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NEW VIDEO: I Quit MMOs and THIS Happened

Captain_Pilz

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  1. Thanks for your kind words! Even though the issue didn't just disappear, I managed to pull off the two deadlines for this week. The presentation went very well and I submitted the essay assignment having answered everything apart from one question. Still played some video games but it is what it is. I have stopped beating myself up over things like this. It's just not healthy. Clearly, my problems go beyond just gaming addiction, as I seem to have some deeply rooted fears I never addressed. What I would like to do though, is to state my experiences over the last two weeks. They stand in stark contrast to the wins I achieved in the week before. I inflated the assignments that I had coming up so much in my head that I became very overwhelmed and anxious. This caused me to avoid said assignments at all cost. With each new day, I picked a new thing to procrastinate: first it was other work, then it was listening to music, then it was movies and finally it became video games. I sabotaged myself into thinking that I need to focus on my assignments, so I skipped all my other classes just to procrastinate. I completely neglected my well being by going to bed way to late, eating infrequently and like crap and letting my room deteriorate. Over time this completely sapped my energy levels. Toward the end of this week, I had to cancel my social events because I was so far behind. One of them was a concert, played by some friends of mine, that I had been looking forward to for a f***ing year. I also sacrificed my hobbies again, not practicing drums or cooking for two entire weeks. Finally, working on the assignments was miserable because I was just focussed on finishing at all cost, as opposed to working carefully and making good, well founded arguments. I could have learned so much more by doing them! Overall, I honestly hated the experience. I had to sacrifice so much that I care about, all for the luxury of avoidance and wasting my time.
  2. I had a relapse yesterday. I played for 5-6 hours in the evening, then deinstalled everything. I don't necessarily feel bad about the relapse itself but for the events that led up to it. Basically, there is a larger deadline at the end of this week and my blatant perfectionism causes me significant anxiety. I have this very irrational fear that I will sit down to work on something and then realize that I am completely screwed. Because of this, I procrastinate a lot on starting this work and will basically use anything possible to procrastinate. On Sunday, I started watching some gaming related videos, which then led to me reinstalling a frickin' 100GB game, not because I really wanted to play it but because I didn't want to face my fear. I hope that I can get out of this mindset tomorrow. Throughout the days, I really need to reflect on this reocurring pattern.
  3. Thanks for sharing your struggles, everyone faces them here or has faced them at some point. The most important thing is to keep going now. I am curious: Why do you think your experiment with Freedom failed?
  4. Good work! You got back on track, even after a few small relapses. Staying at it is what matters. It's also nice to see that you are asking the big questions. Right now, it might feel discouraging to stare into the void that video games allowed you to ignore for so long. But eventually, finding a sense of purpose out there is going to get the momentum on your side. It can pull you away from your addiction. Considering the VR thing, I generally consider dipping your toes into video games a risky move. That being said, for some people here it has worked out and it is ultimately your decision. I will just cautiously interject: Interest doesn't equal passion. A passion is something that you invest a lot of time in because it gives you a sense of purpose. It adds to your quality of life, in contrast to addiction which takes away from it. Importantly, I think you only discover that you are passionate about something once you've already spent a significant amount of time on it (usually years). Interest can motivate you to spend this time but you won't become passionate about the majority of things you are interested in. Your interest in VR might be driven by the fact that you haven't discovered what else is out there, yet. It might just be your brain defaulting back to video games out of habit. Now, it's your decision whether you want to pursue that interest. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts.
