Married - better relationship, feeling more alive & happy, more energy
Going strong after 90 days, learnings to share, read below for more details. It's long, but I hope some of this helps someone somewhere...
Story I've been fapping for probably 28 years. Looking back, that makes me mad - 28 years squandered. I could be so much more now. I could have achieved so much more. How do I know this? Because of the difference noFap and noPorn has made in my life in the last 5 months.
I'd tried to quit for a long, long time. Sometimes just fapping, but inevitably the fapping to what I was imagining wasn't enough. Then the soft core wasn't enough. I went through many, many cycles of not fapping for a few days or weeks, starting with just fapping, then on to PMO.
I'm married and P has had a markedly negative effect on our relationship. Not only that, but my wife's own body image. Recovering from that will take a lot of time and work, and things will never be what they could. But even then, it's worth the recovery and there's hope.
I would turn to PMO a lot when I felt I wasn't getting any or enough, as an "outlet." That's just a vicious lie and death spiral. For those married or will be getting married some day, I would offer this advice: Get out of PMO now and stay out. It will make a huge difference.
Working out My favorite atm: http://www.startbodyweight.com. I manage to wake up at 6am (sometimes earlier) - see "What the most successful people do before breakfast" by Laura Vanderkam. This ensures that I have time every day and gives me a great workout and pump. Usually followed by:
Cold showers Not for the reason others typically state, but for the challenge. Building the warrior instinct. Progressing towards colder and colder. In it just for the F* Yeah! Feel like a man! Go kick some @$$! And other reasons - health, to wake up, post work-out , etc. (search for "cold shower" on this subreddit).
/r/nofap Every few days or so, or as a first counter to any thoughts of relapse or triggers. Sort by top, read a few posts. Sort by New, reply to a few posts of people asking for help, sharing briefly some advice and my favorite post or two.
Having a plan It's so important to have battle plans - strategic and tactical. I've drawn mine up over many, many years of struggle. I know that M has always led me to P. I know that if I'm tired, have alcohol, sit on the toilet for too long, and a bunch of other things lead me to M.
I know that if I'm home alone for the weekend, afternoon, or even day, that I better have a game plan of what I'm going to accomplish, and re-commit and steel myself for the battle ahead. I used to start thinking ahead, savoring the thought of those videos I want to see again, almost frothing at the mouth.
Now instead I draw up battle lines, prepare my defensive positions, set up all the desktop-tower-defense positions I can. I don't have an accountability partner (you all are that for me), but if I did, that person would also be pulled in and at my side.
Battle tactics Even then, things come out of the blue. Thoughts pop up. Images can't be unseen. I've built up some skillz and tactics to assist.
One of my most effective battleground tactics is as follows: Close your eyes. Take the image/thought/whatever in your head and freeze it into a flat piece of glass. Take a hammer and smash it into little unrecognizable bits. At the same time, think or yell: "You are not welcome in my head!"
Another is coming here to /r/nofap to read top posts, then when I'm re-committed, I go to the New tab to help encourage others. I know that if I do this, there are psychological reasons for consistency. In other words, in convincing others, I convince myself.
A third is to have a backup tactic. A week in, I was so ready to PMO - especially as it was before the new year, and I thought, "That would be a good time to start over." My mind started imagining all the "fun" videos I'd go through, and my body started physically shaking from the anticipation. Yes, physically shaking. I wanted it. But somehow I was able to convince myself to play Dead Rising 3 on my new xbox instead.
I played for 3 hours. I didn't relapse. That was huge! Not only did it show me I'm ABLE to make the right choice, even in the depths of physical cravings, but it also set me up for success. Not having to deal with a binge right off the start. Bingeing makes the first 10-14 days super super hard. But since I didn't, keeping momentum through the new year's and beyond was easier.
Superpowers or at least more-normal-powers
Eye Contact Before, I would always avert my eyes when passing people in the hallways, on the street, in stores, etc. Was it just being shy and introverted? Perhaps, perhaps not. I can now make eye contact with everyone I pass. Usually this results in the person smiling at me. Not sure if this is just from eye contact or I have a half-smile on my face most of the time. Anyway, this brightens my day, every time. Women almost always smile when I make eye contact. I believe we have a fundamental need for connectedness, and this can contribute to our personal happiness.
Eye contact and smiling are important and fulfilling social habits. If you want to improve your Charisma, try this today: As you walk around, make eye contact, smile, and notice the person's eye color. Keep count and see how many times you can do this throughout the day. Do this for days, weeks, and after that it becomes a natural habit.
Feeling more alive and happy My wife would comment a lot about me being stoic. I thought it was a reaction to my early life where my Mom would have massive shitstorms and go off on everyone. My coping mechanism was "water off a duck's back" and told myself I don't need emotions. That may have been a part of it. Well, since cutting out PMO, after 1mo or so, I started being able to laugh - really laugh. And feel sad, and be moved. It feels good. I don't want to turn back.
Energy Early on, the energy difference was quite stupendous. Now that I'm in 90 days, I've gotten more used to it so it's not as visible
Time I have more time: Time to read, write (e.g. this tome), learn, paint, create. Time with my family. Time to help build others up.
Sexual fantasies dramatically lessened Over time my brain is coming up with less and less enticing sexual fantasies or thoughts that used to pop up all the time before - I mean all the time. This re-wire gives my brain more bandwidth for other creative ideas, e.g. at work, introspective, how to get through problems, etc.