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Ending the Loop


Pochatok
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Day 44. Today is a stepping stone of some sort, or at least I want it to be. Let's discuss...

Following a lot of hype, an update for a game that I still follow on social media came out today. I woke up at 6AM to check the notifications and couldn't go back to sleep. I spent at least an hour on social media today. I did not have any urges to play, but just watching other people enjoy the game and be happy attracts my attention. But, I cannot fully enjoy spending time this way, because I always feel the guilt at the end of the day, knowing how much time I have forever spent not the way I'd really want to; I wish I had that one hour to paint instead, or to plan ahead tomorrow so that I can rest more today... 

So, with this, I think that I want to keep a second counter- days without Twitter. And I want it to be a count-down; rather than seeing how far I can go, I simply want to not use social media for a certain period of time, and then dive back in to see what I missed, and then repeat the process. Let's see how this goes. 

To start off, I will keep myself committed by

  1. Journaling here daily for the next week 
  2. Blocking all social media across all my devices except for youtube (which I intend to restrict as well though) and instagram (which is not a place for gaming news to me)
  3. Finding other activities to make this void less empty, let's try joining art livestreams on youtube and discord art channels I am a part of, for now. 
  4. Announcing this commitment here! Another way to keep myself accountable. 
  5. Writing down why I want to do this, every day:

WHY I AM QUITTING:

Social media always leaves traces of guilt behind even if I am enjoying it in the moment. It does not make me happier or contribute to my growth in any way. Not all in life is about growth, but neither this activity makes me happy. It has no benefit to me or other people. I will be a happier person without it, and I will also have much more time on my hands without it as well. Time to get rid of another weakness, time to get my discipline up!

Besides this, life is pretty good. I have been focused an productive today. Compared to where I was a year ago when a similar update released, I am doing so much better. Last year, I spent a few hours a day being hyped up for the update through social media usage, and when it released, played for quite a few hours. In fact, for about 2 months after the release was when I put the game down as I found it too meaningless and not rewarding. I've made a good amount of progress, but I can make far more. I want to be closer to living the life from my dreams (yes, I like my life when I sleep lol)!

This is it for today, thank you for reading 🙂

--

Po

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Day 46 for gaming: Wanted to game a bit when the update came out, but that urge has quickly dissapeared. Working has been very rewarding lately. I feel very firtunate to have and excel at the jobs I am a part of. 

Social media: Day Zero. I have attempted to block it on most of my devices, semi-successfully. Just took some time to block it all the way. Overall, my time spent on social media has decreased a lot and I honestly feel less stressed out. Every time I have gone on social media in the last two days, I feel that I accumulate stress in some way. Yes, it can be rewarding and exciting, but the more often I do it the more stressful it becomes. I think that limiting some websites completely until 2022 would be an interesting experiment. If I were to hold off social media for so long it certainly would feel quite rewarding to come back to it later~ 

Let's try that. I no longer should have easy access to social media on any of my devices. I want to make progress, and I feel like I am making it already!

 

Other than that, it has been a very exhausting week. Looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow, hopefully. 

Po

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15 hours ago, Pochatok said:

Day 46 for gaming: Wanted to game a bit when the update came out, but that urge has quickly dissapeared. Working has been very rewarding lately. I feel very firtunate to have and excel at the jobs I am a part of. 

Social media: Day Zero. I have attempted to block it on most of my devices, semi-successfully. Just took some time to block it all the way. Overall, my time spent on social media has decreased a lot and I honestly feel less stressed out. Every time I have gone on social media in the last two days, I feel that I accumulate stress in some way. Yes, it can be rewarding and exciting, but the more often I do it the more stressful it becomes. I think that limiting some websites completely until 2022 would be an interesting experiment. If I were to hold off social media for so long it certainly would feel quite rewarding to come back to it later~ 

Let's try that. I no longer should have easy access to social media on any of my devices. I want to make progress, and I feel like I am making it already!

 

Other than that, it has been a very exhausting week. Looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow, hopefully. 

Po

Before you quit social media I think you gotta study why it's so important to you. There might be 3 reasons or 5 or 7. Once you have these reasons write them down and figure out a plan to overcome the reasons. Loneliness, instant gratification, progression, reading, escapism, e.t.c. 

