"Be open to all outcomes, but attached to none."
WintergreenGrin added a topic in Main RoomBest week I can remember in a long time!Hi everyone,
I'm gonna try to keep this short and sweet. Earlier today I had a low point and ended up feeling sorry for myself for a while. I had been up for several hours and had gotten several different productive things done, and it was only 2 PM. I was bored and I sat there asking myself, "isn't this ridiculous? I'm an adult. I pay rent. I pay taxes. Hell, I have a freakin' accountant. I'm sitting here in my room bored out of my skull after doing a bunch of productive things. Can I really not have video games in my life?"
Well, I didn't play any games. Instead I took a nap and then went and practiced guitar. I ended up playing for a long while and I was really hitting it. I sounded good. The practice I've been putting in every day this past week has already started paying off. One of my roommates (the really quiet one, actually) even texted me to say I sounded good.
So that made my day, but then it got me thinking about my earlier conversation with myself. I was sitting there asking myself whether I could technically have video games in my life and still be productive. It occurred to me, just then, that the real question I should be asking is: "am I willing to trade video games for being REALLY good at guitar, in good shape, have lots of friends, speak multiple languages, etc?"
The answer is clearly "yes". I'm happy to trade video games for all of those things. This week I have been a productivity machine. I have been exercising and eating well. My pants are fitting better. I've been practicing guitar and piano daily, and getting better at both. I've been going outside and talking to people. I've been practicing Spanish (in which I am semi-fluent) and Mandarin (in which I am DEFINITELY not fluent).
I'm doing all this stuff and I still have time left over. Now I'm going to relax for a while and then maybe read or research something interesting.
Getting hung up on technicalities like "how much video game time can I fit into my life" or whatever is actually just a distraction, I think. The real question is what the hell do you want to DO with your life? Because I can almost guarantee that sitting there playing games isn't going to get you there. I don't think video games are the devil or anything, but I do think that we have to be responsible for how we choose to invest our time in life (note that I said INVEST our time, not SPEND our time). You get out of it what you put into it. I can't believe I wasted so many years of my life on games. With my level of discipline I could have mastered guitar and piano and learned three other languages by now. But that's in the past. I'm focused on the future.
Not playing games is like having magical time-warping abilities. I used to feel like there was no time in the day to get anything done. Now I can clearly see that the day is what you make of it. So I'm choosing to make better choices with how I invest my time, and I hope you do, too. I mean, will I EVER play a video game again? Probably. I could probably, technically, launch one of the hundreds of Steam games I own and play for an hour and then go do something else productive. But why? I could spend that hour working on one of the many things I've been putting off for months.
Well, I was gonna keep this short, but I guess I got carried away. I am just in AWE of what a difference cutting out the gaming makes. It's really unbelievable. I am going to be kicking life's ass up one side and down the other at this rate. It's very exciting! I don't even feel bad for boasting a bit because I really am impressed with how well I've handed giving up gaming. I knew I had it in me, it was just a matter of starting. After that you start to pick up momentum and it gets easier and more rewarding as time goes on!
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WintergreenGrin added a post in a topic Why it doesn't matter how severe your addiction is.
WintergreenGrin added a topic in Main RoomWhy it doesn't matter how severe your addiction is.Since I quit gaming three days ago, I posted about it on Facebook a couple times and I had someone message me just now who more or less accused me of trying to get attention by making up a fake addiction. I explained that gaming addiction is a real thing, that it affects a lot of people around the world, and that it needs to be taken seriously and treated like an addiction.
This person then asked me about my gaming habits. I explained that for me, I often didn't spend more than an hour or two every day playing games, but my addiction came in the form of not wanting to do anything else. I may not have been playing games a TON, but when I wasn't playing games I was trying to get to the end of the day so I could go home and play games. This led to a lot of conflict in my life, as it turns out that being a responsible adult requires a lot of effort on your part every day (who knew? )
So obviously the person who messaged me doesn't really get it, but that's okay. It got me thinking, though. How do we really know we are addicted?
I think the answer is that it doesn't matter. Why? Because no matter how dependent you are on gaming, there is always something better you could be doing with your time.
Even if hypothetically you are not personally addicted to video or computer games, but you feel like you are devoting too much time to them, you have nothing to lose by taking a break. And if the thought of taking a break strikes fear into your heart, you probably are addicted.
