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DaBest

DaBest's Journey For Self-Discipline

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Day 7 (7 day streak so far)

100% gaming and gaming-content free yesterday. I had some strong temptations when I got home yesterday, which is unsurprising because I've had many years of gaming as a palliative for loneliness on weekends. 

Yesterday went pretty well. I cleaned up a bit, but didn't get to everything I wanted to. I'll take care of that today.

I also went to my improv class (which I bailed on last week because of gaming) so it was instantly more social and an improvement  over last Saturday. Ironically, both of my montage scenes involved gaming (gaming withdrawal, and being a complete social idiot by trying to learn social skills via video games--the word was Pokemon, lol). I guess it was fun to act out what was on my mind. I was not as social as I would have liked--I only knew a few of the people in the room, so it was a good opportunity to get to approach random people. I did approach one person though, and we had a small conversation though. That was good.

However, there are a couple of downsides to this improv class. First, I'm usually exhausted when I leave. It's two hours of incredibly focused creativity, coupled with bursts of courage required to step forward and be in the spotlight. This is exactly what I need but it's still draining. As a result when I got home,  a bit later in the evening, I had no energy to go out after, and because I couldn't get to my choice venue early, I was a bit scared. In the past, I would just solely rely on the internet and games to get me by, but instead, I meditated for an hour and read a bit before passing out early. 

I also had a dream about gaming, which is pretty rare for me, so that was something. 

So in total I had two social days this weekend, which is really good. However, I want to improve by spending more time in bars and clubs because they scare me. There's something about doing scary things and coming out alive that feels really good. 

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Day 9 (9 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free since Sunday. I've had desires to view content come and go over the past few days. I find it amazing that my brain really wants to get to be an expert at some of these games, whereas I truly could not care less about doing so. It's weird. 

However, on Sunday I spent WAY too long building a MTG deck (real-life) for something a friend is hosting soon. I was looking at cards online and manipulating and tuning the deck for hours, which then turned into an internet/dopamine binge. It was a kind of rock-bottom kind of day. Not good. Pleasure hurts in the long run, and pain is the only way to getting what I truly want. Most of the more valuable things in life are less common to come by, so obtaining such things/skills/goals are hard. I need to start eliminating or reducing areas of unnecessary dopamine in my life and fix my brain.

To that end though, I've been meditating a ton. It's good and I'll stick with it.

I'll keep fighting and I'll get there eventually.

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Day 10 (10 day streak) 

100% gaming and gaming-content free. As long as I'm busy and don't stay home, I don't have too many urges, as was the case today. 

Right now I'm just trying to focus on my meditation and getting my home in order. I stayed up a little late last night cleaning. I felt better for it. It's insignificant really, but it helps keep my mind clean. I'm just trying to widen my locus of control from myself (which I have a hard time keeping in control), my home, my relationships, my community, and so on and so forth. I think the meditation is helping with the impulse control somewhat.

Also, random thought, I am far too hard on myself sometimes and need to start thinking of myself as a more valuable person, and creating evidence for that.

I'm kind of tired and don't feel like writing much today. Peace y'all.

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Day 11 (11 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. I feel a bit nostalgic about it today. It's hard not giving my brain that escape. I'm here in this world and I have a lot of stuff to do.

Long slog at work today. I need to get more productive at work and getting through my tasks faster. I've lost a bit of focus recently. This troubles me. I might do some more work after this post. The amount of work on my plate is overwhelming. 

I have feelings of dread about the weekend and going out. I've been too busy to make plans this week, and I'm still just as fearful about going out solo again. However, I know I need to do this--this is valuable and I need to be able to accept failure and still love myself in order to grow. 

That's all for now.

 

Edited by DaBest

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On ‎5‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 5:26 PM, DaBest said:

Also, random thought, I am far too hard on myself sometimes and need to start thinking of myself as a more valuable person, and creating evidence for that.

