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Hello guys, my name is G. I am new to this forum and to keeping a journal, and I intend to see through on the 90 day detox. I hope that by writing in this Journal, I give myself a form of accountability as well as learn more about myself along the way.

How has Day 1 been?

- I feel very restless. I've been like that the whole day, as my last game was around 11:30 AM of today. I feel like I should be doing something but there is nothing to do. I also think constantly about the responsibilities I've been avoiding, and that makes me quite worried.

- I took some steps forward. I started my 90 day detox today. I also registered and did a welcome post, which is good. I also attended a support group for computer gaming online and spoke to some other addicts. It put me at ease for a bit.

- I went to my therapist today and told him what I've been up to, after not seeing him for a whole month.

-Also, I thought about relapsing after I found out my father is working late. This gives me the perfect opportunity to game uninterrupted. But then I remembered my own personal version of hell that I've created and didn't follow through on it. This is gonna be freaking though.

- I can't sleep either, I'm too hyped up. This is always the case for me; normally I calm this down by going on my phone until I fall asleep, but I removed all social media from my phone and there's nothing left on it aside from contacts and my music streaming (and YouTube of course). I think tonight I'll opt to take some melatonin pills so I can get full rest. Saturday will be a full, free day, and I must prepare for it.

 

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How has Day 2 been?

- Actually I consider this my real Day 1, as this is the first full day that I haven't touched a game or any social media site.

- I stood home all day with my dad, since neither of us had work. I felt irritated this morning since I woke up around 11AM. I was expecting my father to say something about why I woke up so late, but he didn't. That feeling passed quickly.

- Am I cheating on internet use? Because I kept lurking on this forum just to see if anyone replied to my posts. Why am I doing this?

- I spent most of the day watching movies with my dad. I also completed another Module on Respawn. I got to submit a ticket to permanently delete my League of Legends account. I also downloaded a web extension called ColdTurkey, which currently blocks over 40 sites relating to games (games and forums I have attended as far as 2008). I won't be able to access any of these websites until 2030.

- I felt irritable again today when my Dad walked into my room to borrow my computer. Logically, I understood: He needed to check his bank statements, and his computer no longer works because of bad RAM. But the voice in me said "Why are f*** are you here? This is MY room, and MY domain. You're invading MY space." I think this is my addict side manifesting, as I usually think this when I'm trying to game in my room or trying to use my phone.

- I feel restless again because I usually make music on my laptop. I like to spend hours composing instrumentals, but would this be considered gaming? I really want to finish a beat I made but I also feel like I can't. I feel that if I did, my dad would accuse me of gaming. My 5/4 beat in C Phrygian / Phyrgian Dominant will probably have to wait.

- Instead, I opted to play guitar for a while. I alternated between trying to play the weird rhythm I wrote on open string, and learning the chords to R.E.M's "Losing My Religion". I can only play the first two chords in the verse, and even then I struggle to switch positions from A minor to D minor. Eventually I will get this though. 🙂

- I also attending another online support meeting today where I got to talk to other fellow gaming addicts. Me and several other members are planning to meet in person on Tuesday. I believe this will help me immensely. Tomorrow I have a shift at 10AM, and so I must prepare for that.

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Welcome to Day 3...

- I worked most of the day, from 10AM to 6:30 PM (with a 45 min break at 2PM). I work part time at retail store, and my job is to sell tech (computers, printers, etc) and try to attach as much to it as possible (usually tech services and insurance, but we are free to suggest anything that the customer might need). I've been working for about a year and a half, and it's a job I enjoy, mainly because my coworkers are great people. There's virtually no drama and people get along.

- The morning was slow, and I was bored out of my mind. My brain felt pretty foggy. I also had nothing to look at my phone, and chatting with the cashier that opens with me on Sunday is difficult. Most of the times when I try to talk to her, it's just awkward and so I don't hang around her unless its something work related.

- It was hard to keep myself busy. The store was pretty clean already and there were minimal people. I found myself making frequent trips to the bathroom just so I had an excuse to move around. Luckily, the store picked up around 12 and there were plenty of customers to talk to and help.

- However, something weird happened. I'd say maybe 80 of the time, I got annoyed whenever a customer approached me. Normally, I'd attribute this to them interrupting my time on the phone, but again, there's nothing on my phone (aside from my support group that I have on WhatsApp. I texted them a few times to let them know how I was feeling throughout my day. But there wasn't enough texts to have a conversation and get lost in my phone). So what gives?

