Reflection on Moral Betterment

In the entirety of this project, this blog in which I attempt to achieve moral betterment on the behalf of myself, I find it ever so apparent that I have an innate struggle with Enjoyment and Sincerity. Both of these are incredibly important to me, and I believe that a mastery of such traits will allow me to be closer to my ideal image; if I were to achieve them I would become an elated and productive individual. As such ideals are the most abstract, I understood when undertaking them that they would inherently take more time: perhaps the achievement of such utterly will be a lifelong struggle in which perceived success will never be reached.

Despite this, I will endure regardless in such a struggle, and I will recount what has vexed me so. When considering the Sincerity of oneself at any point in time, one truly needs to be actively Aware of their actions, their words, and how they are perceived by oneself and others. Generally, I consider myself quite successful at the onset of such, but putting such Sincerity into execution has been a miserable failing on my part. I realize now that I feel the pressure of peers too intimately: I try to leave the people I enjoy burden-less, and with the individual I believe will bring them the most contentment. It’s a depressing exercise, one in which is constantly a drain upon my mental energy, but also an incredibly difficult pattern of behaviors to break. I have to be actively aware of what I wish to do before a conversation, lest I fall into old patterns which leave me frustrated and ashamed.

In further regards to Sincerity, I will also acknowledge that such an endeavor is one that couldn’t be reasonably accounted for within the span of eleven days. It will soon be a long-term effort of mine, one which will need to take effortful steps as to make true progress in it. As of now, I have learned within this time that I need to start off small; labor towards Sincerity with the individuals considered to be closest, and once that has been achieved slowly expand outwards until mastery is reached. I have made some progress in such a front, but further progress upon it is a goal of mine. However, I am glad to have had the opportunity to focus on it, as such focus has allowed me to recognize the importance of working further upon it, and how being Sincere leads to my greater happiness.

On a further account of my trials, I recognize that the magnitude of Enjoyment, both in how it challenges me and how broad such an idea is, is one that I could not fully account for within the time-frame allotted. At this time, I believe myself to be in a depressive episode, one I predicted months prior. However, such prediction has led me into an impending doom of malaise, one in which I have been trying to actively combat since the start of this project. Overall, progress has been slow, but I would expect no less with the circumstances I have acquired. It is a struggle to find joy in a life where previously Enjoyed activities no longer lend me fruits of euphoria. It is furthermore a struggle to find joy in repeating tiring behaviors as to gain a sense of normalcy.

However, despite the enduring struggle, I will continue onwards with my current schedule, as doing anything is better than the cynical ruminations which come with everlasting time. Any Enjoyment I can encounter will be reaped, and from there I will make slow, minimal changes until I see an everlasting impact. To hasten this impact, I will discuss alternative options with individuals understanding of my current position alongside my desires. One of such options is to continue working on my self-actualization, as accountability for myself will lead to healthier habits, and from there a potentially better state of mind. Most importantly, I will try to find the innate sources of my emotional malaise, and from there adjust accordingly so I can create a present which I can Enjoy.

The creation of a brighter present moment would not be possible without the virtues that have been the most successful in execution, as an ability to master concrete ideas will lend itself to being applied to more abstract and difficult pursuits. In the concept of Awareness, I have found myself with an acute radar for compulsive concepts, and from that I can simmer on unsavory ideals until they trickle away, rather than directly engaging. Furthermore, efforts in regards to engagement have been successful, whether that be through participating in a side activity or by simply redirecting current mental energy. Resolution has generally been ample in supply, and although further work needs to be completed, the groundwork has now been lain for future habits; a continuance of effortful planning and work will soon turn circumstances more into my favor. Such can be proven in the actions that have occurred throughout the duration of the project, as boundaries for my sanity have been set and stable, and productivity has kept its general trend, though work can be done even further. The one in which I believe true mastery has been achieved, at least to an identifiable extent, is the mastery of Regulation, and how thankful am I for such. Stable recording upon my endeavors for a proper time of restfulness has led to an increased Awareness of issues in my nightly schedule, as well as which habits are conducive for my wellbeing. Overall, if a pattern of Regulation continues after the conclusion of this series, I can easily identify myself maintaining a healthy state of being for months to come. The tides of schedules are quick to change, but the longer they occur for the more resilient they become to the tribulations of life.

