Palindrome's Internet Usage Journal

Discussion in 'Internet Addiction' started by Palindrome5, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. Palindrome5

    Palindrome5 New Member

    It seems the further I get with my no PMO challenge, the further out of control my internet addiction goes, almost as if one is compensating for the other. It goes without saying that I think this is holding back my ED recovery.

    So, I've decided to make this journal to keep myself accountable. I've spent at least the last 12-15 hours online, I'm so hungry my stomach's in pain, and I need to cut this out ONCE AND FOR ALL. Enough is enough!

    I'm not going to make a complicated set of rules to abide by, just that I expect myself to know what I'm using the computer for beforehand, promptly accomplish that task, and leave the computer to do something else. I consider it a relapse if I feel myself losing control on the internet and fall into the autopilot of checking a bunch of procrastination sites I frequent. It's hard to really describe that moment, but I can tell exactly when it occurs.

    I'm thinking maybe also go 1 week without downloading any TV shows. This would really suck for me since I watch the Daily Show and the Colbert Report (airs 4x/week) and the Big Bang Theory is airing this thursday (absolutely adore that show). Music downloads I don't think are worth restricting, but I might do that too since I have a tendency of playing my music so often I eventually tire of my playlist, even if there are over 1000 songs on it. Perhaps no ipod music, or no music on the computer, even both if I'm feeling particularly nuts. Like I said, inflexible restrictions are troublesome on this type of challenge because of how arbitrary they are, and might paradoxically increase the chance of relapsing.

    Since this hasn't really been attempted before (there are a couple journals here but they're not frequently updated), this is going to be one hell of a learning process, and I'll probably need a lot of support along the way :-/ The biggest challenge of course is the slippery slope of allowing certain small indulgences (eg/ I just completed a huge work assignment. What does it hurt to have a quick peek at that website) that lead to full-out binges. With no PMO it's pretty clear that you don't watch porn, masturbate or orgasm, with a bit of a gray zone when it comes to fantasizing, real sex, gentle rubbing, etc. With internet addiction pretty much everything is gray zone.

    So, let's get started.

    Day 0: I woke up today at 4 pm and am still awake at 9:30 am. My sleep schedule is screwed up beyond belief, which is causing problems with school and has a way of enabling being unproductive on the computer. For example, I'm less likely to be disturbed during the night, and I can't exactly go shopping or get a haircut (or wtv productive thing it is I wanted to do) at 3 in the morning.

    I feel absolutely terrible right now. I'm starving, I have brain fog, my eyes are bothering me slightly, and I feel ashamed of myself. I can't stop making posts on various forums and checking if people responded to me. I love the validation, I suppose I don't get anything comparable in my everyday life. I am afraid of doing anything else and just want to continue my escapism, no matter how much it hurts my stomach. And it’s not like my fears are even remotely proportional to my response to them. All this is to avoid submitting my CV in a couple places every day, to go update my wardrobe, to wake up and go to sleep at a normal hour, to contact a sex therapist, stuff like that.

    Well, I have enough awareness right now to cut this out, get something to eat and get some sleep. I am also going to turn off my computer and write out a list of things to do before I turn it back on tomorrow. I’m going to put a note on a looseleaf on my keyboard to remind me of this in case I go right for the computer when I wake up. Really need to buy post-it notes.

    Edit: 10 am and still on the computer. Getting off NOW.
  2. Palindrome5

    Palindrome5 New Member

    Re: Palindrome's Internet Usage Journal [Updated Daily]

    Day 1: So far so good.

    When I woke up (~4:30 pm) my first impulse was to go on the computer. Instead I did some morning routine stuff.

    -Made my bed
    -Prepared a salad & protein shake for breakfast
    -Did some laundry
    -Played my guitar for a few minutes
    -Showered, shaved, applied creams
    -Meditated for 20 minutes

    I also made a list of things to do:

    1. Clean kitchen
    2. Do as much laundry as possible
    3. Arrange a haircut
    4. Call sex therapist
    5. Go hiking
    6. Cook chicken
    7. 2 hours of homework
    8. Hand in basketball form

    A lot of this stuff I do anyway so it’s just there to offer encouragement when I finish the task.

