Age 22 - Relapse and recovery
So here I am, 90 days after I vowed to start the challenge on 25th March 2012. Its been a tough and arduous journey, but I am finally here. So what's my story?
I am a 22-year old male. Started PMO around the age of 12, and since then my life has been a crazy rollercoaster ride. I was a true escapist during my teens: spending my time either gaming or fapping, with very little social contact, I thought the world sucked and I wanted to escape it anyway possible. That was until the age of 18 where I inadvertently discovered the power of giving up PMO. I did not Fap for a period of 3-4 months –- how? I don’t even know myself -- what I do know is that during this period I excelled in my examinations (having previous flunked them, knowing I had the capabilities, yet did not possess the self control to sit down hours on end to study was incredibly frustrating). That allowed me to gain entry into one of the top universities.
I started university life in great esteem, I was still on my streak and it showed: where I would normally be nervous and reclusive in a social environment, particularly in a new one with people I had never met before, I found myself conversing with everyone. People fascinated me. I was attracting girls left right and center. I felt like magic. A few weeks later I started a relationship –- one which should have never happened -- and one wrong turn after the other I found myself Fapping again. This was to be a downward spiral leading me to rock bottom.. again.
I returned to my reclusive behaviour, I didn't want to socialise.. and people bored me. I started flunking in my studies and it showed with my end of year results.
Deep in my heart I knew I had to stop. I knew it was a destructive behaviour.. yet I would always convince myself the contrary. That was until I stumbled upon YBOP, which opened my eyes to what my heart was already telling me. I could sense it telling me “Dude, I’ve been telling you for years..” – never too late to start again though, right? I am still baffled how I did not put 2 and 2 together from my previous journey.
Anyway, YBOP lead me to /r/NoFap and wow, isn’t this a fantastic community? It feels great to be part of a community that shares the same goal; so you know you’re not struggling on your own.
And now, 90 days later, I feel like I'm back again. Back to the old me. And let me tell you, the journey was not easy. The first 2-3 weeks were the toughest. Why? Well after 2-3 weeks your brain seems to go into autopilot. Since a considerable amount of time has elapsed since you last achieved orgasm, your brain simply forgets what it feels like. So then things take a turn for the better: you start enjoying the subtler pleasures in life; there is no overbearing sense that the subtleties are not enjoyable due to comparison with the intense pleasure orgasm gives. I welcome this change; because it has helped me enjoy life to a greater degree.
And you know what, I feel like what I felt like as a kid again. My memory has improved, I have very explicit dreams. Conversation is easy. I feel hungry again (metaphorically speaking). And possibilities are everywhere! An expression I coined during my journey was I feel like eating the world. I want to achieve so much. PMO prevents you from reaching your true potential.
Back on track: I’ve started working out regularly 4-5 times per week. I have cleaned up my diet and I have taken an active interest in cooking. I’m becoming incredibly self sufficient. I’m reading some great books at the moment; 'The Alchemist' by Paulo Coelho being one of the recent highlights.
I’ve also learned some valuable life lessons along the way including: exercising patience, learning to let go, accepting things for what they are and facing reality instead of creating my own, being less judgemental of others, so on. I have rediscovered spirituality again. I feel like I finally understand the concept of God, something that has eluded me all my life. I finally understood that the way we speak about God, we almost think of him as a person; which is not what ‘God’ represents. I believe God is more synonymous with Mother Nature. That God really is all around us. And that science is the discipline of understanding God. This has helped me immensely allowing me to accept everyday occurrences and accepting that current setbacks are all part of the journey to a greater aim.
So where do I go from here?
Simple. I carry on. Next goal: 180 days, and then 365, and so on.
For all those reading this: everyone’s journey is different, I wish you the best of luck and I hope that you have taken something away from this post. I would like to add one final point: that upon reading my account again it does seem like all these changes happened instantly. Let me reassure you this was not the case. These changes transitioned over a considerable period of time. One things leads to another and you discovered new doors that were previously closed.
Tl;dr : Taking part in this has been the best decision of my life. Aloha :-)