*Disclaimer: My post is quite long but if you stick with it and read it through to the very end you may find that there is something written in here specifically for you. I am not the worlds greatest writer or storyteller. I simply look to share that which is true for me in an attempt to help someone realize that the world is truly full of love, life and positivity to be experienced on a daily basis. First, let me start off by sharing the fact that I have rarely (almost never) posted on a social forum online before. Something inside spurs me to make a post here about all of that which I've experienced in the world of PMO. It is my goal with the sharing of my story to reach just ONE person in a world of nearly 7.7 billion souls. If that ONE person I am successfully reaching turns out to be YOU, I ask that you make it a goal within side of yourself to reach ONE person in your world. After approximately 16 years (I can't even remember exactly it's been so long) of PMO on a rather incessant basis, I can finally say I AM FREE! I have never, ever been able to say that before and being the honest person that I am while knowing how trapped I felt, I never tried. When I use the terms incessant and trapped, I would say I participated in PMO maybe 5,840 times (16 years multiplied by 365 days a year). Sometimes it was with porn, sometimes it was without. Sometimes it was two times a day, sometimes it happened three times a day. A few days I even passed on the opportunity. Never did I get overly crazy with my PMO choices. Weird things never seemed to draw me in. Fetishes, animals, pedo, grandmas, were not my interests. It was more about a standard release to your typical attractive female. Of course I would run from butts to boobs, from blondes to brunettes, but everything was pretty normal. I think it's because a part of me knew and accepted that this wasn't a very good thing for me, or anyone else. My interests in female pornstars was rather incessant though. If you think porn isn't necessarily a bad thing, that's up for debate. I can admit though I found myself thinking about and watching porn at places I shouldn't of been. Thinking about porn at times when I shouldn't of been thinking about it. If you are the person who thinks it isn't necessarily all that bad, I do believe that you do know there is a time and place for it and I can say I was participating at both the wrong time and place sometimes. Today, on December 27th 2018, I am 27 years old and 33 days free of PMO. The last 33 days of my life have been the most joyous, enlightening, spiritually revolutionizing days of my life. If you do not celebrate or believe in the realm of spirituality, I ask that you do not write me off as a hack, but rather that you find a word within you that you believe fits to define the all-power, or the greatest potential that you hold. This word can be used as a rather simple way that you feel comfortable with for you to discuss that which many others refer to as, spirituality. Reverting back to my life since becoming PMO free, the biggest and most noticeable difference in my life is that I have not had one single negative thought about suicide. Although me writing this sentence is in itself a thought about suicide, it is not the same negative thoughts that have endured the past many years of my adult life. Through a mix of PMO and very problematic gambling (which I am 40 days free of), I would often find myself with thoughts about blowing my brains out, hanging myself or running my car at a very high speed into a tree. I told myself many times (enough times apparently, as I am still alive) that I could never go through with this sort of cowardly act, you never really know when its too much until it's too late. Understandably, this is an enormous step everyone must take if they want to live an all-around happy and internally prosperous life. I fully attribute this newly awakened feeling to live to the fact that I no longer engage in PMO and problematic gambling. Eliminating the suicidal thoughts from my mind brings me directly into my second biggest and most noticeable impact that being PMO free has brought into my life. That is, a serious abandonment of "brain fog." Delving into a little more detail about myself, I want to remain humble... but I also want you to understand who I am and my situation so you can make the best inferences about how it speaks to you. Much like many of you, I have always felt incredibly gifted (even through PMO when my brain was clear enough to contemplate the idea). Physically, I have always been very intelligent; wise, many people have told me. As a young child I was the most advanced mathematics student at my school in my grade, and the grade above mine. This stems from what I see as an ability to decipher truths extremely well, naturally (mathematics being the ultimate truth). [As a side note, my brother, who is 2.5 years my senior, is even better]. Spiritually, I have experienced enough "eerily ironic, or, crazy coincidences" to know that something beyond what we see exists and rules over all. I do not mean this as a direct inference towards a God, but for basic understanding of all, lets refer to it as the law of attraction. That