Confidence, where are you?

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by Deleted Account, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. Okay, this is more of a bitter rant than anything helpful, but maybe it will offer insight to others in their growth. Perhaps my purpose in life is to serve as an example to others of what not to do. I'm not writing in Success Stories because this isn't one, and I'm feeling the worse because of it.

    TL:DR - despite my time here, and time since PMO, I'm lacking any real confidence. Any honestly helpful insight would be appreciated - no, the courage->competence->confidence process is not helpful. Bitching and slagging off at me is also no helpful - hate me in another thread, please.

    I'm coming up on 100 days since my last (partial) relapse, and with the almost sixty days prior to that, I thought I'd reflect on something that was foremost in my mind when I first started here. I wrote posts early on about my concerns with confidence (here and here), and this morning it is something I'm ruminating on quite a bit. Before I go on, I know that NoFap is not a magic bullet. It won't suddenly change you into something you were not. All of the success stories you read about, those are of people whose potential was already there. They had all of that inside them, which they'd just delayed because the easy path (masturbation) was easy. And fun. Let's be honest - we don't tug because it's good for the planet. As someone who has gotten to where I am by sheer bull-headedness (sure discipline is a part of it, but discipline is easy), I'm left looking at these stories and asking "Me?".

    I can look at points in my life since March (or June) and see where things have 'improved' - I go to the gym 5-6 times a week, I've lost weight, my wife and I are addressing the issues of our relationship, and the issue that is our relationship, but so what? I've reached a point where I can mentally dismiss the narrow-minded jerks I work with (even the Nazi who goes to the Philippines as a sex tourist) as people I don't talk with but can at least hope they grow for the better, but who gives a fuck? I still suck at human (syntax error intended). I've made (what I thought) were honest attempts at tackling the issue of my lack of confidence - I purchased a hypnotic 'Mens Confidence' programme, and attempted part of if - I have a deep-seated issue of going up and talking to a woman while I'm still married. Not hitting on her, just saying "Hello, you're...., right?" I've looked at actually getting myself hypnotised just to deal with issue (not that costly, if the research is accurate), but the process sounded not invasive enough. I'm aware of everything that's going on, and won't have anything suggested to me that I don't want - how does that even work? I'll still be the same useless guy I was before.

    I can see what some of you are thinking - "stop playing the victim". You know what - if that's how you feel, great. You're entitled to that, but if you can't offer something useful to my situation, don't offer your opinion here. (interestingly, the one person who did that in one of earlier thread suffered a relapse and vanished soon after) I'm here, I'm doing my time, putting my foot one in front of the other, but at the end of the day, the much-vaunted confidence just isn't here. Sure, I can put myself on display at the gym, looking like a prize goose in a class, or bench-pressing just the bar (pre-serum Steve Rogers eat your heart out), but that's not confidence - that's just showing up. It's no different from going to work every day and doing something you don't like. I do that too, but there's nothing beyond a paycheque each fortnight to show for it. So what if now a 29 inch waist and wear Small t-shirts - they're just clothes, which in this case are not making me a man. "Do something you like?" No. Besides not being invested in most things to care about them long-term, liking something means it'll be taken away from you. I started doing parkour when I started here, but after a few weeks of struggling, I haven't gone back - what's the point?

    I guess the strongest indicator is that the ideation has started coming to the foremind again. Before anyone suggests I call a Help Line, let's be realistic here. I've spoken to more counsellors than you've had hot dinners, and none of them has helped (and a few have actually hindered). I'm not looking for anyone's help with this issue, but I felt that full disclosure was probably best. The planning is there, and I'm more comfortable with that than anything you could possibly suggest. No, really. I'm sure whatever you've got to suggest is something that hasn't worked before, and we all know what the definition of Madness is....

    In the interests of being helpful, I'll even put forward things that might help to change my mindset;

    Exercise: For those who weren't paying attention, I've been to the gym 6 times already this week, and a PT session tomorrow, so I'm not sure if this is a problem. Am I doing enough? I don't know. Some people would argue I'm doing too much. I'm not sure what other angle I could take at this for an improvement beyond continued working with my Trainer - it's a long-term thing, which I understand - show up, do what you're told, push yourself to failure/hurting/whatever, but not injury.

    Work: Actually, I can't. I'm currently about to start two weeks leave from work because I have excess holidays (somewhere over 1,250 hours). I hate my job as pointless and unfulfilling, but there's money and something resembling a routine. For those who'd suggest "quit your job and do something you want to do" I'll retort with "Like what?" I can't think of a job that I'd actually enjoy doing that would be worth pursuing, and even then, I don't think those jobs exist. Intelligence work isn't all gunfights and shaken martinis. Astronauts spend more time on waiting lists than in weightlessness. The military doesn't have a pressing need for 40 year old nearsighted Arts graduates. I'd love to have a job where I'd wake up wanting to go to work, but somehow I don't think that job exists for me.

