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RyanGQ

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About RyanGQ

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  1. Alright. It's been about a week since I made that huge update, and I've got a quick sec to post before I got work to do. The next week of school is going to be finals prep week, and the last three days after next weekend will be finals. Then, summer starts. It's strange. This year went by pretty quick. Thinking back on it though, it's been the most transformation year of my life. I got my first girlfriend, went through my first breakup, wrote my first book, quit gaming, came back to gaming, quit gaming again, and now, I'm about to be going into my last year of highschool. It seems like this next year is going to have to be my last effort to make things right, before going off to college, or whatever I end up doing. So I've got a lot to focus on right now. It's all been pretty mentally overwhelming. I've got a car now (mom bought me one w/ tax return), so I've got to get a job soon to help pay her back for it, plus pay for the crazy insurance that comes with it. I had to get a car soon no matter what, since my area got redistricted for next year and I am NOT about to go to a different school during my last year of highschool. So I'm stoked about that. By the start of summer I'll be driving it on my own, once my mom trusts me behind the wheel. Everyone keeps telling me that life changes dramatically once you get a car. I hope they're right: I need to start getting out more. That'll all hopefully start this summer. As for the next three days, I've got a huge language arts project to work on. But at least it's my last one, so that's pretty hype. Over the next week, after this project is done, I'm going to start planning out my summer, practice driving, try to hang out with friends, and look for a job. I've also got a big summer reading assignment I just found out about, so I'm going to try and knock that out during the beginning of summer, opposed to the end of it, like everybody else. Better to get it done ahead of time than cram at the very end! So here's to that. This past week has actually been pretty tough emotionally. I went through another fit of depression and mental-fuckedupedness, but like always, it passes in and out within a couple of days. I've got too much to look forward to to let my emotions and self pity keep me from chasing what I want. Earlier, I actually went back and watched the original Tedx Talk that Cam made that put me on to the gamequitters movement entirely, and when he said "if I could actually change my situation, make new friends, go for what I want, would I?" It really struck a cord with me. I had to ask myself that same question today. If I could actually change what's going on. If I could make next year my best year academically, if I could start being more outgoing and make new friends, if I could get a job and start learning how to manage money, if I could move forward with the projects that I've had laying around as little more than ideas for weeks and months on end, would I? The obvious answer has to be yes. So here's to that too. Anyways, that's about it for this one. Thanks for everyone tuning in. Next update will probably be around next weekend, which will mark the start of not having to deal with endless end-of-the-year school drama and the beginning of finals and summer planning! Peace out. END.
  2. If you have a beast setup, this is what I would do. Past deleting all of your gaming content, including wallpapers, ringtones etc., sell your gaming mouse and replace it with a standard, ergonomic mouse. Sell your graphics card, so that you can't play games. Sell your gaming headset if you have one, and replace it with a pair of headphones that are high quality but have no mic. Don't sell your monitors: you'll miss having extra screen-realestate if you ever get into something like music production, video editing, or writing. Same with a mechanical keyboard: as a writer, I could never go back to membrane keys. Just turn your gaming PC into a workstation that isn't meant for games.
  3. I think all of us here played tons of games, but when we think about it, the majority of out addiction was boiled down into a certain subset of games or a certain genre. Back when I was a gamer, I played everything. Strategy games, casual FPS games, racing games, RPG / MMO style games, you name it. But the majority of my time played was on competitive games like CS:GO and Starcraft 2. At the end of the day, giving up gaming isn't about the games themselves, never forget that. Whether it be one game you play for 16 hours a day, or 12 games you play separately for 16 hours a day, it makes no difference. Make the switch and don't look back.
  4. I'd like to post a quick thought on pro gaming, since I had a similar delusion when I played CS:GO. The chances of you going pro are nearly impossible. At any given time, there are only 100 to 200 players in a pro circuit, give or take, and there are over 10,000,000 players on each popular e-sport at a time, at the very least. Now, of course, the vast majority of those players are casuals with no drive to actually accel at the game, but even if only one out of one hundred players had a real drive to be a pro, that would still leave you as 1/100,000. AKA: 0.00001%. Steel, an Ex-Pro player banned for match fixing, said it the best himself: if you want to be great at something, as in world class, you have to be born above average at it, and have an affinity for it. If you don't, you have no chance. Because someone born shit at something can work at it until he's way above average, but he's never going to be better than the person who put in just as much if not MORE work, who was BORN above average at something. In all my time playing CS:GO, I got good enough to the point where I could compete fairly and regularly with people of the LE/LEM ranks, which is just two to three ranks below the top ranked players in the game. Now, of course, the game's ranking system is broken due to the fact that solo que and 5-stacking are ranked in the same giant ladder system, but regardless, I was "above average" at the game during my peak playing it, easily. But then steel put out that video, and in it, he said that if you haven't made it to the top rank in the game and moved on to playing in the private pay-to-play leagues within your first year of playing the game, you have absolutely no chance of going pro. NONE. Because think about it: if you're that kid going, "hey, maybe if I play just three to four more months, I might be able to get to the global elite rank on the valve matchmaking ladder", what are the odds that through hard work and dedication, you're EVER going to play with the handful of pros who were already crushing it in that rank, asking themselves "is this really it? Where do I go next?", within the first six months of them playing? Newsflash: you won't. Some people just learn faster than others at certain things. I know for a fact that no matter how much I EVER practiced basketball, I would never be as good as Kobe Bryant or Lebron James. Period. Because me practicing 16 hours a day compared to Kobe practicing four hours a day still equates to Kobe running circles around me. It's just the way the world works. And pro games are no different. When I played games competitively, I always knew that deep down. So I told myself, "if I just made it to global, I'd quit there, and be happy." I wouldn't move onto the leagues. Of course, luckily, I quit playing video games before then, but that ethereal goal that you're looking towards is nothing more than a last ditch effort to keep that feeling of growth moving forward, because you know that once you get there, you're just going to think to yourself, "that's it?" I put in all that work just to reach this rank, and now it's over? Nothing happened? Now what?! I can only imagine the feeling that World of Warcraft players get when they hit max rank, get all the best gear, and do whatever it is that people do in that game. I guess I was lucky enough to never get into MMO's, where you can just make an infinite number of new characters, and where there are infinite numbers of expansions and DLC content. Yikes. Anyways, that's my take on it. As a gamer, it was frustrating, because the entire point of playing a competitive game is to improve. You never want to admit to yourself that you've hit your glass ceiling as far as skill goes, because in a certain sense, yeah, you can always "improve", but when does it get to the point where you'd have to put in so much effort to fix all of those unconscious bad habits in the game that it would be pointless to try? It gets to the point where you go insane trying to improve. So a message to anyone out there still playing competitive games trying to go pro: give it up before you get too good. Because at the end of the day, the life of a pro gamer is miserable, stressful, and unrewarding. You're not going to be the best in the world, and the truth is that you don't want to be. You aren't going to be any happier at the highest rank than you are at the lowest rank. In fact, if I really think back to it, no matter what competitive game I played, whether it be CS:GO or Starcraft (and my LoL playing friends will attest to this as well), the best times that you're going to have playing those games are the very noobish beginnings, when the game is new, fresh, and nobody really knows what they're doing and everything is just fucking around for shits and giggles. Once every match is being carefully measured out as to how many rounds you can lose to save your elo, once every match is a stressful rage-fest of over stratification, and you care more about your rank, your future pro-prospects, and networking your clan with better players instead of just PLAYING THE FUCKING GAME FOR FUN, you've missed the point entirely and gone way too far.
  5. Given enough time, nostalgia won't have the same affect it once did. Stick with it man! Glad to see you here.
  6. Thanks Danny and Mert! I'm glad I could share some of my insight with you two. I wrote some really in depth analysis of my thought process during that time in my life, and it's all still somewhere in my older journal, if you dig for it. Also, I plan on sharing my book with the community when it's finished, so stay tuned!
