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Deku

Journey to my white coat

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A year ago, having just spent an entire weekend cooped up inside my room gaming, I decided that the time had come to create a journal and start living my life seriously.

Since then all kinds of crazy things have happened. I finished my grad classes with a 3.97 gpa, got a research job at Stanford University, did hospice volunteering for 8 months (and counting!), went on a few dates, joined a cult, and climbed a fat mountain! Among other things.

Ironically I did spend all of this weekend cooped inside my room, but thankfully it wasn’t due to gaming, or even the internet. I’m excited to announce that I’ve finished the first draft of my med school personal statement!!!! It’s still hot garbage, but I’ll have until June to continue to work at it and make it better. I have to admit that I’m tearing up a little as I type this because I never really thought I’d get this far. 

I could use all the help I can get, so if anyone would like to proofread personal statement alpha please don’t hesitate to let me know! 

Edited by Deku
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11 hours ago, Deku said:

I’m excited to announce that I’ve finished the first draft of my med school personal statement!!!!

Congratulations man! That's awesome to hear and how far you have come in one year! Here is to continuing on to the next year and all the hard work with It! You got this!

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Hey it's been a long while, guess it's time for a rather overdue update. 

Whenever I disappear like this it's safe to say that I relapsed, and this is exactly what happened to me this time, yet again. I've made all kinds of excuses about why this happened and why I've been gaming on and off for the past three weeks, but the truth is that I guess I'm just not as mentally strong as I thought. Work is brutal, and going to the library afterwards to work on my personal statement or study for the MCAT only adds to my stress and exhaustion. When I get home I'm super burnt out, and all I really have to look forward to is another day where I get up at 6, go to work, and do the whole thing all over again. And so one day I somehow talked myself into playing one stupid game of League of Legends, and here I am 3 weeks later. It's crazy how similar gaming addictions can be to smoking or drinking. All it does is take one really rough patch to push me over the edge, and in the blink of an eye weeks have gone by, and I'm left with nothing but a messy room and the realization that I've lost countless hours that could have been spent on sleep, work, or literally anything else.

This relapse has really shown me that I need to find some kind of creative outlet in my life to allow me to relax on a somewhat regular basis. I guess that will be a priority for me to think about in the next few days.

The silver lining here (if there is any) is that I've still managed to have some semblance of productivity, despite the games. I haven't missed a day at work yet, and MCAT studying is going slowly but steadily. Personal statement alpha got ripped a new one, and rewriting it is taking a lot longer than I thought it would, but it's getting there. To those of you that were kind enough to volunteer to read for me, I will be sending those out to you shortly.

Oh, and I did make it to the top of Mount Whitney, but I clearly didn't prepare well for the climb and it showed. I don't consider it a victory at all, but to those who are curious what the view looked like from the top of the continental United States, here's a picture.

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This is the fourth relapse since this journal started. The fourth relapse since I made a promise to myself to purge that disgusting addiction that ruined my life.

It was scary to write that thought and come to terms with the realization. It makes me wonder if my addiction is something that can ever be overcome. It makes me wonder if I'll ever be able to truly work hard and become the best possible version of myself.

I guess all I can really do is learn my lesson from this one and hope that there's no relapse number 5.

Edited by Deku
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Holy shit. For somebody who relapsed, you still accomplish a lot of crazy shit! 😮 And yes, you CAN get over the addiction. But it's kind of like losing a loved one. I once read a great metaphor for losing a partner or close loved one and it reminds me of overcoming addiction. You see, it's like getting shipwrecked. In the beginning, you're safe and sound on a big, nice, comfortable boat. But suddenly the storm sets in, the waves turn into huge fluid mountains that come crashing down and suddenly, the nice ship is torn in two, the pieces get torn asunder, dragged to the bottom of the ocean and every shred of what used to be a semblance of your life is turned to splinters. And there you are, in the middle of it. In the icy, cold, dark night, trying to stay afloat, clinging onto a piece of driftwood, trying not to go under. And it takes time. You have to hang on. The waves will come crashing into you systematically, over and over again. The storm doesn't let up soon. But you have to keep fighting. Maybe you'll let go and get swept away. Hopefully you find another piece of driftwood, maybe a bigger one this time, or a helping hand. And maybe this second or even if it's a third time around you learn to hang on better, and you keep fighting the waves, the darkness and the storm. And it will take a while, but after the 100th wave has hit, you notice it didn't hit as hard as the 99th one. And the 200th wave that tries to beat you off is even less. You might slip off again, you're only human and everything is wet and cold. It's still a struggle. But after wave 900 you notice that it's not so dark anymore and the water has dropped in level. After a gajillion waves, you'll be able to stand in the water, and it will still hit you, every so often. But after all that time it's only a couple of splashes on your knees or shins. You've had worse.

