Age 30s - Gay (ED)

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Finding balance is not easy[End of week 4] After getting enough information about porn addiction, I just took a leap of faith to jump start rebooting - I did, however, decide to go into this with the following attitudes which I've been constantly trying to remind myself of:

1. It's supposed to be a non-linear, challenging process

-Reading other people's posts and knowing there's gonna be a difficult road ahead has allowed me to give myself a break when I'm feeling really, really crappy.

2. It's gonna be more rewarding than I can imagine

-I've been addicted to PMO for more than 20 years. I'm convinced that all the decisions I made and emotions I felt were influenced by this disease. It's gonna be exciting to meet the person who I really am.

3. The next few months will be my "incubation period"

-Other than avoiding PMO and staying healthy, lay low for awhile and just pay attention. I cannot speed up this process. Just let this thing unfold. Since the addiction began early in my puberty, I'm looking at this experience almost as my rebirth.

GOAL / DECISION

Absolutely no PMO for 140 days. (til early August)

Even if I meet someone to have sex with during this time, I will have to wait til after Day 140. If they don't understand it, too bad.

As someone prone to addiction, I feel like I should give up porn and masturbation for good. Not only do I feel I've done enough of them in this life time, but nothing in my life worked out so well because of this addiction. In terms of the possibility for "healthy masturbation" habit, I can't really experiment it right now so I'll have to come back to it when I become more balanced later.

I guess my ultimate goal is to be able to use and direct my energy positively - whether it's sexual, physical, mental, or spiritual. And if I should fall in love with someone in the future, I want to be able to dedicate all my sexual energy to connect with that person.

First a bit of history:

WEEK 1

-I think I was basically just excited about this new knowledge about porn addiction and the transformation aspect of rebooting. And honestly, I believe my limbic brain didn't understand what hit it yet. I had started meditating three months prior to reboot, and it was already tamping down the desire to masturbate a little bit, so that may have helped me sort of ease my way into reboot.

-For the first 2 days, I woke up with an erection. And during the day, my perineal muscles kept twitching when I was sitting at my desk at work. I guess that whole area had been subjected to constant contractions from my masturbation habit...

-From like Day 3 on, I started having really wacky dreams involving erotic scenarios as well as emotionally painful ones.

-Intense, overwhelming, powerful porn flashbacks of my favorite scenes and actors day and night. I could tell my brain was trying to rationalize watching them for one last time. At first, my heart would start racing every time I got a flashback. These were hard to let go of, especially when I woke up in the morning feeling horny. I wanted to dwell in those scenes but managed to get up and start meditating, which calmed me down.

-As the week went on, I started to feel what everybody referred to as "flatline" in terms of both libido and moods. Everything seemed "gray" and I was feeling "nothing".

WEEK 2.

This was the week of NO CONCENTRATION and FLATLINING. Been trying to read articles on yourbrainonporn.com but I cannot seem to keep myself focused more than 10 seconds. This is what I'd imagine to feel like to have ADD...

Day 10:

I read the article "Four Steps for OCD" by Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz which was an eye-opener. I think I've been struggling with codependent and obsessive thoughts about my unavailable friend I've been in love with - like anything I do reminds me of him - "What would he do?" "He'd do this so much better than me...", very self-defeating stuff.

I'm going to try the Relabel/Reattribute/Refocus/Revalue method for these codependent thoughts as well as my recurring porn flashbacks.

Day 12:

Had a sexual and romantic dream about a porn star. It was interesting to feel 'emotionally attached' to a porn star. I saw it as my limbic brain playing unfair, trying to pull porn back into my life.

Feeling very 'blah'. I look at myself and feel so unattractive. I hate my clothes, I hate the way I look.

Day 13:

As suggested as one of the Rewiring tools, I went to check out a Toastmasters meeting. Unfortunately my mood was hardcore flatlining - I had no energy, which is probably the reason why I ended up feeling like it wasn't really my thing... When I introduced myself in front of the group, I felt incredibly awkward and out of place and unlikable...

I managed to drag myself to a martial arts practice in the evening - which completely shifted my mood. I felt pretty freakin' awesome afterwards.

WEEK 3

This week, I think my mood started swinging from a complete flatline. I began to notice some positive signs here and there too. In the meantime, I had significantly less energy all week - I think I crashed and fell asleep right away after dinner almost every night.

Day 17:

I usually keep it to myself at martial arts practice but I actually had nice conversations and interactions with my mates before and after class. And I was not nervous and didn't feel rushed to get my sentences out like I tend to do most of the time. This made me go 'Hmm...' I think it may have been the first positive sign in a social situation.

