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Paul’s Journal


Paul A.
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6 hours ago, Paul A. said:

Because of that, I no longer owe the company money, so I should start to see actual commission from my paychecks, which is nice.

How come you owed the company money? I thought you went there to make the money, not to spend it 😄

As for the work struggles in general, you'll see. I don't know what job is right for you and you don't seem to know now either. All I can advise is to save up money; if your current job/lifestyle makes you hire a hooker once a month to just forget about everything, you need to change something. Otherwise you'll forever be stuck working a job your destructive lifestyle needs. Having a few hundred/thousand $ gives you an opportunity to change things up if you feel like you need to.

I found out that reading, walking and sometimes just stopping to look around or to look at something that caught my attention helps with mindfulness and the ability to just be in the present. Writing is good for this for me too, as I sometimes stop to look around me when I am out of thought.

Though now I am freshly without a girlfriend, she and I made a promise to not watch porn at least until Christmas. I think the last time I watched was three or four months ago when we made that promise for the first time. Even then, I masturbate more than I'd like, though there's no porn and mostly no orgasm involved. Things sure are easier in this regard when I can cuddle with my girlfriend a few times a week, but alas. I figured out that in my case, having a girl just for sex would only make things worse. I'm just not that kind of a guy.

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On 9/5/2022 at 5:40 AM, Ikar said:

How come you owed the company money? I thought you went there to make the money, not to spend it 😄

The pay structure is hourly pay draw commission, meaning if we don't earn more in commission than we do in base pay, we "owe" the company the difference. That difference is what we call the "draw." What I meant by no longer owing the company money is that I am no longer in the draw, meaning I will start to see my commission in my paychecks, as opposed to base hourly pay.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I relapsed pretty hard. I got bored one day and I made a new Roblox account, and I went to town. I've been playing nonstop for about a week now. It got so bad that my dad even threatened to kick me out of the house (for the second time). The only reason I was able to stop is because I got frustrated at how bad I was. I play mostly PvP fighting games, and I've never been the best at them. But after a particularly long losing streak, I decided to put the game down again. Honestly, I don't know what I expected. This isn't the first time I've tried to quit video games, or any bad habit for that matter. The fact of the matter is, no matter how emotionally charged the decision is, I can never stick to my guns. I can really never stick to anything. That's my biggest flaw and the one reason why I fail at everything I attempt. I failed at fitness because I couldn't stick to it. I failed at music because I couldn't stick to it. I failed at quitting video games because I couldn't stick to it. I don't know why I can't stick to anything. I don't know why I sabotage my own success. I really don't know. And I may never figure it out for as long as I live. It stinks to admit it, but I'm a failure. Until I figure out how to fix my inability to commit, I'm doomed to fail at everything I do. I apologize for the self-pitying post, but I'm just tired of my own bullshit. Honestly, it makes me want to give up on everything altogether. Not on my life, but on trying to improve my life. If I'm just doomed to revert to old habits and give up on new ones, then what's the point in even trying?

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I hope it gets better, for now the only things I can tell you are that:

1.The point is to overall get better, little improvements overtime which we do not notice until we look back.

2.It is true that you still have lots of work to do when it comes to learning how to stick to habits which will undoubtedly require a lot of effort and grit. This is your cross to bear, but all is not lost, from the many times I have relapsed I always learned something or found out a habit/positive behaviour that during my attempts I had been fostering, sometimes without even knowing about it.

Relapsing, specially after a long run is one of the most discouraging feeling there are, leading sometimes to lots of grief, unhappiness and sometimes even increased difficulties when having to face off with your problems again.

I can't tell you how long will it last or advice you on what to do to get it over soon, the only thing that I can say to you is that once this phenomenon passes (specially if you take the time to analice it) you will find it much easier to create and maintain a "sober spree".

This is because even though you may not feel, see or know it all your previous attempts victories and struggles have given you experience and skills. During your last spree you learned what works and doesn't work for you, your needs, your triggers and wants. And not only that, you have also made habits, taken up new skills and hobbies to deal with it. In the same way that old habits stick to us so too do new ones when you get back on your feet you will find it easier to last longer and fare better than before.

 

Wish you the best Paul, you together with grain have been a great inspiration and help for me to continue on my journey to get games and  social media under control. Good luck on your journey and recovery, you are capable enough.

