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About jpespenan

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  1. Decluttering on the phone looks good, it's funny how when you cut out games, you realize the internet is addicting as well. I think watches are great, I think you could re-frame the importance of a watch, by thinking about them in a different way. Yea, they aren't as much used because we have other technology, but because of that they are more important in style and fashion. Having good taste is an important quality too, and within that area watches are important. I dunno maybe that helps, haha. Good progress on your journal.
  2. Thanks for the advice on journal starting! 6/17/2020: I guess 6/15/20 can be my sobriety date, ha. I guess I can make it for games, PMO, and I started Noom recently too. I remember when my sister would reach certain milestones in AA, she would get cool coins. I need to get a coin, haha. Anyway, I think the biggest struggle today was to not watch any of my gaming channels on Youtube. I was studying almost all day, and at the end of the day and during my breaks, some of the gaming channels I used to watch popped up. Even though I have deleted all my games, I hadn't yet changed the youtube preferences. I did that today, unfollowing the MTG and Runeterra channels. I watched some lifting videos, Joe Rogan, and kayaking videos. I also set up the Cold Turkey blocker that Cam recommended in the Respawn course. It required money to set a password, but its just a backup anyway, so it's providing the second barrier. I already set up my NetNanny blocker, a few days ago. It was kind of frustrating though today, because I was trying to log some patient logs for school, and the blocker blocked it in error. I guess I will have to figure out which things mess it up. I also watched a video about Ego-depletion and willpower, and even though I knew about it before, I forgot how powerful setting up my environment to not have tempting things in it can be good for me. I think I will re-evaluate my house environment, and also maybe focus on some minimalism too. My high-school gaming friends are playing on Friday. Luckily I have something else to do, it's my friends birthday, so we are going to hang out. I'm going to just fade out of gaming hang-outs. Goals Summary check-in: Did my Respawn modules, Studied, Walked 4 Miles, No PMO, no Gaming, did Noom app but ate way over my calories. I'll talk with my goal counselor person about that. Avoiding gaming channels on Youtube was a big win for today! Jonathan
  3. Hey. Thanks for the message. It's great to know that you had a similar situation that happened to you. Its funny how we got wrapped right back into gaming, but at least now we have brought ourselves out of it! Thanks for the support friend, I'll lookout for your posts.
  4. Well, this is interesting. Can't say that I've ever done any journaling online, but I have done a lot of journaling on paper. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to structure this to explain it to other people, or just write it like noone would ever read it. Gonna check some other posts and see. Anyway, today is my first day, and the main things I wanted to do were to (1.) set up barriers from downloading games on my phone and laptop. I've made them both password protected and I threw away the password. Although, in my addicted state I have overcome barriers like that, right now I feel like I am in a good place. (2.) Make it through the day without playing games. For the past week or so I have been playing about 5 hours of games in the evening. Much less than the past few months, but still at an amount which is unhealthy. So today's goal was to just not do any. (3.) My last goal was to get started on this game quitters. I started Module 1 on the Respawn program, which led me to this forum. So I've accomplished all of my goals. The things I'm worried about are that I'm going to have to be studying for the next 3 weeks, like about 8 hours a day or so. I have lots of clerkship tests that I need to get caught up with, because they were postponed. In the past, I would reward myself with studying hard by playing games as a coping mechanism. So I think I am a little bit worried about finding something that will help me to cope with studying alot. But going through the Respawn program today, and writing has been really helpful. I think that journaling and the writing process could be good coping mechanisms that I will use to replace gaming. Plan for tomorrow. 1. Study for like 4 hours after Clinic. 2. GameQuitters goals: Module 2 and worksheets (or whatever is next), Journal post, and comment on other people's posts. Continue not playing games. Tell my DnD/MTG group that I will only be doing DnD with them in the future. 3. Noom. 15 minutes. 4. Meditation. 1 until I fall asleep. -Jonathan
