Stop wasting my life away


#21

You are right, @Nik. As time is limited, many other things are more worth my time than this show or other things on the internet. As for screenless jobs: It would be ideal for me to have one, but as a software engineer this is not possible.

Monday, 2018-09-10

How I feel: Bad. It‘s strange: I felt no emotional pain that would drive me to use the internet instead of actually working. It‘s more like there is a sinister voice inside my head that thrives on luring me down a road to misery. Anyway - it took me ages to get going again and even staying late at work could not undo the damage done. I also wanted to bury my head in the sand at home and resigned to mindless surfing for some time until I snapped out of it out of necessity - I had to go shopping until the stores closed.
What went well: I read some Haruki Murakami. I don‘t know what it is about this man, but his prose gets me in this super relaxed state that should really be my default. Reading to my daughter in bed, going for a walk with our dog and doing the dishes were all akin to meditation, done slowly and with intent.
What went wrong: Not working at work. It‘s theft and morally wrong. I have no excuse not to do the right thing tomorrow.
How to improve: Not letting my guard down. I have to be on my toes not to get sucked into subversive thoughts that aim to undermine all progress I intend to make.


#22

Tuesday, 2018-09-11

How I feel: Worse. I had an abysmal day with regards to my internet addiction.
What went right: Until a work meeting at 9:30 I was actually working and getting a glimpse of what it would feel like to be an actual productive member of the workforce. It felt good.
What went wrong: I started surfing the web after the meeting and never really stopped. This most probably is because I expected to be questioned about my current project in the meeting but as it was not even mentioned I somehow got the feeling like I now have free reign to do nothing since no one will check what I am working on anyway. It‘s a dumb mindset to have but I have seen this behaviour pattern many times now. I also watched many videos at home. I was deflated and allowed myself to get sucked into the YouTube subscription maelstrom.
How to improve: The beginning is the most sensitive moment. This is where I have to take extra care not to let myself be lured in by destructive seductions. I managed to do well this morning. This shows me that I am not a lost cause and that it is possible to do it the right way.
I am also dissatisfied with the fact that I check NoSurf and my news site in the morning. This is better left to when I have time in the evening. It gets my day started on the wrong note - consuming instead of producing.


#23

Wednesday, 2018-09-12

How I feel: Pretty good, but it’s not warranted. The way I feel is mostly dictated by what happened most recently, so it’s not a good gauge of how well the day went.
What went right: I did not surf the internet at home and managed to come home relatively early from work, after staying rather late playing catch-up the last days.
What went wrong: The fact that I only did real work for the last hour at work. This is just not acceptable.
How to improve: I am sounding like a broken record, but it always comes down to being vigilant. The power of habit will always draw me to surf the internet again at work, so I have to keep my guard up to fight these urges.


#24

Thursday, 2018-09-13

How I feel: Tired. What I‘m doing at work is ridiculous. All the time I‘m saying how important it is to me to change for the better, but my actions firmly say that being comfortable is more important to me. It extends into private life as well. I avoid things out of my comfort zone all the time which makes me feel bad but at the same time is more comfortable in the short run than facing probable failure. I don‘t understand my fears.
What went right: Again no surfing at home in the evening. Shopping and prepping dinner for my parents and siblings, who were guests at my house to celebrate my mother‘s birthday. We went to cinema and for a drink afterwards. It was a very nice evening and I love my family.
What went wrong: Well, everything that happens at the office. It‘s a place hardwired for failure. I am very worried by what Adam Alter wrote about addicts - that their chances of coming clean are very low as long as they stay in the places the addiction took place. This would mean that I have to work very hard to snap out of this learned behaviour.
How to improve: Weekend is coming up. At home, it should be easier to stay away from screens. I want to get some things done around the house that I am procrastinating on.


#25

Advent time is coming up and I have made no headway in achieving the goals I formulated when first posting here. I am in the same spot, surfing more than working at work and also wasting away precious time at home consuming things that are not worth the time. It seems to be a common story - not only for me, but for many here on NoSurf. A rollercoaster of short stretches of success and then falling prey again to deeply ingrained habits. The reason I hesitate to post here is that I am questioning the efficacy of doing so. Is writing about what concerns me really a step in the right direction or just a method of absolution? I sometimes feel like writing about my failures absolves me from having done them. It does not. True redemption would be to change forevermore. But I am showing no signs of that. It’s very tempting to say that I’m giving up for good now, even if I know that’s the wrong thing to do because there still is the chance to turn it all around.

See, I don’t want to end this on a bleak note. Hope is a virtue and I know that what I am called to do is to stand back up and face my demons, over and over again. It’s just that it’s tiring to experience failure.


#26

Hey Simon. Long time no see!

Let’s get straight to the point: Controlling your surfing habits is difficult. There’s a good chance its gonna be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever attempt to do (from a willpower/self-improvement point of view).

At the beginning, when you’re motivated to change, it seems so easy. I’m pretty sure most people on here start with 100% confidence and pure motivation to turn their life around. I’d guess nearly everybody on here acted impulsively when signing up in this forum and starting to use it. I mean, why wouldn’t you? It’s free and available at all times.
But then, after your motivation dwindles and you’re forced to work with your willpower, and nothing else, things seem bleak and you relapse.
After your relapse, you think “That’s it! I have to take this seriously! I want to change!”. This is usually followed by a time of extreme motivation and willpower which usually leads to some quality time away from the internet, which you spend with new hobbies or friends and family.
But then you too mild on yourself. You don’t control yourself as strictly as you previously had. You think you’ve conquered your surfing habits. You let yourself go. After some time, you realize what’s going on, what’s become of you. You’ve become your old self again.

Does this sound familiar? Of course it does; you’re currently living it. You’ve been through this. Hell, I have been through this. A lot of people on here have been through this.
It’s not a NoSurf specific problem. This “cycle” happen every time you try to overcome deeply ingrained habits and routines. Be it alcohol abuse, drugs or trying to maintain a healthy diet after not doing so for a long amount of time.
Trying to overcome yourself is always difficult.

What you need to remember is that, you’re at a point that so many people have never or will never reach.
Remember the second phase I mentioned, after your initial motivation disappears and you have to rely on your willpower? There are so many accounts on this site made by people who never reached that phase. People who have created a journal posted one entry, and were never seen again. Accounts with >1 minute read time. Or accounts that didn’t even post anything at all!
(Please don’t see this as me talking down to these people; that’s not the point I’m trying to make)

You’ve come so far, made so much progress. Don’t give up now!

We’re in the exact same situation. Remember what you wrote in your response to my journal entry?

You’re not alone

That’s what you wrote. You’re not alone. Because it’s true. There are a lot of people that are in a similar situation—me for example.

What can you do to get out of this situation? To be honest, I don’t know. If I knew that, I wouldn’t feel terrible about myself at the moment, but here we are.
But there is a way. I know there is. Maybe this is the “main” challenge in all of this. Not the previous experiences we’ve had. Not the previous relapses. Not the previous successes either.

I’m pretty sure this, right now, is the true start of our “NoSurf journey”. So why stop now?


#27

Great post, I’m not sure why it got lost. Bookmarked for the next time I’ll need the exact same message - thank you for writing it out!