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JustTom

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Random thought: I had this brief period where I got hooked on poker - just like any other game I get hooked on. I quit it in a pretty harsh manner, essentially getting banned from the main platform lol. But I wonder, what if I was addicted to poker instead of regular video games? There are lots of people who make decent money just playing online. Granted, it's a grind and they have to play like 60 hours per week, but yeah, huh. In games, I have a brilliant growth mindset optimized for longterm skill improvement, no matter what. I think I could actually make a living being a hikikomori poker addict lmao. Of course I'm not considering doing it, it's just a thought. 

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Detox Day 1 | Got up: Barely yes | Pomodoros: 18

I truly HATE video games. It's a poison that keeps on poisoning. I want to be free of this nightmare. Of course they are not the problem, but goddamn is this symptom toxic to my brain. This is my #1 goal in life right now: get rid of video games. Took me long enough already. So whenever I'm at home in the evening and boredom/anxiety/relief/any other feeling that makes me relapse comes up, I will try to remember to instead just watch RSD videos. This applies to wanting to watch gaming-related videos. Of course, this is still a waste of time, but at this point I really just want to laser-focus on not playing. At least for two weeks, then I can start implementing more habits. RSD has almost infinite material and it's easy for me to just put it on and zone out, which is what I 'need' at those times. Again, a temporary solution. 

Even though recent weeks have been almost nothing but failure, I am not giving up. This is the most important thing in my life to get down. I know that as long as I play video games, I cannot be happy, no matter how 'happy' they might make me in the short-term. It always leads to depression. Always, without fail. And there is absolutely no such thing as 'playing for a couple hours'. It ALWAYS spirals into 16-hours per day sessions, lasting from a few setback days up to months of depression. So STOP. It's poison. I might be better off literally shooting heroin. I'm not even kidding. Since that wouldn't put me out for weeks and I wouldn't get addicted after first use. But anyways. Doesn't matter what amazing games are coming out soon. Fuck 'em. They're poison. All those amazing and engaging storylines the developers make? Fuck 'em. All those beautiful, immersive and vibrant environments the super talented artists and designers create? Fuck 'em. All those interactive game mechanics and addictive systems the devs make? Fuck 'em. Fuck MTGA, fuck cyberpunk, fuck starcraft, fuck all of that. I want to live, I don't want to die. And for me, games are death. It's mental death. It's choosing to numb myself, rather than stay present. Like for an alcoholic, drinking eventually leads to death - be it by overdose, or by drunk driving car accident, or committing a serious crime. For a gaming addict, life is not as dramatic, but the end result is the same - life is over. I don't want to wake up, suddenly be 30, be alone, working at proverbial mcdonalds and be depressed. To be honest, I don't even think I would hold a job at McDonalds if I'm gaming in my life. If I had to struggle for years to come as much as I am struggling now, I can't imagine staying not quitting all my jobs or getting fired for not showing up(due to gaming of course). 

Having a bit of a ramble here since this is my safe space to vent, don't mind me 😄

I'll update stats up top in the evening. I am fairly confident I won't play games and I got to the office so I'm already putting it all in green already.

EDIT: Surprisingly, I got into the ZONE at work. I can't tell why, but I was able to focus really well and got a ton of things done. Like, I don't even remember the last time I had the flow for so many hours. I hope to repeat that tomorrow. 

Edited by JustTom
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Sorry to hear you relapsed man. But this is also productive. I think you have to get to a point where you recognize that games are bad for you at a visceral level. If it's ingrained in you and not just a mental theory, it becomes easier to abstain.

I find that as you spend more time off games, you tend to forget more about how bad they were, but by that point you'll hopefully have a life that you just won't want to lose by relapsing.

I wonder if you can room with someone. Living alone is death for an addict. I honestly don't know how well I would've recovered if I wasn't married and a big step in my recovery was when I asked my wife to move her work desk into my office so that I'm not always alone with the comp.

