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Everything posted by BryanJaz

  1. Welp, it's been about six and a half weeks since I fell off the wagon. I made it to day 105, two days after my last journal entry and then my gf and I kinda geeked out and tipped the scales in the other direction. She got a switch, I bought civ6 and DOS2 on steam and we started playing a good amount most days. It was actually enjoyable at first, I had a lot of fun playing mario kart and DOS2 with her and then trying to learn civ6 on my own. But then I started playing league again and I think it kind of led to gaming taking back over. It hasn't been day in, day out non-stop play but there were bits of time that I just let go and played all the time. My justification was that I was STILL waiting to hear back from the job I wanted and it was the middle of winter during COVID. Tbh, there really was only so much I could do because I was stuck in a limbo state for way longer than I was expecting. However, gaming has made life feel dull and boring again, sapping out the energy from me and leaving me constantly wanting to come back to it. Even Civ6 which is not a game I would find addictive...has me coming back even when I'm not enjoying it. Anyways, I did end up getting the job after about a two and a half month process and I'm excited to start in 10 days...which is why I am starting back on a detox. I feel like I did the 90 day one with relative ease this time but the fact that I jumped right back into gaming makes me slightly more nervous than confident about my handle on things. So I want to do things a bit differently this time. Oh and I finally have internet at my house so I can be as consistent as I want without needing to half an hour back and forth just to do a journal entry. To start, I am quitting LoL indefinitely but I will be keeping track of how many days I've quit for... just to have a number to it. On top of this, I want to use these entries more as a log than a journal so I will be doing more of a habit tracker style. I have a written journal for my own personal stuff and I think that's best kept separate. For the online journals, I will be keeping track of how many days I've made it and how much time I spend on certain activities. I feel like now that I will have structure to my day and income that this time it will go even better than the last. Starting off I am going to be tracking: LoL, alcohol, sugary drinks, workouts, meditation, yoga, and sleep. My goals are as such: No LoL for a year (forever, but tracked for a year), 90 days without alcohol and sugary drinks, 1 small workout a day with 4 normal workouts a week, 1 hour of meditation before bed every night (at least every night that makes sense), 1 hour of yoga every morning (same as meditation, and at least 7 hours of sleep a night (in bed by 930-10). I also want to keep track of my reading and what books I want but I'm gonna wait until I finish the current book I'm reading. For these 10 days, I will be doing no games whatsoever but after that I will probably allow switch games because I only ever play them with my gf and it is usually pretty infrequent. Once, the 10 days are up I'm gonna be doing this relaxed detox for probably 60-90 days but I'm not sure yet...I want to see how I feel with my new job. Either way it means no solo gaming at all. Even though I feel like I could balance civ out (after a small break), it's not something I want to tempt myself with right now. Once the relaxed detox is done I have a good feeling that I will be in a solid place to decide how much I want to involve or exclude gaming from my life. To Moving Forward
  2. Day 103 My gf and I slept out in a tent in my mom and stepdad's backyard last night and it was freezing. It was honestly still worth it because I miss camping and we finally got to try out the camping set we bought awhile back even though it is not made for such cold conditions. Last night we hung out with my mom, my stepdad, my brother, and my stepsister and played board games and card games. My stepsister, apparently, is really into Magic: The Gathering which I have only ever played once when a former co-worker invited me over to play. My gf and I agree that Magic might be a good alternative to video games because it retains a lot of elements that I enjoy about games without being something that is so accessible. I'm wary about it, though, because I keep coming back to this idea of consuming and distractions. Even though I don't drain my days away with gaming and I am still stuck in this waiting period before potential work, I feel like I am still just passing time. I end up reading for hours upon hours most days when I am at my current living situation, and when I go to my mom's I end up sitting on the computer, watching YouTube for hours. There is never much time where I am not consuming something...and it has started to bug me. I feel like even if I were to create something through painting or whatever that I would run into a similar issue, although I feel like it is harder, or maybe I am less accustomed, to creating for hours on end. Also, I want to create/tinker/mess around in a laboratory setting but I simply don't have the space, equipment, or money to buy any of that. So, I end up reading to continue my education in chemistry but it's not the same. I sincerely miss the lab, all the instruments, glassware, chemicals, and most of all...the mindset associated with "thinking scientifically" or thinking in chemical terms/abstractions. I miss learning and working with my hands while complementing that with writing in a notebook and thinking about what is happening on a molecular level. I understand that I need to continue being patient however, the more time I spend alone reading and waiting, the more I get drawn into playing games. This is a difficult situation to balance and COVID is like the nail in the coffin for most people. I know I just need to be patient but I also feel like I am missing something. I want to keep reflecting on the issue and see how everything feels in a few days.
