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    Journal

    Having a clear view of things is the first step into acting upon them! Few personal views of mine about them, hope they help in some way. 1. You can slowly build up resistance and increase your workout sessions. Take note of the exercise you do and how you feel about it, so that you know when to increase rhythm and when to back it down a bit. 2. Once in a while isn't a problem. The problem is to rely on it to get the dopamine you would be craving for. But biology cannot be denied, humans have sexual urges now and then, and it makes no good to repress it forever. 3. Can't say much here, I have a lot of difficulties on this one. I can open myself to friends, girlfriend, but to family I fell... weird about. 4. It's not helpful to go full energy, head on, into hard and wild changes, only to find later on that you took a step too big for you and now the floor is faltering under your feet. Take it slow and steady, and gradually adapting your plans as you need. At least that was the lesson of an old professor of mine, and I'm glad I never forgot, because it has been helping me a lot recently. 5. I'm a skeptic, and a Socrates fan. I think we all should have low confidence on our knowledge, but high confidence on our ability to learn. And it doesn't matter how many repetitions it takes for you to learn, as long as at the end of each you can be reasonably sure it added something new to you. About him who knows the most, however, that knowledge is only any good as the good things it brings him. Else, it makes of him a walking bookcase, which has all the knowledge but little use for it. 6. Yes, you should. If idiots are free to talk what they please, why wouldn't amazing people also be? Keep rocking.
  2. Whoopsidaisies. Yesterday night I was really tired, and when I remembered to actually come write my daily entry I was already at bed, trying to sleep. It was such a long and unproductive day, one of those you feel you are overburdened but nothing you do adds up to what you actually want to achieve. But, as a good wannabe lawyer, I'm going to hold on to the technicality that my last post was already made yesterday, since I was posting everyday after midnight, to say that I didn't break my streak. For now on, however, I'm going to post on the correct day. Like I was saying, yesterday was not a very good day, in that I did very little towards my goals. Today, however, was a much better one. I woke up well rested, had very good insights and was able to put them to paper instead of letting them get lost amidst my very fast moving train of thought. The afternoon was slow, as it usually is with me. I have to do something to concentrate better and ramp up my productivity after lunch. Good thing is that I had no cravings whatsoever. Bad thing is that I spent too much time looking into Forex trading simulation apps and texts. At some point in my life I had the intention to learn the stuff, but I got frustrated because no matter how much I read about it, for the life of me I couldn't learn to do it right. Today it seems it all finally started to sink in, but I am really, REALLY afraid to develop a toxic habit out of it and make it replace gaming, because it triggers some very close mechanisms to it. If I'm going to give it another try, I better define a very strict schedule for it. I don't want to fool myself into thinking I'm doing something useful with my time while I'm really not. I need to drink more water. Onwards we go!
  3. Every time I think about letting something I should be doing now to later I tell myself that. We are now responsible for ourselves, we now get the stuff done, this is what we are from now on. Watch out for boredom. At least for me, it used to be my worst drive to gaming. Have a back up plan for it, something you can do that is harmless and helps you deal with it. Maybe watch some TED talk you have been willing to for quite some time, maybe read some novel you always wanted to... it'll serve as a reward for the good work you have been doing. Treat yourself well, you deserve it. Cheers and keep rocking.
  4. So far so good. On more day out of gaming, and today not even a sign of cravings. Plus, I did some good progress organizing some of my stuff. My girlfriend came to spend the afternoon studying with me and she has an amazing work ethic, I was lucky I could sit beside her and concentrate on my stuff today. I have to be sure to let her know some day how much she inspires me. Still, small activities like taking some French lessons on Duolingo, or taking economy classes online (which is something of a "serious hobby" of sorts for me) end up slipping by because of circumstantial stuff. I have to improve my time management skills ASAP. @NannerZ and @Ikar, thank you very much for your support and your tips! Really appreciate it! Onwards! Tomorrow has always something reserved for us!
  5. In my specific case, I allow myself to watch videos or read news after lunch and at early night, which are slow periods for me anyway, so I'm not losing too much time as I would be dragging myself into any kind of productive activity. Be sure to either set a timer or carefully track the time you spend at it, so that you don't binge. And don't let the "just one more" mindset get you. Good luck!
