Age 34 - more in touch with myself, Things in the bedroom are a million times better
If you've been reading the "Geoff's Journal" thread in the 30-34 journal section of the website, you'll know I've reached 90 days of no PMO. This is a major achievement for me, and one of which I am both satisfied and proud.
As others have before me, I wanted to write down a few thoughts about my journey, how I got here and where I want to go from here into 2015.
What I've learnt
On my previous attempts to quit PMO, I have usually abstained from PMO for a period of time, continued living the life I was living before, and then eventually gone back to it. I believe I did this for two reasons:
(1) In my mind, I hadn't properly quit - I'd just stopped using for a while.
(2) I didn't change my lifestyle at all to support me in my aim of quitting PMO.
Naturally, in the past, I'd go back in a few days. This is the longest period that I have been away from PMO - well of course it is, as I've quit.
I read a lot of people's posts on here who say that they are struggling to avoid PMO for a few days on end. If that's you, I am living proof that it is entirely possible to come away from it. But you do need to make the lifestyle changes necessary to support this. Here's the kind of things that I did:
- Got an accountability partner who I report to daily on this website.
- Installed a program on my phone which tracks all the websites and apps I use - a report automatically goes to my accountability partner weekly.
- In turn, I receive the same from my accountability partner, which gives me a sense of well-being and trust
- Moved my phone away from the bedroom each night so that picking up the phone and going on the internet wasn't the first thing I did every morning.
- Talked to my girlfriend about spending too much time on the internet and she supports me in this aim.
- Have a defined list of tasks when accessing the internet and shutting off the computer as soon as that list is completed.
- Spend more time with my partner, doing stuff away from the internet.
- Spend more time being social.
- Think about the goals I really want to achieve and start to put them into action - this year, I've launched a new business, which I'm working very hard on. The thought that I could one day work for myself and earn good money keeps me motivated!
- Regular visualisation of what life could be like if I achieved my goals.
- Learning meditation: I haven't practised enough in 2014 but I have bought some books and I intend to be more serious in 2015.
- Learning about yoga and other calming practices.
- Being more inquisitive about myself and how I'm feeling, thinking things through now rather than making emotional decisions.
- Becoming more educated on the subject overall, watching videos, reading texts and so on using the resources that others have spoken about on this website.
There's some other stuff too, but the point is that none of these things, by themselves, are particularly big or draining. Doing small things on a day-to-day basis really helps though, and I think that's the key - rather than trying to make big changes all in one go, do smaller stuff, but more often.
I also learnt that the community on here is incredibly supportive and caring, and there is absolutely no way I could have got to 90 days without the support of those who have posted on here, particularly on my journal. So thank you.
What changes have happened?
Some people liken the 90-day process to becoming "rebooted", or "superhuman". That is not my experience. I feel if anything, like I am still "rebooting": I am slowly introducing lifestyle changes but I know deep down that there are still some old habits ingrained, which occasionally I catch myself doing.
However, the fact that I can catch myself doing them demonstrates a greater awareness than I had before. Less tunnel vision, more a wider view of things.
I still get triggered sometimes too. However, my reaction to these triggers is significantly healthier than it used to be - and I view each trigger as an opportunity to strengthen the "right" pathways in my brain, rather than an inevitable decline into PMO.
I'm certainly more in touch with myself. I care about myself more. I go to bed earlier, and always (well, 99% of the time) the same time as my girlfriend. I share more of my life with her. I am less self-interested and more concerned with her happiness, and yes, things in the bedroom are a million times better than they used to be.
I have more readily followed through on the things I want to achieve. If it's a bit overwhelming, I've broken down the goals to smaller things which are more achievable. I am focussed on making my relationship and my business a success.
There has been nothing fundamentally "super-human" about hitting the 90-day target but I can safely say that it has made me more of a man and proud of who I am becoming.
I am going to continue my journey and will continue to post on NoFap. This may not be daily in 2015 but I want to remain a regular visitor. I don't want it to become all-encompassing in my life though: sometimes, there are triggers even on this site and my aim is now more concentrating on reaching the goals that I want to achieve rather than getting away from PMO.
It's a bit like a bobsled: I've had to give it a bit of a push, and now it's taken on a momentum of it's own. I need to keep moving towards my goals.
The one thing I don't want to do, though, is become complacent. This is just the start of a long journey of lifestyle change; one that might be lifelong.
Finally, I wanted to say to those who are reading this who are looking at me in the same way that I used to look at 90-day steak people: it is entirely possible that you can get here. You need to support yourself in doing so and work out what you want to replace the PMO. If you simply try and abstain without having some kind of easily-executable plan for when triggers strike, or without having some sort of PMO-replacement, then you'll fail.
I'm really happy to help where I can - if you want any advice, just let me know, and I'll continue to post. I owe this site, and the people on it that, for helping me to get to where I am.
Thread: I'm at 90 days
BY - goa