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Posts posted by karabas

  1. This is really interesting, in the sense that your approach now is to go after the stuff you love doing as opposed to a straight-up detox.

    I wonder if that's what's been holding you back. You and I are very similar in our approaches and we started around the same time. But I know that you weren't really motivated by your university studies. Whereas I find a lot of purpose and excitement in my daily activities, so maybe I was unconsciously benefitting from that the way you're trying to consciously do now.

    I still think you're probably better pairing this up with a proper detox, but I like the original approach you're taking with this. Clearly, something needed to change.

    I'll keep the rest to myself as you asked ?

    Also, it's been a few days. Update? Try to still do daily updates, even if short. I think it really helps. (although I should be talking, I've been very sporadic with mine recently)

    • Like 1

  2. Day 62/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
    Sleep before 12am: 0 (longest streak: 17)

    No phone in washroom 9/120
    Umra resolutions: 0/90

    Work Hours: 31:55 this week (so ~1:30 behind)

    Still struggling with a couple of things. First of all: sleep. It's the never-ending vicious cycle: I get crap sleep -> I have less willpower & focus -> I'm not productive -> I stay up late to be more productive -> I get crap sleep.

    This is not good, especially since it's winter time and morning prayer is so late, I need to be in bed by midnight and I can still get a full 8 hours of sleep. Sigh.

    The second problem is that my willpower is eroding my habits. I've watched a couple of vids (it was a bit in a gray area of "I need to/I want to"). I also spend too much time on FB and the like. I'm gonna put my phones away in a different room starting from today: they've been my biggest distraction.

    My spiritual routine's wrecked. I'm doing maybe a quarter of what I was doing before. Thankfully, I still go to the mosque once a day, which I feel good about. Hopefully I can maintain at least that and build back the rest of the habits.

    • Like 1

  3. Sorry I'm a bit late this time around, man.

    Don't sweat it too much. In the long-term, you might want to think about how to do holidays different to avoid this in the future.

    But in the short-term, focus on small steps to getting out of the situation.

    It might actually be for the best. My relapse in August was BAD, I was staying up ridiculously late gaming or watching videos or whatever, but it made me so sick of myself that it finally gave me the push to quit gaming. That was the last time I gamed (150+ days now). So sometimes you need to witness yourself at a low point and really get inspired to never be that way again. I know you've gone through this before, but you never know when your relapse will trigger your best resurgence to date.

    So there's always light at the end of the tunnel and you'll get through this phase like you did through all the previous ones. You got this!

    • Like 1

  4. Day 58/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
    Sleep before 12am: 0 (longest streak: 17)

    No phone in washroom 5/120
    Umra resolutions: 0/90

    Work Hours: 6:20 (12:40 this week)

    Vacation wrecked havoc on my habits. I even relapsed on using my phone in the washroom, which is seriously retarded. I wasn't able to keep up with my spiritual routines even when reducing them by half, but I think by the time I realized it was too hard while on vacation, I already burnt out. Lesson for the future.

    My sleep is also way off, but I'm hoping I can restore it in the coming days. Same for the my spiritual routines... I'm doing most of them, just not all. So I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things over the next few days.

    Work is going OK. I also registered my business, opened bank accounts, got a domain name. I'm trying to do the bare minimum for launch & then work my way through the rest once things are going. I have a few emails to finish up before I can launch + a couple of landing pages to make. Let's see. The biggest constraint is time right now. A lot of work piled up while I was on vacation, so I'm mostly busy with client stuff. Not much time for working on the business.

    Obviously, the biggest win is that I'm still not watching vids. I'm almost 2 months into it now, which is huge. The only issue has been my partial return to facebook usage, but it's been fairly mild so far. I'll try to wind it back again.

    • Like 3

  5. 15 hours ago, Deku said:

    To my disappointment, I have not accomplished a whole lot this holiday season. My family members have all been kind of clingy of late, and while I do enjoy spending time with them it hasn't exactly worked wonders for my productivity. Rather than studying for MCAT and bible study, I've been dragged from hiking trails to reunions to football games, so I've fallen quite far behind in my work. I can't wait to get back to it now that the holiday season is over.

    From my experience, it's best to just embrace these periods. Yes, you're not being "productive", but family is family and you only have these periods in your life a few times a year. It's worth it to just let go of the idea of being productive in this time (as long as you're not gaming/relapsing/etc) and be present with your folks.

    It's a good way to relax after all the hard work, so why stress yourself out unnecessarily? You're going to get plenty of stress in a few days when you get back to studying ?

    • Like 3

  6. Hey Ahmad,

    Nice to have you here! Don't worry: being a person you want to be is a process, not an overnight change.

