Jump to content

NEW VIDEO: I Quit MMOs and THIS Happened


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

codepants's Achievements


Newbie (1/14)

  • Collaborator Rare
  • First Post
  • Week One Done
  • One Month Later
  • One Year In

Recent Badges



  1. I am likely going to move to another forum, but it felt wrong to leave without posting a goodbye. I never really stayed long enough to develop a consistent following, so maybe the goodbye is more for me than for anybody else. I haven't stopped playing video games completely, but I have definitely reached what I would call a healthy level of engagement. I think I've played 3 hours in the past week? Two with friends, as part of a bi-weekly thing, and one by myself. I can definitely see gaming for what it is now—an escape—and sometimes escapes are nice. They can be healthy if used right. But usually I just open Steam and stare at it. I think about playing this game or that game but I know as soon as I'll open it, I'll get bored. They don't fill the same niche they used to. Perhaps this is reflective of growth of some kind... like on a subconscious level I need more than games now. I hope that doesn't come across as high and mighty. Sometimes I think about buying a new game. But they are all the same, in the end, aren't they? Gather resources, survive, get big, kill the bad guy(s)... and then what? It's the same thing, over and over and over again... at some point, you've gathered all the resources, built all the things... there might be a new mechanic to figure out, but then what? On a personal level I've become much more sensitive to violence. I don't see the point. I've never been into stuff like Saw but now it's just any killing at all. My roommate watches the typical blockbuster good-guy-kills-everyone and I'm like... why? The games we play and movies we watch are so violent... shouldn't we be working together? Building something together? Instead of fighting against each other? Dating has been so-so. A lot of first dates, no so many second dates. A lot of good second dates and things seem promising, and then, "I'm not ready to date again after my last breakup," or, "Let's take it slow," and then I get ghosted. It's funny, I think I'm bored of dating for the same reason I'm bored of gaming: it all feels the same. The same pattern, the same result. At one point I was given the advice to enjoy the process of dating and focus less on the result. Make dates fun—play board games, go dancing, just do fun things. That has helped. No more second dates than before, but at least it's not "and what do you do for work" over and over again. I'm still convinced I'm going to die alone, but everybody dies alone. Work is good. It keeps me occupied. It's fulfilling, often. Often I am annoyed by my clients, but I think, in terms of personal growth, that's a good thing. I've spent a lot of my life accommodating others. Not being angry because if a man is angry, that's "toxic." Well, I'm trying to create a place for anger in my life. I believe there are times when it can be adaptive and healthy. I'm trying to create a space for me to advocate for myself. And part of that is letting myself be angry, annoyed, upset, etc. It shouldn't be the default response, it shouldn't overwhelm other emotions, but we've been evolving for millions of years and anger is still here... seems like there must be some reason for that? (cue someone saying, "but why do we have appendixes?") Anyways, that's all I've got for now. I don't know if I'll be back. But I think of this forum from time to time, and I'm glad that it helped me when I needed it. I hope you all are doing well, and getting the help you need.
  2. Moved, and mostly settled in. I have 4 clients this week, and a full caseload for this position is 10-15. So already I'm so much better off than in my previous job. There's a lot of driving, too, which is relaxing. Right now I just feel so jacked up... I woke up at 6 AM and couldn't get back to sleep. Right now I have no reason to get up before 8. So, figured I'd journal, meditate, try and make the most of it... but the brain fog is real. And the tinnitus. It's like my brain is trying to push something out, and exerting all its energy doing so, and whatever it is is a square peg trying to go through a round hole. Stop it, brain. I'm so tired of this. My psychiatrist and I finally settled on Straterra, which is a non-stimulant medication for ADHD. She also had me do this thing called Genesight which is sort of like ancestry.com but for drug interactions. Turns out I'm an "ultrarapid metabolizer" of most psychiatric medications, which means I get all the worst side effects and almost none of the benefit. Which explains so much... I wish I'd known that before I started wellbutrin and gave myself f***ing tinnitus. I had a date last week! My first first date in 18 months... it went well, I think? She said she had fun. For me it was just nice to talk to someone new. I definitely dig her emotional style. I have no idea if there will be a second date or not... I think I forgot how to flirt. I also just stopped trying to read people at some point. They can be so deceptive, especially when it comes to dating. Which I get! I get it. A lot of men, if you don't act like you like them, they become assholes. It just leaves us non-assholes wondering all the time if you actually like us or if you're just pretending. So anyway, just trying to take it at face value and not having any expectations. I went on a date. Just wish this tinnitus would stop. Which I know, I know, the best way to get it to stop is to stop thinking about it. It's so ironic, in a dumb way. Anywho, so I've journaled today, maybe I'll go make a proper breakfast. All the self-care.
