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Here goes nothing.

It's Day Zero. 
I've been thinking of quitting gaming for so long, constantly looking back over my life wishing I'd done things differently up to now, so I suppose today marks the start of that journey for positive change. A friend once pointed out that I'm always on a mission of self-improvement, and thinking about it he's right, I absolutely am, but that is definitely not a bad thing. Giving up games is possibly the biggest change I will ever make, they are so fundamentally a part of who I am, anyone who walks into my house is immediately greeted by Pokémon coasters, a Skyrim mug, and my Pokémon and Skyrim t-shirts.. and even my mew and mewtwo tattoo's haha. (No, I don't regret it). I feel like this is gonna be huge. It's an adventure, and I can't wait to see how it unfolds.

So last night I finally completed Horizon Zero Dawn, I'm glad I did, I don't think I could have started this journey leaving that chapter unfinished. Today I went and sold the game. I came home and created my introduction on here, that was 4 hours ago. At that time I wasn't even committed to the 90 day detox. I still had The Last of Us to complete, having only just started it, and all 3 games in the Crash Bandicoot remaster. I decided, that in actuality, I wasn't prepared to waste the time necessary to complete The Last of Us, and so I figured I would spend this evening having one last hoorah on Crash instead. An hour into Crash and with frustration building I came to the realisation that I wasn't even relaxed, I was on edge, I kept dying and had no drive to carry on at all. And then I recieved a notification. The final bonus episode of Life is Strange has finally been released and I am downloading it. I absolutely loved the first game, and had been exited to play this final part for months. And here it was. And it was called Farewell. 

I spent an hour and a half completing this final episode of one of my favourite games, it was emotional, the game and my own farewell, I cried (I can't believe this hits me quite that hard, but there we have it). I said farewell. I turned off my ps4, I unplugged it, I got ready to pack it up for 90 days and possibly forever. 

But alas, I'd left a disk in the tray! Lol. My farewell wasn't quite perfect, haha, but in the end I got the disk and heard that familiar beep of the system powering down one last time. 

And then I logged into this forum, created this journal, and I guess, the adventure begins. I shall awake to Day 1, the beginning of the end of gaming? 

[Note: my 3DS and GBA need to go into hiding too, however once this is over I don't think I'll be getting rid of my Pokémon games, and I just hope they won't ever become a source of addiction or negativity, as up to this point they have been ok, only time will tell.] 

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Day One

..or the start of Day One. Just woke up and had breakfast, the last thing on my mind last night was my playstation, and the first? You guessed it, my playstation. I'm feeling a tremendous sense of loss. I know this is normal. On my TV stand where my console once sat is a dust mark and one solitary fidget cube. I need to dust. 

So, this morning I plan to do some housework to fill the void, then I'll probably read, and may get respawn. Even if I could do this without the guide, I know it'll make things easier, and besides, I'd rather like to support Cam and the amazing work he's doing. Plus, it costs less that a quarter of what I made selling games yesterday, so yeah, probably a good purchase.

I've been awake less than 30 mins and already 3 intrusive thoughts are occurring. 

1. This is madness, I can't believe I'm giving up such a source of joy in my life. 
2. What the hell are my gamer friends gonna say??
3. What a great time to complete Pokémon Moon! (yes, really, that one's screaming at me haha.. I definitely won't be playing anytime soon)

I have work in 6.5 hours, lots of time to fill. Gotta avoid binge-watching Netflix or Youtube too, which may be easier without my playstation for access; sitting at the laptop to watch stuff isn't nearly as comfy as watching TV. Speaking of which, I have no use for my TV now, and rather than buy a new hdmi to hook my laptop up to it, I think it's quite refreshing to have that eyesore rendered obsolete for now. So my question, to myself, to whoever is reading, is this: do I try and give up netflix too? 

The final thing I need to remain very mindful of is food, with a tendency to eat when I'm stressed or sad, it's gonna be vital I pay close attention to this. I'm a pretty open person and have no qualms sharing this, but last year I was in therapy for an eating disorder, one where I would binge-eat and then restrict, I never gained any weight - in fact I lost it - but the fact remains that my lifestyle back then was very unhealthy, and was as a result of blocking out emotional turmoil. Without games there's a real danger I'll relapse back into that pattern, and so I am remaining aware and vigilant. 

'Let the non-games begin!'

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The Sims 4. 

I've read a few things on here regarding The Sims, and how many people still play/use it, as they don't see at as so much of a game. 

I've just deleted my saves and uninstalled it, and I found that really, really difficult. 

