90 days on Monk Mode

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Paraeinstein, Dec 6, 2019.

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  1. Paraeinstein

    Paraeinstein Fapstronaut

    I made it beyond 90 days and I see this as a major milestone in my NoFap streak. As my goal is to reach effortless celibacy, the journey is not over for me yet. But so far I have experienced so much benefit and I am not exaggerating.

    As for the criteria of Monk Mode which I planned to follow, it was a combination of NoFap Hard Mode plus the 8 Precepts of Buddhism. I do have to admit that I followed the Monk Mode criteria in a less than perfect or acceptable manner, but these were with regard to the additional austerities which I took up upon myself outside of abstaining from MO.

    Around 30 days into my NoFap streak, I came across this technique on YouTube called cue-exposure therapy. This requires one to briefly expose oneself to a trigger (in my case this was porn), and then to condition and rewire my brain to avoid my typical habitual response. So, therefore, this streak was not entirely P-free given that the cue-exposure method did require me to briefly expose myself to P material (both P and P-subs). I stopped doing the cue-exposure method a week ago because I felt the benefits and therefore I felt I no longer required it anymore. I feel much more resistant to P more than ever. I have a strong feeling that even if someone was to jump in front of me and show a pornographic image, just out of the blue, my impulses would be far less than I use to have in such situations. So this has worked for me, but at the same time, I also know I do not need to continue with it either (which is why I stopped).

    The decision to start with cue-exposure therapy when I was around 30 odd days into my streak was a big risk that I undertook and based on these grounds. I required some strong willpower and self-discipline in the first few days, and if you are the type who easily gives in and do not trust yourself to have enough resistance, then I advise you do not consider this method at all. It is far better to play it safe traveling on a slow path than take a risky yet faster path. For me, it could have gone either way where the worst-case scenario could have been where I would have gone straight back into PMO from a cue-exposure session. Based on this, given the risks involved, I would not recommend this to Fapstranauts in NoFap. It's just a personal decision I took and it just ended up working for me.

    I did Wim Hof breathing followed by cold showers on whichever days that I could. In Ireland where I live, just like in most other European countries, the winter is starting, and usually, during these times of the year, there is a tendency for me to be attached to the warmth and feel a bit low in mood (although this is not depression or seasonal affective disorder). This year, those negative states of mind diminished for the most part where I could only imagine the benefits had I done Wim Hof combined with the cold showers every day. I was hoping to do Wim Hof's 10-week course but from the end of December, I will be in a retreat in a Buddhist monastery where I would not have regular access to telecommunication devices. Therefore I decided to consider starting this around April next year or maybe later (when I come out of my 3-month retreat).

    Cold showers are one of the things which I did differently compared to other streaks I did (which were all unsuccessful). It was these cold showers that added strength and vigor to my NoFap streak. I hope to master this skill.

    I did fasting every day (except one day where I missed lunch) and this helped me to discipline my mind. It was about telling my mind than I am not going to give everything it keeps crying out for.

    I have to say that at the end of these 90 days I am very horny, but not in a bad and unhealthy way. I have accepted that this horniness is a natural part of being a man that doesn't need to be get rid of by wanking. I did have problems with erection, but now I am confident that if I was to make love to a woman right now, my boner will be solid as a rock. I am getting stronger erections especially when I wake up in the morning and I am happy about this. For me, this is just an indicator that the benefits of NoFap are occurring within me at a physical level (even though I am not going to settle for that as my target is celibacy).

    With this NoFap streak, I have broken the barrier which I thought was impossible for me to break (which was wanking). I finally did it but don't want to reassure myself too much either. This first set of 90 days is just the starting milestone on my journey to perfect celibacy. In the next set of 90 days (from day 91 - 180) I will make an effort to follow the Monk Mode (Hard Mode + austerities) to a better extent with minimum imperfection.

    The next 90 days will be my second spell of NoFap. Even though I haven't lost this streak I felt that its good to say in my mind that I entered a new phase of my NoFap.

    Till ultimate effortless celibacy is reached, I will not stop NoFap, so this won't be the last you will hear about me in this forum.
     