Day 18:

Beautiful morning. Was in such a good mood on the way to work, but I was feeling really low by the time I was leaving work. On the way home I "binge-ate" my dinner which made me feel SO depressed afterward that I actually questioned why I'd even bother trying.

I had no energy when I got home. I watched a sitcom which had some scene with an actor in underwear - since I'd been away from porn for awhile, this was a HUGE trigger for me. I got a massive case of porn flashbacks that came screaming back to me. It made me think about avoiding watching TV altogether for awhile. I kept sort of touching my penis but I did not get hard. I had such low energy I failed to meditate before I went to sleep and after I woke up.

Day 20:

I had a problem with my computer that made me so frustrated and I noticed I kept wanting to touch my penis for comfort. It's not that I want to masturbate but I do have a craving for watching some porn and soaking myself in that fantasy world. It feels odd, because I have no libido.

I managed to exercise but it didn't improve my mood so much.

Day 21:

I had a nice brunch with someone I hadn't seen in a while. I kept talking about how fascinated I was about dopamine and reward circuitry Sticking out tongue We had a great conversation and it was a great day. It made me really happy. Week 3 ended on a positive note.

WEEK 4

-Feeling more positive generally. When I'm in a good mood, it seems to last a little longer than before.

-I can feel there's some confidence starting welling up inside of me.

-I had some moments where I was behaving really short on people. I was close to snapping at them but I'm glad I didn't.

-Low moments feel less severe. I seem to bounce back up more quickly. Shifting my focus still takes efforts but is somewhat easier.

-More relaxed interactions with my colleagues at work.

-I seem to get turned on by other guys SO easily now - but I feel less creepy about it - it's like I "appreciate" little things about them that make me feel hopeful or something and that make me go, "one of these days!"

WEEK 5

Day 29:

-Woke up with a "semi" :-)

-This was already noticeable from Week 1, but not spending my time and energy for masturbating twice a day makes waking up in the morning so much easier.

-Had a porn flashback on the way to work this morning, but it took a lot less effort to let it pass by. I did it almost subconsciously and automatically - it was kinda rhythmical, like passing the ball in basketball. I'm hoping I'll be able to do the same with my codependent, self-defeating, toxic shame, OCD thoughts.

-Just found out I maybe losing my job at the end of May...Major stressor. Wish me luck, everyone...

Day 30:

-I *think* my acne is finally clearing up! I wanted to wait until I was sure, and I'm pretty sure now.

I started getting these mysterious pimples on my forehead about 3 months ago, and when nothing worked to stop them, I thought they were maybe related to excessive masturbation. I still have no solid proof of this connection and it could be just a seasonal thing, but my gut feeling tells me they are totally related. I see it as my body's way of telling me something wasn't quite right in terms of how I was treating it.

In any case, it was googling "acne and masturbation" that eventually led me to Gary's site - so I guess I should be grateful (?) for my acne.

-I can't believe I'm writing this here, but while I'm on the topic of unwelcome bodily functions - I think my bowel conditions are better too. I'm much less gassy.

-I'll be entering some stressful phase as I start job hunting - right now I'm extra alert to any kind of signs of relapse urges. Hopefully I'll be able to stay grounded in my weaker moments.

Day 31:

-Depressed. I meant to work on my resume and stuff last night but I ended up just falling asleep after dinner. I keep going back and forth between spinning negative thoughts in my head and getting my spirits up. It's hard not to attribute the current situation to countless hours I wasted on PMO.

-One positive aspect I would say is that I maybe depressed right now but it feels different from PMO-related "brain fog". I didn't have a word for it back then, but when I was PMO-ing, I used to get these helpless feelings at unpredictable moments, no matter how much sleep I had or if I was eating right or exercising regularly. With brain fog, I would feel completely "dead" inside and my eyes could not focus. Well, this feels a little different. It's more like facing difficulty than feeling completely hopeless.

-Being anxious about the future is definitely making me "regress". "I want my mommy" kind of thoughts and also it's making me miss that PMO paradise where I used to feel so safe and protected and accepted being surrounded by all those beautiful, strong men. I feel sentimental when I get a porn flashback. I think it's good that I'm aware of these thoughts rather than being drowned in them, and that I'm releasing some energy by writing here.Day 32:

I am taking 2 weeks off from work to look for a job. Today was the first day off and I felt so vulnerable in the morning to not have a solid direction. I was also really nervous being faced with SO much free time on my own. I don't think I'll slip and watch P but what's bugging me is that I tend to procrastinate watching sitcoms - I have a lot of sitcoms saved in my hard drive (the same hard drive I used to store all my porn) and I tend to fall asleep to it and watch them in the morning.