I know a roommate is not quite the same and might not be interested in helping you recover, but even just having that person there might make it too embarrassing to game 16 hours a day...

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It's not so bad. At least you came back here on Sunday night instead of disappearing for another week.

You have problems and you are fighting with them. It's respectful. Consider this a long-lasting war. Don't beat yourself up for losing one battle. 

And you really need to do something with your sleep schedule. Try to force yourself to bed every night before 12am. Then even if you relapse on a Friday's night, it won't affect the rest of the weekend. A healthy sleep schedule makes your life much more controllable.

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Detox Day 2 | Got up: Yes | Pomodoros: 16 + gym

Pretty much crushed it today again. There were a few unlucky circumstances that happened in the morning that made me come an hour late, but no big deal. I feel much more emotionally stable, confident and productive. Although I didn't have nearly as much focus as yesterday(which was an outlier), it was okay and I got a reasonable amount of stuff done. Right now it's 8pm, at home, about to go to the gym, do a few small things online that I've been putting off and go to bed. Maybe I'll even read a bit, which I haven't done for a long time. I will get into the habit of writing the journal entry right after I get home and not before going to bed, since that made me stay up waaay longer yesterday - I wasn't sure what to write, procrastinated, etc. This is much better and in case I feel super baller and squeeze in some extra work at night, I can always update the next day. 

I really feel like I'm recovering, slowly but surely. I think maybe 1 more week and my mood and attitude will be back to kind-of normal level. I'm starting to listen to podcasts while commuting and the gears in my head are starting to spin again. Ambition is returning. 

***************************************************************************

On 2/25/2019 at 4:10 PM, karabas said:

I wonder if you can room with someone. Living alone is death for an addict. I honestly don't know how well I would've recovered if I wasn't married and a big step in my recovery was when I asked my wife to move her work desk into my office so that I'm not always alone with the comp.

 

Yeah absolutely, that works. But it's not possible for me - the contract explicitly prohibits that. And on top of that, it would have to be a ROOMmate, not just a flatmate. last year I was living with 3 flatmates, each in his own room with a common living room, but I used to shut myself off in my room a lot. I even pretended I wasn't there many times. The idea behind living here is that it's a student campus perfect for socializing and that was the plan for january/february. Didn't pan out quite as I imagined lmao. It's okay there is still hope. 

 

On 2/25/2019 at 7:42 PM, Silverlining said:

It's not so bad. At least you came back here on Sunday night instead of disappearing for another week.

You have problems and you are fighting with them. It's respectful. Consider this a long-lasting war. Don't beat yourself up for losing one battle. 

And you really need to do something with your sleep schedule. Try to force yourself to bed every night before 12am. Then even if you relapse on a Friday's night, it won't affect the rest of the weekend. A healthy sleep schedule makes your life much more controllable.

Sleep goes out the window when I play games. That is completely uncontrollable for me so the best bet is just to focus on not relapsing in the first place. It really felt like during the week I went 5 steps forward and then 3 steps backward during the weekend, but now I'm going forward again and I really feel that I'm recovering on all aspects. 

17 hours ago, info-gatherer said:

Both @karabas and @Silverlining have very solid advice here 🙂

Stay well

I'll give it my best!

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Detox Day 3 | Got up: No | Pomodoros: TBD

Bad news. I stayed up until 3am watching a movie, so then I overslept, didn't want to get out of bed for anything. I didn't go to the office. I did this last week too and blamed it on sickness, this time it won't fly. I don't know, I sent a message to the supervisor, I'll see the reaction... Now I feel like shit. I will not go back to games today, neither will I watch anything gaming related, I will keep that at least. And another thing, there is an amazing social event at my uni starting in 30 minutes. I don't think I want to go anymore. I know I should but I feel super weird after sleeping so long and my confidence is crushed again. ...I just hope they don't fire me lol.

