My Thoughts On Rebooting [EXTREMELY LONG POST]

Discussion in 'Pornography Addiction' started by TheUnderdog, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. TheUnderdog

    TheUnderdog Active Member Staff Member

    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.

    Some of the ideas come from my own personal experience, but many of them originated from discussions with the people mentioned above. I love you guys.

    You might disagree with a lot of things I'm going to say.

    That's fine.

    This is just my opinion, my thoughts, as the title says.

    By the way, I have already said all these things through various posts, so if you've been following me lately, there is nothing new here.

    There are some triggers in this post, so I apologize in advance for them. I do think they are important to make some of my points, otherwise I wouldn't include them.

    Let's get started...


    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 of 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.

    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 like heroine or cocaine.

    I cringe when people relapse, reset their counters, and proclaim "This is it, I've had enough, I'm going to do it this time"...

    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 approach.

    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?

    If there is no woman around, they justify watching a couple of times. After all, they are not having sex anytime soon, so whats the point?

    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.

    They try to quit porn, so that the symptoms can go away, and so they can finally live life.

    People are focusing on the wrong things.

    They are not changing the way they think.

    They are not changing the way they live.

    They are not changing the way they view sex and women.

    They are just trying not to masturbate, while everything else remains the same.

    That, my friends, is abstinence, not recovery.


    The Foundation of a Proper Reboot

    Porn addiction is not the cause of your shitty life.

    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?

    Even if you're not sure, you need to give your life some direction.

    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.

    Brainstorm.

    Ask for advice.

    Take a notebook and go to a park.

    Inspire yourself.

    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.

    You have back pain? Start working on it. 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.

    Create urgency.

    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.

    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.

    Many people quit porn only to find themselves in 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:

    "The second common trap that people fall into when transitioning from compulsions to recovery (or from any emotionally intense behavior to another) is their perception involving the emptiness phase of a healthy transition. To understand this, let's take a brief look at the broader addictive process in a person's life. In most addictions, the person has come to depend on their addictive behavior to manage their emotional state. The longer this person relies on such patterns, the more intense and ingrained this pattern becomes. Now, this is an extremely brief synopsis, with many additional issues to be 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 shame 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 be overwhelming. The blandness, the void that is created when eliminating the behavioral patterns that managed the majority of your emotions is like removing your soul. You no longer feel "normal". You feel as if there is something 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 is these behaviors that made you special. So, inevitably, you go back to acting out because even the potential negative emotional consequences of your behavior (guilt, shame, failure, loneliness, etc.) are better than to have no emotions at all.
    "

    and

    "A second common motivator in recovery is the hitting of 'rock bottom' or, in realistic terms, hitting the point where the pain of the addiction can no longer be numbed by the addiction itself. When the emotional pain of the addiction's consequences have grown too great, the motivation to end the addiction kicks in as the addiction is no longer capable of serving its purpose. Although this is a significantly more powerful motivator than the first, it too, is ultimately doomed for failure in long-term recovery. Or, more accurately, it is doomed for a long-term recovery/relapse cycle.

    What happens is this: when the emotional pain becomes too great to temporarily manage with compulsive behaviors, the decision to recover provides an intense emotional boost that helps to manage that pain. The person feels good. That feeling may last for weeks, it may last for months. But eventually, inevitably, the emotional intensity that came with the commitment to recover wanes, and the person finds themself, once again, lacking the ability to manage their emotional life. A return to the addiction (or another addiction) is the only emotional management strategy that they have. This, followed by a re-commitment to recovery...followed by another relapse...followed by, well, you get the idea. The cycle will not end until the motivation for ending it has changed.

    Those who are motivated by a desire to end the pain of their addiction fare much better than those who are recovering for the sake of others. Such individuals can generate sustained, long-term recovery efforts. However, in order to make a true transition to health, the key will be found in their ability to move past the initial stages of recovery and begin to adopt healthy life management skills that will allow them to achieve emotional maturity.

