Thoughts about being tempted after a few months of successfully ditching pmo....

For Fapstronauts of the Protestant Christian faith.

  1. hillmountain

    hillmountain Fapstronaut

    I'm a Catholic guy, with a former severe addiction(like hours upon hours daily, and inability to quit even for a single day), who has successfully ditched this pmo trash for 3+ months now.... The things that helped me the most were....
    1. Becoming serious about my faith, trying to place God as the top priority in my life, cultivating correct thoughts about sex, women etc..
    2. Going to confession, regular mass, saying the rosary daily with my family, etc
    3. Posting in this forum... Initially, this forum served as a good crutch to divert my thoughts whenever I was tempted, and to refocus that I am meant to avoid pmo, not move toward it...
    4. The great mercy and Love of God towards me, his sinful child..
    5. Some non religious things..

    Today, I saw a triggering image (vanilla one) while surfing the net, and was interested in it... I looked further, and then stopped after reminding myself that this is not how God (the Creator of sex) meant for me to use my sexual desire....

    The good thing was that almost instantly the temptation died out.... In my starting days (when I had just quit pmo for about 3 or 5 days etc) temptation would be nearly unbearable, feel like a literal hell, last for hours even if I resisted the temptation, and it would result in a full blown relapse, and probably days of a binge.... Now, it's extremely small...

    As a man, God created me to be attracted to the female form.... This is a good thing only if we use it in the way God meant for it to be used... These sexual thoughts are meant to strengthen the unbreakable bond between spouses even closer and also to give them the gift of becoming parents also... Porn and related things, which is a base perversion of our God given sex drive, just misleads us sexually, emotionally and spiritually and restricts us from becoming true and holy men of God...

    So everyone will have to be prepared to say no to temptation...... Even if I don't become tempted to watch porn at all in future (which is very likely, considering that now I hardly think of porn and today's small temptation was an anomaly in the past few months), there may be temptation in some other form.... I may be tempted towards anger, pride, laziness, lust towards a real woman (who is not my wife) etc.... Better to focus on becoming pure and resisting evil, because we are weak humans who are strong with God's help....

    Another important point to overcoming pmo (and any other addiction) in the long term, is to also overcome any side addictions you might have, like excessive online gaming or browsing the net excessively, or bingeing on non sexual movies.... Such things can be actually helpful in the early stages of quitting porn, as they can divert the mind from wanting to pmo, but as you become stronger against pmo, and put months behind you, such things must be greatly reduced, in order to remove minor tendencies towards addiction...

    Minor addictions, like excessive gaming etc.. in the long term, can actually retard you from becoming fully free of porn and extremely happy... So while you can use them in the short term, ditch them in the long term....
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
  2. hillmountain

    hillmountain Fapstronaut

    Also I ask prayers for me, that I never fall into serious sin (not only pmo) since I am a weak guy, who is strong only with God's help....
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  3. hillmountain

    hillmountain Fapstronaut

    Also, a few things I may be doing that need to be avoided
    1. Unhealthy habits like sleeping late at night
    2. Wasting time excessively surfing the web
    3. Neglecting my study (I'm a post graduate college student)
    4. Not exercising etc
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  4. Hopingforfreedom

    Hopingforfreedom Fapstronaut

    Ever wonder why it seemed the people of God throughout the bible were closer to Him and wrote fantastic stories and psalms and worshiped so deeply?
    Well, did we EVER stop to even ask God if it was okay to fill life with all the distractions we have in our lives?
    They filled their lives with God: example the Shema, the "greatest commandment" that Jesus affirmed... [Hear, Isra’el! Lord our God, Lord is one]; 5 and you are to love Lord your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources. 6 These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart; 7 and you are to teach them carefully to your children. You are to talk about them when you sit at home, when you are traveling on the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them on your hand as a sign, put them at the front of a headband around your forehead, 9 and write them on the door-frames of your house and on your gates.

    They were commanded to teach God, live God, wear God on your body, Wake up and Thank God, go to sleep praising God, sit with your children and study God... etc.
    We have smart phones, internet, fast food, cars, Smart TVs, movies for hours, TV shows for hours, Youtube for hours... INSTANT GRATIFICATION surrounds us everywhere we go. So, we think all these things are HARMLESS??? Really? They got to be okay with God don't they? I mean You cannot call them all sins, right?

