I have been trying to quit for the past two years, and this is the first streak where I have gone more than a month without masturbating. I quit porn because I wanted to experience more of my emotions, and handle them like normal humans do. It really blunts me, it didn’t bother me until I became aware of how cold and callous I was compared to others.
I want to be more empathetic, and truly care for others. I cannot do that if my primary goal is to indulge in self-pleasuring.
Over the past few years I have noticed a few positive things:
- I am more aware of my surroundings.
- Assisting people has become more automatic. (Typically I would wait until the individual called for help, if they did.)
- I have a higher level of confidence.
- I take greater pleasure in the simple things in life. Observing nature, hiking, exercising…
- I am able to function at work, and in social gatherings.
Currently I am enjoying all of these benefits, they diminish if I relapse and fall back into a cycle of negative thinking.
- For me, I found it best not to use a web-filter. When I had urges, finding ways to get around what ever restrictions I had set for my self only made the whole experience more exciting and “enjoyable.” It added an extra layer of thrill to and already over-stimulating experience. I rely on self-discipline and being conscious of what I click on. “Will this potentially lead to something I do not want to view?” “Do I want to lose ground?” Once you begin to think in this way, you will be safer online.
- Keep yourself engaged with productive activities. I try to read regularly, find ways to improve at work, and make time for social outings. It makes the time pass faster, and minimizes my opportunities for relapse. Idle hands are dangerous!
- Find out what pushes you to relapse I found out that I was using pornography to medicated my incredibly anxious state. I wasn’t aware of it until I began to quit, as time went on it became exposed. I used pornography to drown out my negative thoughts and to soothe my soul.
- Be reasonable with your goals, Do not try to change yourself overnight. Start with simple attainable goals. When decide that you are going to quit porn, go to the gym, get a better job and become a millionaire in the next three months… the results will be quite disappointing. I made this mistake so many times, so many times! This is the one thing that has made this reboot so much easier. I only tackle what I can handle, and I break the goals down to a daily and weekly basis. Checklists are your friend. I recommend applications like Evernote to keep track of your successes, no matter how small.
I also highly recommend reading up on anxiety and its manifestations, without a crutch your mind may begin to mess with you in unfamiliar ways. Prepare yourself and it will be so much easier!
LINK – Climbing out of the hole