    So, in preparing your road to recovery, you will need to prepare yourself for a time when you might feel empty inside. It will come after the euphoria of beginning your recovery, and it will come after you have put an end to your desire to continue your life the way that it is. This period may last a few days, it may last a few weeks. Rarely, will it ever last longer than that. And in those few weeks, your goal will be to recognize this emptiness, and begin to fill it with the values and the dreams that you believe in.
    "

    We need to understand that one of the reasons we relapse is because we're pussies that can't handle negative emotions.

    We use porn as medication. We use porn to hide away from life. We use porn to temporarily relief anxiety, stress, loneliness, boredom, anger, etc.

    Once again, if you haven't read The TOP 3 Fatal Mistakes Rebooters Make, you should read it later on.

    Learn how to manage your emotions without using porn and you will be achieving long term success.

    Embrace all your emotions, negative or positive.

    By the way, Recovery Nation is fucking awesome.

    I highly recommend you check it out.


    Readjusting Your Sexual Expectations

    This is by far one of the most difficult things to do.

    When you quit porn, you're not just saying good bye to artificial stimulation.

    You're leaving behind the world of "never ending flow of hot chicks with big tits and round asses".

    Real life is nothing like that.

    We've been spoiled by porn. We believe that we should be out there having lots of sex with different women. We believe that this is the key to happiness and fulfillment.

    The problem is that it is incredibly difficult and unrealistic to "fuck hot chicks on a regular basis".

    There's nothing particularly wrong with having that goal, but you have to be willing to take some MASSIVE action. You have to go through hundreds of rejections. You need to have a lot of balls. You must do what 99.9% of men are incredibly afraid to do.

    How many people here are doing what it takes to have the kind of sexual life we all dream about?

    Very few, if any.

    The only guy in the forum who was brave enough to do it is ssk08.

    The rest of us are living in a dream world.

    We see these super hot chicks on tight dresses and we hope that maybe someday we might be able to have sex with them. We read books about seduction. We visit PUA forums. We watch videos on YouTube of guys approaching girls. We make theories and discuss them online.

    But we aren't doing shit about it.

    It's all just a dream. An idea we have in our minds. Something we hope someday we will do.

    Here's how most people get laid in real life:

    A guy meets a girl he finds attractive, so he asks her out. They get to know each other. Then they continue to go out and form some sort of relationship. Then after some months the relationship either becomes serious or falls apart.

    That's the real world.

    You have to accept that, unless you're willing to take massive action, you won't fuck anywhere near as many women as you expect to.

    Accepting this is very difficult, but it is necessary.

    We need to learn how to live without this world of endless hot chicks, otherwise we'll become extremely disappointed and dissatisfied with real life, which is nothing like porn.

    Anyone here is more than capable of getting a girlfriend. But our girlfriends most likely won't look like pornstars, nor they will act like them.

    There's a very high probability the sex won't be pornographic in nature. There's going to be a lot of sensuality, caressing, and also clumsiness. Some days your girl will look sexy, other days not so much. Some days she'll be in the mood, other days she won't. Some days you'll struggle to keep it hard, other days you'll cum too fast. She might be able to achieve orgasms, or she might not. You might do it every other day, or maybe only 3-4 times per month.

    Remember, pornstars are paid thousands of dollars to do what they're told and fulfill all your fantasies.

    You must stop living in dream land.

    I know this is very difficult to accept, but we have to give meaning to our lives outside fucking hot chicks.

    Our happiness cannot depend on that. Otherwise you'll keep coming back to porn every time you fail to get laid in real life. You will remain attached to "sex with hot chicks" for the rest of your life.

    One of the reasons GABE is such an incredible successful rebooter is because he had a deep change in heart. By this I mean that his approach is completely based on love and not lust. He views sex in terms of intimacy and connecting with another person. Watching porn doesn't even cross his mind anymore.

