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TheJan's Journal


TheJan
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Hello, I am Jan. I come from Germany and though i am certain my English is good, sometimes i have to look up words so it it sometimes may read a bit unnatural. Since i used to participate in a lot of English-speaking forums in the past, i am certain that it will work. I am also known to write huge walls of text. :D I hope i do not trigger anyone, so i will "spoiler out" the passages that are triggers for me. I plan to make this a journal of all kinds of things that come to me mind. Since i have been "clean" for over 2 weeks now, this post will be very long. I plan to come on sporadically and sometimes write something here. Or more often. I don't know.

Today is the 18th day of my detox. This is the longest i have not played games in 10+ years at 6h/day. 4 hours in "low" times. I used to be puzzled when i read that you have a problem with gaming when you more than 2 hours per day, and you have a serious problem if you play 4 hours per day. I always thought: "Yeah right... i sometimes play 12 hours per day or more."

I still find it puzzling how the discussion actually goes past the actual problem and how they argue like "yeah with 2 hours you are safe, but with 4 hours you have a problem..." - I mean, the real people who have real problems... they don't play 4 hours per day. (When i only played 4 hours per day my life actually went okay) They play 8+. On a side note, there is an actual number for alcohol that docs agree that is "safe". And it is one bottle/big glass of beer for a man, and a half bottle/"small" glass for a woman - each time you actually drink alcohol. Yeah right. You go to the bar and then of course you drink ONE glass of beer - or ONE Cocktail. Right. Try 3 or 4.

I have dreamt of gaming every night since i stopped (but not usually about the same game). I wonder when these dreams will stop.

Today is the day i finally joined the forum, because i was very skeptical of forums at first. I have had problems with forums in the past... and with facebook. Which is why i quit around 2 years ago.

At first i will sum up why i played games. I played games primarily because of achievement+strategic thinking, and once i started WoW, it became a social activity too. I quit WoW a while back, and i came back again and again. And quit again. Once my account got banned (They thought i was a gold farmer... well i also applied power-leveling techniques... ), so i "just" bought the whole game again with ALL the expansions.

I tried multiple times to "wean off" gaming because i noticed how it impacted my life. The last time i tried by only installing "low-risk games". So only adventures+puzzle games. But then after 4 days i moved on to single player rpgs... Then another 4 days and i was at city-building/financial games again. And then i soon was at 6+ hours again.

WARNING HUGE TRIGGER (for me):

I used to write myself huge Excel tables calculating profit stuff for financial+city building simulations. I drew plans of building blocks for city-building games. I theorycrafted a lot for WoW to find out how to optimize my rotations, while still preserving mana and using the ressources at peak efficiency. This way i ensured i was always ahead of the curve. I looked at patches data before they were published so that i could know which items to buy at the auction house (i mean so that i could estimate which items would be in high demand once the next patch hit...) I calculated the best ways to make gold. I calculated the time i would need to reach max level. I measured the time i needed to reach the next level.

I stop now because it makes me kind of jittery.

I am wondering if there is any other kind to make a "spoiler code" without just making it white.

I want to focus that energy into things that actually give me an edge IN LIFE. I want to focus that analytical+organizational skill into becoming better in sports, music and life in general. To do this, i made myself a free Calendar with fruux (i dislike Google knowing everything) that i sync across Thunderbird and my Phone.

After 11 weeks of running without a real training plan, I created a schedule to train. Monday Circle Training (bodyweight training) , Tuesday Running (Speed), Wednesday Running (Endurance), Thursday Circle training like Monday, Friday Running (More Speed than Endurance), Saturday Running (more Endurance than Speed), Sunday nothing. I went to the library and researched the topic. Every week it gets a little bit more, and every 4 weeks i have a "regeneration week" in which i step back to the things were 3 weeks before (so it is still more than the last "regeneration cycle"). So far it works great and i am making good progress - more than before when i wasn't using the schedule. Not only did i make progress with my running, i also made progress with things like pushups, situps... it is very encouraging to see the progress. All in all that is about 5 hours/week of training.

