When you reach the benefits of NoFap, you want to share it, take it off your chest, because you want to help others achieve the same. I will be repeating what others have said, some so beautifully and inspiringly. I feel nostalgic because I would like to really talk to each one of you who need support
– and I think I can ́t leave this community , as we need to raise awareness and there’s no time to keep distracting ourselves. Well, my first encounter with NoFap movement dates back to May 2014, and I have been collecting streak after streak ( with relapses in the intervals of course) since then, some 30 days, once 67 days, now 90. My point is, recovery can include relapse, but relapse does not mean starting from zero and you should not think that after a relapse you will not lose anything if you indulge hard again. You definitely will. Also, it is important to realize that recovery is slow – and not linear! This is the basis you need to know, your navigation map. Don’t be upset if your recovery is slow, because in truth there is no other way, you can ́t chose to recover quickly. You will realize many benefits, and you already know those – but some of them just add to our egocentrism and are not that helpful to focus on
The real goal is to progress toward childlike inner freedom, carefree confidence, well being.
The important thing to discover and remember is that PMO is only filling a hole in your soul, but making it deeper and deeper because your ability to feel good with the small important things is increasingly more difficult, like a drug addict who cannot help but escalate his dose and even so feels less and less. You don ́t feel the same natural pleasure with everyday things, which you previously did, and you resort to high artificial stimulation – which makes you more and more exhausted and disappointed because there is no satisfaction in them either.
Yeah, remember the music « I can’t get no satisfaction». With addictive pleasures you can ́t! Wanting and Liking and Feeling Satisfied are not the same circuit in the brain, and pleasure is a fake happiness. Don’t be fooled! The more pleasure you feel the more attached and dependent you get (less inner freedom), and the more you will want to run away from pain. So, mind becomes dominated by hope and fear, anger and aversion. Don’t get me wrong: pleasure is great, addiction is not. Just don’t become attached to it, it is a personal matter.
So, you really have to be honest and check what activities you do just for the sake of getting a pleasure high, without respecting your values, goals and long term wish for happiness. It was shocking for me to realize how pleasure i was getting from looking at woman on the street, and then on facebook, magazines, TV, just to get a little bit excited by their beauty. I mean it is ok, but if you do just for the thrill, isn’t that the beginning of an addiction? Save your enthusiasm for the woman you interact with and respect and, as Islam says, «lower your gaze».
And you might discover, as I did, that it is not only PMO. It can be everything you use as a strategy to avoid reality, to seek pleasure and or avoid pain. This includes TV, facebook, junk food, procrastination, internet, excessive exercise, sex, excessive activities to delay important deadlines, you name it. This includes excessive looking at people to see if they notice you (specially women of course, but also to see if man notice you with respect).
This is my biggest discovery from NoFap and a shocking lesson I will never forget.
Once you stop these reality-burying strategies, withdrawal symptoms will manifest. Don ́t be seduced by them! Urges will appear, just remember that you want to restore and improve your natural sensitivity and be more and more free and happy. Never give up this goal. It is the only true reason to keep going on. Don’t do this just for women, because you might even realize that passion and sex is not so much important after all. Love is truly unconditional and free. It is a state of being, even in solitude.
Boredom and restlesness is the biggest sign you are recovering from an addiction to distraction and escapism. Try to do one thing at a time, singletasking, you will understand how hard it is. You will stop using you attention in a fragmented ADHD like style and will indeed use it in a relaxed, sustainable, meditative way. Your attention will improve and anxiety will improve too. Learn to ask yourself whenever you feel lack of stimulation and the need/compulsion to do something « Is it really urgent or important? Do I have to do it right now? Why am i not content with just this?» Learn to avoid interrupting your activities, unless it is really important.
Build that delay gratification muscle !
I have not much more to share. If you begin to escape from these addictions (some of them still unrecognized) you will deepen a feeling of inner freedom that nothing can take away from you or improve. For me, it has been a very spiritual journey. But you need to be patient, and savor each small progress. Freedom and happiness is capable of endless enlargement ! You will receive many insights !
Below some resources that have inspired me
Yourbrainonporn, NoFap reddit (of course), PsychologyToday (articles wth important insights about psychology)
Books: Real Happiness (Sharon Salzberg), Happiness (Matthieu Ricard) No Self, No Problem (Anam Thubten) No More Mr Nice Guy( Robert Glover), Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow ( Marnia Robinson)
Mechanisms of PMO addiction:
Spirituality and PMO and addiction in general
- A nice report https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p4GiUSX2bQA
LINK –90 days – A psychological and spiritual journey
UPDATE – After 150 days i PMOed ! Here´s what i learned
I realized that stress and procrastination have been lurking inside my head, eating my self confidence slowly..
i was home, feeling depressed, with work ahead of me…i had to inject some dopamine :/
Now, i don´t feel like i have returned to day one. NO ! I am very decided to keep PMO out of my life, and it was just something i did out of desperation to distract from the pain : /
The insigth that followed my relapse was that procrastination is devil, because as long as you have something occupying space in your mind, you are losing your peace and self confidence. When one is procrastinating, one underestimates one´s ability do deal with challenges and small challenges become increasingly difficult and scary. But the feeling of actually doing the task is much better than the feeling of avoiding doing it, because it erodes our self concept and confidence when we don´t do it. So procrastination is a lie ! When we are engaged in a challenging task, indeed, one can achieve flow – a sense of loss of self focus and pleasure
And the core of this problem is, as always, shame.
The shame of failure, but the shame, really, is not so much failure, but avoiding the feeling of failure. Yap, avoiding emotions ! Because of shame of feeling bad ! But the one who is feeling is just feeling and not thinking about feeling..Thinking about feeling is worse than feeling the feeling !!
Being willing to fail is the deepest vulnerabilty and courage one can cultivate. Better than victory is the feeling that one is trying to face challenges and little monsters and beliefs. Better than thinking is feeling and doing it ! So commit to doing it and don’t obsess with the outcome. Do something that you think is challenging and you will not want it to end !
That’s a mistake i made after 90 days, not throwing myself into challenges and keeping my self confidence high level.
That’s why NOFAP alone is not enough. One needs challenges, goals, to keep oneself engaged instead of just alive. We need to make sure we are growing at some level – and not just surviving !
There is also the shame of showing our feelings, which creates fears. As long is ashamed of showing anxiety one will be anxious ! That’s the same as saying that as long as one is afraid of failing and not showing our best selves, one will be anxious. I think the best antidote for this is to understand that the process is more important than result. If one gives our best effort, but stil doesn´t win, that´s okay, we have dared greatly. If one doesn´t try, one is mostly concerned with result and not with the process.
Failing doesn’t matter ! Commitment does ! As long as one is in the journey, one is in flow and with a sense of purpose and growing, and not in chaos of self focus rumination and avoidance
And the real culprit of shame is our inner critic, which tries to control everything, instead of focusing on real goals and challenges, and let happen everything else that has to happen. If a swimmer is in the midst of a sea current, one has to let go of effort to control the current and just fluctuate.
Likewise, we have sometimes to learn to deal with difficult feelings without trying to fight them, but doing what needs to be done regardless of it.
If we forget to challenge ourselves, we start to disbelieve our abilities, and we have no other option than to follow those who are challenging themselves and leading the group and try to please others to be recognised and that´s important for social anxiety ! The need for validation and love that arises when one doesn´t provide it for oneself ! When we don´t need other’s approval we are much more nice people !
NoFap for live !!
A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving – Lao Tzu
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat – Theodore Roosevet