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Ending to a New Beginning (90 detox)


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Day 20

I forgot to log yesterday. My sister and her partner are back, a welcoming addition of interaction for me. I ended up smoking and being lazy most of this Easter holiday.

As soon as I started getting high, my production levels plummeted. Seems like I have to leave behind cannabis as well to get to where I want. I binge watched Bate's Motel for 2 seasons. As good as the shows are these days with writing, acting and set design, they don't really impact your life besides being a distraction. I kinda think maybe if I get deep enough in the story, the surmounting plot will lead to something dramatic and profound giving value to the viewer. But after I stop watching, the hours and days later pass and I reflect how that time could've been spent.

Have kept up practicing Spanish still :). Back to reading more self esteem book, today's chapter being on self acceptance, this one's pretty big issue for me I feel. Through a lot of my experiences I've had in life, it has shaped me into disowning my attributes and self from that low level base of self esteem. The methods Branden advises in the book is to accept your self part by part and to bring it into your awareness, for it is only then you are able to change it. Accepting doesn't mean 'liking' but allowing the feel to flow through and not resisting it. And if you're resisting, try letting the resistance 'flow' through.

Daylight savings has arrived and the sun magically goes down an hour earlier now. The hardest part of the year for me is approaching.

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Day 21

It's a weird feeling waking up, meditating and jogging before others have even got out of their room to have breakfast. I guess I can take it as a sign that I'm on the right track.

I read the rest of Respawn. I really need to write my goals, I've been procrastinating too long. So far I have backyard steps to work on. I hypothetically set the deadline for Friday. It involves excavating the existing bark and making the surface even for bricks to be laid a path on. I've removed the preexisting weed matting and discovered a lot of weeds strong holding themselves to the soil. More work seems to be in order. 

I find it very difficult to set goals, becoming anxious and distracting myself by eating or doing some other mindless activity. I will try tomorrow to acknowledge my anxious feelings around planning/goal setting and let them flow through and see what they feel like. 

Tonight, I cooked a BBQ bean dish with baked Sweet potato and dollops of yoghurt. I misread teaspoon for tablespoon of chilli flakes and made it extra spicy. Fortunately the yoghurt was our saviour. Here's the recipe https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/bbq-baked-beans/ I'm trying to stay away from meat as it is cheaper to not buy meat but also we tend to eat more meat than we need.

Grateful for: conversations, water, dogs, birds singing, sunlight, food.

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Day 22

The last two days I have woken before my alarm bell has rung, either in anticipation or excitement; I like to think it's the latter. The alarm bell is so loud, I'm like automatically trying to save myself from the pain.

I've been trying to meditate unguided but isn't as good as easy to get into as a guided session so will try to use calm instead of headspace. Headspace is a gorgeous app worth the money but it I cannot afford it, either way there are free alternatives.

During my morning run, I saw two individuals that were using their cameras and I wanted to speak to them about photography, maybe to shoot together, etc. I didn't put the effort to do so and missed an opportunity :( I hoped the first guy would still be where he was on my way back but he'd disappeared into thin air. I didn't expect these keen photographers during my run, but that's life - expect the unexpected.

Again I watched more Bates Motel. The series has me fascinated because we were taught to watch (maybe admire) Hitchcock's films at Uni. I find Norman Bates quite relatable, not that I am a killer but because of his struggles. TV shows are made so insidiously. They spoon feed you bit by bit, leaving you in a dry desert and have your thirst quenched with new plot openings at the end of the episode. I am beginning to be disappointed in most mediums with the type of content the majority is exposed to. I usually don't watch many series, only ones I deem high quality mainly through cinematography, story or acting. When I get started on one, I feel the need to finish it.

I worked a little on the back garden stairs, sifting through more of the soil to to remove the bark. Its a much bigger job than I initially thought. I talked to my father tonight since over a year ago and was pretty happy, as we don't have the most steady relationship. He sounded excited about my progresses and I acknowledged this with real happiness this time. Slowly my relationship with him is becoming more friendly, forgiving and fun :)

My sister made fettuccine tonight, was very yum but I had naughty seconds :(  ;) I had been talking so long with my dad, the food was eaten already by the others and my plate sat there cold. After eating, I talked with my sister's partner a bit too much and delayed my Spanish learning but realised it was time to go and got it done in the end.

Grateful for: laughter, language, learning, love and running.

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Day 23

It's a warm fuzzy feeling to begin to believe you are becoming more normal. That's what I felt today. The continuing early morning waking allows me to see others running, putting myself amongst people. It's a stark difference between the avoidance of gaming into the night.

My sister gave me a generous taster of her spirulina smoothie and I was shortly startled. "Is this all for me?" I welcomed it with excitement, she had put honey in it so it wasn't just bitter but rather tasty. I see these brushes of kindness as silent universal messages for the progress I've been making. Usually, I feel uneasy of such benevolent notions of kindness but today I accepted it with grace.

I transferred the lot of 200 bricks from the driveway to the garden which provided pretty good exercise. These bricks will be used for the footpath going up. Also sifted through the first flight of stairs' bark using some sieves. I am mainly extracting the bigger barks so they don't create uneven ground for the bricks to lay on. This project is going to take much longer than I thought. I plan to complete the first flight of stairs before moving to the next one to make measurable progress and see if things work out before overstretching.

Practiced more Spanish, it's become my favourite activity of the day. Really want to get a low level of fluency so that I can make an order, book a room and all the other usual stuff before I travel.

Sister made some nice easy stir-fry tonight and I plan to cook on Saturday. Trying to become more comfortable with cooking as it is fun, delicious and a source of self-efficacy and esteem for me.

