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my journal


GameQuitter2021
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I'm 22 and currently in year 2 computer science program due to failing multiple courses because of my addiction, and seeing other people my age already graduating and getting jobs gives me a feeling of shame. My lifetime goal is to become a software developer; ironically, to develop video games since playing video games have been a long passion of mine since i was in elementary school. In order to reach this goal, I need to build up my portfolio with projects, reach out to professors and computer science clubs, learn programming languages on my own time, and maintain good grades. 
 

It has been a week since i stopped playing games and now I have the constant urge to start again. This is not the first time I have had thoughts about relapsing.

That's why im starting this journal, so that I have another constant reminder to not play video games. 


Some of the things that pull me back into playing:
1. Rewarding myself for accomplishing a task 
2. Destressing myself after a particularly stressful situation
3. To socialize
4. To relieve my boredom

Theres probably more things that enable my addiction, I need to think of healthy substitutes for these strategies that my brain uses to trick me back into playing.

 

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day 8 of no games, but I think I should push it further and stop watching YouTube on my phone, watching tv,  since they are all temporary enjoyment  anyways. I read something about dopamine a while back but its all foggy, all i can remember is that the less you indulge in enjoyable activities, the less you need. 
It's amazing how much temptation there is in life and how evolution has not prepared us for them so one has to constantly win battles within their own mind, like arguing with a toddler that only thinks about short-term gains and instant-gratification. 
No wonder most motivational speeches specifically talk about self-discipline.
It's going to be hard to break old habits of mindlessly consuming but its going to be worth it in the end when I look back at my life and see how much time I could have wasted, applied to better things.
 

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Welcome, hope you find real benefits in journaling. 

A great way to recover after stress is kicking a football against a wall. You can vary the exercise from rapid bouncing at a close distance to powered shots from further out. 

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Day 9 of no games, although I haven't touched games at all my productivity at doing other things has not been consistently rising. I spent the entire day yesterday idling the web looking for answers to a bunch of random questions that popped up in my head.  I also vowed to not look at my phone last night and workout, but I ended up giving in and looking at my phone for a good 3 hours anyway while I was working out which greatly decreased the amount of effective exercise I did. I will keep trying to quit both games and cheap entertainment. However, 2-3 days ago I was able to do 40% of a 15% weighted paper that is due Dec 3rd, so I am glad that I was able to accomplish that instead of cramming it at the day before its due. 
Last night I also dreamed about playing games, I think this also explains why I have the desire to sleep so much recently so I can actually pretend to play games in my dreams. 

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Day 12 of no games, didnt post for saturday and sunday cause I didnt want to open my laptop. I'm going to make it my goal to not only stop playing games but also stop looking at my phone for entertainment as well. On Sunday I had a flat tire and I spent excessive time trying to fix it and that reminded me of how distant I became from real life due to exploring too deep into the fantasy realm of games. 
I also have a new perspective on stress, and now I'm going to intentionally stress myself out in a good way trying to do and learn hard things instead of avoiding them. 

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A thing which I see every time when someone is quitting games, is that it leads to nothing if you dont limit or quit internet usage in general. I feel like 90% of the people here have an internet problem in general and not just a gaming problem. Its the procrastination while getting some dopamin peaks whereever its possible.

 

It was the same thing for me literally. Although I didnt touch games since years, it doesnt matter when I also dont stop youtube etc. 

 

Your very first goal must be to be productive. Because thats your goal, right? Getting that degree. Of course after that you cant think ‘hey I did some work now back to games’. Because this leads inevitable to the fact that you relapse in the next days(‘one game then I start again’)

 

After all those years I think the only way for some people is to really rebuild their whole day. 90 Days of building up a total new routine and completely forget about the old habits. Not staying infront of that pc, not be at home much in general if you are not studying etc. 

Since thats so hard, many people keep relapsing over and over again

 

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Day 13 of no games, I ended up spending too much time on my phone again, I think I will try to disable certain apps on my phone so that I will have 1 less barrier to my goal. Yesterday I was able to finish a good junk of my new media tech course reflection paper and I'm glad that I'm so close to finishing it well before the deadline; previously I would have convinced myself it was too easy then half-assed it at the end due to procrastination. 
Last night I watched a video about hypertrophy and how its necessary for muscle growth, and apparently working out and getting a slight burn in the muscle isn't enough to stimulate muscles to grow. The person in the video mentioned how one's body doesn't grow unless pushed to the absolute limit so I completely wrecked myself doing squats last night and today I feel sore whenever I extend my legs. 

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23 hours ago, Lobares said:

A thing which I see every time when someone is quitting games, is that it leads to nothing if you dont limit or quit internet usage in general. I feel like 90% of the people here have an internet problem in general and not just a gaming problem. Its the procrastination while getting some dopamin peaks whereever its possible.

