Author Topic: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot  (Read 53173 times)

Gabriel1960

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My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« on: March 04, 2016, 08:39:03 PM »
New here.  Glad I found this place.  Thanks to the moderators for this website.
I was talking yesterday with my therapist when I mentioned, for the first time in 22 years of PMO recovery, that I had learned that what I was really addicted to was not the PMO, but what they call on www.yourbrainonporn.com the "neuro-chemical auto pilot."
That's when he recommended to me the book "Your Brain on Porn," which I ordered yesterday.
How I got to this new realization was from attending Gamblers Anonymous (GA) meetings.  In GA, we acknowledge that it's not the wagering that is the problem.  The problem is the "action."  Action is the addiction, and what we're powerless over.  (Action being the trance like state a gambler enters into when we're gambling.)
I now realize that what my problem is:  the "neuro-chemical auto pilot."  Everything else is merely window dressing for it.
That's all I have today.  Thanks again for this web presence. 
Gabriel
« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 12:56:23 PM by Gabriel1960 »

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2016, 04:21:43 AM »
I came to the realization recently that I needed a moderated forum to discuss the PMO issue. 
I've been attending face-to-face PMO meetings since 1994.  One of the difficulties that I encountered from the beginning was the experience in PMO recovery of those members who suffer from what is known as "Boarderline Personality Disorder (BPD)."   I have a good friend who suffers from BPD, so I'm not judging here.
The problem is that men and women with BPD feel compelled to share with you their deepest, darkest, PMO related experiences (a.k.a. drop bombs) almost immediately upon meeting a total stranger.   :-\ 
They're the guys that drop the most horrifying bombs on you upon meeting you for the first time.    :-[
After dropping their bomb on you, these guys then decide that they must therefore shun you, because anyone who knows such a horrifying tidbit about them, (that they have voluntarily disclosed!) is obviously a mortal enemy.   :o
You get the picture.
The neat thing about a moderated forum: these men can be counseled, and if they can't stop themselves from bomb dropping, will be asked to move on. 
That gives the rest of us some breathing room to get on with our busy, productive lives.   :)  :)  :)
Gabriel
« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 12:56:35 PM by Gabriel1960 »

hans32

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2016, 04:38:13 AM »
Thnks for your insights and experience and welcome aboard!

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2016, 04:46:02 AM »
BTW, the movie "Deadpool" makes great comedic fun of bomb dropping and bomb droppers.  (No spoilers here.)
There is a scene where Deadpool is talking to his new girlfriend, Vanessa, sharing that he was molested by his Uncle, when she responds:  "Well, I was molested by all of my Uncles." and it goes on from there, each trying to outdo the other in bomb dropping. 
Hilarious!
Deadpool:  "I live in a crack house."
Vanessa:  "Wait....you have a house?"
« Last Edit: April 30, 2016, 05:55:01 AM by Gabriel1960 »

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2016, 09:40:05 AM »
I'm feeling pretty optimistic today.   8)  I can relate it back to finding this suite of websites and support options.
I can only imagine how different my life would have been had these websites been available back in the early 1990's.
I sense some government funding here.  My only comment:  What took mankind so long?    :)
« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 12:56:58 PM by Gabriel1960 »

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2016, 08:48:08 PM »
It's worth mentioning that I just came back from one of the best gym workouts that I've had in many years.  I guess I'm feeling optimistic about the future again.
Thanks,
Gabriel
« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 12:57:08 PM by Gabriel1960 »

now-man

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2016, 12:01:31 AM »
Hi Gabriel, Welcome! Really glad you're here. You'll find this is a really supportive community, you'll find a lot of awesome guys here.  Feel free to reach out, private message, post often, post on other's threads. You never know who may find what you've written helpful. I look forward to following your journey.  Thanks for joining in! Keep going man.

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2016, 11:06:08 AM »
Thanks Now-man.  Your support is both needed and appreciated.

I need to bring up a serious problem I've encountered all my adult life with this no PMO thing....

This is a problem that is, ironically, very common for those of us who have also decided to give up booze and drugs.   A "side effect," if you will.

I have a chronic serious problem with too many, and too frequent erections.  Sounds like a non-issue?  It's a problem.  Most of my friends who gave up booze and drugs have the same problem.

This morning I, a 55 year old adult male, woke up with a raging morning wood.   A cat couldn't scratch it.  Obviously, you older guys who are off PMO can relate.   I had just had sex six hours earlier!