    As for my internet time, I decided I would limit my browsing to visiting 5 websites, and only view 3 posts per website, for a total of 15 posts. When I would finish visiting a website, I’d put a checkmark beside said site and move on to the next one. I have an egg timer going and managed to do all of this (including the post I’m writing here) under 30 minutes. Definitely a far cry from spending 12+ hours online :D

    Well, logging off. I’m going to make a post tonight before I go to bed.
  3. TheUnderdog

    TheUnderdog Active Member Staff Member

    Re: Palindrome's Internet Usage Journal [Updated Daily]

    Awesome dude!

    Rooting for you.
  4. Palindrome5

    Palindrome5 New Member

    Re: Palindrome's Internet Usage Journal [Updated Daily]

    Day 2 (4:11 am): Mixed feelings. I managed to at least attempt everything on the list, which I'm very happy about. I also got started on schoolwork I've been neglecting for 3 weeks (!!!). But that's where the problems arise: I'm in over my head here. At times I felt stress today akin to what I felt from the wretched pain of a break-up. I'm calmer now that I've got some work done, but this whole week's going to be a hell of a grind just to catch up.

    It is pretty evident that I am very bad at coping with stress. A couple times I couldn't resist but to visit a forum for a few minutes just to ease my mind from the workload. I kept it under an hour at a time (maybe max 20 min sessions) but it still qualifies as that loss of control I'm trying to eliminate.

    I dunno if I should reset the counter or not, but regardless this is pure hell. Horrible sleep cycle + way behind in school + suddenly thrust into sexual relationships = massive anxiety, and I have to endure it the rest of the week.
  5. Palindrome5

    Palindrome5 New Member

    Re: Palindrome's Internet Usage Journal [Updated Daily]

    Day 2 (7:15 pm): It seems I'll be alright after all :) I went to see my psychologist at 8:30 am, and I was a total mess considering I pulled an all nighter. I couldn't articulate my ideas even remotely well, which was embarrassing, but nonetheless he still read e-mails I had sent him about what's been happening lately. He insists the overarching cause to all my problems (including ED!) is ANXIETY, plain and simple. That as long as I'm this anxious, I wouldn't be able to enjoy any kind of relationship or experience because my mind would just create a new narrative of stress & concern. I never really considered the idea that if I don't cope with my anxiety, no single experience or event in my life will magically change that, whether it's sex, travel, getting a 6 pack, becoming famous, whatever.

    After the session I realized I've been way too hard on myself lately, particularly in regards to my own expectations. So I had this attitude of self-forgiveness, ate a fancy meal and went home, where I fell asleep like a baby. I can't fully explain it, but I had this relieving calm that I was enough, I deserve a woman in my life, don't need to go join 80 committees or whatever stupid notions I have in my head at the time. I managed to sit through a half hour bus ride just staring at the seat opposite to me, never got bored or impatient.

    So here I am now, realizing how much homework I actually got done yesterday and how little is left to do. It's still a lot to handle but hardly a herculean task. And as long as I stay calm and meditate a few times a day, I'll feel good and will make it through this.
  6. Palindrome5

    Palindrome5 New Member

    Re: Palindrome's Internet Usage Journal [Updated Daily]

    (9:45 pm) Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand I just spent the two hours dicking around online. Back to day 1. Fack this is hard :( I feel terrible right now, just want to sleep despite having just woken up and depressed from seeing it being dark outside. Going to go meditate then straight to my remaining homework.
  7. Palindrome5

    Palindrome5 New Member

    Re: Palindrome's Internet Usage Journal [Updated Daily]

    Yes. Didn't help :mad:

    I admit I'm being a bit of a wimp but I need to hold off on this challenge until I've got my schoolwork finished and can remove that stressor out of my life. With the catch-up I've been doing, I've been forced to sit in front of the computer for several hours a day even without fooling around. Eventually I get bored and have to blow off some steam.

