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Gaming the System 006 - James' First 30 Days As a Digital Nomad in Thailand!

fawn_xoxo

Fawn_xoxo daily; thoughts, goals & evaluation

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Day 210.                              No games, day 5.


I am so unpredictable. I have a bad memory, really bad memory, and that makes me surprised at myself. Facing my fears again in this time, I am discovering personality traits in myself, things that I enjoy doing that I didn't before. Some of those are in social situations, certain people allowing me to be more 'me' than others, or bringing out certain aspects of my personality. Either way, I am having a good time, the more the days pass, the more I find myself again. 

I wish I could see some loved ones more often, I have quite a bond with some. I would like to make it so that I see them more frequently, I should keep it in mind.

My bad memory makes it harder for me to keep up with the work on certain fears I have, because even if I get exposed to, say, cats, and there is a long time between one encounter and the next, I forget the strategies used last time. And I get upset and anxious and sad about myself even having a fear or phobia, and it has to start from zero again. This is why I write this down here this time, maybe it will help me remember.

The more distance I take from games, the more chances that come up in my life for a more active lifestyle, the more I understand that it is what suits me the most. Being on the move, exercising or not, but certainly doing a lot of different activities. It gives me life and excitement and energy. 

I dreamed of games the night before as well, and again I was happy it was a dream. I value my sanity, the quietness of my mind, too much. I know what brought the relapse on me the last time, I will watch for it.  I have researched 12 step programs and some other books and resources I've read about on the forums here, but I decided not to put my energy in to looking back. I know what needs to be done for me to move on: do things, fill my life with enjoyable activities and tasks that fulfill my goals professionally, personally etc.

It feels longer than five days since I gamed last, but I don't mind. I just notice how time passes for me now vs before. Maybe many sentences or paragraphs in this entry won't make sense to you, reading this, but it's alright. As far as the process of detox and getting my life back is concerned, it's still going forward. I am just spitting out my thoughts.
I rather like trying out new things. And I like celebrating my personality, all the traits that make me, me, I like being proud of them. It's freeing and relieving, especially compared with the really low/non-existent self esteem of before. I am not there yet, not a shining star or anything in confidence, but I am better than before and that's all that matters.

Gaming, and maybe other things too, left me with a perfectionist's mindset. I have to be X, Y, Z, or else I'm a failure, in many fields of life, professional, personal etc. I still find myself worrying about being flawed and not perfect and flaws in me, and others, as if somehow I should be seeing everything and everyone around me as examples, or perfect objects and situations. I don't know where this comes from, but I'll keep searching as I always do. I know it's wrong though, and it only makes a perfectionist dissatisfied, promotes their greed for more things, and all around doesn't serve us at all. Gratitude is the practice that answers to that, and I admit I have been too busy during the day and too sleepy at bedtime to do it. But I should do it today.

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Hey fawn, just catching up with your journal again, sorry I haven’t been more active on your side, I’ve thrown myself into my work lately.

Its funny that you mention dreaming about games. I’ve had a few myself, I think it’s a sign that perhaps I’m getting better when waking up from a dream about gaming actually causes me to panic. As unpleasant as the experience is, I guess it means I’m fairly decided on the negative feelings about gaming even when I’m only half awake!

Being a perfectionist is really hard, and the modern world is a miserable place when it’s so easy to compare yourself to others... I’ve had to try and put some distance between what other people present to me and what their lives actually look like... but it’s hard to be the thought police with yourself all the time. We only have so much energy to spare every day.

Either way, keep fighting! I’ve really appreciated your messages on my journal, I hope you know that you’re valued here and you’re not alone in your struggle... or feeling like games fucked your life up. We’re all in this together. That’s some consolation, if nothing else.

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Day 211.                              No games, day 6.

 

I had another gaming dream today. It's funny to observe it, isn't it? Just four weeks and it all came back in full force. At least I know the process, since I've been through it before, and I know what to expect from my mental state.

I feel slightly bad about abandoning gaming friends, but at the same time I feel like they aren't healthy gamers either. Maybe it will do them good to have one less devoted party member. But above all I should think about me and what's best for me. Distance is what's best for me, and focusing on the things I can develop in life.

After writing a small novel on another thread about negative thoughts, I realize that I'm not doing self care properly. It's one of the many habits that gaming pushed away from my life in just four weeks of moderation... I need to start my day with gratitude and with evaluation of my situation. I need to correct my unrealistic expectations that make me feel sad before they overwhelm me for hours and take over my whole day. I need to do these things in care and love for myself, before I try to love and care for anyone else.

And I also need to set boundaries. I have come to realize that I still care too much about other people's opinions about me, more than I care about doing what I believe is right for me. I see this even in my recovery process. Someone might tell me I need to just move on, and I'll try to satisfy that scenario instead of tending to my emotional needs. Or I'll feel like I'm "crazy" for needing to journal, because nobody else in my real life journals, and I compare myself to them and also feel that they'll see it as a sign of a problematic person. There are a lot of beliefs like these in my mind, and they hurt me and delay my recovery. Sometimes I wish my negative thoughts away, but they don't go anywhere. I stay half present in my life because of them, whereas if I took a break to tend to them and correct them I would feel much better after, if not completely relieved. But I hesitate to do that, because I want to look tough, like I'm doing great, like other people. It's unrealistic expectations all over again, and denial of my circumstances.

I've hurt people around me while I gamed, and it makes it harder for me to let them see me struggle. I don't want them to doubt our bond, I don't want them to doubt me. I don't want to let them down again.

