Are these sharp ups and downs normal?

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by Mr. Kruger, Aug 7, 2021.

  1. Mr. Kruger

    Mr. Kruger Fapstronaut

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    I've been a PMO addict since I was around 12 to 14 years old; I'm 34 years old now. I've been rebooting for two years (started NoFap in June 2019) and haven't had many relapses; however, I did have a bit of a binge relapse in January that I suspect set me back a little bit. Other than that, I've been doing pretty well considering that my first-ever streak attempt was a little over 120 days. This current streak that I'm on is the longest streak that I've ever had.

    But lately, I've been going through this period of jagged ups and downs that are so unpredictable. I recently had an entire week where I felt more energetic, motivated, confident, and happy than I have in years. Now I'm back in this slump where I'm depressed and having minor anxiety attacks several times a day. I don't have bipolar disorder, but these sharp ups and downs almost make it seem like I do in a way because I'll go through a period of feeling terrific, then go through a period of feeling nothing but sadness and dread.

    Could this be a sign that a full recovery is on the horizon? Does it mean that maybe I have reached a point in the healing process in which these polarized states of mind indicate that my brain is finally doing some deep repairs and recalibrating itself? I've been thinking that could be the case because the duration of the depressive flatline slumps seems to get shorter and shorter each time they happen (as opposed to the flatlines that would drag on endlessly for months early on in my recovery). The periods of positivity that I go through seem to be a little more joyous each time too.

    One other thing that I've noticed recently is that my insomnia is almost nonexistent now, and that was a big problem early on in my recovery. It's almost the opposite problem now in the sense that I'm drowsy and overcome with fatigue all the time. I feel like I can't get enough sleep.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2021
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  2. Christoph108

    Christoph108 Fapstronaut

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    I experience the same. Sounds like healing ofc and is already mentioned in www.nofap.com/rebooting
     
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  3. Mr. Kruger

    Mr. Kruger Fapstronaut

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    Thanks! I just worry sometimes that I'm not making much progress. But I guess that some of these drastic changes that I've been experiencing lately must be indicative of repairs occurring behind the scenes. I just get impatient sometimes and feel like I should be seeing more benefits after putting so much time and effort into this. But it'll happen when it happens, I guess.
     
  4. Aram124

    Aram124 Fapstronaut

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    Your brain is removing trash form your head and it uses lot so energy. And the trash has to be put into your mood then removed permentanly and never to be seen again. So your doing great shave a good life
     
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  5. Mr. Kruger

    Mr. Kruger Fapstronaut

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    Yeah, I've heard that brain rewiring uses a lot of the body's energy.
     
  6. Could be , could be not depending on the damages you've done to your receptors. I have had those clear days and drag right back to hellish symptoms. From other severe rebooters, they reported their reboot stabilise after 3 weeks plus of no symptoms.
     
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  7. mentorr

    mentorr Fapstronaut

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    Its strange, your progress sounds similar to mine. I am also at the 2 year mark of recovery with a current streak of 6 months, with a handful of sporadic orgasms. I also experience the exact process of high and low days. The low days aren't as bad as the flatline, but they are nowhere near as positive as the good days.

    I would suggest journaling if/where you can. By journaling I can usually anticipate when I am due to transition from the good days to the bad days and vice versa. The ratio of good/bad days at the moment are on average 9/5. Meaning 9 down days for every 5 good days.

    To summarise, I think your brain is indeed healing and you are moving in the right direction. While I haven't experienced it myself, the good days are supposed to increase with time, while the bad days decrease. Its irritating for sure, simply because progress is so slow, but the good news is we are moving in the right direction.
     
  8. Mr. Kruger

    Mr. Kruger Fapstronaut

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    I've seen other users mention the same thing, as well as other types of addicts like alcoholics. They say it's more like a gradual shift to normality rather than a sudden transformation. I just hope that what I'm experiencing right now is the initial stages of that gradual shift.
     
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  9. mentorr

    mentorr Fapstronaut

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    Yeah I have heard the very same, its a gradual shift back to mental homeostasis. Looking back at my recovery the pattern has been the same throughout; a long 5-7 month flatline period, followed by the current high and low period.

