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Life

Without


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Introduction My name is Thomas Hill and I have produced this booklet on my experience living my life as someone else (Aiden). I set about the idea of changing my lifestyle to live my life as someone I would aspire to be for the duration of 96 hours or 4 days. I began my alter ego on the 10th of February 2014 at 12pm right up until the 14th of February 2014. The idea of doing the alter ego was to try and change who I was to someone I want to be. Upon changing from Thomas to Aiden I did not only change in name but also in the way that I lived life and also discarded some luxuries that I found my self taking for granted and abusing. These luxuries where Smoking, Computer gaming, Sleeping in late, Carbonated Drinks, Internet entertainment and finally Microwaveable Meals. I also made a point of staying clean and tidy which Thomas is useless at but Aiden is very good at. The Aim was to detox my self of my ‘vice’s’ but also to try and adopt some new habits.

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14:40 10th Feb 2014 I am dying for a cigarette and that’s all I can think of, I want to go and get my tobacco out of the bin again or pester someone till i can get the nicotine. I am constantly telling myself to resist but the urge is just so hard. I’m sat at my computer with the intention of doing work, but my concentration is out of the window. (IM OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE 100 %!!!!!) 15:08 10th Feb 2014 After checking my emails I have discovered that Ihave not got the job that I applied for working at pizza express where I have previously worked and have all the knowledge to do the job. Due to working for the company 3 years in a different restaurant (ALL THE RESTAURANTS ARE THE SAME AND I DON’T HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE TO DO IT WTF PIZZA EXPRESS YOU PRICKS!!!!!) The desperate need for a fag has become an itch that my body thinks will be sorted anytime now :/ But unfortunately not :(

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17:41 10th Feb 2014 Sitting at the computer after tea, craving a fag, but I seem to be able to cope, I perhaps feel slightly angry but I’m just going to dismiss this as nothing, the fag has become something that plagues only the back of my mind and it is not always there anymore :)

21:09 10th Feb 2014 I am feeling pretty calm now, I have been left alone for some hours and nobody has asked me for anything or needed me and I feel rather relaxed. My room has fallen back into its clean comfy aroma and I have been working away on my blog research (more specifically William Hogarth’s Gin Lane and Beer Street) it’s rather 17:49 10th Feb 2014 surprising that I can be relaxed and I Skyped my mum and dad to tell chilled-out when I’m on my own, them what have been up to and what perhaps I just enjoy my own I have been doing since we last spoke. company or maybe people just As I finish showing my mum some irritate me, or maybe it’s all just in of my work, near enough right after my head. At the minute I don’t know. telling her about my ego, she lights a cigarette and begins smoking it on 0:03 11th Feb 2014 cam in front of me. That’s the triangle This is the end of my first day and I complete, my flat mate announces have come to realise that it is pretty when he goes for one, my Girlfriend easy to forget about and not do those smells of them and my mum smokes things you considered necessities to them in front of me (there is just no life like fags, coke, Minecraft and so escape, just when I thought it was on but when you have to live getting easier) another life without these things, these burdens or demons you may just well feel happier, I do, I’m going to go to bed now, start reading the book Falling Kingdom and then doze off to sleep knowing that today, I have succeeded. Night, night

8:25 11th Feb 2014 Waking up and getting up this early wasn’t too easy but now I have had a shower and got dressed. I feel much better for it. The want for a fag has kicked in but the need for one is still nigh to exist. My eyes feel heavy and my body still drowsy, I feel nothing is real and that I’m going to wake up any second. Oh well, I know this is real so I’d better go get a cup of coffee, before I doze off in my chair. (Please let me wake up). 12:22 11th Feb 2014 I have fully woken up now and had my breakfast. What I thought would be a hard day has turned into a very productive day, for breakfast we had a small full English. The want of a fag has emerged once or twice, but overall I haven’t had any need at all. I seem to stay in my room, outside does scare me a little but not enough to confine me. I suppose the fear is not the fresh air but the smell of smoke. Therefore I avoid going outside and tend to stay in my room keeping it abnormally warm and keep spraying Oust. I seem to have a thirst for caffeine, or pineapple juice, of which I’m trying to control, I don’t want to develop another addiction or need of any kind.


