12 weeks without masturbating or looking at any porn or participating in sex chat. How I feel: It doesn’t nag me constantly. I do get obsessive thoughts, but maybe only once a day or so. I’m not constantly reaching down to physically check to see if my junk is still attached to me, not to jerk off or edge, but just to fiddle like a 5 year old.
I no longer really have to slap my own hand. I don’t obsessively check out sexual body parts of people I see at work, joggers, people on the street, and so on. I can look in their faces and see the Light that comes from being a child of God.
I am happy and content, even though there are also trying times and other emotions. I am full of joy and peace, almost to an indescribable level. I can more easily look people in the eye, especially my wife and kids, and know deep in my heart that there are no secrets I am hiding from anybody. I have days I don’t even think about my addiction, or focus on avoiding triggers etc.
I used to have my phone totally locked down, and back then I seemed to always be trying to find the loopholes, and in iphones there are plenty. Not to act out with porn always, but just to see. To break the code. To play cat and mouse. That gets my adrenaline going and that often leads to porn/masturbation/sex chat. Now my accountability partner unlocked my phone. It has been unlocked 2 months and I haven’t once secretly looked at a single image or video, even mild, with intent to get sexually aroused. My filter is now inside of my heart. I know I might get weak, but I have strong enough character to ask someone to lock my phone for me again for a while if I need it.
My ED is gone 90%. My DO problem is non-existent, maybe I even come too fast for her, but sex is much better. I wake up to a really hard erection most mornings and without fantasy or touching, it lasts up to 20-30 minutes. I am 49 freaking years old. Who would have thought my teenage boner would come back! My sexual relationship is much better only because my relationship is better. I have surrendered to the fact that sex is always optional, and that there is never any obligation or expectation whatsoever. This is not a resentful surrender. I am so full of peace with this comforting feeling and knowledge.
How I did it
1. I called, texted, messaged, or committed face-to-face to another human being every single day that I would not masturbate, sex chat, or use porn for the next 24 hours. I knew in my heart that after the 24, I could either renew that commitment or go another way. So far I have always renewed it.
2. I read sacred text and meditated, prayed, exercised, ate right, got enough sleep, always took care of BLAHST before either Boredom, Loneliness, Anger (or any negative feelings), Hunger, Stress, or Tiredness (BLAHST) became a trigger to want to self-medicate with the brain chemicals that flow when I PMO.
3. I confided discreetly in many friends and family, who often ask how I am doing.
4. I fought for 4 ½ years this demon, getting 8 months one time and 9 months one time, but often relapsing every couple of days for a total of more than 50 relapses. All of that was experience which helped me make it to 12 weeks today.
5. I helped others. I have responded to many many of the requests for accountability partners on this forum and another. Helping others stay clean through encouraging texts, emails, and phone calls helped me stay clean. I don’t believe it is possible without this aspect; maybe it should be number one.
6. I listen to uplifting music with non-sexual and non-romantic lyrics. Some spiritual, yes, but also stuff like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyd_qWt_jJU
7. I tried to be less selfish. If I didn’t want to do the dishes or make my bed, I did it anyway. If I would rather read than interact with one of my kids coming up to me asking for something, I set my book or kindle down, looked them in the eyes and gave 100% of myself to them. Oh what a joy that is. I start doing something I don’t feel like doing, even though it is good, I begin to like it and it is the most fulfilling experience I could describe.
8. I acknowledge God’s hand in all things in my life, even my serious accident that put me in the hospital and needed two surgeries that happened around week 8. I see all things as a gift, even stressful situations.
9. I live in the Now.
10. I LOVE what is, as it is. Maybe this one goes on how I feel, but it is an effort.
11. I listen to the little voice. I did what it said. It never harms or lies; it always gives me something good to do, even sometimes something good for myself.
12. I took care of myself. I looked myself in the eye in the mirror and realized how much I love myself, exactly how I am, with all my imperfections.
What was hard
Withdrawals. Oh my gosh. Seemingly uncontrollable desire to resume my old behavior (urges), extreme irritability, sleeplessness, agitation, physical flu-like symptoms, blue balls, sexual frustration, depression, dysphoria, loss of interest in anything but sex, despondency, but no suicidal thoughts like I used to have. These occur sometimes still, but for the most part they diminished as time went on.
The first week was hell. The second week seemed a little better until it got worse, then from week three on things were manageable. I found to just love the withdrawal pain and push through it made the most sense. I don’t want to relapse again because these always reset when I go back to day one. I know. I have reset so many times. It was hard to forgive myself. It was hard to get obsessive thoughts out of my head. I latch on to the stupidest things, but they are related to my addictive behaviors.
Another thing that was hard was the grief and feeling of loss of leaving this part of me behind. I felt denial, sadness, anger, negotiating tendencies (well I might not be completely done; maybe I could just edge; maybe playing with it for a minute is ok (pre-edging?)), and finally some acceptance that I no longer have porn in my life. I no longer masturbate. I no longer arouse myself via chat rooms etc. This feeling of grief and loss is very real and is still going on. I know PMO is a bad thing, but that doesn’t matter. I still feel a loss. The random erections that come as a healthy side effect of quitting PMO are a double-edged sword. I was often tempted to play with it, because after all, the most triggering “porn” for me is the sight of my own. I don’t need a computer or a magazine or a dvd.
Thread: 12 weeks “sober” today