First time 52 days of sobriety after 2 years of trying

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by 5adn8m8, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. 5adn8m8

    5adn8m8 Fapstronaut

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    Hello, guys. I hope you’re doing well. I am a 26-year-old guy and I am a porn addict. What I am trying to say here might come across as a stream of consciousness rather than a well-thought-out post. Be that as it may, I ask you to be patient and see it through. Thank you!

    I’ve been here since 2017 and I’ve been trying to leave this addiction ever since. In my second attempt, I abstained from PMO for 72 days but relapsed on the 73rd day. After that relapse, I couldn’t go over 20 days without PMO. It got worse with each year and in 2020 my addiction got out of control. Staying up late, I would binge on porn for hours most nights. However, around 50 days ago something changed and I’ve managed to stay away from PMO for 52 days so far. You want to know what changed? Well, here I am sharing it with you.

    In all my previous attempts to quit, I relied on so many things, none of which actually worked. I keep a daily journal and I write down my daily experiences every night before bed. My approach to an addiction-free life was simple; I would read self-help books and try to be as spiritual as I could. I mostly read Pema Chodron’s books. A Buddhist nun whose books really resonates with me. Meditation is the base of spiritual practices as you well know. First of all, I couldn’t discipline myself to meditate daily. When I look back on my diary, the pages are filled with words like: “I should commit to meditation”, “Meditation is necessary for mindfulness” or “Why do I keep putting off doing meditation”. Besides meditation (which I didn’t do regularly), I used to exercise and tried to masturbate without viewing pornography. I am not going to bother you with all the different ways I tried to stay away from porn. That list can be interminable. In a nutshell, everything I tried never seemed to work. I wasn’t hopeless, though. I knew that this addiction is ruining my life and if I could leave it by any chance, I would be able to actually focus on myself and improve my life.

    I’ve been an agnostic for a major proportion of my life. There are guys here who talk about God and Jesus. They claim that God has granted them salvation. To be honest I couldn’t relate to what they were saying. I was born in a Muslim family and by the age of 16 I was totally against all religions. However, I knew if you were a spiritual person, you would have better chances of leading a happier life. I would see those Muslims, who would never watch porn simply because it was against all their principles. They actually had faith that Allah (God in Islam) will have their back, no matter what. They were happy. They weren’t struggling with things I had to struggle with. I kind of envied them their peace of mind, but I knew I can’t believe in any religion. I knew that it was all bullshit (no offense, this was how I used to think about religions and not the way I see them now. At this point of my life although I don’t believe in any religions, I respect them all.) Seeing those religious people who had a normal life made me realize that I need to be a spiritual person to find peace and break away from addiction. This is why I started reading Buddhist books. They didn’t talk about God, the miracles of Jesus or how Mohammad prophet split the moon. It made perfect sense. I loved Buddha’s reasoning. It seemed simple and effective. There was only a problem, regardless of how hard I tried to put these principles into practice, I would always find myself back to square one. I would read these Buddhist books and contemplate them, but then again that wouldn’t stop me from going on a binge and masturbating frequently. I was lost! I didn’t know what was wrong.

    Now finally I want to talk about what worked for me, but before I start, there is something you need to know first. In order to leave this addiction, all we need is a desire to stop, and an open mind. The latter is kind of more important than the former. After all, you wouldn’t be here reading this if you didn’t want to leave your addiction. However, only with an open mind, will you be able to accept what I am going to say. As I mentioned earlier, my approach to spirituality didn’t seem to work, and I had no idea why. Fifty some days ago, a guy introduced me to SEX AND PORN ADDICTS ANONYMOUS. He said that he attended daily meetings and the program was helping him tremendously. He said all I had to do was installing Zoom on my phone. I could then attend the meetings. I didn’t pay attention at first. I was skeptical. But then I mustered the courage to attend the first meeting. I haven’t looked back ever since. You have definitely heard about the 12 step programs before. I am not going to ruin it for you, but I’m going to talk about it a bit. This program filled a huge gap in my spirituality. It allowed me to choose the God I want to believe in. To trust a power greater than myself to help me through this process. This is a very personal type of God. You have to see it for yourself. This was the missing piece and there’s not a day I don’t thank my higher power for having found this program. I believe the Nofap community can help, but the help you get from SPAA is way different, thousand times more powerful and profound. Sure, it’s only a matter of time before I relapse, but something has changed. I’ve gained hope and I found the strength to fight this addiction. God knows how desperate I was. I hope this post helps you to benefit from this program as I did. This is free and all you need is access to the internet. I hope I’ll see some of you at one of those meetings.
     
