Nick 2.0

Nick Simons

Active Member
Its day 13 - and yesterday was a pretty incredible day.

I was continuing in my online learning and came across the "EasyPeasy" addiction recovery method and related free online book after reading one of the RN Success Stories.  I spent probably 2 hours straight reading it from cover to cover ... and it had such a profound impact on how I am now seeing my addiction ... and finally quitting for good.  I feel at peace with myself now and see a very clear path forward as I leave my old life behind for good and rejoice in a newer, much better me.  I am excited to move forward and truly don't feel the need to look back.  This was my turning point. 

I am so grateful.
 

joepanic

Well-Known Member
13 days!!  Nice going Nick

    1 more day till 14.... 2 weeks  I really felt small victories helped me a long the way as they always gave me something to look forward to.  This  little book you spoke of  Can you post the link  somehow?  As much as I have already kicked the habit  I would be curious  to read it  and I'm sure perhaps a few others might too

    Cheers

      Post often it helps me it helps you
 

Nick Simons

Active Member
Hey Joe,

Thanks for your words of support - much appreciated as always. 

Re the book I mentioned, I am happy to share additional details in the hopes that this may help others.  Just to be very clear though, I am very respectful of the fact that there are many approaches out there that can work to get you to become a "non-user" of porn - this one particularly resonated with me (maybe by luck, timing, or fate) ... don't know why but it is out there and available for any who are looking for additional arrows in the quiver.  My hope is that this may be the 1 last piece of the puzzle that finally takes you to your own tipping point. 

Enough said, here the details (and a bit about why this approach made the penny drop for me). 

So the book is called "The EasyPeasy Way to Quit Porn" (https://easypeasymethod.org/) - and I'll be honest when I first started to read I was hugely skeptical / thought this was just some internet Schtick to eventually make me buy something.  But this is absolutely not the case - the entire book is online, it is totally free, and there is nothing waiting to jump out at you when you finish the book.  There is also a fair bit of writing early on in the book that strongly recommends that you don't jump to the end or skip any of the earlier chapters - this made my "spidey sense" go up again ... but again there is good reason for holding back the details (they just want you to really deal with the mental framing of your addiction and this takes time to sink in via the earlier chapters ... so it's well worth trusting the process). 

So I was quite blow away by where I ended up once I had finished reading the book and had followed their suggestions (again nothing magical - just a really clearer way for me to see my addiction and a way better way to map out my recovery path).  For whatever reason, this was my missing piece of the puzzle and I jumped in 100% (there is some overlap with Noah Church in this material that I quite liked - but also some important new stuff - especially re how to frame your path to recovery - that I had never thought of before and was very refreshing).  As I mentioned earlier, it was pretty earth shaking for me and I really feel like I am on way more solid ground and have finally left porn behind me for good - and can now live a life of joy. 

I also did some additional research to understand where this approach came from and was very impressed in terms of its credentials / success rate.  It is basically a very slight modification of a very successful methodology that was created by Allen Carr (he created the "EasyWay to Stop Smoking).  Allen went on to expand his approach to incorporate all kinds of other addictions (drugs, sugar, gambling, etc...) and has had tremendous success with his approach - check out his website for additional background and success rates / testimonials - https://www.allencarr.com/. 

Anyway all I can say is good luck, I truly hope this helps, and if its not right for you - no worries, your path to freedom lies with some other combination to the safe. 
 

LetItGoAlready

Active Member
Its day 13 - and yesterday was a pretty incredible day.

I was continuing in my online learning and came across the "EasyPeasy" addiction recovery method and related free online book after reading one of the RN Success Stories.  I spent probably 2 hours straight reading it from cover to cover ... and it had such a profound impact on how I am now seeing my addiction ... and finally quitting for good.  I feel at peace with myself now and see a very clear path forward as I leave my old life behind for good and rejoice in a newer, much better me.  I am excited to move forward and truly don't feel the need to look back.  This was my turning point.

I am so grateful.

Nick - Well done on 13 days! I've never looked into the EasyPeasy recovery method, although I've seen it mentioned a time or two by others on this forum, so thanks for sharing.

With so many options to choose from out there in the recovery lit universe, finding something that speaks to you personally is truly a gift. And with all of the other reading and research you've done, and the self-wisdom you've already gained from this journey, it sounds like you're in good shape to solve the very confusing puzzle that is this addiction.

