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DW1909X13

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  1. Log: 11-06-21 Mood/feelings: Reflective Positive activities: Made arrangements for things to do and look forward to this year Aim next few days: Think about the last fortnight and move forward Days without gaming: 0/180 So, I did it. I managed to get to 90 days without playing a game. Phew! I feel I learnt alot about myself and saw all the postives. A few days later I decided that I wanted to see how the 90 days has changed my attitude/habit of gaming so I decided to dust off my controller and load up a couple of games on the xbox and whilst recovering from minor surgery, I'd play a bit to see how/if I noticed any changes - a bit of an experiment. I talked about it with a friend of mine and my wife is fully aware of my playing so no secrecy or anything and as of today, I'm stopping again and starting my next detox challenge. I've played some FIFA, Rocket League, Jedi Fallen Order & Minecraft. Upon loading up these things, I played a little and quickly got bored so I have ended up gaming in small chunks (whilst r&r on the sofa - I've had to remove fairly immobile following my op) so on average over the last fortnight, I've gamed for, roughly, 3 hours a day. I have to say, I felt I was awake going into this and I felt VERY aware of how these games are marketed, boring and money making machines - specifically FIFA. I found myself looking to download games onto my phone and have dabbled but there are none on my phone now because lets face it, its just pointless and I hate looking at the thing anyway. In summary, I got little to no joy from games over the last few weeks, however, I did feel that compulsion to play - 'Play a bit more then you can get that reward' etc which I know to be a load of BS really. Overall, I know I'm done with gaming. What's been nice is that I've proven it conclusively to myself now. I'm not missing anything, there is no joy or fun in them and I have quite happily taken them off the xbox again and actually feel a sense of relief and calm. So, the future. Well, I have a few things on the horizon, but I'm enjoying overhauling the overgrown garden, landscaping and looking to expand into a smallholding. My fitness and weight have been a concern for a while so I am making that a priority and overall, just get back to living and enjoying life. I am going to go for a 180 day 'detox' and just keep on going. I think by then, I will no longer have any desire or pull to play games again which is the ultimate aim for so many of us.
  2. Log: 20-05-21 Mood/feelings: Upbeat Positive activities: Gardening, work Aim next few days: Get to that 90!! Days without gaming: 88/90 (morning at time of writing) Feel much better the last couple of days - had some positive news RE my infertility although still a way to go, saw my in-laws (who are brilliant - yes I know that's rare lol), passed a professional exam yesterday and have continued to stay off games so all in all, good stuff. Cautious about completing the 90 days as I don't want to think - '90 days done now I can dive back in'. I'm going to see how far I got and just keep taking it day at a time. I've had a friend message me about a new game he's played and says I must try it. He doesn't know about my detox but I did feel a slight pang to try it. I'm chatting to him later and will talk to him about it then. Can't believe I am actually going to have done this. I hope that everyone on here gets to this point and beyond - it's definitely worth it.
  3. Log: 17-05-21 Mood/feelings: Bit on the anxious side Positive activities: Gardening Aim today: Just get through the day Days without gaming: 85/90 (morning at time of writing) Damn. Started the day and I have had my first major pang for a while. Typically for me, feeling so close to 90 days I almost feel like a reward! And what reward to I default to?! F*&King gaming!!! I've mentally talked myself out of it and have taken a big breath. Although, this obstacle is an opportunity to overcome and it has shown me why I am keen to go past the 90 days. And I don't want to beat myself about this anymore - if I have an urge, it just reminds me why I'm quitting. Anyway, on with the day and just keeping taking it day at a time.
  4. I use a PC everyday and work in Finance - I'm also personally interested in the markets etc. As @Zeno says, consider a business PC or something with minimal graphics - that stopped me playing many games. Also, if you have Steam, Blizzard, Epic etc accounts, go through the deletion process. It takes 30 days to complete the deletion and when I did it, it felt very liberating and a sober reality check. And for Stadia, its taken discipline to stop but I genuinely haven't had any desire at all to login for quite a while. It may sound odd, but I did a bit of a digital clean up (cleared out old files, removed apps, minimised the file system etc) which was great and removed many triggers/prompts. The apps I have are for business only and it feels like a work PC which mentally, has really helped. I would stay away from 'stock games' that game-ify the markets and keep going with the detox one day at a time.
