I wasn’t planning on writing a 90-day report on various reasons: first of all, there’s already a lot of them and I wasn’t sure if I had something new to say. Furthermore, I was sort of cheating during my streak.
Last September, a friend of mine from my time at the Uni came over for a visit and we started talking about our problem talking to girls. He mentioned that watching porn had a lot to do with it and suggested that I should check out yourbrainonporn.com, which I did. A few TED talks later and I was sold. I was set on doing hard mode and, at the beginning, abstaining from porn wasn’t that hard. But… I would find myself checking out websites with advertisements for prostitutes (which is legal in my country of residence). Then came my first of many realizations during the past 8 months: I usually resorted to PMO in order to avoid visiting prostitutes. I used to think it was just my huge libido to blame, now I know it was just my social anxiety and I was taking the easy way out. So, on my first streak I actually tried to avoid those sites as well. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to keep it up and, even if I didn’t PMO/MO, I would still waste time with „checking what’s out there.“
Anyway, there I was, 42 days in during my first streak, when an old friend/booty call came over for a visit. Naturally, I relapsed. Once when she announced her visit and two more times with her when she was there. Some of you might think: Cool! Well, not so much. First of all, I’m not in love with this girl. I don’t want to start a relationship with her and she’s the kind of person I don’t enjoy spending a lot of time with. So, I relapsed and I think I might hurt this girl’s feelings as well. Also, it took me two months to get back on the wagon after that.
Fast forward to last February: I have a decent streak again, although I’m browsing hooker sites from time to time without MO’ing and I generally think things are going well… until I asked out a colleague I had a crush on. She brushed me off and I was devastated. Second realization: I was more invested in this girl’s approval (and everyone else’s for that matter) than I was on my own opinion on myself. This got me to take a real hard look inside and I’ve come to realize that I’ve been living most of my life in fear: fear of saying the wrong thing, of eliciting a wrong response, of making someone angry. Most of all fear of failing. Not only in my personal relationships but in my professional life as well.
I can’t say that I’ve noticed any superpowers per se. (Other than being assigned with more responsibilities at work that is, which is awesome as it is scary). I think it might be that fapstronauts in their thirties react differently to rebooting that teenagers and twenty-somethings. What I do acknowledge though is, had I not started this journey, I wouldn’t have been able to introspect as I did. Even if I did, I wouldn’t have taken responsibility for my actions. NoFap got me to stop playing the victim card. So, did NoFap actually work for me? I would definitely think so. Is everything alright now? No, not by far. There’s still a lot of self improvement to be done. But I believe rebooting set me on the right path.
So, what’s next? First of all, I’m resetting my counter. Unfortunately I relapsed two days after the 90-day mark. But, I see this as an opportunity to start a „proper“ streak. This time I want to do things right. Any sort of peeking resets the counter. I guess I should have done that during my first streak but my old failure-fearing self wouldn’t let me do it. I know there’s a lot of discussion going on about the benefits of the counter and both sides have their arguments but I want to have a go at it one more time. I still don’t feel ready to MO in a healthy, moderate manner. To be honest, I don’t know if I ever will. Other than that, I will start visiting NoFap a lot less. I’ve noticed that visiting /r/NoFap in a way came to replace browsing porn sites, which was actually a good thing at the beginning. It has been a great support but I think by now I have all the motivation I need and it’s high time to start using my time for learning and living. To all you guys and gals in their teens and twenties doing the challenge: I envy and admire you. I envy you for finding NoFap sooner than I did and admire you for the men and women you will become.
So, ladies and gentlemen, with this I bid thee farewell. Maybe we’ll see each other in real life. I’ll be the other awesome person in the room.