TL/DR: Don’t give up. All days nofap are victories. Roadmap to 100 days provided. For years I cycled between nofap and PMO binge. The sequence often went like this: 10 days nofap. PMO Binge. 3 days nofap. PMO binge. I even had a 50 day stretch once! Guess what? It ended with a PMO binge. It can be incredibly discouraging. So, the first thing I want to tell you is this: Get Some Perspective.
Let’s call this new perspective “The Big Picture.” In The Big Picture, every sober moment is a bit of freedom we wouldn’t otherwise have. Every sober moment makes our will power that much stronger, we learn, and we get just a bit closer to our goal. So, don’t despair! Instead, thank God for all the little victories!
The next thing I want to tell you is I found a path out of the Nofap/Binge cycle.
This path is ugly. Imagine Dante, descending into hell knowing that through it lies the path to heaven. But on this path I’ve gained more progress than I’ve ever known. I’ve remembered things I once purposefully forgot. Painful memories. But I released them and to my amazement they lightly flew away. I’ve severed family ties. But they had my spirit enslaved, and I gleefully ran free. I peered into my heart and in dismay saw a moss covered, foul withered thing. But I began to care for it, to nurture it, and it grows.
Why did it have to be this way? Why the descent into hell? In hindsight, it’s obvious. I now realize I use PMO to hide from my problems and insecurities. Those small victories of 10 or 20 days? They often reside in the pleasant “superpowers” phase, a temporary high caused by a new sense of freedom and hope. Unfortunately, our problems and insecurities aren’t far off. My unpleasant and ugly revelation is that any lasting sobriety MUST move beyond the superpower phase and into the ugly, face my demons phase. This was uncharted territory – Here There Be Monsters.
Finally, as with every gift of God, I want to try and pass it on. I want to lay out for you what I did. I’m going to try and provide you as concise a road map as I can with only the important steps and revelations. I truly pray it proves helpful!
1. Discovered PMO at about 13 y/o and loved it
2. Difficulties in life became more bearable with PMO as a coping mechanism
3. Time using PMO continually increased, leading to
4. Isolation, shame, and finally depression
1. Came to see PMO as a problem and decided to quit
2. Realized I was dependent on PMO. I Had to have PMO. Quitting seemed impossible.
3. Realized type of P was becoming increasingly worse, darker, and more disturbing.
Recovery 1.0 – The NoFap/Binge Cycle
1. Prayed for help. Found help online.
2. Removed all P from life and set up internet blockers
3. Developed Goals:
a. NoFap’s challenges
4. Experienced boost in self-esteem and relationships. Superpowers. Life improved.
5. Years of NoFap / Binge Cycling.
6. Type of P still becoming increasingly worse during binge sessions. Began to be concerned about actual acting out in other ways.
Recovery 2.0 – Beyond Superpowers
1. Prayed for help.
2. Attended first SA (sexaholic anonymous) meeting. (A 10 Step Program)
3. Had a PHILOSOPHICAL awakening based on SA principles
a. LUST is the foundation of the PMO addition.
b. Admitted I was addicted to LUST
c. Recognized recurring lust-fantasy in my mind
d. Made commitment to stop ALL lusting in thought and action
e. Learned Lust addiction is PROGRESSIVE (use will get worse and worse)
f. Listened to “A talk to newcomer” by Glenn K Audio
g. Began to study SA “white book”
h. Listened to multiple SA lectures available online
4. Without any form of lust to hide in, my weakness of character became exposed.
5. Here There Be Monsters – Descent into my own personal hell.
6. Became increasingly “raw” emotionally. Cry. Anger. Joy. Anxiety. Laughter. Depression
7. Resolved to allow myself to be pathetic. To experience whatever emotion necessary.
8. Resolved to be Honest. Vulnerable. Empty. To practice nonsuccess.
9. In desperation, sought healthy ways to deal with anxiety and depression, self-loathing.
10. Learned new coping mechanisms:
a. Meditation/Contemplation for Anxiety (used app for this name “Pacifica”)
b. Study and practice “when panic attacks” by David Burns
c. Listened to guided meditative sleep stories to calm night sleep
11. Wrote complete sexual history and read it aloud to SA group
12. Began to stabilize. Began to feel peace.
13. Self-hatred, anxiety, depression diminishing.
Recovery 3.0 – in progress. I’ll let you know.
1. Prayed for help
To date, this is my journey. I expect the next 100 days will be equally challenging. In SA terms, I’m on the first step.
I can testify that the view from here is magnificent. That despite all the hardship, my heart feels lighter, more tender and life more satisfying. I have begun to clear the moss from my heart. I have far less anger and resentment now. Emotionally, I feel more balanced, and my self-hatred greatly diminished. My Lust addiction is there, thought the drive is greatly reduced. My temptation now to PMO is not so much to satisfy a primal urge, but rather to cope with emotional difficulties, such as social awkwardness or rejection. I often have to guard against lustful thoughts, but most of the time it is automatic. I stay away from R rated movies, and all other activities that will stimulate lustful thinking. For the first time in my life, my sobriety isn’t of the “white knuckle” variety. It isn’t all that difficult anymore. I don’t even have a web blocker on my computer anymore!
I hope this has been helpful. For more information, please PM me. I also know where to get the White Book on pdf if you’re interested in SA.
You can read my journal here at nofap as well.