I consider myself to be one of the more severe PIED cases that I have seen. It took me about 1.5 years to recover, without relapsing to porn. I owe it to you guys to share my success story. Here we go.
My porn use began when I was a young teenager. Being an uninformed kid, I thought porn was harmless. As I would eventually learn the hard way, porn is anything but harmless.
I watched porn (PMO’d) about every other day. Without realizing it, my porn addiction completely took over my life. I became a floater. I lost all meaning and purpose in my life. I did the bare minimum to preserve the illusion that I was a functional human being. Mostly so that my family and friends didn’t worry about me/discover my addiction.
After several years of consistent porn use, I eventually crashed and burned. Hard.
One day I tried looking at some of my favourite porn. To my surprise, I could not get the slightest bit aroused. I went through a bunch more porn throughout the next couple of days, assuming my lack of libido was an anomaly. I still felt absolutely nothing. I started freaking out. All at once I realized just how severe the effects of my porn had been. Not only could I not get turned on by a real girl, or physical touch, but I couldn’t even get turned on by my favourite porn.
Initially, I had no idea what was going on. I didn’t even know that my problems were related to my porn use. Most ED articles online rarely mention that porn has detrimental health effects.
I eventually found some articles that said that porn had a correlation with ED in young men. From that moment on I never went back to porn.
I can honestly say that I didn’t even come close to relapsing throughout my reboot. Mostly because I was so terrified by the feeling of flying dead stick, even with my favourite porn.
I was utterly unprepared and uninformed for the withdrawal symptoms that would hit me in the weeks following my giving up porn. I don’t even know how to describe what I was feeling. It felt like my brain was screaming at me. Like it was telling me that I was dying without fuelling my addiction. I couldn’t focus on anything. I thought I was going insane.
Withdrawal symptoms came in waves. I was completely nonfunctional for days at a time. Symptoms were most intense when they first began; after a few weeks of having given up porn. After a couple more weeks it got much better, although I experienced brain fog (not being able to concentrate clearly) coming in waves for many months.
Eventually I found Gabe’s videos and all of the harrowing truths about porn use. Thank god for Gabe. If I hadn’t found his videos… I don’t know what might have become of me.
To survive the rebooting process and withdrawal symptoms, get something (or several things) to put your mind to. More importantly, be kind to yourself. You will likely experience hell on earth through your reboot. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
I took up running, and lifting weights. I felt like death doing these activities, but not because it was physically taxing. Mostly because in the past being physically active always made me feel good. Not so during the reboot. Brain fog/withdrawal symptoms were on the forefront of my mind no matter what I was doing. Nevertheless, I was persistent in exercising because I wanted to change everything about me. In my mind, I was not just giving up pornography, I was giving myself a second chance at life.
I began a relationship with my now ex girlfriend shortly after I began rebooting. I believe that she certainly helped me recover for a while, but I tried to hide my problems from her. I don’t recommend being secretive about your problems if you find yourself in a similar situation.
A word of caution from my own experience –
I know there are many rebooters desperate to get a girlfriend to help them rewire. Tread carefully. Many modern women (and men) are not virtuous people. Do not trade your heart for an opportunity to be with an evil woman. Even if you think it will help rewire. It will do you so much more harm than good. Believe me.
I am not of the belief that rewiring is absolutely necessary to recover. I myself did not feel fully recovered until several months after I had broken up with my then girlfriend.
It took me about a year and a half to feel fully recovered (without relapse). This is much longer than average. I’ve felt recovered for almost a year now.
Something I wish I had been told from the start, is that there is no definitive day when you will wake up and immediately feel 100%. Rebooting is a journey. As you progress in your recovery, you will have days where you feel pretty good & near recovery, followed by days where you feel awful and total flatline. Eventually, the good days will start to be far more frequent than the bad, and it will stop feeling like every day is a battle. Before you know it, you won’t even be thinking about rebooting because you feel totally normal again. At least, that was my experience.
Just know that if you have been struggling with this for a long time that there is hope. Be resilient. The journey is long, and might feel like it will never end. That’s sure how it felt during my reboot. There is a light at the end of the tunnel I promise. Keep pushing forward.
Love you bros.