Since I turned 32 on 9th November 2017, my resolve to break free from PMO has grown ever stronger and I achieved another 30 days free of PMO during this period of time. I have learned a lot of lessons but I came to one realization. I never really understood engaging in self improvement activities without actually addressing the underlying problem was cosmetic. I would engage in exercise, reading self help books, kick boxing, cold showers etc thinking that these activities would actually help me overcome PMO. While they worked for a while in the end it was an exercise in futility as I kept on relapsing. I realized I had cultivated self hate and feelings of inadequacy for a very long time subconsciously. This all came to be because of my upbringing. I never experienced a close relationship with my parents as they were absent many times during my childhood working to put food on the table. On top of that, my father was a perfectionist and “you are not good enough” was a constant as a child. One never realizes the impact this has on children. To make matters worse, later down the line, my younger siblings received much love and care and are much closer to my parents now. I often wondered why I received such neglect from my parents. What was wrong with me? This also started to affect my interactions with my peers as a teenager and I slowly began to withdraw from people and became a loner. I found solace in living in a fantasy world. I would create elaborate worlds in my imagination and “live” there in those worlds for long periods to escape the pain of rejection. Later, porn and masturbation became the perfect world. I hated the real world. I hated people. People always seemed to reject me left right and center. Getting rejected by girls and later women was the worst. So living in my world where I was the hero and I was fully accepted was awesome. Only I did not know how much damage it was doing. Later, this fantasy world would prove to be a mental prison that made me contemplate ending my life on numerous occasions. Now that I am addressing my deep seated issues, I have seen a major improvement in overcoming PMO. I am developing self love every single day. And wow, it is a breath of fresh air to my life. For me, self love is a basic need as much as water and food. When you accept yourself as being whole and not damaged goods no matter what you experienced earlier on in life, you begin to change. As the Bible says, love your neighbor as yourself. If you don’t love yourself, forget about loving others. Other people become burdens to your life including family. You start to look at the people from a very pessimistic view and the world becomes a very dark place. Your life becomes meaningless. So in essence, I am healing. I have accepted that I did not receive the kind of love I desired as a child and stopped blaming my father and mother. I am the firstborn and it must have been hard for first time parents to bring up a child in this world. They surely could have not known everything on how to bring up a child in this world. They learned their lessons and applied them on raising my siblings. I also have a friend whose father abandoned him at the age of 3. He is always bitter and resentful about it. His life is a constant struggle against inadequacy and feelings of rejection. It made me appreciate and grateful that I had a father who actually cared to stay in my life. My father expressed his love for me in a different way I guess. I am working on improving my relationship especially with my father. He is still a perfectionist but I am more accepting. My relationship with my mother has improved immeasurably. Yes, life is much better when PMO is no longer a major part of my life. Increased confidence is really good. My communication skills have improved immensely. Energy has increased as I now don’t wake up feeling so groggy. In fact, I need less sleep than usual. I am now coding every day as my desire is to become a full stack web developer. I have always loved programming and tech in general. I hate my current job of being a customer service representative. And my skin is super smooth with regard to my face. After years of acne like swellings, they have “disappeared”. It is not all a bed of roses though. My relationship with my GF is on the verge of ending. I can feel it. Ever since I fully committed to NoFAP, things have not worked out well. I am still not sure why but I suspect that before when I was casual with NoFAP, I would attend to her every need and desire. Now I want to take care of myself more and she has become withdrawn. Also, I have become a self help book junkie and I think this is dangerous. I am constantly looking for some esoteric information that may take me to the next level as it were. In essence, this is my take after this successful period. While self improvement is an important part in overcoming PMO, you cannot forget to heal from your internal wounds. The pain that is simmering below while being suppressed needs to be addressed. Otherwise, self improvement in itself will not have lasting changes or the change is temporary. For permanent change, look beyond the symptoms. Self love is key to breaking free from PMO.