Nice Guy Recovery Journey - Hamza
In early September I was alerted to a post on a Nice Guy online community by another coach. The person (Hamza) who made the post clearly seemed in a lot of pain and depression. While at some level a lot that was expressed seemed to be the lived experience of a typical Nice Guy, but the fact that Hamza mentioned that ending his life has crossed his mind, made me want to reach out to help with urgency. The person alerting me to the post thought I might be able to help because of my familiarity with Hamza’s cultural context.
After speaking with Hamza, I decided to take him on as a coaching client and we have been working intensely for about 12 weeks. Week on week, we began to shift his paradigms and started incorporating healthy daily practices. Hamza began to take action and things began to shift. The depression began to lift, confidence emerged. He began to draw healthy boundaries for himself. He stopped smoking and went from drinking almost daily to where he hasn't had a drink in weeks. He stopped watching porn and his favourite part of the day is sweating it out in the gym.
Yesterday, after almost exactly 3 months from his earlier post, Hamza decided to update the community of his progress. Below are his two posts reproduced almost as is and with Hamza’s permission. In these 12 weeks, Hamza’s life has changed more than anyone could imagine and it’s safe to say that Hamza is having the time of his life and is perhaps the happiest he has ever been. There is still a lot of struggle but the suffering around it has diminished, and there is an emerging appreciation for the struggle while he continues to make rapid progress as he steps into his mature masculine.
Things to notice
The power of disclosure and revealing yourself: The first thing I tell all my clients is that ‘disclosure leads to discovery’. That Hamza took the first courageous step to reveal his struggle, led him to find the support he needed.
Don’t do it alone: Most Nice Guys read books, watch videos and try to go at it alone. Like all Nice Guys, ultimately what led to Hamza’s growth is getting involved in a community of supportive men and getting a coach to guide and hold him accountable. Hence the importance of men’s groups and a coach.
Action trumps knowledge: Nice Guys tend to be high IQ - they read a lot, know a lot but are scared to take action. Getting his butt kicked into action is what is ultimately leading to Hamza’s recovery.
The struggle never really ends but we get better at it and can begin to enjoy it.
Just a few weeks of dedicated work can lead to a remarkable difference in the quality of life.
The Nice Guy recovery journey is not easy, but it’s worth it.
Nice Guy work might even save your life, literally.
Over to Hamza!
1 September 2020
To anyone reading this - hello and thank you for your time!
I'm a compulsive nice guy who wants to break free and I've been meaning to get involved in this community and have been a silent reader since I joined.
I don't know what to expect from sharing my thoughts here but I realize even if nothing comes out of it, I will hate myself in the long run for not having the balls to put myself out there and start taking risks.
I feel that to anyone who reads this, it might come off as overly dramatic to consider posting this a risk. Allow me to explain, and to do so must share some of my life history which makes me cringe because all my life I've been taught not to talk about myself.
Throughout my life and especially this past year, I've developed severe trust issues.
I'm also going through what I consider the worst and longest running bouts of depression and my therapist is starting to reach this conclusion too.
I recently decided to settle down in a new country and for now I'm living with my close family. Before that i was working in Afghanistan (which is where I'm from) in a family business startup with my uncle and cousins, all of whom are "nice guys" raised entirely by their mothers (myself included). Only after I stopped working there did I realize the extent of how toxic a workplace it was. I also lived with the same uncle with whom I worked. This paragraph sums up my entire adult life after university.
Now that I've decided to leave that place, it hit me that I have no friends and that I am lonely to the core. The only people I can talk honestly with are my sister and brother. I am grateful for this and we're helping each other out, especially in regards to my father who was absent most of our lives and having to put up with him through this pandemic has been a nightmare.
I also need to learn Turkish in order to be able to talk to people here. At the same time, I must help with the family business, prepare for my masters education, and somehow find a new job. Being depressed does not help with this and I often find myself wondering if it would be better that I just end my life.
I suppose that's enough about me. And thank you again to anyone who bothered reading this far.
It would be nice to get to know the people of this community, possibly make some friends, and give back. I would like to hear from you guys, let me know if you've had similar life experiences or if this post made you cringe too.
2 December 2020
It has been quite a while since I shared here. Almost 3 months I believe! I thought it would be a good idea to share with everyone all the many MANY things that have changed in this time.
So without further ado...
