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Rubiroo
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I relapsed on Saturday after I got home from therapy. Played some Don’t Starve for an hour or so and got bored when I died. I think it was due to not having any alternative activities lined up so it was an easy justification for a good therapy session and nothing better to do. Next weekend my brother will be coming round and we’ll be working on the property most of the weekend. 

Yesterday I spent most of the day watching YouTube videos and eventually got bored and irksome so I went for a walk outside which was a good accomplishment. I got some ideas for places I can exercise and got some groceries afterwards. I cooked my lunch for the week so that felt pretty good. Did a bunch of cleaning around the house and got caught up on my laundry. 

I’m not angry or disappointed about the blunder. More understanding that I didn’t set myself up to avoid it and made reactive rather than proactive decisions. 

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Mate don't beat yourself up about it - I relapsed a few times as well. What I learnt from it is identifying the triggers that caused me not be able to resist it anymore. My main challenges were being overwhelmed with what I was trying to do, and thinking I had too much time on my hands. Maybe you're the same with the latter, because you didn't have an alternative activity lined up you had too much time and became bored. Now if I get the urge to play or do something unconstructive now I change my environment - exactly like you did. Go for a walk, go outside, it could be as little as just moving away from your desk. If you don't have a desk and are on a laptop, just close the laptop for a little while and switch to another task.

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I’ve found myself feeling somewhat lighter. I can’t say for certain why but I like it. I’ve noticed that while I’m walking around outside I’ll take note of what expression my face is communicating. Usually my brow is furrowed and so I’ll relax it and notice a change in mood. I’ll start feeling a little happier and more energetic and that’s been quite interesting. Waking up in the morning has been easier and I’ve been trialing setting my alarm clock back 15mins every morning to practice getting up earlier. I haven’t been getting out of bed yet but I’m still getting up earlier than my usual time. My goal is to start doing some morning exercise so at least I’ve done something for the day. I’m on my feet all day at work, but it doesn’t feel like I’m blowing off any steam or getting tired enough by the end of the day.

I got my George Foreman grill yesterday and cooked up a mean juicy chicken for dinner which is great. Much healthier than supermarket pizza and fish & chips. I noticed that I felt pretty good after I ate my cooked lunch which was pretty useful.

Mate don't beat yourself up about it - I relapsed a few times as well. What I learnt from it is identifying the triggers that caused me not be able to resist it anymore. My main challenges were being overwhelmed with what I was trying to do, and thinking I had too much time on my hands. Maybe you're the same with the latter, because you didn't have an alternative activity lined up you had too much time and became bored. Now if I get the urge to play or do something unconstructive now I change my environment - exactly like you did. Go for a walk, go outside, it could be as little as just moving away from your desk. If you don't have a desk and are on a laptop, just close the laptop for a little while and switch to another task.

No beating up going on over here Giblets :)

My crux currently is spending time on YouTube vicariously watching gaming vids. Sometimes I ask myself “Am I gaining anything by watching this” and turn it off and find something else to do, but usually I’ll justify it as winding down or just blobbing. 

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Today will be an interesting day. Was kept up all night due to the heavy wind and rain and didn’t get much sleep.

I’m developing a good and quick routine for cooking my dinner daily and tonight will be cooking the rest of my lunch so I am quite pleased at that. All games have been uninstalled from my laptop and I have the fortunate limitation of a capped data plan, so I have an additional incentive not to download games and clients again.

I’ve been getting really into this book called “The Narcississtic Family”. It’s a diagnosis and treatment book written for therapists, but am finding some useful things in there. For example one of it’s recommendations is to find a picture of my younger self and find a nice frame for it and place it somewhere you are likely to see it often. I’m going to grab one off my brother and shop around for a nice frame. The intention of this is to help recall memories and encourage a more compassionate approach to myself and my struggles. 

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I’ve been thinking about what activities I’d like to do to replace my gaming and substitute in for the majority of my YouTube consumption and I’m getting a little stuck.

