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John's Daily Journal


ElectroNugget
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As always, thanks for all the thoughtful replies. 

@katsudo19 Thanks for the recommendations, I'll look into them. It's true that I need to learn to let go and love myself better.

@Ikar Hmm, I think maybe I need to experiment with this monthly journal starting next month.

@NannerZ Thanks dude. I'm doing a little better now. Hope you are too.

DAY 75-77:

So I spent the weekend on a few different endeavours. First I went to driving classes and was back in a car on the road for the first time in +/- 8 years. I was really nervous, but I love driving so it quickly came back to me. There are a lot more laws here in Denmark than in South Africa though, and cyclists seem to be a constant hazard. Still a lot of lessons to go, but I'm glad this is finally moving along.

Sunday I spent visiting an old friend of mine. We watched movies, talked shit and went for walks in the warm weather. It really recharged my batteries. I was able to just get some real positive energy from a close friend and vent a little of my negativity to a fresh and understanding ear. It was really good. I felt much, much better after seeing him, which made me realize just how lonely I've been in these last few months living with my parents. My parents are great and all, but they're no substitute for friends and peers, and I can see now that without a job and real social hobbies I became completely isolated, which massively impacted my mental health and made everything much, much harder than it needed to be. I really need to prioritize finding a social hobby in the near future.

Monday I got back to work on my portfolio, and put in a solid 7,5hrs of work while still dealing with other stuff. It was really rewarding! This is probably the most time I've put in in one day so far. I have a target amount of hours I've been trying to hit for the last three weeks, and although I haven't hit it yet, this is a very good start for this week. This is an area where I can see real progress. I am working much more than I used to, on my own volition, with a few tricks that I've finally figured out to motivate me and get things done. If only I'd figured this out last year! I'd have three portfolios by now. But it's all good. It's a true sign of progress and that I'm beginning to head in the right direction.

I've attached my latest portfolio overview below, which you can see now has a lot more thumbnail and work in progress art than last time. Slowly, I'll get there.

PF_ART_ThePlan_001_JHM (1).png

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DAY 78:

Work continues at an OK rate. I have all sorts of other problems in my life. My porn use has come back, I'm not sleeping properly, I'm not going to the gym, etc. etc. etc. But I'm getting the hours in on my portfolio. And I guess right now that's what matters.

So I finished another piece today and started on the next one. I've realized I can make a piece probably every day if I've prepared the thumbnails beforehand. All in all, this means that if I keep up the current pace I'll be at the halfway mark sometime this week or next week, two to three weeks ahead of schedule. Turns out I can be really prolific if I try.

To be honest, I still feel awful. I'm in constant doubt about my career, and if I'm just wasting my time on this. I'm hurting about my ex and Tiger. I'm pretty lonely, with little social interaction at 'work' and, although I love my parents even spending time with them at home doesn't really fill the tanks. I guess I'm just eager to get to university, have a social life again, some structure and challenges ahead of me and a clear route to follow. At least for a while. Honestly, I'm just so tired of feeling lost and in pain.


I've been thinking a lot about games and my life, and I feel like I'm really starting to put some mental distance between them and myself. I resent them. While I did have fun, I burned a huge amount of my life so far on games, and the reason I became an artist was to work on them. Now I find myself in a personal and career dead end thanks to them. I look around, and see a life in shambles, while other people my age are climbing their career ladders, starting families, etc, I'm stuck at the bottom in the middle of a crisis... All thanks to videogames. When I think of it that way, it's really easy not to want to go back.

Anyways, here's my next piece:

PF_ART_Predator_001_JHM.png

Edited by ElectroNugget
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DAY 79:

I finished another piece today! I think it takes me somewhere between 4-6 hours if I have thumbnails already prepared, which means in theory I can produce about 4-5 pieces a week. That's insane. That means I can finish my portfolio in three weeks! As long as I work hard of course. All my previous estimates were two to three months! 

Actually creating things and getting things done is slowly making me feel a lot better. My portfolio is starting to look like something now, and I'm proud of what I've made, and that it will most certainly be done by the time I go to Uni. A lot of these pieces are the best things I've ever made so far, so that's great too. I have loads of ideas for how I'd keep expanding this universe I'm slowly building. I even started doing some creative writing, putting together lore for this setting. I honestly have a lot to be proud of and it feels really good after all this struggle to actually be a creative force again. Even if I don't follow this as a career, I'm confident I can keep this as a hobby building my own worlds on the side, and I look forward to either result.

