Hey everyone! I hope you're all doing well. I wanted to share something that has been important along my journey. I personally believe this is crucial to overcoming PMO addiction. I'm currently 253 days free of Porn, 1 MO relapse(no porn) on day 72 which is why I now stand at 181 days free of MO. This is a long post. If you're experiencing brain fog, I suggest saving it and reading it in parts. Let me start by placing a quote, i'll explain why I've attached it to this post in a moment and why I've underlined and highlighted a specific part of it. “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” ― Lao Tzu Why is it that people who built up streaks of 90 days, 180 days or even 365+ days end up relapsing? I've thought about this a lot. In fact, I think the two primary reasons an individual relapses is because of engaging in fantasy in the mind and the other because of lack of proper emotional management. Also, many people rely on brute force to pull through this, myself included when I first started nofap. This is not the way. You will eventually relapse. Today I will discuss my thoughts on engaging in fantasy and I will also provide a solution for it. This has worked for me and seems to be a factor within the success stories I've read, regarding longterm detachment from PMO addiction. I also believe that this is a part of the reason why some people experience multiple nocturnal emissions/wet dreams in the span of a week. We are not responsible for what pops into our head, but what we do with that pop up is entirely our responsibility. When a past porn scene pops up, or even a sexual fantasy of someone you find attractive, you need to train yourself to redirect immediately. The first step is awareness, to become aware of that initial thought that eventually leads you down the road to relapse. Your mind is a garden, a thought is a seed. If you are engaging in a thought or a specific type of thought, you are watering it. By watering it, you are feeding a seed to become a strong plant with deep roots into your garden. In this instance, the roots of PMO fantasy are everything you avoid. Whether its feelings of anger, feelings of anxiety and depression, the more you avoid, the more roots that thought/thought type is attached to. The more you engage in fantasy thoughts, the stronger those roots and that plant become. Stop watering the seeds that are unworthy of you and you will be free. I mentioned the first step to achieving this, is awareness. Cultivating awareness is done through meditation and mindfulness. I see many individuals advocating for meditation and yet they keep relapsing. Why is this? The awareness you practice during meditation is not only for the minutes or hours that you sit down to become present and mindful. You must use this practice and carry it into your day to day life. When you walk, you are present. When you work, you are present. When you spend time with loved ones, you are present. When a thought appears into your mind, the cultivation of awareness allows you to bring yourself back to what you are doing, connecting your mind with your body and your perceived surrounding (what is important to you in the moment). The second step, is repeating a "mantra" of sorts. This does not, by any means, have to be a spiritual mantra. You must repeat this mantra every time a fantasy pops up, the very second the fantasy shows up in your mind. Write out a long version and a short version. Start off by being compassionate with yourself, I.e "It's okay, I get it, I've consumed this for a long time. It's normal for it to pop up." Then expose the fantasy for the liar and thief that it is. I.e" This is not actually happening to me, it's a lie at the very base. The fantasy itself is created via the porn I was watching for years, the porn industry has created a sexual fantasy for me. It's a thief because it robs me of the present moment, the time I want to spend with loved ones or things that I actually love doing. It robs me of my mood and my energy." Make the mantra personal for yourself. Repeating it is important. I've personally used this method to break away, I've also read a success story where an individual wrote it 10 000 times in a notebook (over a period of time of course) for it to really stick. Do what is best for you. By using these techniques, I've tremendously decreased the amount of porn/fantasy pops up. I mainly get one or two in a week, on top of that they are far less vivid and it's the face of the individual that appears not the entirety of a full blown sexual scene. They appear when I come face to face with one of the roots(one of the many things I've avoided in the past) that I mentioned earlier. The more you face your emotions, the weaker the roots will get, and eventually the strong plant will return to the seedling it was originally. A seedling that you may store away. Its a form of cleaning up the mind(your garden). I am well on my way to cleansing mine of this addiction and encourage you to do the same! So you see my friends, your thoughts are important. This is why I included Lao Tzu's quote in it. What thoughts you engage in, can lead you down a path of destruction. I've had that quote posted on my wall for quite a few years, only now am I beginning to understand its true value. I'll leave you on this note, Remember when I said that you are not responsible for what pops into your head? This is partially false, what you consume is what will present itself most in your thoughts. We'll leave this for a future discussion though, as I think that what I wrote so far, is heavy enough haha. I hope you found this helpful and thank you for reading. Enjoy your day and remain vigilant!