Pierce 413 Posted August 15, 2016 Share Posted August 15, 2016 Day 1Hey everyone,First off I'd like to give a bit of background information: My name is Pierce, and I am a 21 year old going into my junior year of college as a Biology major. I've been a gamer since elementary school and it was, for the most part, the center of my childhood. At age 16 I realized that I wanted to take charge of my life, and that would definitely mean quitting gaming and replacing it with other activities. I gave away my Xbox 360, my older consoles, all of my games, and my World of Warcraft account. If I had known that five years later I would still have this struggle, I don't know how I would felt then, but as you can see I was very committed then and I at least "feel" that I am just as committed now if not more so.Over this past half-decade I have made so many commitments only to relapse again, that I couldn't count all of the times. There would be some days where I would wake up, try to fight the craving, install Steam again or go to different flash game websites, play video games all day while only doing minimal school work, and then would feel disgusted with myself at night and promise myself that I will never do it again as I uninstall the games off of my laptop; if I didn't have school that day the cycle would usually repeat. So long as I have access to the internet I am at risk (even if it's watching streams on youtube), and I can confidently say that, for me, gaming is an addiction.Here's the strange thing: on the one hand I feel that I am 100% committed to rooting out every facet of gaming out of my life, but I keep on coming back to it. I know that quitting gaming (and really most of the other electronic entertainment I consume as well) would be one of the greatest ways to add more joy, fulfillment, and success to my life. Furthermore, the ridiculous thing about my addiction is that the damaging effects go way beyond me. I want to become a doctor and one day practice medicine in countries like South Sudan, that don't have access to resources that even our pets are guaranteed on a daily basis (as a side note: I have mad respect for what you're doing in Tanzania, Cam). As I waste time on an activity that is literally just putting my life on stand-by as I sit like a mindless drone in front of a screen, people are suffering. I don't say this out of guilt, but out of a sense or urgency that is all too easy to forget. I can use that time to develop necessary skills, and more importantly focus on school.School... it's something that I definitely see the value in and enjoy most of the time, but something that I've never been consistently good at. Becoming a doctor is probably one of the hardest professions to get into, with admissions board being especially unforgiving, and my performance in my undergrad years will be one of the greatest indicators to them as to whether I'm a good fit for their school. All of my life my strengths have been in reading, writing, and philosophy, which I wouldn't trade for the world since it has been through them that I have learned how to think for myself and become my own man, but they can't help me much in reaching this next stage towards my dream. I have been deficient in math and the sciences since middle school, so it seems as if I have to put forth double the effort to understand a concept in my classes now. Math, physics, chemistry, and yes, shamefully, even biology have been kicking the snot out of me as I largely scrape by with a passing grade. Because of this, it's almost certain that I'll have to take additional years either doing a postbac (repeating some courses) or a masters degree to prove that I can succeed in the midst of rigorous courses. Time wasted on gaming has played a very large role in why I haven't been able to catch up. It's like playing [insert title of immensely difficult video game here, i.e. Dark Souls], and knowing exactly why you just got slaughtered by that horde of enemies or boss, but choosing to continue to make the same mistake over and over because you can't muster the discipline to go about the fight in a more meticulous way.One of the greatest enigmas of my life is why I continue to do this to myself when I have so much to gain by quitting and so much to lose by quitting. I found some answers recently using a technique that was immensely helpful (found in this video by Actualized.org https://youtu.be/qy_INVm_Pw0). I was trying to do some organic chemistry homework when I got an intense craving to go on Steam. I failed in resisting it and I turned it on, but this time I paid close attention to my emotions as I played. Since I have been struggling with my online o-chem homework, I felt an intense feeling of frustration as I kept on getting problems wrong, but the feelings that I felt as the game loaded and as I played it were of complete serenity. When our state of equilibrium (or comfort zone) is disrupted by a very difficult activity, our subconscious tries to restore balance by nudging us towards a more comfortable activity (ergo, I go to gaming). I know this can be fixed if I learn to enjoy my school work, but for some subjects I really haven't been able to no matter how hard I try. My hope is that by quitting video games I'll be able to reprogram my state of equilibrium to be at peace with reading and doing homework.In addendum: I feel sometimes that I am two people. One of the two, my "higher self" if you will, has my mortality in plain sight and therefore wants to make every second count towards my biggest goals. My "lower self" is motivated by pleasure, highly animalistic, and seems to be more powerful than the first entity in short-term matters. It is my hope that the two will become one some day soon, and doing the 90 day detox seems to be is a major step in that direction. If I did my math right I'll hit 90 days on November 3rd; I don't plan on stopping there, but that's a major milestone along the way and I want to assess my progress when I get there.Now that I've laid out where I'm coming from, here's my action plan:I've installed K9 Protection on my old windows laptop, which will prevent me easy access from Steam other gaming websitesI've also installed an extension on my chromebook that allows me to shut off all internet access for a period of time (my concern is that I have to voluntarily choose to turn it off, which may prove problematic) I have social accountability: my friends and family, and this public journal.I will fill my time with worthier pursuits: reading, dancing, studying, etc.I've been using Habitica.com to track progress on habits for a while nowI have the will to win: I AM IN CONTROL OF MY LIFE AND I WILL QUIT VIDEO GAMESMy goals:Quit video games, starting with the 90 day challenge, and charting progress here every dayPutting my main focus for the upcoming semester on getting only A'sLimit youtube videos to music while working on main goals each day, and limit to only watch self-help videos and news when those are doneRead during free time (finish at least 1 book a month; history, philosophy, self-help, etc.)Lift weights three times a week, gaining strength and muscle (every ectomorph's dream, haha)Meditate 20 minutes dailyLess important goals:Improve at cookingBecome a better dancer (I usually go to various Latin and Ballroom studios every weekend with friends, an activity which fits the same four areas that makes gaming addicting according to Cam)Do one challenging activity each monthPractice guitar at night of all other goals are doneOne last thing, I wanted to leave a note for Cam, if you get a chance to read this:I remember reading an article by you in kingpin lifestyle about a year and a half ago, and thinking about how I had probably just read the first reasonable piece of advice on how to quit video games that I had encountered thus far. You took charge of your life when you saw it wasn't going the direction you wanted and you turned into something that is awe-inspiring, and you did it in a way that proves to others that they really don't have any excuses if they think they can't do it too. Gamequitters fills a niche that is so vitally important for our generation, one that helps people in a tremendously important way. The fact that you take the time read and respond to pretty much all of the comments on your youtube videos and most of the posts here, shows how much you care about the people you work with. I am really inspired by your example, man. Looking at your trajectory from when you started your journey to now, I'm honestly pretty stoked to see what you end up doing in the next twenty years (especially with the humanitarian aid work you've started delving into). It's amazing that I can be in correspondence with someone I respect so much, and that's definitely something I'm not going to forget anytime soon. Anyway I don't mean to boost your ego up too much Cam (a joke; from what I've seen you're not in any danger of losing your humility), but I just wanted to encourage you with that. Keep up the incredible work bro. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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