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  1. I haven't made much of an effort to find a new job. So far, I've updated my resume and applied for a single job. I'm an honest and simple guy. I keep my resume short and to the point. The job posting was we are looking for X of Y with 2 years of Z experience. I was X of Y with ~10 years of Z experience. Seriously, it's almost like I was applying for something adjacent to what I was just laid off from. And yet, my application seems to have fallen on deaf ears. The whole process feels so tedious and futile; I feel commodified - stripped of all ideas and personality - every step of the way. It doesn't matter how honest and deep you look at yourself, just sprinkle as many buzzwords as you can on your profile/resume, call it a "skill", call it "experience", and hope to God someone gets tricked into selecting you. Curiosity, ambition, ideas, values? If you don't have the means to make it happen yourself, put all that aside, shut up, sit down, and do what you are told. Like God damn, even dating apps are better than this and I've been single (no benefits) for >10 years. Can I at least get a "sorry but not interested" from this 1 employer? Sheesh... Whenever I do a "what are my values" quiz or whatever, "honesty/authenticity" comes up all the time near the top for me. However, it seems like we live in a grifter's paradise these days. Being honest and accurate is for losers, it seems. Spread misinformation about yourself, others, and the world at large, it's all about quantity and not quality. That's the monster (i.e. the abyss) I feel I am up against, the type I am encouraged to become and it disgusts me. I don't know what the point of all this is meant to be. Maybe I'm just ranting. *sigh* ... honestly, I don't "really" want to work for anyone else on some "bigtech" product... I just don't want to have to worry about rent, food, and medical expenses while I do my best to make myself and others feel a bit better somehow. I feel too tired and frustrated for large ambitions right now. I just want to feel safe and welcome. Is that too much to ask for? Apparently so...
  2. I lost my job today. I'm part of a "mass corporate layoff", so to speak. I'm at least getting a severance package, allegedly per the laws here (I don't know, I'm not a lawyer and I can't afford one). The income from this should keep me afloat for at least 2 months and I am eligible for provincial unemployment "benefits" (i.e., "welfare"); though in my experience the latter isn't even enough to pay rent (let alone other living expenses). I had a feeling this was coming and here it is. I got an email yesterday at 4pm to go to this very important meeting (with DO NOT SHARE/FOWARD THIS in the fine print), in less than 24 hours, in "that room" - the big conference one on the 1st floor, away from cubicles, close to the entrance/exit - with no specific project even being mentioned in the email. I was terrified and started to panic. I thought I was going to get "fired" with no compensation, I cried and lamented my existence for a while, lying in bed. I had just payed my credit card bill that day and realized I didn't have enough money to pay for another month of living expenses without cutting or selling off things even with my regular income. I had some pretty dark thoughts that I won't get into... thankfully I was only partially right. I am losing my job but with time to hopefully recover and find another one. This might turn out to be a blessing, you never know. I hated my job, or what it had become. It just did not help me fulfill any of my psychological needs, and barely helped me fulfill my physical ones. It's hard to feel safe, welcome, and valuable when you're finances have been dwindling for months. as you struggle with mental and physical health hurdles and get no raise to keep up with inflation. I hope that my next job, or rather the people that I work with, will give me a better chance to feel more welcome and valuable. There's no real lesson for me here. Although I try to leave political ideology out of my posts here, you probably know I'm more "anti" than "pro" capitalism. I was already disillusioned about the internal politics/competition and propaganda (shallow corporate "wokeness"). It doesn't matter how "good" of a person your manager and/or HR rep is, if upper management drops a ruling, they have to comply, no matter how arbitrary and unfair it might be. In the end, all workers (people) are more expendable than the trending corporate stock value. ~35-40 more people were laid off in the same meeting as me and the company reps expressed similar events happening in other departments and locations across the company. I'm just guessing but this could be a solid ~5% cut to the workforce worldwide. I'm lucky, in a sense, some people were in a more precarious position than I was. Some complained that their temporary residency in this country depended on this job. A woman, 6 or 7 months pregnant, complained that she was due to give birth just a few days after the "date of termination" she just learned about. I hope the "severance package" these people receive is adapted in accordance with these needs. I doubt it though. Anyways... I'm gonna try to be careful and even though I haven't completely abstained yet, I will do my best to avoid going down the binge-gaming path. I have some paperwork to do, and I have to go job hunting again soon while I can still afford to live. Wish me luck fellows.
