I want a better life

Discussion in 'New to NoFap' started by Bobcat Bandit, Apr 27, 2018.

  1. Bobcat Bandit

    Bobcat Bandit Fapstronaut

    You can call me Bobcat.

    I just turned 29 and I've been struggling with PMO since about 13-14.

    I am a very active Mormon and I do want to beat PMO for spiritual as well as secular reasons. Personally, my brain takes in the secular reasons easier, so I think this community will be great for me.

    What I hope to achieve is to get to a point where I can control my urges and choose to walk away.

    It's been very hard at times. I know others have worse problems than me, but this is huge for me. It's a mountain. Sometimes I feel like I'm on the home stretch, other times like I'm back at the start.

    My PMO frequency is down to 1-3 times a week, sometimes even 0. My record is 16 days. I came close to tying that last month. It just feels like PMO is inevitable sometimes. Like I'm destined to fail because I can't hold out forever. But I know people can beat this. I understand the urges will drop off for some people after two or three weeks into a gentler period. Is that true?

    Also, I'm dating a wonderful girl who knows about my problem. Understand, I'm not going to judge anyone, but in our faith this behavior is a sin, and it keeps me from going back to the temple, which is very important for me and for her. That is where we want to get married eventually. I'm not doing this for her, and I'm not doing this to go to the temple. I'm doing this because I believe it will greatly improve my life in some ways I am aware of and others I am not. I do want to go to the temple, and I do want to be able to take my girl there, but I'm doing this for me. For my personal health, my relational health, my energy, my focus, my motivation, my clarity of vision, and my relationship with God. I hope I can offer support to others as well.

    God bless!

    ~ Bobcat
     
    PMO addict likes this.
  2. BrilliantGarlic

    BrilliantGarlic Fapstronaut

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    Good on you bro! And letting your girlfriend in on your struggle / challenge is an awesome way to have support from someone that you love and loves you!
     
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  3. myspirithurt

    myspirithurt Fapstronaut

    I’m pretty new here too. As a fully -active, pretty much kind of believing but questioning Mormon, I’m curious what your experiences have been with church discipline. Not sure if you want to put that out there on this forum, but if you do I’ll share some of my experiences in that regard.
     
  4. NamoBuddha

    NamoBuddha Fapstronaut

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    Hi Bobcat,
    Do you know PMO cause your brain to release dopamine? This chemicals can reinforce your PMO habits.
    You can try to acquire a healthy habit in your life. You can also avoid the bad habit from your life.
    There are many ways for you to do this process. You can check success stories in the forum. They provide very helpful and cheerful tips to stay away from PMO. Here is one I recommended.

    Best Wishes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
  5. Bobcat Bandit

    Bobcat Bandit Fapstronaut

    It really is amazing. When I thought to tell her my first reaction was what can she do to help? Way more than I imagined is the answer. She's truly wonderful. Thank you for the support
     
  6. Bobcat Bandit

    Bobcat Bandit Fapstronaut

    I don't mind sharing at all. I have been through the temple and served a mission. Technically, I don't think you're supposed to do that while PMO is a problem, but I don't feel bad about it. It was a strength and still is. I've had very good bishops to work with, very understanding. Four years ago I "came clean" again and gave up my temple recommend, because I really want to be cleaner in my living. I've had many chances to lie and say I'm doing well so I could just go back, and I've wanted to, but I haven't. So yeah it sucks that I can't do everything I want to do like go to the temple or bless the sacrament, but I've done those things enough with PMO. Now I really want to know what they're like without PMO. So really my experience with church discipline has been positive overall. Although the first time I "came clean" on my mission I was terrified they were gonna send me home. They didn't. I don't know what the official policy is on that, but I have a hunch they would lose A TON of missionaries if they cracked down on that... The law of mercy comes into play more than us PMO users realize in the church, I think.

    This comment was probably confusing to any non LDS people. Sorry!
     
  7. Bobcat Bandit

    Bobcat Bandit Fapstronaut

    Thank you so much for the support and resources! Will use!
     
