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Gaming the System 006 - James' First 30 Days As a Digital Nomad in Thailand!


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  1. Day 1 I finally feel like I actually have a resolve to stop playing and watching games. Yesterday I was in a low place. I texted in to work. I stayed home and watched a streamer play a game for around 14 hours or so. It's a little insane to think how I could spend 14 hours of my day watching someone playing a game, or playing a game. I've been doing that a lot though. I feel pain (not physical pain), but I can't put my finger on what it is. And when I spend an entire day around gaming, it pushes that pain away, but not for good. Once I get to bed, my brain instantly goes to things other than the game. I think it's a sign that gaming is not all that fulfilling. I went to work today and it was a completely different feel. I'm thankful I had the resilience to get back in there. It's not an easy place to go to, but I just feel better about myself if I do what I'm supposed to be doing, and showing up to work is one of those things. This all started when I had a stretch of days alone at my Mom's house weeks ago. I had no idea the effects would last this long. That's something to remember. I still have so long to go, but I've done this before, and I believe I can do it again. I moved my computer and tv back into the living room, which is a good start. This weekend is going to be a big challenge. One day at a time..
  2. Been a week since my last post. I can't say a whole lot has changed, but I wanted to go ahead and post on here anyways. I hadn't made a firm resolution to stop. I did the same thing again this weekend. I took a day off on Friday and made it a 3-day weekend so I play the game some more. I wanted to master the game more. I wanted to beat that last map more than just once and prove that I had it figured out. And rolling a new map (each map is unique) has a certain thrill with it, especially getting a "good" map and being able to set things up just how I like. Well, I did what I wanted. I beat that last level 3 more times over the weekend. I played Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and watched lots of streams in my other waking hours. I'm not sure what I'm doing at this point. It still doesn't feel like closure. Even with back to back 3-day weekends, it still didn't feel like enough time. In both cases, I was pushing past my bed time Sunday night, still involved with gaming and watching streams. I still envision rolling a perfect map, set up just the way I want it. And...while watching other streamers I saw another, completely different game I'm intrigued about. So just by dipping my toe in the water of the streaming world, I feel I'm now battling the desire to play something I didn't even know about a few days ago. Because I could definitely see myself sinking a lot of time in this other game as well. Not sure where to go from here. The only thing in the near future I have to pull myself away from these games is work this week and a volleyball league in a few days..
  3. I'm going to post even though I don't want to.. In my previous post I still had plans to game. I knew I didn't feel done yet. I had one last level I wanted to beat. I actually took this past Friday off from work so I could get back at the game and focus on it. This was actually a planned day off from work so it felt much better, rather than me texting in at the last minute. My favorite time to game is in the morning, that's when my brain seems to be the most rested and adept. I don't like playing at night b/c there's that impending doom feeling that either I'm about to have to go to bed or I should already be in bed. So I had a 3-day weekend to get in all the gaming I want, get it "out of my system". Well, I beat the level. I beat it Saturday morning. But guess what? I went back to the game after that. I still had a lot of weekend left and I just didn't want to let go of the game yet. I re-played the level and lost. And then I lost again. And again. I was starting to think me winning the one time was a fluke, an anomaly. Me being stubborn, I really wanted to figure this out and show I had mastered this. It's not like I was playing on the toughest difficulty or anything. I ended up playing the game through Saturday and Sunday night. Between Saturday and Sunday it was more of me either playing or watching the game more than 12 hours a day. It was an absolute binge this weekend. And it still feels unresolved. I never got a 2nd win on this last level, which nags at me. Now it's back to the work week for me today. I won't have another day off for another 5 days. I could play after work this week, but it just doesn't feel the same. I feel very conflicted right now. I want to play the game some more but I want to leave it. Just being honest, that's where I'm at..
