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Day 13.5: 5 Not So Easy Pieces

There's not a lot of gaming mentions in this post.  Why?  Because I'm doing something else besides gaming.  But the cravings are high- 

Friday and the weekend are hard, like smoking after meals.  

It's a lot of time to fill.  Flashbacks and urges.  

My progress might be small to some, large to others, hard or easy - but they are mine - I claim them like a shouting televangelist.  "CLAIM!"


Two weeks ago, Saturday morning meant sleeping in, early gaming, noon gaming, netflix, later gaming, and eating, eating eating.

ONE: Got up before 8 am and hit the gym across town.  BOOM - PR (since returning to training), 2 pretty good miles.  

Had to make myself stop.  Don't want runner's knee or an enthusiasm injury.

TWO: Helped a friend, she said she was inspired, that I was her "cool friend who went to the gym in the morning."

Awesome sauce.  Social time at a restaurant.

The healthy stuff looked expensive, I got a burrito.  Oh, no- but wait!

I asked for a box and split that $h@T right away.

THREE: No bellyache, no guilt, no being the pig at the table.  

FOUR: Got cleaned up (this isn't trivial, some of you might know someone who has hygiene lapses), hit some good meditation.

A real barrier to getting back to meditating was that I was trying to make "moments" happen.  Straining too hard.  Breathing too hard.

I made like Elsa and Let It Go.  BOOM.  Zen For the Win.

FIVE: Guitar is harder than I thought it would be, sooner than I thought it would be.

That didn't stop me.  I like my teacher and andyguitar.uk on youtube.  

I made a few chords.  It's cleaner than a week ago, it's a start.  I do 20 minutes.

My ear is getting a little better.  Guitar-sensei said it would be hard.  He was righter than right.


It's only just after noon.  Going to have to develop more hobbies.

I feel like daily cleaning, some minimalizing, spot of reading, some yoga,

Maybe a spot of creative writing?  I'd love to hang with some friends, maybe I could make that happen.


Weight is stable, 12 lbs down, but I know I've been eating a little more, a little less healthy -

It was a week full of "reward" dinners and desserts and luncheons and stuff.  

I held the line like a Roman Centurion.

I can deal with a little hunger.  I can deal with the space and time left from gaming.

Tomorrow is two full weeks.  

I bet Gaben's accountants are shitting bricks.  

Positive postscript: no gaming = time for date night (Trainwreck was a great movie).  Also = does quitting gaming mean I'm an old man or does it finally mean I'm no longer a child?  

END CASUAL JOURNAL -- deep reflections ahead.  Decide whether you can deal with that


I think I can define what being a man means.  Sacrifice isn't for nothing.  It's so I can have something more important.  

If my dad could have given up TV and drinking, he would have been unstoppable.

My gf just asked if I wanted to go shopping and run errands.  

Just like my dad, I complain at that stuff.  It's funny - I think it's a waste of time.

I wasted infinite amounts of time on games, but I can't give her 30 minutes, an hour.


I used to have 3-4 hours in on steam by this time on most weekdays with 6-8 more to come.

I would never characterize it as a waste of time.

I did have a tiny voice that knew it was the wrong move, a bad pattern.

That little voice always got overridden by stronger desires.


In a way, overcoming an addiction like this is like restoring minority protections in the democracy of the mind.

I think that's what enlightenment is - no longer having to shout to resist or engage a behavior

Not the escape from urges, but just no longer being in denial about past, present, future.

Mindfulness helps get cognitive dissonance down.  


Gonna go do some work around the house.  I live here, too. 

Real men vacuum, or at least sack up and pay for a cleaning service.




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My progress might be small to some, large to others, hard or easy - but they are mine - I claim them like a shouting televangelist.  "CLAIM!"

Consistency over time. They all add up! If you haven't read The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, that's a good one. :)

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Day 15: Push and Pull

thx 4 support - I needed it today.

Taoists say that there are 2 illusions- victory and defeat.  

This is important to remember.

