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Ending the Loop


Pochatok

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On 2/5/2023 at 4:49 PM, Pochatok said:

Kind of is happening now! I stopped worrying about applying all my charisma skills to each conversation. That helps with feeling fully present and loving, acceptful of the people I'm talking to, which is nice. Only having 1-2 hangouts feels much less limiting if I take into account all the other times I interact with folks throughout the week- during lunch breaks, at events, etc. .

I understand what you're saying about applying charisma. I meet a few new people every now and then and today I actually met my girlfriend's sister and her boyfriend for the first time. I felt zero pressure to make a good impression and so I was free to be genuinely myself.

Yes, we can prepare for a job interview or for an exam at the uni (and we should), but in the end, people either like us or they don't.

On 2/5/2023 at 4:49 PM, Pochatok said:

Honesty: When it comes to a few of my relationships, or actually most of them, I find myself not communicating certain things. Sure, I don't say some because they're simply odd, but also I am not allowing myself to be more vulnerable. I am afraid of rejection of any sort- it's so much easier to simply try to have a good time rather than take a risk to expand and deepen this relationship, right? Q for next W: How have I challenged myself to be more open and vulnerable within my relationships?

That's an interesting remark, as I oftentimes have problems myself with identifying how strongly I feel about certain people and what impact they have on me. That means that sometimes when I'm confronted about that by someone, I have mostly nothing to say.

Anyway, do you have some benchmark(s) on how you want your relationships to be?

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On 2/5/2023 at 10:49 PM, Pochatok said:

Habits: Every time I am experiencing any stress, be it from difficulty focusing to sleep deprivation, I notice unwanted behaviors coming back. Desire to venture into social media and other depths of internet grows, I scratch my body more often, and eat when I am not hungry. This creates a loop of stress

If you have not tried anything, you can try my stuff! I have this "method" which I learnt from a nurse in Gaming Addicts Anonymous

Actually this is quite close to what you have discovered by yourself. It goes like this:

- Stop and identify: your stress can be natural and even a healthy defence mechanism to help you against exhaustion. So when you feel uneasy, stop and try to see what and why you are feeling? Are you tired, bored, lonely, etc

- Acknowledge: I used to throw tantrums or just start daydreaming or just straight up start using/ bingeing (games, tech) when I feel upset. Of course, the ramifications of such coping mechanisms are dire. So now if I can just sit there and feel life crap, I'll take it. Just sort of relish why you are feeling like so and have a "you" moment 'cause it is how feel, not an addiction-enduced sensation.

- Get grounded: but then again it's a feeling/ a thought of some sort. Until you act, a thought is just a thought. It will go away. After giving myself some space, I usually think of something practical or just grab something to remind myself that I can still live in this moment without using or making a fuss about how I feel.

Example: As I have been an addict for 15+ years, I have a lot of grief. At work, whenever I mess up or things do not go my way, my mind often dial it back to all the years I spent in addiction, effectively paralyzing me from continuing working. However, The tables across from me (literally 3 meters across) are full of young dudes. They are loud, they are rowdy and at our table we can always hear them laugh or joke.

It used to piss me off and I tried to push those the feeling of getting pissed away via denial or some negative egotistical affirmation (they are not that loud, they are just kids, bunch of pricks, I am tougher than this, I work hard so I can keep my job while they will not, etc). Sometimes I can ignore them that way but then I feel beat up, like I was in a fight.

Now when they get loud, I stop and identify how I feel ( wow they are really annoying me, I am stressed and getting upset)

I acknowledge my feelings ( they are really loud, I should be upset. And also I'm so stressed cuz I need to finish my task on time. I kinda hate them too for being able to have fun while I have to focus like this). I do not take my thoughts any further cuz I might actually get angry with them . To end this step I just sit for a second or take a small break just to do nothing and breath

Then I get grounded by quickly reviewing what I am doing and how much time I have left, and go back into it.

I have practiced this for some time and it feels great! Plus I do not have to game or use tech or daydream to escape anymore 😀.

 

Anyway, so glad you are consistent with your journal and your progress. Thank you, I learnt a lot from your writing!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Woah, been almost three weeks.

It has been quite intense- I have not allowed myself to pause enough, simply putting in more and more work into my schedule. The last 5-6 days I've been working nonstop (except for occasional hangouts and food breaks) from 8am to 9pm. I'm actually enjoying it, but also I feel like there are a lot of really important things I'm missing from my life with such a schedule.

I hope to journal in a more regular fashion later tonight. 

Po ❤️

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On 2/11/2023 at 8:43 PM, LostRiver said:

If you have not tried anything, you can try my stuff! I have this "method" which I learnt from a nurse in Gaming Addicts Anonymous

Actually this is quite close to what you have discovered by yourself. It goes like this:

- Stop and identify: your stress can be natural and even a healthy defence mechanism to help you against exhaustion. So when you feel uneasy, stop and try to see what and why you are feeling? Are you tired, bored, lonely, etc

- Acknowledge: I used to throw tantrums or just start daydreaming or just straight up start using/ bingeing (games, tech) when I feel upset. Of course, the ramifications of such coping mechanisms are dire. So now if I can just sit there and feel life crap, I'll take it. Just sort of relish why you are feeling like so and have a "you" moment 'cause it is how feel, not an addiction-enduced sensation.

- Get grounded: but then again it's a feeling/ a thought of some sort. Until you act, a thought is just a thought. It will go away. After giving myself some space, I usually think of something practical or just grab something to remind myself that I can still live in this moment without using or making a fuss about how I feel.

