THIS MAY SEEM LIKE A WALL OF TEXT, AND FRANKLY IT IS – But I think it will prove a great motivator to many!
I haven´t intentionally sought out porn since the 17th of May. I have been free from an abusive, unforgiving and objectifying industry for half a year.
I´ve experienced trials on the edge of depression, and the temptation to PMO has been extreme, I do however know that when I have been able to resist temptation through the trials I´ve been through the last months, I am strong enough to resist temptation through whatever the world will throw at me.
How I have achieved this:
I have decided to make a list of the essential factors that has led me to where I am now. And I think and hope that this list may also serve as a step-by-step list in how to defeat porn-urges.
– 1. I have informed the people in my life of my issue
The first time I told someone about my PMO-addiction marks a real milestone. It felt like me making a problem out of something that isn´t a problem. Maybe because few others see porn as a problem. But I found a friend who I knew had struggled mentally, who I knew would be able to have a deeper understanding of addiction and darker periods in life. He showed me the greatest understanding, and helped me understand that my addiction was nothing to be shameful over. I knew I had to have people in my life relying on me achieving my goal. A couple of months later I shared it with my new girlfriend who also was predisposed to have a deeper understanding of my problem. She also proved extremely supportive, and informing her has proven that with trust comes confidence. I relax more with her now than ever, and I feel sure that once sex becomes a thing in our relationship, our trust will help great on my ability to perform.
The last couple of months I´ve informed increasingly more and more people to the point where most of my close friends know about my condition. It´s really helpful when having a bad day that I can talk to them and that they know about my problem.
Also, the persons around you that don´t understand your problem is no one you want to keep. This might sound cynical, but what is there to gain by surrounding yourself with friends who doesn´t accept of your problems? They are not real friends if they´re to narrow-minded to see that every individual has its own problems and challenges.
I can´t state enough the importance of keeping your friends close and informed. To me it feels like the defining factor of success.
– 2. I have had a goal
I have to admit goals are kind of double-edged. On one side they can prove a great motivation, on the other side there´s a danger that once a goal is reached, one will let one´s guard down. You might trick yourself into thinking your reboot is done. It´s most probably not, and even though it should be done, you won´t earn much going back to old habits.
I was fortunate enough to have a distraction for the first month of my journey (more on this in section 4), and this really helped me forget that I initially had a concrete goal. As I returned home after three weeks of traveling, my goal was “Living the best life I possibly can”. I had stopped counting the days, but rather made the days count!
Idealistic goals which are not binary (easily definable as achieved/unachieved), has proven extremely helpful for me. Life can always get better, and thus the goal is never achieved to such an extent that you can relax and say you´re done.
– 3. Combine your reboot with the fix of other issues
Porn addiction rarely comes alone. Often it erupts as a symptom of other difficulties in life.
I always struggled accepting that women could like a man like me, and this is initially why I started escaping to porn. I thought that there was no one for me. I acknowledged that porn would forever define my sexuality and that I didn´t deserve more. Guess what – I was wrong!
For me, the past 6 months have been a period of working on my conscience, confidence and acceptance. I am not in the easiest of relationships with my girl, but shared mental difficulties has taught me a lot about acceptance, kindness and forgiveness. I´ve learned that when people act in a way I do not necessarily agree with, they usually have their reasons. People have reasons for their actions and meanings, but not necessarily reasons that are easily understood.
I used to be judgmental, and I think this can be linked to the cause of my PMO-addiction. I judged people. I wasn´t open to the thought that anyone could like me. Once you think your thoughts are objectively right, you judge everyone around you.
– 4. Go travelling with someone you enjoy spending time with
As mentioned in section 2, I was able to escape for the first leg of my journey. I had my last PMO-session the 17th of May, and wanted to be rebooted a month later. I had my last MO the 8th of June. I had convinced the girl I liked most at the time to go traveling with me for three weeks. At that point we were friends, now we´re in a relationship. But at the time I greatly underestimated the time needed for a reboot. I thought I would be OK by the start of our travels. Inevitably I wasn´t.
Yet! Traveling with her proved the best choice for me in a long, long time. This trip marks the beginning of my 6 months of working on myself. I had my eyes on the prize every day, she was always there with me, something which was extremely beneficial. This in some ways overlaps with section 1. But eventually, the effect of this journey was that I had a 30 day head-start into my reboot when I got home, and I was over the worst periods of flatline and mood swings. I had come to the point were I had taught my brain who´s boss. Those periods had in my case been replaced with strong feelings of love and affection for my traveling companion.
– 5. Say no politely to your body
There´s no one you should be more kind to than your body. Raging a war inside yourself is exhausting. Fighting for two sides, wanting both to win is not beneficial. You should rather make an attempt on the role as peacemaker! This proves a valuable experience, should you once consider a career in international affairs, but more seriously, crying over spilt milk serves no one.
Forgiving yourself, forgiving both sides of the armed conflict in your head is an important step towards making a brighter future. Should one of the sides make demands or try to trap you, or more directly; should the temptation to PMO get strong, the body rarely needs more than a polite “no”. Saying “no thank you” to your temptations maintains a good relationship to your body and sexuality while at the same time allowing you to dodge temptation.