I got a pleasant surprise tonight. About a week ago I had tried to fix my phone with a deep flash cable. After the operation the phone didn't turn on. I sadly and quietly accepted it's fate. Now I turned on the phone on from a source of desperation and curiosity to see if anything budged. I connected the charging cable and the battery icon popped up. Previously, my phone had a complete black screen but I had a strong feeling it wasn't dead, now my findings proved this. So, this means my phone is quite  likely fixable :) 

Grateful for: Family, cooking, technology, Perserverance and others kindnesses.

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Day 24,

Same routines today. Alarm clock doesn't seem to be working anymore because I automatically wake up before it is able to wake me lol. I vacuumed the lounge and spent the rest of the day trying to revive this dead phone that doesn't want to come alive. It's sad because I know it's not dead (hard-bricked), but I don't know exactly what to do to make it work. Like fate doesn't want me to enjoy this luxury which I accept but fight for anyway. I like the challenge of troubleshooting hardware.

I wish I could get this phone working, but would I very quickly become ungrateful after the few moments of it's use? I seek to become less detached from media earlier and here it is laughing at my face. I gave up on it thinking it was dead, it came alive and now it's dead again, teasing me with hope :)

Here's a chillstep song, some emotions for youuuu...

 

 

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Day 25,

Today was great. I slept in an hour longer than my usual Miracle Morning routine and was considering not running. I reminded myself that I need to be to persevere even when I didn't want to exercise so I still went :) If I want to keep this habit and actualize it and not just have it be a 'let's try this' habit, I need to be persistent. 

It's pretty crazy the weather we've gotten in the Bay of Plenty, it's been like 6-7 days of sun and bits of cloud. So I'm VERY grateful for this.

I vacuumed the rest of the house and did my Spanish in the afternoon. My sister asked me if I was going to cook tonight and again, I hesitated and didn't feel like it. I had previously offered to and as part of the pillar of Integrity, I wanted to be congruent with what I said. So I cooked tonight and it was de-fucking-licious :D It was Lentel soup with Vegetables https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/pork-recipes/store-cupboard-lentil-soup/ Highly recommend this, hearty, filling and nutritiously delicious meal.

I put my phone on sale online, it's gotten to the point where It's not worth my time to fix. It cuts into my focus of getting other things done. My sister has used phone which she offered to me and gladly accepted so it's not all bad :) I'm beginning to be able to make decisions easier and with some confidence.

 

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Day 26,

I woke up and found these birds sitting on our balcony soaking the sun, I chose to seize the moment and take a picture. 

https://flic.kr/p/24RDJdW

I meditated using calm which has pretty good guided meditations but only 1 session per 'topic'. It's somewhat affecting my timeliness on meditating as I'm scrambling each day for a different audio each time. So new small goal: Doownload a bunch or pay for a plan. 

On to my run I go, running is quite enjoyable for me now. I like the feeling where my joints start off being creaky and then becoming heated and lubricated into my run. This acts as a precedent that the pain subsides and even becomes pleasurable if you just get going.

I finished the first flight of ground in the back garden. I'm being too fussy with removing every fucking piece of bark and my progress is very slow. I need to make an action plan or this thing isn't gonna get done in any reasonable time. I've started a Google Doc to clarify this action plan. I intend to start with smaller flight of stairs, to break up this project in smaller, more manageable areas.The next step is to lay down weed matting so the weed doesn't creep through the brick pathway. This requires a few metal stakes to pierce through and hold firmly to the ground.

I watched some more Bates Motel but only after I did this garden work and found myself only watching 2 episodes instead of completely binging, so I guess that's good. It's like when you've been more productive, you find less of a need to fill that empty vacuum with empty content. About the show however, it's pretty sad. I relate greatly with Norman as he's quite meek, talented in his specific field (taxidermy) and people appeasing with good intentions. 

On gaming - I haven't really thought about gaming at all in the last 2 weeks. The most recent conversation I'd had about it was about the grandness of the Dota 2 tournament, The International. I feel like I may want to watch the finals of it this year just because the quality of the games are so high, who knows maybe I will have forgotten about gaming completely by August. The main reason I find I have had a lack of gaming thoughts is because I've moved here with my sister. Her everyday presence makes me feel accountable in the face of her, to 'show up' and hold myself responsible. I had more gaming thoughts when I was back in Wellington, living alone. This simple dynamic has allowed me to raise the level of conciousness, even if it's slight, to a place where I'm drawn to the healthiness of human relationships over virtual ones with no accountability/responsibility. I've spent the majority of my life without either of these values with brief spells at Uni at which stage I was gaming and did not hone in on and solidify properly. So i'm finding my time right now to be the precious ground work.

Here's another soothing song. I love chill songs :)

 

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Day 27,

I took some photos in the sunrise we get here, they're so dramatic.

Sunrise Ohope

I meditated without guided meditation today, was a little less effective in that it's not as structured and I have to discipline myself to sit with the silence. Usually the soothing voices of guided meditations prove useful to the meditation itself. On the other hand, it offered a different degree level of peace because it was just me and the silence which felt more real. I'll try the unguided meditation again, with more determination tomorrow.

I managed to run all the way today without stopping. Usually, I stop for 5-10 seconds for a breather and then back to jogging. I think this was attributed to the bedtime affirmations I did the night before. It's part of the Miracle Morning which I haven't integrated practically yet but it was very powerful. The affirmations almost bathes oneself in a positive energy that almost 'carried' me on my run today. That's how I felt it was just that tad easier where I had less obstructing negative thoughts or distractions. I plan to integrate all the Miracle Morning steps little by little, I find it a bit overwhelming and would like to become competent in each step. So far the waking up and running are quite habitual now.