Example: As I have been an addict for 15+ years, I have a lot of grief. At work, whenever I mess up or things do not go my way, my mind often dial it back to all the years I spent in addiction, effectively paralyzing me from continuing working. However, The tables across from me (literally 3 meters across) are full of young dudes. They are loud, they are rowdy and at our table we can always hear them laugh or joke.

It used to piss me off and I tried to push those the feeling of getting pissed away via denial or some negative egotistical affirmation (they are not that loud, they are just kids, bunch of pricks, I am tougher than this, I work hard so I can keep my job while they will not, etc). Sometimes I can ignore them that way but then I feel beat up, like I was in a fight.

Now when they get loud, I stop and identify how I feel ( wow they are really annoying me, I am stressed and getting upset)

I acknowledge my feelings ( they are really loud, I should be upset. And also I'm so stressed cuz I need to finish my task on time. I kinda hate them too for being able to have fun while I have to focus like this). I do not take my thoughts any further cuz I might actually get angry with them . To end this step I just sit for a second or take a small break just to do nothing and breath

Then I get grounded by quickly reviewing what I am doing and how much time I have left, and go back into it.

I have practiced this for some time and it feels great! Plus I do not have to game or use tech or daydream to escape anymore 😀.

 

Anyway, so glad you are consistent with your journal and your progress. Thank you, I learnt a lot from your writing!

Hey, thank you so much for sharing! I've been attempting a similar approach for many months now, so seeing your perspectives on it helps greatly 🙂 It's fascinating how different the "triggers" are for both of us, but how the same grounding and acknowledgement exercises are able to put us back in balance hehe

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  • 6 months later...

It's been so long, woah. 

In those 8 (!!!) months, I've hosted two ambitious artistic projects that I'm immensely proud of, graduated college, and found my 1st job. All been good with gaming addiction.

 So, why am I back?

Of course, I miss y'all 💝 It means so much to see many community members continue to post here daily and be so mutually supportive of all aspects of each other's lives. 

And, I want to resolve my most persistent addiction once and for all: pornography :39_angry: At this point, objectification, sexualization, dehumanization, and violent sexual behavior are so out of touch with who I envision myself to be, that every encounter brings a strong identity crisis.

I hope that journaling here on a twice/week basis will help me move through this addiction, and to a brighter vision of myself.

 

🔖Let's review where I am at in this moment:

  • Pornography makes an appearance 2-4 times/week. This week, though, it's been on a bi-daily basis, which is quite alarming.
  • Given that I've just moved far, far away for my job, I have little social interaction. 
  • There has been a lot of stress, much more than usual. I'm developing strong physical symptoms that are frustrating and alarming.
  • Some stress comes from adjusting to a new way of being, some comes from a loosened-up vision of future, and some- from having high expectations 
  • I've gone from a place of extreme luxury and comfort (residential college that had a community I belonged at and was loved by) to a place where I am unknown, misunderstood, and other (a very different type of socio/cultural/racial/economical environment, very few strong connections in the area, and no one I've met (so far) in the immediate living environment shares my passions)
  • I believe strongly that I am where I need to be- despite all the difficulties, this is a place where I can feel myself grow in character, skill, ambition, and self-love/compassion every day. It's challenging, but highly rewarding, and every day I wake up feeling like a slightly different person.

Given that last point, I am more than ever passionate to quit weaknesses that exemplify my wounds and my long-gone past. I want to be moving, more consistently, towards the person I am becoming 💛

Look forward to being a part of this community, again.

Po 💖

Edited by Pochatok
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14 hours ago, Pochatok said:

It's been so long, woah. 

In those 8 (!!!) months, I've hosted two ambitious artistic projects that I'm immensely proud of, graduated college, and found my 1st job. All been good with gaming addiction.

 So, why am I back?

Of course, I miss y'all 💝 It means so much to see many community members continue to post here daily and be so mutually supportive of all aspects of each other's lives. 

And, I want to resolve my most persistent addiction once and for all: pornography :39_angry: At this point, objectification, sexualization, dehumanization, and violent sexual behavior are so out of touch with who I envision myself to be, that every encounter brings a strong identity crisis.

I hope that journaling here on a twice/week basis will help me move through this addiction, and to a brighter vision of myself.

 

🔖Let's review where I am at in this moment:

  • Pornography makes an appearance 2-4 times/week. This week, though, it's been on a bi-daily basis, which is quite alarming.
  • Given that I've just moved far, far away for my job, I have little social interaction. 
  • There has been a lot of stress, much more than usual. I'm developing strong physical symptoms that are frustrating and alarming.
  • Some stress comes from adjusting to a new way of being, some comes from a loosened-up vision of future, and some- from having high expectations 
  • I've gone from a place of extreme luxury and comfort (residential college that had a community I belonged at and was loved by) to a place where I am unknown, misunderstood, and other (a very different type of socio/cultural/racial/economical environment, very few strong connections in the area, and no one I've met (so far) in the immediate living environment shares my passions)
  • I believe strongly that I am where I need to be- despite all the difficulties, this is a place where I can feel myself grow in character, skill, ambition, and self-love/compassion every day. It's challenging, but highly rewarding, and every day I wake up feeling like a slightly different person.

Given that last point, I am more than ever passionate to quit weaknesses that exemplify my wounds and my long-gone past. I want to be moving, more consistently, towards the person I am becoming 💛

Look forward to being a part of this community, again.

Po 💖

I think it's interesting that the summary you wrote below porn addiction is literally the reason you're using it more. Loneliness and stress relief. Maybe consider joining an activity club out there, volunteering, sports, gym, yoga, to meet others and do things. Maybe there's a list of places to see and you can visit them and see if they provide any new insight on your life. Maybe local museums and art shows. Those are great mixers. 