  4. It's been a while, too long. I think it'd be good for me to post on here once a week. Coming here helps remind me the impact gaming has had on my life. I made it about 80 days, which was awesome. It was actually getting easier. I absolutely dove into disc golf. I was playing and practicing multiple times a week. I actually got too far into it, to where I was obsessing about which discs to get (there are a lot of options) and would look at forums online at work. That being said, it was a way healthier obsession than video games. Getting outside, being physical, and sometimes playing with friends too -- all way better than gaming. So much more real. I was still struggling with my other issue, but I've kept with the counseling. But then I had a weekend where I agreed to do some dog-sitting at my Mom's house while she was out of town. I love going out there b/c she's got lots of land and space. There aren't even any neighbors to speak of. It's quiet, isolated. A much different place from where I usually live, where the houses are packed together. And I love the dogs too. It's a beautiful place to watch the sunset and maybe have a beer and a cigar too. Well, the downside is I feel a certain comfort there that I feel nowhere else. Which means I don't really push myself. There's a tendency for me to fall into whatever feels good. This is where porn and video games started in my life. I know I bring them up together, but both of them came into my life at an early age, around 12 or so, and they both impacted my life in a major negative way. So that's basically what happened over the weekend. I had time to kill, I was alone, and I did what felt good, regardless of the negative consequences and risk they could bring. That included video games. I created a Steam account and played a game I haven't played for almost 3 months. I played one "map" in the game, beginning on Saturday afternoon and finishing it Sunday afternoon. Maybe about 8 hours between the 2 days. Then I uninstalled Steam and requested this new account be deleted. I wasn't done there though. I watched some streamers play the same game later that night. The next morning I texted into work, and watched more streamers. I watched about 8 hours of streamers within the 2 days. The next day my Mom came back and I went back to my house. I thought I was done at that point, time to start fresh. Back to living with roommates, back to work, already started the process of deleting my account; the circumstances weren't as favorable to me gaming more. I almost posted on here. I wish I would have. I made it 4 days without. Gaming was barely on my mind. I went to counseling, and even to a support group. Things were looking up. But Friday I had some drinks with some friends. Saturday morning I was a bit hungover and tired -- that's a recipe for gaming. I cancelled my plans of going to another support group and church later. And then I remembered I still have a Steam account with the game. I could play some more maps in the game. And I did. I went on a binge this last weekend, and it was much more severe than the previous weekend. Between Saturday and Sunday, I played the game at least 12 hours a day. The weekend wasn't enough though. There was one more "level" that I wanted to get through, but it's the hardest one. Thank God I made it to work yesterday, but I went straight back to the game and that last level after work. And I failed at it, again and again and again. I didn't want to post on here yet b/c I'm basically set in my mind that I'm going to play this game until I beat this last level, and I'd rather post on here when I'm committed to stop for good. But I figured it's better to go ahead and get current and reflect. I know that I don't need to beat this game, that I'd be better off not being a "completionist" in this case. But I just don't feel I can stop at this point. So the plan is to hopefully beat this last map within the next few days and move on with my life. I've got to go to work this week, it's not optional. After I beat that level, leave the games and the streams behind, like I was doing before. Sorry for the long post -- that's what happens when I haven't in multiple months! Thanks for reading if you made it this far..