- We also have a new sales girl that joined my department, and today was her first day of on the floor training. I initially said hi to her as I saw her walk into the break-room, and she didn't say hi back. She likely didn't hear me. But something in me felt deeply hurt. Like I was rejected and a whole slew of negative thoughts came flowing in. I had to go back into the bathroom a few mins later to calm down (almost ended up kicking the wall, and I stopped myself). And now I realize: I am VERY insecure. I've known it for some time, but I've always pushed it to the back of my mind.

- This misconception later faded as I got to talk to her after she was trained on how to use the register by our afternoon cashier. (she's really sweet and fun to talk to, and we attended the same high school.) I don't know much on her except that she had two previous retail jobs, her longest being 3 months. I got her to laugh a few times, so to me I've successfully made a good impression. I consider this a win. On our next shift together, I am to train her on how to make sales, and sales is something I'm excited to teach someone about. I look forward to it.

- After work ended, I picked up some mint leaves so I can make tea (which is boiling as I type). This mint tea is meant to help with my skin complexion by detoxing my body. In the past it's worked, and I hope to start it again to clear my acne.

- I also watched the superbowl with my Dad. Good thing the Patriots won :-).

- Tomorrow is a weird day for me. I've missed enough classes in college to fail for this semester, but I feel compelled to go anyway.I also have to figure out how to enroll for the next semester. It gives a good reason to leave my house. I feel that if I stay home, I'll be compelled to game or mindlessly browse the internet.

EDIT: I forgot to remind myself: I have another journal that I write it that is meant for me to write down what I want to do for the week. This is something I'm meant to do every Sunday before I sleep. It helps me to prepare activities ahead of time (otherwise I forget and probably resort to distractions instead). Right after I take care of the laundry and sort it, I HAVE to do this. It's a must.

Edited by GCepeda
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As a Rams fan and avid Brady hater, I despise you.

But as a fellow Gamequitter, I'm glad you're here! You seem to have a lot of pent up energy and excitement, and I'm intrigued to see what you manage to do with it. I'll be following this journal for sure!

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Man Deku. I am so sorry for not posting the last few days. I am still here and I haven't relapsed (luckily)

So what happened to me?

DAY 4 AND 5 ... AND 6

DAY 4:  

 

I am ashamed of myself. Right after typing Day 3's journal, I decided to spend the night on my phone. In particular, I revisted some of my sister vices: YouTube binging and porn. As the night dragged on, a particular thought ran through my mind: 

You are the culmination of this house's problems. I don't believe this to really be true. But considering how long I've been running this circus of deception and lies to foster my gaming addiction, it's not too far a stretch to feel that way. I was so ashamed of these actions that I didn't want to write them here, where other people can read them. But I have to write them here anyway.

The next morning and the day after was me trying to recover from my dopamine deficiency. I spent most of Day 4 learning about an AI program called DeepDream. It's fascinating, yet equally creepy. I got to see famous painting eventually morph into a mess of eye balls, fur, and snouts, and eventually the shapes of dogs were all over.

I've always been fascinated by weird and creepy things on the internet. When I was younger, I read a lot of creepy pastas (I even wrote one, which is floating around somewhere online). At other points, I've journeyed all over the deep web to find equally cool yet also highly disturbing things. (for example, did you know you can hire a hitman on the deep web?)

I also created a few of my own images using a program that mimics DeepDream. I took some of my photos on my phone (which are already heavily edited) and iterated it through five different images, which all share the common aesthetic of dark backgrounds and jagged teeth. Some of them remind me of album covers that Tool would make. I think I'll save them for later when I decide to release music.

On this day, I neglected to start my taxes (and my father's). He asked me to start his taxes on TurboTax and luckily he didn't say anything on this day. I went to work later on.

I got to work with the new girl, which was a refreshing experience. I mentioned earlier that I am insecure about not being intimate with girls, and that thought quickly subsided when I glanced at her phone lock screen when she went to use her phone. Her boyfriend was on it. A sigh of relief for me.

Why do I even think about such things? Well, I know more or less why. It's one of many parts of me I've pushed down through gaming and internet use. This reminds me as well: A No Fap is in order. I won't be touching my peen for at least 30 days. My brain needs to reset from this too.

