Day 65 and counting - the routine that brings me success

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by George C, May 14, 2019.

  1. George C

    George C Fapstronaut

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    Hi All,


    This is my first time posting to NoFap, but I just wanted to share an update of how i've been going.


    Background:

    Like a lot of you, I started watching porn at a young age, 12 or 13. It stayed at a pretty constant level of 3-5 times per week throughout my teens and 20s. It wasn't until I hit my early 30s that the true impact of my porn viewing started to unfold. I got a new job that was high stress, I loved it... but it was more stress than I had dealt with before.


    It affected my sleep and so I started fapping as a method to get to sleep, thinking that if I didn't get a night of good sleep, I wouldn't be able to perform in my demanding job the next day.


    Without going into too much detail that might trigger someone reading this, I escalated to watching live webcams. This was a complete break of trust within my marriage. My wife was so unbelievably hurt. I had always prided myself of being a values-aligned, caring husband... but my actions had not reflected the person that I thought I was.


    And so, I swore I would quit. I went to a shitty therapist (a porn "expert") who basically told me that I would be fine and that I seemed to be committed to not looking at Webcams.


    During this time, I starting fapping to bikini models, because that's not porn and a guy has to release, right? Wrong - I would later learn that this is feeding the exact same dopamine pathways I had created with porn.


    Six months later, I 'relapsed' with webcams. Telling my wife (again) was one of the hardest things I've done. She kicked me out of the house for what ended up being two weeks. I was at rock bottom with my marriage and my life as I knew it all at risk.


    From that day I began my reboot, for real.


    Step One: Reading


    I started day one by listening to Your Brain On Porn (YBOP) on Audible. This book was a game changer for me. It explained what was happening in my brain and how I needed to overcome my addiction. If you haven't read (or listened on Audible if you're not a reader) I highly recommend it.


    Since YBOP i've also read: Sex Addiction 101, Wack, Mending a shattered heart and the Brain that changes it's self. I've come to realize that there are two schools of thought on Porn Addiction:

    1) the clinical school that sees porn addiction as a sub-set of Sex Addiction. Solutions include; therapy, 12 step programs etc.


    2) the 'rebooter' school that sees porn as a dopamine pathway that can be 'undone' through abstinence.


    Basically, I attacked this problem from both angles.


    I won't stop reading. I have a book list of about another 15 books to get through. The more I learn about this, the easier it is. For real.


    Step Two: Get A Routine


    Learning to love the things you hate.


    I'm not a natural runner or sportsman. I love(d) a sleep in and eating to excess. Give me ice cream, carbs, a bottle of wine and Netflix. Sorted. I wasn't overweight, but I wasn't living a healthy life.


    I'm also not a 'reader.' Before this, the number of books I'd read cover to cover I could count on one hand, literally.


    I decided from day one that no PMO is going to test my willpower and ability to do (or not to do) things that make me uncomfortable and test my strength. And so, I decided that I would build my resilience to being uncomfortable by forcing myself into a healthy routine.

    • 6am - Jog / Yoga / Gym
    • 7am - shower + 60secs of cold water exposure (I dropped this about day 20)
    • 8am - check Nofap app counter (early on I checked.. and celebrated this 4 times a day)
    • 10am - Breakfast smoothy (intermittent fasting, no food before 10am)
    • 6pm - Dog walk
    • 7pm - Jog / Yoga / Gym
    • 8pm - Journal my progress (written journal)
    • 8:30pm - Meditate (use your favorite meditation app)
    • 9pm - Bedtime with a book for enjoyment. No porn info... time to switch off
    • 10pm - Sleep.


    Weekends: Hike, Cycle, long walks, explore your city or town.


    Diet: No sugar, No caffeine, No alcohol, No processed foods.


    Throughout the day: Listing to Audible Books, Reading, mindful walking,


    Trouble sleeping became a thing of the past... I was eating so clean and not filling my body with stimulants that I would be out like a light. For me, no sleep problems = no need to fap.


    Helpful actions:

    I did a 'Three Circles Plan' signed and dated it. Google " Three Circles Addiction" you'll see what i'm on about.

    I got a therapist that knows what they're talking about. They need to be an accredited 'Sex Addiction Councillor' - they'll recommend 12 step groups and you can choose to go or not, but having someone that understands the addictive nature of porn is key.

