Age 26 - Long reboot, Addiction + Anxiety Issues, ROCD

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anxious guy2012-01-11 - Okay, where do I begin? I first came across yourbrainonporn.com last July. Reading through many of the posts, I realized that many of the things I feared personally seem to be related to the problem of excessive porn use. I often felt I had problems with women, and felt I was unable to connect with them.

In college, I had a difficult time going on dates. I began to feel inadequate - as if I has missed out on some important developmental step that all the other guys had been on. This led to low-self esteem, anxiety, depression, and questioning my sexuality.

My insecurity led to me seeking help on the internet. I read self-help books for "getting better with women" - this worked - sort of. I thought I had found an answer to my struggles with women. I often thought (daily), that if I could just master the "techniques" (unnatural ways of thinking about and approaching women for dates), then I could "catch up" to the other guys. It didn't work. Since these approaches didn't target my real problem (which I think was over-stimulation to porn since a very young age), it only helped to make me feel hopeful. After realizing that my countless hours spent devoted to learning this "material" were for nothing, I sunk back into depression. I again quesitoned my sexuality, got depressed, anxious. Rinse and repeat.

Something happened my junior year of college that nearly shed light on my problem. I had decided to stop watching porn. I lasted for 3 weeks - and during this time felt amazing - I was able to focus in class, was not depressed, was approached by girls in my classes (which I was too insecure to take advantage of). I was hyper-motivated, scored high on all my midterms, and even surprised a few T.A.s at my recall abilities. Shortly after this however, I started to lose interest in girls (I was flatlining, but I had no clue that this was it). I began to feel afraid that I was gay. And so, every encounter with a guy who was attractive was avoided. I didn't realize until years later that this was without doubt HOCD. I even went to a therapist to talk about this. I couldn't explain why I had no interest in girls. As a result, I became afraid, and went back into porn. My grades dropped a bit, and I felt completely worthless. What I couldn't understand is that I felt like I was getting "dull" - like it was harder to retain information. In class, all I could think about were girls and my lack of them. I also developed a negative attitude towards girls - as if they were just out to hurt me. Little did I know it was me who was rejecting myself - not them. In fact, the funny thing is, I ALWAYS had girls around me - studying with me, going out and dancing with me, subtley suggesting that we should "hang out" more (a depressed guy with low self esteem can't catch onto subtle cues - it's like a person who hates the way they look in photos, but in reality usually looks good).

My college years came and went, as did the cycles of depression and lonliness. My belief that I was repulsive to women became stronger, and I eventually stopped trying with girls altogether. A regular 9-5 and less social interaction caused me to seep further down into depression. Two years later, I came across the site, and realized where all my problems had come from. I realized why I had little interest in women, and why I felt like I could barely "connect" with them. The worst part of all of this, was that I firmly believed that I was defected, particularly because I'm a short fellow.

Once I realized my problem, I quit PMO immediately. Fortunately at the time, I had no access to the internet at home (I would not have been able to give P up otherwise). It was crazy hard. The withdrawals were incredibly difficult for the first few weeks. I could barely hold on. I resulted to watching some "soft" porn at work - just to watch, not even to O. I eventually stopped this behavior. I learned that this made cravings more difficult. I eventually stopped watching TV as well - the "hot" scenes made it difficult to sleep at night. I abstained from P for over three months, but not from O. From O, I've probably lasted about 3 weeks. I've often told myself that an O is better than going to P. In a way, it was how I stood afloat. However, although I felt much better, each time I hit the 2 week mark I started to feel grand, like something was happening inside me - life felt better, and in regards to women, I was less desperate and more intersted in living life the way I wanted. I was more creative, often writing stories for hours. I was sharper - and I could even speak a second language more fluently. I felt confident - barely doubting my intentions or whether I would "make it".

I also became more adventurous and decided to travel to Europe for a few months. I did. And I relapsed. I thought it was unlikely because I would be having the time of my life. And although that's true, it also came with some emotional lows - adjusting to a new culture. I found myself on one occassion very afraid - I was alone on an Island with no friends, and it was just me and my laptop in a hotel room. I broke. The chaser effect was also hard. Although I had a great time on the Island, I'm positive it would have been better if I hadn't broke.

Feeling bad, I got back on track. I stopped porn for two or three more weeks, and then broke again. Each time I broke - it was because I felt bad about myself - either lonley or just low self esteem. In each case, in retrospect, I was wrong. I've learned that when I get lonely or anxious, porn is a way of helping me cope. I've learned a lot each time I've tried to quit. But most of all, I learned that if I don't stop, I'll just keep hurting myself - you see, the non-porn me is quite different from the porn-me. It's like night and day (see above). I don't want to keep living this way. I don't want to be "numb". I don't want to be chanined to my keyboard. I want out. So, after more relapses and such, I've resolved to not give up or feel guilty about my past failures. I'm going forward and going through it. I had the strength before. I can do it again. I can beat this. Day 1

[Months of ups and downs, inconsistent porn avoidance. Found a girlfriend, and slipped back into porn use.]

