Porn-Free January 2018.

Discussion in 'Pornography Addiction' started by Alexander, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. Alexander

    Alexander Administrator Staff Member

    Feel free to use this thread to organize your progress reports and commitments for going porn-free in January.
     
  2. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    I'll take that challenge, and up it: no P, no PMO, no M. If you are reading this, and you are newbie, it is time to get real or go home. There are two types of guys here, both great guys.

    The first group are guys who know they have a problem with P, but are looking for ways to keep it in their lives. They want to control it because they like it. We all like it, or more specifically, that dopamine high it brings, but, surrendering to the concept that porn addiction cannot be controlled, and therefore must be abandoned to regain control of ourselves, is necessary to overcoming the addiction. If you are in this group, much love, but you will fail. No addict ever overcame the addiction while keeping in their lives.

    The second group are those that know they cannot control porn addicion while keeping it in their lives. They have to defriend it, excommunicate it, hate it, not laugh at it jokes, not tremble at its threats, not listen to its reasoning, and be willing to go through death process, if that is what it takes to own themselves. If you are an addict and you quit, you will feel like you are dying. It won't kill you, but it will feel that way. Being willing to feel that, endure that, if that is what it takes, is what will make the second group successful.

    Make 2018 your year to get clean. I want to see you take off your chains. If that means you have to become a mean motherfucker to yourself, well, welcome to the jungle. Pain is the price we pay for freedom. Sorry, no easy way out. But, there is a way out, and I have absolute confidence you can do it.

    Challenge accepted.

    W.
     
  3. NewTerritories

    NewTerritories virtual

    I am in. Got a good streak going, and no reason to ruin it. More than ready to leave the sleaze way behind me, here in 2017. 2018 is my year for massive progress, building on the knowledge gained in my youth. It's time to take on bigger challenges, and to forge my own path into uncharted new territories. The biggest payoffs won't come this year... but there'll be some fun milestones along the way.
     
  4. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    I'm in. This first month will have challenges - still studying and not into a routine as yet, which I have allowed myself to be tripped up by before... but the good news is I'm conscious of it, and then the rest of the year will be a downhill ride :)
     
  5. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    Day 1. Clear. I intend to report every day in January, and I invite others doing this to do so as well.
     
  6. BreakTheAddiction

    BreakTheAddiction New Member

    Day 1 done for me too. I'm really tired and foggy, which is one of my triggers. Brain really wants that porn stimulation. No risk of relapse at the moment though, not any urges. My ultimate goal is to go all of 2018 porn free.
     
  7. NorCalMan

    NorCalMan Change Is Forever

    Thanks
    I'm very grateful for this forum - it's a place where I can talk about my porn addiction with the only people who can understand and not judge me.
    I'm taking the challeng. I plan to go thirty days with no PMO and after that 60 and 90.
    I also plan to check in to this forum on a daily basis. At least to read but also to write, and connect with others.
    Take back your power, guys!
    -NCM
     
  8. BreakTheAddiction

    BreakTheAddiction New Member

    Good to see you here. Leaning on each others is an important of overcoming porn.
     
    NorCalMan likes this.
  9. BreakTheAddiction

    BreakTheAddiction New Member

    Sorry guys, I relapsed, on day one. Gahhhhhh....
     
  10. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    Day 2. Clear. @BreakTheAddiction. The word relapse is one of the most useless words we use here. The term relapse is unhelpful in two ways. First, it implies you got clean, then went back. Two, it implies that once you got clean the addiction somehow overwhelmed you, forcing you to go back. I, personally, do not know of anyone who got clean of the addiction, then went back. Getting clean is too painful to ever go back. No matter how painful the addiction is, quitting it hurts far more, which is why so many find it hard to get clean.

    Neither of those 2 things I noted are true, for you, or for the people claiming to relapse. Nofap Glossary defines Relapse as follows:

    • Relapse: For addicts, the act of returning to bad habits after a period of improvement. This is a serious word. Examples would include masturbating to porn (for a porn addict), significantly disrupting your life due to excessive masturbation (going on a 20x binge and skipping work), risky masturbation (masturbating in public), and other similarly life-disrupting activities due to an addiction.
    I see the word relapse thrown around a lot, but it does not apply to you. This is not me judging. I tried for 14 months before I figured it out, before I never went back. No one can relapse from something they never gave up. You just held out a few more hours before using. Too many think of quitting porn as seeing how long they can hold their breath. The reality is, they have to learn they just don't need to breath.

