This is my personal experience and it may not be the same outcome for you. (It could also be related to flatline, so I can’t be certain, but results are results)
Cold exposure/cold showers I think cured my addiction. I never have to use my willpower anymore and I’m at my highest streak with no urges. Proabably because I make my body think it’s freezing to death everyday, so it realizes now is not the time for sexual urges. I only have to fight the cravings of taking a warm shower and I’m good lol.
I also could never get past 30 days for the last 3 years of my addiction. I beat it twice on my last streak and this streak with cold showers. On day 46 of my last streak I went back to warm showers and relapsed on day 49. I’m now at my highest of 52 days and I did not go back to warm showers like last time, no urges.
Only other changes I think it could be: intermittent fasting, getting outside more.
Ive been struggling with pmo for 3 years, never made it past 30 days till recently. My streak before this was 49 days then I relapsed for 1 day, so I’ve basically only pmo’d once in over 90 days. Worst problems are emotional numbness, lack of motivation, and bad social anxiety. I tried to stop ever since I first started, because I immediately knew it was a sin and it just felt wrong in my heart. Without my faith, I would not be alive today, and would not have persevered to get to this point that I am at now.
What I’ve been doing:
- No pmo
- Intermittent fasting – with a five hour window of eating
- No sugar + less than 200g of carbs a day
- Cold showers – never taking a hot shower for the rest of my life (probably)
- No video games – sold my PlayStation a year ago
- No tv – if I do watch something like a sport it’s only after 6pm
- Switched to dumb phone – have had it for a few months
- Restricted iPad using Screen Time setting- to only specific websites and apps
- Try to limit screen use till after 6pm
- No excessive music or piano playing- you can overdose on anything, for me I think too much drains me of dopamine and I lost interest in music anyway because of pmo
- Exercise almost every day – biking, gym, soccer
- No longer numb out negative emotions with food, tv etc… – focus my eyes on Jesus instead. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” Mathew 11:28
Benefits, mainly in the last two weeks:
- No longer hate myself
- Feel more pure like when I was a child.
- Energy all day
- From least confident too in a way the most confident person around
- From severe social anxiety to pretty much none. Though I still haven’t tried to make friends yet. (had none for last six years)
- Seems everywhere I go that people notice me more (though sometimes it’s too much). Also the other day a little kid walking by me waved at me randomly, kind of funny
- Dont really care what other people think (maybe my favorite benefit so far)
- Passion and emotions very slowly coming back (this will take the longest, I developed severe anhedonia because of pmo, it’s still my worst symptom)
- Dad and sister both at random times today said I look better, my eyes are more clear
- Quicker on my feet, making my family laugh more
- I noticed I use more facial expressions now, never really did before
- It seems like I can beat any of my family members in an arguement now (to where I almost feel bad for them afterwards)
- Better memory and creativity
- Mostly I feel more free
- Worst is my emotional numbness from pmo, some days it’s not as bad, but it is still really difficult. This is what led me to this website
- Though people are more attracted to me now and I have better social experiences, I still can’t feel anything so it’s like I still can’t experience the benefits I’ve had.
- No drive
(Most withdrawals go up and down in severity quite a lot)
Also it’s important to note some of my main healthy lifestyle changes were inspired by Todd Becker’s articles on his website/blog. His writings on things like hormesis and his insight on addictions helped me more than anything.