Hi guys. This is the thing: I didn't know where to write this, as I'm kind of a noob to the forum, so I put it here, as I think it is part of "rebooting". First of all, please, ignore my bad English. Sometimes, I don't know how to express my thoughts, and I say this because this has turned on a hell of a long post... So I thank you for your patience if you decide to actually read it. This contains a little bit of biographical information, so close the thread if you get bored with others' lives. Okay, here it goes: To fully explain my doubts, I have to start from the beginning. I first heard of NoFap in 2015. I was surfing on Youtube when I casually clicked on that one video: "Not fapping for 5 months has changed my life...". I saw the entire 20-minute video. I was shocked. I didn't know this thing existed. "Not masturbating will attract girls? WOW!! It will make me more social? WOW!!!!!" I instantly saw "NoFap" as a life-changing tool, a panacea that would make my dreams come true, and as months passed, it became my religion, my form of life. I haven't been popular in my teen years, and I thought NoFap would definitely place me some steps higher. You know, the typical dream amongst teenagers. After 2 years of trying, I finally could make through a 120 day streak. The first days would feel great, but then something started to happen. I don't know if it was because This long journey took place when I came back from first year of college, but stress started to kick in after 30 days. I obsessed a bit with my sleeping pattern, and I started to wake up in the middle of the nights for no reason. As a result of this, I slowly began to develop some kind of anxiety (I didn't know back then...) and daytime tiredness. I began to see a lot of flaws in my behaviour, and I was never happy with what I practised each day (I study to be a musician, so I have to practice every dat). Interactions with girls became better, I think. But it could have been due to exercising and going to the gym, which increased my confidence. I became mad, ABSOLUTELY MAD with self-improvement. I strived to improve everything of myself: My posture, my talking, walking, even oral posture (for the guys that don't know, search "mewing"). Meditation (I think this is the best one yet, I don't regret it), better studying habits, better sleeping habits, more discipline... etc. I was totally obsessed. I could watch 20 self-improvement videos every day to find what? That I would never reach that ideal-self. I knew that in the deepest part of my thoughts. I was soaked with information, and that made me feel good. I felt superior; I knew more than the rest. Now I realize this is bullshit ego feeding. I realized it the other day, when I watched some random video of a jacked guy talking about self improvement, NoFap, looking at girls, etc, etc... We've crossed the line, guys. This is just too much. If only I could just happily forget these things... but I fell for it, and I am currently struggling not to become like them. As Nietzsche said: "Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you. Then, the second year of college came. With it, a new girl ("WOAH, I got a girlfriend! This could be... Nah, not myself. Girls don't like me. Girls like my NOFAP version of myself". We started talking, and with time, dating. She became my first serious girlfriend, but with time I found out that the relationship was toxic. Again, I strived to improve EVERY PART about myself, but at the same time, I began to hate myself: If I talked passionately about something in front of a girl, the little "fapstronaut" inside me would yell at me: "DON'T do that! REAL men don't behave like nerds! Just stay calm, and they will eventualy come to you!" If I didn't workout the day I was supposed to, I would nearly hit myself because I succumbed to going to domino's with my friends that night, or because I was simply tired that day. I blamed myself for being tired: "REAL men are disciplined!!, DON'T fall for easy things!! Life is NOT easy!! You are such a bland loser!!" Blah, blah, blah... I felt like these things (to name a few) converted me into more of an unhappy person, rather than a happy one. I couldn't go to a social event without looking the place which girls were looking, looking if their feet were pointing towards me (yes, I had a girlfriend, but looking how girls behaved became a habit...), ALWAYS being careful of what I said, and how I said it... always tried to be the so called "Alpha" man. I felt like I knew everything, but I did nothing. I couldn't "be myself", despite the ridiculous amount of self-improvement videos that say that: Be yourself, be yourself, be yourself! How I am supposed to "be myself" when I have a