I stopped, cold turkey. I had wondered before if I maybe had an addiction, but I never really gave it much thought. The first night was hard.
The second night was hard.
The third night was hard, and I was aching.
By the end of the first week, I felt like I’d been put on a diet. It was all I could think about. The second week was incredibly difficult. I began to see women differently. Previously, I’d see a pretty girl and subconsciously think that it would be fun to have some photos of her. During the second week, my thought process became primal. I didn’t want pictures of her, I wanted her. I spent too much time thinking about what I’d like to do with the women around me. This didn’t help with the frustration at all. I came close to resetting my counter several times.
During the 3rd and 4th weeks, it got easier. After the first month, I’d broken the habit. I no longer had a thought process that ended with me closing tabs and wiping up my shame. The urges hadn’t completely left me, and they still haven’t, but the habit is gone. It’s no longer an easy trap to just fall into.
Over the last year, my daughter has learned to talk and my wife and I had a son. Coincidentally, he was conceived about a year ago. I’m looking forward to never having to explain to my children why daddy touches himself at night.