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karabas

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  1. Wow, I can't believe it's been almost a year since my last post. I checked the dates and it's been just over a year since I last quit games. So far that's been going strong - unless you count some mobile gaming, but it's been fairly mild. No significant cravings either. We're in the process of the trans-Atlantic move now. It's kinda thrown me out of whack. During the lockdown I stayed at home a lot and was able to develop some habits and good routines. I was quite productive. So when I traveled back to my home country this May to sort out some paperwork, it wrecked my habits big time. I got back into watching Netflix and Youtube, stopped a lot of my productive habits. I still haven't recovered 2 months later. To be fair, we've had very unstable lives in that time. Lots of moving around, packing, working out of cafes and the like. But it's having a very detrimental impact on my productivity. Before May, I was doing 15-min pomodorros with a 5 minute break after each and I was thinking of increasing it to 20 minutes. Now I find 15 minutes of focus unbearable. The other culprit of this has been the smartphone - I've stuck to my flip phone for most of the past year, but I needed a smartphone for my trip in May and I haven't gone back to the flip phone since. This has also been a drain on my focus (and time). I don't really know what to do about this. It'll be another couple of months until our lives stabilize somewhat. I don't have a lot of ideas about how to get my life in order. I know that this forum is about gaming and that's not what I'm struggling with, but I think the problem is the same. Gaming, Netflix, Youtube - these things are a distraction from what really matters in life. I've come to realize that I'm not really going to be able to ever beat my distractions. An alcoholic can't stay sober if he's constantly surrounded by free bottles of liquor - neither can I. So I've made some life plans to get away from the computer as much as possible in the medium to long term. God only knows if I'll be successful. I'm not sure if I'll be posting more, but I just wanted to write about these things to give myself some motivation to take productivity seriously again.
  2. Heya! I hope all is well. Just wanted to drop by and say hi and hope you're doing and feeling great. God bless!
  3. Hey guys, it's been about 72 days since quitting games now? Gaming itself has not been an issue. Haven't thought about it, haven't looked back. Thank God. Bigger issue has been getting into stuff that's not directly related to my goals (work, study, building my career). Lately I've really gotten into genealogy. Did a DNA test, dug up a lot of ancestors. Turns out the records from my grandmother's tiny village in Eastern Europe are fully scanned online, so I could figure out my ancestors a good 8 generations back to the early 1800s. Kinda nuts. But the drawback has been that I've been fully immersed in this stuff and barely working. Work is slipping by... studies aren't happening. And sure, OK, at some point I'll get bored with this (probably once it gets harder to find stuff, plus I'm exhausting the resources available online, at some point I'll need to go to the archives in various cities and countries in person and that's a heck of a lot harder). But the problem is that inevitably, I find something else to occupy myself with. None of the stuff I get distracted with is truly a "waste of time". I haven't even been watching all that much video or movies (blocked netflix & amazon video on my computers, put a timer on youtube). But it inevitably takes me away from my actual responsibilities and things that I'd really like to accomplish within the next year or so. It also makes me stay up late to catch up, but I inevitably just waste more time and go to sleep late. Not sure how to fix this. I think lack of sleep is probably a major drain on focus. And the quarantine is starting to wear off on me. I'm in the Bay Area, we've been locked down since March. The city I'm in has had like 100 cases since the lockdown started (100K+ population), but everything's still closed. It's ridiculous. I'm not complaining about my own situation - I'm working from home and am in no way affected financially by any of this, so I recognize I'm super blessed to not be concerned about that right now. But I think I'm starting to go a bit stir-crazy from sitting in the same studio apartment in front of the same screen for over half a year. Anyway, just writing this on here. Right now I don't have a lot of solutions except get a lot of sleep tomorrow and try to force myself to go to bed early the next day. But I've been singing that song for months now and it hasn't been happening. Let's see how things go...
