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90 day gaming detox + 7 day dopamine detox


Max
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Hey there, you might know me for being extremely addicted to Overwatch and struggling to quit for the 2.5 years already.

TL;DR Overwatch 1 servers are down forever, Overwatch 2 sucks ass, I have no desire to play it. So I'm focusing on not playing any other games for 90 days and finally doing a proper detox, while for the first 7 days do a full dopamine detox (I'll talk more about it below).

So yeah, my last detox ended with a relapse on day 45, followed by binge playing Overwatch for 10-14 hours a day. My sleep schedule was waking up at 4-6 PM and playing non-stop until 5-6 AM. Remaining time was wasted on watching Overwatch on Twitch. My binge lasted a week. Then Overwatch 1 servers got closed and Overwatch 2 came out. And I hate it, this new game is absolute dog water. New UI is trash, 5v5 mode is not fun for me, queue time is just bullshit, community still sucks, server connection is garbage, and my biggest disappointment is fucking battle pass. Like they locked heroes in a competitive game behind a paywall, like holy shit. And I can't even buy it because I live in a country everyone hates.

So yeah, there's no way I'm ever touching this game again.

But I still lack discipline, I'm just a huge procrastinator. My life is just a mess, no friends, not job, no girlfriend, no education, no health. My sleeping schedule right now is waking up in about 3-5 PM and doing something 'till 6 AM and fall asleep with youtube videos in background. I don't remember last time I was sleeping without a video playing.

So my first and most important goal is to do a 90 day gaming detox. But I don't consider it hard anymore, but we'll see how it goes.

My second and the hardest goal is doing 7 day dopamine detox. I watched a video about it on YouTube and really liked the idea. So here I am. The idea is to remove all sources of dopamine stimulation for a certain period of time. It includes gaming, social media, junk food, series, films, porn, music, youtube, news. I want to go trough this in finally experience some mind clarity in my life. I think this is gonna be really hard, but I've just lost and addiction, so I have to compensate.

Today is actually day 5 without video games, and day 0 dopamine detox.

I think I'll write daily to reflect better on what's happening and also make a more complete journal.

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Hey Max! What is that country that everyone hates? I'm from Israel. Can you beat that? xD
I would like to ask what you are going to do with that free time that you have now? 12h or more a day is a very big void to fill. If you won't have any plan it will make it a lot more difficult.
The first time I quit gaming which lasted for about 4 years, I began reading instead. Maybe you could also get that going just as an Idea. One of the earliest books I've read is Rich Dad, Poor Dad. About a kid's comparison and lessons he learned from his biological educated and "Systematic" father - who works in some sort of government office if I'm not mistaken.
And the lessons of an uneducated but rich father of his close friend who has lots of business ventures going on.
These are great aspirations! Give them hell, and hope to be seeing you here every day! 🙂

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Hey Yan!

5 hours ago, Yan said:

What is that country that everyone hates? I'm from Israel. Can you beat that? xD

Yeah, I'd say with ease. I'm from Russia. We were completely cut off from world payment system, so it's impossible to buy any western services (battle pass in a video game in that example) with a Russian card. And if your account is Russian, it won't let you use foreign card either.

 

5 hours ago, Yan said:

I would like to ask what you are going to do with that free time that you have now?

I purchased physics and math courses for one month, there's a lot of problems I have to complete. I'm also actively learning programming.

 

5 hours ago, Yan said:

12h or more a day is a very big void to fill. If you won't have any plan it will make it a lot more difficult.

Yeah, that's very obvious. I've been trying to quit for at least 3 years now, so I've learnt quite a lot in that time. I've read "Atomic Habits" by James Clear, so I think I know enough about habit formation and behavior in general. I am constantly applying practices from that book. Currently I have lot's of studying to do to keep me occupied.

 

5 hours ago, Yan said:

The first time I quit gaming which lasted for about 4 years, I began reading instead. Maybe you could also get that going just as an Idea.

Yeah, I'm trying to read more. Mostly I read technical books though, but I'm planning to pick more for other subjects.

 

5 hours ago, Yan said:

One of the earliest books I've read is Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

Yeah, I've heard about it, not in a positive way sadly. Currently I have quite a big queue of books to read, but maybe I'll get to this one day.

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Day 5.

I kinda fixed my schedule so I'll usually write around this time.

Today's been good, I start to feel much more present due to lack of dopamine distractions. But I still found some places where I tend to waste my time. My investment app, this forum and wikipedia. So starting today I allow myself to check my investment app only in the morning and in the evening, visit this forum only once a day in the evening for posting, and reading wikipedia only if it's related to my studies. I've been thinking about disabling my cell phone, but I don't think it's a good idea in case someone in my family needs to contact me.