    Also, and this is hugely important, you have to accept the fact that porn never made you do anything. Again, not judging, I was where you were once, and I know how you are thinking, because I used to think exactly that way. For the addict, using, or relapsing (using again), feels like something that is happening to them. As if the addiction or some outside force is imposing it upon them. The reality is: using is always a personal choice. Understanding that no one makes us use, that only we choose to use, that using is a personal choice, just like not using, that, bottom line, it is all a personal choice,is key to quitting the addiction. I know you felt you had no choice but to use, because I have felt that way myself, in the past, but if you want to get out of here, you need to own you. Right now, the way you are thinking, your addiction owns you, and it likes it like that, but to get free, you have to have some pretty unpleasant, difficult, conversations with yourself, and I think your next conversation is admitting you chose to use, not that something outside of yourself made you. It is OK. You chose to use for the same reason everyone chooses to use: you like, and are addicted to, the dopamine high it brings you. Only reason anyone uses porn.

    I have absolute confidence everyone will get clean, just as I have absolute confidence it will be hell quitting, and every addict who gets clean will have to look themselves in the eye and see the addiction staring back. No easy way out here. Pain is the price we pay for taking off these chains. But, take the blindfold off, and start swinging at the enemy with it in full sight. Time to get real with yourself.

    I will be back tomorrow to report Day 3, clear.

    WilliamOneAndDone
     
  11. BreakTheAddiction

    BreakTheAddiction New Member

    I disagree with your determination that my watching porn is simply a personal choice since that contradicts the science of addiction and how it disrupts the functioning of the prefrontal cortex (hypofrontality).
    This impairs the higher minds ability to regulate the rest of the brain, weakens the brains ability to make sound decisions and increases compulsive behavior. I know you are aware of this which is why it confuses me every time you talk about personal choices considering the science of addiction is quite clear about this, strongly in opposition to your declaration.

    I don't think my addiction owns me by thinking this way, I'm simply acknowledging the reality of the mechanisms of addiction. Personal choice implies willpower which doesn't work for overcoming addiction. If it did no one would be addicted, it would be easy to quit. I didn't choose to watch porn, the entire time it was right in my mind that I don't want to do this, that I need to stop. The executive functioning of my brain is clearly weakened and unable to successfully regulate the compulsion to chase that dopamine high emanating from my limbic system. In fact it is a little insulting to be accused of simply doing this to myself.

    I can overcome this and I will but believing lies won't get me there. I understand that from your perspective it seems like just a simple choice and of course it does because you've been clean for so long and the executive functioning of your prefrontal cortex in functioning as it should. I think you shouldn't be so quick to forget the state your brain was in at the beginning of your journey. You suffered from hypofrontality too and your ability to reason and manage your compulsions were almost non-existent just like the rest of us. It honestly seems like you have gotten on a bit of a high horse, thinking that you are somehow the exception to the rules of addiction, projecting all this nonsense about personal choices and willpower on the rest of us.

    I think you should stop being condescending to the rest of us struggling with lack of control this addictions brings down upon us. I'm glad you are sober but I think it has gone to your head a little and somehow made you think you are somehow now impervious to the power of addiction. I think that by thinking you've just made the personal choice to not give in to your addiction is YOUR addiction giving you a false sense of security. It is your addiction controlling you hoping that one day you will let your guard down just enough so that it can strike out of nowhere. I know the enemy inside of me, it will overwhelm my mind, almost like I am becoming another person. By thinking that I make the choice to watch then I am making myself my enemy when the true enemy is the addiction. I'll never get anywhere battling myself, I am the only ally I have. I need to do a better job at recognizing the lies my brain tells me to convince me I want to watch porn, that I should give in.

    I haven't been disciplined in doing that. I need to become aware of every angle my addiction uses to mesmerize me, say NO every time and slowly build back up the strength of my prefrontal cortex. Abstinence isn't the only thing that counteracts the hypofrontality, it is also every single time you successfully reject the addiction and say NO. Every time you do that you strengthen your frontal lobe.

