Waking Up

Discussion in 'New to NoFap' started by KayKayH, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. KayKayH

    KayKayH Fapstronaut

    Hello, Community!

    It feels good in a weird way to finally write here and post it.

    I came across NoFap doing some research online about my addiction. At that point, I had foolishly only seen the “controversy” about if this kind of behavior constitutes a neurochemical addiction. I guess I was unconsciously fooling myself too, relying on the issue being a scientific “controversy”, when in fact I knew deep inside all along that it absolutely made sense that this is a full-on neurochemical addiction. In my case, an intense addiction, going for around 15 years. I’m 27 (which is unfathomable to me, considering how much I’ve missed out on) and I’ve been addicted since when I was around 12.

    For me it started accidentally, being exposed to porn on satellite TV, when my family were a bit careless about these things. That was enough for my young, absorbent brain. The material found its way into my brain easily over the years, as I escalated from looking at images, to sneaking in to the living room late at night to check out the material on late night TV, to looking at images online, and finally to high-speed online porn. It's been a deep emotional connection.

    Last December, doing research, I came across the famous interview with Dr. Carnes. That was the turning point for me. I felt so devastated. Sobbing in disbelief. It all made sense. It all fell into place. Scientifically and psychologically. I knew then that I had lived basically like a cocaine addict for years. I had to face the shadow in me. Soon after I started my abstinence. I came clean about it all to my girlfriend, who’s shown enormous amounts of understanding and support, but that could only help so much. The withdrawal has been physically excruciating for me. I guess due to the severity of my addiction. I won’t go to the details here, but I’ve been and still am extremely worried about what the addiction might have done to my brain and body, physically. I am still dealing with severe symptoms, and I’m definitely in need of counsel, and past experiences, having to do with the medical aspect.

    When I first started, I went on for three weeks of no PMO with extremely severe symptoms, then relapsed for 5 times in two days, then started again and now I’ve just completed five weeks.

    It’s only a start, and I’m going to need a lot of strength going forward. I hope I can gain some strength and guidance here in the community, and help as much as I might be able to.
    Lions and Deleted Account like this.
  2. Hey @KayKayH ,

    Welcome. I'm nobody important around here. Just a normal member. But, I can still say, "hello". So, umm, hello.

    I try to avoid sharing my opinion and attempt to stick to my ESH (experience, strength and hope). That line in your introduction was an eye opener. I had an instinctive reaction to it. YES, I too had an emotional connection with pmo.

    It explains so much of how I've felt during my recovery (some prefer recovered - I think of it as recovery) from pmo.

    The emotions I've felt have been very much like breaking up in an emotional relationship - anger, depression, confusion, "it's not you it's me", "no it was me not you - but it's too late!", "wanna get get together?", "damn, it's as bad now as it was when we broke up".

    Thank your for that. I really hope I remember to use that while working my program.

    You mentioned detractors from the idea that porn is addicting and as bad as a drug. Hey, opinions are like buttholes everyone has one and everyone else's stinks. However, if the detractors from the NoFap addiction based program are right, how did I also have physical withdrawal symptoms?

    Congratulations. If it fits in your program, you can set a counter to appear in your signature line. In the desktop browser version click "Update Day Counter" and set the date and time to start. It will give you the full 35 day count. Then, you can add an explanation to your counter in the signature by editing it right below. the counter. (If ever your counter gets out of sync with reality and you can't get it to reset, just erase it from your signature line completely - then, add it again. A refresh of your screen where you overwrite the cached images (ctrl-F5) in Windows will show the update. If you don't know how to do a refresh with a cache overwrite - just wait a few screens and it will update)

    I like that you ask for strength. Since I try to only share ESH here is mine:

    There is so much support on this forum, the profiles and the various groups. It works if you work it.

    My ESH is that NoFap is about action and that meant work for me. It is not about "not doing something" it is about working my program.

    Work it? Oh yeah. There's work to be done, that's what's worked for me. Two things I've found necessary.

