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Day 63. "Reality." - Trigger warning: Videogames

It was a bit awkward when she came back from work. We'd have to leave rather quickly to get to the VR thing. She wasn't really talking to me so I figured I'd leave it at that. Playing games in VR might give a bit of catharsis. It also scared me a bit because of the gaming addiction. I felt like it was the right move, though. We'd need to vent some steam together and I figured it was worth skipping Krav Maga to be together in these trialing times. She expressed her insecurities and considered cancelling. If she did, I would have gone without her, probably. I saw they had this cool gladiator-type game and I felt like crushing some skulls. Mainly because I would get crazy exercise that way, I jump and swing around a lot and I needed to get rid of my excess energy and frustrations. In the end, I told her I believed it would be fun and healthy for us. I'm happy she came along because it was great fun. She played Beat Saber for a bit and I sliced and diced gladiators and then we did this co-op zombie shooter thing. We had to communicate and rely on each other. 2 hours flew by and we have once more giggling and having fun like we did months ago before all of this mess started. 

The whole VR thing is a major grey area for me. It's super important to be vigilant when it comes to playing video games. When relapsing in the past, I couldn't control myself. And one could argue that spending 45 bucks to play 2 hours of VR is problematic. Now there is some disposable income nowadays and it's what you'd spend for a solid dinner or a fun night of entertainment or at a fancy bar. So as long as spending money isn't becoming dangerous, I think we're good. And I still remember the head rush that games or porn used to give me. This wasn't like that. It didn't feel addictive. I was sad or more like surprised when we were done, but not because I wanted to play more, it was because I wanted to have fun with my SO more. If I would have done it all alone for 2 hours, it may have felt weird. But the owner was fun and we'd connected over our love of Japan. I might go back there some time. Probably with my partner though, just to be safe. All in all it was a nice night, though I'm still a bit careful with the whole VR-thing.

I'm so excited about the Professional Dungeon Master stuff. I just can't wait to start crafting a whole world and several plots for them. I'm so eager to start. They seemed to respond receptively on the mail I sent with my prices and what to expect. I hope I can start soon...

 

Recent highlight: Playing VR-games with my SO.

Budget status: Having money is deceptive. I should be mindful of what I spend, but I know that I have a lot nowadays. A dangerous thing...

My one goal for the next 24h: I have to make the schedules. I hate that. If I finish 1 thing today, I hope it's that.

 

Maintained habits:

-Daily Japanese lesson - All clear.

-Make the bed - Did it this morning.

-Drink enough water - I hope to get a better water-day today.

-Brush teeth two times a day, floss and clean once a day - I usually do it at least once a day, often before I go out. I'll probably do it later today before I head to improv.

-No daydrinking at home alone - Had whisky yesterday. Problematic... For the last week I've been drinking more. Obviously because of the stress and my SO's dark thoughts...

-Meditation - Monday: No. Tuesday: No. Wednesday: Not yet.

-Exercise once this week - Still a bit sore from last night, so it was a good workout. Next up will be improv tonight and tomorrow there's Krav Maga.

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Detox day 0. "Rock bottom."

I fell off the wagon. I was looking for a 'why' and a 'how' before I came back here. I think I wasn't being honest with myself for a while. I had discovered I was able to watch gameplay videos. This led to binging several hours and hours of content; mostly of games I wished I'd be able to play. Stuff with strong stories. I still believe that games can be used as an amazing medium for storytelling. But it's starting to be more and more clear that I just am not able to hold my urges back. From the beginning of my previous day 1, I had been sneaking pornoghrapic stuff. I have this app that lets you block content for you own protection. I started seeking out porn under the guise of opening the URL so that I may block it properly. And when I opened it, I thought I might as well look around a bit. I never really did crack fully, but I don't think I started my previous run cleanly. Combine that with the gameplay videos and even using my Instagram to look at lewd stuff, it was all dead on arrival to be honest. On top of it all, the depression/burnout stuff with my partner wasn't a happy Christmas present either. It took a major toll on our relationship. She's on antidepressants now and they seem like some sort of miracle drug; but we're still recovering. 