    Divorce: "Hey Questionite, you go on about your marriage sucking - why not end it?" Great idea, but you know what? I'd like to quit something only after exhausting the options. Who knows, maybe I'll find something in therapy that gets me interested in my wife? Maybe she'll have a change of perspective and think that if she wants me to be happy, a little femininity and effort on her part is a small price to pay. Like my physical body, I consider my marriage currently very much a work in progress rather than something to be condemned.

    Sex: Why not have sex with your wife? Besides the fact that she's not presently around, or the fact that I'm probably going through an extended period of flatline, or the fact that I'm just not feeling interested in her, or that we're still working on the marriage? Need something else? Why not go and have sex with someone else? An interesting idea, and one I'd entertain for half a sexond, but I have a long and unhappy history of failure in trying to meet women, and I'm not really in a state of mind to handle rejection at present. Sure, there's something to be said for building up calluses, but getting rejected would just remind me of all the other times I've been rejected. Interestingly, the situations where I have been successful weren't based on me trying - they were based on the other party making the effort. Not very manly, I know, but in this respect I've gained an Accountant's conservatism - it's an Accounts Receivable until your actually have the Cash.

    Rub One Out: Ah, the Elephant in the room - actually a non-issue. It's not something I've even considering at this point. "But Q.... Ninety-something days? Don't you wanna...? Sure, I'd like to, the dopamine hit might even do me a temporary good, but somehow it just doesn't seem like it balances out. I recall my thinking early on - I feel crap a lot of the time even when I'm PMO, so without PMO, I'll still feel like crap, but I won't have a habit/addiction/hobby. Today is one of those days where I really feel like crap, but somehow my conscious mind isn't entertaining it. In full disclosure, I think my subconscious mind is having other ideas. Somehow while setting my browsing up this morning I went and typed one of my old go-to website addresses in. I didn't visit it, but after 10 to 15 minutes of looking at my other (non-porn) sites, I saw the tab for it. I closed it before looking at it, but it goes to show you what a strong hold it has on your mind.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2018
    ClassyKing likes this.
  2. Jason_Tesla_19

    Jason_Tesla_19 Fapstronaut

    Is it possible you're still in a flatline? I'm no doctor, but it sounds like you have anhedonia in general. It sounds like your reward system is still healing, so keep it going! Congratulations on making it so far.
     
  3. I've been browsing the site, pondering things, when I came across this article. I have read it before, and while I thought it was nice that someone was offering encouragement, it never really resonated with me as particularly inspirational. I went through my teens without masturbating, and you know what else I went through? 83 rejections. In fact, I stopped asking women out before I ever started masturbating, so I'm living breathing proof that success with women and masturbation are NOT linked factors - I won't deny that they can have an influence, but not to such a degree that one cancels out the other.

    I re-read the article again, and this time I felt something else - anger. I do not need some annoymous individual to tell me that this path I'm on is great for 'her' and makes 'her' feel hope again. I don't care. I'll never encounter 'her', and I'm sure as heck unlikely to ever have an actual conversation with 'her'. I suspect I'd be just as invisible to 'her' as I am to most women, so I'm currently in mindset of the article drawing out all the wrong response in me.

    (I've highlighted the writer's gender in the previous paragraph mostly to make a point - she's left no real details about herself, which is her right, but by the same token, kind of makes it hard for us to verify her claims)

    I was so moved by the article that I started writing out a response to it - to achieve what I'm not entirely sure. Asking the people who run this place for help isn't going to achieve anything as they're doing a lot already. Assuming the author is real, dumping on her wouldn't gain much either - she's probably young enough that one angry old guy on the internet means three-fifths of fuckall to her. Asking others here for help? Yeah, I thought that's what the above post was all about. Go through a reboot? Check the numbers, Bub. No edging, steering clear of suggestive song lyrics - fuck, I've even stopped potential P-Subs (the stuff that I wasn't getting aroused by physically). I'm even happy to admit that what I've long been passing of as just a 'hobby' almost certainly is an addiction - SO FUCKING WHAT?!? it doesn't change anything - I'm still here, still angry, with months of baby-batter in my balls and I'm still ugly as sin.

    Instead, I've decided to write my respose here. That way, I'm a lot less likely to disuade others from their recovery. Also, it's easier for Moderators to just delete my post rather than flame my Inbox.

    Dear Anonymous NoFap Fan,

    As someone who has been in the programme for a while, and currently coming up on 100 days without PMO, I'd like to offer a counter-argument. Not in favour of PMO, but a guys POV - don't ask me to do all the work. I'm doing this, at the end of the day, for me. I don't think porn is bad or evil, and I don't expect a woman I'm with to be air-brushed to within an inch of her life. Just don't expect me to do all that you do nothing. Decades of pain and rejection before I ever PMO'ed (or MO'ed) has not given me a great perspective on this, so don't feed me empty platitudes about how I'm a great guys - I've heard that enough already, and frankly, I'm better served by you not trying to encourage me. It's great that you're so happy about the efforts I'm making, but at the end of the day, you're someone who is not contributing to my life. You're doing less for me than the porn stars I whacked off to. They got themselves made up, and got in front the camera, and you know what, made an effort for me. Not just for me, granted - they don't know me the same way you don't know me. I have to ask myself though, at the end of the day, who made more effort for me, random person who thinks what I'm doing is great and that I should 'stay strong' for you girls, or someone who has gone through levels of humiliation just to give me a passing dopamine hit? I know who I empathise with (funny word that - empathy isn't a trait I usually posess), and Miss, it isn't you.