I've been spending the time after coming back from running by reading the Six Pillars of Self Esteem. I feel alot of my focus and energy is available in the morning for reading than night. I read a chapter about the child and parent relationship and how self-esteem is taught to be valued or minimized in a family. It's a very important chapter worth re-reading. I found myself nodding at several questions Branden poses to the reader about what values were instilled our household. Many were negative and a few positive, my angry teen inside me would like to lash out at my parents but I know that would fix nothing. Instead I am trying to take responsibility for the adult I want to become without identifying as a victim. In the next chapter it starts talking about how self-esteem is taught and transferred in schools and how most of our schools are set up to teach obedience over self-reliance with fear rather than good intentions. It's a very important topic I feel, so much of our identities and values are learnt from the adults which supervise us growing up. Yet many of the adults themselves don't realize the impact they are or could be having on children. If i were to have kids, I would like to have an action plan as to what values and boundaries are neccessary for the formation of a healthy self-esteem.

After saying all this, I indulged in porn again :S I just get this urge at the back of my neck like a desire for dopamine to add some chaos to my life. It's one of my addictions that just randomly pops into my head like a hurricane every 2 or 3 days. I think it's appearing to self-sabotage my recent life progress. I don't beat myself up on it because I know that my primary goal is to quit gaming and so as long as I don't game, it's merely a bad habit. Ideally, I want to get rid of this addiction alongside gaming but baby-steps and measurable progress is what's gonna get to the place I want, not grandiose super-hero wishes. It's imperative that I deal with as it effects the woman and men I interact with and my concepts of relationships.

Grateful for: Otto, my sister's dog who at any moment of the day or night can summon an unwavering playfulness with me which brightens any part of my day :) 

                    Family, cold showers, socks to keep my toes warm aaaaand Photographs.

I talked to my older brother who is in Brisbane now, he sounds quite excited at his new job. I wonder why he calls me sometimes, over my sister. We had a little row when he was here a week ago or something, I think he was anxious about his situation and moving to Aussie. But he somehow magically stills calls me and it makes me feel a bit more appreciative of my own value. Maybe he talks to me for my insights or just because I'm simply his brother, either way it feels good to be wanted.

I was working on the garden today and finished the first flight of stairs

5acb3f8996430_Backgarden1ststairs2.jpg.20dd70004108dd6eab147b4df25b1584.jpg

Here's another favourite song of mine: 

 

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Day 28,

TodayI was again able to run the full route I take and back to my home without stopping, building on the success that I achieved this yesterday. It's actually mind blowing to me when I reflect that I'm waking up at 6AM. I used to wake up at 11AM-1PM regularly. That's an improvement of 5-6 hours of available time in my day, let alone the differences in energy levels. I'm beginning to respect my time a little better now.

I read my book on my bed today which was a mistake. I naturally felt sleepy, I had gotten 7 hours or so of sleep which is plenty but the fact that I was sitting on my cushy bed seduced me into feelings of drowsiness. New action plan is to read only on the living room sofa where it is not warm and cozy so I am forced to put my full attention to reading. This drowsiness I felt affected the effectiveness of how well could read and made me spend a little longer than I needed to.

I rearranged the back garden stairs to have bark on the left and right sides, this provided contrast between the lighter colour of bricks with the darkness of the bark. Small changes but I think it has a nicer overall look

5acc87473321e_FirstflightstairsBG.thumb.jpg.b01ced7197fe221c73eef44589fa6ffa.jpg

I was going to watch some more Bates Motel today but remembered that my sister had asked me to see if there were any movies to watch. Instead of watching Bates Motel seperate from her, I decided to watch a movie together with her. She asked for an action movie and I saw a poster for a film that looked like it might involve some martial arts. To my surprise it wasn't merely a martial arts film but something quite dramatic and spectacular. The film made me cry multiple times, I haven't cried in ages - not many things move me that emotionally. I don't want to spoil the story but highly recommend it if you like a 'moving' film. It's a Korean film so you will need subtitles, but it is worth it. It's called Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds. AWTG-MURDER-HELL.jpg

I made griddled vegetables & feta with tabbouleh tonight, it was very delicious and healthy. 

https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/cheese-recipes/griddled-vegetables-feta-with-tabbouleh/

46257426.jpg

I found myself bewildered alot when making these recipes. Alot has to do with my self-esteem. I asked my sister several times for confirmation of understanding of how the recipe is to be followed before relying on my own understanding. This is a bad habit that I still continue and need to be more aware of If I want to change it. It's quite hard because it's automatic, my thought process is that I will reach the goal (cooking dinner) if I just get to the answers quicker. This however keeps me dependent on others approval and forges the continual lack of self-efficacy. This happens when I do other activities but namely in activities that require precise execution. This is quite important for me as I think it's the main reason I think of myself as incompetent to work. Maybe this is just a continuation of victim mentality.

I talked to my Dad again, I feel we are slowly building back a healthier relationship with these phone calls. This might be a healthy habit worth introducing in my daily regimes --- to contact family members / friends more regularly. It provides a deep level of satisfaction and especially self-acceptance that I have the courage to mend my long-neglected relationships. We ended the phone call hesitatingly wanting to say bye like we didn't want to hang up the phone. Huh, cute ain't it :D

Anyways sleep is awaitin' 

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Day 29,

Notmuch today, it was a cold ass day the beginning of winter. It was lightly raining and cold in the morning. The only way I was going to be able to get warm was to run and keep running. I'm happy with my determination, no one was outside except me. I even ran a bit of the uphill on the wake back as the weather was bitterly cold. Usually, I walk hill back as a 'warm down.'

