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Bugg's Journey. Journal Mk2

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Spent the day reviewing paper journals from the last 3 years, analyzing thought patterns and common issues. Reviewed my old GQ journal in detail, making a list of observations that may prove useful moving forwards. I have not yet committed to giving up games forever, but I am committing to 30 days of no games, Netflix, YouTube, social media or digital escape of any kind (apart from the yoga practice I follow on YouTube). I have also committed to 30 days of yoga alongside this, and hope to tick off my other habits each day throughout the month; meditation and music (mainly piano, but singing and guitar if the mood strikes). I have finally found a job so I will have that to keep me busier at least, though I know this will likley also be a source of anxiety (it already is and I haven't started yet), it will be interesting to see how I cope. Whilst I have attempted a detox before, I haven't gone the whole hog with digital media for any significant length of time. I'm going to have my resources from therapy handy in case I need them. I don't plan to update here during the 30 days, but I'll keep a paper record and plan to update in Feb. I then plan to try and reintroduce TV with some restrictions, but I am not making plans for a return to gaming. We will see what happens. I am nervous, but hopeful. I'm going to have another look through respawn during this time too. 

This is a long list of all observations made reviewing my journal from my last detox:

  • On March 5th 2018 I embarked upon a 90 day gaming detox, stating; "I'm constantly looking back over my life wishing I'd done things differently." Upon quitting I felt "a tremendous sense of loss." I also said "This is madness, I'm giving up such a source of joy" and "what will my friends think". 
  • I deleted my Sims 4 saves and found this more difficult than anticipated.
  • I sold my PS4 and games. I removed Steam from my PC. 
  • I felt like I was spending too much time on the forum to help fill the void. 
  • I noticed that I am attracted to relationships where I can play co-operatively. 
  • I spent more time working out - for a while at least.
  • I had nightmares. Of decisions, choice, escape, running, intense fear.
  • Cam said "Be mindful of language used, reflect and notice where I am committed  'I will do this' or 'hopeful' i.e; less committed."
  • I was anxious to socialize but when I did I had a nice time. 
  • TV still caused me to be unproductive. 
  • I tried google calendar; it did not end up suiting me. 
  • I discovered the bullet journal method and it stuck! I still use it to this day and find it immensely useful. 
  • Meditating daily is good, I committed for most of the detox.
  • When anxious, move around! Just move.
  • Last time I ended up turning to Netflix, YouTube and sugar to escape my feelings. I need a contingency plan
  • Without the internet I felt lonely. 
  • I set too many goals and became disheartened when I couldn't achieve them all. 
  • My focus improved. Less brain fog. 
  • Spent more time prepping healthy food. 
  • Drinking water slowly whilst making oats on a morning was good. 
  • Feeling crappy was a regular occurrence, I had a defeatist attitude and waning motivation. 
  • Yoga is helpful! Mindfulness too!
  • Social stuff is hard, don't put too much pressure on yourself. 
  • I aspired to theatre, but tried and it wasn't for me, I'm glad I tried so that now I know!
  • I enjoyed productive mornings with an early rise. I'd made a healthy breakfast, meditated, went for a jog and practiced German all before 9am. 
  • I really enjoy listening to music. 
  • Not good enough? Not good enough... yet! 
  • I knew Netflix was a big problem. 
  • Moderation is hard. 
  • Crying is OK. Try not to be so hard on yourself. 
  • I worried that writing makes me feel sorry for myself. It is worth being mindful of my words.
  • I often struggle to lift myself out of a slump. 
  • Whenever I sing, I remember how much I love it. 
  • Playing guitar is also a pleasure. 
  • I have never wanted to let go of Pokémon. (Still don't).
  • Intense nervous energy present often. 
  • I stated "I can't go back." But I did. 
  • Allowed myself to rest and recharge when I truly needed it. 
  • I felt like there wasn't enough time in the day, even without games. 
  • When I become exhausted my mental health suffers. Recharge time is essential
  • I am often unwilling to accept advice as it is.
  • My journal inspired others. 
  • Healthy coping mechanisms are required. 
  • On Day 30 the urge to game was intense. I longed for the sense of mastery .. achievement. 
  • Self discipline is poor generally, I often compound the issue with too-high expectations. 
  • I need to feel like I am moving towards my passion in order to feel fulfilled and motivated. 
  • Not feeling good enough is a constant narrative. 
  • I looked forward to playing guitar with mum. 
  • Bad habit of using tech first thing in the morning. 
  • Self compassion is vital.
  • Watching/reading around self improvement is not enough, I need to be an active participant in that process, not a mere spectator. 
  • I am quick to fill the void with mindless entertainment. 
  • Tackling deeper problems/root cause is essential. 
  • I struggled with fatigue - a lot. 
  • I felt silly for giving up games. 
  • I spent a lot of time thinking. 
  • I committed to not entertaining negative emotions, no dwelling. That didn't stick. 
  • I spent time truly appreciating the birds. 
  • I felt guilt over making no real musical progress. 
  • I found it fairly easy to abstain from games, but impossible the subsequent Netflix and YouTube holes that took their place.
  • I began embracing minimalism. 
  • An evening screen time cut off is useful. 9pm?
  • An entertainment limit could work - if adhered to. 2 hours per night/7 hours per week max? Self control needed. Possible? 
  • It is better to have tried and failed than to have never made the attempt. 
  • A dopamine fast may prove useful. 
  • To become proficient in anything I must prioritize my time and interests. 
  • Life doesn't wait. 
  • "Endless pleasure becomes it's own form of punishment"  - Ryan Holiday.
  • No Netflix saw a marked improvement in productivity. 
  • Life's a challenge but it would be hella boring otherwise. 
  • Anxiety never went away. Depression began to worsen after 1 week without Netflix. No escape? 
  • Gave into Netflix after around 2 weeks. 
  • Mood continued to worsen.
  • Began to look forward to games after detox. Convinced self no point in detox if going to game again. 
  • Relapse Day 75. 
  • Re-started detox.
  • Felt sense of injustice; I wanted to be capable of gaming in moderation, watching Netflix/YouTube etc.
  • Mental health continues to worsen. 
  • Relapse. Day 5. (No games but too much TV)
  • Start again, gave into YouTube rabbit hole Day 4. 
  • Gave up. Started gaming again. 

- For a while I was gaming in moderation, but I'd say my other digital escapes were still excessive. Slowly games have crept back into my days more and more. Especially since the lockdowns, but I can't claim that as an excuse. 

- Mood improved with antidepressants. Came off due to side effects. Went back on when things got bad again, came off due to side effects and feeling better. 
- No medication currently, mental health not stable but don't want medication. Seeking holistic approaches - like living a more meaningful life!

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