Title: "New hope"
Alright, I’m going to start this off by telling a story going back to December 31 2019. That day marked the end of a long period of relapses and low motivation to quit PMO. I kind of had just given up hope and wasn’t even trying to get better, even though I was feeling miserable. Going back even beyond that period there were times were I would put up a good fight against PMO but most of those are too vague for me now to tell here. Anyway, on December 31 as I was reflecting on the past year, I got really sad. For the first time in my life I was feeling depressed. This was when I decided to get a cup of coffee, sit down, and write myself a letter…
I started the letter by writing down all the things that for me made 2019 feel like it might have just been skipped entirely. There were almost no things that I could think of that made me feel proud. I still had only a few friends, no girlfriend, was lazy, still did PMO and was still insecure about a lot of things. Next to that, although I was still attending church, my relationship with God was not even worthy of mention.
After writing all this down I got scared, scared that 2020 would be just as shit as 2019 had been. I’ve never really been scared of the future but this was so clear to me. If I couldn’t get PMO out of my life (or at least complete 100 days) in 2020, it would probably never happen for me. After all I had been trying for 6 years and knew all the technique’s that made others succeed. Now that’s a scary thought.
I continued the letter ensuring myself that this year I was really going to fix myself. I wrote to myself that I already knew what to do, I had known it for a long time but my addiction made me ignore the only solution… Okay that needs some explaining, basically all of my somewhat longer streaks (12+ days) were the ones were I was really committed to God and to my planned urge prevention/intervention practices. It was just that after 12 days I would always lose focus and relapse. It would usually take another month for me to be able to get a long streak again. The solution really should be quite simple: “Stick to the plan!”. I told myself that this is what it would take, there will not be a simple or effective trick. It’s not going to be easier when I start next week, month or year. At that moment it just seemed completely absurd to postpone applying my only effective solution. One might say: ”Why would this time be different? A plan is always to be kept right?”. True! I’ll explain this in a later post.
I finished the letter by telling myself I believed in the Father and I to convert the image of that scary 2020 to-be into the year that I would strengthen myself against PMO. I also listed some things that I actually was proud of, like my perseverance, patience and humility. This I believe to be a very important practice to strengthen the mind. I ended the last section with a quote from C.S. Lewis:
“The Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays.”
I folded the letter, put it in an envelope, wrote my name and address on the front and delivered it to my own house. I know that that seems childish but it actually worked to empower the words in it. Now every time I get urges I usually look at the letter, knowing that a wiser me is advising me not to give up, even after failure.