which you think, will be attracted to you, positive or negative. How all this relates back to an abandonment of brain fog... Through all the negative emotions I experienced as a young adult growing into an adult, I never relinquished the idea of questions and truths. I have always felt I owe it to the world to be not only a good person, but the best I can be knowing that some people are provided with more to give than others, which in turn, means they must provide more for the world in exchange for these 'powers.' As soon as I made a decision in my life to release the self-inflicted shackles of PMO, my mind and Spirit (or inner-being) took off (a very fast racecar reference)! As it is always how things work in the world, people who begin and continue a PMO life will have different experiences. Browsing through some of the NoFAP thread posts, I have noticed some fellow fapstronauts questioning why it may be that some people exclaim a feeling of 'super-powers' or 'over-whelming positive joy and energy' and they may not be feeling it this intensely. I want to let you know, for good or for bad, what you are feeling inside of yourself is exactly what you are suppose to be feeling based upon the decisions you are making for yourself. I believe we all can agree that there is an incredibly positive reflection inside when one refrains of PMO. This is scientific of how the brain wires itself stemming into guilt, shame, loneliness, anxiousness and others. For me, my feelings about myself have improved immensely in a short period of time. It is NOT, however, solely because of my decision to be PMO free. I have recently made multiple choices in life that needed to be made so I can be all that I can be. The first of these choices was avoiding PMO which is summed up through the whole duration of this dictation. The second of those choices I have mentioned briefly already which some of you may be curious about. That is to heal myself of problematic gambling. Problematic gambling arose from experiences in my life about 11 years ago when I was 16, about 4 - 5 years after PMO. I am going to go into information about my gambling experience for two reasons. One, it may help someone solve a problem in their life. Two, because I believe the problems one faces when they PMO and when they problematic gamble are very similar... quick fixes to other underlying issues. Memories come back from high school where I would play poker at a friends house for very low stakes (quarters, few dollars) or bet on football games with friends. I remember the largest wager I made around this time (16-17 years old) in my life was $300 on the Colts vs Bears Super Bowl [for reference, I had the Colts and he did end up paying]. Now, many people do not see this as 'problematic gambling' and I would understand an argument, maybe it isn't... win or lose, $300 wasn't going to change my life or future drastically... but it blew up into something so much more. Let us keep in mind, around this time I was going to high school / college full time working a part time job making anywhere between $6.60 and $12 an hour depending on the age. At about 17 or 18 years old I started wagering on poker and sports online. I wasn't even old enough at the time to legally participate, so I played under an account I made using my mothers information. In poker I would primarily play in what they call "Sit n Go" tournaments which is when 3, 6, or 9 people sign up to play in tournament style play for a designated amount of money each. My choice of stake for each tournament was usually about $25 - $55. Knowing what I know now, particularly people who play at this stake are rather, if not very, experienced. I was rather brand new just playing poker. I found myself winning money here and there. Winning as much as $1,100 and $1,900 in two separate multi-table tournaments where hundreds of people participate. The problem lie in the fact that I never once withdrew my money. I only fed into the machine, and never dispensed anything out, making me an invariable loser. Much like poker, my sports betting also had an invariably losing strategy where I only deposited, and never withdrew, no matter how much I had. I found myself betting hundreds of dollars on a quarter of basketball, or who would win this game, or that game... could one team score more than 23.5 points. The adrenaline, excitement, anticipation was real... So was the dread, hurt, and pain. Eventually, maybe about after a year (somewhere between 18 and 19) I stopped with the gambling, continued with the PMO, and picked up smoking weed. At this point I'm in community college after a failed attempt at high school. The only real info I'm going to share about high school is that I had good friends who weren't the most positively influential people, I joked around more than I should of, didn't take it too seriously, got in trouble a few times, didn't get as good of grades as my mind was capable of, things like that. At community college through PMO, smoking weed, and not the greatest of world changing friends, I did well. 3.65 GPA, scholarship to the Univ. of Maryland, accepted into it's very prominent business school. After community college, I went off to