Age 29 - Morning wood coming back, I can look people in the eyes

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Today I received the best Christmas gift of my life. And I gave it to myself: 120 days without PMO. I had many ups und downs and I will continue to have them. But the good days are more often and I can deal with the bad days better than ever before in my life.

I am 29 years old (30 next month). Benefits: I don't really feel "superpowers", it's more like being normal again. My improvements are small but steady. I am more positive, I enjoy life more, I have more energy and are more awake. I can look people in the eyes. Women are more beautiful too me now. Morning woods are coming back slowly.

Small things, but it gets better and better.

I was a hopeless case before. I tried to stop for years, had some good streaks now and then but kept relapsing over and over again.

Lifestyle changes:

- Every evening I write down three things I'm grateful for and three good things that happened that day. This helped me being more positive and gain some confidence.
- I wrote down what person I want to be and read that list regularly.
- regular exercise
- I read a lot and listen to podcasts.
- I try to abstain from facebook, twitter etc. and mindless browsing
- Cold Shower every morning (it's just a good feeling to get out of your comfort zone immediately after waking up. I start the day with more energy).

Symptoms before NoFap? PIED, prone to depression, social anxiety (still have that, but i gets better), brain fog, low energy. Sorry for my english. Greetings from Germany.

LINK - Today I received the best christmas gift of my life

By svw_luke


1 YEAR UPDATE

I can hardly believe that it's been one year today. In the last year I didn't watch porn or masturbate even once.

When you saw the title you maybe expected a report full of talk about superpowers and all the joy in my life. If that's what you wanted to read I'll have to disappoint you. I realized quickly that the magic 90 days are just a number. There's nothing magical about it, because we're all so different. Some people stop masturbating and watching porn (especially the younger guys) and feel great after a few days or weeks. I experienced this too when I was young, had my first girlfriend and stopped watching porn for a short period (not knowing then, that PMO was a problem). Some guys need longer, sometimes months, sometimes years. I read reports from people who needed two year or more to fully recover. If you grew up with PMO and were addicted from a young age, your brain needs longer to recover. I fell in that group, too, as I was/am addicted for more then 15 years.

I'm a 30 year old from Germany (so I apologize for my sometimes bad language. English is not my native language). I discovered porn when I was 11 or 12 year old and watched it ever since. This means I watched porn and masturbated more than half of my life. In the beginning it was maybe only a bad habit, because of limited use of the internet back then. But it escalated quickly. Internet porn started to grow and I was fixed almost immediately. I could browse porn websites for hours a day and masturbated multiple times on some days. When I was a teenager I barely had motivation for anything else than PMO. I wasn't bad at school, but I wasn't good either. I was just a quiet pupil who didn't want to attract attention. I wasn't exactly a loner. I had some good friends and was out with them at the weekends regularly. But I also regularly stayed at home in front of my computer and watched porn for hours on saturdays.

When I was 18 I had my first girlfriend. As I stated above I stopped with PMO for some time and felt great, but went back to it after some while. I experienced back then that I had problems with my erections when I was with my girlfriend. I never had any problems with porn, but sex life with my girlfriend wasn't quite satisfying for both of us. At that time I didn't know about something as PIED (Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction) and wasn't aware that PMO could lead to problems. Like most of us I thought it was pretty normal and healthy. How could we tell otherwise when everbody confirmed it? The relationship lasted 4 years and when I think back it is almost a miracle she stayed with me for so long. At the same time I dropped out of university and started a new subject in a new city.

I was 23 or 24 when I first read about porn addiction. I think I read in some internet forum that masturbation could lead to acne (which I was prone to). I looked further and quickly found yourbrainonporn, reddit/nofap and other websites. It was clear for me from the beginning that I was addicted to PMO and it caused a lot of problems for me. So I tried to stop. In had some good streaks: 50days, 70 days, once more than 90 days. In the beginning I felt great when I had long streaks but I relapsed every time. I relapsed maybe 250 times in the five years following. I tried again and again, but the constant relapses drained me of my energy more and more. When I relapsed, it wasn't that I would rub one out and that's it. I didn't watch porn for a few weeks and when I relapsed it was as my addicted brain needed to catch up on everything it missed the weeks before. I watched porn up to 8 hours sometimes (with some break of course). When I finished I felt like a zombie and had no energy and motivation at all. I started a new streak every time and experienced withdrawal symptoms which became more and more severe. The constant cycle of withdrawals and relapsing leaved me exhausted. I couldn't sleep and got really depressed to the point I thought about suicide.

