About ten months ago I made the decision to pursue the NoFap challenge on Hard Mode for three months (or 90 days, for a nice round number) and now I fulfill this goal, having struggled for years to combat PMO.
I really don’t feel like I’ve achieved much at all – I mean, there’s more that I could be doing – but now is not the time for me to play down my success. Many of the problems I had when I first came on NoFap, such as having nothing to do all day, have been solved, and half of the things I outlined in my original “life vision” have come true. I would like to say a few words on how I accomplished this milestone for the benefit of the newcomers and those who keep relapsing.
(My new motto for my NoFap challenge is ABSTAIN – RECOVER – ACHIEVE.)
For those of you who don’t know me, I’ll say a few words of introduction and tell you some of my story. I was born in 1985 in Perth, Western Australia to a Greek father and Anglo-Irish mother. I currently live in Albany, WA. I started masturbating at age 13 and discovered hardcore porn at ages 18-19. I got on NoFap in 2014 under a different username and I recommenced my NoFap challenge last year. I have been on and off hard drugs for about thirteen years and I currently have 40 days of clean time up from my primary drugs of choice (codeine and morphine). I went to jail for seven months last year and two and a half months this year. I am currently studying IT as a formal tertiary course.
So how did I get to 90 days? I will be pleased to disclose my techniques and methodology.
Willpower seems to be a dirty word in many recovery-oriented programs, for the reason that it alone cannot guarantee long-term success. But without utilising your willpower, you cannot make those important changes and take those necessary actions to progress from the abstinence phase to the recovery phase. Things like the following:
1. Deleting/discarding your porn collection
This one is obvious. I am stating it for the newcomer and those who still have reservations about taking up the NoFap challenge. Use your willpower right now to get rid of that porn you might have stashed away for a rainy day. You’ve made it to NoFap and have been offered a chance at a better life, so what are you waiting for? Get rid of ALL your porn and get those days clocking up!
2. Minimising technology
This point is a bit harder to define – how much internet usage constitutes a bare minimum is determined by your individual occupations and activities – but you can at least cut back on mindlessly surfing the web. Re-consider installing a porn blocker if you decided it was too much effort or somehow didn’t apply to your own situation. Mobile phones are quite often a threat to your chastity too. I own one without a web browser on it, and I use it only to send texts, make and receive calls, and keep track of appointments. I have gone so far as to smash a computer I was using to look up porn, preferring instead to be offline and porn-free. So, minimise technology.
3. Taking cold showers
Another well-known suggestion, taking cold showers is invaluable in early recovery when cravings are frequent and your brain is adjusting to the absence of those massive surges in dopamine from PMO. If you wake up from a vivid sex dream with a raging erection, jump in the shower and turn it on ice cold full-blast!
4. Avoiding harmful media
Try to do something more constructive than watching TV/movies or playing video games. These things can contain triggers – for example, once I was triggered by watching my female Skyrim character strutting around in her knickers. Additionally, television, movies and video games cannot cure boredom and net you very little results from the time you commit to them. I would advise finding something energetic and mentally taxing (or, challenging) to which you can dedicate the bulk of your spare time. Studying a foreign language, for example, makes you more literate and aware of the world around you. Avoid harmful media that will poison your mind and rob you of your chastity.
5. Practising the “No Arousal Method”
This is something that takes gradual practice. Try not to look at women at all in your first 30 or 60 days of recovery. “Ogling” women and taking lustful glances at them will sabotage your NoFap challenge and trigger you to fantasise, which of course will lead to MO or PMO. Whenever you see an attractive woman, look down at the ground or floor. It takes willpower to train yourself to do this, but it can assuredly be done and it is immensely helpful.
Goal-setting is a crucial point to your recovery that is easy to overlook, particularly if your goals in life are present but vague. Work out a “grand master plan” that covers every area of your life that you want to improve. Unlike the measures I outlined above, this one requires no willpower, only careful consideration. Where are you going in life? What do you want to achieve? You should think about these things more carefully than robbers planning a bank heist, because your very life is at a turning point here, and success in recovery is more valuable even than millions of dollars. Keep a journal, a to-do list or a monthly schedule (I keep all three) and organise yourself and set your life in order. Set realistic and measurable goals that you will stick to.
One of the great benefits of NoFap is that it makes you accountable to a broader community, and if you do not let yourself down, then you invigorate us and make us collectively stronger. Stick around the members who have a lot of clean time and whose advice you can benefit from. Moreover, hold yourself accountable. If you relapse, ask yourself, “Ok, what am I going to do differently?” If you can follow such guidance as I have outlined under “Willpower” and “Goal-setting” then your chances or remaining abstinent will improve. Then you can process to ABSTAIN – RECOVER – ACHIEVE. I am holding you accountable; don’t let me down!
Thanks to you, the reader, for doing me the favour of reading this – feel free to post any feedback or comments below. I am hereby extending my goal from 90 days to six months, at which point I will feel more qualified to help the newcomers and habitual relapsers. I started this 90-day streak in jail, which was easier than doing it on the outside for the reason that there was no internet access and only softcore porn available, and yet it was harder than getting “clean” on the outside for the fact that I was trapped in a confined space with nothing much to do except struggle with my own porn- and MO-addicted mind.
I’d like to share a quote from the Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text, which actually refers to getting clean from drugs but seems to apply equally to getting “clean” from PMO:
“I still suffer with existential angst from time to time, and wonder what we are all doing here on this planet, but I have decided on a purpose, and that makes it easier: I care about people getting clean.” (Another Chance to Live, p223)
LINK – Strange Aeons: 90 Days
by L Coroneos