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Everything posted by Damje

  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.
  16. Day 7: That marks the end of the first week. The motivation to quit is as strong as on the first day of quitting. Where in the past my motivation tended to drop after a couple of days. This gives me hope that I will be able to persist this time. Overall it was a good week. Despite the withdrawal symptoms I felt more self-confidence and experience more positive emotions compared to when I was gaming. I also felt much more positive about the future and had less trouble breaking through mental blockades. I'm happy I quit 🙂 My goal for the coming week is to start decreasing my overall screen time and to start replacing it with sports, reading and other healthy hobbies.
  17. Day 6: Didn't feel so great today. Felt a bit down, binged watched Netflix and watched some porn. The important thing is that I didn't game, but this is the type of behavior I'm trying to change. When I feel down or have some difficulties getting through the day, I should not let other unhealthy habits take over the role of gaming. Instead I should actively seek healthy coping mechanisms such as sports, meditation, yoga, socializing, going for a walk, reading a book, playing the guitar to make me feel better. Giving in to binging Netflix or porn is only going to amplify the negative emotions. It's up to me to turn that around tomorrow. Learn from today, and at the same time not expect myself to completely change overnight. While I'm not happy with how I spend my time today, the important thing is that I didn't game.
  18. Day 5: Just keeping on top of writing to keep myself focused on quitting. Nothing too noteworthy to mention however. Some small cravings, but nothing I can't deal with.
  19. Day 4: Haven't got a lot to write about today. Had a decent day. Withdrawal symptoms are starting to fade. Had some thoughts about gaming in the morning, but noticed it and the thoughts went away immediately.
  20. Day 3: Experienced brain fog and tiredness throughout the morning, but meditation and sport helped me break through it. I felt more mentally present in the evening and I was genuinely happy with myself. I'm happy with the progress I'm making so far. I'll have to keep reminding myself that sport, mediation and yoga are things that help me break out of mental blockades. Thank you. I wish you the best of luck as well! I have deleted all my accounts in the past, when I quit gaming for quite a long time. I'm now trying to recover from relapsing in the past couple of months. Difference is that I relapsed by gaming on my phone (instead of the pc, as in the past). It was more easily available, as I blocked everything on my laptop. I've deleted the game(s), but downloading an app on my phone is two clicks away. Unfortunately I haven't really found a good way of blocking games on my phone. Otherwise I would do that.
  21. Day 2 without gaming. I felt tired and tense today. Especially during the morning. Tried to do activities that would help me to relax a bit. Started with a meditation after waking up, yoga in the late morning and mountain-biking in the afternoon. This helped me relax a bit. I also sent my resume to the recruiter for two vacancies. A small step, but I'm happy about it. I didn't experience any real cravings to game, rather I felt the resentment towards gaming grow in myself today. Which I'll take as a good sign. The goal for tomorrow is to keep doing activities that help me relax (meditation, yoga, walking, cycling, etc.) and to keep looking for a job at the same time.
  22. Here we go again; Day 1 without gaming. I didn't really experience any craving towards gaming today. I did feel tired, had an headache all day and experienced some muscle strains. Some withdrawal symptoms I guess. But that's okay, I have experienced it before and know it will get better in a few days. Despite this I had a decent day. Contacted an employer about a vacancy and sent in my resume. Had a long walk through the woods and studied for a couple of hours for a Power BI certificate that I'm thinking about getting. So I'm happy with my progress today. My goal for tomorrow is to contact a recruiter about two vacancies I've seen that could be interesting and to sent in my resume if I'm still interested. Besides that I want to keep making progress with power BI and either go for a long walk again or take my mountain bike out for a ride again (after almost half a year of not riding it). Right now I feel really motivated to move on from gaming. But I have experienced this before, and I know after a few days (sometimes weeks) I tend to get to a point where the withdrawal symptoms start to fade, but my motivation to stop starts to fade as well. To prevent this from happening, I will make this a daily journal for at least the first two weeks. I have experienced the first couple of weeks to be the most difficult in the past. Not necessarily because of cravings (I have experienced these to be more difficult to handle after a couple of weeks), but mostly because you don't have a lot to lose yet. If I stop now, I only lost one days of progress. Once I have reached a couple of weeks of no gaming, I start feeling like I've actually made some progress and I will not want to lose that progress.