  7. Hey. My name’s Ryan. Before I start this video, I’d like to say that I’ve never been in front of a webcam before, so forgive me if I come off as awkward or unexpressive, because I’m not used to talking into a camera lens. My throat also hurts right now, so bare with me here. Some of this will be more improvised, some of it will be more scripted. Bare that in mind. EDIT: I did shoot this all as a video, but after editing it, it just kind of came out soulless and bland, since I was reading everything like a script. Since I tried to squeeze in so much information into this, it basically just came out as 20 straight minutes of me talking into a computer screen. Trust me, if you're at all interested, you're better off just reading this yourself. Also, I apologize for any grammatical mistakes spell check doesn't pick up. Anyways, I’m making this video because 5 months ago, I decided that I was going to embark on a journey to quit playing video games, in an attempt to see if video games were actually making me happy, or if it was time for a serious life change. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, and it’s been a vicious ride of ups and downs that has taught me more about myself than I ever could have thought possible, so I’m here to tell you guys about my experience, and give my take on the 90 day challenge to quit gaming. EDIT: It's still been about 5 months; I only finished writing this eight days ago, so only a week has passed between the time I wrote this and now. Some exciting escapades have happened between then and now, so I'll be sure to write about those as the post goes along. I should start by giving a little backstory about myself. I’ve been playing videogames for as long as I can remember, literally. My first memory of being alive is of my mom and I playing super mario on the N64. Don’t ask me how i even gripped the controller with my little three year old hands, because I couldn’t tell you. I was brought up with video games from a young age, and I never let go of them. I literally became a hardcore gamer at the age of three. It all started with the N64, with games like super mario, mario kart, mario party, LoZ:OOT, and super smash bros, and then I moved on from that to playing on systems like the gameboy advance, the gamecube, PC MMO’s and from there I moved onto the xbox 360, wii, and nintendo ds, and finally found myself playing games on the PC, which I would remain playing until I quit playing games entirely. No matter what was going on in my life, the biggest constant has been video games. Moving from school to school, from house to house, video games were there. When my parents were fighting, getting arrested, and getting divorced, videogames were there. When I was lonely, bored, and depressed, as no child should ever be, video games were there. They were all I really did, all I thought about, all I cared about, for years. I played sports here and there, like swimming, tennis, gymnastics, and soccer, but none of them really stuck. By the time I was in middle school, I had quit all of them, and only gaming remained. I was also never particularly socially isolated, but all of the friends that I had were gamers, who were into gaming just as much as I was. Some of them are still my friends to this day, and some of them moved on far before I did and are doing completely different things with their lives. Also, I think it goes without saying, that I was never popular with girls. i distinctly remember my first game on xbox live. I was playing halo 3 social slayer on valhalla, and when i heard my teammates talking to me, it was one of the most life changing experiences ive ever had, to this day. i still remember this one guy in the game, after i told him that it was my first online game ever, told me something strange. he said, “welcome to the club”. Or something like that. I wouldn’t realize until years later that I had overstayed my welcome in that club for way too long. After online gaming became part of my life, mostly everything fell apart. Keep in mind, I’d consider myself pretty intelligent, and school has never been a struggle for me; I’ve always been an A/B student in the highest classes possible, but socially, i went dark. The halo, call of duty, gears of war, battlefield, pokemon, and skate series became my life all the way from third grade to eighth grade. I was going through a lot of family problems at the time, and I found it easier to stop hanging out with my neighborhood friends, and instead lose myself into online games, where I had my online friends, most of which were way older than me, who I shouldn’t have been talking to, and my friends from school, who I would frequently “hang out with” over the network. I never felt lonely, because I always had someone new to talk to. I still think to this day that relationships held between people online are real relationships, and can be beneficial, in some cases. Without xbox live, I think I would have gone insane, like many other kids do who come up in families that fall apart. When my family basically lost everything after the 2008 housing market crash, I had a second family, of people who I had never met before. For the longest time, I had always considered myself to be a “gamer”. That’s how I defined myself, up until the end of seventh grade, when I became friends with a kid named steven. Even though me and steven had hated on each other from a distance for a year or two before, we had met through a mutual friend from school over xbox live, while we were playing skate 2. I had no interest in skating at the time, and only played the game because i remember playing TH:PS3 as a kid, and I had heard from a friend that the game had tons of funny glitches that could be screwed around with. when i mentioned to steven that i wanted to learn how to skate in real life, he told me that he knew how, and we went to the skatepark together for the first time. The first time i went down a ramp, and busted my ass, i was hooked. I was now a skater, and I always thought, from then on, I would be. Fast Forward some months later, to 8th grade, and I felt like I was at the top of the world. Steven was always one of the popular kids in school, because he was cute and played a ton of sports. For the first time ever, i became friends with girls, had something i was passionate about outside of school and gaming, and had a social circle of friends and was excited about my life. Unfortunately, this was short lived, when we all discovered a game called starcraft 2. 8th grade was a great year. I skated, had lots of friends, talked to girls, got good grades, but man, did we all love starcraft. all of my friends, steven included, used to play that game like crack. we were hooked. I got into the game from a friend named dorian, who was a platinum leaguer at the time. Over the next year, I would almost make it into platinum league, and he would get into masters, and ended up forming one of the largest master level clans on the EU server in the world. when highschool started, something shitty happened. I broke my arm at the start of ninth grade, a week before my birthday, skateboarding. That was the day that everything changed. to this day, i still wonder how my life would have been different had i dedicated more time to skateboarding, and less time to starcraft. would i have not have broken my arm? would i have ever actually been any good at skateboarding? would i have more friends? would i still be playing starcraft? the next couple of months were a long, painful period of walking around in a cast, with metal plates in my left arm, drugged up on painkillers and valium, typing with one hand, and binge watching anime and manga, because i had nothing else to do. it goes without saying that I had to quit playing starcraft, as well as skateboarding (which i would be depressed over for an entire year afterwards). when i came back to SC2, i sucked, and just gave up. going back to the bronze league / silver league was too hard for me to deal with putting all that work into just to get back to where i was. for the remainder of 9th grade, i just played games casually, and the relationship between steven and i slowly died, as we realized that skateboarding just wasn’t in the cards for me anymore, after my parents decided they could take the risk of me being injured again. the summer after 9th grade, i started playing a game called counter strike. i had already transitioned solely into PC gaming after i had found starcraft the year before, and i had already built my own 1200 dollar gaming pc in february, after my arm had healed up. for the next year, in 10th grade, i was pretty numb. almost miserable. because for the first time in years, i felt that i had “regressed in life”. i had quit skateboarding, lost my best friend, stopped talking to girls entirely, and ended up gaming more than ever before. CS:GO became my life. I was managing multiple clans, trying my hardest to rank up, and i had basically given up on my prospects of being social in real life. I had been rejected by the first girl who i ever thought i actually had a chance with, i ended the year with my first C, and the summer after sophomore year, all i did was play counter strike, and game called dark souls, which has become what i would consider to be the best game of all time. this all lead me up to the decision i made on december 8th, 2015, when i joined the gamequitters community, and decided that it was time for a change. you can read the introductory post I made on the night I decided to try it out here: http://forum.gamequitters.com/topic/353-hey-im-ryan/ Since I started the challenge, almost five months have passed. A lot has happened, and I can definitely say that my life is in a completely different direction than it was before. So I’m going to do a little re-wind of the last five months of my life. __________ The feeling of wanting to quit video games is one that builds up inside you. For the first couple of months of junior year of highschool, i had been falling out of love with video games. I wanted to quit, but didn’t ever have the drive to. I didn’t see the point. Part of it was because I didn’t know what