Jump to content
×
×
  • Create New...

ThatFrenchGuy

Members
  • Posts

    57
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by ThatFrenchGuy

  1. For context, I’ve just had a relapse which I allowed to happen on the basis that cutting gaming (the symptoms) wasn’t going to fix my procrastination (the core issue). Answering someone else’s post has allowed me to debunk that argument in a sort of cathartic moment where I realises that the detox isn’t so much about cutting this or that but setting yourself up to have a clear mind to work on the rest.

     

    So I’m looking for this community’s help to assist me in debunking another major argument: the sunken cost argument.

     

    I view it in a bit of an extended manner. It’s not only about the sums of money invested into everything related to gaming for me (I’m fortunate enough that this isn’t a life threatening issue for now), but also about the emotional investment into gaming.

     

    1. How can I ditch gaming when I have friends (no fallacy there, we get along online even outside of games) associated with it? I feel it might be a mind trick since I had no problem cutting ties during previous detoxes, maybe it’s the fear of a permanent end to that friendship?

    2. I have an oculus rift gathering dust since I asked my parents to come over to my place and take my desktop with them. I’d like to be able to use it since the gf admits it was fun and she misses it, but then I’d have an even easier time getting back on to hardcore gaming with it. Should I sell it/have it hauled away along with the PC as proof of commitment to my detox?

    3. Is anyone else holding on to tech because of the hope that one day they’ll be able to moderate? I’m at a point where I don’t know if I even enjoy gaming at its core anymore except a select few indie and PS4 games (I have no issues with gaming on PS4 somehow). There again I feel emotional investment may be a challenge to true commitment to a detox.

    4. One of my alternative activities as part of my detox is game development. I’m naturally drawn by my peers and interested in indie/experimental games which I often managed to consume somewhat responsibly. I feel like a writer who doesn’t read if I cut them off too, but then where do I draw the line? How do I enforce it? Too risky I think.

     

    As I’m writing this I seem to realise how this is all a pathetic trick of my mind and I find myself desperately trying to explain arguments in favour of gaming that were solid in my mind but now feel grotesque on (virtual) paper.

     

    As you can see I understand the sunken cost fallacy (also called escalation of commitment) under an emotional standpoint as finances aren’t thankfully too much of an issue, but feel free to discuss that angle too.

     

    Cheers

  2. I tend to write as I think, so this might get messy but bear with me!

    I was actually struggling with this exact question this week and it really was a morale booster to this mentioned here - kind of makes me guilty for not interacting more on the forums.

    I was asking myself very similar questions when I started the detox a while back. I quit gaming but ended up spending insane amounts of time on youtube and netflix. Useless and fruitless content on the former, and unreasonable amounts on the latter. I then tried installing a “distraction blocker” extension which removes youtube recommendations, and deleted the youtube app on both my apple tv and my phone. It was somewhat useless since the the extension could be disabled temporarily with a simple checkox. Anyways, the cycle ended here for me precisely because I started asking myself some questions:

     

    How far do I have to go, how much do I have to cut out of my life to be free and in control again?

     

    This reasoning, in part, caused my numerous relapses because I would find a way to discredit the steps I took to avoid gaming as irrational and unreasonable. That “sterilising” guilty pleasures from my life was simply treating the symptoms (gaming, youtube, netflix), rather than treating the sickness (my massive procrastination and anxiety issues).

     

    I struggled to make up my mind in that regard, as my psychologist agreed with my symptom/sickness reasoning, and my now girlfriend agreed that being unable to enjoy what you had fun with because you can’t control the usage is a shame.

     

    But this isn’t my journal, so I’ll try to answer your question specifically - I’m especially frustrated by help forums where you ask specific questions and don’t get a clear answer (no offense but when we need help, clear answers are a morale boost):

     

    If we are addicted to video games, should we quit every technology?

     

    I am a fervent believer in the fact that you cannot and should not cut yourself away from technology as a whole. Technology, and the internet, has so much to teach you, in a healthy manner by the way, and its use is basically mandatory nowadays. Moreover I wholeheartedly agree with @GColls that fixing the sink (gaming) isn’t going to fix the well (our personal troubles).

     

    The key is to be able to identify and classify what activities lead to negative and unhealthy outcomes and come up with appropriate solutions. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve binged netflix into the morning; I’d need more people than I ever met to count nights lost to gaming. I know I can’t control myself when gaming, partly because I never have the mental strength to set a timer. I know I spend too much time watching netflix, but I’m usually MUCH more “lucid” and aware than when gaming. Therefore, that’s why I’m cutting gaming from my life and Netflix gets to stay, because it makes me say “ah shucks I shouldn’t have watched another episode” instead of “fucking shit I want to fucking die”.

    This effort of understanding what is actually RELIABLY and REGULARLY pulling you down in a CLEARLY UNHEALTHY manner is important because it separates issues that are GUARANTEED to prevent you from progressing from acceptable “guilty pleasure” behaviours without lasting damaging consequences.

    I know I am physically, structurally unable to moderate the time I spend gaming, and even though I have a few arguments in favour of moderation, I have to cut it because I’m stuck otherwise. 

    That’s why the 90 day detox is so important, it’s not so much about getting rid of gaming, it’s about getting rid of what stops you from thinking straight so you can make informed, rational decisions.

    TL;DR: make a difference between stuff that you know for sure ruin your life no matter what you try from smaller issues with lesser consequences. Focus on the big problem first. Finding other activities will replace your smaller cravings in the long term.

     

    I hope at least something in the massive garbage can that is my post helps you in some way!

     

    As for selling your devices, I’ll be making a post tonight about the sunken cost fallacy, I’ll link it here if you’re interested.

    • Like 1
  3. Hello again. Haven't posted in ages. Betrayed the cause here, both for myself and the commitments I've willingly made here. I obviously haven't started posting here again without reason.

    I'll make a quick rundown of what happened in these 6 months, it'll probably do me good too to look over what I've achieved and where I've failed in that time.

    The internship I had ended with success. I got extremely positive feedback from my mentor and the overall experience was a very maturing one. The actual world of business is much more down-to-earth than what we're taught and the attitude is very different from what I expected. It did allow me to set a life goal clear - environmental policy in the business world is not what I'm looking for, and I can't stand how everything is based on the premise of making money. I just could not stand the facade everyone had as if they were working in the best company every, and how sales or communication employees were clearly putting on a show for clients. I've had some experience with the associative sector and NGOs, and while everything is a lot more chaotic, but the attitude was much better. It did also allow me to understand that an 8 to 6 job could actually be a good thing (if your free time isn't dominated by traffic) as it gives you the stability you need to explore other things in life. I also learnt that because of my intellectual gifts, I NEED fresh stuff for my brain to feast upon regularly. This has allowed me to somewhat hone in my career path.

    Get out there guys, try things, you'll never really know otherwise.

    My third and final year of my bachelor's degree started early September. I had met in Paris with the girl I've been having an awkward flirtatious relationship and it kind of cemented my relationship with her. It was a bit of bumpy ride at first due to "student politics", a bunch of gossip from others and some pretty nasty rumours from people I used to call my friends, I've cut them out of my life now and maintain a decent professional relationship with them. We have had one argument over this hard period caused by rivalries and some pretty mean stuff, but we've gotten over it, and I went from being interested in her to being straight out in love.

    For the most part she's been an extremely positive influence on my life. She got me eating (mostly) healthy again, fixed my sleep schedule (she refuses to sleep after 11pm/midnight), keeps my away from gaming (more on that later) by spending time with her, saved my ass from an academic perspective (again, more on that later), amongst other things. For the first time in months, I felt truly at ease at times. Time I spent with her was the only time I really relaxed and took a break from everyday stress, in a way gaming never really allowed me to.

    I'm glossing over many things, which I don't really have time to type for, to get to the point of why I'm here again. I've started this semester out with plenty of good will, lots of good resolutions, but no clear "how". I intended to start gaming again and somehow miraculously be able to achieve controlled consumption. It obviously never happened. Academic challenges, combined with the shitty environment provided by the pricks I used to have as friends, meant that I often turned to gaming. It didn't help that I (whether rightfully or by myself due to lack of attention) lost interest in my courses. Gaming meant my sleep schedule was pretty bad, my health deteriorated with my attendance, and my relationship suffered some hiccups.

    Now it's exam period and I'm mostly up to snuff. I've caught up on most of the courses (thanks to gf) and revised for the exams so far (thanks to gf). I had an exam on Friday, which while not perfect was a clear improvement over previous semesters (I ran out of time rather than knowledge). So I celebrated by allowing myself some gaming time. Except it spilled over until 4 am. I slept until 11am. I woke up and gamed all day until the early evening. Then I hear ringing at my door. Shit, I had forgotten that my girlfriend was coming over agin (we had spent the entire week together revising because she lives further from the university). My apartment was messier than a trashcan, I was filthy, and I hadn't "woken" from gaming enough to calmly interact with another human being. And I let her ring ring ring in the cold while I just sat there, terrified to even move. She insisted for a good 20 minutes, she had tried calling me but I hadn't charged my phone since I started gaming - the battery was dead. She left and I gamed some more.

    That's when it hit me again: we've discussed it at the hospital a while back and my psychologist agrees, from a medical standpoint I'm not addicted to gaming (I can absolutely do plenty of other tings for extended periods of time, I just need some other mental stimulus) but that doesn't mean it can't ruin my life. I had literally just shat on the one person who cared for me without judgement. I'd learn later that she had spontaneously brought a cooked meal (since she said she knew that I withdraw and barely on weekends, due to gaming) and brought her cat, which might as well be the best temporary cure for unhappy thoughts; the sweetest thing every when I know that she's an obsessive worker and would rather revise than stress over not remembering enough. She was naturally extremely pissed.

    But I thought: "That's it, I can't keep on going like that. Gaming and procrastination cost my me last relationship, I'm not losing this one". My parents were by chance coming over the next day, and I told them to take my desktop with them when they would leave. My mother was thrilled and took it away for me. I'm down to my school laptop, with the filth known as steam wiped from the drive. Youtube now runs with the distraction blocker app on safari which removes videos recommendations.

    I drove to Belgium and back for a few hours with my father to unwind a bit (oh hey, also got my driver's license, which is nice) and I moved forward with applications for master's degrees. I found a golden nugget in the shape of a dual master's degree in international relations and sustainable development from two prestigious universities in France and China. It's like it was made for me, but my grades need to be up there. I'm an excellent student, good when I slack off and game, but the latter isn't enough anymore. This is what I want, and I have to work to get there. Or else I'll be having my first experience of "you're not good enough to be accepted".