There are some activities I’d like to do like writing, playing guitar, some song-writing and considering making some videos but activities like these don’t seem inherently productive and that’s where I’m getting stuck. I have other activities in mind which I see have potential financial benefits like coding, app development or getting into other digital markets but am stuck on what to do when I want to be a little creative. I find myself having a sense of guilt if I engage in those activities and have a voice that says “This isn’t productive”. 

It’s like I have to replace non-productive activities with only productive activities. I know that it’s good to have creative outlets and I enjoy the activities mentioned above, but that sense of guilt deters me from doing them

What’re your thoughts?

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I had a pretty good day yesterday. Finished late at work and grabbed some guilt free fish and chips for dinner. I’ve arranged my money so that I do have a little sanity money where I buy guilt free things  Certainly felt better buying it that way than when I haven’t felt like I earned it. I’ll be back to grilling a chicken breast for dinner tonight.

I still get urges to play games, but they’re not as strong as they used to be. The last two Saturdays I’ve played games and was more curious as to why I did rather than be judgemental and feel shame.

I was talking in the StopGaming Discord and was talking about starting up a vlogging series where I share my thoughts, challenges etc like I have here. I want to do it with the aim that my sharing will help others and encourage them to do the same. It’ll probably be hard, but it would include my failures and ideally it’ll keep me accountable to my own progress and keep me from getting complacent. They’ll be posted on my own website and I’ll link it here and do a quick summary. Anyone know if that’s a breach of conditions or anything?

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No issues from posting a vlog here as far as I can tell. A few other users have done it recently (names escaping me at the moment sorry), and I have contemplated doing it as I found it super helpful with my anxiety when I was posting them in the Squad. I would start doing it here myself but I need to get off my ass and set up a hosting account for it - I refuse to put it on youtube, big brother is watching!

As for constructive/productive hobbies to replace your gaming ones, programming is a fantastic idea. I have really wanted to get back into programming for fun for many years since I left university but never really got around to it. The closest I have got is programming a sudoko solver to prove to my friend that the puzzles are lame, that was a lot of fun. I have been studying cyber security recently and read a lot about scrapers, I'd love to write one of those.

Other ideas - I can tell you what I did. I initially did a lot of chores around the house, doesn't sound fun I know, but I had been putting a lot of things off because they weren't fun and I would rather game and I was relatively embarassed to have people over as a result (my work colleagues tend to appear here for beers after work because I live so close). Then I started organising my life, scanning documents, paying bills, building a calendar, etc. Finally - I inserted a lot of exercise and time at the park. Whether that just be walks or full blown runs, it let me get outside, clear my mind, and spend some time with my son as he pottered around the park. A key to achieving all of this I believe was walking away from my phone a lot - I left my phone in my bedroom instead of in my pocket. I think my productivity went up about 1000% as a result.

Other productive ideas might be gardening (to at least grow your own fresh herbs), airtasker, uber, studying, joining a social group.

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Appreciate the ideas Gibliets. How long ago were you in The Squad? I was in there early-mid this year. 

I think getting outside is a good idea. I went for a walk instead of watching YouTube felt pretty good. I’ve also been getting into more chores around the house and actually enjoying those for the most part. I’ve been liking the cleanliness and more oraganised environment and been finding it somewhat therapeutic. 

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So my brother and I have a change of plans for today. Instead we’re going to work for the day and later we’re going to go hang out for a bit. Really looking forward to that. I love spending time with him and if it means doing stuff I don’t particularly enjoy doing to get that time with him, so be it.

I’m quite nervous about doing the vlogging, but will do it. The worry I have is that I appear as an authority or lead someone down the wrong path somehow, but that isn’t my fault and I can’t take responsibility for that. I’m going to make an introduction video of sorts to layout the intention and framework of the vlogs and I think that’ll alleviate the worry. 
The other concern I have is that I want to get it perfect first try, which I realise is unrealistic. I’ve got an app on my phone that sends me quotes that I like and one that I wrote was “Progress doesn’t start with perfection. Progress starts with practice.” And it’s a good reminder. When starting something new I get stuck researching as much as I can about the “right” way to do it, or I don’t start at all knowing how much work it’ll take to get to a result I find acceptable. Overcoming this hesitation will be a pretty critical achievement for me. 