I agree. I noticed that in some of your other posts. You don't gain a thing by expending energy over putting yourself down. The key lies in the part about creating evidence of your value by how you channel your energies. Some days you will just not have much motivation and feel sluggish. That's okay. Stick to reasonable achievable goals on those days. I only responded because I am also trying to break a habit of self depreciating attitudes and words. Thankfully, some neighbors have been helping me see that I am in charge of how I view myself. Most people won't share your overly critical self views and can only abide so much of it. Hope this helps. Keep up the good work. Be strong. 🙂

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Thanks, @30_yrs_of_gaming. It's so true--being a neurotic perfectionist has its pros and cons, it's just a matter of channeling it productively. Also, I'm glad to hear that your neighbors are really looking out for you. That's really good news. Also, I've been keeping tabs on your journal, and I'm happy that you and your wife are communicating better now. Keep up the good work!

Day 12 (12 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free today. Again, it helps when I'm not home for most of the day. After I left work I went to the gym, and then I didn't get home until 9. I'm pooped.

I decided to stay in and recuperate tonight. I worked really hard this week, and I feel good that I did. I will be going out tomorrow night and this time I'm going to take it a bit easier during the day, and spending the day focusing on the positives of who I am, and why I'd be valuable to random strangers. I've never really given that too much thought before, which is kind of wild to think about. I'll likely journal that on paper and report back here.

In other news, I find myself generally spending less time on the internet and staying up as late. Discipline! I think installing blockers on my cell phone and meditation have really helped with this. I don't have blockers on my laptop, as I am on that far less. My phone usage has tanked as well--it's down below an hour a day even with work items included. 

That's all for now. Bedtime and gym in the morning.

Edited by DaBest
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Day 14 (14 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free...barely. Yesterday started well and ended poor. I worked on stretching a bunch in the morning as my lower back has gotten super tight due to my new desk job. After, I did a big leg workout in the gym and felt righteously sore afterwards. Did some laundry, cleaned up a little bit. So far so good right?

Unfortunately, I got distracted on my computer and went down Dopamine St. Stayed in. A little bit upset with myself, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I'm going to make mistakes along the way. Fortunately, though I really wanted to, I did not view any gaming content. Searching for those hits of dopamine were much harder without it, I felt like I was drowning searching for the right novelty. 

Today will be better though. I did spend some time this morning reflecting on all the good I have to offer the world, and all the good that I've done, and I feel much better for it. I might make a habit of this during my meditation. Regardless of my situation, what good does hating myself really bring me? It's one thing to desire growth and improving, it's another to be a masochist.

I think I'm doing much better than I was 2 years ago. I just need to continue on that path.

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Day 15 (15 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. Geez, it feels good to be at 15 days. Halfway to a month. I haven't gone this long without either probably since I last worked on this journal. This gives me confidence I might be able to improve other areas of my life similarly. 

Yesterday went ok. Cleaned up a bit around the house, which is great as it clears mental space in my head. Called home for Mother's Day. I've been kind of lonely and shut-in recently aside from work, so I look forward to these calls home. I also installed an internet blocker on my laptop for Reddit, as I really waste too much time on that site and want to develop some habits outside of relaxing on Reddit. This has worked well on my phone, so I wanted to see what would happen if I tried this elsewhere.

Today was meh. I'm slowly getting overwhelmed at work. I had a small chat with my department's director about this after a meeting, and basically told him that I have enough work to keep me gainfully employed for quite some time, and just that a lot of people are going to have to wait for me to help them. He understood. I still enjoy the work though as I feel like I'm doing something that benefits society, and that I'm responsible for the well being of many people at our site, directly or indirectly. 

After work, I had my improv class. It had its ups and downs--I'm usually pretty good at the games, but I get overwhelmed during runs and scenes--and I'm going to spend some time after this meditating on my positive aspects, as I noticed even the minorly poor performances I had really affected my self-talk on the car ride home. The past couple of weeks have been hard, and I ought to keep doing this as improv makes me scared, and is hard. This is good for my character.

Oh! And I listened to a really good Jordan Peterson podcast while driving today that focused on fear, which really dovetailed well into improv and some of the other issues I've been having. Long story short, being scared and fearful is normal, so get used to it and become courageous. That was a bit of a bitter pill to swallow, since I'm usually scared and fearful. At the same time though, it's kind of comforting, and it gives me more opportunities to experience adventure going forward.

