I Choose to Live

rafael92

Member
My name is Rafael and I am 30 years old.

I've been addicted to porn since I was 16. There was a period of around two years and a half, from ages 23 to 25, when I managed to temporarily quit this addiction, but then I fell back into the porn trap cycle.

At this moment, I don't feel particularly in the mood to write a lot about myself, but I'll probably come back later to write more in detail.

For now, I can disclose this: I've recently been accepted into a PhD course, and I intend on striving for an academic career. Sounds good, right? I should be proud of myself, right?

Then why do I f*cking hate myself so much?

Why can't I stand to look at my own reflection when I stare in the mirror? Why do I feel like a complete failure, nonetheless? Why do I have suicidal thoughts every single day, without exception, to the point where it has become normal to wrestle with those urges on a daily basis?

At 30 years old, my sexual experience is almost non-existent. I still live at my parents' house. I can't even keep a steady job for more than a few months. When I was a kid, I thought that by this time I would be strong enough to get a beautiful wife, maybe kids, and a meaningful career.

Yet, I can't even summon the strength to get a girlfriend. I feel like a pathetic little man.
My social anxiety and awkwardness are so bad that sometimes I feel like I can't even interact with people on a basic level. I get instinctively hooked on the wrong types of girls who do not appreciate my value and only demean me, which contributes to worsening my self-esteem, instead of giving attention to those who have slipped by through my life and actually genuinely cared about me.

Porn is a major catalyst contributing to all of these problems. It is not the only one, though, and I will probably write more details later. I have several traumas from my past and a history of struggling with depression and anxiety that predated my porn use. But I guess this is what you need to know about me for now.

See you soon.
 

rafael92

Member
Day 1 free from porn.

I took a pill last night that a psychiatrist recommended to me a few months ago. It's meant to help me fall asleep, but on the day after you still feel dizzy, sleepy and moody. That's how I'm feeling at the moment.

I hate it. But I decided to take it because I've been having a hard time falling asleep. When I'm alone at night, that's when the most depressive and anxious thoughts kick in, and I am more likely to relapse. A couple of nights ago, I think I had four panic attacks while lying in bed, sleepless. You tend to relapse when you're at your most vulnerable.

I took the pill to avoid feeling like that, but now I'm not sure if it was worth it.
It seems like everything in life comes with a price. Much like the short-term high you get when you pleasure yourself with porn. Looking back at it now, it feels beyond disgusting.

See you soon.
 

rafael92

Member
Day 2 free from porn.

The day went smoothly, but a toxic interaction with my mother got me in a bad mood right now before going to bed.

My parents are very negative people with a lot of messed up, unresolved stuff. As I was growing up, I inadvertently swallowed much of that negativity, which contributed to turning me into an individual trapped in toxic patterns similar to theirs. It's like I inherited a part of it. And this still happens on a daily basis, even now that I am 30.

When it comes to porn, these toxic interactions that damage my mental health are often a trigger.

I want to get away from this and get my own home. But my mental health is so bad that I can't find or keep a decent job that doesn't make me want to fly out the window. How am I going to support myself like this?

Besides, inflation is so high right now that I often feel like I should just stay here so that I can save as much money as possible for the future. My salary would barely be enough to pay rent elsewhere right now.

But I'm really getting fed up!... I feel like shit right now.

Well, that's it for today, don't feel like writing more at the moment.

See you soon.
 

rafael92

Member
Day 3 free from porn.

The day started out quite badly, with another pointless argument between me and my mom.

I actually had to call my mom's behavior childish. She was visibly surprised and shaken after hearing that and couldn't come up with a proper answer, because she probably realized it was true. The whole situation was so bizarre and disorienting that it made me feel really bad for most of the day. I know it sounds crazy to call your own mom childish, but that's literally how erratic her behavior was. I had to say it because she was gaslighting me and accusing me of being the one behaving that way. Yet she refused to acknowledge her mistake, as always.

But by the evening, I had a Muay Thai class. It's only my fifth class, as I started practicing recently. But I felt much better afterwards because it was extremely intense, and I could actually feel progress. I should have started practicing martial arts sooner, as it can really improve your mental health. I still had that tiny voice inside my head saying I'm a despicable excuse for a human being, but that voice was now much, much smaller and manageable.

