Warning, this is text-heavy. I gave each part a bold heading though so you can pick what interests you
I started my journey on 1st August 2017. I wanted to try it out. I was convinced that I should not let some dumb pixels corrupt and fuck up my brain, emotional and hormonal state (more on why that is still somehow the case later). If you want reasons for stopping porn, just look them up, I pretty much support most of them. Anyway, I started cold turkey. From almost daily (P)MO, I went 28 days without PMO, then I figured it cant be too healthy too not have a release once in a while so I tried to aim for MO once per week. And I can say that I met that goal fairly consistently, with some exceptions here and there.
These are the positive things that changed:
I significantly decreased my masturbation frequency, thus feeling more energetic overall. Not a huge increase, but it is there. I never voluntarily watched porn. I might have clicked twice or 3 times on potentially nsfw stuff, but I always caught myself and instantly (after 1 second at most) stopped and clicked away/read something else. Overall, I started caring about myself more. I invested in myself, I developed a better sense of awareness of myself. I also became a bit more confident, because I know I am not one of the many people that are hooked on porn wasting countless units of time on nothing but short moments of “joy” only to regret it soon afterwards. I have become more aware of myself in many different ways. Mentally and physically, since I started working out regularly a month later. Gained around 4-5kg / 10lbs and I look better. As far as mental awareness is concerned: I noticed more and more what things I do are good/bad for me, I researched what might be good for me etc.
These are the negative things that changed:
I probably compensated the lack of porn and decrease in masturbation frequency. I compensated by working out, working, being sad, even depressed, isolating myself, being aware of my unsuccessfulness of work and social life, being sad about moving to a different town away from friends, reading more, listening to audiobooks, being depressed some more, working out more etc. I do want to note that my “being sad and depressed” was not caused by a lack of porn/masturbation. I would have probably been even more depressed had I watched porn these times, that is for sure.
These are the things that didn’t change:
I am still socially awkward. I still play games on my PC and waste too much time on the internet. Especially in the last few months I MOed more than once per week. Roughly twice per week. There are still occasionally random porn thoughts popping up in my mind. Even after one year, the brain is fighting back. I guess I was (/am) more “addicted” than I cared to admit. I used to see it as an occasional habit.
This is what I realized throughout the last year:
I don’t need porn. I don’t need so much of the time wasting habits I have. I need to further improve (my next point). The improvement has basically just begun. I am on day one, since every day is day one. And I shouldn’t count days anymore. They don’t matter much anymore. I am pretty sure I will not return to porn. Former addicts (even years after having quit) often say “sure I could try it again. I have a different view on it. The knowledge of the bad stuff and me not wanting to fall for it again and being reasonable and moderate about it should keep me from becoming addicted again. But I don’t trust an addicted mind. Why would and should I? It only wants one thing. And it wont stop. So I wont touch it ever again.” Something along these lines. That’s what I think about porn as well.
This is what I need to work on:
Short version: I need to reduce my time spent looking at screens and doing more stuff offline. Long version: Games and browsing the web, whatever it is, can be just as dangerous, addictive and time consuming as porn. Sometimes I wish I was in some kind of camp for several months without access to any screen and internet. There is a documentary about such a thing in China. Parents send their children to these camps to restore their lives. Unfortunately, there is no such thing where I live. I live in a highly modernized place in the world where everything is connected by screens. You are pretty much lost if you don’t have one (smartphone etc). I need to get out of my house more. Live my life. Until now it has been more of a “go as long as possible without porn, work out a lot, read stuff and manipulate your own brain into despising porn and the like”. I need to change that into a more productive mindset.
Anyway, if you have any questions, I’ll probably answer them tomorrow. Have a great day and stay strong!