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

NannerZ

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Day 39: June 13, 2019

Today was my first day off in a week and it was a nice break. I didn't have a perfect day health wise but it was decent. I finished my pushups around 2pm at the gym where I did some cardio. But I had one not so great meal today also. I just spent the last few hours watching the raptors game. The raptors are NBA champs! Never thought I'd see the day Canada would be NBA champs!

I'm back to work tomorrow and I'm counting on myself to refocus and get back on track with my health goals.

Gaming free: 39 days

100 Pushups a day: 18 days

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You're half way in your detox almost, good job! 

Regarding your meals, can you plan them in advance? With everything I like to indulge in, planning is the only thing that can save me. Taking the time to consider beforehand and "force my hand" by having the right choice ready when the time comes.

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22 hours ago, fawn_xoxo said:

You're half way in your detox almost, good job! 

Regarding your meals, can you plan them in advance? With everything I like to indulge in, planning is the only thing that can save me. Taking the time to consider beforehand and "force my hand" by having the right choice ready when the time comes.

Yes, I can certainly plan them. When I was doing really well a couple weeks back I was planning out everything before. This past week or so since I started working again I think I've kind of gotten lazy with planning ahead and as a result I've gotten offtrack. Today was the best day I've had in a week so I may be getting back on track. But I've learned you cannot take your focus off your goals at all. Even the slightest let down and those bad habits creep back, its truly scary. Thanks for the advice and for reading!

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Day 40: June 14, 2019

Probably the best day I've had (goal wise) since I started working again. I knew I had to cut out the bad habits immediately before I risked throwing away all my hard work in the month prior. Ate clean all day and managed to hit the gym after work for cardio and my pushups. Strongly considered passing on the gym tonight but I knew I was just being lazy, I had no other plans and that it was possible I may have plans tomorrow and I didn't want to miss two days in a row potentially.

I feel like I should write more but not sure what else to write about. My emotions and self confidence/worth are up quite a bit since returning to work and it feels great. I'm already halfway thru reading the game,  it's an enjoyable read and inspires me to be more social which is great and something I aspire to improve on all summer long. Feel more comfortable at work each day and enjoy what I do.

Gaming free: 40 days

100 pushups a day: 19 days

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Day 48: June 22, 2019

TL;DR at bottom

I relapsed. I played this old city building game I didn't get around to deleting. I started playing in a moment of weakness. I won't justify it or try to explain, it doesn't really matter. I played for about a week. Maybe 15-30 hours total over the week. It's been 4 or 5 days since I played last and I'm not looking back. I thought I was immune to the allure of video games, I thought my new lifestyle didn't have time for games anymore. I was arrogant. I was wrong.

Not only did I relapse and game again for a full week but pretty much since I started working again I let all my new lifestyle habits relapse to the unhealthy ways of yesterday. My diet has been poor to say the least. I'm spending money on junk food on a daily basis lately. My brain justified it with this logic "You're too busy" "You're too tired" "You deserve to relax"   I've eaten some healthy meals too but only between poor ones. My gym attendance has been spotty also.

I haven't written in my journal for 8 days because I felt shame. I didn't have the heart to write about how I failed and just didn't want to face the truth. So I did what I did in the past. I did what I always do and what I've always done. I buried my head in the sand, pretended the outside world didn't exist and I gamed. I knew I would come back when I was ready.

I'm back now. I will continue to journal about my life and my struggles to achieve the life I've always wanted. I can't promise it will make for exciting reading material but I'll always be honest.

I've got a plan to fix my poor diet. In about an hour my slow cooker will be finished cooking my chicken which I'm using for all my meals for the next few days at work. I can no longer go to work and just 'hope' I eat right. It doesn't work. If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Step 2 is I'm going to start leaving my credit card at home. I take it with me all the time. But why? For emergencies right? In my entire lifetime how often have I needed to have a credit card to get myself out of a situation? I can count on one hand. These two steps alongside a newfound inspiration and developments in my personal life should be the push I need to get back to the way things were going only a couple short weeks ago. I won't bore you with the details now since I'll have plenty of time to talk about this stuff in other entries.

