Tips, tricks, and tools to Success

Fight the Good Fight

  1. JR-62

    JR-62 Fapstronaut

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    A sex drive is a tricky thing with all of this, it is normal to have a drive and normal to have sex. But P takes the normal and robs us of what we really want which is love and intimacy. Stop beating yourself up, you are human and there will always be rough spots on the way to the top of the mountain.
     
  2. JR-62

    JR-62 Fapstronaut

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    Had a good 24hrs, I’m grateful for this journey and all the unknowns that I face as I walk it’s path.
     
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  3. JR-62

    JR-62 Fapstronaut

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    Not my best 24hrs. But progress is better then non. Onward I go
     
  4. JR-62

    JR-62 Fapstronaut

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    Good 24hrs, one day at a time.
     
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  5. JR-62

    JR-62 Fapstronaut

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    Had a good 24hrs, and tomorrow will be great too.
     
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  6. JR-62

    JR-62 Fapstronaut

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    Not my best 24 hrs. M
     
  7. AntiqueRevolverGuy

    AntiqueRevolverGuy Fapstronaut

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    I've lost faith in myself, that i'd ever fully recover from this stuff.

    The only thing that made me ever have a good streak was when I feel in love. But eventually there came a point where I couldn't hold it in anymore (Day 26). Das alte leid
     
  8. JR-62

    JR-62 Fapstronaut

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    There is always hope. Good 24hrs
     
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  9. Hey JR-62, you're doing really well man. I hope you're celebrating EVERY success no matter how small. It's what I do. I celebrate with a prayer of gratitude to our loving Father in Heaven. I feel His love for me when I do.

    Have you considered 'why' you're trying to be PMO free. No doubt you have, and excuse me for my ignorance, I'm not sure of your back story, or what your goals are. One thing I have been seriously thinking about this year is, 'what kind of ancestor am I becoming?' What if our journal here were made public and those we love - even all our future offspring - were to read about us, what would we want them to know about us? This has motivated me to change some thing in my life that I do not want to be known for.

    But back to celebrating, it's a must! Don't be too hard on your self, but celebrate like a boss when you have even the smallest of successes! Tell Heavenly Father how grateful you are for all His help. Here to support you in your journey brother.
     
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  10. Phantom Avalanche

    Phantom Avalanche Fapstronaut

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    So I have felt completely blessed the past year or so; It has also been my hardest time due to some setbacks in other areas of my life, and I've had a few months of the more stressful times in my life. However, it has also been some of my most successful times abstaining from porn and feeling more healed. I don't know if these will be helpful to everyone, but these are some findings for me to add what is already here. I'm sure I may mess up again or feel tempted and need to read this for myself, but I want it here. Please forgive if this is too long winded, I'm just hoping I can explain my thoughts well enough to help some of us maybe do a bit better.

    1. Be humble enough to find help outside yourself. I've talked to almost every bishop I've ever had since first gaining a porn habit. Some bishops handle it differently; most good, some don't get it, etc. I had one that would just have me do Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down in the hallway, and it was our discrete way for me to be accountable. If I needed to talk we'd set up an appointment. I also tried the 12-step Porn Addiction group the Church hosted when I lived in areas that had them. To be able to put faces to (still anonymous) people and to hear their trials and blessings out loud made me feel more human and more connected. Last year at this time I finally got the courage to tell more people I was once terrified of telling. Their kindness and forgiveness frankly gave me the strength to do better! The fact you are here, reading this is also a reassuring sign. Don't forget that prayer, both immediately and in the long run, can help you reach beyond what you can do now; maybe not immediately climb the mountain of a trial you have, but more than you thought you could have done before.

    2. Work on what you are "most messed up on." This was advice I got in a small group meeting with Elder Bednar. It wasn't about porn, but about how to balance life. He said he would look at those spinning plate-on-a-stick performances and relate to it- you get one plate balanced and spinning well, then the next few, only then to realize that first one is now wobbly about to fall over again. He said to " just work on the wobbly plates in your life. that alone is hard enough." That helped me. For me, and maybe a number of people who read this will agree that their porn use is in part a "maladaptive response to negative stressors." Stress, anxieties and troubles trigger us to find temporary relief in the false refuge of porn. Work on the stressors you can, big and small. As Jordan Peterson would say, "clean your room, bucko." Better and nicer, work on the other things in your life to remove causes of stress so you have more strength to combat this one. Little victories do count!

