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JustTom

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Day 29 | Work: 16p | Music: 5p | Misc: CGAA

Today felt pretty average. Which is absolutely batshit insane in a good sense if this is now my average day. Just a month of sobriety and I feel like a completely different person. Not that this phenomenon is a new experience to me, but it amazes me every time. Hopefully this time it's permanent. The project is still looking pretty poor, but I think if I keep working 40-50 hours every week, I will get to to the finish line eventually. And then I'll be free to finally explore life. 

Picked a call from a CGAA fellow. This is important for me, because I define my higher power as connection to people. The more I am connected, the more I'm being pulled towards the light when darkness arrives. I no longer need to power through with sheer willpower, no longer do I need to do this all by myself. All I need to do is to stay connected and trust the process. When I'm faced with my addiction, I lose control. Because my brain is rotten, I become powerless and unable to "just stop", I become powerless to push myself with willpower, because my addiction immediately exhausts it. This is why I am now building a system, a deep emotional structure, that instead PULLS me out of it once I am faced with my addiction, without requiring me to do barely anything. That is the power of true recovery.

Because I have a hard-rule of 11am at the office, I do manage to get up at 10:25 at latest. Today though, I tried to match my roommate's alarm clock at 8am and although I did that, I also waited for him to go out because I felt guilty eating a sweet breakfast(so dumb..), and then I lay on the couch and fell asleep within minutes. Wasted 2 hours sleeping like this. Next time I'll just go out with him. The plan is to do the same thing - stand up, drink water and start doing the morning things without ever laying or even sitting down. Then, just go out as soon as he does. Screw breakfast or any other random shit my brain might make up. 

One day at a time. Patience.

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Day 30 | Work: 0p | Music: 8p | Misc: CGAA

ONE MONTH!!!!!! 🎈🎈🎉🎉🥉🏅🎖🏆

Other than that, a pretty unproductive day. I felt restless, irritated, looking for instant gratification all the time but didn't find it. I also fell asleep on the couch in the middle of the day for about 3-4 hours - I think that messed me up a bit. Tomorrow I have a dentist appointment in the morning so when I get back home, I'll just take my nootropic and start hustling! 😄 I realized it's pointless trying to do composing exercises without having the right workflow for FL studio and the big orchestral template, so instead, I started doing another easy soundtrack cover. Already learned a lot of tricks today despite low productivity. Tomorrow I hope to write much more. 

Edited by JustTom
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2 hours ago, JustTom said:

Day 30 | Work: 0p | Music: 8p | Misc: CGAA

ONE MONTH!!!!!! 🎈🎈🎉🎉🥉🏅🎖🏆

Other than that, a pretty unproductive day. I felt restless, irritated, looking for instant gratification all the time but didn't find it. I also fell asleep on the couch in the middle of the day for about 3-4 hours - I think that messed me up a bit. Tomorrow I have a dentist appointment in the morning so when I get back home, I'll just take my nootropic and start hustling! 😄 I realized it's pointless trying to do composing exercises without having the right workflow for FL studio and the big orchestral template, so instead, I started doing another easy soundtrack cover. Already learned a lot of tricks today despite low productivity. Tomorrow I hope to write much more. 

Nice job on the month. How do you feel right now vs times when you've relapsed? Remember the feeling and let it bet your light when the darkness of addiction may tempt you. Keep it up. It's what has kept me going for 37 weeks now.

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Day 31 | Work: 0p | Music: 0p | Misc: CGAA + social + chores

Chill day. Instead of music, I did a lot of chores, a dentist appointment and a long talk with my roommate. I'm not really feeling this upcoming week as much as last week, but we'll see. I'll try to get into the zone on monday by doing everything right - today's evening preparation, enough sleep, and not going back to bed after first alarm. 

20 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

Nice job on the month. How do you feel right now vs times when you've relapsed? Remember the feeling and let it bet your light when the darkness of addiction may tempt you. Keep it up. It's what has kept me going for 37 weeks now.

You mean the times I actually relapsed at this time, or the times that I was off-games, but relapsed later down the line? For the former at least, EVERYTHING is different. My addiction is really strong and I get into extremely depressive states. I know I can't EVER touch a game again. Or at least a few YEARS. Cravings also strike fast like a lightning and I can go from feeling happy about my day to installing a game to playing it in 1-2 hours. Then it's just a few more minutes until I'm a lifeless husk. 

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17 minutes ago, JustTom said:

get into the zone on monday by doing everything right - today's evening preparation, enough sleep

That's it! @JustTom In the zone all cylinders on fire :337_fire: .. You know what it is ..
 