So what's new? I've been putting in plenty of hours at work while trying really hard to be as social as I can. And something's happened. I've met a lot of new people and have exciting ongoing dialogue with dozens of fellow staff. Cool. But something in particular has consumed nearly every minute of my free thoughts now for days. There's this girl. Rewinding back to a year ago when I used to work here, she was someone I had occasional conversations with. I didn't know her well and she didn't know me well. It was always just surface level stuff "how are you today?"  "Any fun plans this weekend?" you know what I mean. I thought she was one of the prettiest girls I've ever seen. But that was it. As much as I was attracted to her I didn't even entertain the idea of trying anything. Girls like her don't date guys like me.

But lately things have really changed. Now I work in a department that is much closer to where she works and we see each other frequently while doing our jobs. Naturally we've been talking much more. There's been some really enjoyable conversations and some playful banter. A few days ago I was standing next to her talking for a couple minutes while she was doing her job. Don't remember what we were talking about but when I thought I should let her get back to her job I said "I'll stop bothering you now" and started to walk away and she looked at me and said "You're not bothering me" while smiling. That was the first moment where I thought.. holy shit that was definitely an indicator of interest. She wanted me to know I wasn't bothering her. That's when the wheels in my head started to turn. Omg, do I actually have a shot with this girl? Is she flirting or is she just a nice person? She's probably just being friendly right? Of course she is.

But then yesterday happened. As I was leaving for the day, she was working by the exit so I had a chance to chat with her for another minute or two. We had a short convo about the weather or something and then she asked me whether or not I have a locker at work. Since even though I'm a returning employee who's a formality to be kept beyond the probationary period of 90 days, I don't actually have a locker right now. I told her no and explained that I'm never lucky enough to get to use the free daily lockers either. "You can use mine if you like... it's locker 115" Holy shit. Another strong indicator of interest right? She's probably just being nice. Girls like her don't date guys like me. So today I put my stuff in her locker and now we share a locker. I'm not gonna get too excited.. she really is genuinely a nice person, literally everyone loves her at work. She really could be just being nice. I can't deny it, I have a huge crush on her. I think about her a lot, replaying our conversations from the day in my head. But what if she's just being nice? Isn't it kind of a dick move to try to escalate on her right now? I don't wanna be that guy who mistakes a woman's kindness for flirtation or physical attraction. Like how selfish am I? I think the only thing to do here is just stay the course for now and see what develops from this.  Now that we share a locker we have a connection at work. There's always a reason for me to talk to her. I'll keep an eye out for a couple more indicators of interest before I try anything I might seriously regret. This sure makes work a lot more exciting.

So anyways, I've got a lot of reasons to get back on track with my goals. I'm continuing with my gaming detox, as well as my pushups challenge, gym visits, and healthy meal plans. I'll talk about those another time as this post has been long already.

TL:DR 🙂

I relapsed. It's okay, I learned a lot. I haven't gamed in 4-5 days since and as far as I'm concerned I'm back on track. Refocused on my health goals as well. Being more social has been very enjoyable and I'm speaking to dozens of people. I have a huge crush on a girl at work. She's probably just being nice. I'm excited about life again. I'm back and you'll be reading more boring posts about my boring life soon.

Game free: 41 of 48 days

 

 

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Sucks about the relapse, however good luck with the girl! Can't give advice, figure it out for yourself! :P

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That's right just like riding a bike - fall off just get right back on :)
I think you know what has to be done with those games you didn't get around to deleting ..
If you have any digital video game licenses, I recommend removing their attachment to you permanently!

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First of all: your positive attitude towards your mistakes is amazing and will get you far. Mistakes make for opportunities to learn, not for being miserable and ditching everything. Your relapse isn't what defines you. The genuine effort you have been making and the success you achieved for so long is. A few days hiccup isn't going to be a serious setback. But: delete all games. Remove all sources of possible temptation. Deposit it with friends or family if you have the goal of getting back to them when you feel you are recovered but have this relapse as your warning that this will take some time.

21 hours ago, NannerZ said:

Isn't it kind of a dick move to try to escalate on her right now?

Second: you don't need to escalate all the way from 8 to 80. Lunch together isn't a date. Taking a beer/coffee/juice/walk after work isn't a date. Provide opportunities for her to get used to you, to know you better, and have those opportunities to get to know her, too. Be flirty if you think she likes it, or just be friendly to her just like she is with you. The key thing is that you both have to spend some time together so that there's an opportunity for something between you to grow. There's no ideal time for that. I would actually say the sooner the better. But manage your expectations. Lunch is just lunch, a walk is just a walk. Hear her, talk to her. Get to know and look for the clues with naturality. Good luck!