Still a lot of work awaits ahead, but it is a solid start.

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Hey Max, glad you’re giving your gaming detox another shot. As someone who’s also done a dopamine detox, I’d say it’s really beneficial in a few ways. The hard part is maintaining those same benefits when the detox ends. You’ll be cut off from these sources of stimulation for a certain period of time and it’ll actually feel quite pleasant, but as soon as you reintegrate them back into your life, they take over again. If you can find a way to do a dopamine detox or something similar long term, you’ll benefit much more than just a 7-day experiment. Best of luck, and keep us posted on your progress.

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On 10/10/2022 at 11:54 PM, Paul A. said:

Hey Max, glad you’re giving your gaming detox another shot.

Of course I do. I've probably failed more than 50 times already, so I ain't stopping.

On 10/10/2022 at 11:54 PM, Paul A. said:

As someone who’s also done a dopamine detox, I’d say it’s really beneficial in a few ways.

Yeah, I've done only 2 days of detox, but it has been very beneficial already in certain areas like sleep and focus.

On 10/10/2022 at 11:54 PM, Paul A. said:

If you can find a way to do a dopamine detox or something similar long term, you’ll benefit much more than just a 7-day experiment

Yeah, that's for sure, but I want to start small. My average time on YouTube alone was about 5-8 hours daily, so I just want to get a feeling of life without stimulation. If I'd set much bigger goal, like 1 month or 90 days, I think I would fail almost immediately, because this would be way to overwhelming. But 7 days is a kinda small period of time, definitely doable, so I think it's a solid point to start with. I see the tendency on this forum that many people are very motivated in the beginning and they try to quit everything at once. And most of them relapse almost immediately. I was one of them a couple of times. So now my experience tells me not to rush, and just take it slow and steadily.

 

On 10/10/2022 at 11:54 PM, Paul A. said:

Best of luck, and keep us posted on your progress.

Thank you Paul, sure I will.

Best wishes, Max.

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Day 6.

I am making great progress on my studies. I've just started, so I have many things to improve in my schedule and discipline, but at least I'm doing something meaningful and I think it's great.

Obviously no cravings, but first two or three weeks were always very easy for me, so we'll see what will happen after a month or so, I'm a little bit worried that my addiction will suck me even in Overwatch 2, but that is not very likely due to the game being dogshit.

I picked up readying in my bed instead of youtube and I think that's great. I should definitely look into meditation, I will start it this week.

Not much else to report, just making small changes that will be beneficial in a long run.

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15 hours ago, Max said:

Day 6.

I am making great progress on my studies. I've just started, so I have many things to improve in my schedule and discipline, but at least I'm doing something meaningful and I think it's great.

Obviously no cravings, but first two or three weeks were always very easy for me, so we'll see what will happen after a month or so, I'm a little bit worried that my addiction will suck me even in Overwatch 2, but that is not very likely due to the game being dogshit.

I picked up readying in my bed instead of youtube and I think that's great. I should definitely look into meditation, I will start it this week.

Not much else to report, just making small changes that will be beneficial in a long run.

Small wins every day. Keep it up 🙂

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Day 7.

Today was great, it is now much easier to start doing something productive because I don't have much distractions. And what is much more important, I started to enjoy studying. Like it's not a chore for me anymore, I do it only because I want to. Not gonna lie, studying is hard and I have problems with concentration, but as long as I'm trying it will improve. I don't need to do like ton of things in one day, I want consistency, so I will gradually increase my load. As was written in Atomic Habits "Don't focus on your goals, focus on your systems instead'. And I think this is what I need. I've been constantly focusing on achieving something as fast as possible, but what I really needed is consistency and a good routine. 

It's is also day 3 of my dopamine detox. It's been going well, but I have to clear some things out. I still use discord. I found a study community there, so yeah I'm still using it to chat. I'm also kinda active on one developer server. So yeah, my detox is not pure because I consider discord as a social network. But it helps me focus on my goals, so I don't mind actually. 

Also I finally found replacement for gaming (kinda). I figured out I like to press keys on my keyboard fast. So past few weeks I've been practicing speed touch typing. And because I'm also a keyboard enthusiast, typing brings me so much joy. My current PB is 104 WPM, I'm planning to go for at least 120. I realize that it might become addictive and I'm keeping an eye on that, but for now I have no problem to keep it under 10/20 minutes at a time.

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Day 8.

