I’m a 23 year old male, and this is my 100 day report. I first saw porn when I was 10 years old. I was homeschooled and I spend a lot of time alone on the Internet – it was inevitable that I would find porn.
I have extremely conservative Christian parents and I was never rebellious. So even from the first time I felt guilty about what I had seen. For whatever reason, my parents never taught me why I should avoid porn, but I knew that is was somehow bad. For the remainder of my youth I would occasionally sneak back to those photos (it was all photos for me back then) before I would promise myself to avoid them.
In my third year of high school my life changed in some stressful ways, and I tried to cope using porn. The difference now though, was that I included masturbation. The masturbation is what really hooked me. Even though I felt guilty from the start, I could not quit. Every time I finished I would promise myself it was the last time, but the next time I got stressed I would do it again. I don’t know why I was so susceptible, but I was addicted from the very first time.
It took about a year to fall, but once I hit the bottom I stayed there for a long time. At my worst I was masturbating between 5 and 10 times a day. I barely slept because I watched porn and masturbated all night.
I barely passed my classes in school, and I changed majors several times. I started pre-veterinary and I ended with a philosophy degree – with 5 different colleges in between. I was depressed almost continuously (though to be fair, this was only exacerbated by PMO – it existed before my addiction, and I learned to manage it before I learned to manage PMO).
I had a girlfriend through much of this time, but I could never treat her the way that she deserved. I was loyal and I tried to be loving, but PMO is a selfish pursuit, and because it was my main focus I was selfish too. I could never make her feel desired for anything other than sex. Between that and my lack of reliability, our relationship never flourished despite both of our hardest efforts. We could never connect on the deeper levels that we both desired. The sex was awesome, but it suffered from the same disease…
This last summer I worked as a deckhand on a drift boat in Bristol Bay, Alaska. It was the hardest work I have ever done, but there was also a week on the boat when fishing was closed, and all I could do was lie on a tiny bunk and stare at the sky while the waves rocked the boat and I thought about my life. I had no Internet, and I finished reading the books I brought with me in the first day. I hadn’t felt silence like that for years…and I took advantage of it.
I traced my path from the past until my present moment, and rather than feeling sorry for myself in my usual way, I tried to analyze it objectively. It took me several days to find what I was looking for. But as I listed my choices and tried to understand why I had made them in the way that I had, I realized that for my entire life I had expected someone else to take responsibility. On some level deep within my psyche I assumed that nothing I did mattered and that I was incapable of making positive choices and sticking with them.
I suppose that it is a “chicken and the egg” sort of question, but I suspect that I learned to believe this lie because of my inability to quit PMO (among other things, of course). Ignorance brought me to PMO, but learned helplessness kept me there.
I decided that from that moment on, I needed to start believing that I was, in fact, responsible for my own decisions. I am a smart person; I know what choices I need to make in order to succeed. But I had let my experiences convince me that I was useless.
The first thing I did when I came home was go to a cigar shop and buy my first cigar (a Romeo y Julieta 1875 robusto, for anyone interested). I had always wanted to smoke one, but I had always been scared of what people would say. It was my first official act of personal choice – choice that was unaffected by the influence others.
And it was wonderful. I sat outside with my buddy who had been on the boat with me, and we blew smoke and reminisced about Alaska and discussed our plans for the future late into the night… And from that moment onwards, I have been consciously training my mind to believe that I am responsible for every choice that I make. It has completely changed my life.
It seems like most people on this sub are here for the “superpowers.” They may not admit it, but on some level they believe that abstaining from PMO will unlock some potential in their lives. Maybe “superpowers” exist for a few of you, but I have not experienced them. Since I began taking responsibility for my own actions my life has become very difficult.
Without the option of numbing myself through PMO, I now have to face my pain. I have slowly opened my eyes…and I have seen my life in shambles. I lied to myself constantly before. And the consequences of those lies have finally caught up to me. I always told myself that I could start “tomorrow,” but now I realize that tomorrow came and went and will never come again.
The truth is that today is “tomorrow” doesn’t exist – if you can’t change today you can’t change tomorrow. If you don’t really want it you won’t go and get it. Nobody is going to do it for you.
But my life is better because of NoFap. I have not spend enough time building the life I want to have the results that I am hoping for yet, but I have gained a degree of confidence in myself that I didn’t even know I could have.
I am more reliable now, and I really love the person I am becoming. And even more than that – I have complete faith that I will become that person. It is no longer hypothetical, it is reality. It will happen. I will work on my problems and overcome my obstacles.
In a few years I will be exactly who I want to be. My girlfriend (the same one mentioned earlier) came home for Christmas break, and I saw her for the first time in three months (we were on a break). I hadn’t PMO’d the entire time, and I had a few more days until 90.
I actually refused sex until the 90 days hardmode was finished. I could have “never” done that before. I cared more about whether I could prove to both her and me that I could stick to my promises than I did about the momentary pleasure. She actually came home with the intention of breaking up with me, but I was so confident and so in control of my emotions that she couldn’t bring herself to do it.
We ended up having the deepest emotional connection we ever had for the two weeks she was home. I have never felt anything like it…and if I had kept lying to myself I never would have.
If you are to succeed at killing this addiction you have to take complete responsibility for yourself. Your problems are your own fault. Your parents didn’t do it to you, society didn’t do it to you, the porn industry didn’t do it to you – you did it to yourself. On some level you are lying to yourself. You are saying that you will be happier with PMO than you will be without it.
I could tell you all the techniques I used and try to explain my theories on the psychology of this addiction, or I could tell you “success” stories – but none of that matters. You’re smart enough to sort through the wheat and the chaff. You know what choices you need to make. If you think you need me to tell you then you are just lying to yourself.
With that being said, I’ll give a few practical pointers that I did that might help you. It isn’t a complete list – just a few of the top of my head.
- don’t watch TV or tasteless movies
- don’t watch/read the news, or engage in any kind of social media
- quit every kind of fantasy, sexual or otherwise
- go hardmode, at least for the first 90 days (I don’t believe in semen retention, but it’s good for your mind to prove to yourself you can do it)
- read as much as you can
- exercise as much as you can
So that’s pretty much it. I hope you gained something from my story… Now for the depressing part. Despite the great connection that I had with my girlfriend over spring break – she still left me. It’s been almost five years, and I am completely devastated. We both hope we can get back together in the future, but because of my poor academic performance in the past I am not really in the same place in life that she is anymore, and she can’t afford to take the risk of having to take care of me once she finishes school herself.
So until I can build my life a little more I am on my own. And because that is something I want to do anyway, that’s exactly what I am doing. And the first thing I need to do is cut back on the time I spend online. This sub has been incredibly encouraging for me in the past, and coming on here to encourage others has been extremely helpful as well (I highly recommend it). But at this point I think it is time for me to go. Thank you all so much for being here – you’ve gotten me through some tough times. Maybe I’ll drop by again sometime and report my progress.
LINK – 100 Days Completed