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MmmWatermelon

Watermelon's Second Attempt at the 90 Day Detox

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Day 60

I saw my therapist this morning, which was good since I missed last week due to sleeping in...=D I don't know if seeing her is all that transformational given that it's only once a week but I do some journaling about it in between sessions and I guess it gets me thinking about some stuff; either way, it can't hurt and insurance pays for it; maybe it isn't exactly what I was expecting but is / could be helpful in some ways I don't see or expect at the moment.

I signed up to work for DoorDash an app-based company that has drivers delivering food from restaurants to people's homes. Today I picked up a bit of gear from the local office then worked maybe around four hours or so; the money wasn't great but it's better than nothing and I will give it a couple of shots to see what the average ends up being, while still looking into other work options. I've also learned of one awesome restaurant I'd like to check out sometime : ) I just went to the pool for a couple of minutes to decompress after a few hours of driving and I'm also looking forward to doing a yoga nidra meditation before bed.

2/3 through the detox, *pats own back*.

Grateful for:

- water, ice water, and whipped cream (not necessarily combined...)

- floating in water, can be so relaxing

- having options

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Day 68

So I kinda have been having a relapse for the last few days. It started out with playing a lot of online chess then turned into watching let's plays and then playing some browser games for the last two and a half days. I really feel shitty about this but I think I'd better fess up and not drag this on. I think my attitude when I started was "oh just a quick browser game, this 'barely' counts...I'm doing so well and I haven't played games in two months so this shouldn't feel like a big deal." Two days later I'm just feeling worse and worse about it and realizing this is how every relapse starts; anyway, I guess I've just been feeling overwhelmed...I went to the chiropractor a few days ago and even after that I was feeling a lot of neck pain for the whole rest of the day; this just makes me feel very depressed. also, my family situation isn't very good; with my parents impending divorce there is a lot of tension in the house and I absolutely hate being here; theoretically I am moving at the end of the month but I'm also really scared about that. I could theoretically go camping for a few days to not be here but I don't know if my body feels up for it; it just started feeling difficult focusing on things like working and meeting new people while I don't know how to deal with my difficult feelings about my health and living situation. Just ye old spiral of self pity, worry, anger, and uhh whatever else is there in the mix. It's weird...in any situation like this it feels like a part of me still knows there's gotta be at least one good course of action that will help me navigate this to the best of my abilities and give me the greatest possible amount of happiness and ease, but I wonder what stops me from at least trying? Nothing but myself I guess. It feels good to at least acknowledge these feelings in writing; feels like there's a very heavy stone in my chest right now and I don't know how to ease the weight...

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I hear you brother. When life gets tough, we all seek ways to escape. After a rough day at work, I start having thoughts like, "what's the big deal with playing my favorite mmo for an hour?". Its such a slippery slope. Despite all the knowledge we have, making rational decides rarely comes easy in times of stress. But fear not! This is why you maintain relationships with family and friends. We are your support network, and you should not be afraid of relying on us! Remember that you have people in your life that would be happy to give you some of their time, and often enough, just having a sounding board for your own thoughts can get you moving in the right direction. You are not alone. Allow yourself to seek help when you need it. You deserve it. 

Sending positive vibes your way. ~~~~~~~~~~

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Day 70

Thanks Alex and Cam, I appreciate the good vibes : ) I've been doing a lot better over the weekend; I guess one thing I have learned from the short relapse is how quickly I can go to feeling like everything is a big pile of "ugh" to also quickly feeling somewhat on top of things...I decided this was a good opportunity to practice not having an all or nothing approach to things, which is often a downfall for me. Not everything goes your way in life, whether the big or small things, but trying to have a positive attitude is the best way to both be able to appreciate when things do and also deal with things not working out in the best way you'd like them to. I've been becoming more committed to doing daily yoga over the last few days and have had some nice sessions, especially last night (and I'm feeling up for a nice practice before bed tonight after I write this :). I've also been working a lot doing food deliveries the last few days, which has been somewhat lucrative, I've been getting consistently good tips which I'm very grateful for. I've set an approximate day \ week for which I'm moving up to the Bay with K, basically before the end of the month so I can be up there for Halloween with her =) I'm trying to save as much money as I can before that so I feel a little less stressed about that. This DoorDash gig feels amazingly similar to doing RPG quests haha...you pick up food from a wide variety of restaurants and deliver it within a couple of miles, then get coins in return ;)

One thing I'm looking forward to this week is seeing a friend who I saw at the wedding the other night who's band is playing a show in LA Thursday night and seeing some other college friends who are around there to see them also.

