365 days without porn or masturbation. I hope my thoughts help those struggling.

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Indurian, Feb 25, 2020.

  1. Indurian

    Indurian Fapstronaut

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    It has been 365 days approx since I last looked at porn or masturbated, and it is something I would sincerely recommend to anyone. Thank you Nofap and thank you to all for contributing to this site, as I had never before managed anything like this on my own.

    I originally posted after I reached 99 days, so please refer here https://forum.nofap.com/index.php?threads/99-days-no-pm-my-thoughts-hope-they-help.234137/ for a bit more background.

    I have outlined as follows the impact it has had on my life in the longterm, along with the steps and actions taken:

    Being above the average age on this forum and growing up just pre high speed internet, until about a year ago I genuinely didn't think that viewing porn was doing me any harm. There was never even a hint that it could cause psychological or physical issues. Quite the opposite in fact, as I thought it was doing me good. Having spent some time on this forum however, there are however far too many here on Nofap with a virtually identical list of ongoing symptoms and PAWS, myself very much included. Anger, anxiety, depression and anhedonia are the most common. I see these mentioned over and over again and if you want to get rid of these problems you must give up porn. You may also need therapy etc but just now you are drugging yourself and masking symptoms with porn. Please internalise and understand this as much a possible.

    I personally don't ever want to go back to that. Through my teens and early 20's I would use porn to get rid of anxiety in my life (temporarily of course). This looks to have weakened my ability to deal with any stress. Being in a state of constant high anxiety made me turn to porn in order to feel any sort of pleasure or relief. It's a horrible loop to be caught in and I can fortunately say that my stress system is returning to normal.

    I don't take anything for granted though and I know that relapses can occur at anytime. I am however now educated and I know with certainty that these symptoms will return if I go back to my old habits. Hopefully this keeps me away from it.

    What has changed

    The desire to look at porn has diminished greatly. Strong desire for other women comes and goes. I see attractive women, but I then refrain from indulging in them. I've detailed this more under the lust section.

    I've overcome a significant anger issue with certain family members. I'm now comfortable in their presence and accept them fully as they are. It doesn't mean that I always agree with them, but I know that I don't need to get angry with them and that it's not my responsibility to change them. For ten years I was unable to deal with these issues and it has only been since giving up porn that I have been able to deal with it.

    I think that giving up porn has also in a way transformed my relationship with my own children. Maybe it has something to do with my mind being free of the guilt etc.

    I was definitely in a very dark place socially. My mind would freak out on nights out etc. That has basically normalised through my reboot. I can't emphasise the positive effect that giving up porn has had on social interactions, especially with females.

    Motivation is returning to my life. I was once a very motivated person, but for several years I almost ceased to function in a work environment. I see that changing now and it is very exciting.

    To sum it up I generally feel much more comfortable and at peace with life. Truth be told though I don't feel spectacular all the time, but I would instead say that my baseline level of peace has improved, and I'm definitely okay with that.

    How to change

    If you have tried to give up porn a few times and failed then it is at least a strong habit, if not an addiction. For abstinence to work I firstly had to learn that porn is all or nothing. Indulging every now and again will lead to relapses and more often than not binges. For me at least, for a period of several months, giving up porn had to become my no. 1 priority. Please saturate your mind with scientific knowledge of the impact porn has on humans. Please also learn from those who have been through the experience.

    Lust

    Crucial to my avoidance of relapses has been my focus on dealing with lust in general. Critically, doing so has transformed my relationship with women. I'm able to smile and communicate without any awkward feelings, while they also seem far more comfortable in my presence. Giving up lust and porn has rid me of social anxiety around women, and it is a huge relief. For those of you struggling with lust or unable to communicate with women in general (Nofappers of any age) I highly recommend this being a focus.

    On a practical level, this means that in addition to giving up porn, don't ogle or stare at women in real life. We get a pleasant feeling when we look at a nice ass. No doubt about it. However, having experimented with this you get a far more peaceful feeling when you look away (when presented with the opportunity). To quote the Muslim religion, 'lower your gaze'. I always, always do this now. I'm presented with many opportunities but I don't indulge.

