Growing out of it - my abstinence odyssey

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by ee6, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. ee6

    ee6 New Member

    Introduction

    I've been addicted to porn for most of my life. Just turned 30 recently, and I feel it's time to move on. I'm successful in most areas in my life, except with relationships with women (my longest relationship lasted 3 months). In that arena, I'm not self confident or sure of myself. Also, although I'm working my dream job, I feel that I'm capable of moving up within my company, but the lack of self confidence is a barrier there as well.

    My previous longest streak in recent memory is 15 days. (I may have had a 20 day streak around 10 years ago.) I also started thinking in terms of how many times I relapse a month, to help avoid binging, in which my lowest record is 9 times this last August.

    Porn Filters don't work for me

    My method to prevent myself from relapsing was to lock my computer down with porn filters, and hide the password from myself by writing it down on a piece of paper and leaving it at work. Unfortunately, I kept finding ways around it. I would get the faprage and find a loophole to get around the filter, or I would find a site that slipped through the filter. I also realised that it doesn't take much to get me going - I had to block Facebook, YouTube, and any swimsuit site. Everytime I would relapse, and then close the loophole.

    It escalated to the point where I had to COMPLETELY block the internet on my phone using the web filter, and leave my computer at work. This worked for a while, but made me a little bored on weekends because I didn't have my computer. And I would still find ways to relapse - taking the Xbox into my room for example. Then I found a clever way to crack the web filter on my phone - permanently so the loophole could not be closed. I gave up on filters because I can't get rid of my phone.

    I realized that by relying on filters I wasn't really addressing the problem. As soon as porn became available again, I would binge. I need to take the problem head-on. I've heard the advice that porn filters could help get me started, but I don't think that would work for me because I know the day I remove them I will relapse.

    My new method

    There is a point of no-return, and that's the moment I open up a porn site. I call it the event horizon - up until I reach that point, I can still back out, but once I pass it the I rarely get back. When I get to that point I am confronted with a decision. I know what the right thing to do is, but the lure of porn is so strong it sometimes overrides my higher judgement. Sometimes it gets so strong that the right thing to do seems to be to look at porn.

    You know there's all this advice on how to shut your thoughts off? Usually the advice is about how to get to sleep when your stressed out, and it usually recommends meditation. I would like to be able to "Turn Off" the urges when they come. I bought a meditation cushion recently, and have been attending group meditation sessions once a week, and I think I'm on the right track in this regard. If I could turn off the urges when they come, it will allow me to make the right decision. Hopefully one day, it won't even really be a decision but an obvious course of action. Instead of having a habit of looking at porn, I will have a habit of not looking at porn.

    On my longer streaks I did notice a problem - I was completely bored at times. To solve this problem I was thinking of making a weekly to-do list. On this list I would like to have items such as "Ask these people if they want to play a board game" or "Ask that girl out". I'm choosing activities that involve socializing because I'm already maxed out on personal fitness activities.

    Anyway, I'm going to be posting on here regularly, and I'm going to get one of those spreadsheets to keep track of my relapses. Wish me luck.
     
  2. Amp111

    Amp111 New Member

    Welcome and good luck.

    Giving up P is going to create the opportunity to take on some self discovery - here are some helping tips

    Talk to someone about it - someone you can trust - be completely honest if you relapse you relapse but the power of talking about it and seeing it for what it is is huge

    Also look at this site http://www.recoverynation.com It is amazing and has really helped me get an idea of how to leave this behind.

    Good luck
     
  3. Foxhunter

    Foxhunter Deflect & Parry

    This exactly describes me as well. Just know that you are not alone and it is good that you identified the problem. Fight as hard as you can. I am nearing success and it has taken me over a year to see results, but mostly because of my own FEAR.

    Limit the MO and get rid of the PMO. That is your mission.
     
  4. detoxfox

    detoxfox New Member

    Good that you're here.

    Love the Event Horizon term for this.

    I agree with Foxhunter that a great mission to focus on is limiting MO and getting rid of the PMO. I would add getting rid of the P too given the Event Horizon.

    I can only say that this approach has been working wonders for me. I've had three PMO sessions since mid-September which is to me amazing. Be realistic, journal as much as you can and you'll get results.
     
