I have made it 6 days without looking for porn. Saturday was tough because from the moment I woke up, I had sex on my mind. I spend a good part of the day running errands and I also went the gym. What was bad was that it was hot out, and there were scantily dressed women everywhere I went. I found myself lustfully looking at all these different women. Nevertheless, I resisted and hopefully things get easier today.
Earlier this week, I attended a leadership presentation on the power of positive psychology. The lecturer was an author, who has written books on high performing individuals and organizations. The premise of his presentation was that when people dwell on what is wrong, they get trapped in a pattern of negative results. The key is to focus on what you do well and then leverage that.
This got me thinking about my addiction. Sometimes I get frustrated and feel that I should have made more progress by now. However, when I take a step back, I realize that I have made some progress and have done a lot of things to build a foundation for future success.
-Health - Overall the past several years, I have become increasing health conscious. I eat fairly healthy. I work out somewhat regularly. I probably would have achieved greater results had it not been for the time dedicated to my porn habit, but nevertheless, I am in decent shape. Over the past couple of years, I have also learned the importance of good hydration, and sleep habits, and I am now starting to put those to use.
-Pornography Addiction Education - I have spent a lot of time reading internet articles about pornography addiction and how to overcome it, including this site.
-Self Awareness - I have spent a lot of time reflecting and trying to understand what other factors have led to my addiction. I now understand that I have some anxiety issues that I had not previously addressed, and I have started to learn about anxiety and how to deal with it. I have also realized that some of my issues are caused by my inability to have meaningful relationships with women. I have read several books on dating and relationships trying to understand the psychology around this. I came to the awareness that I have a bit of "nice guy syndrome". I read a book an this, and also visit sites such as Artofmanliess to help me hone manly skills.
-Mindfullness Techniques - Based on Alex's recommendation, I read the Practicing Mind. I also read one of Jon Kabat Zinn's books on minfullness meditation. I have recently started to practice meditation.
As I look back, I realize that I have put a lot of effort into building a foundation that will help me finally break free. I feel that I finally have the tools that I need. Now I just need to put them to use.
In addition to having the tools, I have already made a few small steps towards breaking free. I used to have an extensive porn collection. A couple of years ago, I completely removed all of it. I cleaned hard drives, threw away Playboy magazines, and shredded Girls Gone Wild DVDs. While this didn't stop me from continuing to look at porn, it was a step towards liberation.
Over the past couple of years, I largely migrated away from hard core porn. Unfortunately, I replaced it with more softcore, Playboy type porn, which is just as damaging, but I am still glad that I was able to leave the hard core stuff behind.
I have also managed to decrease the frequency of my porn use over the past year. Even before I started this latest push, I had gotten to the point where I was no longer looking at porn everyday.
My goal is to break 100% free from porn. Nothing less is acceptable. As mentioned above, I have been frustrated by not making faster progress. However, if I look at it from a positive angle, I realize that I have made a few small inroads. Perhaps more importantly, I have spent a lot of time building the foundational tools that I need to be successful.
I have found with other endeavors that sometimes you put a lot of effort into something, and at first you don't see many results. Then you reach a tipping point, where the results start to pour in. I think maybe I am now at that tipping point. To use a war analogy, there are still many bloody battles ahead, and the outcome is far from certain. However, my navy taken over small islands, my air forces have have softened up the enemies strongholds, and I have amassed a ground force and begun the invasion.
By all accounts this war is starting to turn in my favor.