else I was going to do with my time, part of it was because all of my friends, the few that I had left, were gamers, and part of it was because I identified myself as a gamer. It’s who I was and it’s what I’ve always done. But if you’re like me, you were raised on video games. It wasn’t even a choice; I was fed a controller from a young age, and held tightly onto it because I was too scared to let go when everything else around me sucked so much. But there came a certain point in my life when I realized that I had overstayed my welcome. It’s not something that just hits you, it’s a feeling that builds up. Like maybe I had played more than my fair share of video games for one lifetime, and it was time to find something new to do. Getting my first girlfriend and also seeing the end of highschool and the beginning of college start to creep up on me were also motivating factors in getting my shit together. I was here for a reason. If you ever have the thought that you should probably quit playing video games, that’s a good sign that you should. I watched Cam’s TedX talk, and was surprised at how his points were actually rational and well thought out, instead of just attacking gamers for being the antisocial losers-by-choice that they’re made out to be. For the first time I had hope of actually getting my life back. So I just did it. I didn’t think about it, I just acted. I deleted all of the gaming content I had access to. ALL OF IT. And it started there. I started writing in the journals on the forum immediately, and, if you’re interested, you can always go back and read through them. I had already made a habit of journaling privately a number of months before I had started the challenge, and I continue to do so, so I was writing a shitton during this period. Everything was going great in the beginning; I didn’t have any drive to play games, I was making good grades (in fact I ended with all A’s and one B at the end of my first semester), and I had a girlfriend who I thoroughly enjoyed being with. But all of that came to an end about 30-ish days into the challenge during winter break. All starting on Christmas day, I was informed that my Dad, who I haven’t talked to since around last November, had officially moved to florida, and my Girlfriend, who I recently discovered dumped me for a guy who I would have considered not to be a friend but definitely closer than an acquaintance, ignored me for an entire week before dumping me over the phone two days before new year’s eve. Life essentially felt like was fucking over. I was depressed for about two weeks before I started to gain some perspective, and even looking back on the relationship now, I can see how inexperienced and stupid it all was, and how fucked the entire thing was from the start, mostly because of me, admittedly. I was in no position to go into a serious relationship, which I was absolutely unprepared to deal with, during a time when my entire family life was fucked beyond repair, not to mention, pressuring me to act towards my girlfriend and my relationship in a million different directions, when I just wanted to keep things light and casual, which is probably part of what scared her off to begin with. After my breakup, the new year had started, and I got more involved on the forum and with the challenge, and took my first shot at writing a book, which is “finished” now, but I’ve still yet to go through and revise it. I’ve yet to do so because it’s actually a book about breakups: writing it really helped me sort out my thoughts and such, but going back to it really just keeps me in that “breakup” zone mentally that I was trying to move on from to begin with. Not to mention I’ve gotten a lot more in touch to the nature of why my girlfriend actually dumped me, and going back to the “me” who, at the time, actually bought into the blatant, bullshit lie that she dumped me because she had “too much baggage” and “wasn’t ready for this”, just makes me cringe at how stupid I was. But at least I’ve grown a lot from the experience, and that’s what counts. I might actually go back and finish it once and for all after I edit and upload this video. EDIT: I did finish editing the video, but I don't feel like actually putting it up on here, if I even still have it. Maybe on day I'll come out on camera, but that day is not today. And I still haven't gotten to editing that book. Schoolwork has got me busy as it is; I'm only taking this short break to write this and then it's back to reading this damn book. So the rest of the challenge, really, these last couple of months, have been a blur. In short, I hit a low point. Many of you may have noticed that I haven’t written on the forum since the challenge ended, which was for a number of reasons we’ll get into later, but it was, at the time, mostly because I hit a SERIOUS depression. Probably the worst that I had ever been through. I’m not saying that I’ve been clinically diagnosed with depression, or that I’m constantly depressed, but there have been times in my life where I’ve pretty much matched every symptom to a T, including bipolar mood-swings and thoughts of suicide. Maybe that’s just being a teenager, but I think it came down to a gigantic conjunction of dealing with my father basically telling me I can fuck off, having way too much free time and not knowing what to do with it, dealing with my alcoholic mother who constantly pressures me into knowing what I should be doing with my life, and a host of serious self-confidence and self-image issues that, for a long time, made me distance myself from everyone that I cared about in my life, and a lot of those people ended up cutting me out because of that. That in turn made me feel lonely a lot, which is something that I’m still dealing with, but trying to break out of, even though I will say that it’s fucking tough to make new friends. It’s something that I have to rely on a lot of hope and willpower for; but breaking out of my comfort zone as an already shy guy who’s now at a loss as to where I “fit in” has lead so far to nothing but a series of failed attempts, letting myself down time after time, which scares me because the school year is over in 25 days and I’m running out of time. EDIT: I'd like to say that things are looking up, I think, as far as meeting new people goes. Tomorrow, if things go according to plan, I should be introduced to a girl that my friend hooked up with last week. Originally, he was going to try to hook me up with this girl, but she came over to his house to "study" and things just ended up happening. So he promised to introduce me to her as friends, so that I can get in with her friends, many of whom are very attractive and seem like my type. And, of course, if things don't move forward between the two of them, according to the bro code, I'm always free to move in, but that's ONLY if he gives me the go ahead. That's assuming the even likes me (then again, the entire reason he was trying to hook me up with her was because she was "perfect for me", so I've got my hopes up that she has some cool friends because if not, I'm kind of screwed: the clock seems like it's ticking 10 times faster than usual. This is all assuming my friend hasn't gotten busted by his strict catholic parents for selling weed and hooking up with her to begin with, because his dad (a complete lunatic) did walk in on him, and he hasn't responded to me since we hung out last Friday. Yikes. So what’s happened since the challenge ended? Well, my grades are pretty solid: I’m not failing anything, and they’re looking like they’re going to turn out exactly how they did last semester: all A’s and one B. Family tensions have calmed down, although I know in my family that only lasts for so long, and I’m looking towards getting a car soon, which should have a serious impact on my social life, assuming I don’t crash it. The most optimistic part of me wants to say that things are actually looking like they’re going to start going well soon. EDIT: I shouldn't have procrastinated on some of my school projects, but over yesterday and the rest of today, it looks like I'm going to get a lot of work done. And one of my big projects that I thought was due on Tuesday happens to actually be due on Thursday, so I'm hyped up that I have more time to grind on that, since I didn't actually read one of the books I was supposed to (Catcher in the Rye). One thing that I need to definitely touch on is my relapse. I went back to gaming. I actually think I put in around 3 consecutive days of gaming, if you count dark souls 2, 3, and counter strike. I played dark souls 2 just a week or so after the challenge had actually ended. It was fun going back to gaming, but I didn’t even stick with the game long enough to beat it. I really didn’t even like the game very much, I just wanted to play it in anticipation for the third game coming out. I played CS:GO once, and discovered that I still had zero drive to play it whatsoever. In a way, I just had to make sure that I was done with it. And it turns out I was right. Dark Souls 3 on the other hand, I played a lot. From the day it came out, I grinded it out over about two weeks, and put over 40 hours into it. I have to say: I don’t regret it, it was the best game I’ve ever played, and as the last game I’m ever going to play, it was a seriously fantastic one to end my gaming career. I’m not proud of going back to gaming, but I feel now like it was a good thing that I did to prove to myself that the challenge did its job. Cam argued in a video that he put out that “there’s always going to be one more game”, but I don’t think that’s entirely true. Other than the Dark Souls 3 DLC coming out, that I don’t plan on playing until its full release which won’t even be until 2017, I have no desire to play anything at all, and maybe by that time I won’t have any desire to play that either. The largest part of letting go of gaming for me was the online competitive aspect of it: even between all 3 dark souls games that I’ve played, I never even put a third of the time I did playing those games combined as I did counter strike. So I’m basically back at square one. During the challenge, I