 

It was the same thing for me literally. Although I didnt touch games since years, it doesnt matter when I also dont stop youtube etc. 

 

Your very first goal must be to be productive. Because thats your goal, right? Getting that degree. Of course after that you cant think ‘hey I did some work now back to games’. Because this leads inevitable to the fact that you relapse in the next days(‘one game then I start again’)

 

After all those years I think the only way for some people is to really rebuild their whole day. 90 Days of building up a total new routine and completely forget about the old habits. Not staying infront of that pc, not be at home much in general if you are not studying etc. 

Since thats so hard, many people keep relapsing over and over again

Bravo! Imo this is the essence of what is the underlying problem with many of us. I made some really good ways to deal with electronics in general when I tried to abandon my addictive habits but I'm not implementing them well. That's why I'm failing for sure. Also not planning ahead enough. Forcing yourself to limit your screen time to achieving life goals effectively with technology and to cut out all entertainment linked to it really leads for me into dopamine withdrawal which shows how much this is the underlying problem. I think we spent so much time in front of screens that we really unlearnt how to live successfully and happily without them. I don't like to demonize technology as I firmly believe that humankind wouldn't be where we are today without it. Nonetheless developing a healthy and stable relationship to it becomes increasingly difficult as websites and apps become optimized more and more to squeeze out the last remaining drop of dopamine they can release in us whilst using the app/website. This more or less demands from us to set up shields so these interactions don't cost us our lives.  

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22 hours ago, GameQuitter2021 said:

Day 13 of no games, I ended up spending too much time on my phone again, I think I will try to disable certain apps on my phone so that I will have 1 less barrier to my goal. Yesterday I was able to finish a good junk of my new media tech course reflection paper and I'm glad that I'm so close to finishing it well before the deadline; previously I would have convinced myself it was too easy then half-assed it at the end due to procrastination. 
Last night I watched a video about hypertrophy and how its necessary for muscle growth, and apparently working out and getting a slight burn in the muscle isn't enough to stimulate muscles to grow. The person in the video mentioned how one's body doesn't grow unless pushed to the absolute limit so I completely wrecked myself doing squats last night and today I feel sore whenever I extend my legs. 

I recommend the StayFocused app for Android. From my personal experience I can say: Yes, wrecking yourself is definitely half of what makes muscles grow. THE BIGGER PART THOUGH IS PROPER NUTRITION! I can't stress that enough. You can work out as frequently and hard as you'd like to. Building muscles only happens when you eat on a caloric surplus. If that doesn't ring a bell for you, look up the term! Furthermore include enough protein in your diet. From my research (looking up different studies on the web) though everything above 1.6g protein/kg * [your desired body weight in kg] / day is a waste of money and time. You can't be completely lean whilst bulking also. Your body needs to sense excess energy which is way harder to achieve if you don't pack a bit of fat. Likewise eat frequently! Several smaller meals throughout the day keep your body in an anabolic state. To finish, your muscles will repair and grow at no time better than when you are asleep. So make sure you are well rested throughout the night.

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Day 14 of no games, I managed to reduce the amount of time i spent on my phone last night and was able to goto bed early at 10:30 pm. Recently I've developed alot of itchiness across my body and upon further inspection and research it is my skin drying out from most likely taking long hot showers (probably as a dopamine substitute) and not applying enough body lotion/face cream in the dry cold winter air.  I'm going to make it a routine to apply lotion over my entire body every night and cream/moisturizer every night/morning, and opt for warm showers instead, not just for winter. 
I noticed that I also have less eye strain now, most likely due to exposing myself to less blue light from my phone. I had a bad habit of looking at my phone in the dark in my bed every night which not only fucked up my sleep but strained my eyes as they tried to focus in on a small screen in the dark. 
Still sore from 2 days ago workout, I think I am eating enough (maybe not sleeping enough) so its likely just a massive strain. 
 

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Day 15 of no games. I notice that there is really anything one can do with free time if they put their mind to it, like cleaning their room, organizing their clothes/desks. Still looked at my phone more than I would have liked - mainly to socialize but I'm constantly mindful of this. 
Going to try to wake up at 7:30 am instead of 8:00 am so I can do a better skincare routine and do stretches with more time. 

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1 hour ago, GameQuitter2021 said:

Day 16 of no games, I didn't wake up early today despite planning to last night. Very ambivalent of me. Going to keep trying.

What was the problem? couldn't you sleep at night?

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4 hours ago, GameQuitter2021 said:

Day 19 of no games, still struggling a little bit with motivation and sleep. Think once I completely stop using my phone for entertainment I'll be able to completely focus on the tasks I need to do. 

