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About Dannigan

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  1. Dannigan added a topic in Celebrate   

    90 Day Detox Finished
    Hello everyone,
    Finally, it's over!
    I just wanted to thank the following people for their continual support and invaluable feedback. Your input has not been ignored and I appreciate the help very much! 
    @Cam Adair @Falky @WorkInProgress @Jeremias @Primmulla @Paul A @Kad @Mark @SpiNips @Merdoc_Rowboat
    There have been so many different changes in my life throughout the last few months that it's difficult to cover them all in just a small paragraph.  The major turning point for me was during the middle of my Detox.  I had one minor slip on the weekend when I logged into an MMORPG and played for about nine hours straight.  After that, I realized that gaming would no longer be an option for me in my future, as it was just too addictive.  After I turned my back entirely on gaming, I experienced some emotional struggles.   I was going through a tough time emotionally, because without the gaming to help me cope, I was struggling to address specific stresses in my life that propelled me to game in the first place.  Let me tell you, it was NOT easy.  Learning new methods to cope took me a long time to create a habit.  I wasn't perfect in keeping up to my goals, but I pressed on and did what I could anyway.  I did all this without spending time on a single game. 
    What did I learn about myself?  Lots. 
    1)  I learned about what types of coping skills work for me:  meditation, socializing, relaxation, running, artwork, crafting, writing in a journal. 
    2)  I learned about how to develop habits, and how to maintain them, thanks to reading the book The Power of Habit. 
    3)  I learned how to set up achievable yet challenging goals:  increasing my running time and speed, setting up an online craft store, plotting my financial goals for the next 6 months, 1 year, and then 5 year plan., setting up social events throughout the month so that I avoid isolating myself and to give me opportunity to make new potential friends.
    4)  I learned a little bit more about my personality:  introvert, low-level energy, occasional struggles with moments/periods of social anxiety, enjoys non-competitive sports such as indoor rock-climbing, kayaking, running, hiking. dislike noisy venues, enjoys the beauty of nature, enjoys working with my hands and creating or crafting. adopted a Minimalist lifestyle.
    5)  I learned how to be kinder to myself, and to remind myself that I'm imperfect and yet that's entirely okay.  I have a lifetime to grow as a person, and to accomplish many goals that I have listed in my personal journal.
    Some of my key personality traits were known to me for many years, but I didn't really observe them until recently, and how I interact with people socially at work or meeting strangers, or acquaintances.  Gaming kind of led me to isolation, and it wasn't helping me socially at all.  I always thought that it was easier to escape into gaming, yet in the end, I was just running away from life.
    I'll be moving onward from here.  I have decided to continue my journal on another private site, in hopes to continue with following through with my goals and to reflect about things that I experience on a daily basis.  Thanks so much, everyone, for your help, your kindness, and your awesome feedback!
    Over and out,
    • 6 replies
  2. Dannigan added a post in a topic Dannigan's Journal Entries   

    Appreciated, Cam. 
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  3. Dannigan added a post in a topic Dannigan's Journal Entries   

    I really appreciate your sincere encouragement, Primmulla.  That speaks volumes to me, and I know that you are a very thoughtful person.  I am grateful to accept your support.    Thanks so much, my friend!
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  4. Dannigan added a post in a topic Dannigan's Journal Entries   

    Thanks so much, Jeremias.  I had a great time with my sister.  We chatted about how I've been feeling anxious at work lately, and it helped to have somebody listen to me with an objective perspective.  Evidently, I went to work the next day and coworkers were cool and didn't treat me any differently for being off sick.  We even went out for a walk afterwards during lunch time, and it really eased my stress.  I have learned something from this experience that I'll be writing down in my other personal journal online. 
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  5. Dannigan added a post in a topic Dannigan's Journal Entries   

    I really appreciate your feedback, Kad and for sharing your own experience.  I'm looking forward to the upcoming days ahead of me.  This 90 Day Detox was a big opportunity for me to 'sort things out'.  I hope I have learned and continue to grow from hereon.  Thanks again!
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  6. Dannigan added a post in a topic Dannigan's Journal Entries   

    Update:  I called up my sister a few minutes ago.....we'll be going out to dinner tonight.  Better to be around someone who cares about you, than to be alone and brooding about different things, or stuff that hasn't come to pass.  I think this is the right step for now.
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  7. Dannigan added a post in a topic Dannigan's Journal Entries   

