Done and done. For me it boiled down to a couple realizations. First, the mind is like a garden. By extension, the mind must be treated like a garden.
I’d always rejected positive thinking because I thought it was unnatural. But unnatural isn’t always bad–gardens don’t grow naturally, but they are more useful than jungle and weeds. So, now I plant the type of thoughts that I want to grow. As a lifelong pessimist, Learned Optimism was useful because it involves more than meaningless affirmations.
I’ve also been feeling down about the trajectory of my career, but someone told me to read The Slight Edge, and now I have a more realistic expectation and understanding of how success happens. A lot of my fapping had been a way to make myself feel better about being a failure, but that’s not my perspective any longer.
Feeling better about things has greatly reduced the desire to fap. For me, fapping was a response to social anxiety, fear, and disappointment.
The garden must also be kept free of contamination. I don’t have a porn problem, but I do visualize some scary things happening to me during a fap session. I can’t pollute my mind with these daily visualizations, and expect that it won’t have any negative impact on my other thoughts and feelings during the day. And, if visualization is as powerful as people say it is, my MO fantasies have mobilized a formidable negative force because my abuse is the only thing that I have spent any significant amount of time visualizing.
The other helpful realization for me was that my feelings in the moment don’t represent my authentic self. Sometimes I have to ignore my feelings about a situation, and simply do (or not do) the thing. When I want to fap, I decide that my horny feelings will not dictate my action. As I’ve taken steps to overcome my extreme social anxiety, I’ve decided that fearful feelings are not a legitimate thing upon which to base my decision to engage others, because social anxiety is simply the limbic brain’s maladaptive response. And so I decide to do the thing, regardless of how I feel.
My original commitment was hard-mode, but I had sex once during the 90 days so these first 90 days were easy mode. The next 90 will be true hard mode.
For a while I’ve said that NoFap only works if you change yourself. I stand by that, and encourage everyone on-ward in this journey of self-improvement 🙂
LINK – 90 Day Report
MO is part of my larger sex addiction. This addiction has comforted me, and been my escape. It had also become my prison. I’m tired of being lonely, and of missing out on the benefits of having friends. I’m tired of being unable to connect with people in real life, and only having sex with strangers. MO is the safe place where I can retreat into fantasy and make myself feel awesome without having to engage anyone else or my problems. Every time I want to MO, I remember that I’ve wasted the last 10 years of my life on this, and that if I do what I’ve always done, and get what I’ve always gotten….no friends, superficial familial relationships, a stillborn career (despite tons of school).