DAY 9, 10:
Each day the same as the last. I'm desperately waiting school's arrival in two days.
If there's anything interesting to talk about, I've been exploring a lot of David Bowie's albums recently, just trying out new music. Diamond Dogs is probably my favourite now, even more than Ziggy Stardust, probably how dark it is while still remaining glam and rocking, while stuff like Station to Station is a bit more difficult to enjoy for some reason.
No gaming cravings. It's nice.
Today's slice of happiness:
Sleep. It's nice.
Day 7 (Long post ahead but I really hope someone will read this. In need for some encouragement and advice):
tldr: Accomplishments: feeling less brain fog, numbness, and not auto-piloting through life. Spending more time with the folks. Feeling less on edge. Failures: sticking to my plans, making a schedule, making excuses/saying no, still spending a lot of time on my computer. Other: Realized I'm not just a gaming addict, but an addict in general. Few other bad addictions have come to the surface after soul searching all week.
Week 1 Complete!
So my 7th day is almost over, meaning that I've gotten through my first week of the detox! That's 1/13 weeks, which is still small, but that's a small step in the right direction. I'm very proud of myself for getting through the first week and am nervous, but excited for the rest of my journey. I want about the thought's I've had in the past week that I haven't had the time to go into detail about. Now that I've taken some time off gaming and watching gaming content (from now on when I say gaming, I will be referring to the act of both playing and watching gaming content since I'm tired of writing both all the time. That is, unless I specify otherwise) the numbness caused from the drug of gaming has faded a bit, allowing me to really think about what's going on with me.
My thoughts after 1 week:
Now that I've been off gaming for a week straight...
The brain fog, numbness, and auto-pilot lifestyle is slowly easing off of me. I think it's safe to assume if you're on Game Quitters, you know exactly what I'm talking about. This has really allowed me to just take those brief moments we have between work, tasks, and activities to really be present. To let the world, the moment, my environment, my feelings, my thoughts, ideas, memories, really just myself to sink in. What I'm saying is I feel like I've regained some consciousness in the last week. I think this is the single biggest thing gaming seized from me. Let me know if you agree. I could talk about this all day, but I'll save that for another post.
I'm spending more time with my folks! I'm staying at my parents place for the summer since I coincidentally got an internship at a firm close to them and far, far away from my home. The first few weeks I arrived back at their place I did what I always did as a child. I went to my room and played video games in the day, left my room for meals, and at night would sometimes go see some friends, but otherwise would lock myself in my room. I'm 23 now and am absolutely disgusted and embarrassed that this was how I still behave. I mean, when I'm back home where I live alone and an take care of myself, but it's absolutely unacceptable that I still act this way when I get to see my folks, which is rare these days. It made me feel like a god damn child again. The realization of this is one of the things that made me make an account on this site and decide to give the detox a real shot again. Anyways yeah, I've spent a lot more of my time with my folks before and after work and I'm so glad I'm doing so. Granted, most of that time is spent on the living room couch watching TV, but hey, that's still a big step forward. I have a good relationship with them and they're great parents, but I don't feel that I ever have REAL conversations with either of them. Maybe I can start by watching more TV with them and talk to them about real things in the future. Lot to say about that as well, but it can also be a post for another time.