15:46 11th Feb 2014 I don’t feel the urge to smoke anymore, and I’m contemplating going for a walk to the cathedral. I do miss being social though and the thought of being with friends or talking with people is missed. I need to get some fresh air I have done nothing but stay cooped in my room for the past two days. (FUCK IT IM GOING OUTSIDE!!!!!!) I’m not sure but I also feel that I may have been a bit of catalyst to the people around me not the cause of them smoking, but perhaps subconsciously increasing the amount they would smoke.

long for but not the full fat fag itself. It’s like having cornflakes with no milk, or the smell of dinky donuts fresh out of the fat, and not having the money to buy them. Overall the walk was good. We walked up to the cathedral which was closed and then down to the river, past the skate park and back up through town. We stopped at McDonalds where I had a Big Mac meal, with a Tropicana (never knew McDonalds did non Fizzy Drinks). We called in at Tesco where Emma bought a Nerf gun for £5, came back home and had a ‘shoot em’ up session with Josh and Sam.

I must admit people are a lot more supportive than what I expected. I Expected people to be a “troll” about it, make my life harder! But no not really everyone seems to give me a quick check to see if I have cracked at all which, I can honestly say I have not, not yet, and that makes me happy :) (Anyway I’m off to get another brew, some toast and then to the library for a long hard days slog in the books)

but they never happen, but this time I’m going to try and go EGO STYLE on it). I have decided that I’m going to practice more design outside of university work than what I already do (which is not very much at all). I will look for clients and produce work for them, at first I believe I should give my services out for free, but over time perhaps charge people a small sum. If this succeeds I may never have to work a shit dead end job again (but the more likely version 13:25 12th Feb 2014 is I will) anyway less talk and down I have just got back from what should to business. have been a group session with Daniel, James and Vanessa, only me 18:05 12th Feb 2014 9:28 12th Feb 2014 and Daniel showed up! Which was I seem very on edge and very This morning it seemed easier to get kind of annoying oh well. I thought it nervous. James has come over 18:35 11th Feb 2014 out of bed than yesterday. I feel ready was a really productive day where we unannounced. I think it’s just due to Just got back from the walk. It was to work straight away unlike managed to talk about a lot and just lack of nicotine I’m really looking okay, I lost count of how yesterday, which took all morning to get to know each other. Daniel is a forward to Friday afternoon and many cigarettes I smelt (I did start counting.) My flat mate did have 4 or wake up. I have a slight inkling for a lot older than me and more practiced getting that 1st pull on a fag! I have been thinking about some of the 5 and Emma had 1 or 2 and as soon cig, and I now feel wrong not having in the visual communications area one but at the minute is my in general which reflects in his work changes I have made during this as the scent hit my nose it was experience and I have decided I scrutiny. The harsh reality that I can inspiration is to work. I feel if I work (which is always amazing it seems). I had the urge for a fag but now I may still get up at 8am – I feel more look, but not touch is setting in. I can hard and fast then the day will go quicker and being able to have a have had a coffee I don’t feel too bad. productive, like I could work all day. get a slight taste for what I cigarette will come sooner. Hmmmm Today has been a very inspiring day, I’m coming to the end of my deadline oh well this urge will pass just like it one that I hope will change me for with my pretend brief so I’m going has every other day. the better (I say these things now, bye.

