Talking about nofap and my experiences (open for discussions)

Hi to the amazing rewire community :grinning: :hugs:

I have now been a member of this amazing place for a very long time (so to say the ancient rewire-turtle :turtle:)
I thought that I could start a threat where I talk a bit about my journey, my experiences and thoughts about nofap and related topics. This could be a collection of me writing some monologues, answering questions or discussion topics. So, feel free to comment, throw in some thoughts or ask questions. Or simply read if you like it.

I think I will start with the most important thing. The why??

How did I find nofap

For a long time, I had the believe that it is normal to watch porn :expressionless:. Everyone does. And of course, once I have a girlfriend I will simply stop watching porn because I will have no use for it anymore. Then I had a girlfriend and didn’t stop. But I thought “once when I live together with her, I will obviously stop because I will not have a need for it anymore”. Guess what? It didn’t miraculously stop after moving in with her.

At some point, I realized that I have a problem and that I need help. This is when I found Tahers app and this forum.

Why is nofap important to me

There are different reasons. Let’s start with the physical ones.
I really don’t think that PMO is the reason for all our ailments. But I do think that certain things are connected. Physical issues that I think are in my case related to porn/masturbation:

  • PIED: An obvious one. I have a long streak → it disappears; I masturbate a lot → it comes back
  • Aches: I know that I tense a lot during M. So it is no wonder, that I have muscle aches after long edging hours. Typically, my bladder, stomach, knees and back hurt. This is due to the tensing and bad posture during M
  • Brain fog: This is a bit more complex. I currently think that in my case, brain frog stems from the removal of dopamine sources. I have a very focused and sharp mind during gaming, watching moves, and porn. But as soon as a go a day without, brain fog kicks in heavily. I also experienced that on a longer nofap-streak where, at some point, I also removed all internet activities → Brain fog came back.

Additional problems are:

  • It is a huuuuuuge waste of time! Think of all the time you have spent on your computer or phone. You could have spent that time waaaay better
  • Being on the phone gives you a wrong image of what is real.
  • You stop being connected to yourself and the “real” world. You will start living in a bubble, looking at others, rating people, always seeking the new and exciting. You loose track of the beauty of everyday things

My belief and goal

Nofap is a very good and important start. But i want to go one step further. I want to remove my dopamine addictions. My goal is to use my smartphone and computer only for navigating and work. The goal is to never unconsciously take out my phone when I’m bored. I want to use these devices only purposefully if I know exactly what I want and remove it immediately again afterwards.

Let me know what you think. Is your story similar? Is there something you want to add? What do you want to hear next? (I thought I could write about talking with my girlfriend about nofap and porn addiction)

9 Likes

Welcome back to his thread :hugs:
Today will be all about telling ones partner. I’ve been in a relationship for 8 years now. I told her about my struggles with porn approximately 2 years ago and I’m very glad that I now have such an understanding and helpful accountability partner at my side. Before telling her the whole story, the worst thing for me was the feeling of shame and guilt, but also the fear that, one day, she could find out about me watching porn.

So, to help you, lets talk about my experience.

Should I tell her that I watch porn?

In general, I would say: Yes! There might be some exceptions. Maybe it is a difficult topic in the first few months of a relationship. It might also not be necessary, if you are new to nofap and you think you can get rid of it within the next months.

Why should you tell her. There are many reasons to tell her. One is to remove negative feelings. The better our life is, the easier it gets to become free of this addiction. It is really hard to not get trapped into bingeing after a relapse. It is even worse if you feel guilt and shame because you just betrayed your girlfriend and you can’t talk with her about it.

Maye the most important one is that you will often behave like an ass either when you relapsed or when you are close to it. She will definitely feel that. She might also ask how you are doing, or why you are irritated. If you reply that everything is fine or if you get angry she will misinterpret the signals you are sending. She will look at her self and look for flaws or things that she might have done wrong.