I'm less on edge than I was before. What I'm referring to is that 24/7 craving for some form of stimulation. Don't get me wrong, I still feel like it's in control of me, but the claws of mental stimuli have eased its grip just a littttttle bit. I didn't feel this in my previous attempts to cut/quit gaming until about 17-18 days in, which I've only ever gotten to I think two or three times... The difference this time is that I'm writing on this forum! I have a computer addiction (that I will talk about in just a sec) problem along with gaming addiction, so when I cut gaming in the past and went on my computer, I had this constant anxiety within me where I needed to be on the computer, but had to avoid gaming at the same time. Now, when I get home, I still open up my laptop, but the first thing I do every time is open Game Quitters. This immediately eases my anxiety and is a constant reminder of the goal at hand. Before, I used and application called selfcontrol to block twitch and twitter. I also monitored my youtube account to eliminate any recommendations to gaming videos. This always fell short since I knew that by changing the time on my computer to the next day, I could bypass the selfcontrol website blocker feature, and despite blocking gaming channels on youtube, I could always just unblock them and watch them when I gave in to cravings. Fortunately this time around, I've paired these two tools with Game Quitters and it has shown tremendous success so far! Reading through peoples stories as well as my own journal relieves my anxiety. When my anxiety goes away, that auto-pilot feature of my brain recedes and it puts me back in control of myself. It makes those irresistible moments to gaming manageable, allowing myself to say "no" when it's most important. Thank you Game Quitters and thank you to the people who have commented and reacted to my post! It's made this process so, so, so much easier!
Sticking to my plans. So I've successfully avoided gaming for a week, but I've failed to stick to the plans I've made for myself during the free time I have in a day. This is essential to the success of my detox since in the past, it was usually just the moments where I was incredibly bored, the moments where my brain was begging for stimulus that I've given up and gone back to gaming. @fawn_xoxo made a post about this in my journal earlier this week, which was an excellent reminder (Thanks!) It was also the moments I felt lonely and depressed that I gave in, which are more likely avoidable by sticking to my plans. At the beginning of each day this week, I've told myself that after work I would either go on a walk, go to the gym, or go hang out with a friend. I did none of those things each day and this needs to change or it will cost me. Each day, I pretty much said I was too tired to leave the house, so I spent the time between getting home and sleeping watching TV with my folks, on game quitters (which isn't bad), or watching non-gaming content on youtube or facebook. I did spend some time after work on two days this week doing some self studying on programming topics I've wanted to learn about, which I'm more proud of than the other things. Although these things aren't necessarily bad, it still means that I didn't stick to the plans I made, which is what's important here.
Making a schedule. This is similar to the above so I'll keep it short. What I mean by this is planning out my day, week, and maybe even month in advance. I'm not doing this. When I said sticking to my plans, I was referring to something I decided I'd do spontaneously that same day later on.
Making excuses/saying no. I was invited by friends two nights this week to get drinks after work, but made the classic bullshit excuse of, "I'm too busy" to hang out. The result was I went home, didn't stick to my plans like I said above, and didn't do anything productive. As an introvert, when I'm feeling mentally, emotionally, or physically tired, I need time alone to recover/re-energize. This is a conundrum that I need to learn to deal with in general, especially during a gaming detox and here's why. To me, the detox is incredibly mentally and emotionally draining. I made a post the other day about how I spend a lot of my time trying 'not' to think about gaming (I got some good advice, but it's still a work in progress. Thank you @TTT and @fawn_xoxo). Because of that, I'm a lot more mentally, emotionally drained and as a result feel the need to be on my own. However when I spend too much time alone, I'm prone to depressive feelings and thoughts, which lead down the rabbit hole to gaming. It's this self feeding loop that I've struggled with past attempts to quit gaming that I still don't quite have the answer to. I know the answer is to leave my comfort zone (saying yes in moments like that and be around people despite being tired, drained, or uncomfortable) more often, which I'm hoping will be easier to do as I progress through my detox. Maybe I'm wrong. Thoughts?
Continuing to spend a lot of time on my computer. I'm still spending a significant amount of time on my computer. My goal is to get through 90 days gaming free, but what am I trying to accomplish as a result of this goal? I'm still working on those specifics, but the big picture is to create significant change in my life. When I spend all my time gaming, I'm spending all my time on my computer. Even if I cut out the time I spend gaming, what does it really mean if I still spend all day on my computer? It would be an accomplishment to go gaming free for 90 days, but ultimately I'd like to spend more time away from the computer. I have a plan to do this and I'll write about that below.
