Dealing with urges using "Four Steps" approach and playing Brain Games.

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by User047, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. User047

    User047 Fapstronaut

    EDIT: I won't be editing and adding stuff to this first post. It is already a wall of text. If you are interested in learning more about the Four Steps and how I am applying it to my life, keep reading this thread. I will be updating it as often as possible, and I will provide you with many examples of applying this Four Steps to urges.

    If you are just wanting to end this addiction, but are not willing to put required effort and persists during difficult times, you can stop reading right now.

    Wanting won't get you anywhere unless you are ready to put required effort.
    Ending any addiction is a very difficult task, most people are fooling themselves thinking it will be easier next time. Every time they are faced with strong urges they relapse, telling themselves: "I will relapse right now, and this will be the last time!"
    Your brain is trying to find a way to get to you relapse, it will use every single trick to force you do so and to get its fix. If you are serious about ending this addiction, you have to accept the fact there will be times when your brain will play those tricks, and it will be hard to resist. But it is not impossible.

    Every single one of us have many things they want to accomplish in their lives, but we are not ready to put required effort and go trough pain.
    Her is an example:
    Let's say I have always "Wanted" to do 1-arm push up but I was never ready to invest required effort and actually achieve this goal. So my dream always stayed at that wanting. If I was serious about achieving this goal, I would have to accept the fact that doing a couple of push ups now and then would not do me much good. I would have to put some serious effort and work on my upper body strength as much as possible, design a weekly exercise program and follow it no matter what. I would have to do it even I felt like not doing it.

    The same is true for ending this addiction, you have to prepare yourself and stick with your plan no matter what. But ending this addiction is even harder because you never know when you will have urges. If you are still thinking you can do this without having urges, well... I am sorry to tell you but that is just impossible! No matter how many times you relapse, and tell yourself "it will be different next time", it won't be. You will be faced with strong urges again and again. If you relapse every time there is a urge, you will be stuck here forever.

    Number of days doesn't matter. You can be clear for a week, two... but if you were busy during that time, or you were in the flatline and you had zero urges, that doesn't count. What count is that moment when you are having extremely powerful urges and everything is telling you to relapse. This is when it actually starts to count! In the past you have relapsed every time you were faced with such powerful urges, but that needs to change. Otherwise, you will just be wasting time and keep spinning in circles.

    YOU WILL FEEL LIKE SHIT FROM TIME TO TIME and you will have extremely powerful urges!!
    You can expect to have many BAD DAYS, days when you will feel defeat and when you would do anything just to change how you feel. But you will have to endure. Educate yourself about porn withdrawal symptoms and be prepared for them. Here is a great link about what to expect. Withdrawal symptoms are correct, but not the order they can appear because that is different for everyone.

    This "Method" has nothing to do with physical urges. If you are having an erection there are other ways to "kill it". What works for me when I having a morning wood, is simply getting out of bed. Morning wood is gone in the matter of minutes. You can also take cold shower or... I don't really know because I am not struggling with this. There are many ways, and you can find them online if you are willing.
    If you are like me, you are rarely relapsing when you are actually having an erection, you relapse most of the time because your brain is constantly attacking you with toughs about how ok it is to relapse, and eventually you do so. This is the part I want you to change.
    Remember this statement: You are not responsible for thoughts, impulses, urges, cravings, and physical and emotional sensations you are experiencing. Your brain is! But you are responsible for your ACTIONS! What you do with those thoughts, impulses, urges.... is what actually matters.

    So, before moving on I want you to ask yourself and to answer to those questions:
    Why I want to do this? (this is very important, if you don't have a meaningful reason for ending this addiction, you will find yourself relapsing over and over).
    Am I really ready to put required effort and to persevere during difficult times?

    I kept relapsing over and over until I was able to actually find a meaningful reason for doing this. For me, masturbation was the problem, not the porn. Now I know you might think "Masturbation is healthy and this guy is stupid!" I will give you a link to my comment regarding this question. You should definitely read it. That is pretty much the main reason I am doing this. I have become dependent on masturbation and I am using it as a way to cope with everything in life. At first I did it just because I wanted to "feel good", but as the years passed I have been using it to help me fall asleep, calm my anxiety.........the list goes on.