  3. Psychological Needs First of all, a little bit on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. It is a motivational theory in psychology; a model - a coherent set of ideas/principles - that attempts to explain what motivates (i.e., compelles) people to act the way they do. There is more than one theory on this topic, of course, human psychology is a relatively young and nuanced field of study. One can approach the same problem from many different angles so to speak and so far there doesn't seem to be an all-encompassing one. Second, the "hierarchical" nature of the theory is more fluid than hierarchies are typically seen as. You don't have to fully fulfill your basic needs before experiencing motivation to fulfill psychological ones. However, a deficit in having lower/base needs met does tend to affect our motivation more than a deficit in higher/complex needs. It's also very likely that one motivation is affected by multiple different types of deficits to varying degrees. For example, people tackling medical issues often experience an identity/existential crisis of the sort in tandem with the ongoing or anticipated physical pain and suffering. On the other hand, just because I have several chronic conditions, I can expect some motivation to work on other needs, in between "flare-ups" and "mishaps" at least. Finally, I chose to use Maslow's theory in a rather arbitrary/instinctive manner; i.e., I didn't thoroughly educate myself on it or any other theory before choosing it. I'm not an expert at all and I didn't consult one either. This is 100% my opinion based on a very limited understanding. I'm just trying to make sense of my thoughts, feelings, and behavior for my practical purposes at this time. At other times I may find other motivational theories more practical. So... what are my psychological needs and how does my version of gaming fit (likely inadequately)? Belonging It's no secret that I am not part of any club/activity group at the moment, I'm not taking any classes, nor do I go out to social venues hoping to meet new people. I also work from home 99% of the time, with little to no feedback, after being forced to change teams mid 2023. At the moment, my only regular social activity is having that 1 friend over every Saturday. I would probably go insane without that friend. It hurts when one of us has to cancel. I think my general mood (frustration and sadness) is well demonstrated by the following song: Lonely Day by System Of A Down. I always struggled to nurture this sense of belonging. It feels daunting just to make plans and following through often leaves me feeling exhausted and disatisfied. What I crave, I suppose, is reliable intimacy and affection, something I shouldn't expect right from the beginning in my culture. It takes time to build bonds. It's almost like you have to "just be there" when someone is accidentally vulnerable to prove you won't take advantage of them. IDK, maybe most people just don't feel the need to be heard and valued as strongly as I do. ... *sigh*... it takes time but it's possible. Video games... at least the way that I engage with them, don't do that for me. I mostly play single-player games, sometimes deliberately distracting myself from the loneliness. Occasionally, I will "bond" with someone over similar feelings we've had playing similar (if not the same) games, I think that's the social aspect I'm afraid to miss out on. Video games are such a ubiquitous part of our culture now that it's easy to find people who have had similar experiences as you. You don't even have to ask, people have clothing, accessories, and decorations with video game artwork on them all the time. Every other hobby I had has been more niche and less relatable. Not that they are completely unrelatable, for example, I often find ways to compare my experiences playing and watching chess to that of sports. Still, this is more difficult than just talking about stuff we are both intimately familiar with. However, to deflate the value of gaming a bit, the modern experiences I share related to gaming are rarely "life-changing" to me, per se, nor has bin the sharing itself. It's almost like I'm trying to hold on to this quick hack/excuse for any conversation, it's not all the time I spend playing games alone at home that brings me the most joy, it's when I get the chance to casually share my experience that I feel the most joy. I need to go out more. I've said this many times but yeah... I need to take the time to cultivate more experiences in other areas so that I can share them. I need to meet people that I can share my experiences with. I've already done this at other times in my life, to a lesser degree, in improv and board games. To truly beat it, I need to persevere through the fear of rejection and abandonment, I need to prove my pessimistic assumptions wrong... I signed up for a casual improv night this week but I need to look into doing more activities. I should try going to the office sometime this week as well. It's much easier to strike up a casual conversation there than when I am at home. Esteem (To be continued...)
