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Posts posted by karabas

  1. Day 0/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 1 (90/100)
    Sleep before midnight x0 (longest streak: 3)
    Spiritual Routine: 0/7

    Sleep: 5:00am-6:45am, 7:15am-2:15pm

    Yep, still relapsed on vids. Mostly Netflix. @JustTom, how do you block websites? I'd love to be able to block it permanently... like there's absolutely no need for me to ever use Netflix (as opposed to YouTube).

    I just looked, it's a been a week since I relapsed. On one hand it doesn't feel like that long, but on another, it feels like too much time to spend wasting away watching movies & shows (especially since I almost never find anything I like). I'm going to try to stop today and I'll count today as a detox day if I can get to bed without watching anything - even though I just spent an hour+ watching nonsense.

    • Like 1

  2. I could never do mouse work either. The first lab I ever worked in used like 2+ mice a DAY and one student was doing vivisections (to inject saline into the heart so that it cleans out the brain of blood for brain slides). When I saw a beating heart out in the open, I nearly passed out.

    Good on you for praying. It's a good principle with anything: to understand why you've been given something and to use it for that. In the Islamic tradition, the definition of gratitude is "to use a blessing for what it was created for". So what you did was an exercise in gratitude ?

    • Like 2

  3. Day 0/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 1 (89/100)
    Sleep before midnight x0 (longest streak: 3)
    Spiritual Routine: 0/7

    Sleep: 1:00am-6:45am, 7:15am-10:15am

    Still watching videos, but it's a lot better. The other thing is that I told my wife about my problem with videos (didn't mention the gaming... but I'm hoping that's behind me) and she moved her desk to my office to help with it. So even though she's not here all the time, it helps me moderate myself. Last few days I had work that I absolutely had to finish and I was staying up late and that was bad because she'd go to bed and so I'd wile out and watch movies and stuff and stay up even later.

    Now that stuff's done, so I should be able to go to bed at a decent hour and not stay up watching stuff. That's what happened yesterday - I was able to get myself into bed by 1am, which was the plan.

    Overall I think the relapse is better now, I'm still watching stuff, but a lot less of it. I had a very good productive day yesterday despite waking up super late, so I think I'm on track for recovery and getting back into the detox again.

    On 9/24/2018 at 1:10 PM, JustTom said:

    I only have experience with Melatonin, which is a natural hormone your body produces when you are in the dark, makes you a bit sleepy and improves the quality of sleep. When you stare at screens until the very end of the day like I do, it's a good idea to use it as a supplement, because your body is not gonna produce enough of it. That's how you should treat it - as a supplement, not medication. You will still need to exercise your will to go to sleep. The only medication that would completely put you down is dangerous and unhealthy in the longterm and will definitely not solve your problem. 


    Anyways, I think there can be three reasons why you're not going to bed: You don't want the next day to start; you don't want the current day to end; you are deeply immersed in something and not present(movie, gaming, browsing..). Which one do you think it is?

    Yeah, I wonder if they have melatonin here...would be interesting to check out. I'm not willing to do anything more extreme than that. I was considering looking for valerian extract - it's very common in my home country for this kind of thing, but it's a plant extract.

    I think usually I'm staying up either because I don't want the day to end (because I'm trying to be productive and want to get more stuff done... usually because I wasted time earlier and now in panic mode) or because I'm too immersed in movies/browsing. I don't really know what to do with that information.

    • Like 1

  4. Crap man, I thought you were going to make the 90 this time around. I'm sorry about that. I had a bad feeling when you stopped posting for a few days.

    What happened to keeping your laptop on campus? That sounds like a good solution to get you back into the detox.

    13 hours ago, JustTom said:

    I keep failing again and again, I don't want to anymore...

    Yeah, I hear ya. Just relapsed again myself. If it's of help, learning how to fail and just get back up and do it again seems to a crucial part of this whole process. I've definitely gotten less emotional about failure as I continued to fail over the years... and I've been doing it for 10+ years. 

    On the plus side, you went nearly 70 days into your detox this time. That's a whole month more than last time. Just work on minimizing your relapse length and getting back in the saddle.

