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remember115

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  1. Day 92 Just for the Record I made it and kept away from Video Games and Video Gaming Streams for over 90 days now. I did not expect my life to become more stressful and exhausting after i quit gaming, but thats what happened. I also expected life to become much more rewarding, which actually didn't happen. It is more like if you take the red pill in The Matrix. There is a lot, that is challenging and I can't win them all and I have to face actual problems and adjust my mindset to the dirty real world. But what I find, is worth fighting for. And, yes, "fighting" and "Matrix" sounds just so much more "exciting" than this actual real world szruggles turn out to be. Thanks for reading and take care Remember
  2. Day 86 Almost there (?) In the last weeks I sometimes thought about how many days I was acutally away from gaming, but I never took the time to make a count. Sometimes I read journals of the people I was in touch with in the forums, when I was on a train and got a reminder on my phone. But I never took the time to comment. Looking back, it was a good decision to start my gaming-free life in this community. I got quiet some motivation and encouragement. Really, I'm mostly back here to say: "Thank you!", to everyone in the forums, but especially to Marek, Booksandtress and Erik2.0, who inspired me the most. The reason I stopped journaling, after a few weeks, was mostly because I was lacking the time. Looking back, it is really no wonder, that I was unmotivated and dissatisfied with my life, when I wasted that much time with video games. Video games are so time consuming, while in reverse - long term - not rewarding at all! (Actually often enough, vice versa: Especially when I was with people, who had not much to do with video games. It was super embarrassing for me to admit, that I played for 6, 8 or 10 hours just video games, when someone asked a normal question to me like how my day was... it almost always ended in general statements by me, like "I didn't do much, a little bit of this and that, but mostly just relaxing..." How painful it was to hide so much of myself! But who am I telling that? I'm sure, you all know, what I'm talking about.) Anyway, I'm into my studies, I have a new job, I am working on my relationship. The hardest thing was not so much to quit gaming again, but to adjust and manage my actual life under very difficult conditions, which to a major part resulted from excessive video gaming. Looking back, the last episode in my life, where I was playing so much video games, was more of a longer relapse, because I hadn't played for many month before that and then got back again for 4 or 5 month or so. The relapse came from difficulties in my life, which I wasn't able to deal with. When I quit video games for the first time, it wasn't that much of a problem, because I was rather unambitious and didn't try that much to live a good life. I was still anxious and passive and in that state it was easy to live a quiet and simple life without gaming, because I am not a person that is bored or doesn't find things to do without gaming. I needed gaming almost exclusively to overcome stress and anxiety and avoid making important decisions and efforts in real life (or, in the words of Cam, I was using video games as an intense form of "temporary escape"). A few weeks ago, after I stopped journaling here, I got back to playing the guitar and I'm trying to practice everyday for 1/2 an hour or so for 3 weeks now. Also, I am looking forward to paint/draw, write short stories and play more board games (as soon as Corona is out of the way) and work on my social skills and overcome anxiety. Actually, all that is already A LOT to arrange and manage and maybe I have to prioritize, which is something I have difficulties with (video games helped me to "escape" the uncomfortable process of "prioritizing", which is just a specific way of "making a decision" which I, as I said, find difficult, because I tend to think of it as a "loss" because I often fear to make wrong decisions). The most challenging things are still to overcome anxiety, to be brave enough to make decisions and to find a balance between activities for recover, inspiration and the duties and necessities like working and studying. Often enough, when I'm doing hobby things, I find it hard to tell, if I really need recovery or inspiration, or if I just try to avoid making decisions or efforts. One important thing for me to do, is to find more faith in myself, to be open minded and get truly in touch with people around me. Feeling comfortable in company requires to feel comfortable with myself and confident about myself. I will give short updates here from time to time, if possible, but for me it's not a priority at the moment. Thanks for reading and have a nice day! Remember
  3. Day 20 Second Day at New Job Turned out my first day was an unusual busy and stressful one. The next day was much more quite and I did learn how to handle things better, already. It is still going to be very challenging to manage my studies while working a lot. Not a better option available at the moment, though. After getting home and sleep, I did watch a movie and eat a self baked pizza. An hour later I had to go to work again and then be free for a few days. Looking forward to spend more quality time with my girl friend and live more conciously. Having less time means, I really want to use it wisely and enjoy free time more. I want to be more concious and reflected when using my free time instead of acting automatically, which often tends to lead to apathic moods. Take care, Remember