 

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After my last post, I picked the game back up for another week. I finally got sick of it (sick of losing, really) and I'm giving this whole no video games thing another crack. Surprisingly, I don't feel a lot of guilt or shame. I feel more relieved, if anything. I feel like I have a fresh perspective on things after quitting and relapsing. After I quit the first time, I didn't really take the time to put in place new activities to replace gaming. I managed to tough it out for about two months before I finally gave in. But this time around, I'm really going to try to find other activities to replace my gaming habit. I'm at a loss for replacement activities at the moment, but I'll do a quick Google search and sort myself out. I realized the importance of finding new activities to replace the old when trying to break a bad habit. I think this applies to my PMO habit as much as it does to gaming, but if you don't fill the vacuum that emerges when you try to kick the bad habit, you're setting yourself up for failure. With that in mind, I'm gonna do my best to make sure I find enjoyable activities that can replace gaming for good.

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I relate Paul, the two times I've relapsed on drugs strengthened my recovery this time around. It really reinforced that the party's over for me, the fun is gone now.

I have never made this strong a commitment to quit gaming but I have detoxed multiple times before this, and since then the idea of quitting for good has been a seed planted in the back of my mind. This last time I really felt the same thing as with drugs: this isn't fun anymore, it's time to leave the party. I'm too old for this shit.

They say a mind full of recovery will ruin your next high, in my experience it's true!

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I relapsed again today. The day started off fine, but I got triggered by watching Naruto, funny enough. I need to realize that I’m not gonna get much better at that game, no matter how many strategies I try. Either way, the problem regardless is that I have easy access to my game of choice, Roblox. I made a new account after I deleted the old one, and I’ve since made significant progress in one particular game on the platform. I don’t want to have to go through the process of deleting another account after I just deleted one, and part of me doesn’t want all the progress I made to be lost. I’m hesitant to burn all bridges. Plus, I often play with a good friend of mine who lives in another state, and I’d be unable to spend any meaningful time with him outside of the game. I know what I need to do, I just don’t want to do it.

However, I have come up with an idea of an activity to replace gaming: game development. It might seem pretty counterintuitive at first glance. If I’m trying to get away from games, why would I get into making them? But, there’s a key difference between the two: what you get out of it. When you play a game, you get very little out of it, save for in game progress. When you develop a game, you get to create something that others will enjoy. This, in my opinion, is far more rewarding than simply playing games. Plus, the way I see it, why not learn to create the games I enjoy instead of getting addicted to them? I think it’s a much better use of my time. I’ve already started looking into courses and resources I can use to help me learn how to develop games, specifically on Roblox. I’m excited to dive into this new world. Hopefully it doesn’t become an addiction of its own, haha.

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I'm in a weird place where I fully set an intention to quit, only to relapse the next day. It's probably for the reasons I listed in my previous post (to summarize, I don't want to bite the bullet and delete everything). Don't get me wrong, I'm spending a good deal less time gaming than I was over the past few weeks, but it's still taking up a majority of my time. This morning, I made some progress on learning how to make Roblox games before I got bored and started playing. Then I basically spent the next few hours playing before getting ready for work. I want to get to a place where I don't need to play games at all for entertainment, but it's hard when they're right there within my grasp at all times, and I don't have the heart to get rid of them. I'm kind of at a loss, and I don't know how to proceed. Even now, I'm exploring more options to learn coding and game development, but it doesn't really matter if the games are always there to sabotage my progress. Maybe one day I'll just decide to take the plunge and delete my accounts again, but for now I'm in a weird limbo place where I have the intention to quit but I don't have the will to follow through.

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I just uninstalled everything on the computer, and packed away the consoles. Haven't deleted or sold anything yet. We intend to sell the consoles now though, even my wife doesn't use them very much. (Like you she's addicted to Roblox.)

Because I successfully replaced gaming with reading, drawing, playing with my daughter, spending time outside, and occasionally watching stuff I haven't really missed gaming at all.

I don't think you necessarily need to delete everything right away to quit. I know it's really hard. Sunk cost fallacy is keeping me from deleting my Origin account because I spent over $500 on The Sims.