Win: yoga felt great, did it at home for first time in a long time .  2 x a week this summer.

loss: haven't meditated in 2 days.  Why?

win: guitar making better noises . Fingers getting smarter.  Ukulele is fun guitar easy mode too.  I sang silly songs and laughed.  This is priceless.

loss: procrastinating final project, paperwork , office cleaning, car cleaning, enrolling , sigh...

win: successful event redemption from last week misfire.  Helped people.  Trained future leaders.  

Loss: behind on email .  Anxious about the future.  Behind on web launch.

loss: played browser games last 2 days.  It's fear of failing and self sabotage.  Not gojng Back tho.

win: good relations with friends family  gf.  More social contacts now.  I like it.

loss: ate poorly last 2 days.  Buffett style is hard .  Happy moments are as dangerous as sad moments.

win: I exercise almost every day and play an instrument every day.  This is awesome.  Leveling up for realz.

all illusions - I'm going to persevere . Finals will be over soon.  This will be a productive summer.  

I'm still getting adjusted to my new life.  No backing up. Severe tire damage .

Pos PS: no gaming = feeling my breath, feeling alive.


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Love yoga. I never regret doing yoga. Whenever you do something you say you are going to do (like yoga for example), make sure you take a minute to tell yourself good job. I find this type of positive reinforcement really helped me do more of it. Celebrate the small wins if you will. :)

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Day 19: Total Relapse of the Heart

Habits are tenuous things.  Discoveries I made:

When I'm bored, tired, and under a lot of stress, that's when I reach for something to pass the time.

With steam and my "good" games gone, I must have played a dozen clicker games over the last week.

I used to write in this forum.

Instead I worked around my blockers and did the browser game thing.

Lost sleep, didn't get much done, got behind, procrastination, bad attitude, r/politics obsession.

Crabby, irritable.  

At least I kept working out and doing my "new" habits.  Guitar, uke, grounding with walks.

Better nutrition, smaller meals.

My face tells the sad story of stress- it's a volcano of active stress syndrome.

It's a final project for class.

It's too many tasks and really, really apparent problems with my time management.

If I can just get to Sunday and finish the project I'll be OK

If I can just get to Tuesday and finish the class I'll be OK

Why am I freaking out?

Afraid of the future, I binge backwards on the past.

I crave change and yet fear it.

I choose to conceive of this moment as pushback on the progress I'm making.

A revolt of the habits and subconscious.  The momentum of many years.

Like my overweight body, a body in (non) motion tends to stay in non-motion.

A body in front of a computer is a dangerous thing.

I remember Jonathan Franzen wrote Freedom by jamming his wi-fi and locking himself in a room 6 hours a day.

I choose the resilient path.

I choose to draw strength from your stories of struggle, relapse, return to the journey.

I am humbled by how delicate behavior is.

I am always surprised at the defeatism of a tired mind. 

Like an angry toddler, it really just needs sleep.

I can feel my face getting hot, breaking out.

I can feel the disease in my bones.

I can feel the tightness in my breathing.

I list my accomplishments, Jessica Jones-style, to relax and focus on the positive:


Humor is my way of releasing the tension I accumulate.

I just went to a dinner party and had everybody in stitches.

I helped someone in crisis.

I am finishing a first year of graduate school.

I've restarted a fitness routine.

I've done 2 guitar lessons and logged hours of practice.

I earned a 4.0 in my first year of grad school and got the honor society.

I won an award for outstanding performance at my job for the second year.

I created a mentorship program for my colleagues.

I expanded my musical tastes.

I did yoga at least once a week for 5 months.

I blew through recruiting targets at my job and helped land a major whale investor with my promo campaigns.

I became confident in my job.  

I talk to managers 10-20 years older than me and make decisions for my unit.

I made the big decision to switch careers and return to school and ... 

It's going great.

I've improved my relationships with my family and friends.

I've nurtured my friends and family to milestones in their lives.

I was brave enough to start a 90 day gaming detox.

I am brave enough to confess my shortcomings and failures.

I am brave enough to get back on the road to wellness.

That's the thing about the double-edged path:

If you fall off, you should get back on.  If you don't pay attention and stay strong, you'll fall off again.

If you are too hard on yourself, you'll never get back on.

