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Beginning Again: The Road to Success


Ace92
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Hello All! 
 

My name is Ace! I just posted my story so if you want to read it I'll post it below:

 

 

As many of you I am addicted to games, internet, the whole lot. But this addiction stops today. It stops in favor of a healthier, happier, more fulfilling life. 
 

I will be detailing the things I want to do and accomplish below. I will break them up between short term goals and long term goals. Short term goals will be different activities that i will attempt to accomplish within a month's time. Long-term goals obviously will take longer than that but i would hope to complete them in a year or two. 

*Note: The times above are not concrete, they will be adjusted depending on what the goal is. I am just using them for reference points. Generally though a short term goal will hopefully be completed in less than a year and I expect a long term goal to take more than a year. 
 

Short-Term Goals:

Brush teeth twice a day

Make my bed daily

Keep a clean room

Shower twice a week

Floss more

Read 10 Books

Go to bed earlier (10 PM at the LATEST)

Wake up earlier (9 AM at the LATEST)

Walk daily 

Meditate daily 

Drink at least 3 bottles of water (9 cups)

Journal my adventures daily 

Just sit in thought/nature more

Long-Term Goals:

Earn my Drivers license.

Be able to deadlift over my current weight (124 lbs)

Eat more fruits and vegetables 

Learn more about history, science (biology, chemistry, and health science), politics and mythology.

Restore and strengthen my relationship with God (and my family)

Improve my writing and public speaking skills

Speak Japanese, German and French fluently

Improve my Singing Skills

Learn to play the Violin, Trombone, Saxophone, Drums and Piano

Travel around the world.

Express self care through gratitude, affirmations, journaling, meditation, taking care of my body and God.

 

These are a lot of goals. I do not expect them to be completed in a short amount of time. One thing that stood out to me in one of Cam's videos was to choose Engagement over entertainment. I think this was one of the problems I had when I tried to quit last time. I always put these goals on my list because I expect them to give me the same instant joy gaming or music did. When in reality, they don't, at least at the beginning. This goals and hobbies aren't meant to provide instant gratification or instant happiness. They're here to help your brain and mind grow and blossom from a bud to a gorgeous flower. They are meant to be completed like a game yes, but they should not be rushed, they should be sat with and pondered over until you become great. That's where the joy comes from. Engaging with it until you can't anymore. This is a mindset I will definitely be employing as I go along my journey.

Until then I'm wishing myself luck and I hope the outcome will spark passion in me again. 
 

Best Wishes

Ace

 

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Day 1 

 

The morning started off great. I managed to wake up a bit after 6:00, shower, write down affirmations and a daily prayer, make my bed and shower! I am proud of myself. I also was able to get outside, if only for a little bit. Unfortunately I missed the sunrise, as it occurred while I was in the shower. Most of my day was spent riding the train and writing. I am spending New Years with my grandparents, which I am excited for but I feel a little homesick. I have traveled on my own before, but I think this homesickness comes from the fact that it's my first time celebrating New Years with other family members besides my parents. At least from what I can remember. It's not new to me, so my brain instantly wants to go back to the "traditional". I need to remind myself to be open to change and that new ventures like these can be exciting and create great memories. This was the case for Christmas this year. Our power was out for 2 days from the 23rd to the 24th, because of the big storm that passed the US recently. I was nervous and actually started crying because our electric company predicted that power wouldn't come back until Christmas day, the 25th, at 7 PM. I cried because I wanted a "traditional" Christmas, where we decorated the tree, baked cookies, listened to Christmas music, and the other typical things you expect from Christmas. Looking back on the situation now, though it was very cold, I wish the power stayed out. Yes, the situation wasn't ideal since we didn't have working bathrooms, water, light and again it was cold. It was an exciting, new adventure that demonstrated how we don't need light to have joy on Christmas because the family provides the joy. Also when the power came back on early Christmas morning, it was still fun, but it was boring. It wasn't something that kept us on our toes, which we need every once in a while. 