Admittedly some people in my life met me as a gamer, lazy and detached. Those people don't always think the best of me, because they've never seen me do better than that, they didn't know me before I touched games. They don't always help me, when I feel bad about gaming. They might tell me that to them having emotional instability is who they know me for, or going back and forth between struggling with sobriety and struggling with gaming is all they've seen of me. And I understand, I did this to them and to me, but it hurts to hear. And I realize it's not the type of person that can help me get up when I'm feeling low about my situation. In those cases I shouldn't involve them at all maybe, I should just listen to myself, as hard as it is when in company of others.

 

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6 hours ago, fawn_xoxo said:

And I also need to set boundaries. I have come to realize that I still care too much about other people's opinions about me, more than I care about doing what I believe is right for me.

Have you ever read that book 'The subtle art of not giving a fuck'? Or just the author's website is worth spending a few minutes on.

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22 minutes ago, Phoenixking said:

Have you ever read that book 'The subtle art of not giving a fuck'? Or just the author's website is worth spending a few minutes on.

I have started it and put it aside, a year ago or two. It sits on my bedside table actually, but I never finished it. What do you think I could benefit from, when it comes to the book? If you could give a few small bullet points? Curious.

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Day 212.                              No games, day 7.

 

It's really late but I'm checking in either way. I'm satisfied with myself. Things are gradually getting better for me, mental state and everything. I'm starting to look at things more evenly, balanced and detached, instead of insecure, fearful and doubtful. I'm working on my unrealistic expectations, and every day seems to offer some tiny progress in this field. Life has been good and offered me chances for self discovery and expression lately, nothing big, just occasions in which I could dare be me, spontaneously and adventurously, and it's helped me with self love and acceptance and celebration, if only inward. I really don't know who I am in some aspects. I've had ideas about doing some things, which I never bothered to bring to fruition before, but now I'm slowly giving them a go to see if they are me or if they don't suit me. 

I'm thankful for being clean from games and for all the chances I've been given in life.

 

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Day 213.                              No games, day 8 + previous total of 176.

 

It thankfully doesn't feel like my first week of detox, I'm so grateful for that. A week ago, and for some weeks at that, I had this chatter in the back of my mind, always occupied with games and distracting me from my tasks. I would be thinking about games or about talking about games with friends online, and it was sucking all my energy. I've distanced myself from that and I don't have those urges anymore for the majority of time, but I haven't figured out why I was behaving like that. It's okay though, I can do analysis of this one thing sometime in the future. 

During the last days I've come to the realization that boredom is the root of many of my bad habits. I don't really have empty days, however it appears like I need a more busy life in order to keep myself satisfied and stimulated enough, that I don't seek that stimulating in mindless X, Y, Z, including socializing and eating and watching content. One problem I have is that a lot of the things I have come up with, as far as hobbies or professional growth goes, need a computer to produce results, and that limits me to a specific place, my house, or coffee shops where I will be limited because of noise around me, or people being able to look at my screen. I admit I have been thinking of drawing again, but I feel embarrassed about doing it in public. I don't want to spend my days alone, is another truth, but I'm more comfortable drawing at my desk than in a coffee shop. On one hand I'd love to be able to create beauty on screen or paper, but it's a lonely process and I don't like being alone. 

It's been difficult, trying to identify my issues with people. I realize I've not had the most healthy of mindsets in this. I've clung to some, hoping that imitating them would give me acceptance only to end up in self conflict. I've then had to face a lot of bad feelings because of that, or feeling lost about who I am, where my boundaries are etc. I've been doing progress on this the last months, and I've had chances to be "the real me" next to people I value in my life. They seem to like me better now actually, which naturally encourages me to try and find me even more. Nobody is closing any door on my face.

While socially and professionally I've been seeing results, I haven't put any thought or effort into my fitness level. I would prefer to have a body I'm proud of. I don't like to show off, I don't care to be fit for the beach and pool or anything, but I do feel bad instead when I see fat parts of mine exposed. So I'd like to be slimmer with less fat. But for that I have to become responsible and dutiful again about what I eat, the water I drink, mindful about it all.

To be continued later on maybe.

Edited by fawn_xoxo
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I know its a male thing to do to try and just fix a problem by avidly looking for solutions even when we don't necessarily want to hear solutions and just speak our peace, but my job involves me being at home infront of a pc as well. So i can fully understand the lonelyness that can come from what your experiencing.

If your experiencing hangups (i don't know what sort) in terms of socializing or feel that you don't have the best communication skills i got a couple recommendations that might help. When i had come out of a seriously addictive 1 year weed binge (of which i mean maybe 5 hours of sobriety in 365 days) i experienced some pretty terrible effects on my social interactions with people and found myself having to relearn a lot of the process.

"How to win friends and influence people" is amazing and not at all the manipulative sounding book the title can be misunderstood as.

"Superhuman social skills" is pretty good too. Otherwise i beleive theres a youtuber called charisma college or university or something that analyses social situations and how people handle them well or poorly and the techniques they employ which is pretty cool. 

It helped me understand where my personality was lacking or how some of my social habits could be portrayed and really helped me grow into a better me. 

Best of luck

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@PureDiscipline Thank you for taking the time to post a reply. I don't really experience problems with socializing, I can talk to a lot of people. I don't really get interested in doing that often though, but that's just me being selective. 

