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Can you have both a superiority and inferiority complex?


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Hi, all.  Gaming addict here.  I've posted on a couple other sites but not so much on GQ.  I've been working with Cam and he suggested I post journal updates on here, which I think is a great idea.  I used to journal every day when I was younger and I felt like I was making progress in my life.  It was cool to go back and look at older posts and remember where I was at mentally, socially, academically, etc.  The lows and the highs, all on "paper."  Nowhere to hide.  And aren't we all just hiding from ourselves anyway?  That's why some of us game.  As an escape.  An escape from our normal lives because for whatever reason we don't like how it's going and either we a) don't feel like fixing it or b) don't think we CAN fix it.  So we cope.  And medicate.  With our favorite drug.  The VIDEO GAME.  Duh duh duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

For my first week, my "task" was to create a morning routine.  Not "improve" my routine, but create one.  My morning routine consisted of the following:

5:30AM Phone alarm goes off next to my bed.  I groggily reach over and snooze it.  Then I lay there.

5:39AM Alarm rings again.  I snooze again.  I probably groan out loud.  I reach over to my tablet and browse pornography sites.

5:48AM Alarm rings again.  I'm still browsing so I hit the snooze angrily.  I continue to browse.

5:57AM Alarm rings again.  I know that I have to get up now to not be in a complete whirlwind of getting out of the apartment by 6:20 for work.  If I'm not done browsing I may push my luck.  Otherwise I will get up.  I snooze the alarm.

6:06AM Alarm rings again.  I have to be in the shower at this point, there's no excuses.  I get into the shower after snoozing the alarm.

6:15AM Alarm rings again.  I had better be OUT of the shower now or I will be late.  I turn off the alarm and I quickly throw clothes on, grab my wallet and keys, my headphones, my sunglasses, makes sure I have my work ID, put on my backpack, and I'm out the door.  Hopefully it's 6:20AM.

You see, this is no routine.  This is me not being in any control of myself.  My body wants to sleep, my body wants sex.  And regardless of what the rational side of my brain wants, that's what happens until it is sated.  If I'm late to work, oh well.

For the past week, I have created a ROUTINE.

5:30AM Alarm clock on the other side of the room blares.  I get out of bed and turn it off.  I stretch my arms and say "Wow! It's going to be a great day!"  I walk into the kitchen and pour myself a full glass of water, which I consume.  I then do some stretches.  I start with my neck, then rotate my shoulders, then stretch my arms, then the chest, then I bend down and hang there, then I stretch the legs.  I then think positive thoughts and about how my day will go.  I leisurely head into the bathroom and start the shower.  I take a shower.  I am able to both floss and brush my teeth (which I didn't always have time for... sex and sleep trumped hygiene). Then I'll head out the door, often a little bit early.

Having a morning routine has helped me build "my foundation" (as Cam puts it).  With my foundation being put up, and me attaining a level of "conscious competence"... it's time to add things.

Journaling is the next item to be added.  Wish me luck.

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Good luck and great to see that you are working actively to improve!

I'd like to give you a small tip, something you can try out yourself. Make your bed in the morning. It's an odd thing  that somehow gives a kick-start to a productive day!

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Can you have both a superiority and inferiority complex?

YES.

If you concede a first time you're laying the foundations to final defeat. A first snooze leads to the second, which leads to procrastination, then porn... I'm also struggling with that every morning. I'm glad you found a way to root out the problem and make an everyday stand for a great day ahead. Keep it up, and good luck in your journey!

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Thanks for the words of encouragement!

It was Day 8 of the new morning routine and it was the first day my body fought against it.  However, I persevered, got up and still did my stretches, water, etc.

Another thing I need to work on is what I eat for breakfast.  I ate my muffin at my desk at work again.  How did I feel after?  I think I felt just okay.  Didn't feel really energized but it held me over.

Work ended with one of my employees getting upset with me (which was his own damn fault [of course ;-P], but I don't like any conflict if I can help it...) and it made me feel anxious and uncomfortable, though not as much as it would have even 6 months ago (I've developed a thicker skin the past year and a half due to some other drastic life changes... new job, moved across the country on my own, etc.).  I really wanted to just go home and get fast food to make myself feel better.  Fast food always works to make me feel warm and comforted.  It's always there.  But it is fleeting.  And toxic.

Fortunately, as I was leaving work I made a snap decision:  No, I would not just head straight home after work and feel annoyed.  Instead, I decided to walk around the city for a couple hours, hung out at a coffee shop, took tons of cool pictures of street art, visited some cool shops, and then went home feeling tired, but much better.  I did get cranky as I commuted back home because I was hungry and tired, but I knew that was the reason because I did a mental check-in "how am I doing right now?  what needs aren't being met?"