Grateful for:

- yoga

- seeing an amazing sunset tonight over Catalina Island tonight; the whole sky was a huge gradient of orange and pink with very bright streaky clouds dotting the sky

- eating a really good dish of beans with corn, onions, and other veggies today for lunch and dinner.

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Day 71

I'll be brief since it's late! Today was a really good day: woke up around 7am and did a 10min Headspace meditation, some sun salutations on my yoga mat, and went for an hour or so walk before breakfast. I then saw my therapist in the late morning which was really helpful, she had a lot of insight into how to think about relapsing (basically what Cam says: don't waste the time, learn a lesson from it); she was very compassionate but also challenged me to gain insight into how to think about this in a helpful way. I'm going to do my best to not be self critical and beat myself up over this; it wouldn't make any sense or help anyone considering it's over and done with, and it doesn't have anything to do with what I did today, which was a day when I felt like I did productive and helpful things for myself and others. Human, not perfect, end of story :) At lunch I cooked a yummy lentil dish with Indian spices and coconut milk after stopping at Whole Foods on the way home, then I worked for a while doing deliveries in the afternoon; had a Skype chat with fellow GameQuitters Alex later on then worked more late into the evening until about 11pm. Working can be a little stressful, or rather it's easy to become a bit tense in the upper back and shoulders especially from sitting in the car for a while. Today I took my harmonica along and practiced a bit in the car while I was waiting a few minutes between orders, which was a nice touch. Going to do a yoga nidra relaxation before bed, good night y'all.

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Day 72

Pretty good day today...I woke up rather late after sleeping all morning because I was just so tired from yesterday; one of the things that feels challenging is establishing a consistent morning wakeup time and routine; I feel like I am yo-yoing a lot back and forth between getting up early and sleeping in quite a bit. I am not sure if I need a different strategy other than getting up early one day, doing what feels like a good morning routine, because I might end up feeling too tired the next day from not sleeping enough. Perhaps easing into it and waking up at 8 every day would be better than getting up at 6 some days and sleeping in on others. I would also need to be more consistent with my bedtime. Anyway, I mostly feel good that I have been getting better sleep at night, it feels like my approach has been kind of like a bouncing ball, bouncing closer and closer to the earth but not quite settling into a groove; I'm definitely getting WAY better sleep than I was months ago and able to fall asleep consistently at night even if I end up pretty tired and needing to sleep a lot sometimes, and I'm grateful for that. Getting up early and getting things done just feels good sometimes so I'm thinking about how to be able to do that on a consistent basis. I think the challenging part is going to bed earlier than I have been. That seems like a much harder habit to change than getting up early now and then. On the topic of a morning routine, I also think I need to ease off on some things if I want to do things consistently. I enjoy getting up, meditating, stretching, going for a walk, and maybe cooking breakfast, but I think sometimes my walks are too long and tire me out. Maybe more productive is to just have a short 10-15 minute walk I can do every day easily instead of a 3 mile hike I do a few times a week. Anyway, just something to try, thinking out loud here : ) I will maybe try this the rest of the week and setting my alarm to 7:30-8.

Today I had to do a bunch of things around the house, phonecalls to insurance and work things which was often a bit frustrating and tiring. Also cooked a frittata in the morning. I went to the beach in the afternoon and relaxed and had a very relaxing meal of lentils from yesterday with tea in the evening then I went to work doing deliveries until quite late around 11pm. Overall pretty productive day.

