A New Beginning

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by -Luke-, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Hey everyone

    I found this forum in 2013/2014 and was active for a while. But unfortunately I’ve lost touch not long after that. Today I still have many of the same problems I had back then. I’ve gone ~400 days without PMO in 2017 (see my old journal), but even after such a long time the addiction sucked me in again. In 2018 I had some streaks between 10 und 30 days, but relapsed over and over again. I relapsed again twice over Christmas and am clean in 2019 so far.

    A few days back I remembered how great this forum was to me. Many people sitting in the same boat as you. It was always great coming back, reading journals, see how other people are doing. So I decided to be active again and to start a new journal. The forum isn’t as active as it was years ago, but I think that’s kind of normal. I definitely prefer a forum like this over Facebook & others (I quit all my social media accounts last year).

    I’m 31 now (32 next Monday). My life changed in many ways in the last 4-5 years. I had some improvements, but I still struggle with some things like social anxiety (not extreme), procrastination, low self-esteem or erection problems. I didn’t have a sexual encounter in the last years. Even after one year without PMO my PIED wasn’t cured completely. I guess for guys like me, who started at a young age and watched porn for a long time, it just takes a long time. But the PIED is not the main problem. The main problem is a lack of self-esteem and shyness. My life isn’t bad, but it is not as good as it could be. I have a lot of work to do.
  2. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Well, welcome back Luke.

    It's crazy how reading what you wrote is like reading a precise description of my own situation. It seems we share a lot of the same problems. I've also first discovered this forum in 2014 (discovered NoFap on reddit in 2013) and I had a journal here from 2014 to 2015 when I was in my later 20s. I've also had a girlfriend in the past (broken up for a while now) and I haven't had a sexual encounter with a woman in over a year (!!). I've had some success with streaks (not as good as yours) - I've done around 32 days hardmode once, a lot of 20 days, and (when I still had a gf and thus a sexual release) I had done 37 days without PMO/MO. But at this point I know it's not all about the streak number (that is only a reflection of the real change that needs to take place).

    Apart from just the PMO I have many issues. I think PMO is a symptom of these deeper personal problems. Just like you wrote of yourself I have social anxiety around people and trouble being fully myself. For my part (don't know if this applies to you) I have trouble being assertive and not letting others walk over me. My friendships (the little I have of them) are often unbalanced in that I am a lot nicer to the people (in order to be accepted) then they are to me (I think). I suffer from "people pleaser nice guy syndrome" because I am quite desperate from outside approval and validation. Because I am unable to accept myself fully as I am, I am unable to find inside what I am looking for outside in others.

    My theory is that this creates a lot of frustration that builds up. Because I am not addressing these aspects - even when I get on a good streak - after a while tension, frustration, anger builds up - and at some point I fall again.

    Not being able to communicate with women in real life (because of fear of them, fear of rejection, shame) is another big issue. And I consider it an extansion of the general social anxiety problem. It's, in the end, a ramification of the same issue, only even stronger (fear of rejection, need for approval) around girls then regular social stuff. I want (and need) women so much and I can't get them (because I am afraid of taking steps in this direction).

    I've come back recently here after some absence from the forum but there is a lot less activity here then back in 2013-2014 (not to mention before that in the early days when TheUnderdog was leading this place).

    I've had some massive relapses right after then end of the Holiday seasons. Although I've tried improving my life (because I know that's the best way to fight this PMO addiction - it's by addressing the real issues) and had some good periods - I've often also fallen back down (PMO included).

    It's good you are clean in 2019. It's not my case, right now I am on Day 1. I PMOed yesterday (albeit quite short and not with too hardcore stuff) and before that I had been clean for 4 days.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
  3. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Hey Thelongwayhome27, thanks for your reply.

    I totally agree with that. I think porn can be a symptom and a cause of your problems at the same time. It’s a vicious cycle. We turn to porn because of some problems in our life (low self-esteem, loneliness, whatever…) and porn further reinforces those problems.

    I’m like you with that. I seek approval of others because I don’t really accept myself. I’ve made some progress on that over the years, but I’m still struggling.

    The thing with me is that I am able to communicate with women quite good, as long as I don't have any sexual interest in them. It’s weird. I try to tell myself that it’s not a big deal and that there’s no difference between those, that I’m interested in and those I’m not interested in. But when I talk to a woman I find interesting, I’m always in my own head. Always asking myself if I’m doing something wrong.

