My whole childhood, I was “smart”. I did well in school, and didn’t have to try very hard. I was high on life, physically active, and interested in all kinds of subject matter. I loved to learn and read new things, and despite being socially awkward, I was outgoing and enthusiastic.
This lasted all the way up until high school. My first porn exposure was when I was 12, and it was also how I learned about what sex even was. To say that porn was an exciting new thing for me would be an understatement. I couldn’t get enough.
As I got older, I was still able to do very well in school. But when I reached high school and began taking more advanced classes, I was suddenly surrounded by lots of other people that were also smart… and much, much less socially awkward than me. I made some friendly acquaintances, but I mainly kept to myself and focused on my homework, with a good deal of porn on the side. This led to persistent feelings of depression. I missed when I felt like I could connect with others more easily, but I distracted myself with homework and porn.
However, I still ended up graduating near the top of the class, and maintained a part-time job from age 16 to the time I graduated at 18. Sure, I was lethargic literally all the time and could barely look people (especially girls) in the eye, but to other people I still seemed to have it all together. And to be honest, despite the fact that I masturbated twice a day and had ZERO passion for anything and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I convinced myself that there was nothing wrong with my PMO habit. After graduating, I got into a great college, and it was off to dorm life!
I had a roommate my freshman year. We got along fine, but he was seldom on campus on the weekends and was gone almost the entire day.
That’s the semester when my PMO habit exploded. Twice a day turned into four times a day, watching porn for hours and hours in between each time and spraying Febreeze around the room before my roommate got back. Sure, I did my homework and still managed to get good grades, but I had no social life to speak of. Spring semester, I began occasionally skipping classes, something I had NEVER done before. “Occasionally” turned into “all the time” for those classes where attendance wasn’t required. My grades turned from “great” to “yeah, yeah, that’s good man, doing good, yeah…”
By sophomore year, I switched majors twice. I then switched a third time beginning of the school year to one that I thought was at least more interesting than the other two majors I had before. This isn’t that abnormal, as many people don’t know what they want to do by the time they’re 19, but in my case, I simply had no passion or desire to do anything other than get good grades and do porn… and more porn… and suddenly, the “good grades” part started getting harder and harder to achieve. I felt like I was studying twice as long to achieve half the results, and I could barely concentrate for longer than five minutes before I had to take a break. I felt like I was getting dumber, not smarter.
On top of that, after a good 50% of the people from my major were weeded out during my second spring semester, I once again found myself surrounded by people that were performing at least just as well as me, if not better. And on top of that, those people were doing lots of other productive things with their time in addition to getting a great GPA, so before I knew it, I found myself turning into a “smart” imposter. There was no more time to procrastinate my life, but I was so addicted that I didn’t have the drive nor foresight to see a way out. I also had no friends.
My dad somehow ended up finding the shotgun under my bed three days after receiving my final grades for the semester, and when asked about it, I caved and told him that I had a shotgun slug in my pocket, too. That night I was going to kill myself; I reached rock bottom. One week in the psychiatric ward later, and I must admit that I did begin to feel a lot better… especially since there was no internet or real privacy…
Buuuut, I chalked it up to the new meds they gave me to deal with my depression. It’s not the porn, I told myself. It’s not the porn, that has nothing to do with it, it’s not the porn…
In only a couple of days, I was back to doing PMO. Within a month, it was back to three to four times a day. Shockingly, I started feeling depressed again, and within six more months and experiencing the same struggles as before, I nearly went through with another suicide attempt again, though I didn’t tell my parents about that plan. I switched medications twice, and none seemed to work. Going in my spring junior semester, my GPA was doing a little better, but it wasn’t as good as I KNEW it could be. And I was still doing nothing else with my life, and still had no friends. I gained 40 pounds.
Then, over winter break, something happened: I discovered NoFap and Yourbrainonporn. And then, suddenly, everything began to make sense, and I couldn’t deny it any longer. Porn addiction was destroying my life.
I started NoFap January of 2016, and it’s been a long journey since then. I’ve improved slowly, and I’ve learned a lot about myself in the process. NoFap helped my to get back my focus when I was studying for my GRE exam last year, and I surprisingly ended up killing the test. I also managed to raise my GPA to levels that are a little more eye-catching on an application. It was very hard, though, when I actually began applying to doctorate programs (which I have to get into in order for me to have a job of any sort in my desired field) and realized that there wasn’t really much to put on there once I got past the grades and test scores, thanks to my chronic porn use during college. But I managed to get myself through that, and after MURDERING the interview day I got with one of the schools I applied to (after I finally got a months-long streak and boosted confidence!) I managed to get in to a good school. Oh, and I now have a few friends and some acquaintances!
But the thing I want to get across from this whole long story is this: take it from me when I say that as time goes on, your PMO addiction WILL catch up to you. Life will force you to be uncomfortable in order to start achieving things, and if you were like me and simply want to be in the comfort bubble of porn in your room all by yourself, you won’t be prepared. You’ll start to see others leaving you behind, even if you are indeed smart, because PMO has destroyed your will to succeed and has fogged up your mind. It really is like a fogged up windshield; hell, you could be driving a Lamborghini, but if you have a fogged up windshield and can’t see ahead, you ain’t going anywhere. Same thing with PMO.
If you are a student right now, and you have a chronic PMO habit, please… stop now, as soon as possible. Even if you’ve been getting by, perhaps even doing well so far, take it from me that the passage of time and the increased difficulty of life will catch up to you like it did with me. I waited until it was almost too late… don’t do what I did. Spare yourself a lot of pain.
Damn, this was long as all hell. But if one person reads it, and if my long story helps them in some way, then it was worth typing up.
- Note: In this earlier post he describes finding out about r/nofap thourgh his sister’s boyfriend.