    I have wanted to write how habits are formed in details and what is happening in your brain. In fact, I have tried doing so and spent a hour writing but I have decided to delete it all mainly because I can't describe it so good like it is described in the book from which I am taking this method "You are not your brain". This book is highly recommend for everyone who wants to change his life. It's a must read! There are many personal development books and I have read most of them over the past couple of years (I love reading, and I love finding ways to improve my life) but none of them was so helpful like this one. Why? Because reading is fine, but actually applying things from the books is very difficult. Not with this book! Because entire book is focused on convincing you to do things when you don't feel like doing them. More about this after I introduce you with the FOUR STEPS and how you can apply them to porn addiction. (You can actually apply them for everything in your life, from procrastination to addictions and even panic attacks).
    NOTE: In order to get most from this book (or any book you are reading) you need to actually MASTER IT! Read and reread it as much as possible until you know it in details and until you are applying everything it teaches you.
    If you have a basic knowledge about neuroplasticiy, addiction, how habits form and if you are familiar with mindfulness and meditation you don't even need to read that book. You just need to apply those Four Steps into your life.

    "Random" tips before moving on:
    -Join one of the challenges run by @2525 and post there daily. It is much easier to go trough this when you are surrounded with the people who are doing exactly the same thing as you are. Perfect place to start is 7 Days challenge.
    If you decide to join this challenge, please don't just write the number of days you are on. Counting is useless. Write about your experiences, difficulties and interact with other people. You can even form meaningful connections there. It can especially help people who are dealing with loneliness.
    -Check Success Section of the forum often, read as much entry's as you can and don't be lazy to press "Like" or even write a comment. That will mean a lot to people who made it to 30+ Days and it might even encourage them to keep moving forward.
    But the main purpose of reading this section is not to motivate others, but to motivate yourself!! There you can read plenty of story from people who were at the rock bottom but they GOT UP! They are free now! If they could do it, you can do it too!

    Finally, we are moving to practical part, the way you can apply Four Steps when dealing with strong urges.
    Here is the picture of what you do in each step:
    Now I will offer you some explanation:

    Step 1: Relabel
    -You will be using something called "mental notes" every time you are faced with urges to masturbate. Mental Notes are short phrases that you tell to yourself and they are supposed to help you see that those cravings, urges, physical and emotion sensations are not you.
    Examples of mental notes:
    -Wanting to watch porn
    -Urge to masturbate
    ... whatever works for you.

    Step 2: Reframe
    -The goal of this step is to add distance to those thoughts, impulses, cravings, physical or emotional sensations by telling to yourself that those thoughts are not you. They are coming from your brain. You can say something like this to yourself:
    -This is not me, it's just the brain.
    -I am having a bad brain day.
    -This is my addictive brain.

    You can use something what the author of the book "You are not your brain" calls: "Wise Advocate". Wise Advocate is somebody who care for you and who wants only the best for you. This "somebody" is supposed to be a role model for you. It can be your mother, father, God, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha... whoever you chose.
    For me it is Buddha, because he was definitely somebody who was living the life I want to live. Now, you ask yourself: What would my Wise Advocate tell me to do?
    In my case it looks like this:
    Buddha: This is you are addictive brain speaking, you don't actually want to watch porn. If you wanted to watch porn, you would be watching it every single day! You wouldn't be spending your time on NoFap forum and you wouldn't be trying for years to end this addiction. No matter how bad you might feel like now, relapsing is not an option. If you do it, you will hate yourself and you will eventually have to start this over.

    Step 3: Refocus
    This step is crucial!!!! Remember, in order for your brain to learn something, you need to repeat that behavior often and focus your attention on it. You did that in the past with porn and that is why you are here. Now it is time to do something else.
    So, when you have urges to watch porn, you do something else instead. That's it. It sounds easy and simple but in fact it isn't.