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Day 75

Let's see, it's been a few days since I've posted a journal entry; things have been going along pretty well. I had a bit of a rest day from work on Wednesday and went dancing in the evening to my regular place. There was a lot of silliness and people dancing together, which was nice. Thursday I got a massage with the girl I've been seeing a few times for that now; it was really relaxing for a while and I had a lot of fun talking with her during the massage: about music, her plans to have kids with her husband, math, learning massage and different techniques, me moving, the wedding I went to recently We laughed a lot and it was quite a unique experience, I've never had such a great conversation while getting a relaxing massage, I credit her for making me feel relaxed and comfortable on the massage table : ) That evening I had a trafficky drive up to Los Angeles to see some people I knew in college play a show with the band they are starting to tour with. I also met up with another college friend and stayed at her house overnight. I was honestly pretty tired going up and felt a bit like I was just making myself going to be social and because I had made the plans, but I ended up having a pretty good time even if feeling a bit like I had to "act up" socially. By "act up" I mean that I feel like I feel more connected to the people I was hanging out with more by the fact that we have a lot of mutual connections and friends, but maybe don't feel like we know each other on an individual basis quite that well, and haven't seen each other in a few years. One part I really enjoyed was listening to the drummer who used to play in a different band during my college days and I always really enjoyed their shows at my colleges co-ops, very funky music that was fun to dance to; pleasant memories. I was pretty impressed by my friends' musical abilities, they were even better than I expected them to be and are treating their musical undertakings pretty seriously for a few years now. One interesting thing that happened was that I went to my friend's house where I stayed the night and we were talking one-on-one about a bunch of different things, and the opening came up at some point to talk about being addicted to gaming over the years and having a few different occasions of binging. I didn't really go into too much detail or really fully express how much it has affected me but she appreciated me sharing with her and took it as an opening to share something vulnerable about her own experience. After that we had a very open and connected conversation during which I learned a bunch about what she has been up to with her life for the last few years while falling asleep. While it felt nice to share this about gaming with yet another friend, it also left me with a lot of ambiguities and feelings in the aftermath, including doubts about whether it was a good idea to share this (sort of feeling afraid that she might think about it later and change her opinion of me or something of that sort), maybe possibly that we might need to know each other better for me to share this, confusion about our mutual admiration of each other in some regards that exists (there are some things she's done and some ways of her being that I genuinely admire; I think sometimes people, including her, tell me that they admire a certain quality about me, but I have a tendency to sort of dismiss it and tell myself that they simply don't know or see the extent of my "dark side" and that they wouldn't love me for my full self if they knew me better. Or something like that...is that just because I don't fully accept and love certain parts of myself? And if so, how do I love myself fully (as if there's a formula for that : ). Anyway, these are just psycho-babble thoughts going through my head I suppose. I suppose what I need to notice here is that it's difficult for me to receive a compliment like that and feel deserving of it. This morning my friend and I biked a bit in her neighborhood in LA to go get some breakfast, then I drove back home and worked a little bit, making some decent money in a short amount of time due to getting some larger food orders and hence tips. I was feeling very exhausted and drained so I called it a day pretty early and went home. I barely had the energy to cook myself some soba noodles with veggies and then I watched some documentaries and started rewatching an Ingmar Bergman movie I haven't seen in many years to relax. I was thinking of seeing my friends' band play another show further down the coast tomorrow night but I have been driving a lot for work and after driving to LA and back and I am really disinclined to do another long drive down to San Diego. I was going to hang out with another college friend down in San Diego but I guess I will call her tomorrow and feel it out depending on my energy levels too. I also made a phone call to my computer clients today and I have a bit more work lined up for the next little while. Even though I told myself I didn't want to work for them anymore, the driving job can be exhausting, a little variety may be welcome, and now that I've had a bit of a break from computer stuff maybe I can go back into it with a bit more energy. Really haven't been doing any sort of morning routine the last two days because of being out of town this morning and nearly missing an early appointment the previous day after sleeping through an alarm and then rushing out the door.

I'd like to try to push myself a bit in a few areas. One is having a morning routine of a short meditation, a short walk, and maybe a bit of extra time to be slow like have tea and \ or cook breakfast. It's really nice not rushing towards something as soon as I wake up and creating a bit of a feeling of space in the mornings. I'll put extra effort into making this happen each day but I'm also not going to be too hardcore, maybe I'll have a period of 21 days where I just keep track of how easily this comes, how I think it's affecting me etc. I will also try to avoid eating poor quality foods (refined sugar is my #1 thing to avoid probably...refined grains are also up there). I've been doing a good job with this during this week since I've been also cooking a lot so I will try to carry this momentum forward and keep cooking \ eating healthy. The third good habit I keep needing to work on is going to sleep at a relatively earlier time at night. So anyway, I will just try to keep track of these three areas of self-care for the next 3 weeks or so and see what I can do to improve in these areas.

