"N days challenge" vs "Just for today" philosophy of the 12-step program

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by LilD, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. LilD

    LilD Fapstronaut

    Disclaimer: I am a member of a 12-step community for several years now, but I do not promote any particular 12-step communities or the 12-step program. This post is just my thoughts on differences of approaches of NoFap vs 12-step program.

    In NoFap, I discovered that people promote a "gamification" approach for staying clean from PMO by committing to various N days challenges.

    In the 12-step program, contrastingly, the "just for today" (JFT) approach is promoted, essentially meaning that one only commits to staying sober/clean just for 1 day. By making this commitment each day, it's possible to stay sober/clean for indefinitely long periods of time. I heard of people who struggle with especially strong urges who go further and commit to staying sober/clean for even shorter periods of time, up to minutes.

    I believe that JFT has several important advantages:
    1. It doesn't rely on one's power of will, which by its nature cannot be used for extensive periods of time. Using the power of will, one can abstain from something only for a very short time, or otherwise just switch one addiction for another, mistakingly thinking that it is a success.
    2. As a consequence of #1, it enforces the notion that one's power of will is not enough to overcome an addiction, just like it's not enough to cure cancer.
    3. It doesn't put any additional pressure because there's just 1 day at stake, not a whole streak.
    4. Most of the 12-step communities' members also count their clean days, but the difference is that they only count their clean days from the past, not their future clean days. "Don't count your chickens before they're hatched."
    5. It is a reminder that one has to do something today in order to stay clean.
    That being said, I still prefer to stick with my regular JFT way of thinking instead of taking on any of the N days challenges. Gamification is a very nice concept but urges of addictions are just too strong to be gamified over.

    However, I think gamification works perfectly fine for developing new healthy habits to replace the old addictive ones. So, I'm not against this approach in general, I'm just saying that it's not a silver bullet.
    Duellant, rostronaut, pyojin and 5 others like this.
  2. Ongoingsupport

    Ongoingsupport Fapstronaut

    Yes. I look at it in terms of a measurement rather than a goal. The goal is to reboot in terms of the goal of this community, which has no definite timetable that anyone can identify.

    If we're talking practical level, I would say it is not either X days or today though, both are limited to the construct of linear time. (yes, even "be here now" - which is just the opposite of a linear view) I think understanding time in terms of relationship of different things will get one through, like the cycle of just one day. There is a natural structure to our biology, certain things happen early in the day and some things happen later. They recently awarded the Nobel prize to American scientists for discovery around the circadian rhythm, and the Greeks had the notion of kairos - same basic idea. Someone may find they act out in the morning upon waking, there is a biological reason as between 7-9 am hormones are at their peak - plan accordingly. Other things are more socially informed like being alone at night.

    I think where gamification comes in is a lot of people identify with that way of framing it, so it uses an existing pattern to the advantage of recovery - it may even be useful towards gaming addiction. But the reality of it is there are details to the process. There are no games that has points as the sole goal, you go on quests or whatever and there are specific things to do - even if you can get points it cannot be said you know the game well if you are just biding time.

    Come to think of it, plenty of games do not reward you with points if you simply just sit there passing time, the same might be applied to rebooting which would involve using some kind of active participation as a metric. As the saying goes it's making your time count rather than just counting time.

    EDIT: In terms of the passage of time it may be more relevant as far as biological rebooting, but I'd say psychological rebooting involves active participation of self examination.
    pyojin and The Great Safecracker like this.
  3. Ongoingsupport

    Ongoingsupport Fapstronaut

  4. Thank you. This looks very promising!
  5. heartasbigasocean

    heartasbigasocean Fapstronaut

    Can you explain the method in the most easiest way ?
    And also how to do this method ?

    I read all those wikipedia page, and I feel overwhelmed because I just got home and tired.
  6. LilD

    LilD Fapstronaut

    @heartasbigasocean, there's no method, it's a mindset in which you plan your recovery for only one day. So, nothing like "I will abstain for 90 days." You admit that you can't control the future and focus on the present instead.
    Duellant likes this.
  7. Summer Son

    Summer Son Fapstronaut

    It seems very logical approach for me. Also I think that 90 days is a great myth. Each person is different and I see a lot of guys in here and other forums, they expect they will heal in 90 days, if this expectation doesn't happen they frustrate for that. Just for today... I heard it from @SaltedPeter firstly. And with your thread I put together something more efficiently. Thanks for post!
    LilD likes this.
  8. Duellant

    Duellant Fapstronaut

    I think expectations have to meet reality somehow, or else you become demotivated. Reaching for 90 days can be really demotivating from my own experience. But IMO there's nothing wrong with looking at such landmarks as 30, 60, 90 days. Of course there won't happen a wonder on day 90 specifically. But it IS a landmark.
    Then there's the streak. And I find it very helpful and motivating to actually SEE my streak (on the screen or in my head) as soon as I'm above the first few days.

    One-day-at-a-time is good and usefull mindset in my opinion. I try to have it but I'm not really into this kind of approach.

    I see nothing wrong with "Gamification" as long as it serves the purpose of recovering, healing and improving your life. But I guess there comes the moment for everyone here, where one see's the deadly seriousness and urgency of the matter and that it is in fact no game. Or rather there are many of these moments in recovery, where you suddenly are pushed from your high rose when you see things straight as they are.

    But to not fall into depression or in excessive behaviors like a refusal of all sexual, a playful attitude can be good, I guess.

    So how goes these different approaches together, or don't? I don't know.
    But maybe OP is right, that we focus too much on streaks, challenges and big numbers here. Maybe I was framed this way myself when I was new here and it didn't me so good.
    I think it is an improvement that there's one "official" counter for every user rather than a bunch of different counters which some entertained in their Signature all at once. Nothing against monitoring personal developement but there has to be some priority or folks go crazy, IMO

    Quite intriguing topic!
    LilD likes this.

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