The day wasn't so bad though - I managed to get my resume together and sent it out to one company. I tutor one girl and I had a session with her in the evening. I was grateful to have a real human interaction. lolDay 33:

Like I mentioned above, I fell asleep watching sitcoms and woke up to them. I'm aware that they are now my tool of choice for procrastination. I'm thinking of putting the hard drive away during this job hunting period. Also sitcoms (and TV programs in general) are laced with triggers!

I'm also thinking of mocking up a schedule or some sort of time table during my time-off, like time to wake up, meditate, job hunt on line, lunch, stretch exercise, etc, so I don't feel so nervous about potentially relapsing. With so much time alone at home, this would've been the perfect opportunity for the old me to spend hours and hours masturbating - and end up regretting and hating myself afterward. At least that's not happening, thank God.

I'm going out tonight to see my friend I had feelings for - the last time I saw him last month, I ended up being so depressed the day after. He's actually being a good friend and taking me out so we can talk about my job situation - I hope I'll be able to focus on and appreciate the friendship part of our relationship.

Sorry I keep talking about my current issues which are more about general procrastination and basic survival - in the PMO department, I feel like I'm on auto-drive mode for now, due to more pressing issues. I also don't have much of libido - I still wake up soft. I've been pretty good not touching my penis, which I find still really challenging.

Day 34:

Woke up early and started to look for a job online but I started procrastinating - I'm depressed. I spent the rest of the day doing nothing but watching sitcoms. I feel awful.

Day 35:

ALMOST relapsed. I can't believe it. I woke up depressed and before I knew it and kept touching myself down there and moving my hand away - finally, I got hard and stroked it a little bit.

I started thinking about porn too. I tried not to think about porn while I was touching myself though. Just when I thought I was starting to lose control and succumbing to my desires, I jumped out of bed, took a cold shower, and did push-ups and sit-ups.

I DO NOT WANT THIS LIFESTYLE OF PROCRASTINATION AND MASTURBATION!!

I feel like I was reminded of how deep-rooted this addiction really is for me and that I have some ways to go...

I'm going to go see my mom for lunch - hopefully it'll help me get out of this funk a little bit...

-----------------------------------

I had a nice afternoon with my mom - I'm out to her, so I talked about my love life, which was good. I also rode my bike and feel like I got some exercise.

WEEK 6

Week 6...sounds so "advanced" - even though it's only been like a month or so. But, according to consensus, this is where mood starts to stabilize and all the good things start to happen. (I know it's still a nonlinear process, I know, I know...) And since my addiction began from an early age (at 11) and lasted for 25 years, I may take longer to recover than usual, but I'm hopeful.

I'm beginning to pay more attention to my penis size now - as I mentioned previously, since I was mostly a bottom in sex, I never realized how serious my ED problem was until I came to this site. It feels so tiny and lifeless in general right now, which worries me a little bit. The only time it felt really full (both erect and flaccid) in recent years was when I was taking zinc and maca - hopefully I'll be able to gain that kind of girth or something close to it naturally.

Day 36

Woke up with a 45% erection. S'all for now. :-)

Ugh, lots of procrastinating...I'm not proud of it.

I couldn't seem to focus at all while I was trying to fill out this long application form for a job, which I didn't even finish even though I had all day. Fell asleep while I was watching sitcoms...

Day 37

Woke up with a semi erection and kept touching my penis, which made me stay in bed so much longer than I wanted. It wasn't masturbation, but still, I know I was on the verge... Had some really arousing porn flashbacks too - in those moments, I now can tell a half of me tries not to pay attention while the other half wants to chase after them.

Then I started to casually browse on internet and started clicking more and more sexy images - first celebrity gossip, then attractive actors, then bodybuilders...I didn't get to porn sites but this really is a slippery slope. As I worked on my application for a job, I kept wanting to go back to looking at more hot guys...

Man, having too much time at home really leaves me extra vulnerable to physical and mental temptations. I should always remember to go outside or do some push-up or whatever I can use to distract myself. Stay strong, everyone, if you're faced with urges like I am now.

Day 38

I'm in a better mood, mostly because I had a really fun dinner with a friend I haven't seen in a while last night AND managed to finish a trial test and send it out for a position I'm interested in.

At last night's dinner, I was noticing one of the waiters in particular - he gave me a genuine smile couple times which I found really beautiful. This actually made made me feel a little more hopeful about dating again in the future after reboot. Anyway, I don't know if that has something to do with it, but I've been REALLY horny in the past 12 hours. I had to stay up pretty late working on the trial test last night and when I finally got into bed, I got really horny and I started to have a half erection involuntarily - which was new for me!