Bit of a koan, don't you think?

I am a human.  Relapse is a memory of the past.

I choose the future.  choose life.  choose DIY and Trainspotting.


Positive postscript: no gaming = getting my comedy edge back.



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Day 20: Repurgance


More or less back on the wagon.

Victory: Ran a 5K yesterday.  Haven't done that in 2 years or more.

Victory: Was able to pull away from stupid browser games.

Victory: Back to writing in this forum.  It really helps.  Tried it the other way.  

Victory: Music, guitar, and uke and the gym are getting to be my go-tos for productive procrastination. 


My face breaks out during times of stress - not just a zit, but like rosacea, surface of Io bad.

Vicious cycle: I see my face, feel ugly, then give up on feeling good, then spiral.

 It's great to have healthy distractions.  It's OK to NEED a distraction, that's what healthy, adjusted people do (in moderation).

Hot Hand Fallacy and the Nega-streak:

Hot Hand: you're on a roll.  Dropping shots, nailing threes, getting sh** done.

Hot Hand Fallacy: It will continue.  

Nega-streak: a streak of NOT-wins.  

Nega-streak Fallacy: the losses, lapses, bad habits, poor performances will continue.

I get into the streaky mindset both ways.  It seems to help me maintain positive streaks, but when I miss a day or days, it's hard to reboot.  I gotta get over this.  It's almost superstition.

Didn't mediate yesterday?  Today won't be a good session.  Might as well not.

Didn't meditate 2 days?  It will be terrible.  What's the point?

BOOM: back to square one.

Gotta knock this pseudo-science off.  Life happens.  Mistakes happen.  Time mismanagement happens.

I got a long way to go.  I didn't get here overnight.  There's a reason I'm where I am, and changing is hard or everybody would become their heroes overnight.

I'm gonna be a slow-motion hero.  Not in a single bound.  In a thousand steps.  Not the tall building.  The slow climb.  Not warp speed.  Just a little extra nudge.  

I tutor college students and coached performers.  People believe they have to reach the answer right away.  They either jump to it or it's no good. 

That's a fallacy.  They think I'm thinking fast.  I'm thinking slow and getting that pattern to crystallize.  You don't optimize at first.  

I'm an expert at my old life, I'm a beginner at my new one.Gotta think slow.  

My new goals will be

1 habit re-ignition - restarting after a missed session,

2 time management: writing down goals each day/week.  

3 Victory/gratitude lists: focusing on wins and being thankful for progress and being alive.

4 Fashion and self-care.  Seriously.  Gotta look good to feel good.  How many hours of sleep and showers and teeth brushings and flossings and runs did I skip to do another run, another turn, another level?  Too many.  Cave-trolls don't start as Morlocks, they start as humans.

5 2x/day guitar and meditations.  Even 10-15 min sessions are good.  It's even starting to sound good.

6 Hunger check before eating. Drink water before eating.  Healthy snack check before selecting food.  Chew slowly before swallowing.  Gut check before getting more.  Weight check before work.  No eating before bed.

7 Writing every day.  It's working.  I feel sheepish that I seem to NEED to write here, for some reason it doesn't work as well if it's not public.  

8 Get caught up at work.  Honestly, I'm drowning and it's burning me out.  

Pos PS: no gaming = i've already saved 100 bucks!




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I like how you write in your journal....it is very free-flowing.  Thanks for sharing what's happening with you, and sounds like you're making good progress with the Detox!  :D

Thanks for the feedback, @Dannigan and @Cam Adair. I didn't realize how much I needed the community.  If you weren't here, I'd be back to my old tricks.  Literally the act of writing and sharing here prevents me from gaming.  It's like the last line of defense.  

Day 21: Rocking Out

Got back into meditation - it didn't suck, it was better.  It's unbelievable that I have meditated so many times over so many years, and I still learn from the practice and from others.  

Not forcing it to happen, not trying too hard - those are my new strategies.  

A week ago Sunday I was ready to give up on guitar.  Last night I couldn't stop playing.  Was it messy? Silly? Awesome?  Yes to all.  

