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DaBest

DaBest's Journey For Self-Discipline

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Day 30 (30 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free for a month! Woo! The ways things were going before those 30 days, I can't say I was very confident about the chances of this happening. This past month has probably been one of my lowest months ever for time spent on unproductive stuff on the internet. Gaming was and still is a huge pathway that leads me down the rabbit hole.

I think the single factor which has made the biggest difference this time is the use of content/screen time blockers. It's like training wheels, yeah I know, but I can't tell you how many times I impulsively type in the address of some time waste of a website without even realizing what I'm doing. 

I think this next month I'll focus more on substitution and mood control. My moods have been very swingy recently as I have had a lot of very good reasons to be stressed out and I can't self-medicate nearly as adequately as I used to. I need to learn to turn down the negative emotions quite a bit because the noise from all the anxiety is drowning out some of the signal from things I need to stay focused on. It's time to cue up some more meditation and more journaling. For substitution, I need to make sure I'm not substituting for sports again, which I am starting to, and that I'm substituting for things that help improve my situation and reduce long-term stress. I'm thinking for the next 30 days at least, I'll block all remaining sports sites on my computer as a start. Most everything is blocked on my phone already. I'll have to devise a way to restrict my Google searches though, as I've been using that as a minor workaround for the current system I have set up. 

Speaking of the next month, work is going to run my life this next month if I'm not careful. I work the next 12 days, and have to come in early or stay late for at least half of those. I'm also an emergency contact for my site for the next month, so I can't go far away and I get to take stupid calls at 3 AM! Yes! And then when I'm done with that I have a few big projects coming up. A+. 

Anyway, last month was rough, but useful. This month might also be rough, but as long as it's useful too then I guess I'm okay with that.

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Day 31 (31 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. Easy enough since I was at work from 6-6, had an improv performance at 7:30, and just got home. I'm tired.

I did not think I was able to make my performance tonight, but I decided to drive in right after work to at least see if I could make it. I really lucked out, practically ran straight into it, and had some fun. Didn't knock anyone's socks off but I didn't bomb either, so I was quite happy, especially after how things have been recently. It feels good to be scared of something and then overcome it. I'm realizing this is one of the most rewarding feelings I ever have. I will gladly trade addictions.

I need dinner. 

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1 hour ago, DaBest said:

Day 31 (31 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. Easy enough since I was at work from 6-6, had an improv performance at 7:30, and just got home. I'm tired.

I did not think I was able to make my performance tonight, but I decided to drive in right after work to at least see if I could make it. I really lucked out, practically ran straight into it, and had some fun. Didn't knock anyone's socks off but I didn't bomb either, so I was quite happy, especially after how things have been recently. It feels good to be scared of something and then overcome it. I'm realizing this is one of the most rewarding feelings I ever have. I will gladly trade addictions.

I need dinner. 

I've been really wanting to perform comedy.  I managed to do an open mic 4 weeks ago and got a standing ovation with great success.  I've just been a little nervous to go back again.  I love the attention and making people laugh, but I was shaking so much. I get so nervous before going on stage.

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Hey @BooksandTrees, keep going with it. Standup is a lot harder since the crowds can be downright nasty, but the payoff is bigger, in my opinion. Improv is nice in a way since the crowds are generally quite supportive, and you usually have a group of people there to support you on stage.

You're probably nervous because you care, and that's a good thing. I was nervous yesterday too, but that made it so much better when it was over. 

Day 32 (32 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. Another 12 hours at work today. Day 3 of 11 days straight complete. Booyah. 

Emotionally I am a bit spent right now, and I'm almost intentionally dogging it at work a bit to stave off a meltdown between days 9 - 11. I've done stuff like this before with terrible results, and there's no way I could've avoided this stretch of work. Really, I just need some sleep. 

I have a lot of other stuff at home I need to take care of, and that concerns me with the work schedule I have these next couple of weeks. I got to buy groceries soon, and if I keep spending 13 hours a day at work and commuting, I'll have to cook on a separate day. I should probably buy some clean underwear while I'm at it too ;)

Sleep time goodnight.

