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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

Day 31 update I’m feeling unhappy with myself for sharing so much in my journal, I feel that journaling here has caused me to neglect journaling in my own private paper journal. I appreciate the

Hi. Thanks for sharing. I'm very passionate about this kind of topic so I would like to make a few points Who says you can't? Allow me to be a little harsh here and say that it's your ego in the

How long has it been? Just over 2 years. So much has happened, personally and in general. What a ride. All this time I've kept reading the emails Cam sends, I knew I'd be back at some point.

When I moved back up North just before my last update I didn't own a console, but I got into a relationship with a gamer and ended up really craving that escape, so I bought another ps4, and I've continued to play sims on PC too - Sims; I still can't fathom how something so mindless is so addicting to me.. living vicariously perhaps.. but here I am, now 30 years old, and still gaming and feeling bad for it. I'm debating giving up again, but some part of me still doesn't want to. It reminds me of when I tried to give up smoking weed a long long time ago, and I was grieving the loss before I had even stopped. As it happens, I started smoking green again during that 'gamer' relationship in late 2018/2019 .. I wrote in my own journal a lot during that time, about wanting to quit smoking and not being able to again. I did manage though, I haven't smoked for well over a year now. The experience reinforced my understanding of how I manage my emotions, and my inability to moderate. That relationship didn't work out either, but we're still friends. My grandmother passed away in 2019 and I gave up alcohol for a year in her memory .. it was a really interesting time and I am really glad I did it. I barely drink these days, I find it negatively affects my state of mind for some time afterwards. Sometimes I miss it, but not really. I don't miss smoking. When I don't play games though, I miss those a great deal. I'm really glad I did Respawn way back when as well, even though I guess it didn't work out in the end, I still learned a lot. 

I moved back in with my parents when I moved up North, I'm still living here. I'd gotten a job I liked, but it wasn't full time. I kept it for nearly 2 years before leaving for something else that was full time, but that didn't work out, and now I'm unemployed, which is definitely fueling the escapism. Mum decided to get herself a ps3 during the lockdown, she's really loving Skyrim, but it's weird how much of myself I can see in her. A least she does other stuff too, and she's back at work now so gaming less. My step dad plays it too (they had both never really played before and so it has been entertaining to see them learn how), but he plays all of the time. He's not working either, so if he's not gaming he's sat watching TV, it's a stark reminder of a life I don't want to live. 

On a positive note, I've been learning piano for around a year now, I was inspired by an anime and I decided to dig mums old keyboard out of the loft. I enjoyed it so much I bought myself a lovely electric piano in April, and last month I sat my Grade 1 exams.. I got a Distinction in Music Theory and a Merit for the Piano exam. I am immensely proud of myself, and conscious of how much more quickly I can develop my skills if I spend less time mindlessly. I've continued to play guitar too, and mums learning as well so it's been nice to play together. I use the term 'mindlessly' rather than just 'gaming' because I am fully aware that my issues are not through gaming alone - it's escape in general for me, and being able to moderate that. Reading a book is considered an achievement in my eyes.. (though I have also hit my 20 book reading challenge this year, so that's a plus!) When I don't game I watch too much Netflix, I use a relatives account so there is still no financial incentive not to, plus I know if it wasn't for the compulsion to 'clear my watchlist' I'd be glued to Youtube instead anyway. It really bugs me how much this stuff bugs me .. how 'first world' all of these 'problems' are. And yet, I still cannot commit to living the life I truly want to live. A sustainable, minimalist, truly present and mindful life. It's like I want to be two different people, all at once.

So, I have a plan. A small plan, but a plan none-the-less. I guess it's a mini respawn. And somewhat of an experiment. I haven't decided that I definitely want to give up games again. Part of me feels as though I should, but then as I know it's only part of the problem, I need to go deeper than that, and if I can get to the root perhaps, just maybe, there's a chance I don't have to give up. (Where have I heard that before.. )

Well, anyway, in January I'm self imposing 30 days of no TV, no games, no Netflix, no YouTube, no Social Media. (I do use YouTube for Yoga, and I do plan to also complete a 30 day Yoga program alongside this, so that is the only exception). I'm not worried that I won't have have the self control as I know I can easily accomplish this, and I am even quite excited, but I am already thinking of what comes after. I am keen to see what comes up throughout January, what I can accomplish, what routine I fall into, what habits may begin to form - for better or for worse. I know very well by now that when one crutch is removed another so often falls into place for me, but my eating disorder is well in remission now and whilst my mental health has been a little unsteady I am generally coping ok (and not currently medicated) so .. yeah .. just interested to see what happens. 