  5. Congratulations, that's a huge achievement! Keep it up, man! Also, +1 on sharing some of your insights.
  6. Preoccupation: You only realize how much video games affect you, once you stop playing them. Even though I quit only a few days ago, I realize how many of my thoughts and behaviors were not normal. For me the biggest difference is the preoccupation that I used to experience towards video games. Any time I was not playing, I was carefully planning what I would do next when I got the opportunity. As a result, I was barely able to focus on anything other than video games. Sitting down to study, practicing the drums, attending university or social events, even the most basic activities like cooking, showering, brushing my teeth and doing laundry were a nightmare. It felt like a rubberband was wrapped around my waist, pulling me back to my gaming pc - the higher the tension, the greater the anxiety. Everthing was a tedious chore that was distracting me from the good things in life. I never dared think this way but I sure felt so. Now, I have realized that my gaming habit was what distracted me from the good things in life. I look back on this week and for the first time in months, I feel proud of myself. My curiosity has been revived. I can stay focused while studying now and I have learned more in the last week than I have in the month before. We had a lecture from one of the biggest names in our field today and I was prepared, asked questions and received amazing answers. This wouldn't have been possible, if I was still playing. I can commit time to socializing now because I am not protecting my time for gaming. Yesterday, I invested most of my afternoon and evening to go to a rehearsal because I wanted to play with these people. Unfortunately, I got a little bit of damage on my car in the parking garage (no other cars damaged). My father proposed that we visit a friend of his, who is a mechanic, to repair it together over Christmas. In the past, my entire being would have rebelled against such a plan on the inside. This time, I just said: "Yeah, let's do that. Thanks for helping." This wouldn't have been possible if I was still playing. I had a couple of mild cravings from time to time, in situations where I would usually play. But I said no. This week has strengthened my resolve to quit. Future self, you should consider this a reminder. A question to everyone reading this: How has your preoccupation with video games developed as you quit?
  7. It's been a long time since I've travelled, as well. One of the important flavors of life that gaming can take away from us. I've always found excuses for why I'm not going on vacation anywhere but it was really just gaming. I'm also holding my thumbs! Hope you've found a good balance for yourself.
  8. Thanks for the support. Prompted by your message, I started reading a couple of other journals. It is interesting to see how everyone set their journal up in a slightly different way. Because of this I have thought about the way, I would like to handle this journal. Firstly, I am getting rid of the counter. On previous occasions, I was doing a 90-day detox, unsure whether I still wanted to return to gaming. Not this time. Secondly, I will not treat this as a daily journal or a status update. I use other methods as my daily driver. Rather, I will treat my entries here more like short essays that serve as deeper reflections on the things I am going through. At any given moment, I just have too much going through my head to digest it all. I hope that this allows me to be more focused in my journals. First essay coming soon.
  9. Day 0: Here we go again... It is relieving to see that this community is still going strong. It has been a year, since I posted in this journal and I am planning to breathe new life into it. The last time I posted, I was in undergrad. In July, I graduated and moved to the neighboring country to study cognitive neuroscience in a very good research program. I was fortunate to make some amazing experiences this last year - but video game addiction compromised many of them. Since I started my master's in September, I have fallen more in love with my field than ever. I have met many amazing like-minded people. However, I've never run away from real life as I have in the last two months. Turns out that getting a research degree from a top school is hard, duh. Everybody here is struggling in some way ore another. As a result I went on multiple insane gaming binches, which made me feel awful about myself. Apart from my studies, I have also neglected my hobbies (jazz-drumming), my relationships and self-care. In late October, I failed the first exam that I have ever failed in my life. This was not a very difficult assessment, I was extremely unprepared. At first I thought that this would motivate me to do better. Yet, I have played 60 hours of games in the last two weeks. That is at least a half-time job, if not more. When I relapse, I am typically in denial: "No, I don't actually have a video game problem. It must be something else. I am running away from these things because I am anxious. Video games are not the problem." All the while, I am literally unable to put down these games to get something to eat. Video games are a maladaptive coping mechanism that makes the problem even worse. I have ignored this for a year. What has changed? I have to choose! In the past, I could usually get away with my behavior. I could play a ton of video games and still function somehow. Now, I am starting to realize, this is no longer possible. I have found a demanding, yet satisfying career path that I find meaningful. Not only that: I am literally in the perfect environment to make this happen. Regardless of what happens, I know that the long-term outcome of my behavior is determined. Either I continue to play video games and loose everything I care about in the process, or I give them up and gain everything in return.
  10. Glad you're here. You have a good grasp on your reasons to play video games and what makes quitting difficult for you. You are not alone in this struggle. Looking forward to hearing from your journey.
