Porn addiction is the best thing that has happened to me
First of all I would like to thank the following people:
Gary Wilson. Your research and work helped me to find a problem, which has been bothering me for a long time.
Gabe Deem. Your contribution about spreading awareness about porn addiction is amazing. Also Thank you for creating the community of RebootNation.
Last but not least I want to thank members of Reboot Nation, who directly or indirectly helped me in my fight with my addiction. For me the most influential members were Sunborn, zaraki888, Dareius, Lapper, TiramiSu, William, Gracie, Objectified1 and last but not least Emerald Blue. Your contribution helped me drastically and made this article possible.
I need to warn you in advance. English is not my native language and MS Word is not almighty, so there will be mistakes.
I wrote this article in order to sum up my experiences as a rebooter. It will contain a lot of quotes, links and a wall of text. Because of that I did my best to make it as readable as possible. It also contain some triggers. If you have problems to read long articles, just read a chapter every day.
Therefore I have to warn you, this is not the only way how to successfully reboot. There is a chance I got crazy along the way so rather use this approach:
?Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.? ? Bruce Lee
A little about me
You might be wondering why this is the best thing that has ever happened to me?
When I discovered I am porn addicted I was devastated. I never had a clue that something like this even exists and I definitely didn?t want to become addicted. Who would like to? But when I discovered about addiction I knew it was all my doing and it is also my responsibility to beat this addiction as well. Nobody will that for me. I was willing to do anything to beat it, because I couldn't imagine spending my whole life behind computer screen jerking off.
At the beginning of this journey I was whining self-hating, pessimistic and depressive person who always had too many excuses why this and that can't be done and why is it such a problem. Now I am confident, more positive and more friendly person who can talk to other people (and girls as well). I could do this and I have no doubt you can make this change as well.
To be honest I've never intended to live without porn ever again. The way I see it, humans will be bombarded with sex even more because sex is something that sells. And it sells a lot. My intention was to learn how to live with that, because I didn?t want to live in constant fear when I see something sexy I will fall back into addiction.
Also there is one thing that porn taught me. Although it caused me a lot of negative things it also showed me there are numerous ways how partners can pleasure each other sexually. And I would like to explore my sexuality.
If you are still interested in what I have to say, let?s get started:
1. Admit you have a problem
?When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change?- Legend of Korra
There is a big difference between looking at porn once in a time and watching it every day, having multiple tabs in your browser, seeking various forms of kinks for hours in order to get off.
If you don?t believe you have problem with porn, why would you want to get rid of it? Why would you go through that pain, bad feelings, suffering and more? Admitting problem is the most crucial point in your recovery.
I know it?s hard to admit it. I never considered the problem could be me. These days when I want to blame everything else, first I ask myself: Isn?t problem in me? And in most cases it is.
Why would any porn loving guy give up porn? I?ll share my two cents on this question.
Porn won?t touch me back, porn won?t hug me back, porn won?t kiss me back and the most important thing porn won?t love me back.
Still don?t believe me and consider that using porn is ?normal? that everybody does and nobody gets hurt? Well then look how this normal behavior affects your significant other!
Or you know what? Forget it. Enjoy as much porn as you want. But I don't want to be you when you'll have a chance to be with a girl and you won't be capable to perform at all. And that look of dissapointment on her face...
Maybe you already have a girlfriend/wife and children. Are you willing to lose them just for a few pleasurable moments alone? No? Then do something about it, otherwise you will.
If you are not sure, test yourself. Stop using porn for 14 days or just masturbate without porn. If you can do it without problem, good for you. But if you can?t do it at all, you probably have symptoms of porn addiction.
2. Learn about addiction
?Knowing is half the battle.? - G.I. Joe
You will face many uncomfortable situations like flatline, withdrawal symptoms when facing porn addiction (or dopamine addiction to be more precise). But if you know what?s ahead of you, you won?t get scared so easily or misplace these situations for something else. I recommend starting with The Great Porn Experiment. In this short video you will learn about most common symptoms of porn addiction.
The best source of information about porn addiction is http://www.yourbrainonporn.com This website contains many scientific studies, articles and videos, even a book. All of that gives you understanding of what is happening in your brain and what will you face during your reboot.
There are also other good sources as well. There are Gabe?s videos, Addiction or NoFAP academy. Take your time and study it, it will ease your reboot. Alas I have to warn you. Don't become expert on the addiction.Instead become expert on you life!
3. Make environment work for you
?The things you own end up owning you.? -Tyler Durden
In order to reboot, you need to get rid of everything associated with porn. Magazines, DVDs, videos and so on. Everything has to go. Because if you keep them, you will be tempted to use them. We all have tendency to have some kind of backdoor. But backdoors leads you away from your goal.
When I discovered I am porn addict, I wanted to recover. But I naively though I am strong enough to manage on my own. I was too afraid to delete my porn stash thinking I will lose something precious. For my first run I stayed 14 days before I relapsed.
After that I was relapsing every week mostly during the weekends, sometimes shorter. I decided to delete 1 porn video every day as a reward for staying clean. I deleted everything after a week. But I was still watching porn online.
?You can?t get enough of what won?t satisfy you?