She saw me spiral and had a front row seat. I was honest to her though. And we went through the motion of it all. She took away my phone (my pc, luckily, is crap so I can only play games on my phone) but I angrily explained to her that I have to decide to quit it all myself and forcing that decision on me will only make matters worse. She saw a very, very ugly side of me. I was manipulative and addicted like a maniac. But even there I made a huge effort to be honest about it. I told a few of my friends even. I notice that we're all struggling with something in our own way. Life is hard, you know. Everybody's got some demon to battle. It's like this is simply what life is. Endlessly fighting the hordes of bad stuff. No wonder people get addicted to escapist things like games, porn, booze or drugs. I feel obliged to say that it's not all bad. There are moments of love and peace and because of all of the bad stuff in the world and in our lives, we should try doubly so to appreciate those and make time for them.

I had one night where I reached a low point. I wanted to stop playing this game, but I just couldn't. I could feel myself being stuck, a victim of my impulses. I think I maybe played for 14 hours straight. My SO went to bed and I could see the disappointment in her eyes, but continued anyway. It got to the point where I started drinking cheap scotch at 3 am. Partly because I wanted to numb myself because I felt so bad, disgusted, angry and sad. Partly, to save myself. I think I drank the entire remaining half. I couldn't even walk anymore. I just crashed on the couch, room spinning. I was a mess and drunk off my ass. But I had succeeded in making another impulse winning from the impulse to game, sadly that winning impulse was the need to lie down and sleep because I was so wasted and might vomit. 

My partner found me a few hours later. She patched me up and laid me to bed. I can't believe she's still here after seeing that debacle... I've now installed new porn filters, but Instagram is still a hole. I use it professionally so I can't really delete it. And there's not +18-filters because IG already filters stuff themselves. So it's on me and my willpower and finding ways to combat it. I'm sure there's still ways to find it on my pc, but the filter is pretty rigorous. I just hope that this time, I'll make it to 90 days. I can feel myself being more numb, not appreciating life as much. Like there's this filter been pulled over it all. I'm not as efficient or focused and I want to get rid of it. But I can't seem to let it go just yet... So no porn, but still games on my phone. But I feel like trying to be more honest this time and reminding myself that it's super important to detox for my most precious thing: my brain.

 

Recent highlight: Rediscovering the series 'Scrubs'.

Budget status: Happy that I'm keeping an eye on things. My SO tends to lose her own debit card and then uses our shared one. It sounds more malicious than it is, she just loses everything often. Her phone, wallet, ... I'm pretty sure one day this might cause a disaster. In any case, financially okay. Even got another commercial! I am being flown out to Lithuania next week! What a mindfuck! I'm getting flown out to another country to shoot a commercial. How crazy is this?!

My one goal for the next 24h: Try to make it through the day and not lose too much of my efficiency to my games.

 

Maintained habits:

-Daily Japanese lesson - Haven't done it in a while.

-Make the bed - Told this habit to go fuck itself for a few days. I restarted this yesterday.

-Drink enough water - I am totally dehydrated. Blame the booze and the games and the lack of structure.

-Brush teeth two times a day, floss and clean once a day - When I needed to groom, I did this. But not as much as I used to.

-No daydrinking at home alone - See the story above. Apart from that, all week, just 2 beers last night because of my aching muscles.

-Meditation - Haven't done this in a while, sadly. I installed my old Calm app. It gave reminders to meditate and had worked the best for me in the past.

-Exercise once this week - Haven't been to Krav Maga. Self-destruction and shame are why, basically. But I did cycle about 15 km this week (I AM SORE) and yesterday and the two coming days are really bust and I'll be on my feet a lot. So I'm skipping praccy tonight because I'm already hurting a bit and am not looking to fuck myself up even more.

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2 hours ago, Phoenixking said:
Detox day 0. "Rock bottom."

