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JustTom

I just can't get myself to decide to quit

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Sup! I'm Tom and this is my first post.

The damage gaming is doing to me isn't that bad and maybe that's the issue. I haven't really had any great failures(yet), but my life is mediocre at best and I know I could excel so so much if I didn't spend any time on gaming. I fight it all the time, that's why it managed to not ruin my life yet. I have phases where I work hard, only to relapse for a week or two, playing 16 hours per day and then have to work super hard again to make up for the time loss, leaving me no time for social life or developing my own projects I have a full folder of. I know 100% that I'm addicted and moderation is not an option. I got rid of the most cancerous games that are blatantly using psychological techniques to keep you addicted(daily quests, progression systems etc.) like hearthstone and league, but I always relapse to other games anyways. Even if starts out inoccent

However, I can't get myself to decide to take the detox and quit. I know that if I did, I would succeed, but I just feel so uneasy when thinking about actually doing it. Maybe nostalgia, maybe separating from one of my best friends, maybe it's just a part of my identity even if I don't want to admit it. I don't know. Maybe it's the lack of closure that is ever present with games.
- "Oh I haven't finished the campaign of this game yet, I can't quit now, that would be a waste of all that time I put into it!" (therefore I should waste even more trying to finish, right?)
- "Oh but there are these one or two youtubers that are really inspiring to me, DESPITE playing games! I don't want to stop following THEM!"
- "Oh but there are these artistic and philosophical games that are not that long and really make you think and feel the interactive art experience, I value that!"
- "But when I come home after a 12 hour hustle, I need some time to unwind where I can not focus for a bit and there's only so many TV shows - what do I do instead?"

I don't know. There are many excuses my subconscious makes. Maybe some of them are even legit, but I don't think any of them are worth the toll it's taking on my POTENTIAL. Because that's all that it's hurting, for me. Let's face it, if you live in the western world, you have it preeeetty good even if you don't do shit. I am soon to be 24, financed by parents to study a master's programme and my job prospects are very good in my field. So even if I remain average, I can get by just playing video games. But that's not really what I want. I want the killer, ever so cliche lifestyle where I travel, have amazing friends, rich sex life, building my own business to have impact on the world for the better, express myself and use my talents and all that good stuff you've heard about. I know how to build it, more or less, but then I always game for a few days, which is exactly the extra time I should be putting into that life building, leaving me always the same old mediocre dude.

I just can't seem to be able to pull the trigger. Any advice?

Edited by JustTom
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On 3/24/2018 at 9:19 AM, JustTom said:

I can get by just playing video games. But that's not really what I want. I want the killer, ever so cliche lifestyle where I travel, have amazing friends, rich sex life, building my own business to have impact on the world [...]

Getting by is not living life. And I feel that you know that and that is the reason why you want to quit. Feeling alive and surviving are two different things.

The point is, if you say that you "can't" or are "unable" to take the step, you already decided what you want. You decided to go on living like this. Nobody here can truly help you take this step. If we would, it would not be your step. You would only feel pushed or convinced into doing something you do not wish to do. That way, quitting video games would not add value to your own life. You ... must ... want ... it.

Don't take this the wrong way, but why should anybody here help you if you do not want to help yourself? Know what I mean? If you want it, take the first step. If you take the first step, most of the people in here will help you because that is what works. And if you feel unease, well embrace it. Because that is how this process feels. Uneasy. The detox is, for a big part, unsatisfying, uneasy, uncomfortable, because you change your life. Our minds like familiarity. We would rather adapt to the already known pain than decide to go into the unknown. We are cowards. The only way to stop being a coward is by being changing what we do. By being courageous.

Take the first step. Delete your games. If you can do that, you can also create a journal on this board and start experiencing your progress.


Edit: In case I came across a little harsh. I just wanted to stress that you have to commit yourself to this experience. Just try it and see how it works. There is nothing that could go wrong.

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Make a goal of two weeks and then come back and reflect on what you've written in this post.

Bring the finish line closer. I think you'll be surprised at what you've written here when your perspective has shifted two weeks from now.

Studies show that marathon runners who can "see the finish line" are able to perform better with what they report as (what they perceive as) less effort.  The same goes for trying to lose weight: don't set a goal of 50 lbs because you can't see the finish line and you'll be more likely to give up. 

Think about two weeks ago and really think for a minute about how fast two weeks goes. You can do two weeks, you will survive and you will feel very different than how you do now reading this post.

Start with that and then repeat for 90 days if you have to. I am a week away from 90 days and I thought it was never going to happen either but after two weeks and forcing myself to pick up another hobby, the journey became easy for me. I went to a craft store and spent $100 on everything I'd need to put together a few scale model car kits. It felt forced but I genuinely enjoyed every minute of it once I got started.

Good luck man, you can do this!

Edited by Jasper
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When I stopped, I had a couple of games on my steam account untouched. I was halfway on the survivor campaign mode on ZombiU.
I used to watch the Oddone (former LoL pro player) on YouTube.

I think your guess might be correct: you might not have suffered enough. Suffer is a catalyst for change. If you're in a comfortable place, why risk it, right?

PS: When you say western world, you mean north hemisphere, right?

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Thanks for the advice folks. Few days after I made the post I have indeed decided to take the detox for the first time. I got the final push after going to an exam completely unprepared because of gaming. That exam was a resulting fail. I legitimately thought that once I made a firm decision, it wouldn't be difficult to finish 90 days. However, things are obviously not as easy in reality and I found myself relapsing just 4 days in. I am currently in a pretty bad place mentally, so ignoring instant-gratification is difficult. After spending the entire evening and night gaming and the following day sleeping until afternoon, I deleted everything again, recuperated and recommited myself, so that I am on track now again. I still feel the pull very strongly, but I will do my best to keep going because I know the cravings will pass.

