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Posts posted by karabas

  1. 2 hours ago, JustTom said:

    Did you really ask her to marry you after a few conversations? That's pretty extreme compared to western standards huh

    Lol I like that this is what you guys got out of that post ?

    I didn't exactly propose after a few conversations. It was more that I said that I wanted to get to know her for the purpose of determining whether we'd want to get married.

    The idea behind marriage without dating is that you get the key variables out of the way first. Like people nowadays ignore the big questions and get married, but it bites them in the butt later. 

    Like say, you want to have kids. And the girl you like doesn't want to have kids. People say "that's a bridge we'll cross later", but the reality is that there are only 3 possible outcomes once you come to the bridge: you have kids and she's miserable for the rest of her life, you don't have kids and you're miserable for the rest of your life, or you get divorced. All 3 options suck (unless one of you changes their mind, but it's a bad idea to base your entire marriage on a hope that someone will change later).

    So the idea is you don't even consider marriage if the "non-negotiables" don't match. And THEN you're introduced, get a feel for the chemistry, personality, common interests, aspirations, etc.

    I did kinda "cheat" in that my wife and I talked and felt a chemistry beforehand. So when I called her it was more to discuss the "big stuff" and get a better feel for personality, common interests, etc. So we did talk a lot before making the commitment. I came up to meet her family and she came down to meet mine. And we did interview each other's friends lol.

    But yeah, we didn't really "date" in the western sense until after the wedding. But it's a lot more stress-free once the commitment's been made.

    Been happily married for 7 years now, so I'm happy with the results ?

    • Like 1

  2. Don't sweat it man.

    First of all, you studied ahead of time because you were expecting a negative response.

    Second of all - and more importantly - your worth as a human being isn't related to how well you can initiate spontaneous engaging conversation with women.

    It's natural for a guy to be shy and awkward around the opposite gender they're interested in. Modern culture worships the personality that can be charismatic, anxiety-free, and "pick up girls" without a problem.

    You know what kind of people normally have all those characteristics naturally?


    Yeah, go read about it.

    So instead of trying to change your personality, my personal advice would be to relax about it. Most long-term relationships don't start out with an "asking out" or a pick up at a bar. They evolve from non-romantic relationships in class or at work, etc. You'll find the girl who'll like YOUR personality, not some sociopath's.

    Disclaimer: I'm a Muslim and I married without "dating", although we did meet at a volunteer event and struck up a natural conversation over a shared interest. But after a few conversations I basically called her up and asked if she was interested in getting married. So I'm looking at this dating process as an outsider.

    But OK, let's say you do want to be that confident guy who can strike up conversations with other people, be funny, etc. Don't look at it as if you just can't get there. You're working on it. You're on the way there. You dared to do something you wouldn't have dared to in the past. That's progress. You're not at the finish line, but what matters is that you're on the path. Results will come with time.

    But in the meantime: you're killing it at school, you're more social than you've been in the past, you've been working out... and most importantly you haven't gamed.

    You're literally fighting against your brain's wiring and years-long addiction... by yourself. And you're winning. This is a super win for anyone who knows how hard this is to do.

    So from an outsider's point of view, you're winning at life man. Don't let this small setback discourage you from an amazing amount of progress you've managed to achieve over such a short period of time.

    • Like 1

  3. Day 13/120
    Pomodorro Lvl 1 (33/100)
    Sleep before midnight x0 (longest streak: 3)
    Spiritual Routine: 0/7

    Sleep: 1:00am -> 6:30am

    I stayed up and got some work done but then stuff came up later in the day that prevented me from finishing the day on a strong note.

    This is the problem: I'm very bad at saying no when someone suggests we do something that I enjoy. It usually means I take unplanned time off of work and it derails my productivity. It looks like this is my next step in self-improvement: being more serious about work.


