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jade_

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  1. Quick update before I go to work today.. This week has felt pretty unfocused. Some positive things: I've been going for regular walks, feeling mostly connected with my partner and felt better at work. Some negative and neutral things: I've been watching a lot more YouTube this week, I've been sleeping less, I haven't beed meditating that much and I've been playing some Chess (the Chess has been on a site that is much more explorative and fun and less about rating. This week had a really tough beginning. I had an unprecedented situation at work which created a unique ethical dilemma. And I stressed out a lot about how I handled it on the day and for the next few days. I actually turned to Chess during this time as a copine mechanism, and YouTube as well.. So I felt like I went backwards with my screen usage. But.. on the plus side I've only watched pornography once this week and I feel reasonably confident going forward about things continuing to improve.
  2. day 104 Things are feeling good. I did watch some gaming videos on YouTube, I also watched a bit of porn last night. I spent most of the weekend outside with people. I had some really deep and close moments with my partner. We had some of the best sex ever as well... I think in large part I've been really gentle with myself the last few days and looked for all the ways I've been subtly putting myself down. Part of it was reaching 100 days without playing any games except Chess and noticing that I wasn't that happy or proud of myself. It kind of woke me up to how hard I treat myself. Sure, it wasn't a perfect 100 day. I did a lot of other distracting activities. I achieved a lot though, and I never would have thought I would be at this point 100 days ago. The journey continues...
  3. Hey man, yeah that sounds tough. It's especially hard in those first few weeks and different things work for different people. My suggestion would be going for a walk, taking showers (warm or cold), any exercise that you like or have access to, and meditation. Basically things that are offline and get you into your body and awareness. Weights or strength building are really useful for breaking through some of that craving energy. And all of the above activities help rewire your brain to the outside world or how things feel in your body as being stimulating, rather than it being tied to your computer or mental experience.
  4. day 102 I ended up watching some porn last night which was a bummer. It was a frustrating ending to what was a nice night. I also watched a bit of gaming content on YouTube but that was minimal. I meditated which felt great and I did some deep private journalling and reflecting. Then I ended up watching some Dr. K's YouTube videos, which I've found really interesting of late. I'm a psychotherapist so seeing how he thinks about and tackles problems that people present him with is sometimes educational and informative for me. The country side is pleasant today, a little cool but still fine to be outside with just a jumper. My partner is driving down today. It's been good to have some space from each other. I don't think we get that enough sometimes. Both of us hang out with our respective friends less than we'd like to and we can get pretty trapped in the house at times. It'll be nice to hangout in a different place, although I do feel little apprehensive about it and I'm not quite sure why.
  5. day 101 I'm down in the country today at my dad's country house. I haven't been here in ages. It's really nice, I'm glad I came down. The air is fresh and today was sunny with mostly blue skies. Last night I had a nasty migraine. I kept having pleasant and interesting dreams and each time I would wake to pain in my head. It felt like a paradox. So I almost didn't come down today as I thought maybe my migraine would come back or that I was sick. Once I started driving though, I felt good. It's been refreshing to spend some time with my dad and his partner. I feel more relaxed around them then I have in years. Stopping gaming might have something to do with that. They've never gamed, apart from random little mini-games. Their lives are spent mostly in the physical world, doing gardening, housework, and repairing or building things. So their brains definitely work differently compared to people who spend a lot of time gaming. I appreciate how they operate more now. They work hard and steady in the day, take a nice walk in the afternoon, make dinner early and watch TV for a few hours before going to bed early and reading. It is a simple life and I wonder if they are satisfied or if they feel something is missing. I sometimes feel like something is missing. I think a lot of us do these days. What does the city life do to us? Just being down in the country for an afternoon calmed my nervous system down. A lot of tension left me. That's something to think about going forward. Maybe I should get out of the city. Maybe my partner and I should live somewhere far away.
  6. 100 days (mostly) game free Well we reached 100 days of being mostly game free. I haven't played anything but Chess, and that was probably for about a 1 month period. I also watched some Super Smash YouTube videos and watched some Chess streams for a period of about 3 weeks. It's a big, big difference from playing games an average of 2 - 3 hours most days and watching streams for another 2+ hours. I feel like this week I'm going through a strange transition with it. Perhaps a deeper level of grieving. For time lost to gaming and because I also miss gaming with friends. I miss the escape of it and the laughing with friends late into the night. On some level it made life more bearable. But it also made life worse and then it required something to make it more bearable. I do feel lost this week. Spiritually and emotionally lost. Unsure of the future. I've done a good job though of avoiding porn and chess. Hopefully some more clarity will emerge as the week goes on. I do feel partly proud of myself but also wonder how I spent my life like that for so many, many years. I've always found being happy or proud of myself to be one of the hardest emotions for me to connect with. There's often some part of me that is critical or sets the bar higher. I'm sorry to my previous selves and how hard I've judged them. I can be so brutal with myself. I hope that the next 100 days bring more softness and patience for myself.
