“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
Hello, welcome to my “success story” that I decided to publish on my 128th day of nofap. Why 128 days you might ask? Well, in the early days of my nofap journey, counting the number of days became very helpful and using significant numbers as markers of my progress gave me something to aim for and focus on.
Being a bit of a geek, powers of 2 worked well for me, not least because of the exponential growth from the previous to the next meant each new target was a greater challenge than the previous, e.g. 64 days feels like quite a long time ago and 256 days is a pretty long way ahead.. Anyway, with that out of the way, let’s start from the beginning.
I’d been watching porn and masturbating since I was young, I must’ve been among the first generation of teenagers that had access to high speed internet porn but my first experience was when I was about 11 or 12 using a 56k modem! I got pretty much hooked immediately, not least due to the taboo factor, the feeling that I was doing something I shouldn’t be doing, made it all the more appealing. Looking back I realise how damaging this was to a young kid just starting to learn about his sexuality and normalising the kind of hardcore material that was available, even back then. And although today’s kids have it even worse, as the porn and amount available has got worse, there also wasn’t any help available back then, no nofap website, that’s for sure!
So that is where it all began, pretty much the same story for hundreds of thousands of others I’m sure. However unlike some, my porn use continued throughout my adult life. Even when I had my first long term girlfriend, I couldn’t stop with the porn. Sex was great, but somehow I always needed that particular kind of thrill that porn masturbation provided. What I didn’t realise back then was that my brain had indeed been conditioned to react to certain stimuli that “ordinary” sex didn’t necessarily provide. Years went by and I never really questioned this, just accepted it as a part of life, after all, this is the modern digital age and things are different now to how they were before..
I remember hearing about nofap in my late twenties but sadly I didn’t really bother to look into it much, assuming it was just some fad and that there can’t be anything in it. I guess I wasn’t ready to change at that point but a few years later I was. I think I hit a low point, the material I was watching had got more extreme, nothing illegal I might add but even on mainstream porn websites there is now some really strange stuff. This wasn’t what I’d signed up for. Thinking back to when I was a kid, just boobs was enough to excite me, but now I needed more and more degrading and taboo material to get the same excitement.
This was when I thought I’d investigate this “nofap” thing a bit further. I’m so glad I did, it was like a kind of spiritual enlightenment, everything fell into place, especially after reading the “yourbrainonporn” website and related material on nofap. It was all true. The chaser effect, the exploitation of the “novelty” part of the brain. I realised I had become a victim and I didn’t want to be a victim. I didn’t want to continue masturbating to things that I felt were not only questionably moral but simply did not fit with my true sexuality any more. I also wanted to give myself the best chance of becoming a productive decent human being, and a brain addicted to PMO was not going to provide that for me. For the first time in my life I had a real reason to stop this habit (which I had now accepted was indeed an addiction – funny how I’d never really admitted it before).
After reading everything I could find about porn addiction I was ready to put it into practice and I created an account on nofap. This was the second best thing I did (after educating myself) as the support from the community here has been a massive help. I highly recommend starting a journal here and following some journals of other members too. Trying to do this alone is not the way to go. What I found here is that we’re all in the same boat and we’re not alone in our struggle and don’t need to feel alone. Having said that, it is you and you alone who has to take responsibility for breaking this addiction, and that simply involves the daily discipline and commitment to not watching porn and not masturbating.. I say “simply”, it sounds easy doesn’t it.. but it’s not..
So how did I do it?
For me, it was sheer determination and frankly, sheer disgust with the depths I’d allowed myself to sink to. Going back to that kind of stuff was not an option for me and that’s how I viewed it in my mind. There was no pathway other than forward. I was going to go forward and not look back. I think really, it all comes down to mental strength and the real desire for change. I think, when I see some people constantly relapsing, it’s because they still haven’t reached that point where they really, truly, want that change. Everyone has their own definition of rock bottom, what is acceptable to them. But what I would say is, be honest with yourself. Is this truly the way you want to live your life? No one can make these decisions but you. Ultimately it is about respecting yourself, respecting your body and your sexuality.
You don’t have to be religious but having some kind of spiritual or philosophical framework helps. Is sitting there fapping to increasingly weird stuff really the way life was meant to be? Or, to look at it from another angle, if you could picture your perfect future, would it really involve doing that? I think we all know the answers to these questions, but what we have to do is raise that awareness into our conscious mind and make it a priority. This isn’t easy because modern culture doesn’t seem to feel this is important, so there’s little guidance or support out there, from peers or from anyone else. All the more reason to make use of nofap.com as a fantastic resource and source of support and encouragement. As I said before, trying to do this alone is taking a very hard path.. and it’s somehow fitting that, since internet porn has got us into this mess, a wonderful internet resource like nofap can help us get out of it.