Even if this person is right and I'm just being dramatic and trying to blame all my problems on video games, quitting video games right now is an absolutely fantastic idea. It has given me so much time to focus on homework, working out, playing guitar, connecting with my husband, researching interesting things, and making friends.
So, maybe I'm not a true addict. I'm a pretty stubborn chick. If I set a daily limit of an hour for games, I truly believe that I could stick to that limit. However, even if that's the case it is only going to benefit me to spend at least the next 90 days enriching myself and growing rather than playing games.
So if people don't believe that gaming addiction is a real thing, or they don't believe that you are yourself an addict, you don't need to listen to them. If gaming is interfering with your life and holding you back, do the right thing and drop it. You will really thank yourself. I'm only on day three and I've already been more productive in the last week than I have for the last several months. The benefits of quitting gaming are apparent almost immediately!
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WintergreenGrin added a topic in Start Here + IntroductionsTaking the first stepHey all, I found this community today and I was so impressed by what I've learned about game addiction that I decided to start my own 90 day gaming detox, which I hope will eventually turn out to be a lifetime of treating gaming like what it should be: a fun diversion to occasionally do to kill some time. Not the very reason to get out of bed in the morning.
It took me a long time to realize that I'm a gaming addict. I thought my life was pretty normal. I'm about to graduate college, I recently got married to my amazing husband, and things just in general felt alright in my life. Except for one thing. I started to notice that no matter what was going on in my day, the only thing that seemed to matter to me was getting home to play more computer games. My whole day revolved around games. I would go on a date with my husband and be thinking in the back of my mind about how much time I would have to game when I got home.
So for a long time I just told myself "well, I'm a gamer, it makes sense that I think about games a lot because it's my main hobby". But then I started having problems with everyday activities. I started getting really angry and cranky over the smallest little things. EVERYTHING felt like an obstacle and a chore, unless it was a video game. Going to school? Chore. Eating dinner? Chore. Having sex? Chore. Talking to my friends or spouse? Chore. Showering, or even going to the bathroom? Chore.
I noticed that since I built my gaming PC a year ago, I've been gradually getting more and more frustrated with the world and bitter about everything. I went to counseling, and then to a doctor who put me on antidepressants. For a while, it seemed like that worked. I felt like myself again. I was happier and more engaged with the world around me. Then I got used to my medication, and I started feeling that void again. That deep longing that feels like a hole in your heart. I needed something to fill it with. I wanted something to make me feel alive again. So I turned to games.
Things got really bad in the last month. My spouse changed his schedule at work, so he would normally be asleep when I got home from work. I should have missed him and wished that we had more time together, but the very first thing I thought when he told me his shift changed was "yes! Now he won't be around to bug me when I get home and I play games all night long!"
And I did. I played and played. I would put off my homework to the last possible second, which was really stressful and made me hate school. All I cared about was getting to the part of the day when I could play video games.
I brought up my concerns to my husband, and he'd say things like "well, why don't you just play for a couple hours a day?" The thought of doing that sucked so much. I tried to explain to him that I couldn't just play two hours a day. I mean, my games were so precious to me. I tried to explain that I had to play a lot longer so I could "experience the story" and "unlock everything". I told him that I either had to game several hours every day, or not at all. That was last night. This morning I woke up, and I usually play games all day on Monday because it's my day off. Well, before I started playing today I found this site and now I'm taking the plunge to finally face my addiction and get my life back on track.
I want to be the me that I used to be. The woman who was interested in a lot of different things. Fitness, art, socializing, playing music, etc. Back then, I played video games a lot but I was always more interested in doing other things. I was in really good shape and I really enjoyed feeling strong and fit and having so many fun activities to do every day. Then, bit by bit, video games began to take over my brain. Now I'm an addict.
I'm here because I'm committed to making a change. I'm tired of wasting my life. I'm about to turn 30 and now that I'm getting a little older I'm starting to realize just how short life really is. My worst fear is looking back on my life fifty years from now on my deathbed and going "wow, I didn't accomplish a damn thing. I beat a bunch of games, though."
I'm excited and nervous and right now time is moving soooo slowly. Seriously, I cleaned house, did my homework, cooked dinner, read a chapter in a book, watched Youtube for a while, and now I'm just sitting here trying to find something to do. I'm not exactly bored, it just feels weird to have to come up with something to do that doesn't involve a video game. Time is moving slowly because the hours aren't melting away due to the games.
So anyway, I'm glad to be here and I appreciate that this community exists. Here's to 90 days of game-free living!
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