Author Topic: Making Recovery my #1 Priority  (Read 15854 times)

PF58

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Three Voices
« Reply #100 on: April 23, 2017, 04:52:31 PM »
Recently I've been going through my old journals and decided that I would focus on my recovery journals. I was struck by one entry in particular in which I gave expression to the different voices in my head. I gave them free rein to express themselves as freely and as authentically as possible. Although all of these voices are a part of me, they have distinct personalities, attitudes and objectives. I thought it would be interesting to share them here since I think this is a useful exercise. If you decide to keep reading, keep in mind that The Addict voice may trigger you if you have similar predilections (as it did for me when I re-read it). If you can get through it, hopefully you'll be inspired by My Higher Self voice!

The Addict
I LOVE porn. Especially teen girls with puffy nipples! It makes me feel good when I masturbate to pictures or videos of them masturbating. As I talk about it I notice that I want to go there now. It is a guilty pleasure. I know that it's not socially acceptable and that David frowns upon it—sometimes—but with a little encouragement he's on board! I can tell that talking about it has gotten him aroused. In fact, he's poised to hop out of bed and visit the girls now. What is the problem? There is no problem. Only David's story about it makes it a problem. When David is on board and we are both one we take a blissful journey together into oblivion. It is a timeless place where wishes are fulfilled and frustrations disappear. Aaaah, the search for the perfect teen body—what sweet madness! Of course, the real thing seems even sweeter but that is off-limits. David is too old. And why bother anyway. That's too much trouble!

The Judge & Critic
What a fucking waste of time! your life is slipping away while you masturbate in front of the computer!! You're pathetic! Why can't you get your shit together? It is time to grow up David! Porn is beneath you. You're better than that. Just stop. Use your will power and discipline. Stop making excuses. You're not getting any younger. Perhaps if you had a job you wouldn't have so much time to jack off. You're living a pitiful, selfish, self-involved life. You're in La La Land. You're out of touch. All your meditation and spiritual pursuits haven't kept you from your porn addiction. You need to go deeper. You need a transformation in consciousness. You need to get off your ass and get a life! Clean up all the messes you've created. Throw out all the excess crap you've got. Pay your fucking bills! You can't avoid your anxieties and fear forever. Face them!

My Higher Self
No problem except for your story. Stop. Pay attention. Go deeply into the moment. You're freedom will come with understanding not through self-control. You need to see through all the limiting beliefs you have of yourself. Your life is perfect here and now. Whenever you forget this, you perpetuate your addiction. Be kind to yourself. Have compassion for the one who suffers. It is not you! Do you see how easily your mind shifts from suffering to serenity? The difference is just a thought. Without the judgements, where is the suffering? Love yourself without reservation. Accept yourself completely. Let go of any idea that says your life should look a certain way. You KNOW the Way. Follow it! Don't be misled by the illusion of lack and limitation. Have fun with your life. Don't take it personally. It's not! You are beyond anything you can conceive of and anything you perceive. Relax and rest in your natural state. Stop identifying with the ephemeral and impermanent. Remember that all blessings, all grace, and all love, joy and happiness flow from within. Dive deep and let go of your suffering!

There are other voices which arise as well but I think that these are the main ones. It's interesting to see how I can embody each of these voices. The first two are more habitual and automatic but with enough practice I could make the voice of my higher self the predominant one. To that end I have made a commitment to do 2 things: (1) To make Recovery my #1 priority and (2) To do something every day for my recovery. As I approach a month of sobriety I'm aware that I need to be ever mindful and vigilant, remembering my commitment and bolstering my motivation in whatever way that I can. I'm excited about the prospect of long-term recovery. I'm not there yet but I feel I'm on my way!
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 02:54:19 PM by PF56 »



PF58

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Disputing My Irrational Beliefs
« Reply #101 on: May 01, 2017, 05:23:21 PM »
Just over a month of sobriety today. This next month is SO important since I've reached this milestone a number of times and then failed to reach 2 months or more. The thing which I will do differently is that, rather than just give lip service to the idea of making recovery my #1 priority, I am going to make recovery a daily practice. Doing this helps me maintain my motivation. Without doing something everyday for my recovery, it is so easy to slip back into old patterns of slippery behavior!

One daily tool that I'm using now is to use Disuputations, sometimes called Refutations. The idea here is to challenge those specific beliefs that inevitably lead to using. As an example, a common excuse (or justification) that I used for a long time was:

One more time won't make a difference.

The refutation I came up with that I like the most is:

One more time will reinforce the pattern and refraining, even once, will reinforce abstinence and recovery.



Following are all the irrational beliefs and disputations I'm working with at the moment. Admittedly, there is a lot of redundancy here and these may not all seem logical. The point is to ferret out every excuse or rationalization you’re using and then find the refutations that will for work for you!

One more time won't make a difference
    - I'll feel better in the morning if I don't give in
    - One more time will reinforce the pattern and refraining, even once, will reinforce abstinence
    - It erodes my motivation and self-discipline
    - It makes me more inclined to repeat the experience
    - It makes me feel ashamed which leads to contraction and isolation
    - It reinforces unrealistic expectations
    - It weakens my resolve to pursue recovery
    - It affects my mood and brings me down over the next day or two or three
    - It encourages feelings of helplessness
    - It makes me inclined to be less disciplined in other areas of my life (i.e. eating)

I feel like looking at porn and no one needs to know
    - Since I *choose* to use, I can choose *not* to use
    - People can sense a difference in my energy and temperment
    - If I choose not to use the discomfort will be temporary
    - Using, even once, will reinforce the addictive pattern and refraining, even once, will help to break the pattern
    - I don’t *have to* indulge in porn
    - If I indulge this time it will be harder to stop next time

I can't have the hot, young women I'm attracted to so I get off with porn
    - If I don't talk with many hot, young women then it's erroneous to conclude I can't have them
    - Just because I can't have ALL the hot, young women I see doesn't mean there aren't at least a FEW that might be interested
    - There are more constructive, creative ways of dealing with my thwarted desire
    - Even if hot, young women aren't interested, there may be some women who are a little older (but still hot) who are!
    - I can't know if a woman is interested or not—and therefore whether I can "have her "—unless I make an effort to connect!
    - Porn erodes my self-image, self-confidence and self-esteem making me less attractive to those hot, young women!
    - If I believe I can't have something I create a self-fulfilling prophecy
    - Even if I don't get what I want, I ALWAYS have a choice about what I do with my desire
    - Perhaps, hot, young women aren't all that I imagine them to be!