Day #11 – 11/18/21

I’m not going to lie, this day was probably one of the hardest and most stressful I’ve had throughout the duration of this blog, and with that I’ll try to be gentle on my failures, as as much as one tries to control emotions it’s hard; I ended up just riding them out. In regards to Regulation, I’m really happy with the general progress I’ve made, though I think my sleep schedule is shifting and I don’t quite know how I feel about that (considering it’s shifting towards school hours when a break is about to happen). As well, I only used my phone for about 5-10 minutes before bed, and then went to bed soon after. I do wish to eliminate the habit in entirety, but going from hours to minutes is a pretty large step. In regards to Resolution, I realized today that once I have a clear and concise plan for my difficult work, I do well with completing it. Specifically, I learned that for chemistry, and was able to complete what I wished to complete. As well, I’ve been better on setting out when I’m hanging out with friends, and my limits on such. In regards to Enjoyment, I’ve been trying my best, but in general it’s hard to find success in it each day, as I have to figure out what I want to do with my time in the first place, and that’s already difficult. Spending time with friends is where I got most of the Enjoyment this day, but I also had a really nice FaceTime call with my sister. In regards to Awareness, I’ve not only been better about recognizing my skin-picking, but also other nervous habits, and I participated in few of them throughout the day despite the stress I’ve been feeling. My weakest was definitely Sincerity, but I always find it hard to be Sincere when having an anxiety attack, and I think the fact that I recognized that difficulty during the moment was progress enough. However, I wish I could find it in myself to be a bit more open about it afterward, as I know sometimes I concern the individuals without the intention to do so.

Sleep Log

8:56 – Ended Call with Sister
9:02 – Milk
9:17 – Pajamas + In Bed + Lights Of

9:39 – 6:17 AM – 8:38 Hours – 87 Sleep Score, One Notable Wake Up (1:56 – 2:15)

Tomorrow, I hope to continue my pattern of Awareness. As well, I think I simply need some time to reflect on my general social life and priorities, as of now I feel discombobulated and I think that is generally causing me to be weak in regards to Sincerity. As well, after the course of this blog I wish to further work on recognizing what brings me joy, and continue my nightly schedule Regulation.

Day #10 – 11/17/21

This day has likely been one of my weaker days when considering the blog. I was tired throughout, and will likely go to bed soon after writing this despite my need to finish my homework. This in general makes Resolution quite weak, as I was unable to finish the work I set out to do (as well, I never got to trying out a recipe I wished to try). As well, I struggled to do more than a couple chores, though the fact that I got any done at all negates some of that. Furthermore, I found myself struggling with Sincerity for a good chunk of the day, with conversations slipping from my finger-tips without me having a care as to what I said (or, not remembering most of my interactions within this day). The only success I found was after my clubs with friends, but even then I felt myself dragging and wishing to be home despite the fun I was having. Some days are just harder than others, and I cannot be surprised that my streak of wonderful days has somewhat foreclosed for the foreseeable future. If nothing else, I think my Regulation has been stedfast, and with this I’ve realized I’ve kept an incredibly consistent schedule for my showering. Maybe I can work towards taking my medications at night so I can start to hold myself accountable at a different front. With all this in mind, Enjoyment was probably the most neutral of all, as I found some Enjoyment within my later day but for the beginning portion there was simply no such luck. As well, Awareness is likely neutral as well, with me keeping a consistent pattern of only occasional skin (and other compulsive) picking without making significant progress towards or against such a practice. If nothing else, I’m glad to have remembered to use a .9mm pencil today.

Sleep Log
8:20-8:44 – Shower + Brush Teeth
8:53 – Water
9:22 – In bed

9:27-6:33 AM – 9:04 Hours – 77 Sleep Score, One Notable Wake Up (2:44 – 2:59)

Overall, I wish to work on Sincerity, and with that I’ll likely need to caffeinate myself, as I need to get some important work done while also preparing for a Chemistry test. Furthermore, I hope I’ll be able to work towards being present to my current actions while also being true to myself; it’s draining when I’m not doing so.

