Age 15 - 6 months: Stop Proving Points, Achieve Your Goals!
I'm happy to say I'm posting in the success stories forum about my rebalancing process. I am six months into the reboot as of December 8. After several relapses I'm confident to say it's finally over for me (even though I still struggle with some of the same symptoms which became embedded in my brain because I felt them for so long).
But I can still remember my most recent relapse. I remember the feeling I got. It was like right at the point of climax, I looked right past the material feeling of pleasure that I should have been feeling, and saw through it. I saw how delusional and "fake" it was. I immediately saw right through the "pleasure" and noticed how I wanted to leave that feeling behind forever. I was ready to start feeling true emotions & true feelings.Basically, I have a few main things I am trying to convey along with my story. Hope these make sense to any of you reading this:
1) Stop Proving Points, Start Achieving Important Goals
2) You need to become more open-minded
3) Appreciate true emotions, and recognize the PMO feelings as delusional.
I wanted to talk about my success story, the type of method I took to rebalanced my brain. I would have never imagined talking about what I have done six months later at the beginning of my recovery, I could never had imagined me opening myself up so much about my addiction.
I started working out. I got a gym membership at a gym about 2 miles away from where I live. believe it or not I did not start working out to aid my recovery, I just decided to "try and quit" PMO, and wanted to hit the gym just because I was quitting, to keep myself busy, and to just keep up with my friends. And I had decided though that I "wanted to be done" with porn, simply because I was sick and tired of the symptoms PMO brings.
The gym ended up working wonders for me. Way more than I expected and I still continue exercise daily! I started working out because the PMO had made me feel inferior to other guys, my friends, every other guy I saw pretty much. I just felt so much weaker, physically, but mentally as well. So I figured if I improved my physical strength, that should help right? I was in fact right about that, but I had no clue being physically active would have a myriad of other benefits for me as well... and helped me eventually take my recovery more seriously. But, I started to work out right at the beggining of the summer, I bought a bike lock on amazon. The day it got here was when I started biking to the gym. 2 miles there and back. 3-5 times each and every week over the summer. I knew if I didn't start right away I wouldn't go it all. The delivery date of that bike lock is the day I started my recovery, it's how I know when it stared. June 4, 2013. And I joined this site 4 days after. That $12 lock is the symbolism of the most change I have ever made in my life. HAHA. I wonder who else has such strong meaning behind their bicycle chain lock.
I started to change my lifestyle as soon as the summer started. I knew I had to adjust my lifestyle to recover. I went from spending most of my waking hours in my bed with the computer in my lap......to working out a minimum of 3 times a week. why did I have the motivation to do it? I have no idea. I had to reboot. I was now taking it seriously. I was now taking MY LIFE seriously. I couldn't keep putting it on hold to PMO one more time.
Abstaining from PMO has given me my confidence back, but it has kind of an odd, fluctuating process for me. (closest thing I can compare it to is logistic growth as opposed to exponential). The growth being recovery/healing.
I've realized that there was basically a four-step process to rebalancing my brain. (still in the midst of step 4, who knows if its ever something I can overcome).
Step 1- Realizing you are addicted to porn and want that to change.
Step 2- No longer feeling inferior because you are a porn addict.
Step 3- Realizing you are no longer addicted and are an equal part of society.
Step 4- Being confident with yourself as an equal part of society.
It's like, there's a difference between being confident while still actively PMO'ing, still imagining YOURSELF as different from society, still a few notches down from the "normal" or "average" people out there in humanity. In my head, it was like I stopped feeling that I should constantly be ashamed, and moved onto me feeling ok with being a little bit lower than every other person in society, because they have probably never even watched porn. But, of course, me believing I was inferior was just something I was doing to myself.
But once I was okay (confident) with being addicted to PMO, the next step is then for me to start imaging myself in the actual world, truly thinking I was a part of it. Another equal part along with everybody else. I got over stage 1 about 2-3 months in. At that point for a while I thought I was completely free. But then I realized the confidence I was feeling wasn't really confidence at all. I still believed I should feel so ashamed that I was different, lower and inferior to everyone else. Confident with being inferior isn't really true confidence at all, but what I was feeling during the beggining of my recovery was overcoming my "inferiorority" and then the next stage is becoming an EQUAL part of the world.
