Age 19 - Many benefits, then fell back into porn, now climbing out again

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confident young guyLong time lurker of no fap. I'm 19 right now just finishing the last of my freshman exams (U.S.). I think that it is time for me to contribute to the most awesome and caring community on the entire internet. Hopefully some of you will benefit from my story and experience seeing as I had considerable trouble figuring out and "piecing together" what exactly no fap is and how it changes your life.

While I didn't know it at the time, I began no fap a sort of last resort during the last couple weeks of my senior year in high school. My fapping regimen prior to this had been fairly steady since teenage years(13-14) at 2 times per day during the week and usually 7-8 times over the course of a weekend. My sophomore-junior years of high school are when I began to watch porn to fap, having previously used my imagination for 90% of my fapping(I have always used porn porn to some extent, however). I would sometimes binge, particularly when I was sick, up to 6-7 times a day on pornography- always online video sites.

I can't remember exactly what gave me the resolve, but I remember that I began reading articles and testimonies on the website www.yourbrainonporn.com (check it out if you haven't yet- awesome source that is slightly more "scientific" than a subreddit.) Anyway, I did it mostly to reduce my anxiety, which was out of control, and to improve my summer weight and endurance training. The first seven days were crazy(june 2013). I know that most reading this have experienced the intense physical "drive" of the first seven days, consisting of an odd speedball of depression, endless push-ups and manic happiness.

Then almost on the dot, I got sick for two weeks. At this point I couldn't fathom the idea that masturbation, even at extreme levels, could lead to low level flu-like symptoms. I didn't exactly feel as if I actually had the flu, however. It was noticeably much more mild (remember though, these are still FLU SYMPTOMS - elevated temp, lethargy, sore throat etc.. NOT common cold - very important to note despite me describing them as "mild"). I was seriously getting freaked out by day 15 of withdrawal (around day 22 of no fap) so much so that I considered getting tested for lime disease.

Thankfully, the physical withdrawals ended by the third week of no fap. At this point I felt the greatest I had ever felt in the past three years of my life. Mentally, physically, and emotionally I felt like I was in my freshmen year of high school again. For the next two weeks (from late june to early July) everything went awesome. My training, motivation to read, productivity, and mood were not only very good but very stable. Then I mistakenly started to edge.

Mobile technology, I believe, has been what has accelerated and exacerbated my addiction to pornography and fapping. Like I said before it wasn't until halfway through my highschool career that my pornography use, and subsequently my fapping, increased. This was almost entirely because I got a smartphone at this time. I had unlimited access to any porn I wanted wherever and whenever I wanted it.

As I began to watch porn on my phone during the 4th and 5th weeks of my experiment, I noticed a significant decline in my mood and an increase in my anxiety(despite not fapping). Eventually, as I think most here know, edging lead to relapse. While I never returned to my old habits of fapping every day, I did have days where I would PMO 2-3 times a day separated by maybe a week or two "clean." This continued for the rest of the summer until I entered college late august.

For the entire first semester of my college career I PMO'ed probably 4-5 times per week. While lower than previously, I was doing it entirely to compensate for the stress of work. This ironically did nothing for my stress and only made it (literally) 25x worse. I began a slow yet steady spiral downwards into depression and massive anxiety. Despite this, I still received a 3.6 at a highly ranked, private university in new England. It was a 3.6 silhouetted by deep depression, anxiety, aimlessness, and what I would deem "learning without caring" i.e. I went to class but sparknoted the texts, left studying until the night before and spent my free time watching videos on youtube. I was happy with my grade but very unhappy with my life. Only when I fap do good grades come at the "cost" of peacefulness. I place cost in parenthesis because in reality tranquility, happiness and success travel hand in hand with good grades and education (for me at least).

On my winter break, which was SIX WEEKS LONG (do not contain your jealousy for I will see right through your pathetic, facile lies), I began what I would deem "the most trans formative 80 days of my life." What caused me to realize that I needed to address my porn problem at that time instead of any time in the previous six or seven weeks is beyond me. What I do know is that I began because of the depression. I had a revelation one night while looking in the mirror. I was so completely unhappy and stressed that I was no longer able to deny it. I resolved not to P, M or O until I had sex or I turned 99 (at this age I would probably congratulate my withered self, turn towards the edge of the cliff, jump and then release my parachute. Yes, my future 99 year-old self does go base jumping).

So the next 7 weeks of my life were some of the best times of my life. I did experience the withdrawals and mania of the first month, just as I had before, but they were marginally easier to power through this time. I remember after about day 45 (what some refer to appropriately as the "hump") it was almost impossible to return to my old levels of depression and anxiety. It wasn't that work did not stress me out anymore, it was that I found myself able to study for two three hours without "gaining" stress. Even very stressful situations like tests and essays only elevated my stress to very low levels. To go from a state of constant anxiety to being able to study, work, read, play etc... without any stress, or without the fear that I would inadvertently "spike" my stress, was awesome to say the least.