I used to swim and do fighting sports, i am used to always "harmonize" my breathing with my movements (Swimming: Breathing pyramids, Breathing rhythms... Fighting sports: Breathe out+Strike together) - also i researched the running a bit both online and in the library. A friend of mine says i make breathing while running look like a "higher science". :D 

Today i have counted how much i have probably spent on gaming in the whole 10-15 years. Here it goes:

  • Buying price: Since i have a huge collection, i have probably spent around 500-1000€.
  • Gaming magazines+Guides: Around 300€
  • Subscription fees and "character services": I estimate around 1000€ (Not only WoW, though it was the biggest chunk)
  • Hardware, PCs, Consoles, Equipment: ~2000€, could probably have cut it to around half of that if i had not been playing games.... so i'll take 1000€. I guess that is a bit low, but i never really got myself those expensive gaming pcs and always tried to buy low-range computers, then play games that were a little outdated.
  • Extra Volume or higher rates for surf-sticks - which i could not always back off from... (i used to move a lot due to and it was always so tedious to get an internet connection... and what if i was traveling by train???) so that i could download games+patches better... i guess around 500€ more than would have been neccessary had i not played games.
  • ... that makes 3300-3800€... if i count more computer upgrades, its probably around 4500€. That's 25-38€/month. Of course in the earlier years it was less, like 10-20€/month, in peak times it was probably around 30-50€/month. 

That is alot of money all in all. I used up much of my savings for games (money i got "for free" from relatives like my grandma who saved it for me... ) and i feel bad about wasting it. I could have invested that money a lot better. On the other hand, I now have 30-50€ more per month. Now that is something to look forward to. I think i am going to put that money aside for "investment" (like better clothing, joining clubs, courses, etc)... or watch it pile up till i want to buy myself something big.

I want to go to a "runner-meet-up" tomorrow (I looked it up, and there seems to be no direct translation for the word in German, that's strange). I CERTAINLY need to get out more AND meet more people. I have also found more time for playing music. I hope to somehow find a orchestra or something alike, or join a sports club. I have a concert this summer with an orchestra i got invited to (it is a one-time-revival-event of an orchestra that was playing regularly a few years back)... but we only meet one time before the concert and then on concert, and afterwards we go to a restaurant from the money we collect at the end... So it is not really regular. I need more regular meetings with other people outside of family.

I still spend lots of time surfing the web, and once per day i get the urge to open sites that have to do something with gaming. Good that i have blocked those sites. I recently canceled a planned small "gaming event" that was to take place at a friends house. I told him that i could not come because i fear a relapse if i do. He thinks it's a pity, but he also understands it. That was a huge relief. I don't know what i am going to do that night, but i will do something to occupy my mind (TRIGGER) so that i don't think about how my friends play at that time.

Wall of text. End.

Edited by TheJan
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Hey Jan, fellow German here, thanks for writing all this. Also very considerate to include trigger warnings.

Curious about your music - I play cello myself. What instrument are you playing?

 

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Hey Jan,

Welcome to the forums, I started to run lately in a more methodical way and these regeneration weeks seem interesting. I also do Bw-Training a week. I use this routine.

Two weeks is a awesome achievement. I would advise you to keep a regular journal for the duration of the detox. Doesn't have to be daily but at fixed times. In this way you keep yourself accountable. That I forced myself to talk about the difficulties and things which gone bad while I did the detox, enabled me to be honest to myself and analyse errors. The help of fellow gamequitters helped a lot too.

If you have any questions feel free to pm me in German, I am from Germany too.

Greetings Mario.

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That's a lot of summarizing. I see you're pretty good at it! Just like me, seems like you're analyst. Awesome to see people like me.

Journaling can help you a lot here, just like supporting other game quitters. Good job on sharing your thoughts!

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19th day.

Catched up on sleep. I didn't dream of gaming. That's a plus. Later this day, i will have running, and i want to practice the music we are going to play at the concert for the first time.

I think that many things get to be more fun once you break through a certain time/practice barrier. There seems to be a point at around 4-8 weeks where things get though - you lost the "beginner enthusiasm", but are not really that good or have done it enough so that it becomes a habit. This is what happened with me and running. At the beginning i was super-motivated, then after 4 weeks i was running less, then after around 10 weeks it became better, low point was at around 6-8 weeks into it. Now, at 12 weeks, i am at least as motivated as i was at the start, probably even more, which is also why i started my training schedule.

I think basically, the more we do something, the more our brain begins to like it. Or the more we do something else instead, the more our brain begins to like that new activity instead. I think that is great! It means that even when you get into a phase that is like "meh, no idea why i started this", if you still do it, there will come a time again when you are motivated again, because you are getting better (->motivation) or it becomes a habit (->motivation) or other people like it because you are becoming better (->motivation) or you just began to like it (->motivation). And just knowing this, is motivation for me.

Most things are only fun at the beginning and then when you can do them again. Lot's of people start running/jogging, then lots of people quit again, because they lost the pounds or feel it is too tedious or get onto another boat. Some people stay with it, and for those people it becomes something fun to do.

