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LostRiver
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ITAA afternoon meet, I know quite a few people in this meeting:

“Be the best I can be”, this voice telling me I need to work on myself – focus on living my life instead

 

Overwhelmed -> get back to tech to feel comfortable. Emptiness, what am I to do with all this time and this life

Don’t try to do everything at once. Prioritize.

Keep praying. Keep working the steps. It works if you work it. You are not alone: community, Higher Power

 

Letting go of the fear of never being able to financially fend for myself: I’m afraid that I will never be able to find a well-paying job, to save enough for a house, to start a family, to find a partner, to take care of my parents, my family in old age, etc

This is tough, may Higher Power help me!

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15 minutes ago, LostRiver said:

Letting go of the fear of never being able to financially fend for myself: I’m afraid that I will never be able to find a well-paying job, to save enough for a house, to start a family, to find a partner, to take care of my parents, my family in old age, etc

Somebody (Minah) spelled out the worst fear for me!

15 minutes ago, LostRiver said:

“Be the best I can be”, this voice telling me I need to work on myself – focus on living my life instead

This is how I have grown over the years. Before, the pressure to "be better" was immense! My progress was slow and I was steep in my addiction when I feel like I need to better myself all the time. 

But now, once I realize that the goal of life is just to live life, I enjoy my life more, am able to abstain, work on my recovery, connect with people, work better and harder => Progress comes when I don't have to be perfect, not under mortal pressure, and when I enjoy doing it!

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CGAA Sunday meet, celebrate 90 days

- Jonathan: I don't how changes happen. I am not sure if its my higher power or big book or sth. I just know that I keep following the program and my life changes for the better!

- Toby: escapes into music

- Scott: identify, not compare (distance from you), be warry of cross-addictions: they not just a phase, they are not ways to cope

- Cody: work hard to become who you are, or feel bitter rest of life

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End of day 90 without video games

- Kinda sad day: I overate and felt like crap in the afternoon and evening. Stuck look at my phone again. Bought some fidget toys

- But I appreciate this moment. I hate the fog of addiction that I was under, and now, I pray to higher power to give me what it takes to connect with people, find meaningful relationships and have peace. 

- Thank you everyone here for taking your journey. I got what I am today because of all you. Your efforts, your joy, your lessons, your experiences are invaluable to me. Much love. You are loved. Keep coming back, keeping working

🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻

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Congratulations! Making it 90 days without video games is a tremendous achievement!

Since I rejoined a few weeks ago, I really enjoyed reading your daily updates. Plus, the conclusions you took from your group meetings surely helped so many of us.

I wish you the best of success for every single step to come on your path. It will not be easy! Make sure to keep us posted about your progess.

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On 10/16/2022 at 9:44 AM, LostRiver said:

End of day 90 without video games

- Kinda sad day: I overate and felt like crap in the afternoon and evening. Stuck look at my phone again. Bought some fidget toys

- But I appreciate this moment. I hate the fog of addiction that I was under, and now, I pray to higher power to give me what it takes to connect with people, find meaningful relationships and have peace. 

- Thank you everyone here for taking your journey. I got what I am today because of all you. Your efforts, your joy, your lessons, your experiences are invaluable to me. Much love. You are loved. Keep coming back, keeping working

🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻

Keep up the good work and if you feel 90 days isn't enough then keep going. That brain fog of addiction didn't go away until 6 months for me and it helped posting here. 

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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)

The lower the bottom, the better the peace: I do not seek addiction and relapse. But once I started my journey of recovery, once I have joined the fellowship(s), I see that my experience come from addiction and relapse. I sympathize, I love and I am motivated more by what I can see because I see through the eye of an addict: (I should also be in Al-anon) my mother is a tech abuser and I realize that her sacrifice for me is even greater, my fellow recovery partners are all admirable wherever they are in their journey, and I too get to be proud of myself. I still struggle so much to believe in this. All I see, sometimes , when I look in the mirror, is a junkie, a loser, a man over the hill, too old, too uneducated, too slow, too introverted, etc, too late. 

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In what ways am I practicing open-mindedness?

- I sympathize more. I identify the similarities with others, and not just differences. I do not hate if there are differences. (Can do more when there are differences)

I read more. I listen more. I try to understand people and where they come from more.

I travel more. I meet more.

I know there is much more I can do to practice open-mindedness.

I still think my way of life is "better" some parts compared to others. This can be bullshit. I have my advantages. Others have theirs. Perhaps I need to learn to compromise to be open-minded?