How do you experience loneliness because of your computer focused job? I'd like to hear another's point of view.

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On 6/29/2019 at 5:04 PM, fawn_xoxo said:

I have started it and put it aside, a year ago or two. It sits on my bedside table actually, but I never finished it. What do you think I could benefit from, when it comes to the book? If you could give a few small bullet points? Curious.

There's a couple of chapters that really awoke something inside of me. Basically caring less about other people's opinions and catering less to their needs automatically, being less of a people pleaser, caring more about yourself and communicating with yourself better about what you want to do, and why. It's helped me to better tune into what's important to me and where I waste energy. Like if you're a battery, the book helps identify what make you run dry and why that is and also how to recharge and why and how that works.

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On 6/11/2019 at 1:31 AM, fawn_xoxo said:

Day 193.

It's weird how my mind is stuck in certain thinking patterns, and I suffer from it. With the help of those around me, I've come to the realization that isolation because of games has left me socially scarred, full of anxieties and self doubt. Talking over my issues in detail, using their clean mind and not my overwhelmed one, I arrived to the conclusion that I can not change any of that if I don't put in work. And for the most part I've neglected doing that, I just wished the pain away. What pain? It comes from the wrong image of myself, which bashes me at every turn ever since I touched games again. There is a lot of paranoia in my thoughts, worst case scenarios that not only include myself but also other people, my love ones or just friends, online or not. And there's this ever awake voice in my head that judges everything I do, looking at me through a lens unrealistic and blurry. I'll explain soon.

I have so far managed to figure out my mental problems have the following cores: One is the judge voice, the other is the voice of paranoia.

The judge voice is ever present to comment on the things I do, saying that I should do things differently and that I am problematic, an addict, a loser, a person unworthy of love or good things in general, incapable in many fields.. you get it. This voice exists in most people's heads, I know, and doubts about my worth aren't uncommon when it comes to other aspects of life but this voice of mine is never more vocal than when it has to do with something that relates to gaming. How does it express itself? It talks to me, putting enormous expectations on me, sometimes standards that come from my imagination of that perfect would be like, even if I've never heard anyone do it. An example? If I stay up late gaming on a weekend, I'm still going to wake up at my usual time the next day because of my inner clock. Of course, normal people can just go back to sleep after seeing they don't have to be up yet, right? Well, not if there's a part of you that says how you messed up and can't even sleep the right way cause you're already up after four hours. That's what then puts me in a state of deep stress and also anger towards myself. Can you sleep if you feel that way? Of course not. And yet another person, even if they regret that decision cause, say, it wasn't the weekend, would just move on, sleep more or not sleep more but they'd just move with the flow, something so far made impossible for me because of that inner critic. Are you feeling bored with this task at work and get an urge to leave it for a while to play a game or two? The inner critic will then make a big deal out of it. Not if it was a tv show episode though or a YouTube video. The intense judgment targets primarily events that are tied, ironically or reasonably, to the reason behind my past self destructive behavior. My conclusion is I scared and scarred myself during those times.

I have not been able to do anything about the inner critic , I've let those words get to me without evaluating their accuracy and truth, which leads me to becoming very overwhelmed with negative emotions and leads to more shame and guilt regarding any choice that isn't anti-gaming. 

Are you still reading? You're in for a ride. xD

The voice of paranoia acts similarly but also differently to that of the inner judge. Instead of saying bad things about me, it takes any situation that I'm not 100% certain about, fears and phobias of mine, and suggests to me of a "likely" outcome. That outcome is usually the worst case scenario. Now, again, I've had those paranoid ideas in my life from time to time without gaming being part of it, when in an uncertain situation, but nothing as exaggerated and triggering as this when it's gaming related. Those worst case scenarios could be really upsetting things in situations with online friends (such as them hating me, manipulating me, being fake to me etc), really upsetting things about my identity (I'm only here for the attention, I'm doomed to an addict's life, I'm immoral, It's my fault people if people treat me certain ways) and the list goes on. 

So why not just walk away from it all? Well, because I realized these problematic voices that I have given so much time and space to in my mind aren't actually here only for gaming moments. Although I have made steps in expanding my social life, there were moments during which I experienced severe anxiety and panic over doom scenarios of multiple kinds, while being in company of people. I was able to hold it together, it helped that on all accounts I was in groups where I could just stay silent if I wanted to. But the point is, the false beliefs I have allowed to become established in my mind for a lot of years don't only make my life difficult in game but also in the real world. And I understand now that avoidance does relieve, but I would be no more whole without working on my inner voices telling the freaking truth. 

It's not easy at all. What do I have to do? I have to do work. I have to take time out of my schedule every day to use the Socratic method on the anti-affirmations that so naturally come to me. Why is that so hard? Well firstly because I don't like admitting these things do happen in my mind in the first place. Writing about them makes them actually real. That's why I've been avoiding it. But that's also the reason why it works. No matter how ugly a thing you've been calling yourself all day, how you've tried to forget about it, ignore it or tell yourself you know it's not real, you have to write it down this time and find out, after deep thought that renders you as certain as your mental capacity allows, what merit those words really have or whether they're bull. After that, you're confident about the truth. You might still feel bad even though you know they're false, but that's time to move on to another activity and stop the attention to that train of thought since you know it's not the truth. You shouldn't judge yourself for still not feeling perfectly fine, at that moment, either. It's a process that needs time when you do it, and also needs repetition to replace falsehoods with truths until you no longer give them any attention when they pop up. And because they're not an instant fix, I haven't done almost any of this. But today onwards, as I continue gaming (only when my work and duties are finished) and getting triggered, I will do the work. 

