In this video coaching newsletter I read a PIED success story posted on RebootNation.org. I chose to share this thread because it demonstrates how recovery can take longer than we may think possible and that by pushing through despair and hopelessness we can eventually find success when we least expect it.
The full text of J’s post is below in italics. My comments are in bold.
Gabe, your story gave me the strength I needed to do this. Thank you. I owe you.
He’s referring to Gabe Deem, who was one of my original inspirations to undertake my own journey away from porn. Gabe has shared his story on multiple platforms and runs the website RebootNation.org, which includes a forum for discussion. Check it out if you’re not already a member.
The support on this site, RebootNation, and YBOP are literally the only reasons I am alive today. I mean that. I was ready for suicide, gun was in my hand and loaded 8 months ago. I was going to lose my family due to PMO. NoFAP, Gary Wilson, Gabe Deem, and a well timed response by Noah Church saved me. And all of you. Tomorrow is 299 Days.
I know how horrible it can feel to be caught in a cycle of addiction and feel powerless to pull yourself out of it. In the depths of that pit, it can feel like death is the best answer, but it’s NOT the answer. We have the power to heal from porn addiction, and porn-induced sexual dysfunctions are reversible. There is hope. But that hope only exists as long as we’re alive. I can guarantee that I’ve worked with guys who have struggled longer than you (any of you reading this) to more extreme levels than you, guys who I can guarantee have lost more than you and felt weaker than you, and I have seen them turn their lives around and start living up to who they want to be. You can do the same and there is so much to hope for, but only if you’re 100% invested in life.
If any one of you is ever seriously considering suicide, please seek the counsel of a therapist. There are so many options available, and you can find happiness again. Don’t allow pornography any more power over your destiny.
Today is day 298 of NoFap for me, and I am a very different guy than I was before.
Me: 43 year old law enforcement professional. Married 10 years.
Before Nofap: selfish, demanding, irritated all the time with wife. Drank 3 nights a week, a few beers. Whenever I didn’t get what I wanted sexually right away, I would PMO. This had increased over the past few years, resulting in weaker erections and more demands of wife (who is gorgeous, educated, and in love with me, but all this made it so we had sex 1x a month or less. She was just a lust object to me, I am ashamed to say). PMO nearly ended my marriage when she found it on my phone.
Recent research has correlated pornography use with romantic breakups (1) and the dissolution of marriage (2). Over 60 studies done over the last several decades have shows us a strong correlation between pornography use and relationship dissatisfaction, reduced commitment to one’s partner, lesser opinion of one’s partner, and greater likelihood of separation.
Even among friends of mine who are not addicted to pornography nor suffer from any sexual dysfunctions, when they have tried going pornfree, they have all told me that their relationship quality improved, the passion in the bedroom went way up, and their partners noticed positive improvements in their attitude and affection. In my experience, pornography is seldom beneficial and usually harmful to a relationship.
After Nofap: PIED ended on day 265. With AMAZING hot, connected sex with my wife. I feel better every single day.
This has been hell. Ups and downs, suicidal and then feeling good. I never knew I had PIED until I stopped PMO, and viewing porn (when caught, I was told she would divorce me if I did it again.) That was all i needed. NoFap was do or die. I wasn’t going to lose my family for this shit. I never went back to PMO or fapping. Four times my wife got so frustrated with my mood swings and said she was going to leave. Plus lack of attention as I was trying to reboot (I was not very good at communication in the beginning.) We are now as we were 5 years ago, before I started daily PMO, then escalated to EVERY SPARE MINUTE PMO. I had no idea what I was doing to my brain. If i could take it back i would. But I am well on the way to recovery. Stay the course. STICK WITH IT. Journal so you can see your ups and downs and track your moods. I HAD NO IDEA I COULD HAVE SEX until I TRIED. Put yourself out there, risk failure. Here is a list of my ups and down days, in a cycle:
22up…FLATLINE-43 down….9up….7down…33up…7down….7up…6down….13 up….6down…7up…6down…9 up….5 down, 5 up, 3 down, 11 up, 2 down, 3 up, 1 down, 1 up, 3 down, 8 up, 2 not so flat, 1 up, 1 down, 11 up , 1 down, 2 up, 7 down, 7 up….( updated 12/27/18)… PIED ended On day 265 with PIV.
I started dreaming again on DAY 194- Dreams are a sign reward circuit is HEALING
Dreams: Day 74, 194, 201, 202, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 211, 212, 214, 217, 221, 222, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 231, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241,243, 246, 247, 248, 249, 251, 252, 253, 255, 256, 257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271
Morning Wood: 72, 88, 150, 198, 205, 206, 208, 211, 214, 221, 222, 229, 231, 235, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241,249, 251, 252, 253, 255, 256, 257, 258, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271…..and keeps getting better.
I really like how diligent this rebooter was in tracking these variables, because these data can really help us to understand the nature of recovery. Notice the up-and-down roller coaster ride he experienced, frequently going from feeling good to feeling down and back again. Don’t get discouraged by these fluctuations: they are normal.
Also note that he didn’t have a single instance of morning wood until day 72, and it only became semi-regular after 200 days. Most people despair if they’re not seeing huge gains within three months, but this just goes to show that though healing can take much longer than 90 days, big changes can still certainly happen.
The return of dreams is another interesting variable and something commonly reported as a sign of recovery among rebooters. I myself never lost my dreams, but once I quit porn they began to be much more vivid and frequent. Sexual dreams often increase in frequency and intensity as well. Commonly these dreams are about porn in the beginning but over time become focused more on real sex.
Abstinence periods, by duration: 34 days, 71 days, 70 days, 92, 5 so far… after 92 days, while moods were a little down, I had really hot sex. This broke my flatline. Gary Wilson was right, sometimes a long rebooter needs an orgasm to get moving again. I had sex for the next two nights. I am spacing orgasms to make sure i am not going to go back into flatline. Had no “orgasm hangover.”
Usually flatlines end on their own. However, when a flatline lasts a very long time (over six months), sometimes a rebooter’s sex drive seems to need a nudge in order to get back up and running. At this point, even if one feels like they’re still in a flatline, it can be beneficial to rewire and begin attempting sex.
Suppliments: L-Arginine- 3000 mg per day, broken up in to 3 doses. Helps enormously with anxiety that comes with flatline.
Stay strong my friends. I am crying as I write this. I am alive. I have hope. My dick works again. My marriage is really doing well. Communication is great. My kids love spending time with me. I am sober of PMO, I don’t drink anymore. My wife and I are awesome We always loved each other, but now we are incredibly close again. I am happy.
STICK WITH NOFAP. IT WORKS. So many times I almost threw in the towel. Stick with it, you will recover. I did. PIED and all.
I love you guys.
That’s a beautiful, inspiring story, J! Thank you for sharing your experiences. For anyone who reads this, I hope you learn from stories like this to be patient. Often guys have been using porn consistently for decades, and it’s not realistic to expect all of that conditioning to reverse just within 2-3 months.
If you would like to read the original thread from J on Reboot Nation, click here.