  2. Loved this post my friend. First of all, I too read a lot of Pema Chodron and other Buddhism books years ago when I was struggling with a depressive episode and found them very helpful in framing how my mind worked and how to practice acceptance and equanimity. Glad to see others here who can relate to that material.

    Also, based partly on your post, I attended my first SPAA meeting and found it very helpful, warm and welcoming. Thank you for sharing your experience and I agree that while NoFAP is a good start, its just not enough. I think we need to be seen/heard more directly. I am also part of a sex addiction therapy group and I like that SPAA can be an adjunct to that program where I can find meetings more often.

    Thanks for sharing your journey and what has helped - I hope that it will help others get connected as well
     
    5adn8m8 likes this.
  3. Mr Jaz

    Mr Jaz Fapstronaut

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    Loved your post as well. Keep fighting and do make sure at some point to pick up the meditation practice.

    I personally do transcendental meditation for two 20 minute sessions daily and it works wonders for me, calming me down and bringing me intensely into the present moment.

    Also, I am getting a sense from your post that you are coming from a place of fear / desperation. Though this may work in the short term and may even allow you to get to 90 days you must ultimately replace it a more positive set of emotions.

    Urges are ALWAYS going to be with you no matter how long you are free from PMO ... what is in your control however is not letting them take a hold of you and effect you ... just watch them arise, strengthen, and then fade away.

    Keep going bro!
     
    5adn8m8 likes this.
  4. Mr Jaz

    Mr Jaz Fapstronaut

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    Another thing to add ... it might help to dig into your past / childhood and maybe try to gain some insights into what is missing.

    From my understanding of addictions they are a way to fill a void subconsciously that you did not get in the past. Maybe you've been told by your parents that you were never good enough or did not receive enough validation from them and you turn to porn / escorts to get a good feeling.

    In order to take action, first you must understand the relationship between you and this addiction. Once this relationship has been understood as much as possible then you must formulate your action plan to keep fighting day after day after day.

    I recommend checking out Dr. Gabor Mate and some his books / youtube videos on addiction. They will really give you insight and hopefully put you on a quest to understanding your addiction.

    All the best, brother!
     
    5adn8m8 likes this.
  5. Tony Corleone

    Tony Corleone Fapstronaut

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    Thanks a lot for your post. I am really inspired.
    You’ve done an awesome job, keep it up, wishing you best of luck.
     
    5adn8m8 likes this.
  6. That's great man! Thanks for sharing your story. I have also made a lot of progress recently, but for slightly different reasons. Cheers to reaching your goals!
     
    5adn8m8 and Tony Corleone like this.
  7. 5adn8m8

    5adn8m8 Fapstronaut

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    I am glad this post resonated with you! SPAA has worked wonders for me. I was hoping that this post encourages other people to join the community and I am so happy that you have! Peace to you.
     
  8. 5adn8m8

    5adn8m8 Fapstronaut

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    Coming from a place of fear/desperation...It's interesting...Can you please be more specific? I do have a lot of fears and I have felt desperate many times before trying to leave this addiction. That's so true. But I was wondering if you elaborate more on this. How did you realize that about me?
     
  9. 5adn8m8

    5adn8m8 Fapstronaut

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    Thank you for sharing. I'll check that out.
     
  10. 5adn8m8

    5adn8m8 Fapstronaut

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    I'm glad it helped. Good luck on your journey, brother.
     
  11. 5adn8m8

    5adn8m8 Fapstronaut

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    I'm glad you're navigating your way through this addiction. I wish you all the best. Cheers!
     
  12. Robotic891

    Robotic891 Fapstronaut

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    Your journey continues to inspire me... As a fellow attendee at SPAA I can honestly say it has been life changing for me. We cannot do this alone, together we can go through this and work on ourselves :)
     
    5adn8m8 likes this.
  13. 5adn8m8

    5adn8m8 Fapstronaut

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    We inspire each other. Yeah, the program has entirely changed my life.
    You're right. We can't do this on our own or in isolation. We need all the help we can get to end this vicious cycle.
     
    Robotic891 likes this.
  14. Robotic891

    Robotic891 Fapstronaut

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    Yeah, it is so important to do this together; the connection from the program and reaching out to guys is so helpful!
     

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