The most wonderful parts of my journey was the motivation and energy I gained. No pill, supplement or diet on earth will change you like no fap does. I suddenly was able to wake up at 6:00 a.m., go to the gym, go to class, hang out with friends, study and then still have time to enjoy myself. I increased my work and play but felt MORE energized than when I would sit in my room and PMO.

With energy came a huge boost in confidence. I was able to look girls in the eye (something I thought was placebo when I read about at first), shake hands, and laugh like I normally felt like I should laugh. Meeting new people became fun rather than a chore. I enjoyed venturing outside of my dorm with friends. I enjoyed being social for the first time in a long, long time.

Oddly enough, during this time I completely forgot how badly porn had ruined my life. At this time I was about a week away from my 90-day badge. I was home on a week long break and my schedule had suddenly opened up. I thought that looking at some of my favorite videos online couldn't hurt since I was so far from my depressed, anxiety-ridden old self. After just one day I convinced my self that fapping without the use of porn would be healthy. After that I was a goner. I PMO'ed probably 10 times that next week. What was interesting was that it was definitely a progressive spiral. The first time I fapped, I returned to "normal" 7-8 week no fap self in about 2 days. The second took me about 3-4 days. After that I began to dig a deep hole, one that I am still coming out of today.

Since April 20th I have been clean of P, M, and O. I have slowly begun to recuperate but I am no where near where I was before. This is okay with me however, and you will see why soon. Before I finish though, I want to make something clear/give some helpful tips.

1st: This rule is supreme and I have found it to be very well voiced by this community: DO NOT EDGE. If you want to PMO then edge. Simple as that. Being the addicts that we are, WE CANNOT RESIST. I have survived no more than 3 or 4 days edging.

2nd: Make it past your "hump day." For most I believe that this is somewhere around 45. This ties into the fear of "what If I suddenly stop improving and just stagnate into a perpetual flat line." You will improve every single week once you are done flat-lining and withdrawing. This is not to say you wont have periods of stagnancy but from my experience you will literally improve every day in some way or other. No fap isnt about perfection it is about progression

3rd: Do not worry about whether or not it will benefit you. I hear some complain about not seeing the results that they want/hear about. If you are here then you are here because that little awesome child inside you has finally found the courage to stand up to your pain and addiction. Let that be enough. If you do not, every bad day or week will be an excuse to PMO because "it won't be worth it." We are healing ourselves, this is a process that never stops. There is always more to attain.

4th: Have a last chance defense that is not k9. This is something that will stop a PMO when all else has failed. I keep a picture of me, my mom and my brother on vacation ten years ago by my computer. It is much harder to disable your emotion than it is to disable an internet filter. Also, I have found listening to a childhood song or simply a relaxing, emotional song through helps tremendously even if you have to promise yourself you will allow PMO after the entire song is done (which I never have).

5th: Find a pattern. I know it is sometimes the hardest thing in the world to do, but stay involved. Maybe this simply includes going to bed before 10 p.m. and waking up before 7 a.m. It will be worth it when you defeat this addiction

6th: Supplements do help. I would highly recommend taking 200-400 mg of magnesium citrate before going to bed, particularly in the first month. Most people are deficient in it and it is super relaxing/helps tremendously with sleep. Unlike other natural sleep aids like melatonin, it doesn't appear addictive in any sense. If you are apprehensive, simply eat a big salad of dark leafy greens before bed. You will most likely consume much more than 200-400 mg of magnesium (do not however replace your greens with supplements boiz and gurlz. They are called supplements and not meals for a reason.)

7th: Be aware of yourself. I can always tell when I might relapse. Put your computer far away from reach or preferably somewhere that takes multiple steps to get out. If you have to do not use the internet at all- something I may try this summer.

8th: Believe in yourself! This has been the hardest thing for me to do. I have relapsed and struggled almost a year now, even after realizing that I am sad when I PMO and happy when I do not. What will keep you clean in the long run is knowing that you are worth your own happiness.

To conclude, I have just finished my second semester at college. I have not received my grades yet but I know they are going to be lower than last semester because of one low grade in a req. class(though not devastating). I used to define myself by the praise I received from others. Praise is awesome but you should never define your entire life by it as I did. Instead, I spent this last semester enjoying friends, teachers, books and solitude more than any other time in my teenage life. I know now that despite how many times I relapse I will never be able to return to PMO for good- in part thanks to all of you!

A quote, I think, is a good way to end this: “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” -Buddha

Good luck on your journey!

LINK - My experience (for those wondering about flat-line, withdrawals, repeated attempts etc...)

by opco10