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Gaming Detox Journey


Ashley K.
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Day 1:

I did write on my first day the other day. I ended up playing again. 

Today doesn't feel so great. I didn't plan out my day. I feel like it's a little difficult to do so with two kids, so my schedule is never going to be precise.

I have tried to schedule my day out. But I've never got to doing anything on my list. Probably because I really didn't want to do it in the first place or I didn't push myself enough to do it.

So right now, I'm feeling like crap, thinking about a lot of things. Money mainly. 

I'm a stay at home mom, I'm constantly failing my insurance state exam. Next week will be the 4th time I'm taking it. Besides doing that, I'm trying to figure out what sort of business I want to create and nothing comes to mind. I don't have experience in anything and I don't know what my skills are. 

So this is how my morning is going. It sucks but I don't want to give up. 

 

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Day 2:

My morning started off okay. I should have wrote down a couple of things I wanted to do last night, but I didn't know what I wanted to do so I didn't bother to do it.

 Out of habit I asked my husband what he was going to do on Destiny 2. He told me and that was it.

I caught myself doing this and realized that this particular habit of talking about video games gets me in the mood to play and then I'll end up playing from now until 12-1 AM. I would only take some breaks when it comes to eating or going to the bathroom. But I would eat while I'm playing. 

What's scary is that my oldest is starting to do the same thing. I catch him eating at the computer instead of getting off the computer and eating at the table. As a parent to two kids, I don't want the same thing happening to them. I don't want to see them spiraling out of control because of video games or even social media. 

 

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Show your son a good example Ashley. Generally speaking, our parents lived much healthier lives because there wasn’t all this garbage to distract them.

If they wanted to have fun, they’d play a sport. Come on, I can be happy without reading social networks or playing games tonight. You can do it too.

I noticed that people that tackle problems and are more self accountable are generally healthier and happier in their lives.

From my school years, i remember reading Oliver twist’ as part of my english language class. It was a coal mine or something of the sort where he demanded better working conditions. He was a special boy cause everybody else was too timid to ask for it.

If i apply this to myself, video games are like scraps of entertainment, so I’ve got to push a little bit in the direction of healthy entertainment and demand for myself a healthier way of life.

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Unfortunately I ended up relapsing yesterday. I know that I have to get rid of the Xbox or PC, but I can't. My husband uses the PC for other things and for homeschooling. The xbox isn't even mine, it's his. Both the Xbox and PC are our room and there isn't anywhere else that I can put them. We live with my mom with our two sons and it's crowded in here as it is. 

I've been studying to pass my insurance state exam so that I can start working for an insurance company called Symmetry Financial Group.

This will be the 4th time I'm taking it and its taking a toll on my motivation to pass.

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Day 3:

I ended up relapsing for two days. Yesterday and this morning. Was I proud of myself for feeding my addiction? No.

But I'm not going to start back to day 1 like I usually do. I'm just going to continue. 

I figured that I would be able to play in moderation so I told myself "Yeah, I can do this. No problem." Doesn't work for me. 

My husband suggested that I would play after doing more important tasks first. I've tried it countless times. I still end up ignoring said tasks and playing for hours. 

I know what some will say:

"Just sell the Xbox"

"Move the PC to another room"

"Delete your gaming accounts"

I've tried those. But I'm not the only one who plays video games. My husband does also and he's not going to join me on this detox since he feels that he's not addicted and he can quit at any time. I don't believe it, so all I can do is focus on my detoxing. 

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Yes I am in the same camp, my partner games and there's no talking her out of it. We also live with her dad, and his girlfriend and her three kids! So space is also quite limited for us. I am exposed to her gaming daily. But I still managed to get to say 93! You have to want it bad enough, and you have to find new ways to spend your free time. I already knew I wanted to draw more, read more, and spend more time outside. I do those things now.


I just have to stay strong and hope that maybe she will see my good example and make the change for herself. It may also end up being the thing that ends our relationship in the future, but I don't dwell on that.

