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i-g Post-Detox Journal


info-gatherer
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Day 61

I discovered this subreddit called “braincels”. Spent hours going through it. So much self-hatred is painful to read. I’m grateful to be part of the GameQuitters community, a place where we incite each other to improve our lives, not hang ourselves or kill random people. Thanks everyone for this beautiful community we have here.

Going back to uni city. Skipped lesson today. Also, I woke up late today and yesterday. My main goal for tomorrow is waking up early and live a meaningful day.

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Day 62

I got invited for dinner by two young researchers/professors through my gf and a friend of mine. It’s next weekend. I know I should accept because I need friends badly. I can’t just go on being alone forever. But I have this feeling it’s gonna end terribly. I’m just scared I will be uneasy and have to pretend to be having a nice time until late in the night. Any advice now would be very welcome

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Why would you pretend? Are you going to be bored because you think they are boring or you will be boring? What are you trying to achieve? 

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6 minutes ago, JustTom said:

Why would you pretend? Are you going to be bored because you think they are boring or you will be boring? What are you trying to achieve? 

Because I’m an introvert who doesn’t know how to small talk and/or be funny. I just need friends I guess

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6 minutes ago, info-gatherer said:

Because I’m an introvert who doesn’t know how to small talk and/or be funny

This is a belief you have of yourself. And although it might be true at the moment, there is no reason why it cannot change. Many people get stuck thinking they are introverts and that's just it, they will always suck at social interactions, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Social skill is a skill like any other - it can be learned, improved, or deprecated if not used. Talent comes into play, but like with all skills, it is only a minor factor. Check out this for example: https://youtu.be/7qsaxJCvahA?t=6m27s It's in the context of attraction & pick-up, but the skill is the same in any social setting. 

 

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Tom, thanks a lot. I didn’t answer because the dinner didn’t happen. I’ll save your advice for next occasion (probably next weekend).

So, many things happened since my last post but right now I need to focus on my next exam, on friday. I am spending way too much time and energy browsing vaping websites until late in the night, enough is enough. It’s a major time sink and I’m tackling it.

GOAL

BROWSE NO (zero, nein, not at all) VAPING WEBSITES FROM NOW UNTIL 29th OF JUNE, STARTING NOW

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  • 2 weeks later...

Cigarettes 90days detox is almost over, but yesterday & today I got urges to play League of Legends. I don’t have anything to do this weekend, I’m too tired for studying. I would gladly try and play some league, but I’m scared. After all it’s been just 5-6 months sice I quit. I really don’t know what’s the right thing to do... Part of me says there’s nothing wrong in playing, but another part of me is scared of going back to the pitfall of desperation I left not too much time ago. What if I can’t control it? What if I lose my mental freedom? I don’t know... 

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Day 90

So, 3 months without cigarettes. I already started to reduce the nicotine content of my vape and I plan to take it to 0.

I’m also close to 180days of no videogames.

This wasn’t a good journal, I just talked about academics and vaping all the time. But maybe that’s what I needed to focus on during the last months. I hope everyone else is doing fine. I’ll go back to reading your journals and partecipating more sooner or later. Right now I don’t feel like doing it and I don’t want to force it.

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That is incredible. 90 days of no cigarettes and half a year of no games? Wow, I really admire you for this. Even if there are bad days you keep at it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

UPDATE (long post)

Today I miss gaming a lot. I noticed this pattern: I only miss gaming when I’m anxious for my exams. I replaced gaming with study in the last months, so when I’m approaching an exam (next one is in 4 days) I start craving for videogames. Videogames were my escape, and my new escape is study, so when STUDY is the problem, I have nowhere to go.

But I want to have at least 1 year of detox under my belt before even thinking of gaming in moderation, if ever.

-

I gained weight. I’m quite chubby and I can’t wear some of my old clothes. That’s good, I’ll use it as an excuse to go running this August. One of my goals will be running every day. I think I’ll have some pushups too.

-

I spend less time on the vaping websites (I failed my goal of not using them...)

-

I’m thinking about my career more and more, every day. I know that what I am studying (humanities, modern literature) probably won’t give me a job. Or will give me a bad one: unsatisfying and low wage. The only job that would satisfy me would be becoming a professor in university, but that’s what 0.1% of graduates manage to land. I can’t take the risk. And I don’t feel fit for it anyway. Other realistic options are teaching in school (a lot of free time is a good thing but everything else sucks) or a master in Human Resources and then working for a company (I probably wouldn’t like it). I thought of switching my career to IT engineering. Graduating in 3 years and have good jobs with above average wages that will make me 100% independent from other people’s whims. But my parents say that I’ll need to get a job and pay for it, if I really wish to do so. They’ll help me with some money, but I’ll have to pay for most of it. Engineering requires a lot of time (expecially considering my background, I know nothing about science) and constant presence in class (can’t study it at home for the most part). They said, finish your current degree and then we’ll see. I’m ok with what I’m studying, I’m passionate about it, but I don’t want to become a loser with a shitty job and a low wage. Also, I’m 23 and I’m relatively young, but after I finish my current degree I’ll be 25 or 26, and it will probably be LATE for asking my parents to economically finance other 3 years of university. Even if they are quite rich they have 3 sons (I’m the oldest) and they won’t pay for me. And anyway they already helped me a lot, I’m not entitled to asking for anything. I can’t see the way out.