    I talked it through, although somewhat passive-aggressively with my girlfriend, and we mostly got over it. She pretty much summed it up by saying that me having issues was not the problem, but that me refusing to upon up simply because my apartment was shit and I was looking like shit was the most retarded thing ever considering judging me is the last thing she wanted to do. "I don't mind the issues, I mind you refusing help" basically. She's a keeper.

    So tomorrow I'm doing what I should have done a while ago: sitting at my desk for a few hours to set some rules and lay the foundation for a healthy life (food, exercise, sleep, etc) and actually have someone enforce them with consequences. I'm making my personal constitution basically and having my girlfriend continue to be the coercive positive influence she already it.

    In the next few weeks I am:

    • Revising for ALL exams
    • Going to ALL exams
    • Sleeping and waking at set hours
    • Eating healthy meals at set hours
    • Keeping contact with friends and family
    • Exercising as much as possible at home or outside
    • Exploring new hobbies to replace gaming
    • Loving my girlfriend who cares for me even with her own stress and insecurities

     

    Chances are what you want is right under your nose, waiting for you to discover it, and discover how easy it is to achieve it if you simply make the effort to get up and look. I also cannot understate how important it is that do you not go at it alone. Confessing on forums and sharing ideas is one thing. Being supported and helped by someone who intimately cares for you is another, far more powerful tool.

    Best of luck in their journey to those who are and aren't reading this. 

    • Like 1
  4. To answer your question, I've been thinking a lot about meditation lately. I'm definitely known to be "rugged" and "rough around the edges" when I speak my mind or get angered, and I definitely got that from my mother. Meditation seemed like the obvious answer to these issues. It could be a way for me to take back control when my emotions start getting the better of me; not just when I get angry - it can apply to moments of panic, stress, and anxiety amongst other things. Perfect way to wind down for bed too.

    I'd like to touch on something I've briefly mentioned before, but which increasingly becomes obvious to me. I've come to several conclusions through my journey on this forum: both in terms of good practices (sleep as the basis for everything else for instance) and realisations (gaming addiction isn't my problem, it's a symptom of my boredom/loneliness/anxiety). While these conclusions are substantive (i.e. they're concrete behaviour, the "meat" of the issue), I haven't really addressed the form (i.e. the "muscle" which allows the "meat" to move). In other words, I keep talking endlessly about what I've understood about my behaviour, what habits are bad and what a healthy lifestyle should be, yet I've very rarely covered the "how" to make the change happen.

    I'll stop beating around the bush.

    Discipline.

    I lack it to a significant degree. And I bring this up now, because I've just realised how much my discipline has degraded lately because my routine has been destroyed by my change of environment. As stated before, I'm currently hitching a ride on my parent's apartment for an internship in Paris - I'm alone in a city I don't know without friends, stuck in a tense family environment and little free time due to lengthy work hours, horrendous commute and my own passiveness.

    What little discipline I had before was in my adoration for routine. It structured my days through subconscious habits. Now that I've lost all my bearings, I barely have any discipline to sit down and try to figure my time out. I complain about not having time to do things I want to do yet allow myself to get overwhelmed by passiveness because I haven't planned my day to give myself a modicum of structure and commitment.

    As a sidenote, I'm more and more seriously joining the military, either as a reservist officier or a full time contract as a translator. It's become more than simply a personal desire - one of the many options I'm considering when thinking about the future - but somewhat of a necessity. I'm hoping that I'd somehow learn discipline the hard way. And I'm at a point where I think I'd actually have an edge, because I WANT the hard way at this point. A part of me wants to go through the process of boot camp, getting whatever privileges I had stripped away and eating shit like everyone else. I WANT to be disciplined by force because apparently I can't do it myself, or at least not fast/reliably enough to follow the rate I'm moving at.

    Tomorrow I'll use downtime at work to try and actually get some rules written down and I WILL abide to them.

    I've also been toying with the idea of lending my steam/origin account to a trusted friend while I deal with my addiction and other life issues. But the whole mess of 2 step verification and email confirmation means it's more of a hassle for him and just a chore in general. I've also toyed with the idea of deleting mis team account, I just do not want to throw money down the drain.

    I'll end tonight's post with the three things that made me happy/that went well today:

    • Got kicked out of my office today at work, but I ended up back into my old temporary office: warmer, insane view, I can chat with nice coworkers, more privacy, etc. Nice. I had a good chat with my tutor, it goes to show that I take work far too seriously sometimes, it's okay to have a chat and a laugh every once in a while.
    • I finally submitted my application for the presidency of ESPOMUN in 2018-2019. And instead of running rival with another student, we decided to run as a ticket - whoever gets the presidency takes the other in as Vice President to share the workload. It's a nice compromise, and she's fun and hardworking. Here's hoping we get chosen.
    • France won the fucking World Cup. Need I say more? Well played Croatia though, you put up an excellent fight!

     

    As usual, I might be turning in circles but discipline is the key to breaking the circle and turning it into a line leading forward. Unfortunately it's hard to gain alone. Again, I might not be the most selfless contributor to this forum, but I'm genuinely grateful for the discussions I can get here, and I sincerely hope that someone may find something useful or comforting from my mind-release exercise here.

    Good night!

  5. I'll be honest, I've had a relapse yesterday, and I'd be lying if I said that I didn't post because of anything other than gaming. Had an argument with my mother - she had a point, but I felt so incredibly shit and down at the time that I gave zero shits about what she was saying. And obviously I dug into some games to drown my sorrow.... It's amazing how easy it is to go through the pain in the ass procedure of reinstalling steam and all the games if you're sufficiently motivated. Anyways. I did spend a good day yesterday, and I'll catch up on my "3 good things" from yesterday:

    1. Went out to get some clothes, felt good to spend my income on something useful for once, and I got a nice bowl of fresh air on the way there (plus a treat on the way back ha ha)
    2. Went to the cinema to watch a movie, and it was, once again, a relaxing time.
    3. Went to the restaurant, and even though it wasn't great, it was a welcome change from the usual food.

    Notice how my gaming time doesn't show up in the good times I remember from yesterday... Sheesh it really is an avoidance mechanism, and not genuine fun.

    I don't want to speak about what happened today in detail, but it's the same old thing of a day wasted gaming away, avoiding arguments and issues.

    I do want to point something out that struck me tonight, a reminder of my flawed thinking. This may seem obvious to others, but while it is rationally sound, it often still defines the way I act, and my relationship towards gaming.

    The transition from a destructive lifestyle centred around gaming to a healthy fulfilling life is not a black and white turning point: it's an uneven, non-linear evolution which occurs only through a change of habits maintained by discipline.

    • There is no "thing" which will miraculously solve your issues.
    • While external factors may help, YOU are the one pushing the change.
    • Awareness gives an opportunity for change. Discipline maintains it in the long run.
    • Once you step out of addiction, your problem is not "solved". As with weight loss, you WILL break down if you bring your bad habits bad.

    I keep kidding myself into believing that I can change and be the person I want to be without being disciplined. Yet I'm having genuine issues keeping myself on track (for instance, it's not that I do something I shouldn't because I consciously give in, it's because my bad habits are so rooted in they're unconscious).

    And I just feel so incredibly alone at times. Quite often, unfortunately.

    As usual, I feel like I'm fighting again my subconscious self, and I'm losing the battle.

    Gotta keep pushing forward though.

    Here's my 3 happy thoughts for today:

    1. I pulled the plug on my relapse. Let's keep moving.
    2. Had a good night's sleep and a generous breakfast, good for morale.
    3. University mates told me I should run for the MUN presidency this year, feels good to be relevant.

     

    Good night guys.

  6. Went to a meeting at the ministry of the environment this morning. I’ve got to stop bitching about things going on when I get access to stuff many could only dream about. While the meeting wasn’t the highest technical level, obviously, I felt like I understood what was going on and that I could easily have been a top contributor if I hadn’t been an observer representing the company I work for. In other words, it allowed me to explore first hand the workd of politics and the government, something that political science students like us have an idealised view of. In essence, I went into something amazing, and felt that I was up to par, that I was capable. It’s during moments like these that morale spikes up nicely.

    The rest of the day didn’t go as smoothly. The meeting ended earlier than expected, so instead of taking some food outside on the way back (as I would be too late to go to the canteen with the others since I don’t have my own badge yet), I would now be on time to go to the canteen with the others. And yet I pruposefully extended my commuting path to arrive later at the office, and grabbed a subway sandwich - because I was afraid of social contact (because previous meals had been quite awkward, with me being pretty much silent in this close knit group). And yet I arrived just in time as they were about to go down, except I had a sandwich in my hand. I went to the office coffee room to eat while pretty much the rest of the office went down to eat.

    At that moment my fears had beaten my will: I would be afraid of ending up alone to work in this company, and yet I would avoid engaging in social moments (or be extremely awkward and silent when I do show up).

    Or maybe I’m just asking myself too much questions. When I think harder about the issue, it’s not necessarily that I want to be friends with them at all costs, they’re adults with their own lives and I’m appearing out of nowhere for a month.  I just want to make sure that they don’t take my awkwardness and shyness as “I don’t like being around you, leave me alone”. i guess that’s the paradox of social anxiety: you fear and avoid social interaction with people yet require social interaction or at least non-negative/limited relations.

    Maybe they just see me as what I am - a shy teenager panicked from being dropped into some of his first jobs.

    Maybe they see me for what I obsess about: I’m a weird antisocial teenager who wants to be alone and is offensive in his manmers.

    It doesn’t help that I’ve hit a bit of a hurdle in my work, where it’s become tedious/muddled.

    I’ve started a habit of writing down three things that made me happy every night for the day, a strategy I took up from my book. 

    1. Well tonight I watched a very interesting documentary with my parents.

    2. A cute girl was looking intensely at me every quite often in the metro while untying her hair. Maybe my suit was a mess, maybe I looked good, but it doesn’t matter. I felt good about myself.

    3. I realised and am grateful that I, a simple 19 year old intern, got to attend a meeting at the ministry of the environment, where all other attendees were mostly aged corporate representatives and journalists, and felt I had the skills to take part. I might want to work there.

