Tons of benefits. I’m loads more confident. I would try to fit in before, however I felt like if people really knew what I did, they’d somehow view me differently. I don’t have that baggage now. It’s great. I’m 23.
I’ve been an occasional reader here on NoFap for several months now. I thought the idea of coming to a community was a neat idea. It’s good to read the successes and lessons learned of other fellow NoFappers, even if it is buried in the sob-stories or posts about how not touching your pee-pee gets you a girlfriend.
90 days ago today, I stopped viewing porn and masturbating. I’ve been trying this for several years now, with varied success, but never 90 days at a time. I was introduced to porn at 6 years old, and in my teens I learned how to find it (thank you interwebs! Not…). It started as curiosity and pure horniness that soon turned into a coping mechanism/escape from reality. I kept it hidden from the rest of the world until recently.
I wanted to stop because I was tired of feeling down after I viewed. I knew that it was weird to lock up in my room and pull my pud. On top of that, I was sick of feeling down after I would act out. So I told myself time and time again that I would not go back. I later realized that I couldn’t stop. I had to have my fix, I had to act out somehow. I sought help through my dad (open up to someone you trust. It’s hard as heck but get over yourself and get the help you need) and I later found a 12 step based “General Addiction” group in my community. That help was invaluable and I would still go if my school schedule didn’t interfere.
I’d like to write a little about my experience and what helped. With the help of a talk about change I listened to the other day, I’ve summed up the things that helped me into 7 items which I’ll talk about in more detail in a bit. I didn’t know these things when I started, but I had an idea from all the lessons learned in relapse over the last couple of years. This talk just helped me think about what was different this time and how it helped.
So the seven steps outlined are:
- Right Desire * In order for you to find a lasting change, you have to first find the “right” desire. Really ponder why you want to change, that you are going to do it for yourself and no-one else, and your “success criteria”.
- Provide a Stimuli * Take your desire and write it out somewhere you can see it daily. In my case, I would think about it nightly before I went to bed. I developed a habit a while ago of writing a to-do list every night for the upcoming day. I began including a time for reflection in this “nightly planning”. I would think about the day and how I met my goals that day.
- See the Invisible * In other words, develop the belief that you are able to change. Everyone can change. I had a habit of being really negative when I would mess up. I learned that this never helped me. I found that I needed to be positive and that’s when I found success.
- Show up * Develop a plan and actually stick to it. If you fail, try again. If you fail repeatedly, adjust your plan and get back on it.
- “Selective Neglect” * This is how he termed it, but in short it meant stay away from distractions and triggers. Identify your triggers and the times of day you are tempted and build your plan around that. Make yourself busy during the times you’re easily tempted. Find a club, volunteer somewhere, get a second job if you have to. Just do what it takes.
- Count your wins * Change your viewpoints to focus on your wins. Instead of counting your relapses, count the days, hours or even minutes that you were clean. It’s kind of the “one day at a time” mentality from AA.
- Don’t Look Back * This is how he put it and it’s pretty self-explanatory.
Other things that helped: Accountable2You – this is an app that I pay monthly for. It records my activity on my smartphone and computer and emails the list weekly to a partner. My partners are my dad, and a childhood friend. Pick someone who you know will call you out. Nothing is going to happen if these people don’t care.
Finding hobbies or things to take up my time – School has been a big one. I’m also into motorcycles and having something that I can go out and ride around on becomes a great escape.
Meditation/Healthy Stress Relief – speaking of escapes, you have to find something to replace porn and masturbation with. I like to meditate if I’m feeling those thoughts, usually it’s just breathing exercises for me. Pushups have helped too. Experiment and find something that works for you.
Attend a meeting (if available) – Get over yourself and attend a meeting. These people all have their problems that they are struggling with. Realizing that you’re not different is a big help.