  3. I would argue that anything can become an addiction. Some things just have an easier time getting at our "wiring" because they produce more dopamine or they produce it more rapidly. It's not just about control. In the US, according to the DSM, an addiction is defined as meeting at least 3 of the following criteria (depending on the substance), with the severity of the addition increasing with the number of criteria met: 1. The substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended. 2. There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control use of the substance 3. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance, use it, or recover from its effects. 4. Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use the substance. 5. Recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home. 6. Continued substance use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance. 7. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of substance use. 8. Recurrent substance use in situations in which it is physically hazardous. 9. Substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance. 10. Tolerance, as defined by either of the following: a) A need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or desired effect, or b) A markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance. 11. Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following: a) The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance b) The substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  4. Thanks, Jason. You could get a premium subscription... or you could use a website like tinyzonetv.to. - - - One week left in my current city. I will have lived here 11 months by the time I move. I went back to my 2nd hometown yesterday to drop off my car. Did I mention I own a car now? For me, that's weird. I made it to 31 without owning one. But if there is a reason for me to own a car, it's for this job. Adventure therapist! Something like my dream job. It was good to be back. A little surreal, and I was having some racing thoughts. What else is new. I met my new roommate who I could tell was a little anxious which didn't help. I assume once we get to know each other he'll chill a little. He seems cool. I'm not a fan of having two TVs in the living room, one of which must be 5' across, but historically I spend most of my time in my room anyway. I am trying to get back into meditation and journaling (hence posting an update). I'm still being pretty forgiving on myself until I move. Every day I think, "man, I really want to read a book," but I don't have a library card, and what's the point when you move in a week? Yes, these are totally just excuses... and I won't be able to make them anymore a week from today. I've watched all two seasons of Gravity Falls in the past three weeks. Which I can forgive. But I know that watching lots of TV contributes to the racing thoughts, too. Last week I said goodbye to a few of my every-other-week clients. Some clients have just stopped coming, which happens. Goodbyes are hard. I had one client schedule an additional appointment this week. And this week will be all the remaining goodbyes. I try to remember that I'm not the only one who can help. As much as I like to think I am special, there are always other professionals. For most of my clients it's pretty easy. I know they'll be okay. But there are two in particular that I have grown close to. I really wish there was some way I could keep seeing them. But, ethics. And ambiguity... they are significantly younger than me and being friends would be weird. I guess a beautiful thing about this profession is it provides a safe structure to build those relationships in the first place. It's just sad when they come to an end. I don't recall if I wrote about this here before, but I have been considering reaching out to one of my exes who lives back in the place I am moving to. I've already explained the situation to a few of my friends and I don't want to re-explain it here, but it felt important to mention for some reason. I've drafted and gone over a letter to her a few times... I don't have any expectations about what might happen, but if sending it might help me move on, maybe it's worth sending either way. Or maybe it's best to leave the past in the past, and manage these emotions without involving her. I guess we'll see.
  5. Great question. It depends, but in many cases, they will. For instance, I have a client who was brought in by his mom because he had temper tantrums when it was time to get off video games. I billed insurance for a diagnosis of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) (basically means client disagrees and fights with authority a lot) and worked with the mom on how to set and enforce boundaries around video games in a healthier way. Even though the diagnosis (ODD) doesn't say anything about video games, I as the provider know what's up so that's the work that I do. It becomes a problem with providers that are too diagnosis-focused. I am guilty of this! I have a client who for 5-6 months of treatment I was treating him for ADHD. Now yes, this client absolutely does have ADHD... but my treatment wasn't really working. I decided to gather more diagnostic information and discovered this client has trouble focusing in school because he's awake at night playing video games and asleep (either literally or metaphorically) during the day. He regularly stays up until 4 AM or sometimes 8 AM playing video games. I don't know if I wasn't asking the right questions at first or if he didn't trust me enough to tell me, but now we know the problem is more about video games causing lack of sleep and less about ADHD (though that still plays a role), treatment can be more effective. Providers make mistakes just like all other humans. Would treatment for video game addiction be more effective if "Video Game Use Disorder" was a billable diagnosis? Probably. Certainly there would be more awareness, more accurate statistics, and more funding for research into etiology and treatment. Are there ways around it? Yes, absolutely. Are there loads of other reason individuals who abuse video games don't get the treatment they need? Also yes, absolutely. There's no silver bullet. I wish there was.
