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Gaming the System 005 - The Link Between Gaming and Depression

ElectroNugget

John's Daily Journal

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Sorry to hear about all of the negative things going on in your life. But I'm happy to see some of the positives as well.  I tend to struggle with a few of the same mindsets you have as you've read from my posts. One of the things that works for me when I'm about to go into a downward spiral is just plain old catching myself. It sucks because I'll want to ruminate in negative thoughts. These thoughts distort my perception of reality. I'll become visceral and cut-throat with my words and thoughts towards myself and others. Only through experimentation can we find what the solution to changing our thoughts.

I've found that changing my environment is a big one. If my mother bothers me for example, I leave the house and see friends. During this time I listen to loud, emotionally pleasing music and sing to it. By the time I see my friends I'll have all of the explosive energy gone from singing or ranting. I can then tell my friends jokes and get myself laughing. Laughing has always been the way to my heart and finding happiness. Being in the company of others who treat me better than I treat myself, laughing, changing my environment, and participating in an engaging activity like board games or cooking really help clear the mind. If I can't change my environment then I will go watch something incredibly stupid on YouTube like the Paula Dean or Billy Mays YouTube poops where they poorly edit the videos. They're so random, unpredictable, and funny, that it breaks my chain of negative thought.

When I get angry I see the world as black or white. I see things as "I hate that" or "that is ok to me". I start to predict things that I'll hate and wait for things to turn into something I hate and then I've now proven that I was going to hate it. I say this because those random comedy videos that are so clever that I can't predict them helps clear that thinking pattern from my head. Randomly Billy Mays will tell some child to go fuck themselves for not eating hamburgers, but he's trying to sell people laundry detergent. It's so unexpected, but hilarious, that it changes my mindset and I start to realize I don't need to be that angry or negative. Then I can drift off for a bit and start thinking of things I enjoy and work my way out to being happy again.

I think you should be proud of what you're doing. If you look at what our peers are doing in their forum diaries, you can be vigilant enough to realize you're the only one consistently producing great art. We're all improving in certain areas and trying hard to get there. Others are making career improvements or relationship improvements, or just behavioral improvements. Be proud of yourself for doing this art, but don't compare yourself with others on here and don't beat yourself up.

Look at what we're all doing. We quit video games, right? That can't be too hard, right? Wrong. Video games are a keystone lifestyle. They're not a hobby or a habit. Video games are a lifestyle. If you want to socialize you play multiplayer games, if you want to focus you can do puzzle games, if you want to adventure you can do an elder scrolls game, if you want to build your skills and track improvement you can play world of warcraft or runescape. If you want to date you can just have a stupid online relationship with a fake person for emotional affection and watch porn for sexual satisfaction (temporary). 

When you give all of that up you realize how hard it is to replace it all. Finding enough hobbies to replace video game usage is difficult. You gotta find out why you gamed through the types of games you played and the environment you craved. For me, I loved social interaction, tracking my growth, and competition. I played RuneScape and ran a 200 person clan, tracked my growth, became the best NHL player in the world for 3 years, and competed all of the time. I had to replace RuneScape with seeing my friends and doing things like board games, vacations, restaurants, etc. I then found recreational sports for competition (albeit friendly and not as satisfying), and I'm developing my cartoon and YouTube comedy series for venting stress, creative flow, and humor. But I still wake up and hate my life a lot recently and I know it will pass. It passes when I keep a good sleep schedule, eating schedule, and work full time. Setting calendar goals has been good for me for the past 4 years. 

So I'd cut yourself some slack and do some studying on how to catch yourself spiraling with negative thought and move forward. You probably already know what makes you happy and what changes your mind and thought patterns. It's ok to cut yourself slack. This self improvement stuff drives people insane. We constantly think about how to improve ourselves and don't appreciate any progress we make. We constantly seek perfection, but perfection changes in our eyes every few months. I bet months ago you'd be happy to just draw. Now you might want to draw perfectly or something. This might not be the case, but I'm just giving an example of how our perception of perfection is a skewed line and our minds work against us. If someone called you pathetic and no good, you'd want to kick their ass, right? Don't do it to yourself. It's hard, but it starts with catching yourself and setting attainable goals. Self improvement is the ultimate marathon and most people go into it with a sprinter's mindset.