    • Like 1

  4. Day 12/120
    Pomodorro Lvl 1 (28/100)
    Sleep before midnight x4

    Spiritual Routine: 0/7

    Sleep: 12:30am -> 6:30am, 6:45am -> 12:30pm

    I did procrastinate with my bedtime a bit yesterday. As this is a difficult habit for me, I'm letting it slide this one time.

    No pomodorros today, although I did work a bit. But it just got out of hand: I woke up late, then I went for Friday prayer. After Friday prayer, we went over to my wife's friend's house for food and came back in late afternoon. And I was really tired and basically got very little done for the rest of the day. Lame.

    I have to make it up this weekend, because this week has been crap in terms of productivity. On the plus side, no games and no media!

    And yeah, I lost my Qur'an routine. Restarting tomorrow.

    19 hours ago, Deku said:

    s there a reason you stay up from 6:30 am to 7:00 am every day? The body doesn't do great with discontinuous sleep, so that could be a reason why you feel the need to sleep so much. If you really have something to do at 6:30 then just try to acclimate yourself to sleeping 7.5 continuous hours from 11:00 pm to 6:30 am. That equates to about 5 continuous sleep cycles, which is about what the average person with a healthy sleep schedule needs.

    I'm Muslim and I get up to pray. Right now I have to get up sometime between 5:30 and 6:45, so I push it towards the end. Optimally, I'd be going to bed by 10:30 and waking up at 6:30 and that would be it, but I'm HORRIBLE with early bedtime. In fact, I think I've had an easier time quitting games than going to bed on time lol. So for now I'm trying to get ~7 hours of sleep in and then do a 1.5 hour siesta later in the day, but it hasn't worked out so far because I feel too tired and go back to sleep after. I don't think my sleep cycle is 90 minutes though. I've tried figuring it out, but haven't been successful yet.

    The other thing is that it's super hot here and heat definitely makes you physically tired. And I had a VERY bad sleep schedule for a whole month prior to this. So those are contributing factors, I'm sure. But I have to start staying up after prayers as my productivity has been crap because of this.

    6 hours ago, JustTom said:

    I would just leave it as it is. Just forget about it. There will always be ways to play games, there's free to play stuff, there's easy piracy etc. For me, going back to exchange e-mails with the support staff to delete steam would actually be considered procrastination at this point. 

    I remember during my 90-day detox, I almost relapsed sometime around half-way and what kept from it was the technical challenge. I wanted a specific game and it was windows only and I have a Mac. I did figure out how to play it on a mac, but it was just so much effort and by the time I got it working, something happened that just turned me off of games again.

    Steam is very easy. Installing it takes a couple of minutes, downloading a game takes a few minutes. And I'm very "loyal" to games: I only play a couple, but I play them a LOT. So I'm basically just a few minutes away from playing my favorite games. Versus, if I delete my account, I'd have to register for steam, fork over a ton of money for a game, etc. Yes, I can play some online game or whatever (I don't really pirate games), but I find that those aren't the ones that have that obsessive hold over me. So yeah, I might relapse and play them, but I won't disappear for two months and lose all my productivity because I'm playing mario bros or something lol.

    Plus, I feel like deleting Steam is a statement. I'm losing hundreds of dollars of investment (some of the games I've barely played even). And I'm closing the door on a big chapter of my life. It's symbolic in a sense.

    • Like 1

  5. Hey Sean,

    I hear you man. I don't think I'm depressed, but I come closest to it when I game or consume tech in other ways (youtube, netflix, etc). I feel guilt & shame over having wasted my time when I have so many other things I'd rather accomplish (i.e. real life).

    I started gaming around the same time as you and barely ever played multiplayer also. I also only play good guys, although I never reflected on the fact that I might be replacing my social life with NPCs in a computer game. Interesting insight.

    I did also manage a long streak (I think a couple of years) of no games, but eventually got sucked back in.

    These forums are a definitely a HUGE help. I highly recommend you start the 90-day detox and a journal in the daily journals section. Keeping a journal helped me slowly analyze myself, discover new things about my addiction, and gave me more mental ammunition for fighting the addiction. I think it'll help you as well.