  6. It's not an official DSM diagnosis, so yes, absolutely. I work in healthcare and I see a number of clients for whom I assess a large part of their mental well-being to have been appropriated by video games, but I can't diagnose with anything like "video game addiction," because it's not recognized by the medical community as an official diagnosis. If I want to get paid (reimbursed by insurance), I have to diagnose with something else.
  7. Hello again GQ community, Things have been bad, but trending better. They've just been bad because the same reasons as always: I live with my ex, it's the pandemic, my job is so-so. Things have been trending better because I've been leaning on my friends a little more, I applied for something like my dream job and the second interview is tomorrow, I have a place to live, and work is a bit better. Still only billing about 20 hours a week but my supervisor isn't awful. My ex moves out next Thursday (not this Thursday) and I move out the Saturday after. Things are so up and down between us... the littlest things set her off, so I've mostly been ignoring her, but sometimes that makes her angry, too. But sometimes being cordial makes her angry, so... just doing the best I can and waiting it out. Less than two weeks to go. If I get this job I will have to move again right away, so that's unfortunate. A friend of mine told me that you know you're an adult when you pay for movers instead of having your friends help... guess I'll be an adult twice over. But hopefully since I'm moving back to Madison, people will help on that end. And if I get this job I will make more than twice as much as I'm making now, so it'll be worth the cost. Tried Concerta the other day for anxiety. It's made to treat ADHD but my psychiatrist and I are wondering if I have underlying ADHD which causes the anxiety (hyperactive thoughts = capacity to worry about everything). Unfortunately it jacked up my tinnitus and made my ears hurt so I can't bring myself to take it again. Never hearing silence is bad enough; I don't want to damage my hearing further. We might try Vyvance; I've tried Adderall before and I know that doesn't work. In other goodish news, I did trade a few messages with a woman on a dating site. Then it fizzled; pretty sure she's lost interest. But it's still a tiny self-esteem boost. I haven't gotten past the first message with anyone in more than a year. Also, came in below the poverty line on my taxes, so I get a bunch back... 🎉 On games—I think I'm in a pretty healthy place. I definitely relapsed when Anno 1800 was on sale, at day 48. Played about 20 hours in 2 weeks. Since then (about three weeks ago) things have been back to normal. I play with friends and I play casually. I haven't played by myself more than maybe two hours in a day, and most days I don't play. I don't crave it. I do feel something is missing in my life, like I need some sort of stimulation... it's hard because it's the pandemic, so yea, duh. I haven't been to a coffee shop in over a year, nor to a dojo, nor a spin class... a lot of things are missing my life. But at least for right now I don't crave games to fill that gap. I have been watching TV nearly every day. I watched Raya and the Last Dragon 3 times over the last weekend. It's really good. 🙂 But in a way, TV has replaced video games, so I think it's time to cut back. Even if that means lying on the couch doing nothing, at least my dopamine will be regulated. And I know that staring at a screen less helps with my headaches.
  8. Roommate/ex-lady friend started packing tonight. It's... like a weight is being lifted off my shoulders. I still have to find a place. Was going to visit two today but one cancelled and without a car, it makes more sense to do them both at once. So, tomorrow it is. New folks who might want our apartment a month early will also be visiting tomorrow. So, lots of... preparation for change. Can't recall if I shared that I "started" a meal plan last week. I'm definitely not adhering to all the rules but I did want to start eating better. I can cook, I've just never bought a week's worth of "good" groceries, so I figure... someone else can do the planning and I'll just do the buying and the cooking. So, today I'm making a soup. I've never made a soup before. I'm a little excited and a little nervous. I've never been a fan of soup. It's just so... inconvenient? But, maybe this will change. Still sleeping like a rock—9 hours a night plus 1-3 hour naps. Something is wrong. Either the APAP hasn't kicked in or the med I'm on is killing me. Med check on Monday. So hopefully that will help. I might just cut back on all my meds for a while, try and get my bearings on what's doing what. Going to try and get back into uke and meditation today too. And not watch so much TV. It's well past time for me to cut back on TV and stop using it as a crutch. Though I know I need to have self-compassion, too... a lot is changing for me right now, and maybe it's okay to have a little crutch. But once I get settled in to my new place—wherever that will be—no more crutches. So, gotta start metaphorical PT now. Day 40 and counting.
