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Regular Robert

21st century Ulysses.

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Just in case anybody is wondering: Robert is not gone, just really, really sick. The fever keeps getting better but I will prioritize rest over anything else. So, expect me to be back in the near future.

Hope you feel better!

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Congratulations!

Now you have to stay AWARE, because there is a plague on this forum called: "Hey, I did my detox, so why not try out moderation..." And then you start losing control of your behaviour.

Just want to warn you, because you can avoid this issue, at least I hope you will.

Greetings, Mad Pharmacist

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Well, since I have been sick for a while now, I had to spent a lot of time in bed. The woman has to work and comes home at about 10pm/22 o' clock and I can not do much. So I tried to play some games to pass the time. But it did not work. I mean it. It did not work. Every game I played bored me to the point that I had to shut down the PC after half an hour and stared blankly at my wall. Because that was what I really wanted to do. The day I got the fever was a very busy day. I applied a new color to one of my walls because I wanted to "personalize" my working area a bit. It still needs a second layer of paint and I can't wait to do that. It is really strange, but ever since I finished the detox, games feel like a waste of life, time and energy to me. To add a little more: I bought a new PC, because my old notebook could not handle video editing without crashing. I could now play any modern game that I could not play before. But ... like I said ... boring. I'd rather create a game myself than be a slave to an entertainment system.

The only counter-example is when I play with my girlfriend. And that is probably because we talk a lot and I enjoy when she has fun and all. When she has fun playing a video game, I have fun as well. So that will probably be the only video game time left in my life. With my woman.

Aside from that, I am looking forward to do so many things that I cannot do right now because I feel like being burned alive. ;)

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I want to do it again. The detox. I want to do the detox again. Recently, everything went wrong. Extremely wrong and I feel I need to make this post in order to reset or reboot.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Day 0!

 

I feel that it only makes sense if I begin completely from scratch. I feel like I need that process. But let me begin at day -X. Sounds weird, but the recent past is very important. So, what happened after Day 90? I felt like crap. Why? Because everything suddenly disappeared. You know, when I was on my detox, I had daily goals and one maaaajor goal: To complete the detox. I did not, at any time, plan beyond the detox. And when is was through, I was left with nothing. A huge empty feeling. So I tried to do what I did before, set daily goals and such. And it worked for a good amount of time. Until a) my girlfriend got sick and b) I got sick. You see, my girlfriend got the flu, quite some time ago. And she had to stay at home for 16 days. When my girlfriend is home, all my work progress stops. I cannot write or do creative work when someone is on the couch, binging TV series. I just cant. It might be my problem, but I just cannot do it. So I tried to do other stuff. I wanted to paint a wall, but did not want to make that mess when she is home. So I tried to just get by. Do daily stuff. Walk the dog, do the dishes and so on. I hated every single day. I just did and I feel now, right now, deep inside, that I have to be entirely honest. I hated every fucking day of my life. Because every day was filled with banal routines and nothing else. It was a waiting game. I counted the minutes until I was home alone again. After 16 days, I was. But one thing was strange: I did not get the flu, although I was surrounded by it every day. I got a itchy throat and I felt strange, but that was it. And at some point, every symptom vanished. Suspicious.

2 Weeks later: I was home alone, I prepared everything to paint the wall and I did it. I moved all the furniture, covered everything that should not be painted and I painted the fucking wall. I was so frigging happy. For weeks I had waited. Sadly, one coat of "rouge" wasn't enough. So, I said to myself, I will apply another layer the next day. Boy, was I wrong. After cleaning up the whole paint mess before my girlfriend would be home, I felt weird. I felt really weird. Kind of nauseous. I took a shower and when I left the show, the feeling was so intense that I measured my temperature only to find out that suddenly, I had a fever. 39.7° Celsius / 103.64 Fahrenheit. Out of nowhere, I had the flu, weeks after I had contact to it. And that really dragged me down. It really did.