  4. Day 19 First Day at a New Job It has been the first day of my work. During the day I was able to do a little bit of studying. I do realize, that I keep on being unprecisely with keeping record of my actual accomplishments in studies. I might want to take the time, actually. A bit afraid though, that too much measuring and statistics about my life may make me feel like a robot. Maybe it does make me feel more satisfied and calm on the other hand, and helps to concentrate for a limited amount of time and enjoy free time even more. First day at work was a horror. Neither am I used to work at night, nor expected to have so much responsability that early. Colleagues were nice, though. Not sure, how long I'll stick to the job. Take care, Remember
  5. Day 18 The End of Binge-Watching Yesterday was okay. During Corona-times, days are kind of samy though, which is one things why I was actually starting this challenge. Maybe those two things are linked up, though: Building new strucutures takes time and efforts and it is a step-by-step thing, so I won't cry too loud about that. I read in another journal, someone complained, quitting games in times of Corona was not a good idea. Unfortunately, I forgot, who did write it. But I remembered that, when I was thinking, that one might say, that quite the opposite is true. Because, if you quit in a situation like this, you will prove yourself, that you are able to keep away from playing video games even in times, when you are practically forced to encounter boredom and lonelyness. In other words, if you are able to quit now, you have a good chance to keep clean in a long run. You will remember, how you were able to resist the temptation later, when you may feel lonely because of an argument or a break up or whatever. You will know, that you are able to overcome boredom inside, when winter or sickness forces you to stay inside. Quitting now means, proving to yourself that you are capable to stay "clean" later, because rough times will always come and go. I watched the last episodes of "Breaking Bad" yesterday. It was a stunning experience again, even though I already knew most of the episodes, including the ending. Funny enough, it feels like an accomplishment to have reached the end, even though I was actually just consuming. Now I will stay away from tv series, because it is not satisfying for me, to only watch 1 or 2 episodes. It is too hard for me to go back to work or even start work if I'm left with a cliffhanger and have the next episode available. I will stick to movies and only watch series in form of social activity from time to time, when watching is not another way of procrastination or killing time. Consuming tv series in a responsible way (for example 1 episode at the end of the day) requires too much discipline for me and is just not worth it (because after watching 1 episode, usually the urge for watching another episode is actually more more intense than the satisfaction of having just watched one episode. It is pretty similar to my favorite video games, where after 1 game I immidiately wanted to play another round. So, that is that. Besides, I didn't study as much, but I wasn't too upset about it, because I knew it wasn't necessary. I just did the 2 most important things and was fine with it. Today I will have my first shift at the new job and hope everything will go well. Thanks for reading and take care, Remember
  6. Day 17 Prioritizing tasks via chart and avoiding procrastination Yesterday, after journaling, I watched a lot of tv. I was kind of hoping to finish "Breaking Bad" but the last season has more episodes than the previous, so I have to live with that for a few days. I often feel the need to finish things, it is just so satisfying, even if it is something as simple as finishing watching a tv show. That is part of why tv shows have addictive tendencies just like video games. I wrote a chart with tasks for my studies, which does involve columns for a)the description of the task, b)the priority of the task (in terms of personal interest and relevance for exams, that I summed up to a value of 1-3), c)the date, until the task must be finished (for example, if I have to send the results to a professor) and d) a field where I can mark the task off. This chart does make me feel a lot better. Turns out, there aren't as many high priority tasks, as it seemed to me. Also, some of the high priority task are really long termed, so I don't have to worry much about the order, in which I do them. I also will use my breaks, that are scheduled, for physical activities, especially going out for a walk or bicycling, because I figured that those are the activities that are most restorative. I also like to play guitar, write journal or draw while listening to music, but since I do these activites inside and mostly sitting, I just don't get the same refreshing feeling of it. Not only the mind needs variety to refresh, body and perception also do. I don't feel the need to play video games at all. I wonder, how it will become, when I'm done with tv shows. I do try to see procrastination as an alarm signal, that I have to take care of some need and listen to myself carefully and honestly to see what it actually could be. Because whatever I do for procrastination usually does not forfill that need very good. Take care, Remember
  7. Day 16 Dealing with overload Hi guys, there you go, I'm back on track with the journal. Well, yesterday I way, as usual, studying at home. It is wearing me down. I start feeling overloaded and because I can not play games anymore to procrastinate, I watch tv more. I think, this is going to be much less, as soon as I'll have finished the last season of "Breaking Bad", since I already decided not to commit to any series, except I watch them together with my girlfriend as a social activity (and not only to procrastinate). I think, it is important to admit, that I'm overstrained by the conditions of studying in corona days, where everyone is home and does everything on their pcs. It is frustrating to get so little feedback and always being in duty of motivating yourself do something. It takes a lot of self-discipline and, talking about games, there is very little "instant gratification". Today was even