Playing "The Roof is on Fire" by the Bloodhound Gang on a 40-yr old crap guitar, with sore fingers, trying to stop laughing, and a puzzled gf was one of the greatest moments of my detox, probably the decade.  

Did yoga today.  I am on fire with that kundalini, ya'll.  If you don't know what that is, it's like the yoga version of chi.  Over 9000.  Except less screaming and planet-destroying, more "it feels really good to be alive."  I feel light, I feel compact (I'm a big guy), I feel like I inhabit my body.  This might be weird for some - a lot of people live "on the outside" of their body and have poor "proprioception," which is the sensitivity to feel internal body states and movement.  

Remember when you had your growth spurt and bumped into stuff all the time?  Proprioception.  Look it up.  Next week I start 2x/week.  I led a practice class years ago.  I wonder if I could do it again, this time with some more training?  Man, I must be addicted to teaching.  It's my dharma.  That's like fate, but it's more like what you're drawn to, what you'd be best it, what you can't help but get into.  


I'm obsessed with leveling up.  With clicking.  I wonder if it's an oral fixation.  I used to smoke, I just needed something to do.  In Zen Buddhism, they call it "Itch-Scratch."  When you are unaware, you feel an itch and scratch without thinking.  Developing mindfulness doesn't end the desire, it just puts a space between the itch and scratch, so you have a choice.  

Hunger. Itch.  Bored. Itch.  Anxious. Itch.  Food! scratch.  Kongregate.com! scratch.  Catastrophic thinking! scratch.

Still itches.  I can deal with itches.  Itches mean you're alive and in a body that can feel and wants to do stuff.

Even though graphics get "better" over time, gaming is really a 2 or even 1-dimensional existence.  Like Cam says, all the progress in the game doesn't get you one inch closer to real-world goals, the lack of which leads to the problem gaming in the first place.  Last week was full of blinking lights and hand cramps and I haven't felt that bad since before I started the detox.  Circling the bowl, I didn't want to fall in.  It was scary, like watching a slo-mo car crash.  Why would I sabotage my detox?  I was clearly happier.  Why?

DEEP BAGGAGE ALERT: My father quit drinking near the end of his life, not forever but for a few months.  He said that he was happier when he was drinking.  That scared me.  Would it be the same for me?  Answer: No!  I'm happier not gaming.  In every way that really matters, I'm better, happier, more connected.  My father was really too old to change.  He drank himself to death.  I'm not going to game away the next few decades and wonder what my life on planet Earth was about.  His passing was like a cosmic kick in the ass for me.  You father is gone, now how are you going to become a man?  I think about that a lot.

Wanna know what's weird?  I am listening to much harder music now.  I mean, I listen to classical guitar for mediation, and I still have chill laid back tunes, but I'm craving more metal and screamo and stuff with force.  It's never really been my thing, but it scratches that itch.  Master of Puppets, pulling the strings!  Master!  DAE metal more?

Been catching up at work.  I realize that I have a hard time saying no to people.  I don't like that about myself, and I try to play it off as necessary, even advantageous, but now I see that I'm defensive at heart.  I think of myself as bold, but I do a lot of apologizing and explaining and rationalizing.  Sigh.  That sucks.

I know I could be in a better job, and when I finish my degree I want to... but I'm so so so so afraid I wont be able to hack it.  DAE Impostor Syndrome?

Yep.  I help people find jobs all the time.  I project confidence, even authority, but I don't really think anyone will take me.

Yep.  Games and leveling help me make up for feeling small, insecure, and underpowered in the real world.

Hit that wall of depression and anxiety and it's like getting nerfed IRL by the devs.

I'm going to make it goal to take my own advice and start looking, actively following up on networking, and filling out apps.

Even though I don't graduate for a year, it's necessary.

Again, thanks for support, thanks for reading.  I'm glad for your stories, glad I'm not alone.  

Pos PS: no gaming = Finally got to use my mad Eddie Vedder impersonation skillz with a real guitar instead of a plastic one.  "Oh what was everythiiiiiiiing"





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Day 22: Micro-Moments

I read your journals and I'm inspired by the innovations you are all making to improve your quality of life from the macro to the micro-moments.