For some reason I thought that if I install web filter I will lose information. I was too afraid for that. It took me a few relapses and I installed K9 software. Funny thing, it wasn?t that bad as I though.
But all this steps took me 4 months, before I really got rid of most available porn. I had to experience it by myself. Here is good post talking about filters: http://legacy.rebootnation.org/index.php?topic=6377.0
What worked best for me was registering it to somebody else; create a password containing random numbers and letters and forget it. Then you will have it much harder to find anything.
Filters block a lot of porn, but not all. You may try to bypass them or go around them and there is a chance you will succeed. But if you really want to recover, don?t rely on filters. Think about them as a warning.
I also did a few other adjustments. I have a lot of the used quotes as my wallpaper to remind me to focus on life, not on addiction. And Rise and Shine is my alarm clock.
4. Your real enemy
?I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies, for the hardest victory is over self.? ? Aristotle
For all of us this is the hardest thing we have ever done. It?s because you will face the most cunning, vicious enemy you can ever face. Yourself! It will be very persuasive voice in your head, promising you sweet things, convincing you that you need porn and you can't live without it.
You used porn as a medicament. It was your place to hide from the world. A method how to instantly deal with problems and emotions, which were bothering you. It became a part of your life for years. Don?t expect it will pass overnight.
?Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.? ? Henry Ford
Your mind is a very powerful tool. Problem is when you are using this tool against yourself. When a homeless guy tells you ?You are no good.? you don?t believe him. But when your mind tells you same thing, you believe it without a word. This is the problem.
Chance is you hate yourself. I was there too. I hated myself so much I let myself live to suffer more rather than kill myself and be free. I was like this for more than 6 years and each year was worse and worse. Believe me when I tell you there is a way out. You can beat not just this addiction, but this mindset as well.
For start you need to change is how you explain situations you get into. For example when you face something you didn?t know don?t say: ?I am stupid.? Because this seems like it?s a permanent thing that you can?t change. This is not true. Instead explain this situation: ?I didn?t know that?, because this is temporary and it's something you can change.
Same works for pursuing a relationship. If you believe you aren't good enough to have a partner, then you you'll have it even harder to find someone.
Know this. Terry Crews beat this addiction (yes THAT Terry Crews), Gabe Deem beat it and you will beat it too. For the start say this loudly: ?I will beat this!? Even better repeat it every day.
[size=16pt]?As you think, so shall you become.? ? Bruce Lee
By the way for me Rocky Balboa?s speech to his son is the best definition of life I have ever heard. Go ahead and look at it, I?ll wait?
You are back? I really liked the last phrase: ?Until you start believing in yourself, you won?t have a life.? Well I can?t give you any universal plan how to do that; I can only share things, which helped me to believe in myself. But before that I?ll bore you with my theory:
Law of attraction
?'The secret of attraction is loving yourself?- Lao Tzu
For me this is the core of success in all aspects of your life. But by that I don?t mean narcissistic self-love like I have a nice car, lot of money, lovely girlfriend/wife and so on. I understand it more likely when I stand in front of mirror I can look myself in the eyes. I like the person in front of me and also the direction I am taking to become a better person.
Success isn?t something you pursue; it?s something you attract by becoming an attractive person. A question to you: How do you want to really love another person if you can?t love even yourself?
5. Two approaches
?I?m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You?re the one that has to walk through it. ?? Morpheus
Abstinence approach is probably first way you will try. You set a 90 days goal and leave everything as it was before. You will focus on number of days you stayed clean, measure your dick hardness, wet dreams, successful penetration and so on.
There is a chance you will succeed. But at the same time what you will feel after this threshold will be void. Emptiness. You will feel so empty it will be unbearable. In order to fill that void may fall again to porn, alcohol, cigarettes etc... You won?t help yourself much.
[size=16pt]?Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ?- Albert Einstein
But more likely you will relapse several times in the process. You get mad at yourself, punish yourself for that and try it again harder. What will you resolve? Same result as before. In order to get out of this circle you need to start doing things differently, because when you do what you always did, you will get what you always got.
In my starting days as a rebooter I was trying to reach higher and higher number of days. But I wasn?t much successful in that. Something had to change if I really wanted to successfully reboot. I had to change.
"Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change." Jim Rohn
Recovery approach focuses on different areas than your penis. It focuses on your life and things related to it. Underdog made two valid points in his Thoughs on Rebooting:
[size=16pt]Abstinence is NOT a recovery.
Porn addiction is not cause of your shitty life. Porn is a symptom.
Your problem is you firmly believe that life awaits you after reaching 90 days. Until then you are waiting for an opportunity, magical moment, anything like that and your life will be great afterward! I hate to disappoint you, but this opportunity will never come. Or to be more precise, it won?t come in form you hope for.
Snatch from Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill:
[size=16pt]When the opportunity came, it appeared in a different form, and from a different direction than Barnes had expected. That is one of the tricks of opportunity. It has a sly habit of slipping in by the back door, and often it comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat. Perhaps this is why so many fail to recognize opportunity.
So instead seeing porn addiction as something bad, see it as a gift. An opportunity that you were waiting for so long.