Jump to content

Question of the week: What are you grateful for?

Sign in to follow this  
ElectroNugget

John's Daily Journal

Recommended Posts

Hi there.

So I just bought and started the program today. This is something that I've known I needed to do for a few years I think, but have been too afraid to do for a long time. Gaming was such an integral part of my identity - who I was, what I was good at, what I enjoyed, etc - that the idea of sacrificing it to accomplish other goals quite literally made me afraid. When I decided to become an artist in my early 20's it became a constant battle between the two for my time and commitment, and sadly gaming won most of the time.

I'm now in my late 20's, suffering from a dip in my career and other personal aspects of my life and I have to be honest with myself and admit that my habits and choices leading up to this moment have put me here. It's my own damn fault.

If I don't quit now, I'll never reach the potential I think I have, and I'll never be able to live my life with my head held high. I can't bear the thought of that.

So here I am. I'm going to call this Day 0 since I did play a little bit this morning before I started the program. Tomorrow will be Day 1. 

My computer, iPad and phone have all been wiped of games, and I'm looking into some software to help as well. I hope I can do this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on taking the first steps, you're doing the right thing!

Getting over your gamer identity is one of the hardest things to do, and it took me a long time before I just decided to stop calling myself a gamer, and it helped immensely. I'd call myself a former gamer, or I'd say I liked video games but don't play them anymore.

Instead of just, I don't play video games at all, and I'm not a gamer.

It's a big mindset shift and a super important one.

Great job on wiping your games, I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of your journey.

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, James. 🙂 I think the 'former gamer' idea is great. I might steal that.

I'm going to try not only to track my game quitting progress here but also some other habits I want to do. It seems to make sense to keep my accountability all in one place.

DAY 01:
Today was tough. Last year I suffered from a severe bout of clinical depression and was on medication for a few months while I was unemployed. I was about as low as one could go: panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, the works. This year I'm once again unemployed (classic starving artist problem) and I find myself falling down the same mental whirlpool of despair. I really don't want to go back on medication though, which is why I decided that I had to start making some serious changes in my life, like this program. That said, I woke up this morning in a very depressive mindset, wondering if I would ever make it, or if my life was just completely fucked and I should just give up and die.

Things improved when I got to my office space (I have a desk at a creative incubator). I went through modules 1-5 of the program and felt like the message was hopeful, and that the changes were doable. As of this evening, I have had all the passwords for my online gaming accounts (steam, battlenet, etc.) changed by my mother and she holds the keys now. All that's left to do is sell my PS4 and my Switch, but at the moment they are tucked away out of use anyways, so it's not a huge hurry.

I feel like that took a big weight off me and that I managed to accomplish a lot today. I also feel like I have more time, which is great. So maybe this is the beginning of a turnaround for me. 

I set up a calendar for the next 90 days (as recommended in the program) and decided I want to work on many habits in that period, as well as a new art portfolio. Putting a timeframe on it makes it seem more concrete and somehow more doable. Before now I felt like I had so much to do and no time, that everything was chaos. Now that it's spread out on a calendar it doesn't look nearly as intimidating. After today I feel much less overwhelmed by the current state of my life and like I can maybe achieve what I set out to do given the right time management and planning.

Tomorrow I'd like to finish the program and start taking the first steps with my new portfolio. I'd also like to start meditating again. Hopefully, this is really the start of a new chapter for me.

Gratitude:

  1. I'm grateful that I have a roof over my head.
  2. I'm grateful that my parents have been so supportive during this very difficult time for me.
  3. I'm grateful that I have a healthy body (if not a healthy mind).
  4. I'm grateful that I had a lot of good food today.
  5. I'm grateful that I have this opportunity to change.
Edited by ElectroNugget

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DAY 02:
The morning was rough again. Definitely the worst part of the day for me. Perhaps worth looking into some morning routines. Then again, I've never been a morning person.

I finished up the last modules and worksheets today and that felt awesome. Cam's advice is solid and makes me feel like there's genuine hope for change.

I started meditating again today, which was really nice. I honestly have no idea why I ever give up on it. It comes and goes in periods and each time I pick it up again the advantages are clear and more than worth the time invested. I also went to the gym, so overall a good day for health and fitness too.

I'm already pining for some time with Civilization. It's hard to think that I will never play it again but I know it is necessary. In time I'm sure I'll be grateful for investing my hours elsewhere.

