Age 24 - Social anxiety gone, mentally sharp gain, confidence is back
I won’t reiterate much of what I previously wrote [below], but in a nutshell, I was taking the wrong turns in my life for the longest time ever. Initially I had no idea why, but I developed deep social-anxiety issues that I never noticed before. Personality-wise I crumbled into a shell. My grades slipped.
(Okay, two classes slipped. No big deal, but enough to where it pushed me to drop school for a while.) I neglected my business obligations, and life in general was a mess. I know my condition isn’t as severe as others in this forum, but regardless of condition, I knew a change was necessary before things spiraled out of control. One day I bumped into some PMO-related articles and I instantly felt like I had to give this no-PMO thing a shot. [For the record, I was only into cams and lesbo stuff.]
At first I kept track of my days for a week and half, but after that I stopped and said ‘fuck it.’ That’s no way to quit. After about 10 days I stopped keeping track, deleted my entire stash, and quit cold-turkey. I didn’t want this to be just about PMO. This was about becoming a better me. The first couple weeks was a grueling uphill battle, but once I got over the initial peak, it was a smooth descent from there on out. A couple of months later and now I almost feel like the old me again. I’m hitting a confident stride in studies, work, and in my social-life. The mental sharpness, clarity, and confidence that I previously lost is nearly back in full swing.
I’ve re-enrolled back in school lately and I’m knocking everything out early, efficiently, and with high marks. And although my public-speaking skills still aren’t up to par with the old-me, for the most part I’ve lost all the social-anxiety that was built up due to excessive PMO. You can forget about any creepy vibes too, because I know damn well I don’t give them off anymore. Insanely pretty girls still fluster me a bit, but that’s normal. For the most part I feel calm and relaxed around really beautiful women. It’s hard to explain, but it’s like I’m fully at ease emotionally and mentally for the first time in a long time. It’s liberating when I no longer have a sleazy double life to shove underneath the mattress. And because I have nothing to hide, I feel like I have complete control of myself and who I want to be.
I could go on and on about myself, but I’ll let the rest be about you. For those of you struggling, I highly suggest to keep a journal if you already haven’t. Recently I migrated to SkyDrive, but I used keep one on Google Docs so it’s always with me. When the urge to binge or slip into the rabbit hole kicks in, stop, think, and write down for a few minutes about why you're about to partake in whatever self-destructing behavior it is that you have planned. It might not stop you completely, but it will allow for a moment of much-needed pause and possible mental clarity.
My biggest tip for the journal is to not let it center around PMO. Set some specific short, medium, and long-term goals for yourself. Have a plan for those goals and execute. The journal should be about becoming a better you. Personally, I believe the more you concentrate on avoiding PMO the more you’re likely to slip back into it. Again, this has to be about becoming a better you. Find a passion, something you want to do in life, and let the focus be around that. No-PMO should only be a small part of your self-improvement. The quicker you see improvements in your life, the easier it is to never look back.
And lastly, unless if you’re here to help others through their tough times, get away from this forum ASAP. I mean this in the nicest way possible. If you know you’re no longer going to partake in PMO then you no longer need this forum for self-assurance or keeping track of your marathon. Not only that, but the grass is so much greener and the air is oh-so much fresher when you’re focus isn’t on PMO-related content all the time. The site is great to have as an initial crutch, but once you’re ready, just stop, move on, and focus on living. In the end, the strength to quit and become a better person is within you. Whether it be in the form of an ah-ha moment or weeks of self-discovery via a journal, you have to find your inner-voice that says enough is enough.
Anyways, good luck to those of you battling. The insight that I’ve gained from this site and others like it towards the beginning of my journey to self-improvement have been invaluable, so I just wanted to say thanks to everyone and the community.
LINK - Finally Got My Life Back
October 02, 2013
EARLIER POST - Regaining Control of My Life Again
March 07, 2013
Finished For Good. Or at least I hope . . .
I’m mainly writing this for myself. I don't care if anyone reads it, but if anyone wants to, please do so. Even though some may view this as a ridiculous fight against an addiction, I find it more akin to regaining my life back. Screw the 90-day goal. I plan on doing this for 300 (That's right, until the end of the year.) My end-game, however is to go indefinitely without porno. I want to get to a point where I forget about counting the days and I just live.
Where I was
Everyone seems to have a story, so here is mine. I’m currently 24. From the moment I graduated high-school until about three years ago I was one cocky SOB. My grades were always ranked among the best in college. My goal wasn’t just to win, but to be the best at whatever it was that I participated in. Even though I rarely came out standing at the peak above the rest, I slept peacefully knowing that I tried my hardest. I also had a natural thing with people. They just seemed to like me in general. And if they didn’t, I could sure as hell get them to.
During this time I unknowingly went through a self-induced reboot stage for more than a year. I found porn distasteful, immoral, and somewhat dehumanizing. (Just for reference sake, I have been an atheist since my youth.) Coincidentally, I also harbored similar feelings towards the internet and computers. (The latter were tools; nothing more.) I felt like it was a waste. Every second was vital to me, so I avoided it, forgot about it, and spent my time towards more productive tasks.