    I think you need to have a conversation with yourself about whether you are really helping us here, or maybe you are misguiding us with falsehoods. I think telling people that are just making the choice to watch porn is placing the weight of guilt on their shoulders, further weakening their ability to fight the addictions by adding to the stress they are dealing with, furthering the dysfunction in their HPA axis caused by addiction, simply worsening their addiction. By believing your words every time they relapse (yes relapse) they will think "I'm so shitty, I fucked up again, I did this to myself, I'm so weak and pathetic letting myself do this." YES, this is what kind of thinking follows if you believe that YOU made the choice to relapse and that you failed yourself.

    I think you are hurting more than you are helping. I say that with all do respect.
     
  12. NewTerritories

    NewTerritories virtual

    I think it's incorrect to call a single PMO incident a 'relapse'. Not even a long binge.

    Relapse means going back to your old ways of the addiction. The addiction isn't defined by a single incident. It's defined by a long-term pattern of dysfunctional behaviour.

    BreakTheAddiction, are you still in control, like you were the day before yesterday? It's doesn't need to be a relapse. That's up to you. If you can read these words, you can make the choice.

    Yesterday I jerked off, as I mentioned in my journal. Not the best use of my time (I was looking at casual sex ads/emails). Still porn-free, except for let's say 'incidental' sights.
     
  13. Arul

    Arul New Member

    Hi guys, thanks for your support in this forum, I hope we can all get through this. I had a bad start these first three days, I think the stimulus was a couple of girls I met on new years eve! I do fully accept full responsibility though, and that using is indeed my choice. Here's to better choices in 2018!
     
  14. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    Day 3. Clear. As I mentioned, I intend to post ever say for this January challenge, which is not something I have done for some time. In the beginning I used to post on the forums, 10-14 times a day, but, not that, for years. But, for this challenge, I am going to post every day in January, and everyday in January will be "Clear."

    @BreakTheAddiction

    I was where you are. I am telling you, you can be where I am. Your challenge in overcoming this is not greater than mine, or greater than any addict; if I can do it, and I have, anyone reading this can.

    To quote my quote at Yourbrainonporn:

    Withdrawals suck. We don't talk enough about them. They are why we fail. They are our brain's dopamine drenched chemical reward center begging us, threatening us, punishing us, pleading with us, rationalizing with us why we need to PMO. Withdrawals are painful, they are physical, mental, and emotional pain. They are the jitters, the shakes, the sweats, odd pains in odd places, the brain fog we feel when quitting, and our brain's way of telling us all that unpleasantness can go away with just a little harmless fix. When going through withdrawals I felt I had a sinus infection and my teeth actually hurt. I did not have a sinus infection and my teeth were fine, but my brain, at some level, had to make me feel like hell to try and make me feel good through a porn induced dopamine release. The good thing is, if you are having withdrawals, it means your brain's dopamine levels are on their way back to normal. Once you get back to normal those things stop, but you can't get back to normal until your brain re-balances, and that takes, depending on you speak to, months. It took me about 4 months, quit, before I was afraid I would go back, but, for sure, you can get there in under a year, and many swear by the Hard 90, 90 days no porn, no porn subs, no bikini pics, no softcore, no sex, no MO, no O, and, as much as possible, no sexual thoughts. Everything that leads to a dopamine rush must be avoided, during the reboot. Newbies must be told this will not be easy, it will be hard, and they have to expect this pain, endure it, embrace it and even want it to accomplish our task, getting dopamine production back to normal.

    For me, quitting felt like I was dying. I hated feeling like dying, but, I, eventually, looked myself in the mirror and said that if this is what I must feel every moment, of every day, for the rest of my life to quit this addiction forever, I will feel it. You won't feel that way, forever, by the way, but the months it will take, will be some of the longest months in your life. Pain and commitment are necessary to quitting. Quitting cannot be done passively. It cannot be done without pain. If using porn to get a dopamine high feels like plus 10, when we quit, we do not go back to just zero, we go to negative ten. If anyone reading this thinks that by hanging around here the addiction will gradually pass because the effort of being here has been made, you are wrong. To kill the addiction you are going to have to defriend it, excommunicate it, hate it, kill it. It is a MOFO and it will not die easy; it will fight you, and it is a moving target. The addiction will joke with you, laugh with you, reason with you, lie to you, mix lies and truth, threaten you, extort you, coerce you, bully you. The addiction will do whatever it has to do to live in you. Getting clean hurts, and is difficult. Just know, it can be done, and anyone reading this can do it. If you are reading this, you can do it.