    Now, I'm not saying you have to think exactly like him. But you should definitely change the way you view sex and women, because I can assure you it has been completely distorted by porn.

    By the way, I don't believe there's anything wrong about pursuing casual sex instead of a relationship, just make sure you keep both feet on the ground.

    I would also like to add that relationships are about sharing your life with another person. I know many people here want a girlfriend so that they can finally start getting laid, but relationships go much more deeper than that.

    If you've never had a girlfriend before you'll know once you get one.


    Thinking About Sex is USELESS

    What's the point of fantasizing?

    It accomplishes nothing.

    It slows down the reboot, increases the urge to masturbate, and reinforces neurological pathways related to porn.

    It's a meaningless activity that should be eliminated.

    It keeps your mind focused on sex, tits, asses, fucking, when it should be shifted towards other activities in life.

    If you find yourself thinking about sex, you should mindfully and calmly redirect your attention to something else.

    You want sex?

    Great.

    Then do something to actually make it happen.

    Fantasizing by itself serves no purpose at all.

    You need to understand that if you want to abstain from orgasm and masturbation, you cannot be thinking about sex and women, because this will inevitably cause you to relapse. Trying to abstain while at the same time fantasizing or peeking at pictures of chicks will only lead to frustration.

    Stay away from any kind of artificial stimulation. Don't take peeks. Don't browse pictures of girls online. Don't type pornstar names on Google image search. Don't read escort forums.

    Do not arouse yourself.

    Basically you have to adopt a philosophy of "I'm either trying to get laid (approaching, texting girls, going out on dates, flirting with women, hanging out with friends, getting rejected) or doing something completely unrelated to sex (work, studying, exercise, fun, reading, playing an instrument, chores, housework, watching movies)".

    There is no grey area where you are alone thinking about sex or checking out girls online. This accomplishes nothing. It serves no real purpose. It will only increase urges, lead to relapse, and make you frustrated.

    As soon as erotic thoughts pop up in your mind, you should calmly ignore them and refocus your attention to something else. You keep practicing this forever until you master it.

    You have to attack this addiction right from the root. Trying to abstain from hardcore porn accomplishes nothing if you're still constantly fantasizing and peeking.

    If you keep strengthening the mindset I talked about above, you will be making meaningful progress.

    This used to be called "Monk Mode", but I don't like that name because it implies that you're going to become celibate.

    This isn't about becoming celibate. This is about doing what it takes if you want to get laid, instead of wasting mental energy on sexual thoughts that will only improve the chances of relapsing.

    If you ever want to achieve a long streak, you can't be checking out girls online, even if it's just some bikini pictures. You can't be fantasizing when you wake up in the morning. You can't be taking 5 second peeks at porn.

    As soon as you do any of those things, this huge beast called porn addiction will take control over your prefrontal cortex and it's just a matter of time before you relapse.

    You have to be extreme.

    But don't worry, it's much easier than it sounds.

    It's actually harder to stop yourself from relapsing once you're already thinking about sex, than it is to not think about sex in the first place.

    How do you not think about sex?

    Simple.

    Focus your mind 100% on your life vision.

    Every....single....day.

    There's an interesting thread related to this created by bigbookofpenis (lol, nice username) here:

    http://www.yourbrainrebalanced.com/index.php?topic=14525.0

    Take a look.

    I completely support his "No Arousal Method".

    Dismissing erotic thoughts as soon as they arrive in your mind is the cornerstone for preventing relapses.

    This is basic stuff guys.


    It's Not Orgasm What You Crave

    Many people here believe that abstaining from orgasm is the most difficult part of rebooting.

    WRONG.

    When you get porn cravings, your brain is not asking for orgasm. As an addict, it is begging you for your hit. It misses the high, the tits, the asses, the novelty, the rush, the unrealistic sexual scenarios, the fantasies, the super hot chicks, the perfect camera shots, the feeling of letting go and indulging in pleasure, the fucking, the cumshots, the doggystyles, the boobs bouncing around, etc.