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Thanks for the support guys! I'm going to delete everything I have left.

25 minutes ago, Ambassador said:

Mistakes make for opportunities to learn, not for being miserable and ditching everything. Your relapse isn't what defines you. The genuine effort you have been making and the success you achieved for so long is. A few days hiccup isn't going to be a serious setback.

That's really the mentality I've tried to maintain throughout this detox. I slipped up but I learned some valuable lessons on this difficult journey. I feel really motivated to conquer the 2nd half of this detox and beyond.

31 minutes ago, Ambassador said:

Second: you don't need to escalate all the way from 8 to 80. Lunch together isn't a date. Taking a beer/coffee/juice/walk after work isn't a date. Provide opportunities for her to get used to you, to know you better, and have those opportunities to get to know her, too. Be flirty if you think she likes it, or just be friendly to her just like she is with you. The key thing is that you both have to spend some time together so that there's an opportunity for something between you to grow. There's no ideal time for that. I would actually say the sooner the better. But manage your expectations. Lunch is just lunch, a walk is just a walk. Hear her, talk to her. Get to know and look for the clues with naturality. Good luck!

You're right. Maybe I'm overthinking this? She makes me so nervous. I think everything I say to her sounds so stupid. I think you are right about the sooner the better. I'm going to look for opportunities like you described. I want to escalate in the right way. There's a coffee/tea place a short walk from our work.. maybe I can ask if she'd want to grab one after work sometime. The hardest part is we both work shift work, so our shifts don't always line up favorably for start/end times.. I might have to hang back in the lunchroom late once or twice and catch her at our locker haha. Thanks for the advice and support, I really appreciate it. I don't have many friends who I discuss this type of stuff with and another's thoughts are always welcome.

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Day 49: June 23, 2019

A typical Sunday. A bit of a lazy morning but nothing unforgivable. Worked a 5 hour shift today from noon to 5pm. Then drove to my mom's for some spaghetti dinner and a haircut. Stopped by the gym for a very quick cardio workout just to get back in the swing of things and get a sweat going. Talked to the roommate for a bit also.

Only had one chance to talk with Tiffani today. But the conversation we did have was really good. I was able to again thank her for letting me share her locker. I told her I was getting a haircut tonight and wanted her opinion on it tomorrow. She smiled and said sure. And we talked about the usual surface stuff as well. Happy with how it went today.

I spent some time researching some meal prep stuff tonight. I'm all prepped to bring healthy meals to work now and for dinner's as well. I think I'm just gonna try a few different methods and find out what works best for me. But I want this aspect of my life sorted out. I'm sick of not prioritizing my health and fitness goals. This is the next step in my transition away from a life of gaming uncontrollably while neglecting my physical and mental health and well-being.

I won the day

Game free: 42 of 49 days

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9 hours ago, NannerZ said:

You're right. Maybe I'm overthinking this? She makes me so nervous. I think everything I say to her sounds so stupid.

I believe self-esteem work would be a benefit to you here particularly by reprogramming automatic thoughts like "I think everything I say to her sounds so stupid." For reference I actually just began working my own automatic thoughts last night in "The Self Esteem Workbook by Glenn R. Schiraldi, Ph.D." published by New Harbinger Publications.

To break it down there are distorted, unreasonably negative automatic thoughts that fall into 13 categories as Glenn puts it. For example overgeneralizing with global statements "I think everything I say" is being unkind to yourself & is usually inaccurate to some degree. Avoid the labels, all or nothing thinking .. don't dwell on the negative.

A simple exercise to reprogram such thoughts is to maintain a Thought Record to replace the negative automatic thoughts. While there is a Thought Record exercise in the book I referenced you can also find one here at this link that is quite similar. For example instead of thinking "I think everything I say to her sounds so stupid" you could write down something that gives you more of a break like "Sometimes I can say the darnedest things." I will quote the recommended alternative to overgeneralizing here below & leave it at that!
 

Quote

The antidote is to use more precise language: "Some of my skills are not yet well developed"; "I'm not as tactful in some social situations as I'd like"; "Sometimes people don't approve of me (sometimes some people do)"; "Although some aspects of my life haven't gone well, that doesn't mean I never do reasonably well." Be a healthy optimist: expect to find small ways to improve situations and notice what's going well.

 

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22 hours ago, NannerZ said:

Maybe I'm overthinking this? She makes me so nervous. I think everything I say to her sounds so stupid.

