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Simon E

A life without gaming

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Good to see you. Set bigger goals. Mindless browsing is because you have too much time that you're not spending intentionally. INTENTION is the way out. What are you going to CHOOSE to spend your time on instead? WHY is it important for you to spend your time on what you've chosen? How are you going to organize yourself proactively to ensure it happens? 

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Hey, it's me, Hannah Baker... *cough* Simon. 

So, I've kinda relapsed? Altough it was less of a relapse and more of an active decision cheered on by the choir of addicted braincells - if that makes sense? No? Okay. 

It's happened twice, both on days when I come home from school feeling overall tired and somwehat depressed, so I just say "fuck it, I've been doing good for so long now, I can game away a night." First time was a couple weeks ago, and the second time was just this evening. 

I've been able to cut my losses and minimize the relapses to one night each, deleting league again after indulging, but this leads me to having to question my behaviours and what resulted in these defeats against the addiction.

I still watch league content on youtube, and while I thought in the past that this was okay, that I'd be able to manage it, I'm reevaluating now. It's fairly possible that my longing for league never will go away completely if I keep subjecting myself to it - even if it's just watching other people play. 

The hour's late now - the gaming session screwed my sleep schedule over - and my brain is pretty much gone already, so I'll call it quits there, and pick it up again tomorrow. Finishing note: I will be coming here to write and attempt to fix my life :') (hopefully there's someone here who remembers me) 

Good night people, hope you're all good. 

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I'm in quite a positive mood right now - the rebound from quitting games always makes me feel powerful. It's kinda weird I know, but when I press the delete button and begin to make ambitious plans again, everything feel possible. I go in a really developmental state. 

Working on a lot of productive things right now, but the main two challenges I'll have to face is 1. Qutting all youtube/netflixing, since this is completely unresourceful, and 2. Talking to strangers, specifically the ones called "girls", haha. Compared to skydiving, performing at a concert or holding a public presentation approaching a girl I do not know is literally the most terrifying thing I can think of, but I wanna get better at it, so I'll have to try. You know, where there's resistance, there's possible growth.

That's it for tonight. The weather's getting warmer, summer looms on the horizon. Life is good.

 

Do the thing you fear most, and the death of fear is certain <--- I'm going to tatto that shit on my brain

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Hey strangers, I'm back. 

The reason for my return is - even though I have been missing your virtual company - selfish. It's because quitting games might soon be (all too) relevant for me again. 

 

I am, rationally, considering to begin playing again (it's been five months since the last time). New amazing skins have been released for my favorite champion. This, and the urge for competition (I want to, eye to eye, beat others through my own skill and effort, which is something I lack in my life right now - and something I'll have to make sure I include in the future) is what makes me wanna go back. I don't feel like it's the addiction making this decision, because I'm not anxious, depressed or in rough place. I do not have anything to escape from. 

 

What frightens me most regarding this isn't the potential lack of control the addiction may lead to, and it isn't the one-two hours a day I will be spending on it. It's how playing will change the perception of myself.

I'm scared I won't be able to walk with straight back, head held high and be the best version of myself if I play. I'm afraid that I won't have the same courage when chasing my dreams and moving forward in life as I have up until this point. That I longer truthfully can say I am on the path to greatness. I'm terrified to shrink in my own eyes. 

This is a fair share of doubts. But not enough to convince me, apparently. 

 

I am planning to use everything I've learned from self development to make the most of this conscious relapse, and to cut losses. That means:

  • Scheduling it into my days and using it as a motivator (high density fun) for the work earlier in the day, and as reason to cut out all distractions (low density fun).
  • Maximizing the time I play: deliberate practise, learn from mistakes, never do it light-heartedly. I'm not playing because I'm lazy, it's because I want to get good. Greatness is apparent here too.
  • Making sure I do everything else I deem necessary before playing (working to earn money, writing, exercising and eating proper food). 
  • View it as a test of willpower; it's bound to get stronger if I manage to stick to my schedule and never play spontaneously.

I do not plan to let this relapse last forever, or even a long time (a couple weeks is what I had in mind). It is not compatible with who I want become and what I want to acheive, and I don't think it ever will be. 

Am I weak for letting myself indulge in gaming again for two-three weeks? Maybe. But I know I can quit, I've done it before. 

 

I will continually write about my thoughts end experiences concerning this eventual (probable) chosen relapse. 

Hope you're all well :) 

 

 

 

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What about finding a new outlet for your desire for competition? Gaming is simply the way you know to channel it, but there are many alternatives you could take up instead.

