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Hello world, 10 days in and apparently it's time to start journaling. Why I'm Quitting I'm sure it's common to question whether one is actually "addicted" to games. That's where I am right n

Any addictive behaviour is a substitute for real suffering. Acknowledging and exploring the dark places of your past and your own soul might feel bad but it is necessary to grieve in order to live the

Feeling pretty good today. Day 7 of attempt number whatever. Did all my habits yesterday. Rode to Trader Joe's today to pick up chicken nuggets for my roommate, they were out. Also got some other stuf

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Thank you. I hope I'm not complaining too much.

Grateful for

Warm weather! Or, "warm." It's 40 degrees.

Etc.

Walked 2 miles to a Christmas tree place today (neither lady friend nor I own a car). Strapped it to a bike and walked back. It was a good way to get exercise I guess. And now we have a tree! Landlord has signs up saying live trees aren't allowed, but lady friend is a lawyer and is convinced it's B.S. So... the apartment smells like pine now.

Feeling slightly less like crap after that walk and taking a nap. Maybe I can ride it. I did pick up the uke today too.

The rest of this weekend will be documentation and Tabletop Simulator. I'd rather there was less documentation but... such is life sometimes.

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Woof. Did not realize I hadn't posted in that long. Things have been crazy though.

Anyway, meditated and played uke today, and journaled too. Not going to jinx it by saying maybe I'm getting back on the train, just taking it one day at a time.

Grateful for this pet gate we got that lets us lock loud cat in the kitchen overnight. Still waking up multiple times a night but due to dreams, not meowing!

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Still coming up a little. 31 day streak on not gaming which I think is where I flubbed last time. So as long as I don't game for the next 3.7 hours I'll have a record 32 days.

Uked and mindfulled today so that's a two-day streak for those. Still cannot bring myself to read, don't know why.

Still feeling iffy about my relationship, but figure I may as well stick it out through mid Jan. I did download Tinder so we'll see if anything comes of that (recall that lady friend and I are poly). Probably I'll just remember how much I hate online dating.

Grateful for my clients. Some really good sessions today. Some really good sessions most of this week, actually.

Doctor's appointment tomorrow to talk about the sleep things. Not hopeful because, what can they do. But figured it's worth a shot. Better than doing nothing. Sure would be nice to get enough sleep for once.

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1 hour ago, codepants said:

Still feeling iffy about my relationship, but figure I may as well stick it out through mid Jan. I did download Tinder so we'll see if anything comes of that (recall that lady friend and I are poly). Probably I'll just remember how much I hate online dating.

About this, you don't have to resort to sticking it out in a relationship you don't feel comfortable in. I myself have never been in a relationship so I can't give you top tier advice, but I'd say make a pros and cons list based on how you feel about the relationship and then make your decision. If you feel iffy I don't want you to feel like you have to stick it out. However it's up to you. Also I personally wouldn't use tinder to find dates, I'd do it the old fashion way and make connections and then see how things pan out. I wish you luck in this!

 

1 hour ago, codepants said:

Grateful for my clients. Some really good sessions today. Some really good sessions most of this week, actually

I'm glad about this! 
 

1 hour ago, codepants said:

But figured it's worth a shot. Better than doing nothing. Sure would be nice to get enough sleep for once

Yeah definitely, even if the doctors don't live up to what you expected, it's still better than not trying at all. For sleep you probably have read all the tips of like dont use electronics one hour before bed so I won't reiterate them to you. But hopefully the doctors can do something, and I hope you can get enough sleep! 
 

Best

Jason

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@Jason70 thanks for the reply! I'm not using Tinder too seriously, if I were hell bent on finder another other I'd probably use Hinge, that's how lady friend and I met. I agree it's generally better to meet people in person, but because of COVID that's kinda hard right now.

Honestly if anything, Tinder has given me validation that there are plenty of other people my age out there who are available. I'm sure there are fewer out there than when I was younger, but sometimes it feels like I'm the only one (mostly due to coworkers and, last year, classmates, all being othered).

