Urge Management Plans

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by MadsrMore, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. MadsrMore

    MadsrMore Fapstronaut

    Share Your Urge Management Plan

    Success in rebooting is, in large measure, about creating new habits. Among these, a really important habit is to be able to recognize an urge to PMO, and then, having recognized the urge, to manage and cope with it without giving in. Even if you are really good at avoiding triggers, you will inevitably find yourself face-to-face with these urges. What do you do then?

    Our Accountability Group has discussed the importance of outlining a series of concrete actions that one takes to manage and cope with an urge when it arises. In other words, when the urge to turn to porn strikes you out of nowhere, you should take steps A, B, and C to deal with it. What will those steps be?

    Please share with us concrete action plans you take (or propose to take) in order to cope with an intense urge.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  2. MadsrMore

    MadsrMore Fapstronaut

    When the urge strikes at home, I manage it by the following steps (roughly in order)
    1. Counting on my fingers to 20
    2. Taking 10 breaths that are as deep as possible
    3. Reminding myself that it's only an urge, and it will pass. Sometimes I try to remember how miserable I was when compulsively using porn all the time, and how awful I had been to my wife.
    4. Visualizing something very soothing and relaxing. My two favorites are visualizing an empty beach at dusk with the waves crashing, or visualizing simple geometical objects with soothing colors.
    5. If 1-4 haven't cooled off the urge yet, I get up and change my environment. At least, this means changing rooms or going outside, but if possible, I like to go to where other people are.
    6. If 1-5 haven't cooled off the urge yet, then more drastic measures are needed. For me, it depends on the circumstances. House-work is something I've used, because it's repetitive and distracting. I've also gone to the gym at this point.
    7. As a last resort, if I'm already sitting at the computer in a tailspin, I follow the very good advice given to me last year by @itachi. , which was to read something on NoFap first, and only afterwards, watch porn. It's amazing how the stories of people suffering with addiction can put things back in context, even in the midst of craving.
    I use this list flexibly, because I can repeat steps before I go to 6 and 7. Often, 1-5 on repeat will do the trick.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
  3. DeepSeaDiver

    DeepSeaDiver Fapstronaut

    @MadsrMore this is probably the most coherent and well thought out list that I have seen. I will likely use this outline, because I haven’t had lunch with drinking water, watching a selection of non triggering videos on YouTube, or being able to use a meditation app.
    I feel when I have an urge, it has to be flipped back. I do pretty well at avoiding triggers, but when I feel the urge to PMO it is hard to turn off.

    I think we can all use these steps, or pick a few of the steps as a way to avoid relapse.
    Deleted Account and MadsrMore like this.
  4. MadsrMore

    MadsrMore Fapstronaut

    @CADiver : Thanks so much for your kind words!. People have different variations that they acquire through experience, though. I'm more than happy for you to use this one, but I think it'll be important for you to tailor an approach that works for you.
    Deleted Account and DeepSeaDiver like this.
  5. keepitreal-88

    keepitreal-88 Fapstronaut

    Urge management is crucial, thanks MadsrMore for encouraging us to think through what we'll do when these urges happen because its something a lot of people simply don't want to have to think about and plan, myself included. It would be easy to just copy your list of urge managing steps but it would ruin the benefits of working through it myself and personalising it.
    Deleted Account and MadsrMore like this.
  6. Fenix Rising

    Fenix Rising Fapstronaut

    I like to keep plan simple. All my relapses have happened in front of my computer so I have only 2 rules:

    1) A) If I open porn related website -> B) I immediately unplug PC power cord (and stay away from the PC for the rest of the day)

    I have always prepacked backpack in the case of lapse happening:

    2) B) In the case of lapse (=one time MO or PMO) -> C) I immediately take my backpack and go for a 2-3 days hike to prevent lapse becoming full blown relapse

    I didn't need to use second rule yet, but I decided that if lapse happens and I implement second rule, I don't have to reset counter if there isn't another lapse following inside the next 3 months period. I've come to this conclusion after reading article how to avoid shame and guilt cycle from ruining progress you've made -> https://www.smartrecovery.org/stopping-a-slip-from-becoming-a-relapse/

    "So does this mean that even a brief lapse must lead to a full-blown relapse? Does it mean a person must continue to drink or drug until the use returns to the initial level? Is spiraling out of control inevitable? Simply put, no. A lapse need not become a relapse. After a slip, you have not unlearned all that you have learned. You have not unchanged all that you have changed in your life to support your recovery. You do not have to start counting again from day one.