I fell off the wagon. I was looking for a 'why' and a 'how' before I came back here. I think I wasn't being honest with myself for a while. I had discovered I was able to watch gameplay videos. This led to binging several hours and hours of content; mostly of games I wished I'd be able to play. Stuff with strong stories. I still believe that games can be used as an amazing medium for storytelling. But it's starting to be more and more clear that I just am not able to hold my urges back. From the beginning of my previous day 1, I had been sneaking pornoghrapic stuff. I have this app that lets you block content for you own protection. I started seeking out porn under the guise of opening the URL so that I may block it properly. And when I opened it, I thought I might as well look around a bit. I never really did crack fully, but I don't think I started my previous run cleanly. Combine that with the gameplay videos and even using my Instagram to look at lewd stuff, it was all dead on arrival to be honest. On top of it all, the depression/burnout stuff with my partner wasn't a happy Christmas present either. It took a major toll on our relationship. She's on antidepressants now and they seem like some sort of miracle drug; but we're still recovering. 

She saw me spiral and had a front row seat. I was honest to her though. And we went through the motion of it all. She took away my phone (my pc, luckily, is crap so I can only play games on my phone) but I angrily explained to her that I have to decide to quit it all myself and forcing that decision on me will only make matters worse. She saw a very, very ugly side of me. I was manipulative and addicted like a maniac. But even there I made a huge effort to be honest about it. I told a few of my friends even. I notice that we're all struggling with something in our own way. Life is hard, you know. Everybody's got some demon to battle. It's like this is simply what life is. Endlessly fighting the hordes of bad stuff. No wonder people get addicted to escapist things like games, porn, booze or drugs. I feel obliged to say that it's not all bad. There are moments of love and peace and because of all of the bad stuff in the world and in our lives, we should try doubly so to appreciate those and make time for them.

I had one night where I reached a low point. I wanted to stop playing this game, but I just couldn't. I could feel myself being stuck, a victim of my impulses. I think I maybe played for 14 hours straight. My SO went to bed and I could see the disappointment in her eyes, but continued anyway. It got to the point where I started drinking cheap scotch at 3 am. Partly because I wanted to numb myself because I felt so bad, disgusted, angry and sad. Partly, to save myself. I think I drank the entire remaining half. I couldn't even walk anymore. I just crashed on the couch, room spinning. I was a mess and drunk off my ass. But I had succeeded in making another impulse winning from the impulse to game, sadly that winning impulse was the need to lie down and sleep because I was so wasted and might vomit. 

My partner found me a few hours later. She patched me up and laid me to bed. I can't believe she's still here after seeing that debacle... I've now installed new porn filters, but Instagram is still a hole. I use it professionally so I can't really delete it. And there's not +18-filters because IG already filters stuff themselves. So it's on me and my willpower and finding ways to combat it. I'm sure there's still ways to find it on my pc, but the filter is pretty rigorous. I just hope that this time, I'll make it to 90 days. I can feel myself being more numb, not appreciating life as much. Like there's this filter been pulled over it all. I'm not as efficient or focused and I want to get rid of it. But I can't seem to let it go just yet... So no porn, but still games on my phone. But I feel like trying to be more honest this time and reminding myself that it's super important to detox for my most precious thing: my brain.

 

Recent highlight: Rediscovering the series 'Scrubs'.

Budget status: Happy that I'm keeping an eye on things. My SO tends to lose her own debit card and then uses our shared one. It sounds more malicious than it is, she just loses everything often. Her phone, wallet, ... I'm pretty sure one day this might cause a disaster. In any case, financially okay. Even got another commercial! I am being flown out to Lithuania next week! What a mindfuck! I'm getting flown out to another country to shoot a commercial. How crazy is this?!

My one goal for the next 24h: Try to make it through the day and not lose too much of my efficiency to my games.

 

Maintained habits:

-Daily Japanese lesson - Haven't done it in a while.

-Make the bed - Told this habit to go fuck itself for a few days. I restarted this yesterday.

-Drink enough water - I am totally dehydrated. Blame the booze and the games and the lack of structure.

-Brush teeth two times a day, floss and clean once a day - When I needed to groom, I did this. But not as much as I used to.