Quick entry this time. Already fucked up my sleep schedule. But this time it happened because I can't stop studying haha. Like I stopped programming at 10:30 PM and then I started changing my linux configs until 3 AM. It's just so fun. Gonna keep learning.

@Paul A. yeah, thanks, I kinda found my own vibe, I'm definitely on the right path, making some progress every day and enjoying the process. I hope you're doing good too.

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Day 9.

I am making some steady progress in Python programming, usually I do 1 chapter of a book a day, which converts into 4-5 hours of reading/writing code. So I've spent most of the day on programming, and went outside for a walk in the evening. I went to buy a new phone, and my route was through the places I've never been before. It was really nice do discover

So yeah, I've decided to buy a new phone. This detox has opened my eyes on how much time I waste on mindless scrolling on my smartphone. So my new phone is used Nokia 3310. Yay! As a kinda tech nerd I always wanted to get my hands on it, and the time has finally come.

Overall my detox is going well, 2 days left until 7 days. And I've decided to give myself a 2 day break to watch some YouTube videos I've missed like weekly news, and I'm gonna do another one, this time 1 month detox. But I'll allow myself to listen to music and watch movies (I always wanted to watch Quentin Tarantino's films).

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3 hours ago, Max said:

Day 9.

I am making some steady progress in Python programming, usually I do 1 chapter of a book a day, which converts into 4-5 hours of reading/writing code. So I've spent most of the day on programming, and went outside for a walk in the evening. I went to buy a new phone, and my route was through the places I've never been before. It was really nice do discover

So yeah, I've decided to buy a new phone. This detox has opened my eyes on how much time I waste on mindless scrolling on my smartphone. So my new phone is used Nokia 3310. Yay! As a kinda tech nerd I always wanted to get my hands on it, and the time has finally come.

Overall my detox is going well, 2 days left until 7 days. And I've decided to give myself a 2 day break to watch some YouTube videos I've missed like weekly news, and I'm gonna do another one, this time 1 month detox. But I'll allow myself to listen to music and watch movies (I always wanted to watch Quentin Tarantino's films).

You've decided to do a 2 day break after completing the 7 days right? Great work on the programming, I suggest having a minimum time standard though, for example 2 hours which you do come high hell or ground water. 

Because if you do too much all the time eventually you will slip and then it may go in a downward spiral, on the other hand if you keep your minimum, you will keep the momentum going, turning it more and more into your identity, decreasing the chance of your quitting, and the willpower required to keep on with it in the long hall

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21 hours ago, Yan said:

You've decided to do a 2 day break after completing the 7 days right?

Yeah, that's what I meant.

 

21 hours ago, Yan said:

Great work on the programming, I suggest having a minimum time standard though, for example 2 hours which you do come high hell or ground water. 

Yeah, you might be right, I'll try to do at least 2 hours every day and see how it goes. On one side it's a great way to build a routine, but on the other I don't want programming to feel like a chore. I genuinely enjoy working with computers, sometimes I find it hard to stop and go to sleep when I'm trying to setup some piece of software. But idk, will try what you suggest for now, I think that it's actually a nice idea.

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Day 10.

Pretty lazy Saturday, I overslept and decided to tinker with my Nokia 3310 instead of studying today. Disassembling it and fixing minor mechanical issues was very easy, I've also cleaned it properly with alcohol. But they hard part is software. The phone has a code for factory reset, by last owner forgot it, so now I have to figure out how to flash a chip with clean firmware. It's doable, but requires some weird things like serial port and Windows 95. Might take me a while to do this thing. Other than that the phone is perfectly usable, I had to buy a new SIM card because my carrier doesn't support 2G frequency anymore lol, and now it works properly.

Tomorrow I'll go outside for the first time without my smartphone. Looking forward to starting new, distraction free life.

My detox is going well, but I have to admit that I miss listening to music a lot. So random songs sometimes start to circle in my head for some time. When I'm at home sometimes I sing, which is kinda weird, maybe I start to lose my mind. Other than that no huge cravings for something. Yeah, I wish I'd watch youtube while eating, but it's not an issue and just start thinking about random stuff while I eat. Tomorrow is the last day of this 7 day dopamine detox, so I'll try to summarize my experience.

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Day 11.

So my 7 day dopamine detox is over. It wasn't perfect, I watched a couple of YouTube videos because I needed a guide to set up some software; I used Discord a lot; I used study with me Twitch stream once on the background; I listened to some music although it wasn't on purpose (in the taxi, supermarket etc); I masturbated daily even without porn (I have a medical condition related to my testicle surgery, so I'm afraid it can get bad if I stop); and today I ate a few candies just because I forgot I shouldn't eat junk food. 