    But, those circuits will remain in brain for the rest of your life. Meaning, they can be activated anytime. That's why forum is full of the people who have relapsed after being clean for 3+ months. Even if you are clean for months and you suddenly got triggered by an image, seeing a sex scene in the movie, or simply having thoughts about how good it is to watch porn and masturbate. If you give your attention to those urges and thoughts and you focus your attention on them, you are FUCKED! The more you focus on them, the closer you will be to relapse. What they say in alcoholic anonymous can be applied to this too. Instead of "Don't take the first drink", you can say "Don't take the first though because it spirals from there".
    You are not to blame for having those thoughts or urges. You have no control over them. But you and only you are responsible for your actions!!! If you explore the thought "How good it would feel to masturbate right now" and you give it your full attention, you will have a really hard time. But, if you do those steps you wont:

    Step 1 : There is a thought "It would be amazing to watch porn, it feels great"
    Step 2 : This is just my addictive brain trying to get its fix.
    Wise Advocate: If you do it now, you will throw away all your progress. You know you won't be able to just watch porn today and to keep on moving like it never happened. If you are having thoughts like:
    "It will be different this time", "I will do it in moderation" , "If I could have done it for so long I can do it again"- Those thoughts are simply deceptive messages that are coming from your brain. You don't need to act on them.
    Step 3 : Refocus - Now you find one healthy activity to focus your attention on. What works best are activity that requires your attention and where is pretty much impossible to think about something else. What works best for me are BRAIN GAMES. When I am having urges I simply play those games for a couple of minutes and my urges are gone. If they return, I repeat step one and two and then i play some more games. It works perfectly.
    But in order for this to work, you must be willing to try. And you won't try it unless you have a strong reason for doing so.

    If you are having a really hard time, promises yourself that you are going to play those games for at least 15 minutes before acting out and masturbating. Ideally, you would not relapse after 15 minutes, but instead you would play those games for another 15 minutes or for as long it takes for urges to go away.

    You don't have to chose Brain Games as your refocus activity, you can do whatever you want. The goal is to pick activity which requires your focus and attention and which doesn't allow your attention to wander.
    When I am playing those games, I can't think about anything else. They require your full attention and focus! And that is ideal for rewiring your brain. You will learn to not pay attention to those urges for porn and at the same time you will stop feeding them. It works really really great!

    I have tried meditation but it doesn't work! It is very difficult to focus on your breathing when you are experiencing strong urges. You will most likely think about porn, and that is bad! Remember, in order for your brain to learn anything you need to focus your attention on it! Your brain doesn't care if you are aware of that or not! It will learn and wire itself accordingly.

    Idea with the Four Steps is the more you use it, the faster it will become a preferred choice. Your brain will learn it and use it every time you are dealing with urges. You can use it for procrastination too, here is an example.

    Step 1: Using mental notes you are able to identify all the excuses your brain is making so you don't have to practice those "stupid" Four Steps.
    -I don't want to practice this
    -This is stupid
    -It will never work
    -I will do it some other time
    -I am not ready yet, I need to read some more and I will start tomorrow
    -I am feeling tired, I am not in the mood

    Step 2: Those thoughts are not me! They are coming from my brain. I am not my brain!
    What would my Wise Advocate tell me to do? Buddha:
    Those thoughts and feelings are not real! They are coming from your brain. You have procrastinated in the past and it got you nowhere. It is ok to start practicing this method, you don't have to do it perfectly!

    Step 3: You do what needs to get done and you focus your attention on the task instead of how you feel and what "you" think.
    That doesn't matter at all, what matter is how you ACT!

    With time, you will teach your brain to stop making all those excuses and you will most definitely stop procrastinating! But it takes a lot of time and practice.

    Step 4: I won't write about it here because it is essentially a faster way to do those first three steps. But that comes with a lot of practice.

    I think this is it for now, if you have any questions feel free to ask.
    You can use this thread to write your success and failures, you can also share your results if you are playing those brain games. We can even compete :)
    You can also share your ideas as refocus activity's.
    We can also talk about this book.

    NOTE: What I have wrote might not make much sense to you. In order to understand this all you will need to read that book. If you do, you will understand it all more fully. Those methods are scientifically proven and they will work, all you have to do is to practice! You can practice Four Steps many many times during the day. You can apply them to many aspects of your life.
    The more you practice, the better you will become.
    I have made a lot of progress in the past 2 months, but I have a lot of room for improvement.