University (at age 20) and realized more than ever of my fapping problems. Had a small group of buddies but socially rather awkward, never met any girlfriends, did extremely poorly in school. I found myself doing more PMO than studying, which then resulted in more sleeping than class time. It was an overall negative cycle that I specifically could not find success in. At this point in my life is also where I became extremely interested in women but like with most of you, I couldn't get through the anxiety to actually do anything about it. At this point (age 21) I've been single for about 6 years, pretty sex-free, all PMO. Reflecting on my late teens and very early 20's, PMO was obviously my biggest problem. Although the suicidal thoughts are not a thing for me during this time, I can clearly see and feel anxiety, slipping grades, social awkwardness, attraction to females with no drive to act upon it. While at University I was able to hold a good commissioned based job where I ended up making $26 an hour which is pretty good for part-time college work. After one year at University, 30 credits shy of my bachelors, I end up dropping out, quitting my commission based position and started a small, self-employed, home improvement and landscaping business that was rather successful for about 5 years. Unfortunately, with that success (sometimes $6,000 - $8,000 a month in the summer) arose problematic gambling once again when I was driving on the local highway and saw a billboard for a casino that just opened up in the area. I was just turning 22 at the time and legal to gamble in casinos. My first day there I won about $950 playing poker (for those of you who know poker, AA v 55 v Q10 on a A5J** board was my big winning hand that I won't forget). I was hooked after that! I continued playing poker for about 2 months, profitably. All things were good and clear until one day I became interested in all the hype around a game called Baccarat. If you don't know the game, I'm not going to explain it other than by saying it's like flipping a coin instead it's with the numerical value of cards. The house wins by taking a 5% commission if a certain outcome occurs and also wins big on the psychological aspect of people winning, not being able to quit, and losing it all back plus some. Once I played Baccarat the first time, my whole business and poker winnings became a tunnel for my losses. Chasing the high of PMO plus the high of big wins in Baccarat made for some very low, lows that I masked by getting high on weed or by drinking alcohol at various times. Sometimes I didn't even chase my lows with drugs I just sucked it up and went throughout my life. Over the next 6 years (until 40 days ago), the absolutely vicious cycle would swirl in my life. I would make money at great employment opportunities only to lose it gambling at Baccarat, Paigow Poker, and Blackjack. ($26/hr commission job, $45/hr business, $30/hr volleyball officiating, $15/hr basketball officiating, $22/hr baseball officiating, $50/hr buying-selling various goods, $33/hr 1/3 poker, working on a cruise ship where I had absolutely zero bills and could only pocket the money) [I had a period of time where I was very meticulous with my work and recorded everything and I know this numbers to be true off the top of my head]. I once had a span of going on 8 cruises within one year (invited back consistently because of my casino play) and lost about $38,000 between those 8 cruises. My gambling has taken me to some incredible places... Vegas, Hawaii, every Caribbean Island you can think of... However, it was not worth the money that I've lost (well over $100,000). I would consistently bounce around between $10,000 to spend on anything to being $15,000 in debt. Today, I don't have very much on the outside in the material sense. My family knows it and they know why (not necessarily PMO, but gambling). They were always very accepting of me, knowing I was very intelligent, with an unlimited amount of potential. I guess they just always believed I would pull out of it. Although, I do not have much on the outside in the material sense I have such a rejuvenating and life-altering feeling on the inside. By solving my PMO and problematic gambling problems at the same time in my life, I have experienced what I would refer to as 'DOUBLE-DUTY' goodness pouring through me. I am surrounded by a loving family who has supported me through what will surely be my lowest, I have friends and role-models who literally seem to be from another planet with the goodness they provide. I have amazing work opportunities and a soul that is relentless in it's pursuit to be better. In this moment I want to take the time to ask you, is there anything else (besides PMO) if your life that you have or could give up to help enhance your overall feelings. I will play no negative judge to your experiences but I do believe we all have more than just PMO we suffer from. Just as you've conquered PMO for 7 days, for 30 days, for 100 days, for 1 year, you too, can conquer those other lingering negativities in your life! How? The same exact way you conquered PMO. By understanding the benefits, giving yourself a why, and consistently acting on it in each moment. I do not believe this NoFAP forum is just for fapping. I believe it can be used for anything. Alcoholism, smoking, drug use, procrastination, whatever! I do know this is a community of uplifting humans who understand the bigger picture and have all put themselves through something very tiring that maybe the whole world will not understand. Today I have the ability to act on goals I created a long time ago. My life will take off from here using the same conscious effort that allowed me to quit PMO and problematic gambling. I want to share with you some of the things that have helped me to feel better about living... 