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@ElectroNugget Myself, I shared my opinions on my childhood phase with my family quite recently, just so they know and perhaps can follow my train of thought and I slowly begin to see that problems are there to be solved, not to be ran away from, otherwise they'll just bounce back on top of other new problems. Problems are good. Taking a break to see that things are going well is also good. You don't even need anyone else to help you solve yours, so that's even better!

Exes are rough to deal with. On one hand, they know you better than anyone else (and there's tons of value in that, especially if you can get an honest conversation going), on the other, there's something in that why you parted (and usually not on good terms). If it was serious, both of you did something wrong along the way (so you can't blame it on the other) or there was something wrong to begin with. There's also gonna be a point when you have to draw the line, where you just stop worrying about what they might tell you, because it's been such a long time ago that the information isn't valid (something I am figuring out myself right now). And no matter how close you are to someone, telling the truth is rough and they need to not only trust you, but trust themselves to trust you and you can't trust yourself, if you keep questioning everything, because you are depressed (generally for the reason you're not honest with yourself and don't trust yourself).

4 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

When you give all of that up you realize how hard it is to replace it all. Finding enough hobbies to replace video game usage is difficult. You gotta find out why you gamed through the types of games you played and the environment you craved.

Good line, I've read it before, but it is important to realize that.

4 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

We constantly think about how to improve ourselves and don't appreciate any progress we make. We constantly seek perfection, but perfection changes in our eyes every few months. I bet months ago you'd be happy to just draw. Now you might want to draw perfectly or something.

This is why I like monthly summary. It helps keep progress in the grander scheme of things and it's also a good indicator of where you are heading and what your goals are. I don't think anything is a goal, unless you work towards it at least once a month.

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On ‎6‎/‎18‎/‎2019 at 7:49 PM, ElectroNugget said:

Hi Electronugget, thats a lot of amazing art there.

I hope everything is going better and sad to hear about Tiger. That has got to be a lot of good years, as well as for tiger. 

🍀

 

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Greetings John! 

What programs do you use for your digital drawing? Do you use drawing tablet? With display or without? Good job on your drawing btw! What do you suggest to do when someone starting learn how to draw? 

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Hey all, thanks for the messages as usual. 🙂

@BooksandTrees You are so right about a lot of things. I think especially one thing that rings true and that's starting to frustrate me is that videogames are, as you said, a lifestyle. Without them I really have nothing left. Yes I can draw, and it's OK, but my social life is in complete shambles without it, and I don't feel like I really have a way to 'unwind' right now which might be contributing to all my frustration and negativity.

@Ikar I have one ex in particular who I was with for five years who I somehow still carry a torch for, four years later. She's married now, and here I am, unemployed, depressed and alone. I don't know if it's her I really miss, or more just the validity, purpose and support she brought to my life. I don't know if I'll ever feel like that again. Anyways, what's the format of your monthly summary?

@The radtech Thanks for the kind words. 🙂 They were good years, hopefully when my grief passes I can focus on that.

@katsudo19 Thanks man. I use photoshop and a wacom cintiq tablet, sometimes drawing directly on the display, other times using it as a regular tablet. As for starting, you can find pretty good cheap classes on Udemy.com, otherwise I'd look around on Youtube. Really the best way to begin is just to get a pencil and a sketchbook and go out and draw everything you see. Life drawing is the foundation of all good art.

DAY 74:
Today was another hard day. I am swimming around in negative emotions that come and go as they please. Sometimes I feel OK, then all of a sudden I get really sad, angry or frustrated. I am at constant war with myself. 