discovered that it made me really productive. I was writing all the time, getting my grades together, and really had high hopes. It gave me a sense of purpose. When the challenge was over, I didn’t really have much to point myself in the right direction and keep me from gaming again, so I did. Now that I’ve cemented in my mind that I really am done with it, I’m ready to give the productivity grind a second shot. And yes, that includes me going back onto the forum and interacting with all of you guys again. When I finished the challenge, on top of being depressed as all hell, my mindset was that staying on a forum about quitting video games would only perpetuate me identifying myself as a “game quitter”, when, throughout the challenge, you really start to learn that it’s not at all about the games themselves, but about getting your life back. One thing that I really want to stress to anyone just starting the challenge is that quitting gaming WILL NOT improve your life automatically: it just leaves you with a blank slate to work with. I learned that the hard way. I thought that making new friends was going to just automatically happen for me, that my grades would shoot themselves through the roof, and that I would find a new girlfriend instantly, but all of those things have proven to be a lot harder than I would have expected, and it’s going to take a lot of time and a TON of focus to actually make it happen. When you play video games all the time, you forget that being able to form relationships with people, being vulnerable and outgoing, and maintaining those relationships takes a lot of courage and time dedication, and the more you isolate yourself, the rustier you get when it comes to fixing that area of your life, and the same can be said for anything else. Lucky enough for me I take a weightlifting class in school to stay in shape, and I’m going to be doing that as well as aerobic cardiovascular training next year, because if I didn’t, I probably would have gotten out of shape pretty damn quick. So that’s where I’m at. I’ve got a lot of goals in mind that I want to start working towards, I’ve learned a lot, I’ve got a lot more to learn, and I’m ready to take my life back once again. I’m going to start slowly frequenting the forum more often, I have been writing in my personal journal but not as much as I should, if I’m being honest with myself, and most importantly, I’m going to start chopping away at the projects that I told myself that I was going to do after the challenge and never got to out of either misery, laziness, or procrastination. I’ma be sure to update everyone on everything I’m doing to keep myself accountable in a new journal here on the forum. So the last thing I want to include in this video is a jotlist of the things that I’ve learned through doing this challenge, so here they are: You don’t actually play video games for the games: you play them because you don’t know what else to do, and they’re manufactured to trigger your desire for accomplishment. This is pretty straightforward. Expanding on this, you find in quitting that the more you gamed, the more you wanted to game. You’re like a drug addict who can just never get the same high, so you take it more and more until it destroys you. Some people can handle themselves, but if you game for long periods for days on end, you’re pretty much a “gaming alcoholic”. Your time spent gaming wasn’t “wasted time”, it was an important time in your life and you shouldn’t discredit it. Gaming is what made me into who I am today, and I’m proud of myself, and I’m continuing to seek out and realize ways that I can keep that true. But if you want to move forward, you have to step outside of your comfort zone. You can only really feel “passionate” about gaming, if you don’t have anything else better to do with your life. It sounds harsh, but it’s absolutely true. I found in quitting that the feeling I get of creating something myself from my own imagination, feels much more accomplishing than winning games of CS:GO ever did. Don’t mistake having fun for being happy. While the game might be stimulating, if you have that feeling of guilt and emptiness after you turn it off, you’re not actually happy, similarly to what porn does. Even with Dark Souls 3, the best game ever made in my opinion, I felt that guilty feeling after I was done with it. You start to realize that it was never the games themselves: it was the fact that you had nothing better going on in your life. You made something as trivial as an imaginary game the biggest priority in your life, which can’t leave you with a feeling of fulfillment, no matter how hard you try. There’s nothing wrong with gaming. It’s a wind-down activity. Games are there for, and should be used, by people who need to cool off after working really, really hard at something that they’re actually passionate about, to avoid being burnt out. Gaming should never exceed more than 10% of your free time, if that. It makes no sense to say that it’s OK to make art, but never ok to experience the art of others, so game away: but you have to put boundaries and divvy up your time, especially if you’re a person who can relate to everything I said thus far. You’ll find that by actually divvying up your time, and playing games for fun and not taking them so seriously, you enjoy playing them more, and don’t need to play them for as long, either. You have to let your brain settle down from the massive amounts of stimulus you’ve been giving it. In quitting entirely, you may even find that you have no real desire to game anymore at all. At the end of the day, nobody is going to make this choice for you, so don’t make the excuses of “oh, but I payed for all of these games on steam and I haven’t played them yet”, or “but I’ve already put in so much time into gaming, if I quit now, it would all be for nothing!”. That’s a bunch of fallacious horseshit. Cut your losses and move on. Finally, realize that it’s all up to you. You aren’t going to rub your PC and have a Genie pop out waiting to grant your every wish after you quit gaming. After you quit, you’re going to run into a lot of emotional ups and downs. You’re probably going to have a lot of free time that you don’t know what to do with. You might end up feeling lonely. Maybe you feel all of these things. But there’s a silver lining. If you gamed a ton before you quit, that means you probably have a TON of free time to experiment with after you quit. If you feel lonely, that’s an opportunity to go out and meet new people. In life, everything is in a state of mind. The most important thing that I can tell any of you listening this far is that, as stated by one of my mentors Arash, “if you don’t give up, you’ll be ok. If you do give up, I can guarantee you won’t be ok”. It’s that simple. Thanks for listening, I hope all of you on here find what you’re looking for. Special thanks to everyone who listened to me and interacted with me over my own challenge, and of course Cam, for making all of this possible. END. EDIT: I want to put in a quote from the book that I'm currently reading. It's become one of my favorite quotes, and it's from The Things they Carried by Tim O'Brien. It's about courage. "If the stakes ever became high enough—if the evil were evil enough, if the good were good enough—I would simply tap a secret reservoir of courage that had been accumulating inside me over the years. Courage, I seemed to think, comes to us in finite quantities, like an inheritance, and by being frugal and stashing it away and letting it earn interest, we steadily increase our moral capital in preparation for that day when the account must be drawn down. It was a comforting theory. It dispensed with all those bothersome little acts of daily courage; it offered hope and grace to the repetitive coward; it justified the past while amortizing the future." I feel that this quote is something that we all have to remember in life. Confidence is a feeling of trust (if you actually break down the work, you'll find the word "confide"). It's a trust that's built within yourself over the course of keeping all of the little promises that you make to yourself every day. When you let yourself down, you're not just making yourself feel bad: you're letting your brain create a reality in which you believe that you cannot be trusted. And if you can't trust yourself, you can't trust that you can accomplish anything in life. And that, my friends, is a self fulfilling prophecy. Yeah that's about it lol. END.
  8. Wow. It's been a while. A couple of months, at least. If you're an old timer here, you may remember me by reading my older journals, or maybe I hit you up on the forum personally. If you're new here, you probably have no idea who I am, as my older journal is most likely buried somewhere in this forum. Anyways, I was planning on making a big comeback onto this forum to explain my whereabouts, but it just got pushed back for a while. And a while became more than a while after enough time had passed, to the point where I just forgot about it. Or maybe I didn't forget; maybe I just didn't have the willpower to sit down and actually prepare to expand the mental energy that it takes to really put yourself out there. I wrote over six pages worth of explanation over the past five months of my life, starting from the roots of how I came to quit gaming and what happened after the challenge ended, but I never put it up. Part of me felt like it was too long, part of me felt like it was just bitching, and who really wants to read that? Part of me felt like I was just going on and on about my story that nobody really wants to hear, but now, I figure that if nobody wants to hear it, nobody has to read it. I would have posted this is my old journal, but I can't stand the obnoxiously long title that I gave it. Plus, considering the sour note that I left that one off on, and the time that's passed since then, it'd be better for me to just start fresh. Anyways, I'll just go ahead and post what I wrote beforehand. I'll edit in notes for explanation where they're needed. For formatting purposes, I'll have to do that in a second post, so gimme a sec, lol.
