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My daily journal


alphadax
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15 hours ago, alphadax said:

Day #81

Still feeling kind of lost today.

I just got back from writing as well—took a week off because I also don't feel like writing and was feeling lost. 😅 Like what you said, it felt like it was a chore. Good luck on your roommate. 😁 Time flies fast. It seems like yesterday we started journaling, now we're almost done. 

On 7/25/2020 at 10:15 AM, alphadax said:

At some point I want to look back through my old posts, because I feel like I've lost sight of my goal.

Thanks for the idea, I think it's a great. I'll read mine as well sometime this week to remind me of the "mission-vision" of my journal. Good luck!

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Day #82-87

Greetings. I did go back through my old posts, but I realize now that I never spelled out my reasons for quitting gaming in my own forum. Although I've hinted at it in other posts.

I wanted to quit gaming so that I could go out and experience life. I still feel like gaming is a great way to relax or add some competition and fulfillment into a relatively boring life. For me I feel like gaming was how I made my life more interesting. It wasn't always that way. When I was a kid I think gaming was more just a way to have fun and distract myself when I wasn't doing anything. But there was always something planned down the pipeline, so I couldn't play games forever. The problem is when you're an adult or a college student away from home, no one is planning things for you. YOU have to decide for yourself what to do with your life. This transition happens almost immediately and without anyone really talking about it. You think you are free, but if you are introverted or socially awkward like me, you realize that this can be a soul-crushing level of freedom. The freedom to not have to do anything. The freedom to play as many games as you want. When your life goals are tied up in a game, that game IS your life. It gives you a sense of purpose. Something to look forward to. Something to challenge yourself and test the limits of your abilities. That's is what gaming became for me. Without realizing it, I no longer had any goals in real life. All of the goals I really cared about were in a video game.

I think this happened because I transitioned from the familiar environment of highschool where I did have goals into college where my old goals no longer mattered. Working part time and living away from campus prevented me from fully transitioning to the college life. My first year was this awkward limbo between highschool and college commitments. During my second year I decided to cut ties with my old highschool commitments to focus on my college education. But with that decision all of my old social ties vanished instantly, and I was left with nothing. I was lucky enough to join a couple events during that time where I met my former roommates, who were really my only friends throughout college. I had tried a few clubs like ping pong, men's group, electronics club, atheists club etc. but I always gave up after a couple meetings. I didn't feel like I belonged. In fact, I've always struggled with having a sense of belonging. I've never quite felt like I fit in anywhere.

So I guess I have just felt terribly alone for so long that I feel paralyzed. Today I imagined how nice it would be to have a family or a group of people in this house to eat breakfast with and go explore the world. If I think about doing something by myself it just feels meaningless, but if there was someone to share it with it would be worth it.

I guess this forum has become my therapist. I never imagined I would talk about stuff like this on here. Anyway have a nice Saturday.

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  • 1 year later...
On 6/8/2020 at 8:20 PM, alphadax said:

Day #34

 

Monthly Reflection

Today is June 8th, and my first journal was posted May 7th.  I want to reflect on how far I have come since then.

One of my goals was to get 7+ hours of sleep every day, and move my wake-up time back to 7:00am.  I haven't been perfect every day, but I've kept at it, and now it's pretty easy for me to get to bed on time and wake up on time.  I am starting to see how important it is to build simple habits like these.

Daily exercise: again, not perfect.  This one I feel has been harder for me than the sleep one.  With sleep, even though it is a long-term change, I can directly see the benefits of getting enough sleep one night versus not getting enough sleep.  For exercise, I feel like it's harder because I don't really have any solid goal.  I know exercise is good for me, so that's why I want to do it, because I want to be healthy and feel good.  But I can feel good other ways too, like by sitting around on the couch all day being lazy, or having a good meal.  I don't think I will be successful long-term with this goal unless I make it more fun or more measurable.  "Exercise" is too abstract -- it's hard to measure and can feel like a chore.  I think what I really want is a social activity--like tennis, or ping pong, or basketball, or something like that.  I've never really been good at sports though.  I get tired and quit pretty easily.  But I think if I can find a group of people to do it with, it becomes fun and I want to keep doing it.

Gratitude: I started this journal with the intent of keeping a daily gratitude journal.  I found it difficult to be sincere each day, so I tried every other day for a while.  I want to try something different now.  A new way of life, devoted to mastering the fundamental techniques and principles of human relations (according to Dale Carnegie.) "Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise."  Those who find good in others will have others find good in them.  Every day, I will try to find at least one thing to sincerely admire and praise.  I will still include gratitude, but this also gives me a chance to appreciate the people I come into contact with on a daily basis, and strengthen my understanding of other people.  I want to focus on admirable qualities and harness them to learn as much as possible and improve myself.  In the spirit of this goal, I have expanded the bottom section of my daily reflection to be based on the Fundamental Techniques from Dale Carnegie's book.  I will try to focus the first two points for at least 1 week.  When I feel I have mastered them sufficiently, I will move on to the 3rd point, which is a bit more complicated.