    If lack of orgasm was the problem, then everyone would just fap without porn (or any other artificial stimulation). There would be no relapses and everyone would have 500+ day counters.

    The urge to ejaculate only becomes a real problem once you start peeking, edging or fantasizing constantly. When you find yourself in a state of arousal then obviously you will want to cum.

    But the initial urges are "addiction urges". They are mental. They are not a physical need for ejaculation.

    If you feed these urges by peeking, even if it's just pictures of hot babes in bikini, then they will invade your mind and rob you of your ability to concentrate or remain calm. Eventually "autopilot" mode will be engaged and we all know what happens next.

    You're not having urges to cum.

    You're having urges for a "high" and a "rush".


    Remember that.

    This is why porn urges don't go away when you get a girlfriend.

    It is a drug, and you need to learn how to live without it, regardless of whether you have a girlfriend or not.

    When you abstain for several days or weeks, your sensitized pathways are anxiously waiting for any sexual cue, no matter how short or brief. This is why people mistakenly confuse real libido with porn cravings. They take a peek at porn after 15 days and they feel this intense rush and urge to cum, so they conclude that it is libido and that they must relieve pressure.

    The problem was taking a peek in the first place. Had they just focused on more important things instead, they would've been able to finish the day clean without problem.

    If you manage to completely abstain from fantasizig and checking out chicks online (in any form), then going a long time without orgasm won't be a problem.

    And don't even think about testing or caressing your dick.

    Focus 100% on your life vision.


    Counters vs Spreadsheets

    The following advice is aimed particularly towards those members who are having trouble getting a good run. If you're already doing good, you can skip this section.

    Ok, here's the thing:

    There is a sickening obsession with long streaks on this forum.

    People like counters because supposedly they are helpful for tracking progress.

    Well, guess what? Spreadsheets do a much better job at that.

    There's a reason why I'm so stubborn with this anti-counter thing.

    They are dangerous, destructive, counterproductive.

    Counters reinforce the idea of being "back to zero" every time you relapse, making it way more justifiable to binge before starting over again. Not only that, but you completely lose track of how many times you're actually masturbating. They don't show the whole picture. There is absolutely no way to measure your progress at all. It's a never ending cycle of abstaining for a few days and then going back to zero.

    Every time you reset your counter you become increasingly discouraged and unmotivated.

    There's too much emphasis on what day you're on, no fap challenges (there are currently 7 no fap challenges running, it's ridiculous), 90 days, 100 days, etc.

    If you're consistently unable to get past XX days and you're always in the low numbers, then your counter has lost its purpose.

    Counters are only good when you've managed a good run, because this gives you a sense of accomplishment and provides sufficient accountability to actually prevent relapses sometimes.

    Now, let's talk about spreadsheets, particularly Darxidius' format, which I'm a HUGE fan of.

    This is why they're so fucking awesome:

    - They keep your addiction under control: By keeping track of how many times you're actually masturbating and having orgasms, you will be forced to keep it in the low numbers. If you relapse, the spreadsheet will discourage you to binge, especially when you're sharing it with the forum. A good rule of thumb is to try to keep your orgasm count to less than 5 per month.

    - They allow you to see the full picture. In gameover's words: "You don't realise how you forget over a month how many times you actually masturbate, peek, pmo or orgasm until you have it in front of you. I thought i was well under 3-4 orgasms a month but I have been up around 6-7 and this month was no better." You'll be surprised at how many times you're actually fapping.

    - They completely eliminate the "counting" factor. All you have to do is keep it as clean as you can. Pretty cool eh? No more counting, no more 90 day goals, no more fap challenges. After all, we're trying to quit porn for life, not just 100 days or whatever.

    - They will never discourage you. If you do relapse, you input it on the spreadsheet and move on. You don't make a new thread called "Relapsed again" or "Not making any progress". Trust me, if you went from fapping 25 times per month to 2-3 times per month, you're making huge progress, even if your counter only says "6 days".

