Hello everyone! Today I’ve finally reached the huge milestone of 90 days. I’ve kept at it for 4.5 years now. I thought I’d share some things that helped me and other thoughts. The first segment of this thread is about the story of my journey which you can read if you want some insight into how I went about it. The second segment is only about “techniques”. Basically what worked for me.
First Segment: My journey
From a young age I’ve been interested in computer games, which resulted in me isolating myself from socialising with peers in one of the most crucial periods of growing up. This resulted in a lot of insecurities and shyness during my early teenage years, which in turn resulted in me gaming more. Around the age of 12 I had my first experience with porn and masturbation, I woke early on the weekends to experiment with my newfound “hobby”. The frequency quickly rose to a whoppin’ three time daily deal.
The time I spent on gaming and generally keeping inside my anti-social comfort zone lead to me being completely unable to hold any form of eye contact. I spoke absolutely no more than necessary. The bad habit of no movement and over-eating made me fat, which added onto my insecurities.
Beginning of my journey
At the age of 14 I had my first “major” crush on a girl from class. I wanted to befriend her but I quickly realized that my flawed communication skills wouldn’t get my message across in a neat enough package. Me having no clue on how to communicate effectively looked up guides for improving one’s social competence. What I began doing was similar to some kind of self-medicated cognitive behavioral therapy. I began challenging myself in incredibly small steps. Over time I added more and more challenge to the tasks. The first one being just grazing other people’s eye contact, then increasing the time spent holding it. Eventually I began greeting cashiers before they greeted me, which was a healthy exercise in learning to speak up.
In the end I didn’t get the girl, I eventually made my intentions clear by sending her a valentines day greeting, which was not reciprocrated. I tried a few more times after that, but to no avail. Looking back on myself at the time I can’t do anything else but cringe.
During the summer break in which I turned 15, I found the NoFap community. I read about other people’s experiences and it all made sense to me. I could see the negative patterns and behaviours in me which I at the time gave fapping credit for.
My streaks rarely made it over 20 days with lots and lots of binge days and NoFap breaks. However, I kept challenging myself and kept expanding my comfort zone and I made huge strides in learning to not care what other people thought of me. My confidence kept increasing and my ability to communicate improved a lot. Thanks to my quest of NoFap and participation on the subreddit I developed an interest in psychology and biology. Thanks to the community I read a lot of great material on the subjects and learned things about life which I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.
Realizing what else needs fixing
Then I turned 16 and the Swedish equivalent of highschool began. I kept reading about self development/improvement, psychology and all kinds of subjects. When I began NoFap I had realized I was addicted to PMO. I hadn’t yet realized my addiction to gaming, but I did during “highschool” and as I kept reading about all kinds of subjects and self reflecting I realized more and more about the negative habits I had acquired. I began trying to fix my errors but I couldn’t. I tried hard, but as they say “don’t work hard, work smart (and hard)”.
Life kept rolling and time was ticking as always. I kept improving and dealing with myself, progress was slow, but as I went on I could look back and see how I was changing. As you know life is incredibly complex and every person has lots and lots of different experiences. A lot has happened since I began my journey. I can’t write about everything as there’s simply too much. But it is most recently that I have made extremely huge improvements in my life.
Recent strides and related techniques
I’m now 18, soon to be 19. In the last few months I switched things up. I realized what the problem for me and my constant relapses in abstaining from PMO and gaming was. I had constantly focused at changing everything at once, I had been too eager and there for over extended myself, which quickly drained my will power and energy which in turn made me relapse. This time I said to myself “take things as slow as possible, one small thing at a time”. It seems counterintuitive, but it worked for me when all else failed.
I knew about the principles of dieting and exercise, but I never could begin a solid routine because of what I said earlier. But this time I simply said to myself “it is okay to fap and game and be lazy, but whatever I do, I have to be below my daily calories”. Now, I didn’t binge game or fap, I just convinced myself that it was completely okay to do it.
I began with no deficit, even though I was eager to add it. I just counted my calories and made sure not to over eat. After a few weeks I added a small deficit and was able to keep to it. After a few more weeks I kept increasing the deficit. Then after procrastrinating buying a gym membership for a few months I just went ahead and got it, as it not longer felt as huge of a step as it did before. A week later I began abstaining from gaming. Normally I would’ve deleted the games, but this time I just let them be. After a week I began what would become this very NoFap streak. I had porn saved on my phone, but similarly to the games on my pc I just let it be.