    How often and how much you focus your attention on something, decides which habits stay in your brain and which one goes.

    If you find some typing errors or any other mistakes, please inform me. I have lost patience and just wanted to post it here.
    I will check it later, right now I need a break!
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  2. Baldur, jalls and User047 like this.
  3. Semaphore

    Semaphore Fapstronaut

    Great post - thx for the effort; I hope lots of members read it - they really should. I got to the end then I saw your day count (which btw is three times mine! well done) but I kinda hoped to see you were 100 days plus clean - like you had made this wisdom work for you and it made me realise how fragile we all are and susceptible to this menace. You have set out the perfect pathway to detox but yet you are on day 31 - which says to me you are human and susceptible and struggling like the rest of us. Thx aghain for the post and may I wish you, and all those who read this, the very best with your efforts.
  4. User047

    User047 Fapstronaut

    Thanks for reading and commenting.
    It is too long so I don't expect many people to read it. People are always looking for some "quick fix" and easier way out but unfortunately there isn't any.
    It's a struggle but it can be done.

    One of the reasons for writing this was to keep me accountable. I will update it as often as possible and offer as much examples of Four Steps as possible.
  5. User047

    User047 Fapstronaut

    Here are the Four Steps in action. Worked great for me a couple of hours ago.

    Day 27
    - Saw my neighbor a couple of hours ago and what followed were some thoughts about sex.
    Thanks to Four Steps (from the book You are not your brain) I was able to identify those thoughts really fast and deal with them.
    Here is the entire process.

    Step 1: Relabel
    - Thoughts about having sex with this particular women and fantasizing.
    Step 2: Reframe - Those thoughts are not ME! They are coming from my addicted brain.

    Wise Advocate (Buddha): Those thoughts are conditioned by years of watching porn! They are not healthy! (I won't write in details what thoughts I had because they are triggering) They have nothing to do with a healthy relationship with the opposite sex. They are the result of your bad brain wiring. If you focus on those thoughts and feed them, you will end up relapsing by masturbating alone in bed. What your though are telling you have nothing to do with the reality. Most likely, this particular women would consider your thoughts and sexual preferences weird.
    Even if you got her in bed and have sex with her, what is the point of that? Sex doesn't provide lasting happiness. You would want more of it, and more, and more....
    Chasing pleasure after is a never ending cycle.
    Forming meaningful connections is another thing.

    Step 3: Refocus - As I was sitting outside and enjoyed a lovely sunny morning, i did not have access to brain games and I did not want to go inside and play those games. I have used mindfulness as my Refocus activity. Focused on birds drinking water, noticed different sounds and enjoyed the warm feeling of the sun on my skip.

    Worked amazing! I was able to change my focus really fast and forget about fantasizing.

    As you can see, i had only 2 options.
    Option ONE was to focus on those thoughts and feed them. If I had followed them best case scenario would be for me to feel miserable, alone, and depressed. Worst case scenario = relapse.
    Option TWO was to focus my attention somewhere else and to stop feeding those thoughts. Which I did!
    This was a "small" victory :)
    bakes, 2525 and (deleted member) like this.
  6. User047

    User047 Fapstronaut

    I intend to write here about my practice with the Four Steps. It is helping me to remain focused and doing what needs to get done.
    If you have any questions or comments, feel free to write :)

    I'll have to quote myself, because this was a very difficult day.
    Mood swings, mild anxiety, and heavy urges to masturbate.
    I have practice Four Steps so many times today.
    Urges lasted for a couple of hours, during that time I have "practiced" so many Refocus activities.
    Played Brain Games, watched 2 episodes of Psycho-Pass (it looks like I am going to give up on this anime), interacted with other people, did some things around the house. It took me 2 hours to finish all this, but the urges were not gone.
    I've kept practicing Four Steps and did some more Refocusing activities, what helped me most was washing dishes. After finish this all, I have rewarded myself with a hot bath.
    There are still 4 hours before I go to sleep, but urges are gone and I am safe.