    3. Make plans and Follow up with them. Repeat. Over the course of many years I've tried this over and over, only to think I've failed every time. However, it made me actually work towards making a change. Each "failure" was just me chipping off more barnacles from my side. I made reduction quotas; I made schedules; I made backup plans; I analyzed where I looked at porn, time of day, my mood. I even used the Fortify program for a while, which helped me find a lot of these weaknesses. For example, I found that early in the week was relatively easier for me, but Friday nights, stressed/alone/bored/sad/tired = porn time. All the time. Then some hangover-like remorse on Saturday, then Church and a resolve to never do it again. So, I eventually caught on, and made sure I wasn't home alone on a Friday night. I went to see the movies alone even. Didn't matter, didn't show up in my room Friday night until it was late, and had my software filter shut my computer down by the late evening. This website has a million different ways to go about this. Your plan, your move. You got this!

    4. Fight the Good fight. Don't give up. Obviously, the planning strategy didn't work forever or always work as intended; I would get horny mania and bypass the filters at my time of weakness; Thursday or Saturday nights crept up more often or sometimes in the late afternoon or early morning. Was I bummed. Yes. But was there victory for a short time? Also yes. There were times that this sort of effort just wore me out and I'd just say, forget it, and then just jump off the deep end for a very brief time. Only to find misery and slowly come back. But you know what? Eventually the porn kinda got boring in a way too. Much like drinking saltwater, it never satiated desire for anything - good or bad. I was just either want more porn later, or I would never feel fulfilled in actual love, belonging or companionship. So at one point, I was just like "I'm just tired of this" and I started to relapse less often. This doesn't mean I'll never relapse in the future- far from it maybe. But, I learned that if I can wear down, so can my porn use. Fortify had a cool technique for this- "Riding the wave." You do deep breathing when the urge arise, acknowledging it is there but not acting on it. Just breathing slowly. Say "yup, I feel that urge there buddy, but I'm just going to breathe here for a while." When you felt like you were practically going to die, at the top of the wave of urges, the urge would then surprisingly started to slow down, the anxiety of it all lessened, and go away; and, for that brief time, you won.

    5. Know that you are worthwhile. I think we, as Latter-day Saints, attach a good chunk our worth to our worthiness. We only think we are valuable when we are pure or good or "righteous." While living the commandments does indeed make us happier, our lives objectively more improved and brings us closer to Heavenly Father, our worth in our Father's eyes is independent of our mistakes. Yes, only clean things enter heaven. Yes, porn is spiritually filthy. Even the people who make it know that, hence all the derogatory adjectives in it. And our efforts to righteousness are sometimes considered pathetic and gross, like "Filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6). But, for God, He wants those filthy rags. He wants us. We are like a 20 dollar bill: whether it is crisp and fresh or crinkled with dirt smudges, it's still worth the same. Even though we all have our own smudges and feel crumpled from our weaknesses, He still wants us, and as we commit to Him, please have faith that eventually He will help straighten us all out, wipe off the dirt and hold us dear again. Don't lose hope. You are worthwhile.

    EDITS: grammar and such.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
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  11. Outside

    Outside Fapstronaut
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    This is really great insight - thanks for sharing
     
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  12. Outside

    Outside Fapstronaut
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    @Phantom Avalanche -- would you mind sharing some of the things that you thought were helpful when working with different bishops, or maybe some that were not?
     
  13. Phantom Avalanche

    Phantom Avalanche Fapstronaut

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    Sure thing! So, Taking it from my perspective, please take this (and everything else I've written) with that in mind. Also, TannHauser and a bunch of other people on here have a similar list to mine but much more succinct. I'd recommend looking through the forums or feed in this group if whatever I said is dumb or not clicking for you, or if you want more ideas. I am very proud of what's been put on this group by my fellow Latter-day-Saints (Saints -sinners who keep trying). You guys (and gals) are great!

