[35, M] Before/during/after my divorce, I went pretty deep into the PMO rabbit hole, PMOing every night, sometimes twice a day for about 6 years.
My Symptoms Before Nofap
- Zero Signal from D. My beautiful new girlfriend was lying there next to me in bed, and I was at 0% erection. I swore to myself that I’d rather die than ever go through that again. Talk about motivation!
- Due to high anxiety, I would scratch my face in my sleep, to the point where it would leave visible marks. People would ask me if I lost a fight with a cat.
- I couldn’t get to sleep without fapping. I would lie there and worry about everything under the sun.
- I would also grind my teeth while asleep. I was wearing down my molars and now wear a nightguard to sleep. My dentist told me that I’m going to need major dental work if this continues.
- My left shoulder blade would be in constant pain due to all of the repetitive stress caused by hours of edging.
- Dick was shriveled and bruised from all the abuse.
- Anxious all the time.
- Lazy, unproductive. I’d start a project then quickly lose interest.
- Forgetful, rude, antisocial behavior. My mind would wander when someone was talking directly to me.
- Avoided social situations, even with friendly coworkers or my own family. I would make excuses not to spend time with family or friends, in favor of playing some stupid online games. I was withdrawing from real life.
- Slow getting out of bed. Even after 8 hours of sleep, I felt like I could go right back for another 8.
- Little energy/motivation to pursue hobbies or work out.
- I had low self esteem, which made me needy with women. I defined my happiness based on whether I had a woman in my life or not. I would have anxiety-fueled nightmares about my girlfriend breaking up with me, this anxiety spilled over to my waking life, which of course would in turn lead them to break up with me in real life.
- ED is gone. Looking back at my journal: my morning wood came back on Day 5, I was able to dry hump on Day 14, Able to have sex at 80% erection on Day 27. Had sex with 100% complete erection at Day 30. Had sex three times on New Years Eve, Day 62.
- I haven’t woken up with scratches on my face once since starting NoFap.
- I don’t wake up with headaches in my temples from teethgrinding anymore, but still wear the mouthguard when I sleep just in case (dentists’ orders)
- That pain in my shoulderblade is 90% gone. Stretching exercises actually work now to help loosen that last bit up.
- My D hangs down nicely when flaccid, instead of shriveling up all the time to hide from excessive abuse.
- Not staying up late PMO allows me to go to bed at a reasonable hour. I’m getting at least an extra hour of sleep daily now that I’m not looking around for that one video to get off, like a zombie.
- My eyes have a brightness/life to them that I didn’t have before. Dark circles under eyes are diminishing.
- Overcoming this obstacle has restored my faith in myself. Since I feel better and believe strongly in myself, I’m more confident in social situations.
- I also took some time to work on my self* image (see the book Psycho-Cybernetics below) and self-esteem, and I now look at dating as a way to meet my future wife – when it happens, it’ll happen. Dating is no longer for me a neverending quest to validate myself through scoring with the hottest women.
- I feel more patient, I’m a better listener, and I remember more details when people tell me them.
- I look forward to achieving things every day at work, make lists of things to achieve on the weekends, and even have fun crossing them off when they get done.
- I can concentrate better at work and remember responsibilities better. I started working a part time job in addition to working full time. My boss recently told me that he has noticed that I’ve been volunteering for more projects lately (this dude NEVER gives compliments like that).
- I have the energy to work out 4 times a week now. I even get up early to lift weights before work if my afternoon is going to be really busy.
- My sexual interests have returned to normal. The crap I was watching was completely out of hand, dehumanizing, borderline illegal garbage. I would have been mortified if anyone were to see these files on my computer.
- Some of my coworkers have told me I “looked younger” and another said I “looked happier”.
- I can lend my computer or cellphone to anyone and have no fear of them discovering a porn stash. Clean phone, clean computer, clean conscience, clean self-image.
- My computer runs faster now that it’s not clogged up with a ton of porn. (A minor plus, but every little bit helps.)
Recommendations on getting started
- First step: delete your porn stash in all of its forms. Don’t go to websites that have trigger content. Don’t touch your D.
- Educate yourself on YBOP, read other guys’ success stories, learn what to expect in your journey.
- Identify what your main triggers are and face them head on. Mine were (in order): Anxiety, tiredness, sadness, lying in bed too long.