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19:28 12th Feb 2014 I feel empty and redundant, the glass is no longer full but rather empty! I need to refill the tanks with their poison, I feel decompressed, stressed, on edge, jumpy and I’m very easily angered. I have found that when something begins to stress me I have to stop it immediately, otherwise I get stupidly angry to the point where I want to break it. YouTube has slowly been weaning itself on to me as well, I keep finding myself just watching the odd video. I have been on to the site 4 times now I think. People congratulate me on my achievements but I feel like I’m failing, very slowly slipping, like the gears can’t quite take the weight, that my body will be very happy to buckle, warp, break and shatter at any point and I have to continuously fight it! This challenge is as mentally hard as it is physically.

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isn’t easy and changing myself to be the person I want to be also isn’t easy, but the main point is I think I can make it, IT IS POSSIBLE AND I CAN DO IT!!!! This is the beginning of the rest of my life (although smoking may re-join my life, I don’t think I can go much longer without one). Waking up at 8am is amazing, eating properly is great, caffeine intake is controlled, no fizzy pop is great, gaming is now going to be a weekend pleasure and I will remain to keep my environments clean.

have had a small jar of pineapple juice every morning, and one or 2 later in the afternoons to try and satisfy the urge for coke. I’m not wanting to replace fizzy pop with pineapple juice so what I have been doing is sticking to their recommended portion (which is measured on the side of the bottle) and only having it when water isn’t enough. I’m going to be focusing on my pretend brief today as that brief is the one I need to focus more on (in my opinion) to try and finish it up. Off to work.

8:59 13th Feb 2014 Today had started out rather pleasantly. After being awake for an hour, I have had my morning brew, toast and jar of water (I enjoy drinking from an old washed out jam jar). I’m in a really pleasant mood and through doing this ego I have found out I have inspired quite a few other people. It makes 22:11 12th Feb 2014 me happy knowing that more than I have just had a meal (homemade just one of my friends likes the idea pasta bake) and for the 1st time and in fact there is about 3 friends I finished it and didn’t have the all who have said they are going to stabbing urge for a cig. The want change some of their own for one is still there but I have now vices. Since I have started this I proved to myself that going without have seemed to my ‘Vices’

12:41 13th Feb 2014 After de-stressing with the NERF gun shooting at a white board with a target drawn on it, I have managed to come up with a title for my publication and produce something that I like. I have also spent an hour or so airbrushing an image of myself for the front cover. I’m in a good mood with no cravings for anything (other than food its dinner time and I’m hungry). I think the main reason I’m so happy is because I know that tomorrow at this time I could be smoking a nice cig before I begin work. I’m not

looking forward to tomorrow it’s going to be stressful and hard and boring the perfect recipe for a fag, but I suppose it is the final exam of all my preparation. Can I sit through a lecture for 2 hours, Listening, taking notes and on the break chill with my friends all without a fag? I’m really happy that I am doing this but I’m looking forward to the end, where I can re adopt some of my vices (mainly smoking) I can continue to go without the rest. 17:41 13th Feb 2014 I have been feeling great today! I have done a nice amount of work but not nearly enough I wanted to (more than normal). I do feel kind of bad though as I wanted to do more. I have had very few cravings all day, and it has been on my mind to try and keep this ego up for as long as possible (with a few alterations but may be not smoke, however, I feel this one is probably going to fail rather soon). I have signed up for some online courses with Adobe, which are 5 weeks long for each course, one night a week. I have enrolled into all their courses (only one course happens


at a time). The Courses I have signed up for are called: Video, Game Design and App Design. Unfortunately I have missed two of them which were Animation and Photo Imagery (photo manipulation) but oh well that’s no massive loss. I really hope that they do a web design or some courses aimed more at graphic designers (on the software InDesign, Illustrator and others like these that would suit me a little better). I had Josh and Sam come into my room earlier when I was working, and they did nothing but distract me for about an hour or so. For the rest of the day I have been working in my sketch book designing publication pages for my pretend brief. (IM REALLY EXCITED FOR THESES ADOBE COURSE’S).

