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Damje

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  1. Bear with me, this is going to be a long post.. Status It’s been a while since I last posted. Overall I would say I had a decent time. Managed to get to day 49 without gaming, but also increasingly watched gaming content on YouTube and urges to game really started getting more difficult to control. Other than that I have been really focused on learning programming and managed to score a job, which I will be starting in June. Last Sunday however, I relapsed into gaming. I finally gave in to the urges that had been plaguing me. Started playing Stardew valley (for which I had been watching YouTube content) on my phone, which is supposed to be a chill game but of course not for me. I don’t know exactly how much I played these past 3 days, but I know it’s more than 20 hours. I barely slept, didn’t take care of myself as I should and have had a headache all the while. Last night I snapped out of it and realized I didn’t want this anymore. Recap of my past 1,5 years. It is now approximately 1,5 years since I decided to quit gaming and I am very happy that I decided to walk tat road. I have achieved a lot of things that I would otherwise have not been able to achieve. I finished my studies. Got out of a depression. I have started to build new social relationships and have become much more socially active. Before that I barely had contact anymore. I managed to get a job and improved my overall mental health and my self esteem tremendously. It hasn’t been perfect (at all) or easy and there have been relapses. But overall, I am very proud of what I have achieved so far. There however is also this feeling, that I haven’t been able to truly let go of gaming. Apart from the first 3-4 months I quit 1,5 years ago, I have never really felt like I cut my ties with gaming. I feel like I have been keeping the addiction alive. More specifically, throughout this period I have had long periods where I still watched gaming content on YouTube. It was always something that I realized wasn’t smart to do, but couldn’t really motivate myself to stop doing. It really started acting as my replacement for gaming (and so did porn on occasions). I basically replaced gaming with other high dopamine activities, with which I can turn myself off. Don’t get my wrong, it was still a hell of a lot better than actually playing games, but it also prevents me from ever really moving completely past my addiction and I keep giving my addiction a fighting chance.. What now? So now I am at a point where I have had a short relapse of 3 days and realize that I want to move on. I don’t want gaming to play any role in my life anymore. I don’t want to replace gaming with other addictive activities. I want control over my impulses and I want to build a healthy and fulfilling life for myself. I want to start my adult life (which I have been postponing) and there are a couple of things that I’ll have to quit Cold Turkey for that to happen. It is going to be really difficult to achieve this, but I am confident that I will manage. It will be worth it in the end. So here are my (screen) goals for the coming months: Cold Turkey quit on gaming shouldn’t be that difficult after only 3 days of relapse Cold Turkey quit on gaming content on YouTube Still considering to quit YouTube as a whole, but I also use it to learn new songs on the guitar. Cold Turkey quit on porn No mobile devices in bed The bed should be for sleep only. I really want to improve my sleeping patterns. No mobile devices first hour after awaking. Maximum of 2 hours Netflix a day. Non-negotiable! This is NOT a punishment for relapsing! Relapsing has made it once more clear how shitty I feel when I game. How it drags me down and how it never brings what I want it to bring. It has made me rethink about my behavior and about the goals that I want to achieve. I’ll probably write more tomorrow, but for now this will have to do.
  2. Day 26 Haven't really been able to take the time yet to come up with a proper plan for screen time. Had quite a busy week. Managed to pass my pl-300 exam today, so I'm excited about that. Already on day 6 of the 100 days python code challenge as well, which I'm thoroughly enjoying actually. Anyways, Saturday I should have the time to set up screen time goals for myself to work on. Think I should mainly start to focus on removing screens from my sleeping pattern, which is an unhealthy habit that I've been feeding for far too long..
  3. Day 22 Haven’t written in a while, but things are going well. I have been staying away from games, but haven’t managed to stay completely clear from porn and other screen time distractions are still too present for my liking. Other than that I have been focused a lot on learning programming for data analytics. Got a certification exam next week for pl-300 (power bi) certificate and just started the 100 day code challenge in python. Excited to learn more about that. On the social front things have been going much better the past month. I feel much more confident and am enjoying contact much more. I feel less restricted and more free to just be myself and be okay with that. I don’t criticize myself as much as I used to. I definitely feel like quitting games again has changed a lot in me. And I’m grateful for that. Now I think it’s time for me to pick up other screen time goals. Including more away time from screens in my free time, no more screen time in bed (before sleeping), no more porn. Tomorrow I will try to make a planning for myself. And the coming time I think I’ll have to write in this journal more often in order to keep myself on track.
  4. Day 9: Had a good couple of days. Had another job interview on Friday, which again went pretty well. And have been socializing a bit more this weekend. So I'm quite happy with how things are going right now. I definitely owe that to quitting games, so I'm grateful for that.
  5. Day 5: Had a job interview this afternoon. Was definitely a positive experience. Felt a lot of anxiety and nervousness at first, but became more and more relaxed over time. Tomorrow morning I got an interview for a different company. I'll definitely take today's positive experience with me and use it to boost my self-esteem. On the gaming front, everything is going fine. Haven't really had too many urges. Have been binging Netflix a bit more, but that's mainly because I'm taking the week to recharge myself a bit by taking some time away from learning programming / power BI. Next week I'll continue learning and consequently will be watching Netflix less.
