I can "safely" say I have 1 month porn free because the longest months of the year have 31 days
You know, the second biggest trigger for me after alcohol is being tired. I work those night shifts, approximately 6 every month. I've lost several streaks after coming home in the morning, going to sleep, waking up after 2 hours and starting to edge to flashbacks on autopilot. Once I jumped right in front of the computer and played porn, as if I was hypnotized or something. I didn't use to do it before going to sleep but then it happened once. I came home and started edging to flashbacks in the bed. Today, at about 3 A.M I got urges right there at work! My mind was telling me, "You are all alone in here, nobody sees you, you can delete the history after that." I guess it's the fuckin reptilian brain doing it's thing when I have less strength because of being tired or something. But, I didn't want to entertain the addicted brain. When the urges get tough, we actually don't have to do anything. It feels like it, it feels like we need to do it now and get the pleasure, but we actually don't need it because it's not necessary for our lives. Our reptilian brain got hijacked into thinking that this thing is good for our survival because it releases a lot of dopamine but this is where we come and tell it, "No, bro, it's not, you are wrong, I'll show you how it actually is." Right now, with the discomfort the addicted brain puts us through, it looks like it has the biggest percentage of the power but we sometimes forget that we actually have the last say. It's us that ultimately choose what we do. The brain pushes its agenda but we are presented with the choice, even if the hypofrontality makes it difficult, even if we have a short amount of time to get ourselves out of it, we still have the choice. If we didn't have the choice, the recovery would never be possible for any of us here.
When the urges come, what do we do? I chose to keep it simple. I acknowledge the urges for being my addicted brain trying to get its fix, I breath, I try not to fantasize and think about porn and I wait until the dopamine calms down. I tell myself, "You don't have to do anything about this. Mind your business."
You know, I am obsessed with the pleasure that this porn dopamine brings, no doubt. It's the greatest feeling in the world. Top of the world. Edging to porn is my drug because edging releases massive dopamine. It's like your brain telling you, "Keep going, the reward is juuuust around the corner." Urges for me started around day 6. Anytime urges showed up, I went crazy like smelling food after being starved for a week or something. Denying myself this pleasure sucked big time. I was irritated as fuck and angry. But I endured it. Every time you say "no" to this, you delay the gratification and you stay on the right road, the road of the truth, of how life it's supposed to be. Life has obstacles, discomfort, pain and also joy but it's what porn could never be: Real. Porn says, "Use me because ain't pleasure everything in life? Do you want to live like a monk?" And/Or "Use me to get the comfort because things suck right now." Those are the lies that fuckin porn tell you. The mind needs to be trained to get used to discomfort by facing discomfort because the mind, by default, likes the comfort and hates the pain. When things get tough, the mind says, "Come on, man, let's get out of here! Do whatever it takes to stop this discomfort." And you say, "But this means relapsing." And the mind says, "For now only, you'll do it next time, you'll figure it out, just do it now!" When was "next time" easier? I've tried "next time will be easier" approach and here I am struggling because it's never easier. Quitting porn will never be a breeze. Nobody escapes porn easily. We need to start this by preparing ourselves in our minds that we are going to experience a form of discomfort along the way.
The mind doesn't know what discomfort is if we don't show it, if we don't go all the way through the discomfort. Running back to the comfort zone will never accomplish this. The comfort zone is like a small yard where you lock yourself up and you don't see what's outside. You look around one day and you don't see the things that you want to get in life. Then you realize that all the great things in life are out there, blended together with that thing called "discomfort". It's the rejections, the humiliations, the sad moments, the obstacles etc. And mixed between them there are those great moments in life too. What are we gonna do?
Embrace the suck.