Anyways ... me getting to socialize with my new co worker was a very pleasant experience. She seems quite friendly and we seem to get along fine. She reminds me of another friend I had back in high school.

When I got home, I ate dinner and went straight to sleep. I didn't want to talk at my dad. I must've hit the bed around 10:15, and probably fell asleep around 10 minutes later.

Also here are those images I made (they look quite creepy):

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Edited by GCepeda
I have to make separate posts. Spoilers don't like to be embedded, it seems.

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DAY 5: 

 

My dread started to set in: Why didn't you do your journal? You didn't make your meetings. You didn't do the taxes. You didn't do this, and that and, blah blah.

I slept at 10, but I really didn't wake up until 12 noon. 14 hours. Yeah, that's real nice. I set my alarm for 8 AM, but I turned it off and went back to bed.

I probably didn't get out of bed until around 12:30, and I didn't start moving around and doing things until 2 PM. At this point, I fiendishly rushed to start my Dad's taxes on TurboTax. I got almost all of it done, until it asked for some of his personal ID (which only he has). Before I went to work, I called him and told him that I almost finished it. But this was Tuesday, and something else was supposed to happen too ...

I was to make a face-to face meeting today with fellow computer gaming addicts. The meeting was scheduled for 7:30 PM, and we already agreed on where to meet. The plans were set in motion on Saturday, and I neglected to tell my managers that I needed Tuesday off so i can attend said meeting. I ended up frantically calling my Sales Manager at 4PM, an hour before I work to tell him I couldn't make it and that I had a doctor's appointment (I was ashamed to say I was getting help for gaming addiction). But then he asked for PROOF. Holy fucking shit.

I've been a loyal employee of the company for over a year and a half. I'm the top salesman of the store. I'm always on time, and I'm basically the only guy outside of management who wears slacks and dress shoes (everyone else is fine with jeans and sneakers, but not me). I've covered shifts for my coworkers many times, who I'd often see on my Snapchat or Instagram hours later as they're out partying and drinking somewhere. I never said anything about this, because I really didn't care, and having an extra shift for me usually meant more money, which I'm happy with.

I was irate. First of all, why the hell did I need PROOF? And second, why the hell didn't I plan this out earlier? Now I was stuck between attending the meeting or showing up to work. Tuesday was also the day we have inventory, meaning someone needed to stock the shelves with the new product we got. There was absolutely no one to cover for me on such short notice: We have only one other active tech employee, and the other one (the girl) is still new and can't run the department by herself just yet. So in short, I messed up big time.

I ended up showing up the work about 5 minutes later. I didn't want to lie to my Sales Manager, and I ended up spilling the beans to him. I told him the real reason why I called out (that I was to go to a support meeting about gaming addiction) and that it was a dick move for me just to vanish an hour before work. He understood and I got not penalty for it. I was still upset about this, and I told my dad what happened. He wasn't happy either.

When I came home, hell was unleashed. I was the one who opened the gate.

My father said something along the lines of "You're full of shit for not attending the meeting. For all I know you're probably still gaming behind my back, and I don't believe anything you say." My father said it was better for me to not show up for work and to have gone to the meeting. Considering how long I've been working, I would've still kept my job. The department would suffer for a day, but they wouldn't fire me because I'm hard to replace. And this is true.

But man, what he said hit a nerve. It hit all my nerves. I snapped and started to yell at him. I said some pretty rude stuff, and my father threatened to boot me out the house (again). He took my keys away from me, and that's when I went full SICKO MODE. In that moment, I went to take the keys off of his hands, and the situation escalated. I refused to be kicked out again, and refused to be accused of what I thought was him saying I was relapsing. How the fuck could I relapse if I can't even access my games? I can't go on social media. But in a way, I was relapsing, through browsing videos and porn. This really stirred up in me. But I didn't want to say this to him either.

He couldn't kick me out. Because I'm also a tenant of the house. Legally, I get to stay. At least that's what I was saying at the time. My words at this point became a weapon.

Either way, I wanted those damn keys. And it got so bad that as he went to push me off of him, I bit his finger. He tried to tackle me, and I avoided it. Eventually he let go of the keys and I shoved them into my pocket. But now he threatened to call to cops, to which I tried to grab the phone from him. Like hell you're gonna kick me out. I AM THE ONE WHO WINS, NOT YOU.

