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I[M26] feel like a completely broken human being. when I'm out and about i'm social and keep the act up but at home I just feel like I'm broken


#1

Preface: I would ask that this topic only be discussed her and not shared in any sort of podcast or anything. A few years ago I shared something on here and it was refered to in a podcast and It made me uncomfortable. I can’t really explain why just that I prefer to not have it talked about outside of this post.


Lets break this down.

I’m 26 years old and in a place in my life with a TON of free time even though I’m trying to keep myself as busy as possible.

Lets list all my horrific problems shall we?

  1. I’m religious (Which isn’t a “problem” per say). I truly believe it but have a difficult time living it out. I live far away from the closest group to me that shares my faith and I have to travel quite a bit to get there. I overall feel like I complete failure in this part of my life which is ironic cause even the people who know my faults who are part of my faith group do not judge me or make me to feel bad. I’m much harder on myself than basically anyone Ive ever met.

2)I have all kinds of emotional issues. I’m hypersensitive though I typically do an ok job hiding it. I’m insecure, I think no one wants to be around me. Which is obviously not true cause its very common for me to hangout with friends 5+ times a week. If they didn’t like me they wouldn’t keep inviting me back. I’m a funny guy, i get people to laugh more than I use to (finally developed a sense of humor). But once I get back home its just all gone. All I’m left with is this empty feeling.

  1. I want to have a close intimate relationship with a woman. Ive only ever had one girlfriend and it was a long distance relationship (We meet initially online, spent several years as friends, but then decided to be a couple and met in person). So I never really had a lot of physical contact. Its not even about sex for me, its the desire to feel known and loved, to have physical (and emotional) affection. Last time I got a hug was around 6 months ago.

4)I’m an addict. I have an addiction to what I’m going to call “Lust”, but in a nutshell. When I feel tired and lonely I seek out porn and cybersex to make myself feel better. I just want to feel a connection with someone and so I seek it out. Its become compulsive and destroying my life to be honest. I’ll stay up until 4am some nights trying to find someone only to collapse asleep when I can’t and then try again the next day. Eventually I’ll get through my binging, and try to stop the behavior but then its not to long till I’m back again. I hate myself even while I’m seeking it out. I just don’t know how to stop because its the ONLY connection I really feel to other people. I feel like a woman is never going to want me (which objectively is false, thats an issue i’m working through in therapy). At least if I’m voice chatting with a woman online I feel something with someone. At least thats what i tell myself. I’m currently in a 12 step group for it.

  1. I’m in a 12 step group, its an over an hour away from where I live, which is exhausting (living in the middle of nowhere sucks especially when you can’t move for a few more years). I struggle to call my sponsor , i struggle to call other people and talk about my feelings and emotions. My whole life I was always told that my feelings were wrong, and truth be told many of them (Like the insecurities) ARE wrong. But constantly being told that and living with someone deeply manipulative fucked me up really good. The internet with it anonymity is the only place i feel safe to express myself in any way.

  2. I’ll never find what I want online. I straight up won’t. What do I want? well thats easy. I want to find a woman around my age I can talk to with COMPLETE transparency (while still retaining anonymity). Someone I can explore the sexual stuff with who won’t try to make me feel guilty but also won’t try to keep me from feeling guilty either. Someone I can talk to and share stuff with right out of the gate without the bullshit and the games. Who has clear boundaries and clearly respects my boundaries. Someone who I can just be, completely emotionally naked with, as well as talk about sexual stuff casually with where she is just as comfortable talking to me about emotions as she is talking to me about a porn video I enjoyed.

Yeah, I’m fucked up. I"m crazy I guess. I feel insane and alone. Ive been in therapy, but its not really helping. I don’t know what to do anymore.


