Is This Going to Be a Lifelong Struggle?

Discussion in 'Women in Reboot' started by moominfindinglight, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. moominfindinglight

    moominfindinglight Fapstronaut

    Hello there...

    I'm stuck in this cycle of behavior: boredom/despair mixed with triggers -> PMO -> debilitating guilt and depression for 3 days -> seemingly pulling myself up and promising not to go back -> barely pushing through the week -> rinse and repeat…

    It's quite tiring, I'm tired of myself being so irresponsible and impulsive. The longest streak I've had since 2016 went for 20 days (04.06 - 24.06.2018), during which I managed to write an introduction about myself going through this reboot, as I was quite optimistic about changing myself. Now, not so much... The amount of times I've broken promises to myself disgusts me, I need to find a way to regain my self-respect.

    Here's the Intro:


    'A bit of background information:
    - 22y/o female from a mostly-conservative Muslim society
    - first exposure to sexual images at the age of 8, MO at 12, PMO at 14
    - P use escalated in terms of genres quickly, despite the low frequency of use (3-6 times a month, whereas MO went on 1-9 times a week)
    - Went abroad to study end of 2015 -> living alone and cultural shock’s consequences (depression, isolation…etc) increased PMO frequency (1-3 times a week)

    I’ve always identified MO and PMO as a problem (mainly for religious reasons), and thus the relatively low frequency of PMO (crushing feelings of guilt would make me incapable of going further), but at the same time that made me blatantly ignorant of the addictive aspect of the issue.

    In December of 2017 I discovered Gary Wilson’s brilliant website and book ‘Your Brain on Porn’ / www.yourbrainonporn.com .

    Reading the book made me understand how even a relatively low exposure to P over a long period of time (8 years in my case) is more than enough to elicit chemical and structural changes in the brain to cause the addiction. It also brilliantly explained the “chemistry” behind these changes.
    Those two revelations were of great value, because identifying the addictive nature of this problem and the underlying mechanism helped me gain a better understanding of the ways it should be fought.

    And everything suddenly fell into place. Realization crashed upon me as the missing link to a series of deteriorations suddenly came into the spotlight. My family’s and friends’ once strange words about how I’ve become more “quiet” finally gained context, an explanation was found to the inexplicable brain fog and lack of concentration which lead to me eventually failing my exams after having been a straight A student my entire life, the drastic demise of my self-esteem and self-confidence was understood, social anxiety, isolation, depression… All of these symptoms seemed to have a united cause. And then came the simple, brilliant solution looming in the horizon. Or so I thought.

    As it turned out, it wasn’t as black and white as I naively imagined. You don’t just press a “stop PMO” button and you’ll become a superhuman. I kept relapsing with pretty much the same frequency of PMO. '


    I don't know what to do now... I just relapsed, like I did yesterday and the day before, and my brain has gone back to the 'fuck it' foggy state. I am on the verge of dropping out of college after 2 and a half years, because I'm procrastinating on everything. PMO has definitely contributed to me losing the will to go on, and made my brain into the impulsive mess it now is.

    I'll try journaling here at least every other day, maybe the negative-thoughts storm would cease if I jot things down here.

    Wish me luck...
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
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  2. Ambrose Grant

    Ambrose Grant Fapstronaut

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  3. It would seem to be a life long struggle but will probably get easier over time "fap free". I once went from straight A' s in college to barely passing with C's that semester due to a new porn genre infatuation. Literally PMO daily multiple time for like 6 weeks. I was obsessed! Those were dark days and altho I'm not perfect I'm far from there. Keep trying n stay strong!
     
  4. Ambrose Grant

    Ambrose Grant Fapstronaut

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  5. u376

    u376 Fapstronaut

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    Best of luck
    And you are from Muslim family
    There are many ways mentioned in Islam how to control such habits
    In my college days ...there was my muslim friend who was very religious
    He hardly pmoed in his life...and there was a natural charisma about him...
     
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  6. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

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    im sure there is a reason you tagged me, but I’m not quite so sure what the reason is.
     
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  7. Ambrose Grant

    Ambrose Grant Fapstronaut

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    @GhostWriter
    I thought you can support her somehow.
    I read some of your content, you are really wise and supportive man.
     
  8. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

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    This is indicative of the cycle of addiction. If you’re an addict, you can anticipate it.