I've put in 24hrs of work this week so far, including 9hrs of drawing today. That level of productivity is absolutely nuts for me. I can't remember the last time I worked this 'hard' as an artist. But the thing is I don't feel like I'm working hard or even particularly long. Yeah, it's difficult sometimes but the result is always worth it right now. I guess I'm finding my passion again.

This sudden swing of feeling is quite a surprise to me. I guess I just feel like some things are starting to click into place as I near the end of my 90-day detox. I already have ideas for what I wanna detox from next, but we'll keep that for later.

Here's today's work:

PF_ART_Houses_002_JHM (1).png

Edited by ElectroNugget
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2 hours ago, ElectroNugget said:

DAY 79:

I finished another piece today! I think it takes me somewhere between 4-6 hours if I have thumbnails already prepared, which means in theory I can produce about 4-5 pieces a week. That's insane. That means I can finish my portfolio in three weeks! As long as I work hard of course. All my previous estimates were two to three months! 

Actually creating things and getting things done is slowly making me feel a lot better. My portfolio is starting to look like something now, and I'm proud of what I've made, and that it will most certainly be done by the time I go to Uni. A lot of these pieces are the best things I've ever made so far, so that's great too. I have loads of ideas for how I'd keep expanding this universe I'm slowly building. I even started doing some creative writing, putting together lore for this setting. I honestly have a lot to be proud of and it feels really good after all this struggle to actually be a creative force again. Even if I don't follow this as a career, I'm confident I can keep this as a hobby building my own worlds on the side, and I look forward to either result.

I've put in 24hrs of work this week so far, including 9hrs of drawing today. That level of productivity is absolutely nuts for me. I can't remember the last time I worked this 'hard' as an artist. But the thing is I don't feel like I'm working hard or even particularly long. Yeah, it's difficult sometimes but the result is always worth it right now. I guess I'm finding my passion again.

This sudden swing of feeling is quite a surprise to me. I guess I just feel like some things are starting to click into place as I near the end of my 90-day detox. I already have ideas for what I wanna detox from next, but we'll keep that for later.

Here's today's work:

PF_ART_Houses_002_JHM (1).png

This is great stuff. Nice job and keep it up. Are you considering gaming again after the 90 days or are you going to see this through a bit longer?

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Don't worry guys! I have no plans on going back. I reckon I've spent enough time in my life on videogames. And I want to be able to apply myself properly when I get back to uni, really need to come out of that in a much better place and with real skills so I can get a job!

The 90-day detox is just a milestone for me, at which point I'm going to shift my focus on detoxing from other things.

Edited by ElectroNugget
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DAY 80:

Wow! Only 10 days to go to 90 now. Feels strange.

Not much to report today. I'm feeling generally better than I have the past few weeks, my portfolio coming along is a big part of that. I put another 7hrs in today, which sets me at 31hrs this week. I'm aiming for 40hrs of drawing total this week, as though I had a full-time job. I have a very busy weekend coming up, with driving lessons tomorrow morning, Saturday morning and then Sunday is a full day on First Aid... So that's annoying, but hopefully, between tomorrow and Saturday, I can do another 9hrs.

I worked on a new piece today but I got really bogged down rendering it. I'm not really happy with the colours etc, so I didn't manage to finish it today. Nonetheless, the WIP is attached below.

Not much else to say. Things are good, and I guess if I spend enough time in the next few years improving myself rather than wasting it on games and the internet, I'll eventually be able to build towards the life I want to be living... For now, I just gotta keep my head down and work despite the loneliness.

PF_ART_MeleeWeapons_003_JHM.png

Edited by ElectroNugget
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DAY 81:

Short entry today as it’s late and I’m really tired. 

Today involved more driving lessons, which were fun, and then more portfolio work. I only managed 4hrs on the portfolio today as I think I am perhaps hitting the bottom of my creative well. I think it may be why work has been a little slower the past two days. I’m really pushing myself to try and make the best stuff I can, but it’s very demanding work, and I haven’t put in hours like this in a long time. I’m trying not to be too hard on myself about it, but it is a bit dispiriting. I have some complex thoughts about it which I’ll share in a post some other time. In only have 4hrs left to hit 40 this week though, I might do them tomorrow after driving theory. Really wanna hit that fucking goal.

