Jump to content

NEW VIDEO: Video Game Addiction Intervention *Parody*

seriousjay

Jay's Epic Journey

Recommended Posts

11 hours ago, Cam Adair said:

Yep, be open to all outcomes and attached to none. 

Yeah, I hear that. The video games train you to expect only a limited set of outcomes, usually ones that are positive for you. All part of the rewiring process I suppose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So over the last few days, I've been feeling intense anxiety over just about everything. I am finding myself having thoughts about literally anything and everything for the sake of making myself feel anxiety. A few thoughts on it:

1. In video games, you are always "the man/woman".. my mind is very much used to that from games I suppose, and many of these thoughts and "movies" that play in my head are of a dramatic, over the top nature.. similarly to how most scenes are often played out in video games. I mostly chalked up the latter to my brain requiring rewiring in order to start thinking differently, but the actual anxiety doesn't seem to be going away.

2. I've started to suspect that perhaps on a subconscious level, my mind is fabricating things to be anxious about and hitting my conscious mind with it as hard as it can in order to make it easier to justify a relapse at some point in the future.

3. I may have some kind of.. I dunno.. inferiority complex or something. I've also started to suspect that, again, on a subconscious, I actually *crave* feeling anxious. That I want people to see me huddled up in the corner, crying. That I want them to see me at my lowest. All because I want them to feel sorry for me. This sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it seems to be true. I find it very difficult to suppress these feelings.

I knew all of this was coming, but it doesn't make it suck any less. I've made it a very strong point to stay away from anything and everything to do with video games, and that may be why it's hit me harder than it ever has before. Unfortunately, this seems to be a critical barrier that I need to overcome and I have no idea how to do it at this time. This.. part of me that craves pity, that wants to feel like crap all the time, I need to find a way to deal with it somehow. I'm not sure if I'll ever find true success until I do.

I am very much open to any suggestions anyone might have, and I thank everyone in advance for it.

EDIT: @Cam Adair I just saw this quote of yours from earlier in my journal:

Quote

Just remember, what you resist, persists. So to transcend what you are feeling you must first fully accept it as is.

Maybe this might apply to my situation. Can you elaborate a little bit more on what you mean by fully accepting it?

Edited by seriousjay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Getting away from provocative media can be something hard to do, or, more  difficult still, dealing with the mental images they leave behind. You could try consuming other kinds of media,of a less dramatic nature, like ambient music, or do some task that roots you in reality.

Weightlifiting is my usual go to, but it's often just me lying on me bed, or listening to the wind blow through the trees near where I live. Gardening/ doing chores is also a good one. They remind you're still here, still living with other things, and you're still human, and that this maintenance is both necessary, and also helps remind that life rarely needs explosions and passionate arguments to be fulfilling, or enjoyable.

2. Your suspicions are on well-trodden ground, if that's much comfort. I have found that rationally confronting these anxieties (face them right on, look at them with objectivity, and decide whether you have anything to worry about what the anxiety is, and if there is anything you can do to stop that) constantly and persistently can be enough to deal with these feelings.

Constantly, I used to worry if my very ill mother will be alright if I leave the house with no other family members to watch over her. I've ran through multiple nightmare scenarios in my head. None of them have happened, so far.

"But what if they do happen?" Well, it's unfortunate if it does (to put it mildly), but most days, I check to see if she's okay, if she needs anything (tea, water, emotional support, her walking cane), and then I go outside, and I've come back to my mum, as good as she can be, given her illness. Accept that something awful can happen, prepare for / prevent it, where it is possible and healthy to do so, and then leave it out of your mind. Often that last part happens because you just move on to something else.

The important part, I feel, is that you understand the fear your anxiety stems from, and not try to hid from it, no matter how terrifying. Hiding from it gives it weight and importance it does not deserve.

3. I recognised this in myself, when I was depressed, I recognised this in my family and friends who have been in a bad state, and who came to me then.

Let me be clear: It's not ridiculous, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. Seeking emotional validation is a very, very human thing to do, and I think you might be a putting out  a cry for help, and that is also totally okay for you to do.

The next step, I think, is confronting and replacing the validation you get from self-pity. You feel good from feeling like you're worthless, and you "prove" to yourself that you are, and that gets you through your day.

Now, find something else, apart from video games, that fills that validation.

Other people are worthwhile including in this validation (a partner gives you a compliment, your friends laugh at a joke).

But, I feel you may only truly conquer this if the validation comes from within.

It is in there. Something which drives you forward, and if you don't have one right now, look for it. Go deep, deep in to your heart, your mind and soul. I found mine in my strong belief in helping others, and it has lead me through the worst crises of my life so far. I had always had that drive and feeling, but it took many, many months of "What the fuck do I care about?" before I got there.

Many find it - a drive - in their work, in their political beliefs, in their family, in their hobby. I might dare to say some reasons are better than others. Yours may be the product of meticulous reasoning, or, like my mine, gut instinct.

It doesn't particularly matter, as long as you have one you believe in.

For that last question, stay with me. I will try to answer it, although I must apologize if I'm overstepping my bounds, in answering the question, Cam.

I remember reading Angry White Pajamas, a book about the author, an Englishman, learning Aikido, a somewhat obscure Japanese martial art, while living with two other guys in a somewhat run-down part of Japan, being a foreigner and also quite poor.

It deals with a lot of things - Japanese cultural norms, the joys and pains of training your body, being a foreigner in a country like Japan - but one thing stood out to me, so clearly, in relation to my (still ongoing) weight issues. I'm obese, for reference.

One fellow trainee, at a mountain retreat, talks to the author, and says "One day, standing naked under a waterfall, I realised my body was just shit. Just, complete shit. Garbage."

He goes on to say that at that precise moment, he could then begin to train seriously. Before that, it was almost pointless.

You can work very hard on the issues you've talked about, here and elsewhere. You can even make progress.

But only when you accept these issues, these feelings, totally, without bias or judgement. No shame, no guilt. Only then can any real change be made.