  23. Almost a year ago I started with gamequitters. Despite a few minor withdrawals (no longer than a week and more than a month apart), I managed to quit gaming for long periods of time. With 5-6 months being the longest period. But the past few months I had progressively started thinking about gaming. I found myself thinking of myself as less of an addict. The negatives of gaming started fading away and I started forgetting what it does to me. I found myself being drawn to youtube gaming videos again. And after a while I started playing league of legends on the phone. Well.. That was a mistake. I'm looking for my first office job at the moment. But I find gaming dominating my time right now and I'm being less and less productive. Gaming is acting as the barrier between me and the steps I have to make right now. The effects I experienced since starting gaming again: -Being less active -Started enjoying my hobbies less -Find myself craving league again -Making (much) less progress in both professional and personal areas -Being less present around others -It is starting to affect my mood again -It is not actually fun to play games anymore.. It is just an distraction when I need to do things that make me nervous or anxious. I have tried a couple times now to stop gaming again, but it hasn't really worked out. So it is time for me to take it more seriously again. As of this moment I will stop all gaming activities, with the aim to never game again and instead find a lifestyle that makes me happy in the long run. I was a much happier person when I didn't game, so I know it is worth stopping. I will start writing this journal (at least once a week). I will make more concrete plans in the coming week, but I figured I should just start posting now to make it real for myself.
  24. I don't know if this is possible, due to covid, but something that might help is to seek out studying places away from your home. It is very difficult to motivate yourself when your studying and relaxing/gaming areas get mixed up. Is there a public library nearby where you can study? Or perhaps some friend is also having difficulty studying and you can study together (or separately) at their place. Maybe your university has some initiatives for students having trouble studying? Try to figure out some way to separate your studying life from your "normal" life. And don't forget to seek advice! "You said that everything is supposed to be done on you own" while studying. It is true that it is your own responsibility, but that doesn't mean that you have to do it on your own. Most universities have study advisers or study Councillors who are happy to help you if your struggling with issues such as procrastination and motivation (or other issues). Seeking out their help doesn't mean that you're not doing it on your own, it means you're taking responsibility to figure out what you need to finish your studies. And don't forget that the issues you are dealing with are extremely common. Most students struggle with some form of procrastination, studying is boring compared to activities such as gaming. That's why people often meet up with others to study in libraries, it helps them to go study even if them don't want to. If you agree with friends to study at 3pm at the library, you suddenly have a responsibility to your friends to show up and study. Another thing that might help is to plan ahead. Start each week planning ahead when and how long you're going to study. And make a habit out of it. For example; every Monday morning I will go to the library at 8am (or 9am or whatever). Pack your bag the day before and just go. To stop gaming is very difficult. The advantages of stopping come in the long term. As I understand it, your brain needs time to rewire itself so that other activities become more fun again. I'd recommend reading this article on reddit about it: https://www.reddit.com/r/StopGaming/comments/mk224e/explanation_of_addiction_and_how_to_overcome_it/ Lastly, be honest with yourself, but also be patient and kind to yourself. It takes time to overturn habits. Don't look at mistakes as "failures", but as motivators to change next time. Re-evaluate how it makes you feel and try again.
  25. That's both nice to hear, to know I'm not the only one, and unfortunate to hear you went through a similar experience. But it seems you came out on the other end stronger (from what I've read so far), so that's good to see. That's a very good question. Funny enough, I've discussed this with my psychologist about 2-3 weeks ago. I am procrastinating finishing my thesis (and with that my bachelor's degree) specifically. But ultimately I think I'm procrastinating leaving my safe bubble, to take back responsibility for my life and to move on. I have taken action since then though. I have had my most productive 3 weeks in 2 years time (with results) and I'm planning in a couple of hours every week where I try to figure out what I want to do when I finish my studies. Edit: Oh yeah, and I've blocked Youtube on all my devices now. I even let someone type in a random code for screen time on my phone and told them to forget it. So basically youtube is forever blocked on my phone and I can't download any new apps on my phone. My phone is once again only a functional device like it used to be back in the days, and I love it.