Day One without Facebook.

Got a good chunk of things done yesterday. Not as much as I would have liked to, but… a big one was finally working up the nerve to delete my FB account. I still have two weeks to reactivate it before all of my data is deleted permanently. So, I just have to hold out for that long and I won’t be able to go back on my decision. I’m currently fighting a war with an increasing number of thoughts in my head that are telling me how I can’t hope to live socially without Facebook. Birthday parties, event planning, learning about OTHER people’s event plans so I can spend time with my friends, promoting stuff that I create…

But then I think, honestly, how much did I actually do that this past semester? I attended maybe 2 or 3 events out of countless ones, many of which I could’ve learned through posters and actually, y’know, TALKING to people. Most of the time, it just let me know about stuff other people were planning and letting me know that I couldn’t have attended. Actually having to put effort into finding out what people are doing for ONE semester isn’t going to kill me, as much as my information withdrawal right now is telling me the opposite.

I’ve been having the most random, mundane nightmares lately. Stuff like my printer running out of ink or not working, the hinge for my laptop screen breaking, or my aforementioned ex hitting me with a peace bond (like a restraining order) so that I’m unable to hang out with any of my friends when she’s nearby. As someone in the psychiatric discipline, I’m a proponent of activation-synthesis theory, but it’s hard to discount any sort of cognitive-emotional component to dreams sometimes.

I did my first bit of Rogues’ Gallery related work this morning, which felt really good to do. I edited a review of Hitman: Absolution. I just need to edit in a bumper at the beginning and end of it and it’ll be ready to post. I also booked my tickets back home to Kingston for the holidays… which I’m not looking forward to, especially considering that I’m just starting to try and clean up my diet again. Oh well. New challenges are new chances for solutions.

Goodbye, Facebook.

Another day, another sleep-in. Jeez… moving my sunrise clock back next to my bed does seem to have helped with the abruptness of waking up, but I think I’m still going to need to set alarms on my phone to mitigate the very real possibility of me turning down the brightness enough to fall back to sleep. I’m currently fighting the urge to just sit back and let today be yet another day where I don’t do anything. Luckily, a friend of mine whom I haven’t been in contact with in a while chatted with me yesterday, and sent me a couple of articles which really gave me a kick in the ass.

Still having issues with distraction though. Probably the reason why I’m getting rid of Facebook.  Being someone with social anxiety, it makes me blood pressure spike to think of cutting off a point of contact with a large portion of my friends, but the ones who are actually making the attempt to keep in contact with me when I asked for their contact info are probably the ones I should be caring most about keeping in the first place, and not worrying about the other ones I barely talk to.

It’s funny, even though I’m still trolling sites like IGN, the less time I spend on FB, the more time I spend thinking about the comments left on various articles in a constructive way. Ie. in a way that actually inspires me to write something worthwhile for either the Rogues’ Gallery or for my HubPages blog. I still need to edit and post the Hitman: Absolution review that myself and my friend Cameron recorded the other day. I want to get that done by the end of today. Honestly, there are several things that fall into that category, so it might ACTUALLY be helpful to list them:

  1. Fast for 16 hours
  2. Make grocery list
  3. Edit Hitman Absolution review (PRIORITY)
  4. Edit cover letter for Goodlife Fitness application (PRIORITY)
  5. Go to Goodlife Pergola Commons, Upper Body training + drop off resume to Morgan Mitchell (PRIORITY)
  6. Get groceries from No Frills
  7. No junk food today

Okay, that seems like a reasonable list of to-do’s and goals. Let’s get to it.

 

Refractory Period

No sooner do I pen a post about respecting the ritual of writing do I go without posting for a number of days. Hoo boy. I have to admit, exams took my attention. However, had I gotten up earlier, I doubt I would have run into the problems I did concerning the issue of not having enough time to both pen a blog post AND review the required material for my exams. The last few days have revealed that to be a recurring theme: staying up, and subsequently getting up, too late. It’s funny, because I don’t especially enjoy sleeping in. I’d much rather awaken before the sun has even risen and begin my work on various things before I’m distracted by the presence of other people around me.

It’s funny, that distraction is simultaneously the distraction that so often keeps me from working, AND from going to bed in the first place. I’m so drawn to interacting and talking to people that I’m constantly losing focus on my goals of getting a good night sleep and rising at a decent hour the next day to continue my work. So that I can wake up happy, and go to bed proud. More and more, the evidence seems to point towards a problem with my ability to focus attention. I hesitated in getting evaluated when Bruno (my advisor at the Center for Students with Disabilities) asked if I wanted to, thinking that the Zoloft would solve my issues (I thought it was primarily anxiety that was the problem). I’m beginning to think that was a mistake. I’m going to make an appointment as soon as I can upon returning to school, and see if I can get OSAP to fund the testing (it’s normally over a thousand dollars). But even if it is roughly a grand, even if I can’t get testing, I’ll be willing to foot the bill myself if it means that I can finally address this issue properly. The Zoloft has made it easier for me to make decisions without hesitating and getting analysis paralysis, but my ability to sit down and work is still far below where it should be.

