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Captain_Pilz

Captain_Pilz's daily journal.

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Day 11:

My writing over the last few days has been quite spare, so I‘d like to catch up to that and tell you about my current state.

It has been quite a standard Saturday. Saturday has often been an unproductive day for an extended period of time. In addition, albeit I didn‘t play any video games, I have consumed a solid amount of gaming related content, especially on Youtube over the last couple of days. Also, with the release of Ark Genesis some good memories got to the surface. Today, I watched a lot of Pokemon videos. This is strange as I never played the game in my life. I even had the craving to throw all this and just start my console and... well you can guess the rest.

What I have noticed is that I cannot do anything about the fact that I find certain things appealing. Those feelings of nostalgia and those cravings will always be there, even years into the future.

I guess, what also makes YouTube and TV and other things appealing right now is that I am ill and simply don‘t have the abundance of energy I usually have. In the past this often helped me out of difficult phases. Conclusively, in the meantime it is all about prevailing. 

By contrast, I would really love to start training again and work on my discipline and my work ethic. Now that school, in terms of going to classes, is over, I get the awesome opportunity to use much more of my time. I get the really challenging opportunity to have the whole day at my disposal and still not fall back into my old patterns of behaviour.

I have fear. Fear of the pain of failure but  fear of the pain of discipline and boredom at the same time. That is just my state right now. I guess the only way to amend this is to expose myself to the latter.

This forum is truly an anchor to me. If it weren‘t for you, I would have relapsed by now. I have decided to start a gratitude journal in which I profess... things I am grateful about, obviously.

1. As I already mentioned: All the amazing support on these forums.

2. The support of my parents.

3. The support of my teachers. One of them actually called me yesterday to notify me that we will write the last pre-exam on Monday.

4. The fact that I have developed into who I am now, that I have found my inert will to change two years ago.

Tomorrow, will again be about surviving and consuming less entertainment media than today.

David

 

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Day 12:

My cold is better now. I have not been feverish which means it is most likely not Corona. 

I still watched YouTube today. However, I managed to study for my upcoming maths exam. Furthermore, I have an idea on what skill I want to learn over the next weeks, as I will have lots of spare time. Over the last few years, I have developed the dream of becoming a professional speaker, so I have decided it might be time to dive into storytelling.

Tomorrow, I write my last exam in the morning. When I come home I am going to sleep a bit and then develop a solid idea of what I want to do with my time. I might also study for my Physics class.

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I have been inactive for a few days now, the reason being that I relapsed. For more info, please read the post down below.

Luckily, I had some time to schedule my future action. I have worked on a morning and a night routine I will start tomorrow. I am quite optimistic as I have already gathered experience in this area and know some pitfalls from experience. Also, no sheets of paper flying around because I will do a counter right here. 

I am grateful for: All my anchors and my dreams that keep me going. 

 

See you tomorrow.

 

Edited by Captain_Pilz
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What you said about the relapses being shorter is spot on. Same thing happens with other addictions when the people are actively trying to improve. Every time you relapse, you learn from your mistakes; it's not just wasted time like some people think it is. I would wager there are exactly zero people out there who ever got over an addiction without relapsing at least a couple of times. I relapsed hundreds of times with alcohol before I was finally able to figure out what was causing me to drink. Just keep working at it and one day it'll be permanent. 🙂

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23 hours ago, ceponatia said:

What you said about the relapses being shorter is spot on. Same thing happens with other addictions when the people are actively trying to improve. Every time you relapse, you learn from your mistakes; it's not just wasted time like some people think it is. I would wager there are exactly zero people out there who ever got over an addiction without relapsing at least a couple of times. I relapsed hundreds of times with alcohol before I was finally able to figure out what was causing me to drink. Just keep working at it and one day it'll be permanent. 🙂

Hearing that from someone who has struggled a lot but never ceased to improve really gives me hope. Thank you for that. 

I have clearly lost some of my momentum. Coming back is hard and of course I have doubts but I am on it and dedicated to succeed.

I really need to tighten up my morning routine and set a specific time for my evening one. In addition, I procrastinated a lot today, so tomorrow I have to improve those exact parts of my day, the first and the last. I want to make them optimal.

