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I hope your days get better. I admire your strength for not giving in to those cravings and not listening to that voice in your head. You got this :3_grin:

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Day 38

Was at work, came home, packed for holidays, did a lot of thinking, been watching a few things, haven't been tremendously productive, met some of my goals but not all. 

This may well be my last post for a week depending on internet access while I'm away, and even then I'd rather spend the time with my family than online so I'll probably just update once I'm home. First trip away that hasn't seen my DS get packed... feels weird. General mood today has been pretty neutral, physically a bit ill, I hope I feel a bit better soon.

So I guess it's ttfn, I hope everyone has a good week and I'll be back soon. 

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Good on you for skipping past Spyro! I bought the Crash Bandicoot remaster when it released because of nostalgia. But if I wanted nostalgia I could have just played the originals sitting in a box under my bed!

Your 2nd paragraph on Day 36 is extremely relatable right now - hit the nail on the head there.

Hope you feel better and have a lovely holiday!

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Day 43 (I think)

Still away on holiday but got access to WiFi atm so just a quick update. Still no games, physically I’m still feeling a bit rough and now I have an eye infection - tho the eye does seem to be improving. Mentally I’m in a pretty bad way but I’m just plodding on. Don’t really want to go to therapy again so I just gotta keep going I suppose. One thing is for sure - I won’t be using games as an escape any more. 

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Day 44?

Still making the most of mums WiFi while away from home, still feeling a bit crappy. This morning I’ve made a commitment to myself not to entertain my negative thoughts any longer. They come, they will go, from today I’m renewing my efforts to stop dwelling. Positivity ftw. 

As far as cravings go, I’ve definitely felt the sting of not having my DS with me on my travels. Netflix and YouTube are still a bit of an issue for me, but the stuff I’m watching is at least inspiring/educational/motivational for the most part. I’m not far off having watched the stuff on my Netflix account that I wanna see, following that I still plan to cold turkey it for a while, and then possibly reintroduce some sort of ‘An hour on the weekends’ sort of rule. I’m implementing a zero screen time after 8.30pm policy, to reduce the effects of blue light, and once I return home from my travels I plan to do an 8 week sugar detox, to help get my insulin and dopamine responses back to a more normal state, and to stop myself going to sugar as an immediate pacifier. 

As for productivity, google calendar and digital resources are proving to be causing more stress than I anticipated. Over the years I’ve managed my adhd and general disorganisation with paper methods and since abandoning these I’ve definitely become less organised, I don’t think I’m well suited to the electronic calendars/planners etc, I find they make it harder for me to visualise what I need to do. As much as I want to reduce my paper use, I also want to be the best version of myself that I can be, and so I’m going to go back to a paper planner and see how it goes. (I’ll be sure to look for FSC paper.) For now I’m going to use an old notebook to make a planner, and then as the new year rolls in I may invest in a custom one, if I can find what I’m looking for. I’ve spent my morning planning out what I am am going to include in my new planner, and I have come up with the following;

Day by day, probably a double spread, each day needs space for;

  • The days events, planner style, written in pencil!
  • The days todo inc; meditation; exercise; guitar; German.
  • A spot for planned breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • (Possibly a spot for gratitude in the future, but right now I have a separate notebook I enjoy using for this).
  • A spot for accomplishments. (Finished todo’s can be added to this little area too)
  • A spot for a few thoughts.
  • A weekly review; what have I achieved, what are my goals moving forwards.
  • A monthly review; same as weekly.

Making my own planner for now will allow me to assess what sections work well and what I need to change. I think this will work well with my no screen time after 8.30 pm rule, as I can then spend some of that time looking over my planner. With less reliance on digital media I hope to further reduce my screen time and distractability.

Edited by Bugg
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Bugg- 

When it comes to being worried about nutrients while being vegan, I'm gonna ask, are you getting your blood work done every 6-12 months? Usually I've found low energy being associated with lack of B12, d, or iron. Which usually means I'm not spending enough time outside (I don't supplement d) or I'm not eating enough veg or leafy greens. Or I just don't eat enough Nutritional yeast. 