When I get triggered I'm overwhelmed by desire
    - I can take preventive action to keep from being triggered
    - I am aware of making a choice to look at porn. I also have a choice not to look at porn
    - There have been times when I've been triggered when I didn't look at porn
    - Even if I am overwhelmed by desire, it doesn't need to lead to porn use
    - When I don't act on desire, the feeling eventually fades
    - I have been triggered, at times, and not been overwhelmed by desire—sometimes the feelings come and go quickly

I'm depressed and looking at porn makes me feel better
    - It's a temporary relief which makes me feel worse in the long-term
    - It's masking the pain and actually exacerbating it!
    - It actually makes me feel worse by eroding my self-image
    - I'm depressed because I keep looking at porn so I'm perpetuating my depression and creating a vicious cycle
    - Part of the reason I'm depressed is because porn saps my motivation and drive
    - I'm depressed because I'm in a rut and watching porn is perpetuating the rut
    - I'm depressed because I don't do more and the enormous amount of time I spend watching porn prevents me from accomplishing more!
    - Porn is simply a diversion from what causes me to feel depressed and is therefore a dysfunctional delaying tactic

Although I'm not powerless at all times, there are some times when I can't help myself
    - Every time I've looked at and masturbated to porn, I made a conscious decision to do so
    - At certain times I chose NOT to "help myself"
    - Unless I continue to reinforce my decision to refrain from porn, my old conditioning is likely to re-assert itself (at least at this early stage in my recovery)
    - The discipline of abstinence is a matter of willpower asserted and re-asserted
    - It has been my ambivalence about refraining from porn which has led me to the illusory belief that I can't help myself
    - By choosing to exercise my power to refrain when I am most inclined to do so, I will be more inclined to refrain when I'm less inclined to do so

I must get better at picking up women so I can have the sex with beautiful young women that I crave
    - Nowhere is it written that I have to become a pick-up artist to get my sexual needs met
    - I don't have to get better at picking up women to find a girlfriend (but I do need to get out more)!
    - Even if I could have sex with lots of young women that would probably not bring me the deep satisfaction that I want
    - Having sex with many young beautiful women is not without a downside—the possibility of getting an STD, of getting her pregnant, of getting involved with an imbalanced or shallow woman, of losing myself trying to please her
    - What I really want is to meet one young beautiful woman to go deep with rather than many short-term flings (despite the nagging fantasy of being a playboy in demand)!
    - If I spend time now developing the qualities which attract women—getting clear about my passion and purpose and then moving towards it—I'll be in a better position to win over the women I want
    - Even without getting good at pick-up and having sex with beautiful young women,I can still have a happy fulfilling life!
    - Even if I don’t have sex with women in their 20s or 30s, I can still have a fulfilling sex life

Masturbating to porn is the easiest way I know to make myself feel good
    - This is a short-sighted, short-term solution which ignores how this will make me feel later
    - I would make myself feel better—with more consistency—if I followed through on my goals
    - It may well be the easiest way but it is not the BEST way!
    - One better way to make myself feel really good is to be self-disciplined and push through my perceived limitations
    - The long-term effect of porn is to dull the senses which makes it harder—ironically—to enjoy the simple pleasures of life!
    - As long as I believe this and keep on indulging in porn, I'm less likely to find and discover new, healthier ways which make me feel really good

Porn has a grip on me that just won't let go
    - I'm the one who has been holding onto porn, not the other way around!
    - I choose to indulge in porn and I can choose to refrain
    - It appears that porn has a grip on me because of repeated use leading to a strong conditioned response
    - I am greater and stronger than my conditioning
    - Through mindfulness, persistence and repeated reinforcement of my desire to stop, I can overcome my conditioning
    - Because my porn use is a conditioned, habitual pattern, I can create new habits to change my thinking and behavior
    - I've held onto porn so long because I wasn't willing to feel certain feelings that arose. I am ready to feel them now!

Sometimes when I get triggered I am compelled to indulge in porn
    - When I recall any instance where I got triggered and looked at porn, I can always remember a *choice* to do so
    - There is no outside force that compels me to look at porn. I have done so in the past because I *wanted* to!
    - Because it is clearly a chose to look at porn, I can *choose* not to!
    - The fact that I don't ALWAYS look at porn when I'm triggered means that I CAN help myself
    - The more I reinforce my decision NOT to look at porn when I get triggered AND do *something else* instead, the less likely it will be that I do look at porn
    - I can think about and rehearse other responses to getting triggered which will assist me in making a different choice

I can't trust myself not to look at porn since I've broken so many promises to myself and others
    - I don't intentionally burn myself! In the same way, when I hold the negative consequesnces of porn use in mind, it is a natural choice not to use
    - Although the future may be unpredictable, I can have a high degree of certainty about my behavior now and in the immediate future (if I can continue thinking the same way I am now)
    - It is true that I've broken many promises to myself and others in the past but that doesn't mean I will do so in the future!
    - Just as trust that is broken needs to be re-earned, every day I abstain from porn helps to repair that trust with myself
    - I firmly believe that in spite of all the shattered promises and broken trust that I can do it differently this time
    - I trust that I can use my intelligence in a proactive way to help avoid putting myself in compromising situations

I'm an undisciplined, lazy fuck-up so I might as well use porn—what do I have to lose?
    - Although I'm undisciplined and lazy sometimes, I can also be disciplined and industrious. Those qualities don't define me or make me a “fuck-up”
    - I can choose to feel sorry for myself—and possibly use porn—OR I can do something to life my spirits!
    - What I have to lose is whatever sobriety I've gained. Even if it's only a week, that is a worthwhile gain!
    - Not only do I have my sobriety to lose but I also have my self-respect and determination to lose.
    - I cannot be described by any words—I'm too great for that!
    - Ironically, according to brain research on porn, it is the addictive use of porn which has contributed to the these feelings and my lack of motivation!
    - Giving in to using when I have this thought perpetuates the vicious cycle—low self-esteem leads to porn use which in turn leads to low self-esteem

I feel bad about how little I've accomplished in my life. Porn takes me away from the painful truth and makes me feel better
    - Porn distracts me from these painful emotions. I would be better served were I to feel them deeply and completely
    - Instead of using these painful feelings as a motivation to look at porn, I can use them as a motivation to change!
    - Adding insult to injury—after indulging in porn for a momentary pleasure, I can add my inability to refrain from using porn to my list of things to feel bad about!
    - It is quite possible—given recent brain research on addiction—that my porn use has contributed to my lack of motivation and accomplishment!
    - My value does not lie in what I have done but in who I am at my core!
    - Instead of feeling bad about the past, I can put my energy and thought into creating a future to look forward to!
    - My life starts now! I can accomplish many great things with the remainder of my life!

The women I'm attracted to aren't attracted to me and the ones who do appear to be attracted to me are the ones I'm not attracted to
    - Some of the women I've dated and had relationships with were attractive to me (even if they weren't super models)!
    - I can't know that ALL the women I'm attracted to aren't attracted to me unless I make an effort to meet them. And I seldom make the effort (because of my belief)!
    - I can't know all of the women who are attracted to me. There may very well be women who are attracted to me that I don't know about.
    - The women I'm attracted to may not be attracted to the man I'm coming across as in the moment but that’s just their projection, not who I really am!
    - If the women I'm attracted to aren't attracted to “me” then I can change my beliefs and behaviors to come across differently
    - If I succumb to this belief, I'm more inclined to feel sorry for myself and use porn but I can use this as motivation to become a better man!