With plenty of spare time, I picked up 3 foreign languages to a solid level. (I was reading Anna Karenina in German and could enjoy teen novels in Spanish and French. Yeah, I can be a nerd. So what?) I loved dabbing in languages, so I had no problem playing around with Dutch, Italian, and whole slew of others. I also worked out and played basketball all the time. I felt in control of everything, so life was great. I was never happier. The world literally felt like it was in my hands. I was at my physical and mental peak. I always preached being physically strong, mentally strong, and to avoid the worst of my temptations. To put it simply, I had a conscience of iron will.
Once a semester came to a close, I decided to take nothing but online courses. Little did I know, this would be my slipping-point.
At first everything seemed okay. Life moved on as usual. I had less social contacts than before, but I still felt like I was myself. I was never an active artist, but I picked up canvas paintings during this time for fun. I enjoyed it and went through a corny phase where I felt one with nature. If there was anything that I missed from this period, it was the feeling of being at ease and peace. My mind was free and as clear as a whistle. The days always started fast at 5 o’clock in the morning, and would always end on a high-note. After 2-3 months, however, I started to slip down a deep, dark, and endless rabbit-hole. It was probably due to boredom and being around computers more than anything else, but I ended up rekindling myself with porn again.
Once I started surfing porn I saw my grades slipping. My life took a complete 180 for the worse. Although I did great in most of my classes, I failed horribly in one; which was a pre-med class. Rather than recovering, I continuously spiraled downward. I took classes again the semester afterwards, but it just wasn’t the same. I passed, but I never felt any desire to dominate in anything. My effort was half-assed at best; while homework was always done at the last minute. I regularly woke up at 10 o’clock and took showers at 12 in the afternoon. I pissed my days away surfing porn or reading pointless and stupid shit on the internet. I quit caring about foreign languages. My art tools were boxed in a corner somewhere, and would gather dust for months. I quit exercising too. Things were not looking pretty.
Bottom of the Barrel
After the second semester came to a close I quit taking classes altogether. I spent all summer doing the same shit; more porn and internet. I don’t know what hit me after summer came to a close, but I ended up traveling the world for about a year afterwards. But in the end, I felt like I was running away from life. One thing you quickly pick up through extensive travel is that a number of long-term travelers seem to be running from something back home. They seem to enjoy it, but you always feel like there’s something missing inside of them. Me? Rather than facing my problems at home, I was running from all kinds of shit. I couldn’t survive more than a couple days without porn on the road. And sadly enough, I ended up pissing a couple days away balled in my room doing the same-ole-same-ole rather than exploring.
After coming home, I decided to pursue a business, so school was wiped entirely away from the picture. Everything was rosy at first, but my life problems began to overshadow everything else. I was still stuck in the rabbit hole. Before I knew it, I hit rock bottom. My business came to a near grinding halt, so I spent the past summer through December endlessly surfing porn and browsing the internet. I ended up with more than a couple hundred gigabytes of porn. I felt like I had nothing to live for. No direction. Nothing. Everyday felt the same. Weeks and then months would be nothing but a giant blur. In January, however, I decided I’ve had enough. I’m regaining control of my life. Thank goodness I’m still young.
Road to Recovery
After looking at what I’ve written, I find it amazing how quickly one can fall. I’m not going to hide it. I’ve spent nights weeping like a baby when I look at what has happened to me over the past couple of years. I want to cry again just glancing at it. All of it my fault. But I’m finished running away. I’m finished letting my life spiral out of control. Although the road to recovery will be long and arduous, I know that I have the will-power to regain my former self.
Since the end of January I have completely stopped surfing porno. Deleting my collection was tough, but it’s now gone. I have lost all desire to view anything porn-related. And, frank enough, it makes me kind of sick again. However, since a friend recently showed me a video of Miss Delaware this past weekend, I have officially restarted the clock and am now at day 6. (I’ll admit. I was a bit curious. It was horrible, to say the least.) As for my emotions, I haven’t felt so mentally sane in such a long time. My mind still feels cluttered and tainted, but I know that full clarity comes with time. I believe that mental clarity also requires much more personal development outside of avoiding porn.
As for my personal life, I’m registering for classes soon and I hope to finish up school in a year and a half. I can’t wait to get back in the groove of a normal life. I’m keeping a personal journal that has time-logs of what I do every hour of the day. When going through this recovery phase, I’m finding it vital to have some kind of routine that contributes towards a larger goal. (And if you don’t have goals, set them!)
Again, I’m only 6 days into this thing (officially), so I’ll post here every so often for the sake of evaluating my mental status. As witnessed above, I’m also fighting an addiction to the internet and laziness. I find the aforementioned as having a binding relation to porn—with depleted dopamine levels and whatnot--so I’ll also post about them when the need arises. And if I somehow fail in this endeavor, I’ll post about that too.
As for those of you looking into recovery or are currently in the state in the recovery, godspeed. The road ahead may seem never-ending. But please don’t see it that way. See it as a new beginning. (That is why I hate countdowns.) This is much more than porn. This about taking control of your life again.
6 days without PMO and counting . . .