    I attended an in-person and online (google: intherooms) 12 step group. I'm not an organised religion type person, so this was more challenging for me. Perhaps this Nofap forum might serve the same purpose.

    I got an accountabili-buddy. I told my oldest friend everything. Every detail. Every website. Every action. I text him if i'm feeling low. I text him if i'm triggered. He calls me on my shit. He reassures me when i'm hurt.


    Outcomes:

    I'm at day 65 and the above routine is now a way of life. And you know what? I fucking love it. I wouldn't go back for anything. I weirdly love jogging... I look forward to it each morning. I love reading for enjoyment. And after 2 weeks of headaches, I love not having caffeine. I'm fit, I've lost weight, I've gained muscle and I've dropped that fucking porn addiction.


    I'm at day 65, going strong. I'll reach 90 days no PMO. Then the challenge of reintegrating 'O' with my wife begins. I'm cautiously confident, however. I feel like a new man, with new behaviors and a new routine. This new me will stick. This has been the most eye-opening experience I have ever been through.


    A friend of mine told me I was being extreme. Maybe you think the same. I more think that not doing everything I can possibly do to kick/manage this addiction and risk blowing up my life and marriage would be extreme.


    Thanks for reading. If you're in the first few days of your journey - hang in there, a better life is on the other side of our ditigally-wired urges.


    In solidarity,


    GC
     
  2. 1dayattatime

    1dayattatime Fapstronaut

    Awesome routine man! You are right on. I have read a bunch of books as well and they have helped me immensly. The routine aspect of addiction recovery is huge. Thanks for sharing and welcome to the community.
     
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  3. hitnmis

    hitnmis Fapstronaut

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    @George C
    What a great outline, may i use it??
    Keep Going!
     
  4. MaxP71

    MaxP71 Fapstronaut

    Wow, that's great! I'm working on the 3 circles plan now myself and hope to get to where you are.

    Would you mind sharing your book list? Any thoughts on the ones you've read that you could share? I've read Sex Addiction 101 and thought it was a great place to start. It definitely helped me to recognize many of behaviors as textbook sex addiction.
     
    hope4healing likes this.
  5. George C

    George C Fapstronaut

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    Thank you!
     
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  6. George C

    George C Fapstronaut

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    Please feel free to use my outline to assist with your own recovery!
     
  7. George C

    George C Fapstronaut

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    For me, Three Circles was critical. It cemented my 'bottom lines' (absolute no -go's), told me things to watch out for (e.g. stressful day at work, can't sleep at night etc) and the activities I should be doing to avoid the middle and inner circle. Once you know 'where to play' (jogging, meditation, healthy eating, drawing, reading etc) it was pretty easy. It's like an easy to follow instruction list - "do this, don't do that, watch out for that."

    Books:

    1) YBOP-
    Amazing. Resonated the most for me. Understanding the nature of dopamine and the reward circuitry has been critical to my recovery. So far, the notion of rebooting and unwiring your brain by abstaining is holding true.

    2) Sex Addiction 101 - Rob Weiss
    Really good. Glad I read it. Although my experience is that I haven't frequented strippers, prostitutes, multiple in-person sex partners, dating apps etc and so, while it was good to understand and be aware of, I mostly feel like I fit into the box of a Porn Addict (PA), rather than a Sex Addict (SA)

    3) Wack - Noah Church
    This was the book that created a separation between PA and SA for me. Rob Weiss (Author SA101) interviewed Noah Church on Weiss' podcast and said (something like): "SA's certainly use porn, like a heroin addict might drink beer, but it's not their drug of choice. If you take porn away from a SA they will go to the strippers, prostitutes etc. If you take porn away from a PA, they will [my words] reboot."

    4) The brain that changes itself
    A pretty hardcore science book. I found it interesting from a brain rewiring perspective, even if a lot of the chapters we not concerned with porn. The chapter on Porn and Sex essentially notes what we all know at NoFap is that the brain has the ability to 'rewire' and is conditioned to be a certain way. It also touched on things like stress as triggers.

    5) Mending A Shattered Heart - Stefanie Carnes
    The author is the daughter of one of the heavyweights in SA. This book is for the spouses of PA/SA's. If you've got a partner and you've hurt them with your porn use, this is a pretty brutal read... but one we must all face, I think. As the title suggests, it's essentially a step by step guide on how a spouse should heal. I recommend it to better understand what your partner is going through.

