Age 35 - 6 months: Made some big changes in my life
I'm going from a (less and less) active participant in this subreddit, to a lurker only; and most likely will be deleting this account which was originally intended to be a throwaway for this subreddit only. The reason is simple: 1) I no longer post very often, and 2) I seem to be moving towards a relationship with a woman who is an active redditor.
Based on information she currently has, she could feasibly find this account and read my old posts. While I'm not ashamed to tell her about my addiction, and I don't think she will be scared away when I do, I do prefer to control which details I share with her. I wouldn't want her to find any of my posts which talk about what sort of porn I used to like, for example, and I might feel a little embarrassment if she found some of my whinier posts about my early struggle.
So, /r/pornfree, I just want to say thank you! I honestly don't believe I could have made it this far without you. This is a truly great community. And, of course, I'm not out of the woods yet; I know I'll never not be an addict, so I will be right back here with a new account if ever I realize I need you again. Which is not unlikely, I still have urges and near-misses once in a while. But I'm much stronger than I used to be, and the chance to have a little companionship in life, even if it's only for a little while, is simply too good to pass up.
My plan was to temporarily quit fapping while I worked on becoming PornFree. At first I was going to NoFap for 1 month. But after the month came, I was doing ok, but feared the chaser effect, and I figured "why change things while doing good?" So I extended the NoFap, and I've continued to extend it until today. Why today? Well, I was about to explode today, and I just gave in. But this is NOT a relapse, there was no PMO, and I never intended to stay on NoFap forever. Anyway, by doing this, I've noticed a few things, and I wanted to report them to you guys in case you find my experience useful.
- First, doing NoFap is extremely helpful in maintaining discipline in the early stages. I'm not sure I could have withstood some of the triggers I encountered if it weren't for the fact that I wasn't fapping at all. But I'm a little more resilient to triggers now. I've even happened on full-on pornographic images a time or two, on accident, in the last few days while on a dating website. Noted their existence, but had no trouble averting my eyes.
- Second, The chaser effect which I dreaded (i.e. the increase in cravings that occur after one starts to give in to temptation in small ways) has thus far not presented itself. If my cravings get worse in the next few days, I'll report back with a different story. If anything, I'm more relaxed and craving-free than I have been in some time.
- Third, after all this time, it was really easy to MO without using fantasy. I admit that sexual thoughts/fantasy played into my initial desire to fap. But before long I became aware of those thoughts and was able to focus on sensation. This is something I wasn't sure I would ever be able to manage; I worried my mind would always go to the last sexy thing I saw. By the way, those sexual thoughts that got this all started today? EXTREMELY tame and vanilla, compared to the kinds of stuff I would have used as spank-fodder four months ago.
Well, I'm going back on NoFap for a couple weeks to see how things play out now. I'm aware that this transition off of strict NoFap is a dangerous one, so I'll probably be on this site a little more, especially if my cravings start to get worse. But unless it seems like doing this put me on a path to relapse, I'm probably done with long-term periods of NoFap, because I think now I need to start building up my defenses against porn without using NoFap. In any realistic world, I'm going to have to masturbate once in a while unless I can find a sexual partner, and I have at least a couple months before I can even start looking for one (because my divorce isn't final yet). I'll only restart the long NoFap period if relapse seems nigh, because I can never return to porn. It would ruin my life.
Thanks for reading, and sorry for long post. I hope this helps some of you. If you're struggling, consider doing a few months of NoFap! It was painful at times, but it made staying PornFree a lot easier and I think it made it possible to partially reboot the way my brain thinks about sex.