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Everything posted by Pierce

  1. I've been thinking about your situation with tennis. My initial reaction was that they need something snarky said to them, but that would likely make it worse. I work on an ambulance and have been partnered a few times with a guy who sounds similar to what you're describing. At one point we were back at base and I saw the opportunity to make a really crude joke. The ensuing laughter diffused the situation. It allowed him to see that even though I'm "one of the guys" and not super reserved all the time. Don't do this at the cost of authenticity, but they likely want to see how you'll react to their comments. If you respond in a way that shows they can't get to you and that you're having fun anyway they'll be less likely to continue.
  2. Interesting note about Dostoevsky. I would think that would make his characters more relatable, but maybe he over amplifies it. I'd need to read other works to see. And I can empathize with your friend situation. That's happened to me a few times. It used to bother me a lot more. I've started seeing friends as temporary traveling companions in a long journey, and found that when they do something negative it affects me a lot less.
  3. The headaches are likely a psychosomatic effect, which is your body's way of pulling you back to your normal habits. I bet you'll feel a lot better after the first week.
  4. Monday I woke up extremely tired, but pushed myself to get around for class. A storm was on the way so our instructor cut it short after we took a drug dosage quiz and went over it. When I got home I was just feeling really down from the lack of sleep and likely a few other indeterminate factors. My mind chose negative things to think about. It latched on to when a patient was screaming as I worked on her IV the previous day. I was beating myself up for failing there. I just wanted the negativity to stop. Then I realized that the laptop I was borrowing was newer and could run DDLC. I had looked up so much about that game and now I could actually play it. So I pushed my goals aside and installed it. And for the hour I had that laptop I was in pure bliss. I couldn't remember a time I felt this good in a long time. In return, the rest of the day I was miserable because I wanted to play it more, but needed to give the laptop back. The next day I had access to it again. I played it many hours and almost beat it. I wasn't nearly as hooked, though. I did a few errands and was even bored at one point. I wanted to get on here and journal, but felt like a hippocrite because I wanted to finish the last bit the next day. So today I felt much better. I took a few quizzes, beat the game, deleted it, got more school work done, meditated, cooked, and I'm about to workout. Playing the game wasn't nearly as destructive as the time I've spent on YouTube waiting to be able to play it during times I couldn't. The former used some time, but was something I consciously chose and enjoyed. The latter was a numbing agent either to fill the void of pleasure or to avoid the pain of productive work. That's why as much as I want to spend less time on video games, movies, and electronics in general this detox is mainly to eliminate the habit of mindless web surfing or video watching so that I can build my life in the direction I want it to. DDLC taught me two things I want to share here. One was the importance of reading and writing, which I hope to use as a replacement for my time on devices. The other was that the root of downcast moods come from the lies we tell ourselves. Fixation on failure, or fear of future failures are both lies, because they paint a fatalistic picture that doesn't have to be the case. Joy and peace could be waiting there instead, if that's the road we allow our minds to go down.
  5. Welcome back. I've been in relapse over the past half year and have only come back recently myself, so I can empathize. It's good that Tiny Buddha has you inspired. That site has plenty of things that picked me back up as well. And with the second wind you have gained now, I wholeheartedly believe you can do it. Dreams can only die when we do and they are forgotten; so long as we live they have a chance to grow and flourish.
  6. Day 2 Got done with my 12 hour er clinical a few hours ago. I was still reticent about going in the morning, but I'm glad I did. When I got home I wanted to eat dinner and join my dad in watching star trek, but went running instead. It felt amazing to push myself. Both situations apply to a self help principle I learned a couple years ago: the hard thing is the easy thing and the easy thing is the hard thing. When I was with my friend yesterday we passed one of the local fire stations. I wanted to go in and find out more about getting a job there, but started getting social anxiety at the last second. He reminded me of whatI already knew: I was cheating myself if I chickened out. So I went in and got to know the paramedics there. One obvious example I chicken out in is with women. When I purposefully go out I can be very smooth because I have the energy and intentionality to consciously build a social flow. In everyday life I'm more likely to be in my shell. So being surrounded by beautiful nurses at the er, and even beginning to flirt with one of the cute nursing students and having her giggle, I kicked myself when I let my anxiety prevent me from striking further conversation with her before I had to leave. This kind of situation happens all the time. As I walked to my ride home I realized that this attitude of staying within my comfort zone instead of aggressively pursuing growth generating opportunities is my single greatest detriment in life. This is not an exaggeration. I have the tools and know how to move forward , I just often lack the will to execute. This in mind, I'm curious to see how it applies to the next few days.