Sun and fresh air is most important. 

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On 18/04/2018 at 6:01 PM, Natasha said:

Bugg- 

When it comes to being worried about nutrients while being vegan, I'm gonna ask, are you getting your blood work done every 6-12 months? Usually I've found low energy being associated with lack of B12, d, or iron. Which usually means I'm not spending enough time outside (I don't supplement d) or I'm not eating enough veg or leafy greens. Or I just don't eat enough Nutritional yeast. 

Sun and fresh air is most important. 

I haven’t been getting the blood work done but I do supplement and I eat loads of nutritional yeast too, and I try and get as much sun as I can. But yeah I think I probably should get some bloods taken just to check, thanks for the advice :) I know my iron levels are really good as they test those whenever I donate blood.. saying that it’s a while since I’ve been :s

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Day 46? 

Finally home after the travels, had a good sleep and rehydrated. I’m working later today but for now I’ve spent the day catching up on chores and sitting in the garden in the sun reading a book. Still making an effort to stay positive, still making an effort to improve my diet. Was craving games all week while away, since returning home that has not improved, still not giving in. 

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On 4/20/2018 at 1:19 PM, Natasha said:

What book are you reading?

Nearly finished Mort by Terry Pratchett and moving onto the next one; Sourcery, soon. I want to read some books on my personal development reading list but I'm loaning the discworld books from a friend and have a limited time to read them before I move away :) 

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Day 47?

Was at work, weather was lush so decided to walk part way home to make the most of it, ‘twas nice, came home and cooked/did chores. Spent some time online and on Netflix. I feel guilt for not being more productive, but I just really don’t feel like guitar or German or anything right now. I just had a little skip in the garden and an really short impromptu jog up the street and back. I’m really out of shape. My workout habits have slipped, I’m trying to get back on track. There’s just so much in my head atm it’s kinda immobilising, I want to escape to games but I know that will only make me feel worse in the long run. Generally, feeling crappy, about myself, about life. *sigh*

edit: I meditated and did gratitude this morning. Just about the only goals I meet with any level of consistency.

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Well, if you can do those first two goals, then you can achieve the others too.

Focusing on the positives is hard when we have negative self-talk but try to catch it when you talk negatively about yourself and replace it with the positives. It is neural pathways that we use - if we don't use the negative ones, they eventually die out (over many, many weeks). And the more you use your newly formed positive neural pathways, the stronger they become. The trick is to catch yourself in the moment of negative self-talk and hold yourself more valuable than to be subject of beating yourself up, because you understand that path serves you no good in growing to where you want to be.

What I say when I hear negative self-talk is "These thoughts aren't helpful me  to grow as a person, instead I choose growth. Today I have done ___________ as steps to becoming the person I want to become" Or "the reality is I have actually progressed when I look at the beginning of my detox and where I am now - I now do healthier activities such as running, cooking, etc"

The point is to reframe your subjective feelings into a more rational point of view. From there you can actually see that you have and are in fact succeeding, instead of the feeling of climbing an unassailable mountain. You may not be able to catch it all the time, but practice it when you can and it will become an easier habit :)

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So this is a bit dark, but thoughts wander, and I wanted to share in case anyone else has felt the same and can relate. 

I want to start with a disclaimer that in talking about the following I am not suggesting I am going to do anything awful. It's hard enough to think this way and not talk about it, and so I’d like to find a space to discuss this without worrying anyone. So please, don’t worry, but please do feel free to share thoughts. 

So, like many of us, I used to game to escape bad feelings. It became a really effective strategy to stop myself doing other destructive shit. Without gaming some of those bad habits are returning and that is in turn making me feel super crappy.

