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gargamel
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Entry 27 (day 46)

Day was pretty good. I was driven, constructive, and didn't have a panic attack. 
This is a list of things I've done yesterday, without any order:

  1. I went to library for new materials
  2. studied for around 4 hours
  3. had a discussion with Steven about gaming addiction
  4. went to gym 
  5. made dinner for my family (it was very successful, my grandma compliments me non-stop at this point)
  6. cleaned a few windows and mirrors in the house
  7. meditated
  8. did laundry and dishes
  9. listened to some music

Notable moment: Today I was reading Northrop Frye's "Anatomy of Criticism", which is a classic text from theory of literature. I only had to read 2 relatively short chapters (for the exam), and I did just that. Like any other sane person, I read the chapters, made detailed notes for them and that was it. Few years ago (when I was suffering from heavy depression) I had a totally irrational and self-destructive tendency (stemming from unhealthy perfectionism and frustration) to read the whole book even though it was not necessary, and often it would end up hurting me. So this shows me I am making progress in this fight against my inner demons.

Daily gratitude: I am grateful for being already so well educated on topics which interest me, and for the all the opportunities to grow.

Edited by gargamel
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Welcome back. I'm glad you're posting again after your brief hiatus. I can see from your few posts that you're already doing better. You sound like you are anyways. Good luck on your studying sounds like a serious undertaking and you're rising to the challenge.

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@Erik2.0 Hey :) I am doing better, yes! Thank you for you well wishes.

Entry 28 (day 47)

Another decent day. My mood was oscillating between calmness and seriousness, but I also had a few moments of happiness as well.
I managed to:

  1. go to the library in the city center for new materials 
  2. went with my bike, so I got an hour's worth of cardio (bike is as effective as using public transport time-wise)
  3. went to my mothers apartment to get a few things I left there
  4. studied for about 4-5 hours
  5. meditated in the noon and before going to sleep
  6. watched half an hour of LotR
  7. had a core workout at home (I do calisthenics for my core, no need to hit the gym)
  8. I went to sleep in a regular time, same as always, and woke up the next day after a weird dream*

And that's it. Pretty normal and simple day. It felt like a day "as it should be", varied, productive and bright.

* I'll again write down my weird dream here. I personally don't think you guys care about them, but I talk about them selfishly so I can remember them later. I have a "curse/blessing" of almost always remembering what I dreamed about that day, so I was always heavily affected by my dreams. I'm also sort of a Jungian. ANYWAYS...

Spoiler

- I was at my old friends house (his name is Christian, we where best friends for most of my childhood, in primary school and highschool, he was always the most popular kid, he is intelligent, hardworking, a successful athlete, really good looking. All girls had a crush on him. I often envied his life and especially his family, because he has a smart older brother who cared for him and a really invested, positive and helpful mother who was looking for him and who always believed in him. Often I felt I got more emotional support from his mother than from my own parents.)
- House was even bigger than before, and they where obviously very rich at this point
- But Chris seemed a bit "off", he ate junk food like crazy (which, I guess, isn't far away from what he often did in real life, just more extreme), especially sweets, also,he was playing FIFA, his eyes hooked on the screen
- I wasn't paying much attention to the game he was playing, we where talking about random things
- I noticed he got a bit fat
- Then randomly, Mary (girl I mentioned in my 5th entry) came and she was acting needy towards me. She chastised me for not calling her.
- I mostly ignored both of them, I strolled around the house and noticed it is quite dirty and that people here are not happy at all
- I went home. My house was also larger than usual, it was happy. My parents where together, everybody was working around the house
- My sister even pointed out how lovely we are living at the moment. She said something akin to "even our sewers smell nicely today"
- Then a star slowly fell down in front of our house. (It seemed sentient in a way. I called it "the sun" in the dream, but I don't think it was the main sun because it seemed it was still day outside despite it coming down to our doorstep, but not sure). We where all happy about it.
-
I was stupid enough to try to catch it (because it seemed to be cooling of), and it burned my knees upon contact
- Not an extreme burn, but strong non the less, I just thought I should've been more careful and went looking for some ice to put on my burns. 
- Mood was still happy, and I woke up

