I have just completed 4 full days of my own sobriety. My commitment is to achieve a very extended period of time with no sex, masturbation, or romantic dating of any kind. I believe this is important to create a healthy baseline for healing. Interestingly, lack of getting off, so far, seems like a breeze compared to my longing for romantic connection. Even though it's been a few days, I feel like I'm going crazy by keeping myself from hooking up with so many potential partners, even though I know we wouldn't have sex. I'm discovering just how much validation I've learned to get from others in the context of romantic dating. This urge seems to be stronger even than the getting off urge. At least for now. I mostly feel afraid -- afraid that I might not be able to handle experiencing myself outside of the context of a romantic other. Even though I'm only planning on 3 full months of no dating. This is not a long time, but feels like an eternity for someone who so easily connects with other people. I realize that I have the knack and history of creating dates -- for sex or for more serious connections -- with the ease of a fish in water. Not doing so makes me feel like I'm choking and gasping to breathe for my life. If getting off, dating, and romantic behaviors make up my addictive cycle (which indeed they do), I feel both proud and terrified to have so far made it through 4 full days. I just hope that my expectation for a real shift in my brain and body will start to kick in eventually because the withdrawal symptoms are unspeakably difficult.
I'd appreciate hearing from others with encouragement or similar experiences confronting this. Just letting myself ask for help like this is a radical shift for me.