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Day 16 (16 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. No urges today. I had more urges to mindlessly browse the internet (and this was very frustrating at work!), but that's not the name of the game right now. I also clicked on a Reddit link today and was blocked--I didn't even realize what I was doing.

Again, one of the best ways to avoid gaming and the Internet is to stay at work until 8 PM! I'm partly driven, partly want to do well by the people I'm responsible for. Today was very stressful though. I had to deal with so much firefighting for important things, but all that firefighting took away from my core important/long-term work. 

I'm going to spend some time after this to write about childhood/old experiences that I still randomly think about which elicits a negative emotional response, per the podcast I listened to yesterday. I was surprised to hear that the more experiences one has that are like that, the more fearful and anxious people tend to be of new things and situations. I have MANY of those, so that will be worthwhile. I'll probably engage in some mediation afterwards as my self-talk today declined as I dealt with a difficult problem. 

Quick post. Goodnight everybody. 

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Day 17 (17 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. REDDIT URGES HOLY MOLY. I found myself constantly thumbing through my phone and laptop when I had a spare moment, but to no avail, as it is blocked everywhere. I can't find that novelty I want. Gah, detox.

I'm also very tired and worn out. Today was just a day of having people just dropping endless requests on my desk, firefighting, and dealing with stressful stuff in general. Compounding on this was the fact that I ended up journaling until 1 AM by accident, and I'm just tired in general. All-in-all, I handled it quite well today, but all I want is sweets, internet, and everything else pleasurable under the sun. I'm going to go to bed shortly after this so I don't do anything too stupid.

Speaking of that journaling session yesterday, I found that very cathartic, as I never written about that particular incident since, and was able to realize why I acted as I did, and all the untruths surrounding that. Specifically, this surrounded an event between myself and my mother when I was twelve. When I was young, she was not a good mother--she hurt in many of the same ways I do. Fortunately, she got better though, starting shortly after this event, and became a much better person ever since. Nevertheless, this event also happened during a really dark time during my life, so its effects were compounded. 

I didn't cry or anything when I journaled, I was more curious than anything. A lot of thoughts I had about that event--that I was worthless--was untrue and much easier to see in retrospect. I think I want to talk to my mom about this sometime soon. We touched on it once in the past, but I didn't feel like I got the whole truth, even though it probably was. I think even a simple affirmation of our last discussion will help add closure. I am a little nervous about bringing this up though, and I don't want to drag my mom back through Hell, because that's not my intent and she doesn't deserve it.

I feel on-edge right now. Goodnight.

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Day 18 (18 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. I'm feeling wiped from this week. I have a mountain of work at work and I'm struggling to get though it all. As a result, I've been staying late most nights and I'm coming home absolutely exhausted. Cravings are high for internet bingeing and watching gaming content. I'm searching for that fix. I think this is adding to the stress a bit as the lack of stimulation starts to build. Dang. No gaming + no Reddit + NoFap = brain not happy.

I also meant to go to bed early tonight but I vegged when I got home. 

I'm calling it now. I'm staying in tomorrow night except maybe going to the gym after. I'm passing up a social event and I don't care. I need to take care of me first.

I'm going to go to meditate briefly and go to bed. Cool. Peace.

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Day 19 (19 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. Hell yeah. Not easy today.

Today I've been riding the dopamine train (choo choo!). No gaming content, but a lot of substitution. I need a reset so I'm going to bed. Not super upset with myself though since I was truly beat from this week, but I am staying up later than I hoped and my diet has been no good today. 

I notice on nights like these, without gaming content, I don't stay up nearly as long. That's good.

Short post, I'm tired now.

Edited by DaBest
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Day 21 (21 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free the past few days.

I needed the rest on Friday. Saturday was pretty nice, I got up reasonably early, got to the gym, cleaned up, and read a whole book in a sitting (wasn't a hard read by any means). Afterwards, I started to feel really shitty and shameful around time to go out, as I have not gone out solo on a Saturday in months. So I made a deal with myself to just drive out to where I might consider going. I did, and sat in my car for an hour just with the constant swinging of emotion from shame to guilt to fear, around and around, over and over. I just sat with the emotions and waited, and worked through some negative self-talk. It was actually useful to do this. 