When I get anxious or stressed out I find that porn helps me cope
    - Like many narcotics, porn dulls the senses and one's awareness so as to mask the feelings of anxiety and stress
    - Porn doesn't really help. It's just a temporary escape. The stress and anxiety are waiting for me when I come off of the high
    - Anxiety and stress are a call for attention and by indulging in porn I'm ignoring the invitation to go deeper into the feelings, possibly gaining insight and healing
    - Porn is the path of least resistance and, while it makes me feel better temporarily, it makes the cause of the problem more entrenched
    - Porn is very simply an avoidance of some action that needs to be taken! By getting lost in the fog of porn I can “pretend" that I don't know what that action is

Sometimes when I get triggered there is a flood of emotion which compels me to look at porn!
    - If I wallow in that feeling I'm much more prone to indulge in porn but if I refocus my attention the feeling passes quickly
    - In order to be compelled I have to LET myself stay with the feeling
    - There is a strong conditoned response to looking at porn when I'm triggered because that emotional state gives the illusion of very limited choice. In reality, I have an infinite capacity to choose an alternative behavior!
    - When I sit with the feeling I make myself more prone to acting out but if I take ACTION—moving my body and refocusing my thoughts—the feeling dissipates in no time
    - When I get in the bubble it is imperative that I burst it! I can do this by immediately focusing on how I'll feel afterwards or on what I REALLY want—a healthy sexual relationship with a *real* woman
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 03:46:35 PM by PF56 »



PF58

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Need Some Good Reasons to Stop Using Porn?
« Reply #102 on: May 13, 2017, 03:37:38 PM »
How about 15 Good Reasons?

Check out the article here: http://bit.ly/2r4GqIF

Just read this excellent piece on the detrimental effects of porn. As I'm in early recovery, I need to keep reinforcing my decision to move away from porn.



In the past, I've found it very easy to fall into old patterns of behaving. To keep that from happening, I'm doing the following things to maintain my momentum and motivation:

  • Talking with my accountability partner once a week
  • Attending a recovery meeting once a week (which I started to help myself and others)
  • Journaling regularly (2-3 times per week)
  • Reading old recovery journals (to remind myself of the insanity)
  • Reading recovery books (like the one mentioned above as well as Changeology and Rewired)
  • Keeping to a regular schedule (ie. In bed and lights off at midnight)
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Eating Well (that includes fasting which I just started)
  • Limiting masturbation *without porn* to twice a month
  • Getting plenty of exercise (especially outdoors)
  • Tracking my positive behaviors (I use the iOS app, Productive, which I really like)
  • Being proactive with my decision making (to avoid putting myself in compromising situations)
  • Prioritizing Recovery
  • Keeping my home organized (which goes a long way towards keeping me sane)

« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 05:37:59 PM by PF56 »



guyinsideout

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Re: Making Recovery my #1 Priority
« Reply #103 on: May 16, 2017, 05:09:31 PM »
Great post PF56! Like your list for momentum and motivation. Might have to borrow some of it. Pretty new in my reboot as well. Thanks for the inspiration.

PF58

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The Cost of Porn Addiction
« Reply #104 on: May 26, 2017, 04:53:43 PM »
One way to bolster motivation is to think of the costs of porn addiction when you're triggered or feeling pulled towards using! Usually any thought about the costs or the consequences of indulging in porn is far from our mind the closer we get to using. What if you'd written about the costs and could access them easily to remind yourself of why you want to stop! That's what I've done here. This is my short list:

My Personal Costs of Porn Addiction
  • A narrowed field of feelings, thoughts and perceptions
  • Stunted emotional and spiritual growth
  • A loss of vital energy and power
  • Being lost in longing, desperation and fantasy
  • Stunted creativity
  • My inherent joy and joie-de-vivre has been eclipsed by my preoccupation with pleasure and sexual gratification
  • I continue to reinforce the deep-seated belief that my happiness and satisfaction depend on something and someone outside of myself
  • I remain blind to the subtleties of love and beauty
  • Time is wasted where I could be doing something creative or productive instead
  • Numerous lost opportunities for REAL love and pleasure in relationship with a REAL woman
  • Loss of self-esteem and personal power
  • Compromised integrity—a disconnect between what I say I want and what I do

In addition to the costs that I've mentioned, there are some other well known costs that many (or most) addicts experience:



What are your costs?
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 09:36:15 PM by PF56 »



PF58

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How a Lapse Can Be a Positive Thing
« Reply #105 on: June 05, 2017, 03:53:29 PM »
This post could have also been titled: How to Keep a Lapse from Turning into a Relapse. The night before last I lost my precious 2 months of sobriety. It's always demoralizing when a lapse happens but usually far more demoralizing if a lapse turns into a relapse! Reflecting on the following three questions might help to make the difference between a lapse and a relapse.



How will you respond to the lapse?
I ended my 5 hours of indulgence at 5am. As I got into bed I remembered that I'd made plans a couple of weeks before to go for a hike with a guy I reached out to. He has a much busier schedule than me so we had to plan in advance. My first instinct was to shoot him a text and tell him that I couldn't make it. But I decided that I wasn't going to let this lapse get the best of me so I didn't send the text. I knew I was only going to get a few hours of sleep but that was better than nothing.

I got up at 8am feeling groggy and bleary eyed but sent my friend a text about where to meet. When I didn't hear back I called and left a message. At about 8:45 I got a call from a guy I know in California with the same name. I'd mixed up their contacts! The problem was that I didn't have a contact for my new friend. I figured I better hop in my car ASAP and drive out the trailhead so I wouldn't be late. I got there and he was nowhere in sight. I couldn't call him because there was no cell reception and, even if there had been, I didn't have his number or his last name. Shit! After waiting for a half hour I decided to go for the 4.5 mile hike.

With the help of a 5-Hour Energy drink I powered through the hike. I decided not to mope or beat myself up about my lapse but to think about how it could actually turn into something positive. I figured that this had a lot to do with what I would do over the next 12-24 hours. I vowed not to let the lapse affect my upcoming plans in any way—neither cancelling or changing plans nor letting it affect my mood.

What steps can you take to minimize the damage?
I decided to throw out the stash of porn I'd downloaded during the porn binge. In recent times I would justify all the time I spent downloading the porn to get off with it a few more times before trashing it. In the past I would have also considered what a "good date" to stop would be—usually the beginning of the month or a significant date like my birthday (which wasn't that far off). I rejected those justifications and made up my mind not to let this lapse turn into a relapse. I realized that along with trashing the porn I'd also have to clear my browser history to keep from getting re-triggered if I accidentally came upon one of the pages I visited.