    Spreadsheets are NOT a taper off approach, of course. The goal should always be to never watch porn, to be as clean as you can, to take it one day at a time.

    Tapering off, as in "I watched porn 20 times last month, so I'll watch it 15 times this month", will never work. You should never think like this. You should never give yourself the green light to PMO.

    Ideally, you should replace your counter with a spreadsheet and completely forget about what day you're on. Then, if you do manage to get on a good run, you can put your counter back up for accountability and motivational purposes.

    However, I understand many people here are in love with their counters.

    They look pretty.

    They are fancy.

    I get it, I get it.

    So this is what I propose:

    (Once again, this ONLY applies to people who are struggling. If you're already on day 70 or whatever then don't change anything, but consider using a spreadsheet if you do end up relapsing.)

    Set up your signature so that it can show BOTH a counter and a spreadsheet.

    It would look something like this:

    [​IMG]

    This way you would be getting the best of both worlds.

    How hard can that be?

    Here's how you can incorporate it in your signature IMMEDIATELY:

    Step #1: Log in to your Google account.

    Step #2: Open Darxidius' spreadsheet here.

    Step #3: Go to File->Make a Copy and give it a name

    Step #4: Go to Share in the upper right corner and change it from 'Private' to 'Anyone with a link'.

    Step #5: Add the following code to your forum signature (make sure you replace 'SPREADSHEET_LINK' with your actual spreadsheet link):

    Code:
    Take a look at my [b]PMO Spreadsheet[/b]: [url=SPREADSHEET_LINK]Click Here[/URL]
    That's it!

    :)

    Anytime you need to update your spreadsheet just log in to Google Docs and open it.

    Simple as that.

    By the way, try to stick to Darxidius' format. I've seen many people use their own version of spreadsheets, but there is a huge advantage of seeing the graphical representation of green cells.

    It's very motivating.


    Conclusion

    To sum it up, the typical rebooting advice of "Hey man, just do a 90 day reboot" is basically useless.

    This is a very serious addiction and should be treated as such.

    Willpower alone won't do it.

    Change the way you live.

    Change the way you think.

    And please, stop making so many posts about porn, cravings, urges, relapsing, erections, 90 days, etc.

    Instead, focus on the most important thing:

    Your life.

    Sincerely,
    TheUnderdog


    --


    Gotta clarify some things:

    I have never said that the reason we started watching porn was because of life problems. In fact, I would argue that is not the case for the majority of us.

    I didn't have any childhood issues or family problems when I was young. I just discovered porn on my own and liked it because it was very pleasurable. As kids and teenagers we are curious and horny.

    However, as years go by, we become dependent on it not only because of its extreme addictive nature and accessibility, but also because we start using it as a way to cope with life.

    The reason we start using porn and the reason we continue to use porn once we're addicts aren't necessarily the same.

    I also didn't mean to say that all porn addicts have shitty lives. Actually by shitty all I mean is being dissatisfied in one way or another. Maybe you constantly put off your goals. Or maybe you waste a lot of time online and want to change that. That doesn't mean your life is shit. It just means it could be better.

    I am completely aware there are exceptions. There is a guy who told me he had no problems getting instant makeouts and fucking chicks the same day he meets them. There are others who actually have incredibly busy lives and only watch porn to get some pleasure and relax.

    Whatever your situation is, the main point of my post still stands. You should focus on moving towards what you want, instead of constantly complaining and wasting lots of energy on staying away from porn.

    Concentrate on building the life you dream about and this will help you tremendously on your quest to overcome your addiction to porn.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  2. J.P.

    J.P. Active Member

    Tl;dr
     
  3. Ryan94

    Ryan94 Began my life again on 21/03/2014 - Nowruz

    Lovely stuff
     
  4. Glanced through most of it but a very good post. Porn is not the problem, we have to make changes in our life and as you said its about having a recovery mindset over an 'absinstence' mindset. See so many people relapsing, getting stuck in a rut about number of days they go without before relapsing again, not making any progress.