f***ing long do's and don'ts list sticked right on my brain? This doesn't end here. I ended my relationship some months ago, and I went on vacation (currently on it). Last year was exhausting, both physical and mental, especially mentally. I thought this summer I would finally change, and I started NoFap again. I was desesperated to do so, and first days went actually good, but then... BOOM! Depression. BOOM! Anxiety. And more sleep disorders. I became more and more tired while days were passing. I felt like days were always the same, and that I lost my interest in everything. I was always tired, always complaining about sleep, complaining about food, complaining about myself... I was tired of complaining. I was tired of being tired. Transmutation of sexual energy? Nah, more like absolute draining of energy. There were days when I wanted to masturbate so badly, but I didn't do it. I thought that, eventually, that shitload of energy was going to go directly to my brain and muscles. When I resisted those urges, I didn't really feel better. The sensation was the same as being thirsty, sitting on a chair, directly looking at a glass bottle full of pure, fresh water. I NEEDED to drink, but I had convinced myself that if I did, I would instantly be a "boy", a "beta", let's call it; not a "man", for succumbing to the urge. I reached the 50-day mark, but I wasn't proud anymore. I lost all my faith on NoFap, and guess what I did. I fapped. And I fapped to porn. But know what? I felt relieved. I didn't notice any decrease in energy for workout. In fact, it has improved. Things are not as interesting as before depression, but I don't feel that huge weight in my shoulders, which was preventing me of doing anything productive. I still have obsessions about self-improvement, but the thing I noticed the most is stress. It has vanished, absolutely nothing. My sleep has improved a lot, and now I wake up in the mornings feeling rested. This is the thing I absolutely thank the best. I couldn't stand waking up unrested and knowing that no matter what I did, no matter what motivational videos I watched, THAT day was gonna be a shit. I know that fapping to porn every day 2 times is detrimental, and I know that there is a thing called "porn addiction". But honestly, I can't believe that things like anxiety, depression, sleep disorders and obsessions are just "withdrawals". This is starting to make me believe that this is just an excuse to keep abstaining for masturbation, no matter what. Also, I don't believe that masturbating every once in a while could be damaging to your lifestyle. I haven't tried to do this, but the possibility of doing so is starting to take shape in my mind. This is NOT the only time I felt relieved; the other one was about a year ago, around day 32 of my streak. I was feeling down those days and, of course, I attributed it to "flatline". I had a very vivid wet dream that night, and the next day I woke up just great, feeling light as a feather. I wanted to die by doing pushups. I had so much energy that I could have boosted a car myself, I'm not even exaggerating Also, I felt VERY guilty when I looked a girl with lust, and when I had porn thoughts. Not to mention when I relapsed: I felt very, very bad with myself, and yes; I went de-energized for a couple of days. But... could it be just mind-provoked depression, by feeling guilty and bad? Also, could be those "superpowers" be provoked only by the illusion of mind, and NOT by abstaining from masturbation?: "Now that I started NoFap, I will become the BEST version of myself hehehehe". Having this statement inserted in your mind, I think it is kind of normal to wake up the next day feeling like a f***ing beast. Guys, I'm not saying that NoFap is a lie. As stated in the title, I only have doubts. But they are very strong and grounded doubts, as I explained up there. I don't want to be against anything, I only want help, and see if others have experienced the same thing. As I saw, this is a very open-minded community, so I decided to express my thoughts here. I still don't know if masturbating is good or bad, I don't know if I have to feel guilty or not for relapsing multiple times this week; and I don't know whether to start or not another streak, because my previous long-streak-experiences were not very good. I don't want to feel guilty, as I'm just damn tired of feeling guilty each time I masturbate. I only want a happy, peaceful, non-self-destructive life, and if NoFap is really the solution, there might be a GOOD reason to start it again. That being said, I thank you for reading till this point. I must confess that I feel a lot better now that I have regurgitated all this shit. Nothing more to say. Peace!