    Best wishes to you and do update here as regularly as you can. It might seem weird talking about your detox, but it's a super helpful process in the long term.

  7. Day 43/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
    Sleep before 12am: 0 (longest streak: 17)

    No phone in washroom 46/120
    Umra resolutions: 0/90

    Work Hours: not counting (vacation)

    It's been a bit hard following my umra resolutions since I've been on vacation with family. My sleep is a bit off - not terrible, mind you, but here going to bed at 12 means waking up at 6:30 for prayer and then going back to sleep... which means I'm always tired. And it also means when I get up, it's late and I need to go spend time with family, which leaves little time for my spiritual routines.

    I've decided to decrease my goals while I'm traveling - halve everything, so it should take me 15 minutes in the morning and in the evening. Should be doable.

    I'm not on my computer much since I'm not working - so videos aren't really a problem. I'm over 1/3 of the way to my goal, which is exciting.

    Hope everyone had good, non-relapsing holidays ?

    On 12/27/2018 at 7:19 AM, info-gatherer said:

    Hey. I read some of your last journal entries. I'll follow along ?

    Hey, thanks! I appreciate it ?

    • Like 2

  8. Day 37/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
    Sleep before 12am: 1 (longest streak: 17)

    No phone in washroom 39/120
    Umra resolutions: 24/90

    Work Hours: not counting (vacation)

    The trip was long and tiring. But so far, so good. Nothing to update except that I'm still staying off of games and videos ?

    • Like 2

  9. Hey Deku,

    Been meaning to post this a little bit earlier, but:

    As far as I remember from my med school friends is that the MCAT is basically a summary of all the science you've learned in your undergrad. So the big problem people have is they study, say, Organic Chem in their first year of uni and then have to basically re-learn it for the MCATs.

    I'd strongly encourage you to check out spaced-repetition flash card methods (there's plenty online about them). You can get a free app like Anki, which does the spaced repetition bit automatically. Basically, every time you get a card right, it increases the amount of time it waits to show it to you again. If you get it wrong, you see it again the next day. But as you keep going, you only need to review a card once every few months to remember it.

    If you do this at this point in your studies, you should be able to maintain a lot of your knowledge into the MCATs, which will save you time.

    Actually, it'll also just save you time in terms of studying for your finals. If you're constantly reviewing your flash cards, you won't need to study extra for the final, because you'll still remember everything. And with phone apps, you can now do this kind of studying while commuting, walking, eating, or anything else.

    It's something I wish I knew about when in university and it's definitely helped me a lot with studying now.

    • Like 3

  10. 15 hours ago, fawn_xoxo said:

    I'm thankful for this community, and a little embarrassed for not posting more often even though I have thoughts to share, but I am a bit caught up with that drawing progress and researching that and getting better (hopefully!).

    Awesome man, so glad you're doing better.

    15 hours ago, fawn_xoxo said:

    The Atomic Habits book really motivated me to push through and " Just do it " regarding things, putting one foot in front of the other and just trusting in the process that by acting like the person I want to be, I'll end up wanting to do these things. So far it's actually working!

    That sounds like a useful book. I might check it out. Thanks ?

  11. Day 33-4/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
    Sleep before 12am: fail (longest streak: 17)

    No phone in washroom 36/120
    Umra resolutions: 21/90

    Work Hours: 1:20 Thursday, 3:10 Friday (15:50 this week)

    Thursday was a bit of a disaster. We're traveling on Sunday and we couldn't find my wife's passport. So we spent half a day panicking and looking for it all over the house (thank God, it turned up eventually). We also had class and had to prepare for it, etc.

    So basically I didn't get a lot of work in.

    Friday was better. Took some time off to visit a friend's family in the countryside, which was wonderful. My ears always feel very strange because there's no background noise at all. Clean air and fresh olive oil on top of that... what else can you ask for?

    I came back home and got some work in. Still headed to bed late, but a bit earlier than the past couple of days. I'm holding out for Saturday. I'm hoping we can check in to the hotel early-ish and be asleep before midnight. This should help get me back on track. I think my plan for when I'm spending time with my family is to stick to the 12am deadline. The prayer times are shifted there and I'd be better off sleeping at 11pm to get my 8 hours of sleep, but I just don't think that's feasible given that all my relatives have a predilection for staying up super late. Even 12 is going to be a challenge.

    Overall I'm looking forward to taking a bit of time off work and just spending time with my family. I think I can be more present with them now that my detox is finally having an effect.

    • Like 1

  12. Jumping in here because I saw your last post in the feed.

    29 minutes ago, taichi said:

    Because I cannot permit myself to live happily when I see the world around me turning to shit.