The following days, I wasn't able to do anything. I stayed in bed for days before I took my notebook and started to play some games to pass the time. Horrible mistake. It was out of the boredom and the annoyance to not being able to follow my actual goals that I wanted to dive into something different. I was frustrated and could not do anything about it. After 12 days of being sick, my girlfriend felt bad as well. So she stayed home again and I started to literally go insane. I felt like losing my mind. I completed my detox, felt lost, tried to progress and move forward, got blocked by a sickness, tried to not go insane and waited for the moment that I was able to work on my goals again but then got blocked because I had to go back to banal routines in order to help my girlfriend get healthy again. I had no chance to live the life I chose to live and that drove me mad. Mad Robert. I turned to playing games to not think of my anger and frustration and I would say I had a full blown relapse. For days I have been playing while hating it. Literally. I installed a game, played it, hated it because that was not what I wanted to do and uninstalled it. But I did not manage to get back on my old track. And since I feel I am in a huge mess right now - a mess that I cannot repair - I will try to calm down and start from scratch. I feel that I need it. Too many things went wrong and I did not know how to handle them. I mean, that is a good thing. I learned lessons. I found out where I NEED to improve. Where I need to create some mechanisms in order to stay on my track.

Some of my construction sites are:

  • What if I cannot follow my goals? Like, what if I get sick, break an arm or such. I need activities that fill the gap when there is one. I usually am not sick, but this time it really showed me that I am lost if I cannot do what I feel necessary to do.
  • What can I do when I am home with my girlfriend and she binges a TV series? That is what she does. After work, she wants to turn off her head, so she watches TV series. I kind of ... grew to hate it. I need to get it out now. I hate it. Whenever I am home and she binges a show, frustration grows inside of me.
  • What can I do when I feel the need to talk to somebody? I don't have friends anymore. I had gamer friends, but you all know it: When you stop gaming, the connection, the link between you and your gaming friends is lost. And suddenly you realize, you never were friends. You were strangers, junkies that shared a common addiction.
  • What do I do after I finish my detox? That is so extremely important that I feel I should plan it every day. The detox becomes the main goal during the detox. And when the main goal is gone, one can truly feel lost.

So what I will do now is start all over again. I do not feel like repairing what is broken right now. I'd rather apply a new layer of color. What comes next?

  1. I need to care for my journal again. On a daily basis. I need my own format, since I struggled with most of the others. I will begin tomorrow. Well, I kind of began now. But the real deal begins tomorrow.
  2. I need to set new daily goals. I will do that on paper in real life. That helped me the most.
  3. I need to sort this whole "working at home thing" out.

Yeah, that is what happened to Robert. Not sure what to say anymore. I feel that writing it down helped a lot. Now I have to rethink and apply. That is what I will do next.

 

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Sometimes ...

 

... I can't remember what I like aside from sitting in front of the computer screen. I feel I should remind myself of what I like to do in my life. Things, activities, that I really like and should do more often.

  • Music. I like to listen to music. I have a small collection of vinyls and used to listen to them with a glass of red wine. I always loved that. I loved to feel the emotions, to hear the stories, to follow the melody. The last time that I truly did that was a long time ago.
  • Drawing. I like drawing, painting. I wanted to buy a Wacom tablet to draw more often and be able to upload some stuff to my website. But I am not sure about that. Fact is, I like drawing. But I need to be calm and relaxed in order to do that.
  • Photographs. I like to take photographs. When I was sick for the last weeks, I often thought: "I have a brand new camera and I love it, but it sucks that I have to stay in bed and cannot take pictures". Now, that I am okay again, I do not use my time to take pictures. I want to do it again.
  • Writing. The thing I like the most became a burden somehow. Because I often wanted to write, but my head was littered with mental trash and I could not write a damn thing. I want it to be a beloved activity again. I want to write to be free again.
  • Talking. I like to talk to people. I loved those conversations, that filled whole nights and nobody wanted them to end. But they did and everyone who was there remembers them as great moments. I do not know how I can make this idea real. I do not have such people anymore. People to talk to forever. But I want to remind myself that I like it and that, if there is the chance, I shall take it and make it come true.
  • My environment. I like to live in an environment that I like. Sounds dumb, I know. But there is a deep and important truth in this phrase. You cannot be happy if you live in an environment you do not like. You can only try to sit it out and wait for changes. Or, if you have the power, you can change your environment. I started to paint a wall. I did not even asked my girlfriend, because last time I wanted to paint the kitchen, she stopped me from doing it. Now, I took this wall and made it my own. I like it and I can feel that I can improve this space even further. I want to make it mine. I want to see my reflection in the space I live in. For years I have lived like ... "on the go", always knowing I would only stay for a year or so. I want to enjoy my space. So, I have to make it enjoyable.