I have looked at a running-calendar and i have planned 3 competitions later this year.

Edited by TheJan
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I think that many things get to be more fun once you break through a certain time/practice barrier. There seems to be a point at around 4-8 weeks where things get though - you lost the "beginner enthusiasm", but are not really that good or have done it enough so that it becomes a habit. This is what happened with me and running. At the beginning i was super-motivated, then after 4 weeks i was running less, then after around 10 weeks it became better, low point was at around 6-8 weeks into it. Now, at 12 weeks, i am at least as motivated as i was at the start, probably even more, which is also why i started my training schedule.

 

I have the same observation. There are ups and downs. Usually, the biggest danger for me is around certain times where I feel "I got this" and skip the daily habit. Then it all unravels. Knowing these neuralgic points and not letting go in those times is crucial for your success. For me, these points are 3 weeks, 2 months and 6 months in.

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19th day.

Catched up on sleep. I didn't dream of gaming. That's a plus. Later this day, i will have running, and i want to practice the music we are going to play at the concert for the first time.

I think that many things get to be more fun once you break through a certain time/practice barrier. There seems to be a point at around 4-8 weeks where things get though - you lost the "beginner enthusiasm", but are not really that good or have done it enough so that it becomes a habit. This is what happened with me and running. At the beginning i was super-motivated, then after 4 weeks i was running less, then after around 10 weeks it became better, low point was at around 6-8 weeks into it. Now, at 12 weeks, i am at least as motivated as i was at the start, probably even more, which is also why i started my training schedule.

I think basically, the more we do something, the more our brain begins to like it. Or the more we do something else instead, the more our brain begins to like that new activity instead. I think that is great! It means that even when you get into a phase that is like "meh, no idea why i started this", if you still do it, there will come a time again when you are motivated again, because you are getting better (->motivation) or it becomes a habit (->motivation) or other people like it because you are becoming better (->motivation) or you just began to like it (->motivation). And just knowing this, is motivation for me.

Most things are only fun at the beginning and then when you can do them again. Lot's of people start running/jogging, then lots of people quit again, because they lost the pounds or feel it is too tedious or get onto another boat. Some people stay with it, and for those people it becomes something fun to do.

I have looked at a running-calendar and i have planned 3 competitions later this year.

Awesome post! Funnily if I think back:a s I started playing online I went through the same progression.

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20th day.

There are many things in my life i am not satisfied with and that i want to change. I want to improve my health, job/career life, social life and love life.

Since i quit gaming, my career outlook has become slightly better. I still am unemployed, but as it is, i cannot really get a job right now, i am waiting for social insurances, it is all a bit complicated (at least they want to help me). I have visited an "education center" a week ago to start a new education with help from social insurances (i get supervised so that it all works out better than the last attempts to get into the working world) a little over a week ago, and i think i made a good impression. I was more concentrated on the visit and the talk i had with the teachers there than i was on most job interviews i had, i was even able to ask a few questions of importance.

My social life has improved a little. I have more contact to my old friends and have slightly better relationships with my family (where i live again) - we get along better. I haven't made any new friends (yet) - tomorrow i want to try out a small sports group similar to the "walker-meetup" i mentioned before.

My love life is still at 0%. But i think this will take the most time and I want to build other areas first. Eventually i will work on that too, but right now i have too much other problems in my life that need attending first.

My fitness has improved very well. The new training schedule is really good for me. Today was endurance, tomorrow will be bodyweight exercises. Next week will be regeneration week. My endurance has improved MUCH, and my speed has also improved from when i was starting.

The training schedule works because i "split" between strength (bodyweight exercises, Mo+Thu), speed (Tue+Fri, Tue more than Fri) and endurance (Wed+Sat, Wed more than Sat). This way i can train almost every day without problems. If you train the same thing every day, 3 things happen: 1. it gets boring. 2. your body cannot regenerate 3. you use the same hammer on the same point again and again - you risk hurting your body.

I am able to concentrate better now. My head is "clearer".

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Thank you. You are right. There will be times when it is better. Consistency is the most important factor for success. I think Cam had an article about it.

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Now that i am more awake. 21 days. That's 3 Weeks! Yes! :)

Marked the 90days in my calendar. Looking at some jobs i could do during the time other people have summer holidays. It is probable that i will be available for jobs during that time (if things with the social insurances go i hope they go), and i think i have more chances then. Now is a good time to secure maybe one or two. I want to have my own money again.

Things to do today:

-Go to sports-meetup.