After I'd gotten rid of the porn—which was not without some regret—I spent some time journaling about the incident. I also plan to come clean about it in a meeting which I started a couple of months ago. The other participants only know me as an addict in recovery. I've always felt strong and positive in the meetings. The approach I want to take in the meeting this evening is neither to minimize what happened nor to have a pity party for myself. What's past is past.

While I was hiking I thought about what changes I could make it my life to increase my well-being and to help prevent another lapse. One of the things I plan on doing is to journal about what led up to the lapse. What signs did I ignore? What could I have done differently? I think this kind of postmortem can be very useful. Apart from journaling, I figured that my daily routine could use some tweaking. Because I'm semi-retired and I only have to work one day a week, I'll often spend the morning in bed. I meditate and read and occasionally sit in my bed with my laptop. I used to stay up late at night and stay in bed in the morning into mid-afternoon. A couple of months ago I made a promise to myself to get to bed by midnight and get out of bed by noon and this was an improvement! But now I've realized that it would serve me even more to get up earlier and get outside for some exercise: a walk, a hike or a bike ride.

I think this might be hard because I've gotten quite accustomed to that routine but I think this will serve my well-being. It will also help to interrupt the comfortable pattern I've fallen into. And perhaps it will help to avoid the slippery slope that led to my lapse. A comfortable routine like the one I had can sometimes lead to complacency.

What can you learn from your lapse?
Leading up to my lapse I noticed that I was less vigilant and disciplined about sticking to the guidelines I'd set for myself. I was allowing myself some titillation by looking at non-pornographic images of women on the Net. For the most part the women were fully clothed but in some cases they were topless. I avoided putting any terms into search engines that I knew would bring up porn or using the search field on particular sites that I knew were mostly or completely free of porn. But this was a fool's game. I call this being in my Middle Circle (which I've alluded to on numerous occasions). Like a drunk opening a bottle of booze "just for a whiff," trying to find non-pornographic titillating images or vides is playing with fire. Eventually, I'll have a fuck-it moment when my defenses are down which is what happened most recently.

The last thing I want to mention is that a slip doesn't have to become a lapse. Before I got into full addictive mode—masturbating to porn—I was just looking at it. I thought about stopping without masturbating and just calling it a slip—therefore, saving myself from having to reset my sobriety date. I thought about it but I kept on looking. The longer I looked the less likely it was that I'd make that choice. But, in retrospect, I see that I could have chosen that option. I just need to remember that the sooner I choose sobriety the better. That means getting away from the computer the moment I start to become aroused, whether that's from a mainstream advertisement or from some semi-provocative YouTube video that I stumbled across. In the finally analysis, I think it is mindfulness, clarity and compassion which will lead to my full recovery.



PF58

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The False Promise of Porn
« Reply #106 on: August 30, 2017, 04:34:13 PM »
On the eve of one month away from Porn I felt inspired to share an excerpt from the book I am reading about the empty promise of porn:

Quote
Freedom Is Possible

French novelist Virginie Despentes has reportedly said that consuming pornography does not lead to more sex; it leads to more porn. Much like eating McDonald’s everyday will accustom you to food that (although enjoyable) is essentially not food, pornography conditions the consumer to being satisfied with an impression of extreme sex rather than the real.

Porn promises freedom, but it enslaves us. It promises excitement, but it ends up boring us. It promises us “adult” entertainment, yet it makes us increasingly juvenile. It promises intimacy, but leads to isolation.

The good news is that freedom is possible and something so much better awaits us on the other side.”

Excerpt From: Fradd, Matthew. “The Porn Myth: Exposing the Reality Behind the Fantasy of Pornography.”

« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 06:57:53 PM by PF56 »



PF58

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The 6 Sources of Influence
« Reply #107 on: September 06, 2017, 06:11:47 PM »
Reading this excellent book right now: Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success. http://amzn.to/2f5kc1T. The authors have created a very useful schema for understanding the factors that influence our behavior and how to change them. I'm currently working with this and just finished doing some exercises around the 1st quadrant of the chart — Personal Motivation. One of the suggested exercises is to create a "Personal Motivation Statement."

This is what I came up with:

My life is my teaching. The teaching is that it is never too late to turn your life around and live a life of meaning. The meaning in my life comes from my devotion to Truth, Awakening, Freedom and the alleviation of needless suffering in the world, beginning with my own life.

Today I'm going to begin working on the 2nd quadrant: Personal Ability. I'm excited to use my creativity in service of my recovery!!

« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 10:26:49 PM by PF56 »



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Re: Making Recovery my #1 Priority
« Reply #108 on: September 08, 2017, 09:39:55 AM »
Thank you for your book recommendations. Have you also read "Your Brain on Porn"? It was my go-to book during early recovery.

PF58

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What You Practice is What You Have
« Reply #109 on: December 27, 2017, 08:23:46 PM »
It is an act of humility to update my tracker and admit that I've relapsed once again. But it is imperative that I'm honest with myself and with others if I want to have any hope of recovery. And so it goes. I begin again.

I keep on trying new things to see if anything sticks but this does not mean that all of the things that I've tried before and posted about here did not work and should be abandoned! It could be that trying something that I've already tried might work now with a new mindset or attitude. So with that in mind, I'm going to tell you what I'm up to now but I'm going to make it a point to go back and read all of my old posts on Reboot Nation from the beginning.



Cheri Huber is the author of many books including: There is Nothing Wrong With You. The book I am reading now, What You Practice is What You Have – A Guide to Having the Life You Want is a follow-up to that book. In it she talks about finding the supportive voice within which she calls The Mentor. It's obvious to most of us that have struggled with addiction that we have a negative voice within that tears us down, tells us that we're worthless and encourages us to act out because we're not fit for recovery. But what some people don't know is that we have another voice (which may have been silenced by the critical, judgmental, negative voice) that is gentle, patient, kind and encouraging. We can focus and encourage this positive voice while ignoring the negative voice! Cheri calls this positive voice The Mentor. Here is an excerpt about...

Quote
A Crucial Relationship
There is a crucial relationship between the Mentor and the skill of directing the attention.

The Mentor
is access to the conscious, compassionate awareness that animates. Moving from being mentored to being the Mentor is the movement from an identity as a small ego-self to awareness of oneself as compassionate being.

Directing the attention
allows one to withdraw attention from the control of egocentric karmic conditioning, where it's being used to maintain the illusion of separation and suffering, and to return it to conscious compassionate awareness.

Here are some statements of intention to assist in practicing withdrawing attention from egocentric karmic conditioning and returning to the compassionate awareness of the Mentor. Perhaps add your own.