Honestly, I'm still tired now but I ate some macaroni and cheese, which is infinitely better than going to a fast food place.  It took some willpower to write this, but I feel good that I did.

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Fortunately, as I was leaving work I made a snap decision:  No, I would not just head straight home after work and feel annoyed.  Instead, I decided to walk around the city for a couple hours, hung out at a coffee shop, took tons of cool pictures of street art, visited some cool shops, and then went home feeling tired, but much better.  I did get cranky as I commuted back home because I was hungry and tired, but I knew that was the reason because I did a mental check-in "how am I doing right now?  what needs aren't being met?"

Boom! Great job man!

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Hello!

Great work on your daily routine, and also awesome to see you're avoid being annoyed at home! This could be a dangerous trigger for relapse!

I'll share with you what works for me to wake up at the time I really want to.

  1. Getting to bed earlier to get enough sleep
  2. Scheme what to do after waking up (for me it's drinking 500ml of water, exercising, cold shower, solid breakfast and morning pages in this order, it's not a guideline, but whatever it would be for you, it's better to have it scheduled)
  3. Most important - goal what to do after waking up (as you have experienced, going to work can be motivating enough, but for me especially going to run to watch a sunrise is extremely motivating to start next day with 1000% energy :)

Hope these helps!

Greetings, Mad Pharmacist

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Another day, another day of cleaning.  I spent way too long doing a jigsaw puzzle and I was really distracted today.  Not really productive and I don't feel that great about it.  But tomorrow's another day!

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So I did my morning routine again.  However, the rest of the day didn't go very well.  Nothing bad happened, it was more that nothing good really happened.  I wasted so much of my time eating bad food, being distracted by my jigsaw puzzle, and watching the UK edition of Big Brother on YouTube.

My plan for the whole Labor Day weekend was to have done a massive clean-up, the most I've ever done, continuing to get rid of a lot of my possessions I have no use for (a la The Art of Tidying Up) for 2 of the 3 days.  1 of the 3 days I would go somewhere in the city.  What ended up happening was I was the most productive on Saturday, but then the end of the day I gave myself permission to make my day into the city be either Sunday or Monday, it would be my choice.  This was a change from the beginning of the day plan, which was "Saturday clean, Sunday go out, Monday clean."  My sloth kind of came out and I knew that I would go out Monday instead.  And that's what the plan was yesterday, on Sunday.  So I got up, and I was very unproductive.  I started doing my jigsaw puzzle instead of cleaning and my TV show was on, and several hours passed.  It's almost like the jigsaw puzzle replaced some of my urges I was satisfying by playing video games.  The "just one more piece" mentality and the achievement of seeing the picture come together... those were similar feelings I would get from my most addictive video games, which were stats-progression RPGs.

Today I just felt sluggish.  I went back to bed for a 30 minute nap which turned into a 3 hour nap.  I had short bursts of like 20 minute intervals where I would get cleaning done.  Then I would spend 2 hours doing nothing and just spacing out watching TV.  I spent about an hour trying to get a busted CD player to work.  I also looked at pornography a lot this morning, which also wasted time.  And I didn't stick with my "spend a day outside" of course.  I've been hanging out with a friend every Monday night and I also called that off.  I'm even considering not showing up to work tomorrow, which is stupid.  I'm just not motivated.  What I would like is someone checking in regularly, like daily, being like "ok, have you done X today yet?" or something.  I do terrible on days that are not structured, like weekends.  Most people love weekends, but weekends for me are not my best days.  I do so much better during the week, and I feel more on my game, more positive, and more focused.

I did find a trick to feel better on the weekends... leave the house for the day and drive somewhere different and spend an overnight somewhere like at a hotel.  In those situations, I felt like I would get a lot done.  Unfortunately, what has happened recently is that I've been spending too much money, so I feel like I can't use that little "trick" anymore, and it's annoying.  I'm trying to clean this house because I feel like when I'm in my home it is a den of sloth and laziness and it's not set up properly for me to be successful.  So I'm trying to spend all this time preparing my apartment to set me up for success, but there are so many associations with my home and it's so isolating, it's a real struggle.  Weekends aren't supposed to suck.