He then took a pair of scissors, which he understandably grabbed for self defense. Oh, you wanna hurt me now? I say. I take out my phone so I can incriminate him, and now he rushes to take it out of my hand. Many times, he shouts "What is WRONG with you?" I didn't care: You were fucking with me, Dad. If you didn't talk shit, none of this would've happened. I've been trying and yet you still give me shit. So fuck you.

But you see ... I was wrong. This was my addiction fully fleshed. This is what has been kept hidden for years, and now that my games and internet are gone, it tries to do whatever it can to bring me down and eventually relapse again. 

This is my Shadow. It's an idea I've been familiar with, thanks to the videos and lectures of Jordan Peterson. It inspired me to look deeper into it by reading the works of Carl Jung. The Shadow is also a theme I've explored within my music. Some lyrics that I wrote state this:

Like a beast I can't be tame, no I don't have any shame. I'm in a rage that's the aim, better run Abel, it's Cain.

Eventually things calm down. I end up calling several people. I call my grandmother to explain. I also called someone within my support group. My biggest mistake these past few days was isolating myself from my support group. I didn't attend an online meetings in two days, and to believe all this happened within those days is mind blowing. Being humble and learning to ask for help is still something I struggle with so much. And it shows.

I think I've also learned that I'm a massive drama queen. Maybe that's my addiction manifesting, my shadow if you will.

My takeaway from this:

- If you mess up, own up to it right then and there instead of hiding from other people in fear of being judged. I've relapsed far too many times thanks to this.

- Don't be afraid of reaching out for help and speaking out. Chances are, someone has gone through what I've gone through.

- My recovery from gaming is the top priority. This also means that my job needs to take a back seat. This is more than a habit i'm trying to break, but also a new way of life. As such, I'll have to be doing things that I'm not used to doing.

- I have a lot of responsibilities I've neglected over the years and expecting my life to magically get better in a few days is unrealistic.This realizations is the source of a lot of my anger. I have to handle my responsibilities, one day at a time, one task at a time. Eventually, I will be caught up. And eventually, I'll even be successful.

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DAY 6 (ish): 

 

 

This is the day I decided to write in my journal again. I am still recovering from my dopamine deficiency, as I woke up at 8, but didn't crawl out of my bed until around 10. Better than yesterday, so I'll take it.

My dad's taxes are done. But I still gotta do mine. I'm likely doing them tomorrow, since there are few more important things to handle (such as writing here, going to my next module, and attending my next online meeting)

A small thing I've noticed: I really love Dunkin Donuts coffee. Specifically their Ice Caramel Latte. I've been buying it every morning for the past week, and it's probably not the best thing to do. But it helps me get out of bed and do the things I want to accomplish throughout the day. So again, I'll take a sugar caffeine bomb over a video game any day. I worry if my coffee has SOY in it. I read somewhere that SOY can cause hormone imbalances in men, and I really hope my hormones are fine. (then again if they were fine I wouldn't have acne)

I ordered a charcoal mask on Amazon, and it finally came in today! I plan to use to later today to help remove excess oil on my face.

I'll also have to get a routine going to eliminate my acne. I always get the same pimples along either side of my chin, and occasionally on the sides of my temple. My diet is probably to blame.

I got to talk to another member from my support group over the phone. I explained my situation to him and he assured me that withdrawal can really be a kicker for a lot of gaming addicts. Yeah man, you're not wrong 😂

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The rest of Day 6 as follows ...

- I've decided to write my journals in the morning as opposed to the evening. By doing this move it'll give me more reason to be up in the morning.

- The rest of yesterday was pretty standard. I went to work and had a relatively quiet shift. I spent a good part of my time talking to one of the cashiers up front. She's quite friendly and thanks to her the time passed pretty quickly.

- We have this one particular customer who's pretty infamous, especially in our print and copy department. I call him the "final boss" of customers. He has tattoos and piercings all over his face, and he tends to go to our printing center to print weird, cartoon porn. On this day, it seems he left behind a "photo album". You can get a good idea of what was inside that album.

- A few days ago, a customer dropped off an entire speaker system that they claim still works. It's pretty massive, since the largest speakers stand at 4 feet each. I managed to fit the audio receiver, center speaker, and the two small tinny speakers into my bag when I clocked out last night. Today I have to pick up the larger speakers. From there, I hope that it'll work.