  4. Thanks! We all tested negative... although God knows if that's accurate. My wife got tested 4 days after symptoms, I got tested 11 days after my symptoms. COVID tests generally decrease in accuracy after 4 days or so, from what I've heard from doctors working with the disease. It's so sad that this is the situation in America... my wife is from a 3rd world country and her uncle back home got tested within 24 hours and received the results the next day. Anyway, we're all feeling better now, thank God. And I guess it's day 32ish for my detox? Got my Steam account deletion confirmation, so I've successfully stayed away from games during the "danger" period. At this point, getting a new account and buying games again is a significant difficulty. Obviously, it didn't stop me during my last relapse, but it did help me go over a year without games. Hoping this time I'm done for realz. Honestly, I haven't had a lot of reason to crave games. My wife and I recently made some important life decisions for the future, including a trans-Atlantic move back to country of birth, so I've been busy planning that out. I've also been able to finally shift my schedule to dedicate a lot more time to working on my business. At this rate of progress, I'm hoping I could launch it in a few months, God willing. I'm pretty stoked about all of it and excited to get started. I've restricted my video watching to 45mins/day using the Focus app & completely blocked Netflix & Amazon Prime. It's been working quite well. I mostly spend my video watching on educational content as it is, at least for now. I've been generally off of social media. Things have been getting so toxic, I don't really have the urge to go back. I have my password archived in my email somewhere so that I can log back in if necessary, but it's too much work and unnecessary. I have been spending more time just reading stuff online. Both related to our upcoming move and to just random interests. The latest one has been on the Proto-Indo-European language, which is fun for me since I know 3 languages, each from a different branch of the family. It's crazy how you can see the common roots once you understand how the sound changes happened. But overall, this past week has been my most productive since April, so I think it's a solid win. I've also been able to finally start going to bed at a decent hour. Praying that I can keep that up, because my sleep was getting absolutely nightmarish (sleeping in chunks of 3-4 hours at a time, broken up). Overall, things are going well. Figured I'd check in and leave a note. Hope everyone's detoxes are going well! And success is only through God ❤️
  5. Just seeing your posts about this (not around on the forums very much nowadays). So sorry to hear about this. May the Almighty bring down the cure along with serenity and contentment in Him. "The wound is the place where the Light enters you." ~Rumi
  6. Day 14 Wow, I can't believe I'm finishing day 14! It hasn't really gone as I planned... My wife and I came down with something (likely covid). Hers is worse than mine, I just have a ton of fatigue. I sleep 12+ hours a day and still get up tired. It's slowly getting worse, but it really wrecked my productivity. I also made some important life decisions in the last week and, as it always happens with me in these situations, got super excited about planning my future life out. It actually concerns me a bit that I've been living in the future essentially of the past year, maybe more, but in a way, this gives me motivation to keep working towards a goal I really want. That's probably better than not having a goal. Anyhoo, I'm hoping that I can slowly get back into productivity. In the meantime, I'm getting a ton of sleep! I've been using my Focus app to limit my youtube and it's overall been working (i set it to a 45 min timer). I think getting my dumb phone also helped a lot: I'm no longer wasting time gaming on my smartphone or reading news/memes/whatever. I'm pretty sure that's at least 2 hours a day that I end up devoting to something more useful/less harmful. So that's pretty much it. Hopefully my next update will be a bit more full of productivity!
  7. Day 3 I'm about to head to sleep, having done 3 days without gaming. On day 1 I went and got a flip phone. It's crazy how scary it was to shut off my smartphone and come to terms that I'm now using this very limited tool. Surprisingly, the biggest thing I miss isn't what I was using my smartphone for most of the time (gaming, checking news, reading random **** online), but the ability to look up the answer to any question right there on the spot. Getting off my phone has definitely done a good one for me. I probably gained back a good hour or two a day from not reading random crap I don't need online and not spending more time in the bathroom than I need to because I'm on my smartphone. That's a definitely a win. Gaming also gave me an extra 90 minutes a day, which is great. I haven't really missed it and I hope it stays that way. I've had a few minor cravings, but nothing major so far. Today was the first day I've put in a full 6 hours of work. I like being consistent, so I aim for 6 days of 6 hours of work each. 6 hours might not seem all that much, but it's pure work. Unlike at a desk job, where taking a break still counts as being at work, I only get paid for the actual time I spend working... so 6 hours is quite a good amount of effort. I'm going to bed later than I'd like (it's almost 3 am here), but I did have a bunch of stuff that came up today that was unexpected that ate up a bunch of my time. I did end up wasting time on Netflix. It was the one show I feel OK with watching (Alone from the History channel), but I shouldn't have allowed myself to spend so much time on it or to let it keep me up. I need to create plans in the Focus app to shut all that kind of stuff off once it gets later at night. In terms of getting distracted, I've been doing really well. I've been using the whole paperclip trick to try to reprogram my brain when I want to distract myself, but it's obviously way too early for it to have any effect. Overall, I'm surprised with how much focus I have. Not sure where it's coming from. Hope this continues. I know I have my ups and downs. I need to make use of the ups and create some habits and other systems so that once I get hit with one of my lows, the impact is not as terrible. And success is only through God! <3
  8. ?? Edit: sorry, I didn't realize you were referring to a forum user 🙂 YouTube is probably the only thing I'd be willing to keep if I was able to use it productively. It has a ton of very useful content and I've benefited from it greatly over the years. The problem, of course, is it's also a major time sink. I don't really know exactly what to do with it. I can't completely ban it, since I use it for work and there are a few channels that I'm subscribed to that I think overall improve my life and put out ~10min/week of content, so it's not a huge time drain.
