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The heart is a lonely hunter


s_nitta
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I'm not really sure if having a diary here will help me, but I want to try.

It's late in the evening, so I'll be quick and go adding details later on.

More than just games, I have a problem with the internet as a whole. If I'm able to balance the real life with my internet use, everything feels dreamy, hopeful, and calm. If I'm out of balance, everything else is: I spend 8, 9 hours a day on my smartphone. I play a lot of games. I check the news and social media compulsively. I have a bad diet and don't take care of myself. I sleep less than I should.

Quitting is hard, but it's worth it.

I am starting a one-year streak of no games, no-surf, no-buy, and a keto carnivore diet.

This might sound like a lot, but I've done all of this separately before and they always make me feel better.

Today I started out at 87.3kg and 89cm of waist and 121 of hips. I want to reach 55 to 52kg.

I want to read at least 20 books this year. I want to paint more, practice calligraphy, learn how to invest, meditate everyday, take care of my pets, have my room always clean, do my skin care routine... I want to focus on what's in front of me, do a good job at my internship and in college and have more independence soon. I want a calm life, and not the hectic pace of the online world.

I just wanted to start it out, in any case. This is the beginning of my journey.

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Welcome to the forums. It's great to see you here. Try not to get overwhelmed by all of the things you listed in the last paragraph and remember to take this one step at a time. Be introspective and search your emotions to understand what got you here. 

Congrats on this first step. 

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2 hours ago, s_nitta said:

I want to read at least 20 books this year. I want to paint more, practice calligraphy, learn how to invest, meditate everyday, take care of my pets, have my room always clean, do my skin care routine... I want to focus on what's in front of me, do a good job at my internship and in college and have more independence soon. I want a calm life, and not the hectic pace of the online world.

A lot of exciting plans, and definitely doable!
I relate to the desire for a calm, slower paced way of living.

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11 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

Welcome to the forums. It's great to see you here. Try not to get overwhelmed by all of the things you listed in the last paragraph and remember to take this one step at a time. Be introspective and search your emotions to understand what got you here. 

Congrats on this first step. 

Thank you for the kind words. I understand where you're coming from, but in reality, it isn't overwhelming, because my well-being improves a lot when I follow these things. It's weird how addiction makes us avoid things that makes us feel good, isn't it?

11 hours ago, championeal said:

A lot of exciting plans, and definitely doable!
I relate to the desire for a calm, slower paced way of living.

Yes, I am excited! It fascinates me how quickly life seems calmer when I stay offline, but there's always this force compelling me to be online and play all the time. I'm trying to fight that.

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I got sick this week. While I'll not blame myself for being lazy during this period, it was interesting to see how this meant giving in to addictive behaviours.

My problem isn't gaming itself, but a compulsive internet use, which has gaming for longer than I consider healthy as one of its facets.

I have been on this journey for around 12 years. Unfortunately, social media became popular when I was really young, in a period when I was heavily bullied and lacked friends. I found shelter online, and that gave way to a life-long addiction.

It took me a long time to realize I was addicted. At that time, this notion didn't exist. Even four years ago it was impossible to talk to therapists about this. People didn't take this seriously, which made me struggle to understand how serious this addiction is for me. I spent years going for palliative solutions, unable to understand why everyone around me seemed to be able to lead a "normal" life while I seemed to always be stuck on my computer.

Then came smartphones, and in the last few years people seem to be warmer when I talk about my struggles with the internet.

I have to block a lot of things in a lot of different ways to be able to feel free. When I don't block them, I feel very mindless -- always itching for news websites, social media, and games. I get anxious and unable to focus on things that are important to me. I am still able to be productive, but the days are a lot less pleasant. It's disheartening.

This is what happened during these days when I was sick. I thought it'd not be that bad and I wanted to relax, but then I spent 10 hours on my phone checking Reddit, Instagram, Tumblr, the news, and playing silly games. Since I'm always blocking these websites and games, sometimes I feel like allowing them means that I'll be able to relax, but then I leave them with body aches due to bad posture, a lot anxious and with a frazzled attention, becoming restless for many hours after it. I leave things that take more effort but are more important to me aside and resort to the laziest, most mind-numbing option. I tend to go sleep a lot later than I need in these days, so my day after already starts badly, and I always feel like I don't have time to do anything that's important to me. This might seem obvious after having spent almost 12 hours online, but, while I'm in the middle of it, I'm always telling myself "just a bit more; it won't hurt". It's not rational, and that's why it's so important for me to take actions that people that don't struggle with this might find extreme.