I continued reading self-esteem, this chapter being about how it relates to work. Branden says that in the 21st Century our workers need to independent thinkers, creative to solving challenges and quickly adaptive to the fast changes of the economy and world wide competition. This is in cotrast to the 1950-60's blue collar worker that was rewarded by being an obedient and 'as reliable as a machine' individual in carrying out specific instructions. The mindset Is currently hold is that of the 20th Century worker, I feel incapable of applying myself to.the requirements of the 21st century worker. I hope that the positive habitual activities I'm working on will help me build my self-esteem so I can begin to trust myself and my decisions more to face my challenges of work.

I built a ? in the fireplace today. I forgot how much fun it is! To build a house of wood and layer it with cardboard underneath and later being mesmerized by the heat and splinter of the cuddling warmth of it all. I'm now upstairs temporarily for all this fireplace s' heat travels up here as the coziest place of the house :) EZ sleep tonight.

Did more Spanish, spent an hour this time, slower than usual but I want to make sure I remember some things. Some things of Spanish grammar confuses me like their use of a, el, la, de and the arrangement of them before other words. Spanish is much more interesting to me than other languages I have tried learning. it probably has to do with the fact I'm probably giving it more effort because I'm not gaming.

Sister and I made chicken skewers and nibbles on the BBQ. I thought I cooked the chicken long enough but a few of them weren't cooked enough. I think it was due to the cold weather eaten away at the heat and need to close the BBQ lid to capture the heat inside. 

I'll try looking for part time work in these cold days.

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Day 30,

I'm keeping up with my routines: Waking up at 6, meditating, exercising, reading, Spanish and journaling. Even though I am doing all these things in the space of a day I feel incomplete. 

I used to do nothing but game all day an achieve nothing ALL day. And yet still the contrast between these two lives, I still don't feel like I'm accomplishing much. I grew up being told by most of my family to get a job, merely 2-3 days ago when talking to my dad and brother they both said this again "why not get a part-time job?" by Dad and "maybe go kiwi-fruit picking" by my older brother. This hurts me as I don't think they understand why I have had difficulties to want to work like they think its a magic pill that will cure it all. I want to tell them this but my previous 'opening up episodes' I've had with them reminds me that all this will just fall on deaf ears again...

I have quite a dysfunctional relationship with work. I will admit that. I worked briefly at a sandwich/smoothie little side shop a year ago and didn't really like it. Most advice I get is to start at a low skill labor place like McDonalds but work like this bores me to death and eventually leads me to a performance drops after the first few weeks. I admit, I've grown up very pampered and hidden in my safe gaming world. Am I being a primadonna not accepting low skill work like McDonalds or is there a truth to me desiring more meaningful work that will help burn the fuel of performance to turning up to work well.

The conclusion I usually get to is I'd rather work at volunteer roles which have more meaningful environments with things that actually provide benefit to the world... Instead of selling fried food to someone.

I've never really worked at any job long term more than a month opting to stick my head in video games and hide. I finished a degree in Film/TV which tested my critical thinking somewhat and discipline but I found it quite stressful living in Auckland (biggest city in NZ) and decided to move away from that. I like photography and have thought of taking photos for people for work (I've been complimented on my photos before). 

How did you guys get into your fields of work? Is the path to work through perserverence (taking shitty jobs and building yourself up)? Or going after what ticks you right from the get-go?

I feel like the progress I've made with my good habits should be enough but a deep murky hidden feeling tells me to finish the last piece of the puzzle --work. 

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Day 31,

I'm just doing a post for yesterday, I fell asleep early.

I finished a 2nd large step up the garden, this one looks better leveled and organised than the previous steps.

I walked Otto out to the beach and realised he needs to be walked out more with the leash than driven straight to the beach. He was pulling quite hard to the point he was semi-choking himself being so excited to reach his destination. There at the beach I ran with him so he could feel a little connected to our movements so he would not stray too far by himself. He's a bit of a wild dog, doing whatever he likes at the beach and he regularly enters what we coined, 'donkey' brain.

At first I was reluctant to take him out as daylight was fading, but all I was doing was making excuses to accept being lazy like "it will be dangerous to lead him through the darkness as cars with headlights zoom by" In reality, I just said fuck it and took him out and we got back with plenty of day light to spare. So here likes a small reference experience for me to be aware of the excuses I make.

I did more Duolingo Spanish learning but am starting to question it's effective ness. I'm basically learning to memorize and regurgitate the words its teaching. After the lesson, I changed to a different Spanish app and it gives explanations to grammar use which DL doesn't even teach. So I think I'll be looking for alternatives from here on.

I listened to two podcasts. One on "Managing Perfectionism" by the Journey to Recovery podcast and "How not to Abandon Projects and Follow Through" by The Savvy Psychologist. Some tips that I got from Managing Perfectionism was to be okay with average, to be OK with making mistakes and to set a deadline for the end of a project. My very being cringes and twists hearing these ideas but I believe will be necessary to shifting towards my more balanced self. On Savvy Psychologist, the tips I could remember were to break projects into specifics - what task, what tools, what deadline, how much time will I spend. The more specifics the quicker I will get the project done.

I was contemplating watching a movie but chose to listen to these useful podcasts instead in bed and accidentally fell asleep.

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Day 32,

I spent most of yesterday inside as it was raining and have decided to have weekends as off days for the miracle morning. That doesn't mean I slept in to 10 or 12 or anything like that but woke up at 7.30 or so. The idea of waking up at midday now feels draining and am incentivised to wake up early in general to increase my energy.

I watched a video on qi qong mentioned in another person's journal and I want to look more into these mixed physical meditation exercises. I find sitting still and focusing on just breathing quite hard. The simple instructional video made me feel at ease just watching him to it, so I can only imagine how soothing actually doing these exercises must be.

