27 years old - starting my journey now! So scared!

Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by João Silva, Oct 14, 2021.

  1. João Silva

    João Silva New Member

    Hello friends,

    I'm posting this thread to motivate myself to go through this difficult journey (I will also motivate you, of course).
    I'm a 27 year old virgin, I'm very shy and very little experienced. I can say that I am quite behind in life in several domains. I've started watching porn before I knew what masturbation was (at 13 or 14). I started with
    , and over the years I went through almost all fetishes (even some sub-par ones, really violent, that actually disgust me). The feel of lack of control on those binge sessions (while searching compulsively for more hard and violent and weird types of porn), the fact that I was procrastinating and wasting my life, the sense that I using porn to escape from my anxiety, neuroticism and inferiority complex, my loneliness and dissatisfaction with my life, led me to try to stop here and there for many years. I knew about NoFap before, but it made me depressed, and science around porn addiction was still quite inexistent. Sometimes I would get scared (and try to quit) and other times I would become willfully blind (and freely indulging in it). However, porn has always been kind of an obsession, an elephant in the room, definitely a big thing in my list of problems (and a cause-symptom of other problems) for many years. My biggest streak was only 15 days or so.

    But now I cannot stand this anymore. After recently having had a hypochondria crisis and having afterwards developed an anxiety disorder, I woke up for life in some way. I decided at least to try to reduce the porn consumption. I binge PMOED for hours (actually almost the whole day) on saturday, and my anxiety levels rose. And now the anxiety has returned after I searched the web for porn addiction 2 days ago: extreme addiction, people relapsing after more that 100 free, people going to therapists and rehab, people with PIED when the actually have sex and suffering with it for years, people never recovering, addiction like heroin: in short, a tragedy. My mind was already sensitive, so I'm in a state of extreme anxiety now. What scares me the most is that I thing that my addiction is pretty bad, cause I've watching porn for 12-13 years, and because the duration of my binging/edging sessions are long, and the variety of deviant fetishes is great. So I'm really scared.

    I have been able to reduce my PMO for the last month: I don't open my PC in the morning before 1 session of reading, meditation and goal setting. Then I open it, but whenever I'm reading (I'm always in my house (i.e., my parents' house) reading [or trying to]), cause I'm doing a PhD in humanities), I close the laptop's cover. The same in the afternoon. In the evening I cannot open my PC at all. I have no urge of watching it on my phone, cause I never got used to that, but I'm afraid that the temptations will be too great for it to work aroud the 14th day.

    So yeah, here I am. I have a plan: I will try 3 successive approaches, if needed:
    (1) blocking websites, not using pc at night, going to therapy and talk about the porn problem, reading with the computer closed, doing Jordan Peterson's "Future Authoring Program", planning and trying to act on my future, meditating and exercising. I don't expect to never fail, I just hope that I can PMO less and less, until I completely quit it. I'll not use a counter, but a spreadsheet.
    (2) If I don't see any improvement with the former approach, I will also install Qustodio, Covenant Eyes or NetNanny and expose my internet access to my friends and family (and I'll have to give money to my friends whenever I relapse)
    (3) Specialized therapy for sex addicts (let's hope I never need this)

    But alas, I cannot even concentrate on anything, just from thinking about what I have ahead. I have to focus on my thesis too. I was moderately happy, my anxiety was decreasing, and then I fully realize the deep and debilitating "disease" that I have. I've been half willfully blind for years.
    So I'm scared. Not that I feel the need of porn; I don't; I am willing to quit, and tired of all this. But I developed learned helplessness, I suffer from anxiety and I fear the emotional pain of relapses...

    I'll try to continue to post on this thread to keep you posted and to motivate myself.
    Best wishes guys, and be strong!´
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2021
  2. João Silva

    João Silva New Member

    Well, I'm on my 6th day without porn. Wish me luck!
    No cravings whatsoever, well on the contrary, but it's natural, considering the state of my nerves. I'm in a state of constant fight-flight-freeze response due to the shock of fully realizing (3 days ago) the negative effects of porn, and of reading all the unsuccessful cases in the forums. I already suffer from an anxiety disorder, so you can imagine how I am. But Underdog's method and the ********* method make sense, and hopefully they will work. Reading those methods have decreased my anxiety a bit, but I'm still constantly nervous and unable to concentrate (except on stuff about how to quit porn).
    I'll keep you posted...