    I’ll end this for tonight as it’s getting late, and sleep is of the utmost important. Good night folks

  7. Welp, it's been a whole since I posted, although I'm "happy" to report that while I did relapse, it wasn't bad enough to affect me too badly. Not that I'm trying to draw excuses or use this as a way to legitimise my way back into gaming. That's not what's happening. Anyways, I left my last post stating I was stressed out by HR at a potential job. Well tonight I came back from my second day there, so I did in fact get the internship. The work is quite interesting, although quite "heavy" and tiring: I do CSR (Corporate Societal Responsibility) benchmarks which basically has me scouring annual reports of competitors to draw up a comparison and see how our company holds up. It's nothing fancy but it's a good entry into the corporate world and the content itself is interesting; and to be honest I get a basic salary (better than nothing) and there are definitely less interesting first jobs/internships (it's anything but a "copy machine and serve me coffee" job).

    But I'm still the same person I was before. And even with these positive things going on right now, I can't help but obsess on the negatives: "You don't fit in: you're a low-duration intern trying to fit in with a close-knit team of older veterans"; "you're job looks cool for a student, but you're still doing their annoying paperwork - and you're still slow at it"; "The commute is shit (ignore that I'm working in the only skyscraper in Paris with an insane view and that a lot of people have it worse than me)"; "I feel exhausted when I get back - the 8am to 6:30pm hours sure aren't university hours; I feel depressed after two days on the job"; "You look like an idiot trying to hop past security because you don't have a badge yet (ignore the fact that there is literally no way to get past otherwise while the badge is being made)". You get the point, as usual, I can't help but feel sorry for myself and now I find myself in a situation where I have to be disciplined to be able to take full advantage of the three to four hours of free time I get in the evening. It doesn't help that I'm at my parent's apartment to avoid having to rent an apartment which I can't afford. So after 4 years of living alone, I'm back at home having to follow house rules ha ha.

    But there are many things I could do to be smarter with my time:

    • Read in the metro if it's not overly crowded
    • Limit TV/Laptop when I get home and take full advantage of offline activities which are more fulfilling
    • Stay in touch with friends to avoid feeling alone (it's pretty bad right now - there's literally no one I know apart from my parents)
    • Do what I've read in the book I mentioned before, and write down every night 3 things that made me happy today/things I ddid good to refocus on positive things that happened
    • Sort out some of the difficult relationship issues I've left hanging
    • Go out more - we grabbed some ice cream with friends and took a walk in Paris - it was a nice break; but hey it's kind of shit when alone
    • LEARN TO MEDITATE MEDITATE MEDITATE
    • Get a calisthenic workout schedule going so I can get at least some exercise in at home

    Anyways, it's a bit of a new beginning, it's a shiny coin (quite literally, a nice job in an expanding and comfortable company) that's rough around the edges (I'm more alone than ever, I have to live with my parents - then again I'm happy to have them when I get home, for a while at least). I've just got to learn to tame my biggest weakness - my tendency to just give up and feel sorry for myself. I've got to stay on my feet and learn to explore this new world to make the most of it.

    Oh fuck it, there's a cute show about puppies, I'll watch it for a bit, it's good for morale!

    But hey, I'm repeating myself, but man it feels good to type here and get drowsy thoughts off my head. See you soon!

  8. I'm not dead!

    I've arrived in Brittany safe and sound, got to see the grandparents (who are doing fine apart from old age itself - suffering relatives would have been anything but a breather) and my parents for the first time in quite a bit. My mother and I quickly got to the usual bickering, but we're getting along alright for now. My father and I are still extremely upset over the way I'm handling my internships. As with many things with life, I do procrastinate a lot. However there are also a lot of areas where my progress is hindered by my parents not being able to agree on something or "procrastinating" on it themselves. To take an example, I've been talking to my parents about a special procedure which allows people to pass the driver's license in about a week, and I was asking them if they were OK with me going that way rather than the long traditional route (I asked them since they pay a part of the fee). They haven't discussed it a month later among themselves and dismiss my attempts to bring the issue up. But oh boy, when it comes to stuff my parents need me for, I have to be at the ready and willing no matter what. It's really frustrating at times. Anyways, back to business: my father and I were getting quite worked up about how I managed my internships, and I refused to wish him a Father's Day, subtly letting them know I knew what day this was, and that my silence was intentional. I'm genuinely good at being an asshole because my father and I were the only ones who remembered that Father's Day just happened. Anyways, here I am smug about myself while my father goes back to the US for work after just a few days back home, and a few days later I get a phone call with him landing me a god-tier internship. (If my dad were reading this I'd tell him that you're still proving my point - students don't get great internships without some networks...) Definitely felt like I had won the "Most Undeserving Son award" after that; I'm such a prick at times, it's insane.

    Anyways, needless to say I was thrilled because that internship exceeded anything I was able to get through my anaemic network. Now I'm trying to send documents to my new employer over a 4G network shedding its last breath here in the countryside. Social anxiety kicks in and I'm genuinely ashamed that my email got send twice because of a network glitch. (Don't have wifi down here). Oh boy. Got a phone call tomorrow morning to set terms with the employer and I'm genuinely terrified too: I've never felt comfortable with phone calls, event though I fit in better in formal work environments and have done many of these phone calls before. Some things never change it seems.

    Speaking about things which never change: gaming! I had a few light games installed on the Mac, and I played a bit yesterday and tonight. Didn't feel too great about it, neither did my grandfather apparently. I'm happy to say however, that I was able to simply get off my ass and do something else today, and uninstalled the games and steam itself. At 60 kb/s, I'm not getting any game going any time soon. To be fair, I did a few things that I felt good about lately. I painted a room in my grandparent's house; between sanding, priming, and painting, it's more work than it seems, but it feels good to give some love back. I've also started reading a book called "40 Ways to be Miserable" which is a MUST READ to the point where I believe it should be a sticky on this forum. It's a hilarious, engaging, and deep satire of the countless self-help books that are out there - by stating everything you should do (and most likely already do) to be miserable. The ultimate do-not-do guide. Beyond the humour which makes it enjoyable to read, it has a wide range of relevant and pertinent advice.

    Speaking about giving back some love, I think I did need this breather, because I've cooled off from the initial relationship panic. Yes, we do have our differences, and yes, we're very different in many aspects, but I've had a good time and am looking forward to spending some quality time with this girl. We have a lot in common to make up for our black and white contrasting character. Regardless of whether this works out, I must admit that loneliness is a powerful drug: no accountability, total freedom, it gets to you after a while and makes you forget how much someone caring about you matters. It also makes you forget how much you have to give to others, and how much they can feel better from it. I deeply regret being an asshole to my father who works his ass off so we can have a roof and a good meal 24/7, so I can have a comfortable future, without having to worry about the basics and little things. I guess one way I can repay that is not fucking up this internship and keep pushing forward. I'm glad I could help my grandparents, given how saddening it is to see someone you grew up with struggle to climb the stairs or remember entire parts of who you are. And oh lord the food and gifts, what on earth have we done to deserve grandparents.

    I think that's it for today. As much as I would have wanted to use the dying 4G connection as an excuse for not posting, it's definitely been a lack of discipline on my end, especially when I started to game yesterday. It does feel good to take you mind off everything for. a few days though. This whole internship thing has got my anxiety levels rising again, I guess that's what pushed me to post again. I've got a call to make tomorrow for work, so I'll try and leave the phone away tonight and stick to that awesome book I mentioned. As I said earlier, I've been putting off that "breather break" for way too long.

    Oh boy, employer literally answered as I was about to post this. "I'll be in touch with HR and will update you tomorrow". Terrifying words to go to sleep with for my troubled mind.

  9. A lot of stuff is going down, the grandmother's at the hospital, booked a flight early next morning, and I'm questioning quite a few things at the moment. Basically, it's a mess, I'm a mess, but I'm going home, away from my desktop, back to the grandparents with some fresh air and free food. I think I've been putting of a "breather" break for too long now.

    Will post again once all this gets sorted.

    • Like 1
  10. I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone who had the generosity and kindness to interact with me on my journey on the forums here. I came into this place very skeptical, and this forum has now become a moment of thought for me, where I forcibly cool down to gather my thoughts in the evening. I owe this to everyone here who pushed me to commit and challenged my thoughts. My experience on these forums has been quite a selfish one: I've never really interacted regularly with people online outside of games, and this is actually the first time I post in forums rather than lurking. In other words, simply posting on my own journal and not in those of others, it's just "my thing". I strongly believe that a key to the success of the journaling projects here is the social dimension to it, and I simply felt it was right to address my shortcomings on the latter and remind that I am both aware and grateful for the contributions of others in my journey. Thank you all.

    Yesterday was a bit of a fuzzy mess, with nothing happening, so I'll skip over it, simply because I think my body pretty much shut down that day. Today was a different, wild, and terrifying day. Remember how earlier I stated that action beat overthinking and painful self-questioning? How I simply signed up to the driving exams on a hunch to give myself a deadline? Well I applied that today to another field. As I had said in my early posts, I've had an awkward, flirtatious relationship with a girl for about the past year. It wasn't really a depressing experience for me, because it was clearly obvious (to me and to most people around me) that she was madly in love with me. The issue was on my end, where I couldn't get my feelings for her straight, it was quite literally the definition of an emotional roller coaster, which proved quite destructive for. There was a time when there was a bit of a Cold War (avoidance - I'll come back to it), where things got somewhat hurtful: I'll spare the details (it's a case of me having an emotional dilemma ending with me just dying of stress and leaving - leaving miss with a severe case of female blue balls), but we ended up not talking to each other except for the occasional public (and embarrassing) shaming session from her end. (I'll come back to it too). At some point early 2018, I started talking to her again to get things under control. It was a "why are we still fighting over this" moment, wanted to start 2018 under a better light. Things came back to normal, but it was still clear she had feelings for me.

    And I did see her as a possible date, but she had some red flags that I had learnt to be wary of over time: father issues and an overly attached mother amongst others. It didn't help that most of my faculty was seeing her from a curious eye after that earlier mess. With time, I narrowed down my emotional dilemma to a fear of commitment, and a delusion that all relationships were a smooth ride. I would obsess over her flaws, disregarder her as a polar opposite of mine (and she is in some respects), yet I share more in common with her than my previous so which I idolised for too long. We're both pretty arduous swimmers, we've both grown up with high-IQ/extreme introvert issues, we're both sensitive to cinema/music/literature (although she's superstitious and a dreamer, as opposed to me being a logical and rational science freak), we actually agree on food (cannot understate how much this was an issue in previous relationships, heh), etc etc etc.. But I digress.