23:00 13th Feb 2014 So far I have been in a good mood, no urges, needs or wants. I have powered on with plenty of work and had a lovely time on Skype with my mum. We went through this diary together to clean up all the spelling mistakes and grammar (I don’t mean to offend anyone on this bit). Me, my mum and Emma have all had a big discussion about the chance of me being dyslexic, they want me to go for a test but if I’m honest I don’t really see the point, I go there to find out I might have minor dyslexia and for some smart ass to tell me I can’t read off white paper, I do know people with dyslexia and they have received a lot of help, even my own brother has slight dyslexia. I suppose the only reason I don’t want to do it is because up until now, I have been able to skip the “do you have any disabilities” section on questionaries’ or applications and I already hate them! I dislike all paperwork in this format so when I do it, I do it as fast as I can, and the thought of another section just irritates me more. Since my last post not too much more has happened other

than we have had tea (chicken Kiev’s, mash and mixed veg). Tonight is my last night and tomorrow my last morning where I have to battle through the tar like craving that gets me every morning. After the morning’s I’m perfectly fine, in fact I have been rather giddy, happy and joyful most of the day. Emma is going to be staying with me again tonight because we are both up in the morning at 8am. All I have left to do now is the long lecture, and I think there is a seminar but as soon as that clock hits 12 I am “done” or at least I can have a cig. 08:29 14th Feb 2014 I had a semi good night’s sleep, I woke up a couple of times but that was about it really. Today is the last day of my ego, and I get a fag at 12 today (if I’m free to have one) but also it is kind of sad, I mean it’s sad that I gave myself a deadline for my ego, I will definitely not be going back to how I was, I’m going to keep up all of my ego bar smoking, I’m going to allow myself a fizzy drink every so often (as a reward) but keep a max of 2 - 3 a week that way I won’t get addicted to them again, as I once was. Anyhow I’m off to my lecture now, the sooner that is done the sooner I can have a cig (if I can get some). I will report later (after the ego).

12.30 14th Feb 2014 So I have made it to the end. I have just had my first cig since Monday and the whole thing has been an amazing experience. I have decided to keep up with the rest of the ego ideas that I came up with. I found that the lecture today was great, but without the break and fresh air I found it hard to concentrate towards the end, and that affected my note taking. Over all this week has been great I have had my ups and downs but the key thing is, is that I did it, only slipping once or twice. This is the last entry I will make to this diary and I think I have been able to put a good end to what was a rough hard start. The End

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Ego Review Through my experience of living my life as someone different I have learn’t a great deal, and I feel it has changed me for the better. I found the Experience of Aiden very hard, and it took it’s toll on me, both physically and mentally but now I’m at the end of the 4 Days I feel much better about myself, I have also managed to keep some of Aiden’s traits alive thus keeping a part of Aiden alive. I am still waking up at 8am every morning, I am also still keeping clean, and computer gaming a lot less. I find that my whole life style has changed due to these small adaptations. I have still re-adapted some of my old habits, such as smoking but I have managed to keep a cap on the amount of fizzy drinks I consume, which in turn makes me feel more productive and procrastinate a lot less. If someone was to ask me about doing an ego I would really recommend it. I found that it was a good restart, if you feel like you are wondering astray or loosing concentration due to more “interesting” activities, I would say try an ego of your own and record your own diary whilst doing so. It’s what I would consider a lifestyle reset, a way to banish the bad habits and adopt new good one’s or a way to completely change your lifestyle (if of course you want to). Overall the experience speaks for itself within the diary, its wasn’t easy or pleasant at times but at others it was great and I felt amazing. The hardest part was stopping addictions the tightest vice’s and the constant urges especially if it’s something so readily available such as smoking or computer gaming. If people want to do it for themselves, just do it, don’t start when you wake up or when you go to bed, just do it and record a diary and tell the diary the truth, this way you are more encouraged to stick to your ego and it’s nice to be able to reflect on your journey in detail.

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Life Without