Daily gratitude: Today I am grateful of all the healthy food I eat, and grateful for my regular meditation practice

Edited by gargamel
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Looks like you're being productive. That's a vivid dream with a lot of interesting things. Let's try to come up with some guess at what it could mean. Maybe seeing Chris like that means you feel like he's sort of gone downhill over time while you slowly climbed up. The needy girl could symbolize how girls are more interested in you now than back in your early years. Also you're sister saying the sewers smell good could further support my 'things are better now' theory. The star coupled with the good feeling you were having could mean pleasant events and even a promotion at work according to a random website I googled. I would guess that the star means like a dream is coming true. Represented by the star landing on your lawn. And that your getting burnt by it means you're trying to realize the dream faster than it's able to process. So taking a step back you adjusted your pace and are still happy to be realizing the dream as fast as possible. Yep that's my interpretation that'll be 5 bucks.  

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@Erik2.0 I analyzed the dream in detail after writing it down, I like your interpretation of me getting burned because of trying to realize the dream faster than it's possible, but I also think there is one more thing to it.

But lets go through what you written. First, Chris hopefully didn't go downhill, I haven't talked with him in a year almost, we took separate parts in life. I know he is still very hardworking and he is earning a lot, but he was always also very hedonistic (partying, women, excess food which is ok when you are an active athlete, but he not anymore, gambling), so I guess he might easily fall into the traps I dreamed of. I definitely did climb up in different ways, but as I got older I always though of us as "different", not better or worse.

Needy girl does not symbolize how girls are more interested in me now, because in my early teenage years I had a lot of girls interested in me, I even had a girlfriend in 5th grade lol, prettiest girl in class at that moment, she developed early. But generally I was a bit immature + when my parents started arguing intensely I closed myself off. In high school not many girls where interested in me, but I was even less interested in them. I played computer games, was depressed, and was learning about the world, girls seemed like a hindrance until the final year in high school when that radically changed. Also, before I got depressed again and started playing games in uni I was popular with women.


I agree that, in general, this dream symbolizes that things are not only getting better, but that they are actually pretty good already, and that is true. Star coming to our doorstep is surely a blessing or it symbolizes a blessing. I also think I understand the contrast of the 2 houses. In Chris's house, people are focused on hedonism and indulgence, they are gratifying their senses and it slowly leads to corruption (other family members where bickering with each other), while when I came to my house my family was working with smiles on their faces. It's a stark contrast of consumption vs. production, neglect (dirty Chris house) vs. care ("even the sewers smell nice"). Also, for me it symbolizes materialistic vs. spiritual, especially because the needy girl was in Chris's house looking for me. In Entry 5 that you can read on Page 1 here, I've said of her: "She is materialistic and career oriented [...] likes to spent time drinking wine and eating junk food, while I am spiritually inclined person that reads philosophy books, goes to the gym and consumes art. This stark difference makes it almost impossible for me to be completely genuine with her, because I would end up being too critical of her and we would argue unnecessarily. [...] so in the end one part of me wants to stop hanging out with whomever I cannot be completely truthful and authentic with."

The part with the star is also important. I really like what you've said about it, and I agree. But also, I think it symbolizes my ego trying to take credit for improvements my family has made. While it is not untrue that I had done a lot to better the situation, I think the sun burn wants to remind me that it is obviously a team effort as well as a blessing of fortune. Similarly as when we went through a terrible period, it was a "team effort" in the worst sense, as well as a looot of bad fortune. So I will try to humble myself in this regard and be grateful.

@GrainSiloEnthusiast Recurring dreams amaze me. Patanjali in Yoga-sutra says that dreams often have imprints of past (as well as past lives) and of future. Grain elevators are a really particular thing to dream often about. 