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Day 32 | Work: 16p | Music: 0p | Misc: doctor

Same old. Focusing on improving sleep schedule slowly but surely, going to bed earlier today. As in, before midnight - which is unheard of for me. 

Edited by JustTom

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Day 33 | Work: 26p | Music: 0p | Misc: CGAA

There is so much work to be done on this thesis that I'd need another 5 months to actually make something good. The question is: can I make something passable in THREE months? Answer: if I keep working like these last two weeks then probably yes. Today I worked for 13 hours, not bad

I once again fell asleep on the couch in the morning for another 90 minutes for no reason. Next morning, next attempt. I'll call a fellow in the morning. This morning pattern in my brain is incredibly strong and I need help. Calling parents doesn't cut it, and my roommate decided to start waking up at 7. Maybe I'll adjust to him next week, but can't do it this week, so I'll try to call someone from CGAA.

22 hours ago, goodvibes said:

Oxidative stress is reduced on many fronts, sleep is one of them

That's actually quite motivating to me. The threat of brain damage and shortened lifespan. I went to sleep at 1am instead of midnight, but it's a huge improvement. I'm working until late today so I'll go to bed late, but I make sure to get 7 hours every night. 

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Day 34 | Work: 19p | Music: 0p | Misc: doctor

I ACTUALLY GOT A DECENT RESULT IN MY GODDAMN RESEARCH!!! Of course it was a dumb fucking mistake that was needlessly making my experiments 3-4x slower AND converging at about 8% higher absolute error. I finally have a baseline that I can work with without being ashamed of myself. Great. Now to beat it somehow. 

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Going to the dentist now(again). I'll have some time left in the evening, but I'll probably just chill and go to bed. If I push out a few more pomodoros, I'll gladly update.

Edited by JustTom

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Day 36 | Work: 16p | Music: 0p | Misc: talks

Despite sleeping for 9 hours, I was completely groggy in the morning, barely got up to go to my job on time. While I was biking, a huge rain also started so that was fun. Worked for 8 hours and now I'm going home. Research is progressing so that's fine. I'd like to work a bit during the weekend as well, but if I won't feel like it, I won't do it. No cravings or dangerous patterns, but I did have a dream last night that I played cyberpunk2077. It was literally first-person, like I was a character in the game. It was the second gaming dream this week, so strange. 

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Day 37 & 38

I got sick on friday, probably because of having to bike in cold rain while my immunity is weaker during allergy season. So I spent the weekend sick, feeling like absolute crap, slight fever, did maybe 5 pomodoros of music and coocked food. That's literally all I've been able to do. It makes me really sad that I wasn't able to enjoy almost any music making during the entire last week, but I have to be patient. At least my thesis project is progressing. If all goes well, I might graduate this year, that gives me hope. 

Patience.

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Day 39 | Work: 16p | Music: 1p | Misc: CGAA + talks

Still sick, but somehow I managed to work for 8 hours. One hour at a time. Again, because I spend the evenings doing chores, procrastinating a bit and talking to my roommate, there isn't any time left for music again. But, I'm going to bed early for once, so that's nice. I want to match his early morning schedule. Not because I think it's better, but because I haven't been able to get up on my own without a threat of getting fired for years. I think this might be a rare chance at getting the habit sorted. Going to bed at 1, and then tomorrow midnight, which should be enough sleep to get up at 7.

Anyways. I've been having a pretty boring life this month to be honest. I guess there was the wedding, but other than that I'm not meeting any people, not working out, not doing anything exciting. Just going to work, coming home and trying to learn a hobby, but not quite managing to do so because of sickness. And watching the entire season 3 of stranger things last week, of course. That was a big reason too 😄

Patience.

Edited by JustTom
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Day 40 | Work: 16p | Music: 2p | Misc: 

Taking it a bit more chill at work because of the sickness, but I'm quite proud of myself that I'm able to keep up despite of it. I've relapsed many times around days 40-45 and I'm starting to see some patterns emerge. Maybe it's because of the extra anxiety and just general unwellness, but I've been checking the cyberpunk2077 subreddit ~2 times per day. I've also watched quite a long chunk of day9 playing MTG on youtube when I was feeling really horrible on sunday evening and I couldn't think of anything else to watch. I watched about 20 more minutes of it today during dinner before my roommate got home lol. I don't feel any cravings, but I know that my addict can be very sneaky and this is his way of avoiding my conscious barriers to start the triggers going. So despite forgetting about gaming more and more as the days go by, I've been now reminded of them. I've seen the visuals, heard the sounds, seen the gameplay, seen the personalities. I need to cut it out and get back on the forgetting process. This is a chapter of the past in my life, there is no longer space for it. I am no longer a person who watches gaming videos during lunch. I will be putting on Alex Moukala again, even though it's not very exciting at times. Or JunkieXL's studio time series. Those are pretty damn exciting all the time actually. 

