It seems altogether premature to write a success story after what seems like such a short time of having been PMO-free, but since I have met the criterion for posting in this section, I feel that I may be able to contribute something of use to others. I’m thinking that more like six months off the porn and masturbation would make for a real success story, and as such, I consider this 60 days to be simply a milestone and not the end of the road. As I am feeling particularly creative due to this latest streak, I have chosen to name this thread after an ancient Gnostic poem written originally in Greek by an anonymous author and spoken by an unnamed narrator, called “Thunder, Perfect Mind.”
The poem is worth a read, but what I want to explain right here and now is how I got to 60 days, for the benefit of newcomers and especially habitual relapsers (such as I used to be), and if this should help at all any of you guys with MORE clean time than I have, then that is an added bonus. I would like to express my gratitude to those from whom I have learned so much in such a short time; you guys have been fantastic. Thank you all.
How to stop
In order to stop masturbating with or without pornography, I had to confess to myself that I was an ADDICT. Do not let that word alarm you, now. If you are on this site reading this right now, you are either a) not a porn addict, in which case you need no help, b) in complete control of your MO/porn use, in which case you also will not need my advice, or c) also an ADDICT. Being an addict doesn’t mean you are weak or evil or devoid of willpower; it simply means that you cannot stop or moderate your porn use or masturbation without help, preferably some form of moral psychology such as we see in the NoFap Academy and Twelve-Step programs.
You will need to rigorously analyse yourself in any case at first in order to get that initial clean time, and you should also:
1. Avoid triggers. The amount of guys who just start off dabbling in some “softcore” stuff and subsequently relapsing is astronomical — it happens ALL THE TIME. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that bra catalogues, etc. are safe. If possible, practise the No Arousal method by avoiding staring at (ogling) women on the street, on television, on Facebook, and everywhere else. Avert your eyes!
2. Learn to deal with negative emotions. Chances are, you are not going to feel 100% every moment of every day. Anxiety and depression may strike when you are at your most vulnerable. Don’t let the fact that you’ve been dumped, rejected, fired, insulted, or called nasty names cause you to relapse. Learn some coping mechanisms — things that make you feel good when you’re down (not drugs, please). For me, writing is very therapeutic, and I also connect with fellow Fapstronauts whenever I feel sociable. Participate in discussions and make friends. Learn to listen to others, and to understand your own emotional troughs and plateaus.
3. Start a journal (if you haven’t already). Don’t bitch and whine in it. Simply use it to monitor your progress, and if you relapse, ask yourself, “Ok, where did I go wrong, and what am I going to do differently this time around?” Learn from your mistakes.
4. Stick to your initial resolution. If you’ve promised yourself not to masturbate or look at porn for (X) days, why suddenly drop that valuable decision in the heat of the moment and return to your old miserable ways? Set yourself a short-term goal to start with and then work your way up. Or don’t have a goal at all; just make being PMO-free a lifetime commitment while recognising each 30 days or so as a new milestone.
5. Change your attitude by educating yourself on the horrors of pornography addiction and what it does to your brain. Again, unless you are in total control over your addiction — and chances are, you aren’t — you must treat it as a true addiction, not just a “bad habit” or a “phase.”
6. (Optional) Find a Higher Power of your own conception. Don’t take up anyone else’s concept of God without putting it to the test. It doesn’t matter if you are Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Taoist, Zoroastrian, Pagan or Jedi: if you feel you could use the help of a Superior Power, “ask and ye shall receive.” As NoFap is a secular porn-recovery website, I have listed this guideline as optional, but I believe it is very useful and good.
Other, more experienced Fapstronauts may have tips and pointers of their own to add; anyone who wishes to add any suggestions is most welcome to do so. By the way, these are all easy tips, folks!
Something more difficult
Now I shall give you something a little more difficult: a quote from Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra.
“In truth,” said Zarathustra, “Man is a polluted river. One must be a sea to receive a polluted river without becoming defiled. I bring you the Superman! He is that sea; in him your great contempt can be submerged.” (Prologue, Section 3)
Do you want to live as a porn-addicted masturbator all your life? Or do you look for some higher purpose? To transcend who and what you are at the moment is that higher purpose. We have two choices: active addiction and recovery. You know the outcome of the first choice; that’s why you are here right now. NoFap offers you a chance to grow, be creative, develop your talents, and become more than you are, simply by remaining abstinent from PMO and actively working on yourself to achieve milestones in recovery. It’s really very simple, but it is we who make it complicated. Also, it’s your look-out to take up your own challenge and blaze a trail to success.
Try to envision the best possible life for yourself and systematically state your hopes, goals and aspirations. Believe it or not, recovering through NoFap (or a Twelve-Step program like S.L.A.A.) can lead you to accomplish all your highest objectives if you are simply capable of staying porn/MO-free day by day. You may not get exactly what you wish for, however, and when problems come your way you may feel that life has dealt you a bad hand, but you will always get what’s most beneficial to your own personal development provided you are capable of working yourself out. I cannot do this for you, but I can give you a valuable clue: YOU ARE AN ADDICT. At first, this is something difficult to take on board.
Once you realise that and start to make changes in your life, everything else seems to fall into place. As for me, my approach has gotten me 60 days up. Here’s to another 30, and once I hit 90 I will feel like I can really advise others to some extent as to how to recover and stay clean. Until then, all this may just be the rambling of an addict, so let’s take a break and have some poetry, shall we?
by L Coroneos