  2. helpinghand4all

    helpinghand4all Fapstronaut

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    No flatline? How? Like I need a cure for flatline.
     
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  3. vad

    vad Fapstronaut

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    Wow well done! How do you fight the urges? Like after 30 days of nofap I just get very horny and hard. How do I fight that?
     
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  4. Paraeinstein

    Paraeinstein Fapstronaut

    Hi helpinghand4all, I think the reason why I didn't reach the flatline was because I did cue-exposure therapy, because it required me to briefly expose myself to P, and I think this is one of the disadvantages of cue-exposure therapy. Reaching the flatline is an important part of the rebooting process because it is an external symptom that your brain is rewiring and resetting itself, so in this sense I may not have entirely rebooted and I therefore I am still in the NoFap game. I also do admit that I did look at P-sub (such as belly dancing videos and photos of sexy clothed/topless models). I finished with my cue-exposure sessions by the end of No Nut November because I am convinced that I received the full benefits from it. So now the real dopamine fast begins where I believe the flatline would hit me sooner than later. These 90 days was just a preliminary, now the real rebooting begins and by the end of this month I will be in a monastery for 3 months - which is the ideal prolonged dopamine fast if done correctly with body, speech and mind. I believe I will experience my flatline during this time but I wish for it to arrive sooner than later.


    Hi vad, as for urges I just try to make myself enjoy having the urges rather than fight them. I fully accepted them without trying to resist but without acting upon them. I allowed the entire body to absorb that energy instead of just focusing on the genital region. Today this morning when I was in bed I did have a super-strong urge and I was fantasising about a girl at work for a prolonged period of time. The only difference is that I didn't act upon it. So now I can assure myself that even if a super-strong urge was to hit me, I wouldn't be repeating my usual habitual behaviour of PMO. Usually in such situations I would go straight to PMO and then spend the rest of the day feeling clumsy and lethargic. But this morning (and some other days) during the streak, I openly accepted the urges and enjoyed them. Soon afterwards what I do is the Wim Hof breathing and then do a cold shower. This is just one of the methods to circulate all of that sexual energy all around the body.

    I know it is not perfect, but in these next 90 days I am determined to spend more time meditation as this is the number one best method that excels all other methods when it comes to letting go of urges. I used to do 1 hour of Mindfulness of Breathing meditation everyday and I hope to get back into this.

    However before getting to the stage of letting go, I would encourage you to not fight the urge but to experience it by just observing without acting upon it. Because this is the safety net which is going to catch you when all other methods fail. I made sure that I set up this safety net quite strongly by the two ways of cue-exposure therapy and fully experiencing the urges when they arise, so now it means that if all other mechanisms that would prevent me from PMO would fail, this is always there as the final gatekeeper which would prevent me from going back into PMO.

    Some might say that one method fixes all things, but I disagree. I say our NoFap streak is like a rainforest with the various canopies. You get the small plants at the bottom, with the different trees in different layers reaching to the sky with the tallest of the trees making the roof of the rainforest. The floor of the rainforest is dark because the various canopies have all absorbed the sunlight and the sunlight does not hit the floor. Likewise, our different methods which we use against PMO are also like this. The two most important methods is the one which will help to rewire the brain faster (such as meditation) and the last barrier that you set up which will serve its purpose when all fails (such as cue-exposure and urge surfing).
     
  5. Greetings @Paraeinstein! :)

    It was a pleasure to read your posts. I find that many members of these forums are not especially skilled in their use of the english language - I enjoy reading posts by others who have the "knack" for clear, concise formulations of thoughts into words. I was also pleased because I, too am shooting for "monk mode" (ultimately, as stated in my status). I also practice mindfulness on breath. Regarding NoFap: unfortunately I have never lasted as long as you have (No-PMO), but I am encouraged by your success. In addition, I am now interested in finding out about the "Wim Hof breathing" technique(s) - many years ago I found great benefit in the practice of "pranayama" (from yoga), so now I am curious about breathing exercises in general.