  3. @Bugg I ended up emailing them and got a call not even 1 minute later from the HR guy who has been "recruiting me." He pretty much explained that everyone took off the week after Christmas so they haven't even finished the other interviews and that the next step of the process is a tour/meet & greet with the staff. I feel like it's kind of an odd thing to have as part of the recruitment process but I also think it would be nice to see the lab and meet some of the other people that work there. He also made it sound like everyone just took an extended holiday and that it was basically a ghost town at the office so I'm guessing they interviewed me and maybe a few others and just haven't even thought about the whole process since. Either way, reaching out was definitely the right move because I was having serious doubts about it all and that just ended up making me worried for nothing. @Buggand @DaBestAs for the PhD, I was recommended by literally all of my teachers and the head of the department from my undergrad that I should pursue a PhD. I had my own plan, which was to work for two years and pay some loans off/save, then to jump back into it. I ended up getting probably the shittiest job I could've ever landed back in August which I worked for 3 days before quitting. I've talked about it before but I feel like I was experiencing what many describe as a panic attack and it was not something I was going to continue to force myself to do. So, that experience kind of skewed my perception of what working meant right out of undergrad and I felt like I wanted to avoid that at all costs which meant looking for places to pursue a PhD. I've come full circle again, with the help of family and my gf, to realize that all fresh out of college jobs are not like the one I experienced and the place that I got interviewed for is actually something I find extremely cool. I realized I do want to work and that I don't want to jump into a PhD right away. I just feel a bit pressured from my past experiences/what my professors said to me. I shall take both of your guys advice and definitely hold off on pursuing one. I know that I would most definitely benefit from higher education as well as enjoy all of the experiences and new knowledge I would obtain but you're right I don't need to rush it. Especially, because I have heard, as was mentioned, that you are basically impoverished and end up working like a slave...and the reasons that you are paid so poorly/what you end up having to focus on (grants, publishing papers, etc.) is simply the way the system is designed. It's so counterproductive to have people who want to dedicate themselves to scientific discovery be so crippled by a flawed system. Anyways, thank you both for the advice and sharing your personal experiences, I know I will be continuing to come back to these posts to reflect on their bearing in my prospective future.
  4. I agree, it makes it hard to write something at all when you just want to vent everything out and know it might be too personal. I feel like if I have enough time I sometimes write out what I want to say in a word doc, save it, and come back to reread it later. I usually still feel like most of the post is okay after the reread but I will omit certain things from time to time. Btw, congrats on your 90 days, I just finished mine 10 days ago now! I struggle with the fact that to survive in the modern world, you have to be constantly "doing" and that it comes at the cost of forgetting that all we actually are, are beings. It makes it hard to simply be (which is all we actually are) when we feel compelled to constantly do (what we associate ourselves with actually being). My life feels like one huge conflict that is avoided through distraction because I find it immensely difficult to just be, when constantly I am forced to do. I don't understand what a healthy ego is and I don't know what a truly healthy, sane individual looks like. There seems to be no blueprint but I like your experiment and I can empathize with the quasi-dissociative state.
  5. Same, mate. I know it's a keystone habit for myself at this point but it is a major commitment and I find it hard to stay consistent even though I feel so much better after. Wishing us both luck with making this habit stick!
  6. My rage has only ever brought me more pain. I hurt the ones I love and when I calm down I don't even know what just happened, all I know is that I feel terrible and sick to my stomach. I haven't gotten truly angry like I used to in years and even now I beat myself up for how I acted. My dad made me an extremely angry person, he acted on his anger every day and directed it at my brother, sister, mom, and myself. My brother and I had it the worst but all of my siblings and mom's issues today stem from his abuse. I don't know what you went through nor do you know what I have endured but that pit is something to climb out of not to brood in. I know you can overcome these tough times, you deserve to keep giving yourself more chances to be a better you. Your shadow stays with you but it doesn't have to be who you are. Wishing you well man, keep your head up and if you need to hit something, get a punching bag. It's saved me from spackling any more walls...
  7. I'm no expert on addiction, I just know from my own experience that gaming is an addiction for me. I would install League of Legends in the morning, play most, if not, all of the day and then get so frustrated and annoyed with myself that I would uninstall it at night. The process would repeat the next day, and would continue to repeat sometimes for weeks. I would generally make it a week or two without playing before I would cycle through the install, uninstall, reinstall loop again but I never really got over it. Finally, something clicked and I committed to a 90 day detox and it worked and I know that I will never let myself play LoL again. It felt extreme calling myself an addict until I truly reflected on my behavior and how long this cycle was going on for me and how much guilt I was feeling every time I played. I'm not totally sure how you feel about yourself with games and how much of a grip they have on you but I would try to evaluate in a widened mental view just how much they have affected you and continue to affect you. Moderation might be part of the journey for your way out of games but the best way to know how much something is affecting you is to remove the stimulus.
  8. I am very much a dreamer in the sense of wanting to live in a similar way. I imagine myself without a TV or phone, in a house that generates it's own (minimal) amount of electricity through solar panels and wind turbines. Rain gutters connecting with rain barrels that are used to water a garden full of all fresh veggies and herbs that I eat and compost the excess to be reused in the soil. Any places of excess water runoff are turned into water gardens that have native plant species proliferating the area. Clotheslines instead of dryers, instruments instead of devices, a meditation room instead of a TV room, large trees instead of power lines. I know that I get pretty lofty in my own dreams and fantasies which makes me feel like these things will never be realized because nobody else lives like this. I end up turning "practical" and dismissing all of what I think truly would be a wholesome lifestyle and compromising into comfort. But somehow I never lose hope that I will be able to achieve these dreams because they are me and they will come about if I work towards them. My best advice for myself and for you/others like this, is to take small steps and continuously reflect. My 90 day detox was successful in many ways but I still feel really drawn towards gaming especially now. I think because I hit a mark I have nothing else grounding me consistently, which is why I am going to start another 90 day challenge for working out...and then another after that until it no longer needs to be 90 day challenges and I can trust myself enough to change with intention. I feel like you are doing the right thing with your 30 day challenge and I wish you luck on your attempt. It will be a drastic change but I feel like once you get a week or so in, it'll play out well for you.
