Age 54 - 105 days: overcoming the greatest challenge of my life.
Well, first off I arrive here already moving away from masturbation. I stopped smoking cigarettes twenty five years ago, decided shortly after that smoking weed and drinking were no longer for me either. Gambling was tough though. It's been with me for years. Finally getting the upper hand on it. Mostly lottery. I see it for what it is. Food was a big addiction. At one point my weight was pushing 230 pounds on a 5'8 frame. Nowadays I'm addicted to Bikram Yoga and low fat vegan nutrition. Can't really call them addictions, they're good habits that have brought me down to near 160 pounds feeling and looking great. Having battled several bad habits / addictions and come away somewhat wiser I'm down to what seems like the last skeleton, masturbation.
Masturbation has been a lifelong habit. Whether in a relationship or not it's been a drug always available for a quick buzz or comfort. After finally addressing my issues with gambling by acknowledging that if it's to be it's up to me I'm left wondering, "what if this other thorn were removed?" I've been abstaining from masturbation off and on for about a month, but not with the definition that this forum promotes. I've gone 4, 5, maybe six days at a time then back into the tube sites to make sure everything's working okay. Everything seems to work okay but I'm totally intrigued by the prospect of a total reboot.
It's been about five years since separation and divorce. I've had a couple girlfriends but mostly I'm apathetic. I want a relationship but I'm not doing much about it. There are areas of my life that could use improvement. Who knows what the effects are of taking an hour or two or three to indulge in fantasy? It'll probably be like the day I decided to stop drinking Diet Coke. Who would've imagined that Diet Coke would become repulsive and plain water so refreshing? Not to mention all the benefits that came with starting down the road to regaining beach worthy conditioning. I won't be surprised if this changes my life. In fact, I expect it.
I have been through the valley of many of life's sickest and stickiest habits: alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, gambling and junk food. For some gambling and alcohol are mere recreation. For me they were consuming. My departure from the first three items listed was about twenty five years ago. One habit, an addiction, has been with since I was about eleven years old.
One hundred and five days ago I made a decision to turn away from porn and masturbation completely, for good. Thanks to the commitment and the help I've received from this forum I've upheld that commitment. For the first time in my life I am free of porn and masturbation.
The first thing I did when I came to this forum was to read about the benefits of life without PM. That's how I've overcome every bad habit I've ever had. I think about the consequences that I'm experiencing because of the bad habit, I focus my attention on the benefits I'll gain by leaving the bad habit behind then I make the decision to go in the opposite direction and I keep going. Is it just that simple? Not always. Sometimes, in fact, most of the time, there's a little voice that reminds me of the immediate pleasure or reward that the bad habit delivers. There was a period that preceded my change in which I was on and off with PM. The definite decision and this forum helped me through the transition.
Now that I've moved on I realize that one slip could wipe out everything I've accomplished. I've experienced this with every bad habit or addiction I've overcome and I'm determined to not allow that to happen with this addiction, or any of my past addictions. There is no such thing as just once. I'm fifty-five years old and for the first time in my life the blinders are off.
Not only am I free of this soul stealing habit, I am as healthy as I've ever been. I do yoga every day. I eat a plant based diet. I'm living life on my own terms. Thank you to all who have helped me. For those who are feeling the worthlessness that this habit can cause, realize that you can make a firm decision and put this behind you if you simply focus on the benefits you'll gain by arresting the habit, focus on the consequences you bring by allowing it to continue, and stop! The pain of craving your habit happens in the moment. Realize that it's only a moment, and get out of the moment. Do something, don't stay in that moment. Your pain will dissolve, you'll find yourself doing something else and the moment will have passed. Each time you move beyond the moment, it gets easier and the moments become less frequent until you get to the point where they all but dissolve.
When the pain of addiction dissolves you're left with clear vision. You realize that a picture is not a woman. You stop giving a damn about what people think. What do you think? That's what matters. You realize beautiful women are everywhere and they're just people. I'm starting to babble so it's time to move on. So much has changed in a hundred and five days that I can't begin to describe how different things are. Take the plunge. You'll begin feeling better immediately and it keeps getting better and better. The pain I described passes so quickly you'll kick yourself for having carried the bad habit. But so what. The habit is gone and you are free. What could be better?