 

Anyway, despite being on the train for a good chunk of the day I got a bit done. I brainstormed a few ideas for some short stories I want to write and I managed to start an outline for one of them. It's going to take me a bit more time to get used to this engage and create mindset instead of the be entertained and consume mindset I've gotten so accustomed to. I had no urges to play games, but I had urges to listen to music and I mindlessly watched a bit of youtube while I was on the train. Thankfully I came back to my senses and realized I could be looking at the scenery instead. The music urges hit hard though, while I was writing. I tried to make so many excuses to listen to different songs I love. The thing is though, I've listened to these songs so many times, I know the lyrics by heart, why would I need to listen to them again? Asking this got me curious on why I listened to music, and I think I found an answer. When I was a kid I was bullied a lot. By the time I received a phone for Christmas and started listening to my own music, I was socially anxious and depressed. So for one, music has always provided a safe haven where I could pull up a song and just let my emotions flow free. The music I was listening to also repressed the anxiety and depression if only for a little while; I was happy. I could be anyone when I had my headphones on. This result still expresses itself today. However when I listen to music now, it allows me to play fictional stories out in my head that I would otherwise never experience. Well, I say fictional. The stories that play in my head could actually happen if I put enough effort into them but before I quit, I could have those dreams right then and there, with no effort whatsoever. Listening to music fueled my dreams at night and turned them into a "reality." The problem is that none of it was a reality. I did not have the women or man of my dreams right by my side, I wasn't standing in front of my favorite band/artist getting along with them. I was in bed... doing nothing. The urges for music I had today means that I still have a long way to go if I want to get over this instant gratification mindset.

 

I think I've wanted instant gratification because I am opposed to hard work. I might have been framed this way not just from games or music but I think part of it is because as a kid, I had things just given to me; no work on my end. I have to realize that it's a different ballgame now. My professors in college aren't just going to hand me an A for free. No one's going to enter my room to tell me to get up and exercise and no one is going to write stories for me. Furthermore, the only reason my parents were able to just give things to my brothers and I is because of their hard work. They didn't sit around, pray and suddenly receive a strong financial standing. They worked for it. I have to do the same if I want to get anywhere in the world, as much as I find it boring at this point. 

 

After dinner today, I am going to make it a bit farther in my outline, read, meditate, journal and then sleep. The two things I didn't do was drink water or workout. My excuse for not working out was "There won't be weights, at my grandparents," but I can just do basic calisthenics. Not sure why I didn't drink water. Maybe because similar to hard work I perceive it to be bland and boring, when we literally need it to survive. I've always felt this way, not sure how I can change my perspective on it to drink it more.

 

Anyway, fine day today. One thing I realized when craving music was that just sitting in silence, with random sounds around me is oddly satisfying. I am going to try to do it more.

 

Best Wishes,

Ace 

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Day 2

Chiller day. I got a bit more done on my outline. I am close to starting the actual short story. I am not sure how I am going to make a character that a reader could hate and feel pity for at the same time, guess I'll have to experiment with that.

Got a bit of a headache today. Maybe because I was on a screen working for most of it.

I noticed that while I was trying out drawing and animation I was bored. Guess it's not for me. But my mind was saying, "Why am I not doing something like skiing, I bet that will get me excited." I think this goes back to instant gratification. Sure, skiing might be exciting and I'd love to try it out (I might have to move to an area that receives more snow, like Buffalo or Colorado), but I won't be good at first. I think I'm still expecting that a grand and awesome activity will fill me with excitement and more entertainment off the bat. Which again won't be the case. I am going to give drawing and animation another try.

Didn't exercise or read today which was disappointing but tomorrows a new day, and a new year.

Some of my resolutions for next year are:

Be more thrifty 

Be more open to others ideas

Carry a more mature attitude 

Drink more water 

 

My main goal in 2023 is to get my license And branch out to make more friends on campus. I also hope to focus on work more whilst keeping a good sleep schedule.

Hopefully I can complete all this 

 

Best Wishes,

Ace 

Edited by Ace92
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Day 3

 

Today was a great day, got a lot done. I prayed to God and did my affirmations. From there I managed to finish writing the outline to my story and started the first few sentences. I will need to take a bit of time to determine how I want the story to be delivered. But I've made a good start. I also read a chapter of my book today. The biggest thing I did today was I practiced driving. I realized I am a safe driver, but I need to keep an eye out more and always be observant. Drive more defensively. Parking wasn't bad either, though I still need a lot of practice before I register for the test.

Nice surprise today, my aunt and uncle came over and we chatted for a few hours! I hadn't seen them in a while so it was nice to catch up. We ate food and watched American football. 