Doctor did try and prescribe a medication for the sleep thing but I'm not going to take it because it has a reputation for making one of my pre-existing conditions worse. There's another med that's supposed to work really well but he won't prescribe it because he's never prescribed it before, so that's dumb. He did refer me to a sleep study place so maybe they can recommend something. And with luck I should have a psychiatry appointment in the near future so maybe they can help too. I really think my sleep concerns are tied to stress, and probably the lack of exercise I've been doing. Because exercising during COVID is haaaaaard.

- - -

Wow, it's been a beat. Maybe daily journaling isn't for me. I don't know. Maybe when I stop journaling that's a sign I'm going to relapse. I did relapse. 33 days this time. Last time it was around there, too. Must be my sweet spot. I can't decide if I want to fully quit this time or just try and cut back. I started playing again because I was feeling really freaking depressed, and playing sounded better than just stewing in my depression. Strange as it sounds, I think relapsing might have been the right choice? I still want to climb out of my depression, and doing so will probably involve quitting completely, but if cutting back keeps me from hitting rock bottom for a while then... I think I'm okay with that.

I still have feelings about my relationship, but they aren't too different from what I've shared already.

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14 hours ago, codepants said:

I was feeling really freaking depressed, and playing sounded better than just stewing in my depression.

Yeah man I'm right there with you. I try to explain it to people but they don't understand, or think I'm joking. The reason I'm always going is because underneath everything is just depression and anxiety. Games cover it up. I feel like a person should be able to just get through life without needing to distract themselves from their mind/emotions and be content. That's not me, though, and it doesn't sound like it's you either.

Maybe we're just built different. It's hard to maintain hope for a change after decades.

The problem with moderating gaming for me was that eventually, when something tough came up, I would binge and it would affect my ability to do anything else. Like the default state for weekends and evenings (then eventually daytime) became just gaming any chance I could get. That led to external factors confounding internal depression and creating a feedback loop.

Rooting for you (I don't know if I used rooting right, or if that's even a thing people say in other places. It looks ridiculous lol. I should've just deleted it and put 'cheering' and avoided this whole nonsense, but here we are)

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19 hours ago, codepants said:

I was feeling really freaking depressed, and playing sounded better than just stewing in my depression.

 

4 hours ago, Lampshade said:

underneath everything is just depression and anxiety. Games cover it up.

Any addictive behaviour is a substitute for real suffering. Acknowledging and exploring the dark places of your past and your own soul might feel bad but it is necessary to grieve in order to live the full human experience and be a complete person.

Knowing that there is something under there, that has been covered up by games is already a huge step to recovery. When the monsters under the bed are either slain or redeemed then you'll feel better and the urge to game will be lessened.

Edited by Bird By Bird
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7 hours ago, Lampshade said:

Yeah man I'm right there with you. I try to explain it to people but they don't understand, or think I'm joking. The reason I'm always going is because underneath everything is just depression and anxiety. Games cover it up. I feel like a person should be able to just get through life without needing to distract themselves from their mind/emotions and be content. That's not me, though, and it doesn't sound like it's you either.

Maybe we're just built different. It's hard to maintain hope for a change after decades.

The problem with moderating gaming for me was that eventually, when something tough came up, I would binge and it would affect my ability to do anything else. Like the default state for weekends and evenings (then eventually daytime) became just gaming any chance I could get. That led to external factors confounding internal depression and creating a feedback loop.

Rooting for you (I don't know if I used rooting right, or if that's even a thing people say in other places. It looks ridiculous lol. I should've just deleted it and put 'cheering' and avoided this whole nonsense, but here we are)

Mostly want to say: I love this and thank you.

I'm pondering the bit about gaming being a "default state." Part me is saying, "No, you're lucky, you can step away from it," and in some ways I can't—it hasn't directly affected my work, education, or relationships. I've never been late to work; not done my homework; or had a friend or other chastise, judge, or treat me differently because I game. But what I can't make a claim to is that there's been no indirect effect. I would bet I've spent at least 3,000 hours of my life gaming, and that's probably conservative. What else would I have done with that time? What skills would I have and how would they have compounded in the other areas of my life? That, I don't know. And I think not knowing makes it all that much easier to deny. To say, "What's the matter if I game? I have it under control." Because even though I strongly believe I do have it "under control," I don't know who I would be without it.

 

5 hours ago, Bird By Bird said:

Any addictive behaviour is a substitute for real suffering. Acknowledging and exploring the dark places of your past and your own soul might feel bad but it is necessary to grieve in order to live the full human experience and be a complete person.