Friday, when I was feeling better, I blocked everything again, and, because of that, I had an amazing day. I was very productive and focused. When I had time to rest, I didn't rush to go online, as I know it wasn't an option. I got off my computer after my finishing my obligations, took a shower, ate dinner with my family, spent time with my cats, and then, around 9pm, I realized I was so tired that I simply went to bed. I was in bed before 10pm, so I rested well, and I was able to wake up at 7 for an appointment I had without problem. I ate breakfast calmly, was able to organize everything I needed and got where I needed early. Then I left there and went to a bookstore, bought a nice poetry book and spent the lunch at a coffee shop I hadn't been to in ages. I came back home and joined an online meditation meeting, and then started writing this.

Everything was so much better this way. I was able to take care of myself, rest properly and fulfill my obligations in a responsible way.

I consider internet addiction to be as serious as alcohol abuse. I cannot moderate: I can only quit. The difference in my well-being is tremendous, and I want to live a life according to my values, respecting myself. I cannot do that if I don't quit the parts of the online world that are addictive to me.

As I said, I've been on this journey for a long time. But see: I don't want to demotivate anyone that might be reading this. It's a journey because we're human. We became addicts because some aspects of our lives made us find this way to cope, and we won't be at the top of our game all the time. Sometimes we might end up resorting to addictive behaviors again, but, the longer you persist on your journey, the easier it is to take control when this happens, because you end up finding what triggers you and what tools help you. Exactly because I've been on this journey for so long is that I was able to quickly go back to what I consider healthy when I saw the unhealthy behaviours happening again. When I relapse, I don't see it as a failure, but just as part of the road. All the efforts I've made before still count. They helped me improve and gave me strength and knowledge to solve this bump quickly.

I hope someday I am not so easily triggered by websites and games anymore. I truly believe that's possible. Until then, however, I'll do what's healthier for me and simply not use them.
 

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Posted (edited)

Third day of no-surf. I'm feeling a bit lost right now. My reflex is to simply access everything I want, which I know will mean spending the day playing mobile games or MMOs, checking the news or social media. Then, when I realize it, it'll be dark outside already and I'll feel frustrated and disappointed once again for having spent another weekend like this. So no, thank you.

I want to try to make this more enjoyable. I'm feeling tired today, because yesterday I went to bed late. It was for a good reason, though: I talked to a friend for more than two hours on the phone, which was amazing to me, as it's a bit rare these days. People mostly just text, which I don't really like. But, in any case, I can spend part of the day napping or just chilling and reading in my backyard. I'd also like to watch a movie at the end of the afternoon. I could practice a song on my kalimba and paint a bit. I need to setup my home broker for investing tomorrow. I could also practice some calligraphy. I also want to take a long shower and use my face masks. I've been really into taking care of my skin.

It's weird because even after listing all these activities, I still feel like it's not enough. I don't think I'll be able to do all of this, but part of me still feel anxious for the dopamine hit of the online world. As of now, it feels like nothing in the real world is really enough, but it is ok. I may be uncomfortable for a while and not really satisfied by any hobby, but coming back to the addictive activities isn't an option. I'll push through.

Now I'll go get ready to go to a nice little marketplace that happens every Sunday at a temple nearby. Since the pandemic began, I haven't been leaving the house much even for a short walk in the neighborhood, so let's take this time to enjoy the day a bit.

Not sure who wrote this, but:

"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate."

-----

Update 1:35pm:

Went to the temple and it was so good. I'm very grateful for this experience. I came back feeling more centered and calm. The weather is really nice today and I'm happy to have the day to rest. When I was outside, I didn't even think about any going online or checking my smartphone, but as soon as I came back I started feeling this anxiety again. It seems the environment impacts me a lot, but I have to be strong anyway.

Update 5:51pm:

After coming back from the temple, I helped my mom organize the refrigerator and cleaned my room, which was rewarding. While my room doesn't tend to become dirty, it tends to get dusty easily, which makes me uncomfortable, but I never have the energy or the time to clean it when I spend all day long on my phone. Even then, usually I just sweep it, but today I swept it, cleaned the desks and the computer accessories, and moped it! I also changed the bedding without suffering much.

Then I had lunch and spent time with my family. Now I took a long shower and am in the middle of a mini home spa session. I also organized my home broker.

I'll put a face mask on, probably read for a while and watch a movie later. The day feels so rewarding and long.

Tomorrow I'll start tackling the no-buy and my diet change.

To sum everything up, these are the rules I'm following until July 6th, 2022:

Way of eating:
Keto-carnivore
- A way of eating based on animal foods
- Healthy carbs, sparingly
- No sugar or sweeteners
- No cheat meals
- Planning ahead for when eating out

I'll weigh myself and take some measurements tomorrow to have as a reference. My goal weight is 52 to 55kg. I'm around 86kg.