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On 9/4/2021 at 4:49 AM, BooksandTrees said:

Before you quit social media I think you gotta study why it's so important to you. There might be 3 reasons or 5 or 7. Once you have these reasons write them down and figure out a plan to overcome the reasons. Loneliness, instant gratification, progression, reading, escapism, e.t.c. 

Thank you! Let me try that right now:

1. I find the process of gamedevelopment very fascinating. It is exciting to see a passionate team push out an update, to see the creativity, time, and effort put into it. 

2. It is exciting to see the people's positive reactions to a new game, and how they manage to express themselves through it. I find it exciting to see connections be built between the gaming community and developers through appreciation.

3. It is a form of social connection in some way for me- I like seeing people being joyous, and I see that a lot on social media (or rather I search for it a lot). I feel their emotions and feelings very well myself, and so it feels like I am a part of their "community". Shortly before I got into GQ, I would play games only to post screenshots/gameplay on social media to connect with others. OOO this is a discovery! I've never thought of it this way!

4. It is a way to distract and numb myself from other things. That also helps me deal with stress and tiredness towards the end of the day- it makes me feel slightly better. 

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Gaming: Day 48; No urges. I thought of watching a gameplay video, but it does not fullfill the lack of social activities I was feeling today. Instead I watched Invincible- I think I watched too much by about 15 minutes, and it was a slightly better experience. I think in the future, I want to try watching something that is more dear to me. Reading while eating is compicated, but listening or even just watching something is a good way to keep me occupied while I have dinner. I'm going to make a playlist right now.

--

Done!

Social Media: 2; I think that I am no longer *actually* going on social media sites, but I still find ways to cheat the system just once a day. I am feeling better and worse. I feel less stressed with the negativity of twitter gone, but there is a greater social anxiety due to heavier feelings of loneliness. That's okay though, I just need to push myself to make connections and try to love people more. 

Journaling:

The last few days have been difficult for me due to both simply being busy, undergoing a lot of personal challenges, and experiencing more mental health issues. I really feel like I would like to see if anything is diagnosable for me; there are days when I, for no reason, feel very sad/lost/depressed, and there are days when I simply lose my regular sense of the world, and have difficulties connecting with other people and myself. I've been experiencing this before, but believed that this was a part of "being normal". The more I stay in the real world, the less I escape, the more it is obvious to me that there are a lot of cracks in my mental health that I do not have the capacity to fix by my own. I've scheduled a counceling appointment, 8 days from now. I don't think I am falling apart, I can wait; this is just very frustrating to be living through atm- to not have control or understanding of my mental health. 

Other than that, I want to brighten up my evening a bit by listing the successes and failures of the last few days.

Failures:

  1. I've relapsed with porn towards the end of August, when I was so close to having one of the best, in terms of not being a porn addict, months so far. Dissapointing, but also understandable- there were a lot of triggers. Keep on keeping on.
  2. I'm not 100% productive or effective in the last few days. I'm struggling to keep all my tasks in focus and, though I am by no means procrastinating, I feel like some responsibilities are going to start slipping through my fingers soon. Don't want that to happen- let's keep a good posture and try harder!
  3. My diet hasn't been the best, and I've been struggling to exercise in a consistent manner this week. I've been eating slightly more sugar than usual, not eating the foods I'd like to eat in general, and also often being too tired for a good amount of exercise. Today was a good day, though!

Successes:

  1. Literally everyone is complimenting my looks every day. I've not experienced this before; it feels great, especially given that I am doing absolutely nothing to get those compliments lol. Perhaps I am coming closer to dressing as an authentic (my)self. 
  2. I am doing well at my jobs, still. I feel like I've made a lot of good impact, but also have learned a lot. Hope that this hard work will pay off in the future!
  3. My relationship with my partner is going well. I am feeling like we are dealing with conflicts better, and sharing more love. It's always nice, especially when this is the 3rd year into our relationship heh. It's not getting old still!

--

This is it for now, time to put some good work into the last two hours of the day!

Be well,

Po

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3 hours ago, Pochatok said:

Gaming: Day 48; No urges. I thought of watching a gameplay video, but it does not fullfill the lack of social activities I was feeling today. Instead I watched Invincible- I think I watched too much by about 15 minutes, and it was a slightly better experience. I think in the future, I want to try watching something that is more dear to me. Reading while eating is compicated, but listening or even just watching something is a good way to keep me occupied while I have dinner. I'm going to make a playlist right now.

