She has come back

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She has called me on the telephone. She isn't feeling ok right now and we have talked about our own problems. I have told her about my depression and, for the first time, I've told her that I have an addiction (but not what kind of addiction though I think that she can figure it out). We will talk again to each other when we feel like it. Perhaps it's time to leave space now. We understand that we need space to get through this on our own. This is a friendship, no karezza here, and I'm feeling too depersonalized for karezza right now (too cold inside). She has undergone two depressions so she knows what I'm talking about. We have also talked about episodes of abuse both of us have undergone as children. She wasn't conscious, she believed it was a dream. I remember it pretty well and in very good detail.

I'm on my 20th day. Withdrawal is hard. I did watch some porn on the 16th day but no masturbation or orgasm. Now I'm feeling that I'm going off the shore little by little and that that porn watching was probably the last. I'm feeling empty, with no feelings, I can't relate to the person I was just a few months ago, I worry about not being the same again. Anyway, I'm very conscious that I'm ill and that depersonalization and no feelings is just one aspect of depression or perhaps of the cold turkey I'm having right now. I'm starting to know how to detach myself from those thoughts so that they don't bother me obsessively. Physical exercise is now one of the things which help me the most along with rehearsing with my band. I can't rehearse every day but I do physical exercise every day. The bike is really helping me. I'll just wait for this cold empty solipsism to slowly fade away and return to feelings (because it is very hard to feel like a videocamera or a robot).

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It will pass

It must be very comforting to know that she was suffering from similar demons.

I still say that bonding behaviors might do you both good...even if you feel you aren't getting much out of them at first. Within 3 days of some daily contact I predict you'd both feel less depersonalized. They're very powerful. And no intercourse is required. (They're also good training for karezza. ;-))

Did you read this article? The Lazy Way to Stay in Love

I'm glad you're detaching some...and congratulations on your progress. It's normal to feel numb during withdrawal. Many people do.

No bonding right now

One of the reasons I have fallen into depression is that I stopped having feelings for her... or for anyone for that matter and that, in a way, I stopped being myself, no drive at all, I crashed. We live in different cities, our working schedules are also different and, anyway, we don't usually see each other much. I can't see her now as a potential relationship, this idea makes me feel empty and makes no sense to me, I can't give her love, I don't even know who I am. Now I see her as a partner in the journey, almost as a sister, but not as a lover.

It could very well be that I'm having those feelings due to the withdrawal effect, my blocks and my phobia and extreme fear to relationships but I'm certain of one thing, I don't want to force anything, I just want to let things flow naturally. If everything that's happening to me right now is a consequence of the tidal waves of neurochemicals adjusting in my brain I'll wait for the storm to pass. I don't think that starting a relationship in the middle of a depression is a good idea. Anyway I'm happy that she is still in my life.

Oh, I also purchased the book "You Are Not Your Brain". From the discussions in the forum it seems to be a pretty interesting reading and it may well apply to my case since I also tend to have compulsive thoughts.

Yes, I know

However, keep in mind that you did not try daily bonding behaviors...for the logistical reasons you named. You still think you need to fix yourself first. And yet the "fix" may be daily bonding behaviors.

I was simply pointing that out. I know you don't believe me. But if, in the future, you have the opportunity to test this theory when those "frozen fears" come up, I hope you will be flexible and curious enough to try it instead of clinging to your current belief system.

The human brain operates best with lots of close, trusted companionship and regular affectionate touch. Their absence often causes weird symptoms. It's worth finding out if feeding your brain what it evolved to thrive on would make a difference.

Maybe you two could think of each other as therapeutic friends and see what regular, friendly, non-goal-oriented touch would do. Would she travel with you for a week?

Marnia, I know you're right

In fact, affectionate touch is perhaps what I have been looking for all of my life and the lack of it could have been one of the causes leading me to porn. As far as her is concerned I have lost the loving feeling I had. It seems that in my state "clarity" (clearer thoughts) have come first, identity is coming back very slowly though somewhat changed, perhaps feelings is the last thing that will come back. I have mild feelings of a special friendship for her right now (because we understand each other so well). And as far as I know she could be still dating that other guy though I know she is not in love with him and I think she is just checking her sexuality after three years without sex, but this doesn't hurt me anymore, I have accepted it. It's like the continuity has been broken. It has been restablished by her calling me back. As I get better I'll reconnect little by little (I'm playing two concerts in January she may come to one of them). Perhaps we'll do the journey we had once planned but I want to go step by step. I need to sense the reality I'm in and the reality of my feelings because I've been out of touch with them for a very long time. I just want to let things follow their natural course.

And thanks again for all your kind words and always insightful advice :)

You're right

You don't know how you'll feel soon. Two months of no-porn could do wonders. Just plod on one day at a time.

(However, to "beat a dead horse" - as we say in English - I'll just say that to try daily bonding behaviors, you don't need romantic love. Friendship is a fine basis for a "cuddle buddy" arrangement. So if the opportunity arises, go for it. You may have the power to speed each other's healing, even without romance or intercourse.)

And you're also right that these missing connections are pushing many people toward Internet porn. Our ancestors married early. It was bad for overpopulation, but good for their mental health. Smile