I’ve never gotten past 40 days since age 9, and now I’m at Day 100. It’s sort of hard to believe, because most of my life memories are from the period when I was addicted. I try not to think too hard about that. It was a shadow hanging over me that kept me in constant captivity. Age 9, telling my parents that I went on a bad website. Age 12, accidentally masturbating in bed for the first time. Age 13, relapsing on vacation. Age 15, not being able to go to a soccer tournament because of it. Age 18, relapsing for the first time in college after thinking “it’ll never happen again.” Age 19, relapsing three times in a row and not telling anyone because I was afraid of their disappointment. Age 20, completely giving up and losing all hope of ever being free.
It’s different now and I’m still not getting used to honestly saying to myself “I don’t really struggle with this anymore” whenever I think about it. Even when I’m tempted, I just remember all of the pain it causes and just get so sick of it. I’m not going to deny that there are still temptations. I’m not going to deny that relapse is still possible if I wanted to. I’m not scared of relapsing. I just hate it. A lot.
Of course that’s kind of negative, but porn is a very negative thing disguised as a positive thing (or really, an evil corruption of a gift from God). And (1) remembering the pain, (2) relying on God, and (3) being 100% honest with accountability have been some of the biggest factors in staying away. Internet restrictions help but only if you go all the way—otherwise it is pointless. I am ready to start looking at things a little differently (as in not really thinking about this struggle as part of my life anymore), and living the “better life” that I’ve wanted and talked about for years. It’s not going to come automatically; I will always have work to do.
Thanks to my accountability partners in real life (three current and two past). Thanks to my friends @RDBTau and @seaguy44 who have stuck with me for months. Thanks to @chinatown117 for being the first person to respond to me here. Thanks to @bike-wrench for responding to basically everybody’s relapse reports and letting me take some of them. Thanks to my dad and the two youth pastors I met with throughout highschool. This is only the beginning.
I have experienced no “superpowers” of any kind. But being on Day 100 is awesome and completely worth it. I wish I could just give a quick statement that could enable everyone here to just “quit” and “be done.” But at least for me, it’s more of a journey than a one-time decision. So here’s the best I can do for right now:
- WHY do you want to quit porn and masturbation? What is the big reason—and is it big enough? Are you going to give some general reason and then just forget about it? Or are you going to have something specific, and start reminding yourself of that reason multiple times every day?
- WHERE and WHEN do your urges or temptations come from? Certain places? Certain times of day? When you’re alone on the computer? Are you going to pray to resist, but then let yourself stay in all kinds of bad situations? Or are you going to anticipate and avoid these situations, or at least prepare your mind if you can’t avoid them?
- WHAT are your actions like? Is there anything you’re doing that makes you more vulnerable? Anything that you could be doing more of that would make you stronger? Anything that, when you are tempted, you could turn to instead as something more productive and fulfilling?
Your journey may be a single reboot or it may contain hundreds of relapses. Relapses are evil and harmful, no doubt—but you’ve got to learn from every single one of them. One relapse doesn’t destroy all of the work you’ve done, so don’t binge. Get to work immediately: find out what led to the temptation. Find out what made your heart forget what you really wanted. Find out what you could have done instead, and do that next time. Find what you need to do differently and what you need to do more of. And never, never give up.
God is good.
LINK –Day 100