What do I need to accomplish in order to finally stop hating myself? That's literally all I want.

Anyway, that's it for today.

See you soon.
 

SimonM

Active Member
I've hated myself on and off for many many years. It's a bad place isn't it? Sort of ruins everything a bit. My observation is that if I can be true to myself - live by the ideals I'd like to live by, then my self-loathing actually goes away quite quickly. I have to stay clean of P, control my anger (at times - especially with the kids!), and try to be grateful everyday for the things I am blessed with. And physical exercise is also a huge part of the picture.

Keep focusing on the good in your life and leave the negativity behind! Be the man you would like to be! :) You will start liking yourself better by the day I bet. Welcome to this journey - together we CAN do it.
 

rafael92

Member
I've hated myself on and off for many many years. It's a bad place isn't it? Sort of ruins everything a bit. My observation is that if I can be true to myself - live by the ideals I'd like to live by, then my self-loathing actually goes away quite quickly. I have to stay clean of P, control my anger (at times - especially with the kids!), and try to be grateful everyday for the things I am blessed with. And physical exercise is also a huge part of the picture.

Keep focusing on the good in your life and leave the negativity behind! Be the man you would like to be! :) You will start liking yourself better by the day I bet. Welcome to this journey - together we CAN do it.
Thank you very much, Simon.
Those are some very encouraging words. It's nice to know someone is actually reading my rants!

I've wrestled with those thoughts many times. I know I should focus on the positive, but sometimes it feels impossible.
I also wish I could live by the ideals I'd like to live by... But somehow, I feel stuck. Do I lack the courage needed to be happy? Maybe.

I guess that being unhappy and miserable is easy. To choose to actually be happy is an act of courage. Maybe I already have what I need to change my situation and I just can't see it.

But then again, maybe I am also being too hard on myself. It is hard to tell.
 

rafael92

Member
Day 4 free from porn.

Loneliness is really hitting me today.
I wish I wasn't so alone. I wish I had people around me I could trust. I wish I hadn't isolated and shut off all the people I used to know from my past.

Why do I feel like most people that walk into my life can't be trusted? Everyone seems to be so selfish and self-centered. Like Johnny Cash sang once: "everyone I know goes away, in the end".

I met a girl a while back who seemed to be different. But besides living in another country, she is still recovering from her previous relationship with her abusive ex-boyfriend and therefore wasn't open to anything.

But I miss her. I really do. She was the only person around my age that I've met for the past ten years that did not feel shallow and empty. I wish she was here. I wish there was something I could do to prove myself worthy and win her affection. If only I was given that chance. I would never waste it away. I would do everything in my power to make her happy. I know I'm not perfect, but I would never be like her former boyfriend.

Last night, I had trouble falling asleep and started thinking about sex. Unfortunately, even my sexual thoughts seem to have been contaminated by porn. Most of them were replays of porn scenes I have watched in the past or involved girls I've seen performing in porn.

That's one of the reasons why I probably should not masturbate even without porn. Because I know that if I do, with my brain at its current state, porn will be a part of it one way or another. And that will impair and slow down my recovery.

I'm still feeling a bit like that today, like having this urge to either masturbate or watch porn as a way to escape my feelings of extreme loneliness.

Yesterday my Muay Thai class nearly KILLED me, but now I wish I had those classes every day, because at least I would have something to focus on and I would get to hang out with the people there.

I could move to a school where I would have more classes per week, but that would be more expensive, and money is a problem for me. I have an account on Medium, where I write about the topics I like for a few bucks. I haven't been able to make a lot of money from that, but perhaps I shouldn't give up. Perhaps I should give it another go. As long as there is a possibility, there is hope. Why give up when there is still a chance I could succeed?

That's it for today.

See you soon, friend.
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
Hi @rafael92 , old man here.
Any addiction creates a vicious cycle based on dependency. For addiction to survive, it creates and breeds weakness.

You suffer now because withdrawal is emptiness. But the healthy solution to reboot is not resistance. It is replacement.