I stood under a hot shower a couple of weeks ago, and said to myself "My body is complete shit." After that, I built my weightlifting set, and started my routine, and I changed. I got stronger. It is long path ahead of me, but I have taken my first steps.

Everything that you hate about yourself, right now, you must look, straight, right in the eye, and say that that is who you are, right now. When you can do that, then you can start changing yourself into something you think is better.

Edited by Xonor
clarification
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Xonor said:

1. Getting away from provocative media can be something hard to do, or, more  difficult still, dealing with the mental images they leave behind. You could try consuming other kinds of media,of a less dramatic nature, like ambient music, or do some task that roots you in reality.

Weightlifiting is my usual go to, but it's often just me lying on me bed, or listening to the wind blow through the trees near where I live. Gardening/ doing chores is also a good one. They remind you're still here, still living with other things, and you're still human, and that this maintenance is both necessary, and also helps remind that life rarely needs explosions and passionate arguments to be fulfilling, or enjoyable.

2. Your suspicions are on well-trodden ground, if that's much comfort. I have found that rationally confronting these anxieties (face them right on, look at them with objectivity, and decide whether you have anything to worry about what the anxiety is, and if there is anything you can do to stop that) constantly and persistently can be enough to deal with these feelings.

Constantly, I used to worry if my very ill mother will be alright if I leave the house with no other family members to watch over her. I've ran through multiple nightmare scenarios in my head. None of them have happened, so far.

"But what if they do happen?" Well, it's unfortunate if it does (to put it mildly), but most days, I check to see if she's okay, if she needs anything (tea, water, emotional support, her walking cane), and then I go outside, and I've come back to my mum, as good as she can be, given her illness. Accept that something awful can happen, prepare for / prevent it, where it is possible and healthy to do so, and then leave it out of your mind. Often that last part happens because you just move on to something else.

The important part, I feel, is that you understand the fear your anxiety stems from, and not try to hid from it, no matter how terrifying. Hiding from it gives it weight and importance it does not deserve.

3. I recognised this in myself, when I was depressed, I recognised this in my family and friends who have been in a bad state, and who came to me then.

Let me be clear: It's not ridiculous, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. Seeking emotional validation is a very, very human thing to do, and I think you might be a putting out  a cry for help, and that is also totally okay for you to do.

The next step, I think, is confronting and replacing the validation you get from self-pity. You feel good from feeling like you're worthless, and you "prove" to yourself that you are, and that gets you through your day.

Now, find something else, apart from video games, that fills that validation.

Other people are worthwhile including in this validation (a partner gives you a compliment, your friends laugh at a joke).

But, I feel you may only truly conquer this if the validation comes from within.

It is in there. Something which drives you forward, and if you don't have one right now, look for it. Go deep, deep in to your heart, your mind and soul. I found mine in my strong belief in helping others, and it has lead me through the worst crises of my life so far. I had always had that drive and feeling, but it took many, many months of "What the fuck do I care about?" before I got there.

Many find it - a drive - in their work, in their political beliefs, in their family, in their hobby. I might dare to say some reasons are better than others. Yours may be the product of meticulous reasoning, or, like my mine, gut instinct.

It doesn't particularly matter, as long as you have one you believe in.

For that last question, stay with me. I will try to answer it, although I must apologize if I'm overstepping my bounds, in answering the question, Cam.

I remember reading Angry White Pajamas, a book about the author, an Englishman, learning Aikido, a somewhat obscure Japanese martial art, while living with two other guys in a somewhat run-down part of Japan, being a foreigner and also quite poor.

It deals with a lot of things - Japanese cultural norms, the joys and pains of training your body, being a foreigner in a country like Japan - but one thing stood out to me, so clearly, in relation to my (still ongoing) weight issues. I'm obese, for reference.

One fellow trainee, at a mountain retreat, talks to the author, and says "One day, standing naked under a waterfall, I realised my body was just shit. Just, complete shit. Garbage."

He goes on to say that at that precise moment, he could then begin to train seriously. Before that, it was almost pointless.

You can work very hard on the issues you've talked about, here and elsewhere. You can even make progress.

But only when you accept these issues, these feelings, totally, without bias or judgement. No shame, no guilt. Only then can any real change be made.

I stood under a hot shower a couple of weeks ago, and said to myself "My body is complete shit." After that, I built my weightlifting set, and started my routine, and I changed. I got stronger. It is long path ahead of me, but I have taken my first steps.

Everything that you hate about yourself, right now, you must look, straight, right in the eye, and say that that is who you are, right now. When you can do that, then you can start changing yourself into something you think is better.

Thanks for that. I came here to post a few more details but I just wanted to acknowledge your post and I will read it in detail tomorrow. I would like to address one thing you mentioned though:

I am totally, absolutely ready to accept everything that I am at this time. The good and the bad. In fact, that's what I've been trying to do the last few days. Trying to understand why I'm having these anxiety attacks instead of just trying to file them away as something that I "just have to push through". I'm not so sure that they are normal withdrawal symptoms. Which brings me to my next point..

One other thing I forgot to mention above is that I'm considering the idea that a lot of this anxiety is real life issues, insecurities, what have you that I've been able to drown out through video games. Video games acted as a safety net against these things. That safety net no longer exists and now I am forced to confront these issues head on, completely unfiltered. Accepting them, working through them and attempting to resolve them seems to be absolutely critical to my continued growth.

It should be noted that I feel very different this time around. It's hard to explain but I just have this absolute commitment to this process this time around. It might be because I've done so much maturing through my real life experiences the last year or so. From taking care of my 12 year old sister by myself while she went to school here, to buying a new house and having to learn how to manage that, among other things. I feel like I've been ready to take this step for a long time now, and my experience about a week ago is simply the final kick in the butt I needed to get it started. I feel like, no matter how hard it gets, I'm going to see this thing through to the end. Period. I've already gotten over my video game addiction. It's done. They're gone and never coming back. It's just a matter of going through the process to turn that concept into a reality.

