If you, reading this, feel really really bad today, because things are not going well and you’re concerned and scared – don’t be. You’ll be fine. Just strap in and get going with the program for recover, because it works. We can have a life. If I made it, you can too.
My name is Jan. I’m a dopamine addict. I’m 29 years old, married since 2013. I’m a Catholic. I developed a problem with M and P quite early – I think around the age of 10 I had quite regular contact with P material. By the age of 13 I was using heavy. The addiction cut out a big chunk of my life, pretty much all of my adolescence. I realised I have a problem around the age of 21. I was trying to stop then already. I couldn’t. Me and my high-school sweetheart, we started going out together when I was 22. By this point you probably guess what happened – I couldn’t have sex and had no clue what is going on. I started going to therapy when I was 24. I’ve been going there for 3 years. I was 26 when I married my high-school sweetheart. And 27 when I discovered RebootNation. Here is my journal: http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=402.0
While I appreciate that there might be guys out here for whom a mere reboot and the return of sexual function is enough, I firmly believe that for the majority – me included – this is just tip of iceberg.
I believe developing a serious P and M problem (I count myself a serious case) is almost inevitably connected with other issues in life. It would take to much time to list here what they could. But the dopamine addiction is just an addiction like all other – alcohol, gambling, crack. No difference.
That is why I recommend to anyone who feels that despite serious efforts there is little progress – it might be that your fight must be grouped together with help and assistance of others. Maybe RN is not enough and a group therapy/therapist would help. Consider that.
Leaving this addiction behind me (= stopping to act out on it) is the biggest achievement of my life. It took me 8 years from the moment I realised I had it. That’s a big part of my life that was filled with lots of pain, joy, struggles, successes, failings. All of it.
Believe me, I hurt. I could not perform sexually in my first sexual encounter with the love of my life. When I stopped doing M/P (at a certain point I felt I just needed to stop), I suffered totally unexpected withdrawals that were so bad, I had to pull out of a dream job. The crooked character I had while being in one of the periods when I was still acting out made me lose another dream job. I was never offered a similar or comparable one since. When I married, it still turned out I could not interact sexually with my wife and resorted to P once again, dragging me again to a great pit of shame. Life, or rather God, guided me through tough experiences.
I wish all of you cope better than I did.
The turning point was the discovery of RN. Therapy helped me to understand and deal with many many things about me and my character. RN gave the insight, tools and support to leave the dopamine addiction behind.
All of this is important.
- Hit rock bottom – you need to understand that the addiction is a real problem; this usually happens when you hit rock bottom; when you’re there and you will know it, there’s no other way but up
- Journal feelings – you got feelings, man! (and woman, too!); it’s the feelings you don’t cope with that make you watch P/ do M! It’s really not the great interest in the new P movie you heard of (this is just a trigger)! Have a journal and keep writing down your feelings – not only bad, good feelings (like joy, happiness, success) can make you unstable too and make you resort to the well-known comfort of P/M
- Watch the video – watch the main video about addiction on YBOP; it’s here and it should be compulsory viewing for guys aged 15 and repeated every one year; if you think 1hr 10 mins is a too long video to watch then you might as well just stop reading here and bothering yourself – and others – about your P/M problems. https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/your-brain-on-porn-series
- Read the 12 steps; that’s really the alpha and omega on any addiction; really; read them again
- Forget shame; from TODAY if you EVER again act out = watch P/M/anything else, don’t let the shame take over you; shame is your BIGGEST enemy; it will drag you back into the cycle; at a certain point I understood I cannot be undermined by failings: I don’t feel I’m immune to relapsing; no one is; that’s not the point, though; today, I name the failing straight away, I remind myself I’m an addict and I don’t allow shame to hurt me
- Watch out for HALT! It’s the old 12 steps. The below feelings, if present, give you a much higher chance of giving in to the addiction. In any moment you feel triggered, check yourself with the below list
- H ungry
- A ngry
- L onely
- T ired
- It’s not your fault – it really isn’t; remember.
- I can have a good smile seeing the sun. Or the rain.
- I’m able to dedicate myself: to people, to loved ones, to work.
- I can concentrate.
- I can have sex. I can enjoy it.
- And I care about the things that are important to me.
This place, Reboot Nation, is really important to me. I want to keep journalling. Maybe not every day. But just as I’m an addict for the rest of my life, the same way I have to work on it for the rest of my life.
Thanks to all of you who helped me through this and who have been with me. You know who you are.
I just hope you guys stick around for as long as possible.
Questions are welcome.
LINK – Keep fighting, guys!!!
BY – jkkk