  9. Thank you, @Bugg. So yea, day 37 today. I'm having an increasing number of moments where I have nothing to do and it's like... well, one, "I could literally do anything right now." And two, "Is this all there is?" I actually, unexpectedly, found a pretty satisfying article to answer that here. tl;dr... no. The answer is always no. I think those moments can fuel creative outbursts, like... what have I not been doing? I have a whole life, so if I am bored, then there must be something I could be doing, that I am not doing. I think "is this all there is" is the adaptation part of hedonic adaptation. It's the part right before your baseline decreases. "Is this all there is" is akin to "where did all my dopamine go" for depressed gamers, I think. So, it's a good thing. I think it's also a sign of intelligence, but I won't get on my soap box for that one. I did sleep the whole night with my APAP mask on last night. I slept like shit. Woke up at least 5 times, maybe more like 10. Still can't figure out how to sleep on my side without it leaking. I am sleeping more on my back. Took a nap at work today. Also on Monday, took a 3 hour nap. And still sleeping 8-9 hours a night. So one day... one day I will wake up feeling rested. Right, APAP? RIGHT? RIGHT?? (AKA, "is this all the awake I will ever feel?") Looking like that housing situation will work out. I'll visit this weekend. Current landlord says someone might want our apartment March 1, instead of us giving the otherwise-required 60 days' notice. So, that means less than a month (and a 28 day month) of living with my ex. It has been getting worse. She keeps reminding me she wants to move out "as soon as possible." Can we go over who gets what... as soon as possible? Can you e-mail our landlord... as soon as possible? Like, f*ck, I'm eager too, but no need to pour salt in the wound. Last time I move in with someone who doesn't make me laugh. Anyway... just keepin on keepin on. Same old.
  10. Day 34 - a record if I keep it. I can feel myself getting pulled back towards gaming. I did check this morning of one of the mogul games I used to play has been updated. It's in pre-alpha and I've beat it as is, but once it updates... it will be hard not to binge. Got the CPAP machine on Friday (it's actually an APAP machine). No difference in energy yet, but supposedly it takes awhile. I am waking up around 4 AM and removing it, not sure why, I'm too tired to think straight. But that's 6 hours with it on, so hopefully I can go all night at some point. Ordered the metal 3D printed bike parts, so those should get here in a few weeks. Also been working on 3D printing a "snorkel" for my motorcycle helmet that I use for bicycling, so the helmet doesn't fog up. V1 works, except the tubes (one on each side) are a little small, so by the time I get to work I'm suffocating a little. But I can see! Anyway, just ordered V2, which has bigger tubes, and the tubes are also angled down as the current one tends to angle itself down... Found a place I like, just a question of whether the landlord will hold it for me or not. Last I heard he didn't have any other interest. It would be only a 15 minute ride to work as opposed to 45 minutes now. And the bikes would get a garage. And he'd let me get a dog if I want to. Really hoping it works out. Still riding the high of having billed 21 hours two weeks ago! I billed only 20 last week due to no-shows and cancellations, and this week looks like it will be under 21 as well (23 scheduled, but assuming a 15% no-show rate...). But on average I am still billing more hours than I used to, and my no-show rate is less than it has been. So, keepin' on keepin' on...