-No daydrinking at home alone - See the story above. Apart from that, all week, just 2 beers last night because of my aching muscles.

-Meditation - Haven't done this in a while, sadly. I installed my old Calm app. It gave reminders to meditate and had worked the best for me in the past.

-Exercise once this week - Haven't been to Krav Maga. Self-destruction and shame are why, basically. But I did cycle about 15 km this week (I AM SORE) and yesterday and the two coming days are really bust and I'll be on my feet a lot. So I'm skipping praccy tonight because I'm already hurting a bit and am not looking to fuck myself up even more.

I have work but I'll respond later to it when I have more time. 

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Just a little positive perspective to something, that I have seen on this forum quite often now: A relapse is not the end of the world. You managed to not game for more than 60 days already. That is great! Actually amazing, the majority of people, who have an addiction are incapable to not do it for a week. Right now is a little bit of a rough phase, but this is part of the whole journey of change. But focusing so much on not doing something, focusing on those filters, which will basically "steal" your candy, that is not optimal in my opinion. A psychologist once said, forgot his name, that often smokers don't start smoking again, because they crave the nicotine per se, but rather they they tortured themselves for so long with the whole idea of not being aloud to do it that they crave the cigarettes to not have this feeling of not having it, this feeling of stress. Instead, I suggest a more positive perspective. Keep focusing on those other activities. Try to find things that are fun, that keep you going. You haven't made your bed for a couple of nights? You were gaming? You were not drinking enough? So what? Just keep doing it from now on again. If anything, this is a valuable lesson to see, what you can improve or what might trigger the whole thing. I recently relapsed on porn, I also relapsed on a little bit too much food, nothing too bad. Doesn't mean I failed, I just learned something and I continue with it all. The next two days after the "incident" were absolutely amazing. Actually better than ever. If your job is to become an amazing basketball player, you will probably have stretches, where you don't hit anything. Sometimes, even the best nba players have a stretch of several games, where they just don't have the touch. But they still keep going and keep shooting. Eventually, the touch comes back and they are better than ever.

If you now look at your "streak" and your numbers and that you hope whether you can make it to 90 days or, that could be a way to make it harder for yourself. Don't give the games more power than they actually have. You are a tough person, just develop a mindset, where with every new try, you just kick the videogames in the butt a little bit harder every single time. Eventually, they will bleed like pigs and die. I see some hate and anger in you. This is not a bad thing. Just keep hating and blaming the videogames. I still blame them for so many things in my life. Might not be accurate, but it can feel really good. Eventually, you will hit the 90 days with ease and then you will laugh at the videogames laying in the dirt, being embarrassed themselves.

Just my five cents. Keep going, you can do it!

Edited by Alexanderle
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3 hours ago, Amphibian220 said:

@Phoenixking

Hold on there. Do you know the root cause?

Can you remember the first time you opened a gameplay video?

What happened prior to that?  Take time to figure this out.

Not yet. I'm still trying to figure out what was at the base of it all. I think I was missing something somewhere. Obviously games left me with a hollow feeling, but those first few moments of relapsing felt kind of nice. I might need some form of competition back into my life. I've been playing with the idea of taking up boxing or some form of martial arts other than Krav Maga. I can really imagine myself minding my diet, my body and my mind way more if it means that I have to beat somebody. But I'm not sure it's a good idea because if I bust up my face, my acting career will take a few licks here and there 😛 Krav Maga is great, it really is, it ticks so many boxes. But I think that competition is one of the things I was lacking that games were giving me. I need to feel challenged in some way. But then again, I was also looking for something relaxing. I have more books now and am going to try and be more mindful of all of this. Usually when I relapse I have a clear and precise answer as to why. Now, I'm not so sure...

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On 2/13/2020 at 5:49 AM, Phoenixking said:
Detox day 0. "Rock bottom."

