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kortheo

My Journal - Travis

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Ah, sorry to hear about your back. That sucks. I don't have any plans yet. I only just decided that I wanted to do a 5k - I've never done one. We have Thanksgiving 5k's around here so I might sign up for one of those. Couch to 5K sounds good, I will give it a look!

Edited by kortheo
Cough -> Couch* Lol

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Sign up! I did a half marathon once and it was killer! This year I hope to do my first triathlon. The race aspect of it is a lot of fun and the accountability is nice for training.

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Day 36

Feeling a bit drained today. For those of you who have done the GQC, I'm doing the courage section right now and it is very challenging for me. I completed day 6 yesterday and even though it wasn't bad as expected, it still took a lot of emotional energy from me. I'm still not sure how I feel about it haha. Today's challenge, day 7, doesn't seem nearly as hard to me personally. But it will still take effort! Hopefully I can complete it today.

That aside, I've been keeping up with most of my habits pretty well. I need to cook tonight, so that will take up a chunk of my day. I hung out with a friend who I haven't seen in a while yesterday, so that was nice.

I guess other than that, not too much to report. Oh, I had my first video game dream last night... I dreamt I was playing Skyrim. At first I woke up thinking I had relapsed, haha. Thankfully not.


Gratitude:

I am grateful for:

  1. Friends I can be vulnerable with
  2. Public transportation
  3. The ocean
  4. Logic
  5. Birds outside my window (again)
  6. Fresh, cool, morning air
  7. My education
  8. Couch-to-5k giving me a premade 5k training schedule
  9. Having the luxury of free time
  10. My bed

 

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I've been thinking a lot today and I've come to some interesting conclusions. As I've mentioned, I've been doing the courage missions in the Game Quitter's Challenge. I've completed the first two (yesterday and today). During the missions I felt some anxiety of course, as if you've never done these things before it will push the boundaries of your comfort zone. Immediately after I accomplished them I felt pretty good! But later on in the days I've felt uneasy and I couldn't quite place why. It felt like I still had anxiety.

I struggle with anxiety generally, so that wouldn't be a surprise for me. But this was a little different. For those that don't have the GQC, suffice it to say that the courage missions challenge you to push your comfort zone's boundaries in various social ways. After the first challenge, I met up with an old friend for lunch and I tried to explain the challenge to him. I think I explained it kind of poorly and came off kind of weird. I don't think he quite got it in the proper context and I was worried about being judged by him.

I think this whole experience triggered some shame in me. There's a part of my brain telling me "these challenges will make you look weird to other people" and to me "weird = bad = shame". Or even, "quitting video games and joining a website and doing missions is weird/shameful. Why can't you just be like everyone else and play games and not rock the boat?". Obviously I don't believe that voice in my head, but it's a voice that's there. I think that ... from my perspective, even the idea of self-improvement has a kind of stigma attached to it in the greater culture, although I'm not sure why. Telling someone that you're working on self-improvement... it can be a vulnerable thing to share. 

I'm reading Daring Greatly right now, which in my case is a perfect companion for these courage missions. Courage requires vulnerability. When we were gamers we used gaming as a way to avoid being vulnerable. It was armor to hide behind that would prevent us from taking risks and being seen. It was something to distract us from our own emotions. In Daring Greatly, I'm reading a chapter where she talks about us hiding behind masks and armor to avoid having to be vulnerable, but that as a result we don't show up as ourselves in real life, and we may not even know who we truly are underneath it all.

I guess after recently getting out of a relationship and quitting gaming, and having been hiding my true self for most of my life under armor, I'm not sure who I really am in truth at this point. My identity is in flux. I'm changing how I see myself everyday. A week ago I would have never thought in a million years that I would be the sort of person who would be able to complete these 2 courage challenges, but here I am. So this is a story that is still unfolding for me. I'm realizing that some relationships in my life will have to change... the old friend that I met up with, who I felt judged by, I may not see as much anymore, because I feel more judged by him these days than accepted and supported by him.