Day 18 2012-12-10 - ROCD - had sex with my gf a few times this wknd. One O. Sucks really. We were going through a tough time on Saturday, and both upset. We agreed to meet up. When I saw her, all I could do was smirk, and hug her. And we held each other for a long while after. I sincerely did miss her. That night, I found myself being more protective of her, and more caring? Anyway, we were talking and I was excited to go out with her. Well, we ended up having sex. I wasn't very turned on by it, but she was. She says that she absolutely loves having sex with me, and that before me, she was never very into it. But now she can't help wanting it. So, that feels good.

Right after we had sex, BAM. ROCD hit. I felt disconnected, not passionate, nothing. I really did feel estranged. The rest of the night was OK. I didn't feel love, even though I know she loves me. I doubted her love and mine. I've felt guitly at times about the way I feel. I usually get a total feeling of guilt that lasts for days.

I'm pretty spot on with ROCD. It's occurred in this relationship before. Many times. Luckily, I've attributed it to my addiction. This is also weird because this is my frist relationship. It's just annoying. Some days I love her, and others I feel nothing. We've gotten really close latey. We're very compatible. She's very understanding, and open-minded.

God, I just hate dealing with this. I do feel love after abstaining from porn for a time. I'm just not ready to O yet. This is annoying to deal with. And damn scary.

I just got off the phone with her, and felt great talking with her. I miss her some days, other days I don't.

Day 19 2012-12-12 ROCD - This is tiring. This afternoon, I loved her. I opened up to her last night, and feel quite bonded with her. I met with her tonight, and felt close to her. Then I started to freak out. Then I started to notice her physical flaws. Up and down, up and down. I don't like this very much.

 

Day 45

I woke up feeling, well, pretty good. I don't want to jinxed it. But I haven't felt this decent in a long time. It's like, happy? I've been depressed for the past few weeks for some unrelated issues, but today, I surprised myself by getting out of bed, and getting to what I needed to do. I hope this continues. Let's hope so.

Day 145 (no porn) 2013-04-09 - Last night's depression got really bad and heavy, and then I realized that I had to work through it. It's funny. Anyway, I did some pushups, and felt a bit better. I've also been surrounding myself with more people. It feels good. Depression can easily suck you dry. Anyway, I felt the libido twitch a few times. But it's only no MO day 3. Can't wait for Day 33.

Day 147 (no porn) 2013-04-11 - Feeling a bit better. Working through my depression and not putting pressure on myself to do anything. I'm setting manageable goals, and trying to spend more time with family and friends. I started working out as well. So far, I feel better, but more like "on my way to feeling better"

I'm starting to feel more libido. I can't wait until it fully comes on.

Day 151 (no porn) 2013-04-16 - Still slipped into MOing today. But the effects aren't so bad this time. Something interesting I've noticed happening lately with my SO is that I feel more attracted to her/more respectful. Recently, I opened up to her about some of my personal struggles, something I kept shut real tight. She was very accepting, and since then I've felt closer to her.

Day 158 (no porn) 2013-04-23 - I started seeing a therapist, and it has helped clear negative thinking patterns a good deal. I feel great. My libido is kicking in. Real women turn me on quite a bit. Real, average women. Mm. The other night the GF and I had some awesome car sex. We just kept going, and it felt wonderful. I felt very dominant, and assertive, and it felt awesome. I didn't really feel a need to stop or to O, I just loved going at it. I really think I'm benefiting from the therapy. But all in all, I have to say it guys. I'm healed. It took nearly two years, but finally, I'm free.

I'm working on getting rid of negative thinking. But The screen isn't even an option. Today after work, I drove to a coffee shop, explored the town, and endedup writing poetry on the side street under a shady tree. I didn't really plan this. I feel like I'm freeing the "me" by thinking positively. I feel free. I'm not perfect, but very much alive.

The work was worth the freedom.

I don't know if I'll check in here much, but I think I might down the road, just to say hi. Thank you all for your support. Thank you dear Marnia for your patience and support. I owe you and this community a good deal. You have made an extrodinary impact on my life, internet friend, and I am truly appreciative of you reaching out to an addicted stranger thousands of miles away. You have truly improved my life. Thanks so much to Gary and his dedication to this cause - without the knowledge put forth, I have no idea where I would be. There's a good chance I would be miserable, if not worse. You gave me hope when there wasn't any, and offered knowledge and an alternative explanation to some of my problems. You both are a godsend, and words cannot express how much you've done for me. I am forever grateful.

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BY - getmeout