Are There Any Cases of Long Term Rebooters Successfully Overcoming PAWS

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by showmethepmofacts, Jan 30, 2020.

  1. showmethepmofacts

    showmethepmofacts Fapstronaut

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    Can you link to any posts of people claiming they fought PAWS for months/years and eventually healed?

    Because I’m 95% certain most of the people on this forum that are 1-2 years in are actually just depressed and not facing PAWS. This idea of a temporary affliction gives them false hope that one day they will be happy again without having to work on mental health. However my mindset is open and I would like to read said cases. I have searched all forums before without any luck. I promise to read everything linked
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
  2. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Fapstronaut

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    I appreciate you asking this question. Here's my take: I'm not expecting to wake up one day and be "happy" in some ideal sense although that has been happening more frequently in my recovery. I'm just trying to regain my full cognitive capacity, which did not see any improvement the last three years of relapses. I am now 16months no PMO, and I am doing SO much better. I can't stress that enough. Before I was unable to function on the most basic human levels. I was that bad cognitively speaking.

    I'm very familiar with depression and anxiety in my life. But Recently, I have been overcome by the most childlike feelings of fullness, a sense of wonder and magic that come and go, and I can assure you I haven't done anything special to acquire those feelings beyond abstaining from PMO and living a rather mundane life. I have experienced bouts of heavy depression more recently in my recovery, which I saw as actually a good sign, a return of feeling. The first year was just pure anhedonia, brain fog, and cognitive impairment. My brain was like concrete. I didn't have the ability to feel anything. But the depression is tapering off (which I didn't expect) and the positive emotion is becoming more consistent and reliable. I'm sleeping better. I have more energy. I'm more motivated. A couple months ago, I was only getting 1 good day per month, a few more neutral days, and several bad. Now it seems like a week to week thing, which is great because it makes progress feel like a real tangible thing now.

    Now, I don't know everything that's going on in my brain. I just know the simple formula PMO = bad brain and no PMO = better brain. And it is getting better. I'm what people call a cynical pessimist, and I have an incredible ability to ruminate upon negative thoughts and overwhelm myself with negative emotions, and yet I am just now peeking through a veil of positive reality that was completely intangible to me in the last three years, one that I haven't really done anything to seek after. I've been eating healthy for years, so it can't be that. I don't exercise, so it can't be that either. I'm really doing nothing other than abstaining. But somehow my psychological health is radically improving, and my cognitive impairment is too.

    A lot of these long term rebooters have problems that are not related to PMO, but they think it's the silver bullet, no doubt. But you look closer into their accounts and you find that they have been interacting with heavy drugs and alcohol, relapsing frequently while claiming 1-2 years of recovery, or otherwise living horrible lives. Some have had severe trauma and others pre-existing conditions, and I think for those people it's a longer road ahead, and I think that's generally why some recover super fast and some slower. The more baggage you have the more your brain has to sort out, and abstaining wont be enough to cover the bill, but abstaining is still the best thing in the world that you can do, I think. I'm becoming, very slowly, a testament to that fact. And 16 months is no joke. Not to toot my own horn, but it's been a long journey. The first year was scary. Lots of days where I thought I was done for, not knowing if I would ever be able to function like a normal human being. And here I am doing pretty ok. And I have zero doubt that the next couple of months will show more benefits from abstaining so long as I saddle up for the ride.

    I don't know if this is what you were looking for in a response, but if you're feeling hopeless, you can get better. Don't give up, man. Your life is too valuable. Just be honest with your deepest self, as much as you can be, and do what you know you gotta do. Give yourself lots and lots of grace, forgiveness, but always strive to be heroic, too. Fight the beast, and win the prize!
     
  3. showmethepmofacts

    showmethepmofacts Fapstronaut

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    I believe you man. It just sucks accepting that it takes so long. I’ve seen all the studies that are relevant too.. takes 100 days for brain to recover from just one hit of cocaine, 14 months for dopamine transporters to recover to near normal levels in recovered alcoholics, and also 14 months for meth users to have near normal brain activity. I’m sure looking back it’ll all make sense in a few months. Thanks for the reply
     
  4. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Fapstronaut

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    If it's any consolation (and I'm no expert on anything) but I believe heavy drugs are far more dangerous and damaging to your brain than PMO. Meth is insane. If you read up on what that does to you, you can be thankful that you're not one of them. PMO is unique though. As a behavioral addiction, it certainly is deeply wrapped inside something that is so essential to your identity--your sexuality. I think that's what makes it complicated and difficult to overcome. But it can be. It's worth every day of purgatory to get your life back. There's just no telling what you could become after passing through that crucible!
     