    Do post the link here if you start a journal - I'll def be following!

    • Like 1

  6. Day 11/120
    Pomodorro Lvl 1 (28/100)
    Sleep before midnight x3

    Spiritual Routine: 0/7

    Sleep: 1:15am -> 6:30am, 7:00am -> 10:45am

    Ok, so I technically went to bed late. But I was all ready to go to bed early, but something came up that was outside my capacity. So I'm writing this down as an early bedtime day, because I was on time with stopping working and heading to bed.

    It's getting late now, so I didn't get to do my Qur'an in the evening. I'll try to make it up tomorrow, otherwise I'm keeping this counter reset.

    Not a lot of pomodorros, but I was a lot more productive than they indicate. Did a bunch of stuff without them. But also started late. Tomorrow I'm going over to a friend's place... that'll probably take some time. So I'm in for another day of semi-productivity.

    Need to make this weekend happen, man.

    • Like 1

  7. 31 minutes ago, JustTom said:

    I'm the one that needs to shut up, stop crying and focus on what's important

    Nah man, rants are good... at least on here. I don't complain about myself and my addiction to anyone else, but I let it loose on here because it's therapeutic. Also a good milestone to go back and reflect on where you were then and where you are now. Sometimes you forget how far you've come.

    We're all just going through this life, figuring it out as we go ? 

    Hope tomorrow works out better than today! You've got this man.

    Also, try to find happiness in the effort you're putting in. You're doing it for a reason, you have some goals you want to achieve. The process is miserable, but the result is worth it, so life's good ?

    • Like 2

  8. 11 hours ago, Deku said:

    I know it's nothing personal, as he just wants to do well in the class, and frankly his toxicity is nothing compared to the 12 year olds I've played with in League of Legends

    Lol I love the positivity there! Don't worry man, we all go through times in our lives when we don't know anything (or not enough)... that's what learning is for.

    Also a lesson for the future to not be so toxic to the folks that know less than you. I think you can be watchful without being a douche.

  9. Fair enough on the AI... although if you're looking 30-40 years out (at which point we might still be too young for retirement), AI sure as hell sounds more secure than pretty much any other job.

    And is university really a place to pursue ideas & human connection? The latter is secondary anyway. The former... I know you want to start your own business and be an entrepreneur, but is business school really good for that? It's definitely not over in the US and most entrepreneurs aren't business school grads. Business school is more for stuff like crunching numbers in hedge funds and calculating investment risks for some bank or fund or other.

    Plus, a solid career is a good fall-back option. It's why I do marketing. I've got some entrepreneurial projects in the works, but I know I can fail at them because I've got a back up. And risk-taking is crucial to success for new businesses.

    The difficulty will pass. You'll catch up over time. Heck, you're a smart guy, you might be the one people are going to for help by the end of it.

    Anywhoo, I think I've overextended my role here on this forum lol. Just playing devil's advocate to help you reason through it. I'll shut up now.

  10. Day 10/120
    Pomodorro Lvl 1 (23/100)
    Sleep before midnight x2
    Spiritual Routine: 2/7

    Sleep: 11:45pm -> 6:30am, 7:00am -> 12:00pm

    Dunno what happened there. I keep sleeping like that's all I was born to do. Another day or two of this and I'm going to need to start reigning it in. Not a lot of pomodorros today since I went out for breakfast/lunch with the wife after waking up. Didn't get started on work until basically 5pm.

    Not doing so well with the pomodorros so far... 3 days and I'm at 23, so just shy of 8/day and not all of those are going to work. I need to step this up in the next day or two.

    But things are still going well. No cravings. I'm in double digits in terms of detox days. Now's the time to crush it!

    Oh, and I'm going to sleep early... what on earth is happening? Fingers crossed I can keep this up for more than a few weeks.