Knowing that there is something under there, that has been covered up by games is already a huge step to recovery. When the monsters under the bed are either slain or redeemed then you'll feel better and the urge to game will be lessened.

Well said, and thank you.

Problem is, I have been in therapy on and off for the past 18 years or so. With my current therapist (never found one I liked in my previous city—not one without a session limit, anyway), we're at the point where it's like... he knows everything about me. We've taken every road to the end of where it goes. I have felt all the things I know how to feel. Tell me how to get under the bed, and I will love the ever-loving fuck out of those scared and lonely monsters (sorry, I don't believe in slaying, really). I don't know how to uncover anything else, though I don't deny there might be things I don't know need uncovering.

I don't feel stuck, I just feel... ironically, like I'm at the end of a really great, expansive game. I've done all the quests. Talked to all the NPCs. Upgraded all the upgrades. ...now what?

 

Edited by codepants
words are hard
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5 hours ago, codepants said:

I don't feel stuck, I just feel... ironically, like I'm at the end of a really great, expansive game. I've done all the quests. Talked to all the NPCs. Upgraded all the upgrades. ...now what?

Sounds like you've done a great deal of self-reflection. Maybe now is the time for action. But, unfortunately that's a question no one can answer but yourself.

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21 hours ago, codepants said:

I don't feel stuck, I just feel... ironically, like I'm at the end of a really great, expansive game. I've done all the quests. Talked to all the NPCs. Upgraded all the upgrades. ...now what?

No way you've experienced everything in life. Maybe you need new challenges? A vacation or adventure? Some kind of change?

I get what you're saying about your therapist though, I think. What does a person do when they've taken care of all the obvious stuff and the problem remains?

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On 12/9/2020 at 5:50 PM, Lampshade said:

No way you've experienced everything in life. Maybe you need new challenges? A vacation or adventure? Some kind of change

That's fair. I keep thinking there's nothing I really want to do, but maybe if my brain can settle from the dopamine rush of video games, other things will seem more interesting.

At the least, I understand one reason why people choose to have kids... there's nothing better to do 😆 (no offense intended to anyone with kids! There are other, better reasons).

On 12/9/2020 at 5:50 PM, Lampshade said:

I get what you're saying about your therapist though, I think. What does a person do when they've taken care of all the obvious stuff and the problem remains?

I did have a somewhat breakthrough-ish session with my therapist. It was a direction we went in. So maybe there is some unopened door. But I research also shows there are "depressive personalities," that depression is genetic, and that anyone who gets it before 21 is at greater risk throughout life. I don't know if that means they have more unopened doors to open, or if you really can explore everything and still feel there is no point to life.

I'm thinking about that study they did on dogs... basically (trigger warning: animal trauma) they traumatized some dogs (exposed them to danger without escape) and then exposed them to danger with escape, and they did not try to escape, even when it was obvious how. They had to be physically forced to escape 2, sometimes 3 times, before they would do it on their own. AKA "learned helplessness."

Maybe that's what it's like when depression is resolved. You can be "depress-less" and still not know what to do or how to do it. Maybe someone has to show you, 2, or even 3 times, before you figure out what it is you're supposed to do, once you're free.

Just an idea.

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10 hours ago, codepants said:

I'm thinking about that study they did on dogs... basically (trigger warning: animal trauma) they traumatized some dogs (exposed them to danger without escape) and then exposed them to danger with escape, and they did not try to escape, even when it was obvious how. They had to be physically forced to escape 2, sometimes 3 times, before they would do it on their own. AKA "learned helplessness."

I learned about that in the book Grit. Super interesting.

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Lady friend and I talked a bit today. She said she's been feeling insecure, as if I've been avoiding her, which is fair. I don't think I've been avoiding her, but I have been turning down her invites to do things, and asking her less often to do things, and when we do things doing then for not as long. I think of avoiding as like, changing one's schedule to not be around when the other person is around, which I haven't been doing. But her feelings are valid.

Anyway, I told her I don't feel like I can be myself around her, and she said that must be lonely, and I was like... yea. So at least she's trying. But when the shit hits the fan it's the same old thing: her feelings come first, and I get shut down. Anyway, we agreed to talk to our couples' therapist about it next week. I don't know what will happen, and I'm okay with that.

