Jump to content
whydoyouloveme

The Journal of Myself, a person

Recommended Posts

Day 1

Hi! I am not one to post on forums, usually just a lurker if I ever do frequent a forum, but the daily journal idea sounds like a good idea and it is also something new to try. God knows I've tried to quit playing video games so many times so something new in the approach makes a lot of sense. Avoiding the definition of insanity and all that...

Today I mostly did a bunch of research on this website, to be honest, and given that I'm here you can assume that I like what I found. My girlfriend suggested that I talk to somebody about my gaming addiction, like a therapist, and that got me thinking about what resources I could find online. I've always kept my addiction to myself (I told my girlfriend pretty early on in the relationship that I had a problem with video games, but she's the only one I talk to about it), and my most recent failure to kick the habit has left me feeling really terrible about myself. 

I'm pretty excited to have deleted both my Steam and GOG accounts, largely because it feels different, and that gives me hope. Also I've set up a bunch of annoying website blockers on all my electronic devices, so if I want to waste away my day watching gaming videos on Youtube or Twitch I'll have to jump through numerous hoops to do it. So far so good. 

Spent some time working on my applications for law school, although I know I didn't put that much time in, but I'll forgive myself for that. I definitely feel tremendous anxiety when I work on them, so it's probably best to adopt a slow and steady approach towards them. I get like that with all types of applications, largely because I feel massively underqualified for any position (strangely it doesn't seem to matter what the position is) and applying to prestigious law schools definitely makes me feel very small. 

I need to get back on track with my meditations and all of the physical and nutritional improvements that I have been working on in my life. I had been doing a 30 day detox diet (very strict Paleo diet) and also meditating once a day (I was on day 28) when I fell off the gaming wagon last week, and because I began gaming everything else went to hell too. So I want to reintroduce my meditation practice, 12000 steps a day, and 30 day detox , and given what I've eaten the past week, I probably need to start over =(

My plan is to reintroduce all of those elements slowly, because my highest priority is on making sure that I'm not gaming or spending too much time on the computer in place of gaming (like mindlessly browsing the internet). 

I'm feeling in fairly high spirits due to all of this, so here's hoping it all goes well. I plan on posting everyday, but I imagine I'll miss some days. Thanks for reading!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 2

I was at work for the majority of today, my work is very boring and nobody does much of anything, so today I decided to follow their examples and not do too much. I spent a lot of time reading the forum here, and while I don't think that's super productive it's also a ton better than watching gaming videos on Youtube, which I definitely felt the urge to do. Also all the different journals I was reading on the forums had great advice and stories that gave me ideas of how to improve my own position and how to move forward. I'm really glad that there is this wealth of knowledge and testimony collected here that I can use to remind myself why I want to stop wasting my time and start living my life, and I'm grateful. 

So I think I'll lay out some goals moving forward and then maybe structure those goals and rank them. The number one thing is to stop gaming and anything related to it, whether that be reading or watching videos etc. Also I think porn is an issue I have, not nearly as bad as gaming but while reading other journals I recognized that I use porn to fill spaces when I'm bored or stressed, and that behavior is all interconnected. Plus, something I've noticed for quite a while, is that porn to me is absolutely boring. I watch it out of habit nowadays, much like how I'm almost always bored when I play video games too. So get rid of that too. 

I'll let those be the two negative goals that I have, I'm sure I'll have a tough time working through those anyways so no need to get ahead of myself. 

I've been trying to think of activities that I can use to replace what gaming did in my life, and I've got some activities that I've wanted to pursue for a long time but I'm not sure how they fit into the needs that I have, so I'm just going to list them and see what I think from there.

I want to work on my memory, like the journey method/memory palace technique and various other ways of improving your conscious ability to remember various things, largely because I've always had a bad memory. I think it's because gaming makes my brain view all information that is not relevant to video games unimportant, so I just have a strong tendency to forget it while I retain large swathes of random game knowledge. Sometimes I feel like Spongebob in that one episode where he learns to become the best fancy restaurant waiter/cook in the sea but to do it his brain shreds all other information including his own name. That's me with games. 

