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NEW INTERVIEW: How Pauline Narvas Overcame Gaming Addiction to Become a Programmer and Build an Incredible Life!

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drflox

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I already gave a bit of info about the start of my 90 day detox and the history of gaming habit in the introduction , so I'll spare the history lesson here.

I has been over one week now, and except for very special occasions like travelling or being sick, there haven't been many longer time periods in my life since being a kid, without playing at least some sort of video game. Nevertheless, it has been surprisingly easy so far... I had no desire, no cravings whatsoever (except for occasional boredom) to go back to gaming.
(However, I had similar experiences when I tried the nofap challenge some time ago, and it got unbearable after around 1-2 weeks, so lets see whats coming...)

I think it all comes down to the mindset witch which you are approaching this. You can start the detox and think "Now I'm going to torture myself for 90 days, every day is gonna be horrible, but maybe at least I will learn something about myself..." , or to quote someone from the gamequitters podcast, you can just think "This chapter of my life is simply over now."  It doesn't mean I necessarily regret every moment I spent gaming. There were certainly good times with friends (especially in the pre-internet era, split-screens games and LAN-parties). I am thankful that I was gifted with a high self-control and could enjoy gaming as teenager without messing up my education, although I wish had used more of that time to practice my social skills. But now I am looking forward to a new chapter in my life, and in this chapter there is simply no mention of gaming whatsoever.

There are millions of other fascinating things to do, some of which may bear the risk of turning into a new addiction. But that's fine, with this exercise I am practicing my skill for self monitoring and trying to find the most meaningful hobbies and activities.

The main thing I noticed already in this first week, is that I am much more motivated to got to work and to stay at work. Before, I literally considered every minute I stayed late in the evening as wasted precious game time. Now, since this escape is no longer available, I am trying to make my work as exciting as possible, by giving my best, learning new stuff, and improving my relationships with my colleagues (still a long way to go). 
A side effect is though, that I often get home a bit later and I am more exhausted, therefore not really motivated to study languages or doing much productive for that matter...  Still have to figure out alternatives to relax and better time management.

Edited by drflox
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Hi and welcome to the forum. Great job on commiting to this and getting throught the first week.

As I quit gaming I felt too like the pressure to find time for gaming was gone (ofcourse I wasn't working at that time so I had  LOT of time then). I would consider to wake up one hour earlier and go to bad earlier too. This way you can work on your self before working for other people.

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Thank you guys, and sorry for the long silence. Now finally an update.

First of all, the good news: Detox day 58. I am still on track, with no intention to go back anytime soon.

I've been keeping myself busy with work, which is not hard, there is always plenty of stuff to do and learn in my field. Then of course I want to study Korean, so I already have plenty of challenging, mentally engaging projects, and I never really felt bored during the whole 58 days. 

I also discovered that reading is a really enjoyable and relaxing activity for me. I especially like non-fiction, philosophical or popular psychology books (currently the six pillars of self-esteem, recommended on the gamequitters podcast). I am so glad that I received my fancy new e-ink tablet for reading and writing (nothing else, no web browser etc.) almost in the same week where I decided to quit gaming. I had pre-ordered over a year ago on kickstarter and actually wanted to cancel it during my gaming period, because back then I thought I have no time for reading anyways... "luckily" I was so preoccupied with gaming that I forgot to cancel it. I probably wouldn't have bought it for the retail price now which is twice as much as it was for preorders.

This all may sound a bit too positive. I have to admit that a good portion of my former gaming time went into more youtube and web browsing in general. It's not all completely mindless stuff, but a lot of it is just to fill some void... which brings me to the next point:

I am still struggling with the third component needed to replace gaming addiction: Social activities. I was always very introverted, and I was almost exclusively playing multiplayer games, which gave me the illusion to be among people. It was obviously a bit foolish of me to believe that throwing myself into the cold water by moving to a new country with a completely different language would be a good strategy to make me more social...    Not that I regret coming to Korea, I am starting to like it here more and more, discovering new food, getting along quite well with coworkers, etc.   
It's just that I have no friends anymore, and weekends can feel somewhat lonely (I almost felt a bit relieved that we didn't have Christmas holidays here, except for one day off). And my social anxiety makes it not very easy for me to just go out by myself to explore the neighborhood etc... I registered on meetup.com, but the site doesn't seem popular here, there's nothing in my area except for some english/Korean language exchange meetups (for which I felt not enough prepared yet, and too shy).  I did try a dating app and met someone (although only with help of lots of alcohol),  but it quickly died off afterwards. And I am currently just not in the mood to start some romantic relationship.  
So far I've been studying Korean only by myself with videos/websites, but this week I will finally go to some classes that another work colleague recommended... meeting some other foreigners there may be helpful.  Don't get me wrong, tough, I am really quite happy. I like my work, which to a large part is also my hobby, and the work environment is excellent, the boss, and the people are all really great. That's the most important thing for me.

Overall I am quite optimistic for 2018, basically every aspect in my life is only improving.  Let's see if this is also the case for my motivation to write journal entries...

Edited by drflox
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Nothing that you can't manage, you were brave to face a whole new country, you'll be able to handle social contacts. As someone who was really incompetent with people back then, be patient with yourself. Most of your worries are in your head only, and once you learn to be comfortable around others you will never 'unlearn' that skill. It's totally worth it, so don't give up!

Awesome update, almost two months! B|

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Day 71:

I've been realizing during the last week or two, that I've started becoming less productive and neglecting my healthy activities (reading, workout, meditation..). 
Somehow, after an initial motivation boost, I unconsciously started filling my newly gained free time more and more with useless youtube, browsing, tv shows, porn, etc..

As some people in this forum also noticed and suggested, to really get the detox benefits, one has to either quit all electronic entertainment altogether or, what I think is possible, be very organized and strict in time management.
I therefore started, in addition to this public journal, a daily mini-journal, where I just put some checkboxes and keywords of small things/goals that I want to achieve everyday.

I've been reading up a lot about habit formation, breaking habit loops, how to build self-esteem, etc. in the last months, but haven't really applied any of this theory. Therefore I've come up with a list of small manageable steps, that I will try and post here in future updates.

 

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Thanks.
I've been developing my own morning routine lately, (something that is recommended by all the health enthusiasts and successful people). Starting with a few simple things first, until I turn them them to a habit, and build on that. 

So far it includes:

  • Not checking my phone when waking up (which was often the first thing I did). No social media, reddit or whatever for the first 30min or until I leave the house.
  • Smile (feels still a bit forced though)
  • Drink a big glass of water immediately to rehydrate and start metabolism.
  • Spend a couple of minutes exercising (on my stationary bike), just ~3mins to wake up.
  • Take a cold shower. (Its tough, but you feel like reborn afterwards)
  • After breakfast, do some guided meditation (10-15min), to help stay more mindful throughout the day.

I'm still working on getting to bed on time, to wake up refreshed without the snooze button and have more time for myself in the morning.

Edited by drflox
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Morning routines are great, and I concur that getting to bed on time is one of life's greatest challenges. Sleeping well is that one darn thing that I couldn't conquer since, well, forever. The only thing I find that works is to do absolutely no work or entertainment for the 30 minutes before sleep to give my body some time to wind down. The same thing goes for the morning, too - If I simply wake up early and give myself more time to relax, eat and shower at a slower pace my day is also great. 

Regardless, great job on your progress. You're more days in than my best record. Keep it up. 

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