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Thriving - A Journal


Vee

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On 12/16/2023 at 12:24 PM, FDRx7 said:

I may be echoing @Ikar here, but based on what you've said about app restriction, moderation, and then how you've ended your post, I think you need a clear definition of what you mean by "recommit to not playing". You said you do not feel free when it is restricted, so are you looking to be free to choose to play if you want? That would be more in line with moderation. Whether you quit entirely or moderate, you'll need to find some way to stop yourself from playing because willpower is limited. I've found I am always weakest at night, despite my best intentions. That's why blockers work for me. If they aren't working for you, that's fine but you'll need something or someone to keep you from gaming during the times you've committed not to. The restriction does feel like a loss of freedom at first, but I've discovered that over time, you will experience the new use of your time as freedom. There is an adjustment period where you need to wait for the addiction to slowly fade from the forefront of your attention.

Keep at it It sometimes takes experimentation. Glad you haven't given up!

 
 
 

To clarify, I don't think I can moderate (though I always wish I could...). It's more that if I'm putting visible restrictions on myself, e.g. using a blocker, then some part of me wants to rebel, moreso than if I merely uninstall Steam and do just try to use willpower. I'm not really sure how to describe it, to be honest. It isn't logical.

...Anyway, I've continued to game for the last month. I don't feel capable of quitting right now, because I feel too apathetic about everything. At the moment, gaming is the main thing that gets me out of bed, and while that's obviously rubbish, if I quit gaming I don't feel like I've got anything else to get up for. Sometimes even gaming hasn't been enough, and I've spent most of a day just lying in bed daydreaming. Most of my other attempts at hobbies and routines have fallen to the wayside. I've semi kept up with my journalling, I think that's the only thing.

I've done quite a bit of socialising over the last month, though. I hadn't seen or spoken to my sister in 13 years (we have never been on bad terms, but our family is complicated), and in December I initiated a reunion. It was good! I have so many worries about what she would be like, but it was perfectly pleasant, and we've exchanged a couple of texts since. I also saw my Nana last weekend (again, initiated by me) who I haven't spoken to in 5 years or so. It was awkward, but she seemed to really appreciate it. Done various other bits of socialising, and I haven't chosen to game over doing social stuff, so that's something.

I've also signed up for a data analyst course that begins in February. I'm not sure how useful it will be, but it will at least give me a bit of structure, and with any luck will lead to job opportunities.

Right now I guess I need to pull myself out of my apathy a bit so I can recommit to not gaming. I know gaming itself contributes to my apathy, but despite the occasional socialising, I've been in such a haze the last month that if it's a choice between lying in bed all day vs gaming all day, I think the latter is a better choice.

EDIT: I have three main games I've been addicted to recently. I've now logged out from the browser-based one (I don't remember my password, so there would be friction getting back into it) and deleted the non-Steam one. I've also uninstalled most of the Steam games I had installed over the last month, but I've kept the one I'm addicted to, for now. Will think about uninstalling Steam, but not committing to that today.

I'm recommitting to using TickTick daily (task and habit tracker). The silly reason I haven't really used it recently is because I haven't been using my second monitor (where I used to have it up 90% of the time), so I simply forget it exists. I'm also changing various bits in it that will help remind me of alternatives to gaming and encourage me to use it more.

Edited by Vee
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12 hours ago, Vee said:

...Anyway, I've continued to game for the last month. I don't feel capable of quitting right now, because I feel too apathetic about everything. At the moment, gaming is the main thing that gets me out of bed, and while that's obviously rubbish, if I quit gaming I don't feel like I've got anything else to get up for. Sometimes even gaming hasn't been enough, and I've spent most of a day just lying in bed daydreaming. Most of my other attempts at hobbies and routines have fallen to the wayside. I've semi kept up with my journalling, I think that's the only thing.

It's OK. Quitting for good sometimes takes years, as we oscillate between being addicted, quitting and being clean. The main reasons why I quit back then were to scavenge the relationship with my X girlfriend and the realization I wouldn't be able to make a living as a streamer. I had already toyed around with browser blocks and uninstalling games by that time, so I get where you are coming from. Don't give up on giving up.

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Still gaming, but making that post yesterday was clearly the kick up the arse I needed to get some stuff done. Since that post I:

  • Talked about indoor skydiving with my housemate, though I'm waiting on him to confirm what day works
  • Went for my second jog of the year, and the first proper length one (last week did a 3K jog, today was 6K). It went surprisingly well, considering I've barely exercised in the last month - I even got some personal bests on Strava segments!
  • Did a bunch of chores I've ignored (dishwasher, laundry, bank stuff)
  • Arranged to visit London on Friday with two friends for an event (I initiated it!)
  • Booked an appointment with the opticians for tomorrow (haven't been in five years)
  • Finally ordered an electric toothbrush, which I've been meaning to do for a while but inexplicably avoided.

On the gaming front, the only progress I've made is limiting myself to one game. I don't miss the other two I was playing, at least not yet. I haven't moderated my use of the one game, but by doing the above I've at least played it slightly less today.

Something I recently implemented in my private journal that I really like is automatically linking to the same day in previous years. Since I only started journalling at the end of 2022, I get at most one entry at the moment. Google technically does a similar thing with the maps timeline, but that only shows where I was, not what my mental or physical state was. This time last year I hadn't jogged in years, and I wrote about how much my hip had been hurting. Nowadays it takes over an hour of walking/running until my hip starts hurting, instead of ten minutes, or it simply hurting while lying in bed. It also reminds me of little conversations I've had with friends. I've really been enjoying how journalling (especially in Obsidian!) assists my memory and shows a) how I've changed and b) the positive experiences I've had. 

Tomorrow's plans: since I intend to walk to and from the opticians I don't plan on running, unless I don't walk. Maybe I'll also go to the supermarket. I've completely ignored writing for about a month and don't feel up to doing any, but a friend has sent me a short story to critique, so I might do that tomorrow. I have loads of books lying around in my room that were gifted or lent to me last year, so I really want to start reading them.

My rough plan going forward is to see if I can maintain this level of engagement with the world, and then uninstall Steam next week. I know it may seem silly ("The best time is now!" etc), but I feel like I need to slowly remind myself of alternatives so that I don't end up lying in bed all day. I've been reading a little yesterday and today about problem-solving vs creating, so I guess that's influenced this way of thinking.

Edited by Vee
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On 1/18/2024 at 6:18 AM, Vee said:

My rough plan going forward is to see if I can maintain this level of engagement with the world, and then uninstall Steam next week. I know it may seem silly ("The best time is now!" etc), but I feel like I need to slowly remind myself of alternatives so that I don't end up lying in bed all day. I've been reading a little yesterday and today about problem-solving vs creating, so I guess that's influenced this way of thinking.

Solid! During my last week of gaming, and of last year, I had gone free-to-play and let a lot of the momentum in it slow down, to the benefit. - Though I've probably still relaxed too much re-reading Harry Potter. 😅

Edited by wheatbiscuit
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Still been gaming excessively, but got some stuff done around it, and I've focused only on one game, at least. As it's a semi-idle game, technically that leaves me with time to do other things, but I do often micromanage it instead.

Had a good call with writing friends on Thursday, although we didn't discuss writing (I haven't written in over a month!). Went to a great dance event with a friend on Friday and I'm pleased that I introduced her to something new - she's keen to go again some time. I also got some solid reading done on the train there, and I've done a tiny bit of reading at home since - only five minutes yesterday, but half an hour today, which is something. I've been a bit better with my sleeping/eating/hygiene/chores than I was earlier this month.

Maybe it would be good to bite the bullet and quit gaming again...

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