1 year to make 90 days - fetishes deconstructed, relationship much improved
I'm gonna sound like an old geezer, but I can remember when there were less than 2k fapstronauts here and you would see a 90 day report maybe once every other week. Now they are so common I almost thought about not posting mine (and don't get me wrong, I think it's phenomenal that there are so many now) but I made a promise to myself when I started this thing that I would post my story when I made it, so here we go.
To say I had a problem with porn might be an understatement. Let me walk you through an average day before I found nofap, and I stress average. My alarm would go off to wake me up for work and I'd grab my phone to turn it off. Then I'd lay in bed for 20-30 minutes while surfing porn on my phone before I'd finally get up. If I wasn't running late I'd probably then jump on my computer for another 20-30 minutes of porn before heading out. At work I'd usually take a porn break on my phone in the bathroom stall or on the benches out front to break up the day. Then I'd head back home. I live with my girlfriend and she works earlier in the day than me so I'd wait for her to go to bed and then it would be more porn until I fell asleep. If she was out running errands I'd probably be home with porn. If she was out of town for a few days that meant it was time for a non-stop porn fest.
You know what the saddest thing about all this was? If you had asked me at the time if I had a problem with porn I would have laughed. I would have told you that porn was just something I used occasionally like any other normal guy. I was that blind to my problem. Well luckily a day came when I could no longer ignore it. I happened to see a link to r/nofap from another subreddit and came here for the first time thinking I was just gonna see what "those" people were all about. Well I was about to find out that I was one of "those" people. I clicked the link to Your Brain On Porn and started reading and it was like an atomic bomb went off in my head. I couldn't hide from it anymore. It put together so many pieces that I thought were unrelated. I finally accepted that I had a problem. I didn't waste any time. I decided to give up PMO that very day.
My first attempt was a true struggle, but it was also wonderfully enlightening. Finally free from the grasp of porn I began to reflect on things objectively. I started to see my habits as they really were. The sites I frequented most were ones with user contributed content meaning that there was always an endless supply of porn. Every time I went there it would have something new and exciting waiting for me. My collection was ridiculous. Not in size (though it was a solid 200GB) but in detail. I was so meticulous. Every single file in a collection of thousands was properly named and organized into a folder according to its attributes. I don't even want to think about how much time I wasted on this. Of course I never actually looked at the porn in my collection. That wasn't the point. I always wanted to go out and find new porn to add to my collection. My fetishes of course gradually became more extreme. I'm honestly too embarrassed to even get in to it - even to anonymous strangers who would understand.
There was one last significant thing I had to confront. I had been with my girlfriend for a long time and I loved her, but we were slowly developing a rift between us and I didn't want to face it. Porn gave me a way out. When I was looking at porn I felt happy. I didn't have to think about my relationship problems and I could just pretend they didn't exist. This was the single greatest gift nofap gave me. It forced me to confront these problems with her and we were able to work through them. I can say without a doubt that our relationship is better now than it has ever been.
My first try I made it 44 agonizing days before I broke down, but immediately picked myself back up with another 40. This was the point where I really reconciled with my girlfriend and I made the massive mistake of thinking I was cured, so I thought what would a little porn hurt? So I relapsed, and I relapsed hard. It took all of 48 hours to go from vanilla to the extremest of the extremes. Alcoholics never just have one drink. Porn addicts never just look at a little porn.
From here it was just a long series of relapses. One month on porn, one month on nofap, rinse and repeat. The truth was I was never really committed to any of these attempts. I just did them out of a sense of obligation. Then one day it hit me. It had been exactly 1 year since my very first attempt. I set my resolve that nothing would stop me this time, and here I am 90 days later.
So how have I changed? I don't hide from my problems anymore. I don't pretend they don't exist. I accept them for what they are and I find the willpower to overcome them. I fight to live the life I want to live. I've watched my fetishes deconstruct and I see them for the absurdities that they are. I have a better understanding of who I am.
If you want a moral to take away from this or a TL;DR, it's this: nofap is about self control, self reflection, and self improvement. It's a war you fight every day of your life, but one in which every victory adds momentum to the next. Never give up.
And finally, much thanks to this community. I owe you all so much.