    1. I had to Learn the NoFap Program.

    2. Getting involved with the community on here was vital to help my recovery.

    Learn the NoFap Program
    The resources listed on the "New Users: List of Rebooting Resources" helped me find my way around the reasons behind the program and the terms used.

    They are:

    You can find this same list on the top of the forum you posted this message on at - the "New to NoFap" forum.

    Get Involved with the Community
    The community has been my lifeline. I've found journals I love, people who are very supportive and a place where I could get to work helping in a small way others.

    Remember, I'm just a normal user with no magic powers. But, I can:

    • Read Journals, and comment when I have ESH

    • Find people I admire and stay in touch via their profiles

    • Pick a forum and make sure every post gets and answer. I can't answer them all, but that's good - different opinions make for a better group.

    • Post in my journal (I could be better at it - but I do milestone posts at least) To make a journal go to the section listed by age and start one. Keep all your journal posts in one thread. But, for random thoughts, you can create a new thread.
    Looking forward to seeing you around on the forums,

    --> L

    PS - I Think of pmo like a wolf. Stay near the center of the group with the winners and the wolf has a more difficult time finding me. But, stray near the edges of the community and the wolf can pick me off.
    Squid_PH, KayKayH and Lions like this.
  3. One of the ways I got involved with the fellowship was by reading some really great journals. Reading other's stories with their victories and even defeats is a big part of my program.

    I've included journals from all age groups, spiritual members, religious members, secular members, male and female. You should find journals that help. If not, look around, there are hundreds of others from which to choose. When I say "it works if you work it", reading journals is part of that work.

    Once you open a journal, click "Watch Thread" in the upper right of the page to get alerts when new posts are made. Here are just a few:

    @SaapKaBaap - https://www.nofap.com/forum/index.php?threads/139761/
    @Lazarus Shuttlesworth - https://www.nofap.com/forum/index.php?threads/53299/
    @db001 - https://www.nofap.com/forum/index.php?threads/130513/
    @LilD - https://www.nofap.com/forum/index.php?threads/147764/
    @julianstone - https://www.nofap.com/forum/index.php?threads/146584/
    @Hercules Stop - https://www.nofap.com/forum/index.php?threads/140098/
    @zakes - https://www.nofap.com/forum/index.php?threads/149243/
    @DavidGibson - https://www.nofap.com/forum/index.php?threads/143325/
    @Euklid - https://www.nofap.com/forum/index.php?threads/146663/
    @BreatheDeeply - https://www.nofap.com/forum/index.php?threads/139097/
    @LiquidShoes - https://www.nofap.com/forum/index.php?threads/134044/

    There are many more, and you can discover them on your own. But, these are great places to start.

    This is a work in progress. So, if a journal has changed or is no longer active, look around there are some amazing journals on here.

    --> L


    PS - Starting a journal also helped me a great deal.

    The journals are listed by age groups on the forum start page. Most members run one journal only. That way both the member and others can go back and look at their journey at a later time.

    Hope to read your journal soon. Also, in your personal details you can put a link to your journal. Then, appears under your avatar.

    KayKayH and Lions like this.
  4. For me NoFap is 1/2 program & 1/2 fellowship.

    Click on these people and post a "hello" on their profiles.

    I've found that the bricks that hold this community together are cemented with the support of the members of the fellowship.

    @Gray Wolf
    @C. J.

    Look at with whom they exchange messages and you will find more profiles.

    So, if you would have found more profiles yourself, why suggest these particular ones as a start? Those relationships started with just saying hello. So, my ESH is that saying hello has kept the fellowship alive for myself.

    Looking forward to your success and in seeing you say hello on these profiles,

    --> L
    KayKayH and Lions like this.
  5. KayKayH

    KayKayH Fapstronaut

    Thanks a lot, @StopTheMusic. It feels great to see you are heard when reaching out. It's fairly obvious to me now that the addiction also emboldens the fear of putting yourself out there and being vulnerable and fail to build a connection. That fear is certainly among the things I'm going to have to work on.

