Age 35 - I no longer view others sexually - unless it is my wife. Also took a huge step up in my career
I am 35 and this is not my first rodeo. My previous record was 30 days. I cannot believe that I have made it to 90. I guess what was different for me this time around was I had felt I had really hit bottom. I had hit it so many times before (or so I had thought), but it just struck me 90 days ago: how many times can I go back into this destructive spin cycle?
I quit alcohol four years ago, cigarettes and drugs too, but for some reason, even with all of the self-help/buddhist/meditation/health books and practices in the world - I was still PMO'ing. I realized: perhaps this was the most nefarious and difficult beast to slay.
Okay, so this time around I had to put my money where my mouth was. I had read too much and knew too much to slip. I would always give myself excuses - but not this time. No edging. No slipping. I was able to catch myself quickly. What I mean is, I would see something simple like "Top 20 Erotic Films" on an "innocent" site like Rotten Tomatoes and I would instantly play the tape to the end - I know what going down that trail will lead to - so I ignore it.
This acronym was simple enough for me to remember: H.A.L.T. If I was feeling particularly weak, I would think: "Am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired?" Chances are: yeah, I was one of those things. So I would seek to remedy that with an actual fix (food, prayer/exercise/meditation, companionship, sleep) instead of seeming fixes that don't actually work (i.e., sugar, fapping, mindless activity).
Benefits: I see almost everyone as actual people. I don't sexually view others - unless it is my wife, and she is inviting me to. I somehow nailed a job interview and took a huge step up in my career into school administration. My wife also has been promoted and I have been way more "there for her." My walks with my dog have become very important. My relationship with my two sons is beautiful, engaging and I really feel like a true role model - instead of a dad with hidden secrets (my secrets keep me sick, so I share them with others like my 12-step group so that I can have a clean conscience). I find myself making wiser decisions and not allowing myself to spiral like I did so often before. That "little voice" that tells me to "fuck it, just do whatever" has grown smaller and smaller and I am able to just make wiser, clearer, better and more beneficial decisions. I can see the benefit of making good decisions as they build up on top of one another. I think this is what lead to landing the job, I was actually able to go in and speak about my positive traits and there was a real truth behind my words - the truth was the buildup of my good actions.
Drawbacks: I have not found any. I don't miss PMO at all. I quit Facebook on January 1st and have cut back my pointless sugar intake immensely.
Anyway, I know this is just reddit and this is just another online site or whatever, but improving your life, being a good father, being a good husband, being a good school administrator - these are the most important things in my life. It starts with sobriety for me. If I am not sober and free from PMO, alcohol & drugs, then all of the other important things in my life fall to pieces. I have to keep my sobriety first so that I can keep my other priorities too - if that makes sense.
I am very thankful for all the veterans on here that have shared their experience, strength and hope for 35-year-old men like me who were sick and tired of the PMO spiral. It is so nice to live in a world without PMO. The non-PMO world grows bigger and bigger each day and it is a much brighter place to be. I had a great grasp of darkness when I came here, I now no longer desire the darkness, I want to embrace good and lightness and expelling character defects from my daily life allows me the chance to live a full, meaningful and positive life.