It's almost a cliché to hear quotes about shaping our lives. Jim Rohn wrote, "You must take personal responsibility. You can not change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of." Motivational quotes abound stating pretty much the same thing. When I was younger I didn't know of my assets. I didn't know the power I had in determining positive outcomes in my life. Being introverted, insecure and bullied, with low self-esteem and little self-confidence, I had few friends, I felt, that understood me. Being an only child in a single parent household left me wanting. I found porn to be the answer the way many alcoholics and drug addicts feel that there lives are much improved by chemicals; the same way gamblers and debtors, over eating, and any other "fix" that actually is does more harm than good. In the same way gamblers and debtors want more financial security, or the way eating makes people feel better about themselves after looking in the mirror to find an ever increasing waistline, my loneliness and need for physical contact was sated by the images in magazines and videos which perpetuated my isolation. If there were a measure of improved self-confidence I'd be seeking unhealthy relationships--nothing deep or meaningful, just to numb the feeling of being lonely. I've long lived the isolated monkey in the famous Harlow experiment. Fortunately, I can use the insecurity and low self-confidence to keep me from using a woman they way I use their images on the computer screen. Yet, to dig myself out of the hole of low self-esteem and self-confidence, I must first stop the very behavior that makes it easier to deal with. PMO just perpetuates the low self-confidence while simultaneously (and ironically) disallowing my "graduation" to riskier behavior in involving real women. I'm proud of the fact that using a person (and being used in return) isn't healthy at all. While it's important for me to largely drop judging, I use only two requirements to act: it must make me happy, AND, it must be healthy. Sure, acting out on addictions may make me happy in the moment, but avoiding that seeming indulgence makes me happy in the long run, AND makes me emotionally healthy. I'm a firm believer that I'm more apt to find a partner for a healthy, mature, and meaningful relationship if I'm PMO free. If not, I won't be interacting with anyone, healthy or not.