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Day 33 (33 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free.

Very tired. At work late. Have to be at work early. 4/11 done. Busy.

One step at a time. Tomorrow should be an easier day.

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Day 34 (34 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. 5/11 done.

Today was definitely easier. Things were much quieter at work and I was actually able to get stuff done. I'm still really tired though and I need to get to bed reasonably early tonight.

I'm finding myself still searching for novel dopamine hits on the internet. The nice part about blocking all the problem sites is that these mental meanderings don't take up quite as long. 

My life's kinda boring at the moment...not much else going on. Short post it is.

 

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Day 35 (35 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. 6/11 done.

Today wasn't too difficult, but it was annoying and stressful. There were some truly comical moments. I just want to sleep for ten hours, but I have work in the morning. 

Gaming urges have been low. Sports urges are now high. It's quickly becoming a go-to for de-stressing and boredom. 

I feel like garbage some times--NoFap + NoGaming = NoDopamine = SadBrain. A lot of my feelings about myself are coming back to the surface, and I don't like it. I really do not like myself for a host of reasons, most of which are unnecessarily harsh. I also have an ever growing mountain of work and I'm starting to feel even more overwhelmed. Still it pays way better than my last job, so I can take solace in that. BUT BRING ON THE NEGATIVE EMOTIONS--I don't want to run from this anymore. I need more practice facing my anxiety and tackling it.

Again, I'm going to be very kind to myself this week and not write too much or judge myself too harshly, otherwise I won't survive until Saturday. 

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9 minutes ago, DaBest said:

Day 35 (35 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. 6/11 done.

Today wasn't too difficult, but it was annoying and stressful. There were some truly comical moments. I just want to sleep for ten hours, but I have work in the morning. 

Gaming urges have been low. Sports urges are now high. It's quickly becoming a go-to for de-stressing and boredom. 

I feel like garbage some times--NoFap + NoGaming = NoDopamine = SadBrain. A lot of my feelings about myself are coming back to the surface, and I don't like it. I really do not like myself for a host of reasons, most of which are unnecessarily harsh. I also have an ever growing mountain of work and I'm starting to feel even more overwhelmed. Still it pays way better than my last job, so I can take solace in that. BUT BRING ON THE NEGATIVE EMOTIONS--I don't want to run from this anymore. I need more practice facing my anxiety and tackling it.

Again, I'm going to be very kind to myself this week and not write too much or judge myself too harshly, otherwise I won't survive until Saturday. 

What are the negative emotions making you feel?  I found that studying the 6 things humans need in life that we sometimes cater to vices that supplant them. I wrote this piece for a blog I want to write. Maybe it can help you understand the negative emotions and where they might be stemming from:

image.thumb.png.7804928dec5e45ed2336465439bcb9fe.png

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Well, that is definitely a well written post. I hope you get that blog going soon because you're sure to have a bunch of great content. For me, video games provide a couple of things:

Certainty -- they can't hurt me

Variety -- part of the true essence of a game

Purpose -- part of the true essence of a game

Love and connection -- either via one-way connections (becoming emotionally invested in a player or character), or by ignoring the lack of connections in my life.

Sports are very similar, but nowhere near as intense. I'd also might add that there's sort of a self-identification with a team, which is fandom. People become fans of teams because they want to share in the highest highs that the team experiences.  Taking away both video games and sports are taking away two big crutches. And it's true, especially on the last of those, that I need to keep working on improving this. Even in the relationships I do have, I feel oddly unconnected at times. 

Day 36 (36 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. Work today was annoying, but I FINALLY got to leave at 5. Thank goodness. Again, I've been very gentle with myself recently. I only have four more days to go until I finally get a day off. My boss said he was compensating me though for the weekend work, so I am grateful for that. 

Video game urges are relatively low. Still kind of hunting for dopamine a bit via novelty seeking. I'm hoping these feelings will go away soon--it feels like a flatline almost. 

Going to keep this a little bit short tonight. I have a lot else on my plate I need to take care of too.