What I really want to express today is my negative attitude. This is an ongoing issue that I’ve mentioned before, and I think is one of the core problems I’ve had throughout my life. Despite the clear gains I’ve made in the past few weeks, I can’t seem to view myself or my situation in a more positive way. In fact, I feel like I am slipping into more negativity. I’m constantly shitting on myself, saying I wasted my life and that I’m completely screwed, theres no way to fix it. The only time I feel better is when I’m in the flow state while working, or intense socializing. But as soon as that’s over and I’ve ridden the high, the negative thoughts come back. In a sense, you could say work and socializing is just another form of escapism. I truly don’t know how to be comfortable with, or kind to, myself. I don’t really know how to stop thinking like this, or what to do about it. Forced positivity feels fake, and it takes energy I don’t necessarily have. Am I doomed to be an insufferable pessimist my whole life, living and dying unhappy while I push everyone away? I hope not... but I need to find a good way to turn this thought train around.

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4 hours ago, ElectroNugget said:

 Despite the clear gains I’ve made in the past few weeks, I can’t seem to view myself or my situation in a more positive way. In fact, I feel like I am slipping into more negativity. I’m constantly shitting on myself, saying I wasted my life and that I’m completely screwed, theres no way to fix it

I can confirm you aren't alone on this one. I have also been struggling with this. I think I've had this negative outlook for a long long time but when I was gaming it just numbed all those feelings. Now that gaming is gone, I have to fight the negative thoughts more often. Even though I've made significant progress in multiple areas of my life. I've also noticed my emotions have been more extreme since I gave up the games.

Keep focused on your goals and inevitably good things will happen. It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel sometimes. Rooting for you.

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When I first realized I was addicted to games, I went through a long period of self loathing. I haven't felt lower than that ever before or after. Every day passed with me thinking how I ruined so many things in my life, including my appearance and relationships, and I was unable to escape it. It made it difficult for me to take action, to believe I could do differently, or that I deserved anything better.

Time helps, because at some point you get sick of feeling so low. Some times people can help us realize we're "comfortable" in that self pity, self hate mindset, but for me it only started getting better when I decided it.

I don't believe in affirmations, they make me feel like I'm trying to persuade myself of things I don't believe to be true in the first place. Those haven't helped me cope with negativity. 

The Socratic method is what helps me and relieves me, when I do it. Full disclosure here, many times I'll have nagging thoughts that I'll do nothing about and that's on me. A lot of times I still just go on with my life, wishing the negative thoughts will just disappear, but they don't, because their original job in our brain is to protect and prepare us. (Explaining this here actually helps me too tbh..) So, unless I check the facts so to speak, my negative thoughts remain in the back of my head, making it hard to enjoy even good moments (because I personally also feel guilty for having them, they make me feel lesser and "crazy").

The Socratic method gets used in psychology in what they call Cognitive distortions worksheets, where you start with how you feel, the thoughts that caused you to feel this way, then you proceed with evaluating the factual truth of those statements that pop up in your mind. You have to really sit there, focused and consider objectively what is true about your negative thoughts and what isn't. It's important to firstly read the list of cognitive distortions we all tend towards, so that you know what you're looking for. After you do that, you've basically taken an at least half false/exaggeration of an event or opinion and filtered it through reality. You can accept the reality or continue with the false thoughts, but for me it seems this logical processing of heavily emotionally affected thinking really helps. I don't need to tell me I'm this nice kind person in front of a mirror, it instead helps me to conclude and thus realize I'm at least better than what I told myself I am in my mind.

This adjusts unrealistic expectations, at least for the time around the worksheet, for me. My personal mistake is I only do those when I feel really overwhelmed by many negative thoughts, instead of being consistent and responsible about it. I also feel embarrassed to pause something I do to do those, if there are people around me. But I know that's all limiting me, beliefs I have that come from a wrong opinion still. 

Thank you for your post in my journal, I was relieved by reading it. Hope this is of use to you. Search cognitive distortions worksheets online to find more about this, I suggest you do one of those every two days at least. Don't be lazy about self care like me. XD

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It is rough to sacrifice the present for the future. Everyone in their lives makes progress, to stop means death. If you are convinced you want to be an artist, you have to put in the hours and I believe you do that.

Sometimes you got to remember the hell you would be in if you had not decided to quit. You got something better going for you now!