I've been witnessing myself fluctuating between feeling like I am progressing tremendously, and being dragged back down. For example, in the initial months of my recovery, I thought I was already done. I already thought I had all my confidence back. but at that point was just when I was over the porn. But now it was time to place myself back into the real world. I was still thinking I was inferior to the average person, but I was confident with being inferior. This was when I thought I was already fully recovered, because I was confident being a porn addict, comfortable with being inferior to most others. But I needed to feel like an equal part of society, of the world, and not like everyone else was a little bit better than me. I had to make myself feel truly in place in the real, non-porn world, which is the next stage.
At that point was when I began fluctuating and felt as if I was being dragged back down. I fluctuated because I felt out of place in the real world; the reason for that, though, was I stopped feeling confident with being inferior, because I realized that I WASN'T.
On the way to stage 3 I had gotten many, many benefits as well, though. I became less... sensitive... is the best word. this isn't a negative thing, it's relieving! Nothing gets to me as easily, and I'm not trying to say I'm numb, what I mean is that I'm more aware of my confidence! I no longer assume that people are implying I'm inferior and unworthy with the things they say and I perceive in the wrong way. This relieves much of my anxiety. It's like I have a perfect refutation to say back to anybody if they were to insult me, no longer afraid to back down from a fight haha. I am proud enough to make myself clear, and no longer pretend I heard something someone said just because I was embarrassed to say "what".
And the lack of anxiety is making me realize how nobody is as judgmental as I envisioned. I was doing it all to myself. ALL OF IT! It's ridiculous!
That is stage 3, realizing that you are not addicted anymore, aren't ashamed, and realize you are an equal part of the real world. But for my current state of stage 4, my thoughts regarding my equal place in this world, the best word that I can use to explain how I feel is: FRAGILE. And that can make me incredibly awkward some of the time, among other things. and it's scary, it's really really scary. letting people into my life, imagining myself along with them all. it's so scary. It's so hard to not be down on myself. it's so much easier to imagine myself as inferior. It's so much easier to find what's wrong, to imagine myself lonely. It's do much easier to do so.
But I must believe! And I know have the power to! I must believe I am "worthy" enough to attract women and believe I will be with one soon. I have to believe in myself in a positive way. I've got to! it's so weird, it's so difficult, but I must believe in myself, I must no longer be down on myself... even though it's all I know.
But I'm beggining to learn how to believe in myself and in my future in a positive way. every time I stop focusing on my recovery, I almost automatically go back to putting shame on myself. I certainly have a long ways to go to get my thinking to be constantly positive. But I'm getting there!
This is so weird, this is so different. and did I mention how scary it is? This new thinking, believing in myself is? And despite how scary this can be, I have absolutely ZERO desire to relapse whatsoever. Maybe this is what it's like to be free from the addiction. I'm just still working on permanently adjusting my old thinking that became reinforced into my brain. I've fixed and improved my behavior, but I can still be triggered to my old thinking (and SO easily too, might I add). even though, for some reason I'm starting to have a little hope. I know I need to have it, otherwise I would be getting closer to feeling... dead... and pointless. not feelings I want. But I can feel the beggining of hope. and the only thing stronger than fear, is hope.
I hope that I will find love, success, and feel comfortable with myself the whole time.
I must live with a positive attitude and believe the very best will happen to me in the future. I'm taking my addiction as a lesson that has made me a smarter, more intelligent individual. I now truly understand emotions and understand how valuable they are to one's life and how one has to create a life and an environment around themselves that is of true value. And now I understand the difference of emotions and feelings that are valuable & true, and the ones that are delusional, how to recognize them(and how to discern between the two). that make any sense?
And I have faith that my sexual and social life will get back to normal, and now I'm going at it with such an advanced psychological aspect to me. it is awesome how I have learned all this at the age of 15 (about the time many people on here were just beginning to masturbate). But I've been PMO'ing since age 13. The very first time I ever masturbated was to a high-speed porn scene. I started on the day of my 13th birthday, and decided to fully commit to quitting a couple months before my 15th, born in August. Might sound like a short amount of time, but it escalated very quickly for me.
Being 15, I have had chances to be with a few different girls, like I mentioned before, but I always let the porn-induced anxiety get the best of me. For example, one time I was walking with my friend kind of late at night, and this girl came up next to me and was like "i want you" and she like started to follow me, twirling her hair, and trying to talk to me (She appeared to be sober too!) But I still found a way out of it, even though I thought she was really hot. I was just too anxious, too nervous. Looking back of course I feel like I should have gone for it. God, sometimes I just wish I had a time machine. And if that were to happen to me now, BAM! I'd be in there. haha
But I must not dwell on the past. I must look forward.
