90 Day Report - It's Not What You Think It Is
First of all, wow. I began the NoFap journey over a year ago, and I only just completed 90 days yesterday. It's been a long and sometimes difficult process, but it's also been an amazing and transformational time in my life. Over the 90 day streak that I just completed, I got my first girlfriend, and spent the night with a girl after taking her on just one date. The transformation in me has been nothing short of profound.
I'm going to break this report into two parts. First, for those that are struggling, I'll share what's helped me and hopefully it can be of use to you. After that, I'll go on to talk about the NoFap road: what benefits you can see from it, as well as something a little bit deeper - what I think it's really about.
As I mentioned, it took me a year to hit 90 days. Prior to that, I probably averaged streaks of 2-7 days in between relapses, though there was of course variation - my longest streak was 67 days (that was quite the shitty relapse, let me tell you). Don't worry, I know for some of you right now it may feel impossible, but I've been exactly where you are, and if I can do it, you can do it. The tips I have are pretty simple, but they helped me greatly:
1) Don't focus yourself on not PMOing. Instead, turn your focus to things you enjoy, especially things that make you feel more alive (note that I am not talking about TV/videogames here; I'm talking about doing things that scare you but at the same time thrill you, things that light up your eyes, etc. Find these activities, and you'll never want to go back). If you can have a reason to quit PMO - if you can show yourself glimpses of the life that you could have without it - you will find it much easier to quit than if your only motivation is to escape pain. Just take your life a day at a time, and one day you'll wake up to 90 days.
2) Don't be hard on yourself. That only makes it harder. I'm not saying that you should be okay with relapsing, but be gentle. Breaking an addiction is difficult, and it's amazing that you're trying. One of my favorite quotes: "Look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”
3) The hardest part is the first two weeks after a relapse. If you can get past that, it mostly becomes a situation of not exposing yourself to triggers. And over time, those triggers will lose their potency, so don't despair. Every day that you're clean you're rewiring your brain and making it easier for you to reach 90.
Going forward, my intention is to never masturbate again in my life. Some may see this as unncessary; if you're curious as to why I've made this choice, it's because I think that all activities that involve gratification without real "living," - whether they be video games, television, PMO, drugs, or things along this nature - are deeply harmful to you as a human. Try it yourself: spend one entire day jacking off, watching TV, or doing your favorite distraction activity, and some other day take just five minutes and go approach an attractive stranger on the street. Take note of your mental state afterwards. See which one makes you happier, makes you realize that you're alive.
Quitting PMO is a great start. I even think that for many people it's a necessary one. But that isn't enough. To use an analogy, quitting PMO is like showing up at the marathon of life: congratulations, you had the balls to show up. But you won't get anywhere if you don't run. If you're quitting PMO but maintaining your current lifestyle (assuming that you don't like your current lifestyle) I think that you've missed the point. Cutting the dopamine hits from porn and other distractions forces you to go out into the world to find those hits. And for me, those experiences have been so much more satisfying that porn it's not even funny. This past year I've done things I never dreamed I could do. I'm more socially adept now that I once believed I could be. I'm training for the Ironman Triathlon and I've taken up meditation. There's a whole wide world out there - but you have to get through the haze and the mental fog.
To you, whoever you may be. I promise you that you are so much more than you think you are capable of. Crawl out of the darkness, inch by inch if you have to. The NoFap journey doesn't stop after 90 days, it just continues on in a different shape. If you never stop taking it, I think that you'll find that you'll have lived a such a life that, when you die, you'll die with a smile on your face.
The world is yours. Good luck everyone, and goodbye.