    You've probably already seen this somewhere, but just in case you haven't, here's a link to the 10 precepts (not 8).
    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sila/dasasila.html

    I am not suggesting that the 8 precepts are an insufficient challenge or "fall short" in any way. Rather, my intention is simply to share whatever I have learned in the spirit of my recognition that we are all interdependent, and no one can "make it" in complete isolation. We are social animals, and denying that fact serves no one. In any case, I doubt that I have told you anything new (to you), but one never knows. May your strength, conviction, awareness and insight grow while on retreat! I look forward to reading more from you once you return. :D

    [​IMG]
     
  6. vad

    vad Fapstronaut

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    Wow thank you. I have heard many times of the Wim hof breathing but ignore/forgit to do it. Imma try now. Thank my friend. I really appreciate it. Much respect, peace
     
  7. Paraeinstein

    Paraeinstein Fapstronaut

    Dear Sound of One Hand, you re most welcome.
    All my Hard Mode attempts failed badly, so this time I decided to do Monk Mode. It’s because sometimes it’s important to aim far to have some hope of landing in the middle. As for me even though I didn’t reach fully celibacy yet, I can confidently say that my default response to urges is not PMO. Now for me it’s about pushing those same principles to their limit to see where it goes. I am convinced I can reach full celibacy. I thought many times that it was impossible to stop M beyond 7 days but now I finally did it.

    As for 10 Precepts these rules are for Buddhists who took up monastic ordination where the first year or early years are spent as novice monks before taking full ordination. As for lay Buddhists (such as myself), the precepts are usually the 5 Precepts and on some days one can choose to follow the 8 Precepts. Taking 5 Precepts and 8 Precepts can be done by oneself, but taking 10 Precepts implies to take up robes as a monk which means that those precepts are given by a preceptor (such as a senior monk) according to tradition. Whiles following 10 Precepts is more meritorious in comparison to the 8 Precepts, for lay people it is not practical to follow the 10 Precepts given that one of the 10 involves not using exchange media (such as money, gold or silver). Therefore these precpets are for those who have fully determined themselves to enter a monastic life with renunciation of lay activities such as sex and money. It means that such people have had no or little desire towards porn or sex to even begin with when they considered taking up such a lifestyle which means that they wouldn’t really have a need to be in a space which was based on overcoming addiction to PMO provided they took up robes and precepts for all the right reasons.

    One of the most important things to note (which you most probably already have) is that the term ‘Monk’ in Monk Mode is used in a figurative manner where participants of Monk Mode need not be or for the most part are not monks (or nuns) in the literal sense. I can’t speak for other belief systems, but in Buddhism a fully ordained monk follows an excess of 200 Precepts which is a relatively more austere and ascetic lifestyle compared to the 8 Precepts (which I am under these days and what lay residents in Buddhist monasteries follow).

    One of my keys to success was to take up NoFap this last time with an active holistic approach instead of just abstaining from PMO (like in Hard Mode).

    I watched NoFap and self-improvement videos on a daily basis and this helped me to keep reminding myself about my own goals of NoFap repeatedly.
     
  8. Hello, @Paraeinstein.

    Thank you for illuminating the subject of precepts for me in such detail! If memory serves, ordained Buddhist nuns must follow over 300 precepts - even more austere! I am curious as to how this has been justified over the centuries. On the surface it seems unfair to me, but then I have not read the extensive list of an ordained monk's precepts, much less those to which a nun must adhere. Your point about the precept prohibiting the use of currency (gold or silver in the Buddha's time, I gather) is well taken: not practical for most, certainly not for me!

    "... sometimes it’s important to aim far to have some hope of landing in the middle."

    This is an excellent insight and it's something I will keep in mind. I am inspired by your example! It is true that monk mode is more holistic, and I believe that is the best path for me to follow, as well. I've had a close friend for over 30 years who's been completely O-free for five years! He is an incredible human being. I chatted with him at length last night and encouraged him to join NoFap so he could inspire others. Although he's a very busy guy he has agreed to at least consider the idea. I find his accomplishment even more impressive because he does have a girlfriend and engages in sexual activity regularly, but never has an O, just gives them to her. What control! I'm pretty sure he doesn't engage in M, either. In his case what would be the point? Of course, he's not technically celibate in the sexual sense, though he isn't married (another meaning for celibacy according to the Miriam-Webster Dictionary).