  11. Woof, been a while. Still game-free by my rules (allowing games with friends in limited quantities, primarily Tabletop Simulator). Bike part prototype -- now on version 4. Works great. I mean, fits great. The plastic version is obviously not load-bearing, so I haven't ridden on it. But I will order the steel version soon! Just have to decide which vendor -- one that speaks a little better English for $20 more, or one that's been kind of a pain to save $20. Both are based in China. To 3D print steel in the US is hella expensive. Billed 21 hours last week! It was indeed that I just didn't have enough intakes. Which makes me even more upset with my supervisor. But, I am getting a new supervisor. It's still an old dude who is rather patriarchal but at least he listens, unlike my last one. I might be able to survive this job after all. Also, I saw an ad for what is essentially my dream job, and applied. They can't hire me because I have a training license, but they were enthusiastic and encouraged me to apply once I'm licensed. So that's been motivating, too. I printed out the e-mail chain and put it on the wall behind my desk at home. Oh, so I'll probably actually make money this month, for the first time since starting grad school 2 years ago. Still looking for a place to move to escape the ex. We're okay, it's just normal roommate stuff. Mostly she leaves her stuff everywhere, and there's only one bathroom. All things considered it's actually not that bad, I've had WAY worse roommates. I did find one place that has storage on the ground floor (so I wouldn't have to carry my bike up the stairs) but they don't allow dogs above 55 lbs, and a fully grown male golden will be more like 70. I don't have a golden yet, but I want one soon. So, the hunt continues... I'm on day 26 of game-free. I know I'm likely to have a breakdown around day 31 or 33. If I can make it one more week (to next Saturday) I'll be on day 33. So I just have to make it to next Sunday to break my record. Maybe I can make it to 90 this time. Also, I had a sleep study and turns out I have sleep apnea. Because I'm actually busy at work now (...) I can't pick up the CPAP machine until next Friday, but with luck, I should be sleeping better than ever next weekend. I also started with a new psychiatrist and thus a new med which... well, too soon to tell. It certainly helps me fall asleep. I've also exercised 9 of the past 10 days and eaten leafy greens 8 of the past 10 days. I've been reading more, too. I have dropped mindfulness, uke, and studying, so I want to try and pick those back up. Mindfulness first, I think, because I have been more anxious lately. Also, someone matched me on Tinder. Finally. I know I'd have better luck if I wasn't polyamorous, as that scares a lot of people away (quick Google search: only 4-5% of the US is explicitly poly). But I want to match with people who like me for me. And now I have. So, lots and lots of changes in just the past two weeks -- less than that. Gotta go, roommate wants to use the office for her therapy, so I need to get the exercise bike ready.
  12. Still here, been journaling in my paper journal which has been nice. I'll be getting a new supervisor at work which I'm super happy about, the last one made me want to quit. Just two more group meetings with him and then I'm FREEEEEEEEE which is also how I felt when I broke up with lady friend, interestingly enough. That's going okay. She still tries to dump on me. I'm getting better at saying no, which really bothers her. She's still trying to find a therapist she likes. I hope she does. She deserves someone who listens. I just can't be that person for her anymore. Bike part prototype V2 comes in the mail tomorrow!!! Also, I applied for a job just for giggles. Turns out they only hire people who are fully licensed but they encouraged me to apply once I get my license. I printed out the exchange and taped it on my wall next to my monitor. Motivation to slug through my current job... Did all my habits yesterday. Also bleached and died my hair. I had a pro do it last time but wanted to see if I could do it myself. It turned out an 8/10 I'd say, not bad for my first time. And hair grows, so I can always try again. It was a lot of work though, so I might just do streaks from now on. More when there's more.
  13. Curious to see how this turns out for you. Good luck and keep us posted.
  14. As Some Yahoo said, you're experiencing the downside of hedonic adaptation. Your brain is used to the extreme dopamine levels of video games. Anything less than that is boring, dull, depressing. It needs time to get used to what should be normal. That's why we say it takes 90 days. After 2 weeks I was finding myself more motivated, but not a lot. I was doing 1 or maybe 2 more previously "boring" things a day than I did before. It took me about 70 days before I felt the depression start to lift. Yesterday I did all my "habits" (I use a habit tracker) and then some. And FYI that 70 days included 3 relapses. It's not necessarily 70 days clean. It takes time. Be forgiving and compassionate towards yourself. It might also help to see a therapist. Some depression, anxiety, and anger are normal, but if you have been experiencing them chronically, there might be something besides video games going on. Many of us took up video games to avoid depression and anxiety in the first place, because we had shit parents or whatever. When you remove the video games you engage with the depression and anxiety. It sucks. But it's worth working through. Keep us posted.
  15. Single player for me. I can see how multiplayer would be more addicting in the long run. In multiplayer there is always someone better than you, always someone to beat. In single player, at some point you've "beat the game." And then you get bored and onto the next one. Honestly that's what's made it easier for me to quit. The games I play have endings. Whenever I used to beat one I remember feeling like, "Do I really want to get hooked on another game? And then what, I'll beat that and then... nothing? Isn't there more to life than this" Between games there was always this lull of like... the f* am I doing with my life? Those moments, which came naturally, ultimately led to me quitting. I'm not saying multiplayer games don't give you that feeling but there is no "between games." There's just the next game, still trying to beat that person you lost to that one time, still trying to perfect a 360 no scope... 😆 or whatever it is ya'll do over there.
  • Create New...