Age 22 - 1.5 year report: self-discipline the key
I'll keep this brief. I am writing this post because I know from the bottom of my heart that I would not have been able to succeed in overcoming my addiction if it was not for the success stories I read on this website, so I'm hoping my story will inspire others to keep trying in their pursuit to overcome this terrible addiction. My background is that I started watching porn at age 11 and did it continually for about 10 years. Due to the people around me, I never thought it was a very bad habit because everyone else my age thought it was normal. However, looking back now I realize how socially introverted it made me because I always thought I was abnormal for watching it and the guilt made me shy around everyone.
Eventually around age 21 I realized how bad it was and started learning about sites like yourbrainrebalanced and yourbrainonporn. Reading those materials on those sites instantly made sense to me because I could relate to almost everything that was being said. So I tried my 90 day recovery plan and relapsed many many times, but a year and a half later I believe that I am almost completely free of porn.
My last time watching porn was about 60 days ago. I have compiled a list of key things that I believe people need to have in order to overcome this terrible addiction. I will say the most obvious thing that most people already know: IT IS HARD TO OVERCOME ADDICTION. I guarantee you that fighting this addiction will be one of the hardest things you will ever do in your life. So keep that in mind as you read through my list.
1. You must have a can't lose attitude - No one recovers from addiction on their very first try. You will relapse, that is a fact that you have to accept. However, what is more important is the attitude you have after the relapse. If its something like "Oh I will never beat this why am I trying" you will never recover. The attitude that you must have is "Okay I relapsed, but I am going to learn from this mistake and try my absolute hardest to never repeat this mistake. I don't care if I am 100 years old trying to fight this addiction I will fight it till I dye, I can't lose". The moment you accept the fact in your heart that living with this addiction is not an option for you, you will take one of the biggest steps to overcoming this addiction.
2. Learning from your mistakes/Picking your battles - Like I said before, everyone will relapse. The difference between people who eventually become clean and the ones that don't are people identify their mistakes and act on them before the mistakes occur again. The quicker you identify your triggers the quicker you will become clean. Do not try to be a hero and say "oh thats my trigger but don't worry I can handle it". The quicker you accept the fact that you are weak and if faced with a trigger you will relapse the quicker you will overcome your addiction. I always told myself to pick my battlefield. Fighting a battle after my trigger has already been introduced is a battle I know I cannot win. So I always fight my battles before the trigger is introduced. For example, if I am about to watch a music video that is sexually explicit I know I will lose the battle. That is why my battle starts at the link for the music video, I make sure not to click it.
3. Putting discipline in your life - Disciplining yourself in other aspects of your life is a key to overcoming addiction. Once you start controlling your desires for other things in your life, like not bingeing on food or having a good sleep schedule, that will slowly play into helping with your porn addiction. Once you withhold something your body really wants it creates a chemical reaction in your brain that does not feel very good. The more you do it the less bad this chemical reaction feels. Therefore, the more discipline you have in your life the less impact these chemical reactions have on your brain so it doesn't feel as bad when you withhold pornography from yourself. I strongly recommend fasting once a week to people who are serious about giving up porn. Food and water are the two most basic needs for human beings, even more than sex. Once you withhold food and water from yourself, sex becomes way less important. You constantly withhold food and water from yourself (once a week from sunrise to sundown) it will be much easier to control your urges for sex, trust me it works really well.
The last thought I will leave you on is that this battle will never end, however, it does get a lot easier. Even though I have been clean for about two months now I know if I go back to my trigger I will relapse. Other than that however, I don't even think about my addiction anymore. It now plays such a small role in my life I don't even think about it anymore. If I see a trigger I make sure to get myself out of the situation (which now isn't that hard anymore), but most of the day now I don't even think about my addiction which is a stark contrast to where I was at when I was beginning this battle a year and a half ago. I hope this post helped, that was my only intention of writing it.
Best of luck to all of you.