  6. Fight for yourself before you may fight for anything else. I know, this sentence might come out as an egotistical statement, but it is not. At least not in the context of of a person managing a serious addiction that threatens to ruin her life, because here the person isn't fighting against other people for some selfish goal, she is fighting against herself all along. And for a noble goal. That person is fighting to turn her worst enemy, herself, into her best friend. Know thyself. Become what thou art. Today I decided to start this journal. I was resisting this because I was afraid I would lose interest in it and stop writing, but that assumes the worst outcome possible to this new journey of mine: that I'm going to fail, that I'm going to relapse. That is because the only reason for me to lose interest in something that actively benefits myself right now would be if I went back to compulsive gaming, which had the power to make me lose interest on about everything, from hobbies, to passions, to people. And which I am not going to, anymore. I was also resisting because I was assuming I would break the commitment to myself that a journal takes, that I would not write everyday, that I wouldn't be strong enough for that. After all, what good is a journal that is not worked on every day? Journal, the word, comes from the Proto-Indo-European root dyeu (to shine), through the Latin dies (day), and the French jour. Italian for it is giornale. Portuguese uses diário, closer to diary, which comes directly from the Latin root. A journal with no daily entries is a contradiction, and I strive for consistency. Thus, daily entries, no matter how puny and ridiculous they might be, must ensue. It has been 21 days since I started my first 90 days detox try. Before that, I have tried several times, without success, to moderate my gaming time, to game responsibly, and deep down I still wish I can some say manage to do it. But now, after finding Game Quitters community and Cam's work on the subject, I know I can't simply trust my rational brain to manage it. Know yourself. I don't trust myself with games, I'll not trust myself to game again for a long time, certainly not before I achieve my most immediate goals, which aren't trivial. I must conclude my graduation thesis, that has been delayed for about a decade because of my addiction, I must prepare myself for the Bar exam that will follow, even though it has been years since I seriously looked into a law book, and I must get myself to at the very least an intermediate level in French, from being an absolute beginner. If I still want to try gaming responsibly after all of that have been taken care of, then I'll give it a try. If not... Become that what you are. But for that, you must forget what isn't you anymore.
  7. 20 days without gaming. I'm still a big mess, but a slightly smaller mess than before quitting. I now have a rough account on the tasks I need to do, in which I'm already working on, and I also have goals, rough as they are, instead of wishes. A goal is a wish you start to work towards with intent on achieving. A wish is just a distant dream. I still have those, everyone must have theirs, but without the power to act upon them, they serve nothing, and this power could only come to me after leaving gaming behind. I'm also a little bit more focused, even if with the help of reminders and alarms. More than the time to start a task, they remind me of the task itself and the things I set up for me to work ASAP. Setting a routine is still a problem, though. I oftentimes get unrest feelings, some unsettleness, some unease and anxiety about my work environment, or the way I'm doing something, but I guess this is because of the huge change in attitude and expectations I'm going through. After all, I went from having zero expectations and just plunging into time-sucking and mind-numbing gaming to having a lot of expectations and having to carefully manage time. This is a huge leap. Understanding it helps to cope with the anxiety that it results in, but I believe only time will help things settle and a sense of order arise. Thus, I try not to rush things too much, on the fear of a relapse. Replacing the old gaming habit with new bad habits like mindless browsing or watching YT videos is also a fear of mine, and something I caught myself doing several times. It is less dangerous, but still time-wasting and distracting. So, I give myself a daily permit to read news and watch YT, but only at certain periods and for a limited time, which admittedly I have to become better at managing. Still, going from wasting 10 hours/day on gaming to wasting about 3 hours/day with at least partially informative reading and watching routines is something of a step on the right direction. I'm not entirely satisfied with it and I want to improve even further, but, again, giving myself some time to accommodate things is a way to not put too much pressure too soon over myself and risk a relapse and further grief. Baby steps, one at a time. I think the best improvement I have had, though, is to feel conscious and awake. When you game for almost 2/3 of the time you are not sleeping, things fell fuzzy, time slips by, reality feels... weird, almost distant. Things kinda make little sense, because everything you want to do with your time is use it on a task self-contained inside a virtual reality that isn't affected by what is going on around you. I believe Game Quitters' mote is almost incredibly fitting. Quitting compulsive game is quite literally unlocking life.
