Because I should, not because I can


#21

Reason 2: I want to get my doctoral degree.
Back to day 1 again. I started talking to my wife about the problem, but the anxiety around it literally swallowed me whole. I used before I really even talked to her about it, but I feel like I will never succeed at this if I don’t have her back. Today she and I are sitting down and I am telling her that she is helping me. I’m sure that sounds harsh to many of you, but she has been wishy washy in the past about helping me when I give all of these reasons why I need her help. The truth is that I do so much for her, and I ask so little of her. She is helping me. I don’t need her to do the work for me. I don’t need her to watch my every move. I need someone who can do the following things for me:

  1. Be there for me to say, “This is what tomorrow will look like.”
  2. Be someone I can reach out to when I am feeling like crap.
  3. Be someone who can plan with me.

I’m not going to get into the emotion of it with her. I am telling her that it is a bad habit that I want to get rid of and our life will never feel good enough to me if I don’t get rid of it. She is going to have to help me or it is all but guaranteed that this relationship will eventually go down the drain. This isn’t sustainable. Wish me luck folks. It is going to be one hell of a day.


#22

"Hey Iam! I just read through your journal and it is very encouraging! I could relate to so many things.

I had a similar experience. Last night I had a horrible insomnia and spent few hours on YouTube after 4 days of no surf. This time it was different though. I was fully aware of what I was doing, it felt so dull this time, the videos seemed boring. I had thoughts: am I benefiting my future self? Is it making me a better person? Bottom line: It was not an enjoyable experience. I don’t regret it neither though. I think, the more we stay away from the internet, the more aware and present we become, and the more our actions aline with the good that we want for ourselves. I think it is a sign of the brain being rewired. Yes, we might have some fallbacks, but giving up an addiction is a no joke, as long as we bounce back, forgive ourselves and move on, it’s all good and part of a journey.

This is just awesome. So encouraging! Nice and simple: is it in my values? If the answer is no, do the right thing, don’t overthink it, don’t overdramatize it, move forward, period. Good stuff.

It is a clear evidence that the urges taper off with days when not acting upon them. Exactly what I read in the neuroscience books. Keep it up. It will only get easier with time.

Another great idea as well. It does feel shameful to open up to somebody but is so helpful.

Well done! Why not to refocus and remind yourself of the reasons why are you up for all this?

All the best in your endeavours!"

There has been some good when I started this journal, but it all feels empty. I need someone to do this with and that someone cannot only be a person behind a screen. The more I read your comments the more real this is.


#23

Reason 3: I want my marriage to go well.
Ok so I made it through day 1. I had a real heart to heart with my wife. I am starting small. 1/7 days down. Today is about getting through the morning. If I get through the morning the rest of today will go well.


#24

Reason 4: I want to run the Boston marathon
So things are going well so far. Work is stressful, and for the first time I am noticing just how that affects me and my path towards binging on the internet. Rather than putting it all inside I am talking to people about it instead of just isolating. Part of that conversation will happen in this journal.

Yesterday I worked a 10 hour day and my brain was on fire because I wasn’t using my phone at work or anything. I went through a really stressful meeting, did an evaluation, did a whole bunch of paperwork, prepped for my group, and then had my group go terribly because two clients were behaving inappropriately. It was a crazy 10 hours.

I don’t hate my job. I love helping others and creating a better world with the work I do. but I don’t think I have ever given myself the satisfaction of being able to say that I had a stressful day. I don’t think I have ever been genuine with myself in that regard.

So now what? Today is another long day for me, unfortunately. I have hours to make up from being sick. But, the more open and communicating I am with my wife, the more I am able to stay in control and stick to my goals. This is day 3. I am going to meditate and hit the gym after writing this. Then, at work I have a whole host of things I need to do.


#25

Reason 5: My dignity and self-respect are intertwined with my ability to stay true to my values. AKA, going on the internet to cope for hours is not a part of my values system.

So I turn 25 in about a month and a half. I got my first job just after I had turned 17. So I have worked for 8 years. I don’t think I ever once have let myself say what I am about to say. Work is stressing me out. I find it odd that all the people around me would say that, and yet I never understood why. Well here is why. Any time that I felt like work was stressful in my life, YouTube was right there to save me. Stressful day at school? YouTube and Facebook. Don’t want to talk to your girlfriend over text message? YouTube for hours and hours.I have looked at this problem from 8,423 scientific avenues and yet I missed the most obvious one. Stress. For the past four days I have let my body feel the stress it actually is under and I have two things to say:

  1. Holy shit.
  2. There has to be a better way to deal with this than the internet.

So now more than ever my quest to get back into shape is in play. I also need to get more organized at work to handle stress better. But also, I need to have a better life outside of work. I feel like work can be stressful, but if I have things that are meaningful and engaging outside of work then I can do this.