    If you view your lapse as a mistake and as a product of external triggers, rather than as a personal failure, research shows that you will have a much better chance of return to abstinence quickly. Your lapse becomes a tool to move forward and to strengthen your motivation to change, your identification of triggers and urge-controlling techniques, your rational coping skills, and the lifestyle changes needed to lead a more balanced life."
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
  7. Right now it’s been:

    -Reminding myself that porn will not do anything about my boredom or loneliness. Right now those are my triggers that lead to PMO. It will only make things worse.

    It seems like nowadays my PMO has little to do with sexual lust and more about being bored or lonely. Two things I’ve been finding easier and easier to resolve.

    -Think of something better to do, there’s always something better.
  8. keepitreal-88

    keepitreal-88 Fapstronaut

    1. Remind myself that my body will use my mind to trick me into some crazy rationalisation to get what it wants, so don't go down the thought train of trying to reason with my urges or I'll somehow end up convincing myself that its "ok just this once". Remember, what I really want is to become the best version of myself.
    2.Close my eyes and take 20 deep breaths in through the nose and be aware of each one, feel the air going in and out, notice how my belly expands as I breath in, hear the sound of the air being breathed in through my nose.
    3. After step two, think about what I want to get done tomorrow, what do I need to do now to make sure I'm in a good state of mind and ready, go do it.
    4. Check my do list for the day, have I done everything, what growth experiences am I trying to avoid. What can I try differently tomorrow.
    5. Check in on my accountability group, make a post on this forum, look at where other people are having issues and see where I can offer a new perspective.
    6. Distract and engage my mind, push ups, as many as I can do, xbox, read, go outside and in public, drive somewhere new.
    7. Review this post and expand on it https://www.nofap.com/forum/index.php?threads/why-u-doing-nofap.240025/#post-2135510

    This is still work in progress, I've found that distracting myself is the best way for me to avoid PMO or I'll end up convincing myself somehow or just decide "fuck it" and give in.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  9. MadsrMore

    MadsrMore Fapstronaut

    @Fenix Rising : I like both of your suggestions. Taking the plug out is no nonsense: computer's off for today. It's rare that I'm in a position to leave for 2-3 days, but I appreciate what might be called the "scorched earth" approach to both strategies.

    @Cool I Can Use Spaces : I like your idea of reasoning with yourself about the value of porn. For me, however, urges don't always or even usually respond to reasoning in the absence of more crude management techniques, like forcing myself to think about something else.

    Thanks for your contributions. Give me a lot to think about.
    Deleted Account and Fenix Rising like this.
  10. MadsrMore

    MadsrMore Fapstronaut

    This is a great action plan. I especially liked reminding yourself of the "trickery" at stage one. It's so easy to lapse into thinking that this stuff is actually good. I also loved how detailed you were about the breathing. The techniques you describe will be great for focusing attention.

    Finally, I'm really impressed by the effective ways in which you use NF resources and, of course, our accountability group :).

    Maybe make the push-ups its own step? There are a lot of people who use exercises that you can do anywhere, like push-ups, as a go-to urge killer.
  11. Believe me I fully understand what you said here. I’ve been working on this for over 18 months and it’s been an ongoing process to get to where I am now. And also my answer was very simplified.

    Just today I decided to go out and do something constructive that I really didn’t feel like doing in order to keep my 3+ weeks of sobriety going.

    Actually glad I got out and about despite the initial feelings.

    Believe me I’m pretty much in the same boat and am glad to see so many other suggestions here that are a reminder and a help.

    We’re all working on this together.
    Sirauder, MadsrMore and Fenix Rising like this.

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