  9. DAY SIXTY SEVEN TO NINETY (FINISH LINE OF THE 90 DAY CHALLENGE) I was expecting something more epic for this post. But it's been weeks since I've visited here and I don't exactly know where I stand anymore. It's been a fucking ride, I can tell you that much. My head is a mess right now so I don't exactly know where to start. I haven't been well to say the least, but at least I didn't give up. To be honest, with a challenge like this, it's not really a matter of giving up vs not giving up past a certain point because you just stop caring about numbers. It was never about the 90 days to begin with if that makes sense. Maybe I'm not making sense right now, wouldn't surprise me. That's not the point though. I'd just like to say I'm sorry for not updating this sooner and then coming back with such a shitty reply, I should have been more honest but some of what was going on was just too draining for me to come on here and talk about (not that anyone wants to read venting so it was actually for the best probably). So here's to the challenge being over, and for what it's worth, I can't attest to my quality of life being significantly jolted upwards since I quit playing video games, along with my mental health (it's actually deteriorated rapidly over the past couple of weeks), but I can definitely say that the challenge works. I don't wanna play video games anymore! That's a start I guess. Don't take that the wrong way though. My quality of life not being changed in any dramatic way wasn't the fault of video games, the lack thereof, or the challenge itself, along with any of those participating in it OR Cam; you're all great. It's just me. This is going to be the last post in this journal written by me. If I decide to keep writing in here, it's going to be in a post 90-day journal under a different name. The only real reason for that is because I realized a couple weeks back that the name that I gave this forum was obnoxiously fucking long and sounds like something you'd read in a cheesy self help novel, and I thought I remembered there being a way to change that but I couldn't find it. Good luck to Cam on reaching 1k members on here. I genuinely applaud you in starting this website; you're doing god's work and you're helping a lot of people. I hope to be able to stick along for the ride and see where this all goes. I did the survey and put in my email, so I'll be filling out whatever comes my way as time goes by. Thanks to everyone for making this possible, expect my return in coming days. I wanna start fresh with something special that I've had in the works in the back of my head for a while. END.
  10. DAY SIXTY ONE - SIXTY SEVEN It's Valentine's day, 2016, at 11:16am. It's been a week since I last wrote in here, so I've got some stuff to catch up on. School has been going alright, I think. My grades aren't all where I want them to be, but there's still time to get them caught up. I've got six days until I take my first SAT test, so tomorrow, since I don't have school, I'm going to take most of the time out of my day to study for it with the practice packet the school provided me with. I also need to sign up for the ACT and the redesigned SAT that I'll be taking in April, as well as my AP test for Language Arts (not taking the History AP test, because I probably wouldn't pass it and it's $90.00 - just being honest). I'll have to start reading The Great Gatsby soon, which will get me back onto the reading train. I haven't done much reading this month yet, but as long as I get something out of the way, I'm happy. I still haven't played any games, and I don't plan on it. I think I've already established in the multiple posts I've posted preceding this one that I've already made it this far; there's not much point in going back now, even if I wanted to. Skipping over the monotony of the first four days of my week, I'll jump right into Friday. Friday was pretty awesome, for a number of reasons, even though something pretty shitty happened. Some friends and I had been planning on going to the movies to see Deadpool for a while, so we bought our IMAX tickets with super awesome reserved seats on Fandango. They were $20.00 each. It was going to be the four of us, in the best seats in the theater. I'm not usually one to buy the more expensive package when it comes to going out to do something fun, but since I go to the movies maybe twice a year, I didn't see it as an issue to drop a few extra dollars to get the most out of it. After we had our tickets, meanwhile, at school, I finally broke out of my shell and talked to one of the girls that I found attractive that I had seen during my lunch period. We talked a little bit back and forth, but it turns out she had a boyfriend. I don't know how true that was, but it wasn't happening. It didn't help much that she was with her friend at the time, and my "wingman" friend did absolutely nothing to help me at all (he literally stood behind me with my other friend doing nothing, awkwardly observing what was going on instead of chatting up the friend like I told him to). The thing is though, is that I'm not even mad that I got "rejected". When it really comes down to it, it's not a big deal at all. I overblew it in my head for so long after I got broken up with, yet when I finally got the nerve to just go and do something about it, it was actually a lot of fun! I forgot how exciting and how necessary it is to talk to girls. So I'm looking forward to doing a lot of that when I go back to school. Anyways, after that, my friends and I all found ourselves at the mall, ready to see the movie. We were there about an hour early, so we walked through the mall joking around for a little bit. I never realized how many hot girls go to the mall with their friends, and I was planning on going there to talk to them, but after realizing how awkward all of my friends were, I decided I'd wait to try it out another day. It was a friend's night out sort of thing, and I didn't want to blow it by being "that guy" who can't hold a conversation for more than 30 seconds without bouncing to go talk to someone else. Plus after realizing how shitty my friends are at winging, with it being four of us, that could get really weird really quickly (one of my friends is really awkward, one of them has a girlfriend yet I don't have any idea how, and one of them, the one that I didn't know would be there, is even more awkward than the first). I guess I need to find some friends that are less awkward, or just fucking teach one of them what to do. I never realized that I'm sort of the "top guy" in the group. I know that sounds shitty and narcissistic, but it's true. I've come to realize that my problems of being anxious to talk to new people doesn't just apply to me: my friends are the same way, and most of them actually have it way worse. Anyways, when the time came, we all went to sit down near the entrance to the theatre, waiting to see the movie. We saw platoons of people (including tons of kids who looked no older than 12 years old) walking out from the movie, all with smiles on their faces, who were shouting at us how awesome it was. We were excited. So when 9:45 rolled around, the ticket lady came out, but she said something that really shocked us. "Tickets and ID's out please". What? We had our tickets, we were first in line, we had already been let past the ticketing gate, yet for some reason, she had to ID us to let us see the movie. We explained to her that we're all 17 and a half years old, and we didn't have our ID's, but we had our tickets. But alas, we were basically told to fuck off. But we weren't going to let that be the end of it, so we came up with a plan. We decided, "hey, we might not get to see IMAX, but chances are, they won't ID us in the regular theater, because they don't have to check for reserved seating". So we waited another 45 minutes outside the regular theater, only to find that unfortunately, you get ID'd there as well. UnFuckingBelievable. We thought about getting someone else to vouch for us, but we didn't want to risk getting anyone else in trouble, so we decided to just bounce. We got in the car, drifted like Toretto straight to the AMC theater, and bought new tickets. They let us in no problem, and the movie was fantastic. We were all under the impression that we could get our money back on the fandango tickets, but we couldn't. They have a policy that says you had to return the tickets two hours before the movie started, so we all literally spent $30.00 to watch Deadpool. The movie was great, so I'm not complaining, but seriously: fuck regal cinemas and fuck the US government. This all got me thinking about the stupid rules surrounding turning 18 and being an "adult" in our society. This uptight cunt wouldn't let us in the theater, because we were just a couple of months too young, even though she had just seen a platoon of middle schoolers walking out of the theater. So it's not ok to let us in because we're not 18, but all of these little kids can watch this seriously fucked up movie, just because their dad is there with them? A movie where there's hardcore sex scenes, tons of cursing and crude humor, and loads and loads of violence and gore? I'm not old enough to see that without my mommy sitting behind me? What about the fact that I can literally go home and look up shit that's WAY WORSE than ANYTHING that you could ever see in a movie? Literally! I've seen porn that's far more graphic than anything that was in that movie, I've seen ISIS behead people and set them on fire, I've even seen some dude shove marbles down his dick. Yet I'm not allowed to see a very over the top, unrealistic, fictional movie. Fantastic. I'm old enough to drive, hold a job, legally consent to sex, and drop out of school. Yet I can't watch a movie. I also can't sign up for my own bank account without a cosigner, or legally sign a lease. I cant' vote for president, or go anywhere without parent jurisdiction. If I happened to have sex with someone not even two years younger than me, I could be imprisoned, and when I turn 18 in a few months, the penalties get even worse. All of this shit is so arbitrary and it's just there to make people's lives WORSE. I don't really know where to take this anymore, I'm just ranting because I'm pissed off. So I got home yesterday early in the morning, slept in really late, and spent the entire day basically doing nothing of any major importance. I did make a lot of different playlists on Spotify though (took my main 600 song playlist and divided it up into different genres. Still have to work out the kinks though). I also did an online survey for my teacher trying to get her doctorate. I got into a huge fight with my mom last night over stupid shit. I don't want to talk about it. But it's only reinforced my desire to GTFO of this house. Once again, turning 18. I would have left years ago if I could have. So anyways, today, I'm going to get as much of my book done as I can. I have some edits to do, and two more chapters left; at least two foreseeable chapters. Then it's onto revising it and sending it off to my sister and some friends to give me some feedback, and then onto second drafting the whole thing. Fun. So I should get to that. Don't know when the next update on here will be. I've found that over time, my drive to hit this thing up daily is going down. Maybe just because the thrill of "not being a gamer" anymore is wearing down as I start to realize that it's really not that big of a deal. So cheers. Hope everyone has a good day today. END. PS - Still working on something else special for the 90 day challenge being completed. Stay tuned.