    Sincerely
    Questionite

    Is it harsh? Fuck yes. Is it deserved? who's to say. At this point I'm wanting to know where this awesome feeling is. Screw the 'new better life' - I'm just sick and tired of feeling like crap when it all should have passed. I felt like crap before this, and my impatience is clearly showing on a day like today.
     
    ClassyKing likes this.
  4. Thank you Jason, for taking the time to read my rant. I couldn't for the life of me remember 'flatline', despite that seeming to be my default state for much of this. I read about anhedonia months ago and despite seeing some of it in myself, was able to rule it out fairly quickly. I already knew I had depression, and have had it for so long that I'm almost disinclined to distrust anything that says it can help. I just took a test again, and when it talks about activities I used to find enjoyable - there's a lot of things I never found enjoyable. Hobbies that I've undertaken - let's use 'playing tabletop RPGs' as an example - have lost what little pleasure they've held for me. Maybe it's because I have to do these things with my wife.Maybe it's because there doesn't seem to be same level of organisation and planning that there was when I first started out. Maybe I was kidding myself about kidding myself - I haven't 'come out of the closet' as a geek, I'm just in denial. The thing is, almost everything I can think of at present that might be enjoyable almost immediately able to be dismissed as not worth the cost.

    My being concerned about 'equipment' not working or sexual disinterest are issues, but not ones I'm concerned by. My concern is the same one I posted about back when I started here in March - I'm still pondscum, I'm just pondscum that weighs 20kgs less, has smaller clothes and spends six days a week at the gym.
     
  5. ClassyKing

    ClassyKing Fapstronaut

    After reading your well crafted rant you have my respect, good sir. I hope you find a way to help find what makes you happy.
     
  6. Jason_Tesla_19

    Jason_Tesla_19 Fapstronaut

    I've been diagnosed with both PTSD and major depression, and it literally took three years of trial and error to find a good medicine combination for me to be relatively functional, with several inpatient stays in that time period. Have you tried any therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy? It might take some time, but a good psychiatrist or psychologist can completely transform your outlook on life. You already have the exercise part down pat! That's often as good as medicine or therapy by itself, but combining treatments can be very helpful.
     
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  7. That's very kind of you, but like most things, my writing is still very much a work in progress. The upside of being involved with Creative types is that I seem to have developed a knock for putting words in next to each other in a way that some people seem to enjoy. I also have many colleagues who are half a step above functional illiteracy, so I like that I can make myself stand out in that respect. The few people who say I should actually write, (mostly those same Creative types), aren't people I generally I try to listen to - our relationships fucked up, so I'm going not exactly going to take career advice from them.

    As for finding something that makes me happy - that would be nice. I'm not even sure I'd know what happy was if I encountered it, or if I did, I wouldn't just kill it as an 'emotional error'.

    I'm currently on a Mental Health professional sabbatical. After years of them, and drugs, and misdiagnoses, I'm working with just my GP, who first picked my ASD at first meeting me (and resulted in a formal diagnosis), and anti-paranoia drug to help me sleep and to keep me from 'playing the chess game before the board is set up'. I'm sceptical of most therapies for the simple fact that they're not invasive enough - don't ask me to change the way I think, because I'll still suck, just with a different stream of thinking. There was a point for about 18 months where the Psychiatrist I was seeing was entertaining the idea of Electroconvulsive therapy, and my thinking was 'sure, why not - if it works for Princess Leia, it can't be that bad'. The guy was an idiot who had me on a bunch of different drugs that didn't work (some dangerously so), but that's one idea I was fine with.

    The jury is still out on whether the exercise is actually helping with my mental health or not. I can acknowledge that it has benefits for lots of people, and in my case, I can usually use my anger as a driving force, and my failure as something that has to happen. However, whether it's actually benefiting mentally is a bit of a stretch at this point, good habits and discipline aside.
     
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  8. Happypetal

    Happypetal Fapstronaut

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    You mention lack of confidence but your situation sounds like anxiety/depression to me. Another sign would be
    from your previous post. Curious to know what is the issue talking to other women? Is it solely because you are married? Or do you lie to yourself with thoughts of "they won't like me/ they'll think I am hitting on her" ect.
    Why did you start going to the gym? What are you goals when at the gym? Do you have any life goals in general? You mention lack of confidence but in what areas specifically? Talking to people? Asking for help? Being assertive? Avoiding confrontation? Generally, people are confident in certain areas of their life and timid in other aspects. Just saying lacking any real confidence is too vague. Good to hear you are seeing a GP now.
     
  9. Yes, I have both, and have had both for more years than I haven't. Let's throw in a late diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in there, and yeah, not a lot to work with.