    And thanks for all the suggestions and resources you put up. Before writing here in the forum, I tried to get myself familiar with most of the well-known basics available and gain some knowledge, so I think have already checked out most of them; again and again, actually. But the journals and the suggested profiles should be a great place to delve into. I'm going to do just that going forward.

    About the counter, I don't know. I may well come to change my mind later, but for now I don't think I'm doing it. Firstly because I'm not exactly sure how many days it's been, believe it or not! I know I'm past five weeks now, but I'm not exactly sure about the number of days. And secondly, I think I'm one of the ones who, if they obsess with the numbers they have under their belt, they just might fool themselves into feeling like they've beaten it after a certain point, and engage in risky behavior again. So, I'm going on in a symptom-based way for now. Later on, I could get that thing on, though. Who Know.

    Thanks again. Cheers.
  6. Hey @KayKayH ,

    I know what you mean. I like to take it ODAT (one day at a time). I did put a counter on my signature line, but I took it ODAT, I let the counter tick off the days.

    For me it's no more about this: I didn't pmo today and I don't plan on pmo tomorrow.

    Not my original idea. In AA I learned to take it ODAT. I have a few 24 hours in AA (Sobriety date: 2/16/1996) and even today, I take it ODAT. I've come to believe that you can't turn a cucumber back into a pickle.

    --> L
    KayKayH likes this.
  7. KayKayH

    KayKayH Fapstronaut

    I see your point @StopTheMusic. Maybe I should go away and think about it once over.

    But on a separate note, I was wondering how you'd compare your experience with the AA to this, here; and/or, even more broadly, getting off the two "substances".
    I know this might not be the most appropriate place in the forum for that conversation, but I'm still curious. :)
  8. I don't offer advice. Only my experience, strength and hope. My experience is that it was better for me to start working a program. It was "just thinking about it" that got me addicted to pmo in the first place.

    In many ways it's very similar. In many ways 100% opposite.

    NoFap is secular and designed to return one to a normal healthy sex life.

    The NoFap Mission Statement quoted from the NoFap.com homepage:

    "NoFap® is a comprehensive sexual health platform. We’re here to help you quit porn, improve your relationships, and reach your sexual health goals. Science-based, secular, and sex-positive."

    Where as AA is a spiritual program is based on the 12-Steps:
    1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
    2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
    3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
    4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
    5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
    6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
    7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
    8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
    9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
    10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
    11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
    12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
    The other main difference is that AA's idea is to never drink again (one day at a time); while, NoFap's idea is to regain a healthy sex life.

    In a way AA is more like Weight Watchers (not exactly of course, but in a way). In Weight Watchers the goal is not to give up food forever as that would be an extremely way to remain healthy. The goal in Weight Watchers is to eat healthy foods.

    I'm not a member of Weight Watchers. But, one of the things I know about that program is that if a person has a goal of losing 50 pounds and they've lost 40 pounds by staying on program and one day they eat a whole chocolate cake (is there any other kind of cake?). Weight Watchers doesn't teach that you are a failure that your whole program to date is useless. Weight Watchers teaches to acknowledge the mistake and keep going. After all, even with the massive calories in an entire cake, the person won't gain back 40 pounds.

    My hope and strength is that I take inspiration and innovation where I can find it. My program is a mis-match of what works for me from AA, yoga, meditation, Rational Recovery, Managed Moderation, NoFap and a few more programs.

    The key for me, is that I have to work a program.
    • If one day at a time from AA works - great.
    • If relaxation and breathing from yoga works - great.
    • If I believe meditation is when I listen to my Higher Power and prayer is when I talk to my Higher Power - great.
    • If I believe in the Rational Recovery addictive voice - great.
    • If I believe that Managed Moderation has something to offer me (even though I quit all at once) and can still learn tricks and tips - great. NoFap offers an even newer approach - great.
    @KayKayH , this is EXACTLY the appropriate place to ask. Every one on here works a different program, everyone has to work a different program - because no two people are the same.

    --> L

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