I thought I had made it to 60 days. But really I've failed myself. I can't believe I somehow justified looking at static images of P. I've thrown away all the progress I've made over the past two months. I guess it started with peeking during the 5th week. I had mistaken P cravings as a returning libido. It really was only a peek. Maybe 5 minutes of static images, most not even nude, but I sure had the dopamine rush anyway. Then it turned into a weekly thing. 15 minutes here or there - still testing myself.
It is day 0 of no P, day 61 of no MO.
Staying away from P and fantasy are definitely the most important aspects of the reboot. I feel like I've been stagnating for weeks now. I'd be in flatline for a while, then I'd start getting P cravings again. I'd peek at less than hardcore stuff - mostly static images - but I could still feel that dopamine rush. Then I'd stop peeking and go back into flatline, just repeating the cycle.
That's been happening the past month.
And just like that, I'm back into a full out, unforgiving flatline. After a couple of consecutive nights of sexual dreams (the first I've had in the reboot), I'm back to feeling down, cranky, and moody. My dick is lifeless, shrunken, and shriveled. My libido is non-existent.
And just when I thought things were starting to look up and the end of ED was near, I realize I've still probably got a long way to go. After all, I was heavy into PMO before I ever got a sexually active relationship. I should have expected 60 days would not cut it.
I feel like my reboot has become stagnant. There have been no changes since last week.
On the other hand, it may be a good sign that everything is settling into a balance. I feel infinitely better than when I first started this process in the grip of PMO addiction. I'm more energetic, eager to meet and connect with people, confident, focused, and even-tempered.
Now, I'm just curious to see if the ED is close to cured. Sadly, I have no romantic prospects for the near future.
It was a mistake to think it was better to stay away from all women for the duration of the reboot. It was a decision that came from fear. I was scared of having that awkward conversation explaining my addiction and the reboot process.
But now I understand that when you finally start coming out of the flatline phase and start to have cravings again, you really need to have replaced P with something in the real world.
Tonight marks 6 weeks of no MO. Getting closer to my initial goal of 60 days.
This week has been tough. I'm SLOWLY coming out of flatline - partial nighttime erections have me tossing and turning, some morning wood. But the cravings for P seem to be coming back and I ended up browsing a couple times this week. Mostly softcore image galleries, some hardcore pics, but no video. And NO relapse, although I came close.
And on the 40th night, I clicked on a bunch of photos in a nude (not hardcore) gallery.
I've got the craving to MO, but it's definitely not as strong as it was before the reboot. Is it possible I can see these pictures and appreciate their [ahem] beauty without admitting I've just thrown 40 days of the reboot down the drain? Or am I just fooling myself? I've asked the question before whether the reboot is cumulative, but I'm not sure there's a real answer out there.
Am I really back to square one?
I guess if we're being really technical, I've been rebooting for about 4 months now.
The first month or so I was with someone who accepted my issues, but wasn't willing to give up the sex. We would have sex (to O) once or twice a week on the weekends. All the while, I would abstain from PM the remainder of the time.
We broke up around Thanksgiving time and I relapsed to PMO for about a week. I imagine that relapse was a complete setback to square one. Or was it?
From the beginning of December, I went about 3 weeks with no PMO and relapsed once on Dec. 23rd.
I've fought the idea of online dating during the reboot process for a few reasons:
1. I want to meet women in the real world
2. The process of online dating is pretty similar to P use - a gallery of images where you choose the most appealing one
3. I used online dating (somewhat successfully) last year and it ended it not-so-great breakups
4. It's a huge blow to the ego (more on this later)