  8. Trick question, for me. I've already realized I had some sort of a problem way back around 2010. But back then I though I had it under control and could quit whenever I wanted, but, of course, I never wanted to. Why would I, if it helped me cope with negative feelings and if it were under my control? Only recently, about a year ago, more or less, is that I could break through this tautological rationalization and face the fact that gaming was the actual problem by itself. At first I thought I would be fine just reducing gaming time, but I wasn't strong enough and what should be just an hour of gaming would easily become the entire day. I needed to stop it for a while, maybe for ever. Then I started to look around the internet for sources. I found a mobile app called GameAddiction, which offers information and sources about the problem, and it led me to Cam's TED talk and to Game Quitters' YT channel. I felt like "this is the new beginning I thought I was never gonna get". Life saving, probably.
  9. I was going to create a thread for this, but I figured it fits really nicely in here. I'm 12 days into my first detox routine and I had my as of yet biggest craving this afternoon, to the point I thought I was gonna relapse. Thankfully I didn't, and the effort had me thinking about the nature of cravings according to the info Cam already shared in his videos. I systematized a bit my effort to cope with it and I'm bringing it up to get some feedback. Here we go: - Face the craving. Recognize it for what it is. - Understand that the nature of the craving is the abstinence syndrome you are going through. - Understand that the role of the craving is to take your focus away from what you are doing to throw you into an activity that supplies your body with that what you ultimately crave for, i.e., it wants you to game so that you get the dopamine released by the instant gratification cycle. - Appropriate yourself of the craving instead of letting it appropriate itself of you. Name the craving out loud, realize its mechanics, rationalize it. - Suppress the craving. Actively reject to submit, tell yourself you're not going to play because you have much more important things to do. - Focus on your assignments immediately. - Repeat if and when the craving comes back. If it's too insistent, change the task you are doing for something else you have already scheduled or reward yourself for resisting the craving: go for a walk, play with your pets or do some other activity that will physically remove you from what was causing you to crave games. This resumes what I did. It took me around 5 min to go through this thought process and it worked pretty well for me, albeit only repetition will tell if it's really something useful or just wishful thinking.
  10. James said it all. Keep your motivation and your intent in mind. Remind yourself of it whenever you feel that anxiety and compulsion cravings bring. Maybe write it down somewhere and look at it sometimes. Add or subtract things as you feel necessary, but always keep them with you. They are the reason you are sacrificing yourself, they are the goals you have been delaying with gaming, so, in order to keep gaming away, remind of your reasons why. Good luck! And best wishes to your and your significant other!
  11. Addiction is this: being attached to something as if it were to you like oxygen. Games aren't oxygen. We don't need it. Everything positive that it can provide to a healthy and responsible player, we have to take from other sources, because we addicts simply can't handle playing, just like an alcoholic can't handle a single drink without a serious risk of binging. Thankfully, game addiction doesn't pose the same level of serious health hazards to the individual as alcohol, cocaine or tobacco do, but it still can wreck the person's life. I know that first hand. You are right. You don't have to give in to the greed of the developer, you don't have to put up with toxic people and the community they go in just to extract their pleasure from other people's suffering, you don't have to waste your health and your time with something that isn't bringing you anything positive in return. You did well in leaving all of that behind. Stay strong and keep focused on your intent.
  12. I'm in. I believe that raising awareness of the problem is urgent and extremely important in order to reach out as many people affected by it as possible.
