I want to introduce myself, and I know this is lengthy, so bear with me. I've been lurking around this site, reading stories of rebooties for a few months now. I've wanted to join in for a while now, but i guess i'm just shy. I'm a 20 year old healthy male, and i'm addicted to porn. I had previously gone 11 days PMO free, then releapsed yesterday, and again today, though i didn't binge and they were quick sessions, if that. 2 nights ago all my dreams were sexual dreams. the last dream, I was at a party with some friends. This one guy i know was with this chick, but it wasn't his gf in waking life, it was a different girl. I ended up hooking up with her. We were making out and I went to take off her top, then out of nowhere, I came in the dream. I woke up with a start, thinking i had a wet dream, but i was clean down there. This isn't the first time a sexual dream has lead to my releapse, and i'm not sure how to deal with them. I'll have to just take them in stride, I guess.
I first started watching porn when I was 11 or 12. Course back then I didn't know what it was or what it would do to me, other then it was the best thing i'd seen up untill that point, or probably ever see. I started with pictures and reading little 'confessionals', i guess thats what there called. Sex stories to say the least. 1 day i stumbles upon some hardcore porn. At the time it was extremely shocking for me at that age and caught me completely off guard. Days after I had experienced some unnamable force in my chest. Now i know what it was: a mixture of shame, guilt, and anxiety. I blamed it on some show i saw at a friends house, celebrity deathmatch. It was so overwhelming that days later I told my dad that I had seen something that I shouldnt but didnt say what it was. He was confused but supportive. I had never associated that drowning feeling with porn until recently; after that day I found more porn, forgot all about what I had felt and continued on with porn and excessive masterbation for years untill I found the YBOP website 7 months ago in February.
Back when I was 19, I discovered the YBOP website while seaching for answers on ED, because I hadn't been getting morning wood and a failed attempt at intercourse with this random chick I met at a party (which I regret, though it did lead me here). She had initiated it that night, and I had only spoke to her for a few minutes. Even though I was both drunk and high at the time, I knew something was up. I felt nothing for the girl, no real intamicy, and I emulated some of the things that I had seen in the porn I had watched so religiously. I got semi-hard, but it just seemed to fade away. I should mention now that i'm a virgin and never had a relationship. I'm a good looking guy (alledgedly) and in the past there's been girls apparently interested in me but I usually shy away and embrace being alone with my porn. wow that sounds shitty. Anyways, I watched all the videos on YBOP and read the articles. I had finally found what was off with me; I had a porn addiction, plain and simple. Yet those 7 months from then till now has been anything but plain or simple.
Going into my first attempt at a full reboot, I had been suffering from porn-indused ED, but it was more then that. For years I had felt a lot of different symptoms, from anxiety and social anxiety, a lack of confidence, apathy in general, and not so much depression but more of an emotional numbness that i cant quite describe because well, it felt like nothing at all. In high school i'd binge for hours at a time into the night, which lead to lack of sleep. That negativly affected my concentration and energy in school and sports. Thinking back now, the only thing I really wanted to do everyday and look forward to was PMOing. I didn't care about what I did on a daily basis and watched my potential go awry in favor of long, lonely nights of short term gratification on the computer.
Recently it's been paronia; when i'm with my friends I feel as if every laugh is mocking me, that they talk bad behind my back, think i'm crazy, and on and on. Through out the process I've doubted that at the end of my reboot, none these things will be fixed and nothing will be changed. That I'm not addicted, that it's the weed (I used to smoke daily before my reboot but stopped bacause I got an HOCD attack and a couple of panic attacks). All of these thoughts have lead to releapses in the past.
My first attempt was my longest; around the 42 day mark. I never felt tempted to PMO really, just heavy withdrawls. The first few days were the worst, with crazy mood swings, headaches, brain fog,and those familiar apathetic feelings. I had a fever, cold sweat and a sore throat to go along with my inability to sleep; I thought I had mono at the time. I became lonely and depressed, felt fatigued and I had no libido or sex drive to speak of. The worst for me was the HOCD and the intrusive, unwanted thoghts I was having. When I had my first outbrake of HOCD (I don't remember if it was before or after I found YBOP), it was... beyond my comprehension. I simply could not believe I was gay, yet it felt as if I knew it to be true and I thought up bullshit reasons as to why it was true. It drove me crazy that night. It was hard to acknowledge yet always in my mind. I'm sorry if i'm not making much sense, but this is how I remember it. It felt so real. Sometimes there'd be hours where it seemed to me that I couldn't slow my train of thought, usually about me being gay, or some crazy made up story. I find it ironic that when my HOCD was the worst during my ongoing reboot, I was both trying desperatly to convince myself that I was straight, and not watch porn at the same time, lol.
I'm glad to say that I havn't suffered from HOCD in a month or two. If it does pop in my head, I let it pass or focus on whatever i'm doing and distract myself. For anyone reading this who suffers from HOCD, just know that it WILL come to pass over time as you move forward with your reboot. That, and I recomend that you read the book The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge, for reasons mentioned on YBOP, and that it helped me a lot with understanding OCD in general and brain plasticity.
My first releapse came after I experimented with masterbation, which turned out to be a bad choice. I wasnt completely hard, and it was lackluster. The next day I decided to 'test' myself to see if I was addicted, to PMO later that night and if i felt the withdrawl effects, then I knew it to be true. I was lying to myself, I guess; the porn addicted part of my brain just wanted its dopamine fix. That led to a week long binge. It was around that time that went to the docters to find out that I DID have mono, along with an inflammed liver. That made everything much more difficult because I had to stay home, lay around doing nothing and stare at my computer all day long. I couldn't see my friends much or work out, and I dropped a few of my classes, which did nothing to help my depression at the time. From that point till now I've gone from abstaining from PMO for a week or 2, to binging for a week, then back to abstaining. The longest I've gone was 16 days. I've struggled by myself for a long time, so I made an account here on reuniting, and here I am. Even though I feel loads better then when I started, I know I still have a long way to go. My goal is 90 days free of porn, masterbation, orgasm, and fantasy. I hope to find myself looking back at this moment, knowing that this was my first sep toward a full reboot today Along The Way.