Advice for Cold Turkey

Hello all,

For over a decade, I've been complacent about feeding my addiction to pornography. However, as I'm about to undergo a major life change, I've decided that I need to break this addiction and change my behavior if I'm truly going to live the life that I want to live, and be the person that I want to be. Intellectually, I know what it does to my brain, and even more pressing than that, I know that it also makes me complicit in ideologies that I despise, and would actively like to help combat. Because enough is enough. I've lived too long as a hypocrite and I need to stop. I'm probably going to mess up, since I know that cold turkey is one of the worst ways to approach recovery, but I honestly don't think that there's any other way to do it.

On the upside, I'm going to become much, much busier within the next few days, so I'll have something to occupy me. On the downside, I'm also going to be more stressed, and thus more prone to relapse.

Does anyone have any suggestions or tips for trying to kick this addiction cold turkey? So far I've considered trying to replace the urge with exercise, but I'm wondering what other strategies there might be.

  • 7 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • @Stacy31
    Hello and welcome to the Forum. That's great that you want to give up this addiction. The thing is I think that we are brainwashed from a young age to think that certain things help relieve our Stress and Anxiety. Do you know how many people drink alcohol thinking that it helps ease their Stress and Anxiety? Maybe it gives them a temporary Buzz but the reality is that it does not ease their stress. In fact it often times as more stress to their lives because they don't want to drink poison to feel less stress really. Yet they do. This is an internal dilemma that most people won't talk about.

    I think for me learning that there are many lies surrounding addiction. It's a lie that alcohol benefits me anything. It would be a lie to think that pornography would add any value to my life . my brain might become conditioned to the Euphoria associated with it but honestly there are so many other ways our brain can experience that euphoria in a healthier way. Take exercise for example. Or playing freeze tag with the kids in the backyard. or dancing. 

    Maybe come up with some things that you really enjoy doing or that you'd like to try that you think you'd enjoy that would create those good feelings. Maybe that will reduce some of that stress. Even if it's turning on the music in your kitchen every night and dancing like a maniac instead of watching porn. Or taking a walk in nature and getting the natural high that comes from the beauty of nature . 

    There are certain apps you can download on your mobile phone perhaps that may encourage you each day. Whether it's a guided meditation or some sort of encouragement. Or watching educational videos on YouTube about addiction. Just keeping your thoughts on recovery and the benefits you'll get from that. 

    Others will pipe in and give their advice to. Just don't give up. No matter what just keep trying. We are here for you to offer you support any time. Welcome aboard.
  • @Stacy31... Welcome to the community and thanks for sharing with us. I'm proud of you for coming here and reaching out; and for deciding to work on overcoming your porn addiction. Those are big and courageous steps, so congratulations for taking them.

    @dominica has already given you some great advice. I would add that there are apps you can get for your computer and phone that will block you from visiting porn sites. That might be something to look into.

    There's also a helpful website that was created by a former porn addict. It's You might want to check that out, too.

    We're here to help, support, and listen, so don't hesitate to lean on us whenever you feel the need. In the meantime, I'm sending you lots of positive vibes and a truckload of encouragement and hope. I know you can do this!
  • @Dominica @DeanD
    Thank you so much for the replies, and for the excellent advice! I have to admit that I've gotten off to a rocky start, but I've downloaded some recovery/habit tracking apps, and am starting to list replacement activities, so I am hopeful that I will be successful!
  • @Stacy31... The important thing is that you're trying. It's about progress, not perfection. Keep taking steps in the right direction and you will get there, even if your start is rocky.

    We are here for you!! :)
  • @Stacy31... Stacy, just keep trying and DON'T give up.
    It took me 8 years to reach the point where I am now. Furthermore, I was sober for a year, three years ago, and relapsed completely. I now realize that this will be a struggle I must doggedly face for the rest of my life. I don't say these things to scare you, I only want you to understand it will be one of the hardest things you've ever done, but it is doable. If you're anything like me, you will stumble and fall numerous time on your journey to freedom. Don't lose faith in yourself, just keep trying.

    I would highly suggest you talk with someone you trust, who won't condone your actions but still care for, if not love you for trying to give them up. I know, easier said than done. If you can't find someone, reach out here. I, and many other like me, have no stones to throw. I also highly recommend you keep a journal and write down the triggers that set you off. Write down other things as well, for me, journaling is highly therapeudic. Review that journal and remind yourself to avoid those things that cause you to faulter. Have something ready to go, something to do, when you do encounter a trigger. For me, it was a few hymns to sing., cold showers, sometimes long drives. Successfully quitting is a very active endeavor.

    Science believes that we are actually struggling with dopamine addictions. The insidious reality of that is that there are many other things that feed that addiction. Think of it as not feeding the beast any more than you have to. You can still be happy, you can still find joy, just keep it all in check and learn to recognize when you're starting to lose control.

    The struggle to overcome porn addiction is very much like a struggle to 'find' yourself. The ability to control one's mind is impressive. Keep at it, keep trying, you'll be better off in the end. I admire you for trying.
  • @MikeS great insight and advice given. appreciate that. sounds like you've got some recovery under your belt. awesome!!

    glad you're here!
  • Thanks for sharing your experience, @MikeS. We appreciate your support for others!
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