This year has been tough. After trying for years to give up PMO, I would find myself back on the same sites days later. I’d rationalize or make excuses. I had deleted two flash drives worth of photos downloaded over the past year…even destroyed the drives, thinking I was done!!
Sure enough, two weeks would go by and I was back at it again. Even with my marriage deteriorating, I still found reasons to PMO. Yet I blamed my mood swings on my job, perceived slights from friends, or anything OTHER than the problem at hand.
Three things have changed my life: 1) Finally deciding, after years of talking about it, to seek professional help (counseling). 2) I visited NoFap in mid-July. (My only previous experience with reddit was the occasional AMA). 3) Getting rid of Twitter.
It took until my second counseling session to admit why I was really there. Telling someone else — who didn’t know me — was an incredible relief and a huge weight off my shoulder, one I did not even know was there. I thought it would be embarrassing. As I began talking, the counselor just listened, took a few notes, and occasionally asked clarifying questions. At the end of the second session, I received a list of resources and other avenues of support. Watching a TedTalk about the porn addiction cycle led to other YouTube links where NoFap and Fapstronauts…and there I was, browsing this very forum, taking deep breaths as I read on and realized how many others were struggling. The kicker for me was reading posts from other people in my age group. I have a post-it note
Giving up Twitter — deleting my account, everything — was not as tough as I expected it to be. Twitter had become a distraction at work, at home, when out with friends. That much was painfully clear — friendships were deteriorating, my work was suffering, blah blah blah. The compulsion to use Twitter as a vehicle for PMO was so incredibly strong. Now, when I think about all the time I wasted on Twitter I just laugh.
Whether you know it or not, your posts (all of them) have been a lifesaver. In fact, five days ago, I was dangerously close to a relapse. My solution — when picking up the guitar to distract myself did not work? Go to NoFap…read a few posts…come to an understanding of just how far I have made it. Then I grabbed my faithful canine and stepped outside for a late-night walk to clear the mind. How relaxing.
I have post it notes counting up the days of being porn-free with dates next to each number. They’re hanging on my computer at work –> with no reference to what the numbers mean. Only I know what they mean, and that is OK. But I’ve found them to be incredibly helpful and rewarding. It has become a bright spot — to keep looking forward. To know that on my 36th birthday, I will be at 365 days. I can do this. I will do this!
Here are some positives I’ve seen over the last 90 days:
- I can hold a conversation with friends without having to be on my phone in social situations. These days, I just try to leave it somewhere else.
- I’ve picked up my guitar more over the past 90 days than I had in the two previous years (!)
- I’ve read 11 books in the past 90 days, and just started #12.
- I decided I wanted to learn something new, and took up baking bread. Sounds silly, but wow…learning something new is still fun even at 35.
- My marriage — and especially my sex-life — has never been better. Communication with the better half is at an all-time best…I feel great, have shared with my partner just how bad my addiction to PMO was — at the risk of worrying about divorce, separation, etc. I was surprised at how supportive my partner was — and continues to be!
- My mind is clearer than it has ever been.
Anyway, I don’t anticipate posting on a regular basis but I just wanted to say THANK YOU!!! to everyone who has posted a story. Whether you were at 3 days or 3 months or 3 years, know your words have been such a wonderful help to someone so at the end of his rope, figuratively speaking.
THANK YOU so much. I wish you all the best and you have my support as well! I have just reached 90 days (badge forthcoming)…. I do apologize for the random stream of consciousness here… I am 35. I’ve had varying states of addiction to porn since I was 13. I’d never gone longer than two weeks without it.
LINK – Thank You (90 days)