For me, The Sims has definitely been a problem game, one I have very easily been sucked into for days, weeks, months at a time. Logically, I don't really understand the appeal, but then I'm a creative person, and being able to create people, houses and lives.. I guess that really sucked me in. 

The Sims was one of my first catalysts for knowing I needed to give up games. I remember, I'd just logged out after around 12 hours of simming, time I thoroughly enjoyed I might add, but I sat back and really thought about the time I had just spent. I had sat and watched my sim level up their guitar skill, instead of leveling up my own, watched them working out instead of doing so myself, saw them becoming more charismatic and making friends, whilst I'd isolated myself and given up on real social interaction. I'd watched my sims do all of these things I should have been doing in my own life. The need to quit gaming became very clear. This was a few months ago, and it is only today, day 1, that I am finally doing it. 

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The Sims is very addictive to me. It's a game even when I was playing games like Counter Strike I knew to stay away from the Sims. I would set the lives to maximum and play 8 to 15 hours straight a day and the 'trance' would last for weeks. It was almost like I was replacing myself as a Sim player.

I'm glad you started! Your thoughts are just your dopamine being hungry and seeking for the easiest thing to snack on. Be the monster of your dopamine, don't let dopamine be yours!

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I can already sense I'm spending too much time on the forum, lol. But I guess it is still early days. 

But I had a revelation just now in the shower. In my intro I wrote about how I've never been addicted to any social aspects of gaming, as I don't typically play online (I do/did, but rarely) but then I realised, playing co-op has been a major part of my life! It's always featured prominently in my relationships and friendships, and in fact, I've always generally been attracted to people who I can game with. I can't believe I hadn't considered that before now.

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2 minutes ago, sirjk said:

The Sims is very addictive to me. It's a game even when I was playing games like Counter Strike I knew to stay away from the Sims. I would set the lives to maximum and play 8 to 15 hours straight a day and the 'trance' would last for weeks. It was almost like I was replacing myself as a Sim player.

I'm glad you started! Your thoughts are just your dopamine being hungry and seeking for the easiest thing to snack on. Be the monster of your dopamine, don't let dopamine be yours!

I absolutely get that, I think I was trying to live my life in sim-land and not accepting the responsibility of living my own life. 

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2 hours ago, Bugg said:

I can already sense I'm spending too much time on the forum, lol. But I guess it is still early days. 

But I had a revelation just now in the shower. In my intro I wrote about how I've never been addicted to any social aspects of gaming, as I don't typically play online (I do/did, but rarely) but then I realised, playing co-op has been a major part of my life! It's always featured prominently in my relationships and friendships, and in fact, I've always generally been attracted to people who I can game with. I can't believe I hadn't considered that before now.

Your detox is already beginning to kick in. You will, most likely, reveal a lot more about yourself that you have not considered before, but now is crystal clear in front of your eyes. There is a good chance that the reason, the core problem, why you play games excessively, to escape reality, will rise to your conscious mind sooner or later.

I own Sims 3 and 4, but never really got into it. I guess the main difference is that some people play it to actually simulate or roleplay. Like you said, creating people, leveling up their skills and such. For me, that was always an obstacle. I mainly used The Sims to "redesign" my apartment. That means, I always rebuild the exact proportions of my apartment, garden house or basement and used The Sims as a tool to test what I would like to see in my rooms and how I would decorate them and such. I guess that is the main reason why I absolutely hated Sims 4. There was only a limited creative potential and the focus was back on roleplaying and creating stories, which I saw an obstacle. So, yeah. I never really considered this a game and never got hooked. But I totally see the addictive potential. You can create an avatar and learn skills in no time, ultimately becoming a writer, cook, musician, artist and what not. That is instant gratification in its purest form, I guess. So, since you are so brutally honest to yourself, which is awesome, it is great that you abstain from this game as well, even if other people can play it without being triggered at all.

That you spend much time on the forum is a good thing in the beginning. You need a place where you can vent your thoughts, emotions and cravings. It will become less over time, but for now I would say: Use this device as much as you need it. Your subconscious mind will tell you what is good for you and what is not.

In sum, you have already made impressive progress so far. What is your phone-situation right now? Were you ever playing mobile games and if so, do you feel cravings for this device? If so, many people activate grayscale/monochrome on their phone to take away the colorful attraction it spreads.

So yeah, great start. Keep up the great and honest work and see where it leads you!