Good night and best to you all on your journeys! Thanks for reading if you actually do <3 !

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Day 76

Today I went to the chiropractor in the early morning; quite a bit of tension in my body it seems and my mind feeling unfocused; had a nice chat for a while with the secretary on my way out. I didn't give myself enough time to meditate and go for a stroll in the morning because it just felt too delicious to snooze...will keep count of how many days I'll be able to have the discipline to get up in time for that. In terms of eating healthy I did pretty well...I went to the farmer's market after the chiropractor and got some veggies, cooked some stir fried veggies and eggs in a sort of kale sauce I made up (could be better with spinach I think). Then I worked pretty much all afternoon and evening until 10pm or so and made some pretty decent money delivering food. Got pretty stressed out in the late afternoon because of some confusing orders but things became mellower after I took a break \ got some food (got a burger at this place that looked good I saw last week, I haven't had a burger in like two months because I eat at home so much I guess, it was quite good, I guess I'm keeping track of the fact that I had some refined flour there; I've been really craving a Boulder Rising Sun Tavern-like burger of good quality beef and blue cheese), and traffic died down in the evening. This job's starting to feel a bit exhausting. Once I got home I felt the need to just sit down at the computer and browse random shit, I guess it's a way to relax, kind of a habit, though also causing me to go to bed an hour and a half later than I might have otherwise. I'm noticing how difficult this habit is to break; I think the problem is I feel like I lose my sense of perspective when I have a long stressful day, next time I will just try to come home and go straight into doing some relaxing yoga, perhaps that would help me regain some mental clarity.

Erm so:

Morning meditation \ brief walk: 0 / 1

Avoiding sugar \ refined flour: 0 / 1

Early bed (before 11pm): 0 / 1

Something to work on : )

Grateful for:

- when people I interact with for my job are helpful \ sympathetic \ funny \ grateful

- listening to Edward Abbey stories I converted from audio to Youtube; especially "In Defense of the Redneck," hilarious...

- feeling like I have more of a energy "battery" than I did a couple of months ago.

- spending lots more time outside of my house one way or another

Edited by MmmWatermelon

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Day 87

Feels like it's been a while since I've checked in on the forum, even though I've read a few posts here and there. It's been feeling a bit like a rollercoaster for the last week and a half or so. I'm having a hard time in the last part of the detox and as I'm getting ready to move up to the Bay in northern California. I guess I've been relapsing a bunch in the past week with a new card game similar to Hearthstone as well as online chess. I'm feeling a lot of fear and nervousness about moving I suppose and this is what's been leading me to relapse. Then relapsing itself has led me to feel kind of shitty for not setting myself up in the best possible way for this transitional time. Anyway, I've been trying to do some things here and there to mitigate this, last few days I have been meditating and it has been somewhat helpful I guess though I am still feeling pretty stressed overall. I spent two or three nights playing through the night and this somewhat messed up my sleep schedule for the past week so I ended up missing a few things like a going away party for my friend who works at my chiropractor's office (she's also moving away in a week or two and I felt bummed that I missed this event, but I made her a painting to show her my gratitude for the support I feel like I've received from her lately). I also missed my last opportunity to go to the last weekly dance tonight because I was so tired I took a nap in the late afternoon and slept for several hours. Anyway, that's ok I suppose, besides not having the chance to say goodbye to the group, I have been enjoying it enough and I know I can find dance groups where I will be up north...I think I'm just feeling scared of leaving what has been familiar, the good and the bad. I feel like I've been getting a lot of love, support, and encouragement from K as I'm getting ready to leave and join her, but I am feeling kinda crappy about myself and worried if I can really be fully present with her and these new possibilities; I feel really stuck in this story of myself as addicted to gaming and not good enough, especially because of recent relapses, and just worried about being able to properly take care of myself.

Anyway, this is nearing the end of the 90 days...I went for two months solidly without playing games, looking at let's plays or really at any content...even though I know life felt really challenging I am definitely better off now than I was at the start and that's the important thing to keep in perspective. I hope I can use this move as an opportunity to encourage good behaviors and habits and keep climbing. I think I will try yet again to go for a full 90 days this time without any of this crap...

