I Live in my room and I want to get the hell out

Submitted by nevergiveup on
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Hey everyone. Im gona make this short and sweet. I basically have been living in my room for the past couple of years. I have social anxiety around people so interactions with others are usually miserable and I try to avoid them as much as possible. But honestly I'm sick of living like this, I wanna make friends and have a girlfriend and get rid of social anxiety. After reading all the benefits of stopping porn and masturbation, I think that sounds like it could be the reason for my anxiety and depression and lack of wantting to do anything. I'm gonna stop porn and masturbation for the next 6 weeks like it says but I'm afraid thats a very difficult thing to do. I think I'm gonna have to get rid of my laptop or something because there's no way I'm gonna last with internet porn a click away. But when this nightmare is over, im gonna tell you guys how it went.

Brave man!

Good for you. Sometimes people *do* find a way to give up their computers for a bit at first. At the very least put on a porn blocker. You'll find tips on that at the first link below.

You're right that it will be a challenge. Strictly speaking it's not just porn that's the problem. It's that your brain isn't picking up well on normal pleasures for the moment. It has been hijacked. This means you have to go through a gray "No Man's Land" for a bit...which is prone to producing some nasty "brain worms", that is, anxiety, depression, feelings of hopelessness, loneliness, etc. from time to time.

So get as much support as possible. We've tried to collect a lot of the suggestions from the guys here at this location. Check 'em out: http://yourbrainonporn.com/tools-for-change

Did you watch Gary's presentation? http://yourbrainonporn.com/your-brain-on-porn-series

Start a blog (http://www.reuniting.info/resources/bloggers) and let us know how you get on. And don't worry if you hit some bumps. This is a big change.

*big hug*

Awesome, man!

I totally send you support and strength. You can do this thing. Your life has such value and purpose, but it's probably not being lived to it's fullest within the same four walls day in and day out. You deserve true happiness.

We are here for your

We are here for your support. It CAN be done, no matter where you start. But you are right, it is hard as hell to stop, but a life of isolation is a lot worse. I think you will have success with this over time, but there is a period where it just hurts.

Keep posting your progress and we will be able to help you work through the brainworms.

Good luck!

If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is nature's way.
-Aristotle

welcome

It's not easy, but remember that by giving this up, you're not really depriving yourself of anything, you're actually giving yourself a gift and taking care of yourself.

It might help if you make the effort to spent some time outside of your place. There are a lot of places where you can get used to being out and around people but are pretty nonthreatening as far as social interaction goes, like hanging out on your own and reading in a library or bookstore, or bringing a magazine to Starbucks or a park bench. Or just taking long walks outside. I find that making stuff like this a habit makes helps get me out of my own head and feel like more of a member of society.

im doin this basically

im doing this basically for the social benefits. I want to make friends and have a girlfriend. Thats really why I have stopped porn and masturbation. Just cause i want real friends and a girlfriend. I hope with all my heart and soul that this works

HELP ME

As I have said earlier, the only reason I am interested in all this is because I need to the social benefits get rid of my horrible social anxiety. I have literally spent the last 5 years in sort of isolation and I want it to change. However, I am not a weird hermit, I do believe that I do have the potential to be good with people. I went for almost 3 weeks and I screwed it up today from porn and masturbation finally after 3 weeks. I wasn't able to see the social benefits because I spent the last week in my house because I didn't have school. If I would have had school then I would have had the social interactions and I would have seen the benefits. Anyways I start from Day 1 tomorrow which is so demoralizing to start from scratch because I am so miserable on a day to day basis and I am so desperate to make it to 6 weeks for the rewiring process of the brain to be finished so I can see if this gives me the social benefits that I need. I am so desperate to end this dark period in my life of depression and social anxiety and isolation, I really want this to be over with. If there is anything that anyone can say to me about stopping masturbation and what you get on the social side and how you long it takes and If you have any experience, please share. I am so desperate and this is a very tough time in my life because I suffer every day when I go to school and see other people and get the horrible anxiety in my chest. It's so horrible to have lived with that the way I have for the past couple of years and I pray to God that stopping the pornography and masturbation for 6 weeks so my brain can "go back to normal." After the first week, I will be putting away my laptop permanently PLEASE HELP, I'VE BEEN SO LONELY AND DEPRESSED IN MY ROOM FOR THE LAST 5 YEARS, ITS SO HORRIBLE. LET'S HOPE THAT THIS IS MY TICKET OUT OF THIS HELL!!!!!!!