  5. Day 41 I want to be honest and say from the start that I did play a video game last weekend, but I'm not restarting my days. Here's why: I do think, with this particular count, the circumstance does matter. This isn't like porn, which I believe is objectively immoral in its own right. No, I don't believe it's "wrong" to simply play a video game, assuming the game itself is wholesome. If I'm too hard on myself about this, I could make myself believe I'm doing worse than I really am and I'm not making progress. The term "scrupulous" comes to mind -- in my religion, it usually brings a negative connotation with it. Here's what happened, and then I'll move on. I was at my Mom's house for the weekend. I was sick. I had time to kill, gaming was not going to take me away from any sort of previous obligations or commitments. I spent a good chunk of the weekend watching a Major golf tournament, the U.S. Open. As part of the golf experience, I pulled out one of our old PS2's with a Tiger Woods' game and played a few rounds on Saturday. This amounted to maybe 1 hour of play. After I was done, I put everything back up and moved on. There were a few factors that make me believe I was never in real danger of going into the deep end and completely losing myself: 1. This was an old game (2003 Tiger Woods, over 15 years old) -- the graphics by today's standards were atrocious. 2. It's a sports game. From my previous experience, I never had much of an issue limiting my time spent on sports games. It was the role playing games that I really lost myself in. 3. I actually found the game itself to be pretty boring once I started playing a few holes. An interesting question though: What would consist of me needing to reset my days? As mentioned above, if it took me away from some sort of commitment (i.e., going to church, going to work). Spending 5 or more hours in one day playing, especially alone. Playing 3 or more days consecutively. In my case, watching an online stream or recorded video for more than 2 hours. Those seem like pretty clear guidelines that I could use for future reference. Moving on.. I feel alright about other things in my life. Not great, but alright. Here's an update on some stuff: Been continuing counseling, which I see myself doing for a long time to come. I think it's good b/c it gets me out of my own head and it provides a place for me to check in with my challenges and goals on a regular basis. It's accountability. One of the key things he pointed out is my mind is likely attached to a sense of "excitement", which can sometimes lead me away from doing the right thing. For example, I remember I skipped a good amount of classes in college. There was this initial rush I got when my mind flipped from "I'm going to class" to "I'm not going to class and I'm going to do X instead." I need to work on steadying my mind and keep my resolve. Keep the body moving towards the goal, even if the mind is resisting. Eventually it won't be a deal anymore. A huge goal of mine has been to either get to confession or go to a support group. Well, I've attempted to do both within the last few weeks. One time it was cancelled and another time it was moved to another location without my knowledge (that can happen if you don't show up regularly). I think my initial response to have self-pity when I finally made an effort to pursue these things and it didn't go the way I foresaw it. Like I felt abandoned and that something beyond me was going against me. But after some more reflection, I realized that if I had been working harder previously on maintaining some connections within those groups -- I likely would have avoided all that pain in the first place. So the plan is to just keep at it. I've shown I can go to those things, build on that. And I also made a call to a guy from one of the groups. Have continued playing disc golf and volleyball. It's getting unpleasantly hot here, but hasn't stopped me from getting out and taking advantage of the longer days. A guy from work asked me to sign up for a workout program that starts in a few weeks. I'm nervous as hell, especially about how out of shape I am and how hard this is going to be, but I'm also excited about the potential of getting fit and losing weight. It felt like an opportunity to build something with a workout buddy, and I hope it works out. It's been really nice not dealing with gaming. Pushing for 50 days now..
  6. Day 30 It's been quite some time since I've posted on here. I haven't been gaming or watching Twitch, so that's a big plus. I can't really point to a specific day when it happened. I wish I would have tracked when i stopped so I could know how many days, but I'm not sure it matters that much. I know at the end of April, I had deleted all my Steam accounts (yes, I had 3 of them). I may have stopped since the last post. I'm just going to say it's been about 30 days. Here's some updates: I've been seeing a counselor. I believe I've seen him 2 sessions and today is the third. I didn't exactly expect him to turn my life around in a short period, but I do find myself relying on him mentally from time to time. For example, when I'm getting really down on myself about not doing something I feel like I should, I think "That's something I can check in with my counselor." I've come full circle about seeing a counselor. I used to think he was basically just a stepping stone for me to get help with going to 12-step groups and it was better for me to be putting