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Everything posted by JSmith

  1. Still thinking about that girl from the bookstore.
  2. Its okay. You can always try again when you're ready. Is there anything positive you can do today, for just five minutes even?
  3. I think it's because when you start something, you don't see any results for a long time. In today's world, patience is extremely difficult to cultivate. I was actually thinking about this earlier. Imagine how insane life would be if you did something once, and your body immediately reacted as if you had done that thing every day for twenty years. Smoke a cigarette, drop dead. Eat a cheeseburger, gain 100 pounds. Eat a carrot, turn into Mr. Clean. That would be a lot more obvious, and easier. But life ain't that way. Good or bad, change takes time. And our memories play hell with us, which doesn't make it easier.
  4. Dopamine Detox: Day 8 I must be a masochist. Seriously dude, you can stop anytime you want now. You've more than doubled your initial target. I don't know, though. The more time I spend actually thinking about my real life problems, the more I realize how complacent I've been. I may feel extremely guilty, regressing back to old habits, even if they are greatly diminished. It feels as if any second I spend in blissful leisure is a second I could spend actually making things better. Even if the majority of that time is thinking about what the hell to do next, which so far has been the case. Maybe it's the cold weather, but I've felt even worse about my campus than I did yesterday. It hit me like a brick wall during dinner. I let my family talk me into returning to school, pursuing a major I'm not passionate about. And now I'm bogged down. If I had just been smarter, dammit, if I had just embraced the Slight Edge principles I'd already been reading about for years...I'm dwelling on the past. It just feels like such a waste. I shouldn't even be that upset, it looks like next semester will be my last. Still...such meaningless, wasted effort. On the bright side, my investment deposited today. And I'm already seeing returns. Now the math gets a little wonky, and I don't know the exact anticipated annual percentage. But I heard around 10% is the norm, which for my principal is about six pennies a day, my safe withdrawal rate being about a third of that, or two pennies in pocket. My original calculations were more conservative, especially in regard to taxes, hence my anticipated one. I made EIGHTY EIGHT pennies today. That's almost eighteen in pocket. Of course, things can swing in the opposite direction tomorrow, markets forbid. But to actually SEE the growth, it's incredible. Can't wait to check again tomorrow. Earworm still being a bit of a pain, but no worse than yesterday at the very least. Maybe a little better. I had a weird dream this morning, about this girl I almost ended up hanging out with last year. I wrote it down on my phone. A bit late to type all that out, but maybe in the future. I don't think I've ever immediately woken up from a dream and actually recorded it. I did sleep decently well though, in general. Another plus.
  5. It's all dopamine in the end, tricky little hormone in our technology filled world.
  6. I don't even LISTEN to that song!
  7. @Bird By BirdIt's not THAT bad. Maybe a nasty case of earworm, did a little research of my own. I'll bring it up with my counselor on Monday if it keeps bugging me. The most bizarre thing is it's not just one song, it's like five or ten. One goes away and another takes its place. I was able to find some quiet while writing. Dopamine Detox: Day 7 Took a ridiculously long time to fall asleep. Probably the worst night yet. I think the eyemask helped a little, but man. Pretty girl wasn't at the gym today. Oh well. Still bouncing on heads and pins trying to figure out my living situation. Not only can I not take out anymore financial aid for off campus living, but there's a solid chance I'll get denied my application to get a refund, thanks to a yearly contract I signed late February...before all this madness. I still might try, but I'm not sure yet if I can afford being off campus, even with my money back. I need to crunch more numbers. And still figure out what I'm doing November to January. And do projects and exams. Pain. "ooh darling cause you'll always be my baby..." Is that Mariah Carey? I'm technically still detoxing so I can't look it up yet. Speaking of which, I'm thinking today is the last day. I mean, I don't know yet. I feel urges to escape, so maybe I should keep going. But maybe I can test the waters. With certain activities. NOT porn. This damn earworm thing has me wondering through. If I abstain from music for just a little longer, might it go away and finally give me peace? There's only one way to find out. I've listened to music pretty much my whole life. In recent years it's felt more like a dependency. A week ago I couldn't even walk from point A to point B without music. Any boring tasks? Where's my earphones. Loud, too. Louder than is healthy. Perhaps this is a withdrawal symptom. In that case, I am curious to see what's on the other side. One upside to no music: I haven't had ANY tinnitus. Not even a little. Ahh I spoke too soon. This thing on my wall just turned off and now I hear a faint ringing. I have problems. "do-do-do...da..." (I did say insanity was a possibility)