Beautiful post, Karsa

At times like this, the wisdom of forums becomes evident. Obviously, people with the same challenges have some of the most helpful advice for each other. Thanks for sharing your insights with so much compassion.

Peace Be With You!

I know that words from others can often seem empty of meaning when in the midst of the difficult state that you describe, but I wish to provide you with support as someone who has also felt similar to the state that you describe and to assure you that the your situation will improve with each dedicated step you take toward healing and peace.

An idea that has helped me immensely is "This too shall pass." Like I said, these can often just seem like empty words, but they do hold a very powerful and helpful truth. "This too shall pass."

Another very helpful practice for me has been to express gratitude for the many blessings in life. It can so often be very easy to focus on what may appear to be missing while we overlook the multitude of amazing blessings available to us - for instance, having food to eat, clothes to wear, someplace to live, a present state of health... what you feel most grateful for will, of course, be up to you. Just look around and see if you notice any wonderful gifts you may otherwise be overlooking. From recognizing all that we have, I believe it helps us to feel less deprived and desperate to achieve something that appears to be missing. Then - sometimes miraculously - from not focusing on what's missing, those very aspects of life may subtly emerge into our lives before we know it.

Above all - I wish you peace - Stay strong - Breathe slowly and calmly - The night is darkest just before the dawn - "This too shall pass" - It may not be today, tomorrow, next week or next month... but it will happen and it will be worth the patience required until the dawn comes. Walk softly, brother, and take care and I hope that you may feel peace.

"Peace is its own reward" ~ Mahatma Gandhi

It may take more

than just quitting porn to overcome your social anxiety. In other words, quitting isn't a cure all. It's true that many notice less social anxiety when they get off of porn, but a lot of people have social anxiety without porn use.
I'm not sure where you got the 6 weeks as end point in brain rewiring. However, it will be interesting to see what you notice though when you are off porn for awhile.
And don't get down on yourself, 3 weeks is a good start.

What about

checking out a support group for social anxiety? I bet it would speed your transformation. You'd probably also find some friends that way....friends who really understand what you've been going through. You can't solve a problem of unhealthy isolation by staying isolated, so do it now.

Look around on the internet for a social anxiety group in your area. Let us know what you find (in general terms).

Stopping porn is equally important because it helps bring your brain into balance, but there's no reason to stall on the social anxiety front. You can do both at the same time. What a concept! Wink

*big hug*

gary dont poop on my party

I know i'm not one of those guys that are just weird. I have the potential to be good with people. It's just that everytime I get in front of people I get this horrible feeling in my chest and this feeling of apprehension that's been haunting me for the past couple of years. I need this feeling to go away so I can finally be free. I hope to God that quitting porn and masturbation will allow the brain to go back to balance, so i can get rid of the horrible negative feelings in front of other people. The reason I said 6 weeks is because in Marnia's articles she said you go 6 weeks so the brain can rewire itself back to it's priorities. Is there anything you or anyone can tell me about the social stuff?

You read these

stories, right? A lot of them are about social improvements. http://www.reuniting.info/download/pdf/0.BENEFITS.pdf

And here's a really radical cure. Go to Toastmasters. Try several meetings near you. You don't have to say a word. You can observe for as long as you like. The reason to go is that you will see other people blooming and hear some amazing stories of people who were exactly where you are now...and can now even give a speech. A forum member who had SEVERE social anxiety actually tried that. Here's his story: http://yourbrainonporn.com/toastmasters

I might add that he is also in his first relationship, living with a woman. It was a tough year, but he came through it like a champ (with some serious grumbling and whining along the way. Wink )

Six weeks is an estimate, based on others' experiences, but the research that actually measures the return to normal in porn users hasn't been done.

