Jump to content

NEW INTERVIEW: Porn is destroying a generation... one erection at a time! w/ Gabe Deem

karabas

New here - happy to find this place

Recommended Posts

Hey guys,

I've been looking for a community like this for a while, really happy to find it!

My problem

I game. If I stop myself from gaming, I watch Netflix or Youtube videos. If I manage to stop that, too, I read books compulsively. The result is the same: I fall behind on work (which I actually enjoy and I get paid well), I miss out on hobbies I enjoy, and I ruin the relationship with my wife by being inattentive.

The thing is, I work online, so I need to be on the computer. Otherwise I would've long gotten rid of the damn thing. I also have my own office at home, so my wife generally doesn't notice my wasting time.

I'm not depressed or stressed out - I have a good life. I've just been gaming since an early age and I get hooked on "one more turn" type of strategy games. I guess I enjoy the achievement of it, but the whole "replace it with real achievement" thing doesn't work for me: real life moves slowly. Computer games give quick progress. If I were to pin it down, I find that when I need to concentrate on something (like work) and put in effort, my instinct is to distract myself with games or videos and approach the task at hand in small batches of productivity.

To quit or not to quit?

I find it ridiculous that I cannot hold myself back from gaming/watching videos. Optimally, I'd like to be able to control the habit and I've been able to go for several weeks where I've had it under control (i.e. 1-2 hours a day max), but then I fall back into the problem for months on end. I have yet to identify what causes the ability to have self control. What causes me to lose it is a break in the routine due to sickness or travel or something like that.

I also get into a vicious cycle: game late into the night -> get no sleep -> have no self-control as a result -> game late into the night -> repeat. This is really hard to get out of.

I did manage to quit several times, but what I find is that if I do that, I eventually fall back into the problem and I fall hard. I end up spending days on end gaming.

So overall I'd prefer to use gaming as a recreational tool, but have control over it. But can an addict even do that? Should I be aiming to quit instead? I'm just basing this on 10+ years of experience, it hasn't worked until now. Why would it work now?

What do you guys think? I'd love some advice or insights. I feel like all the solutions I've come up with so far have failed.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice. That does make sense.

The problem for me is that if I leave gaming, I move on to other forms of addictive behavior like movies/tv shows or even reading books (but to an unhealthy degree). Should I be trying to stop everything cold turkey or do you guys think it's better to take the addiction one step at a time?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moderately gaming doesn't usually work for us who are addicted I've noticed. Soon you start to tell yourself just 10 more minutes until 10 hours later... I would cut YouTube cold turkey and declutter books that bring no value to your current goals. But I get it, I'm struggling right now with the same thing. I cut the internet and still have problems with YouTube because of my phone's unlimited data.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Dannigan said:

The original poster has a job working on the computer all day.  

The advice gave was intended to avoid lapsing towards video games during breaks. 

 

I'm sorry I wasnt referring to your post at all. I was responding to the op's post. I don't think there is anything wrong with your advice at all. In fact it's quite good. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Dannigan said:

Quit the video gaming and you-tube addiction cold turkey.  They are inter-twined and believe me, many people here have struggles with the same thing.  You're just switching from one addiction to the next, it seems. 

If you are a voracious reader, I'd recommend The Power of Habit.  Down below, I've taken what knowledge I gained from that book to describe how to change your habit with technology. 

cue ----> routine ----> reward

Cue = get a timer to shut off the computer every two hours.  If a timer can't be used, program your cell phone's alarm to go off every two hours.  Give yourself one hour to do an activity or project.  This can be as creative as you want it to be.  As long as you are away from the computer for an hour.

Routine = any activity or project that has nothing to do with technology, or reading books.  The maximum time you'll be doing this is one hour. Again, set your alarm to ring after one hour. 

Reward = pay yourself $1.00 every time you complete a one hour project.  At the end of the week, use the money to take you and your wife out on a date ---> dinner.  Or another fun activity with your wife.

First challenge:  write down a long list of one-hour projects or activities that you can do.  eg.  rearranging a room, organizing the garage, going outside for a brisk walk around your neighborhood, work on a puzzle, interval training, learn a new art like painting, find things that you can donate and box them up, cook a new recipe every day, buy a basketball hoop and shoot hoops, boxing, wood-working projects, etc. 

 

Awesome, thanks so much! It's funny, I was talking to my wife about this and she was telling me to read the Power of Habit too. I guess I have to now :)

The problem is, I work online. That means I have to spend most of my time on the computer. To be fair though, I work 5 hours/day (and don't take weekends), so I have the time to spare on breaks like this. That's pretty much what I've been doing with gaming (on good days).

I'll try this out. We're traveling soon and starting any kind of habit is pointless, but I'll be done by the end of April and this will be what I start. I can outline the list of projects and activities - I pretty have one already. The games are what's keeping me from them :) How does this forum work - do I share these or is this something I'm doing on my own?

9 minutes ago, Natasha said:

Moderately gaming doesn't usually work for us who are addicted I've noticed. Soon you start to tell yourself just 10 more minutes until 10 hours later... I would cut YouTube cold turkey and declutter books that bring no value to your current goals. But I get it, I'm struggling right now with the same thing. I cut the internet and still have problems with YouTube because of my phone's unlimited data.

