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Caged Bliss

Caged - Writing like I Talk

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Alright General Info: 21year old male from New Zealand. Been PC gaming whole life, originally RTS or TBS games then onto the big offender of Dota 2. Returned to University this year and am in 2nd year. Am here from StopGaming subreddit, 24 days game-free with the intention to never return.

Okay so I left University the first time as I was just gaming and not going to course, returning this year has been pretty much the same story until I made a change to quit gaming. Have just finished this week where I had a few meetings with Dean/Lecturers and sorted that I can still pass 2 of the 4 papers for this semester which I am pretty happy with since exams start in 4 weeks.

I was trying to journal my thoughts a bit in a word document but figured this would be easier. I was planning on doing a half marathon in late June but unfortunately have had some old pain in my knee start up again so might not have enough time to heal and then train for it. This has kind of knocked me a bit and has reinforced that I should make a journal like this so I have something to reflect on and another place to express myself when unplanned bad things happen.

When adjusting to any big change there will be days when you feel good and days where you feel bad about that change.When you are already feeling down and it gets combo'd with some sweet unexpected life complications, well that is when I think I am most likely to say "screw it" and relapse.

I took a break from gaming for 2 months last year, so I don't anticipate much craving until around then, but it is super important to me to try to understand the difficult head spaces I am likely to encounter before I reach them. I mean that seems a big part of how this community would work to me, you offer support/encouragement in return for insight into issues other people face and you may face those issues yourself later down the road.

This is basically the format for my entries, where I just write down some ideas in my head and try to link them to recent stuff I have going on. I don't know how reader friendly that is but I mean there can't be a wrong format right :P 

Alright that is more than enough for first journal entry, have a good one.  

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Entry 2

Today has mostly been smashing out uni work for next week (Assignments, tutorial work, Test Revision) all that good stuff. This is pretty much going to be standard as I am in a position where I need to A the rest of the course to get a semi-decent pass overall. But this is the position I have put myself in and I am holding myself accountable. 

Speaking of accountability, I booked a counselling session through the University for a few weeks from now, ideally I would have wanted it earlier but many kids are stressed out approaching exams. I hope to come out of the session with some ideas on improving aspects of myself which have decayed while I was gaming (social skills mostly) and also any general advice they have on addiction. BUT the other benefit from this session will be that I intend to book another session for early on in next semester so it will be another point of accountability so they can ask me "So have you been going to class/not gaming/being productive?" to which I will answer "Yes!" and the warm internal fuzziness of accomplishment/progress will ensue :)

So that is the long term return of that session, to add another point to the "accountability network", made up of the people who want to see you succeed.   

Bad part of today: I didn't really get out of my room/textbooks at all. Tomorrow I am going to go shopping and maybe shoot some hoops at the uni gym if there is some court time spare to counter balance this. This makes me a little bit worried though, because I can see myself justifying not getting out in the weekend, with that I need to study all the time, but this isn't really true or healthy. So if anyone wants to mention some tasks they assign to their weekend to make them get out of the house then I'm all ears. 

Must say this journal writing thing is pretty legit, and also thanks for saying it is reasonably clear to read, English (Writing) was always my worst class in high school.

Edited by Caged Bliss

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Dude awesome! Great job on holding yourself accountable and making purposeful decisions to improve. I would recommend getting out, if even a little bit, over the weekend, cause everyone needs a break every once in a awhile, and it seems like you've been working hard :)

Keep up the good work

Edited by Paul A.

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Entry 3

Today has been decent, not really super productive, just going over my presentation I will be giving this week in my tutorial. Now I am not that good at conversing 1 to 1 but I like teaching people things so as long as I know the content I want to speak about, it should be a good time. 

I managed to get an hour of court time in to shoot hoops before I had to leave due to scheduled matches being held there. I wrote down when the gym is free and am going to try get along there in the mornings 3+ times a week. I'll be signing up for the social basketball grade next semester so want to try build some confidence in my skills before then. I'm joining social grade because I want it to be more about meeting some new people (who share an inclination in playing basketball at a mediocre level).

Social skills/making friends: this would have to be my biggest issue right now, I made friends easy enough in high school but now I feel under-developed in this area. I looked into the Podcast section on here and have been listening to some Mating Grounds episodes and I really like it since I feel I am gaining a lot of insight on a topic I currently hold very little knowledge on. Now a lot of the content is a bit past where I am at now (I am looking for friendships, then maybe a relationship later on), but I feel a large chunk of it applies to friendships as well, its all about making people feel valued and mutual respect.

When the topic of listening came up, it really made me see how much I miss the talks I would have with my female friends in high school, where listening was fun because I was learning so much and getting different perspectives. I used to be a good listener, I want to get back to that level.

 

Okay so it got a bit derailed towards the end, so I'll leave it here. Take it easy.         

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(friendships)

  its all about making people feel valued and mutual respect.