In the past when I was really down and, for lack of a better description, just plain old didn’t want to be alive any longer, I would tell myself; wasting my life away playing games isn’t a waste if it keeps me alive. I know, that’s not a great place to be but I was there for a long time. I thought I was over all of that but recently I’ve been feeling pretty low and that thought comes back. Not necessarily that games would be keeping me alive, since I’ve grown too much as a person since those dark days to allow myself to entertain those awful notions for long, but I do find myself thinking about happiness, and wondering what the point of being here is if I can’t be happy, and if gaming makes me happy then does it make everything that tiny bit more worthwhile? That’s rhetorical, I know the answer. Gaming won’t make my life worthwhile, but it makes it bareable. I’m searching soo hard for worthwhile uses for my time to make life more bareable, but then when it comes down to it my motivation just falls away, leaving me feeling empty. A failure. 

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@Arch I didn’t actually realise you’d posted when I wrote my prev post, so don’t take it as a reply. I’ve actually given the same advice of the neural pathways to others frequently, it’s something i try to be really conscious of, although sometimes those thoughts are just there demanding to be heard :/ 

But thank you for the wise words and the friendly reminder none the less :) 

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Hi Bugg! Opening up and talking about what's going on inside is a big step. Thanks for doing so. Sometimes we have to go through some bad times to really be able to appreciate the good times. 

Have you read any good books lately? And have you thought about doing some volunteer work? I keep thinking I should volunteer somewhere with some organization to feel more purpose helping others, to help make a difference, and to build my resume. I think it would definitely help with ennui and that feeling I get when I think I should work on one of my projects but can't seem to motivate myself to start. What do you think?

Edited by Natelovesboardgames
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I had those exact thoughts sometimes when I turned to gaming during depression. Actually, I remember being in therapy once - since it was free for college students - and the therapist was trying to help me make a support plan for if I ever feel suicidal. She asked what I do sometimes when I feel like that, and one of the things I said was 'play games'. I remember her saying that was a good coping mechanism. However, although it kept me alive, it was conducive to a loop between gaming and depression. Im just glad to be out of that dark place now :)

I've been experiencing similar things as well with replacing chunks of time to productive uses. something that I've come to realize is that more than a hobby, I'm super willing to spend time on something that would be helpful to my career in a more direct way. After reading your post on my journal I'm thinking you might be the same way, maybe its just a phase within this journey that will mellow down as we get more 'stable' in our habits. Other than that, I'm easy on myself for now as I've been on a slow upward trend in terms of using my time. But I just want to say that remember you're not a failure. The fact that you're pushing yourself hard to find that new thing / habit and improve is proof.

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@Natelovesboardgames Thanks, yeah you’re right, hopefully getting thru this will make me even stronger in the long run. I’m busy reading the discworld books at the moment, there’s a bunch of self improvement reads on my list but I have a limited time to borrow these books off a friend before I move away so sticking to Pratchett for now. I used to volunteer and I loved it, and I found it really helped with these sorts of circular thoughts, but my current work rota makes it impossible for me to volunteer, probably a contributing factor to my current state of mind, I’d look for a new job to combat that issue, but I’m moving away in 3 months anyway and I already have a plan (and backups) to enable me to make the most of being able to volunteer again once I’ve moved. I hate waiting though. I’d move sooner but that isn’t an option either :(

@BigOlBearticYeah, when I was in therapy last year we spoke a lot about my guilt over playing games and he considered it progress when I was able to game and enjoy it without feeling guilty.. of course that didn’t last.. how could it when I was so literally wasting my life away. I really need to be a bit easier on myself too, I guess it’s just hard. Thank you for the kind words.

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Day 48

Got up this morning and meditated, wrote in my gratitude journal and had a healthy breakfast. I knew I needed to do a workout, I picked core since I haven't done that in ages. I put on my workout gear and decided that since the weather was so nice (and because I'm trying to shed some pounds) that I'd go for a jog instead. I headed out to the park and quickly found that my capacity for cardio has decreased significantly, not only that but my knee problems kicked off pretty quickly too. This makes me really sad, I love jogging and I hate to think my knee issues are going to prevent me from regaining my progress. I ended up spending a fair amount of time walking through the park, but on the plus side I was able to do some bird watching which made me insanely happy. I think I really need to find some bird conservation related volunteering.