A special food tray, a special time for quiet, a special meal, special time with someone, moments of achievement, and even in adversity, moments of honesty and learning.

@Cam Adair started by saying "no" to problem gaming, and that leads people to this really powerful "yes!" in so many areas.

Every time I heard someone criticize a gamer or a spouse or SO talk about their partner gaming all the time, or needing to put those "childish things" away, I was angry.  I defended them.  I was in denial.  Acknowledging their problem would mean acknowledging my own.  Would a life without gaming even be worth living?


Flannery O'Connor, celebrated American author, gave some advice to her fellow writers:

If you get stuck, sometimes the only way out is to get rid of something you think you can't live without.

She was talking about characters, plot points, chapters, sequences... but isn't that real life, too?

Comedy was something I thought I could never do.  Then it was something I couldn't quit.  

Gaming was the same.  There is a life after gaming.  There is a life under the gaming.  

It's really awesome to see what fills the space freed up by the detox.  Like the X-men, once it's awakened, it's hard to go back.


Today is a mixture of cravings and victories, finishing things and starting others.  Part of me is a peace and part is really upset.

I feel like I can deal with this.

I fought all weekend through procrastination on my last project, and then this morning, it's like a fever broke, and I knocked out a presentation in record time, no sweat, no fuss.

Grinding on a game always feels the same.

Life is a different kind of game.  It's fast and then slow, it's good people and A-holes and sometimes it's the same person.  It's too much and too little.

Games are always talked about as exotic, wild, experiences.  But life is really wild.  It's actually got new content - all the time

The DLC is free, usually, and there's tons of add-ons.  

My brother started crafting a family.  A friend is building a real house, by hand.  Another walked the Pacific Coast Trail.  

These are real.


I made an appointment to register for the next semester - I had been putting it off.

I talked to my gf about my job search fears, about my fears of leaving the state - I had been putting it off.

I made myself close the door and meditate at work.  By the old gods and the new, it was much harder than at home.  But I finished.

I made myself run a recovery mile at the gym.  On tired legs, it felt like a 45 degree hike.  But I finished.

I made myself say no to a business manager.  It's scary, hope there won't be blowback.  Gods, I am a churchmouse.


Do you people have advice about old friends who are holding you back?  

I've got a friend who's always knocking me - he passes it off as teasing, tough love, whatever.  He only talks about his stuff and never wants to hear my stuff. 

He's never been happy for me, or anything I've done.  Everything is always a bad idea, all of my other friends suck.

Huh, now that i write it out, it's actually worse than it sounds.

He sucks up a lot of my time, and honestly, I have been relationships with my coworkers of 6 months than him.

I talk to people for a living, and I can't even start, participate, or complete a conversation with him.

VERDICT: I'm going to write him an email - in person would be impossible.  

Pos PS: no gaming = time for quiet and calm



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Life is a different kind of game.  It's fast and then slow, it's good people and A-holes and sometimes it's the same person.  It's too much and too little.

Awesome. You write well. I will follow your thread now :P.


 Regarding old friends holding you back. Well, if they aren't adding to your life, or if they are negatively affecting you, you're totally justified in cutting them out. You could just start by not prioritizing them and instead choosing to spend time with others who add value to you. Or, if it's a serious problem, like you said, you can just write him an email and tell him that you can't be friends anymore. Difficult, but it's a step that will for sure leave you better off. Time you spent with him can now be put towards something more enriching for you.

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Day 23: Best Man

I was asked by a friend I don't see enough to be the best man at his wedding.  We reconnected as a result of my quitting gaming - and have spent good time together online and last night, in person.

I've never been asked to be a best man for anyone outside family, this is YUUUGE!

Also, it's in a foreign country, so I'll need a passport, some cojones, and to brush up on my portugues!  This will be my first time outside the US!

My gf just told me that my secret b-day gift was a passport.  Wow.  Scared, excited. Very adventure.  So much international.  

I always wondered who the people were that got to go to destination weddings, who were so connected that they shared big life moments with others from all eras in their lives.

They are me, now.  People who make other people a priority.  