    • Like 1

  11. I don't think it's the sex, to be honest. It's more a relationship with the opposite gender. Women give men something that other men can't, and not just physically.

    I'm Muslim and I didn't really date - just picked a good girl and we got married and been with her for 6+ years without regrets, but it's the companionship that's really helped me stay sane. It's the personal confidant you can go to and vent about life to and who's got your back and helps you pick yourself up when you're down in the dumps. Sex is more like food... it can be fun and even spicy, but it's just a carnal desire at the end of the day. And personally, I survived without it for years before marriage (I got married at 23), so I think part of your blaming stuff on lack of sex has more to do with the fact that you're feeling self-conscious about it. Personally, this whole "what year did I lose my virginity at" thing seems better left for high schoolers. In the grand scheme of things, what does it matter?

    Anyway, enough philosophizing lol.

    In terms of your major: if you really feel like the business major would be more beneficial long-term for your career (which is really why you're in university to begin with), then consider the change. But be realistic about it. A lot of business school is total BS. And a lot of the work being done by business grads is going to be taken over by AI in the next several decades... probably coded by those lame computer guys you're currently studying with lol.

    In terms of career prospects, AI is probably the only field which you don't need to worry about for the next foreseeable future. Everything else is waiting to be taken over by AI, it's just a question of whether that's going to happen in this decade or the next few. And man, AI has some hot jobs right now. If I was in school right now, I'd totally go for AI with a physics focus and apply for SpaceX on graduation. And don't tell me a SpaceX AI engineer ain't sexy. (I know, non-US folks aren't allowed to apply... bummer)

    Personally, I'm not relying to be a marketer forever. God knows a lot of the stuff people in my field used to do a decade or two ago is already being automated. I'm not counting on this job being there all the way until retirement.

    Anyway, the point is: think a couple of decades out when you're considering this, not about the immediate. Are you really better off with a business degree in the long-term? How many successful businessmen even have business degrees?

    And there's also the pride element: how are you going to feel about dropping out just because s**t got hard? And on the other hand, how would you feel if you put in the hard work and got this math and other crap down and graduated despite the difficulty? I doubt business school is going to give you the same feeling of accomplishment.

    I don't actually know what's best for you, but I'm just trying to argue the other point since you seem to be going in the other direction, just for balance ?

  12. 20 minutes ago, JustTom said:

    I should feel super happy about it, but I'm sad about the fact that once again, I have 0 time for social life because of the difficulty of the course.

    Temporary pain for important gain man. But maybe do use a pomodorro or two/day to do something social. The short-term sacrifice is worth it if it'll ensure long-term sanity.

  13. Day 9/120
    Pomodorro Lvl 1 (15/100)
    Sleep before midnight x1
    Spiritual Routine: 1/7

    Sleep: 11:30pm -> 6:30am, 7:00am -> 10:30am

    Slept a lot again. Original plan was to stay up after morning prayer and maybe have a siesta in the early afternoon. But I was way too tired. That's OK, I think I'm still sleeping off my travels.

    Better in terms of productivity today. Especially given that I only sat down to work for real by ~3pm and manged to squeeze out 5 hours of productivity. 

    I'm really enjoying the pomodorros. Since I don't want to use screens during break time, I stand up and walk around, do random stuff. This is good health-wise since I don't sit for prolonged periods and also for my eyes, since it reduces eye strain from screens. I'm actually enjoying having these rest periods and I don't want to make my work periods that much longer. I might just increase the work amount slightly and decrease break time slightly but not go crazy like first intended.

    Things are going well so far. No cravings. It obviously starts to worry me because God knows that this kind of motivation doesn't last. But if I can get my mind off of the dopamine for 120 days, I think I'll be in a much better place. And I really do think I have more ammunition than I did last time around. It's progress.

    Oh, I never got around to deleting my steam account. Gotta do that before cravings come back. I think I have another game download account on another website too. Have to make sure to remove that one as well.