  5. learningOrder

    learningOrder Member

    Hey man, welcome - congrats on starting your journal. Cutting out P from your life is super worthwhile.

    There was one thing you wrote that I want to address:
    This may be true, but really your brain will often start guiding you in that direction long before you even open up your computer. It is easier (actually much, much easier) to avoid anything arousing or suggestive long before it becomes that moment of no-return. At least that has been my experience and what I understand from the other journals I've read.

    In terms of boredom, I recommend getting a specific replacement activity. For me it's playing guitar, but it could be anything simple. A lot of people run or do some form of exercise. It helps to have somewhere to put that extra nervous energy.

    Anyhow, welcome and good luck!
     
  6. ee6

    ee6 New Member

    Thanks for your support guys.

    I've finished day 1. I've been reading "The Slight Edge", as recommended by people on this forum, and it's been giving me inspiration. I plan to start a daily blog, with new posts every morning, that will have affirmations, things I am grateful for, positive experiences, etc. It will not detail my fight with PMO, except perhaps indirectly through positive affirmations.

    I've also made a copy of the recommended "PMO spreadsheet" (Darxidius' format). I've added a new "P" column, however. This should deter me from opening a porn site in the first place (or ANY site that I deliberately go into that I would consider arousing). For me there is rarely an MO without a P, so I believe this is a good idea.

    I'm not sure if I'm going to write to THIS journal every day. The problem with writing to this journal is that I'm reminding myself about the problem, and the goal here is for all of this to be a non-issue. During my better streaks, I've had full days where I literally did not think of porn or my counter once. If and when I experience those, I see no need to write here.
     
  7. Wilco

    Wilco Member

    Drive and you will to succeed: I personally believe that a man who is addicted to pornography is not much of a success. Take a look at your life. Are you even close to where you want to be? The time spent on porn subtracts from the time you could be spending on self development, improving your skills for your career or building business relationships. Incessant masturbation dulls testosterone level. Studies
    have shown that high testosterone levels equate to better performance at work, increased focus and a strong desire and tenacity to succeed.
     
  8. ee6

    ee6 New Member

    Uh oh, here comes the weekend...the REAL test.

    I actually do a lot over my weekend (swimming, cycling, working out). Just not enough so that I'm doing some kind of activity every waking moment. The #1 cause of relapse for me isn't triggers, it's actually boredom.

    I'm pretty sure I'll pull through. The amount of effort I've put in setting up this user and journal, setting up my spreadsheet, and setting up my blog I think creates this sense of urgency and commitment in my brain that prevents PMO urges from gaining momentum in the first place.
     
  9. ee6

    ee6 New Member

    Added a "Looked at P" counter to my profile signature. Although I've been doing well not PMOing, I've been peeking at P pretty much every day (just one site really, the type of site with a daily update). The P hasn't caused any major urges yet, but it may. My resolve is strong now, but it's amazing how a strong resolve can get tossed out the window just by seeing the right image. I don't want to slip up for a dumb reason.
     
  10. ee6

    ee6 New Member

    Day 14

    I've only been to Day 14 and 15 once since I was a kid (15 is my record). In my past experience, after day 12, the urges mutate into a different form, and I need to be careful, especially since it's the weekend. In the past I would get the following thoughts:
    • "Man, 15 days! I should reward myself! Possibly by doing it...only once though..."
    • "It's been a while...I should make sure it still works..."
    • "Wow, I'm official immune to the effects of P! Allow me to demonstrate..."
    • "It's been two weeks, I wonder what new content will be on my favorite P site..."
    • "I bet if I MO'd now it feel really good because it's been so long..."

    Fortunately, I haven't had these thoughts yet, and I have a series of activities planned today and tomorrow to avoid boredom, including working out, swimming, reading, cycling, and house work.
     
  11. ee6

    ee6 New Member

    Day 16

    Officially broke my record! And staying strong! It also just occurred to me that when I got up at 6 this morning and got on the computer, I didn't even THINK about anything to do with P or anything to do with nofap.
     
  12. ee6

    ee6 New Member

    Day 21

    It's the weekend again. Lately the urges have been coming and going. I would think to myself, "I wish I could look at P." I find myself fantasizing, even during meetings at work.