I actually didn't plan to post anything here today, I was just checking through my emails and I'd saved a Game Quitters one as a gentle reminder to myself, I figured I'd log in and I found myself re-reading my old posts, so I just decided to make another entry. 

I probably won't write in here through my 30 days, I feel that would be counter productive to reducing my screen time, just another form of social media, but I will still be reflecting in my personal journal, and perhaps I will update sometime afterwards. Perhaps I will decide to give up gaming for good (the thought of ever selling my Pokémon games still makes me feel sick.. ), there's obviously still a part of me that wants to otherwise why would I have kept a thread of connection to this community. The rebel in my brain screams 'Why should I have to?? Why should I have to give up something so beautiful!? It's there to be enjoyed!!'' .. it's like a quiet tantrum in my mind. But I know that just because I can, does not mean that I should. I truly do not know what to do as far as the gaming decision goes, so for now lets just get January out of the way. 30 days isn't enough for a true detox I know, but I have to start (again) somewhere.

Oh, and I hope everyone has a truly Merry Christmas, however we end up spending it. (That is of course if anyone else even reads this rabble).

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2 hours ago, Bugg said:

Mum decided to get herself a ps3 during the lockdown, she's really loving Skyrim, but it's weird how much of myself I can see in her. A least she does other stuff too, and she's back at work now so gaming less. My step dad plays it too

My parents are tech addicts too. Mom is iPhone and TV addict and Dad is iPad addict. Neither play any games but watch shows instead. This tech didn't even exist 20 years ago and now they can't imagine life without it.

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Welcome back, I don’t think you’ve found a replacement activity yet from your mixed feelings towards  video games.

just to give you an example: I had a English flat mate during my undergraduate degree who was totally obsessed with getting ripped. To me he looked very fit. His shoulders, chest and biceps were well developed and in the right proportion. But on so many occasions he was discussing this subject with me. He thought there was a lot of improvement to be made on that! There was so much banter with other guys who were in the bodybuilding game. He was all over it and totally addicted to the fitness game (starting with food, sleep and rest, cardio and all the heavy lifting).

As for me, i do get the occasional memory of games, but I suppress that and ever look at how I can get more fit. I just need that frame of reference that he had, because he was totally going after it. I’d say a gamer quits on real sports cause they require some discipline, sweat and tears whereas games have gotten him used to an easy win.

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On 3/26/2018 at 6:37 PM, Bugg said:

A surreal moment. As I declutter my house I have found the invoice for when I purchased my PS4. 

When I'd been at uni I'd only had an xbox 360, I'd played all my games to death prior to uni and found it fairly easy to avoid playing during my studies, with the exception of my DS. Once uni was nearing a close I bought myself the PS4 as an early graduation present. The invoice tells me I made this purchase on March 13th 2017. Looking back over this journal I finally sold it on March 15th 2018. Pretty close to a year later, only 2 days off! 

What really stands out to me about this is it took less than a year for gaming to become a problem area in my life again. This shows that even after the detox, be that for 90, 180 or even 365 days, the reality is if I allowed gaming back in, it doesn't take long at all for it to take over completey. I gamed a lot before uni. I pretty much spent 5 years stoned on the couch with a controller in my hand; I used to joke that Saints Row was the greatest stoner game because I could cruise control and still hold a spliff, haha. My life was a mess.
During my time at uni I was still gaming, on PC, on DS, but I had fairly decent control over it as I was so focused on my degree - and so paranoid about failing. (I also had a good handle on my weed habits, and today have almost entirely quit with the exception of the odd social gathering). 

Point being; I can't go back. 

After the detox I may play some DS, but also I may not. That's something I haven't decided on yet. But as for consoles and PC games, I think they're pretty much gone for good. 

Reminder to myself how poignant this old entry is. I bought another PS4 around June 2019 and within a year it became a significant problem again, alongside PC gaming. I was so sure back then that I wouldn’t end up where I am today, but I guess I’m not as bad as I have been in the past. A reminder of how far I have come, even if sometimes it doesn’t feel like it.