Furthermore, with a girlfriend, you have the perfect accountability partner. You have someone to speak to where you shouldn’t have to fear that she will use it against you. She should be a person who doesn’t laugh or teases you because of it. On days where you feel down, you can go to her and tell her that you have a bad day. That alone can help a lot.

How should I tell her?

I think there are some crucial points. If you do these the wrong way, it can end up in a fight. You can hurt her and damage your relationship. These are the points that I think are very crucial (let me know if you have additional ones so that I can add them)

  • You are not watching porn because you miss something in your relationship. You need a coping mechanism. This is the most important point. It is not something that she is doing wrong. Show her that you are watching porn to cope with negative feelings.
  • Make clear that you will do everything you can to change your behavior and that you don’t want to watch it ever again. Show her that it is a compulsive disorder and not something that you choose to do.
  • Compare it to other addictions. Especially for women who are not really exposed to porn, it might be a strange thing. The thought process could be “why is he watching other girls → What is not good enough about me?” → She will feel horrible. Discuss with her, that almost every single person has an addiction to cope with negative emotions. Be it smoking, drugs, alcohol, being on the phone, binge watching TV.
    Handling negative emotions is not something we just know how to do. It is something that we have to learn - and unfortunately, at least here in the western world, it is not really something we usually learn.
  • Tell her how you plan to get rid of the addiction. Present a plan, tell her about the forum, tell her about all the steps you have already taken.

How do I handle relapses?

This is something that will differ from person to person. I don’t think that it makes sense to tell her every single slip and relapse. I know that if I had a bad day, she will feel it immediately. She will ask me whether I had a good day and I will answer “not really” or “I had a really bad day”. From there it really depends on my mood. She knows that in most cases, I’m not in the mood to talk about it. So, she will leave it with that. Sometimes I do want to talk and she will assist me then too.

This is something I established with her. We discussed it and came to the conclusion that it is the best thing to not pressure me. If I want to talk, then I can, without having to fear her reaction. But if I don’t want to talk then I don’t have to.

Let me know what you think. Did you tell your partner? How did it turn out?
See you next time :hugs:

4 Likes

I ask 1 question lf someone in a 60days or 90 day nofap challenge but after completing a challenge he or she will replase why ? Why we depend upon long streaks . Why we replase after a long streaks?? I know streak tells about how we are going in the journey. Brother @neveragaintw

3 Likes

Thanks for joining the discussion
I think it is a very interesting and difficult question. Thus, the answer will also be longer.

What is an addiction?

I would define an addiction as a negative coping mechanism. Normally, there is a negatively associated feeling at the beginning of every relapse. This can range from tiredness, to anger, loneliness, fear, hunger, frustration. In general, these are just signal from our body and mind to show that there is something that requires our attention.
Tiredness → We might not get enough good sleep
Hunger → We should eat something
Loneliness → We miss meaningful social interactions
.
.
.

The question now is, how do we respond to these signals. If we don’t know what to do, we will get urges to do something. Independent of what the cue is we can get an urge to watch porn, drink alcohol, take drugs, take out the phone…
The other way is to listen to the feelings by mediation, taking a walk, writing down what the feeling is and then react according to the specific needs. If we feel tired we take a nap or do sports, if we are lonely we call a friend…

Our current coping mechanism as an addict is: Any kind of negative feeling → Porn
The above explanation also shows why “Take a cold shower” is not the solution to all urges.
Take the two examples:

Tiredness → Urges → Cold shower
Loneliness → Urges → Cold shower

I’m sure that the cold shower works wonders in the first case but is next to useless in the second case. What we need to learn is to differentiate in our response. Instead of just watching porn in every occasion, we should learn to differentiate where our urge is coming from.

To summarize, I would say that an addiction is a coping mechanism where you react to different signals from your body in the same, harmful way.

How could we approach urges?