After a few weeks I went ahead and deleted the porn. The days kept going by, I did my regular school routines but because I hade made being home alone boring I began hanging out with my friends more. The time spent at the gym consequently increased and I was no longer bored. I began spending more time on the seduction subreddit as I began feeling more complete as a young man and “truly” ready for a girl. I began reading a lot about the art of pickup, which benefitted me hugely because I began applying principles to my general way of life.
Also something that needs to be mentioned but happened gradually over the months before these events, I began fixing my looks. I always felt shitty over all, but gradually I began to dress better. This made me feel better, which in turn made me feel less of a fapper. Then I went to a hairdresser and let them fix my hair. I had never cared for my hair and just cut it short, but this time I actually got a nice hairstyle and began fixing it everyday. After some time it felt unnatural to go without fixing my hair.
Success, at last!
Now to something that happened last week, as some kind of climax to my so-far 4 year journey.
My town arranges a prom for all the schools in the district. I’m going to participate with a friend from class. In preparation for the prom dance our school arranges dance lessons. Monday last week my prom date couldn’t make it to the session, so I went alone. We were supposed to be paired up, so I approached a girl who also happened to be alone for the session. It went really well, we added each other on instagram. A day later I add her on snapchat and we keep chatting. We then agreed to meet on friday last week, which we did. We watched a movie at her place and talked about what ever and at the end before leaving I went for the kiss. IT FUCKING HAPPENED! It might not seem like much but it was huge for me as it was my first kiss. It feels awesome because it culminated from my journey and all the effort I’ve spent on improving myself over these last 4 years.
Yesterday we agreed to meet again and go watch the local firework show, it’s a tradition for the 1st of May. We watched the show, I met her friends and we ate at a burger joint. Later we went back to her house, and before I left I went for the kiss again. Now I’m in unknown territory and I just go with what feels right, it’s all a huge learning experience for me.
I’ve never felt so content as I do now. Keep in mind that it all adds up. I’ve learned to not base my happiness simply on external events, but as a combination of inner perspective and external events.
Second Segment: Techniques and general advice
- Read and learn about how your addictions work, this will give you understanding on why you act and react as you do in relation to the addictions. This makes it easier as you get a chance to pro-actively react to future negative behaviours. It also helps you understand yourself.
- Take extremely small steps. You will be motivated to make change and eager to do everything at once. If you do so you risk over extending yourself, which will drain your energy and will power which will lead to repeated relapses.
- Don’t beat yourself over a relapse or other failures. Realize that it is OK to fail and just keep at it, move on. The more you beat yourself up the worse you’ll feel about yourself. This drains your energy.
- Replace bad habits with good habits. If you simply quit one habit without replacing it, you will either relapse back to it or replace it with some other negative habit.
- Focus on one day at a time. Don’t envision the road ahead, it is long and difficult which you will learn over time. Speculating about the road ahead will not help you in any way, it will only drain your energy and discourage you.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. This accomplishes nothing, it will only make you discouraged or give you hubris, which is bad either way. In the end it’s only fair to compare yourself to how you were previously as you act on the same conditions.
- Have a future goal. Envision how you want to live in the future. This will motivate you and give you a general sense of direction. If you walk without a destination or at least a direction, you will walk the easy and comfortable road which leads to your “demise”.
- Stop caring about what the general crowd thinks of you. This does not help you in any way towards your goals. Obviously, there are some things you have to care about, but they are obvious.
- Develop a mentality of “I can solve anything”. We all know we CAN’T in fact solve everything, but having such an attitude is immensely powerful as it gives you confidence in face of uncertainty. Just thinking so will fool your brain, it will decrease or at least supress your reactions to stress. Think of any horrible situation where the odds are stacked against you, but instead of drawing the conclusion that you will fail just assume that you WILL solve it somehow (even if you in the real situation would die). Obviously you got to know your limits so you don’t actually put yourself in a unnecessary situation where you will die. It’s all about the MENTALITY, not REALITY.
- See EVERYTHING as a learning experience, because it is. This will remove stigma from certain situation, which will make you less nervous. It will also motivate you to try new things as it will learn you potentially useful lessons.
- Slowly begin to dress better, don’t change your style over night. If you change it up slowly it will feel more natural and you’ll begin to feel a lot better. Feeling better will give you less inclination to seek out PMO to fulfill yourself.
There’s a lot more to be said, but at this time I can’t recall all of it. You can ask about what ever and I’ll try to help.
TL;DR: “Loser” gets a crush, realizes his short comings, improves himself and then gets a kiss. Hopefully lives happily ever after.