I continued reading half a chapter on psychotherapy where Branden talks about how important it is for psychotherapists to have their focus ultimately be geared towards bringing the positive aspects to the forefront so that the client can recognise it in her or himself, to own it. He values experiential learning through the client over explicit teaching because it is more empowering to learn relevant realities on your own than to superficially hear it from someone else and expect it to assimilate. That's not how self-esteem growth usually works and says "autonomy is strengthened in the very nature of the learning process".

It eventually stopped raining and I got outside to work on another step in the stairs. I did most of the groundwork all that's left is to fill the sides with decorative bark. 

As I was working, I was listening to podcasts about HSP's and discovered Steve from the HSP Experience. At first I was defensive about his tales of alcoholism and addicitve behaviour wuestioning whether I should be listening to this guy who seems to be dipping into unconscious semi-regularly. But as I listened to his laugh and genuineness, I learned to forgive and see the bigger picture. Everyone's got problems and the way we grow is through compassion and balance not black and white dismissiveness of categorization. 

I also listened to another HSP podcast by Anastasia. Her first podcast talks about potential jobs for HSP's. She offers a guideline called SWOT borrowed from her business school days. S is for strength, W is weaknesses, O is opportunities and T is threats. She asks HSP's to go through these points about ourselves and find jobs that match these qualities we outline about ourselves.

My sister made some nice risotta with ? and these are cheap and more plentiful meals that I want to learn to live more frugally. Tonight I will cook https://food52.com/recipes/21532-marcella-hazan-s-braised-celery-with-onion-pancetta-and-tomatoes because we still have left over celery from a previous night that actually costed quite a bit to purchase and would be a shame to throw away. Vegetables are somewhat expensive in New Zealand, specially in smaller towns with less competition with the lack of farmers markets.

I spent my last waking hours writing the answers to the questions posed to me for a documentary, it took me an hour. I wanted to make the answers honest and effective. I didn't want to creep into my sleep schedule and held off writing my journal in order to sleep and here it is the next morning.

I like writing at night time better as my recollection of thoughts is stronger and it allows me to expend the lingering thoughts productively for a good sleep.

 

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Day 33, 

The dinner was a success, now I know how to make celery tasty cheaply.

Ran this morning and said good morning to most people I passed by, its much easier when pumped with endorphins, dopamine and all the other good stuff :D

Filled out the bark surrounding the step I was working on yesterday and cleaned out most of the ground level of the next 4 small steps. Getting there day by day.

Listened to more HSP podcasts, I'm trying to learn more about it before fully accepting myself as one, although it seems very spot on. It's a relatively new discovery made by Elaine Aron in 1999 so the data about it is relatively new in comparison to other dispositions.

Pretty lazy day, tried to read: 10 pages took me 1 1/2 hours to read as my sister was blasting some music. I had to relocate to another room to finish reading.

I keep procrastinating on making goals. I have a goal app in my phone but don't use it. Structure seems so un-easing for me even though I need it. I just find it hard to keep my thoughts on one thing at any one time. My meditation has weakened so that might be why, so let's start from there tomorrow.   

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Day 34, 

Spent all day watching Youtube and Twitch streams. What triggered it was a gaming related video that popped up in my notifications on my phone. I thought I had deleted them all, seems there's still some in there. The positive lesson I learnt out of this is that this recovery process absolutely requires a methodical and rational way of overcoming addiction. Relying on feelings and willpower is not reliable or effective. It was like I had hopped back on the same train tracks that I had binged on before for dopamine in an instant. This reminded me of the CBT therapy teachings I had learnt about in the last two years where we change behaviour by changing the neural pathways we use, over time the old pathways wilt and die away by not being used. Anyways I disabled my twitch account which is something good progress.

I need to learn how to plan, I procrastinate so much. The meditation helped greatly this morning for the brief 1 hour or so after my run. God I'm such a dreamer haha, spent so much time playing games I expect the world to manifest just by my thinking :/ Not judging myself here, but telling it how I am. If I am indeed not serious about quitting then my actions reflect this. Why am I so restless and lack self-control. Maybe I should stop asking why and be the change I seek :S If that is the way, then I should act more to align with my thoughts.

As I read this I can read the self-judgement in my words even though I say I am not. Let's get back up and try again tomorrow.

Here's a song I discovered listening to Coachella today: 

Day 34, 

Spent all day watching Youtube and Twitch streams. What triggered it was a gaming related video that popped up in my notifications on my phone. I thought I had deleted them all, seems there's still some in there. The positive lesson I learnt out of this is that this recovery process absolutely requires a methodical and rational way of overcoming addiction. Relying on feelings and willpower is not reliable or effective. It was like I had hopped back on the same train tracks that I had binged on before for dopamine in an instant. This reminded me of the CBT therapy teachings I had learnt about in the last two years where we change behaviour by changing the neural pathways we use, over time the old pathways wilt and die away by not being used. Anyways I disabled my twitch account which is something good progress.

I need to learn how to plan, I procrastinate so much. The meditation helped greatly this morning for the brief 1 hour or so after my run. God I'm such a dreamer haha, spent so much time playing games I expect the world to manifest just by my thinking :/ Not judging myself here, but telling it how I am. If I am indeed not serious about quitting then my actions reflect this. Why am I so restless and lack self-control. Maybe I should stop asking why and be the change I seek :S If that is the way, then I should act more to align with my thoughts.

As I read this I can read the self-judgement in my words even though I say I am not. Let's get back up and try again tomorrow.