So what I'm trying to say is that it doesn't really stop. But the way you deal with it and how strong you are and how much help you accept. That is something you have influence over.

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11 hours ago, Deku said:

And so one day I somehow talked myself into playing one stupid game of League of Legends, and here I am 3 weeks later. It's crazy how similar gaming addictions can be to smoking or drinking. All it does is take one really rough patch to push me over the edge, and in the blink of an eye weeks have gone by, and I'm left with nothing but a messy room and the realization that I've lost countless hours that could have been spent on sleep, work, or literally anything else.

Can definitely relate to this. It's a slow cooking process, you think you have it under control at first.. So you might as well push it a little, right? Suddenly you're back to a pack a day a couple hours a day or even worse, not even noticing how most of your thoughts are relating more and more to video games.

You've realized it, though. And not only that, you've started to tackle the addiction again! You seem to have a good attitude about you, if you keep all your efforts up I am sure you'll overcome the addiction once and for all eventually. It'll be a difficult path, you know that, but every path inevitably leads to a destination.

What I'm trying to say is, you got this.

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Hey @Deku ! It' been long since I saw you.

On 9/10/2019 at 10:08 AM, Deku said:

Whenever I disappear like this it's safe to say that I relapsed, and this is exactly what happened to me this time, yet again. I've made all kinds of excuses about why this happened and why I've been gaming on and off for the past three weeks, but the truth is that I guess I'm just not as mentally strong as I thought.

I also relapsed as well since my exams (in May) were over. I am currently playing games in moderation, but sometimes, my playtime can go overboard. In some days, it is not a struggle, but in others, it is.

On 9/10/2019 at 10:08 AM, Deku said:

This relapse has really shown me that I need to find some kind of creative outlet in my life to allow me to relax on a somewhat regular basis. I guess that will be a priority for me to think about in the next few days.

I agree with this. Even until now, I feel like I want to get creative and doing activities like writing, drawing, and dancing. However, gaming can be one of the causes of why I don't do those hobbies that often, describing them as "writer's block" or "artist's block." I don't know if you actually like doing the activities I mentioned before, but if you don't know where to start, this can be a great starting place. You can add your own hobbies (other than gaming) from this.

I hope that you succeed in overcoming your addiction. 😉

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Day 1 and 2: 

People at work have been treating me super well recently and it makes me feel weird, because I know I haven't really done anything to deserve the treatment that I've been getting. I haven't made a colossal mistake in almost a month now, but I feel like that's less a product of my own merit than a result of people (especially my mentor) just not trusting me with anything major anymore. The original plan when I got picked up was for me to independently work on my mentor's project when she went on maternity leave at the end of September, but to my understanding the plan has shifted so that I'll be doing rather menial work under very close supervision from the other lab members instead. It's gonna be a boring four months once she hits maternity leave.

It's all good though, because I know I wasn't ready for that kind of responsibility, and this leaves me more time to studying for the MCAT--which is in reality the biggest priority anyways. Even if I do horribly in this internship it doesn't have much impact on the big picture of my med school applications, because I can always find research experience elsewhere. But screwing up my MCAT would have catastrophic implications on my ability to get into med school, especially with my crappy undergrad grades. So while I'm disappointed that research at Stanford isn't going well, I'm thankful that it's allowing me to focus on what matters a lot more.

Fortunately MCAT studying has been going really well. Days at the lab have been really chill now that my responsibility has been nerfed to the ground, and that means that I've probably spent 8 hours a day the past week studying for the MCAT, if not more. The amount of content I need to know is straight-up staggering but I've discovered that flashcards can really cut down on the amount of notetaking I have to do while simultaneously increasing retention of information. Meaning that I don't feel as burnt out while studying, but at the same time find that I can remember more information at the end of the day.

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