All that being said, I do have quite a bit to feel good about too. I've been going to the gym at least twice a week with a trainer for over a year now, and am now transitioning to going 4 times a week. I also very recently started tracking my calorie intake using MyFitnessPal, and through that also fixing my eating habits. Finally, I've gotten consistent at getting to bed by 10-10:30, although obviously it hasn't gone so well the last couple of days.

Anyways, be back tomorrow to post more, maybe. Just putting all this stuff down in my journal has helped immensely so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is good to hear that from you.

 

Yes, removing video games as a safety net did also, for me, show up many issues I had. If you are prepared to work through these issues, now that they are in plain sight, you'll come out much better in the end.

It is  worth re-assuring yourself on this with your journal. It keeps you accountable, if nothing else.

Have a good one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Xonor said:

1. Getting away from provocative media can be something hard to do, or, more  difficult still, dealing with the mental images they leave behind. You could try consuming other kinds of media,of a less dramatic nature, like ambient music, or do some task that roots you in reality.

Weightlifiting is my usual go to, but it's often just me lying on me bed, or listening to the wind blow through the trees near where I live. Gardening/ doing chores is also a good one. They remind you're still here, still living with other things, and you're still human, and that this maintenance is both necessary, and also helps remind that life rarely needs explosions and passionate arguments to be fulfilling, or enjoyable.

2. Your suspicions are on well-trodden ground, if that's much comfort. I have found that rationally confronting these anxieties (face them right on, look at them with objectivity, and decide whether you have anything to worry about what the anxiety is, and if there is anything you can do to stop that) constantly and persistently can be enough to deal with these feelings.

Constantly, I used to worry if my very ill mother will be alright if I leave the house with no other family members to watch over her. I've ran through multiple nightmare scenarios in my head. None of them have happened, so far.

"But what if they do happen?" Well, it's unfortunate if it does (to put it mildly), but most days, I check to see if she's okay, if she needs anything (tea, water, emotional support, her walking cane), and then I go outside, and I've come back to my mum, as good as she can be, given her illness. Accept that something awful can happen, prepare for / prevent it, where it is possible and healthy to do so, and then leave it out of your mind. Often that last part happens because you just move on to something else.

The important part, I feel, is that you understand the fear your anxiety stems from, and not try to hid from it, no matter how terrifying. Hiding from it gives it weight and importance it does not deserve.

3. I recognised this in myself, when I was depressed, I recognised this in my family and friends who have been in a bad state, and who came to me then.

Let me be clear: It's not ridiculous, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. Seeking emotional validation is a very, very human thing to do, and I think you might be a putting out  a cry for help, and that is also totally okay for you to do.

The next step, I think, is confronting and replacing the validation you get from self-pity. You feel good from feeling like you're worthless, and you "prove" to yourself that you are, and that gets you through your day.

Now, find something else, apart from video games, that fills that validation.

Other people are worthwhile including in this validation (a partner gives you a compliment, your friends laugh at a joke).

But, I feel you may only truly conquer this if the validation comes from within.

It is in there. Something which drives you forward, and if you don't have one right now, look for it. Go deep, deep in to your heart, your mind and soul. I found mine in my strong belief in helping others, and it has lead me through the worst crises of my life so far. I had always had that drive and feeling, but it took many, many months of "What the fuck do I care about?" before I got there.

Many find it - a drive - in their work, in their political beliefs, in their family, in their hobby. I might dare to say some reasons are better than others. Yours may be the product of meticulous reasoning, or, like my mine, gut instinct.

It doesn't particularly matter, as long as you have one you believe in.

For that last question, stay with me. I will try to answer it, although I must apologize if I'm overstepping my bounds, in answering the question, Cam.

I remember reading Angry White Pajamas, a book about the author, an Englishman, learning Aikido, a somewhat obscure Japanese martial art, while living with two other guys in a somewhat run-down part of Japan, being a foreigner and also quite poor.

It deals with a lot of things - Japanese cultural norms, the joys and pains of training your body, being a foreigner in a country like Japan - but one thing stood out to me, so clearly, in relation to my (still ongoing) weight issues. I'm obese, for reference.

One fellow trainee, at a mountain retreat, talks to the author, and says "One day, standing naked under a waterfall, I realised my body was just shit. Just, complete shit. Garbage."

He goes on to say that at that precise moment, he could then begin to train seriously. Before that, it was almost pointless.

You can work very hard on the issues you've talked about, here and elsewhere. You can even make progress.

But only when you accept these issues, these feelings, totally, without bias or judgement. No shame, no guilt. Only then can any real change be made.

I stood under a hot shower a couple of weeks ago, and said to myself "My body is complete shit." After that, I built my weightlifting set, and started my routine, and I changed. I got stronger. It is long path ahead of me, but I have taken my first steps.

Everything that you hate about yourself, right now, you must look, straight, right in the eye, and say that that is who you are, right now. When you can do that, then you can start changing yourself into something you think is better.

1. Seems like a good point. More on this below.

2. I'm finding that confronting my fears and anxiety with curiosity instead of fear lessens the impact. Trying to understand why I think and feel the way I do might be a critical step towards full reintegration into real life.

3. Admittedly, I think a good deal of my decision to quit, at least on a subconscious level, may have been a single person. This is a very flawed way to justify any decision because once that focus is gone, it's so easy to go back to what you're trying to get away from. Finding something within myself to keep me going is definitely going to be important. Fortunately I have the next two weeks off, so no distractions and I can explore this idea more thoroughly.

I see where you're coming from with respect to Cam's statement. In general terms, embracing and understanding an aspect you want to change is important for that change to occur. You cannot change something that you're either unaware of or do not acknowledge.

---

Well I didn't think I would be posting here much and here I am. I guess this is the forum to get help for quitting games so I might as well use it. I've dumped all this kind of baggage on people in real life before and I refuse to do it again without full permission.

