It's been a while since I made a thread like this.
I've learned quite a few things in the last few months. So I'm going to share them with you guys.
First of all, I want to give the majority of credit to Al. It was thanks to him (and his insistence) that I've been gradually shifting from an abstinence approach to a recovery approach.
I also want to give credit to some other good friends: tsmith1302, CidGuerreiro, J.P., gameover, Metal, Aussie, GABE, High_Achiever, RedPill, adamant and Pedigree.
And of course, Gary & Marnia, for their incredible work and help to the community.
Porn Addiction is Being Severely Underestimated
How do I know this?
Because most people in the community believe that in order to get rid of this addiction, all they have to do is keep trying over and over again, until eventually things will just 'click' and their brains will finally become rebooted.
Very few are treating this as a true addiction. They just see it as a habit they want to break.
This is evidenced by the stubborness of many, relying purely on willpower for months, only to constantly reset their counters and beat themselves up for not making any progress.
Most people don't realize how incredibly difficult it is to completely remove artificial stimulation (of any kind) for the rest of their lives. We're talking about years and years of brain conditioning here.
Many of us here have been in this community since 2010 and we're still struggling in one way or another. That is almost 4 years oike haim "This is it, I've had enough, I'm going to do it this time"... f trying to quit for good. 4 years of trying to get to 100 days or whatever. 4 years of wanting to be the next GABE.eroine or cocaine. I cringe when people relapse, reset their counters, and procl We're dealing with some powerful stuff here, but it is not treated seriously enough, probably because it's widely accepted by society and is not a substance l
Stop kidding yourself.
This is an addiction that has to be attacked from many different angles. You need a full arsenal of tools and strategies, as well as a proper mindset.
Willpower alone won't do shit.
Abstinence is NOT Recovery
What people usually try to do is go as many days clean as they can.
That's all they do.
That's all their goal.
They achieve a certain amount of days, then for whatever reason they relapse, so they start over and repeat.
That is abstaining. That is not recovering.
It is extremely common for people to achieve a certain milestone, such as 30, 90, or 100 days, relapse a few days later, and then find themselves unable to get momentum again. They go back to the beginning and they feel like they lost all their progress from their run.
There is a constant frustration for lack of progress. People are feeling overwhelmed and discouraged, trying the same thing over and over again without success.
This is because very few are addressing the real roots of their problems. Very few.
Everyone is focused on how many days they have managed and if their symptoms are either present or gone. They judge their progress by measuring dick hardness, spontaneous erections and morning woods.
They are "trying to quit porn" so that they can "get rid of their ED".
So they abstain for as long as they can, hoping that this can cure their symptoms.
Completely wrong apen. proach.
If they don't see ED improvements, they get discouraged.
If they see ED improvements, then maybe a porn session or two won't hurt, right?
They are not They are They are not changing the way they live. That, my fr so that the symptoms can go away, and so they can finally live life.
People are focusing on the
not changing the way they think.
The Foundation of a Proper Reboot not the cause of your shitty life. changing the way they view sex and wom They are just trying not to masturbate, while everything else remains the same.
They delay dating until their ED is cured or they have managed to go 100 days. But they never achieve this in the first place precisely because of this incorrect mentality. The same applies to other symptoms such as social anxiety, energy levels, motivation, etc. wrong things.
Read that again.
Of course, it's difficult to improve your life when you're having intense porn sessions every single day that drain your energy and make you a zombie. But porn is not the reason your life sucks.
Please, this is very important to understand, you have to stop blaming porn for your problems.
This mentality of "life awaits me after recovery" is destructive.
Porn is not the reason you're a procrastinator. Porn is not the reason you're depressed. Porn is not the reason you're lonely. Porn is not the reason you haven't been able to lose weight or gain muscle.
Porn is the symptom.
You watch porn to escape reality. You watch porn to manage your emotions. You watch porn because you're bored, lonely, stressed, depressed, angry, isolated. You watch porn to feel good for a moment, to replace uncomfortable emotions and situations in your life.
Here's how you get rid of this addiction:
You don't focus on quitting porn so you can finally get to live life after you're recovered.