Everyday, we will face cues from our body. Our body and mind tell us when we should take a break from work, when we get thirsty or hungry. It tells us when we sat for too long or when we haven’t socialized for a long time. Everyone of us has certain cues which will trigger urges. What do we do now? There are 3 options:

  • We give in to the urge and relapse
  • We don’t listen to the signal our body sends and ignore the urge. We simply ignore that there is a problem. This is the willpower method.
  • Or we listen to the signal which our body sends and tackle the problem. This is the tedious method.

Why do we relapse?

The first two ways I mentioned are why we are stuck in a relapse loop. The first one is obvious. But take the second one.
Lets take a situation from my experience. I felt fear because of an upcoming exam. I wanted to hide in a corner and not take the exam. I got heavy urges. I told myself not to relapse because I have a good streak. And also, the exam is over in 2 days and with it, the fear will be gone. So, I used all my willpower and didn’t relapse for these 2 days. But now, what happens before the next exam? You will again feel fear and get urges. And again, you will need your willpower.
→ You don’t solve the problem.

I would dare to say that long streaks by willpower (method 2) are in the long run as useless as just relapsing with every urge. You will not solve anything and you will have to fight urges again and again.

The only way how you can truly be free of any kind of addiction is by learning to listen what your body and mind tries to tell you. Why do I fear an exam? Fear and nervousness are feelings that are originally reserved for life threatening situations. Why do I feel that an exam is a life-threatening exam? Did I learn enough? Is there too much pressure to perform well? Once you have answered and fully understood that an exam is not a life threatening situation, you will never again get urges before an exam. Once you have learned to truly listen to your body and mind and give a differentiated response to the feelings, you will be truly free of addictions.

My opinion

If you relapse after a 90 days challenge you either got there by willpower or after these 90 days you got confronted with a situation and feeling which you didn’t know before or was more difficult then you can handle at the current moment.

If you are confronted with a negative feeling after 90 days (remember, in the best case you have established that there are no negative feelings), your first instinct will be to watch porn. If you are not mindful in that moment, you will simply relapse. If you are mindful however, and you have learned to give yourself what you need, you will be able to handle the situation without major problems. But it could also be that even with mindfulness, the challenge is just too big. If I would have to go to a Ted-Talk next week, I would for sure relapse even if I mediated 20hrs a day because the challenge is currently too big for me. In that case, I would have to accept that and keep growing until I’m ready for the challenge.

So, in one sentence:
Either they came there by willpower, they tackled a new negative feeling and weren’t mindful, or they tackled an overwhelmingly strong challenge

Sorry for the very long answer but I hope it helps

6 Likes

Brother @neveragaintw , these are very profound words. Thanks for sharing man; this helps a lot.
I have been using will power method for a long time. I have had multiple 100 days streak and relapse with p***, then binge too. It really brakes my heart.
As I reach 90+ days the normal urges will be less, everyday life will be easy but suddenly a hard situation will arise :cold_sweat:
Like you said, a public speaking situation or fight with a friend etc. At that time, urges will touch a peak point, even if Iam on high streak. From my inner core, someone will say, please once, lets escape this. This is hard. We cannot face this situation; like this!
I really brakes my heart bro. Finally I will fall for it.
So, the only solution to get away from pmo is

Become stronger.

Become better at handling the hard situations of life.

Live a mindful life
I have tried to implement easypeasy method once but I failed. But, now Iam doubting whether it was a right way again.
What do you say about easypeasy bro @neveragaintw

Bro, @JonSnow001 your posts contain a lot of truths. After my exams get over, I’ll sit down to read all of them. You words come from experience and that is very useful.

4 Likes

This state is blissfulness. These words reminds me of my highschool days when I didn’t had to think about any addiction or pmo or anything.
All I was thinking was my goals, my passion, my writing, reading :cold_sweat:
It makes me cry to think about those days bro. If I had stayed in that state for a little longer instead of falling into pmo trap I would have become an established writer by now itself

But I can go back to that state. With 100% commitment and help of this community I will!

