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About ace_dee

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  1. Discipline Equals Freedom All of Jocko's books are great
  2. Day Whatever, stopped counting at 30 My attitude feels like it is adjusted and I feel confident that I'm not going to fall into the bad patterns again. On further analysis it appears that Twitch was a major trigger and getting rid of that keeps from being called back in to binge gaming. I also deleted my Discord account for the hell of it. I barely used it and mostly it was used for gaming stuff anyway. The fundamental problem: life is hard. You fail a lot, you progress SLOWLY, you feel ashamed of things you probably shouldn't, everything is so fucking awkward at first, you can never be absolutely confident in your decisions because RL decisions have an infinite number of permutations. Gaming is so seductive because it bypasses all of those tribulations: Meaningful progress is fast and unambiguously tracked, failure costs nothing (except time), you can usually practice infinitely and have fully control of when you show others what you are good at if you bother to show anything at all, even in the most complicated game there are a finite number of possible decisions and the consequences are immediately apparent. The absorbing spectacle of gaming gives you something to distract you from your anxiety while you "run out the clock" on the difficult real life decisions you have been avoiding. Resilience and confidence are like muscles. They need to by exercised. Even if they start really weak you have to get through that starting phase before you can develop your true strength. For people who are either naturally gifted or had a supportive environment growing up that difficult, weak, phase is overcome in childhood. For the rest of us we need to not only recognize it for what it is but also have the wherewithal to push ourselves through the pain that we have been running from our whole lives until we can start to FINALLY building ourselves up. Detaching and evaluating yourself from an external perspective is one of the most difficult things to do. Particularly if you know that you will find yourself wanting under judgment. Recognizing problems require taking that initial ego hit, being honest with yourself, and genuinely accepting who you are, flaws and all. But once you do that, the whole rest of your life opens up. ----------------- One thing to remember is that you can't define yourself based on what you don't want. You can't say "well I don't want to game all day" and expect to have any success. Instead you need to take the first step and figure out what you DO want. Once do that you can make a plan. Most of us suck at planning, it is a learned skill. At the start just figure out small, daily steps you can take toward your objective. Eventually, as you become more consistent, secure, and disciplined, you can let yourself plan further and further ahead in more and more complex operations. But worry about that later. For now write down that goal or mission, write down your daily steps, and execute.
  3. I think the important thing is that you are conscious of your gametime and you actively moderate it. Gaming can be treated like dessert. Possible to enjoy occasionally but causes problems if you indulge in it to the detriment of your other objectives. As long as you don't let it become your "default" activity and you stay away from games that have mechanics that are intended to induce compulsive behavior you should be OK. Basically avoid any f2p game and any online multiplayer, except if you play those only with friends and always set pre-determined time limits.
  4. Day 30 I guess this is supposed to be a major milestone but it feels like any other day. Its >30 days ago I uninstalled battle.net and steam from my work comp and decided to stay away from gaming media. Quitting Twitch cold turkey was definitely harder than not gaming but it was the right move as that had pulled me back more than anything else during previous dry periods. I'll miss the connections I made with the streamers and viewers but I just need to replace those with a better connection to my family and my local community. I accomplished my initial goal without any major snags or cravings. I guess I'm finally "mature" enough to detach from my situation, analyze, and come to the logical conclusions, at least in regards to gaming. Thinking back on things, one roadblock on my path previously is the idea that giving up gaming was really symbolic of giving up on one of the last "joys" I kept from childhood. Over years so games just sucked me in and let me completely focus on the game world totally ignoring what was going on around me. Real life is messy and difficult and ambiguous, and you never really know whether or not any effort you make will pay off. The game world has a clarity to it that is compelling. Things happen based on rules, they are consistent, and there is a measurable reward for time spent, even if it isn't meaningful. I'm finally willing to accept that the "joy" that I got from gaming was false and a subversion of my brain's reward system, similar to how soda and candy trick your brain into wanting more even though you know intellectually it is bad for you. Years ago I gave up soda and candy and now I'm ready to give up gaming, at least the obsessive, alone, time eating gaming that I used to do. Though I'm not planning on giving up gaming entirely. I never felt like I was an "addict" and wasn't in control of myself. But my priorities have finally shifted from maximizing gaming to real life success. And there is no reason that I can't include measured and conscious gameplay as a portion of the activities I do. Prohibited gaming games with addictive mechanics (time gates, limited inventory, gatcha, blind bags, energy systems, daily quests - login rewards or other time-based mechanics) that basically prohibits all mobile f2p games - story based or puzzle mobile games are probably fine any gaming in the bathroom any gameplay during work hours solo gameplay within an hour of bed time gameplay for the purpose of avoiding other activities watching twitch streams whether or not I participate in chat Allowed gaming couch co-op "appointment" multiplayer gaming with people I know reasonable pokemon go play while outside single player gaming but only if I set a time limit beforehand and an alarm to go off in that time limit One dark side of the quitting gaming is I let myself get into a reddit loop of continuously checking the subs I'm subscribed to and reading and replying to many comments daily. So far that doesn't appear to be affecting anything in real life but with my newfound awareness I'll keep my eye on things and make changes if necessary.