    DAY 87
    I apologize for not keeping up with my journal the last couple of weeks.  I was away on vacation, and have been ill with a cold the last couple of days.  I am still going strong with abstaining from gaming.  The vacation helped quite a bit, as I did not have time to browse online or do anything computer-related.  Too busy talking to family and catching up with them after many years of not seeing each other.  The only thing I had was my cell phone, and I will not lie that I didn't use it to browse senselessly.  Still, I didn't spend much time on my cell phone, not like hours at a time.  I was just too busy with other things.
    I want to describe some things I've been struggling with lately.  After I came back from vacation, I suddenly experienced a major panic attack related to going back to work.  It doesn't help that I have a cold too, but this anxiety attack was very severe, and one that I haven't experienced in a long time.  All i wanted to do was curl up under the covers and hope that it would pass.  I did not have the energy to get out of bed, nor talk to anyone, and not even listen to my audiobooks.  I just wanted to disappear.
    Throughout my life, I struggled with anxiety, and most interestingly, a social anxiety disorder.  I try to hide it from coworkers and often 'fake' my social interactions with them.  I had to take several days off work in the past year because I simply couldn't cope and needed those 'rest' breaks with the suggestion of my counselor and doctor.  It hasn't been easy, and I've put up with a few odd verbal jabs from one coworker who simply is ignorant to what I go through on a  daily basis at work.  I can only shake my head at her and try to carry on with it.  It's hard, but I somehow manage.
    It's very close to my 90 day detox end, and yet....I have never felt more helpless and unfocused.  I do not want to go back to gaming as a resort, yet I have no energy right now to distract my mind.  I feel very stuck, and can only hope that I do not cave in.
    I am sorry this is not good news, but it is what it is.  The truth.  I am proud of how far I've achieved in my detox, but I am also very aware that it does not end here.  This is going to be a life-time struggle (personally speaking about my anxieties and also coping skills).  I am going to face this day-by-day, and hopefully the mental stress will lessen by tonight before I sleep.  I hope tomorrow will be a better day at work, and that I can return to my short-term goals very soon.
    Thanks so much for reading.
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  8. Dannigan added a post in a topic Dannigan's Journal Entries   

    Detoxing from technology can start small.  It doesn't have to be days or weeks at a time.  For instance, I dedicated my Mondays as "tech-free" days.  Simply setting aside a certain chunk of time per day "away from the computer or cell phone" is a good start. 
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  9. Dannigan added a post in a topic Dannigan's Journal Entries   

    This is one of my favorite Minimalist podcasts about technology and its interference with our lives if we allow it to be. 
    Note:  this is how I want my life to be lived, and I thought I'd share the philosophy.  It may resonate with some folks, and others not so much.
    My personal opinion is that we are becoming over-saturated with visual stimulation, whether it's on your cell phone, or browsing internet, or excessive gaming.  I think this podcast describes several situations that many of us are familiar with, in regards to how we are accountable to how much technology can distract us in a negative way. 
    I'm not saying 'get rid of technology' altogether.  No no no.  I think we need technology for some important things.  But I'd like to be more aware of how it can invade my life, and what I can do to prevent that from happening. 
    Cheers, everyone.
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  10. Dannigan added a post in a topic Dannigan's Journal Entries   

