I’m No Longer Hooked On Porn: Here’s How I Broke Free

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Yes, I Michael Riley was hooked on porn.  You might even say I was addicted.  I denied it for years, too.  “I only check in once, maybe twice a week. That’s hardly an addiction,” I’d tell myself.

Lies.

I ‘checked in’ way more than once or twice a week.  It was more like three or four times a week…

It took me a year, but I’m no longer hooked.  Breaking free wasn’t easy.  It was fucking hard. One of the hardest things I’ve done.  I relapsed numerous times along the way, and came close to giving up, but breaking free from being hooked on porn was something I wanted, nay, needed to change in my life so when I couldn’t go over the mountain, I went around it.

A note: I’m not morally or religiously opposed to porn. My reasons for giving it up was because:

  • I started preferring porn to real intimate relationships
  • I had trouble sustaining an erection with a real woman
  • I experienced moments of sexual anxiety
  • I became less interested in women and vice versa
  • I used Porn as an escape from negative feelings and emotional pain 

 

Here’s some of the ways I broke free:

 

Accepted That I Was Hooked

If you’re watching porn more than once a week you’re hooked.  If you’re watching it more than once a day you’re addicted.  Like any addiction accepting this is non-negotiable if you want to break free.   I relapsed over and over because I kept denying I was hooked. As soon as I owned up to it I started making progress.

Learnt To Love Myself Unconditionally

Loving yourself means you accept yourself no matter what, and don’t beat up yourself when things don’t work out or fail at something.  I found this essential in my recovery. If you beat up on yourself every time you relapse you’ll never break free from being hooked/addicted to porn.

Tip: Look at self-love like your best friend or life partner.  They don’t tell you you’re useless or pathetic when things don’t go your way or you ‘mess up’ (if they do you may want to reconsider your options).  They give you a ‘pat on the back’ and say things like “well done for trying”, or “keep going you got this.”

 

Joined A Men’s Group

You can break free from being hooked on/addicted to porn by yourself, but it’s much better and faster if you join a men’s group.  I recommend joining a No More Mr. Nice Guy! group as porn addiction/excessive masturbation are classic nice guy traits.  Men in these groups are supportive and know what you are going through because they are having the same struggles as you or have broken free from being hooked on/addicted to porn.

 

Got My Zen On

There’s no two ways about it: correct breathing is essential in overcoming any addiction, let alone porn.

Here’s Why:

Our breathing patterns are intimately linked to our thoughts and emotions. Shallow breathing generates anxiety; slow deep breathing induces calm. Left nostril breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system and promotes relaxation; right nostril breathing activates the sympathetic nervous system and energizes. When we bring awareness and mastery to our breath we: promote health and vitality; expand the range and flexibility of our emotions; more easily regulate our moods; develop concentration; and feel more connected. When we breathe consciously on a continual basis it is easier to direct our lives and achieve our potential. All of these outcomes help us to decrease addictive behaviour.  (Beyond Addiction)

 

First thing in the morning I practice Pranayama breathing and use the Buteyko breathing technique throughout the day. If you are unfamiliar with this type of breathing watch this video

Both breathing techniques reduce stress and anxiety, and leave you focused and energized.

Other ways I get my zen on:

  • Meditation ( I use the Headspace app).
  • Journaling
  • Warrior Yoga
  • Alone time

 

 If you believe it, you will see it” – Wayne Dyer

 

 

 Got Out Of My Comfort Zone

I wrote a list of things I wanted to do or would like to try. I then signed a contract with myself that instead of wasting my time and energy watching porn I would engage in these interests.  Here’s a list of some of the things I have done and continue to do instead of watching porn:

  • Bush-walking/Hiking
  • Martial Arts
  • Blogging
  • Toastmasters .
  • Weapons Training
  • Learning Italian
  • Teaching myself to cook authentic Italian dishes
  • Indoor Rock Climbing

 

 

Hired A ‘Cyber’ Body Guard

During the early stages of my recovery temptation ended up getting the better of me on more than one occasion, so I hired a cyber bodyguard, also known as the Porn Blocker app.  This app has both free and premium versions and I highly recommend it.

Wrote My Code Of Conduct

 

This is critical in breaking free from being hooked on porn.

Why?

Having a personal code of conduct or mission statement is your moral compass.  It keeps you in check and on the right path.

Read the full benefits of having a personal code of conduct here

 

 

In Summary

The benefits of giving up porn have been massive. I have more energy, self confidence, look younger, and feel more alive. My sleep has improved ten fold, and high quality women approach me more than I approach them, which is fantastic as I’m in the dating phase as of writing this.  Instead of wasting time and energy watching porn I am doing things I once only thought about, learning new skills along the way, and having the time of my life.

Food For Thought

Edit: 2 June 2017: Is this all a placebo? That is, is my new lease on life really the result of giving up porn? Is porn really ‘dangerous?’  I  stumbled upon this interesting and eye opening article on Psychology Today about porn and porn addiction.  Check it out here and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

As always thanks for reading.

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Hey, I'm Michael Riley, the CEO and founder of this blog. Thanks for dropping by and reading this post. I hope you found some value in it. If you would like to know more about me click the 'About' tab above and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.