P.S. I should probably note (if I want to be authentic, haha) that I actually pray to the Sun demigod (Surya, Savitur), almost every day a couple of minutes at the start of my meditation to help me with it. It's an ancient mantra (called Gayatri mantra) from the Vedas that asks of the Sun to clear your mind and offer a blessing for concentration, wisdom and peace. After this I proceed with my main mantra (to get in touch with and kneel down to God). So Sun coming down to my house makes me so happy.

Edited by gargamel
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Well there are several in the neighborhood I grew up in, and considering how urban our little city is getting to be it's surprising that any of them are left and still in use.
The abandoned one, my favourite - featured in my icon and profile pic, was finally demolished last summer. Abandoned longer than she was in use. She still visits me, like a ghost. But I started dreaming about them before I knew what they were! Just these epicly massive mysterious buildings with surreal architecture...

Now that I know more about them and their importance, they are even more precious to me. The entire structures are essentially machines. They hum as if alive.
Without them and other grain storage methods, we wouldn't be able to feed as many people, so they are in part responsible for the existence of MANY lives.

So yeah, I guess they could be a "particular" thing to dream about, but given the context I think it only makes sense! They really stand out in the landscape.

Edited by GrainSiloEnthusiast
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35 minutes ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

Well there are several in the neighborhood I grew up in, and considering how urban our little city is getting to be it's surprising that any of them are left and still in use.
The abandoned one, my favourite - featured in my icon and profile pic, was finally demolished last summer. Abandoned longer than she was in use. She still visits me, like a ghost. But I started dreaming about them before I knew what they were! Just these epicly massive mysterious buildings with surreal architecture...

Now that I know more about them and their importance, they are even more precious to me. The entire structures are essentially machines. They hum as if alive.
Without them and other grain storage methods, we wouldn't be able to feed as many people, so they are in part responsible for the existence of MANY lives.

So yeah, I guess they could be a "particular" thing to dream about, but given the context I think it only makes sense! They really stand out in the landscape.

Sorry for I am being extremely persuming... but I feel like you are a compassionate person that generally takes care and gives attention to things and beings other people forget, neglect or belittle. This is an admirable trait and I wish you all the best in helping those who are neglected or unrecognized. 

But also, I would encourage you to try to let go as well, everything in this world is impermanent, even the mightiest and sturdiest of things. Ghosts need to learn to let go, and so do those who are attached to ghosts. Again, sorry for being persuming, I wish you well!

Edited by gargamel
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I would describe myself in a similar way! And I agree, I think the demolition was a lesson in the ephemeral nature of all things.
I do feel though, that I am just as blessed by her memory as I was her physical form, her ghost simply a reminder of what she taught me 🙂
Sending good vibes your way!

Edited by GrainSiloEnthusiast
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Entry 29 (day 48)

Not a very productive day when it comes to studying. Studied for less than 2 hours. But I don't feel bad about it because I spent the day thinking about some personal things that needed to be given attention.

Mood: Good, good. Days that I pay attention and monitor my actions and thoughts are in general calm. It seems like my anxiety is closely connected with willful ignorance, it creeps on me when I try to avoid inevitable things, which is only natural and to be expected.

Things I've done:

  1. meditated in the morning and shortly before going to bed
  2. done dishes and went to the butcher for some raw meat
  3. went to gym (Steve cancelled again*, this is like... 3rd or 4th time he's done this in last 20 days)
  4. studied a bit
  5. listened to philosophical lectures on youtube (not for exams)
  6. went to my mother's to have a small celebration of my brothers birthday (dinner and a cake. I also had a glass of wine and I noticed I don't miss alcohol at all)
  7. thought a lot
  8. hanged a bit here on the forums
  9. went to sleep an hour and a half before my schedule, just felt tired and was excited for the next day
Spoiler

Notable moments: *In the morning, I sent a massage to Steven that i am going to the gym a bit later than usual, i.e. in 11 am, so if he wants to join me he is welcome to. He said in 9 am "I will! See ya!" and then, half an hour later he says: "Actually I ain't going, and don't invite me to gym for some time. I'm sick of mornings and morning gyms, I had enough of those for a lifetime". If this happened a year ago I think we would have an argument because his negativity makes it seems as if I did something wrong with offering him to join me.  But I am past things like that, I cannot waste my time on arguments that do not lead to anything worthwhile, also his negativity was most likely directed towards himself and not me. So I just said "If you change your mind, I'll be there" and went with my day. It suits me that he doesn't wanna go to the gym, because now i can go as early as I want every day without consideration of his schedule.

