TL;DR: I like people and myself, have no brain fog anymore. NoFap is an exercise in discipline, you can do it. Congratulations to you all.
One month ago I posted a thread on this subreddit stating that I would leave /r/Nofap and only come back when I reach 90 days. Well, here I am!
I have to say I missed you. As I had already done two months, I did not face major difficulties during the third and last one, but I remembered how nice you have been. As I am writing this I did not already read the front page, I am doing this in a text file on my computer. This way, there is a possibility that I can bring something new. Or maybe not at all, you tell me.
So during my first month I was not at school (I’m 19 years old.) and almost did not go out at all. I had nothing to do, and I didn’t do much. That brings me to my first point: NoFap is not an activity or a hobby, because at its core there only is the absence of something. It surely gives you a lot of time, but that is only to you to know how to use this time. Does it also give you motivation? I would rather say that it is an exercise at strengthening one’s motivation. I prefer the word discipline, by the way, it sounds more like a permanent quality.
Hence, if you lack discipline in the beginning, then stay with this community! Here the people are caring, and one is free to speak their mind. I have not always agreed with what I read here however, I have found some comments to sound patriarchal, e.g. “Women don’t want to be led, women want to be followed.” Why would you say that?
I think one of the major achievements I have found is that I developed a genuine interest in people. I no longer try to sound interesting in a conversation, in fact I prefer to ask questions and learn from people. Maybe it is just that I am not good at expressing myself in the real world, and it may also be my personality, but I like it. And since one of the things people like the most is talking about themselves, it might even be beneficial for me! Anyway I think a conversation is always better when it is not just two people talking alone while being physically next to one another, but when the two are really talking about the same thing, without trying to prove somehow that they are right. I think I do care about people, and interest in things.
No longer do I have this impression of numbness or emptiness, and when I am tired of something that is the only thing I feel, tiredness. Coming to physical subjects, I have never used or thought about a scientific explanation to the benefits of NoFap. I don’t talk testosterone or brainy stuff, I don’t think I am qualified to talk about such complex things as how instincts and emotions are set in the body. But I don’t reject any physiological or psychological theory, I only prefer to keep at “my personal ethics”, a term that does not pretend to hold truth.
About this ethics, I believe that it is one of the reasons why one would come to this community. Some men here come because they have physical problems with their sexual life, many because of the numbness, the brain fog or the low self-esteem, but another important reason is the feeling of the addiction, that porn and masturbation are doing more harm than the immediate pleasure (is it really pleasure? I would not call it that.) it gives. When I read people here speak about terabytes collections of HD porn videos, web cam sexual relationships, prone masturbation (sorry if this triggers you), or I think to my own experience, the common point was always increasing intensity and seeking of novelty. It is unbelievable how few porn stars there are, compared to the number of videos. It is always the same people, it is really sick.
I do not think is is always a good idea to install a porn blocker software on your computer. Blocking specific websites is an idea, if when you try to access them a message telling you not to continue is displayed, or even better a link to the panic button, but do not see it as something that will prevent you from relapsing. You cannot block all the advertising on The Pirate Bay or anywhere else on the Internet, and there will always be a time when you walk in the street and you see a commercial poster featuring a brainless-looking half-naked woman. There will always be triggers, so do not try to absolutely avoid them, it is impossible. Of course I do not mean you should watch porn only to see if you are able to resist.
But do not be afraid, you can do it, you are the best.
About exercising and taking cold showers, I have to confess that I only tried very few times; I hope I had succeeded. However the few times when stepped out of a cold shower at six in the morning, it felt really great. I look up to you who takes cold showers and go to the gym six hours a week. Congratulations.
Before starting NoFap, I had never had a girlfriend. Today… I still do not have a girlfriend. But the difference is, I am not thinking anymore that nobody could like me. Anyway, having a significant other is not a consequence of NoFap, some newcomers here are already married. And this may be a little off-topic, but I do not really want to feel “like a lion” in front of an attractive young woman (O.K., just a bit), but rather know her and feel like an equal.
Well, thank you all for being a community whose time is not mostly dedicated to criticizing its haters. Have all my wishes of luck and success for NoFap and for your life outside of it. I can now return to this community, and I consider free from this bizarre habit of losing about two hours every day on porn sites.
So, keep it up, and ask me anything! And please excuse the potential English mistakes, I am French.
“This is an instance of the saying, ‘What truly is within will be manifested without.’ Therefore, the superior man must be watchful over himself when he is alone.” − Confucius