P.A.W.S. - what are they, cure, duration

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by Fenix Rising, May 12, 2019.

  1. I hit 31 months the other day.

    Pretty nuts.

    If I'm trying to stay positive, then I'd say that I can clearly see improvements. Incremental as fuck, and never consistent or long-lived, but I am seeing proof that I will one day break free.

    Improvements I've noticed:
    -Working memory better. Can actually recall what happened the day before, and even have pretty solid pictures of what went down over an entire week. This is probably the most encouraging uptick.
    -Dreams are delving deeper and deeper into my past, and as time goes by my memories that I lost during the depths of PAWs are slowly trickling their way into my conscious thoughts.
    -Had some libido for ~20 days. Still kind of lusty and dirty, but I was just happy to feel some movement down there.
    -Digestion, though not perfect, has gotten better. Still have some constipation, and some other issues, but it has gotten much better, though I don't trust it. Digestion problems can really fuck with a person.
    -More motivated to workout, get small tasks done, and gather up the details of my life. Now have a list of goals, to dos, workout plans, diet plans, and other various organization tools. Also scared that this will go away, because it has happened before and then disappeared, though this time it feels more powerful and evident.
    -Wanting to listen to music that I once loved. As time goes on I feel a rekindling of some of the old stuff I used to like.
    -Sociability. Though nowhere near perfect (I still can't really connect with people), I'm serviceable a lot of the times. Still experience some anxiety when I'm having shit days, but I have some good ones where I'm not too worried.

    Some lingering horse shit:
    -Stupidity. I remember Don commenting on his dip in cognitive functioning and I'm experiencing the same thing. I still can't read books or process too much information at once. My attention span mimics how I used to PMO, which is have 15 tabs open and jerking it to each video for ~2 minutes before moving onto the next. In fact, on really bad days, I will actually open a bunch of internet tabs (not porn, but youtube and the like). Fuckin' wild.
    -Shriveled junk a lot
    -sleep still kind of fucked
    -an unending feeling of loneliness. As I said before, I can't connect with people on a level that I need to in order to feel true companionship. So, even when around people I adore, I still feel alone. The inability to speak about my condition makes it that much worse. I have to kind of mask my symptoms as something else in order to somewhat communicate to someone my day to day experience. I often use depression as my alibi. Not a total lie, but just a trojan horse.
    -realizing how different I am from most people. This could be seen as a positive because I'm learning more and more about myself, but this knowledge has made me aware to my reasoning for always being somewhat of a loner. There are a lot of stupid people out there, and the funny thing about the dumbies is that there are too stupid to realize that I'm intelligent. In their eyes, they are the smart one. Dunnings Kruger does a good job of explaining this phenomenon. Also explains a lot of the issues of our day.
    -anxiety about death.
    -anxiety about driving a car. harkens back to the death obsession
    -desires to live have been stockpiling, but I still can't act on a lot of them due to the rollercoaster-y aspects of PAWs. Have so many plans and dreams and ways I want to live as a healthy person. This could also be seen as a good thing I suppose. Will definitely not take life for granted anymore. still fuckin sucks ass though. My passions are at the tip of my fingertips, but I can't actually grab hold of them.
    -bad days are still pretty fucking bad. like, I don't think they will ever get easier. my only hope is that they'll just one day disappear.
    -want to experience intimacy with a girl but am not confident or with it enough to follow through. Hoping something falls into my lap once I start fulfilling those dream I mentioned.
    -Can't develop muscle mass. Think my body is still dedicating too much energy to recovery from addiction. Most times I won't feel sore until several days after a workout. It's like my body just doesn't have time for muscular development, no matter how much protein I put into my body.
    -still not as masculine as I would like to be. Know it's there, just can't access it yet. This'll also help with the girl issues.
    -I'm now more aware of my symptoms. since my memory is much better I now have a more accurate picture of how things have been, which is discouraging. Before, my memory was so fuckin shot that I'd have a shit day, wake up, and only have a faint memory of what happened the day before. And the feeling will then disappear not long after. It was a weird existence where I didn't even know what day it was, ever. "Is this a Monday? Fuck, it's already Friday?"

    There's probably some other shit I can't think of.
    Andy1517, jay3241, Dave G 123 and 4 others like this.
  2. Dumnap

    Dumnap Fapstronaut

    This whole PAWS thing is such a pain in the ass. I have been struggling trying to stop this god awful addiction since 2013. My longest streak was 280 days, which was pure hell. I had every symptom mentioned here. I even had to go to the psych ward. Besides this addiction, I also have dissociative personality disorder, which is a person to live with.