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My fingers fell in place on the QWER buttons as if they had never parted. Powerful music in my ears, the gaming chair comfortable beneath me and a night ahead that suddenly couldn't be better spent than right here.

I'm never too big to look my own mistakes and flaws dead in their ugly eyes. Yesterday night I remebered how it felt to be addicted. I had, before I allowed myself to relapse, a vague preconception that I would play one, maybe two games; no more than one and a half hour, definitely.

I sat there for seven. One or two games became six. 

Thus I realised, what might've been obvious all along.

I can never play video games again. 

That hurts, and I've yet to find a persepective that allows me to find peace with the gaming. If I let my thoughts wander, the nostalgia and the cravings threaten to overwhelm me, and I fear that this wound may never really heal. 

Long story short, my relapse began yesterday night and ended yesterday night. It is the last time, I hope, that I will ever play.

 

Now, I once again begin to look forward. The competition I'm lacking can be found in my writing, on an abstract plane: there is always someone who might work harder than you. This spurs me to take my writing practise to extraordinary levels. On a more tangible plane, I will go back to Krav Maga next spring. Even though that martial art isn't designed for competing, the weekly sparring lessons truly make my heartbeat rise. 

The call to greatness is whispering in my ear, and I intend to listen. I intend to become the best possible version of myself I can be, and I think the same goes for all of you here, otherwise you would have let yourself wither away in front of that screen you - we - all loved so dearly. 

I am grateful for your comments and for your mere existance. Cam, thank you for your endless patience with what must be stubborn stupidity in your eyes ;) 

Stay, or become, strong. 

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There's not much incentive for me to continue journaling here, since I've quit successfully in the past and I'm not in the risk of relapsing again. 

Although I do appreciate your company ;) Practising my written english is also something I have to do, so I might stick around.

As for my life right now, I'm finally sitting down to set some tangible goals, and desing the plans necessary for their achievement. These goals are going to be ridiculousy large; of such size that I should bow down in doubt, but instead burst out in joyful laughter, with a single question ringing in my head: "Why not?" 

Limits exist wherever we place them, never forget that. We can always do more, we can always live harder, we can always dream bigger. To ever set your foot down on the path to greatness and say, "No more", is the biggest tragedy heard of. 

Keep moving forward. That's what I'm going to do, I'll see you there. 

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The benefit of journaling here is far beyond just gaming. It's setting out new goals to pursue and having a community of people to support you and hold you accountable to it. How many people do you have in your life right now who are really pursuing big goals? One of the BIGGEST mistakes people make is trying to do it all by themselves. 50% of my time is spent connecting with mentors and building relationships with people who can help me grow. That's why I am where I am, 100%. Something to think about.

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The benefit of journaling here is far beyond just gaming. It's setting out new goals to pursue and having a community of people to support you and hold you accountable to it. How many people do you have in your life right now who are really pursuing big goals? One of the BIGGEST mistakes people make is trying to do it all by themselves. 50% of my time is spent connecting with mentors and building relationships with people who can help me grow. That's why I am where I am, 100%. Something to think about.

You're right, it IS something to think about, and when I do, I strongly suspect you're right. 

This whole idea about "you are the company you keep" is difficult to implement in life. I have friends and family I love dearly, but the difference between us and where we're going is painfully obvious. 

Maybe I need this forum more than I first thought. 

Thank you for the insight Cam. 

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So I reread a couple of my old posts. They painted a nostalgic smile on my face. 

Is it weird to miss the process of quitting? Back then I had a clear goal (90 free days), and no matter how I performed during my waking hours, if I went to bed without having played, the day was a victory. 

Now, everything feels ambiguous, and another sunset without tangible success means another fallen grain of sand in the hourglass of my life. Never coming back. 

 

I'm not as down as I sound, so no worries. Definitely aiming to make journaling here a habit again. 

 

Even if you fall flat on your face, your still moving forward. 

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There's a cloud over my head as I write today's post, a rainy and thundery one, throwing small lightning bolts at me.

One thing I have come to despise more than anything is losing control over myself. Sure, most people probably wouldn't place that high on their list of pleasures, but I think gaming has made me develop a certain kind of hatred towards it. Because that's what it was, no? A lack of control.

I couldn't keep myself from sitting down in front of the screen, over and over again, despite it killing my relationships, my dreams, my very body. The keys to my own brain were kept out of reach from my desperate fingers. 

And thus, there's now nothing I dislike more. Which brings me to today.

