(Day 90) Here’s some insights I’ve gained; please feel free to take what you like and leave the rest. I feel more sharp mentally, more “present”, more energetic. The first few weeks I felt like I was walking on tip-toe, like a jungle cat. The mental fog – which I didn’t know was there – has cleared right up.
No shame! It was my regular companion, has slinked off. We all know what it’s like to have someone walk in on us. At times I’ve been slightly paranoid (if the news is right and the US government can spy on us, maybe some guy in Washington is recording my browser history, in order to blackmail me! Seriously, it has crossed my mind.). Now, people walk in while I’m online, I don’t have to slam the lid down, hit Alt-Tab, click off the monitor, block the monitor, etc., etc. Man, I can’t tell you how good that feels.
No permission. For many years, I looked at time alone as “permission” for fapping, with or without porn or old-fashioned still shots (“girly pictures”, lingerie shots, etc). I justified myself by saying that no man can go for days or a week or so without some sort of release. Then suddenly I’m trying to look for, carve out, time alone so that I would have a good reason for PMO. That’s not normal.
Turning point in history. I’m a student of history, and it’s a fact that fapping has been exponentially on the rise just in the past 15 years. Don’t let people tell you, “Well, chimps do it, so it’s built into us.” Look at any other period of history, and men have never masturbated like they do now. It’s the great experiment that is failing horribly, as “Your Brain on Porn” nails.
Media. I’ve PMO’d before and after internet, and before and after hi-speed internet, and no kidding, the opportunities for it have never been worse than it is right now – with hi-speed you can spend hours looking for just the perfect image or video that will trigger the reaction. You younger guys who are struggling, we older guys can understand, you are wrestling with a beast.
Warning about hi-speed. Hi-speed access to video is only the beginning. We are only a time away from hi-def, 3-D porn, porn that we can view on our phones and no-one else can see what we’re looking at, and who knows what else. The time to knock off this habit is NOW, folks, because the Research and Development boys at the sleaze factory are hard at work, and the drug is only going to become more powerful.
The Real Zombies. I see young, single, disheveled guys, no ambition, no career goals, no direction, no relationship, sauntering around, not looking me in the eye, and it’s almost as if I can see PMO tattooed on their foreheads. Or PMO + addictive gaming. These are the real zombies, not the ones we see in movies.
Addicts in the streets. I see men and boys throughout the day and I think, half, or even more of you are addicted to PMO. No “look once in a while.” Hooked. Porn gets the gold medal of addictions, not drugs or alcohol or even tobacco.
What constitutions an addiction? I think this is the best insight I can share: My PMO habit was not, at least in recent years, an every day thing; not every week; not even every month. Maybe a few days running, then none for several weeks; I would indulge after some accomplishment, almost like the treat that I earned. So, no party with friends, no congrats, no sex, just me hooking up with the laptop. Still, I’ve learned that PMO doesn’t have to be frequent to make it an addictive behavior. There is a difference between “frequent” and “regular”. If a heroine abuser shoots up only occasionally, but plans for it, looks forward to it, and cannot walk away from it, then he is an addict. If a fapper who does PMO, even if not frequently, even if just once in a while but cannot quit, then that’s addiction, by definition.
“Don Jon” – saw it when it came out. A gritty, raunchy movie; so unforgettable that it burned into my mind what a wicked addiction this really is. There is some nudity in it, however, it’s almost like aversion therapy – you see the images and someone sends an electrical shock to the dong, is how it is!
They are so young! The most striking thing I’ve learned from reddit – besides some excellent help – is how young some of you were when you started PMO. I would have guessed that the average is 15 years old or something. But 10? 8? 6? Holy smokes, what are we doing to ourselves. My hats are off to you who have struggled since childhood, even if you just have a 1 next to your name, you’re doing amazing work.
Like I said, I wasn’t sure I’d make it to 90, and I’m not positive I’ll make it to 91 or 100. It has to be one day at a time, or else I’m back to 0, and I sure don’t want that.
Many thanks everyone, guys and gals, you’re a huge help.
Hi brothers and sisters. I just posted some of this on NoFap, but wanted to add it here too. I have not visited here a while, and have not contributed for 8 months. When I logged in today, I saw that my badge read 541 days, and I also had a 1 Year Trophy in the trophy case. But it saddens me to see this.
I don’t deserve it. I blew it, and have done PMO off and on for about six weeks, so I really only made it to about 500 days before falling back into it. I now have to bite the bullet and reset that beautiful number to just 3 days. And I had to go through the hassle and embarrassment of figuring out how to reset, getting my password figured out, etc.
But I must say that starting again has given me hope and joy, not gonna let this get me down.
Why in the world would I let myself get sucked back in? I hope to describe some circumstances, while affirming that these are NOT good reasons or excuses.
- A complicated situation, which I can’t go into, but the upshot is that my wife and I are apart, that is, not able to have sex of any kind since September, and no, there is no alternative stimulation of each other, nothing. It’s nobody’s fault. I’m not in Antarctica or anything, but I might as well be. I didn’t realize that this situation would go for, at this point, four months, and I didn’t take steps to spend time on NoFap or plan around what would be a long drought.
- I got cocky. And figured that I had things under control, since I had over a year of success, and because I am late middle-aged and therefore don’t face the same urges as a younger man. I was mistaken, as it turns out. I also got cocky by looking at some very mild images for a while, then harder, then the real stuff – and only then did I PMO. I let myself slide down the slope
- Frequency. So I have been fapping maybe once a week for these six weeks, but turning to porn 4-5 times a week for maybe 30 minutes each time. Sorry for all these numbers, but it helps me to put it down on paper.
- Stress. After this dry spell, even with the recent episodes of masturbation, I feel incredibly tense, irritable, ready to snap or lash out, you name it. And I do realize that the PMO is only making it worse, especially the P, so it’s not as if I have been doing myself any favors by #3 above. Masturbation is a pseudo-relaxer.
- My experience in the past. As I have mentioned before in this space, for me the big problem has not been frequent PMO, but rather regular PMO. That is, if I did PMO one weekend every couple of months, but then knocked it off, I still regard that as addiction. Addiction in the same way that someone might say, “I smoke crack, but only once every couple of months.” For me, addiction is not about frequency, but about regularity and the unwillingness to say no to PMO.
- Nature of the porn. Unfortunately, I recently stumbled across two sites that were really a magnet for me, the videos precisely meshed with what I would regard as an incredible turn-on.
- Felt like I deserved a break, given the long dry spell. It’s the ultimate rationalization, isn’t it: “Hey, you deserve this, you’re under a lot of strain, you’re protecting your marriage by not sleeping around, so treat yourself!”
And I’ll add a point that we believers need to hear:
I let my relationship with God become dry and shallow. Sure, I read the Bible every day, and prayed, and witnessed. But my life with Christ was not the top quality I need in order to fight against this sort of temptation.
All week I seem to be hearing anecdotes about people who have ruined their lives by PMO, and I know God is banging on my door to get me to pay attention. And then my devotions for two days ago turned out to be the very key passage, 1 Cor 6:12-20.
So, I’m on day 3, and tonight when I turn in I’ll be visiting here instead of another kind of site.
Folks, you who struggle to make it through one single day can probably imagine how painful it is for me to see that number 541 get flushed, literally, down the toilet. Please don’t make excuses as I have done!