Edited by JustTom

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Detox Day 4 | Got up: No | Pomodoros: 16

Wew, somehow I survived. Mornings are getting unbelievably difficult, mostly because I never go to sleep on time. Today I am, so that's good. The fact that I skipped work on Wednesday was really bad, but not catastrophic, so the fight continues. I have a lot to write, but it's too late again. I'm actually looking forward to tomorrow. I'll go to the gym after work again and then finally do something social on Saturday. If I wake up in time. 

On 2/27/2019 at 5:00 PM, Average_Guy said:

What book are you reading btw?

I read it extreeemely occasionally, but 6 Pillars of Self-Esteem - one of the best books in the world imho. Other than that, a lot of podcasts and/or audiobooks. 

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Detox Day 5 | Got up: Yes | Pomodoros: 16

Keeping myself busy. So much so that I forgot to post for yesterday, so there it is. 

Detox Day 6 | Got up: No | Pomodoros: 0 + DG + social

Kickass day today! Felt really good during and after the DG session. Ended it on a high note. I slept until like 2pm, so that was bad but I'm not focusing on that on saturday, though maybe I should. Tomorrow I want to go again so I gotta wake up reasonably soon. Now it's 8pm, I'm going to have dinner with neighbours/friends, then just tidy up my room, chill, and go to bed soon. Things are shaping up, I can now feel the hope for a happy life again. Before I only knew intellectually that it was there, now I can kind of see it too. 

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Detox Day 7 | Got up: No | Pomodoros: 0 + coaching

The 0 pomodoros is still green just because it's sunday. Normally, I would consider it to be horrendous, but I'm trying to just take it slow and steady. I will set more ambitious plans for the next weekend for sure. 

It's 9pm on sunday and I do feel cravings to game. Partly because I watched the starcraft finals of ESL. I will make sure not to game or watch more today. Since that tournament is done, this is a good opportunity to not consume gaming content for a longer time, as a part of the second week of the detox. 

Putting out this fantastic podcast clip here. We consume media because we need escapism to escape from life that seems hard, but it just makes it harder. "And the more you love your life, the less you need escapism". 

EDIT: Oh great apparently you can't embed a soundcloud track with a timestamp - it just disappears. 11:30

Edited by JustTom

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Detox Day 8 | In Bed on Time: 0/30 | Pomodoros: TBD

Morning update: Just posting here from work to keep myself accountable and to not forget to make this commitment. I want to commit to going to bed 7 hours before getting up every single day for a whole month. I've stayed up yesterday browsing the web again and it's one of the things that keeps me back the most. I have to be INTENTIONAL about how I spend my time. Bring presence to all my activities. 

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Detox Day 8 | In Bed on Time: 1/30 | Pomodoros: 14 + DG + Gym

Evening update: Goddamn I felt SO. FUCKING. GOOD. Today. Wow. This is like last week that I had a day where I got into a flow randomly, but that was only at work and I was just researching, today, it was throughout the whole day - being out talking to people, working out, focusing in the office, enjoying the lunch, even in the morning I felt very clear and content, despite only sleeping 3 hours. I don't know exactly why, but I'm feeling such strong presence that I've possibly never felt. It's like a nice warm buzz in my forehead. I'm not going to put expectations on myself based on my best performance, but damn does this feel good. If I could sustain/re-initiate this presence, I'm 100% confident I would achieve most of my dreams within 5 years. Even if an economic crisis came(which it's going to), I would still conquer whatever part of the world I wanted to. 

Even if I detach the feelings and look purely at time management - I did 7 hours of work and a DG session AND squeezed in a workout in the gym AND I'm possibly going to clean up my room. WTF. I barely thought that was possible before. I have some suspicions what might have changed in me, but I'll first see if this is remotely consistent before talking. 

So yeah. Fingers crossed for tomorrow. I'm putting bedtime as successful in advance to push me a bit more. In the impossible and disgraceful-to-even-think-about-how-dare-you-even-suggest-that case that I would fail, I would change it to red tomorrow. 