  7. Dude, you read Dostoevsky? That's what's up. I've only read Crime and Punishment by him and it was incredible.
  8. Going out to socialize and taking care of other positive to-do's like getting a haircut and browsing vapes are a great way to recover from a breakdown. You're doing it right man. Also, glad to hear that you had fun hanging out with your dad.
  9. Day 1 Much better. I hung out with a friend I hadn't seen in a while for most of today. Our interactions usually spark growth in one another, and this was no exception. We talked about our careers, women, and overall growth. I came up with a practical game plan for the next few months. My next step is to pass the test required to get a higher certification at my job, and then to get my own car. Being out socializing made it less tempting to waste time on the internet, and when I got home tired I wanted to read more than anything. Tomorrow I have another ER rotation, so I'm going to get plenty of rest for that.
  10. Still sick today, but feeling much better. Going to class was fantastic. Being around friends and learning more about my trade is a well needed reprieve from home life. We did drug dose calculations, and even got to go home early. Had a few patient contacts to enter in for my ER clinical last week once at home, and I procrastinated. Started off as Jordan Peterson lectures and then went off to lots of TV. Wasn't nearly as fun as reading. It was more to avoid work than it was to find something entertaining. I got it done though, and am about to do some reading before going to bed.
  11. Guitar is a good replacement. Glad to hear that you're discovering how much fun it is. And the 12 string would be sick. I have a funny story for your character dilemma. Years ago my dad and I shared a character on an old MMO called Runescape. We gathered so much money that he could affect the in game economy by buying and selling massive quantities of items on the in-game marketplace. One day he bought a rare item that was worth almost all of our gold with the intention of flipping it for more, but accidentally casted a low level alchemy spell turning it into a handful of coins instead. He was upset for a moment, then told me and we both laughed about it. I'd already quit and he hadn't looked back since. The emotional impact of trashing your own character definitely helps in not going back, but I can't argue with making money off of it either if it doesn't consume you.
  12. Those are some excellent goals. Enough to last you a long time, and I think it's wise that you're working on one detox goal at a time. Too bad about the immature guys. I got bullied for having a high pitched voice when I was younger. Looking back, I pity those people. It may sound arrogant, but I see them as lower consciousness beings for caring about such things. Like part of them is still asleep, and they haven't woken up to the more beautiful and interesting aspects of life.
  13. @Cam Adair It's cold in the south still, but I go orienteering (competitive hiking with a map and compass) once a month. I wish going outside was more accessible for my life right now, but going running more often is one way I can do so. @info-gatherer Good points; I'm still trying to tweak my goals. I can be a bit of an idealist sometimes, and maybe my goals are too rigid. I'm just curious to see what it would be like to pare down how much screen time I get for a whole year. I'll keep your advice in mind if I need to make changes, and I like the bit about using Spotify instead. Talking about today is almost as embarrassing as coming back here to admit I've been living back in addiction for so long. I almost pushed today's post back to tomorrow, but I know it's important to keep the habit up. I don't find playing video games all that entertaining anymore, they seem very repetitive, but their stories still captivate me. This morning I was thinking about how agonizing it would be to wait a year to play Doki Doki Literature Club for the first time. I'd been studing a lot about the theories and philosophy of the game, and it's deep, controversial topics spoke to me. So I started out doing a little bit of research on the game, cheating my own goals a tiny bit by going to gaming websites, and of course that led to taking a mile. Watching lets play for the rest of the day and not getting any school work done. The school work was another large reason why I did this. All of my school work requires using a computer, and so I find ways to avoid the work once I turn one on. This has gotten so bad that I even gave my personal laptop to a friend for safekeeping, but temporarily borrowing one from my parents or using those at the library down the street doesn't stop me from going on youtube. I'm glad I'm putting this all in a public place. I can't skirt it under the rug. It makes me take greater personal responsibility for my actions and find solutions. I'm looking forward to reading, getting school work done, and going to class tomorrow.
