In this video coaching newsletter I read a success story from a subscriber who has been trying to reduce and eliminate pornography from his life for two years now. He has now achieved the longest streak of his life and is feeling confident that it will continue. Read on or watch above to see why things are different now and what he need to learn in order to put pornography in his past.
The full text of his message to me is below in italics. My comments are in bold.
Anon here, we’ve never chatted before but hey, no time like the present. I’m happy to tell you I just hit 45 days clean with no relapse today, longest I’ve ever gone. A combination of NoFap, watching your vids on Youtube, Fortify, and a permanent lifestyle change in just about every aspect of my life has resulted in this success.
I love working with clients and being a guide and witness to really astounding changes in their lives, but I love seeing that my work has helped people I’ve never talked to or heard from to grow in their own way. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
At this point in time, there’s no stopping this. I never want to look at Porn ever again. One thing I’ve really learned is that change won’t happen until you WANT the change. It’s one thing to say you’re going to change, it’s another to truly commit and put everything on the line for this. But once I got over that initial hurdle, it’s been amazing ever since. I know you know all of this already, but it feels good to type it and say it out loud.
To give you some background info:
I’m 28 years old, first saw porn at around 13 years of age and was immediately hooked. I was your typical addict, using every day, sometimes 2-3 times and it escalated. It was around a couple years ago when I first tried cutting back on it, but at the time, I completely underestimated how addicted I really was.
Most people will not even know that they are addicted to porn–much less know the severity of their addiction and just how little control over their behavior they really have–before actually trying to quit. That’s the irony of this journey: it’s impossible to see the true extent of your problem until you start working toward the solution.
At that same time though, I was able to start cutting back, from daily use, to 3-4 times a week, down to twice and then finally once a week. However the fact remained that I was still addicted and that even at once a week, I’d still hit periods where I’d indulge in it.
Reducing use is progress, I don’t dispute that. Using pornography less frequently and to lesser extremes will likely benefit your sexual sensitivity, your energy, and your overall quality of life. However, just lowering your frequency of use will not necessarily reduce the severity of an addiction. In fact, the reverse can be true. When use becomes more intermittent, cravings can become stronger and more difficult to resist, and that desire for porn can be trained to persist through long periods of abstinence. Read more about this phenomenon on YBOP.
It wasn’t until last year when I was seeing someone and I had my first terrifying experience with PIED and then confirmed it was from porn and nothing medical that I said it’s time to act. Even then, the road to where I am now wasn’t easy. After deciding to quit I still hit relapses, with my longest streak being 30 days. In fact It wasn’t until the end of January 2019 when I relapsed again that I snapped. I was angry, I was furious…call it a self righteous anger if you will. I was angry at myself, I gave myself reasons after reason with each relapse, but at that point, I said no more excuses, enough’s enough! I realized that all this time, I talked about change, but truthfully I didn’t want to change. It was then where I started the path of success that I’m seeing now.
I started a multi-prong effort, where I changed everything up.
- I changed my diet, eating wholesome, organic, natural foods where I basically eat foods with ingredients I can actually understand. I’m now doing intermittent fasting daily while only eating one meal a day as well. Without even including the gym, I’ve already lost about 20 pounds in the last two months alone (I need to go clothes shopping, everything I own is already too big). Call me crazy, but I noticed that porn and processed/junk food go almost hand in hand. So eliminating that was one source of temptation right there.
- On the gym side of things, I’ve always been a frequent gym goer but when I started the changes in my diet and fasting, I stopped going to the gym to give my body time to adapt to this new system in place. It was ironic that being 2 months away from the gym and I lost a huge amount of weight while not losing any previously. I’m happy to note though that I’m officially going back to the gym starting this Monday.
- I changed my choices in music as well. I cut down on rap/hip-hop/R&B and looked into other genres of music that I genuinely feel good listening to. So far, I absolutely love listening to Frank Sinatra, and Beethoven, especially while prepping my dinner. I’m basically exploring this day to day, so if you have any suggestions, feel free to throw them my way.
- The first couple weeks of my current success streak, I purged myself of almost all social media, and anything that might lead me to relapse. So web blockers on my phone, laptop, smart TV, I made it impossible to access porn from my house. I deleted Facebook and Snapchat off my phone. I’m still currently working on reducing my social media presence overall as well. When I felt like watching TV, I spent more time watching documentaries that I found interesting instead of watching comedies, action movies, or basically anything that might make me relapse.
It’s the people who are willing to make these preemptive changes who end up having the best chance of success. Don’t just rely on your willpower to save you in a moment of temptation. If you’re serious about this and ready for true change, then do what you have to in order to make porn not an option. That might mean installing web blockers, keeping your devices in a common area of your home, or cancelling your Internet access and doing web work at a library or cafe. You can also use an accountability software like Covenant Eyes and recruit friends/family to be accountability partners able to monitor any suspicious web activity on your devices, so that you know what you do online isn’t secret. Use the tools at your disposal and plan for success.
- I do still play video games, but the time of being addicted to them has long been over. I’ll usually play for maybe an hour and a bit later on in the evening after eating supper and am winding down before I go to sleep. With summer just around the corner, my video game time almost completely disappears though because I spend more time outside and with friends.
Video games aren’t inherently bad or unhealthy. Neither are gambling, desserts, Netflix, alcohol, etc. It all depends on how you use them. A good question to ask when trying to determine if something is harmless or a problem is: Do you feel better or at least the same after doing it? Or do you feel worse with feelings like guilt, shame, disappointment,etc.?
- As I said before, I started up NoFap, spent alot of time watching your videos, I also read your book (Great read!), and used the app, Fortify, on my phone. I learnt a tonne of information from all these sources and they definitely helped form the foundation of where I’m at now.
These are just some of the things I’ve done. I know 45 days in the big picture might not seem like much, but for myself it’s huge. Going this long for the first time in almost 16 years is still mind boggling to me. I’m actually excited at the thought of keeping this going full time. Yes I still hit bad days where my mood may fluctuate and I might feel depressed, but I’m also noticing that those days are becoming fewer and farther in between. As I previously mentioned, I’m 28, I have a full time job and own my own house. The last piece to my puzzle is a Lady and until I put this addiction behind me once and for all, I won’t start a relationship. I don’t feel lonely by any means though, I’ve got lots of family that I see every weekend, and a good support group of people, that, even though they don’t know what I’m fighting against, are still a invaluable source of support to get through this.
45 days may not be very long, but you and I know that a lot can change in a short amount of time. This can be the first 45 days of a permanent pornfree life. Years from now when you’re a changed man, you can look back on these 45 days and know that this is when a new chapter truly began for you. Keep growing, keep learning, keep pushing yourself, and never get complacent.
Lastly, I just wanted to say thank you personally. Every video I’ve watched on your channel, and every email you’ve sent me, which yes, I read from top to bottom has been a huge help.
I’m always glad to hear that my work is helping people 🙂 If anyone reading this isn’t subscribed to my newsletter and wants to be, you can sign up here or in the sidebar of this website.
P.S. I’m bald, and it in no way impairs my ability to talk to and date women 😉