    It's funny you call it a lie - It isn't a lie if it's proven true often enough, is it? A guy having gotten as far as I have with NoFap should by all rights be feeling a million dollars. As I brought up back in March when I first started, my very real fear was that I would be the same unconfident individual I was before.... everything. Deep in my past (I'm talking teens and early twenties), I would ask out girls - girls I was interested in getting to know better, whether they were friends, or people I met in class, or worked with, or whatever. You know what happened after 83 failed attempts. Nothing. I stopped. I stopped trying. I stopped caring. I stopped bothering. I didn't even have masturbation at that point, so it wasn't much at all. If I was going to be 0/83, there had to be something wrong with me. I wondered if I was gay (not that there is anything wrong with that) and I was just in denial? Nope, not that. I would try to focus on other things, but, at the end, if you were to ask me what my yardstick was for measuring success in my life, I'd say it was, and still is, women. Is it a crappy yardstick to have? Perhaps, but you know what, as an atheist I don't go shitting on those who seek greater spiritual growth, so I think I'm entitled to have my own criterion.

    Honestly? After 6 weeks of eating better and not spanking the monkey, I needed to do something with all the extra energy I had. I drew up a nice little flowchart for my Trainer, with all sorts of goals, but in the end, the only two that matter now are the two endgoals: "Get Confident, Stupid!" and "Be Hot!" At the end of the day, improved physical performance is nice, doing better in a set or a class is great, but if those two points aren't reached (or a fuckload closer) by October 2019, there will need to be a serious re-evaluation of things.

    My workout. If I'm in a PT session or a class, I do what I'm told (lately to the point of humiliation). If I'm there on a solo day, I do one of the workouts my trainer has given me to do.

    Why? What should I be doing?

    At present? No, what's the point? Having a goal just means that someone else takes it off you when you achieve it. Go to university? Find out no one else is as interested in learning as I am, and the women there want dumb guys too. Move to Hong Kong? Gave it up to get back with an ex-girlfriend. Become a train driver (which I didn't want, but considered it useful to have a goal to aim for)? Found out that Management considered my errors in training too severe to continue with the programme, and I reduced myself to my former position rather than be unemployed. Life goals are great, but even if you achieve them, my concern isn't with the 'lack of meaning' one feels achieving it, but the fact that the goal itself will be temporary.

    Do I have any at present? A few, but I don't think any of them would be classed as healthy (castration, suicide) or particularly useful (being sucked-off to completion by an attractive woman I've just met).

    Oh, and for those who want to dump on me - feel free to start a 'We Hate Questionite Because...' thread. Don't do it here.

    That's pretty much all of it. I can talk to people in a professional capacity, but those can often be hit-or-miss (people have abused me for answering their question politely). 'Being assertive' ends up 'being aggressive', so I simply ignore what I want and letting the other party have their way. Confrontation will occur whether I try to avoid it or not, so yes, I'll avoid it as a rule, and expect it to happen regardless. Asking for help? I thought that's what this thread, and others like it, were all about. Whatever it is, there's a lot of it that needs work.

    I've spoken to him a lot about confidence recently, and while he has mentioned some areas that work for him (physical fitness, 'fight' confidence, financial security, the ability to have other men defer to you), these areas are all very much works in progress for me. Am I going to stop? Not yet. Am I hopeful of future growth? No, not really? Why do I persist? To see if I can prove myself wrong

    I hope that has clarified something for you. Thank you for your reply.
     
  10. Happypetal

    Happypetal Fapstronaut

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    Appreciate your reply.
    I can see the frustration when you are not seeing any results from NoFap while others may boast about their success stories. As you have stated, it is a matter of progress to change your outlook on life.
    May I suggest a couple of ways you can naturally do to build your confidence up while working with your GP.

    - Smile more.
    - Be grateful - try not to dwell on the negative and look at the positives in your life.
    - Make eye contact when talking to people - easy way to build confidence.
    - Eat healthy.
    - Have at least 1 good friend/family who can support you emotionally; you can be open to them.
    - Meditation - countless of testimonies from people suffering anxiety/depression/suicidal/stress. reddit is a good place to get information.
    - Do something that scares you - maybe like saying hello to a woman? Doesn't have to be a conversation - start small. Another good example would be asking for feedback when you make a mistake. No one enjoys being criticised but it can help us change our bad habits/traits.
    - Do something that you enjoy.

    I challenge you to change your perspective on life. Instead of confessing "there's something wrong with me" you can say "how can I improve myself?" Another example: instead of I'm going to the gym to look good for others, think of it as you are reducing your chances of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease ect. Looking toned is a side effect of gym. There are always different perspectives to look at life - .
    Negative thoughts will fuel depression.

    Looking forward to your success.
     
  11. Uncomfortably Numb

    Uncomfortably Numb Fapstronaut

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    I'm all in with the full reset but results are sporadic... we are all different but you will see an improvement in yourself (in your case confidence).
    As has been said many times before NoFap is not a fix all solution... you are going to have to work with NoFap (as Happypetal alludes to above) to realise the benefits.
    But it will happen....
     