My daughter is only 10 months old but already has been very interested in screens for.... Well pretty much her whole life. It scares me a bit, but I'm hoping to show her you can have a healthy balanced relationship with them.

Just keep focusing on yourself, and I will keep rooting for you!!

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What if you shared Cameron Adair's research on how internet distractions are designed ground up to rob people's time and make them ill-disciplined?

I was reading "Atomic Habits" yesterday and the author talked about habits of the modern societies. He says that all of these habits are influenced by basic needs that you may not even be aware about. For example, scrolling youtube distracts you from fears and anxiety, progressing in video games grants you the basic need of recognition and praise, etc.

Food companies invest astonishing sums of money into researching better flavours for food that will drive consumers' dopamine levels through the roof. As we bite the trap, it causes strong dependency on these products. Also the trick that is used is the ease of access (lack of barriers) of these enjoyments. Like you say, the Xbox catches your attention and its very easy to start. He claims that if you reduce the barriers to healthy alternatives, you are more likely to change your way of life.

Look at how youtube changed their policy over the years. At first, you had to search for a video that you wanted to watch, and you had to click "play". This held for a long time. Then, they started collecting information about your online interests, and posting video suggestions for you on the main page. Today, before you can even enter your search term, you are distracted by a wide range of video suggestions. Also, as your video finishes, they start loading a new video for you to watch without asking you about it. The less friction, the more likely we are to follow a given set of behaviour. If there is too much hastle getting out to jog after work, we are less likely to do it. Ofcourse in all of his submissions, the author is emphasising that most modern people have no will and are too weak spiritually to resist the traps. This book is very simple and intuitive, you can even check his claims by observing your own behaviour. Yet the book is good at influencing you to change for the better.

The author confesses that he was so weakened by the modern comfort traps, that he asked his secretary to change passwords on all of his social network accounts every monday. The secretary would only hand him his new passwords at the end of his workday on Friday and he would dive into the online world over the weekend. It was such a genius idea, because overnight he noticed that daily need for social networks was illusionary and now he had unlocked hundreds of hours of time for improving his health and doing something of benefit.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Amphibian220 said:

What if you shared Cameron Adair's research on how internet distractions are designed ground up to rob people's time and make them ill-disciplined?

I was reading "Atomic Habits" yesterday and the author talked about habits of the modern societies. He says that all of these habits are influenced by basic needs that you may not even be aware about. For example, scrolling youtube distracts you from fears and anxiety, progressing in video games grants you the basic need of recognition and praise, etc.

Food companies invest astonishing sums of money into researching better flavours for food that will drive consumers' dopamine levels through the roof. As we bite the trap, it causes strong dependency on these products. Also the trick that is used is the ease of access (lack of barriers) of these enjoyments. Like you say, the Xbox catches your attention and its very easy to start. He claims that if you reduce the barriers to healthy alternatives, you are more likely to change your way of life.

Look at how youtube changed their policy over the years. At first, you had to search for a video that you wanted to watch, and you had to click "play". This held for a long time. Then, they started collecting information about your online interests, and posting video suggestions for you on the main page. Today, before you can even enter your search term, you are distracted by a wide range of video suggestions. Also, as your video finishes, they start loading a new video for you to watch without asking you about it. The less friction, the more likely we are to follow a given set of behaviour. If there is too much hastle getting out to jog after work, we are less likely to do it. Ofcourse in all of his submissions, the author is emphasising that most modern people have no will and are too weak spiritually to resist the traps. This book is very simple and intuitive, you can even check his claims by observing your own behaviour. Yet the book is good at influencing you to change for the better.

The author confesses that he was so weakened by the modern comfort traps, that he asked his secretary to change passwords on all of his social network accounts every monday. The secretary would only hand him his new passwords at the end of his workday on Friday and he would dive into the online world over the weekend. It was such a genius idea, because overnight he noticed that daily need for social networks was illusionary and now he had unlocked hundreds of hours of time for improving his health and doing something of benefit.

