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About GrainSiloEnthusiast

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  1. I am proud to announce... I have now gone an entire year without gaming! Reflections on this feat: > I didn't know how to live without video games before my first-ever detox (which had lasted 30 days) and after returning to moderate consumption, my relationship to games was permanently changed. An entire year without gaming has shown me that there is so much more to life beyond games, and I never have to go back to my old way of living! > This is my 3rd? detox. My first was 30 days, the second was 60+ (I was shooting for 90 and gave up some point along the way.) After reaching 90 days this third time around I decided to shoot for the moon and go a whole year. The success has left me wanting more, more and more time without gaming. > My recovery from drug addiction through Narcotics Anonymous is what allowed me to realize gaming was a problem in my life. Being clean from games feels a lot like being clean from drugs! It goes to show, it's not about what you use, but your reaction to it. I cannot game and have a stable life, in the exact same way that I cannot use mind altering substances recreationally and have a stable life. > Despite art-making being my biggest passion, when I game it's the first thing to go out the window. I only have so much time in a day, and especially now that I have a family, I have to be really mindful about how I allocate my time. > I'm a better partner and a better mom when I don't game. Gaming pulls me away from the people I love and makes me aggressive when I'm interrupted. When I'm gaming all I can think about is video games, so it distracts me even when I'm not playing too! > I thought winter would be harder. And yes I did watch a lot more TV and use my phone a lot more in the winter, but I didn't game. Previously that was unthinkable! Turns out, I actually love winter. I went into it with a mindset of hibernation, I allowed myself to slow down and prioritize rest. And when I did go outside and do things? Turns out I even enjoy the way the snow alters the landscape in every way, even influencing how I navigate my city! I paid a lot more attention to winter this year, and there is so much to enjoy about it that I previously wrote off. > I know there's a bunch of money that would have gone towards gaming that instead went to better things! We even sold our consoles, which meant more money in our pockets! Gaming is an expensive addiction!! > I've felt isolated when other people game around me. Rather than relapsing, I excused myself and went for a walk, and reflected on my thoughts and feelings. I don't drink even when people drink around me, and I don't game when people game around me, either! It can be hard, but it's worth it. > I still have relapse dreams. I still find myself nostalgic for games that I deeply loved. But the same is true for drugs, and I don't do either anymore. Thoughts aren't actions! The dreams are a wonderful reminder of why I don't do these things in waking life anyway, they always leave me feeling super relieved when I wake up! > Honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness. These things don't just keep me from using vices, they improve my quality of life all-around. I don't tell a bunch of little white lies anymore, I don't spare feelings just to spare feelings. Telling the truth is scary and sometimes difficult, but I've found it's far more satisfying. I used to be a people-pleasing compulsive liar, but very recently I've sworn to stop and it's already made a huge positive impact on my life. > I believe in myself more than I ever have before. I never thought I could do this. This is the longest I have ever gone without gaming IN MY ENTIRE LIFE since I started, and I started when I was like 5? or maybe even younger! I wonder how different my life would have been had I never started. But now I have a chance to make up some of that lost time, and I'm gonna hold tight to it.
  2. My cats were a tuxedo, a tonkinese mix (same litter as the tux!!), And a dilute tortie. I say were because we rehomed the tuxedo recently. She is now my friend's emotional support cat!! The instrument I mainly play is the kalimba 🙂 ❤️
  3. My average screen time the last 7 days has been 49 minutes! It had been 2.5 hours before I started my goal to not use my phone around my daughter. Even though a lot of that screen time had been reading, I'm trying to either listen to audiobooks or actually get paper books from the library.
  4. 78 days without Reddit! 6 days of avoiding using my phone around my toddler! And averaging about 1 hour of phone time total. I also have an unofficial goal to only watch 1 episode of TV a day, which I am flexible with because some days I don't watch any TV at all. I have definitely stopped binge watching, that's for sure. Last but not at all least... 11 months without gaming since May 1st!