    I'm liking the idea of writing a life vision and goals. When you quit porn and PMO it leaves such a gap to fill, such a void that it needs filling with positive things. No fap is a lifestyle change, it's not just about quitting porn.

    I'll read more of this post when I have more time but is definitely food for thought.
     
  5. TheNthAddict

    TheNthAddict New Member

    Read the whole thing. It did give me a lot to think about... Now if only that voice in my head going "You can't start turning your life around now! You're in a foreign country where you have very few friends and rather limited freedom due to your inability to properly read their language, and you'll be leaving this country just next month so it's not like you have time to turn that situation around before you leave!" would just shut the hell up.
     
  6. Aussie

    Aussie Guest

    Awesome post UD.

    As many of you already know,I was an abstainer.Thinking that (and focusing all of my attention on) staying 'clean' would eventually make me feel awesome,and THEN I'd be able to merge back into the world and build a life for myself.Big mistake,don't make the same mistake as me.

    Ages ago I think either UD or Loro posted a few paragraphs from the recovery nation site.This basically stated that most users (of any substance) reach a point where they hit rock bottom - and decide that this is it,I'm stopping.And they get a very good abstinence run going - and sooner or later,because they haven't addressed the addiction as a whole they end up relapsing.Thats what I did.I went 94 days no orgasm guys,and since then I've been suicidal,lost and my addiction has worsened.My longest session was 14 hours,death gripping and edging with one orgasm.

    My usual time is anywhere between 6 - 9 hours.Which is pure insanity.My back is fucked,my poor cock is a dried up shriveled prune,and I have severe HOCD.

    There always hope though,no matter how fucked up you feel mentally,or how shitty your life is.This isn't permanent - UNLESS - you don't recover.This isn't a terminal thing,you can recover and be the man you want to,and can be.

    Thanks for repping me UD,respect bruh.
     
  7. Metal

    Metal Get busy living or get busy dying

    Well I think recovery nation isn''t going to work for everyone, but then again it may be an ideal approach for someone who has just porn crippling their life or marriage without suffering from anxiety etc. The important thing is not to make it seem as the only valid way to recovery for the individual. just like the 12 steps is not for everyone.

    I've not really got any words of wisdom at the moment, but would just like to say that UD is a top man and has been flexible and honest in his views surrounding recovery without any ego. A lot of things have changed since I joined, which ud has refined and amended to give people the best possible chance to recover.

    Great site and great advice.
     
  8. Ricksen

    Ricksen Life is better when u don't jack off

    u the man underdog
     
  9. miracle

    miracle Guest

    Good post Underdog.

    When I first started this journey a year ago, I thought that NOFAP was going to cure all of my problems.

    What it has made me realise is that I need to address my problems. NOFAP was the first step. I wrongly thought PMO was the cause of my problems. It was not. It was, as you said, a symptom.

    And so I fall back on PMO when my real problems are worsened. PMO is a comfort. It makes everything easy in the short term. But in the long term you become less and less of a man.

    I drink alcohol when my problems are bad.

    I am addressing my problems now. I am forcing myself to work on improving my life. Socialising without alcohol. NOFAP. Getting away from a computer screen as much as possible. Not telling white lies to cover my tracks.
     
  10. richard29

    richard29 New Member

    It's taken me near enough a year to accept, but it's true that this addiction will be here for life and I have (and am) changing my approach towards PMO and life.

    I also agree that getting out there and doing shit is so key! People wait a lot to go on a date or ask a girl out because there not rebooted, but in my experience, when I'm just at home abstaining, exercising and practicing other hobbies, I feel like I'm in waiting. The reboot should be about life beginning, not stunting.

    And also, without a doubt the emotional wounds that feed porn addiction are the hardest to break. Even though I've been making some headway with porn use in recent months, old insecurities such as trust issues, paranoia and negative thinking come to the fore. It's like I've been telling myself for years that I'm somehow not good enough for love and life, and the most eye-opening thing is that porn addiction is probably just the first rung on a ladder of negativity I've implanted within myself.

