Age 21 - Grew up in remote Kenyan village: PMO is no longer a crutch
90 days! I am excited because it has been tough, it still is. But it has been great. Wouldn't take a moment of it back. I have had lowest lows, and the highest highs (seriously).
In the moments that we feel that we are truly alive, are the moments that we are aware ( quote by Tara Brach). Haha Let me tell you I have been alive!
The biggest change, and the motivation for taking on this challenge for me is to face life, emotions, and resistance head on. I wanted to stop using PMO as an emotional crutch, and it feels truly great to say I have made lot's of progress on that end. As a consequence I feel alive more often than not. =)
A Fapstronaut /u/wmcni once said to me on my 54th day "54 days. that's brilliant the 90 days mark is game a changer for your thinking but you are literally only reaching basecamp on your ascent to the summit."
He is right. 90 days is a game changer, but there is a long way to go. My goal is to change my life, nofap for me is a reminder of my commitment. My life will change, I will make it happen.
Thank you for helping me come this far. Your support and motivation has been intergral to my journey. I will continue to rely on you as I continue my walk to the summit. =)
Have a nice day. =)
Thanks for the feedback! =)
(Hahaha I have to say you will see a lot smiley from me, but I do smile. I have to be true with my self with how I feel, and express my self accordingly, or else I feel weird.)
The following is response to a couple of comments. I have sectioned them as changes, and techniques.
Also I ended up including major aspects of my life story. I have only told a handful of people this (about 3).
Long post, but I would appreciate it if you take your time to read it. You would be helping me out.
Changes I have felt and gone through. The biggest ones as mentioned above are in regards to my emotional/internal life. To expand on this I let myself feel emotions as much as possible. I am not avoiding them. I let them come and go (although this is very hard). I face them head on and deal with them (and the factors that influence them). I am very doing this. I am finally allowing myself to feel! I am letting go and moving on with my life, actually it seems like I am doing more, I am living.
These changes bring an awesome positive change to my life. I grew up in a remote village in Kenya. I was always living in my head, I was an accidental trouble maker, and people thought I was stupid. Messy clothes, dirt every everywhere, had trouble getting dressed (shirts not buttoned properly, shoe laces undone), losing things, terrible social skills. As a result I had trouble getting along with other other people, I didn't properly talk to anyone outside of my family. I was a misfit. I am of direct Indian descent, couldn't relate to the small Indian population, nor could I fit in with the African population. Worst was school I couldn't understand symbols or I didn't know what to do, I couldn't understand anything. In Kenya they practise corporal punishment. Fuck that sucked. I got hit soooo much, and I didn't even know why! That period in my life has instilled a lot of fear, shame, anxiety, issues in me. (I am shaking, tingling (my hands and face), and in a panic/anxiety attack just writing this. )
The funniest thing is there was a lot going on in my head. I saw and was living life differently. I understood and internalized many things in the world, just not in the same way as other people. I couldn't do "math" (didn't know the multiplication table, or what was going on in that rote calculate front. I didn't recognize symbols.) but had pretty intimate understanding of they way numbers worked (I liked fractions). I loved science (still do). My dad got me this science book (1000 Amazing facts, or something. There were other books too, but this one was my favourite) I learnt to read from that book. I read it over and over again, I memorized every page. Hahaha I did have moments where I would be able to talk to adults (doctors, computer professionals, my science teacher, random security gaurds and labourers) on a higher level than most kids my age (grade 3-5), but that was just me speaking my language it just happened to coincide with theirs.
I am really happy with the changes I am making. I am in my 4th year of University. I love my program. There is so much it makes me think of, and so much I want to talk to my professors about, but I have been only been able to talk to them a total of approximately 2 hours in these past 3 1/2 years. This semester I have been able to talk to them for more than a minute. I have forced my self to go to their office hours, and talk to them even if for 30 seconds, 2 of them even agreed to work on a research project with me (but I have been only been able to follow through with one, the other one is a world famous mathematician and I get major anxiety when I talk to her). Next semester I want to do more and actually build a relationship with them. I am truly happy to be here at this stage. =)
Other changes have that I am building better relationships with people. I talk with my family better, and even have a better relationship. I even have a room mate of 3 years that I think I have talked to her for a total of 1 hour, but I have increasingly started to talk to her more as well.
My approach to NOFAP is not about abstaining it is about living how I want to live.
For people that are going through the same thing as me
- Face your struggles head on. If you don't like something change it. PMO is not an option, this is about your life. You can change it and you will. It will take time, and you will have to struggle. The struggle is the key to change and overcoming your demons. Every one has to go through this some people go through it at young age, some it is a short process, for others it is so overwhelming that it threatens to and does consume your life. Nevertheless now it is your turn, and you will overcome and build a better life for your self.
- Be honest with your self and the people around you (seriously let them know, if you have an addiction you have an addiction, that girl is cute tell her, that guy looks cool he must know this, you love something let it out, you think nice/good looking/cool guess what you are, she's cute but you don't like her walk away, also don't take shit from any body including yourself ) .
- Learn to love your self. In my opinion this is one of the best things you can do for your self. (Tara Brach's book is a great resource. There is also resources listed in the "The Charisma Myth" by Olivia Fox Cabane, which is a great book on it's own.)
- Acknowledge your strengths and weakness. Build the life you want to live. Be consistent, it's the process and the time that you put in that counts. Even if you struggle and fail, keep coming back, and keep failing. One day you will notice that they aren't really failures, it's just how life is. Just have fun, and live! ( Great embodiment of this philosophy in life, and general awesomeness is Richard Feynman highly recommend his biography "Surely your joking Mr.Feynman" here is a copy )
- Live life, and be happy.
- The beginning is the hardest. You have to take special care.
One thing you can do is have two streaks. You can draw everyday with /r/sketchdaily, or write in journal, or go to the gym. The benefit of this is that it strengths your commitment, when you relapse you would be breaking two streaks. Also it gives you tangible results that you can see and feel (this has helped me out a lot!), when you are about relapse go back and take a look at your drawing, writings, e.t.c. You don't even have go through them, just hold the stack of papers in your hand, you will calm down. The other benefit is that you would be making a habit of productive hobbies, which is plus in recovery.
- Meditate (Resources: http://www.tarabrach.com/audioarchives-guided-meditations.html, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMSCHh3Xbzw is really like this one)
- Take your mind of things. A key part of recovery relates to your thought patterns. Learn, read, draw. I highly recommend reading. Quick recommendations are ( Science books, "Surely your joking Mr.Feynman", even science fiction and fantasy such "Old man's war" by John Scalzi )
- Try to talk to people and relate to them. Even if it is on nofap. If you are going to relapse, come here and talk to the people that are going through the same things as you. Learn about their lives.
LINK - 90 days! =)