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Gaming the System 006 - James' First 30 Days As a Digital Nomad in Thailand!

DontDonut

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  1. Day 9: Didn't finish all the points on today's list because I went to an open air concert with a friend. I think that's okay, not meeting all the goals, as long as I'm doing something that helps add some balance in my life, like hanging out with friends, doing something creative etc. Taking a look at my list, it only contains chores and work and no leisure time. I don't want to spend all my time playing video games, but I still want to have fun in life. All work and no play makes jack a dull boy. Still, not finishing my list because I want to have fun instead kind of completely misses the wholy point of even having a list. Maybe I should include more balanced points as well. Going out on walks, hanging out with people, practise my instruments. I don't know. I don't want to get obsessed with micro managing all my time, though I might have to start planning my days more thoroughly.
  2. Day 8: Chewed through the list pretty quickly today, even though I didn't enjoy it at all. Still had a lot of spare time when I was done. Luckily a friend called me up and we spent the evening together, so I wasn't faced with the temptation of gaming. I got so lost in the conversation I didn't even realize how much time was passing. I feel like the list thing worked really good though. Yesterday I had my doubts about managing to finish all the points on it, but in the end I'm impressed by the results. Wrote a second list for tomorrow, and if that turns out fine, I'll set up more long-term goals and just roll with the list thing.
  3. Thanks a lot for the advice, that's exactly what I need right now. I can definitely learn from your perspective. It's awesome that people care enough to share their own experiences here. I feel taken care of very well! Also, though it may not seem like a huge deal, hearing that it's normal and it's okay to feel this way helps me deal with all those doubts a lot. So thanks for that!
  4. Day 7: First week is done! Nice! Couldn't find the motivation to cook dinner today. Just didn't feel like doing it. Not that nice. There's no university next week, so I'll be at home more often than usual, which is going to be tough. Got the advice to stick to a schedule when I'm struggling with motivation, so I made a list of all the things I want to do tomorrow. I have never in my whole entire life done anything like this. I used to just do whatever work popped up in my head whenever I felt like doing it. Never thought I was going to be one of those people, you know. Guess I was wrong. And also an asshole for judging people who make lists.
  5. That's a genuinely great way of thinking about it. Understanding and accepting the desire instead of fighting it makes so much sense. It feels very healthy to treat myself not as an enemy that needs to be suppressed but rather as some lost soul needing my help. Come to think of it I really don't liek the fighting metaphor very much, it implies a constant battle, instead of working towards being at peace with my past and my desires. I like it. Awesome advice! Thanks for taking the time and writing that down! That's very wholesome and important for me to hear, thank you! Knowing people have already gone through what I'm going through and came out alright gives me confidence. I feel weird at the thought of tricking my brain into doing things, though. Kind of like I'm deceiving myself in order to feel better, which is what I am trying to get away from.
  6. Day 6: I have no idea what I'm doing with my time. I sit there, staring at my university stuff all day, but I'm not really getting shit done. It's odd, but I was functioning better a week ago, when I was still gaming. Now I just feel like I'm stuck. I can't concentrate on anything. I find myself reading the same paragraph for the fifth time and I still have no idea what the hell the words are supposed to mean. Still, almost a week is done. I'm glad I got this far. Baby steps.
  7. Day 5: Talked to a friend about addiction in general and what activities you can do instead of the ones you are trying to quit. He's been through some substance abuse and several relapses himself. He said that sometimes, addicts on cold turkey will just turn to a different substance / activity / object of addiction and just get obsessed with that. That it doesn't really matter what you do, you might just end up substituting one bad habit with another. He said that the only thing that helped him was meditation, meditating every time he gets the urge to drink. I asked him if that doesn't turn meditating into something compulsive as well. He said that while that might be true, compulsive meditation isn't a bad thing. Which got me thinking: what is it that makes a habit bad? Is it bad, if I listen to music all day long lately? Can I get addicted to going out for walks? Or meeting new people? Or studying? Working? Is it better if you constantly switch your activites so you don't obsess over one single thing? But then I will never meet my need of growth that is no longer fulfilled by gaming. I didn't quite understand the reasoning behind why meditation is better than the rest, but I tried some breathing exercises after coming home just now and it did help me wind down a lot.