Keep up the great work!
 

Nick Simons

Active Member
Day 14 ... and some reflections on my journey so far.

I am realizing that, unlike the rare few previous times when I got this far, this time it is very different.  Up until now every time I got this far in abstaining it has been through the "white knuckle" approach ... trying to just hang on and do my best to avoid any and all triggers (basically keeping my head down and avoiding living to try and stretch my streak out as long as possible). 

This time it is very different - and why I am feeling this time it's for real.  Armed with my "never again" / all in commitment and a much deeper understanding of what I am really and truly giving up / what I am really and truly gaining, I am not trying to avoid life and the inevitable triggers.  Now I am seeing them for what they are - an unavoidable part of life that I can't control but every time I am presented by these triggers I have a 100% controllable choice of what happens next - I can remind myself of my "never again" choice but even more importantly fully immerse myself in the now deeply felt connection I have made to what I am truly losing / gaining ... feeling the very real joy of getting my life back ... and this is winning out every time over what I used to rationalize for what I had to look forward to by going down the slippery slope.

I'll add one other thing, that may be a bit controversial, but as I said before, this is just what seems to be working for me ... for others it may not and that is AOK ... I am simply sharing it in case it can help even 1 other person break free.  This was perhaps my biggest "aha" moment over the last week of anchoring my new found habits.  I realized that not only do I have the choice to say "never again" and mentally reframe what I am losing / gaining ... but I also also have the 100% choice of how long and painful I want my recovery period to be. 

This seems counter-intuitive and as I think back to how I started 2 weeks ago it is actually the opposite to how I originally approached my recovery ... but again, at least for me, this has been a game changer.  So when I started on my recovery, I took the approach that I should accept the premise that the recovery period was going to be "brutal" / very difficult / long and enduring, etc... and I did this with the best of intentions ... so that I could prepare myself as best I could for what was going to unfold and thereby I would be better prepared for the inevitable "battle(s)" that would eventually come to try and drag me back to the dark side. 

Through my readings / learnings I realized that maybe this wasn't the best way to set me up for success.  Instead, I took the opposite approach ... I realized that I could choose how I wanted to pre-dispose my brain and my thinking about my recovery journey - and instead of seeing it is a torturous path / as a battle with "epic struggles" along the way, I saw it as actually a very doable journey where I would be regularly experiencing very positive wins and feelings of tremendous joy and self-worth - an epic journey to finally achieving freedom once and for all. 

To be clear I am not saying I am blissfully ignoring what I have learned re the very real "re-wiring" and relating real feelings of withdrawal I know are taking place ... but I really believe that we (I) can blow these negative aspects way out of proportion (again all for the best of intentions ... to "prepare ourselves") without realizing that by doing so we (I) may be actually contributing to increasing the stickiness of the very thing I am trying to break free from. 

Reframing how I see my recovery journey as something to be embraced (very positive, enjoyable .. even "easy" i.e totally doable) and not feared has been a tremendous part of why I believe this is working for me now and will continue to work for me over the coming weeks, months, years.  Again I know it seems simple, perhaps a bit counter-intuitive - but I think this has made all the difference in the world for how my weird little brain works. 

Hope it helps.
 
Nick - I appreciate this approach. My journal entry this morning was similar in that I realized my reboot was very doable and that it wasn't just a constant battle to stay away from triggers. Instead, at some point, it just got easier and I was able to focus on the victories. I think this is very helpful. It's definitely a change in perspective from one focuses on defeat to one focused on winning this thing.

Congrats on 14 days! Keep it up! You can do this!
 

Nick Simons

Active Member
Hey Berry,

Thanks for your insights and words of encouragement.  I just checked out your Post and congrats ... 89 days going on 90 is amazing.  All 4 of your "lessons learned" hit the mark for me as well so thanks for shining a spotlight.  I can honestly say that, now that I am no longer looking backward to my old life but rather am looking forward to the new Nick, I am no longer "cautiously" excited about the future ... I am just plain excited about the future. 

Cheers. 
 

Nick Simons

Active Member
Day 15 - and all remains stable as I continue on my recovery journey as a non-porn user. 

