The first time I had ever heard about NF was when a redditor friend of mine showed me this page he had randomly stumbled upon. My reaction was to admit “oh, man I could never do that”, while secretly wishing I could.
For months before NF, I had been trying to quit continuously, but never got past 3 to 5 days. And I didn’t think I was addicted, I had just figured if I don’t want to do it I should be able to stop.
It proved to be much harder than that.
It took me just over a good month of reading NF and getting my affairs into order before I registered for a badge. That day was a Friday of all days, right before a long weekend with little to do. I’ve already made a post on extremely helpful tips that I’ll link at the bottom of this one that got me through that weekend and beyond, but after that day I didn’t look back. And it’s because of the enormous debt of gratitude that I owe to you guys and gals that I wanted to share my experiences in the hopes of giving back to others struggling with this same problem. If this post gives that last bit of motivation to get a badge, or to stick out the full 90 days for sure, to even one person, it will have done its job.
Let me tell you the truth about NF right when you decide to take the challenge : you won’t be able to do it. Or, at least, that’s what you’re going to think every single day that you are doing it, and it’ll feel so true that you just can’t take it any more. It is an addiction, and you will be going through the emotional ups and downs and downs of withdrawal. The truth is a day one fapstronaut is like a man setting out to climb a tall mountain who has never walked before that day. At first it will be impossible and too much to get to the “magical” 90 day mark, but as you walk a little bit more each time your muscles, your willpower, will grow and it will become possible. That is why the best advice I can give you is to take it one day at a time, always. Don’t look at what you’re doing as fighting a war to quit for 90 days, then it seems too big to take on. Realize that what you’re doing is just saying no once. When that urge comes up, you say no, you scream into a pillow, you scream internally, you throw those thoughts away, you distract yourself, you realize how much better you’ve done without it and how much you have to lose going back and starting over and maybe not even getting this far, and you don’t let that urge go anywhere. You say no, that one time, and you do that every one time that it comes up. That’s it. Not 90 days of constant will power, just a subtle lifestyle change, a quiet “no” whenever the random desire flickers up and tries to take hold.
And for the first few months, by god, do distract yourself. Like the man at the mountain, you’re still developing your willpower to fight it, so never let arrogance convince you to edge or that you’re strong enough to go there a little and come back. One day you might be, but not just yet. So put all that extra time and energy and confidence that comes with starting NF to use on other ventures to keep yourself preoccupied. The first few weeks are really a battle of distraction. (I highly recommend OpenDNS or some other kind of web filtering service, especially if it comes with a 3 minute delay before new settings take effect. That way, even if you falter, the 3 minutes give you enough time to realize you really don’t want to do this, and unset those settings. )
Likewise the hardest thing to accept about NF is to never think you’re done. Once you look at “wow, I’ve already gone 80, or 100, days, I’m so great” the false confidence will trip you up. The most helpful thing for me has been to, every day, say to myself “X days down, Y days to go”. You never look at the X without the Y. Even if you’re a day away, you’re still not done. Even if you’ve met your goal, your freedom from those chains is guaranteed only by your vigilance. Which, just like any habit, becomes much, much easier with time the longer you stick to it.
Despite what some people say, NF will not make you into a god of confidence and ability, although for the first few months it’ll really feel like that. What NF will do is give you more control of your own life. It’s a little bit like the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Instead of acting on impulse, you’ll be learning self-restraint and mindfulness with one of the most primal instincts, which will flow over into every part of your life and make your life’s decisions be entirely up to you.
When I started this 500 days ago, I had trouble concentrating; I couldn’t commit to a goal for more than a week at a time. Whenever I’d have a day off, it’d be wasted in lazy indulgence and nothing more, knowing that I COULD be doing more with my time and that I wasn’t. Now I can handle 50, 60 hour work weeks regularly without even noticing it, now I’ve been able to make the choice to exercise regularly and stick to it.
Now I’m in a relationship unlike any I’ve ever been in because I can finally treat my partner as another human being rather than sometimes as an object of desire (and that degree of mindfulness goes a long way with helping relationships, since you now know firsthand that your own desires aren’t as important as they make themselves out to be, that you can say no to them to put others first); now I’m constantly working on improving myself instead of just wishing I could.
And all this from doing NF for just over 1% of the average expected lifespan I have ahead of me. That’s the difference NF makes, and that’s the difference I hope for all of you.