that money towards debt than on sessions, but I've come to realize my life is better and has more accountability if I'm seeing a counselor. Period. I started a new job about 3 weeks ago. It's been completely different than my last one. I felt overloaded with work in my previous role and had a lot of hard deadlines to meet. But there was structure and, for the most part, I knew what I was doing and how to do it. In this new role, my manager has been very hands off. There's basically been 0 training, a lot of me learning on my own. It's up to me to approach him for work and guidance. The expectations of what I produce haven't been very clear or detailed. It seems a lot more laid back, but I also have a fear that I'm not really contributing much, b/c it is a lot of new things for me to learn about. Just have to take it one day at a time I suppose and build on my knowledge as time goes on. At the very least, it's been nice to be able to breathe and not be as stressed about my workload As I mentioned, it's probably been at least 30 days without gaming or watching streams. This has certainly been a positive change, probably more than I give credit for. Over the last few weeks, I've spent more time reading, writing, and meditating. I've basically been obsessed with the sport of disc golf, which I think is overall a wonderful thing. I'm so grateful to have that as a hobby. It's so much better than gaming or porn. I'm not nearly as afraid to "lose myself" in something like that as I am those other things. My other addiction has been going terribly. It's affected me significantly financially. I could have made much more headway in my debt so far this year if I was putting in the work for healing from this addiction. It is the hardest thing I've had in my entire life. I feel disheartened sometimes and that I'm not actually making any progress at all. I'm concerned about my future, especially financially, but also that I'll never be able to attract the right woman for me. I have to try to stay positive. Starting to see a counselor was a good step. Stick with it. Last week I drove to go to confession, which historically has been a really positive experience for me. It turned out to be cancelled, but still, I made the effort and took the action. Don't give up on these things. It's still been 8-10 months since I've been to a meeting, but there's no good reason why I can't go in the very near future. My goal is to post on here once a week, probably on Sundays, so hopefully I'll be checking again soon.
  7. I guess it's been over a month since my last post -- it is amazing how time goes by. Things haven't been going so well. Today was another "work from home" day, and I've done almost 0 work. I was sick yesterday and didn't make it in either. So after a solid week of hard work last week, I'm dreading tomorrow and the rest of this week b/c I've dug myself in a hole and have a ton to do to catch up. It's so irritating to me how quickly I can lose momentum at work. If I take a few days off, I get way behind. And it's not just easy stuff with simple solutions. So that's one negative aspect of my life - the stress and tension I feel about work. As far as gaming, I've been watching Twitch regularly. There's a particular streamer that I keep coming back to. It's hard to explain why b/c I've seen him play the game so much that it's lost it's luster. Yet, I continue to be drawn to watching him play. It's an amazing timekiller. I can be absolutely mindless while watching him. So those are a few negative things. But I do have a few things to build on.. I have counseling later today. I've been so tired of saying that I'm going to go to a support group and not going, that I decided to try a different approach and talk to someone 1 on 1 about it. I don't really expect him to completely turn my life around in 1 session, especially given right now, where I don't feel all that motivated and feel a lot of apathy. But I know it can't hurt. And from past experience -- talking things out with a counselor often does help me make some steps that I just couldn't do on my own. So while I'm a little concerned that I may have put too much hope into this session today and I'm also not sure how well we'll click since it is the first session, I can also already say I made a move to better myself, and I'm grateful for that I deleted my Steam accounts. Yeah, I had 3 different Steam accounts. B/c if I tried to put myself in self-exile from one, I'd just open another one. Well, all 3 are permanently deleted now. That's not going to prevent me from gaming if I want to in the future. But it is a barrier. I moved my computer out of my bedroom into my living room. There's more accountability when I have it out here. I was sick yesterday, but feeling much better today. I got to spend a lot of time over the weekend with family. Even though I haven't been consistent with it the last few days, I have a job and steady income. If I work hard the rest of the week, I'll make progress. Just need to take things one step at a time. Speaking of the job - it appears I'm going to be transferred to a different department I applied for, I'm just waiting to get the official offer. I think that would be a great move for me - starting fresh somewhere and I don't actually like what I'm doing now. I'll try to post more regularly on here. I need to stop watching Twitch if I'm going to get serious about bettering myself. Need to think about giving it up completely for a few days.
