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Ambassador

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  1. Last entry I've done it. 90 days without gaming, today. In the beginning, I was not sure I could pull it off. But each day of these last 3 months taught me a little bit about my own strength and my own capabilities. The effort was totally worth it. I feel I'm a better person now, I fell I've grown a lot in this period, more than I've done in the last few years, probably. I feel I've come to know myself a lot better. Not fully. Not completely. But much, much more. I'm far from done with my journey, though, and I'm entirely conscient of that. In fact, this is merely the beginning. The end of the first page of a book I'm as much of a reader as I'm a writer. This week has begun with the strongest craving I felt during the entire detox process. I resisted it, but for very, very little. I even got to download the game I was craving to play. But I didn't install it. I told myself that I'm not ready, that I would probably end up binging and relapsing. Part of me was telling myself that it was going to be OK, that it would be just one hour each day, or that it could even be only during the weekends. My addicted brain was negotiating with myself and I know I can't trust it when it comes to games. Then I promised myself I will get to play that game after I've done with my most immediate objective, which is to conclude and present my thesis. I'm not sure if I'm going to fulfill that promise, though. After such a strong urge to play, I don't know if I can ever play responsibly. I fear a relapse as much as I fear death, now. Anyways, I've managed to go through it unscratched. Speaking of my thesis, I've been doing good progress on it. It has taken a good shape, the subject is getting clearer for me, I've got a lot of material and some good thoughts on it set on paper. Soon enough I'll finish the project and submit it to my advisor. I was planning to do it this week, but external things took priority over it. It's OK, such is life, and I have plenty of time, yet, provided that I don't waste it away procrastinating, and I've been managing to steer procrastination away quite well those last two weeks. I'm confident I can do it this next week or at the beginning of the other at most. I will deliver my thesis at the end of the semester, no matter what. I'm confident about it more than I ever was, and this time is not merely wishful thinking, I have concrete work a hand to empirically base my confidence on. GF is a little stressed out with the celebrations of her graduation and I've been trying to support her as much as I can. Mother is also doing her best to help her. But I think what really is bothering GF is the uncertainty about her future. No work at sight, no masters course, she's suddenly seeing herself with a lot of time at hand, something she hasn't had in a long time. I need to try and influence her to make the best use of her time. I've got a bunch of books for her to read and I may set up schedules for us to study together often if she agrees with it. It'll be good for both of us. I'm also starting a prep course to take TOEIC at the end of the year. My original goal was to study French, which I'm still doing with good consistency, but I'm too far away from fluency and I think to focus on getting a good score on an English language test is better right now, with aims to maybe take a post-grad or a masters degree in a foreign country in the not-so-distant future. I'm confident in my communication skills, but my grammar is somewhat poor - don't let my entries fool you, Grammarly is an amazing tool - so I have to take this prep course if I'm to attain a decent score. With this, I'm closing this journal. I'm not going to write on it anymore. I will certainly hang around the community, though, share my experiences with people here and learn with other people's experiences as well. But no further entries will be put in here. It's a page I'm closing. I intend to be more consistent in maintaining a physical journal then I have been in here. But this journal helped a lot and it has certainly been a turning point in my life. I want to thank you all that have taken part in this with me. You folks helped me a lot with your insights, with the experience and wisdom you were so kind in sharing with me. I owe you. Seriously. Whenever you need to talk, whether you want to share something, ask something, unburden, whatever, just PM me, or @ me in your post. I'm here for you. We do this together, we unlock our lives, we take it back from gaming together. “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” - Lao Tzu Onward.
  2. Grandes vitórias são feitas de inúmeras vitórias pequenininhas. Boa sorte na preparação e que corra tudo bem na apresentação. Força, cara.
  3. Slowly but surely I've been correcting my sleeping and waking up times with success. Thing is: now and then I have to completely throw my sleeping schedule out of the window, generally because of some social event, and it's really hard for me to come back to it. Oh, well... life is like that. Other than that, I feel I'm being slightly more productive each day. I changed my working environment for a while, and that gave me a big boost. I feel like I have to do that from time to time. Will keep it short today. Onward.
  4. Minor bumps I've been sleeping late, getting up later than I should and missing out a part of my morning, which makes me less productive. I have to correct that soon. Other than that, I've been mostly ok those days, doing some work and getting some progress. Not as much as I would like, but some is better than none. I have to remember that less than 3 months ago I was coming out of the gaming whole. I'll not fix decades worth of mistakes and addiction in just a couple of months. This is just the BEGINNING. A good one. I'm thankful for having found Cam's work and for being able to share the load with this amazing community. I don't say those things as often as I should, I don't express my gratitude and my appreciation of people as much as I would like to, this is something I also have to improve. I didn't follow-up with plans I laid down on the last entry, but I'll do it tomorrow, without fault. GF has no academic activities to do, so she'll come to my place and we'll study together. I hope I can get a hitchhike on her work ethic and be really productive tomorrow. Onward.