I fell off the wagon. I was looking for a 'why' and a 'how' before I came back here. I think I wasn't being honest with myself for a while. I had discovered I was able to watch gameplay videos. This led to binging several hours and hours of content; mostly of games I wished I'd be able to play. Stuff with strong stories. I still believe that games can be used as an amazing medium for storytelling. But it's starting to be more and more clear that I just am not able to hold my urges back. From the beginning of my previous day 1, I had been sneaking pornoghrapic stuff. I have this app that lets you block content for you own protection. I started seeking out porn under the guise of opening the URL so that I may block it properly. And when I opened it, I thought I might as well look around a bit. I never really did crack fully, but I don't think I started my previous run cleanly. Combine that with the gameplay videos and even using my Instagram to look at lewd stuff, it was all dead on arrival to be honest. On top of it all, the depression/burnout stuff with my partner wasn't a happy Christmas present either. It took a major toll on our relationship. She's on antidepressants now and they seem like some sort of miracle drug; but we're still recovering. 

She saw me spiral and had a front row seat. I was honest to her though. And we went through the motion of it all. She took away my phone (my pc, luckily, is crap so I can only play games on my phone) but I angrily explained to her that I have to decide to quit it all myself and forcing that decision on me will only make matters worse. She saw a very, very ugly side of me. I was manipulative and addicted like a maniac. But even there I made a huge effort to be honest about it. I told a few of my friends even. I notice that we're all struggling with something in our own way. Life is hard, you know. Everybody's got some demon to battle. It's like this is simply what life is. Endlessly fighting the hordes of bad stuff. No wonder people get addicted to escapist things like games, porn, booze or drugs. I feel obliged to say that it's not all bad. There are moments of love and peace and because of all of the bad stuff in the world and in our lives, we should try doubly so to appreciate those and make time for them.

I had one night where I reached a low point. I wanted to stop playing this game, but I just couldn't. I could feel myself being stuck, a victim of my impulses. I think I maybe played for 14 hours straight. My SO went to bed and I could see the disappointment in her eyes, but continued anyway. It got to the point where I started drinking cheap scotch at 3 am. Partly because I wanted to numb myself because I felt so bad, disgusted, angry and sad. Partly, to save myself. I think I drank the entire remaining half. I couldn't even walk anymore. I just crashed on the couch, room spinning. I was a mess and drunk off my ass. But I had succeeded in making another impulse winning from the impulse to game, sadly that winning impulse was the need to lie down and sleep because I was so wasted and might vomit. 

My partner found me a few hours later. She patched me up and laid me to bed. I can't believe she's still here after seeing that debacle... I've now installed new porn filters, but Instagram is still a hole. I use it professionally so I can't really delete it. And there's not +18-filters because IG already filters stuff themselves. So it's on me and my willpower and finding ways to combat it. I'm sure there's still ways to find it on my pc, but the filter is pretty rigorous. I just hope that this time, I'll make it to 90 days. I can feel myself being more numb, not appreciating life as much. Like there's this filter been pulled over it all. I'm not as efficient or focused and I want to get rid of it. But I can't seem to let it go just yet... So no porn, but still games on my phone. But I feel like trying to be more honest this time and reminding myself that it's super important to detox for my most precious thing: my brain.

 

Recent highlight: Rediscovering the series 'Scrubs'.

Budget status: Happy that I'm keeping an eye on things. My SO tends to lose her own debit card and then uses our shared one. It sounds more malicious than it is, she just loses everything often. Her phone, wallet, ... I'm pretty sure one day this might cause a disaster. In any case, financially okay. Even got another commercial! I am being flown out to Lithuania next week! What a mindfuck! I'm getting flown out to another country to shoot a commercial. How crazy is this?!

My one goal for the next 24h: Try to make it through the day and not lose too much of my efficiency to my games.

 

Maintained habits:

-Daily Japanese lesson - Haven't done it in a while.

-Make the bed - Told this habit to go fuck itself for a few days. I restarted this yesterday.

-Drink enough water - I am totally dehydrated. Blame the booze and the games and the lack of structure.

-Brush teeth two times a day, floss and clean once a day - When I needed to groom, I did this. But not as much as I used to.

-No daydrinking at home alone - See the story above. Apart from that, all week, just 2 beers last night because of my aching muscles.