I read the quit games for one year article and I feel like my keystone habits are already well in place, just have to be maintained and improved upon when possible. I guess the next step is focusing my efforts, which means coming up with some kind of plan for what I want to accomplish. I'm not real sure what the broad picture looks like quite yet but I've identified a few simple things I can explore more fully and see where that goes. At the very least, it'll give me something useful to do while I'm trying to figure out the big picture.

- Geocaching.. I already attempted to find one and while I would definitely classify this activity as boring (for now.. probably the desensitivity to real life kicking in), it is mentally stimulating and can take up quite a lot of time. It is also useful in other ways. It gets my mind used to the idea of slowing down and not expecting something to be happening all the time. Every time I go out with people or do something, my mind seems to expect some kind of big thing to happen every time. I need to get used to the idea that absolutely nothing exciting happening at any point in time is perfectly healthy and acceptable. I will be aiming to explore this activity quite a lot going forward.. hopefully with friends at some point.

- Hiking.. for many of the same reasons as geocaching, but this time I would also like to start doing them on my own. Again, for the reason that I seem to always "need something to happen", going on my own just feels pointless. Going out on my own and just enjoying the views and the workout is reward enough and I just need to get used to that. I guess I'll be putting a lot of emphasis on the idea of lowering the bar for my mind when it comes to what I should expect from any given situation. Starting out on this by just walking around the neighbourhood should be a good way to get going. I can expand to actual trails and stuff later on.

- Meetups.. for obvious reasons. This, at least for now, will probably be the only thing I do to try to improve my social skills. I'll be aiming to hit up at least 2-3 per week, and I need to find some closer to home so I'm not always driving half an hour. Might not be a bad idea to start one of my own, but I need to make sure I am prepared for that commitment.

If I had to really pinpoint one thing I really want to emphasize right now, it's just lowering the bar for what I expect out of any situation. Just an example, for some people, allowing themselves a sweetened coffee is something that they use to reward themselves for something. For me, it's like.. I should just be able to have the coffee whenever and wherever. My current ideas on rewards are just completely distorted and need to be brought in line. This along with just training myself to just allow things to happen and not always expect big things to occur every time I go somewhere. This all ties into what Xonor tried to say in #1 above.

I don't really have anything in mind for a specific daily plan or anything like that at this point. I know I need to do something about that and I'll start thinking about it tomorrow for sure (bit busy tonight).

Anyways, cheers!

Edited by seriousjay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I've been sifting through Linkin Park songs to see if there are any I'd like to add to my car CD. A lot of them have some really depressing lyrics like..

Quote

And never moving forward so there'd never be a past

However, there's one verse in the song What I've Done that 100% resonates with me right now:

Quote

I start again,
And whatever pain may come,
Today this ends,
I'm forgiving what I've done

I feel like the whole point of the song is to not beat yourself up over what you've done in the past, and just allow yourself to forgive what you might have done to others and yourself, and give yourself the opportunity to start again. Really awesome lyrics.

Whatever It Takes by Imagine Dragons is another amazing one. Totally resonates with me.

Edited by seriousjay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK.. so if August 5th, 2018 marks the first day of reinventing my life, this would be day 9. I wasn't going to track the days but given the recommended "detox" period is 90 days, I will be tracking until at least that point. It's also nice to actually see the milestones instead of just having them in my head, and makes it easier to track progress.

So I re-read the guide to quitting games for a year and I think it's time that I started putting into action the recommendation to live life with intention. Today I am going to focus on exactly what I want out of life, right now. As an aside to this, I need to start putting more importance on what *I* want, not what society or family expects of me. Part of my problem before was that I was trying to become someone, instead of doing what brings me joy and fulfillment and allowing those experiences to shape who I become. This changes today.

I've identified 5 major areas to focus on, in order of importance:

1. health and fitness
2. social activities
3. friendships and romance
4. outdoor activities
5. personal development

Here are the reasons why these things are important to me and what I will be doing to make progress in them:

1. Staying healthy is honestly just an automatic thing. I cannot fathom why anyone wouldn't be putting as much effort as they can spare into eating right and staying active. Science has proven that this is the most effective way to prolong the productive years of your life, and I intend to take full advantage of it. I just look at some people confined to wheelchairs or beds, not being able to do anything, and in some cases, not even knowing what's going on around them. I want to avoid this for as long as I can, so that's my main motivation for this area of life.

To that end, I am currently on a nutrition plan of eating 4 times a day, with light to moderate sized meals each time, and putting particular focus on ensuring I am eating some fruits or vegetables (mostly fruits right now) with each meal. I am not focusing too much on the actual micro and macro nutrient balance right now, just creating a meal plan that is sustainable, avoids fast food and maintains a healthy calorie count. For the latter, I am using MyFitnessPal to track my meals and calories. Really nice app. Once this becomes rock solid I will be expanding this to something more complex with more emphasis on micro and macro nutrient balance, although I don't have any specific plans currently on when and how. The idea here is just to get myself used to preparing my own food first, and then worrying about more specific things later.

With fitness, the specific thing I am doing to keep my entire body in shape is going to the gym. The last couple of weeks I was able to make it to the gym 4 times, and I intend to continue that. My personal trainer gave me some supplemental material to help reinforce my knowledge of how to go about working out for optimal effectiveness, and I would like to explore that at some point. Right now, I am more focused on just going to the gym and making that a habit. I still have the trainer for another 3.5 months, and have plans to continue my sessions for another 6 months. After that, I will be on my own, so my overall goal is that I would like to become self sufficient with respect to working out by May 2019. I will speak with my trainer to figure out exactly what I will need to do to make that happen.

I suppose part of health is also getting enough sleep, which I have been very consistent with for the most part for the past month or so, and I intend to continue to improve this. I am currently getting into bed by 10:00 PM and would eventually like to be in bed by 9:30.

2. I would put friendships and romance as #2 but I think it would be difficult to really maintain those effectively without some social skills. I'm exploring options on Meetup.com for how to go about improving this aspect of myself. The social gatherings in Niagara Falls have been good, and as I start to go on more hikes, that will also be an opportunity to improve my social skills. There is also group training at the gym, and I've been told that some people go there more to socialize than actually train, which I guess would include me. I'm also looking into doing geocache hunts in groups. Katrina invited me to a volleyball game that happens with some people she knows every Tuesday, so I will continue that as well. Basically I'm just looking for any opportunity to go out and meet people, but specifically in a setting where we're already there for another purpose, which makes it easier to break the ice.