I'm listening to music and realising I've been spending so much time on podcasts I haven't really listened to music in quite a while, which is damn bizarre. I've spent some more time thinking about hobbies and interests, and guitar and singing. I find myself considering guitar and singing, a lot, as they're both things I really enjoy to do, but both things I spend barely any time on these days because it just seems so pointless. (I know something that makes me happy shouldn't be pointless, but then that same point can be applied to games too so I think that argument is mute.) A big part of me feels guilt over enjoying the music of other musicians whilst not having the drive, confidence or ability to contribute to the field myself. Another part of me experiences sadness when listening to a moving piece of music, sadness over not being able to produce something myself. My happiest memories are at music festivals with my mum. I know nearly everyone enjoys music in some way, but I think I enjoy it more than anything else I can think of, I'm not sure if everyone feels that way? This is all stuff I've escaped to games from over and over again. Common thoughts in my mind, menial to most, but for some reason they are such a big deal to me. I have to either accept what is or make a change, but I seem capable of neither. It's weird that I don't feel this way about other arts; I love to watch performance and dance, and view art, and whilst I do want to join a drama group and I do make art on occasion (I have a Fine Art degree, lol), I don't feel the same guilt in not giving my all to these hobbies. The biggest sources of guilt in my life stem from three places; not contributing to the world in a positive way (ie; wanting to work in animal welfare or wildlife conservation), not making the best choices for my health, and not being able to contribute musically. The first two make sense, I understand why I feel that shame and I'm working hard to combat those, but the third, the music, I don't know why I feel this way. I'm thoroughly perplexed. @Cam Adair, perhaps with your love for DJ'ing you might have an insight here?

I'm spending a lot of time thinking about this stuff because I want this constant sense of discontent to go away. This relentless uneasiness is what makes me seek to escape, and I feel that if I can just deal with this, then I will finally be content. I'm not searching for everlasting happiness, I know that doesn't exist. But to just be content, that sure would be nice.

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21 hours ago, Bugg said:

I find myself considering guitar and singing, a lot, as they're both things I really enjoy to do, but both things I spend barely any time on these days because it just seems so pointless. (I know something that makes me happy shouldn't be pointless, but then that same point can be applied to games too so I think that argument is mute.) A big part of me feels guilt over enjoying the music of other musicians whilst not having the drive, confidence or ability to contribute to the field myself. Another part of me experiences sadness when listening to a moving piece of music, sadness over not being able to produce something myself. My happiest memories are at music festivals with my mum. I know nearly everyone enjoys music in some way, but I think I enjoy it more than anything else I can think of, I'm not sure if everyone feels that way? This is all stuff I've escaped to games from over and over again.

 

Hi there. I just happened to be browsing around the forums and after noticing this I just felt like I want to share some thoughts on this aswell:

I am a musician too - been playing guitar and piano & singing for 12 years now more or less. I started composing my own music around 8 years ago.

First of all, guitar and singing is a really awesome choice! I actually don't know how long or since when have you been playing (I kind of got the impression that you have been doing it before, then maybe dropping it out, then continuing - so I mean in an irregular basis) but here is something that you could find useful OR encouraging. So the things below are actually from my own perspective, may not be relatable and certainly some of it may sound even too simple and dull but I hope it helps:

-You want to start slow. If you feel that there are some errors or other faults in your TECHNIQUE, you want to get rid of them first. This will improve the overall enjoyment that you get from playing guitar. Eg. let's say you feel your wrist, palms, fingertips or elbows hurting after 15 minutes of playing. When you fix things like that, it will become much much more enjoyable to play and this will keep you more consistent, because it's also more fun to grab the guitar in the near days to come!

