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Brian's Journal II


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Wow. I came to last week and realized I'd been living in a dream for several months. My psychiatrist recommended an SSRI to help me feel more energetic back in the beginning of 2020 (wow has it really been that long) and the addict in me wants a quick fix for everything so I accepted even though I have known for years, through many trials, that SSRIs make me completely unambitious and lazy. It's a strange sort of complacency. I didn't feel more energetic at all, I simply didn't care that I was tired. I disappeared a couple months ago from this forum mainly because all I was doing was working, eating DoorDash, and gaming. I could easily blame the medication for this, and to be sure it does bear a lot of responsibility, but I chose to keep taking it. I stopped on Tuesday and feel completely different already. The brain-lightning hasn't happened yet (anyone who has ever taken and then gotten off of an SSRI knows what I'm talking about) so I'm looking forward to that trial. It only lasts a couple days, though.

All isn't bad. I still have a 4.0 in college and I am graduating a year earlier than expected so I've begun to really commit to getting some coding projects done. A friend of mine is a senior software engineer for PNC in Texas and recommended I learn Go so that I can apply when I get my degree, so I've been running through some advanced tutorials on YouTube. I've already figured out how to deploy a server and build an API so, again, I can't say the last few months have been all bad. I would just be much further if I hadn't been totally soulless.

So, I'm back. I even blogged today after not feeling like writing for a year. I squeezed out a terrible post here and there but nothing I was proud of. I never know what I'll feel like tomorrow but I am confident it'll be better than yesterday.

Edited by ceponatia
Didn't like the title. :P
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10 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

Welcome back and I'm happy you're graduating soon. Relapses happen and you've seen it before with other addictions you've overcome. You're always welcome here. I'm proud of you for returning. 


Thank you for your kind words! I'm glad I'm back as well. You're right, relapse is just a part of recovery. I have quite a few addictions I'm trying to tackle right now besides gaming. Drinking too much soda is the other big one. Then there's only eating fast food for the last year. I don't know how I have extra money these days with how much I order delivery but I suppose not being able to go shopping for toys has helped mediate that. If I could stick to a meal plan and stop drinking soda I'd probably become a millionaire very quickly (not really) 😉

This is day 2 of being out of my SSRI-induced apathy cloud and I've had a great morning so far. I woke up on time, made my coffee (instead of stopping to buy a Monster on the way to work so I'm already ahead of the game) and wrote in my journal. My goal is to write in the AM before work and in the PM before bed so I get a good summary of my thoughts and activities throughout the day. I'm also using it to track what I eat and drink and how much time I spend sitting / how much sleep I get so that I can try to start feeling better naturally. I've never been great about my diet, even when I was briefly on my A game after I quit drinking. Even though I'm at the best weight I've ever been at in my adult life, it's not a healthy weight. Like, I look good, but I don't feel good. Lol. Definitely malnourished and dehydrated all day.

I ate a Cliff bar for breakfast; I bought a box of them months ago and never ate them because I always woke up too late and had to rush to get ready. It's not a breakfast of champions or anything but it's better than a 3 Musketeers bar, that's for sure!

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That's awesome, I drink seltzer water a lot as well. When I was trying to quit drinking I started trying it and it's stayed as something I just enjoy. Breakfast is tough for me because I still take Adderall and forcing myself to eat makes me nauseous even though my body is starving. I don't think I'll continue taking it once school is done. I'm a little worried about gaining a lot of weight back if I stop but realistically I probably won't because I ate pretty bad food for all of 2020 and actually lost weight. I was losing weight even before I started Adderall just from no longer drinking all that beer; the Adderall just greatly sped up the process.

I'm knocking on wood because I've had a pretty awesome week. I didn't get 100% of the things done that I put in my planner but I actually used my planner all 7 days this week which is a huge improvement over the last... well... year. I got the important things done, anyway. I tend to put a ton of stuff on my to-do list just to keep track of it; I never feel like I have to get it done in one day but some days I do and it feels awesome. Since this is the end of the week for my schedule, I'm trying to wrap up the last couple major projects I wanted to finish this week. I'm going to finish a basic song tonight; it won't be anything amazing or worthy of sharing, I just want to finish something for the practice. I'm also doing pretty well on sticking to my AM and PM routines. I meditate and do 10 minutes of stretching in the morning and before bed. Not necessarily yoga, just bringing back some flexibility in my old-ass muscles. I've always been very flexible for some reason so sometimes on the videos I watch for stretching routines they'll say "you should feel this really burn in your ______" and I think "nope, this is easy" lol.

