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Captain_Pilz

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  1. Day 4: I forgot to write yesterday. Ever since I started university, especially when I moved out, I struggle with organising myself. So many tasks; everything is just a mess. Even though I am super passionate about drumming, I constantly forget to practice due to a lack of intentionality in how I structure my day. There are a lot of things that happened during the last two days that I want to write about. First of all, I am currently revising lectures from last semester because we are writing two exams on 2 lectures each next year. In the meantime, I am restructuring my workflow for dealing with lectures. Due to gaming and internet addiction I have gotten behind on most modules in the last 4 semesters which has always created significant amounts of stress. For now, I don't think about grades. I just don't want to get behind on any lecture: AT ALL!!! If you've read my day 1 post, you might have noticed the exception I put in place for this challenge. Yesterday, I met with some friends on Discord to play Among Us. Let's just say it wasn't worth it. That experience has definitely vitalized my conviction that quitting games is the right path. On another note, today I found out that a girl from uni I was interested in actually has a boyfriend. To be honest, I wasn't really surprised because this happens all the time - actually it's the only thing that happens to me. Maybe, I just have good taste.😅 And it obviously sucked. It led to a fascinating revelation though: I experienced the first cravings for video games and YouTube in 3-4 days. I never noticed that those two were such potent coping mechanisms that I immediately gravitate toward. But I didn't give in and had to get more creative with coping. In the end, I ended up eating a few pieces of chocolate (not too much). I know that eating isn't the most ideal coping mechanism. However, today was the first time I experienced coping behavior this lucidly, so I gained a lot of insight from it. Finally, I wanted to share something I've been pondering on for a long time. Posting it gives me an opportunity to actually formulate it clearly. I've been struggling with self doubt, especially as it pertains to my intelligence and ability to succeed in what I want to do. I guess this issue stems either from a generally low sense of self-value or a lack of clarity on what would actually make me valuable. I think the crux of the problem is a sense of perfectionism and a need to impact the world in a significant way. I see that this is probably an experience many people make. Until recently, I thought that if I wouldn't be able to reach ridiculous goals, I would be useless on this planet. Oh gosh, western society has truly inducted me into loving big and flashy things! But now, I believe I found a way out of this hole - at least for myself. My reasoning is the following: We should all think big. Looking at the achievements of the geniuses of science, the humanities, art and sports, who exist at the frontier of human capabilities is incredibly inspiring. And I see nothing wrong with striving to be like them. Perhaps, we will be able to inspire the ones who come after us in the same way. But big is only a small fraction of life. Even if we fail to reach our extravargant goal, we have not failed. It is all the mundane obligations and gestures that don't directly impact mankind but only our microcosm - our friends and family; students and teachers; colleagues and customers - that matter most. There is great virtue in doing them well and as honestly as possible. If we forget about them imagine what would happen. I guess most of us have been there, haven't we? On the flip side, imagine a professor writing grant applications. This is probably one of the most unpopular and non-sciency tasks among even eminent professors but it is just as important as doing the science. Applying for a grant might not revolutionise particle physics but it secures the livelihood of the whole research group and enables aspiring scientists to get a footing in their field. The professor-example is probably not my best one. But especially as addicts, we need to allow ourselves to take pride in accomplishing the daily things, that are so "easy" to others but so hard for us. Not because we are just going easy on ourselves; because there is something to be genuinely proud of.😉 Help, that was exhausting. Cheers, David
  2. This one has been a riddle to me as well. I can only imagine how exponentially deeper the regret you feel is, since you have been an addict for much longer than I exist on this planet. For now, I just hope that we will reveal the reason for all this later along our journey.
  3. Day 2: Didn't encounter any difficulties on day 2. Yesterday was actually a quite successful day. We finally piloted the experiment I am helping on right now, which took most of the day. Then I spent the entire evening with a friend, kind of loosing time, which is why I am writing this the next morning. Turns out he took A-Level Physics as well and that both of us had forgotten almost everything. We had some very nostalgic moments catching up on some of the schoolwork we used to do.😅 Funnily enough, I used to consider myself an introvert. But maybe, that was just a result of me not getting out of my room to socialize. Perhaps, video games made me an introvert. Still, I usually try to keep to 1-on-1 conversations cause big groups aren't as fun to me most of the time. Last but not least, I have to admit that shortly after my last post, I browsed YouTube for about 15 minutes. Actually, I only noticed later when I was standing in the shower. It's insidious how deeply these long standing habits are rooted. We might not even notice what we are doing until it's too late. There were no cravings, no justifications, only a reflex. I don't blame myself for this incident. However it will be a warning sign to me, that I have to be more careful as I go on.