Again, don't try this alone. It's just that I personally don't see another way to fix those stress attacks and beliefs. I have to replace them with healthier behaviors and realistic beliefs and I won't do that if I keep the box in the basement.

Of course I have fun playing games again, and that's nice. The inner critic though says that the truth is I'm only keeping games in my life because I want a fix and can't walk away from them. But is that true? I do feel the things I've described in previous posts, those tendencies to have more even though I already have a good thing/experience. I do feel urges to leave my work and come back later to it so that I can play a bit. But food has been in that slot of escapism too, and chatting with people, and series and YouTube. I never felt dread for getting the urge towards those other things. But then it seems that it's just a lot of untrained skills in me, like logical thought, and self discipline. 

Lots of text today, and I haven't even started doing that evaluation. Why does this have to be work? Guess the endless hours of fun in my younger years have to be redeemed some way. I played hard then, now I gotta work hard.

Hello @fawn_xoxo What a thoughtful share, thank you. We are not alone battling the inner critic for certain. It's like an inner parent, or how we have learned to parent ourselves. Sometimes it is right, sometimes wrong, sometimes we have to step back and take an objective look at it all, unlearn things, relearn, teach ourselves new things. Lot of paths to choose ahead. This subject reminds me of the inner parent mentioned in the Adult Children of Alcoholics main text. Stay strong Fawn, great share.

Neil

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23 hours ago, fawn_xoxo said:

@PureDiscipline Thank you for taking the time to post a reply. I don't really experience problems with socializing, I can talk to a lot of people. I don't really get interested in doing that often though, but that's just me being selective. 

How do you experience loneliness because of your computer focused job? I'd like to hear another's point of view.

My jobs one that demands a serious level of competitiveness and dedication in order to rise to the top. Essentially im a competitive mental athlete, its got an inconsistent paycheck due to the nature of it and when your not getting any consistent paycheck you only feel driven to work harder till you see it. I don't need anyone to actually perform at a higher level just more time spent studying and playing. So i normally expect to socialize outside of family maybe once a month often longer. I get along with people just fine, i just feel pretty driven towards focusing less on a social life and more on obtaining a house so. 

I have to force myself to socialize or i just end up going without. And studying Eckhart Tolle content made me feel a lot less urged in general on the loneliness.

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On 7/1/2019 at 9:42 AM, fawn_xoxo said:

During the last days I've come to the realization that boredom is the root of many of my bad habits. I don't really have empty days, however it appears like I need a more busy life in order to keep myself satisfied and stimulated enough, that I don't seek that stimulating in mindless X, Y, Z, including socializing and eating and watching content. One problem I have is that a lot of the things I have come up with, as far as hobbies or professional growth goes, need a computer to produce results, and that limits me to a specific place, my house, or coffee shops where I will be limited because of noise around me, or people being able to look at my screen. I admit I have been thinking of drawing again, but I feel embarrassed about doing it in public. I don't want to spend my days alone, is another truth, but I'm more comfortable drawing at my desk than in a coffee shop. On one hand I'd love to be able to create beauty on screen or paper, but it's a lonely process and I don't like being alone. 

Boredom is part of the problem, but I think the real killer is that when we’re bored we tend to think, and thinking too much is never helpful. 😄 At least not in my case. I’ve realized that what I really miss about gaming, perhaps more than anything, is the ability to get into that flow state immediately and just forget who you are while playing. It’s learning to live with ourselves (and our thoughts) that’s so uncomfortable when we take that away.

Don’t be afraid to draw in public! When I was at drawing school, we were encouraged to go out and draw from life as often as possible. Coffee shops are a great place to absorb a nice atmosphere, and you have loads of people you can draw in there. Naturally, some people will want to come over and see what you’re drawing, but that’s half the fun! And you’d be surprised how positive they’ll be about even very amateur work, most people are just really happy to see someone try to draw them. Now that I think about it, it’s really something I should do more.

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Day 214-5.                              No games, day 9-10 + previous total of 176.

 

I missed yesterday's entry cause I was so busy. I'm having some trouble motivating myself to do things I gotta do, thanks to the weeks of relapse probably. Thankfully I can't not do those things, else there will be consequences, so yay. 

I've started eating cleaner again. For the past two days I've had at least one fruit and one vegetable per day. I don't drink enough water though and that's really bad but I'll try to fix it. 

As expected, my sleep is great without games and I'm thankful for that. I have had some cravings to play ever since my routine turned more lonely again, and it's obvious to me I will do better if I can live with other people who I will want to be involved in the lives of.

I'm reconsidering some vain things, like style choices and such for myself, which might be trivial to others but for me it's part of identity and self expression. I might dye my hair another color and in general put more thought into how I present myself. Small things in appearance, colors and patterns, they give me tiny mood boosts I've noticed, so why not?

I thought I had more things to write but I guess feeling anxious to go through my necessary tasks has robbed me of that for now. Might update here after a couple of days. 

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2 hours ago, fawn_xoxo said:

I'm reconsidering some vain things, like style choices and such for myself, which might be trivial to others but for me it's part of identity and self expression. I might dye my hair another color and in general put more thought into how I present myself. Small things in appearance, colors and patterns, they give me tiny mood boosts I've noticed, so why not?