  8. PMO addict

    PMO addict Fapstronaut

    Hi Bobcat! Welcome to the forum and we are glad to have you here :)
     
  9. Bobcat Bandit

    Bobcat Bandit Fapstronaut

  10. myspirithurt

    myspirithurt Fapstronaut

    That’s good that your experience has been positive overall. The first time I came clean was shortly before heading out on my mission. That was super hard but felt great after and made going through the temple a good experience. Somehow I managed to go through my mission without M but did manage to sneak a peak at P a few times (doing service in a public library a couple times and then once I snuck out and ran to the gas station to get a magazine). Within 2-3 weeks after the mission, I was back on it and it was meeting with bishops 2-3 times per month for years. Finally one of my stake presidents had my bishop call a disciplinary council. This was after confessing about going to a strip club and getting lap dances in one of my meetings. Ended up getting disfellowshiped. That sucked. I honestly knew going in there that mercy was going to be granted but nope. It’s a very shaming thing because you can’t take the sacrament for at least a year, can’t pray if called on and stuff. During that year I moved to another city to do a masters program and had an awesome bishop who I met with every week. Even though I screwed up with PM a few times I was still able to get back into full standing. One thing it did help me realize is that, for me anyways, talking to bishops about this stuff does nothing to help overcome it except maybe some short term motivation. So I haven’t confessed since and don’t plan to. “Yes” for the good stuff “no” for the bad stuff. I’ve done worse stuff like getting HJ at massage places and chances are I’d get at least disfellowshiped again. If I ever do confess, it will be a scenario where I go in there and say that I’ve been clean for 5+ years more than likely. So far things have gone very well since starting on here and there are some amazing insights from some folks in the success section that are really helpful. I hope continuing to read in here on people’s success and failure will help me keep it going. That’s something we can’t get at church. When is the last time someone bore their testimony about overcoming PM lol?
     
  11. Bobcat Bandit

    Bobcat Bandit Fapstronaut

    I'm sorry it's been rough for you. I'm very glad it's going well for you now! I always feel like when I watch my blindspots and I do well, temptation comes from nowhere in a blind spot I didn't know about and knocks me on my butt. For me, relying on the Spirit to cover the blind spots I can't is essential. The Spirit can't fail me. I just have to stay close and be smart (which is the hard part).
     
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  12. myspirithurt

    myspirithurt Fapstronaut

    Don’t take this as advice because it probably isn’t smart, but I’m experimenting with taking a very secular approach. A combination may be better, but I’m hypothesizing that part of my problem has been too much of thinking/hoping God will help me overcome this. Seems like there just is 0 correlation (with me anyways) between prayer, scripture study, etc. and success with this. Don’t get me wrong, I 100% believe there is a god. But, if anything, it seems I’m more likely to mess up after some spiritual high. Maybe I start thinking I can hande a bit of what they term here as Psubs (substitutes-not porn but still slightly stimulating). I can handle looking at images on my Instagram search page and if there’s a pretty lady, I’m spiritual enough to just check out her page without eventually going to anything worse. I remember a meeting I had with a former stake president. He was aware after discussing with my bishop that I was still messing up and wanted to meet again. He wanted details and specifics and also asked about the frequency of my BOM reading. I was embarrassed to admit that I had read it every single day since our last meeting since that meant I even screwed up shortly after scripture study, so I said I’m not sure, it might have been a bit sporadic. He replied that I knew that I had not read my scriptures daily, reflecting his belief that it would be a real shield. For me it’s just more disappointing to screw up after spending time with all the scripture study, etc. You might think I’m an apostate by now lol. The things I’m finding most insightful are what people who are experiencing success say they have learned about the human brain and how it works and how they leverage this knowledge to their advantage. And then also just reading their advice, some of these posts are amazing. Fun fact: That SP eventually became a seventy and later on a mission president.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  13. Sad_but_true

    Sad_but_true Fapstronaut

    Hi @Bobcat Bandit and welcome to NoFap! It seems like you understand theres a problem which is a very good start, and the fact that your girlfriend knows about your problem and in understanding is a blessing! There are some very good resources here to help you on your path so when your feeling the urge to fall off your path spend some time here, either writing in a journal to purge your feelings and reading or writing in other fapstronauts journals as well.

    Take advantage of the Panic button at the top of the page as well which sometimes provides quotes or inspirational pictures to help you refocus your urge to pmo.