No-buy
- No new clothes or shoes (except if I can't repair them, and they have to be second-hand if absolutely needed)
- No food delivery
- No beauty products (except if the one I have of the same category runs out)
- No jewelry
- No items for the future
- No gifts (except on birthdays)
- No online courses (except if they are not career-related)

No-surf
- No social media (Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter etc.)
- No news websites
- No games
- No TV (except for NHK)
- No TV shows (except if invited)
- No smartphone or computer during down time
- No screens while laying down

Goals
Read 40 books (1/40)
Reach 55kg

Edited by s_nitta
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I stayed up until a bit late yesterday watching a movie. This might sound like nothing for a non-addicted person -- it's just a movie, not some important event --, but, actually, I am still proud and happy for having watched it. My addiction leaves me in a state of paralysis. Nothing except the addiction is actually done in my free time, not even fun activities. Most of the time, when I am not no-surfing, I just spend hours upon hours, days upon days laying in my bed, paralised, looking at my smartphone, cycling between news websites, social media, and games. Spending a whole weekend doing other, healthy activities is something I'm grateful for.

Today I had very good results in my investiments, and I am more productive at work. I wanted to set aside some time to study and I was able to do so. I want to spend the first two hours of work studying, as I'm usually a bit slow when the workday is just starting out.

Back to my goals, I'm weighing 86.8kg, with 86cm of waist and 121cm of hips. This is a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.71, which is good, but, since my waist measurement exceeds 80cm, it's still unhealthy.
I am also almost finishing two books!

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm feeling a bit low today. I slept less than I needed because I woke up early from an awful nightmare, but at least my work is progressing well. I'm grateful for keeping on following the rules I established. It's weird because I feel better with this new routine but I'm also craving sweets and news websites. I am being disciplined and keeping my focus on what really matters to me, in any case. Not sure where I read it, but I'm trading what I want right now for what I want most but takes more effort and time to reach.

Update 10pm:

I spent the evening frustrated for not being able to give in to my cravings. I studied for longer and was more dedicated and focused today, but, when it was time to stop, I didn't feel like doing anything healthy. The addict inside me, that I'm trying to get rid of, is throwing a temper tantrum in my head. I just stayed in the living room siping my bone broth and watching whatever my family was watching on the TV. I didn't consider this as breaking the rules as I probably wouldn't have done anything else due to how tired I am and due to not having chosen any of the shows that were on.

I'm probably more tired today due to having slept less and being more dedicated and focused on my obligations. I'm grumpy but glad for my progress. I almost ate low carb sweets, which have sweeteners, but I didn't. I have to keep my word. I will keep my word. I can't live my life based on feelings, as much as I appreciate them as a rich data source; nor can I expect that anyone else will reach my goals for me. This is my battle and I have to fight for myself. I am worth it.

In any case, since I don't have the energy to do anything else, I will just go to sleep.

One more day conquered.

Edited by s_nitta
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Posted (edited)

Woke up feeling really tired. I suppose it's partly from the diet change. I lost 0.7kg overnight, which impressed me. I'm weighing 86.1kg now.

Update at 2:08pm:

I'm craving sweets, news websites, and social media. I'm focusing on the fact that time will pass and the cravings will subside with it. If I stay still for a few hours, that will be enough. I don't have to take any action. I just have to sit still.

Update at 7:45pm:

I'm feeling better now. I got really motivated with my studies and my investments and I'm feeling really confident. This also gave me strength to push through my carbs cravings. This week is being harder than average due to all the new habits I'm adopting, but it's also being more rewarding. I'm feeling more centered and getting a higher sense of self-respect.

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Posted (edited)

Still feeling tired, and now I'm stressed out with the amount of things to do. I will work from 9am to 4pm, then study from 4pm to 9:15pm. There's lunch time and a few breaks here and there, but it's still almost 12 hours in front of a computer. I hate being this busy, but at least this term is almost over. I need to be diligent and do things with responsibility. This rhythm will be over in November, and I need to stay strong until then. I can do this.

Despite the stress, I'm being more effective on my studies, since I'm not stopping to check my cellphone and news and "game just for a bit to relax" all the time. I feel like I'm absorbing better what I'm studying. There's room for improvement, but I'm celebrating my conquests anyway.

I woke up weighing 85.7kg. That's a loss of 1.6kg since I started this out. Not being 86kg anymore is nice.

Yesterday I ended up sleeping one hour late again, and this is bad for my health. So, new rule: I have to be in bed at 10pm, with lights turn off. Saturday is the only exception to this rule.

Update 9:45pm:

Awful day. I feel like giving up on everything. Sometimes I don't even know why I should fight for anything. 

Edited by s_nitta
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Posted (edited)

I was so tired and stressed out yesterday and today that I ended up having a high carb-y dinner on both days. I started off the day well, but when I stopped working, around 8 or 9pm, I was so hungry that I ate whatever was in front of me. I need to think of a better strategy. Maybe go back to having a snack at 4pm. The problem is that I really don't feel hungry during lunch time and in the afternoon, so I end up never eating enough. In any case, I woke up with 85.5kg. Very rewarding to have this progress.