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@LostRiver if i ground myself and face the issues I may quickly come to a resolution on a pressing issue.

Blocking emotions with daydreaming, music or films, delays taking a decision.

Another issue is that no decision in the present moment may be available like you described in your example with loud co workers. You just accept the situation and move on.

If low mental energy is addressed by distractions, it develops into a pattern and productivity falls. Regular sport is a way to increase energy, but filling your day with multiple self care activities (at least managing clothing, hygiene, exercise, education) is more likely to keep you grounded. If hygiene, education, clothing is sacrificed at the expense of work, morale starts to fall.

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21 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

I think it's interesting that the summary you wrote below porn addiction is literally the reason you're using it more. Loneliness and stress relief. Maybe consider joining an activity club out there, volunteering, sports, gym, yoga, to meet others and do things. Maybe there's a list of places to see and you can visit them and see if they provide any new insight on your life. Maybe local museums and art shows. Those are great mixers. 

Yes, very true! I have been branching out more in the last two weeks, but before then it was a rather isolating experience. At the same time, there is so many other ways I can deal with loneliness and stress without involving porn, either way- and I've attempting to consider that more.

Today, I'm doing rock climbing, yay!

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Returning to a familiar journal structure 😺

 

1. Significant Obstacles

Last week I struggled with getting my Research and Animation production off the ground. It's such a significant undertaking; there is no way around it- it's just a lot of long-term work. Very horrifying for me, as I love doing things that give immediate results and are completable within an imaginable timeframe. But I know that long-term projects truly resonate with the person I want to be.
Question for next entry: Am I feeling more brave and/or courageous when it comes to doing ambitious projects?

Another point of struggle was  has been a lack of social interaction- though I work at a campus, my coworkers aren't my best friends (yet, I'm very open to the possibility!), and though there's so many students around (I work at a college), I can't engage with them in the same ways given that I am now staff. I didn't realize how isolating this job would be, even though I'm surrounded by people and social activities 24/7. 
Question for next entry: How are you balancing difficult social experiences at work with your personal experiences?

And, let's talk about pornography. It's been an "easy slope"- as soon as I think of giving in, I do. Same has been for many other types of stress relief/distractions like news or social media or random Wikipedia browsing. However, I'm noticing that improvement in limiting impulsivity of those choices has been improving- I am both able to notice the desire before I act on it, and am able to delay (though not prevent) the impulsive choice.
 

2. Happiest Accomplishments

Though I am behind my timeline, I am putting a lot of effort and passion into the long-term projects. I'm getting close to the highest peaks I've experienced before, though there is certainly anxiety for repeating the same failure as before- once I reach those "peaks", it's only downhill- I get overwhelmed by the task, lose myself, and run away. But I know that's not who I am anymore. I have been gifted greater courage, and greater conviction.
Question for next entry: Can you see past those "peaks" yet? How does that feel?

Another one is the social connections I've been making- simply being more brave. Yesterday, I fistbumped a stranger (although a bit selfishly). I've been smiling towards most people I encounter, and my ability to sit back and listen has been improving a lot. My long-distance friends also have been turning to me more for advice and emotional support, which I very very appreciate. 
Question for next entry:  Have you expanded the intent with which you undertake socially-courageous actions? What's been a highlight?


3. Life Reflection

Direct Impact
Mostly my job, at the moment, sadly. I've applied to a few volunteer organizations (and hope to do even more), but it's been a slow process. It's always so- doing things that really count takes a lot more time than coming to a park for trash picking on a weekend. I'm patient. And work's been great. I'm making a difference.

Time Sculpting 
Animation has been more results-oriented and mindful of the process than ever, and it's been a challenge to navigate this balance, but I can see myself improving little by little, every single day.

Relation to Self
I've been hugging myself and saying kind words a lot more frequently, thanks to my friends putting them into my head in the first place. Overall, I am still ignoring my own needs and necessities from time to time, but it's better than ever before.
Question for next entry: Have you attempted to learn more in this area? Why (not)?

Relation to Others
Still struggling with the "I'm different" complex. There are moments when I'm providing guidance or feel more balanced/at peace than others, and my immediate cognitive reaction is "it's because I'm [somehow better] than these people". I'm fortunate to have been going through moments of struggle, and calling those as such, and feeling humble and small... So helpful! 
Question for next entry: Have you attempted to learn more in this area? Why (not)?
 

That is it for this entry. Hope you've found something meaningful while scrolling through ❤️

Po

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Alright, new guideline: post here at least twice/week in a structured manner + anything my heart desires.

Today, my 💛 desires a brief moment of accountability and acknowledgement.

My desire for pornography/news/whatever other media is tied directly to my stress levels. Today was a very challenging day, and upon leaving work my mind immediately went to porn. Understandable 😢

I'm also starting to remember how, during my last semester in college (which was also my happies, by far), my porn usage came down significantly. 

But really, it's about mitigating stress well. My last semester was filled with beautiful relationships and fun experiences, but it was also a time where I simply made an effort to feel good about myself.

Today, on the contrary, I was working in an extremely frantic, anxious manner that put me behind on many timelines. There was this (completely imaginary) impetus to work nonstop and at a pace I could not keep up with. Yes, I had deadlines to meet, but meeting them required a slower pace, not an erratic one. 

So tomorrow, I hope to let myself slow down, approach the day with grace and calm, and just enjoy my day. It will be good, if I let it 🌞

Fighting tendencies towards pornography accessing can only be done in two ways at this point: further recalibrating my values (and living by them), and addressing the needs that trigger this impulsive behavior when they're not met.