  5. Glad to have been of any help! If you ever want to talk about it, PM me.
  6. It's working! Not a perfect day, today. Neither yesterday. Still, good days. Did quite some work, completed a good amount of tasks. Had a date with GF yesterday, that's why I missed the entry. My general feeling is that, although I have plenty of room to improve the management of my time and my work, setting up a strict daily routine is really working great! If anything, I procrastinate a lot less and I use my prime time, during the mornings, a whole lot more effectively. Afternoons are still a drag for me, but even that is improving. Next things I'll do to try and be even more effectively are: 1) Break down my daily tasks even further, so that they are easier to manage and measure; 2) Organize further my working environment and find optional places I can work at, to add variety and maybe improve my afternoon output; 3) Separate my projects into different notebooks and give them priorities and schedules of their own, so I can better keep track of all of them; Onward!
  7. Hahaha... nope. I just did so many mistakes that, even being a stubborn jackass, I couldn't avoid learning something. Anyway, I'm happy that something I write can be of help.
  8. Cara, eu pessoalmente acho que contar os dias é menos importante do que ter a consciência tranquila. Você vive o seu cotidiano, é onisciente de si mesmo. Sabe quais pressões enfrenta, quais motivos te levam a isso ou àquilo. Além do mais, pelo que venho testemunhando aqui no fórum, é muito difícil lutar várias batalhas ao mesmo tempo. Você está indo bem na luta contra os jogos, foque na sua vitória contra eles. Agora, me parece que você tem um problema com procrastinação. Eu... bom, digamos que jogos e autopiedade me levaram a procrastinar a entrega do meu TCC por mais de 10 anos. Se eu puder te recomendar algo nessa seara que pode ser que te ajude (ajudou a mim), é um curso à distância do Coursera: https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn Esse curso me ajudou a compreender a procrastinação de uma maneira mais mecânica, e me ensinou algumas técnicas para lidar com ela. Se você ainda não conhecer, recomendo fortemente, não é muito longo e nem vai te tomar muito tempo a cada semana.
  9. Calma lá, cara. Vamos analisar isso aí. Talvez tenha alguma lição aí que se possa aproveitar... Além do mais, você está há 62 dias sem jogar. Não é pouca coisa. E cada dia a mais é uma pequena vitória em si mesmo.
  10. I feel exactly the same, though I find solace in the fact that my younger self didn't do it wishing harm to its older self, he did it because he was used to, it was the only thing he knew, it was his life and changing it seemed too radical and, frankly, at times impossible for him. It was beyond him not to do it. Now, I am beyond him. It's up to me to make amends with my younger self and work extra hard to ease things for my future self. You are rocking, mate. Carry on.
  11. You have everything you need to achieve the change you want. You know what's the problem and you know how to tackle it. You have access to the resources, the time and, at least broadly, the motivation. Success thus is only a matter of commitment. The two most important things I've learned through my journey fighting against game addiction are: Do not allow yourself to be bored and idle. Seriously. Have a plan for your day, for your week and for the month, list things you want to achieve or to try, set a schedule and a time for the practice/work, and have backup plans whenever possible. Our addicted brains crave dopamine, which triggers videogame cravings whenever we are bored. And you'll be bored whenever you are idling. Have a purpose for your life. What are the things that move you? What do you care about? Why do you think other people should also care about it? Lay it out, think about it, work on it. Set up something for you to work on (and do the whole shebang: divide it into smaller, attainable tasks, set up deadlines, measure your progress, yadda yadda), something you feel you can have an impact on, something you are passionate about. In the words of Simon Sinek, "find your why". Once you have found it, focus on it. Come back to it from time to time, to reevaluate and update it. I wish you all the best on your journey. Remember you are not alone in it, do not hesitate to ask for help if you need it.
  12. Follow up It's been ok up until now. The plan is going mostly well, especially because I maintain a flexible approach to it so that I can make the most out of my time no matter what. If I'm stuck working on something, I change tasks and come back later. If I feel tired, I take a break. If I feel like working over the time schedule to stop, I do so. The important thing is to keep me motivated. And it's working. I forgot to set up a weekly goal, but I'm going to set up a reminder so that I do not repeat that mistake next week. My monthly goal is in place, though. It will be a challenge, but I'm up to it since I'm advancing it every day. Onward.