For the third day in a row I've, when eating lunch at home, watched gaming videos on youtube, and eaten chocolate, then proceeded to spend a good couple hours on the couch. Big deal, you might say?

Well yeah, since that's not what I do anymore. I thought I had overcome those weaknesses. I thought I was beyond that. 

They say "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Fool me trice? I must be a special kind of stupid. 

The first two days it wasn't all that bad. I regained control, and managed to save the afternoon.

Today, not so much. Four hours consuming shit-content on youtube. Skipped the rehab-exercises I was supposed to do, skipped running. Skipped living. 

I refuse to let this course of action repeat itself. Tomorrow I won't bring my iPad to lunch; instead I'll continue my re-read of Deep Work. Nor am I putting any more chocolate into my body; having abstained so long from sweets and everything unhealthy, it reveals itself as the poision it is. I feel ill after eating it, but in the moment, oh is there anything more tempting? 

 

My waking hours weren't a complete failure though. I did some quality writing in the morning, and met with a guy at the job center (as I graduated this summer I suppose I should label myself as unemployed now? Nah. I prefer the title "Aspiring Author".)

To avoid having this post turn into a bible, I'll call it quits there (even though I'm far from satisfied). Next time I'll begin experimenting with creating a permanent journal layout/format.

 

Hope you're all having a great day (and more productive than mine ;) ) 

 

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There's a lot of self-reflection, but I doubt this much self-loathing would do you any good. Try to build counter-habits like reading or exercisings since just avoiding youtube won't work. Or do 20 push-ups every time you open YouTube page)

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These slumps and losses of focus and motivation happen. It's ego backlash. I hope you managed to break the negative momentum and grew stronger from it. If youre battling with chocolate cravings, I highly recommend you check out the ketogenic diet. I battled with overeating and chocolate but the diet completely fixed any cravings I had from day 1. 

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There's a lot of self-reflection, but I doubt this much self-loathing would do you any good. Try to build counter-habits like reading or exercisings since just avoiding youtube won't work. Or do 20 push-ups every time you open YouTube page)

There's a lot of self-reflection, but I doubt this much self-loathing would do you any good. Try to build counter-habits like reading or exercisings since just avoiding youtube won't work. Or do 20 push-ups every time you open YouTube page)

I understand how the post might come across as self-loathing, but that isn't quite correct. Despite how it might seem I actually hold myself in pretty high regards.

What I did loathe though was my behavior. Considering where I want to go and who I want to become I cannot indulge in things like that. So I would argue that my harsh words stem from love rather than loathing. 

These slumps and losses of focus and motivation happen. It's ego backlash. I hope you managed to break the negative momentum and grew stronger from it. If youre battling with chocolate cravings, I highly recommend you check out the ketogenic diet. I battled with overeating and chocolate but the diet completely fixed any cravings I had from day 1. 

Yeah, I guess they do, but their inevitability doesn't make them more pleasant. :P Thanks for your advice; I've heard much well spoken words about the ketogenic diet, but since I'm a pretty strict ("strict" sounds awfully boring but yeah) vegan I doubt it's anything for me ;) I do not usually have cravings so I think I'll manage. 

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So I reread a couple of my old posts. They painted a nostalgic smile on my face. 

Is it weird to miss the process of quitting? Back then I had a clear goal (90 free days), and no matter how I performed during my waking hours, if I went to bed without having played, the day was a victory. 

Now, everything feels ambiguous, and another sunset without tangible success means another fallen grain of sand in the hourglass of my life. Never coming back. 

You maybe miss the sense of purpose or having a mission. While we're quitting, we perfectly know the goal and what to do, 90 days, no game, etc. It's cristal clear, so you "only" have to follow through. Now life suddenly became more abstract, more vast. It was also like this during the detox but your mind was mainly focused on a single or a few tasks. Everything seemed more under your grasp. Under control, somehow, even if the task of quitting felt overwhelmingly huge at times. 

Maybe finding purpose in not doing is easier than in doing. Because when you resolve to quit something you know there are two options, keep doing it and be miserable or stop and get better. But the alternative of doing is not only not doing, but also doing something else, which could feel good or provide benefit as well. Then you need to have the strength to pick a thing and keep going beyond the initial enthusiasm into the habit. Maybe quitting alone is a "passive" mindset in which at the end of the day what you need to do is not taking action (the action of playing). Maybe building is harder than demolishing, no matter the (lack of) usefulness of the thing you're bringing down, right? 