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DAy 90? Day 90? Day 90????

YAS! So I have reached the original 90 days, although with two short relapses near the end so it hasn't been a continuous 90 days. Despite that, I feel likel the 90 days has gone really, really well overall and I'm in a much better place where I was when I started. This last Friday I just drove up to the Bay to live with my friend / partner K. for at least the month of November. Our relationship always seems to exist in some sort of nebulous state of definition which seems to work the best for us? : ) So far I've had a few decompressive days here and really jumping into a whole new experience. Not being around my parents' place and the whole negativity that has gone along with that feels like the removal of a huge and important obstacle, and I am also challenged by not having that as an excuse anymore. I've already been spending a lot of time in social situations just from being here for three full days now; Saturday night after arriving there was a Halloween party in the neighborhood and I dressed up with some things from K's costume trunk; I felt somewhat awkward at this party honestly and I didn't drink more than a mouthful of wine. I like the philosophy of practicing letting myself go and having fun without the aid of alcohol : ) I danced some but I didn't get into the swing of dancing as well as at other times, I just felt like the music and loudness wasn't much my thing. My favorite part of the party was hanging out on a more quiet floor up in the attic with K and a handful of other people playing twister and jenga. K and I also walked home in the dark for a couple of miles which was really nice; it was a still night and we could hear a pair of great horned owls for a good part of our walk, while looking at the Pleiades and Orion constellations through patches in the fog. Beautiful to be in the open spaces and hills of the Bay again, I have missed this. We've been cooking a lot the last few days, especially breakfast, making shakshouka and this morning bagels full with mushroom, spinach, cheese, egg and other toppings. The morning before the party we also made a brunch when about 8 or 10 people from around the neighborhood and visiting friends came over to eat corn pancakes loaded with lotsa yummy things. On Sunday I spent a bit of time working and in the evening K and I went over to Berkeley in the East Bay to eat curries with an old college friend of ours who just started graduate school, and later on in the evening we went to a haunted house because K is really big into Halloween stuff; this kinda pushed my comfort zone honestly but it was fun in its own way haha. Today I had more time with myself since K was working until the afternoon, so after I woke up early and we had breakfast together I went on a long hike through the Marin Headlands. There was a lot of beauty to appreciate in the early part of this foggy day. The grass astride the trail ruts was laden with heavy globs of dew. It looked white like it was frosted but it was just dew in liquid form. There is a shrub called coyote brush that is very representative of the vegetation here that is flowering right now. The vivid green leaves of the coyote brush combined with their white flowers and the grayish green Spanish "moss" lichen that wraps around many of their trunks created a very simple but satisfying backdrop for these hills, only punctuated occasionally by bright red toyon berries in full fruit. I also saw a flicker flying away from me and four banana slugs creeping along the wet ground. In the afternoon I worked and did some computer stuff for a few hours then watched Hocus Pocus while doing crafts with K and her two roommates (I did some coloring). In the evening K had plans to go to a birthday party so I went to over to a friend's house in the neighborhood with K's roommate to make and eat hummus and pita. It was delicious and there was a lot of good conversation; I really enjoy the company of K's roommate a lot of the time, she is a very insightful, thoughtful person who if I were to describe in a few words, is good at being herself.

Grateful for:

- Living somewhere where it's easy to have a lot of contact with nice and interesting people (everyone in this neighborhood works for a few nature education organizations, so it's a pretty tight community basically)

- eating healthy and having someone to cook with every day

- cuddles and kisses at the end of the day

- being in a place where I love the nature and I'm excited to explore and hunt mushrooms during the winter

- having low expenses; the housing here is mostly paid by K's work

- new connections and friends

- meeting somebody who makes woodcuts, maybe I'll get a chance to learn a thing or two from this person while I'm here...