--

Done!

Social Media: 2; I think that I am no longer *actually* going on social media sites, but I still find ways to cheat the system just once a day. I am feeling better and worse. I feel less stressed with the negativity of twitter gone, but there is a greater social anxiety due to heavier feelings of loneliness. That's okay though, I just need to push myself to make connections and try to love people more. 

Journaling:

The last few days have been difficult for me due to both simply being busy, undergoing a lot of personal challenges, and experiencing more mental health issues. I really feel like I would like to see if anything is diagnosable for me; there are days when I, for no reason, feel very sad/lost/depressed, and there are days when I simply lose my regular sense of the world, and have difficulties connecting with other people and myself. I've been experiencing this before, but believed that this was a part of "being normal". The more I stay in the real world, the less I escape, the more it is obvious to me that there are a lot of cracks in my mental health that I do not have the capacity to fix by my own. I've scheduled a counceling appointment, 8 days from now. I don't think I am falling apart, I can wait; this is just very frustrating to be living through atm- to not have control or understanding of my mental health. 

Other than that, I want to brighten up my evening a bit by listing the successes and failures of the last few days.

Failures:

  1. I've relapsed with porn towards the end of August, when I was so close to having one of the best, in terms of not being a porn addict, months so far. Dissapointing, but also understandable- there were a lot of triggers. Keep on keeping on.
  2. I'm not 100% productive or effective in the last few days. I'm struggling to keep all my tasks in focus and, though I am by no means procrastinating, I feel like some responsibilities are going to start slipping through my fingers soon. Don't want that to happen- let's keep a good posture and try harder!
  3. My diet hasn't been the best, and I've been struggling to exercise in a consistent manner this week. I've been eating slightly more sugar than usual, not eating the foods I'd like to eat in general, and also often being too tired for a good amount of exercise. Today was a good day, though!

Successes:

  1. Literally everyone is complimenting my looks every day. I've not experienced this before; it feels great, especially given that I am doing absolutely nothing to get those compliments lol. Perhaps I am coming closer to dressing as an authentic (my)self. 
  2. I am doing well at my jobs, still. I feel like I've made a lot of good impact, but also have learned a lot. Hope that this hard work will pay off in the future!
  3. My relationship with my partner is going well. I am feeling like we are dealing with conflicts better, and sharing more love. It's always nice, especially when this is the 3rd year into our relationship heh. It's not getting old still!

--

This is it for now, time to put some good work into the last two hours of the day!

Be well,

Po

Be careful calling things failures. You have to be kind to yourself. Call it a slip up or accident or room for improvement. 

Sometimes a diagnosis helps but it only does so much. I got diagnosed with major depressive disorder and I'm on a 40 mg dosage of prozac. It helps me tremendously. 

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5 hours ago, Pochatok said:

Social Media: 2; I think that I am no longer *actually* going on social media sites, but I still find ways to cheat the system just once a day. I am feeling better and worse. I feel less stressed with the negativity of twitter gone, but there is a greater social anxiety due to heavier feelings of loneliness. That's okay though, I just need to push myself to make connections and try to love people more. 

I found out that limiting social media is best done by going out and just doing things with people. I think any social activity does the trick, except something too idiotic such as drug abuse. Getting social hobbies is key! I found a way to use FB to my advantage, searching for events I would be interested in and using my IG as a directory for people.

5 hours ago, Pochatok said:

I've relapsed with porn towards the end of August, when I was so close to having one of the best, in terms of not being a porn addict, months so far. Dissapointing, but also understandable- there were a lot of triggers. Keep on keeping on.

You mentioned you can't have sex with your partner before due to health reasons. Is there any other way you can use your sexuality in a more useful way than just watching porn?

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On 9/5/2021 at 11:27 PM, BooksandTrees said:

Be careful calling things failures. You have to be kind to yourself. Call it a slip up or accident or room for improvement. 

Sometimes a diagnosis helps but it only does so much. I got diagnosed with major depressive disorder and I'm on a 40 mg dosage of prozac. It helps me tremendously. 