  7. 97 days (mostly) game free It's been awhile. Today when I was meditating for the first time in 4 days I realised how desperately I needed to journal. How I felt like I was drowning in my own thoughts. The last few weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions. I sold my gaming PC which was great. I then ended up putting lots of tech stuff on Facebook marketplace which has been pretty draining to maintain. It's good to get rid of stuff but I'm constantly dealing with time wasters and I re-installed the Facebook app on my phone after having it off for about 10 months or so. I've found myself randomly checking Facebook. I also had a period where I got obsessed with Chess and ended up treating it like my old competitive games. At first I was focused on learning theory and playing patiently and with presence; soon enough I was focused on my MMR and how to get it up. So I disabled my chess.com account and asides from watching a Chess stream here or there, and playing a game or two against myself I've been off it. I did watch a lot of Super Smash on YouTube the last two days which I kind of let myself do because I had a really intensive past few days and needed to switch off. Basically, I feel like I've lost focus. As I said I haven't meditated for the last 3 days and that's the longest break I've had from meditation in about 2 months. I also stopped doing my daily stretches, and I've been more moody and had worse sleep. My job has been rough recently. I was on a roll with counselling but we were seriously understaffed for 5-6 weeks and the last 2 weeks got to me. I was angry at my organisation. To make matters a bit worse my partner and I were due to go on a holiday 2 weeks ago but she ended up injuring her back and we had to push it back by 6 weeks. This wasn't the worst timing in that I kind of need some time to save a bit of money right now, but I also really pushed myself for a few weeks leading up to the holiday. When it didn't come through I started to feel early signs of burnout with work. I ended up having to work less the last 2 weeks because of it. I've now decided that I'm going to ask for a role change at work so the counselling work I'm doing is different. I think I need a switch-up, and to have something new to learn and to focus on. I'm not sure why I stopped posting here. I think I had some really good weeks and felt like I didn't need it. I felt like I'd really conquered some parts of me during this process. But the last few weeks showed me it's easy to slip back into old patterns - especially on a subtle level. I'd say the main thing I'm struggling with now is creating those new, stable, nurturing and empowering habits to help keep me in a flow and also to replace all the time I would have been gaming. Journalling is one of those, whether it be on here or in a private journal. The meditation, the stretching, the reading, the learning. They all got me here and I've gotta keep doing that. My guitar practice slipped also. I've felt some social isolation, too. I have my partner of course but there's been a loss of contact with some friends since stopping gaming. It's not as if they aren't friends outside of it, but often how we would hang out is game, whether that be online or in-person, and trying to figure out new ways of hanging out has felt daunting. On Friday night though I had a good hang with an old friend. We made music, got a little high and watched a movie. Also went for a walk. It was a good hang but I came home at 10.30pm overstimulated and watched porn. That's also one habit that I have: I come home from late nights with friends and I watch porn to keep the good feels going. I always end up paying for it. Sometimes in life it just feels like a lot of good things come with punishments. But.. I think more often than not it's that often after a good time I don't accept that it has to come to an end, so I try and prolong it with porn, or watching streams, or staying up late watching YouTube. It can be so hard to stop and go through that process of slowing down. That's one I want to get better at. Because it's not just with friends, or getting high or great sex. About two weeks ago I had it happen just from daily life. I was killing it at work, I got off work and cooked a great meal for my partner and I, did heaps of housework and cleaned my room. I was really tired but satisfied. I was hyped up by how productive and present I'd been most of the day. That night I ended up playing Chess and watching Chess streams for like 3 hours. The next morning I was exhausted and that's when I knew I had a problem with Chess. What I needed that night was just to wind down. Meditate, read a book, stare at the ceiling, water my plants.. whatever. But I wanted to keep that "high" feeling. I wanted to "achieve" more. I felt unstoppable. And instead of resting so I could have another great day I overextended myself hugely. That night was the beginning of a downward spiral that I feel like I'm getting out of now. So that's my long update. I hope to be posting more and clarifying things regularly this next week.
