"The thing about rock bottom is, the only way is up" - Sing Hey Gang. I know some of you of are struggling to succeed in building your ideal lives. My motto (The Sean C.T. motto, that is), goes "the sun will rise". In Tae Kwon-do, what I used to practice, we preached 'indomitable spirit'. In essence the 'indomitable spirit' is like the sun. The sun never sleeps in, it always shows up on time, and it may take a couple days off. If we have faith that 'it will come back' there will be a new day. The beautiful thing is the sun illuminates our bad days and good days. I practice Zen Buddhism, which means, I like to sit and meditate. Zen Buddhists like to say obscure things like 'what is the sound of one hand clapping?'. I wanted to start this thread with inspirational for the community to read. This thread is about my experience with NoFap. Think Win-Win here. My words of wisdom will help you, but I need your moral support. I started NoFap as a way to harness my sexual energy to put more energy into my lifestyle. In early 2016 I naively began this experiment believing wholeheartedly I will succeed. The process lasted about close to a month doing a video journaling project about sexuality. On the 23rd day, I relapsed because the charge from the stored up sexual energy was too painful. Ashamed of what I had done, I decided immaturely not too look back. As I had become aggressive, also enthusiastic about NoFap. I did not want anyone to discover my failed attempt. It was not like anybody cared about what I was going through. As a meditator, I will tell you I have the uncanny ability to recall dreams from years ago. Decades. During the period I was practicing NoFap the sexual retention was building up. I had failed to acknowledge how heartbroken I was. I failed to acknowledge how lost and lonely I felt. My dreams at this time were unpleasant. They became very erotic and real to me. I was scared that I might not overcome my desires. What I learned was my goal to have more energy had no direction. My ability to focus on purely sexuality was counter productive. I had focused on sex as an objective for concentrating on learning. If your not new to Zen, you know what I mean. These dreams were out of control. As the year continued it's natural progression through the seasons I feel I was not changing. I clung to old beliefs, relationships, behavior, and addictions. The year started off with such promise, vigour and pride. My sexual stamina did not improve. I went through a pregnancy scare. The mind state I was in during masturbation was unpleasant for me. I am not proud of the things I have done in the past. The result of pursuing instant gratification has led to unpleasant well-being. The only way to get off, so to speak, was visualizing past sexual experiences with partners and previous relationships. As long as I kept those memories I felt there was no need for pornography. My conclusion about my addiction to masturbation was: I'm really passionate about SEX! The behavior I habituated through masturbation was keeping me depressed. In the mornings I thought about my ex-girlfriends, in the afternoon, and late at night. As I was falling deeper into my own neurosis I was feeling depressed. I wanted to be left alone, never wanted to go out, or challenge myself. This was sad considering I had previously made great plans for the future. Life felt hopeless, I wanted an answer, a sign, one indication that everything will be alright. My family is a cess pool of hatred. My job pays minimum wage. I always give up. I never succeed. Those of you who suffer from depression should know that it's like a broken bone. You cannot mend it using kindness. In the past I engaged in risky behavior from self-hatred by seeking instant gratification. I smoked weed, I went to brothels, had angry outbursts, and got into arguments. The past was the only proof I needed to show me what a failure I was. I had forgotten my way, even how much others cared for me and wanted me to succeed. It felt like no matter how hard I tried nothing mattered. I will always be like this so I should accept it. At this time in my life I was working odd jobs to pay the rent in my mothers house. The last house did not work out because my previous room mates were expecting. My last employer had sold her company so I was out of work. The last girl I seen romantically I had to visit in Arizona. It turned out she hated me. I felt like the only sexual release I could get was from a brothel. I felt like I should give up on everything, because I failed. I failed to become a chef. I failed to become a master PUA. I failed at becoming an animator. I failed at being true to myself. My major concern was, 'who am I?'. I always felt inspired to do new things. In the end, there was some obstacle I had no strength to overcome. To be an animator you need to have a lot of money and live in a city. To be a professional seducer you need to have character and no responsibilities. To be a chef you need to have an investor who beleives in your dream restaurant. Life felt hopeless. As the depression worsened I thought about killing myself. The thoughts of suicide were frequent. Eventually I gained full-time work as a cashier working in a gaudy food court serving rude customers. They always complained, talked back, and used racism in defense. I found new employment working for a daycare facility as a commercial cook. I was dismissed during probation because the employer thought I needed to improve time management. This never made sense. In 2016, I started off with a time management self-improvement course. I was always on time, never skipped a