    I will be back tomorrow to declare 4 days Clear.

    Much love.

    Will I AM
     
  15. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    Day 4. Clear.

    It is helpful, perhaps required, to Get Educated about the addiction, its causes, and its history. This is true for all addictions. All addictions share the same cause, and all addictions have a history. As for cause, dopamine is at the root of most addictions, in fact, though we call them things like drug addiction, heroine addiction, cocaine addiction, alcohol addiction, porn addiction, nicotine addiction, what all have in common is a dopamine rush. Here is your homework:

    https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/garys-research-dopamine-and-addictionhy

    It is helpful to understand this is an arousal addiction, meaning we do not need greater and greater hits of dopamine, we just need to be aroused by something different than the porn that aroused us before. This is why seeing the never before porn vid, is necessary for the addict; the search. This is also why many migrate through the categories, and some end up watching porn that has nothing to do with their own, individual, sexual tastes.

    As for history, every addiction has one. Before we invented cocaine, no cocaine addiction. Before we invented alcohol, no alcohol addiction. Before we invented porn, no porn addiction. Interestingly, of all the addictions we have invented, porn, specifically addiction to High Speed Internet Porn, has the history most easy to track.

    I am one of the first--not the first, but one of them--who, became self aware that I was addicted, accepted the addiction was real, and quit it. My first post on Nofap was November 17, 2013. At that time, Alexander, the man who started this thread, had not included a "success stories" section on the forum. I believe that, up until that point, there were few who recognized porn addiction was possible, or that it could be, and should be, quit. There were few, if any, success stories, because the addiction, accepting it was an addiction was real, and making a decision to quit, were all, relatively new concepts.

    On November 17, 2013, I found this vid, and it all, suddenly, made sense:

    https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/garys-tedx-talk-great-porn-experiment

    I have watched the video from beginning to end at least 50 times, and watched portions of it, maybe a thousand times. I recommend it. It helps.

    The day I watched the video is the day I went Clear. That makes it sound easy, but going Clear was the most mentally difficult, and challenging, thing I ever did. It hurt, physically, as well. When you quit the addiction, it will punish you for denying it that dopamine high you have fed it for years. It likes it, meaning you like it, and, while, intellectually, you may want to quit it, that does not mean you suddenly don't like a dopamine hit, or you don't miss that when it is gone. You will, so, plan on it before going into the reboot. During the reboot your depression and anxiety will spike like a MOFO. Many people, at that point, make a decision to return to the addiction to medicate those feelings with a dopamine hit. The addiction tell them those feelings will last forever, and that they cannot live with them. The addiction lies; those feelings do not last forever, and they will not kill you. True, might as well planning on feeling like dying now, before you take the reboot cure, but you will not die, and those feelings go away.

    So, why do I write? I write because what I am telling you here was never told to me, when I decided to quit. When I decided to quit there was very little information out there about how to quit, the method of quitting, and the pain we feel when quitting. When I told myself that it felt like dying, and if that is what I had to feel every single day, for the rest of my life, to quit, I meant it. No one told me the pain was real, but that it will recede. Now you know.

    Back tomorrow to post Day 5 Clear.

    WILL
     
  16. Arul

    Arul New Member

    Thanks for your informative post Will. It helps to know that there is some science behind our cause. Science aside, the biggest reason i want to quit is so that I can respect myself again. Self-confidence comes from self-respect, and how can you respect yourself if you are getting off to digital images everyday, it's just not real. And how can you expect other people to respect you of you don't respect yourself?

    48 hours clear. Massive urges this morning, but got up and going for a run. Keep busy and keep exercising guys. Also a big help was the decision to keep my phone, tablet and laptop out of my bedroom. Physically remove any temptation. Catch up tomorrow guys!
     
  17. NewTerritories

    NewTerritories virtual

    Arul, I agree that keeping busy is vital. Being busy with the right things.