  13. Ambassador

    Journal

    Congrats on completing the detox period! Carry on your amazing work, dude!
  14. Officially starting This weekend had a lot of unexpected things going on, and I relaxed on my planning because it would not be followed for the most part, anyway. But now it has officially started. Going to bed in time, after doing an evening ritual about focusing on my next week's objectives. I lay the seeds and I plan to reap a more stable and conscientious lifestyle. This is an everyday effort and a goal in on itself. Onward.
  15. Taichi!! How's it going?? Thank you for your kind words! 😁😁😁
  16. Rebuilding, refocusing, moving forward Yesterday I worked on something that might be a huge step in the right direction. I revisited my goals and aspirations, which motivated me again, but I also built a carefully made schedule for the whole month! Day by day, I know what I have to do including wake up time, meal time, and sleeping time. Of course, there'll be days it'll not be followed perfectly though, because I'll do things that aren't listed, and not even should be. For instance, today I'll not go to bed at the scheduled time because I'm going out with GF (BTW, Wednesday she presented her graduation thesis and got a perfect grade, I'm very proud of her). But that's life, right? Unexpected things happen, you have to spend time with your beloved ones, do things you didn't plan. That isn't a sign your schedule isn't working. But when you look to a long term task you just finished you know it is working. And that's where my hopes are. Moreover, I'm going to detail every task of the day in the morning and reflect on my achievements in the evening. I'll also give myself a general goal or theme for each week and each month, and measure the success likewise. I'm too messy of a person, that's probably my main weakness, and min-maxing my time is probably the best way to go. I used to dread this kind of approach, but I don't feel like that anymore after meditating over it and seeing I must tackle my weakness and make a strength out of it. Sun Tsu FTW. Today I already followed with most of the stuff I planned to do. Tomorrow will be even better. Onwards, and get out of the way cause I'm outta breaks!
  17. All the fat and sugar does exactly that to your brain. It triggers dopamine production, it makes you feel satisfaction that goes well beyond the mere satiation. I am an addict to Subway. I have to avoid it like hell. It even tries to convince us that it's healthy because it has some salad in it. It's not. I would rather make a copy at home with grilled meat (instead of deep fried), a slice of cheese, homemade sauce, lots of salad, on wholegrain bread... it's not that healthy either, but much healthier than those they sell. Tastier, also. And helps to fulfill the reward we need for following our plans through. The point is: your brain craves the fats and the sugars, but you consciously avoid those because of your goals. Maybe you can fill the gap once a week or once a fortnight with something homemade that can give in to the brain without compromising your health goals... For instance, you can use chicken, pork or even substitutive meat, instead of beef, change the regular cheese for a low-fat variety, skip sauces (I for one just use a drop of pure olive oil over some pepper, it helps to spread it), and put A LOT of salad (I like spicy things, so I put cress, arugula and thinly sliced radishes for extra-crunchiness), together with your healthy bread of choice. Voilà! A not so disastrous, tasty meal for your Friday dinner that will make your brain know you are taking care of yourself so well you deserve every single bite of it. Best strategy ever. Compulsive buyers actually use that strategy to avoid buying anything. Since you are going for junk food in a sort of a compulsive fashion, it will help in some ways, but the most important thing is to catch the craving, consciously register it and try to move on your focus to something else immediately, so that you can avoid transforming the impulse into action.
  18. Messy Right now I'm a mess. Didn't do most of my stuff for the day and I have no one to blame besides myself. My workroom is a mess, it has books and paper all around it. My schedule is a mess, I don't do the stuff I assign myself to. I have to review my goals and reconnect with my reasons for doing everything I want to do. Without knowing my why, I won't make the effort. I need a major rework on my routine, my tasks, and the environment I work at. And that's what I'm going to do.
  19. Missing days Those last days I've been doing misc errands and going to social events. I didn't even start the computer, which means I didn't do most of my stuff. Since I ended those days AFK, I skipped the entries. In fact, this habit has become closely related to me using the computer, and I'm thinking about changing its format. I'm willing to move for a physical journal after I complete my 90 days detox, which is less than 30 days away, at which point I'll only write weekly or even monthly in here. Anyways, nothing much has moved forwards these days, and it's been hard to go back to a strong routine because it seems every day there's something getting in the way of me starting early on to work on my stuff, and that demotivates me a lot to get on with it in the afternoon, which is very slow for me. I need to draw strong lines and start to say no to people. It would help to start saying no to myself first. Gonna give another try in building a strong work ethic, I have no other option besides keep trying again. Onwards.