beat, arrived 15 minutes early. Needless to say, I wanted to give up. Another boulder in my path was my own mother. I say that I'm grateful for a lot of things. Like the safety and protection this house gives me during these times of adversity. I sensed a lot of things were wrong with my family. How we never forgive, we always argue, never cooperate, or solve problems logically and rationally. My father even disowned me in early 2016, in his eyes, I turned out a failure. All I wanted was to start again in a new city. Where I could cut the invisible umbilical cord that would sever my ties to family responsibility. I feel like our family suffers deeply because we're not able to provide intimacy. The talks we have feel like lectures than discussions. There was a promise I made to come live with a girl in Winnipeg. Who was suffering from narcissistic abuse. As a so called, 'bodhisattva' I felt it was my responsibility to protect her. I was not ready to be her knight in shining armor. There was a dissonance between the relationship between my mother. I could not communicate to her how much pain I felt, how much I loved them both, any boundaries. The tired willpower would turn into a massive outburst of rage. I often ruminated about how guilty I should feel about getting angry at someone who cared for me. As time went by I started to worry that I may have to bear an immense responsibility for taking care of my family. They taken care of me as a child so I must be responsible for their survival and well-being. Masturbation was like a coping mechanism for dealing with stress. I had zero confidence, suffered deeply from depression, and regressions. I remember having bad memories then saying 'I'm an idiot, I'm an idiot, I'm an idiot'. I remember once I wrote that on facebook. My dad liked it. I got in trouble for PMing him, your going to the mental institution'. I had practiced video journalling as a way to release negative emotions. This habit produced a catharsis, a kind of special release. It helps! The problem with keeping the habit was having no privacy. My mother is afraid of computers, the internet, and technology. You could say she is the 'foozball is the devil' type. Any positive change I make in my life she doesn't notice or understand. Another thing was my old friends were not paying attention to me. They lost interest in me. I always felt like they were holding me back. I miss them like hell. To this day I worry that I'm not good enough for them. Needless to say, years ago I was fascinated with Buddhism, then gave up and converted to atheism. I gave up for lack of confidence and judgment from others and oneself. There is even a book out there titled 'How to Become a Buddhist and Not Lose Your Friends'. I was trying to find significance in my life that I failed to acknowledge. I wrote several timelines using old journals, photos, and memory jars. It's still a work in progress. I was shocked to learn about how I was a modified student in school. It reminded me of how much I hated school because I wanted to fulfill my dreams. The label 'autistic', 'learning disorder', 'needs assistance', 'retard', 'something is wrong with you', 'immature', scarred me. My dad once explained to me that I was not allowed to do anything myself as a kid. My mother gave me assistance doing everything. I have an idea for a painting where I show people these 'verbal scars'. I had a normal upbringing, but resented being spoiled later on in life. I always carried the shame that I'm not good enough to deserve anything nice. During my self-discovery, I was surprised by the fact I was overweight. I overcame that obstacle with the help of my father who supported me in Tae Kwon-do. Even worse was the fact I learned about how happy and carefree I was as a child. How could have this happened? I achieved a black belt, graduated high school with a normal diploma, fallen in love, and wanted to join the military. I used to love romance, cooking, painting, making films, and showering in the rain. My father wanted to put me in a home where a social worker came to see me every week. I refused. He once wrote in his journal 'I am angry because my son is mentally retarded'. I got in trouble for reading that journal entry. I ran away to the city to live with my best friend whom I got into a heap of trouble with. He left me in the city to run away with my first love while I had a broken ankle. I damaged my ankle in Tae Kwon-do doing a hop over round house kick. It was my dream to become an Olympic athlete to win prize money to help my dying grandmother. I given away money trusting my 'best-friend' would return it to me. He eventually used it against me ruining my reputation. Shortly after, my grandmother died, and I did not feel a thing. I embraced all those around me. I could not feel. I was numb. Nobody bothered to help me celebrate any graduation. Nobody bothered to witness how I achieved a black belt. The people that I loved the most were gone. I feel like crying while I write this down, guys. I was determined to become a master chef. I applied to every restaurant in the city that I believed would hire me. All I could become was a simple dishwasher who biked 7km daily. I was dependent on people who were kind enough to shelter me. My ex-girlfriend's family eventually kicked me out for not being able to find an apartment. The nature of this relationship was promiscuous. We cheated on each other foolishly. Around this time I was not sexually satisfied enough with my partner. I had these 'growing pains' in my belly that wouldn't stop. I sought out people who could help me find relief by using brothels. Masturbation