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On 9/21/2022 at 4:49 PM, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

Because I successfully replaced gaming

That’s my issue at the moment: I can’t find an activity that adequately replaces gaming. I’ve gotten into coding and game dev as of late, but they don’t entertain me enough to keep me away from the game. That’s why I’m so hung up on deleting my Roblox account. If I can just find the right combination of activities to keep me away from gaming, then I might be able to get away with not deleting my account.

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I’m really considering biting the bullet and just deleting my Roblox account again. The main game that I play on the platform just isn’t as fun as it used to be. I’ve set an intention to quit several times without success, and the fact of the matter is that I still have an account I can readily access at any time. I think if I’m serious about quitting games for good, I just need to take the plunge and delete my account again. But if there’s one thing holding me back, it’s the social aspect. I have a good friend of mine that I play with regularly, and deleting my account would cut off our main source of communication. It wouldn’t be so much of a big deal if he didn’t live in another state. Other than that, I don’t have much else of a reason to keep the account around. I’ve detached myself from the progress I’ve made in the game. Like I mentioned previously, the game simply isn’t fun anymore. I think writing out this post has cemented in my mind what I need to do next. I already have ideas lined up for replacement activities, the two main ones being coding and game development. I’ll initiate the account deletion process as soon as I can. I’m also planning to kick my PMO addiction as well, by using the same method of replacing the activity, as well as tweaking my sleep schedule to make it harder to engage in that activity specifically. I have no idea whether I can successfully kick these two bad habits for good, but I won’t know until I try. I am hopeful that this method of replacement will bear fruit though.

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8 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

I don't think you necessarily need to delete everything right away to quit. I know it's really hard. Sunk cost fallacy is keeping me from deleting my Origin account because I spent over $500 on The Sims.

Speaking of which, I still have my Steam account worth about the same amount. I just haven't touched any games on it for three and a half years.

1 hour ago, Paul A. said:

But if there’s one thing holding me back, it’s the social aspect. I have a good friend of mine that I play with regularly, and deleting my account would cut off our main source of communication. It wouldn’t be so much of a big deal if he didn’t live in another state. Other than that, I don’t have much else of a reason to keep the account around.

If you really want to keep in contact with the guy and believe you have something worthwhile to talk about besides gaming, you can use Messenger, WhatsApp, Discord or any other chat application. I kept chatting on Discord with one guy who used to watch my streams until about a year ago.

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I went ahead and deleted the account. It was a relatively easy and painless process, considering I had to be in email correspondence with Roblox customer support. The whole process was complete in under 12 hours. Now I have nothing to go back to when a craving hits, unless I were to make a whole new account. And even if I did, all the progress I'd made in my game of choice is gone now, and it would be a massive pain to start over. I think this was the right decision if my intention really is to be game-free. With no games to keep me occupied, I spent the morning learning how to code in C++ and watching anime. I spent another bit of it taking a morning nap, as is typical for me. I'm writing this entry before getting ready for work, which will consume the remainder of my day.

Now that I don't have games to keep me busy, I feel like a lot of mental bandwidth has been cleared up to focus on more important matters, such as tackling my porn addiction. I've come up with a plan of action for handling urges of that variety, but of course, I can't put it to the test unless I actually have an urge. At the same time, I'm not exactly hoping for an urge to hit me. Part of my plan includes going to bed much earlier than I typically do, since the nighttime is a trigger for my habit. My rationale is that the earlier I go to bed, the less likely an urge is to crop up. And even if an urge does hit, I have a contingency plan: taking a walk. When I do have an urge to engage in PMO, I typically get a restless feeling, which is why I think walking is perfect to handle it. The only issue that arises is that my urges tend to hit late at night, so I would have to contend with taking a walk at that time of night. Thankfully, I live in a very safe and boring suburban neighborhood.

On the whole, I feel like I'm moving in the right direction. I have a new perspective after relapsing, and a strategy I didn't utilize my first go-around with quitting games. I also have a plan in place to handle what I consider the more insidious of my addictions. I'll be sure to regularly post any updates and progress in this journal.

