Age 24 - Struggling for a year
Hey all. Since today is my cakeday, and this is the subreddit is the reason I joined Reddit, I felt that I needed to share something useful with you guys.
A little back story: next month I'll be 25 years old. I started fapping when I was 14, and know the damages of porn and masturbation since I was 17. All these years I wanted to quit, but just couldn't manage doing it.
I've been through all kind of addictions: video games, cigarettes, weed, alcohol. I'm handling a deep depression for years, and let's say the army service didn't help. And although I have depression and anxiety for years, I was able to kick every single one of my addictions....except one. I couldn't get over fapping.
Even when I was in the Army (and military prison. shitty times) I couldn't help myself get over this addiction, and since I started masturbating, my top record is 14 days. it was 5 years ago.
I joined nofap a year ago, but it changed nothing. reading all the tips and guides couldn't help me get through one week. I couldn't understand why others could easily go through a couple of weeks, while I couldn't barrel through 3 or 4 days.
Porn is the perfect drug: if you think about like every other substance, you realize a couple of crucial things:
- In order for a drug to function, chemicals in the drug need to fit in your brain. If we take weed for example, it only fits our brains about 15% (No one knows the exact number, it's a rough guess). Heroin fits our brains about 60%-70%. Because of evolutionary reasons, porn fits our brain 100%.
- It's so common that it's not only socially acceptable (which is insane, if you ask me), it's EXPECTED. Can you imagine expecting your kids to use heroin? well, in some period of history, heroin was used as a medicine. it was acceptable, common, EXPECTED. crazy, huh? is it crazier than using a drug that fits your brain 100%?
After truly understanding the effects of porn, I had a clear goal: I wanted to quit. But after all these years of trying, what else could I do? But then again, I couldn't give up. I just couldn't. I hate the fact that unregulated media streams and inadequate educational systems could mold me into a person I don't want to be.
So I kept on reading and searching for ways to overcome my addiction. I subcribed to a website called Fight The New Drug. a few weeks ago they sent their subscribers a free book about getting out of the addiction. I haven't finished reading the book, but I already extracted the most useful weapons and ways they suggested in order to handle urges. I wanted to share this extremely useful tactics with you guys, because after all these years, this is the only thing that helped me. I sincerely hope it'll do the trick for you too.
Since I'm not sure I can legally copy and paste the material in the book, I will find similar material on websites and write my own view on the subject.
So here is it:
First, realize that no one can go through it but yourself. Actually, more in general, no one will ever, EVER, see the world from your eyes. You're the only one who's gonna go through this, and no one can do it for you. And as Churchill said: if you're going through hell - keep going.
1. Learn the addiction cycle. Our brains are ubiquitous - they're practically the same, and it's the same cycle in every single one of us. Meet your new wallpaper. Read it, learn it, memorize it. That's what happening again and again and again. On every arrow, you have an choice: continue running down the path, or break it. paragraph 3 will explain on the best weapon you can use to break the cycle. P.S. Consider "Desire to escape/Triggers" as "Entertaining the idea of using" - all the "if I only do this..", "It's the last time..", etc.
2. Be mindful of what's happening in your body and brain: what phase of the cycle are you on?
3. After you understand where are you on the addiction cycle, do the S.T.A.R:
S. Stop what you're doing. hands to the sides, eyes to the nearest wall. Fixate on a point in the wall.
T. Take 5 deep and long breaths. Watch as your lungs filled with fresh air. Relax. You are not your thoughts.
A. Ask yourself: what do you REALLY want to do? is it worth it to risk what you really want for what you want now?
R. React. The wheel is in your hands. You're the one in control. You're the only responsible man. Act like it.
Do the S.T.A.R right now. Do it as much as you want, whenever you want.
4. Replace the act with something else:
Meditate - it will change your perspective on life. it will help you understand that you are not your thoughts. you are not your addictions. you are not the voice that tells you you suck. you are not your past.
Exercise - it will use your energy for good causes.
Socialize - you'll find that you're far less anxious as you were when you kept fapping your life away.
Eat - Look up at nutrition. Learn about how the food industry is a lot like the porn industry, and how it turns pain and suffering into profit using billions of dollars in advertising and lobbyism. Consider going Vegan. Take the red pill!.
Stop smoking weed. stop doing the half-ass shit your friends do. You are not your friends! This is the video that made me realize a lot about what I do in life. I recommend watching the whole video (It's also quite entertaining).
That's it. This is the method that gave me the power to go through 16 days without fapping.
One last thing I would like to talk about is superpowers. A lot of fapstronauts talk about expecting superpowers. So, regarding superpowers - there's only one unpretentious, self-doubted thing I can tell you: Your Mileage May Vary.
Everyone's different. For me, when I was fapping away my energy, I used to be anxious all the time. I had anger explosions, uncontrollable cries and sleep disorders. I couldn't care less about my life.
So in my case, I do consider the changes I had because of nofap "superpowers": Didn't cry all day? shit, that's a superpower. I can actually go outside my house? that's a superpower. I started exercising - that's a superpower. Slept only 6 hours a night and feel energetic? that's a superpower. I even made up the courage to approach a girl in a pub - that's a HUGE HUGE HUGE superpower for me (even though the approach was a bit cold, I was so proud of myself I slept with a huge smile all night).
See, understanding, and of course deeply and unconditionally accepting where you are in life and who you are (not anything you can think of, by the way. humans don't have the power to really understand who they are. it's just our ego that tells us we can) is the first step to taking yourself further than you ever thought possible.
I hope it'll help you as much as it helped me. Have a nice day, and be strong folks!
- Edit: typos
- I forgot to add one thing: it gets better. Here's a metaphor: think of your ability to stop yourself from harmful actions as a button. at first, your button is very very small, so it's hard to push it. Every time you realize which phase you are on the cycle, and using the S.T.A.R method to make the right choice, the button gets bigger. The next time you'll get an urge, it'll easier to push the button. over time, the button gets so big, that at times of urge you'll have the ability to kick it away quite easily. that's because our brains can change, and so is your will power.