I have a few notches in the win column this week, though. 3/4 of my exams went well, and I knocked both my Evo Psych and Philosophy exams out of the park. My semester has been pretty shaky, largely due to (surprise surprise) poor attendance to morning classes and procrastination, but I ended strong. ALSO, I deadlifted 300lbs yesterday, which was not something I ever thought that I’d be able to do a few years back. So that felt amazing.

I’ve got the house to myself, no school things to work on, and only one shift this week. It actually feels surprisingly good to just have an open slot of time to just sit back and reflect, and not worry about having to be somewhere at a certain time for a few days. Just going to do a bit of… whatever. Hopefully a few things that I haven’t done in a while (ie. stuff not involving playing video games and watching internet videos all day). What those are… is currently TBD.

Respecting the Ritual

Not sure what to write today. I’m largely doing this to respect the ritual of reflection and active, conscious thought that I’m trying to encourage in myself. Just, y’know, taking the time to be aware of the current state of my life, and what I’ve done to make it this way up to this point. To evaluate my satisfaction with the direction I’m headed in, and if the answer to that is no, what it is I need to change in order to get what I want.

I still have that essay to do. Pretty much the entirety of it. That’s my major obstacle for today. It’s probably my one big regret from yesterday that I didn’t get any work done on it. Other than that though, I’d have to say that yesterday was a day I could feel proud of. I know I write a lot of posts on this site with titles like “Getting Back on Track,” “Recovery,” etc, but yesterday really felt like I turned a corner and headed in a much healthier direction than I had been in before. I look at my “Done” List, and despite the things I didn’t do… I DID get a lot done. I’m proud of yesterday, which I suppose is the point. A great philosophy I heard from Steve Kamb from NerdFitness is to live so that you can wake up happy and go to bed proud, and I feel like I did that.

But this isn’t a moment to rest on my laurels. I still have an exam at the end of the week, and I absolutely NEED to sit my butt down and do some serious writing on that essay today. So I guess my priority list for today is:

  1. Write the majority, if not all, of my philosophy essay.
  2. Fast for 16 Hours
  3. Go to the gym (Lower Body)
  4. Spend no money/eat no junk food
  5. Review/make review questions for A.J. Ayer notes for Philosophy

I think that comprises a pretty reasonable list of things to do for today. Buses end at 6PM today, and one of the gyms I go to closes at 6PM. So exercising looks like it’d be best to do earlier on in the day. That being said, I don’t want to tire myself out to the point of not having mental energy to expend on work, so I’ll get in a good chunk of writing before heading to the gym. That way, I can focus on my training instead of stressing about having not done anything academically today yet.

Okay. Sounds like a plan. Let’s do it.

Getting My Life Back in Order

So I got through three days straight worth of exams. So the hardest part is over. I’ve still got an essay that I need to get done ASAP (it’s already late and late marks are being deducted from it as we speak), and one more exam next Friday, so I’m not quite out of the woods yet. However, I do have a little extra energy to parse off and start putting into getting my life back in order. Just about everything has gone into disarray aside from my anxiety (which the Zoloft IS helping). Well, and I suppose my gym schedule. The latter has been alright, but not amazing. I usually get to the gym 4-5 days a week, which is good, but I’m not feeling beat down afterwards so I feel like I could go for more days per week. And I’d LIKE to do just that, because there are days that I don’t get to do everything I’d like to. I’m going to try my best over the next month to go flat-out 7 days per week, with some days just being lighter than others. Thinking of a distribution something like this:

Day 1: Upper Body

Day 2:  Lower Body + Arms

Day 3:  Cardio (Heavy Bag)

Day 4: Core

Day 5: Upper Body

Day 6: Lower Body + Arms

Day 7: Cardio (Body weight circuit)

I have it spread out so that I cycle through areas so that, so long as I do the appropriate thorough warm-up and deep fascia stretching afterwards, I shouldn’t get beaten up too badly. It’ll still be taxing, but I know I can do it. I have a pretty awesome housemate for inspiration. It’s rare she actually DOESN’T go to the gym or do some form of exercise every day. Granted, she has a much lighter school schedule than I do, but I’m trying these days not to focus on the advantages people have over me, but the commonalities which speak to the fact that if I want something badly enough, and am willing to put in the effort, I can get it.

