352 Days Without Porn - AMA

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Ridley, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. Ridley

    Ridley Fapstronaut

    785
    1,440
    123
    Hey there. It's been a while since I've posted anything on these forums, but I'm approaching a year without porn soon, and I thought I'd post about my progress. Maybe some of you remember me.

    Sometime in the middle of March last year, I took a small, blue hard drive out of my closet and looked at it for a few minutes. It contained all the porn I had been downloading and backing up since about 2010. This hard drive contained some of my absolute favorite porn videos. As I looked at it, I thought about how it used to be a place I could escape to. At one point, it really served a valid purpose in my life. It was somewhat of a shelter from the difficulties I faced at home. It was a fantasy realm, a place where I could respond to the sexual urges in my brain. However, as I held it in my hand and thought about it that night, I realized it wasn't doing that for me anymore. This hard drive was no longer an escape for me. It was really more like a prison. I watched porn off of it almost every night (often adding more onto it as the novelty wore off), and I felt like I couldn't stop even if I wanted to.

    Something changed inside of me that night. I don't know what it was. Maybe I was just sick of feeling like my life was out of control. Maybe I started to think a lot about the future and what kind of person I really wanted to be a year from then. Maybe I was just sick and tired of feeling so ashamed with myself for watching porn. So, I plugged the hard drive into my computer and I completely wiped it clean. The contents cannot be recovered. I said "bye-bye" to about eight years of collecting and watching porn.

    Then, I joined this forum and made a commitment to myself to quit watching porn forever. I didn't ever want to go back to it, and I still don't.

    A lot of people will write about their experiences with quitting, claiming that they found new "superpowers" after 90 days. I've been clean for almost 365 days, and I haven't found any superpowers. However, I found something much more valuable than that: some newfound piece of mind. I was an addict for a large percentage of my life. I started watching porn when I was 14 or 15, and my fascination with it blew up into an addiction when I was 16. I'm 26 years old now. That's almost half of my life I spent addicted to porn. Every day I spent addicted was a day I felt ashamed of myself, a day I felt disgusted with myself, and a day I felt guilty for doing what I was doing every night. I watched porn during the romantic relationships in my life, which compounded the feelings of guilt and shame. Now, a lot of that guilt, shame, and self-disgust is gone. I am more proud of who I am today than I am of who I was a year ago, and I think having that confidence in myself is much more valuable than any superpower.

    However, I also want to point out that, in a way, I'm really just getting started. I was in the depths of my addiction for about 9 years, and I've been clean for only one. In some ways, I'm still a newbie to being porn-free. I don't want to discourage anyone, but I need to tell you the truth: I still get urges to watch porn. I'm still an addict. Porn still presents itself as an alluring escape in my mind when I go through hard times. It offers itself as a guaranteed method to make me feel better instantly, and I have to fight against it. In those times, I just have to tell myself that I'm done with "feeling better". I don't want to "feel good", I want to live. I want to take whatever life dishes out for me, whether it's pleasurable or painful, and I want to experience it. I don't want to medicate my feelings with porn, and I still have to think about that regularly.

    I'm not saying this to scare anybody away from recovery. Recovery is hard work, and it takes a long time. I don't know exactly how long it takes. I guess it's different for everybody. However, for me, I know it's going to take longer than a year before I feel like my addiction has really gone into remission. I was acting out on my addiction for 9 years. Maybe it'll be 9 years of sobriety before I really know what it's like to be completely free from porn.

    So yes, it's hard work, my friends. However, you can do it. You can recover from porn addiction. You can recover and it's worth the battle. You can take matters into your own hands and you can become a better version of yourself.

    Finally, I want to say that I'm grateful for this community. Many of you have offered me insight and perspective along my recovery journey thus far, and I don't want that to go unacknowledged. As a way to give back to the community, feel free to ask me anything about recovery. I'm happy to help, and I want you to succeed!
     
