So I've made it to 175 days of no masturbation and no looking at any porn. I was hardmode at first, but have been dating a lady for a while, with sex about once a week. I want to put this in my own words. Other than what you normally hear, "so much more confident, ladies like me, stronger, more manly, etc etc." Let me start out by saying, this shit is hard. It's on a whole higher level of challenge next to anything else. It doesn't get easier. It might be easier for a month or maybe a few days you'll feel invincible, but always, some kind of urge will come back. You have to be stronger than yourself. You have to be outside of yourself. If you can look down at your life as just a puppet show in a great huge world, and find a higher purpose that serves something greater than your life, you might have the beginning of the right mindset. This "challenge" isn't just a challenge to be taken lightly. This is some serious lifestyle changing next level shit. And it will never come to you on a silver plate. You always have to earn it. Every day. Every minute. It can all come crashing down in a heartbeat. I feel so much more connected and conscious of everything that is actually going on. I can feel other people's thoughts now. It's as if I become immersed in their emotions and intentions the moment I focus on them, or talk to them. It's as if we are sharing a soul for a minute. I can see so much more bullshit in our world now. All around us, lies, deception, violence; all within a puppet show of different statuses, skin colors, and languages. As a society, we are so disconnected from each other. And yet, as humans, we are so connected to each other. We have to ability to be a part of other people's souls. I firmly believe that porn, masturbation, and a culture of casual sex numbs us to our true empathy. We were made to feel the painful emotions, not so we can mask them, but so we can fix them. On another note, I'm spending an incredible amount of time every day studying to better myself and gain new skills. Currently I'm studying photography on the side of my main job. Not at a college, which in my opinion is overpriced bullshit, but independently, through youtube, and through the wealth of articles and photos available on the internet. I always used to play hours of computer games, even when I started trying nofap a year ago, even earlier in this streak. I would waste time doing a whole bunch of jack shit for a rush of happiness. I actually find the same happiness now in learning. I feel like I have a purpose in life now, even if everything is more intense, and the world seems a darker place. I'm glad I can see the darkness, so that I can figure out a way to make it a brighter place. The healing from over 13 years of PMO doesn't happen fast. No, it will take what seems ages for thought patterns to surface, and they will. And you must face them alone. There is nobody there to prevent you from pulling that trigger, if you act on them. As I said, you have to be stronger than yourself. Day in and day out. My healing is coming along, physically and mentally. If I could gauge it on how I want to feel, I would say I'm 17 steps in, out of 500 steps to go. I can't think of much else to say that hasn't been said. Yes, sometimes women seem more attracted to me. Yes, I have more energy, And yes to just about all the main benefits everyone reports. If you're struggling with this, trying loving yourself more, and know that you are capable of being much stronger than you are led to believe. I'll keep fighting. Slow progress and baby steps will eventually add up.