Today, I am grateful for the impact my hobbies have on my life and my consciousness that keeps me going, as otherwise I would be in pain.

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Hello again!

My morning routine today almost worked as intended. I simply forgot to meditate before going to work. This would have helped me because my focus was all over the place. It has been for the last couple of days. I watched lots of martial arts videos instead of doing the things I have to do. The thing is that exams are still coming. They will be covering the content of my last two years so I'd better get my practice for school down to the point

It all is a big struggle. The only way I can imagine to cope with these road blocks is to distance myself from YouTube. That would be a healthy decision.

Accordingly, tomorrow, I will stop watching YouTube and start working!

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At least, I managed to do some work today. It was difficult to concentrate and somehow I got out of my workflow and started browsing the Internet again. Currently, I try to get an idea where this comes from. For the time being I will just have to do my best.

Also, I just noticed that I stopped tracking my tasks over the day since I relapsed. This and the journal is hopefully going to give me a direction. The latest episode of the Game Quitters Podcast left me thinking. For the next few days, I might try to do this before I get to work as James suggested. I am really experimentative right now, trying to find my own style

Tomorrow, I will definitely be able to do more. My objective is to finish a chapter of Physics and get my morning routine right, including the early journaling.

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Let me be honest. Because I have not been completely honest with you and myself.

I have quit gaming once again even though I still have cravings to go back, which is normal. So far so good.

Now, over the last few days, I found myself watching a whole abundance of martial arts videos, more specifically the development traditional martial arts have. I did not study at all, except once for one hour. I have further uncovered a tendency of mine that I never shared with anyone: I live in my head.

I have dreams. Having dreams is great if you realize them. However, I have another kind of dreams. Daydreams in their most intense kind of state. I can literally spend a week daydreaming. Let me elaborate: I find something great, I get caught up in it and I build a fantasy world in which I start to live. I have experienced this many times now. Starting a gaming channel on YouTube, studying a certain topic, becoming a speaker, learning KungFu in China (the latest one), even girls I fell for (which is not healthy at all😭🤣 I literally have no clue if I should cry or laugh). All these dreams are dreams worth fighting for but I do nothing to achieve them.

I will take up the fight against daydreaming, I want a healthy relationship towards myself and my aims.

In the future, I will build awareness of my thinking. As soon as I notice that I am daydreaming I will apply the following steps:

1. Acknowledge the fact that I am daydreaming.

2. Visualizing my goal and formulating it as an infinite game.

3. Finding the best thing I can do NOW to get closer to this goal.

4. Doing this thing.

 

Secondly, in order to not waste my day, I need a thorough plan. I will formulate this plan in my notebook every evening and see how this method works. Does it add pressure? Will I have enough time for my tasks? Will the recovery time be enough?

Actually, I am looking at the challenge of real repose and what it means as well as working under pressure, working under a time limit. This boils down to efficiency and effectiveness

Also, I realized that the books I am reading right now bore me. Reading biographies is hard, even if Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote them. The 80/20 Principle might be a really good book to read as it is applicable to my current situation. And it fascinates me.

 

Having set the foundation for my future action. Let me get to work and close this journal off. I am grateful for having this community.

Thank you

David

 

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Well done for having that fighting spirit!

Keep it and never let it it go!

Having read your posts over the last few days i do pick up something.

If one was an alcoholic they would not visit the bar - even though they tell themselves they won't drink. Addiction doesn't need reason, it needs opportunity.

I've had this for about three weeks and it hits the nail on the head. HOW TO AVOID THE GAMING RELAPSE

Keep that fighting spirit.

 

 

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I want to realize my dreams. And I know I am capable of doing so. So why do I keep failing? It feels like I simply forget what I said when I have the opportunity. @Victor James: You are so right. Today, I watched YouTube videos again. For the whole day! Why do I keep do this? It's mental! 

But how can I not give myself the opportunity to indulge in that? I feel like not matter how strict I am, it will always come back.