alone was not enough to settle these 'growing pains'. I even started my own business in the city to only have it destroyed later on. As the landlord eventually found out I was seeking a threesome. She found a profile picture of me on POF in my ex-girlfriends advertisement. There came a point when my father moved me back into his house. He was going through tough relationship difficulties. He told me, 'you need to help me sell the house'. Eventually, I was kicked out of his house when his new family came to live with him. I started living on my own in a new apartment, where I started a new life. I could no longer afford this apartment when I knew the business owner of my workplace was selling it. I attempted to protect myself from living with my mother by moving into a new house. These new room-mates were terrible. They kept me up late at night with partying and loud music. Fortunately, I moved out before they could kick me out while they were expecting. How could anyone hate Sean C.T.? I am whole-hearted, all around good guy, with a big warm soft heart. Everything that I loved was gone. Anyone that I loved, only loved me back partially. I thought it must be unnatural to even have love at first sight. New potential romances come and go. I could not keep anyone's interest no matter how weird and creative I was. I show up for my dad's wedding then he makes up and ruins the relationship. I show up for Christmas dinner at the farm where nobody ever heard of 'veganism'. The loving sister I helped raise and teach, eventually texted me 'your such a loser'. A family friend told me last week, "Sean, I know you are a smart kid. That is the facts. You have no patience". The Sean C.T. motto, "the sun will rise" was inspiring by looking at the sun. The only faith I knew intimately was Buddhism. As I began to practice more often I realized why I started. There was this mystical thing I could see called 'emptiness' as a teenager. My dad's fiance always complained, 'your not a Buddhist' at the supper table. I did not care. I did not care what anybody thought of me. Not once did I ever let what people think of me stop me from failing or pursuing my dreams. In my beginner days as a Buddhist I thought if I always created good karma then I'd have a better reincarnation. Now the new Sean kept thinking 'I want to see this through to the end'. I recalled how I helped an old friend by bringing him to a Tibetan Buddhist saddhna. He confessed how he used to sell drugs to families with children. The experience brought him serenity and insight. He preached to my co-workers about how I helped change his life. Once on a journey to the Fringe Festival I was preaching to him about mindfulness and anxiety. He said 'Sean, stop it! You have to stop asking about the what if's?'. He was such an inspirational person to me. He overcame heavy drug addiction as a teenager. He often preached about how his mom was a psychic. Weed was his vice. His father hated his job as a mechanic. He always said the funniest inspirational things. He was going to university with his girlfriend. There was a story he told me about his mother doing a tarot reading on him. She cried for him, because the cards said 'you are going to suffer before you arrive'. My favourite memory of him was cruising in his pick up truck. He said dramatically 'Sean, the best thing you ever told me was, each new day you are reincarnated as a new person'. My grandmother always had this saying, "Sean, knowledge is never hard to carry around". I remember being shamed in high school for learning new things that I found fascinating. The common joke amongst peers was I'm the dumbass. If I learned something new like 'Fahrenheit was the name of a person' they laughed. If I mentioned something that I learned at the dinner table, they rolled their eyes. My favorite Gandhi quote is "I do not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet". Eckhart Tolle once said 'listen to those gramophone records in your head'. With each new sun rise I excavated my true self. My authentic self. In later 2016 I taken up acting with a local Theatre Troupe. My role in the play is to perform as a dying man who only went out on one date. The date he went on strangely simulates the one that scarred me in Arizona. The 42-year-old lady I was seeing complained constantly about my sexual energy being 'too high'. I found that confusing since the relationship started off with sexual motivation. She told me 'If I needed sex, I'll call the other guy'. I was disappointed how she paid more attention to other more successful men. At the end when it was time to say good-bye I tried to kiss her. She drove away. My character has a monologue that goes 'It was just going to be a little kiss. I wasn't even sure if it was going to be on the lips or the cheek. As long as it was going to be in the eighborhood of the face then I'll be satisfied. I couldn't not kiss it. Your skin was so beautiful. I was like a moth to the flame. I thought this might be my only chance because you might never go out with me again. And I was right because you never did'. As the famous PUA Sasha Daygame once told me, "you know if you give up, you will never get better, right?". I read a book called 'I Don't Want To, I Don't Feel Like It' by Cheri Huber. The theme of the book is about the ego controlls our perception of ourselves. In the first chapter their is a dialouge between a sage and student. The student complains that they are not able enough to meditate. The student always starts something new then falls back into the same pattern she was in before. The sage asked 'how do you not meditate?'