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@Regular Robert I think I already have a pretty good idea why I game (/gamed) tbh, typical stuff really, low self esteem, real life makes me feel crappy, uneasy, anxious and often depressed. I have an intense fear of being a failure, but the irony being that in trying to avoid those feelings I set myself up for being a failure. Lol. 
Yah that's how sims started off for me, but then I dunno, it became so much more. Was actually having sims cravings at work today :s

Phone situation. When I first got a decent smartphone a few years ago I was totally hooked on phone games, but more recently I hadn't been so bad as I'd rather sit and play 'real' games. But yeah, it's something I'm remaining aware of, especially since an idea I've had is to use the ps4 sale money to get an ipad (obviously not for gaming, but for kindle reader and sketch apps). But the greyscale idea is a good one, tho not sure how that'd complement sketching/painting apps on ipad :P I have had to delete social media applications off my phone tho, I end up scrolling for hours, I realised this was becoming a real issue when I started to get neck pains o.O 

Edited by Bugg

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Day Two? Day two. It feels longer. :s

Woke up at work (I work 24 hour shifts) so came home around 4pm, first thing I did was some jump rope in the back garden, which I'm super proud of as I normally come home tired and veg out, but I decided; not this time! So jump rope: I only did 3 minutes, haha, and my max was 71 jumps without tripping, but as pathetic as that may be I'm happy I motivated myself to do it, and now I have goals to beat. :) 

Replied to an important letter (I may or may not elaborate at a later date but for now we'll go with, I have a pen pal, and writing can be emotional). Tonight was no exception. This was an emotional letter. I've finished writing it and now I feel drained. I cooked myself a healthy meal as I know I've been really letting myself down recently with the healthy stuff, and now I'm logged on and typing and trying to deal with the crappy things I'm feeling. Normally I'd hop right on playstation or zone out to netflix or youtube in this situation, but I'm trying not to. Made myself a hot chocolate (sugar free) in an effort to somewhat comfort myself. 

Sugar, that's another thing. Always hit the sugar to feel better. Gonna be really mindful of that during this detox. Pointless replacing one dopamine hit with another right? 

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I am impressed with a Mewtwo tattoo! :3_grin:

For your friend that said you are always on a personal development mission, Erik Finman made a great comment about responding to people who said you have changed.

"Oh and you haven't? That must be boring to stay the same."

That not is the exact words, but you get the picture. Always try to keep growing and changing! I'll try and find the exact tweet for you later.

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3 minutes ago, giblets said:

I am impressed with a Mewtwo tattoo! :3_grin:

For your friend that said you are always on a personal development mission, Erik Finman made a great comment about responding to people who said you have changed.

"Oh and you haven't? That must be boring to stay the same."

That not is the exact words, but you get the picture. Always try to keep growing and changing! I'll try and find the exact tweet for you later.

Your screenname made me laugh :P But yah, thanks! :) I designed him tribal and he sits on the outside of my ankle, with mew on the inside. Pokémon was a huge part of my childhood and I still keep up to date with the anime, haha. 

That's an awesome sentiment! And so true as well, at first I felt shame at his words, but I quickly realised that I actually do value that quality in myself. 

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Also, for anyone reading who has Respawn, I just posted a query in there, under the section 2 discussion I believe, any help would be very much appreciated. :) 

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Day 3.

S'bin a good day. Busy day.

I got up early and went for a jog, despite not sleeping very well last night for no apparent reason :s Jogging was great, not only did I get some fresh air, exercise and sunlight but I met an awesome cat along the way. I see the cat quite regularly as he's always hanging around our area looking for attention, then later in the day my housemate came home from work with the very same cat in her arms, he'd followed her home. We chilled with cat for a while and then sent him on his way - he seems healthy and well cared for - we're gonna keep an eye on him though and check he has an owner, no doubt he does and he's just wanting cuddles. 

So after my jog this morning I traded the last of my ps4 games in, making another £36, woop, and then I went and sat in a park and played on the swings, alone, and it was glorious. I'd forgotten how amazing it feels to swing, and it was awesome to be in the park surrounded by tree's and birds and squirrels. Heaven. 

Met some friends for lunch, chilled in town for a bit, came home and cooked a meal for some other friends (they loved it :D) and now they've gone home I'm just journalling and getting ready to chill for the night. Part of me wants to read my novel and part of me wants to watch an episode on Netflix. I think I'll read though, I'll most likley sleep better with less screen time. 

So yeah, 3 days, going alright I guess. Still having cravings of course, I entertained a number of game related conversations today but mostly stayed out of them. 

