Age 45 – I’m in the driver’s seat now

This has been a real life-changing month for me. So many positive developments, most of them invisible to the naked eye as they are changes taking place in my heart, my body and my mind.

And most of these changes directly or indirectly related to 2 subreddits I discovered less than a month ago- r/leaves and r/nofap. For that reason, I’m going to post this in both places.

First off, I’m a 45 year old man that has smoked weed for nearly 30 years and masturbated pretty regularly for well over 30. As ye sow, so shall ye reap. What have been the consequences of these destructive habits?

When I take a sober, uncompromising look at my life, I see a man who has always had good intentions, ambitions and the will to be a good person to his friends, family and world at large- but who has consistently fallen far short of those goals. I see a man whose friendships, if you can call them that, are on life support: thanks to a lifetime of solitary pursuits, my closest friends are now just acquaintances and acquaintances are now strangers. I see a man who has been single for most of his life, whose last truly meaningful, lasting relationship ended over 20 years ago and who has struggled to get any female companionship ever since (and when I did, it was always short lived and usually ended badly).

I see a man who has grown distant from his only son, because he has usually preferred to be high staring at a computer screen to spending quality time with his kid. I see a man with low levels of energy, thinning hair, sore muscles, poor dental health, not resting properly. I see a man with low self-esteem and very little self-confidence. But here’s the good news: that man is fading away, and he’s fading fast.

Over a month ago, I gave up masturbation, and nearly a month ago I gave up smoking weed. I also committed to eating much better, hitting the gym at least twice a week and taking cold showers. As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

The changes have already been remarkable. I am now a man who gets up early and can go hard all day, working 18 or 19 hours if need be. I sleep much better. My skin looks healthy and pink, and the hair I still have looks stronger and thicker already.

I am feeling confidence levels I haven’t ever felt, and there is a new optimism in my way of thinking. Instead of defaulting to a feeling a dread and worry, my new default is becoming a feeling of hope and confidence in myself and my abilities. My mind is sharper, and when I am talking to people now I am ENGAGED with them and able to hold my own in an intelligent conversation, instead of fighting to focus and not have my mind drift off to one thing or another. I can tell people are picking up on this already- I already feel closer to those around me, as they are sensing that I am genuinely interested in them and whatever they might be going through.

I am AMBITIOUS about my future now- with this renewed energy and pos attitude, I want to apply it to my life and see what I can accomplish, and am starting to feel that the sky is the limit, whereas before I was willing to accept any number of limits. Now, impossible is nothing. Doesn’t mean it’s easy- just that I have the skills to pay the bills now.

I have reserves of energy I haven’t felt since I was a teenager. As ye sow, so shall ye reap. In less than a month I feel like I have made more progress in my life than the 20 years before it. Before it, I always had an excuse why I wasn’t living up to my potential. Now, excuses seem pathetic and unacceptable. I truly want to be the best version of myself I can be- remember, I spent 30 years as “that other guy”, and I got my fill of that.

If these are the kinds of results I’m seeing after only a month, imagine where I will be- where any of us could be- in a year. In 2 years, in 5 years. I feel like given enough time, I can do anything!! As ye sow, so shall ye reap. I can’t wait to see where this path takes me in the future.

One thing’s for sure- I’m in the driver’s seat now. I’m not a victim anymore. Of course, I never was- I just needed some insight into why certain things about my lifestyle were really hurting me and, by extension, those around me. I have these subreddits to thank for that, and I continue to read them every day for strength and inspiration. Thanks to these communities- they have helped me to take charge of my life and start turning things around for reals.

I can’t get the last 30 years of my life back- but the next 30 are going to be out of this world.