So focus your energy on filling yourself up. Be it Muay Thai, movies or meeting people. Focus on improving yourself, which will make you feel good about yourself.

An attractive person is generally an interesting person.
An interesting person has interests.
One of his interests is a deep interest in himself.
And that interest is founded on improvement.

Go take best care of yourself. People are mainly attracted to people who can take good care of themselves.
 

rafael92

Member
Hello, friend.

You've probably noticed that I haven't posted for a few days. Guess what happened?

I relapsed. Twice. The last time was just a couple of hours ago.

I've been in a really dark place lately. My self-hate, loneliness, and overall anger have been overwhelming. Sometimes I have to really put in the effort to control my meltdowns. I feel like a wicked and sick version of Bruce Banner, with some other angry, demented, and repressed guy inside, trying to get out.

I've already tried psychiatry and psychotherapy before, but neither helped on a foundational basis. The meds just made it worse.

I feel like I've already been defeated in life and there is nothing more I can do to get back up.

I'm unsure if it's completely true, but I feel like the only thing keeping me from committing suicide is precisely my anger. It's precisely the stubbornness of wanting to lift my middle finger to this shitty universe and get my revenge against it, while screaming: "you can't break me!"

I can no longer find relief in my family or the people I once called "friends." Everyone will eventually become shitty, deceive you and hurt you. After 30 years on this planet, I've concluded those tendencies are probably embedded in human nature itself. The only people unaware of it are the ones too privileged to have to bother facing it and peaking behind the curtains, who can afford the privilege of living their whole lives pretending human beings are something they're not.

I used to not be like this, you know? I used to be really hopeful, optimistic and naive.
Guess what life did to me?

That's it for today.

See you soon.
Still waiting for a miracle, I guess.
 

rafael92

Member
Day 1 free from porn.

Having a Muay Thai class right after a relapse SUCKS.
My brain was so unfocused and foggy that I couldn't even tell right from left when the instructor told me to do something.

But as I was walking away, back home, all sweaty, however, a vision came into my mind.

I imagined what it would be like if I succeeded in getting the scholarship I applied for in the context of my Ph.D. How much would it enhance my capabilities. How I would be able to become financially independent for the next few years while improving my intellectual skills, career prospects in University and while still having the free time to focus on getting better at martial arts or whatever project I'd like to have on the side.

I'd have enough money to leave my parents' home. I'd have money to travel sometimes. I wouldn't have a job that I would hate.
That would be heaven to me.

There is a chance I could get the scholarship this year. The results will probably be known in a few weeks. However, everyone tells me it is very hard to be selected. There are way too many applications. But apparently, if I am not selected this year, they say that next year will be easier if I spend some time working on my scientific curriculum.

Next year I will be 31, going on to 32.
Will it be too late by then to live the life I have never lived? To actually experience life for the first time? Should I just give up already?
Need to think.

I just wish that, in the meantime, I could have a girlfriend. Or just a romantic interest that would make life better. That would make life more tolerable.

I'm going to have to forget the Swiss girl that I mentioned in an earlier post. If she doesn't understand me, if she can't see my value, then it's her fault, not mine. It's her loss. I can't remain stuck to an expectation of what she could be.

It's starting to feel emasculating to simp over a girl who acts like she doesn't care. She is a little different and her head is always on the moon. Sometimes it's hard to understand if she truly doesn't care or if this is just part of her personality.

But I've given her a chance. I've waited a long time. It's over now.
No more excuses for her. I'm going to assume that she just doesn't care about me. And if that is the case, then she is not worthy of me.

She is just another toxic person that walked into my life promising to be something else and fooled me for a little while to take advantage of the affection I had to give.

That's it for today.
See you soon.
 
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downhillfromhere

Active Member
Keep going with your recovery @rafael92. There is no other alternative. You may relapse, as do most of us, but just keep trying.

I know what you’re saying about loneliness, about it seeming like everyone is just selfish and only care about themselves.
To a certain extent, this is probably true in a way. But people don’t do this in purpose. They have their own lives, their own struggles, and it's easy to misinterpret the things that people do.