Thank you! Sometimes I forget how much phrasing matters. Yes, I agree- there might not even be anything to diagnose; I think that more than knowing if I am mentally healthy overall, I simply want to feel better. The last few weeks have been very rough, and though I have definitely had a lot of happy moments, there was rarely a day when I would not feel strong anxiety or stress, often for no specific reason. It's very frustrating; I feel like I should be happy with how good my life is right now. Counseling in 3 days, yay!

On 9/6/2021 at 1:35 AM, Ikar said:

I found out that limiting social media is best done by going out and just doing things with people. I think any social activity does the trick, except something too idiotic such as drug abuse. Getting social hobbies is key! I found a way to use FB to my advantage, searching for events I would be interested in and using my IG as a directory for people.

Yes, absolutely! I've been trying to not go on the phone whenever there is people around me lately. Though i still need to make a lot of progress to stop media usage completely, I am in a much better place than I was just a couple weeks ago. 

 

On 9/6/2021 at 1:35 AM, Ikar said:

You mentioned you can't have sex with your partner before due to health reasons. Is there any other way you can use your sexuality in a more useful way than just watching porn?

Honestly, I don't think that my sexuality is the issue; it's loneliness. My porn usage started from, I believe, just not having a lot of people to connect to, and so my fascination with it grew into an addiction. Again, I hope that by meeting more people and confronting my social anxieties, I will be able to get over it.

 

Thank you both for your input, I really appreciate it! You're the bestest!!!

Po

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Gaming: 54 -- I am having minor urges due to loneliness, but I have been dealing with them in a suprisingly positive way this week. I cannot say that I have been feeling happy a lot of often since my last entry, but I am dealing with all the negative stuff better than usual

Social Media: 0 -- My usage has significantly decreased to 2-5 minutes a day, but I still cannot regulate myself fully. There is an urge to check social media at least once a day, and that is giving me a lot of stress. The reason for the counter continually resetting is because I cannot fully block my access to it, and so it really comes down to my own self-control. I have to be much more intentional and motivated about this. I will journal sometime later about more reasons to quit social media/ Additionally, I think it would be useful to read some stories about people who have gone on a complete detox, and how social media is harmful to my life. 

Journaling

I had a week full of training for a job, and it was very long and very exhausting. Fortunately, I was able to get some smaller things done along the way, and that prevented to-do lists from piling up towards the weekend. I have also been experiencing stronger anxiety about loneliness, and once again questioning who I actually want to become

The more I distance myself from various forms of escapism, the more my pain hits, I think. Being on my own has not bothered me as much before, and nor has a lack of meaningful relationships. A part of the issue is, perphaps, the fact that my partner is making a lot of friends, and I am not making as many. I am very happy for my partner, but because of how much they are socializing, I get less time to be with her, and get reminded that I am certainly not as loved. I like being loved I guess lol. Hugs!!!

In terms of not knowing who I want to be... This is such an ancient issue for me. 

-- Took a two hour break --

Yes, I think that there is a lot of things I am very passionate about that I want to do so badly, like making my own art book/comic/animated movie, or composing soundtracks for video games- every time I think about these, my heart burtsts with excitement~ But on the other hand, there are things that bring me less joy and happiness, but in which I find a lot of value- like teaching and mentoring others. And at times, I am very unsure of how I can combine the two... I love making art and music, but when it comes to teaching, I prefer subjects like writing and academic success, since I find them more helpful to a larger and more diverse number of people

I think that I need to re-evaluate the reasons I find music and art less "valuable"; perhaps a shift of mindset would allow me to combine the passions instead of keeping them parallel. It is my 2nd to last year at college and I still do not know what I am doing... However, I do know that I am enjoying whatever is happening to me and around me. Perhaps, I should keep things the way they are, but try to understand them more.

Good things from this week:

  • I enjoyed training for my job, and felt like I had a lot to learn! Not sure if I feel more prepared, but at least I feel like I am in a better place. Time to kick my social anxiety's butt!!
  • I have been eating better foods, and reading nearly every day (like 6/7); keeping good habits like this makes me happy
  • There has been a good amount of progress made with my bad habits and tendencies; I hope it doesn't slow down
  • I just hang out with a friend and it was a very good time

The Negatives:

  • I am experiencing a lot of social anxiety, or perhaps anxiety in general. It is a bit weird
  • The weather is very humid today, ew
  • I have way too much work to do, and I am not managing it well at the moment. Time to organize myself!