  4. Journey to the Western Hemisphere (i.e., Self-Reflection): Why Do I Relapse? Alrighty, so... here's the journal entry I made immediately before my latest relapse: TW: Not too dark but does glorify instant gratification a bit. Maybe skip this if you feel vulnerable to temptation now. It ends abruptly there and it wouldn't have been unlike me to say "fuck it" and start indulging. For those who don't know me, I suffer from borderline personality disorder. What this means and what I find is reflected here is that I intuitively stray from the "balanced" perspective ("wise mind" in dialectical behavior therapy [i.e., DBT] or the "middle path" in spiritual lingo). I tend to either shut out my emotions too much (in DBT they call this "rational mind" but I prefer calling it "mechanical/industrial mind") or give in to my emotions too much ("emotional mind" in DBT or what I like to call "impulsive/animal mind"). I think that after neglecting - if not downright chastising - my desire for pleasure too much for 4-5 days, I flipped to the indulgence side, skipping a compromise. I was on the right path in the second paragraph, questioning my urges, my perspective, assumptions, etc. ... my emotions won overall control in the end but I wasn't too far off from "succeeding". So, what was missing? I'm not very skilled at identifying what my needs are and how to fulfill them. Maslow's Hierarchy of needs comes to mind: Basic Needs Physiological Safety Psychological Needs Belonging Esteem Self-Fulfillment Needs Self-Actualization One thing is certain to me, as is reflected in the first paragraph of the journal entry I shared: my desire for gratification/validation drastically outweighs the amount I am getting overall. I guess you could say where I am the most lacking is in psychological fulfillment; i.e., having my psychological needs met. It's hard to say why. is it that I desire too much? Is it that I'm not getting the right kind or amount from extrinsic sources? Is it that I am not intrinsically mustering enough for myself? Could it be that I am not recognizing and accepting from available sources of gratification/validation? Could it be, ALL OF THE ABOVE!? ... Probably, yeah... Ooof that's a lot of tough questions. I've been sitting here for like >2 hours and a new but very familiar neglected physiological need is arising: Hunger! I will attend to this need now. better late than never. I will digest these thoughts (and my meal) and come back tomorrow. I want to explore how my gaming fits into all of this, why it isn't enough, and where else I can look. P.S. Thank you so much for the feedback @Vee and @LevelUp. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was having a bad morning but coming here and seeing this support lightened the mood.
  5. Preparing to Try Again I ended up relapsing (to some degree) on the morrow of my last post. I don't remember a particular event that triggered me, just reaching the end of my emotional tolerance. I have a personal journal entry that reflects the state of mind I was in at the moment I gave in and I will see what I can extrapolate from it and what I can learn from it. It would've been possible to recover sooner but 2 days later I had a new medical emergency that shook me a bit. I rushed to my local emergency clinic. After 8-9 hours of wait time was diagnosed with Bell's palsy - half of my face is paralyzed due to temporary nerve damage. It was a relief that it wasn't a more serious neurological issue. Still, I had a special event I wanted to attend that upcoming weekend that I had to sit out of. The next weekend (the one that just passed), I had to cancel another attendance at a special event because of an eye infection (I am prone to these because of my dry eye syndrome). The physical effects are tolerable, from home at least but I can't deny the psychological impact. At times, I do feel like I am cursed, like a bad genetic role at birth or something, given all my medical issues. I know I'm not the only one and some people have it worse but yeah, most people don't have as many medical issues as I have at this age. So, I had a minor emotional meltdown yesterday. I was so angry and sad. I happened to have a session with my psychologist and he recommended that I take this week off - he even gave me a signed letter in case I needed to show it to my manager. So, yeah... I'm taking this week off. Still, I can't just sit here and use this an excuse to just play more games. First of all, I have to do everything in my power to recover from the eye infection, and staring at screens doesn't help. Second, what can I do to feel less tired and frustrated going forward? I just want to enjoy life more, you know what I'm saying? I don't know exactly what I need to change but I have to change something(s) to get out of this depression. I know gaming the way I do is one of those things I need to change. I'm not quitting today exactly, I need to think about this more, unpack theories on why I relapse, and what I can maybe do to improve my avoidance of or recovery from another relapse. I have some ideas... I feel like I am close to a kernel of wisdom I need to learn (or simply remember). I will try to come back and post about it here tomorrow or the day after. Anyway, I'm glad I have an account here and made all these journal entries. I'm glad I had all these replies from some of you folks. Thank you so much for the support, it's the main reason why I keep coming back from time to time, giving myself another chance. I have a personal journal entry that reflects the state of mind I was in at the moment I gave in and I will see what I can extrapolate from it and what I can learn from it.