  14. It's really good to hear that you're doing better with your studying and social skills. And props to you about the yoga gym. Yoga is difficult, but I've felt better every time I've tried it. It'd be cool to hear more about your goals for this 90 day detox. What else would you like to see happen in your life besides more studying and smoother social interactions? Also, the modern Italian politics project sounds interesting. If there's a political topic that interests you, anywhere from healthcare to the military, I bet there are a ton of examples to choose from in the last 30 years. I know that the refugee crisis is a big political issue in Italy right now.
  15. Skimming through your journals it looks like you're building an awesome life Brad. Pursuing a cool career, meditating, working out, and you have your own business. As for social skills, turn being charismatic into a game: go into social situations pretending that you are already confident and smooth. For example, when I go to a store I make an effort to crack jokes with the employees, or ask ask questions about their job/day. I award bonus points if I add a hint of flirtiness with female employees. You end up leaving the store in a better mood and everyone there usually goes out of their way to treat you better. Same can be done for the yoga class you're planning on joining.
  16. @info-gatherer Good advice man. I've yet to have a morning that didn't make the past problems look insignificant. Thanks. @Cam Adair I don't know how often we've thanked you for all that you've done for this community, but I want to take the time to repeat it right now. You're the man. Means a lot to hear from you. Day 1 I needed the kick in the pants to admit where I was at in the world. A bit embarrassing, but I'll get over it and it's definitely better than being stuck. I feel a lot better today. The only time I was on a computer today was to type up patient reports for my ER clinical last week and to journal. I've mainly been reading an old fantasy novel in my house for entertainment. I felt a bit lazy lounging about so much, but it's exponentially better than being in front of a screen. Feels like the difference between overindulging on fruits and vegetables vs overindulging on fast food. I also made sure to go for a long walk this morning to replace running since I'm sick. Trying to get my fitness and meditation habits back. Anyway, as promised, here are the goals I set for myself for the next year starting today: "For one year I will not Watch TV, movies, or YouTube (unless Khan Academy, music while doing something productive, or required by school). Play video games or go to video game related websites. Go to any other site that is not for educational or productive reasons, such as social media. To fill this time I have many habits that I would like to build. The core ones include: Reading (I have a list of books that could last me at least a year). Fitness (running, pushups, pullups, crunches, yoga, rucking, and weights). Meditation. School/work. Lesser habits that are still important (meaning all remaining time should be allocated towards them) include: Meeting with friends or participating in activities where I can meet new people. Cooking new recipes. Cleaning. And other fun skill building activities such as playing the guitar. I’m charting these habits on Habitica, but they are the cherry on top of my primary goal. The reason I’ve set it up this way is so that I will be completely focused on my detox goal, and have lots of healthy activities to easily fill its void that I will be pressured to do."
  17. I wrote out a long post and just deleted it. I don't want to post a sob story and I don't want to post something inauthentic. So here's the truth. I made it a year. Sounds fantastic. But it didn't mean much. My root addiction to the internet was still there. I fell back the next day. I'm still in relapse right now. I'm possibly at the lowest point in my life internally, even though externally I still have a ton of things going for me. This has led to very strong depression. More than I can handle sometimes. Because while this addiction exists I am a shell of a man. So that long post about how I'm going to change. I'm not going to post it until I mean it. But I'm also not going to wait to come back here until I have some success story. Because I tried that and it's well over half a year now.
  18. The new more effective way is my notepad. Problem is, it's very easy to not use it or to not follow the time and website allotments I write on it. Seems like I contradicted my first statement. Except, I don't believe it has to be that way. The notepad provides structure, and discipline can flow forth from there. I feel that I have a better picture of what I need to do. I just need to do it. Day 337 without gaming, 0 days without compulsive internet use Tomorrow. Tomorrow. Tomorrow. "Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing." -Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5
  19. Day 335 without gaming, 0 days without compulsive internet use I fell flat on my face today. Was not disciplined in my computer use. I know that the rewards of overcoming this obstacle are beyond what I could have imagined in the past. I feel confident that discipline here will prove to be the skeleton key to unlocking all of the other major areas of my life. Once more, with passion.