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If you are worried about what your vblogs will look at over time, look at many youtubers and their progress/improvement over their timeframe. They just start of with getting content out there, building their routine, the extra jazz or fine tuning comes later when you get more practice. I'll see if I can show you the comparison between my first one and my last one - my first one I could barely speak without so much stuttering, and the last one I felt really relaxed and confident.

I was in the Squad recently, the last few months. Have enjoyed using it as a platform for video journalling, and definitely something I want to do more of once I get my routine a bit more organised and less stress-driven!

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If you are worried about what your vblogs will look at over time, look at many youtubers and their progress/improvement over their timeframe. They just start of with getting content out there, building their routine, the extra jazz or fine tuning comes later when you get more practice. I'll see if I can show you the comparison between my first one and my last one - my first one I could barely speak without so much stuttering, and the last one I felt really relaxed and confident.

Heh, check 'Big-nose Cam' (@Cam Adair) first videos for reference. I can now tell from experience that his nose is actually quite normal, it really was the camera. There are many vlogs out there talking about personal experiences, people know the format/what to expect and won't take it as patronizing (normal people at least, not trolls).

Don't worry about the relapse. You'll need a 'go-to' activity for when you're just bored. It may be one of the most difficult things to do in the detox, since you'll need to stablish it as a mindless habit, rather than the other, more conscious things you schedule to fill your day without games. But it's doable. You've come a long way bro.

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The site seemed to not be working for some reason on my phone, but alas I have returned :)

I think I’ve figured out the format I want to do for my blog. It’ll be a weekly update which will serve as a summary and review of key moments from the previous week and what my focus(es) will be for the following week. I’ll have weekly goals that I work towards every week and they could be catered to serve larger goals. The aim will be to follow through with the goal(s) but I will still allow for other issues that I discover to be addressed too. 

My focuses for this week are hydration and awareness of how I feel after eating my foods. I don’t eat very healthily for the most part and am having a hard time with maintaining discipline around cooking. So, I’m instead trying to teach myself the costs and benefits of eating unhealthily so when I come about making the decision, I’m hoping I will pick up some reasons not to that aren’t shameful. Shaming myself tends to encourage eating poorly.
The hydration is to help with work performance as I can’t afford to work inefffectively and make poor decisions. I want to be more alert and have more energy so I don’t make silly little shortcuts and assumptions that result in expensive mistakes. 

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I tricked myself into playing mobile games xD

The justifications and rationalising are strong. “I just want to blob and if I’m going to just watch YouTube, I may as well do something more active.” And when I finish I find I didn’t enjoy it anyway. Was just mindlessness and feign engagement. Like I wasn’t really doing anything despite doing something. 

I have been gaining more satisfaction from doing things like cleaning and tidying around the house, researching ideas I want to implement and things like that. I’m just finding it difficult to hold the line. When temptation calls, I find that difficult to ignore. “Just buy some pizza. You deserve it!” Whispers the devil in my ear. “Take the night off, grab some ice cream and indulge a bit.” “If you’re just going to watch YouTube you may as well play a game since you’re doing it for the same reason.”

I worry that my compassion and curiosity is an excuse for complacency. 

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I wonder sometimes at work whether my compassion or emotional intelligence is a misinterpreted complacency/leniency.

Learn from this experience and implement it going forward!

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I had a good weekend helping my brother clear out the garage. Now managed to fit the truck in there and rearrange it so there’s space for a workshop. Pretty epic change.