These are some of the things I like. I will remember more and will than, remind myself that there is more. But for now, this list shall do just fine.

 

I can already feel that this helps me. I felt lost and now I feel I can at least see the track again.

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Day 1

I decided to begin from scratch and today was the first day of my second detox. I had trouble getting out of bed due to the use of sleeping medication. That stuff does seem to help getting sleep but getting up is a total different thing. Anyway, I prepared a nice, grand breakfast. But the salad sauce seems to have turned. The result was that I spent half the day in the bathroom. A great start so far. ;)

But I did not want to let the negativity in my head win the battle. So I tried writing. I had a good idea to write about and I used Word online to do so. I am currently trying to optimize my writing process by connecting all my devices to the Microsoft Cloud. I wrote 3 pages, but a plugin must have died during the process so that only half a page was actually saved. I probably should not have listened to music on YouTube at the same time. Well, anyways, I had to rewrite the missing parts. That was not too great. But I still managed to recreate the bigger part of the article. Still, a shame.

The rest of the day was spent feeling sick, doing banal housework stuff and such. To be honest, even though some things went wrong, I still liked the day. I feel that I am getting back on track to my lost habits.

I feel very happy about my new cloud and such. I am always very worried when it comes to my written stuff. What happens if my PC dies? Or the apartment burns down. Stuff like that worries me. Now it is saved in the cloud and I can access it from everywhere. Kind of a relief.

The breakfast was a nice way to celebrate the first day of my second detox. Even if the result was not too great, the ritual in itself was good. That's it for today. I will try to improve tomorrow and raise my productivity. There are so many unfinished tasks and projects. I want to make some progress again.

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Day 2

Life is getting back on track. I made good progress today. Even though I did not get a lot of sleep and got wakened up by hammering noises, I was pretty active today. I found a Red Bull in the fridge and drank it. I haven't had a single energy drink in years. Boy, was I electrified. I did not feel too well while being active 'cause I could feel that my chemical balance got a kick in the side but it still was useful to approach my tasks.

Ever since I was sick, I struggled to see any hope. I felt lost and thought that even though I managed to abstain from games for 3 months, I was a failure and would always fail. But that is not true. In fact, neither is the opposite. There is no truth in how you see yourself. If you think you are a failure, you will fail. If you think you can handle it, you will handle it. Right now, I am back in the business handling my shit. And I am getting shit done, which is great. Aside from all the routines, I managed to write 3 pages again. And I liked it. That is extremely important. I liked it. A week ago, everything seemed to be so pointless. But now I can enjoy stuff again.

Except for one thing, I managed to complete all my daily tasks plus 3 additional. And I would be able to finish the last one as well, I just don't like to do it now, because I will have to do it again in a couple of days. When I apply another layer of paint to my wall. That is a thing I really look forward to. When I am done, I will post photos so that I can visually remember the event if I ever read my old entries again.

All in all, today has been a good day. I was productive and I enjoyed it. I can only hope that I can keep that spirit up.

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Hey man, haven't been able to read through your latest entries... but if you can give me a quick TLDR and a question I can help share my perspective on, I'd love to share anything I can. Always enjoy your entries.

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Hey man, haven't been able to read through your latest entries... but if you can give me a quick TLDR and a question I can help share my perspective on, I'd love to share anything I can. Always enjoy your entries.

Of course.

