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NEW VIDEO: A Wasted Time (The Truth About Gaming)

karabas

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Everything posted by karabas

  1. Thanks guys. I started the 90 detox and I did decide to include videos in it, because I feel like for me it's part of the same problem. At the core, I think my big problem is avoiding focus-heavy tasks (like those at work). It's very hard for me to stay focus for any amount of time and forcing myself to do it makes me very prone to wanting a distraction. Gaming and videos are the same to me in this sense. Although I do agree - I've gamed for 24 hours straight before, but I've never watched videos that long. Games definitely can hold you glued to the screen a lot longer. But I think my addiction is really to that distraction from tasks and I need to work on lengthening the amount of time I can sit and work on something without distraction. I can do it with no problem for things I enjoy, but as soon as it comes to a task that I don't like (or that I'm ambivalent about), it suddenly takes me forever. It's not even just on the computer - whenever I had to move (like at college at the end of the semester), I'd inevitably take far too long. I hate packing with a passion, and so I end up putting a few items in the box and then going to watch videos or something. The other thing is, while it's definitely easier to combat one addiction at a time, there is very little positive feedback from quitting just one. I still end up wasting hours upon hours and feeling like crap about myself. Whereas my state right now, in my second day of the detox, is pretty upbeat because everything I've done during the day was important for me in one way or another. Let's see how it works out. I've been trying to fix this for probably about 6 years or so, so I'm fairly open to trying something, seeing where it failed, and adjusting strategy :)
  2. Day 1/90 Bedtime (yesterday): ~4:30am Woke up: ~3:30pm Comments: I went to bed super late because I was trying to get all this detox stuff in order. I also ended up talking to my wife for a few hours about something that was going on with her. So I'm not too upset about going to bed late. I woke up super late, partially because I had to wake up for prayer at 6:30, so I broke up my sleep into chunks. I actually woke up more around 2, but then I just lazed around the bed for another hour and a half. Overall today was a good day, but it got derailed a bit towards the end. I had a bunch of things that I need to do ASAP hit me around 11pm, just as I was getting ready to wrap up for the day. As a result, it's now 4am and I'm still up. But I gotta take my wife to the doctor's tomorrow morning, so I'm waking up early. Hopefully that's enough to get me back on schedule. Cravings: practically none! They were very mild and mostly triggered by stuff like seeing a Netflix show review in the news. Productivity: boss! Up until the 11pm episode, I was on point with all my habits and other personal projects. I got some actual work done too. I didn't use a pomodorro timer, but I did use a timer and took 10 minutes off at every 20 minute mark. After 2 hours, I stepped away, had dinner, walked to a corner store for some sparkling water (I LOVE sparkling mineral water, I don't know why. It's the only water I drink pretty much). Feelings: Until I got overwhelmed by responsibilities, I felt calm and in control. It was nice. I also noticed that I paid more attention to my wife and showed her more affection, which is something I've been neglecting. And it pretty much came naturally. When you don't have games or vids to distract yourself with, suddenly you want human connection again! Another thing I'm happy about is that once I felt overwhelmed, I didn't instinctually reach for some videos or games (which is the exact thing I did just a few days ago). Power of intention! Pretty crazy. Minor habits: Morning spiritual routine (check): so far it's just a short prayer and reviewing what I memorized from the Qur'an (it's about 70 pages and I'm using spaced repetition to review all of it by doing just 30 minutes a day). I've been doing this habit for over a month now, so I'm just logging that it's continuing. Religious study routine (fail): I plan to apply to a seminary-type institution, so this is kinda essential for my future plans. I try to do 15 mins in the morning and 15 in the evening, but I messed up this night. Will try again tomorrow! I used to do this pretty regularly. Career-related study routine (1 day streak): I'm doing an online course for 15 minutes. This is a habit I had from before and broke recently. Re-instated today :) Personal to-do list (1 day streak): This is another habit I recently broke. I would dedicate 30 minutes every day to get some of my personal to-dos (like taxes, shopping, etc) done. I went way overboard today since I freaked out, ended up doing more like 3+. Major Habit - Sleep by 12am: FAIL Ok, that's it for now. Heading to bed now (It's 4:16am). Got less than 5 hours left to sleep. Yikes.