1) The Gym - This is my second home, where my other family is. I started out not knowing much, weighing about 140 lbs, 5'8 at about age 19. I am now 27, 160 lbs about 5% body fat. The community inside of the gym is much like those on NoFAP where they want nothing but the best for you. With hard work in the gym, everyone will grow to respect you no matter what you look like. 2) Martial Arts - This is a branch to my second home. It was a place where I met my greatest life influencer (besides myself / family) and others like him. Someone and others I could never thank enough if you gave me all the options in the world. I would imagine most Martial Art schools have a very similar foundational philosophy. I could ask for nothing more from those in the school. 3) A Healthy Diet - It is proven that what we eat effects who we are, how we feel and all the likes. I've spent the majority of the last 5 years vegetarian. It is something I believe in that works for me. Not everyone will feel this way and that is okay. It goes without saying that vitamins and minerals are extremely important though in some way or another. I encourage you to do some research and ask some questions about ways to improve energy levels and brain function through food and/or supplements. 4) Daily Reflections - I do not shy away from being harsh on myself when it is necessary. I am someone I will always be with. I must know myself inside and out. Daily reflections are important in overcoming obstacles. Becoming aware of the negative emotions your feeling is the first step in getting past them. 5) Motivational Speakers / Influential Figures In A Field You're Passionate About (Mind Being Positivity and Fitness) - Eric Thomas, CT Fletcher, Steven Furtick, Gregg Plitt, Frank Medrano, Tony Robbins, Les Brown if they speak motivating, positive thoughts I listen. Your subconscious mind cannot decipher between that which is hears and that which is real in what it hears. It takes it all in, stores it, and believes it to be true. When someone speaks on an audio track about how amazing you are or how powerful you are, your mind starts to believe it more and more. I have found myself more than ever listening to Christian music. Consider Dr. Eric Thomas Radio on Pandora or Eric Thomas radio on Pandora and you will hear some for yourself. 6) Classical Music / Jazz Music - After having lived my earlier years listening to every type of genre available, my mind needs a break. Music can change our lives for better or for worse. It is up to us to decide which path we choose. Even though you may think Post Malone or Linkin Park pick you up from the darkness, again, subconsciously your mind can not tell the difference between the words they are sharing as being real or false. Classical music and jazz music give your mind the opportunity to listen to something positive while also maintaining its own thinking process. 7) Deleting All Forms of Social Media - Speaks for itself. We all can feel the negatives of this. At the same time I quit PMO and problematic gambling, I also deleted all of my social media accounts making NO excuses that I need to talk to this person, or I need to talk to that person. My happiness and freedom are much more important to me than any form of social interaction. I can't even quantify how much happier I've been because of this I just know it to be real! And last but not least... I believe in God. I believe in something more important than me. I believe in the fact that we all our one looking for the same sense of happiness as everyone else. I believe my positivity can lead to your positivity, and vice-versa. It is very important that we all watch what we say to others because it can truly have an impact on the things that they decide for in their lives. Let us speak on ideas, not people. Let us speak on the positives, not the negatives. There is so much more to who I am than what I've shared in this writing but to sum me up I would say I am a lover of all things life. I believe in you. I know you can do it, anything you want to do. Why? Because we are more alike than most realize. I'm here for you. I will share my energy with you. I will do everything I can to make this a better world for all of us. I appreciate you so greatly for taking the time to read this. I wish I could share it all with you but you have your own life to get on with. Make a conscious effort to hold yourself accountable. Do everything you can. Others are counting on you. Your family, your friends, people you've never met who would do anything for you. Much Love To All.