I won 2 contracts on Upwork and am almost done with one of them. I've realized there is still so much more I have to learn and relearn as a software developer and working on these projects has been a grounding experience. I realized that I'm definitely not as good a coder as I thought I was, but that's okay because I'm willing (and happy) to put in the time to learn again. Also, not being the best (or even a great) coder isn't the end of the world because I bring so many other things to the table that make me valuable to clients. Though I still tend to keep beating myself into the ground over and over again for the lack of my coding skill.
My weight has gone from 64 kg up to 76 kg and I aim to hit 80 in a couple of weeks. I feel strong unlike I ever had previously in my life.
I've been going to the gym 3 days a week and in the entire 3 months, I've only missed 2 gym days. I think this is a pretty big win. Especially considering I had to miss one day due to complications I had to deal with for work, and the other day I missed because I was caught in a deep depressive episode for a few days. Regardless, I'm already seeing great results and I'm getting compliments all around about my body.
I've started taking salsa lessons. I've wanted to do some sort of dancing for a long time. I chose salsa because I wanted to learn to be bold and also to increase my opportunities for meeting women (no pointing in hiding that). Taking salsa made me realize how stressed I generally am. I guess you could describe my salsa dancing as stiff and my teacher always reminds me I need to relax. She's right, I do need to relax up, but I'm finally at a point where I can bear to look at myself in the mirror and I believe over time I won't be afraid to have myself look a little stupid.
I have managed to quit drinking entirely and am approaching 2 months of sobriety. What lead me to stop - One night I went out drinking hard and the next day I had gym. That day at the gym I found it difficult to lift half the weight that I did the previous week. That's when I decided I'm done, I hated that my drinking was getting in the way of my fitness. This was after I was already going to the gym for about a month.
I also managed to stay off porn for 3 months before I faltered last week and ended up indulging in onlyfans for a few days. Now I'm off porn again and though I've been getting impulses to go back, I've persevered for a week so far and I'm rebuilding my resistance.
I've also stopped smoking completely for as long as I've stopped drinking. I stopped both at the same time.
I have entered the world of meeting women. I've started to talk to women around me when I go to the gym, at the Starbucks, at the store, at the restaurant, or even just at the park. I still find it very VERY difficult to carry out a conversation with a girl, but I make an effort to at least say hi in a friendly manner and maybe point out something about them I like (tip - asking a girl if you can pet her dog in the park is a great conversation opener). There have been a couple of occasions now where a girl has walked up to me to ask about me or where I said something funny and they laughed. In any case, it feels to me like women are finally starting to take an interest in me as I'm just living out my life.
Even with all the difficulty with girls, I've managed to get phone numbers from 3 girls. One of them offered to get me coffee the next time I happen to drop by her office. This happened after we exchanged some playful text messages. The other ones didn't really pan out.
To most people, all this progress I've had with women won't even register as such and they may even laugh at me for 'making such a big deal out of it'. But to me, this is a world's difference. Before I started out on this journey, I was in a state where just making eye contact with a pretty girl would send me hurtling into a spiral of depression because I had no hope of ending up with them. Now I'm at a point where I can jump into at least a quick conversation with a girl which of course is still quite stressful to me but I'm getting better with practice, and I'm not afraid to ignore or block them if I don't like them.
Since I was extremely lonely and had a massive language barrier to talking to people, I decided to create my own group on meetup.com. There I host events where I offer to help people practice English and I plan discussions and presentations talking about tech stuff. I'm still very new to this and there's much I have to learn but this is a great path for me to expand my social circle. Also, I met one girl there 2 weeks ago who seemed really into what I was doing. I'm still painfully lonely most of the time, but now there is a path for me to take so that I can deal with it eventually.
I've started taking responsibility for having my needs met. I make my own food, get my own groceries, make time for the things I find fun (drawing, video games, dance), make time for self-improvement (especially dating and social), get my own clothes, and just feel my feelings in a healthier way. I've started working on a personal project for my work portfolio. I've started investing money into things that make my life easier or better such as skin care products, protein supplements, pens for drawing, a back brace for my back.
I'll be honest I still lean on others a lot. But I am doing so consciously and am well aware of things that I'm dependent on others for. I trust in myself to know that eventually, I won't have to lean on them because I'm constantly putting structures in place to make it easier or faster to do the things that have me too busy to meet all my needs directly. And my family has started to respect me for the way that I ask for help now.
There is still much MUCH more growth I need to make. I'm still struggling to balance my work and personal life activities. Being a freelancer is very different from having a salary and there's so much I have to get to grips with, all of which just takes time. Though I've made much progress with women, I still struggle immensely and that's something only practice and time can address.
That said, I think it's safe to say that I'm off to a good start.
I'd love to hear from you guys about your journeys and maybe we can even help each other out.