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Full disclosure: this is the first day my morning routine didn't go so well.  I AM THANKFUL I MADE IT TO WORK, however.  In the past, my self-saboteur would talk in my ear and say "Don't you feel terrible? Why don't you just stay home today?  You deserve it.  Life has been really hard for you.  Take a breather."  This morning I didn't listen to it and I think the best reason why is because of the new morning routine of having my alarm clock on the other side of the room.  I actually kept waking up during the night and I woke up at like 5:10AM and I kept rolling over and seeing the minutes tick by.  At 5:28AM I got up and shut the alarm off.  I grumbled very pessimistically "Wow. It's going to be a great day." (But I said it!!) I went to the bathroom and did a couple stretches.  Then I sat on my computer chair and looked at pornography.  Time slipped away and I left the apartment a little bit late and a bit in a rush.

So I didn't drink water at all, I barely did any affirmations (I did some on the walk to the train station at least) and I didn't do all my stretches.  However, with the clarity of being on lunch break in the office... I think I did okay.  I showed up.  I did most of the routine.  No, I wasn't in a good mood (still not in the best one, but better).

Basically, pornography in the morning is a no-go.  If I do it, my morning is shot.  This is what I have learned from this experience.  I also learned that getting out of bed is the best cure for "aw, let me just not go to work and stay in my nice comfy bed."  Having a blaring alarm clock on the other side of the room is a necessity for me!

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I'd like to give you a small tip, something you can try out yourself. Make your bed in the morning. It's an odd thing  that somehow gives a kick-start to a productive day!

I will definitely give this a try!

Promising start. Good luck!

Thank you!

 

If you concede a first time you're laying the foundations to final defeat. A first snooze leads to the second, which leads to procrastination, then porn... I'm also struggling with that every morning. I'm glad you found a way to root out the problem and make an everyday stand for a great day ahead. Keep it up, and good luck in your journey!

Yes, I'm realizing how bad the problem with pornography really is.  Good luck to us both!

Good work man!

Clearing your head outside is better than battling out with it at home. 

Yes, that is something I need to do more of, and probably the hardest thing for me right now...

Congratulations on your first week!

I like how you are self aware and how you take responsibility from what happens in your life.

Thank you.  We are all responsible for the way we react to what happens as well, and that can make all the difference.

Hello!

Great work on your daily routine, and also awesome to see you're avoid being annoyed at home! This could be a dangerous trigger for relapse!

I'll share with you what works for me to wake up at the time I really want to.

  1. Getting to bed earlier to get enough sleep
  2. Scheme what to do after waking up (for me it's drinking 500ml of water, exercising, cold shower, solid breakfast and morning pages in this order, it's not a guideline, but whatever it would be for you, it's better to have it scheduled)
  3. Most important - goal what to do after waking up (as you have experienced, going to work can be motivating enough, but for me especially going to run to watch a sunrise is extremely motivating to start next day with 1000% energy :)

Hope these helps!

Greetings, Mad Pharmacist

Thanks for the tips!  I think I will be adding Tai Chi to my morning routine and eating a good breakfast as well.  Not sure what I'm waiting for...  Goals are good.  For me, I think I need goals for after I get out of work, otherwise I just waste the rest of the day/evening.

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I feel better after getting home today.  I hung out with a friend from work after work from 5 to 7pm in a coffee shop.  It was great talking to him and just expressing feelings and things that have been going on in my head.  It's also great to have a bitching partner about workplace drama sometimes (as long as it doesn't get too out of hand).  When I got home I trimmed my hair, showered, and made lunches for work.  And now I'm journaling!  So it's nice to feel that I can check things off the list of things that need doing.

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I feel better after getting home today.  I hung out with a friend from work after work from 5 to 7pm in a coffee shop.  It was great talking to him and just expressing feelings and things that have been going on in my head.  It's also great to have a bitching partner about workplace drama sometimes (as long as it doesn't get too out of hand).  When I got home I trimmed my hair, showered, and made lunches for work.  And now I'm journaling!  So it's nice to feel that I can check things off the list of things that need doing.

Good job ending the day on a positive note! That's important.

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Well.  My daily journaling hasn't gone so great, has it?

Let's dissect why I haven't journaled.

Wednesday 9/7: Had my coaching session and wrote down lots of notes.  Honestly I don't know why I didn't journal that night.