After that hour, I made another deal to myself that if a particular bar was showing the UFC fights, I'd go in for a bit. I went by and looked in, and they weren't, and in general, the area (full of bars and restaurants) seemed really dead for a Saturday, and was mostly just couples and what not. I left as I did not make my bargain. 

If I get the courage to next weekend, I'll go into the city or go to a weekday happy hour. I'm just in a weird, kind of depressed and trapped mental state. I need to set a really low bar for next weekend though, as I've just been expecting too much of myself recently.

When I got home, I went on Youtube til 3 AM and woke up late. I'm a bit upset about this as I did a pretty good job of staying off the internet yesterday until then. 

Late start to today, but I'll keep going. 

Oh, and I just downloaded another extension to specifically reduce my YouTube time. So now I'll have it blocked on my phone and available on my laptop for 30 minutes a day. 

Edited by DaBest

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Thanks @Ikar! I don't have much social support around me, so it's either that or nothing most weekends. I've been really frazzled recently so I haven't gone, but I highly recommend to try it at least every once in a while.

Day 22 (22 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. Holy shit, my mood has tanked hard the last 24 hours. I think this is because of the reductions in my normal numbing outlets and dopamine. I've been constantly searching for a fix and have seldom found it. All of a sudden, I am now beginning to feel how utterly fucked up how my life is. I am feeling totally overwhelmed and depressed as a result. I have instinctively known this, but I haven't really felt it as I've been numbing myself for so long. The only real moment I felt normal today was when I was watching some sports once I got home, and that's only because I wasn't thinking about how immensely I have neglected my life. I was supposed to go to improv class tonight, but I've been struggling to hold normal conversations with people today, let alone be charismatic and make jokes, so I decided to stay home. Ugh.

Even my mother asked last night if I should go on anti-depressants. I told her no, because really I'm floored because of how much I neglected myself all these years and it was from my actions that I feel this way. 

That said, I want this to hit hard--I need to start feeling these emotions and start processing them. I need to not make returning to this personal Hell an option anymore. It's tempting since I don't feel the pain of knowing I've acted wrong, but the longer I stay there, the bigger the moat I dig around it. I need to act rightly. I was kind of hoping this process would have a painful withdrawal phase where after reaching the other side I'd feel much better, so I kind of welcome this as a rite of passage. I'm going to fucking out-grit this.

I'll figure this out.

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2 hours ago, DaBest said:

Holy ***, my mood has tanked hard the last 24 hours. I think this is because of the reductions in my normal numbing outlets and dopamine. I've been constantly searching for a fix and have seldom found it. All of a sudden, I am now beginning to feel how utterly fucked up how my life is. I am feeling totally overwhelmed and depressed as a result. I have instinctively known this, but I haven't really felt it as I've been numbing myself for so long. The only real moment I felt normal today was when I was watching some sports once I got home, and that's only because I wasn't thinking about how immensely I have neglected my life. I was supposed to go to improv class tonight, but I've been struggling to hold normal conversations with people today, let alone be charismatic and make jokes, so I decided to stay home. Ugh.

 

I've noticed a lot of the people on here and those who are dealing with addictive behaviors deal with these same struggles.  So know you are not alone here.  I had a very rough past year where I tried quitting gaming in April of 2018, relapsed in September, and finally quit in October.  The mood swings and the frustration with my life came to the forefront of everything.  I hated my job, most of my friends, family, had no hobbies or interests because I view gaming as a way of life and not a hobby, and was lonely.  I would just play games, watch porn, and binge video series.

This self improvement journey is strong, but think of how strong of a decision it is right now compared to 30 years from now.  I know people who can't smile without a cigarette or a beer consumed.  You're young right now, like myself, and have the ability to make a great set of decisions to not jeopardize your future in paramount.  Use your words and find your patience.  It looks like you've been dealing with escapism and addictive behavior since 2015 on this website alone.  You know there are issues.  That's good.