I have actually drafted a letter to my ex telling her I regret having broken up with her. She did create space for me, and I could be myself around her. I just wasn't ready for that yet. I didn't know that's what I needed. Current lady friend and I are poly, so I would be within my rights to send it, but sending it doesn't feel fair to anyone involved. So, I'm holding on to it for now.

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Today has been pretty productive. I haven't gamed yet, not sure I will. Needing a pick-me-up in the morning is a sign of addiction, so I'm trying not to game first thing in the morning.

Partly inspired by Lampshade, and partly by... not being enthused about checking off all my boxes for the day, I've removed a few things: no dishes in the sink, brush, floss, < 2 hours of TV. I will hopefully keep doing them anyway, but honestly, I forget to check those boxes even when I do do them.

I also added studying for my licensing exam, because I have the stuff I need to do that—right on my desk—I just keep forgetting.

And maybe I'll keep the app open, or set a reminder or something.

I'm leaving "eat leafy greens" on there even though it's the one I forget to check off the most, because it seems especially important. I also still want to figure out a way to eat liver. I tried capsules but the air inside makes it feel like there's something stuck in my throat and I have to burp for ages (burping is really hard for me and rarely happens on its own, it requires conscious effort and I suck at it so I have to do it 5-10x to get all the air out). I'd like pill-sized bits I can swallow whole, because I don't want to keep it in my mouth for any length of time, but they only make those for dogs. Would it be weird to eat those?

 

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Still here, was sick yesterday. I'm 95% sure it was girlfriend's humidifier which only after my asking she disclosed she has never cleaned. PSA: you can get really, really sick from a dirty humidifier. My girlfriend did not know this.

Fever of 101, chills, headache (not new, just worse), muscle aches. Woke up this morning with only a splitting headache, probably from dehydration, but no symptoms otherwise. COVID test tomorrow to be sure.

Possibly more later.

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"Day off" today. I usually do in-person sessions on Tuesdays but I can't do any until I get tested. Even though I feel fine... well, not perfect, it feels as if something is amiss. Dry throat, stomach isn't 100% content. But that's not exactly new.

Been trying to be productive. Did the dishes, practiced uke, took the trash out. Just feels like it felt two months ago. Maybe I'll try and quit video games again today. But it feels as if nothing has changed... not the way I feel, not how motivated I am. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

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On 12/10/2020 at 11:20 PM, codepants said:

I'm thinking about that study they did on dogs... basically (trigger warning: animal trauma) they traumatized some dogs (exposed them to danger without escape) and then exposed them to danger with escape, and they did not try to escape, even when it was obvious how. They had to be physically forced to escape 2, sometimes 3 times, before they would do it on their own. AKA "learned helplessness."

 

 

On 12/11/2020 at 10:15 AM, Lampshade said:

I learned about that in the book Grit. Super interesting.

I just learned about this as well in Seligman's "Learned Optimism".  Check it out if you want to read more about the study and how it relates to cognitive behavioral therapy. 

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So I just wrote in Lampshade's journal:

3 minutes ago, codepants said:

I moved from my bed to the couch this morning and was like, "YouTube time!" but caught myself and just sat there until I was ready to go into the kitchen and make breakfast. It took a monumental effort to not do anything but sit there until I was motivated enough to go make breakfast.

(this will all come together, promise) I have these dreams where I can't move. Or I can, but it takes monumental effort to move even a tiny bit. Usually in the dream I am in my room as I would be if I was awake, and I want to get up and go about my day. But I can't. I can maybe get one foot to the edge of the bed with 5 minutes of giving it everything I've got. Sometimes I'll cry out for help but it's just a mumble.

I'm not scared, I'm never being threatened or chased, it's just... I want to get on with my life. But in the dream, I can't.

Usually, I realize I'm dreaming, wake myself up... and end up in the same dream again. Rinse and repeat. I have "woken up into another dream" what feels like 30 times before. Realistically probably more like 8 or 10, but... it's almost as annoying as jars or bags that won't open (my pet peeve. Ex. cereal bags. YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO OPEN THEM WHY ARE THEY FUCKING WELDED SHUT).