    Every time I ended up relapsing to porn or prostitutes. I feel like such a fuckin' retarded loser. I became immensely bitter and angry and even started trolling in this forum. I feel deeply ashamed and I am sorry for that.

    I was a hardcoe drug addict as well, and steroid user. This turned me into this megalomaniac egocentric asshole. It is probably the best to not take any drug, but since I smoked 5-MeO-DMT, i can say that I longer crave porn anymore. Did it cure my addiction? Hard to say. Do I still have withdrawal symptoms? Yes, they come and go. The main ones are insomnia, anhedonia and sometimes social anxiety.

    Look up 5-MeO-DMT, also named "the God molecule". It cured meth addicts with just one session. Really an interesting molecule, that actually is in trace amounts in our own body, where is functions as a trace amine neurotransmitter.

    I wish you all the best beating this demon.
    Freeddom_Taker likes this.
  3. Just a short update:-

    I'm around 403 days without PM.To be true to myself,I had not a single replase in these 13 1/2 months.Only thing which I must mention here is that I binged read about people's sexual experiences somewhere around 2 months back from today for some 2-3 days.Other than this no texts,no images,no videos just forget about porn and masturbation.

    I walk a lot.I am not doing any exercises since a while but I ensure walking.I eat good diet without any fast foods.hardly have one-two coffee or tea in a day.No smoking.No alcohol.No other addictions. I try to sleep between 11-6 but able to do it between 11-1 o clock in night and wake up between 7-8 in the morning.I am trying hard to avoid using mobile screen since a while.On weekdays I am able to restrict it in 2 1/2 hrs a day but on weekends it goes around 4-5 hours and still i am working on this.

    Having experienced all above,it's really difficult for me to admit that still I'm nowhere recovery.
    • Main issues are continuous exhaustion,zero libido and inability to have proper and continuous erections while trying to have sex.I have not have a satisfactory sex since past 1 year since I left PM and ironically I used to have it when I was indulging into PM and early days of my marriage.strange!
    • My stomach is also upset in general and it's been a long.it goes well and again gets wrong.but not normal what it used to be.
    • Still feel exhausted even after sleeping 6-7 hours a day.no refreshing and calmness what a sleep offers.
    • Wet dreams are still there at frequency 2-4 per month.any ejeculation brings chemical inrush ,fatigue and all symptoms to mention which becomes unbearable.Its intensity has receeded wrt what it was earlier.
    My attention ,focus and brain fog has improved a lot and sometimes for some 5-10 minutes I feel normal and present but not always.My momentarily loss of postion sense and tingling of head have almost gone and I feel normal.I can read and do things but gets exhausted after some time.

    I don't know how long I'll be like this.But I want my ED or PIED cured first as its badly affecting my relationship with wife.Its a slow poison which I consumed for 18-19 years and it's costing me severely and heavily.its like living with a curse.But I'm committed and determined to beat this addiction and get normal.I hope I'll get better slowly.

    Thanks to all.I'll keep updating my progress.
  4. Dave G 123

    Dave G 123 Fapstronaut

    Thanks for your post. It's good to hear from someone who's so much further down the road. There's also a lot I can relate to. At the moment for me the biggest thing is mental / cognitive functioning. I have days (like today) where I am so zombified that I'm constantly on the verge of having an accident - I can barely walk in a straight line, and can't remember whether I've opened / closed windows / doors, left the cooker on, etc. Yesterday (I sh*t you not) I cut my finger on a blade of grass. Today I dropped a bowl (thankfully didn't break it). All down to not paying attention, zero focus, sh*te memory, feeling completely spaced out.

    It feels like fricking Alzheimer's, and the only reason I'm not freaking out about it is because I have the experience of seeing these symptoms ebb and flow with my PMO activity over many years. I am a little alarmed to see that after 31 months in you are still seeing this ebb and flow despite staying clean. For me I've seen a fairly linear response, most of the time - my pattern seems to be: first 2 weeks don't feel quite as bad as expecting, then have 2-4 weeks of feeling terrible, then a slow but steady improvement, that varies day to day according to activity levels, but with an underlying improvement.