 

Change in appearance can complement change in identity nicely. I had a long beard in summer 2016 and when I deleted my LoL account for the first time, I trimmed it to a very short style instead. Somehow it signified that this is a new me now. Obviously that doesn't have to have a utilitarian reason. I think "fuck it" is a perfectly reasonable justification as well 😄

Edited by JustTom
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True that. After I had deleted my Steam account I started growing my hair out where I had usually kept it buzzed short. My hair has grown longer than I have ever had to manage it and it is amazing, glad I did. Groomed well all the time.

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Day 216.                              No games, day 11 + previous total of 176.

 

I shouldn't have gone back to games, not even for those weeks. Today I experienced a good ole bout of anxiety over something, a fear, an insecurity, a phobia. Ever since I realized games brought problems to my life I have had to deal with these fears and phobias and anxieties. When they started, I was desperate and I felt like the worst person on earth. Through the years I've been getting better at dealing with them, primarily when I shared my struggles with loved ones, and started trying to accept that this is how I am now and denying it, suppressing it or ignoring it doesn't work.

I don't like that I have to spend time dealing with my fears. I don't like that I have to sit down and process them in writing. I don't like that I have to do the Socratic method, or a cognitive distortion worksheet in order to stop being overwhelmed by emotions of sadness, guilt, anxiety and shame. But I have just spent about thirty minutes doing just that, and I feel better.    I haven't been doing my gratitude again, and it surely plays a role. I tend to myself only when I cry for help. Otherwise I ignore the practices, because I think "I am doing better now". And in a way, it seems like myself is coming back at me and saying, well here is a fear for you, to next time know better and not leave me unattended for days. When will I learn?

I judge myself so harshly for having these issues, at first. I have no perspective on them, when it starts I feel like the worst person on Earth. But that's dramatic and an exaggeration. Life is still ahead of me in some ways, and my fears and insecurities don't define me. Yes, I felt really bad for getting a reminder from myself that I still haven't completely gotten over them. But I need to accept that these things are consequences of my past actions, of neglecting myself psychologically, and that they need to be dealt with and cared for at least now, after all these years. I need to accept that work has to be done now, since it wasn't done in the past.

I am also wondering if certain things I find odd in myself, compared to other people, are part of some minor form of a mental health problem. I have really bad memory, I forget things really easily, and I find myself detaching from people all too easily when I don't have contact with them. I have always been like this ever since I can remember myself. I wonder if something traumatic in my childhood led me to having this auto-detach mode of existence, which is something I feel bad about, because it appears like I don't really care for people unless they are in my vicinity, though deep inside I know I still love those people. Maybe it's just a personality trait but I feel like it hurts others, this behavior of mine. 

I also struggle to find my identity as a person. I feel like when some loved ones come and visit, I take on traits from them, then when they leave and go back home I slowly adopt traits from other people around me again. And this happens in cycles. I don't know why this happens but it makes me feel like I am not a whole and balanced person, at least for now. It makes me feel like I am not a specific person at all, like I would end up being X if I hung out with X type of people for a long time, more so than the average person would, since it is said that everyone is the sum of the 5 people who are closest to them. It could also be that I live mostly in isolation though, and those 5 people are not ever filled positions and they change all the time, which leads to me changing all the time. I don't know. I am just trying to understand what the heck is going on with my behaviors.

I want to be me, but I am not sure who me is. With some people I feel like doing X things, with others I feel like doing Y things. And it sounds normal, right? But why does it feel like I'm not really me in either of those cases? Who is me? I feel like I missed out on self-discovery and experimentation when I was young, because I was glued to a computer screen playing video games, and now I'm trying to do it but it's so obvious that it's painful. I'm so self-aware of everything nowadays, compared to how I'd have been when I was a teen, and I think of all the potential consequences too, like losing people in my life if I changed and behaved differently, or certain changes affecting how I'm seen as a professional. It's all very open and flowy, I'm not sure about who I am, but I guess I just have to live life and find out slowly instead of being anxious about that too.

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You will learn when you decide to learn. Life will kick in with stimuli for you to learn sooner or later anyway. My kick to quit gaming several hours a day was to discover the fact someone could dislike me on a whole new level I never imagined. Life is rough.

Memory is a tool for avoiding stupid mistakes you experienced in the past, not a tool to remember facts. First one is emotional, second one rational, so I think the first one sticks better.

Going from there, I know the pain of fragmented life too. I meet the same people on a weekly basis at best and this summer I decided to just blow everything up and work solo in Iceland. Some people stick and some do not. Some you find interesting and some you do not. It is natural. Choose your friends well and know why they are your friends, even if you see them a few times a year!

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Day 217.                          No games, day 12 + previous total of 176.

Counters:

1 fruit per day, 8 glasses of water per day, some exercise per day, 1 gratitude practice per day, sodas free, sweets free,

Thoughts: I read a post by Booksandtrees which seemed very efficient and as I was rereading my last journal entries to see how I've been doing, I think I should make a list of things I owe to myself too. Things that are self care and fulfilment of needs, not just goals. 

Key points for that would be gratitude for all the things good in my life. Gratitude brings some perspective to me, it forces me to remember things that I have gotten used to ignoring for many years since I was only looking for the negatives.