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4 hours ago, Amphibian220 said:

I’d say a gamer quits on real sports cause they require some discipline, sweat and tears whereas games have gotten him used to an easy win.

Absolutley this, and not just sports either, I think this applies to any activity that is hard work but provides a sense of achievement. Games offer a convenient way to get the ‘same’ feeling, only it’s not really the same, because games only really give empty achievements at the end of the day and the feeling doesn’t last. 
 

I think you’re right that I need to find something to really replace gaming. I think I may be there with piano tbh, I have such passion for it that I think about it almost always and its a real motivating factor for wanting to reduce my screentime/stop gaming again. The sense of achievement I feel for passing my recent piano exam left me speechless, and no game has ever made me feel so truly proud of myself. I get so frustrated when I give in to doing something else when I really should be (and deep down really want to be) spending more time practicing. Or playing guitar too, though I think this sits just below piano in my hierarchy of interests at the moment. 

It’s interesting because last time I attempted the 90 day detox it was a passion for fitness that kept me going a lot of the time too, but since moving back up North I have found that much harder to maintain. My gym equipment is in the loft now - still set up and useable, but not so convenient to access, and freezing in winter. 

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Hey bugg

I am looking for hobbies too. Writing has been one interest of mine but we're in this together. Like you said with the piano i think it's best to gain hobbies you had before you went back to gaming, pick them back up, or start a hobby you've always wanted to do, but haven't been able to. These i think are good starting points for hobbies! 
 

I wish you luck

 

Jason

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5 hours ago, Jason70 said:

I am looking for hobbies too. Writing has been one interest of mine but we're in this together. Like you said with the piano i think it's best to gain hobbies you had before you went back to gaming, pick them back up, or start a hobby you've always wanted to do, but haven't been able to. These i think are good starting points for hobbies! 

Thanks Jason, and best of luck to you too! 🙂

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  • 2 weeks later...

A few days until day zero mini detox to gain some perspective.

I stated previously something along the lines of ‘I’m not worried about doing 30 days, it’ll be easy’, however as it gets closer I start to wonder how easy it will really be, especially giving up pretty much all online/screen based stimulation at once. I’m really looking forward to it, to the freedom to be able to do other things with my time. The irony being that I really shouldn’t have to impose such ‘drastic’ restrictions on myself just to be able to spend time on things I actually want to do. Is that irony? Whatever it is, I’m 30 years old and still haven’t quite worked out the perfect formula. 

It’s weird, I’ve been mooching the forum for a week or so now maybe? Battling with thoughts that I don’t belong here since I haven’t yet committed to giving up games, and I have no idea if I will or not. But I none-the-less I find it really useful to read others posts, it really is giving me some clarity, and forcing me to actually think about these things instead of ignoring what is clearly an issue for me. I hope that my input is useful to others too, and that my prior experiences are relevant. 

I’ve been considering why I am so reluctant to give up games, and sure they’re fun, I enjoy them and that’s a big part of it. My friends play games too, so there’s that. But today it occurred to me that perhaps it ties into being frightened to grow up, to grow older. When I turned 30 I realised just how scared I am of leaving my youth behind. But then, the older I get the more keenly I feel the sense of wasted time, of wanting to make the most of my time here on this earth. It really is a double edged sword.

Update: watched a video reminding me of inherently low dopamine levels in people with ADHD, causing predisposition to addiction/seeking out quick fixes for dopamine hit. Something to think about.

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3 hours ago, Bugg said:

low dopamine levels in people with ADHD, causing predisposition to addiction/seeking out quick fixes for dopamine hit

That is interesting. It could also be that people who seek quick fixes get burned out dopamine receptors that result in low dopamine levels and then get diagnosed with ADHD and that if they decided it was okay to live normally without addictions and went on a detox their dopamine levels would return to normal. It really is a chicken and egg question.

Edited by Bird By Bird
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6 hours ago, Bird By Bird said:

That is interesting. It could also be that people who seek quick fixes get burned out dopamine receptors that result in low dopamine levels and then get diagnosed with ADHD and that if they decided it was okay to live normally without addictions and went on a detox their dopamine levels would return to normal. It really is a chicken and egg question.