After the completion of my detox, I felt a little lost, because my main goal, to finish the detox - at that time my main drive - was gone. I managed to readjust my goals and created a new "track", working on my stuff. The moment I thought I was safe and got everything together, I took a shower, came out and had the fever. All of the sudden. I was sick for about 16 days. During that time I wasn't able to do much, because I was weak and like I said, had the fever. And one thing, that did not turn up during the detox, stood in the room all of the sudden. "What shall I do while being sick? How to pass time without going crazy?" That might sound a little dramatic, but I came from "Wow, I finished my detox and I try to find a new higher goal, a new direction while staying productive" to "I cannot do anything at all". So I fought the urge to pick up the notebook, for many days until I could not stand my condition anymore and I relapsed. I played games to pass the time while having to stay in bed. After that, I felt like crap. I felt lost again and I understood, that I wasn't prepared. Or not enough. So, I told myself, that if I am lost and don't know where to go from there, I just reset. I felt that I wanted another detox. You know, learn from doing stuff again and again. This time, with more knowledge. And that is why I started a new detox. Ever since then, my productivity went up again and my feelings found a balance.

Yeah, that's basically it.

I hope that you are well, pal and I see you are expanding on all of your projects. I love to see that. I really do. Keep up everything you do and keep being awesome. ;)

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So, I decided to somewhat use all my years of gaming to make some kind of my own game. It is not really a game, but it a creative project. I always wanted to make a movie, but with limited funds, no cast and no experience in video editing that movie would not be too hot. However, since I have basic coding know how, know how to use photoshop, have a good camera and such, I can probably make my own graphic novel. That is not really a game, I know, but if you imagine having choices at some points in the story, that could be like a game while at the same time, it is not the typical kind of game where you invest your whole life. It is a story, told in pictures, text and voice.

Today, I tried to take photos. All alone. Hard work. I cannot set the focus, I cannot see how the pose looks like. So I had to invest hours of my life into learning how to take photos that I can use for my little project. Since I have talked about it so much now, here is a little example. Bare in mind, this is the result of hour 0. 0 Knowledge, 0 team and 0 polishing. It is just a test to see how a possible graphic novel could look.

 

 

 

 

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It's hard to give genuine compliments, and I want to try and get across just how genuine this is, above and beyond: This work brightened my day to see.

I love the style. - It makes me think of the "Sin City" movies. The hallway has a certain vibe to it, so much scene conveyed in one image. - The shot of you as a detective DEMANDS attention... and makes me want to know what's coming next.

Well done, great project - hope to see more!

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It took me a while, but I finally decided to continue working on my journal. In the past, I have not seen many reasons to continue since I was busy working on the stuff I picked up during the detox. But I feel, a post-detox journal might be interesting. I saw some people counting the days they are sober, but since I had quite some major and minor relapses, I never continued counting. Well, enough small talk.

I will basically talk about things and topics that I experienced during my detox and after my detox, as well as hard times, challenges, moments of truths and wisdom to be learned. It will help me to reflect and may be, just may be, it will help others who are on their journey.

 

 

 

Bobbie's 90+ day detox
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WHEN ENTHUSIASM IS OUT OF CONTROL
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During my detox I found a couple important things and skills that have been missing for quite a while. One of these things was ENTHUSIASM. I have always been a kid that wanted to try out new stuff, wanted to learn and to witness in order to understand. I always wanted to improve, to accumulate new wisdom and skills. In short, I was very enthusiastic. As an adult, that had not changed too much. But during and after my detox, my enthusiasm turned into a problem for me. You see, during the years that I played video games on a daily basis, I was numb. I guess, we all are numb when sitting in front of a screen, half-drooling, half-stuffing our faces with junk food. But that desire has always been inside of me. Whenever I watched a YouTube video about something remotely interesting, I wanted to learn about that.

Photography, making music, building cars, chemistry, biology, dog training, painting, flying helicopters, gardening, writing, film making, smithing, airbrushing stuff, modding games, coding software, creating my own game, invent a new thing nobody has but everybody wants, train, train more, train to become a beast, ride a train, build my own model trains with a 3D printer, take part in an online course, travel, travel even more, travel and get lost for a couple of years only to come back full frontal Indiana Jones style, rob a bank, sew my own clothes ... well, THE LIST IS INFINITE, quite obviously.