  9. Day 100 I have way too much time on my hands during the week and it's starting to get to me. I don't have a job yet and the job I had an interview for emailed me last Monday saying that they still had interviews they were conducting through Wednesday the 23rd, and that they would email me by the end of that Wednesday on what next steps may entail. I haven't gotten an email from them since that Monday and I have no idea what to think. I assume that I didn't get the job because I feel like they would have reached out by now but at the same time they haven't told me that I didn't get the job so... It's fuckin frustrating to be in this limbo state especially because they said they would email me and then didn't. I'm confused as to what I should do because if I email them asking wtf is good, I don't want to come off as impatient but if I don't email them I don't want to come off that I'm not interested in the position. I understand that it's the holidays (the COVID holidays) and things are probably crazy but if you tell someone that you are going to email them and then don't that's a pretty shitty oversight considering how it's after the 2 stages of interviews not just like not hearing back after applying. It makes me feel like they just forgot about me and chose someone else. But I also feel like they could be still deciding...Idk its whack either way and I am very much over the job seeking process. I feel like I am just going to go through a recruiting company and get a contractor position for a little while. I was also looking to explore possible PhD programs but have been feeling like I might be rushing the process. I have heard that after your first year, it ends up being an extremely stressful experience that is more based on flawed systems like how many peer-reviewed citations you have and the ability to obtain grant money rather than actual science. I find that to be discouraging because I am not a money-driven person and will never be able to sell-out. I want to pursue higher education because I enjoy learning and I want access to instrumentation/faculty. I know that with anything there are always downsides but I have found out that most people are really disillusioned with the current system. I also know that part of my motivation is to avoid the 9-5 life but that is a terrible mindset. I'll have to reflect on it further. Also, my Microsoft office subscription ran out as I am no longer a student so I haven't done anything more with my 90 day reflection. It ended up being more personal than I would have posted anyways but still it kind of sucks because I was gonna trim it down and post it here. I do want to make a forum posting but I am nervous about it because it would probably be too personal. I might just end up making the original idea of a 90 day reflection forum but I'm still not sure. Anyways triple digits...Wooohoo!
  10. Day 99 Christmas and the holidays are over for the year and I'm glad things can at least slightly settle down. I have spent a lot of time around my immediate family but in semi-COVID standards and I kind of just want to take a step back and do my own thing for a bit. I love seeing everybody but it is also really draining for both my gf and myself. We ended up turning the place we were using as a TV room into an art/reading room which is something that makes me feel good. My gf and I have been watching a lot of movies (because we still don't have wifi) and it ends up messing up our sleep and making us have less time to do some of the activities we enjoy. We also tend to snack way too much when we watch movies so it ends up messing up our sleep even more, not to mention adding some extra fat around our bellies. I'm not super against watching TV right now at night when we want to chill but mostly we've been doing it every night because we were trying to get comfortable at my grandparent's house which is our current living situation. We were pretty much forced into staying there and it's way too much space with way too much junk that can't be thrown out so it was difficult in the transition there. Now, though, we've been there almost 3 months and we both feel like less TV and snacking would be way more helpful for our overall health. I re-opened "The World's Healthiest Foods" which is a book I bought when I originally decided to cut meat out of my diet but I haven't used it much in recent times. It's more of a textbook but even reading a few pages has reinvigorated my drive to live a healthy life and I'm glad my past self bought the book. I also got a fitbit for Christmas which is actually really nice even though I have to get used to the feeling of having a watch on a lot. It's light so it isn't terribly noticeable but still can be annoying at times. I just like the tracking features, especially the heartrate tracker, because I want to see how my different activities affect my heartrate and if I can gradually lower it over time. I haven't meditated in over a week now and I definitely notice the difference in my mood. I'm way more aggravated than usual and I snap a lot for silly reasons. When I don't take time for myself to just be with myself (aka meditate or stretch) I become irritable almost on default. Especially, if I don't eat well, don't sleep well, consume alcohol/caffeine, and neglect exercise. I always end up realizing how important meditation is when I don't do it for a good period of time; and it isn't like a cure-all remedy for my problems. It's more like I just end up making good decisions for myself in a calm collected manner, instead of being disgruntled and stressed making "choices" in a frenzied state of irritation. The change is subtle but powerful and with continuous practice I notice the change becomes a positive feedback loop. I end up doing more and more things to better myself. It's the opposite of the downward spiral experienced when I indulge in gaming. I end up becoming this irritated person but intensified to the point of breaking. I always come back to meditation as my foundation/keystone habit. I better get back on the train again.