    So a few days ago, I did what I did with the driver's license exam, and on a hunch, I just asked her out. Now yesterday I was terrified the entire time, going down the emotional roller coaster again: "Dude, the fuck have you done" "Not this again" "Don't mix hookup with dating" "She's still sour with your friends, this will pull you apart" "Never stick it in crazy". I drowned my stress in Netflix (god bless) until today when she came over. It was somewhat awkward at first (then again I hadn't interacted with a close friend irl in about a month - I'm one of the last still at campus), but it ended up being a good time for the most part.

    Now that the time is over, my mind is going full speed again. And I'm torn again by two different viewpoints. On one end, I feel like this "Cold War" we've had (and I did enjoy the peace and quiet) was simply me avoiding issues instead of facing them (as with gaming): avoiding her was the easy way out, while denying her advances felt like cowering from what could obviously become a fresh point in life. I drew a parallel between how gaming pushed my away from opportunities (which can be painful and difficult, but produce good results) and how avoiding her meant I didn't want to at least try it out with her, simply because it wouldn't be perfect and without issues.  I mean it's not like I picked a random girl and dated her because I could, it's someone I know quite well  and at the very minimum found attractive and good to be around - and I knew it was more than reciprocal. In essence it felt more like I was uncertain about the issues I'd have to face (and thus would avoid the prospect entirely) rather than my feelings for her. As with gaming affected my life, it could be that I was afraid of the path and it's difficulties, rather than the goal itself.

    Then another part of me thinks that I'm just ignoring the months of thought I've put into the question, ignoring red flags and past experiences to - quite bluntly - "think with my dick". She has the red flags I mentioned, I'm embarrassed because of the reputation she has from her outbursts in public, she doesn't get along too well with my friends (we used to be one single group before the whole "Cold War" happened), and she's very immature on certain things (while being very mature on others - typical high-IQ young adult issues though). I kept pointing out these flaws to myself as clear indications that she was not dating material and that I should use this as a rational and thought-out conclusion to my emotional dilemma. Yet I can't seem to stick to that conclusion; and it scares me because it could either prove or deny that statement. Either it proves that I feel something for her that's worth trying out, or it confirms that I'm just acting out of emotion and running straight off a cliff.

    Either way, it terrifies me, because it leaves me confused, vulnerable and mentally exhausted. Moreover, I don't get a "second chance" because I've already abruptly left her hanging because of my breakdown. So yup, a good day with sensations I haven't felt in a while, but which unfortunately leaves me with no less questions than before, and the risks are much higher.

    To be honest, I'm somewhat happy that putting an end to gaming has let me rekindle with my love life, yet right I feel as if it may not have been worth it given how exhausted and terrified I am right now. My previous relationship was a few years ago and lasted for quite a while, so yet another part of me believes that I've just lost my touch with my ability to face the fears of the early moments in relationships.

    I'll end this post by asking this: is anyone willing to share how putting and end to a gaming addiction has affected your love life? I'd like to hear other points of view. I don't know, maybe I'm obsessing over something that's normal, simply because I've lost my touch from my time dating my PC.

    Adios

    • Like 1
  11. Disappointed myself once again, broke my own rules. Brought the PC back into the bedroom, watched netflix all night. Now I forgot to take the sleeping pills, so there is something useful out of this. It's 6 am and I stopped streaming, so I've decided I won't sleep at all today and do as I did before - pull an all-nighter, churn through the day, to forcibly reset my sleep schedule. This is far from healthy, and I know it. I want to get back on track.

    I keep telling myself that my mind overflowing with conflicting thoughts is a hurdle. And there is some truth to that. But I mean come on; everyone doesn't need an extensive system of reminders and scheduling to get shit done. Humanity didn't get this far thanks to some bullshit excuse. While my lifestyle and psychology definitely play a role in my feeling of being overwhelmed by my thoughts, denial is the biggest culprit. There is no excuse for not doing something if I think about doing that thing. Sleep and scheduling only makes sure that thing comes to mind and that I'm fit to churn through a day and get things done.

    Denial, fear, anxiety, laziness however; that's something else. That's avoiding an issue which I am aware of. Does that sound familiar? Because that's exactly what gaming was to me: escaping reality to avoid taking responsibility for my life. I can't let this happen during my "gameless" time. I'm going to get out of bed, get breakfast, maybe take a shower. I'll use the excuse that I'm pulling this necessary all nighter to not get anything done today and work from there.

    I've got to reset my clock, figuratively and literally. Only then will I be able to get things done. I'm turning in circles, going over the same things over and over and over and over again. I've got to set clear what I want and why, and take action instead of thinking it over endlessly.

    Sound familiar? Ugh.

    • Like 1
  12. Yesterday was one of those days were were I got nothing done again. Went to sleep much later than I'd like, but oh well. Didn't feel like writing in the journal because there was genuinely nothing going on. I was in a bad mood, I couldn't get my mind on anything, and I couldn't get anything done. It didn't help that my sleep schedule was still fucked up and that the apartment was a mess. Went to bed at 4 am after binging the walking dead (I just started, heh, no spoilers). 

    Anyways, I got up at a ridiculous time, at around 3pm today. Had the usual slow and difficult start. But I got up and got to work on my chores. Took me about 2 hours to get my place back up to snuff, and it's amazing how much a clean environment makes a difference to one's mood. Nothing new, and quite frankly, I'm a bit mad at myself for regularly coming to the same conclusions over and over again, yet I can't seem to stand by these conclusions. Anyways, got some administrative mess sorted out for ESPOMUN, I'm the one eating dirt again trying to fix the clusterfuck, but at least the higher ups seem to have recognised who's actually doing the heavy lifting.

    Still having trouble committing to work even a little bit on the jobs/internships. Every sentence I type in my CV or motivation letters feel fake. While some of them are obvious bullshit tailored the specific job/internship, I even catch myself doubting my own capabilities on my legit skills. Don't even get me started on how empty I feel when applying for lower end jobs, what the fuck am I supposed to write - "I've always been passionate about having an income and not starving to death". Because let's be real, that's the only thing the job has to offer. Anyways, maybe I'm just kidding myself and that's how it goes for everyone else and I just need to suck it up.

    I suck at making the first step in things. I'm insanely adaptable once I understand the situation I'm in, but I always freeze at the first step. Once it's done I can make most things work, even if the second step is me crashing down, I nearly always get back up and get something out of the experience. But damn, it's really that first step that I WILL NOT take that stops me from living life.

    I don't really know what to say anymore to be honest. You might have noticed these posts have been getting shorter lately. That's because nothing really happens to begin with, and I just feel like my mind is elsewhere right now, avoiding the issues, but without gaming somehow. Hey at least I'll sleeping in a clean bed after a good full meal tonight, that's a change. The fact I have a bed and a meal is something in itself anyways.

    I guess I'm just tired, I'm slowly trying to get my sleep back on track, with mixed to no success right now. I'm taking sleeping pills tonight, fuck it. I want to get shit done tomorrow.

  13. Had a decent day. I went to bed early and made the mistake of taking the laptop with me, as it was still early, to watch a video essay or two before going to sleep. One thing led to another and I barely slept a few hours during the night. Went to the movies with a friend, it was a good time, and felt good to get some fresh air. The usual. Got some chores done, but I'm still lagging behind in what really matters: the internships/jobs.

    Perhaps it's because I'm perfectionist that I put it off. I keep looking for really good internships/job offers which suit my academics, yet don't really work on the offers once I find them. My mother is begging me to lower my standards to ensure I at least get something. I feel like there's a part of me that still believes what I was told, that life would be a red carpet given how gifted I was and how easy academics were until now. That part of me refuses to admit that an entry-level job or internship is not prestigious, but it's better than nothing. It doesn't help that many of my friends have gotten very nice job offers, which further alienates me from myself. I guess I feel like I'm worth so much, but regardless of wether that's true or not, I don't even work on the matter enough to find out.

    So yeah, if I'm honest with myself, pride, jealousy and self-doubt are paralysing me for what really matters: my financial security and my academic/professional future.

    Not much more to say, the days aren't really eventful, I'm still trying to get things (including myself) in order after the relapse, and it's coming along slowly - although it's a bumpy ride.

    I'm looking forward to committing to the old routine I had, and improving upon it. I've been thinking about personal issues today, and come to a few conclusions, which I don't feel like sharing at this point. We'll see how it goes with time.

    Really want to go at it again.

  14. Had a bit of an emotional roller coaster in the past few days. My relapse continued on and off until today, with the same issues coming back (i.e. bad sleep, meals, etc). I did however learn to things from the past few days:

    1. That I really do enjoy games when played in moderation. Some games and moments are incredibly enjoyable regardless of my performance in game. It's good to play with friends for a match or two. I noticed that I tended to become frustrated, angered and aggressive when I passed the threshold from enjoyment to killing time. I had passed the moment of enjoyment and moved into addiction. From that point, I would start blaming teammates for stupid deaths, internally fulminating against RNG, etc... I was no longer capable of enjoying a game with its ups and downs, and everything less than a flawless match was met with anger and disappointment. This gives me hope that one day I'll be able to enjoy games in moderation, like other hobbies, without letting them getting the better of me, as it's a medium I really enjoy at times. The social aspect of it is also very enjoyable. But the truth is that right now, I'm not disciplined/mature enough to handle this, and getting rid of it is the way to go.

    2. That preparation is silver but action is golden. I had prepared the written exam for my driver's license for weeks, and I thought I wasn't ready for it since I didn't get the passing grade on the online preparation exams. But as you may remember, earlier in my posts, I had a yolo moment and just signed up for one of the exam sessions just to give myself a deadline. I didn't revise that match more (procrastination obliges, ha ha), and just sat for the exam with what I knew. I was a bit skeptical coming out of the exam, with several questions I hadn't heard about in my preparation. Turns out I got a 37/40 with the passing grade being 35/40. I was blowing the whole thing out of proportion so much that I locked myself out of simply sitting the exam for what it was worth. So, in essence, never linger on something for too long: go do the thing, try the thing, if it doesn't work, better luck next time!

    I must admit however, that passing the exam was what drove me to allow myself to game when I got the results. I have to avoid falling into this trap again and find other reward schemes.

    My dinner is getting cold, so I won't type much more, and there isn't much more to say about a period of relapse than simply stating: "It was shit". A gaming-free life is much better, although the boredom and my own thoughts can be challenging at times.

  15. Had a relapse today, late afternoon until late in the evening/morning. I think it was boredom that killed it for me, not mecessarily a desire to game in itself. Same old thing, I’ve got to find new ways to keep myself busy or discipline myself into getting stuff done during this downtime. Got a big day tomorrow with the driving exam, so I won’t post anything special tonight.