3. Kind of goes hand in hand with the above. I figure as I get out to more and more social activities, I will inevitably make friends along the way, some really close ones as well I hope. The issue for me is that I don't really know what I'm supposed to do when I have friends. How often should I contact them, etc. etc. The only thing I'm fairly certain of is that friendship is supposed to be a two-way street. If you're always the one having to invite people out but they never return the favour, I'm not sure just how good of a friend that person really is. That being said, I also recognize that sometimes friends just naturally grow distant, but whenever they do get back together, it's like old times again. This whole area of life is one that doesn't seem to be driven by logic at all, and I'm just kind of hoping I'll get a feel for what I'm "supposed to do" as I go along. I also have to make it a point to not just become a robot and allow my personality to shine through as well. If there is any material out there to help with this, I'm open to suggestions.

Romance is something that is really important to me at this stage of my life, possibly more important than anything else right now. However, I recognize that perhaps there are areas I need to work on before this becomes something attainable and sustainable. That being said, I don't actually believe there is some milestone I need to hit in order to deserve a romantic partner, and if something "just happens" along the way, I will fully embrace it and do the best I can to make it work. To that end, I am considering starting an online dating profile to get the ball rolling. My experience in online dating has met with.. mixed results, but I also feel I am more ready to take it on now than I was before.

4. Kind of goes hand in hand with #1. This will definitely act as the cardio portion of my fitness routine. Going on hikes, geocache hunts, etc. It is also going to be a way to help train my brain to lower the "expectations bar". Additionally, my complexion could use some work so being out in the sun will definitely be a good thing. Also, just being outside among nature is something that I find nice and relaxing so there's that too. It will also fill up a LOT of time, which I need right now as I pretty much started this process with an empty slate of things to do.

5. To be clear, personal development is not something I will be relentlessly pursuing as I did my previous attempts. I recognize the value of growth as a person but I just wasn't that into it before and still am not. That being said, stagnation is also not acceptable so I will lightly incorporate elements of personal development into my life, and I expect that will increase as I go. The above things are just much more important to me right now. Just to be clear, I associate personal development mostly with professional growth. Right now, I have a very stable job and don't really know what else to do with myself, so I'm not too worried about that at this time. Just as the quitting games for a year article said, as you try new things, you will discover if another passion is dwelling within you, dormant. If that happens, I will address it at that time. Now, all that being said, I think I will be trying to read some personal development material and incorporating those lessons into my life. I'm going to start with The Willpower Instinct, as that seems like something that would be immediately useful.

---

So yeah, those are the major things I will be working on right now in a very broad view. I don't necessarily have a specific daily plan, although I recognize the importance of that. My work is such that I have to be somewhat flexible and it's a little hard for me to commit to a 24 hour plan each and every day. The quitting for a year article mentioned a morning and evening routine, which IS something that I should be able to do. I'm going out to do some geocache hunting today so I will think on this as I do that.

Anyways, if you got this far, thanks for reading and cheers guys!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What would you guys recommend as the best free meditation app? I knew it was important before but after reading chapter 1 of The Willpower Instinct, I've come to realize that meditation is pretty much a requirement for anyone who doesn't want to constantly be controlled by their impulses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This would be day 11.

Last night I came to a stark realization of just how much video games influence how we think through prolonged exposure. I went to volleyball with Katrina and her friends and afterwards I had a conversation with her about whatever. Right after we parted ways I immediately started feeling like the whole night and conversation was a dismal failure from a social standpoint. Part of that was me feeling like maybe she wasn't that into me (which after objectively analyzing what happened was a ridiculous conclusion), but mostly that I felt like I had made no progress whatsoever in becoming better in social situations.

Here I was, just over a week after giving up almost everything that I identified with, starting with basically nothing, and having this idea that I should be some kind of social master after going out with people a grand total of 4 times after having next to no exposure to people I didn't already know for at least 3 years. The instant gratification and rewards that we grow so accustomed to while playing video games might be the single most destructive part of them, and quite possibly the biggest reason for people failing quitting video games.

Obviously after an objective analysis, I realized that nothing really bad happened and this is all just part of the process. Maybe one thing I've come to realize is that I spend a proportionately small amount of time on improving my social skills compared to how much I spend on health and fitness. I'm not quite sure yet if that needs to be adjusted, mainly because health and fitness is very accessible and social situations have a bit higher of a barrier of entry. I think I'll just continue as I am for now and revisit this a little later.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha exactly bro. Patience. The key is that you're taking positive action towards who you want to be NOW. It will take time, but don't sweat it, you're still making progress and that's all that matters straight up. This is a good video on instant vs. delayed gratification.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Cam Adair said:

Haha exactly bro. Patience. The key is that you're taking positive action towards who you want to be NOW. It will take time, but don't sweat it, you're still making progress and that's all that matters straight up. This is a good video on instant vs. delayed gratification.

 

Thanks Cam I'll definitely check it out!

Just wanted to post here to say I ran into my first minor setback last night. I went on a 2 hour hike just before and had to do some stuff at work right after, on top of not having slept too well the night before, so none of that was helping my willpower at the time. I caved and had 2 servings of a Dairy Queen ice cream cake. One serving is 410 cals and it's basically just all sugar. I justified it by saying I had room in my calorie budget for it, and I had already worked so hard that day so I deserved a reward.

This was bad for a number of reasons. I believe I read that the sugar crash actually disrupts your ability to go into deep REM sleep. On top of these being almost completely empty calories. I should have had a protein shake to help with my recovery and called it a night. On top of all that, this experience is likely going to make it harder to say no the next time. I will need to be very mindful about any further cravings and temptations in the near future.