-Meditation - Haven't done this in a while, sadly. I installed my old Calm app. It gave reminders to meditate and had worked the best for me in the past.

-Exercise once this week - Haven't been to Krav Maga. Self-destruction and shame are why, basically. But I did cycle about 15 km this week (I AM SORE) and yesterday and the two coming days are really bust and I'll be on my feet a lot. So I'm skipping praccy tonight because I'm already hurting a bit and am not looking to fuck myself up even more.

Good job coming back here and good job writing about your issues. I think you gotta look at this in an honest way, which is that you feel better on this website and not gaming. You don't feel better when you game. 

The second thing I noticed is you did what DaBest recently did as well as many others who have relapsed, which includes myself with porn, which is once you start doing something else you start doing all of the other bad habits. This can be done for a few reasons. The two I'll point out are:

  1. You relapsed with video games, which goes against a fundamental value you've determined for yourself. You feel ashamed and guilty when gaming. So now that you gamed, you feel like you have failed miserably and are ashamed. This leads you to this feeling of "hitting rock bottom" so you start to indulge in other behaviors that challenge your fundamental core values such as watching porn, drinking alcohol, ruining your sleep schedule, eating poorly, having a negative behavior, and pretty much any activity that leads to escapism and a comfort zone within the realm of depression. Depression is like a pit of water. Picture a going into a bathtub. It starts off warm at first, but after a while it starts to get cold. So you start adding warm water back into it, but no matter what happens you keep getting colder. Realistically, the only way to get warm again is get out of the water, dry off, find clothes, and go get warm. This is a great metaphor for depression. You feel comfortable in depression by escapism. You start to feel worse about gaming and recognize it, but think the only way to feel better is to do more bad behaviors. These bad behaviors keep you depressed and are hurting you long term. The easiest way out is the thing you fear most, which is jumping out of the depression, wiping your hands free of it, and seeking therapy, family, friends, and Eilien (i can't spell her name) to speak with. Which leads to my second point.
  2. I think if you read most of your journal entries you'll find a few things you're doing and a few things you're experiencing that are leading you to relapses. The first major thing you're doing is it is pretty clear that you're overwhelming yourself with shit to do and not dealing with your anxiety. We've talked about this before where you keep taking on too much pressure to perform, too many tasks, etc. Doing this long term can lead to situations where you're constantly going and if something bad and out of your control happens, you might end up at a breaking point faster than somebody taking on less. That event that was and is out of your control recently was the situation with your girlfriend being suicidal and arguing with her. You also mentioned how a few weeks or maybe months now you've felt restrained from bringing up issues in your relationship to her. Now that she's revealed she's suicidal to you, I am wondering if you're unable to put any of your pressure and stresses on her in fear of stressing her out. Maybe this makes you hold it in more. Maybe this makes you seek escapism (gaming videos) which can lead to relapse (gaming, porn, drinking).

I remember when you hurt yourself doing Krav Maga last year and kept beating yourself up about gaining weight, not doing comedy, and struggling for money. I think you had quit your job at this time as well. I bring this up because I would like to know how you handle down time. You have severe anxiety and have mentioned it to me in private (can't respond to notifications even, such as the hockey message), and with issues at your job. You even had a doctor allow you time away from your job for over a month.

What is down time to you? How do you handle it? How are you handling your anxiety? What are you doing when you're anxious? Are you still seeing a therapist or doctor? If the answer is no then I think you need to take steps to deal with anxiety. You might need to rely on Elien more and discuss that with her. Maybe that helps her escape her own depression by caring for you more. Who knows.

I apologize if I sound rude in this message. I don't think I do, but sometimes it is tough to read what other people think. I personally think you're overwhelming yourself and I wanted to point out situations that I've noticed over the past year and a half of talking to you that stuck out to me. I did this because you mentioned twice that you don't really understand why this happened.

Good luck.

Edited by BooksandTrees
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On 2/16/2020 at 12:24 AM, BooksandTrees said:

Good job coming back here and good job writing about your issues. I think you gotta look at this in an honest way, which is that you feel better on this website and not gaming. You don't feel better when you game. 