    I am still struggling to establish a strong, regular meditation and mindfulness practice. Though I know that following the precepts could help me to do that I find I am not good at making lifestyle changes when tackling many things at once, or when they are too difficult/unpleasant to provide encouragement for me along the way. Since I am not very tough when it comes to pain (or even mild discomfort) I take "baby steps." The only problem with that is I'm almost 50 and my body is already falling apart in a big way - I don't know how much time I have left to grow spiritually (which brings up the subject of reincarnation in my mind - perhaps we will discuss that in the future). Personally, I'm quite "science-oriented" and currently find the idea of rebirth hard to accept. I would like to believe it, though! If you are convinced that reincarnation is real I would love to read about what led you to that belief.

    I'm very glad we've met and I look forward to more interactions with you as we work on achieving celibacy and cultivating mindfulness - ciao for now!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. TrueSaiyan

    TrueSaiyan Fapstronaut

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    I saw you're post. I'm not an expert in flat-lining.. But try meditating on you're chakra's where you feel emotion and love. Basically the Sacral and Heart locations'.. You can look this up on youtube, etc... This will surely put you back into balance with body and mind.

    I've done meditating in the past and I feel rejuvenated after a 45mn meditation session and a calmer mind. I feel my emotions coming back as well. It takes time, but its worth it my friend.
     
  10. control your life

    control your life Moderator Assistant Staff Member Moderator Assistant

    Nicely done . Thanks for sharing
     
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  11. Finalito

    Finalito Fapstronaut

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    Hey mate,
    Nicely written. Congrats on reaching 90 days!
    I've read all you restraints and I have to admit it sounds harsh. Like super harsh. Especially those 8 Buddhist rules.

    It makes me think of an old joke actually, where a guy went to see his G.P. and asked him whether he'll live up to a 100 - the doctor asked him if he smokes, the guy said no. The doctor asked him if he drinks alcohol, the guy said no. The doctor asked him if he has sex, the guy again said no. And then the doctor said, if you don't drink, smoke or have sex, why the hell would you even want to live up to a 100?

    Anyway, I'm sure I would not have the mental strength to do all the austerities. If would mess up my mind and body to the point where my spirit would start resisting. However, if you can do it - fair play. I hope it works for you!
     
  12. Paraeinstein

    Paraeinstein Fapstronaut

    Hi Dear Sound of One Hand, I have not studied monastic disciplinary rules so I won't be able to give an answer to this. I am aware of some rules which Buddhist nuns have that monks do not, such as a nun has to be accompanied by another nun when travelling, and a nun's meditation hut should be within shouting distance of another nun's hut. So as you see some of these rules are for the safety of nuns. However, some of the rules are to do with respect and reverence towards male monastics and it is reasonable to say that these aspects of the disciplinary code of conduct in monastic circles are not egalitarian. Even within the Buddhist world some of these are under debate given that some of these rules may not have much relevance to our present day and age, give then the Buddha specifically did mention that the monastic disciplinary rules unlike the the teachings, can be altered according to the suitability of time and place. Therefore even in the early days of Buddhism, it was clear that the monastic rules were not based entirely on grounds of virtue but also based on domains outside of that such as behaviour, etiquette and the smooth functioning of the monastic community with minimum conflict. Someone who has studied about the monastic code could give a far more comprehensive and detailed answer with far more accuracy. With my limited knowledge this is the best I can do for now, but I only wish I knew more on this matter myself.

    It appears that your friend is completely functional from the sexual aspect and perhaps he does not require to be celibate. It seems great that he has been free of O for 5 years. Sometimes O is used to encompass orgasm and ejaculation together but some individuals have found a way of differentiating between the two which comes with practice. Some have found a way of getting the O without the ejaculation, and this is thought to be the best possible way to have a sexual relationship because one can spread the orgasm throughout the body whiles not losing their semen. Taoist masters of the ancient world have mastered this art, which also part of the reason why they lived healthy long lives, where ejaculation was only done inside of a woman when making children but never or rarely outside of that. If your friend is just giving pleasure to his girlfriend (or woman-friend) without any orgasm then I am curious know what his reason for that is. Whatever it is, it appears that it is a reason that is out of the ordinary.

