Age 25 - 180 days: it keeps getting better.
I'm a few days late on my 180 day post as I've been away, but I'll try and keep this brief. To clarify, the first 90 days of NoFap that I did was on hard mode, and I've been on easy mode since then.
Why I started NoFap
When I began, I was 25 years old and I'd been looking at porn for probably at least half of my life. With my dopamine receptors shot, I'd realised that there were very few things in life that actually made me happy anymore. In fact, the only thing I could imagine making me happy was being with the kind of girls I looked at when I watched porn. My relationship with my girlfriend wasn't good and I saw it in a very superficial way. This made me feel both depressed and anxious, because I couldn't look at myself in the mirror and honestly say "I'm a good person."
Do I feel better now?
Mostly, yes! I still have days where I feel down on myself, and like I'm still not a good person, but for the most part I can see that I'm generally a decent guy - flawed, but decent, and that's enough. My dopamine receptors have improved, and I'm finding that I'm laughing a great deal more now, and generally feeling more engaged with people when I'm speaking to them. I'm able to appreciate my girlfriend far more and I enjoy the relationship a great deal more than I did when I was fapping.
Why I'm going to continue NoFap
For the past 4-5 years I've been suffering with depression and severe anxiety. In the summer last year, I was struggling to eat and sleeping for maybe four hours a night before I'd wake up nervous and unable to get back to sleep. I was at a friend's apartment one morning, and he had a balcony. The urge to just go for it and jump off was what made me want to change.
If, back in July/August, you'd told me that my mental health would be as steady as it is now, there's no way I'd have believed you! I'm calmer, more confident, more jovial and actually I feel a lot more like I did when I was a teenager; it's nice.
It's for this reason that I intend to keep going, and also because I still think there are improvements that I can make! Here's a list of what I want to achieve as I keep moving forwards with this thing:
- Spend less time procrastinating - I'm a sucker for Candy Crush - it's the most addictive game I think I've ever played! But it has the same effect as PMO insomuch as that it makes me antisocial and all I want to do is get on to the next level. Basically the same as when I used to look at porn and all I wanted to do was find that next, better video.
- Get back into creative writing - I used to love writing poems and short stories, then I didn't write any for years. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a short story for a competition and I enjoyed it so much; all I could think about when I was at work all day was getting home to continue working on it. I want to keep writing because I find it so therapeutic and relaxing, as well as productive!
- Phase fantasizing out of my life - probably the hardest one to achieve. I try not to fantasize, but the truth it that porn still crosses my mind every day. Normally as soon as it pops into my head I'm able to just say "NO" to myself and it'll go away, but I'm aware that when I'm feeling depressed or anxious I still use it as my crutch; my world that I can escape to where everything's okay. I need to be stricter with myself on this if I'm to continue to feel the benefits.
My advice for new Fapstronauts
NoFap's really hard, but it's worth it. I can only speak for myself, but the urges don't really go away (although you do get better at fighting them). That borne in mind, here are a few tips. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here's what helps me:
- Come here often - make it your homepage if you have to. Then whenever you open your browser, it's there reminding you of your goals.
- You're going to rationalise - that's just your brain's way of saying 'let me see some porn', but don't give in! If you start rationalising, remind yourself that you're doing so because you're addicted, so all the more reason not to fap.
- Be aware that this is a non-linear process. You'll wake up some mornings and feel like Hulk Hogan in his prime, and others you'll feel like a 70-year old Terry Funk (and yeah, I totally just used a pro-wrestling analogy, I know). Take each day in its stride. If you feel good, that's great. If you feel bad, say to yourself "I'm an addict in recovery and this is part of the process".
- Try to spend your time doing productive things. Lots of Nofappers talk about new hobbies, like going to the gym or taking up a new sport, which is great. We can't do these things all the time though - sometimes we're ill, or we've already been to the gym, or whatever. BUT we can still do something productive with our time. Clean your house, cook some food with fresh ingredients, maybe even just spend some time discovering new music (a personal favourite of mine) - anything's good, just keep your hands off your dick!
- Set an alarm clock every day and leave it on the other side of the room to your bed. I can't stress how useful this is for me. If you enjoy a morning fap when you first wake up, having to physically get out of bed as soon as you wake up, walk across the room and switch the alarm off is a great way of coming to - it just kicks away that morning urge.
- If you get an urge, there's a trick that can work pretty well. Tell yourself "okay, I want to fap, but I'll read a chapter of my book and then if I still really need to, I'll fap." Then, when you've finished the chapter of your book, find something else to do, telling yourself that if you still really need to, then you can fap afterwards. Keep doing this until the urge subsides. They're powerful things, but they're dumb, and you can trick them into going away by doing this.
- It's easy to spend a lot of time regretting the past, thinking "I wish I hadn't fapped so much and developed an addiction." Try to focus on the present, though. What matters isn't the person we used to be, but the person we are right now.
- Be aware that NoFap is not a panacea - if you have other issues then you may need to address these separately. This might sound discouraging at first, but I really don't mean it to be. If you have the inner strength and resilience to beat an addiction, then you're also tough enough to face your other demons. Before I started NoFap, I was suffering with anxiety and depression. And you know what? I still do - it's not nearly as bad as it was but it's still there. But I can say to myself "I kicked fapping's ass, and now I know I'm a tough enough person to make the changes I need to in order to be the person I want to be."
- Be kind to yourself. Even if you have a terrible day, and everything seems to go wrong, take pride in the fact that you can say to yourself "I didn't fap today, and that's the most important thing."
Well that's it from me, stay strong guys!
tl;dr - I feel better. Do NoFap!