-When it comes to composing something of your own, you want to keep in mind that whatever you'd wish to create, should not be boundaried by what other people have done so far. Now, of course you shouldn't be copying what others have done, but instead thinking that there is nothing wrong with taking some elemets from other people's songs. For example: if you know that there is a song that you really really love a lot - let's say there is a really nice chord progression or a melody - you just pick up this progression or melody and start working out on that. When you are creating music, there will ALWAYS be people who might say "Oh, that's the melody from this and that song by *insert some really famous artist name here*, how dull, she copied it!" and then in the same crowd, listening to your music, there will be people saying that it's just original and really a nice piece of music done by you. This is just because of the fact that people perceive music in different ways. For example, you said something like

22 hours ago, Bugg said:

Another part of me experiences sadness when listening to a moving piece of music, sadness over not being able to produce something myself. My happiest memories are at music festivals with my mum. I know nearly everyone enjoys music in some way, but I think I enjoy it more than anything else I can think of, I'm not sure if everyone feels that way?

 

and this is exactly that I am pointing to. I can't perceive music in that exact same way. And of course - it's natural and again might feel even a bit too clear (apologies, I am not trying to make you feel stupid). So, don't let this factor keep you from making music - if you are doing something by guitar and singing, piano and singing etc. - it's been done already, trust me. What you can change in these things, is being original with your own voice, with your thoughts in lyrics and things like that.

-Then there is the factor called time. Ever since I started composing music of my own, I had the feeling that if I want to get something done, I need to do it fast. This was the wrong way to go, unfortunately. Maybe I was too immature or something, but I used to compose a song in just two days, thinking that now I have been efficient and quick. Maybe I was efficient but I think a mindset like this was actually based in my gaming habit somehow. I mean, that I actually wasn't sure, if I even wanted to compose something with passion, but to maybe find an alternative to gaming instead. Also, I oftentimes felt, that when I was gaming, I didn't want to take things to their end in a quality oriented way, but more like just getting it done as fast as possible, to be able to return to my monitor asap. This was actually true and it's true even these days, but what I'm doing differently now, is that I want to enjoy the process of composing. I actually want to concentrate on every single note that I'm putting down. At this point, I also want to introduce a powerful tool for writing down stuff (in case you didn't know this yet): I am using Guitar Pro 5 & 6 from Arobas music. It's a really nice tool for just making notes when you come up with a nice musical idea or when you really want to compose something. I actually presume you knew this already, though.

-Getting into composing your own music needs the drive, confidence and the ability; all things you mentioned yourself too. When it comes to attaining these, one good bet is to just surround yourself with both listening to music and maybe playing some cover songs too. In the long run, this will feed you ideas and at the same time it will keep you occupied with learning new techniques, finding out chord structures and developing your voice. What I want to say here is that if you lack the drive and the confidence, there is no short way to attain them. You need to surround yourself. What I do believe in, is that you can actually do it, because I already see from your analytical point of view, that you possess all the good qualities of an artist. So what I'd encourage you to do, is just to keep yourself surrounded by the music. Your drive will then kick in automatically and you can get the real sh*t done. You shouldn't think like, you are not giving enough of yourself to the musical community by not creating anything, you will get there, don't worry. You are also in the game quitting process, and it affects the process of becoming a musician too. There is also a lot to get from that, too. Atleast I have been getting a lot of song ideas lately, simply from all the emotions that quitting games has brought up. Maybe you can create some ideas from this as well?

-You mentioned that you have an Arts degree. Could you think about making use of this? I have a friend - ex-singer for my former band - who decided to follow his dreams and he moved to another city to pursue a career in music theatre. Atleast in my country this is a huge rising field in music. I don't know much about this but I can only imagine the effort that you need to put into one play. You need to do all the script, the arrangements and stuff like that.