I want to learn different languages, and I've been wanting to implement a method I found in this book called Fluent Forever (I really recommend the book and also the website) but I've always had reasons that I'm not ready, e.g. I haven't learned the International Phonetic Alphabet and that would help me if I knew it (not necessary of course, but my tendency towards perfectionism makes me generally avoid something if I feel like I can't do it to the best of my ability). 

I want to work on my math skills, because I've always hated math and I feel like the way it was taught in school probably gave it a bad rap, so I'm going to see if I can rediscover math. 

Also science, because many different fields are interesting and I am largely clueless. 

I want to get back into philosophy, which was a particular passion of mine during those times in college where I wasn't completely consumed by games/depression. I don't really know where to start with philosophy, I feel like my ability to evaluate an argument and break it down into its constituent parts has pretty much evaporated and I'm not sure how to go about relearning the skill. 

I need to get more active again, more hiking and stuff which would allow me to do more foraging, which I love, although it is super hot right now in California where I live and most of the stuff that I could forage is out of season, so that's sad. 

I have a guitar sitting in the corner of my room, and I've never learned how to play it. Also I have my harmonica, which I taught myself how to play but by doing that also picked up some bad habits which blocked my progress so I stopped playing. 

Reading is a thing that I do all the time, so that's definitely a good activity to continue in. Although I have to be careful with fantasy literature, because my last binge of gaming was triggered, I think, by me rereading the Lord of the Rings and then I got hooked and I spent two consecutive days just reading and then said fuck it and started playing video games. So I should probably figure out exactly what happened there. 

Also I was intrigued by the pomodoro technique as I was reading @JustTom's journal, so I looked it up and I thought it was really cool and it makes sense to give it a try. I'm not sure what I should apply the technique to, so I've got to think about that. 

That's it for my list of activities at the moment, I'm sure I'll think of more later. Another goal that I just thought of is that I need to get more social and get out of the house, because I am definitely constantly filled with social anxiety and it stops me from doing all sorts of things, e.g. I have been procrastinating forever on emailing my professors for their permission to reuse the letters of recommendation they wrote for me for my past attempt to apply to law school. It's ridiculous, but I feel really anxious about asking for help and the fact that I haven't kept in touch very well and also worried about their responses, even though I know they will be fine with me reusing the letters. Even posting on this forum as a pretty much anonymous internet person makes me anxious. The problem with confronting this problem is that I know I will have to put myself in a lot of uncomfortable situations i.e. I have to talk to people, and that's scary. The thing is that if games were really filling a big part of my social needs, and I think they were (even though I played exclusively single player), that means in order to overcome my video game addiction I also have to overcome my fear of socialization too at the same time. This all sounds like a lot. 

Okay, I think I've rambled enough for today and I'm going to stop now. Thanks for reading, if that's even possible given how largely unreadable and generally incoherent I've been. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, whydoyouloveme said:

Also I was intrigued by the pomodoro technique as I was reading @JustTom's journal, so I looked it up and I thought it was really cool and it makes sense to give it a try. I'm not sure what I should apply the technique to, so I've got to think about that. 

 

The best case scenario is if you have a single thing you have to work on for a long time, such as a coding project, writing a paper, doing some research etc. But if not, then what I do is I have a to-do list of little things I need to do and during a pomodoro, I just go through that list one by one. This can be something like "send an e-mail to this guy, make an appointment here, look up this or that..."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice! I think I'll try the technique with my applications, I have a hell of a habit of procrastinating when it comes to them. I've downloaded a few different apps and also checked out the website you mentioned that you use. I'll see what works for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 3

I'm working through Respawn right now, and so I'm posting a little earlier in the day than I planned to, but I'll probably edit this post a little later with some of my thoughts at the end of the day. 

I'm going to add a gratitude journal in this at the end of the post, I'll do this for a while and see if I like it. Probably will make that decision in a couple weeks to give myself time to form an opinion about it. 

I brainstormed some more about activities I can do to fill the void in my life now that games are gone, and the social aspect is the hardest for me. The thought of going to meet strangers is scary, I am afraid to put myself out there and my head is crowded with all the memories of me making an ass of myself in the past. But I did check out online some local classes on tai chi, groups interested in hiking, and then also I think toastmasters might be beneficial for me. So I'm going to count that as progress, but I need to hold myself accountable and turn the thought into action.