This is awesome.  


I'm watching my best friend graduate this week from college.  I've helped him along the whole way.  We've got a whole weekend of celebrations planned - Indoor skydiving and other cool stuff.  He wants to go to an adult arcade - but that's ok, it's a party, not me in a room grinding at 3 am.  I'll be player 2, not just FOREVER ALONE PLAYER ONE.

If I was gaming I wouldn't have made it a big deal.  I would have waited for him to invite me.  Instead, I'm planning events.

This is a big step for me.


I followed through and sent a "real talk" email to my legacy toxic friend.  I talked it through with my therapist.  It was hard for me to reach the point where I can say "I deserve good friends who support me."  

Maybe my friend can change.  Maybe not.  Either way, I'm moving forward, and I've discovered that there are new friends to be made and acquaintances that deserve to be good friends.


I'm graduating to a new therapist.  The last 4 months started with a devastating hit to my confidence, and I got help and then kept going.  I turned tragedy into triumph.  

My new doc and I are going to work on laying the groundwork for my next job after graduate school, the next step.

We're going to work on time management and some of the other bad habits I picked up when I was young:

It's hard to get motivated to do domestic chores.  I don't ever feel a part of my home.  Guitar yes, dishes - no.  I want this to change.

I want to spend more time outside and learn how to do outdoors stuff like hiking and camping and hunting.  It's like metal, I'm craving forceful activity.  

I'm going to do research on whether I should work or start a Ph.D program.

I'm going to face my fears of leaving my town and state for a career.

I want to clean out every space in my life, reduce mess, stress, get and stay organized.  Minimalist, if needed.  Gotta fight hoarding tendencies.

I'm afraid I won't be a good leader at work

I guess I'm also afraid that I won't be good enough, even after all the changes I'm making.

I know objectively that's true, but I fight these feelings consciously and unconsciously.


Desire to game: zero-low

Desire to exercise: high

Work productivity: moderate

Number of big projects due: high

Said no to authority figure: TRUE


Pos PS: no gaming = having a friend say "I love you" and mean it.  feelsgoodman.jpg



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Day 25: I Can't Count

It's actually day 25.  Started 3 Sundays ago.  I can't count.  I sometimes write at random times and forget to hit send.  So wonkiness in the numbering.

Issue: I think carefully before sharing my gaming story with people.  Sometimes they are supportive.  Sometimes they are dismissive.  Sometimes they are threatened.  Sometimes they confess their own addiction.  Sometimes they confess and then try to tempt me.

Crabs in a bucket?

Had strong urge to game tonight.  Sometimes the good times and boredom and a buzz bring it on, like old nicotine cravings.

Excited to have events going on this weekend.

Going indoor skydiving and then a sensory dep tank experience.  Who is this guy that I have become.  FUN!

I went back on facebook - not to waste time, but to reconnect.  Shouted out to cool people I miss.  Looked for places to hang.

Gonna try the local board game scene.  Meditation scene.  Skeptics scene.  

I've discovered a dive bar and I had a convo with a crazy homeless person.  Srly.  Charles Manson eyes.


Discovered that lots o peeps wanna friend me - but I don't know if I should - some are from work, some are clients.  

Do I want people knowing about me more than I'm willing to share?

I guess I set some privacy filters?

I don't know how to Social with Limits.


Lost my phone.  Panic!  Maybe I should do a phone detox.  I'm craving more quiet time.

Been having "sudden meditation moments" throughout the day.  Every now and then the world kind of gets quiet and I'm feeling it all and being alive.  

For the zen guys, that's satori, the 2-fold experience.  On the one hand, I'm stressed at work.  On the other, at the same time, in the same moment, the world is beautiful and full of life and energy.  

Yes to more of this.


NEW RULES (Like goals, and then some)

Spend time each week hunting / browsing for activities

Write down the results of rule 1

Spend time reconnecting with people

Reconnect with myself

Maybe buy some board games for parties?

Take walks or bike rides.

I like alone time and focused time with friends.  

I want some unstructured social time - meetups?  Fun runs?  

My car needs maintenance.  Time to bite the bullet.


