Age 25 - People remark to me how confident I am. No more anxiety
I started out on January 6th of this year. I was fed up and I had had enough of the person that I was. To put it quite simply, I was pretty lame. I thought I was faltering at life. I was depressed and anxious all the time. I was a little overweight because I didn't do much besides work, eat, and fap.
For a few months before I started I remember thinking to myself that maybe I watch too much porn. For the last few years I felt I was struggling. I just had this overwhelming feeling that something wasn't right. Things started going bad for me when I first started college. I remember getting depressed for a while back then. Then I started having problems in social situations. For some reason I would get nervous out of nowhere. A few years later things got so bad that I started wanted to kill myself. It wasn't so much that I just wanted to end it all. I just thought things would be better if I were dead. Life was a burden and I was sick of it.
Finally I took myself to a doctor and got some antidepressants. It helped for a little while, but all it did was numb the pain. It made me able to tolerate how things were. After a while the side effects were so bad that I stopped taking them. Eventually the anxiety issues started to creep back into my life.
My love life had also taken quite a toll. Before this January I hadn't had a girlfriend in about 4 years. I had some partners, but I had trouble staying interested in them. I couldn't stay with a girl for more than about 2-3 weeks. After a while I would start having issues getting hard and I would get bored. Then before NoFap, I hadn't had sex in over a year, and I was living alone in a very boring place.
Then one day I decided to google "porn addiction". I started watching the "yourbrainonporn" videos and I ended up in this subreddit. I expected some rhetoric about addiction issues, but I was actually amazed by what I saw. The symptoms described the problems that I had perfectly. I had nearly all the symptoms on the list. I remember thinking "Could this be the problem I've had for the last 5+ years?"
I started watching porn when I was about 10 years old. (I'm 25 now.) And not just the plain old funny funny haha porn. From a young age I knew how to find all the nasty stuff. I started with AOL, then Napster, Kazaa, etc. Then in college I started watching the tube sites that had unlimited free stuff online. I watched nearly every genre except the gay stuff. For about 15 years it was my favorite thing to do. I never realized how much it affected me until I stopped.
On January 6th I made the decision to quit. No porn since then. I also started NoFap. Since then I relapsed a couple times, but I am currently in a 98 day streak. On January 25th I moved back to a city in a great place. February 17th I met the girl that I've been dating since. March 30th was the night I first had sex with her, and we've been having wonderful sex all the time since.
For me the rule I made for myself is really simple. The only way I can have an orgasm is with a woman. This changed my outlook on things almost IMMEDIATELY. I found myself becoming much more assertive. I now talk to a lot more women than I used to. I used to somewhat avoid them. People remark to me how confident I am. Women ask me, "How are you so confident?" To me I feel like the same guy, but they see me completely different.
I did not have a long reboot period or a "flatline" problem that I've heard many people describe. By about 6 weeks in I was getting random erections and was aroused by my time with women. Maybe I'm lucky. However, I also have an active imagination. Sex always requires focus in my opinion. My advice for the guys getting back into the game is to try to stay focused during the act. Try not to let the mind wander to random shit. This isn't true all the time though, it can depend on how horny you are.
I find myself enjoying life much more. I don't have any anxiety anymore. I'm pretty happy these days. I have more confidence in myself than I've had in many years. I feel like I'm in the prime of my life and things couldn't be better. The one thing I wish is that I knew how dangerous porn was back when I was a kid. I can only imagine the person I would be if I never messed with it.
I've lost weight and have better stamina in physical activity than I did in highschool. In February I did a presentation at a conference in front of 400 other engineers from around the world and nailed it like a boss. I'm a beast with the ladies.
Put down the porn gentlemen. Don't fuck with that shit. You don't need it. God put women on Earth for a reason. We're hardwired to be attracted to them. Millions of years of evolution have given us the predilection to be attracted to them and enjoy sex with them. Stop watching porn, relax a little, stop taking yourself so seriously, get out the door and go down to the street and meet up with some ladies. They're everywhere.
Practical advice: For a while when I started I just wanted to meet more women. I found something that worked for me. I call this "titty bar therapy". It's simple. Just go to the titty bar/strip club. Have a conversation with a stripper or two. These are the easiest women to talk to in the world. After doing this a few times, conversations with women felt more natural for me. It may sound crazy, stupid, or hilarious, but it works.