Age 28 - 70 Days: I've noticed a ton of positive changes
Intro I decided to try this out after stumbling upon this when googling what the effects of frequent porn/masturbation were. I have watched and masturbated to porn usually every day since I was 13, and I am 28 now. I have gone one month without both in the past, but it was not to reset the brain pathways/dopamine receptors. I am determined to get through the 60 days on one try and not relapse (I do not want to go through this again).
The worst part was that I know I am better than the man who is tied to this addiction. I know I could change my life immediately by dropping this, but I just haven't had the will, until now, to do so.
[Added later] Before completing this, I was definitely sexually insecure, had low libido, some erectile problems, and severe mood swings. I had low energy and motivation to do anything. Socially, I was awkward around women, and friends said I came off as "creepy." I pined for attention and did not feel comfortable in my own skin.
20 Days Today and yesterday were really bad. This morning, I had an especially strong urge to masturbate, and the mental fantasies came. I didn't "stroke" but there was some semen leakage. I don't know if this constitutes "edging."
Work was especially difficult. I teach younger students, and have to be interacting with them all the time. There was just way too much brain fog and I had a hard time concentrating. At that point, I knew it was the lack of dopamine because the brain felt like it was drunk and hungover. I felt like people thought I was going insane or that I was losing control of my mind. It was hard to connect with people. I'm noticing I am more impulsive and act more on emotions than rationality at this point, which can be fun for my students to have crazy, over-reactive teacher but in retrospect one does not want to be foolish.
The worst part of this is the symptom where I feel like I am going crazy. All of the emotional pain and insecurities are coming up, and it takes a while to catch oneself in this tempest. I didn't really expect to have childhood traumas and unmet needs pop up into my mind. I realized that part of the reason why I turned to porn was so I wouldn't get rejected and hurt by women because it was so painful during childhood to not get affection. I think during my adolescent years this made me frightened and unsure of acting on my romantic and sexual feelings and to take those kinds of risks because of the childhood reinforcement, so I naturally turned to the PC and kleenex. Before quitting PMO, I was also always comfortable being alone, but today when I was going to pick a place to eat at for dinner, I was self-conscious about picking a place where people can see me eat alone. This never used to bother me but maybe I'm just lonely? During this dinner, I started to get sad, depressed, and started to tear for no reason. I tried to hide it in public but at that point did not care.
The urges I can handle, but the lack of mental awareness is what bothers me. Also, I realized a lot of my actions were based on the goal of getting laid. Another person said this, but I only wanted to meet people that I wanted to sleep with, and the way I treated people, especially women, were not objective even though I always considered myself a fair person.
25 Days Day 25 (yesterday) was amazing. I've read from others that around those days it is normal to feel great, and I can vouch for that personally. I felt so confident, attractive, full of libido, on top of the world etc. The guy who did the chart mapping his mood swings was really helpful because people going through this journey know what to expect (More stable happiness with occasional dips). I am talking to one female coworker right now. She came over last night, but there was no physical contact. I find her sexually attractive, but I wouldn't date her seriously and told myself I would not pursue any sexual contact with women unless I would want to date them seriously. Plus, I need to work through all my intimacy/baggage issues post PMO before pursuing anything.
I'm hitting the weights at the gym a lot harder, and am noticing increasing muscle mass. I weighed 70kg of just light muscle, bone, skin but have put on 2 kg in a week! Muscle definition and strength is definitely increasing. I'm an ectomorph-mesomorph but still closer to a hard-gainer (hard to gain muscle and fat), so this is amazing to me. I am attributing this to the increased testosterone swimming around the body from not releasing. I guess when you keep beating off you deplete those hormones needed to get stronger! I was always insecure about my inability to put on mass because I always a had good exercise discipline but could not increase muscle easily, even though I could lift more. This is definitely more motivation to keep at the 2 month goal now.
I guess this is both a positive and a negative, but I've become aware of how unaware I am mentally, emotionally. A lot of my life was life living on 'autopilot' and stopping PMO made me realize how distorted my mind really was. This is I think the root cause of why I turned to PMO (as a temporary escape), so PMO is only the beginning. There was one guy here who blogged that his emotional problems were probably caused by poor family, etc but he doesn't know exactly, nor does it even matter. What matters is how you deal with it now. I thought that was a wise perspective, and I'm going to take the same approach because my last post sounded a bit "whiny." No point feeling sorry for myself.
35 Days Yesterday I felt amazing. Well, not super-amazing, but content and happy regardless of what was going on externally. I am definitely seeing improvements in perception and how I deal with stress.
