Well I swore I wasn't going to post here because I didn't want to make my withdrawal into a "thing", but here it is.
I am a married male, just shy of 40 years old and I believe I have had an issue with MO and PMO for most of my life. I discovered masturbation like a lot of people, accidentally sometime around 12 or 13 years old. I can't be quite sure about it, but I think this is when my social life started to take a huge nose dive. When I was very young I was social and popular. One day that all seemed to change. I was constantly ostracized in school, so I just learned to avoid people. Over the years I mostly grew out of this, but I have always been somewhat socially awkward. At least I have always felt this way. Early on I figured out that masturbation had something to do with this. I would always seem to get weird withdrawal symptoms after M. I find it very difficult to describe, as there really aren't words to describe what I feel. It's a weird whole body sticky sweet feeling that includes apathy, extreme irritation, impatient-ness, ADHD, brain fog and the compulsion to masturbate. I even have a name for this, "the hornys". Horny isn't really the right word because when I really am horny, I am socially outgoing and happy. The hornys are more like an extreme compulsion to MO, and do nothing else. When I was younger I would always break out with acne when I had these feelings. I don't care they say about masturbation not causing acne, in my case I can tell you with almost 100% certainty that it did, and still can.
Fast forward. I have abstained from masturbation several times in life, and I have always seen tremendous benefit from this. Social awkwardness vanished and good things happened. Life took on new meaning during abstention, I would feel like there was a tremendous energy all around me. Life felt worthwhile. Somehow, I always fell back into the trap of masturbating. For many years I used alcohol to deal with my social awkwardness, and even to combat "the hornys". Predictably this lead to some pretty bad issues with alcohol later in life. I have since left alcohol behind, as well as a host of other things I have tried using to overcome my social issues. I am no stranger to withdrawal having detoxed several times from both alcohol and GHB (don't ever go there). Withdrawing from those things is no fun, let me tell you. GABA b antagonists like alcohol and GHB can cause deadly seizures with abrupt cessation. I'm happy to say none of those things are a part of my life now. I still use coffee and nicotine (I like a cigar in the evening), but these have zero effect on my social issues.
I want to be masturbation free. I want to go beyond the limits of my social awkwardness, apathy, depression and extreme crankiness. I want to fix the relationship I have with my wife, which is predictably crappy due to the way I feel a lot of the time. I am getting way to old for this stuff. I'm on day 21 of a reboot and the hornys are with me most all of the time. When I was withdrawing from alcohol, I never had the compulsion to drink. I wanted to drink because logically I knew it would lead to a temporary feeling of well being during a time of extreme duress. With masturbation withdrawal I literally have the compulsion to edge, or orgasm. This is totally unlike alcohol withdrawal. The compulsion is real, I even catch myself twiddling my fingers (I remember doing this when I was younger and having kids in school make fun of me). Weird I know. Reading this you might picture me as some kind of freak, but nothing could be farther from the truth. I am a successful entrepreneur and I live on a beautiful tropical island. In a way, the dullness I felt about life because of masturbation has always driven me to seek out better things, much to my benefit. The downside here is that once I got those better things, I still felt quite dull.
Back to day 21. I have an extreme case of "the hornys" that comes and goes. The first two weeks were pretty good, with some tough moments. I noticed my social anxiety diminish and my energy increase. I began to feel life again, enjoy the smell of the air, marvel at the rain on the mountains, and even like myself again. That is still with me but the other symptoms are stronger than ever. The hornyness feeling (once again, not a true horny feeling but more like a compulsion to MO) is pervasive, even during extreme exercise. I do a lot of mountain biking, some of these rides are so intense that I can get nauseous. Usually extreme exercise will solve almost any emotional problem I am having, but not this. I can feel the hornys even when I am climbing full power up a hill with all the fortitude I've got. Additionally I've had some weird headaches, and aches and pains all over my body. I can't say definitively that this is being caused my masturbation withdrawal, but it certainly seems possible. I've felt a kind of hopelessness in the recent days, as if this is the way I will always feel and I just need to get used to it. Sometimes I even feel sick like I have the flu, but the flu doesn't come and go like this. My back has been killing me for the last 2 days, for no reason at all. It's a pain that I haven't felt before. At times the pain will just vanish, only to return a few hours later. My productivity at work is shot, but I keep justifying things by telling myself that I will have greater productivity when I get "through this". The funny thing is that after 3 weeks, I feel a lot like I feel after a day long binge - except maybe without the dullness. One positive thing is that behind all of this is a background feeling that I can only describe as an extremely positive feeling of being alive and in the moment, but this is mostly obscured by other negative feelings.
Prior to really deciding to quit I would stop for a few days, then I would just edge to porn here and there and occasionally O. When I did O I always felt like I had a case of bad luck afterwards, like clockwork things would start to go wrong all over the place. We had some family visit and when they left I felt a bit down so I binged on PMO for a couple of days straight before tapering down. That's when I decided enough is enough. I don't recall my prior abstinence times to be quite this difficult, and I know I've gone for more than 21 days before.
Anyway, there really isn't any point to this verbal ramble. Maybe I'm just trying to sooth myself here, but I feel like crap today. I strongly believe that masturbation has a huge effect on my behavior, much more than sex with a real person. I really want to know what is on the other side of this feeling and see if I am correct. I know, especially from past withdrawals, that it's just all about time. I am 21 days into this (absolutely no PMO) and I'll tell you my goal is to make it 8 weeks. Today I came up with a bunch of reasons why I shouldn't do this, but I am choosing to pay little attention to those ideas and just plod along towards the 8 week mark. My mind is telling me that this feeling will never go away unless I MO. My real goal here is to eliminate masturbation from my life, but I know from my experiences with other addictions that thinking about eliminating a problem isn't an easy way to overcome an addiction, you're better off choosing to bring new things into your life and acknowledging the old behaviors and consciously not choosing to spend much time focusing on them. If you think about not masturbating, you're thinking about masturbation. If you think about a beautiful trail in the forest, then you're not thinking about masturbation. That said, all bets are off during an actual chemical withdrawal. During that time it's all about waiting it out.
I'll raise a glass (of water) to living in the here and now, and not some limited fantasy world.