  11. Day 94 I'm still working on my 90 day reflection piece which I think I will trim up before I make a new thread somewhere to post it in. I don't know if anyone else has made a thread like this but I feel like it would be a solid idea. Today, I had a strong urge to play LoL which stemmed from boredom, being stuck in a waiting period, and watching some YouTubers that play LoL. I felt compelled to start it up again, but I feel like I could see that I was just being impatient with my current situation and I quickly talked myself out of it. Even though it could've led to relapse, I'm glad it happened. I feel like I reaffirmed in myself why I started this journey in the first place. I also was able to understand how important setting specific dates for certain goals is. I want to take that approach with some of my other habits and really give them an extra level of dedication to help myself succeed with them. My next big 90-day goal is almost certainly going to be working out. Getting back into exercising is something that always seems to come in waves for me, especially right now. I know that this is mostly due to the fact that I go about it alone with no feedback/support systems. I also know that my favorite form of working out is either wrestling/grappling or martial arts followed by competitive sports (I got really into basketball for a few years in college). With COVID, even if I could, I think it would be dumb and selfish of me to practice martial arts right now which is pretty frustrating. But I feel like I don't really want to be working out to utter exhaustion, I just want to work towards a stronger, more flexible body. I want to do calisthenics and yoga. I know that if I could buy a program from calimove that I would be able to be consistent and I would have a level of feedback that would work for me. I simply don't have the money to buy the program and the few other pieces of equipment I would need to do it. So my true goal right now is to secure employment within the next month because 1) I have to pay student loans 2) I need to bear my own financial responsibility for once in my life 3) I know what I want do with my career, I just need to do it... and 4) I want to be able to start habits that I can't afford at the moment.
  12. Day 91 I solved a wooden puzzle, twice, that took me hours to figure out before...in about ten minutes. I am almost certain that gaming was inhibiting my ability to problem solve because I never wanted to take the time to just figure things out. I will be attempting to solve another puzzle that I started probably about a year ago and just never gave myself enough time to solve. It's harder to figure out now because I forget what it's supposed to look like, but I am confident I can do it. This type of mentality has stifled me so much with doing things for my education and career that I really get to notice the huge benefits of not gaming. I feel like it will help me with staying away from games when pursuing grad school and/or career changes.
  13. Day 90 I did it! Woot woot! A 3 month period of time of no video games whatsoever. It really flew by after the first month. I can't believe it's already December 19th, this date felt so far away when I started this detox. I'm inclined to find a way to celebrate but I also feel like the accomplishment is a reward in itself. Today, I'm just going to be hanging out with my gf and family. Probably gonna go sledding with my niece for awhile and then watch a movie before heading home. I'm probably going to read through all of my journal posts a few times and try to start writing out my reflection of this detox...why it worked, what I would change, how to improve and grow from it, etc. Also, I want to try and commit to a new 90 day habit, I like the approach of a 3 month period of time with continuous journaling. I will have to give myself time from this one before starting up that and hopefully I will have a job somewhat soon which will kind of be a new "habit" in itself as well. Aside from that, I will continue to post here as often as I feel but I think I want to focus more on other's journals and commenting on their detoxes. To Moving Forward!
  14. Day 89 Almost there! After tomorrow, I think I am going to write a summary/reflection of how the 90 days went and where I feel I am at now. I know that I have undergone considerable changes during this period of time but I also recognize that it's only been 3 months not 3 years. I want to try my best to articulate my feelings as they are and to look back on what felt different about my life during the 90 days. It might take me a little bit to write it all and I'll probably do it in Word so I can just attach the file. As for today, I feel okay. My drive over to my mom's was terrible, people seem to be even more impatient and rushed when the road conditions are bad. I don't get it...I feel like I want to live in a less populated area than I am in because driving makes me so annoyed. Also, people are less and less aware when they drive and I'm always nervous that something will happen to myself or someone I love because of another person's negligence. The fact that people text and drive makes me want to scream, it's probably the least responsible action you can take and yet it's only getting worse. I am still feeling in limbo with the whole job situation after my interview. I really just want that confirmation with the job, even if I don't get it. It would suck but it's better than the uncertainty especially knowing how poorly I felt I did. Either way, I feel like I have a better handle on the process and I know where I want to go with my education/career so even if this particular situation ends up being a failure I will still have grown from it. For the rest of the day, I will probably just sit on YouTube for a little while then go sledding with my niece, make dinner, and read before going to bed. I still have to do all of my Christmas shopping and I'm kinda just wanting the holidays to be over. I've never been one for holidays and this year it just seems like it would be nice to not feel obligated to "celebrate" them. It would be nicer to just have a day to chill and relax with close family. Also, even though I was craving games this week (and still am to a lesser degree) I don't think I will struggle with the cravings to jump back in. I don't have any money and I'm not nearly as enchanted by the prospects of playing games anymore. My cravings feel much more manageable when I let time pass without acting on them. It's not how it used to be where I would fantasize endlessly about installing a game, getting caffeinated, and just playing all day. That doesn't have the same stranglehold on me as it used it, where one stream of thoughts could hook me back in. The appeal is significantly lessened because other hobbies and activities just seem more enjoyable to me even if it something like reading or even meditation. I miss aspects of gaming (which I discussed yesterday) but again it's not as appealing anymore. I also want to take responsibility for my life and get started in my career rather than push it off. I feel like it's very grounding when you want to move forward with work/career stuff. Well, either way I will be making my journal article tomorrow and capping off this 90 day detox with a writing project. After this is done I want to give myself a bit of time and then I would like to make my focus sleeping better and getting up early. I'm not sure if it will be a 90 day thing but that would probably be helpful.