    Given that my best streak has only been 9 months, I guess I have to be prepared for what you are experiencing when I get there. Are you working at all, or feel like you might be able to any time soon?
    Freeddom_Taker likes this.
  5. Yeah man I have garnered enough cognitive abilities to write copy. Currently working on building a freelance writing business. Kinda exciting actually.
    Cbur31, Dave G 123 and UWSDave like this.
  6. SinguIarity

    SinguIarity New Fapstronaut

    Can somebody show me a timescale showing how many years of pmo leads to how many years of paws?
  7. Aod Dhan

    Aod Dhan Fapstronaut

    well, quite the thread!
    zander has almost three years, and still struggling, which helps me to be more realistic about long term recovery...life is still life, with or without porn, the difference being we are no longer using a method of destruction to deal with it, but embracing the emotional roller coaster, and also learning to accept who we are...many of us are loners and thinkers and don't "fit in" anywhere; that is an acceptance issue and stoicism can come in handy here
    for me, acquiring new daily habits and sticking to them religiously, regardless of feelings, pushing through them hard...has helped, but there are days when I have to allow myself to not shower, just stay in my pajamas and mope around the shop, maybe even drink a beer at 11am, just for the fuck of it, anything to stay away from porn
    also, daily writing has helped me, even if I can't put things into words exactly the way I would want to, but again, that's perfectionism, which in porn we are always looking for that, aren't we, the perfect scenario for the ultimate orgasmic experience; anyways, the writing is like circling around the truth, you can never really pin it down
    but life is so many things and it's raw form, limitless, connecting the dreams to reality, allowing the unconscious to merge with the conscious, embracing the depths of karmic accumulation and then releasing it all...wow
    it's fucking crazy, and society, our modern culture grinds on like ship breaking the ice as it moves ahead, perhaps the art to living successfully is the ability to jump on and off this ship at will, the ability to play along on the world's stage, but at the same time staying connected to the spirit of the great cosmos
    SinguIarity likes this.
  8. humbleone

    humbleone Fapstronaut

    Ill be honest with everyone, I have absolutely no idea whats going on with life. I am still in 'PAWS' and been having sex and PMO for last 4 weeks after another 90 day streak.

    The problem is I have most profound spiritual awakenings during my relapses, so I have no idea if there is some spiritual component to this

    Also it doesnt make sense, have I masturbated daily since a kid, yes, was I hypersexual for my 20s yes, did I edge or binge watch porn, rarely (only in last 1-2 years), there are many people who have done what I have or worse, and have no where near the same repercussions

    Nothing makes sense anymore, I probably have to get another streak going,, im 34 now, started this at 30, what a rollercoaster this has been
    Ezpz likes this.
  9. Ezpz

    Ezpz Fapstronaut

    I use to masterbate to P from age 17 onwards for about 10 minutes daily and overtime it destroyed me without me even realising it. The only indication was that my taste to P had become more extreme.

    I think genetics plays a big role.

    The worst part of this is trying to explain it to people, especially the length it takes to recover. My parents still dont believe that P can be the cause of all this. The only thing that will work is showing how much you improved in all areas after paws is over.
    Dave G 123 and Freeddom_Taker like this.
  10. Hi guys.

    I confirm that I'm out of PAWS. In fact, I begun to be free year ago.

    I had first bout of feeling 'normal' one year ago - but I waited to write it in this forum whole year to watch whole 'cycle' of this. I still have some improvements to do (economical to be specific) but I'm out.

    My advice - keep rebooting and find your way out.

    Good luck.
  11. Ezpz

    Ezpz Fapstronaut

    MeTP likes this.
  12. hollyman

    hollyman Fapstronaut

    I made it 90 days just to found something interesting

    My morning wood is gone like gone man idk why
    I forgot a lot , lack of concentration
    Its like coming back to day 0 is this paws?
  13. Phoenix Beyond

    Phoenix Beyond Fapstronaut

    It comes and goes these symptoms. I have only relapsed into P one time last month and suddenly had some muscle twitches appearing for a period that now disappeared again. PMO messes with our dopamine system and CNS. Reboot takes time, keep it going.
    hollyman likes this.
  14. Thanks, wish you the same !
    Phoenix Beyond and Ezpz like this.
  15. hollyman

    hollyman Fapstronaut

    Thank you i hope man but it surprised me that suddenly morning wood is not exist anymore,
    ReInForced_Elk likes this.
  16. Ezpz

    Ezpz Fapstronaut

    Just an update from me if anyone is interested. I am just over 5 months pmo free now with quite a few wet dreams here and there. Sometimes they induce a flatline and other times they do nothing.

    I have had covid over the past 3 weeks which i am now getting over.

    My baseline mood and symptoms have improved slightly compared to the first 1 - 2 months of recovery there is no doubt about that.

    To be clear my life is still a mess because of this but it is improving. I am still on an antidepressant which i think is helping me overall.
    jay3241 and Freeddom_Taker like this.
  17. Himar89

    Himar89 Fapstronaut

    Antidepressants now help you to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and not to reduce their duration, but even if you come out healthy, you will have to face withdrawal symptoms of the antidepressant medication, which can be of the same intensity and duration.

    So instead of being patient for two or two and a half years of hell, you will have to waste at least 2 more years of your life.

    Common sense is uncommon.

