A Key Insight that was very beneficial

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Deconstruct_themind, Jun 12, 2022.

  1. Deconstruct_themind

    Deconstruct_themind Fapstronaut

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    Nofap helpful tips

    Mid-late 30s. I started browsing lingerie catalogues when I was a teenager and progressed to porn in late high school and college.

    When I was younger the feelings that I got from masturbation were the best thing ever. Now I understand what they were and why they felt that good. More on this in a bit. In my early and mid-twenties I was really sunk into porn – sometimes I’d spend hours at a time on the computer, browsing all kinds of websites. I even collected clips I particularly enjoyed – I had hard drives full of viewing material. Suffice it to say, I masturbated quite a lot.

    I “knew” early on that this wasn’t a good habit (for many of the reasons others have elucidated – it distracts you from productive things, it encourages you to objectify women (thus harming your relationships), saps your energy, etc.), yet despite many attempts to kick it out of my life I only had modest success.

    I had some success using calendar trackers, focusing on working out, etc. However, these methods all felt “forced” to me… and eventually I’d relapse. The most successful of these “forced” methods (combo of calendar trackers, working out, meditation (a “forced” type of meditation – e.g. “be in this position for x number of minutes”), etc) got me to one whole year in my early 30s with no porn and no masturbation before relapsing.

    While I found these methods to be good, they couldn’t do the job completely. (To be fair, these methods did help me in “resetting” to a better level – porn and masturbation became a much less frequent occurrence for me – sometimes once a month, for example.)

    These crude methods, did, however, lead me to see a key point that has been the most helpful of all, and which has allowed me to be porn free and fap free for two months now. (Yes, I know this is shorter thus far than the 1 year previously – but the feeling is different.) I can’t use words to describe to you to completely the difference – all I can say is that the previous success, felt forced – I had to compel myself to get away from the computer, etc.

    Now, it’s the recognition that masturbation and porn, was for me, an escape from things I didn’t like in my mind. For example, if there was a work project that I disliked but that I felt I had to do, I would turn to porn as a way to take my mind off of it. This, to me, was a key insight. In other words, the great feelings I attributed to porn (& the attractive women therein), were not actually in those images and videos themselves at all. They were from me pushing aside thoughts I didn’t like (e.g. a work project I found annoying) and then feeling good in the absence of those annoying thoughts. (Seems obvious in hindsight, but it was not initially clear to me in my early 20s. I got glimpses of this insight over the years, and it became clearer and clearer to me overtime.)

    From this point of understanding, I could directly work on those annoying thoughts in a productive way (e.g. drop them and/or reframe them – “maybe this work project that I find annoying is actually a great way for me to improve my skills”, etc.), since there was no longer a notion that porn could do anything for me except to provide a temporary escape (and I would have to face whatever I wished to escape regardless of whether I masturbated to porn or not!)

    Thus, I found this “indirect” route very helpful in getting me to a successful nofap, no porn situation. I hope this has been helpful for folks here, I will update here as time passes, and I’m happy to answer questions as best as I can if anyone has any.
     
  2. I am facing the same problem, trying to just work my way through work. Glad for you . Good luck!
     
  3. Swift Escape

    Swift Escape Fapstronaut

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    I've said it before, but in case someone needs to see it again: It doesn't have to be a competition, it can be a way of life/ thinking. A lot of people can't kick it fully because they're subconsciously plotting for "battles" when they could just be free from it- by recognizing there's nothing to give up!
     
  4. Sounds like me life story
     
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  5. Deconstruct_themind

    Deconstruct_themind Fapstronaut

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    Thanks LordReshi! I think one of things that helped me immensely was a real wish to understand the "why" of it all. I would began noticing and catching the triggering thoughts (it could be a work situation, it could be a past trauma, it could be any number of things that one dislikes in one's mind) that would lead to using porn to escape. I wrote these things down, and that was also helpful!
     
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  6. Deconstruct_themind

    Deconstruct_themind Fapstronaut

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    Yes, I agree! :)
     
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  7. A very good point, especially when we realise that we don't even enjoy pornography and masturbation.
     
  8. Deconstruct_themind

    Deconstruct_themind Fapstronaut

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    You can definitely overcome it! Best wishes.
     
    Tardelli and betting on myself like this.
  9. afgm

    afgm Fapstronaut

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    Almost same age and same experience here
    I learned that first of all porn is a drug and masturbation and orgasm is the way to escape from everything.
    And i also learned that you will not get over it unless, you said it, reaching to a clear state of mind.
    I thank you for this post
     
  10. Thanks for support
     
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  11. Deconstruct_themind

    Deconstruct_themind Fapstronaut

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    Thank you for your insight! Yes, that was key for me as well. Instead of just fighting porn/masturbation directly and mechanically, address the other stuff that triggers porn/masturbation. Kind of like a misdirection/mental judo/cleaning out junk in your mind.
     
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  12. Sobriety Seeker

    Sobriety Seeker Fapstronaut

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    This is super interesting. Thanks for sharing! I know this wasn't your main point but could you describe a little bit, or point me to a youtube video, of what that 'forced meditation' was?

    Also with respect to your main point of recognizing that porn doesn't have any substance but is only a way to briefly postpone having to face things in life: Could you elaborate more on how you practice this. If I wanted to try this next time I find myself wanting to watch porn, how might my internal dialogue go?