Another key point for me would be checking my expectations from life, from myself, from people around me. As I've mentioned before, I don't know why I get these thoughts that things should be perfect all the time. It might be like this because I've been around a perfectionist or two who may have infected me with that mindset. A lot of times it also seems like my demands from people are less demands and more so fears. In example if they don't treat me "like this" all the time, I fear that it means something is wrong with this relationship (which as I write I understand is really an exaggeration). Again, writing things down helps seeing them more objectively. A perfectionist is never happy with what they have, they are always looking for the negative so that they can fix it and become better, but people aren't in my life for me to fix. I have made the choice to keep certain people in my life, and that means I value them. They don't need to be perfect for that to be true. People love me and I'm really not perfect either. So it's stupid of me to doubt my bonds because of perfectionism. How I experience this is basically as I'm living life I might have a moment of observing myself if my mind isn't actively engaged in something else, and as I observe myself I do comparisons with perfect situations/emotions/behaviors. If my circumstances aren't perfect, I then start to worry about my choices. Obviously this inner critic is very active. I don't know why I observe myself like that, I've been reading about dissociation and that plus bad memory seem to be related to those disorders, even though I obviously don't have the big symptoms.

Edited by fawn_xoxo
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Day 218.                          No games, day 13 + previous total of 176.

 

Checklist:
negativity free:
1 gratitude practice per day:
1 fruit per day: 
8 glasses of water per day:
some exercise per day:
sodas free:
sweets free:

Thoughts: I wake up and I judge myself. This is such a self-destructive habit. I compare myself to other people, I compare myself to perfect situations and I end up feeling sad and bad. I can't seem to consistently keep my self esteem and worth up and every time I feel like this, it eats me from inside, it piles up bad feelings in me, to the point of being at the verge of crying. Why can't I be like normal people, going about their life, accepting themselves for who they are? I have all these fears about not being good enough or in good enough situations, I fear that something's wrong with me. I don't like this and I always fight it mentally at first. I fight it and I pity myself. Why does it have to be like this? Why do I have to feel like I am less than other people? Why do I bash myself for being myself? 

I don't understand. I just want it to go away, cause I hate it. It makes me so miserable and I can't live life like a carefree person like this. Always finding something to judge me for. Things I didn't do, or things I did. All this surreal thinking, or unrealistic expectations. How did this happen? I am so fed up with these negative emotions all the time. And I can't help but feel like going back to games was multiple steps backwards in this part of my life too. 

It's this problem I have with negativity. One negative thought pops up in my mind and I can't let it go. I need to prove it's wrong, but it doesn't work because I am not thinking rationally but emotionally. The more negative the thought, the more sad and anxious I feel. That destroys my capacity to answer it with reason and logic and facts, because the possibility of it being true terrorizes me.

This is all games' fault, as in I started feeling insecure about myself and my actions only because I messed up my life via games. I used to be happy and carefree and I used to enjoy life, be in the flow, take things as they came. I used to be 'me' and now I am bombarded by anxious, judgmental thoughts about me not being good enough. I need to put in work and face the fears head on. I can't waste time from today by letting these thoughts fester in the back of my mind, robbing me of my ability to enjoy the moment. When that happens, they paint everything in a worse light, and everything fades in comparison to them. Having a fun time with a friend, but in the back of your mind you're thinking how you're not good enough? Then you're not really enjoying this moment, even though outside you're laughing. Inside it's.. like dying, in a way. And I shouldn't allow these thoughts to run freely in my mind. I should sit down now and find out whether they are factual, and if they are not, correct them and be able to move on and be present 100% without having background noise.

Freaking background noise, I hate it. But in a way it's a defense mechanism or some crap I guess. Trying to protect me from messing up my life again, but in the wrong way of the primitive human brain. I hate having to do this 'homework' like stuff, but it helps me, it helps bring light to what exactly I thought about myself and then see if there is any proof I am this bad person.I used to be a neglecting, selfish, distant and detached person. I used to avoid all sorts of things in my life. Now my brain is trying to make sure I don't avoid any tiny little thing that might turn into an explosion later on, maybe? It's the only way I can explain or understand this. But yeah, I'm off to do this mental homework.....As I am doing this homework and finding out what the heck is going on in my brain, I realize that I am always judging myself when other people are around me. The more important and precious these people are, the more I check and judge my behaviors, words and all that stuff around them. I google about judging myself and I find some articles that really express how I feel, pasting here for me to be able to easily come back to and reread:

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     The first thing I noticed was how much I was judging myself around others. I was constantly putting pressure on myself to say the right thing and do the right thing. Why? I believed that if I said and did the right things, I could have control over getting others' approval. 
      Aha! I soon realized that I was totally addicted to getting approval. But why? Why did I constantly seek approval? What was going on here? As I became more and more aware of how often and how harshly I judged myself, I finally made the connection: Disapproving of myself led to needing others' approval. As long as I was treating myself so badly -- not only by judging myself, but also by giving myself up to please others and by not attending at all to my own feelings and needs -- I desperately needed others' approval to feel that I was okay. 
    This was a huge awareness for me. I realized that I wasn't approval-dependent because there was something flawed and defective about me, but because I was treating myself so abusively. This was something I could do something about! I finally realized that, while I could not control how others felt about me and treated me -- even if I was "perfect" -- I could control how I felt about myself and treated myself.