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Today marks my second full day of being game-free. I also succeeded in steering clear of porn last night. I decided to go on a walk as soon as I got home, and by the time I got back, I was too tired to even load up incognito mode. It seems my tactic of going on evening walks may prove successful in staving off PMO urges. All that being said, I had trouble sleeping through the night, so I was up at 5AM this morning learning the Unity game engine. After that, I managed to get back to sleep for another few hours. I spent the little time I had in the morning learning more of the Unity game engine before getting ready for work. I’ve determined I need a new laptop to continue my game dev journey, since I’m running into a lot of compatibility issues on my current laptop. I’ve spent some time today researching different laptops suitable for game development, with a lot of them being gaming laptops, funny enough. I’m gonna wait until I get paid next to take the plunge on a new laptop, though. I don’t want to buy impulsively just to end up not using it, or using it for the wrong reason. It would be easy to slip back into a gaming habit if I bought a powerful new laptop specifically for gaming. But in the meantime, I’m going to keep learning to code C++ to pass the time, as well as watch more anime. Work is also keeping me fairly busy, so I’ll never be too bored.

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Day 3 Game-Free

I bought my new laptop today. I was initially going to wait until I got paid next to buy it, but I guess my excitement got the better of me 😄. My rationalization is that I’ve already slept on it and I still want it, so why not? It’s sitting at home right now (my dad picked it up). I’m currently at work, just dying to leave so I can try out my new toy! It is a gaming laptop, but I’m gonna be using it strictly for game development. I just needed the power of a gaming laptop, since game development uses a lot of power. 

I bought a Udemy subscription so I could take a course on Unity and C#. Unity is the game engine I’ll be making games on, and C# is the programming language that Unity runs on. I just wish I’d been learning C# this whole time instead of C++ (I didn’t know Unity ran on C#!). Guess I should’ve done my research. I’m not upset about it, though. Just means I have experience with another language under my belt. The first thing I’m doing when I get home is setting up my new laptop, downloading Unity, and loading up the course. Game dev is like a whole new world to me, and I can’t wait to explore it.

I went on another late night walk last night, and I abstained from PMO for another night. I think the late walks are really doing wonders for kicking my PMO habit. My intention was to go for a walk every time I felt an urge in order to replace the routine, but the walks are just serving to tire me out, to the point where I don’t even have the energy to engage in PMO. Whatever works works, I guess. I’m looking to make it a habit to replace PMO, and so far it’s working. Let’s see if it continues to work.

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10 hours ago, Paul A. said:

Day 3 Game-Free

I bought my new laptop today. I was initially going to wait until I got paid next to buy it, but I guess my excitement got the better of me 😄. My rationalization is that I’ve already slept on it and I still want it, so why not? It’s sitting at home right now (my dad picked it up). I’m currently at work, just dying to leave so I can try out my new toy! It is a gaming laptop, but I’m gonna be using it strictly for game development. I just needed the power of a gaming laptop, since game development uses a lot of power. 

I bought a Udemy subscription so I could take a course on Unity and C#. Unity is the game engine I’ll be making games on, and C# is the programming language that Unity runs on. I just wish I’d been learning C# this whole time instead of C++ (I didn’t know Unity ran on C#!). Guess I should’ve done my research. I’m not upset about it, though. Just means I have experience with another language under my belt. The first thing I’m doing when I get home is setting up my new laptop, downloading Unity, and loading up the course. Game dev is like a whole new world to me, and I can’t wait to explore it.

I went on another late night walk last night, and I abstained from PMO for another night. I think the late walks are really doing wonders for kicking my PMO habit. My intention was to go for a walk every time I felt an urge in order to replace the routine, but the walks are just serving to tire me out, to the point where I don’t even have the energy to engage in PMO. Whatever works works, I guess. I’m looking to make it a habit to replace PMO, and so far it’s working. Let’s see if it continues to work.

Congrats on buying a new laptop. But I think that it won’t be easy to abstain from gaming if you are doing game development on a gaming laptop, especially on such an early stage of quitting. 
 

I have a 3 or 4 year history of quitting, so I figured out that works for me. And it is to keep gaming hardware as far as possible. I’ve sold my gaming GPU and bought a very cheap one just to output 2D graphics, I gave away my 144 Hz gaming monitor to my brother. And also I uninstalled Windows, using Linux full time on PC and laptops. At this point for me to game I need to 1) buy a new GPU 2) Buy or take back 144 Hz monitor 3) install Windows. It is such a barrier that if not that, I’d relapse like 10 times already. 

