Today is the day. It’s funny, but for a while I never thought that I’d make it to 90 days. It feels surreal right now that I’m at the top of a mountain that seemed impossible to climb. At the time, it seemed like those who achieved 90 days were somehow higher quality people, the elite bunch who excelled at everything in life. I was, ostensibly, falling victim to a different kind of fantasy.
I remember fantasizing about the future (somehow much stronger, smarter, and attractive) me who was incredibly successful with women, making millions of dollars, and had a strong social network. I think that playing the fantasy again and again is more common with NoFap ers, as the goal of NoFap, in a way, is to not need to come back to NoFap, so you imagine what your life would look like without needing to come back here.
I can’t even remember how many times I reset my badge, reading and watching more videos about yourbrainonporn.com and googling “best strategies” to freedom. I would engross myself in all the testimonials and tools that would make me feel optimistic and distract me from actually dealing with my issues, emotional and psychological.
And that was my problem. Researching and finding tips isn’t necessarily the wrong steps to take after a relapse, but I personally took it way too far. One reddit post on NoFap would lead to ten, and soon 15 minutes turned into 1 hour, which turned into 5 hours, which turned into an entire day. Hindsight is always more clear, which is why I realize now that NoFap was just a symptom to my problem.
In reality, I was obsessed with avoiding pain and doing the bare minimum to get by. I coupled that with a constant desire to play video games and peruse Facebook and Reddit, and I quickly became addicted to the internet and all things that went “ding.”
I realized I was spending more and more time mindlessly surfing the web, not remembering what I’d even read or learned in the hours of clicking and consuming. I put up all the blockers, extensions, and programs one could find to be productive. However, there always seemed to be a workaround. Which brings me to about day 70 or so, when NoFap wasn’t even something that crossed my mind. I wasn’t struggling with it at all.
I was, however, still struggling with wasting time on the internet. That’s when the light bulb hit me, and helped me realize that my addiction is much more hidden, and in my opinion insidious, to NoFap. I was addicted to the thing that makes the world go round. I had no self control, no discipline, and no clear way of escaping my addiction. This brought me an enormous moment of clarity – I used NoFap as an excuse for my addiction to instant gratification and pain avoidance.
While I talk about this in the past tense, it’s still, to this day, something that I struggle with constantly. Another email, another text. “Just one more” doesn’t just apply to NoFap, it applies to any addiction you have.
- “This is my last beer before I sober up.”
- “This is my last 1000 calorie pizza before I get my diet in check”
- “This is my last day playing Xbox until the end of School
- “This is my last [insert your struggle] [insert excuse]”
This post IS positive though. Without NoFap, I never would have realized that I wasn’t just fighting one addiction. My problems weren’t just with PMO, they were with pain avoidance. As soon as something got complex and hard, I surfed the internet. I could have talked to someone, wrote down various ways to solve a problem, but instead, my immediate reaction was to numb my pain through internet distraction.
NoFap also helped me get back my erections, made me feel stronger, and slightly improved my self confidence. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m willing to bet that when the majority of you make it to 90 days, you’ll realize you’re much stronger than you once were. Three months ago I thought this was impossible; now, this task seemed easy, and I feel that I have the strength to tackle the problems that led me to NoFap in the first place.
Please do yourself a favor and take 2 minutes to think about what led you to PMO. I promise you’ll come out stronger and gain clarity. I know every one of you will reach 90 days and beyond. As someone who struggled year after year after year, I understand. I believe in you.
tl;dr I thought hitting 90 days would allow me to reach self-actualization and “be the greatest.” Now I realize that it was only a symptom of a larger issue I had by craving instant gratification and escapism. Are you using NoFap as a way to avoid your larger issues? I know I was. I feel that I’ve won the battle against PMO, but now it’s time for the next one.
EDIT: I just logged back in to Reddit (I’m committing to spending as little time on the internet as possible, haha) and was so happy and surprised to see that others resonated with this! THANK YOU to everyone for the support. I love this community and I sincerely believe in all of you.