Also porn flashbacks are very intense these days - my brain digging up scenes after scenes out of 25-year collection in my mental archives... They ain't kiddin' when they say what's been seen cannot be unseen. Yikes!

I have martial arts practice tonight so hopefully I'll be able to "reboot" my mind.

Day 39

I had a very vivid dream about me bingeing - it was really specific how it depicted my old PMO method with drugs and everything. I didn't dwell on it so much when I woke up though.

I had a meeting with a head hunter in the morning and went to lunch with a few people I used to work with, which was delightful. They were really supportive of me trying to find a job too.

In the evening, I read through some of my diaries from this past year and it made me really emotional - mostly because I saw myself struggling with lack of self-esteem and a sense of self-worth. I sobbed for awhile - but it wasn't bad or sad - it was more like appreciating how much I know why I've felt so miserable all this time. It felt like I was shedding my old self and thinking - a letting go, a cleansing.

Despite the job situation, I notice right now I have this strange confidence that somehow it'll all be okay - maybe that's too optimistic, but I do see some synchronicity in me trying to reboot and trying to find a new professional path. For now, I guess I just have to be patient.

Day 40

Kinda busy day - was out for the most of the day, so not a whole lot of temptations.

My desktop computer broke so I bought a new laptop. It's time to say goodbye to the computer that I used to watch SO much porn. This is giving me an opportunity to do some major digital cleaning to wipe out anything that I don't need. It feels kinda nice.

Day 41

Worked on my new laptop pretty much all day but I managed to bring myself to go to martial arts practice in the evening. I got my butt kicked but I got a lot out of it. I've been going kinda stir crazy from being real horny these days, so it took out some of that frustration.

Day 42

Had a productive day - got my hair cut, did some shopping, and worked out at a gym. I haven't lifted weights in awhile, but it felt pretty good. Now back at home, still working on my new laptop... Oh, I came across a folder that had some porn in it and I freaked and deleted it right away - I KNEW if I saw their thumbnails or even just the titles, I'd be in trouble...

Ok, I guess this the end of Week 6. I'm off from work this entire week and the next, so maybe having less everyday stress made it seem somewhat easy. That being said, I think I had more porn flash backs and touched my penis more times than I did in any of the previous weeks. It's usually in the morning, where I get porn flash backs and start touching my penis - couple times I came really close to full-on masturbation.

WEEK 7

Day 43-46

Well, there's not so much to tell except that PMO urges seem to have subsided for now. My moods have been generally good, I've been feeling calm and when I get self-defeating thoughts, I seem to snap out of them pretty quickly.

I've realized that the key to overcome an addiction is to distract yourself and buying time until the urges pass - ruminating on how difficult it is IS part of the addiction.

Still no sign of improvement with my penis - I woke up with an erection a few times but very sporadically. I've been better about not touching my penis though.

Day 49

Almost relapsed. Here's what happened: I had a pretty intense martial arts practice last night, and I decided to go to a sauna afterwards. I guess seeing all these naked men around me definitely triggered my urges, but hey, at least they were REAL human triggers instead of images on screen! Anyway, this led me to look up gay bathhouses on my phone as I was going to sleep and I continued to do so when I woke up this morning. I refrained from looking at actual naked pictures but I did start touching myself while reading about sexual experiences by other guys. I kept getting hard and stopping - but finally stopped when I thought about my friend who knows about my rebooting, and who is also in the process of quitting smoking pot herself, and thought to myself I could blog about what just happened instead. So, again, thank GOD for this forum.

One thing I noticed was how good holding my penis gently felt and it was enough for me to get hard. Before, I think my masturbation technique was more about this frantic friction to get/stay hard, which didn't feel so good this time when I tried. It made me realize how my arousal before reboot was almost completely dependent on how stimulating whatever I was looking at was. This time I actually really appreciated the touch of my hand, which I guess is a positive sign.

Oh, I should note that I haven't been meditating at all this week - had I mediated more, say before going to sleep last night, I might have felt different this morning...

Now I'm conflicted - after reading about gay saunas, I have a strong urge to check one out this afternoon - which I don't think is a bright idea. For one thing, I don't wanna get "hooked" on looking at guys in saunas, and also for the health reasons - I know lots of guys with STDs frequent gay bathhouses and have unsafe sex. Despite all that, I can sense that "addict's mind" processing in the back of my head, going, "Ok, after I see my friend for lunch, I could go to this sauna JUST to check it out...as long as I don't have sex, it's OK..." If that's not dopamine talking, I don't know what is.