Next weekend I’ve got a mate from out of town coming to the Island and we’re going to have a blast. Beer, wine, clay pigeon shooting, fine dining, smashed avo and scenic walks. Get into some poker and surely to have some heated political discussion. Really looking forward to it if the weather holds up :P

So I went through my YouTube and “Not Interested” a whole bunch of gaming videos and channels. Last night I found myself really wanting to watch them again. I noticed thoughts like “I just REALLY want to it!” And felt like a kid again. I didn’t let myself get to explore those thoughts but compromised for a little Netflix and wasn’t too interested in that. This morning I watched a gaming vid and did another “Not Interested” purge. If/when those thoughts come up again I’m going to try explore them a bit and see what comes up. Might help me answer part of my addiction I think.

When you guys are really tired at the end of the day, but not enough to go to sleep, what activities do you guys do? I find after work is when I’m most vulnerable to relapsing or making decisions I don’t want to make. 

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So, past couple days I’ve been exploring the idea of external validation and know that I seek out it quite a lot and find it exhausting to not have it internalised. 

http://www.unstoppablerise.com/how-to-stop-seeking-validation/

I was reading this article and wanted to get your guys thoughts on it here.

I think this is somewhat of a core issue for me since it ties into questions like “What are my values”, “What do I want for myself”, “What are my strengths” etc. Because if I rely on external validation for these then they can change on a whim because people have different values and that validation may be inconsistent due to circumstances. Like if I do something well and seek approval or validation, I may get a negative response because they’re having a bad day or something and I’ll assign that to me having done a bad thing, when in reality I did well.

So, what have you guys done to internalise validation?

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9 hours ago, Rubiroo said:

So, past couple days I’ve been exploring the idea of external validation and know that I seek out it quite a lot and find it exhausting to not have it internalised. 

http://www.unstoppablerise.com/how-to-stop-seeking-validation/

I was reading this article and wanted to get your guys thoughts on it here.

I think this is somewhat of a core issue for me since it ties into questions like “What are my values”, “What do I want for myself”, “What are my strengths” etc. Because if I rely on external validation for these then they can change on a whim because people have different values and that validation may be inconsistent due to circumstances. Like if I do something well and seek approval or validation, I may get a negative response because they’re having a bad day or something and I’ll assign that to me having done a bad thing, when in reality I did well.

So, what have you guys done to internalise validation?

Hey I find it is an interesting article and seems to contain some truth. I'm not really a person who searches validation from people I don't know that well but it is hard for me to deviate from the things my wtife or my family want because I don't want to hurt the, and I want them to be proud of me. but this leads sometimes to fear and doubt about my plans (what if they don't like it? Shouldn't I better ask if this is ok?). What I realized in the last two years is that you do ofcourse think about the people who are important to you but if the decision is only affecting yourself you don't need to and shouldn't care too much about other peoples beliefs and opinions. Sure think about them but be not afraid to do something against them anyway.

The most things which I did for me (doing this journal, findng my footing in the software development market, etc...) was only my decision and many people wouldn't think It a good idea. But I knew I needed to change so I was proactive. I think as soon as you act proactive and plan to change your life, external validation just looses an importance.

To internalise validation I did think more about what I want and not about what I have to do. It is about taking responsibility for your own life. You don't have to do anything. It is all a choice. You don't even have to be lawful. You just have to life with the consequences. If you realize that you are responsible for every decision you make and your entire life, it comes naturally that you'll be more independent and more proud on your achievements without any external validation.

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14 hours ago, WorkInProgress said:

Hey I find it is an interesting article and seems to contain some truth. I'm not really a person who searches validation from people I don't know that well but it is hard for me to deviate from the things my wtife or my family want because I don't want to hurt the, and I want them to be proud of me. but this leads sometimes to fear and doubt about my plans (what if they don't like it? Shouldn't I better ask if this is ok?). What I realized in the last two years is that you do ofcourse think about the people who are important to you but if the decision is only affecting yourself you don't need to and shouldn't care too much about other peoples beliefs and opinions. Sure think about them but be not afraid to do something against them anyway.