    Something worth mentioning:

    This thread prompted me to look at my previous streak journal from last year, and I noticed that my streak last year was a lot quicker. By quicker I mean, recovery benefits were a lot further along. For example: at 180 days of my previous streak, I was seeing consistent 60-70% morning wood. At 180 days of my current streak, I am seeing somewhat consistent morning wood, but nothing past 30-40%. After going through the details of both streaks, I realised the one key activity that I have stopped doing regularly is meditation.

    I know meditation is not for everybody, but after looking back at my own streak, I couldn't agree more that it does indeed speed up your recovery.
     
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  10. Mr. Kruger

    Mr. Kruger Fapstronaut

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    I've also heard that the one more relapses, the more difficult it makes your recovery in the long run. I remember one week back in the winter of 2019 when I relapsed twice, and it felt like the intensity of my withdrawal symptoms/PAWS symptoms were set back like an entire month just from two little faps. I've seen some users around here refer to this phenomenon as "kindling."

    Once you give your brain that little taste of dopamine that it's been hassling you for, it will set you back even further in your recovery to trick you into getting back into it on a regular basis.
     
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  11. mentorr

    mentorr Fapstronaut

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    When your relapsed, were the symptoms as bad as when you first started recovery?
     
  12. Mr. Kruger

    Mr. Kruger Fapstronaut

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    They were sometimes, but they didn't last as long as when I first started abstaining.
     
  13. Mr. Kruger

    Mr. Kruger Fapstronaut

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    Have you ever been dropped back into a flatline after coming out of one? Like, did you ever experience a period of ups and downs before going back into a second flatline? One of my biggest fears right now is having to go through another long flatline. Even though the highs I'm experiencing are sporadic and fleeting, I'd still hate to lose them entirely.
     
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  14. mentorr

    mentorr Fapstronaut

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    It’s funny you ask because I am actually in a flatline now. I had a wet dream 2 days ago and it’s knocked me back into a flatline. The only difference this time is, having been a wet dream the effects seem less severe? Don’t get me wrong I still had that low feeling, acne’s back in full effect with some decreased focus, but it is no where near as heavy as it was in the past.

    Had I orgasmed from sex for example, I’m convinced I would have dropped back into a flatline, but I cannot say if the effects would be as severe as say the start of my reboot. To clarify, the current flatline I am in will likely last 10-14 days whereas a full on relapse is much longer. The main difference with flatlines now is I understand why they occur on a biological level, why each symptom appears when they do and how to recover from them quickly.

    I think as long as you don’t relapse you should be good. Don’t quote me on that, but from my own experience the only time I drop back into a monster flatline (2+ months) is if I orgasm. Steer clear of relapsing, or any abnormally high dopamine related activity and I think you should be good.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
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  15. Anonymous86

    Anonymous86 Fapstronaut

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    Why do orgasms drop people into flatline states? Is it because of the masturbation with your hand or sexual intercourse part of the sexual release? Or is it exclusively, the dopamine high and then dropping to low?
     
  16. Mr. Kruger

    Mr. Kruger Fapstronaut

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    I know exactly what you mean about wet-dream-induced flatlines being much less severe. A wet dream will only set me back like three to six days (rarely ever more than a week). A full relapse, however, will totally cock me over and send me right to the rock-bottom depths of the flatline abyss. For some reason, the flatline is always more severe when you had major leaps in progress prior to the relapse. Like, if you abstained from PMO for five months and relapsed, the flatline would be so much worse than relapsing after only a month of PMO abstinence. I've been burned badly several times by relapsing on long streaks, and that's why I have made a solemn vow to never relapse again under any circumstances. It's just not worth the misery and suffering that follows.
    Do you have any links to this information? I'd be very interested to read about it in depth. I frequently read articles on the YBOP website, but I've never come across anything that explains flatlines like this.
     