  8. Are you a therapist? Which country are you referring to?
  9. Dopamine Detox: Day 6 Weird day. Woke up around the same time as the last few days. Hit the gym again. Cute girl there, seen her twice now. Wish I could talk to her or something, but I feel like that's too obvious, at the gym. Spent last night, and this whole morning/afternoon, obsessing over finances and investments. I've been building this spreadsheet over the last year or so, trying to figure out how I'm gonna handle my money. Turbocharged the thing after spending some time on the FIRE subreddit. I think re-reading The Slight Edge kinda set me off here. All these years, I could have been making money, for free, no work required, but didn't. Started an investment account today. Just need to get my bank verified, and with a 200 dollar investment, I could be earning a penny a day. For free. If you've read The Slight Edge, you know what that means. Was also in communication with financial aid, trying to see if I can make living off campus a possibility. Received conflicting information. Gonna have to call them again tomorrow. Messed up before my evening class. Had a massive lunch, lots of sodium, not very healthy. Crashed after the class. I just finished my writing for the day, minutes ago. And I haven't even studied anything yet. And I have an exam next week. Got an email from reslife, too. Apparently they're closing my floor. So I have to choose a new room in the next few days. I already have enough living problems currently. More motivation to peace out. Shit like this is why I feel like I need to detox. Just too much I need to figure out right now. Observations - Music is still playing in my head. All the damn time. Is this ever going to stop? - Writing feels easier. Even this late, I haven't needed as much break time, compared to the last couple weeks. - We are all guinea pigs for the rest of humanity to learn from. This is both good and bad, depending on your point of view. - I'm definitely harboring past regrets and resentments. It's becoming increasingly obvious. I know I'm moving forward, but they're still there. - I feel less dirty and more normal, abstaining from porn. Tomorrow will make a full week of this. That seriously might be my last day. I feel like the music part is especially futile. I hear music throughout the day anyways. In the gym, or at the dining hall. Maybe that's why my brain can't fully knock it. I was literallly jamming in my room for a moment today, over my favorite metal band. Felt pretty good, too. Maybe listening to podcasts might help? Ideally I'd just have peace and quiet. This damn song from the gym, it's been in my head ALL DAY. No promises. One day at a time. Positive Experience of the Day - Ahhh that girl from the gym. She's FIT. Or maybe it's just the yoga pants. Listen, you gotta take your wins. For me, that's just getting to see a beautiful woman. She ties her hair up too, I love it when women do that. I could be overly romanticizing the poor girl. After all, it's hard to get a good look at someone with a mask on their face. But hey, as far as first impressions go, A plus. Or do I actually need to talk to her to get a first impression? That sounds more reasonable. I find women come across completely differently when you're actually close to them, having a conversation. Still, this is supposed to be a positive experience, so I'm taking the win. I also can't think of anything else. I can't do it. My infatuation is based on a potential lie. I'm taking the L instead. So be it.
  10. Well my daydreaming can certainly get "lengthy", by that definition. But it's never felt like "interference", not like gaming for example. Just something I did a lot. Okay, except for maybe when I'm trying to sleep. But that's a whole different struggle for me. I've certainly experienced spikes in other escapism-related activities after quitting gaming, which makes sense to me, because they're essentially the same kind of activity. Keeping you away from real life issues. No doubt if I was gaming I would probably daydream less, but again is there really a difference?
  11. I consider myself a solid daydreamer, but never thought of it as a disorder...at what point does daydreaming become maladaptive? The symptoms I read on healthline are extremely general ("lengthy periods" = many minutes to hours???). I engaged in quite a heavy bit of roleplaying in the past, that I could say for sure was a clear issue. But now I work on novels so that part of me is channeled to something more constructive, I guess. *shrug*
  12. FIRE is great. I was just reading through it and running some numbers today and last night. I’m gonna start investing ASAP. It’s free money!
