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ThatFrenchGuy's Field Study


ThatFrenchGuy
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12 hours ago, ThatFrenchGuy said:

Why? I've had mixed to bad experiences with large social groups in high school and summer camps.

Can you give more details about this topic? Would it be possible for you to write out (really specific) what happened and at the same time, watch your own emotions and thoughts? Especially urges to distract yourself and feelings of hurt or anxiety.
I believe that this why is already a possible answer. If the memory does hurt when you write about it - full honesty is mandatory - you have to go on digging.

12 hours ago, ThatFrenchGuy said:

 Why?  My bad experiences (boring work, work I didn't do after procrastinating/panicking) overshadow the good ones [...]

What happens if you look at all the dishes that await being done? What kind of thoughts and feelings do arise inside? Do you start blaming yourself for not having done the stuff when you "should have"? Can you try to describe in details what your mind tells you when you stand in front of a task that you would love to procrastinate?

12 hours ago, ThatFrenchGuy said:

Why?  1. Because I let my work schedule overflow on my relaxation schedule

Can you - I guess you already kind of get the idea - get into details. For example, many people on the forum set goals for every day. Your goals tend to be extremely large, e.g.: "need to get a healthy sleep pattern". It is a very good and necessary goal, but at the same time, it is still very large. If you break it down, e.g.: "I want to go to bed between 22 and 23 o'clock tomorrow", this goal is highly measurable and can be fulfilled, while the first one, the large one, is not measurable at all. I think - and I believe I stated it before - you need to break down your goals into measurable, tiny steps. "Clean up the mess I live in" can be broken down into 1 tiny task a day. This way, your priority list might not fill up to a point where you feel incapable of doing anything at all.

Also, if your goals are measurable, you enable yourself to get gratification. Doing the dishes for example is nothing that grants long-term gratification. It is the moment when you are done and look at your kitchen, how clean it is and how tidy. It might even sparkle. That is the moment when the gratification comes.

Try it. I think the fact that you tried the why system already showed us some possible paths that you might want to examine.

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Day 57

Had an alright day, I'm just extremely tired at the moment. Don't really feel like writing anything tonight, I just want to go to bed. Hey, barely any class tomorrow, time to get some stuff done.

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Day 58-63

We hosted our ESPOMUN conference this weekend. It was incredible experience, regardless of how my sleep was reduced to 7 hours over 3 nights. Now some of that was of course procrastination, but there was also the thrill of doing something I was really passionate about. My only regret was that things could have gone so much smoother/better overall had I prepared my committee more in advance. Beyond the whole chairing debates/behind the scenes staff work, it was a very enjoyable experience. I obviously had moments of awkwardness during the three days of staff preparation and activities. Most notably instances where my conversational and social skills would literally just die off in the face of a clearly more extroverted person. I'm not devaluating myself as a person, let this be clear, it's just that in that particular aspect, I'm just sometimes over my head and my brain just shuts off leaving the conversation/interaction with a "So uhhh, yup". I however had some really incredible moments of connection; and while this group probably won't become a group of friends I'll be close knit with, I've at least passed the point where I feel comfortable and I can turn most "safeties" off. I was honestly surprised when people I considered to be jerks/drunk party type people (and some are, to an extent) called me over repeatedly to talk to me, propose to eat together, and just generally ask how I was doing.

And this is the magic.

I thought that people would see me as the "mostly quiet, good grades, doesn't know how to have fun guy", and they did to an extent. But that didn't stop them from interacting with me, and it was refreshing.

It just goes to show how much our biases affect our behaviour. And the reverse is true!

I would usually not talk to these people (sometimes it makes sense, you don't just come up to a group of people out of nowhere - there's a time and a place for everything) because of the (often false) assumptions I had of them. And I missed out on so much good people, fun moments, but also awkward and annoying moments - life is never black and white. They, however, often went at length to talk to me when they had no reason to, overcoming their own assumptions about me - which we discussed in a fun and harmless manner.

So conclusion from this weekend's conference and working with the ESPOMUN staff:

Don't build a wall, build social skills (by interacting, any chance you get) and harden your skin!

Thinking about this now gives me a more positive outset to trying out group sports activities, I'm less in the mindset of seeing it as a risk, and more as an opportunity! Now if only the university timetable would cooperate...

 

In response to your previous post, I'll begin with the first point.

I've been in summer camps every summer for a few years when I was younger (as we were living in china, and my parents wanted me to meet and interact with French kids back home in the holidays, so I wouldn't feel "alienated" when we went home back from expatriation [to me it was something new, as I'd lived most of my life in China] ). They were mostly a fun experience, but there was a multiple times when I ended up in trouble with one or more jerk/"fuck the rules" type kids. The first time was a group of kids who were basically toying/blackmailing/shaming me and some friends to the point where it kind of ruined the fun out of the trip. Another time was me ending up sharing a room with a bunch of kids I didn't particularly get along with, and some kind of toying/teasing happened too (the kind you can joke about at first, but which takes its toll after a few days). I was around 11-14 during these summer trips. That's honestly where I started to recognise I was more introverted and "conservative" if that makes sense. That's also where I started building assumptions based on fear/anger regarding the "party animal" type, regardless of who they were behind their attitude. A sort of safety mechanism. Now I had entered high school at some point, and the majority of the class was the "cool kid" type again: again, often more than my social skills and self-confidence could handle, and that cemented my defensive behaviour. Many were probably not bad people, but a lot of them were pretty much jerks with the whole "rich expat kid with attitude issues" type. Anyhow, on my late high school years, this one kid started publicly mocking me, calling my name in annoying voices across the corridors, stealing my bag and leaving it elsewhere in the campus. We had been at odds, even before high school, but I'm pretty sure that point was when my walls just escalated out of control. It didn't help that many of my friends has left Shanghai. So that pretty much sums up the explanation I have for my biases.

In response to your question regarding the dishes/getting a clean environment:

There's never really any blame, I don't feel angry or anything at myself. It's literally just an environment which visually does not provide a great sense of motivation (who likes working in a mess with plenty of stuff lying around) and is physically unproductive (papers aren't organised, some place become difficult to reach, etc...). I clean up and usually the "getting small things done" kickstarts my engine into doing more. It's more the opposition between the mess and the good feeling of being organised which is the issue, not any self-blame regarding the mess itself.

Finally:

Yes, I've been trying to break down "symbolic goals" into sets of concrete actions. I've added to my timetable tomorrow a time to prepare what I'm calling the "anti-procrastination board". Literally just one of those sticky rollable boards where you can stick papers to.

It'll have an activity list of things I can do instead of youtube/netflix, which I would constantly expand, and use as reference for when I'm feeling bored, and don't have any work to do. I'm also going to take some time to clean up my youtube subscriptions, removing these dangerously addicting and time-consuming "compilation" videos or hours long strategy game playthroughs. 

It'll also have a bunch of post its available on it, to be taken at any time. The goal is for me to take one every night/morning/etc and make a list of what I want to achieve in a particular short time period (a morning/afternoon/evening), so I keep track of things to do and progress, rather than having a memory from my timetable. I noticed I tend to get things done more often if I write it on paper, and this is my answer. The board will also feature a "long term goals" area, which is self explanatory - what long term goals I want to achieve (i.e driver's license, guitar, getting fit, work opportunities, etc), with a breakdown of steps, and ideas on how to achieve it. This builds upon a rule I'm currently trying to enforce which is: "Unless my academic survival depends on this one piece of work I need to do, I will clean my home and do any cleaning/logistical stuff that needs to be done before I do anything at all."

 

So there, that's about it. I'm really hoping I can get all that done tomorrow as I have a busy day. I'm quite happy at the moment from the busy but enjoyable weekend, yet I'm nervous about falling back into youtube/couch/doing nothing rather than reading a book/listening or playing music/some fitness at home/outdoor activity. I've considered cutting out youtube completely, but that just seems unpractical and counterproductive since I'll end up there for legit activities anyways (i.e. guitar tutorials/tabs etc). Fingers crossed!

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On 1/21/2018 at 9:36 PM, ThatFrenchGuy said:

A lot of what I do (and don't do) comes down to my expectations of what I should be: there are so many things I haven't done because I would be "the new guy" or a beginner, or "not one of us".

This is from one of your initial posts. I think you just overcame this issue and took the first steps into a fresh social life. With your new attitude, it should be way easier to connect to others. Without expectations or assumptions, you grant others and yourself the chance of experience instead of evaluation. Very happy to see this happening.

