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Silverlining

Every day is a new day

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I started playing online games when I was 20. I'm 29.

For the past 9 years, I spent about $20,000 on games. Countless hours. I was never satisfied with my job but I wasn't able to change it, because I spent all my spare time on gaming instead of preparing for interviews. I took exams for certifications and failed again and again. I also used to visit gaming forums and chat with my gaming friends at work. (Ironically, I kept a journal on a gaming forum to record my "growth" in that game.) I have severe neck and shoulder pain, due to long hours sitting in front of computers.

The silver lining is that I met my husband in an online game. He is also a gamer, although he doesn't have the problems that I mentioned above. He is also quitting gaming to support me. He is a wonderful person, but I always know that I could have ended up with some random loser that I met online because I cut out most of my social activities and I gradually lost interest in communicating with people in real life. Thank god I met him.

 

Edited by Silverlining
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Congratulations on admitting that you have a problem, and taking the first steps to fix it. It's great to have you here 🙂 

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9 hours ago, Deku said:

Congratulations on admitting that you have a problem, and taking the first steps to fix it. It's great to have you here 🙂 

Thats the most important step!!

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12 hours ago, dirkj3 said:

Thats the most important step!!

Thank you!

Although I wouldn't be too excited about it 😁

It's not my first time to quit gaming...I did this so many times that I am almost good at starting quitting.

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Day #2:
Woke up early and made a pot of tea. Had a pleasant breakfast with my hubby. It's nice to have breakfast without touching my cell phone.

I quit the group chat with my gaming friends. It's time to say goodbye. A few of them may still be my friends because we have connections in real life. But most of them will forget about me very soon.

I decided to sign up for the next exam available for a certification in my field, one that I failed twice. Started reading the text books today. Also re-enrolled in an online course which I dropped out twice.

Work is boring as always. Although I was productive today and used my spare time at work to make plans and to read.

After work I hung all the paintings on the wall, which have been sitting in the drawer ever since we moved in May. 

Biggest challenge right now: I'm easily distracted. It's so hard to stay focused.

Studying for Exam: 41 min
Online Course: 32 min
Exercise: 48 min
Piano Practice: 10 min
Reading for Fun: 40 min

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Ay, good job with your progress so far and best of luck studying for your exam.

I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that you're going right from regular gaming into a productive lifestyle, so it will be a tough transition at first. Start small, go easy on yourself, and stay with it. You'll be far more successful if you consistently study a little every day, versus going hard at first and quickly burning out. I think 41 minutes of good work is a fine start for day 2. Keep it up.

 

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10 hours ago, Deku said:

Ay, good job with your progress so far and best of luck studying for your exam.

I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that you're going right from regular gaming into a productive lifestyle, so it will be a tough transition at first. Start small, go easy on yourself, and stay with it. You'll be far more successful if you consistently study a little every day, versus going hard at first and quickly burning out. I think 41 minutes of good work is a fine start for day 2. Keep it up.

 

Thank you Deku! Your reply is so helpful!

"Going hard at first and quickly burning out" was basically what I did for all my past detoxifications.

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Day #3:

I felt restless in the morning. Had a strong desire for gaming. Actually, in the morning, only after 1 hour of work, I visited a gaming forum, checked out the latest patch notes and even replied to a post to answer a specific question. The good news is that I logged off the minute I realized what I was doing.

For the last 2 nights, I had dreams about gaming. This is my subconsciousness talking to me. Probably deep down inside I feel terrified about changing my lifestyle and getting out of my comfort zone.

I did push myself a little bit too hard. I think that's one of the key reasons why I failed quitting gaming again and again in the past. I felt very regretful about all the time that I wasted in games, and now I wanted to make things right all at once. But this guilt gave me too much pressure than I could handle. What's worse, it made me want to run away from my life to the games. I need to slow down and comfort my inner child.

I started using a Tomato Clock today. Although I set the work duration as 15 min instead of 25 min, due to my short attention span. It totally works! I got more things done today. I should have done this earlier!