I went shopping and got some fresh fruits and vegetables and also some meat for the week, but then I also got some ice cream which I binged on (I told myself it was okay because tomorrow I'll begin my 30 day detox). So there's good and there's bad. Further on the plus side, binging on the ice cream reminded me how terrible I feel physically when I eat crap like that. Hopefully I remember that better in the future.

So I really, really wanted to watch Youtube videos today. Also caved and watched some porn, not much but I was bored and didn't know what else to do even though I had lots of other things I could/should do. Maybe the porn thing is a bigger problem than I thought, especially now that I'm not gaming or watching Youtube videos. I'm not going to reset my counter for it but if I do it in the future I will reset my counter. 

I felt very sad throughout the day, regretful about not being strong enough to moderate my game consumption. Some of the games I miss today are Crusader Kings 2, Europa Universalis, Civilization, and I've also really wanted to boot up Medieval 2 Total War, even though I know that every time I played that game in the past (and all the other games on the list for that matter) something about the design would annoy me or disappoint me and I would feel unsatisfied.

Feeling very grateful for my decision to delete my Steam account, otherwise I would probably be playing some/all of these games right now. Also, and more importantly, I feel very grateful for all the advice/knowledge of the people here that allowed me to delete my Steam account, I wouldn't have known how to do it without help. Grateful for this space where I can share my thoughts. Grateful that I've made this decision to finally quit games. Grateful for the food I have in the fridge. Grateful for the vibrant world around me (not ready to fully engage with it though!). Grateful for my ability to type. Grateful for the books that I have that are so interesting. Grateful that tomorrow is a new day. Grateful that I did some work on my applications. Grateful for the hope that I feel. 

I'm going to add my edit here, now that I'm at the end of the day just to keep the lines of thought separate for no good reason I suppose. I don't have much to add other than I'm feeling much better now,, largely because I tried the pomodoro technique using an app I downloaded which is pretty much just a simple timer and although I only completed 3 pomodoro I was super productive with my time and completely revised my personal statement twice over plus sent out some very pressing emails that I was procrastinating on. Super excited about how that worked out and looking forward to trying it out some more, big thanks to @JustTom

Edited by whydoyouloveme
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, whydoyouloveme said:

I felt very sad throughout the day, regretful about not being strong enough to moderate my game consumption. [...] even though I know that every time I played that game in the past (and all the other games on the list for that matter) something about the design would annoy me or disappoint me and I would feel unsatisfied.

You sound a lot like me... I struggle to find a game that I like 100%, never did 😂

A part of me is glad about that because a perfect game would be even harder to escape from.

 

Anyway, I think regret is quite useful for making a change, but I hope your feeling of sadness doesn't become a baseline. Stay hopeful and good luck!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, taichi said:

You sound a lot like me... I struggle to find a game that I like 100%, never did 😂

A part of me is glad about that because a perfect game would be even harder to escape from.

 

Anyway, I think regret is quite useful for making a change, but I hope your feeling of sadness doesn't become a baseline. Stay hopeful and good luck!

Thanks for the kind words! 

I think when I game nowadays I'm trying to recapture the feelings I had when I was a kid and playing games, but I always end up starting a character over and over or something like that, nothing is ever good enough and so I just get frustrated. I totally agree with you about the perfect game thing lol!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 4

Okay, gonna try to keep this one short, I have a massive headache that's been going on for a few hours so that's annoying.

Started the day off well, got up at 6 am, meditated and went for a walk. All good things.

Did a lot of stuff at work. Once I got home the aforementioned headache was in full swing so I've just been doing light reading, kinda bummed because I was hoping to try the pomodoro thing again and work more on my personal statement and general application stuff. But my head hurts a lot so whatever. 

I'm grateful for the support from my significant other. Grateful for the place where I live. Grateful for the cat who sits on me and demands to be pet. Grateful for the continued determination I feel to better my life. Grateful for having food in the fridge. Grateful for having a cool water bottle. Grateful for family. Grateful for the world being so interesting. Grateful for all the interesting books I have. Grateful for living near interesting parks and green spaces. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 5

Feeling a lot better today, although I work up late because I had such trouble sleeping last night. 