The description of your overall summer camp experience makes a lot of sense. It is quite clear now why you have heavy assumptions about certain types of people. I would suggest that you try to process this old memory. When we played the "why-game", summer camp was the first real situation that came to your mind. I can only assume that this means it is still relevant to you. I would suggest that you write this situation down, on a piece of paper, in all honesty and as explicit as possible and than you forgive the people that hurt you and you forgive yourself for letting other people hurt you and for having assumptions nowadays based on the experiences you made. Write all of that down, fold the piece of paper, burn it, rip it apart or bury it. You don't have to actually talk to the people of the past, but you have to let go. Like I said, a suggestion. If you actually do it, try not to judge it before you have tried it. For me, this ritual is very liberating. It does hurt and it does scare me quite often, but it is liberating. And once the surface breaks open, other experiences will come to mind that finally want to go.

Overall, I am very astonished by you last post. I love that you use a post-it to prepare your goals. It helps. You do not actively have to remember the tasks you have written down. Thus, you have a lot of space in your mind to work with.

Same goes for your plan to clean up. Can't wait to hear the results.

In sum, very great progress. Keep on going this way, Corentin!

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Day 64-70

I realise I've been posting more irregularly lately, and it definitely follows a trend of leniency or "laissez-faire" as we say in French. I've had a relapse in the end of last week, and it ended up ruining my attendance and a few things I needed to get done in the week. Had another relapse yesterday, meaning I've effectively lost my weekend's potential. It is a trip down memory lane though, a reminder of where I do not want to be. Spending a day burning with regret and self-hatred is something I want to leave behind. I'm not quite sure what triggered it, but it's often a specific game called Europa Universalis IV (which just happens to be the most compelling, complex, open-ended strategy game I've played - which is unfortunately an enticing offer) so I'm thinking about cutting content related to that from my sub box in Youtube, and maybe expanding that to all gaming content.

Had the parents over for the weekend, and it was definitely tense with my mother. We're both typical breton - really stubborn, quick to get in an argument and stay entrenched in our opinion - but I'm convinced that old age is starting to play a role in the conflictual behaviour. Anyways, conflict is guaranteed between my mother and I, but it rarely lasts and there's usually no bad blood. At least that's the case these days.

I would like to point out that for all the "Eureka" moments I've had posting here, these aren't instantly paradigm-shifting moments: they're often a refinement or a rationalisation of something I know. But as I've stated before, knowledge is one thing, but breeding action from it is another. And as usual, it's in implementation - breaking old habits to build new ones - that I struggle. I'm working on it, there are ups and downs for sure, and it's far from a consistent improvement, but I definitely think the overall trend is going upward.

Anyhow, as I probably eluded to earlier, I'm more than a little upset at myself for ruining my easter weekend's potential to get things done with no time constraint. Some friends invited me over for dinner, which will be a nice and relaxing moment - always good to have friends around when morale is taking a nosedive. In the meantime I'll use my to-do-list to get as much done as possible today.

That's it for today

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  • 2 weeks later...

Day 71-79

I haven't posted here regularly, and it just boils down to me not taking this seriously enough. The same goes with a lot of what has happened lately. The past week or two have been difficult and unproductive. I'm nearing the finals, and also have a lot of papers to hand in the coming days. In other words, the pressure is mounting incredibly high and I definitely haven't been up to snuff lately. Now if my unsatisfactory behaviour was only related to academics, I'd manage. Unfortunately I've also let many areas slip by: meals have been on and off and poor in general, sleep schedules have been all over the place, my attendance was trash, and my productivity was down the drain. Morale was definitely pretty low and I've been thinking a lot about many things - I'll elaborate below. Slight spoiler, I'm writing this from an (almost) immaculate apartment, with all the chores done on time, so I'm at least on an upward trend at the moment.

So in essence, I've had to catch up on the classes I missed when I was away at the conference in the US. I've obtained pretty thorough course notes from 2016-2017 students through a friend. The problem is that my interest in attending courses has been pretty low this semester, and the fact that many professors are pretty bad (I honestly believe one is borderline insane) or absent doesn't help. Only in this semester have I seen a professor more eager to leave the class than his students, a professor absent for 2/3 of the semester who wants to catch up the entire course in two weeks, and a professor who actually teaches nothing and throws readings at us. My point is, I don't believe I'm entirely responsible for what happened this semester. To sum it up, I've now got pretty much the entire curriculum and no desire to attend most courses due to what I explained above. The result meant that I started skipping the courses which were a complete joke, but that behaviour extended to other courses, culminating in me being absent to all but compulsory courses. Now I have the course notes, yes, but I don't have the head start in terms of revisions anymore since I didn't attend the course and simply listen to what was said. And there's even less of an "institutional coercion" for me to study since it's literally just down to me and these notes now. In other words, it's looking grim, and time is running extremely low for some of the stuff I need to get done.

Now during the past week, I haven't resorted to gaming as I did in my previous post. I say that I haven't been taking this seriously enough because regardless of the format of the video, I haven't completely cut ties with gaming if I still watch gaming-related youtube content. I still haven't done what I said I'd do - clean up my subscriptions. My justification is twofold: I'm cutting yet another (albeit unhealthy and addicting) relaxation tool, and what's the point if I'll find alternate ways of procrastinating anyways? This is where I'd like to hear some advice or experience: have you completely cut off any source of gaming information? How was your relationship with youtube during the detox? In my case, regardless of the plugins cutting the recommended, my sub box is always decently full and I just roam the internet over random things, be it wikipedia, 9gag, etc. This is quite frustrating because I basically undermines my efforts to cut triggers of procrastination. On the other hand, it demonstrates that youtube/gaming is the trigger but the symptom.

So this frustration with youtube, coupled with my low morale and lack of interest for studies at the moment pushed me to dig up the age old questions. "Am I even in the right field of study?" And oooh boy does that question bring up another layer of self-doubt and questioning. In essence, a part of me misses the stimulating world of science which I've left behind. I think I miss the labs, the projects, actually doing things instead of blabbering on theory for years on end. I've been watching a Netflix show about life on Mars, featuring Elon Musk, a.k.a mister do it all, saviour of the world, and meme generator. And I thought about a few things: "I kind of miss physics/chemistry/maths", "Damn I could see myself having the skills and enjoying the whole science entrepreneurial thing", and "Oh boy am I wasting my life, procrastinating the way I am". One thing led to another, and I began investigating deeper the "why" of my procrastination.

I then remembered I had passed the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test) around 5 years ago, which is a pretty fascinating psychology test which provides a rough classification of one's personality according to four variables, each with two possibilities. At the time, I came out as a pretty solid INTP: Introverted (as opposed to Extraverted), iNtuitive (as opposed to obsErvant), Thinking (as opposed to Feeling), and Prospecting (as opposed to Judging). Now I personally believe that the MBTI is a fascinating read in psychology, and an excellent tool to understand yourself (as long as you don't start treating it as a bible which describes YOU with 100% accuracy). I passed the test again this week, and again ended up pretty solidly in the INTP group,

Now an INTP (the "logician", as it's nicknamed) is best described as an introverted, logical, analytical, creative, intellectual, thinker. Now INTPs are pretty rare (around 4% of the population last time I checked) and are a meme amongst psychology courses - they're colloquially known as the "procrastination genes". They usually have difficulty in social environments and usually have a more difficult time interacting emotionally than others. Now the biggest drawback of INTPs, and the most relevant here in my post, is that an INTP's mind is usually a chaotic soup of thoughts, ideas, considerations and doubts. This leads to several issues: many INTPs appear as rash and upfront because their thoughts are often unprocessed and go "too fast". INTPs are ironically the most creative, intellectual and analytical people, yet often struggle academically because of their inability to put order in their thoughts. In other words, in a project for instance, the INTP will be the mastermind but will disregard the actual execution of the plan, satisfying himself with the intellectual process of devising the plan. And finally, INTPs are therefore driven, more so than other individuals, by interest/passion - decimating the competition in terms of motivation when stimulated (not necessarily efficiency, as stated above), and completely outclassed when bored or unmotivated.

And it just clicked. Everything I've been feeling for years, my inability to focus on a single task at a time, the reason why I would start cleaning the bedroom in the middle of doing the dishes, my constant self-doubt and the reason why video games were so addicting to me, for some reason: I've had the psychological notions on one hand, and my empirical observations on the other for years, yet never made the link!

