I just wanted to share my story as this thread and others got me out of a bad place.
When I was around 20 I stumbled onto r/nofap and only took it with a grain of salt and thought this was madness. As I continued daily PMO ever since I was about 17. It wasn’t until I failed a unit at uni and lost my part time job that I had to reflect on something. This wasn’t an addiction to me at the time. My brain was always foggy, I was always demotivated and never had the energy to do anything as a 20 year old. I came back to r/nofap to read success stories and tried to give it a chance. I used to watch every porn you could imagine, get premium porn accounts and paid for some subscriptions myself to get more content. It came to the point that I even got a VR just for porn.
Once I started to try and stop the daily PMO, it occurred to me that this was an addiction. It started off with 1 day then 2 days and a relapse and so on, quitting cold Turkey wasn’t couldn’t do it. So r/pornfreehelped as a gateway to stopping the triggers of masturbation. I would always get so upset whenever I broke my “streak” but I started to focus so much on my streak that I didn’t acknowledge the benefits once I went without PMO for a week or a month or 3 months. It took many attempts before I could hit the 6 months PMO free mark.
I realised I had so much more time and energy without PMO and put those resources back into studying and working out which made me more productive and built my confidence. Fast forward to today and I have a beautiful girlfriend, a comfortable high paying job and body is in shape.
I can’t thank r/nofap enough, if I didn’t know this was an addiction I would never have recovered. Porn is addiction and has not benefited my adolescents other than a quick dopamine hit.