Not much to note from yesterday except to say that there were some of life's usual stressors (with work and family and COVID and ...) but these didn't overwhelm me and definitely did not lead to any triggers so that was good.

This is probably a bit of a rehash of my recent observations of late, but as I continue to try and assess / draw insights from my "great escape from porn jail", this is how I see my efforts so far and the lessons that have worked for me.

In the past when I tried to quit, I viewed myself as a PMO'er who was being "forced" (by myself) to give up porn ... and  I was miserable.  I wanted to PMO.  Every day I had to gut it out and try not to PMO.  I couldn?t be who I was (or thought I was), a PMO'er - in a way I see now that this was how I was defining myself (because it was such a huge part of my life).  And so as I tried to quit again and again, I felt like I was denying myself of who I was or of something I really really wanted ... and this "being denied" mindset always contributed to setting me up to eventually give in to the craving. 

Every time I used that approach I failed at quitting my PMO habits.  Now I truly see myself as a ?non-porn user? who has an occasional craving to lust.  This new view has made the struggle 100% easier.  I have a new definition of myself.  Now, I just manage an occasional temptation - by remembering who / what I am and by leaning on what is now my new definition of what I really really want (all the gains I now associate with living a life as a non-porn user).  I have reframed what I am truly giving up (nothing) and what I am gaining (a fully lived life). 

I continue to process this but I can honestly say it is giving me a tremendous, stable foundation in my day to day activities ... and I am finding I am starting to sleep better as well.

Just some rambling thoughts ...

 

Nick Simons

Active Member
Phew!  I am happy to see Day 16 arrive but ...

Yesterday was my toughest challenge to date on my journey as a non-porn user.  A bit of a perfect storm hit me near the end of the evening - which had me seriously thinking about starting down the path that would have thrown me into a Nick 1.0 (old Nick) binge event.  I would like to say that with my new found mindset and total commitment it was an easy win ... but it really wasn't all that easy and I came closer to slipping back into the my old habitual ways than I would like to admit. 

In the end, what saved me was just getting real and honest with myself in that moment of having 2 paths to choose from.  On the precipice, literally 1 click away from opening Pandora's box, I thought hard about the last 15 days ... how far I had come, how genuine my desire to change was, and how real this small ember of hope inside me was that believed I could actually escape ... somehow all of this was just enough to allow me to break through in the moment of truth ... and I shut down my laptop and just went to bed.  I can honestly say I have never managed to do this before - not go down the dark path when the choice was right in front of me. 

So as I reflect on this today, I am actually tremendously grateful for the "test" ... because it gave me the chance to fully experience what it takes for me to choose the right path.  And this gives me a tremendous sense of calmness and pride ... because I did this ... I overcame the monster this time ... and so I can do it again next time when he shows up.  New mental pathways are being created and this further fuels my hope.  My escape continues ... and I feel stronger today than I did yesterday.

Much gratitude to all for your help. 

 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Hi Nick (2.0)

It sounds like perhaps this new found mindset has addressed the thought process that would normally result in you giving up at such a point. Great job staying strong and sticking to your commitment! Each time we dismiss an urge in such a way, it will weaken the addiction and strengthen our confidence & resolve to leave this addiction behind forever.

Here's to feeling even stronger in the days to come!
 

Nick Simons

Active Member
Hey Orbiter,

Thanks for your words of encouragement - it helps a lot!  I have found having a safe place like the RN Forum is super helpful to feel like I have a real accountability group and support network where I can be totally honest - the good, the bad, and the ugly.  So thanks again for your thoughts and stay strong brother in your own walk into the light!
 

Nick Simons

Active Member
Day 17 ... the weekend is here and so a good time for me to reflect on the last 2 1/2 weeks of being a non-user of porn. 

As I step back and assess things, I feel I am in a good place mentally.  Feeling balanced, excited about the future, and quite proud of myself for getting this far outside the "prison fence" of my addiction. 

The 17 days have had their challenges - overall physically I have felt a bit of brain fog, tiredness, and I did run into a few full on triggers from my past that decided to rear their ugly heads.  But these were very few and far between ... and I have been able to reframe all of these minor speed bumps as tremendous moments of victory ... by stepping back from each and detaching myself in the moment from my thinking / feeling associated with the trigger ... simply breathing through it and then letting it go (thanks to mindfullness training I have been working on over the last year or so - if you are interested in learning more I would highly recommend the Headspace app).