The second thing I noticed is you did what DaBest recently did as well as many others who have relapsed, which includes myself with porn, which is once you start doing something else you start doing all of the other bad habits. This can be done for a few reasons. The two I'll point out are:

  1. You relapsed with video games, which goes against a fundamental value you've determined for yourself. You feel ashamed and guilty when gaming. So now that you gamed, you feel like you have failed miserably and are ashamed. This leads you to this feeling of "hitting rock bottom" so you start to indulge in other behaviors that challenge your fundamental core values such as watching porn, drinking alcohol, ruining your sleep schedule, eating poorly, having a negative behavior, and pretty much any activity that leads to escapism and a comfort zone within the realm of depression. Depression is like a pit of water. Picture a going into a bathtub. It starts off warm at first, but after a while it starts to get cold. So you start adding warm water back into it, but no matter what happens you keep getting colder. Realistically, the only way to get warm again is get out of the water, dry off, find clothes, and go get warm. This is a great metaphor for depression. You feel comfortable in depression by escapism. You start to feel worse about gaming and recognize it, but think the only way to feel better is to do more bad behaviors. These bad behaviors keep you depressed and are hurting you long term. The easiest way out is the thing you fear most, which is jumping out of the depression, wiping your hands free of it, and seeking therapy, family, friends, and Eilien (i can't spell her name) to speak with. Which leads to my second point.
  2. I think if you read most of your journal entries you'll find a few things you're doing and a few things you're experiencing that are leading you to relapses. The first major thing you're doing is it is pretty clear that you're overwhelming yourself with shit to do and not dealing with your anxiety. We've talked about this before where you keep taking on too much pressure to perform, too many tasks, etc. Doing this long term can lead to situations where you're constantly going and if something bad and out of your control happens, you might end up at a breaking point faster than somebody taking on less. That event that was and is out of your control recently was the situation with your girlfriend being suicidal and arguing with her. You also mentioned how a few weeks or maybe months now you've felt restrained from bringing up issues in your relationship to her. Now that she's revealed she's suicidal to you, I am wondering if you're unable to put any of your pressure and stresses on her in fear of stressing her out. Maybe this makes you hold it in more. Maybe this makes you seek escapism (gaming videos) which can lead to relapse (gaming, porn, drinking).

I remember when you hurt yourself doing Krav Maga last year and kept beating yourself up about gaining weight, not doing comedy, and struggling for money. I think you had quit your job at this time as well. I bring this up because I would like to know how you handle down time. You have severe anxiety and have mentioned it to me in private (can't respond to notifications even, such as the hockey message), and with issues at your job. You even had a doctor allow you time away from your job for over a month.

What is down time to you? How do you handle it? How are you handling your anxiety? What are you doing when you're anxious? Are you still seeing a therapist or doctor? If the answer is no then I think you need to take steps to deal with anxiety. You might need to rely on Elien more and discuss that with her. Maybe that helps her escape her own depression by caring for you more. Who knows.

I apologize if I sound rude in this message. I don't think I do, but sometimes it is tough to read what other people think. I personally think you're overwhelming yourself and I wanted to point out situations that I've noticed over the past year and a half of talking to you that stuck out to me. I did this because you mentioned twice that you don't really understand why this happened.

Good luck.