Some may see it as a paradox, trying to keep a healthy relationship to sexuality during their reboot, but this does not mean that you should engage in sexual activities. All this means is that you should distinct sexuality from porn. One of the biggest bumps in the road of my journey was after my initial 80 days PMO-free. I tried having sex with my girlfriend, but in making porn something bad in my head, I had also unintentionally done the same with sex. For a period of time the very thought of sex, to be frank, disgusted me just as much as the thought of porn, and this is definitely not the intention of a reboot.
Bad feelings is a dangerous and highly infectious disease. Forgive yourself and others and carry on. You should face problems head on no matter how difficult it may seem, or you´ll just keep digging yourself deeper and deeper down into the abyss.
Be kind and forgiving to your body, urges and sexuality, but not to porn.
Being obsessed with rebooting can prove just as detrimental as being obsessed with porn.
– 6. Do not fall into temptation to check your progress
One of the other traps to avoid is checking on your progress in solitude. By “checking on progress” I mean light massaging and masturbation. If your body works when you´re alone, that doesn´t mean that it works with somebody else (which is your goal!). Checking on your progress can thus be seen as something that doesn´t serve much purpose. With a hard-on your brain really starts rationalizing that everything´s perfectly fine, while they in reality may not be so. The only kind of checks you should initialize should be with a sexual partner.
One of those solitude checks actually ended my initial 80 days PMO-free. After that I went for a period filled with MO that lasted two months, which I´ve just recently has started gaining control of.
– 7. Make treatment and time for self-awareness part of your daily routine
Find stuff that lifts you up! Over the last 6 months I´ve once again picked up reading, painting and collaging, and it really makes the time fly. Make things that make you feel great a part of your daily routine. Feeling great is a good way to avoid porn, as porn usually is a temptation that comes forth when you don´t feel that great.
What I find helped me specifically is coming on this forum, writing in my journal every day. In periods where I´ve been forgetting to do this, I´ve had a higher rate of MO-reboots, and more vulnerable even to P-reboots. The powers of putting words on thoughts, and organizing them, never seizes to amaze me.
The journaling on this forum has much of the same effect as talking to friends about your problem. Maybe you don´t have that much a need for feedback, but getting it out there can lift some serious weight of your shoulders.
I also started going to a psychologist, this was not mainly because of my PMO-addiction, but because of my other issues. That also helped me a lot.
– 8. Have a care package ready for bad days
For me, this has been nothing more than a box filled with quotes from this (http://www.yourbrainrebalanced.com/index.php?topic=9261.0) thread, but they´re surprisingly efficient!
Summary: How to fight the urges of PMO
Summed up; surround yourself with caring persons that you care about, and never consider pros and cons with your journey. Just let go and let the current towards a brighter future do its work.
My journey definitely has come far, and I´ve posted this as a success story for a reason. If I was to wait till my goal is achieved before posting here, that would never happen, because of the nature of that goal.
But the next planned steps in living the best life I possibly can is in short as follows:
- Gain as good a control of MO-urges as I´ve got of P-urges
- Start a healthy and fulfilling sex life with my girlfriend
Hopefully my list of beneficial factors can prove useful to someone!
Never give up – you have the strength in you.
BY – Raven
A short introduction to my life
As a romantic teenager, nothing is worse than being a 3/10 living in the countryside far from people with similar interests and the likes.
For years, I would be the always friendzoned guy who no girl would rather touch, and I kind of told myself that that was the state of affairs and that my life was never meant for anyone but myself. As a 14 or 15 year old I bought my first iPod Touch which eventually should kickstart my PMO-addiction.
Masturbation and sometimes porn became part of my daily routine.
That was until I moved to the city to start studying, and I started meeting girls who went far beyond what I ever had met before. We could share interests and conversations. I had a clean slate and could start shaping myself as the person I wanted to be. This gave me a major, much needed boost to confidence which I now have kept growing for 3 years through several personal career achievements and acceptance and confirmations for my personality. I’m feeling better than ever.
My love life
I am 21 at the time, and kissed a girl for the first time last summer. I realized later that it never was a thing that was supposed to last, but the confirmation that a girl actually could like me was a positive change, leading to stronger confidence, leading to being able to initiate a relationship with another girl the following autumn.
However I was never able to fully commit to any of them. This is because of a girl, I’ll call her Y, whom I’ve known for 3 years all since I moved to the city. She was always in the back of my mind, along the remote dream of a relationship. She has always been important as a friend, but through different approaches this last year, I’ve got kind of convinced she wants me as something more as a friend. Just as I do with her. Even though we don’t share cities anymore, she has spent 100s of dollars and several hours on trains coming to see me and cuddle up. She sends me unexpected gifts in the mail. She can send me a compliment for no particular reason. For years I’ve liked her, but now she likes me back.
Current state of affairs
Me and Y are heading out on a 3 week holiday together next week. Things have been moving rapidly. I feel better than ever, yet my PMO-habbit is still going strong. I’ve tried rebooting on several occasions, I think I struggle keeping my eyes on the price. I realize that having masturbated today, chances are slim for us to have a decent first timer during our travels, but I do hope and trust that we eventually will discuss the matter. I have a feeling she will understand. She’s a truly wonderful being.
I have an ultimate goal of being able to give Y the love she deserves by September/October. I’m coming here now, thinking that sharing my story with the world hopefully will make difficult times lighter and help keeping up my motivation. You’re welcome to follow me. Expect long posts on me getting lost in my thoughts. Hopefully someone out there will gain something from reading my story. 🙂
Don’t be afraid to ask whatever questions you might have.
Best wishes, you wonderful, dedicated people!