This became a really long reply, but I hope you get something out of this! I'll see if I can get back into this, if there are some questions raised. I wish you luck :)

-Jani

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On 4/23/2018 at 0:31 AM, Cam Adair said:

How would you feel if you were contributing musically? What does that mean to you? :)

I've given this a lot of thought to try and avoid just my initial response of 'I don't really know', but even after thinking on it, I still don't really know. I'd like to think I'd feel more fulfilled, less guilty and even maybe perhaps feel some pride in myself, but then it's likley I'd probably just feel that my contributions weren't good enough, since that's a train of thought/thinking pattern that seems common to me. I think I should probably work on the pressure I'm putting on myself as a perfectionist more than anything else. Thanks for the questions Cam, really forced me to consider myself a bit more :) 

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@JaniP Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed response, it really means a lot :) 

I spend so much time focusing on technique that it takes me forever to learn anything because I want it to be perfect, thing is of all the songs I do know, I can't play any of them to perfection, which is demotivating in itself. Thank you for the advice on songwriting regarding others' music, that's really interesting and I'll keep that in mind for when I do try and write something of my own. I think I do have that problem with time, not in writing music, but in learning it. I know I need to be patient with myself, but that is hard sometimes. I hadn't actually heard of Guitar Pro 5 & 6, I'm not very clued up on anything related to composing, besides what we were taught in school. 

22 hours ago, JaniP said:

-Getting into composing your own music needs the drive, confidence and the ability; all things you mentioned yourself too. When it comes to attaining these, one good bet is to just surround yourself with both listening to music and maybe playing some cover songs too. In the long run, this will feed you ideas and at the same time it will keep you occupied with learning new techniques, finding out chord structures and developing your voice. What I want to say here is that if you lack the drive and the confidence, there is no short way to attain them. You need to surround yourself. What I do believe in, is that you can actually do it, because I already see from your analytical point of view, that you possess all the good qualities of an artist. So what I'd encourage you to do, is just to keep yourself surrounded by the music. Your drive will then kick in automatically and you can get the real sh*t done. You shouldn't think like, you are not giving enough of yourself to the musical community by not creating anything, you will get there, don't worry. You are also in the game quitting process, and it affects the process of becoming a musician too. There is also a lot to get from that, too. Atleast I have been getting a lot of song ideas lately, simply from all the emotions that quitting games has brought up. Maybe you can create some ideas from this as well?

I find it really hard to find confidence and as a result that has a detrimental effect on my drive and thus my ability, I reaally do need to just stop worrying so much, but then I've been at this so long now already I often just think; if I haven't gotten over this by now, perhaps I never will? Perhaps I was never meant to be a musician. I have often thought of selling my guitar and moving on, but that fills me with such sadness, I can't let go. When I go to concerts I return home with vigour, but that only lasts so long. You're right; I need to spend more time surrounded by music and perhaps that will help.

I think it's a stretch to consider myself a musician at the present moment, I've spend many years practicing a lot on and off over the years, my ability has improved slowly, but I'm still very much a beginner, I can only play a bunch of others' stuff, when I write things for myself they are very simple and just daft little riffs rather than songs. I think this is another guilt contributor; the fact I've owned a guitar for so long but that I have not committed enough to practice more frequently and improve to a more advanced level. I used to sing a lot, that I did practice each and every day for many years, but then when I still didn't have the confidence to sing in front of others, or an outlet I was confident with, I just stopped. I just felt I was wasting my time and constantly disappointing myself by not getting out there. Also, I still wasn't making music of my own, I was just singing other peoples stuff. I had no direction. It's been maybe 4 years since I stopped, my singing ability has vastly reduced and as a result what little confidence I did have has gone with it - I can't even practice at home now for fear of what the neighbors will think. :( This is why I want to find a musical theatre group (I've looked all over my area and contacted a bunch of people but to no avail), I think that would give me the outlet I need to sing with purpose. I've looked to join a band in the past, and very recently a friend tried very hard to get me to join his, but I let the opportunity pass me by, I have no confidence. I'd love to be in a band, but I can't even bring myself to audition; I even feel embarrassed over my song choices let alone my ability. As for guitar, someone once told me that to learn by playing other peoples songs is wrong, that if I do that I will never be a good musician. I found that really demotivating, I do still practice by playing others' songs (how else am I going to learn chords/finger patterns etc?) but that comment is ever present in the back of my mind. I've only ever been able to sing and play simultaneously a little bit and that was a long time ago, perhaps I will spend some time today working on that. Even so, I still worry I'm just wasting my time. My confidence affects my ability to practice guitar too - I have an electric guitar and only recently acquired an amp for it, I've plugged it in only maybe twice? I know people can hear me play when I'm plugged in and once that happens my hands get sweaty and I shake, and then I can't practice at all. How am I ever supposed to play in front of others if I can't even get to know how my amp works :s I should just buy some headphones for it, but then I'm not sure I can justify the purchase when I'm so unsure about the point in practicing in the first instance. I think too much. As far as contributing goes, I don't even know where to start, with all of the above I've never even written a song of my own. I write a lot of poems, but I'm not sure how or if I should attempt to make them into songs. 

