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Gaming the System 006 - James' First 30 Days As a Digital Nomad in Thailand!

dahankus

Relapsed after completing my goal, back at it now

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Day 12.

Today I feel much better. Started listening to the book Atomic Habits, and oh my god, why the fuck is't this a mandatory class in school. Anyways, I haven't put much thought in games lately, its like the fact of removing everything related to games, kind of erased the thoughts of them.  Some times I get a glimpse of some article, or an ad about a game I was waiting for, but I just close it, or ignore it. I am starting to feel much better.

I am grateful for the opportunity to learn how to be a more competent person. 

No games Today.

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4 hours ago, BigOlBeartic said:

socialize once a day, that helps a lot

It is the hardest thing in life for me. The source of the greatest fears and anxieties. The source of my greatest failures, and most hurtful moments. I went skydiving, and it was nothing  in comparison of going to a social event, or worse, having to talk to someone. In my mind, it is in social situation that the greatest harm can happen to me, because that has been the case all my life. Wounds that are so deep that still bleed after decades. I have been to therapy and it helped a lot. It helped me heal, but the fear is still there. And the behaviors get triggered whenever I find myself talking with someone. 

Every day is a challenge for me, to fight my fear, every single day. And some say Im a pussy. I don't think they know what real fear is, when your body enters panic mode, and you sweat and shake, and cant control your voice, or the flow of ideas into your mind. But you stay, and you do what you are there to do, because you said you would. And many times I fuck up, because I cant control myself, byt I keep on fucking going despite all that it costs me. Its not always this extreme, but it can become like this any moment. All it takes, is that some stranger talks to me.

I don't know of a way to break this fear, even in safe spaces when I know everyone is kind, and understanding, I still am afraid to open up, and say something I don't really want to say, or Im not even thinking. Some times I do speak but say something so unbelievably stupid, that it makes people uncomfortable, and it makes me want stick a knife in my throat and just have it end. 

I fear that the next social encounter can be the last stroll, the drop that spills  the glass. One moment that would break me forever, and that, scares me the most.

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Day 13.

Amazing how well the removal of gaming material works. I do find myself thinking of games, but its less and less important in my mind.

No games today.

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new to your journal, so idk if you're in college or what stage you're in your life. I know its scary, and its probably going to be awkward if you don't socialize much. But you have to try for your sake. Saying hi or asking for help w work or some problem can be the start of a friendship.

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11 hours ago, BigOlBeartic said:

new to your journal, so idk if you're in college or what stage you're in your life. I know its scary, and its probably going to be awkward if you don't socialize much. But you have to try for your sake. Saying hi or asking for help w work or some problem can be the start of a friendship.

I know all that. I'm 33.

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Day 14. Monday morning.

I have been having this strange cravings. Like flashes in the deep parts of my mind. I watched an episode of Band of Brothers, and it triggered in me the craving to play one of my favorite games, hears of iron 4. But it was kind of different, like when you light a firecracker and you see the smoke go out expecting the boom, but it never comes, and the smoke dissipates. Its like the potential gaming action is there, but it is weak. I don't want to play, and I wont. This is just another try of my mind to find comfort.

No games today.

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Day 15. Tuesday

Today I feel great, ready to work. But there is one thing that bothers me, and it has nothing to do with gaming. As I awoke today I think I understood something about my feelings. Sharing time.

I am 33yo, during my teen years I was bullied a lot in school, at leas it seems like it was a lot, the thing is, It affected me greatly. I was raised catholic, and my young mind grabbed the idea of showing the other cheek as a important virtue, the fact of getting hit or hurt without showing a reaction. Now I know that was very wrong. During the years I accumulated this anger, and resentment inside. Years later I left to a different country, to live with my grandparents and get a degree. I was living there with a cousin of mine. His personality was toxic, as he often bullied me verbally and intentionally wanted to trigger me. At that time I still held to those values, and as you might guess I accumulated more an more resentment, which eventually transformed into rage, and hate.