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Thanks for the feedback guys.

@NannerZ Thanks man. It's good to know I'm not alone. I think you're right in that without gaming I don't have a way to deal with negative emotions properly. And I am also very lonely and isolated without a job. Guess it's natural to feel down at the moment.

@fawn_xoxo Thanks fawn! Really good advice here. I'll look into getting my hands on some of those worksheets. 

@Ikar Thing is, I'm no longer sure I want to be an artist. Or at least, I would love to be an artist, but I don't feel like the stress, fear and pain is worth it. I also became an artist in order to work on videogames, so that's doubly weird now. My portfolio feels like my last gasp at being an artist tbh. That said, I love this: Sometimes you got to remember the hell you would be in if you had not decided to quit. Fuck man, I need to tattoo that somewhere, really important thing to remind myself of when I'm down. Thanks.

DAY 81:

I fucking did it, 40 hours of drawing this week! Truly a huge goal for me to smash, it feels really good to know that I have finally figured out how to be productive on my own while beholden to no one but myself. I've struggled with personal responsibility and productivity my whole life, and now I finally managed it. I can look back on this week and actually know that I accomplished a lot on my own for once. Hopefully, this is just the first of many such victories to come.

So today I had more driving theory, and then I went to work even though it was a Saturday, and finished another piece. Fucking awesome. I've completed four this week, nearly five. The total amount I'm aiming for is 14, so that's huge, really much faster than I anticipated. Apparently I really can apply myself, I just needed to cut away distractions and come up with a good way of motivating myself. Without games, it's absolutely clear what I need to do with free time: learn and grow somehow. 

It's ironic that it comes at a time when I'm about to sorta give up on art. ? I've been thinking a lot about it this week, and it's really hard for me to see how I can continue to be an artist in the entertainment industry in good faith. Not only has the industry treated me poorly and been partly responsible for my depression and anxiety, but I don't know if I can work at a videogame company, making games, when I object to the whole idea of them now. It's like a former alcoholic working at a brewery.... But, the reason I became an artist in the first place was to work on games, to build worlds to get lost in. So that's weird. I'm still happy I'm finally making my portfolio happen, because it's a test of my discipline, and it's something I've been meaning to do for more than a year. Finishing it will be a milestone in my life if nothing else. But I'm going to have to think long and hard about what I really want to achieve as an artist with my life, or if it's time to close the book on it along with the chapter that contains video games.

That said, if I can work 40hrs on art in a week, I guess I can apply that skill to whatever I decide to pick up next. Who knows, maybe I'll love programming?

20190629_212135.jpg

Edited by ElectroNugget
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The ways of how the world works are weird, but I got into my English business primarily based on what my gaming career provided. I am still working on the university, just in case I do poorly. 

I read a proposition somewhere that you should thoroughly think about stuff you do daily (I guess weekly works too) for more than two hours. Massive pattern interrupt like I am doing right now is pretty amazing for thinking what do I need in life and what I do not need. All that is related to the hell one man's life can be without a real schedule, even if it would be imposed externally.

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On 6/30/2019 at 11:26 AM, Ikar said:

I read a proposition somewhere that you should thoroughly think about stuff you do daily (I guess weekly works too) for more than two hours. Massive pattern interrupt like I am doing right now is pretty amazing for thinking what do I need in life and what I do not need. All that is related to the hell one man's life can be without a real schedule, even if it would be imposed externally.

Care to expand on this @Ikar? This interests me. Think in what way?

DAY 82 - 84:

Sorry for the absence again guys, I’ve had a weird couple of days tbh. ?

After I beat my 40hr goal I had to take a first aid course for my driving lesson on Sunday, so I had to get up really early again to get to the lesson on time. Then when I got there it turned out there had been a scheduling error, and the lesson was cancelled. Very annoying. Luckily I went and spent the rest of the day playing dnd with some friends as they had a session going, but with all the activity the past week, I ended up completely exhausted by the time I got home on Sunday, and have kind of coasted into this week in the same state. 

This week I decided I really need to get moving finding an apartment in Copenhagen. My course at the university starts on the 22nd of August, and Copenhagen is a notoriously difficult city to find student housing in. So I’ve spent the last two days in a haze clicking through Facebook and various online roommate sites, etc, trying to find a pad. It’s been very stressful! Everything else has kind of fallen by the wayside and I’ve stopped doing my good habits, my brain turned to mush by the stress of it all. This is just another example that I’m not very good at managing my stress when it comes. Usually I’d game to unwind, now I just get uptight and stop brushing my teeth and tidying up, etc. Clearly I need to learn to handle it better. So I’ll try to remember this when this saga is over.

