Are these extreme ups and downs normal?

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by Mr. Kruger, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. Mr. Kruger

    Mr. Kruger Fapstronaut

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    I've been doing NoFap for 20 months now. Had a few sporadic relapses here and there, but nothing that I would consider too severe. I've heard stories about people who relapse and go on edging binges three times a day for a week, but I never did anything like that; my relapses were always pretty tame compared to some that I've read about around here.

    About a week ago, I felt like I had a major breakthrough. I was waking up in good moods, my attention span was great, hardly any brain fog, lots of energy to do things, and generally feeling more optimistic than usual. That only lasted for about five days before the pendulum swung the other way and everything came crashing down. Now I'm feeling a lot of sadness, sorrow, anxiety, and I'm having a lot of random flashbacks of old memories for some reason. (I don't mean porn flashbacks; I mean just general life memories.) These flashbacks come out of nowhere and are pretty vivid. When I have them, I feel a lot of old emotions surfacing that I haven't felt in years. It's almost like certain parts of my brain are gradually coming back online.

    Aside from that, I noticed about a week ago that my fetishes are practically nonexistent now; it's gotten to the point where I don't even think about them or care about them anymore. I'm also experiencing a lot of the physical flu-like withdrawal symptoms that I had when I first started NoFap: headaches, sinus pain, body pains, chills, and a general yucky malaise that's hard to put into words.

    Are these all signs that my brain is going through a phase of intense rewiring and healing? I have this weird feeling of emotional rawness and vulnerability that I've never experienced before during my reboot. I'm thinking that maybe the really big changes are starting now after 20 months. Is it normal to be on this roller coaster of sharp ups and downs when major changes are occurring?
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
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  2. onwards_upwards_1

    onwards_upwards_1 Fapstronaut

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    I can't comment on whether this is normal, as I'm nowhere near 20 months. However, I can say that after 130 days of no porn I also still get these big ups and downs, and I've read about people still going through withdrawals after many months, so I think you are right that this is just your brain going through the healing process.

    I'm really interested in what you said about your fetishes being basically non-existent. When I quit porn a few months ago, I had escalated to almost eclusively watching trans porn. After all this time away, I feel the urges to watch it much less, but occasionaly I do still get triggered by certain things and once it gets in my head my brain starts doing it's best to trick me into going back there. How long did it take for your fetishes to go? Do you think if you stay away from porn the fetishes will be gone for good?

    At this point, while I can feel the desire to watch trans porn diminishing drastcially, it is still there somewhere in the back of my mind, like a little voice saying "hey remember that thing you used to really like? Well it's still there waiting for you any time you want it". That's why I know I can never watch porn again. Right now, I get a lot of urges to watch vanilla porn - just your classic attractive woman having sex stuff - but I know at this point it would escalate again if I went down that rabbit hole.
     
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  3. Mr. Kruger

    Mr. Kruger Fapstronaut

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    It took quite a while. I first noticed them diminishing a little once I got to about a year. When they first began to diminish, a weird thing would happen where it was like one part of my brain would be fighting those changes by forcing me to think about the fetishes and trying to get me turned on by them, but another part of my brain would be trying to reinforce the fact that the fetish was indeed diminishing. It was as though I had two different entities in my mind, and both were struggling to be in the driver's seat. But once I got past the one-year mark, the fetishes began to fade away much faster than before. They will still pop up occasionally, but they get much easier to push away as time goes by. It's kind of an exponential process that will be considerably difficult at first, but it gets easier and easier the more you persevere through it.
    Yeah, don't do that. The thing with any addiction is, it never completely heals; it just gets easier to ignore with time. We've all heard those stories about recovering alcoholics who were clean for 20 or 30 years and thought that it would be no big deal to have one glass of champagne at a wedding, and they ended up practically raiding the bar by the end of the night. Porn addiction is no different. That's exactly what would happen to a recovering porn addict who thinks that watching a few minutes of a vanilla video wouldn't be a big deal. I've seen a lot of people around here say that addiction pathways in the brain do diminish over time, but they can return with a vengeance once they get stimulated again. Abstinence from whatever it is you were addicted to is a lifelong commitment; you will always have to remain vigilant.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
  4. Probably the beginning of PAWS which could last months on end....
    The history of your pmo use could give an indicator of how long and severe your reboot might be....
     
  5. Mr. Kruger

    Mr. Kruger Fapstronaut

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    I've been going through PAWS since around October 2019, and I started NoFap in June 2019. I doubt my PAWS is just starting now. I vaguely recall reading some posts on here in the past about how the road can get really bumpy right when major changes begin to take place. I can't remember any of the specifics, but it was something to do with the rewiring process causing a lot of cognitive side effects. I notice that I'm always tired and hungry lately too, which is also out of the ordinary.

    As for the history of my PMO addiction, I first got addicted at around 14 or 15 years old; I'm 33 now. The severity of my addiction did lessen about 6 years before I started NoFap though. From ages 14 to 25, I was PMOing two or three times a day on average. But between 25 and 31 (when I started NoFap), it was only once a day.
     
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  6. OK
     
  7. onwards_upwards_1

    onwards_upwards_1 Fapstronaut

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    Thanks for sharing - this is really encouraging to me. I had previously come to a sort of acceptance that my fetish would always be there, and perhaps in some form it will. But I've really noticed a drop in urges recently and your experience has given me even more hope that I can get to a point where the fetish becomes a sort of distant memory of something that I used to do but won't ever need to do again.

    My thoughts exactly - too many people on herer treat nofap as a kind of quick fix. Thinking that 90 days away from porn will reset them back to a point where they can start watching it in a 'healthy' way again. There is no healthy way, especially not for an addict or 'former' addict. I'm fully aware that no matter how long I spend away from porn, just one little look could pull me back in.
     
  8. Shuffledude88

    Shuffledude88 Fapstronaut

    Hey man. Can strongly relate to this. Some major (positive) changes have happened in my life last few months. Before that I lived a fairly structured and closed life. After changing that I have felt a lot of What you describe in terms of anxiety, desperation and such. It have been super tough for the last month. But after reading a bit here I realize it is normal and that I’m Not alone. It just gives me more fuel to fight through.

    This too shall pass.
     
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  9. Mr. Kruger

    Mr. Kruger Fapstronaut

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    Some people do have fetishes that developed as the result of some unusual childhood experience. In that instance, I think the person would most likely be stuck with the fetish for life unless they underwent some kind of intense cognitive behavioral therapy. Things that get hardwired into the brain during childhood are extremely difficult to reverse. But most of us here have porn-induced fetishes that developed in the teens or early adult years, so they should be easier to unravel with abstinence.
     

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