Going to sleep at 0:30 and shooting for getting up at 7:30. I need to do this, start building up those habits. The structure and connection to people is the thing that will hold me back from relapsing when willpower gets exhausted. I'm still vulnerable because my habits are shit, so wish me luck tomorrow morning 🤞

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It's good that you're looking for these patterns man. Nip them in the butt! 

When I get an urge to do something that goes against my goals, the most effective strategy for me has been to.. wait. Really? Yes, for me, I say to myself sure you'll eat dessert.. in a couple of hours. Appease the addict, in a way, but weather the storm for some time. Thankfully the cravings go away usually in 30 minutes as long as I do something actively. 

Just thought to share a little strategy in case you need it at this time period. Good luck! Wait I don't believe in luck. Be vigilant!

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Day 41 | Work: 10p | Music: 3p | Misc: CGAA + doctor

The struggle for a morning routine continues. Yesterday I got up at 7:45, ate breakfast, watied for roommate to leave, then sat on the couch watching videos(JunkieXL) and eventually fell asleep. 

Another try tomorrow. 

On another note - aspirine makes your blood thinner WTF?? I had slight fever so I was taking 1-2 pills per day in order to function more or less normally. I didn't even take one today specifically because I was going to the dentist and thought it miiiiight mess with the anesthetic in case I need one. But even though I didn't take it for 24+ hours, my gums were apparently bleeding so much that the dentist couldn't proceed with the repair. Now I gotta wait 2 more weeks while the bacteria in the tooth festers. Just fantastic, really. It should be written all over that pill that it will make you bleed like Malfoy. (watching this scene, I remember in the book it was much more brutal - bleeding from the eyes and shit but anyways)

Other than that, I felt better today, physically and mentally. Didn't even check any gaming subreddit.

 
 
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14 hours ago, fawn_xoxo said:

When I get an urge to do something that goes against my goals, the most effective strategy for me has been to.. wait. Really? Yes, for me, I say to myself sure you'll eat dessert.. in a couple of hours. Appease the addict, in a way, but weather the storm for some time. Thankfully the cravings go away usually in 30 minutes as long as I do something actively. 

Yeah, this is what "one day at a time" comes down to. In CGAA it is encouraged to ask yourself the question "Can I hold on until the next meeting"? Because meetings are every day, it is usually only a few hours away so the answer is usually yes. Then we reconnect with the community and cravings go away.

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Day 43 | Work: 14p | Music: 0p | Misc: Chores

Slowly but surely, I'm getting my life in order. Some things are obvious and trivial for healthy people, but I'm not a healthy person. I'm a hardcore addict in recovery and during my depression, even trivial tasks become extremely straining on willpower, such as brushing my teeth. I am now starting to recover some of these essential self-care habits. I've had very good dental hygiene in the past 2 weeks - brushing twice per day, toothpick twice per day as well as applying a gel I got 'prescribed'. I'm also eating better - I'm cutting out sugar and not binge eating anymore. I started being a little bit more mindful about my posture while working - not a lot, but it's a start. I re-started my dream journal in order to increase dream recall, already recorded two dreams! Little things like this, are starting to compound. The evening/morning rituals are the hardest. Next week I will practice it more. 

Stats-wise the day looks unproductive, but actually I've been on my feet the whole time. Barely any procrastination. Just got unlucky a bit so I had to commute a lot, spoke with some people, shopped, cooked etc.

No games, no subreddit checks. Let's go. 

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Good job man! 

This also serves as a reminder for me, about stacking good little deeds towards oneself and the compound effect, so thanks for that!

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It’s interesting you used the word “rituals” for the everyday routine. Sure, it’s just a way of speaking, but at the same time you made me think at the ponderate, almost sacred essence of the little things, the spirituality (another way of speaking) hidden in the little gestures of everyday life. The weight of existence (being there), which when we are depressed we see as a burden, is actually what can give depth to our life, opening a continuous epiphany. It’s what we call sensibility, and it may as well be the source of poetry. We probably can find this kind of meaning in the otherwise repetitive, immobile return of the always identical.

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Day 44 | Work: 0p | Music: 22p | Misc: CGAA + call

A nice, chill saturday. 