About the chocolate and the mindless browsing, your concern is absolutely legitimate, and being aware of the problem is essential, but if you focus on things like "I shouldn't be weak like this" or "I shouldn't have done that" in the end you're focusing on the problem. Think about the solutions. What is the satisfaction that chocolate and YouTube brings to you, or the needs they cover? Can you find the same satisfaction in something else?

Keep journaling, there are things that you seem to need to take off your chest, and you can always count on the community to give you a hand. Your train of thought can also be useful to someone else, and it's pleasant to read.

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So... :/

I've relapsed twice in the last 14 days. Two day-long binges, contained within their respective 24 hour blocks. The second one happened today. 

Nothing terrible, no permanent damage done - as in no risk that I'll begin playing regularly again - but it still screws with my momentum and my self-esteem. Perhaps most importantly, the relapses reveal that not everything is okay. Obviously.

I've yet to identify the exact cause, but I think it stems from a combination of wide issues. I finished high-school this summer, and I think that struck a heavy blow on my sense of belonging and purpose. Now I feel lost - something I mentioned in my last post. (And I noticed your answer to that one, @Hitaru. Please don't think I rudely ignored you ^_^)

This led to the decision to begin another 90-day detox. I need the sense of direction, the man-in-the-mirror-effect of writing here, and maybe primarily, your insight and support. 

Right now I'm still in the aftermath of the relapse (I'm certain you know the feeling), so I'm in the wrong state to make further plans, but I have to say I do feel optimistic for the future. 

You'll see more of me:P

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Day 1 of 90

Rules for this detox:

  • No video games whatsoever (PC, consol, mobile)
  • No watching video game content (primarily league of legends content, but not exclusively. Also includes pewdiepie-esque content)
  • No watching TV-series or movies (unless in live company) 
  • No excessive reading (only allowed during predetermined times) 

The purpose will be to move away from this consumer-mindset I'm in, where I'm always looking to escape into something else. As you see that includes all sorts of consuming, not only in relation to gaming. Hopefully 90 days without anything in this fashion will give time for my brain to re-wire itself, and let the constant cravings fade away. 

I'm well aware that quitting isn't sufficient in itself, so I will also use these three months to build a foundation for myself, implement the many concepts I've learned from personal development and make some long-needed changes. 

Current situation:

  • Unemployed (somewhat by choice; I've been picky about what jobs to apply to, not wanting to work full time since I have so many strong interests)
  • No drivers license (also by choice; said interests seemed back then more important than practicing driving) 

These two things are really beginning to eat away at my self esteem, since they're a given for "all of my friends."  Intelligence, ambition and a bunch of creative skills in all due glory, but what's that worth without essentials such as income or the ability to drive? Thus these are the things I will tackle first. Other issues to be overcome:

  • An intense fear of opening up and being vulnerable. Seriously, I can't, not with anyone, and it's painful and, honestly, stupid. I have people willing to listen and willing to love me if I just let them, so the challenge lies in mustering up enough courage to talk and gradually move out of my shell. (Even writing here is highly uncomfortable.)
  • That I have no idea what to do with my life. (Recently read "So good they can't ignore you", which eased my anxiety about this slightly, but it still bothers me a lot, and is something I will continue to explore).
  • A myriad of smaller things that I will deal with in due time, such as social skills, time management etc.

 

That's it for today.-_-

I aim to journal every day of the week, but since this thing called life exists, four out of every seven days might be a more reasonable number. 

Tomorrow I'll be back with a template for future journaling. Hope you're all having a great day. 

 

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Hi Simon, I wish you a lot of success for your new detox.

I think everythink is a normal process. Almost no one can quit games and than be 100% productive. So the most are exchanging games with YoutTube, browsing, etc. which is pretty fine, because first of all: it is less addictive than gaiming.

Unfortunately it is still very addictive so it is good that you want to continue and work on this.

Great would be to find something productive, a goal, that you really enjoy to do it. To find something like this can be a quite challenging task on its own.

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Day 1: 

...

I've failed the media detox a couple times. Also relapsed to gaming once, following the same old pattern. (One day, then deleted)

It begins with this longing in my chest, an aching feeling, and I HAVE to soothe it with something familiar: league content, the channels I used to watch, voices I recognize. Narratives I can anchor to, when everything is uncertain. After that, I'm not far from downloading and playing league for a "couple hours". The voices in my head are good at justifying this behavior.

