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Posts posted by karabas

  1. Days 3-5/120

    I've been on the road with the wife and it's been nice. I told my clients I'm not available and my phone use has been almost entirely limited to the GPS. I've used the laptop for maybe 20 minutes total in the past 3 days, tops. It feels good.

    I did lapse early on. I was super tired and I just forgot about my detox and watched a few videos on YT. But I stopped watching quickly and only then realized about the detox. So I figure I'd let that one go. 

    Otherwise I feel great and I'm gathering crucial momentum, like @JustTom said. I'll be coming home with a week under my belt and hopefully that's enough progress to feel bad about relapsing.

    • Like 1

  2. Hey man, you just broke your record, no need for low self-esteem! You're constantly improving and that's all that anyone can ask for.

    I don't know what it is about the 40 day mark. It seems to be a common stumbling point. But if it's of any help: I definitely had a "second wind" after I nearly relapsed around that time. So just pull through it, it's just a few bad days and they'll be over!

    • Like 1

  3. Day 1/120

    I feel like I finally have the resolve to do this detox. That realization last night is making me hate any use of technology that distracts me from life (aside from stuff I need to do, like work). I'm trying to stoke the fire by telling myself how much I hate it.

    I'm hoping this is a shift in thinking for me. The reason I relapsed after my gaming detox last time was because I felt like games were good, even if they were overall bad for me. Same with videos, tv shows, etc.

    Being in a place where I really hate these things for what they do to me is giving me a whole new level of resolve to not engage in these activities.

    So today was a clean day and I didn't really struggle with either vids or games, despite being severely underslept.

    I guess it remains to be seen if this state of mind is something that persists or a temporary feeling. I hope it's permanent. ?

    • Like 1

  4. I had a pretty chilling revelation just now. I realized that my technology, content, etc addiction is at the root of something I've been very worried about for some time now.

    What I've been worried about is this: my emotions are shallow. I love, but not passionately. I worry, but not too much. I feel happy, but not overly so. I feel down, but rarely truly sad. I basically don't have strong emotions, good or bad.

    And so I just realized that my gaming or watching shows or binging on YouTube or playing a game while in the bathroom or whatever else is essentially keeping me catatonic. I feel like I'm barely human.

    I think it happens because instead of allowing myself to feel life, I'm drowning it out with whatever I can get my hands on. And yeah, I've removed gaming from my life for the past 2 weeks or so but it hardly made a difference. I've simply binged on Netflix, YouTube, and other mindless crap.

    I need to start living life, not ignoring it while staring at a screen.

    I'm going to be on the road starting Tuesday again. Not really a time to start habits or whatnot. But it IS an opportunity to restart my detox, because I'll have less time to do so. Here it goes, one more time!

    On 8/22/2018 at 1:36 PM, JustTom said:

    Oh okay fair enough. In end, you've already completed the gaming detox before. 
    I just read this article: https://betterhumans.coach.me/how-to-stop-binge-watching-from-ruining-your-life-cd0e92f51750 , very powerful especially the ending part. 

    Nice, thanks! I enjoyed that.

    • Like 1

  5. On 8/23/2018 at 6:51 PM, JustTom said:

    Maybe I should make it so that I can watch after doing 20 pomodoros that day? That would be a strong but reasonable goal maybe.

    I've found the strategy of rewarding myself with my addiction for being productive as a trojan horse. Yes, it might make you productive for a few days, but in the meantime it's getting you re-hooked on the stuff until the addiction stays but the productivity's gone.

    So I personally wouldn't recommend this.

    • Like 1

  6. Days 0/120

    I totally relapsed on the videos again today. Watched a whole Netflix movie to top it off. 

    On 8/20/2018 at 7:50 AM, JustTom said:

    How about separate counters? Even if you 'relapse' on videos, you should still feel proud of not gaming!

    I dunno. On one hand, I get your point. I'd be like 10 days into my detox by now if I was counting just gaming. But I really feel like my fight is now with the vids.