    I must stay strong. This is my first run on this site, and the first run I've had while writing a blog. This is also the longest streak I've ever had. What depresses me is that if I relapse, I won't be able to get this far again because the novelty of all of this would have worn off. It will be my second attempt here and because it'll be my second attempt I won't have the same drive as I have now.
     
  13. ee6

    ee6 New Member

    Day 0

    Lessons Learned
    It's been one month since I've joined this forum. Over the last month I saw my biggest nofap record yet - 21 days. But then I succumbed to the temptations and I relapsed. I relapsed 12 times over the last 11 days. I'm am not angry about this - I am merely reporting this for the sake of this journal. I have noticed that my occasional unnecessary aggression is coming back in social situations, but fortunately, nobody else really has.

    Here are some bullet points about my achievements and about what I learned:
    • I now get up at 6 am, every day. The neat thing about that is I don't really go to bed much earlier. It's like I've added and extra hour-and-a-half to my life every day.
    • When I get up, I write to my online journal. I write positive affirmations, things that I am grateful for, and I write about a positive thing that has happened to me recently.
    • I send a message to five girls through online dating whom I haven't messaged before. It doesn't sound like much. But since I didn't miss a day that means that over the last 30 days I've messaged 150 women. I'm actually seeing results - I've been on one date already, and I'm going to go on a date with another girl next week.
    • I read self-help books regularly.
    • There was at least one day where fapping/nofap/porn did not even cross my mind.
    • Once I relapse, there is a strong "physical" addiction (basically, my D is telling me it wants more) that comes and goes for three days after I relapse.
    • One of the reasons I relapse is that I "forget" how important this is. I suddenly think it's okay to PMO.
    • For some reason I believe that I will see someone I know on a porn site, and that is one of my main motivations for going to them. NOTE TO SELF: THE CHANCES OF THIS ARE SO SLIM THAT THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN IN MY LIFETIME. I LITERALLY HAVE MORE CHANCES AT WINNING THE LOTTO. AND EVEN IF IT DID HAPPEN, SO WHAT? END NOTE.


    How to occupy myself
    Now, I've realized the secret of how to occupy my time with activities, and I realize I've been doing it wrong before. I would plan my weekends like this:
    • "Okay, what can I fill my weekend up with and how can I fill it in order to keep me away from my computer so that I don't relapse?"
    I find that this line of thought is that as soon as I find myself at my computer again, I may take a peek. Or I might just end up doing a boring activity, and end up spending hours WILLING myself not to relapse. Hanging out with friends definitely helps, but I can't hang out with them 24/7, they have there own lives.

    It's the WILLING that's the problem (that's why I put it in bold). I need to pick up habits that replace the PMO habits - wire in some new habits instead of putting all my energy into NOT falling for my old habits. It should be AUTOMATIC and not require WILLPOWER. I would like to increase my reading, writing, exercising, etc., and put them into a series of time slots in my week that replace PMO. After a while, I won't even have to think about not thinking about P. It will be like "not fishing" or "not rock climbing" - I don't think about "not fishing" all the time.

    Defining the rules for my counters

    I need to do this because I've actually conned myself into looking at grey-area material by saying "This doesn't count as porn, so I can search for it and view it without resetting my P counter". Of course, it ends up being a trigger, and I end up deciding to look at porn anyway, and porn on day 21 is pretty damn intense.

    I will reset my MO counter if:
    • I masturbate all the way to orgasm (duh).
    • I masturbate IN ANY WAY to orgasm - bed sheets, inside of pants, etc.
    • I don't masturbate, but I use my MIND to get to an orgasm. I've accomplished that a couple times in my life. Other times I've tried it, and then when nothing happens I go "screw it" and just use my hand.
    • Basically, if I have an Orgasm in any intentional way.

    I will reset my P counter if:
    • I intentionally look at porn.
    • I go to a porn site for any reason, EVEN IF THE IMAGES IN THE BROWSER ARE SHUT OFF!!
    • I intentionally look at porn on websites that are not even porn sites, such as YouTube.
    • I intentionally LISTEN to porn from anywhere.
    • I intentionally READ porn from anywhere.
    • I watch one of those STUPID hypnotic orgasm videos!! That's what caused my relapse!!
    • Basically, if I intentionally stimulate myself (by any means) with any material that I find arousing.

    That should cover all bases.
     

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