    • Like 1

  5. Day 0/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 1 (87/100)
    Sleep before midnight x0 (longest streak: 3)
    Spiritual Routine: 0/7

    Sleep: 5:00am-6:30am, 7:00am - 3:00pm

    Yesterday I was relapsed as hell. Today's starting out that way too. I binged watched 10 episodes of a new season of a show I really like on Netflix over yesterday and today. That's ~450 minutes of television or 7.5 hours.

    So much for that "mental breakthrough" I spoke about earlier when I first was able to start the detox. It seems more like I was just so horrified by the repercussions of my addictive behavior that it shocked me into detoxing for some time. But eventually that wore off and here I am again.

    However, I did finish the show. I don't really want to watch anything else right. I'm gonna try to go for it again. If I can do the rest of today with no video, I'll say I did one day, just to get myself going.

    Also, I really do have to be more strict about videos I watch in the future.

    11 hours ago, Deku said:

    Quitting Youtube videos and Netflix sounds incredibly difficult, so I don't blame you for relapsing, but I am going to call you out on your sleep schedule. You say you want to go to sleep before midnight, but you're missing that mark by such a hilariously large margin that it doesn't really seem like you're taking your own challenge seriously. Part of that reason might be that prayers aside you don't appear to have any morning commitments, so there isn't a real reason for you to wake up early (and thus no reason for you to sleep before midnight either). I'd try to fix that--sign up for a morning class, find a partner to hit the gym, etc.--and see if that helps you meet your desired sleep schedule.

    Sometimes I have trouble sleeping early too, especially if there's a lot on my mind. When I first started my journal I had the literal worst sleeping schedule imaginable, and because of that I couldn't fall asleep even at 12:30 or 1 in the morning. Sleeping pills (I really like Doxylamine Succinate) really helped me to reset my sleep schedule and get the circadian rhythms back on track. You could try those too and see if it doesn't help.

    I've had periods of my life where I have early morning appointments/responsibilities. It doesn't work. I still go to bed late, end up not sleeping enough, crash later in the day or sleep through. I seem to be almost allergic to going to bed early, I've had days where I have nothing to do, I've done all I need, I'm not wasting time or anything, but I just can't get myself to get up and go to bed, so I just sit in the chair staring out into space.

    It's really weird in that sense. You're right in that some kind of medication might help. I'm super anti-medication unless it's a dire necessity (doctor prescribed me like 5 things when I got sick earlier this week, I didn't take anything and just let myself get better naturally), but I'd be OK with trying something natural like valerian. I wonder if they have it in this country - it's common where I'm from.

    There must be some way that works... I've been trying the same thing and it just hasn't worked.

  6. Day 0/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 1 (87/100)
    Sleep before midnight x0 (longest streak: 3)
    Spiritual Routine: 0/7

    Sleep: 7:30am-2:00pm

    Yeah, I relapsed on YT vids and Netflix shows bad. Still managed to be productive earlier in the day but now I'm waking up late. Don't really have a lot of conclusions at this point, unfortunately. I feel like this one's harder than gaming by a long shot (but still not as hard as going to bed early).

  7. Day 25/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 1 (74/100)
    Sleep before midnight x0 (longest streak: 3)
    Spiritual Routine: 3/7

    Sleep: 6:30am-12:30pm

    Ok, I basically relapsed last night. Stayed up watching a bunch of nonsense. I gotta go back and read my journal from the beginning of this detox man. I am giving myself one more chance to do this right without restarting the detox because I was recovering from being sick and my schedule and self-control was all over the place.

    It seems that I'm pretty much at 100% recovered now though, so no more excuses. I've gotta cut out the daydreaming crap where I watch videos about places I wanna live, etc. Essentially, new video rule: can't watch unless I need to (as opposed to want to or am curious about it or whatever else).

    Today's the day to get back into my spiritual routine too. The problematic part is the evening half of it - I delay it too late and then I try to do it right before bed and it's like "oh, let me just waste some time before I do that" and suddenly I'm up past sunrise. Sigh.

    As y'all can see, going to bed before midnight is harder for me than quitting games or videos.

  8. Day 24/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 1 (68/100)
    Sleep before midnight x0 (longest streak: 3)
    Spiritual Routine: 3/7

    Sleep: 3:30am - 6:50am, 7:00am - 3:00pm

    Still recovering from the stomach flu, sleep schedule's all messed up because of constantly waking up cuz of sweat or chills or whatever the night before. Did a few hours of work, but no pomodorros cuz I wasn't really into it.