  9. I think I've seen a few people do it. I've definitely tried it before. I think the issue with watching videos/shows/movies is that it's essentially the same thing. My brain has a cue (need to focus to get something done) and a habit (get distracted). When I'm gaming, the distraction is gaming. When I'm not gaming, the distraction is other forms of entertainment. The end result is the same (wasted time) and my brain conditioning stays the same. So when I relapse on gaming, my brain just jumps back into the flow. Plus, I do also think that the vast majority of television, movies, and youtube are an absolute waste of time. Check out Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death" on why. And especially if you read about the different film/tv-writing strategies, you'll start being able to predict what happens in nearly every single movie/show because they're so damn formulaic. There are rare exceptions to that, of course. As for what will I do with my free time, I have way too many things to do 🙂 But first of all, I enjoy work. Especially since, like I said, the more work I do, the more money I earn, and I have certain plans for financial stability, charity work, etc that I want to do. So seeing hours of work pile up is actually mentally rewarding, because I also know that comes with an income. I also have a business project that I've invested a lot of time in, but still haven't launched. I really want to launch it, so working on it isn't tiring or boring, it's exciting. I also have been studying my religion (Islam) on the side for years now. I have plans for books I want to cover and that's pretty exciting to me as well. There are also a ton of non-religious works I'd love to read. Learning is definitely a passion of mine. Normally, I'd do rock climbing and I had plans for going to some outdoor locations to climb, but due to COVID that's all on hold right now. Hoping that things will become normal soon, although it doesn't look like it. My wife and I go on a lot of walks as well... So, as you can see, I have plenty of things to spend my time on 🙂 I think I'm not the typical gamer in that sense. Gaming isn't my identity or community (I play single player 100% of the time), it's more about distraction and (fake) achievement. Yeah, that's an important thing that I think I've been missing as well. I'm always go-go-go, and I have so many exciting projects that I normally don't mind, but I need to just stop sometimes. I think one of the reasons this whole thing happened this time around is that over the past several months, I've been watching a lot of stuff about people in nature. I've really gotten into homesteading channels on Youtube and also a show called "Alone", where people are literally alone for months in the wild. I think watching people's mental transformation through all of that helped re-orient my own thinking. And one of the things all those people talk about is having the time to just think and be with yourself & nature. I'm lacking that a lot and definitely need to incorporate that into my life.
  10. So it's been a while. Again. I deleted my Steam account today. Well, I requested it to be deleted... bastards keep it alive for 30 days to lure you back in. Last time I did this, I went on to a 18-month no-gaming detox. To be fair, that was a much bigger financial hit than this time... but I'm hoping that this time around, I'm quitting for good. It's kinda funny, actually. I didn't see this coming at all. Last time around, I hit rock bottom in terms of my addiction and I finally got the balls to hit that Steam delete request. And deleting Steam and all my games & achievements really made coming back to gaming a lot more difficult. This time around, there was no rock bottom. I've been using the Focus app to limit my gaming to 90 mins a day. It was a sort of bargain with myself. I didn't have the strength to quit, but this way I still got work & other responsibilities done. So I was doing ok. Not great, mind you. I was spending 90 minutes a day gaming, then I'd still waste more time watching videos and the like. But it was passing. But the thing is, I could've done so much more if I wasn't doing all this stuff. My income is basically proportional to how much time I spend working... I could've been better off financially. My business has been stuck without launching. I'm not sure if I'll finish it at this point. So I don't know what happened. Today, my Focus plan expired, meaning there was no time limit on my gaming. I played a little bit of this, a little bit of that... and I just felt SO BORED. Here I am, a 30+ y.o. man who's moving pixels around on a screen, pretending they're footballers. Or pretending to rule some civilization and feeling proud that it virtually accomplished something. It's all completely worthless. If I die tomorrow, I'm not going to wish that I could've won a culture victory with the Aztecs on Civ 5 or something. I have far more exciting, real life goals that I want to achieve. And so I just felt so bored by it all. I looked at my game list and realized I had 0 interest in playing any of them. So I deleted my Steam account. This is not like last time. I'm already feeling the urge to play again. Last time it took months for cravings to come back. But I also want to do things differently this time around. I want to quit it all. No more stupid TV shows or movies (95% of it is boring... the plots are so formulaic), no more wasting time on YouTube. I need to stop entertaining myself. Here's what I'm doing for that: I'm planning on giving up my Pixel 3 tomorrow and getting an Alcatel Go Flip 3 instead. It's a "smart" dumbphone: it runs KaiOS, so has stuff like google assistant, maps, whatsapp, etc, but is still basic & too slow to allow for mindless browsing or gaming I'll create Focus plans to prevent visiting Netflix & restrict everything else. I want to try to create a habit using something I picked up in "Atomic Habits": every time I want to get distracted, but focus instead, I'll move a paperclip from one container to another. Not gonna be creative about it - I have paperclips and if they worked for the guy in the story, hopefully they'll work for me too. I'm not actually sure if I'll keep up this journal. I just wanted to come here and write about today as a way of committing and just making myself accountable. Hope everyone's detoxes are going well! ❤️