I also read a bit of news, and immediately regretted it, because they were so awful that they immediately soured my mood. Lesson learned. It wasn't worth it.

I was also tempted to download a MMO again. Many of my friends play this MMO, and I wanted to join then in this game's events, but then I thought about how, on top of the almost 12 hours a day working and studying in front of a computer everyday, I would also spend my free time there, in the same position, never able to leave my room, never doing any other activity. I saw some people on Discord playing 2, 3, 5, 9 hours of whatever they were playing, and then I saw that an acquaintance was streaming on Twitch and I stopped to watch it a bit... and, honestly, none of that is healthy in my situation. I just can't bring myself to spend time like that when I see the amount of progress I've been having lately. It's not that I stop doing my obligations when I start playing games or using social media, but rather that I constantly feel this weird anxiety that only online stuff and addictions cause,  and, because of that, I start doing all my obligations poorly and almost completely neglect non-obligations.

I remember a particular weekend in which I woke up late (when I much prefer waking up early) because I played until late the night before, then I proceeded to turn my computer on, thinking "just a little bit", and I played for around 6 hours in my pajamas before I stopped to even eat something, change clothes or wash my face. The entire 6 hours were uncomfortable because I couldn't stop thinking about at least stopping to take care of my personal hygiene, but that faded when the queue popped for a new raid. I know I will go back to this if I download the game again, so I won't do it. I will not sacrifice the well-being, focus and dedication I'm enjoying right now. I can't have both my addictions and the things I want to achieve at the same time in my life. Life is made of choices and I made mine, and I'm already reaping some fruits.

Another point is that I wanted to sleep at 10pm, but this evening I stopped studying, had dinner, spent time talking to my family, and then it was already 10pm, when I hadn't even showered yet. But at least I did everything I needed with responsibility and dedication, and these long hours won't last forever. In the end, I think it's a good thing that I'm occupied for so many hours during the week at this time, because this makes it easier to keep the addictions at bay. I don't have to think about following my rules if I don't even have time to break them; but, also, I don't spend time trying to convince myself that "just a little bit" of whatever will actually be good for me.

I want to keep progressing and keep on moving in this direction. I'm excited for it.

 

Edited by s_nitta
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  • 2 weeks later...

Things have been a bit weird, but progressing well. I got really busy and stressed out with college, and because of that I didn't have much focus at work, but I was able to progress in my current tasks regardless, apparently did so well that my managers praised me, finished my college assignments smoothly and helped a group member with their part yesterday, even though I avoid doing anything related to college or work during weekends. Taking the time to help them out made my group progress a lot better in our current assignment. I am also following the diet almost strictly, although I'm struggling a bit with sweeteners due to cravings, and I've finished reading a book. I'm also spending a lot of the little free time I have studying how to invest.

The weird part is that, since I'm so busy, I don't really feel like I'm having much progress. It's just one responsibility after another, without much time to think, but this weekend I stopped to think about it and felt proud of my progress. My routine isn't  perfect, but I'm being responsible and mature with my obligations, I think. It hasn't always been like that, so I don't take this for granted.

I crave carbage and games on weekends, but haven't craved that strongly this weekend. It was bearable.

 

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I didn't sleep very well today and I'm craving MMOs and carbs, just so I can run away from reality a bit. I'm trying to focus on my gratitude for all I'm achieving lately and it's helping, but I have to be careful not to give in on a whim. Being stuck at home for more than a year now really hasn't helped my mental health. Sometimes it gets really tiring and working towards my goals seems pointless. 

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Being stuck in the constant flux of easy dopamine offered by my addictions isn't happiness. Being comforted by my addictions isn't happiness. Running away isn't happiness. Being stagnant in a comforting but damaging situation isn't happiness.

Working hard and harvesting the fruits of this hard work, on the other hand, might be.

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The last two weeks have been difficult and messy, but now things will calm down.

I've progressed a lot in my objectives overall, but I'm still using the browser a lot on my phone, mainly to read news, so I'll remove browsers from my cellphone for a month. 

I'm about to start my vacations and I want to spend as much time as possible offline. Let's see how this goes.

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On 6/23/2021 at 8:34 PM, s_nitta said:

Being stuck in the constant flux of easy dopamine offered by my addictions isn't happiness. Being comforted by my addictions isn't happiness. Running away isn't happiness. Being stagnant in a comforting but damaging situation isn't happiness.

Working hard and harvesting the fruits of this hard work, on the other hand, might be.

Hi! Wow I reaaly like this post! Need to save somewhere to reread 🙂

I wish you great vacation! 

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