Edited by Bugg

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Day 4. AM

Got work this afternoon til tomorrow, as per. I'm up early, had breakfast, made breakfast for work and in process of making tomorow's work lunch, evening meal for work is done. :)
Gonna do a workout this morning, feeling positive about the detox. I keep thinking of my Playstation in the box on my wardrobe and wondering why I haven't sold it yet. 
If anyone reading had consoles to sell, at one point did you finally do it? 
Also constantly thinking about what to do with my 3DS and Pokémon games, I know I should just get rid, or get rid of my DS at least and maybe hang on to my GBA and the older games, bah, I dunno. Circular thoughts. 

Posting so early today as I had a nightmare, and it was horrible, and I think it was almost certainly game inspired, which is weird since I never got nightmares while I was actually playing games o_O

But yah, I was with my mum, who often features in apocalypse type dreams, and we were being bombed. We were in a forest and we heard the air raid siren - where I live we have a siren that is tested weekly for nuclear purposes so the sound is now permanently etched into my brain, I thought it was just another test at first. Anyway, the people from my work were there, and as I care for people with learning difficulties I was faced with a moral dilemma. My mother was being unwilling to care about her own life, like she was depressed or apathetic, and I had to decide weather to help my work guys to safety or help my mum. It was horrible. Then we saw the first missiles heading towards us in the sky and I dragged my mum under a car to hide, they hit our area and people died, there was screaming and we ran. I left the people I'm supposed to care for behind - they did have other staff with them, but I'm not sure that's really the point. So, me and my mum saw these machines, like the one's in horizon (only that didn't occur to me til I woke up and had a chance to think about it), the machine-beasts were chasing and ripping people apart all around us, I forced my mum to run to safety and we found some weird safety chamber thing, like, a reinforced box with a door which was very small. I made my mum come inside with me and I had to hold the door shut, and the machines were attacking the box and trying to get in, and the bombs were still being dropped, and then I woke up. Took me ages to get back to sleep.

I'm not gonna analyse that or anything, but I wanted to write it down and out of my head. 
I had another nightmare before that one, but it was totally unrelated and it featured subject matter I don't wanna write about, but yah, a night of nightmares. I hope I sleep better this evening. 

Update. 

Had a little dance, did a workout, continued replying to 'penpal' letters.

Gonna have lunch, watch one episode of my fav show atm and then -hopefully- play guitar or learn some German, before I have to leave for work.


Decided I'd like to spend a little more time actually reading and replying to other people's journals and stuff.. not 'for the sake' of it, but more in an effort to give back, and to have more faith in my own opinions, rather than assuming that I have nothing valuable to add. 

Goal: drink 1 pint of water each morning.

Edited by Bugg
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Awesome journal, keep it up. The reflection will continue to help a lot. 

One thing to consider:

when you shared about your plans to watch your favorite TV show, you shared it with certainty, “gonna watch”... but when it came to guitar or German it was “hopefully”.

the language we use is super important. Reflect and be mindful of where you are being committed and where you are being ‘hopeful’ (ie: less committed). 

Changing your relationship to the words you use and the commitments you have will change your life. ????

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20 hours ago, Cam Adair said:

 

when you shared about your plans to watch your favorite TV show, you shared it with certainty, “gonna watch”... but when it came to guitar or German it was “hopefully”.

the language we use is super important. Reflect and be mindful of where you are being committed and where you are being ‘hopeful’ (ie: less committed). 

Changing your relationship to the words you use and the commitments you have will change your life. ????

This is so true; I've used that a lot when overcoming my issues with food, but have failed to apply it in other area's of my life. As it happens, I did watch TV, and then it was too late to do anything else. Next time I'll go for the productivity first and then the TV if I still have time. 

Thanks for the advice! :) 

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Day 5. 

Just got in from work, I'm in a really weird mood, it's probably stress, major cravings to game and block it all out, or eat and block it all out, or netflix etc. But, I'm staying strong. Made myself a cup of tea and now I'm gonna check off some items on ye ol' todo list and then play a little guitar before cooking some food. 

I've been invited to go out this evening with friends, but I'm not sure I really want to now. I feel like I should try and at least make myself though, it might turn out to be a good night, and if not, I can always get a taxi home and I'll know I at least gave it a shot. I've made the effort to get back in touch with a particular circle of friends, and spending more time with them during the daytime has been great, I just get anxious when it comes to drinking and socializing. *sigh* 

Anyways, less typing, more doing :)

Edited by Bugg
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I never know whether to post updates in a new box like this or edit my day to add it in there...?
 