Here's a song I discovered listening to Coachella today: 

 

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Day 35,

Today was much better, sticked to my routines and got some more steps done in the garden, hoping it will be sunny tomorrow :)

Ate a little less impulsively today and introduced some sit-ups in the morning to burn a bit of belly fat. I'm somewhat self-conscious about my weight albeit less so than my teenage years with the recent years of exercising. 

Took out Otto on the leash, still crazy as ever but somewhat better than last time. He makes me run again before dusk which is a nice boost to my energy. He's like a partner, we help each other out. He didn't stray from my calls once and I got to really shout at the beach which I never do and noticed this of myself. Felt quite empowering, although I was seeing this through the eyes of other's - "Wow, he's really able to control his dog well". It's probably better to accept this of myself for myself but either way it felt good. 

I've opened a 40 inch monitor's worth of tabs about HSP, haha I'm mad I want to learn it all. I found a good blog on it and read every title and felt I could relate to my experiences. http://www.hspnotes.com/

It's cool how I respect my morning so much that I have a near zero-tolerance policy on sleeping late now. Alas it is that time!

 

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6 hours ago, Arch said:

Day 35,

Today was much better, sticked to my routines and got some more steps done in the garden, hoping it will be sunny tomorrow :)

Ate a little less impulsively today and introduced some sit-ups in the morning to burn a bit of belly fat. I'm somewhat self-conscious about my weight albeit less so than my teenage years with the recent years of exercising. 

Took out Otto on the leash, still crazy as ever but somewhat better than last time. He makes me run again before dusk which is a nice boost to my energy. He's like a partner, we help each other out. He didn't stray from my calls once and I got to really shout at the beach which I never do and noticed this of myself. Felt quite empowering, although I was seeing this through the eyes of other's - "Wow, he's really able to control his dog well". It's probably better to accept this of myself for myself but either way it felt good. 

I've opened a 40 inch monitor's worth of tabs about HSP, haha I'm mad I want to learn it all. I found a good blog on it and read every title and felt I could relate to my experiences. http://www.hspnotes.com/

It's cool how I respect my morning so much that I have a near zero-tolerance policy on sleeping late now. Alas it is that time!

 

I think I might be a highly sensitive person too, or have similar attributes.  Thanks for linking the hspnotes.  You seem to be on track and doing well with the detox!  Yup, sleeping in late in the morning can set you back with goals.  It is a continual goal in my life to have proper sleep habits.  Some days aren't so great, but for the most part it's maintained.  The near zero-tolerance is a solid mindset! 

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Thanks, yea I was getting that vibe from your posts like how you have attention to detail about the Pricess Bride 'old' feeling look to it and how it gives you value, random drives out into nature or the attentive high level caring quality you give to each of your posts.  

I wish to emulate your writing style and disclipline one day @Dannigan, yours is so neatly organised - it is inspiring.

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Day 36,

I decided to run a different direction this morning to change the scenery, slightly longer than my usual route. I would say my stamina to run has increased by 20-25% since about a month ago. Soon I will be running up hills :D

I finished up the 4 little steps and decorated the edges with bark. The next part is a long L shaped section which is postponed till Friday, until we get some more bricks, bark and weed matting.

I ate more than I needed at lunch today but will make up for it tomorrow by exercising in the morning and before dusk.

I really wonder now how non-HSP people experience life different from my experience. Is this sensory sensitivity very subtle in physical feeling or is it more 'mentally' derived by the Reticular Activation System. Read two pages of Peter's posts at HSPnotes.com and found that he has similar issues to work that I have. We both lack ambition of wanting to work beyond enough money to sustain ourselves at the level of 'enough'. He rather plays with his hobbies selling these beautiful hand-painted stones and collecting colourful rocks to sell to a jewelery maker and some other side projects.

It's not that we are not motivated to work, it's just that our most 'inner beacon' of purpose is more powerfully attracted to do meaningful work over the sole acquisition of money; working in jobs that don't instigate creativity or a sense of self-worth through helping others feels akin to being hooked up with depression in the form of an IV drip. Again, this leads me to wonder if this is tied to the trait of being an HSP or the nurtured defensive mechanisms I've learnt which seek control unhealthily.

I did a little bit of Spanish but not enough. I've switched to a different app called Spanish from scratch which actually explains grammar usage and other useful things unlike the parrot-like learning of Duolingo which I have uninstalled.

Here's a picture of Otto I took tonight with the 135mm

5ad719b0eb5a3_Otto2.thumb.jpg.a8eecc9524a3407afe5ea811d153a3b6.jpg

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Ahh I love your photography! It sounds like your detox is going well too, I really need to start reading some of the self help books on my own reading list! Keep it up :)

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Day 37,

Doing my journal a little earlier so I don't have to rush so much.

I finished Six-Pillars of Self Esteem today, I can't recall all the information in it but I got the gist of it. Basically, If an individual wants to grow in self-esteem, the main actor and benefactor has to be the person themselves. You can't derive any sense of experience outside yourself if self-esteem is to be authentic and empowering. The values and goals I need to set must be my own and not others. The garden that I have been fixing has been another's goal and it is true I don't really have too much invested in it's completion because it is not my goal. However, one of my goal is to be adaptive and to learn to strengthen my discipline so I am not being black-and-white and sticking through with it's completion. Still however, I need to come up with my own goals.