    That said, the benefits of noPMO and finally achieving some level of realisation of what's up with me is fucking nice. At least I can begin to deal with it, instead of being a confused sensitive bag of nerves acting out with porn all the time.

    Great post UD.
     
  11. Decisive

    Decisive Getting stronger week by week

    Some of the best stuff I have ever read. Thanx Underdog!
     
  12. TheUnderdog

    TheUnderdog Active Member Staff Member

    I completely disagree.

    There's no reason why both can't be done at the same time.

    What is a porn addict supposed to do when he's not watching porn anyway?

    Sit on his ass all day and watch TV?

    Dating is probably the only exception. If you're currently binging like crazy and real women don't get you turned on at all, then in that case it's better to give your brain a needed rest first. Which, by the way, doesn't necessarily mean a long streak of abstinence.

    But people should really focus on the things that matter.

    You're basically disagreeing with the main point of my post.

    I completely stand behind my advice regarding life vision.
     
  13. Zebra_Hooves

    Zebra_Hooves Ours is not a caravan of despair - Rumi

    Amazing post underdog thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time out to write that.
    I especially found the part insightful where you talked about the deadening of emotions and addicts missing their rushes. I had this massively in my last streak. I felt like a "monk", with an inner calm, I didn't feel a tempestous whirlwind of emotions within me... and eventually I relapsed..
    Now, this deadening of emotions, is a real thing. The problem is, one can intellectually realise it, but it doesn't just disappear over night. Like, sometimes, I wish I could laugh, smile, be genuinely happy. I do it, for the most part, on an intellectual level.. that's the part that sucks.
    Right now, I just got a job, it pays 50% better than I've ever been paid before. I get my own laptop, my own phone. They will casually fly me all over the country. I should have hit the roof with joy. I am intellectually very happy, but that, "FUCK YEAH I DID IT!!!!" feeling isn't there...
    that really sucks.. you know, that probably isn't PMO related.. I have quit PMO as just one of the ways to improve my life..
    I am doing my best to improve in other ways.. but I do miss my emotions.
     
  14. TheUnderdog

    TheUnderdog Active Member Staff Member

    All I want is to make an impact and prevent thousands of new members from doing the same mistakes many of us have done since we started this journey.

    GABE is doing it through videos, I'm doing it through my usual huge threads with bold sentences, and I encourage you and many others to do the same in your own way.

    I might be wrong on some things. Maybe your life is perfectly fine already. Or maybe you have no problem at all masturbating to pictures of hot babes.

    However, I do believe that what I said applies to the majority of porn addicts. Otherwise I wouldn't have made this thread in the first place.
     
  15. CidGuerreiro

    CidGuerreiro Active Member

    I bursted into tears with the shoutout and couldn't read a thing.

    No, I actually read a lot of it and it's pretty much everything a rebooter should know, specially when you say that "abstinence is not recovery". Abstinence is necessary to recover, but it's not enough.
     
  16. StayInReality

    StayInReality New Member

    This is why I fucking love this site so much. As one of those newer members I gain so much wisdom and insight from my brothers who have gone before me. I'm shown the pitfalls and am then able to avoid them, and I'm shown the many paths I could take so that I can create the one that feels right for me.

    UD, I love your bold sentences and bold thoughts - they've got the ring of truth. Thank you so much for taking the time to share them.

    Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to step away from the computer and the PMO (or lack thereof) and go live some life!

    ;)
     
  17. coyote

    coyote Active Member

    This article happens to be so useful and motivational that it's going to be my YBR-homepage from now on.

    Some things I realised after reading it:

    I expect to have a perfect life after I quit porn. Beating porn addiction= perfect life, and hence: shitty life as long as I am an addict.
    I expect to have a great life just by beating this addiction and doing nothing else.
    I expect that quitting porn IS WHAT's gonna solve my problems.

