Age 28 - gradual progress, stopped chewing my nails

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I am 28 years. In the past i've been fapping every day without thinking about since i was around 14 years. I probably came to the realization that i need to quit about 5 - 6 years ago when it became clear to me that i was socially awkward to some extent and could never get a girlfriend.

I could make friends but i was just lacking in masculinity, something was holding me back, i didn't have much self-confidence. I noticed that PMO was becoming my default way of escaping feelings of rejection. College was the opportunity for me to develop social skills, it just never occurred to me that PMO was blocking my zeal to go out and socialize.

Since then i've been discovering its harms on the internet and so on. At that point, i wanted to quit, i could record only very little success. It was very gradual, i managed to go through some days without PMO. Little streaks here and there, i was learning a lot. I definitely started seeing changes in my confidence. Sometimes though, i completely relapse and binge hard.

The biggest leap i took was to start therapy more than a year ago because i was moving out of my parents' to start living on my own and starting a new job, the freedom would give me room for PMO, i thought. Therapy helped even though it was expensive and sometimes the advice was very generic. By the beginning of this year, i relapse like 2-3 times per week.

Living on my own has been a blessing kind of, i guess the responsibilities of taking care of myself has made me more of a man. With my job, i could now afford things. I met new people and got the chance to be a social person afresh, to a reasonable extent. My problems were reducing, also my need for PMO. It could be rough sometimes, but i am much happier now. I have been dating a girl i know from some years back for over a year now, she is schooling in a different country entirely so we basically just talk, that comfort has helped a whole lot too. I want to get rid of every symptom of flatline and PMO before we get together finally, that is a big motivation for me.

P.S All this while i have been trying many things without joining noFap here on reddit. I joined here less than a month ago after hearing a lecture about Porn Addiction somewhere, it was said that no one can recover alone and joining some support group is absolutely necessary. That was something i haven't tried in my struggles before until now.

This has been one of my longest streaks ever, since i started realizing that PMO is bad for me. I've had a similar streaks in the past but this time around just feels different. I didn't miss porn that much, only at the beginning. I have tried so many things in the past, therapy included, they helped, somehow i've always relapsed or find myself missing PMO so bad. I used to have an uncontrollable urge to relapse, but this time around, i can be reasonable and that's the big difference for me. Its not the number of days, its the quality of my thoughts this time around. It hardly requires any self control at this moment.

This are some things i did differently from the past, they probably helped me a lot.

  1. I kept a calendar and marked the days of relapse. That way a pattern started to emerge. I began to notice a higher tendency to relapse towards the end of the week, weekends were the most dangerous. I could easily bounce back on Monday with motivation and the resolve to never relapse again. After trying so hard, so many short noFap streaks, i knew i had to do something about the weekends, so i started preparing myself for it.
  2. I blocked access to porn completely. I found a good parental control software and set a strong password, with the name of God in it. I could never bring myself to use that type of password to unlock access to porn. Being an addict i kept finding ways to access bad stuff, every time i found a loophole, i installed the parental control software on that device. Gradually i blocked all access to social media too, then cancelled my subscription to internet TV. This lack of triggers helped a lot to be honest. In the past, i start by browsing innocent stuff, out of nowhere a trigger appears and before you know it i have lost self-control. So, blocking everything helped a lot. This probably helped me reinforce the idea that porn is no longer an option
  3. I tried to solve the underlying issue. I figured my porn use could be due to some type of insecurity, anxiety or some repressed bad feelings. There was something below the surface. This has been something i have been looking into for a number of years, just learning to accept myself. Very recently, i found meditation to be of great help. I used to have a bad feeling in my chest, deep down. Something i can't explain. When i started meditating i found the intensity has reduced greatly honestly, i still get the feeling sometimes but then i try to identify what is upsetting me and do something about it and come to terms with it. In the past, if i feel so bad i watch porn, now i have convinced myself that it doesn't do any good because i generally feel worse afterwards.

I wouldn't say i noticed any instant superpowers, this is a fight i have been doing for years now. But looking back i have come a very long way honestly. Over the last few years i have been into self-improvement a lot, and i can honestly say it is paying off. I did notice one small thing though, in this last 30 days, i stopped chewing my nails. Oh , and the flatline hit me like a truck, no morning wood for over 40 days, i do get random boners throughout the day though.

LINK - Obligatory 30 Day Post

By BraveWithin