Second, I blocked my ex on Facebook. This may not seem like a big step, but there’s been a lot of hmming and hawwing about whether I should. She’s the president of the geek-centric club on campus, which I and most of my friends are a part of. So I was afraid that to cut her out would limit my ability to know about events and opportunities to spend time with my friends. She also hosts a good portion of the parties surrounding that friend group at her house, which she’s said she doesn’t feel comfortable with me being in. So I guess my main reason for holding on so long is the foolish hope that one day we’d be friends again, and that I could hang with everyone as easily as before. But recent interactions have shown that to be an impossibility. We will not be friends, now or ever. Furthermore, and only after blocking her out totally do I feel this… even her presence or the awareness of her life updates makes me doubt myself. Makes it easier for me to direct self-negative thoughts towards myself about my capabilities, my intelligence, my looks, whatever. It’s just… a toxic influence on my mindset. I’m glad that it’s gone. I’ll find ways to hang out with my friends and spend time with those I care about some other way, but this was absolutely necessary.

Third, I’ve been staying up, and consequently waking up, later and later everyday for the last while. I’m going to harken back to last fall (when I was most productive) and set multiple alarms in short, one-minute intervals on my phone. I also have my sunrise clock, so I can use the latter as negative reinforcement if I choose to turn it off. It’ll be worth putting in the effort.

Fourth, I’ve been spending too much, and on stupid things like poor food choices while I’m out. In response, I’m going back to leaving my credit/debit cards at home when I go to work, to campus, or anywhere that I don’t explicitly need them for something I’m buying which has been decided on ahead of time. Cut down on the impulse buying that way.

Y’know, I have more in mind, but I think spreading myself too thin at this point would be counter-productive, so I’ll just work on this stuff today, and then come back tomorrow with some more. 😛

Panic.

Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. I pissed away an entire day yesterday. For whatever reason, I just couldn’t get started. I woke up at noon, and spent all day doing whatever possible to avoid actually doing studying or work of ANY KIND to do with school. I have an essay due tomorrow, an exam tomorrow, another exam the next day, and an exam the day after that. All three of them are psychology classes, which ALSO happens to be the faculty which I am currently on academic probation for, and if I don’t bring my average back up, will be forced to withdraw from the program.

I don’t know why I keep self-sabotaging myself like this. No matter how bad things get and how many life signals I get sent to shape the fuck up, I manage to continue to make the same mistakes I did before. I guess the only thing to do now is to use the time given to me in the best possible way I can. So, priority list:

1) Need to come up with three chapters worth of Study Q’s for Evolutionary Psychology, and then answer them. Then go back over any Study Q & A’s I already made from Chapters 8 onward and do those. I’ll aim to do that in three hours.

2) Need to write my philosophy essay. I doubt I’ll get it done by the due date tomorrow, but the penalty is essentially 5% a day, so I guess I’ll have to live with that. I’ll aim to get the outline, thesis paragraph, and first body paragraph written before the end of the day. Three hours.

3) I need to start reviewing Stats. I’m going to start with lecture notes and work my way backward through all of the assignments that we had to do, hand calculations and all. Once I get done with that, I’ll make additional notes on the more conceptual information I need to know for the exam. Three hours on this too.

Somewhere in between that I’ll eat and work out. Alright, time to get to work. Wish me luck.

Lost Days

Man, ASTRONOMICALLY late start today. Woke up super late, and I’ve been kind of spinning my wheel all afternoon. Getting caught in the gravitational pull of various things on the internet and really having a lot of trouble concentrating. I originally planned to go to the gym today, but decided against it given that I have a considerable amount to cover today. I have exams on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and an essay due on Wednesday that I haven’t started yet. Hoo boy, have I ever made some poor choices this weekend.

I’m not going to lie, I was sorely tempted to skip writing in this blog today, but I realized that I need this perspective. Just to kind of reframe everything, good and bad, to re-orient my brain what’s going on around me, rather than just kind of floating on from one internet link to another like I often do. So let’s see, I have… roughly three chapters of Evolutionary Psychology to get through, an outline of my philosophy essay to write, and several papers for Health Psychology to read through and summarize. Gawds, it’s been so long since I did any actual reading for Health Psychology (or gone to class for it) that it seems almost entirely unfamiliar. When I start thinking about how I’ve missed so many classes, it really makes it easier to star in on insulting myself and questioning my ability to do anything productive from now until forever. But I suppose that’s precisely what I have this blog for. I can at least identify and call out those bullshit voices in my head that tell me I’m a piece of shit that’ll never amount to anything because of whatever poor choices I’ve made in the past. But I know that’s not true, and when I see the words written on the screen, I can see just how overexaggerated and untrue they really are.

So, okay: Priority List.

  • Chapters 13, 14, 15 of Evo Psych: Read, write review Q and A’s for
  • Read three weeks worth of Health Psych Lecture Notes and Papers, organize accordingly with Q and A’s
  • Outline essay for Contemporary British and American Philosophy.

I aim to be in bed by 11pm tonight, so that gives me three and a half hours to do this. I can do this.