1 year – What I did to make it

I am going to share with you the resources I believe helped me get to 365 days PMO free. I have had a problem with excessive porn viewing probably since I was thirteen/fourteen, pretty much ever since I had a computer in my room.

A quick background

I had multiple attempts to stop or “cut back” throughout all my teenage years. When I was a senior in high school I had so much anxiety I ended up not being able to study at all, PMOing all day and really failing academically even though I had been a pretty good student the previous years.

When I was 22/23 I discovered this community. I was able to do 90 days – which I was so happy about – but after I got to 150 I had a relapse. Tried again a few more times but was never able to get to three months after that. After a while I joined SLAA online (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous) – my issue has always been just porn (some people categorize porn addiction as sex addiction and others link it more to an addiction to the internet – both ways describe behavioral addictions).

I was sober for more than three months but I eventually had one relapse and decided to explore other options (ps: I think SLAA is a really good program and it helped me a great deal but it just wasn´t the right fit for me to continue at the time). After that I briefly joined Candeo Program – which I found interesting – and then I decided to give “Fortify Program” a try. One year later here I am. As promised, here are the steps that I took to be PMO free:

1 – The BIG 4. This is based on Kelly McGonigal´s research on willpower (She published a book – The Willpower instinct – which is great). She explores many things you can do to improve your willpower – and she mentions 4 of them that will improve the physiology of Willpower:

  • 1 – Sleep.
  • 2 – Meditate.
  • 3 – Eat a low glycemic diet – (Cut out sugar!)
  • 4 – Exercise.

I created an excel spreadsheet and tracked my progress – of course I missed a couple days here and there, but I have been pretty consistent this whole year.

2 – I established a “Web Routine” It just means that I know what I am going to do when I get online. Here is an example of a web routine: 1) Email + 2) Facebook + 3) Feedly (I RSS all the content I want to read) – And I save the articles I want to read on “Pocket”(https://getpocket.com). Then I am done. For the times you decide to just “browse” – Knowing that is a risk factor! – I recommend “Timely” (https://timelyapp.com/). Time yourself and write down what you are doing online. – Example: “Watching cats on youtube + Learning how to make Italian pasta on pinterest….” That way you are aware of what you are doing and less likely to follow a link hole that is going to lead to relapses. I would recommend creating a web routine and trying not to “browse aimlessly” at least for a while.

3 – I have a filter. Pretty self explanatory. I use K9. I do have to mention “innocent sites” though. I cut off some “news sites” that would always lead me to relapses and also a lot of social media. As a heads up – FB and Instagram have a “no porn” policy. Twitter and Tumblr do not. Research the porn policy of sites and social media you use. But even the sites that are “porn free” can be a risk. Know your habits and what is a vulnerability to you.

4 – I follow a program. As great as /nofap is, it isn’t a clear program you can follow. There are a lot of programs now that can help with porn addiction. I would recommend researching them at:

5 – I have an accountability partner. I have never met my buddy in person but I got to know him through SLAA online and we send each other weekly emails, talking about our struggles, victories, and overall state of mind. Remember: Isolation = Relapse.

6 – My bedroom is a “lit screen” free zone. I don’t allow cell phone, computer or TV in my room. The only electronic device that is allowed is my kindle (it doesn’t have a lit screen). It just creates a safe space in your house and whenever you are anxious, stressed, tired… you can just retreat to your bedroom and not worry about relapsing there. It was a game changer for me – also, it makes you sleep better.

7 – I researched my addiction. I tried to learn as much as I could on porn addiction. I would recommend subscribing https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/ run by the amazing Gary Wilson and also reading books and seeing lectures on the topic. A few I would recommend:

  • 1 – Slight Edge – Jeff Olson. Not specifically on porn addiction – but shows you how to improve your life.
  • 2 – The practicing mind – Thomas M. Sterner. Also not on porn addiction, but on how to lead a more meaningful life.
  • 3 – The Willpower Instinct – Kelly McGonigal. Lecture + Book. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5BXuZL1HAg
  • 4 – Your brain on Porn – Gary Wilson.
  • 5 – The Brain that changes itself – Norman Doidge.

A final word:

This is just the beginning of your new lives… Start creating the future you want for yourselves one day at a time… See you on the other side.

LINK – 365 days! How I did it…

by the_grownup