You focus on learning how to live, how to manage your emotions, how to change the way you think and view the world.
You put all your energy into building the life you want.
This will naturally lead your mind away from porn.
Success is not measured by how many clean days you've managed.
It's measured by how much your life has improved since you started rebooting.
This is what you need to do (credit to RecoveryNation):
Step #1: Write a life vision for yourself
How do you envision your life a few weeks, months, or years from now?
Spend a whole day (or week) thinking about this.
Don't say "I don't know what to do with my life".
Are you telling me you have no clue what you want in any of the following areas: study, work, family, friends, hobbies, health, etc?
This is by far the most important part of recovering from pornography addiction.
Write like crazy. Write many pages if you want. Make the biggest post you've ever done in your journal talking about how you envision your future life.
This life vision will be the foundation of your reboot.
This is what you will focus on 100% from now on.
Close your eyes. Visualize it. Write it down.
If you don't know what you want in life, then this is actually a more serious issue than porn addiction itself.
Like I said, spend a whole week if you need to.
Ask for advice.
Take a notebook and go to a park.
This is the beginning of your recovery.
Take it seriously.
Step #2: Give urgency to your life vision
Ok, now you know what you want in life. Even if you're still unsure in some areas, such as not knowing what to study, that's ok. At least you can give your life some direction for the moment. This is very important. You need to give your life direction. You need to move towards something.
Here's the problem. Many of us know what we want, but we keep delaying it. We're experts at delaying goals. We wait until New Years, or the beginning of a month, or until circumstances get better.
So this is what you're going to do now:
You're going to give urgency to your life vision.
Write down why you ABSOLUTELY MUST start working on it right now.
Make another huge post or journal entry about it.
Let's suppose you're 27 and you have no job, no car, still live with your parents, and spend most of the day playing video games. Why in the world would you wait more time before starting to do something about it? This is urgent bro. You're fucking 27!
Or maybe you've never had a girlfriend in your life before. Well, what are you waiting for? Go buy some nice clothes, start going out more frequently, make mistakes, get rejected, ask women on dates. Start getting some experience NOW.. Don't wait. The more you wait the worse it gets. Start doing yoga or swimming. Move your hips and back constantly every day.
Write down reasons why you must start pursuing your life vision right now.
You have to stop living like this.
This is urgent.
This is high priority.
We must convince ourselves that change is imminent.
It's very important.
A life vision is no good if you have no urgency.
You'll just keep delaying it. Waiting for circumstances to improve. Waiting for motivation to arrive. Waiting for the beginning of new year.
Step #3: Develop an indestructible belief in yourself
One of the main reasons we quit goals is because deep inside we don't believe we're actually able to do it.
When successful people like Arnold Schwarzenegger decide they want to achieve something, they become completely obsessed about it. They have an indestructible belief that they will achieve it.
They are not affected by circumstances. They create results in their head before they even get them.
This is what you have to do if you want to accomplish anything.
For example, let's say you want to learn how to play guitar. And you have the urgency to do it, because you know it takes time, so the sooner you start the better. You have to start now.
However, after a few days of learning the basics, you start losing motivation and becoming discouraged. You realize that playing guitar is not easy at all. You feel overwhelmed by how much practice you need to put into it. You start doubting yourself and thinking "There's no way I'll ever become a great guitar player and form my own band". Friends tell you things like "Dude, you should've started years ago. All great guitarists started when they were young".
So you quit.
This is a result of a weak belief in yourself. You don't believe you have the potential to become a good guitarist. Which is obviously completely false. We as humans have unlimited potential.
Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't think like this.
Look at what he said:
How many times have you heard 'You can't do this', 'You can't do that', 'It's never been done before'. I love it when someone says ' No one has ever done this before', because when I do it, that means I'm the first person that's ever done it!
This is how we should think when we set up to do anything in life.
Uncertainty is what kills people. Not knowing if they're able to achieve it.
We need to brainwash ourselves every day into believing that we WILL do it NO MATTER WHAT.
Step #4: Read "The Slight Edge"
This is by far one of the most helpful self-improvement books I've ever read.