Seems about right. There is that saying that one thing that distinguishes really successful people from not to successful people is their ability to just not do certain things throughout the day. I once had the idea to think before using my phone and realize the application path that I have to follow in order to reach the specific aim I use my phone for. not sure if that helps. also try to envision whether the thing you are about to do really is necessary or if you could spend your time doing something else that is more healthy for you. For me it really seems to be cutting out every little bit of instant gratification activity I have in my life. My days are really tedious and kinda boring atm but I think that is necessary before I can find enjoyment in little things again.

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Day 20 of no games, I watched a video talking about vegetable oil and how it has unsaturated fats that when heated, oxidize and are inflammatory. This is alarming as I've always cooked and eaten food with vegetable oil. 
I also found that my running posture was off, which led me to gas out quicker than usual. I definitely think extended computer usage has caused me to have postural issues that affects my running form too.  
The most difficult thing about eliminating video games and phone entertainment is the lack of social gratification which is an important element of a healthy human life. Sport matters a lot too, and I think especially for males it's good for mental health to be engaged in a sport, not necessarily physical kinds like soccer/basketball. However, it's difficult to find a substitute that's also constructive that offers social gratification and sport, I suppose competitive coding comes close.                                                                                
 

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What do you mean by social gratification? Isn't real life competition enough? 😄 Do you really think that spending more hours in front of screens will help you heal from this addiction? It's is generally a good idea to be active for cardiovascular as well as mental health reasons, regardless of the sex. Unsaturated fats are essential though. You can not survive without alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). So keep them in your meals. Maybe stop cooking them though. Saturated fats are in general considered to be contributing more to arteriosclerosis than unsaturated ones. Posture is definitely a problem for me, too.

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On 12/7/2021 at 1:45 PM, Marius said:

What do you mean by social gratification? Isn't real life competition enough? 😄 Do you really think that spending more hours in front of screens will help you heal from this addiction? It's is generally a good idea to be active for cardiovascular as well as mental health reasons, regardless of the sex. Unsaturated fats are essential though. You can not survive without alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). So keep them in your meals. Maybe stop cooking them though. Saturated fats are in general considered to be contributing more to arteriosclerosis than unsaturated ones. Posture is definitely a problem for me, too.

I meant that by playing games you gather a lot of temporary friends and chatting with them and achieving goals in-game with them is very gratifying; socially. It's much easier to feel social online than real life. That's partially why it's been hard for me to resist games.
And I suppose I should actually measure how much unsaturated fat I intake, ill probably search for an app that keeps track of my calories and other nutrient intake.  I'm already taking 1 omega-3 pill right now, occasionally every-other day for its benefits. 
I have a slightly hunched upper back, underdeveloped lower back, and slight forward head posture when I'm not consciously fixing it. It's affecting my gait and running quite a bit, makes me tire out much earlier if I don't consciously try to walk/run with correct posture. 

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6 hours ago, GameQuitter2021 said:

I meant that by playing games you gather a lot of temporary friends and chatting with them and achieving goals in-game with them is very gratifying; socially. It's much easier to feel social online than real life. That's partially why it's been hard for me to resist games.
And I suppose I should actually measure how much unsaturated fat I intake, ill probably search for an app that keeps track of my calories and other nutrient intake.  I'm already taking 1 omega-3 pill right now, occasionally every-other day for its benefits. 
I have a slightly hunched upper back, underdeveloped lower back, and slight forward head posture when I'm not consciously fixing it. It's affecting my gait and running quite a bit, makes me tire out much earlier if I don't consciously try to walk/run with correct posture. 

I can understand that. I have some trouble with maintaining friendships in real life, too. Online often has some predefined context which makes it easier to hide weaknesses and display strengths. That way you are more or less cheating your way to social success. It's tempting to let challenges and dangers in real life divert your interests to this digital world. Doing so ultimately makes it only harder though to have success offline as you need practice with offline gatherings. Just eliminate your weaknesses and let the minor and macro aggressions in real life bounce off. Develop a basket of social skills and then become friends with people. Humans are social creatures. We like to live in groups and maybe using object/symbol based language is one of the features that really distinguishes our species from other animals.

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4 hours ago, Marius said:

I can understand that. I have some trouble with maintaining friendships in real life, too. Online often has some predefined context which makes it easier to hide weaknesses and display strengths. That way you are more or less cheating your way to social success. It's tempting to let challenges and dangers in real life divert your interests to this digital world. Doing so ultimately makes it only harder though to have success offline as you need practice with offline gatherings. Just eliminate your weaknesses and let the minor and macro aggressions in real life bounce off. Develop a basket of social skills and then become friends with people. Humans are social creatures. We like to live in groups and maybe using object/symbol based language is one of the features that really distinguishes our species from other animals.

You are on an excellent train of thought.  Many of these challenges have been brought about by a system of technology that we didn't create nor do we control.  It's not a healthy system.  

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