  15. Day 88 I'm two days away and this last week has been probably the toughest I've had so far in this entire 90 days. First of all, on the morning of my job interview my gf and I woke up to 3 out of 5 of our fish being dead and the other two being near death. It was like an omen or something for how the day was going to go. She started freaking out and crying and I was just trying to contain my emotions because I couldn't deal with it at the moment, I had to go to my mom's to setup for the video interview. We both were extremely stressed out from the moment the day started... Then I got to my mom's house and I couldn't relax. It felt like how I used to be before wrestling matches. Nothing stayed in my body, I must have gone to the bathroom like 5 times in the hour and a half period of time before my interview. Once the interview started I felt so out of sync. I felt myself rambling and not really answering the questions but also talking pretty personally about my life which in retrospect makes me cringe. For the few technical questions that they asked, I feel like I completely botched them and showed I was bad at thinking on my feet. To be fair, some of the questions were just so poorly worded/vague that I didn't even really know what the fuck the dude was trying to say. I remember him asking something along the lines of: "what would you do if you had to confirm results before moving onto the next step of a process?" It was worded in a more ambivalent way, and I was just like "can you give an example, I don't really understand?" He gave an example and it still was just not clicking so I tried my best to give an answer I thought would make sense. There were like 3-4 of those types of questions and it just kind of threw me off. But anyways, I feel like I did terribly...my phone interview went great but then the video interview was awful. After I got done, I was just irritated and had to immediately pack up and go home to deal with the fish plague. I got back and my gf came back on her lunch break and we had to try and fix the situation. It turned out that the biofilter for the tank was producing acidic compounds and the pH had dropped to 4.4. We didn't even really have a chance to notice the situation because it happened pretty much overnight and the lowest pH our test kit could read is 6. On top of that, we only were using the biofilter because the tank was originally her dad's, who wanted to get rid of it, and he never told us if we would need to worry about any issues with it. So for the rest of the afternoon I was changing all the water in the fish tank and trying to reacclimate the two surviving fish in a bucket to the new water. Only one of them survived that process... By the end of the night I was so irritable and frustrated and my gf and I were just butting heads. I was so stressed and wanted to just drown everything out with a video game. I ended up reading like 300 pages of my book and just trying to forget the day, especially what I said during the interview. It's been two days and I think the worst part is this waiting period before they get back to me. I would be genuinely surprised if they took me on, because I feel like the interview was just weird and tense. This whole process has caught me off guard because I realized that I actually wanted the job and I'm used to deluding myself with an "I don't care/indifferent" attitude. It sucks because now that some time has passed I feel really humbled. I feel like I have a confidence in myself and what I can do, especially in regards to my major, but this has illuminated how little I really understand. I feel like a noob in a game, the kind that talks big but just gets crushed when put to the test. I feel like I realized how much I let video games interfere with my learning process while I was in college and how even though my GPA was good, I didn't ingrain the information in my head. I memorized for tests, but I didn't learn deeply, at least not much. Everybody says to not be so hard on myself, but they don't understand that that is just how I am and it was made worse by how I was raised. I don't like to feel incompetent, it's something that really pains me. I always want to do better and push harder. After this whole process, I have been trying to figure out a way to make some time for studying material for my career. The only good thing that has happened during this time is that I have really narrowed down what field I want to pursue which is actually huge. I know that I want to pursue a PhD and I feel like if I don't get this job I am going to pretty much just find a way to make money and look at places to apply to for next spring. For video games, I'm literally days away from being at 90 days but I also have a real craving to buy DOS2 and start playing as soon as the 90 days are over. I don't really want to and I know it would be a terrible choice but at the same time I feel like it would be so nice. I know that I can't and probably won't but the stress really hit me hard and it's tough to just let my days go on by. I miss creating characters, solving puzzles, building a dope team, the role-playing. I miss the customizability and strategy in turn-based games and how you can really make a unique squad. I never finished the story when my gf and I were playing and that always kills me. I think most of all though I miss just being alone at my desk and diving deep into another world for hours. I miss playing deep into the night on a snow day like today. I know it sounds ridiculous because getting lost is actually what made me want to quit gaming but at the same time it's also appealing, especially during periods of high stress. I have more books to read and some wooden puzzles which will definitely help occupy my attention and keep me focused on something else. I know if I had some extra money I could definitely buy a few things for hobbies that I want to start back into. That might actually be the worst part of this whole situation...I have no income right now. I can't buy things to help funnel my cravings into new hobbies. I just have to keep waiting. Either way, I am almost at 90 days straight of no gaming, I've never had zero relapses in a period of time this long with anything before. It feels good but due to the last week I almost feel like the accomplishment will be overshadowed and I won't really be able to acknowledge it. I guess I shall see how I feel on Saturday.
