My Success Story that I Need to Share

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Fighter834, May 13, 2015.

  1. Fighter834

    Fighter834 Fapstronaut

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    Guys,

    I've been PMO free for more than 90 days. I don't post a lot on nofap.com but I feel the need to share what has helped me along the way as I know you're all struggling right along with me...fighting the good fight. I'm not looking for encouragement or congratulations. I just want to share what has FINALLY gotten me to this point in my life. This means a lot to me and its my experience/perspective which won't fit everyone's needs but hopefully you will find it helpful.

    First, I know what the root cause of my problem was. Since I was 13, I've never known how to deal with emotions, so I buried them. Once I accepted that I wasn't comfortable with dealing with these feelings, I started paying more attention to them. Instead of shrugging off what was bothering me, I started accepting the feelings and addressing them. I would tell people when I was upset about something, I would tell people "no" (which is something I've always had a problem with), and I would embrace it when something was eating at me instead of swallowing it. If you're the type that's like me, you need to do this. I feel the need to make everyone around me happy and I'm great at getting things done. Because of this, I've learned that I'm able to help people when they're busy/stressed, but this often comes at a price and for me that's not a price I'm willing to pay anymore.

    Second, accountability is critical. My wife has been my biggest supporter through this process. She's a very strong woman but that doesn't mean it's been easy. She's struggling with this just as much as I am and it nearly ended our relationship several times. Without her support, albeit wavering at times, I would never be at this point now (long term goals are still to come so I'm nowhere near finished). I talk with my wife now more than I ever have in the past 11 years we've been together. We talk every night about how things are going for both of us, the struggles we've faced and how we've dealt with them. I found that her support was not reliable all the time so I reached out to rebootnation and nofap for another accountability partner to keep me reliable when I needed it most. It's important to own up to your addiction and accept that you have a problem and need help early on in this process.

    Third, study! Learn what it is that's going on in your brain. Read books like "Treating Pornography Addiction", "Power Over Pornography" and "Love You Hate the Porn" to help you with your battle and rebuilding relationships. Look at blogs, journals, and articles from people who have been through your struggle and find out what worked for them. Absorb yourself in this information daily so that it keeps you focused and on guard. I found this helped me most in the beginning to understand what was causing my addiction, my vulnerabilities and triggers, and how to prevent relapse. Without this information, you'll be lost and probably not successful.

    Fourth, believe that pornography no longer exists. Seriously...it no longer exists. This worked wonders for me. It sounds stupid but I read it in an article (can't remember the reference) and it changed my course. You have to truly accept this statement and cherish it. It's challenging at times since the media knows that a significant portion of the population is addicted to porn in some way and they put ads, commercials, shows, and movies in your face all the damn time with images and clips of sexy women...but this can make you successful and greatly reduce your cravings/urges in the long term.

    Fifth, share what you've learned with others. This is what I'm doing now and have found myself doing with my accountability partner. It doesn't have to be elaborate but if you help one person who is struggling in a similar way as you to get through that battle, it could change someone's life and also creates more accountability for you. This is something I need for longterm success. By sharing your stories and successes with others and setting an example for the, it puts you in a leadership position where you don't want to let everyone down. It would suck for me to follow this post up in a week with a relapse!

    So again, I know this won't help everyone and I know it's a lot to read. But I needed to share this information with this community and I hope just one person can relate and find this helpful. I need to be more involved in this community to help others and to reach my longterm goals. So please, reach out with any questions and I will be here.
     
  2. Mark357

    Mark357 Fapstronaut

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    Congratulations! I love reading strong, confident stories of success like yours. It it HUGELY encouraging.

    A couple of questions... did you do hard mode? Or was sex ok? If you had sex, did this change/improve/worsen during your 90 days? Also, you mentioned that your partner's support was always as strong as you'd wanted - how did this impact your relationship?
     
  3. DannyCool

    DannyCool Fapstronaut

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    Sounds like an amazing story of growth with your wife. How wonderful. :)
     
  4. Cooldude4

    Cooldude4 Fapstronaut

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    excellent post, many thanks for sharing!!!
     
  5. Fighter834

    Fighter834 Fapstronaut

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    We tried to do hard mode for 2 weeks but we quickly realized that we couldn't make it that long. We couldn't keep our hands off of each other and had sex regularly throughout the 90 days. We had long talks about the benefits of going hard mode but felt that we needed to continue to focus on rebuilding our relationship too and sex was a part of that for us. Our sexual relationship is stronger now than it ever was and continues to improve with time. I think that's one of the big benefits of giving up PMO altogether. We're closer now than we ever have been. But, thats not to say its been easy. We still have occasional fights when something happens that stirs up those feelings and she has to remember all of the hurt that my porn addiction has caused her. The important thing is that now, we talk about these issues and work through them. I hate fighting with her but I try to see it as a hurdle we need to clear to get beyond this and continue to grow. Our relationship is definitely stronger now than it ever has been in our 6 years of marriage.
     