  4. Day 1: Im Bacc!!! It's been a long time since I last posted here. 2020 turned out to be a rough year for all of us. In part thanks to this community I managed to graduate from high school very successfully. I went on to study Psychology. However, I recommenced playing video games. To be brief: I had a really hard time keeping my life from falling apart in the last two years. For some reason, I stopped identifying as a video game addict. I lived under the illusion of control. All the while, I ignored the massive detrimental impact that video games and Internet addiction had on my life. I plan to open up about this and some of my observations in future posts (since there are too many to funnel them all into one post). In the last few weeks many incredible opportunities have presented themselves to me. I refuse to waste them. After days of reflection, I decided to come back to Game Quitters after all this time. For three semesters, I have been pretty much hard stuck when it comes to taking care of myself. But the last time I attempted to quit video games, I experienced one of the most productive and happy periods of my life. My plan: I commit to a 90 day detox on video games and YouTube. For years those two have been the biggest demons of mine. They deserve to be kicked out of the house. I do not plan any other habits right now, since I have enough to do anyway. I have also had bad experiences while overloading on ambitious goals in the past. Quitting both games and YouTube is already challenging enough. There are only two well defined exceptions: Next Friday, I have already promised a bunch of friends to play some party games. This exception is only in place for this one planned occasion, since I despise breaking promises. (I've had enough of that in the past) Furthermore, this is the only type of gaming that I have been able to regulate well and that has added some value to my life. YouTube videos can be useful, or even necessary for studying. However, I will only be allowed to watch them under two conditions: The link was provided by a professor or my advisor; the link exists on the website that is associated with whatever tool I am learning to use. So no going into YouTube myself to search, only 3rd party stuff. In hope David
  5. Holy s**t, this is me, period. You are taking all the right steps. The best of luck on your journey towards self-acceptance.
  6. I feel you man! In a way coding is one of the most frustrating and one of most rewarding activities at the same time. Stay at it! I have faith that you are going to become proficient in due time.
  7. Day 23: I finally made it! Even though, I watched YouTube in the morning, I got work done at last! What was good today?: I am very lucky. As soon as I start so many things become immersive. I got back on track, learned for my Physics class and also worked out. Yesterday, I also had some fun with my friends after not hearing from them for a long time. The greatest thing might be that I managed to take action and get out of my head! What was bad?: First and foremost, I had a rough start in the morning. But as for the rest of the day, I have no complaints. What will I do to conquer tomorrow?: Figuring out some equations is kind of fun once you start. Tomorrow, I will kill Physics and Maths like I didn't do in a long time. Apart from that, I might finally pick up my drum sticks again.
  8. Day 22: I am journaling a little earlier today. Yesterday was bad, probably the worst day in a long time. That also translated into bad sleep. What was good today?: I had a realisation. In three weeks, 22 Days to be exact my exams start. One is in the first week then two in the second one and in roughly over a month I am finished. However, apart from a little bit of Physics, I didn't do anything. Two scenarios: I continue as I did and fail my exams which makes everything a lot harder than it already is. Or I work hard right now, harder than ever did before and push through my comfort zone if I wanna have a chance to make it. Three weeks is nothing. Right now, the fear of failure is so present that it overpowers my urge to be comfortable. I just started improving. The chores I had to do were not helpful with that but at least I found a history podcast that makes the start of learning history easier. Furthermore, I had a great phone call with my grandparents. Tonight, I will finally commit to speaking to some friends and I am also looking forward to exercising right after I write here. Meditation for the last fifteen minutes before sleeping and planing out my tasks is crucial as well. All right, I still have three hours left. What was bad?: As I expected, I spent a lot of time on YouTube from 8 am to approximately 2 pm. That's an impressive six hours. I definitely need to change something up here. How will I conquer tomorrow?: Did I ever mention that I love cold showers? They are the most energising thing in the world and are not even uncomfortable if you breathe in a controlled manner. They are part of my morning routine and create massive momentum. I will conserve that momentum and focus on Physics in the morning, doing some Maths and English in the afternoon and listening to the history podcast during chores. I am confident that I will be able to do this. Also, I will call my other grandparents and text or speak with some other friends and exercise. These are all the goals, I give myself. Tomorrow, I will probably do a priority list here. Let's turn around. David
  9. Day 21: @Alexanderle, thank you for your amazing support. Today was better slightly, not much at all, but at least a little bit. What was good?: In the morning, I finally managed to act well. I took a walk in the afternoon and I spent more time with my parents. What was bad?: Somehow, I managed to avoid all of the work I could have done and didn't even work out. That was disappointing. What would make tomorrow great?: My surroundings are really messy right now. I have to remove distractions and start working finally. My phone has to be downstairs and not in the room I am working in. Otherwise, it doesn't work at all. How do I live up to a plan when I didn't live up to the previous ones. This question circulates in my head all the time. I have kind of started to lose faith in myself and my ability to change. But that sets me up for disappointment. The thing is that I like to be comfortable and that change isn't easy. It's going to be hard and I have to push through that at some point. At last, pulling yourself out of a bad loop takes many takes. I will go again tomorrow. Let's see how it plays out. David