. Finding the answer is fun. The sage is talking about the behaviors, situations, and emotions that block us from improving ourselves. In the book their are exercises you can follow. Instead of having a cup of coffee try something new. "Listen to those gramophone records in your head". You will hear the negative voices in your head telling you what to do. What is ironic is that you are in control of your mind. You need to learn to cultivate mindfulness. I turned this concept into a hobby. Where I stopped asking myself 'what if?' then actually set out to do it. I meditated day and night. I only take cold showers. I deprived myself of comfortable things like facebook, technology, even food. I began to realise how I can heal myself through my bodies natural processes. The hardest challenge was overcoming my addiction to masturbation. Sometimes, I look out the window, or at the moon having a fake discussion with those I've lost. I look up to the moon to take comfort they are looking at the moon as well. I try to become my best self by method acting, trying to become somebody who is strong in the face of adversity. I call him 'Ezekiel Talbot' a character that's inspired by classical literature. He's a mix of Edna St. Vincent Millay, Heathcliff, and Oscar Wilde. The general theme of the character is he's getting into trouble or some mishap. His personality is graceful, optimistic and romantic. The gifts he has can change the world with his pen and paper. Ezekiel is as much as enchanted as his book of enchanted poetry that he carries with him. The way to become Ezekiel is not easy, although it's fun! I am currently reading 'The Thinking Women's Guide to Real Magic'. Which puts a twist on traditional romance and fantasy elements. Getting into 'fantasy' themed things helps me elevate my otherwise dark imagination into an enchanted fairy tale. Every good actor needs preparation. As you could imagination the one I play on stage requires negative preparation. I listen to a song like 'All Time Low' that's ranked #50 on YouTube now. Now I think you have heard enough about my background story. I want to share with the community the findings from doing NoFap. This spans about two months thus far. Stage 01 I watched motivational videos on NoFap to get me started. I liked one YouTuber's saying 'set it then forget it'. At the time I began my cold showers before I began the NoFap quest. There was a girl at the Health Food Store I secretly admired. I was afraid to ask her out for fear of the boss thinking I was a pervert. This store is operated by women only. I thought if I asked her out that would mean I can't get a job there. I thought obsessive sexual thoughts about this girl that I could not escape from. I was becoming aggressive. I even lost my temper a couple times while at home. My dreams were not as highly erotic as last years during the 2016 challenge. I was getting noticed for having a greater flux of energy. My erections were stronger in the morning. I discovered the words 'self-healing', 'catabolism', 'accomplishment' and 'homeostasis'. Stage 02 My dreams continued to be erotic, but in a sublime way. I had a dream where I felt I was hopelessly watching my secret admirer engage in an orgy. I once described this phenomena to my friend as 'my dream world is melting'. I could see myself as a whole. I relized how much I thought about food and sex in my own subconscious. They were the major theme in these dreams. I recall how in one dream I went to a brothel to see a girl I favored. She was there in my dreams! Having dreams about brothels is reoccurring to me. As I went upstairs the room I stood in was unkempt. It was dark and gloomy. A person dressed in a potato sack animal costume came out of a closet to hug me. I went downstairs to complain, "what the hell is going on?". The women on the couch sipping tea replied, "you get what you paid for". Sitting next to her was a furry. The furry got up and walked away. I usually woke up with some insight. I started to get back into the library, read books feverishly. I got back into swimming because on Fridays it's free. My friend challenged me to bring a 3 lb brick up from the deep end. He was very impressed with how I managed to pull it up and stay in the sauna longer than him. I eventually taught his wife how to do front flips in the pool. I chatted up more people when I was there. At rehearsal I surprised myself for being able to rehearse without a script. I was able to be my character Derek for an hour. Stage 03 The 'growing pains', or 'the charge' as Eliot Hulse puts it, subsidies. The morning erections have stopped. I think much clearly now, I am bold because I asked that girl out. Oddly enough, she was being very ambitious at the time, going through her own depression. Huh. I believe there will be other opportunities in the future. I won't hold her up high on the pedestal. This week I am challenging myself to do something that scares me. Socials. Strange that I fear socials because I interact with at least 250 people a week. Perhaps, its that girl in middle school that told me 'you dance really badly'?. The dreams I've had that were pleasant are about holding a baby. The girl I had a pregnancy scare withholds me in an embrace. In one dream I'm a passenger on a plane. I feed my baby a chocolate with an edible diamond on top of it. So, that's all folks! I hope you enjoyed reading my rant and observations about NoFap. If you have any moral support, inspirational quotes or motivation I am willing to receive. Live your legend! May you all be filled with loving kindness, so you can cultivate a fearless heart and thus a loving one.