  16. So I started out at hour intervals because my introduction to meditation was a 10 day vipassana silent meditation retreat. I was recommended by my aunt to give it a try because she heard I was struggling. So I signed up about 9 months in advance and I was really apprehensive about spending that much time in a place 5 hours from my home during a dark period of my life but I committed to it. I meditated about a handful of times beforehand just to try and understand what I was getting into but the longest I got was about 50 minutes and then I would fall asleep (I was laying down, not sitting). I decided to jump in headfirst with the retreat and it turned out to be a very intense but overall beneficial experience. I mean I spent over 100 hours meditating in 10 days...it was like living on some remote island far removed from the world (almost like Pandaria from WoW lol). Afterwards, I found myself immune to so much and I just wanted to maintain the peacefulness I felt. I legitimately found it easier to smile...all the time. Idk I wasn't a total miser before but it felt so natural to just smile which was amazing for me, especially at that time in my life. The aftereffects (the benefits/immune feeling) lasted about a month then I stopped meditating at all and had taken a job landscaping because I had dropped out of college earlier that year. In a strange way though it propelled me forward with my life and I ended up going back to school, changing my major (again) a year in and finishing my degree as a chemist with an environmental science minor. I meditated here and there since then (still hour intervals) but only recently have I been doing 1-2 hours daily. The change in myself is extremely noticeable when I am consistent with it. When I don't meditate for a few days (which is rare now) I will become much more irritable and just overall scattered/frustrated. When I consistently give myself time to meditate for an hour, twice a day, everything just feels like it falls into place with much less effort. As if my thinking (and overthinking) are the true crutches to my well-being rather than being my tools to succeed. Also, if I'm being honest I can't really get into the meditation until like 30 minutes has passed. That definitely has to do with me and my mind but I feel like I don't slow down enough until I hit a certain threshold and then I can get into it. Even then, my mind is still running so fast that it's hard to get any gaps or moments of silence where my thoughts aren't still going. It sucks because I know meditation is a keystone habit for me...after the retreat I knew I had found "the missing link" in my life but it is a serious commitment and it is not something I am always looking forward to doing. In fact, it feels like a chore a lot of the time but I just try to tell myself that it is what I need to do and that once I'm in it I will immediately realize why it's so beneficial for me to do...which is always a thought that hits me like 10-20 minutes into a session. I don't think I would be doing hour meditations had I not done the retreat so I would recommend trying one if you're up for it (after COVID is over at least). For vipassana, I know there are 1-day, 3-day, 10-day, and longer retreats (for the old members) if that would be of interest to you. I haven't really explored beyond vipassana but I do want to, I just know it was extremely helpful to break in meditation as a habit for me. Sorry for the ramble haha
  17. Day 84 1 week and I'll hit 90 days...Woohoo!
  18. Day 82 It's always at the beginning or end that time seems to slow down. I feel like when I saw day 4 or day 7, it was like shit I'm not even in the double digits yet. Now, I am nearing the last week and every day feels longer just out of anticipation. Strange to have anticipation for a 90 day detox that truthfully has not been a difficult period of the usual "I really want to just spend all day gaming..." contrasted with the other extreme "I will remove all possible triggers including internet access, and become an ultra-productive hermit..." I have had no relapses and very little temptation to play. I genuinely feel like I turned a corner with this detox. In other attempts, I always felt desperate...that I had to quit rather than wanting to quit. I've talked about this a lot in my journals but it is a key distinction. I feel like it is what made these weeks pass so effortlessly. I wasn't constantly fantasizing about gaming and restricting myself from indulging. I was focused and determined to start a new chapter. But this entire experience only happened after I reached a point of breakage. That point was when I got my first "real" job after college. I applied to a bunch of random places, doing a bare minimum of research on the companies, and just hoped to get a job to pay the bills. I had a job get back to me instantly and I toiled with it for two weeks before refusing to do the phone interview. It was a shit job where I would be extremely overqualified and just completely there for money and resume experience. No passion, no interest, no challenge involved. I would have gone insane. I tried applying to different places again a few months later and one place got back to me super fast again. I did the phone interview process and an in person interview. Both times I tried to make it clear that I wanted some time to think it over but they called me back saying that they needed an answer by the end of the day. I felt extremely pressured both internally and externally, so I just took the job. I spent 3 days there before I started having what I could only describe as a panic attack. I was on the verge of crying and was having waves of past good-time memories, just thinking "is this what my life is now?" I'm not a crier and I was holding back tears just sitting there waiting for the day to be over before I told the dude I was working with that I wasn't going to continue there, gave him the key, and walked out. I've never experienced anxiety/panic like that before in my life. I have nerves and anxiety all the time but never like that...it's hard to articulate. But even after that experience and feeling like I hit rock bottom I still went to video games. I played for a few weeks after that experience until I hit the real breaking point and decided I was done. I've definitely told this story on here before and feel like I'm a bit of a broken record. But I honestly feel like it took such a profoundly negative experience for me to wake up and take command of my life. My family and I have been to many funerals in these last few year and so much has changed, I almost feel like it all caught up to me in those few weeks and I just decided that it was time for me to take charge of what I want in my life. There's a scene in Avatar: The Last Airbender (easily one of my top 3 favorite shows still to this day) where Zuko finds Appa under Lake Laogai before Aang. He wants to steal him but Uncle catches up with him and hits him in the chest (metaphorically) with two questions: "Who are you and what do you want?" It causes Zuko to undergo an internal crisis and he gets sick because he chose to do something so drastically against what he thought his identity was. I feel like those questions hit me hard and have continued to hit me hard during this detox. How difficult it is to simply just know yourself and know what you want. I feel like I struggle so much with just being myself and doing what I want for my life that I end up compromising with a whimsical attitude and deflecting responsibility for myself onto extraneous circumstances. I know it is mainly due to how I was raised by a tyrant-like father. But that's not how my life is anymore. I know that taking control of my video game addiction was a huge step in the right direction but it is not the root issue. It will give me space to dive deeper towards the roots. Taking responsibility is one of the best lessons I've learned from this detox.
