Age 20 – I can honestly say that I was a COMPLETELY different person a year ago

It was a year ago that I first joined this site. Little did I know how much my life would change in one year.

Here’s what happened in bullet points:

-Joined a year ago to quit porn.
-Got dumped by my ex two weeks later after being together for 3 and a half years
-Smoked pot to relieve anxiety.
-Became super extroverted and asked a girl out 1 week after the breakup
-Started tutoring.
-Starting going out of my comfort zone and started talking to people at the college
-I joined an honors society club and started participating in activities.
-Finished another semester of college.
-Got a factory job during the summer.
-Quit smoking pot (mainly due to potential drug tests).
-Became good friends again with my two bros after being out of touch with them for a year and a half
-My best friend restarted our old high-school band and asked me to join (and I naturally accepted  ;D).
-Started going to the gym with my bros and they helped me reach my goal of benching my own body weight. (Sounds easy enough, but it took me all summer without the use of any supplements, just ate healthy and ate a good amount of protein).
-I performed some venues with my band. We practiced several times a week, got together for recording our album. (It was a fucking busy summer lol).
-Became very depressed for several weeks during the summer. I felt dead inside and felt insecure. Still felt lonely and wished I could go out with someone.
-Started new semester of school.
Got involved in tutoring again, honors club, continued working my side job, and I landed an internship taking 5 classes.
-Decided to work on my own album and released my first song.
-Reached a low point and started questioning my degree choice. Had a ton of anxiety over this and started worrying about transferring to another school afraid a lot of my credits wouldn’t transfer. Was almost to the point of a nervous breakdown, but I somehow snapped out of it after 4 weeks.
-Up to this point I hadn’t PMO’ed in 7 months, but started back up again (albeit less frequently).
-Headed a project for my honors club.
-Finished taking care of transferring to my new college and things worked out.
-Befriended a lot of people I knew in clubs, tutoring ect…
-Finished the semester.
-Got fucking plastered during the break.
-Started PMO’ing way too much.
-Finished a second song for my album.
-Started at my new school.
-Started going out with my present girlfriend.
-Decided to quit PMO again lol.
-Landed a part time job in my career field.
-Been marketing my band. 

All this being said, I can honestly say that I was a COMPLETELY different person a year ago. I was afraid of change, very complacent, and didn’t really do much except school, work, and being with my ex. I didn’t push myself out of my comfort zone at all and I didn’t do enough to be someone unique, but now I’m determined to grab life by the balls and really carve out my own path in life. My own circle of friends is completely different and my whole mental attitude has changed as well. I couldn’t have done this without my friends and family and I can’t believe how much I’ve done this past year. I guess if you don’t challenege yourself you’ll never realize your true potential. I don’t know if someone would label me a success or not, but I definitely feel as though I have made progress!  :D

LINK – One Year Later

BY – GuitarGuy13


INITIAL POST – 19 and Taking My Life Back.

Hi everyone! I’m a 19 year old guy trying to get over my porn addiction permanently, abstain from MO until I recover, and MO in moderation when I’m recovered. Here’s a short bio about myself:

I’m 19 years old soon to be 20 in a couple months. My personality type is ISTJ for anyone interested. I’m usually a calm individual who loves music (I play guitar, piano, sing, compose music). I have other hobbies too to keep me occupied. I’ve got a great group of friends and a wonderful girlfriend. I hope to get my Associates Degree in Computer Tech at the end of this year, so naturally I spend quite a lot of time on the computer/Internet which can be a good or bad thing (if you know what I mean)….

Before I get started, I just want to share with you how I got hooked on P: I can’t remember exactly WHEN I started P because it happened gradually. If I had to guess when, I most likely started around 2 years ago when I was 17. Before then I would M to stimulation and then my own made up fantasies since I was 15 (since I didn’t have a girlfriend then). My P addiction started with images of cleavage on Google, then images of naked women. After a couple of months I went to videos of women showing their breasts. After a couple months of that I got hooked on milf and lesbian videos. I was only watching a few videos once a week, but then it escalated to at least an hour of video watching daily. I think on average I would PMO between 2-7 times a week and roughly 20 times per month; some days I would do it twice. Plus I would PMO to help me relax/sleep. During most of this time addicted to P I was dating my girlfriend. When my girlfriend and I started to make out and do other sexual stuff when we were first dating, my brain said, “Awesome!!!, I want more of this”. Because I didn’t see my girlfriend all the time, I wanted that sexual “high” I got from my girlfriend. Unfortunately, I looked to porn to satisfy my urges when I couldn’t be with her. Last year, I came clean and told my girlfriend everything. I told her that she was not doing anything wrong and to not blame herself. It was my personal downfall that I got addicted. Since then she has been very supportive which is a good thing :) Last year during the summer I tried quitting, but I wasn’t very serious about it, so I relapsed after 3 months. I didn’t quit MO either. On January 1st of 2014, I vowed to end my addition once and for all. Before then I had read many articles from the website “Your Brain on Porn” and lots of other articles on the Web.

