I had an abusive father, abusive step-father, and a mother who made bad choices in men. My life was pretty miserable. I coped by reading escapist fantasy and eating. I was 285lbs in my early 20s. I wasn't angry at women. But I sure as hell wasn't successful with them, and I was convinced that my lack of success with women was an indicator of my failure as a man. At my lowest I was a college drop out with a mountain of debt seriously planning how I was going to commit suicide.
Today at 29 I am 187 lbs, the result of slowly losing weight with hard work over several years. My appearance is fine - good even. My father was a handsome man and I may even fall within the golden top 20% appearance wise now that I am not a land whale. I am not what I would call financially successful. But I am debt free, have a nice little nest egg, and two projects on the burner. Both of them seem to be succeeding, and either one of them will make me financially successful.
Somewhere along the way I swallowed the red pill. I did not identify as an incel before then. I didn't know what an incel was. But I did have the self loathing of an incel, and the problem of being such a loser that it manifested in failure at the sexual marketplace. I had the belief that the approval of a woman could magically turn me into "not a loser." And I had the frustration and despair of knowing that wouldn't happen. Although I got angriest at women later during red pill rage.
What turned me into "not a loser" was getting my own shit in order. And one of the strongest motivations for getting the shit together was the red pill. I found a PUA book in the library. It didn't help immediately. But I came back to the ideas over the years. And the red pill gave a simple road map that I could work on. Saying "I need to lose weight because women," is not maybe the best reason. But it sure was motivating.
I still have not had a relationship. But the problem now is not that I desperately want one and can't have it. It is more that MGTOW tends to be a final destination for people who take the red pill. I was already primed to come here. What my parents did to me, and what my parents did to each other, was both a pretty clear demonstration of how bad the entire endeavor can go, and seems to have severely damaged my ability to form attachments to others. So after all the work to lift and hold frame, and before that the years of yearning to be in a relationship to remove the stigma of loser from myself, now that I probably could go find women who would be interested in me, I don't want to.
I am voluntarily celibate.
I'm not actually sure if past me qualified as incel. I had the incel belief structure. But I wasn't wandering around whining.
Labeling me with that term now would be pretty silly. The basic line of defense would be for me to claim that I could get laid if I wanted to. But I don't think that is the important thing. The important transition is to go from wanting sex to validate yourself, to not needing it. The incel who manages to get sex somehow will wake up the next day as the same neurotic loser. He will still have to do the same things to fix his life that he would have before he got sex. On the other hand, a poorly endowed man can fix his life, achieve a balanced psyche, live to the best of his ability, and still not be desired by women. This man has overcome any negative traits that would deserve the label incel.
There is a world of difference between the awful mental position the pejorative incel connotes, and other mind states a celibate person might have. Anyone who implies otherwise isn't interested in having a constructive conversation. They just want to hurl insults.