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Day 38 (38 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. I'm on twelve hours of sleep. Let's write an essay. (lol no, but we shall see...)

I'm not one for trigger warnings or anything either, but re-reading what I've written so far, just take some caution reading any further if suicide/self-harm freaks you out. Just note that this was literally all a dream and I have no plans to do such a thing. I'm not 100% comfortable sharing this, either.

Spoiler

Had a weird dream last night--well I guess it was weird to begin with since I don't usually remember my dreams. I dreamt that I was on the top of a building in some apartment, and that I felt desperately alone, and that I felt I wanted to kill myself. It was out overlooking some city, and things were very gray. There were some other people there in the apartment, and I felt like I wasn't connecting with them. I felt frustrated and alone, and I just didn't want to go on for whatever reason. I stepped outside onto some balcony/patio thing that was covered in a foot of ash (also, just realized this was some sweet penthouse apartment...props to you dream person who owned this). I was trudging forward to the edge, and I just felt getting sadder, heavier, and more sluggish the closer I got, until ultimately I just fell down on all fours and starting bawling my eyes out. And then I think my dream went on to something different.

So a couple of very important things to get out of the way:

1) I hate my life right now, but I have no plans to commit self-harm or kill myself.  No need to call any hotlines.

2) I remember hearing this somewhere but have no source reference for this, but one's personality in dream is not entirely 100% of someone's personality awake. One can commit some heinous acts in a dream and not necessarily want to do such a thing. 

3) Probably most importantly, as far as dreams I can remember, I've NEVER had a dream anything close to this before. This is probably the most interesting thing to me, and at the same time the most concerning. 

First of all, I'm relieved I didn't jump in my dream. Things suck, but I've always fought through it, and I've been in far worse situations when I was younger and in situations I simply could not handle or rectify. In a weird way, this gives me hope. It's almost as if my brain was saying "Yeah, you might wish you were dead sometimes, but you really don't want to go down that route." Back when I was a kid I did very seriously consider suicide, probably from the ages of 9 to 14. Things sucked back then. To put it lightly, I am very lucky I'm not a statistic, and I feel like I'm on bonus time at this point.

It also makes me think that if I don't change, I will be facing my own personal hell for the rest of eternity, or at least until I die. Money is not everything, your job is not everything...people desire people the most. Acceptance. Social contact. That's the real stuff. I really need to stop giving a fuck about how scared I am to approach people or about what I say or how I say it. That dream is like a bit of a reminder of the fact that really, I am on bonus time, and I should live it up. Bonuses are positive and meant to be enjoyed, and why the hell do I punish myself daily for nothing? 

Finally, I think that's the last straw at this point--I need to see a therapist. Now that I don't have the luxury of burying my head in video games, sports, or the news, many more of these repressed feelings are coming back, and I'm still learning to handle them. I cannot believe how emotionally numb I was making myself. I knew I was numbing myself, but I didn't realize what the difference was like. The scary part is that I've been doing this for about twenty years now, and while I've grown immensely during that time (especially from 14 onward), I feel overwhelmed and lacking the tools to cope with these feelings. I saw a therapist during the last half of last year for the whole internet/gaming addiction thing. It did not go well. The therapist was on their phone almost the whole time and seemed disinterested during the sessions. I was hoping to have some insight into why I behave the way that I do, but I feel like I accomplished more reading than I did with him. At this point, I feel like trying again would not hurt. I just need to find the right person at some point. I've met some great therapists in the past that helped me uncover more about myself then I ever thought I would, and I've had some that were worthless to my development and mental health. 

I needed to get that off my chest and at least document that somewhere to reference in the future. That was some weird stuff. Rock bottom is a good place to bounce from sometimes.

 

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Seeing a therapist is a good idea, especially if you manage to find a good one. I think too many people resort to that option when it's very or even too late to get their life back on track, because they already lost everything they could go on. I'll consider that option myself.

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100% agree @Ikar. I wish that mental health would be considered on the same level of physical health, especially since they go so hand-in-hand. Imagine if people had  yearly "physicals" for mental health, a lot of suffering would be reduced.