In closing:

Besides this little incident this morning, I think Week 7 has been a sort of a flatline, but in the upper region. My mood swings were either small or pretty short. If you look at likeanidiot's mood charts (http://www.reuniting.info/node/6002), you will see what I mean. Interestingly enough, he had the last big dip on Day 48 and also warned me how tough things could get even after 1 month or so of reboot. Also, there seem to be quite a bit of posts about relapses after a relatively long abstention, so I know I won't be able to say that I wasn't warned!

Thanks for reading and for your support - stay strong, everyone.

Update

Well, I might as well be completely honest here - I succumbed to my curiosity and did go check out one sauna that's supposed to be gay-friendly and another that's totally 'straight'. Nothing happened but it was a strange day. I kept wanting to get aroused from possibly erotic settings, hoping something would actually happen.

You see, I used to go to sex clubs and gay bathhouses a lot in my 20's, and today reminded me of the hollowness I used to feel from those places. On the way home I thought to myself, "No, this isn't how I want to meet my mate. I don't want to meet my future husband (lol) in a context that's ONLY about sex." I've made a great deal of recovery so far and been training in martial arts intensively in the past year - and with porn almost out of my system, I've been feeling so clean internally. Cruising in bathhouses doesn't quite align with who I am and my lifestyle now - and physically too - I saw myself naked in a full sized mirror today for the first time in a long time and saw that I'm probably in the best shape ever in my life thanks to all the training. So why demean myself now? Why deliberately put myself in front of sexually desperate people, some of whom may very well be addicted on some level, just like I was before? I understand that it's not gonna be so easy to find a like-minded guy in such a closeted society that I live in, but this I guess is part of the rewiring process for my brain to come up with new and healthier ways to find a partner.

So, I've decided to look at today as a closure - to let go of my promiscuous and sexually deviant past and know that I don't need to go down the same path again. Gay bathhouses - thank you, but no thank you. I'm through with you.

WEEK 8

Day 50

Oy. I am paying a HUUUUUUUUUGE price for tampering my sexual energy by exposing myself to all the naked men in saunas yesterday. My sexual urges are THROUGH THE ROOF, it's insane. Is this the return of my healthy libido? I think not. But, for whatever the reason, for better or worse, this is the most sexual I've felt since I began my reboot. And in this warm weather? Forgettaboutit. I feel like ripping off my clothes and running down the streets. My heart jumps out of my chest every time I see any dude I find remotely attractive. In fact, this feels so manic it reminds me of when I used cocaine, actually.

I really underestimated what a humongous trigger seeing real naked men would be for me. When I went home after saunas, I kept getting closer and closer to porn sites on internet. I let several sexual images come into my eyes before looking away or switching pages - and while I maintained being indifferent to them, I'm sure it didn't help.

When I got into bed, I couldn't stop touching myself. I got hard once and came dangerously close to ejaculation only after several strokes. I stopped immediately but the "edging" sensation did not go away and lasted for at least a few minutes. Even after my penis had gotten soft, I felt like one more stimulating image in my head would've made me cum right then and there. This freaked the bejesus out of me - I ran to the kitchen, grabbed a gel ice pack in the freezer, and put it over my genitals. Phew.

Needless to say, I had a hard time falling asleep, and I woke up earlier than planned. Meditation helped a bit but still, I feel like there's some energy simmering in the genital region. When I used to PMO-binge, I would often feel this "depleted" sensation around my root chakra - this right now feels like the complete opposite to that. It's buoyant - but like it could easily erupt at any moment. I noticed I'm breathing slightly harder and my heart's beating slightly faster too.

I kinda dread the thought of going home and having to deal with PMO temptations tonight...I will do everything to stay the course - I've made it this far.

Day 51

What is happening to me??? I'm back at my office this week finishing up stuff until next Tuesday - and I just visited some porn sites...AT WORK. I've been kind of obsessing about the very first porn I saw when I was 11 - it was a straight porn and I've been trying to figure out the title of it. I started google searching and before I knew it, I was opening some pages that are totally NSFW...

Mixed with the thrill of being at work, I know this altered my brain - I probably "undid" some of the work I've done by triggering dopamine in the old way.

Anyway, it's probably the combination of going "Fuck it" because it's my last week in this office, and also I have a job interview scheduled later after work, and I'm nervous and trying to escape or something.

I'm still kinda shaky from seeing porn images.

I gotta be stronger than this.

Day 52

Heard back from the interviewer from yesterday that I didn't get the job - which is okay. I knew it wasn't for me. Actually, the interview revealed more about myself and the kind of direction I want to go in career-wise. Had an AMAZING martial arts practice in the evening.

Day 53

Woke up hard - or rather, I think I started touching myself half-consciously as I was waking up, but basically I'm staying the course. I guess I feel a little calmer and less crazy today. I'm back to daily meditations this week, so that's good.