  6. 4 Days In - More Auto-Saves Please I have been ~96 hours "sober". I experience cravings multiple times throughout the day. A combination of triggers: marketing (ads, and "recommended" content), sometimes triggered by routine, and sometimes triggered by discomfort. I'm experiencing some now because of the former and the latter. I logged into work this morning (I work from home 99% of the time) and found that most of the products of several hours of work I did last week disappeared. I was writing/documenting my work extensively on a web "ticket" (JIRA, for those familiar with the platform) and forgot to click "save". It's freaking 2024 and I still have to explicitly click "save" from time to time. Usually, I come back the next day, and my "draft" is still available but for whatever reason, this one was completely lost over the weekend. Whatever... I was sitting there, failing to find "the point" in putting in so much effort; how I was unlikely to receive any feedback down the line unless something broke; how I didn't even get a raise to match inflation for all my effort last year. I wanted a distraction, so I turned to YouTube, and find the "recommended videos" list filled to the brim with videos about games I have quit playing recently. The effort I put into killing enemies, building a base, etc. as pointless as it also is, at least gets fuckin' auto-saved in these modern games. *sigh* ... I came here to rant instead of giving in. I can congratulate myself for not giving in completely, not relapsing, at least. I'll get back to work after lunch. I think I'm just going to turn in what I have done so far. It's flawed but it works and I'm at my limits, I need to move on.
  7. Well... that depends. Or maybe I should say, distraction has its limits. Distraction does not force a problem to leave, nor does it prevent it from returning. People often develop addictions because they feel they have no choice but to distract themselves from recurring distress. So, in between the peaks at least - the moments closest to "clarity" so to speak - working towards changing what we can and accepting what we cannot change would probably be helpful in the long term. Also, don't mistake all pleasure-seeking as a "healthy distraction". It's only reasonable to settle for "neutral" or "mildly satisfying" sensations from time to time on a day-by-day basis. We don't need to be hyper-stimulated all the time. But yeah, I came here as a "distraction" while I was experiencing cravings, and diverting my attention toward this post (yours and mine) has helped pass the time and the cravings have settled down a bit. I know I will experience some again tomorrow and I'm ok with that. In the meantime, it's getting late, I will rest and hopefully, this will give me a chance to accept and cope with cravings effectively when they return. Good luck on your path my friend. Peace out.
  8. Thank you for all the replies folks. I appreciate how you have accepted the way I feel, even if we don't always agree on the causes. I haven't quit gaming yet but I'm contemplating it (again). I tried to quit last weekend but it was an impulsive, ill-prepared, half-assed attempt (I still played a mobile game and didn't plan to cope with stronger cravings). Still, it's a good sign that I am catching a glimpse of a way out of this cycle. I think I have the mindfulness to detect and observe (introspection) when I experience cravings but I am still developing the wisdom to cope with them. This weekend, I had a small breakthrough by accepting the cravings in a non-judgemental manner. I mustn't judge my feelings, if not so far as my entire being, as "bad". Aversion to the things we cannot avoid can be just as toxic as clinging to the things we cannot have; 2 sides of the same coin IMO. I think I caved in at some point because I wasn't able to understand what my subconscious was trying to fulfill; in other words, what were these cravings hoping to achieve, to compensate for? It's difficult to think logically about this in the middle of it all but in hindsight, I believe I was attempting to compensate for the lack of validation/appreciation in my life. As I've probably mentioned several times, one of my big problems is that I instinctively rely too heavily on extrinsic sources of validation, which aren't always available (like people) or even effective (like games). It seems reasonable to assume that appreciating, valuing, and loving my thoughts, actions, and very being more could appease some of these cravings. It took me a significant amount of effort to conclude as stated above, even in the relatively calm setting I am in now. It would be irrational to assume I will come to the same conclusion in the middle of an "episode". I would probably benefit from taking a little bit of time to deliberately practice more gratitude, and kindness towards myself when I can. Daily gratitude journaling seemed helpful many years ago, perhaps I should try resuming that again. Then there's loving-kindness meditation and self-affirmations. Hopefully, over time, I will find it less daunting to accept and appease my cravings, from time to time. Again, thank you for all the replies folks. It pleases me that my post got more attention than I was expecting.