Important thoughts ("giving up" on my friendships) I later thought a bit about Steven (and our 4-man gang). I've mentioned here that they are cynical, sedentary intellectual types with a really good (but irreverent and dark) sense of humor.  This doesn't suit me anymore as my primary group of friends, doesn't suit me for the past 3 years to be honest. I tried telling them in multiple indirect ways that we ought to find better ways to hang out together other than spending 50% of our time trash talking others and the world, mocking things like 20th century genocides and the like. But I see that they genuinely don't see a problem with it at all. In the last 6 years that we are hanging out, 96% of our time we spent in bars, drinking coffee or bear, smoking a lot of cigarettes and having intellectual discussions. 4% of the time we went either clubbing or had large parties where we would get extremely drunk. We never even went on a trip together.

So when he said "I'm sick of mornings and morning gyms for a lifetime", I thought to myself "And he is not sick of coughing from cigarette smoke, having hemorrhoids in his 20s from sitting all day, he is not sick of having a severely bent spine already?" Man... I cannot let myself have Steven for my closest friend. I need to find someone who takes care of himself and others, both physically and emotionally. Someone who maybe can even offer me advice and who can inspire me. This friendship is too one-sided. And as of this moment I am letting it go. I am accepting all 3 of them as they are, I won't try to change them. I'll just try to pay attention to other people I encounter, and sooner or later I will find a more suiting company. Until then I'll hang out with them from time to time and try to enjoy them for what they are.

Daily gratitude: I am grateful for all the beautiful music I can listen for free on the internet. Our generation is blessed beyond belief in that respect.

Edited by gargamel
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2 hours ago, gargamel said:

If this happened a year ago I think we would have an argument because his negativity makes it seems as if I did something wrong with offering him to join me.  But I am past things like that, I cannot waste my time on arguments that do not lead to anything worthwhile, also his negativity was most likely directed towards himself and not me. So I just said "If you change your mind, I'll be there" and went with my day. It suits me that he doesn't wanna go to the gym, because now i can go as early as I want every day without consideration of his schedule.

That's great attitude and I practice it as well, whenever it comes to setting up things with others and them failing to show up.

2 hours ago, gargamel said:

Important thoughts ("giving up" on my friendships) I later thought a bit about Steven (and our 4-man gang). I've mentioned here that they are cynical, sedentary intellectual types with a really good (but irreverent and dark) sense of humor.  This doesn't suit me anymore as my primary group of friends, doesn't suit me for the past 3 years to be honest. I tried telling them in multiple indirect ways that we ought to find better ways to hang out together other than spending 50% of our time trash talking others and the world, mocking things like 20th century genocides and the like. But I see that they genuinely don't see a problem with it at all. In the last 6 years that we are hanging out, 96% of our time we spent in bars, drinking coffee or bear, smoking a lot of cigarettes and having intellectual discussions. 4% of the time we went either clubbing or had large parties where we would get extremely drunk. We never even went on a trip together.

So when he said "I'm sick of mornings and morning gyms for a lifetime", I thought to myself "And he is not sick of coughing from cigarette smoke, having hemorrhoids in his 20s from sitting all day, he is not sick of having a severely bent spine already?" Man... I cannot let myself have Steven for my closest friend. I need to find someone who takes care of himself and others, both physically and emotionally. Someone who maybe can even offer me advice and who can inspire me. This friendship is too one-sided. And as of this moment I am letting it go. I am accepting all 3 of them as they are, I won't try to change them. I'll just try to pay attention to other people I encounter, and sooner or later I will find a more suiting company. Until then I'll hang out with them from time to time and try to enjoy them for what they are.

