The 3 Essential Keys to Recovery

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Tarsus, Nov 29, 2021.

  1. Tarsus

    Tarsus Fapstronaut

    I do feel as if I'm as normal as I can get. I've absolutely noticed how my brain has rewired. For me, and I can't say this is everyone's experience, my sex life normalized in the sense that I had no problems being sexually intimate with my wife while simultaneously experiencing no chaser effects or living in a constant state of hypersexualization.

    I refer to hypersexualization as having an abnormal libido. Before I was able to latch on to any fantasy at will and become instantly aroused. This depended upon the last time I had cum, but generally after 1 or 2 days I was back to "normal" and was able to become instantly aroused at will. This is one of the reasons why recovery is such a challenge. Every fantasy, every p-sub, every attractive woman I encountered at the store, every time I indulged a trigger - I was barely a step away from a reset. After experiencing an extended sobriety, I realized my libido was changing. At first I thought I was having a sexual dysfunction because it was so abnormal to me. I thought I was becoming impotent or that I would have ED every intimate moment with my wife - until I saw that I didn't. I was having no problems sexually with my wife, but I wasn't able to enter into the hypersexualized state I had become accustomed to. That was a difficult period for me - it was as if a part of me had died. And it had - but it was a part I wanted to die but didn't realize at the time. The revelation that my new libido was actually normal was shocking to me because I didn't realize how damaged I truly was.

    Today - I still have sexual thoughts and fantasies. I can still get aroused. But I'm not hypersexualized. I can't seem to hold onto the sexual fantasies as I used to. They no longer have power over me. My wife and I have had an irregular schedule when it comes to our intimacy, which is also a bit different than before. When I was regularly using porn, the unexpected intimate moment would terrify me. It was a 50/50 chance I would have ED, especially if I had binged that morning or the day before. Today - I look forward to our spontaneous moments of intimacy because I have zero issues.

    As to how long - it's really hard to say. I was sober 452 days before my first true slip - which didn't involve M or O but rather p-subs that became P before I stopped myself. Since then I've been 148 days clean with barely any white-knuckling. I can say my very first 90 days were far from "pure". I had many a sexual fantasy that I held onto, but it was the 90 days after my D-Day, and the fear of losing my wife kept me sober. I believe it was in my 2nd 90 days that I fully acknowledged my changed libido. I had seen glimpses of it towards the end of the first 90, but it really took hold the 2nd 90. My 2nd 90 was also much more purer as I made an effort to fantasize less.

    I think it really depends on how many p-subs one engages in. Obviously any form of normal cannot be achieved with continued resets. Sobriety and recovery are still essential, but at the same time the more one holds onto p-subs (fantasy included), the longer it will take.

    Important to stress and I believe I mentioned this in my post - I don't believe I'm cured. I'm in maintenance mode. I've gotten rid of all the weeds, but if I neglect the lawn the weeds will come back. I neglected my maintenance 148 days ago and threatened my recovery, but my extended sobriety, normalized libido, and my spirituality helped me get back up immediately. Time is a factor for everything, which is why it takes diligence and commitment - but we all have the ability to get there. Don't lose heart and keep working at it no matter how many times you slip. Recovery is real.
  2. Strength And Light

    Strength And Light Fapstronaut

    Tarsus this is probably the single greatest post I've read. It's really hard to tack down everything in one push and this is as good of an effort as anyone has done. I'm so proud of you, really trully proud of your recovery, effort and leadership. Incredible!
  3. Reborn16

    Reborn16 Fapstronaut

    I'm glad I stumbled across this thread. You describe your experiences and key ideas very well, and the sinking boat analogy is one I won't forget.

    You've inspired me to take notes, and finally go to see someone to talk through my issues properly.

    Considering the 3 key areas: I would estimate I've spent most of my energy in my transformation. I've changed a lot, but if I don't bail out water consistently the boat sinks pretty fast!

    I'm aware of some underlying causes, but I've not yet processed them, and have almost zero accountability.

    Lots of work to be done. Sincere thanks for this post!
    Tarsus and vibemaker like this.
  4. vibemaker

    vibemaker Fapstronaut

    My Journal
    Thank you for this great post, @Tarsus

    Reading through your 3 essential keys, I can say every one of them proved to be true for my own recovery.

    I was totally clean of psubs, porn and masturbation for almost 5 years. Then I didn't have anyone in my surroundings anymore for support and who knew how damaging this addiction is. I let myself slip back into some bad psub-habits. I started rationalizing my behavior.

    Now I come back to the forums every 1or 2 days to hold myself accountable and it just works wonders. It was quite a breeze to stay away from psubs since I've made that step. So, accountability is even important, after such a long time - I underestimated that.

    There are some lines I really liked in your post, I want to quote again:

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