My own experience with NoFap + going to try again

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by d_e_f_i_n_e, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. d_e_f_i_n_e

    d_e_f_i_n_e New Fapstronaut

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    Hello, first of all I'd like to introduce myself as I'm a complete newbie on this forum. I am an engineering student (at university). Sorry if this post is a bit too long or contains unnecessary/redundant information. I am posting it here with hope that somebody who was (is?) in a similar situation might find some of this helpful.

    I first came into contact with porn at school age (maybe 12-13) and started fapping and watching porn a bit too much at age 15 or so - it eventually became a regular habit for me. As time progressed I got into the nastier genres. On some days I could do it 7 or more times before I got enough. It sadly took some years until I realized it became a serious problem. The motivation for excessive masturbation and porn consumption was mostly "a fix" for me being weird, not much luck with girls, low self esteem, few friends, social anxiety. I also have an addictive personality regarding many things - alcohol, video games, food, relationships... Later I developed a fairly bad relationship with alcohol, especially in the years after I approached the legal age of drinking here - alcohol became more easily available to me. At that time I had a part time job and a large portion of the money went into booze. For several months I also got really depressed, not just feeling sad, but depressed to the point I was barely able to perform basic tasks like personal hygiene, not going outside from home for days at times, didn't really find any purpose or enjoyment in almost anything, just hoped that this would pass or I would not live long... regarding relationships, at that time I had a girlfriend that treated me like complete crap, but I somewhat tolerated it because she was suffering from mental health issues and was hospitalized several times. Regarding sex, when we had it I required extreme stimulation to stay hard because of the desensitization by porn. Some time later I finally decided that this way of doing stuff sucks, I felt really crappy, absolute opposite of being proud. I realized that change is necessary or I'll spend the rest of my life doing the absolute bare minimum to get by.

    I made several attempts to limit fapping and watching porn. The first serious attempts were made approximately 3 years back. I set limits to how many times I can fap or watch porn in a week, month or so. Usually these attempts didn't last too long, but resulted in heavily increased motivation (after a few weeks) which I used to start getting my shit together. They were behind the start of a period where I went on a diet for almost a year and started moving regularly (and eventually lost over 15 kg weight from "heaviest" to "lightest" point and became healthy instead of overweight), started to look for more opportunities and even completely quit alcohol for several months and developed a more rational relationship with it (usually considerably less than one beer a day on average now). In this time many things have really improved. Things have the potential to REALLY improve if there is motivation/willpower!

    The problem with this approach to stop fapping (at least for people with similar personalities) a sort of "chaser effect" that seems to hit back really strong especially after more than 4 days (or so), which typically ends up in massive binges.

    Therefore, I personally find "serious full-time" NoFap to be a considerably better approach. I started trying this method on/off around a year ago. I definitely fap much less on average than before. My longest streaks were ~ 20 days - not great, I know... but still felt tremendous benefits. To be clear, it is NOT a panacea, it is NOT something that will solve all of somebody's problems, but it is an actually functional way to dramatically increase motivation, which can then spark serious changes.

    Basically, it makes sense - the reward system involves dopamine, if one has sex, some of their neurons release massive amounts of dopamine, if one exercises or eats good food, dopamine levels also increase. By artificially increasing the dopamine levels (by fapping, overeating, some drugs including alcohol, etc.), the brain gets somewhat desensitized to dopamine and the level of dopamine required for a normal rewarding feeling increases quite dramatically, the reward system gets messed up - motivation decreases, many actions don't feel as rewarding anymore, which motivates the person to fap to get the "high" again.

    Speaking from my own experience, the first few days are going to be really unpleasant - not really feeling much benefit, mostly just urges. In the upcoming days, thought clarity increases and urges decrease somewhat, but testicular pain ("blue balls") might appear and become very unpleasant, however this should pass in about a week. Then the flatline period usually comes - this seems to be different for everybody. For me, libido just dropped very low although interest in things like exercise remained normal, and I felt much more "driven" and motivated (It is also a good idea to fix sleep schedule + start exercising regularly, as having enough sleep, exercise, not oversleeping, etc. also increase motivation). After some time (days, for some people weeks, some people don't get the flatline at all) of this, urges start to reappear, but on a more normal level. In case of a relapse, it's good not to continue relapsing for more days, but continue again. A relapse will set one back a bit, but won't "delete" all the gained benefits. They should be back to normal within a few days, unless the relapse is really massive. Anyway, I personally enjoy the flatline period as I am not disturbed from work by sexual urges and can focus the energy somewhere else, but for some people it feels very unpleasant.

    Sadly I recently relapsed (regarding fapping, no porn for >40 days now) quite massively, but I am going to try to go on another streak - 30 days at least, 40-60 is the preferred goal, and then to fix remaining social anxiety + similar issues... and then finally invest more time into finding a loving companion :)

    Even though porn seems like a relatively innocent thing, it surely can have as much negative mental side effect as alcohol, etc. This has to be kept in mind.

    Thank you for reading this post. Good luck with your NoFap journeys! Also big thanks to the people behind NoFap. It has helped many people A LOT.

    Have a nice day! :)

    edit: Not sure if "Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery" is the correct forum category for this post (I read the stickies), it seems like different parts of it fit into different categories...
     
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  2. ThisTrainDontStop

    ThisTrainDontStop Fapstronaut

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    I totally agree on this. I decided to try PMO "in moderation", i.e., once a week max, in April. Eventually it just devolved to fapping daily because I couldn't control the urges properly and didn't have the will to do so. That's why I'm back on NoFap for real now.
     
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