New Fapstronaut, old time recovering drug addict with some tips
Even though I am a newb at nofap, I managed to get off Heroin and Drink 12 years ago and have been clean since then. During that time I rebuilt my entire life. I now have a successful career and a beautiful family. I am seen as the guy who has it all together, but for the past few years that was far from the truth. My addictive way had latched onto something else new and shiny, and that was PMO.
It was really starting to create some bad consequences in my life, namely avoiding my wife in bed, being in 'just getting by mode' (as nofap drains your enthusiasm for planning ahead as your reward circuits are fried) and shame...deep seated shame. I was meant to be a Daddy, Husband, Son, Brother, but as soon as I was left alone or others would be asleep I would sit at the computer with my trousers around my ankles, toilet paper, baby oil and gorge myself on porn. Cognitive Dissonance at its worst.
PMO was killing me slowly from the inside. I had it all going for me, and I felt like shit.
So I found this place, and I feel I am getting a second chance again.
Anyway, why am I making this post? Well during all my time as a recovering addict (from drugs and alcohol), I picked up a lot of tools that helped me stay clean. These have once again proved immensely valuable to me during nofap. I thought it might be a good thing to share them here in case they help another Brother or Sister out.
So take what you need, leave what you don't and do what works for you.
- Just for Today You should always keep in mind that we can live our lives in 24 hour windows. Never think to yourself 'No Fapping for the rest of my life / 90 days / 30 days / 7 days', that will screw you up. Instead its 'just for today', tomorrow does not yet exist. If the thought of even going a day is too much and cravings are running riot, tell yourself "I will not do anything for an hour and then I will review". I guarantee a lot of the time the urge will have passed by then.
- Euphoric Recall This is where you visualize your old addiction and then almost start to re-live it in your mind. Its dangerous, as its so powerful to the point that it can trigger the same serotonin release as PMO hunting or 'going out to score drugs'. If you find yourself doing this stop! It only ends up in one place when played out to its entirely, which is relapse. For the record, we are talking hardcore scenes playing out in your mind, healthy sexual thoughts are different, especially for a loved one. If you still not sure of the difference think of the contrast of the word 'caress' to the word 'gagging'.
- Stop and get some perspective Try to have a small quiet half hour by yourself (with no computer or smartphone) and relax each day. During this half hour get a better perspective of life and think about the new person you are and give yourself lots of recognition and pats on the back. Then see where you can make even more improvements, like not getting angry, fixing the car up, saying sorry to someone etc (but never falling into putting yourself down!).
- Get the benefits of the community When an urge hits you, there is no better place then somewhere like /r/nofap/. So keep in the middle of things and you're less likely to fall off! Also they have a thing in NA / AA that they call 'working with newcomers', this means just trying to give a bit of support or an ear to listen for people new and struggling, sometimes just to acknowledge they were heard by someone is all people need. The idea is that it takes you out of yourself, you feel good for trying to help someone else out, and you are a lot less likely to relapse yourself after thinking about someone elses well being.
- Exercise This is good for two reasons. It can pull you straight out of an urge spiral and afterwards you're so worn out and glowing in the aftermath of a endorphin release, that you really don't feel or want to fap at all. Also it is of course great for getting in shape.
That's it for now, I don't mind adding more if people feel it is of value.