And during my detox, I tried a lot of things. I trained, worked out, went running. I picked up cooking. I began to create some kind of podcast, created a website for myself. I picked up writing again. I bought a new camera to take pictures and learn about photography. I took long walks with the dog and so on and so forth. But I when the slightest feeling of satisfaction hit me, I tended to feed myself new input, such as YouTube videos, Wikipedia articles, how tos and tutorials and input from other sources. Due to years of fake progress, major fake progress, I trained myself to always level up. To always keep on improving. ALWAYS GET A NEW KICK. Never to stand still, never to rest. Just like a junky, the kick wears off.
Especially in browser games, RPGs and of course MMOS, you level. You gotta level to take part in the good content, you level to challenge other players, you level because ... well, you level for the sake of leveling, since aside from that, there is often nothing to experience. You gain experience, the end. When I went through my detox, I accumulated a huge stack of stuff I wanted to do, which resulted not in satisfaction, but in sheer
OVERLOAD. Don't get me wrong, it all felt good. Improving, learning new stuff, it all felt so awesome. But ultimately, I learned nothing really and was unable to improve. Because, if you learn to do literally everything a slight bit, you will come across like a jack-of-all-trades. But that is only superficial, since underneath that surfacing knowledge is nothing. Instant rock bottom.

Especially in online games, I always sensed this urge to keep up. You needed to be able to respond to every situation. You needed to master the game to be a master. Not only in games, but also in real life, most commonly in the media, I feel there is a huge pressure on young people. Or let's say, on (post-)millenials. Facebook shows the great parts of people's lives and they all look so damn happy. Every YouTuber seems to be a huge success. "SUCCESS" is probably the word nowadays. Everybody has to be successful. Everybody has to be something. Something that you can show. It often feels to me like the old days, when I was a tiny lad, listening to my parents who talked to other adults on the marketplace about what Mr. and Mrs. this' or that's son does now and whatnot. People are often talking and always comparing. Nowadays, I think this behavior has been accelerated by faster and more public ways of talking and gossiping.

Anyhow, with such a pressure, no real sense for gratification and the kicks that resulted from enthusiasm, overload was unavoidable. During and after my detox, I learned a couple of important things. When it comes to enthusiasm, the most important knowledge I gained was: I HAVE TO DECIDE. I have to decide what I want to do with my potential time and work in mind. What can I do? What will help me progress in my and only my life? What is useful to me?
I always have to remind myself that even though I feel totally pumped about this or that now, it might only be a passing feeling. Every time this feeling comes up, I have to evaluate whether I truly think this new thing is beneficial to me. Otherwise, I end up putting up lists, buying new stuff and all of it will only collect dust and feel like a burden. Looking around my living environment helps to evaluate whether something is useful to me or not. I have what I need and thus, I can literally see what kind of stuff I need in my life.

Still, I learned that, the less I have and accumulate, THE MORE NIMBLE I MOVE. This goes for physical, but also for mental and emotional stuff. I grew a lot calmer, more serene in the past couple of months. The reason is that I do not follow every tiny kick anymore. Enthusiasm is great, it generates energy, but the main question I shall ask is: Will I have enough energy TO CARRY ON after the enthusiasm is gone? For a couple of things in my life, the answer is clearly ... "Yeah!". For those things, I now have more energy, more concentration and more time to actually make progress.

I mean, the detox itself if proof for everybody who goes through it. After dropping gaming, the amount of time, mood and energy I had for other things simply exploded. I think, a great part of growing up, becoming an adult is to decide what one wants to do with his or her life. Once the decision is out in the open, it all boils down to a good level of self-management.

Another nice side effect is: I am able to admit that I HAVE NO F!#*ING CLUE. I mean it. I often felt a pressure to ALWAYS BE SUITABLE or adequate no matter what the situation is. Some of you might know that feeling. "Do not admit you are unable. People will think you are a failure." Competitive gaming boosted the pressure even more.
But, this feeling is almost entirely gone. I don't always know the answer. I don't always know how to do something, nor do I always have an opinion. Some stuff is simply beyond my knowledge. But I almost always certain where to go to in order to find a person I could ask for advice or knowledge. And I, for myself, am able to do the stuff I do with full concentration.

Enthusiasm is great to get the engine running, but your fuel is limited and you will never reach the end of ALL THE PATHS, but with the right mindset you will be able to reach far BEYOND THE END OF YOUR PATH.
 