That is really interesting. I have to fight the urge to be defensive when it comes to this stuff, even thought there is really no need to be. I was diagnosed at a very early age (4), but still food for thought and especially relevant for those diagnosed in later life and without reflection upon early childhood experience. I guess it’s possible for kids to burn out their receptors, but at that age I don’t think I was doing much different to other kids my age regarding recreational activity. I don’t think I got my first console until I was maybe 6 or 7 and I didn’t really watch much tv either.

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On 4/4/2018 at 11:26 AM, Bugg said:

Day 30.

[…] 

I am learning a lot about myself through this process... or rather taking things I already knew but being able to piece them together into the bigger picture. It’s interesting. 

I’ve become aware that I need to learn how to accept helpful insights from others. I have a terrible habit of automatically diving into all the reasons why that solution is ‘not for me’. Instead I should learn to just say thank you. Whether or not I find something to be useful right now, it may be one day, and constantly thinking of all the reasons ‘why not’ automatically dismisses it in my mind. I do it here on the forum, in real life, even in therapy. I can be so quick to dismiss suggestions from others, and I really do not like this character trait in myself. 

With regards to working out I’ve been experiencing a total lack of commitment. Today was my first session in a week. I’ve been similar with guitar and German too,   I need to further develop my skills in self discipline. I think perhaps with working out I sometimes set my expectations to high, if I expect myself to work out for an hour this can be off putting, so instead I’m setting a goal for at least 20 mins per day. That is achievable and not so off putting, after all, it’s not like I’m trying to be a bodybuilder anyway, I just want to be a bit healthier. I like Joshua Fields Millburns goal (The Minimalists) of working out 18 mins per day. He does that because it’s realistic to him, I need to set goals that are realistic to me.

Reminder from Day 30 reflection from previous journal. I still do these things, 2 years on. Something to be mindful of.

..and just to note.. looking back at advice from others I really do see it through a different lens now, it really is helpful down the line even if I might not see it in the moment. 

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On 4/4/2018 at 2:08 PM, Bugg said:

Day 30 update.

[…]

Currently I feel peaceful. I had a little chat with myself. I recognise my life currently lacks anything to drive me towards my passion; eg animal welfare or environmental sustainability, and this is causing a constant state of anxiety and dissatisfaction, guilt even. However I also realise that my current temporary situation very much prevents me from committing to any endeavours of this nature. […] I know that once I have moved up north in August I can begin that journey in earnest.

Another reminder to myself, leaving that here to reflect upon later. I am still plagued with the same feelings of guilt for pretty much the same reasons. I think I feel worse these days, after many failed attempts to realise my dreams I feel directionless. This causes me to feel intense anxiety, and often self loathing. 

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20 hours ago, Bugg said:

I was diagnosed at a very early age (4)

I'm not sure where this happened but diagnosing a 4 year old like that is illegal in some countries because of the permanent effects of drugs on developing brains and the majority of mentally ill children are acting out their parents' deviations and not their own. The personality isn't even fully formed at 4.

I'm sorry that you suffer because of this.

20 hours ago, Bugg said:

I guess it’s possible for kids to burn out their receptors, but at that age I don’t think I was doing much different to other kids my age regarding recreational activity.

I have to remember that kids back in the old days weren't given iPads in the crib. My cousin was barely even one year old and he was given a big iPad. His dopamine receptors will definitely be burned out.

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3 hours ago, Bird By Bird said:

I'm not sure where this happened but diagnosing a 4 year old like that is illegal in some countries because of the permanent effects of drugs on developing brains and the majority of mentally ill children are acting out their parents' deviations and not their own. The personality isn't even fully formed at 4.

I'm sorry that you suffer because of this.

I have to remember that kids back in the old days weren't given iPads in the crib. My cousin was barely even one year old and he was given a big iPad. His dopamine receptors will definitely be burned out.

Yeah, taking the medication wasn’t the best experience. I think things weren’t as regulated back then either tbh, I’m 30 now so it was a good while back. I decided to stop taking meds when I was 13, although they’d have happily let me stay on it :s  I was re diagnosed as an adult and now I’m on a waiting list for an autism screening too, they offered the ADHD meds to me again recently but I decided against it, it can cause psychosis in adults and we already have a history of the disease in our family, I was shocked they were so willing to prescribe to be honest. 

Ah that’s a really good point, I forgot just how exposed kids are to technology these days. Pretty scary.