I went to see my therapist today and she said I had 'complicated grief', and outlined basically all the symptoms I'm experiencing. Overwhelming negative emotion, inability to tell where it's coming from, etc. She described it as being bowled over by a wave in the ocean, and only being able to come up momentarily for breath. That's a pretty good description of the past week imho. I'm sad, angry, frustrated, sometimes by themselves or all at once, my body is stiff with tension. I feel like I positively radiate negative emotions. When I came home tonight and talked to my parents about it my mom got really upset about it. I can tell being here so long and my long struggle with depression is starting to wear them down.

Without games, I don't really know how to vent these feelings or deal with them in a positive way. Or even just, you know, unplug from everything for a while. I guess having an escape like games isn't a solution, but this constant stress isn't helping much either. I really end up doubting if I have 'what it takes' to be a successful adult. Somebody has to fill those suicide numbers after all.


My therapist encouraged me to practice self-compassion, which is similar to what I was thinking yesterday: I need to get better at talking to myself and improving the way I look at myself and my prospects. I hope I can figure that out before it's too late.

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8 hours ago, ElectroNugget said:

I am at constant war with myself

Dude you need to start loving yourself unconditionally. Accept yourself with all good and bad.

8 hours ago, ElectroNugget said:

I'm sad, angry, frustrated, sometimes by themselves or all at once, my body is stiff with tension.

Give up control. Tell yourself You Can't Control Everything in Life. It's okay. Trust me. 

8 hours ago, ElectroNugget said:

Without games, I don't really know how to vent these feelings or deal with them in a positive way.

Music helps me a lot. 

Book recommendation: 

https://www.amazon.com/No-More-Mr-Nice-Guy/dp/0762415339

https://www.amazon.com/Iron-John-Book-About-Men/dp/0201517205/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=iron+john&qid=1561183427&s=books&sr=1-2

https://www.amazon.com/Jack-Donovan/e/B007LF4QJS/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Check also:

https://www.artofmanliness.com

 

Dude fuck motivation books. You need find your masculinity.

 

 

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8 hours ago, ElectroNugget said:

I have one ex in particular who I was with for five years who I somehow still carry a torch for, four years later. She's married now, and here I am, unemployed, depressed and alone. I don't know if it's her I really miss, or more just the validity, purpose and support she brought to my life. I don't know if I'll ever feel like that again.

You can feel like that again, I am sure of that! There's not gonna be any shortage of hard work while doing that though.

8 hours ago, ElectroNugget said:

Anyways, what's the format of your monthly summary?

I go over my diary, write down whatever important areas of my life I can think of and track progress on them. If it's a priority, I should progress towards it at least once a month!

8 hours ago, ElectroNugget said:

I feel like I positively radiate negative emotions. When I came home tonight and talked to my parents about it my mom got really upset about it. I can tell being here so long and my long struggle with depression is starting to wear them down.

This is an interesting observation and I think it's correct. I also feel like people around me (primarily parents) are getting better, since I quit gaming. Just the mere fact I spend more time with them or do the household chores when asked more often.

I also get this "comfortable tiredness" feeling at the end of the day more often, literally feeling I did some actual work to justify my existence today. One of my friends called that happiness and he might be right, because it's the moment when you are enjoying the good work you did during the day and you are taking a few minutes to appreciate that at the end of the day which should be gratitude.

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Hey John.

I've been off the radar for a week dealing with my own shame. Just catching up with your journal now. Really sorry about all the struggles and losses man. Sending love and good vibes your way, I really hope you can pick yourself up and start to shine. You're a really talented artist and an articulate guy. You will come thru this stronger than ever, I have a good feeling. I want the best for you buddy. Rooting for you.

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As always, thanks for all the thoughtful replies. 

@katsudo19 Thanks for the recommendations, I'll look into them. It's true that I need to learn to let go and love myself better.

@Ikar Hmm, I think maybe I need to experiment with this monthly journal starting next month.

@NannerZ Thanks dude. I'm doing a little better now. Hope you are too.

DAY 75-77:

So I spent the weekend on a few different endeavours. First I went to driving classes and was back in a car on the road for the first time in +/- 8 years. I was really nervous, but I love driving so it quickly came back to me. There are a lot more laws here in Denmark than in South Africa though, and cyclists seem to be a constant hazard. Still a lot of lessons to go, but I'm glad this is finally moving along.