  13. I feel you, on the rage and the relationships. Lotta noise, not so much signal.
  14. Dopamine Detox: Day 5 Another quick workout in the morning, before breakfast. Felt good to just get some cardio in without trying to push myself too hard. I don't want to be too hard on myself anymore, I'm slowly learning how far simple consistency can take me. Class registration was today. I decided this is it. Gonna take 4 CS courses next semester, hopefully get an internship during the summer I can do for credit, and I'm done. Don't want to spend another year here, May sounds much better. It won't be easy, but hopefully taking steps like this detox will help get me in the right mindset. Speaking of which, I had some powerful urges today, to break the detox. I'm not exactly sure why I'm still going, to be honest. Maybe it is because of next semester. Maybe it's because I'm actually starting to tackle some problems I've been putting aside. Like what I'm gonna do in two weeks when they kick us off campus. I don't have a place to go to. Yet. Speaking of which, I did some quick math not too long ago. I'm paying WAY too much for what I'm getting on campus. Tomorrow I'm gonna call my private loan servicer, and see what options I have. Everything's online. I don't need to be here. It feels like I'm torturing myself a little. Maybe I should set a hard date, and then go off the detox for a day. How easy would it be to go back to old destructive habits though? I'm not sure. It didn't take very long the last time I detoxed, but it wasn't as hardcore as this time. I don't know if this is a viable long term lifestyle, but it might be viable for 6 months. I said earlier I didn't want to judge myself, and my original goal of 3 days WAS successful. Maybe every additional day is just a neat little experiment. I still feel like I have too much free time, but that's honestly a good thing. I'd rather have too much than be bogged down. I think the biggest benefit I've seen so far is simply having the time and energy to think about how I actually want my life to look, and then taking some small steps in making change. There is a time AND energy cost in engaging in high dopamine activities. And I actually studied a little bit today, despite not having any strict assignments due soon. How about ONE more day. One positive experience of the day - Had a good time today working on my book. I was rewriting some really interesting dialogue scenes, and having some fun with it actually. I think the part of the book I'm working on currently is one of the most interesting for sure. There's a lot of unknowns and the urgency is certainly there, I think at least. Hopefully other people like it too!
  15. Same. I don't even bother making daily schedules, they never work out.
  16. Dopamine Detox: Day 4 Did tackle that homework, got it all done today, which feels nice. Once I started, I was simply in it, so that's a good thing. I'm wondering if it's better to write in the morning instead of at night. In the past I've found that writing late keeps my brain going, which my counselor also told me was a risk. I slept decently well last night though. Maybe I'll do a short morning and evening post. I don't know yet. I have so much time, it's crazy. I finished working by around 8:30. My "normal" bedtime is 1am. Been feeling a little bored the last couple hours. Did some more reading, that's about it. I could do more writing or studying, but I'm also a little tired, and I don't want to rush my brain. I'll just sit with the boredom if I need to, until I'm ready to do something else. I keep wondering if the longer I do this detox, the closer I'll get to some hidden truth or something I've been unaware of for so long, like uncovering a treasure at the bottom of a stuffed chest. Or maybe I'll simply go insane, I have no idea. I've never done anything quite like this. It's scary not knowing where things will lead. I told my counselor if I had to sleep 12 hours a day just to do an extra 20 minutes of writing, that would be a good trade. Less scary. I think the anger flashes are the most scary. Something I've noticed recently, in the last few weeks. I just get angry about stuff, sometimes from an inciting incident, sometimes out of the blue. I can get in a dark place. Can't hide from it while detoxing. One positive experience of the day - Had soft serve vanilla ice cream in the dining hall. With whipped cream. It was a proud moment, a triumph of the human spirit. I went to an infamous ice cream shop a couple weeks back with my friend. Not only were the wait times extremely long due to restrictions, but I couldn't get any whipped cream. Not from there, or the two other places we tried going to next. Hence said spiritual triumph. Next time I'll buy whipped cream from the store first.
