The tldr; is really in the title, but the distance between the two views is more than 14 years apart. It started randomly when a family friend introduced me to an adult website. I remember seeing it and not making much of it. Until another few months when I started exploring other websites, still not doing anything. But one night I instinctively grabbed my dick and started masturbating to those pictures, and then I came. A rush of ecstasy flowed through my brain and my body at once, making me forget I was in the same room. This, coupled with TV, video games, junk media continued throughout my high-school years. I never thought about it too much, it felt right. There wasn't a year ever since until 2017 where I didn't masturbate more than there were days in the calendar. Some times every day, sometimes I took a break for a week, then return with a vengeance and go at it 3x 4x times, until at the end of the year the balance was as follows: timesMasturbated > daysInAYear. I had everything. The comfort of a home, loving parents, entertainment at will, and I worked for NONE of it. But it felt wrong. So I applied and got into university outside my country, and soon had to leave home. I knew I had to make my life hard on purpose, because otherwise I wouldn't do anything and sooner or later life will hit me even stronger in the face and I wouldn't be ready. Years of avoiding work, conflict, effort, sacrifice, risk have made me soft. So I ''sabotaged myself", and went far away from home, from comfort, from the familiar. I had no friends there, and I was terrible at making friends. I knew time there was either going to make me or break me. And breaking wasn't an option. It was tough, and I struggled because education there was for real. My escape until that time was always video games, junk media ( news, facebook ) and porn. But as I learned further down the line, everything for me revolves around an old saying "Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life". But before it turned better I had to realise how bad it was. I could barely start my assignments, I was procrastinating intensly with facebook and porn to get the edge off. I soon learned and started practicing meditation, which made me more aware of my habits. I kicked facebook away for the final year, but when I tried to do the same with porn, I always came back to it. This is when you know it's an addiction. If you want to quit, but you can't, and revert back to it, it's addiction. I was aware of it so I was doing it more rarely, but I had to use apps to block websites. When porn was blocked I went to cams and then to escort sites. I was relentless. In a horrible way. But I met this girl and for a while the bad habits stopped. For the first time I had to admit I had ED. The dick sometimes worked, but most of the time it didn't. I told her, in fact that is what our relationship was based on - truth. She was very strong and understanding. Looking back I realise how much that can hurt. She felt she wasn't good enough and all that kind of stuff. Fast-forward 1 year, amidst some stress related events, I started falling back into my old ways. But this time it was worse. I couldn't perform, I was irritable, anxious. It was ridiculous. I started being needy with my gf in times when she was going through tough times. I didn't even recognize myself. It culminated with me breaking up with her, thinking it was her fault. But soon realizing it was me. And that was all that I needed to know. I started reading all kinds of books on desire, the redpill, masculine <-> feminine dynamics, ybop, fightthenewdrug and there was a recurring pattern of porn usage. I stopped watching porn for good then, even though I had doubts that IT was the cause. There some things that helped me: 1) Finding my why - My first why was realising I destroyed a perfectly healthy relationship. I promised myself I would never ruin a human relationship because of porn ever again. It's strange, but it's what kept me going in the early days. Then I started building on that why, seeing the porn industry for what it really is: profit maximizing without concern for human well-being ( from stories of human trafficking, of people preying on gaps left by other events in people's lives). At its best its just cheap entertainment, an escape from real life, from the problems of real life. At its worst, it's just disgusting. I'm at a point where If I had the chance to pull the trigger on this industry and destroy it, I would do it without hesitation. This is how I feel about it. It's consistent with another thing I overheard " The thoughts that got you here are not the thoughts that will take you out of here". 2) Suspending belief and trusting the process - This is fucking huge. There will be times when you won't believe this works, you will doubt you can ever change, you will even doubt this is the problem. A hack that I discovered is suspending belief. Instead of the fight between "it works" and "it doesn't work", say I'm suspending belief. I don't believe anything, but I need more evidence and say " I'll come back to this thought in 6 months ". In doing this, you give time for the neural connections to porn to weaken and go around the big debate going on in your head. The process needs a fertile ground and time to grow into the new you, and with this mindhack you buy that time. 3) Fighting fire with fire - There will be days, dark days when the urge is so strong you don't have much time to think a good thought. In those days you resort to action. When the urge comes there were a few things I've done over the past year, either: - go outside take a walk - do pushups until one feels his hands burning and his breathing heavy The tldr; 1 Year+ no Porn, 90+ days PMO-free. Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life. The benefits don't accumulate linearly.- cold showers or any sort of physical shock to the body that blocks the mind from thinking After 7 months of no porn, but some masturbation, I quit sugar ( as much as possible, in that I don't eat sweets). Then after 3 months, after reading lots of personal stories, and science I realised I had to do the full 90 days no PMO. After 4 weeks, I started noticing improved thought patterns. I felt proud of what I've done, no longer unworthy of love and affection, less socially anxious. I've done numerous things that I feared before giving up PMO. I've donated blood, I've held a presentation in front of 40 unknown people, started acting classes, got a promotion, flirted with some girls (without feeling like I should do anything more), told many of my friends (men and women) about my porn addiction. I also slipped up once and had 3-4 wet dreams. It felt insane that I could cum in my sleep, without putting my hands on it. "Look ma', no hands!". And the funniest thing happened a few days ago, after I told a friend of mine that's married and has kids about this. What she told me blew my mind. She told me she discussed this topic (PMO) a while ago with her husband and he told her that he masturbated once in his life, didn't see the point of it and then never did it again. And I have to tell you after hearing this, close to my 90 day mark, I felt it as a call to action. Fast forward today, day 91, I have to say I'm proud of myself and of all men taking this challenge, disassociating themselves from the fake, artificial and immediate to play the long game. I'm thankful to all of you, those who have spotted this problem early, and had the courage and instinct to speak up. It's horrible to lose, especially time (years of my life), but it's great to put an end to those losses before it's too late to recover. Also to those who have built the community, those who have grown the community and those who have joined the community. Without all of you I probably wouldn't be in a position today to take control of my life back. I know It's a long read, but I think you need to know the context in which things happened to understand how the porn addiction emerged, and how I had to battle comfort and fool my primitive self in order to win this war. The tldr; 1 Year+ no Porn, 90+ days PMO-free. Happy to answer questions.