Day #9 – 11/16/21

In all, besides this being the first log in which I have not written it retroactively, this day has been simply a moderate success. Overall, my greatest achievements were those in Resolution and Enjoyment. Yesterday, I set out a plan for myself to continue the work I was unable to complete the night prior, and I did just that: I woke up at 6 AM, grabbed one of my energy drinks, and started working on the AP Chemistry homework I needed to finish up. As well, I also completed some assignments which had previously slipped my mind, leading to a day with little to do. Because of this, I’ve been able to Enjoy more than I normally have; I’ve definitely found myself obsessed with a specific mobile/Nintendo Switch game and it’s nice to be able to oblige myself fully in such. (As well, I finished one of the novels I set out to finish, so that’s a definite bonus!) However, there has been little work in the other domains today, with the only notable work being that in Regulation, as I went to my dentist for a filling. I just hope I don’t have the severe nerve pain I had last time (being unable to drink cold tap water was not a fun experience!) Besides that, there was not much for me to do in regards to Awareness or Sincerity, though as I’m not noting anything negative then perhaps that’s a success in itself.

Sleep Log (I changed it slightly, now Wake-Ups are only 10+ minutes)

8:06 – Water
8:28 – Pajamas
8:53 – Water
10:23 – In Bed
11:10 – Lights off, Phone off

11:17- 6:09 AM – 6:52 Hours – 74 Sleep Score, No Notable Wake Ups

For tomorrow, I wish to complete my remaining work, as well as complete some chores I’ve been putting off; I want to strike a work-play balance. As well, I hope to continue this recent pattern of Awareness.

Day #8 – 11/15/21

Overall, I think I consider this day simply mediocre, not a true success nor a failure. In Awareness, I felt somewhat proud of myself as I finally listened to a piece of advice my therapist gave me: tell individuals who can hold you accountable about the bad habits you want to break. In this, I feel that I succeeded, even if I did catch myself picking at my skin a couple times. However, I think I struggled with Regulation today, as I used my phone for around 20 minutes once in bed, and I had to force myself to stop using it by throwing it across my bed. If nothing else, I remembered to shower and brush my teeth extra well for my filling tomorrow. As well, I remembered to be Sincere for most of the day, and with that I felt a bit more comfortable in conversation while also maintaining ground on my opinions (and stopping a silly debate from becoming a whole blown fight; I hate conflict!). I don’t really think I succeeded with my Resolution though, as I struggled to get the minimal work I had done (as it was minimal), and I instead needed to make a plan for the next morning. I don’t think I really did wonders with my Enjoyment beyond the interesting conversation I had, but if nothing else I acknowledged what was not key to my happiness, and acted according to that.

Sleep Log

8:18 – Water
9:12-9:40 – Shower + Brush Teeth
10:17 – Lights Off + In Bed
10:40 – Off Phone

10:47 – 6:04 AM – 7:17 Hours – 78 Sleep Score, No Notable Wake Ups

Tomorrow, I hope to keep with my schedule for work; as well, I think I’ll be setting a strict “phone-off” time as to keep myself from mindlessly using my devices. I also wish to keep up the current habit of Sincerity, (and luck for my filling tomorrow!)

Day #7 – 11/14/21

Overall, I think I succeeded slightly more today than yesterday; specifically, I succeeded much in Resolution. Not only did I get all the homework necessary done, I also had the will to see my father for dinner at Bamboo Penny’s. Though, in this, I did not exercise much Sincerity, as I sadly am quite ambivalent towards the man and it’s hard to get in any sort of debate with him without it divulging into conflict I’d rather not involve myself in. If nothing else, I was glad I was able to redirect the conversation as to avoid that point of conflict.

In regard to the lesser successes, I think I generally succeeded with Awareness; I spent more time skipping activities when I realized I wasn’t gaining Enjoyment from them, and I barely picked at my nails at all. In this, I also automatically succeeded in Enjoyment, in the only way in which I truly could on my lonesome. As well, I had some success with Regulation, but not as much as prior days. I spent some time in bed on my phone, but I set a strict deadline to get off and followed it; afterwards I went to bed at a normal time.