    Ah, that is completely fine. Our minds have a great ability to think and contemplate. Its just that we do too much of it, which is why a key aspect of Buddhist meditation (as well as meditation in other religious or spiritual systems) is to silence the mind. You probably may be aware of important aspects of mindfulness meditation already, but just to share my own understanding about it that nothing is enforced upon. In case of mindfulness, effort is not made to silence the mind in the typical sense of the word 'effort'. Instead it is about focusing on the breath in this present moment and giving everything we have to the passive observation of the breath in the present moment. When this is done in a sustained manner, then our inner speech or inner commentary will diminish in the meditative state and eventually the mind will become silent. Silence is something that is very shy; if you talk to her then she will run away. So this one of the main challenges in mindfulness meditation. If you keep at it then eventually it will be an activity to enjoy. According to texts (of Buddhism and some other religions), when mindfulness meditation is done in an indefinite manner then one will reach a transcendental state of mindfulness which is far more pleasurable than any sensory experience, whether that is drugs, music or sex. This is why some monastics can effortlessly maintain their celibacy vow. Its because the transcendental states of mindfulness are far more pleasurable than the best type of orgasm that one can reach from sex. I have to hasten to say that I have no experience of these states as in meditation I have not gone this far. But I hope to keep at it as this training of the mind is a gradual path.

    Yes I can see that you are concerned about your health. Of course you know best and I wish you good health and long life. If you see yourself as being spiritually inclined I would encourage you not to give into despair or regret that past. You don't even have to concern yourself with rebirth/reincarnation because if you strike the correct chords then I see no reason why you wont reach results in this life itself. It is natural to feel sceptical given that if there are no future lives then what is the purpose of living a spiritually oriented lifestyle, especially if in doubt whether they would work for one, or for anyone else for that matter. There can be that feeling where one may think that time spent on practices may not yield any results and it would be a waste of time in this life which could have been used for other activities where the results are more readily visible to our senses (such as travelling, enjoying a nice massage or sex). I also can get these sorts of feelings from time to time, but in such situations I remind myself of the great masters who have lived that made progress on the spiritual path. They have lives without nice houses, cars, women or money, yet they are far more happier than most of us.

    As for your question about reincarnation, once again this is difficult to answer as I was born to Buddhist parents and I am originally from a country where the majority of people are Buddhists where the belief in rebirth is a default position among articles of beliefs. But going back to the question, let me say that there is no scientific evidence to prove rebirth. In my opinion science has not yet defined what life actually is. So far in biology, science is able to explain about life in terms of the characteristics and processes which we observe in living beings, but it has not itself given a definition of what makes a living body different from a dead one, especially in relation to our consciousness. Therefore science first has to come up with a definition of sentient life beyond any shadow of doubt prior for it to having any hope of reaching the point where it would later prove or disprove rebirth. So I would say that either this would be one of science's eternal blind spots or that science may just have its own view on it based on its own limitation given that the knowledge system of science is heavily dependent upon observer-based analysis.

    If we are talking about empirical evidence, then there are instances where people have recalled what they perceived to be from their past lives. Edgar Casey in his book, 'Many Mansions' explains about this issue with his own practical experience from the hypnotherapy sessions that he did on his patients/subjects. But once again, this is just empirical evidence only and not scientific evidence. There is no reason to not consider the possibility that some of them could either be lying, mistaking a projection of their imagination or from a previous dream to be from a past life.
     
  13. Paraeinstein

    Paraeinstein Fapstronaut

    Hi Finalito, :)