Also, got my protein supplements after not taking any for months. I can start intermittent fasting again to work towards that 6 pack(I'm not even close yet). 

ALSOOOO.. I've heard a lot from Rachmaninov(my favorite composer), but this is the first time I heard this and it LITERALLLLYY blew my mind. I think my brain has melted and is coming out of my ears. Absolutely unbelievable. 

 

Edited by JustTom
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In relation to your most recent post, the Buddhist view of happiness when referring to pleasant sensations in our brains (Dopamine-release from gaming) can be applied to your current situation. It states that pleasant sensations disappear as fast as they arise, and that as long as people crave pleasant sensations without actually experiencing them, they remain dissatisfied. However, this problem has two very different solutions. The biochemical solution is to develop products (games and gaming-consoles) and treatments that will provide humans with an unending stream of pleasant sensations, so we will never be without them (constantly playing an addictive game). 

Buddha's suggestion was to reduce our craving for pleasant sensations, and not allow them to control our lives. According to Buddha, we can train our minds to observe carefully how all sensations constantly arise and pass. When the mind learns to see our sensations for what they are - ephemeral and meaningless vibrations - we lose interest in pursuing them. For what is the point of running after something that disappears as fast as it arises?

Apart from the bracketed parts, I copied that from Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari. It's a really interesting book and although he is referring to the development of futuristic products and treatments that'll provide long-lasting pleasant sensations, contemporary products such as, gaming/drugs/alcohol are all examples of ways humans are trying to control their minds and ensure they experience only pleasant sensations in today's society.

I've quoted this paragraph because I want to let you know that it is okay to feel shitty sometimes and that even if you don't have as productive day as yesterday, it is okay and that you'll feel and experience the great feelings of your 8th Detox Day again.

Stay strong.

Also, have you considered seeing a therapist? I have a therapist that I see weekly and it is highly beneficial. They teach you new ways of thinking and how to observe your thoughts from an objective perspective alongside a lot of other useful techniques and strategies. 

 

 

Edited by LordFederickRamsay
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Detox Day 9 | In Bed on Time: 2/30 | Pomodoros: 17 + Gym

I really didn't feel like getting out of bed, I really didn't feel like going to the gym, I really didn't feel like focusing, but I pushed myself and did it! Successful day. 

Two things to mention today: 

I'm going to clean up my room and do some long-term planning after a long time. I feel like.. I don't know. I feel like I'm on the right track in terms of mindset and productivity(will get higher in the upcoming weeks, just don't want to over-push right now), but the content... 

I'm doing the internship/thesis just for the degree and why do I care about the degree? 50% to have respect from my friends and family, 40% because I am and have been in the past, afraid to quit, and 10% because it might be useful. The thing is, I never want to make big decisions when I'm in a bad mental state. This, combined with my constant relapsing and try-harding for the past 5 years meant I have stagnated really hard. Now I'm starting to have a clear mind again. Will think about the next steps to take before bed. I am starting to feel a real sense of urgency. 

And the second thing:

I have this friend of mine who is absolutely crushing it in life and I don't think it's making me jealous, more like it's making me really really crave the lifestyle he has. Again, if I didn't fuck around for the past 5 years but actually followed my values, I would have been even farther than him. FUCK. No point here, just venting. Although even entertaining these thoughts is probably just slowing me down. I'll try to stop and only think of the positive. 

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@LordFederickRamsay Good shit. Once I have my lower-level needs satisfied at least to a reasonable level, I am definitely intending to read more about spirituality, which will inevitably include buddhism. Therapists - Iiiiiiii don't know. I've had one for two months and I don't think it's efficient for me. I much prefer an accountability partner or even better, a coach. I know all the theory, when depressed, learn how to get out of depression right? So there's almost nothing new a therapist can tell me. It's about taking action and staying driven. 