  11. Day 2: I have made great progress in the month that I was not playing video games or consuming YouTube. For the first time in my life, I am confident that a gaming free life is what I am after. The month sufficed to rediscover a bunch of things that are very important to me. For the most part those are science and music. I also feel like an active social life is much more important to me than I think. Spending a day with my grandpa and going to a festival with my dad were two of the most beautiful moments of the last few weeks. I do not feel ashamed of myself as often, as intensely or as long as I used to. This used to be a huge burden. Furthermore, I discovered a few habits that actually work. The only reason, I don't reap their whole benefits is because I am inconsistent. The two I want to highlight most are scheduling my day and posting on this forum. As for the challenge.... I will stray away from the typical 90 days goal for now and set myself a challenge for the rest of the year. No video games or video game related content on the Internet. Write in this journal every day. Schedule my day on Google Calendar first thing in the morning. Be realistic.
  12. Day 0: Remember me writing, that I got a cold? I was unable to participate in many real life activities for a week. I missed a gig and multiple lectures. Even though, lectures are uploaded online after the fact, I didn't watch them. So I got behind again..... Slowly started watching YouTube again, at some point bought a video game and binged the shit out of it. I don't remember how long it lasted, it must have been 4-5 days. Since then, I have been dealing with the fallout of my slip. I get really anxious, seeing the mountain of work that I have to do to catch up. Anytime, I meet some of my friends and they ask me how things are going, I feel terribly ashamed. Right now, I am just dealing with a crap-ton of negative emotion and feel horrible about myself. The amount of stuff that you have to do to be a functioning person in society is just horrendous. Everyone else's lives look so effortless and I feel like I will never be normal. I am so f***ing angry with myself. I know that some of that is inaccurate but this is genuinely how I FEEL right now. Honestly, just need to vent.
  13. Day 29: Today was fine. I woke up with a cold (luckily not Covid) and had to call in sick. I found time for some tasks in the periphery. For example we had to do a beta-test for a new software. Right now, I am fine. It didn't get worse and I hope I am back on my feet again by tomorrow. I have a few obligations this weekend.
  14. Day 28: I am kind of proud of what I accomplished today. I actually planned out my day from 8:00am to 6:00pm and stuck to it, with the exception of a few minutes here and there. Let me try to do the whole thing again tomorrow. Also, I would like to share some insecurities of mine. First of all, I have struggled with addictive behaviors for all my life. Video games and the Internet are the biggest offenders but I also remember being properly addicted to trading card games in primary school. I do realize that mental illness is fundamentally understood by most people. At the same time, I feel like there is much more of a stigma associated with addictive disorders than there is for most other mental illness, barring to the blatantly misunderstood ones like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and borderline. I think this is due to the general misconception that addicted people have chosen to be addicted to their substance or behavior of choice. Due to this, I feel ashamed of not having my life together and I am always scared that the world finds out. I speak too much. I like talking. Then again, I always feel like I am taking over conversations because I am genuinely never out of ideas. My mind is like the freakin' Niagara Falls. People have reassured me that this is not an issue, and that I generally communicate interesting ideas. Still, I can't help feeling like a total dick once I notice that I am taking over the situation. The fact that I am shit at asking questions also doesn't help - or some people just don't like to talk. I respect that, but me being me, I don't understand it. On top of that, I am not the best at expressing my ideas verbally. When I am writing, I have no issues being lucid. Then I start talking, and I'm just incoherent, ungrammatical and constantly at a loss of words. You listen to one of my voice messages and there are more Uhms than f***ing words! I don't get why talking clearly is so hard for me. I am not stupid or anything. As a result, I am often self-conscious in social situations.
  15. Day 27: I spend most of today procrastinating. Hence, I feel very guilty right now. At these moments, living a structured live seems like a distant fantasy. At least, I took part in my classes at university (most of which do not have mandatory attendance), so I have done the minimum. The last few days have shown me, how important structure actually is. I remember trying out scheduling for the first time a couple of months ago and quitting after 4-5 days. At the time, I thought: "Well, I am not able to follow these plans perfectly. That must mean it doesn't work." How ignorant I was. Obviously, an improvement (even if imperfect) is an improvement. The one thing that all these chaotic days when I got little done had in common, was me not scheduling. Also, on all of these days, I went to bed late the day before. While we're at it....😴
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