Hi everyone, This is going to be a long post so brace yourself...probably a good thing that it's going to be long because what I am looking for are people who on top of just being accountability partners are really looking to get deeper and talk about themselves and try to help each other out by essentially being a cross between something of an objective therapist and a supportive friend. One of the things I think porn does so well is give you something that helps you feel good temporarily but in the long term increasingly isolates yourself from real life whether it is yourself, your goals, your problems, or your relationships and others. The more porn you watch, the more you forget about yourself, who you want to be, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and also most importantly all the other people in your life. And having tried NoFap for quite some time, I think what I have realized is that sometimes you do need to talk to others to get out of your own head and to see different perspectives and maybe those things will help you see things differently and give you solutions that you never would have arrived to on your own. Sometimes even, talking is all you need from turning an idea or a feeling in your head in to something you can act on and make concrete. And on top of all of this, I know most if not all of us here have some shame and negative feelings towards ourselves for this addiction...but there is no shame in getting help from others. No man is an island yet when we are in front of a screen with pornography in it, we can forget that and think that for that brief moment the best thing for us is to hide and be alone and forget about the rest of the world and everyone else and all the problems and hardships in it. But we can beat that! And part of it is learning how to be yourself again and be comfortable being yourself around others. And so I think this is something perhaps all of us needs. Especially those of us who have really retreated and been out on their own emotionally for some time. So, a little bit about myself...I'm 26, live in the East Coast of the US, and was introduced to NoFap maybe 2 years ago but have long been aware of the negative effects porn has had on my mental, emotional, physical health, and also my relationships. Maybe when I was first introduced to pornography as a curious and horny teenager, it was just innocent and fun and games. Just some thing teenage boys did and talked about. But by the time I was in high school, I already felt like it was something I used as an escape and a crutch. And even when I was in relationships, I felt like I was never really being myself. And that my use, or more like, abuse, of pornography was something to hide and be ashamed of because it has taken up such a big part of my life and is such a crutch and weak point for me. So having already attempted something similar of my own but never really getting that far, when I first found NoFap it was quite helpful. Thanks to it, I was able to build up a streak of over 2 months. But I never got to 90 days. It's been two years. And I have never given up that goal. But I know I can't just keep brute forcing it and willing myself to 90 days. This whole time, I felt like it was something I just had to try harder at and get through on my own. No one else could help. But it hasn't worked. Half a year ago, I decided to start speaking to a therapist about it, and it was really difficult to talk about at first but it has helped. And even though I still have never reached 90 days so far, my focus has started to shift on not just fulfilling a 90 day challenge, but everything else that comes after it. Because really, at least for me, it isn't really like I abuse pornography and whatever substances because there is an actual physical need for it that I can't stop or fight off like hunger or some physical addiction to like heroin or whatever where you would go in to withdrawal. When forced to, maybe because I am camping or in an environment where I don't have much alone time, I have lasted plenty long of a time without PMO without any physical pains or side effects. It also isn't like I must have sex or must be in a relationship with someone so badly that 90 days with no PMO is the only way to achieve it. I could be in a relationship right now or maybe even be having sex right now probably if I really really wanted to but it may not be a healthy or meaningful one. So what I am saying is, I know for a fact, that I watch pornography because there is something else in my life that I am running or trying to escape from. Maybe it's negative emotions, maybe its stress, maybe it's physical pain, maybe its fear of hard work, or loneliness or anger or boredom or whatever. But porn is a crutch. And I want to learn how to live without crutches. Because they are holding me back from becoming healthy, happy, prosperous and in general, the person I want to become. So I am not in this for some religious reason (though I am absolutely open minded to those who are). I am not part of this community also with an end goal in mind of quitting a porn habit so that I can start feeling confident and date real life people again or whatever. Trust me, you can be in relationships or even be married and still be addicted to porn. One of my good childhood friends would never admit to being addicted to porn, it was just something he did daily despite being married, but very unhappily married and stressed out and angry at life. And the last time I checked up on him, he was cheating and drunk at any chance he could have been. So even for someone in a relationship or even having sex regularly, porn is something that can be used to fill a hole in your life unhealthily. So beyond just porn, I am interested first and foremost in self-development. And learning to live with myself, and improve myself, and be the person I can be proud enough of that I can open myself up and share the real me with others. I don't want to rely on porn, drugs, TV, video games, food, or anything so that I can run from my feelings, my real life stress, my failures/setbacks, my weaknesses or any of that stuff which makes me want to run away from real life and retreat in to my cave and stare at a screen of other people having sex to numb myself. That is the key to me. Porn is one aspect of the problem. I may be succesful in quitting porn but it would mean nothing if all I did was replace that with a gambling addiction or addiction to working out and being thin for example or even being in a relationship. Believe me, I have seen friends and loved ones with serious issues like bulimia, self-harm, PTSD, anger/domestic violence and other issues because they can't live with themselves and force themselves to stay in hurtful relationships. So just being with someone or being able to go on a date or meet a girl or a boy shouldn't be a goal of NoFap to me. The real work is done when you can look yourself honestly in the mirror and in your heart and feel like you want to be that person. The real work is turning off the computer or the phone and getting back to real life and all of its ups and downs and learning how to keep growing and becoming who you want to be. With that said, I am open to talking with anyone. Of any background. Maybe it would help facilitate conversation if we were a similar age or sex and have already had some experiences with NoFap and obviously failure at NoFap but none of it is a necessity. The only thing that I am really looking for are people who are willing to not just be accountability partners but someone who sees this all as a journey to self-development and want to be open and go deeper than the superficial stuff to share and help each other in achieving their goals and hopefully in that process, also help themselves. I don't have any firm ideas yet on what are the best methods of communication but it would be great to get at least a handful of people in a group and all get to know each other. Maybe a whatsapp group or Discord or something. But basically it would be great to get a bunch of people here that all want to be able to just talk freely. Whenever. About as much or as little of stuff as they want. But I really do believe that we can learn a lot from each other and that sometimes we may have the answer in our brains already or the idea of it, but those things don't materialize or become truths until we are ready to talk about it and then maybe even put our words in to action. So yeah, if there are like minded people out there who want to go beyond just the daily check-in and are willing to talk freely and deeply about their goals and their problems and all of that self-development stuff, let me know! I will wait a couple days to see what the responses to this are like and then go from there and figure out some platforms for communication and maybe some like conversation starters or topic threads we can all contribute to. And maybe even find a time every week where we can all talk online or whatever. Maybe this could end up being like some sort of online mini AA thing. That could be really helpful I imagine.