Reasons for quitting:

1) My girlfriend deserves better. Morally, I think watching P while dating her is wrong.

2) I never completely got ED, but I noticed that it was becoming more difficult to get an erection. I could still get it up with my girlfriend, but it was only at 75%. It was almost impossible to get a boner without watching porn or having fantasies of porn. I want a 110% hard erection, random boner, and morning wood again.

3) Eliminate physical side effects: Headaches after MO’ing to P. I needed 12 hours of sleep every night and I STILL felt tired and exhausted.

4) I want a normal sex drive and healthy sexual cravings. I want my head to be in control instead of my penis.

5) I want a healthy relationship with my girlfriend with NO PORN included.

6) Most importantly: To become a better person and stop gravitating to porn when I’m upset, depressed, or have any other negative feelings in my life.

For my PMO recovery, I have broken it down into 3 stages:

Phase I: (Easy Mode) (Rebooting)

•   Eliminate Porn
•   Attempt to cut down on masturbation/orgasm
•   When I do masturbate/orgasm, divert to thoughts to either sensation or real encounters (eliminate porn related fantasies)

Phase II: (Hard Mode) (Rebooting)

•   Eliminate masturbation and orgasm for an indefinite period of time (start with no MO for 10 days, then the next 10…) Don’t get hung up on dates so much, but try to have a goal in mind.
•   Divert random porn thoughts to something else

***(masturbation isn’t inherently bad, but when linked to porn, it becomes bad because the brain associates MO with porn. The first phase eliminated porn, then I eliminate MO, then I bring back MO with girlfriend and in moderation. I have it in steps so it is easier to end my addiction)

Phase III: (Recovery Mode) (Rewiring)

•   Participate in Karezza with girlfriend
•   Orgasm w/ girlfriend / sexual stuff to rewire brain
•   Continue to limit masturbation (only to sensation)

I plan on keeping a journal on this thread. The first posts will contain stuff since January 1st and then I will try to settle into a routine and do a weekly comment on my progress. I might do individual posts if I’m about to relapse and I need to remind myself of this challenge, good stuff that’s happened, or milestones I’ve achieved. Already I’ve felt better since eliminating P. Overall, I feel happier, I have more energy, headaches are gone, not tired all the time, I like socializing more, joking around more. But since I finished Phase 1 and started Phase 2 several days ago, I’ve been really sad and depressed one moment and then happy the next. I’m depressed because my mind still has sexual cravings for my girlfriend when I’m not supposed to be MO’ing for at least 9 weeks. Giving up porn was easier than giving up MO. I think I’ve flatlined, but my mind still craves for that “high feeling” I get with my girlfriend. Some days just feel absolutely hopeless; like I have nothing to look forward too. I’m not getting that “high” that my brain wants.

Anyways, I’m happy that I’ve gone since December 31st without looking at P and I’m already 10 days in for my MO abstinence (check my counters at the bottom). I joined this site so I would get the extra motivation to quit PMO even when times are tough. Thank you for checking out my intro and wish me luck! For anyone who has more experience in trying to quit, please comment and rate my 3 step process and tell me what is good and bad with my recovery process. I wish all of you success on your battle against porn :D

Most importantly, I want to let everyone know that I’m accepting the idea that porn no longer has any room in my life. It serves no purpose for me anymore. Going back to porn is never going to be an option. I’m not doing this just so I can get my erection again and have awesome sex. I realize that my shame, my guilt, my fears and sorrows in life were hidden behind a porn facade. NO LONGER. I’m a fucking man and I will not hide behind a mask and pretend everything is fine; I will stare fear in the face; I will take everything negative in my life and fucking FACE IT. I don’t care how painful it will be; I’m ready to take responsibility for my own fucking actions. I will improve myself and lead a meaningful life without regrets. No one said it would be easy, then again…no one said life was going to be easy. Here is my take on the “battle” all of us are facing on this forum:

“On this journey you will wage a war against your own brain. Your brain will lie to you because it wants that dopamine again; it doesn’t care how you get it or why. Your brain doesn’t give a shit about you, your goals in life, or your desire to be the best fucking person you can be; all it wants is that rush; that fix. That’s why ending porn is so hard. You have to win a war against your own brain before your mind starts working with you rather than against. Your spirit, your life force, your consciousness, whatever you want to call it, CARES about you, CARES if you become a better person or not, CARES if you fucking live life to the fullest and have no regrets. Your consciousness MUST win because your consciousness is YOU. YOU have to win the war…, because that is the only choice you have; the only choice we have.”