    Indeed. You know the definition of “insanity”: Repeating the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.


    I want you to consider following the 12-Steps starting with the Serenity Prayer:


    God (Allah),

    Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change

    The courage to change the things that I can

    And the wisdom to know the difference


    With that in mind, take your sobriety/abstinence one day at a time. Ask your God (Allah) or Higher Power to help you get through “today”. Just for “today”! If you make it two days and then relapse, Reset your bar at two days, and go again. Each time you reach your bar, double your bar. Each time you relapse, that’s your new bar. If you relapse at 34 days, 34 days becomes your target. Eventually, the frequency, duration, and magnitude that the addiction controls over you will subside. But whatever you do, DON’T QUIT!

    For the record, your religion matters little where your addiction is concerned. Like cancer, it is indiscriminate in who it affects. Remember that.

    As is the typical pattern of engagement into addiction, it increases in frequency, magnitude, and duration over the course of time. That is precisely the pattern you need to utilize to back out of it.

    Exactly

    What you managed to discover is that it is indeed very simple. What you need to understand that while it is simple in it’s solution, it isn’t quite so simple to implement. It is easy to logically think this through and understand “yeah, this is exactly what I need to do” because this is your Frontal Cortex evaluating your situation and circumstances in a logical methodical thought process. Unfortunately, your mid brain, that part of your brain that affects “fight or flight”, is the part of the brain making all of the decisions. It is the primitive part of the brain. This is why you need to reprogram your brain, change the neural pathways such that you associate the reward center of the brain with a healthy sexual relationship in lieu of a pornography laden, masturbation driven, orgasm (dopamine) seeking relationship.

    Looks like you’ve managed to reach the point of “Rock Bottom”. I’ll come back to this in a moment.

    OK, Welcome here, and I think we can help you.


    First, consider this. You are 22 years old. The bad news is that you’re at a point where you’re realizing that you have a problem. So you admit you have a problem. Congratulations, you’re at Step 1. At your age, you are at the cusp of full frontal lobe development. The good news is that you are seeking help well before you have the opportunity to inflict widespread collateral damage to others, and as a consequence, yourself.


    I would encourage you to do the following:

    · Ask God(Allah) every day just for help to get through that one day. Acknowledge your powerlessness over your addiction.

    · Journal, not every other day, but every day. Even if only to say “Today was good” or “I have had a very shitty day” or “I relapsed today”. This allows you to develop a history of your recovery so you can go back and look at how your recovery progress is going.

    · Speaking of progress, remember, “Progress, not Perfection”. I’m not going to love you any more for success than I am for your failure. I will love you just the same. Remember, those who love you; they will do so unconditionally.

    · Go look up Affirmations. Pick half a dozen of them, and recite them to yourself, outloud, in front of the mirror (I often tell people to do so nude because it also reduces the body shaming so much of us endure). When you start, you may not believe what you are telling yourself. But trust me, over time, you will believe it.

    · Build yourself a support network. You have one here. I have about 25 people I could call on if I need help. I had one gentleman call me a couple of weeks ago. I stayed on the phone with him for an hour until the urge to go visit a prostitute subsided and it was no longer a danger for him.

    · You have a lot of guilt and shame, especially surrounding your religion. DON’T! There is an inordinate amount of people engaged in miscellaneous and sundry sexual dysfunction and misconduct in your religion. I am Christian, and trust me, they are too. Like I said, this disease is indiscriminate. It doesn’t care what your religion is. Go check out some of Brene’ Brown’s videos online where she talks about “Shame”. “Shame cannot outlive Empathy”. Remember that!

    · As you stated, you began PMO activity right about the time you reached puberty. You began seeing fundamental physical changes in your body (i.e. your period, your breasts, etc.), but also physiological changes in your chemistry, your hormones, etc. These are all very normal changes in your body. What you managed to do early on is associate PMO with the reward center of the brain, thus every time you engaged in these activities, a surge of dopamine was produced. This mimics every addiction known to mankind. You can rewire your brain through a process called neuroplasticity that changes the way your brain reacts to these things. Unfortunately, what you have is already etched into your brain. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you can overlay good positive behaviors that will bury the bad negative behaviors such that they become virtually impossible to reach. But just like you didn’t become addicted overnight, you’re not going to fix it overnight in much the same way an obese individual cannot expect to remove the weight overnight that it literally took years to put on. Your body just doesn’t react that quickly.