Yes, you are. Yes, she does. Here you are, overthinking again. You have no way to know exactly how you sound unless you ask her, and you are not going to ask it right now. But have this clue: if she's still around and if she seems to be enjoying, we can be at least a little confident that she's enjoying your company. We can never be totally sure about what is going on over other people's head, but their actions give us clues and by adding those clues up we can build confidence probabilities. Yes, I am that analytical. No, I'm not as boring as I sound.

Think about it: you have exactly zero Tifannies as girlfriend right now. If absolutely everything goes wrong, you still will have zero Tifannies as a girlfriend. Does it mean you should be absolutely reckless and throw yourself over her like a pseudo-confident macho "alfa" dude? Obviously not, unless your plan is to keep having zero Tiffanies as a girlfriend. It only means that, her being single, heterosexual and interested, you may take deliberate action to try and change your instance form zero Tiffanies as GF to one Tiffani as GF, but that being about human behaviour also means the outcome is uncertain and not 100% under your control.

Be cool, manage your expectations, read her carefully, look for microexpressions, non-verbal cues and body language. Try to make her laugh, make her comfortable around you, make her talk about stuff she likes, and pay attention to what she says. But see if she's making the same effort. Do not get caught in a one way, platonic relationship. If it turns out she's not into it, just keep her as a friend and move one. Do not make your life about her alone. If all goes well, it will be about her to some healthy extent, but, in any case, your life is mainly about you.

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@goodvibes

Thanks for your suggestions. I will try the thought record exercise soon. I'm feeling a little down tonight and just don't have the strength/willpower/mentality for it at this moment. I appreciate your input.

Day 50: June 24, 2019

What do you do when the only things that make you happy are the cause of all your problems? Gaming made me happy. It also ruined my life. Food makes me happy. I'm 40 pounds overweight. My life is so unfulfilling. I think today I realized how dangerous it is when you assign your happiness to another person instead of yourself. Lately the only thing that makes me happy is talking to Tiffani at work. I have to take a big step back and reevaluate my priorities. I think I'm days away from another emotional breakdown. I had a conversation with her today and while I can't pinpoint anything specific it just didn't go the way I expected it to. And it bothered me for the rest of the day. I stopped for fast food on the way home as some sort of coping mechanism. I'm doubting everything.

I won't see her for a couple days now, maybe that's a good thing. I think I need some space and I need to find my own reasons to be happy. I have to find a way to breakthrough and progress. I wish I didn't feel so alone. My brain can be a toxic place sometimes and today it took me down a dark road. Don't know what else to say, just feel frustrated about everything tonight.

Game free: 43 of 50 days

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Do not ruminate over your talk. Do not dwell on the bad feelings. Acknowledge them and try to move on. Focus on something else. Maybe read something you like a lot, listen to some music, go for a walk, watch a favourite movie... or create. I feel my best creations were the fruit of my darkest moments. Channelling the emotions towards something outside of you might help to take the burden away and look at it from a different perspective.

Stay strong.

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10 minutes ago, Ambassador said:

Think about it: you have exactly zero Tifannies as girlfriend right now. If absolutely everything goes wrong, you still will have zero Tifannies as a girlfriend. Does it mean you should be absolutely reckless and throw yourself over her like a pseudo-confident macho "alfa" dude? Obviously not, unless your plan is to keep having zero Tiffanies as a girlfriend. It only means that, her being single, heterosexual and interested, you may take deliberate action to try and change your instance form zero Tiffanies as GF to one Tiffani as GF, but that being about human behaviour also means the outcome is uncertain and not 100% under your control.

I like the way you think. It actually seems simpler when thought of like this. I'm afraid I'm gonna be that guy who mistakes her kindness for interest. But like you said the other night, asking if she wants to grab a coffee after work is just coffee, nothing else.

15 minutes ago, Ambassador said:

Be cool, manage your expectations, read her carefully, look for microexpressions, non-verbal cues and body language. Try to make her laugh, make her comfortable around you, make her talk about stuff she likes, and pay attention to what she says. But see if she's making the same effort. Do not get caught in a one way, platonic relationship. If it turns out she's not into it, just keep her as a friend and move one. Do not make your life about her alone. If all goes well, it will be about her to some healthy extent, but, in any case, your life is mainly about you.

