Age 23 - Life feels more abundant
The journey to 90 days was difficult. Before reaching this milestone, I often wondered whether it would have a significant impact on my life. What will change?
It took me about a year and a half to finally reach the 90 day mark on Hardmode. I have attempted the journey before, making it to 60 days and then relapsing during a moment of weakness. So, I attempted it again on Softmode and completed the journey. Using the momentum from the Softmode attempt I was able to complete Hardmode.
Looking back, it makes me sad to think of all the time that was wasted on porn. There a moments where I recall opportunities to lead a fulfilling normal life. To have relationship while in school. To be involved in leading my peers. To lose my virginity to a crush or to lose it to a stranger at a university party. To meet new people. To help people. To establish myself.
These are the moments that hurt the most during the journey, whether it be Hard or Softmode. They will push you to seek out comfort, from porn, videogames, television, food, sleep, drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, etc.
The lesson that these 90 days has taught me is to not dwell on the past, to move forward and to live in the present.
After 90 days, I to, like many who have reached this hallowed milestone, made a conscious decision to PMO. To find out if I had learnt anything from not watching porn in such a long time. It didn't surprise me, it proved me right. Porn was not the problem. After PMOing, I didn't feel guilty, dirty, lost or depressed. It felt normal.
What made it an addiction was the comfort that the pornography provided. It helped me cope to the difficult times and made the easy times even better. I do not blame porn, videogames, weed or alcohol for what happened in the past.
Taking responsibility for the choices made was the next lesson. Accepting responsibility helped me identify triggers, made me feel more in control and ultimately allowed to move forward.
Meditation, keeping a journal, exercising every morning, reciting the Hanuman Chalisa, being involved in a youth development programme. I did not do any of these things or would not have done any of these things 2 years ago. Life feels more abundant compared to before where it felt like I had to accept whatever others thought I deserved. NO, not anymore.
The book, Mindfulness in Plain English by Ven. Henepola Gunaratana, comes highly recommended. The book is about meditation, which can serve as a useful tool in times of hardship.
Finally, looking at it now, a lot has changed. The challenge has been completed. NoFap is now a part of my life. No-one can ever take that away from you and me.
"He who controls the past, controls the future. He who controls the present, controls the past." - George Orwell