  19. It's awesome to see how you've taken a bad situation and are trying to improve yourself from it. I find that very admirable and I'm looking forward to seeing how you grow from this. Keep it up!
  20. In regards to your habit graphs, I feel like that is a nice tool to track them. Like you said, I would experiment with them to make them look a bit better but it seems like a great way to measure progress. I feel like I need something similar because I have started a lot of habits and have been relatively consistent with them, but it would be nice to just be able to reference how much time I have put into each. I guess that's just my analytical self speaking, though. For the habits themselves, it's ironic how similar we are even with the Bird ID 🤣. I just bought an encyclopedia-like book about North American birds to learn to ID them and I am always on the lookout for spotting birds everywhere I go. I agree with some others who have posted, you do a lot. It's great to see that you are so invested in self-improvement but it's almost like you can't catch up to yourself. You do so much and have such high standards but you have a self-deprecating attitude and it feels like you're not aware about how much you do. I know you're an all or nothing person like myself so it is difficult to not push towards constant improvement but at the same time it causes such upheavals when you aren't "doing the things you need to do to be successful", that these habits don't necessarily lead to contentedness. My advice, which you already suggested for yourself, add a portion that deals with how you feel about everything. Seriously, work towards understanding yourself on a deeper level which involves a lot of self-analysis and honesty with how you feel. Also, I obviously don't know your relationship but include your wife in the nitty-gritty parts of the process. My gf supports me through everything but also calls me out on my shit. It's refreshing...in a humbling sort of way.
  21. I feel like I am a bit more cut-throat and cold with this type of situation. I have cut out entire groups of friends because the major basis of our friendship was gaming which I view as a superficial/weak connection...especially because I no longer want to game at all. I didn't see these people as true friends, even though I still considered them friends. It's really my fault for not trying to grow the friendship beyond video games but I knew that at the time I wouldn't be able to really change if I kept people around me who constantly associated our time together with video game like super smash bros. In regards to my best friend of 20 years, he is the one who got me into WoW. Any time I really "went against his wishes" in the game he would become super toxic. We haven't been on the best of terms for years now because I started to really do what I want/need to do for myself and he just wants to run around in circles with me a few feet behind. I've invited him to try different things with me like hiking and jiu-jitsu and he always agrees until the morning of where he'll flake out because of some random excuse. I still hang out with him from time to time but I try to have a third party there or to have it be somewhere other than his house because it generally leads back to something that involves video games even if it's just reminiscing. My brother has a similar situation with his best friend from middle/high school except the bonding activity is drinking. For my journey out of video game addiction, I feel like my best friend is partially an obstacle. It's a really shitty feeling to admit that. I've still hung out with him during this time but we've had enough space to grow in other directions that when we meet up, however infrequently, it's not pulling me back to games. I am not recommending that you stop being friends with your best friend. But I feel like you should really reflect on the situation as a whole. Space from friends to grow yourself is not something that should make/break a real friendship. It doesn't sound like that is the situation you're in but if you really are trying a 90 day detox than it would probably be in your best interest to commit totally to that gaming with friends included. If you hang out with them try to be firm with not playing games and have alternatives available. Once you're done the 90 days, then you can say that "okay, if I am around friends and we want to play then that is fine." You've shown yourself that you can do it, so if you feel up to it then you can decide how much or how little (if at all) you want games to be a part of your life. You have to remember that this is addiction, and it's not to be taken lightly. It doesn't mean beat yourself up when you fall, it's part of the process. But those small exceptions you make along the way of a 90 day detox and the repercussions of them will show you how far you have truly come. If it crushed your weekend, it's pretty safe to say that making an exception with friends is not something that should be part of your 90 days. But again to each their own...it's your journey. Also, I am not trying to attack you or anything of the sort. I am quite blunt with what I say because sometimes it feels like being supportive means pointing out things that don't want to acknowledged. You are doing incredible things for yourself and are in the process of change as am I, as are the rest of the people on this forum. Everyone wants to see each other succeed. I know that you can.