Anyway... on the couch this morning, I felt that. I was trying to motivate myself to get up to make breakfast and it felt like I just couldn't. Even with monumental effort I just moved a little.

I don't know what to make of it, probably something I should ask my therapist about. But it was interesting to have access to that feeling in real life (as opposed to in dream space). And all I had to do was... not watch YouTube.

Maybe that's a feeling I've been avoiding all this time. Maybe it's always been there, underneath... waiting for me.

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10 hours ago, codepants said:

I have these dreams where I can't move. Or I can, but it takes monumental effort to move even a tiny bit. Usually in the dream I am in my room as I would be if I was awake, and I want to get up and go about my day. But I can't. I can maybe get one foot to the edge of the bed with 5 minutes of giving it everything I've got. Sometimes I'll cry out for help but it's just a mumble.

I'm not scared, I'm never being threatened or chased, it's just... I want to get on with my life. But in the dream, I can't.

Sometimes the body deliberately gets injured because it wants you to take a break and it sends you these dreams like a union protest before the general strike. It's also possible that there's an elephant in the room you've been ignoring IRL that really is blocking you from moving forward.

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40 minutes ago, Bird By Bird said:

Sometimes the body deliberately gets injured because it wants you to take a break and it sends you these dreams like a union protest before the general strike. It's also possible that there's an elephant in the room you've been ignoring IRL that really is blocking you from moving forward.

Hm. So you're suggesting it's not that I should be able to move, but can't; but, that I should stop trying to move? Or that I'm moving too fast?

- - -

I wanted to double post today to celebrate having done all my habits today! Excluding studying for my exam (which I just added last week), the last time I did everything was November 10th, more than a month ago.

It is worth noting that I also removed some things last week, but that's okay... I was overwhelmed.

Did mindfulness and uke before work, riding to work counts as exercise, listening to exam review while riding counts as studying, I got greens powder which I put in my dinner smoothie so that's eating leafy greens, I've journaled, and I will go read right after this!

Lots of "so that counts as..." I'm here for it.

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Not quite as fortuitous a day but that's my fault of course. I did do more than half the things so that's pretty good and better than the past few weeks.

Couples therapy did not go okay today. I tried to share how I felt and lady friend usurped the space. Like always. She did stop herself though. I know she's trying, I just don't know how long to wait.

I had picked up a pound of liver from a local butchery yesterday and prepped it today. God that stuff smells. I'm significantly less excited to try eating it. But if it magically makes me have more energy that would be awesome. I am going to wait until Saturday in case there are any adverse effects. Don't want to have food poisoning tomorrow. 6 clients.

I have been doing research on the side effects of the capsules I bought and I wonder if it's a detox reaction. If so, I might be able to take the pills, just starting small...

Onward.

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48 minutes ago, codepants said:

Couples therapy did not go okay today. I tried to share how I felt and lady friend usurped the space. Like always. She did stop herself though. I know she's trying, I just don't know how long to wait.

Sorry about this. I don't have the best advice since I haven't been in a relationship before but hopefully you won't have to wait too long, and hey at least she is trying. I do hope it goes better for you though 

 

Best 

Jason

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Thanks @Jason70. Today was better. Yesterday she had the idea to designate a conch. Today I came home and was lying on the couch and she went and got a scrunchie and put it around my wrist. And just listened and was quiet while I talked, or even when I didn't talk. It was nice. At least she is trying.

Today was pretty good. It was, I imagine, what will become an average day when I have enough clients to consider myself full-time. That will be 6 or so scheduled a day, which was how many I had scheduled today. One cancelled, and between them all I was doing paperwork and phone calls and letter sending and documentation. Just the right amount of stress and flow.

Took my first DIY liver pills tonight. I finished them yesterday so I could have started this morning but I didn't want to in case I had adverse effects while with clients. Time will tell if liver is actually the superfood everyone seems to think it is. The most common thread I've found is a boost in energy. That sure would be nice...

I could theoretically do all my habits today if I did them from here until bed and nothing else. I think I want to get a card game in with a friend (via Tabletop Simulator, which I don't count as playing video games). We shall see.

So many projects on my to-do list... and an intake to document. Just keepin' on keepin' on. Or, trying to.

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