Not too much to report today, I mostly read after I was finished with work (always sucks to work on Labor Day) because I was very tired. I think I should've taken a short nap and then proceeded to work on more important stuff, but I didn't. I'll try to make a better decision next time. 

I'm now on day 2 of my detox diet again, and I think tomorrow I'm going to reintroduce something I had been doing for a while before I got hit with the stomach flu and then proceeded to fall off all of the wagons: a one day fast. It provided me an interesting time of reflection each week and also it felt like a good exercise of willpower with low stakes. I do worry about making sure I get adequate nutrition, so I think I'll also introduce a self diary where I put in a bunch of observations as to how I'm feeling and what I eat and at what times. I remember the first day that I tried the fast was really difficult and I woke up the next day having difficulty moving, but the subsequent times I tried it I those symptoms didn't appear and I felt relatively fine except that I was pretty hungry and really enjoyed breakfast the following day. 

I'm grateful for a working laptop. I'm grateful for the website blocker programs that prevent all of my time from being consumed by said laptop. I'm grateful that it has been a bit cooler around here. I'm grateful for my car which is in reasonable working condition. I'm grateful that my work hours mean I don't have to drive in ridiculous traffic. I'm grateful that I at least got some sleep last night. I am grateful for my decision earlier to eat healthy food. I am grateful for feeling reasonably healthy and motivated.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 6

So today went fairly well, day 3 of the detox diet in the books and I didn't feel any need to go on Youtube or play games. Also fasted for most of the day, called off the fast at the 24hr mark around 6pm, largely because I've been mulling around an article I read that was written by a writer whose expertise I trust when it comes to many different aspects of health. The problem is that I have conflicting information from several trusted sources about the health effects of fasting and intermittent fasting, so I want to check the sources of the article that says fasting beyond 24hrs does not produce any more benefit from autophagy. Also it argued that fasting beyond the 36hr mark or so has the potential to provoke a spike in cortisol, so I'm gonna read more into that. 

Went out with friends for dinner tonight at Souplantation, and given my diet I could really only eat from the salad bar with no dressing. So while the food was quite bland at least I had fun with friends and didn't break the diet. Was extremely tempted to eat the cookies and ice cream at the buffet. 

Also got an email from one of my top choices for law school notifying me that they waived my application fee! That's like $85 saved, which is pretty sweet. It's also a morale (and ego) booster to think that the school looks at me as a candidate that they want to entice to apply. 

I'm grateful for my friends, my health, my friends' health, and for the time that I get to spend with friends. I'm grateful that I made good decisions today. I'm grateful for the fun I had. I'm grateful that I get to go to sleep soon (so tired!). I'm grateful that I've gotten so much of my application process done. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 10, pretty sure it's 10

Been feeling pretty unmotivated as of late, as evidenced by the lack of diary entries. The urges to play have been pretty strong, same thing with wanting to watch YouTube videos. I've also had really shitty sleep and been waking up like 3-4 times for extended periods during the night for a few nights now. I've been having constant video game dreams where either the dream becomes in some way a video game or I am literally dreaming about a video game. A couple nights ago I dreamt about a game I haven't played in nearly twenty years, although I still remember the name and obviously my brain remembers a ton of shit about it, called Lords of Magic. It just blows my mind how much detail I can recall about something as stupid as that, and yet I forget everyone's birthday.

 I think all of these urges and shit sleep are because I've been working so much on my law school applications, which is good, but also really stressful for me and I've been constantly wanting to retreat into my old coping mechanisms. It's really hard to do stressful things without having those tools that made me feel so much more relaxed. Yet I know I wouldn't have nearly been as productive if I had those options, I probably would have just been gaming all this time and have no progress on my applications.

