Exploring the Relapse Process

Created: September 30th, 2020
Updated: September 30th, 2020

Starting Questions

  • Why do I think some habits are "better" than others?
  • What does my relapse from developing habits look like?
    • I generally backslide from all of my developing habits, rather than just 1
    • Although, recently I was able to maintain working out while I backslid in other ways
  • What does my relapsed daily structure look like?
    • Wake up later than I would like, stay in bed distracting myself with media that doesn't feel rewarding, since rewarding media takes focus
    • Rush through self-care and daily prepatory tasks instead of being mindful and enjoying them, often times because I feel tired, anxious, and distracted
    • Feel incredibly guilty as I distract myself at work with easy media because I can't motivate myself to stay on task
      • I think a reason I've been going to isekai/re:life manga is because of how much it gives off that feeling of reward from progression
    • Take a guilt ridden and anxious nap after work because of the mental self pressure
    • Wake up feeling hungry, plop myself infront of the computer once more and play video games while watching anime, while waiting on delivery food
    • Order too much food, and generally unhealthy food: carbs, saturated fats, and sugar
    • Ignore as much social contact as I can that requires any responsibilities
    • Eat too much, get hopped up on sugar and play more videos games and watch more anime until very late at night
    • Go to sleep very late and very tired, but wake up a couple of hours later feeling restless, stay up even later, because I don't want to focus on sleeping
  • What things about the relapsed schedule makes me feel bad?
    • Guilt from not working as hard and best as I can
    • Physical discomfort from sitting too long
    • Anxiety from stress and not moving
    • Frustration from feeling tired, brain fogged, and distracted
    • Self-resentment from placing myself into these feelings
    • Fear and worry about not being able to escape this routine
      • Proven by experience that this is not the case
    • Fear and worry about not being able to escape the cycle
      • Proven by experience that this will always happen, but can be made less painful and should not be worried about.
  • What triggers my relapse?
    • "I need a break" is a thought that often comes to mind, but I don't know how accurate that thought is, nor a healthy way to interact with that thought
    • "I don't want to do anything"
    • Physical exhaustion from burnout, but this is rare and easy to stop from happening
      • Anxiety during rest days because I'm afraid I'll fall back into the relapse pattern
    • Mental exhaustion from burnout. I don't know how much this affects me, or if I even know how aware of it I am, or where it even comes from.
      • Perhaps some of it comes from my effort in resisting what is easy: video games and anime. Those things provide me with immediate pleasure, however they don't have much lasting reward.
    • Using friends as an excuse to binge over the healthy balanced range.
      • Such as going out to lunch 3 days in a row with coworkers rather than saying no and eating at home
    • Over stretching myself with social things when I should take a night to myself.
    • Anxiety from taking it easy rather than "doing the right thing"
    • This previous total-relapse may have been caused by a 3 week long relapse from healthy eating, which then triggered the tiredness and bad daily schedule.

Starting Thoughts

Once I'm in the cycle of self-sedation, it's very clear to see what I have to do, or at least attempt to leave the cycle. The issue is that it is often immensely tiring to even begin attempting such a feat because of how distracted and unfocused my mind feels, as well as how unmotivated and impatient I feel. There are a baffling compound of emotions: impatience, frustration, tiredness, distractedness, unfocusedness, apathy towards myself and others. All of these feelings exist mainly from my inability to do what I think is good for me.

  • But are the things I want to do actually good for me?
  • What makes working out any better than playing video games?
  • What makes going hiking or going climbing any better than staying home and watching youtube videos?
  • What makes working on bau.kim any better than playing video games?
  • What makes taking walks to ruminate or meditate any better than playing video games?

Habits that Affect my State of Mind

Food affects me heavily. Eating carbs, saturated fats, and sugars gives me indegestion, and inflamation, which leads me to feel lethargic, tired, distracted, and impatient. Because I don't want to feel the discomfort from the indegestion and inflamation, I keep myself occupied with simple things that are fun and require low levels of effort. However, low level effort activities don't feel as fun or rewarding over time. It's also malnourishing, and quickly insatiating, so it makes me feel hungry a lot sooner, but since I'm lazy I rarely want to cook for myself because of it. Too much sugar and caffeine also push my sleep schedule far past my comfort level, making my whole daily schedule messed up.

Getting up early helps me maintain and work/play structure that I enjoy. When I end up staying up too late, I don't get good sleep, no matter how long I sleep, often times because I am unable to get fully rested REM during the day. The lack of good sleep also adds onto the lethargy and tiredness as well as lowering my motivation from doing more difficult things. Even the simplest, healthy activities are hard to do.

Actions and Decisions that Affect My Habits

  • Eating unhealthy foods and over eating
  • Consuming caffeine/sugar late at night
  • Multi-consuming entertainment