Sleep Log

7:48 – Return Home
8:51 – Water
9:57 – Lights Off + Pajamas + In Bed
10:29 – Off Phone

10:40-6:30 AM – 7:40 Hours, 81 Sleep Score, Two Notable Wake Ups (1:21-1:30 and 3:24-3:30)

Tomorrow, I hope to focus on Sincerity, and although I don’t see any improvement in regards to such with my father, I hope I can improve on my mistakes and any conflict Resolution with my own peers. As well, I wish to continue the pattern I created for Enjoyment and Regulation, as such have been conducive towards my happiness.

Day #6 – 11/13/21

Overall, I don’t think I truly did too much work when it came to most of my virtues. In terms of Enjoyment, I read some and played some games, but at the same time there was nothing substantial in that as to bring me happiness (though, I was proud of myself for finally sitting down to watch Bo Burnham’s Inside). It was just a mild contentment; not enough for me to be upset about, but at the same time not memorable. Like white noise. In terms of Resolution, I didn’t do too much, though I worked on Calculus and Foods work, and willed myself to do some chores I’ve been neglecting. In terms of Awareness, there wasn’t truly much there, and although I stopped myself from picking at my skin much there were only a couple of hours in which I felt truly there. As well, there could not be much work in Sincerity, as I spent most of the day recuperating from the social activities of the work-week. Overall, the only true success I had was Regulation, as I willed myself to shower and do some self-care while also managing my sleep schedule throughout the weekend.

Sleep Log

8:45 – Water
9:20-9:50 – Shower + Brush Teeth
10:00 – Water
10:07 – Pajamas
11:03 – In Bed + Phone Off + Lights Off

11:15-7:18 AM – 8:03 Hours, 82 Sleep Score, One Notable Wake Up (5:51-6:03)

Tomorrow, I’ll try my best to complete all available homework, and try to work on some more mindful tasks as to keep myself Aware. As well, I’ll try talking to some friends and will see if that helps.

Day #5 – 11/12/21

I honestly am really happy with this day and how it happened! In general, the only thing I think I struggled with was Regulation, as I don’t have a sleep log prepared for today, and I am now slightly off my showering schedule. Perhaps I struggled a bit with Resolution, as I didn’t get much work done this day, but I think that’s balanced out with how I used it towards Sincerity. Besides that, however, everything else went well. I decided not only to spend time with friends after school, both through Board Game Club and through a sleepover, but I did so while allowing myself to do the things both I and my friend Enjoyed. Furthermore, I felt mentally present for most of the day, though I did catch myself picking at my skin a couple of times. I think having someone who I can talk to somewhat easily in Calculus helps, and I was able to work on a couple of my American Eyes while doing so. Sincerity was easily my strongest suit though, as I was able to discuss some conflict between peers to one of my teachers, and she was willing to listen which was wonderful. I am just reminded of how important it is to state what makes you uncomfortable to people who are willing to do something about it, and how comforting it is to know that they have.

I hope to keep the pattern of Sincerity up, though I know I’ll have to work on some Regulation this Saturday to make up for the missed log.

Day #4 – 11/11/21

I think this day was a bit of a struggle, with my Awareness being quite low as I was barely present and able to focus throughout lunch, chemistry, and Spanish; though I luckily didn’t see an increase in skin-picking. However, my Resolution was quite high, as I was able to get most of my work done, and alongside that I was finally able to get myself to go to a Thursday club (two, actually!). With that, I think my Sincerity was pretty high, as I actively worked towards one of my interests, that being the examination of literature and art. I think my Regulation was alright, and I was able to get to bed effectively without my phone (I wish I could say more, but I already forgot what I mostly did for my afternoon, which definitely says something about my Awareness there)

Sleep Log

8:23-8:53 – Shower + Brush Teeth
9:04 – Pajamas
9:35 – Water
10:19 – Lights Out + Phone Off

10:23-6:41 AM Sleep, 8:18 Hours, 84 Sleep Score, One Notable Wake-Up (2:30-2:36)

I think I want to further work on focusing my mental energy, and through that not only be aware of when I’m not completely there, but work on effectively communicating such to peers I trust in case it affects work. As well, I’d love to continue my pattern of Resolution!