    Good luck and be strong (and don't think of this as "giving up" porn, or "being deprived"; also, don't wait until you quit porn before starting to improve other aspects of your lives. You're not "sacrificing" a pleasurable part of your lives, nor giving up something very good by means of your willpower alone; you're escaping porn; the need and deprivation you feel are illusions, a brainwash, so try not to peek. Porn often becomes the symptom of something else (while contributing to perpetuate and intensifying those underlying causes): insecurities, low self-esteem, lack of meaning and purpose, loneliness, etc. So, if you want to quit, you have to find a motivating, meaningful form of life without porn with which you can replace your current self-destructive life).

    Henry+ likes this.
  3. João Silva

    João Silva New Member

    I'm on my 12th day without porn.
    I don't have many urges; in fact, it has been quite easy (at least until now). There may be at least 3 reasons for this: (1) I've hit a rock bottom; (2) my high anxiety made me scared and traumatized me; (3) I've convinced myself that I don't need porn to be happy, to fight away stress or boredom; this is not a sacrifice or something to miss, but poison. So, even if I'm aroused by something, I don't have the need to peek (which is the worst thing one can do), because I'm pretty much convinced that I don't need PMO to be happy.
    I don't know but I think I've reached a great mental state for a lasting change. I feel that my life is changing (better late than ever). Of course, it's still early to celebrate, and I'm still scared of putative relapses, or of ruining this mental state with some accidental peek or indulgence, but things are going very well. I'm also trying to change my life in other domains, and I've been running and meditating every day.
    Henry+ and -Luke- like this.
  4. João Silva

    João Silva New Member

    On my 15th day without porn. Even stress and irritation due to being behind in life and the overwhelming difficulty of improving in so many fundamental areas in my life have not been enough to make me relapse. I don't even think of that, and, when it crosses my mind I just say that I don't need it to be happy, that I'm not sacrificing anything and that I don't want to PMO. Seeing sexy girls in reality or in movies only makes me think that (1) It's good to feel attracted and aroused whenever I see a pretty girl, but I don't need to PMO to be happy, or to release anything, that is an illusion; (2) one day I will have a girlfriend, so I just have to start working on that and on other things in life.
    I still procrastinate sometimes; yesterday, for instance, was a wasted day; I just couldn't put myself to work due to internal resistance (triggered by frustration due to my lack of social skills and my avoidant nature). I was in front of my computer a large part of the day, a little frustrated, but I haven't peeked, so I'm quite happy with that.
    200DaysMission likes this.
  5. 200DaysMission

    200DaysMission Active Member

    Hi João,

    It sounds like you've been through a lot already! 15 days is an incredible start though, I'm proud of you.
    Just keep on taking it a day at a time, and maybe avoid all the unsuccessful reboot stories now (if you haven't already). They can be a little disheartening, and now that you're in the game and on a roll I think it's better to just focus on yourself. With maybe a few success stories when you need reminding of why you're doing this :)

    It's also great that you're spending so much time working on other areas of your life, and while your first journal entries were talking about not PMO-ing, your most recent has more focus on romantic relationships more generally, and your hopes for the future.

    Excited to follow your story, and here for any support you need!
    Good luck brother
  6. João Silva

    João Silva New Member


    I'm on my 20th day without porn!
    Thank you for your nice replies, 100DaysMission and HeyRevolver! It's good that we are supporting each other. If you need moral support, I'm here for you!
    Not PMOing has been quite easy, I have to admit. As someone who was convalescing from anxiety, the shock of fully realizing my addiction must have traumatized me. If I were a rat, porn would be like the cat odor prompting my escape. The other factor is the sense of freedom that the Easy Peasy Method has given me: I don't need porn to be happy, the idea that I'm sacrificing something is a result of a "brainwash". I get aroused by certain passages in movies or by girls in the street, but I quickly forget about it, and I remind myself that that is okay and that I don't need to go PMO in order to feel happy. Sometimes I feel that I miss it, but it's just a bit and for a short time, I quickly remind myself that that's an illusion. The most important thing is not to peek, and it has been fairly easy until now. If I peeked I would lose it.
    Today I had my first wet dream in years (I think they were two, actually) ahah.
    Regarding improving myself, things are not that great. Of course, quitting porn is already a huge step. But my internal resistance to make small steps towards an overwhelming future is too strong. I procrastinate on my studies and even on making a Tinder bio and taking some photographs. I'm very lonely, as I live quite far from my university and in my city I only have 2 friends. And my neurotic and avoidant personality originates self-sabotage. I meditate 15 min a day, I do exercise, and I write a bit per day. But ah, the damn resistance. Formerly it was associated with porn, I would be bored, anxious and unmotivated and I would have the impulse to watch porn and consequently I would become angry at myself and life and would escalate and edge for hours. Things are much better now, but I'm still a chronic procrastinator in every aspect of life (except porn)
    And I'm full of limiting beliefs, for instance about my ability to compensate lost time and do the PhD, about my ability to date, considering my lack of social skills, about having sex, considering that I'm a virgin and girls don't want to have sex with virgins, about my skinny image, etc., etc., etc. I tried some years ago to greet random people on the streets, ask questions and give hi-5s. I wanted to gain confidence in order to be able to cold approach; I had the help of a PUA who was a friend of mine. But I got a little traumatized by the intensity of it and I quitted. I've been isolated for almost 2 years with my parents due to the pandemic and my social skills are at their lowest. But thanks, HeyRevolver! for your inspiring advice. I will look for opportunities to talk to people, though that will not be easy. Repetition is indeed the way forward. If only I could be more relaxed and less emotionally volatile and avoidant...
    But I'll do my best :)
    Thank you again, and best wishes,