So what would be those things:

  1. Exercising daily
  2. Writing daily
  3. Spending meaningful time with my wife
  4. Having control of my finances and a good plan
  5. Meeting up with friends

I’m a simple guy. I really just need those things. It makes perfect sense. I just need to execute it.


#26

"Stressful day at school? YouTube and Facebook. Don’t want to talk to your girlfriend over text message? YouTube for hours and hours.I have looked at this problem from 8,423 scientific avenues and yet I missed the most obvious one. Stress. For the past four days I have let my body feel the stress it actually is under and I have two things to say:

1. Holy shit.
2. There has to be a better way to deal with this than the internet."

Isn’t it shocking how many things are shadowed with YouTube, FB etc, surfing in general? It just numbs you, so you don’t have to deal with the real problem. But the problem is still there. With every escape you get stuck more and more not being able to deal with your real world life. Looking forward to read in the future how you will you choose to deal with stress now.

I am definitely learning how to deal with some aspects of my life now as well. Once I was off the internet, I found I had a problem with procrastinating on my studies, I am dealing with it now, not escaping this time. Not easy, but worth it. And the more issues I get sorted out (one by one, no need to rush), the more I journal, THE LESS I WANT TO GO SURF as there is less and less to hide from!

Glad your wife is helping you! Keep it up!


#27

Having a day at work where I feel paralyzed by stress. How do I deal with this? Literally I will take any suggestions.


#28

Hey ThewriterIam!

I don’t know your personality, but I’ll share what works for me when I feel anxious. Hope it’ll be helpful to you.

  1. Acknowledge.
    All people experience stress throughout their life in one form or another. Stress at work is very common even if you are ok with your job. Dealing with people is usually not easy… Definitely happened to me, I can relate. Acknowledge that nothing supernatural is happening to you, but only what is common to humans. It’s ok, it is going to pass. Breathe deeper, it will slow down your heart beat and will make you feel calmer.

  2. Take a piece of paper and write everything that bothers you. It may be many things. I understand that it’s your working day, so write at least few biggest ones. Once done, go through every point and ask yourself only one question about the issue, something like: “Can I personally do something about this situation to change it for better?” Now, if the answer is:

  • “Yes”. Write down what is it that you could possibly do. If it is many things, write the first tangible step. If that step takes less than 2mins, do it immidiately, if possible. If no, schedule for the other time or just come back to it later.
  • “No”. If you can not change anything, there is no point to worry about it. Let it go. I know, it sounds easier said than done but trust me, everything begins with acknowledgement of what the real truth is with your mind first. The emotions will follow later, don’t worry about them, just let them be, separate them from your true self that knows there is nothing you can do in this situation and it’s ok to let it go… Keep going with your day, practice mindfullness when you try to focus on the task at hand singlemindedly.

Now you are clear with what’s going on with you and this clarity makes things not as scary. At least that’s how I feel, indefinite things definitely frustrate me.

I also find it helpful to lisen to the guided 10min meditation called “Urge surfing”, but it can be used when you have any severe emotions too. Go to the link below, there is an article there, almost on the bottom of it you’ll the link called “Sarah Bowen leads you through the practice of surfing the urge”.

Hope you’ll feel at peace soon!


#29

Ok so just to recap. This weekend was incredible. Literally 0 minutes of mindless surfing. I got up Monday morning and had a perfect morning. I got to work and BOOM. It just literally felt like I got smashed in the face by all of the stress and my mind panicked. I made it until about noon time before I had a little breakdown, watched a video, but someoen came in my office and bailed me out. I got through the rest of work, but I didn’t feel productive. I come home and I just had no idea what to do. I couldn’t shut my brain off from work. So here is what did not work:

Blaring music over my sonos speaker
Blaring podcasts over my sonos speaker
Sitting on YouTube (duh)
Making a phone call to my dad
Making a shitty homemade margarita
Cooking dinner

I came home and I knew how stressed I was and none of those things helped. Over the weekend I felt stressed, but here are the things that helped:

Writing.

Writing was what kept me grounded this weekend and for some reason I did not do it last night. The other thing that I need to get on doing is meditating. I feel like part of this problem is mindfulness.

So this morning I am going to write and meditate.


#30

Thank you for the suggestions. I like the idea of writing it down. Acknowledging has been something I have just finally started to do. I will also look into that meditation.


#31

Writing stuff down helped. It is just doing it consistently.