Accomplishments: I believe I have accomplished much in a short period of time, and I hope I can continue for the next month to reach even greater heights.  I started this journal to help me quit gaming, but really I have been using it to become the person I want to be and start living the life I want to live. Thank you to everyone who has been reading my journal and supporting me through this time.  It is inspiring to see the progress of so many others.  Although we are no longer improving our gaming, I feel we are all using that time improving real life skills.  I realize now how easy it is to become complacent and to allow our lives to run on autopilot.  But I think life is too short for that.  If you'll allow me to make a cringe-worthy analogy for a minute: it's no fun being a level 1 human forever.  Sure it might be fun and cute at first when we're babies.  At that time we were "perfect idiots," so to speak, with no concept of our potential.  But as we grow older, we learn new things: we begin to walk, and speak, and learn our sense of selves.  All of these things seem to happen at lightning speed, without much apparent conscious effort on our parts.  But somewhere along the line, we have to start putting in the work.  Our body starts to render more and more control to our conscious minds.  We become in complete control of ourselves.  The responsibility lies within ourselves to reach our full potential.  So I feel it's unacceptable to sit at the spawn point, never leaving home.  We must constantly seek to improve our abilities and learn new things.  I think every life is valuable because of it's potential.  We can all become something much greater than our current selves.

I did not realize until recently how selfishly I have lived my life up until this point.  I never really cared about other people (normal people, people I just met, strangers that is.)  I always thought maybe there was something wrong with me.  Maybe I really am just that selfish.  But if I can use my selfishness for good, and seek to improve myself through helping others, then maybe that's a step in the right direction.  It doesn't sound as noble that way, but who cares.  I'm not talking about some insincere crap though.  I genuinely want to be interested in other people.  I'm not really sure, but it seems fun, so I'm going to give it a try.

 

Daily Reflection

Finally decided to pull the trigger and get my hair cut today.  I had been growing it for about 8 months.  The last two weeks I told myself, "if I still want a haircut by next Monday, I'll do it."  I tried all sorts of things to get used to my longer hair, but I truly think it was just not meant to be.  It's hard to maintain, takes too long to dry, sheds and gets everywhere, looks unprofessional, etc etc...  So I got a cut that keeps some of the length on top, but makes the back and sides short.  I think it looks great and I'm really happy with it so far.

I ran a few errands after that and was feeling pretty worn out, so i pretty much took the rest of the day off.  Yesterday I spent all day cleaning in preparation for people coming over, so I felt like I deserved a break.  Tomorrow I have an eye checkup.  I think if I'm up to it I will try to go to a skate park to make up for my lack of exercise today.  In the morning / after lunch I'd like to do some music and reading since I've been neglecting those.

Also need to remember new morning routine: Morning: brush teeth (after shower), Night: floss, brush, mouth wash

 

Daily Sleep (Goal: 7.5-8.5 hours)

Good

 

Daily Exercise (Goal: 30 min)

Nothing in particular--skate tomorrow

 

Fundamental Techniques

1. Don't criticize, condemn or complain (about others.)

  • Did I criticize, condemn, or complain today? (If yes, explain:)
    • I don't think so.

2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.

  • 2-1. Daily Admiration / Appreciation (Goal: 1 thing)
    • I complimented my barber, Mike, on the great haircut he gave me.
  • 2-2. Daily Gratitude (Goal: 1 thing)
    • Great food and sunshine (80 feels pretty nice.)

3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.

  • Be concerned with others before yourself
    • Consider the other person’s wants and desires before your own
  • Foster genuine interest and curiosity in other people (by seeking out their admirable and interesting qualities)
    • Find aspects of other’s that you can learn from, and that are worthy of praise—and praise them!
    • Focus on remembering and internalizing everything about others—remember their names, their strengths, and their wants
  • Tie what you want to what they want, and don't forget to smile

Hello! I'd like to give an update on my life since the last post and comment on some of the goals I had here...

 

 

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Sleep: This habit is still going fine (more or less) but I haven't been tracking it as rigorously. Mostly I'm forced to keep it in check because of work. :7_sweat_smile:

 

Exercise: Once the gyms opened back up I saw it as a great opportunity to build up a real exercise habit. I have to say this is probably the best thing in my life right now, and it keeps me motivated. I've been going to the gym consistently for the last 3-4 months. I've lost 15 pounds and I feel great. Actually before starting my gym habit I took up running, and that's been my main source of progress and inspiration. I ran my first 5K in September with a time of 33:35 (10:49 mile pace.) On Thanksgiving I ran my 2nd 5K with a time of 26:44 (8:37 mile pace.) I'm very proud of my progress and plan to continue in the winter. I've been running with a local group which has provided a lot of structure and inspiration. It will be interesting trying to run outside in the snow which I have not done before... But if I can run 5K in 28 deg. F weather then I think I can handle it.

My goals are to complete a 10K in the next 6-12 months and hopefully improve my 5K time from the extra running (although not the main focus--just trying to improve my endurance for 10K now.)