  20. As someone who has chosen ballroom and latin dance as one of my replacements for gaming, I'll tell you this: have the courage to dance and be carefree now! The euphoria that comes from that can't be compared to. The enjoyment I've had from thousands of hours I've spent gaming are probably equal to five nights of dancing. Find your equivalent thereof. Cam was right in that the best replacements for gaming are: challenging, have measurable growth, allow for an escape from worry, and are social. The fact that you are working out is awesome and fits all of those criteria. Your study of history fits most of those, and by making a public podcast it will fit the social aspect as well. As you improve yourself and find more of those activities the joy and confidence you seek will come.
  21. Day 334 without gaming Obstetrics lab was strange, but great. Screaming mannequin bodies giving birth slimy, plastic babies. I feel much more prepared for delivery-related situations now. Yesterday I had another clinical at a local emergency room, realized how much more my EKG pad placement skills have to go, but overall had a good time. I got enough school work done that day that I decided to do something I hadn't done in a long time: invited all of my friends to go out dancing. A lot of them couldn't come, but I had a few ballroom friends come and, surprisingly, a good number of people from my class accepted my invitation. It was a great night, and was a much needed confidence booster. The unassertive and very reserved self was replaced by an exuberant and extremely self-confident force. The lessons I learned there are the ones I need to carry with me off of the dance floor. Now, onto business. I know that to meet the goals I have set for myself in life I need to go further from quitting gaming. A strange thought since I am currently fighting desperately to keep myself from going back to gaming next month, but I think this is precisely the right time to launch an offensive. I have a pad of paper at the spot where I usually keep my laptop. Before each time I turn it on, starting tomorrow, I want to log these criteria: my goal for getting on, how much time I want to spend, and what websites I'll visit. Afterwards, I want to log what I actually did and how much time I spent. Other than a few sites I visit in the morning and at night that are useful and productive, I shouldn't get on too often unless it is directly school related. I can already tell that this is going to be extremely painful, but if I pull it off it will grant me something I've wanted with all of heart for quite a few years now. Freedom. So there you have it. I've put it out to the public, so that is tangible evidence that I hope will hold me accountable. This is the start of a year long journey in which I wish to break my compulsive internet use, in hopes of melting the very existence of my will to game. As my dopamine receptors begin to normalize again, I have no doubt that I will have gained a much greater mastery of my cravings. I'll tell you how it goes tomorrow.
  22. It's fortuitous you brought that up. I spent part of this morning using an online character creater, planning out my build, and then this afternoon I was planning out a mod setup. Watching the videos of all the work it took, I realized that working out, reading books, and doing my school work is far easier and more satisfying. It made me realize that I really wouldn't be happy if I went back, not even for a week. Even watching these gameplay related videos isn't entertaining, it just allows me to procrastinate. Thank you. What you say confirms what I thought, and for that I am grateful. The positive change I want to see is to live out the adventure I seek in video games. To better myself instead of some pixelated character. My latin teacher in high school once challenged me with that. He said that if we take all of the time we spent gaming and spent it instead on useful skills, we could become much more powerful and live a much more fulfilling life than our virtual counterpart Day 331 without gaming I want to focus on the positive in this post. Today in class we learned how to help manage emergencies involve pregnancies. It's pretty incredible how much more confident I feel about if I were ever put in a situation like that, and after the obstetrics skills lab tomorrow I'll be even more confident. That's another difference, confidence in other areas. For example, I've only been driving for a few months and I feel so much more proficient. I've driven in some pretty hostile conditions: torrential rainfall, night, highway where people were driving like maniacs trying to get home, etc. I also feel more confident in social interactions. I'm not the shy nerd I was four years ago. Lastly, I've been slothful in my gym routine because of how hectic school feels right now, but I'm extremely excited to get back into it as soon as possible. I'm looking forward to increasing the amount of weight I can lift, the amount of pushups I can do, and I want to get back into yoga. I've been thinking a lot about practical strength, and I want to start rock-climbing at some point in the future. I want to be more confident that I could manage my own body weight if I were hanging from a surface in a life or death situation. Anyway, let's see what adventures tomorrow brings.