  11. DAY FIFTY NINE - SIXTY So I've finally made it two thirds of the way through. I only slipped up once, in a time of insecurity and desperation (at someone else's house), but I can officially say that this period of my life has literally been my longest period of not gaming since I was three years old. Insane. Anyways, this weekend has been good. I'm feeling giddy. Funny enough, I had no fucking idea today was superbowl sunday (goes to show how out of touch I am with sports, I was never a fan lol). Anyways, I'm going to grind as much as this project down tonight as I can for language arts because I spent most of yesterday writing in my book, that's now over 20 pages. I have a lot more to go and a lot of edits to do to it, as well as things I want to add into it that I skipped over or wasn't clear enough on. Wish me luck! END.
  12. DAY FIFTY EIGHT Crazy to think I've already come this far. This upcoming Sunday will mark two-thirds of the way through the challenge, catapulting my way into the final phase. It's been a fucking ride, but I'm feeling a lot better than I did the other day and I'm going to start things fresh tomorrow. I'm not going to try to pull one of those "new milestone X, new me" bullshits on myself, I just needed time to readjust and get my head together. Turns out emotions, whether good or bad, are addictive. I need to be careful of that, and be more quick to stop myself when I fall into pits of depression and self-loathing. Time flies though. It seems like just yesterday I was starting this challenge, and now I'm already much closer to the end than I was to the beginning. So much has changed, but I guess in that weird way, you always just feel like yourself. It's not until you look back over a long enough period of time that you see the difference. With all that's happened, I can't help but feel like I've changed, hopefully for the better. But I guess I'll just have to wait and see. Anyways, I spent most of today just chilling around the house, watched some educational videos, and I'm gonna do some cleaning up before my mom gets home. It's the least I can do for her, she does put a roof over my head after all. I was debating reading The Blood of Olympus tonight (because I didn't read nine of these books starting from elementary school to not see the ending through on the last volume of the story), but I've decided that I'm going to write a little bit more of my own book tonight instead. I'm still trying to keep my rule of passion vs consumption at at least 80% to 20%. The way I see it, is that there's nothing wrong with indulgence. Stimulation, if you will. But there has to be a line. The vast majority of what you should gain happiness from should be what you bring to the table; what you give to the world. It should be about your own drive and creative expression. I'm not going to be the guy to sit here and say that if you ever play a video game or read a fantasy novel you're just wasting your time, because those are wind-down activities. Everybody does them. The reason why all of us are here, though, is because we've all fallen victim to the most addictive form of winding-down on the planet that isn't drugs, and taken it to an unhealthy extent. It's a sure sign that we should all steer clear of that stuff, but it doesn't mean we have to turn into "success-robots", if you will. So many people I see in that mode are too focused on "making it" (especially in school) that they end up stressed out of their minds, and they forget that life is just a silly little game that none of us are making it out of. People forget to have fun. By the same token, people get defensive when they hear that, because it's much more common to see people who are focused 100% on stimulating themselves day in and day out, 24/7, on social media, with music, games, TV, and everything else. Sometimes it's hard with all of the shit that expected of us, but nobody has any excuse to not put themselves out there, me included. Tomorrow I've got the super big project to work on, so I'm going to be cooped up in my room again. Weather report said it might snow some time in the next two days or so, but IDK if there's any truth to that, we'll have to wait and see. I'm still going to try and get out of the house no matter what, like I said. Meh. This post is pretty boring I guess. I should really start studying for my SAT this weekend too. Don't know where I'm even going with this. I need to open my window and get fresh air. Also, starting hobbies back up again tomorrow, and this time, I'm going to do the same ones, but I'm restarting them for 30 days, and I'm going to try to maintain them harder and more seriously than I did last time. I realize how hard it's going to be now and I feel like after failing before, I'm more mentally prepared to take it on again. We'll see. Already got my alarm set. Peace out. END.
  13. Keep it up mate! We're all here rooting for you!
  14. DAY FIFTY SEVEN So, writing this is kind of awkward. Somehow I let the time slip away from me and everything got out of control, and I ended up missing a week of writing on here. Whoops. Anyways, what's been up? Where to start... Well, it's not that I haven't had a legitimate reason to not write for the past three days or so - I've been really fucking depressed lately. Last weekend went by in a haze (literally don't even remember what I did), and these past four days have been mind-numbingly and stomach-curlingly crappy. The habits that I've been trying to establish have pretty much gone down the drain in their entirety, and I'm going to restart them on Saturday, when I don't have tests and make-up work to focus on. I've fallen behind on some stuff, and since I don't have any real plans for this weekend, it's my best opportunity to get back on track and make it up. I know that saying that makes me sound like a broken record, but it's true. And since I've put off doing the major work review for my book for this long, and this is the last weekend before it's due on Wednesday, it's my one last chance to put in some real grinding hours before I have to start pulling all-nighters, which I really, really don't want to do at this stage in my life. I'll explain. I don't feel like re-writing everything that I put on here, so I'm going to do what I've been doing on my Journal, but backwards, in a way. I'm going to put in the Journal entry that I wrote today and just commentate over what's been going on in it, in an attempt to give context to what's been happening (keep in mind, I've exempted some parts of the post just because they're too personal and parts of it are just too depressing for me to feel like sharing on here. I'll try not to interfere with the flow of the writing too much though). -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I’m writing this in finance class, but I have a solid forty minutes to write before I have to go and finish this at home, so it’s not a big deal. Mr. Page is out today, and we have a sub, so we’re literally not doing anything at all other than sitting around doing old work that should have already been done. It’s been five days since I last wrote in here, and it’s been a hard five days. Really, really fucking depressed lately. (censored sentence). Negative thoughts are swarming my mind in such a capacity it’s like they’re turning my skull into their own personal hive. And it really fucking sucks. It’s like I know that I shouldn’t be thinking this way, and I don’t WANT to think this way, but after long enough, you find a sort of perverted pleasure in the pain and you just let it happen, and it’s sick. I almost got checked out today, but my better judgement got mom to stop at the last second before she rode off and got me. I’m lucky I did, because I would have skipped over some stuff in physics that would have been pretty devastating to have missed. So yeah, I’ve been feeling bad about some shit. But luckily, I have writing to help me. Thinking back on it, this is the entire reason I actually started writing in these journals to begin with. Heh, that might explain why I’ve typed over 136 pages already. I guess I feel like shit more often than I should. I can already tell that writing is helping me get a better grasp on things though. True. Writing really helps me manage my emotions. I'm happy to have finally found an outlet for it, other than gaming. I never realized how much it actually helps until I quit gaming though; for the majority of time I've been a writer, I've also been a full-on gamer. The combination of the two kept me from realizing the real effects of both individually on me. I’ve tried to weasel my way out of the negative thought patters, to no avail. I’m starting to realize that the only real way to get this shit to go away is to just sit with the feeling, accept it, and let it pass. Thinking back on it, it’s just like RSDTyler said: eventually, you just get bored of your own depression. I think I’ll be fine tomorrow, I hope. I’ve already alienated enough people with my shitty attitude, not that I feel bad about feeling bad though. I’ve been through enough shit (not looking for pity though - I have a tendency to shut myself out and pretend I’m “busy” or “meditating” or “sleeping” to avoid everyone I know to not rub my shit off on them. I know that’s unhealthy, but I don’t know how else to cope with it). My depression hits hard, but it slowly fades after a couple days. It's always been like this. I'm not going to sit here