    Consider the origins of the word 'respect':

    https://www.etymonline.com/word/respect

    When you look back on your actions and choices, you judge yourself. But even if you're doing some shameful things now and then (using porn) you can increase your self-respect by increasing the amount of worthy things you're doing. (The other way is lowering your standards but... let's not go there.)

    Focus on right action, rather than avoiding wrong action. More self-respect, and a better ability to overcome weaknesses, are things that reinforce each other. A virtuous circle.
     
  18. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    @NewTerritories @Arul

    You are walking the right path. Thanks posting. Reading posts, and responding, are part of my recovery. So, thanks.

    Day 5. Clear.

    Will I AM. Broadcasting. I am free. My chains are off. I am broadcasting to the slave for whom the idea of ever becoming free is a fairly tale story. I am telling you, you can take off your chains. I promise.

    I have been clear for almost 5 years. I do not post in Success Stories because I do not believe being free from porn addiction makes me, or anyone, a success. I believe being free from porn addiction makes success in the rest of our lives possible. This forum is, of all the forums here, the most relevant, and maybe the only relevant one. There is only one reason for anyone to be here, reading this, and that is if you are a porn addict and you are struggling to get that monkey off your back. If you are a porn addict and are here for any other reason than to take off your chains, you are a tourist, and it won't work.

    The big three words are the place to start, and if you cannot or will not say them, you might as well go back to surfing whatever got you here in the first place. The big three words are: "I am addicted." If you wonder if you are, but are not certain, if you are not certain porn addiction is possible, you are not ready. I have never seen a porn addict get clean unless they state the three words to themselves, and why would they? If you are not, actually, addicted, if you do not believe the addiction exists, you probably don't think you have a problem. And, maybe you don't. Not every guy who watches porn is a porn addict, but, more and more, every day, are reporting they are. Porn addiction is the new norm. Sad, but true.

    The first thing is, study what porn addiction is and is not.

    So, one of the first things we learn, in studying our addiction, is that we are not, really, addicted to porn. Looks like it, sounds like it, but no. We are addicted to dopamine. Here is the way is works: see high speed internet porn = hypersexual thoughts, hypersexual thoughts = super dopamine rush, over and over, every day, for years, until the addiction form, and the "addiction" is really only becoming super sensitive to porn thoughts, while becoming super desensitized to actual sex and reality.

    There is more to it than that, of course, but that is the simple version.

    So, if you want to quit, here is what to do in the order to do it.

    1) Study the problem. Get Educated. Take time to watch the Wilson vid. I have watched it, or some part of it, many times. Also, go to yourbrainonporn.com and read. Read it all. Before you start to get clean, to quit, take time to understand what you have been using porn to do to yourself and your brain. Porn addiction can seem like a life sentence, an epic problem, that many guys do not believe is possible to quit. But, one purpose of studying the problem is to make what seems like an epic, overwhelming, disaster in your life, a much smaller problem. You don't have a sex problem, you don't have God v. Evil problem; your problem has very little, possibly no moral component. You have a brain chemistry problem that is actually cause and effect, and, actually simple to understand. You have to quit using porn to give yourself a dopamine high. That is a much more fixable problem than seeking salvation.

    2) Understand what you are doing, what you must do, to overcome the problem. Wilson says it, but it is easy for him to say because he is not addicted. You have to quit. There is no quitting gradually. There is no paring back. You cannot take a calendar and say, for instance, you will not use on Sunday week one, Sunday and Monday, week two, Sunday Monday and Tuesday, week three, and hope that by the end of week seven you are fixed. It does not work that way, it just does not, and most addicts could never do that anyway. Ultimately, there are two types of addicts, those using, and those not. The ones not are quitting. The only way to be successful in quitting porn addiction, which is really porn induced dopamine addiction, is to have the mindset "I am quitting." Probably, more realistically, the mindset to have is "I am quitting, and if it kills me to quit, or if I have to feel like the walking dead, every moment I am conscious, for the rest of my life, I am willing to feel that to never go back to how I was." You won't feel that for the rest of your life, but, during the reboot, will lie to you and tell you you will. Also, while here, focus on one problem, quitting porn. Don't try and bundle all of life's problem into quitting the porn addiction, and do not believe overcoming the addiction will fix other problems. The most successful rebooters are here for one purpose, to fix the problem, and the most efficient way to fix the problem is to focus on fixing this one problem. Fix this problem first, then, afterward, worry about the other problems, but, while here, fixi this problem, put the others on the shelf.