  5. Log: 11-05-21 Mood/feelings: Reflective, bit thick headed Positive activities: Cycling, walking Aim today: Get to 5pm and have been productive Days without gaming: 79/90 (midday at time of writing) 11 days to go Gaming is not the main problem. I believe that my gaming addiction is a result of my inability to be satisfied with life. I have overcomplicated and overthought for so long that I can't seem to process anything simply and my mind is a muddled mess. This 90 day detox/challenge has shown me what could be possible and I want to apply this to other areas of my life. I am going to try a 90 day challenge with my phone in order to try and improve my focus and get away from the constant stream of b*shit we are bombarded with every day. From there, I'd like to focus on fitness, the garden and reading. A quieter life in a loud, mad world - moving from knowing a little about a lot, to enjoying less a lot more.
  6. Log: 06-05-21 Mood/feelings: Feel like crap, fatigued Positive activities: Not alot... Aim today: Work out a positive way forward Days without gaming: 74/90 (midday at time of writing) Made it through the previous week without gaming. Felt tough at points but did it. Feels good to make it this far and not much further to go. What is clear now though, is that there is some other shit to deal with. I have realised how much gaming was masking the real issues. I feel I have to take a step back, take a deep breath and rebuild my mind and body. Learn to focus and remove the fog. I am tired of feeling tired and like everything is piling up in my head. I definitely don't want to return to gaming, that much is clear but I am struggling to focus and decide what I want to spend my time and life doing. I've enjoyed re-learning chess but I haven't played much lately which is actually a good thing. I'm trying to reduce my screen time but I cant seem to stop having something on in the background whilst working (music or tv) which is a TERRIBLE habit. Definitely needs some work. Hopefully I can figure this out.
  7. Log: 28-04-21 Mood/feelings: Tired mostly, bit moody Positive activities: Gardening and reading an actual book! Aim today: get to Friday without gaming Day: 66/90 (morning at time of writing) Over 2/3 of the way through - never thought I'd be writing that. So, my wife if going back into work - yesterday, today and tomorrow and this is the toughest test. I'm here at home alone, xBox and Stadia are available to me and I could game without anyone knowing. I'd also undo the previous 65 days, feel guilt, be back in that miserable place mentally and ultimately confirming to myself that I can't beat this. So, work, garden and weights are to be my priority for the rest of the week - I already got through yesterday with no real thoughts or desires to game so hopefully today and tomorrow will be the same - fingers crossed. However, other habits have come to my attention that may need to be addressed. Firstly, I use my phone far too much for entertainment/distraction & procrastination. So, I am going to apply the time management and make a conscious effort to reduce my screen time. I think I am just tired of looking at screens and things that actually, don't mean a single thing to me or affect my life in any way. I feel, some days, that there is so much information available to us, that we don't know what to do with it and I end up all over the place mentally. So, I can try to limit the information I receive by reducing my exposure to it all and regain focus. Its got me thinking - once this 90 day detox is complete (I want to carry on re not gaming) but I may try other 90 day detoxes - maybe 90 days without caffeine or sugar? Social media? Maybe change it to 90 days to form a new habit - financial, diet or guitar practice? The key will be to take one thing at a time and allow myself to enjoy it without over burdening myself to make loads of changes at once. Anyway, back to it and hopefully another day to tick off.