Since I have learned so much from the addiction, I appreciate it in a way. I accept that I became addicted. I have come out on the other side much, much wiser; I think this makes me a lot more intelligent than your average joe. Maybe girls will notice and like this deeper side to me!
Its not even that difficult anymore!
Now that I'm trying, now that I decide to smile every time I used to just sit there quietly, depressed, I have gotten a lot more attention from girls than I ever have before. And its so easy! Now I just accept to see that they are flirting with me, because I feel "worthy" now. And it's incredibly easy to do, I just smile every time I feel awkward haha. And it works. Haven't gotten any action yet, but I'm WAAAAYYY better at talking and flirting than I used to be just a short time ago. And it's not even that difficult at all! I'm just having a good time! And if they reject you, laugh it off! You still have more balls than say 75-80% of other guys if you do just try to hit on a hot girl, whether its easy or not for you. If rejected, laugh it off, there's always somebody else out there who will say yes. Basically, I've learned that smiling is the key. Being happy is the key to picking up chicks... I mean at least for me, but think about it, like a girl is gonna say yes to the guy who is smiling and making jokes; not the guy who is sitting there quietly with a blank stare/frown on his face. Happiness will attract the women. I've had a few just straight up call me over recently. Smiling really just works! I have talked and flirted so much more this year than I ever have. I have started getting loads of compliments from girls. Been called nice, sweet, and cute sooo many times. (is this even a compliment?) haha. I mean I'm not exactly the over-confident douche who thinks he's better than all the other guys, but I do have a very high level of confidence and I am more of the nice guy. But apparently I have a good face though haha. I mean not every girl is gonna love the nice, cute guy. But I have hope plenty are going to! it's already going pretty well!
Not trying to offend any of you out there. You have no clue how awkward/depressed/sad-looking/quiet/low-confidence I was, not even that long ago. I felt like I was gonna be alone my whole life, already looking 5-10 years down the road in a negative way. And I've improved so much, been the happiest I've ever been, had the most confidence I have ever had around women, not to mention going as far as I ever have, on the brink of going even farther.... just 6 months later after that negative thinking. And it is only going to improve from here! I have found out that just simply smiling every time I would have used to just sit there bland, while still addicted, is the key for me.
I have matured a lot during these past six months, and I am much more open-minded. My initial goal was to just keep up with my friends and have girls notice me for transforming into this new, reinvented guy I became over the summer. Even though I have matured and have set more important goals, I actually did achieve that initial goal, even though I'm not so small minded as to think that is actually important, just trying to prove to them that I was better. That was not really a goal to achieve, more of just a point to prove. And I have learned that life is not about proving points to other people (or to yourself mainly), but rather to be goal-oriented, and strive towards an ideal, going after it RIGHT NOW with everything you've got. You can't wait until after another PMO session. You shouldn't even wait until you are "X" amount of days into your recovery or something like that (which was something I did at the beginning of my recovery). It's not healthy to think that 'the life I want to live will be there later'. NO. This is my best advice. That type of mentality is not only healthy, but isn't even realistic. You need to implement a positive mindset right now, and strive towards something you want to achieve. Me, still being only 15, me and nobody my age really has an idea of what they want to do with their lives. That said though, I still strive towards important and challenging goals and high ideals. And for me, that is working out and getting stronger, a better body. And that's enough for me to be happy right now.
I don't even need to prove anything to myself anymore, I'm done trying to prove points. I've realized that the points I was trying to prove to other people were really just things I was trying to prove to myself. I basically used to take things that other people said, and found a way to assume they were insulting me for the exact things I was already feeling bad about. i've discovered that I was doing it all to myself. And its a ridiculous realization. I don't have to live up to anything. absolutely nothing is out there. There is not any stereotypes out there people have set on me that I must live up to. And there's nothing I have set upon myself anymore either.
And that makes me so happy.
It makes me feel so joyful, so content. I accept life, I accept what happened to me, what I've been through, I have accepted what I have gone through and I accept where I'm at now. I, in fact, appreciate the addiction, I was strong enough to realize it was an obstacle. And I have finally realized that the obstacle is unimportant. I'm past the addiction. And now I'm finally ready to let it go.
I don't see a need to make myself feel ashamed anymore. I'm simply content. I'm unlocked, unleashed.... comfortable. I have the right to be proud, to be happy, and to be truly peaceful on the inside. And I finally realize that. I'm free you guys. . . I'm finally free.
Thank you for reading, I hope you guys enjoyed reading this. I hope it inspired you or gave you some motivation to continue Stepping Forward.
Feel free to post your thoughts.