and pretend like it's chronic, but this happens to me every now and again. It hasn’t been too long since I wrote in here, but it’s been a week since I wrote on the game quitters forum, and I know that’s fucked up. I haven’t had that much of a blunder since the end of December (don’t worry, I haven’t played a game, which marks day 57 of the challenge, almost ⅔ of the way through). I guess the end of the month marks my man-period, if that’s actually a real thing. But I’m going to write on there tonight, no excuses. I owe it to Cam and all of the other people who have helped me out on there. And it’s not just for me; I enjoy helping out those who are just starting on the challenge to realize what they’re feeling and give them tips to stay on track. You could always make the argument that you’re just helping others because it makes you feel good, which is still in a way selfish, but if human nature is inherently selfish, that’s about as good as being selfish gets. Still happy to say that I haven't relapsed, and I'm almost two thirds of the way through the challenge. The thing is, is that I'm really not scared of relapsing. The thing about me, when I was a hardcore gamer, was that the vast majority of the games that I played in full force (and I'm sure most other people could agree with this) were massive multiplayer online games, like CS:GO, Hearthstone, and SC2 (some would also say League of Legends or WoW). I have absolutely no desire to go back into those games, because I realize that they're just rabbit holes that are entirely designed around keeping you playing, making you less and less content with every match you play. The ONLY game that I could ever see myself getting back into gaming for would be Dark Souls 3, and I feel like after the challenge is over, I'll have developed the skills to play that game without diving into it for 14 hours at a time (although the way I rationalize doing that is that it's better to waste four or five full days than waste an hour over multiple weeks, you know? Maybe that's just my addictive personality talking though, we'll have to see in March). The thing about games like Dark Souls is that they end. After you beat all of the bosses, get all of the armor you want, level your character up to the point where you can't level them up any further, do all of the covenants, mingle around in PVP, and then beat the game, there really isn't any incentive to keep playing. And I saw the video Cam put out about how "there will always be another game", but through my personal experience, I just don't see that as being true, at least for me. Because Dark Souls is the only other game in the past couple of years, really, that I've been super into that wasn't an online sort of game. I could see other gamers falling into games like fallout and call of duty and battlefield and such, but I'm just not into those like I used to be. Building on that, I’ve had a weird drive to volunteer at charity organizations for some reason. Like, I want to go work at a food kitchen. This would probably help me with college applications, but that wouldn’t even be why I’d be doing it. I just have a real want to help people for some reason. Maybe it’s because I want something to help me see that it could always be worse; that there are people out there who would kill to be in my “shitty” situation. (censored sentence) To top off my depression, school has been taking a blunder. My grades are still alright, but I’ve got a test to take in history tomorrow and I need to read all of the material tonight, AND I’ve got an assignment that was due today in language arts that I didn’t turn in that I have to make up (yet Ms. Springer probably won’t even look at it until everyone turns in everything else tomorrow, so it’s no biggie, hopefully). I’m going to have to finish the vast majority of the major work review for Nickel and Dimed over this upcoming weekend, which is going to keep me inside for a quite a while, but at least it will get me writing, thinking of something other than my situation, and actually give me something to work towards. Yeah, I'm surprisingly not too mad about the fact that I have to do this entire big project in two or three days. Because projects like this, that have you reflect over the book, give your thoughts on it, and really dive into the themes and ideas the book presents, are what I like to do as a writer. Writing is a hobby but it's also a skill that you have to keep sharp - if you don't write a lot, you get shit at it. And I'm not talking about writing like this where I'm just venting, I'm talking about real writing, where you're considering every word with a specific purpose. It's also about momentum. If you've been writing a couple hundred words a day, when it's time to pull that grind session out and bang out a few pages, it's not as difficult. This is something I've tried to keep up for my books that I'm working towards writing, through both this forum and my Journal (and AP-Lang, of course). What I really want to be working on is my book though. I’ve made it through most of the outline surprisingly fast, and I’ve found myself writing in it for hours at a time. I’ll admit to myself that it’s shorter than I would have expected, but after I make it all the way through the outline, my plan is to go back through it, integrate more concepts that I may have skipped over in the initial stages, and then go back and edit all of it myself, before handing it off to Caitlin and Alex for suggestions. So far, I’m happy with how it’s come out. It’s kind of straight to the point, but I think that’s how I intended it to be. Whether it turns out to be a mastapeece or a piece of shit, I’ll be fine with it. It’s a good first attempt no matter what, and I’m excited to see what I’m going to learn through the experience of writing it, looking back on it. One thing I’m already starting to learn is that writing a book about a specific concept is a lot harder than just venting. When you’re writing something serious, and for other people, you go over every line of the book over and over and over again to make sure it sounds just right. It’s a stark contrast from our writings in language arts, that are handwritten in forty minutes over a subject that we’ve had literally no time to think about. This is so true. Writing a book is so much more mentally taxing than writing a forum post or a blog. It's good for you though; lifting those heavy mental-weights is what keeps you from going crazy. Looking back through the book and seeing what I've written in it makes me proud, and I'm excited to see where I take it from here. When Mac Miller said, “the more you do the less you wait”, I think he was telling us all something very true and profound. Goes to show that not all potheads are idiots. Because for some reason, after starting to write this novel (that I’m still only 13 pages into - just over 6K words), I’ve had a serious compulsion to write my own fantasy novel as well. I’ve come to love the epic fantasy genre, whether that be in movies or in video games, and while I haven’t read much of it myself, stories like Lord of the Rings, Percy Jackson, and Game of Thrones, as well as my most obvious inspiration, Dark Souls, have really captured a place in my mind that I just can’t let go of. It’s hard to come up with a theme and a world that feels like it hasn’t been created before, but that’s where the fun part comes in; the heavy lifting. I just need to find a time when I can dedicate more time to that. And when I say dedicate more time, I mean seriously. No more of this “dedicating time” where I’m sitting on the computer for two minutes thinking about something before going to check YouTube, Twitter, Amazon, and Twitch. I need to start budgeting my time and scheduling - really prioritizing everything in my life. If I don’t work on my schoolwork and my writing on 105% at all times, I’ll flunk both and end up feeling shittier than I already do. The clock is ticking and I’ve already lost enough time. I'm trying not to sound too "doom and gloom" here, but a good bit of fire under your ass is good for you. Coincidentally, I was actually guilty of checking YouTube once or twice while writing myself into a wall on this blog post. I've gotten better at that though. I also check my phone much less frequently while working out too. Speaking of working out, I got a good workout in today, which is one of the things that really turned my mood around. Never undervalue exercise - your mind craves it. The bell is about to ring, so I’ll be right back to writing when I get home, after I eat and pee, and other stuff, of course. Alright, picking this back up at 7:30. I ate a lot of food, took some pretty long naps, watched some videos, researched some stuff, etc. Not really anything of importance. Picking up where I left off, on the topic of writing books, I’ve also had a craving to buy a laptop. It would seriously be an awesome investment, which would let me write from the Barnes and Noble down the street, or the Starbucks, or anywhere else really. It’s something I’ll need for school, and it would help me do my homework anywhere in the house. Having a portable PC is something that I’ve been undervaluing for a long time. I was initially planning on getting a surface pro 4, but it’s just not what I’m looking for. The kickstand functionality just isn’t convenient when you think about it, and while the build may be solid and the design may look sleek, for