The sleeper awakens

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Mendoza, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. Thebeg

    Thebeg Well-Known Member

    Awareness of these things is the first and perhaps most important step.

    How's the gaming going? I think it's been over a month for me that I last gamed. Things work in momentum for me. Now that I haven't been gaming it actually feels like a threshold to get back to it again. I've had these phases before and since I'm really busy I don't mind stretching it a bit further.
     
  2. MarstonS

    MarstonS Walking the longest walk...

    Hey Mendoza. Wow, I'm impressed by your clean streak during the vacation. You know what this means don't you? I'm sure you do! It means you are very capable of living without pmo!
     
  3. Mendoza

    Mendoza Well-Known Member

    Day 7

    There isn't much to report. Still having weird sleep patterns. Super tired in the mornings, get more or less 8 hours a day and still not feeling very energetic. I've abandoned the caffeine-free idea, as the kick provides me some fuel to go on about my daily business. It doesn't help that the construction workers begin blasting their screwdrivers at 7am for the buildings directly opposite me. When it's not building renovations, it's window-cleaning, endless lawn-mowing, tree-cutting and other landscaping stuff. They must be inventing work as they go along, especially if they signed a spicy contract with the landlords. Anywho.

    Less energized, but the energy is better directed: meaning I am able to do more with less energy, as I seem to waste it less and direct it to where it really counts. Not sure if that makes sense. I'm also making a reminder to self to get back on the meditation wagon. It was easy to relax on vacation... but back home, I'll need the meditation to bring me back to balance, especially during the stressful periods.

    A full week back home, I realize that I need to get in touch a little more. I can't disregard this, it's my Achilles heel. If I let things run on autopilot, I really believe I could go on living solo for another 3 months, and not care. But the truth is, living solo gives me another reason to PMO, so I have to flip that switch and make it a habit to see someone at least once or twice a week.

    I am exactly in your shoes: haven't gamed in a month, and recently felt a slight pull for gaming. The slightest pull. But not enough to reel me in. So I believe the best course of action is not to force gaming. I would not think of it as stretching. Stretching implies effort, that you are fighting against the urge to play, when it isn't so. At this stage, so many things are going on, I have the impression I am building something of a life, and that in itself provides me sufficient satisfaction to not need the game right now.

    Amen to you, trumpet-man!
     
  4. Thebeg

    Thebeg Well-Known Member

    Sometimes when I'm bored I feel this slight pull, after all it has been one of my major pastimes a big part of my life.

    But I completely agree. Right now work is very busy and not gaming really helps to do some extra little tasks during the times I would normally be gaming. Actually it feels like my gaming-momentum got so low, it feels more like a threshold to get started again.
     
  5. Mendoza

    Mendoza Well-Known Member

    Day 10

    Sleep patterns still weird, 9+ hours lately. With lower back pain upon waking up (I don't know why). I'll have to consider doing physio exercises to ward off any lower back problems (had that before, it's not pleasant).

    Taking a course asides the part-time job I'm holding down. When I catch up with the material, I have to get cracking at finding job#2. I realize how important that extra little cash can make the difference between gettin' by and living. I don't have an excuse not to get that supplementary 10 hours weekly.

    I sense that events in life have dramatically less influence on how I feel or interpret them. Negative stuff like not getting the course I wanted, or missing a few workshops, skipping a wonderful outdoor activity, losing that awesome deal on a new printer, and so on... it's like disconnecting from stuff that I no longer consider important or relevant. I see it as boiling down to the essentials. I'm focusing more on the necessary things and even if some mishap occurs, it's ok, I can always make up for it in time. The cool thing about being alive is that you can always try again in 3 days, 3 weeks or 3 months. And there is no shame if it takes 10 years to accomplish something... because who's to judge (or whose judgment really counts, other than my own)?

    Having some conflicting thoughts about the title of my journal. As I rehearse the phrase: unleashing the genius, it does sound a tad arrogant and pretentious. As though I held something special that not many people have. It reeks of egotistical... or maybe I'm a bit harsh. But what I know and think today would have made it impossible for me to come up with that tag line now. I don't really identify with it... so I'll have to think of a new phrase for the ole' journal. Something representative of who I am today. Well, I'll think of something.:)

    What was once tied to your personality is always difficult to undo. But your "new" life is liking it as things are right now. So the threshold you feel is more like an urge to go back to what is familiar... the new life is scary... anything new the mind associates with fear of unknown. But I say no need to give in to fear. You can give it the big finger.

    Right now, I am taking full advantage of the fact the "pull" is very weak. It's so weak that it's easy for me to say no. Most of the time I cave in to games and porn, there is no fight. The addiction just sweeps me off my feet. So now that I am in a position of strength, I use that same ease to tell it to F*** off. But in this case, I win, because I buy more time for myself and gaming loses its power over me.
     
  6. Thebeg

    Thebeg Well-Known Member

    Don't worry about your journal title. Everyone had to write something there and in most cases it's no longer accurate or something like that... we don't find you arrogant Mendoza ;)

    I've had a long break from games earlier. I guess it happens. But it does feel fulfilling to work and get stuff done. Every year I'm getting better at being disciplined. Guess I'm growing up, albeit slowly ;)
     
  7. MarstonS

    MarstonS Walking the longest walk...

    Nah man...,Every person on this planet has the potential to be a genius in some way. It does not sound arrogant. It sounds like it's writte by someone who is highly motivated to walk the road to self improvement.
     
  8. trapped7

    trapped7 "what you resist persists"

    Well done on even 10 days. Seems like a grandiose, huge achievement to me at this point.

    As for sleep patterns, I wish I could sleep 9+ hours like you.
    I haven't been able to sleep longer than 5 hours for quite a long time, and no explanation as to why.
    Recently I am able to sleep 6,5 to 7 hours on occasion, but 9 hours... that would be awesome. So try to see it from that perspective and don't worry.