Day #3 – 11/10/21

Overall, I have relatively mixed opinions about this day. In regards to Sincerity, I think I somewhat failed, as within one of my classes I did not speak up about my discomfort with something (though, I did listen to music and that calmed me down, so that was quite nice). However, I still did what I wished to do in the day, and decided to join for a round of Ping Pong club even though ping pong is not my strong suit. I think my Awareness was stronger than yesterday, as I barely picked at my skin and stopped myself once I started. Furthermore, I kept myself in the present moment during difficult-to-focus in classes. Overall, I think my strongest part was actually Enjoyment, as I participated in many activities I joined, and even whipped out my cello to have some fun by playing Enter Sandman by Metallica. It’s the best I’ve felt in a while. Sadly, with this my Regulation was not great, and I not only used my phone in bed but stayed up later than I would normally encourage myself to. (Plus, I scheduled two events at the same time! Not my strongest moment)

Sleep Log
8:17-8:33 – In Bed
8:45 – Pajamas
9:30 – Water
10:05 – 10:20 – Cello Practicing
11:09 – In Bed, Lights Out
11:24 – Phone Off

11:41 – 7:11 AM Sleep, 7:30 Hours, 77 Sleep Score, One Notable Wake-Up (5:16-5:24)

Tomorrow, I’ll focus on being more Regulated while trying to keep the pattern of increased Enjoyment and Awareness up. As well, with Sincerity I hope to keep my mental awareness there, but be further cognizant of my boundaries, violations of such, and then communicating that to who is necessary.

Day #2 – 11/9/21

Overall, I don’t think this day was horrible, but I acknowledge that I was much less successful than the day prior. In regards to Sincerity I did okay, but I was around someone I was uncomfortable with and did not set my boundaries, and for that I am slightly disappointed. However, my Awareness was quite nice, and I felt pretty cognizant for all my classes and conversations, even Spanish which is normally a rarity. I think this change was due to me sitting with an individual I know, rather than an individual I can only consider myself mildly acquainted with. Sadly, my Regulation was not strong at all, with me finding myself picking at my skin for 20 minutes in the car, which lets me know that I cannot let myself linger in there once I’m done driving; furthermore I had my phone out in bed, though I’m proud of myself for only using it for ten minutes. Sadly, this led to me ruminating afterwards and having a mini-breakdown before bed, so changing my night-time routine has moved itself up my priorities.

Sleep Log
7:49-8:16 – Shower + Brush Teeth
8:58 – Pajamas
9:40 – Lights Out + In Bed
9:54 – Phone Off

10:15- 6:12 AM Sleep, 7:57 hours, 81 Sleep Score, One Notable Wake-Up (5:45-6:00)

I will not consider this day a failure, as there were aspects in which I improved upon my usual behavior. However, I will acknowledge that there are important areas regarding Sincerity and Regulation in which I specifically need to focus on, and use that knowledge to improve tomorrow.

Day #1 – 11/8/21

Overall, I don’t think there is anyway in which this day could’ve been a failure, as it is the day I set out to improve. Furthermore, I received wonderful guidance from my therapist which allowed me to articulate my needs and problem solve in regards to achieving them. I was introduced to the chain method, as well as reminded of the tools I had already acquired regarding setting out towards happiness, that being behavioral activation and using writing as to gain an increase knowledge of my daily going-ons. So, today I started sleep-logging, as well as using my time to help my family through cleaning the garage and thereby spending time with them.

Sleep Log
9:01-9:05 – Restroom + Water
9:05 – Work Break
10:35 – Water/Restroom
10:40 – Lights Out, in Bed
10:50 – TV off

10:57-5:58 AM – Sleep, 7:01 hours, 84 Sleep Score, 0 Notable Wake-Ups

With all of this in mind, plus the generally successful nightly schedule, I’m happy to consider my first day a general success.