  11. It's not really hiding from them, it's more like organizing 🙂 But I'll stick to this one for now, I guess Yeah, this is an exercise I did a long time ago, probably worth to refresh. It's not that I'm "relapsing" constantly, it's more like I was off of games for 14 months, and then relapsed once. This is my first time since having relapsed in November that I've gotten enough motivation to quit again. But I'm not yet where I was back when I relapsed a year ago - not ready to give up my steam library & uninstall all the games. I'll probably have to work my way to it. The reason I relapsed was that one of the games I used to play prior to quitting games was a particular sport management game. I was watching that sport since there was a big competition going on, then I ended up looking up the game again and checking out the new features since I last played it, and then the desire to play just became overwhelming. I still lasted quite a while (I think several weeks) before I succumbed to it. I wasn't under any delusion that I could control myself if I returned to gaming. I knew full well what it would descend into. I just couldn't stop myself. In retrospect, I'm not sure what I could've done differently... so that's something to think about for the future. After I got one game, that obviously quickly expanded to other games. Mostly old games that I know & love, not a lot of new stuff. Most of the new games don't really interest me. In terms of why I'm gaming, I think it's a simple issue of running away from responsibilities. I'm a freelancer and thus my work is entirely self-motivated. And while I don't hate my work, I'm not in love with it or anything. I see it as a means to other things I want to do... but that means I basically have to force myself to work. And I've never been very good about making myself do stuff that I know is good for me but I don't want to do. That's why since quitting games again this time around, I haven't really increased in productivity. I just replaced my wasting time with watching movies, TV shows, etc. At the moment, I'm getting just enough work done to get by and feel OK about myself, so the desire to quit the time-wasting isn't super strong. Last time I quit was when I got myself in such a hole that I was behind on everything. I'm not really sure what to do. In the long-term, I'm hoping I'll be able to work just a few days a week and steer clear of the computer the rest of the week. But I have to work hard to get myself there, and I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to that. *sigh* Anyway, it's been 9 days since I quit gaming. It's been OK so far. Not a ton of craving, but not free of it either. There's a particular game I want to play that I've been itching to do. My computer blocker basically won't block new games, so I know I can buy something new and play that. Of course, I know that once I waste a few days on that game, I'll add it to the blocker, so I'd be paying ~$50 to play it for a couple of days. For now, that's sufficient motivation to not play. Let's see if it lasts.
  12. Hey Deku! Just noticed this new topic of yours and super happy you haven't disappeared! Secondly, I hope you update soon! How's it been going? Even if you've relapsed on gaming, please do come back and leave a note 🙂
  13. Well, as can probably be assumed, I did end up relapsing a day or two after the post above. It hasn't been a complete disaster in the sense that I haven't gamed my life away... but I've fallen just short of that. I've been using an app called FocusMe as a crutch to block games I don't want to play. So I ended up playing somewhere between an hour and 3 a day... which still gives me time to do some work and other activities. But I've been really falling behind. I need to be working more to keep my earnings, my own business is stagnating while I game. I haven't really had the motivation to stop until today. Not sure what came over me, but I did set FocusMe on for the next 90 days with no gaming allowed. There's ways around the app (to some degree), but I'm hoping I can do the 90-day detox again despite that. I still have the problem of watching videos, but one thing at a time eh? I guess I'll need to start a new topic, since I'm not really pulling weeds here anymore. It's back to full-on gaming detox. What bothers me the most is how long I didn't have any motivation to quit. It's not like I relapsed and then wanted to quit immediately. I gamed from November to nearly end of January until I started getting the feeling like maybe I should stop. And I'm not super convinced about it yet. Sigh. Not sure what's going on, but I guess I'm back to try to figure it out?
  14. Oh shit man, I'm sorry to hear about this! Look, I know it's a big loss and disappointment right now, but it could also be a strong motivator to get back into it. Was this internship the only product of the past year+ that you've been killing it since you stopped gaming? I highly doubt it. You gained so much. You learned just how much you can do. It's a set back. A bad one. But you can get come out stronger than before. My last relapse a year ago finished after I got nearly fired by a client I really enjoy working with. It set me straight and enabled me to find the motivation to quit games. Haven't gamed since. Maybe this your moment.