  16. Yup, you guessed it, woke up late as usual. Although this time it's pretty justified. We just had the mother of all thunderstorms raining down here, couldn't sleep until around 5 am. Guess Thor didn't like the ending for Infinity War.

    Jokes aside, went to see my psychologist. We had the same usual conversations, not really leading to any "Eureka" moments but it feels good to be able to vent some things and have some professional insight on some questions. Went swimming after that, wasn't as much of a workout as I hoped it would be, since I had eaten right before (bad idea), but it was a relaxing moment overall. I feel like I've managed to set in a decent routine right now: bed is always done, dishes are never overflowing, cooking real meals, getting some fresh air and exercise in. It's not perfect by any means, and I do indeed feel overwhelmed by the changes I need to make at times. My biggest gripes at this point are that firstly,I've been letting sleep slip again by going to bed at 2 am, which is far from ideal. It's around 11:15 pm atm, and I plan on getting back on track tonight right after posting this. Secondly, while I feel this routine is setting in an improving, which is excellent for my overall health and morale, I still have the issue that my downtime isn't productive. I've freed up a lot of time, but I get very little done in the way of important tasks. (Driver's license, internships, etc.)

    Got the gym card issues sorted today. I'm quite eager to hit the gym tomorrow, yet quite anxious because it's all new to me. I've always been a sports guy - swimming, badminton, basketball, football, you name it - but I've never actually been to a gym, let alone worked out there. I've heard the clichés from friends but oh well. Hopefully it'll be a nice moment. Probably a placebo effect at this point, but I'm definitely feeling some improvement on the core muscles from my swimming schedule. It's hard to stay motivated sometimes on long-term efforts when results aren't immediately there, but this is a good sign. I'll be working on fixing my diet too in the coming days if I stick to my schedule (getting rid of the classic student's pasta addiction), because I might as well buy out Barilla for their pesto sauce at this point.

    For now, switched to whole wheat pasta, and it's incredible how something so tiny could have such a profound change on eating habits. I feel more full with less food and feel more energised longer in the afternoon. Basic biology, but again, it's nice to see noticeable progress.

    Not much to say today. Probably because I've said it all at the psych, and probably because everything is sailing smoothly (if I don't think too much about my driver's license and internships). Haven't really had any cravings for gaming either, which is nice. I just sometimes miss the people I used to play with.

    Gotta keep moving, that's the key.

  17. Today was another disappointing day. Once again, I overslept even with an alarm. Woke up at around 2pm. Had a decent meal, got some things done, kept other things in order. Nothing special, just another one of those meaningless days where nothing happens. Another day where I made nothing happen; if I'm honest with myself.

    If I'm completely honest with myself, I've made quite a mess of myself in the past few years. Gaming has been both a blessing and a curse during this period. I owe my blissful happiness to it, yet I also owe my current anger and despair to it. While it has been an escape from the challenging years I've had - conflict with my parents, declining academic performance, social anxiety, stress, being sent to a boarding school, feeling insignificant - it has blinded me from the reality I was living and has made me enter adult life without the one skill I absolutely needed.

    The ability to shape my own future.

    Nobody owes anything to me, nothing will happen unless I take steps to make it happen. My life won't get better if I don't work to make it better. I think that part of why I can't get anything done is because I don't even know what I want. Any step towards action that I do take eventually gets muddled in my own introspection. Gaming had made sure that I wouldn't challenge myself (not irl at least) and my assumptions.

    And now my only hurdle is setting an objective and sticking to it. I haven't been used to that, both because of gaming, and because of the red fucking carpet that's been thrown under my feet by life. Only to pulled from under my fucking feet because I hadn't learnt to walk in time.

    There are just moments when it comes down to this: stop being a whiny little bitch and go out to get what you want.

    I guess I'm at these moments right now. I've dragged on looking for jobs/internships for too long. Why? Because I realise that most are pretty shitty compared to what my friends and classmates seem to get. I keep telling myself that it's because they know a friend/parent and that by a stroke of "bad luck", my father's an engineer and my mother a pharmacist (perfect combo if I had stayed in bioengineering) and I happen to study political science. And while there is indeed a lot of luck involved in these things, but if there's one thing I've also learned, it's that you make your own luck in life. As I said earlier, nobody owes you anything unless you make it so.

    I just have to stay motivated in the long run by what I want to be to keep moving.

    Now to the elephant in the fucking room and the reason for my shitty mood right now.

    I happened to be chatting with my ex (who now studies at Lille too, what a coincidence) about master's degrees. She's currently studying in a business school, and I wanted to get some insight from her about the management master's degrees her school had. Got the chat going, and I figured I'd chat with a dude who was my ex's long time friend and a bit of a third wheel when I was with her. He happens to be a cripple too. So we chat for a bit, and we get along just fine, as if we had just left off yesterday (it had been around a year and a half since we last spoke, and 3 years since we last saw each other). I only talked to my ex for two days, to get the information I needed (although I wasn't completely over it if I'm honest with myself), but keep spoking with the third dude until tonight.

    Well tonight this dude has the guts to let me know he happened to have banged my ex at a party, when both were drunk, shortly after we had broken up. Interesting that he brings it up now, and even more interesting since my ex alluded to it until she denied it in discussions we had shortly after the breakup. (We broke up on very good terms) Whoever is saying the truth, it doesn't really matter at this point. I don't know wether the fact this cripple banged her is a testament to how shit a guy I am or how right I was to put an end to a relationship with a bitch like that. Regardless, I'm a fucking naive little fool. Boom. Nobody owes you anything and there's always going to be something to fuck you over if you let it. IF you let it.

    Played the gentleman card and ended the chat shortly after. It didn't matter who I believed or what I believed, I really wanted to punch someone's teeth in at that point. I guess this must have showed in the post. It's moments like these that make me realise how much of a fucking fool I am sitting there like an absolute idiot waiting and thinking things will change for the better with no effort of discipline on my end. If it wasn't 2 am right now, I'd go to the swimming pool, swim two or three kilometres, or go the gym and bunch the bag for literally hours, I'd get my fucking license and work for that fucking second hand car I was looking at.

    Why oh why can't I keep this motivation, this spirit, in the long run. Why do always sit back into the comfort of a pathetic, meaningless existence after a while, only to get enraged by the next manifestation of my own insignificance. Why do I not have the discipline to work towards being who I want to be.

    This is infuriating. And motivating. For now.

    I really need to stop saying I'll do it and actually do what I should have done earlier. Discipline is my obvious issue, and I've put on my schedule tomorrow to finally write down the "action plan" to change. i.e. the list, habits, rules and other things I need to respect to get real change. A personal constitution of thoughts, since my mind is too volatile for now.

     

    My mother was right when she said a punching bag is a wonderful investment, I should have listened.

  18. Got the apartment in order for the most part. Got a call in with the parents for Mother's Day. Cooked the first real full meal I've had in a bit. Worked on the driver's license exam. There was a lot of sitting around doing nothing too. But hey, there's always going to be something I'll be blaming myself for anyways. "Haven't done x" "Haven't done y". Not saying today was the most productive day ever, but hey, I got stuff done, and I can't say that every day.

    Today I had a similar feeling at some point to what I felt back when I was studying in Canada. I was alone at 17 in a foreign country. I was having another one of those moments where I would just shut down from the stress I had inflicted on myself from procrastination and gaming. I had missed the biochemistry exam, then the procedural engineering exam, then the programming exam... I had tried to see a local doctor to get myself in order and bring some papers to University, hopefully granting me a leave and an explanation for the deans. I got turned down on the grounds that he couldn't give out those kinds of papers since my condition required a longer screening time to confirm, and that the psychologist I had (who was in China, where I lived before) should be the one doing the papers. So I Skyped him, got the papers, only to have them turned down by the University, saying they only accept papers from Canadian doctors. And then the craziest administrative battle between the University and I ensued where I did everything humanly possible to explain my situation, that it had happened before in France, but that I had passed the "rattrapage" exams (no idea how to translate this in English - basically backup exam sessions for the sick/absent if the justify their absence). Got turned down. In the end I left for France, and to this day I still have no idea wether I was still accepted into the next semester.

    The point is, in this fight against the University, I felt incredibly small, incredibly alone. I realised that when it came down to this, nobody really cared about what happened to me. I'm only one of the 7,5 billion people living their lives on this planet, that nothing was owed to me and that I was insignificant. Well I got a similar feeling today. Had somewhat of a boost in enthusiasm as I got things done. It didn't last too long, and when it was over I got that same feeling of being absolutely insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I'm struggling to get even basic things done, I'm too lazy/shy/unmotivated to see projects through to completion.

    And sometimes, I just ask myself: "What's the fucking point".

    I always told medical staff that I'd never seriously considered killing myself. It's one of the questions they always ask at the beginning, I assume it's basic triage. I had sometimes thought about it though, but never had the balls to get it done. I distinctly remember having a close friends of my parents over, who was quite close to me too. This was in 2014, before I got sent to a boarding school (2015) and then Canada (2016). I had had a severe argument with my parents, I had failed to attend the literature high school exams. I had pretty much broken everything in and around my room, I was really desperate. Spent three days locked in a study at some point earlier too, with the PC (this was the beginning of my gaming addiction).

    Anyways, this guy comes over, I refuse to greet him. I'm up in my room, and the entire time my parents are having dinner with their friend, I look up ways to kill myself. For over 5 hours I'd look through the methods: the plastic bag over the head, the head in the stove, trying to figure out how to tie a knot correctly so it'd snap the spine correctly, getting the right pills (my mother was a pharmacist). And I distinctly remember that the only thought keeping me from doing it was the fun I'd miss from playing games. That was it. Now in hindsight, I very seriously realise that actually, had it not been for gaming, I might have killed myself on a hunch as a kid.

    I got over it, only to learn later that this guy had just been laid off, and his son had died in a car accident a few days later, and he was at home with my parents to relieve some of the pain and think about something else for a few hours. And there I was, a spoiled kid failing exams because he can't be bothered to work, yelling and fighting with his parents. My mother told me that he was also significantly poorer than us, although it didn't strike me, and that was having financial issues on top of that. I felt utterly worthless. This guy had been through actual hell, who was I to have a right to complain. Recently, he had gone to Brazil to open a hotel, but got scammed by insurance when a fire started. Now he's broke and a wreck, but he got a job and is slowly get back up. Made me (selfishly) feel even worse.

