contact is involved as possible, no matter which genders are participating.)    It's still a great work out, though.

The club only meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  The weekends are reserved for tournaments.  Everyone is fully clothed.

Gabriel

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2016, 02:05:10 PM »
It is not reasonable for me to expect that abstinence from PMO is going to be all efficiency and top of my game.   Being triggered will upset me and throw me off balance sometimes.  Today I was really thrown off balance.  I got nauseous and dizzy, without PMO.

No one promised me that it would be easy.

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2016, 02:49:09 PM »
I guess I'm going through actual physical withdrawal.  Wow.

Gabriel

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2016, 03:00:40 PM »
I went to MSU.  I guess watching the NCAA playoffs this afternoon, even though State is behind so far, does make me feel better. 

Gabriel

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2016, 04:27:47 PM »
Dealing with a lot of temptation. 

This, too, shall pass.

Gabriel   8)

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2016, 09:38:37 PM »
Today Dharmabum said:

"So often, my desire for arousal (fantasy, porn) has little to do with my libido and so much more to do with wanting to hide from my feelings.  I feel fear, anxiety, or boredom and rather than sit with that honestly, I go into what i call my own personal "man cave", which is my mind, where I pull up some mental image of a former kinky situation or one I wished would happen.  But i don't really want those to happen.  I want an intimate, authentic relationship with my wife, and every time I let fantasy take over, I tell myself I'm powerless over my thoughts and decisions, but that's just not so. 

I've started using my meditation training to follow my breath when I start to get triggered, and I find that helps me snap out of my mental check-out and come back to the present moment.  The breathing also helps me settle down my anxieties and realize they are not yet realities...and may never be.  "

I guess this is true for me also.

Gabriel

Feetfirst

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2016, 03:53:47 AM »
Hey Gabriel, just like to say you are doing brilliantly! Well done for your regular posts and face to face meetings. All essential stuff for recovery. Keep it up my friend. FF

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #38 on: March 19, 2016, 07:39:24 AM »
Thank buddy.

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #39 on: March 19, 2016, 08:08:20 AM »
1. "Reboot/recovery for me means..."
2. "The root cause of my addiction is...."
3. "I get a dopamine high from..."
4. "Before relapsing, I start to feel..."
5. "The conditions that lead to relapse are always..."
6. "My safety plan before a relapse will now be..."

Reboot/recovery for me means I'll not be placing my happiness at risk.  I married well and I have an excellent job.  I want to keep both.  Backing away from PMO will help in my maintaining my relationships.

The root cause of my addiction is brain chemistry.  Although I suffered trauma in the past, many have suffered trauma without descending into porn addiction.  My problem is brain wiring and chemistry, and these can be conquered via behavioral modification.  Recovery is possible.

I get a dopamine high from PMO.  My brain craves it, even at the subconscious level, leading me to even dream about the pornographic images.  I can even feel the dopamine high while I'm in the dream state.

Before relapsing, I start to feel stress and isolation.  The isolation can be either physical, or just a mental isolation.

The conditions that lead to relapse are always stress and isolation.

My safety plan before a relapse will now be prayer and meditation, blogging, making phone calls, and attending face to face meetings.

Gabriel





Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #40 on: March 19, 2016, 08:25:36 AM »
  Quote from MTNMAN6288:  Anyone else's brains trying this trick:

"Just try softer stuff or even Swimsuit Issue-level images...that's a step in the right direction...wouldn't be as bad as before!"


LOL!  Yes!   And how about this one: 

"Looks like I picked the wrong week/month/year to quit PMO." 

LOL.

It's actually a Lloyd Bridges quote from the 1980 movie Airplane:

McCroskey: Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking.

Later in the movie....

McCroskey: Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking. 

Later in the movie....

McCroskey: Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.

Later in the movie....

McCroskey: Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.


Peace and love,

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2016, 10:14:45 PM »
Based upon what I'm seeing here, and what my instinct is telling me.....

I'm going to start planning, for the first time ever in life, for a lifetime free from PMO, and it's effects. 

There's some dreams that I've want to fulfill, and now for the first time, I have the option of following up on them.

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #42 on: March 20, 2016, 08:18:47 AM »
Having a great day.  Of course, since I'm still so close to my PMO date, I'm sure I'll have some challenges this week.

But I'm optimistic.  Look forward to writing to all of you in the coming year.

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2016, 10:08:32 AM »
One of the benefits of my recovering in this area, is that I can be more present for others.  I have learned that this addiction is not a victimless crime.  Our behavior affects others in our lives.

My husband has an eating disorder that is at least as severe as my addiction to PMO.  As I continue to recover in this area of my life, which I seem to be doing, not only will I be dragging less spiritual debris into our marriage, but I'll actually be able to be a source of strength to him in his own recovery walk with food.

