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LostRiver
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On 9/26/2022 at 10:37 AM, LostRiver said:

My parents must know that I am an addict. They still love me and dote on me. Their love scares me to death. How can they love someone like me? Can I love them back? Pay them back? It might be too late!

I relate to this a lot. As an addict, I sometimes feel like I’m unworthy of love. Like I’m some lesser being that doesn’t deserve it. But it’s so important to remember that our addictions don’t define us. We’re deserving and worthy of love simply because we’re human beings. There’s nothing we need to do (or not do) to deserve being loved, much less by our own parents! And love is not something we need to “pay back”, nor is it something you need to “prove”. I’m sure you love your parents as much as they love you, and there’s nothing you need to do to prove it to them. The very fact that they’re your parents is enough proof that you love them. I want you to know that you’re loved and that you’re worthy of being loved, and that nothing you do will change that. We as a community all love you! Chin up, bro. Keep fighting ❤️

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ITAA meet

- Signs of a functioning addict: self-neglect, unable to surrender/ change, double life

- Some days I will make excuses to not come to meetings: time spent in meetings is NEVER WASTED. I don't have to abandon any responsibilities to join meeting. As I listen to people's sharing, I can learn and reflect and take accountability and recover.

- My default mode is trying to do things alone and not/ unable to ask for help. Then when things fall apart, get upset and go back to using. I should accept myself, ask for help at work, in life and attend regular meeting + get a sponsor to find a safe space to look at my defects and address them. Be with loved ones help too.

- Step 6: my defects weaken me with their demands. My grief of wasted youth, squandered opportunities never stop yelling at me to go fix the past. Of course I cannot. Thus I go back into using/ binging. I need to remember that I cannot even change my life now, and I need to turn my life over to 12 steps and my Higher Power.

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19 hours ago, Paul A. said:

As an addict, I sometimes feel like I’m unworthy of love.

Thank you for sharing this with me man. I was at my bottom line so I felt like crap and cannot fight the dispair alone. Really hope I "make it" and show them when they can still enjoy it.

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9 hours ago, LostRiver said:

ITAA meet

- Signs of a functioning addict: self-neglect, unable to surrender/ change, double life

- Some days I will make excuses to not come to meetings: time spent in meetings is NEVER WASTED. I don't have to abandon any responsibilities to join meeting. As I listen to people's sharing, I can learn and reflect and take accountability and recover.

- My default mode is trying to do things alone and not/ unable to ask for help. Then when things fall apart, get upset and go back to using. I should accept myself, ask for help at work, in life and attend regular meeting + get a sponsor to find a safe space to look at my defects and address them. Be with loved ones help too.

- Step 6: my defects weaken me with their demands. My grief of wasted youth, squandered opportunities never stop yelling at me to go fix the past. Of course I cannot. Thus I go back into using/ binging. I need to remember that I cannot even change my life now, and I need to turn my life over to 12 steps and my Higher Power.

Amen. To make mistakes is human. To forgive is godly, and that includes forgiving yourself.

Edited by Yan
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21 hours ago, LostRiver said:

Signs of a functioning addict: self-neglect, unable to surrender/ change, double life

Holy s**t, this is me, period. 

You are taking all the right steps. The best of luck on your journey towards self-acceptance.

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3 hours ago, Captain_Pilz said:

Holy s**t, this is me, period. 

You are taking all the right steps. The best of luck on your journey towards self-acceptance.

Thank you for the kind words!

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Spiritual Principals

Have I noticed that, now that I don't have to cover up my addiction, I no longer need to lie like I did? Do I appreciate the freedom that goes along with that? In what ways have I begun to be honest in my recovery?

No, I do not notice. I have been living life with love, with confidence and with assistance for my loved ones and sometimes, others. I never realize that this is freedom. I guess I do not appreciate the freedom of my sobriety that much.

I begin to be honest about my relapses: If I cross my bottom lines, no matter how little, I acknowledge. I acknowledege my defects and try to ask for help and assistance to overcome them: at work and in life. I cannot do so 100% and some days, grief, greed and envy (of others carefree life untouched by addiction) hurt me badly.

I also try to be honest about 12 years in, 12 years out. I have been an addict for more than 27 years. I expect to spend at least that much to heal. With hope, the path my be shorter. But otherwise, 12 years in, 12 years out.

I am honest about who I am at work. My ability (and hence my income) is limited. My body and my soul told me that there is now a limit on how much I can devote to work. Burn out again and I risk some grave danger that I do not comprehend. A suicidal meltdown perhaps

I have to admit: I cannot see my life in the coming years at all. It's not like playing video games or browsing on my phone: nothing curated, nothing 100% by my will, no next to go up, no curated content, etc. But I do not have to. I trust that I am enough and my Higher Power will guide me so I can provide for myself, my family while being of service to those who are in need.