  22. Day 81 8/9ths of the way there. Yesterday, I talked about how I felt after the stress of the morning was gone and how the snow was pulling me back to nostalgic times with gaming. I talked about those feelings with my gf later in the day and I kind of had a moment of important insight. I guess I was still in the mental state of preparing to answer hypothetical questions like "what do you do for fun?" and I realized that although I have some answers for that question...the mere idea of fun was puzzling me. To answer that question, I feel like I would say things like hiking, kayaking, martial arts, reading, etc... But when I think about all of those activities I don't really associate them with "fun". They're enjoyable and there are aspects of fun tied with them but I wouldn't call hiking "fun". I would say an amusement park is fun. It was weird how this distinction hit me yesterday and today. I think of video games as fun...or at least I used to. For the last day I've been trying to remember the last time I actually had fun with video games. I feel like it was when I played spider-man on my ps4 last winter break. Even then it was fun but it didn't have the same edge it used to. All the other games I played were mostly frustrating or I was just playing to get to the "good parts", it was like playing wasn't actually fun 95% of the time. And I was playing a lot of games, I ran through shadow of mordor, shadow of war, kingdom hearts 1, kingdom hearts chain of memories, half of kingdom hearts 2, red dead redemption 2, the last of us, god of war, BioShock 1, Dark Souls 1 and 2, Dead space, and I was playing divinity original sin 2 and cod with my gf. I was playing A LOT of games this last year because I had finally got a ps4 after wanting one for so long and all the games were already out. But I really think about my time with these games, and I was just trying to finish them. I wasn't even enjoying them. There was very little fun. I know what it's like to play games and not have fun...I mean League of Legends will show you what that is like within the first couple hours of playing even when you're brand new. But I would still play League because I was addicted. With the ps4 games, I found them to be a refreshing break from league and it worked for awhile to keep me away from my pc. I was having fun in the beginning and simply purchasing the game was exciting for me. But that soon died out and I was just playing and playing and raging and raging and avoiding and avoiding...Even just listing those games out reminds me how extensively I was playing. And again it wasn't actually that enjoyable, there was very little fun involved. That is how I know that video games are not my friend, they are not my answer for the question "what do you do for fun?" They are not what I want to do with my time and they are not my end of the day/end of the week activity to relax into for fun. Even the Nintendo switch, I had one for a year before returning it (in a previously attempted detox). It was not an issue...for the most part. There was only one game...there only needed to be one game that turned that casual fun into addiction. I think most already know what game I'm talking about: Super Smash Bros. I loved the game growing up, I was always wanting to play with my friends who had the right console and game. It's one of those games that you feel like you've been playing for 4 hours and it's only been 10 minutes so then you end up playing for 4 hours but it goes by in what feels like 10 minutes. Seriously, I have played so much super smash in my life it's genuinely horrifying to think about. I feel like it just illustrates how much time goes into gaming but also how much time there really is available to you. Anyways, other than super smash bros. I would only play the switch like once a week for an hour or so. It was only gripping when smash was being played which generally was only with other people. But it doesn't mean that it was in balance. I would just argue that it was less addicting than the other forms of gaming I was used to. I still feel like I would never be able to have one and still live the life I want to live. Which brings me back to the idea of fun. I think for a lot of us, gaming allows us to pursue "fun" way too often for large chunks of time. I think I associate gaming with fun and nothing else is just pure fun in the same way. Most other hobbies only have a piece of what gaming has to offer especially in the beginning. But as you grow in the hobby then it really becomes fun and it checks off more of those boxes that gaming once did (measurable growth, sense of achievement, etc.) Even then, the pursuit of fun needs to be balanced into your life. I feel like people stop truly knowing what they find fun in life and then there's always the excuses that "I don't have enough time...blah blah blah". For most, they do have enough time or they could make time, but for some reason everyone stops seeing life as living fully and more as an extended period of conforming. So fun ends up being just thrown into a compromise like "I like going to bars" or "I find it fun to watch YouTube videos" which is just sad if that is what one turns to for fun in one's life. For me, this detox has illuminated so much about how I spend my time, how my mind operates, who I am, etc. I feel like it is appropriate that near the end I have really started to ponder what I really want to do with my time. What do I find truly fun? Without gaming, everything else has become so much more enjoyable (that dopamine stranglehold is releasing) and in time I know I will be able to dive head first into new hobbies that have that similar level of fun that gaming once did. I am just very glad that I have had these insights into my mind and if anyone else is feeling similarly just know that there are others who can empathize. To Moving Forward
  23. Day 80 I had my phone interview today and I believe it went well so hopefully I will hear back from them in a few days. I was super nervous all morning and now that it's over I just want to chill. It also started to snow (for the first time this year) which is awesome but I do have to say that I had a bit of a draw towards gaming. After finishing the interview, all my stress melted away and then the snow started picking up which made me think back on my early days with gaming. Snow days were the shit...you could go sledding and hang outside for the whole day and then warm up and play some games deep into the night. Some serious nostalgia has been kicking in today. It's not nearly moving enough to make me actually relapse but the feelings were definitely stronger than at any other time on this detox. I guess I could boil it down to "triggers" and that after a long, stressful day my reward was always gaming. I don't really have a reward system set up for myself in the same type of way but I don't really need one yet. I'm excited to be considered a prospect for the job, and to have the potential of working for this company specifically. I don't feel like it would be catastrophic if I didn't get the job, I would just need to make consistent money. But if I do get hired, I will definitely work towards making a new reward system for myself. One that involves real hobbies not gaming.
  24. Day 78 I have been reviewing a lot of information for my upcoming interview. Even though I graduated with 3.6 I still feel like I didn't do well enough or learn effectively to the point where I can say I'm a chemist. In other words, I deal with impostor syndrome a lot. Now that I haven't been gaming for a good deal of time, I feel like when I review my notes/information I retain the information way easier. Once I pass the initial 10-20 minutes of wavering focus, I can dive deep into it with a real desire to learn and I come out of these learning sessions with a much greater clarity and understanding of the material. I am also way better at planning out what I want/need to know as well as budgeting my time to get it all in. I've done a good bit of reviewing today and I still feel like I want to do some more later...which is unusual. There's much less obligation and much more desire, it's so freeing. I'd say that until I finish the interview Wednesday morning, I'm going to be a bit more lax with posting on here but hopefully all goes well and I can write about it with a sense of relief and joy. Also, thanks mate! Good luck on your journey as well.
  25. Day 77 11 weeks down...and I continue to feel more and more excited with my progress. I feel much closer to myself and I know that I have taken control of many different aspects of my life. When I reach that 90 day goal I feel like it will be such a huge accomplishment as well as a true turning point in my life. For all those struggling out there, keep moving forward