  9. Just a Rant TW: Major Depression and what it might entail 2023 has been a shit year for a lot of people. I don't believe my circumstances are some of the worst out there. I don't believe my grievances are worth the most attention. Still, I feel this urge to express myself, hoping someone can hear me out and validate my pain/suffering before suggesting I feel any differently - as if there was an easy way to instantly achieve that. It's an emotional need I suspect a lot of people these days - given the atomization of modern living - haven't been getting. So, thank you in advance if you so much as take the time to read this, let alone those that take the time to tell me "It's ok to feel the way you do". My last post gives you a glance at the morbid context in my personal life as I entered 2023. After countless delays with our underfunded & understaffed medical system, it took ~11 months for the surgery to finally happen. In the post-surgery lab analysis report it was deemed that I didn't even have cancer, a false positive. I had to pay 300+ CAD for the biopsy that gave me this false positive. I was advised to choose between radiation and surgery, despite a conflicting secondary analysis of the biopsy, over a false positive. I took medication for 3 months to rule out a potential fungal infection without any subsequent testing to confirm whether I indeed had cancer or not. I went through surgery to the face (it was part of my lower lip) over a false positive. For 11 months, with the ominous burden and that sense of powerlessness over it, I lost nearly all will to work, socialize, take care of myself, or even live (suicidal ideation) over a false positive. So, pardon me if I didn't react chipperly to the "good news" with no formal apologies, no compensation. When this period of my life all started, I was working part-time, trying my damn hardest to ramp back up to working full-time after a ~2 year long-term disability (mostly mental health) on top of the pandemic. No surprise that this cancer hurdle kind of threw a wrench in those wheels of progress if you catch what I'm trying to say. But here's the thing about neo-liberal capitalism: while you struggle, while you're at a disadvantage, the machine doesn't stop turning, it's not the machine's responsibility to make sure every cog's needs are met. You are still expected to work work work, and the cost of living keeps going up up up, which makes it harder and harder to not feel down, down, down. The cost of psychotherapy went up. The cost of food went up. The cost of transit services (public or private) went up. The cost of rent went up. My wage? Well, it increased by a massive 0%! The benefits that barely cover ~10% of my psychotherapy costs? Those went up a massive 0% too! My yearly office job bonus? Oh, I only get 25% of that, before taxes! According to the Canada Revenu Agency, the cost of living in Ontario went up by ~3.3% in 2023. In my case, my rent is poised to go up ~6% (this is more than twice over the government "guidelines"). I feel so welcome by this new team that I'm in where no one ever talks to me, where I get little to no feedback on my work. This team with toxic coworkers who believe women are inferior and that kids need a "good" beating but it's ok because they work full-time. Did I mention how shitty my holidays were? How much my mom demands that I feel a certain way? How I didn't get to spend any quality 1 on 1 time with my cousins, aunts, and uncles? How my mom doesn't live in my hometown anymore so I don't even get to see my childhood friends during the holidays anymore? *sigh* It seems crazy to me how I'm expected to be "high functioning" throughout all this. Of course, I'm nearly completely submerged in gaming. the way that I game, it's my escape, my drug of choice, if you catch my drift. It's easier to live another day when you don't think when you're distracted. That's all I need to do right? Live another day? If you want to call it "living"... every day I tell myself "Tomorrow is the day. Tomorrow I will get up on time. Go to the office, actually get something done." but that day never comes. I can "work from home" but just sitting there is agonizing. I guess that's what they mean when people say they hate their job. There were always tasks I didn't like but now it's everything. I don't think quitting and getting another job is the solution either. While the change may feel good for a while, eventually I will end up feeling the same way. The problem is that there's no place for half-able, "divergent" people like me. The possibility of eventual complete disability terrifies me even more. I can still afford to live like this for a few more months, perhaps a year before I have to start selling off possessions. Maybe I will have a breakthrough before then, maybe tomorrow, just not today... If you read this, thank you so much for hearing me out. If I could, I would hug you (if that's ok with you of course). I hope you are doing well and if not well... we're in a similar place in our minds, my friend, and it makes sense to that we feel this way. Good luck going forward. Peace out.