-Look for holiday jobs. Ask in some shops maybe.

-Practice clarinet + Training schedule

 

Today will be a good day.

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Thank you.

23th day.

I reflected on some of the PUA books i had been buying when i was younger. It's bizarre how all of them brush off looks and exercise as "secondary" or even tertiary. I have some thoughts and some of my own theories. Basically PUA books tell you that "no matter how ugly you are if you just behave like the bad boys you will get popular with the ladies"... And from my theories that is precisely why so called AFCs buy them (i don't exclude myself) and this is also precisely why it doesn't work for them/me/most people.

I still have to wait a few weeks at minimum to thoroughly test them - i don't want to be seen as the kind of dude who is like "you gotta train 6 times a week" and in reality he himself trains like 2 times a week.

Basically I want to look at how people (average people) interact with me over the course of my "looks transformation". It's a social experiment. I also get to wear sunglasses from time to time.

After 14 weeks of training, people in shops are treating me differently. Before, it often was like "here is your stuff" without a smile or something. Now they often smile. It is somehow disconcerting how shallow we are as people. (Science is with me actually)

Or how much difference it makes if you walk into a shop with good+fitting clothes+shoes as opposed to some worn out clothes and some random shoes. They treated me like an AAA customer in comparison. It takes some time to get used too. Needless to say, i have invested in some good clothes over the last few months.

Out.

Edited by TheJan
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If you interested in a more realistic approach to dating and approaching woman I would advice you to read Model's from Mark Manson. Really refreshing after all this Pua nonsense.

+1

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Thank you. I looked it up, i had to roll my eyes at "You Can Become Irresistibly Attractive To Women Without Changing Who You Are. Here’s How…".

But the table of contents looks very promising! It's also kinda cheap (not expensive) for a >200 page book. Now that i have more money, i might as well invest it.

RANT ON.

I hope i won't offend anyone. The reason i think the "PUA stuff" doesn't work is because only scratching the surface is not enough. I mean the reason why "Mr Nice Guy" behaves in a "nice" way is because he thinks if he is just "nice enough" this will of course offset that the "bad boys" look better, smell better, sound better, have overall better social skills and probably put in an effort to be better at these areas (and if it fails, "Mr Nice Guy" can still complain that he's so nice, and nobody gives him a chance, and god hates him) So you tell him that all he has to do is behave like a bad boy. That is very similar to the "nice guy" approach actually, only reversed. Everyone can behave like "Mr Nice Guy" or "Mr Bad Boy". All it takes is a decision to behave that way. There is no investment, no dedication needed. It's all really delusional, i might even say conceited. 

In contrast, even if you are going the surgical way of improving your looks, you still need a decision, a search for a good plastic surgeon, and a bank account with money on it (and that money has to come from somewhere). Even that is WAY more investment than just changing your behavior to that of a bad boy. Guess what "Mr Nice Guy" is going to choose? And then he wonders why people don't respect him, or why he doesn't respect himself.

I once was "Mr Nice Guy" (i was so delusional. In retrospect i don't think i was nice at all, it was just what i thought of myself...) and i am not proud of that chapter in my life. I didn't even realize there was something wrong with the way i looked at the world. I was always looking for the easy way out, and this is why i was a good target for PUA books. And for a long time i actually believed that nonsense. Never did me any good, though.

There is also this "thing" which i call the "cool guy fallacy". The cool guy fallacy states that a cool guy can only be cool if he doesn't put in any effort to be cool. This is because otherwise he would be a tryhard. You are supposed to look good, but you are not supposed to go to the gym. You are also supposed to have money, but not go to work to earn it. You are supposed to attract girls, but you must make it look like it is easy. Because of this, the cool guy is not going to tell you how many hours of work (and if he is consistently cool, there is no way he can pull this off by being "natural") he has put into appearance, social skills, or his career. "I am naturally good looking" is all part of the game. And because the cool guy doesn't talk about the work involved, suddenly the other guys think "He can do that (without any effort), i BET i can do it too.". But since they don't know that there is actually work involved, they stumble around, probably right in the hands of the PUA community, who tell them that all you gotta do is mimic them.

Or maybe, actually putting in work to improve himself might actually be a humbling experience for "Mr Nice Guy" and teach him something about life, not to mention make him more content and make him respect himself and others more. And maybe other people would even respect him more. Man i hate the person i was. I can say i didn't know any better. I don't know if that makes it better. I never want to be that person again.

RANT OFF.