The most things which I did for me (doing this journal, findng my footing in the software development market, etc...) was only my decision and many people wouldn't think It a good idea. But I knew I needed to change so I was proactive. I think as soon as you act proactive and plan to change your life, external validation just looses an importance.

To internalise validation I did think more about what I want and not about what I have to do. It is about taking responsibility for your own life. You don't have to do anything. It is all a choice. You don't even have to be lawful. You just have to life with the consequences. If you realize that you are responsible for every decision you make and your entire life, it comes naturally that you'll be more independent and more proud on your achievements without any external validation.

Hmmm. Thanks for your reply. I think I am not taking control of my life and choosing things for myself. To give some context, I’m working for my brother currently and he has mentioned what he’d like to do now that I’m working there. He wants to step out of the general running of the factory and leave that to me while he goes into more of the R&D side of the business and hand over the running of the business to me. He has helped me out a lot since I’ve moved here and I want to try pay back the favour, but this has all been decided for me and it feels like I’m just fulfilling his expectations. This has been somewhat common for me and I’ve often felt like I’m in a river being dictated by it’s current without any influence of my own. 

I do however recognise that I have influenced my direction in the past and am not at the full mercy of the current. It seems more like I have no direction, but I know sometimes that where I’m going isn’t the right one. No no Willink often talks about “The Path” and that he knows when he is and isn’t on it, but doesn’t know where it’s going.

Does that make any sense to you?

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On 23.11.2017 at 8:02 PM, Rubiroo said:

I do however recognise that I have influenced my direction in the past and am not at the full mercy of the current. It seems more like I have no direction, but I know sometimes that where I’m going isn’t the right one. No no Willink often talks about “The Path” and that he knows when he is and isn’t on it, but doesn’t know where it’s going.

Does that make any sense to you?

Yeah it does. You'll know if you do stuff which isn't good for you. Especially if it is something "stupid" like procrastinating.  Don't bother too much about direction. It is great if you have a goal you can commit working towards. But I know only a few people who have such goals and are able to follow this "direction". Most people inlcuding myself have a vague idea and figuring out what it means in reality on the fly.

On 23.11.2017 at 8:02 PM, Rubiroo said:

Hmmm. Thanks for your reply. I think I am not taking control of my life and choosing things for myself. To give some context, I’m working for my brother currently and he has mentioned what he’d like to do now that I’m working there. He wants to step out of the general running of the factory and leave that to me while he goes into more of the R&D side of the business and hand over the running of the business to me. He has helped me out a lot since I’ve moved here and I want to try pay back the favour, but this has all been decided for me and it feels like I’m just fulfilling his expectations. This has been somewhat common for me and I’ve often felt like I’m in a river being dictated by it’s current without any influence of my own.

This sounds like a good opportunity, but it is still your choice. This fear of not fullfilling the expectation is no real force it is just in your head. Maybe there is this expectation but this is nothing which can't be talked over or changed if you really want to. The thing is even in cases where you have no choice (as sickness for example) it is still your choice how you take it. What you do with the cards your dealt. This feeling of not beeing in charge is just a manifestation of you not taking ownership of your action.

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On 11/26/2017 at 3:33 AM, WorkInProgress said:

Yeah it does. You'll know if you do stuff which isn't good for you. Especially if it is something "stupid" like procrastinating.  Don't bother too much about direction. It is great if you have a goal you can commit working towards. But I know only a few people who have such goals and are able to follow this "direction". Most people inlcuding myself have a vague idea and figuring out what it means in reality on the fly.

This sounds like a good opportunity, but it is still your choice. This fear of not fullfilling the expectation is no real force it is just in your head. Maybe there is this expectation but this is nothing which can't be talked over or changed if you really want to. The thing is even in cases where you have no choice (as sickness for example) it is still your choice how you take it. What you do with the cards your dealt. This feeling of not beeing in charge is just a manifestation of you not taking ownership of your action.

Thanks for your constant feedback. It’s good to have thoughts challenged and they either get reaffirmed, refined or removed. 