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1 hour ago, JustTom said:

@LordFederickRamsay Good shit. Once I have my lower-level needs satisfied at least to a reasonable level, I am definitely intending to read more about spirituality, which will inevitably include buddhism. Therapists - Iiiiiiii don't know. I've had one for two months and I don't think it's efficient for me. I much prefer an accountability partner or even better, a coach. I know all the theory, when depressed, learn how to get out of depression right? So there's almost nothing new a therapist can tell me. It's about taking action and staying driven. 

I don't think that's what therapists do. Therapists don't teach you psychology. Their work should make you feel accepted and understood, and help you learn more about yourself in a professional way.

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Hello JustTom, this is my input on therapists

@Silverlining I saw 3 therapists before finding one i've stuck with for 5 years now. I have trauma so it's something I really needed. Apart from that, this therapist teachs me psychology. It's so I can understand myself better and that's what I prefer. She is more of a life coach than a therapist imho. She helps me with school, doing my goals, social stuff and even helped me ask someone out. The first two therapists made me want to feel accepted and shit, but that's not what I want out of a therapist. I wanted someone cool that would teach me stuff. Everyone has different preferences, needs and personalities. She said I was the only young person that saw her and majority of her clients are police officers. My family doctor helped me find therapists.

Therapy is completely up to you Tom, but not all of them are the same. Not all will be great and it'll take a few to find someone you connect with. It's been really helpful for me to have. Main difference is therapists can tell you why you're in certain habits, why you are the way you are ect. a life coach can help you change, but they can't explain your past or yourself.

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Detox Day 10 | In Bed on Time: 3/30 | Pomodoros: 16

Pretty mediocre day. I'm identifying this obstacle: I come home at 19-20 and the plan is usually to eat dinner, hit the gym, come back at 22 and then have 3-4 hours to work on the rest of my life goals. The problem is that while eating dinner, I get really comfortable and I feel like I just want to sleep immediately. It's fake exhaustion. It's slipping into comfort and my ego trying to stay where I was in the past. Sometimes, I manage to push through, sometimes not. Today I did not - so I just browsed the internet and slept around on the couch in a very inefficient manner. I have to stay conscious of this and push myself tomorrow. Unless things go according to the primary plan. In which case, I will stay conscious of this on friday hehe. 

**************************************

@Silverlining@TwoSidedLife I don't care enough about this to counter-argue, I just know therapists are not for me. I do, however, have a coach for a specific purpose and just after the first session, I've seen amazing results. I will also be looking for business mentorship very soon. I think I will take Gary Vee's path of offering free value in order to gain insight and experience, I'll plan on the weekend. 

Oh also, @Silverlining, are you not journaling anymore?

Edited by JustTom

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Detox Day 11 | In Bed on Time: 0/30 | Pomodoros: 0

Detox Day 12 | In Bed on Time: 0/30 | Pomodoros: 14 + DG + Gym

A real up-and-down journey haha. I'm not even gonna comment on thursday, but today I felt fantastic. My work on the thesis is going pretty damn slow, which is a bit worrying and there is also this glooming vision of having to take an extra course in April and May to get the 6 missing credits I didn't get this December. It should be on the easier side, but even that will be like 20 hours per week average. Can I pull 60 hours per week for two months, but for real and with almost-to-no hiccups? I have 3 more weeks to decide if I want to do that, or finally start working on a side hustle instead. Thinking...

Besides that, I have dark secret that I might or might not reveal here in a couple of days, depending on how things go. 

Edited by JustTom
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I would put off the credits for another semester.  There's no rush to finish college, even though that's the opposite of what most college students think.  I'd take it slow, enjoy it, and put in your best work instead of cramming.  Just a thought!  