    Buzzltyr likes this.
  6. male1221

    male1221 Fapstronaut

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    Great to hear you complete 90 days, and thanks for sharing your story. This is what I need to read to get encouragement. I am desperately struggling myself and haven't been able to make it beyond 3 clean days at a stretch. It'd help if you can go into details of how you react, what you do, when you get strong urges, and how you stop yourself from jumping online to get absorbed in PMO. I am realising I am too weak right now to hold back when the urge comes, which is almost daily.
     
  7. Menofap22

    Menofap22 Fapstronaut

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    Wow that's the same situation I'm in, this has inspired me more than I can express. This is the positive results I hope to be expressing! I've just had to reset but I did 29days without anything so I reckon I can do 60 days and roll that on to 90 at least then forget P. What do you recommend when it comes to avoiding PMO?
     
  8. immanuel.iitd

    immanuel.iitd Fapstronaut

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  9. Buzzltyr

    Buzzltyr Fapstronaut

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    Congrats! Very inspiring!
     
  10. Fighter834

    Fighter834 Fapstronaut

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    I'm sure everyone will have a different approach that works best for them but I'm happy to share my approach to staving off urges. One of the books I read early on in this journey told me that I need to first understand my reaction sequence. What's going on in my brain that leads to me succumbing to the addiction again? What leads to relapse? I walked through this process thoroughly several times to make sure I understood and could find ways to control it at each step. For me, the biggest issue was recognizing my vulnerabilities which were mostly not recognizing and addressing my emotions, feeling overwhelming stress, not getting enough sleep, feeling lonely, and being isolated. When I left these vulnerabilities unaddressed and let them eat at me, I was setting myself up for a battle a few days down the road. It didn't always come but, more often than not, once I felt like I was feeling okay, the urges would come. So the first step in my "reaction plan" was to address these vulnerabilities to prevent the urge from ever starting. I don't let things eat at me anymore. I have a talk with my wife every night (this was hard at first but is definitely the most important thing for me), where we talk about what bothered us throughout the day and anything that's eating at either of us. Honesty is important in this talk, no more secrets or deception. She helps me dig down deeper than I'm really able to and find out what is causing me to feel stressed when I sometimes don't realize it. Women are better at emotions than us guys.

    The next step in my reaction sequence is being triggered by something. It can be anything really, a lyric in a song, an image in an advertisement, a girl walking down the street, or a random thought in your head. This is where the urge may first hit if you haven't stayed on track with managing your vulnerabilities, which I've found takes care of ~95% of my urges. It's very important to resist letting the thoughts run through your head when they start. What worked for me was saying out loud (when possible), "That's not me anymore, I'm better than that". It probably sounds stupid but it's what helped me step back and reassess what I've worked so hard for. You also have to be ready for that feeling to hit, and know how you're going to respond when it does. I was always prepared with other "thoughts" that I had thought of in advance for times like this. One of them was throwing my 2 year old son up in the air with him giggling, another was fishing with my best friend, and another was my wedding day dance. I would cycle through these to replace the thoughts that I didn't want in my head anymore. It was very effective and I was surprised at how fast the urges would go away and not come back.

    I learned that once I won a battle, it really lasted. I would expect it to come back repeatedly throughout the day but it usually didn't. Part of why it didn't come back is that every time I faced one of these battles I knew it was because I hadn't addressed all of my vulnerabilities and something must be eating at me. Alcoholics anonymous has a phrase that they use called, "HALT", when they feel weak. This stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. I don't really use this because I know more specifically what my vulnerabilities are but it's a good starting point if you don't. Address the underlying issue and the urges shouldn't come back.

    The longer the "thoughts" start to run in your head, the more chemicals are released in your brain and the harder it gets to win the battle. If you let it get past this point your chances of successfully diverting your thoughts and getting back on track are significantly less. It's like a cocaine addict having a line sitting in front of them with the straw in their hand...not many can put that straw back down. So, don't let it get to this point. Do whatever it takes. I have gotten to this point in my journey only once. It was a morning when I woke up for work and had this voice in my head telling me, "you'll feel better if you just PMO", "nobody's going to know", "it'll just be this one time". All the same thoughts that anyone reading this post will be all too familiar with. I recognized that my brain was already thinking of past PMO experiences and the thoughts of good feelings that would come with it. The next step in my reaction sequence for if it got to this point was to find an activity that took me off the path I was on IMMEDIATELY, no delay! My reaction "plan" included dropping and doing push ups, calling a friend or family member (just to talk, not to explain the urges), and going for a jog. On this day, I knew I had time before work and went into my office and started lifting weights...aggressively. Once I started lifting and focused on the workout and my breathing the thoughts went away and didn't come back. I was worried the shower after the workout would be tough but on this occasion it wasn't because I was so proud of my accomplishment and how big of a victory it was.