Best of luck, future me 💖 I know you can do this- you've done this before, and you have the capacity to outdo yourself!

Po

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3 hours ago, Pochatok said:

My desire for pornography/news/whatever other media is tied directly to my stress levels.

I felt this comment. It's generally when I am at my most stressed point and it's a hard thing to overcome because my brain just says what's the point of avoiding it, your day is already screwed up. F your goals. 

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16 hours ago, Pochatok said:

Relation to Others
Still struggling with the "I'm different" complex. There are moments when I'm providing guidance or feel more balanced/at peace than others, and my immediate cognitive reaction is "it's because I'm [somehow better] than these people". I'm fortunate to have been going through moments of struggle, and calling those as such, and feeling humble and small... So helpful! 
Question for next entry: Have you attempted to learn more in this area? Why (not)?
 

I've not heard that called an actual complex before (helpful), but I get the same feeling if I've planned/prepared for something well and am watching others working in seeming chaos. It's funny, but when I've been truly involved and eager (serving and preparing in a pizza kitchen at peak time), the real me is also kicked into gear - the question was always whether my conversation and actions were acceptable/appreciated. Rejection, if I take it to heart - which, as I usually weigh people's words a lot, I often do, is a huge setback to that productive mood.

I joined these forums in May, and haven't scrolled back down through enough journals to know your posts very well, but you seem to have a good balance of extraversion and introspection. I share some of your struggles, I think. Please stick around for as long as you're still doing battle with them! 😛 

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Been reflecting for nearly an hour- it feels frustrating, but only because my drive to be out there doing awesome things is so strong, and that's awesome!

So, I will let that drive guide me, and will post a reflection later in the weekend.

@james1 It's interesting how you tie that to your goals- I tend to treat it as a more impulsive/subconscious response. To me, saying "my brain [does something to hurt me]" is a bit antagonizing, and whenever those thoughts appear in my head, I attempt to reframe it as "my brain attempts to help me but [does something to hurt me] in the process/as a result]". Helps me feel a bit more self-compassion and treat whatever may be happening as not as detrimental 💛

@wheatbiscuit Thank you for your compliment on "extraversion and introspection", I've never heard that directed my way before 💛 Disclaimer, I just call my condescending tendency a "complex" because it is, uhh, quite complicated. It often feels like a big knot, and I don't know where to pull to untie it. Lately, remembering how lucky/privileged I am to be so strong/focused/resilient/courageous has been helpful; I remind myself that other people have different journeys from me, and that at one point I was struggling just as much with courage/resilience/etc. . 

I hope to stick around for a long time too- this is such a wonderful platform for sharing struggle and moving through it!

Po

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Playing video games for "too long" or just not enjoying it because it is not a restful activity most of the time. The  games I pick are "work"/hobby and I should treat them that way. Few feel like reading a book or watching a movie; most feel like intense cognitive focus, and rest is not compatible with that for me.

🙌Time for another structured reflection!

1. Questions from last week
Question for next entry: Am I feeling more brave and/or courageous when it comes to doing ambitious projects?
Yes, the feeling is there. But I still tend to fall into avoidant behaviour. Today I played video games("for refocusing" was the excuse) and watched tv shows ("for reference"). Those activities are absolutely fine when I am both desiring them and receiving what I expect. But today, in both cases I found myself not enjoying the process and unable to act instantly on that. Lots of stress and frustration built up in just a couple minutes. I love myself, though 💛 it is absolutely understandable I'd act this way, after a couple of weeks of very intense work that put me towards some of the unhealthier coping habits.

Question for next entry: How are you balancing difficult social experiences at work with your personal experiences?
I have experienced plenty of social interaction after writing this, and now know that my way of meeting people has been (and is) through acts of service. That's how I ignited the connection with my current closest friend, and with all of my others, too. By tying someone's shoes (heh), by sharing unique insights in classroom, by support my coworkers. Now the step lies in finding the right communities for volunteering, but I am feeling a lot less lonely. 

 

🍃 loneliness is simply being unable to sense love and other feelings and emotions already present within me; it's disconnect from myself, not others 🍃

 

2. Significant Obstacles

So lucky to be moving past struggles with courage, and towards struggles with motivation. What a lovely, lovely journey. So lucky to be experiencing so much movement towards my guiding star

So, it is organization. Yet again to be making a comeback into daily morning journaling, it seems. And why did I quit..? I forgot the importance of this ritual. That's it! The trouble comes from forgetting the importance of (not) doing something, of leaving out the intention behind it, and therefore erasing its purpose. And the problem is, if something isn't purposeful- I don't do it!
Question from last entry: How are you moving towards better organization? What are some obstacles in making this a habit?

And, it's a more stable system of self-caretaking. Back on my campus, the myriad of social interactions I'd have throughout the day would be incredibly empowering- I'd receive smiles, compliments, applause even, in amounts that now seem whimsical. And at the same time, I don't need others to receive smiles, compliments, and applause- I just need a mirror and my body. Lucky to have both. 
Question from last entry: Are you noticing more patterns between self-care and mental health? How have you been stabilizing this relationship?

3. Happiest Accomplishments

Meeting people. 
I've gone to 3 events this week, and at each one I've had some wonderful experiences connecting with strangers. What I've forgotten is how long it takes to develop vivid bonds- being at college for 4 years, you begin to take it for granted that connections can be made immediately. But I am patient, for I already have enough, and every single person I've crossed eyes with is a gift of abundance.