I ask you to do some homework assignments.  What are your triggers?  Are you getting these cravings and depression related mood swings when you're hungry, angry, lonely, tired, in a bad environment (home, work, family event), or dehydrated? If so, try dealing with those feelings head on before your mood worsens.

If over time you realize those emotional triggers aren't the only things bothering you and it's a greater feeling, then what is it?  Are you pissed about your career?  Do you hate what you've become?  Are you drowning in regret and unsure how to right those wrongs?  Are you ashamed that you neglected the most important person in your life, that being yourself?

Don't flood yourself trying to answer all of these questions at once and don't answer them if you're one of the smaller moods I mentioned two paragraphs above this one.  It will skew your thoughts and answers.

Remember what Smokey the Bear used to say: "Only you can prevent forest fires."

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During the course of my life (and more importantly, during the detox), I hardly ever feel depressed, maybe just overwhelmed from time to time, because I think I sometimes demand more of myself than I reasonably can. One important thing is to realize how you got into the situations of your past and try to avoid them in the future by being responsible. As Einstein says:

Spoiler

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I know why my girlfriend left me, even though it was our first relationship and I am very happy about the experience. I realized we were in some weird co-dependent relationship that was no good and we didn't know how to solve our own problems, let alone problems in the relationship.

I know why I quit gaming and Twitch. It took more than 90% of my free time for questionable gains for several years, maybe even a decade. It was really only then I realized me and my gf were both the same wretches!

Taking responsibility for all that liberated me. Against all odds.

Lesson I got from that is that there's no point in feeling depressed, feeling overwhelmed and beating myself over past things, because I understood them, hopefully to the extent I don't have to go through them in the future. I also think these "bad" feelings are less likely to occur the more responsible and knowledgeable you are about yourself.

Hope that helps! 🙂

Edited by Ikar
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Day 23 (23 day streak)

Thank you both @BooksandTrees and @Ikar for your kind posts. There's a lot to unpack here! (And I'm reluctant to go very in-depth right now since I got home very late tonight, but here goes). 

First of all, I'm feeling much better today, as that generally happens while I am at work for the simple fact that I'm not nuking my brain on the internet. I'm pretty well aware of my triggers. Standard HALT stuff, plus laziness, uncleanliness, and porn. Those are usually the means by which I find a way to berate myself, feel terribly guilty about my actions, and then decide to numb it away. But some of it is simple habit too. I still find myself typing in "reddit.com" even though I have it blocked on both my laptop and phone now. I like to think I've gotten a little bit better at managing these things recently, and it's just going to take discipline and habit to make it stick. 

The perfectionism, beating myself up, and self-hated is another story which ties into this. I've just recently started to tackle this, too. I agree with you, Ikar, that it is very liberating to accept responsibility for my own situation (it seems we are both on the JP train, lol). There are times though where that's absolutely terrifying though, and I don't use that word lightly. I mean it, because if I keep doing the same thing over and over again, I'm going to stay in my own personal Hell. Not fun. I will get to the same forgiving mentality that you are talking about with some practice, and like you said, some with some further insight into parts of myself I've avoided, I think I will be able to grow more comfortable with myself.

---

And brief overview for the day. Limited urges for sports stuff at the end of the day. Was at work for most of the day, left at 9:30 PM when critical equipment testing was dropped in my lap at the very end of the day. It was a great learning experience though, so I'm okay with it. However, I'm a bit stressed that I'm still struggling with some aspects of my new job. I'm still getting better though, so that's good.

Anyway, I'm going to have dinner now and go to bed. I might give myself a little extra time to sleep in the morning. My boss is very reasonable and would understand given that I stayed so late tonight. 

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Day 24 (24 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. Today I was feeling the urges a bit at work, especially that I am stressed. I think it was a good call to get the extra sleep this morning. I was still tired when I woke up--I fell asleep about a minute after I closed my laptop after writing the last post, lol. 

I still find I'm looking for that substitution when I get home, and I'm generally substituting with sports (which was the original numbing agent when I was a kid). Really, I need to be working on meditating, social skills, or working out. My cravings for sweets is still quite high too. 

I think I'll journal on my goals for a little bit, meditate, and maybe go for a quick walk. Then maybe I'll make some cookies for a co-worker that I promised I would do so.

