I began my NoFap journey in mid December of last year. At that time I had decided that I was unsatisfied with my life. For context, I want to stress that, at least on the surface, my life appeared to be going great, and it is important to note that this really wasn’t an inaccurate assessment.
I had just completed my first semester of graduate school, I had good friends, a loving family. However, internally, I definitely had some issues. I had pretty bad social anxiety. Being out in public with a lot of people would make me uneasy, having casual one on one conversations with anyone besides my closest friends was difficult for me. I couldn’t look people in the eye. I talked with a quick, weak voice (retrospectively due to the fact that I didn’t even deem what I was saying to be of much value). All this had really started to piss me off. I wanted to make the most out of my life and I knew that these fears and inhibitions were firmly standing in the way of that. So, I started doing a lot of research into things I could do to boost my self confidence and lower my anxiety. I tried most of the ideas that I came across, many from this subreddit. I got a gym membership, I started eating healthy again, I experimented with cold showers, meditating, keeping a journal and most importantly, NoFap. My masturbation addiction wasn’t as bad as many others who start here. I would masturbate a few times a week, but I would be fine if for some reason I was busy and didn’t masturbate for a week or longer. So, I didn’t think this was really much of a problem for me. But again, I was adopting any good habit I could find so i tried it out. It was a little tough at first, some pretty bad urges early on, but all in all it was very doable (probably because of the baseline I had started from). Through January I carried on like this, starting to notice maybe a little less inhibition, I started feeling a little more comfortable being outgoing. My other good habits would wax and wane. The cold showers were too cold, the journal entries stopped coming when I got busy, meditating lasted a couple weeks. But regardless, I felt I was making strides. Then in early February after about 42 days, I relapsed, and subsequently binged for a few days. I had gotten complacent. I had no reason to believe that the abstinence from masturbating was doing anything for me. So many of my other good habits had come and gone, why would this one make the difference. I felt pretty shitty about having to reset my counter (I’m very goal driven haha) but what I started to notice in the next few days made me feel far worse. I had lost all of my new found confidence. I was uncomfortable around people again, afraid to do anything out of my comfort zone, and I hated it. I was surprised at first, because I had never really bought in to the promised benefits of NoFap, and when I realized that I really had been reaping benefits I was upset at myself for throwing away the progress I had made and having to start over at day 1. But I did, now with a new found motivation. Now that I knew the strides I could make in 40 days, I wanted to know where I could be in 90, in a year. That was the last time I masturbated. Like I said, my other habits have come and gone, but I now have this internal rule, which is simply, do not masturbate.
The first 60 or so days of this last streak were unremarkable. There were urges, there were minimal improvements, I believe I was flatlining for the vast majority of it. But I was unphased, I was determined. Masturbating was something I was done with. About a few weeks ago, things really started to change. I started feeling a confidence that I had never had before, conversations with acquaintances (especially with women) started becoming easy and fun. I’ve never been decisive, but recently indecision has become really annoying to me. I know what I want and I do what I want. I started realizing that my own lack of self confidence had been the only thing preventing me from living life the way that I wanted to. I talk with a much stronger and deeper voice. I’m not afraid to say things that others might disagree with. The role of leader now seems to come more naturally for me, I want to lead. When my friends are being indecisive I have no problem stepping up, taking charge, and making things happen. Most importantly, my life has become more fun. I’ve always lived in fear of people not liking me and relying on other people to have a good time, but now I have really come to realize that once you truly love yourself and are comfortable with who you are, things fall much easier into place. No longer do I care what other people think of me. So many people let other people’s thoughts dictate their lives and I really think this just comes down to needing outside validation to be happy with yourself. Once you truly love yourself, it doesn’t really matter what other people think, because in the end their opinion of you means nothing compared to your own. This may come off as arrogant, and I think it should. A little arrogance is good and its a nice change of pace from the crappy self esteem that I had been living with for years. All this being said, I’m not going out and being an asshole to people, quite conversely, I feel like people have never acted as positive towards me as they have in the past few weeks. When you’re truly self confident, people definitely can tell and it just makes you a more desirable person to be around. So looking forward, I plan on never masturbating again. This is not a daunting task at all, nor does it scare me to think like that. The way I look at it, I am blessed for having that relapse because it made me realize that masturbation is my kryptonite. I would never risk all of these gains again. Honestly at this point the act of masturbating just seems disgusting to me. Sometimes I even seek out pictures of naked chicks, just to fortify to myself that they have no power over me. Though I may find them arousing, since masturbation is no longer an option in my mind, I don’t even get the urges to masturbate anymore.
TAKE HOME POINTS. Thank you if you cared to read my rant, because I think others can learn from my story. This really is a great community, even if I don’t buy into everything that is said here. I have to thank the community for giving me the motivation that I needed early on. I want to give back by offering up this message. It really is just a mental game, there are no frills. Make a pact to yourself that you won’t masturbate. Just don’t do it. Make it the most important thing in your life. I guarantee it will make a difference. I started this journey having no faith that abstinence from masturbating would make any difference in my life, and after 90 days I realize that it truly has. The point that sealed it for me was I went back and read the first entries of the journal that I had tried to start keeping back in December. IT WAS SO DEPRESSING. It made me realize just how far I had come. I hadn’t even thought things were that bad back then, but really I had just been blind to how good they could be. So, You might be 50 days in, feeling like shit and not seeing any benefits. Just don’t give up, its so worth it not to. Give it time and eventually, the urges will go away and in due time you can feel better than you ever felt possible.