What has helped most for me so far has been:
1)  this forum (that provides a safe place for me to be honest and have consistent / regular support from others)
2)  the learnings from the EasyPeasy method (massively reframed how I really feel about the pros / cons of my porn addiction as well my recovery process)
3)  the undying belief that despite screwing up a million times in the past ... there is always hope and anyone (even me) can become one of those dudes who finally breaks free - living life on the outside looking in, sharing their success story and hopefully being an encouragement to others.  I feel 1 step closer ...

Thanks and stay strong!



 

Nick Simons

Active Member
OK ... day 18. 

... and yesterday was a mixed bag of tremendous balance / calmness intermixed with what seemed like a barrage of temptation from all sides that kept trying to get me to kick back and surf the web "like the good old days Nick ... because you've earned it after 2 1/2 weeks pure".  I'd like to say that it was a slam dunk to not go there ... but it wasn't. 

Although in the end I managed to break that chain and avoid the slippery slide back into jail ... I felt a bit like I had been through a washing machine.  Sometimes feeling like I was about to slip under the surface of the water ... other times feeling awesome and victorious because I was back on top and steering myself clear of the usual triggers.  In the end though, I can look myself in the mirror and proudly say:
-  I managed to escape and live another day as a non-porn user.
-  when it came right down to it, I ended up spending the last 5 hours of my day choosing NOT TO SURF and instead choosing to do a bunch of amazingly positive things (researching / creating the next stage of my training plan for my sport of choice, learning about a terrific health program that I have wanted to explore for a while but had put off until "I had some time", and most importantly offering to pick up my daughter from her friends house @ 1:00am - when I would have otherwise just told her to take an Uber home! - wow was she ever thankful too .. just beautiful!).
-  I drifted off to sleep knowing that this day, all my pent up energy was being directed towards healing my body and mind - doing more productive and challenging work towards my values and goals. 

So in the end it was exhausting ... but incredibly fulfilling in a weird kind of way.  I am grateful. 

 
Nick, that?s a win! Those are the kind of days that you prove to yourself what you?re capable of. The easy days are great, but those days you feel like you are in a washing machine (great image...I totally relate) are the days that build character in this fight. You just had one heck of a training day.

Congrats on 18 days!
 

Nick Simons

Active Member
Alrighty .. day 19 and (thank goodness) yesterday was much smoother than days 17 and 18 (phew!).

Thanks for the encouragement Berry ... timing was perfect and provided me with a lift just when I needed it.  What I am taking away from my 2 recent challenging days is how much I underestimated the awesome feelings of success and hope that comes from a victory - even (and maybe especially) one that was a tough slog with lots of "dirty boxing" (for any MMA fans) to escape from the pathways of old.

I am finding that victory (even small ones) over my various triggers seem to have a way of building momentum ... imperceptible at first but then it becomes a real thing that helps me see my world with a different and much better perspective of what I am truly giving up (nothing) and what I am gaining (tons) by living as a non-porn user.  This is making my recovery journey easier. 

On another related note, I am finding something interesting happening now when I wake up.  Back when I was on the porn treadmill, I would typically wake up and the first thought / feelings I would have (particularly after a long night of usage) was a deep sense of sadness / self-loathing / darkness ... as I realized just how much I was wasting my life away.  And this would then just hang around as my default state of mind as I made my way through the day.  My self talk would go something like this throughout the day, " ... hey so how are we doing Nick? ... uh OKAY but ... oh yah I'm still living my life in this shitty never ending cycle and I don't think I'll ever break free ... Oh yah, well sucks to be you dude, but hey good luck with that..." - rinse and repeat throughout the day as my always present mental backdrop. 

But the last week or so, because I have established this mini track record of consistent little victories ... the first thought / feelings I now have when I wake up is that of genuine calmness, joy, and a sense of pride as I feel I have taken control of my life.  And it just feels so much better ... and then (as an added bonus) this feeling sticks around for the rest of the day hanging around as my subtle mental backdrop ... making everything else I do "better" as I am coming at life from a stronger more positive place.  My self talk is changing to "... hey so how are we doing Nick? ... uh actually pretty darn good I think ... oh yah I'm now living my life way more in control, balanced, and I am actually feeling happy for the first time in a long time  ... Wow good job dude, let's keep this going ..." - rinse and repeat. 