I will no longer allow my attention to be directed toward a perception of myself as someone trapped in a life that is beyond my control, helpless to affect my circumstances, working and trying hard but endlessly frustrated by failure, plagued by fear, anger, sadness, and depression, seeking any escape, feeling bad and guilty about my inadequacy, beaten regularly by voices that see me as worthless and contemptible.

I will instead direct my attention to my own experience of the deepest desire of my heart. I will choose to attend to kindness, peace, acceptance, and compassion, embracing in unconditional love and acceptance all parts of me that suffer, and from that place of gratitude and generosity, practice embracing all life in the same way.

I will beging to practice recognizing when I am in the Dark Room of egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate, and when I am in the Light Room of This/Here/Now. I will practice turning attention away from the something wrong/not enough of the Dark Room and to the expansiveness and possibility of the Light Room. Although I will get distracted and bamboozled and will allow my attention to be hijacked by egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate, as soon as I realize that I will turn attention to what I want for my life, to lovingkindness, compassion, and well-being.

I will give to attention to the voices of judgment, criticism, or punishment. I will surround myself with support for a life in the Light Room, seeking inspiration and strength from Sangha,* participate in what is uplifting, prioritize what takes care of the heart, and surround myself with that which mirrors the unconditional love and goodness I know to be my true nature.

*Each individual's own source of kindred spirits, consciously journeying on a path of self-realization.



PF58

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50 Great Reasons to Quite Using Porn
« Reply #110 on: January 24, 2018, 07:12:14 PM »
I got an email from nofap.com today with the following list and I found it useful so I thought I'd pass it on! Along with Reboot Nation, NoFap is one of the sites I've used to help stay motivated and to aid in my recovery. I got another email today from fortify.com and I just learned that they've revamped their entire website. It's one of the best tools I've found for escaping the porn trap. If you're under 21, it's free! And if you're over 21, you can take pride in the fact that your payment helps to support this free program!



50 Great Reasons to Quit Using Porn

1. Increase your self confidence.

2. More time and energy to put into developing friendships and interpersonal relationships of all types.

3. More time and energy to devote to being a family member. Many parents who reboot report that they feel that they feel like better parents and better spouses. Many younger rebooters report feeling more at ease at family events and have more positive feelings regarding family.

4. Improve your social confidence. 57% of our surveyed members reported an increase in “social skills” while rebooting/retaining.

5. For singles, improve your ability to find a romantic partner. 66% feel that they’re more willing to flirt, talk to people that they’re attracted to, date, etc.

6. Increase attraction towards people, instead of just pixels on a screen. Avoiding PMO will naturally incentivize you to focus on cultivating a relationship.

7. Reduce or reverse sexual dysfunctions such as anorgasmia (inability to orgasm during sex) and PIED (porn-induced erectile dysfunction).

8. Reduce the “death grip” in order to have greater pleasure during real sex.

9. Improve sexual satisfaction.

10. 39% of surveyed users report an increase in emotional connection with their partner.

11. 38% report feeling more creative during a reboot.

12. 48% report feeling “tranquility” or “deep-seated happiness” during a reboot.

13. Improve romantic relationships, as problems in the bedroom often trickle their way into every area of a relationship.

14. 47% of surveyed members report feeling a greater respect towards women & potential partners.

15. It isn’t only just about respect towards potential partners. 28% of surveyed rebooters on our forum reported a greater respect towards peers.

16. Improves dating life.

17. No more staying up until 4 am, clicking from video to video, waking up the next day exhausted.

18. No more fear in letting other people borrow your phone or computer, scared that they’ll stumble across porn, your internet history, or an embarrassing auto-complete.

19. Know yourself better. 65% of surveyed members reported a greater awareness of their own strengths and limitations.

20. No more weird computer viruses from all of those pop-up ads and accidental clicks.

21. More free time to pursue whatever you want to pursue in life.

22. 55% report that they simply “feel” more physically attractive / have a better self image and better facial and body confidence after going through a period of rebooting/retention.

23. Increase available computer/phone hard drive space to store photographs of memories that you’re making with all of your newfound free time.

24. Feel authentic, like you have nothing to hide, and the liberating feeling that results from living life authentically.

25. Know what your “organic sexuality” looks like. You might discover new things about yourself. NoFap doesn’t usually say that “this kink is good, this kink is bad” but that people should focus on discovering what they’re naturally attracted to, rather than letting the porn producers choose for them.

26. Reverse porn-created fetishes that might be at-odds with your natural preferences or even your morals. Sometimes these can escalate to rather shocking categories.

27. Increase your ability to delay rewards.

28. Increase your ability to participate in altruistic punishment.

29. Increase your ability to take risks.

30. If you are married, reduce the chance of getting a divorce (studies that analyze divorce data are showing this) and increase marriage satisfaction.

31. Enjoy a greater sense of self-control and “self-mastery.”

32. Learn how to appreciate people’s personalities, characters, and other aspects of being a human being rather than just caring about their bodies. No more gawking at people on the street or other behavior that was reinforced through heavy porn use.

33. Increase self-discipline and be transfer it into other areas of life. Maybe it’s time to start learning a new skill or pursuing a goal.

34. No more being a creep. Many of the heaviest porn users might escalate into creepy or even illegal behavior, such as watching shocking porn genres, PMOing compulsively in places/at times that they shouldn’t, or visiting risky prostitution services.

35. Save money by no longer purchasing it or things associated with it. Maybe you can pursue another hobby such as paragliding with the savings. Some people spend 1000s and 1000s on camming, toys/dolls, site subscriptions, or higher-quality niche content.

36. You don’t know what you’re watching. You could be supporting human trafficking or other awful things. Even not buying porn results in demand through ad revenue and web traffic. If you disagree with the industry’s practices, you can vote with your “wallet” and choose to not support it by not using it.

37. People who are religious (remember, NoFap is a secular brand) report having more “religious satisfaction” (20% from last survey).

38. Understand the concept of abundance, which can be translated to awareness of other things that are no-longer-scarce that our bodies still consider beneficial to binge on. For example, food - we have an obesity epidemic right now and many rebooters report pursuing new dietary habits shortly after quitting PMO.

39. Hypofrontality, a tangible brain change, has been linked to compulsive pornography consumption, which may reduce an individual’s ability to think critically. People who quit sometimes report feeling more “clear-headed” compared to when they were deep into their PMO habits.

40. Habitual excessive pornography use has been linked to heightened levels of stress. Some people who leave PMO behind report having more “balanced” stress/anxiety levels.

41. Stop normalizing pornography consumption to others, especially to young people who are often being indoctrinated to accept that internet porn consumption is the new normal, is healthy, and ideal. “The more the better!” is often touted although it isn’t scientifically supported. (remember, there’s a difference between masturbation, a partnered orgasm, and masturbating to internet porn, which the porn-pushers too often ignore)

42. Get more stuff done: 50% of our users have reported increased productivity from a period of not PMOing.

43. 32% of surveyed users report being more emotionally sensitize / attuned to emotions.