I actually have a vivid memory from when I took Hapkido in middle school and the instructor was trying to demonstrate a technique on me that is supposed to make your assailant fall to his knees when you twist his wrist and he almost turned mine 180 degrees around before saying "ok, just pretend you're hurt". Lol.

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  • ceponatia changed the title to Brian's Journal II
  • 2 weeks later...

Great stuff Brian, I’m surprised you are losing weight from eating bad food. Typically fast food (what I think you were referring to) has a lot of fat and oil and tends to increase weight. I suggest replacing with healthy fat like lamb meat.

I noticed a recurring theme in multiple journals.

There is this down time when some of the discipline goes down followed by a necessary increase in activity, as if you are trying to catch up on the things that you haven’t been keeping up like exercise and proper eating. I think in fact this can fuel the habit of alternating between two states. Books said how he would try to catch up on work during weekends and that would exhaust him, causing a fall in productivity.

Better discipline means your output should become more consistent and productivity grow over time.

What kind of things are most neglected? Where do you spend too much time and what activities do you give insufficient time/attention? Some of these questions can help in determining the necessary changes.

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10 hours ago, Amphibian220 said:


I've hit the lowest weight I can get to with my current food habits at 165, which would be my ideal weight if any of it was muscle but it isn't. Since writing my last post I've made more of an effort to eat better: making sure to eat 3 meals a day (although they're still quite small), setting up a meal plan, and prepping meals. I haven't made it all the way through to prepping meals yet but I will this week. I make a little progress every week until I finally get it down, I've noticed.

What you noticed about people's output is spot on, I think. I've noticed this as well. It was the reason I originally opted to go to therapy, to see if I had some kind of mood disorder. I don't, I simply need to discipline myself better. My increase in activity isn't compensatory because I'm simply returning to doing what I should be doing from not doing anything at all. That wasn't always the case though. I did have a period of a year or two after sobriety in which I'd try to pour myself into a million different buckets and then get burnt out and quit all of them. I don't quit anything anymore, I just don't do them as often as I should. I also don't start new things that I know I won't do long-term which I think is a pretty good thing for me to notice. Sure, a part of me things it'd be cool to be an amazing painter, but I'm realistically not going to practice often enough for that to happen. There simply isn't enough time.

Consistency is important, though. That was my New Year "theme" (rather than resolution) for a few years prior to quitting alcohol but I haven't done anything like that since (and of course while I was still drinking every day it didn't work).

The main thing that rectifies the discrepancy in output for me is making sure to get my planner out of my bag and have it on my lectern (what I've dubbed a cheap Amazon standing desk that couldn't support my computer monitor and I haven't bothered to throw away yet) so that I can easily see it and am reminded that there are still things to do! Whenever I do that, I get most or all of the things on my agenda done.

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I set up next quarter's planner yesterday and thought hard about my annual and quarterly goals for once. I'd been doing that to some degree but not correctly. The purpose of writing those goals is so that I can break them down into weekly goals and make progress on them but I'd just been leaving them to do some day. Now I've identified 6 goals for the year and several can be done this quarter. Graduating is one of the long-term ones and an important one as the date of my graduation depends on how hard I'm willing to work. I can graduate almost a year early if I bust out some extra classes which isn't difficult it's just a matter of doing it. Then I have to get my Network+ certification and start studying for the more challenging certifications like CCNA and CEH.

I'm severely anxious lately and I'd say almost terrified at the thought of graduating. This has been such a long term project that I have fear both about no longer having anything to do for much of the day as well as actually having to change my career and move across the country. Being willing and able to do that is one of the things that separates the successes from the failures though so I know I'll do it and it'll work out.

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On 2/25/2021 at 9:15 AM, Amphibian220 said:


why would you have a lot of spare time after graduating Brian? Typically, The higher the qualification the more responsibility you will get in your field of work.

I already work full time with school on top of it so after graduating I'd just be working full time. 🙂

I spent the last week or so cancelling every game-related account I had left. Hard drive is clean as well. I've been through this dance before so I have plenty of other hobbies to turn to which I'd been neglecting a lot. I stream music production demos once a week right now and that might be something I want to do more often in the future. I've actually met a few cool non-gamer people on Twitch which I wouldn't have expected. It's definitely geared toward gaming (they don't have very good options to classify your channel as music) but plenty of people use it for other reasons.

Started studying Azure this week and I'm wrapping up a JS project. Also volunteered to write a program to make my workplace's tasks immensely easier.


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Ok, can you invest all of your spare time in health related activity? I mean exercising every day (oiling the groove type) and working out on certain days? I find that absence of intermediate results causes me to drop exercise, but monitoring progress encourages me to review my system and implement changes.

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