Hi everyone, this is my first post and I need some advice. If you can’t be bothered to read this whole post, I understand. The main question I would like feedback on is in the last paragraph, so just skip to it...
I’m a 28 year-old single male in the beginnings of porn addiction recovery. I have tried to stop many times but have only every made it to about 2-3 weeks without relapse. I’ve never been interested in having a stable relationship, and I’ve always been much less interested in picking up girls in general, compared to your average red-blooded male.
The few times I have been in a sexual encounter, I just didn’t feel anything. No connection, no pleasure, and obviously, no erection. I was merely serving the girl’s wishes, like it was the natural thing to do, even though it didn’t feel naturally fulfilling to me. It felt like I was outside of myself, watching an actor.
As I rapidly approach 30 (years young), I’ve realized that all my friends are very much loved up, and are getting more ‘coupley’ by the day. I feel like I’m now being excluded from social events and outings simply because I don’t have a plus-one. The old spinster complex is setting in and I’m worried about my future.
Truth be told I’ve always worried about my lack of Mojo when it comes to girls, but I thought it was all down to a lack of self-esteem, thanks to my hair falling out when I was 19 (thanks god). They always say that you can’t love anyone until you love yourself and I believe that to be true.
Luckily, things have improved as I mature, and since first learning about porn addiction and starting my reboot attempts, I have been more attracted to women, and relationships in general. I have noticed that women are now showing more interest in me too, which has in-turn furthered my attraction to them.
There is one girl in particular that has pursued me, and I am now seeing her casually. She seems like a great girl - attractive and full of life. But this is also the problem - she is an extrovert, I am an introvert. I think since trying to abstain from PMO, my social anxiety has been spiking periodically. I just cannot make small talk or think of interesting things to chat about, and I panic. It makes the whole experience of socializing with her and my friends seem like an arduous chore. I also go through long stretches where I’m not really bothered about seeing or talking to her at all, but then I’ll get jealous if I see her getting chatted up by another guy. I know people should naturally want to go out and do things together and have fun, but I have always been more comfortable on my own.
I think the problem lies in the fact that I have spent about the last 10 years in a zombified state of depression and anxiety, without nearly enough life experiences or even a healthy general knowledge of the big bad world. My job as a freelance artist generally involves me sitting in front of a computer on my own all day, frantically juggling deadlines. When you work for yourself, you’re never really feel like you’re ‘off the clock’. This leaves me little time to grow as a person, so I don’t really feel like I have much to offer.
I feel like I’m out of touch with what matters to people and what they find interesting. I suffer from poor concentration, memory loss and well, an overall brain fog. So when a topic comes up in conversation, I usually can’t provide any meaningful input, or I feign interest.
I used to be an intelligent kid at school and throughout Uni, but something has happened to me since. I feel like my brain is rotting, or a the very least, gestating in its own filth. I am however a good person and like to treat people with respect, so I don’t know how to proceed with this girl.
I don’t want to tell her everything, as nobody knows how screwed up I am, and she knows a lot of my friends and people I know. It could turn out to be the talk of the town, and I couldn’t have that. But as I have only seen her about 3 times over the past couple of months, she is bound to be wondering what the hell is happening between us, if anything.
Should I tell her about my issues depression and anxiety and explain that I need time to heal, or should I be forcing myself into a relationship and more social events even though I don’t feel that I’m ready? I know that a change to more healthier habits and activities is considered a strong strategy for rewiring the addict brain, but I feel like I need a completely fresh start first (I currently live at home with my parents, and I’m considering a career change as I hate my job and it doesn’t provide financial security). I want to be independent, financially secure and happy in my working life before I can support a full relationship.
Apologies for the rambling post, I just felt like I needed to get a large portion of it off my chest. The crux of the post is, should I get into a relationship while I am in recovery, or should I allow myself some breathing space to slowly build up a healthy body and mind (fully-functioning human being) before going back on the market?
Thanks all. Reuniting and YourBrainOnPorn are wonderful sites.