  8. Log: 17-04-21 Mood/feelings: Little fatigued, brain clouded but overall - pretty ok Positive activities: lately worked on a workout plan and started it, got out into garden, got the golf clubs out again, more yoga and meditation Aim today: Enjoy the sun, sounds of the birds singing, flowers coming into bloom. Be in the moment Day: 55/90 (morning at time of writing) So 55 days in and still I've not picked up a controller or played on mobile or gone near video games at all. Phew. Definitely feels like its getting better each day, much less time is thought about games and tbh i do forget the Xbox is there which I never thought would happen. Lately, I have been in a really reflective, moody, analytical place mentally. Its weird, feeling like I can look forward and plan things in the future and look forward to them. Working out my fitness 'regime' - not as scary as it sounds - very basic. But I now feel I have a morning routine to learn - so far so good and I am enjoying it! - and hopefully it'll become 2nd nature. A half hour run in the morning for eg - I always feel better having exercised. When I'm tetchy or irritable, I know its down to food choices and no exercise so working on these has been great. Chess has been a nice focus - just cautious with this as I am aware of concerns re addiction with it. I enjoy it but I want to be careful it doesn't become an obsession. This brings me to my 'thought of the day'...being an addict and owner of an 'addictive' personality, I know it's easy to fall into this trap. But then, at what point, do i just enjoy things and not overthink everything and worry about being 'addicted'? I think part of this is re-learning to try to just enjoy things and life in general and the first thing, is to accept my nature and try to understand myself. There are certain things I know I cannot do but I what I do know is that there are many more things I CAN do and enjoy. It's a process and I'm trying to allow myself to feel all the things I want/need to feel and hopefully I can come out of it and be the person I know I can be. To anyone reading this, stick with this. It's hard, you'll have good and bad moments, but one step, one day at a time and you'll be amazed at how much you can positively change your life. You'll thank yourself each and every day for the rest of your life.
  9. Log: 07-04-21 Mood/feelings: Tired, a little 'wired' (mind racing a bit at times) Positive activities: Gardening, work development, training/meditation Aim today: Keep going 1 day at a time - Get to that 90 day magic mark Day: 45/90 (morning at time of writing) Well...today marks the halfway point and feels great to have managed this far. I sincerely hope there are others here that will get to this point and carry on. Jason - thanks for your reply - know what you mean. Unless we do these things for real, we'll never learn, enjoy, experience or grow. Tbh, I've recently realised that life is the best adventure/experience and I've been so blind to it by using games to escape life fill my time when actually I just had to get out of the bubble, realise what we have and see what is out there for real. And yeah - the moderation thing, as you say, I've seen many coming back here after trying it. I think part of it is accepting that I cannot game in moderation and that that is ok. I have no one to prove anything to expect myself and if that means retiring the controller for good, then that's a-ok by me. So my father in law asked me the other day when I'll be picking up the new xbox/ps5. Without thinking I just told him I'm not. In that moment it clicked that I am maybe really am done with this crap for good. Previously I've mentioned that 'voice' which says 'go on. you'll be fine' etc. Well that lil sh*t has now almost gone. I still get that odd moment but no where near as bad. So I guess, to anyone reading this, you can do this. Even in those moments when it feels your mind is working hard against you, you can get through it and you'll see that you've lost nothing but gained everything to give you a happier life.
  10. Log: 30-03-21 Mood/feelings: Bit mixed but overall - upbeat Positive activities: Gardening, training & meditation Aim today: Make it to 45 days Day: 37/90 (morning at time of writing) Its been just over a week and overall, its been good. A few moments of thinking about returning to AC:Valhalla (Really loved the AC series), F1 2020 & FIFA21. But nothing too serious. Thoughts went out of head as quickly as they entered tbh. Also, my wife and I are seriously considering expanding our home to a smallholding for a go at self-sufficiency - as a much as we can. I then thought of Farming Simulator - which I tried to justify as a learning tool. No. Best experience is to go to an actual smallholding and learn hands on. My mind never ceases to amaze me sometimes, but I want to get rid of that default thought process - 'Is there a way to use 'learning' as an excuse to game'. Luckily the garden and work are keeping me occupied and things are going well on these fronts. My wife was out of the house for 4 hours yesterday with work and I didn't go near a game and I don't remember consciously thinking about games at all which is a great feeling. I certainly feel like the gaming grip is loosening. It has made me think about what I ultimately want to achieve with this detox. Knowing I can go for 90 days without games, will I be able to return to games casually (play a mate online at FIFA for half and hour every now and then for eg) or do I carry on one day at a time? I know it'll boil down to me and my choices. Honestly, having faced addiction in the past, I know moderation will not work for me. I won't be able to just keep it to a casual 30 minutes. It'll creep back in and then next year, I'll be back here starting over. So, I guess that answers it for me. Do the 90 days and just keep going 1 day at a time. I don't see it as a defeat, I see it as making a positive life choice and to anyone reading this, I hope that is how you feel by facing this. Also, in addition to fitness training and gardening, I have also dipped back into reading, meditation and for fun, I am learning chess and re-learning technique on electric guitar. Now, I know there are some concerns with chess and addiction, but learning it is great for the mind and can be a great social thing. It's something that if my wife and I can have a family, I'd love to play/teach my kids chess. I don't really keep a tab on time but naturally I play for up to half an hour a day I guess. That is usually learning a little more and a game or 2 and I don't play everyday.