  8. Well, I successfully made it 30 days without gaming or streaming. And it felt pretty good. I didn't make the big step of getting to a support group, but I did pick up on a few good habits like reading more, actually flossing my teeth, and made an effort to see an old friend over one of the weekends. But then it all came crashing down. A few weekends ago, I was bored and thought I could get away with gaming for "just one day". As is often the case, the reality was much longer. I moved my computer back into my bedroom, which was a bad sign to begin with. It probably would have been a good idea for me to post on here before I went through with that. The rest is history. I've spent the last few weeks living like a slob, watching a ton of Twitch and playing a ton of They Are Billions. I missed work again. Decided to take last Friday off so I could binge on the game for 3 days straight. Today I "worked from home" and reinstalled Steam and the game and played again. I just lost a game. I feel frustrated, and there's a part of me that wants to master this game, especially this last "level" that is so difficult. I've beat it, but I want to be able to beat it consistently and with style. But, for now, there was a bigger part of me that wanted to say "I'm done with this game" and move on with my life. And that's why I'm posting here. I know the temptation will come back. Video games do such an amazing job of stimulating the mind and helping you escape and kill time. But the highs of gaming also comes with the inevitable lows, at least for me. The depressed thoughts, feeling of emptiness, irritation that I've pass so much of my life on this and have forgone opportunities like meeting a potential girlfriend or developing strong friendships. I'm tired of the lows. It's not worth it. So it's time to get back on the horse again. I got bucked off for the last few weeks, but it's time to keep at it.. Where I've been, what the symptoms were: Missing work without planning it, texting boss at last minute that I'm going to take the day off so I can game Moving computer back into my bedroom Eating in my room and making an effort to avoid my roommate. Piling trash in my room from fast food Watching porn basically daily Avoiding social opportunities - my Dad invited me to have lunch with him, and I declined so I could game Where to go from here (be specific): Move my computer into the living room by 10 p.m. tonight Go to a support group meeting by Saturday. 3 Things I'm grateful for: I love this time of the year. The weather is perfect. Not too hot, not too cold. And the days are getting longer again. I will be starting beach volleyball soon, a passion of mine. I have a job and an income, even with my inconsistency at work
  9. Day 29 I had my car towed to the shop this morning. On one hand, it's not how I wanted it to go down. I would have rather the car started on its own and me not have to pay the tow fee. On the other, the tow fee was less than I expected and the process was actually pretty quick and painless. Progress was made. Now I can have peace of mind my car is where it should be, at the shop, rather than sitting in a parking lot. I should hear back about the car by the end of the day. I'm hoping I can get it back within the next few days and it'll be $200 or less, but we'll see. I set a goal of working for 4 hours today. I've worked about 2 and 1/2. I had some initial motivation after getting the car done this morning, but it's sort of dissipated and I don't feel like doing any more. I feel checked out, want to put it off until tomorrow. Feeling a bit down right now, unmotivated to do anything. Being behind on work and the car in the shop contribute to the feeling. I did just do some reading of past journal entries, and I realized I haven't reached out to my ex-girlfriend in 15 months. Once I found out she got married, I never contacted her again. Some may not understand, but that's a big deal for me. I was having a real hard time keeping boundaries with her. Granted, she did the same with me, but not to the same extent, and not after a certain point. It's tough sometimes, to think back on her. I don't think the pain will truly ease until I face myself and work on some things.
  10. Well, I wanted to check in.. After that last post I slipped. I did not game, but I gave into Twitch. I rationalized it would be okay for me to go to Twitch out of "curiosity". I was curious what games are the most popular to be streamed right now as opposed to when I was watching a little while back, and if a certain streamer I like had changed things up or not. Well, I set myself up for failure. Once I got to the website and got answers to those questions, I naturally wanted to poke around a bit more, and I found some content that I really wanted to watch. So I ended watching streams until about 3 in the morning and got 4 hours of sleep last night. It made for a miserable day at work today. This is on top of the stress and frustration of my vehicle being broken down...and work has just been tough lately. I'm really thankful I went in today. I would be in a much, much worse position if I didn't have my job, and I should respect it. I think I can bounce back from this and continue with the no gaming/no streaming resolution. I read that It takes 2-3 days to break a good habit. I believe there's something to that. In other words, if I withdrawal from gaming for 3 months and then game for a few hours one day...if I wish to go back to abstaining, the chances are much lower if I stretch that one day of gaming into three days of gaming. And so in my situation - it's very important I don't go back to watching streams for the next couple of days. I believe I can do that. Car situation still sucks, but tomorrow I'm going to make a decision to have it towed if it doesn't start, so at least I can move onto the next phase with that. Work from home tomorrow, which has spelled basically doing 0 work the last few weeks. I know it'll be a bit distracting with dealing with my car too, but I need to try to knock out a solid 4 hours of work. It's not ideal, but it would be a big improvement on my track history this year. I was planning to just come in and not work from home going forward, but this vehicle situation is a legitimate reason to stay here and take care of that.