    For a solid year, I noticed my self-judgments -- without judging myself for judging myself. I just noticed, with interest and curiosity. I also noticed how anxious it made me feel. I came to the conclusion that if I did everything "right" to impress people, maybe half the people would like me and half wouldn't. And if I did nothing to impress them and was just myself, maybe half the people would like me and half wouldn't. So why bother working so hard to gain their approval? 
    Each time I noticed, I would "change channels" and shift my thinking into something truer and more positive. After about a year, something very magical happened: I stopped judging myself. It was as if the part of me who was doing the judging -- my ego-wounded self -- just gave up this addiction. It was clear that it wasn't working to control how others felt about me, nor was it protecting me from painful feelings. In fact, it was causing much of my pain. 
    Not only did I stop judging myself, but I also stopped needing others' approval. Because I was now valuing myself instead of judging myself, the actual need for others' approval went away. In fact, I even stopped noticing whether or not others were approving of me. I stopped even thinking about it! And, of course, all the anxiety that I had carried for so long about how others felt about me melted away. What a relief.

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Recognizing self-judgment is one thing, letting it go is a much harder task.

It’s a 3-step process that I hope you can work with on a regular basis to gradually let go of judgment.

 Notice 
So the first step is to try, as much as possible, to notice the feelings of judgment when they come up. It will slow down the process of judgment and reaction. 

 Allow
 In order to break the habit, instead of wanting more or less of an emotion, we can just allow it to be. We can feel it as it comes with all the accompanying thoughts and physical responses. 

 Actively choose to let go 
This is where a conscious choice needs to be made: Either let go of the experience, judgment, and emotion or hold on to them.

There are no rules for letting go, just like there are no rules for holding on. Do what you feel is right for you at the moment.

An example 
Let’s say I’ve been judging myself for years for all the things I want to do that I haven’t done yet. The feelings can be triggered by anything that reminds me of what I should’ve been doing.  As I think about it, I start judging myself. Depending on my mood at that moment, the judgment can be a mild I’m lazy, to feelings of anger, emptiness, or anything. When I recognize that I’m being judgmental, I start thinking about my inability to cope with emotions and argue with how I’m handling them. When the above cycle goes unchecked, I end up feeling tired and depressed. Nothing helpful comes out of it. All I did was add one more layer of judgment and negativity. So instead of the same habitual pattern, when the thought that I haven’t made progress comes up, I can stop right there. And do the following:

  1. Notice the thought and any feelings that come up.
  2. Open up and hear the thoughts that are there in my head. Feel how my body is reacting: body temperature rising, a wave of anger rushing through my head and upper body. I stay with it and direct my attention to where the feeling is showing in the body.
  3. Once the feelings subside, I say to myself: I choose to let go of what I didn’t do. I allow myself to just be. Then I imagine all of my feelings and expectations clearing my body and flying out into outer space.

I’ll repeat the process as many times as I need to until no feelings come up.
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I really need to read this and do it every time. I really need to. I need to remind myself that I have no one else in life other than myself. That's who I'm stuck with and that's who I need to care for primarily. Putting all this pressure on me is just wrong and I need to correct it. That's why I need this material to help me with the process.

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😆 @ Highly intelligent people do this much more than average people. It is one of the unfortunate side effects of having a high IQ.

I’ve come to realize this: we often create fears based on past experiences and blow them out of proportion. They’re not always grounded in reality as it is. Even when they are justifiable, they’re not the things that create us—we create ourselves with what we tell ourselves and how we act.

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I honestly think it is an addiction of its own, really. Last time I tried staying away from negativity, I also stayed away from writing here and reading people's struggles because I can get affected emotionally that easily. I might do it again. I am so emotional it seems. Someone else wrote that they realize games just numbed them, and I feel it's been the same for me. I thought I was this tough, detached and distant person but I'm not. 
And to be honest? This reluctance I feel right now to let go of my negative thoughts is just another version of that reluctance to let go of games once I'm hooked on them for the 100th time (like two weeks ago). And now I remember, yes, last time I treated negativity as an addiction and it worked. I recognized those bad thoughts for myself the same way I recognized gaming cravings and I chose to allow them, accept them but do nothing about them. I didn't hold on to them like I've been doing lately. I allowed them to exist, to come, to be, but I didn't take any action based on them. But acceptance is a big thing in the process, that's where I haven't been doing well. Cause I realize I do this, but then I also judge myself for judging myself.

Edited by fawn_xoxo
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It's good to see you've read up and have a strategy for dealing with negative emotions. That's good. But it is definitely very difficult to always catch yourself and run through these steps, we only have so much mental energy, time and space to commit to policing our own thoughts.

Have you tried meditation? I managed a two-week streak a while back that really helped me be more mindful in general and combat negative thoughts, without having to constantly police myself. Meditating frequently just led to a calmer state in general. Might be worth a try.

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Day 223.                          No games, day 18 + previous total of 176.

Just checking in to say I've been busy taking a little trip with the family so my schedule and all got interrupted and changed. Waking up today I'm thinking I'll try to re-establish it but also try to find ways to keep my word to myself about diet while on the go. I really want to lose weight still.

Today I should: get on the scale and face the music, eat one fruit, drink 8 glasses of water, drink no sugar, eat no excess sugar, eat homemade food and maybe even cook it myself, work, and when work is over I should find relaxing activities to do.

Later on: I did get on the scale, wasn't very encouraging to see the results there but I knew that. I did most of the things I wrote down I should do and probably only BECAUSE I wrote them down. So this is something I should really keep on doing, writing down in the morning and checking in in the evening again. I did order food from a delivery place and I was unable to work because some software broke. Tomorrow, again unable to do work for this same reason, I should focus on improving 2 other professional skills even though not getting some specific work tasks done.