    As you can see from my urges chart, this has only been the 3rd Day I have marked RED.
    I have to say extra motivation for me was the fact I already had 2 RED Days. It reminded me I felt like this in the past, but I did not gave up and I kept going forward!
    Days that followed were much easier. Relapsing on that One day with strong urges is not worth all the progress I have made so far.
    I know from experience, it will be much easier in the next couple of days!
    Today I have won another big battle!

    I am recommending you to start doing something like this, it might play an important role in your recovery.

    jalls likes this.
  7. 5adn8m8

    5adn8m8 Fapstronaut

    One of the best threads I've ever read.thanks a million.
    jalls, User047 and jobbyj like this.
  8. Thanks for the guide mate, should help me out a lot. I have some questions if you don't mind me asking.
    jalls and User047 like this.
  9. User047

    User047 Fapstronaut

    Here my report for today, I recommend you to read it all if you are interested in practicing Four Steps because I will be writing examples of using it as often as I can.

    Here is something I have found reading a book this morning and got me thinking....

    If you ever struggled with anxiety and panic attacks you have probably heard about Doctor Claire Weeks and her work. Initial symptoms of anxiety and panic are something that she calls "First Fear". There is nothing you can do about it, those are the physical sensations that you experience and initial thoughts you have. But, you do have some control over your emotional reactions, what she calls "Second Fear". If you tell yourself that your physiological symptoms are horrible and very threatening, that you can’t stand them, that you’re going to lose control, or that you might die, you will scare yourself into a very high state of anxiety.
    On the other hand, if you accept what’s happening and make calming, reassuring statements to yourself, such as “It’s only anxiety—I’m not going to let it get to me,” “I’ve been through this before and it’s not dangerous,” or “I can handle this until it passes,” you can minimize or eliminate the escalation of your symptoms.

    The reason I am writing this here is because it is exactly the same when we are dealing with this addiction. We do not have any control of our initial thoughts, triggers, and we are not responsible for our "wanting" to watch porn. That is our "First Wave" and our brain is responsible for it.
    Now you can argue that we can avoid those triers altogether, and I agree. We need to avoid them as much as we can. But, you can't avoid everything. Most of the time I am not even thinking about porn or doing anything which has anything to do with my triggers, but I still get triggered. Most of the time it just start with one though.
    What you do next can trigger or prevent the "Second Wave".
    Let's say initial thought is:
    "I miss porn, I would really like to watch it right now."
    What you do next, determine if you are going to experience the Second Wave or not. If you focus on this thought and give it your full attention, what follows is rationalizing, such as:
    "Well, watching porn makes me feel amazing. What is the point of doing NoFap anyway? Sooner or latter I will relapse, it's just a matter of time. NO! I don't want to relapse, I am doing this because I want to change myself! Well, I can just masturbate... I won't watch porn. But, that is bad too, it will mess my progress. But... If I watch it, it will be great... I need to watch it, I am alone. I will do NoFap once I find a girlfriend. But... I will never find a girlfriend as longs as I am watching porn. I won't find her even if I stop watching porn because I am lessor... I will just glance.... or i might just edge for a second...."

    And this goes on and on. The more time you spend doing this, the worse you will feel and the closer to relapse you will be. You are just making things worse, not better.
    What you need to do, is practice the Four Steps method. I have written about it in my guide which you can find in my signature. But the thing is, most people are lazy and they will continue looking for an easy way to end this addiction.
    There is no easy way! It is going to be hard! Until you accept that, you will keep relapsing over and over again.

    Now, let's see how would I use the four steps in the situation I wrote above.

    Step 1: Rationalizing to watch porn
    Step 2: This is not me! This is just my brain!
    Wise Advocate (Buddha): The more time you spend thinking about porn, the more likely you are to relapse. Thinking about it just activates your bad brain circuits, you are making things worse, not better. If you keep doing this, you will eventually relapse. But you already know there is another way and you do not have to repeat the same mistakes all the time. Do something else with Step 3.
    Step 3: Now, I find some activity to refocus my attention from those thoughts and feeling. Remember: THE GOAL HERE IS NOT TO GET RID OF THOSE THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS! They will go on their own, but I don't know when! They might go right away, or they might stay for hours. And I am willing to practice those Four Steps for as long as it takes! Repeat Step 1 -3 countless number of times.
    My Refocus activity in this case might be playing brain games.