    Right before the famous Psalm 51 we all know well and perhaps recite for forgiveness, is a Psalm I think is eye opening indeed, a few hidden but VERY POWERFUL words from God... Psalm 50:16-22
    Yet God says to the wicked one, What is it to you to recount My statutes, Or that you bear My covenant on your mouth? 17 For you, you hate admonition, And you fling My words behind you." 18 If you see a thief, you approve of him, And your portion is with those committing adultery." 19 You have given your mouth free rein for evil, And your tongue, it is paired with deceit." 20 You speak shame against your brother; You give out scandal against your mother's son. 21 You do these things, yet I keep silent; You imagined that I should become, yea become like you. I shall reprove you, and I will arrange the charge before your eyes." 22 Now understand this, you who are forgetting your God, Lest I should tear you to pieces, and there be no rescuer."

    God says in verse 21, just because you get away with these things and I don't stop you, you thought that I (changed my thoughts to match your thoughts) about what you are doing? God is saying, Now don't fool yourself. I am patient. I do not always act immediately. I do not always strike people with judgment the minute they do anything wrong. Surely it is well for us to remember that. You thought I was like you; that I didn't give a fig for these things. But friend, there comes a time when I must lay the charge clearly before you, put the cards right on the table. You can't go on this way.

    God doesn't exist in TIME, so what he said then DID'T change over TIME because to Him, he just said it seconds ago!!!
    If God said He thinks men sexually being with men is an 'abomination', then He doesn't change His mind because 5000 years later our culture and even our churches say it's ok!!??? Who are WE to say God accepts something!!!

    SO to come full circle, Hillmountain,
    you rightly mention those first 5 things that worked for you, WELL, those things kept you occupied on either the "things of God" or just on 'things' in general that kept you from falling into the habit again... I agree with your list of to dos, and to avoid!
    I say good job for even recognizing them!!

    (sorry for the long reply, I just found this to be relevant to what you were saying, perspective)
  5. hillmountain

    hillmountain Fapstronaut

    Definitely.... Many people think instant gratification stuff gives them happiness... But in reality, they can actually hinder our ability to find true inner happiness and joy...
  6. Max Fisher

    Max Fisher Fapstronaut

    Excellent progress @hillmountain! Have you considered your vocation? You could be a holy priest...
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  7. hillmountain

    hillmountain Fapstronaut

    I thought about priesthood in the past (when I was thinking about doing everything haha), but now I feel strongly drawn to and pray for the vocation to a happy married life... We can achieve sanctity and true love in both the married and unmarried states (though it looks different for both) and I pray God to give me a very happy and holy married life which ultimately glorifies God..
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  8. Max Fisher

    Max Fisher Fapstronaut

    Ask and you shall receive. He wants the best for you.
    hillmountain likes this.
  9. hillmountain

    hillmountain Fapstronaut

    Relapse after a long period without pmo..

    Unfortunately, friends, I've relapsed.... I went more than 4 months (that's well over the 90 day nofap traditional recommendation) without looking at porn or any other sexual material looking for pleasure from them, without thinking of real life women (atleast mostly) in a lustful way...

    Now.... I've relapsed... Hours of watching the unnatural trash photos and masturbation..... The reason? I'll try to analyze..
    1. I neglected my spiritual life and my devotion.... I didn't go to church for nearly 7 weeks.... The daily Rosary with my family over the phone I regarded as a trouble rather than as a great gift of God... Instead of renewing faith, hope and love for God, subconsciously I must have thought that I had obtained what I wanted from God (freedom from PMO) and so left off my prayers and going to church..... In my opinion probably my biggest mistake...

    2. I didn't get rid of other bad habits... I still watched hours of entertainment videos, played hours of a dangerous time wasting and soul sucking moba game... I didn't develop good habits of cleanliness, early rising, exercise, eating healthy, positivity, being grateful to God for all the things in life etc... I didn't watch pmo for these months but wasted a lot of time in useless and bad habits....