    Well, I guess we're in the same boat here. I wish you all the best. Sooner or later we have to deal with our problems.
    Merton and Thelongwayhome27 like this.
  4. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I can relate. I can talk with girls all right, sometimes, as long as there is no sexual innuendo. But I often become shy only thinking that a girl thinks I'm interested, almost as if I'm ashamed of that (which I don't think I should be anyways). I need to practice talking to them more and more to make it more natural and normal. It's uncomfortable but practice should help. With girls I really like, the inner critic is very active (projected in their perspective of me) and I second guess everything I do, which is usually unattractive to a lady (they usually like confidence lol...).

    Same here ! I feel I've gained maturity and become more confident but I will have occasional relapses when everything crumbles very low (like the last 2 months). It's hard to tell if I'm taking two steps forward and one back or if I sometimes take a step forward and then two back.
  5. Antonius

    Antonius Member

  6. sveltest

    sveltest Member

    Called it.
  7. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    This also describes me so well. I wonder how many PMO addicts have these underlying problems? I was reading the "no more mr. nice guy" book based on recommendation by @Gilgamesh and I realized how well much of it described me. Anyway welcome!!
    Caoimhín likes this.
  8. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Thanks Guys!

    I read that book too. When I first read it, I thougt it was about me. ;) But I think many guys have similar problems nowadays.

    Had a good weekend. Was watching my favorite club playing football (not American Football, but what the English call soccer) live at the stadium and saw a few friends there. It’s good to be around people and laugh instead of sitting alone at home at the weekends. Yesterday was a quiet day. It’s really cold right now where I live, so I stayed inside for most of the day. Was reading a lot, practiced juggling and did some exercise.

    Today is my birthday. I don’t care much about it. But it’s nice when people think about you. 32 years old now. When I started my first journal here, it was shortly before my 27th birthday. It’s interesting to see how much changed und how little changed at the same time since then. I’m going to try to make this year one of the best I’ve ever had. Tonight I’ll see my parents and my sister for dinner. Nothing else planned.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  9. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Happy birthday man !

    Sounds really nice. I think positive bonding with friends (or family) such as the one you describe here is one of the most potent recovery tools.

    PS - I love football / soccer as well.

    It's funny again that I also started my first journal here at around 27 years old (hence my nickname on here having that number) and I am now going on 32 (not yet, but I'm 31).
  10. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Thanks man!

    Yesterday I had a nice evening with my family. Today I meditated and exercised (Strength) in the morning before work. Meditation is a habit I’m trying to incorporate in my life for a long time now. But I was never able to do it really consistently. Now I am on a 20 day meditation streak. 15 minutes every morning before work. One of my goals for the first part of the year is to build a 50 day streak with this.

    I always had my longest streaks with NoPMO when I worked on positive every-day-habits. When I first found out that there is such thing as a porn addiction and that I am addicted, I just tried to abstain from porn and waited. But if you just abstain without changing your life away from porn you may experience some positive changes, but you could do more. That’s what I found at least over the last few years.
    Merton likes this.
  11. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Shit! :(

    As you can see from my counter I relapsed today. This sucks. Was clean in 2019 so far and today it happened.
    Felt good the last few days but had a terrible night last night (only two hours of sleep). That's danger zone for me.

    Ok, it happened. Can't change it now. Best thing I can do now is to go on with my life as if it didn't happen.
  12. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry to read of the relapse Luke. I'm in the same boat (yesterday). A great friend told me the following once, and it somehow made me feel better: you cannot control what already happened, but you have complete control over what you do next. Just as you said: can't change it now. Is there any way to adapt your program to reduce the chance of it happening when you have bad sleep? I also have huge sleeping problems, and lack of sleep is a big trigger. I have often relapsed when I am in bed and I think there is no way to get to sleep. In this case I have tried reading a physical book (to stay away from the computer). This seems to help sometimes.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  13. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Hey Merton, thanks for your reply. I can totally relate to what your friend said. And at the same time I still have a hard time with this. I’m well aware that I cannot change the past and it’s not good for me to dwell on it. But even nowadays I sometimes think back to when I was in my twenties and on all the missed opportunities, all the weekends alone at home,… And that hurts. Fortunately I do not dwell for a long time on it. It’s just that moments when I’m sad.

    I think the best way to avoid a relapse when I’m not sleeping well, tired and have low energy is to just avoid the internet at all and be outside as much as I can. Most times when I relapsed in such a state in the past I just browsed the internet without any purpose. And sometimes that leads to sites I shouldn’t be on.