    Stop reading the news or your FB feed. Seriously. The world isn't that bad, but you're not going to see anything good while you're consuming this stuff (because they focus on the negative). News consumption and social media have now been linked to depression in studies, so I'm not pulling this out of my butt.

    On 10/9/2018 at 11:48 AM, taichi said:

    This has been the longest I have come without playing video games, but I don't feel like that really makes a change.

    I spend most of my days in front of my computer, mindlessly entertained.

    Being in front of the screen puts me in a certain dazed state, and it does not feel nice.

    It only appears that it's not having a change. Trust me, it's having an effect. If you like reading, check out the book "Mastery". It talks about how anyone practicing a skill encounters a "plateau" where practice doesn't seem to have an effect on their skill and this is where most people quit. Whereas in reality, you're improving, and if you keep going you'll notice the effects later.

    I think if you ask the folks on this forum who've been going for a while, they'll tell you the same thing. My first 90 day detox didn't really do much for me. I just switched to wasting time on Netflix and YouTube. I relapsed on games right after the 90 days were over and spent a couple of weeks glued to the screen, avoiding my real-life responsibilities completely.

    However, eventually I was able to completely leave games (it's been 131 days and I barely have any cravings). For a while, I still didn't feel progress because I was stuck consuming videos, but what I didn't realize was that now that I weaned myself off of games, I could focus all my efforts on weaning myself off of videos. It took 3 months, but I'm finally making progress in my video detox (30+ days).

    And it's only that I've gotten rid of both of these things that I'm finally seeing the effects: more productivity, better relationship with my wife, more time for my spiritual goals, etc. I've been on this forum for nearly a year now (and trying to deal with my gaming addiction for the 10 years before that), but I'm seeing results only now.

    But now looking back, I can clearly see progress, even in moments when I relapsed or failed to get anywhere with my detox. I was practicing and failing, but practice eventually yields fruit.

    I'm sure you'll hear similar feedback from other folks who've been doing this for a while.

    You've gone longer than you ever have without games - that's a win. You failed, that's OK. One thing I've seen to be true 100%: people who don't learn how to fail and pick themselves back up give up. People who fail, get up, fail again, get up again, and just keep going  eventually see results.

    So, brush it off and keep going. You've got it and you've got an awesome community supporting you ?

    P.S. This is a personal recommendation because I've found it crucial to my progress: sort yourself out spiritually. "Why am I here?" is the most crucial question, because it determines how you live the rest of your life. It's worth spending time contemplating.

    • Like 2

  13. Day 31-2/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
    Sleep before 12am: fail (longest streak: 17)

    No phone in washroom 34/120
    Umra resolutions: 19/90

    Work Hours: 4 hours on Tuesday, 2:05 on Wednesday (11:20 this week)

    It's been a bit nuts. I did a trip on Tuesday to see a tax person about our tax situation. She gave me some awesome ideas and it looks things will be OK. I had some time to work on the train and I kept up my Umra resolutions, which I'm feeling pretty good about (except praying at the mosque during the travel day... I wasn't really free during any of the prayer times. I'll try to make it up on Friday.)

    However, I came home very late, went to bed even later, woke up late on Wednesday, had a lot of stuff on my mind and barely did any work. I ended up staying up late without any reasonable excuse (i was just researching this tax stuff) and thus broke my awesomest early-to-bed streak ever.

    Today has been a crazy day as well, but I'll update about it tomorrow.

    Overall these last few days before the trip are turning out to be insanely packed and stressful. Looking forward to time with family and putting all of this on the backburner (except my business, which I'm psyched to start).

    • Like 1

  14. Day 30/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
    Sleep before 12am: 17 (longest previous streak: 4)

    No phone in washroom 32/120
    Umra resolutions: 17/90

    Work Hours: 5:15

    Packed day. Had to go out for a meeting, then prepare for & attend class, so work hours are somewhat reduced...

    • Like 1

  15. Day 29/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
    Sleep before 12am: 16 (longest previous streak: 4)

    No phone in washroom 31/120
    Umra resolutions: 16/90

    Work Hours: 5:45 (29:15 this week)

    An OK day. I had some travel-related stuff come up that caused me to fall short on my hours. It looks like every day this week is likely to have delays via other responsibilities.

    I'm doing a short trip to another city tomorrow to speak with an accountant about our tax situation here. I'll have ~6 hours on the train though, so if all goes well I should be able to put in some decent work hours (especially if I can charge my laptop in between trips).

    Then I still have class on Thursday + a possible trip to the local immigration office concerning changing our status here. If all goes well with accountant, I have some other calls to make and some more trips to plan... then either Friday or Saturday we're heading out ahead of our flight (out of a different city) on Sunday to go see my folks. So... basically this entire week is looking like a reduced-hours week.