Checklist:
negativity free: I didn't have any negative thoughts about myself or others today.
1 gratitude practice per day: Accidentally I did practice it
1 fruit per day:  2 servings today
8 glasses of water per day: At least 5 glasses
some exercise per day: none
sodas free: yes
sweets free: yes

perma.jpg
 

I found out about this model , called PERMA from these initials, as a way to pursue a state of personal happiness with oneself. I think it's accurate. Working on at least 1 of these 5 things per day can really make one feel better about themselves. I am always looking inward as you know if you've been reading this journal, but a lot of times it's the result of being in the privileged position of not having to do much in order to have a good life. But I shouldn't be lazy. 

Whether I was given the traits I have by a Creator or not, I should put them to good use. I shouldn't be lazy.

I notice that the moment I come back from the family trip, I am feeling bored again, staying indoors and alone doesn't suit me at all. Sadly because of technical difficulties I can't get my laptop and go to a coffee place or something, so for now I will just stay here and try to improve professionally. I need a better schedule, too. I need to use all this free time I have, for a purpose, something that engages my strengths so that I feel good and confident.

Edited by fawn_xoxo
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Day 224.                          No games, day 19 +previous total of 176.

Today included a lot of activities outside the house but nothing really fun. I did some work in the afternoon after all that, mostly chores really, after my software issue got fixed. 

I cooked today and I liked it. I put too much salt in one of the ingredients but it's okay. I didn't order anything and I didn't eat anything sweet except one serving of fruit. When I got on the scale today morning some weight had dropped since I did fairly well the previous day, and this motivated me to do well today too so I can see results in the following days. I really want to be slim.

Checklist:
negativity free: I didn't have any negative thoughts about myself or others today.
1 gratitude practice per day: I will do it now after this journal
1 fruit per day:  yes
8 glasses of water per day: At least 5 glasses
some exercise per day: none
sodas free: yes
sweets free: yes


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Day 225.                          No games, day 20 +previous total of 176.

Yesterday night I planned my whole day and here I am after checking out some journals to begin with work for a few hours, then do chores and meet a friend for lunch afterwards!

Will update in the evening again.

Later: When I went out for lunch, there was dessert and I didn't eat it! I am proud of myself for that.


Checklist:
negativity free: I didn't have any negative thoughts about myself or others today.
1 gratitude practice per day: yes
1 fruit per day:  no but I don't mind, I ate vegetables
8 glasses of water per day: YES
some exercise per day: none
sodas free: yes
sweets free: yes

After some thought and discussion with others about my negative thoughts and other self-destructive behaviors of mine, I have concluded that I am codependent towards the people I love, which makes me miserable often. If it's true, then it means I have to come up with a plan on how to fix it, focus on myself and building myself, rather than worry about being good enough or making good enough choices. It's easier said than done, I think I've always been codependent. I sometimes feel angry inside when I think about it. I want to put myself first. But often this only lasts until I socialize again, then I forget my promises to myself. I need to accept myself first and love myself first, but not be angry at others. I did this, no one else.

Might reread my all time favorite pillars of self esteem book. Just putting this down here so I don't ignore it and do nothing about it in the following days. It should be part of my self-care routine, to actively take steps to fix this.

Edited by fawn_xoxo
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Day 226+227.                          No games, day 21+22 +previous total of 176.

I forgot to check in yesterday cause I was tired, reeeeeeee! 

Checklist
negativity freeI didn't have any negative thoughts about myself or others today.
1 gratitude practice per day: no(yesterday), not yet for today
1 fruit per day:  YES!
8 glasses of water per day: YES
sodas free: yes, 5 days streak
sweets free: yesterday I had dessert, but today.. yes, 5 days streak with 1 indulgence
some exercise per day: none


I have been reading and watching videos about nutrition but also health in general. I want to be fitter, slimmer and also eliminate potential diseases and for this reason I am avoiding ordering food from places, but also eating meat and dairy. I am not looking at it as a detox, but I want to add a counter of how many days I have stayed away from consuming flesh and animal products. I have been a heavy meat eater and my family is the same, something I would like to change, at least for myself. It's hard to prefer vegetables and fruits as a meal when I have the option of meat, however getting educated on it and seeing studies on how vegetables and fruits are really good for you, I am giving it a serious try. Slowly my sweet receptors will adapt to this too I hope, and I won't crave sweets as much as I have so far.

avoided eating animals: yes, 4 days streak afaik, maybe 5 ?

I have been thinking about my personal development these days as I wrote the other day, otherwise I have been working and spending some time with loved ones. This is a long journey, it feels like, but I'm glad that I started it when I did. If I hadn't, I would have to wait all these 190+ days anew, if I was to start now. I am doing better than I was doing before and games aren't good for me. I did the right thing, even if I was deep in denial and ignorance back then and bliss from ignorance, I now know that there are things in my personality to correct and skills to develop and areas in which I can grow.

Weight has been dropping consistently, little by little, and I am very happy for that. I need to continue with this practice. Water, a lot of good foods, cooking my food myself, and treating my stomach like a bank and investment of sorts. If fit people eat healthy and enjoy it, I need to follow in their traces and do the same. This way I will finally look the way I want to look and later on I can go to the gym to even be fit and strong too.

Goals for tomorrow: do a 15 minutes workout at home and plan 15 vegetarian dishes that I can create myself at home easily and reliably. 

I have postponed both of those enough! I need to take action, and I need to be proactive instead of getting hangry and bored with my food choices.

Edited by fawn_xoxo
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