 

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What have I heard in recovery that I have trouble believing? Have I asked my sponsor or
the person I heard say it, to explain it to me?

- That life is better during recovery and once sobriety is achieved, life is transformed, completely better than within the walls of addiction. I should stop to notice, I love and enjoy life much more. I always thought that once I am healed, I can start to catch up, to make up for the parts of my life lost to addiction. I never realize that I'm building a life that I never had, I'm fill the void create by my addiction with love, compassion, passion, open-mindedness and honesty, etc.

- That my life has not been wasted. Fellow members say that they been through their shit so that they can help others who go through the exact same shit during addiction. It is as if the lower the bottom, the better the peace. All I feel is shame for even being in addiction. I envy those who do not know the terror, the insanity, the cagey feelings, the relapses/ withdrawals, self-hatred, burnout or just straigth up physical pain. I only know self-consciousness. I see myself apart from others always, for I know I have the mark of addiction. I'm always afraid of when people find out.

- Need to add more to burn away the reservations.

Edited by LostRiver
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On 9/28/2022 at 4:11 PM, LostRiver said:

That my life has not been wasted.

This one has been a riddle to me as well. I can only imagine how exponentially deeper the regret you feel is, since you have been an addict for much longer than I exist on this planet. 

For now, I just hope that we will reveal the reason for all this later along our journey.

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The self-hatred and guilt that is felt from making mistakes can be tackled effectively.

Humans are creatures of ever increasing "velocity" and so they need faster and simplified solutions to their basic needs. This is happening because the cost of living (or the rent) is increasing at a non-linear rate. This is harmful because if you eat fast, or too much it is not healthy for you. Our bodies are not designed for this abuse. Instead of communicating in person, we started using the synthetic alternative of the internet.

From the "Power of Habit", "Atomic Habits" books I found insightful experiments about the the psychology of consumers. One hospital wanted its patients to consumer healthier drinks like water instead of sugary drinks. They thought about the range of options available (like advertising, or disseminating information about the advantages of healthier diets), but ultimately what turned the tables was the "positioning of the water bottles at the check out counter of the canteen". This simple solution caused a huge shift in the behaviour of patients (sales of water jumped by 30 % in that example). Only because of ease of access, many patients started buying water to drink.

Now if we consider harmful video games, it is

1. the ease of access,

2. the collective influence (everyone is buying this new game),

3. the intensity of the experience,

4. the lack of government regulation,

5. the heavy advertising

6. the stresses caused by lack of authoritative male figures, and lack of intelligence in dealing with stresses

that destines many boys in their teens to go along this pathway. We absolutely have a degree of control at all times, but we can make mistakes through lack of introspection and knowledge. The answer to the question of guilt is not a simple one, but the dynamic is immeasurably more significant than the snapshot: the little beginnings lead to great results when repeated enough times. Remember, it is non linear! The little consistent steps that you are taking now will far outweigh the losses of the past and change this world for the better.

To give the opposite example, a person can possess a lot of wealth and knowledge, but if he spends more than he earns on a regular basis, and does not create enough pressure, he is not in a good place. 

The most encouraging sign is you are fighting back! It is going to have a non-linear effect. When you move a small bit in the direction of truth and repentance, God moves to you a far greater distance, he never stops forgiving as long as you remember him and are sincere in repentance. God is ever with the steadfast.

Edited by Amphibian220
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 10/1/2022 at 12:05 AM, Amphibian220 said:

Our bodies are not designed for this abuse. Instead of communicating in person, we started using the synthetic alternative of the internet.

I never did see it this way. I guess poverty/ hustle culture got me into think that if my "productivity" drops, I lose my value as a human being.

I'm reading as a hobby too but it's slow as I still use my phone a lot. Really hope you share more about Atomic habits, the book seems real popular around here

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Posted (edited)

CGAA meet:

- If I do not work the steps AND have a sponsor, I abstain but I am not in recovery.

- Two things to do: create obstacles to using and learning to live with myself in sobriety. Boredom sucks, facing my blackhole of a life sucks

- Leisure (porn, drinking, hang out) is different peace

- Learn/ notice what gives you peace, keep you strong and alive, at peace

- Getting just a simple "Thank you for your share" and no cross-talk is good. It does not turn my share into a performance, I do not get any pity/ praise/ attention out of sharing.

- When cravings come: ask self - what can I do in the next 5 mins to stop myself from playing???

