Don’t Poke the Sleeping Dragon

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by Fenix Rising, Oct 5, 2019.

  1. Fenix Rising

    Fenix Rising Fapstronaut

    I see lots of posts of people who have been on longer abstinence streaks and are now playing with the thought that it's maybe OK to PMO in moderation now and then. Don't fool yourself! Poking the sleeping dragon in a hope that he died is never a good idea. I can tell you from my own experience what is most likely to happen if you continue on this path… You'll do it more and more often, then maybe some stressful event will occur in your life and you'll do some more to ease the stress and before you'll know it, you'll be hooked again. The same thing happened to me in May 2018 after +6 months of monk mode. I thought I was finally "healed" so went to a long holidays to reward myself a bit, holidays turned to shit (arguments, lost friends etc.) and when I came home all stressed out with shattered self-esteem, I thought to myself well watching a bit of P to calm my nerves down can do me no harm. I PMOed once that day, then again once or twice the next and the next and so on all without compulsions. Step by step down the road, thinking I have everything under control, until a month later I realized I'm in binge PMO rabbit hole again and can't get out of it. It wasn't until August (3 months later) until I gathered enough mental strength to stop the binge and force myself to start rebooting process again and another 5 months of tries and failures before I was able to start my current monk mode streak. I needed to go through all the acute withdrawal symptoms hell and PAWS all over again, like my previous half year of abstention never happened.

    I've learned what happened a few months later when watching a lecture about neuroscience of addiction. When we binge PMO for long time, our brains create deep learned behavior (addiction). In physical form this behavior manifests itself as creation of neurological pathway literally physically engraved in our brains. Neuropathway makes this behavior automatic, excluding part of the brain that is in charge of rational thinking (that's why addicts report effect of narrow awareness-tunnel vision while doing it). Behaviour becomes preconditioned; you get stressed out you PMO, U see P you MO without thinking rationally about it. When we abstain for a certain amount of time from PMO behavior (abstention) PMO pathway enters in dormant state. It's still there and it will most probably stay with us for life, but it's inactive. Compulsions and cravings stop. We regain self control over action. BUT as soon as we PMO again we start playing with fire, because we risk "waking up" dormant pathway. The other problem is that addiction pathways are REALLY strong and wide, think of them as information highways and the neuropathways we create to replace old PMO neuropathway with are narrow paths. Over the years of practicing these "good" habits will become highways themselves, further weakening dormant PMO pathway but you're not there yet. That takes years. IF you reactivate PMO neuropathway your newly established behaviours you developed to battle the addiction will have no chance against it as brain's electrical impulses always choose the easiest/widest road possible. You will be back on PMO autopilot before you know it. That is why people who had addiction problems need to stay humble and vigilant all of their lives.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  2. Our brain can change our thoughts can't it? I think it goes both ways though, our minds can change our brains. Our thoughts can help us heal or hurt our brain can't they?

  3. AGREED OP. I love women, not my computer. Gone are the days of jerking off until I accidentally cum in my left eye and then it gets bloodshot and the girl I like in class asks "what's wrong with your eye?" and I say "oh nothing, I just fell on a wrench this morning." That's all behind me now.
  4. Fenix Rising

    Fenix Rising Fapstronaut

    From a neuroscience point of view once deep learned behavior is formed it will stay with us for the rest of our lives. With that being said after a certain time of abstention PMO neuropathway weakens and you regain a conscious control over the behaviour (you're no longer forced to do it). However if you choose to PMO again, you're playing with fire as you're risking of turning on the switch of automated behavior engraved in your brains again. If you choose to risk it all and you "wake up the sleeping dragon" your self control goes down the drain as your midbrain takes control over prefrontal cortex putting you on PMO autopilot again. Former alcoholic can't do just one shot of vodka on Friday night now and then and former cocaine addict can't take a line of coke lying on friend's table and stay sober weeks ahead. It's not how our brains work unfortunately.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
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  5. Gota

    Gota Fapstronaut

    I agree. If you have an addiction you can't use it in moderate giving yourself a false illussion that you control the things. I abstained more than 2 years ago (with no relapses) and everytime I feel bad physically or mentally my brain desperately craves for some sexual stimulation. Not much have changed, the desire to PMO is still very strong. Last week I caught a cold and had to fight with the strong urges to edge to feel better. I realized that I'm still very vulnerable. Months of abstinence didn't changed much and I'm afraid I will have this for the rest of my life. I know I can't watch porn and even masturbate anymore, if I'll do this I'll expose myself to risk to fall back into PMO again and I have no idea what the consequenses will be. PAWS were extremelly hard for me and took months to pass and I don't want to go through this again. What helps me to abstain is demonizing the porn, I say to myself that if I'll relapse I will need to start the process all over again and the second time it will be even harder. I know how hard it was and don't want to go through this again and this fear helps me to abstain and stay clean.
  6. profconcept

    profconcept Fapstronaut

    Agreed. I've been trying this for a while, and I used to fail every three weeks thinking I had it regulated. It was enough to feed it and held me in the dark. This delusion can hibernate for a long time, waiting for a perfect moment to try knocking on the door of consciousness.
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  7. Fenix Rising

    Fenix Rising Fapstronaut

    Same here. I get complacent sometimes thinking that I've conquered addiction but then I remember what happened last year. I literally lost half of 2018 to binge PMO sessions living like a zombie because I got overconfident in thinking I had finally "tamed the beast". Now I believe we have to stay vigilant for life. No matter how bad it gets, PMO is worse at least for us long term PMO addicts.
  8. Asap Karma

    Asap Karma Fapstronaut

    "Dont Poke the Sleeping Dragon" I love this and i will use this as a daily self quote whenever the urges rise lol.
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  9. shamrock19

    shamrock19 Fapstronaut

    'the Brain that changes itself' - such an amazing book on this topic
    Fenix Rising likes this.
  10. Jefe Rojo

    Jefe Rojo Fapstronaut

    Preach it brother! Excellent post. I completely agree with everything you said. To think that we can go back and view it in moderation is absolutely ludicrous. It will swallow you whole. If you play with fire you’re going to get burned. Some people may have to relearn why PMO is so horrible. We tend to forget when things are going well.

    For me, living a life of mindfulness is the key to freedom. If we aren’t constantly vigilant, it will sneak back into our life oh so subtly. That’s why I like NoFap. Reading about how PMO is ruining people’s lives keeps me mindful of how horrible it truly is and how I could fall again if I’m not careful.
  11. Probably something missing in your life. It has to be fulfilled somehow.... As they say "opposite of addiction is connection."
    Gota likes this.
  12. I lost half of 2018 and the whole 2019 in the reboot suffered with both physical and mentally withdrawals especially physical.
    Fenix Rising likes this.
  13. rideronastorm

    rideronastorm Fapstronaut

    You are sooooo right! I completely agree. Just yesterday I went on a binge of PMO. I'm under a lot of pressure at the moment and I just wasn't able to resist. What worries me, is that pressure and problems are part of life and will be with us till the end. Resorting to PMO every time I'm under pressure means I'll never get rid of this addiction. Today I feel overwhelmed by it. I feel that I completely lost control. I must find other coping mechanisms or nothing will change. Right now I just feel frustrated and depressed by my relapse.

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