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Zane's New Journal


Zane

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Hi guys :) My last post was 6 months ago. Whaaat. It doesn't feel like that long ago. I have an intro somewhere on here but by now it's a fairly outdated intro. Unfortunately, since I haven't checked the forums in forever, I don't know what has been going on. There are lots of people here! I looked through some posts, but there are too many to read. Would someone be willing to fill me in a little?
When I was actively posting on the forums, I remember a number of individuals who were very positive and a bit of an inspiration on a daily basis. What held me back from posting a lot in the past was that my life was not going well for me and despite trying very hard, I couldn't find positive things to say. Nobody complained about it, but I felt like a bit of a burden to the community. I felt like I was supposed to be an example in the earlier days but I was not ready to be. My mind was not in the right place. I felt embarrassed about my issues. Well, for the first time, I'm ready to return :) Everything feels different for me now. Whereas previously I struggled to follow through on any of my promises or resolutions, I feel refreshed, unburdened, and freer.

As I've described before, I have struggled with video game addiction for a while. Video games had always been addictive for me, and that addiction hit me head on after I moved out of my parents' house. While I did move out, I was drastically unprepared for the transition. I wanted to maintain my standard of living, where I found joy in video games and my ex girlfriend, who loved me and with whom I was deeply in love. However, living with my aunt, my life stagnated. I spent all day playing video games, and every aspect of my life struggled. My relationships sucked, my grades sucked, my self confidence sucked, and I tore myself apart. Losing my girlfriend was the final blow that crippled me for years.

2015 was the roughest year for me. Every moment I was reminded of my pain, from dawn till dusk. I had bad habits, I didn't sleep, I developed serious acne and depression. But, I was also filled with desperate energy, I felt that I had to change myself, to improve myself. After I came across Cam, I became a part of this community. I hoped that I could solve my problems in a timely fashion. I hoped that all of the advice I heard about working out, meditation, sleep, qutting video games, etc, would fix my problems. However, my attempts at detox failed. I think they failed because I was still in a lot of pain, I couldn't discipline myself into a good schedule providing for adequate sleep, and my bad habits led to a lot of unnecessary stress. The enormous amount of change I wanted to make in my life overwhelmed me. Reading books about having a wonderful life and being successful, made me feel so insufficient that at a certain point I unconsciously decided that I wasn't cut out for any of it.

The result of my attempted detox led to 2016, where I stopped caring, and devoted myself to perfecting my game in the strategy game I was playing. For the first half of 2016, my life revolved around this game. All the good things I learned in 2015 were brushed away. It's actually kind of embarrassing. It reminds me of Cam when he talks of his great Relapse. I was sure at a certain point that I wouldn't relapse, especially not as hard as I did, but I did.

During the summer of 2016 I moved out on my own. I remember the first week moving out, I felt that it was something new, and that I would finally quit video games. The external concept of me moving out on my own pressured me into feeling I had to quit video games. But my heart wasn't in it, and I soon relapsed. I didn't want to find a job. I wanted to do what was extremely comfortable. The only thing that made me finally get a job was hunger and rent. You could almost say It was rock bottom. BUT....

Those basic needs gave me exactly what I needed. Finally, I was forced to come to reality to come up with a plan for survival. And it felt good. The machine finally turned on, and I gained momentum. I got a job at Starbucks. And at first, that was enough. It being my first demanding job, I had to adapt. I had to learn how to work in stressful situations as part of a team. I had to learn how to maintain conversations, employ a constantly positive attitude, and tackle uncomfortable tasks immediately. And for the last  months I've been training myself to work hard, to be productive, to force myself to do unpleasant tasks, to endure pain, and delay gratification. These were things that I had been incapable of doing for the longest time. I was disturbed by what I thought was laziness. I possessed intellect; I knew how things worked, and yet, developing the skills to do those things was another matter entirely.

So, my job began as a means of survival. And so at first, I was focused on surviving. However, before I knew it, I started feeling satisfaction in my work. I saw improvement. And it became easier. And so, over time I've been phasing in various elements of self development that I had abandoned a year earlier. Whereas previously I had tried to take up everything at once and been disappointed, now I started with one thing at a time. Now mind you, I was STILL playing video games 5-6 days a week. However, those sessions were considerably shorter. And, as I saved up money, I planned my return to weight training. I started eating healthy again and going to the gym. I then started visiting my family frequently again. I went camping. Then, right before Thanksgiving, I had one final relapse, which ended with me very resoundingly deciding that I was ready to quit. I bought software to block games, password protected by a friend. This was in mid December. I haven't played any games since.

Ever since then, I've been getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night. I've been eating well, working out. I started reading books again. Right now I'm reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People," and I love the book. I've already begun applying what I've learned. For Christmas I asked for a Yoga mat. And just this week I've started taking yoga classes and I love it. Every day I try something new, whether it's a new food, creating a new playlist, trying a new exercise, driving to a new place. I feel freer than I ever have in my life. The pain of my breakup is fading, and I'm planning ahead, months in advance. Today I've brought this new journal so that I can reconnect with this community, because everything has changed. For once, I have positive things to bring to the table. I finally have the state of mind that I so desperately needed last year. I'm growing. And I miss u CAM. TALK TO ME BROTHA :P

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Alright I'll do the 30 day challenge I guess. I never finished it! :( So I've been reading it through a second time. Good stuff. Hey Cam, have you updated the 30 Day Challenge? My copy is over a year old.

Write a letter to yourself about how you're currently feeling and why it's important to you to move on from games. Why do you want to make this change in your life?