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  12. At this point I've tried everything short of shock therapy and hypnosis,

    Suggest away...


    And look like I'm faking it? Sure, why not - I may as well be unapproachable and looking uncomfortable and creepy.

    But I can't see the positives without seeing the negatives. Ignoring the negatives means they aren't dealt with, and this thread is why I'm here - trying to deal with the negatives (in this case no self-esteem)

    I have been doing this more under NoFap (though admittedly less in the last week). I don't see it affecting my confidence either way, though it's nice that it works for so many others.

    I started doing this the same time I started NoFap, and while I've lost weight, I don't see how it's improved my confidence.

    I've tried that, and have people who claim they want to help. When I told them about NoFap, they became uncomfortable about the whole thing. My take-away from that was that they clearly don't have what it takes to support me. I've found that relying on others is largely useless because other people don't come through for you (well, for me) when I really need them. Friends and family will berate and bully you while saying they love you and want the best for you. Should I toughen up? Probably, just don't ask me to rely on someone else when I do.

    Okay, fair call. I haven't meditated in years and have been avoiding so as not to taint results of NoFap experiment. Interestingly, the last time I was meditating with any regularity (more than once or twice a week), suicide was still an option - more of an option than now, in fact.

    I don't have a problem with constructive criticism, although destructive criticism has a pretty eroding affect. As for things that scare me - I'm still unsure how that will boost my confidence. One of my many fears is high structures (I'm fine in aircraft or on mountains though). Years ago, I walked across this:

    [​IMG]

    TWICE! On two separate occasions. I was scared shitless, turned back several times, but in the end, both times, I walked across. Do you know how I felt on the other side? Even worse. I'd just put myself through a terrifying experience and there was nothing. No sense of completing something. No sense of 'conquering' a fear. The bridge was still there, and I was still afraid to walk across it. It's why I walked across it again, just to be sure - same result.

    Same goes for driving a car, the open ocean, innumerable other things. I don't say hello to women for the simple fact that it's analysis I've run for years - she's doing whatever she's doing and doesn't want me to talk to her, I'm not going to talk to someone who doesn't want to talk to me, and, besides, what would I get out of it? A conversation? With someone who doesn't want a conversation? Yeah, I know what that feels like. "But what if she likes you?" Statistically unlikely. Somewhere higher than being hit be space debris but lower than being hit by a car whilst crossing the street.

    I don't enjoy anything. Part of why I undertook NoFap was the earnest hope I'd discover joy in life, in living, in finding something I liked doing. At 100 days, I'm at the point where I kind of enjoyed PMO, but that's about it. Even actual sex is questionable - the women I've been with were mostly more work than fun, and given that none of them were women I would have chosen to pursue (even my wife), any pleasure from sex is tainted by the hard work.

    I acknowledge different perspectives. Changing mine is an area in need of great work. Simply suggesting I change it is great for a day or two, but the reality of reality sets in and I return to 'Survival' mode (I know what I'm doing isn't really 'living').

    That's very kind of you.

    Okay, so... when? You admit yourself that results are sporadic, but there has to be a cut-off point where we have to acknowledge that no further benefits can be achieved.

    Okay, so could you point me towards a website that does mail-order Confidence? 'Working' at it, like my working out at the gym of late, is just me slamming my head repeatedly against a brick wall.

    I'll ask again - when?

    If we use the gym as a comparison, I've been attending with consistency (4+ times a week) since late April. It was about that time that I saw a time-delay video of man shaping his body over 90 days. The results were impressive, but I was skeptical. I discussed it with my Trainer, who asked what I thought. 90 days have been, and gone. I never expected things to happen for me in 90 days, and pretty early on I abandoned even 180 days as a reasonable point. I've given myself a year and a half (something I refer to as part of the October Protocol), if, by October 2019, my body isn't at a noticeable point of aesthetics (or my confidence hasn't drastically improved), I'll be reconsidering whether the gym is/what I need.

    Ditto NoFap.
     
    sensualmistress likes this.
  13. Uncomfortably Numb

    Uncomfortably Numb Fapstronaut

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    An example of 'Working with NoFap'....
    NoFap can give you a blank canvass to work with e.g. unclogs your brain, frees up your thinking, Then you need to do something... at the gym that might mean:-
    1. a chat with the receptionist about the weather
    2. asking a gym worker for some advice, or
    3. commenting to a gym user about the weight he/she is lifting.
    At worst you will get a one word reply, or you may get a short 2 way conversation. The next time you see that person you speak to them again... and so on.
    Your confidence with people WILL improve.
     
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  14. JoeDude

    JoeDude New Fapstronaut

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    Hi, Questionite. I want to preface this by saying that all of what I'm about to say might be meaningless to you, coming from someone who feels too much towards someone who feels nothing. But i wanted to get a word in, I'm not particularily sure why. In fact I made an account just to post here. If you don't like what I say just call me an asshole and I'll dissapear.
    I also wish that there were a better medium to listen to your probelms with, instead of just typing a giant block of text at you.
    Now I'm basing most of what I'm saying off of two books
    Jordan Peterson's 12 rules for life and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg,
    (if you wan't to read them yourself, I'm not saying they'll help you in any way, just that they might give you some things to think about. And if you have read them already it might seem like I'm just spouting these books right back at you and I'm sorry if that's the case)
    The two points I'm really focusing on here are 'your belief that nothing will ever change and that the rewards for doing nofap will never come' and the question of your purpose in life/life goals.