44. Many rebooters go through some challenges during the process. Overcoming these challenges will help you gain skills to overcome future challenges in life.

45. Perform better at work or school due to the positive effects of rebooting/retention.

46. … “superpowers.” These aren't referring to super-human abilities. This is our word for natural abilities and the natural self in the absence of endlessly-available, super-stimulating pornography which often has detrimental effects on people’s lives. People report that they’re getting all sorts of unexpected effects that are changing their lives. Sometimes, the changes are so drastic, this return to natural/normal is described as "superpowers" by some enthusiastic rebooters.

47. Experience the effects of what these changes can have in your life. It could be a compounding investment that’s hard to predict the outcome of. And one of the best investments that you can make is in yourself.

48. 68% of our surveyed members report feeling a sense of satisfaction from completing a major life challenge, undergoing a period of rebooting/retention.

49. Many rebooters often report that they are now focused on building other beneficial habits, such as eating well or exercising. If you aren’t already doing so, give it a shot, since rebooting is a great time to start picking up things that are actually good for you.

50. Just to see what happens. You’ll never know until you try. Many people report completely unexpected, highly personal benefits from eliminating (and for some people, even just reducing) their PMO habits.



PF58

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« Reply #111 on: March 09, 2018, 09:17:29 PM »
Clearly my addiction has me by the balls since I keep bouncing back and forth between abstinence and indulgence. I indulged once again a few days ago but decided to challenge a couple of the addictive patterns which are part of my addiction.

Firstly, I didn't play my usual date game—looking into the future to find a "good" date to stop. A "good" date, according to my distorted thinking, is at the beginning of the month or one where I can find a pattern between the numbers (ie. 12/13/14). Sometime in the last year I started picking a time to stop as well, sometimes corresponding to the date, like I did on Feb 21, stopping at 2:21am. This kind of magical thinking never really helped me to stop although it may have helped me to get psyched up!

Secondly, I decided not to beat myself up which has never helped in any real way. I don't need to mentally punish myself in the absence of parents or parental surrogates. Both of these conditioned patterns have played themselves out countless times and I'm tired of both of them.

Yesterday, I was at the library and came across a book by Allen Carr: Stop Drinking Now (Allen Carr's Easyway). I was curious what the "Easyway" is since my recovery hasn't been easy. I skimmed the book and came across one particular summary page at the end of one a chapter which spoke to me. I'm going to substitute porn for drinking in the excerpt below.
  • Addiction is not a hole in the ground—there is no physical effort required to get out.
  • It's easy to get out of the porn trap—you just have to make a different choice.
  • Have no doubts about the choice you're making and be certain that you will succeed.
  • Remember, porn does nothing substantial for you whatsoever.
  • There is nothing to wait for. The moment you stop indulging in porn is the moment you become free.
  • There's no such thing as "just a look." If you take a look, you'll most likely take another look which will lead to masturbation and you'll be right back in the porn trap.
  • Rejoice at ridding yourself of your mortal enemy.
Now, I don't think that this is the last word on recovery but I think it brings up some useful points. Addiction is a choice and so is recovery. In trying to discern the "easyway" in Carr's method, I came to the conclusion that it is about reframing the withdrawal which seems to be inevitable for any recovering addict. The last point above speaks to that idea. Rather than associating withdrawal with thoughts of suffering and missing out, or adopting a victim mentality, you can "rejoice" in your decision. The pain is a sign that you're making progress! It's also a sign that you're successfully challenging the "little monster," Carr's name for your addictive tendencies.

One way of looking at addiction is as a set of conditioned behaviors based on erroneous beliefs. The way to change your behavior is to change your beliefs. This is simple but not necessarily easy. I say "not necessarily" because this is just another belief: the belief that change is hard, that recovery is hard. What if the only reason change seems hard is because that's what you believe? So, here is the easy 3 Step process for beating your addiction:
  • Make a choice to be done with your addiction
  • Stop the addictive behavior and the behaviors that often lead up to it (ie. surfing the web randomly at 3am)
  • When you experience withdrawal, reframe it as progress and rejoice in your choice!

Obviously, this is an oversimplification, right? Or is it? Whether you believe that or not has everything to do with whether this simple method could work. I, for one, am going to play around with it and see how it goes. I'll report back in a few weeks!
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 06:29:22 PM by PF56 »



Cage Faraday

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Re: Making Recovery my #1 Priority
« Reply #112 on: March 21, 2018, 10:21:14 AM »
I admire your honesty with regards to your recovery, the falls, the victories, the whole truth.  Keep up the good work, I'm right there with you.

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« Reply #113 on: April 23, 2018, 06:36:26 PM »
Thanks for your encouragement and support! We can do this!!

I admire your honesty with regards to your recovery, the falls, the victories, the whole truth.  Keep up the good work, I'm right there with you.



PF58

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« Reply #114 on: April 23, 2018, 07:55:14 PM »

One way of looking at addiction is as a set of conditioned behaviors based on erroneous beliefs. The way to change your behavior is to change your beliefs. This is simple but not necessarily easy. I say "not necessarily" because this is just another belief: the belief that change is hard, that recovery is hard. What if the only reason change seems hard is because that's what you believe? So, here is the easy 3 Step process for beating your addiction:
  • Make a choice to be done with your addiction
  • Stop the addictive behavior and the behaviors that often lead up to it (ie. surfing the web randomly at 3am)
  • When you experience withdrawal, reframe it as progress and rejoice in your choice!

Obviously, this is an oversimplification, right? Or is it? Whether you believe that or not has everything to do with whether this simple method could work. I, for one, am going to play around with it and see how it goes. I'll report back in a few weeks!

It's been about 6 weeks since I posted that and I've indulged 6 times since then. Although I didn't maintain my sobriety, I'm not ready to dismiss what I wrote in my last post. I believe that how we think about addiction and recovery has a lot, if not everything, to do with our success or failure. How we frame things is all important! Even using words like "success" and "failure" is a way of framing the issue. They seem cut and dried, suggesting that if we're not a success then we are a failure. But addiction and recovery exist along a spectrum! Like the word "addict," the words success and failure suggest something that is solid and well defined but they are anything but!

I've gotten pretty good at not beating myself up anymore when I slip or relapse. It doesn't serve me. But that doesn't mean that I'm not committed to getting sober. I remain committed because I want to discover and experience who I am without this addiction. There have been times where I considered throwing in the towel but that feeling always passes and is replaced by a desire for, and commitment to, living a life of sobriety. But I imagine a life beyond sobriety—where I don't have be constantly vigilant and mindful, but where I have outgrown my puerile desires. A life where I can handle stress and rejection in a healthy way! Here again, "stress" and "rejection" are ways of thinking about something and both can be reframed!