    Fortunately I went on with my day after the relapse. It happened around 5 p.m. and I didn’t use the computer again after that. Listened to some NBA podcasts, went for a walk and did some mobility work/stretching. This morning I felt the consequences of the relapse a bit (tired, relatively low energy, a bit brain fog), but it’s not too bad. Was up at 6 a.m. and worked out and meditated before work. Just keep going.
    Merton likes this.
  14. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Hi Luke ... Just reading through your stuff and some of the comments. So much is resonating with me, particularly in terms of relating with women.

    The above statement is quite literally ME! You know, it does a man good to realise that, even though I feel like the most dysfunctional and weird guy out there, that there are others who are quietly living the same life. I don't mean to say that I wish this on anyone but it does make me feel a bit more like we are all in this together. The term social anxiety is kind of new to me over the last year but when I heard it, many things about the way I act with people suddenly made a lot more sense.

    Yup, me too. The moment I even start to consider a girl in a "different" way, non-friend way, etc. it is as if a switch goes off in my head. It's a self-destruct switch that destroys my confidence, makes me feel unworthy and unable, makes me jump forward into the "future relationship" and start anticipating problems. I worry also about not be able to perform sexually. This can all happen in a flash... then I close the door. I've never heard another guy mention this, so once again, thank you guys on the forum.

    You cannot stop porn or any addiction without replacing it with something else in your life! It is clear. I have been able to maintain a daily meditation habit for the past 3 years. It has been key to the long period free from porn (between 2014 - 2018 but I am not quite certain).

    PS I am also a fan of football... Arsenal for my sins.
    Merton and Thelongwayhome27 like this.
  15. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Hi Caoimhín,

    when I first found this forum I was surprised. I always thought that I’m just a creepy guy while everyone else was doing well. You just feel you’re alone in this. Then I found YBOP and YBR, read through other guys journals and immediately thought “They are totally like me here”. Of course you don’t want to see other guys struggling, but at the same time it’s really encouraging to know that you are not alone in this. That we have similar problems, can relate to each other and can help each other.

    Nice. I always liked Arsenal. Always liked the way they were playing under Arsene Wenger. Werder Bremen is my team.

    Btw: I read a little bit through your journal and I really like the way you write. Some very good and sincere thoughts.
    Caoimhín likes this.
  16. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear of the lapse Luke. I am confident you will get right back up.

    Same goes for me. I don't have much advice to give on this unfortunately but I can tell you I'm dealing with these feelings as well. I think, though, that if you manage to grow as a person in the present, find and accept yourself, and heal, then it is much easier to accept the past.

    Nicely done man. Best way to handle a lapse. Bounce right back with self-care and healthy habits.
  17. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Thanks! I was surprised / not surprised at how much I recognised to be true for me in your journal. We all think that we are alone in this battle... or maybe guys that have porn addiction, MO addiction, anxiety, depression, no woman, woman problems do. But, I think the one big truth here is that we are all just guys. None of us is perfect.

    Have a good day and I hope that your meeting goes well.
  18. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Nothing special to report today. To consequences of the relapse weren’t that bad. I don’t feel bad today. Did some Meditation and handstand practice before work. Tomorrow I’m going to watch football again. Will see a few friends and have a good time.

    I hope all of you will have a good weekend.
    Thelongwayhome27, Antonius and Merton like this.
  19. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    I started reading „The Slight Edge“ again, after I read about it in another journal. In 2013 or 2014 I read that book for the first time and liked the ideas. I like the idea of doing simple and small things every day that can make the difference in the long run, although you don’t recognize the effects immediately.

    For me the simple daily habits are:
    • Meditation
    • Morning routine (Mobility, Dynamic Stretching)
    • Reviewing my goals every morning
    • Exercising
    • Learning some language (French, Dutch) for at least 10 minutes
    • (No internet use before 4 PM and after 8 PM)
    The last one is in brackets because this isn’t something I do but something I don’t do.

    I guess there is some room for more. Maybe something with my work and something around Socializing/Friends/Communication with other people.

    My weekend was fine. Had some fun at the game on Saturday and was sitting in the train and reading for most of Sunday. Today I meditated and exercised before work and had a good day at work. There are still some things I put off at work. Procrastination is my second name. Sleep was ok the last few days.
    Merton and Caoimhín like this.
  20. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Didn't sleep good last night and had a very slow start this morning. Didn't do almost any of the things I usually like to do in the morning. But then I meditated and practiced some handstands immediately afer I came home from work. I stayed away from the internet until now but struggled a bit with fantasies. I catched myself every time before I lost myself in the fantasies, but that's something that almost always happens when I am tired and had a bad night before.

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