  20. Dude! Didn't see your post when I commented, sorry! I'm from Brazil and I'm not going to try and type in French because I'm undoubtedly going to butcher it massively! I remember it took me quite a while before actually being able to try writing basic English without being embarrassed by silly mistakes, French probably will take much more time. Well, you could try some apps, there's quite a few of them. It ain't the perfect practice, but it's better than nothing. There are some good podcasts, too.
  21. Overheating The season is changing. I live near the equator, and here we have only two seasons: hot and humid, and very hot and dry, which is the one coming forward. Hot days make me go crazy, I can barely function in a 35ºC+ afternoon. Which, by the way, was the case today. So, I slacked quite a bit. Didn't do anything useful besides some very few French lessons. In the morning I got occupied taking mom to a small procedure she had to do at the dentist, and at the waiting room, I managed to read a little bit. Besides that, nothing more. Yesterday I did quite a bit, thankfully, but I skipped the entry because I went to a festival with GF and ended up coming home late at night. She's already at her usual, playful ways, though I'm sure she's still concerned about what she's going to be doing after graduation. Gonna help a friend with his move tomorrow morning and will end up busy for most of the day, so I'm probably not going to do anything on my thesis again. Onward and melting.
  22. For me, meditation is taking time for yourself, alone from expectations, desire, pressure and anything that can drain your energy. It's not a religious practice. So, to me, it's not dogmatic, it doesn't require much more than retracting to somewhere you feel comfortable and can be on your own, without interruption. For this reason, is probably best practiced at the end of the day. Other than that, and the breathing exercises to help focus on your inner workings, there's nothing else. The goal is to recharge, to reach some clarity of mind that helps to put your emotions into perspective and to find balance. It's easier said than done, of course, but the journey is what matters.
  23. I think the answer to this is absolutely personal, although knowing other people's experiences might help to understand a) you are not alone in this, and b) the ways to find this answer might be shareable. I want to share the ways that have been working for me. We all want to belong. We want to be accepted, and to connect. But we sometimes want people to like us the same way we like them, which is fundamentally impossible because every single person is unique in both their way of experiencing the world and expressing themselves. They can only like us their own way. And if doesn't match our expectancies, this can be a major source of anxiety. Here, my experience is to learn to be a little more detached, not in a stoic way, but in a relaxed and accepting one. Being anxious or nervous about how you are perceived is to go beyond what you can reasonably do to be understood on your own terms. You cannot change the way people perceive you, you can only change the mode you use to reach out for them, the same way you can find more than one way to convey the same message. If the message will be understood is not only about how clear and adequate your language is, but how well equipped the recipient is to receive and decode it. We use language, clothing, gestures, and attitudes to convey our feelings and values, but even with that extended array of "communication modes" nothing grants we will be understood quite the way we want to. Again, its a matter of building confidence levels, the more you know the person the more you can be confident that they will understand you in a certain way. You can't control other people's reactions and thoughts, worrying about them is to let them control you, even if they never asked for that control. The way I see it all: I do what I can, what is under my control, and I don't worry about what it's not under my control because I can't change that at all. The only thing I can do is to try and prepare for the most reasonable outcomes, but even this has to be limited since you can't possibly know everything about any given situation or person, and because you risk overthinking, and overthinking might lead to overreacting. Other than that, I would say: meditate. Don't sit in a silly and uncomfortable position, trying to think about nothing, that's not what meditation is. Go to a place you feel relaxed being at, that has little distractions and that you can be by yourself. Don't be afraid of your thoughts, you have to be with yourself with some constancy, you have to accept yourself and know that your mind is your constant company and always will be. Breath. Slowly. Feel the air coming in your nostrils, rushing to your belly, and filling your lungs, and then coming out again. Pay attention to your breath, only that. Choose to go there at a time of the day you'll not be pressed to rush out for any reason, so you can stay as long as you feel like. It's OK if your mind is sometimes invaded by feelings and thoughts, getting you out of the meditative state. Acknowledge those feelings and thoughts, understand where they come from, register them consciously, and put them aside, going back to the meditative state. Try that for some days, maybe a week, and see how you feel. Oh. Last thing. Find your why. There's a reason why you leave your comfy bed in the morning. There's a reason why you put yourself to the very difficult task of improving yourself. There's a reason why you think people should care about the things you do and the way you see the world. There are probably multiple reasons, actually. The things you care about, and you think everyone should care. Find those things. Look at them. Recognize them, know them by heart. And you'll know how to break free and live by yourself. Hope it helps or at least gives some perspectives.
  24. Quick entry again Going to bed early, as planned yesterday. Writing this entry to close the day. Did French, took notes and read a lot, wrote a little of the thesis. Got caught by YT before writing pet project. Then again, I did a lot of things before that, so it's kinda okey-ish. Onward.
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