I'm currently on day 5, so no big achievement in terms of abstinence but I think I've hit a personal breakthrough that I wanted to share here. I went on a binging period of about 2 weeks before the beginning of September, and was feeling hopeless about not having enough will to get rid of this bad habit and take control of my life. I've postponed everything from job interviews, my projects, dates and hangouts with friends because I felt like absolute shit after every relapse because of both shame as well as lacking energy. To add insult to injury, a gorgeous woman that I was chatting with on Tinder came back to my city from a short vacation and actually agreed on a date. Mind you, I was feeling so low and powerless I was beginning to have suicidal thoughts (no actions, thankfully). I really didn't want to actually see her, because I felt that I would completely fail in actually attracting her. My anxiety was sky-high, it was hard keeping my head up when walking, I didn't feel like speaking to anybody, and couldn't even stand my own reflection in the mirror. When I though of her, all I can think of was sex and nothing else. Every sign was telling me to not actually go through with the date; to do what I usually do after relapses and spend 30 days on nofap and working hard and meditating etc. until I felt good and shameless enough to actually be confident on a date. As the day came, and I was about to write some bullshit excuse text to her to cancel the date, I fucking felt angry as hell. I realized that I'm stuck in a cycle trying to be some "ideal" pmo-free and self-controlling version of myself but never actually getting there. I postpone everything that's actually good for me to when I actually become this ideal version of myself that I'm proud of, meaning I never actually do anything to develop myself because everytime I relapse, shame makes me not want to do anything that actually develops me. I tell myself i'm not worthy of a girlfriend yet, of a job (yet), of starting that project (yet). I was literally stagnating. I decided to not cancel the date and just go through with it. I was scared shitless as my anxiety was so high, my brain fog was very intense and I felt like I wasn't worth shit. It's funny how your state of mind can permeate how you see the world and perception can seem like reality. I met her at a cafe and tried to just do my best expecting nothing but a conversation with another human being. No relationship, no sex, no kissing, not even a hug. We are now seriously dating and i'm still surprised at what's happening, but am nevertheless happier and working hard on getting myself back together, whether she's with me or not. Don't let shame consume you. We ARE worthy. This addiction/habit doesn't define us. What defines us is our will and commitment to change our ways, no matter how many times we have and keep failing. Realizing this, I have nothing but respect for myself and everyone in this community. Much love.