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Posts posted by karabas

  1. Day 1/90

    Bedtime (yesterday): ~4:30am

    Woke up: ~3:30pm


    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.

    • Like 1

  2. Oh man, I'm sorry you broke your habit on the very first night :( What's the plan now? Will you run it for another 7 days?

    Watched your vlogs. I think you speak perfectly fine :) I know what you mean about feeling like you're behind, but be careful of comparing your real life to instagram. People are very good at putting filters on things. Their life may look amazing, but you don't know what it's actually like to be them. And I'm sure many of the guys who you look up to are probably upset that they aren't as successful as those even further above them. There's always somebody richer/more famous/more whatever. It's a never-ending cycle, so find where you want to be at and just do you :)

    But also, here's the thing: battling with yourself like you're doing with the detox is hard work and it's a hell of an experience. I've gone through tough times that set me back, but it also gave me the strength and experience that others don't have that helps me in future obstacles.

    So if one of these successful guys who didn't have to go through what you're going through ends up facing some massive personal challenge, they'll flounder. Whereas you will have the experience to get through it and come out alive on the other side. Think of how common it is for celebrities to suffer from addictions and how many end up dying of overdose or just ruining their lives. Lindsay Lohan made it big at a young age - and then derailed her entire career and is JUST getting back on track.

    At the end of the day, life's not a race. It's a marathon. I know you're comparing yourself to guys your age, but think of what you want to be like at 40 or 50 or even 80 and aim for that. With the experience you have from doing what you're doing now, you might get there before the rest :)

    • Like 1

  3. 40 minutes ago, JustTom said:

    Good luck friend. When you combine the detox with journaling and a proper strategy, it's a guaranteed way to victory. I really feel like this is it - for all of us!

    Just a quick note: the second part of pomodoro is supposed to be legal procrastination to ease off the pressure, not another type of work! :6_smile: I used the method for a while, it's very powerful.

    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. 1 hour ago, JoshD said:

    Spirit: Qigong, and Im not really sure what else could help with this but if anyone has any ideas feel free to let me know hehe,  I tried the whole church thing out and it didn't really work for me, Too put a long rough story extremely short... I have been spiritually wounded by a manipulative person a few years ago which left a scar on my heart and beliefs, but I want to see if I can let all that junk go or learn how to cope with it. I used to be very close-minded and judgmental thanks to what that person lead me to believe, but now I am extremely openminded and I think for myself and respect other peoples beliefs and Ideas instead of listening and following whatever I hear, No more external motivation,  Everything needs to come inward.   Therapy is today so that will be awesome :)

    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. Fair enough :) Morning/evening routines are key. Before I "relapsed" into uncontrolled gaming, I had a very good sleep schedule and it changed everything. I think it all starts with keeping the same bedtime - I'm not sure if that's possible in your case (it seems like your schedule can require you to stay up sometimes), but I'd highly recommend that as a habit.

    And yes, I did. I'm in day 1 :)

    • Like 1

  6. 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.


    • Like 3

  7. 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:


    • Like 1

  8. 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.


    1. No games: computer or phone or internet. Nothing.
    2. No YouTube videos, Netflix, or other movies/tv unless I actually need to (like for work, study, etc)
    3. I restart the 90 day counter if I break the above 2 rules in any way
    4. I get a prize for every week I continue this (going out to a nice place to eat)
    5. 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:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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!

    • Like 4

  9. Hey JustTom! Just skimmed through this journal and I have to say, I feel like I'm hearing myself talk :) I've actually been trying to do weekly habits as well and I also resort to vids when I don't game.

    I've been habit-building longer than I have been game-sober, so I can give this response to your question earlier: if you break the habit after completing it, go back to it and restart it. Also, 7 days is a tad short - I've heard anything from 20 to 40 days. What I do is I take one habit and I just "upgrade" it if I keep it up for a week. So one habit was my bedtime: let's say I start with going to bed by 12, I upgrade it to 11:30 next week. But overall it's still the same habit.

    Also, if you do maintain a 7-day streak, I say reward yourself with something you enjoy. For example, I generally don't drink soda/have junk food, so I have one of those at the end of a habit. Or for something major, I go out for lunch/dinner to a place I like a lot.

    Congrats on the progress so far :) It's quite amazing that you're not bothered too much by the cravings. Keep it up!

    • Like 1

  10. 8 hours ago, Dannigan said:


    Well, I would start a journal if I were you.  Even if people don't respond to your journal, it's primarily for your own benefit, as an aid to self-reflect and learn from your behavior over time.  It gives you a sense that you are moving forward.  People will eventually comment along the way.  Just don't get discouraged and neglect writing if you don't hear back from others right away  : )  Do it without expecting people to respond, that's my humble advice.



    8 hours ago, Cam Adair said:

    The book Deep Work by Cal Newport might be really powerful for you to read. :)

    Thanks to both of you :) Will do!

  11. 4 hours ago, Dannigan said:

    Quit the video gaming and you-tube addiction cold turkey.  They are inter-twined and believe me, many people here have struggles with the same thing.  You're just switching from one addiction to the next, it seems. 

    If you are a voracious reader, I'd recommend The Power of Habit.  Down below, I've taken what knowledge I gained from that book to describe how to change your habit with technology. 

    cue ----> routine ----> reward

    Cue = get a timer to shut off the computer every two hours.  If a timer can't be used, program your cell phone's alarm to go off every two hours.  Give yourself one hour to do an activity or project.  This can be as creative as you want it to be.  As long as you are away from the computer for an hour.

    Routine = any activity or project that has nothing to do with technology, or reading books.  The maximum time you'll be doing this is one hour. Again, set your alarm to ring after one hour. 

    Reward = pay yourself $1.00 every time you complete a one hour project.  At the end of the week, use the money to take you and your wife out on a date ---> dinner.  Or another fun activity with your wife.

    First challenge:  write down a long list of one-hour projects or activities that you can do.  eg.  rearranging a room, organizing the garage, going outside for a brisk walk around your neighborhood, work on a puzzle, interval training, learn a new art like painting, find things that you can donate and box them up, cook a new recipe every day, buy a basketball hoop and shoot hoops, boxing, wood-working projects, etc. 


    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?

    9 minutes ago, Natasha said:

    Moderately gaming doesn't usually work for us who are addicted I've noticed. Soon you start to tell yourself just 10 more minutes until 10 hours later... I would cut YouTube cold turkey and declutter books that bring no value to your current goals. But I get it, I'm struggling right now with the same thing. I cut the internet and still have problems with YouTube because of my phone's unlimited data.

    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?

    • Like 1

  12. 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.

    • Like 3
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