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On 12/16/2020 at 6:33 PM, Bugg said:

 

It really bugs me how much this stuff bugs me .. how 'first world' all of these 'problems' are. And yet, I still cannot commit to living the life I truly want to live. A sustainable, minimalist, truly present and mindful life. It's like I want to be two different people, all at once.

I am very much a dreamer in the sense of wanting to live in a similar way. I imagine myself without a TV or phone, in a house that generates it's own (minimal) amount of electricity through solar panels and wind turbines. Rain gutters connecting with rain barrels that are used to water a garden full of all fresh veggies and herbs that I eat and compost the excess to be reused in the soil. Any places of excess water runoff are turned into water gardens that have native plant species proliferating the area. Clotheslines instead of dryers, instruments instead of devices, a meditation room instead of a TV room, large trees instead of power lines. 

I know that I get pretty lofty in my own dreams and fantasies which makes me feel like these things will never be realized because nobody else lives like this. I end up turning "practical" and dismissing all of what I think truly would be a wholesome lifestyle and compromising into comfort. But somehow I never lose hope that I will be able to achieve these dreams because they are me and they will come about if I work towards them. My best advice for myself and for you/others like this, is to take small steps and continuously reflect. My 90 day detox was successful in many ways but I still feel really drawn towards gaming especially now. I think because I hit a mark I have nothing else grounding me consistently, which is why I am going to start another 90 day challenge for working out...and then another after that until it no longer needs to be 90 day challenges and I can trust myself enough to change with intention. I feel like you are doing the right thing with your 30 day challenge and I wish you luck on your attempt. It will be a drastic change but I feel like once you get a week or so in, it'll play out well for you. 

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29 minutes ago, BryanJaz said:

I am very much a dreamer in the sense of wanting to live in a similar way. I imagine myself without a TV or phone, in a house that generates it's own (minimal) amount of electricity through solar panels and wind turbines. Rain gutters connecting with rain barrels that are used to water a garden full of all fresh veggies and herbs that I eat and compost the excess to be reused in the soil. Any places of excess water runoff are turned into water gardens that have native plant species proliferating the area. Clotheslines instead of dryers, instruments instead of devices, a meditation room instead of a TV room, large trees instead of power lines. 

I know that I get pretty lofty in my own dreams and fantasies which makes me feel like these things will never be realized because nobody else lives like this. I end up turning "practical" and dismissing all of what I think truly would be a wholesome lifestyle and compromising into comfort. But somehow I never lose hope that I will be able to achieve these dreams because they are me and they will come about if I work towards them. My best advice for myself and for you/others like this, is to take small steps and continuously reflect. My 90 day detox was successful in many ways but I still feel really drawn towards gaming especially now. I think because I hit a mark I have nothing else grounding me consistently, which is why I am going to start another 90 day challenge for working out...and then another after that until it no longer needs to be 90 day challenges and I can trust myself enough to change with intention. I feel like you are doing the right thing with your 30 day challenge and I wish you luck on your attempt. It will be a drastic change but I feel like once you get a week or so in, it'll play out well for you. 

That sounds like the perfect homestead! I'd add a little reading nook too, a comfy seat recessed into a bay window looking out into the garden. Rescued chickens pecking away.

I dream of these sorts of things too, but also end up dismissing them as they don't feel realistic. I remember once telling my dad about my dream life, very similar to what you describe, a self sufficient, simple and minimal one. He told me I'd need to marry a millionaire, lol, cheers dad. I don't want to have to rely on anyone else but myself in life, and whilst I get that a life like that might need an investment to get started, after that it should in theory be quite affordable. I'd live off grid in a tiny home right now if I could. Thing is, we often think no one else lives like this, but they do, they're all over the world! I guess it takes guts and a bit of luck perhaps to get started. Hmm, one day, small steps like you say. 

Thank you for the kind words of encouragement. I'm really looking forward to my 30 days and beyond, I've been looking through all my notes from my last detox and analyzing what went well and what didn't. Last time things went great until I took Netflix and YouTube away, so I know it's going to be a real challenge to take everything away at once, but I'm (hopefully) a little wiser now.

That's a great plan to continue doing 90 day challenges to keep yourself motivated! Giving up games is about so much more than just giving up games, I love that this community embraces that so fully. I'm truly grateful to Cam for creating this space. 

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