Substantially more troubling was that my web server was down. Not only was The Dopamine Challenge down, but all the websites I have built for other people were also down.
I spent the day calling Hostgator (my server company) and searching and scrambling and doing everything I could do. I was so busy, I hardly noticed how cold I was.
By the supper time I realized I was sick, and by the time I went to bed I realized I was really sick.
I was coughing up blood and sweating and shaking like a maniac.
It did cross my mind that this could be a heavy duty withdrawal symptom, or a reaction to running, but later on I heard from one of my friends who said they got the same thing.
I literally slept for a whole day on Wednesday, and on Thursday I thought I was better. There was still nothing I could do as I was still waiting for a reply from hostgator (never use hostgator if you want to make your own website). But, I worked on my book.
On Friday, it felt like the flu made a full come back, and I slept through Saturday. Finally on Sunday (today) my fever really broke and I got my server back.
The good news is that I did not break on my dopamine fast. I did have some tylenol which I struggled against for quite a while becasue I figure I might as well have a real detox while doing my dopamine detox. But, I thought the tylenol was actually making me feel worse after a while so I quit that.
I also watched some TV because I had nothing better to do. My head hurt to much even to read, and after a while there is just only so much sleeping you can do.
All in all I feel pretty good about everything. My cravings are basically gone. It feel like that flu combined with my website stress, was just a bomb that obliterated everything and let me simply restart.
I spent a lot of time in prayer and meditation as well. I think that will start to guide me as I hit day 20 tomorrow.
In my other journal and so far in this one, I have avoided talking too much about God, but I think that was a mistake.
This is after all a spiritual endeavor. The idea of not wanting to be controlled by dopamine or ‘by the flesh’ is a strictly religious one. It is religious in the sense that there would be no point in doing it if you didn’t think there was any meaning to life.
To be clear, I am absolutely not proposing that a 40 day dopamine fast is in anyway a shortcut to God.
To find God, one must be completely submissive and admit complete powerlessness. You cannot break out of your own cycle of desire and selfishness. You cannot pick up some little tool and work your way to God.
I used this fast to break my addiction to cigarettes. Now I am trying to reset my motivation. After this sickness, however, I realized that learning to control myself is not going to work by sheer brute force.
Up until now, I probably underestimated the power of brute force will power. I always thought I should be able to ask God to free me from bondage to nicotine or pornography, and that my desire should just fade.
This is not the way it works. I am a free, conscious, and responsible soul. Freedom needs to be fought for and needs to be a choice. So, the 40 day fast has showed me some important stuff.
However, I have known this whole time that the reason I have these addictions is because I have an underlying fear. I don’t know exactly how to put that fear into words, but I know that it is the motivational factor I am trying to replace.
Over the time when I was sick I felt what not having that fear would feel like. I just gave up. That is how I was able to sleep so much. I just felt peace.
Hopefully this feeling will continue to grow over the coming weeks.
I am sure that doing this in a publicized dopamine fast is not a smart way to do this. My ability to subdue my ego is far to weak to do this in public. However, I need to finish what I started and this seems to be the way I am going.
Hopefully, you guys didn’t miss me in all that down time. At least I am back in time for the second half!
3 Thing To Do List
- Write Christian Blog
- Spend 3 hours editing book
- Do swimming workout