I think I may have an opportunity to have an extended convo with her in a couple days when we both finish work at the same time. I'll try these things and look for the cues. It seems crazy but I kinda want  some closure one way or another. Obviously I want things to go in a certain way but I'd be relieved in some weird sense just to know that I don't need to expend anymore mental energy thinking about this all the time. Thanks for your wisdom, friend. You are a big help, truly appreciated.

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12 hours ago, NannerZ said:

My life is so unfulfilling. I think today I realized how dangerous it is when you assign your happiness to another person instead of yourself. Lately the only thing that makes me happy is talking to Tiffani at work.

@NannerZ
Letting circumstances of others determine your worth gives them inappropriate control and power.  For reference, this comes from the same workbook mentioned above by Glenn, Chapter 4 - The Basics of Human Worth. Worth as a person is independent of externals.

I found many years ago I myself was giving other people in my life that inappropriate control and power - most often it was the people closest to me. Over time this creates an enmeshed dependency on others called codependency, with the help of a psychologist I had identified myself as a codependent. You can call it psychological jargon but there is a lot of people you can find explaining it more while breaking free from its hold - notably 12 step program main texts/books/workbooks/forums/chat rooms of Al-Anon, CoDA, & ACoA as well as Melody Beattie's book Codependent No More and the Codependent No More Workbook. I took from these what I related to and left the rest and I honestly still do time to time to keep myself in check.

You might not identify with all it all and that's okay we are all different with our own problems to overcome but someday your dark road might bring you back to here again so for that reason alone to me was enough to post this share. You have found some catalyst for change by quitting video games so don't despair - I think there may be hope for you yet =)

Neil

Edited by goodvibes
@NannerZ
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@goodvibes  Thanks Neil. You are certainly correct about giving them control and power. I'm quite certain that's what I've done with her. I have a hard time discovering what makes me happy now that I'm doing the detox. I know being around her makes me happy and that's both exciting and scary as heck. I need to find a way to be happy on my own without giving this power to another person. I just don't know how. How did you break free?

Day 51: June 25, 2019

Spent most of my day at work. I'm really getting the hang of the actual work and mostly enjoy myself while working. Enjoy the people I work with and I feel valued and my contributions appreciated. So yay for that. Work has also become my main social outlet now. I work in a huge business with hundreds of employees so it's easy to find new people to talk to which is great for me and my goals to grow my social circle.

I have my first day off after 6 straight days tomorrow and I'm looking forward to getting some errands done and having some personal time.

Game free: 44 of 51 days

 

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@NannerZ  Np. Making the move away from video games is also reducing how much we numb our thoughts, feelings, and living life in general so I do think that is natural to have a difficult time discovering what is truly bringing you happiness.

I cannot say I am yet completely free from addressing my long rooted codependency issues but I can say without a doubt I have come a long way these last 6 years. My own journey away from codependency began first before counseling, before I knew what it was to be codependent - circumstance I had created made me unwelcome in the company of a long time friend. TLDR separation & detachment was what helped me the most to break away. Melody Beattie's Codependent No More book has a section on detachment among other basics of self-care when it comes to Codependency -- highly recommend if you see it at the library or decide to pick up the book, just check it out.

There was this friend I had for a long time, he maintained a large social circle that he kept me in - none of that changed the fact that I continued to meet those awesome people only because of my connection with this friend I had maintained for more than 20 years .. definitely a sense of dependency that was hard to shake. Spending all the time I did with him and his circle of friends did not make me any more of a social animal, in fact it made me all the more dependent on him for guidance & direction. I was living my life constantly under his shadow as since we were children.

Once I had got old enough to buy alcohol while he was not, I was the one he would use to get alcohol - I was not bitter because this was my first experience with alcohol. Once we both were of age, I was the one he would use to drive home from the bars - I was not bitter because he would get so drunk I knew if I did not stay somewhat sober there would be no way home. When I would meet more girls, he would waste no time to get to know them more before me - I would not be bitter about this because of all the people he had introduced me to though never actually did that lead to anything much memorable or lasting.

Towards the end of our friendship his circle of friends was still large but the company was more routine, less arbitrary because he was dating. Those friends of his would be more inclusive with me too, it was certainly out of pity because they always had their date partner while I did not - I was just there still trying to live under his wing. Well his girlfriend would do dumb things when she got drunk to flirt with me and eventually started to flirt more without the alcohol. Combined with that and the bitterness I had suppressed through the years had me doing dumb things to flirt with her when I was drunk, then sober.