  5. On May 1st it will be 11 months since I last touched a video game. I've really been missing building in The Sims and it's still something I go back and forth about doing once my year long detox is over. Even though there's a couple other games I miss, I know my life is better for not gaming. I don't like who I am when I game. There's so many other things I want to do and I won't have time for those things if I'm gaming. Because I can argue that using The Sims for house building, and Only for house building, is a creative and productive activity... I need to set boundaries so that it doesn't turn into a full blown relapse if I do decide to use it. I have decided that, as long as I work within the boundaries I am setting for myself, using The Sims to build will not count as a relapse for me personally. (Drawing comparisons is something I do that helps me make sense of things. The best comparison I can draw between this and my drug addiction recovery is: I am allowed to use medications, even if said medications do technically get me "high" under the right circumstances, correct dosages, with supervision. As long as I know I am using the substance responsibly, I do not consider it a relapse. I was on opiates for weeks after my C-section and I did not consider that a relapse. It did not Feel the way a relapse Feels. This is an example of using drugs as a tool, the healthiest way to use them.) Boundaries for using The Sims as a design tool: >No "live mode". Build mode only. >Only when daughter is at school or otherwise out of the house. >Partner gets first dibs at the computer, because it is her computer. >Still not allowed to consume Sims content for entertainment (streams/YouTube/etc.) >Have an idea or plan before starting. Don't use this as a way to muck about and waste time. Having fun is allowed but it needs to be a byproduct and not the goal itself. >Keep a written record of projects for accountability purposes. (...I'm actually having a hard time coming up with things? If anyone has any further ideas I'm up for hearing them.) If it still feels like a relapse even with all of these boundaries in place, I will have to remove The Sims completely from my life again and reset my clean time! Hopefully it won't be that way if I do decide to do this, but that's the risk I'm taking.
  6. Have to admit, feeling quite triggered by being in the same room as my wife while she plays Stardew Valley (one of my favorite games) with her nephew. I try to remind myself that I barely have time to do the things I currently want to do, I have nowhere to fit gaming into my schedule without sacrificing the other things I want to be doing more.
  7. I was into games like Minecraft, Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing, The Sims, Roller Coaster Tycoon, House Flipper..... And many more. Management simulators and life simulators were my drug of choice. Probably because so much of my life felt out of my control... Such as the fact that I'll probably never own my own home because of my disabilities. I also desperately wanted to express myself in artistic ways. Nowadays I seek the same things I sought out in those games, but the real life equivalents. I explore real nature. I draw and paint. I decluttered, clean, and decorate my living space. I'm getting back into riding a bike. I even go out of my way to make sure I can ride real roller coasters once a year! I apply the few things I learned through video games, like the extreme perseverance needed to be a completionist, and I apply them to my real endeavour now too. That's how I was able to become a mandala artist... I taught myself patience through repetitive actions that build on each other to become something beautiful. (Like when I built my ACNH island, for example.) It helps that I have a daughter now, and our relationship is the most important thing in my life. Nothing compares to the real thing! Fake kids in The Sims could never replace my amazing, hilarious, creative, smart, beautiful little girl. I lost a lot of time with my dad to his video game addiction, and when my daughter was 8 Months old I made the decision that I wouldn't make the same mistakes. Nearly 10 months later, quitting games is one of the best decisions I have ever made! Not even my first rodeo, I've done 3 detoxes before this. But this is the longest I've ever gone and this time I'm in it to kick games for good.
  8. 31 days without Reddit! (Not to mention... Coming up on 11 months without video games!) I still need that site blocker for sure, I accidentally click on it ALL THE TIME. Leaving Reddit will likely be permanent, much like my choices to leave Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Now that I've been away from it this long I can see it's not necessary and hardly beneficial to my life. Patience for any sort of moving pictures with sound is quite thin these days, be it online videos, shows, or movies. Even music I can only listen to when I'm in precisely the right mood for it! Very different from how I used to be. I crave peace, slowness, quiet. My favorite activities are reading, writing, drawing, and simply observing the real world. No doubt this has to do with raising a toddler... Self explanatory really. But with the weather changing... I find myself with more energy and I'm craving activity. Recently I bought a cheap kick scooter at a thrift store, took that out once last week and it was a blast. We also stumbled across MOUNTAIN BIKES in the shed, they're DIL's but we can use them, so I really want to get back into biking as well! I really want to lose some weight too... I'm still breastfeeding though which makes that incredibly difficult. Currently sitting on the borderline between healthy and fat, and I've always been skinny before. They're not kidding, pregnancy changes everything. I'm hoping just making some healthy changes now will contribute to the end goal when it becomes more feasible!
