“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War
The Sole Reason for Relapse
The old adage “To Win A War, Know Thyself and Know Thy Enemy” perfectly makes sense in our battle with porn.
Knowing yourself involves knowing your triggers; things which defeat your purpose every time.
And knowing your enemy involves knowing the tricks and tactics used by pornography on your mind.
Have you ever asked yourself “Why do I relapse?”
Have you ever reverse engineered your Relapse to know what started it?
If you had, you would have found that it is always a TRIGGER which starts you towards a Relapse.
Relapsing is like a domino effect. The first piece is the Trigger and the last piece is the Relapse. If you can either manage to avoid the first piece from falling or if you can stop the falling pieces somewhere in the middle or at least save the piece just before the last piece from falling, you can save yourself from another guilt filled cycle of Porn addiction.
How many times, you were happy that you are on your way to the 7th, 21st, 30th or even 90th day mark but suddenly, out of nowhere you decide to watch something on your device and fast forwarding to 8 hours, 24 hours or 48 hours and you have relapsed and back into binging on porn.
It is always the same, you are on your way to the 90 day mark and something triggers a craving, something triggers a need for porn, something triggers the old brain pathways.
Those “some things” are your triggers.
Have you ever thought that every relapse is just a result of a trigger? If you can avoid triggers or learn to deal with them, you can be on the noFap journey indefinitely. So, the secret of quitting porn lies in avoiding and managing Triggers.
The two most dreaded words in an addict’s life are “Triggers and Relapses”. He fears them more than anything.
So, the purpose of this article is to unmask the enemy and its tactics; to know more about thyself and thy enemy.
Types of Triggers
After studying so many relapse reports on NoFap, MuslimNoFap and PornFree subreddits, I have come to understand that the concept of “Sexual Triggers” and “Non-Sexual Triggers” is true to the letter.
Every trigger is either Sexual or Non-Sexual. They work differently and you need to use different techniques to manage them. Something which works for a sexual trigger (like exercising, taking a cold shower etc) will not work for a Non-Sexual trigger. So, knowing the difference is the key in dealing with the triggers and crossing that 90 day mark which is kind of a dream for all NoFappers.
The sexual triggers are easy to find because they make you horny, they arouse you, you feel something in your loins, your stomach feels tight, your heartbeat rises. They include things such as sexual thoughts, sexual fantasy, sex scenes in movies, sexy billboards, erotic novels, magazines and ads, sitting for long hours on the beach just staring at people etc.
The Non – Sexual triggers are very hard to find out, they go undetected for most of the time. You need to be alert to avoid a relapse. They include things such as Boredom, Loneliness, Stress, Tiredness, Tension, Anxiety, Depression, Overwhelment, Disappointment, Worry, Jealousy, Guilt, Unworthiness etc.
There are different techniques to deal with triggers. One technique which works for one type of trigger will not work for the other type of trigger. Knowing the difference and dealing with them differently is the only way to master and manage triggers.
For Non-Sexual Trigger – Meditation, Mindfulness, Gratitude and the things which make you feel good are the answer.
So, now, you can confidently say.
The secret to avoiding relapses is to learn to avoid and manage triggers. How many techniques do you know to deal with either type of the triggers?
That number will be inversely proportional to your relapses. The more techniques you know, the lesser your relapses and vise versa. Because not all triggers are same. Every trigger is different and you need to deal with it differently.
Following is an info-graphic about Triggers. Download it and share it with those who are in need.