 

Edited by info-gatherer
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Day 186

So, my mobile carrier gifted me 15€ bonus for online gambling (Jesus Christ what’s the matter with regulations now that I think about it???). Anyway, I went and played a game that consisted in revealing a picture by clicking on it and then revealing other hidden pictures. If two of them were identical, I won.

Halfway through the process I stopped for a moment and thought: oh wait, does this count as a videogame? I guess the answer is somewhere nearer to “yes” than “no”, so I guess I played a videogame today. I’m not resetting my counter (I don’t think this is a relapse) but I wanted to share this for two reasons:

1 I want to commit to never playing it again.

2 I want to show how insidious gamification is, I was playing a videogame without even knowing it.

Have a nice day

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Long time no see, my friend. Glad to see you're still around, working towards your aspirations.

When I knew I needed to leave my last university because my gpa was becoming to low to realistically continue with the pre-medical track, I looked at my government's bureau of labor statistics website for job ideas. It had information on future job growth percentage, wages, and educational requirements for each profession. That really helped me pick a career I was both interested in and had enormous job growth (paramedic/firefighter).

Here's the U.S. version: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/

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Intense cravings to game today. I’m not stressed and I’m not using it to cope with my life, I think. I just want to play so bad. It’s been a long time. I’m not more bored than usual, not more sad or anything. I don’t know why: I just want to play and “reward” myself after intense months of study. I am on holidays and I keep studying and spending time with my family most of the time. Maybe that’s what I’m trying to escape: this feeling of platitude?

Also, I “fear” that if I don’t play this month, I won’t be able to play for a long time even if I want to, because my life will be super busy when I’ll move to Paris in early september.

I know that the cravings are strong because I’m a recovering addict and I will “always” be. Tomorrow I will start my daily running & exercising plan. I’d really like to spend a couple days playing but I also know it’s too dangerous. I’m quite sad.

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Current habit: Daily running.

Start date: Wednesday 1 August 2018.

Expected end date: Friday 31 August 2018.

Day 1

Yesterday I did 18 min running without stopping. My goal is adding 5 min every two or three days and stabilize at 30 min. Even 18 min is very hard for me, also because of the weather (too hot), but I know that a week from now I will feel much better.

Day 2

Today it went much better. Ran without a clock but I guess I ran 20 minutes. Now my legs are sore ?

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I can empathize with that feeling of urgency, that you will miss out if you don't game now. The whole reason why I'm back here now was because I had access to a gaming computer for a short period of time, and was horrified about the amount of time I spent on it. It'll be difficult, but choosing a new and challenging habit, like running, to fill the void instead is wise.

Running is incredibly therapeutic. I don't know if you've ever studied technique, but the Chi Running model helped me: let each step land toe first, keep your back straight and slightly leaned forward, sashay your hips subtly, and pick a location for your gaze to focus on to break your run into smaller chunks. Happy running!

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@Pierce I think that’s called “marching” (?) anyway, thanks for the tip ? 

Day 3

I had to escape from the seaside because it started raining hard. I didn’t want to miss my daily running, so I drove from our “sea house” to my city (just 15 min drive at high speed) chasing the good weather and I ran in the park there. It was beautiful with the calm vibrations after the storm, when silence gets respected. No screaming, no crying. Just a good piece of music in my earbuds. I ran 25 minutes.

Tonight I was working on my first electronic music track and had a blackout in my house. I lost 2 hours of work, which is demotivating. But I’ll go back to it and finish it.

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I can see how what I said sounds like marching, but what I'm advocating is very much running. Likely a bad description. Here's a video that makes the technique a bit convoluted, but at least includes demonstrations.

Glad you broke through and didn't let excuses get the better of you new habit. That's a very strong foundation for it.

 

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@Pierce Oh got it. That’s how I run anyway (not 100% sure because I didn’t watch the whole video yet, I’m on mobile data).

Day 8

Not-so-little update on different areas:

Boredom

Boredom is over the top. I’m not having fun, nor am I doing anything meaningful. Maybe I’m spending time with the wrong people, or maybe it’s just the regret for procrastinating very important things: looking for a house to rent in Paris, answer mid-important emails, and other burocracy that needs to get done asap (2 weeks ago). I watch some movies, I study a little, I hang out a little. Yesterday night I actually had a decent time, tho. Went with my friends to have a pizza on the beach, then had a night swim and some chill conversation.