Yeah, it sometimes seems ridiculous to me, but at other times I'm like: would you tell a crack addict to smoke crack once in a while recreationally? You wouldn't, so why would you tell a gaming addict to game occasionally?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly! You know in high school I wrote a paper about how video games stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs and alcohol do. My teacher about flunked me, saying it wasn't the same thing because its not a consumable product. But it does work the same. Much like Gambling does. The entire purpose of the game design is to get us hooked and keep us feeling like we've achieved things so we keep playing.

With YouTube, its like wanting to connect with others. Even though we may be watching something stupid or something totally uninteresting, we are thanked simply for viewing. Being appreciated, or even just the simulation of being appreciated is a very powerful thing. If the video is entertaining on top of that it's easy to get hooked. 

It's cool, Dani. Thanks for the welcome. :)

Edited by Natasha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Dannigan said:

Hello,

Well, I would start a journal if I were you.  Even if people don't respond to your journal, it's primarily for your own benefit, as an aid to self-reflect and learn from your behavior over time.  It gives you a sense that you are moving forward.  People will eventually comment along the way.  Just don't get discouraged and neglect writing if you don't hear back from others right away  : )  Do it without expecting people to respond, that's my humble advice.

 

 

8 hours ago, Cam Adair said:

The book Deep Work by Cal Newport might be really powerful for you to read. :)

Thanks to both of you :) Will do!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎4‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 0:07 AM, karabas said:

So overall I'd prefer to use gaming as a recreational tool, but have control over it. But can an addict even do that? Should I be aiming to quit instead? I'm just basing this on 10+ years of experience, it hasn't worked until now. Why would it work now?

What do you guys think? I'd love some advice or insights. I feel like all the solutions I've come up with so far have failed.

Welcome @karabas

My advice would be to aim to quit.  I've also tried to limit gaming, and it failed every..single..time.  I would put everything you can into going cold turkey for 90 days, and then you can re-evaluate.  I would also say that compulsively reading > Netflix/Youtube > gaming.  So, there is a hierarchy there, as in they're not all the same level of bad.  My advice would be try to find some way to connect with other people, not just with your wife, but others in your area too

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a good approach is to deal with ONE addiction at a time. One addiction is already plenty of work to get through on its own. Doubling or tripling your main goals of quitting numerous addictions may overwhelm your capability (not saying your're not capable of overcoming them all) of giving said addictions a thorough go and to spread yourself thin. This may then make you feel guilty that you didn't achieve what you set yourself out to accomplish and fill you with negative energy > back to gaming. So baby-steps is what I'm trying to get at.

This is NOT to say that you are now entitled to indulge in your other addictions freely but to be compassionate to yourself if you happen to relapse into your addictions so that you can get up and try again. Over time it reduce it's clinging power over you. 

I also agree with @dwalk77 that Youtube/Netflix and reading are lesser addictions than gaming. Gaming has no OFF switch, you can find anyone anywhere in the world at any time and play. With Youtube/Netflix, I find one can restrict their usage by targeting specific shows with educational value or something useful to your immediate world like learning photography or cooking. You can also delete your 'empty' content subscriptions. So there are ways to lessen  your chance of getting addicted to Youtube, but it requires conscious effort on your part. Compared to gaming I think it's not equal in level of addiction grabbing power. With gaming, you're just straight away plugged into the 'world' and lost in it. 

In the end it's all about balance. The ability to juggle the urges, activities, feelings and inspirations so that they do not have negative effects on another area of your life. Again, this requires continual conscious effort and I don't know where you are in life but I feel consciousness is limited to those who are addicted and it is best to use that little bit we do have to deal with one major goal at a time. Later, we can reflect back and own that progress and build on our successes. 

I'm sure there are some people out there that have indeed been able to quit multiple addictions at the same time but I think for the majority of us of who have tasted the cold pain that orbits gaming addiction, it is best to nail this one in the coffin before deciding to climb Mount Everest :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys. I started the 90 detox and I did decide to include videos in it, because I feel like for me it's part of the same problem.

At the core, I think my big problem is avoiding focus-heavy tasks (like those at work). It's very hard for me to stay focus for any amount of time and forcing myself to do it makes me very prone to wanting a distraction. Gaming and videos are the same to me in this sense. Although I do agree - I've gamed for 24 hours straight before, but I've never watched videos that long. Games definitely can hold you glued to the screen a lot longer.

But I think my addiction is really to that distraction from tasks and I need to work on lengthening the amount of time I can sit and work on something without distraction. I can do it with no problem for things I enjoy, but as soon as it comes to a task that I don't like (or that I'm ambivalent about), it suddenly takes me forever. It's not even just on the computer - whenever I had to move (like at college at the end of the semester), I'd inevitably take far too long. I hate packing with a passion, and so I end up putting a few items in the box and then going to watch videos or something.

The other thing is, while it's definitely easier to combat one addiction at a time, there is very little positive feedback from quitting just one. I still end up wasting hours upon hours and feeling like crap about myself. Whereas my state right now, in my second day of the detox, is pretty upbeat because everything I've done during the day was important for me in one way or another.

Let's see how it works out. I've been trying to fix this for probably about 6 years or so, so I'm fairly open to trying something, seeing where it failed, and adjusting strategy :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m having very similar problems with my own detox, but ultimately it’s a journey, I think the most important thing is that we are moving in the right direction. I am confident that with the support of this community we can all continue to move forwards :) 

Good luck! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...