 

 

I started reading Atomic Habits. It did make sense to me, but I never tried to apply it to my own life. Even today, I was talking to my husband about Destiny 2 since Iron Banner is out today, plus he's going to raid. It was out of habit that made me do this. I'm so used to talking to him about it that I don't know how to stop. I know the reason behind the habit. It's because of FOMO. I feel like if I don't join others in doing something that's fun, I'm going to be left behind. But I'm happy I read this to remind me that I need to stick with my detoxing. I can't believe how close I was to relapsing--out of habit. 

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Day 4-7

After I posed on day 3, I did end up playing. Did I enjoy it? Of course. Do I want to continue to play? Obviously. Don't we all?

But I know I can't continue to play at the expense of my overall well-being. Which brings me to the question of why do I bother at all?

Why can't I get out of my way and just do what I need to do?

I know why. It's out of comfort. Staying within the comfort zone, our primal instincts makes us this way to keep us out of "danger" even when there isn't any. It's just the feeling of discomfort that makes our "fight or flight" kick in and we end up staying within our zone. 

I don't want to keep staying in that zone. There's no growth. Sort of like a plant that's trying to grow in a glass case. How can it branch out if it's confined?

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3 hours ago, Ashley K. said:

Day 4-7

After I posed on day 3, I did end up playing. Did I enjoy it? Of course. Do I want to continue to play? Obviously. Don't we all?

But I know I can't continue to play at the expense of my overall well-being. Which brings me to the question of why do I bother at all?

Why can't I get out of my way and just do what I need to do?

I know why. It's out of comfort. Staying within the comfort zone, our primal instincts makes us this way to keep us out of "danger" even when there isn't any. It's just the feeling of discomfort that makes our "fight or flight" kick in and we end up staying within our zone. 

I don't want to keep staying in that zone. There's no growth. Sort of like a plant that's trying to grow in a glass case. How can it branch out if it's confined?

 

The question of why you bother at all to keep up with games is an important one to study thoroughly if you want to learn how to better control your habits.

By itself it will not bring you to your final destination which I asume is to quit games and game related content. But it will definitely help you identify why you game, what habits have you created around gaming, what acts as the trigger to your game related habits and what things the activities you choose to replace gaming with need to have.

My best advice would be to find try as best you can to find some time for yourself where you are physically away from games to think about your reason you want to quit, what short term to medium term issues and problems you will have to deal with, what you will gain from going through with your decision what adjustments you will have to make to your environment and lifestyle and who can you count on to help support you in this journey.

 

I hope it didn't come across as something daunting, you have already made progress on many of these points and you don't need to do all these activities at once. Just focussing on tackling one of these areas can help you quite a bit with if not in outright stopping with games at least slowly chipping away at the average amount of hours you spend in front of the screen and how dependent you are on it for certain things in your life. 

 

And one last thing, although your determination proves that already know, it can be very tough to see it in the moment there is pretty much always a way to deal problems and sometimes the very act of struggling and even relapsing teach us exactly that. 

There are many possibilities and as you deal with your circumstances you will start to figure out what works and doesn't work for you which means that if you keep pushing yourself things eventually will get easier and you will sometimes even surprise yourself by how much you have progressed or how much better you can deal with your situation and problems now sometime ago.

 

Good luck on your journey we wish you the best.

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Hi Ashley,

I know it is not very in line with Cam's guides but it seems that we gamers have lived so long in an environment for ourselves that is hard to get out of. Comfort zone or not, the familiarity is calming and you need to stay in that space for your kid so it is hard.

I have this idea: why don't you look into higher power and praying a.k.a the first 3 steps of AA? We can't change our surroundings immediately or ever but if our "headspace" is clearer, we might be able to make some progress. Plus relying on higher power means you do not have to feel like you have to bear all the responsibility of detox from gaming, child rearing, raising a family, etc all alone.

Anyway, I'm no fanatic preacher. Hope you come back and write more about your journey. We are with you all the way. Cheers!

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