I guess it is just the learning process. I need to keep on. Now! No YouTube! No YouTube, at all. But it feels so wrong! Maybe I shouldn't go hard quitting on this. But I don't trust myself. There is simply no way that I am continuing the behavior I display now. Well, my phone is the problem. It is the platform all of this sh*t happens on. I stop caring about school, about drumming, about family, about my friends. Everything that should be precious to me stops being precious to me. On my computer, I have regulating software (DFTube for Chrome is awesome) and it works well. The best step for me to take would be to stop watching YouTube on my phone and on television and for god's sake stop watching porn. It just makes no sense!

Logically thinking, I can get out of this hole. But comfort and fear keeps me in here. I wanna be courageous! I have doubt but I also have things to strive for. It is OK if I struggle. However, I need to fail quickly and continue growing again. Come on David! Just do it!

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All right, I literally beat myself up yesterday evening. Looking back, the post reflects my emotional state very well. It feels like angels and devils are talking to me at the same time. I want to game but I know it is probably going to be lethal in this crucial phase. 

I am writing this right before I start to work on my Physics stuff. I will be doing the most direct practice available which is writing an actual exam. Never did this before. 

I have discovered @James Good's journal today. Due to people being very active there I really found a lot of fascinating stuff. Identity based habits, how to interpret struggle, "third person gaming" (observing yourself closely while gaming). I might think about all of those and execute them in the afternoon when I am finished.

Yesterday, I even found an amazing YouTube channel (actually a second channel of one of my former favourite gaming YouTubers). The guy shoots mini documentaries which inspire and show the beauty of life out of the gaming world.

Mumbo - SILVER SURFER: Journal of a 70 year old surfer That's my favourite. I also think Cam would love it!😉

PS: Is there any way to adjust the spell check to British English? I am German and it confuses my writing as we learn the British spelling at school. I don't wanna sit here in 3 years writing gibberish.😅

Edited by Captain_Pilz
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I had an amazing day yesterday. I tested myself on a complete exam for four hours and twenty minutes straight. Couldn't be more proud. I played the drums for the first time in about a week and I did some chores. Most prominently, I wanted to take a test in the evening. Just download a game and play, set a timer and answer a set of questions every fifteen minutes. This way, I originally wanted to document the process of going through a relapse, intentionally. Now, listen to this: I failed to relapse!😂 I f***ing failed to relapse! Fate disabled sounds, I was not able to get them working and I just uninstalled everything!

Today, I will check my results on the test, do some more obligatory work, go shopping for my family and play the drums. Afterwards I am going to conduct the attempted experiment for two or three hours. 

I am looking forward to getting rid of my games for good. Sell my XBox (That actually means making money!) and not only uninstalling Minecraft but actually deleting my Mojang account, so I cannot download it anymore. After this step I will not have a slight chance of laying hands on a game for at least five months. Exciting!

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Yesterday, in the afternoon, I conducted a little self-experiment. I intentionally relapsed, downloaded Minecraft and gamed, and documented my emotional state. It took seven hours (although it did not feel that long) and in the end, I not only uninstalled the game but deleted my Mojang account. I will never be able play this game again! Here is what I found:

Spoiler

This relapse felt pretty representative. My last ones took longer but also went through the same phases. These phases are:

Phase 0 - Cravings:

  • I crave gaming a lot. 
  • I cannot concentrate on anything else. Everything feels like a chore.
  • I know I will game.

Phase 1 -  Boredom:

  • I have to do everything from scratch, which is incredibly boring and laborous.
  • I still play. There are basic milestones I work towards and I want to accomplish those.
  • However, I know that I will never be satisfied with what I do in game due to the lack of time.
  • I am aware that my goals lie elsewhere and that gaming does not contribute to them.

Phase 2 - The first milestone:

  • I accomplish the first major milestone and opportunities start to arise.
  • The world around me starts to fade.

Phase 3 - Immersion:

  • I forget time.
  • I accomplish more and more and I set more and more goals.
  • I stop caring about my life outside of gaming.
  • I even plan to prolong my relapse.

Phase 4 - Disillusionment:

  • An external cue disrupts the dream.
  • I am incredible fearful (fear of failure due to gaming) and I feel incredibly guilty.
  • I promise myself never to play games anymore and uninstall everything.