I guess there are always places where things are not clear cut. And it is here that a willingness to accept and work with people come in. Need to practice this!

 

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Am I willing to follow my sponsor's direction?
- I am willing to follow any and all of my sponsor's directions. However, I must say no if such direction prevents me from completing my responsibilities to my family (prevent me from seeing my parents, having time with them, time to do housework, etc)

 

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From NA text: "when we were addicted we either felt elated or depressed". Now that I am working on my recovery, I feel a lot of things: self doubt, guilt, pride, peace, happiness, merth (yeah I bought and play with some fidget toys, sue me), hope, rage, fear, love, amusement, empathy, apathy, nervouness, etc

I understand that it is life coming back into my life. And I am happy to keep it that way: no resentment, and judgement tho.

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I watched "The Best Years of Our Lives" today.

Instantly fell in love with a character: Butch.

Guy has one line for backstory: my uncle Butch used to ban me from drinking and tell me all sorts of lectures about the evil drink.

Butch also owns a bar. And plays the piano. And stops his disabled veteran nephew from downing his sorrows by drinking.

He also wears a bow-tie.

I know officially, Butch is just Hoagy Carmichael 's chance to charm the audience with his skills on the piano. But I want to believe that the guy is member of AA.

And simply put, the bow-tie means this: I have mastered myself and the world will not kick me around. I walk every step with love and treat everyone with respect. I am not perfect, but I am where I need to be.

 

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Am I willing to go to meetings regularly?

I am willing to go to meetings regularly. I now go to up to 3 meetings per week with one offline meeting. I would like to bump that up to 5 but have been having problems waking up early. 

Am I willing to give recovery my best effort? In what ways?

First off, abstinence. That is the most important thing for me now: abstinence THEN taking care of myself and my family THEN become wealthy.

Two, more meetings, slow life down and prioritise recovery above all else. Even fun. Read more literature.

Three, I am willing to change anything about myself, my life to be clean and sober. Anything.
 

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Do I believe that I'm a monster who has poisoned the whole world with my addiction?
Yes I do believe that I'm a monster who has hurt, destroyed and caused irreparable damage to lives of many with addiction.

That or I thought I am forever behind others for I am a man who has wasted his best years (if any) living inside addicitons. 

Do I believe that my addiction is utterly inconsequential to the larger society around me? Or something in between?

I thought I am bad example to society, young people and all. I do not think much of how my addictions affect the larger society/ the world.

Do I have a sense of my relative importance within my circle of family and friends? In society as whole? What is that sense?

I used to have none. I did think that I was important at all to my family and friends. Were I to die, nothing was to come of it. 

Now I understand that my parents will lose a large part of their world without me. That my rock bottom can help. (once again remind myself to check into al-anon). I suppose this is a sense of worth through service

How am I practicing the principle of humility in connection with this work on the First Step?

To be honest, I was having a bit of fun on this journey of recovery. I thought of vulnerability, hope, honesty, but not yet humility. I guess, understanding that it will take me a long time to recover, as well as being able to deal with my mistakes and judgements are signs of humility too.

I begin to ask for help: I admit to many others I have no idea what to do or how to continue to learn, to grow, even to live.

Now I admit my powerlessness everyday, I guess that counts too. Will add humility to my prayer. Avoid the trap of moral crusading: Cho con sự khiêm tốn để hiểu từ nay con phải sống chan hòa và dựa vào mọi người để con được cai nghiện.
 

Edited by LostRiver
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100 days!

Have I made peace with the fact that I'm an addict?
I have not entirely made peace with the fact that I am an addict. Sometimes, when forced to face with the damage on myself or just the damage I have done (to others, to my mind, my body, etc), I turn away. When will I be able to fix such destruction?

But other times, I understand that I have spent my life being a paranoid depressed addict. I have to stick it out and be patient, loving with myself.

One more reservation: I am responsible for my recovery, not my addictions. But it has always been me that picked up the first game/ tech, etc. ???

I hate and feel so ashamed of myself for being an addict all these years. Shame smothers me whenever I do something wrong. When I get dirty, I would not dare to shower for fear of realizing how dirty I am. I always need to do crazy stuffs to feel that I have "earned" the right to be loved and respected. But of course, with how isolated and lonely I am inside, If I ever am actually successful, I would feel even worse. 

I am so sorry kid. I am sorry I hated you for being an addiction. You are a kid in need of help. You always have been. I will get help. I promise. Con đã nghiện từ nhỏ nhưng như vậy có nghĩa là đứa trẻ bên trong con cần được giúp đỡ nhiều hơn nữa chứ không phải là đứa trẻ đáng bị ghẻ lạnh!