Y'all have a good night everyone.

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Day 25 (25 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. Ugh, I feel terrible. Not like earlier in the week where I was really depressed, but just constantly tired with brain fog. Bleh.

My brain is screaming for dopamine now. I'm really starting to substitute with sports, even though I've mostly blocked it. Little checks here and there while I'm at work and a game is on. On top of that, work stress is taking a lot of energy from me too. I need to learn how to handle this better.

I do think the tiredness is beginning to affect my performance at work as well.  If I have to walk somewhere to take care of something, I'm constantly taking a brief time to sit and decompress/rest. However, I am kind of enjoying my brain revolt in a way, as maybe that's a sign that it's adapting to a new environment and is not used to the lack of stimulus. I really fried my brain up well when I was a kid.

On the bright side though, I've been putting more time into finishing a goal-setting program this past week. I've been putting this off for a while, but I've made steady progress. Once I have that out, I want to print it out and have it set to review on a constant basis. I've struggled with goal setting in the past, so this will be nice. Also, my meditation practice has been more consistent during the past month, and I think that's helping a bit too.

For the rest of tonight, I'm going to write for a bit, meditate, then clean. Peace.

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Day 26 (26 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. I've been very stressed out. Work was rough today--I had to respond to a very unpleasant incident today at work. I left early and had a complete meltdown on the way home. I calmed down, and responded to what set me off once I got home, and I did a good job with that (yay!). Otherwise, I don't feel so good. 

Stress levels are very high right now, and they've been like that all week. If this isn't a withdrawal I don't know what the heck is. So this is what the real world is like when you don't hide from it?  It is all starting to make sense now. Every day I will get a little better at handling all of this, and I'll develop more skills and confidence. I would never be able to do this with gaming and spending too much time on the internet. 

I feel a little bit better now that I faced my problem. I just need to keep doing that. Rinse and repeat until life fixed. 

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Day 27 (27 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free, even though I just woke up. Honestly, I just had an itch to use my computer this morning, and since I think I will be out most of the day, I'm going for a quick morning post. I just wanted to be doing something productive when I logged on.

Got a bunch of sleep last night as I went to bed at a reasonable hour. I feel way better this morning. I also spent some time last night working on my list of goals. Often, I don't have written down goals, or when I do, I don't look at them. I'll probably be done writing these out sometime this weekend. I might change my posting structure a bit once I get that in place. 

Anyway, have a good weekend everybody!

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Day 28 (28 day streak) 

100% gaming and gaming-content free. 4 weeks! Yesterday was a roller coaster. Started out the day well, got to the gym. Cleaned up a bit. Learned a bit more about fashion and bought some clothes. And then the feelings hit.

Usually around 7 PM on a Saturday or Friday (if I'm not at the gym or completely wiped) I get this massive sense of dread, guilt, and usually a headache too. This is usually the nadir of my week as I realize how much I messed up my life in so many different areas, especially socially. This exact same pattern happened yesterday, and I started to numb myself with some of the sites I haven't blocked on my phone, which wasn't particularly satisfying relative to games. Around 9 PM I started to reason with myself (well you could still go out...but no! It's too late now! It will be too crowded when you get there, etc., etc.). Eventually I basically said "screw it," pulled myself together for a bit, and went out. My only goal, instead of walking past like last week, was to go in regardless, have a beer, and leave. I did not wait in the car nearly as long, and I kind of had an edge, so I didn't really feel those negative emotions at the same point from last week. And you know what I did when I got to the bar--I kept my word.

I was much happier when I left, as I had started to return to facing my fears. I know this may sound insignificant to some, but if you knew me a few years ago, this is a big deal. Also, given that my confidence shattered out of nowhere over the past few months, this was a nice baby step in the right direction. I had been numbing myself watching esports for the first half of this year, so this was a nice change. I still have room to get to where I peaked last year, where I was going to busy clubs by myself and talking to women, but that will come with time. Ideally, I just want to be so comfortable with myself that I can start conversations with strangers in random places with no problem. 

I just want to keep this momentum up and keep facing my fears. I can't keep staying where I am at.

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