    Overall, that's OK. My overall productivity in the past several months has really helped me financially, so I'm riding on that for the next little while.

  16. 12 hours ago, JustTom said:

    2019 will be a breakthrough year in many areas in my life I can feel it. I've got many things going so well in the long-term. 

    There you go man. We started here around the same time and those are my thoughts about 2019, too. I think the overall progress is having a huge impact now, even if we still have off days.

    • Like 2

  17. 50 minutes ago, JustTom said:

    I really can't figure out why I did this. Does this happen to normal people? That they just become a zombie for a few days? I wasn't even particularly stressed or anything. 

    I don't know if I qualify as a normal person, but it happens to me, obviously ?Although obviously it's good to reflect on why it happened. Sounds like you got the best of yourself by bringing your laptop home and it's still too much of a temptation.

    52 minutes ago, JustTom said:

    I still can't start studying, so what I'm going to do instead, is just meditate for 20 minutes and then contemplate. Have some silence. 


    • Like 1

  18. It's OK man. You failed and you'll fail some more in the future, I'm sure. We all do.

    You're not gaming and that's a huge win. You're over your previous streak and I think you've got it in you to finish the 90 and hopefully never go back to gaming at all.

    If you remember from my journal, after I quit gaming, I still had days where I binge watched youtube, netflix, and God knows what else to the point where I wasted weeks away on this nonsense. But at least I wasn't gaming. And it seems like now I'm finally starting to win the battle against videos as well.

    It's hard to see any progress at all in these moments, but it's there. Go finish the gaming detox, then attack the rest of the crap that's holding you back. One battle a time. Yes, there'll be setbacks and failures, but you'll win it in the long run.

    As always, I do recommend allotting some time to spiritual questions, because I think in the long-term it's the best antidote to all of this and the best coping mechanism for failure.

    But you've got this man. You've come a long way. You're not at the destination yet, but neither are you back to where you started. So key here is not to give up, not play games, and keep going!

    From what I noticed from your journal, your worst lows are usually followed by your best highs, so just accelerate the getting out of the funk part ?

    • Like 2

  19. Day 28/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
    Sleep before 12am: 15 (longest previous streak: 4)

    No phone in washroom 30/120
    Umra resolutions: 15/90

    Work Hours: 3:35 (23:30 this week)

    So yesterday turned into a sleep fest after I went to bed late the night before. Got up basically around 3pm... by the time I showered and did my "morning" routine, it was past 5pm. Add to that "breakfast" and dinner and I ended up barely working at all.

    I did go to bed at midnight, but because I woke up so late, it took me over an hour to fall asleep. So I'm tired today and you know what happens when you're tired... *sigh*

    Anyway, life has ups and downs. If this is a down, I can't complain because I remember how this used to be an "up" for me when I was gaming and managed to squeeze this much work in.

  20. Day 27/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
    Sleep before 12am: NO!! (longest previous streak: 4)

    No phone in washroom 29/120
    Umra resolutions: 14/90

    Work Hours: 0:40 (19:55 this week)

    It was my day off and it went pretty well. Got through most of the goals I set for the day.

    In particular, I'm excited about this meditation technique that I learnt about. There are a number of spiritual "paths" or "orders" or whatever you want to call them: basically they all have the same goal of entering a person into a state of continual "presence" with the Divine, where you're going through your day in constant awareness of Him. In the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him), to "worship God as if you see Him". The goal is one but the approaches are many (all going back centuries if not a whole millenium) There's a particular teacher of this discipline that I like (and even went to meet this year) and I've already been using the morning/evening spiritual routine that they do. However, their main practice is a form of meditation where you empty your thoughts and then imagine your heart calling on God.

    It was something I knew about for a long time, but it seems like now I'm at a stage in my life where I'm actually willing to put in the time to do this - and I'm even looking forward to it. So I'm pretty excited to start that. I'll probably add it to my morning routine - it's usually a time when I don't have distractions or immediate obligations.

    I did mess up my sleep routine last night. Stayed up talking to the wife after we had a late dinner. I knew it was late but I didn't push myself super hard to go to bed and ended up sleeping at 1am, sleeping through the morning prayer, and just having an all-around sleep fest.

    However, I did assume when I started that it'll be impossible to sleep early every single night. Stuff comes up. So my idea was I get to keep my streak if I return back to it the next night (or the next possible night if something specific is keeping me up like travel). So I absolutely have to hit the sack before 12am today, otherwise I'm restarting my record-breaking 12-day streak.

    Still no videos or games. I noticed myself falling into checking FB too often, so I signed myself out and didn't go back yesterday.

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