After thinking and feeling my way through all this, I feel a lot calmer, physically and mentally. I don't feel as anxious about tomorrow's challenge. It may be hard, but the change in my mind is this: the fact that I'm doing a challenge, even if I fail it - it doesn't mean I'm weird or have any reason to be ashamed. What twisted logic. I'm doing it because I care about my life and want to improve myself! I hope that my thought process makes some sense in this post, because I realize how ass-backwards it must sound. On some deep level I'm afraid of standing out and getting noticed, especially if it's for something that might be unconventional; the GCQ forces you to do that, so that has dredged up some shame for me. I'm grateful to be able to work through it. It is a path towards gaining self-acceptance.

I think I can illustrate an example of how my identity is changing.

Old Travis is someone who feels uncomfortable talking to strangers, and takes whatever friends that come along because he feels lonely, and plays video games because they're easy and comforting and distracting, a good way to spend/kill time. If he feels ashamed, he is helpless and tends to avoid  rather than constructively deal with the emotion. This results in insecurity, which leads him to seek validation from others in various unhealthy and insecure ways.

New Travis is someone who can summon the courage to make requests of strangers, won't tolerate people in his life who make him feel worse about himself, and chooses to discard video games because they were a crutch he used to avoid his own emotions, including shame. If he feels ashamed, he works to recognize and understand it, and acts with compassion towards himself, understanding than he is worthy of love and connection. This results in self-esteem, which means than he doesn't require validation from other people, and can enter into relationships on an equal playing field with healthy interpersonal dynamics.

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Day 37

I'm feeling OK today. Good even. I felt a lot better after writing the above post last night. I'm actually excited for work this week. Should be good!

I guess since I did a lot of thinking yesterday I don't have a ton to say today. So I'll keep this brief and just do my gratitude:

I'm grateful for:
1. The cereal I'm eating for breakfast.
2. Having a hot shower on a cold morning.
3. A refridgerator to store food in.
4. A heater t keep me warm.
5. That I'm young and still have a full life ahead of me.
6. That live in a place with a great climate.
7. That my niece is always excited to see me when I come to visit.
8. That I have a good relationship with my brother-in-law.
9. That I've paid off all my debts!
10. My emergency fund.

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Day 38

Moving right along. I feel good this morning. I can feel myself growing as a person and I feel the small changes continuing to compound. My morning routine has gotten some improvements added to it and I'm sticking with them. I'm starting to see the world a little differently. 

The GQC courage missions are making me realize that the world is less scary than I thought, and that if I choose to I can talk with strangers, or even girls I might find attractive. I'm not 100% there yet... ha, it's only been 3 days, but the proof of concept has settled into my mind. I'm challenging beliefs about the world that I didn't even realize I had.

I haven't had a real vacation in over 2 years. I'm going to take one soon. Probably a 2 week vacation, maybe around the holidays. No idea what I'll do. But I really could use a break from work to shake things up and change my perspective.

I've started training for a 5k. I'm following the couch-to-5k plan, but since I'm not completely out of shape, and because I don't have 9 weeks to train, I'm going to reduce the total number of training sessions. I'm doing 1x the easier routines instead of 3x since they aren't that challenging for me... once I get to the harder stuff I will do them multiple times. Excited to sign up and do a run for once! I think this will be pretty manageable.

Gratitude

I am grateful for:

  1. The pale morning light when I leave my apartment to go to work.
  2. That my parents are both alive in reasonable health.
  3. That I am alive in good health.
  4. My niece.
  5. Warm showers on cold mornings.
  6. Healthy food.
  7. Cheerful coworkers.
  8. Work mornings with no emergencies.
  9. That I am not poor.
  10. Walking for 20 minutes on my lunch break.

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I like being grateful for "not being poor". And in general how specific your gratefulness list is. Good luck for your 5K!

