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Gaming the System 006 - James' First 30 Days As a Digital Nomad in Thailand!

asquerade

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  1. rough times man, but you've clearly got energy. All the best from germany!
  2. Time to reactivate this Diary. Life has been really good since I quit a little over 3 years ago now. But then a few months ago I had multiple health problems and a lot of anxiety so I tried to self medicate myself with 1 hour of gaming every 2 days (that was my self imposed maximum). Recently I've had some days off that just weren't filled with anything, so I started going over that maximum and gamed away a few days. After every of those days I uninstalled the game and told myself I need to quit. Rinse and repeat that for around 1 day per week for about 6 weeks now. Today the hard cravings started happening again, a feeling I haven't experienced in a while. The more I game, the more i want to game. I need to fucking quit because I won't waste my time on this. I already know how much better life is without gaming, I built a life that I am so proud of within only 3 years of abstinence and I know I would lose it if I play games too much. It's funny how I can still convince myself that it's ok. In 1 week from now I want to be proud about what I did, how I grew, what I learned in the days prior. In 1 year I want to be proud of what I did throughout that year. Gaming is going to destroy that goal, leave me miserable and with no self respect. Today I quit again.
  3. thank you this helped me
  4. Confession time, I've stopped playing since I posted this but have been watching twitch the last days, which I need to stop today too. I feel very low drive/ motivation right now and i'm not sure if it's because I tried gaming again or if I tried gaming again because of low motivation.
  5. After playing games for 10 hours today, about an hour ago I got a call from my girlfriend, which snapped me out of the game and back into real life. I closed the game, uninstalled steam. I've dabbled with video games for a few weeks now, trying to game casually. I've been not playing for more than 3 years now went from unhappy to very happy during those years. Lately I've been having a lot of health troubles, which give me anxiety, made me sad and hinder me from things like taking a long hike or going to the gym. That opened up a lot of free time and since I work a lot I wanted to try if I can play 1 hour of games every second day, casually for relaxation purposes. The first weeks went ok, but in the last week I started to go over that maximum I set for myself. So today I'll get back on track and quit cold turkey. I guess casual gaming is not something my brain is capable of doing. If anyone wants to do an accountability friendship hit me up (preferably my age range 28)
  6. Hey, I'll start with the important bit first: Gaming was just a manifestation of a way bigger problem in my life and facing that problem turned not playing video games into a non issue for me. That problem was not tackling my fears, not being courageous, not taking action. So with this post i'm hoping to help people who are living life similarly to me. 16 months back when I quit I was 26, virgin, living with my mom, financed by others, never had a girlfriend, never really accomplished anything apart from being good at (video) games. My whole life up to this point I was very fearful and lacking courage to act against fear. I fell back into a very passive lifestyle, not actively engaging anything, but withdrawing into safe spaces. My safe spaces were: Video games, boardgames, cardgames. In these games there was no real punishment for failing, nothing that would translate to the real world so my fears were under control. As of writing this I am 5 days away from moving into my own apartment, I made a name for myself as a musician, I have a girlfriend that I love. On overall happiness i rate myself a 9.5/10 today compared to 3/10 the day I quit. After quitting i was eager to tackle some of my problems, I made some 3 months and some 2 year goals, which gave me a lot of drive. I more and more realized that for fears to fade and to solve problems i needed to do only 1 thing: Face them That is basically all I needed to turn my life completely upside down, when I encounter problems and situations that make me afraid I try to tackle them. And trying is an important word here, you dont have to go 100%, just give it your best, each day dare a bit more. Some fears, some problems seem so big they are just impossible to face at the moment and thats ok, just slowly wittle away and try being a bit more courageous each day. I still have some stuff that is too scary for me to tackle, but the list gets smaller and smaller every day, as I realize that as I actively engage with these uncomfortable situations my life gets better and better. Sometimes i even get excited now when i see opportunities where i can be afraid. For example I was talking with a client about a raise, i was tempted to bid low, so that i can be safe and be liked. I was thrilled to be presented with that opportunity, because I knew if i now choose the active part and say what i want, how much money i want then i can learn and grow this situation. Seeking out small challenges during the day was absolutely crucial for me and i developed a mindset that lets me see a lot of these situations in my daily life know so that i can then choose and feel great about actively engaging them. I started casually gaming again without any problem ~7 months back, but then decided after a month that it feels too much like wasted time ( even though i was purposefully choosing it as a relaxation time) and that i would rather engage with the world during that time. I have 0 stresses about gaming, 0 urge to go back. I know i could play 2 hours a day for 14 days now and it wouldnt kick me back into my old habit as I have a better life plan now. Hope that helps some of the fearful personas in here. Fears fade when you expose yourself to them, they grow when you turn away. Cheers
  7. I cant quite tell what exactly causes the stress. Some possibilities might be: I tend to do multiple things at once. I generally have high anxiety levels as described. Additionally I am trying to be very productive right now, so i work on my music 8-10 hours a day, 7 days a week. It doesn't really feel like a stressful activity to me though, its a lot of fun.
  8. I was in psychotherapy ~4 years ago and resolved my phobia at the time successfully. I'm feeling though that my generally elevated anxiety levels aren't something you can treat with this kind of therapy (my first therapist tried it with the usual stuff about childhood experiences and failed so horribly my phobia got even worse, then i went to a new one). Maybe you're right this might be way to deep for this forum, but I was wondering if someone had similar experiences. I guess I'll have to find a stress relief method, that is not gaming.