- Plan for urges, prepare yourself for a fight, and sneak attack those motherfuckers!! As an example – early on in my NoFap quest, I went on a first date that didn’t go very well. On the drive home, I felt a little down, recognized that in the past I would have used PMO to medicate my disappointment. Since I had full awareness and expectation of the urge, overcoming it was not so bad.
- Hard mode was the most effective for my recovery and easiest to complete for me. My girl works crazy schedules, so I have weeks of Easy Mode split up by weeks of Hard Mode.
- Speaking of Hard Mode, the Chaser Effect is real. I had little urge to fap during Hard Mode but as soon as we started having sex again my fap urges became a little stronger, but still possible to overcome.
- Keep a journal, write in it often. When the cravings were bad, I would look at my journal, see how I’ve come too far to quit. Put a password on it if you don’t want someone else to find it.
- Find something productive to do with your extra energy. Get back into activities that used to make you happy, or find a new hobby. I started playing my guitar again, going to the gym, learning how to cook and eat more nutritiously, how to dress more stylishly, and reading self development books (see my recommended reading section below).
- Lift weights. I cannot emphasize how much this helps. If you’re feeling self-conscious: Use the machines instead of free weights. The staff at the gym will help you if you have no idea how to use the machines. Wear a sweatshirt if you’re not comfortable wearing a T shirt. No one pays for a gym membership to look at you in judgment anyway, it’s cool.
- Get outside, breathe fresh air, and into the natural light. We weren’t meant to look at glowing rectangles and breathe recycled air 24/7. We all know this already, some of us are more willing to admit it than others. I’m thoroughly convinced that guys who go through extended flatlines or severe depression can decrease these ill effects by eating right, working out, and getting off the computer.
- Once you’re on your way, log back into NoFap and help some guys who are just starting out. You’ll see guys/gals roughly your age, who are having similar problems to you. They’re probably feeling self conscious and in need of a kind word of encouragement, just like you were when you started. Pay it forward, it’s a great feeling!!
Just remember that NoFap is one brick in the temple of our better selves. Exercise, nutrition, fresh air, natural sunlight, community with others, learning/improving hobbies and interests all need to work together. A few years ago I used to spend all of my spare time inside my apartment drinking alone, playing computer games, and feeling bad about life in general. I was afraid of the outside world, and I blamed my behavior on everyone and everything else in the world (ex-wife, mean boss, asshole coworkers, etc) instead of taking responsibility and agency over my own life. I gradually realized that things needed to change. My life now without fapping is so great, I don’t even consider looking at porn or jerking off as an option, the same way that I look at shooting heroin or refusing to tip at a restaurant. I’m just not the kind of guy who does things like that.
Recommended Reading Material
- Kratos Guide – 16 Habits You Should Do Every Day – free online list of how to improve yourself. A pretty good place to start once you’ve got NoFap down.
- Psycho Cybernetics – a very helpful book on how to cultivate a positive self-image through positive self-actualizations. Basically you create mental movies of yourself living the life you want to live, and in time you start to see yourself that way, and live it.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People – written from a business perspective, but is easily applied to regular life. Helpful for awkward science nerd types (like me).
- Body Language – tells you how to use body language to your benefit. If you have trouble looking people in the eye when conversing with them, it literally shows you where to put your eyes depending on who you’re talking to, and what the situation is.
- Models – this book, more than any other, helped me analyze my issues of being a needy dweeb with women and how to correct it.
- No More Mr. Nice Guy – helps “Nice Guys” become more assertive without being pushy asswipes. I have used a lot of the boundary setting techniques with my girlfriend and coworkers.
On Telling Others
Should you tell people about your journey? The NoFap community seems divided on this. I say, absolutely not!! Let them see the better you, and wonder what your secret is. If they press you, tell them you’re working out more, eating better, and getting more sleep. Even though these things are true, they’ll still doubt you, but that’s on them, not you.
Had complete ED, this subreddit helped me understand what the problem was, stopped PMO entirely, my dick works now, I’m only using it for sex from now on. If you’re considering it, give it 30 days of serious effort. I liked it so much, I made it a permanent change in my life.
Thanks everyone for the compliments and kind words. This community is amazing!!