Restarting my passions. Yes, it's been a slow journey, but I've been as consistent as I can be, and my passion is growing every day. At this moment, it's hard to clearly pinpoint what is the root of my instability in passion/commitment (besides mental health, broadly), but I know that it will improve. I am only getting started.  Sometimes, I can do my best, and things still suck

Question from last entry: Can you see past those "peaks" yet? How does that feel?
Today was the day, for both of my current projects, where I actively moved past some previous hiccups. Having prior experience in moving through obstacles of familiar nature makes it so much easier! I feel very lucky to have had failed so many times before, because each of those moments has prepared me for the successes of today.

Question from last entry:  Have you expanded the intent with which you undertake socially-courageous actions? What's been a highlight?
Yes, but I can do more. This week was so, so eventful and I've had plenty of socially-courageous moments. Giving compliments to strangers, having 30min conversations with people I'll never meet again on 🚋, and introducing myself to people who (I hope) will become my friends has been exciting. And I am just getting started. Every reflection, I feel myself becoming more intent and aiming higher. 

 

🍃 most courageous actions need not the most demanding moments; my highest potential for facing fear lies in breaking the everyday routines 🍃



3. Life Reflection

Question from last entry: Have you attempted to learn more in [relation to self]? Why (not)?
I think there's a lot more I could have done- I really want to read more... It's not my lack of love for self, though, or lack of care. It's the external pressures, hierarchical beliefs, systems of oppression that are carving their way into my head, and it's been a quite particular journey of stress and resilience in letting those thoughts pierce me. Understanding them, the wounds they leave, and how to best heal myself- that's the current source of mental exhaustion. I know I am not lonely or "un-enough", but I've been taught otherwise for a long, long time...

Question from last entry: Have you attempted to learn more in [relation to others]? Why (not)?
Complex gets better every time I lean closer towards whoever that thought may be targeted towards! All it takes is humbleness and a desire to see people for who they are. Lucky to be skilled with those two.

Direct Impact
Becoming more purposeful with my job. I can tell students value me and have a lot of love and curiosity for both my person, my words, and my deeds. I hope to continue growing my giving to this community, my coworkers, and the land on which I provide service.

Time Sculpting 
Can I do more? Absolutely. But I am feeling intense passion, and the time/effort will come as long as there's drive in the engine. 

Relation to Self
Still so much to improve. The amount of stress I am undergoing literally as I am writing this is so, so intense. And I don't know why; can't wait to get a therapist.

Relation to Others
Excited for next week! Will be meeting a ton of people, seeing some old friends. But most of all, I will continue to dedicate time to my friends from school, for I hope to nurture those connections through my whole lifetime 🙂

 

Thank you for reading! Hope you've found something meaningful while scrolling through ❤️

Po

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Feeling reflective

I'm feeling both very grateful and very frustrated for the last few days.

Grateful because I am learning so much. Frustrated because I'm learning primarily from mistakes. Grateful because it is certainly an improvement from literally yesterday. Frustrated because where I want to be feels (yet) so far.

So, I've been attempting to pause more, to live with more courage, to connect more explicitly with others. A person whom I feel strongly connected to has been recently put into an environment that empowers them to live their best life- I feel so, so happy for them, but at the same time... It's hard not to bring comparisons into my own life. Me and this person share many conversations, which feel equally wonderful to us in the moment. Yet, what they hold from those conversations simply feels to be brighter, stronger, than my forgetfulness. I cannot say that I am not trying my best, but lately it has been feeling simply less than what I know to be capable of. A glass ceiling, you know? 

And yes, I'm slowly pushing that ceiling up, day by day. But there is no breakthrough, and I know, know for sure, that it is possible- that if I were to push in a particular spot, the glass would shatter. But I cannot find that spot, and so I keep coming back to the same poor habits, and keep being inconsistent with my passion projects, and keep losing my awareness and presence.

💗

It felt good to get this out. I have not typed so fiercely in quite some time. 

All I can say, is I am still frustrated. Today was a relapse with pornography, with picking my face, and with anchoring joy to stress. I want to be free! I want to be free NOW! 

And so I'll keep pushing the ceiling with gratitude and frustration. 

💔

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Yesterday was another relapse in pornography- simply wanted to acknowledge that and work through what happened. AND ALSO, want to acknowledge that this is outside of my regular "reflection hours", and I am feeling a bit rushed/uneasy. Yet, I know that this is the right thing to do in this moment.

It was a moment of high stress- I just came from work, and my instant thought was to "relax". And at the moment, the problem is that few other activities offer the same instant high, with reading being the closest. Watching anything on Youtube doesn't feel that fulfilling (though that could change!), meditation is an effort, reading is also just a bit of effort, and podcasts are definitely an effort. Reading is the one to offer an actual distraction- all other activities I tend to zoom out on unless I am putting in the effort... 

I will keep on finding more entertaining books to read, and perhaps will start to play again with Legos? 

Let's get to the rest of the day, and I look forward to a full reflection tomorrow evening.

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There are many things I'd react to, but I'm just gonna go to the crux of why you started journaling again:

On 9/9/2023 at 2:39 PM, Pochatok said:

@james1 It's interesting how you tie that to your goals- I tend to treat it as a more impulsive/subconscious response. To me, saying "my brain [does something to hurt me]" is a bit antagonizing, and whenever those thoughts appear in my head, I attempt to reframe it as "my brain attempts to help me but [does something to hurt me] in the process/as a result]". Helps me feel a bit more self-compassion and treat whatever may be happening as not as detrimental 💛

I've never thought of it in these terms, so thanks for that! I'm almost always thinking something like: "I should know better, but because I don't, I'm gonna put these obstacles in the way and hope for the best."