I think anyone who is quitting games eventually needs to make the decision to leave some of the old people behind, because they are part of the reason why one got addicted in the first place. It's terrifying to make a solo run for it to discover people you click better with, but literally your life is at stake.

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54 minutes ago, Ikar said:

I think anyone who is quitting games eventually needs to make the decision to leave some of the old people behind, because they are part of the reason why one got addicted in the first place. It's terrifying to make a solo run for it to discover people you click better with, but literally your life is at stake.

You're right. While my friends aren't directly responsible for me playing games, (because they rarely play them and we don't discuss them), they live in a way that facilitates addictions of different kinds and they bring a lot of negativity. They are pessimistic, they drink a lot, they smoke a lot, they sit a lot, they are "words rather than actions" kind of people. 1 of them took a lot of party drugs last year, while other two joined him on couple occasions, while i urged him to stop (he eventually did, thank God). To be honest, in several ways I am embarrassed I still hang out with them so often. Well, I'll say - I am embarrassed I was hanging out with them so often. I won't anymore.

P.S. this is my last post about them, gotta focus on myself, also, gotta focus on the positive

 

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I see you have a pretty good idea of what you think the dream means. That's interesting you pray to Savitur. Sounds like it brings you peace. I'm glad the star was a good omen.

I think it's a good idea to keep your ear to the ground for a new friend group. It seems like you're ready to find people who live a healthier lifestyle like you're trying to do. May you find healthy friends.

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@Erik2.0 Again, thank you for you well wishes! And yes, I am ready for new friends. 

This morning I want to share with you some of my conclusions regarding free will.

For as long as people have been thinking about the relationship between nature and man, necessity and contingency, et cetera, there where those who regarded us as determined beings, while others regarded us as free. I will not go into academic dissection of the different uses of the terms and analysis of every nuance, I will keep it practical and concrete.

So, putting the metaphysical aspects aside - it is indisputable that actions have consequences, and that our decisions shape us. If you want to build muscle, you lift weights every few days, and eat enough protein to enable muscle synthesis. Those two are necessary preconditions for gaining muscle, unless you take steroids and poison yourself. And it takes time. Realistically, a man can gain around 1 kg of muscle mass a month if everything is optimal - for example, you need ample sleep. But, If you try to speed up this process further by overworking yourself; you will end up losing muscle instead, and probably gain a long-lasting injury. 
Point being - natural things can be destroyed instantly, but they are build up gradually and on their own terms. Muscle has more uses than to lift, it can learn to move slowly, to dance, it can be used for gesticulation and emphasis, it can be used to show love and make love. It also has its memory. If we slightly damage the nerves in our hands, we will likely need to re-learn how to hold a spoon. And how we learn it? By practice and practice and more practice. Our mind is also such natural thing. Just a lot more complex than a muscle, both in its features and its functions.

We who are former addicts need to remember that we have unconsciously trained our minds for years, maybe even for entire lives - to function in a specific pattern. It is to be expected that you have craves to return to former lifestyle patterns, it is what we are used to, it is our safety net, it was our "default", and will remain default for a long time but not forever. As I was saying in my muscle analogy - things in nature transition slowly and on their own terms. We need to be patient and not get frustrated when our minds try to force us back to accustomed mode of life, it is much less energy intensive to do so. That means we will need to say "no" to our previous life every day, and say "yes" to our vision, and slowly work on it, diligently, but also gently, for a long time. We say those "nos" by not doing activities we have previously done, and we say those "yeses"' by doing new activities every day as long and as hard as we can, pushing our expectations every few weeks, making progress, but also being patient with ourselves, we can change only 1 step at the time.