  10. Day 20: It appears to me that I just wasted another two days of my life to various different things, including YouTube and Porn. I have now changed my router settings and made them very inaccessible to give myself only set hours on the Internet. Fact is that the Internet is THE biggest distraction in my life and I want that to change. Also, @Alexanderle, you are right. I am at day 20 and I will keep going. I promise. What was good today?: My father and I managed to repair the controller of my XBox which means that I am going to be able to sell it in the near future. I am looking forward to reinvesting the earned money in my personal development. Also, we cooked self-made burgers tonight. They were delicious. What was bad?: Porn. Quite a lot of porn and YouTube, too. Didn't study for the last two days either. What would make tomorrow perfect?: I just want to start the day well and study. I have a goal and I am going to reach it, even if I wasted a lot of my time. I have a plan. Let's see if it works out! In hope David
  11. 😭 Day 0: How did we get here? Over the last few days, I have started watching YouTube again, I spend too much time on porn and even played a video game for 30 minutes. Everything seemed OK but things didn't work out as I expected them to. The reason I had this mini-relapse is actually quite simple. There are habits that I find easy to do (playing the drums, my morning routine, working out), the ones that require a little bit of effort not to procrastinate on (mainly studying for Physics), and the ones that are just super hard to do. Those ones are currently related to the other subjects I have to learn for and this is the case for different reasons. One subject is boring and too easy, one is ambiguous and studying for the last one feels unpractical. And if I'm honest the second reason why I keep watching YouTube is because it is stimulating and doesn't require any effort. Let's face it. Right now, I'm just not used to putting effort into things. When I listened to today's episode of the Game Quitters Podcast, James talked exactly about this. For him and so for me everything in school came easily and everything was super short term. Now, that I am about a month away from my final exams and about to go to university afterwards, I feel like I just want to hide from the effort, that somehow everything coming easy to me has made me lazy. I have never considered myself a hard working person. Right now that I still have a month time to prepare, I realise that I started to late on the other subjects. However, learning them all at once feels daunting and plain impossible and from the experience I made over the last days actually is impossible. I am going through the process of leaving an addiction behind and I cannot make it too hard for myself. Otherwise my inclination to escape will just become worse and worse. I just want to hope that things will get better. I have made some progress again. I have noticed that unhealthy eating, watching TV and YouTube and porn, and playing video games is intertwined. When I do one thing, I feel the urge to do the others. When I watch YouTube, I eat unhealthy and play games. When I watch porn, I diminish my energy and make myself watch more YouTube. The circle closes there. It's basically a loophole of instant gratification. That makes watching YouTube and porn even more risky. Therefore, I should not consume them. On the other hand, exercise naturally replenishes my mental energy and makes me eat healthier. Cold showers do as well. I already do those positive things which means I only have to double down on them. At the moment, I feel satisfied with what's going on in my brain, with my thoughts. All those years of struggle have taught me plenty of things, what works and what doesn't work. What I m not satisfied with is how my actions reflect my thinking, how I am actually developing, and my interpersonal connections -Why not just say relationships-. My friends and family are dear to me but in those negative phases, I just forget about them. That makes me feel like a bad friend and a bad son. I want to get active in my deepest and the longer I remain in the negative zone, or what I perceive as the negative zone, the more frustrated I get with my progress and it hurts my progress. The more frustrated I get, the worse my escapism gets. That's how I feel in this whole situation. However, the thought has just come to me that I may only think I am in a downwards spiral and actually am in an upwards spiral. I even think it's most probable that this is the case and that the upwards spiral just has some nudges in it and is hidden from my sight. I mean, I'm developing and the fact that I'm never giving up reflects that. How does this train of thought help me take action. My perceptual issue is that I mostly have the goal in mind. Yes, that's the case. That said, I will not see my small wins on the way and I will not notice my progress because the only way I am satisfied is when I live up to the ideal I created in my head throughout the years. My ego also tells me subconsciously that everything has to be easy. What is gonna help me take action and grow as an individual is detaching myself from the ideal and the fantasy and to live in the moment. Also, there is the next reason why I should not watch YouTube and porn. It supports my inclination to fantasise. Meditation is going to help me there. I have done it before sleeping in the past. In the long run it improved my thought but in the short run I even slept better, so why not do it for 10 minutes each evening to start off. All right, let's do a quick journal: What was great?: Drumming, exercise and learning a lot about myself and my own inclinations. What was bad?: I watched YouTube, I watched porn and I procrastinated the whole day. Also, I got out of bed late. What will make tomorrow better than today?: Calling one friend and one family member. Learning a moderate amount of Physics. Not watching anything, not even personal development videos.
