Hello, new here, I'll try to keep this brief as possible, though this most likely will turn into a wall of text. Regardless, please hear me out. Been at PMO since 11-12, sometimes more frequent, sometimes less frequent; tried to quit a couple of times for moral/religious reasons, but just couldn't. I'm currently a 23 old virgin, I come from a religious family where intercourse is only acceptable close to / after marriage, but nonetheless I got roped into PMO habits due to teenage idiocy. Was into "regular" hardcore and some animated stuff (vanilla hentai), however never indulged in extreme fetishes or anything of the sort; also did it mostly once a day, sometimes once a week and there were even periods of absence from PMO. However, I did, what I've later learned is referred to as, a lot of edging before going to sleep without giving it much thought and abuse the death grip along with prone position. Later got accepted into med school at the age of 18 which put some pressure on me, as I became extremely anxious about failing pending exams. Since I am pretty introverted and I didn't have any females in my social circle that I felt like pursuing, I continued to PMO as "stress release"; though there were stretches where I wasn't resorting to it, mainly during exams. Eventually, one problem solved itself - five years later, I have successfully passed all my med school exams and have been enjoying summer vacation before my final year and change at med school. Around August/September I've realized that I haven't been really "feeling" PMO lately and decided that this was a good point to stop a habit I wanted to kick anyway. Through random browsing I stumbled onto the NoFap subreddit, read the wiki, was sold on the concept and joined the "program" 2 weeks ago - 90 days for starters, "hard mode", so no PMO and no edging. Little did I know at the time, that instead of fighting incredible urges to PMO, I would go... ...straight into a 2 week flatline with no libido - my junk shrunk (in addition to which I occasionally experience mild genital discomfort), my balls bloated, got one random erection after a week (without context), morning wood maybe once or twice (which I had every morning back when I was edging), but that's it. Though this does make abstaining from PMO really easy, I'm terrified about the fact that I may have PIED. To clarify, I have not done the PIED test that YBOP recommends, but considering that I'm now 2 weeks into rebooting and I'm experiencing flatline symptoms, 1) I want to continue my streak (my first milestone being 90 days, see more on that down below); 2) don't feel like finding out or "checking if everything's okay down there" as that has been said to slow rebooting progress. The first 2 weeks of rebooting I decided to read up on some material about flatline, eventually stumbled on YBOP articles and discovered Gabe Deem's videos, which have been very informational as well as hugely inspirational and lead me to concocting a recovery plan. I should mention, I'm not "in a hurry", I'm not the womanizer type who wants to bang chicks left and right, but I do very much want to experience intimacy with a future fiancee/eventual wife - and the thought of not being able to do so in the future terrifies me. I am fortunate however to have discovered this problem at this stage in my life - I have ample time to recover and then some to rewire, because I'm not yet done with studies (I have 2-3 semesters left at med school) and I most likely won't be pursuing a relationship until I've completed med school - I will be 25 by then; coincidentally that will be around 12-18 months if I manage uphold my streak, around the time it took Gabe Deem to fully recover. So here's my plan summed up: I'll be working at various hospitals as part of my final year for the next 9-12 months which essentially allows me to go into "monk mode", i.e. hard mode (no PMO) plus, if possible, no arousal (as mentioned in the infamous post by The Underdog). During this time I have to socialize with people almost constantly (due to the nature of hospital work) and the daily routine will take my mind off of potential problems "down there". Aside from med school related stuff, I have lined up a number of activities to keep me busy such as continuing to work out (I already go to the gym 4 times a week), finally learning how to competently play guitar (something I've been "half-assedly" attempting for years), socialize more with friends, generally spending more time outside, getting into reading, etc. Furthermore, I have also decided to implement a cold shower regime (on it already), fast in accordance to Church calendar, organize my day so that I sleep the recommended 8 hours per day, alleviate procrastination and, this is key, also mostly stop looking at any porn addiction related resources (I realized in the past 2 weeks that thinking about it excessively probably only hinders progress, even though reading up on it definitely helped cope with the struggles) - instead of refreshing a progress tracking badge every day, I've set up calendar reminders every 90 days or so to keep me going, in a format similar to this: • 90 days = first step • 180 days = noticeable changes? • 270 days = Gabe's recovery • 360 days = almost a year! • 450 days = Gabe's full recovery • 540 days = reboot successful? -> time to rewire? (To clarify, I'm not crazy about Gabe Deem - his story just happens to be very inspiring and similar to mine in some aspects.) Every time I hit one of these milestones, I intend to write up my experiences and noticeable changes so far. I've spanned out these milestones for the duration of 18 months in preparation for the worst, though I do hope deep down inside that it won't take me that long to recover. Depending on progress and a variety of other factors, I intend to start "rewiring" (however long that may take) around the 15-18 months mark, right around the time I am set to be done with med school. I'm fine with waiting this long to rewire - my parents got married relatively late, so I don't feel the need to be engaged to anybody before 27-28 which gives me another 2-3 years to rewire after rebooting. I don't have much to say about the rewiring part of the plan currently, as 1) it entirely depends on the progress with rebooting; 2) you can't really force or predict such things. I didn't mention anything about relapse as I'm currently flatlining, but I've already made up my mind - I'm not going back to PMO, even if the urges return. (Frankly, I very much wish