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Day 94

It's been a really nice couple of days for the most part. Tuesday K had the day off so we slept in, made a slow breakfast mid morning then went for a hike in Point Reyes National Seashore. It was a beautiful drive on Sir Francis Drake Blvd., which crosses the tongue of land that is the north-western part of the SF Bay all the way from the Bay side to the large peninsula of Point Reyes on the Pacific side. Along the way one sees many grass covered hills dotted with live oaks and cows, and a gorgeous drippy redwood forest alongside San Geronimo Creek. We drove by the well known Spirit Rock Zen Center, which is found next to a distinctive looking large boulder with a healthy oak growing out of the solid rock. We stopped in a small town on the way to get some bread, cheese, and a tomato and then drove to the far northern parts of the Point Reyes peninsula. There is a reservation of tule elk here which I had been wanting to visit for years but never got around to; there are elk that live in other parts of California, further north, near the Prairie Creek redwoods, but as far as I know this is the only remaining population this far south. At the place where we crossed over the boundary of the elk reserve, there is a tallish fence and cattle guard on the ground, to stop the movement of elk into the southern part of the peninsula, and of cattle the other way; cows are abundant and ubiquitous in the rest of Point Reyes outside the elk reserve and the federally-administered lands. Much of this peninsula has historically been used for ranching by first the Spanish vaqueros, and then by the Portuguese, going back a few centuries. We saw three or four small herds of elk along our hike, some from relatively close up, mostly consisting of females. They have light cream colored rears and dark warm fur around their necks. We only saw a few males with horns, oftentimes one or two of them accompanying the females and sometimes walking around alone or in pairs. Beautiful views of beaches, coastal cliffs, the surf, and the ocean from up high as we hiked towards the northern tip of the peninsula, about five miles distant. We stopped somewhere along the way because my back was hurting walking uphill and huddled under our just-warm-enough layers against the cold, refreshing wind eating bread with a stinky local brie, and drinking warm tea from a thermos. As we were looking out over the ocean K saw the spout of a whale, then another, then another, then more and more! It was a whole pod, probably of gray whales though they never breached and it's hard to say judging from the spouts alone, maybe early migrators south from Alaska towards Baja, Mexico to birth calves in warm subtropical waters. We stayed until the sunset then walked back in the dusk, warming ourselves back up by moving. The drive back through the coastal cypress and redwoods was pleasant, with lots of deer and even two foxes hanging out near the path.

Wednesday I was rather tired and I felt a lot of back pain from long walks for the past two days so I took it easy. We made tacos in the morning with some rice and beans K cooked the other night and I spent my day reading and lounging. I've been feeling some anxiety about how to fill my time on empty days and what to do about my back now that I don't currently have a chiropractor around here. One thing that's on my to do list is to sort out my insurance, which feels like a bit of a mess since the social security office couldn't even figure out my case properly when I called...in the afternoon we made some soup and shared it with the other two housemates.

Today K has a long twelve hour day so I'm thinking of heading to the East Bay and going mushroom hunting at a good chantarelle spot a friend and I frequented two years ago. I'm really good at putting off this practical stuff like insurance : ). Fortunately my back seems to be feeling significantly better after a day of rest and doing some yin yoga yesterday. This morning K was feeling sleepy and snoozing until she had to head off to work so I made tacos for breakfast for her again, which felt nice.

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Day 98

Things are continuing to go well and I had a great couple of days this weekend. Friday I went to the East Bay to go chantarelle hunting as planned. Though I found a few mushrooms, I didn't find any edible ones that I was looking for but enjoyed some wonderful moments in a beautiful forest with lush sword ferns and mossy old bay laurel and live oak trees. I got somewhat anxious driving back and stopping at a grocery store because of the overstimulation of the city and the fact that I had one of my first panic attacks last year in a grocery store in the same city but it passed in a few minutes with some helpful breathing and awareness that this was simply a triggering location and I felt satisfied at facing my anxiety (which evaporated) and going through with what I was trying to accomplish even if it was something as mundane as buying groceries. I cooked some lentils in the evening that I shared with K and another housemate.