    3) Anticipate and mentally prepare for Withdrawals. If quitting were easy it would not be called an addiction. If you could just stop, like that, it would not be called an addiction. Why is it an addiction? It is an addiction because a dopamine rush feels about as good as anything can in this life. It is that way by nature's design, it is a motivational feeling, a euphoric feeling, that, ultimately, is one of the bit carrots nature uses to encourage us to reproduce, to have sex. That is why porn is so fascinating, it gives us sexual thoughts, which gives us dopamine. When you ride that high for years and one day take it away, you will have Withdrawals. These were some of the most horrible feelings I have ever had, and you will probably have them also. Plan on them going in, don't be the guy who shows up here, starts a thread, and states "So glad to be here, I am done for good, I am quitting," and then three hours has to clear his counter. That guy did not plan, that guy did not anticipate the physical, mental, and emotional pain of removing the absolutely needless crutch porn is. You are not a cripple, you don't that crutch, no matter how great it feels. Time to walk and run without the crutch of porn. You are no cripple, so quit using a crutch.

    4) Make a plan. The first and best plan is to reboot, which is consciously rewiring your brain. We unconsciously wired the brain to use porn to get that dopamine high. To overcome the addiction, we have to think about it. You will need to plan on doing, at least, the hard 90. I did not, myself, feel confident saying I had beat the problem until about 120 days in. During the hard 90 you have to redefine who and what you are. If you are a newbie you have to define yourself as "a porn addict quitting porn, forever." Is it really forever? That is up to every individual, but, getting that mind set will be helpful, I promise you. If, in your mind, you are only quitting for 90 days, that implies you might go back. That thought, "I might go back", can very easily become, "why not go back a bit early," or "what can a little taste hurt". It is a slippery slope, and no porn addict I know of, in the reboot, has ever watched porn and not slid all the way back down to the bottom. There is a way out, but, get out first before asking yourself what you want to do with your life, including whether you want any artificial sexual stimulation at all in it.

    5) Get tools to help yourself make it through the hard 90. Plan on coming here and posting, every day, multiple times a day. Being here, posting, reading, is doing something other than the one thing you have to quit doing: using artificial sexual stimulation to get a dopamine high. Plan on being around people as much as possible, preferably in a crowd. Plan on going to the gym, to the mall, when the urges hit, and they will, have a plan on how you are going to get out of the house or wherever you engage the addiction. Plan now, so the plan is in place then. Needless to say, get rid of any stash. I never understood stashes, with the availability of porn on the net, but some guys do it. If you are one, get rid of it. If you have a smart phone, and are accessing it to get to porn, get a dumb phone. It is only for the reboot, so you can get it back later. As for the net, install blockers.. You will, probably, not make it impossible to get to porn on your computer, but, if you are serious about quitting, you can make it somewhat difficult. Make it somewhat difficult. It is a deterrent, but also a reminder. Many were the days when I was quitting that the blocker prevented me from getting, instantaneously, to porn. Those moments did not stop me, ultimately, from getting porn, but they gave me a moment to do something that in the beginning newbies quitting find difficult to conceive as being possible; they gave me a moment to make a choice, and the choice had to be no, no, no, no. In those first 90 days I bet I said "no" 10,000 times. Now, I rarely say no, because the choice is so easy: No, I choose not to watch porn and have the dopamine rush that comes with it. It is not a choice for me anymore, which is where it became easy. I don't have to tell my addiction no anymore because, having rebooted, it no longer asks me to watch porn. Develop a distraction technique. This goes hand in hand for having an alternate something to do when the urges come, as an alternative to using. Some guys wear a rubber band on their wrist and snap it when the urges come. I sucked my tongue off the top of my mouth, made a little clicking sound, while mentally saying "no, no, no." I don't recommend meditation a spiritual way, but a deep breathing technique, to distract yourself, might be helpful. Though porn has a powerful pull, it does not take that much to break the thought of it. Develop a distraction technique to avoid a 2 second porn thought from becoming a 30 minute sex opera in your head. One of the things that really cripple a lot of newbies in the reboot is the failure to understand that a dopamine high is released in response to sexual thoughts alone. Of course, during the reboot, we totally cut out PMO, but that alone will not get you to clean if, during the reboot, you are allowing yourself to have big moments of sexual thought, or fantasy. Remember, what you are actually doing during the reboot is going 90 days while trying to do something you will hate and your brain will punish you for: taking your brain's dopamine response back to pre-porn levels. Once you get them back to that, and they have been there for a while, keeping them there becomes much easier, meaning you won't miss it, and your brain will quit punishing you for not feeding the dopamine monster.

