From Anne Moss: Jason is in his early 20s and is from Chicago. He and I were emailing back and forth for a few weeks earlier this year. I emailed him recently to follow up and see how he was doing since I’d not heard from him in a while. The first time he wrote me, he had been suffering suicidal thoughts and found this blog because of his sleep issues. Lack of sleep does contribute to depression and thoughts of suicide.
Although he says here is is struggling, I believe he has made amazing progress. He’s told his family, he’s acknowledged he has a problem, he’s gotten a job, he is seeking help and trying to connect with a support group. When he first wrote me, he would write only two sentences. Just the difference in the messages shows real progress. Recovery is not always pretty and it’s a painful yet rewarding journey. This is published with Jason’s permission.
Hi Anne Moss, I don’t remember where we left off last time.
I’m not sure if I told you already but I did have a bit of a nervous
breakdown, and I told my family stuff I was holding in for years that
I never planned on telling them.
I opened up to my parents and sisters.
I also improved my sleeping. It’s not perfect yet but I can wake up at
5:30am now, and fall asleep at 10:30ish pm. Some days easier than others.
I started working part time in a restaurant and I like it but I’m going
to have to look for something else because I’m a food prep there and
I’m getting that repetitive motion syndrome. I’m going to
figure that situation out.
I also joined a self development seminar program, and I’m still in
it, which has helped me a lot. It’s more challenging than I thought and sometimes I don’t have any motivation or I feel it’s too hard. So that’s another thing I’m working on.
I haven’t taken any medications yet.
And in recent months I’ve found out since I was 10 I have
developed a severe addiction to pornography that I didn’t know was
serious. I’ve told my family, but it’s still hard for them to understand what I’m going through. I’ve read on how it changes the brain
and burns out certain receptors. Especially in the last 3 years, the
addiction has gotten worse and I never thought it was a problem. Until I came upon some self improvement videos on youtube.
I’m on my 6th try to quit and I notice the effects are very real. After a relapse, I’m a depressed like a zombie like for a week. I lasted for 15 days at one point and my mood was elevated but my mind justified a relapse by
telling me I felt so good that a relapse couldn’t hurt.
Most days I’m not hungry and my appetite is gone, almost like the
reward system for anything other than porn has been diminished. During
the years in my addiction I objectified women and didn’t see
them as real, even with my cousin and she lives right by me.
It’s hard because I don’t see to have any accountability. I’m too
ashamed to tell my parents when I’ve failed, and since I don’t have any
friends to hang out with, sometimes I feel it doesn’t matter if I
succeed or fail. I know it’s a brain chemistry thing because at a
point, the most extreme things I watched barely made me feel anything.
I was recommended a support group for addicts of all kinds that’s based
in a church. I just left a message today hoping they get back to me soon.
The main thing I learned throughout all these tries is that it’s not
enough to quit, I have to be more proactive to replace that addiction and fill the void. But sometimes I don’t know exactly what to do or I find it
hard to focus when my brain and body are pleading for the artificial
dopamine flood to my brain.
The bad path is just so much easier to walk down, and on the good path
sometimes I just feel the light at the end of the tunnel is too far
away and I’m way closer to the the bad one so might as well fall again.
I know I’m in trouble with this and now I’m taking it seriously.
Thanks for asking.