When a child gets frustrated with themselves when they cannot ride the bike as soon as they sit on it for the first time, a loving parent will comfort the child and urge him to try again and again, because the parent knows that we are not born with innate knowledge and ability to ride it, that it is not shameful if you fail a couple of times, and has all the reasons to believe that the child will master the bike riding if they continue giving their effort. It is the same with learning an instrument, just that it takes a lot longer to learn it than riding a bike. We need to be like that loving parent to ourselves. Changing our behavior is more akin to learning an instrument than learning a bike (because it takes more time) or learning something about the world (because intellectual learning is different than learning of behavior)

Negative thought patterns are learned, addictive behavioral patters are learned, our default response to stress is learned. To change them, we don't need to only change our way of thinking, we do not need to only make a conscious decision to live differently, we need to constantly struggle against what we where for a long time, struggle, likely for a couple of years at least if not a decade depending on how unhealthy we where living in the past and how highly we set our new standards for ourselves.

Free will is therefore something to be consciously practiced every day, it is enforced, reinforced and strengthened. If we live mindlessly on autopilot for years, our environment does with us what it wants, so no wonder we often end up becoming what we didn't want to be. If we know what we want to be, or at least - if we know what we don't want to be, we need to slowly gain control over ourselves by gaining control of our senses, our thoughts, our emotions and our actions. And we do that by nurturing qualities we want to have. If we want to be more hardworking, the only thing we can do is push ourselves to work more than we are used to, if we want to stop being in a certain way we run away from things and people that made us behave in that way - so, of course, if we want to masturbate less or maybe not at all, porn is not an option - to keep it plain and simple.

And most importantly for this forums - If we don't want to game, twitch and youtube gaming content are not an option.

Edited by gargamel
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You're welcome. I understand how things can really only progress as fast as they naturally are able to unless you do some sort of drug that's unnatural. I'm kind of at a plateau in weight training. I can't seem to do more than 135lbs on deadlift or barbell row without something hurting. So I'm kind of just stuck. It's not as entertaining as going up weight was.

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10 minutes ago, Erik2.0 said:

You're welcome. I understand how things can really only progress as fast as they naturally are able to unless you do some sort of drug that's unnatural. I'm kind of at a plateau in weight training. I can't seem to do more than 135lbs on deadlift or barbell row without something hurting. So I'm kind of just stuck. It's not as entertaining as going up weight was.

@Erik2.0 This video can maybe help you to do the deadlift without pain and continue with your progress. 135 lbs definitely sounds like something you can improve upon unless you are injured. At the moment I am doing sets with 200 lbs.

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15 hours ago, gargamel said:

And most importantly for this forums - If we don't want to game, twitch and youtube gaming content are not an option.

Block twitch, block email notifications, log out of it, and click the do not recommended button on YouTube any time a video appears. 

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58 minutes ago, BooksandTrees said:

Block twitch, block email notifications, log out of it, and click the do not recommended button on YouTube any time a video appears. 

Yeah, that's the right approach. Personally I haven't watched a single gaming content related video except a single presentation of new unreal engine, like... a week after I quit, and I realized its not time for me to allow even that kind of indirect exposure.

It's just unneccessary playing with fire.

Edit: I emphasized twitch and youtube because I have seen too many people here mentioning they are watching gaming content. Thats innocent selfsabotage at best, at selfdelusion at worst. Gaming-free life should be gaming free. This may sound a bit harsh, but I know they are setting themselves for failure. Dont do it folks

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I no longer even enjoy watching gaming content. It's not relevant to my new interests anymore.
I was trying to watch my wife play Minecraft with her nephews this morning and it was so incredibly boring...
I am so grateful that my reaction was boredom and disinterest rather than cravings to play.
I know that I should not under any circumstances watch the weed strain reviews I used to watch!
So I know consuming gaming content while trying to quit gaming is absolutely just as risky, and just as much of a time sink as playing the games anyway.

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Two weeks ago, I checked out an online game about financial literacy a couple of times, because it was relevant to the book I was reading. I also checked out the landing scene from MoH:AA I got to remember the date of the D-Day landing from and I checked out the Wiki pages of Worms games.