Thursday 9/8:  I am supposed to leave work at 4:45 but I left at 8:15pm instead because I was working on applying for a job.  I got fast food on the way home partly because I was hungry, but I think more because 1) I needed comfort and 2) I was celebrating getting my job application stuff done.  Food as comfort and food as celebration are two common reasons I eat unhealthily and food plans get derailed.  So I either need to get more comfortable being uncomfortable or find another way to get comfort that's constructive/healthy.  Also I need to find a way to celebrate that doesn't involve me eating food that just makes me feel disgusting afterwards.  And, seriously, the food was disgusting.  I got that after 9pm munchie mania thing from Jack N The Box that gives you a chicken burger, 2 tacos, and tons of fries.  The fries were dripping with oil and grease, the burger was poorly made and was kinda congealed, and the tacos looked like they had been made the day before and thrown briefly in the microwave.  I always have memory loss though when it comes to selecting a choice for food... my memory of the food isn't awful enough to overcome the comfort or celebration need that is driving my behavior in the first place.

Friday 9/9:  I made a plan to go to Los Angeles for the weekend.  I easily could have journaled, but I know I was tired.  No excuse, though.

Saturday 9/10: Drove to LA.  Got to the hotel around dinnertime.  Distressingly, I flopped on the bed and passed out.  I didn't want to go anywhere once my body hit the pillow.  I just dozed off and on while laying on the bed.  Finally, at 9:30pm I jostled awake to loud booms.  The hotel I was staying at was directly outside Disneyland, and every night at 9:30 they light off their fireworks.  The fireworks are so close that you can see them better from the parking lot than you can from Disney itself!  So of course, the booms are loud as well.  This finally motivated me to get out of bed, because I wanted to see the rest of the fireworks.  Since I was awake, I decided I would go to Downtown Disney, which is what I was planning on doing anyway before I decided to lay down "just for a minute."  It's open till 2am, so I knew I would have no problem going.  It was energizing going to Disney and seeing all the people and taking in the atmosphere.  Got back to my place around midnight.  Just watched Cartoon Network then went to bed.  Could have journaled, but just ... didn't.

Sunday 9/11: Spent all day in DTLA, looking at art museums, walking through Little Tokyo, and checking out the Griffith Observatory.  Actually, after a 7 hour day of sightseeing, I was going to put off the observatory till the following day.  However, I checked their website and they were closed on 9/12 for a special event.... I was so tired, though.. but I decided, okay, I have no choice, I'm going.  Drove to the thing, parked a mile down the mountain and walked up.  A good, brisk, walk.  Got beautiful photos of the Hollywood sign and the Los Angeles skyline.  Really cool.  Also met a guy who was taking a slow-capture movie of the sunset.  I asked him what type of video software he was using.  He ended up showing me his YouTube of some videos he had done.  We chatted for about an hour about life and how he travels all the time because he makes it a priority.  He's 27 and doesn't make a lot of money, but he's resourceful, has good connections (gets lots of things for free and uses cheap alternatives like AirBNB), and a good attitude.  It was cool just randomly chatting to somebody, since that's not what I usually do.  By the time I got back to the hotel room, I thought of journaling, but was like "no I've done enough today, fuck it, I've been a good boy today and done lots of stuff."  See, this is why routine hasn't worked for me... I have this inner voice that says "you've done good enough, you can slack/rest/take it easy now."  What I NEED is for the voice to say "Just push a little bit more, you're good now, but you can be SUPER!"

And today, Monday 9/12:  Drove back home.  A friend texted me while I was on the drive back and asked since I was driving by the gaming location where he often games on Mondays with friends if I'd like to meet him there.  Based on where I was, I could have joined him.  I made a decision to lie, however, and tell him I had commuted too far past the point where I could have met up with him without going hugely out of the way.  He said "hmm I think there is a way you can get here" and I said "Not tonight :( " and he said "OK!"  What was my inner voice saying... "you've done enough today, you've been driving for hours and you've had an eventful weekend.  And you're not even a huge fan of the people you met."

And that's the thing, I made this realization while I was in LA.  I have had the identity as "gamer" for the majority of my life.  When I cut out video games, I struggled with the fact that my identity and my chosen hobby didn't align.  However, I still played other kinds of games, just not video games.  My rationalization is, well, I don't have an addiction to the other types of games, just video games (which is true).

But, GAMES ARE A WASTE OF TIME.  My mother was right.  My mom would get so angry at me and my Dad when I was a kid because we would play games and he would say "They are just games, you're wasting your time" and get annoyed we didn't hang out with her.  She would only half-joke that the computer had taken her family away from her.

I think games have a place... but most of the time, my time would be better spent either doing something that is creative, or traveling, or seeing a band perform, or hanging out.  I used to live in a place that would have snow days, it'd be -10F outside, you didn't want to go anywhere... games were a fun way to pass time.  But all it does is KILL TIME.  And why would I want to do that?  I have a limited amount of time on this Earth as it is.  Don't I want to SAVE time?  And put my time to good use?

