Return of PAWS symptoms that I didn't know had left?

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by Brain Fog, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. Brain Fog

    Brain Fog Fapstronaut

    Hey, all. I've known about NF since early 2018, but my most serious (and longest) streak began on the 1st of February this year. I haven't had many hiccups since February, but I have a problem where sexual fantasies always come to me after just waking up, and they have a tendency to lead to edging for me (my sleep pattern is really patchy, and I tend to go to sleep late and wake up late, maybe that's the problem?). While I know I shouldn't, I find it exceedingly difficult to fight the urge after just waking up. It's as if all the carnal demons strike when I'm most vulnerable, and too sleepy to resist. Well, it happened today, and I let it get out of hand, so I ended up relapsing.

    I'm unsure if I should reset my counter, because there was never any porn involved, and I've never even looked at porn (besides a few pictures that were sent to me, which I just disregarded) in the past 156 days. But I feel a subtle pressure or a feeling of "fullness" in my head, and I'm guessing this had disappeared during the 156 days, and that it only came back now. I still experience cognitive impairment and all the other awful symptoms, and that hasn't budged since February, but this feeling in my head is new.

    Would this stunt my progress, even though I was just edging to my fantasies, or will it get back to normal in a couple of days, seeing as I didn't actually view porn? Does anyone else have any experience with this? Thanks in advance.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  2. bken

    bken Fapstronaut

    If you're going through the post acute withdrawal cycle a relapse can unfortunately be a major setback. Since you haven't used any porn however, the damage may not be so bad that you need to reset your counter entirely. You should in any case resist the temptation to 'go all the way' while you're at it. As a fellow addict I'm sure you know what this means.
    I get what you're trying to say about the urges being the worst in the mornings. This is because part of you is still craving. Let the symptoms be your guide. Every time you feel an urge, remind yourself of how you've felt after relapsing. In case of paws it should be enough to stop you from going there since symptoms can be quite ugly.
    If you didn't ejaculate, don't worry too much as long as you didn't use any porn. Ejaculation or masturbation combined with porn is what does the real damage.
  3. Fenix Rising

    Fenix Rising Fapstronaut

    How to get through the bad days that inevitably come however long you have been in recovery without slipping (from 1:10 timeline forward):
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  4. Brain Fog

    Brain Fog Fapstronaut

    I think I may be in denial (because things were going so well and I let my guard down), but I feel like the fact that I didn't use any pornography means I should be okay. The success stories I've read say that masturbation without pornography or fantasies, only to sensation, does not lead to any negative side-effects, and that the sufferer recovered without having to reset their counter when masturbating to sensation many months into their journey. I may be naive in believing that, since I was fantasizing when I slipped up, which is different, but not quite porn.

    I have a history of going all the way and the thought of going on a binge did cross my mind yesterday, but it didn't have much sway over me. I don't plan to do that ever again. I think what partially helped me not to binge is the idea that my progress wasn't erased, so maybe it will only be beneficial for me to keep believing that. But I should never let it happen again.

    Also, I hear what you're saying, and I agree 100%. The problem is that I'm having a lot of trouble reminding myself of these things whenever I feel an urge. It's as if whenever an urge pops up, my mind is blank, like there's a saboteur inside my head who makes me forget on purpose. I wouldn't mind to hear some suggestions on how to train myself to remind myself whenever that urge comes around.

    Hm, interesting video. It's really important to think about what you have to lose, and how you would feel, if you suddenly threw your progress away. Yesterday I kept thinking that everything would've been great if I'd just gotten up earlier. I wasn't putting enough emphasis on how much I had to throw away, and it led to me slacking. I've also witnessed my mind trying to trick me into "celebrating" the fact that I had come so far. It's curious that that wasn't the reason I slipped up.

    One thing I need to chip away at is my sleep pattern, since my bed is easily my biggest trigger, and being vulnerable (sleepy) in bed is only going to make things worse for me. Not only that, earlier sleep is supposed to help with willpower.
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  5. ArduousPath

    ArduousPath Fapstronaut

    I've MO'd in the past without any sexual thoughts or thoughts at all and the PAWS returned worse, so not true in my case at least. As for your progress, I think you haven't lost much progress since you have been abstinent for so long, most likely it'll be a couple of weeks and you'll get back on track. Of course we are all individuals, but let us know on this thread when you happen to get better so we know the estimated timeline of recovery. Good luck!
  6. Brain Fog

    Brain Fog Fapstronaut

    Thanks for the kind wishes, and same to you. If I see positive changes, I'd be glad to share any updates. I know how slim the pickings are when it comes to information on these soul-crushing withdrawal symptoms, so I wouldn't dream of not reporting back. I had a period where I was hopelessly searching the internet for clues to just what was wrong. Only NoFap and PAWS seem to make sense. It seems like the last resort for me and many others.

    You know, perhaps there is something about O that is really draining, hence why I only felt the fullness in my head after yesterday's slip (I edged once or twice during the streak before yesterday's events, but only ever to my thoughts, and I never felt the head pressure or any other symptoms then). I've heard it said that edging is even worse than O, and that you might as well reset if you've done it, but I don't get the feeling that it is a problem in my case. I still think it shouldn't be done, of course, and I don't advise anyone to risk their recovery over mere guesswork like that, though that goes without saying.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
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