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Ugh, I relapsed. Idk why I keep sabotaging myself. I was doing awesome for a week and one day I overslept again, I just had this anxiety when I 'woke up' and I couldn't force myself to actually get up and go to my job, so I didn't. I switched off wi-fi so I wouldn't hear slack notifications, I didn't reply to any texts, I didn't pick up the phone when my dad rang. So when I got up at like... 18:00? I was so fucking disgusted myself and still feeling the anxiety, I just started playing starcraft, which is my gateway drug that lead to overwatch this time. Now, of course I didn't have my account since I gave it away like a year ago - haHA! I just bought it again for 20 euros! I figured hey, it's just like two dinners so who cares anyway. Nice one Tom, very clever. The 20 bucks was truly the only cost, there was absolutely no other investment in the game at all. Oh, except for literally playing 16 hours per day for 5 days, but I don't value my life or my time anyways, so that was a freebie! WHoopie!

How fucking dumb am I. Anyways, after 3 days of trying to revert my sleep schedule(unsuccessfuly), I stayed up all night to go to the office(I actually did it, yay) , so today I'm just pushing through a ~30hour day so that I go to sleep in the evening, rather than morning. I won't get anything done at my internship, but my supervisor is on vacation for two weeks, so I will totally get away with this shit. I'm fairly certain that was an enabling factor in my dumbass brain. I know exactly how to walk on the edge of catastrophes, avoiding them just right to maximize play-time. This reminds me of my final exams of my high-school. There was this compulsory graduation subject that I absolutely hated(slovak literature) and I studied for like 5 hours total for it. I'm not even exaggerating. These exams are super fact-intensive and require days upon days of studying. I got a 4 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the failing grade. I only didn't get a 5 because one of the teachers felt sorry for me and was friends with my girlfriend at the time lmao. Even after I got the results I thought to myself - damn, I should have gotten a 5 to have a wake-up call(and take a gap-year). Sometimes I wish I wasn't so good at crawling out of bad situations. But then again, being able to convince people to get me what I want is a very useful skill. 

So yeah just an update. I don't have plans on re-starting the detox just yet. Tbh, I would never do it myself of course, but if some psychopath murderer would come to my house and blow my brains out, I wouldn't even be mad. Maybe I would be slightly upset, after he had murdered be, you know? But I wouldn't complain. After getting shot in the forehead repeatedly. So if there is a psychopath murderer on this forum, you know maybe get in touch. Maybe we get along, grab a coffee first, talk about morality being made up by corporations to buy more pepsi-cola cans or some shit idk. Just end me already because I will keep getting away with failing, never learn, and ultimately live to see it all through to the bitter, mediocre end.

Maybe I should quit everything and go backpack through europe without a laptop for 3 months. Huh.

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6 hours ago, JustTom said:

Maybe I should quit everything and go backpack through europe without a laptop for 3 months. Huh.

Well, Cam does have that new retreat thing... but it might not be such a bad idea to just get away from everything (if it's possible). Buy a dumb phone and an old-school guidebook with maps and go off the grid for a while. I think it'll give you that opportunity to figure yourself out spiritually also.

I know what you mean about the skill of just doing enough to get away with things. Did that all through high school, college, work, and part of my marriage.

Don't beat yourself up too much. The reason you fall into this behavior is because you're an addict. That's what addicts do, they sometimes relapse. You'll figure this out, it just takes time. I know I've been able to stay from games for over 6 months now, but the reality is that I've been trying to stop my gaming addiction since 2010. It's a lot of hard-wired behavior to overcome.

I do get the sense from you that when you're on the detox, you're always "going". It doesn't seem like you allow yourself any downtime. It's like you always have to be doing something: gym, school, pickup, whatever. I think that's part of the problem of our modern lives: we're always plugged in and always trying to "maximize" our daily "efficiency". Our brains need down time. I'm Muslim so I end up grabbing at least 25-30 minutes a day by virtue of the daily prayers + some more time because of my spiritual routines. Whatever it is, I think you need to work in some down time for yourself. Think of it as a time investment.

Also, have you tried doing "morning pages"? Google it - I think it's a good practice for us tech-addict types.

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