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cammyhammy

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I've played video games addictively for years. I'm tired of being socially inept. I'm tired of not having real friends. I'm tired of spending so much of my time doing a task that I neither enjoy nor benefit from. Starting tomorrow, I will be on Day 1 and I am excited. I enjoy reading, so I know I can do that when I am bored, but I have need more goals. Right now I have decided that in the next 90 days (the time period I will not be playing any video games), I want to learn how to solve a rubix cube, write 5 short stories, and work on improving my social skills (if anyone knows of some sort of course that takes you through some baby steps of improving socially or gives you challenges to improve, I would be forever grateful for a link). Seeing as how I have 90 days of increased free time and only three goals, I would very much appreciate any suggestions for new things to do. Cheers!

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26 minutes ago, cammyhammy said:

and work on improving my social skills (if anyone knows of some sort of course that takes you through some baby steps of improving socially or gives you challenges to improve, I would be forever grateful for a link).

Here's Cam's video about it:

The tips in this video are really simple, but effective when you do them for a long time. If you don't know, there are lots of valuable videos on this channel, covering many issues you may run into.

And welcome to the community! It's always good to see more people enter a new path.

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Hey Cameron, welcome to the community!

It's great that you've set out some goals for the 90 days, that'll help to give you something to stick to. It's a bonus that you want to become more sociable as well, as that's something you'll be able to see huge improvements with and completely change your life.

I'd recommend trying to incorporate some kind of hobby that requires to be active. It's a great way to pass the time and not only that, but there are so many ways of meeting new people with active hobbies. 

Some of my favourites have been walking with a local group, photography, going to the gym, and even bouldering. 

It's also great to see how physical changes in your body, along with the huge list of benefits of getting outdoors and exercising, and really helps to motivate you through the 90 days. 

Hope this helps, and if you have any questions or need any advice feel free to send me a message. I've been on day 1 before and I know it isn't easy. But, you've already done the hardest part!

Best of luck.

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Day 0-3:

     I should mention before all I say that I have (for roughly 2 months prior to my initial post) quit video games in the past and have some experience with it, so please if you are reading my entries do not compare your experience to mine (and in general I would not recommend comparing yourself to others, it rarely leads to anything positive).

     I've heard that the urges to play video games are usually worst in the first week, but seeing as how this is my second (official) time quitting, they are not so bad for me. I have uninstalled Steam, Discord, and all other gaming-linked things with exception to Apex Legends so I can play with my brother (who is at college and who I rarely get to see) if he asks me. I have recently filled my time with other mind-engaging activities, like reading (I've been really enjoying Harry Potter and just got a Kindle Paperwhite), solving my rubix cube, and a little writing. 

     I would definitely recommend that all of you who are trying to quit video games limit or completely cut off your connection to all gaming-related things in your life. Do not 'hang around' in the discords where your friends talk about gaming and play together, do not spend your newly expanded freetime watching other people play video games on streams or in real life, and do not keep your games installed 'just-because'. All of these things are potential lures, slowly and subtly pulling you back in the direction of your addiction.

     I like to use the metaphor of an alcoholic and a bar when reminding myself of why I shouldn't do any of the aforementioned things. Does it seem reasonable that an alcoholic should go to a bar just to 'hang out'? Does it seem reasonable that an alcoholic can socially-drink without becoming victim to alcoholism again? I don't think so. In this same sense, you should disconnect yourself from all things that previously tied you to gaming. I promise it will reduce the urges. 

     On a semi-related note, I would also recommend that all of you cut down your time spent on the internet in general. It is so very easy in this day and age with the internet set up as it is to get lost in the endless pages of entertaining content on the internet. It is so easy to go on your phone, promising yourself that you are only going to check notifications, only to spend half the day scrolling through social media. This type of behavior (and I speak from experience) will provide you with nothing but a sense of emptiness and worthlessness when you reflect on your day only to realize that you wasted it on activities that you couldn't care less about. As a general rule (not just for the internet, but for life), do not act without purpose. 

     When you feel yourself about to buy in to the destructive and far too common behavior that is boundless perusing of the internet, ask yourself, "What is my purpose in doing this?" If it is nothing but to escape from real-life (whether it be because you're bored, uncomfortable, or for no reason at all) refrain from doing it. I have found that by quitting video games, heavily limiting my time spent on my phone, and deleting all social media platforms I had, I have increased my focus significantly. I hadn't realized it before, but by using these things as an escape to real life, I was crippling myself both socially and mentally. My ability to communicate with others was extremely poor, and my focus was terrible. Now, I feel more interested in socialization (although I still struggle with making myself interested sometimes, I hope this comes with time) and I can easily sit down for hours and read. I have cut out the poisons that are habitual phone and video game use from my life and am now reaping the benefits!

     Anyway, thanks for the welcomes to the forum, I hope to stick around for a while :).

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11 hours ago, cammyhammy said:

please if you are reading my entries do not compare your experience to mine

I mean, the rest of your post was you giving us advice! 😅

Welcome to the forums.

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3 hours ago, fawn_xoxo said:

I mean, the rest of your post was you giving us advice! 😅

Welcome to the forums.

Haha I see how that might seem a bit controversial, but I stand by my advice. I should clarify that when I say "do not compare your experience to mine", I really mean that people reading these posts shouldn't compare how they feel to how I feel. Thanks for the welcome! 

P.S. I've seen multiple people recommending Six Pillars of Self-esteem lately, starting to think I should get it. Does it really help with your self-esteem?

