Hello any who are reading this. My name is Brendan, I’m 24 and I live in Ireland. I have been on this NoFap journey/movement for several years. It has been a rollercoaster, I have been dominated by my urges, I have felt hopeless and useless, I have felt unbeatable and powerful, I tried every combination of abstinence from P, M and O over the time I spent here and I learned over the course of this journey how to love myself and how not to treat myself.
It has been a labour of love from the beginning. A labour of self-love. Whether I could feel that love or not, I trusted it would come eventually. It did! Thank god…
There is a lot of information out there about NoFap. If some of you delve enough you may find a lot of it to be storytelling and some of the unexpected bits to be firmly true. It is a deep, brave and personal journey of discovery into one of mans most unique forces, everyone will end up with a different spin on it.
However for me, I feel like I have learned enough now to lead a more fulfilling, wholesome life with my sexual essence. Sharing what I have learned has been my main motivation for staying on this forum for the last few months. Well maybe not my main one. Some of you probably know me from the various Challenge threads I have created, refined and maintained personally for some time.
I have enjoyed making these threads because of participants engagement with them. A lot of people have enjoyed using them as tools to reach new heights and to continue to achieve into ludicrously high streaks. It gives some of these people something to do when they get to the higher streaks. A big part of why I enjoyed these too is to try to spread my message through motivation and advice.
What people on this forum need more than anything is a reformation of the way they think and treat themselves. There is so much self hatred tied in with the No Fap journey, it is really sad for me to witness so many men hate themselves when they masturbate. Something has clearly gone wrong when a man cannot masturbate without feeling venomous against himself, the wires got crossed, the wrong voice was heard at the wrong time, the porn industry mutilated his natural urges, probably a combination of all the above! But the result is, nonetheless, a travesty for men dealing with their perception of masculinity.
I have tried to show people compassion and offer a different way to look at their ‘failures’ so they may learn to stop hating themselves for making mistakes. It has been hard sometimes but mostly I just feel passionately about being a man trying to find his place in the world and trying to get a grip on what masculinity feels for me that helping other men do the same enlivens me and makes me feel like I can make a difference.
I believe my challenge threads are doing well, they have always fluctuated a little in usage but I designed them with sustainability in mind, so that people would be compelled to partipate for as long as they were enjoying using them as a supportive tool. However my feelings about pitting men against each other through competitions are very mixed and mostly negative. It is a moral dilemma for me, I really don’t believe competition leaves room for healing, I believe competition in our society is a massive part of the reason why so many of us ended up here!
And yet here I am creating more competition again, feeding that competitivity trained in me and feeding the same in other men. It is feeding the wrong voice, in my opinion, when we are trying to heal from addiction. Acceptance heals, not fighting.
I am feeding that which I want to stop. I feel like I am shovelling in the snow trying to use this platform in this way to heal other men.
But more than any of this, I am tired.
I am tired and my NoFap journey is over.
I masturbate wholesomely, without porn, every week or so, I make sure to do it from a place of desire and not from a place of escapism. I have sex, I have never wanted to stop this however.
Basically, I have healed enough to manage masturbation and do it in a healthy way for me.
And now I feel; I am done!
Managing the challenges brings me little pleasure or joy anymore, it takes a bit of work to have them run as smoothly as they have for so long, more than anyone expects I would dare to say. And now I no longer feel like I am truly a partipant, all I am now is the taskmaster, overseeing men compete against one another.
I made this post to get some of my thoughts and feelings out and if anyone gets through all of this to maybe receive some advice from anyone willing to give some. I have visited this forum twice a day minimum and averaged 5 hours of usage weekly since February this year, it has always been a labour of love and now it just feels like labour.
I recognise that just leaving would be irresponsible as many users of this thread use my three challenges regularly, some for months, and all of their hard work has been documented well and I believe helps them with their self esteem. I feel sad that things feel this way for me now because I am afraid some people are dependant on my management of these threads. Maybe I am blowing it out of proportion, what do you think?
Feel free to say whatever you like in response to reading this, I would just love some honest comments from the community about what hearing this brings up for you, especially if you have or are or will participate/d in any of my challenge threads.
Edit: I have decided to stay for the time being and have a more relaxed attitude towards my responsibilities. I will still do as much as I was before but I will try to do it from a place of wanting instead of a place of obligation Thank you for the feedback