I'm 27 already and I'm practically just starting out, I know music demands a big time commitment, and with so much else I want to achieve I guess I just worry about if it's really worth it. It seems such a shame to not become musically proficient, but at the same time I know it's not where I want a career, I know I want to work in animal welfare/wildlife conservation (Yes, I know I have an art degree which has a nothing to do with that, it's a long story and yet another guilt causing thing *sigh*). I don't know where music actually fits into my future. I guess I would love to be in a band or in theatre, but I don't think I'd want a career of those things, I'm not sure I could handle the pressure, and the idea of fame doesn't appeal to me. Can I achieve my animal dreams and do something musically alongside it? I'd like that, but I'm not sure I'll ever get there. 

In typing this at first I had an image of just me and my guitar on a stage performing my own songs, and that is SOO not what I want, I've never wanted that. When I imagine myself on stage in a band, playing heavy music with a bunch of mates, that thought makes me feel happy, excited even. That's what I'd love, that's what I've always wanted, a bunch of us writing music together, but I think I forgot that more recently, I'd written it off as something that was never going to happen and eventually I just forgot to even try.

Sorry for the rant, I'm just frustrated, this has been a good way for me to evaluate the situation though. As I said in my above comment to Cam though, I do really think I need to tackle my predisposition to seek perfection, that may help with the other stuff. Thank you sincerely though, you clearly put a lot of time into your response and I did find it very helpful. This reminded me of what I actually want, it's hard to believe I'd forgotten!

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Day 50. 
And a huuuuge wall of text.

My 50th day without games. I'm over half way through the detox now with 40 days left to go. Man, it's been a roller coaster - it still is. Giving up games has really forced me to think about how and why I escape from every day life. Even without games I'm still escaping, the main culprits here being Netflix, YouTube and eating comfort foods. In fact, I haven't found it too difficult to ignore my game cravings, I have however found it very hard to resist the alternative forms of escape that have surfaced as a result. Even just last night I found myself wandering over to the shop to buy sugary goodness at 8pm, after telling myself all week I was going to give up sugar. Living in the moment without escape is damn hard, sitting with and truly feeling emotions is damn near terrifying. So yes, it has been and still is proving to be a difficult journey. But I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some positive things once again. 

I didn't post any journal updates yesterday, but last night before I went to bed I did spend some time writing in my paper journal. I may not be doing as well as I would like, but its important to keep reminding myself of what has been achieved so far. And so I share here some of what I wrote yesterday; 

  • I've had the strength to sell my PS4, TV and to give up games for this long.
  • I'm fairly successfully incorporating a meditation practice into my routine.
  • I'm keeping a gratitude journal and noticing the positive effects of this habit.
  • Comfort eating is still present but I must acknowledge how it is now far less destructive than it has been in the past.
  • I've had some dark days, some pretty crappy moments, but I got through them and have emerged smiling. 
  • I've been adding bits and pieces to my blog.
  • I've continued to minimize my belongings.
  • I have a clear vision of what I want to achieve in a career and a good idea of how to get there.
  • I have become more in tune with a sense of style and design. This last point is interesting as I've never been interested particularity in fashion, but since approaching it from a minimalist perspective, and becoming more aware of how to express my sense of self through clothing, I have been paying more attention to this. Perhaps because I'm spending less time in a virtual world I'm now more aware of how I look in the real world. I actually feel more inclined to make an effort now. (But still low-maintenance effort :P)

Moving forwards there are still some area's to work on.