  6. Unfortunately I had a short relapse last Saturday. Was really bored and started watching some porn. Proceeded to download league on my phone and play for ~2 hours. The positive news is that playing the game didn't do it for me. It bored me even more and I quickly realized that I didn't actually want to game anymore. It just doesn't add anything to my life anymore, not even as a time killer. The past couple of days it has been really easy to stay a way from games (and porn) and I've actually been feeling much more confident and relaxed. Even though it might have been a really short relapse I decided to reset my counter, because I want to stay away from games completely. Today already marks day 3 without gaming. 18 days without gaming is a good start and I am very happy with the progress I made since starting this journal. While my counter resets, my progress certainly won't! 🙂
  7. Day 17 and 18: I've been really tired these past two days. Don't really know why. Have not been as productive as I'd like to be. Going to sleep early today and hopefully tomorrow I'll have some more energy.
  8. Day 16: Another good day. Spend quite some time learning power Bi. Enjoyed the weather and I am going to sport with some friends later today. I still feel really good about quitting games. There is no real desire to go back, which makes the occasional cravings much easier to handle.
  9. Day 15: For the first time in a while I've spent my night without phones in bed. Woke up much more rested, so I'll try to keep doing it. Worked on a motivational letter for a vacancy and had some contact about two interviews I have next week. So I've made some progress on the job front, which I'm excited about. Am going to sport with some friends after writing this post. So overall a good day. My intention for this journal was to write daily for the first 2 weeks and then maybe start writing less often. I've noticed however that writing daily helps me to stay focused on quitting, even if I'm just writing nonsense. So I'll keep writing daily until the end of the first month and revise the writing frequency after that.
  10. Day 14: Had a decent day. Quitting porn from today onward feels right and doesn't feel difficult at the moment. Cut down quite a bit on screen time as well today. YouTube and Netflix are starting to bore me. Did experience some cravings towards gaming due to boredom, but managed to take my mind of it with studying, music and going for a walk.
  11. Day 13: So I've really noticed the past week that only cutting out games from my life isn't going to be enough. I need to change more aspects of my life. One of those aspects is productivity. I really miss having a job at the moment, I miss the interactions and just being productive. I have a job interview next Thursday. Hopefully that will go somewhere. If not I'll consider doing some volunteering while looking for a job. I'll also start lowering my own expectations and send in my resume to a wider range of jobs. Other than that, I have to change the way I interact with screens. I have to stop escaping into porn, YouTube and other screen entertainment in order to really profit from stopping with gaming. This will become easier once I actually have a job again, but that's no reason to procrastinate changing this behavior. Long term my goals for screens are to: Quit gaming Cold Turkey (started 8 March) Quit porn Cold Turkey (starting 21 March) I experience the strongest similarities with gaming in porn. So if I'm not careful it will replace the role gaming had in my life. Minimum 3 months --likely to be extended to infinity Stop using my phone in bed before sleeping Right now I'm dependent on my phone before sleeping every night. Long term I want to be completely independent from my phone before sleeping. Because I know it affects how well I rest during the night. Will set weekly goals for this. Starting with minimum of 3 phone-less nights the coming week (21-3 / 27-3) Stop watching YouTube gaming content. I tend to watch gaming content for games I never played. This was basically my excuse to be able to watch gaming content on YouTube. I think it's important for me to fully cut out games from my life and in order to do that Youtube gaming content has to stop as well. Not entirely sure when I will start this. My main priority now is to stop porn and make progress on my sleeping habit. As I tend to watch YouTube before sleeping, I will make progress if I start working on my sleeping habit. I will evaluate at the end of this week whether I'm ready to go Cold Turkey on YouTube or not. Find a good balance with screen time. No screen entertainment during "productive hours" of the day Stop using it as a distraction
  12. Day 11 & 12: Didn’t have much motivation to write something. So i missed a day. No games, but i did delve into porn a bit too much. I notice I have been progressively replacing games with porn this week and it needs to stop. Tomorrow I’ll take some more time to write in my journal and elaborate my plans for screen time. (Spoiler: it involved stopping with porn)
  13. Day 10: Went out for dinner with some friends. Bit tired now, so not going to write much. Made some plans regarding screen time today. But I’ll elaborate tomorrow.
  14. Day 9: Had a nice, active day. Didn’t really have the time to formulate a proper plan towards my screen time goals. But that’s okay, I will do that tomorrow.
  15. Day 8: For me to really start making a change in my life, there are a couple of other unhealthy habits related to screens that I have to take of: -Porn -Binging youtube gaming content (typically about games I have never played) -Binging Netflix -Watching videos on my phone in bed before sleeping (sometimes up to 2 hours, or even longer) I don't think taking it all on at once will help me tackle these habits in the long run. Rather I'd like to take it slow and start to focus on analyzing the habits, while tackling them one step at a time. I will take the time tomorrow to plan out my steps towards this goal.