No games and no youtube today. Though I still catch myself going on instagram and browsing. Guess I will have to do some meditation tonight and find out why i keep checking. Maybe it's a habit or FOMO? Music cravings are still very strong. My mind longs for songs by my favorite artists, so much so it plays in my head and encourages me to play it. If I were to I can only think of how much time would be wasted by these fake fantasies.

My mind keeps thinking I should be doing more stuff and I'm not reading enough or writing enough. I need to remind myself that things take time and even if I do a little bit per day, it's better than doing nothing. I guess I think this from this society which encourages working relentlessly, but thats not how we work. We need downtime.

Anyway very happy about how today went despite urges. Hopefully I can completely overcome them soon.

Best Wishes,

Ace

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Day 4 

Another chill day. Didn't do too much but that's okay though. I didn't feel like writing today so I drew instead. I no longer think Drawing is boring, I think that it's an activity I can do when I am bored and want a relaxing activity. Don't have much motivation to improve my drawing skills to the professional level, I find much more enjoyment through simple sketches. Besides drawing I also read. What took up most of the day was spending time with my grandparents, which I did a lot this week instead of staying in my room. Today is the last full day I will spend with them, I hop on the train home tomorrow morning. We drove around the eastern part of the city, which I had never seen before; they live on the western half. It was like being in a whole different state despite it being the same city. It was nice exploring some place new.

My withdrawal symptoms have been getting better. For the first few days I would get frequent headaches, but today I had no headaches at all. Good sign. I wish I could stay off screens though, but I use my iPad for most of my work so there's no escaping from that.

During meditation yesterday I discovered why I still checked Instagram and Twitter. I also discovered why I craved music and why I felt like I needed to listen to it these past few days. For the former, Instagram and Twitter were things I could just search up and scroll through when I was bored. I need to find some new activities that I can take up (not many) to replace that boredom. Some hobbies I thought of were running, reading, and photography. Instead of social media I can also just sit in silence.

I figured out that I craved music so much because the songs I was listening to fueled my sexual fantasies/desires. I think this is the same reason why I watch porn every once in a while. I am gay and I recently had feelings for this girl who goes to my school. However, I also think that a gay man is kind of cute (though I don't have any romantic feelings towards other men), I wouldn't say I have a crush on him, I think I just find him attractive. Anyway, when I would listen to music it would allow me to picture myself kissing the girl, touching her and other sexual things. This is obviously disgusting. I think I thought these thoughts because I desperately wanted to be in a relationship. I would want someone to give me emotional support, respect and love and I think I thought a relationship was the only way to get to those goals. I also wanted a relationship because everyone around me would constantly talk about their BF or GF like they didn't have an identity of their own. Not saying a relationship instantly makes you dependent or make you lose your identity but that's what it was in this case. I have never been in a relationship before, so hearing all these conversations made me seek a SO and get my crush at the time to like me. I think if I start realizing my time will come and that in some cases most people break up with their college sweetheart. And if I focus on myself and practice gratitude, I should be able to overcome these fantasies. Why am I in a rush to get married?

I think my realization helped with cravings as they were non-existent today, hopefully it stays that way. I also hope I have a great day tomorrow.

Best Wishes,

Ace

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23 hours ago, Paul A. said:

Sounds like you’re doing well! Keep the momentum going

Thank you for the kind words. It helped me from caving into music yesterday.

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Day 5

Good day today. I rode on the train for most of it. Usually when I arrived home from a big trip I would relax by watching youtube or listening to music. While my music cravings aren't as strong now (though i am a bit tempted), my urges to watch some mindless video on youtube, particularly videos from my favorite artists is very strong. I think my urges are strong because I want to do something mindless, without much thinking. But I can turn to reading or a puzzle for this. 
 

Overall, couldn't play many games anyway, and only used my phone for texting. 
 

Best Wishes

Ace

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Day 6

Fine day today. Most of the day I cleaned my room and I got back to my story. When I was deep cleaning my room, i did listen to music and it did create visions in my head where I was an amazing DJ, but I had no sexual visions, it didn't distract me from my task for the most part, and after I was done cleaning and turned the music off, I had no urges to turn my headphones back on. Furthermore the songs were carefully picked to be shallow feel good songs, instead of songs that would get me excited about love/sexual encounters. 
 

when I say I will quit music this is what I mean. Those songs that provide me with the images of kissing or touching that girl I mentioned a few entries ago. If I don't have these visions or sit and listen to music all day, i'm not considering it a relapse. This time around, after Music time, i had no interest in listening to more music.