     

Yup, this is exactly how friendships develop.  Be interested in people, and you won't have to worry about feeling 'less-than' or unable to socialize.  The trick is that most people want others to be interested in them, their opinions, their accomplishments, their worries and fears.  And to be quite frank, when you let down your guard (or the other person does), it's a good opportunity to form a bond.  Because really, the human plight, is what people can also relate to. 

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I have heard of that book Cam, I will try and read it after exams and I have down time between semesters, thanks for the suggestion dude.

Entry 4

Well I got up at 5.40am, hit the basketball court by 6.30 and practiced shooting/basic skills till 8. Objective achieved! It felt good and was a nice active start to the day. without straining my knee too much. I am going to try get to the gymnasium tomorrow too. I have become a bit slack with doing my bodyweight circuit exercise, am going to try do it every second day from now on since I can't really go for long runs anymore. 

Booked a blood donation for this week, I feel since I'm O- I should give whenever I'm not sick. Nothing much else is new, revising content for test in 3 days time. 

I'm probably not going to mention gaming a whole lot in my journal, unless the cravings start hitting me like a truck. I want to quit for good, its more of a lifetime detox, so I probably won't reference No.of days game free, unless I notice the number is significant in some way. Basically I don't want gaming in my thoughts anymore, so I should damn well hope I don't see it in the journal posts I make haha :D   - Caged

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Entry 5

Second day of building the 5.40am wake up routine, got to the court at 6.10, practiced for 1 hour until the gym was booked out. I'm going to go again tomorrow, basically I'll keep going as long as my body is handling it. Also did my core bodyweight exercises, the burn is my friend. (Also note to self: a song I know the words/guitar to is a good way to reach my bridging target time). 

Okay biggest improvement I have seen since quitting would have to be my diet. I have always avoided junk food, my main issue was the lack of food I ate. I would think it's tied into being more active/productive and also sleeping like a regular diurnal human. I was debating becoming a vegetarian since my older brother and sister have both been veg for a while. I have decided to re-evaluate my position on this once my studies/social skills/self esteem issues are in a better state. I am content with being a heavily-reduced meat consumer for now.

Also Steven Adams is a beast. That is all. 

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Greeting from The Pharmacist!

I see you're doing great sharing thoughts here just like talking.

You have similar goal to me right now - being game free for the entire lifespan. Great to see a person with the same mindset!

To go outside more often on the weekend and be more social, find any events in your town on the Internet and go to them, it can be even art exhibition to meet new people and become more out-going.

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To go outside more often on the weekend and be more social, find any events in your town on the Internet and go to them, it can be even art exhibition to meet new people and become more out-going.

Yeah this is what I need to do. I need to just throw myself in there and get those interpersonal skills going more frequently. I hope you reach the goals you set yourself @hycniejsy  

 

Entry 6

I got up about 20minutes late today so court time was from 6.30-7.40. Tomorrow I will probably not be going as I have a test and a presentation. I will do my workout tomorrow afternoon, once my body/arm has recovered from giving blood today. 

Have organised seeing a high school friend on Sunday. I'm a bit unsure of how this will go because having talked to him, he still seems to play Dota regularly. He also plays the Magic Card game and D&D. I have never played these two, so if someone would like to advise if playing D&D is a good or bad idea I would like that. Given that I have a VERY addictive personality I'm going to be cautious. 

I think if I can use it as a social tool then it could be okay. I need to watch that I don't trick myself into thinking it seems social at the start when I meet the people he plays with, because it won't expose me to new people all the time. I think it could just be good as an option, like "Hey, tonight I might go hang out and play D&D with those guys, since I know how to play." For now I'll just wait and see how it plays out, I might hate both games so this over-analysis would be pointless haha. 

Back to revision

Caged

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Entry 7

I am glad today has come and gone. Sat my test (I'm hoping for a 90% or better) and gave my presentation to my tutorial class. I asked the tutor afterwards how I did and he said I did a decent job at explaining and said he thought I would be able to become a tutor in 3rd year if I want to. Personally I felt pretty nervous while speaking and I know my face was super red, mouth was dry, all that shit I wanted to avoid haha. 

Really pushed myself in my workout today by doing the circuit fast with small down times. Basically throwing up in the shower afterwards, don't think I have pushed myself that hard since running beep test in high school where I was always 2nd in our year to my friend in another class. Once it got to mid 12's or low 13's I would struggle to keep the pace, where-as my friend had much more top end speed. I don't know how widely used the Beep Test is globally, it's basically just 20 meter shuttle runs at increasing speeds.

Right, time to go cook dinner and catch the replay of the NBA game. Peace.  

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Entry 7

I am glad today has come and gone. Sat my test (I'm hoping for a 90% or better) and gave my presentation to my tutorial class. I asked the tutor afterwards how I did and he said I did a decent job at explaining and said he thought I would be able to become a tutor in 3rd year if I want to. Personally I felt pretty nervous while speaking and I know my face was super red, mouth was dry, all that shit I wanted to avoid haha. 

