I’m at 89 days P free.
Here’s my story.
Im 34, and I’ve used P since 10(?) or so. I can’t really remember not using P. I’d tried a few times to give it up, but not really been serious. Luckily for me I hadn’t suffered from PIED or anything of a similar nature, but I knew I was addicted, and P was taking up way to much of my life, and getting in the way of the life I wanted to live. So after awhile I looked for help online, and found this site.
My first goal was 7 days. I know that everything on here say’s 90 days is something to aim for, but 90 days seemed like a stretch to me to start with, considering I hadn’t really done a week without P or M before.
On the first day I wrote down a plan. This is something I highly recommend. It went something like this.
“If I feel the urge to M to P, or watch P, in the morning I would get up and stretch. At night I would read, and during the day I would practice music.”
I wrote this to help me replace the negative with the positive, and it worked for me.
After that initial 7 days though I aimed to the 90 days. It was only realising that I wouldn’t explode from not M’ing for 7 days that gave me the confidence to go bigger.
I also ended up writing down why I wanted to give up P. These are
1. Time. I have waisted a lot of time watching P. That time can be used toward other endeavours and goals in my life.
2. Regaining control over my life. To often I’ve been late for an appointment, or haven’t completed goals, because I’ve been distracted by P.
3. I want to view females as people, not sexual objects. Too often I look at females just as sexual objects, i.e. whether they’re hot or not.
4. I want to be closer to my fiancee. I’m hoping that giving up P, I will be able to live more in the moment, something that I have struggled with in the past. I want to be able to actively listen to her, rather than be easily distracted.
5. I want to have a better/closer sex life with my Fiancee. In the past, during sex that I have fantasised about other situations, that I know I have gotten from watching P, rather than being in the moment.
6. I don’t want to live with the shame that comes with watching P. I don’t want to have this secret life, where I have to make sure I’ve deleted my web browser. When asked about my day, I want to be open and honest about what I have been doing.
7. I want to be more confident in social situations. I sometimes have a hard time interacting one on one with people, especially if they’re acquaintances, rather than friends. I’m hoping rebooting will help me be more in the moment so I can be better at these interactions.
8. I want to become more goal orientated. I have a lot of ideas and goals I want to do in the future. In the past, when I should have been working towards these goals, I’ve turned to watching P instead. Im guessing it’s to do with the short term enjoyment that PMO can give me, which is a poor substitute for the more fulfilling enjoyment that long finishing a long term goal that I’ve worked towards can give me.
Having this all written down meant I could look back at it, which I did often.
Also to help with my recovery I told myself that whenever I had an urge I would come on here, and read the forums. I also got an AP, @slingshot who helped me out just by being there! It meant a lot to me to be able to write to someone, who I knew would read and reply.
At 45 days I M’d. But for me it wasn’t the worst thing in the world. I did it to thoughts about my Fiancee who because of our long distance relationship at the time, I hadn’t seen for 3 months.
However after a lot of thought about the matter, I didn’t reset my counter. I did this for a few reasons. One was that I didn’t look at P. And that is the end goal for me. I believe M’ing under the right circumstance is healthy. And I believe that I M’d under healthy circumstances. I believe the difference is M’ing because you’re aroused, as opposed to watching P to get aroused to M. I also didn’t get the dopamine rush to watch P afterwards. I was on the watch for it, but it didn’t happen. I actually felt relieved, and it relaxed me. I’d been extremely aroused for a week or so leading up to it, and I think if I didn’t M, I would have maybe broke, and gone back to P in a moment of weakness.
So I changed my counters and my mindset to reflect all of this.
The last 30 days have been the easiest. Though part of that I’m sure is to do with the fact I’ve been really busy, and the fact I’m back with my (now) wife.
Other things I’ve realised. Down time is the worst. Find things to keep yourself occupied-get out of the house. Drinking can be a problem. I had my biggest struggles after I’d drunk a few beers. I ended up cutting way down on my drinking because of this. Everyone has a different struggle. I’ve read a lot on here, and everyone has different triggers, cures, plans, problems, and solutions.
My biggest bit of advice is to people find a plan that works for you and your circumstances. Come up with your own, or steal others ideas, but whatever you do, make a plan to beat this! Thinking you can do this on will power alone doesn’t work for many.
Am I cured? I don’t think so, but I’m well on the way. Do I feel different? Yup, I’ve got more energy, I’m getting more done with my day, I’m overall happier.
Will I ever go back to P? No plans to, and I hope I have the strength not to.
TL;DR – Made a plan, started off with small goals, found an AP, made a list of why to give up P, read lots of different stories on here, M’d and decided it was OK, and now I am a happier person for giving up P.