So I now my greatest asset is my endurance when motivated and by above-average analytical and logical skills. I know my weaknesses are my chaotic mind, my (overly) quick thinking, and my social difficulties. Now, as a logical thinker, what conclusions can I make from these facts?

  • Staying in a literary field of study without practical application of knowledge is a bad idea, unless it happens to be a field I'm passionate about. This has steered me away from going into international relations/political science master's degree --> diplomacy and more into management/business + engineering/sustainable development --> entrepreneurship? I am by no means deciding of my future right now, but it feels good to have some filters to help me narrow down my choice. That assumes I finish my current degree, and I don't do too well with long term goals.
  • My procrastination is often caused by my lack of interest for a boring task, or more importantly when my brain just shuts down from my inability to process and keep track of everything I have to do. Scheduling at least the work part of my day is a must, and I've got to make the to-do-list board happen. That way I can not only initially understand what needs to be done for the day, but I can add to it as time goes, without losing my thoughts to the wind.
  • The biggest issue I have is time being wasted doing nothing or stuff with no added value (not even proper enjoyment/relaxation). This does give me hope that one day I'll be able to come to gaming, in a controlled and moderated manner, because I'll have found other stimuli (other activities, more fulfilling academics, etc). My feeling towards gaming are mixed at this point, as I definitely do feel that gaming is harmful in my present state. Yet unlike binging youtube videos in a passive manner, gaming is an intellectually stimulating way to pass time, and I do have good and heartwarming memories with online friends. Then again I know how easy it is to fall back into addiction. I guess I'll give it a try later on when I have the necessary "landing strip" time wise to crash and burn if I have to after testing, and when I get my life under control in the terms I stated above. What are your thoughts on this? Am I just kidding myself, or can I look forward to moderation? I must admit I have a bit of a PC upgrade itch (I'm a PC hardware nut) and I can't justify that upgrade without gaming, ha ha.

Now oftentimes the fact I don't post here is not because of bad spirit or anything, it just goes down the priority drain like many other things (fitness/guitar). I struggle to get stuff done upfront so that when the time comes for such activities (usually late evening), I'm often busy doing an urgent task I should have done earlier.

I guess I'm reaching a point where I'm not sure what to say anymore, and my thoughts are getting muddled. So I'll just end this post here for now. Immediately after writing this, I'll be emptying all gaming content from my sub box. I'll be leaving tech/computer hardware related channels be for now. I'll also leave a stack of post-its in a several places in the apartment to make quick and easy to-do lists when I feel my mind starts running wild.

Looking forward to see how the next few days go, they're going to be extremely painful and hard, but I just have to get through. Feel free to comment as much as you'd like, I could really use some thoughts/opinion at this point. That's all for today!

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Day 79 - Update

Currently clearing out the youtube sub box, and it kind of stings the heart to unsub from some of them, where it's just plain old stupid fun. I feel as if I'm killing off any and all fun I can have, simply because my having fun creates problems, because of the mediums I've chosen to have fun with. Tempted to leave a few in, but I'll cut everything out for now.

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1 hour ago, ThatFrenchGuy said:

Day 71-79

I haven't completely cut ties with gaming if I still watch gaming-related youtube content. I still haven't done what I said I'd do - clean up my subscriptions. My justification is twofold: I'm cutting yet another (albeit unhealthy and addicting) relaxation tool, and what's the point if I'll find alternate ways of procrastinating anyways? This is where I'd like to hear some advice or experience: have you completely cut off any source of gaming information? How was your relationship with youtube during the detox?

 

1 hour ago, ThatFrenchGuy said:

Day 79 - Update

Currently clearing out the youtube sub box, and it kind of stings the heart to unsub from some of them, where it's just plain old stupid fun. I feel as if I'm killing off any and all fun I can have, simply because my having fun creates problems, because of the mediums I've chosen to have fun with. Tempted to leave a few in, but I'll cut everything out for now.

I highlighted a few sentences that you wrote.  It's a mixture of justification, and resentment for having to cut off this 'fun' and 'relaxing' hobby. 

What about changing the way you look at it? 

eg. 

Quitting video games and youtube will allow me to < insert multiple gains here>

Focus on what you will gain from this detox, versus the belief that you are missing out on 'the addiction'.

    

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey. Hope you're doing well.

I read your last post and found the part about the personality test interesting. Being a fellow -NTP (I and E change every time I take the test, and I always get close to 50% of each) I know what you mean when you describe those traits of our personality. But at the same time, I fell like it's not right to use them as an escaping mechanism or a way of legitimating what we can't get right. As you said (in other words) labels designed for large groups are never fully applicable to individuals. We are not "the NTP person", we are just people, and we can fix what is not functional. We can adapt. And in the case you analyse the issue and don't find it theorically coherent, you can supply to that by acknowledging the intrinsec incoherence of theory (or a theory of incoherence, if you prefer).

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm having to read out of my previous posts since it's been so long since I last posted. I've managed to disappoint my parents, the university, my friends/collegues, and myself. The semester had been an extremely bumpy ride, and it was becoming increasingly clear that the final exams would be one hell of a challenge. And given my current state of mind, it was a challenge that I wasn't ready to meet. Even though my friends were extremely caring, I felt incredibly alone. I had hit a dead end with my psychologist and I hadn't had a discussion on this forum in a while, which I immediately blamed myself for, on the grounds that I hadn't followed my own rule of posting regularly as I had promised myself. My notes were a mess, I had to catch up on missed courses before I could even start revising. I myself was an ambiguous mess with uncertain and barely respected goals. And I did what I've done twice now in my higher studies, I skimped out on the exams, shut myself off from the outside world and hid into gaming.

The days went on as exam after exam went on without me. My friends tried to call me, but gave up after a day or two, because I'd made it clear last time I'd had a "moment" like this that I would not answer plain and simple, and that I just wanted to be able. Some rang at my door a few days in, and I sat on the couch, petrified, attempting to not make a noise. A note was slid under the door, with great difficulty, and I read it after I made sure they weren't around anymore. It was one of my closest friends letting me know that she and others were there if I needed them, and was trying to reason me into attending at least some of the exams, to guarantee that I'd at least validate the year to be able to continue my studies. (I'd had excellent grades in the first semester, which gave me a huge margin of error for the second). She was telling me what I already knew, and what I was trying to drown in gaming: at least for some exams, I had to do some bare minimum work and just get my ass in the examination room and everything would be fine. And I did, I attended two out of the five written exams, and handed in all research papers, regardless of their questionable quality.

I felt like I had done it, that I had went through hell and got out somewhat sane. In all honesty though, I'd attended only half of what was required of me, my grades are in jeopardy, as is my right to remain in this course at this point. I'm unsure wether I'll be admitted into "rattrapages" (extra exam sessions for those who were sick or deemed deserving for a second run in case of issues) as I was the first time it happened. Anyways, on the grounds that I could reward myself for the effort and that I was now officially on holiday, I started gaming again.

It was the worst I've felt in ages.

While gaming during the first half of the exams gave me the escape I needed from the stress and anxiety of university, gaming after the term ended felt like digging my own grave. My hygiene deteriorated considerably, as did my diet and my sleep. I'm pretty sure I've messed up my back again from sitting all day long, and it hurts to the point where sitting straight becomes a chore. My apartment was a mess and so was my mind. There came a point where I wasn't even having fun anymore. I would blame "shitty teammates" on Siege or War Thunder, rage at bullshit RNG mechanics in EU4. I had spent a ton of money on new games and DLCs to try and alleviate my boredom. Now I barely have any money left to end the month. I also did what I seem to do when life goes on without purpose and I become a wreck: I pulled out Unity, Blender and VS again and started considering game development again. I figured that everything that was wrong academically was because I was in a field of study I didn't enjoy (or did I? I can't even tell what I like). Yet it became clear that my gaming addiction was coming back again, and that I'd have to stop to get moving in life again. But what's a game developper who doesn't play games? It's like Kubrick saying he doesn't watch movies.

Anyhow, a few days ago I made the decision that this was it. This was where I was drawing the line. I couldn't keep on living this way and the consequences for my failure were becoming far too dangerous. My financial status was uncertain, my health was visibly and rapidly deteriorating, my relationships dying out, my mind going crazy; I was going nowhere. So I unplugged the PC and swore I'd sell it, and use my Mac is my main driver now. (I'm probably the only guy on earth thrilled by the shitty game support and performance of Macs).