    I'll start with the second one. You said earlier that you don't have a purpose in life, i know how that feels like and I like to beleive everyone has been there at some point, but I just don't think your missing one. to put it bluntly you're fighting for something, your here on this site looking for something. You started nofap because of a goal (to find happiness/confidence/whatever) and even though you started nofap so long ago, your posts here give off to me the distinct message that you are still fighting for that goal, whatever it might be. If i'm assuming things or you feel like I'm projecting myself onto you please tell me; but i think that this is no more apparent than when you responded to that guy asking why you started going to the gym. You stated your life goals perfectly, ("get confident," and "be hot") but when they asked what your life goals were you said nothing.

    When Happypetal says "I challenge you to change your perspective on life. Instead of confessing "there's something wrong with me" you can say "how can I improve myself?" I strongly agree. Because in the first perspective there is NOTHING down that path, and it can make people who adopt that perspective resentfull. In the second there is at least something you can do, something that you can change; the second perspective has potential for your brain to create goals. And I've seen people call you someone who 'plays the victim' in the past for adopting the thinking "Something is wrong with me" and it's because it makes it seem like your blaming your problems on the world instead of taking responsability for them. Your response Happypetals' words there, in my opinion is fairly strange.

    "I acknowledge different perspectives. Changing mine is an area in need of great work. Simply suggesting I change it is great for a day or two, but the reality of reality sets in and I return to 'Survival' mode (I know what I'm doing isn't really 'living')."
    What does this even mean?? You seem to imply that you can't get yourself to change your perspective at all. And what do you mean by reality of reality? Are you saying that other perspectives are unrealistic and that yours better applies to the real world? Also when you talk of 'Survival mode' my brain instinctively conjures up images of those moments in a crisis where your brain goes "SURVIVE, THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS" but that's not what you are talking about, and I'm having trouble understanding what you mean when you say that what your doing isn't really living, if you could explain that a bit more i'd be happy.

    Anyways i think this is a great segway into the second topic I talked about in the beginning, What you wrote there gives me the impression that you don't believe you can change your perspective. And reading all the other things you have written on this post gives off the a strong feeling for me that you don't believe that anything can change. You don't believe you'll feel good after you achieve things. And it strongly reminds me of something I read in one of the books I posted above. If you don't beleive you can learn to do something, You won't. There was this example of an alchoholic who had been addicted for over [Somewhere around 20 years from what I remember in the book] and he had tried everything. His friend came over and helped him join a group that focused on changing your beliefs and wouldn't you know, it worked, in fact it worked for alot of people. If you want to look into that in more depth, look at the book "The Power of Habit", it's in there along with all the science behind that.
    But basically what it all boils down to is that if you don't believe you can make a change, It makes it really hard to actually make that change. As for not feeling good after doing achieving things, What I would do in your place is find a way to reward myself.

    Now that I've exhausted the two biggest topics, I just have some nitpicking I'd like to do on your worldview (don't take it personnally, i'm just trying to understand you as a person) and some questions I'd like to ask. For example you state alot in the posts you've linked to that people in porn put more of an effort in for you than real women. What? I might need some more explanation but to me that seems a bit crazy. Real women put in the effort to actually see you and talk to you, and your older girlfriend put in way more effort than simply dressing up in front of a camera for you.
    also just one thing, as I was reading this post I kept asking myself 'exactly what do you want? What are you trying so hard to get?' cause you're married but still want to get confidence to talk to girls? something just feels off about that to me. I just feel like after reading your post I still don't know what you're really after when you made this post, are you looking for words that will boost your confidence? something that will open your eyes? I gave you what I could, I just don't know if it's what your looking for. I'll just post this now cause I have nothing else to say.

    I hope you become the man you want to be,
    Regards, J
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
    Happypetal and Jason_Tesla_19 like this.
  15. For a guy's first post on these forums this is a Hell of a bad place to start. Wandering in on my little rant at everything and wanting to help - I'm not angry or judging you or anything, but there are much healthier and nicer places to start than here.

    I'm not sure why you felt the need to post specifically here with a new account. I'll try and not over-analyse that, or analyse that at all, but the question of 'why' is still there whether I ask it or not. As for you feeling things too much, that isn't a bad thing. It's not how I go through the world (experience has taught me that my feelings are almost invariably invalid at some point), and being in extended close physical proximity with someone who does feel too much is an issue for me, but that you feel - that's fine. That's human.

    I'm not going to call you anything. As I've said on other threads, it's great that people are experiencing these areas of growth in their lives, but I'm becoming embittered that I am not. Vocally so.

