Age 28 - One day at a time
I am a sober alcoholic fapstronaut and I wanted to impart some of my experience, strength and hope about NoFap and most any abstinence program. First off, my experience: I was a fapper and a budding addict/alcoholic from a young age and took many to the extremes.
I have now been sober from heroin/crack/alcohol for close to 6 years without a relapse.
I had many other addictions that I have either learned to control, manage or completely stop including smoking, excessive sugar, sloth and fapping.
Since beginning NoFap in Nov, my life has turned around once again (I find that almost any abstinence program has a similar effect). I have been more successful at work, my exercising has gotten even better (amazing shape for 28), met the woman of my dreams and am in a rich, committed relationship with her and have begun to learn Russian as well as a few other disciplines. (Also, just for note, she travels a lot for her job, like a month at a time, so I get lots of hard mode in there!)
What I want to say to everyone here, and the best tools I can think of are the following:
1) This is a day at a time! Do not think about the rest of your life. That is silly. The only time you can do anything about is right now. Nobody is asking you to give this up forever. It would be silly to think that you could hard mode forever from day 1. That isn't to say that it can't happen. It absolutely might be the case, but just deal with today, because today is the only day that matters.
2) Stop making broad proclamations about your being done forever! Any fapper can claim to be done forever, just like any alcoholic can claim to never touch another drop of liquor. Don't mean its gonna magically happen! Instead, set realistic goals and see how you feel. Say, "I'm gonna try 14 days, or 90 days, and reevaluate how I feel." This way, you will be able to point towards a date when things get rough ("I'll fap tomorrow, but not today!", "I'll NoFap till October and then Fap to my hearts content if thats truly what I want"). Most likely, when you reach that point, you'll see the change in your life, attitude or circumstance and will most likely stick around. As well, having a small goal like that will make the recovery from a relapse a lot more manageable ("Shit, didn't make it to two weeks, might as well give it another shot!" instead of "Oh my god! I failed at my new life goal!")
3) Identify triggers! After all of this time NoFapping, I have found that my desire to fap is no longer tied to sexual gratification, it is actually tied to stress and a desire for relief. I am entirely present with fapping when I am with PMO and the rest of the world is at bay. It has a lot similar with a desire to drink, or other compulsive actions, such as shopping, gambling, exercise and sex. It is a moment in which the rest of the world is gone, and it comes with a dopamine boost as well. What that is to say is, you will not have to worry about public places like beaches with bikinis or summer clothing being a trigger to go home and fap. A natural sex drive will take over and you will find these attractive, but I have found that it doesn't make me want to fap. I find that I see a lot less sex in women and a lot more nuance and personality. And, when I am with my girlfriend, and we are in a space together, I feel the sexual energy much more naturally. It has become about an emotional and physical connection, as apposed to an escape. So, next time you want to fap, you might just actually be stressed or upset, and if thats the case and you identify the source of that energy, it will be much easier to direct it towards more healthy outlets. When I'm stressed, I either hit the gym or practice my Russian vocab or piano sheet music! Its awesome, I keep turning my stress and self doubt into self esteem and self betterment!
Last but not least, you very well could relapse. If so, you're not a horrible person, you just missed the signs and can get back up on the horse and try again, with new experience and context int your pocket to help you next time!
Anyway, this is sooper long, but hopefully someone will read it, make a TL;DR version and maybe, just maybe this will help someone out.
Take care fellows!
by gr3yfoxhound 264 days