I did get a little emotional on the way to work from mixed feelings of uncertainty and hopefulness. It's scary and liberating at the same time not knowing where I'm going next. I feel insecure and yet weirdly confident that since I'm kicking this addiction which has been the biggest part of who I am, my life will start unfolding in a much better way.

Day 56

Even though I came to a conclusion last week that I do not want to go back to bathhouses, I kept fantasizing about them throughout this week. I think that affected my mood – I could tell I was starting to feel cranky and withdrawn by Friday. I think this is another layer of addiction/compulsion I need to overcome.

The past two weeks made me realize that my issue is a little bigger than just PMO. It’s sexual compulsion. Actually, it’s even bigger than that – it’s the destructive way I've been using my time and energy. For most of my life, I was caught up in a circle of chasing after sexual gratification and escaping from reality. Dr. Kevin McCauley argued in his video series (available on yourbrainonporn.com) that addiction is a “disease of choice”. Now that I’m starting to feel that I don’t have to give in to my urges all the time, what do I choose?

I choose to keep trying.

I choose to keep trying to reach my goal date.

I choose to stay away from triggers as much as possible, so I can restore mental and physical sensitivity.

I choose to teach myself to use my time and energy in a constructive way, and to resist the urge to go to bathhouses even just for a little thrill, no matter how my brain suggests how healthy it'll be for me to "meet other people". I choose to ignore my brain when it threatens, “You’ll end up all alone unless you get out there…” I choose to ignore that fear for now and choose to have faith that if I can overcome my sexual compulsion, I’ll be a much healthier person, and therefore will be able to attract someone healthy as well.

So that's exactly what I did today. I could've gone to a sauna I found that's supposed to be cruisy affer I saw my mom this afternoon. Instead, I came straight home, took a nap, worked on my resume and wrote this. And I feel pretty good about it.

WEEK 9

This week really flew by - what with the final three days at my old job (or so I thought - they asked me back for 3 more days next week), then two big job interviews, both of which went very well. I don't want to jinx it so I'll write more about that next week.

I allowed myself to get aroused a little by visiting some dating websites and reading about erotic massage places online. I'm still doing that thing in bed where I would touch myself until I'd get hard, then I would stop. I think my erections are slightly thicker and firmer than before, though.

Compared to my normal schedule, I traveled a lot more outside this week due to job interviews, and I saw many attractive people out. Since then I've been feeling more and more like getting out there and meeting other guys.

Besides that, I basically stuck with martial arts - there was some friendly (and possibly romantic???) interaction with someone I've been sort of having a crush on from the practice - we'll see.

It's been two full months since I started rebooting. I know I still have some ways to go but I already feel like I'm a changed man in many ways.

WEEK 10

Day 65

Growing up, I used to wish I had an older brother. It probably had to do with the fact that I never felt completely safe as an only child stuck with an emotionally unstable mother and a physically absent father. I wanted someone stronger to protect me, educate me, and be there for me. I think that yearning played a major part of my homosexuality as a young adult. I preferred men who were older and physically bigger than me. I would often run father-son or brother-brother type of fantasies in my head during sex or even act them out sometimes if the other guy was willing. In relationships, I would normally feel this underlying sense that I was the weak one that needed to be rescued.

There has been a profound change in me after all the emotional healing work I've done in the past year AND this rebooting process I'm going through right now. I think I can now safely say that I actually rescued myself (with the help of some wonderful books, teachers, and websites including this community, of course).

Recently I've been thinking more and more about having a relationship with someone, and today, I realized I have a totally different outlook on myself and relationships. I now think that being in a relationship is not a necessity. It's not like food or air. Nor do I need it in order to feel complete. I actually feel OK being by myself, standing my ground, probably for the first time in my life. If it's not meant to be, I can accept not having a boyfriend. I can still continue to grow as a person.

But you know what? There's GOT to be someone out there who can benefit and grow as a person from being in a romantic relationship with me - someone I can join forces together to reach a higher level of understanding of love, life, and compassion, that could not be accessed individually.

I just hope I'll be blessed with that opportunity.

I think I'm almost ready. I'm almost there. I know soon I'll be feeling strong and confident enough to share my life with someone. Judging how I feel now, I think Day 140 was a pretty good assessment in terms of my recovery time.

Day 69

I think I landed a job. I was told that I'm scheduled to receive an official offer next Monday. If the salary is agreeable, this is going to be the perfect job for me right now. It's something that utilizes my skills and experience and something that I can be proud of. AND I will be able to continue to do martial arts in the evening, which means the world to me now.