Except I'm banned off Ebay for using it when I was 16, and I got caught (had to be over 18 to sell). Even shitty old mistakes come to hit me back. And I couldn't be bothered to sell on Leboncoin (France's craigslist) or anything else. So it just sits there in all its water-cooled glory. I haven't had the urge to touch it yet, but based upon my past attempt, the 90 day no gaming detox was more like a "count to 90 while not gaming too much in the meantime" to me.

So I want to try again, have another go at improving my life. But this time, I come in with the knowledge of my weaknesses, my failures, and (I want to believe) more dedication.

I'll be setting myself more rules, and attempt to discipline myself into sustaining better habits. I'll cut off unhealthy habits, but not without thinking them over and discussing them first. I'm trying to make myself feel better and do better, not turn myself into an apathetic machine. I'll be writing down my new rules and commitments tomorrow, as it's already 1am here and I need to focus on slowly getting my sleep schedule back on track. Getting my health back on track/getting fit and securing my independence (driver's license, finding a summer job) are my current objectives.

As Fox Mulder says "I want to believe". A healthy life seems more feasible than a secret Alien invasion. Or is it?

7e3.jpg

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I was set on having a good night's sleep and starting a fresh productive day, but I guess I thought texting my ex at 3 am was the smart thing to do. Welp. Didn't exactly get the best night's sleep and it took me an hour or two to shrug off the grogginess and get out of bed. My planning went down the drain. On a positive note however, I did stick to the "easier" commitments. I ate at a reasonable and defined time, and when to swim as intended. Made a bunch of laps and finished my program, so I treated myself to the sauna on a discount for students in this end of year period.

I was lying down, sweating in a cooking room, and it just hit me. This life is so much better than the shithole I put myself into when I game. The feeling of tired muscles and sweat, yet relaxing in a comfortable environment was thrilling. The sense of accomplishment was something I had missed and hadn't experienced in a while. I'd stretch and flex muscles I barely worked on before and could feel the tension and volume - it felt like progress.

Got home, stopped by the local Chinese take away, grabbed some food. Proceeded to eat, ignore the rest of my planning, spend an hour trying to fix some bullshit login issues on iTunes, and treated myself to "Split" (a really awesome horror thriller if you're in that kind of stuff). Kind of disappointed that my schedule went down the drain, although I was able to get my swim/workout going without skimping on the effort. And most importantly the feeling of satisfaction and progress was an immense source of hope and happiness. I felt happy about myself, and felt like I hadn't wasted my time. Same for the movie, an excellent experience - I wasn't killing time playing games that were frustrating me, I was enjoying it.

So while today was by no means a flawless success of my new path, I rekindled with emotions I haven't felt in a while, and I put myself in a positive mindset. (Apart from that box of chocolates I devoured - damn you grandparents). I'll try to do better tomorrow. Swimming today made me set aside my insecurities about my "not quite athletic anymore" physique as I blissfully swam past everyone to the point where I'd meet a roadblock every lap or two, and the tangible sense of success and satisfaction pushed me to investigate actual workouts at the gym. I'll try getting a membership at the student gym - for the first time in ages, I actually stopped simply thinking about working out and actually made a workout plan.

From a psychological standpoint, I find it interesting to see how quickly addictive behaviours (i.e gaming in this game) overpower rational thoughts or commitments, yet I'm somehow incapable of recollecting these pleasurable moments doing sports/watching movies (actually enjoying time) when I'm a passive procrastination phase (binging youtube or others). It's not necessarily bad habits overpowering the good ones, it's just that routine and passive behaviour seems to dominate and inhibit positive thoughts and experiences. In essence, I need to find a way to stay lucid and be able to say: "Hey, I could be doing x, y, or z, which would be a much better and/or enjoyable use of my time, than binging youtube videos right now". I really find it difficult to keep the initiative going.

Anyhow, it's 2 am because of the movie, so I'll allow myself to sleep in a bit later today. Although the end goal is a 11pm - 7 am for a healthy 8 hours of sleep, it takes time and discipline to adjust. I plan on working on that, and I want to have a productive day tomorrow. Let's hope I make it happen.

Edit: reinstalled youtube recommended blocker, and cleaned up my subs again to clear gaming related stuff. Kept my stuff on game development though. I'll have to work on it more to determine if Blender and Unity become unhealthy habits. I've gamed too much lately to fully explore that hobby.

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Another day, another late and difficult wake up moment. Part of me misses the fact that classes are over since that structured my day pretty well for the most part. Got a lot of stuff to do with internships I need to get, driver's license, etc. Not exactly a total holiday. Got barely anything done today, it's definitely a bit disheartening. Checking my account balance after buying some food for the week reminded me of how much I fucked up with my spending on games in the past few weeks - I'm down to around 60 euros to finish the month.

I have plenty of ideas to get my life on track, and using an app to keep tracking of what I spend so I can do some accounting every once in a while is one of them. But none of those ideas ever seem to come to fruition. It just feels like I'm all bark and no bite. I can sit for hours thinking about a problem, but I'm shit at actually putting the plan into motion. In my previous posts, I brought up the whole INTP issue. I don't believe that I'm using this as an excuse to justify my inability to get things done, but rather as a desperate attempt on my part to explain why I can't be a functional human being. I'm so frustrated and dismayed at my own lack of discipline or initiative that I guess a part of me is looking for ways to deny a fact: I, as a person, am usually unable to get something done without external coercion or oversight. Then again a part of me believes that's not entirely true: I was able to quit gaming, get my kilometre swim training done, and achieve many simple tasks I could have procrastinated. Then yet another part of me counters by saying that I quit gaming because I got bored of it, or I swam because I enjoy it for the most part, or that these "simple tasks" which are such a challenge for me at times are basic functions of any normal person, and that I shouldn't be taking credit for it.

I live in constant doubt and questioning. While gaming, these thoughts would drown away in the quiet slumber of instant satisfaction and numbness. Actually living however, forces me to face these issues - even though I'm unable to come to terms with them. Coming back to the INTP thing, it's just a cycle of me facing hurdles, trying to understand why I can't jump them, and then drowning in my own thoughts leading to despair and more inaction. Another example: went to watch the Solo Star Wars movie today, then watched Get Out on iTunes when I got home in the night instead of doing the tasks I should have completed during the day. During the beginning of the movie, I was multitasking and researching some stuff about workouts and other sports stuff, but my attention was divided and I both learnt nothing and missed the beginning of my movie.

I think I enjoyed swimming so much yesterday because my mind was focused on the swim and nothing else. I was doing one thing at a time. And I think that's one core issue I've mentioned before that I need to work on. I, I assume due to my specific psychology, have an innate tendency to multitask which isn't compatible with the realities of life: gathering superficial knowledge in many fields is a good way to satisfy my intellectual curiosity, but a terrible way to actually get things moving forward.

Part of me wishes I had an interactive picture frame, or screen on the wall if you will. I'd fill it up with these "Eureka statements" to remind me of what I have understood about myself - knowledge, reminders and rules that were the key to my success.

  • Do one thing at a time, multitasking is unproductive. Enjoy/focus on that task/activity at hand.
  • Sleep 8 hours, preferably waking up early to have a productive day.
  • "Just do it" - when you think about doing something, do it unless it's cutting into some other task you're doing. Don't hesitate - action is everything.
  • etc etc etc

But that's just creepy and weird when you have friends over. Yet I need that guidance.

I don't know, I'm feeling better already, going out regularly (Wallet: "I don't feel too good" - but hey) and getting some air rather than gaming. I Just feel happier, but then I get a call from my father reminding me of everything I have to get done. I get a call from my mother questioning my budget and spending. I get a call from the grandparents who (I think) are blissfully unaware of the absolute hell and nightmare their grandson goes through at times. I just feel so despaired and lost, because I just keep coming to the conclusion that for some reason, I'm just unable to get things done.

I keep looking for explanations (they sometimes become excuses when other people get involved): "I don't study hard because I'm not in the correct field of study"; "I can't get things done because I'm an INTP"; "I can't get things done because I don't sleep well or exercise often - my body and brain is numbed - it'll get better once you fix that".

