I'm sorry to say I've found myself in a really dark place. This morning I was making vague suicide plans. All very distant and nothing that will be acted upon, but they're not thoughts that I want to be dealing with at the moment.
The thing that is keeping me going is that I know that these thoughts will pass. Starting and then stopping the Sertraline so quickly will no doubt have had an impact on this. The challenge of staying off porn is no doubt having an impact - my addict brain is trying to make me feel bad so that I'll give in and give it the dopamine it craves. The fact that I am just short of 11 months sober is no doubt having an impact on this. The immediate cause is anxiety, which is making me feel trapped and hopeless (which in itself may relate to my two addictions, who knows?).
This is hard. Perhaps I didn't realise how hard it would be. Stopping drinking has taken me years. The breakthrough came in 2009 (I think) when I had an in-patient detox. I never wanted to get back into the state where I needed that again.
I had various drinking adventures after that. I tried to control it. I tried to drink at weekends and took Antabuse on Mondays. I tried to have the occasional weekend of drinking. Nothing worked, though I was able to keep it together well enough that I didn't spiral down and need to go to hospital again. In the end, I think I finally accepted that I couldn't drink. At least not for a very long time.
I hope stopping porn isn't going to take a similar amount of time. I certainly didn't anticipate it being this difficult. I thought I'd just make a decision and stop. I've never been comfortable with using porn, I always thought it was wrong and always hid it, I just needed to act in a way that reflected that. I didn't anticipate actual physical withdrawals; I didn't anticipate these terrible moods and mood swings.
I thought it would all be positive, the losing of the negatives that came with my compulsive porn use - the guilt, the shame, the stress of dealing with delayed work piling up, the lying. I thought I'd start to feel alert and alive and calm. I have felt those things, particularly at the first attempt, when I did feel genuinely great for a while.
Since then it's been much harder and the benefits have been much less apparent. They will come, I'm sure. I just need to stick with it.
I am finding it very useful to watch and read a lot of resources around this. The people who have gone through this and come out of the other side are a great inspiration, particularly Gabe - he's easy to find online if you're looking, try Reboot Nation on YouTube. I'm incredibly grateful to these people for their bravery and honesty.
I've been watching these videos right now. They give me strength. They've inspired me to do more about sharing resources myself. So I'm going to post a couple of those.
Take care. If you spent it, thank you for your time.