    I also had the experience that a little additional side income can contribute significantly to life quality.

    Anyway, just saying hello to you and good luck.
     
  9. Mendoza

    Mendoza Well-Known Member

    Disappeared from the board for a while.

    For some reason, I find it difficult to commit to the reboot. I had trouble rousing enough energy to post here, and obviously there have been relapses here and there...

    But one new thing: I changed my journal title to something that reflects my current reality a little more closely. It's not that I don't believe in genius. But I'm not attached to it either... so for me, the most simple objective is to aim for increased consciousness, be it awareness acquired through meditation or by observing my mind, my actions more closely. I realize that not having "mini-objectives" leaves too much free-reign to behaviors that aren't helpful.

    I also am reminded that habits are key. Both good and bad (unskilful ones, rather). Idle browsing, PMO, gaming, are all symptomatic of not having instilled the good habits that can carry me forward, occupying my thoughts and time and leaving little time for the unhealthy choices. The raging debate still goes, I am sure, but fighting the addiction - white-knuckling it - can only, in my mind, be effective short-term. The positive is always more powerful than the negative... and so goes my intuition in favor of building a strong set of good habits. Of course, there will be moments when the addiciton will creep in, cravings will get stronger... but this is where I can also apply the brakes, and tell it to f**-off. No you shan't get me, slut. If depression, addicition and self-loathing knock on my door, I won't let them in... they can all go suck an egg.

    Nice to hear from you again, Trapped. Wish you lots of courage, you deserve to have a happy and fulfilling life.:)
     
  10. Mendoza

    Mendoza Well-Known Member

    Today I am celebrating 3 days of conscious living and connection. I occupied my time well, went outdoors, worked with a female colleague and reconnected with music.

    I am reading the book The places that scare you by the Buddhist nun Pema Chodron. I'm still at the very early part of it, not trying to race through it, absorbing sentences one at a time. The premise is that we tend to lead lives in auto-pilot mode, unconsciously building walls and barriers to protect our egos from the "unsafe and unpredictable universe". The solution lies not in destroying those walls, however. Here is a passage that I a found worth recopying verbatim for daily reminder:

    "Rather than going after those walls and barriers with a sledgehammer, we pay attention to them. With gentleness and honesty, we move closer to those walls. We touch them and smell them and get to know them well. We begin a process of acknowledging our aversions and our cravings. We become familiar with the strategies and beliefs we use to build walls: 'What are the stories I tell myself?' 'What repels me and what attracts me?' We start to get curious about what's going on. Without calling what we see right or wrong, we simply look as objectively as we can. (...) Slowly, very slowly, the cracks in the walls seem to widen..."
     
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  11. Mendoza

    Mendoza Well-Known Member

    One day of wholesome living in the books.

    Yes, there was a reset recently.. I learned that under stress, the mind is volatile, and I become a risk to my own health. It was a rather quick relapse, so I managed to minimize P-viewing, but what the relapse taught me, was that certain conditions such as stress and uneasiness can quickly tip the scale to acting out. Why? Because I feel a need to be validated for the effort and strain... a cookie, really. I wonder, though, if the act of relapsing is in itself no worse than finding other coping mechanisms, such as going for a late-night jog, or a quick meditation session. Sure, these outlets ARE more healthy that relapsing... but I wonder if they only work as patch solutions. The run could stave off the relapse, for another week, 2 weeks or month. But will I learn something from it? Not necessarily. By relapsing, I realized that I have low tolerance on the edginess and uneasiness I was feeling. It unmasked the true problem, which I now have to deal with by facing this uneasiness head on.

    On a next opportunity, I shall face uneasiness and edginess with patience, knowing that both these feelings will pass... which reminds me of the oft-quoted phrase: "This too shall pass". I tried to exercise it this afternoon. The habit of ingesting coffee surged. I said to myself: "The feeling shall pass... let's see how far we make it". And sure enough, I did!
     
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  12. MarstonS

    MarstonS Walking the longest walk...

    Ah the no coffee ... how has that been going for you?.Any benefits you can share? Like lower levels of anxiety, more consistant energy and things like that? ...and also what do you notice if you slip and have a couple of cups?
     
  13. Mendoza

    Mendoza Well-Known Member

    Hey Marston,

    Lately I have not been on a caffeine ban (I drink a cup every other day), but I remember doing this for 30 days back in June-July. The main benefit I'd say was psychological... that I could go without the susbstance for several weeks without feeling withdrawals. The awareness that comes with not needing to be addicted to one more thing is a great boost in self-confidence. It gave me hope that I could live a life completely free of addictions if I wanted to (even though I had not solved the P-problem). As for energy levels, I don't think there were any perceptible differences.

    I don't think I can really say if coffee is a plus or minus in everyone's life. There is this Buddhist monk whom I've been reading and studying his teachings... who happens to like coffee! So even calm, magnanimous people can drink coffee and not feel unbalanced by it. I believe the problem arises when there is too much anxiety to start with. I remember feeling very anxious in that period. Every single cup of coffee would eventually lead me to relapse later that evening. I couldn't handle caffeine properly so I had to quit. After coming back from vacation though, I realized that I could drink coffee again, I was more relaxed, as it wasn't unbalancing me to the point where I would usually act out.

    But I believe the best example, is the one I read on wabi-sabi's journal, where he at one point eliminated coffee... then reinstated it to one cup a day before noon. I also don't believe in eliminating or banning, but in moderating to a minimum, so I am finding that 3-4 cups a week (with max one cup a day) works for me. So I would encourage you to experiment with the timing you drink it every day, or the ratio of days you drink and days you don't... until you find something that works. And that can change from season to season!
     

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