New to this, and lurked for a while but wanted to share my story.
I just turned 21 this summer. I may come from a slightly different background than most guys on here, but I'm in the same boat. I have what's called a nonverbal learning disorder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonverbal_learning_disorder). I'm pretty socially awkward at times and don't learn things intuitively like most people. Example: I complained to my mom when I was 3 that I didn't know how to play with other kids lol. Along with the NLD, I was diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder at age 9. I've been in and out of therapy and off and on antidepressants since then.
I started MO'ing when I was 6, after my parents showed me a book about the birds and the bees lol...that was my first experience with "porn". At 16, I discovered online chat rooms, compulsively seeking out partners to have cybersex with. When I first started, I could be on there for up to 12 hours in a day on weekends. On schoolnights, I'd get my homework done asap to head back to the room and MO in the chat room. I was doing this to hide from my obsessive thoughts and social situations that I found so unsettling. I felt more comfortable when I was isolated and PMO'd. I've been doing this to relieve stress ever since then.
Since 18, I've matriculated in 5 different schools. Through lots of ups and downs, I finally ended up at the one I wanted from day 1, a top 30 university. Last semester was my first, and life was good. I got a girlfriend for the first time, found a decent group of people to hang out with, and did well in school. I did all of this on a low dose of an SSRI. Despite all this, I was still looking at porn/going to chat rooms on a nightly basis.
This semester, I decided to move into my own studio apartment. I'm living by myself. I had this fantasy that this would be the easiest way to bring girls I meet online back without issues. I live in a city, so it can be hard to arrange meeting up with people, ESPECIALLY if funds are limited ($7 beers aren't easy on the wallet). The past 2 days, I've stayed in my place, only leaving for 1-2 hours/day. I've probably looked at porn/chatted for up to 20 hours in those 2 days.
I'm still with my girlfriend who I deeply care about but don't know if I love. I'm balking on whether or not to end it completely. Not sure if this is my PMO addiction or my true belief. So I'm waiting...
I've just had it at this point. I've really lost my drive to go out, socialize, follow my passion in music. I'm confused about where my life is going. I'm not confident and have this defeatist attitude that prevents me from pursuing things in fear of failure. One thing I do know: I want to eliminate this unhealthy coping mechanism I've developed. I want to regain my drive to experience life and better myself. It's time to really figure out what I want and pursue it, without being polluted by all these urges to PMO.
There's a lot in this post, I know. If you can find the time to read it and/or relate, I'd really appreciate any comments or support you guys have. I'll update this periodically. Hopefully, it'll keep me on track.