Sunday I spent visiting an old friend of mine. We watched movies, talked shit and went for walks in the warm weather. It really recharged my batteries. I was able to just get some real positive energy from a close friend and vent a little of my negativity to a fresh and understanding ear. It was really good. I felt much, much better after seeing him, which made me realize just how lonely I've been in these last few months living with my parents. My parents are great and all, but they're no substitute for friends and peers, and I can see now that without a job and real social hobbies I became completely isolated, which massively impacted my mental health and made everything much, much harder than it needed to be. I really need to prioritize finding a social hobby in the near future.

Monday I got back to work on my portfolio, and put in a solid 7,5hrs of work while still dealing with other stuff. It was really rewarding! This is probably the most time I've put in in one day so far. I have a target amount of hours I've been trying to hit for the last three weeks, and although I haven't hit it yet, this is a very good start for this week. This is an area where I can see real progress. I am working much more than I used to, on my own volition, with a few tricks that I've finally figured out to motivate me and get things done. If only I'd figured this out last year! I'd have three portfolios by now. But it's all good. It's a true sign of progress and that I'm beginning to head in the right direction.

I've attached my latest portfolio overview below, which you can see now has a lot more thumbnail and work in progress art than last time. Slowly, I'll get there.

PF_ART_ThePlan_001_JHM (1).png

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DAY 78:

Work continues at an OK rate. I have all sorts of other problems in my life. My porn use has come back, I'm not sleeping properly, I'm not going to the gym, etc. etc. etc. But I'm getting the hours in on my portfolio. And I guess right now that's what matters.

So I finished another piece today and started on the next one. I've realized I can make a piece probably every day if I've prepared the thumbnails beforehand. All in all, this means that if I keep up the current pace I'll be at the halfway mark sometime this week or next week, two to three weeks ahead of schedule. Turns out I can be really prolific if I try.

To be honest, I still feel awful. I'm in constant doubt about my career, and if I'm just wasting my time on this. I'm hurting about my ex and Tiger. I'm pretty lonely, with little social interaction at 'work' and, although I love my parents even spending time with them at home doesn't really fill the tanks. I guess I'm just eager to get to university, have a social life again, some structure and challenges ahead of me and a clear route to follow. At least for a while. Honestly, I'm just so tired of feeling lost and in pain.


I've been thinking a lot about games and my life, and I feel like I'm really starting to put some mental distance between them and myself. I resent them. While I did have fun, I burned a huge amount of my life so far on games, and the reason I became an artist was to work on them. Now I find myself in a personal and career dead end thanks to them. I look around, and see a life in shambles, while other people my age are climbing their career ladders, starting families, etc, I'm stuck at the bottom in the middle of a crisis... All thanks to videogames. When I think of it that way, it's really easy not to want to go back.

Anyways, here's my next piece:

PF_ART_Predator_001_JHM.png

Edited by ElectroNugget
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DAY 79:

I finished another piece today! I think it takes me somewhere between 4-6 hours if I have thumbnails already prepared, which means in theory I can produce about 4-5 pieces a week. That's insane. That means I can finish my portfolio in three weeks! As long as I work hard of course. All my previous estimates were two to three months! 

Actually creating things and getting things done is slowly making me feel a lot better. My portfolio is starting to look like something now, and I'm proud of what I've made, and that it will most certainly be done by the time I go to Uni. A lot of these pieces are the best things I've ever made so far, so that's great too. I have loads of ideas for how I'd keep expanding this universe I'm slowly building. I even started doing some creative writing, putting together lore for this setting. I honestly have a lot to be proud of and it feels really good after all this struggle to actually be a creative force again. Even if I don't follow this as a career, I'm confident I can keep this as a hobby building my own worlds on the side, and I look forward to either result.