  3. I'm hopeful :) And yeah lol, legal break is what I'm intending. Just have to figure out what, now that I can't game or watch vids.
  4. Oh boy - I'm Muslim, but I've been there and done that. Spent two years in a mentally/spiritually abusive relationship with a religious leader. I think the key is to remember that they're not God and they don't represent God and what they teach isn't what's really true about God. For me, after I started recovering from the abuse, I was actually very thankful for going through that experience, because it made me stronger (I am more ready to go and stand up against wrongs done to myself or to others) and because it made me able to quickly detect people who are religious charlatans and run the other way. Muslims have a number of daily spiritual practices that focus on various things, but they are all rooted in our key belief, which is that God is one in all possible ways (there are not several gods, He's not made up of or divisible into parts, He's not in time or space, He's absolutely unlikely anything in His creation, etc). If you're interested in exploring those, let me know.
  5. I agree with Cam. It's just so tempting to try playing the game yourself after watching others do it. I remember a specific thing that once got me back into hard-core gaming was when I watched a Let's Play on YouTube and the strategies the person used in the video could've helped me with a particular game challenge I couldn't overcome. You might not feel that at the moment and it might feel like it's OK and not a problem - but maybe 30, 40 days into your habit it WILL become a problem. Also, I feel that if we can't game, watching others play is like vicarious gaming. You're not really giving up the habit, you're just changing it to something else.
  6. Thanks so much for starting the journal! And congrats on making it to this step :) I have some relatives who have battled with mental illness. I hope you're able to deal with both. I'm sure that removing games will be a very good step towards recovery in general. Also, I totally know how you feel about looking at your life and not being happy with it. I'm a few months away from my 30th birthday and I've been gaming since age 6 or so. If you count how many hours I've spent on this stuff, I could've learned a few languages, earned an online degree on the side, etc. But it's never too late to start changing! Please do update and keep us in the loop. And you might want to watch this as a start:
  7. Day 0 | It's darkest before dawn Hey guys! See my introduction here. Today was the worst day I've had in a long time. Almost nothing done as a result of gaming, YouTube, and otherwise time-wasting. And I'm really sick of doing this to myself. So I'm gonna take up the 90-day challenge. Rules: No games: computer or phone or internet. Nothing. No YouTube videos, Netflix, or other movies/tv unless I actually need to (like for work, study, etc) I restart the 90 day counter if I break the above 2 rules in any way I get a prize for every week I continue this (going out to a nice place to eat) I need some kind of prize for making it to 90 days, but I'm not sure what that could be yet Some additional things: I've been doing habit building before this for about a month and I'd like to continue. I've lost most of my habits as a result of this gaming problem coming back, but I still have a few. The rules are the following: keep each habit for a month, get a reward after each successful week, then move on to the next. I usually keep an easy and a hard habit at the same time. I need to work overall on reducing my distractions. I just created a new user account on my computer to keep my personal internet browsing/computer use separate to my work. Even while using different desktops, I was running into so many different tabs on each screen, it became chaotic and distracting. I've already started keeping my phone out of the bedroom when I sleep - I'm going to do the inverse and keep it in the bedroom while I'm working. I have a problem whenever I come across a "big" task that requires focus. My instinct is to avoid it by gaming/watching videos/etc. I'm gonna try to combat that by taking every task and breaking it down into smaller, easier to-dos on my notepad. I'm going to use a Pomodorro timer with 20 minutes of work and 10 minutes of a break. After 2 hours, I'll step away from the computer and do something else, as Dannigan suggested. I have PLENTY of tasks that I could work on. My main focus over the next week is to get back into my proper schedule. I wake up around 6:30 am to do my morning prayers (I'm Muslim). Optimally, I'd like to be in bed by 11:30pm and then take a 1.5 hr nap in the afternoon, but I'm gonna start with being in bed by midnight and doing the nap. That's 8 hours total (not the same as 8 hours straight, but it's something). Also, Ramadan is around the corner - not sure how I'm going to handle that. We'll be waking up around 4am to eat before dawn, but early bedtime is also unlikely. So I might need to do something like 11-4 and then something like a 10am-2pm nap. The good thing is that I'll be traveling in 5 days for about two weeks. It's very easy to keep off of games and videos while traveling because you just don't have the time. I think I can handle 5 days, then I get ~14 for "free". At that point I'll be almost 20 days in, which is a good period of time to go without gaming/vids. I've tried quitting many times before and failed many times, but I'm prepared to get up and try again if I fail. Fingers crossed I don't have to :) Thanks for the forum and support, folks!