In the gym I've been running on treadmill and trying to incorporate some strength training into my routine. Once I'm in the winter running program I'll have 4 days of running and 2 days of strength training per week. I usually just alternate running and lifting days so I don't have to spend too much time in the gym on any given day. I'll have at least 1 full rest day per week and 1 quasi-rest day (light running.)

I'm on a caloric deficit to lose weight so I'm just trying to retain as much muscle as I can. I've made a bit of progress on my lifts, learned some new exercises, tried a few group classes. I really enjoy going because it gets me out of the house and I can be around other people. Once I reach my goal weight / bodyfat percentage I will run maintenance for about 3 months to get used to my new weight. I still need to lose about another 10 lbs but I'm not really in a hurry, just enjoying the process. I try to lose about 1-1.5 lbs every week. Some weeks I don't lose any weight, and some weeks I gain weight, but I just try to keep the general trend going down. I can definitely see the results of my training which is nice.

 

Gratitude: I haven't really kept up with this habit, but whenever I do take the time to think about and write down what I'm grateful for, it usually makes me feel better. Especially if I haven't done it in a while. So I'd recommend it at least once every couple weeks or something.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 8/1/2020 at 8:47 AM, alphadax said:

Day #82-87

Greetings. I did go back through my old posts, but I realize now that I never spelled out my reasons for quitting gaming in my own forum. Although I've hinted at it in other posts.

I wanted to quit gaming so that I could go out and experience life. I still feel like gaming is a great way to relax or add some competition and fulfillment into a relatively boring life. For me I feel like gaming was how I made my life more interesting. It wasn't always that way. When I was a kid I think gaming was more just a way to have fun and distract myself when I wasn't doing anything. But there was always something planned down the pipeline, so I couldn't play games forever. The problem is when you're an adult or a college student away from home, no one is planning things for you. YOU have to decide for yourself what to do with your life. This transition happens almost immediately and without anyone really talking about it. You think you are free, but if you are introverted or socially awkward like me, you realize that this can be a soul-crushing level of freedom. The freedom to not have to do anything. The freedom to play as many games as you want. When your life goals are tied up in a game, that game IS your life. It gives you a sense of purpose. Something to look forward to. Something to challenge yourself and test the limits of your abilities. That's is what gaming became for me. Without realizing it, I no longer had any goals in real life. All of the goals I really cared about were in a video game.

I think this happened because I transitioned from the familiar environment of highschool where I did have goals into college where my old goals no longer mattered. Working part time and living away from campus prevented me from fully transitioning to the college life. My first year was this awkward limbo between highschool and college commitments. During my second year I decided to cut ties with my old highschool commitments to focus on my college education. But with that decision all of my old social ties vanished instantly, and I was left with nothing. I was lucky enough to join a couple events during that time where I met my former roommates, who were really my only friends throughout college. I had tried a few clubs like ping pong, men's group, electronics club, atheists club etc. but I always gave up after a couple meetings. I didn't feel like I belonged. In fact, I've always struggled with having a sense of belonging. I've never quite felt like I fit in anywhere.

So I guess I have just felt terribly alone for so long that I feel paralyzed. Today I imagined how nice it would be to have a family or a group of people in this house to eat breakfast with and go explore the world. If I think about doing something by myself it just feels meaningless, but if there was someone to share it with it would be worth it.

I guess this forum has become my therapist. I never imagined I would talk about stuff like this on here. Anyway have a nice Saturday.

 

"I wanted to quit gaming so that I could go out and experience life. I still feel like gaming is a great way to relax or add some competition and fulfillment into a relatively boring life. For me I feel like gaming was how I made my life more interesting."

 

I think I still feel more or less the same as I did in this post.

The truth is I struggled to maintain my distance from gaming after my detox ended. I wasn't able to completely replace the value that gaming provided with other activities. I was extremely bored and lonely throughout most of 2020. Eventually I broke down and went back to gaming to cope with this.

Luckily I was able to get out of a bad roommate situation and I am living in a much better situation now. Currently I like my roommates, and I hang out with them a lot. Just like in college, my roommates are probably my only real friends here.

Somehow I am still working from home though, so my social interactions are still limited. I look forward to doing activities with my roommates and going to the gym just to see other faces. I still struggle to find meaning in my career. I go back and forth between trying to quit and being grateful for what I have. For now I guess I'm lying low, trying to build up my finances so I can afford to make a change. I don't want to make the mistake of doing a radical change only to end up back in debt and more miserable than before.

 

So I guess right now I am still gaming, but I also have a few other hobbies (running, gym, guitar) that I am passionate about.

Never found a therapist so I guess I am back here again to journal my woes! :7_sweat_smile:

 

 

Edited by alphadax
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7 hours ago, Marius said:

That seems really sad. Are there no therapists in your area, or what's the problem?

Well, I've looked around several times but there are very few places accepting new in-person patients. It seems like all of the therapists in my area are booked solid. And I really don't want to do online therapy. I tried it and it just wasn't for me.

 

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8 hours ago, Marius said:

Maybe try to get your hands on a textbook for therapists, just saying. If you have no better options left, why not try self-therapy.

Hmm, not a bad idea. I'll look into it. I've read a number of self-help books but nothing specifically for therapy.

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