  5. showmethepmofacts

    showmethepmofacts Fapstronaut

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    There are some things to be thankful for I guess haha. It surprised me to see that alcoholics took so long to recover dopamine-related issues from what I thought was primarily a gabanergic effecting drug.

    I think this whole PMO thing is unique in the sense that it hijacks sexual reward circuitry that took hundreds of thousands of years to develop. So while it is a behavioral addiction, and you aren’t injecting anything, it still capitalizes on a system that will produce ridiculous amounts of dopamine that other behaviors would not.
     
  6. thelightfantastic

    thelightfantastic Fapstronaut

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    Could you clarify what PAWS stands for please? Thanks to you both for an interesting and enlightening read.
     
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  7. showmethepmofacts

    showmethepmofacts Fapstronaut

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    Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome. Aka the flatline.
     
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  8. filmit57

    filmit57 Fapstronaut

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    Well I can tell you that I am definitely part of the 5% you speak of who are in PAWS just short of 1 year hard mode. I’ve been getting classic withdrawal symptoms with a lot of highs and lows related to PMO. Your welcome to follow me as I am 100% dedicated to feeling better.
     
  9. filmit57

    filmit57 Fapstronaut

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    this speaks to me my first year so far has been the same as yours full of brain fog
     
  10. Eaglevision_2019

    Eaglevision_2019 Fapstronaut

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    Wow. You have spoken my heart. Freedom and leading a normal life is possible.
     
  11. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Fapstronaut

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    Hey, sorry I couldn't respond to you in my inbox for some reason, so I'm posting my response here. I hope that's ok with you. Your recovery patterns sound very similar to mine. I've been riding the merry-go-round of good days and bad days just like you. I'll admit, sometimes the bad days still last longer than the good, but the good days are getting more good, if that makes sense, more full of positive emotion when they come.

    In my first year, I had to go full stretches where I wouldn't watch any tv/internet/movie for over a month or two because if I watched more than one episode of a show, my brain would just get super crusty, slow, and hot; it was painful. My reading comprehension would go down noticeably, and I'd sometimes get flu like symptoms as well as others. I theorize that my response was due to a fight or flight response and tv interfering with my reward system. Since high-speed internet porn is indulged on a screen, I think our fried addiction pathways are intertwined with the neurons that process that particular stimulus--the screen, and it struggles to do so. So, when we watch stuff: tv, movies, internet, it subconsciously triggers those old pathways--not as bad as watching porn, of course--but I think it can slow down our recovery.

    However, all that being said, I, wise or unwise, still watch stuff--much more frequently than I did my first year in fact. My brain is now stabilized enough tolerate longer sessions, and if my theory is correct, my brain has separated that particular stimulus from its link to pmo, not completely maybe, but more so. I'm a huge cinephile; I adore film and enjoy television a great deal, which has made my recovery difficult. I'm always wanting to keep up to date on the latest film, show, etc. But I absolutely cannot binge. I still have to limit intake, and I still think I pay a price in my recovery for enjoying my screen time. I also think there is definitely a part of me that runs the risk of internet addiction alongside pmo. If I don't watch myself, I can linger and browse random meaningless crap for hours, and I notice a difference in brain stability afterwards.

    It's a hard nut to crack, but I do believe that if I fully removed all screen related stimulus, I would recover much faster. Anytime I go a long while without it, things seem to change faster, but I also notice that I go through what could be a mini withdrawal. My emotions seem much more pronounced after fasting from screens, but they dip pretty low into thick depressions, too. So, I don't know. It's tough, but if you're wondering at all if you'll improve your tolerance of screen time, you should be very confident that you will. You can run the experiment if you want along your recovery. just be sure you don't subconsciously trigger a fight or flight stress response like I have in the past. If I immediately went to a screen, my brain would go into fight or flight, which vamps up PAWS like a bitch. You get tense, hot, and brain foggy, and you think T.V is bad for you, and it kind of is because it is obviously utilizing your reward circuitry--the very thing that's fried to a crisp--but I also think we make it worse synthesizing the sympathetic nervous system to automatically interpret viewing screens as a danger, putting us into fight or flight at the subconscious level. I think that's something we synthesize together cognitively. If you do watch tv, watch yourself; if you experience a stress response, try to cool down and relax, if you can.