When I quit in April '19, I got rid of the games on my computer and blocked Twitch. I ended up blocking the site with the game, even though I don't remember trying to access it since. It honestly felt reflexive. I agree watching gaming content regularly (e.g. at least once a week) is like shooting yourself in the foot, since it's the closest thing to gaming itself. It's like a difference between smoking cigarettes and smoking cigarettes using using only matches while standing in the shadow. Wouldn't it be easier to not buy any cigarettes?

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@GrainSiloEnthusiast That's so great to hear :) I like that you mentioned it is also a time-sink on its own. Yes it is! And it's even more passive kind of entertainment than gaming is. It satisfies almost all the same parts of us that want easy instant gratification. I feel that, ideally, we former addicts should be careful of binging on anything, because we can end up just switching our source of instant gratification from gaming to something else. I am trying to build a sound foundation so I can pursue long term goals, discipline, discipline, discipline :)

@Ikar
 You make a good analogy. A lot of people torture themselves with half-measures. Smoking and eating addictions coupled with a perpetual "I am on a diet" mentality can wreck someones mental health in a long run.

Entry 30 (days 49-50)

day 49 - Missing yesterdays entry was intentional because I haven't studied almost at all. I meditated a lot, watched LotR for 3 hours, went to gym and other than that I was thinking, reading holy texts, listening to some intellectual and religious talks. 

day 50 - This was a splendid day! I have:

  1. written my little post about free will
  2. washed the dishes
  3. did laundry
  4. meditated
  5. went to gym
  6. made dinner
  7. studied for 6 hours

This day had almost no time wasted except maybe 1-2 hours in the morning that I took it easy. I was doing one thing after the next, focused and driven. The only thing that should've been improved is order in which I've done all those things. I should've studied in the morning as well, because in 10 pm my concentration obviously isn't the best.

I have to say - days are beginning to seem so short. This forum takes like an hour or so a day, meditation 45 minutes, gym around 2 hours (commute included), and yesterday I spent around 3 hours on house chores+dinner. That's 7 hours gone already. Plus, I take a shower two times a day, I shave, I prepare myself something to eat, I make my bed, I make my coffee, I take out the trash and that cumulatively takes another hour at least, if not 2 if I do it slowly or have some other little chore to do. That's 9 hours of the day gone. and then if I study for 6 hours like a did yesterday, that's pretty much the whole waking day spent. Well spent, but spent. I still need to get used to it. 

P.S. I am ready to make the next step towards me completely switching my "first play, then work" attitude. For the past 2 weeks I have been successfully waking up earlier than usual, I have meditated and gone to gym almost exclusively before or around noon, but now I need to study at least 2 hours every morning as well. That way I can relax for an hour or two before going to bed, or push past my 6 hour limit for studying if necessary. 

2x daily gratitude: I am grateful for God's influence in my life. I feel I would be completely lost right now if it wasn't for my meditation and prayer. I am also grateful for you guys and girls on this forum. You give a lot of good advice and even more support. It means a lot.

P.P.S. I want to mention something a bit embarrassing. I have been obsessively watching myself in the mirror ever since I decided around 2 weeks ago that I am going to lose 5 kg (maybe around 30ish minutes a day). I am looking at every flaw my body has, but also i enjoy looking at my shoulders that are starting to look quite strong, et cetera... I hope I stop soon xD I am half way there already, lost around 2,5 kg.

Edited by gargamel
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9 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

Block twitch, block email notifications, log out of it, and click the do not recommended button on YouTube any time a video appears. 

One thing that I would add to this solid advice would be to reset YouTube history, or at least remove any gaming content from there. Without that, I do not think I would be able to use YouTube at all because no matter how my videos, I was not interested in some LoL content always managed to slip in. Their algorithm can be a bitch, but we can make it work for our benefit, reset history, and search topics which will help you on this journey to saturate your feed with them. There is a lot of good content there too, so for me personally, YouTube was the hardest one to deal with because it needs moderation. In contrast, Twitch... just get rid of that shit, block it, and do not look back haha. 