    I’m so excited for you because of your youth and your tenacity to tackle this problem well before you wind up in a relationship you systematically dismantle and not even understand why. This is great news.


    As always, if you need more help, have more question, need more input, I am always here and available. Also you’d be pleased to know that @Kenzi and @AnonymousAnnaXOXO both have tremendous resources you can capitalize on in their taglines. I would suggest you reach out to them for help. I love these two women as they are so wise, so thoughtful, and committed to not only their recovery, but yours as well.


    Please thank @Ambrose Grant for reaching out to me to address your concerns. I know I appreciate the vote of confidence he has bestowed upon me.
     
  9. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

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    Thank you for that!
     
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  10. Ambrose Grant

    Ambrose Grant Fapstronaut

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  11. moominfindinglight

    moominfindinglight Fapstronaut

    @GhostWriter Wow... Thanks a lot. I'm really grateful for your words of support and kindness and for your invaluable advice. @Ambrose Grant Thank you for the support!
    Taking this one day at a time is probably the only thing I could do at this point.

    I read about them yesterday, and I think imma take this up.

    Also I watched her two Tedtalks about vulnerability and shame. They hit right home. Shame has accompanied me throughout this addiction, there's been no way I could have told anyone I know about it, precisely because of the shame. That's why I'm looking forward to journaling here; the openness, honesty and support is very encouraging, and I feel better thinking that I could get support here from people who are going through the same thing.

    I really hope things will get better, probably never as a nice linear curve upward, but rather with many pits and peaks, hopefully the end-result will be into a better state.
    Thank you again, and I shall definitely reach out when I have questions or need help :)
     
  12. Ambrose Grant

    Ambrose Grant Fapstronaut

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    @pmotina
    @Miss Winnie
    girls, you have incredible streaks and priceless expreince, could you somehow help kar3oubeh, please
     
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  13. moominfindinglight

    moominfindinglight Fapstronaut

    Okay...
    What I'm gonna do is thus:
    • Take this reboot one day at a time
    • Check in here every night before going to bed
    • Affirmations
    • Take this reboot one day at a time
    I'm still in the post-relapse foggy state, so I spent yesterday doing housework which doesn't need any brainwork. Need to study for my upcoming exam. I shall check in tonight.
     
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  14. Miss Winnie

    Miss Winnie Fapstronaut

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    Guilting myself has never worked
    I understand on the religious thing

    I came to accept myself as a sexual being and then it became easier to move forward

    Checking in and joining others on this journey on this platform has really helped!!! Every bit of encouragement is powerful since we’re here for more or less the same reason.

    Talking face to face to someone helps tho it is weird at first

    Welcome to the community!
    Hoping the best for you
    It’s possible!!!

    I feel so much more happy & free now!!!!!!!
     
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  15. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

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    Well young lady, that would be correct. It's more like a plot of the NYSE with it's peaks and valleys, some of which have wide swings in magnitude much like a volatile stock market and always reacting to some weird shit in the economy (same as some weird shit in your relationship), but always making forward inclining progress. Anyway, that's how the relationship looks, and the recovery looks like an exponential curve, only when you tell people that, they generally look like the deer in the headlights like "what in the hell are you talking about?".
     
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  16. moominfindinglight

    moominfindinglight Fapstronaut

    @Miss Winnie Thank you very much... It's been much better emotionally for me since I joined this platform, although I'm still finding it difficult and awkward to talk about stuff. Hopefully it will get better with time.

    Day 2
    It was kinda alright, had some urges, ignored them, and spent the day binge-watching a TV series on Youtube.
     
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  17. STAR DUST

    STAR DUST Fapstronaut

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    You made the right choice
     
  18. moominfindinglight

    moominfindinglight Fapstronaut

    @STAR DUST Thanks a lot, I really hope so..

    Day 3
    Today wasn't that bad, did some reading and exercised which helps. Day 7 is when things get tricky and urges very high. Until then all I could do is take each day at a time.
     
  19. STAR DUST

    STAR DUST Fapstronaut

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    Smiles and good vibes
     
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  20. Ambrose Grant

    Ambrose Grant Fapstronaut

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