After collage, I moved out of there and started to take care of myself, went to therapy and all that. But that resentment is still there, and it has mutated into something very, very bad. I have really dark fantasies and I am more and more on edge. If I ever speak to that cousin, I am constantly about to burst I i do burst with despair telling him fuck off. I think its too late to tell him off. This thing inside me is not letting me rest properly, I dream about getting angry and enraged by mundane things. This pathological and vengeful resentment is burning me inside.

I am thinking of telling this to this cousin of mine as it is mainly towards him that this feelings seem to drift to, because he is the last person to be an asshole to me in a personal level and intentionally. I don't see him much lately, maybe 3 times a year for a few years now, but still this feeling is killing me inside.

I am learning to stand up for myself, but its very hard for me to overcome this deeply rooted values of being a victim, as if it was a good thing. 

If anyone reads this, what do you think I should do, should I talk to him about how I feel before I actually do something I will not be able to take back? or is there another method?

No games today.

 

Edited by dahankus

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Day 16. Wednesday.

I am thank full for yesterdays insight. I am thankful for a friend that listened, and supported. I have been working on figuring out a strategy for new good habits forming and getting rid of bad ones.

No games today.

Edited by dahankus

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Day 17. Thursday.

I am thankful for having the will to improve myself. I am thankful for having a direction in my life.

I think about gaming every day, but I feel its grasp diminishing. Removing gaming and gaming related stuff entirely from my environment is a huge factor in this. I still fill the nostalgia, and the hope that one day I will sit in peace and get into a game like I used to. But I wont, and I wont plan to do it. It is just a thought generated by memories of fun, nothing more.

No games today.

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Day 18. Friday.

Shift in identity. Don't say "I don't play game anymore" say "I am not a gamer".

During my quest to establish new habits I found something quite interesting about my daily life. I don't have a in day system for life, my days come by without any significance or effect on my life. Its like they don't matter, and my eyes are shifted towards a dreamed future that might never come, because I spend a big chunk of my days being entertained, distracted, procrastinating. This just wont do, it is not at all aligned with who I think I am, and who I want to become.

A change must come from within. I am creating a system that will implement the following traits into my daily life. They might not directly drive me toward my goals, but they are essential to build the person I think I am.

  1.  I want to be a person that learns at least one new thing every day.
  2.  I want to be a person that takes care of his body.

To implement this, I will improve upon the system I already have. Mornings are filled for me at the moment, so It is in the afternoon that change will happen. Next I need concise action that will every day build those identities. 

Habit 1. Every day, after coming home, eating and cleaning the kitchen as I already do, I will turn the PC and work for 30 minutes on my personal programming project.

Habit 2. I start my go to bed routine with a shower, so right before that, after turning off the PC, I will spend 5 min meditating by sitting on my workout mat right there in the same room.

This habits will be tracked every day, just after finishing the habit, by putting an X next to the date on my calendar. Additionally every X in the calendar will be 1 dollar that I will spend on new peace of clothing after 30 days, this is my reward, and a short term chained goal.

After 30 days doing this, I will review my progress, and will make changes if necessary.

This are not too hard, but I think they are a great starting point of improvement.

I am not a gamer.

Edited by dahankus

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Day 19. Saturday.

I am thankful for the will to improve myself.

Yesterdays first new habit day was ok, I enjoyed the 30 min programming session, got hooked and didn't want to stop. But I did, because the point is to do things deliberately, not on whims.

Meditation was harder, very hard. Couldn't keep my mind in the present for more than a few seconds at a time. I thought 5 min would be too little, but its perfect for now. The habit chaining thing from Atomic habits is quite interesting for not forgetting to do something. Once I turned off the pc, I knew exactly what to do next. And that is what I am missing from my daily life, know what action to take next.

I will be away the whole weekend, so no technology, and will probably not make an entry tomorrow. I will not try to incorporate meditation when I am away, because its not a daily thing, this trip, and I don't care about sporadic meditation sessions. I will enjoy my time out, without the pressure of todo stuff.