  9. 26 minutes ago, Deku said:

    one other thing I've found that helps a lot is just having a genuine interest in the other person and their hobbies, stories, dreams, etc

    This is key, for sure. I've found that if you want the conversation to be fun and for the other person to enjoy it, ask them about them. I know I feel that way when a person keeps asking me about my life... I might feel bad about it being one-sided, but I definitely like the person a lot. Basically, don't be selfish.

    27 minutes ago, Deku said:

    I know it's stupid, but I keep thinking that I blew a chance to be with an amazing girl, and that sucks

    I think that's a bit of an exaggeration - one pleasant conversation isn't basis to expect a relationship. You also don't know how amazing this girl really is... outward appearances often deceive. And finally, it's usually not a "limited time offer" lol. If she's interested, she probably didn't just lose that interest after a week. And if she isn't interested, she probably wasn't to begin with and was making polite conversation.

    Anyway... I know it's not a rational thing and I don't got much advice for that. But you might want to think about what it is that really drives you to want to be with someone - not specific to her. Because many of the things you get from a girlfriend you can fulfill in other, easier to obtain ways. Figuring that out may help you be a bit more balanced about this stuff.

    • Like 1

  10. On 9/17/2018 at 5:27 PM, browland said:

    I've been playing games for a long time now and lately I've come to realize that my gaming habit is holding me back from pursuing other worthwhile things I want to do with my life.  I'm coming to accept that I have a problem with the way I use games to distract myself from the real world and shirk my responsibilities. 

    Hear, hear. I think most of us are here because gaming is taking away from the stuff we really want to be doing with life. I'm glad that you've had this realization: in my time battling my addiction, I've realized that these mental realizations about myself and my relationship with technology have been my main turning points for the better. You have to win the mental battle first.

    On 9/17/2018 at 5:27 PM, browland said:

    - Would you consider a flight simulator off limits?  I initially thought no but I'm afraid that it's a "dancing with the devil" scenario.

    It really all depends. First of all, what kind of flight sim - the kind that'll help you learn how to fly aircraft, or one of those game-y ones (even if super realistic)? Anything close to gaming - including smartphone stuff - needs to go, otherwise it's just a means to get back into gaming.

    If it's for your training to fly - then you need to look at how you're using it. Are you using it to accomplish what you want? Or are you using it to create an alternate reality and fantasize about it without working towards making it real? The former is fine, the latter is a sign you need to stop.

    On 9/17/2018 at 5:27 PM, browland said:

    - Would you allow yourself to watch e-sports?  I love League of Legends but same issue about dancing with the devil.

    There are some guys on the forums who've been able to stay away from games while watching e-sports, so I guess you could try. Personally, watching games is almost always a gateway for me to start gaming again. Last several times I relapsed, it started with watching videos, then escalated into wanting to do it myself, etc. So I'd say don't do it. Once again, others here might disagree, but I think that getting to a point where you no longer love games is crucial. Watching games is a clear indication that you love the activity.


    Do start a daily journal on the forums here. It helps a TON because it helps you to document your feelings and get to the core of your problem. It also helps to get advice, input, and encouragement from others.

    • Like 1

  11. On 9/17/2018 at 10:07 PM, JustTom said:

    I've also caught myself doing this once. During a time when I wasn't watching many videos at all, I just started watching this guy's travel vlogs and fantasizing about seeing all these places for myself, getting to know the people, just enjoying life, I was looking at prices of rent in different cities etc. Day-dreaming, basically. After a few days, I just got tired of it and moved on. Might not be a big deal.

    That's 100% what I'm doing. I get caught up in stuff like this - usually longer than a few days - but yeah, it does go away after a while. I just don't want this to be my return to unhealthy YT watching.

  12. Day 23/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 1 (68/100)
    Sleep before midnight x0 (longest streak: 3)
    Spiritual Routine: 3/7

    Sleep: ???

    I'm out with some sort of stomach bug. Had a ridiculous fever yesterday and now it seems like my body's fighting another one by a non-stop stream of sweat. It's absolutely disgusting. Sleep has been chaotic - I sleep in bouts of a couple of hours.

    Obviously this threw any hint of work out the window, but what can you do.