worse, I had 2 classes via web cam, then I went out and took a ride with my bike with my girlfriend in the sun. As soon as I got back, I was blockaded and started watching tv again. I mean, studying is for a greater purpose, because, one day I will finish and then I'll get a real job. But honestly, it is a drag, right now. What do I think, I can do better? -> I should focus more on the priority tasks (making a list) and skip the tasks that are less interesting and irrelevant for exams. Just forget those. -> Focus on reasons, why I still find my studies important and why I think it is worth fighting for -> focus free time on activities that are really restorative. For example, yesterday I read a short story and I was drawing for an hour while listening to some good music. Especially listening to music reallly made the drawing a contemplating experience, anyway I was "working" on a major project. Thanks for reading and take care! Remember
  8. Day 15 Keeping record I didn't play video games, but I still find myself thinking about games and consider different strategies and imagine how things would work out. It is fun and maybe even better than the actual playing, because it is way less time consuming. I'm still looking forward for the time after Corona, when playing board games in real life will become an option again. Yesterday I began to get back to my schedule. It wasn't perfect, because I was delaying starting with my schedule, therefore started way too late and in the end was studying until evening. I made breaks where I was watching TV, which isn't as restful, because obviously my body is in pretty much the same situation as it is while studying (looking at a screen). I figure, that the body should do something else in order to make it easier for the mind to do something else and get a real refresh. If I could, I would jump in a swimming pool for 20 minutes and then get back to studying 🙂 In the end, I wasn't too sad, spending my day with studying and watching tv. Longer breaks tend to be not that good, because I keep thinking about the work/studying that has to be done after the break. I sometimes lack the optimism, that it all will be fine and that spending a day with studying is all in all a good day. Because after all, it is my 1st priority. For today, I have a lot of reading tasks in studying and I want to concentrate and stick to the schedule in order to feel free after everything is done. Take care, Remember
  9. I can relate to that a lot and would like to try to explicate my personal thoughts on that a bit. I like how you reacted to that wish of "being famous" by starting to ask, what the purpose or the benefit of being famous would actually be. What is the underlying need, that would be forfilled, if people from all over the world would know and admire us? And I think, that you are probably right, if you state, that this wish just shows, how we need someone, who is interested in us, who does see us, recognizes us, accepts us and encourages us. We need someone, who really knows, who we are, someone we can always trust and who still does forgive us and can see the best in us, even when we made mistakes, in other words, who does love us. Being hurt or disappointed while trying to forfill that need can be devastating. And sometimes it is a good exercise to be forgiving, accepting, encouraging to yourself, when no one else is around or willing to do so. It is easy to forget, that just because nobody is around to truely know, accept, forgive and love is, we still deserve to be loved. Being "important" is already beyond that - it does involve responsability and taking care of needs of other people, often people, that you may or may not know very well or be very close to. None of those needs, love or importance, are strictly related to "being famous". Thanks for making me think about that and take care, Remember
  10. Day 12 Another short one I mostly had to prepare things for my girlfriend's birthday. I was shopping, baking and coloring the drawings I presented her. Also, I had an appointment concerning my new job. In the evening I got message from my work, when I would have my first day there, which was a big relief. Day 13 Another short one I was obviously involved in my girlfriend's birthday for the whole day. It was altogether very enjoyable. Some people dropped by and later we met some people via skype. Then again, having people around myself does become wearisome for me at a certain point. In the evening we were watching a movie, which turned out to be too stupid and boring to finish for both of us, even though several people told us, it was a very funny one. Day 14 TV Shows and Video Games It was yesterday when I got the 2 weeks without gaming full. I actually had told myself, that I would have to continue studying hard, because I wasn't able to do that for the last 2 days. Also, I could kind of recover the last two days, because I had neither to work nor to study. Actually, my girlfriend and me, both had a rough start to the day and as much as we are able to strenghten and motivate each other, sometimes we also drag each other down. I felt exhausted from the last days and the weeks before and decided quickly that this would be another chill day. I was mostly watching "Breaking Bad" and finished the 4th season (I currently watch Breaking Bad for the 2nd time). It was a relief to me, that this season has an actually ending and not some pseudo-ending, that leaves more questions open than answered ("cliffhanger"). In a way, the series could have ended after season 4 and I also felt satisfied with that ending. After I was consuming so much, I was thinking about different video games that would appeal to me, games I enjoyed and was thrilled by in the past. Games I could play a whole day, a whole weekend, or even longer without thinking too much about anything else. I compared the consuming of tv series to consuming video games. I do think, that watching quality tv shows, like Breaking Bad, can