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Lampshade

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  1. Day 2 Still committed. Pissed off about it, but still committed. This latest round isn't even really about the game. I don't know how naturally addictive MTGO actually is. Definitely less so relative to other games that I've struggled. There are no daylies to do or anything like that. It's just an easy form of entertainment that holds my attention away from the other things that I am easily distracted from. Maybe I'm at the point where my problems are less external than they used to be, and this isn't really the place to go through them. Regardless, I'm going to try to keep this updated for a 90 day process. At one point gaming was the cause, now it's more the symptom. But we all know about the negative feedback loop that can come from using gaming to get through uncomfortable emotional states so I'm going to use this journal and 90 day detox as a way to prevent myself from getting worse. As long as I don't go back to what I was at when I first started this journal, then I have progressed.
  2. Day 1 Alright, I'm back. I really didn't want to do this but getting back to more responsibilities with work has shown that I have to. I started off alright, but the trend over the past week or so has not been good. Magic: The Gathering Online has been the problem. My success with quitting other games was largely due to each one taking a full day or so to reinstall thanks to my poo-poo internet. MTGO is like 300mb. So I'm experiencing the uninstall-re-install cycle that I've read other people struggle with. It's an enjoyable game and a damn shame to quit if I'm being honest. Unfortunately, the last two days I've played way more Magic than I have worked and that's just not acceptable. Getting back the old feelings of dishonesty, having trouble focusing, etc. I tried moderating it but I don't like how locked into it I get when I play in the evenings when my wife is around. So my nice little addict brain moved the habit to the daytime, and here we are. Obvious answer is that if I don't want to play in the day, and I don't want to play in the night, then I don't want to play. So logging 3-6 hours/day is not what I want. So I probably shouldn't do that. Hoping I caught myself in time to avoid too bad of a detox. Wish me luck friends.
  3. Big life changes. The feeling of freedom though, that's got to be a hopeful one.
  4. Day 68 Been a bit but I've been easing up on myself about doing things that I feel like I have to do, and journaling was one of those things. Mostly I've just been trying to relax and I'd say I'm about 50/50 with how I'm doing. There are some days that are fantastic, those are the days where I do what I feel like and just kind of move from one thing to the other naturally throughout the day. The other days I play more Magic Online than I want to. I'm definitely feeling the old addiction urges and signs: It's the default 'I'm bored' thing, on my mind when I'm away from it, raises my anxiety levels, etc. I'm still trying to quit but I'm not putting as much pressure on myself to stop as I was on Day 1. I think that what's best for my mental health is to use these couple weeks that I have off to focus on destressing before I go back to work in Jan. Yes, not having any games in my life would help with that but the first little bit of cold turkey is rough and I'm not ready for it yet. On top of that, my daily usage is like 2-3 hours during a time when I don't have much else going on, so not awful. Still more than I'd like. On a more positive note I've been spending more time just trying to figure myself out. One of the main problems I was having when I had gaming out was that I was afraid of just being present with myself. The realization that I kept coming back to was that under the things I do to keep myself busy and distracted there's just an uncomfortable feeling of sadness. I'm trying to work on that. I'm doing more meditating, got behavioural therapy workbook, and I'm trying to write down the things that make me feel good in a day. Last couple of days I went outside. Went for a hike and played some basketball outside in the wet. Those things were fun.
  5. Day 63 Had a good therapy session this morning. I'm still uncomfortable in them, especially afterwards when I remember all the things I just said, but I think I'm getting over it. My plan is to just keep going and assume that everything is okay. It's hard to not feel like I'm overburdening someone though. Especially since they get a week or two worth of negative thoughts dumped on them all at once. That's gotta be a difficult job. Other than that, today I'm trying to just be present and work through my emotions. Still not sure if that's the way to describe what I'm trying to do. Basically I feel like there's a bunch of pent up anxiety and stress that just needs to flow through me, and that when I distract myself from those feelings they just continue to build up. I think I need to let them get out. Maybe a little bit of distraction is actually okay, but the right kind. I'm thinking more like a puzzle or a long walk as opposed to a gaming. Something that lets the feelings flow but also provides me with something to focus on so that I don't get bored/distracted when the feelings aren't flowing. Like a more active meditation. This is where winter is hard. I have a bunch of ways to achieve that state outside, but not when it's -20. I'm still struggling with not having goals for the day. It's like I need some kind of evidence that I got through my day well. I wish I had a relax switch.
  6. No need to apologize I love reading this stuff lol.
  7. For sure. I've been meditating for a couple of years now 10-20 mins per day and it does help, but more like it helps in little spurts rather than a consistent experience. Like there were times where I've been able to catch myself heading down the wrong path mentally and it's saved parts of the day. It's great on the days where I'm like a 5 or higher in terms of my mental health but I haven't found meditation to be particularly helpful on the days where I'm a 3. I can still recognize the feelings as they come, and let them go, but the underlying state is not comfortable like I feel it should be, which causes me to seek out distractions that hold my attention away from that. Honestly though I'm excited to feel like a cognitive superhero, even if it is only for a bit lol. My problem with all the anxiety and depression meds I tried was that the length of time they took to kick in seemed to be just right about the right length of time to experience withdrawls if you tried to quit. It's possible that the 10-20 mins. of meditation/day over two years is just not a long enough timeframe but man, seems like it should be. I know @BryanJaz is at like an hour a day. Bryan, did you find a huge difference once you moved up to that length of time?