    I'm not at 100% today, but I'm feeling well enough to start getting back on track. I'm finding it hard to get back into work though - don't have much willpower at the moment.

    • Like 1

  13. Yo man, that was some powerful stuff. And those mental realizations are often worth their weight in gold (wait... they don't have any weight... you know what I mean)

    I think this is one of the biggest advantages of writing a journal - it helps you reflect on your mental processes and detect problematic thinking, behaviors, etc.

    But yeah... can't override emotions. But hopefully this newfound realization is going to make it easier to get through this low point and get back on track.

    • Like 1

  14. Day 21/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 1 (68/100)
    Sleep before midnight x0 (longest streak: 3)
    Spiritual Routine: 3/7

    Sleep: 2:30am->6:40am, 7:00am -> 11:00am

    Again, slight improvement over the previous day. Fairly productive (although still not where I want to be). Today will probably not be as good because I have to help my wife with some stuff and that'll take several hours minimum.

    Have to get this sleep thing in order also - I didn't really intend to sleep this late this time around.

    Also, I'm still watching YT, it's still somewhat intentional in that I'm interested in a subject and go watch videos about it, but it's becoming quite time consuming and that's a problem.

  15. On 9/15/2018 at 6:40 AM, Deku said:

    In all 23 years of my life I've never had a single positive experience with the opposite gender, and I just don't see how it could go any better with Rachael, especially since she's well out of the usual league I bat in.

    There are no leagues bro. Looks & awkwardness/lack thereof are superficial things. Good relationships are built on things deeper than that and you seem like a good guy.

    Having said that, you gotta be careful with building this up in your mind. If it doesn't work out, you don't want to out for the count for the next month.

    I don't have a ready solution for this. I can say all sorts of encouraging things like "just focus on school, let this develop naturally", etc, but I know that doesn't really work. Can't turn emotions off.

    But it might be a time for introspection. Why are you so invested in this girl? Why is it that you can't stop thinking about her? Not in the sense of "why is she so amazing?", but rather, "why do you have this drive to think about her?".

    It doesn't happen for me with girls, but as I said in my journal, I'm currently in the phase of daydreaming, where my thoughts are occupied about future possibilities, etc. I think it's important to reflect on it and see where these feelings, thoughts, etc are coming from.

    • Like 2

  16. Day 20/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 1 (58/100)
    Sleep before midnight x0 (longest streak: 3)
    Spiritual Routine: 2/7

    Sleep: 3:00am->6:40am, 7:00am -> 12:00pm

    Doing a bit better, had a fairly productive day. Stayed up late because something came up, was on course for going to bed slightly past midnight. But I do need to get back onto a proper sleeping schedule. Still watching a few videos, but less now. And I think it's a slightly different psychology this time. I'm not living vicariously through the people in the videos, although I am using the videos to fulfill my daydreaming.

    18 hours ago, Deku said:

    You can do it. In my experience, there is no trick to overcoming laziness. You sit your butt on a chair, make a list of the shit you have to do and make a promise to yourself that you aren't going to leave the chair until it's all done. At first, it will be hard and you'll want to surf the web almost immediately (that's why I personally only work in open spaces where I can't surf without everyone seeing my screen). But as long as you remember that you're disappointed in yourself and genuinely want to improve I have no doubt you can pull it off. It only gets easier after day 1--in fact, you'll probably be shocked how easy productivity comes once you pull off a few productive days in a row.

    Thanks man. Yeah, I just have retrain myself to do the work. Can't really glue myself to the chair, though. That's the thing with not being single: my life isn't just about me, so there's often interruptions or things I need to do on occasion. And since I'm working from home, I sometimes find it hard to get myself back into work if I've been distracted from it for some time. But yeah, it's just practice I guess...

    • Like 1

  17. Days 17-19/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 1 (49/100)
    Sleep before midnight x0 (longest streak: 3)
    Spiritual Routine: 1/7

    Sleep: 2:30am->6:20am, 6:30am -> 11:00am

    I stayed up last the two nights essentially fantasizing about the future (instead of working towards making it happen). Last night I was up late watching vids related to that.

    I'm not sure if I should count this as breaking my detox since I technically was looking for those vids, but I definitely slipped into some "recommended" watching (damn phone app... I removed recommendations from my desktop).

    I'm going to let this go unless I do more of it today, in which case I'll restart the detox.