I had to take two tests for this position, and I was told I got really high scores in both of them. I think I was able to pull this off because I was rebooting and was able to keep procrastination and panicking to a minimum.

Earlier I talked about how I'm rediscovering my true self, and I really believe everything is happening together at the same time for a reason.

WEEK 11

Day 75

This has been an extremely frustrating week. I've had to wait at home to hear back from the final result about my new job (which is finally confirmed now). I ended up staying at home doing nothing so as not to spend money, and it really deteriorated my mood. I think that explains why I haven't blogged for a whole week. I wish I'd vented here sooner, but I guess I hated the idea of just whining when there's nothing anybody could do.

I slept a lot in weird hours and would feel frustrated and depressed. My touching of my penis became more and more frequent and before I knew it, I found myself "edging" a lot in bed. I managed to go to martial arts practice in the evening but I skipped some of them, which made me feel guilty and depressed, because I'd been so committed to it.

Yesterday, I had to negotiate my salary and it made me really nervous and frustrated, as I found out it's not at all as good as I thought it was gonna be. In fact, it pays almost as the same as my old job. I know that as a career, this one is far more promising than my old job, so I know I'm on the right path, but I guess I was expecting my financial situation to become a lot better, it made me really depressed, foolish, and worthless, even.

Last couple days I started visiting gay dating websites. That in itself is kinda admirable, in my opinion, because I'm beginning to find ways for human connection - the problem is those sites are filled with porn-related links. I finally started clicking them yesterday. I kept resisting from engaging in full-on masturbation and watching movies, but I saw many pornographic still images and I kept on edging.

And this morning, I saw one short clip. I haven't orgasmed, but PMO-wise, I guess I kinda fell off the wagon. I knew in back of my head that I wasn't going to let myself masturbate to any videos and I didn't - but I was aware of how much my brain had missed having porn so readily available. Actually, it was so available so limitlessly, it was overwhelming. Cyberporn world is utterly bottomless and out of control. It can REALLY drown an addict. I knew if I kept going and let myself completely relapse by watching videos and masturbating to orgasm, I wouldn't be able to come up from that all-too-familiar abyss of lust and despair easily.

It's interesting to see how my post from last week was full of hope and almost grandiose, even, and in it I wrote that rebooting process is about spending time and energy wisely. I guess I have yet to master that skill. Also, as I'm writing this, I realize that once you're an addict, you're always an addict. I feel like an alcoholic walking into a bar after years of sobriety. It's how I'm made, and I will need to be mindful of it for the rest of my life.

I know I'll be fine once I have regular routine schedule, but I've done more than enough damage by reinforcing my old reward circuitry - I'm going to pay the price for this. I need to watch out for mood swings and desire for more porn in the next couple days. I also need to find something to focus on as I'll be free almost the entire month of June. I'm thinking of signing up for daytime martial arts classes.

I guess there will always be ups and downs in life - I want to learn how to deal with myself and not beat myself up in those rough times.

I'm still fighting.

WEEK 12

I haven't written because I can't write freely at my new job and I have been busy - and because I have had some relapse moments and I couldn't bring myself to face the facts here. I haven't orgasmed but I have spent hours watching porn and masturbating during the weekend.

I had a very difficult and frustrating moments with my mother on the day before my first day at the new job, which added to stress that was already there. This and the next week I'm sort of in the training sessions and I'm totally hating the environment - I feel like I don't belong there at all... Luckily my real job starts somewhere else but I have been really uncomfortable and nervous.

I started checking more and more gay dating sites and finally started watching porn videos online - sometime during last week - I forgot when. I had been edging a lot from being anxious but also I'm actually totally impressed how HUGE I get. It's been kinda hard to ignore. I mean, my erections are ROCK HARD and ENORMOUS. I remember asking other guys here who went before me about when they noticed the return of their full erections - well, I think I got mine back.

Then Saturday came - it was the strangest day. I had a martial arts performance test and I went up a rank, which I have been working towards for the past year - to me, it was a culmination and fruition of my dedication. It felt great. I was sweaty and had a free afternoon afterwards so I went to a public bath and met a cool guy. He and I sort of hit it off and we went to have dinner then for drinks. He took me around to couple different bars. I was EXTREMELY popular everywhere I went. I ended up getting more drunk than I wanted but it was a lot of fun. Then on the way home - well, I don't want to get into details, but on the way home I did something that could have gotten me in a lot of serious trouble. Nothing happened but I should be ashamed for it. It was a sign of my integrity coming apart, I thought.