Alyssa Alvey – Introduction

In the starting of this blog, I wish to complete an abridged version of what Benjamin Franklin, the legend himself, aspired to complete throughout his lifetime. Though I think myself unable to complete true moral perfection, as the morality of each individual is biased and everyone is prone to error in judgement, I still will avail myself to reach moral betterment. I want to be a better individual, not normal, but an improvement upon the groundwork previously laid. I think there is strength in being able to change and work towards our innate deficits, and even more so I think there is strength in admitting we have those deficits in the first place. With this blog, I wish to do both. I want to acknowledge the harmful behaviors and patterns that are interspersed within each day, and change them through behavioral modification, just as Benjamin did throughout the entirety of his life. Though I have not connected with him much prior, this blog will serve as my primary link to him, and in doing so I’ll further connect with myself.

Throughout the course of this blog, there are five core aspects of my current life in which I aspire to improve upon. Some aspects I have labeled in a similar fashion as to Benjamin Franklin, as his original ideas for his own improvement aligned with my own. Others are more specific to myself, as in self-rumination we realize our innate deviations from others, and some expectations simply do not need to be upheld. With this in mind, one of the core aspects I wish to improve upon is one ever more invasive in my life: Regulation.
Over the last couple of months, due to a variety of circumstances I may or may not divulge in, I have found it more difficult to uphold habits I formed while at the peak of my mental condition. Whether this be completing tasks in an orderly manner, or taking care of myself at controlled and scheduled intervals, things seem to be slipping by the wayside and I can’t seem to catch everything. I hope, through focusing on this, I can combine Ben Franklin’s ideas of order and moderation into one. However, a stand alone idea of his that I can implement is Sincerity.
Though I generally like to consider myself an honest person, that doesn’t mean I don’t fall into patterns harmful to myself, whether it be trying to fall into peer groups and their expectations of me or dissociating throughout the day to a point where I don’t know who I am. It’s a difficult process, not being fully myself, and it’s so incredibly tiring that I’m barely able to push myself to complete anything once the day is done. Bearing this in mind, I’d like to work towards being more present in the moment, and in doing so try to push myself away from conformity and forced socialization, as I gain less than what I lose from it.
One thing I don’t want to lose is Awareness, and it’s partially because it relates to my goals of Sincerity. Throughout my lifetime, I’ve always considered myself incredibly cognizant of any intrapersonal difficulties and changes. However, despite this, there are moments, recently increasing in frequency, where I feel as if I’m chronically missing something, that I’m simply going through the motions and in those motions it’s even harder to focus and retain information. Furthermore, I have begun to struggle with being aware of not only passive stimulation, but food intake as well, and as a result I’m stuck with bloody fingers and acid curling up my throat. I hope that by reminding myself to be present and ride any wave of emotion, I can combat some of the dissociative haze and harmful behaviors.
Out of all the issues I’ve recently faced in my life, one of the ones which constantly linger in my purview is a startling lack of Enjoyment. Throughout the day, I am stuck between middling boredom, annoyance, or just pure pain. Then, once the main portion of my day is over, things which once brought me joy instead bring me absolutely nothing unless I specifically work hours and hours upon some artificial goal to create temporary joy. It’s so tiring to live a life in which there’s no true joy derived from it, especially when the same exact cycle is likely bound to continue for at least another couple months. I hope, if nothing else, I’m able to ride it out, and not only that but ride it out with the individuals I know are willing to support me through each step.
However, for all of this to start, I need to have the Resolution to make it happen, just as Benjamin Franklin needed the resolve to reach moral perfection for 60 years straight. Though this has never been a specific weak point of mine, in times of struggling and dysregulation, it’s important that I step up my behavioral activation to the best of my ability. I don’t trust my own words, and often I rely on others to set deadlines and tasks for myself, as then I need to live up to expectations which have an impact on more than myself. It’s vital that I change that reductive cycle. I need to be firm yet gentle with myself, as to not only lend myself some kindness but to also lend myself the ability to move forward, towards a brighter future.