I'm just so incredibly lost. I don't get it. I keep trying to understand. I keep finding what could be answers. Some make sense, some don't, all boil down to the same conclusion: answers mean nothing if they're not implemented. And boom, I'm back to square one. And my psychologist, with whom I'd felt I had a hit a dead end with lately, said what I was secretly keeping to myself recently: "I think you need a girlfriend. She'll make you set your own standards and you'll have someone you trust to be accountable to."

That hit home in three ways. Firstly because he had come to the same somewhat amusing conclusion as I had, which kind of built back faith in the sessions for me. Secondly, because my previous relationships had failed precisely because of my procrastination and gaming problems. There just came a point where every girl I met just became tired of trying to keep me moving at their pace that they'd just quit. And three, this reinforced my belief that somehow, I can't be the person I want to be without someone else's help.

Had a good, enjoyable, although unproductive day today, but typing this post really pummelled the morale into the ground. I'll get some sleep, stop feeling sorry about myself by tomorrow and hopefully get some stuff done.

I'd like to hear you guys' experience with "getting things done" if you're willing to share. Not just commitments, but difficulties and successes with getting everyday stuff done.

Cheers.

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9 hours ago, ThatFrenchGuy said:

I'd like to hear you guys' experience with "getting things done" if you're willing to share. Not just commitments, but difficulties and successes with getting everyday stuff done.

After I graduated I spent 1 full month playing League of Legends all day. I graduated with full honors so my parents were just momentarily proud of me and didn’t try to stop me. At the end of that month I realized that my life was going down the drain, I had no real interest in anything, I had no friends, I was creepy in social situations and there was probably no decent job waiting for me in the future.

In the past I suffered from anxiety and depression, gaming addiction, smoking addiction, a couple months of alchoholism, OCD (at least this one was diagnosed by a professional). I spent whole weeks without going out of home, doing nothing on the sofa, waking up at 4 PM every day.  Of course I didn’t want to live anymore. I used to think so much about the human condition, analyzing every single aspect of my life on a philosophical level, that I just couldn’t take action. Everything looked meaningless. I had no goals. I thought I was wrong, inherently flawed. I feared human contact. I used to write a lot of poetry and short stories when I was depressed, hours of writing every night, I dreamt I would take revenge on society through creating art. But then I lost confidence in myself, I judged me worthless.

After the month of gaming 24/7 something changed. I realized I could not afford to let my life pass by without trying to improve it. It was not confidence that kept me going, but desperation. I transformed my fear into desperation. Desperation, for me, is what made me “get things done”, doing instead of thinking. I understood that I was going to have a life full of suffering every single day of my existence if I didn’t do my best to change. I realized that suffering is not cool, is not special, doesn’t mean I am better than other people. I realized how everyone suffers, not just me, I saw how other people do their best to be functional nonetheless. I realized I didn’t want to be an outsider anymore. I wanted to find people who loved and understood me, I wanted to be functional.

Desperation means that I knew that hell was waiting for me, because I was already living it and I didn’t take action anyway. I finally knew very clearly that I HAD TO ESCAPE FROM MY CAGE. It was pure survival instinct what taught me to get things done. I had to stop crying and do my job. Being a functional human being. Slowly confidence came as well when I started to see progress (and it didn’t take long). Desperation transformed into confidence.

After 4-5 months, I think I am a functional human being and happy about my life. Hope this helps.

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That experience definitely feels similar to what I've experienced in many ways. I've often described my life to the psychologist I visit as a series of hurdles: I come crashing just in front of a hurdle, where desperation either boosts me to get everything done ASAP or paralyses me into inaction. The problem is that after each hurdle, I'm unable to maintain the spirit of action and sloop back down into passivity. It's because the feeling of despair isn't constant - and I fail to bring turn it into confidence (more on that later). Another way to put this would be that the hell I live when I disappear into gaming isn't the baseline of my life, it's in the subzero. The "zero point" or "baseline" of my life is me getting the bare minimum done to maintain an image of normalcy to my exterior, no matter the manipulation or scumming necessary. I have no initiative, do not achieve big projects, do not hold commitments, yet I do not feel "bad" as I do in my subzero state (gaming, where hygiene, relationships, health, action take a plummeting dive). The danger isn't there so desperation doesn't set in yet I'm unsatisfied with simply letting life pass. So I'm in a situation where I have no external motivator (panic, exams, external coercion etc) and the only drive is my own frustration. This is me right now: I'm sleeping on schedule, I eat somewhat healthily, I don't game for now, but I haven't looked for the internships I should have hunted, I haven't worked on my driver's licence, I haven't worked on securing some income, I haven't worked on learning the guitar, I haven't worked on finding sports groups, etc. Life is dull and boring but not dangerous enough to be despaired. I think that's what kills me more than anything, because I get out of my gaming hell moments after a while, but I've never really gotten out of the dull "baseline" into motivated action, initiative, passion.

Well today, I got about of bed, and literally did not get dressed for the entire day. Did nothing. Literally nothing. And as much as I want to fight it, I feel like my prewired routine or "passive reflex" takes over unless I have the mental lucidity and drive to think "Hey stop. Not okay. Get moving." But the tasks are so damn boring and my passion so unclear and dispersed that I do nothing. I don't understand all of you who say that you started getting things done for x reason and then it became a routine.

How do you manage the first few days of having to challenge your own self for everything?

How do you hold your new self in time?

I'm both amazed at this change and frustrated by what seems to be my own laziness.

Ugh. I've got to stop thinking and just do things.

You wouldn't know this but this sentence was typed 20 minutes after the rest of the post. I've just signed up for the written exam for the driver's license for the 31st of May at 2:30pm. There's my deadline. Cost me 30 of my last 60 euros, so better make this count.

I also looked in a lot more seriously at something I've been eyeing for years now. I've been very seriously considering joining the army officer's reserve. Given my current academic path, I already qualify for the reserve sub lieutenant program (army) or "aspirant officier" (navy) ; or the reserve high command program if I get into a master's degree after my bachelor's. If there's any place I can get a feel for discipline and get some air from what has become academic apathy, it's there. I'll investigate more tomorrow.

God do I want to get moving. There are so many things I am elligible/capable of doing, and the only hurdle is myself. Jesus fucking christ.

Edit: 2 am grammar check, probably more, can't be bothered.

Edited by ThatFrenchGuy
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18 hours ago, ThatFrenchGuy said:

Well today, I got about of bed, and literally did not get dressed for the entire day. Did nothing. Literally nothing. And as much as I want to fight it, I feel like my prewired routine or "passive reflex" takes over unless I have the mental lucidity and drive to think "Hey stop. Not okay. Get moving." But the tasks are so damn boring and my passion so unclear and dispersed that I do nothing. I don't understand all of you who say that you started getting things done for x reason and then it became a routine.

How do you manage the first few days of having to challenge your own self for everything?

How do you hold your new self in time?

If I can be brutally honest, I think your problem is that you have a romantic idea of life. I’m not saying this as a moral judgement (I’m not saying that you think “wrong”), but trying to analyze what prevents you from taking action. You see life as a boring task because you expect life to be wonderful and interesting and full of passion (without doing anything to make it so, of course), like in the movies. You consider life not for what it is, but for what it should be. You see the gap between reality and morality and you feel lost. You try so hard to understand and fail to see what is right in front of you: life is simple. It’s not hard. It’s simple. Life doesn’t care about you: you can enjoy it or not, it’s up to you! And it’s usually wise to enjoy it, otherwise you will suffer every day and keep asking yourself what you did wrong. You must TAKE ACTION. Being responsible is NOT stupid, is NOT boring. It means CARING about you. You don’t love yourself enough to see it, but I’d like to show you the other side of the matter with this post. How to build a routine? But THAT’S NOT THE POINT! The point is that when you wake up today - not yesterday, not tomorrow, not next week - but TODAY you don’t want to waste your life. You want to live a meaningful day. You want to be happy. Confess it to yourself: everyone wants to be happy, you too. You lack both the courage and the discipline needed for it, that’s why you fail. But it’s never too late, today is always the day. When I wake up I always say “what a wonderful day!”. If past me from 1 year ago would see actual me, he would think I’ve been brainwashed by uncultured stupid self-help websites and laugh his ass off. You know what? I’ve never been more lucid. And my days are usually wonderful. It’s the attitude that makes all the difference. You don’t want it this way? Does it look stupid? Again, living a happy life is only up to you. Make your decision! You don’t have the courage? Then start with discipline.