Last night I finished up the things I wanted to watch on Netflix. There's one anime I fancy but I'm saving that to watch with a friend when I relocate in August, there's some David Attenborough too but I'll save that for when I need something to occupy myself with when travelling long-distance (16 hour coach journeys suck). Other than that I'm abstaining. Consider this Day 1 of zero Netflix. 

I would like to actually stick to my no screen time after 8.30pm rule, as so far that's gone out of the window, out of town and possibly left the country. My YouTube consumption is still an issue, although I don't want to abstain completely as I do find a lot of inspiration in self-improvement content, guitar tutorials and calisthenics vids, alongside vlogs of my favourite band. I'm still evaluating how to get YouTube to fit into my routine in a less 'escape-y' way.

I wish to spend more time playing guitar and to start singing again; as recent conversations have well and truly reignited my dreams. I'm not sure how successful this endeavor is going to be, but this morning I told myself it's better to have tried and failed than to not try at all. I have to keep going with that. And so it is decided, once and for all, I'm not giving up. I'm not selling my guitar. I'm not going to entertain any more thoughts of music being a waste of time in my life. <-- positive affirmation. I feel like I need this on a poster on my wall or something, ahaha, (but that wouldn't fit with my minimalist mentality).. 

I want to spend more time reading in general, and specifically more time reading productive materials. Novels are good and I massively enjoy reading fictional tales, but I would like to 'study' more too. 

I want to get back into my workout routine as that too has joined the screen time rule in fleeing the country. Alongside this I will keep striving to live a healthier life. I still have a long way to go in moderating sugar and I'm not sure if it is wise or not to attempt an 8 week sugar detox. I'm still considering this. -- In getting treats last night, and breaking my habit of reaching for the worst ones (I'm really proud of myself for swapping the usual large bags of crisps and biscuits for a smaller more expensive treat that I have managed to save a few pieces of, some chocolate 'milk' that I have also saved, and some granola that I never usually buy but that I am thoroughly enjoying!) I think this actually snapped me out of my funk and this morning I managed to do a really good workout and now I'm getting on with my day in a much better mental state than I have been recently. 

I want to continue to consider and develop healthy coping strategies.

I haven't mentioned learning German and blogging here, I'm not sure how I feel about those. My blog is getting more subscribers and I'm feeling a pressure to post more, but at the same time I'm not really sure why. I never started blogging to attract followers, I never intended to post regularly, it's just a place to share the odd recipe and thought with friends and family. I'm not going to pressure myself to keep up with my blog, but if I'm feeling the urge to post something I will. I think that's a healthy way to avoid becoming overwhelmed by it. German. Arrg German. It does my nut <--British slang? Learning a new language is freaking hard! And super frustrating. It doesn't demand a huge time commitment really, I can practice with 20 mins per day and in the grand scheme that's not a lot, but it just feels like I'm going in circles. I know it will be good for me to force myself to keep going, if not to just develop my commitment and determination, but this is another thing where I'm considering it's value in my life. Yeah my dad lives there, but do I really need to learn it? I'm evaluating what my end goal is for this one.

I have a whole bunch of other hobbies and interests including blogging, creative writing, drawing, painting and much more, but I think I'm gradually drifting from those things. I'm realising that if I want to become proficient at anything I'm going to have to prioritise my time and resources. I've come to the realisation there are 3 main passions in my life; Animals, My Health, and Music. That's it. And so that is what I will be trying to focus my attention on. Lets see how that goes. I feel like life is one massive experiment. 

 

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