  2. What a inspiring story. Keep it up my man!!
     
    nfmark and frequentdogwalker like this.
  3. SirErnest

    SirErnest Fapstronaut
    NoFap Defender

    1,298
    13,955
    143
    Thanks for this, and congratulations!
     
    frequentdogwalker likes this.
  4. MonkeyDo

    MonkeyDo Fapstronaut

    That's a powerful message. To choose to feel our pain instead of numbing it with porn. Contained within that choice is a fierce desire to live and to make the most out of our experience of life.

    Thanks for your post. You've inspired me. I have already cut porn out of my life, but I am now trying to go without MO for one year.
     
    u376 and frequentdogwalker like this.
  5. Ridley

    Ridley Fapstronaut

    785
    1,440
    123
    I was living a life of instant gratification. Facebook instantly numbed my lack of social connection and loneliness. YouTube instantly numbed my boredom. Porn instantly numbed my sexual desire. However, these feelings of gratification I got from instantly numbing my negative feelings were shallow, and they don't last very long. If I'm happy all the time, can I really call that happiness? If I can always satisfy my sexual desires with porn, can I really call that satisfaction? I think not. Happiness means nothing without sadness. Sexual satisfaction means nothing without sexual desire. Acceptance means nothing without rejection.

    You're welcome! You can do it. Take things one day at a time, and focus on recovery in all aspects of your life.
     
  6. whatrichme

    whatrichme Fapstronaut

    96
    187
    33
    Hello, thanks for the post.

    What are some of the life goals that you have now?
    What is the most important achievement made possible after you started NF?
     
  7. MrMakeItReign

    MrMakeItReign Fapstronaut

    13
    6
    3
    Thank you for the post!!
     
  8. Ridley

    Ridley Fapstronaut

    785
    1,440
    123
    Well, more concretely, I'm working on starting my own business. On the abstract side, I'm working on being more authentic and assertive in all my relationships. Part of the reason I got into pornography in the first place was because I was numbing some of the negative experiences I was having in life. I'm focusing on coming to terms with those experiences and healing as an entire person rather than just healing as a porn addict.

    I am no longer ashamed of my actions when I go to bed at night.
     
  9. What a great story. Thank you for sharing. I'm delighted for you.
     
    vxlccm likes this.
  10. qwaiz

    qwaiz Fapstronaut

    90
    52
    18
    Shit thread with a lot of bla bla bla without coming to the point of the benefits
     
  11. Ridley

    Ridley Fapstronaut

    785
    1,440
    123
    If my thread wasn't helpful to you, I won't take it personally. I appreciate that you took the time to read it even if it wasn't what you were looking for. Can I ask you a question, though? What is your comment contributing to this discussion, and how is it helping other people in their own recoveries?
     
  12. Fantastic read, and it caught me at a moment when I really needed it! I agree, what I have got is not a superpower, but I do feel better than I have in years. I am tempted too, but I did it for years and years and years without a single benefit. That's over. Again, thank you for the inspiration.
     
    Butterfly1988 and vxlccm like this.
  13. vxlccm

    vxlccm Fapstronaut

    On the AMA part of this, @Ridley --
    First, what future benefits do you hope to see?
    Second, do you plan to stick around here once in a while because imho we do need long-haul types a lot. There's others, yes, but it really gives those just starting out a boost to see success. As a p.s. to that - thanks for sharing your story!
     
  14. Ridley

    Ridley Fapstronaut

    785
    1,440
    123
    There are a lot of people who talk about getting "superpowers" such as a deeper voice, being more attractive towards women, and even having larger muscles or restored hair from baldness.