#2

Startingover993,

Man, there’s a lot here…the first thing that hits me is that it sounds like your addiction is consuming you…and you’ve got this interesting relationship with it where you hate it but you also love it – you are trying to find freedom from it through the 12 steps, but also what you say that you really want is a girl who will be your online fantasy just in real life…you say you have free time, but you’re not willing to drive to go to church, but you’re willing to stay up till 4am seeking sexual comfort…you say you see friends all the time, but you don’t feel connected to any of them…in each of these areas, whether or not you realize it, your addiction is gripping the life out of each aspect…

For example with your romantic life…Did you know that when you have an orgasm that two neurochemicals (vasopressin and oxytocin) are released, and those physically change your brain to bond with whatever you are beholding on climax? What this means is that when you are orgasming to an image or to a voice, you are physically changing your brain to bond to that concept or that image or that sound…it’s not to a human, it’s to something nonhuman – a 2D image, a compressed sound wave, etc. So in your real relationships you might experience a hard time bonding with them or “feeling close” because you have spent years and years and years changing your brain to receive “love/comfort/bonding” from nonhuman things.

With your friends…porn conditions your mind to be self-seeking…when you are in the middle of something and it doesn’t please you, you escape to porn…when things don’t go your way, you escape to porn…when life disappoints you, you escape to porn…you start to see life as all about escaping pain and pleasing you…so your relationships become the same way…you start to see people as a means to an end – they are here to please you, and if they aren’t, then you shift the conversation to be more pleasing to you, you try to make a joke so they’ll laugh so they’ll be more pleasing to you, you go talk to someone else who will be more pleasing to you, etc. Your friendships become about what pleases you.

There’s very clearly something underneath this addiction that’s fueling it – a deep sense of wounding that forms this pit of insecurity, which you have a conditioned comforting response through sexual release…makes total sense…and the clearer of a picture you can get on what that wounding is and how it informs those insecurities and therefore drives the addiction, the clearer you can be about the path out.

You see, right now, in the middle of your addiction, you think that the height of your sexual fantasy – if that were truly satisfied – then you’d be happy again. But no relationship will satisfy the longings of your sexual nature or fantasy because real relationships cause disappointment…it’s not what you want, when you want it, as you want it, like you want it, as long as you want it, purely here to serve you. And disappointment is a trigger for the addiction! I mean, follow the story of most porn addicts, and you’ll find similar delusional hopes that “once I just get ____, then I’ll stop using porn”…once I get married, once I have kids, once I get enough money, once I stop being so stressed about ____. I mean you name it…finding this fantasy girl isn’t going to solve your porn problem.

The 12 steps is a great program, and so is therapy. It sounds like you are on the path towards healing, and that’s fantastic. I’m glad you’re doing something to win your heart back, because the truth is, this isn’t a sexual problem, and it’s not even necessarily a relational problem. It’s a heart, soul, mind problem. And you won’t solve internal matters with external affairs, so I’m happy that you’re putting in effort to start to work on and heal the internals.

An important note, I too am a porn addict, and I know similar pain to what you are experiencing because I am in the throes of healing my heart and wound and mind and finding freedom from this addiction. The reality of finding true freedom is that it typically takes 2-5 years of intensive effort applied with a miracle of God’s grace every day to not just get sober but to truly be healed. The program that I am going through is called “7 Pillars to Freedom” from a ministry called Pure Desire. It’s specifically built and targeted for sexual addicts. And I’d recommend looking into it…not as a replacement for anything you’re doing, but if you’re serious about finding freedom, this place dives into the exact healing that you need in order to really get free. (For the record, I’ve been through 12 steps, Celebrate Recovery, and therapy, and all have their benefits, and all are good. Specifically for this addiction, I believe the source of greatest insight, understanding, breakthrough, hope, and healing has come from Pure Desire.) And if you’ve got a ton of free time on your hands and are looking for a way to stay busy, this’ll help with that! I know you mentioned that you live in the middle of nowhere, so I don’t know what’ll come up near you, but it’s worth taking a look:

Addiction can be so enveloping and suffocating, but it is not who you are, it is not what you are worth, it is not your identity, and fighting for your life is worth every bit of effort you could put towards it. I hope you join me in the fight, because you are worth it.

-Nate


#3

Thanks for sharing all of that here. I hope that getting it out helped to give you a new perspective on things or relieve some of the built up frustration. Addictions are hard to break because of their affect on our brains. I commend you for seeking out help through the 12 step program and therapy because it’s not something easy to overcome. But you CAN overcome it. It may take time and it may be painful but it is possible and you will experience so much freedom.