Anyway, despite how popular I was, I didn't make out or go home with anybody - I stayed feeling extremely horny, the next day I couldn't stop watching porn online and masturbating and edging. Then I got food poisoning, which somehow made me think I was being punished for all the deviant deeds. On the other hand, my mom and I made up at the end of the week - and thankfully my crazy weekend was over.

I have been thinking how stress led me back to my old habits - but this is the part I actually need to savor. Rebooting up to this point has been almost too easy for me because my life before switching the jobs was hardly ever stressful. Then I remembered this line from the movie "The Contender", which I want to share with you:

"Principles only mean something if you stick by them when they're inconvenient."

Life is stressful - so what?! Let's go back to where I started - the goal is simple. The answer is simple. And I'll continue to stick to my original principles: NO PMO.

WEEK 13

Well, It wasn't my intention to become asexual for the rest of my life. Recently I've been having episodes where I kept edging while watching porn. I've started getting semi-erections on trains and at work - while it's amusing and all, I've been feeling like a sex maniac almost to a pervert level, it's uncomfortable too. Gary thinks, and I must agree, that it's time for me to reintroduce masturbation and orgasm to maintain balanced libido.

WEEK 14

Sooooooo, I let myself orgasm last Saturday - Day 90. (with no porn, of course)

It actually didn't feel like such a big deal - yes, I came really hard, but it wasn't like the whole world turned upside down or anything, like I imagined. I actually masturbated for the second time and came again couple hours after the first one, but that was it - I didn't get much of a chaser effect.

Since then, I've been noticing positive effects. My head is clearer and I feel calmer. I don't feel so sex crazed now and I seem to be able to concentrate better at work. Who knew?!

As far as masturbation schedule goes, I'm thinking every other week - we'll see.

Day 94

Thanks for the comments, guys. I'm glad that I can be an inspiration but I wanna say that even though I won't reset my days, I have not been *completely* without porn and masturbation. There have been a few days where I watched porn online and masturbated. I did not have an orgasm and kept edging, which is as detrimental as a total relapse, if not worse.

I am glad, however, to have set my goal to 140 days, because it is now allowing me to include reintroduction of healthy masturbation cycles as part of the reboot process.

Anyway, I just started my new job (the past 2 weeks have been just training) today and it's pretty intense and overwhelming. Since I masturbated last weekend, and what with this new job situation, I feel like my mind is not haunted by sexual frustration - I feel like I got over another hurdle in terms of dealing with heightened sexual energy which I've been struggling with the past few weeks.

I also have been reading about Buddha's teachings and it has been reaffirming all the scientific explanation about dopamine and everything I've learned here so far - how it's better not to spike up your desires, etc...

I love that what I've learned from science totally goes hand in hand with spirituality.

WEEK 15

When I started masturbating two weeks ago I said I would set the schedule once every other week. But I masturbated last weekend and this past weekend. I definitely am more keen on how my sexual energy builds up during the week and by Friday I start feeling a little too manic, so I'm thinking once a week on weekend is healthy enough - this way I actually feel like I'm releasing sexual tension in me just when it starts to become too out of control. That being said, I have had a chaser effect this and last weekends. And especially this weekend....well, I got a little too crazy.

So, in the past week or so, I have had a LOT of social/romantic/sexual interactions with guys - one especially I liked but who lives far. It's kind of tangible now the world can tell that I am ready for meeting people. And it felt like everything was happening at the same time - the work was so intense last week and outside work, I was meeting people left and right. So when I made it to this weekend, I kind of let myself go, I guess. First I masturbated on Saturday morning, which felt like a very natural thing to do. I actually felt like I got this system under my belt now.

But then I went out to a martial arts practice which I found was canceled so instead on the way home I stopped by a cruisy public bath and had some mutual masturbation with two guys there. Then I went out to a gay bar. I was crazy horny after I left the bar and actually ended up going to a sex club, where I did mutual masturbation with someone. I climaxed this time, and I ran home.

THEN, I was still drunk after I came home and masturbated again this time with porn on line for a few minutes to climax.

I feel like I should stop writing because it is making me want to masturbate again - but I must say I am still trying to find the right balance to allow myself to be a sexual being and not go bonkers with my libido. Meeting guys during the week was great. Going to a gay bar was acceptable. Public bath, not so much. Sex club, definitely not. And not knowing when I start chasing after my lust and start masturbating to porn was stupid. I need to really watch myself when I drink too.

Once the week starts - the work schedule takes over and I forget about all of this - I guess because of that, I need to be careful on weekends. I don't have time and energy to beat myself up for what I did this weekend - it was what it was. I'm shaking it off. Like Gary mentioned a few weeks ago, being totally asexual during reboot was in a way a lot easier than having sexual elements in my life now. Balance is the goal.

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by A10