my natural libido would return, because flatline is depressing.) Realizing now that I've been depriving myself of the human connection I've always longed for and coming to know the effects on my body that my "stress relief" has had over the years, not only have made me feel deeply ashamed of myself and my actions, but also made me realize that if will not be able to satisfy my future wife on a physical level, then I will never achieve true happiness - that's where there the buck stops for me, I want my normal libido back and I'm going to reclaim it! I can actually be a fairly determined guy all things considered, as I've already successfully dealt with similar issues in the past, such as dropping weight through extreme fasting and exercise, for example - so I do believe that I'm at least capable of change. (Excuse the pathos, but that is really how I feel about things currently.) Anyway, that pretty much is my story so far - here's hoping I'm not a lost cause and not as severe of a case as I imagine myself to be. I'm pretty sure that uni will take my mind off these things as soon as it starts, but, for the time being, typing out my situation and sharing it in this fashion definitely helped me come to terms with this problem - I would very much appreciate if somebody could take the time to evaluate my situation and/or give advice on my plan (even though I know it's nigh impossible due to everybody having different starting conditions). I'll probably check this thread the next week or so (along with listening to Gary Wilson's radio show on the topic) and will then return to report progress at the 90 day mark. Aside from that, I do have several questions about rebooting, so any guidance on these would also be highly appreciated: 1) Any tips on avoiding fantasy? I assume this issue will largely alleviate itself once I start working at uni, but I thought I'd ask about this anyway; while I have no desire to PMO, the problem is that I envision various situations for brief seconds similar to scenarios to the ones from the explicit material I've been consuming over the years - I dismiss them by saying "stop" to myself and trying to focus on the topic at hand (be it a conversation or a task). My guess is these visions will also pass with time as reboot progresses? 2) Should I entirely drop caffeine or is just reducing fine? While I have never smoked and never drank any alcohol, I actually have a nasty habit of drinking a lot of Coca-Cola (talking up to 2-3 liters per day). I was thinking about reducing it to 0,33 liters per day (already on it) and after I've achieved that, then potentially shifting to only drinking it when going out and/or post-reboot. I do worry however that this might impact my overall wakefulness, but so far cold showers and getting plenty of sleep has been keeping me at bay. 3) About video games, the internet and computer time in general... I tend to spend a lot of time on the internet - I decided as a part of my reboot I will also cut down on browsing, for starters limiting it to work/study-related things (which can be easily accomplished via phone), searching for new music/podcasts (as listening to something when I'm alone significantly helps me cope with withdrawal/anxiety during reboot) and not checking in with social media and/or forum accounts for a while (or at least limiting it to once a day). However, I will still be pursuing a creative hobby which requires me to have a computer at hand - electronic music production; though I will be limiting these activities to 2 hours max and will turn off the internet for these sessions. (I've noticed that I often hoard content related to my hobbies from the internet, but never actually end up doing much of anything with it and just keep refreshing forums.) I also tend to occasionally play video games (mostly into story-driven games or party games with friends; nothing sexual, no achievement-laden multiplayer shooters or anything of the sort), but 1) not nearly as long as I used to back when I was a teen and 2) I almost always play games together with my sibling or with friends, so it in the end becomes a communal activity. I guess, my general question is: does this setup seem okay? In short, I'm trying to cut out the "morphine drip" (or is "dopamine drip" more accurate?) of the internet and only use the computer for something productive/creative or as a means to spend time with family/friends. 4) How to deal with anxiety/nervousness during reboot/flatline? I struggle with feelings of anxiety and being nervous in general, but since I've started my reboot I've tackled these personality traits head on by improving eye contact, striving go be more social and generally projecting more confidence; when I'm not around anyone, I tend to listen to music/podcasts or pray to calm myself. Any advice or perhaps self-help material on dealing with anxiety/nervousness in general as well as during the reboot? 5) General thoughts on no arousal method / trigger material After reading up on this, it still remains unclear to me whether I should cut myself off from entertainment altogether - I do not experience cravings to PMO when looking at sexy billboard advertisements, the occasional sexual reference in joke/text/movie dialogue or anything of the sort. If anything, forcing myself to look away when supposed trigger imagery is approaching, reinforces me to remember negative thoughts about my current situation which in turn leads to anxiety and fixated thoughts about how I am trying to quit. Should I really shut myself off from the anything remotely sexy or just limit myself to what I've described above? I very much appreciate if you read through the wall of text, but I do understand that most users may not be willing to slog through my diatribe, so here's a quick summary of the perceived pro/contra points regarding my case. CONTRA: - started early at 11-12 years old - virgin / no experience in actual sexual activity - death grip / prone position / edging PRO: + multiple periods of absence from PMO / varying frequency + no escalation to extreme material + determined to pull through no matter what Any advice, answers, encouragement or evaluation would be greatly appreciated! I promise to give detailed feedback every time I hit the milestones above. PS: Excuse the repeated posting across multiple forums, but I wasn't sure whether RebootNation or YourBrainRebalanced was more active. On NoFap a similar post of mine was straight up deleted without explanation, so I won't be posting there anymore.