So is that it, am I cured now?
Honestly, no, I don’t think I’m cured, I’m not sure this is something you can ever be 100% cured from. The brain always remembers what it’s been exposed to, but those neural pathways get weaker and weaker over time. I remember around 80 days I was feeling quite low, it didn’t feel like nofap was working as had been promised, but now, at well over 100 days I can say the cravings are long gone and watching porn simply doesn’t feel appealing to me. However, there’s always something in the back of my mind saying, you know, it would feel good, if only I allowed myself to do it again.. but that is a weak voice, a weak voice that I’ll probably live with for years to come.
But that is OK, we are human animals with sexual desires and feelings that we have to learn to manage, even before porn, mastery of our sexual energy has been something we needed to do. Some people have very high sex drives and beyond PMO there are issues such as infidelity, unwanted pregnancy etc. Learning to have a responsible attitude towards our sexuality is just part and parcel of being alive. The only problem is internet porn has made it so easy to lapse and it is without any immediate, ostensible consequences, so it does not encourage responsibility, rather it encourages indulgence and a what-the-heck kind of attitude. So going forward, responsibility and discipline are going to be something needed every day and no “cure” is going to circumvent that.
Is life wonderful now? Do I feel like superman?
Again, honestly, no, life has not become suddenly wonderful nor do I feel like superman (or should that be supermonkey). However, yes, I do feel noticeable improvements and benefits. My self esteem is much better, I don’t feel ashamed of myself anymore and I’m not living with that constant regret that I always felt after fapping. Overall, mental health and emotional well being is greatly improved. However it would be more accurate to say I feel normal, stable, rather than on top of the world. If I do feel down in the dumps I’m able to pull myself out of it a lot quicker. I’m also able to handle everyday problems without stress or if I do feel stressed, I can manage that stress without it consuming me. My mental clarity and focus is also improved, as is my desire to read books rather than watch braindead TV shows or spend hours watching nonsense on YouTube.
Having said that I do remember in the early days, maybe week 2 or 3, I did feel quite amazing at times. My senses felt heightened and I had days where I felt super confident. Maybe this was just an adjustment period and I was coming out of a kind of depression and brain fog or maybe I’ve just got used to it now. Or maybe I still haven’t given it enough time and that was just a taste of what is to come in a few more months.. But whatever the case, don’t expect nofap to be some kind of magic formula for solving all your problems. At the end of the day, after giving up PMO you’re still you and your life will still be mostly the same, simply without the PMO. Yes you will start to feel improvements but it’s up to you to make the changes to the other parts of your life, you can’t expect nofap to perform miracles here.
Also, as PMO has been part of our lives for so long, giving it up will reveal stuff that you’ve been suppressing or avoiding. Dealing with these things can be just as hard as giving up PMO itself. However the key thing to understand here is that giving up PMO is the catalyst to change. It becomes the foundation from which to work from for becoming a better person. It gives you the focus, determination, courage and strength to tackle any problems and face up to any issues that need resolving. I myself feel much better equipped for working harder in my career, exercising and eating healthily. I truly believe nofap is the key, as is giving up any addiction, because addiction makes us become victims and slaves to the addiction itself. When you stop living to feed the addiction you’re free to start living for yourself instead.
What about the future?
As for the future, I’ll be sticking around here as the journey continues.. Nofap is a lifestyle, that’s how I’ve come to view it. At first, yes, it’s helpful to look at it as a series of small stages and challenges but when you’ve hit 100+ days, you really need to start accepting it as a normal part of your life now (and PMO being a rather abnormal thing you used to do). So yeah, I’m not going anywhere, I’ll be hanging around the forum and continuing to journal and maybe, if things go well, I’ll be writing another success story on my 256th day?
To conclude, I’d like to thank anyone who read all this. I was initially a bit hesitant about writing a success story as somehow I didn’t feel qualified to do so but hopefully at least someone found it helpful or inspiring! I’d also like to thank all those who shared their own stories here on nofap that have inspired me. This really is a great community and many thanks to the founders and staff of this website, it’s an amazing resource, and to all my nofap friends and anyone who has ever supported me, even with a simple like, it all helps. Finally, I’d like to say to anyone reading this who is just starting out on their own journey, just remember that I’m just an ordinary guy, and if I can do it, you can do it too!
Cheers and all the best,