    6) Sex Love and Addiction - PODCAST, Robert Weiss
    Pretty good Podcast. Not all episodes are relevant... but interesting the understand the world of sex, love and porn addictions.

    Mean Genes - Haven't read yet
    Love you, Hate the Porn - Haven't read yet
    The New Naked -- Haven't read yet
    The Porn Myth - Haven't read yet
    Understanding and Treating a sex addict - Haven't read yet
    Porn Doubt - Haven't read yet
    Cupid's poisoned arrow - Haven't read yet
    How sexual desire works - Haven't read yet



    Hope that wasn't overkill.

    Good luck on your journey!!!
     
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  8. outdoorguy

    outdoorguy New Fapstronaut
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    Thanks so much for sharing this. I could relate to so much of your journey! Love how you put your plan in place and are sticking to it. I suspect that you, like me when I realized how much I had hurt my wife, were shocked into doing something about it that was "all in"! Knowing that I had so hurt the one I loved the most certainly fueled much of my motivation. No half way. Keep up with the great steps you have taken! Looking forward to hearing more of your life as you work your solutions!
     
  9. outdoorguy

    outdoorguy New Fapstronaut
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    Regarding your "shitty" therapist, I had a similar experience. After my wife "caught" me and we set on a course to recover, I connected with a fully licensed sexologist who asked about my porn use. I mentioned half an hour every night and that it was a full PMO each time. He thought that was fine and not a problem! Of course I had lied about how long. It was often way more than half an hour. I eventually found that he and I had far different views of the impact of my porn use and I no longer see him. I had full PIED and our intimate life suffered greatly. My observation is that the professional mental health community just doesn't get the seriousness of this problem.

    Good for you for not settling for mediocre help!
     
  10. MaxP71

    MaxP71 Fapstronaut

    Sorry to hear that a couple of you had such bad experiences with therapists. Mine (a CSAT) has been great. She's a student of Patrick Carnes, so much of her approach is right out of his books (based on the bits of them that I've read so far).

    And thank you so much for the book info, George C! I see that a few of them are available at my local library, so I'll have to add them to my list. I'm currently reading "In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior" by Patrick Carnes (and a few co-authors). It came out in 2001, so it's slightly dated as far as internet stuff goes, but it's very interesting and insightful. It's taken awhile for me to read because I hit so many parts that really make my stop and think about my behaviors, feelings, motivations, fears, etc. Good stuff.
     
  11. George C

    George C Fapstronaut

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    Absolutely! Hurting the one I love - repeatedly was the key driver in getting me to see the reality of the situation. Now, it's not only for her - it's for me!

    Good luck on your journey
     
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  12. George C

    George C Fapstronaut

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    My new therapist is CSAT also. Also a student of Carnes. It's a big help.

    Thanks for the book recommendation - I'll add it to the list.
     
  13. George C

    George C Fapstronaut

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    Well, initially I did settle... I though I was fine after the therapists advice. Then I relapsed (or didn't even stope really). It wasn't until the I realised that his advice was wrong and O got on the correct CSAT path.
     
  14. Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm definitely looking at the three circles exercise. I'm gonna put it somewhere in sight in my personal office so that I can look at it, probably by my computer, which is my no.1 trigger. :)
     
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  15. Hey George C!
    Thank you so much for this inspiring post! Partly I've done the same on my first attempt earlier this year when I had a streak of 60 days. Several relapses later I wanna try it on a new way. I'll go for the recommended books...
    Good luck!
     
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  16. Verisimilitude

    Verisimilitude New Fapstronaut

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    That is an awesome routine!

    I've managed to cobble together my own, and it definitely helps. I will say it takes time to develop it and have it take over from the p-developed routine.
     
    George C likes this.
  17. Hell yah bro!!!! NICE WORK! You are building the life and best version of yourself. Please don’t go back

    And your friend who thinks you are being too extreme is utterly wrong. i have some friends like that and they will stay in the pit for awhile.

    What you are doing is right. Everything is right, all the self improvement and extreme measures you need those. This i must do whatever it takes to be clean is necessity, and it’s the winning mindset
     
    George C likes this.

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