I think we are extra inclined to see people in this way because of the way porn affects our brains. We don't have a healthy sense of empathy and connection to others. Any maybe we attract the sort of people who are also damaged, people who are no good for us. Like @TakeActionNow said.

I have felt this as well. I live in a different city to my family, and sometimes I think that if it weren't for my colleagues at work I would have nobody. No friends and or girlfriend. I feel incredibly isolated some days, and I feel like the people I know from work aren't really that close. I feel like if I lost my job I would lose contact with most of them, and all of them given time.

But I know that my addiction to porn, and my disability to deal with my emotions in a normal way is why I just can't seem to get any real connection with anyone. Starting my recovery from porn has made me see that I do have worth, and I deserve to have a better life. At the very least, as a human being I deserve better than being in front of a screen day after day, wasting away for nothing.

Focus on getting better, and things will start working out for you. And don't waste time or emotions on people who give you nothing back, as long as you have genuinely tried to see things from their point of view.
 
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rafael92

Member
Hello, friend.

After being free from porn and masturbation since July 27th, I just relapsed tonight.

I was feeling really better this week until now. There was a palpable improvement. I moved to a new gym where now I have 3 Muay Thay classes per week. I have also been taking my workouts more seriously and my physical condition has improved.

However, today I was forced to spend a lot of time with my parents and I absorbed their toxicity like a sponge. I seem to absorb people's energies and emotions wherever I go.

Then I couldn't sleep at night. So guess what? Started feeling horny. Resisted the urges for a while, but the phone was right next to me. It happened.

Lessons to learn?
1) I need to spend less time around my toxic family;
2) I can't have my phone or PC in my bedroom when I go to sleep. Gotta keep them well guarded elsewhere. It's frustrating as hell but it must be done.

To compensate, tomorrow I will do 2 Muay Thai classes instead of only 1. And I'm going to become a champion just because I feel like proving it's possible to find glory after any setback, no matter how bad.

Thanks to all the people who have been sharing their wisdom in this thread. Sometimes I don't know how to answer, but I read all of your advice and it makes my heart warm.

See you soon.
Not gonna let this bring me down.
 

rafael92

Member
Hello, friend.

Relapsed again last night. Watching porn makes me feel like a subhuman being.

I always looked at my porn addiction in the context of the problems and traumas I had in my life. But I'm starting to consider that, despite that personal baggage indeed sometimes serving as a catalyst, there are other factors that trigger the addiction. In the past couple weeks, I've started to feel slightly better mentally, but sometimes I'll still end up watching porn just because I feel bored, and it's way too easily accessible.

It's easier and cheaper to watch porn online and hide it than it is, for example, to drink a bottle of whiskey. The way modern online porn is conceived probably makes it the most powerful addictive trap of our era.

It's not just about the porn. It's the way the entire feedback loop of the modern internet is constructed.

It goes like this:
  1. First, you must be on social media because everybody in the world is, and you will feel like a social outcast if you are not.
  2. Then, your mental health will be impaired because on Instagram and other social media platforms, everybody seems to have a better life than you (even though it's probably all fake and staged). There is a chance that your life is actually better than what it feels like. But, on social media, everybody seems to have an absolutely perfect life, so you'll trick yourself into believing yours must suck because you're subconsciously comparing it to unrealistic standards.
  3. You may also, in some cases, end up finding yourself getting on a dating app because, in the internet age, everybody seems to have social anxiety and people barely get to know each other like they did back when they were forced to behave like normal human beings. The pandemic has only exacerbated this tendency, and it's something that can also either hurt your mental health, make you feel more isolated, or create urges to indulge in potentially toxic short-term relief escape mechanisms. Like watching porn.
  4. Then it's nighttime, and you find yourself feeling like crap. You're already on the internet anyway, it feels like we're always connected these days. Your smartphone is already in your hands. What is the most accessible drug at that moment that you can use to numb those feelings? Online porn.
The porn websites themselves are only a small part of this, even though they're where the feedback loop ends before it restarts later. The entire system is conceived so that your emotions are manipulated. Digital service companies know when you feel hopeless, lonely, and bored and what you'll do when those feelings kick in.

I think I'm going to throw my smartphone in the trash can.
 
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