  11. Log: 22-03-21 Mood/feelings: Positive Positive activities: Gardening - lots! Aim today: Make it to 45 days Day: 29/90 (midday at time of writing) Been a good few days. I seem to have broken the back of this and feel good that I'm nearly a third of the way through the initial detox. This is by far the best I've done with this. Lately, I've read a few more articles etc about gaming companies and gaming addiction and don't feel that 'pull' anymore to jump on a game for the sake of it. I guess I'm trying to reinforce my rationale into quitting these things. I had a 'mind-blown' moment - I used to play FIFA Ultimate Team a lot and, as an NFL fan, the Madden equivalent. And I read that EA made $1.5bn in 2020 through loot boxes/cards through Ultimate Team ALONE!! And the fact that so many people don't actually enjoy these games (just see reddit and user reviews etc) is a real 'WTF?!' moment - why are we playing them and more importantly being openly robbed of time and money for something we don't actually want to do? This to me is the bedrock of addiction and the fact a company is actively making money out of this, in this way, is just nuts. With claims of manipulating the games to encourage people to spend more (scripting) is just so wrong and so similar to the big gambling companies. Kids are growing up thinking is the norm - and that's scary. I think and feel that I am now at a point where I couldn't enjoy a game now. Not after the realisation of what they actually are and how the Companies behind them operate. Any thought I've had over the last few days of playing a game has been shut down straight away because I just think of the above and how much of a mug I feel - so f*ck them. I've spent thousands of £'s over the years to be miserable and laughed at. I am currently in the midst of putting some letters together to send to some game production Companies to see what they have to say (if anything). So during these 29 days, I've not played games on mobile, xbox or on stadia and I've noticed my mood is more stable, I've lost some weight and my mind is clearer so to anyone reading this, you can have this too. Just keeping going one day at a time.
  12. Log: 16-03-21 Mood/feelings: Moody/thoughtful Positive activities: Run & Workout this AM Aim today: Just. Get. Through. Day: 23/90 (evening at time of writing) The last few days have been rough and I'm currently sat here at home whilst my wife has gone out to the shops. My mind keeps telling me to have a quick secret game session. No one would know, I wouldn't have to admit it on here - I could easily get away with it. But ultimately, I don't want to. And that is a significant as I don't want to have gotten this far and then through it all away. I turned on the Xbox earlier - we use it for the Sky Go app and as a blu-ray player. All games have been uninstalled of course. I decided to browse through the store and my library - don't know why. And I looked down the list and thought there was nothing I actually wanted to play. Nothing worth breaking the detox for. So, why do we play games? I saw an article the other week where people say CGs help their mental health. I wonder if this is going to result in many many people saying 'I game because it helps my mental health' when in actual fact, its hiding, masking or deferring the problem? I re-read an article that made a point that resonated - why do we accept gaming companies that make sub standard games, created loot boxes, rip us off and just don't give a flying f*ck about us? One example is Cyberpunk 2077, mega hyped for but was botched at launch and when I played it via Stadia, it was actually very dull. Loved the setting, the game was 'meh'. I cant remember a game I fell in love with and just enjoyed playing. Most games I've bought have been a result of habit and for the sake of a 'new game experience' - a gaming companies dream client - just buys their shit for the sake of it. Anyway, bit muddled at the moment - just hate the fact that games have taken so much and I'm still having to fight to keep off these f*cking things. Tomorrow is a fresh day.
  13. Log: 12-03-21 Mood/feelings: Generally ok Positive activities: Meditation, 5k run Aim today: Carry on Day: 19/90 (morning at time of writing) Feel good to have got this far - just need to keep going. IVF stuff is rearing is head atm but each day I go without succumbing to games is a huge win.