Somewhere inside me I think the reason I procrastinate so heavily and haven't set my goals is because an unconscious part of me wants to self-sabotage and keep me in status-quo land and not move anywhere. I've contacted my GP and asked him to refer me to a therapist, I want to deal with these hidden subconscious destructive ways of being. I plan to go back to Wellington in 3-4 weeks time, I think it's too sheltered for my esteem to be taking the easy way out and hiding in the safety and warmer climate of my hometown. I seek to connect with the opportunities that's available in the bigger city like I found that there is a group of HSP's in Wellington. They look quirky in their profile pics, just my kind of people :) and there's like 500+ of them 0.0

My sister and partner left today to Auckland for a job interview so it was me and Otto today. I walked him out to exercise on the beach in the morning and the llate afternoon. God he's such a picky little dog and so energetic, It feels like I am taking care of a child. I had an imagination of where governments would give out dogs to would-be parents before they wanted to have a child as a primer to child rearing, haha! I appreciate the energy it takes to live with a dog more now that my sister and her partner have to rise to the occasion for.

I was pretty unproductive today. Just watched long Youtube videos by RSD about motivation and such. I find their content to be highly relevant to what I need to change in my thinking to be more productive but also feel I am not at their point of energy/motivation to follow my convictions with certain action. So instead of inspiring me, it ended up deflating me after from inaction. I think I need to only watch one of these types of videos a day if I do happen to watch them, because my psyche and productivity just isn't there yet to follow through with integrity.

When I walked Otto in the late afternoon I came across my Drama teacher from Highschool from 10 years ago. At first I didn't recognize her but at second glance I remembered her round, lovable shape in her colourful orange outfit. I gave her a hug straight away, remembering her as a source of content in school when I was learning to act. I never really told her that she was one of my favourite teachers in school so I took the opportunity to tell her then and there. She asked "What I was doing with myself", I paused and hesitantly said "I'm trying to figure that out." I eventually told her that I was addicted to games and felt I had wasted alot of my years with it and that I was currently on a 90-day detox. She told me about her plans to travel all over the world but I can't remember the various listed countries feeling anxious and trying to stay interested. She had quit teaching after 38 years or so, she was a very understanding and patient teacher from what I recall. She told me her memories of me in class that I was serious in and I countered by saying that was just me being very anxious in a class of all girls and no other guys. Although she is correct, I was an am to a lesser extent a serious person. I thought she would have picked up on my anxiousness but this is a good reminder that even the most caring people can't always read your mind and you have to communicate your feelings. I kind of wanted to talk to her for ages but Otto was running down a football field's distance away from me, chasing away every seagull and sniffing every dog's butt :D

I cooked some gumbo using Okra and fried onions in tomato sauce and popped in some bits of salami in there. I didn't really know what I was making but something popped into my mind from an RSD video by Ozzie where he talks about perfectionism. I'm used to reading about recipes and following them strictly to get at the desired result but what happens when I don't have access to those recipes? I figured true learning of cooking requires to be able to think on the spot and congregate one's thoughts of ingredients and tastes and be able to improvise. This is analogous to most of life and I need to treat it so if I want to let go of the hand-holding comfort zones I'm so entrenched in.

I recorded and sent my answers about gaming addiction to the documentary by @LukeBTW. Took me a while, was procrastinating and being very perfectionist about it.

Here is a song that makes me feel close to crying :)

   

 

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Day 38,

Meditate: Yes but barely, gotta find replace it with a more effective method. Morning run: Yes.  

I mainly studied photography today, I really need to practice it and use the tools that I have here with me. This is the course I am using https://www.udemy.com/composition/learn/v4/overview . I learnt about what makes a good photo and a bad photo. A good photo is one that has a clear subject and uses rule of thirds for effective composition and generally has the subject in the foreground. Too many subjects like many people can be distracting when trying to tell a specific story like the example of a group of students having a gym class and a teacher with her hands in the air, our clarity of subject is not clear. I quite enjoyed his photography style of street photography and was impressed at how covert and close he was to his subjects. He used an automatic M4/3 camera which has auto focus so he can take photos quicker than a camera with a manual focus lens. This makes me think it is quite essential to get an autofocus lens for the speed. This is the type of photography that feels real to me where it is spontaneous and the subject is in her or his natural environment.

I recalled a few days ago my sister talked about the walnut tree in our backyard dropping walnuts and how a lot of them had been rolling down the hill slope behind our shed. The way the tree had grown had been lopsided, perhaps because of the seabreeze or the nature of the land. So I thought I'd go collect them as I wanted to do something physical and get out. I love eating nuts btw but I had grown up remembering one of my dad's favourite nuts being the walnut, so it was an easy decision. 

5ad9ae6642590_Walnuts2.thumb.jpg.9687da7dae126e04bff51aab0ac460be.jpg

The very first moments I began to think more authentically about who I wanted to be was when I played World of Warcraft. I looked through all the classes, Warrior -- boring, so overdone, rogue - interesting but everyone is gonna be doing this, hunter - now we talking. And finally I came across the Shaman -- a class that I thought would have been played the least out of all the classes, as his role was mysterious and unclear. He was a healer, helping his allies with buffs and providing auras that helped the group. He was not so much focused on damaging his enemies but making his allies stronger and when the time called for it, he could harness the natural elements aggressively. My first profession I gravitated to was Herbalism. The idea of using nature to cure ourselves attracted me by its very peaceful notion. I thought poetically about how the nature we come from has so many answers to our questions. Anyways what I'm trying to say with this is that harvesting and being in nature is very natural for me :) I truly believe that if we're ever frustrated or lacking of inspiration to live our lives, we can turn to nature to muse us a melody. Whilst I was picking these walnuts down the bank, there came this fantail merely 1 meter away from me and it was so curious as to what I was doing, it disregarded its own safety. These are the harmonies that truly bring joy to my being. I wish I had my camera to capture it but it was meant only for the moment.

I'll prepare the L-shaped section by digging it tomorrow, I need more bricks to continue the footpath which is postponed for the time being.

