This forum was critical to my success in beating my porn addiction. I now consider myself truly rebooted. I wanted to explain how I got here because some aspects of my journey were different to what I had read on here, and other aspects were similar. Of course, everyone is different, and I’m not suggesting other people adopt my methods, but… hopefully I can at least be another data point as you all continue your PMO-free journeys.
– first porn – brought into school by classmates when I was about 13.
– first PMO, perhaps when I was 16-17ish? By this time I had a computer in my bedroom with the internet (I would never allow this for a teenager now. In retrospect people didn’t know the dangers of the internet back then…)
– PMO addiction started shortly afterwards, and was in full swing before I turned 18.
– PMO continued through graduation, through marriage, through my career, through an advanced degree.
– First realized I was actually addicted, and that this was a problem aged 22. During a month-long period of (mild?) depression I sought solace by browsing P for hours every day, and realized I couldn’t stop myself.
– Addiction continued until I found NoFap age 31.
My first attempts at fixing the problem involved:
– locking myself out of my computer
– deleting my hoard of P
– telling my wife
Only the 3rd of these methods had any effect. (In general, sharing has been good for me.)
My first big step came when I realized (years before I came to NoFap) that I had to remove the self-hatred that came directly after every PMO episode. I had to forgive myself, I had to be kind to myself, and realize that I wasn’t entirely responsible for this addiction. After all, porn had been made available to me as a teenager before I had any idea what it could do to me.
So once I knew I was addicted, I tried and failed many times at stopping PMO. It got the better of me, and I then resigned myself to a “channel the impulse” policy, where I
- at least stay clear of anything which could harm me (e.g. violent images etc.)
- have a controlled routine to do PMO for 5 minutes at a particular time each day
OK, this was not a great policy. It was at least better than no policy, and better than surfing porn for hours daily (my old habit), but it slowly degenerated into worse and worse porn, and longer and longer sessions, before I would freak out or worry that I had been found out, and re-instate stricter measures.
Then I found NoFap. When I realized that I wasn’t alone, and saw how many people were going through the same thing, and saw the support in this community, I knew I had to try. I read up a lot and started my log.
My new NoFap policy involved a few things that have nothing to do with PMO. It was a lot about cleansing my whole life, not just my internet. This became my “winning formula”
- only one coffee a day
- steer clear of booze
- quit FB
- every morning, write down intentions for the day (a “to-do” list)
- walk at least 2 miles every day, rain or shine
- whenever I feel an urge, write a journal on NoFap instead of doing PMO
- read Thich Nhat Hanh books sometimes, as well as other mindfulness books
- read less internet news, and subscribe to print news instead
Also, I told my sister and a few friends. The support was great. Telling my story a few times definitely helped me, and it helped me make sense of everything. but I realize it’s not for everyone.
With my new resolution (Dec 2016) I managed 50 days straight away. Not too bad. But, then I relapsed and went back to daily “semi-controlled” PMO for a month, letting my old habits sway me. Then, I tried a second time, and am currently day 288 of no P.
Now I know that a lot of people on here advocate no MO as well, and that’s great, but it didn’t happen all at once for me. I took P away, and MO stayed around for a while, but it got less and less. It went to 3x weekly, 2x weekly, 1x weekly, and now it’s like 1x monthly. My sex drive in general has gone way way down. I don’t really care about this, personally. I’m not particularly aiming for no sex or MO but it’s going in that direction anyway.
Here are some changes to my life from this habit, in no particular order:
- more time in my day
- I’m a lot more intentional about what I do with my life
- I have less brain fog and I’m more in the moment
- I’m healthier because of the walking and abstinence of alcohol
- I see beautiful women as human beings and don’t lech over them.
- No seriously, I don’t objectify women any more. It’s really weird because the old me couldn’t see a female jogger run past without triggering a whole pile of thoughts.
- I have started a successful company and have made more money (don’t know if this has anything to do with PMO but I think it’s not unrelated)
- I think I’m more emotionally intelligent having had to face my fears and forgive myself for wrong behavior.
- I am not afraid of being alone at home access with the internet
- I don’t respond to triggers any more
- I don’t think about the possibility of doing PMO any more
- I would say I’m probably happier and more confident
- BUT I do have occasional bad dreams in which I relapse and feel guilty.
OK, that’s about it for a summary. I’ll be back in a day or two to check and see if any questions come up.
Finally, everyone, you have been a great help in your writing, in your sharing, and in your support. Couldn’t have done it without this forum. Keep strong everyone, I totally didn’t think I could do it. A couple of years ago, I 100% believed my addiction would stay with me for ever. But when I knew it was possible, and worked on my methods, it made a lot of difference. I believe you can do it too!
LINK – 288 days and going strong