Which brings me back to the quote above: When you experience withdrawal, reframe it as progress and rejoice in your choice!. Obviously, easier said than done! To help me with this reframing, I'm working with an exercise from a book I'm reading (which I posted about earlier): What You Practice is What You Have by Cheri Huber. The exercise involves creating a recording that encapsulates all of your values and is meant to challenge all of your self-defeating thoughts and beliefs! Cheri suggests taking 30 days to put this together. Because I didn't want to wait 30 days I put together a recording which I've decided to modify until I have it just the way I want it. I listen to the recording before I meditate every morning and I'm going to start listening to it in the evenings as well before I go to sleep. I'm at the point in the exercise where I need to create a "statement of intention." This is the verbiage that Cheri suggests:

Quote
I will no longer allow my attention to be directed toward a perception of myself as someone trapped in a life that is beyond my control, helpless to affect my circumstances, working and trying hard but endlessly frustrated by failure, plagued by fear, anger, sadness, and depression, seeking any escape, feeling bad and guilty about my inadequacy, beaten regularly by voices that see me as worthless and contemptible.

I will instead direct my attention to my own experience of the deepest desire of my heart. I will choose to attend to kindness, peace, acceptance, and compassion, embracing in unconditional love and acceptance all parts of me that suffer, and from that place of gratitude and generosity, practice embracing all life in the same way.

I will begin to practice recognizing when I am in the Dark Room of egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate, and when I am in the Light Room of This/Here/Now. I will practice turning attention away from the something wrong/not enough of the Dark Room and to the expansiveness and possibility of the Light Room. Although I will get distracted and bamboozled and will allow my attention to be hijacked by egocentric karmic condition/self-hate, as soon as I realize that I will turn attention to what I want for my life—to lovingkindness, compassion, and well-being.

I will give no attention to the voices of judgment, criticism, or punishment. I will surround myself with support for a life in the Light Room, seeking inspiration and strength from Sangha,* participate in what is uplifting, prioritize what takes care of the heart, and surround myself with that which mirrors the unconditional love and goodness I know to be my true nature.

*Each individual's own source of kindred spirits, consciously journeying on a path of self-realization.

Keep in mind that Cheri is speaking from a Buddhist perspective. I think that terms like "egocentric karmic conditioning" are a bit clunky but until I figure out something better for myself, I will use these words.

Lately I've been honoring some sleep guidelines that I set for myself, turning off electronics at 11pm and going to sleep by midnight. This is working for me and I feel good about it. I'm also in the process of putting down some roots in New Zealand where I am traveling at the moment. More on that later. :-)





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Re: Making Recovery my #1 Priority
« Reply #115 on: April 24, 2018, 07:27:39 PM »
We are constantly looking for approval.  So when we meet what we see as rejection, or disapproval we want a way to medicate or forget about it.

This makes sense with the posts on here.  Our language even when we write to others should be affirming.  Certainly when we speak
of our getting victory over an addiction we must be positive.  In truth it is Easy to beat this addiction.  Think of all the years in your life where it was not there.  We have returned to that.

PF58

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Re: Making Recovery my #1 Priority
« Reply #116 on: July 01, 2018, 11:28:44 PM »
This morning I finished reading a free ebook titled, It's Time to Start Living. (http://toddsylvesterinspires.com/). It reminded me of the importance of choice. In my case, it is the choice to continue looking for a way or a path that will stick. I pride myself on the fact that, no matter how many times I fall down, I will NEVER give up this fight! I continue to choose again and again and again. And begin again and again and again! Because I have faith that one of these times I will not slip or relapse again.

The first of these 3 fundamental truths is this:



Each time I fall down and begin again, I ask myself this critical question: What can I do differently this time? And lately, the answer has been the same: To be more proactive with my recovery. It MUST be a daily practice in the beginning—somewhere between 3 months and a year (in my opinion). So many times I have gotten just a tiny bit complacent after 3 or 4 or 5 weeks and that has been my undoing. This last time, I was on a roll and had about 37 days of sobriety. Like I've done many times before, when I started to feel a little lonely or a little horny, I decided to get just a little hit of pleasure by looking at something titillating but "non-pornographic." This is ALWAYS a slippery slope and it is very rare that I don't indulge at these times.

So my practice begins before I have even the slightest inclination to look at porn. If I wait until I am jonesing I am lost. When I'm feeling good and happy because I've got a month under my belt, this is the time to be even more vigilant ands to step up my practice! This is the time to take preventive measures and to make sure I stay out of my "middle circle," that squirrely place between addictive behavior and a sober mindset where little, inconsequential choices lead to more consequential choices that make it much harder not to indulge.




PF58

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« Reply #117 on: October 02, 2018, 04:04:54 PM »
I'm committed to beating this addiction and I'm revisiting an old strategy. Fortify has been around for awhile now and I've been through it a couple of times. They've recently overhauled the site and think the improvements are great. One new feature is that you don't have to be under 18 to get the program for free (for a limited time)! You'll have access to all the content—so you can check it out thoroughly—but after the first couple of weeks you will have to pay. If you measure that cost of the program against the potential benefits and compared to how much you may have paid for porn over the years, it's pretty easy to justify the cost, particularly if you pay for a year up front!

FYI: I have no affiliation with Fortify; I just think that the program is really well done. I've decided to go through the program again and just upgraded my membership. Besides providing some much needed structure to my recovery, it's got some other benefits too. It gives me some great prompts for journaling (which I'm trying to do more often) and there is the possibility to find and ally on the site. An ally is someone with whom you can connect with in a mutually supportive relationship. I need that right now as I'm living in a foreign country and currently don't have any accountability! In fact, if you're reading this and feel like you could use an accountability partner, please let me know!

« Last Edit: October 02, 2018, 09:20:34 PM by PF58 »



PF58

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Re: Making Recovery my #1 Priority
« Reply #118 on: January 16, 2019, 05:43:48 PM »


There are a lot of myths—some of them quite persistent (see #2)—related to using pornography. Porn merchants, and those trying to justify their use of porn, propagate these myths. Don't fall for them! These 19 Reasons were put together by Alex Rhodes, the founder of NoFap.com. I received an email from him and decided to pass it along to you! Here they are..

1. To improve your brain function. Studies have linked compulsive porn use to hypofrontality, which can be summarized as decreased functioning of the frontal cortex, which is the part of the brain involved in reasoning. Sadly, this decreased functioning can lead to poorer impulse control, which can make an addict less capable of resisting their “primitive" brain’s cravings to go back to old unwanted habits. For some reason, despite this, many online blogs continue to tout pornography as endlessly beneficial, no matter if you use it once per day or 100 times per day.

2. To improve your sex life. Many studies have linked pornography consumption to lower sexual satisfaction. Not surprising, given that with porn you are conditioning your brain to associate sexual activity with a computer screen, rather than a human being.

