Age 27 - I barely recognize the person I was before NoFap, but depression and anxiety is still
Hey guys (and I suppose some gals)!
I've been a long-time lurker here on NoFap, greedily reading and absorbing all the wonderful posts and inspirational images y'all have been so generous to post. I felt like today, Christmas Day and my Day 60, would be a great time to come outta my shell a little bit to share what I've experienced thus far with the hopes that, perhaps, this post will help those who are struggling to finally reach their goals.
A little bit about me: I'm a 27 year old male who lives in New York City (originally from the West Coast) whose struggled with social anxiety and depression for most of my life. For the age of 13 on, I used masturbation as a salve to 'deal' with these feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and anxiety. I've been in a handful of relationships; some meaningful, while others just exacerbated my already co-dependent nature. In short, I would get attached and wrap up my entire identity in being with this one person; when that would end, I would experience crippling depressions that would last for months. Also, one of the reasons my last relationship ended was partly due a case of ED that sprung up even before the relationship began.
Before I started NoFap, I would masturbate, on average, about 1-3 times a day. I was never into anything too extreme, porn-wise, I just needed to jerk-it to porn everyday within certain intervals or else my day would fall apart and my anxiety would spike.
In no uncertain terms, I can say that I barely recognize the person I was before I began NoFap. No shit. I've seen insane spikes in energy and testosterone that have allowed me to begin a workout routine that includes lifting weights and practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu regularly (when I can afford it :)). The spike in testosterone has almost gotten me into a little bit of trouble because I've found that I've been less likely to back down from conflicts at work and on the street (in NYC that can be hazardous to your health). But hey, I'll take being a pushy SOB than a meek little thing any day of the week.
Anyway, with NoFap, I experienced the days 1 - 20 spike in dopamine that was just great...so great...but then the real work began on day 21 when I entered a 'flat-line' that I'm still trudging through at day 60. As a personal note, I think the term 'flat-line' might be a bit of a misnomer; I think a better name for it would be, 'Reality-And-Truth-Smacking-You-Right-In-The-Face.' This period has lead to some of the most important realizations and changes in my life thus far. I've begun a meditation routine, to squash urges and to bring a sense of peace to my daily life. I've also begun the practice of each day of reminding myself what I'm grateful for in my life (ie. my health, a roof over my head, a family that loves me, etc.). I've found that this helps to keep a healthy perspective on life while battling both the urges to relapse as well as the highs and lows.
My depression and anxiety is still very much a part of my life and I suspect that I will never be able to fully shake these monkeys from my back. Part of my struggle has been to engage people and being comfortable in crowds when I don't know anybody. Having said this, my ability to meet and engage people has been increased ten-fold...
...And this takes us to the whole 'superpowers' bit. Yes, you do get 'superpowers', folks -- but, they don't just appear outta thin air, you gotta work for them. Yes, you will be rejected, yes you will make mistakes, yes people will think you're weird or awkward or creepy; these are the side effects of going outside your comfort zone. Having said that, any NoFap users who have any advice in regards to facing anxiety and meeting women, I'm all ears!
In closing, I just want to express my gratitude and thanks to the NoFap community (:see what I did there!? :)) for their dedication, inspiration and drive. To all those who are at 90, 120, or 1000 days, I'll see you soon. For those of you just started out and going through the shit, keep going, the dividends are endless and yours to reap.