actually be even more challenging, than plaing most video games. It doesn't look like it, on first sight, because, while you will just watch (and listen to) the series, you will on the other hand, control the game in addition to watching and listening. But in the series, following the story, appreciate the aesthetics, commit your empathy or at least your emotions to the characters is challenging on a completely different level than gaming is. The more I concentrate, the more intense the experience of the story. The story in games is usually much less satisfying, especially in the kind of video games that I enjoyed (games that challenged me in terms of strategic thinking). The story in games becomes very repetitive and is often very superficial in the first place. I am aware, that there are video games that are actually story-driven. Those, on the other hand, never were my kind of games - if I had the desire for a good story, I would always prefere a quality movie (or a book) over video games. I guess you get the point, that I am trying to make here. In short, watching tv shows is, in my honest opinion, better for me, than playing video games. That being said, I am a bit concerned, that watching tv does become a new kind of temporary escape with addictional tendencies. This is why I was never too big a fan of series anyway: Because I knew myself good enough to see the addictive potential, that these shows have on me, especially when there is such a lot of variety and choices, in other words, infinite amounts of actually reasonably good content on netflix & co. I mean, honestly: Why are producers of tv series even cut their shows in seasons and episodes, if there are always so many cliffhangers and so little relief and ending points in between? Obviously, they want you to continue watching. Even though, many of those series do not even bring episodes from week to week and must motivate their audience to turn on their tv at the right moment, like it was in the days of cable and satellite tv. Now, that mechanism has switched around: Seasons do not have to be addictive to make you come back next week, but they are still just as addictive and support you at the very same time with the option to consume more (because everything is available all the time). Probably, there is an internal competition between the various shows on netflix, which is why every show does try to be as addictive as possible in order to give netflix (etc.) justification to produce another season. Netflix, on the other hand, does want their customers to watch as much as possible, because this way Netflix can justify the prize for the subcription and make it even look "cheap": like, 12€ for many, many hours of entertainment. But at the end of the day, the real expenses are not so much in the 12€ per month but rather the 60 hours, 90 hours or more, you spend on consuming tv shows. The problem, that I have, is not, that tv shows are "too thrilling" or "too exciting". I like "thrilling" and "exciting" in entertainment. The problem is, that I do have to come up with a lot of discipline and mental strength and will in order to be able to turn off my netflix and get things done, that are actually more important - and I don't only mean work and studies, but I mean social life and creative hobbies and relaxation and moving and getting healthy food and getting fresh air... etc. TV shows and video games nowadays have a lot of things in common (being limitless, being available in small portions that add up too a big amount of time, being perfect-level challenging (there is high quality concent, that will keep you involved, but if you don't have enogh concentration, you will find a lot of "easy" entertainment entertainment as well), being "cheap" in money cost but "expensive" in time cost, being "social" in the way that you will learn to know the different characters of the series over time plus in "real" social situations, tv shows are more than ever a topic you can make conversation about...). All that being said (and there would be things to add, but I don't want to make it too big of a subject now), I will be more aware and not start another tv show after Breaking Bad. I think, it can be different, if I would watch a series with my girlfriend, only as a couple, because there is another, often difficult to accomplish condition for access to watching and I don't have to rely on my discipline alone, when it comes to delay watching until the evening or stop watching after one or two episodes and go to bed (similar to the old times of cable tv, when the condition for watching another episode was the program schedule of the station - waiting another week was not a problem, because there was no other option anyway). Today I have to continue studying again, because there will be online meet-ups tomorrow. Thanks for reading and take care, Remember
  11. Day 11 Another short one This morning I have an appointment, so I have to make this really short. Yesterday was a very productive way. I started my schedule later and I ended it later. I was very satisfied with the results. In the end, I was tired and exhausted and decided to watch a documentary on a topic that is related to my studies and was actually part of the exercise we got. It was helpful to have some lighter exercise towards the end, and it also was a good for a change in media, because usually I mostly have to read. I was frustrated about my job situation and sent an e mail there. I also pointed out to myself, that there are potentially tons of good reasons, why I didn't get a satisfying answer. I did some cooking with my girlfriend and watched 1 hour tv. Then I went for a walk and called a friend and we talked for an hour. Today I'm not going to be able to do as much for studies, as yesterday because of my appointment and the fact, that there are some preparations necessary for my girlfriends birthday, which is tomorrow. Take care, Remember @Marek Thanks a lot for the kind words. That really helps.