  10. I just learned that I have cancer. It's an oral cancer. I have a small tumor in my lower lip. It's rather painful. They're going to surgically remove it in the coming weeks. Hopefully it all goes well. This isn't the first time I have cancer. Last time was worst. Still, it's a freakin' another bitch slap to the face I would've rather avoided. It's hard to be satisfied with life when you're in pain. Anyways... I'm not giving up. There's still hope. Wish me luck comerades. Peace out.
  11. That, IMO, highlights one the difference between a healty dose of "escapism" and the not so healthy kind. Without that last statement, it's hard to determine whether your approach to boxing is wiser than my approach to gaming was. When you're boxing, as you describe, it does more to you than just help you "forget everything else", it also helps you boost your sense of self-worth (i.e., self-esteem). I wasn't kidding about going back to bed at noon in my last post; I was tired. However, it wasn't just the comfort of my bed that was soothing, it was the thought that what I was doing was "right", that I deserved a break, that my wellbeing, and by extention my very being, are valuable to me even if they aren't being comodified. I believe this element of intrinsic "escape" is far more beneficial than the extrinsic ones. It's the thoughts and feelings (consious or not) that come to mind during and after our actions that really make the difference. Trying to cultivate these positive thoughts and feelings (intrinsic rewards) would be a wise thing for me to do. I'm going to do an act of self-care now along this line. So thank you for replying. This isn't always a given but the line of thought it ended up assissting me down, could be beneficial in the long run. Keep doing what you're doing comerade. Peace out.
  12. Day -1 โ€” I'm Not Lazy As the ambiguous nature of "Day -1" and "Day ???" imply, I haven't been "sober" for the past couple of months. Even with my PC broken, I've spent many hours playing games on my phone. Consequently, I've been neglecting to do acts of self-care... but how accountable for this am I really? It's not like I haven't done anything, maybe I'm just not giving myself credit where it's due, and chastising myself where it's unsuitable. I started reading this book called Laziness Does Not Exist by Devon Price. If I understand correctly, the author argues that a significant part of western culture, conditions many of us to priorities productivity over wellbeing (i.e. hustle culture); to the point where many of us harshly shame and excessively scrutinize ourselves and each other for having biological limits. At the core of every behavorial/cultural pattern, I think it's fair to assume, there is a set of values/beliefs that enable and sustain it. In this case, the author the following set dubbed "The Laziness Lie": * Your worth is your productivity. * You cannot trust your own feelings and limits. * There is always more you could be doing. I'm still early in the book but it was explicitely stated that "wasting time" is a basic human need, that we ought to be more compassionate; acknowledging our own and other people's limits. With that in mind, my relapse over the past couple of months... I can't pin it on one cause but for now at least, I'm not able to be as "productive" as our system enforces. When I take the time to listen to my body and mental queues, throughout the day I'm anxious and frustrated, and by the end of it I'm tired and lonely. The pressure to keep up this 40h/week on top of putting in the work to overcome my physical and mental health issues... no wonder I'm having so many urges to "escape". All that said, that's a bit of pressure of my shoulders. I'm still valuable, despite my limitations. What I did do wasn't easy for me and shouldn't be taken for granted. I did my best and that's enough for me. I don't need to hide, I don't need to "escape". What I really need is more time to effectively rest and self-care, and that's ok. It's noon here and I'm going back to bed now. Peace!