What's worked for me on my desktop computer was to set up permanent blockers for news. I've never watched porn on my desktop. I also normally spend more time on my desktop than on my phone. News and porn have been a problem for me only on my phone, where it's surprisingly harder to get rid of them; or rather to install a system that would discourage me 100% when I crave porn. I was porn-free from last August to December last year and I haven't been on such a streak since.

17 hours ago, Pochatok said:

Yesterday was another relapse in pornography- simply wanted to acknowledge that and work through what happened. AND ALSO, want to acknowledge that this is outside of my regular "reflection hours", and I am feeling a bit rushed/uneasy. Yet, I know that this is the right thing to do in this moment.

It was a moment of high stress- I just came from work, and my instant thought was to "relax". And at the moment, the problem is that few other activities offer the same instant high, with reading being the closest. Watching anything on Youtube doesn't feel that fulfilling (though that could change!), meditation is an effort, reading is also just a bit of effort, and podcasts are definitely an effort. Reading is the one to offer an actual distraction- all other activities I tend to zoom out on unless I am putting in the effort... 

I will keep on finding more entertaining books to read, and perhaps will start to play again with Legos? 

Let's get to the rest of the day, and I look forward to a full reflection tomorrow evening.

In contrast to you, I don't think I've felt "badly stressed" for several months now, so I don't think my porn usage is due to stress. I just crave something that "fires me up" every now and then. I had a useful and good yesterday, really without any negative emotions during the day. I was genuinely content and mentally tired (but maybe I need to get more physically tired on a regular basis and see if it helps). But right before my bedtime, a thought appeared: "How about some porn?" I just decided to keep lying in my bed, as I set up a new system of blocks yesterday and I fell asleep shortly after. The craving comes from somewhere deep down and I can't figure out where or why, as it just appears out of nowhere.

Therefore, I don't think there's a way to make the rest of my life better/different, which would in effect cure my porn problem. I decided to go with the solution that I should just simply stop. The alternative of looking for "something new and exciting" would be incompatible with the current relationship I have with my girlfriend. She's attractive, both physically and personally, so I don't believe I'm necessarily looking for sexually attractive women in porn to compensate for her. That written, I remember you writing about a partner of yours in the past; having a person to lean on in times of imminent relapse or somebody talk this through could be helpful.

I did a lot of sentence editing of the text as I was writing, so I hope it's coherent and maybe even useful 🙂

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On 9/16/2023 at 10:46 AM, Pochatok said:

Yesterday was another relapse in pornography- simply wanted to acknowledge that and work through what happened. AND ALSO, want to acknowledge that this is outside of my regular "reflection hours", and I am feeling a bit rushed/uneasy. Yet, I know that this is the right thing to do in this moment.

It was a moment of high stress- I just came from work, and my instant thought was to "relax". And at the moment, the problem is that few other activities offer the same instant high, with reading being the closest. Watching anything on Youtube doesn't feel that fulfilling (though that could change!), meditation is an effort, reading is also just a bit of effort, and podcasts are definitely an effort. Reading is the one to offer an actual distraction- all other activities I tend to zoom out on unless I am putting in the effort... 

I will keep on finding more entertaining books to read, and perhaps will start to play again with Legos? 

Let's get to the rest of the day, and I look forward to a full reflection tomorrow evening.

It's good you recognized this. It's ok that you watched porn. It's tough to find a solution. I realized that I needed comfort in order to relax and now I can relax with my wife on the couch. Just that alone cut my porn usage by like 80%. 

I find that I only watch it now when I'm too stressed to do anything and need an immediate release before anything. But that's rare. I think I've gone from 3 times a day to 2 times a week. 

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Did not make space for a reflection yesterday, and ohh man am I in need of one 💀

 

1. Significant Obstacles

Today has been an especially heavy day, but I continue to make the effort of simply being present and intentional with every moment. Each second is an act of consent, of agreeing to be/act/feel/think a certain way. As long as I am meeting this goal, I am living to my fullest, and feel pride for myself. 

What's been making today heavy? First of all, exposure to difficult news. And the interesting thing I've noticed, is that it's not the news, but what they make me realize of myself that makes the headlines so challenging. One headline reminded me that I am not dedicating time and space supporting certain causes (but I feel as though I should- something to journal on), and another of a situation from over a decade ago that I've never reconciled fully with (and for that, I will seek therapy). 

And, the difficulty of balancing a highly ambitious, motivated life with self-compassion has been coming up, again. While I am so happy with how much I am working through, I tend to speak ill of myself as soon as the tempo slows down. I feel as although I am "wasting time", as although my efforts are lacking, as although I am "behind". 

Hope to not stay here. 

The week, on the other hand, has been rather bright overall. I've dealt with a wave of loneliness in a highly efficient, impactful manner. I've began to live much, much more with my passions. And, I've optimized greatly my everyday routines. The challenge now is in implementing the systems, and getting lost in their mundane-ness along the way.

 

2. Happiest Accomplishments

Had an incredibly meaningful hangout yesterday, for the first time since graduation, with a person that has no prior history with me. Felt wonderful. 

I've been writing stories every day. Someday, they will turn into books, films, paintings... But for now, it is a practice of turning my inner state into a universe 🌃

 

3. Life Reflection

Perhaps the most satisfying revelation: there is no lightbulb moments, but rather moments of passing through a certain level of being that resonates with my awareness. This week has been full of moments like that; the smooth motion that turns into miles being passed once you look back. What a wonderful feeling that I feel so lucky to have.

My friends from back home (college) have been growing both more distant and closer. We talk less, but I feel more connected. We think of each other more infrequently, but with more love and passion. We don't feel as attached, but appreciate the history we have shared so far. I'm so grateful for how much awareness of my own beauty and love those people brought into my life with their presence.