    Thanks again for a helpful and insightful post!
     
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  13. Deconstruct_themind

    Deconstruct_themind Fapstronaut

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    Thank you for kind words. These are excellent questions.

    With regards to the previous ‘forced meditation’ I referenced, it was something along the lines of sitting in a position (e.g. lotus position) for an amount of time (let’s say 30 minutes, etc.) Obviously, this can be uncomfortable and in a way that forced bodily discomfort can help focus the mind and take it off of something with addictive qualities, such as porn.

    While this is a decently good thing (as I note in the original post), I would say, given my experiences, using the key insight I mentioned is superior to that sort of forced meditation.

    There’s no need to sit in any position, and you are consciously examining/dropping the triggers to the addictive behavior instead of just pushing them aside temporarily. (To be clear, I believe there are other, very effective methods of meditation, but what I used back then was not that.)

    So that ties in with your second question, how to implement this in practice.
    My suggestion is to do it two ways:

    1) When you’ve got some spare time from work or school or whatever, sit down somewhere and think back on a time that you used porn and masturbated. Ask yourself: What was the triggering thought that preceded me taking this action?

    It may come up right away in your consciousness, or it may take some time. It’s fine either way – by asking the question sincerely to yourself, IMHO it primes your mind to be aware of this. You can do this as many times as you need. Write down anything that comes up in a simple journal (could be simple word doc).

    2) The second way is to ask that same question, when you get the urge to look at porn. (i.e. in the moment – catching it the process). This might seem hard at first since the urges can be strong. One tip is to see the urge as a curiosity as opposed to something you need to suppress.

    Instead of “getting in a fight” with the urge, adopt a curious attitude, and separate yourself from that feeling:

    “How curious that this thought popped into my head!”
    “This doesn’t do anything good for me, so why am I interested in it?”
    “Why I am so interested in some pixels on a screen?”
    “It must serve some function – is it trying to protect me from something?” “What could that be?”

    Again, maybe the answers take some time to surface, or maybe they come up at once. Either way is ok. Also, it could be something you can articulate with words right away, or it could just be a feeling you dislike (e.g. anger, fear, grief, helplessness, etc. and thus try to push down with porn) but are only able to feel without putting into words. Either thing is fine.

    As the answers began to come in and you write them down, you can then look at those things honestly, clearly and consciously… and since they don’t serve you, you naturally let them go in your mind. You can obviously keep doing this as many times as needed.

    An important thing to note is to be kind to yourself. Whatever comes up, it’s just a feeling. It’s also, in my experience and humble opinion, less important to figure out the exact trigger than to just let go of the feeling.

    To use an analogy – let’s say you feel pain from some sharp, thin object imbedded in your arm. You could attempt to figure out if it is a piece of glass or a needle or a thorn, etc, but the more important thing would be to pull it out and toss it.

    I hope that is helpful!
     
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  14. Kierann

    Kierann Fapstronaut

    On my nofap journey I have also realised that alcohol, PMO and other drugs suppress excessive mind and provide temporary escape route. Therefore the key to success should be to take control of the mind.

    Before I started with nofap, I had no idea that I'm using all these dopamine injections to avoid my thoughts and emotions.

    Only when all these fake escape routes are removed will you face what you need to face. And only by facing the stuff, will you learn how to cope with it and become free again. :)
     
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  15. Deconstruct_themind

    Deconstruct_themind Fapstronaut

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    Yes, I agree and that's a great way to phrase it! :)
     
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  16. Sobriety Seeker

    Sobriety Seeker Fapstronaut

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    Hey sorry for the slow response. I don't check this account as much as I should. This is very helpful!

    I actually had an urge recently and gave this a try and when I engaged in this process I thought about how porn fools my unconscious brain into thinking it's getting sex. In that sense it kind of makes sense that I would have this urge, since reproduction is probably the most fundamental need after desire. Have you had similar thoughts when you engage in this process and if so what do you tell yourself? I suppose it might make sense to focus on the fact that porn is not the real thing.

    Also you mentioned that there were other, more effective forms of meditation. I was just curious what some of those were.

    Thanks again for everything!
     
  17. ravenclaw99

    ravenclaw99 Fapstronaut

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    Very well thought out. Thanks for the post.

    I am in my early 40s and I progressed somewhat similarly but deeper. From lingerie magazines, to Playboy, to Hustler, to videos, to strip clubs, lap dances, escort girls through my mid twenties.

    When I got married, I reverted back to P and M, but what was unique to me was that these urges were inextricably intertwined with gambling, which wreaked absolute havoc in my life. I recently celebrated by 3 Year abstinence from gambling but I've found P and M much more difficult to stop. Part of it is because I used it as an escape but I enjoy beautiful, naked women. Since I've joined NoFap, it's helped me with accountability but I'm not sure I'll ever be at a point where I don't want to look at P & M. I'm recognizing ways to prevent myself from indulging in P and M, but yeah, it's tough quitting a drug you've used for nearly 3 decades.

    Loved reading your thoughts. Thanks. Very helpful.
     
  18. Deconstruct_themind

    Deconstruct_themind Fapstronaut

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    Thank you for the kind words. I'm glad the post was of help to you.
     
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  19. Deconstruct_themind

    Deconstruct_themind Fapstronaut

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    Thank you for the kind words!
     
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