My revelation about how to get free of addictions

Hi everyone
I thought I can share some revelations I had during the last weeks.

I see that a lot here (and I made the same mistake) that people try to simply cut away porn. Forcing to not use the phone and so on.
But I realized, that porn has a function for me. It lets me flee from my emotions.

I realized following path:

  1. I am in an uncomfortable situation (I need to make a phone call, prepare a powerpoint for the next meeting, ask someone for a favor and so on. It could also be something like: Why didn’t I stick to my opinion in front of him, why did I act like that?)
  2. Since for some unresolved issues I fear to do them, I start to procrastinate and work instead on something else but I always have the uncomfortable knowledge that I should do the other thing in the back of my mind
  3. Since the uncomfortable feeling gets stronger and stronger, I need more and more pleasure to feel okay and keep going
  4. I start by checking my phone more regularly. I start to check the news, watch youtube or twitch, or download games
  5. As a last resort, I open porn

For a long time, I didn’t realize this. I thought that I was doing so well for 3 days but then, all of a sudden I relapse and I don’t know why. But it doesn’t happen all of a sudden. It is a cascade of events.

What I realized is, that there is no need for feeling uncomfortable (expect by threats of your or another persons health). There is no reason to feel uncomfortable because you have to present in a meeting or you have to go to a job interview. Work doesn’t need to feel negative.
So, whenever I realize that I don’t want to do something and start to procrastinate or when I realize that I feel uncomfortable, I sit down and dive into the feeling and observe where it comes from. This feels horrible at the beginning because there are tons of emotions which we suppressed by using porn for so long. But I feel like it is the only way to really get free of our crutches (not only the addiction to porn but also to gaming, social media, TV…)

The thing is, we can either tackle our problems and feel good afterwards, or we can use games, social media, porn and so on to run away from our problems and to hid from them

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It’s a great post. Yes, causes arise for fapping or porn in our minds.

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I think you should replace watching porn with something else. Spend some time finding something you like more than porn

Thats where the problem is brother. Porn has no function for you neither for any of us. I would suggest just observe your emotions. Porn acts as a run away system where we try to hide ourselvs from the reality.

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You are completely right. I just called “run away system” a function.
The issue is following. If I feel bad because I don’t wanna do task x then I have two options. I can either flee or fight.
So either I tackle the task right away or I run away. If I watch porn, I completely forget about the task → It completely did what I wanted it to do. The issue is that as soon as I stop, the anxiety hits back even harder.
Tackling the task, however, solves the issue.

That’s why I’m not a fan of the suggestion of “keep your self occupied”, “don’t give yourself free time”, “watch TV”, “play games”.
These are all “run away systems”. Non of them really solve the issue. They all aim to remove the negative feeling temporarily.

The only option we have to remove negative feelings is to observe their origin and let them go

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Very nice observation. :100:
Lots of thanks for sharing this valuable info.
I can 100% relate this with me.
Except that now I am on Nofap so regular checking of social media apps instead of preparing for the exams coming in a week.

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Very true.

Habits have four steps:

  1. Cue
  2. Craving
  3. Response
  4. Reward

In this case it’s

  1. Cue: stressful situation
  2. Craving: for dopamine or something to distract you
  3. Response: Play a game/watch p*
  4. Reward: distraction and short term dopamine

The best way to fight this would be to associate the cue (stress) with something else. That’s the entire idea behind Easy Way to quit smoking by Allen Carr and thus the idea behind easypeasy. I’d recommend associating stress with something like 10 pushups or meditation. That way, eventually, next time you get stressed, without even thinking, you’ll pop 10 pushups.

I’ve done this for studying recently. I always where my favorite hoodie when studying. Now, even if I think about studying, I start feeling cold, no matter how warm the ambient temperature may be. And when I put my hoodie? My brain’s focused automatically.

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Brilliant! It’s amazing to see that habits can be such a powerful tool! It is also the topic of the book “atomic habits” which is one of the best books I’ve read so far. :grinning:

Another thought just is: When you feel stressed you do 10 pushups. → You cut the line between cue and craving which is very important for some things.
But what would happen if you cut the string in front of the cue? So that you don’t get stressed by the particular situation? That’s one of my current projects. I want to reduce as many cues as possible. When I think back, 3 years ago, I had so many issues that I wouldn’t have stopped doing pushups :joy:

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I’ve basically quoted it xD but I wasn’t aware if you knew it

Not possible tbh. Your entire environment consists of relationships and not objects, remember? So it’s better to change the association with the cues, right?

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:joy: amazing. I thought it sounds very familiar :smile:

You are completely right. Maybe reducing cues was not the right phrase. Change the association is better.
Basically, if I get stressed because of a phone call I have to do, it is not a good method to try to reduce the phone calls. But I can get rid of the stress if I figure out why I don’t like phone calls. So, it is still one step earlier then push ups. The push ups you will have to do every time that you have to do a phone call. Figuring out why you don’t like them, on the other hand, needs to be done only once.

I don’t know if my point is clear :sweat_smile:

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