    That's just it - "get confident" and "be hot" shouldn't be life goals, and they certainly shouldn't be the life goals of a 40 year old man. Never mind that, in the latter case, it's horrible dependent on external assessment, and in the former, something that in healthy individuals happens decades before. I don't see them as being purposes in life. A purpose in life should be "curing cancer" or "buying everything in Manhattan south of Houston Street" (neither of which I'm driven to do). A purpose in life should be a drive, and the times I've had that drive, when the goal was achieved, it was invariably either removed before I got to fully enjoy it (whether by myself or others), or I compromised too much that the goal had lost most meaning.

    Let's take the two most pressing goals I had throughout my teenage years; get a girlfriend/first kiss and live in Hong Kong. The former finally happened in university, but it occurred with someone I wasn't particularly attracted to. Why did I go through with it? Because, at 19 years old, if this was only woman to ever express enough interest in me, then this was the best I was ever going to do. As for living in Hong Kong, when I got there, it felt good. There were a lot of things that felt bad (unpleasant boss, teasing by room mates, women still not noticing me), but I was there, and it was good. After time, the lack of female attention really ground on me, and I ended up getting in contact with an ex-girlfriend (not the one above), just to see how she was. We re-connected, and I ended up deciding to leave to be with her rather than stay and be Mister Invisible.

    So, a life goal for me would be 'attract women', but that's a pretty big ask given my mindset and past experiences.

    If there weren't something wrong with me, don't you think I would have been able to adopt a change in my mindset? I'd be able to overcome continued failure and rejection, and find success? I'm not blaming the world for my problems - the fault is entirely on me. It simply brings on the thinking that, if after all I've tried, I still can't change then maybe the world and I should have a parting of ways?

    (Yes, this is what it sounds like, but not, I'm not going to do anything rash. At least not for a while. Experience has taught me that planning results in a better likelihood of an ideal outcome than just winging it, so this is something I've planned, on and off, for decades)

    My perspective applies better to the real world for me. I don't have a problem seeing 'the world' being an unemotional place devoid of benevolence or malice. The world doesn't care whether you win or lose. My method of getting by in the world has been most successful, if you can deem what I've done thus far as 'success', has been to ignore joy, goals, pleasure or personal growth. In cases where I've pursued these things, signs I have seen around me have almost invariably come up, saying "No". In much the same way I can't accept an all-loving God on 'faith' alone, I need signs to indicate to me that what I'm doing is 'right' for me. I've proceeded too often in the past without signs... and yeah, let's not explore my rejections and failures again, please.

    So, I adopt a mindset of 'getting by', of 'survival' - I do what needs to be done, whether I want to or not. I've approached NoFap as an attempt to shake that mindset up, if you can believe it. I read these stories of improved confidence and attracting female attention, and for me, the asking price didn't even count - not whacking off to porn? Hell yes. I can do that. Some might say I don't have a porn addiction issue, or that I'm strong-willed. I am able to do a cost-benefit analysis on things in my world fairly quickly - Increased Confidence/Female Attraction>Masturbating to Porn. If every story I've read is to be believed then, hey, there we go. Unfortunately, this has not been true in my case. Female attraction hasn't changed, and I'd probably conjecture that I'm less confident now than I was 100 days ago. Maybe this brings back all the pain of the last time I was ejaculating (my teens and early twenties) and the associated invisibility I had to women. Who knows. Honestly, I think I would consider it a success if I had noticeable growth in just one of those areas (either would be fine). I don't think I'm ready to have a tug just yet, but peaking, slippery slope as that is, is something I'm considering. Open up a tab, have a starlet looking down the camera lens, at me (yes, I know it's not just me she's doing it for) she's acting enough to fool me more than any woman I encounter can be 'real' with me.

    You're right - I do not believe I can change my perspective. Not on something as fundamental as my own core value/worth/confidence. I've been trying to tackle, to varying degrees, since it started to become a problem (let's say pre-teens), and short of shock therapy or hypnosis, nothing has worked. As mentioned above, when I read all the stories of peoples improved confidence on NoFap, giving up PMO was a no-contest. I'm sitting here now at 100 days and, as I've pointed out, no deal. If giving up something as important in my life as PMO hasn't helped change me, to improve me, and my confidence, then what will? Brain surgery?

    I'll go out and read the book, and we'll see what happens. I like science, but whether the experiment works on me is another matter.

    Yes, it does make it hard to change them. I'm not sure how one should take the fact that I keep on trying despite the fact that I continue to meet with failure after crushing failure, but, when I do fail (as I don't see any successes), I try again. As for rewards... like what? Drink myself into unconsciousness? Fap Relapse? I'm trying to think of things I'd actually enjoy and there doesn't seem to be a lot I can conjure up that would 'reward' my brain without it being detrimental in some way.