  5. I don't believe couch co-op is nearly as much of a problem as single player solo grinding. For one thing there are logistic issues involved with getting people together to do anything so there are external limitations. It really depends on your mindset and purpose. If you are dragging your reluctant friends/relatives along just so you have a pretext to game when you know you shouldn't then you should probably stop. Same if you are using the gaming date as an excuse to procrastinate other activities. At the same time if it is something they like doing and you are joining them and having fun together then it can be a reasonable social activity. One way to stay honest is to only play games that you don't particularly enjoy but the people you are playing with do. That way you know you are doing it to build your relationship and not for the play itself. I don't really like minecraft but my children love it. Playing with them is a chore but I do it because it makes them happy and lets them be proud of their "mastery". If that brief co-op play makes it harder for you to resist at your weak times then you are probably better off without it. But only you can know your own mind and limitations.
  6. good luck on your journey! In my opinion single-player story-based games aren't nearly as bad as online multiplayer. But be cautious about roguelites (binding of isaac) because of the draw of going for the "perfect run" and of continuous progression "grinding" games like Path of Exile or Diablo. The steady increase in character wealth/power and the slot-machine rewards systems can trigger compulsive behavior.
  7. Day 26 This week was rougher than usual. Broke a toe on monday so I didn't work out. I know that is just an excuse and there are exercises I can do without using those body parts. But I don't think giving myself a few days off to focus on healing is the worst thing in the world. Also got some dental work done wednesday so I couldn't eat solids for one day and had a hard time with it for a couple of days. Again not good excuses but I didn't feel great and let myself slack. The call of gaming was pretty strong thursday and friday but I didn't succumb. Did sleep extra to avoid jaw pain that came after the anesthetic wore off. Everything has returned to pretty much normal except for a slight limp. I know the toe is still healing and I'll have to be cautious which is never fun, makes me feel old and fragile. Today I'll plan an exercise routine for next week to substitute for the bodyweight and running routine I usually do. So far it seems like giving up twitch is definitely harder than giving up playing the games themselves. That is something that I can just open up on any device pretty easily and get that validation of being part of a community, no matter how superficial it was. I don't think I'll have any problem making the 30 day detox I initially planned. I guess I was just ready and at that point gaming felt more like an obligation than an enjoyable activity. But until I got there and realized it for myself no external influence could help me. Any attempts would just have made me dig in harder. Hard Truths Up to this point in my life I expended a large portion of my time and energy in gaming Escaping into gaming has slowed my growth as a person Excessive self-absorption in gaming has made me worse in all of my more important roles: husband, father, son, friend, employee, mentor, citizen, etc I failed to develop moral courage because I would always retreat to gaming to avoid the emotional difficulties that are a natural part of living in the "real world" I don't get a do-over, that time is lost, and all I can do is learn from my mistakes I will be better tomorrow than I am today. I'm willing to pay the cost of pain, fear, and weakness to make that happen.
  8. good job holding the line, keep stuff scheduled so you have things to do a reading list might also help with books on deck so you don't run out being productive costs energy and willpower so those have to be built up over time like exercising muscles, make sure you let yourself do non-productive activities that aren't gaming so you have "rest periods"
  9. Always will be good days and bad days. I found completely avoiding game related media definitely helps prevents cravings. It seems like it isn't the game itself that is the draw but being a part of a "community". I disabled my twitch account and even through some streamers are great people and worthy of support I can't let myself go back there until I get the rest of my life in order.
  10. I wouldn't go cold turkey alongside no gaming, particularly if you are going hard mode. Instead give yourself whatever you think is a reasonable limit, once a day, once a week, no porn, only softcore, only still pictures, whatever you consider to be moderating. Focus on one vice at a time, eventually you will get to all of them 🙂
  11. Day 20 Time flies. Everything seems to work. I don't even think about my no-gaming progress. Just keeping busy is enough. I started using a bullet journal app and it seems to be working for keeping things on track. Whenever I don't know what to do I quickly glance at it work on another task, either repeating like language learning or one I scheduled for the day. I can watch my children children play games and I don't feel the "call". Recently they started Minecraft Dungeon which is "baby's first ARPG" but they are enjoying it. I can watch them and even occasionally join then and don't feel the urge to get lost in the game. I have pokemon go still on my phone and open it every once in a while but have never used it to procrastinate. Somehow that switch has flipped where the more I don't "feel like" doing an activity that I know is required of me the more I'm determined to do it. Fuck my feelings, I'm someone who gets shit done. Thats who I am now and will be until my dying day. One book I can highly recommend is Jocko Willink's The Code, The Evaluation, and The Protocols. All of his books are great but this one has a specific purpose; To give people an overview of what it takes to be a good person, and a method for judging themselves daily as to whether or not they are on the right path. I've been using the evaluation process for nearly 40 days and it was part of my decision to moderate my gaming. I knew I wouldn't have time to do the other activities if I was spending my time and energy in games. You have your two systems for making decisions, logic and emotion. To make yourself do what you want you need to overcome the objections of those decision making systems. But the trick is you can use one system against the other. If you are becoming emotional, you beat it with logic, if you are making "rational" excuses you bring in emotion to brush them away. I'm trying to always maintain awareness and conscious control over my decision making process, even under stress and time pressure.
  12. One thing I learned is that the goal of exercise isn't to push yourself as hard as you can, but to push yourself as hard as you can WHILE still fully recovering for your next exercise session, even if that means letting up when you had more gas in the tank on any particular day Its a transition from short term thinking to long term thinking that goes well with the decision to moderate your gaming
  13. welcome and good luck on your journey