I’ve  lined up a few places to visit which I’ll see Thursday and Friday, and I’m hoping I can close the deal on one of them. Then I won’t have to worry about it until next month when I actually have to move in, and I can enjoy the rest of the summer and finish my portfolio with peace of mind. 

I’ve decided that the next thing that has to go definitely has to be YouTube, Netflix and Reddit. And hopefully with that, electronics from the bedroom. I get to thinking it’s amazing how much time I spend on these things, when just twenty years ago none of this existed. Humans have done without the distractions of electronics most of their history, hopefully I can learn to do the same. 

8D0DFD1D-1BD1-427F-BCAF-7673A6AE5B5B.png

Edited by ElectroNugget
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9 hours ago, ElectroNugget said:

Care to expand on this @Ikar? This interests me. Think in what way?

Be mindful about what you do and how you feel about it. Perhaps by living a life that is exciting for you, as well as others? I am not sure what else to write!

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DAY 85:

Only five days till I hit 90 days! How nuts is that? ?

I'm super blasted right now, these past few days have been really stressful trying to arrange places in CPH, but in the end it seems my stress made me do my job TOO well, now I've got 6 places to see in the next two days, and I had to turn down quite a few others because I just had too many offers... So, I guess that's good? To be fair, I worked really hard on it and spent a lot of time on Monday and Tuesday on it. More than I usually would I think. So, I guess even though I did get all worked up, and it was really stressful and awful, I was still really productive, pushed through the pain and did what needed to be done. A good thing maybe? 

I just need to manage my fucking stress better. Today I meditated again for the first time in months and it felt really good, and then I went and made a full schedule for the rest of the week so I could lay out my tasks in a clear way, and that helped too... So yeah, I just need to make sure I do these things. And start doing them all the time, not just when I'm about to hit breaking point.

So, off to Copenhagen tomorrow to look at these places! Hopefully one of them will stick, and then I'll basically be able to chill for the next month or so. Fingers crossed.

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DAY 86-87:

Just got back and it's super late, so short entry for now.

I got a place! It's really awesome, with a nice roommate in a new part of town. I'll be moving in on the 1st of August. All that hard work and stressing paid off in the end. I also got to explore the university campus a little bit. Things are starting to feel a little more real: before now ITU was far away, now I've been there and the wheels are in motion, I'm getting hopeful again. I'm looking forward to meeting new people, learning new skills and perhaps growing into a better version of myself. On top of that, Copenhagen seems like a really great city, definitely going to be cool to live there for two years.

Maybe this can be the fresh start I've needed for so long.

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DAY 88:

Wow, can't believe I'm nearly there.

Today was a chilled day. More driving theory. Not sure I'll be able to finish the whole process before I move, but I've learned that I can carry my progress over to another school in Copenhagen, so my time wasn't wasted. In other words, things are coming together there. If I'm not too busy at uni I'll just find another driving school and get it finished later this year. After theory class, I spent the afternoon catching up on some sleep and packing for my trip to Holland next week. 

On Monday I'll be 90 days free, so crazy. I'm sure I'll have to write a nice reflective entry at that time. At this moment what I'm most looking forward to is hitting that milestone and figuring out what I want the next 90 days to be about. 

Tomorrow is a full day on First Aid for my driver's license and then I'm off with my parents in the evening to Holland for a big family reunion. I feel like I've been on my feet all week with little time to rest, but I guess that's a good thing. I've been very productive, and quite literally haven't had enough time to be sad or depressed. Come Monday, I'll have some time to relax, right when I hit the 90-day mark. ? Should be fun!

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DAY 89-90:

Well, I did it. 90 days.

Feels weird tbh, I know there wasn’t going to be any fireworks or anything, but it’s just another day y’know? 

I think at some point soon it would be good to sit down and reflect on what I’ve achieved in these past few months, so I can have a more positive perspective on it all, but today I’m feeling a bit down tbh. We spent many hours on the road today to get to Holland for a holiday with my extended family, and there was just a little too much time to think. 