Career

Looks like my parents and I agreed that I finish my current degree asap and then we’ll consider an eventual career switch. My plan is graduating with full honors 2 years from now and then switch to a 3-year IT engineering program. Then start working to pay for my last 2 years of engineering. And combine my skills to work in... ba da bum videogame production. I want to transform my addiction into something productive. I know that what I have is a very long term project but I think about all this plan every day and I find it good enough to pursue. Time will speak in my stead and say if it’s a good project or not.

Sleep

Some trouble waking up at the now usual 8 AM in the last 3 days. I woke up at 12, 11 and 9.30 respectively. I’ll fix this.

Videogames

I’m considering giving vg another try. I’d love to play LoL but that’s too risky. It’s online and based on elo system. I think I’ll maybe play Pokemon soul silver on the Nintendo DS. I know my detox ended a lot of time ago, but I fear a full relapse. I’m really not sure what to do. I also fear that playing pokemon would feel like a pointless bandaid.

Running

Upgraded to 30 minutes until yesterday. Yesterday I had to run on the beach, which is much more tiresome, and did only 20 minutes. I am in much better muscular shape but I didn’t lose weight. I guess I need to eat less, plain and simple.

Music

I completed my first track. It was an engaging and interesting experience. The result is not fantastic, just a beginner’s work, but I’ll share it anyway in case someone is curious.

 

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So, tonight I played a videogame after several months. I mentioned wanting to try to play again quite frequently in my last journal entries and I finally tried. I played on a yu-gi-oh online site for 3-4 hours. I have to admit it felt good, as if all my accumulated boredom and unsatisfaction were just wiped away by the game. But at the same time, I felt some dizziness and a sense of pointlessness. I told myself “jesus christ, now I remember why those things suck up so much time: they require a lot of practice to be a good player”. So, some regret slipped into me for forgetting (or pretending to forget) that important lesson.

Posting on this journal helped me through difficult times and gave me the strenght to commit when I needed it most. Now I write here again, solemnly vowing not to play again that game or any other game for a very long time.

All in all, I don’t regret what I did. I just need to be careful now, because spyraling back into addiction is very easy. I WILL NOT FALL FOR IT. Even when I can’t stand fhe new me, I know how the old me made me feel like a loser every single day.

My mother entered my room and saw that I was playing. She said “should I be worried?”. Should she be worried? She shouldn’t. This is very important. I must not fail.

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Stay strong until the holidays end brother. Take this time to rest and recharge so that you will be ready for school. Maybe try a new hobby or read a book you've been putting off for a while. I wish you luck in finding new outlets for social interaction as well.

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I am not doing well. The last two weeks I just stayed home doing nothing. Meanwhile, this Monday my gf told me that she doesn’t want to be with me anymore. I know we had some problems but I didn’t expect this. I thought they were minor problems, but apparently she disagrees. We haven’t seen each other for a month, I hope we can talk in person when we meet again and maybe fix those problems.

What else? I should already be in Paris but I’m not. I didn’t bother to look for housing or plan anything, so I’m doing the stupidest thing of trying to pass another exam before taking a plane for France, even if my levels of concentration are abysmally low.

If I work very hard (today I had a nice studying morning, that’s why I had the confidence to start writing this post) I may be able to take the exam on the 5th of september. If I fail, it’s a double fail, because I traded the Orientation Week in Paris for this exam. The orientation week could have been a way to meet other students and help me find a house, so it was very important, but I was too depressed to think about it so I just lost this opportunity. But if I pass the exam it’s a good thing and maybe even a worthy trade, or however the best possible case scenario right now, so I’ll try my best. Then I’ll go to France next week.

edit: I forgot, I played 2 hours of Chess vs the computer. I wanted to try the Play Magnus app, which simulates the playstyle of world champion Magnus Carlssen at a specific age. No big deal but I think it’s always worth mentioning when I am around videogames in my journal, even if it’s not problematic use.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, apparently I’m going to Paris after all.

Making the effort of studying for the exam dissolved my ennui and got me back on track, giving me confidence and a new perspective.

Then I started planning for Paris. The hardest part right now is finding a house. I booked in a hostel until october 1st. I hope 2 weeks will be enough before I find something.

Now I’m enjoying my last evening on the beach with my friends.

Tomorrow morning I’ll say goodbye to my parents (they’re going to Ireland) and the day after tomorrow I’ll fly to Paris.

The only bad thing is I don’t know what’s happening between me and my girlfriend, our relationship is going to waste and neither of us is doing anything meaningful to fix it. I hope things get better soon between us, otherwise... c’est la vie.

742AADA4-5956-4120-AE39-49F3AA2D0CD3.jpeg

Edited by info-gatherer
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