And trust me, I've read quite a few.
Huge paradigm shift, huge.
Just get it.
Here's the link:
The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness
JUST GET IT!!!!!
The main idea from that book can be applied to quitting porn addiction as well. Basically it can be applied to anything in life.
I highly recommend it.
All of these steps are equally important.
Do not skip them.
They are the foundation of your reboot.
They make rebooting so much easier. Your mind will be completely focused on what you want in life. You will be fixing the root of all your problems.
The secret of change is to focus all your energy not fighting the old, but on building the new.
Stop making posts complaining about your shitty life. Stop making posts saying how you're sick of being addicted to porn. Stop talking about porn altogether.
Instead, transform your journal into a self-improvement journal, focused 100% on moving towards the life you want.
"Forget" about porn.
This is basic rebooting stuff, yet many people are constantly breaking this rule. They write about porn cravings, morning woods, spontaneous erections, what day they're on, how much they struggled to abstain, how they can't wait to reach 90 days, etc.
When you consistently focus 100% on building the life you want, your mind will naturally move away from porn. You will also lessen the void left by quitting porn, which is very real. this life emptiness that is very hard to handle. Then they go back to porn precisely because this void is too much for them.
Focusing on your life vision is a superior rebooting approach.
Relapses aren't that discouraging if you're actually improving your life. Ironically, you will notice that the more you focus on what you want, the less frequently you will relapse.
It's important that you think in terms of life vision and pursuing your dreams, not in terms of "I have to get busy and fill my life with activities so that I don't watch porn". This is something you're doing for yourself.
Stop ranting about porn.
This journey is about your LIFE.
Focus on that and the porn will go away.
Managing Your Emotional Life
Ok, let's keep going.
This is mistake #1 from my post The TOP 3 Fatal Mistakes Rebooters Make.
If you haven't read it yet, I highly suggest you do it after you finish reading this thread.
I want to talk about it again because it really is important.
Porn addiction is much more than just getting cravings and relapsing.
One of the reasons we become addicted is because of our inability to manage our emotional lives.
You have to remind yourself that quitting porn is about growing up and becoming a much more mature person.
It's much more than "I want to quit porn so I can cure ED and have plenty of sex with women!".
Much more than that.
We've been using porn for years as a method of handling our emotions.
We need to stop hiding away from uncomfortable life situations. We need to stop using porn in order to escape from reality.
We must learn how to handle life and emotions without the need of porn.
I'm going to quote Recovery Nation here: et's take ae discussed later in the workshop, but the point is: without the ingrained addiction, they are left with an emotional void that is very real. And very uncomfortable. The trap is in seeing this void as proof that their addiction was a natural, necessary entity in their life. They begin to feel an emotional emptiness...no urges...no pleasure...no anything. And they assume that something is wrong. That they need their addiction in order to feel normal. And here comes the porn, or the masturbation, or the affairs. And then, right on cue...here comes the excitement and pleasure and passion. Along with the guilt and sme and depression. But it doesn't matter. They would rather feel all of the emotions, than to feel nothing at all. And so, relapse occurs.
I remember thinking many times throughout my own struggles that I would rather experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows than to ever take a medication that would dim my emotions. I never feared feeling bad. I never feared the chaos that was my life. Not the misery, nor the pain. I cherished my emotional extremes as I believed that it was my ability to experience such extremes that made me who I was. My only fear was to feel nothing at all. This is common with many people who struggle with addictive behavior. Even those who state that they drink or use drugs or otherwise act out in an effort to "numb the pain" of past abuse, overwhelming stress, etc., are not completely accurate. They drink, use or otherwise act out to shift the emotions that they are experiencing — not to dull them.
The point to this is simple. To someone used to experiencing the extremes of the emotional experience — and suffering from true compulsive behavior is to experience emotions to their extreme — the emptiness that comes with a transitional ending can hing wrong inside of you; like you are broken somehow. You might even feel that, without these compulsive behaviors, life isn't even worth living. That it
By the way, Recovery Nation is fucking awesome.
I highly recommend you check it out.
Readjusting Your Sexual Expectations