    • Like 2

  14. Nail on the head. I had this moment of clarity a couple of weeks back where I realized that whether it was games or YouTube or movies or even fiction books: all of those things were a means to live other people's emotions without experiencing my own.

    Like I realized that I don't love people close to me very strongly. I don't feel extremely sad when time calls for it or extremely happy. I'm almost always just "meh" because I don't live my own life, I just experience others' or fake mine through games (through fake achievements, milestones, etc). 

    I've completed a 90-day game detox, but my new detox includes any video content unless it's something I actually need. So random TED talk, even if useful = no. But if I need to look up how to do something, YT is the best for that and I use it. It feels damn good, I actually feel unplugged finally.

    I think it takes trial and error. If you know the feeling & behavior that comes with the dopamine rush from games, it won't take long to recognize the same from other behaviors. Eliminate all those. 

    I don't really think there's a point in trying to quit one habit at a time because the dopamine problem is still there and so having any one of those habits is enough to bring back all of them at some point. But there may be others who disagree.

    As for anxiety... just shooting in the dark here, but my guess would be that it's your brain not knowing what to do without the stimulation. I say embrace the new you! The new you that can just sit there and enjoy life without doing anything particularly exciting.

    Not sure if that's helpful =/

  15. Day 8/120
    Pomodorro Lvl 1 (5/100)

    Slept a ton. I think I have a lot of sleep to catch up on, so I'll allow myself to sleep in over the next couple of days.

    Easing back into work. 5 pomodorros ain't a lot, but I started late...

    Overall, I'm not watching videos (and not even craving for it) and haven't thought of games in a while, so I'm feeling good. Here's to another 112 successful days!

    • Like 1

  16. 19 hours ago, JustTom said:

    Looks like the laptop in a locker trick didn't change much

    Give it a little time (maybe even a lot of time) to take effect. Not having the laptop with you at night is a great habit overall. At the very least, you'll learn what else is making you stay up if this alone won't fix the sleep problem. It's very useful to dig down to the essential problems so you can solve your issues at their roots.

    Considering you almost relapsed a few days ago, it sounds like you're doing really well! And day 50! That's a solid milestone ? Closer to the finish line than to the start now and way past your previous record.

    A lot to be positive about!

    • Like 1

  17. Days 6-7/120

    Finished my trip with minimal usage of the laptop or phone in general. I'm enjoying the simply "being" in the moment. I'm not super zen about it or anything, but not staring into a screen at all times feels good.

    I'm getting back to work and I'm going to steal @JustTom's pomodorro level idea, except I'll adapt it to the way I think would work better with me. The "level" system is going to be based on the amount of work minutes vs rest minutes. I'll slowly increase the focus minutes and slowly decrease rest minutes as I "level up". Overall I'm hoping for at least 16 pomodorros a day (8 hours of productive time), so a week's worth should put me at just over 100 pomodorros. I think that's a good target. It'll be easier now, but as I increase the focus minutes, each pomodorro will mean more time and so the 100 pomodorros/level goal will get harder.

    I'm also going to re-introduce my Qur'an habit: 15 minutes in morning and 15 minutes in evening. I'm tempted to turn this into a level system too, but I feel like that's a bit too obsessive.

    That's it for now. Let's keep it simple. Here's to a kick-ass week #2!

    • Like 1

  18. I'd say go further: just get rid of the computer (and all gaming devices, including smartphone). Put passwords on all your devices. Try to restrict your use too so he doesn't see it as hypocritical. 

    And try best as you can to explain why you're doing it. He might not be happy despite the explanation, but he may be more grateful years later.

    I definitely wish my parents did this for me when I was younger. I'm 30 now and it's a hell of a lot harder to rewire the brain at this age.

    Just be aware: if he's on the autism spectrum, then this will be a lot harder. Autistic people/aspies are more predisposed to these kinds of behaviors. I'd read about aspie parenting first before taking the computer away.

    • Like 1

  19. 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
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