    You can see it from that point of view, but the situations I've been involved with have always resulted as them settling/waiting for something better to come along. I'm a placeholder, which does n

    You are right in seeing something wrong with it. My wife is a lazy slob with no executive function who finds the idea of femininity painful. You may ask yourself why I got involved with someone who has so many traits I clearly have an issue with? I couldn't do better. No, really. I was making decent money, and living my life as, accepting my solitude, and the best I could attract was the attention of a fat chick from half the world away with a magazine rack full of issues. (her weight wasn't an issue until I started accepting all the other issues that ground on me, and it's become one) I almost didn't marry her - the issues were enough that I was questioning whether I wanted to go through with it, but my lack of resolve won out and... yeah. I can see a lot of great traits in the woman, but I'm increasingly doubtful that they're traits that I'm attracted to, and they're certainly not traits that sexually arouse me (no intimacy in years, and very little intimacy even during the courtship). I can blame her for all her faults, but at the end of it, I'm not so small to say that it's me with the problem here. I'd like that she had more faith in herself, and I'd really like that she made more of an effort ("You're cute!" is not seduction), but it's me with the problem, not me.

    Would I consider cheating? Maybe. Would it solve anything? Who knows? I'd just like to be able to walk out into the world and be seen as a man - a male sexual being that women desire.

    Oh, and being confident and content in myself.

     
  16. thedarkbird

    thedarkbird Fapstronaut

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    Quitting porn will not magically free you from all life's issues, that's for sure. It might for some people because it's the biggest issue they're having, but for many others it won't.

    It's clear to me that your brain is wired in a very negative way. You're projecting your negative outlook to possible future outcomes through ruminating. The future does not exist yet, but through your narrow and fixated negative perceptions you create exactly the reality you so obviously dislike.

    I was in a similar spot for a long time. Not anymore. I won't claim I'm free of any negative thoughts (who is?), but I stopped projecting my negative experiences to dark fantasy futures in my head. It serves no purpose (other than protecting oneself from possible failure).

    Mindfulness, and more in particular the book 'The Power of Now' by Eckhart Tolle have opened my eyes. I would recommend it, however, it will be very easy for you to dismiss it. You have to allow yourself a solution, be open. If not, nothing and nobody will be able to help you.

    Reality -> your interpretation -> your reality. It's the interpretation you need to work on.

    If you're now thinking 'Yes, but...' , that's exactly your problem at work: the 'but'. 'But, I already tried reading books and it didn't work'. 'But, I already tried mindfulness and it didn't work' (try it again then). 'But, I just don't have any confidence and I never will because...'. 'But, I...'

    People like you and (my former) me have countless of BUTs to self defeat anything. We'd probably succeed BUTting the Dalai Lama into depression :) Just stop it, okay :) And practice mindfulness. Even if it's only 10 minutes per day. Just do it. And stop being so hard on yourself all the time. Just stop it :p And love yourself once in a while. Do it! :)
     
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  17. Happypetal

    Happypetal Fapstronaut

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  18. fapequalsdeath

    fapequalsdeath Fapstronaut

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    Hmm, seems a rather cynical view of the world and jumping like a bee from one thing to the other wondering why it doesn't give you fulfillment. It's like you're self-convinced nothing works and yet you want it to work, so you can stand yourself more. Think I was like that in my teens. What "helped" is broadening my perspective and knowing really well why things happen. Try this : What is confidence? Why do i want it so bad? Is it connected/correlated to something else that I want? Why do I want it? What is that exact thing/things? Try out giving as an exhausting definition as possible. Rethink and contemplate why you're doing the stuff you're doing and you might learn something new about yourself or the world and other people. Do some research. About what you want to accomplish and about your mistakes. Analyze the narrative in your life throughly, make conclusion start acting on it. Never stop questioning. Will it make your life more tolerable? I don't know. It could do the opposite. But it's clear you're not satisfied right now, so I'd make that my number one goal - Finding out what makes me unsatisfied. How can you fix a problem you don't know about?
     
  19. tiredofdoingthis

    tiredofdoingthis Fapstronaut

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    Reading through this thread, I think I get some of what you are dealing with. You talk about not recognizing happiness if it happened. I have had depression/anxiety/OCD most of my life. I find that even at my best, there are issues. Thus, it is hard to say "I'm happy". The biggest most rewarding days in my life, have also delivered much anxiety. It has been suggested to me several times to do electro convulsive shock. It takes quite a bit of down time to do so. I'm afraid of the memory loss as well. I did TMS, which is to be similar to ECT without the seizure. 9 sessions in, I had a grand mal seizure. Long story short, that was the end of that. Interesting thing, the seizure actually seemed to ebb the depression and anxiety some. This might suggest ECT would help me. I keep working on the combo of drugs. I have worked with many people like you mentioned, some that actually did me hard. At the moment, I think I'm better off just working through things on my own for the most part.

    I get what you are saying about work, etc. At times everything seems like a track that we are running on with no ending or purpose. My wife is actually very helpful. That's probably the biggest thing I have going for me. I don't know, dude. I wish I had some wisdom for you. I have done hypnosis. I felt like initially I had some success, but very quickly didn't. It was very expensive. I felt like every time I went back to the practitioner, he actually was chastising me for needing him again. Eventually, I decided it just wasn't working. I keep waiting for them to find the magic pill that will solve all of this for us. You like me, have a complicated mix of issues. Then you mix in work and relationship issues, it is alot.
     
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