This detox made me realize how lonely I truly am. I used to always have a YouTube on background when I'm doing chores to keep my mind occupied with something. But without it I'm just left alone. First few days have been especially tough, but later I kinda started coping with it a little bit. On day three or so I started talking with myself, and I realized, that actually cheers me up. My productivity and focus increased drastically, I also started to appreciate small things like the weather, a long walk outside, reading a book. It's been much easier to actually start doing productive stuff.

My initial thought was to do this 7 day detox once to get a grasp of what low dopamine life feels like. But 2 days ago I was in a cheerful mood and decided to do 1 month detox almost right after this one. But I think it's not a good idea. I've decided now that I will go slowly, tackling one problem at a time. Dealing with everything at once would be too overwhelming. I've never completed 90 day gaming detox, so I should focus on it first. If I'd succeed, then I'd deal with next problems. This is a marathon, not a sprint. I've made these mistakes before.

Talking about gaming, no cravings at all. Completely uninterested. Since Overwatch 1 is gone, my desire to play left me too. 

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52 minutes ago, Max said:

Day 11.

So my 7 day dopamine detox is over. It wasn't perfect, I watched a couple of YouTube videos because I needed a guide to set up some software; I used Discord a lot; I used study with me Twitch stream once on the background; I listened to some music although it wasn't on purpose (in the taxi, supermarket etc); I masturbated daily even without porn (I have a medical condition related to my testicle surgery, so I'm afraid it can get bad if I stop); and today I ate a few candies just because I forgot I shouldn't eat junk food. 

This detox made me realize how lonely I truly am. I used to always have a YouTube on background when I'm doing chores to keep my mind occupied with something. But without it I'm just left alone. First few days have been especially tough, but later I kinda started coping with it a little bit. On day three or so I started talking with myself, and I realized, that actually cheers me up. My productivity and focus increased drastically, I also started to appreciate small things like the weather, a long walk outside, reading a book. It's been much easier to actually start doing productive stuff.

My initial thought was to do this 7 day detox once to get a grasp of what low dopamine life feels like. But 2 days ago I was in a cheerful mood and decided to do 1 month detox almost right after this one. But I think it's not a good idea. I've decided now that I will go slowly, tackling one problem at a time. Dealing with everything at once would be too overwhelming. I've never completed 90 day gaming detox, so I should focus on it first. If I'd succeed, then I'd deal with next problems. This is a marathon, not a sprint. I've made these mistakes before.

Talking about gaming, no cravings at all. Completely uninterested. Since Overwatch 1 is gone, my desire to play left me too. 

How key it is that you've read Atomic Habits. Look how you implement it in the building of long term strategies rather than just doing a "sprint".
Book are da best. Hope you read many more useful ones. A few I found greatly useful are
1. How to Influence Friends and People - Dale Carnegie.
2. Getting to Yes - William Ury, Roger Fisher, Bruce Patton
3. Think and Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill
Keep developing and presenting your higher self every day. That's what we're here for. And remember, you're not alone as Alan Walker says in his song.
There are many of us fighting this fight here with you. Peace. 

Rocky_balboa.jpeg

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On 10/17/2022 at 1:07 AM, Yan said:

A few I found greatly useful are
1. How to Influence Friends and People - Dale Carnegie.
2. Getting to Yes - William Ury, Roger Fisher, Bruce Patton
3. Think and Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill

Hey, thanks. To be honest 99% of the time I read only technical/science literature, Atomic Habits was the only book I've read about behavior/human mind, not sure if I need anything else at this point.

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Day 12.

Short entry because nothing happened and I wanna sleep.

Well I watched a part of 2.5 hour weekly news video on YouTube while doing my fitness routine and then eating. Then I started listening to music I like while walking in circles. I felt no motivation to do anything productive at all. But I later thought that if I won't do anything, I will be useless and miserable forever, I'm 20 soon and I lack so many skills and qualities. So I set and started learning Python. First 2 hours were difficult, I was constantly losing focus. Later I've got into it and couldn't stop until 1 AM. So today I've done like 5 hours of programming in total, which is not bad. I still think I need more discipline and consistent schedule. Currently both is just a mess.

Nothing else to report, no cravings, blah blah blah.

Bye.

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Day 13.

I've been semi-productive, studying for like 4 hours. It's been hard to focus, I'm constantly thinking of something else and it's annoying. Honestly I wish to do another dopamine detox, buy I know that it's not the time currently. I have to try meditation, maybe I will finally find some peace of mind.

The weather is shit, so I haven't left the house in 2 days. This is not good, especially because I have almost no food left. I've been also neglecting doing the dishes, which is something I'm very ashamed of. My schedule is still a fucking mess. I have to get my shit together. I know I am able to.