    More examples of the first and second wave:

    -You wake up with the morning wood? It's not your fault, this is the first wave. If you get up out of the bed or simply stay in bed and let it pass. You did good.
    If you start edging...good luck with that. Even if you stop you will trigger the Second Wave and you will make the things much worse.

    -You see a sex scene in the movie. That is the first wave. You are not responsible to how you body reacts to it and what thoughts you might have. If you start practicing Four Steps, YOU ARE DOING GREAT! If on the other hand, you focus on that scene, think about how amazing that woman's was. You are inviting the second wave.

    Second wave is your enemy, it is causing you necessary suffering.

    I know, writing this all is really easy and it seems great on the paper. Applying and practicing is difficult.
    IT IS! But Four Steps is a skill! The more you practice, the better you get at it.
    I am practicing it trough the day as much as I can, I am using it to stop procrastination, to do things that needs to get done and it is working really really good.
    I am still far from perfecting this skill, but the way I see it, this is something I want to be using until the end of my life. It helps in every aspects of my life.

    It’s inevitable to feel worse initially, before you feel better. Recognize that feeling worse is not an indication of regression but rather that your brain is actually rewiring.
    Feeling worse means that you’re laying the foundation to feel better. As you gain more skill in handling your urges and withdrawal symptoms, it will become easier and you’ll gain more
    confidence about reaching 90 Days and ending this addiction.

    -Another great idea for Refocus activity is to count backward from one hundred in threes: 100, 97, 94, and so on.
    Deleted Account likes this.
  10. User047

    User047 Fapstronaut

    I am glad you have found it to be of some help to you. :)

    Thanks for reading it. Feel free to ask my anything.
    jalls likes this.
  11. Semaphore

    Semaphore Fapstronaut

    Nice one - it is a good post and not too-too long. I just linked to it in my journal which I started today.. me i'm back to zero today. Fresh start. :-s
  12. seaguy44

    seaguy44 Moderator Assistant

    Superlative job on writing this, brother! It’s so true!

    This isn’t just really a 90 day reboot. It’s a lifetime journey. Absolutely.
    jalls and User047 like this.
  13. User047

    User047 Fapstronaut

    Good luck! Have you joined that 7 Days challenge? It is a great help :)
  14. Dr Doom

    Dr Doom Fapstronaut

    User047 likes this.
  15. Warrior84

    Warrior84 Fapstronaut

    Great post User047! You shared so much value. I just wanted to share this booster to your information. It is just an experiment maybe worth of trying. It is based on acceptance.

    Problem: I get sexual urges and my brain want me to relapse

    Goal: my mind is free from sexual urges

    Situation (example): i am in my living room. I see a hot girl in TV. I start fantasizing and explaining myself why is it ok to relapse...

    Question: what is the worst about it?

    Answer: it is difficult to stop thinking about it and it leads me to fail

    --> now try to find a situation from your early childhood when you thought about something what you should not do and you could not resist and failed (you should have the same feelings as the present situation)

    Situation from childhood (example): my mother does not want me to eat the cake. She leaves the kitchen. I eat the cake while she is in bedroom. She comes back. She is angry. I am sad. I did not obey.

    Go trough this situation in your head and accept the fact, that you made her angry, that you failed and all the bad feelings to your actions in present sense

    - i accept i eat it
    - i accept she is angry
    - i accept i misbehave
    - i accept i am a bad child

    Repeat each of the acceptance till you do not have bad feelings about it anymore.

    It is based on idea that our brain repeats the bad feelings from childhood via situations as adults. When you could neutralise these feelings, it might help you with the urges and bad actions your brain want you to repeat.

    It is not scientifically proven but when you have time, you can try it if it works for you.

    Thanks for your posts, it helped me a lot, a real game changer for my addiction!
    User047 likes this.
  16. FromZeroToNinety

    FromZeroToNinety Fapstronaut

    I bought the book "You are not your brain" a few days ago and it f****** RULES!