    This is another pattern of mine that I'm realizing. When faced with a lot of work (as I am now), I instead start imagining my life once I'm more secure financially. I have this dream of going back to my home country (my parents left when I was a kid and the country sucked then, but now it's doing well economically and has been modernized significantly). So I spent two days researching the best cities in terms of climate, healthcare, real estate prices, etc. I think I'm an expert now, lol.

    It seems like I have a HUGE arsenal of tricks I use to avoid work. Games were one. Videos are another. It seems that daydreaming and fantasies are yet another.

    I don't understand what the hell happened in my life that I grew up to be this lazy man-child who can't handle a small dose of responsibilities. I don't even have kids yet!


    Not feeling all too great about myself today, but I've also found that disappointment in myself is probably the only real motivator that makes me want to change, so that's good I guess?

    Here's to a productive day today. There's a lot of stuff I need to do.

    • Like 2

  18. Day 16/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    Pomodorro Lvl 1 (41/100)
    Sleep before midnight x0 (longest streak: 3)
    Spiritual Routine: 0/7

    Sleep: 12:45am->6:30am, 6:45am->9:40am

    Had to make another trip to the capital city for some paperwork, so was on the road for a while again. Didn't have much time to be productive and definitely didn't run much in terms of pomodorros even when I was working.

    Sleep was actually pretty good, just went to bed late last night because we ordered food and it was an hour late, so it pushed me over past midnight. The other nights I slept early and got a lot of rest.

    It looks like I'll need to repeat the trip against next week or so. This nonstop moving around is really throwing me off. I haven't been stably in one place since end of July. I really need to be in one place and get work done. I'm a freelancer, so little work for me means little pay and it's really starting to hit my wallet bad.

    Anyway, that's that. Looking forward to (hopefully) being productive for the rest of the week. I have to set specific work hours. Overall, 8 hours a day is more than enough. I'm going to aim for: 8am-12pm & 4-8pm. I need some evening hours because that's when most of my clients are at work because of time difference.

    On 9/10/2018 at 1:29 AM, JustTom said:

    Maybe just focus on increasing productivity and once you build up confidence and a strong habit, then you can go off-schedule from time to time, without breaking your progress completely. Life/work balance is a tough thing, but I know that if I'm not confident with my work ethic, but I'm having a productive day and somebody asks me to go for a beer, the worst thing to do is to accept, even if I would really like to. It's like hitting the breaks while accelerating at the same time you know? First I want to get to a certain speed and then I can slow down or just keep going the same speed with that momentum. 

    Now the big problem is when you're not able to get to that speed over the longterm, such is the case with me. That means I NEVER get to that fun part and just keep struggling to accelerate. I don't know if this is your case though, that's up to you to say.

    Yeah that's kinda where I'm at. I almost never accelerate to top speed. But I do agree that overall I gotta be a lot stricter, at least for the time being. First of all, I have to set different expectations with friends & family. Gotta get them used to hearing that I'm busy so can't pick up the phone or go somewhere or attend some party. Second of all, social time doesn't affect me much if it's on occasion. But when most days of the week there's something that I have to do that's beyond my normal schedule, it becomes a problem.

    On 9/10/2018 at 8:42 AM, Deku said:

    I think that it's great you went out with friends, even if it interfered with work to some extent. From my limited experience being social is crucial to the success of these detoxes, so I wouldn't worry so much about the occasional hangout that derails your work plans, so long as you aren't going out so much that you consistently aren't able to meet your deadlines.

    Well I get default social time by virtue of being married. My wife and I hang out and talk a lot. So my needs elsewhere are not so great. But the other problem is that I have some kind of "exceptional activity" that's not part of my default daily schedule almost every day. I do agree that on occasion giving up some productive time is perfectly fine. But when I can't get into work day after day because there's something or other happening, I gotta start being stricter with my time...

    • Like 1

  19. 2 hours ago, Deku said:

    Also, @JustTom and @karabas thanks for the support and the shockingly quick responses! You don't know how much it means to me.

    Glad to be of help man ? I saw the notification pop up in my email and felt like this was one of those posts that shouldn't wait on a response. Hope you're feeling better!

    I love these forums man. Yes, the journal is more for yourself than for others to read, but at the same time I feel like the human component is what makes it that more effective.

    • Like 1
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