  8. 74 days game free Big week. Had some heavy counseling calls at work. I also reformatted my gaming PC and listed it on marketplace. It was an emotional experience. Between work, selling the PC, my relationship and preparing to go to the snow this weekend I am absolutely exhausted. And I have missed gaming during some of the stressful times, like earlier this evening or right now. I noticed myself turn a little too much to chess the past two days. Also, turning on my PC and deleting everything gave me some nostalgia for when I used to play, and I saw some old game captures I'd taken and I did remember some of the good times I had playing story games. I was thinking how it's sad that the addictive, competitive ones really ruined what gaming used to be for me. I missed the old days when I could play story games and truly enjoy them. And in answer to your question Amphibian there's not a clear answer to whqt helps me start the day. Definitely getting up early helps. Meditation can be good but I have mostly been doing that in the evenings. In general, I've replaced gaming with guitar, TV shows, meditation, more housework, spending time with my partner. I think really guitar is probably the deepest hobby I have myself now, and I get a lot from it. I want more, though. I would like to have a clear morning routine of showering, meditating, eating a healthy breakfast. Eating a good breakfast is very supportive for me and makes me excited for the day. Ultimately, I want writing - poetry, stories and mental health articles - to be a regular hobby of mine. I've been struggling to make a habit of it and until a week ago I could hardlt write on a computer because of my eyes. I haven't got that excuse now so it's on the agenda.
  9. 69 days game free Still going strong. Had a day or two where I played a little too much chess but I've stopped the last few days. I'm also 5 days porn free asides from searching for it once 3 nights ago and then going, "this ain't it for me" and closing the browsers. I installed some new website blockers on my laptop and phone which have made it harder for me to look up which is great. Still meditating every day except two in the past 50 or so days which is a great achievement for me. Feel like I'm learning more about myself every day and I'm focused on small, incremental improvements over time. Relationship with my partner is getting deeper and stronger which also terrifies me and can trigger some of my avoidant/anxious attachment. It can be a real test to sit in the vulnerability and uncertainty of relationship. The not gaming and meditation has really helped with becoming less reactive across the board. Here's to future growth and continued refinement. Edited to say I changed the title to "one year game free" as I made the decision two weeks ago to go a full year without gaming. After that I'll choose whether I want to bring back some single player games or casual games with friends sometimes. I figure this will really give me time to see what a game free life feels and looks like, and also enough time to reset my brain to a deep level.
  10. 62 days (mostly) game free It's been awhile since I've posted and I've missed it. I had a right eye operation two weeks ago that meant I could barely read a computer screen without bringing my head close to the screen and straining. For the first three days after I wasn't allowed to look at screens at all and was on opiates to manage the pain. Things have improved a lot, though. My vision is still blurry but I can now read a computer screen without too much strain. It's been an intense time though as I haven't been able to work and get headaches if I walk outside when it's really sunny - even with sunglasses on. I've listened to a lot The Witcher audiobooks - which are absolutely amazing. I also listened to Carl Sagan's Cosmos (mind bending), and ironically Ready Player One which initially really had me craving games but by the end of it not so much. I put "mostly" in the start of this post because I have been playing some chess and over the last few days I watched a couple hours of chess streams through a chess app. The chess definitely started out innocently enough and didn't feel like a normal gaming session. But I have noticed I got a little obsessed on one day or two in terms of playing a lot in a row and also being attached to my rating. I've since stopped playing as much and am choosing to watch much less streams - going to get to none over time I think. I still plan to keep playing chess here and there as it actually takes a lot of patience and while I have not heaps to do it's been a nice way to keep my head engaged without the crazy dopamine hits of regular video games. It's definitely toeing a line, though. I also started listening to a fair bit of audio porn during my eye recovery and have stopped myself over the last few days. I'm a bit irritated by the stopping but feel ready to make some very firm and lasting boundaries around my porn use now. It was really hard with my eye recovery as I was mostly bed bound for the first 10 or so days. My relationship with my girlfriend has been surprisingly good over this period but I have noticed some anger or frustration coming up over the last few days. I'm looking at that and working on it at the moment. Finally, I'm happy to say I haven't stopped meditating and have missed one day in the last forty days. I've also been playing lots of guitar and have even created a few of my own melodies that I'm going to continue working on. Overall, things feel pretty solid and the no gaming has really opened my eyes to other ways I can spend my time. it has been difficult and I've missed gaming a lot some days, especially in recovery with less to do than normal - although it would be very difficult to game with my eye how it is anyway. The porn is still an issue and one that needs addressing, now. And the chess also needs to be monitored. It's good be able to write again, there's been a lot I've wanted to be able to share and record these past few weeks.
