I might not be in control of my thoughts at all times but with mindfulness I embrace the power of choice over my reaction to every situation.
I’ve completed 103 days of no porn and no masturbation. This is not the first time I’ve gone beyond 100 days and I’m not saying this to brag. Instead, I want to put things in perspective: I think I’ve started in 2017, so it’s been something around 3 years that I’ve been on this journey to freedom and there’s still a lot for me to learn. It’s a day by day process. A streak eventually means nothing if you make the wrong choices today. I hope by sharing this, others might find hope and something to use in their journey.
Throughout these years, I have taken different approaches to get rid of compulsive porn use and masturbation. I’ve tried…
- pumping up my willpower
- watching motivational videos
- joining NoFap challenges and groups
- to keep myself busy
- taking cold showers only
- using accountability software on all my devices
- to lock all porn sites by myself
- passing my passwords to other people so I couldn’t unlock porn sites
- reading about the harms of porn on my brain and society
- watching movies about the harms of porn
- reminding myself of the harms porn causes regularly
- creating plans
- to do as many healthy habits a day
- getting up early
- meditating more often
- writing a journal
- doing more exercise
- restrict social media use
- staying away from news sites
- 12 steps meetings (SLAA)
- taking courses to explore myself and find the issue underneath
- avoiding certain types of music
- reading books
and perhaps more things that I can’t put my finger on right now. Some of those things helped. Some of those things did not help much. Interestingly, at times, I would be the best version of my self throughout a whole day just to find 30 minutes of urges, wrong choices and then relapsing with porn. When I thought I had figured this out, I would go on and relapse at some point even worse. I’ve had streaks of 10, 30, 90, 100, 120, 150 days and yet… I’ve relapsed many times too.
In those moments, I could not really understand what I was missing. Having gone over 90 days a couple of times, I’m still learning and finding out new things on this journey. I still find myself triggered by women in tight pants or a huge cleavage. I don’t think that’s going away either.
Either way… the reason I put that phrase there on top is because I wanted this “success story” to serve as a reminder for myself. I want to remind myself in this moment, that I can’t control my thoughts at all times. Women in public, among other situations, still continue to trigger me after all these years and my mind still might go “places”. However, I can fully take control and responsibility of my response to those triggers and thoughts at all times. It’s that power of choice I want remind myself of.
By no means am I saying that I have the “cure” for this porn trap. I would like to say that having reached 100+ days this time, I found something to keep me away from porn for “ever”. I don’t know if that exists and neither does anybody here, honestly. I would like to make a list with “Do these things and you will be porn free” but it doesn’t work that way. I can’t make a list of affirmations and make you or myself quit forever either. Neither won’t sharing all of the details of my journey help, it’s been a long process. I don’t feel like making a list of benefits either, because, as I see it, the “benefits” are the reality we have withdrawn ourselves from for the sake of self deprecation with compulsive porn use and masturbation.
Allow me to say this though: I really do hope that every single one of you in this community can finally allow themselves to break free from this… call it a habit, addiction or modern slavery. We have a common goal, so let’s go for it.
My notes on recovery:
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