  12. Thanks a lot, Marek. I try not to blame myself anymore, when I don't get to do all the things I scheduled. Esepcially, after studying or getting things done, I shouldn't blame myself for not relaxing later in a "productive" way, like drawing or making progress with creative projects. I am positive, that it will fit in later, when I catched up with my studies and have more energy for more challenging hobbies as well. My studies should be my number 1 priority now, followed by work. There is no use in stressing out because of number 3 or lower priorities, like hobbies, that are actually supposed to be regenerative for me.
  13. Day 10 Clean up I don't feel attracted by video games at all, these days. In fact, I was frustrated by video games before I made the hard cut, 10 days ago, when I started my 90 days challenge. For me, it is most challenging to clean up the mess, after playing video games many hours per day for half a year. Stop playing and finding hobbies, that are healthier and more forfilling would be hard enough. But the difficult thing is, that I don't continue my life, where it was "interrupted" 6 months ago, all those hours over days, weeks and months - in fact, there were happening things, I should have reacted to, but missed. I was missing a lot of things, opportunities, duties, that were important and now I have to work it out somehow and put things in order. I found, that it is easier for me, to reflect on the day before and write the journal in the morning. Yesterday, I was helping my to-be brother in law, painting the appartment he is about to move out and felt good about it. I am not exactly a practical guy, but I am fascinated by people, who are good at bricolage and crafting. So I saw it as an opportunity to learn something. At the same time, there is a lot of learning matter from my studies, that I have to catch up to. And I still didn't hear anything from my 2nd boss, when to start working there, which is a constant sorrow in the back. In the evening, I was watching a bit tv, partially by myself, partially together with my girlfriend. I observed, that I have problems to start my schedule on time. Therefore I will react to that. I will start the schedule 1 hour later (and also end 1 hour later). And I will prepare my breakfast the evening before. Take care, Remember
  14. Day 9 Exhausted I was tired and exhausted that day. I did not have that much time to self-organize, but classes via video-conference, that obviously were organized by others. I very much felt like our apartment was depressingly small for the two of us (me and my girlfriend) because interruptions happen all the time here. Self-organizing my studies is very tough for me anyway and even more, when I get interrupted and it isn't possible to have much privacy. Maybe things will change a bit, when my girlfriend has to work again soon and we are not both at home at the same time. It is still unclear, as many things are in corona-times. It is, what it is, though, and I will have to get used to it. At the very least, I can learn, to self-organize better, which is something. I will try to see that as an opportunity today. I received an answer via e mail by one of my new bosses, who said the new working contract was ready for signing, but the other boss, who should have told me, when exactly I would have to work, didn't make a move yet. It obviously made me nervous, even though boss 1 said, he would ask boss 2 for me. I got a bit stressed out by all of that (little space and privacy, self organizing, being unclear about the new job) and quit the working schedule 1 hour earlier to watch tv. Maybe it was just a "monday issue" and I have to get used to the schedule after the weekend. I will see. I guess the fact, that I didn't consider playing video games an option is still a plus. After all, days run by, I can't believe I haven't played for 9 days already. It is kind of logical that it is hard to get used to the "normal life" in which I face problems and difficulties instead of avoiding them all the time. I try to be not too harsh to myself and fight another day. When I got to bed, I considered watching tv there, before sleeping. After a long thought of 10 minutes or so, I decided against it and to stay with the good habit of only reading in bed. There is no reason, to surrender a day completely, just because of minor setbacks. It was the right decision, and I was a bit proud of myself. It is the little things, right? Take care,Remember
  15. Hi Erik, I am into drawing as hobby since I was a child - with several discontinuities of course, which were, btw, often gaming related. It is hard for me to tell, when I or from what advice, book or influence I learned about what. Betty Edwards book is about drawing in general. I think personally, that drawing is a very general skill and as soon as you reached a basic level of skill, you can focus on anything, portrait, architecture, nature, animals or whatever you want. You won't care very much on "what" you draw, because you just transfer whatever it is you see. If you're a beginner, I would always start with learning the general basics (see lines, shadows etc.) and progress from there to your favorite sujet. I tried books on portrait and they didn't help me as much because they usually tend to be very schematic. I don't know, if I am "good" at drawing portraits. I know some people who are more into drawing than I am and who are probably able to draw faster and/or more realistic. I still often like my results, though. It's been long ago, since I worked with that book. As far as I remember, it is all about penci drawingl, because it focusses on basic drawing skills, which mostly means to "see" and "transfer". I made it so, that I had a free weekend. My life is very busy during the week with all the studying and since my new job will start this or next week, I am already a bit nervous, if I will be able to get everything done.
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