    We have to train our brains to not associate our film experience with pmo or PAWS. I know that's hard to do because watching stuff can have all kinds of triggers, but even with triggers, the principle is the same. A lot of guys see a trigger, and they flip their shit, trigger their fight or flight response, douse their nervous systems in cortisol, which is like poison to our recovery, and then we get these sharp spikes in PAWS, and they think it's a relapse or a huge setback, but I don't think it is. I think we're wiring our fight or flight response to any sexual stimuli as a protective mechanism for our recovery, but ironically because it sends us up a wall into a severe stress response, we amplify our PAWS symptoms through stress rather than abuse of our dopaminergic reward system. Don't get me wrong, both are bad, and latching on to triggers, fixating on them, and activating our damaged libidos to get a dopaminergic bump using the old addiction pathways is extremely dangerous and risky for our recovery, and depending on the nature of the situation, can be a mighty blow to our recovery; we are hyper sensitive during PAWS. But all the same, divorcing our fight or flight response to screen time and triggers seems wise. I'm not exactly sure how one does that other than that I try to stay in a relaxed, mindful state of consciousness and keep an eye on how well I'm self-regulating. Our stress response systems are problematic along with simply managing recovery by avoiding relapse.

    Sorry for the long response. I like to be thorough. This stuff is tricky. Shorter responses can be too ambiguous to create a frame of mind, and I'm of the opinion the more information you can provide the better. Let me know if you feel similar to my analysis of the situation. I confess I have no special knowledge. I'm just rationalizing my experience as best as I can. I could have this all wrong; we can only hope we are getting it all right.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
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  12. AspiringVitality

    AspiringVitality Fapstronaut

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    Could you show me sources? I'd very much like to read up on this stuff :)
     
  13. winningover

    winningover Fapstronaut

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    O yes, another thread for PAWS. I like it. I am in my tenth month, battling PAWS. Cured PIED after 8 months and to be honest, going through PIED is easier than PAWS. Just to be clear here, I am not on any drugs and never have been ever before in my life. I have not relapsed either yet. My journey is no porn, no masturbation. Having orgasm with natural normal sex with my wife. Thinking of going hard mode if it can help in faster recovery. But I feel that real girl connection has helped me in rewiring regarding PIED but not sure about PAWS.

    Another important thing I can tell you is that long term rebooters have had success with PAWS through fasting. I did my first fast today. Shall update you in 30-50 days if fasting helped me or not.
     
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  14. Jerseyguy1963

    Jerseyguy1963 Fapstronaut

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    A dopamine fast?

    Or intermittent fasting from food?
     
  15. winningover

    winningover Fapstronaut

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    fasting from food. Approx 12 hours every day. Not night.
     
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  16. Jerseyguy1963

    Jerseyguy1963 Fapstronaut

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    How is the victory over PiED coming? Are you erections reliable? Can you have sex as often as you'd like?
     
  17. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Fapstronaut

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    Yes, fasting from food helps, especially with brain fog and cognitive impairment. It's always important to do it in a safe medically sound way. Best to consult a doctor, if anyone wants to try it out. However, I can attest to the fact that my brain fog clears up like a blue sky when I fast from food. I also avoid carbohydrates. High fat/protein, low carb kitogenic diet works wonder for your recovery! There's some recent research on that for recovering addicts.
     
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  18. Jerseyguy1963

    Jerseyguy1963 Fapstronaut

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    I’ve been following all of that. I cut out porn, masturbation, caffeine, refined sugar, potatoes, rice and bread.

    I’ve felt like crap.
     
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  19. Indurian

    Indurian Fapstronaut

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    I've noticed generally that fasting from what most would consider life's pleasures as having a positive impact on my mental health I. e. taking cold showers, not indulging in chocolate or cakes etc, intermittent fasting, no alcohol, no porn, no social media or news. The more I cut out the more calm my mind seems
     
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  20. winningover

    winningover Fapstronaut

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    You can read about my detailed recovery here. Yes, erections are reliable and I am only seeing more improvement with each passing week when I wrote this post. Although I am thinking to go hard mode now because of PAWS. But it would be difficult since I just started having normal sex with my wife after one long complete year. Fingers crossed!!
    Obviously, because you're going through withdrawals. And withdrawals only confirm that we were addicted in the first place. Also cutting out is sth else, fasting is sth else.
     
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