  14. Log: 08-03-21 Mood/feelings: Tired & reflective Positive activities: Meditation Aim today: Focus on work Day: 15/90 (midday at time of writing) Journal entry: So, 15 days and not a game loaded up, played or watched. Things seem to be going well and I had a full weekend in the garden. Starting to walk more and overall the days seem to be flying by which is great with regard to 'the voice' lol Yes, I still have the odd thought about a quick hour but I then find something - anything - to do and shut it down. Luckily the weather has allowed me to get stuck into the garden. If the weather turns bad, I can still go for a walk or do some bits around the house - even read lol and I have noticed my technology usage has continued to drop overall. I only use the computer for work during the day but if not working, I'm managing to stay off phone and PC which is a good feeling. There has been a development though in another area. I am involved with a support group for men going through 'male factor infertility' and although on this session (via Zoom - as everything is these days!) there were only 10 of us, (main session there are 40+), I couldn't say anything. My introverted shy self just couldn't get words out and I was quickly left behind in the general conversation. The others were talking, the odd laugh and joke and I just couldn't seem to find a way to 'join in'. Anyway, it would normally be after that, that I would dive in a game to escape the self analysis and overthinking of what happened. Obvs this time - no game. I was left to go through all the thoughts until my brain wore itself out. Basically, I've found the problem - I struggle with a form of 'social anxiety' and I think this is a typical trait of Introverts. We like to sit on the outside until we are comfortable to dive in. I know I overthink things. I worry about being liked, judged etc which is silly because no one does this. But what makes it worse, is when someone points out that 'you're being quiet, are you alright?'. Normally I want to say back - 'yes I'm fine. Why are you all being so bloody loud and talking a load of BS!? Just because I'm not shouting across you all, spouting endless crap, why does that mean I'm not ok?' I usually just say the 'yep I'm fine'. So, I've decided this month to make a change and push myself out of my comfort zone, and expand it. Do things I wouldn't normally do and try and interact with other people where possible - just to show myself that these situations are not as intimidating as they seem. After all, we all want to be heard, so I guess in these meetings you have to fight your corner a bit - without being rude - if you want to be heard. After all, you get out what you put in and I don't want to feel like that again. So, hopefully in the coming weeks, i will have pushed myself ad I'll feel more confident about myself. Self-confidence is something I've always struggled with and I think that's why I escaped into games and earlier in my life why I succumbed to alcoholism until 23. I'm free of the drink (11 yrs now) and now hopefully games, there is no more 'armour' and I can start to deal with the deeper issue and regain some confidence. Quite excited to see how this next 'chapter' goes and where it will take me.
  15. Log: 03-03-21 Mood/feelings: Tired & reflective Positive activities: Meditation Aim today: Get through today without gaming Day: 10/90 (start of day at time of writing) Journal entry: Main though this morning: 'I've managed to get this far. Don't screw it up now'. Really struggled this morning to 'get going' and as my wife has had to go out for medical appointment and shopping, I'm on my own in the house for 3 to 4 hours for the first time in ages. My first thought this morning was...'could have a little game session. no one would know and you've done so well to get to here.' That little @~!* of a 'voice' got very loud this morning so I feel today is my biggest test so far and all ok so far. Just keeping busy with work and ticking some things of a to do list. The above has shown me just how serious this problem is and its actually pretty scary. The number of days I've given in to the above is terrifying to think about. Normally, my wife works in an office whilst I work here at home so the temptation is always there, so cracking that is going to be one huge success. For the obvious reason of COVID my wife is currently working at home which is helping stay on the 'straight and narrow' so I'm grateful for this at the moment. I've also noticed that my internet usage has gone down and no porn at all for weeks (although I've not had any problems or compulsions with this historically) and social media is barley looked at these days. Really can't be arsed and find it such a waste of time, so only focusing on close friends and family & hobbies so I may spend 5/10 mins max a day on Instagram (only SM app I have) if any time at all. I have started listening to podcasts/audible books which I've enjoyed. So overall, I am thankful that I've found these positives during this process. Just have to hang on to get through these testing days.