  5. Hello, A little about me. I grew up playing lots of video games. Most of my life, I've had long periods of being addicted to games like Maple Story, Halo, Magic the Gathering Arena, League of Legends, etc. There were times when it created lots of problems for me, whether it be relationships, school, sleeping, emotional, or other things. There were also times when I did it without many consequences, which is part of why it became such a sustainable addiction in the past. For context, I'm a 29, year old medical student. Until about April of this year, I hadn't played games for about a year, I was doing pretty well, going to the gym, painting, eating healthy, chasing my dreams, and taking care of myself. In the past, most of the gaming I would do would be on Christmas and Summer break when I would have lots of free time. But when I played during those breaks, I would play excessive amounts of games, like 8+ hours a day. Definitely meeting all of the categories of addiction. I would fall into a sort of slumber, where I was just in maximal dopamine indulgence mode, justifying it as my break time. Then I would go back to school, usually struggle with giving up gaming, for 2-4 weeks into school, and then eventually cut it off. My gaming patterns have been on a cycle like this for about the past 3 years. Before those three years, it was hell, and I was always struggling to not play games for like 10+ hours a day, for as long as I can remember. The past 3 years have been relatively good, because I've been in medical school, and there's not much time for games. However in April, we got pulled from going to the hospitals at my school, due to COVID. The first couple of weeks, I was doing really well. I painted, I studied. I met with some friends to play board games, I called other friends. But then, many of my gamer friends started reaching out to me. Many people who I wouldn't have as much time to play games with normally, asked me to play games with them. At first, I was resilient, and declined. However, being inside and quarantined, constantly with the temptation of knowing that all my friends were playing games and having fun without me, while simultaneously not being able to do as much with my medical school friends, was too much. One of my friends, we have been friends since we were 5, told me I should play Animal Crossing with him. He is someone who is able to play games in moderation. I gave into the temptation and bought a Nintendo Switch, and jumped on the Animal Crossing Bandwagon. The next month, I lived and breathed Animal Crossing. If I wasn't playing it, I was watching people stream it. If I wasn't playing or streaming it, I was looking up guides and things like that. For awhile, it helped to deal with all the fear and unrest that is going on because of the virus, but then it became out of my control. A voice in the back of my head kept saying, "Do you want to play games today?" and I responded "not really but there's nothing else to do." And eventually it became a habit where I was just doing it all the time. Slowly but surely, I have been climbing my way out, back to where I was before all of this. I was able to sell my switch, but got hooked on Runeterra for a few weeks. Yesterday, I was able to set up passwords that I don't have access to, so that I can't reinstall that on my phone or laptop. Anyway, being able to watch myself go through this process made me realize that I don't ever want to have the potential for things like this to happen again. I lost about 2 months of my life that I could have used for lots of different things, instead, I build a virtual Island that doesn't mean anything. Even if there are other stressors in the future, I don't want gaming to be a coping mechanism that I ever go back to because its too risky. I don't know when or if I will come out of the gaming coma. The problem that I had in the past in giving up games completely, is giving up my friends. I worked with my therapist on this account, and we decided I could still be friends with them. But now, I run into an event (COVID and being pulled from school) where if all my friends weren't gamers, I would have had a better chance of not going back to gaming. It's like a direct example of how I am easily brought back in by them. Also, my friend that I mentioned earlier, is my oldest friend. Other friend groups that I have, I have known since high school. It's really hard to be able to say that giving up gaming is more important than friends that I have had my entire life. And I know that I don't have to completely get rid of them, because they are important to my life in other ways, and we do have other things in common besides gaming. The problem is that like 75% of the friendships are based around gaming or Magic the Gathering. So it's probably better to find new friends. It's just really hard. I think that's the thing I'm the most worried about. I know I'll be fine without the games. It's hard to say that I'll be fine without friends, even if its only temporary. Loneliness can sometimes be a trigger for me, something that I have used games to cope with. Anyway, I'm excited for the future, and for actually doing something concrete to give up gaming for good. I've read many of the other introduction stories that I found on this forum, and found them inspiring and I think I have things in common with people on this forum. Hopefully, we will all be able to help each other in the ways we need it most. Jonathan