  13. Day *** โ€” Shame & Accountability Someone got mad at me in group therapy today. They didn't go on a rampage or anything like that. It wasn't even in person. However, when they said "I think your full of shit!" it was a bit shaking. Some of the first thoughts in my mind was "Where is this coming from? What did I do wrong?" I'm seeing a social worker to try and help with this gaming addiction. She helped me realise today that I was spending more time trying to understand the person that got angry than I did so for myself (the victim). That's not to say I didn't do anything that motivated the outburst directed at me, more like the "punishment" didn't fit the "crime" if I did. Like, if I did cross a boundary, said boundary wasn't pre-established and it wasn't impossible to discuss it calmly. Anyways, yeah, I think this cognitive reaction (the thoughts I was having) stem from my childhood. When my dad yelled at me, I didn't have the mindfulness to realize I deserved better. When my best friend made an apparent suicide attempt, I didn't have the mindfulness to realize the same. When I was ostracized by my peers for looking different (I had odd dark patches of skin because of chemotherapy)... Wow. It feels good to say that. "I deserved better"... just wow... I think I need to hear that more often. I'll need to be careful not to overdo it, take things for granted but yeah... sometimes, I probably deserve less blame/shame in general.
  14. I definitely appreciate your desire to inspire some kind of team spirit @Amphibian220. Identifying the behavioral patterns we regret is certainly essential to recovery. However, I don't mean to condemn your post (I don't think it's "bad") but I can imagine why so few people are jumping in. First of all, there aren't many active users on this forum; you might have better chances to have deeper conversation on the Discord server. Second, not everyone is keen to expose themselves on public forum like this. Third, not everyone is keen to exposing not just themselves but "gamers" as a whole, which would include many of our peers. Even if many participants are anonymous, there's an underlying element of "judgement", towards our selves and others, that can't always just be brushed under the rug with a playful "come on guys" tone. Anyways, this would probably be a more successful thread in a private/professional setting (therapy, support groups, family, friends, etc.) Anyways, I am making a lot of assumptions, perhaps projecting myself on others a little too much, so take it with a grain of salt. I do believe you have the best of intentions and like I initially said, I do appreciate the "team spirit" aspect I imagine you're going for. So, I'm going to contribute a bit. I second the patterns you and @Nico Indigo have mentioned so far. Another one for me is, as I am likely to neglect sleep and clothing hygiene, I tend to do the same related to food and cooking. I often procrastinate on doing the dishes and going grocery shopping, in fact, I'm kind of doing that now (even though I'm not gaming). I will often order fast-food just to "save" (*air quotes*) the time and effort by avoiding shopping and cooking. I put air quotes their because, in the end, I often just end up wasting that time on instantly gratifying things. Even if I do dedicate the time towards more constructive/wholesome activities, the poor dietary choices involve have long-term effects of their own. Whatever people add here, I wouldn't be surprised if we could all summarize it as neglecting someone's needs (physical or emotional), especially our own. Even if I stop gaming, if I continue to neglect other more important things, my problem isn't really fixed now is it? Identifying these things like we're going here is an essential step but in many cases, far from the last. I really envy people who can seemingly just start and maintain a healthy habit. However, many of us aren't starting from that same place as they are. Many of us have far more deeply rooted problems. As much as I know on behavioral level what I could do to perhaps live a "better" life, it's not just uncomfortable to make these changes, it's downright agonizing. I can't just change the way I behave, I need to change the way I think and feel as well; I need to address the cognitive parts of this whole mess. And that my friend, is quite the challenge (if it wasn't I wouldn't be here). If anyone has anything to say about the changes they are trying to achieve in terms of cognition, I'd love to hear more. You DM me if that'd make you more comfortable. Personally, one of the things I'm trying to free myself of is that all or nothing mindset. One of the key sets of emotions behind, for me, is the fear of failure โ€” or more accurately in my case, fear of making mistakes. I'm afraid of being punished, despite my best effort. A lot of times when I procrastinate, give up, or push myself too hard, it's often because of 2 things: 1) I can't do a "good" job and 2) not doing a "good" job is "bad". Whatever the definition of "good" for the task at hand, it's a bunch of expectations I'm afraid or disgusted by the prospect of not meeting; expectations that are often my own might I add. If my expectations weren't so high, if I allowed myself to make mistakes more often, making changes would be more achievable. So yeah improving my ability to lower my expectations and wholeheartedly accept perceived mistakes would make a huge difference. Not sure how I can put this into practice right now but I'll figure something out. ANYWAYS, good luck on your path and take care. Peace out.