Studying for Exam: 90 min
Online Course: 30 min
Excercise: 42 min
 

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Hey, my name is Kenan and I’m on 21st day of quitting games.

As I can read you are having troubles when waking up and having desire for gaming a few times. I have had the exact feeling the first week but I just took a deep breath and reconnected with myself and started to look in my calendar to check what to do next and did that. If however you feel as if this is not helping enough you could use a program to block gaming forums for you to not access it and let your husband have the password to change it. This will allow you to focus on something else which is actually helping your life instead of distracting from it.

I also have a tendency for distraction but this is because I want to do things frequently and alternaterly change between the things I want to do at a time. First week for me was just sitting down some times and think “am i doing the things I want to do right now, if not, what is it?”. Even if you think about games you can change it to a real life experience. For instance if you miss your game friends talk or community or forum then you can figure that you are missing to socialize. Go to a cafe, study there for your exam and be around people. Be in places where there is at least 1 more person available. This would help. 

I don’t want to go in too much detail but I pretty much got all of this from the Respawn book available from game quitters website so I suggest to buy it.
 

Good luck and I’ll check in from time to time!

P.s. I’m not a gamequitter marketing guy or something, I’m just a people person 🙂

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Day #5:
After I set the work duration for my tomato clock to 20 min yesterday, I set it to be 25 min this morning, like normal people. Then I decided that it was too big of a step. Changed it back to 20 min.
Here is a big challenge. My cousin, who has depression (depression runs in my family), has been texting me with a lot of depressing stuff for the past two days. It hit me hard. I lied in bed for 30 min today because of her hurtful words. Now I am depressed. And I think depression is the main reason and result of my gaming life. I can't let it ruin my life again. 
I feel like going to bed early today.

Study for Exam: 20 min
Online Course: 25 min
Exercise: 45 min

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17 hours ago, KMD said:

Hey, my name is Kenan and I’m on 21st day of quitting games.

As I can read you are having troubles when waking up and having desire for gaming a few times. I have had the exact feeling the first week but I just took a deep breath and reconnected with myself and started to look in my calendar to check what to do next and did that. If however you feel as if this is not helping enough you could use a program to block gaming forums for you to not access it and let your husband have the password to change it. This will allow you to focus on something else which is actually helping your life instead of distracting from it.

I also have a tendency for distraction but this is because I want to do things frequently and alternaterly change between the things I want to do at a time. First week for me was just sitting down some times and think “am i doing the things I want to do right now, if not, what is it?”. Even if you think about games you can change it to a real life experience. For instance if you miss your game friends talk or community or forum then you can figure that you are missing to socialize. Go to a cafe, study there for your exam and be around people. Be in places where there is at least 1 more person available. This would help. 

I don’t want to go in too much detail but I pretty much got all of this from the Respawn book available from game quitters website so I suggest to buy it.
 

Good luck and I’ll check in from time to time!

P.s. I’m not a gamequitter marketing guy or something, I’m just a people person 🙂

Thank you Kenan!

One major reason I didn't get Respawn is that I had read similar books before. They did help me in the past. Although I relapsed after a major life change, I think the theory and methods that I learned can still help me.

You are right on that I miss to socialize. My situation here is a bit complicated, though. But I am working on it!

Writing a journal, reading other quitter's journals and interacting with game quitters here helps me a lot, so is your reply! 

 

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Try to keep talking about how you feel, what makes you depressed? I like to hear and maybe I can give some positive response 🙂

Go out to a cafe and listen to a podcast of your interest. Could be at starbucks too or anywhere with free wifi (i dont suggest mcdonalds :P).

Edited by KMD

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On 10/23/2018 at 5:31 AM, Silverlining said:

Thank you!

Although I wouldn't be too excited about it 😁

It's not my first time to quit gaming...I did this so many times that I am almost good at starting quitting.

It not my first try, too.

I want to do it.

This week was so rough and games made it even worse. 

I need a honest opinion about how hard quitting can be.