  11. Day 27 Wow, it's sort of surprising it's almost been a month since I've played a game or watched a stream. On one hand, I can see the changes over the last month. I've been better about getting to bed on time, separating myself from technology, and leaving myself open to different things. I've also had some days where I've worked really hard and I'm proud of that. More hard working days with less gaming. But..there's still so much room for improvement. I've sort of been living in limbo, on the fence -- not dedicating myself to recovery or God. This week was not good, both in terms of what was in my control and what was not. I worked from home on Tuesday and did almost no work. Both of my roommates were out of town on Wednesday so I used a sick day at work even though I was fine. So that was 2 wasted days, just sitting around the house. I felt really down, especially Wednesday. And by me not doing any work those 2 days, it made for more work when I got back in the office, a lot more work. I did a decent amount of work Thursday and Friday, but I still felt a bit defeated. I hate the feeling that you're never catching up. You take care of one thing but then another thing pops up. I felt down on Friday too. Been doing terrible with my other addiction. Then Saturday my car wouldn't start. It's not a simple problem like the battery. It will randomly start sometimes and not start at others. I've had this issue with this car before, I ended up having to take it to the dealership, which I try to avoid if at all possible. The car thing is really frustrating, I didn't take it well. I used that to rationalize making poor decisions over the weekend, as though I needed to do some stupid stuff to cope. The car is still sitting in the Walmart parking lot. I don't want to pay to have it towed, but if it doesn't start in the next few days, it seems I may need to. I hate having this sort of stuff hanging over my head. Car problems are never ending. And the irony is, I could easily have a more reliable car if I just made better decisions over the last few years. It's tempting to just buy one with a loan, but I know that's really stupid, especially in my situation since I've still got heaps of debt. Forecasting...I hope this week goes better. I hope the car issue can be resolved by the end of the week. I hope I get caught up with work, at least for the most part. I hope I don't make poor decisions and rationalizing "coping" again. If I went to a support group, that would be a huge step for me. Grateful for: I have a spare car right now. My mom and aunt drove up with a spare car at my Mom's house. That's a huge break for me so I'm not relying on others to take me around. Weather has warmed up the last few days and it's been quite nice Found a book I enjoy
  12. Day 20 It's almost been 3 weeks. Making my way towards 90 days. During the week, I've been very busy with work. I don't particularly like my job, but it's been a great way to keep my mind off of gaming for huge chunks of time. It brings structure to my life. I'm grateful for it. I'm in a situation where I need a job. I've got loads of debt. I've had enough work that I even thought of logging in over this weekend. But I think I'll be alright. If I need to, I can stay late a few days next week. Keep work at work. I think that's important for my sanity. Weekends continue to be my major trigger. This weekend was a large amount of unplanned time, again. It's not good. I can't expect continuing to spend so much time alone over the weekends and getting away not falling back to gaming or watching games. Yesterday I spent a good amount of time writing, and then later working on getting my room together. My roommate invited me to a party last night. I said no. Instead I just basically did nothing. I felt alot of negative feelings about telling him no. I guess that was an indicator it was a bad answer. That was a great opportunity for me to get out, which was exactly what I needed, and he also made himself vulnerable by asking me to go. Sure, I could give the excuse that he didn't give me much notice and I wasn't in the "mindset" of going out. But that's just part of life - adjusting and being open to experiences. Today, last day before the week starts. Not much going on today either. I have a goal to get off of caffeine, which I've done in the past. Today is the first day. We'll see how it goes, I expect I'll get a headache at some point today and feel more tired throughout as well. I've been watching a lot of a TV show lately, which is preferable to gaming, but also not all that fulfilling. I was thinking this morning how I'd like to just watch TV in my room alot of the day, but I don't have a TV in there. This is by design. I should think about what's stopping me from watching alot of TV in our living room. Is it shame? Is it b/c I don't want to be exposed to my roommates or don't want them to interrupt my focus?