  8. Man I don't know about you but I feel ridiculous for hard much I struggle to do nothing. Decided to start the psychiatry process to check out ADD/ADHD stuff. I don't like anxiety and depression meds but maybe aderall will be different
  9. I hit the same problem and you realized it way quicker than I did, grats on that. I'll be interested to hearing how you strike the balance
  10. I appreciated your Friday post. Came at the right time for me. I won't butter you up too much but it's inspiring to see how far you've gone away from games, how you did it, and how content you are with the methods and the results. I do something similar for writing papers. When I read something I underline interesting things. A week or so later I'll write anything I still find interesting on an index card. Index cards are organized by themes and subthemes. Then, when it's time to write, I flip through and dump out the cards, line them up, group similar ideas, make connections, etc. Much easier and fun way to start an outline than a blank word doc. I'm excised and hopeful to see how the new, game-free version of myself gets through the world. Sounds like you are for yourself as well . It's nice to read 🙂
  11. Day 62 Today is going to be a challenging day. My goal for myself right now is to try to get to a more relaxed state of mind. As someone who is easily bored, this is harder than it should be. I try to force myself to do easy things but those easy things don't hold my attention and I start overthinking. The thought is that it's just going to take time to get more used to a slower pace with less pressure. Logically, I know it's okay for me to cut back on my productivity. I do not have a bunch of deadlines looming right now. There are meetings and proposals in late Jan. that I want to be as prepared as possible for because they will basically decide what I work on for the next 4 years. Now that I write that, though, I would much rather enter those meetings in good state than a stressed state. The goal is quiet confidence, contentment, and consistent effort. I know that there will be times in the future where I will need to hustle. I also know that I can do it and have a system that will help me. Despite knowing all those things I still struggle with stillness. I know I'm good at working hard, but I don't know how to not work hard. That's so strange to write, I feel like it doesn't make sense. Reality is though, on my days off I literally don't know how to structure my day. Even that is odd to write since my favorite days are those without structure. This definitely makes no sense lol. What I'm trying to say is that I picture myself on relax days just sitting on the couch and trying really hard to relax but not knowing how to do that. Other than that I don't know what activities fit within it. If it were warmer than -20C outside I could just explore. Inside I'm like 'well, I can read for an hour, workout for an hour.' after that the activities trend more towards either work (there's a project I could be working on that interests me) or things I consider vices (smoke weed, games, porn). It would be nice to get through a day at home sober without planning out each hour and still finding a relaxed sense of enjoyment.
  12. Day 61 Big thanks to everybody for the support. You guys/girls are great. Did some good yoga this morning. I've been doing a lot of yoga lately and have been struggling with choosing an outfit lol. Shorts are too chilly first thing in the am. Sweats don't have enough stretch and baggy ones get caught. I haven't found a good pair of mens 3/4 compression shorts that aren't made out of a rough synthetic that is uncomfortable with leg hair. Went for a pair of yoga pants and ...apparently it's impossible to get them for men without spending like $100. I get it, things are visible, but I'm mostly doing it around the house and I've got short shorts I can wear over top if I have to. So I said eff it and got a pair of women's yoga pants with a soft fuzzy interior. They're comfy af, warm, and fantastic for yoga. The length is maybe a couple inches off but otherwise fit fine. Game changers. Zero regrets 🍑
  13. I decided to cut back on it but ....Ruby league beotch. It's fun lol
  14. Don't have my phone with me so let's see how many I can remember: Care for my dogs, strength work or run, stretch, shower and shave, journal, work reading session, work writing session, work data collection/analysis, Bird ID (work skill), Coding (work/personal skill development), French lesson (personal skill development) If I got through most of those things in a day for a consistent time, my productivity was way higher than if I went into a day with less of a plan. Downsides are that it leaves less room for deep work or spontaneous creativity. After this vacation I'm going to try to find a better balance. @codepants I've actually been thinking about what you wrote for a couple days now because it's the same conclusion I came to. Sometimes I feel like our 'figuring out stuff' conversations are lopsided cause of your professional skills but I'm grateful for the help. Let me know if you ever need to design an environmental monitoring program lol. Day 60 Haven't been playing any games since the last time I wrote. Pretty much just been thinking about that giant entry I wrote on Friday. Decided that, as uncomfortable as it is, I need to just somehow get myself to a point where I can relax. This puts me in direct conflict with the idea of 'finding something to replace gaming'. Here's the thing, gaming for me was a form of escapism and when I needed it the length of time that I needed it for cannot be replaced by other hobbies. I understand that part of the point is that you can do the other hobbies for less time and then get back to real life. This plan, however, does not address the underlying mental issues that lead to my addiction. I was gaming because I felt like I couldn't do anything else. Going forward, for at least the next couple weeks or so, I'm going to focus less on filling my time and more on getting to a point where I can comfortably do nothing. This is going to involve a much less rigorous schedule and dropping most of my habits. I'm proud of that routine I developed but I don't need to put myself under that much stress right now. I'm sure there will be times in the future where life will get crazy and I'll need to kick my productivity up again, and it's good to know that I have a schedule already developed that I can implement when that time comes. For now, though, I'm going to do the bare minimum for work and lower my standards on the stuff that I do do. I'm going to keep working out, meditating, and doing yoga regularly. Same with taking care of the dogs. And if something comes up for work that needs to be done I'm not going to ignore it. The time and energy saved from working less hard will be spent trying to get myself into a more relaxed state of mind. From the sounds of it, things are going to get uncomfortable for a bit. My plan is to just live in that uncomfort for a while in the hopes that it is just the barrier to transition into a more stable state-of-mind. Trust the Process.