    Dealing with lustful thoughts is also important. I have had strong lustful thoughts all my life. They were however unconscious. Make the unconscious conscious. Meditate or pray, whatever you need to do. This will help a great deal. Please refer to the any sensible religious teachings around lust. Eckhart Tolle is also a good reference when it comes to bringing unconscious thoughts into the open.

    Here are a selection of the unconscious thoughts that were driving me to porn and masturbation - 'She needs f°cked. She's got the best body, I have to have her' etc etc. As is clear they aren't especially nice thoughts. They are lustful in an angry 'I've got to have it' sort of a way. Pure objectification. Deal with lust. I see now why it's definitely listed as one of the seven deadly sins.

    Relapses

    I relapsed a lot, over a lot of years. Every time you relapse please try to develop an attitude of acceptance. If you do relapse, instead of belittling and beating yourself up, try to observe how your mind reacts to the relapse. What exactly does your mind say about the relapse? 'You're a loser. You're never going to beat this. You might as well continue to watch. You're stupid. You said you'd never relapse again'. Whatever your thoughts about the relapse, simply observe. This is where mediation and choiceless observation will really help you out, and basically if you don't react to those thoughts then you will not strengthen them. It may sound like passivity but by reacting in such a way you are not adding to the anger etc. which can fuel further relapses as you try to run from the pain.

    I've read before that in life it's important to learn how to deal with failure and being defeated. Dealing with relapses in the correct way is of just as much importance. Use them to motivate you to learn more about the harm you are doing through porn use. Fully educate yourself.

    Thought

    If I could select one primary factor integral to my recovery (and continued abstinence), then an increased awareness of the thoughts driving the porn urges (and my thoughts in general) would be my weapon of choice. How do you even explain such a strange statement. Through mindfulness I am not lost in thought nearly as much and I am more aware of what is driving my actions.

    Where do I go from here?

    Some questions I ask myself going forward. First, why do I continue to visit Nofap dailly? Brutal honesty is required. Am I doing so in order to contribute towards others wellbeing, or am I unconsciously viewing Nofap as a competition and only visiting in order to compare myself with others i.e. get a little dopamine hit when I see someone else on a long streak relapsing, or similar. That may sound like a horrible but I simply want to know how my mind operates. What are the thoughts driving my actions? I think there are probably a mixture good intentions, and also selfish ones.

    Could I have lasted this long on hard mode? I have no idea. Since starting this streak I've probably O'd through sex on average once per week. Sex now seems more special when it is done less frequently. That's probably an age thing as well though.

    Are there other addictions that I have yet to uncover? I've given up most junk food for around 4 months now. Doing so seems to further expose me to what I was hiding from. It makes me face and experience the things I was trying to get away from. Lent starts tomorrow, and while I don't prescribe to a particular faith it seems that giving things up (I think Buddhists refer to it as giving up attachment) seems to have benefitted me so far. I'm therefore giving up most screen use for the next 40 days. This primarily relates to nonsene TV and also mindless internet and Youtube surfing. I don't have a lot of evidence to support the negatives this can cause but I'm going to give it a go and see what good comes of it. I think it should further prevent me from running from uncomfortable feelings / emotions.

    It's safe to say that suffering has brought me to where I am now. I don't mean that nihilistically but instead view periods of suffering as guideposts moving me towards a more mentally peaceful existence. Lots of the time the suffering is because I was thinking about my own pleasure over the wellbeing of others. I'm going to continue to try to give up selfish behaviour.
     
  2. PowerfulSRE

    PowerfulSRE Distinguished Fapstronaut

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    Thank you for sharing this inspiring post. It really helps when we see when some of our fellow fapstronauts make a huge success as you did. Good luck with your life mate! All the best!
     
  3. Huge congrats man! Really appreciate you sharing this as well as all of the tips that can be helpful. The thoughts I'd have when seeing women are the exact same, like word for word. It is very nice to know that the problem is not unique and that others, such as yourself, have overcome it.
     
  4. SirErnest

    SirErnest Fapstronaut
    NoFap Defender

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    All well said! Thanks for reporting. It will help many.
     

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