@info-gatherer That's exactly right. Tonny Robbins calls it rituals, though I haven't even developed a habit yet, so I'm far from a ritual. By the way, I was going to reply to your response a few days ago, but I started writing this massive wall of text and didn't finish it, so I'll post it sometime later eventualy^^

 

Edited by JustTom

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Day 45 | Work: 0p | Music: 26p | Misc: 

I really enjoyed myself this weekend. Though I didn't do anything social, anything "exciting", it was very chill, I felt good and could fully focus on learning music production. I'm still kind of learning the ropes of the new software and also libraries, so it's been a lot of documentation-reading, tutorials, re-organizing files back-and-forth, but also a lot of production. Currently, I'm doing a cover of a very old game soundtrack. I thought it was easy, but actually, it's not easy at all - neither musically, nor technically. Getting the melodies to not intervene with the harmony is super complex because of so many short but frequent articulations from different instruments. It's a good ear-training exercise that's for sure. There are a few questions I should summarize for an expert on music theory. The technical side is also much harder than I thought - it just doesn't sound right. Granted, I'm trying re-create a live-orchestra recording with samples, but still.. We'll see next week when I get to mixing. Nevertheless, I learned a TON. And there's many more TONS to learn. I'm enjoying every moment. Honestly wish I could do this forever. But alas, a new week awaits and I need to finish my master thesis. Just a few more months, I got this. All I need to do is get better at getting up in the morning, that's it. Attempt #1 tomorrow. 

Just now writing this update I realized I haven't thought about games a single time. 

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Day 46 | Work: 18p | Music: 0p | Misc: sponsor call + doctor

100% productive day. Didn't waste a minute. Went to bed late on sunday so I couldn't really try a morning attempt, but tomorrow I will. Had an hour-long call with my new sponsor, really good stuff. At work, one of my experiments resulted in better accuracy than expected and it also makes sense to me why. This could be huge and a backbone to my research, or at worst, a good thing to analyze and write about in the thesis - very happy about that. Felt really good in general. In the afternoon I had a doctor's appointment so I went outside a bit and wow - it was so beautiful outside. It's really amazing how summer can feel when it's not too hot but still warm and I'm not getting internally destroyed by allergy or depression. Makes me really want to go to work early, so that I can take 1-2 hour break in the afternoon to enjoy the sun(and do a couple approaches hehe). I could start work at 9, take the sun-break and finish 8 hours by 19, leaving me a lot of hours until midnight for extra hustle, music, or a workout. Wow. I seriously want to do this. I could have it all. Could I? Ok...

  • 8:00 - wake up
  • 9:00 - work
  • 13:00 - sun-break
  • 15:00 - work
  • 19:00 - go home
  • 19:30 - dinner + CGAA
  • 20:30 - workout
  • 22:00 - music or talking/chilling
  • 00:00 - sleep 8 hours

This is basically #thedream. It has the passion activity, the health activity as well as the social activity, all while finishing my degree. Hmm. Obviously I wouldn't work out every day, so I'd have a few extra work hours there, and I could use the weekend for all chores. The only problem with this is the getting up in the morning issue. I think if I get that one sorted, I can pull this off. Maybe not every day, but most days. Because when I start my morning well, I'm unstoppable - I usually don't procrastinate at all so it would really all be about time management. HMMMMM. Ok, well, it's an aspiration, not an expectation. Tomorrow morning, one day at a time, going to bed at midnight today like a reasonable person. 

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Day 47 | Work: 16p | Music: 0p | Misc: social

Day 48 | Work: 17p | Music: 1p | Misc: laundry

Went to a small BBQ on day 47, it was fine, reconnected with my uni classmates, but I got a bit drunk and even though I didn't go to bed too late, it was extremely hard to get up in the morning so I once again only got up at the last possible time. But on day 47 I did it! I woke up at 7, left at ~8, was epic! Another try tomorrow!

Nothing remarkable really. I have occasional thoughts about games, but I haven't checked a gaming subreddit for a few days, so I think that phase of anxiety is gone. I'm also healthy now and the allergy is gone, so I'm feeling really good. Starting my intermittent fasting routine as well, gotta get on that weight-loss train before I get a dad-belly lol. 

But, I will say that even though my mood is improving, it's not even close to where it used to be. I used to be very jolly, bold and passionate. Maybe I'm just not showing it as much. Do you know what's the opposite of expression? It's DEpression. Good one huh? I feel much less expressive than before my gaming addiction got turned up to 11. Maybe it's just a part of growing older. Maybe it's going to take a few months to return to it. Maybe it's the fact that I don't like my current full-time occupation. Or maybe I just need to get laid. Probably just need to get laid xD 

If I manage to get up and start my work early, I'll take the sun-break for an hour or two in the afternoon 🙂

Edited by JustTom
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Glad to hear you're doing better slowly but steadily. I know you don't feel 100% yet but I definitely believe that you will in the future, as long as you keep focusing on improving just a little bit every day. 

Or you could just get laid. That'll probably help too haha

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