    As you may be aware, the Monk Mode of NoFap does not have a standard criteria, and given that I am a Buddhist I chose what I felt would be most relevant to me, that would help with my reboot. The reason why I did this was because I failed many times on Hard Mode, so this is something I did based on my on needs. You might find that you may not need these austerities to successfully reboot. For me, I hope to aim for full celibacy (even though I am also happy to settle for 'less', such as being in a relationship in a healthy manner). Also please do note that I have not been immaculate with following the precepts, where some days I did eat later than I was meant to, I did listen to music and did watch films, but on most days I did the best I could. From the Hard Mode component of my reboot I can say this was far more successful than any of the rebooting attempts I did, by miles. As for monk mode criteria which I set up for myself, I followed them in a less than ideal manner. Its just to get more practice and I feel that being under these additional rules based on the 8 Precepts of Buddhism, helped me to maintain the Hard Mode aspect within my reboot. I am just getting ready for my retreat in a Buddhist monastery which will be 3 months in duration. The 8 Precepts are not forever for those who are lay Buddhists and they can come back to the basic 5 Precepts like normal lay Buddhist people do (which does not require celibacy). After coming out of my retreat I may come back to the 5 Precepts. Even if I continue to stay on the 8 Precepts, I am not religiously obliged to stay on the 8 Precepts for life (even though some do take up this commitment).

    As for this path I am following its not even about abstaining masturbation, sex or any other pleasurable activity. These are just external symptoms only. The path is more about the underlying mentality behind all of this; about letting go of instant pleasures to take up the longer road to ultimate happiness. Because I believe there is something good out there far beyond the horizon, but I would only be able to reach that the more I let go of the immediate desires I have right now.

    Having said that, sex is a beautiful thing. I also believe one can spiritually progress whiles being in a healthy sexual relationship. It may be more challenging and difficult. But I am convinced it is possible.
     
  14. Finalito

    Finalito Fapstronaut

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    Hey @Paraeinstein ,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I just want to further clarify what I meant with my post above and the harshness of the conditions.

    I think that in everything you do, the balance is the key. I see how going from one extreme to another extreme might seem like they would balance each other out - say like with weighing scales - however I find that in the real life this is not the case. Going from one extreme to another is not balance, it is simply two extremes. Transformation of Yin and Yang, if you prefer.

    Instead, what I find, is that in the long run it is better to realise what your extreme is and then slowly and steadily (although it is always up and down) start working on diminishing it.

    In terms of finding balance, I think that it is better to think of a pendulum than of weighing scales. If you pull a pendulum to one side as far as possible and release it, it won't stop in the middle, but it will swing right across to the relatively opposite extreme. However, you don't want the pendulum to be swinging from one side to another, but instead, you want it floating steadily in the centre. The only way to do this, is by slowly releasing it. Takes time and if you do it too fast, it will swing across. Extreme on neither side is good, the balance is what you ideally want.

    My nofap journey is over 2 years long. I've tried going hardcore, and whenever I failed, I was back in obsessive pmo. As if swinging from on extreme to another. Then I tried going more gently, being less strict on myself. I just did no porn for 100 days. That worked. I still mo'd. But it was okay. But then I tried no pmo again, and after a month, I was back in the obsessiveness. In the two years of my journey there have been extremes on all sides. What I'm doing now, is simply trying to avoid p and m. Gently. I met a girl. I o'd. It's been good. But, the last time this happend, it was when I was obsessing over no pmo, and was back in the extreme afterwards.

    I know that my journey might sound confusing so far, however, what I'm trying to emphasize is how the avoidance of extremes in any way was the key for me. Of course, it took time. 2+ years. But in this time, I have changed drastically for the better. I'm taking it slowly and gently, one step at a time. The more I avoid any extremes, the better I become.

    And lastly, I've sent you a private message regarding the Buddhist retreat you mentioned. I hope you'll reply. :)
     
  15. Paraeinstein

    Paraeinstein Fapstronaut

    Hi @Finalito

    Yes it may appear like extremes but actually it more like a form of letting go. Of course, if one is pressurising oneself to be under them against their will then this is not good because then the cravings become even bigger. Instead, some of the Precepts are meant to be followed with a mind of letting go. For example, if we look at the precept of avoiding entertainment (such as music and films), it is with the understanding that the happiness that results from what we experience from the senses are not everlasting but only temporary. The 8 Precepts are what is usually taken by lay people who are either at home on certain days or when they are in the monastery as residents. Part of 8 Precepts is about cutting away the typical distractions of the outside world which means that such a mind is more inclined towards meditation activity.

    As for your 2 year journey of NoFap, did you maintain a journal? Because if you did then I would like to read it as I may be able to incorporate anything which you found helpful. Reading of journals is something I hope to do on my continuing journey of NoFap.
     

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