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Posted (edited)

What have I heard in recovery that I have trouble believing? Have I asked my sponsor or
the person I heard say it, to explain it to me? (cont)

- That abstinence means more than finding things to do "fill in" the time slots taken over by gaming/ tech use. I am kinda afraid of this. It means I need to construct my life, to live a life that I want to live. But all I have is videos games and tech use. I begin to remember, very clearly, how happy and peaceful my gaming/ tech abusing experiences were. I remembered how I felt playing this game/ binging that show, etc. When I abstain and am sober, I can't even live with myself. Or just feel like crap in general.

- Faith in my higher power: heard someone said that this faith is tied to results as well. I pray that I get A, I do the work then I get A. Now I mostly pray for the strength to not relapse, and then I relapse anyway. I realized that praying gives me a lot of humility and peace and calmness and hope for future. But secretly I'm afraid my connection to higher power is not enough to get me out of my addiction. 

- 12 years in 12 years out: I spent 20+ years being addicted, living inside of my addiction. So as a result, I can take up to 20 years for me to be .... (lost for words, do not know what I am expecting). I guess to be able to live with myself. To be myself and at the same time, at peace with the everchanging world. I'm scared of poverty, I'm scared of low social status, I'm afraid of not being able to take care of my parents in their old age. I'm SO SO afraid of "not making it" before they are gone from this world.

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- The price to pay: being in addiction for too long, I seem to have forgotten that there is a price to pay. Also I seem to be in denial that I can somehow control the damage of using. As long as I believe there is still more high/ more peace/ more joy from gaming/ abusing tech - then I have a "backdoor" open right to addictions.

- I am delusional: I alter my vision and the way I see the world to adjust to my damage.

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We are far more capable men on this forum because we are resisting the lazy comfort traps. It doesn’t mean we cannot have fun, just put a bit more effort and you can have a great time playing a sport.

Your post just made me deny the want to surf the internet for useless information.

I will wait out a week without online distractions to see how my state changes.

Mohammed Ali once said in an interview how difficult his training was, but then he accepted it because of how much defensive ability it gave him in his boxing matches. He was hard to hit!

There was a pre-fight interview in which a journalist openly questioned his ability to beat a better opponent, quipping that prayer was all he had, to what he brilliantly remarked : “You fool, if I pray even a mountain will fall down.”

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On 10/9/2022 at 1:06 PM, LostRiver said:

- The price to pay: being in addiction for too long, I seem to have forgotten that there is a price to pay. Also I seem to be in denial that I can somehow control the damage of using. As long as I believe there is still more high/ more peace/ more joy from gaming/ abusing tech - then I have a "backdoor" open right to addictions.

- I am delusional: I alter my vision and the way I see the world to adjust to my damage.

Harsh and true! Keep telling yourself the truth and it shall set you free!

Also keep this in mind: 
"Remember, a real decision is measured by the fact that you've taken a new ACTION. If there's no action, you haven't truly decided."
-Tony Robbin
Reference link: https://www.facebook.com/TonyRobbins/photos/a.444057769059/10159624443854060/?type=3

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ITAA meet, suprisingly good one - most crowded parking lot ever:

- My (sober) feelings suck (loneliness, anger, bitterness over loss, envy, etc) but if I run back to using ("soothing" as it may seem) I will miss out on the good stuffs as well (gratitude, connection, sympathy, etc)  - thank you emotional lady Tiffany for this revelation.

- Step 8: it will be hard to forgive myself for the damage I have done to myself

- Don't wait until everything is "right" to do the good things

- Fake interest: tech use can attract me into watching "cool stuffs" but they are not hobbies, I have never done and possibly never will do them. 

- Sometimes it is hard to see an addiction as an addiction

- My top line sucks, I have no idea what my sobriety looks like 

Edited by LostRiver
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What have I heard in recovery that I have trouble believing? Have I asked my sponsor or the person I heard say it, to explain it to me? (cont)

- That I still deserve good in this world. I was bad a person when I used: aggressive, mean, callous, manipulative, extreme, deadbeat, etc - a yelling asshole to be short. I hurt people and damaged their livelihood. People with children lost stability in life because of me. I never showed up for my family. I know my addictions also tell me I'm a piece of shit deserving of death. But what if I actually do? Not by law. But by life itself, where everybody just tries to get by while I so destructive. Do I deserve forgiveness too?

- That I need to make amends. I'm afraid that people hurt me or take advantage of me when I admit my wrongs.

- Distance from you: that I can measure my distance from God/ my higher power, from inner peace, my measuring my distance from everyone around me. I have seen people with some shit in their head. What if silly little me get mixed up in thier crazy stuffs? I sympathize. I really do. But I have been living inside my addiction for long enough, I barely know how the world works. I can't even manage my life. How can I connect with people while avoiding their bullshit???