Long story short, one year ago I relapsed for the last time. I was in a long flatline and experinced withdrawal symptoms for three months and started too feel better around day 100. I didn't feel like superman but life felt good again for the next maybe 50 days. I had more energy, the good days became more frequent and the bad days were not as hard to overcome. After that I experienced a new flatline. Sometimes I felt better again and my morning woods started to come back slowly. But once I had hope that the worst would be behind me, the flatline strucked again. Around day 250 I had the most severe withdrawals I've ever experinced. For ten days I didn't sleep more than 3 hours I night because I just couldn't. I had no energy at all and had to work the next day. I had headaches and brain fog, I thought about suicide almost every day. I thought about watching porn and masturbating almost every day. Two times I had my browser open and was close to open some porn website. I was in that state for half an hour, my addicted and my "normal" brain fighting inside my head. I didn't relapse because, as bad as I felt, I knew it would make everything even worse.

The flatline slowly started to fade away only a few days ago, at day 340 or something like that. I start to feel better again and my morning woods have been very hard the last few days. I have more energy and am less depressed. But I know that I'm far from recovered. Maybe a new flatline will hit again, maybe my addicted brain will have a last big fight. But I am confident that I am stronger. The withdrawals, the sleepless nights, the depression, the porn flashbacks and the urges will feel bad at that time, but it will make you a stronger person afterwards. It builds character in some way. If it comes back I will by ready to fight it again. I don't know how long it takes for me to recover. I realized a long time ago that I am one of the more severe cases. Will it take a few more weeks, half a year, even another full year? I don't know, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Benefits: My report may have sound a little negative so far. But even if my journey was like hell many times and I don't feel like superman, there have been some benefits:

  • Self-Respect: Relapsing can destroy it, but not relapsing for such a long time feels really good.
  • Self-Control/Discipline: I still have strong urges, but I can deal with them a lot better. I'm not longer on auto pilot when triggered but control my urges.
  • Time: I just have more time for other things. I'm outside more, I learned dutch, I'm reading a lot.
  • Character: I already mentioned it above. Going through hell builds character.
  • I can see the beauty in ordinary things like the color of a tree or the shape of a cloud. Things I have never noticed before.

Some small advices:

  • Read "The obstacle is the way" by Ryan Holiday and "The subtle art of not giving a fuck" by Mark Manson. These two books are not the typical self-help books, but they helped me big time during hard times. Another helpful book is "The willpower instinct" by Kelly McGonigal. If you want to know more about the science behind porn addiction read the articles on yourbrainonporn.com or buy the book.
  • Meditate: I'm still not consistent with this, but it helps to become more aware and mindful. Google "mindfulness meditiation" for more advice.
  • Go outside. Don't sit alone at home when you're depressed or lonely. Just go outside and wander around. Go into the nature or just walk around your town.
  • Be mindful with internet use. Don't browse the internet because of boredom. It can lead to a relapse faster than you can spell "Internet". Stay away (at least for a while) from Facebook, Instagram and other social networks. These sites are full of triggers.
  • Write down three things you are grateful for every day.
  • If you are in a flatline and have no/low libido, don't worry about it. It will come back, just wait and trust the process. Don't test and fantasize.

Before I come to an end I just have to say a word to the younger guys around here: I struggled with this addiction my whole twenties and my teens. Was sitting alone at home watching porn on weekends numerous times. Was depressed a lot and had low to no motivation for a long time. I know I can't change the past and I know it makes no sense to dwell on it. But I won't lie: It really hurts when I look back.

So if you're young, 16, 18, 25 years old, whatever, please just do me a favour: STOP THIS ADDICTION NOW! Perhaps you don't realize it yet, but this is the most important thing you can do while you're still young. This may be the most important thing in your life. Don't stop tomorrow, don't stop next week, stop it now and enjoy life!

Thank you for reading and sorry for the long post.