the super expensive price tag, it really just seems like they were trying to cram a lot of features into one device and it all just fell flat. The battery life is too short, it’s too small and hard to manage to use as a solid laptop, and it’s too large and heavy to use as a tablet. Not to mention, as someone who doesn’t do anything with art, the stylus and the writing functionality isn’t really something that I’d be using a lot if I’m honest; it’s more of a gimmick than anything. I’ve looked at a lot of other entry level laptops, and I think I’ve found one that I might be interested in. It’s a 15.6 inch acer laptop with 8GB of ram, an i7 2.5ghz dual core processor, 1TB of storage, a 1080p HD touchscreen, and backlit keys. It looks reasonably sized, light, and it’s just what I need. It comes in at just under $600.00, which is $400.00 less than the surface pro 4, not even counting the $130.00 keyboard you have to buy with that, and the $40.00 pen that you have to buy if yours even breaks or gets lost. I could buy this thing right now if I really wanted to, but I know that mom would kill me. I still have to save every last penny I have to throw in with the car mom is looking to buy me, which is fair, but at the same time, she’s telling me that she’s going to force me to buy an SUV. Beggars can’t be choosers I guess, and hey, it’s my first car: as long as it gets me around faster than walking, I’ll take it. My phone and wireless keyboard will have to do for now, as much as that shit sucks. Anyways, as shit as tomorrow is probably going to be with my history test and all, I’m going to try to make it through alright and then relax the rest of Friday so I can get to work on the Nickel and Dimed project. I know I always say that, every fucking time, but considering all of this Nickel and Dimed stuff is due on the 10th, I don’t really have a choice anymore but to just sit down and grind it out. Of course I have Monday and Tuesday night to do it in case I’m not completely finished, but I’d rather not take that as a fallback plan and just do what I have to do on time and have some free time on work days. Getting straight to school work after school is a serious no-no for me. When you really think about it, school is a full time job: it's 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, plus commute and homework. With AP-Classes, it's actually probably more time consuming and mentally stressful than most full time jobs. I'm going to take Friday to make some plans and work on my book to get my head out of the sewer and get things back to normal. It’s all about getting my life back on track I guess. With all of the things that I want to do with my time, I can’t afford to keep squandering all of it because I sleep all day and procrastinate my work until the last minute, therefore keeping me from working on any of the creative projects that I’ve had backed up for weeks and weeks and weeks. That mixtape that Joseph and I were planning on making is probably never going to happen, and if it is, it’ll have to be over the summer. Trying to work on one, and potentially two possible books, is enough work as it is. I’ve also thought about putting up some YouTube videos, or at least some testimonials and experiences for the GameQuitters website when I’m done with the challenge, but that’s a conversation for a month from now. True. I've always wanted to start a YouTube channel, but I never knew exactly what I wanted to make it about. I'd love to make an in depth review of my experiences of the 90 day detox when I'm done with it though, so if that happens, I'll post it here on the forum, and if Cam wants to spread it around or something he can feel free to do so (or you, if you're reading this - lol). On some deep level, I’ve been wondering if it’s the lack of video games in my life that’s been putting my mind off the rails. It’s strange, like, it’s really only been 57 days since I started this, and it feels normal at this point, but I don’t know. Maybe it’s like, I’ve been avoiding real life for so long, diving nose first into video games and video gaming content on the internet, and quitting all of it cold turkey was just too much to handle at once. Letting all of that go, and then getting dumped, and then having my own father move away without telling me, was just too fucking much for my mind to handle. I tried to shove it all on the backburner but it came back to bite me in the ass, bigtime. I guess I wasn’t as mentally strong as I thought; just numb and stupid, trying to cope with my problems through tricking myself into thinking I didn’t care about any of it. (censored sentence) Anyways, I’ve been thinking of making some plans again. I don’t mean with Jorden Morris, who at this point could be living on fucking Mars for all I know, but actually with Alex, Joseph, and Kegan. Even though Alex and I haven’t ever really hung out outside of school, and Kegan never really wants to do anything but sit inside and hide from everyone (or maybe he just doesn’t want to hang with me, who knows), I feel like those are the guys who have my back through thick and thin. I could say the same thing about Dorian, but his thoughts about some stuff are just too fucking far out there for me to handle sometimes. He hasn’t been through enough shit to really relate to someone like me, Joseph, or Jorden. And he makes too many jokes at my expense to be considered a real friend to me anymore, so that’s that. Just simple plans. Eating at the buffet. Having a weekend study sleepover. Something like that. Just to keep myself from having another 64 hour long socially isolated weekend spree, where I don’t step outside and I don’t talk to a single person other than my mom. That shit is really fucking unhealthy for my body and my mind. I’ve got to start getting out more on the weekends. Even if it’s just a walk around the block, I’ve got to fucking get out there. Trying to be more social is literally impossible when I’m in the headspace that I’m in. It’s like Tyler said: you’re crawling from a trench of negativity and trying to make strides in your life, but it’s impossible when you get into negative loops of laziness and your brain is addicted to the negativity. On a certain level, I know that I can go up and talk to anyone. But for some reason, my brain just doesn’t let me. My brain is literally broken. I’ve been walking around the halls with voices going through my head like a fucking schizophrenic and I’m starting to wonder if I’ve developed a light level of that. Or maybe I’ve just developed serious social anxiety. Who knows. I try not to identify with the negative thoughts that come into my head and my own negative view of myself, because I know for the most part, it's all situational. After I worked out a lot of it cleared up, and I realized that a lot of the fucked up shit circulating through my brain is the result of self pity leading me to sleep for hours and hours every day, or conversely, staring blankly at a wall for what seems like an eternity. All I know is that over the weekend, I’ve got to develope a plan to start talking to more people. Expanding my social circle, getting used to talking to strangers, meeting new people, making new friends, getting over my fear of girls, and getting my self confidence back. Masturbating less and quitting looking at porn has helped me with that, I think, but I can’t really be sure until I try it. It’s a lot fucking easier said than done though. One of the main reasons I haven’t done this, to be fair, is that I’m always so busy in the mornings either cramming to finish overdue work or printing out things that I couldn’t print out at home, I end up sprinting to the library and getting stuck in my head before anything even happens. Then I have to sit through an hour of zoning out to the sound of Dr. Brasel’s voice, which doesn’t help. Sleep deprivation also doesn't help with that either. Funny enough, one day, I almost worked up the nerve to talk to a girl last week, but I gave in when I was just barely there. Goes to show that I really can do this, I just need to focus my energy in the right places and really get my head screwed back onto my shoulders. Anyways, I’ve got a test to study for, and I’ve still got to write on the GameQuitters forum, and it’s almost 10:00pm already. Fuck. Gotta run, I’ll check in on you guys reading this, whoever you are, on Sunday night hopefully. Peace out. END. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So that's what's been going on. If you've made it this far, thanks for reading. It really means a lot. Peace.
  15. I agree with Laney. I've had thoughts of going back to gaming for one specific game coming out soon (Dark Souls 3), but I know in the best part of me, I shouldn't, because for me, gaming is a rabbit hole. If I turn that game on, I'm going to play it for twelve hours straight when I first get into it, minimum. It's not something I can deal with in a healthy way. You on the other hand, might be able to go about it in moderation. If that's you, more power to you. But the fact you came onto this forum goes to show that part of you knew that you had a problem on some level as well. Like you, I too started gaming less and less before I decided to quit, but it was only because I knew that gaming so much had me burnt out, and given more time off of them, I'd be more energized to play them once again if given the opportunity.
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