304 Days Hardmode; getting married today!
Hey guys! I'm a longtime lurker on this sub and I've learned a lot from here. It's taken me almost 3 years of working on it, but I finally believe I accomplished what I set out to do which was to gain almost complete control on my sexuality. I've thought about this moment for a long time and I can't believe I made it. I know my flair says it's been 312 days but I think that's the beauty of this last run I've had: it happened after only an 8 day relapse. My best streak before this was only 84 days and then 57 the time before that. I relapsed ALOT. I didn't even think I'd make it this time around so I didn't change my flair. While I'm no abstinence guru there are a few things that I believe helped me get here. I hope you find them useful.
Have a clearly defined purpose for doing this: I don't think this is necessarily a hard one for the people who've made it to this sub, but this sucks really bad. I had nights where I'd only get an hour or two of sleep simply because I was horning out. I was able to fall back on my purpose for starting this painful process which was to be completely and solely attracted to my wife and to be able to one day tell my kids that we waited when we didn't have to.
Bite off more than you can chew: For me, abstaining from any form of sexual release was always viewed as an ultimate challenge. I subconsciously placed many challenges below that one and I believe this is similar for most people. If you're going to try to quit masturbating (or being sexual in general) you probably have the mental capability to do most things you view as challenging. In my case I viewed being a vegetarian and working out 6 days a week as pretty challenging tasks. If I could stop masturbating I could do these things too. Of course this will inevitably lead to burnout which is okay! Cave on your "lesser challenges" instead of masturbating then! It's a win/win situation.
Find a hobby (not something challenging) Sexual release is mainly a dopamine release and a huge one at that. Taking out that much dopamine can obviously be a daunting task (think about withdrawal with a drug addict) So find an acceptable dopamine substitute. I like playing video games but with school, work, and being involved with my church I lost time in my schedule to play. I owe way too much of my success this run to halo. If I got horny I just played which sounds super weird but it worked. Plus this tricked my mind in kind of a weird way: I was excited to get horny because that meant I got to play halo. Classical conditioning is a bitch.
Work out: I know I listed this before and that this may fall under one of your "challenges" too, but I highly recommend lots of exercise if you're doing nofap. Coming to grip with a fapping problem usually invites grief, self-pity, and depression into your life. Working out will help your self image, chemically help you out of a hole of depression, and chemically help satisfy your sexual cravings. When I got home from working out I was too tired to be horny and my increasing self image (while superficial) I think subconsciously helped me see that I am a "strong" person, someone who is capable of not having any sexual release for ten months.
One other thing: It is obviously not necessary to belong to a certain religion or philosophy to do this kind of thing. Anyone is capable of fighting back on their temptations and my success isn't legendary anyways. But the truth of my situation is without Jesus and God I am too weak of a person to have been able to pull this off. My strength came from God. I couldn't honestly post this without at least mentioning this aspect to my success
Anyways thanks for the help nofap: I'm glad to say I've outgrown this sub (for now) I wish the best of luck to all of you this upcoming year!