    There are so many BULLSHIT BOOKS out there on self-improvement; all of them are money-making, paper-wasting and tree-killing pieces of trash!
    I tried this method a few times today and yesterday. THIS ONE IS THE REAL DEAL!

    What I achieved/avoided between today and yesterday:
    - Avoided a couple of relapses
    - Avoided buying that bottle of whiskey on the shelf
    - I was hungry as hell but ended up not steering the wheel to that Burger King drive through
    - Finally started that novel I was planning to read
    - Finally made some appointments I've been putting off too long
    - Wanted to buy something expensive because my brain told me it was "nice to have" but ended up saving a lot of money

    I will read the book at least 3 times and I will DEFINITELY recommend it or give it as a birthday gift to friends and family!
    User047 likes this.
  17. I believe I'm mainly addicted to M and not as much to P, it feels to me like P is there to "help" me M more so now giving up those two are the only option. I'm tired of the constant relapses and the self worth that hit rock bottom, and truly want to do away with it.

    I'm aware that the worse you feel is actually a good sign when rebooting like you've explained, but what does it mean when last time I tried over a month it was easy? Like too easy, there were barely any urges and It wasn't until a thought turned into a quick relapse. I feel like the more things I do to busy myself when any thought or urge comes, the less I'm actually rewiring my brain and more just ignoring them.

    Should I not do so much as to try and ignore them and just face them head on, like if a thought and urge comes should I say positive things to counter it in my head and then go on and do something to busy myself?
    Baldur and User047 like this.
  18. User047

    User047 Fapstronaut

    @Warrior84 I am really glad my post helped you.

    What I do is I stop right there! This is the perfect time to start practicing Four Steps and find one Refocus activity to do right now!
    The more you prolong it, the harder it will be to resist temptation to relapse, and the more you will fed your initial thought.
    If you apply the Four Steps right now, it would look something like this:

    Step 1: Sexual urges, Urges to watch porn, fantasizing
    Step 2: This is not me! This is my addictive brain speaking!
    Wise Advocate: If you keep thinking about the girl you saw on TV, you will awake you bad brain circuits and your addictive monster. The more attention you give to it, the harder it will be to resist the temptation and the more likely you will be to relapse.
    Step 3: Play Brain Games!! By doing so, you are focusing on those games and you are giving them your full attention. You are taking food from your addictive brain! Remember, the monster needs your attention and focus! If you deprive it from that, urge won't grow any further!
    You can't think about that girl or about porn as long as you are playing those game.

    If you start thinking, you repeat Step 1-3 for as long as it takes!
    Semaphore likes this.
  19. User047

    User047 Fapstronaut

    WOW! Reading this makes me feel happy!
    I am really glad you have started reading and I like the success you have made so far!
    Those are some massive wins you had in only 2 days.

    I am looking forward to read about your success and we can discuss the book here.
    jalls likes this.
  20. User047

    User047 Fapstronaut

    We are in the same boat. Porn was never appealing for me, but like you said it was only used as a help.

    For man's this is called the "flatline" period and it can sometime last for months. Basically, we have no urges, no sex drive, nothing. Everything is "dead" down there. I am not really sure how it works for women. I guess the best place to ask in the section on the forum that is reserved for women's. I am sure somebody there will answer this better than me.

    You are right, staying busy and ignoring our urges won't do us any good. Sooner or later we will be faced with a powerful urge and we will relapse and start over again. Like you did.
    Practicing the Four Steps method will help you A LOT! Because you are not actually running or trying to hide from your urges but you acknowledge they are there, but you refuse to give them any more attention.
    It works great because you are sending a message to your brain: "It's fine, you can play all the tricks you want, but I am not going that route again. I will not fail for your trick."
    As you do this your brain will learn that it is pointless to send those urges because you are not going to act on them! This takes a lot of time, but it is worth it!
    Now, of course this doesn't mean you will live your live without having any urges.
    But it means they will come less and less and they will have less and less power over you.

    Read the comments I wrote before answering this one, the goal is to see those thoughts, realized they are not you but your addictive brain, and than to focus on something else while those thoughts and urges are still present.
    That is how you rewire your brain.
    Deleted Account likes this.

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