First off, a disclaimer – I am not an expert and what I say here is my opinion. You can take it or leave it. I hope that it can be useful to someone who is looking to improve their mind and become the best self that they can.
There is an emerging understanding of neuroscience centered around the concept of neuroplacticity. If you don’t know what this is, it is worth reading about. This is no longer conjecture, but fact. Essentially neuroplacticity is a property of the brain that let’s it rewire and change structure based on changes in one’s environment. This concept is extremely useful for addicts who have ruts carved out of the brain because it means that there is hope for change and that they are not doomed to repeat the past.
This new understanding of the brain has led to some interesting discoveries. Most understand “The Power of Positive Thinking” but don’t realise the power of the neurological property that is behind it. Essentially your reality is determined by your environment and your environment is made up of your thoughts and emotions. Two people could be on vacation at Disneyland, one is having rapturous fun times, and the other is stewing over how his life sucks. The two men’s internal environments are not determined by their external environment (DisneyLand) but by the thoughts reverberating through their minds.
Your thoughts produce significant changes in hormone signalling and a host of biological changes either good or bad depending on your mental state. This is why depressed people tend to be more tired than happy people – there are countless examples of this, you only have to use your imagination and you can see the powerful link between your thoughts and how you feel physically. Ever feel more energetic on vacation? This is because of the happy and excited thoughts you are feeling as a result of a reprieve from work along with a change of scenery and fun experiences.
Anyone interested in accelerating their recovery by taking advantage of this emerging field of neuroscience should look into future visualisation techniques. Essentially you can create a new internal environment for yourself. You can see yourself as confident and having all of the things you want for yourself in life and the amazing thing is, the brain experiences your visualisation as though it actually happened and you become more and more of the man / woman you visualised yourself to be. You move from living out of your past to living into your future. It would take too long discuss all of the detail on how a person can make this happen, but there is plenty of information on the internet and in books. One book I recommend is “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Joe Dispenza. I cannot endorse all of what he says around quantum theory (these claims are unproven and not necessarily required to explain the biology of how visualisation improves the mind) however, his descriptions of how thoughts determine a person’s reality and how you can change them to create a better you, are sound and very useful.
Finally, how does all of this play into recovery from porn and “superpowers”? The answer is that when abstaining from something, a very slow rewiring of the brain is taking place. During reboot you change your internal environment to one of “I am strong, I can do this”. Changing your internal state to one that is winning at something produces noticeable increases in confidence and therefore physical benefits that accompany the improved mental state.
There is a mistaken notion that all of this comes down to increases and decreases in dopamine signalling. These ideas come from classical understandings of addiction. This old understanding is not wrong, but it is not correct either. Yes, dopamine signalling is a major factor, but the driving factor is the internal mental state. This internal mental state improves SLOWLY with abstinence. The secret is that the mental state can be “hacked” in a much shorter time through visualisation exercise and choosing your mental state for yourself.
Why then do people feel bad after relapse? Is it just because of dopamine signalling? The answer is again no. It is because after a relapse, a person will feel a sense of failure and will experience a host of very negative mental states. These mental states will fire off a biological cascade in the body that lowers energy levels, decreases feelings of wellness and happiness, and many others. Yes, it will desensitise you as well, but this is only part of the puzzle.
I should note again that I am not an expert, just someone who has put a lot of pieces together and has experienced these changes first hand. I hope this information can be useful to someone. If you disagree with me that is fine as I doubt that everything I’ve said here is spot on.