Thank you all, boys and girls, for continuous help and words of wisdom. Little did I know how much reading those posts, watching Noach B.E. Church, following Gabe Deem and learning from Gary Willson will help me to mature and break the habits that have been confining me for so long. I am going to cut to the chase and keep this post as cohesive and pithy as I can.
I wish nothing more than to open discussion and perhaps help some of you to reflect on your approach to NoFap.
I am about to shorten ‘my story’ part because it’s not a far cry from what’s been happening to many Internet users born in 90s-00s era. You all know it from experience. Long story short, I discovered how destructive porn is and tried to quit it, failing repeatedly (I was struggling for good three years.) I had decent social life, graduated from University, traveled to Sweden, England and USA multiple times. I have a loving girlfriend and she’s the light of my days and nights. All things considered, one could but wish to have better setting for reaching towards the ultimate freedom and porn-free life.
Despite all that, I used to remain clean for a month and then I would give up, drag myself through the mud over how pathetic I am just to continue with the vicious circle. Many nights were wasted but nothing changed. Does it sound familiar to you?
Some of you write about importance of changing one’s environment (room, city, or even country,) working on everyday routines, reshaping the mundane. I’ve done it all to no avail and kept escaping into PMO. At one point it became evident to me that there is something fundamentally wrong about my perspective and the way I try to figure out my never-ending problem.
I was putting on a brave front but inside I was fearful and anxious about leaving PMO life behind. I came to a realization that, deep down inside, I seem to want to keep on giving up and shaming myself. Now, how paradoxical is that! It took me three years to discover that I enjoy being between the hammer and the anvil, trying to say “farewell” but actually saying “see you later” to my weakness. I have embraced fake routine of breaking “free” and gained sick pleasure from it.
This is how it went: over the years I’ve created somehow crippled version of NoFap philosophy. Oh, the thrill of starting a cycle, becoming new me, hatching new tactics and dreaming about my future but forgetting about the present. I enjoyed shaming myself as if it was a way to harden and better my personality. I am sure it is not the case for everyone but, on the other hand, I bet at least some of you use porn as an excuse, i.e.: “I feel so low. There’s no point in doing X or attending Y, I just don’t feel like it. I’d rather pity myself instead…” That’s self-indulgence in its purest form right here.
So, how did I overcome this egoistic drive of shame?
- By rethinking basic principles of how I define my abstinence. Many of you treat NoFap as some sort of fight against oneself, or against one’s sexuality. There is no fight going on nor there are sides of conflict. It’s not a soccer match. I had to stop babbling about “purifying” or “conquering” myself in order to really understand what’s going on. After a while I implemented categories like “integrating,” “consolidating,” “building,” “filling with new emotions” and completely abandoned counting days. It’s childish to think of NoFap as some kind of game. Be patient and don’t look for immediate results.
- By finally acknowledging that I am using self-hatred as form of excuse. I stopped treating shame as a mean of motivation and detached myself from my cravings (“I am not my addiction nor my shame.”)
- By comprehending that in order to heal from porn addiction I have to quit other video-oriented websites, including YouTube. Most of YouTube binges ended up being an invitation to PMO. It’s the same pattern and must not be overlooked.
- By ceasing to perceive my addiction as an element integral to my life. I trained myself in thinking: “Let’s say that I have never watched porn and the concept of NoFap is totally alien to me. How do I shape my day? What do I do now? What habits should I introduce?” Unexpectedly, I started to think less about me and my issues and reached towards other people. You know what? Porn-related thoughts fade out.
Dear friends, every personality is different but porn is always the same. Don’t be me and don’t get fooled that you can gain anything from your shame. You are not your enemy. Fight your shame instead.
I hope my remarks will help at least some of you on this wonderful journey of healthy self-acceptance and opening towards others.
I turned 24 just today. Greetings from Poland.
LINK – Addiction to shame, or the reason I couldn’t quit (and how I overcame it)