  13. Day 13 Almost 2 weeks with no gaming or watching streamers. It feels good to have some distance from that. I did have some temptation this weekend. Friday after work I was sort of torn about what to do. I wanted to stay out of trouble, and I debated on calling a friend. He's not exactly the best influence (we're almost always drinking), but on the other hand, it seemed hanging out with him was preferable to me either giving into video games again or acting out with my other addiction. So I called him up and went over to his place. We did drink alot. I drank too much. But, I'm glad I got to catch up with him, and grateful that we also got to catch some good live music and get a few games of darts in. I went over to my Mom's Saturday to drop off a laptop I just bought. I like having one over there since she doesn't have a good computer over there. I intentionally bought one that is small and doesn't have the power to play games, or at least the advanced ones (it also worked out b/c it was cheaper). The house she lives in is where I essentially started and developed the gaming part of my life. We still have a ton of old games and some of the older systems there. Since she was working I had the house to myself most of the day, and it was an idea to pull out one of those old ones for nostalgia's sake. But I didn't. Spent some time organizing my computer stuff, trying to keep the setup efficient and to a minimum. Today was another open day. I watched a few episodes of anime. Seemed like a much better alternative than gaming. It did an effective job of killing the time. Tomorrow begins the workweek again. Work has been tough lately, more problems and work than usual. I've been putting in more hours. It can be stressful and frustrating, but it also gives me a sense of purpose to do this much work. Feel like I'm earning my paycheck. I set my alarm for 10 minutes earlier for tomorrow. I want to shift my schedule a little earlier, now that I'm legitimately putting in at least 8 hours a day. I've also used work to rationalize out of doing things after work. I want to get to a recovery group again. I'm not happy with my life. I want to connect with a woman, but I know I'm not ready. My goal is to go to one on Tuesday night, even if it's a long day at work, even if I'm tired or some other excuse seems to come up. Change is not comfortable.
  14. Last time to game was on Monday, 2/11. I gamed after my last post on here. It was a Sunday afternoon. I had just had some lunch with my Dad and the rest of my day was wide open. The game was still lingering on my mind, and I went for it. I beat the "challenge" I had struggled so long with, but it came with a price. I texted into work on Monday morning to play the game some more. That's 3 unplanned PTO days I've used already this year. Just doesn't look good. I also started another map in the game after I finished that game, but I quit mid-game b/c I was just sick and bored of the game. Tuesday came, and I made some efforts to improve my life again. I actually worked for a few hours, which isn't the ideal amount, but it's a hell of a lot better than 0 hours. I took some initiative to get some car repairs done that I had put off for quite some time. And maybe more importantly, I moved my damn computer from my bedroom to the living room again. Since I made that move, I've not watched Twitch or played any games. I've also tried something new where I keep my phone outside my bedroom when I go to bed at night. I'm using an alarm clock to wake up now instead of my phone. So far it's been great. Unplugging at night has ensured I get to bed at a decent hour, and it gives me a reason to read. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I worked more than a 8-hour full shift at work. In my 8-year career at my company, I've never done that. I don't feel I'm owed anything. Rather, I feel as much as I've slacked off, I owe my company. Work has been stressful lately as I've had more than I can handle in a day and I feel I'm always trying to catch up. I also feel concerned my company doesn't think through some of its decisions and am seeing some of the ramifications of that. But at the end of the day, if I can say I put in 8 hours of hard work, I feel a sense of pride and okay about myself. If I treat work like I did the first 2 days of the week, I can't have much confidence I'll be able to keep my job. But if I continue to treat work like I did the last 3 days of the week, it's reasonable to think management has my back and will want to keep me around. My best approach is for me to put my head down and grind away, trusting that God is with me, even in the lowest of lows. So today is Day 6. I'm counting days again and my ultimate goal is 90. I won't say the game didn't come to mind throughout this weekend. Or that I don't have this other huge issue of lust that I've really got to get some help with. But...six days without gaming is the best I've done for quite some time, and it feels good to be unplugged from it for a while.