 

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You don't need to manage their problems, you only have yours and your personality. Don't be afraid of change, it will happen one way or the other.
I mean, listening to their opinions and opening your mind to other situations might be scary and seeing that what happens to them may happen to you because you get closer to them. But if you're so afraid you can't face it, it may hit you by surprise.
Prepare for the worst and better be hit by better for surprise, When you run these scenarios in your head you're much calmer in the possibility of them happening.
Think of it, what will it exactly be like in detail to lose my loved ones.
What will it be like if I actually relapse? 
These are worst case scenarios but for example think for the first question: I will think of how lucky I am to have had the opportunity to be with them.
For the second question: I will most definitely do my best not to, but even if I do, I will do my best to Start the count again right the next day without delay.

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14 hours ago, Yan said:

These are just my solutions. Yours may vary

Thank you tho. I understand. Just drop by and tell me: hey there are stuffs that work (for you) or you think that works. I may not try it but at least I still have hope that there are things that work!

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On 7/23/2022 at 5:03 PM, LostRiver said:

I now commit to come here everyday to update my journal. If I have nothing to share, I will just document any triggers I had during the day. One sentence works too in case I am too tired. I also commit to not writiting on my phone so as not to worsen my tech addiction! I would like to apologise in advance if what I write/ share trigger/ annoy since now I have almost no idea who I am once I step away from gaming and other addictions. I promise to be as sensible as I can. 

Did not make it daily, but almost lol.

BIG Trigger today: I had a pretty good day at work but got overwhelmed coming home and started binging on my phone again. This is quite often as I need to find the "next big thing" in my life always! As a result, my life is full of stress and fear. Need to learn to drop it off at the door and stop treating work like my second life. 

I still live this double life: I am energetic, determined, fast, passionate at work. But I am litteral husk at home: relapse, overeat, sleep at bad time, eat fatty food, no friends, etc. I haved learned that as long as this goes on, I am on track to self-destruction again. Work needs to be extension of my life, not otherway round. Learn to play. Let the game add to my life, not add my life to the game. 

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9 hours ago, LostRiver said:

Did not make it daily, but almost lol.

BIG Trigger today: I had a pretty good day at work but got overwhelmed coming home and started binging on my phone again. This is quite often as I need to find the "next big thing" in my life always! As a result, my life is full of stress and fear. Need to learn to drop it off at the door and stop treating work like my second life. 

I still live this double life: I am energetic, determined, fast, passionate at work. But I am litteral husk at home: relapse, overeat, sleep at bad time, eat fatty food, no friends, etc. I haved learned that as long as this goes on, I am on track to self-destruction again. Work needs to be extension of my life, not otherway round. Learn to play. Let the game add to my life, not add my life to the game. 

Your "short-term pleasure excuses part" is speaking again. When you've opened this Topic, in the first message, you said you wanted to stop gaming, not "add game to your life". Don't give yourself slack. Try it for 90 days and see how you'll feel afterwards. Only then you will really know if you want to game moderately. Because now it's just your monkey brain speaking... I'm being harsh I know, but someone needs to give you the truth.
Of course we are all human and you may fail, I did too. But there's no shame in falling. The shame is in staying down.

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On 10/13/2022 at 4:43 PM, LostRiver said:

Learn to play. Let the game add to my life, not add my life to the game.

I am confused whether you mean work or games by this. If you mean work, I stand behind your point. If you mean games, I can only refer to what Yan already said. For me, not seeing this challenge through was always a decision I would later hate myself for.

Stay strong: Difficulties will ebb and flow but they will never vanish completely.

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On 10/13/2022 at 9:43 PM, LostRiver said:

I still live this double life: I am energetic, determined, fast, passionate at work. But I am litteral husk at home: relapse, overeat, sleep at bad time, eat fatty food, no friends, etc. I haved learned that as long as this goes on, I am on track to self-destruction again. Work needs to be extension of my life, not otherway round. Learn to play. Let the game add to my life, not add my life to the game. 

Thank you so much @Yan and @Captain_Pilz for your concern. And by "play" and "game" I do mean work.

I have found a sales job that I like and sometimes, I find it like playing a (sports)game. If I want to feel fulfilled at work, I understand that I need to learn the job, network, adapt fast, etc. And I would love to: the better I am at my job, at serving people, the better I enjoy my work. Hence the motto "Learn to play".

But also, rat race, competition turning into envy, politics, money, greed => sometimes I forget to take care of myself and prioritize work => relapse

That is why I have learned the lesson to let go of work and not turn it into an obsession. That being said: I failed so many times, I am obsessive, I ((was)) a workaholic, I am insecure about my income, my future, I am always afraid that I will be unable to take care of my parents in their old age, etc => relapse (tech) alot.

 

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