I think these are the early signs of what comes next ... and this brings me tremendous hope.  Sending strength and good vibes to all my brothers in your own recovery journeys today. 


 

joepanic

Well-Known Member
Good morning Nick

    Just following your progress  and I can say well done  I too really found the mini victories to be one of my better tools  when it came to fighting this addiction.  I looked forward to things like 5 days  1 week    or getting past a particular  situation.  They helped me build confidence  which allowed me to work on other areas  of my life and attempt new things  which again helped build confidence

  good luck  keep up the fight

    Post often it helps me it helps you
 

Nick Simons

Active Member
Day 20 ... and yesterday was an amazing day. 

Thanks to you Joe for your encouraging words ... I like how you described the virtuous cycle of mini-victories that builds and feeds on itself.  I am paying extra effort today to slow down a bit and not take this for granted ... but instead be very mindful and present in acknowledging what's taking place. 

Today as I reach the half-way mark to my "basecamp #2" of 40 days, I am trying to focus on pausing and ensuring I don't start to get overconfident.  My recent string of mini-victories are great ... but it also introduces the opportunity to let down my guard on my recovery journey and / or start to introduce thoughts like "I've got this so now I can just take a peek".  I've come to embrace the fact that there is no such thing as just one peek.

In my quiet time this morning, I read from (1 Corinthians 10: 12) "If you think you are strong, you should be careful not to fall."  So this is my mindset as I launch into day 20.  Strong ... but fully aware and on guard. 


 

Nick Simons

Active Member
Onto day 21.

Yesterday felt pretty great for the most part.  It was however a busy and physically tiring day (busy from work and physically exhausting due to a heavy workout program).  All was good until the end of the day when I just felt exhausted (I think a combo of mental and physical overload) and I just had to lie down after dinner.

A bit weird as I usually don't feel that wiped out but it also contributed to temptation as I was resting up which called me to start down the slippery slope and use porn to help me "unplug and relax" from a tough day.  I fought a mini-battle but was able to stay on the path by redirecting my actions ("breaking my patterns" - thanks Joepanic for your advice on this) and chose instead to spend 15 minutes hanging out with my 2 daughters.  This provided enough of an interrupt that I was then able to regain my balance, do my end of day routine (planning for my next day and journaling), and then just go straight to bed. 

Anyway, feeling good about starting this day with a clean slate.  Stay strong.
 

otanerferguson

Active Member
Heey Nick, I am glad that you were able to redirect your urges towards a more bonding activity with your daughters. I can relate to your feelings of temptation, although not with porn, but with other time sucking black holes. Beware of cross-contamination with other negative dopamine surging activities, such as doomscrolling or other types of bingeing. In my case, I noticed a spike in sugar cravings and youtube consumption, which I've now pledged to stay away from till the end of the 90 days, just to let the reward center reset properly.

I am happy you were able to keep your balance. Keep fighting the good fight!!!
 

Nick Simons

Active Member
Day 22 ... another mixed day of smooth sailing with a few pesky temptations thrown in again ... but stayed true to my non PMO path. 

Thanks Hugo for your thoughts re introducing alternative bad habits ... I am having to work on that as well but your note came at an excellent time yesterday as I was right in the middle of a mini battle when I decided to try and disrupt my pattern and see if there was anything happening in the RN posts ... and there was your note which helped me to course correct and rebalance ... much appreciated!

Upon reflection on yesterday's temptation and (thankfully) eventual victory, I realized just how critical it is to hold zero space for my triggering thoughts.  So as soon as these thoughts arrive (which is not controllable) I need to immediately and absolutely shut it down in my brain (which is totally controllable) so it doesn't stick around / continue to linger in my thoughts / start to grow and eventually take hold - it's not just a passive mental trying to ignore the thought, it is a full throttled mental re-iteration of my commitment to "never again" use porn and an instant re-iteration of my reframed perspective of what I am giving up / what I am gaining by this new lifestyle ... and this seems to really help to kill the thought in its tracks and not provide any oxygen for the thought to gain a handhold that can grow into an action.  This was helpful for me and I will continue to dial this in as I move forward.

Feeling very grateful...
 
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