    I don't really want to comment on whether or not that stuff is actually possible (I don't really know whether it is or not, and I know I'll get a lot of flame from other users if I say there's no such thing as superpowers). All I know is that none of that stuff happened to me, but that the stuff that actually did happen to me is much better than any of those silly superpowers. I just feel better about myself. As you said, I feel better than I have in years. It's great, and I'd take that feeling of self-acceptance and peace over a deep voice, being attractive towards women, having larger muscles, or a full head of hair any day :)
     
    Butterfly1988 and Ogikubo like this.
  15. Ridley

    Ridley Fapstronaut

    785
    1,440
    123
    A couple of things.
    • First, I'd like for sobriety to feel more normal to me. I was an addict for roughly nine years. I've been clean for almost a year, and while I'm aware that's no small accomplishment, I'm also aware that it's only a fraction of the time I spent addicted. In short, being porn-free still feels pretty new to me in some ways. I want it to feel like second nature to me. Maybe it never will, but it's something I hope to see.
    • Second, I'd like to be more accepting of myself for who I am. My addiction was deeply tangled up with intense feelings of shame and secrecy. I think the opposite of shame is self-acceptance, and that's where I want to be. I feel much closer to that than I felt when I started NoFap, but I know I still have progress to make on that front.
    I don't know. I took a long break from visiting the forums because I wanted to focus on other things for a while. I'm back here for now to give back to the community that helped me through the early stages of rebooting. I agree that a wider diversity of people who are in different stages of recovery will help this community. I wish I could give you more security that I will stick around, but I really don't think about my future relationship with this forum, honestly. All I know is I'm here for now :)
     
    Butterfly1988 likes this.
  16. whatrichme

    whatrichme Fapstronaut

    96
    187
    33
    Thanks for the previous reply.

    Do you plan on a relationship and does NF bring out the more masculine side of you?
    Does NF change your general view on intimate relationship(s)/sex?
     
  17. Ridley

    Ridley Fapstronaut

    785
    1,440
    123
    I was in a committed relationship when I started NoFap and I'm still in that relationship now. In general, I don't really plan on relationships at all. In my experience, they just happen. For me, NoFap is about bettering myself as an individual, and I know I will have more to offer in a relationship if I am happy with who I am.

    I don't think NoFap has really affected my masculinity at all. I don't feel any more or less masculine than I did when I started NoFap. Honestly, I don't really think about my gender identity very much.

    Oh, it absolutely does. When I was watching porn all the time, I always kept it a secret because I was ashamed of it. It was a secret I was keeping from my girlfriend, which isn't honest and isn't up to my own standards of what makes a good boyfriend. Now that I've quit, I really feel like I have nothing to hide.

    There's also some healing that's been done there as well. Without getting into too much graphic detail, porn taught me that good sex is hard, fast, and constantly rhythmic. As I disconnected from the distorted lens that porn places over sexuality, I discovered that my girlfriend and I enjoy sex a lot more when it's slow, deep, and caring.

    Overall, I just feel like I'm a better partner than I was before I started NoFap.
     
  18. u376

    u376 Fapstronaut

    2,364
    6,318
    143
    I remember having debates with you regarding masturbation.....
    And now seeing you clean is inspiring for me
     
  19. Ridley

    Ridley Fapstronaut

    785
    1,440
    123
    Hey there! I just wanted to make it clear that my counter is for my days without porn. I have still masturbated since quitting porn, but that isn't a problem in light of my personal goals.

    I remember our debates, too. These days, I'm done with debating whether or not masturbation is unhealthy with people on these forums. I just don't think it's a very productive conversation, and I've decided to just agree to disagree with people on that matter. I'll try to use language that makes it clear that it's a personal choice, and not an objective statement about masturbation: Masturbation was not (and still is not) a problem for me. I was never addicted to masturbation. Masturbation was not negatively impacting my life. My problem was mostly with pornography. I do not feel depressed or ashamed when I masturbate.

    I'm glad my progress has been inspiring for you!
     
  20. u376

    u376 Fapstronaut

    2,364
    6,318
    143
    I agree with you
    For me porn is still a struggle
    And yes...porn is more damaging than masturbation.....
    It's been around 400+ days since I masturbated......
    But now I want to defeat porn....
    It has messed up my brain
     
    Deleted Account and Ogikubo like this.

Share This Page