Good news: I now have not one, but two, jobs. In addition, I've commited to practice driving for real, and plan to get my drivers licence in perhaps three to four months. So thats that.

But it's hard to feel happy when there's this mixture of sadness, nostalgia and craving boiling inside your chest. 

 

I need some insights. Help. My life is good, I have habits, meaningful relationships etc. I just can't give all this the deserved attention when a part of me refuses to let gaming go. It disrupts my momentum relapsing every other week. It messes with my self-image: how can I consider myself successful while still obviously suffering from addiction?

What should I do? Distance myself from all gaming content? How do I not give in to the desperate need for familiarity that my gaming channels provide? 

I would be thankful for anything you might have to say.

The plan for now is to simply restart. Try again. Fall seven times, stand up eight, you know the deal. 

  • No gaming whatsoever
  • No league content
  • No series/movies

Hope you're all well. 

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@Simon E Thanks for noticing me :x

It's ok man. You're not mindlessly gaming or binging, which means the "addicted" component is playing a much lesser part. You're still gaming occasionally for a reason, in this case nostalgia. You want to feel secure and comforted when you're under stress, so you go back to what you know. Gaming has been your staple for a long time, so you have to get rid of the habit and stop thinking of gaming as the easiest, safest choice to fulfill your needs. Cravings are needs, games are just a tool to satisfy those needs. What could you do instead?

Don't think you're failing, or in the path of failing, or you'll find easier and easier to "keep failing" or "fail all the way", and then wham, you'll really do it. Think smartly, picture clearly this circle you are treading and get out of it. Games were a part of your life in the past and that's fine, they were a learning experience and there's no shame in saying they were also a ton of fun. What place do you want to give games in this new stage you are, and why? It's ok to "mourn" if you feel you need it. Find your reason, your motives, stick to them and support them with actions, facts and achievements, every day. Build your new life, step by step.

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Day 2: 

I think I'm dying. ARGH. 

The cravings are intense. My heart is trying to tear itself apart; one side wanting so desperately to play, the other anything but that. I've found that the biggest challenge is that you become your own enemy. You trick yourself into believing, actually BELIEVING, that you want, deserve, need to play again. How do you protect against that? You can't. It's impossible. How do you fight an urge whilst simultaneously being somewhat convinced that following through with the desire is the right thing to do? 

???

I want to play. I make plans in my head, visualize how it'll feel sitting there being in the game, formulate ways I'll make it a justifiable part of my schedule by using it as a reward. 

I want to play. But I don't. Right? Surely I do not. 

Do you understand the struggle? Of course you do. You're in a gamequitter-forum. Silly me. 

@Hitaru That's excellent advice Hitaru; rather, it would be, if my brain functioned as it fucking should. Now, it's neither willing nor able to comprehend and accept what you're saying. But thank you, anyway. I'll come back and read it later. 

What do I do now? I might go and play. That's inches away from happening. Or I might not. I'll let the gods flip their indifferent coin and see. They decide if tomorrow is day 3 or day 1. 

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No man, screw that, you decide. You. Decide. It's not something casual or left to chance, if you game it's your responsibility. If you don't, it's your victory. Go grab that victory, those inches are good enough. Get some distance from games.. You're in Sweden and it's November and I might be asking too much but I trust you'll manage. Go to a library, call a friend, do stuff, don't just sit there wishing to play and sabotaging yourself rationalizing that just because something provides instant gratification it must be good for you. Visualize yourself finishing to play today and recall the sensation of being a piece of **** with no word, not towards us but towards yourself. Love yourself man, respect yourself. If you decided not to game, no matter the reason or how silly it may look to you in the low times, if you go against a decision you made in full consciousness and that in reality you want to keep, that is definitely not the right thing to do. 

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@Hitaru You're amazing. Really.

I went over to "stop gaming" on reddit, read through like 30 posts, cried over some tragic ones and how much I recognize myself in their suffering. At some point during the two hours I've sat here, the cravings faded. 

Then I came back here, saw Hitarus reply and kinda cried again (if it can be called crying; my eyes become wet, that's basically it, lmao. Maybe I should be worried about not being able to truly cry). 

I'm considering deleting my account (again). I did last fall, with my real one, the one I invested thousands of hours and hundreds of dollars in, but I made a new one. I think that one has to go, too. 

I will get through this. I decide. 

Now I'll go have dinner with my mom, then I'll go to bed. Tomorrow I'll wake up, and the day after that, and the day after that, and one morning one day I will be okay and gaming will then only be a memory.

We will all be fine. 

<3

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