    DAY 76
    Life surely keeps one busy .
    I have not posted here lately because life has kept me away from computer use at home, but in a good way.  I started this journey with the intent of quitting gaming altogether, which I've done.  However, as I continued to grow throughout this time, I have gone beyond the expected, which is to depend less and less on the internet and pointless use of computer/technology.  This means that I'd rather not spend time in front of a computer screen, and would rather focus on other activities that I find enjoyable.  
    I may not be a high-energy person as many people are on this forum, but perhaps my experiences will help somebody who has similar attributes like myself.  I want to share with you about my self-discovery, and how my personality and energy level affects my daily schedule.  This may be helpful for those of you who are struggling with your 'down times', in which you can't go out and sky-dive off a cliff, or jump out of an airplane, or shoot hoops outside, or run marathons.  Those activities certainly give you an energetic buzz, but this entire journey is about endurance and sustainability.  I think that different types of activities need to be accessible for various stages of the day, ever-changing energy levels both mental and physical, and even during seasons of the year, in order to keep you busy and BALANCED.   
    Here's my story so far.
    For those who follow my journal, I have written a few things about my personality.  Knowing yourself is the FIRST step to creating a sustainable lifestyle.  Since I am introverted I've had to adapt much of my social activities and other hobbies that will fit with my personality.  It's an obvious thing to mention, but in retrospect this had a lot to do with improving my quality of life, rather than the amount of activities I do throughout the day.
    What I've adapted so far
    1)  Less computer time.  How?
    ~ developed habit to turn off cell phone at work, and once I get home.  Use it as an answering machine, and check messages once a day.  Never use it to browse online.  Never place cell phone in bed room before I sleep;  keep it in the living room. 
    ~ developed habit not to turn on the computer in the morning
    ~ developed habit to work on crafts that I enjoy MORE than the internet.  When working on crafts, I listen to audio books.
    ~ changed my gmail account to Outlook email, as Outlook has less visuals to look at, no Google+
    ~ deleted all email accounts that I no longer really use. 
    ~ I now have ONE email account that is for business only
    ~ gave my online friends my phone number, versus relying on email to get a hold of me. 
    ~ go to library twice a week just to get out of the house, used (still using) internet at library for maximum 90 minutes browsing internet, or I'll just read a book
    ~ joined two Meetups which I attend twice a week on a regular basis:  meditation, crafting group
    ~ start the beginning of my work day with a run (typically it's an outdoor run) and 10-30 minute meditation, versus logging into the computer
    ~ bought a newspaper subscription;  I enjoy reading a newspaper rather than browsing for news online.
    ~ dedicated one day out of my week where I do not login to the computer AT ALL.  I chose Monday as it's my day off work and my day that I can dedicate to chores, cooking for the week, and family time.
    What I've gained by less computer time.  Is it worth it?  Hell yeah.
    ~ more quality time with family and meeting new potential friends
    ~ more time to do my crafts to sell in my Etsy store
    ~ appreciation for the 'quietness' in the day, a time for rest
    ~ appreciation for the sanctuary of my home
    ~ better communication with people at my job and my family
    ~ still feeling 'connected' with others, but not dependent on email for 'effective' communication (email sucks for communication, to be honest)
    ~ gained MORE TIME!! 
    ~ gained better SLEEP!!
    ~ gained more knowledge and entertainment through reading books, newspaper
    ~ gained a better understanding of who I am, and how I want my life to be for the next 40+ years, if I'm lucky
    ~ appreciation for nature and being outside to enjoy it more often
    ~ gained new identities:  runner, hiker, crafter, crocheter, knitter, explorer, reader, entrepreneur, artist, novice gardener, Minimalist
    I shall leave you with another quote:
    "We didn't have Facebook when I was growing up.  We had 'phonebook', but you wouldn't waste an afternoon on it."  ~ Betty White, actor and comedian.
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  11. Dannigan added a post in a topic My Game of Thrones detox   

    You're welcome, Primmulla!

    I was worried that what I typed wouldn't help you out much, but it sounds like it did, and I am greatly relieved.  Your struggle is no less than anyone else, and you never know who else struggles with the same circumstance.  I don't believe anyone is ever finished with self-growth.  We change over time, and we're always going to be learning about ourselves, and also other people, and how we relate to others, and how we relate to our environment.  You have to do what's best for you, and I believe you're the captain of your own ship, in other words.
    Great to have you on this forum, your support to others (from other posts I've read) have been genuinely helpful.
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  12. Dannigan added a post in a topic My Game of Thrones detox   

    Hi Primmulla,
    I don't think you are hated here.  I was a little confused about your post. 
    It seems that this is more of a conviction and obsession, rather than addiction.  I thought addiction was a pattern of behavior that interferes with one's life, to the extent that you are no longer looking after for example: neglecting personal care, job responsibilities, disruption in sleep patterns, aggressive and harmful behavior to oneself and others, etc.  Those are only some examples of how addiction can affect one's mental and physical health. 
    Now, that doesn't mean your case is less important.
    I just think that you've had obsessive tendencies for learning about subject matter or popular fiction/shows in the past, so why would that be different with GoT?  And also, your obsession with Harry Potter waned.....over time.  Right? 
    The only difference between the Harry Potter fixation and GoT is that your religious conviction is what is driving your reasoning to abstain from GoT.  And that's fine.  Who am I to judge what you believe?
    I don't know if I have solutions for you other than what you're already attempting to do, which is to eliminate all triggers from your sight and ears.  But, to be the devil's advocate, what if you see those triggers outside of your house?  You can't really run away from all the triggers, as advertising for GoT is practically everywhere.  Perhaps what you can focus on is accepting that you will have these strange, or what you call, "sinful thoughts" from time to time, but the important thing is that you're not acting upon them.  In other words, be kind to yourself.  It's human nature to err, even within our thoughts.  I am not religious, but I can only imagine the intense moral conviction that you must face every time you expose yourself to a trigger for GoT. 
    Forgive yourself first, and then perhaps you can move forwards?
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  13. Dannigan added a post in a topic Dannigan's Journal Entries   