    After my last relapse, I started to strongly feel like I hate games and what they do to me. I might still have cravings in the future, God knows, but right now I'm really not feeling anything close to a craving for gaming. And it's a shift from the past where I was doing the detox but I was missing games, the fun I had with them, etc. I wasn't ready to let them go. I feel like I am ready now. I can say, like Cam does, that it was a good time, but now I'm doing something else.

    But I'm not there with videos/movies. And I really do think that they maintain my dopamine addiction while I'm off of gaming.

    I'm really feeling like video stuff is what's keeping me in my current state and that if I learn to get rid of vids, that'll be the key to my recovery overall. Because to be fair, it HAS been the harder addiction. I can't completely quit because I need to watch video material sometimes. And I've always fallen back into videos before falling back into games. And videos are often a trigger that gets me reminiscing about gaming and wanting to go back.

    So... yeah. Right now I feel like I'm past one hurdle with games (for now, at least), but I need to pass this next hurdle if I'm to actually move forward.

    Maybe I'm wrong about this... idk. Lets see.

  7. that damn youtube. i think it's harder to kick than games, even if it's not as hardcore of a habit as gaming. that's ok though. and honestly, it might help you get through detox if you're battling with videos and forget all about the games ?

    i def know what you mean about having a hard time focusing. but you know what? i actually enjoy that feeling in some perverse way, because I realize that this is my brain on 0 stimulation. and if i can just endure it and keep going, eventually it'll get used to it and that means the addiction will be gone (or at least seriously diminished)!

    so in some weird way, it's good to be distracted, because it's your brain learning to do things right.

    • Like 1

  8. Days 4/120

    Totally relapsed on the videos and still have been playing games on my phone. But I'm doing a lot better than a week ago and I kinda need to keep my counter up so that I don't give up lol.

    I'm fasting for the next two days and that's yet another incentive not to indulge in these behaviors. That'll get me to 6 days and hopefully to a week from there so I don't have to keep cheating to keep up my detox ?

  9. Days 1-3/120

    Well it hasn't been perfect. I played some games on my phone while in the bathroom (ugh) and I watched a video or two but they were semi-intentional.

    On the plus side, no games since I deleted steam... so must've been about a week by now.

    Either way, I'm going to try to keep the counter and just straighten out and get rid of these little "cheats" that I'm indulging in.

    • Like 1

  10. On 8/15/2018 at 11:26 PM, Matt S said:

    I know how you feel.  I watched American Idol auditions for 6 hours two nights ago.  Oh man lol.  Don't worry about this.  Just don't forget how productive your day was and learn from this.  You can't be productive all day long.  You need to find ways to decompress from the productivity you were doing.  That's why it's so easy to do nothing after work and just watch TV.  I have had the same issues because it's so easy to game, watch tv, or watch porn for a quick reward after a long day.  That needs to change.  We need to rewire the reward system for a hard day's work.  This way we can properly correct our endorphin system.

    I'm trying to watch 1 hour of cartoons a day because that's what I did as a kid.  I'd just watch Dragonball Z and Gundam Wing and then build with Legos or something.  It's tough because we can binge watch stuff now.  We couldn't do that years ago.  But it felt so exciting to come home at the end of the day and watch that one episode.  I'm also trying sketches.  Not anything in particular because that takes brain power.  I'm making random sketches and listening to music to let my mind aimlessly create something with how I'm feeling.  I'm also cooking dinner now which triggers your sense of smell, taste, vision, hearing, and touch.  It's a very rewarding and calming hobby that you can plan earlier in the week when you're not stressed.

    Thanks man. It's not that I'm being so productive that I end up exhausted and need some kind of vent. I just have crap self-control and I can't make myself stop after that one episode. I always end up watching more, if not today then in a few days.

    I've experimented a lot with this... I don't think I can reasonably quit one without the other.

    • Like 1

  11. Day 0/120

    Gahhh I relapsed (with videos, not games) for no good reason.