 

 

 

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Bobbie's 90+ day detox
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WHEN FORGIVENESS IS GREATNESS
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I feel strange today. I simply do and that is alright. When I got out of bed today, way behind schedule, the sun was shining. To me it felt like the sun was shining for me and only for me. So soft, so bright, so warm. So alive. Alive.

The last two weeks, I have been working on an issue I haven't had the courage to face before. FORGIVENESS. I had finished my detox long time ago, but I never felt at peace, nor done. More or less, I felt like I had put a spade in the ground and opened up the surface. That is, in hindsight, what I have done. I teared open the surface.

What do I mean by FORGIVENESS? Well, some time back I realized that my excessive gaming habits were part of something bigger. It was self medication, in a complete overdose. When I quit gaming I had the space in my mind and in my life to let things happen. And boy/girl, things happened. During the first days of my detox, I realized what I was trying to silence. Why I was trying to passify myself. I suddenly realized, there is a lot of pain inside of me. Pain, guilt, shame, pride, arrogance, anger, fear and grief. But since I was still living in a toxic environment, I could not let go. It just wasn't a safe place to let go. Like someone else wrote in his journal, you gotta change your environment to evolve. And that is true.

So, I moved to a different place. People here are friendly. For the first time in my life, people are friendly by default. Of course, not all of them are friendly, but compared to my last situation, it is a huge improvement. And that gives me the room to fall and stand up again. If you live in a toxic environment, you cannot fall without being kicked or beaten. In some environments, people wait for others to fall, so that they can attack the "weak" in order to feel strong. But here, I feel safe to let got. And that is what I do. I let go.

What I started to do recently is to let go of old emotions. Like I said, a huge variety of feelings is stored inside of me. Feelings are supposed to be temporary. You and I, we feel now and here. But we all know that human condition. Old feelings get repressed, suppressed and start to grow inside. It is like planting flowers or a tree. If you have a bad plant in your garden, it is best to tear it out of the ground as soon as you see it grow. If you ignore it, the roots will spread and in the end, you will have to dig a huge freaking hole into your own garden simply to get rid of what hurts. The same goes for emotions. If you repress or suppress them, their roots will spread and at some point, your whole emotional garden will look like it is weed-infested. Negativity will spread. Everything will have a negative aura. You look at people around you and you will feel like they all suck. While in truth, it is you who sucks in your own opinion and you simply project it onto others. That was and partly is, what I do. I blamed others for my condition. I looked at people and saw only negativity. "How can people dress like this? How can you say such things? Everybody around me is an idiot." - but halt, I am the idiot. I was thinking poorly of myself. I saw myself as a victim of conditions. As a bad person, so I deserved bad things. All these thoughts were a result of my emotional storage.

For two weeks now, I write letters that I do or do not send. Some people left my life and left a crisis. So I write them a letter but I store it in a box. Some people left my life and left a crisis, but since I still stayed in contact, I write them directly. What I do is simple: I forgive them. I surrender to my emotions. I write down old situations that caused hurt and I forgive the person that caused them. The girlfriend that had sex with another man during our relationship. My parents that locked me up in a garden shed during my birthday when I was a child, so that I had to watch all the other kids enjoy the party while I was trying to scratch the wooden door to get out. The reason why they locked me up was because I opened a gift before I was allowed to open the gifts. So I was a prisoner at my own birthday party. That hurts. The memory still hurts but before recently, I tried to numb that hurt. I was necessary as a kid, otherwise I would not have survived. But I am 31 years old and I live my own life. Still, this emotion is stored inside of me and the realization that I game to numb myself struck me hard. I played games to flee from my very own emotions. Underneath these layers of hurt is a core and that core is a young kid that is hurt. So what I did back then was to lock up that hurt kid like my parents used to lock me up in a garden shed. I have tears in my eyes while I write this. But instead of numbing the hurt, I embrace it. It will not destroy me if I let it go.
So, I wrote a letter to my parents, a letter that I do not send, but that is not necessary. See, I believe that all living creatures have one big soul. Only hurt and negativity gives us the feeling of being separated. But in truth, we are one. I forgave my parents and that unfaithful girlfriend. I let the hurt go.