    The last thing I would add, is that once you have a victory like that. Share it with someone. For me, I explained everything to my wife and she was incredibly supportive and proud of me for my accomplishment. She bought me a steak dinner that night and we celebrated the victory which made it even more special. I highly recommend celebrating landmarks and victories like this. Positive encouragement has such a strong impact on your brain.

    Keep up the fight guys! You CAN make it!
     
  11. Fighter834

    Fighter834 Fapstronaut

    121
    156
    43
    I'm sure everyone will have a different approach that works best for them but I'm happy to share my approach to staving off urges. One of the books I read early on in this journey told me that I need to first understand my reaction sequence. What's going on in my brain that leads to me succumbing to the addiction again? What leads to relapse? I walked through this process thoroughly several times to make sure I understood and could find ways to control it at each step. For me, the biggest issue was recognizing my vulnerabilities which were mostly not recognizing and addressing my emotions, feeling overwhelming stress, not getting enough sleep, feeling lonely, and being isolated. When I left these vulnerabilities unaddressed and let them eat at me, I was setting myself up for a battle a few days down the road. It didn't always come but, more often than not, once I felt like I was feeling okay, the urges would come. So the first step in my "reaction plan" was to address these vulnerabilities to prevent the urge from ever starting. I don't let things eat at me anymore. I have a talk with my wife every night (this was hard at first but is definitely the most important thing for me), where we talk about what bothered us throughout the day and anything that's eating at either of us. Honesty is important in this talk, no more secrets or deception. She helps me dig down deeper than I'm really able to and find out what is causing me to feel stressed when I sometimes don't realize it. Women are better at emotions than us guys.

    The next step in my reaction sequence is being triggered by something. It can be anything really, a lyric in a song, an image in an advertisement, a girl walking down the street, or a random thought in your head. This is where the urge may first hit if you haven't stayed on track with managing your vulnerabilities, which I've found takes care of ~95% of my urges. It's very important to resist letting the thoughts run through your head when they start. What worked for me was saying out loud (when possible), "That's not me anymore, I'm better than that". It probably sounds stupid but it's what helped me step back and reassess what I've worked so hard for. You also have to be ready for that feeling to hit, and know how you're going to respond when it does. I was always prepared with other "thoughts" that I had thought of in advance for times like this. One of them was throwing my 2 year old son up in the air with him giggling, another was fishing with my best friend, and another was my wedding day dance. I would cycle through these to replace the thoughts that I didn't want in my head anymore. It was very effective and I was surprised at how fast the urges would go away and not come back.

    I learned that once I won a battle, it really lasted. I would expect it to come back repeatedly throughout the day but it usually didn't. Part of why it didn't come back is that every time I faced one of these battles I knew it was because I hadn't addressed all of my vulnerabilities and something must be eating at me. Alcoholics anonymous has a phrase that they use called, "HALT", when they feel weak. This stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. I don't really use this because I know more specifically what my vulnerabilities are but it's a good starting point if you don't. Address the underlying issue and the urges shouldn't come back.

    The longer the "thoughts" start to run in your head, the more chemicals are released in your brain and the harder it gets to win the battle. If you let it get past this point your chances of successfully diverting your thoughts and getting back on track are significantly less. It's like a cocaine addict having a line sitting in front of them with the straw in their hand...not many can put that straw back down. So, don't let it get to this point. Do whatever it takes. I have gotten to this point in my journey only once. It was a morning when I woke up for work and had this voice in my head telling me, "you'll feel better if you just PMO", "nobody's going to know", "it'll just be this one time". All the same thoughts that anyone reading this post will be all too familiar with. I recognized that my brain was already thinking of past PMO experiences and the thoughts of good feelings that would come with it. The next step in my reaction sequence for if it got to this point was to find an activity that took me off the path I was on IMMEDIATELY, no delay! My reaction "plan" included dropping and doing push ups, calling a friend or family member (just to talk, not to explain the urges), and going for a jog. On this day, I knew I had time before work and went into my office and started lifting weights...aggressively. Once I started lifting and focused on the workout and my breathing the thoughts went away and didn't come back. I was worried the shower after the workout would be tough but on this occasion it wasn't because I was so proud of my accomplishment and how big of a victory it was.

    The last thing I would add, is that once you have a victory like that. Share it with someone. For me, I explained everything to my wife and she was incredibly supportive and proud of me for my accomplishment. She bought me a steak dinner that night and we celebrated the victory which made it even more special. I highly recommend celebrating landmarks and victories like this. Positive encouragement has such a strong impact on your brain.

    Keep up the fight guys! You CAN make it!
     
  12. Buzzltyr

    Buzzltyr Fapstronaut

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  13. nomo

    nomo Fapstronaut

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    "Fourth, believe that pornography no longer exists. Seriously...it no longer exists."

    Such simple advise, and I can see it would be incredibly effective. I'm going to keep this in mind as I start my journey over again, but this time with more conviction.

    Thanks for sharing!
     
    Fighter834 likes this.

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