I also made a revelation after seeing the Geffen museum in LA that I really want to make artistic videos and photos as a hobby.  I used to be in the A/V club in high school and I really enjoyed being creative with videos.  I even bought a video app for my phone because I knew I wanted to make videos... but for some reason I keep not doing them.  I also wanted to make eurobeat dance videos (super cheesy, YouTube it if interested).  But I shrug and say "boy, you've done enough today.  You've earned a rest.  You've done good enough."  But, again, I need to be GREAT, or STELLAR.

Wow, I do need to journal more often.

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Just posting a little bit to keep up the routine.  I was exhausted all day long, I think probably because the heater wasn't working properly last night and I was freezing.  Caffeine didn't do anything for me.  I'm ready to hit my bed HARD.

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Hey it is nice that you post more regulary now even if the posts are short some time. Good Job!

Thank you!

I held off drinking coffee till after lunch, which is the first time I haven't started my day with any caffeine.  Now I'm not trying to cut out caffeine per se, but I am a slave to my morning coffee.

Of course this was a day when I had to give two presentations.  I strongly felt like I needed to get a Red Bull, or SOMETHING.  But then I ran out of time.  And I survived.  I lasted till like 12:30 before getting a coffee, which is technically not the morning.

I also had almond butter this morning.

And I am journaling again.  Good.

I still have so much to do from my tasks...

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Had to come in early to open the office.  Figured I'd journal for a little bit.

I am having coffee and an almond bear claw which was recommended by a co-worker.  I don't really feel that bad about having coffee, I am kind of getting clarity on what I need to do to switch to a paleo diet, which Cam had suggested.

This way of eating I actually think I can handle.  I know that sugar is the number one reason people in the United States (including myself) are sick, tired, and obese.  I also have found that when I eat gluten-free things, I tend to feel a little bit afterwards than when I don't.  So the paleo diet doesn't have any sucrose (there is fructose in fruit, and lactose in dairy if you do dairy) or gluten (grains are not allowed).  And there's no counting calories or measuring portions.  I think I can handle that.

I've also been thinking about early memories ... a personal assignment I've been given:  When is the earliest in my life that I did not pursue something that I wanted, and what was the reason?

I was bullied and harassed a lot in elementary school, starting in the second grade.  I stopped reaching out to as many people and socializing with others because the bullies would come and harass me and I didn't know how to defend myself from them.  I was an only child, so I had no practice dealing with conflict from others my own age, only with my parents and extended family.  The advice my mom would give me when I would come home and cry as a 8-9 year old was: "Just ignore them and they'll stop.  They crave attention."  That advice worked to an extent, but it was actually incorrect.  I can't blame my mom for this, since she was a young mother and had me shortly after graduating high school.  She didn't have lots of life experiences herself.  My dad mostly stayed out of it (he was also away a lot and didn't come home every night), so when he did give advice, it was to fight back.  I hated pain, though.  He suggested I enroll in a karate class.  I have this memory of this conversation happening and the three of us were in the living room.  I was excited and scared by the prospect.  I for the life of me cannot remember why this did not work out.  I think it was too expensive, and we only had one car at the time, which my Dad needed for work.  So I think that's why it fell through the cracks.  But over time, Dad would tell me to start fighting back, but I would be afraid, and sometimes I would be hit as well as harassed and I still didn't hit back, for fear of getting a real whollop.  My parents tried to intervene to help me out in other ways, because they were very distressed at how I was changing.  I started faking sick to get out of school, which I never did before, just so I could have a day free from the harassment.  (Eventually the faking sick became a great tactic to get out of a lot of things I'd rather avoid.)  My parents tried talking to the parents of the other kids.  That didn't do anything.  The bullies knew that they had a target that wouldn't fight back and who they also knew were affecting me.

I had gained this feeling of powerlessness, which I had never felt before.  My young brain could not comprehend how to get out of the situation.  As an adult, the answer seems obvious... punch the motherf-ers in the head and keep doing it till they leave you alone, regardless of the physical punishment you'll get in return.  Another problem was that I was already becoming overweight (which was the initial start of the bullying) and I felt like I was weaker than everyone else, I was flabby.  So I felt that physically, I just could not win.  I would dream about using magic spells or other ways using just my mind and studying that could inflict some sort of harm on my enemies.  Using my body was just not possible, or so I felt.

So I think I need to take some sort of martial art.  Anyone have any suggestions for someone who is out of shape, obese, with a weak back and in his 30s?

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