Age 25 - The key to my recovery
I'm a 25-year old male. I found this site while searching for other information. (THANK HEAVEN for the luck).
As I read, I discovered a much bigger picture about how things work than I expected. A picture of my brain's reward system and addiction. A picture that can explain my experience with my urges, sexual desire, orgasms, and hangovers after them. I gained more knowledge about how my brain works.
Then I tried to quit (reboot). And I failed. Try after try. I was upset and curious about how it was possible that I had such strong addiction that my will is not enough to overcome it.
I read The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge (excerpts here), and I was amazedby the discoveries made in neuroscience. (I had some knowledge of the brain, but not about the power of neuroplasticity.)
It gives me huge hope and awareness that it's possible to change a lot of things even more fundamental than I could imagine. I highly recommend this book to everybody. It was the most worthwhile reading in my entire life. Also, this site contains very broad and complex information. It's very helpful to explore it.
The key thing that I overlooked during my repeated failures was the connection between orgasms-masturbation-porn-fantasy.
I could will myself to quit masturbation/orgasms due to their consequences and impact on my life. But I could not see the deep brain connections arising from my imagination deep in my mind, which was still full of porn. These connections had been strongly wired into my brain during the time I was into porn/masturbation. They created a whole big association network of addiction. So it was enough to imagine a naked female body, the act of sex/masturbation, or the feelings of the relief associated with orgasm, and soon the whole network/circuit of addiction in my mind was activated. And reinforcing itself even more strongly!
When I realized that these aspects were interconnected, I was able to clearly see why urges keep coming. So, I noticed what led to what. Notice from where to where the process goes as you become aroused.
Now that I can see that, I am aware of the whole addiction process. I can clearly see the consequences - and also the onset of my behavior/thinking. Only then can I choose to change.
So, I changed the way I treated everything connected with my addiction (especially my desires and magination). I saw everything connected with it in a completely different way. And after 2 months, the constant urges ceased. Even if an urge comes, it has no power over me anymore. And I'm happy.
The crucial part is to recognize your addiction, that is, that there is something in you that has taken over your behavior-thinking, like a computer virus in a computer. Admit it. Watch it deeply in every aspect, from every angle, to find out what you have overlooked. Look for the associations that prompt your behavior. Explore. Observe. Don't be afraid of the absolutely new things you discover. They are the most important.
To do this, it's important to clear your mind. Make time for the process, so that you can go deep into it. It can't be rushed. It can't be forced. It's best when it comes from your own deep curiosity.
Other things/activities were also helpful for me:
- I started to listen to Folk and Chillout music instead of Techno. I found that if the lyrics are not too romantic or dreamy, and if the music is not too fairy-tale like, then it's really soothing to me.
- I started to going out for walks. It helps me to clear my mind or to see things from another viewpoint.
- After I read The Brain That Changes Itself, I realized that any kind of addiction, as well as stressful / negative thinking, damage my brain, so I quit all negative thinking ("I can't do it"), self depression and anger. Anger and negative thinking can't solve anything or help with anything. That is one of the most important realizations in my life and I'm glad that I finally came to it.
- I think that a minimum of willpower is also important. Without willpower you can't do anything. Otherwise, you're like a machine that is programmed. The machine just executes, like a slave, the orders coming from the subconscious program. So you are no longer a human. And I wanna be a human, not just a slave of some program in my head.
I don't have a girlfriend now. But I agree that with a partner it could be much easier to recover from my addiction. Maybe with a girlfriend I would have realized sooner the things I realized about my addiction. Another human being can be a big eye-opener for your consciousness. I'm also seeing Karezza now as the best way to make love.
I have more energy, more time, better focus, and somehow I also have more fun in general. Once you realize the true nature of your addiction, you will never miss it. Good luck, health and an addictionless life to all of you here.
BY - 21