When I look back at, let's say, half a year ago there are actually already quite some improvements. Back then, I would try to quit, fall of the wagon and STAY of the wagon for a couple of days/weeks. Now, these past few months, I am still trying to quit, I am still falling of the wagon but after one or two days I have no problem getting back on again. At the moment, it's not even that hard to refrain during the week, just the weekends are though. As a result, my total number of PMO has already been reduced drastically.
... and I was wrong. Big time. The gradual approach strategy back-fired. As I said, I tried to MO only once a week, and I had decided that sunday was the perfect day for some 'relaxation'. However, saterday I started feeling turned on. So I though, why not make it saterday instead of sunday? It's probably the chronicle of a death foretold, as my friend Gabriel would say, but soon the chaser-effect got to me. Big time.
I have been noticing a strange side-effect lately. Whenever I get around 5 days/1 week of no-PMO I become very 'flushed' in the face. My face feels a bit like fire and I have a strong blush on my cheeks... This only lasts like a day and afterwards my skin looks much healthier and seems to glow a little bit. Almost like this sexual energy that is building up inside has made me shed my skin, like a snake :)
Yesterday, I decided that I would set a new goal for myself. Instead trying to maintain PMO-free for 100 days I am going to try to get into a healthy 'rhythmn': I quit porn entirely but I do masturbate once a month.
After my euphoria after having survived the weekend I relapsed on monday...
Today is a milestone. I passed the 7-day mark, I survived the weekend... And it was quite easy as well. The key thing for me was: Having things to do. In the past I secluded myself and, maybe unconsiously, kept my weekends open during the day. Today, I went to an interior design exposé (I'm renovating a house), I visited my grandparents, I watched a sporting event with my parents... Anyting that would keep me away from my computer and staying alone in my room. And it worked.
Went to a party friday-evening, had some beers. Went to a pub this evening, had some cocktails. In the past, these kind of events (social events with lots of drinking) were the number one catalysator for porn-use. Waking up the next day with a hangover, feeling like a wreck, staying in bed all day with your computer watching a movie... It are the perfect circumstances for binging. The last few months I consciously avoided these events because of this. I didn't feel ready to participate in them. Now, I participated in them and I enjoyed them.
This week has, by far, been the best week I've had in years. Not did I handle the no-PMO thing superbly well, I have been productive, moved foreward on a lot of projects, exercised, meditated, ate healthy, ... and I felt great! Now, the challenge for this weekend will be not to get bored, lonely, angry, stressed or tired and maybe I can maintain this during the weekend!
You know what the problem is with 'never again'? Never is a veeeery long time... A few days ago I set my goal at 100 days of abstinence before the end of the year. And I stick with that. But to make it seem more doable I'm first aiming for 14 days. No PMO until the 31st of March. It's a start, isn't it?
Sometimes you might wonder, why not just keep a journal instead of throwing your deepest insecurities and emotional problems on a blog?
That's why. In a comment to one of my posts Marnia suggested this acronym for the moments when you are most likely to fall of the wagon:
It's so true. This sums up exactly what I mean when I say I am scared of weekends.
I put it on a post-it note in front of my desk.
You don't get that kind of advice from a diary...