 

3. Value Reflection

Direct Impact
Have done a lot, but every day is a big decision: why am I doing this? Why not abandon all and do something else? Quite frustrating to have these questions coming in- it feels although I cannot acknowledge their validity. Every time I give doubt space, and I have in the past, I'd end the thing. And, when it comes to other areas of life like relationships, of course listening to those doubts is a good thing. But every time I think of completing something that truly mattered to me in the end, it was through this kind of turmoil.

My brightest artistic works were those where I had to truly push myself beyond what felt "right". Because, my works are inherently opposing what is deemed "correct". And damn, do I know, deep down, why this work is the work that I want to do? Yes, absolutely. But damn, do I have to dig into myself, so so deeply, everyday, to hear those words... 

Relation to Self
Still waiting on a therapist- benefits have been slow to arrive. However, I've definitely become more loving, ever more loving towards myself. Last couple of days has been a light retraction of intentional self-compassion, so I hope to bring that back soon. 

Relation to Others
Look forward to becoming more visible, both online and in-person. Ultimately, my time always feels so limiting... There is so much more I want to do, so many more people I want to meet- and it sucks that almost every decision in favor of something is a sacrifice against another choice. My life does feel scarce as of lately, at least on the social scene. However, it is a matter of time- I will be able to shift into a different way of being as long as I continue to develop my passions. 

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First off, I have to say you have an interesting style of formulating thoughts and writing 🙂

On 9/18/2023 at 9:08 PM, Pochatok said:

Perhaps the most satisfying revelation: there is no lightbulb moments, but rather moments of passing through a certain level of being that resonates with my awareness. This week has been full of moments like that; the smooth motion that turns into miles being passed once you look back. What a wonderful feeling that I feel so lucky to have.

I can relate to this 100%. It's true that for long-term happiness, we need to be able to appreciate the distance. Occasional short-term exhilaration won't help.

On 9/18/2023 at 9:08 PM, Pochatok said:

Look forward to becoming more visible, both online and in-person. Ultimately, my time always feels so limiting... There is so much more I want to do, so many more people I want to meet- and it sucks that almost every decision in favor of something is a sacrifice against another choice. My life does feel scarce as of lately, at least on the social scene. However, it is a matter of time- I will be able to shift into a different way of being as long as I continue to develop my passions. 

On the flip side, I think that's great! You have the freedom to choose. Many people can't choose, be it because of their physical environment or some mental prison they've constructed. You can weigh options against one another and choose the one that best serves you and your values, temporal or long-term.

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16 hours ago, Ikar said:

First off, I have to say you have an interesting style of formulating thoughts and writing 🙂

Thank you so much- I'm curious as to what you mean by this!

16 hours ago, Ikar said:

You can weigh options against one another and choose the one that best serves you and your values, temporal or long-term.

You're so right! Gotta check my privileges on this end more often +_+ I am so lucky to have people whom I can call friends, even if they're hundreds of miles away. 

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Woah, today went from a below-average to mind-bursting in an instant. Hard to bounce back, though at this point I can feel my future self gently massaging my back as I'm typing. So lucky to feel this connection 💛 And even luckier to feel love for the person I was just a couple hours ago, even though their decisions are hurting me a lot now.

A misogynistic comment at work has been made, and though I had the strength to not enter complicity and smile along (at least not consciously) with others, I did not take the courage to address the issue and speak up. It is very hard to accept this- I feel so small and weak

The entire interaction, really, felt disempowering. While I am still struggling to see what exactly put so much weight on me, I generally felt misunderstood, not taken seriously, and perhaps even talked down upon in some situations. I certainly felt a strong struggle to stay attuned to my values- did I? 

It's hard to look at the situation from an outsider perspective yet, at least not while I am reflecting. How about this: I'll pause this entry and reflect right now.

... 📖 Journaling 📑 ...

A couple takeaways: I do not think that anyone was intentionally putting me down. Perhaps what is going on is my inability to digest some social cues- for example, I could notice that folks where laughing/smirking between each other at certain moments, but it was hard for me to tie that into any cognitive conclusions. It was something I simply noticed. 

And ultimately, I am very glad to be caring so deeply about this, and not wanting to put up with it by the slightest. I remembered times of similar feeling across the prior months- these are the moments when my internal tectonic plates shift, when my future self shines through me. This is the moment of a significant possibility to become someone different. And I will grasp it :335_cloud_lightning:

It's amazing how moments like these always go from happening to me to happening for me. I only wish that this cognitive path was a bit shorter, for the pain of the journey from one to the other is immense- it has taken me ~2hrs to get to this point. And I'm still plenty of hurt. 

To those kind people who take the time and effort to read these- thank you so much. You're helping me build my future self, cell by cell. 

Po

 

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28 minutes ago, Pochatok said:

Woah, today went from a below-average to mind-bursting in an instant. Hard to bounce back, though at this point I can feel my future self gently massaging my back as I'm typing. So lucky to feel this connection 💛 And even luckier to feel love for the person I was just a couple hours ago, even though their decisions are hurting me a lot now.

A misogynistic comment at work has been made, and though I had the strength to not enter complicity and smile along (at least not consciously) with others, I did not take the courage to address the issue and speak up. It is very hard to accept this- I feel so small and weak

The entire interaction, really, felt disempowering. While I am still struggling to see what exactly put so much weight on me, I generally felt misunderstood, not taken seriously, and perhaps even talked down upon in some situations. I certainly felt a strong struggle to stay attuned to my values- did I? 