Social anxiety

I was a shy child teenager and i only changed with changes of enviroment, i found that every time i started a new job i could take what ever i learned and apply it to new people in a new enviroment, some times when we are shy (such as i was) we don't want to do anything away from what is expected from us. I'm not suggesting you are the same as what i was, just that is how it was for me. Interestingly my mother tells me she was the same, she found courses on self confidence/communication at a local college/uni. I myself have been looking at local places where i can practice public speaking and greater interaction with people as i still don't feel as though i am where i would like to be, though 50 times better than when i was younger.

I found team sports also helped where the focus is on the game rather than having to communicate and talk so much, but still getting that social interaction during half time (soccer).

I don't know the US market, but i suspect toastmaster is something similar to what i mentioned above.

Finally i don't personally think 6 weeks is enough, certainly not for me..its clear to me i need nearer the 3 months, i've heard on posts outside of this forum some guys needing 6months, but its gradual progress, so you will still feel better after 6 weeks than 1 day and 12 weeks than 6 weeks etc, though of course progress is not linear and you will have good/bad days in between.

What ever course of action you decide it's worth making an action plan and trying to implement it, that's generally good advice for any aspect of life (IMHO).

I agree that 6 weeks is a

I agree that 6 weeks is a drop in the bucket. Any set period is not helpful. It stirs up anxiety and resistance and causes one to lose sight of the long-term changes that need to happen.

However, it's all relative. The point is to implement lasting growth enabling changes. Those won't be complete in 6 weeks. But 6 weeks is a lot better than nothing and will help jump start the process. Baby steps. Few would try if the upfront expectation was too great. They can form their own standards later. There needs to be growth to show one that this path is not futile. I empathetically recall when I wasn't sure 6 weeks was attainable. It is and more with effort. Life isn't readily changed with a quick fix.

I think abstaining might

I think abstaining might help you a let but my guess is it might not be sufficient by itself.

All teh contemplative traditions I am familiar with, Budhism, Taoism, Yoga, kabalah++ agree that it is the resistance towards feeling unpleasurable emotions that most increase them. In Budhism they seperate pain from suffering. Pain would be the initial fear you feel in a social situation. Suffering arises only as a consequence of resisting pain. So by thinking oh no I feel fear, that is just horrible, oh no I can`t possibly live with this, go away etc. etc. you are sort of mounting an attack of tension against the fear that in fact increases it tenfold. That way an initial often small fear turns into full scale anxiety attacks. In addition to increasing the bad feeling this strategy also has the added consequence of the bad feeling staying. If one alows oneself to feel whatever negative emotions arises it will normally just pass in a while or at least become much less.

This view on how to relate to emotions is now being supported in teh western scientific community through the research into teh therapies attention and commitment therapy and mindfulness based cogntive therapy. Both these therapies rely mainly on this one psychological principle I tried to explain. Both therapies now have tons of studies showing the give far, far better results than otehr therapies such as conventional cognitive therapy (which is also very good) and psychotherapy (which can sometimes do good).

There is a book called the mindfulness and acceptance workobook for anxiety (or something like that) that I think you should read. You can find it on amazon. Other books on MBCT or ACT are rpobably good as well.

I would read teh following articles at shinzen.org: a pain processing algorythm and a synopsis of shinzens book break through pain (to understand the pain vs sufffering distinction) and the panic cycle and the escaping into life and equanimity articles. These will give you a good understanding of what I tried to say.

I also highly recomend you learn some qigong, yoga, tai chi and or meditation. Springforestqigong.com has great beginers dvds that has gotten consistently great feedback and are easy enough to learn by yourself. If you practice say 20 min a day for 4 weeks you have got to have started to feel a lot better IMO. You can do it as an experiment. Do it for a few weeks even if you don\t yet feel benefits. It usually takes some time to start to feel it working.

Once you have gotten into some moving qigong, yoga or meditation I highly recomend the standing meditation posture Wuji for you. It works particulary well on reducing anxiety.

Bruce Frantzis Longevity Breathing DVD could also be good for you.

The inner smile meditation I also recomend a lot.

You might need to work on some social skills. Read the book written by wayne Juggler Elise about picking up women. It has a lot of great stuff about general social skills that are aplicable in all social situations. It will help you make friends. also consider working with one of his coaches in phone sessions or attending one of his workshops.