  17. Oh goodness. This is gonna be me in a year.
  18. Nice afternoon post, because I feel like it. Did something this morning I haven't done in a very long time. I went to the gym. Got up an hour before my alarm, figured why not give it a shot. Just some cardio, one of the happy habits listed in The Slight Edge, which I've been re-reading. Had breakfast, then banged out my daily writing quota. Far easier time than the last two weeks. Now there's just studying. I'm frustrated with my universtiy. The pandemic restrictions, the quality of on campus living. I'm looking into moving off campus, especially since classes are all online anyways. In the past I've simply escaped from my frustrations, using entertainment. But since I'm apparently still detoxing, I have no choice but to deal with them. Need to figure out how I'm gonna pay for stuff. Ok, I think I can tackle some homework now.
  19. I did an internship last year and my mentor had me fool around with PowerShell scripts...I felt like a magician.
  20. 200th post, oh shoot. I'm actually quite tired right now. I had a different post typed out and ready to submit, but I didn't like it, so I'm starting over. I may be too tired to form anything satisfactory. Just wanted to say I have 13 minutes left in the detox, so it looks like a slam dunk. Was thinking about extending it. Maybe I could graduate college earlier if I just kept up this lifestyle. That's one big thing I've been struggling with. Writing has been much easier with the detox, but I still had zero motivation to study. I really don't care about my major. A repeat of four years ago...that's scary. Oh well. At least in the last two years I've tripled...quadrupled...quintupled down on my writing. Somewhere in that range. So I'm proud of that at least. You know what, I'm not even gonna make a plan for what I'm gonna do tomorrow. I'll just see how I feel when I wake up. Thanks for reading. Goodnight.
  21. I like this quote. What book is it from?
  22. From my experience, I either had to change what I was watching on YT, or cut it out entirely. Youtube and gaming went very hand in hand for me. If you're still watching gaming videos on YT, it will make detoxing a lot harder. But changing the content, to something educational or related to constructive hobbies, helped me cut down since I'm less likely to binge on such content. Good luck with engineering. It's very difficult. All engineering students have my respect.
  23. Good luck with your exam. The Slight Edge is an amazing read. I'm re-reading it right now myself. I removed the hardcover sheet after a little while and now it's starting to look like an ancient text.
  24. It's been a while. If I even attempted to explain everything I've been through in the last 2+ years, this post might be insanely long and I might never get to bed. So I'll try to keep it short. A little more than two days ago, I decided to try for the second time what is known as a "dopamine detox". For about 50 hours now, I have abstained from all sources of digital entertainment. I've had a lot of free time now to think and read, and have found myself returning to here, just to have a look around, see what's changed. I really just wanted to say hello. I miss having people to communicate with, on a regular basis. The truth is I don't really have friends. I have one, but it feels like we're growing apart. I have been chasing my dream of writing a novel for quite some time now, daily, and it has taken over. I've detoxed from gaming successfully, relapsed, started over, etc. many times, and I think gaming is just something I am going to have to navigate for the rest of my life, in one way or another. But that's okay. I don't want to judge myself anymore. I want to live life freely, on my own terms. And maybe achieve some satisfaction along the way, if possible. I'll leave it at that. I have about 22 hours left on the dopamine detox (trying 3 full days). I will continue to write, live, and I guess I'll see how I feel after tomorrow. Should be interesting. Thanks for reading. Stay strong, this community has been a monumental help for me.
  25. Captain's Log - JSmith | 4.11.2018 Had my personal fitness assessment. It was an...interesting experience. I'm trying to remember exactly what they told me, but basically, well apparently, bodyweight exercises alone aren't an effective way of building muscle. I just don't get it. Humans haven't had weights forever. What did the Spartans do to build their strength??? Of course they tried to sell me a personal training plan afterwards, which I can't afford at all. I think I will eventually look into vitamin supplements and omega-3's they told me about. I just don't want to do anything complicated. Writing was writing. Had to rest for a little bit after the first pomodoro, because I ran out of energy for some reason. Eventually got the rest done, and made some good progress too. My novel is definitely too short. I'm at the final battle and I'm haven't even cracked 60k words. Hmm. I know my location and character descriptions will need work, so that may make it longer, but I can't think of anything major to add. I'll just have to see. Got an email back from the job I interviewed at yesterday, no offer :( but at least they didn't make me wait. Applied to another one today. One a day should do it, and I already have a few applications still being looked at.