    So yeah, sometimes I wonder "What's the fucking point", although for now it's more extreme frustration than a desire to kill myself. But I guess that's because I'm still young and skilled enough that my parents still see a reason/hope for me to parasite off them. I keep telling myself the same bullshit stories, that life doesn't have meaning other than what you make of it. That helping others, making the world is a better place. I come up with so many ideas, fantasies, projects following those lines. And then in contrast, I can't even keep the place I live in clean, sometimes don't even leave my home for weeks, can't even get basic work done. I feel utterly worthless. And then I see guys like my parents' friend who goes through actual shit and keeps moving forward. He has less money than he started his adult life with, a dead son, another one with a disability, a wife with cancer, not too many friends, but he just keeps going. I see my friends getting insane internships while I'm racking shitty communication positions, achieving incredible things, travelling. Worthless, useless, insignificant, forgotten is how I feel when I look around myself.

    But it doesn't have to be that way. I don't have to focus on what I'm not compared to someone else, but rather focus on what I am an what I want to be and how to get there.

    And yet I always seem to fall back into the endless circle of non achievement. Nearly everything that goes wrong in my life is of my doing. I have marginal independence, but I barely work on my driver's license or job offers. I don't like the state my body is in, but if my years of competitive swimming show one thing, it's that I've melted because of lack of effort. I don't feel like I have enough friends but refuse to meet new people; I see a big portion of my classmates as a threat from social anxiety, I complain about feeling alone and missing a girlfriend, yet obsessing (sometimes rightfully, I have to say) over superficial flaws of girls who are otherwise clearly very interested in me. My career opportunities are shrinking from my consistently diminishing academic performance. I cry about my life being stale or me being shallow, yet I do not purse projects in the long term.

    So yeah, I ask "What's the fucking point in life" quite often. But I come up with genuine answers that make sense to me: enjoy living, rather than killing time. The best thing is helping others. Etc, etc, etc.... And then I become my own hurdle. As I keep saying to my psychologist, and that's the main reason we kind of hit a dead end these days, I have all the keys to success and happiness in hand, yet I can't seem to be able to fucking use them.

    So to me, "What's the fucking point in life" isn't because life doesn't have meaning to me, because it does. "What's the fucking point" is because life just doesn't seem to be worth living if I'm fighting myself every step of the way for no result.

    I'm starting to believe that for all the things that gave me an advantage in life, my IQ, my privileged family, my life experience, my origins, I manage to end up worse than many. All that because I have no discipline or drive.

    I've reached this point when I write posts where I feel like I still have things I want to say, but my thoughts are becoming so muddled that I don't know where to go anymore without being repetitive. I'll take a breather and come back to this.

     

    I've been thinking about what I said about "having the keys in hand". I say that a lot in French when I try to describe my situation to people. And 2 things dawned on me.

    1. I'm definitely a perfectionist and focus too much on the little things. I blow them out of proportion. I'm not dead or homeless or an academic failure after failing to attend 4 sets of finals exams in 4 years. I'm still 8th out of 156 in my promotion. My apartment isn't going to be used for a photoshoot. So what if it doesn't look like an Ikea magazine. Sure part of me wishes I had still gone in architecture studies and a badly organised apartment is a missed creative opportunity but still. I still have to keep track of issues, but not obsess over them.

    2. I think I have the "keys" to success, but not the "keychain". I've always tried to fix some problem or another, one at a time, but never made a "formula" or a plan to organise my life according to the conclusions I've drawn about myself. As I've stated repeatedly earlier, my mind is wild and I need to tame it. I don't think planning every second of your life is right, but I need some measure of structure and planning to stay on top of my thoughts. I've come up with a basic idea of a continual to-do list that I fill when new things come to mind, and empty as I put them in my daily schedule for the coming days. I separate into two things: "tasks" which are one-time things, while "projects" require regular and diverse work. This system is then constrained into a set of rules which are the basis for anything else: i.e. get 8 hours of sleep, eat 3 full meals a day, keep hygiene up, exercise regularly, etc.

    This is all nice and all, but if I don't actually do it, what does it matter.

    Tomorrow is Monday, the stores and offices open again and hopefully I'll be able to get some stuff I wanted to get done, well, done.

     

    Hopefully this isn't too loud, but god listening to music at 2:30 am while in nothing but shorts is cathartic. That's one of the "little things" in life that I consistently enjoy.

     

    • Like 1
  19. I was overthinking and definitely a bit overemotional yesterday, and writing a note in the journal definitely went down the drain. I've come to a simple conclusion which I'm baffled I haven't produced earlier. Any time I start overthinking, having self-doubts, or generally start entering a state of self-paralysis, it's because I lose the momentum in my life. However, whenever I'm doing something, doesn't matter what, as long as my time is used instead of wasted, I don't have any major morale hits.

    a.k.a To avoid a "rout", just keep going.

    I get so focused on the big questions and what I'm worth when I stop that I forget 2 things:

    1. I could get so many other things done, rather than crying about that one task I THINK I can't get done, or can't be bothered to get done.

    2. At the end of the day, "Am I actually capable of doing this? Am I just dreaming?" or "What am I worth?" don't matter if I haven't tried or prepared to try something. And even if I don't try doing x thing, when I try and see myself from the outside, there's a lot I do better than most people - but that is NOT a reason to just stay put and stagnate.

    I was dismissing the idea earlier, but I'm now keeping a .pages document of these small conclusions as they come to mind. I have noticed that I sometimes tend to forget them, and they're really helpful to think about when things go wrong. I eventually plan to make it an "In case of Emergency" paper of sorts. If somethings goes wrong, I can bounce back forwards using what I've previously come to understand.

    16 hours ago, info-gatherer said:

    If I can be brutally honest, I think your problem is that you have a romantic idea of life. 

    You're absolutely right! It's always been the point of contention with my parents and my psychologist. I'm the only child my parents had, and my mother is really of the overly caring kind. I've always been top-of-the-line when it comes to academics (until a few years ago, now I'm just "very good") and everyone has always made it clear to me that I had the red carpet for any higher studies or career path I wanted to take. I've had an extremely privileged, (but modest, thanks to my parents) life and seemingly had the means to keep that level of blissful happiness in my adult life. Now I don't want to blame it on my parents, but I definitely feel that I've been woefully unprepared to face the realities of life, especially by my Mother. I don't have the "daily discipline" some of my friends have, my parents never baked good life habits into me until it was too late. In the past few years, it feels like I've had to learn to live from the ground up again.

    And you're definitely right by saying that you make your own happiness. I think I've had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that life owes you nothing, and you only reap what you sow. The most painful part of my shitty moments in life is knowing that I'm responsible for my situation, it's not "life" shoving a boot down my face. That's just scapegoating. As I think I've said previously before, I absolutely don't mind being direct in these posts. In fact, I appreciate it because I'm definitely in need of reality checks sometimes.

    For today, I'll clean up the apartment (much needed), get some job applications out, work on the driver's license a bit, and get issues with the gym settled (workout schedule and membership card glitch).

    Will post again tonight to keep the daily postings.

    • Like 1
  20. That experience definitely feels similar to what I've experienced in many ways. I've often described my life to the psychologist I visit as a series of hurdles: I come crashing just in front of a hurdle, where desperation either boosts me to get everything done ASAP or paralyses me into inaction. The problem is that after each hurdle, I'm unable to maintain the spirit of action and sloop back down into passivity. It's because the feeling of despair isn't constant - and I fail to bring turn it into confidence (more on that later). Another way to put this would be that the hell I live when I disappear into gaming isn't the baseline of my life, it's in the subzero. The "zero point" or "baseline" of my life is me getting the bare minimum done to maintain an image of normalcy to my exterior, no matter the manipulation or scumming necessary. I have no initiative, do not achieve big projects, do not hold commitments, yet I do not feel "bad" as I do in my subzero state (gaming, where hygiene, relationships, health, action take a plummeting dive). The danger isn't there so desperation doesn't set in yet I'm unsatisfied with simply letting life pass. So I'm in a situation where I have no external motivator (panic, exams, external coercion etc) and the only drive is my own frustration. This is me right now: I'm sleeping on schedule, I eat somewhat healthily, I don't game for now, but I haven't looked for the internships I should have hunted, I haven't worked on my driver's licence, I haven't worked on securing some income, I haven't worked on learning the guitar, I haven't worked on finding sports groups, etc. Life is dull and boring but not dangerous enough to be despaired. I think that's what kills me more than anything, because I get out of my gaming hell moments after a while, but I've never really gotten out of the dull "baseline" into motivated action, initiative, passion.

    Well today, I got about of bed, and literally did not get dressed for the entire day. Did nothing. Literally nothing. And as much as I want to fight it, I feel like my prewired routine or "passive reflex" takes over unless I have the mental lucidity and drive to think "Hey stop. Not okay. Get moving." But the tasks are so damn boring and my passion so unclear and dispersed that I do nothing. I don't understand all of you who say that you started getting things done for x reason and then it became a routine.

    How do you manage the first few days of having to challenge your own self for everything?

    How do you hold your new self in time?

    I'm both amazed at this change and frustrated by what seems to be my own laziness.

    Ugh. I've got to stop thinking and just do things.

    You wouldn't know this but this sentence was typed 20 minutes after the rest of the post. I've just signed up for the written exam for the driver's license for the 31st of May at 2:30pm. There's my deadline. Cost me 30 of my last 60 euros, so better make this count.

    I also looked in a lot more seriously at something I've been eyeing for years now. I've been very seriously considering joining the army officer's reserve. Given my current academic path, I already qualify for the reserve sub lieutenant program (army) or "aspirant officier" (navy) ; or the reserve high command program if I get into a master's degree after my bachelor's. If there's any place I can get a feel for discipline and get some air from what has become academic apathy, it's there. I'll investigate more tomorrow.

    God do I want to get moving. There are so many things I am elligible/capable of doing, and the only hurdle is myself. Jesus fucking christ.

    Edit: 2 am grammar check, probably more, can't be bothered.

    • Like 1
  21. Another day, another late and difficult wake up moment. Part of me misses the fact that classes are over since that structured my day pretty well for the most part. Got a lot of stuff to do with internships I need to get, driver's license, etc. Not exactly a total holiday. Got barely anything done today, it's definitely a bit disheartening. Checking my account balance after buying some food for the week reminded me of how much I fucked up with my spending on games in the past few weeks - I'm down to around 60 euros to finish the month.