    6) Accept and embrace you are changing your life. You have been living a porn lifestyle. You might not think of it that way. Until porn becomes a problem in our lives, it is not a problem. However, once it is a problem, it is a problem. It is a problem you actively engaged in, every day, multiple times a day, for years. When you stop that, you are literally changing the daily pattern of your life, meaning there will be, possibly, hours, every day, to fill, doing nothing or anything but watching porn. I know, when I was addicted, one of the first things I did in the morning was make a plan on how I was going to get my fix, which usually meant asking myself when I was going to be alone to do it. When you quit the porn life, you will have a different life. Not, necessarily, better, but no doubt different. You have to plan on that. Find other people, and help them in some way. Open a door for them, carry their groceries in, be polite. Quitting of porn is done most successfully by persons who simultaneously re-engage with reality. The whole purpose in quitting is to re-engage. So, find a reason to go help someone and help them. How do we help ourselves? We help ourselves by helping someone else. Go find someone to help.

    Much love.

    WilliamOneAndDone.

    Back tomorrow to report Day 6, Clear.
     
    Pete McVries likes this.
  19. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Thanks WilliamOneAndDone - Some of those points hit home for me - I'm one of those guys who maintained a stash, I guess as a safety net, because I couldn't really see quitting as being 'forever'. That commitment to quitting, planning for withdrawals, keeping busy etc are really good points. Previously I haven't focused on thoughts enough - when thoughts and fantasies enter my head and I entertain them it's all over, but previously I have allowed it because it isn't P and I can claim it wasn't really my fault what I think about. But you're right, it's just more porn...
     
  20. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    @Tea-man

    Yes, understanding the science is key. For newbies who show up here, the problem can seem epic. Epic problems require epic solutions. One of the ways we overcome the addiction is by shrinking it. The problem is 100% a brain problem, a brain reaction issue. It has nothing to do with anything outside of your brain. This place is called yourbrainrebalanced. It is not call alllifeproblemsfixed. So, the first lesson is, whatever other problems you have in your life, they are not why you are addicted. You are addicted because we love a dopamine hit. Alpha Omega. We, the species, have always loved a dopamine hit, but, sometime between 2005 and 2011, depending on where we were, we figured out, unconsciously, that we could use High Speed Internet Porn to achieve that dopamine hit. We likey. Sexual thoughts, as you have come to understand, are what lead to the dopamine hit. We do not need porn to get it, but porn has allowed us to get it far more efficiently than pure thought alone. Naturally, a dopamine high is not a bad thing: That is nature's evolved way of encouraging us to have sex, reproduce, make babies. All mammals have the same reproductive motivational neurotransmitter: Dopamine. All mammals also experience the "never forget" brain mechanism of DeltFosB, which is a memory mechanism that, essentially, makes it impossible to ever forget where, why, and by what means we get the feel good feeling of a dopamine high. One of the reasons the addiction is difficult to give up is that even after we quit it, we cannot forget how we could use it to get that high.

    For a porn addict, in the reboot--not for life--but in the reboot, we have to diminish, and, if possible, extinguish, sexual thoughts. Once we remove porn as a trigger for a dopamine high, the brain will seek to obtain the high without porn. What the brain misses, in the reboot, is not porn, but the dopamine high it allows for. Best practice is to develop a number of distraction techniques to stop a two second sexual thought from becoming a twenty minute dopamine drenched sex opera in your head. Part of becoming unaddicted is learning to live with much fewer and less intense dopamine highs, and accepting that the dopamine highs we are going to live with will come from reality, and not artificial sexual stimulation. Giving up artificially produced dopamine highs is no tragedy. Being addicted to them, is.

    Day 6, Clear.

    Back tomorrow to announce Day 7, Clear.

    Much Love.

    Will I AM.
     
    Tea-man and NewTerritories like this.

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