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On 10/18/2022 at 1:45 AM, Max said:

Day 12.

Short entry because nothing happened and I wanna sleep.

Well I watched a part of 2.5 hour weekly news video on YouTube while doing my fitness routine and then eating. Then I started listening to music I like while walking in circles. I felt no motivation to do anything productive at all. But I later thought that if I won't do anything, I will be useless and miserable forever, I'm 20 soon and I lack so many skills and qualities. So I set and started learning Python. First 2 hours were difficult, I was constantly losing focus. Later I've got into it and couldn't stop until 1 AM. So today I've done like 5 hours of programming in total, which is not bad. I still think I need more discipline and consistent schedule. Currently both is just a mess.

Nothing else to report, no cravings, blah blah blah.

Bye.

Didn't know you were 19 🙂 Anyway that's awesome that you're doing progress in python. Keep at it. I think a good Idea would be to set a minimum bar of 2 hours of learning, no matter if all hell breaks loose, 2 hours even at cost of sleep. And then you could write how much you time you learned here on the forum in bold every day if you wish 🙂
 

 

5 hours ago, Max said:

Day 13.

I've been semi-productive, studying for like 4 hours. It's been hard to focus, I'm constantly thinking of something else and it's annoying. Honestly I wish to do another dopamine detox, buy I know that it's not the time currently. I have to try meditation, maybe I will finally find some peace of mind.

The weather is shit, so I haven't left the house in 2 days. This is not good, especially because I have almost no food left. I've been also neglecting doing the dishes, which is something I'm very ashamed of. My schedule is still a fucking mess. I have to get my shit together. I know I am able to.

It is very natural to think of other stuff, and the more you get mad at yourself for it, the worse it will become. Accept it, it is completely okay! But then just try to go back to what you were originally doing.
Meditation is a great Idea, I do it 10 minutes every day in the morning. I'm sure you could spare 10 minutes a day. I think that even after one month you may already see changes (Your mileage may vary).
Here are two videos that helped me start with it. 

 

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18 hours ago, Yan said:

Keep at it. I think a good Idea would be to set a minimum bar of 2 hours of learning, no matter if all hell breaks loose, 2 hours even at cost of sleep. And then you could write how much you time you learned here on the forum in bold every day if you wish

I've replied to your suggestion before:

On 10/16/2022 at 3:06 AM, Max said:

Yeah, you might be right, I'll try to do at least 2 hours every day and see how it goes. On one side it's a great way to build a routine, but on the other I don't want programming to feel like a chore. I genuinely enjoy working with computers, sometimes I find it hard to stop and go to sleep when I'm trying to setup some piece of software. But idk, will try what you suggest for now, I think that it's actually a nice idea.

And no, I will never neglect sleep to do stuff. If I sleep less than 8 hours, my next day is completely ruined. My goal is to enjoy life and enjoy what I'm doing, not to torture myself. I'm doing at least 4 hours of programming daily just because I like it. On weekends sometimes I'm not at home all day, so I usually take a break. And I see no problems with it.

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Day 14.

I'm making slow but solid progress in Python. Basically my whole usual day consists of 1) waking up 2) fitness routine 3) linux maintaining and configuration (not daily, but most of the time) 4) python. Since my dopamine detox my YouTube usage reduced a lot. I no longer watch stuff in bed. I only watch while eating and while doing fitness. I think it is totally acceptable at this point of my journey. I'm still struggling with spending time outside, I should make a habit to have a walk after I wake up or before sleep. Haven't started meditation yet as well. Overall I'm making some small progress, but very slowly. But I think I'm heading in the right direction, so I'll keep doing what I do and it will lead me somewhere.

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On 10/20/2022 at 2:01 AM, Max said:

Day 14.

I'm making slow but solid progress in Python. Basically my whole usual day consists of 1) waking up 2) fitness routine 3) linux maintaining and configuration (not daily, but most of the time) 4) python. Since my dopamine detox my YouTube usage reduced a lot. I no longer watch stuff in bed. I only watch while eating and while doing fitness. I think it is totally acceptable at this point of my journey. I'm still struggling with spending time outside, I should make a habit to have a walk after I wake up or before sleep. Haven't started meditation yet as well. Overall I'm making some small progress, but very slowly. But I think I'm heading in the right direction, so I'll keep doing what I do and it will lead me somewhere.

How much time did you devote to Python progress?

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26 minutes ago, Yan said:

How much time did you devote to Python progress?

No idea, I don't count. Usually more than 3 hours a day.

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