    I was literally coming here to post about another successful detox day when I decided to watch some innocuous video on YouTube. It's now 4am and I spent the last 4 hours watching various music videos (mostly from my high school days).

    That was so stupid. At first I was going to say, "it's ok, I won't count this as relapse as it's just a few videos" but when you're going to sleep at 4am instead of midnight, I think that very well damn counts as a relapse.

    It clearly highlighted why I can't let myself be lax with videos tho. It always starts with "just one". I have to stay true to the rule that I don't watch anything unless I specifically need to for work or learning. No "interest" videos either. Not for now anyway.

    Anyway, I'm not feeling super crap about this although I was having a pretty productive day until this happened. But my resolve is still stronger than it's been in months, so I'm just going to pick myself up and restart tomorrow.

    • Like 1

  12. 22 hours ago, JustTom said:

    Yeah, I meant just a few days, but if it works for you then good luck! I think it's time for me to deal with YouTube as well.

    Oh sorry, I missed that part. I actually don't find that adding YouTube makes it harder for me in terms of cravings. I can quit games only and still have massive cravings or quit everything and have none. It's weird.

  13. I've had some success using a pomodorro timer. I've also had success with setting up rewards for reaching milestones: for example, do homework for 3 hours a day, after 7 days I go to eat at my favorite restaurant. or eat a bag of chips (because I normally stay away from chips since i'm trying to lose weight).

    Doesn't have to be food, just has to be something you like and don't normally get and not related to gaming or technology ?

    • Like 1

  14. 18 hours ago, JustTom said:

    Feel free to steal^^ I like a little bit of gamification of productivity. The first time I did it I loved it, but now I'm not keeping track properly, so it's too messy. 

    Sweet. I'll probably change the rules - and I have to wait until I'm back home from my trip - but I'll give this a shot!

    • Like 1

  15. This sounds both like a natural part of the process and a miserable effing time.

    I think you're getting to the core of the problem with gaming though: it's so much more attractive than the real world because it's so immediate.

    Real life takes time, whether it's getting good at something competitive or whether it's simply accomplishing life goals (you might find the book "Mastery" interesting). You need deliberate practice, day after day, year after year, to accomplish these things. There are plateaus before you see significant improvement and there are setbacks. Etc.

    Gaming is fast. Spend a few days learning the game, practicing it a lot and you're already better than a lot of people. Spend a few months practicing, reading up on strategies and techniques, watching pros do it, etc, and you'll be one of the top players. And you don't even need to be at the top. Most games match you up with people of similar "level" so you can start crushing people early on as you learn. And even if you don't play competitive games, single-player games get you hooked in by having you fulfill easy "quests" first and then moving to more and more challenging things as you go on. 

    Games provide fast returns on investment and give you a sense of achievement. Life seems boring by comparison.

    But the reason we're all on this forum is because we don't want the virtual achievements any more. We want to go and achieve things in the real world. And that takes time and effort, without immediate results. And yeah... that's the hardest part about quitting games.

    • Like 2

  16. 9 hours ago, Cindpline said:

    Hi, I'm also struggling with Youtube. I don't want to quit it entirely, but to now waste time there. I think deleting steam is definitely a good start. Good luck!


    8 hours ago, JustTom said:

    I have to chime in here with my 50 cents: It might be a bit too much to cold-turkey quit everything in 1 day, especially if the determination and motivation is not steel-strong. I would just focus on not playing games at all costs, that's like the most basic thing we absolutely need to get rid of. We have many flaws and need to fix them all, yes, but trying to never watch youtube as well as never game at the same time is like trying to put plasters on your scratches while simultaneously treating a big bleeding open wound. No! Treat the wound first, so that at least you don't bleed out and then treat the stuff that doesn't kill you immediately. 

    So just let youtube/tv shows/whatever be what it is now at least for a few days, let's say a week, until you feel confident you don't have massive gaming cravings, then you can start eliminating the rest too. Just to get over the most difficult few days at the start.