I miss my ex, and I’m sad that she’s not here with us. I’m worried that despite my efforts to re-educate myself and get a better job, I will fail. I’m worried it’s too late for me.

Hopefully a few days with the family will help. I also really want to make a concentrated effort to get back into meditating every day now, starting today before bed. 

I think when I get back next week I’ll try to do an inventory on this experience, and where to go next. For now I’ll just try to enjoy my family and my holiday. 

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DAY 91-97:

Today I got back from my holiday in Holland with the extended family, and I thought it was about time I pick up this journal again. There's been a lot of time to think and reflect about what I want to get next out of life, and also to analyze some new problems that have become more clear now that the first 90 days are over... So this will probably be a wall of text, more for my sake than anyone else.

Overall it was a really good holiday! I have usually struggled a bit with family holidays in the past. My family is very much in the attitude of 'go out and do things every day' when we're on vacation, whereas I've always preferred to relax and have more downtime. I want to sleep in, read a book and play some board games, my family wants to spend 8hrs exploring the nearest city and seeing every possible tourist attraction. It doesn't help that I've always been an extreme night owl, and having to spend a lot of early mornings travelling, then sleeping in a strange bed, waking up early to screaming kids and then touring some strange new country on my feet every day... I usually get very grumpy and tired and end up feeling like I need my own break after a family vacation. ? 

While all of the above is still the case, I think I handled it a lot better this time and actively tried to participate more in things that I otherwise wouldn't have. I also tried to keep my mood in check and not bother my family as much with it as I did in the past, and overall I think it was a success. I know that I shouldn't suppress my negative emotions, but I'm also aware that they come and go, and I don't need to ruin everyone's day just because I'm feeling a bit crummy. Overall, we went and saw a lot of interesting stuff in Holland, and I spent a lot of time talking to family members and seeing the sights rather than just sleeping in and playing something on my Switch (which is what I would have done if I hadn't quit). I even went cycling for 20km one day with my uncle! That would never have happened a year ago. 

When my uncle offered to go for a ride to get some groceries, I was ready with all the usual excuses... But I've decided now to at least try and do things that might seem uncomfortable at first, because hey, I'm only gonna live once, and everything's at least worth a try. That got me far enough to get on the bicycle, and afterwards, I had a really fantastic time biking around the farmland with my uncle for about 90 mins. I haven't ridden a bicycle in at least 10 years but after this experience, I'm thinking I might get one to commute in Copenhagen... So conquering that small moment of discomfort was definitely worth it.

There are still problems. I have a really unhealthy relationship with my iPad and phone. I'm still looking at porn every evening, especially when I feel bad. This was going well before my breakup, but resurged afterwards and I haven't been able to get it back under control. I also struggle to get to sleep at night without watching something on my iPad to fall asleep to. If I don't watch something, I think too much and get anxious. This is a real issue as it's affecting my sleep quality in a really bad way, and I'm sure it's making my night owl syndrome worse and impacting my mood and energy levels every day. On top of that, during the car drive home, I noticed that I spent the whole drive looking at Reddit and various other websites on my phone... Like 7hrs of just straight phone browsing, rather than perhaps reading a book or something. To be fair, long car drives can be really trying after a long holiday, but I still think it's a sign that overall the digital hygiene in my life still has a long way to go.

On another note, I spent a lot of time board gaming while I was there, and I have some mixed feelings about that. I absolutely love board games, and to be honest, they were a fantastic way to spend some time with various family members. I finally bonded with my sister's new (and apparently quite serious) boyfriend by playing Arkham Horror with him for a few evenings, and 7 Wonders was another family favourite that got my dad, aunts and uncles and even my mom around the table playing and laughing. It's a great way to bring people together and have fun while being social. I think this is a really good aspect of games that I want to keep in my life. That said, I found that I have the same tendency to obsess over boardgames as I did videogames. I spent a lot of time looking at deck builds and cards for Arkham Horror on my phone every evening, and on the car drive home. So, I need to find a way to balance the fun I'm having without spending a lot of my waking hours thinking about them... Cause I think that could be just as problematic in some areas as videogames are. Luckily, I can't sit and play board games until 4 AM by myself every night, and they have a real social element which is valuable. But I still need to be alert to the way they impinge on my other free time. Maybe I will have to take a break from all forms of gaming at some point... I'm not sure.