  11. Hey man, yeah you're so welcome. It's really good to be part of this community. The first few weeks I was like, ah whatever I'll be fine doing this on my own. But.. these last few weeks have been tough, and it's honestly hard to share with people and feel like they understand because most of my friends still game, my partner is really happy I'm not gaming but can't appreciate some of the difficulties of quitting (similar to most adults who don't game). But yeah I feel you on the creating a human from scratch. I also have felt crap the past few days. Sticking it out, though. Really hoping this week there's some more feel good days. Oh yeah and I would say guitar would work for that, it's definitely a good way to release emotion after rough days and it's not physically intensive. I just watch tutorials on YouTube and then play around with what I know. Harmonica's are cool, there would probably be some good YouTube videos on that if you were looking to learn more. One day at at a time for sure. Take care!
  12. 41 days game free I feel like shit lol I had a big week with my uncle's funeral and then I had some big sessions of Indian dance. I struggled to counsel people. I struggled to feel good in my relationship sometimes. I don't know, it's just been hard. It's not really that hard not to game, but I have felt cravings and I have DREAMED so much about gaming. I dreamed I ran a gaming store. I dreamed I was playing Halo from childhood. I dreamed I was playing LoL multiple times even though I was mostly playing dota, TFT and Destiny. Hadn't played normal league for years apart from some one off games. So yeah it's been there. I do fantasise about playing super smash sometimes. But the thing is my commitment to not gaming is so much greater than my desire to game. But.. despite that I do feel like I'm in a mild depressive episode. I get this pain in my chest, like a hole in my being sometimes. One thing I miss most is going into discord on the weekend, chatting to friends and playing some casual games. That's like really the thing I miss the most. The streams seem so pointless to me. But the gaming with friends when it was casual seems like it would be such a relief right now. And like.. I do think that maybe I could do rock climbing with friends or something like that, and at some point that would be good, but right now I'm actually real busy. I also have my second eye operation coming up this Friday which will mean I'm in bed for about a week, no screens at all for 3 days after. I'll be taking painkillers and listening to audiobooks & podcasts - that's how I managed it last time. I also watched porn like 3 times in the last 5 days, so that part has been a failure. Still been meditating every day. Had a few too many late nights. I would say overall I'm definitely struggling a bit with really taking care of myself. Despite that, my diet is good and I'm doing lots of exercise. But sleep could be better. Also my relaxation could be better - that I feel is so hard to master, because I have this desire to keep busy but I also know I need to slow down. But I used to just play games most of the time when I had time to "slow down" so that means I'm so used to over-stimulation. I think it's getting better, though. I sure as hell hope it gets better. This feels like a real rough period I'm going through.
  13. I agree with Paul in it being very much about the person's individual relationship with video gaming. The same can be said for pornography, social media, smoking cannabis etc. And similar to what you're talking about in your post OP, people can choose to watch pornography that isn't intensely graphic, and that takes into account a female perspective for example. Or social media which is educational and life-affirming. I know there are people out there who would say these things are still inherently bad for you or a waste of time, regardless of how you use them or the "genre" of use that you choose. And hey, they might be right in many cases. Personally though I think that's for each of us to decide and requires ongoing and honest reflection on how it's working for us. This part of your post stood out to me though. I think if it takes up so much time that there are little other hobbies in your life, or if it consistently takes time away from spending quality time with people in your life then it can be an issue. But one that could be solved by choosing to spend more time doing other things and breaking up the sessions.
  14. Good luck cauliflower. I know the pain of relapse from addictions in my life. I find it important to remind myself that I'm still whole and worthwhile and that relapse doesn't define me or the journey I'm on. Keep on keeping on šŸ™‚
  15. I relate to you on the not knowing how to not be an addict. Quitting gaming and other addictive things, and then forging a new set of routines and habits is like getting a whole new identity. Right now, I'm doing the same thing as you - one day at a time - trusting that I'll slowly work out who I want to be and where I want to place my energy. I also notice I have regrets about time wasted and a lot of missed out on growth. And this feeling of, "now I gotta face the real world without my escape pod". One thing that's really helped is picking up guitar as a hobby. I've played here and there in the past but since quitting gaming it's been almost daily with lots of long sessions. It's been such a good outlet for when I need to focus on something separate to myself and for getting that sense of progression that games gave me, albeit at a much slower and sometimes frustrating rate. So I hope you have something or can find something to put some of your newfound energy and time into that feels satisfying for you.