Exercise: ✔️
Meditate: ✔️

Gratitude: 

  1. I'm grateful that I have some good friends who got me into the gym routine.
  2. I'm grateful that my body is healthy and strong enough to pursue bodybuilding without any complications.
  3. I'm grateful that I have a nice place to go home to after a long day's work.
  4. I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to learn new skills online.
  5. I'm grateful that I have this forum to write to and seek support.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DAY 03:
I woke up extremely tired today and experienced extreme lethargy until about midday, ended up sleeping in and watching some Star Trek.

This was a bit disheartening, as I'm not sure why I felt such acute exhaustion. Can the detox cause tiredness? I experienced some cravings today as well, which happened sooner than I expected it to, but I guess when you game daily for 22 years your brain notices even when you go just a few days without it.

No gym today but did plenty of walking. More than 6000 steps so I feel good about that. Might need to start a 30-minute routine for each day but one thing at a time. Didn't meditate yet which was a bad call, but I will before bed. Really need to make a habit of doing it in the morning but my tiredness got in the way.

I had a board game event this evening and I could feel the allure to play very strongly, my mouth was practically watering over some of the big strategy titles I own. This threw my addiction into a sharp light. At the same time, I've always strongly identified with the strategist in me and loved to play tactical and strategical games of all kinds. I used to be on the chess club in high school and I've gathered a large collection of big strategy boardgames over the years. It feels very hard to deny this part of myself. I'm not sure how I'll resolve this in the long run.
 

Exercise: ✔️
Meditate: 

Gratitude: 

  1. I'm grateful that I'm learning more about myself and my relation to games and gaming.
  2. I'm grateful that I have warm clothes to wear in this awful cold weather.
  3. I'm grateful that summer is on the way and we're getting more light every day.
  4. I'm grateful that I am evolving.
  5. I'm grateful that I have some awesome audiobooks to listen to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DAY 06:
I have had a busy weekend, hence the lack of updates. Nonetheless, I think I need to try and be better at posting here every day in the future as it helped me a lot previously and I feel like the accountability I get here is important.

Haven't been on point with meditating or exercise recently, but I'm 6 days in with no games. The last time I went this long without any kind of gaming willingly was about 3 years ago, so that's great. Been very tempted at times to download something on my iPad but I'm holding on. I even had a dream where I was playing World of Warcraft and it became a nightmare as I knew it wasn't what I wanted to be doing. So the idea is subconscious as well.

I have an absurd amount of free time. Weekends feel like eons now, which is great. I'm not awesome at spending that time productively just yet. Mostly I've been watching history documentaries on Netflix, which I guess is better than gaming but I really should be working on my art instead. One step at a time though.

Exercise: 
Meditate: 

Gratitude: 

  1. I'm grateful that today is a sunny day.
  2. I'm grateful that I'm finally beginning to make major changes in my life.
  3. I'm grateful that I have all this new time to spend on more important things.
  4. I'm grateful that I have this laptop to journal on.
  5. I'm grateful that I had a good breakfast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DAY 07:

Today has been extremely difficult, I don't know if it's a withdrawal thing or just my general life scenario that's gotten to me but I really hit the bottom today.

I'm 28 years old and despite some 'high profile' jobs in the past, I am now about 4 months unemployed and see no end in sight. It really pains me that there are other men out there at my age with a wife, kids, and a house. This was not at all where I'd imagined I'd be at my age. And I don't feel like I can run fast enough to catch up to the rest of the rat race. 

I'm really angry at myself for having wasted so much time in the past years. Now I find myself far behind the pack. I'm faced with perhaps having to give up on my artistic career. I'm not sure I can do anything else.

Anyways, I guess I still made it 7 days without games. I have no intention of going back, despite my urges. I feel they are directly to blame for where I find myself now. My lack of self-control in the past cannot continue now.

Exercise: 
Meditate: ✔️

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DAY 08:

After yesterdays blowout I felt pretty emotionally numb today. In hindsight, I think I might have skirted a panic attack.

