Okay, this is more of a bitter rant than anything helpful, but maybe it will offer insight to others in their growth. Perhaps my purpose in life is to serve as an example to others of what not to do. I'm not writing in Success Stories because this isn't one, and I'm feeling the worse because of it. TLR - despite my time here, and time since PMO, I'm lacking any real confidence. Any honestly helpful insight would be appreciated - no, the courage->competence->confidence process is not helpful. Bitching and slagging off at me is also no helpful - hate me in another thread, please. I'm coming up on 100 days since my last (partial) relapse, and with the almost sixty days prior to that, I thought I'd reflect on something that was foremost in my mind when I first started here. I wrote posts early on about my concerns with confidence (here and here), and this morning it is something I'm ruminating on quite a bit. Before I go on, I know that NoFap is not a magic bullet. It won't suddenly change you into something you were not. All of the success stories you read about, those are of people whose potential was already there. They had all of that inside them, which they'd just delayed because the easy path (masturbation) was easy. And fun. Let's be honest - we don't tug because it's good for the planet. As someone who has gotten to where I am by sheer bull-headedness (sure discipline is a part of it, but discipline is easy), I'm left looking at these stories and asking "Me?". I can look at points in my life since March (or June) and see where things have 'improved' - I go to the gym 5-6 times a week, I've lost weight, my wife and I are addressing the issues of our relationship, and the issue that is our relationship, but so what? I've reached a point where I can mentally dismiss the narrow-minded jerks I work with (even the Nazi who goes to the Philippines as a sex tourist) as people I don't talk with but can at least hope they grow for the better, but who gives a fuck? I still suck at human (syntax error intended). I've made (what I thought) were honest attempts at tackling the issue of my lack of confidence - I purchased a hypnotic 'Mens Confidence' programme, and attempted part of if - I have a deep-seated issue of going up and talking to a woman while I'm still married. Not hitting on her, just saying "Hello, you're...., right?" I've looked at actually getting myself hypnotised just to deal with issue (not that costly, if the research is accurate), but the process sounded not invasive enough. I'm aware of everything that's going on, and won't have anything suggested to me that I don't want - how does that even work? I'll still be the same useless guy I was before. I can see what some of you are thinking - "stop playing the victim". You know what - if that's how you feel, great. You're entitled to that, but if you can't offer something useful to my situation, don't offer your opinion here. (interestingly, the one person who did that in one of earlier thread suffered a relapse and vanished soon after) I'm here, I'm doing my time, putting my foot one in front of the other, but at the end of the day, the much-vaunted confidence just isn't here. Sure, I can put myself on display at the gym, looking like a prize goose in a class, or bench-pressing just the bar (pre-serum Steve Rogers eat your heart out), but that's not confidence - that's just showing up. It's no different from going to work every day and doing something you don't like. I do that too, but there's nothing beyond a paycheque each fortnight to show for it. So what if now a 29 inch waist and wear Small t-shirts - they're just clothes, which in this case are not making me a man. "Do something you like?" No. Besides not being invested in most things to care about them long-term, liking something means it'll be taken away from you. I started doing parkour when I started here, but after a few weeks of struggling, I haven't gone back - what's the point? I guess the strongest indicator is that the ideation has started coming to the foremind again. Before anyone suggests I call a Help Line, let's be realistic here. I've spoken to more counsellors than you've had hot dinners, and none of them has helped (and a few have actually hindered). I'm not looking for anyone's help with this issue, but I felt that full disclosure was probably best. The planning is there, and I'm more comfortable with that than anything you could possibly suggest. No, really. I'm sure whatever you've got to suggest is something that hasn't worked before, and we all know what the definition of Madness is.... In the interests of being helpful, I'll even put forward things that might help to change my mindset; Exercise: For those who weren't paying attention, I've been to the gym 6 times already this week, and a PT session tomorrow, so I'm not sure if this is a problem. Am I doing enough? I don't know. Some people would argue I'm doing too much. I'm not sure what other angle I could take at this for an improvement beyond continued working with my Trainer - it's a long-term thing, which I understand - show up, do what you're told, push yourself to failure/hurting/whatever, but not injury. Work: Actually, I can't. I'm currently about to start two weeks leave from work because I have excess holidays (somewhere over 1,250 hours). I hate my job as pointless and unfulfilling, but there's money and something resembling a routine. For those who'd suggest "quit your job and do something you want to do" I'll retort with "Like what?" I can't think of a job that I'd actually enjoy doing that would be worth pursuing, and even then, I don't think those jobs exist. Intelligence work isn't all gunfights and shaken martinis. Astronauts spend more time on waiting lists than in weightlessness. The military doesn't have a pressing need for 40 year old nearsighted Arts graduates. I'd love to have a job where I'd wake up wanting to go to work, but somehow I don't think that job exists for me. Divorce: "Hey Questionite, you go on about your marriage sucking - why not end it?" Great idea, but you know what? I'd like to quit something only after exhausting the options. Who knows, maybe I'll find something in therapy that gets me interested in my wife? Maybe she'll have a change of perspective and think that if she wants me to be happy, a little femininity and effort on her part is a small price to pay. Like my physical body, I consider my marriage currently very much a work in progress rather than something to be condemned. Sex: Why not have sex with your wife? Besides the fact that she's not presently around, or the fact that I'm probably going through an extended period of flatline, or the fact that I'm just not feeling interested in her, or that we're still working on the marriage? Need something else? Why not go and have sex with someone else? An interesting idea, and one I'd entertain for half a sexond, but I have a long and unhappy history of failure in trying to meet women, and I'm not really in a state of mind to handle rejection at present. Sure, there's something to be said for building up calluses, but getting rejected would just remind me of all the other times I've been rejected. Interestingly, the situations where I have been successful weren't based on me trying - they were based on the other party making the effort. Not very manly, I know, but in this respect I've gained an Accountant's conservatism - it's an Accounts Receivable until your actually have the Cash. Rub One Out: Ah, the Elephant in the room - actually a non-issue. It's not something I've even considering at this point. "But Q.... Ninety-something days? Don't you wanna...? Sure, I'd like to, the dopamine hit might even do me a temporary good, but somehow it just doesn't seem like it balances out. I recall my thinking early on - I feel crap a lot of the time even when I'm PMO, so without PMO, I'll still feel like crap, but I won't have a habit/addiction/hobby. Today is one of those days where I really feel like crap, but somehow my conscious mind isn't entertaining it. In full disclosure, I think my subconscious mind is having other ideas. Somehow while setting my browsing up this morning I went and typed one of my old go-to website addresses in. I didn't visit it, but after 10 to 15 minutes of looking at my other (non-porn) sites, I saw the tab for it. I closed it before looking at it, but it goes to show you what a strong hold it has on your mind.