I have a growing list of procrastinations - I should write down this list and make it my Most Wanted list.  Bounties, even?

I used to draw a little.  I loved it.  Lessons?

Food.  How can I moderate?  I love it so.  No cold turkey quitting for food.  How?


I have been thinking of tutoring for money.  Skype?  I live in a college town.  Do I need the money or the time more?


Rock stars, the lot of you.  Positive postscript: no gaming = I spent that money on indoor skydiving.  That's levitation, holmes!





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Dammit - just lost a whole post.  Meditation on failure and chrome extensions.  Discuss

I will just sometimes ctrl+a ctrl+c my post once it starts getting to a certain length, just in case. There are also extensions that will do auto form capture to avoid this problem, too.

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Day 26: Catastrophe

I have been feeling a little ill for a few days.  Maybe food?  It persisted - indigestion?  Stress?  Prolonged hangover?

Incredible pain in my back.  Thought it could wait.  Then it hurt some more.  

2 hours of missing my friend's commencement ceremony at the urgent care later...

Diagnosed with a major problem.  Untreated too long.  Major implications.

Infection.  Possible surgery.  Change in ability to move.  Difficult to treat.

A recurrence of something I had before.  Worse this time.

Life has suddenly become a nightmare.

Fighting with girlfriend.

Crying alone.

Uncertainty except the certainty of pain and loss.

This is heavy.  World-changing.  

What will happen to my job?  Fitness? Relationship? School?

Last times this happened (less major), each time I lost my girl and my mind.

Dear Readers, this is bad.

This is very bad.


Monday will see my GP and get referral.  Waiting.  Getting prodded.  Poked. Noises of disapproval.  Getting judged.

Arguing about surgery that will take months if not a year to heal.  No lifting, no yoga, no running, no biking. Barely sitting and walking.

This is bad, dear readers.  This is bad.


Part of this is genetics.  Part bad luck.  Part my fault.

A secret shame.  An ongoing, low-level problem that flares with stress and leaves me vulnerable.

If you read my other journals, you know my childhood was not typical.

Not receiving care for chronic conditions was typical for me as a kid.

I only saw the dentist twice before 15.  

Problems got brushed aside and got worse until it was un-ignorable.

That means now I'm screwed up.  I re-created those conditions and now life will be hell for a long, long time.


I was making progress.  This feels like an "own" goal and a massive cosmic smackdown.

Disasterpiece Theatre.

I don't know if I can hold it together.

I don't know if strumming a silly ukulele is going to cut it.

The look on the doctor's face- she was scared.  I swear she said "OMG."


This is bad, dear Readers.  

This is very bad.


There is no positive postscript.  








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Seems like disaster struck at you. I am sorry to hear this.

Talk with your girlfriend about your fears. Tell her why you scared. The people closest to you are the ones you have to share this with even if it is hard and I am sure many of them are happy to support you through this dark times. I hope everything goes as well as possible!

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I am very sorry to hear about your catastrophe, it certainly sounds life changing.

Life is all about choices, and our own choices heavily influence where we end up in life. I think one of the best choices you can make right now is to not worry about what you can't change; block regret, anxiety and frustration from those things you cannot change. Rather, channel that energy into doing the best with the cards you've been dealt, namely focusing on the things that you can change. Your family and the people closest to you are the ones you can count on the most to help you through these tough times, so make sure they're aware of this so that they can help you make the most of your time recovering from your diagnosed problem.

In the very least, we're here for you, so if you want advice on something in particular, just ask. :)

Here's a photo I took some 3 weeks ago, and here's an inspirational line I thought of to go with it: "Our lives are a reflection of the choices we've made. The reflection is all the more amazing when you build your bridge over your pool of troubles." I hope that will be of aid or inspiration to you, and I wish the best for getting through your newly found troubles. 


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@WorkInProgress, @AlexTheGrape - thank you for the words and images and support.

Day 27: The Morning After...

Slept fitfully.  Have to sleep on my stomach now.  So many emotions.  Some symptom relief.  If you know me, you know I'm always hungry.  Sickness is the only time I don't eat.  Gf prepped healthy veggie burritos.  Soy chorizo is the bomb.