I am not a gamer.

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On 4/16/2019 at 8:31 AM, dahankus said:

Day 15. Tuesday

Today I feel great, ready to work. But there is one thing that bothers me, and it has nothing to do with gaming. As I awoke today I think I understood something about my feelings. Sharing time.

I am 33yo, during my teen years I was bullied a lot in school, at leas it seems like it was a lot, the thing is, It affected me greatly. I was raised catholic, and my young mind grabbed the idea of showing the other cheek as a important virtue, the fact of getting hit or hurt without showing a reaction. Now I know that was very wrong. During the years I accumulated this anger, and resentment inside. Years later I left to a different country, to live with my grandparents and get a degree. I was living there with a cousin of mine. His personality was toxic, as he often bullied me verbally and intentionally wanted to trigger me. At that time I still held to those values, and as you might guess I accumulated more an more resentment, which eventually transformed into rage, and hate.

After collage, I moved out of there and started to take care of myself, went to therapy and all that. But that resentment is still there, and it has mutated into something very, very bad. I have really dark fantasies and I am more and more on edge. If I ever speak to that cousin, I am constantly about to burst I i do burst with despair telling him fuck off. I think its too late to tell him off. This thing inside me is not letting me rest properly, I dream about getting angry and enraged by mundane things. This pathological and vengeful resentment is burning me inside.

I am thinking of telling this to this cousin of mine as it is mainly towards him that this feelings seem to drift to, because he is the last person to be an asshole to me in a personal level and intentionally. I don't see him much lately, maybe 3 times a year for a few years now, but still this feeling is killing me inside.

I am learning to stand up for myself, but its very hard for me to overcome this deeply rooted values of being a victim, as if it was a good thing. 

If anyone reads this, what do you think I should do, should I talk to him about how I feel before I actually do something I will not be able to take back? or is there another method?

No games today.

 

Hey man, I know this is a late response to this musing, but was just reading your journal and felt a late response is better than nothing.

Anger is a very difficult emotion to handle well. It's powerful and can consume you if you're not careful. That said, it's also sometimes a healthy feeling to have. When I was younger I was an extremely angry man for similar reasons to the ones you've listed here. For a time I swore off being angry entirely after I had an explosive outburst that terrified a mentor I respected. But suppressing my anger wasn't really a great idea either. It seethed beneath the surface and turned into a different kind of resentment, and eventually self-loathing. Nowadays, I'd prefer to be angry and vent my frustration now rather than to bury it and have it become despair, but that's just me.

The way I see it, there's two ways to deal with repressed anger. You either vent it in a controlled manner, or you forgive the person you're angry with and rise above the anger. How you do that is up to you. Venting it could be channelling it into your exercise, a boxing bag or art and music. Forgiving a person is harder, but it allows you to let go of the emotional burden you're feeling and even to get some positive energy out of it. 

I'm not a very religious person but I've found the words of the Dalai Lama on anger to be very wise:

“We cannot overcome anger and hatred simply by suppressing them. We need to actively cultivate the antidotes to hatred: patience and tolerance… When we are engaged in the practice of patience and tolerance, in reality, what is happening is you are engaged in a combat with hatred and anger.”

Another way of looking at it, which is perhaps my favourite, is this little nugget of wisdom from Buddha himself:

''Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.''

Good luck.

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Day 21. Monday.

I am thankful for the opportunity to meet my girlfriend's 90 yo Grandmother.  

I spent the weekend in the literally in the middle of nowhere. A place that once was a prospering home of 5 children, now lies in ruins. I heard stories of that place, and they filled me with sadness. One story can be shortened to dishonesty, and procrastination, in the hope that some day, someone will do what is necessary. But that day never came, and now entropy is claiming the remains. 

Another story from that neighborhood was even worse, fueled with distrust, insecurity and rage. A long time ago, a family was destroyed by rumors, leaving 4 children behind as orphans. So damn horrible. And it could have been avoided by just being true and honest to each other. If only we could effectively learn from the past.