Then comes the group ostracism when she makes me out to be some kind of pervert though I did had a big porn addiction back then so not far off the mark tbh. So that became a bit of a forced separation from a lot of people I had all over time become dependent upon for my happiness. I moved out, they moved away, my birthday came around and him & his crowd of friends happened to be at the same place. I just wanted to drown myself in beer & hookah smoke not tears. I was a wreck so I had to leave, I probably went to sleep in the back of my parked car at the casino parking garage. They had got all the more committed and married a few months later which I was painstakingly invited to participate in.

From here stress from that and work was piling up then I get this outrageous price hike on my energy bill and the stress actually induced chest pain. I got myself checked out and doctor said no heart attack and is likely stress, "what's going on? A lot? Here is a referral to a mental health professional, go schedule an appointment." So I did and she helped a lot. First she assessed my self-esteem which was terrible (had been for a long time), then she began looking for the root cause of that, then she recommends I read Beatie's Codependent No More so we could later talk about that more, then she introduces me to 12 step programs I might find an interest in - she wanted me to pick one and go to meetings face to face or online and that's really where I started to find more and more motivation where I would understand my Codependent roots more thoroughly and find ways to unroot, to detach.

Here and there I find one more rooted behavior I had overlooked in the past but once you see it, you can't unsee it, but you can work on it - on yourself that is not others, find alternative actions that will help make you a happier person, change it. That's my story there in a nutshell you might not relate to much of it but you might to some. Even so you are welcome to say as much & think your own thoughts - we are all different but we are either numbing the problems or trying to do our best with what we have. It has been years since I gave that full topic a look at and I feel better for it, thanks for hearing me out.

Neil

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21 hours ago, NannerZ said:

I need to find a way to be happy on my own without giving this power to another person. I just don't know how. How did you break free?

I think the answer to this is absolutely personal, although knowing other people's experiences might help to understand a) you are not alone in this, and b) the ways to find this answer might be shareable. I want to share the ways that have been working for me.

We all want to belong. We want to be accepted, and to connect. But we sometimes want people to like us the same way we like them, which is fundamentally impossible because every single person is unique in both their way of experiencing the world and expressing themselves. They can only like us their own way. And if doesn't match our expectancies, this can be a major source of anxiety.

Here, my experience is to learn to be a little more detached, not in a stoic way, but in a relaxed and accepting one. Being anxious or nervous about how you are perceived is to go beyond what you can reasonably do to be understood on your own terms. You cannot change the way people perceive you, you can only change the mode you use to reach out for them, the same way you can find more than one way to convey the same message. If the message will be understood is not only about how clear and adequate your language is, but how well equipped the recipient is to receive and decode it.

We use language, clothing, gestures, and attitudes to convey our feelings and values, but even with that extended array of "communication modes" nothing grants we will be understood quite the way we want to. Again, its a matter of building confidence levels, the more you know the person the more you can be confident that they will understand you in a certain way. You can't control other people's reactions and thoughts, worrying about them is to let them control you, even if they never asked for that control. The way I see it all: I do what I can, what is under my control, and I don't worry about what it's not under my control because I can't change that at all. The only thing I can do is to try and prepare for the most reasonable outcomes, but even this has to be limited since you can't possibly know everything about any given situation or person, and because you risk overthinking, and overthinking might lead to overreacting.

Other than that, I would say: meditate. Don't sit in a silly and uncomfortable position, trying to think about nothing, that's not what meditation is. Go to a place you feel relaxed being at, that has little distractions and that you can be by yourself. Don't be afraid of your thoughts, you have to be with yourself with some constancy, you have to accept yourself and know that your mind is your constant company and always will be. Breath. Slowly. Feel the air coming in your nostrils, rushing to your belly, and filling your lungs, and then coming out again. Pay attention to your breath, only that. Choose to go there at a time of the day you'll not be pressed to rush out for any reason, so you can stay as long as you feel like. It's OK if your mind is sometimes invaded by feelings and thoughts, getting you out of the meditative state. Acknowledge those feelings and thoughts, understand where they come from, register them consciously, and put them aside, going back to the meditative state. Try that for some days, maybe a week, and see how you feel.