- I ordered a jacket in the mail about a month ago, and it's finally in! It's a yellow hoodie with black stripes all over, so it looks like I'm wearing a traffic sign. More importantly, I had bought this jacket in hopes of flexing on my Instagram (which I can't since I'm not on social media).

- Wait, that sounds silly, you might say. You don't need validation online. And you're right, since validation wasn't my primary goal in "flexing". Prior to my social media stop, I posted and interacted daily in hopes of reaching more people to listen to my music. By posting certain images and dressing in a particular fashion, it gives me access to a specific group of people. Those people (I assume) would be most likely to enjoy my music. The jacket I bought was largely coveted within my "demographic", if you will. It's limited edition (meaning you can't buy it anymore).

- In short, I was trying to learn how to market on social media. But that will have to wait for a while.This is what I bought btw

- As I right this, I've been neglecting something far more vital. I'm still not in school. It's 12 now, and I don't work until 5. So I'm thinking I should drop by my campus and talk to an academic advisor. I owe a balance of around 2.5k, and since I didn't take out any financial aid or loans, I'm not going to be able to enroll to any classes until that balance is cleared. So they should know what steps I got to take.

- Before that though, I have to eat. It's a weird thing that I have to remind myself to eat, but I'm used to skipping either breakfast or lunch.

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Thank you @Mouxine for following!

Day 7:

- In the next hour and a half (upon writing), I will officially be one week game / social media free!

- Much to my dismay, I didn't go to my campus. And today I can't go either, so I'll have to drop by Monday morning. Why though? Procrastination is the only answer here. I'm pretty used to doing nothing with my time, and this is something I have to learn to overcome.

- Instead I messed around on FL Studio (something I normally do, even before my recovery). I've been really fascinated with Djent, a style of progressive metal based on a very distinct guitar tone and emphasis on uncommon poly-rhythm/ poly meter. To non-music people, it's metal music where the guitars sound like chainsaws and they pummel you with all sorts of weird rhythms. I've already done a little research in terms of what guitar / amp, and types of fx pedals I'd need to achieve this sound (which costs a lot of money 🙂 ). Since I can't afford it, I instead use my acoustic guitar and record my playing on a mic. Then I load the sample onto FL Studio and start layering effects until I get the distorted electric guitar sound I want.

- However, there's a lot more to this then just the effects. In Djent, it's common for your lowest string (an E string on a standard 6 string) to be tuned to a lower note (D, C, B, or even as low as A). It's also common to use guitars with 7 or 8 strings, since the extra strings are thicker and produce a warmer and more bassy tone. On my acoustic, I usually tune my lowest string to C or C#. How I play the notes are also important. In Djent, each note played is loud and powerful. You have to pick your strings very aggressively, so your notes have a loud and almost percussive quality to them. Since I don't have a pickup, I can approximate this by using my finger to pluck the string as aggressively as possible. I basically end up "slapping" the string, but it achieves close to what I desire.

- Also since my acoustic has a thinner bottom string, the harmonics can sound weak. So after I record, I layer the same sample an octave lower. Then I'll adjust the EQ on each layer such that I get a nice, thick sound on my sample.

- Basically I've done a lot of work to try to mimic a sound that normally costs thousands of dollars to reproduce professionally. Today I'll be experimenting more and trying to compose something that I'd like to listen to.

- Went to work again. I finally got the rest of that speaker system from work, and I've yet to try it. It's a massive setup, and I'd be really excited if it worked.

- I do have a confession to make: I think I broke my social media hiatus (maybe). Because I re downloaded on app on my phone called iFunny. iFunny is a sort-of social media app focused on posting memes. As a Gen Z, I've always been knee deep in meme culture, and it's almost a thing of identity and pride to know so many weird and obscure meme references.