    3. I let pride creep in... Instead of being thankful to God for helping me to be free of that sin for so long, I thought I would never fall back into it again.... I thought that temptation wouldn't affect me.... I was wrong....

    Also, I still have not "rewired" from that pmo habit..... Even though my faith built up strong principles against it and helped me to avoid it, I didn't allow my brain enough time to recover....
    The excessive screen time greatly hinders rewiring (losing your connections and attractions to pmo and building up good thoughts and attitudes) I think....

    Also, I still have anhedonia (lack of pleasure and joy) and depression... Life feels dull and pointless... Because I just relapsed it is very severe now... But I know this will pass soon.....

    I think one of the reasons my mind hasn't yet recovered from the depression and lack of joy is because of excessive screen usage, which makes me enjoy that artificial world and prevents my brain from learning to be happy in the real actual world.... I would forget all my worries and feel very happy when I was in that imaginary screen world of dramas and movies... Without it I felt dull and depressed...

    How do I feel now?
    I feel sad that I feel back into the pit into which I vowed never to enter again.... When you want something that much and then end up failing to achieve it, one feels greatly depressed and hopeless about the future....
    Still my brain is in the confusion of that post pmo state....

    On some levels, I feel that it is expected to have fallen sooner or later, as I totally neglected voluntary church and prayer, didn't make other real changes, kept wasting my time..... This relapse is like a wake up call...

    One must also think positively about the world and people, and not give way to negative thoughts.... For me, some negative thoughts about women (that women are selfish, superficial, shallow that real relationships are not happy at all, that most women are only in relationships for money and kids, that there are no good women at all etc etc ) encouraged me to relapse... These negative thoughts are definitely products or increased by pmo.... And these thoughts themselves can drive one to pmo because a negative view of women can encourage using them as objects for one's lust)

    I will learn something from this...
    I will not follow the patterns of failure... I will not beat myself up and place great expectations on my own strength whichcan make me feel bad enough to binge... I will start to go to church regularly again, say my prayers again, let God into my mind and life again, place God at the top of my priorities, and AVOID AVOID AVOID AVOID AVOID BINGEING....

    if experience and the thousands of people who trashed pmo habit for good have taught me anything, it's that you can recover fast from one relapse, but never from a binge...
    A single relapse will take away your peace of mind and fill you with temptations, but it will be temporary, and be a stepping stone for success if you don't go and fall again...

    However, a full binge will set you back at the very beginning of your recovery, erase all the progress you may have made, and make you find yourself again in the deepest pits from which you came out....

    I will try to never watch porn and masturbation purposely again in my life... But it's all on God now... I will go back to Him for help and rely on Him always....

    Ahh... How I wish I had never become addicted.... How I wish to be pure, pious, happy, successful and innocent like a child...
    How great it would be if this sin trash didn't exist in the world at all...... But I shouldn't waste time dreaming instead of doing... Doing is much more virtuous than merely wanting....... Even if there's PMO in the world, I have the choice to purge it (and other major sins ) from my life and my world, and the way is God.....

    Jesus Christ, help me to pass victoriously through sin and live according to your great plans for us... I ask for prayers to God from everyone here and everyone in Heaven, most of all my mother Mary....

    The great way to both Holiness, victory over sin and happiness is not to place too much expectation on yourself, but think of yourself with humility as a humble and weak person who will be saved from sin by God... Try to do all that you need to do but always know that God will help you through everything...
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
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  10. LavaMe

    LavaMe Fapstronaut

    Brother I had the same problem. I went four months and then PMOd. I haven’t binged since then, but after a couple of weeks free I PMO again. The good news is we know we can do this, with God’s grace and He will give us the grace. Whether we accept it is on us.

    I agree that recovery is a holistic enterprise, but be careful not to expect a complete transformation. As good as those other things are the most important thing is no PMO. And also make sure you are happy with steady, slow progress in all these areas.

    I’ve gone through long bouts of this for years. It absolutely sucks. I don’t know what all it stems from. It could be aging. I know Satan definitely plays a role. But I also know PMO plays a role. Even when I had my long streak the impure thoughts I’d built up from years of PMO were subtly making me unhappy.

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