Other things that have come to mind:
With the soul searching I've done this week I've learned many things, but one overarching topic bridges them all. I'm not just a gaming addict, but an addict in general. Some of this might be TMI and I didn't plan on saying it in the past, but the most important thing I've learned this week is that honesty goes a long way. I'm a computer addict, internet addict, addicted to hiding away in my room, and addicted to pornography. I've been transparent about the first three things, but have never said a fucking word about the last one. It's been hard for me to admit since so I'm fucking embarrassed to say it out loud, but I learned this week I need to speak the truth or I'll never have a chance to move on. It's fucking embarrassing, fucking embarrassing, fucking embarrassing. I can't say it enough times. I know others have written about this in their journals and I hate to offend them by putting it that way, but this is my journal and that's just how I feel. Its probably as deep a source of self-hatred than gaming.
I've learned that these other addictions feed into my gaming addiction. My goal is to ultimately cut them all out or I don't think I'll be able to cut out gaming ever. Another goal I'd like to work on along with cutting out gaming, is to never bring my laptop to my room. That action in itself is how the other addictions I listed above get out of hand and I end up losing track of time and wasting countless hours. I've restricted laptop use in my room in the past, but just like with gaming, its another habit that's incredibly difficult for me to cut.
Well, I was going to write a lot more regarding the other addictions I've come to the realization (re-realization, or just being honest to myself) about, but writing that last part just took a huge toll on me. I wanted to write about everything, but all of a sudden don't want to at all. Fuckin hate everything right now.
It’s interesting you used the word “rituals” for the everyday routine. Sure, it’s just a way of speaking, but at the same time you made me think at the ponderate, almost sacred essence of the little things, the spirituality (another way of speaking) hidden in the little gestures of everyday life. The weight of existence (being there), which when we are depressed we see as a burden, is actually what can give depth to our life, opening a continuous epiphany. It’s what we call sensibility, and it may as well be the source of poetry. We probably can find this kind of meaning in the otherwise repetitive, immobile return of the always identical.
Days Without Games: Six
Days Without Internet Addiction of Any Kind: Six
This morning I continued my usual routine and went down to teach one of my horn students. Been using the coaching advice from the book I just finished called The Coaching Habit and I feel like i'm continuing to have more impactful and deeper connecting coaching sessions with my students. The student was telling me, afterwards, about her ideas for the future and it was inspiring to hear that.
In spite of all of my progress, I decided to TREAT YO' SELF to a Monster Energy Drink. I don't need it but sometimes I feel it is important to make mistakes on purpose!
After getting home my father-in-law was kind enough to come on by and help me remove some trash and an unused couch. We spent some time chatting while we cut it down and had lunch together before I got home.
The afternoon was really nice. I connected with my piano a lot more today, scrapping the Bach Fugue (for now) and moving on to actually finishing this piece of music my Maksim MrVica (Composed by Tonci Huljic) -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DKBKZ8Cxeo
I read more books and continued living the self-enrichment life!
We watches some of Gabriel Iglesia's comedy and worked on his motrocycle a whole lot tonight!
Going to skip my Good, Better, Best for tonight due to time. As you can see, we had a hard conversation last night but now everything is out in the open and we are going to get better from it. @fawn_xoxo thank you for listening and I am glad you are getting something from reading these journals!
I honestly exposed myself to some game things today (news) and I didn't feel the urge to play necessarily. I felt nostalgia for the characters and stories they are involved in for sure. I definitely have been wanting to learn some game music but am conflicted as I am unsure if that will help with the detoxing process (especially in terms of reversing the physical changes that may have occurred from speedrunning and streaming specifically).
Have a great night and Thanks for listening!
This is the tweet that started that process for me on self-talk! Message me if you need someone to talk with about that aspect! Congrats on the continued growth on your goals like eating better, push ups, no fap.
It literally is a roller coaster and growth will have some downs. HOWEVER, you came up from that down this time and kept moving forward despite it. That is an awesome accomplishment NannerZ!