Today, I’ve transcribed a short clip in which Seth Alexander addresses commitment in the context of porn-free living. Alexander notes that in the heat of temptation, “There are so many opportunities and so much time that you have to constantly withdraw yourself from the situation – to change your state, to remove yourself.” For example, we may reach out to accountability partners, disconnect from WiFi, or change our physical location. Alexander asserts that many of us instead relapse because we are not willing to endure the discomfort characteristic of strong urges. Indeed, when quitting a bad habit or addiction, it is not uncommon to experience physical symptoms or strong emotions– like anger, fear, and shame — that we have been numbing with impulsive pleasure.
Negative experiences are an opportunity to rewire our brains and deal with unresolved personal issues exacerbated by a bad habit or addiction. In other words, they carry the potential for growth. As Alexander concludes, [symptoms] are “a very, very small price to pay for a lifetime free from the thing that controls you the most.”
Check out the complete video and transcript below!
I believe that most guys have signed this unspoken, undefined contract within themselves that says “I am willing to be on NoFap until” – and the until part basically is “until there is an urge that is strong, so powerful that I won’t deal with it. I will choose not to deal with it.”Seth Alexander
For more, check out the complete archive of articles on sexual integrity.
Transcript of This Is The Last NoFap Video You’ll Ever Need To Watch (Seth Alexander)
Today we’re talking about NoFap. Surprise, surprise. More specifically, what it’s like to be dedicated. Or what does it mean to be dedicated or committed to the NoFap lifestyle. You see, a lot of guys, they tend to struggle repeatedly, you know. They’ll go a little ways and then they’ll just find themselves back relapsing over and over.
To me, the answer is pretty simple: the answer is that you just don’t want it badly enough. And I know that sounds off-putting. That might have pushed some buttons, but hear me out. The interesting thing to me about relapsing is that there are so many opportunities between the conception of the idea that I’m going to relapse and the execution of the relapse. There are so many opportunities and so much time that you have to constantly withdraw yourself from the situation – to change your state, to remove yourself. There are so many opportunities, and you just don’t take them.
Now I’ve thought about this, “Like, why do we not take those opportunities?” No one is holding a gun to my head telling me that I better relapse or else. No one is forcing you to relapse, so why don’t we actually stop ourselves?
Some of it has a lot to do with addiction and how addiction can transform the brain. And then the other part of it is you. I believe that most guys have signed this unspoken, undefined contract within themselves that says “I am willing to be on NoFap until” – and the until part basically is “until there is an urge that is strong, so powerful that I won’t deal with it. I will choose not to deal with it.”
That’s usually what happens, right? You’ll be doing so well on a streak, and then an urge comes over you and you won’t deal with it.
Now my buddy, Gold Jacket Luke, I love that he said this. I don’t even know where he got it from. . . He said in one of his videos, “It is our responsibility to bear our suffering.” Jesus bore the cross before he was crucified. You as an individual who has basically almost, if not already, destroyed your life with pornography – it is now your responsibility to bear your suffering. Because that’s what it is on NoFap for a little bit.
Let me give you an example of what this looks like. So at one point in my life on my NoFap journey, I remember I had urges every night for about a month. And I was so determined to not give in to those urges that I developed insomnia for over a month. I was willing to forgo sleep, which is the one thing — if you know me, I love sleep. I prioritize sleep. I put sleep at the highest point in my life because I love it. I was willing to sit with those urges, to bear that suffering for an entire month or more to the point where I just had insomnia, and I just sat with it. And it sucked.
But I told myself, “This is what it costs. This is what it costs for me to get past this addiction.” It’s going to take some sacrifice. I was willing to forgo comfort, to forgo all things that I love in order to get past this addiction.
And so I know from firsthand experience that you have a choice. You have a choice, but you haven’t signed the contract that says, “I’m dedicated to the NoFap lifestyle no matter what.” You haven’t made that decision within yourself, and that is why you keep relapsing.
You know, there was a point on my NoFap journey where I specifically remember I had relapsed so frequently, and I was like “You know what? I just want to relapse. I just want to look at porn. Like that’s it. I enjoy it. I enjoy the experience.” And that was true for myself at that time.
I’m saying that to illustrate the fact that some of us need to get real with ourselves. Do we genuinely want to give up something that gives us this much pleasure and joy, or are we just saying that we want to give it up? This is an internal commitment. The words alone are not enough. If you are genuinely committed to a porn-free life, to the NoFap lifestyle, you will do what it takes. You will be willing to bear your suffering, because the worse that happens when you’re on NoFap is that you have an urge. That’s it.
Maybe you’ll get headaches every once in a while. Maybe you’ll have insomnia. Okay, great. But those things to me are a very, very small price to pay for a lifetime free from the thing that controls you the most.