Oh well. Just learn from it is all I can do at this point. We all stumble and make mistakes so I'm not going to beat myself up over it.. although I really wanted to. On a somewhat related note, I've read also that your emotional state can actually affect your digestion as well. Whether that's true or not, I can't allow myself to get too down about anything. Instead of getting distraught over a situation, just calmly approach things with an objective mind and ask questions. I believe constantly getting down and beating myself up is going to eventually lead me back to my previous way of life, and I can't allow that to happen.

Anyway, looking forward to a great day of recovery! I've worked very hard the last week or so and today I intend to reward myself by allowing myself to do literally NOTHING if I want to!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So today is day 13.

So today I am committing to a morning and evening routine. It may change over time but this is what I've got for now.

Mornings:

6:00 AM - get up and take shower
6:20 AM - begin morning meditation, 15 min
6:35 AM - morning stretches
6:40 AM - begin preparing and eating breakfast
7:00 AM - begin preparing lunch (may eventually move this to night before if I find I don't have time in the AM)
7:15 AM - morning routine done, chill until I have to go to work, would like to be there by 7:30 AM so leaves about 10 minutes

For any day where I'm not working, the above still applies, except the part where I have to go to work.

Evenings:

9:30 PM - go to sleep

I actually like the quitting for a year guide's idea of setting something up during your evenings as a cue that the day is over. I'm just not really sure what that would be for me right now. I'm thinking of buying a couple of e-novels that I can read on my tablet before bed for maybe half an hour, but not quite sure about that yet. I am still keen on trying my hand at becoming a writer, so this is a logical step towards that. Perhaps that this desire is still within me after so many years suggests it's something worth pursuing.

Also, Katrina randomly called me yesterday at about 1:00 PM. This is the first time I can remember receiving a phone call from someone who didn't want something from me. She just wanted to talk. That was a very pleasant surprise and I suppose a sign that things are moving in the right direction.

Cheers guys!

Edited by seriousjay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I went through the first 3 pages of my journal and I've identified a couple of key areas that set me up for failure:

1) I noticed a lot of "it'll work itself out", "I'm sure it'll work out in time", etc. The reality is that things very rarely just magically work out unless we actively work to make it happen. I won't allow myself to have that attitude anymore. If I want something to happen, I have to put a plan in place to make it happen, and then execute it. If I cannot, then I will scrap that thing that "will work out" and concentrate on something I can actually do something about.

2) I took on way too much and "committed" to way too many grandiose things. Here's what I've accomplished in the last 2 weeks:

- cleaned the house, at least the areas that I could think of to clean
- prepared my own meals from precooked ingredients, and cooked a couple of simple meals
- searched for 2 geocaches, found 1
- went to the gym 4 times a week, started to do some extra stretching the last couple of days
- went on 2 hikes
- read a chapter of The Willpower Instinct and acted on the action steps in that chapter
- quickly went through Ramit's guide to social skills
- read the first 3 pages of my journal
- went to volleyball twice
- went to 2 social meetups
- planned a morning and evening routine

It seems like a lot but it's nothing compared to all the crazy things I said I was going to do in previous attempts. I've intentionally kept things simple and allowed myself plenty of down time specifically in order to not get burnt out, and to actually give myself a chance to do all the things I planned to do, which has worked out extremely well so far. I know over time that things are going to get much more complicated and my days are going to get busier, so there's no point in burdening myself with that right from the start.

I mentioned a long time ago that I was going to reward myself for a job well done by going to the Gate of India restaurant. I think that's exactly what I'm going to do this coming week! Two weeks completely devoid of everything gaming related seems like reason to celebrate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So this is the end of day 15.

I can't sleep. I don't know if it's excitement or adrenaline or just these million thoughts going through my head. For the very first time in.. about 5 and a half years or so of becoming aware of needing to drastically change the direction of my life, I actually have this exceptionally strong belief that it can be done. That I can do this. That I DESERVE this! And it feels amazing.

I've worked so hard for this. I've stumbled and fallen backwards so many times but I never gave up on myself. Through all of that hard work, stress, anxiety, and everything else, it seems I've finally developed the skills and mentality necessary to put my past behind me and start building the life of my dreams.

That isn't to say that it's going to be smooth sailing from here. I know I'll have some less than ideal days going forward and I'm certain there will be cravings and temptations that I will need to overcome in the future. However, I believe I am fully prepared to handle all of that now.

I couldn't have gotten to this point without Game Quitters. Thanks so much @Cam Adair for turning your passion into a reality.

I also cannot fail to mention @AlexTheGrape who as my accountability partner for a long time, really helped me set a foundation to work from. Both of our hard work seems to now be paying off.

Well, I know I won't be getting enough sleep tonight so hopefully I can fall asleep soon! Good night.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 16.

In chapter 2 of The Willpower Instinct, one of the willpower challenges was identifying the "instinct that needs to be restrained". I figured I'd jot some notes about that down here.

- the part of me that craves instant gratification
- the part of me that expects things to happen near instantly as is often the case in video games
- the part of me that seems to believe any time spent not making progress is wasted time.. tied to the above a little bit

I think the most important thing I'm learning from all of this so far is to just SLOW THE **** DOWN! It's absolutely amazing how much of a difference it makes when you tell yourself that it's fine for things to take time and develop slowly. That hour long workout? No big deal, just go through the sets one at a time, no need to rush. My morning stretching routine? It's important to take an appropriate amount of time on each one to ensure I get the full benefits.

I think it's easy to think things need to happen quickly when you're used to the timescale that video games tend to go by. The reality is that days happen so frickin slowly. Life is a slow marathon!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 18.

I have to say I'm really grateful for the My Fitness Pal app. I've been using it to track my calorie intake and it's really helped me control my eating. I'm also surprised sometimes at how energy dense certain foods are, like hamburger patties. I used to eat AT LEAST two of those in one meal if they were home made.

The other nice thing about the app is it also tracks the major micro nutrients as well, like vitamin A and C, as well as what the recommended daily intake is. As I get more used to using these features, I think I'll really put myself in a good spot nutrition wise.

