Former lucid dreamer's hard mode

Discussion in 'New to NoFap' started by LilD, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. LilD

    LilD Fapstronaut

    Hello people.

    I'm on my 10th day of hard mode nofap.

    It was a long time since I first heard about advantages of quitting the porn, but I only started trying a few months ago. Before, I was only able to abstain from porn for 5 days maximum and felt very frustrated about it.

    Recently, I realized that I only watch porn after fantasizing about something erotic, or watching erotic or semi-erotic content online. Thus, I tried to quit my erotic fantasies and watching erotic content on social media. (I didn't quit social media completely, just unsubscribed from users/groups/channels who post any triggering content.)

    It helped. 10 days is the longest period I abstained from porn and masturbation in past 7-8 years, maybe even more.

    Why do I want to quit porn?

    I first started watching erotic photos at a very young age, maybe at 8-10 yo, which over the years progressed into watching hardcore porn. I came to the point where "normal" porn no longer excites me, and I felt afraid of the idea that in the near future I'll only be able to get off by watching something stomach-turning or even illegal.

    During the past couple of months, I realized that porn not only harming my physical and psychological condition (I have a social anxiety and depression, now slowly recovering) but also completely replaced all kinds of romantic and sexual relationships. I haven't been on a date for years, and I'm still a virgin, soon coming into my 30s.

    My ultimate goal is not just to quit porn and erotic fantasies, but to replace them with normal romantic/sexual relationships. I'm not sure if rebooting will help me with my mental issues, but it never hurts to try. (I also do other stuff to deal with my mental problems.)

    What are my biggest challenges so far?

    I was surprised how avoiding sexual fantasies made so much difference. I often unintentionally and uncontrollably start thinking about sex and related things, but it's quite easy to stop it, so, during the day, I have no problems controlling myself.

    The nights are different. I used to practice so-called lucid dreaming, a set of techniques which help you realize you're dreaming while you're in a dream during your sleep. This gives you partial control over your actions in a dream and a very little control over contents of a dream itself. I will not go into details of why I quit this practice, but in short, I think it's dangerous for my mental health.

    Even tho I don't actively practice lucid dreaming for several years now, I still often dream lucidly, and often my dreams are sexual. As I've said, when I dream lucidly, I have a partial control over my actions. This leads to moral dilemmas when I experience erotic dreams.

    I believe that, since I have some control over my dream, having sex or masturbating inside of a dream is essentially the same as watching porn and/or fapping IRL. In fact, sexual experiences inside the dreams feel more realistic than any fantasies or porn. Thus, I would count voluntary sex or masturbation inside a dream a reset in my nofap practice. (Non-lucid dreams I don't count, of course, that would be too harsh.)

    I had some close calls during the recent nights. In tonight's dream, I was thinking about masturbating to whatever I saw in that dream but finally decided to wake up and wait for a real-world erection to go away.

    Mornings, in general, are the most dangerous time for me, because when I wake up, I'm much less self-aware and my mind is foggy. Thankfully, since I started my nofap challenge, I get out the bed quicker than usual. Not sure if it's caused by the nofap or simply comes from my awareness of the situation.

    Who supports me?

    It happens that I also do the 12-steps in one of the anonymous communities, and I have a huge support there. Members of my community have different opinions about porn, but when I spoke about it on a few recent meetings, I heard lots of similar experiences and words of encouragement.

    Unfortunately, I can't be open about this issue with my family due to the lack of trust.

    Why am I here?

    Having some additional support from like-minded fellows never hurts, but I also hope that my experience can help someone.

    I'm very glad to be here with you.
     
  2. jet_vet3003

    jet_vet3003 Fapstronaut

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    Glad to have you and welcome to the group. Try your best and don't give in to temptation. Good luck!!
     
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  3. Former_CD

    Former_CD Fapstronaut

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  4. Septimus

    Septimus Fapstronaut

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    Welcome @LilD, I'm glad you're here! Let me know if I can help.
     
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  5. Ongoingsupport

    Ongoingsupport Fapstronaut

    Thank you for the thoughtful post. I mentioned lucid dreaming in a journal entry the other day, it's interesting to think about because it can go either way - you may act out or you may realize you are not helpless.

    I find it significant that you noted you have partial control in dreams, and I'd say what people do not have control over, or barely even awareness of is being identified as 'that guy.' One may not have control over being aroused, we may not even have good control over the associated thoughts, but we can realize it's all biology and conditioning and not who we are as a person, even at the moment of arousal.