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Depends, do you struggle with it? It helped me, and still I'm nowhere near where I wanna be. But it's a great start and it's always useful to go back to it in times of need and rebalancing yourself.

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1 hour ago, fawn_xoxo said:

Depends, do you struggle with it? It helped me, and still I'm nowhere near where I wanna be. But it's a great start and it's always useful to go back to it in times of need and rebalancing yourself.

I don't know how to reply to your message so I'm just quoting. I do struggle with self-esteem. Some days (or some hours, it can change fast) I feel super confident and enthusiastic about whatever I'm doing and then for no reason at all I struggle making eye contact with the waiter or something like that. I think I am going to get this book.

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No problem, you can also do @ and start writing a name, the site will give you a suggestion and you can select a user to tag directly. 

It really helped me, opened my eyes to issues and distorted beliefs for myself. It might be a start for more introspection for you too!

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Day 4-5:

Not having any real urges to play video games, but I am starting to get bored. I do not have a license and do not have any "real" friends yet so I can't drive somewhere and/or hang out with people. I have been reading and actually solved a rubix cube for the first time without any instructions (best time so far is 3:30, if any of you like cubing let's talk :)), but these activities get a bit boring after a while. I think I may begin writing a short story today, but I've yet to decide on the topic or any real details. I think I may draw something today, I enjoy doing that. I've also decided that I'm going to start writing out 4 things I'm grateful for everyday since I've seen people doing this on here and it seems like a good idea.

I'm grateful for:

1. Having enough money to buy a kindle

2. This forum, because it's the only place where I've found such a supportive and like-minded group of individuals who try to help each other quit video games and get their lives together

3. All of you for inspiring me to improve myself and to make something good of my life

4. Nature trails and nature in general, it's/they're (don't know which one's correct so I'm gonna put both) so beautiful

 

Also thanks for the book suggestion @fawn_xoxo, I've downloaded it on my kindle and will start reading soon!

Hope everyone has an epic Friday! 😆

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Day 6:

Today was an interesting day. I read a bit, got my rubix cube PR for 3x3 down to 2:15 and have ordered a couple of "speed-cubes" so I can solve faster. I also went to an eye appointment and picked out some new glasses, so I'm very excited about that. After the appointment, I went to a mall because my sister was shopping for prom dresses. While she tried them out, I waited in the very crowded store area. I saw multiple girls that were really cute and just my type (blonde with a cute face, basically), but I didn't have the confidence to say anything. I think my lack of confidence stems not from any personal issues (I think I'm at least an average looking guy and recognize that personality is ultimately more important to looks for getting girls), but from my inability to properly socialize with others. I have also (likely from my years of not interacting with them) put girls on a bit of a pedestal and feel that I'm not 'worthy' of an attractive girlfriend (or any girlfriend, really). Not only that, but I felt insecure just standing there without a purpose for such a long period of time. It's frustrating to come out of video game addiction only to realize just how stunted your social skills and confidence are. If anyone has any books you would recommend on building confidence, please don't hesitate to comment below.

Anyway, I hope everyone's having an awesome weekend and fulfilling all the plans they had! 😊

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The whole socializing thing will come back to you gradually the more you put yourself in social situations. It depends on your desires, how often you want to be in social circumstances, but that's what will define the pace of your recovery. 

If you got the self esteem book, you're good to go regarding confidence books, though the point is to put what you read into practice and not just read it and nod so to speak. It requires effort and actions, confidence is basically your own, fact based impression of yourself. You can correct it if it's not that good, by taking different actions.

Try to look for more hobbies, or a job if you don't have one, cause the addiction will come back if boredom reigns.

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Day 14 (I think):

It's been a while since last I posted. Truthfully, I've just been busy doing more easily enjoyable things with my limited freetime (meaning I get home from school and I play soccer outside for a bit, fiddle with my rubik's cube, or read). I have not gamed at all, but I have watched a couple of game-play videos and am pleased to say that within half an hour I was thoroughly bored and ended my watching session before the video was over. From an outsider's perspective, it seems crazy that people could enjoy playing video games as much as they do when the games are so repetitive and frustrating. It is all too easy to fall into that trap.

I've decided to pick up nofap for ATLEAST 90 days, which is a daunting challenge for me. I am also trying to drastically reduce my phone use. When reading @mattso's journal, I came across a method to increase productivity called the Pomodoro method and am currently trying it out to see if I can increase the amount of homework and general productive activities I get done. I feel more comfortable in social contexts lately, although I have not made many real concrete steps to improving my social skills. I have begun reading Six Pillars of Self-Esteem as @fawn_xoxo has been recommending and after a few days of reading I have come to the first exercise (which I have begun, although I don't think I notice an effect yet). I am grateful for the recommendation and although I haven't had the chance to do all the activities the author recommends, it has been an enlightening experience to learn about self-esteem and all the things in life it affects.

I still believe that I should pick up some more hobbies, but given that I cannot drive anywhere and can't get a job (because I have school 5 days a week and when I get home I have about 2-3 hours before I have to sleep and on weekends I am usually busy and that is my only real time to do things I enjoy), my choices are limited. If anyone has any easy and cheap (or free!) recommendations, please let me know. I think after writing this I'll check out Cam's list again. Anyway, I have been praying for you guys nightly and hope that you are successful in all your endeavors! Here's to a wonderful week ahead! 😊

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