    Everyone slips now and again we are human, so dont be discouraged if you relapse. Everything good takes a little time and effort but the reward will be a stronger healthier relationship and improved feelings of self worth and confidence. Good luck on your journey!
     
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  14. Bobcat Bandit

    Bobcat Bandit Fapstronaut

    Nah, man, I don't think you're apostate. I have such a hard time with the scriptures. I read every day - but only one page. And it took months to get to that. First it was "at least one verse", then like a year and a half later "at least ten verses". After probably eight months of that I switched to one page a day because the length is more consistent. Some people have some gift where they can just dive in the scriptures and come back up with who knows what spiritual newfound wisdom or whatever. That's not me. But reading every day from the BOM does seem to add a little bit of strength. Or bring the spirit in a little. I know what you mean about wanting to do a full secular approach. I'm trying a combination thing, but I get it. Because for me, it's not just the scriptures that I struggle to get into, it's conference talks, church magazines, basically anything a bishop or stake president might recommend! Don't even get me started on family history...

    These things aren't the best way for me to feel the spirit right now. I have a bishop now who just accepts it and says "Hey, everyone's path out of this looks at least a little different. What works for one may not work for another." The only constant in what works in his experience is the spirit. So I focused on finding what ways I can feel the spirit very strongly, and things that can invite the spirit that I can also get into very easily. For me that's pondering and prayer mostly. And I like spending time on temple grounds (I live close enough to one for that to be convenient).
     
  15. Bobcat Bandit

    Bobcat Bandit Fapstronaut

    Thank you so much for your support and your information! I feel like a bit of an oddity here because I don't struggle with confidence very much at all. I don't know why this PMO habit hasn't strongly affected my confidence, but it hasn't. Or, if it has, my confidence level is gonna be insane when I'm off it.
     
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  16. Sad_but_true

    Sad_but_true Fapstronaut

    @Bobcat Bandit if I were to guess I would say your confidence is not shaken because you have the support of your girlfriend which again is a good thing. The main thing is you realize you want to live a better life and I'd bet dollars to donuts you will once you've met your goals. Again best of luck and if my words have helped you im glad.
     
  17. Bobcat Bandit

    Bobcat Bandit Fapstronaut

    You're right, a better life is certain when I reach my goals regarding PMO. Interestingly, I've only been dating this girl about six or seven weeks now. Before that it had been just over six years since the last girl I dated. Yeah. Six years. And, no kidding, another six years before that until you get to my first girlfriend. What I'm trying to say here is that for me, having a girlfriend is not typical. But I've always been an extremely social person. A total extrovert (maybe more of an ambivert really. I'm just as comfortable alone). I've always gotten a kick out of pushing my own social limits, mostly relating to women, obviously. The only demographic group that I fear cold approaching: attractive women. And even that I've gotten a pretty darn good handle on (after just eleven years of near-constant practice! -_-). My girlfriend now I went in cold at a party to meet her.

    I'm not trying to show off. But I do want people to know that confidence is possible, even when you're struggling with PMO. Although I suppose PMO has different effects on different people. Certainly anytime within a few hours of P or M I would be useless at approaching women.
     
  18. Sad_but_true

    Sad_but_true Fapstronaut

    ok @Bobcat Bandit you may be the exception to the rule. If you went 6 years w/o a girlfriend I would guess your extremely independent and confident. Good traits and good advice about the confidence possibility. I think everyone is nervous about approaching attractive members of the opposite sex because of fear of rejection but thats in our heads because most times if you just say hi and break the ice you'll get things going. Being comfortable alone is something I am going to be working on now for a while as im going thru a breakup and im hitting the brakes for a while on relationships before jumping in the pool again. Being an extremely social person is great for avoiding pmo because you can go out and meet some new friends or go hang out with the old ones anything that keeps you busy.
     
  19. myspirithurt

    myspirithurt Fapstronaut

    Sounds like you have an awesome bishop and a solid action plan. I would love to see your posts up in the success section some day...I’m going to need all the help I can get.
     
  20. Bobcat Bandit

    Bobcat Bandit Fapstronaut

    Well I relapsed :/

    That was a few days ago. A lot has happened since then. I'll put it in my journal.
     

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