Update: I did play some Guitar :) and then I also learned a little German too. And now I feel.. accomplished :) 

Forgot to write about the nightmare I had last night [no, I didn't get the awesome night sleep I was hoping for, but oh well]. It was a really weird one, basically some guy who I think was a student at the uni was trying to inject me with a sedative and I was running all over this big house to get away from him, and my friends were there but they were all like ''what's up with you, it's not a big deal'' and I'm like ''What?! Are you kidding?''. It felt like it lasted ages. Gah. I reeeeallly hope tonight at least won't be another one. 

Edited by Bugg

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2 hours ago, Bugg said:

I've been invited to go out this evening with friends, but I'm not sure I really want to now. [...] I just get anxious when it comes to drinking and socializing.

Accept your anxiety, but don't give in to it. Accept that this feeling comes up and has a right to do so, but keep in mind that it is just another feeling like every other. At the root of this anxiety is something else. You are not afraid to meet your friends. You are afraid of - and I can only guess - to make a fool out of ye, to be seen as invalid in your current situation, to not fulfill peoples expectations or whatever. At the root of your anxiety is something that happened way before today. But today, you are a strong, independent woman that decides on her own what she wants to do in her life and follows up on these decisions. You are your very own leader. You already gave up gaming for 5 days in a row. You know your capabilities and shortcomings. Now it is time to stop denying yourself the joy you could experience in your life. Attend this event with no expectations and the consciousness that you are in charge. Like you said, you can leave whenever you want to, you can talk about the stuff you want to talk about, you can decide whether you drink and if so, how much you drink. Surrender yourself to the anxiety. It is there and it wants to pull you back into your comfort zone, which is being alone, isolated in a place where nothing can happen because nothing will happen. That is alright. We all do have a desire to stick with what is familiar. But we grow when we accept these thoughts without any resistance and still walk the path we decide to walk. You have already grown and you will grow further. And you deserve joy, happiness, connection and friendship.

Go for it, girl!

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2 minutes ago, Bugg said:

I never know whether to post updates in a new box like this or edit my day to add it in there...?

Your journal, spam as much as you want to. This forum is not about the number of posts somebody collected. This is just another example of anxiety. This is your journal, your place to reflect. Post as much as you need to and the way you feel is necessary.

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7 minutes ago, Regular Robert said:

Your journal, spam as much as you want to. This forum is not about the number of posts somebody collected. This is just another example of anxiety. This is your journal, your place to reflect. Post as much as you need to and the way you feel is necessary.

Thanks, and for the above post too. I guess I am just inherently a worrier, lol. Yah I'm gonna try going out tonight and see what happens :) If I don't at least try, I'll never know.

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5 hours ago, Regular Robert said:

Embrace this power of the warrioress!

Lol, that's actually quite bizarre to me as the whole 'being female' thing is not something I typically embrace, it actually makes me pretty uncomfortable, for reasons I may or may not delve into at some point in this journal, but for now that whole thing ain't really relevant. But in short, that's why I'm just a Bugg. In real life I'm also just a Bugg, It fits, it works. So, a warrior Bugg, I can work with :) 

I went out tonight, had a few bottles of ale, not too many but enough to have a pleasant evening, walked home around midnight and left the others to go on clubbing without me - after all I do still have work tomorrow. But all in all a good night, and I am glad I attended and didn't stay at home. 

Notable point: One friend in particular pulled me to one side to tell me they need to spend more time with me before I move, which was nice, and a lovely self-confidence boost, especially since I do value their friendship. On my walk home that encounter led me to think of all my friends back home who are looking forward to me moving back, so I guess when I think about it, I can't be all that bad if people actually want to spend time with me. 

A good evening, put some anxiety to rest, at least for tonight anyway. Now, for hot chocolate and bed :) And, hopefully no nightmares!

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Day 6. 

Woop, no nightmares! [I slept cuddling my childhood teddy just in case, haha, I'm such a derp]

No idea what I wanna do with my morning before work today, slightly too hungover to work out, I do wanna play some guitar a little later on though, and I still need to prep a meal for work this evening, but rejoice! I finish early tomorrow and then my week off begins! xD [Probably the first holiday in my life that hasn't involved gaming of any kind! Scary]

Oh, I know, I'll work on some Respawn today :) 

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I totally just signed up for 2 meetups next week, so I WILL be attending a yoga class tomorrow evening, and also a board games meetup on Wednesday. And I won't chicken out.  

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