Disclaimer: Forgive me if I was too direct, just a word from you and I won’t comment again (adding this last part because last time I tried to be completely honest I ended up looking completely stupid and the mods had to intervene).

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I was overthinking and definitely a bit overemotional yesterday, and writing a note in the journal definitely went down the drain. I've come to a simple conclusion which I'm baffled I haven't produced earlier. Any time I start overthinking, having self-doubts, or generally start entering a state of self-paralysis, it's because I lose the momentum in my life. However, whenever I'm doing something, doesn't matter what, as long as my time is used instead of wasted, I don't have any major morale hits.

a.k.a To avoid a "rout", just keep going.

I get so focused on the big questions and what I'm worth when I stop that I forget 2 things:

1. I could get so many other things done, rather than crying about that one task I THINK I can't get done, or can't be bothered to get done.

2. At the end of the day, "Am I actually capable of doing this? Am I just dreaming?" or "What am I worth?" don't matter if I haven't tried or prepared to try something. And even if I don't try doing x thing, when I try and see myself from the outside, there's a lot I do better than most people - but that is NOT a reason to just stay put and stagnate.

I was dismissing the idea earlier, but I'm now keeping a .pages document of these small conclusions as they come to mind. I have noticed that I sometimes tend to forget them, and they're really helpful to think about when things go wrong. I eventually plan to make it an "In case of Emergency" paper of sorts. If somethings goes wrong, I can bounce back forwards using what I've previously come to understand.

16 hours ago, info-gatherer said:

If I can be brutally honest, I think your problem is that you have a romantic idea of life. 

You're absolutely right! It's always been the point of contention with my parents and my psychologist. I'm the only child my parents had, and my mother is really of the overly caring kind. I've always been top-of-the-line when it comes to academics (until a few years ago, now I'm just "very good") and everyone has always made it clear to me that I had the red carpet for any higher studies or career path I wanted to take. I've had an extremely privileged, (but modest, thanks to my parents) life and seemingly had the means to keep that level of blissful happiness in my adult life. Now I don't want to blame it on my parents, but I definitely feel that I've been woefully unprepared to face the realities of life, especially by my Mother. I don't have the "daily discipline" some of my friends have, my parents never baked good life habits into me until it was too late. In the past few years, it feels like I've had to learn to live from the ground up again.

And you're definitely right by saying that you make your own happiness. I think I've had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that life owes you nothing, and you only reap what you sow. The most painful part of my shitty moments in life is knowing that I'm responsible for my situation, it's not "life" shoving a boot down my face. That's just scapegoating. As I think I've said previously before, I absolutely don't mind being direct in these posts. In fact, I appreciate it because I'm definitely in need of reality checks sometimes.

For today, I'll clean up the apartment (much needed), get some job applications out, work on the driver's license a bit, and get issues with the gym settled (workout schedule and membership card glitch).

Will post again tonight to keep the daily postings.

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Got the apartment in order for the most part. Got a call in with the parents for Mother's Day. Cooked the first real full meal I've had in a bit. Worked on the driver's license exam. There was a lot of sitting around doing nothing too. But hey, there's always going to be something I'll be blaming myself for anyways. "Haven't done x" "Haven't done y". Not saying today was the most productive day ever, but hey, I got stuff done, and I can't say that every day.

Today I had a similar feeling at some point to what I felt back when I was studying in Canada. I was alone at 17 in a foreign country. I was having another one of those moments where I would just shut down from the stress I had inflicted on myself from procrastination and gaming. I had missed the biochemistry exam, then the procedural engineering exam, then the programming exam... I had tried to see a local doctor to get myself in order and bring some papers to University, hopefully granting me a leave and an explanation for the deans. I got turned down on the grounds that he couldn't give out those kinds of papers since my condition required a longer screening time to confirm, and that the psychologist I had (who was in China, where I lived before) should be the one doing the papers. So I Skyped him, got the papers, only to have them turned down by the University, saying they only accept papers from Canadian doctors. And then the craziest administrative battle between the University and I ensued where I did everything humanly possible to explain my situation, that it had happened before in France, but that I had passed the "rattrapage" exams (no idea how to translate this in English - basically backup exam sessions for the sick/absent if the justify their absence). Got turned down. In the end I left for France, and to this day I still have no idea wether I was still accepted into the next semester.

The point is, in this fight against the University, I felt incredibly small, incredibly alone. I realised that when it came down to this, nobody really cared about what happened to me. I'm only one of the 7,5 billion people living their lives on this planet, that nothing was owed to me and that I was insignificant. Well I got a similar feeling today. Had somewhat of a boost in enthusiasm as I got things done. It didn't last too long, and when it was over I got that same feeling of being absolutely insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I'm struggling to get even basic things done, I'm too lazy/shy/unmotivated to see projects through to completion.

And sometimes, I just ask myself: "What's the fucking point".

I always told medical staff that I'd never seriously considered killing myself. It's one of the questions they always ask at the beginning, I assume it's basic triage. I had sometimes thought about it though, but never had the balls to get it done. I distinctly remember having a close friends of my parents over, who was quite close to me too. This was in 2014, before I got sent to a boarding school (2015) and then Canada (2016). I had had a severe argument with my parents, I had failed to attend the literature high school exams. I had pretty much broken everything in and around my room, I was really desperate. Spent three days locked in a study at some point earlier too, with the PC (this was the beginning of my gaming addiction).

Anyways, this guy comes over, I refuse to greet him. I'm up in my room, and the entire time my parents are having dinner with their friend, I look up ways to kill myself. For over 5 hours I'd look through the methods: the plastic bag over the head, the head in the stove, trying to figure out how to tie a knot correctly so it'd snap the spine correctly, getting the right pills (my mother was a pharmacist). And I distinctly remember that the only thought keeping me from doing it was the fun I'd miss from playing games. That was it. Now in hindsight, I very seriously realise that actually, had it not been for gaming, I might have killed myself on a hunch as a kid.

I got over it, only to learn later that this guy had just been laid off, and his son had died in a car accident a few days later, and he was at home with my parents to relieve some of the pain and think about something else for a few hours. And there I was, a spoiled kid failing exams because he can't be bothered to work, yelling and fighting with his parents. My mother told me that he was also significantly poorer than us, although it didn't strike me, and that was having financial issues on top of that. I felt utterly worthless. This guy had been through actual hell, who was I to have a right to complain. Recently, he had gone to Brazil to open a hotel, but got scammed by insurance when a fire started. Now he's broke and a wreck, but he got a job and is slowly get back up. Made me (selfishly) feel even worse.

So yeah, sometimes I wonder "What's the fucking point", although for now it's more extreme frustration than a desire to kill myself. But I guess that's because I'm still young and skilled enough that my parents still see a reason/hope for me to parasite off them. I keep telling myself the same bullshit stories, that life doesn't have meaning other than what you make of it. That helping others, making the world is a better place. I come up with so many ideas, fantasies, projects following those lines. And then in contrast, I can't even keep the place I live in clean, sometimes don't even leave my home for weeks, can't even get basic work done. I feel utterly worthless. And then I see guys like my parents' friend who goes through actual shit and keeps moving forward. He has less money than he started his adult life with, a dead son, another one with a disability, a wife with cancer, not too many friends, but he just keeps going. I see my friends getting insane internships while I'm racking shitty communication positions, achieving incredible things, travelling. Worthless, useless, insignificant, forgotten is how I feel when I look around myself.

But it doesn't have to be that way. I don't have to focus on what I'm not compared to someone else, but rather focus on what I am an what I want to be and how to get there.

And yet I always seem to fall back into the endless circle of non achievement. Nearly everything that goes wrong in my life is of my doing. I have marginal independence, but I barely work on my driver's license or job offers. I don't like the state my body is in, but if my years of competitive swimming show one thing, it's that I've melted because of lack of effort. I don't feel like I have enough friends but refuse to meet new people; I see a big portion of my classmates as a threat from social anxiety, I complain about feeling alone and missing a girlfriend, yet obsessing (sometimes rightfully, I have to say) over superficial flaws of girls who are otherwise clearly very interested in me. My career opportunities are shrinking from my consistently diminishing academic performance. I cry about my life being stale or me being shallow, yet I do not purse projects in the long term.