    João Silva
    Henry+ likes this.
  7. 200DaysMission

    200DaysMission Active Member

    I can also recommend Meetup actually.
    I only went to a couple of things, but it's a great way to interact with people who are seeking interaction.
    Everyone I spoke with was visibly pleased to be speaking to people, and although I didn't meet anyone I wanted to stay in touch with it was great practice in terms of talking to new people!

    Glad to hear the abstinence is still going well, João, and I hope things improve in the other areas of your life too.
    It sounds like there's a lot you want to change (I'd agree with HR about also focussing on the things you do well), but these big changes are still possible.
    Just place down a little brick each day, rather than trying to build a paper house in a few hours, and let yourself enjoy the small victories and the good periods (hours/days/weeks).

    Hope it's a good week coming :)
    João Silva likes this.
  8. João Silva

    João Silva New Member

    I'm on my 26th day without porn! I'm almost reaching one month, for the first time in my life :)
    There were some urges and sudden moments of missing it, but I was able to deal with that. This night I dreamt about relapsing to porn; I woke up scared but I was very relieved by realizing that it was all just a dream ahah. Each day I remind myself that I don't need porn to be happy and that I'm not sacrificing anything. I also remind myself constantly that as long as I am doing things to improve myself (studying, reading, working, doing difficult things, going beyond comfort zone, etc.) I'm in the right path. That helps to release dopamine despite the overwhelming amount of things that I still have to change.
    That's a nice suggestion, 200DaysMission (congratulations for the 100 days btw) and HeyRevolver!. I have installed Meetup and I'm counting on actually using it soon. This week I'm only focusing on writing an essay project due to next Monday. Only then I'll start with the slow journey of meeting people and dating, which will be very slow and full of internal resistances and procrastination. But I'll be strong!
    Thank you and good luck to you both!
    Deleted User and 200DaysMission like this.
  9. João Silva

    João Silva New Member

    I'm on my 30th day without porn, for the first time ever! Not only porn but also masturbation and orgasm! :D
    To be honest I didn't feel any significant improvement in my performance or mental clarity, except for the relief from the shadow of guilt and worry, and some elation and increased courage on the 8th day. But I don't care about that; I'm quitting porn because I know porn has been destroying my life and hindering me in many fundamental aspects; because I was wasting all my time, polluting my mind, and, among other things, escalating to violent stuff.
    Plus, I realized that I don't need porn or masturbation to be happy, or even to go through boredom, stress and loneliness; that was only a powerful illusion created namely by the effects of being hooked by porn. It is pleasurable, yes, but I don't need it in my life; I can live perfectly happy without it. Realizing this is liberating, even if the urges naturally appear when I see a hot girl. Of course, if I peek I risk getting hooked again (and lose this mindset): so the first rule is to never peek!
    That said, I have to admit that I have nothing against non-compulsive masturbation; I want to quit it for a very long period though (at least until I do the reboot). Perhaps, afterwards, I can start implementing it again, very carefully. Or perhaps not; let's see. The most important is to feel free, to feel that I don't need any of it in my life in order to be happy.

    Socially, the same: shyness, lack of social skills and complete isolation living with my parents. I'll try to start brick by brick though, whenever work (the PhD) lets me! All things considered, I'm quite grateful and happy with my progress. Next stop: 90 days!

    I wish you guys a splendid week free from porn!
    João Silva
  10. Lakaf

    Lakaf Active Member

    Lets go unstoppable
    João Silva likes this.
  11. 200DaysMission

    200DaysMission Active Member

    I'm so happy for you!!