I am not a gamer.

Edited by dahankus

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Day 22. Tuesday.

Habits completed counter: 4 (experimental additional progress tracking)

I am thankful for being alive. I am thankful for the opportunity and will to learn.

I am starting to crave more an more of life, I want to improve myself in the areas I lack the most. It's really frustrating that I don't know how to talk to people, it makes me anxious and ashamed, always trying to stay protected, not involve myself, don't open up in case some might hurt me. I am tired of that, and want it to end. I want to be comfortable at parties, I want to be comfortable talking to anyone, and I want to be able to say "stop, I don't like the way you are talking to me, change the tone or this conversation is over." 

I don't want to feel ashamed of my actions any more. I want to be proud of my action. I want to be proud of myself. I want to share who I am without fear.

I am not a gamer.

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Hi Dahankus!

Talking to people well will come naturally, all that's needed is a hobby, passion and a community! Myself, as I consider my English pretty damn good, I teach English. Having that base confidence in my skill, it helps me stand up, present the topic and engage my students in a conversation! I'm introverted by nature, but when I teach, I HAVE TO be extroverted and be the first one to initiate and be the first one to help out if a student is lost.

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8 hours ago, Ikar said:

all that's needed is a hobby, passion and a community

I have heard this from many sources, and I am searching for something like that, but its hard for me because I was never part of a community outside of my family. Also whenever I think of going somewhere I imagine I will be slacking on my other activities, I woudn't, but that is the feeling that comes to me.

I know I will find some place and some people with whom I will have something in common. Some years ago I wanted to join airsoft club, but never got around to it. 

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Day 23. Wednesday. 

Habits completed counter: 6

I am thankful for having this opportunity to improve.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about using my current gaming detox as a propeller for quitting porn and masturbation. I have devised a sneaky habit that might just do the trick. In the book Atomic Habits, the author really pushes you to make the good habits easy and obvious. To have a clear and recognizable trigger, and to make the habit as easy and simple as possible, so that performing it would take as little effort as possible form your part.  Additionally in order to stop a bad habit, you should do the exact opposite, which would make the habit invisible, and hard to perform.

I have learned that porn is my trigger to masturbation, like a gateway bad habit to another bad habit. So I need to get rid of porn in order to make masturbation less visible, and not be triggered. I tried site blockers, but they don't work, I always find new sites. 

I have cataloged the sequence this habits happen.

  1. - I am engaged on some activity on my PC (working, studying, watching movie, youtube, facebook)
  2. - The thought of porn come to mind (This is my trigger for porn)
  3. - The craving begins and my mind tries to fight it every time failing, the more time passes the stronger the craving
  4. - I open an incognito tab (This is the key action) <======= Here is the only place I have found that I can do something
  5. - I go to porn sites and get horny (triggers masturbation cravings)
  6. - The rest we all know far too well
  7. - Then comes feelings of shame, and guilt and so on (This is the effect and is very unsatisfying, which is great as it provides more motivation to quit)

My solution is simple, very simple.

  • - Trigger => Open Incognito tab
  • - Craving => Want to feel proud of myself, a lot of good stuff comes from just one simple action of closing this fucking tab, feel free
  • - Action => Simply close it, every time it opens. One click. 1 second. That's it.
  • - Reward => You fucking did it man, put an X on your handy habit tracker. Put an X every single time this happens. Every incognito tab closed right after it opened is an X into your record.

This way I hijack the current triggers I already have, and simply interrupt it with a simple quick action for which I will reward myself with progress, the more progress the more money I will have to spend on improving my wardrobe. Every X is 1 dollar.

I will report my results. 

I am not a gamer

 

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Oddly enough, my English is where it's at thanks to gaming and related activities. Probably one of the very few good things about it.

As for slacking on other activities, depends on how you prioritize. Better prioritization comes with time, as you plan your days more and more, you make better assessment on how much time you spend doing things. I prefer not to overwhelm myself, so I don't end up lying in bed, paralyzed by stress. Airsoft was actually one of the things I thought in the past as well and I think I even did it once, great suggestion!