    I don't know what I want to be in the future. I am just alive, hanging around like a dog.

    I cannot believe entirely that I can do this. Willpower alone is not enough, yet I expect it to be.
    If all you have is "I can do this", well... you are going to be as miserable as me.

    Using porn temporarily makes me stop feeling alone. The more porn I watch, the less I feel alone. My mind believes this placebo.

    Beating this addiction requires an entirely different mindset, which I've been lacking so far.

    Many thanks, TheUnderdog!
     
  18. SelfControl2013

    SelfControl2013 "Infinite patience produces Immediate results"

    Incredibly wise words Underdog.


    Thank you for taking the time to write this.
     
  19. Joo

    Joo Guest

    Thx for this post.

    "The secret of change is to focus all your energy not fighting the old, but on building the new."

    I can see how this is true, for pretty much everything in life.

    So yes, in a way no fap challenge and counters might be really counterproductive, hm. Since they're all about fighting the old and not so much about building the new.

    This gives me something to think about, especially as being the maintainer of a fancy no fap challenge. ::)

    I can see how especially the new but also a lot of the other users might be lured into believing when they beat this or that challenge they're finished with this addiction. So the goal becomes beating a challenge or reaching a number of days, instead of doing the key things that are needed for a real change.

    I have to admit, I also haven't really changed shit during my reboot attempts. I was just abstaining, not making any fundamental lifestyle changes.

    But I can also see how it might be very difficult to change stuff in the first week without pmo. The effects of brain fog, low dopamine, agression, communication difficulties, problems to find the right words etc. are not to be underestimated.

    Maybe it is good to encourage people to start small. To make small changes everyday. To maybe even challenge themselves, to write down one goal for the next day. Structure your day with healthy activities. Besides not pmo'ing, accomplishing one of the things on your to-do list, makes a day successful or not.

    It might be hard to go out and socialize when you've brain fog and feel low on dopamine, but this condition won't hinder your ability to do other healthy things like sports, ride a bike, go for a jog etc.

    I'll have to break out of my comfort zone. I've decided I'll set myself a goal (something I'll have to do which isn't comfortable) for each day. Starting now. In week 2, I will set myself two goals for every day. Hopefully this way I will build a new behavior pattern in my life, filled with healthy instead of comforting activities.
     
  20. thebraniac

    thebraniac Just don't do it

    This is a fantastic post and sums me up perfectly. I've always known that part of my problem was not knowing what to do with my life. Now it seems like it's the entire problem. Porn was a major escape hatch for me, and now that I've been sober for 6 weeks I REALLY feel the emptiness in my life. It's SO hard to deal with. Man, it would be so easy to relapse these days because it just takes you away from all this misery for a little while.

    Underdog, I NEEDED to hear this. I just don't know how to start. I've always been afraid to ask the question "What do I want out of life" because I was afraid (and knew) I didn't have an answer. But that is just an excuse because I must find the answer.

    Now it seems that kicking the addictions is the EASY part and finding a life's purpose is the HARD part. But you can't have one without the other. Man this is just so easy to understand all of a sudden.

    I have a GREAT and EXCITING job, drive a nice car, own my own home. I think I have a nice personality and a good sense of humor and I've definitely seen worse looking dudes than myself. Yet, I have trouble with women. Why? It's because I have no passions for anything in life! They sense that! Women sense that there is NOTHING exciting about you, and they don't want any part of that. Women want to be treated like gold, they want to be excited, they want to be part of something exciting, they want to feel special and be a part of something special. They don't want to be with a boring guy that doesn't know what he wants out of life. That is exactly what they DON'T WANT.

    I'm so glad I read this post but now I dread the next step which is finding out what the hell I want. I've been too afraid to ask this question for years because it is not an easy question to ask. But sometimes life needs to get a little harder because we don't grow at all when life is easy all the time.
     

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