- I have a rough idea of the mental gymnastics I use so that an app like iFunny is allowed back in my life. Since I do enjoy making and posting music, I try to focus on marketing as much as I focus on learning new ways of making music. If nobody knows who you are, they'll never listen to the stuff you make, even if it's Mozart level (or beyond). A big focus on marketing is keeping in touch with your demographics. As a Gen Z, I understand the weird and obscure language and images that we use. I'm more trustworthy and likable on that level, then say a millennial marketer who thinks 2010 Rage Comic memes are still popular. Memes are a circle of fast moving fads (they move even faster than a fad normally does at this rate). If you capitalize on a fad, you gain some buzz. If you are on top of every fad, you likely become popular (assuming you are also giving a quality product or quality content that makes people keep coming back). And if you create the fads, then you become legendary (a trendsetter and a person with influence and power to change things). So therefore, knowing about memes gives me a competitive edge.

- That's my thought process. But when I went back on the app, I don't really see anything of value for me. There's some really funny videos or images that I would normally share within my groupchats and media groups. But I don't even have access to them, so it's pointless. The only way for me to fully enjoy meme culture would be to go back on said media, and that's not happening right now. So iFunny will have to be uninstalled yet again.

- Plus I found a solution to my FoMo. Apparently there is a Youtube Channel called Lessons in Meme Culture (linked here). This guy does a real nice job keeping tabs on the big memes happening at any given moment. I no longer have to scroll on social media for three hours to find memes when I can get a general sense of the "meme-scape" by watching a three minute video. This is also exciting, since it shows that memes are a huge enough phenomena to monetize and potentially make a career out of (just look at YouTubers like PewdiePie for example). It's because of this that a few years back I developed an interest in marketing.

- Anyways that's enough rambling for now 🙂 . Today I go to my therapy session, and ill probably spend the rest of the day after cleaning my room and messing around with music.

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Day 8

- I'm a little late to writing down my journal today. I've been spending most of the day helping my dad clean the house (sweeping, mopping, organizing, etc.)

- Yesterday I went to my therapy session. The therapist seems quite supportive of my move to detox from gaming. He insists that I remain adamant (attend daily meetings, journals, etc) and prioritize it. He said to me several times that I have to ask myself how badly do I want to overcome gaming. What am I willing to do?

- This makes me think of a topic that has perplexed me for many years, and it is only now that I am beginning to understand it. A lot of people talk about "willpower" and "desire" and how you either have it or don't have it. For quite some years, as I've tried many times to quit gaming, my dad (and more often myself) would say to me that I didn't really want to stop playing games. I didn't really want to go to school either. And I was confused, and often offended. "Of course I want to stop!" I would always say. And I would think about it. And stew in it. And allow the feelings of stress and guilt wash over me. Whenever I got this wave, I attributed this to wanting to stop. "If I didn't want to stop, then why do I feel bad about it?". I would come up with long and lengthy explanations for why I wanted to stop. So therefore I really wanted to stop. Right?

- Wrong. In the addict mind, words become tools to reach your real desire: the game you wanna play. Yeah, maybe I wanted to stop. But I wanted to play a lot more. In short: I was all talk and no action. I am beginning to see that real want and real desire is the willingness to sacrifice your comforts to gain something greater. If I wanted to be game free, then how willing am I to sacrifice games to reach that? When I was a gamer, the question was always: "What am I willing to sacrifice so I can play more games?" Is it sleep? Hygiene? Food? College and education? Friendships and intimate relationships? As the years went on, I was willing to give away more and more to get more game time.

- Last night I tried to see if I can connect the speaker system I got. And it seems I'm missing a receiver where I can connect the copper wires of each speaker together. The manual for the system I got (called the LG SH93PA) says I need a DVD receiver? That doesn't even make sense, I'm trying to play music from my computer / phone. Then again, this system is a bit old (2011). I'll see if I can order a receiver online.

- While looking in my drawers to see if I had any extra wires or connectors, I found my old Gamecube and a bunch of Yu Gi Oh cards. These are both games that I loved to play as a kid. In the case of yu gi oh, it wasn't too long ago that I went to a lot of card shops to trade cards and play competitively. I really prided myself on making a deck of cards that could compete at higher levels but not be ridiculously expensive. Man, you wouldn't believe how expensive these cards get too. When I stopped playing around 6ish months ago, a highly coveted card for competitive play went for 80 dollars per copy. And you needed three copies of it in your deck. That's also not counting any other important cards you might need. The average deck for high tier play probably went for 400-500ish dollars.

- I'm actually quite happy I found both of these things, because I can sell them for money online. 🙂

- The rest of my day has also been alright. I spent this day with my dad. So I'm pretty grateful.

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