  15. I've had a hard time letting go of a certain game. The last few weeks has been somewhat frightening b/c I've really pushed things farther than I have in a long time. Here are some examples of flags: I stayed up until 5 a.m. one morning playing a game when i had a wedding to go to with some close friends the next day. It's extremely rare for me to stay up that late, and even more so from gaming. I work typical shifts for my job during the week, so to completely flip my sleep schedule like that takes a lot of drive b/c I'm usually very tired if I'm up past midnight. There was another instance early this morning where I woke up in the middle of the night, around 3 a.m., and my adrenaline was pumping so much to play this game that I started playing the game around 3:30 a.m. This is another thing that is unheard of in my life. In the past, if I fell into gaming, it was usually on the weekends. But starting to play in the middle of the night during the week. I don't know if I've ever done that before. These changes in sleep patterns are bad for my body. As I'm getting older, I'm less able to adaptive to those sort of changes. I feel worse. If I'm playing a game at 3 in the morning, I feel like crap, but the game has been enough to numb that bad feeling. Along with the sleep schedule change I've been drinking energy drinks, coffee, and soda. I believe the caffeine is also harmful to my body. Not only is it bad for my body, but messing with my sleep schedule puts my job at risk. If I'm running on 3 hours of sleep, I'm not going to want to go to work. On Tuesdays I get to work from home. Since the new year came around, most Tuesdays I've done next to no work. Today I gamed during work hours. I had 2 monitors set up and would regularly click on the "work monitor" to make it show I'm available. Every Tuesday this year I've had my computer in my bedroom. It's not good for me. If my boss caught on to how little work I was really doing here, I could expect consequences. Besides that, I just feel guilty about being on the clock and not doing anything. It's a rotten feeling in the pit of my stomach. It's so different than actually working hard for a day and feeling good about myself. Piling up trash in my bedroom, mostly fast food Eating in my bedroom, piling up dishes in my room instead of washing them after I'm done Intentionally avoiding my roommates. Waiting until I know they're not in the kitchen so I can sneak in there and get some food or something to drink. Watching streamers and searching for people playing the same game I've been playing More times of just feeling depressed or hopeless. This is where I"ve been in 2019. It's been crap. I can point to a few positive things, but most days it's been bad. Today started out as a tough day, starting to game in the wee hours of the morning. I failed at the game. Then I tried again after some sleep and failed the game again. And I did no work today. It's hard for me to let go of the game b/c I never beat a certain difficulty/level. It feels like I'm backing away from a challenge. Like it was a puzzle that I didn't finish. If I put more effort and time into it, I could beat it. The accomplishment side of me really wants to achieve completing that last task. But I said no today. I'm tired of the game. I'm tired of feeling like I'm forced to play it rather than actually having joy. I'm tired of it feeling like a burden. I'm tired of the frustration of losing, tired of me saying "one more time" and it not being one more time. I realize there are people trying to make money on the other side of the game. They are spending countless hours trying to make the game addictive. I realize the game is flawed. I realize I feel a million times better after playing a few hours of disc golf than I do playing a few hours of a video game. I uninstalled the game and Steam. I cleaned the house, did some laundry, and got some sleep. I watched @Cam Adair 's documentary. It helped. It helped me to slow down. I'm so thankful for this community. I hope today is a day is the start to something better.
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