I'm also starting to enjoy cooking a bit. I've made it a point to properly cook at least one meal a week, which I will do tomorrow (chicken parm), but I've also been preparing some stuff like hot dogs (the actual sausage variety) as well.

I've also come to discover I'm not as inept socially as I thought. I really had to force myself to see things through an objective lens to come to that conclusion, but I think I've got a good handle on the basics. At a minimum, I know what people want: they want to feel respected, listened to, not just heard, they want to be made to feel good, and not constantly surrounded in drama and negativity. Well, most people at least.

I still sometimes say things that I perceive to come off in an unintended way, and I also tend to draw a blank at times when coming up with things to say, but I think that will improve as I practice and prepare more. I've been reading Ramit Sethi's guide to social skills again, and if there's anything I've learned from it, it's that preparation is a pretty important part of handling social situations. So I'll need to prepare answers to common questions.

Additionally, he had a nice tip with respect to coming up with things to talk about: check tabloid headlines and what's trending on Facebook and Twitter. These are things people are most commonly paying attention to. I may not necessarily care about any of it, but it would be good to have an at least working knowledge of what's going on in the world.

Lastly, I think it would be a good idea to remind myself of things that I've been doing recently. For example, two nights ago I helped my cousin install a window in my house. These types of things can be useful conversation material depending on the situation.

All in all things are going really good so far.

---

On a somewhat more serious note, I've been trying to come up with some kind of internal reason to keep myself going when things really start to get tough. A few nights ago, when I discovered that strong feeling that I am actually capable of doing this, I had some "movies" running through my head of what my life might look like in the future. The most vivid one for me was my future wedding. I had a very strong emotional attachment to that. I think that's what this is all about for me, right now. I do not want to live my life alone. I want an amazing partner to share my experiences with, and partake in hers as well. Without that, I don't see much point in living.

Obviously, this is not the "end game". This is just my current major goal and milestone. Now I just have to figure out what I need to do to get there.

The other really important thing to me, right now, is my health and fitness. I do not, under any circumstances, want to be "cared and felt sorry for" when I get really old. I'd rather just be dead. I mean no disrespect whatsoever to people in this position, but the thought of having to be tended to and wheeled around is abhorrent to me. In order to accomplish that, I must make the necessary sacrifices right now, and I think I am well on track to make that happen.

The main reason this is hard to use as a reason to keep going is because there isn't any real specific goal in mind when it comes to this. I know what I need to do, I'm just not sure what the end result really looks like. So, I just have a hard time visualizing in my mind some kind of movie or story that I can get attached to. Maybe there's nothing wrong with that.

It's good to be able to put this stuff down somewhere so I can review it later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 19.

I went to Gate of India today and man I didn't realize how much I missed it. It was great! I plan to go there again after 30, 60 and 90 days. It makes for an excellent reward!

I also did a lot of shopping today for more presentable clothing for dating purposes. It's a little frustrating to go through so much work but I also understand the importance of looking your best, especially on a first date. I see it very much as a self respect thing at least as much as respecting the person you're seeing. If you're willing to look like a mess on a date, just how much do you care about other things? Or yourself even? I'd say the clothing people wear says a lot about what they think of themselves personally. It was a little pricey but I'm sure it'll pay off in the long run!

Lastly, my knees are starting to feel a lot better as well! I've been having some serious lateral mobility issues because my knees were hurting so much, especially after strenuous activity. However, it seems like my body has done whatever it needed to do to adjust to my increased physical activity. This is REALLY nice because my mobility felt so restricted during this time. It'll be nice to be able to move around properly again! It'll also especially be nice to not have to hold myself back as much as well. I'd have liked to do a little more than I've been doing but didn't want to push it too far, just in case. Maybe I'll go to 2 hikes a week now!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 20.

OK so.. I seem to be pretty good at meeting people for the first time, but.. just what the hell do you do when you actually make a friend? I always seem to manage to alienate people once I get to know them. I'm pretty sure I'm trying too hard and coming off as needy or desperate or whatever, but isn't the purpose of having friends to.. you know.. hang out and have fun? I always feel like if I don't talk to people or hang out with them often enough, they'll think I've forgotten about them or don't care about them. However, when I do what I usually do, it seems to come off as I mentioned before.

I really need some help with this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey dude, I see you are making progress lately on the social side, and that's pretty good. People and other resources usually tell us how to start the relationships or the conversations with others, but there is always some lack of advice on how to keep that relationship once it is born. I see you are now struggling with that phase, so I'll try to help you. Have in mind that I don't know all the context of your relationship and maybe some of this advices are outdated for you, just take the ones that you think can actually help you.

So you have made contact with other people and you seem to get along with them. This is the early phase of a potential friendship. But don't run too fast: the social convention tends to dislike when someone goes faster than usual because it means you lack something that you want to get as soon as possible to fit in the norm, and that thing in this case are friends. Don't worry, even if it takes some time to grow an actual friendship, the outcome is worth the wait and effort.

Now that I have spoken about what NOT to do, let's speak about what to do. Let's say you met one person or a small group of people for the first time, you talked to them for the first time and there was a good atmosphere. You want to be their friend. The first thing you want to know after the initial convo is what do you have in common with them: hobbies, shows that you like, films, books, whatever. This will set up a good bunch of subjects you can draw when you want to talk to them again, so you won't fall into an uncomfortable silence.

Once you have talked to them like three or four times and you feel like they are happy to talk to you and/or you have enough things in common to maintain a good conversation (it can include many subjects or it can be long enough), it may be the time to actually meet and hang out. The first think you need is a way to meet with them, most likely, their number. If they seem like they won't give them to you, you can take the first step and give yours to them. If the phone is not an option, you can try with social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Afterwards, you have to set up the meeting. Maybe a pub and have a beer or a soda, whatever you and the other person want to drink. Or maybe a walk over the city. Something than can give you the opportunity to talk about one of those subjects you previously figured out. Once you feel confident enough, you can try to know something about them or their lives, and you can open yourself too, maybe an anecdote. Talking about your lives and memories will tighten the bound and create a confidence atmosphere. Remember to be calm about this: if you rush, they will take it as a weird behavior and may back down a little.