I really like the @Ikar metaphor with cigarettes. Also, if you would want to stop smoking, going to bars where people smoke, and are filled with it, would be as counterproductive as watching gaming content. You might not be doing it yourself, but passively you are not quitting. Moreover, this kind of action is not aligned with your identity as someone who is recovering from addiction, I believe that our actions need to reflect our identity, who we want to be. If not, we get into internal conflict, which only leads to anxiety. The same thing happened to me with gaming. I always identified myself as a productive and hard-working but my actions did not reflect that, hours of gaming are neither of those. "If someone could only see my actions and not hear my words, what would they say my priorities are?"  

Edited by Marek
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50 minutes ago, Marek said:

The same thing happened to me with gaming. I always identified myself as a productive and hard-working but my actions did not reflect that, hours of gaming are neither of those. "If someone could only see my actions and not hear my words, what would they say my priorities are?"  

Oh my God, @Marek, you just made me remember so much pain and frustration I went through because of this same problem. I went from a dude that was spending around 8-10 hours every day on my education, to someone who is wasting his whole day playing games and going to bars. I was the worst hypocrite ever, and this just made me suffer so so much because I was still identifying with productive me and not with what I was doing every day.

... also, about the youtube algorithm... Yeah, even now I sometimes get gaming related content in suggestions. I think youtube remembers how much time you spent on youtube while you where watching gaming content, so even though you cleared your history they try to hook you back on it. Time spent on youtube = revenue for them, so it's to be expected. 

Edit: Just went to my youtube home page to check it - and out of 24 videos suggested on it, 2 where gaming related. One about an RPG that I was playing half a year ago with my brother, and the other about Minecraft, which is silly because I haven't played Minecraft in yeaaars, and I haven't watched any minecraft content on this account.

Edited by gargamel
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10 minutes ago, gargamel said:

I have to say - days are beginning to seem so short. This forum takes like an hour or so a day, meditation 45 minutes, gym around 2 hours (commute included), and yesterday I spent around 3 hours on house chores+dinner. That's 7 hours gone already. Plus, I take a shower two times a day, I shave, I prepare myself something to eat, I make my bed, I make my coffee, I take out the trash and that cumulatively takes another hour at least, if not 2 if I do it slowly or have some other little chore to do. That's 9 hours of the day gone. and then if I study for 6 hours like a did yesterday, that's pretty much the whole waking day spent. Well spent, but spent. I still need to get used to it. 

I keep running into the same issue. But if it was able to spend even more hours on gaming and still be able to get through life somehow, it is not impossible. Albeit, there is a limited number of hours in a day, but they are there to be spent. Might as well use them all because once they are gone, they are gone. Time in an odd currency. Its value is equivalent to what you buy with it. 

2 minutes ago, gargamel said:

... also, about the youtube algorithm... Yeah, even now I sometimes get gaming related content in suggestions. I think youtube remembers how much time you spent on youtube while you where watching gaming content, so even though you cleared your history they try to hook you back on it. Time spent on youtube = revenue for them, so it's to be expected. 

That's interesting. I do not think I had the same problem but I cannot say for sure. I think that once I cleared it and then watched different content it has not came back but I might be wrong. If that's the case you can always sign in with different/new google account and build up your feed from scratch. 

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I strongly recommend removing YouTube from your phones and then installing a browser extension that lets you hide recommendations
When I removed YouTube from my phone and then unsubscribed from all the channels that were time sinks (nearly all of them, I only follow music composers now and they rarely post) my YouTube addiction became SO much easier to manage, almost as if I was never addicted in the first place. 
I suggest trying to curate your YouTube experience to only be things that are relevant to your new productive hobbies and other educational content, while still refusing to over-consume even those videos.

Edited by GrainSiloEnthusiast
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