  9. Staying off Reddit has helped me diversify where I get information from when I need to get an answer to a question! I used to always default to adding "Reddit" as a search term on Google when I wanted more "human" answers. Now as an alternative I use "blog" or "forum" instead. This is for more personal stuff, IE maybe things like spirituality, not scientific or news stuff. And yes staying off of Reddit has given me back a lot of my time, because the rabbit holes would always suck my time away before! Even time spent on my phone feels more productive than before. I tend to default to reading an ebook or something, rather than reading a bunch of nonsense that isn't even relevant to my life lol! I've drastically cut down on my YouTube consumption as well recently. I've found my patience for that kind of media is incredibly thin. It feels very bombarding to my senses, how every video tries to pack as much as possible into 10 minutes or less. When I want to just veg out and watch something, I have to put on an actual show or movie... And I am PICKY! None of that ADHD-triggering crap. Pacing, editing, focus... Those things are incredibly important to me and I am very sensitive about it. Switching from short-form to long-form media is really helpful for regaining an attention span, even if what you're consuming is purely entertainment. It's better to watch one long good movie than several YouTube videos in the same amount of time. Part of this whole revolution going on in my relationship to tech is me honoring my autistic body. I am learning to quicker recognize when I am getting overstimulated, and when I do I respect myself and simply turn the damn thing off!
  10. 20 days without Reddit! And it really has been as beneficial as I thought it would be.
  11. I have to avoid YouTube and even Google search for the next few days, because I've been over-researching a personal thing and I'm finally going to talk to an authority on the issue on Thursday. This is gonna be hard for sure, wish me luck @__@
  12. Today will be day 9 without Reddit!? This is turning out to be far easier than I expected it to be... Which really comes as a surprise. After the first few days I hardly even remember I ever used Reddit in the first place... I also try to stay away from sites like Quora, but I haven't banned it completely because that's not what I was compulsively checking. I actually have come to APPRECIATE the login-wall that comes up on Quora, where it forces you to sign in or leave? I don't currently have a Quora account and for the longest time the login-wall was so irritating to me... But now it stops me from easily going down a rabbit hole (which I did all the time when I had an account, just like Reddit.) It still tempts me with all of it's "related" links... But then the login-wall saves the day. How ironic is that? So far so good!
  13. My wife has one, and after writing all that I asked if I could borrow it, she said yes! She hasn't been using it a lot lately 🙂 So I don't have to feel guilty for keeping it from her either haha
  14. Today was day 3 without Reddit, and LeechBlock has saved my butt quite a few times already! I have clicked Reddit Google results without even realizing it's Reddit until the extension blocks it for me. (I read the blurb of the search results more than the titles, plus I skim very quickly and pick a result within seconds. Easy to miss what website something is on when I work in such a way! So far I have already noticed a general improvement in my well-being from avoiding just that one site. I'm still averaging 2-3 hours of screen time on my phone per day (which I want to work on decreasing) but that's actually way better than some of the days I was using Reddit... Nearly 6 hours one of the days last week! This is something I keep wrestling with. My Internet/ social media addiction is one I keep falling back into over and over again. I've been combatting this for YEARS! It doesn't help that those sites are literally designed to be addictive... I know though, that as the weather warms up, it will be easier and easier to get off my phone. I anticipated this struggle as winter approached and decided I'd go easy on myself since I am in the process of quitting gaming. I'm doing so awesome at that, 8 almost 9 months without gaming! My habits have changed significantly and I'm meeting way more of my goals. The only reason I don't make a screentime related goal is because I've been reading books a lot on my phone lately, and that can inflate the time a lot. I definitely don't want anything else holding me back from reading! I would be reading more paperbacks but with a toddler it's way more risky, phones can take a lot more of a beating than books can. I should see if my partner will let me borrow the e reader... Anyway I didn't intend for this to be so long, I just wanted to check in and let everyone know I'm doing okay with my new goal!