Hindsight also granted me the wisdom to know that I was overreacting. A month ago I'd never have imagined I would have gone 8 days without videogames willingly, started reading and meditating again, and got a load of art tutorials done in one week. I should acknowledge my accomplishments and keep the growth-oriented mindset going. That's how I'll win this race.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Inspiring diary so far keep it going.^^

and yeah from my own experiences as somebody who overreacted quite a few times so far in hindsight none of the problems/situations were as bad or as dramatic as I imagined so keep calm and fight trough the storm!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DAY 09-12:

Wow, a lot has happened. I need to try and check in here more often. Not only for my own sake but also to support others.

I've had a few chilled days at home during the Easter break, staying with my parents and discussing life. Recently I read an older article of Cam's '5 Books You Must Read To Help You Quit Playing Video Games', and purchased them. I've been reading them in the past few days and they've really begun to turn my mindset around. The Slight Edge, in particular, gives me hope that my life is far from over.

In the slight edge positivity and 'happy habits' are highly recommended due to the fact they increase overall happiness, productivity and lifespan. So I've doubled down on my meditating, which I'm trying to do every morning after I wake up, and every night before bed. This seems to have had a massive effect on my mood as well. I'm also trying the method of gratitude listed in the book: only three things a day, but you can never repeat an entry.

I've had very severe cravings on some days. It's been quite illuminating in the sense that the level of craving has shown me how much I was addicted to games. I can almost salivate at the thought of playing a meaty strategy title like Civilization or Anno.

That said, 12 days in and I'm still going strong! I've accomplished a lot in the past few days (at least in terms of educating myself through books), so hopefully, with time and the Slight Edge as my ally, things will improve.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/18/2019 at 12:52 PM, Undsoweiter said:

Inspiring diary so far keep it going.^^

and yeah from my own experiences as somebody who overreacted quite a few times so far in hindsight none of the problems/situations were as bad or as dramatic as I imagined so keep calm and fight trough the storm!!

Thanks man! I'll keep that in mind during any future 'panic attacks'. The intensity was really wild, but I guess it just goes to show how wired my brain is. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DAY 13:

Tomorrow will be the two week mark, pretty crazy.

I can tell this is just the beginning of a larger change. I've been reading the 2nd book on Cams recommended list: 'In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts'.  I spent 7hrs just focused on reading today! That would have been unthinkable on a weekend not long ago. The book contains some truly harrowing tales of addiction, but also very insightful and hopeful in the end. I have other addictions in my life I will have to attend to beyond my gaming problem. Porn, the internet, social media. One thing at a time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DAY 14:

Two weeks videogame free!

I guess I should try to celebrate that a little more as it is an achievement I never would have imagined for myself just a few months ago.

I'm guessing I'm still going through odd phases from withdrawal or something as today was absolutely awful. I felt low on energy, demoralized and struggled to focus while working. I'm also seeing what big gaps I have in my life, especially from a social aspect, without video gaming. I am a very extroverted person and I pretty much have nothing to fill in the social gap that's been left open here, which has contributed to my slumps I think. I feel isolated and lonely.

I have a tight deadline coming up so there's not much time right now to correct that but perhaps it should be a priority to solve that particular issue this weekend.

Edited by ElectroNugget

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DAY 15-16:

I finished reading Hungry Ghosts. Very good advice on dealing with addictions in there. Next up is Gorilla Mindset.

I've applied for some local art jobs that suddenly appeared on my radar yesterday. Hopefully, something will turn out. There's also a position available for a 'Citadel Miniatures Conceptualizer' at Games Workshop in Nottingham. I've applied for the position before, it's basically my dream job. That has a deadline on May 3rd, so I'll have to put together an application for that as well.

The cravings have subsided significantly but I still find myself procrastinating on uncomfortable tasks. That's something I really need to work on. Just seeing the benefits of a break from gaming is making me consider taking a hiatus from Youtube and perhaps Reddit and Facebook as well. Now that I am able to look at my online life from a new perspective, many elements of it are losing their lustre.

I still have trouble believing I will ever 'make it' from a career perspective. But I guess I just need to keep my head down and keep trying, stick to my good habits and something will change for the better eventually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi ElectroNugget!

Keep up the good work. As a future businessman (that's what I plan to do on Sunday) who wants to teach English on his own rather than as an employee, I can spot a big rift between my knowledge and "Average Joe's" one in the language and even then, I think my English is ways from flawless. So I guess it might sometimes come down to selling my "product" to someone who doesn't yet know they need it!

As for art, I have no idea what the business model looks like. Surely enough, there are successful artists in the field, as there are successful English teachers. Keep trying!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×