On Saturday, K and I had been planning on going to a good friend's birthday party in San Francisco; he hosts a potluck and evening in which we share musical acts or tell \ read stories every year (I hadn't been in three years due to living other places). I had been thinking for a few days that it would be empowering to face an audience and at least read a story (I've yet to develop musically too much!) but I felt pretty shaken by the idea, as well as reconnecting with some folks I hadn't seen in a few years and feeling like I don't currently have much fun answering the standard "What have you been doing for the past year?" questions ;). Either way, I figured I'd at least bring food so I made another round of the previous night's lentil success and also some peanut sauce on the side. I brought a book of some John Muir short writings I like in case I might muster up the courage to share; drove to the city with K and we took three friends of hers who were staying the night whilst on a month long roadtrip downtown, then went to our gathering. I honestly felt a bit awkward at first; I felt full of a lot of self-absorbed / self-conscious, doubtful kind of thinking and compared myself to the roomful of people who seemed to be having a lot of fun and naturally bonding together. Either way, I've learned by now that even if something seems challenging in that way at first, after some adjustment and a bit of time and just letting things feel awkward iff they need be in the situation, I can end up having a lot of fun after a little while, which was certainly the case tonight. The potluck as a whole was delicious and even though I sat next to someone I didn't feel I had the most brilliant one on one conversation with, it was great to also see others such as my two friends whose wedding I went to the other month and who had just recently gotten back from their honeymoon in Spain. When the music and story portion of the evening started I felt both relaxed at not needing to focus on my own story anymore and full of emotion with the desire \ nervousness of being on stage in front of a bunch of people. It turns out that the first person on stage told personal anecdote that though completely unrelated brought up something personal that I thought would make a fun and colorful story to share: a time from six years ago when I was studying forestry in the mountains during the summer and a friend and I walked into town to do laundry because the laundry machines on site were broken. While the laundry was washing, it got dark and on the way back to our cabins we were confronted with a mountain lion in the shrubbery by the side of the road in the darkness. Well, during the next couple of performances my mind was buzzing with ways to paint the scene, as well as agonizing over whether if I got up on stage I would tell the story in a way that did it justice or completely lose it in front of the people and falter. I really didn't want to miss the opportunity! I definitely thought at one point about how Cam must have felt before doing his first TED talk, and decided that the pressure and stakes in my case were way less (in fact, a ridiculous comparison : ) so I pretty much had to go for it! I got up there at the last chance and felt a surge of inspiration and all the details of my initial painting of the scene came out right and felt everyone very drawn in (which several people also told me was true for them later). It was very fun and satisfying and I came off the stage feeling a great amount of emotional relief and feeling at ease, able to join in a bunch of singing and joking and talking for the rest of the evening. Great success!

The two recently married girlfriends came to stay with K and I for the night, it was kind of a crowded house with them 2 as well as the three roadtripping friends but all left early the next day after we made pancakes for everyone and went on a short walk with the newlyweds. In the afternoon on Sunday I had a tutoring session nearby which went pretty well. Felt good to start doing a bit of work in this new area and I have another tutoring session planned for tomorrow afternoon with a new student. In the evening, we went over to the neighbor nearby who does wood cuts who made us an amazing dinner and she showed us a lot of her old wood cuts and other various artwork - very prolific! I was very inspired and she got me started on doing a simple woodcut print based on a photo I picked - a cormorant.

Today K and I made some amazing bagel sandwiches for breakfast with smoked salmon and blue cheese and an egg and veggies. Wow! K worked for most of the day until 9 except she was home in the late afternoon for two hours and we cooked dinner together also. I spent the day going on a hike in the morning and then watching a few lectures on chemistry from an MIT course and khanacademy. I got a little hooked! The only thing I'm unhappy is that I had maybe 5-6 cookies and if I hadn't had very healthy meals I probably wouldn't have felt too great ;).

Well that's about that for now...I'm feeling good in the new household about not having gaming cravings that are too strong. Lots of moments feeling social and feeling more and more back to being comfortable with that. Relationship with K is a source of great comfort and love. Procrastinating a bit on calling a few people and taking care of my insurance...it'd be good to focus on that tomorrow! Hope I can get the ball rolling on tutoring even more.

Have a great day to anyone actually reading this!

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Hi there, just thought I'd pop in and check out your journal. Nice job on getting through the 90 day detox! I also had a similar relapse type of thing after my successful detox, but from those few hours I could confirm that I didn't need gaming anymore. It seems to be the case for you too, so congratulations on getting through your detox again and continuing to work on your life.

It sounds like you did a wonderful job of your presentation!

Best of luck with whatever you decide to do now man.

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I definitely thought at one point about how Cam must have felt before doing his first TED talk, and decided that the pressure and stakes in my case were way less (in fact, a ridiculous comparison : ) so I pretty much had to go for it!