Day 39 (39 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. Haven't had time for urges today.

My job has been wrecking me this week. Day 10/11. One more to go. It has been one emergency and one contractor after another. Endless phone calls. Today was particularly crazy. Good times, lol. But hey, I'm helping people, and that makes me feel good. Saturday I get to see friends so I am happy.

I really need to clean up my apartment, so I think I'll do that tonight. I have zero intention of staying late on Friday, and I might go out after for a bit, so it wouldn't be the worst thing to clean up tonight. That will make me feel better, though I feel decent right now. Mood swings are fun. If I have some time after, I'll spend some time looking for a therapist. Then maybe I'll contact a good friend so we can play chess over the weekend--I need to do this more.

Sorry, I'm rambling. My brain is mush right now.

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Day 40 (40 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free for forty freaking days! I was so stuck a few months ago. I'm really proud of this. My life isn't drastically better right now--I'm still working on that--but at least it isn't trending down. And my internet usage is down, or at least for more useful sites. 

Also, day 11/11 straight days of work done! This week was really hard in particular. I received not 1...not 2...but 3 calls this week at 1 AM for emergencies I had to respond to. Oh, and yesterday at work was just one whole emergency on top of it. I left two hours early today and just napped. I feel so much better now. 

Speaking of those emergencies, in a twisted way I kind of enjoy them. For me their my equivalent of war stories even though I've never been in the military. It feels like a battle, almost like a game, dare I say it. It's also an affirmation of my competency as an engineer, which is something I was lacking for quite some time. 

Anyway, I am probably going to the gym tonight and just laying low. I need to seriously clean my apartment and I have social events early tomorrow, so I want to get up early too.

I might post early tomorrow or skip until Sunday. Have a good weekend everybody.

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Day 42 (42 day streak, morning post)

100% gaming and gaming-content free.

The start of yesterday sucked. Make that 12/12 days of work because of emergencies. Phone call at 3:30 AM, didn't leave work until 10 AM. Issues not solved until 2 PM. Ick. And during the middle of that, I was essentially called a quitter by a manager (not mine) for telling him to exercise caution. Don't say that shit after I've been busting my ass for you all morning. Vent over.

I got to hang out with friends afterwards. That was a good time. I don't see them nearly as often now. People are getting married and stuff.

Today I finally have a chance to take care of my apartment and myself. I opted not to clean my apartment after I got to the gym on Friday because I realized I needed the sleep more, especially if I got another late night/early morning call. I need to clean, hit the gym, cook, and meditate a ton. Today I want to spend as much time taking care of myself as possible. It was a very stressful 12 days. I slept for about 11 hours today, but when I woke up, I was concerned I slept through any phone calls (thankfully I didn't). Taking care of myself will also be good as I don't do a good job of that normally, and I think that encourages my internet/gaming use.

Have a chill Sunday everyone.

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Keeping yourself very busy, good stuff! I also slept for 12 hours today, sometimes the brain needs it legitimately^^

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Day 43 (43 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. Spent a little bit of time on my phone in the morning in bed, which is always dangerous for me. Also, due to the restrictions I've placed on my computer, I find myself wanting to use more of that time to learn the things I truly want on YouTube, rather than pilfering away that time into something meaningless. I haven't really done this per se, but the feeling is there, which is a new change. 

I also have recently been finding I do not stay up nearly as late. Usually one of my vicious cycles would include staying up late on my computer til 2-3 AM, go to bed, wake up late and/or sleep deprived, feel terrible, and repeat. I had three or four months where nearly every weekend was spent like this. My weekends have been getting a bit better since then, though there's still room for improvement for getting to more "ideal" weekends.

Oh! And I also began searching therapists in earnest last night. I did not get a chance to call today, but I tentatively have a new therapist worked out. I got to get a handle on the mood swings, anxiety, and depression. Regardless, I'm happy I got another step forward on that.

Peace.

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Day 44 (44 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. Can't say I had many urges between last night and today. I pretty much fell asleep right after posting and slept for another 11 hours. Lol wut?