Most of the time I've just read whatever I have on hand to try and relax, and when it's gotten to the point where I felt like I would break I've been listening to a philosophy podcast that makes me laugh and doesn't require any conscious work on my part. I'm pretty sure I would have broken down by now if I hadn't gotten rid of all my games, but I know that gaming on my phone is an option (I've been tempted, and I don't know how to put blocks in place like I have for youtube). I haven't been using this forum as much as I was for relaxation, and just writing all this down is making me feel a lot better. I think I'll more consciously use this forum as a replacement for YouTube/Games, although I know that ultimately I want to be in a place where I can have more productive ways to relax and deal with stress. But I really appreciate everyone here, this forum has been an invaluable resource for me and it hasn't been much longer than a week. 

Writing this all down has made me realize just how therapeutic these daily journals are for me, definitely gonna redouble my resolve to make this a daily habit!

What I am grateful for today: my family, the continued encouragement and faith of my professors, all the work that I have done towards my applications, this very cute cat that is meowing at me, this forum and the great group of people here, my continued efforts to break the hold games have over me, that tomorrow is another day, that I got to see my mom today.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this the first time you're trying to properly do the 90-day-detox?

I think around day 7-14 there tends to be this second resistance wave(right after the first two/three days) and cravings intensify. This is because you've pushed yourself for some time, you've done some progress and now your old gaming identity doesn't like it. It's like your old you is feeling that you're starting to change, but it doesn't want to change. The ego always tries to preserve the status quo, because that's how we've survived as species. Maximizing survival, not maximizing happiness. Because you've been surviving for so many years in your cushy, gaming life, your ego thinks that the set of actions that maximize the probability of surviving is to stay home and game. But you want to go out and change - well that's risky! What if there's a razor tooth tiger out there??? You see what's happening here? It's change and your ego rebelling against it. Just be conscious of it and accept that it's going to suck for a while, but will get better. 

Another factor is that after you've been doing good for a few days, you feel like you should reward yourself, relax, ease off. This is a trap that backfires every single time. It's an illusion, a craving in disguise. Don't get fooled.

Good luck!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 11

Got a lot of writing done today, although I still have more revisions to do on the personal statement, which is driving me nuts. I wish the damn thing was done already, but at least I have a couple of very experienced readers whose judgment I trust. I'm so ready to be done with all this crap. On a better note, I do feel proud of what I have accomplished so far, as when it comes to applications for jobs or anything I generally horribly procrastinate so I'm not being as bad this go around. I'm feeling very impatient though, I just wish I could fast forward to law school. Also tired of living with my dad, so it'll be nice to be back out on my own again. 

I definitely need to think of a better workspace than my house though, as whenever I get home from work I just veg out despite having told myself that I need to get x,y, and z done. My brain associates my house with just sitting around being tired and not doing any work. The local library isn't too far away and has a nice park, so I might try that out. I am just so used to staying at home when I don't have anything pressing to do like an appointment.

Some things I feel extra grateful for today: my co-worker Brandon for helping me out with my essay, my mom for making me some lunch, and my girlfriend for being so supportive. 

@JustTomThanks for the advice, I definitely appreciate it! I have caught myself thinking about different ways that I could potentially have a healthy relationship with games, as if I hadn't already tried dozens of different ways over the years. I just gotta remember the traps that my brain is setting for me, like you said, it's all about being conscientious.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 15

So it's been awhile. I'm not gonna write a long post, very tired. I have been having a rough few days, I broke on the youtube thing and have been watching a fair amount of videos. However, I just sent off a bunch of my applications for law school, so that feels pretty good. Those applications have been stressing me out big time, and I will be glad when they are no longer a millstone around my neck. Also having them sent off in September is such a huge win for me, I really feel like I have a serious chance of turning my life around. 

My plan this week is to get all my applications in by Saturday, and try to wean myself off the videos. I have found that I just can't do all the things I wanted to do while I am under such stress from the applications, so I have to clear that away. I keep telling myself that at least I haven't broken on the video games aspect, so that's something.

I should be back to daily posts soon, and I am thinking I'm going to move my writing time to the morning when I'm feeling energized because a lot of times I just don't want to do anything by the end of the day.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello!

I'd really like to wish you the best of luck for your law school applications. Keep up with the daily journals, they don't have to be long or perfect, but I do feel that being able to express yourself / track your daily progress and take part in this community is encouraging! They also keep a momentum going.. :)

Looking forward to your future journals! 😄

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×