Hey man, thanks for the response. I feel like you bring up valid points. For example, because of the last few days being so swamped and busy, I had decided to take today off. But the first thing I did today was make a list of priorities of stuff that needs to get done this week... I'm starting to see how 'relaxing' is rather difficult for me. It does seem like I use work or other things that keep me busy as a tool to stay away from down time. I'm a pretty energetic guy, I've always had issues with being at peace and being more restful. I've talked about it with my former therapist and have seen the light. It made me realize the importance of slowing down and being more at ease with things, without wanting to scramble and intervene. I just haven't figured out exactly how. Nature, tea, meditation, ... Maybe I should go on walks more or something? Or try to get some 'shinrin-yoku' going on once a week? To properly answer your question, down time usually means that I sleep in and wake up slowly. I make coffee and watch Netflix and maybe read my book but slowly stuff like notification, emails or social media will start to slip in. My daily goals creep in and suddenly I 'HAVE TO' meditate, do my Japanese exercises, ... I tend to automatically pressure myself into doing all these things for my benefit, stuff I'll get something out of like a healthier life, a sharper mind, ... My SO (Elien, I know, it's foreign spelling so I don't blame you; it actually made me giggle) says that she sees me always being on the lookout for new ways to improve myself but she never sees me accepting things as they are. It feels so weird realizing this. It's like I'm somehow handicapped. Rationally, I know that there's a part of me that really craves more mindfulness and peace. But it's like there's the flaming hot engine inside of me, flames bursting out of the exhaust pipes, roaring and eager to bite down on the next project. But it's encased in a tired body. So to compensate, the engine roars twice as hot. I need to take that all down a peg, but I haven't really figured out how. It takes mental effort to pipe it down a bit, to meditate or find something to calm me down, like reading. Mental energy is often scarce because of all of the stuff I'm doing. I think I'll only truly be able to stay clean for long stretches once I figure out how to be more calm again. Maybe I should go do yoga or something? I have been thinking of leaving Krav Maga for a while and substituting it with boxing or kickboxing because of the competition element or yoga because it's still a good workout but also way more peaceful. 

Thoughts, opinions, advice anyone?

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Detox day 4. "Shinrin-yoku."
 
Inspired by the above comments I've realized that I have indeed been numbing myself a bit too much, have been taking on and escaping into projects and Netflix too often and have taken on too much stuff on my plate. I'm starting to see that I'm not that good at relaxing or enjoying down time. I get restless rather quickly. So I'm trying something new called Shinrin-yoku, a Japanese term that kind of means something along the lines of taking a frequent 'nature bath'. Walking around in nature, enjoying the breeze, finding some peace and quiet. Kind of like taking a moment for yourself like taking and enjoying a hot bath. But instead of surrounding yourself with water, it's with nature. And also you're not naked. I just came back from a walk in a nearby nature reserve. It's 20 minutes away and it always felt like it's so far. I should've done this sooner. I sat down to gives my bad knees a rest and for the first time in a while, I winded down. I noticed that I felt stressed and sad and started learning why. It's being overwhelmed, the 1000 notifications on my phone, the many responsibilities, the state of our apartment and the lack of cleanliness and structure, ... And ironically, then I started getting overwhelmed by how big the mountain seems of what'll need changing to be a bit more at ease in life. I figured it was a good step and deemed it wise to go at it slowly. I'll try to go there sometimes or like once a week, we'll see.
 
For the remainder of the day, I'll try to clean up the place a bit, I have a class to teach all of a sudden because of a colleague getting sick last minute and cook some food. Tomorrow is my last day because I'm leaving for Vilnius Wednesday morning. I'm hoping I'll be more mindful of my limits and how much stimuli I can process. I shouldn't listen to podcasts or music or watch series all the time. It's like there's always some sound or images in my periphery. I should try and find a bit more peace.
 

Recent highlight: The walk in the nature reserve.

Budget status: Kind of okay for now. But my SO keeps using our shared account for random expenses because she keeps losing her own personal card. I'll have a talk with her tonight.

My one goal for the next 24h: Try to mind my stress levels a bit and stay mindful. 

 

Maintained habits:

-Daily Japanese lesson - Did it yesterday, I think. I'm not taking it serious for now to avoid pressuring myself too much.

-Make the bed - Did it this morning.

-Drink enough water - I feel like I drink daily. Just not as much as I should be.

-Brush teeth two times a day, floss and clean once a day - I'll probably do it later tonight before I go and teach a class.

-No daydrinking at home alone - See the story above. Nah, okay.

-Meditation - I'm not sure if the shinrin-yoku counts, but if so, I had a peaceful 40 minutes today.

-Exercise once this week - I did about 10,000 steps today according to my counter.

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