Another thing I realized today is that I'm spending far less time watching/reading the news. That was like a gateway drug of sorts, and even with that I would find myself drowning in that for hours when I was trying to ignore reality. It's amazing what the difference has been by simply blocking the sites I would waste time on. If my anxiety for those sites kicks in (which it's doing far less so now,) and I automatically start typing in an address, I don't mess up. In the past, that would lead to the rabbit hole of destruction.

I tried booking a therapist today but their voicemail said they were not taking evening hours, which is kind of a problem since I have a job that really requires me to be on site between 8-5. Oh well, I'll find another tonight...because I have time...because I'm not doing dumb stuff on my computer!

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Day 45 (45 day streak--halfway there!)

100% gaming and gaming-content free, and again, halfway there to a full 90 days. I don't know when the last time I ever went that long without either. Today I found myself reaching for my phone and trying to search for dumb stuff when I got home, but I stopped that pretty quick. I feel a general anxiety in my chest from that. 

I still feel a bit emotionally "flat," but not depressed as much. My social interactions at work are still a bit awkward, but I know work can have that effect on me as well. Chicken and egg.

I spent some time last night journaling about negative childhood events that still pop in my head. I found it useful and found some closure as a result of it. It felt good to let go.

On a side note I did not get to call the therapist's office today. I was planning to do that after a lunch we were planning for a colleague that is leaving, but that lunch took two hours because the restaurant was slow as molasses.  At least I have another one prepared for the time being.

I have so much I need to take care of at home and at work. I guess tonight I'll just focus on calling home briefly, and responding to some email. If I'm lucky I can start work on implementing the goals I set out a few weeks ago. There's a lot, so that will take quite a bit of time.

Peace.

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Day 46 (46 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. I made a mistake this morning about going on my phone while lying in bed after I wake up. I stayed in bed for an hour. I have pretty flexible hours so I was still "on-time," but it is not a good habit for me. I also find myself thumbing for the headlines of the few news sites I've left unblocked. Most of these have a certain number of articles I'm allowed to read a month, so I don't read something unless I find it particularly gripping. Nevertheless, I do this habit in moments of boredom or stress. What I should try instead, is if I catch myself doing this, is to stand up and either go outside or get some water to give my brain the requisite break.

I also did not get a chance to call the therapists office yet again. I will make a point of doing that tomorrow. 

I'm feeling overwhelemed by the amount of work I have at work and in terms of my self-development, even though I've been spending more time on both. I've gotten better about wasting less time, but I find that this hasn't help the anxiety about this much. If anything, the shame I feel is reduced, which is good, but I'd like to calm down the anxiety a bit so I can focus a bit better.

Adios muchachos.

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Day 47 (47 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. Again, spent a bit too much time in bed in the morning with the phone, but not as long as yesterday. Today was busy, as all my days have been for a while now. The constant mountain of work to do creates a nice constant fight-or-flight response which leaves me drained at the end of the day. I got a full night's sleep last night but I am completely wiped. The solution for this is more self-care: gym, meditation, and sleep.

I didn't thumb through my phone as much today. I was able to get in contact with another therapist's office, but I won't hear back until Monday or Tuesday. 

I feel like my body is in more of a natural rhythm without gaming and YouTube. I've been making more positive choices recently in many areas of my life. 

My parents are here this weekend, so I might not write until Sunday. Have a good weekend, everybody. 

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Day 48 (48 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. I'm starting to get really surprised I haven't relapsed. I'm so grateful right now for the freedom that I'm starting to experience. 

My parents are in town today, I wasn't sure if I was going out after they went to bed, but it sounds like the want to meet for an early breakfast before they leave, so I'm going to stay in. Today was actually a really enjoyable day with my parents. A dual Mother's/Father's day, and they both really liked their gifts. Went for a small walk and played some cards in between restaurants. We haven't fought. I'm content. 