I've put in 24hrs of work this week so far, including 9hrs of drawing today. That level of productivity is absolutely nuts for me. I can't remember the last time I worked this 'hard' as an artist. But the thing is I don't feel like I'm working hard or even particularly long. Yeah, it's difficult sometimes but the result is always worth it right now. I guess I'm finding my passion again.

This sudden swing of feeling is quite a surprise to me. I guess I just feel like some things are starting to click into place as I near the end of my 90-day detox. I already have ideas for what I wanna detox from next, but we'll keep that for later.

Here's today's work:

PF_ART_Houses_002_JHM (1).png

Edited by ElectroNugget
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2 hours ago, ElectroNugget said:

DAY 79:

I finished another piece today! I think it takes me somewhere between 4-6 hours if I have thumbnails already prepared, which means in theory I can produce about 4-5 pieces a week. That's insane. That means I can finish my portfolio in three weeks! As long as I work hard of course. All my previous estimates were two to three months! 

Actually creating things and getting things done is slowly making me feel a lot better. My portfolio is starting to look like something now, and I'm proud of what I've made, and that it will most certainly be done by the time I go to Uni. A lot of these pieces are the best things I've ever made so far, so that's great too. I have loads of ideas for how I'd keep expanding this universe I'm slowly building. I even started doing some creative writing, putting together lore for this setting. I honestly have a lot to be proud of and it feels really good after all this struggle to actually be a creative force again. Even if I don't follow this as a career, I'm confident I can keep this as a hobby building my own worlds on the side, and I look forward to either result.

I've put in 24hrs of work this week so far, including 9hrs of drawing today. That level of productivity is absolutely nuts for me. I can't remember the last time I worked this 'hard' as an artist. But the thing is I don't feel like I'm working hard or even particularly long. Yeah, it's difficult sometimes but the result is always worth it right now. I guess I'm finding my passion again.

This sudden swing of feeling is quite a surprise to me. I guess I just feel like some things are starting to click into place as I near the end of my 90-day detox. I already have ideas for what I wanna detox from next, but we'll keep that for later.

Here's today's work:

PF_ART_Houses_002_JHM (1).png

This is great stuff. Nice job and keep it up. Are you considering gaming again after the 90 days or are you going to see this through a bit longer?

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Don't worry guys! I have no plans on going back. I reckon I've spent enough time in my life on videogames. And I want to be able to apply myself properly when I get back to uni, really need to come out of that in a much better place and with real skills so I can get a job!

The 90-day detox is just a milestone for me, at which point I'm going to shift my focus on detoxing from other things.

Edited by ElectroNugget
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DAY 80:

Wow! Only 10 days to go to 90 now. Feels strange.

Not much to report today. I'm feeling generally better than I have the past few weeks, my portfolio coming along is a big part of that. I put another 7hrs in today, which sets me at 31hrs this week. I'm aiming for 40hrs of drawing total this week, as though I had a full-time job. I have a very busy weekend coming up, with driving lessons tomorrow morning, Saturday morning and then Sunday is a full day on First Aid... So that's annoying, but hopefully, between tomorrow and Saturday, I can do another 9hrs.

I worked on a new piece today but I got really bogged down rendering it. I'm not really happy with the colours etc, so I didn't manage to finish it today. Nonetheless, the WIP is attached below.

Not much else to say. Things are good, and I guess if I spend enough time in the next few years improving myself rather than wasting it on games and the internet, I'll eventually be able to build towards the life I want to be living... For now, I just gotta keep my head down and work despite the loneliness.

PF_ART_MeleeWeapons_003_JHM.png

Edited by ElectroNugget
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DAY 81:

Short entry today as it’s late and I’m really tired. 

Today involved more driving lessons, which were fun, and then more portfolio work. I only managed 4hrs on the portfolio today as I think I am perhaps hitting the bottom of my creative well. I think it may be why work has been a little slower the past two days. I’m really pushing myself to try and make the best stuff I can, but it’s very demanding work, and I haven’t put in hours like this in a long time. I’m trying not to be too hard on myself about it, but it is a bit dispiriting. I have some complex thoughts about it which I’ll share in a post some other time. In only have 4hrs left to hit 40 this week though, I might do them tomorrow after driving theory. Really wanna hit that fucking goal.