    Another* long list things that have helped. I write this as directions, mainly for myself, as I'm sure I will need my own advice on day in the future. I hope this helps you!

    Things that helped me with my relationship with my bishop:
    1. Summarize beforehand. Make a mental or written summary of what you've done so you can explain things concisely without rambling on forever. Like me. Give them a "perimeter" of your porn habit - meaning like how long this has been going on, frequency, etc. so they have a range of how far you've gone, not necessarily every detail in the middle. Be able to ask questions such as: Is it just images, full on sex stuff, does it get into fetishy or kinky stuff? Do you have to lie to cover it up? Are you stealing time, money, etc. from others to use porn? How much does masturbation or other sexual practices come into play with porn use? That being said, give details if they ask specifics, and give as much as you can that will give anyone a general understanding. Remember that most bishops aren't porn experts. You may have to do this with multiple visits to help him get the idea of where you are at.

    2. Be patient with bishops. How much do you know about tax fraud? International espionage law? Patent violations? I don't. Nobody is an expert on everything. The bishop is still just your average guy that has been given a calling, at times giving them help from Heaven to help sort out your troubles. They have temptations, worries, sins as well. They have to get revelation about you as much as they do for anyone else or for themselves; sometimes they get it right away, sometimes they really struggle in their prayers and studies on what to know that will help you specifically. Try explaining a pornography addiction to your electrician. One of my bishops actually was an electrician. He had the humility to recognize his gap in professional knowledge and relied on the Lord. With that, he gained excellent advice for me at that time. My least favorite bishop was a successful businessman and returned mission president. He never listened to what I said because "he knew what I was going to say anyway." Most of his advice was garbage, but some of it helped me a whole lot later and with my relationship with my savior anyway. So, even 'garbage' bishops can bless you. Just be patient as they are being patient with you, too.

    3. Find out what works for you and the bishop. I had some that said, "well, lets just meet every few weeks and work on things step by step;" I had one that wanted to essentially wanted to be my accountability partner and text him any time I was tempted or relapsed; most just said set up an interview whenever. Fact is, you are more likely in this for the long haul than not, so you need something that won't cause burn out with him or you. I liked my bishop's idea of "thumbs up, thumbs down" for a while, as he would just know that a whole bunch of thumbs down over a couple of weeks meant that I needed help. Bring this up so the both of you can make a plan. Keep in mind he may actually assign a ward member for you to meet with; that actually could be better as they could help be an accountability partner.

    Things that didn't help me
    - staying away from the bishop for long periods of time. When he never knew, he never helped.
    - Getting angry when the bishop does something stupid. Pending excommunication, which isn't in his hands, there's really nothing he can do that's permanently damaging.
    - Withholding stuff. Satan will rob your peace with "well, you didn't say THIS". You probably shouldn't say the stuff in microscopic/pornographic detail, but in giving him the perimeter, give him the full nature of what's going. In this case, when in doubt, share it.
    - Ignoring advice. It doesn't always mean you always have to do it, but you should seriously consider advice given first. I had the arrogant bishop keep telling me "you are just stupid, you keep touching the 'stove' and getting burned, only to come to me to feel better. Then you are just going to waltz home and sin again! When you are smarter, and not in your 3 year old brain, you will not touch the stove and get burned anymore. Just remember the pain. The pain will save you." Guys, I'm not hyperbolizing much on that one. That was his answer to "how can I feel the Savior's love while trying to overcome addiction?" He was a jerk. However, years later, coupled with a lot more and better advice, I did feel like the temptation became a little less tempting, when I could remember the pain of going through relapse and recovery all over again - and finding that I didn't have to, as God loved me and would help me. Some people, in righteousness, will have pieces of the puzzle to bless you, jerks or not.

    Sorry if these are long, I hope they help.

    * List is totally not comprehensive and were the first things I thought of when I saw your question. Also, I tend to write poorly so don't mind the typos or later edits.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020 at 1:51 PM
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