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Notes from various meetings and today ITAA meeting:

- When I have nothing to do, I will use. That is also my addicted brain telling me to get the next dopamine hit and not rest

=> People said that OR calls can fix that

- Need to start meditating at night for peace

- One guy with a bachelor degree in finance said that his addiction made him go bankrupt! Powerlessness at its finenest!

- Don't have to worry too much. Just do the work and believe that it will work. 

- If going to bed means staying clean, do it!

- Sometimes, focusing on avoiding bottom lines does not work, one has to focus on top lines instead.

- Making OR calls is hard! Be proud!

- Take a few months to adjust sleep schedule (that's long)

 

 

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Have I made peace with the things I'll have to do to stay clean?

I still want to win/ join the rat race. To stay clean, I need to work the steps daily and stay disciplined AND to slow my life down. The truth is: any change to my routine fucks everything up. I think I have flexibility in my life but I have none. I have to rebuild my life with the principles of AA, from scratch. And it literally takes one morning/ afternoon/ evening at a time. 

No, I have not made peace with the things I have to do to stay clean. But I will start now: a slow life, no money chase, live for AA and for my family.
 

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On 10/16/2022 at 4:44 PM, LostRiver said:

End of day 90 without video games

- Kinda sad day: I overate and felt like crap in the afternoon and evening. Stuck look at my phone again. Bought some fidget toys

- But I appreciate this moment. I hate the fog of addiction that I was under, and now, I pray to higher power to give me what it takes to connect with people, find meaningful relationships and have peace. 

- Thank you everyone here for taking your journey. I got what I am today because of all you. Your efforts, your joy, your lessons, your experiences are invaluable to me. Much love. You are loved. Keep coming back, keeping working

🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻

Awesome on achieving 90 days, spot on! You deserve a pat on your back!

On 10/25/2022 at 4:47 PM, LostRiver said:

Have I made peace with the things I'll have to do to stay clean?

I still want to win/ join the rat race. To stay clean, I need to work the steps daily and stay disciplined AND to slow my life down. The truth is: any change to my routine fucks everything up. I think I have flexibility in my life but I have none. I have to rebuild my life with the principles of AA, from scratch. And it literally takes one morning/ afternoon/ evening at a time. 

No, I have not made peace with the things I have to do to stay clean. But I will start now: a slow life, no money chase, live for AA and for my family.
 

Changing routine is the hardest thing in life in my opinion, it's all about using your willpower to mostly focus on one change at a time, gain confidence and repeat. So way to go on staying honest with yourself, not telling yourself excuses, and continuing to experiment. Glad to see the progress you've made and hope you keep on, who knows what heights you may achieve... 🙂

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CGAA Sunday meet - dealing with cravings:

- Jon + Andrews: understand that there is nothing left for me in gaming, it is not fun anymore, it is destructive (reminds myself that it is not fun anymore, it is destructive) Life becomes more rewarding => cravings are less powerful, it takes time

- Peter: reach out to fellow members, go outside, exercise,

- Gabriel: notice when fear (of anything) creeping in, when things crumble in the edges , watch out for cross-addictions/ cross-addictions will bring it all back!!!

- Tony: be in meetings, notice any "restless irritable discontent", any moments of judgement against others, take a moment to see what I actually need: am I hungry, am I angry, am I tired, etc (HALT)

- Jeff: call someone, hey I have this crazy cravings now, I want to game but I will not, can you stay with me, takes long time to develop hobbies.

- Ben A: when I get clean, my disease is doing push-ups, getting stronger in the background - some guys stopped drinking for 10 years, thought having one would not be bad, then he got right back when he left it. I relapse, it was not pretty, it was not even fun but I know the deal

- Me: I do dumb stuffs, started playing with fidget toys (anyone has any cool toys, please share haha), read children books, easy read, etc (I RATHER BE A DUMBASS THEN AN ADDICT. AN ADDICT DESTROYS HIS/ HER LIFE WITH CERTAINTY, A DUMBASS MAY WISE UP ONE DAY)

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CGAA - morning meet

- Heard old lady said that herself and her mother got addicted to online whack-a-mole, frogs crossing the street game. Her senile mother was really good at froggers and of course would spend hours at it. Also the lady had no idea WHY they are into or even addicted to games

- Tony: upset about something (gotta work long hours, so tired, fighting the situation/ frustrated about something, even small negative emotions => creates in my mind a different reality (in the "real" reality my team goes in with me, it is not a busy day, etc) => stop, pause, share about it/ tell on myself, name the feelings, realize "I can just be llitte old stressed out me and things might not be that bad" today!