    Thanks Cam and Falky!
    It's ok, Falky.  I've never been a big birthday person since I was twelve years old.  But that's another story to be told another time. 
    Yesterday I had a pretty rough sleep.  I went to sleep early at 8:30 p.m., woke up at 1:55 a.m., and then had broken sleep until I finally got out of bed at 6:30 a.m.  So, technically I had about five hours REM sleep, and the rest broken sleep for another four hours.  Nothing in my habits or routine has changed.  I go to sleep at my usual time.  I'll have to investigate further about what is really going on.  Is it anxiety about work?  Is it because there's more sun later in the evening?  Does my body need less sleep nowadays?  I must find out the cause and the sooner the better.  I'll write about it later this week.
    Today has been uneventful.  I felt a strange feeling of sadness, however, as I was driving to work this morning.   It was a strange reflective mood, in that I was missing childhood because it was a time wherein I had absolutely no responsibilities.  I started flipping back and forth from the past to the present, and really started missing that feeling of freedom that I had when I was much younger.
    I remembered what it was like to lie on the grass outside, and stare at the clouds passing by.  I remember having so much faith in other people, and having that false sense of confidence that the world would always be fair to you.   I remember enjoying the little things in life that most people take for granted:  ice cream, a soft breeze when it's hot outside, a cold glass of lemonade, reading an adventure book, sitting under a tree in the shade, a warm blanket when it's wintry cold, parents tucking you to sleep, the sunset and sunrise, the smell of dew on the grass, using my imagination and pretending that I was on a great seascape adventure even though it was in my own backyard, running so fast that I thought nobody could catch me, watching movies on VHS but only on Friday evenings with family, Sunday night Walt Disney shows, the smell of my dad's fresh baked bread in the oven, rainbows, hot air balloons floating in the fields, snow that was hard enough you could walk on it.
    I could go on with my list.  I didn't have a perfect childhood, but it was mostly a happy one.  Writing this list out makes me feel more grateful.  Maybe these thoughts occur because it is a day after my birthday, and time is fleeting.  The older I get, the more I realize that time is fleeting, and we only have limited time with those we care about and love.
    As a tribute to my recent feelings of nostalgia, I decided to spend some time with mum today.  I bought us two pizzas, one of them her favorite, and we sat and chatted at suppertime for a couple of hours. 
    I really enjoyed myself.
    That is all.  Thanks for reading, folks. 
    I'll leave you all with another quote:
    "It is not happy people who are thankful.  It is thankful people who are happy." ~ unknown
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  14. Dannigan added a post in a topic A warning about gaming after your detox   

    Thanks for this video, Cam.  I personally think that you're in the most vulnerable position to start gaming again right after the 90 Day detox.
    @Paul A. mentioned that his dad installed a program that shuts down the computer after a certain period of time.  I did not know of such a thing until I read that.  I wonder if this type of device would help people who wanted to try gaming right after the 90 day detox? 
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  15. Dannigan added a post in a topic Dannigan's Journal Entries   

    Ok, so I really dislike it when you try a new recipe and it sucks.  I posted the picture down below.  Trust me, it looks a lot better than it tastes.  Well, I'd say about 50% of it was really strange tasting. 
    Juniper berries.  Avoid 'em.  Except when cooking with gamey meat like deer.  I wouldn't use them again in a poultry dish.  Too....what's the word....pine-tree?  
    Anyway, the recipe is called Woodland Feast.  The only thing I liked about it were the stuffed mushrooms and also the pureed celeriac.  I would have soaked the chicken overnight in brine first, along with the beer.  Recipe required that you pour the beer into the pot with the gaming hens, and turn them every once in a while. I suppose I should have drained the beer from the pot, but it was too late to turn back.  Darn it, I could have made a nice beer gravy with the leftover sauce in the pan!  Arrghh...next time.
    Other than that catastrophe...today has been quite enjoyable!  I spent most of my time indoors, just cleaning up my place, organizing crafting material, and designing some new items to sell in my store.  I think having a structured day, even when it's your day off work, helps to keep your mind busy.  Time went so fast and now I have to go to bed in about an hour or so.  I felt like I got a lot done, and everything's organized for the start of my work week.
    ~ learned a new recipe
    ~ bought an Ikea portable shelf unit for storing yarn, fabrics, sewing notions
    ~ designed a new sculpture and started working on it
    ~ watched three 30 minute documentaries
    ~ completed two loads of laundry
    ~ bought groceries
    ~ cleaned out the fridge
    I shall leave you all with another quote:
    "We are not alone to face our heartache - unless we choose to be.  Others have trodden this path before us.  Take a risk.  Reach out a hand and see who grasps it.  Believe it is in your power to return the favor some day - in sweeter times - for they will surely come."  ~ Gwyneth M. Bledsoe

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