It's both painful, and annoying.  The quick answer, of course, in today's high speed internet society is simply to PMO. 

Not a good idea. 

I guess, that's where this suite of websites come in.  This suite is giving me the ammunition I need to blog through this problem.  It seems to be helping.

The silver lining is that I will never, ever need Viagra. 

It's kind of ironic.  I gave up booze and drugs to avoid PMO, and it has only increased my cravings for PMO.  I've heard other men who gave up booze and drugs complain of the same thing.  Sometimes, the increased urges drive men back to the bottle.  I have watched that happen with several friends.   They say the main reasons why men relapse on booze and drugs is "romance and finance."  This is serious stuff.

Thanks for listening.

Gabriel
« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 12:57:20 PM by Gabriel1960 »

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2016, 12:55:46 PM »
OK, so I'm not gonna lie.  It's going to be a challenge to weave this suite of websites into my daily recovery approach.  I've also got a full time job, and am finishing a Masters Degree. 

I already have a full plate.  I've never been a daily blogger. 

But I'm going to give it the old college try.

Thanks,

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2016, 01:16:15 PM »
My biggest problem is that I have just too high a sex drive.  It is what it is.  My ex-wife always said that she could picture me being married to a woman who bore me six children. 

Yes.  I have a very high sex drive.  I always have.  That is my curse. 

I am active in my Church, do a lot of volunteer work, engage in daily meditation, have a job that requires OT, and am finishing a Masters Degree.  I guess I'm doing everything possible to burn off all of the excess sex drive energy that I have.

What about getting a dog?  Do you think having a dog would help?

Thanks.

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2016, 01:38:48 PM »
Thanks Leon.  I am in the presence of giants.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 01:40:33 PM by Gabriel1960 »

now-man

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2016, 01:54:56 PM »
Hey Gabriel, I don't think a dog will keep you from PMOing, and it sounds like your plate is pretty full, and a dog takes a lot of time and focus - So, my thought is: get a dog if getting a dog is what is really up for you right now. But not as a strategy for avoiding PMO.

Also, thanks for your words about alcohol and the boner effect. I'm not an alcoholic but I've noticed I just naturally have been drinking less since getting further into my reboot. Your post encourages me to keep it up (looking forward to more 'keeping it up'). I won't complain about excess erections at 55 - you da man! ;)

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2016, 02:02:41 PM »
Thanks Now-man.

Excess erections sounds a lot nicer than they are.

"Be careful what you wish for, for you may get it."   Norman Vincent Peale

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2016, 09:28:43 PM »
I'm starting to see a pattern here.  We have successes with the disease, and it opens up our world.    We start to feel bullet proof, get cocky, and relapse. 

That's my biggest concern today....how to not become over confident.

I'm tired of losing.

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2016, 09:07:19 AM »
I'm having a good day today.  I'm kind of on a "pink cloud" after finding this suite of websites. 

Recently, it had gotten to the point where I didn't want to be alone at home, because I couldn't predict the outcome with the PMO thing.  Last month I had a day where PMO lasted twelve solid hours.  Having that experience really made me afraid to be me.

I don't see that happening today. 

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2016, 10:22:51 AM »
I feel like I've just been cured of brain cancer.   

This, too, shall pass, but I'm going to enjoy this pink cloud while I can.

Life throws us so many curve balls.  I'll accept whatever joy comes my way.

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2016, 06:04:44 PM »
It was through my therapist (a Certified Addictions Counselor) that I found out about this suite of websites.

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2016, 08:03:38 PM »
In the recovery community, there is this concept know as "High Class Problems."  These are problems that a person is lucky to have.  Such as an angry boss (at least I have a job).  A flat tire (at least I own a car).  Etc......

It's considered vulgar, rude, lame, ungrateful to complain about high class problems.  Example:  Someone goes on a Caribbean cruise and ends up in a cabin without a view of the ocean.  That would be pretty stupid to bring up at a group setting.

Well, I have high class problems, that I'm just soooo grateful for !

Gabriel

 

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2016, 08:23:33 PM »
I've noticed that the more I exercise, the less hungry I am. 

What a surprise.

