Let me try to keep this short. Major events:
- Around day 5: steel rod.
- Around day 9: flu like symptoms, gone within 24 hours. Still don’t know if this was withdrawal or a virus… it seemed too short to be a virus.
- Around week 3, 5, 6: devastating depression. Worst depression of my life. The kind of thoughts that intrusively went into my head: “man, I am really a piece of shit. I have done nothing with my life so far, nor do I have any reason to believe I ever will”
- Around week 4, 5, 6 (buffering the depression): extreme optimism and confidence. This felt like inner confidence, not fake confidence (you probably know what i mean by fake confidence… fleeting, weak, and dependent on something). My thoughts weren’t “I can do ANYTHING!” but more like “I want to do EVERYTHING… I do not care if I fail because life is just a game that I am playing.”
- Around week 8 something magical happened: I was reading a book, when suddenly I noticed I was really aware. Not caffeine-aware, but little-kid-aware, if that makes sense. Like the only thing my brain cared about while reading the book was the book. Not the shit going on tomorrow, not the shit that happened earlier in the day, not worrying about getting laid off and not finding work, not worried about death or never owning my own house, not worrying if I worry too much, not worrying about blood pressure or eating carbs, and on and on. Remember when you were a little kid and could look at a leaf and just be completely amazed? The kind of amazement that geniuses never lose? I felt like I took 2 giant steps towards being in that state of mind again.
This is getting longer than I wanted it to be. Let me list the mistakes Ive made, then the benefits Ive noticed.
- Using sex as replacement masturbation. This slowed the process down I think. I now just use sex as sex for the most part, but right after quitting PMO, I used sex just to get off sometimes, and that was counter-productive.
- My PMO addiction needed another outlet once I took PMO out. And, to my regret, it found outlets in click addiction and food. I gained some fat, and binged on reddit and video games pretty hard.
Benefits that I am convinced came to me because of nofap:
- increased confidence: more like confidence back to normal people levels. It is not natural to be constantly walking on egg-shells in every social situation. This has gone away for me. Not that I feel “empowered” or whatever, I just simply don’t care like I used to. I’m more rational.
- increased creativity: This is a weird benefit that a lot of people report, and one that could easily be a placebo. However I believe it to be real, probably for no more reason than all addictions mess with your dopamine. Your brain simply wont go in some directions because of lack of reward. Sounds fruity, I know, but the I’m experiencing increased right brain activity, what can I say?
- Procrastination: improved. As Gary has pointed out, all addictions have the affect of downgrading the fun-level of everything in your life. ‘Fun’ becomes ‘meh’, ‘meh’ becomes ‘boring’, ‘boring’ becomes ‘downright painful’. Boring things aren’t really downright painful anymore so its a lot easier to just say “alright, fuck it, lets get this tedious task over with”
- The brain fog: major improvement here, starting around the 8th week. I could just concentrate like I couldn’t before. My thoughts started to be closer to what I am doing. This obviously makes life more enjoyable (or is it life becoming more enjoyable that is causing this?) and makes my mind sharper.
- Attitude: This is probably the change I am most happy with. Its hard to describe, but I feel younger, more daring, more willing to get hurt, less dependant on things in my life. I love my wife, job, and my money, but I feel like it would be an adventure if they all went away rather than the end of my life. I feel like for the last 13 years, I have been feverishly working towards and fretting over something that doesn’t exist. It’s ironic, but I now feel like life is a game meant to be played, not won, and it is this attitude which will cause me to win.
Ask me anything. It felt good to write this all out in any case.