  9. So i'm 4 months gaming free now, and although I am way happier and have progressed in many areas I am experiencing one big downside: Nightmares and stress. It seems like gaming was very effective as a coping strategy for my fears. I am generally quite the fearful and cautious person, when I was gaming I could use that to forget about all these fears and absorb myself in another world where there is basically no risk to anything. When gaming I had a nightmare maybe once every 3 months, since i quit I am experiencing them nearly every night. In waking hours there are resurging fears too, and I went to the doctor with some bodily symptoms (like pulsating in the ear), which he said are most likely stress related. Now work and relationship wise I don't have much stress at all, from an outsiders perspective my life would look very relaxing, but I am definitely more stressed than when I was gaming. Now I want to take some risks of course and face fears, but i'd rather tone it down to a level where I can sleep at night. Does anyone have similar issues? And how could I go about tackling these.
  10. Journal Week 14 mission result: success Today I'm celebrating my successful 90 day detox. I can't believe it's been only 90 days, since so much has changed and pretty much everything for the better. My 90 days weren't completely gaming free: I played ~3 hours of pokemon go in the last 14 days, mostly because it seemed a fun thing to do with friends (and it was). Now I'm not sure if this could become addicting again, that's why I invented very strict rules for myself: I allowed myself to play for max 1 hour, and after playing on one day, I am not allowed to play on the next, no exceptions, no excuses. This should be a good exercise to build trust in myself. Typing this made me realize if I read in another guys journal here about him playing pokemon go, I'd think "Uh oh, this guy doesn't seem to be on the right track", and while it's easy to justify it internally, maybe there is some truth in the outsiders perspective. Maybe I need to take my social stuff more seriously again to get rid of the resurgence of interest in games. The past 2 weeks have been extremely productive, as I put something like 50 hours per week into music, but that also meant not seeing a lot of people. Meeting people has always helped with my every struggle I had in life, so it's probably a good idea to intensify that again, even if it means I don't make musical progress as fast. Becoming an outstanding producer is my main goal though, and the will is so strong that I wouldn't even want to play Dota right now, because I know it would slow down my progresses. Relapse might be a slow process though, it already happened to me once, where I played some gameboy games, because I thought they weren't "real" games, and after that I gradually declined into binging PC games again. Nevertheless my outlook and vision for the future is very positive and I plan on reading and posting here from time to time. A big thank you to everyone who participated in this thread and helped me on my path. And of course to Cam, who gave me great resources to free myself of games and be happy again.
  11. Journal Week 13 small steps This week was all about the small steps. I didn't do the big social challenges like @usernameforworldpeace! (I was planning to do so), instead in a lot of daily situations where I felt slightly uncomfortable, I leaned into it and pushed through the feeling. I like to hide parts of my personality, that others in that situation might not approve of. As an example, usually when I'm at the supermarket checkout, I tend to pack up my stuff very quick to make sure I don't anger someone. This week I took my time and leaned in to the uncomfortable feeling of people waiting for me. Not that it's a good thing lorn term to take ages at the supermarket, but it was important for me to do it once. Another example was the final game of the Euro, Portugal vs France. I passed by a local restaurant which was broadcasting the game and the final minute was running. I wanted to see that final minute but had to lean in from the outside to see the screen. The small crowd was tight knit and me leaning in might've looked a bit weird, so my past self probably wouldve just went away. But I wanted to see the final minute of the game, and so I did. A big success and awesome moment happened at a nightclub. The bouncers here in Berlin are very strict, you get dismissed a lot. So I come up to this guy after waiting in line a bit, we exchange 1-2 sentences and he goes "you are real quiet", to which I responded "Yep, that's all me" (or that's just how i roll).. He grinned and let me in. And this wasn't a conscious effort to "fake it until you make it" or say the right thing. It came from within, I was feeling confident and OK to be the quiet kind.
  12. Good idea, I'll see if she responds today, otherwise I'll call her tomorrow. I can see that having better chances than sending a second text. The day I quit I started reading models and it's one of my favorite books. I'm reading it for a second time right now actually.
  13. These are some lofty goals, I love it. If you want we can have a conversation (interview) about smartphone usage. I went for about 2-3 years of my life without looking at ANY screen, so I should have some unique experiences to share.
  14. Journal Week 12 Girls I learned some interesting lessons this week. On Saturday I went to a nightclub alone, because I wanted to talk with the owner about DJing there in the future. The conversation went really well and I am now creating the concept for a live show with a saxophonist. At the end of my conversation with the owner, a girl that knew him joined us and as he left, me and the girl continued conversation. I found her attractive but our lifestyles were drastically different so it couldn't have resulted in anything serious. That being said I tried to do advances, because something like making out that night would've been ok with me. We ended up talking for nearly 3 hours straight and I was pretty passive sexually (a bit less than usual), still not sure if she wanted me to do more or not. Regardless the conversation was fun and I didn't even expect to stay in the club for more than 1 hour. On my drive home in the train, me and a different woman sat down next to each other. It was so late in the night and we were coming from the same party district, that initiating conversation felt pretty natural and so I asked "where did you hang out tonight?". Turns out she lives close to my home and we had to exit at the same station, which was 45 minutes of driving. We talked pretty much the whole time and at the end I asked for her number, which she gave me. She even checked if it was correct. I was excited, because as opposed to the girl at the club, this one matched pretty well with my personality. On the next day I texted her but sadly, now, more than 24 hours later she still has not replied. This in all honesty drags me down more than I would like to, because I thought we liked each other. I guess that doesn't necessarily mean physical attraction though. I was pretty confident she would respond, but my experience with women is very limited, so my perception is most likely not accurate. Initially I planned to leave the last part, where she didn't respond, out in this journal, mostly because after the train ride I sent an excited text to my accountability partner Jeremias about getting her number. It's painful to then formulate "but she didn't respond", but in the end it's more important that I tried and can grow from the experience. Thanks for reading.
  15. Sounds like a good thing to do then.If you feel some anxiety it won't be boring, and you come out stronger afterwards.
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