  13. It is hard to try and introduce yourself while you want to avoid sharing personal information. The two things likely seem oxymoronic, but I think they are not, so I'll make a genuine effort at it. Well, I would likely not be here if I wasn't connected to game addiction to some extent, so y'all know that already. In fact, I've been personally struggling with it since late childhood, and I'm well into my 30's. I come from a non-English speaking country where mental healthcare is stigmatizing and not easy to get, and awareness of most but the more common mental health disorders is practically non-existing. So, I'm self-diagnosed (well, technically, I was diagnosed by a family member, but I resisted that diagnostic for many years, until it finally caught up to me), but the symptoms and the way it affects my life makes for a textbook case of addiction. So, nowadays, and in possession of the information that I now have thanks to the effort of people like @Cam Adair in spreading awareness of the problem, I don't doubt that diagnostic not even for a split-second. For starters, I'm about 10 years late in delivering my graduation thesis. How about that? My academic life and my professional opportunities were absolutely wrecked by my addiction and I even count myself as lucky, because my family relations weren't totally destroyed and because my social life managed to be just about OK despite of it. My covering efforts, endless and fatiguing excuses and lies made me pass as a secluded, somewhat weird and messy, but affable guy, which are things about as true as the fact that I'm an addicted to games, but it's also an useful image that helps to shrug away any major inquiry. Well, I don't want that life for me, anymore. I'm exhausted of it. I want to have a normal life, I want to not need to lie and hide my shame away. I'm ready to accept the consequences of my choices, clouded and irrational as they were. More importantly, I'm ready to make the sacrifices that I need to do in order to get my life back on track. Deep down, I wish I will be able to go back to games in a responsible and moderate manner some day, but If I have to let games go forever, I will. It is a compromise I must do, to detach and let games go, in order to avoid suffering not only for me, but for my family and my beloved ones, and I'll do it. I actually am seven days into my first detox routine. Seven days without any gaming whatsoever is the biggest period I can remember intently pulling out, and I'm proud of it. But it has being hard, specially today. Yesterday and the day before were quite stressful, but I remained firm in the intent of not playing, saying to myself that if I can manage to plow through such stress without coping it with gaming, I can do anything I ever want to. But actually today has been harder. Quite a calm, hot Sunday, and it's being way harder, because I have no plans for the day and I saw myself watching YT videos about WWII, which reminded me of games I love, which usually would drive me into gaming. Suddenly, I saw that, yes, coping with, anxiety, stress and other negative feelings is a huge factor into my drive for games, but so is idleness, maybe even more so.That's why I decided to subscribe myself to this forum, which I've been lurking on for the past couple weeks, and write this. To clear my head of those things and occupy my time a little so that I can avoid the pitfall of idleness and maybe even start to organize my ideas a little bit. I always have been an awful planner, I don't know how to organize myself and even when I manage to pull some plan for something, I drop it halfway through, so that is my next major quest: to learn how to make plans with the intent to stick with them all the way. I also have to deal with procrastination. Having devoted any and every time I've got to games, and even making time for it, taking it from other activities I should be doing, makes for extremely low pro-activity and initiative. Being aware of all of that is the key to tackle them, though, and I'm optimistic about my chances. I've been a smoker for more than 10 years and I quit it for 5 years as of now, I know first hand what cravings are and how they are triggered, I know what a withdraw syndrome is and how it feels. I hope this experience will help me dealing with quitting games. As a matter of fact, quitting games have been comparably more difficult so far. I don't expect it to get easier. One last bit. Besides the messages of Cam, which I think people here probably already follow closely, another message that deeply resonated within myself these days and is helping me to find motivation and intent is the one delivered by Simon Sinek in his 2010 TED talk about what he dubs "the golden circle" and how great leaders inspire action. In short, he says leaders mustn't start telling people what and how they do the things they do, but why. In our case, we, our rational minds, must lead ourselves out of our addiction and into a healthy and fulfilling life, whatever this means to each one of ourselves individually. So, we all know what we need to do: we need to stop playing games compulsively or even stop playing games at all. "To stop to play" is what we do, and how we do it is by being aware of a behavior pattern that constitute itself in an addiction, and to be aware of the cues and triggers and of our environment so that we avoid relapse. That's all fine, we all understand that. But why? Why to stop this addiction pattern? Why are we subjecting ourselves to that not insignificant exercise in will power and to the sacrifices we know we need to do in order to achieve that goal? It seems to me that, to be successful in this endeavor, I must start by telling myself why I'll do it, but I only have vague ideas as of now. I know I want to live a better life in my own terms, I know I want to achieve certain objectives that have being hampered by the addiction in games I have, but those are all results. They don't describe my purpose, my cause, they don't describe why do I get out of my bed in the morning nor why should anyone care about it. But I remember telling someone, years ago, that, whatever I took upon myself to do, my goal was to leave the things around me better than that what I found. Yes, I'm aware that this is the most generic purpose one could have, but it is exactly the one guideline that fits every single situation and every single place and time. So, that's what I'm leaving your with, now. I will improve on it for myself, in fact I'm going to work on it right now, so that my intent isn't left empty and I would be risking a relapse, and so that my plans aren't left lacking and risking me abandoning them. And that is the one advice I leave you with, if I may. Find your why. Find the purpose that move and inspire you to leave the things around you better than what you found. Thank you for reading it all.
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