First of all, I'm glad that I found YBOP and this forum. It's really opened my eyes. I've always wondered why I've isolated myself for what seemed to be no reason at all. And when I tried to change that, I wouldn't do it. After having studied the material on YBOP, I realize that maybe it isn't so strange since I've been addicted to PMO (and videogames as well) for more than half of my life.
Some of the problems I've noticed:
Social anxiety - I even hesitate going to the supermarket. It's difficult being on my own with another person, especially a woman. I avoid running into people when I'm outside.
Inferiority - I've always been telling myself: "Why should you try? You're not as good as everyone else."
Bad memory/brain fog - Especially when it comes to numbers. When I work I have to triple check that I've picked the correct item for the customer. I often have a hard time focusing on what others have to say.
No risk taking - Absolutely none. I've always stayed where it's safe.
No motivation - I haven't felt the desire to achieve anything.
As for myself, even though I'm 28 years old. I've hardly had physical contact with a woman, save a few hugs. Needless to say, I'm still a virgin. And the only one I've got to blame is myself. I'm not going to go into any detailed background (maybe I will later on), but my addiction began in my early teens and here I am, 15 years later. I've also been addicted to MMORPGs for the past 6 years.
I've masturbated at least once per day since I got addicted, with the exception of a few times when I abstain for a week or two. I think the longest period was around a month or so. When I relapsed I'd always binge. I always did it before sleep, not for pleasure, but because it seemed like I had to in order to fall asleep.
Last year, I tried to give up the MMOs. I stayed off for a while, but got back for a month or so in December. I've once again quit them, and I don't intend to go back. My last PMO was on Feb 7th, and I am extremely determined to make it stay that way. I'm sick of this addiction.
So far, so good! No urges to P/MO. I'm still riding the wave of pure determination. Right now I wish that I had tried to abstain earlier. But I probably didn't realize it. I thought it had no effect on me - rather the opposite, a good way to relieve stress and negative emotions.
I've felt very positive since I began to abstain. I seem to have more energy than before, and I've gone on long walks every day. Music feels more interesting than before, and I've found myself singing more than before - it's a great way to keep myself busy. I've read some of the advice though. Even though I seem to be doing fine on my own, it's still early on. I would like to find a good social group to join. I'm currently going to a singing practice group, but that's only once/week and for a limited time. I also started to get more interested in cooking again, which is another way for me to keep my mind off things. I'd like to get into better shape as well, so I think I'll give running a try again (I haven't since last summer).
The only negative effect I've had is that it's been a little harder to sleep. I've woken up in the middle of the night and had some difficulty going back to sleep.
In the long run, I hope I will be able to enjoy life, instead of hiding inside every day.
Thanks for reading.