3. To improve your relationships. Surveyed lawyers, all the way back in 2002, said that over half of divorce proceedings involved discussion of online porn being a factor. A 2016 study says that divorce rates will double when porn enters the marriage. Not surprising, since problems in the bedroom will usually trickle into every area of a romantic relationship. Those who quit porn often put some of that new energy into improving their romantic relationship, spicing things up, and respecting their partner as a person.

4. To improve your self-confidence. A while ago, we surveyed our users and WELL over half reported that they have more self-confidence after just a period of time quitting porn. There’s no denying it, quitting porn is a huge accomplishment. So is a significant reduction of porn use after many years of compulsive use. It makes sense that you’ll feel good about this accomplishment.

5. To improve your social confidence / social anxiety. Back in the day, people used to socialize while growing up. Today, many young people are choosing pixels on a screen in favor of developing social, in-person relationships with their peers. It’s not surprising that come graduation time, many people are feeling anxiety about navigating social situations in their adult life. 57% of those going through our rebooting parameters feel that they improved their social skills, simply through quitting porn.

6. To reverse sexual dysfunctions. Pornography has been linked to erectile dysfunction, an inability to orgasm during sex, decreased sexual desire for in-person encounters, and a multitude of sexual problems. Back in 1948, ED rates for young men were negligible (<1% for males under 30 according to the Kinsey report). These days, multiple studies are showing that rates are rising to over 30% in multiple countries around the world.

7. To be more attracted to people instead of to pornography. There’s a common misconception that a “porn addiction” is the same thing as “sex addiction.” In reality, many porn addicts aren’t very interested in sex. Many relationships have gone from sex-filled to sex-less when porn was introduced, as the porn addicted partner wired their brain to prefer pornography instead of their willing partner.

8. To stop supporting an abusive industry. I’m not an expert on the abuses of the pornography industry, but I’ve personally met a number of people, women and even a male performer, who experienced it first-hand. Their stories are horrifying. You don’t know where the porn you’re watching came from. You don’t know if the person on your computer screen was manipulated during a low period of their life, abused, sexually assaulted, or even trafficked. There are plenty of books available online if you want to hear more about this and we’ll be trying to feature this information more often.

9. To live life honestly without hiding anything. It just feels amazing to no longer have a hide what you do every day. It’s “freeing.” You no longer have to keep track of lies and can be your authentic self in all areas of life. This one is hard to explain but give it a shot for yourself. If you are honest, you have nothing to hide and are more accountable to live life morally.

10. To learn how to delay rewards. We conducted surveys of users with a professor and he found that those who quit porn are more capable of delaying rewards. In other words, people who quit porn are able to pursue long term goals, which can obviously translate into every area of life. Things like exercise, career goals, academic goals, family goals, they all can become more reachable after quitting.
 
11. To be in a large community of awesome people all with unique stories. Our followers, our users, our members, whatever you want to call yourselves, are just wonderful. It’s so interesting to see what people end up doing after the quit porn. I always appreciate getting emails (although I don’t have the time to answer most of them) and reading your stories. I’ve seen people at the lowest points of their lives, living in misery every day, skyrocket to the best points of their lives, all through getting control of one out-of-control habit and using that momentum to tackle other problems. By being a member of this website during your recovery, you are among a wonderful group of peers who can help to propel you towards your goal of quitting porn or anything else in life.

12. To put energy into things that you care about. If you’re like me (somebody who used to masturbate to porn A LOT, way too much, ridiculous amounts probably world-record breaking amounts), quitting porn can save you HOURS per day. Sometimes a ridiculous amount of hours, maybe over 8. Not only does quitting porn leave a gap of TIME in your life, but you have a lot of energy that you need to spend on “good stuff.” Put that time and energy to good use, to propel yourself towards goals that you care about. That will be different depending on who you ask. One person might want to study physics, another might want to study Fortnite (yes, this is a thing, you can get a tutor) to be the most popular video game streamer (if you don’t understand any of this, don’t worry), while the other might want to volunteer at a food bank.

13. To be a better partner, family member, and friend. I’ve said this before, but quitting porn is one of the most sex-positive things that a person can do. It also is one of the most impactful decisions that you can make to improve your romantic relationship. Take that time and energy to go on dates. Find romance. Cuddle. And, of course, with non-romantic relationships with family members and friends, you’ll have far more time to invest in them.
 
14. To pursue self-mastery and discipline. Rebooting (again, a word for porn addiction recovery) is about getting your brain back to its nature, highly capable state of not being bombarded with endless super-stimulating porn all of the time. It’s not about getting “super-powers”. It’s about reaching your natural potential. So not only are you practicing a challenging-to-stick-to daily habit, you’re learning how to pursue long-term goals and becoming a more capable person in the process.

15. To feel more motivated in everyday life. Browsing porn sites releases a neurotransmitter in the brain called dopamine which leads to a feeling of anticipation. Dopamine “motivates” you to do things, such as to eat food. And the more that is released the more that you want to do that thing. Since porn is so abundant, many addicts will bombard their brains with dopamine all day, which many researchers and experts believe can “raise the bar” of the amount of dopamine it takes to feel motivated to do normal life activities, due to a process known as desensitization. Many porn addicts feel unmotivated to do much at all aside from watch porn, only to experience natural motivation again after a brief period of abstaining from it.

16. To recognize the power of compounding interest. This is a financial metaphor, but little investments in a retirement fund, made consistently over a lifetime with an 8% return rate or whatever, can amass to seven-figures by retirement age. Same applies to pornography addiction. Invest in yourself. Learn that little decisions that you make every day, the decision to abstain from porn, can amass to an amazing life over a period of time. It’s hard to know how quitting porn will impact you and your life until you give it a shot for yourself.

17. To give a gift to yourself. Recognize that you have self-worth and are worthy of doing actions that are good for you.

18. To revamp your lifestyle. Now that you have the time and energy to do so, you might as well address other areas of your life, such as diet, food, sleep, and stress reduction. Not only do these make you healthier and feel better, this, in turn, will benefit your recovery since you’ll be putting yourself in the best possible place - mentally and physically - to leave this problematic habit in the past.

19. To know that you CAN really do it, to stop wondering “what if I quit porn?” and know that you are capable of setting your mind to something important and accomplishing it.





BigMog

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Re: Making Recovery my #1 Priority
« Reply #119 on: January 17, 2019, 02:54:49 PM »
Hi PF58, Thanks for sharing your journal. There’s helpful information in your posts.

PF58

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Re: Making Recovery my #1 Priority
« Reply #120 on: April 11, 2019, 08:46:55 PM »
I'm feeling tentatively optimistic. On Day 24 now and I'm aware just how quickly I can lose my sobriety. I thought I'd try this tool I came across recently. I think I saw it on NoFap. I took the liberty of downloading the image I found online and then deleting all of the numbers in Photoshop so that I could personalize it using my own handwriting. In the process I created a PDF which I am happy to share with anyone who is interested in doing the same thing. :-)