Good idea with the dollar for masturbating too often! I think my wardrobe could use some new clothes too...

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54 minutes ago, Ikar said:

Good idea with the dollar for masturbating too often!

Its not a dollar for masturbating lol, its a dolar for closing the incognito tab. That is the beauty of it. You remove the bad habits by creating one that is simpler, quicker, is rewarding, and requires far less effort that actually going ahead with the bad habit.

Additionally it is very important to think of our identity as healthy

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Day 24. Thursday.

Habits completed counter: 7

I am thankful for the opportunities I have to learn about myself.

This period is very strange for me. The space in my mind that was occupied with game related stuff is clearing up slowly but I can already feel my memory of every day stuff is improving. I can feel more connected to my daily tasks. Its like the days are heavier, more dense in my mind. Which is good I think. 

I am constantly looking for ways to improve my environment, and myself along with it. 

I am not a gamer

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On 4/19/2019 at 3:07 PM, dahankus said:
  •  I want to be a person that learns at least one new thing every day.
  •  I want to be a person that takes care of his body.

That's beautiful. Thank you for that.

Best of luck in your new healthy life 😊

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Day 25. Friday

Habits completed counter: 9

I am thankful for having the opportunity to love and be loved.

I had the strangest feeling yesterday, a thought that once I get to the point I want to be, I will be able to immerse myself in games in a way that I never could before. Once I get the money I need, I would be free to indulge in my ecstasy of gaming in a totally new and higher level than I ever did before. It felt amazing.

You know what that is? That is dopamine. The neurotransmitter that affects desire. Its because of this little chemical that we crave gaming, but our experience while gaming, never gives us enough satisfaction. Many times the expectation of gaming is far more enjoyable that gaming itself. 

I am not going to fall for this, I want to learn to resist this dopamine spikes in many areas of my life, and learn to use them in areas that could really use some more motivation. If only it were this simple 😄

I am not a gamer.

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Day 26. Saturday

Habits completed counter: 9

I am thankful for the small moment of happiness.

I skipped yesterdays habits for a long walk with my gf after work, the weather was warm and nice, an we walked for over an hour, then we decided to go get a pizza and some wine, so we did, and we indulged  in this nice, cozy evening on the coach watching documentaries on netflix 😄. But still I broke my habits, this means that I have to work harder in order to make those habits easier to implement in my life.

Today we are going to the cinema to watch the latest avengers. Omg, as im writing this, I realize my life is great, exactly how i dreamed all those years ago when I was doing my first detox. I thought I was not capable of a relationship, and that I would die alone, yet here I am. To anyone reading this, if you wonder if life really gets better without games, it does get much much better, just keep at it.

I am not a gamer.

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Day 27. Sunday.

Habits completed counter: 9

I am thankful for my willingness to embrace change.

I remembered my time in minecraft, a game with no real purpose nor goal, at least there was no when it all began. I remember that I had to create my own goals, and every goal required a specific list of things that needed to be done in order to achieve it. Mine X amount of that, Y amount of that, get X amount of buckets of lava up my awesome tower. All this in a single player game, where absolute no one ever saw what I was doing, and no one will ever know. My point here is, that in such a meaningless place, I somehow found my purpose, and could actually work on a boring task for hours and hours, because I knew that mining this single coal would get me one block closer to building my creation. And somehow it was fun for a long time.

How is it that finding purpose in a meaningless environment was easier that finding it in a meaningful one?

How is it that I was looking forward to doing a tedious action for the hundredth time?

I am going to think on this questions today, maybe something useful will come up.

I am not a gamer.

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44 minutes ago, dahankus said:

How is it that finding purpose in a meaningless environment was easier that finding it in a meaningful one?

How is it that I was looking forward to doing a tedious action for the hundredth time?

 

Hi

I had  the same questions because I have also been experiencing the same.

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