Video games are addictive and for years I have given in to the instant gratification that they offer. However, I am finally ready to move on, cutting out games entirely. This was made possible thanks to new direction, new healthier addictions, and new goals. On the surface it seems strange because unlike previously I now have to work for a living, and yet that grind has helped fuel the motivation and momentum to succeed. I feel like  have more options now than ever before. Quitting video games was the next logical step in my situation. I want more time to pursue my goals, and that means casting the games aside. I didn't even plan this as a new years resolution, but given that the year has just begun, I think I have a great opportunity to say that 2017 was the year my life took off :)

Write one or two sentences describing how you believe other people currently perceive you.

This is an interesting question. I haven't thought of it much. My answer now is certainly different than it was last time. There are different people in my life. I know that my family respects me a lot more than ever, given that I support myself, and when I visit, I conduct myself as one who is in control, reasonably confident, and positive. The drama of years past is almost completely wiped, and I'm far more at peace with the new status quo. Later this month I intend to return to school, at a new school, to meet new people, learn new things. For now, I have my coworkers who are the largest part of my social life. I think that for the most part they perceive me as hardworking, friendly, and reliable. I am also known to be brutally honest, which my coworkers have told me on several occasions. This was news to me; it was never something I perceived of myself. Some of them really appreciate the honesty and others find it less appropriate. Of course, professionality is always maintained on the job. I am also told frequently that I have done well to improve myself over time, and this is gratifying to hear.

Write one or two sentences describing how you'd like to be perceived by others.

I'd like to be perceived by others as one who is charming, charismatic, physically strong and attractive, emotionally available, and confident. I want to be seen as a leader.

List three of your behaviors or characteristics you would like to change.

I want to stop wasting time, surfing youtube for entertainment.

I want to stop allowing my room to become messy and procrastinating cleaning it up/ doing laundry.


I want to wake up early every day instead of allowing my schedule to shift as frequently as it does. I want more time to enjoy the sun in the morning instead of waking up at noon or later some days and barely feeling the warmth of the sun. I believe the sun is critical to my productivity and happiness during the day.

Determine how many more days you have left to live

I'll pass.

 

There it is :) Hey guys, is anyone lookingfor a new friend? Friend me! xD

Edited by Zane
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Hey Zane and welcome back. I think I read you old jounral at some point :)

I am currently not as active as I was before but I'll be happy to check into your journal from time to time. Sounds like you did a lot of growing over the last year and liek having a job was really beneficial for you. Well done man! I also started the challenge some time ago and stopped as I had to made a photograph with a stranger. I'll maybestart again after I have finished my master thesis and found a job. This has top priority now and is also the reason why I cut doww on gamequitters ;). Nugh of me :) Good luck with the challenge. Prove yourself that you can do it!

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  • 2 weeks later...

So it's been about a month since i quit video games. First of all, this may be the longest I've gone without playing video games in many years. Perhaps not quite yet but I am close to that target, Unlike previously, I don't have a calling, or an urge to play any specific game. The strategy game called to me very strongly 1.5 years ago but now I'm not called to any game. Also, I'm goddam committed to this. And part of it is that i dont have time to play. Currently I have an extremely difficult situation im in, due to the mistakes i made in 2016 when i dropped out of school. I have a alot of hard work ahead of me. One of the critical things for me right now is I need to learn to budget effectively. Day 2 of the 30 Day challenge asks for me to develop a project for myself. The single best idea i have for a project is controlling my time and money management. For some people this might be second nature, but for me, I've not had alot of structure in a LONG time. But for the next 6 months I intend to make the most out of my time and money. This will include schedules, budgets, savings, and very clear plans. This will be a challenge, because I totally lack time management skills. I purchased a whiteboard to start/ have a notebook prepared. Funny thing is i purchased a whiteboard last time i did this but somehow it got lost, even though it was a damn big whiteboard, hahaha. Does anyone have tips on how to get started with time management planning and budgeting?

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Congratulations on your first month!

There is a good book about stress free productivity called "Getting things done" by David Allen, if I'm not mistaken. Rather than time management, the book describes a system to organize your activities in a way that you avoid anxiety and stress. It is kind of long though, and I feel it could use half of the pages, so you might want to check out a summary or review first.

As for budget, try to build a day budget and then expand it for week budget, then month, year, etc.

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So it's been about a month since i quit video games. First of all, this may be the longest I've gone without playing video games in many years. Perhaps not quite yet but I am close to that target, Unlike previously, I don't have a calling, or an urge to play any specific game. The strategy game called to me very strongly 1.5 years ago but now I'm not called to any game. Also, I'm goddam committed to this. And part of it is that i dont have time to play. Currently I have an extremely difficult situation im in, due to the mistakes i made in 2016 when i dropped out of school. I have a alot of hard work ahead of me. One of the critical things for me right now is I need to learn to budget effectively. Day 2 of the 30 Day challenge asks for me to develop a project for myself. The single best idea i have for a project is controlling my time and money management. For some people this might be second nature, but for me, I've not had alot of structure in a LONG time. But for the next 6 months I intend to make the most out of my time and money. This will include schedules, budgets, savings, and very clear plans. This will be a challenge, because I totally lack time management skills. I purchased a whiteboard to start/ have a notebook prepared. Funny thing is i purchased a whiteboard last time i did this but somehow it got lost, even though it was a damn big whiteboard, hahaha. Does anyone have tips on how to get started with time management planning and budgeting?

Use MINT.com for budgeting and expense tracking.

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