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  17. Is it only me that I forgot everything under the reboot? It's like my personality change. my taste change, either I'm not hungry or very obsessed about food. Our brain chemistry truly changes with this pmo thing. I have family and friends complained about me being very distant for weeks or months.
    It's like I lost zest and passion for life. And I've been bed ridden for months.
    I remember I was not used to be like this. smhhh
     
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  18. HelperX

    HelperX Fapstronaut

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    PMO makes you numb to do things, that's why. Stay away from that filth addiction and you'll regain life energy! :)
     
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  19. mentorr

    mentorr Fapstronaut

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    Don't quote me, but based on what I have experienced over the past 2 years of recovery, I think flatline in essence relates to the imbalance/depletion of hormones inside our bodies. I think this idea has been raised before on this forum, but not in too much detail.

    To quickly outline, our hormones act as chemical messengers that travel through our bloodstream. They are responsible for communicating to our body that a change needs to be initiated. For example, if at the moment of reading this sentence, a large tiger walked into the room and started to walk towards you, the following bodily processes would probably take place:
    1. You would perceive the tiger as dangerous and a threat
    2. A stress signal would be sent to the hypothalamus in your brain, indicating the approaching danger
    3. The hypothalamus would then transmit a signal to your adrenal gland (in the kidneys)
    4. The adrenal gland would then be responsible for releasing the necessary hormone, which in this case would be adrenaline
    With the release of adrenaline, the body's flight-or-fight response would become activated. Your air passages would dilate to provide your muscles with the oxygen needed to fight or flee the approaching danger. This is a basic example of how a hormone is released to help the body survive.

    If we take the action of regular over-masturbation (or over-ejaculation), below is what our bodily processes would potentially look like:
    1. dopamine (serotonin and acetylcholine) are released multiple times a day due to regular ejaculation
    2. after years of regular depletion, your central nervous system (CNS) finally burns out
    3. as a result of the central nervous system being exhausted, hormones such as testosterone and DHT become too low to support the central nervous system in the brain
    4. with the central nervous system being damaged, stress hormones such as prolactin and cortisol can no longer be regulated, resulting in high levels of stress hormones entering the bloodstream
    5. the high level of prolactin and cortisol, keeps the central nervous system (or hypothalamus-pituitary-testicular) function of the brain disabled
    6. Until the stress hormones cortisol and prolactin become rebalanced, the hypothalamus remains out of order.
    7. The rebalancing of the stress hormones is the flatline - the rebalancing of stress hormones is the cause for the long refractory or recovery period after ejaculation
    Taking the list above, the flatline process is essentially step numbers 3, 6 and 7 simply at different stages. The central nervous system eventually ‘goes down', from the frequent ejaculation. Hormones in the body then drop to insufficient levels, initiating the flatline.

    Normally when our body experiences any type of stress, the central nervous system instructs the body to release cortisol. Cortisol being a stress hormone, usually helps the body cope with stress. Then once enough cortisol has been released into the bloodstream, it is sensed by the hypothalamus in the brain, and the stress response is shut off. If we take our current state, our central nervous system is still in recovery, meaning that if/when we do ejaculate, cortisol is being released into the bloodstream, but the hypothalamus (being out of order) is not sending the necessary message to turn it off. As a result, a surge of cortisol is being released into the bloodstream, and we are being pushed into a refractory period until the hormones have balanced out.

    In short, I think recovery goes a bit deeper than just a lack of dopamine in our brains. Our entire nervous system has taken a knock, and the flatline is simply our central nervous system, regenerating, rejuvenating, rebooting or recovering. I think it can be likened to the battery of a car. Upon regular driving of the car, the battery (with the help of the alternator) recharges itself thus replenishing the electrical charge, needed to power the car. However if the battery is without power, or dead, it cannot power the cars functions. Therefore it needs to be recharged, outside of use, before it can continue to distribute power to the car.

    An extremely shallow explanation of what I think occurs, but again there really isn't a lot of information out there, plus I am no doctor. Simply speculating on what I think could potentially be happening.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
  20. 2 years of harmode straight may not be enough for severe cases. Our brain will do unwiring to rewiring.
     
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