3 Likes

Thanks a lot for your words and for joining this discussion.

About easypeasy. I’ve read it and I have written down many lessons which I think are very important and helpful. I do think that it is important to read it because it conveys an important mindset and shares a lot of tips.

The book takes some assumptions under which it derives its ideas. I do think that the book is perfectly correct under these assumptions. However, I disagree with one very important point:

The book always says that porn serves no purpose. That there is no reason why we are doing it. And thus, it is just a matter of seeing this and stopping to watch porn. I do not agree with that. I think that porn (as well as for example smoking, alcohol, gaming addiction, suicide) are coping mechanism. As we said, we watch porn when we are overwhelmed by our feelings. We don’t want porn when we have a good time with friends but when we feel down. (This doesn’t mean that it is good, neither is smoking or alcohol, but it is one method to cope with the negative feelings)

I think that there are two kinds of people here. The ones where porn simply is a very bad habit. Something they do when they are bored but it is not really that they need the coping mechanism. In that case, they can read the easypeasy once and quit porn. For others, they first have to learn how to handle the negative emotions before they can really use the easypeasy method.

What do you think?

4 Likes

Bro, I think we get addicted to something when we start using that thing as a crutch or as you said, ‘to escape from negative emotions’. I see that Iam addicted to the distractions by phone, YouTube etc but my mother, father etc also use these but they are not addicted. They always seems like they have control over it. But I open YouTube and keep on binging those videos. I became addicted to it when I started using it as a distraction from the problems of life, it just switches off the worry part of the Brian as we are Immerged in those videos.
But for parents, they watch for enjoyment for a little while. It is not a coping mechanism for them
This is the key I believe.

So, everything comes down, to fixing ourselves. To conquer any kind of addictions and avoid its coming back, we have to go into our inner core and fix what is broken there.
For me, I have many insecurities, I have fear, sometimes I lack human connection, I waste time instead of working on my passions.
So we have to look what is broken, understand why it is like that and fix it.

I think, it is the only and right way get out of addiction once and for all.

Will power method etc are doomed to fail at the end of the day.
We see people who reach 1000+ days, even 1,500+ days etc and leave forum, even the thought of pmo etc. @kostantinosNF @EduardoIsraeli etc are example. I believe, in their lives a fundamental paradigm shift has happened. They are not the old self anymore. It maybe their passion, the meaning of family, their most important values, something has changed them completely and took them away from the old addicted self.
I think, at the end of the day, that is where we should focus on.

FIXING WHAT IS BROKEN IN THE INNER CORE

Otherwise at sometime or the other we will fall back to pmo
Even easy-peasy also helps in giving us a mindset. It is helpful but in the long, long term the fundamental paradigm shift must happen, I believe.

4 Likes

This all happened with me

Statement should be highlighted

Guilt is precursor to Addiction.
In may I changed my approach and eliminated the guilt part and excessive obsession over streak. I got my highest Streak in last 3 months
I failed 2 times in May but Definitely my compulsive disorder and responses got matured to relapses.
And it helps me

4 Likes

True, I think there are different problems. If I look at my parents or parents of friends I see that one is constantly playing games for hours each day (Coping mechanism for not being able to work as much as when he was younger), one is addicted to sports (pressure to be the best and show everyone that he is still very good), one can not sleep at night (I guess during the day she as a coping mechanism but at night, she can’t do that so the feelings come up. Similar to when we relapse at night in bed)

So, I do not think that our parents don’t have these problems, they just show differently. But yes, porn doesn’t need to be a coping mechanism

Soo true!

I would not see it that way. I think we should learn what we not have learned yet. Fix what is broken means that it was better once but you damaged it and now you need to go back to the previous state.
But I was never good at balancing work and free time, or with socializing. I never learned to trust people. So, I don’t need to fix something that is broken. I need to learn what I haven’t learned before.

1 Like

That’s amazing to hear :partying_face:
congrats!

2 Likes

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.