Really pushed myself in my workout today by doing the circuit fast with small down times. Basically throwing up in the shower afterwards, don't think I have pushed myself that hard since running beep test in high school where I was always 2nd in our year to my friend in another class. Once it got to mid 12's or low 13's I would struggle to keep the pace, where-as my friend had much more top end speed. I don't know how widely used the Beep Test is globally, it's basically just 20 meter shuttle runs at increasing speeds.

Right, time to go cook dinner and catch the replay of the NBA game. Peace.  

Solid day man. Keep that up!

I remember the Beep test from my hockey days. I hated that shit haha.

Edited by Cam Adair

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Have organised seeing a high school friend on Sunday. I'm a bit unsure of how this will go because having talked to him, he still seems to play Dota regularly. He also plays the Magic Card game and D&D. I have never played these two, so if someone would like to advise if playing D&D is a good or bad idea I would like that. Given that I have a VERY addictive personality I'm going to be cautious. 

Hi Caged,

I've had experience with both those things, and I've gotten hooked on them before. For the Magic card game, as long as you can't play it often it's okay, but can be quite expensive since old cards can't be used again. As long as you don't play D&D as the Dungeon master, and don't spend lots of time researching game mechanics (which I made the mistake of doing), it can be a social activity. For me, learning the game mechanics and such of these games were a substitute for video gaming, but not a very good one as it still took a lot of my time up. Essentially, in moderation these activities are worthwhile, but it is easy to get hooked on them.

Great job on your tough workout, it's not often we push ourselves that hard.

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Hey thanks Alex, I'll take the "casual" mindset into playing as much as I can. If I find it is too much "my type" of game I might have to abandon it, I think that would be the best choice.   

Entry 8

Got the 6.20-7.20am basketball session in this morning before classes. Now I have come to stay at my parents house for two days to catch up with them and my older sister. Worked through an assignment today, will try and cross check it with someone next week before I submit it.

I think I am becoming impatient with my lack of muscle gain. I'm sick of being scrawny and weak, but I need to remember that the change will be over months and years rather than weeks. Also that for right now I should focus on the positive feeling right after completing a workout and just trusting that what I am doing now will build towards where I want to get to. Even if my method isn't the optimal way, it will work if I give it time.

This post is a bit more introspective, something for me to refer to if I feel like this again in the future. Hope everyone is progressing towards their development goals.

Caged

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If you stay consistent working out and adjust your workouts/diet as you need to, over a year, two years, three years you will get there. You can control your consistency, so focus on that and trust that it will all work out in the end. That's what I do and since I started working out again in September I'm gaining much more muscle.

The advantage of being a skinnier dude (like me too) is that you basically have no body fat, so any muscle you add is automatically tone. :)

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Entry 9

Alright forgot about posting Saturday night and then Sunday night I was busy so lets recap the weekend! Saturday did some uni work, did a workout and cooked a meal for my family. It was nice to cook, since it gives me a chance to get some feedback on what I make, as I live/cook alone normally. Sunday I traveled back to Wellington and then hung out with a mate for most of the day. 

My friend showed me around his flat and then wanted to just game since that is what he normally does on a Sunday afternoon. I watched him play one game of Dota then we played some combat game co-op on PS2. I'm comfortable in not calling this a relapse because frankly I don't enjoy console games, I have never owned one and find the controllers awkward. It just happened to be the vehicle used for me to talk about random stuff with my friend. The other hour or 2 we hung out was just chatting about psychology and then walking back into the city. On the walk back I mentioned I had quit video games but wouldn't mind an invite to a D&D session, I think he took it positively and respected that next time we hang out gaming isn't going to be a real option.

Today I had some minor urges to play Dota, since my brain had re-activated those thought processes from watching my friend play. Honestly watching him play and giving advice on Dota is more of a backwards step in my eyes than playing some PS2 game that I was not invested in at all. Reflecting on this, I have tried to push forward more in my personal development. So I joined Meetup, and am going to play table-tennis tomorrow night, then the next night I am going to a relaxed pace running group to see how my knee is coming along. Should be a good way to get that social interaction goodness going :D .    Caged

 

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Entry 10

Damn getting slack at journal entries, okay so table tennis wasn't very successful, just not a very beginner friendly group. Runners group looks more promising, has a more mixed ability, gender and age setup. Been sticking to the ever other day workout, am going to add in a stretching routine (has some yoga stuff in it) to do on the off days and maybe more frequently if I have time. Aim of this is to become at least reasonably flexible and prevent future injuries. 

Been keeping up with the Uni work, that is mostly what I have planned for the weekend, going to see my brother too although am feeling a bit over my family right now. Have a good one - Caged

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