For a list of tips and tools to get you through those 90 days, here is my post on what pushed me through it: http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/comments/ydols/26yo_m_virgin_just_looking_to_share_my_story/c5umpm8
LINK – 499 Days of NF
UPDATE – 1000 Days of NoFap
“Who you were yesterday determines who you are today. But what you do today determines who you are tomorrow. Keep up the NoFap and you will be a god every day.”
It’s been a long journey, NoFap, and I never thought I’d make it this far. I couldn’t have done it without the support of this community and all of you incredible people. Thank you.
The truth is, I haven’t gone a thousand days without PMO, and you shouldn’t think of it that way, I’ve really only gone one.
This is a battle you fight one day at time. You give it your best, you scream as loud as you need to, take cold showers, do push ups, pursue new hobbies, grit your teeth and distract yourself away from those old habits with whatever you can. And, somehow, you’re never really sure how, you manage to get yourself to get through the day without PMO. And now you’ve made it a whole day. Now you can wake up the next day and know you’ve taken one the biggest steps you can take towards where you want to be, and that, if you stay strong, you CAN do this.
If you can get through the first day, you have it in you to get through the first ninety, and the rest to come. Thinking of NoFap as a battle you have to fight FOREVER, every day, just makes it harder on you, and it’s not true.
And, trust me, it does get easier. Even now I try to stay vigilant against PMO, because it really is one step away to failure IF you let it be. But after the first 30 days, the first 90 days, your brain starts to change. The way you think, feel, and function starts to change. You brain won’t think you NEED PMO as much as it did before, and you’ll go longer and longer stretches of time without even remembering about it.
If you’ve got a goal for a specific number of days, track every single day you’ve completed, and every single day you’ve got to go. “X days down, Y days to go” is what I told myself every day until the thoughts of PMO became so infrequent entire days would go by before I remembered. (And, yes, that change will come with time.)
You all have no idea what you’re capable of. It sounds silly, you’re just taking a break from PMO, how could that be any sort of a big deal? But it’s only the beginning. NoFap will not miraculously change your life, but it will give you the means to do it yourself. You’ll start to have a lot more free time and unbounded energy. You’ll start to feel more clear headed, and get back a longer attention span. Above all, you’ll start to have control of your own emotions and where your own life is going. Because you’ve seen unbearable desire firsthand, you’ve felt your body giving you the absolute most powerful urges it could to do something and.. you said no.
There’s something very Buddhist about it, but that’s one of the most incredible things you will gain from NoFap. You will learn to let emotions wash over you and not pull you in. Lust for addictions, fear of new things or rejection, slowly you realize that nothing in reality is ever as bad or as uncontrollable as you anticipate it to be. You take on cold showers, you start working out, you stop caring about things that don’t matter, and you go for the people and the things you want.
The best part of NoFap is that realization that there is NOTHING in the whole world stopping you from accomplishing anything except for you. And I encourage all of you to stick it out until you get there. Don’t listen to my words, find out what I mean for yourselves. It is worth it, just fight it one day at a time. Best of luck, fapstronauts.
Since I started NoFap, I’ve been able to pursue some of my dreams that I never thought I’d be capable of. I’m working a job I love, I finished my education with great scores, I’ve started working out, and I’ve had the good fortune to date some very incredible women that I wouldn’t have been able to before. Before NoFAp, I would only ever think about the goals I wanted to get done, but always be too depleted and tired to ever do anything about them. Now, I’m always trying to move forward with new goals, and I know that NoFap is what continually makes that possible for me.
That’s the difference NoFap has made for me, and that’s the difference I hope it makes for all of you. You are all stronger than you think, and great things lay ahead for you. Godspeed, fapstronauts.
What you’re missing is that the path itself changes you. You’re weak because you haven’t stepped on the path. When you do, a process will begin. As you climb the mountain, you’ll get stronger. Your plastic brain will be shaped by the path. You might think this path isn’t for you, but it is—you’ll just change along the way. The path itself will toughen you up for the end.
“The Flinch”, by Julien Smith
Specifics tips to help along the way: http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/comments/10ph2a/how_do_i_make_it_till_tomorrow/c6fhutn http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/comments/ydols/26yo_m_virgin_just_looking_to_share_my_story/c5umpm8 http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/comments/11gdwk/thats_my_secret_im_always_horny/c6mbmkc http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/comments/uzq3y/first_time_on_nofap/c50049p
Previous Posts/Advice: http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/comments/1nugp5/499_days_of_nf/ http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/comments/yovdb/the_difference_1_makes/ http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/comments/11325j/fapstronauts_are_like_phoenixes/