Hey guys! Reading through the forums I always see the same thing over, and over again. You see somebody wondering how to prevent themselves from relapse, and in turn they normally get a response of, “find your triggers, and put steps in place to prevent the urges.” Every time. And nearly every time, if you read through further (for example in diaries or journals on here), you see that same person relapse, not just once but over and over again. “So what do you mean by this Sam? What’s your point here?” - Well, let me tell you! Maybe I’m wrong here, but I feel like we’re fighting PMO all wrong. The problem with PMO is that we’re afraid to relapse. Because we’re afraid, we completely quarantine off any hint of urges, swear to never visit them again, and achieve success only by being able to cover the problem and act like it isn’t there when in reality it’s still there, and sooner or later leads to our almost certain relapse. “Okay Sam, you’re making some sense here, but what other option do we have? This method is effective and people succeed by identifying triggers and avoiding them all the time. Why should we do any different if it’s working? - Well let me answer that question for you. While people do succeed in abstaining from PMO by identifying, and putting steps in place to avoid their triggers, this does another thing to us. Subconsciously, we become runners; we become hiders. We run from PMO, we hide from it, we act like it’s a big monster that’s coming to tear us apart, and the result is we’re scared of it. So when we encounter any sorts of urges we weren’t expecting, or our steps fail us, we relapse. Time, after time again. This is the point that many successful people fail: when they are faced with something they didn’t expect, they start to fear relapsing, they begin to panic wondering how to get out of this situation, they lose focus, and almost every time, they relapse. “Sam what do you suggest, then? This method has worked time after time again and relapse is apart of getting better.” - Well, let me explain something first. Rather than running from PMO, what if we try something different? I’ve put this into practice in my journey, and I’ve made it 43 days without losing confidence, without panicking that I’ll relapse, and without truly thinking I’ll end up relapsing if I don’t do something different. Rather than being afraid of PMOing and trying at all costs to deny myself feeling any sort of sexual desire I let it wash over me, and subside. The problem is that our feelings we try so hard NOT to feel are natural. We run, and run, and run from these feelings that we’ve associated with failure and because of that we’re afraid that we will mess up when we feel them. We distract ourselves at all costs when even the slightest hint of an urge breaches the surface of our thoughts. The only issue is... We can only run so far before we have to take a break. Whether it’s one day, one week, one month, one year or even 10 years, we eventually will have to rest, and when we do our cycle will restart. Because the second we stop running, all of that feeling we’ve spent so much energy trying to suppress comes rushing into us without a care in the world of the repurcussions and what? We relapse. “So Sam, what do you suggest, then? What do you do that’s different than me, or anybody else?” I’ll explain it the best I can. I don’t run from my feelings of sexual desire. I don’t bask in them either. I do feel tempted, but I don’t feel trapped. I don’t feel scared that I’ll fail and relapse. Why? Because rather than building my foundation on fancy tricks, or steps to avoid feeling something natural I built it on something that matters to me. Something I want more than anything else, and will give anything to have. So when I feel tempted, when I really feel like I could PMO, my body says one thing, but my mind and heart say another: my body tells me to give in, but my mind and my heart tell me that the second I give in, I lose everything I’ve worked for. I ask myself is one dopamine high worth a lifetime of joy? Is it worth giving up your future, your plans, your desires, YOUR LIFE for one more high? For one more quick PMO session? Because the second you make that trade— the second you decide that you want to feel that rush more than you want whatever you previously desired or planned, there’s no turning back. For me this is an all or nothing wager. I either walk away free from the chains of PMO, or I fall back into its open arms, watching my dreams, my desires, disappear. This isn’t, “oh darn I relapsed again, time to start another streak and see how far I make it this time...” this is war: I either win, or I lose. There are no half-ways, there are no short cuts. We have two choices: we either figure out how to avoid the enemy at all costs and in the end we hope to come out on top, or we realize that running and hiding isn’t an option. That being afraid of our opponent isn’t in option. This is more of a mind game than anything: the second you let the slightest doubt that you’ll fail creep into your mind, the second you begin to feel scared that you’ll relapse, is the second you lose. You might fight for a day, you might fight it for a week, but it only gets stronger. That doubt, that fear manifests in you and, well, you lose. So my question is, am I the only one who sees our fight against PMO this way? Am I the only one who thinks that we should stand up, and stop hiding from ourselves? Stop hiding from something that’s with us every second of our lives? Because to me, if we spend our lives running from the control that PMO had on us, have we really broken free of its grasp? Or is it still in control, just a different way?