It’s been over a year – I embarked on my NoFap commitment on July 27th, 2015. Still on my first streak, going strong! So much has changed since last year.
I’ve moved to a new city for a new job, been working there over 9 months and loving it. My new life is really quite good, but has its ups and downs – I finally hit a severe low point in my depression back in January and finally sought therapy & medication. That is working well for me so far, which is great, and I’m slowly coming to terms with my struggle as something that may be lifelong but IS manageable.
I still have a wonderful girlfriend, though we have been in an open relationship since I moved away (her request initially, but it suits both of us). Our relationship and emotional bond is a very strong, supportive one that I benefit a lot from, so that is nice. I am sexually active, though my desire is not as high as when I was used to masturbating on a daily basis. I have abstained from all sexual activity for long periods of time as well (multiple months) and I handle that just fine.
I generally have more energy, think more clearly, and have a more stable mood than when I was masturbating, but I realize my NoFap experience is probably different from a lot of people’s because, frankly, I don’t really miss it. I gave up video games over a year ago for similar reasons, and I also don’t miss that – it’s like I simply have more time and energy to divide over things that are more important to me. I never struggled with urges, I don’t get ‘triggered’ by porn or sex/nudity in films, hell, I don’t even get aroused on a nude beach or the like. I am perfectly capable of getting aroused when I want to, or when I’m with a partner, but self-control in that regard is not something I struggle with.
I do look at porn from time to time, but honestly, I don’t really get much out of it – it doesn’t hold my fascination like it once did, just like video games. I strongly feel that I’ve outgrown a lot of it. When I do look at porn, it’s more based in curiosity or legitimately trying to learn from it (i.e. if a partner has a desire I’m not familiar with).
I must say, once the arousal factor isn’t there… 90% of porn just seems dumb. I don’t really judge it (unless it is seriously unethical in some way, which is sort of a different topic), as I recognize it is a type of media made for a specific consumer base – but now that I am not in that consumer base, I react to porn in the way I react to dumb reality TV shows.
I am taking strides, however, to explore and understand my own, true sexuality that, as of yet, is kind of a mystery to me. It used to be clear to me what I was ‘in to’, but since I’ve outgrown porn I realized I don’t actually know what I’m into at all, or how I respond to arousal. I take my cues from my partner just fine, but I realize I will need to do some serious self-examination on this in the future.
Anyway, that’s my rambling entry on my own, rather atypical NoFap experience.
tl;dr – Over a year of NoFap, I am glad I gave it up, don’t miss it, don’t expect I’ll ever return to it. Not a superhuman or a millionaire, don’t need to be, doing just great on my own.
Best of luck to all of you!
LINK – Over 1 Year of NoFap
INITIAL POST – Not that kind of pipe organ (well, not anymore at least…) [newbie introduction]
Greetings, Fapstronauts and Femstronauts – PipeOrganEnthusiast here.
I am 22 years old, and have suffered from continuous, pervasive depression since I was about 12, and it has gotten steadily worse over the years. I have never understood why I am depressed – objectively, my life actually pretty great. I’m healthy, have a loving family, an awesome girlfriend, good friends, have had a lot of unique life experience, have never had substance addictions, am not in debt at all, and I am just now finishing 4 successful years of college. I have a promising and enjoyable career ahead of me, and many wonderful hobbies that I receive a lot of praise for.
Please, don’t think I am bragging – in fact, it is weird for me to even write out my life as if it is grand or impressive, because I constantly feel like the stupidest, most inept, most worthless waste of cells on the planet. In spite of all that I have, I find very little joy in life and very little reason for my continued existence. I do things because I feel they are necessary, because people rely on me, because I know I should be grateful to have such a wonderful existence. I stay alive and keep going because of willpower… but the actual joy of my existence is minimal, and has been fading quicker and quicker. This dissatisfaction has been the bane of my existence for over a decade, and it’s driven me almost over the edge several times. It would be one thing if I at least had a reason to be so depressed – but having no fucking clue as to why I feel so worthless just makes it even worse for me.
But last night, I stumbled across this sub while searching for posts about depression and sexual dysfunction, and I found the link to Gary Wilson’s TedX talk in the sidebar. My mind was completely blown.
I AM the exact case he is talking about. I started watching porn at around age 12, which corresponds with when my depression really began. The constant search for new and exotic material, the feeling of dullness and boredom when returning to real life, all of that encapsulates my experience completely. There were times when I would abstain for a few weeks or a month (as a teen because of religion and as an adult just to to test my self control I suppose), but according to the data I need closer to 4-5 months at least to really make a difference, and I have never in 10 years gone that long without masturbating and/or watching some kind of porn.
The weirdest thing is, I didn’t even think I had an addiction, because, honestly, I don’t actually LIKE porn all that much, and masturbation is not all that special for me either. I just do it because… well, it honestly feels like I HAVE to – and last night I realized that fact is what makes me an addict!
I am absolutely amazed by the scientific information Wilson put forth – I had no idea that something like internet porn addiction could cause the same kind of physical changes to the brain that a chemical addiction could. Once I learned that, everything clicked together, and the reason for my near constant depression, my lack of energy, my brain feeling like its having to work extra hard all the damn time… I FINALLY KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON.
So basically, I am rebooting because FUCK. THIS. SHIT. Fuck Depression. Fuck ED. Fuck feeling like I’m stupid and slow and not good enough all the fucking time. Jerking off to hentai is not at all worth the damage it is doing to my brain. I am fucking DONE.
I am extremely convicted to commit to no-fap (my near goal is to make it to Dec. 31st, 2015, at which point I will assess my status and continue if it is working). However, my horrible, depressed self-doubting brain is already trying to undermine my efforts.
My struggle isn’t with the physical desire to fap – it is the mental doubt that I can actually improve my situation in any way. I keep thinking that ‘well, I’m already 22, my brain is set in its ruts so I probably can’t change it now…’ or I get too caught up in feeling ashamed and angry that I have brought such misery upon myself that I figure I am not even worth trying to fix.
Are there any people here who started around my age and can offer some encouragement? I really need to know that there is at least a glimmer of hope for me.
Any other pieces of advice or questions are welcome.
TL;DR My life is objectively great but I feel worthless, after much questioning I believe a decade of PMO is to blame. Rebooting because FUCK. THIS. SHIT.