Listened to music not just as background.  A desperate need to escape, to cope, to distract.  Goes without saying, gaming urges through the roof.  

Other urges, too.  Not very buddha-like, snapping at my girlfriend, number one in my support network.

This thing I have gives me a reason to type this using my standing desk.  Lots of standing in future.

Moving slowly.  Like a wounded animal, waiting for the killing blow.

I feel ... cursed.  

What a terrible night to have a curse.


This feeling is so much more than a feeling.  From a young age, this doom hung over me.  At the age of 8, I told my mother: "I feel destined to feil."  

That's what you sound like when you give a literate kid books about Revelations and the apocalypse and you push it as fact.

They say Jesus saves.  Games save.  They don't wash away your progress.  They were a foothold.  

Supposed to be running a 5K right now.  Celebrating my fitness and the end of a 4.0 year in graduate school.

Now, defeat.  Temporary?  Permanent?  Who can say?


Entering damage control mode.  Doing the treatments is gross, I do it inexpertly, but I do them.  

Feels like Sandra Bullock after the station explodes in Gravity.  Weightless.  Doomed.  Waiting for the oxygen to run out...

But wait...

What can I still do?

Breathe.  Feel.  Meditate.  Walk.  Perhaps lift, gently.  

Type, praise the gods.  

If these activities are crutches, then gaming and food and self-destruction seem like a glowing suit of power armor in the wilderness.

It's a TRAP!


I have made a terrible mistake.

Four months of therapy, I never mentioned this to my therapist.  We went deep, made big progress, in-session and IRL.

We went places I hadn't been, made the crucial connections.

We didn't talk about my secret, nagging, growing, recurring problem.

Chronic illness has no meaning, other than:

There is no justice.

People suffer, babies are born half-formed, children are turned into soldiers.  The ground is fracked and the world slowly boils.

A frothing stew of haves and have-nots.  The healthy and the un.  The attractive and the un.  The well and the un.

How many categories of unlucky can one fall into?

I stand at the center of a Venn Diagram of Destiny.

White, cisgendered male in a first world country.

And so, so many flaws in my DNA, my coping, my rearing, my decisions.


When I believed, I believed that the world was benevolent.

Later, it was what you make of it.  It was benign.

Now, is it malevolent?  Is it cruel?  Or am I merely incompetent at existing?


My next therapist appointment is in 3 weeks.  Going to move that up, obviously.  Oh, the hubris!

I actually thought I was getting somewhere

...all I know ...

... so unreal....

... in the eeeennnnnd....


Always been one for dark humor.  Don't freak out, guys.  Don't freak out, me.

This is just a dipstick in the maelstrom.

There are positive currents, maybe even wise ones:

At least it could be resolved.

At least it's out in the open.

At least I have health insurance.

This was always there, but now I can address it.

I always lived with this defect.  Acknowledging and treating is better than ignoring.

This speaks to deeper issues, deeper in-grained strategies.


I ignore problems until they get big.

I make small problems into big problems.

Crisis to crisis living

Always something hanging over my head.

No wonder it's so hard for me to have peace, to concentrate, to sleep well.

So many monkeys on my back.  Tiny, infectious, devouring monkeys inside me, even.


Spend so much time waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Like a jackboot on my neck.

Shoe dropped.

Still alive.  I'm still alive.

Shame is at the root of so much of me.  Can I forgive this in myself?

It is wrong to feel like I deserve this situation.

It is still a feeling.  Like Donald Drumpf, the truth is not as important as feelings.


In the interests of ego-journalism, I take a bold stance.


Local guy gets sick, it can be treated.  Friends wish him well.

Recurring issue recurs.  Life goes on.

Guy changing his life presented with an opportunity to deal with long-standing physical and mental problems.

Newsflash: Physical and Mental and Spiritual health linked - gotta catch 'em all.

I'm at an inflection point.  A sentinel event.  Can either go up or down.  Things have to change.  I know what passive looks like.

I choose another way.


Positive PS: didn't game my way into a coma last night, or today.  



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