    I have plenty of ideas to get my life on track, and using an app to keep tracking of what I spend so I can do some accounting every once in a while is one of them. But none of those ideas ever seem to come to fruition. It just feels like I'm all bark and no bite. I can sit for hours thinking about a problem, but I'm shit at actually putting the plan into motion. In my previous posts, I brought up the whole INTP issue. I don't believe that I'm using this as an excuse to justify my inability to get things done, but rather as a desperate attempt on my part to explain why I can't be a functional human being. I'm so frustrated and dismayed at my own lack of discipline or initiative that I guess a part of me is looking for ways to deny a fact: I, as a person, am usually unable to get something done without external coercion or oversight. Then again a part of me believes that's not entirely true: I was able to quit gaming, get my kilometre swim training done, and achieve many simple tasks I could have procrastinated. Then yet another part of me counters by saying that I quit gaming because I got bored of it, or I swam because I enjoy it for the most part, or that these "simple tasks" which are such a challenge for me at times are basic functions of any normal person, and that I shouldn't be taking credit for it.

    I live in constant doubt and questioning. While gaming, these thoughts would drown away in the quiet slumber of instant satisfaction and numbness. Actually living however, forces me to face these issues - even though I'm unable to come to terms with them. Coming back to the INTP thing, it's just a cycle of me facing hurdles, trying to understand why I can't jump them, and then drowning in my own thoughts leading to despair and more inaction. Another example: went to watch the Solo Star Wars movie today, then watched Get Out on iTunes when I got home in the night instead of doing the tasks I should have completed during the day. During the beginning of the movie, I was multitasking and researching some stuff about workouts and other sports stuff, but my attention was divided and I both learnt nothing and missed the beginning of my movie.

    I think I enjoyed swimming so much yesterday because my mind was focused on the swim and nothing else. I was doing one thing at a time. And I think that's one core issue I've mentioned before that I need to work on. I, I assume due to my specific psychology, have an innate tendency to multitask which isn't compatible with the realities of life: gathering superficial knowledge in many fields is a good way to satisfy my intellectual curiosity, but a terrible way to actually get things moving forward.

    Part of me wishes I had an interactive picture frame, or screen on the wall if you will. I'd fill it up with these "Eureka statements" to remind me of what I have understood about myself - knowledge, reminders and rules that were the key to my success.

    • Do one thing at a time, multitasking is unproductive. Enjoy/focus on that task/activity at hand.
    • Sleep 8 hours, preferably waking up early to have a productive day.
    • "Just do it" - when you think about doing something, do it unless it's cutting into some other task you're doing. Don't hesitate - action is everything.
    • etc etc etc

    But that's just creepy and weird when you have friends over. Yet I need that guidance.

    I don't know, I'm feeling better already, going out regularly (Wallet: "I don't feel too good" - but hey) and getting some air rather than gaming. I Just feel happier, but then I get a call from my father reminding me of everything I have to get done. I get a call from my mother questioning my budget and spending. I get a call from the grandparents who (I think) are blissfully unaware of the absolute hell and nightmare their grandson goes through at times. I just feel so despaired and lost, because I just keep coming to the conclusion that for some reason, I'm just unable to get things done.

    I keep looking for explanations (they sometimes become excuses when other people get involved): "I don't study hard because I'm not in the correct field of study"; "I can't get things done because I'm an INTP"; "I can't get things done because I don't sleep well or exercise often - my body and brain is numbed - it'll get better once you fix that".

    I'm just so incredibly lost. I don't get it. I keep trying to understand. I keep finding what could be answers. Some make sense, some don't, all boil down to the same conclusion: answers mean nothing if they're not implemented. And boom, I'm back to square one. And my psychologist, with whom I'd felt I had a hit a dead end with lately, said what I was secretly keeping to myself recently: "I think you need a girlfriend. She'll make you set your own standards and you'll have someone you trust to be accountable to."

    That hit home in three ways. Firstly because he had come to the same somewhat amusing conclusion as I had, which kind of built back faith in the sessions for me. Secondly, because my previous relationships had failed precisely because of my procrastination and gaming problems. There just came a point where every girl I met just became tired of trying to keep me moving at their pace that they'd just quit. And three, this reinforced my belief that somehow, I can't be the person I want to be without someone else's help.

    Had a good, enjoyable, although unproductive day today, but typing this post really pummelled the morale into the ground. I'll get some sleep, stop feeling sorry about myself by tomorrow and hopefully get some stuff done.

    I'd like to hear you guys' experience with "getting things done" if you're willing to share. Not just commitments, but difficulties and successes with getting everyday stuff done.

    Cheers.

    • Like 1
  22. I was set on having a good night's sleep and starting a fresh productive day, but I guess I thought texting my ex at 3 am was the smart thing to do. Welp. Didn't exactly get the best night's sleep and it took me an hour or two to shrug off the grogginess and get out of bed. My planning went down the drain. On a positive note however, I did stick to the "easier" commitments. I ate at a reasonable and defined time, and when to swim as intended. Made a bunch of laps and finished my program, so I treated myself to the sauna on a discount for students in this end of year period.

    I was lying down, sweating in a cooking room, and it just hit me. This life is so much better than the shithole I put myself into when I game. The feeling of tired muscles and sweat, yet relaxing in a comfortable environment was thrilling. The sense of accomplishment was something I had missed and hadn't experienced in a while. I'd stretch and flex muscles I barely worked on before and could feel the tension and volume - it felt like progress.

    Got home, stopped by the local Chinese take away, grabbed some food. Proceeded to eat, ignore the rest of my planning, spend an hour trying to fix some bullshit login issues on iTunes, and treated myself to "Split" (a really awesome horror thriller if you're in that kind of stuff). Kind of disappointed that my schedule went down the drain, although I was able to get my swim/workout going without skimping on the effort. And most importantly the feeling of satisfaction and progress was an immense source of hope and happiness. I felt happy about myself, and felt like I hadn't wasted my time. Same for the movie, an excellent experience - I wasn't killing time playing games that were frustrating me, I was enjoying it.

    So while today was by no means a flawless success of my new path, I rekindled with emotions I haven't felt in a while, and I put myself in a positive mindset. (Apart from that box of chocolates I devoured - damn you grandparents). I'll try to do better tomorrow. Swimming today made me set aside my insecurities about my "not quite athletic anymore" physique as I blissfully swam past everyone to the point where I'd meet a roadblock every lap or two, and the tangible sense of success and satisfaction pushed me to investigate actual workouts at the gym. I'll try getting a membership at the student gym - for the first time in ages, I actually stopped simply thinking about working out and actually made a workout plan.

    From a psychological standpoint, I find it interesting to see how quickly addictive behaviours (i.e gaming in this game) overpower rational thoughts or commitments, yet I'm somehow incapable of recollecting these pleasurable moments doing sports/watching movies (actually enjoying time) when I'm a passive procrastination phase (binging youtube or others). It's not necessarily bad habits overpowering the good ones, it's just that routine and passive behaviour seems to dominate and inhibit positive thoughts and experiences. In essence, I need to find a way to stay lucid and be able to say: "Hey, I could be doing x, y, or z, which would be a much better and/or enjoyable use of my time, than binging youtube videos right now". I really find it difficult to keep the initiative going.

    Anyhow, it's 2 am because of the movie, so I'll allow myself to sleep in a bit later today. Although the end goal is a 11pm - 7 am for a healthy 8 hours of sleep, it takes time and discipline to adjust. I plan on working on that, and I want to have a productive day tomorrow. Let's hope I make it happen.

    Edit: reinstalled youtube recommended blocker, and cleaned up my subs again to clear gaming related stuff. Kept my stuff on game development though. I'll have to work on it more to determine if Blender and Unity become unhealthy habits. I've gamed too much lately to fully explore that hobby.

  23. I'm having to read out of my previous posts since it's been so long since I last posted. I've managed to disappoint my parents, the university, my friends/collegues, and myself. The semester had been an extremely bumpy ride, and it was becoming increasingly clear that the final exams would be one hell of a challenge. And given my current state of mind, it was a challenge that I wasn't ready to meet. Even though my friends were extremely caring, I felt incredibly alone. I had hit a dead end with my psychologist and I hadn't had a discussion on this forum in a while, which I immediately blamed myself for, on the grounds that I hadn't followed my own rule of posting regularly as I had promised myself. My notes were a mess, I had to catch up on missed courses before I could even start revising. I myself was an ambiguous mess with uncertain and barely respected goals. And I did what I've done twice now in my higher studies, I skimped out on the exams, shut myself off from the outside world and hid into gaming.

    The days went on as exam after exam went on without me. My friends tried to call me, but gave up after a day or two, because I'd made it clear last time I'd had a "moment" like this that I would not answer plain and simple, and that I just wanted to be able. Some rang at my door a few days in, and I sat on the couch, petrified, attempting to not make a noise. A note was slid under the door, with great difficulty, and I read it after I made sure they weren't around anymore. It was one of my closest friends letting me know that she and others were there if I needed them, and was trying to reason me into attending at least some of the exams, to guarantee that I'd at least validate the year to be able to continue my studies. (I'd had excellent grades in the first semester, which gave me a huge margin of error for the second). She was telling me what I already knew, and what I was trying to drown in gaming: at least for some exams, I had to do some bare minimum work and just get my ass in the examination room and everything would be fine. And I did, I attended two out of the five written exams, and handed in all research papers, regardless of their questionable quality.

    I felt like I had done it, that I had went through hell and got out somewhat sane. In all honesty though, I'd attended only half of what was required of me, my grades are in jeopardy, as is my right to remain in this course at this point. I'm unsure wether I'll be admitted into "rattrapages" (extra exam sessions for those who were sick or deemed deserving for a second run in case of issues) as I was the first time it happened. Anyways, on the grounds that I could reward myself for the effort and that I was now officially on holiday, I started gaming again.

    It was the worst I've felt in ages.

    While gaming during the first half of the exams gave me the escape I needed from the stress and anxiety of university, gaming after the term ended felt like digging my own grave. My hygiene deteriorated considerably, as did my diet and my sleep. I'm pretty sure I've messed up my back again from sitting all day long, and it hurts to the point where sitting straight becomes a chore. My apartment was a mess and so was my mind. There came a point where I wasn't even having fun anymore. I would blame "shitty teammates" on Siege or War Thunder, rage at bullshit RNG mechanics in EU4. I had spent a ton of money on new games and DLCs to try and alleviate my boredom. Now I barely have any money left to end the month. I also did what I seem to do when life goes on without purpose and I become a wreck: I pulled out Unity, Blender and VS again and started considering game development again. I figured that everything that was wrong academically was because I was in a field of study I didn't enjoy (or did I? I can't even tell what I like). Yet it became clear that my gaming addiction was coming back again, and that I'd have to stop to get moving in life again. But what's a game developper who doesn't play games? It's like Kubrick saying he doesn't watch movies.