Thanks! Ha. As little as a week go I struggled to get 3 gratitude items on my list. Now that I've expanded them to 10, I have no choice but to be specific without repeating things. After doing it for a bit, coming up with 10 things isn't so hard. I just have to look at the good things all around me. Another trick I picked up is the idea of "negative visualization" from stoicism - it's a simple way to consider how your life could be worse, to encourage you to appreciate what you have. I am not poor, but it's entirely possible that I could be, so I should take time to appreciate the fact that I am not.

I'm seeing now that gratitude really is a muscle. It gets easier the more you use it. I used to kind of not want to do gratitude... now I am honestly enjoying it.

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The GQC courage missions are making me realize that the world is less scary than I thought, and that if I choose to I can talk with strangers, or even girls I might find attractive. I'm not 100% there yet... ha, it's only been 3 days, but the proof of concept has settled into my mind. I'm challenging beliefs about the world that I didn't even realize I had.

Awesome feedback. This is definitely what I've hoped for! :)

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The GQC courage missions are making me realize that the world is less scary than I thought, and that if I choose to I can talk with strangers, or even girls I might find attractive. I'm not 100% there yet... ha, it's only been 3 days, but the proof of concept has settled into my mind. I'm challenging beliefs about the world that I didn't even realize I had.

Awesome feedback. This is definitely what I've hoped for! :)

Yeah. It does make a difference, doing these things. Some other thoughts on it: they were more challenging than I expected. Going into the GQC I didn't expect to have my comfort zone pushed as quickly and as far as it has been. And for me it took real effort. I also probably wouldn't have been able to succeed without support from the forum. I very nearly talked myself out of all the (courage) challenges, ha. Glad I did them though.

Upon reflection I can also see that my conception of 'challenge' previously was purely intellectual. I haven't given much thought even to physical challenges because I previously never saw myself as the type of person who did things like that. But now I'm doing a 5k and engaging in physical challenges bit by bit. And I don't even think I considered what an emotional/social challenge like the courage missions would look like, or that it was something someone could work on in such a deliberate way.

So yeah, doing these exercises is definitely changing my perspective for the better.

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I like being grateful for "not being poor". And in general how specific your gratefulness list is. Good luck for your 5K!

Another trick I picked up is the idea of "negative visualization" from stoicism - it's a simple way to consider how your life could be worse, to encourage you to appreciate what you have. I am not poor, but it's entirely possible that I could be, so I should take time to appreciate the fact that I am not.

I'm seeing now that gratitude really is a muscle. It gets easier the more you use it. I used to kind of not want to do gratitude... now I am honestly enjoying it.

That's great advice, currently I am coming up with 10 things, but they are still a bit generic. Will keep your advice in mind. Thanks.

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Game Quitter's Challenge Day 9 - Dance Party

I am not embarassed. ...OK, maybe a little. It gets slightly repetitive in the middle because my repertoire of dance moves is limited ha. My feelings won't be hurt if you skip a bit ;). I just wanted to finish the whole song.

Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-83FaPuq-io&feature=youtu.be

I had way more fun with this than expected. :D

Edited by kortheo

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Day 39

Pretty big vulnerability hangover from posting that dance video. So much self-criticism in my head about how I should have done it differently. But I guess that's a sign I did push my comfort zone. It was definitely silly. It was fun though. Also, I linked it to a friend last night and she said it made her day. So I'll count that as a plus!

Nonetheless I feel great today. I definitely feel as though I'm gaining confidence and caring less about what people think. It's a process, but a satisfying one.

I'm taking tomorrow off work, and I will be going to get my eyes examined and get a prescription for contact lenses. Every few years I like to change up my eyewear situation. Also, my ex-girl friend commented (before we broke up) that she preferred me without glasses... and now I can't get it out of my head that I actually prefer myself without them too. Anyway, contacts are always a nice option to have.

I will also continue my 5k training tonight, which I'm looking forward to actually. I actually signed up for the race now, so I have an incentive to train.