    I hear you, @JustTom and that was my original approach back in the day before these forums. But I think I've come to realize that my gaming addiction is really more of a tech-related dopamine dependency than a gaming-specific addiction per se.

    I noticed that because when I'd get fed up with how much time I was wasting on games, I'd quit games for a time. But as soon as I'd do that, I'd switch over to movies, tv shows, and YouTube and would continue to waste as much time on them. And if I quit both, I'd find fun books to read and would get just as hooked on those. And eventually, I'd just go back to playing games.

    I even went 2 years without games, but it doesn't mean I was free of my addiction, I just channeled it through something else (videos).

    If you think of it as a dopamine addiction, it starts to make sense. I'm addicted to dopamine, which I achieve by gaming. If I can't game, I get it through shows and movies. If I can't, I do it through books. So I could be off of games for 2 years but my addiction is still 100% there because I've been getting my dopamine elsewhere. I think that the only way I can quit games for good is to kick the real habit and that means abstaining from all dopamine-related behaviors.

    And I HAVE noticed that with these rules, I find myself actually bored and not wanting to do anything at all sometimes. This is really weird for me because I don't remember the last time I felt bored. So it almost feels "good" to be bored because it's like my brain is craving dopamine and I'm not giving it any and I'm hoping that eventually it'll just give up and go back to a healthier state.

    Maybe that's hogwash, but I think it makes sense. And in my last detox, I did last ~60 days without youtube, videos, etc. In fact, I think the road to my relapse started with getting more and more slack with YouTube. So it's definitely a "gateway drug" for me.

    • Like 1

  17. Thanks guys, I appreciate your different viewpoints. It's super helpful.

    I'm not struggling with depression, so a therapist for me boils down to a person who I'm responsible to and who gives me advice and tips on how to deal with my addiction.

    The former is not that important because I live abroad and my only option for a shrink is online. And it's hard to feel responsible to someone you know only online.

    The latter is not that useful because most of the stuff is online already.

    I tried 3 therapists online and one of them seemed to be half-decent, worked with me on my problem and gave some basic suggestions. I didn't end up going through with it because I don't think the price is worth it at this point in my life. If I'm better off financially I might try it again.

    • Like 1

  18. Day 1-2/120

    Much better so far. I deleted Steam and all the game files & saves so that'll probably help keep me off of it for a month or more with no problem. The challenge now is staying away from the other stuff like YouTube/Netflix & phone games.

    I think something's different this time. Not in that I don't feel cravings - I still do. But I think the relapse did more damage this time around than it did last time. I'm really feeling the financial crunch that's the result of the last two months being totally wasted on gaming & vids. I'm feeling the disappointment of my clients. And worst of all, I'm feeling like I'm so behind on all my goals, work & otherwise. A few months back I remember writing how I wasn't ready to put gaming behind me for good. I think I am now. Maybe this will change 45 days into the detox again, but right now I hate gaming. I know that it's pleasurable, but I hate it and what it's done to me. And I really want to be done with it for good.

    I'm not there with YT/Netflix yet, but they are what perpetuates my addiction to tech in general. So I have to be super careful.

    Also I need to finalize my quitting of games. Getting rid of my steam account is a good start. Doing the same with my other game download account is another. I don't remember what that other one is called and I don't have a lot of games on there, but I know myself. If I have cravings and there's some weird way I can get back into it, I will use it. I need to burn all my bridges before I think of turning back.

    That's in my to-do for the next few days.

    • Like 1

  19. Is there anything I can do with Steam aside from just deleting my account?

    All my computer-based gaming is done with Steam at this point. If I delete it, I'm making it that much more difficult to relapse (I'd feel like a chump for paying for the same games I've paid for before). 

    At the same time, I've got 30+ games and tons of DLCs on there. Probably worth hundreds of dollars, if not over $1K.

    Is there any way to get value from this? Selling the account, getting refunds, anything?

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