I made a plan with specific activities and a little habit-building system. When it comes to self-help, I know my shit. It just comes down to execution, so wish me luck. I might post updates sometimes, maybe even open a journal eventually if I feel like it.

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2 hours ago, JustTom said:

Thanks for the advice folks. Few days after I made the post I have indeed decided to take the detox for the first time. I got the final push after going to an exam completely unprepared because of gaming. That exam was a resulting fail. I legitimately thought that once I made a firm decision, it wouldn't be difficult to finish 90 days. However, things are obviously not as easy in reality and I found myself relapsing just 4 days in. I am currently in a pretty bad place mentally, so ignoring instant-gratification is difficult. After spending the entire evening and night gaming and the following day sleeping until afternoon, I deleted everything again, recuperated and recommited myself, so that I am on track now again. I still feel the pull very strongly, but I will do my best to keep going because I know the cravings will pass.

I made a plan with specific activities and a little habit-building system. When it comes to self-help, I know my shit. It just comes down to execution, so wish me luck. I might post updates sometimes, maybe even open a journal eventually if I feel like it.

Welcome back and sounds like you're back on track.  : )  :10_wink:

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13 hours ago, JustTom said:

I still feel the pull very strongly, but I will do my best to keep going because I know the cravings will pass.

Useful attitude. If you feel ready, go for it.

But one last suggestion:

On 3/24/2018 at 9:19 AM, JustTom said:

However, I can't get myself to decide to take the detox and quit. I know that if I did, I would succeed,

That is what you thought is real in your first post. You had a mayor relapse 4 days in. This is not meant to shame you. Most of us had relapses and keep continuing having relapses from time to time. The point is, you thought you could simply make it. Easy peasy. It is not that easy and currently, you are deciding to do it by yourself. Why not simply create a journal? It can be another nice activity to gain confidence and find support. Going through this alone will be tough. Here you will find a tiny community to assist you. Why not make use of it?

So, that is just an idea. Aside from all that, I wish you the best for your detox and life journey!

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Alright I did that as well here: 

I really need to succeed at this. I feel like this is the biggest opportunity for growth I have at this moment. Thanks for support, I will be checking in.

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18 hours ago, JustTom said:

Thanks for the advice folks. Few days after I made the post I have indeed decided to take the detox for the first time. I got the final push after going to an exam completely unprepared because of gaming. That exam was a resulting fail. I legitimately thought that once I made a firm decision, it wouldn't be difficult to finish 90 days. However, things are obviously not as easy in reality and I found myself relapsing just 4 days in. I am currently in a pretty bad place mentally, so ignoring instant-gratification is difficult. After spending the entire evening and night gaming and the following day sleeping until afternoon, I deleted everything again, recuperated and recommited myself, so that I am on track now again. I still feel the pull very strongly, but I will do my best to keep going because I know the cravings will pass.

I made a plan with specific activities and a little habit-building system. When it comes to self-help, I know my shit. It just comes down to execution, so wish me luck. I might post updates sometimes, maybe even open a journal eventually if I feel like it.

Welcome to the club brother, I am a bit over 30 hours in without gaming now too, two days ago I was still hesitant to even think about quitting and I didn't want to admit that I really have a problem (even though it didn't FEEL like one but it surely is, if thought about rationally).

What I want to say, is that we're in the same boat more or less at the moment. I've felt the cravings for the whole day today, but I know I am gonna last through them now. The main thing that keeps me from thinking of gaming right now, is to focus all my efforts into studying, watching one really intriguing travelling documentary series from the Internet (at the same time I found out that travelling could really become a passion for me, I travelled only a couple of times, like 15 years ago) and rebuilding my social circle. Now, your situation might of course be different, but I find it really fulfilling to do these things so just letting you know, it might help you too :).

Then of course one thing that helps is to use a computer as little as possible - of course right now I am using one in the university - but at home I got rid of my gaming PC by storing it away to a warehouse, where it's not even in the same building. I am using just my laptop to write and to study. Watching videos is ok, I think, and mostly I have been watching some motivational game quitting videos or videos related to the psychology of addiction. This might be helpful too and at the same time it keeps you away from thinking of relapsing.

All the best to you brother, hope to hear more :)

-Jani

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Thanks man I appreciate it. I read your intro, we are quite similar in many things indeed. Since you are starting the detox at the same time, I might check up on you here and there. It's going to suck and be painful/uncomfortable and we have to forgo a lot of things we used to love, but I am confident that it's worth it. 

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Hey man, looking forward to following your journey! I have the exact same 'Cliche' goals as you haha.

The other guys have mentioned it. You absolutely must set yourself some goals and really find your why. Why do you want to put yourself through this detox? What really triggers your emotions when you think about that goal.

A book I recommend you read for goal setting is called 'The Most Powerful Goal Achievement System in the World ™: The Hidden Secret to Getting Everything You Want" by Mike Pettigrew. I'm reading this now and oh man my goals have become so much more emotionally charged. And the layout is so simple to follow too, so you won't feel overwhelmed :)

An example of my goal is: "I will be earning at least £1000 per month online which will allow me to quit my day job, have complete control over my time which will then allow me to move to Bali, have exciting new experiences and meet awesome people!". And it's the experiences and meeting new people that really excite me! Which keeps me on track and grinding away at creating an online income for myself.

Gaming and watching tv, etc... Is not going to get me close to my goals. So I don't do it anymore. Simple as that lol. I'm so emotionally invested nothing will stop me. And I know you can do the same brother :)

I wish you good luck bro.

Brad.

Edited by Brad_Hurst
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