Is going through withdrawals of the hardest kind worse than being in a chronic lower intense but slowly and surely increasing stress levels coming from gaming?

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3 hours ago, KMD said:

Try to keep talking about how you feel, what makes you depressed? I like to hear and maybe I can give some positive response 🙂

Go out to a cafe and listen to a podcast of your interest. Could be at starbucks too or anywhere with free wifi (i dont suggest mcdonalds :P).

Now that I think about it, there was really nothing to be depressed about. It was just a feeling, probably due to a low level of serotonin. 

Going to a cafe to study might not be the best option for me, because I use a desktop for both my online course and my exam preparation. And after a long day of work, more often than not, I guess I just want to be home. Also I would do some household chores (which really have to be done) during my study breaks as a way to relax. Although I agree with you that going to Starbucks and spending some time there reading or drawing or doing whatever sounds a lot of fun. I should totally try that some time.

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36 minutes ago, dirkj3 said:

It not my first try, too.

I want to do it.

This week was so rough and games made it even worse. 

I need a honest opinion about how hard quitting can be.

Is going through withdrawals of the hardest kind worse than being in a chronic lower intense but slowly and surely increasing stress levels coming from gaming?

I think the most difficult part is not quitting gaming, but rather keeping living a healthy and productive life.

I quit gaming a few times. The longest one lasted for almost two years when I was in grad school. It's easier to stay away from games when I have a certain goal. And that's why I am taking an exam. I don't really need that certification, but the exam gives me a syllabus of what I should learn. More importantly, it has deadlines, which really helps me to keep on track.

BTW I also have a binge eating disorder. I succeeded in dieting and losing weight for a few times. 10 lbs, 15 lbs. And of course, I relapsed every time. I'm also working on it now. It's not so difficult for me this time, because I need to be healthy and prepare for pregnancy. This gives me a very strong willpower.

I'm regretful that I relapsed, but I am also proud that I was able to improve my life a little bit, even for a short period of time. Even if I relapse this time (I hope not), I still learned things, and it's better than nothing. And I am grateful for all struggles that I went through. They make me stronger. I just need to keep it going for one more day, one day at a time.

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Day #6:

I found some paint by number sets that I bought years ago, and finally finished one piece! 
IMG_5768.thumb.JPG.5d643d41590e09decdf46a2c67b82abb.JPG
Although all I did was coloring, I still feel a sense of accomplishment:D

I also set up my wacom tablet correctly for the first time, after I bought it a year ago. I really enjoyed painting with it, despite my poor painting skills.

Studying for exam: 60 min
Online course: 40 min
Exercise: 30 min
Painting and Coloring: 100 min
 

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Day #7:
We went to a park today. It's beautiful with the fall colors. We went there by train instead of driving. Besides being eco-friendly, taking the train has another advantage in that we can't just go home whenever we feel a little tired. We'll still need to walk 20 min to the train station, and it's just not worth it. So we might as well spend more time in the park 😄
And I'm loving drawing now! When I sit down at the desk, I can't help picking up the colored pencils to draw a little bit. Am I addicted to drawing now? 😆

Studying for exam: 40 min
Drawing: 40 min
Walking in a park: 2 hr
Exercise: 30 min

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It's been a week so I'd like to write a little summary.

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That's 18 hours in total.

In the past they would all be spent on gaming. Actually I would spend way more than 18 hours (my estimate is about 30 hrs) weekly on games, because I did not take breaks while gaming, and I used to sleep late.

I think if I continue working on extending my attention span, I would be able to spend more time on things that I want to do.

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Day #8:
We went to a spa center today. This place is right beside the grocery store that we go to every weekend. But we never entered it until today. It has an entertainment center and a cafeteria, as well as sauna and meditation rooms. We spent quite a few hours in this spa center, including having lunch and playing chess together.

Too relaxed to work out. 😆

Studying for exam: 40 min
Drawing: 40 min
Spa and Sauna: 4 hr
Exercise: 0 min
Meditation: 10 min

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