For those of us who are married, this disorder sometimes puts our spouses into the position of a parent role.....and things can go downhill from there.  I've been lucky in this area, that my spouse has been understanding and helpful.

I hope and pray that this recovery will place me in a position to be a further source of strength to others.

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #44 on: March 20, 2016, 02:14:18 PM »
The fencing club meets Tuesday and Thursday nights, with Tournaments on weekends.  I think it works pretty much like a dojo.   It might be rough on the knees, like basketball or tennis, but at 55, I'll never take it to that level.  I'm too old to be getting thrown around a dojo.

I need to mention that the daily blogging and reading routine, which is helping greatly, is also pretty triggering.  (But then again, so is watching TV.) 

So, although this suite of websites is somewhat triggering, the good outweighs the bad.  I noticed than on one of these lists they even have a problem with bloggers recommending the hiring of prostitutes!  That's not what I was expecting to see here.   Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire!   

Great idea!  Avoid PMO!  Get Gonorrhea, Syphilis, and a whole host of other hard to spell STDs!   Now there's a solution. That must of been what they meant when they thought up the metaphor of hitting oneself on the head with a hammer to cure a headache.  LOL.

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #45 on: March 21, 2016, 06:08:05 AM »
I just encountered an important epiphany.

I have the mental capacity to achieve as much of a mental dopamine high from daydreaming/fantasizing (without PMO) as I can obtain from physically engaging in PMO.   The huge difference is that I can generally pull myself out of a daydream, whereas I usually am unable to pull myself out of a PMO session.   PMO sessions can go on for twelve solid hours.  Daydreaming usually only lasts for a few minutes.  But my daydreaming can get very hot and heavy. 

This new understanding explains a lot of the discouragement I've encountered over the last twenty years of my PMO recovery.

In the past, when I've sustained lengthy abstinence (in 1995 I was able to pull together about eleven months), I would daydream, and then be able to realistically tell myself:   "Well, you might as well physically relapse, you are experiencing the same overall impact of a relapse anyway."   

That wasn't true then, and it isn't true now, but it sounds pretty convincing in the moment.  You understand.

Those thoughts and rationalizations were pretty confusing and discouraging.  My dopamine-hungry brain can be impressively persuasive.

I haven't been able to open up about this ever before.

In the context of "Your Brain on Porn," though, this all make a lot of sense. 

Now the question becomes...do I need or want to track an "abstinence date" from daydreaming? 

Would that even be healthy? 

Scrupulosity

In the past, I've driven myself nearly insane with scrupulosity.  (I discovered that there actually is a twelve step program known as "Scruples Anonymous.") 

I'm going to discuss this with my Therapist.  Does it make sense to track an abstinence date from daydreaming, which can place me in the same dopamine-infused mental state as PMO?

These kind of discussions can, themselves, drive a person crazy.

Still though, I am looking forward to more epiphanies.  How can you solve for an answer, when you don't even know the question?

Gabriel


Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #46 on: March 21, 2016, 01:56:47 PM »
I'd like to lessen my use of the "f" word.  It doesn't really fit with my lifestyle. 

I'll add this to my morning meditation.

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #47 on: March 22, 2016, 10:02:53 AM »
For some great laughs, I added the phrase "NoFap" to my work passwords. It lightened up my day, for sure.

Gabriel
 

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #48 on: March 23, 2016, 06:30:48 AM »
My therapist introduced me to YBOP for the first time this month. Been working on NoFap since 1994, when my first wife caught me. I knew as soon as I saw all of this content that I needed something to help me to take the focus off of PMO. I read somewhere on reddit/NoFap this month about guys who recommended Fencing, of all things.
 At 55, I'm too old to be tossed around a dojo. I need something that will keep my attention and yet still be good for my core.
 After some research, I found out that there's a fencing school two blocks from my house, in the basement of a Cultural Organization. The fencing school is renting space from the Cultural Organization.
 Fencing is hard on your knees, but my knees are OK, so that shouldn't be a problem.
 I went last night and I really enjoyed it. I figured I can keep it up for at least a while. This school is only for sabre fighting, they don't use the foil or the epee. It turns out that sabre fencing has the lowest injury rate.
 The things we'll do to avoid PMO!
 As an aside, if you need a good laugh now and then: I changed my work/banking computer passwords to include the phrase "NoFap." (Like Nof@p2016!) Guaranteed to put a smile on your face throughout the day.
 Best,
 Gabriel
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 07:10:56 PM by Gabriel1960 »

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #49 on: March 25, 2016, 04:34:25 PM »
"When life gives you lemons......punch life in the dick." - NoFap Emergency Website.
 Was served with a Grand Jury subpoena today. No worries.

 Gabriel