It's hard to look at the situation from an outsider perspective yet, at least not while I am reflecting. How about this: I'll pause this entry and reflect right now.

... 📖 Journaling 📑 ...

A couple takeaways: I do not think that anyone was intentionally putting me down. Perhaps what is going on is my inability to digest some social cues- for example, I could notice that folks where laughing/smirking between each other at certain moments, but it was hard for me to tie that into any cognitive conclusions. It was something I simply noticed. 

And ultimately, I am very glad to be caring so deeply about this, and not wanting to put up with it by the slightest. I remembered times of similar feeling across the prior months- these are the moments when my internal tectonic plates shift, when my future self shines through me. This is the moment of a significant possibility to become someone different. And I will grasp it :335_cloud_lightning:

It's amazing how moments like these always go from happening to me to happening for me. I only wish that this cognitive path was a bit shorter, for the pain of the journey from one to the other is immense- it has taken me ~2hrs to get to this point. And I'm still plenty of hurt. 

To those kind people who take the time and effort to read these- thank you so much. You're helping me build my future self, cell by cell. 

Po

 

It's tough to be the person who calls out wrongdoing all the time. People chatting on my online game used to tell me 'don't be that guy' at the same time as saying 'nobody cares'; it was quite sad. Reputations for that are salvageable though, and if you're doing a lot of quieter, hands-on work at the same time, you'll probably find the majority of people think pretty well of you - enough to manage the fact that a few might not. 2 cents 😛 

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On 9/18/2023 at 8:08 PM, Pochatok said:

I've been writing stories every day. Someday, they will turn into books, films, paintings... But for now, it is a practice of turning my inner state into a universe 🌃

 

That's amazing! Earlier this year I managed to write a story a day for just over a month and it was great, but sadly I've haven't been consistently writing for months now.

9 hours ago, Pochatok said:

A misogynistic comment at work has been made, and though I had the strength to not enter complicity and smile along (at least not consciously) with others, I did not take the courage to address the issue and speak up. It is very hard to accept this- I feel so small and weak

 

Without knowing the details... I know it can be difficult to cope when your actions (or lack of actions) don't align with your values, but you also can't expect yourself to act 100% right in 100% of situations. Addressing such comments at work is especially difficult. Plus, for me at least, I can be a bit slow to process something (especially in group situations), and by the time I've worked out what someone has said, the conversation has moved on. Just by reflecting on it, I think you are strengthening your ability to speak up in the future.

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9 hours ago, Pochatok said:

Thank you so much- I'm curious as to what you mean by this!

In a way, your writing reminds me of this guy here. I like it 😄

9 hours ago, Pochatok said:

Woah, today went from a below-average to mind-bursting in an instant. Hard to bounce back, though at this point I can feel my future self gently massaging my back as I'm typing. So lucky to feel this connection 💛 And even luckier to feel love for the person I was just a couple hours ago, even though their decisions are hurting me a lot now.

A misogynistic comment at work has been made, and though I had the strength to not enter complicity and smile along (at least not consciously) with others, I did not take the courage to address the issue and speak up. It is very hard to accept this- I feel so small and weak

The entire interaction, really, felt disempowering. While I am still struggling to see what exactly put so much weight on me, I generally felt misunderstood, not taken seriously, and perhaps even talked down upon in some situations. I certainly felt a strong struggle to stay attuned to my values- did I? 

It's hard to look at the situation from an outsider perspective yet, at least not while I am reflecting. How about this: I'll pause this entry and reflect right now.

... 📖 Journaling 📑 ...

A couple takeaways: I do not think that anyone was intentionally putting me down. Perhaps what is going on is my inability to digest some social cues- for example, I could notice that folks where laughing/smirking between each other at certain moments, but it was hard for me to tie that into any cognitive conclusions. It was something I simply noticed. 

And ultimately, I am very glad to be caring so deeply about this, and not wanting to put up with it by the slightest. I remembered times of similar feeling across the prior months- these are the moments when my internal tectonic plates shift, when my future self shines through me. This is the moment of a significant possibility to become someone different. And I will grasp it :335_cloud_lightning:

It's amazing how moments like these always go from happening to me to happening for me. I only wish that this cognitive path was a bit shorter, for the pain of the journey from one to the other is immense- it has taken me ~2hrs to get to this point. And I'm still plenty of hurt. 

To those kind people who take the time and effort to read these- thank you so much. You're helping me build my future self, cell by cell. 

Po

It all depends on the context that you are in. If you think the guy just made a comment/joke to make others laugh, I'd say that's fine.

If you think it was directly aimed at somebody in the office/you, you could confront this guy (in a calm way) and learn why they are putting you through this. I've been pranked before and it was funny for others, EXACTLY because I took myself too seriously and overreacted and did stupid shit. Do you really want to give a damn about a few strangers/colleagues laughing at something? Maybe yes, maybe not.

There are two types of people who laugh at "Women are X. Men are Y. Greens are Z." jokes:

1) they laugh, because they think it's true and just want a relief from their reality (especially if it's the opposite categories, i.e. women joking about men) and

2) they laugh, because they know it's absurd.

That way, generally everybody laughs at these jokes.

The amount of smack talk and deadpan jokes that my girlfriend makes about kids would make you believe that she really hates kids, yet it's not true and she wants to have kids in the future.

I make a personal ecological effort, yet I can laugh both at the people who glue themselves to the road ("Oh, so you want to "save the planet" by disrupting the traffic, hence making everybody burn more fuel and making everybody adhere to your own personal worldview?") AND the people who don't recycle or waste a lot of food, by calling them primitive barbarians without any culture and regard for the environment.

These things are hard 😄

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