 

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Day 39,

Today was pretty good. I woke up earlier than my alarm clock as usual - I seem to be waking up 5:20-30 AM and turned the alarm off before it went off. My thought is I shall sleep in till my designated wake up time of 6AM haha and ended up waking up at 6:30. Still, I'm not beating myself for this because I reminded myself that in the bigger picture of things, I used to be going to sleep at this time whilst gaming.

After getting out my room and sitting on the sofa to prepare meditating I was captured by the beauty of the sunrise once again.5adb07bae7517_Sunrise2.thumb.jpg.e25998920c222468d8ba2a0ec5568135.jpg

I spent about 10 minutes shooting this sunrise before I decided to move on and not delay my routines any longer but it was well worth it. I want to develop this photo and make it better before publishing it on Flickr, but need to ask permission to install Lightroom on this computer. There are somethings to fix like the uneven horizon of the sea and the infamous green cast of the GH2 that needs to be offset - the yellows are tinged with a slight green. I cropped the top of and bottom edges of the frame to make the composition tighter, making the clouds fit and horizon comply to the rule of the thirds.

I did a few pushups and situps once again. I downloaded a page full of goal setting apps trying to find the perfect app to start my goal setting journey. My oldest brother rang me as I was doing this and we had a good conversation congratulating me on my efforts. He reminded me that one can spend all the time in the world researching but eventually I have to take action with my perfectionist tendencies. It's pretty hard to catch myself convincing myself that it is worth it when in fact progressing in the goal itself is the real goal.

I dug up the ground of the L section, now have to sort through the dirt to excavate the bark. I'm gonna need more bark for the sides this time as the width and lengths are more extended than the previous sections. 

My sister and her partner went out to two BBQ's tonight and so I was left taking care of Otto. After I was finished gardening I came back inside to find Otto slobbering - NO! Soon after they left he had ripped into the pack of burgle from the lowest shelf of our pantry. At first, I hit him as that was my previous understanding of trying to make a dog understand what is bad behaviour. I didn't feel good doing that and wanted to be sure what the correct method to discpline a dog was - so I goggled it. What I found was that dogs really only learn through positive reinforcement in terms of learning behaviour you want to promote. Giving treats and pats according to behaviour you approve of rather than smacking is a better approach to teaching an obedient dog.

Further, I was thinking whether as further punishment, I would exclude his beach activity from his day. As I kept reading, I realised this would have been a disaster. I learnt that dogs also need exercise like water or food or they will begin to misbehave. I know, not rocket scientist but as a way to assure there were to be no more bad shit happening around here, I figured it's better to just take him out. I also researched how to teach a dog to walk on the leash instead of pulling. This was really hard! The technique involves stopping everytime he pulls on the leash and say "No" or "No, stop that!" followed or preceded by his name. Eventually he will start complying and walk instead of pulling. For this you reward his good behaviour with treats and reinforce what you want him to do. The relationship with a dog is about letting him know who the leader is and thus gaining respect for the human. From that respect he abides more willingly and sees your decisions as of utmost importance. 

It took me probably about 50 stops before we even got to the beach, he's been running wild for so long the habit is quite ingrained to just roam around and because he is a dog :D By the time I unleashed him at the beach he had grown a level of respect for me that was less so at the beginning of our journey. I would run with him and he would respond to my calls more attentively than previous days. I also did exercise my voice more confidently this time - It's a little sad to say it was one of the few times in my life where I had actually FELT masculine. I raised my voice throughout the beach without much care. I like the beach for this purpose - it stretches out endlessly and has the space to be as loud as you want without disturbing people. All that is left is the trace of your footprints.

I learnt my Spanish, photography course and now it is time to sleep. I'm gonna try practicing some Qi Qong for meditation tommorow and have a day off the Miracle morning.

A cheery tune!

 

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Day 40,

This morning I practiced Qi Qong which is a Chinese movement-based meditation. I used this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNtWqDxwwMg

It was much easier than trying to sit still but offered a similar calming effect provided by normal meditation. I want to practice this more to see how much more effective it is than traditional meditation. Just not having to sit still was a real tension reliever but I think that's part of the power that is derived from closed-eye meditation.

I went out from 1:45PM to 4:30PM to practice some landscape photography. I used my 21mm MC Rokkor, my widest prime lens. I wanted to see how effective it performed in sharpness mainly. This was my favourite photo because it had people in it; it's quite hard to make landscape photos impressive unless you have a gigantic waterfall or something epic but maybe this is because I'm used to the sights around me. Hopefully you enjoy them :) 5adc58a12d6b8_Ontherocks.thumb.jpg.f616eed4c0295cfd4a9c88d794f63b01.jpg

I cooked Eggplant and Bok Choy and other vegetables with the help of my sister. Was very delicious and healthy.

5adc5ae8d3b35_EggplantandBokChoy.thumb.jpg.74aea19156aea788cad9d136e3538773.jpg

Practiced Spanish decently but no time for photography course tonight, will finish that up tomorrow.

I spoke with my previous therapist tonight after not being in contact with him for a year. We had a good talk and he told me that he got my message as soon as he arrived in Singapore and inserted his NZ sim card which was 2-3 days ago. There's always been magical energies around me where fate-like happenstance occurs around me, and I just accept it smiling at the Angel on my shoulder :9_innocent: I honestly believe some fucking guardian is looking out for me or something. Another occurrence - I survived a car crash when I was on a long drive through rainy road back to my hometown; the car hard spun 3-4 times 360 degrees and flew over a bank and landed upside down cushioned by a stretch of bush. I remained dangled upside down, unscathed and held by my seatbelt. I'm not taking these miracles for granted like "I can do dangerous shit and expect to be safe" but for some reason I'm still alive and I'm going to find out why :D

 

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