Phase 5 - The next morning:

  • Games start to become attractive again.
    • This morning I tried to reactivate my account but that did not work.
  • Back to Stage 0?

I am surprised how well this reflects my relapses. The best thing is: I know exactly what is going on inside me and what will happen if I act upon my cravings in the future. I would also like your opinion. Do your relapses play out similarly? Are they different?

The experience emphasised that I don't want to go back. The pattern I discovered is horrible and I don't want my life to play out that way. I know what I do not want to be!

My next task would be identity. Who do I want to be? I have ideas but I want to have a clearer picture. 

For now, I will keep up my existing positive routines and continue to study. My first exam is coming up in 25 days.

 

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Pew. The time from Friday to Monday has been rough. I watched gaming videos and the whole first season of Avatar and an abundance of porn. This left me with my focus all over the place,  quite touchy towards my parents and also with crappy energy levels. I did not feel as powerless as this morning for a long time. Also, I've noticed that the sitting around all day and not having an exercise routine at all leaves me in a weaker place every week. I am naturally quite skinny but I have reached another low since I was in quite a good condition last summer.

On the contrary, today was awesome. I went to school to get my pre-exams and realised I wrote a perfect one in English. That got me motivated. I even bumped into a few friends. Being in quarantine I did not think about them at all but today I realised how much I miss them being around. Grateful for that. I also deleted Prime and Netflix on my XBox and I am planning on selling the device as well. 

The biggest impact I made on my day was formulating my current core values as well as the core values I want to live according to. I never reckoned that comfort was on my number one spot for such a long time. Now, my top values are health and energy, honesty (crucial in my state), love (which combines romantic, friendship and self-love) and a variety of others. Having those will make decision making much easier, but not comfortable.

To conclude, today went well. And I know tomorrow will be even better.

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My daily journal seems to become an every-two-days-journal. This habit is so crucial, I gotta keep it up! Daily!

Nevertheless, I am glad to say that I made some progress. My morning routine got much more valuable since I started cold showering. And even though I slept in today, I was faster than ever before. My struggle now is to make the transition to working after that and this is the part that didn't work out so well today and yesterday. I spend a whole lot of time on YouTube and even though I got some inspiration, the rest of the days was the definition of inefficient. Apart from this evening. 

I also noticed that: very important: PORN IS UNSATISFYING! I am glad that I make this experience again and again and the reason I share that information with you is that I want to hold myself accountable and make this notion not just a short term feeling but a long term observed fact.

As I just said: Tomorrow is the day to start working directly after my morning routine instead of self sabotaging myself into watching YouTube. Let's go!

Edited by Captain_Pilz
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I struggle doing this every day. Honestly. My morning routine is getting more and more solid and I am surprised how much more energy I have through the cold showers and the meditation, and also how well I am doing in my martial arts forms. I even took a walk afterwards.

Getting to work afterwards is a struggle though. The studying I have to do is kind of fascinating but also very tiresome. The fact that I do four subjects at a time does not improve that. As I emphasised before: Getting to work after the morning routine must be my number one priority. However, today I self-sabotaged again.

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Why not change it up a bit and start with some of your university work before some of the other routines? Sometimes, starting is all there is. But that is a difficult thing to discuss, since I know, how valuable those kind of mourning routines can be, which you are talking about. 

Regarding university and learning, I really have understood something important: If you are in this mode, where you kinda have to do it and you are checking out the amount of pages, you are trying to reach for this day or you try to get it done as fast as possible or where you are only doing it to kinda get it done because of your grades... those minutes or hours are a complete waste of time. While four subjects sound VERY HARD, try to focus on this: What is the book or the article or the subject contributing to my life? How can it change my identity and belief systems? This is the ultimate aim of university, not grades or just doing the courses. Trying to find out, who you want to become. Therefore you have to start asking questions while reading: What is the intention of the author? What is his stance? Do I agree with that? Are there other ideas as well? Is it helping me to get better in my profession? 

Since, I have adopted this kind of mindset, procrastination is really not a problem. I am doing this with intention and curiousity. Good grades are not really a problem. They just pass by as a nice consequence. I am not here to brag about that. Just that the right mindset might help your with your work. 🙂 

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