Oh. Last thing. Find your why. There's a reason why you leave your comfy bed in the morning. There's a reason why you put yourself to the very difficult task of improving yourself. There's a reason why you think people should care about the things you do and the way you see the world. There are probably multiple reasons, actually. The things you care about, and you think everyone should care. Find those things. Look at them. Recognize them, know them by heart. And you'll know how to break free and live by yourself.

Hope it helps or at least gives some perspectives.

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@goodvibes

9 hours ago, goodvibes said:

Making the move away from video games is also reducing how much we numb our thoughts, feelings, and living life in general so I do think that is natural to have a difficult time discovering what is truly bringing you happiness.

Yes, I'm finding this very challenging lately. When I was gaming I was generally more emotionally stable than I currently am, however I knew I was hiding from the real issues in my life. Lately my emotions have been more unstable than nearly any other time in my life, certainly anything in the past 5 years or so.

Thanks for sharing your story with me. I may not be able to relate to all of it but I see a lot of the same types of issues that I'm struggling with now. It's only now that my brain is off the video games that the clouds in my head have parted and I have been able to identify the issues. Dealing with the issues is now my main concern. You're an articulate guy and I'm glad you are a part of this community now. I really appreciate all the time you've taken to offer your wisdom and advice. I hope I can put it to good use.

@Ambassador

1 hour ago, Ambassador said:

You can't control other people's reactions and thoughts, worrying about them is to let them control you, even if they never asked for that control.

I'm guilty here. This is what I've done with Tiffani and many other girls from my past. The past 2 days I've realized what I've done, the power I gave to her in my own head, and I'm taking a big step back.

I've long thought about giving meditation a real chance. I think I want to get started. Do you have any advice on the best way I can get started?

Thanks again for your excellent advice and sharing your wisdom. I've read what you wrote multiple times and will reflect on it more as the days pass. Always appreciated.

 

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Day 52: June 26, 2019

Not proud of my day off. While I did manage to take care of necessary errands, I failed to follow my meal plan, failed to go to the gym and had an emotional swing. But I did gain some clarity about why I've been struggling. I feel much better prepared to proceed with my emotions and expectations in check. I think about how smooth things were going only a month ago and how unstable I've been these past 2 weeks and it's clear what mistakes I made. I gave my permission to be happy to another human. I don't want to dwell on it anymore, I've done enough of that, I just want to find my own independent happiness.

Tomorrow should be an interesting day for me and I'm sure I'll have plenty to talk about tomorrow night.

Game free: 45 of 52 days

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Day 53: June 27, 2019

Today was a firm step in the right direction. I ate much better but certainly not perfect. I had an enjoyable day at work. I think I've turned the corner on this girl stuff too, those few days away really gave me what I needed and today confirmed it. Comfortable moving forward now with the expectation of getting back to my health and fitness routines tomorrow. My emotions should normalize now as well.

The expectation is to have my best day in 2+ weeks tomorrow. Anything less will be disappointing.

Game free:  46 of 53 days

 

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On 6/27/2019 at 1:31 AM, NannerZ said:

Do you have any advice on the best way I can get started?

For me, meditation is taking time for yourself, alone from expectations, desire, pressure and anything that can drain your energy. It's not a religious practice. So, to me, it's not dogmatic, it doesn't require much more than retracting to somewhere you feel comfortable and can be on your own, without interruption. For this reason, is probably best practiced at the end of the day. Other than that, and the breathing exercises to help focus on your inner workings, there's nothing else. The goal is to recharge, to reach some clarity of mind that helps to put your emotions into perspective and to find balance. It's easier said than done, of course, but the journey is what matters.

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Day 54: June 28, 2019

Today was like yesterday in a lot of ways. I didn't eat as well as I should have but I did get a pretty good workout in at the gym. Took care of a few errands too as it was my day off. It's a long weekend here in Canada and it's extremely hot this weekend. Everyone is excited to go away for the weekend. Unfortunately I'm stuck working the next two days.. oh well. I'm actually staying at my mom's house tonight as it's too hot in my place without AC. My emotions have returned to normal and I'm really happy I got past this girl stuff.. or at least the hard part of it. I still have some interesting things going on with that but I think I'm gonna handle things differently this time and not jump to conclusions. Don't wanna jinx anything 😛

I did a bunch of cleaning at my place today which I'm quite happy with. I'm hosting multiple friends tomorrow night which I'm excited for. Anyway, I hate typing on my laptop in the dark so I think that's it for now.

Game free: 47 of 54 days

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