Today, I worked of my forgiveness-list - this list is huge since numbing myself was a great talent of me - and the universe showed me that it is the right way to go. I cried. A skill I wasn't capable of for many years of my life, since in my family, kids that cry would be punished. But I cried for that little kid inside of me. I wrote that letter, wrote what had happened back then and that it hurt me and in the end, I wrote that I forgive my parents for what they caused. I know they have kids inside of them as well. And they had been hurt as well. Hurt people spread hurt. Until these people let go of the hurt. I forgave them.
A couple of minutes after I was done crying, I opened a bottle of wine and went into my garden to listen to music and play with the dog. You know, letting go makes you very sensitive for the beauty you have in your life. Like that unconditional love your dog shows you. Even if he is a naughty dog from time to time, he loves his human friend. When I went back inside, I had a call on my answering machine. My mom had called me and on the message she left, she called me "Bobby". A nickname she never gave me before. She said "she wanted to call her little Bobby" as if she felt that this little Bobby had broken out into tears just minutes ago. It is weird, how the energy in the universe works.

An hour later, my wife came home. Oh, I forgot to mention it, I got married on the 14th of February. And when we talked, she said "hey look, there is a tea bag hanging inside our bush. How funny is that?" and I replied "yeah, I tried to throw it out of the window this morning. I tried to hit the compost."
That in itself is rather banal, but what followed was extremely interesting. She had laid out that tea bag for me in the morning. So that I could use it for my morning tea and it is one of those tea bags that has a printed message on it. She said, may be it was "Karma" that made me fail my throw. When she walked out into the garden and picked up the bag, she also read the message on the bag. I could hear her shouting from the garden and came out as well and she handed me the bag. The message it read was "Forgiveness shows greatness". Any other day, I would not have cared. But today, this was a message from the universe, trying to reinforce me in my way of forgiveness. Bad things happen in life and most of the time, we do not have any control over the events. But we have control over how we react to these events. Letting go of the bad memories does not free the world of bad events, but it frees us of bad emotions that if being repressed or suppressed will grow inside of us and intoxicate our life-experience.

 

Edit: Later that evening, after posting that essay, I had the longest telephone-talk with my mother ever. It was good and filled with love. I can only suggest to anybody to let go of all the emotional garbage that litters our mental basement. Stay strong, following quitters.

 

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Bobbie's 90+ day detox
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SMILE WHENEVER YOU CAN
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As some of you might have figured out already, I live in Germany. Somehow, smiling, ultimately showing happiness and love does not seem to be standard education in schools, nor families.

About two years ago, I began my detox. Among many issues that suddenly surfaced, I realized that I am not only suppressing negative emotions, but emotions in general. What does that mean? It means, that I held back anger, fury, grief but also happiness, joy and - of course - love. This love is not limited to my wife or my dog or my family. In fact, I never learned to express happiness in my youth. This resulted in a sad, isolated adolescence.

After my detox - and also during my detox - I felt. I felt many emotions. "Feeling" is so close to "falling" and I want to believe, that it has a reason. If you feel and express your feelings, it often feels like falling down. It feels like showing weakness. That might even be the case. But what I learned was that showing your emotions might upset some people, might drive some people away from you, but that is mostly not because of yourself. Emotions are a delicate topic for some reason.

When I go out today, I smile at everybody I want to. It does not mean that I flirt - well okay, somehow yeah, it does, but not that obvious, lame-ass kind of flirting -; when I smile today, I want to smile. And when I want to smile, I smile. In my experience, many people look away but some do actually smile back. I don't need people to smile back, but it still feels good to be smiled at. When I smile, I reinforce a feeling I have. I. Super egoistic, but real. And another thing I learned is that what you express will come back to you.

You might now think "How can he suggest to walk around like a super high nutjob"? The answer is quite simple: You do not suppress yourself. I do not smile to impress people or manipulate them, but only because I - myself - want to smile. I dare to express my emotions. And that often helps others to express their feelings. Even if they look away, they often smile, too.