  8. Awesome, thanks so much! It's funny, I was talking to my wife about this and she was telling me to read the Power of Habit too. I guess I have to now :) The problem is, I work online. That means I have to spend most of my time on the computer. To be fair though, I work 5 hours/day (and don't take weekends), so I have the time to spare on breaks like this. That's pretty much what I've been doing with gaming (on good days). I'll try this out. We're traveling soon and starting any kind of habit is pointless, but I'll be done by the end of April and this will be what I start. I can outline the list of projects and activities - I pretty have one already. The games are what's keeping me from them :) How does this forum work - do I share these or is this something I'm doing on my own? Yeah, it sometimes seems ridiculous to me, but at other times I'm like: would you tell a crack addict to smoke crack once in a while recreationally? You wouldn't, so why would you tell a gaming addict to game occasionally?
  9. Thanks for the advice. That does make sense. The problem for me is that if I leave gaming, I move on to other forms of addictive behavior like movies/tv shows or even reading books (but to an unhealthy degree). Should I be trying to stop everything cold turkey or do you guys think it's better to take the addiction one step at a time?
  10. Hey guys, I've been looking for a community like this for a while, really happy to find it! My problem I game. If I stop myself from gaming, I watch Netflix or Youtube videos. If I manage to stop that, too, I read books compulsively. The result is the same: I fall behind on work (which I actually enjoy and I get paid well), I miss out on hobbies I enjoy, and I ruin the relationship with my wife by being inattentive. The thing is, I work online, so I need to be on the computer. Otherwise I would've long gotten rid of the damn thing. I also have my own office at home, so my wife generally doesn't notice my wasting time. I'm not depressed or stressed out - I have a good life. I've just been gaming since an early age and I get hooked on "one more turn" type of strategy games. I guess I enjoy the achievement of it, but the whole "replace it with real achievement" thing doesn't work for me: real life moves slowly. Computer games give quick progress. If I were to pin it down, I find that when I need to concentrate on something (like work) and put in effort, my instinct is to distract myself with games or videos and approach the task at hand in small batches of productivity. To quit or not to quit? I find it ridiculous that I cannot hold myself back from gaming/watching videos. Optimally, I'd like to be able to control the habit and I've been able to go for several weeks where I've had it under control (i.e. 1-2 hours a day max), but then I fall back into the problem for months on end. I have yet to identify what causes the ability to have self control. What causes me to lose it is a break in the routine due to sickness or travel or something like that. I also get into a vicious cycle: game late into the night -> get no sleep -> have no self-control as a result -> game late into the night -> repeat. This is really hard to get out of. I did manage to quit several times, but what I find is that if I do that, I eventually fall back into the problem and I fall hard. I end up spending days on end gaming. So overall I'd prefer to use gaming as a recreational tool, but have control over it. But can an addict even do that? Should I be aiming to quit instead? I'm just basing this on 10+ years of experience, it hasn't worked until now. Why would it work now? What do you guys think? I'd love some advice or insights. I feel like all the solutions I've come up with so far have failed.