So yeah, I ask "What's the fucking point in life" quite often. But I come up with genuine answers that make sense to me: enjoy living, rather than killing time. The best thing is helping others. Etc, etc, etc.... And then I become my own hurdle. As I keep saying to my psychologist, and that's the main reason we kind of hit a dead end these days, I have all the keys to success and happiness in hand, yet I can't seem to be able to fucking use them.

So to me, "What's the fucking point in life" isn't because life doesn't have meaning to me, because it does. "What's the fucking point" is because life just doesn't seem to be worth living if I'm fighting myself every step of the way for no result.

I'm starting to believe that for all the things that gave me an advantage in life, my IQ, my privileged family, my life experience, my origins, I manage to end up worse than many. All that because I have no discipline or drive.

I've reached this point when I write posts where I feel like I still have things I want to say, but my thoughts are becoming so muddled that I don't know where to go anymore without being repetitive. I'll take a breather and come back to this.

 

I've been thinking about what I said about "having the keys in hand". I say that a lot in French when I try to describe my situation to people. And 2 things dawned on me.

1. I'm definitely a perfectionist and focus too much on the little things. I blow them out of proportion. I'm not dead or homeless or an academic failure after failing to attend 4 sets of finals exams in 4 years. I'm still 8th out of 156 in my promotion. My apartment isn't going to be used for a photoshoot. So what if it doesn't look like an Ikea magazine. Sure part of me wishes I had still gone in architecture studies and a badly organised apartment is a missed creative opportunity but still. I still have to keep track of issues, but not obsess over them.

2. I think I have the "keys" to success, but not the "keychain". I've always tried to fix some problem or another, one at a time, but never made a "formula" or a plan to organise my life according to the conclusions I've drawn about myself. As I've stated repeatedly earlier, my mind is wild and I need to tame it. I don't think planning every second of your life is right, but I need some measure of structure and planning to stay on top of my thoughts. I've come up with a basic idea of a continual to-do list that I fill when new things come to mind, and empty as I put them in my daily schedule for the coming days. I separate into two things: "tasks" which are one-time things, while "projects" require regular and diverse work. This system is then constrained into a set of rules which are the basis for anything else: i.e. get 8 hours of sleep, eat 3 full meals a day, keep hygiene up, exercise regularly, etc.

This is all nice and all, but if I don't actually do it, what does it matter.

Tomorrow is Monday, the stores and offices open again and hopefully I'll be able to get some stuff I wanted to get done, well, done.

 

Hopefully this isn't too loud, but god listening to music at 2:30 am while in nothing but shorts is cathartic. That's one of the "little things" in life that I consistently enjoy.

 

Edited by ThatFrenchGuy
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Today was another disappointing day. Once again, I overslept even with an alarm. Woke up at around 2pm. Had a decent meal, got some things done, kept other things in order. Nothing special, just another one of those meaningless days where nothing happens. Another day where I made nothing happen; if I'm honest with myself.

If I'm completely honest with myself, I've made quite a mess of myself in the past few years. Gaming has been both a blessing and a curse during this period. I owe my blissful happiness to it, yet I also owe my current anger and despair to it. While it has been an escape from the challenging years I've had - conflict with my parents, declining academic performance, social anxiety, stress, being sent to a boarding school, feeling insignificant - it has blinded me from the reality I was living and has made me enter adult life without the one skill I absolutely needed.

The ability to shape my own future.

Nobody owes anything to me, nothing will happen unless I take steps to make it happen. My life won't get better if I don't work to make it better. I think that part of why I can't get anything done is because I don't even know what I want. Any step towards action that I do take eventually gets muddled in my own introspection. Gaming had made sure that I wouldn't challenge myself (not irl at least) and my assumptions.

And now my only hurdle is setting an objective and sticking to it. I haven't been used to that, both because of gaming, and because of the red fucking carpet that's been thrown under my feet by life. Only to pulled from under my fucking feet because I hadn't learnt to walk in time.

There are just moments when it comes down to this: stop being a whiny little bitch and go out to get what you want.

I guess I'm at these moments right now. I've dragged on looking for jobs/internships for too long. Why? Because I realise that most are pretty shitty compared to what my friends and classmates seem to get. I keep telling myself that it's because they know a friend/parent and that by a stroke of "bad luck", my father's an engineer and my mother a pharmacist (perfect combo if I had stayed in bioengineering) and I happen to study political science. And while there is indeed a lot of luck involved in these things, but if there's one thing I've also learned, it's that you make your own luck in life. As I said earlier, nobody owes you anything unless you make it so.

I just have to stay motivated in the long run by what I want to be to keep moving.

Now to the elephant in the fucking room and the reason for my shitty mood right now.

I happened to be chatting with my ex (who now studies at Lille too, what a coincidence) about master's degrees. She's currently studying in a business school, and I wanted to get some insight from her about the management master's degrees her school had. Got the chat going, and I figured I'd chat with a dude who was my ex's long time friend and a bit of a third wheel when I was with her. He happens to be a cripple too. So we chat for a bit, and we get along just fine, as if we had just left off yesterday (it had been around a year and a half since we last spoke, and 3 years since we last saw each other). I only talked to my ex for two days, to get the information I needed (although I wasn't completely over it if I'm honest with myself), but keep spoking with the third dude until tonight.

Well tonight this dude has the guts to let me know he happened to have banged my ex at a party, when both were drunk, shortly after we had broken up. Interesting that he brings it up now, and even more interesting since my ex alluded to it until she denied it in discussions we had shortly after the breakup. (We broke up on very good terms) Whoever is saying the truth, it doesn't really matter at this point. I don't know wether the fact this cripple banged her is a testament to how shit a guy I am or how right I was to put an end to a relationship with a bitch like that. Regardless, I'm a fucking naive little fool. Boom. Nobody owes you anything and there's always going to be something to fuck you over if you let it. IF you let it.

Played the gentleman card and ended the chat shortly after. It didn't matter who I believed or what I believed, I really wanted to punch someone's teeth in at that point. I guess this must have showed in the post. It's moments like these that make me realise how much of a fucking fool I am sitting there like an absolute idiot waiting and thinking things will change for the better with no effort of discipline on my end. If it wasn't 2 am right now, I'd go to the swimming pool, swim two or three kilometres, or go the gym and bunch the bag for literally hours, I'd get my fucking license and work for that fucking second hand car I was looking at.

Why oh why can't I keep this motivation, this spirit, in the long run. Why do always sit back into the comfort of a pathetic, meaningless existence after a while, only to get enraged by the next manifestation of my own insignificance. Why do I not have the discipline to work towards being who I want to be.

This is infuriating. And motivating. For now.

I really need to stop saying I'll do it and actually do what I should have done earlier. Discipline is my obvious issue, and I've put on my schedule tomorrow to finally write down the "action plan" to change. i.e. the list, habits, rules and other things I need to respect to get real change. A personal constitution of thoughts, since my mind is too volatile for now.

 

My mother was right when she said a punching bag is a wonderful investment, I should have listened.

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Yup, you guessed it, woke up late as usual. Although this time it's pretty justified. We just had the mother of all thunderstorms raining down here, couldn't sleep until around 5 am. Guess Thor didn't like the ending for Infinity War.

Jokes aside, went to see my psychologist. We had the same usual conversations, not really leading to any "Eureka" moments but it feels good to be able to vent some things and have some professional insight on some questions. Went swimming after that, wasn't as much of a workout as I hoped it would be, since I had eaten right before (bad idea), but it was a relaxing moment overall. I feel like I've managed to set in a decent routine right now: bed is always done, dishes are never overflowing, cooking real meals, getting some fresh air and exercise in. It's not perfect by any means, and I do indeed feel overwhelmed by the changes I need to make at times. My biggest gripes at this point are that firstly,I've been letting sleep slip again by going to bed at 2 am, which is far from ideal. It's around 11:15 pm atm, and I plan on getting back on track tonight right after posting this. Secondly, while I feel this routine is setting in an improving, which is excellent for my overall health and morale, I still have the issue that my downtime isn't productive. I've freed up a lot of time, but I get very little done in the way of important tasks. (Driver's license, internships, etc.)

Got the gym card issues sorted today. I'm quite eager to hit the gym tomorrow, yet quite anxious because it's all new to me. I've always been a sports guy - swimming, badminton, basketball, football, you name it - but I've never actually been to a gym, let alone worked out there. I've heard the clichés from friends but oh well. Hopefully it'll be a nice moment. Probably a placebo effect at this point, but I'm definitely feeling some improvement on the core muscles from my swimming schedule. It's hard to stay motivated sometimes on long-term efforts when results aren't immediately there, but this is a good sign. I'll be working on fixing my diet too in the coming days if I stick to my schedule (getting rid of the classic student's pasta addiction), because I might as well buy out Barilla for their pesto sauce at this point.