Haha full story of it is here if you're curious/haven't read it.

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Thanks @CamAdair , I have read the story and also heard you describe it in detail during the San Diego meetup, which is probably why it felt so relevant :). Thanks also @happykhan and @AlextheGrape! (Sigh, how the heck do I do that @ thing correctly, I have no idea right now, sorry! ;)

Day 103

Well it's been exactly two weeks since I've started staying with K and things are going really well right now. I'm happy to be here. I've had some lows and highs this past week and today I'm particularly in a good mood after a good afternoon and evening yesterday. I was thinking journaling a bit and setting some more specific goals for next week might be helpful. At the beginning of this week I started studying a bit of chemistry from some free lectures on the MIT website as well as khanacademy. The purpose is both to satisfy my own curiosity (I have a lot of fun thinking about physics and my studies were both in biology and mathematics, so I feel like chemistry touches upon all of those subjects) and to maybe expand the subjects that I tutor. In my time tutoring I've often found I had more fun talking about real world things that my students could relate to, like when the math dipped into physics; I think it'd be fun to tutor more towards physical and life sciences because even though I can find math really exciting, the stuff I'm helping young kids with isn't very exciting for either me or them. Anyway, I had a lot of fun watching lectures and hopping around videos and exercises and feel like I've already gotten a good review of what I used to know and watching lectures of the experiments of Thompson of Rutherford, electron orbitals, proving the angle of tetrahedrons and so on, but I also maybe on Wednesday or Thursday felt like I was spending too much time on the computer and sitting around and felt like I just needed a break for a day to go hiking. I've started taking a small notebook in my back pants pocket with me while exploring the beautiful trails around where I'm living in Marin County and writing short blurbs about what I find inspiring / beautiful in the world around me or making small pencil sketches. This is something I've been really enjoying this past week and I'd like to continue. Being outside and closely witnessing the natural world is such a big passion for me, I realize more and more how important that is to stave off depressed and stale states of mind. I'm going to make it one of my big focuses of this next week to spend at least five hours each day outside whether hiking \ sitting around and just watching things or writing \ drawing. K has a very compact watercolor set that might be perfect for this purpose that I will take along and spend at least 30 minutes each of those days producing a small watercolor that I'll share on here; I haven't done much painting with watercolor but it'll be a little experiment to see what I can learn by the end of a week if I practice it a bit every day. Another goal next week will be to save $200. I did a few more hours of tutoring a few days ago and the parent of this new student asked me to tutor them twice a week on a regular basis which will hopefully be a regular small source of income. Since my living expenses are tiny, basically just food, and we cooked at home every meal this week, I'll just need to book one or two other tutoring gigs to come up with $200 to set aside, or possibly do some food deliveries on the side. Another goal: meditate each day. Also: try cooking 2 new recipes. To summarize, and maybe add a few more things on there:

- meditate every day

- spend at least 5 hours enjoying the local nature daily. Write and sketch as inspired but also work on a watercolor to share on here for 30 minutes daily.

- put aside $200

- continue cooking and also try at least 2 new recipes of my own initiative.

- focus more on calling friends than I have been this week

- maybe find a local dance to go to? I miss my old dance group : )

Last night I went on a hike by myself in the late afternoon and enjoyed watching some deer on a hillside then a beautiful sunset from the top of a hill. Then I went to the store to get some sour cream and eggs for a planned evening of making latkas and watching the movie What We Do in the Shadows with K and other friends. It was a great squash and zucchini latka feast with a great salad and latka toppings ranging from homemade apple sauce, toasted walnuts, and some sauce with a Hebrew-sounding name I have no idea how to spell out...it was a lot of fun, very delicious, some good stories were told, lots of laughter, and also a funny movie. Tonight K and I are driving down to the South Bay to have a Friendsgiving potluck with my sister and her friends. I'm excited to hang out like this with my sister, since I feel like I don't see her much outside of hanging out with parents in a family kind of way. I'm going to make some of Asian stir fry with tofu and veggies with peanut sauce since everyone else seems to be well taking care of the traditional Thanksgiving foods.

For anyone who reads my journal: I apologize for it being somewhat rambly and incoherent, I often write pretty quickly and without checking over what I write, thanks for reading regardless!

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