    Anyhow, a few days ago I made the decision that this was it. This was where I was drawing the line. I couldn't keep on living this way and the consequences for my failure were becoming far too dangerous. My financial status was uncertain, my health was visibly and rapidly deteriorating, my relationships dying out, my mind going crazy; I was going nowhere. So I unplugged the PC and swore I'd sell it, and use my Mac is my main driver now. (I'm probably the only guy on earth thrilled by the shitty game support and performance of Macs).

    Except I'm banned off Ebay for using it when I was 16, and I got caught (had to be over 18 to sell). Even shitty old mistakes come to hit me back. And I couldn't be bothered to sell on Leboncoin (France's craigslist) or anything else. So it just sits there in all its water-cooled glory. I haven't had the urge to touch it yet, but based upon my past attempt, the 90 day no gaming detox was more like a "count to 90 while not gaming too much in the meantime" to me.

    So I want to try again, have another go at improving my life. But this time, I come in with the knowledge of my weaknesses, my failures, and (I want to believe) more dedication.

    I'll be setting myself more rules, and attempt to discipline myself into sustaining better habits. I'll cut off unhealthy habits, but not without thinking them over and discussing them first. I'm trying to make myself feel better and do better, not turn myself into an apathetic machine. I'll be writing down my new rules and commitments tomorrow, as it's already 1am here and I need to focus on slowly getting my sleep schedule back on track. Getting my health back on track/getting fit and securing my independence (driver's license, finding a summer job) are my current objectives.

    As Fox Mulder says "I want to believe". A healthy life seems more feasible than a secret Alien invasion. Or is it?

    7e3.jpg

    • Like 2
  24. Day 79 - Update

    Currently clearing out the youtube sub box, and it kind of stings the heart to unsub from some of them, where it's just plain old stupid fun. I feel as if I'm killing off any and all fun I can have, simply because my having fun creates problems, because of the mediums I've chosen to have fun with. Tempted to leave a few in, but I'll cut everything out for now.

  25. Day 71-79

    I haven't posted here regularly, and it just boils down to me not taking this seriously enough. The same goes with a lot of what has happened lately. The past week or two have been difficult and unproductive. I'm nearing the finals, and also have a lot of papers to hand in the coming days. In other words, the pressure is mounting incredibly high and I definitely haven't been up to snuff lately. Now if my unsatisfactory behaviour was only related to academics, I'd manage. Unfortunately I've also let many areas slip by: meals have been on and off and poor in general, sleep schedules have been all over the place, my attendance was trash, and my productivity was down the drain. Morale was definitely pretty low and I've been thinking a lot about many things - I'll elaborate below. Slight spoiler, I'm writing this from an (almost) immaculate apartment, with all the chores done on time, so I'm at least on an upward trend at the moment.

    So in essence, I've had to catch up on the classes I missed when I was away at the conference in the US. I've obtained pretty thorough course notes from 2016-2017 students through a friend. The problem is that my interest in attending courses has been pretty low this semester, and the fact that many professors are pretty bad (I honestly believe one is borderline insane) or absent doesn't help. Only in this semester have I seen a professor more eager to leave the class than his students, a professor absent for 2/3 of the semester who wants to catch up the entire course in two weeks, and a professor who actually teaches nothing and throws readings at us. My point is, I don't believe I'm entirely responsible for what happened this semester. To sum it up, I've now got pretty much the entire curriculum and no desire to attend most courses due to what I explained above. The result meant that I started skipping the courses which were a complete joke, but that behaviour extended to other courses, culminating in me being absent to all but compulsory courses. Now I have the course notes, yes, but I don't have the head start in terms of revisions anymore since I didn't attend the course and simply listen to what was said. And there's even less of an "institutional coercion" for me to study since it's literally just down to me and these notes now. In other words, it's looking grim, and time is running extremely low for some of the stuff I need to get done.

    Now during the past week, I haven't resorted to gaming as I did in my previous post. I say that I haven't been taking this seriously enough because regardless of the format of the video, I haven't completely cut ties with gaming if I still watch gaming-related youtube content. I still haven't done what I said I'd do - clean up my subscriptions. My justification is twofold: I'm cutting yet another (albeit unhealthy and addicting) relaxation tool, and what's the point if I'll find alternate ways of procrastinating anyways? This is where I'd like to hear some advice or experience: have you completely cut off any source of gaming information? How was your relationship with youtube during the detox? In my case, regardless of the plugins cutting the recommended, my sub box is always decently full and I just roam the internet over random things, be it wikipedia, 9gag, etc. This is quite frustrating because I basically undermines my efforts to cut triggers of procrastination. On the other hand, it demonstrates that youtube/gaming is the trigger but the symptom.

    So this frustration with youtube, coupled with my low morale and lack of interest for studies at the moment pushed me to dig up the age old questions. "Am I even in the right field of study?" And oooh boy does that question bring up another layer of self-doubt and questioning. In essence, a part of me misses the stimulating world of science which I've left behind. I think I miss the labs, the projects, actually doing things instead of blabbering on theory for years on end. I've been watching a Netflix show about life on Mars, featuring Elon Musk, a.k.a mister do it all, saviour of the world, and meme generator. And I thought about a few things: "I kind of miss physics/chemistry/maths", "Damn I could see myself having the skills and enjoying the whole science entrepreneurial thing", and "Oh boy am I wasting my life, procrastinating the way I am". One thing led to another, and I began investigating deeper the "why" of my procrastination.

    I then remembered I had passed the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test) around 5 years ago, which is a pretty fascinating psychology test which provides a rough classification of one's personality according to four variables, each with two possibilities. At the time, I came out as a pretty solid INTP: Introverted (as opposed to Extraverted), iNtuitive (as opposed to obsErvant), Thinking (as opposed to Feeling), and Prospecting (as opposed to Judging). Now I personally believe that the MBTI is a fascinating read in psychology, and an excellent tool to understand yourself (as long as you don't start treating it as a bible which describes YOU with 100% accuracy). I passed the test again this week, and again ended up pretty solidly in the INTP group,

    Now an INTP (the "logician", as it's nicknamed) is best described as an introverted, logical, analytical, creative, intellectual, thinker. Now INTPs are pretty rare (around 4% of the population last time I checked) and are a meme amongst psychology courses - they're colloquially known as the "procrastination genes". They usually have difficulty in social environments and usually have a more difficult time interacting emotionally than others. Now the biggest drawback of INTPs, and the most relevant here in my post, is that an INTP's mind is usually a chaotic soup of thoughts, ideas, considerations and doubts. This leads to several issues: many INTPs appear as rash and upfront because their thoughts are often unprocessed and go "too fast". INTPs are ironically the most creative, intellectual and analytical people, yet often struggle academically because of their inability to put order in their thoughts. In other words, in a project for instance, the INTP will be the mastermind but will disregard the actual execution of the plan, satisfying himself with the intellectual process of devising the plan. And finally, INTPs are therefore driven, more so than other individuals, by interest/passion - decimating the competition in terms of motivation when stimulated (not necessarily efficiency, as stated above), and completely outclassed when bored or unmotivated.

    And it just clicked. Everything I've been feeling for years, my inability to focus on a single task at a time, the reason why I would start cleaning the bedroom in the middle of doing the dishes, my constant self-doubt and the reason why video games were so addicting to me, for some reason: I've had the psychological notions on one hand, and my empirical observations on the other for years, yet never made the link!

    So I now my greatest asset is my endurance when motivated and by above-average analytical and logical skills. I know my weaknesses are my chaotic mind, my (overly) quick thinking, and my social difficulties. Now, as a logical thinker, what conclusions can I make from these facts?

    • Staying in a literary field of study without practical application of knowledge is a bad idea, unless it happens to be a field I'm passionate about. This has steered me away from going into international relations/political science master's degree --> diplomacy and more into management/business + engineering/sustainable development --> entrepreneurship? I am by no means deciding of my future right now, but it feels good to have some filters to help me narrow down my choice. That assumes I finish my current degree, and I don't do too well with long term goals.
    • My procrastination is often caused by my lack of interest for a boring task, or more importantly when my brain just shuts down from my inability to process and keep track of everything I have to do. Scheduling at least the work part of my day is a must, and I've got to make the to-do-list board happen. That way I can not only initially understand what needs to be done for the day, but I can add to it as time goes, without losing my thoughts to the wind.
    • The biggest issue I have is time being wasted doing nothing or stuff with no added value (not even proper enjoyment/relaxation). This does give me hope that one day I'll be able to come to gaming, in a controlled and moderated manner, because I'll have found other stimuli (other activities, more fulfilling academics, etc). My feeling towards gaming are mixed at this point, as I definitely do feel that gaming is harmful in my present state. Yet unlike binging youtube videos in a passive manner, gaming is an intellectually stimulating way to pass time, and I do have good and heartwarming memories with online friends. Then again I know how easy it is to fall back into addiction. I guess I'll give it a try later on when I have the necessary "landing strip" time wise to crash and burn if I have to after testing, and when I get my life under control in the terms I stated above. What are your thoughts on this? Am I just kidding myself, or can I look forward to moderation? I must admit I have a bit of a PC upgrade itch (I'm a PC hardware nut) and I can't justify that upgrade without gaming, ha ha.

    Now oftentimes the fact I don't post here is not because of bad spirit or anything, it just goes down the priority drain like many other things (fitness/guitar). I struggle to get stuff done upfront so that when the time comes for such activities (usually late evening), I'm often busy doing an urgent task I should have done earlier.

    I guess I'm reaching a point where I'm not sure what to say anymore, and my thoughts are getting muddled. So I'll just end this post here for now. Immediately after writing this, I'll be emptying all gaming content from my sub box. I'll be leaving tech/computer hardware related channels be for now. I'll also leave a stack of post-its in a several places in the apartment to make quick and easy to-do lists when I feel my mind starts running wild.

    Looking forward to see how the next few days go, they're going to be extremely painful and hard, but I just have to get through. Feel free to comment as much as you'd like, I could really use some thoughts/opinion at this point. That's all for today!

    • Like 1