Also, I forgot to mention that I am going to grab dinner and drinks with some guys tomorrow. It's two guys I met at a board game meetup and one of their co-workers, who I haven't met yet. I'm excited because I haven't made any new friends in a long time, and this is a chance to develop some. Also historically my closest friends have been mostly women, so it would probably be good for me to learn how to bond with guys for a change.

Gratitude

I am grateful for...

  1. Misty blue fog on my morning commute.
  2. A commute that runs along the California coast and sage brush.
  3. My sister for being supportive.
  4. My friend Kelsey for appreciating my silly dance video.
  5. My friend Nina for reading The Martian with me.
  6. Brene Brown for her work on vulnerability.
  7. The odd old guy at Starbucks who sits outside and draws with Crayola products for hours.
  8. Gamequitters!
  9. Learning about myself and growing.
  10. The ergonomic chair that my work provided for me.
  11. That doing these gratitude lists has become so much easier for me. (so meta)

 

Yooo well done! Check this out: Scientists Discovered How Men Can Dance Better.

Ha, thanks. I will check that out when I'm not at work :) I do not claim to know how to dance: In fact, I do not know how to dance. I will absorb science and learn how to dance!

Edited by kortheo

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OK, I'm making the decision to move my challenge journal into my main journal for visibility, since I'm going to end up posting some things here for the challenge anyway. Might as well simplify things. If you're reading this, the first 9 days are in this thread: http://forum.gamequitters.com/topic/275-challenge-journal-travis/

Game Quitter's Challenge Day 10 - The Moment of Truth

Dammit Cam! Singing and dancing? You know how to pinpoint my weak spots, don't you? I hate karaoke. I would prefer to do almost anything else.

Or at least that's what my attitude has been for years.

After dancing last night though and expanding my comfort zone a bit, I can see how it could be fun. I also see now that the reason I 'hated' it wasn't because it was un-fun, but simply because it requires being pretty vulnerable, which I used to be incapable of doing.

I did some searching on meetup and found a meetup group with 15 people confirmed going to karaoke next Friday, Nov 6th. I joined it. I know no one in the group. It's also like 45 minutes away haha. Oh well! It was the best option.

We'll see how freaked out I am next week. I'm going to go send some appreciation to people!

 

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Day 40

Nearly half way to 90 days. Right around the corner. 

This morning I had a wake up call about another reason for me to quit gaming. It's a personal story from my life. I started to write a post about it here, but it ended up turning into a blog post. You can read it here:

https://kortheo.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/video-games-rsi-massage-computers/

Hope everyone is having a great day.

 

Gratitude:

I am grateful for:

  1. JR, my massage therapist from the article.
  2. That I was able to get a flu shot today for free.
  3. That I'm going to meet some friends later for food and drinks.
  4. That I took the day off
  5. The way a lit candle makes my room glow at night.
  6. When strangers radiate good moods.
  7. That my friend invited me to hang at his place on Halloween, since I have no plans.
  8. Pizza Port. :D
  9. The reimbursement checks on my desk that I need to deposit.
  10. That my cell phone has lasted 2 years without a case and isn't broken or cracked.
Edited by kortheo
Added gratitude

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Nice article! I've been there too. At the time I was also studying piano at the music academy. It took literally two decades for the problem to go away, but it did. Glad you found a good therapist: I agree that they are very hard to find and that doctors generally don't know how to treat these kind of injuries. All the best with your recovery!

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Nice article! I've been there too. At the time I was also studying piano at the music academy. It took literally two decades for the problem to go away, but it did. Glad you found a good therapist: I agree that they are very hard to find and that doctors generally don't know how to treat these kind of injuries. All the best with your recovery!

Wow, two decades? Crazy. Nonetheless that's good to hear that it finally did go away eventually! Hopefully I will eventually fully overcome it. I can see how piano could lead to the same sorts of problems, for sure.

 

 

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