Age 21 - Depression. "A small change can change your life"
Warning: the first paragraph is overly self-loathing and does not represent my current self-image or perspective on life. It is written from the perspective of the -me before doing nofap. I’d like to share with you my journey through the 90 days. I would like to start out by telling you who I am (or rather who I’ve been). I’m a 21 year old student from Scandinavia.
I don’t exactly recall when my PMO habit started but it must have been somewhere around thirteen or perhaps fourteen. It was around that time that my family got a broadband connection, and I got my own personal computer. I’ve always been a sort of introverted kid, and experienced some degree of being picked on as a kid. Resulting from it I would spend much of my time home in front of my computer playing games, watching series and PMO’ing. I remember being scared of going out my door, and I was convinced almost to the degree of paranoia that someone outside were plotting to “get me”.
I even remember being paranoid about going to practice, so I would dull my fears with Simpsons and Futurama episodes. (God, escapism is so awful. I must have watched those episodes a thousand times, knowing them by heart. And even taking some sort of geeky kind of pride in it!) Things however weren’t all that bad. I had a small close circle of friends, and I was always known as a smart kid. That changed when I moved to the city to attend university. Until then I’d always gotten by easy by simply and without much need to actually study. Naively aiming for top grades I was naturally disappointed, and my identity as smart was severely challenged. I wasn’t special anymore, I was just a nobody.
Depression hit me like a rock, and I grew even more apathetic to life. Several times I tried to change, to start exercising, studying better, being more social, but all my effort were rendered useless by my feelings of hopelessness and defeat. After two years I met a wonderful girl, and we dated for a couple of months, looking at it now it must have been the greatest period of my life. I finally felt that I had someone to live for, this girl was the prettiest girl ever to be attracted to me, and she was really into me. However, due to difficult circumstances we split up, and afterwards I became stuck in a loop of love-nostalgia. It was simply horrible, not wanting any other girl, but still telling myself that I could never go back to her.
Enter Nofap. A friend of mine, a girl studying psychology posted the Ted-talk on her facebook. Out of curiosity I clicked it, and something snapped. Overwhelmed by the results posted on YBOP I decided it was worth a shot. I remember the mood swings, the cravings, the feelings of being physically ill. I decided to start eating healthy to quicken my recovery. I didn’t eat unhealthy to begin with, but I started eating more nuts, fruits, greens and pure meats. It worked wonders, and I still do it today.
There were days when I felt manic, would clean my entire flat and then do pushups until I collapsed. Some days I would notice girls looking at me, and I would walk so proud and tall that I radiated positive energy. Perhaps it was placebo, but I realized that if magic beans could make me that sort of person, I could also do it with practice.
Nofap made me interested in what else might affect my brain in a negative way. After some research I quit drinking for two months, and started daily meditation, positive writing exercises and recently cognitive therapy. I also made a conscious decision to limit my Internet use and I started reading more books.
I went home to my parents for winter break, and some of my new habits broke down. I blame putting too much strain on my willpower, and also having to deal with limited personal space, my brothers’ depression and my dad’s work problems. Add an overly concerned neurotic mother to the mix and you have your personal hell. Nevertheless, I eventually found some sort of balance, and continued to abstain from alcohol and to do meditation and positivity exercises. I remember having a hard time, struggling not to fall back into depression, but a wet dream at day 70 got my hopes up. I’ve never had one before.
Now at day 90, how do I feel? Like it was worth it! Nofap has given me the realization that even a small change in behavior can change your life. I don’t subscribe to the fact that Nofap gives you superpowers, but if it is the first piece in a chain reaction of life enhancing habits the benefits can truly be immense! I know with myself that I will never go back to who I was before this challenge.
I now surround myself with great ideas, great books and great habits. I’m propelling myself out of the functional depression I’ve had since I was a kid. My focus has shifted, it is less about preserving myself image, and more about creating lasting change and evolving beyond the need for approval of others. I feel really sure that this is what I want, and I now know that I am capable of attaining such things.
I will continue my meditation and my mental exercises. I will continue to expand my mind with great books and lectures. I will continually strive to improve my academic achievement as well as my health, my willpower and my interests. It is so wonderful to finally see my life taking a turn for the better.
I’ve only got one semester left, and will probably continue my studies abroad next year. I’ve decided to make the most of my last semester, and will start doing Yoga three times a week. I will also try to spend as much time with my friends as possible. There is also a girl in my circle of friends that has been interested in me, and I will make one final move on her. If things work out it will be great, and if not I’m going to learn how to pick up girls. Thank you all for your support! I will be doing 90 days more!
How I succeeded.
- Willpower is a muscle, and if you haven’t been exercising it it’s going to be difficult overcoming your urges by simple force of mind. When you feel the urges coming get yourself in a situation where fapping is impossible. Go outside, call someone or do pushups! If you want to increase willpower I recommend meditation, exercise (both mental and physical) and eating healthy. Also, remove things that you have conditioned to be associated with fapping. That could be both external and internal triggers, i.e your laptop, a thought process or a mood. If you need to, get Internet restriction software to block certain pages.
- Surround yourself with great ideas. Read books about motivation, mastery, willpower and determination. It will keep you focused and also strengthen you prefrontal cortex, which is vital in self-control. Read psychology-blogs to learn mechanisms for restraint and to understand the workings of the mind. http://www.spring.org.uk/2011/04/top-10-self-control-strategies.php
- One day at a time. 90 days can overwhelm the best of us. Take it one day at a time. Personally I would aim a few days ahead, and imagine how great I would feel, and how proud I would be at day 7, 10, 14 etc. It also made me proud to know that I was one day closer to my goal, and that I was no longer a slave to my instincts.
- If your mental health is suffering, so will your streak. If you’re like me and have some messed up self-conceptions go to work on yourself. Read up on positive psychology and cognitive therapy. If you can stick with some simple exercises per day, your mental health will improve with time, and you’re less likely to fall into despair and relapse. Learn to value the times you feel down, and see them in a greater perspective and to take them as a part of recovery and improvement.
TL;DR – Did 90 days. No superpowers. Picked up meditation, reading and cognitive therapy. Watched slow progress to drag myself out of decade long depression. Happy to have regained confidence and to see my life going in the right direction. Will do 90 days more of Nofap!
by Decoletage90 days