I made a new post on my blog the other day and I’ve been feeling pretty good since that discovery. Seems like therapy has recently provided a lot of hope and that I’m finally making some progress that will be meaningful and stick around. 

This is my blog for those interested:
www.trotterandtheglobe.com

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I start this today feeling pretty good about my general direction. Certainly better than where I was perhaps a month ago. I wrote another post on my blog that describes a fear that seemed formless and omnipotent. It was something of a tyrant in that it dictated what opportunities I would take.

In therapy last week I brought up a couple childhood memories and we were able to explore it and see how they impacted my ambition and curiousity. So that exploration has managed to give that fear some form or shape and what that gives me is something to point to when I stumble upon something that might be risky or require some commitment. I feel a sense of mourning and am angry when I look back and recall those opportunities where I couldn’t overcome that fear because it was hiding behind other obstacles, but I knew it was there. 

But thankfully it doesn’t have to affect me the way it has. I now know what it is and have more power to overcome it because I can see it, watch it and learn how to fight against it. It will never affect me again the way it did and that means I can begin to move forward a bit faster, stumble a little less and be less afraid of the world.

For those who would like to read it, here’s a link to my post:
http://trotterandtheglobe.com/2017/11/26/what-is-the-source-of-my-fear/

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4 minutes ago, Rubiroo said:

I start this today feeling pretty good about my general direction. Certainly better than where I was perhaps a month ago. I wrote another post on my blog that describes a fear that seemed formless and omnipotent. It was something of a tyrant in that it dictated what opportunities I would take.

In therapy last week I brought up a couple childhood memories and we were able to explore it and see how they impacted my ambition and curiousity. So that exploration has managed to give that fear some form or shape and what that gives me is something to point to when I stumble upon something that might be risky or require some commitment. I feel a sense of mourning and am angry when I look back and recall those opportunities where I couldn’t overcome that fear because it was hiding behind other obstacles, but I knew it was there. 

But thankfully it doesn’t have to affect me the way it has. I now know what it is and have more power to overcome it because I can see it, watch it and learn how to fight against it. It will never affect me again the way it did and that means I can begin to move forward a bit faster, stumble a little less and be less afraid of the world.

For those who would like to read it, here’s a link to my post:
http://trotterandtheglobe.com/2017/11/26/what-is-the-source-of-my-fear/

Heavy stuff. It is great that you're working these things out in therapy. Also it is great that you don't let the anger and regret overcome you. They are just destructive forces in a way which will hinder you to accept the present and deal with it optimally. It is ok to feel them and maybe to use them to be better today.

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On 12/1/2017 at 7:56 AM, WorkInProgress said:

Heavy stuff. It is great that you're working these things out in therapy. Also it is great that you don't let the anger and regret overcome you. They are just destructive forces in a way which will hinder you to accept the present and deal with it optimally. It is ok to feel them and maybe to use them to be better today.

Thank you. My therapist recently complimented me on my willingness and courage to explore the hard stuff. Was pretty motivating and feel better that I’m not being masochistic about it.

I tend to keep the anger in and walk around pissed off or on rare occasions of a small childlike outburst. Sort of like when a child just feels overwhelmed  and they just look really frustrated.

I had a bit of a bender this weekend. Must’ve played something like 15-20 hours over the weekend. I’m a little disappointed that I did play, but more upset that I didn’t get anything done at home like dishes, washing or my meal prep. Just makes my working week that much harder and it sucks starting the week on a bad foot. Seems like what I’ve been covering in therapy has been harder on me than I give it credit for. I want to think that I can leave those emotions at the door, but if I could I wouldn’t be going to therapy.

So if there isn’t much I can do about that, what I can do is keep getting back on the horse and be more compassionate each time. Understand that these are hard topics and gaming has been there to keep me going. To understand that it’s okay to use the crutches when you need them. That doesn’t mean that I use those crutches all the time every time, but perhaps I can learn to ween myself off of them over time.

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