  15. Day 8 โ€” Accidentally Hypervigilant Starting in February 2020, I've been through short-term disability, a failed attempt at gradually returning to work, long-term disability. 2 weeks ago was the beginning of my second attempt at a gradual return to work. So far, things have been... decent. As I've expressed in my last post in this thread, my coworkers have been very welcoming and easy going on the tasks delegated to me. Psychologically however, I haven't always been as stable as I was hoping for. I'm still prone to make things harder than they need to be. Don't get me wrong, putting in a extra effort can feel good sometimes; when our efforts yield noticeably better results. However, there are often times where that extra effort just isn't worth it, or maybe I don't even have the skills (technical, social, emotional, etc.) to make it happen. I often don't even notice when that's the case until I'm deep into it and regardless, I have a hard-time letting go (i.e., lowering my expectations). Case and point: Yesterday I did a half-day shift in the afternoon. I arrived at the office at 12:30pm and so I initially intended to leave around 4:30 to 5pm. I knew I only had one simple task to do, but I was so determined to make the "best possible solution" that I ended up spending the entire afternoon practically writing an essay about the problem and various solutions. Figuratively speaking, I was tasked to build a doghouse but I ended up making blueprints for a condo, a cottage, and a mansion. When I was done I happen to run into the user I was doing this for and after trying to justify the extra complicated solution I was like "The problems I'm preparing to handle are never going to happen, right?" At that point It was already around 5:30pm, past the time I initially intended to leave. After all, none of the tasks given to me where urgent. And yet I jumped on another task (a code review) and ended up extending my stay until 6:30pm. By the end I was tired, hungry, and frustrated. I had to cancel plans with a friend and I turned to cheap instant gratification (not video games, just to reassure you, though it did cross my mind). Luckily, I hand an appointment with my psychologist this morning so I used it to talk about what happened. We agreed that I had went into a state of hypervigilance; I was really sensitive to details, seeing problems and even threats where their weren't any. I was seeing "warnings and red flags" in the code, in the tools that we use, in my methodology, and so on... For those who've read The Subtle Art of not Giving a F**K, it's pretty much what Mark Manson would call a feedback loop from hell. But why does this happen? What beliefs where driving me and where do those beliefs come from. Luckily, it's not my first introspection rodeo. I brought up that the irrational belief (or an academic might say: the cognitive distortion, or schema) was: "I NEED to do this perfectly. I'm going to be in trouble if I don't." As I've called it before: The Fear of Failure. Having this subconscious bias makes sense. Growing up, I had a dad that yelled a lot, a mom that criticized a lot, and peers that ostracized me a lot. But when my efforts stood out, when the outcome was beyond expectations, boy did I get some praise then. Nowadays however, I'm surrounded by professional and respectful colleagues. When I make mistakes now, in the context of work at least, I'm much more likely to experience constructive feedback more than anything else. Deeply accepting this reality the way I just described it, especially when I am experience that state of hypervigilance, is easier said than done. There's emotional regulation tool I learned about from Dialectical Behavior Therapy called Opposite Action, which would probably come in handy. If I remember correctly, it is ideal for situations when our feelings don't fit the reality before us, which is pretty much exactly what I described above. I'll need to look into more details on this, their should be more specific advice if I can narrow down my feelings to 1 or 2 specific emotions mentioned in the handouts I have. ANYWAYS, that's it for me today. I'm gonna go bowling tomorrow. ๐Ÿ˜… Wish me luck! Peace out and take care folks.
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