- Me: gaming is a means of escape so moderation does not work. My insanity is rationalization for all the addictive behaviors (I DON'T HAVE ANYTHING ELSE TO DO NOW SO I CAN GAME, always there, the cravings are always there, they will sneak in when im hungry, angry, lonely, tired, overate, want to escape, ect.

- Andrew: expect dopamines after doing something in real life, no dopamine? I won't do it! Or I get disappointed. JOB PERFORMANCE IS NOT INDICATION OF SOBRIETY, I was on time at my job but I was losing my friends, I was not taking care of myself and my family etc

- Dan: I "cannibalize"/ sacrificed other aspects of my life to play games, would drink A LOT of sugary sodas when I still game

Edited by LostRiver
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[[[[IMPORTANT NOTES]]]]

- I feel worse than how I am doing: stop, breath, share/ tell on myself, identify feelings first

- I begin to notice this "restless irritable discontent" feeling: i am not clear on it yet, but it feels like this: when met with discomfort, pain, tireness or negative feelings, I will want to leave or to do something BUT I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THAT SOMETHING IS! => This is when the cravings come in and I tend to turn to my addictions to numb myself/ seek pleasure to numb the discomfort. 

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ITAA Tuesday meet

- Bed-ridden girl: Every morning I wake up, it feels like ground zero again. I so scared because I wonder if things will ever be okay. So glad to have fellowship to share honestly, don't have to pretty it up, to hide or to listen to any advice, etc

- B: lost aunt, grieving => still glad that I can feel feelings, they are part life, get with the fellowship since I cannot turn off myself,

- C : relapse, just want to use, everything is overwhelming, keep having the thought that I can do it by myself even though I need to surrender

hard to come to terms with the fact that I can NEVER do A, go to B, see person C again, etc

- D : many disruptions in life, but if I run away, it will be just terrible when I come back. My life is changing in ways that are critical, I don't know what's gonna happen, wonder so much about it all. So unnerving, untethering. Need to stop reacting to the changes, make preparation and trust in my higher power.

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Have I made peace with the things I'll have to do to stay clean? (cont)

I will also need to read, journal and write down principles within the steps that I can live by so not to spend my days running around feeling overwhelmed or discontent.

Using the 01 second rule to combat the quite discontent

How is acceptance of my disease necessary for my continued recovery?

Acceptance of my disease is important so that I do not belittle myself and put too much pressure on myself. I have problems. But it means that I need help rather than a wipping. 

And even when I a raving addict, I still get to live. Live an addict live but still live. I don't have to condemn my own existence. I just need to work on it with others so that it gets better.

Acceptance of my disease helps steer me away from all the misconceptions I once have: discipline will not "cure" me, "productivity" will not, money will not. Connection with others, with my higher power and myself (my addict self) will. Taking care of myself, minute by minute too.

Moving on

How do I know it's time to move on?
Because I have found peace from relieving myself from my self-will into the care of higher power.

Also, as I begin to change my life to gain connections and to provide service for my family and others, I need tools to avoid relapse and remain at peace.

What is my understanding of Step One?

Step 01 is to me about acceptance: I accept my powerlessness over my addictions, I accept the unmanageability of my life, I accept the fact that I need help, and that no human, material can help me. I also accept myself as an addict. And I accept that I live this addicted life. Acceptance without condemning or judgment of myself. My addicted self.

Also for the longest time, I forget step 01 is about surrender and trusting god. I did not know what it means: I thought it was about praying for good luck. I now know that luck is not enough. I was addicted for 20 plus years. If I am to recover, there will be obstacles. But my job is just make plans and do my best. The results, I leave in the hands of my higher power. I can still fail. But then, I will humbly come back into the care of my fellowships, my family and my higher power.

 

 

 

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How has my prior knowledge and experience affected my work on this step?

I feel relieved. My self-will no longer burdens me. I surrender and it feels really good. I feel at peace.

When I thought it was about good luck I was nervous. I was bummed when I hit obstacles. Now I will pray for the knowledge that my higher power gets me, guides me, and loves me no matter what. So next time I hit an obstacle, confront my failures: it is natural, I will do my best and I will take comfort in the fact that my higher power is there for me.

I did good but there is room for improvements. I am so excited to realize that I can experience peace, love and serenity beyond my wildest imagination.

[[END OF STEP ONE JOURNALLING]]

Edited by LostRiver
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