45 Days This Wednesday is the end of the 6th week mark of a two month goal, and I'm frankly going crazy. Absolutely no ED issues whatsoever, but my horniness is 1000%. I think this process has made me act really desperate, especially this weekend. I was absolutely on the prowl at the dance club, trying to score. I even smoked cigarettes, even though I've quit for 3 months. If I look at myself after what I was doing, I felt a little ashamed and pathetic, but that could just be the social conditioning talking. Part of me tells me this is natural while another part of me is siding with the negative voices in my head calling me a "creep." Mood swings are high when having fun, but also very low during boring/emotionally tense periods. I guess the dopamine receptors are working much better, as I'm seeking more stimulating (but controlled) experiences over PMO, such as music, hobbies, etc. I'm definitely eating more sugar unconsciously, but that's something I'll allow till this painful period is over.
Sometimes I question why I am even doing this at all. Why abstain? I've read all the answers, the blogs, the forums, etc and I really wonder if I have gotten better enough to justify all of this? i know I have, in terms of the energy level, confidence, attractiveness to women, etc. You've already heard it all, and its true. Women tell me I look better, yada yada yada. These are real benefits. It is just hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel because it has been so long, and I guess I"m starting to get impatient because I still have moments where I act too desperate for sex/relationships.
50+ Days Amazing how on last Sunday I was feeling like total crap, and the day after, and up until today I was feeling on top of the world. Just talking with women over txt messages or in real life sends my dopamine levels up; I have the biggest smile on my face if we have a genuine flirtatious connection. I almost caved, but my head told me not to quit when there are only two weeks left. I haven't had sex yet, but there are definitely opportunities coming up within the next week, if not two weeks =).
65 Days Went out on a date yesterday with a girl who I originally thought was just another club floozy, based on her devil-may-care attitude and the fact that she was showing off a bit of her bra (which she later fixed going to the bathroom. It must have been all the shameless staring I was doing). She was pretty hot and actually what was hot about her mostly was her self-acceptance of herself. She just oozed sexuality and wasn't ashamed about who she was. Very different from the girls who act all sweet and innocent but I wouldn't trust a damn's worth. I can't really explain it. So, silly me I assumed she would be down, I invited her back to my place. At this point I'm nervous and excited because this is a rare experience for me to take a babe this hot back home on the first date at least.
Went in for the kiss. Rejection! At this point I'm utterly confused because this has never happened before (rejection at home at least. Rejection happens outside..a lot =( ) . She tells me she never kisses on the first date. We stayed, chatted, and the atmosphere suddenly became more...intimate.
I walked her back to a bus stop, went back home and all I could think about was having sex with her, and even fantasies of spending time with her doing non-sexual activities. Yuck! =) Could not sleep a wink, and the mental fantasies came. Still didn't O for the sake that I don't want to masturbate at all anymore, but it was really difficult. The libido was the craziest it has been ever during this whole process.
One thing I am noticing from this reboot process, is that every other issue comes up to the surface whether you like it or not. I have been feeling intense anger and pain. This may be because I came from an abusive family background, but I've done enough emotional baggage cleaning to no longer think/fantasize about my past TOO MUCH. Its strange though because I realize that the way I perceived the world through an anger lens wasn't really how it actually is. No one is really trying to hurt me! I can feel an intense cooling when I just sit with my anger long enough and observe it. Thank you meditation. However, it is really painful and unpleasant, to say the least.
70+ Days It's been well over 70 days of no PMO, and I feel that its finally time to be done with this reboot process. I just want to say thanks to everyone who showed their support during the hard times. This was definitely hard at first, and there were times I just wanted to cave, but your information and support definitely helped me stay strong.
This process has been a trying one; sometimes I felt like I was improving rapidly, and sometimes I wondered why I was undertaking this journey at all. I'm so glad to have stuck with it though, especially after reading a lot of the success stories here. My life is taking a complete 180 turn for the better, and it's because of you.
I've noticed a ton of positive changes, as well as having my eyes opened to further opportunities of growth after leaving porn/masturbation.
- increased confidence, well-being. I feel more manly, powerful, attractive, etc.
- more control over sexual desires, not as easily swayed by the desire for sex/orgasm with just anyone.
- increased emotional detachment/buoyancy. I can keep my cool better in difficult situations.
- life has improved dramatically. Have attracted better friends, better potential mates, better career prospects. Have definitely become more discerning over which people/opportunities are conducive to me vs. which are destructive. Life is getting better by the day.
- Better connecting abilities with people in general, including women.
- More energy in general. Libido has stabilized so I'm not always as horny as I was while going through withdrawals, but I can perform when needed. I still get mental fantasies from time to time but no longer have the urge to release through masturbation.
- increased awareness of emotional baggage/issues that I struggled with, and increased ability to deal with these issues as they come up.
I've been meeting this great women for a while, and we had sex yesterday. Twice. Unplanned of course, just went with the flow. No erection problems, but for some reason because of not PMOing for so long, I didn't last as long as I'd have liked =) . I'm sure with some breathing practice and pacing this will change. There was no observable chaser effect as I didn't immediately desire to go to porn and masturbate.
I'm so happy that I finally dropped the porn/masturbation habit that has caused me so much guilt, mood swings, and fatigue over the years.