It feels great to express what I feel and I want to recommend to you people who read my stuff: Smile, whenever you can. Smile at the clerk at the supermarket. Smile at the pissed man that feels harassed because he currently experiences anger. Smile at anybody if you feel like smiling. You are doing this for you. You are reinforcing your very own emotions. It is like listening to loud music and simply dance if you feel like dancing. If you feel it, experience it.

I'd like to live in a society where people dare to smile at each other. It seems so common that people show a face of hatred, but I am here to enjoy my life. I smile when I feel like smiling. So, go out there and smile like the sun smiles at you.

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The sun doesn’t smile at me, but apart from that I really enjoyed reading your post. I was raised with the utmost severity. since when I was a kid I was taught the importance of behaving appropriately, which meant for the most part being always damn serious and respecting the rules. Never taking it easy. And I was taught shame whenever I failed, never forgiveness. I can remember when I was a child and I always tried to hide my emotions to hurt my parents. I wanted them to know that I didn’t care about their authority. Yes, I did as they wanted, but I wanted them to understand that I hated them for it. As a price they had to pay for my obedience. So I suppressed my emotions, always hiding them: because of the reason I mentioned with my parents, because of shame with other people. I was never taught to show emotions, I always had to pretend. Like my father, who almost never showed his deep emotions. Now I understand that my parents were just trying to protect and mentor me, but back then it was hella hard. And it took its toll. I never developed a functional personality. In the last few years things got better, but I still am the usual edgy asshole unable to express his true feelings. I always have to wear some kind of metaphorical mask.

thanks for what you wrote.

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10 hours ago, Regular Robert said:

Bobbie's 90+ day detox
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SMILE WHENEVER YOU CAN
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About two years ago, I began my detox. Among many issues that suddenly surfaced, I realized that I am not only suppressing negative emotions, but emotions in general. What does that mean? It means, that I held back anger, fury, grief but also happiness, joy and - of course - love.

After my detox - and also during my detox - I felt. I felt many emotions. "Feeling" is so close to "falling" and I want to believe, that it has a reason. If you feel and express your feelings, it often feels like falling down. It feels like showing weakness. That might even be the case. But what I learned was that showing your emotions might upset some people, might drive some people away from you, but that is mostly not because of yourself.

You do not suppress yourself. I do not smile to impress people or manipulate them, but only because I - myself - want to smile. I dare to express my emotions. And that often helps others to express their feelings. Even if they look away, they often smile, too.

but I am here to enjoy my life. I smile when I feel like smiling. So, go out there and smile like the sun smiles at you.

I read this during lunch break at work and it literally brought a smile to myself.  Simply because you sound as if you've broken out of a cage, @Regular Robert.  *big smile* I am very happy for you!

Let me tell you something, when I see a person smile and I know it's genuine, it is because when they smile their emotion also shows up in their eyes.  The eyes and the smile go hand in hand, together.  And it's not something you can force yourself to do.  But that is my general observation about smiling.

Also, when I was going through a rough time in my life, I'd have a scowl on my face walking around, and I know that it changed the way people treated me, whether that be in a clothing store, grocery market, bank, school, work, etc.  Upon reflection, facial expressions can have a profound effect on how people will receive you, and consequently treat you.  With great embarrassment, I do admit to practicing how to smile, a few years ago.  I wasn't accustomed to it.  So, it's a work in progress.  I think that I've adopted a slight smile that doesn't look so forced and dopey.  Is it a mask?  Somewhat.  I think I practice this because I really don't want to scare off people too.  I want to appear approachable, and I've noticed it has worked 80% of the time. 

One day, I'll take your advice to smile when I 'feel' like smiling. 

Thank you so much for this thoughtful post.  I admire the title in Red/Green colors as well.  Very well done, and the topic really stands out!

~ Dani

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@Regular Robert

I am blown away by your journal.  To say the least.  I have not finished reading all of it, but from what I've read so far, I can relate so much to what you went through in the beginning. 

I hope others read what you have contributed And I wanted to say THANK YOU for all you've done to assist others here, and also with the changes you've done to enhance Game Quitters website. 

Thank you.

Sincerely,

~ Dani

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