    I don't want to write too much but I find the whole theme of the virtual, which is similar to dreams an interesting subject. You don't have to be in an immersive 3d environment to understand the notion of the second self online, and that probably applies to the dream state to some degree. Many want to dream better, few are interested in waking up.
     
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  6. Protagoras

    Protagoras Fapstronaut

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    Wow. You have shown up with a plan and are already in a 12 step program. Awesome. Great to have you here.
     
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  7. LilD

    LilD Fapstronaut

    @Ongoingsupport
    About the control of lucid dreaming.

    When I'm in a lucid dream, I am aware that I'm dreaming, but my self-censorship and my ability to resist urges is mostly gone. Thus, I often behave as if I was on drugs, drunk, or simply insane. I have a control of where I go, how I move my body, etc., but almost no control over my intents. That's why I call it partial.

    But it varies. In some dreams, I choose just to fly around, without doing anything which would be considered dangerous or harmful IRL. In other dreams, I act like a sexual maniac on the loose. That's why I consider my dreams to be the most dangerous trigger for me.

    @Protagoras
    Indeed, it's nice to have me. :cool: ;)
     
  8. vibemaker

    vibemaker Fapstronaut

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    Welcome @LilD ! Have a good reboot :)
     
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  9. I don't have experience with training for lucid dreams, but there have been times in my dreams when I experienced that and made a deliberate choice to act out sexually because I knew it was just a dream. I did feel guilty about those experiences.

    Generally speaking, though, I think it is taking on too much to beat yourself up over dreams. People who deal with multiple or complex addictions have suggested it is best to start with just one thing rather than trying to deal with multiple things at the same time.

    I'd suggest that you work on building positive habits for your body, spirit, and mind during your waking hours. The material you put into yourself when you are awake provides the raw materials for your dreams. As you change your waking decisions, I think that will start to carry over into your dream-decisions. But there may be a lag, as in our dreams sometimes repressed or forbidden ideas come out to be examined or tested by our subconscious.

    My concern for you is that you may become easily discouraged by some dream that you only have partial control over, when in fact during your waking hours you could be doing a fantastic job making steady progress to greater self control. Spend your effort on things you can control, not those you can't.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
     
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  10. LilD

    LilD Fapstronaut

    @Courageous, thank you. This is exactly what I try to do.
    1. Currently, I only deal with my porn addiction, without focusing on other issues. I've been dealing with my other issues for several years now, using the 12-step program, and it's mostly settled now.
    2. I don't blame myself for doing something wrong in a dream, exactly because I know that my control is partial or non-existent. I do feel a bit guilty when I have some especially bad dreams, but mostly just because they feel so real, and also because I still enjoy it while I'm in a dream. However, I consider that guilt to be a sign of positive moral changes.
    3. I do focus on my real life. Currently, I try to develop a proper sleeping and eating schedule and doing small physical exercises daily. This already shown to be effective, I've gained a bit of weight. (I was underweight since I was a teenager.)
    BTW, during this short period of recovery, I already had dreams about fighting my sexual urges. For example, in one of those dreams, I was hesitant to watch porn, arguing with myself about my nofap streak and stuff.
     
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  11. Ongoingsupport

    Ongoingsupport Fapstronaut

    Yes that's a good insight. I'm guessing you do not become lucid unless you do a certain practice so that's not likely to happen now, though I wonder if you might be able to train yourself to inquire and be curious about what's going on, kind of ask "why is this happening" which in the dream state would be questioning why you have that whole scenario in the first place, rather than what you choose to do in that scenario. Of course the interpretation and mental understanding usually comes when you wake up, but I just know when I've had dreams that are like certain aspects of my psyche really speaking up and saying something I'm just curious and the focus is on understanding it. I feel it's possible to benefit by inquiring and it may also stop the behavior just by virtue of the fact you're pausing and thinking about it without the dynamic of conflict and fighting yourself.
     
  12. LilD

    LilD Fapstronaut

    @Ongoingsupport
    To be honest, after years of practicing lucid dreaming, I see no value in dreams and all the techniques I applied to them. Yes, dreams do show my "subconscious", but either it's obvious enough I could figure it out on my own, or vague enough that multiple (contradicting) interpretations are equally possible. Lucidity by itself is no more than just having fun while sleeping. I started the practice because people who promoted it promised some great superpowers, but none of those promises came true. That's one of the reasons why I stopped wasting my time on it, along with the fact that it became one of my addictions.
     
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