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2016, 08:25:59 AM »
My experience is that relapse is all about a bad memory.  I've said this hundreds of times.  What I've learned is that this bad memory thing is specifically tied to my PMO "problem."  There's a psychological term for that.  It's called "denial."  "Denial" belongs in the DSM as a disorder all by itself.    But it's not there anywhere.

Alcoholics suffer from it, so do we.  You could give a lie detector test to an alcoholic, asking him whether he drank, while the liquor is still on his breath, and he would pass it, saying he never had a drop.  The phenomenon known as denial is baffling. 

We've got it.  I have a great memory, except when it comes to anything related to PMO.

Some day, scientists will be able to explain it.  I'm guessing here, but maybe it's that our PMO disease burns through (kind of like short circuits) the brain synapses that are also responsible for the memory capability related to events surrounding the disease itself. 

Like maybe those memory circuits that are responsible for memory, related to PMO, are burned through, and therefore nonfunctional.  Or maybe the dopamine erases them somehow. 

Example:  If I got a dopamine high related to placing my hand on a hot stove, then the dopamine would erase any memory of the pain related to placing my hand on a hot stove.  Under this scenario, our memory circuits are erased....maybe like an etch-a-sketch, when dopamine is present.

Hopefully, researchers will solve this puzzle someday, if they haven't already.

Maybe dopamine is the underlying culprit related to the phenomenon of denial.

Gabriel

« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 08:27:57 AM by Gabriel1960 »

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2016, 09:02:32 AM »
I'm still amazed at the vast resources available here for recovery.

I'm currently displaying the cycle:  ....strength, setting goals, stress, isolation, fall, shame, get up........

Right now I'm in the "strength, and setting goals" phase.

Before long (I'm guessing about two weeks) I'll be convinced that I never had a problem with PMO.  Why did I make such a big deal about it?  Just don't think about it!  Then comes the inevitable work related stress, I'll feel rejected, then alone, and then BAM!  I make the decision to engage in a PMO session.  (Why was I avoiding PMO in the first place?  There's nothing wrong with PMO.  Stop being such a prude!)   Then comes the shame.  Then the whole cycle starts all over again......

I'm guessing the weakest link in this cycle is the "I make a decision to engage in a PMO session" phase.   What happens when I don't choose PMO?  Back to facing reality.  Find other outlets for work related stress. 

Exercise.  Meditation.  Vacation.  Time off.  Hobbies.  Time with Spouse.  See my Therapist.  Live a sane life.  Find healthy self enriching excitement. 

I need to seek out healthy, self-enriching excitement. 

It doesn't have to match the excitement of PMO.  But adrenaline and dopamine it must provide.  I tried marathon running, but I blew out my Achilles.  What's next?

Gabriel
« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 09:04:04 AM by Gabriel1960 »

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2016, 06:34:16 PM »
Quote
I'm currently displaying the cycle:  ....strength, setting goals, stress, isolation, fall, shame, get up........

I know this cycle only too well Gabriel. I too am currently in the strength/setting goals phase - after having a pretty bad relapse last week.

When I do make a decision to use porn again, after a sober streak, I find I try my best not to think about the consequences. I must have relapsed over 100 times. There hasn't been a single time when I thought 'yes, this was a great idea'!

Looking forward to following your recovery thread buddy.

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2016, 07:18:21 AM »
I'm thinking of taking up fencing or boxing.  I need something new and exciting in my life.  I have no direct experience with either.

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2016, 08:58:52 PM »
Turns out there is a Fencing Club two blocks from my house.   Who knew?

Gabriel

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal: The Neuro-Chemical Autopilot
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2016, 09:50:22 AM »
I'm entering that phase, once again, in my addiction cycle, where I've forgotten why I'm even interested in abstaining from PMO.  My consequences, which have been huge, seem minor.  I just want to kick back and relax.  Just chill out.

This is probably the best journaling about my addiction to porn I've ever done, ever in life.  It must be the group journal/blog effect that is so useful.   

I'm driving (five hours each way) to spend some time with my Dad this weekend.  I have "Daddy" issues.  My Father suffers from narcissism.  Textbook case.  Not a malignant narcissist, but a narcissist none the less. 

Those of you with a narcissistic parent know what I'm going through.  Ugh.

I don't exist outside of him.  I'm merely an appendage of his, like and arm or a leg.  I have no individuality.  No separate humanity.  It's pretty repulsive.  Yet they can't exist without us.  Whatever.

Wish me luck.

Gabriel.