As a side note, during my holiday I closed the deal on an apartment in Copenhagen that I am really happy with. Funnily enough, it was one that I added to my list at the last minute before my trip to see all the apartments, where it ended up being my favourite. Secondly, yesterday I got a call to do some freelance illustration work for a company that I used to work for a few years ago. It's not my favourite thing in the world to do, but the pay is really good and the work is easy if somewhat boring. It sounds like I will get 1-2 weeks of full-time work for them now, which is great for me as it will bankroll my move to Copenhagen and fund some new furniture for my place and maybe even a laptop for my studies. So, I guess I have had a little luck recently. Nice to feel like the stars have aligned in my favour, if only for a moment. 

I'm still undecided about what major thing to tackle next. In the near future, I'd like to write up a list of longer-term goals for the next 2 years... Habits to break and new ones to build. I also need to make a list of things to do for the next month or so before I move to CPH... Maybe I'll post them here.

This ended kind of rambly, there's still a lot on my mind. More tomorrow I guess!

Edited by ElectroNugget
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DAY 98:

Today was the worst day I've had in quite a long time. I had a huge emotional slump today which feels like it came out of nowhere, which brought with it all the usual cognitive distortions, mental anguish and anxiety. 

Despite that, I got to work today and managed to perform the tasks I needed to for my freelance gig. I have another day's work tomorrow and that will help cover some of my expenses moving to Copenhagen (should pay for a nice new bed), so that's good. 

All that said, I'm in a lot of pain right now, and have felt like crying all day today. I'm really a bit overwhelmed with everything I have to do by the time I move to CPH, and I'm feeling lonely as usual. I am also concerned that ITU won't pan out, and 2 years from now I still won't have a clue what I'm supposed to do with my life. Quitting games was a huge first step towards change for me, but my whole life plan used to revolve around videogames: being an artist was, in large part, motivated by a desire to get into the games industry. Now I really don't want to be an artist professionally anymore or work in the games industry... I just feel lost. I have no clue if this next chapter is going to take me where I want to go. Do I really want to be learning programming and UX design? Nowadays, I look at a computer, or my iPad or my phone, once sources of joy, and see them as the enemy, things that rob me of time and sap my will to live. Nothing I once took comfort in has any value any more.

To add to that, today I saw a post on Instagram from my ex saying that she's feeling a lot better than usual lately, which makes me feel like perhaps in our relationship I was bringing her down. That really hurt me. I've missed her and wanted to talk to her a lot lately, but now I feel like if I reached out I would just be bringing her down again. Perhaps she's even relieved I am gone. Perhaps she hates me.

Have I sabotaged all my relationships with this darkness? I'm carrying around so much negative energy all the time and I don't know what to do with it. Any time that I do feel good seems to merely be an illusory respite from the swirling void beneath. Inevitably I am drawn back to it. 

Anyways, there's not much else to say. Today was really fucking shit. That's all.

Edited by ElectroNugget
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I understand a lot of this pain you are experiencing, even if my first months didn't include the extra grief from losing loved ones. I felt lost and I still feel lost in many ways, especially when it comes to what the heck I'll do with my life. I also consider lowering my computer usage to just work and some youtube to look at while I eat (so maybe 30 minutes per day versus hours I clock in these days).

You probably know this, as you mentioned cognitive distortions at the beginning, but you reading your worst case scenario in your ex's IG post is just that, your emotional side taking the reins and telling you things. In reality nobody knows why she is feeling better and whether you were really that bad towards her. I suggest accepting that you can not know the reasons and if you want to learn more it is the most logical thing to contact her. If you decide to do that, I think the adult thing to do would be to ask her at the start of a call, hey is it okay to chat or does this make you feel bad? This way she can choose for herself. You're not responsible for her actions, only for yours.

In my experience, the negative energy has to be processed. The thoughts you get, the doubts, the fears, don't let them unattended. Write them down, 'debunk' them, even if it doesn't make them go from 100 to 0 strength. Just do the work for yourself, because there is no other way to reprogram our brains to think logically, only this, I've found.

I hope this helps. The journey is ongoing for all of us, 90 days are just the beginning in my experience. But we get better, one step at a time, I feel. You should also know that your contribution to the forums is appreciated, and this side of you doesn't sabotage anyone, you bring hope and light and understanding to some of us. We can't always do right, but we do right too, as we sometimes do wrong. As long as we learn and strive to get better than yesterday, we are fulfilling our duty to ourselves I think.

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