Attempt number one thousand? A 22 year old's latest attempt at rebooting

MapleSyrup

Member
Day 91

For the first time, I have achieved 90 days free of PMO! 🎉

The journey is still ongoing. I still fight urges every so often, although they've gotten few and far between. There's also still much room for improvement in my life and healthy habits that I want to implement.

But I've come further than ever before in becoming free of porn addiction, and freeing my brain from the dopamine trap.

I'll summarize a few thoughts below:

Benefits: I originally became interested in NoFap all those years ago after hearing about miraculous benefits like increased energy, mental clarity, extraversion, freedom from social anxiety, and magical attractiveness to the opposite sex. Unfortunately, I can't say that all those things came true, and I think it's almost counterproductive to set so much expectations on benefits.

Ultimately, what allowed me to successfully complete these 90 days was not focusing on benefits, but simply trying to avoid porn, which I am repulsed by and want nothing to do with.

That said, I did notice some gradual changes in my life over the last 3 months. My mental state has been more stable and healthy than it has in years. The days when my anxiety is overpowering are much fewer and far between. In general, my anxiety levels seem way lower. I've also become much more disciplined with how I spend my time. Nowadays, I almost always hit the gym after work when I have time, and even in my down time before bed, I'm much more purposeful with what I browse on the internet. I've also been much more social, arranging more outings and events with my friends, and making more efforts to introduce myself to new people. I still struggle with social anxiety sometimes, but it feels more manageable, and I actually feel like it's something I can continue to challenge and make gradual progress on.

Going forward: Obviously, the goal is to quit PMO forever. Porn is a sneaky, insidious trap made to monetize our brains' reward system and ancient instinctual circuitry. It's the product of unchecked human desire met with other humans' greed. I want nothing to do with it, and refuse to let it control my brain and weigh me down any longer. I'm proud of my 90 days that I've achieved, but it's only the beginning. The next major milestone will be 6 months, and I'll be ecstatic to reach an entire 365 days eventually.

I also feel like rebooting has freed me and empowered me just enough to push myself to grow. I don't have abundant, supernatural confidence. But I now have just enough confidence to push myself to meet more people, expand my comfort zone, becoming more charming, more capable, more wise, and more content. I will gradually continue to improve and push myself, until I accomplish all the goals I originally set out to achieve.

Here's looking forward to the future.
 

MapleSyrup

Member
Day 94

Had a wet dream last night. Another weird one where I had a sexual dream and nutted, then woke up into another dream where I thought I had PMO'd and got sad about my streak being over. Then woke up for real, and realized that I hadn't PMO'd, but I did have a noctural emission and had to change my pants.

At any rate, urges are creeping back tonight, gotta stay strong
 

MapleSyrup

Member
Day 97

Had another wet dream, where I woke up right at the end, so it was really uncomfortable and felt too close to a relapse. Still involuntary though, so not much I could do about it. I think it's because urges have been high the last few days. Been meeting lots of people at uni clubs the past few weeks, and I think the social stimulation is somehow putting me on edge and triggering urges.

On the bright side, I can definitely say that my anxiety and social anxiety are waay down compared to before rebooting. Recently started TAing a course and joined a new club at my uni, and I've been able to introduce myself to nearly everyone and make conversation so much easier than previous years.
 

MapleSyrup

Member
Day 99

So I speculate this could be related to my wet dreams - if they functioned as a sort of physiological "mini relapse", but urges have come back this week with renewed vigor. Except they're not really porn-related, just strong urges to fantasize, and to seek release.

It almost feels like a dopamine withdrawal or something. I usually have issues with lack of apetite and very rarely get food cravings. But the last few days, I've been craving stimulating foods. I had to get out of bed at 1AM yesterday to make an Indomie instant noodles to get my dopamine fix. I've also been distinctly aware in my down time of my brain telling me to browse reddit, or scroll through YouTube shorts.

Perhaps I'm encroaching on the next stage in my reboot journey, where it becomes a battle against dopamine/pleasure-seeking behaviour rather than just porn.

At any rate, I'll be at triple digits by the end of today!!
 

MapleSyrup

Member
Day 104

Urges have been nearly out of control. Had a close call yesterday morning, where I nearly MO'd before getting out of bed to start my day. Also close calls with my browsing today, where I've been reading/watching stuff that I know makes me start fantasizing...

Really need to stay in control and channel all of my pent up stress/energy into working out or socializing.

I kinda thought that being this far into the streak, the addictive pathways in my brain would be gone and urges would be a lot easier. If anything, they seem to be getting worse, pretty much as bad as the first couple weeks or around the 40 day mark.

On the bright side, I'm officially in the triple digits now! The thought of how much progress I've made is the only thing keeping me in control and from giving in at this point.
 

TryingHarder

Well-Known Member
Really need to stay in control and channel all of my pent up stress/energy into working out or socializing.
Good work, Maple. And yes, channel your energy into other things. Declutter your home, work out, arrange your shirts in alphabetical order, count leaves on trees. Do anything that isn't sitting in front of a screen with the lure of porn tempting you. The urges will go up and down, speaking from experience, but eventually - with time and effort - they will go away.
 

the_mountain_goat

Active Member
Great job on the trip digits. Maybe something you could do is go back to earlier posts and remind yourself why you're doing this, what you're gaining from it etc. I'm thinking about what I would have liked to do before my recent relapse: a strong reminder of why I'm doing this and what I'm gaining from it (and what I would lose from a relapse). Questions probably to answer for yourself!
Good luck! You're an inspiration, keep going!
 

MapleSyrup

Member
Day 111

Thanks for the encouragement, TryingHarder and mountain_goat. This week went a lot better than the last. I've been trying to go to the gym more often, especially when I have urges.

I had some brain fog throughout the week, which I haven't had in a while. But I had a good week in terms of social anxiety.

Weirdly enough, I had yet another wet dream this morning. It could just be placebo, but I feel like my urges get worse every time I have a wet dream.

In other news, I had some candid conversations with friends this week about porn use and its negative effects, and I was able to proudly tell them that it's been almost 4 months since I've viewed porn or masturbated, which is pretty cool.

Anyway, the fight goes on!
 

the_mountain_goat

Active Member
It feels so nice to be able to speak with friends about it. I find it such an important and difficult step in the process. It sort of "cancels" the feeling of shame and secrecy around our addiction. It also helps us feel accountable. Good job @MapleSyrup!
 
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