I am bad at self-control, so I’ve created an environment where I almost don’t need it. For me gaming is literally difficult.

I am learning programming too, although nothing related to 3D graphics. And honestly the most modern laptop I use is 2014 ThinkPad. Like on Linux you don’t need new hardware, everything just works blazingly fast (if you know how to set everything up). So while my hardware is getting more and more outdated for gaming, it still works great for programming, and I like older ThinkPad keyboards much more, they’re so durable and feel great to type on, any modern laptop keyboards (Macbooks included) just suck!

 

I’ve shared my approach to computer hardware hoping that you may find something useful for yourself in terms of quitting. Honestly buying a gaming laptop on day 3 sounds like a questionable decision. But it’s up to you of course.

Edited by Max
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You bring up a good point, @Max. Under normal circumstances, it wouldn’t make much sense for me to buy a gaming laptop if I’m trying to QUIT video games. However, I think the reason it’s not an issue for me is that I don’t have the connection in my mind between powerful hardware and gaming. I’ve always gamed regardless of whether the devices were powerful or not. In fact, this is the first gaming laptop I’ve ever owned. Anyway, what I’m getting at is that it doesn’t make a difference whether I teach myself to code on a brick or on a powerful gaming laptop. I would game on a brick the same as I would game on a proper gaming setup. So what it comes down for me is whether I have easy access to my game of choice (Roblox). I’ve already deleted my account and taken the steps to replace gaming in my life, so I think I’m on the right track. I appreciate your concern, though.

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3 hours ago, Paul A. said:

You bring up a good point, @Max. Under normal circumstances, it wouldn’t make much sense for me to buy a gaming laptop if I’m trying to QUIT video games. However, I think the reason it’s not an issue for me is that I don’t have the connection in my mind between powerful hardware and gaming. I’ve always gamed regardless of whether the devices were powerful or not. In fact, this is the first gaming laptop I’ve ever owned. Anyway, what I’m getting at is that it doesn’t make a difference whether I teach myself to code on a brick or on a powerful gaming laptop. I would game on a brick the same as I would game on a proper gaming setup. So what it comes down for me is whether I have easy access to my game of choice (Roblox). I’ve already deleted my account and taken the steps to replace gaming in my life, so I think I’m on the right track. I appreciate your concern, though.

Oh, then my bad here. I only played competitively, so I wouldn't even touch a game if it's not at least 144 Hz and 150 FPS. No idea what Roblox is, but I guess it's different lol. Anyway good luck, having a decent hardware must be pretty nice. But I'll keep my 2000s plastic bricks 😄

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Day 4 Game-Free

I gave into PMO last night. I had already gone on a walk earlier that night, and by the time the cravings rolled around, it was around midnight and I didn't have the energy or willpower to leave the house again. But, I do have another plan in place. Every time I feel a craving hit, I'll simply turn my phone off. Since my phone is the primary device I use to watch porn, I think having my phone off will create a mental hurdle between me and my habit. Not a terribly high hurdle, granted, but it would give me a moment to think before I engage in PMO. Plus, the minor inconvenience of turning my phone back on might keep me from giving in altogether. If need be, I may turn off my old laptop as well. But one thing's for sure, I'm definitely not using my brand new gaming laptop for something as nasty as porn. Never gonna happen.

I spent almost my entire work day messing around with code. Either I was in Visual Studio Code writing code, or I was learning C# from online resources. It probably wasn't the best move doing all this while at work, but I didn't care. I'm just so excited at the prospect of learning coding and game development. It arguably excites me more than gaming ever did. I haven't missed gaming at all these past few days, because I'm so caught up in this new world of coding/game dev. Cam was definitely spot on when he said to replace gaming with other activities, which is something I didn't really do the first time I quit. The importance of replacement activities that motivate and excite you cannot be understated. If you don't find something else to fill your time, you're bound to fall back into gaming again. But I just don't see it happening to me any time soon, what with how much fun I'm having with coding. I'm excited to keep learning and growing my skillset in the coming days.