  12. Day 16: What was good today?: I made an interesting experiment in the morning. My chronotype is the lark chronotype which means I respond to light very quickly. Therefore, I left my shutters open over night and voila, I woke up at 6:30 am without an issue. That's a better way not to snooze than using a ton of willpower. Then, I managed to execute my morning routine once again. After a lot of unproductive time, I managed to pull myself out of it and work out. What was bad?: I definitely procrastinated in the morning and eventually started watching gaming videos. That continued for hours until the late afternoon. I even almost relapsed. What would make tomorrow perfect?: Tomorrow would already be perfect if I managed not to watch YouTube and get over that initial procrastination border.
  13. Day 15: The movie was great. However, I will try to go to bed sooner today. What was good today?: I am keeping my morning routine up for another day! At least I am consistent in some things. My parents and I payed my grandparents a short visit today since it's eastern. I was also able to phone a few relatives and text a few friends. Also, I did a lot of drumming today and it starts to be fun again after the first few times were quite frustrating. What was bad?: The visit to my grandparents also broke up my original plan to study early. This made it difficult for me to keep things up. I don't blame external circumstances for that, at least partially. Actually, my plan failed because I miscalculated the difficulty of direct practice and I will learn from that. Apart from that I also watched quite an amount of YouTube, no gaming videos however. I even watched porn, again. I know exactly that porn is an energy vampire for me but I still do it. That's frustrating but I'm dedicated to push through it at some time. What could make tomorrow the perfect day?: I want to learn from my mistakes and finally start studying for my English class. Also, I struggle to keep contact with my friends through anything else than texting. This means that I should start staying in touch per video chat. Another thing is obviously YouTube. Not watching any would make tomorrow even better.
  14. Day 14: This journal is written in a hurry so it's not very detailed. I will watch Inglorious Bastards with my parents in a minute. What was good today?: A lot of things, though not everything, went right. In the morning, I stood up earlier than usual. I just couldn't sleep anymore. I started studying for my English class, which I procrastinated on for a long time, I worked out again and I spent some time with my parents. Furthermore, I finally started practising the drums again and had much fun. What was bad?: I didn't quite start working as I wanted to. After my morning routine I watched porn. Why? In the afternoon, I procrastinated a lot, too. I even watched some YouTube but it wasn't for too long. What would make tomorrow the perfect day?: I would like to repeat a few of the good things I did today. Perfect would mean that I started working directly after my morning routine and got more right.
  15. Day 13: Finally! The first improvements! What was good today? I didn't watch any YouTube today, even though I had cravings. In the afternoon, I managed to study well, I played the drums and I called my grandmother who is always excited about me calling. Furthermore, I texted some friends and worked out for the first time in five months. Currently, I am even working towards selling my XBox which is my last resort to play games. What was bad? My morning was still really wasted. I also watched porn even though I know it doesn't make any sense. Over the day, I noticed a little bit of inflamation in my throat. I just hope that I'm not getting ill again! What would make tomorrow the perfect day? Today was much better than the last days. I managed to do quite a lot because I was quite motivated. I want this to happen again tomorrow because I know: I cannot be too relived because I need to double down on the things that worked today. If I was able to get a few things done in the morning, that would be even better. Let's get some rest and see! David