    Keep it up, make it 31 days, then 32, then 33, then 34 :)

    Also the no-peeking rule - gold. It's a simple thing, but to hear you write it with such clarity is great.
    Keep on placing those bricks!
  12. João Silva

    João Silva New Member

    Thank you so much, 200DaysMission!
    By the way, I'm on my 35th day without porn!
    The days after having wet dreams are more difficult, but still very doable. I almost peeked once to an erotic Youtube ASMR video, but I was able to resist the temptation. My urges and yearnings (both sexual and non-sexual) are greater now that I've quitted porn. It''s sad that I feel quite stagnant on my (non-existent) social life; that I need to act but don't know how (or don't have courage). But I choose to be grateful!
    Good luck to you all!
  13. João Silva

    João Silva New Member

    Hello guys!
    I'm on my 43th day without PMO. Last week was hard, not due to porn, but due to neuroticism and anxiety. I had some strong fits of self-hatred, rage and sadness; one of them after going to watch Pauline à la plage, by Eric Rohmer. It had some erotic scenes, and it was also constantly reminding me of my lost youth and insufficiencies. On those days I procrastinated a lot. My problem, as a highly neurotic person with low self-esteem and quite behind in life, is to be consistent, to be resilient enough to bear failure, setbacks. Not only I am perfectionistic, but I was never allowed to fail when I was a child, so I became very avoidant and unable to bear any failure. That's why I have never been in a relationship, and that why I procrastinate so much, and my social skills are so little. Of course, the more behind in life I feel the more difficult it gets. Anyway, I will overcome this, I will get stronger, I will find a way out of this rut! Porn is a huge step, and I'm for the first time on my 43th day! I need to be grateful. Another thing that I notice is that my depressed periods are not so long, and that when I'm on my best periods I'm more productive, and have a bit more confidence.
    Today, I don't know why, my cravings were quite strong, and I almost slipped to an erotic ASMR video. I was down and procrastinating. But I reminded myself that I don't need porn to be happy and went to another distraction. I feel that there is a wet dream coming one of these days.
    Good luck to u all (and sorry for my English; I'm not native and I wrote this in a bit of a hurry)!
    Henry+ and 200DaysMission like this.
  14. João Silva

    João Silva New Member

    Hello friends,

    First of all, I'm sorry for my long absence, especially to you, HeyRevolver!, who are always so helpful and supporting.
    I'm glad to announce that I'm on my 68th day without PMO. I was quite busy for the last couple of weeks, and it usually takes me a lot of time writing here because I'm very perfectionistic ahah. Last week was especially hard, the days immediately before having to submit a paper are very stressful for me; they are stressful to everyone, but I get too overwhelmed cause I'm slow, perfectionistic and neurotic. Then memories arise and loneliness kicks in, along with impulsivity and youtube videos. I had some moments of temptation, but I was able to resist pretty well. There were two times of rage and frustration, after having arrived at a roadblock on the paper. Those times I got really stressed and impulsive: there were actually two times when I peeked on some erotic content (on reddit) for about 2 or 3 minutes, but, in the end, I could resist. I did not touch myself nor get any erection; I just felt some tingles down there, along with a bit of dopamine rush; but afterwards I closed the tab and reminded myself that I don't need this to be happy, that I will not go back, I can't go back, and that the sense of needing porn is an illusion. As soon as I got distracted with the work it all went away. So yeah, I slipped a bit, but not enough to reset the counter, I guess. So overall, I'm happy with my porn reboot progress.
    Ah, but I'm really alone and isolated. The pandemic is getting worse, and my parents are getting more obsessed about that. I have little opportunities, I still haven't had time, courage or occasion to use Tinder, Meetup nor anything. Ah, the urge for intimacy is overwhelming. I have to admit that, as a single kid, I never contacted much with girls except on school and university, but always in a shy, awkward manner. I idealize them (when they are pretty, or even average), as if they were divine or immanent ideals, from which, although rationally dismissed, I can never escape, unless I start to socialize more, talk to women more and have my first "adventures", so to speak. So, to return again to Jung, my "anima" is very immature - virginity, idealization, neurosis and porn (from which I'm finally escaping). I'm focusing on my PhD, and I'm successfully quitting porn. But there will always be this thorn in my side, or a fundamental Maslow need unfulfilled, until I start to go out more, face my fears and start to date. But it feels like mount Everest, and I'm used to withdraw from things, from life. PhD takes a lot of work too, yet I cannot concentrate fully, be fully passionate while this thorn is in my side.

    Anyway, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Let's hope we all can quit this addiction next year
  15. Shabooka1993

    Shabooka1993 New Member

    Joao this is was so wholesome and heartwarming to read thank you so much for sharing your journey.
  16. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Hope you are still on track in 2022 @João Silva . You had a great run so far.

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