For now, switched to whole wheat pasta, and it's incredible how something so tiny could have such a profound change on eating habits. I feel more full with less food and feel more energised longer in the afternoon. Basic biology, but again, it's nice to see noticeable progress.

Not much to say today. Probably because I've said it all at the psych, and probably because everything is sailing smoothly (if I don't think too much about my driver's license and internships). Haven't really had any cravings for gaming either, which is nice. I just sometimes miss the people I used to play with.

Gotta keep moving, that's the key.

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Had a relapse today, late afternoon until late in the evening/morning. I think it was boredom that killed it for me, not mecessarily a desire to game in itself. Same old thing, I’ve got to find new ways to keep myself busy or discipline myself into getting stuff done during this downtime. Got a big day tomorrow with the driving exam, so I won’t post anything special tonight.

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Had a bit of an emotional roller coaster in the past few days. My relapse continued on and off until today, with the same issues coming back (i.e. bad sleep, meals, etc). I did however learn to things from the past few days:

1. That I really do enjoy games when played in moderation. Some games and moments are incredibly enjoyable regardless of my performance in game. It's good to play with friends for a match or two. I noticed that I tended to become frustrated, angered and aggressive when I passed the threshold from enjoyment to killing time. I had passed the moment of enjoyment and moved into addiction. From that point, I would start blaming teammates for stupid deaths, internally fulminating against RNG, etc... I was no longer capable of enjoying a game with its ups and downs, and everything less than a flawless match was met with anger and disappointment. This gives me hope that one day I'll be able to enjoy games in moderation, like other hobbies, without letting them getting the better of me, as it's a medium I really enjoy at times. The social aspect of it is also very enjoyable. But the truth is that right now, I'm not disciplined/mature enough to handle this, and getting rid of it is the way to go.

2. That preparation is silver but action is golden. I had prepared the written exam for my driver's license for weeks, and I thought I wasn't ready for it since I didn't get the passing grade on the online preparation exams. But as you may remember, earlier in my posts, I had a yolo moment and just signed up for one of the exam sessions just to give myself a deadline. I didn't revise that match more (procrastination obliges, ha ha), and just sat for the exam with what I knew. I was a bit skeptical coming out of the exam, with several questions I hadn't heard about in my preparation. Turns out I got a 37/40 with the passing grade being 35/40. I was blowing the whole thing out of proportion so much that I locked myself out of simply sitting the exam for what it was worth. So, in essence, never linger on something for too long: go do the thing, try the thing, if it doesn't work, better luck next time!

I must admit however, that passing the exam was what drove me to allow myself to game when I got the results. I have to avoid falling into this trap again and find other reward schemes.

My dinner is getting cold, so I won't type much more, and there isn't much more to say about a period of relapse than simply stating: "It was shit". A gaming-free life is much better, although the boredom and my own thoughts can be challenging at times.

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Had a decent day. I went to bed early and made the mistake of taking the laptop with me, as it was still early, to watch a video essay or two before going to sleep. One thing led to another and I barely slept a few hours during the night. Went to the movies with a friend, it was a good time, and felt good to get some fresh air. The usual. Got some chores done, but I'm still lagging behind in what really matters: the internships/jobs.

Perhaps it's because I'm perfectionist that I put it off. I keep looking for really good internships/job offers which suit my academics, yet don't really work on the offers once I find them. My mother is begging me to lower my standards to ensure I at least get something. I feel like there's a part of me that still believes what I was told, that life would be a red carpet given how gifted I was and how easy academics were until now. That part of me refuses to admit that an entry-level job or internship is not prestigious, but it's better than nothing. It doesn't help that many of my friends have gotten very nice job offers, which further alienates me from myself. I guess I feel like I'm worth so much, but regardless of wether that's true or not, I don't even work on the matter enough to find out.

So yeah, if I'm honest with myself, pride, jealousy and self-doubt are paralysing me for what really matters: my financial security and my academic/professional future.

Not much more to say, the days aren't really eventful, I'm still trying to get things (including myself) in order after the relapse, and it's coming along slowly - although it's a bumpy ride.

I'm looking forward to committing to the old routine I had, and improving upon it. I've been thinking about personal issues today, and come to a few conclusions, which I don't feel like sharing at this point. We'll see how it goes with time.

Really want to go at it again.

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Yesterday was one of those days were were I got nothing done again. Went to sleep much later than I'd like, but oh well. Didn't feel like writing in the journal because there was genuinely nothing going on. I was in a bad mood, I couldn't get my mind on anything, and I couldn't get anything done. It didn't help that my sleep schedule was still fucked up and that the apartment was a mess. Went to bed at 4 am after binging the walking dead (I just started, heh, no spoilers). 

Anyways, I got up at a ridiculous time, at around 3pm today. Had the usual slow and difficult start. But I got up and got to work on my chores. Took me about 2 hours to get my place back up to snuff, and it's amazing how much a clean environment makes a difference to one's mood. Nothing new, and quite frankly, I'm a bit mad at myself for regularly coming to the same conclusions over and over again, yet I can't seem to stand by these conclusions. Anyways, got some administrative mess sorted out for ESPOMUN, I'm the one eating dirt again trying to fix the clusterfuck, but at least the higher ups seem to have recognised who's actually doing the heavy lifting.

Still having trouble committing to work even a little bit on the jobs/internships. Every sentence I type in my CV or motivation letters feel fake. While some of them are obvious bullshit tailored the specific job/internship, I even catch myself doubting my own capabilities on my legit skills. Don't even get me started on how empty I feel when applying for lower end jobs, what the fuck am I supposed to write - "I've always been passionate about having an income and not starving to death". Because let's be real, that's the only thing the job has to offer. Anyways, maybe I'm just kidding myself and that's how it goes for everyone else and I just need to suck it up.

I suck at making the first step in things. I'm insanely adaptable once I understand the situation I'm in, but I always freeze at the first step. Once it's done I can make most things work, even if the second step is me crashing down, I nearly always get back up and get something out of the experience. But damn, it's really that first step that I WILL NOT take that stops me from living life.

I don't really know what to say anymore to be honest. You might have noticed these posts have been getting shorter lately. That's because nothing really happens to begin with, and I just feel like my mind is elsewhere right now, avoiding the issues, but without gaming somehow. Hey at least I'll sleeping in a clean bed after a good full meal tonight, that's a change. The fact I have a bed and a meal is something in itself anyways.

I guess I'm just tired, I'm slowly trying to get my sleep back on track, with mixed to no success right now. I'm taking sleeping pills tonight, fuck it. I want to get shit done tomorrow.

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Disappointed myself once again, broke my own rules. Brought the PC back into the bedroom, watched netflix all night. Now I forgot to take the sleeping pills, so there is something useful out of this. It's 6 am and I stopped streaming, so I've decided I won't sleep at all today and do as I did before - pull an all-nighter, churn through the day, to forcibly reset my sleep schedule. This is far from healthy, and I know it. I want to get back on track.

I keep telling myself that my mind overflowing with conflicting thoughts is a hurdle. And there is some truth to that. But I mean come on; everyone doesn't need an extensive system of reminders and scheduling to get shit done. Humanity didn't get this far thanks to some bullshit excuse. While my lifestyle and psychology definitely play a role in my feeling of being overwhelmed by my thoughts, denial is the biggest culprit. There is no excuse for not doing something if I think about doing that thing. Sleep and scheduling only makes sure that thing comes to mind and that I'm fit to churn through a day and get things done.

Denial, fear, anxiety, laziness however; that's something else. That's avoiding an issue which I am aware of. Does that sound familiar? Because that's exactly what gaming was to me: escaping reality to avoid taking responsibility for my life. I can't let this happen during my "gameless" time. I'm going to get out of bed, get breakfast, maybe take a shower. I'll use the excuse that I'm pulling this necessary all nighter to not get anything done today and work from there.

I've got to reset my clock, figuratively and literally. Only then will I be able to get things done. I'm turning in circles, going over the same things over and over and over and over again. I've got to set clear what I want and why, and take action instead of thinking it over endlessly.

Sound familiar? Ugh.

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