  23. It's funny how it works that way. When I gave away my Xbox 360 five years ago (I find it funny now how I thought that it would be that easy to walk away from gaming) the guy from school I gave it to told me he could see why I got rid of it: I had over 200 hours on one character file in Oblivion alone. So many hours of my life gone in vain pursuits of glory, while the real glory to be had was a distant thought. Day 330 without gaming, Day 0 without YouTube I'm not even that upset. Being on 0 day again is actually funny. I woke up and spent a lot of the morning thinking of a character build for Oblivion. I've watched gaming videos before, but more as a replacement for TV. This fascination in becoming an active player again doesn't sit well with me. My reptilian brain says that it will continue to punish me dearly if I don't buy Oblivion and start playing it again once I reach day 365. There's only two problems: I don't go a year without gaming just to fall back into again, and I don't give a damn about what my reptilian brain says. Maybe I will fall. It won't be this day. I'm not going to consciously say that I'm going to lay down for my urges a month from now either. After I wasted time in the morning I began to get around for class, and I checked my phone. The study group I had set up had tried texting me and even called me, and I missed it entirely because I forgot. I was furious and deeply disappointed in myself. I'm not a superstitious person, but that's as close to a sign of what my future entails if I continue down this path. It's a cry for adventure. The skill sheet I made for myself yesterday proved that I can indeed improve myself, but I still lack adventures to go on. The idea of becoming a mechanic fits that niche, but part of me believes its just a pipe dream, just as one day becoming a doctor will be. Becoming a firefighter will be incredible, but I'm a few years off. I need to create the adventure aspect within. I really do want to achieve those other goals and more, but gaining greater discipline and joy for life are essential. I think that using my imagination and further turning life into a roleplaying game will help. And one last thing: I think we regard ourselves to highly. What I mean by this is that we feel so entitled about many aspect of life that we think comfort and pleasure our a given. This is why abstaining from short-term gratification and taking part in slow, painful work seems so impossible for us at times. If we regard ourselves less and regard our missions more, we gain freedom. That's what I seek, giving all to the mission. When this happens the weak part of us has died.
  24. Please post your history podcast once completed! I would thoroughly enjoy hearing what you have to say. The last time I studied anything pertaining to the revolution was when I read an article on Baron von Steuben. That man's story is incredibly inspiring, especially the bit at Valley Forge. I know you've probably been inundated with fitness and diet advice by other people, but here's my take on the subject: walk everywhere (taking the stairs over the elevator and walking to public transport over taking the car), turn diet into a game on how to keep it as balanced as possible, and try forms of exercise in which you can achieve a sense of flow (I find lifting weights to be a very meditative experience, and check out running or swimming in high intensity intervals for the best cardiovascular results). I'm looking forward to seeing how much farther you've gotten in your goals sixty days from now Bob. You got this man!
  25. I appreciate it @Mettermrck. I've weathered falling on my face many times, this one hasn't gotten me down. I know I have so much to be grateful for, and I am, but I sometimes live in fear that I will not use it to its full potential. There's so much to do out in the world! So much beauty and adventure. So many people to meet and so much to discover. I believe you sense it as well. It's why most people are here. The fact that such a belief stands before me and yet my actions do not match it scares me. Makes me think I will scramble for the shiny baubles when the real treasure lies concealed ahead. Pressing forward: Day 329 without gaming, Day 1 without YouTube I am lazy. I am. The truth it makes me stronger. It's not the video games, or society, or anyone else. It's me. The truth is that. And yet it does not have to be that way. When the disgust of laziness hit me this morning I sprang into action and got a lot of school work done. I began to seize the day. And then I looked back, and became a pillar of salt. It's been four years since I've played my all time favorite game series, the Elder Scrolls. I thought of the ecstasy of buying a gaming computer, all of the accouterments, getting the elder scrolls anthology (I dare not capitalize the words of something I revile so much at the same time), and 100% competing all five games one at a time. I could build such powerful characters. I would be a god in those worlds. And in this world I would wither. I can be powerful there and wither here, or the opposite. Only one may live. It's a death match. My former self versus my current. It wants my body to replace the grave it inhabits, and its arm is won't let go of my ankle. That is why I am in limbo. He must die if I am to move on. So I choose to no longer be lazy. I met my goal from last night by realizing this. That is the secret. Be absolutely disgusted with anything remotely related to laziness. And negative motivation isn't enough, so I didn't stop there. I began on a document in which I made my life skills into a rudimentary character sheet. It will be a way to mark my progress and see how far this fleshly avatar advances. It's no where near completed, but it's something I want to give a serious effort into. It might be just what I need. I'll give you a further report on it tomorrow.