#32

Ok so after I lose control I notice that it is a lot about being able to say no. Like, at work once I lose control my brain is having a massive stress reaction and suddenly every thing that goes flying through my brain is urgent even if it really isn’t. Having the ability to be planful and to say no to those things is a key to my success.


#33

I will keep this simple and brief.

  1. My identity became going on my phone. That is why it is so hard to give it up. I need to create a new identity.
  2. What gets me on my phone is stress, but two very different kinds of stress. Shame stress over going on my phone in the first place keeps me there. But, usually social stress like thinking about expectations is what gets me there in the first place. I need to face these stressors as opposed to running away from them. I also just need to have something else I do when I feel the urge to use my phone for stress. I am going to start with reading and going out on walks now that the weather is nicer.

#35

Dammit. Well, it is now undeiable what causes me to go there. I found my root cause. I saw it in action. Now I just need to beat it.


#36

I came into this forum and one of the first things I read was about how mental health was at the source of many of our problems. I knew that my mental health was clearly fucked up based on how I was. But, I could never pinpoint it. It was trauma. Then it was stress. Then it was my past. Then it became having a flighty brain. But finally, finally, finally, I have my answer. The reason I go on this phone every time I feel “stressed” is because what I am really doing is pulling out random memories from the past and thinking about them. These memories question my character because that is where my trauma came from. They furiously attack me every day and at some point I don’t want to deal with them and I go to my phone.

Well, I have turned over a new leaf. Running just depletes my character more. Now I make sure that every action is high character. If I say I am going to do something at home, at work, or for myself then I do it. I am honest. And for three and a half days that has made me happier than I have really been in recent memory.


#37

Another day where it is true. I had some close calls, but it is all about my brain just going to a place where I think people are judging me. 4 days clean.


#38

So I went 8 days clean. And then this morning I just absolutely blew up because I had one of those thoughts thinking about a conversation where someone could be judging me. And so rather than face it I go to my phone. But, I have noticed the other component of this today that turns this into an eight hour affair. Dishonesty. And it makes perfect sense. I don’t want to deal with the thought of people judging me so I go to my phone. Then, I don’t want to deal with the consequences of going to the phone so I am dishonest and I lie and make up excuses. But, it is this vicious cycle because then what sometimes happens is that I will think about having to tell someone that I failed and that launches me into staying on the phone for another hour, two hours, three hours…and it just goes and goes.

So it is this simple. Under no circumstances is going on the phone/internet/computer an OK way to deal with thoughts of people judging me. And second, if I even just am in a situation where I turn on a device I need to own it and say to whomever I have contact with, “This is stressing me out and I know I am not dealing with it in the right way. Help.”

With all that said, I feel good. Today was bad, yes. But, I feel like I am making real progress. All those years of calling it stress, or bad thoughts, or conversations in my head and it really finally has a tangible form that I can attack.


#39

I frigan bullied my way through yesterday, but guess what? IT WORKED. I was honest with my wife about how I was feeling and even just talking to someone helped. She is dead asleep so I am going to put it down here. This morning I am already starting off feeling those feelings of being judged. Except, I know that for success every single day I need to do the following things:

  1. Do not go on the computer or phone when having thoughts that people are judging you.
  2. Meditate every day
  3. Do the things that are high character decisions (get stuff done at work, go to the gym, spend time with my wife, be honest with my wife, see friends when you say you are going to)
  4. Be honest about what I am feeling
  5. Have goals.

I am two days in to my goal of 7 days of no coping through the internet.

Also, I probably need to do some writing and research on how to sustain this long term.


#40

I havent posted here in a while. July has gone really well for me. 17 days in the month and 15 of them have been really successful in terms of no surf. I’ve continued to do trauma work, but here I am at this point where I just feel like I don’t buy into this. If I wanted it, I could kill this addiction here and now. I could have the will power to say no if I really wanted it. I just don’t know how to want it. I don’t know what will motivate me. I don’t know.


#41

The hard part of our addictions is mastering the psychology that continues to rationalize our participation. It feels like mentally stepping off a cliff while having to retain the trust that you will have a safe landing.

This closely ties in to the buddhist idea of letting go of all attachments. Addictions are just highly concentrated forms of attachments that have kept us within their grasp for years.

Of course it’s easy to type all this stuff but much harder to actually execute something. Killing your addiction means killing a part of yourself that your hold dear and that makes you feel good. It can have some serious consequences to the point of going through physical or mental withdrawals depending on how strong it is.

My only suggestion is to get get a 3rd parties opinion (your wife, or even us) and then realizing how clean and easy it must seem from their stand point. You already know what you have to do but the difficulty is in executing, in stepping off the cliff, to walking away, and releasing all ties you have to this addiction.