Anyway, I got a new book today, and speaking of books, I am getting more joy out of reading them. It still feels like I'm opening them just to open them to feel productive but I am genuinely enjoying my time. Before I would open a book, read one chapter and I'd enjoy it but I wouldn't pick it back up again. Now I am reading more, which makes me happy.

What also makes me happy is that we got our broken dishwasher replaced. Now we don't have to wash dishes by hand anymore.

Besides reading and room cleaning, I worked a bit on my story, drawing out what I wanted the characters and setting to look like, and I started laundry. I'm really happy with how my progress is turning out. Though it's not many days, reaching 6 days is giving me a lot of hope. 
 

I hope in the future I will be able to do things like cleaning my room or eating without something distracting me, and just sit in the moment. I guess i need to meditate more.
 

Best Wishes

Ace

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This post is late because I unfortunately relapsed. I relapsed to music. I thought after my cleaning yesterday, I had no urges, which was true at first. But closer to the end of the day my urges snuck up to me and I ashamed to say, gave in. 
 

What I think I need to do is focus on one thing at a time and put my all into changing the habit. Since I really have had no interest in playing games at all recently (even when my mom got me a game-related calendar) i did not play. What I am going to put my all into is trying to get over my music addiction since that is taking up most of my time. 
 

Furthermore I think the other half of it besides the sexual visions, is I want to achieve big things or maybe it is I finally want to prove to people that I am worth something. I think its the latter because most of my life I was either bullied or ignored by my so called friends. Even now, I feel like my friends are ignoring me and they don't see worth in me because they are always texting the other friends in the group but never text me, therefore I get lonely and cave in. I further feel that I need to do these things so I can prove to them that I am a cool person. I think music may be a quick easy access point to that. But I don't need to prove anything. If my friends are ignoring me, that's their choice cause there's always more people.

Anyway I think the biggest thing I will have to do is sell my headphones but I'm afraid I will upset my parents cause they spent a lot of money to buy these headphones for me. I got them 2 years ago, so just selling them a few years later might upset them. Then again, they do tell me to wear them less so it might be a good option.

I am going to try to go a year without music 1/5/23 - 1/5/24

Best Wishes

Ace

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Hello Everyone, I'm back. 

I fell back into old habits. The same habits I tried to remove. 

Most of the day I watched YouTube. Around 2:00 PM, I entered my room before taking my shower. There, I saw my bed, unmade. Seeing the mess of blankets I thought to myself, "I hate this. Why am I living my life this way? Not making my bed, just watching videos..." From that experience, I knew I had to try again. So, here I am.

My problems that led to relapse consisted of two things. One, I was doing too many activities. Two, I was actively trying to avoid games/music. These reasons relate to each other. Instead of focusing on one or two habits I wanted to achieve, my goals were sporadic. So, whenever I faced urges I forced myself to be quick on my feet and do something that wasn't music or screens. 

While my new year goals stay the same, I am changing the way I do things. Each month I will write down 2 goals I want to focus on. I will start small. From there I will just keep building. Rather than trying to focus on 13-15 general goals. This will allow me to pay more attention to what my goals are. Furthermore, since they will be more specific, it will give me something to do every day. Which is what I struggled with last time. Here we go.

Activities I want to Avoid:

Listening to Music all day

Watching YouTube all day 

Using my phone (if not for calls, texts or emails)

 

Activities I want to do (Goals I have):

Drive every day I am home to pass my drivers exam this year

Read about writing and write every day to improve my writing

Read every day

Workout every day (except Sundays)

Go to bed at 9:00 PM each night so I can hit a consistent 7-8 hours of sleep.

Eat healthier foods (i.e. Smoothies, Fruits, Dairy, Vegetables, Grains, High-protein foods, and more fruits)

 

Goals for this Month:

Go to bed at 9:00 PM each night so I can hit a consistent 7-8 hours of sleep

Workout every day (except Sundays)

 

Best Wishes,

Ace

 

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Keep going mate

Good that you analyze the reasons for the relapse. You will probably change your strategy many times again. For me it always worked better when I tried to change everything at once, since all the things are connected. eg watching video keeps me away from studying. This is why I cant study and watch videos at the same time. To actually have the motivation to study first I need to stop the vids otherwise I cant. You basically have to go to the main-problem which causes all the other problems. 

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