I started reading The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Dr. Nathaniel Branden per @fawn_xoxo's recommendations, and I've been enjoying it so far. I haven't gotten too far into it but I've never really considered my own self-esteem before besides the fact that it has usually been pretty low. I definitely never considered the ramifications of self-esteem leading to self-fulfilling prophecies, nor did I consider self-esteem as a measure of self-competency, the ability to assert one's needs, and the ability to feel like a loveable person. I honestly just thought of self-esteem as how one thought about themselves. 

Consequently, I had a few moments today where I noticed the thoughts in my head and how they related to the low self-esteem I have. I've been trying to act as someone with high-self esteem in these moments, and uh, I'm acting quite a bit differently. I'm going to keep trying this for a bit and see what happens, especially as I keep reading the book 

Buenas noches.

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Day 49 (49 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. 

Today started out great. Had breakfast with my parents and then they had to leave for home. I actually really enjoyed them being down here. We didn't fight, and they seemed genuinely happy to have visited. This is a bit surreal. 

Afterwards, I rode the dopamine train for about 6 hours before I started to get my shit together. I won't go into gory details, but I went on a bit of an internet bender that would've been made much worse if gaming were an option. Once I started to clean up my apartment a bit, I felt way better. Again, without going into details, I have a certain line of thought that seeps in from time to time and overrides everything. I need to be a bit more vigilant about these thoughts, and upon recognizing them, move onto something more productive. 

On the bright side though, I did continue reading The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem during the middle of this train. More food for thought. It is interesting to note how I have acted and how often it correlates with actions of someone with low self-esteem. Again, I'm going to keep continuing forward and acting as if I have high self-esteem and hopefully, I will have acted rightly enough to actually create high self-esteem. 

I have a lot of other things I need to take care of tonight/this week. I think I'll read a bit more of the book and actually start doing some planning for once. I need to get some order to all of this chaos going on. 

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Day 50 (50 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. I'm getting more and more pumped by each of these milestones. Still have a long way to go though. Still have some of those pangs and wants to just ignore reality and go on the internet all day. I also find it hard to relax in other ways.

Got up on time today and didn't sit in bed. Actually cooked veggies before I went to work. Work was a little stressful. The pile continues. 

I actually took some time during lunch today to read more of The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem. I'm getting quite wrapped up in this book. It's making a lot of sense to me and is relating a lot to what I've personally experienced. I'm starting to feel this information might be so transformative, at least for me, that I'm starting to prioritize it in my day. I don't know when the last time I did that for a book. Also, as a fan of Jordan Peterson's work, I can see a lot of similarities, especially with the references to Jung and Carl Rogers. 

I've decompressed for about an hour and I'm ready to get going again. 

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Day 51 (51 day streak)

100% gaming and gaming-content free. Didn't have too many urges today. I did thumb through my phone searching for news headlines a little bit at work when I was testing equipment and waiting, but that was about it. I also didn't have any music on and didn't surf while eating dinner, which I don't usually do. That's a bad habit and one I really want to get rid of.

I got up before my alarm today, though technically I sat in bed (aiming for 8 hours). I left my house very early compared to recent days and had some time to read in the car before work started. Work was busy as usual. I had a meeting with my boss and I told him straight up that I'm resigned to the fact that I can't juggle everything I've been trying to right now. He seemed understanding. I had to stay at work late though because my equipment testing was marred by equipment troubleshooting. I know its literally my job to fix things, but I often wish things didn't break. Oh well.

I also finished the first "pillar" in The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem. The chapter talked a lot about the need to be conscious and present to reality. In a way, ignoring reality and running from it is in part seated in fear and a lack of confidence in one's ability to handle reality. There was a really awesome paragraph in this book that talked about addiction and how some of it is rooted in fear and escapism. I really identified with this. As a result of reading this chapter, I've been trying to be mindful of when I start trying to escape. I'm trying to face some of these problems more head on.

Speaking of, one of those is not going to the gym. It's late, but I want to start hitting the gym more. I did a small bit of cardio yesterday at my apartment complex gym, but today I should really go and lift at the real gym. I might go do an attenuated workout tonight. 

I'm kind of impressed about today. Days like today give me hope.

 

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