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3 hours ago, Paul A. said:

Day 4 Game-Free

I gave into PMO last night. I had already gone on a walk earlier that night, and by the time the cravings rolled around, it was around midnight and I didn't have the energy or willpower to leave the house again. But, I do have another plan in place. Every time I feel a craving hit, I'll simply turn my phone off. Since my phone is the primary device I use to watch porn, I think having my phone off will create a mental hurdle between me and my habit. Not a terribly high hurdle, granted, but it would give me a moment to think before I engage in PMO. Plus, the minor inconvenience of turning my phone back on might keep me from giving in altogether. If need be, I may turn off my old laptop as well. But one thing's for sure, I'm definitely not using my brand new gaming laptop for something as nasty as porn. Never gonna happen.

I spent almost my entire work day messing around with code. Either I was in Visual Studio Code writing code, or I was learning C# from online resources. It probably wasn't the best move doing all this while at work, but I didn't care. I'm just so excited at the prospect of learning coding and game development. It arguably excites me more than gaming ever did. I haven't missed gaming at all these past few days, because I'm so caught up in this new world of coding/game dev. Cam was definitely spot on when he said to replace gaming with other activities, which is something I didn't really do the first time I quit. The importance of replacement activities that motivate and excite you cannot be understated. If you don't find something else to fill your time, you're bound to fall back into gaming again. But I just don't see it happening to me any time soon, what with how much fun I'm having with coding. I'm excited to keep learning and growing my skillset in the coming days.

Sounds like you're doing great 😊 I'd recommend and App for your phone called Detoxify. I use that and it's brilliant for any porn cravings - you can even get it to choose a random PIN for you, effectively locking you out of certain websites or apps permanently 

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On 9/26/2022 at 12:56 AM, purpleluke said:

Sounds like you're doing great 😊 I'd recommend and App for your phone called Detoxify. I use that and it's brilliant for any porn cravings - you can even get it to choose a random PIN for you, effectively locking you out of certain websites or apps permanently 

I’ll give it a try! Thanks for the recommend!

Edited by Paul A.
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Day 5 Game-Free

I decided to switch gears with my programming journey. I spent the first half of my day attempting to build a game from a tutorial, but I took a break from that after I got frustrated. Building games is hard! I spent some time thinking about what I want to do with computer programming, and I decided that I want to get a job as a software engineer. I still want to do game development, but I've relegated that to more of a hobby/passion project rather than a career aspiration. That being said, I switched from learning C# to learning Python. I asked a friend who's studying computer science what language he would recommend I learn, and while he suggested C++ as the most useful, he did note that learning Python would get me a job faster, which is my goal. Furthermore, a lot of YouTubers suggest that Python is the best (and easiest) language to learn when first starting out, as well as for getting a job in the field. So, I've been watching a Python tutorial for the past hour. Given I've already gotten my feet wet with C# and C++, Python has proven comparatively easy to pick up. I'm looking forward to learning more in the future.

Other than that, it's been a relaxing day off. I took a nap in the afternoon, watched a bit of anime, and I've gone on two walks for the day. Days off are always nice, but they're a lot better now that I'm not wasting my time with games. When I had relapsed, my days off never seemed to be long enough. I just wanted to spend more time on the game. But now I can actually fill my days with meaningful activities. It's a nice change of pace from being stuck on the game 24/7.

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The world of computer programming is so expansive. I didn't even realize the scope of it until today. That being said, I had to re-evaluate - again - how I wanted to go about learning computer programming. There's three primary paths in the world of software development - front-end development, back-end development, and full stack development. From what I've learned, it's best to focus on either front-end or back-end development rather than full stack (front-end and back-end combined). In addition, it looks like front-end development has the most opportunities available for entry-level work. With that in mind, I went ahead and purchased a monthly subscription to Codecademy to learn front-end web development. That means I'll be switching gears yet again, from Python to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I'm fortunate that I'm making this switch so early on, rather than finding out months into learning Python and being forced to commit to back-end development. I also decided to go for front-end development because it entails working on the part of a website or web app that people actually see and can interact with, which I think would be more rewarding for me. And there's also more room for creativity with front-end development, rather than the logical-analytical world of back-end development. I'm gonna spend the rest of the day diving into the 350-hour Codecademy course. I'm glad there's so much content in one resource. It gives me a bit of structure to dial in my learning, rather than floundering around from one resource to another.

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