    Well, writing that out I can see the rationalization clear as day- why not take a break by walking outside, cooking a meal, meditating, taking a nap, playing guitar, calling a friend, etc?

    Nonetheless, I'll re-start this officially on monday while trying to be viligant about limiting internet time in the meanwhile.

  8. Phantasielos

    Phantasielos Member

    Re: Palindrome's Internet Usage Journal [Updated Daily]

    Maybe a different method to what you're trying to accomplish will help.
    Instead of trying to cut yourself off from the internet completely, gradually reduce the amount of time spent.
    Let's say...
    Start off with one hour a day for a week. You can do whatever you'd like for that hour (except pmo, of course :) ),
    Then the next week cut that down to 50 minutes. Once again, you could do whatever you like.
    And then 10 minutes off on the next week and so on and so forth.
    The only reason I'm suggesting this is because it seems quite a bit more plausible. If you gradually take something away, then you might realize you don't have as much need for it as you initially thought.
  9. Palindrome5

    Palindrome5 New Member

    Re: Palindrome's Internet Usage Journal [Updated Daily]

    Aright, reboot time.

    Oct. 1st, 2012

    Day 1 (2:47 pm): I've actually been pretty good lately in terms of not procrastinating on the computer, and today is no exception. Even without making a concerted mental effort, I've only done school/productivity related stuff so far.
  10. Palindrome5

    Palindrome5 New Member

    Re: Palindrome's Internet Usage Journal [Updated Daily]

    Day 2 (8:05 am): Still very much in control. I haven't done anything as rigid as writing out the exact websites I'll visit before going online or using an egg timer, but the procrastination behavior is very minimal.

    In fact, I think I learned a new trick. Basically, make procrastination more constructive so that when you're actually feeling lazy and in autopilot mode, you still manage to do something useful. In my case, I am watching french comedy and sitcoms in order to improve my french, particularly my ability to understand spoken french (the slang, slurred words, jargon, etc). I've also started to learn programming on my spare time since that's the career path I want to pursue. If I get lost spending 3-4+ hours doing that, it certainly beats spending all that time looking at funny pics on reddit or what have you.

    Honestly I haven't been overly tempted to slack off on the internet, even despite the loss of my 2 sexual partners (see my no PMO journal for more on that). Can't think of anything else, so logging off.
  11. Palindrome5

    Palindrome5 New Member

    Re: Palindrome's Internet Usage Journal [Updated Daily]

    Day 3 (7:57 am): My body just hates me when it comes to sleep. I was able to fall asleep at 11 pm yesterday, but woke up a mere 2-3 hours later and wasn't able to return to sleep. So, once again I'm going to be completely exhausted for my upcoming classes.

    Still holding it together, more or less. I'm probably spending the same amount of time on the computer as in the past, but 90% of that time is doing useful stuff (eg/ looking into student clubs, reading about programming, watching french videos, etc). I admit once every few hours I take a peek at one of those procrastination sites I used to frequent, but I'm not going to beat myself up over that.
  12. Palindrome5

    Palindrome5 New Member

    Wow, 3 whole months without updating. I really fell off the bandwagon in terms of cutting internet time, but all of a sudden I've got a pretty good handle on it.

    I have a leechblock add-on installed with a very thorough list of blocked websites. In fact, it's possible I block a couple too many sites, but that's fine. My problem has been that I know how to disable leechblock within seconds if I feel so compelled, which normally makes it quite useless. However, over the past 3 days I haven't touched leechblock, or even tried to visit any of the banned websites!

    So now all my computer time has basically been limited to reading books in pdf format (~30 pages/day), learning photoshop, and a bit of forum activity (maybe an hour/day). Otherwise I've been pretty busy shopping, going out at night, going to the gym, and reading. I've been reading so much lately that I finish at least a book per week, and the best part is I actually talk to others about them when I go out.

    Quick question: Does anyone have a timer I could use that updates automatically? The one in my signature only displays text that is PMO related unfortunately.
  13. Stopper

    Stopper IT'S OVER!!!

    Good stuff man!

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