    Here's a website that may prepare you mentally for what kind of hell is awaiting you if you decide to quit anti-depressants.

    jay3241, DGZ and Phoenix Beyond like this.
  18. mentorr

    mentorr Fapstronaut

    I think you might be referring to what some people call 'the dark night of the soul'

    I don't think it always takes 7 years, some have gotten through it 4 years or so. I think it comes down to whether you are kicking and screaming throughout the process. A quick interesting and unorthodox spiritual experience that relates to your post:

    I was recently given the opportunity to attend a spiritual retreat known as an ayahuasca ceremony. In short, ayahuasca is a plant based psychedelic that causes individuals to hallucinate for approximately 6 hours. Let me be clear, I have never done psychedelics before and while I do believe in living a spiritual life, I am primarily a man of logic. What pushed me towards the experience is that I had read (and heard) that the plant can have a profound effect on the brain in the form of rebuilding neural pathways and upregulating receptors. I also heard that one ceremony can be likened to 10 years of therapy.

    Skipping ahead to my experience, I sat with the facilitator of the event upon arrival and told him my whole story. I explained to him how I had been raised by emotionally neglectful parents, how my childhood had obliterated my self esteem and how it had pushed me into PMO eventually resulting in PIED. He advised me to stay for two nights where we would take the ayahuasca on two occasions and that I would be fine.

    Here is what happened:

    After drinking the plant medicine, I didn't start to hallucinate like everybody else but I started to receive vivid insights about my life. Almost like a mental dialogue explaining answers to me. To summarise, here is what I learnt/realised about my recovery:
    • During my childhood, a lack of emotional connection with my parents taught me to bury any negative feelings I experienced (betrayal, hurt, loneliness, anger, rage and depression)
    • The use of PMO was me attempting to feel connected (to someone) in a way that felt safe
    • PMO has been a tool for blocking/escaping the emotional pain of negative feelings
    • My current inability to process negative feelings from my past is stunting my overall recovery
    • While I have successfully given up PMO, high internet, video game and alcohol use is slowing down/blocking my recovery
    • To push through recovery (reset my reward circuitry system) I should further cut artificial stimulation - this will speed up recovery
    • Not fully experiencing/feeling negative feelings in my life, has taught my central nervous system the 'freeze' response (instead of a fight or flee response)
    • Freezing of the central nervous system traps energy within the body leading to physical health symptoms (similar or the same as PAWS)
    The spiritual lesson being taught to me is that it is ok to feel. Having or showing emotion and being vulnerable does not make you weak. I think a lot of people are addressing the surface level symptoms of PMO, rather than attacking the roots of the problem and really understanding what led them there in the first place. I now understand the reality of my recovery which is that PIED was the wakeup call I needed to finally start addressing my emotional life. After coming to this realisation, recovery has been a lot easier.

    A message I was given from the ceremony about my PMO recovery that has stayed with me: "Do not try to speedrun healing. If you try speedrunning it, I can promise you you'll do more damage than good. Be patient. On a day to day basis it may not seem like much progress but in the grand scheme of things you are only advancing."
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2022
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  19. Ezpz

    Ezpz Fapstronaut

    Common sense is uncommon? Are you calling me an idiot?

    I am well aware of the possible consequences of taking anti depressants and it is not a decision i took lightly. You dont know me, you dont know my situation. Ive been around here for a long ass time. You cannot guarentee there will be any withdrawals from antidepressants at all and everyone is different so saying another 2 years of what im going through right now is bad advice.

    You have also not considered the type of antidepressant which i assure you is important in factoring in recovery if there is one.
    jay3241 and Phoenix Beyond like this.
  20. winningover

    winningover Fapstronaut

    So to share my recent experience along with a query. If you guys recall, I recently shared that my PAWS symptoms are gone and I feel recovered. Sadly, it turned out to be a good window/wave of around 40-45 days and suddenly I got back all those crippling PAWS symptoms.

    Some of my symptoms like social anxiety, general anxiety, taking stress for no reason, racing heart etc have been present almost throughout the last 3 years. But some of my symptoms have come and gone. Like they came for 1-2 months and then left me for good. Like muscle twitches, tremors, front lobes pressure etc. Like all my symptoms have not been present all the time. They just keep changing.

    Right now, in this wave, I am severely struggling with insomnia whereby I didn't have this particular issue throughout last 3 years. Despite every other symptom, I didn't have insomnia. But now I am mostly struggling with insomnia and panic attacks in this particular wave. Its like I have to go through all the symptoms for sure no matter what. Or it could be that during recovery, brain goes through different processes and every time their is a different type of imbalance in brain resulting in different set of symptoms.

    Any thoughts on that ?

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