With these goals in mind, I have quite a few strategies I’m willing to implement to increase my chances of success, as well as some general ideas of how this will go. In regards to Regulation, I believe I will be able to fix most of my issues: sleep, cleanliness, and work schedule. For a year, I worked on my sleep through sleep therapy, and putting some of those strategies back into practice will likely enable me to fix the issues in my sleep schedule within the timeframe of this blog. Furthermore, if working in a scheduled framework for my sleep, I will also be in a scheduled framework for any general cleanliness concerns, thereby knocking all issues besides working out of the way. When it comes to work, I’ll take a less reward-based system, as I often just work while participating in my hobbies, and instead will take a time-based approach. Hopefully, with this, I’ll be able to separate work and “play”, and thereby increase the Regulation of the two.
However, one that will be much harder to both measure and regulate is Sincerity. As of now, I have a couple ideas here, mostly ones of either working towards Awareness and applying such skills here, or through behavioral and cognitive changes. More specifically, I’ll be working towards being more aware of when I am dissociating, and then use grounding techniques to bring myself back to the present. In other words, I’ll be using a chain-based approach in which I try to stop the behavior as soon as possible, rather than stopping it when it has already occurred. With this, hopefully, I’ll be able to catch anytime I’m acting disconnected to how I’m actually feeling or thinking, and thereby be more sincere and real to not only my peers but myself.
Brought up prior, one of the biggest focuses of this blog is Awareness, and in general it’ll follow a similar pattern to Sincerity, as mastering Awareness will then allow me to focus on Sincerity to the best of my ability. There are three main areas in which I’ll apply the chain method discussed prior, as the chain method is often used towards passive and unconscious actions. Firstly, I’ll use it whenever I find myself in a headspace to pick at my nails, and from there I’ll remove anything from my environment which would allow me to do so. This will not only likely make me find healthier coping mechanisms for boredom and anxiety, but it’ll allow me to keep the full usage of my hands, as picking at them comes to the detriment of myself for a week at a time. Secondly, I’ll use it to work on Sincerity, discussed prior. Thirdly, I’ll use the chain method to work towards being cognizant of food intake, though for this I think just being kind to myself is the most important step.
The hardest goal to work towards, out of all of these, is Enjoyment, as it’s hard to force yourself to feel an emotion which simply is not present. Instead, I’ll be working towards improving my cognitive outlook, focusing less on the negative and specifically stopping myself from self-deprecating, With this, I’ll likely feel more happy within my own headspace, and from there I can work to be content in the actions I commit, whether I be with friends or on my lonesome. As well, I’ll try to put more variety in my routine, as it has stagnated as of late due to an executive dysfunction keeping me in the same couple of patterns. Of course, I’m aware the first couple days are going to be difficult, as habits have an extinguishing response whenever you try to change them: they come back stronger. I don’t think that will stop me from making some progress though, as behavioral activation is a powerful tool when utilized effectively. However, I acknowledge that this feeling of malaise will not go away anytime soon, and I’m currently working on a consultation with a psychiatrist for a set of fresh eyes. I’m determined to regain some joy in my life, even if I don’t see the fruits of my labor during the course of this blog.
With this in mind, the foundation of it all needs to be met. As mentioned prior, behavioral activation is a powerful tool, and it’ll be my main tool when working with resolve. I’ll start with small goals of activities to complete in my day-to-day life, things which I have not done prior. From there, I’ll start reaching out to others, so they keep me culpable from slipping up on the occasion that I do. Once this has been accomplished, I’ll fix up my routine to allow flexibility, but to always give myself time to be productive and utilize the spare time I have. This will likely be the most experimental piece, and that is why I am leaving it for last. Resolve is something that wanes in its struggle, so in all honesty I’m the least sure about the amount of progress I’ll make on it, as it depends on my focus and motivation: two hard-to-control variables.
In all honesty, I’m glad to have been the time to create this blog at this point in my life, a point in which I predicted successfully that I was going to return to. I’m glad, as well, to have been given a framework as decreed by Benjamin Franklin to work within, as without it I might not have focused on much at all. I’m motivated to change my life for the better while managing a depressive episode, and with that I’m excited to work on this, and excited to be a culpable, virtuous individual.