  8. Yeah, it sure is a luxury problem. Having too much time. It will probably come back to bite me in the ass someday, but right now I wish I had less time to somehow fill.
  9. Day 4: Today was great. Spent almost no time at home at all. Jammed out on analogue synthesizers and drums with a couple of people for more than 6 hours. Felt really good. I'm exhausted now. Hardly even thought about video games all day long. If every day can be like today, I'm okay with this.
  10. I'm impressed by the raw, unfiltered honesty in this. Very high level of self-reflection. You probably didn't write this as something to go over again, but I'm wondering what you meant by " I've been obsessed with the actitude you have ..."? Didn't understand that paragraph. Can very much relate to that last bit about wanting to be sincere with yourself and others. I think the worst thing I've done is lie to myself about how much digital media owns my life.
  11. Day 3: I wonder how long it will take for life to stop being about distracting myself from video games and start being about the actual things I'm doing to distract myself with. Like, when will it start feeling like I'm doing an activity for its own sake and not just to keep my thoughts from my laptop screen? Hope it won't be that long. Came home from university today and just sat there, wondering what to do to wind down from the day. Nothing really came to mind. So I did more university work. And I'm in a pretty bad mood now. Day 3 is almost done nonetheless. If I can survive three days without gaming, I can survive a week. If I can survive a week, I can survive a month. At least I hope so.
  12. Getting back to who I was before my obsessive involvement with video games. Day 2: I don't know if I'm in a good place right now. I quit video games yesterday. I lost sight of what I was trying to accomplish in life. I was becoming an asshole too obsessed with games to care about people. Yesterday was easy. I deleted all my games. I turned off my laptop, cooked a good dinner and went straight to bed. Today was hard. It feels strange writing this down, but I forgot how many hours there are in one day. I did several chores that had been piling up for a while. Laundry, cleaning, calling a couple missed birthdays, that kind of stuff. I ate. I listened to music. And then it was like 11 am. I started watching a video essay on YouTube that sounded interesting and halfway through I felt the huge urge to load up a game. Like, it just came naturally. I had already minimized the browser video before even realizing what I was doing. The weather was nice outside so I tried reading in the park for a while. Something I haven't done in ages. Was reading a collection of articles and essays by my favorite author. Found it really hard to concentrate. And outright boring. Which made me kind of sad. Went back in to read some texts for university but couldn't concentrate on that either. Finally asked one of my flatmates if he wanted to go play some ping pong in the park. Ended up telling him about my quitting video games. I was so emberassed admitting it to him. I'm even emberassed writing this down here, anonymously on the internet. I find myself constantly trying to change sentences I just wrote to make myself sound less addicted, less, I don't know, less addicted, less dependent on gaming. I now realize how much I have been lying to myself about having it under control. I used to tell myself it wasn't so bad. I was still being kind of succesful in other areas of my life. I told myself that this wasn't growing out of proportions. At the same time, I kept my gaming habits a secret from absolutely everyone. I don't want to be the nerd playing video games to the people around me. That's not what I want people to see in me. Anyways, my flatmate reacted in a very positive way. He is a pretty big gamer himself, and when I spoke openly about my addiction, he admitted that he fears he might be playing too much himself. He agreed quitting games might be the best choice I got right now. It felt good to talk to someone about it. It feels like the first time I've been honest with someone in a long time. I arranged a couple of friend to go play some soccer now, might drink a couple of beers afterwards and I might even talk to them about how I used to secretly play video games these last couple of months instead of do all the stuff I always tell them I'm doing. Might tell them. Might not. Who knows. Still, I'm kind of scared for the future. It feels like I constantly have to fight this voice in my head wanting me to load up a video game and just forget about the world, and I don't know if I will always be able to win this fight.
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