That's all for this week, looking forward to counseling in two days.

Thank you all who read this, you truly make my day~

Po

 

 

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Hi Po, firstly congrats on making it to day 54, I'll try to read your earlier entries when I get a chance.

Loneliness is an interesting point you make as with social distancing and quarantining, this has definitely made social contact difficult. I hope you don't feel as lonely when you interact with this forum?

I would find it scary if my partner was making lots of new friends and I wasn't. Are you worried you might lose your partner or they will find their new friends more interesting? It's a potentially vulnerable position to be in and possibly triggering for escapism. Can I suggest a loving kindness meditation track? I find it helpful when I'm being hard on myself.

I hope your counselling session this week is helpful. 

CG EYE

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On 9/13/2021 at 6:39 AM, CG EYE said:

Hi Po, firstly congrats on making it to day 54, I'll try to read your earlier entries when I get a chance.

Loneliness is an interesting point you make as with social distancing and quarantining, this has definitely made social contact difficult. I hope you don't feel as lonely when you interact with this forum?

I would find it scary if my partner was making lots of new friends and I wasn't. Are you worried you might lose your partner or they will find their new friends more interesting? It's a potentially vulnerable position to be in and possibly triggering for escapism. Can I suggest a loving kindness meditation track? I find it helpful when I'm being hard on myself.

I hope your counselling session this week is helpful. 

CG EYE

Thank you CG EYE!

I think that quarantine has contributed to loneliness, but it has been a long standing issue for me due to a variety of problems caused by mostly childhood issues. I'm trying to make it better! And yes, GQ is a place that certainly helps; I appreciate your support 🙂 

I don't think I am worrying about losing my partner- I trust them enough to not feel this way. What bothered me more was that her social life reminded me how mine was pretty lackluster, and I had few people to spend time with. Thank you for the meditation track, I have never really considering diving into that but do believe that it can be helpful; hope to make use of it over the weekend hehe

The counselling was quite helpful, thank you!

Po

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Gaming: 61. No urges; I enjoy thinking of creating a video game, but none of the games that currently exist really feel worthwhile to me. There is always more exciting things in the real world. 

Social Media: 1. Yesterday evening I did go on social media, but for the last week I have been not doing anything beyond searching up a social media account on google and then closing the page. I feel much more disengaged from gaming this way, and it does make me feel less stressed. Not happier, but certainly helps with stress management. 

Journaling

I have been doing much better with porn addiction the more people I am talking to. It's super amazing to be able to talk to people without focusing on whether they are physically attractive or not, to be able to just appreciate their character. The unrealistic beauty standards in pornography are leaving my brain. I also am enjoying not being heavily distracted by seeing anything "explicit" anywhere (online or around me); I feel like I can focus on my day and control my urges much better than a week ago. I'm also taking cold showers every day, and it's become easy! I think I can jump into a frozen lake without much hesistation now; my discipline is improving. 
There is still some of that hard-to-explain sadness and lack of motivation I am experiencing, but I am noticing patterns! My urge for social media and other bad habits increases in the days prior, and I do feel/think that I feel more lonely. Though I am experiencing these feelings right now, they are under a much stricter control and my day goes on!

What I have done today (since I am feeling kind of guilty about not doing much lol):

  1. Made some minor edits to a newsletter I am publishing. 
  2. Completed some HW online and for an Art Class
  3. Sent out a bunch of Emails

What I am not going to do today:

  1. Propel my bad habits forward
  2. Avoid difficult tasks
  3. Be physically uncomfortable
  4. Feel bad for taking care of myself

Some good things from this week:

  • I got a scholarship! I think it's the first one ever in my life
  • My classes are awesome
  • I've set some exciting goals for the first time in awhile. Good to back on track with this stuff
  • It feels as if I have more time for myself. There is a slight sense of guilt ("i am not doing enough!!! Lazy!"), but in general I am fairly happy- there is finally enough time for doing things I find important rather than the things that are important for others.

Some baddies:

  • Sleep schedule has been all over the place, though it's getting more stable
  • I am not feeling very happy right now
  • My room is a mess haha
  • A few projects have completely blown their deadlines; however, it is not completely my fault -_-

 

This is it for this week. I hope that I will feel happier next time I am journaling 🙂 

Stay well,
Po

 

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