About 8 months ago i came to the conclusion that i had to do something about my image, and the way i interacted with people. I would often give off the "icky vibe" due to my actions/manners or the way i dressed/smelled/etc - but at the time i didn't realize this. Sometimes i was even rude - but i also didn't realize this. I was really delusional. It was not easy to realize, and it involved me loosing friends over time (but i didn't really care at that time, i thought everything was okay) but then one particular friend told me: "You are smelly, you don't know how to behave with manners, and really we are adults. If you cannot behave like an adult, i end this friendship." That was really hard. But it was also honest. I know many people who always found other reasons to not have time. We have agreed that we will meet again after a year. In retrospect, i think it was a great thing for him to do. I am still not totally there, though.

I wasn't doing it on purpose, i just didn't know any better (I even thought i made everything right) I think i made myself unpopular with a lot of people over the years "by accident". There is also this Dunning-Kruger-effect that keeps you oblivious. (The Dunning-Kruger effect says that to recognize you are wrong, you must have some level of competence. If you don't know enough to know you are wrong, then you will assume you are right. This leads to thinking you are good at something when in reality you are terrible.)

When i altered the way i looked, the way i clothed, changed the way i smelled (i had to get rid of much of my body hair for a permanent solution...) and when i learned how to behave with more manners, what things are "appropriate" to talk about people began to treat me differently.

Then when i began to train, there gradually came the second change. On one hand i am happy that people treat me better, but at the other hand i know how much of it is my appearance and the "vibe" i give off. But i have come to the conclusion that i have put in work into my appearance and my manners (still not completely there yet), so i guess it really isn't that shallow after all if people now like me better. I am also scared of falling back to my old ways. I was so delusional.

EDIT: Bought it. Wow, there is SO much information. For >200 pages, I was expecting the font size to be big. I am very pleasantly surprised that the font size is smaller than i expected. Self-improvement >>> Self-deception.

Edited by TheJan
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24th day. Weird dreams are back. Gaming dreams are back.

Thank you for recommending the book. I skimmed through it today in the morning and got stuck in the part about "Honest Living". It is going to take me quite a while to get through all that information. Well, i've got time now. The quality/price ratio is amazing.:)

Sundays are days where i have nothing planned, i deliberately decided it that way when i laid out the weekly schedule.

Taking more time for eating and preparing food. When i was gaming, i rarely took the time/ate as fast as possible, ate generic foods or snacks with little nutritional value in front of the computer.  After a time my room got full of dishes. I won't eat in front of my computer anymore. Solves the problem.

Out.

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27th day. Yesterday i felt urges to play. Was able to resist.

Today i had a meeting with social insurances. Again things get postponed. Yeah right. EVERY TIME i get there, things get postponed. I think they hope i will eventually give up. Feeling really down now.

I thought about playing again. I don't know if i want to. On the other hand, my head also tells me that it somehow would not be dangerous for me to play low risk games. Or that it doesn't matter anymore because obviously i am so FUBAR that being clean from computer games won't change anything (that's what my head tells me).

I personally don't think so. At least it is an achievement. Maybe it is not for everyone, but for me being able to live almost a month without computer games is awesome.

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Everyone has those temptations. It can be hard to resist but remember your goals. It's really up to you what happens but remember, we all support you and hope to see you succeed.

Edited by Sashiku
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27th day. Yesterday i felt urges to play. Was able to resist.

  Maybe it is not for everyone, but for me being able to live almost a month without computer games is awesome.

Yup, it IS an achievement, believe me!  Pat yourself on the back for achieving this goal.  It is a milestone.  :)

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27th day. Yesterday i felt urges to play. Was able to resist.

Today i had a meeting with social insurances. Again things get postponed. Yeah right. EVERY TIME i get there, things get postponed. I think they hope i will eventually give up. Feeling really down now.

I thought about playing again. I don't know if i want to. On the other hand, my head also tells me that it somehow would not be dangerous for me to play low risk games. Or that it doesn't matter anymore because obviously i am so FUBAR that being clean from computer games won't change anything (that's what my head tells me).

I personally don't think so. At least it is an achievement. Maybe it is not for everyone, but for me being able to live almost a month without computer games is awesome.

Finish the detox first for sure! :)

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29th day.

I downloaded a program called "Romaco Timeout" in order to more closely monitor how much time i actually spend on the computer - because in my perception still spend much time on the computer (watching series/youtube/browsing/etc).. I can set a daily quota and a "session quota" (when i am over the quota it logs me out...) When i get away from the computer, i can pause it.

Will be interesting to see if/how "screen time" goes down over time.

Edited by TheJan
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