Once you have successfully completed the first meeting, you are ready to try and set up the next one. The more you can meet with someone, the more your bound and your friendship will strengthen. Remember to keep in touch with the people that you are more comfortable with from time to time if you can't meet many times.

Some side notes:

- Try to look confident when you talk to others. But don't get me wrong, being confident doesn't mean you have to be an overproud dickhead or dishonest. If you overact, they will notice and take it as weird. You have to act like you are doing all of this because it's just natural, so be calm.

- If they refuse to meet with you twice in a row, don't force them anymore. It will result annoying and it may break the relationship. Twice is my personal preference, you can choose your own limit, but this has worked fine for me.

- Not all the people are good people. I know we aren't supposed to judge and all that rainbow shit, but be aware and alert for toxic behavior, and try to stay away from that kind of people.

- Even if you have bad luck and your first attempts turn out bad, don't give up. There will come worthy people at some point.

- This is an advice I took from a good friend: Not all the friends you make will give you the same treatment. You have to understand that everyone is unique, so their behavior will be different. Never ever expect something from someone. You have to learn what every single person can give you and what are you willing to give to that person in return.

- Friendship is not static: it may change overnight. It only needs one word in a concrete moment and place to change everything, for worse or for better. Therefore, the previous note has to be in constant examination.

And I think this is all I can tell you. I hope it helps you somehow. Again, I don't know all the details, so I don't know if all of this information is outdated to you. If you think it is useless, just tell me and I'll delete it. Be strong and keep up the good work mate, you can do this ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, Peluconus said:

Hey dude, I see you are making progress lately on the social side, and that's pretty good. People and other resources usually tell us how to start the relationships or the conversations with others, but there is always some lack of advice on how to keep that relationship once it is born. I see you are now struggling with that phase, so I'll try to help you. Have in mind that I don't know all the context of your relationship and maybe some of this advices are outdated for you, just take the ones that you think can actually help you.

So you have made contact with other people and you seem to get along with them. This is the early phase of a potential friendship. But don't run too fast: the social convention tends to dislike when someone goes faster than usual because it means you lack something that you want to get as soon as possible to fit in the norm, and that thing in this case are friends. Don't worry, even if it takes some time to grow an actual friendship, the outcome is worth the wait and effort.

Now that I have spoken about what NOT to do, let's speak about what to do. Let's say you met one person or a small group of people for the first time, you talked to them for the first time and there was a good atmosphere. You want to be their friend. The first thing you want to know after the initial convo is what do you have in common with them: hobbies, shows that you like, films, books, whatever. This will set up a good bunch of subjects you can draw when you want to talk to them again, so you won't fall into an uncomfortable silence.

Once you have talked to them like three or four times and you feel like they are happy to talk to you and/or you have enough things in common to maintain a good conversation (it can include many subjects or it can be long enough), it may be the time to actually meet and hang out. The first think you need is a way to meet with them, most likely, their number. If they seem like they won't give them to you, you can take the first step and give yours to them. If the phone is not an option, you can try with social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Afterwards, you have to set up the meeting. Maybe a pub and have a beer or a soda, whatever you and the other person want to drink. Or maybe a walk over the city. Something than can give you the opportunity to talk about one of those subjects you previously figured out. Once you feel confident enough, you can try to know something about them or their lives, and you can open yourself too, maybe an anecdote. Talking about your lives and memories will tighten the bound and create a confidence atmosphere. Remember to be calm about this: if you rush, they will take it as a weird behavior and may back down a little.

Once you have successfully completed the first meeting, you are ready to try and set up the next one. The more you can meet with someone, the more your bound and your friendship will strengthen. Remember to keep in touch with the people that you are more comfortable with from time to time if you can't meet many times.

Some side notes:

- Try to look confident when you talk to others. But don't get me wrong, being confident doesn't mean you have to be an overproud dickhead or dishonest. If you overact, they will notice and take it as weird. You have to act like you are doing all of this because it's just natural, so be calm.

- If they refuse to meet with you twice in a row, don't force them anymore. It will result annoying and it may break the relationship. Twice is my personal preference, you can choose your own limit, but this has worked fine for me.

- Not all the people are good people. I know we aren't supposed to judge and all that rainbow shit, but be aware and alert for toxic behavior, and try to stay away from that kind of people.

- Even if you have bad luck and your first attempts turn out bad, don't give up. There will come worthy people at some point.

- This is an advice I took from a good friend: Not all the friends you make will give you the same treatment. You have to understand that everyone is unique, so their behavior will be different. Never ever expect something from someone. You have to learn what every single person can give you and what are you willing to give to that person in return.

- Friendship is not static: it may change overnight. It only needs one word in a concrete moment and place to change everything, for worse or for better. Therefore, the previous note has to be in constant examination.

And I think this is all I can tell you. I hope it helps you somehow. Again, I don't know all the details, so I don't know if all of this information is outdated to you. If you think it is useless, just tell me and I'll delete it. Be strong and keep up the good work mate, you can do this ?

Hey man, thanks for that! Lots of good advice there.

I've also been reading a little about this on Google and the main takeaway for me is that every person is unique. There is no "one size fits all" approach to friendships. Some people want to talk and hang out with you frequently, while others think nothing of seeing you every month or even longer. The trick I guess is to identify which type of friend you have.

The second thing is that I think I'm still just trying to do things too fast, as you suggested. I've got to learn to take things more slowly and allow things to happen in a more natural way instead of just trying to force things.

Quote

Even if you have bad luck and your first attempts turn out bad, don't give up. There will come worthy people at some point.

And that's something I'm just going to have to keep reminding myself of. There are plenty of people in the world and you can't be good friends with all of them. However, as long as I keep trying and meeting new people, eventually I will meet the ones who are meant to be my closest friends.

Thanks again! This helped a lot. ?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...