What I really want to express today is my negative attitude. This is an ongoing issue that I’ve mentioned before, and I think is one of the core problems I’ve had throughout my life. Despite the clear gains I’ve made in the past few weeks, I can’t seem to view myself or my situation in a more positive way. In fact, I feel like I am slipping into more negativity. I’m constantly shitting on myself, saying I wasted my life and that I’m completely screwed, theres no way to fix it. The only time I feel better is when I’m in the flow state while working, or intense socializing. But as soon as that’s over and I’ve ridden the high, the negative thoughts come back. In a sense, you could say work and socializing is just another form of escapism. I truly don’t know how to be comfortable with, or kind to, myself. I don’t really know how to stop thinking like this, or what to do about it. Forced positivity feels fake, and it takes energy I don’t necessarily have. Am I doomed to be an insufferable pessimist my whole life, living and dying unhappy while I push everyone away? I hope not... but I need to find a good way to turn this thought train around.

Edited by ElectroNugget
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4 hours ago, ElectroNugget said:

 Despite the clear gains I’ve made in the past few weeks, I can’t seem to view myself or my situation in a more positive way. In fact, I feel like I am slipping into more negativity. I’m constantly shitting on myself, saying I wasted my life and that I’m completely screwed, theres no way to fix it

I can confirm you aren't alone on this one. I have also been struggling with this. I think I've had this negative outlook for a long long time but when I was gaming it just numbed all those feelings. Now that gaming is gone, I have to fight the negative thoughts more often. Even though I've made significant progress in multiple areas of my life. I've also noticed my emotions have been more extreme since I gave up the games.

Keep focused on your goals and inevitably good things will happen. It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel sometimes. Rooting for you.

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When I first realized I was addicted to games, I went through a long period of self loathing. I haven't felt lower than that ever before or after. Every day passed with me thinking how I ruined so many things in my life, including my appearance and relationships, and I was unable to escape it. It made it difficult for me to take action, to believe I could do differently, or that I deserved anything better.

Time helps, because at some point you get sick of feeling so low. Some times people can help us realize we're "comfortable" in that self pity, self hate mindset, but for me it only started getting better when I decided it.

I don't believe in affirmations, they make me feel like I'm trying to persuade myself of things I don't believe to be true in the first place. Those haven't helped me cope with negativity. 

The Socratic method is what helps me and relieves me, when I do it. Full disclosure here, many times I'll have nagging thoughts that I'll do nothing about and that's on me. A lot of times I still just go on with my life, wishing the negative thoughts will just disappear, but they don't, because their original job in our brain is to protect and prepare us. (Explaining this here actually helps me too tbh..) So, unless I check the facts so to speak, my negative thoughts remain in the back of my head, making it hard to enjoy even good moments (because I personally also feel guilty for having them, they make me feel lesser and "crazy").

The Socratic method gets used in psychology in what they call Cognitive distortions worksheets, where you start with how you feel, the thoughts that caused you to feel this way, then you proceed with evaluating the factual truth of those statements that pop up in your mind. You have to really sit there, focused and consider objectively what is true about your negative thoughts and what isn't. It's important to firstly read the list of cognitive distortions we all tend towards, so that you know what you're looking for. After you do that, you've basically taken an at least half false/exaggeration of an event or opinion and filtered it through reality. You can accept the reality or continue with the false thoughts, but for me it seems this logical processing of heavily emotionally affected thinking really helps. I don't need to tell me I'm this nice kind person in front of a mirror, it instead helps me to conclude and thus realize I'm at least better than what I told myself I am in my mind.

This adjusts unrealistic expectations, at least for the time around the worksheet, for me. My personal mistake is I only do those when I feel really overwhelmed by many negative thoughts, instead of being consistent and responsible about it. I also feel embarrassed to pause something I do to do those, if there are people around me. But I know that's all limiting me, beliefs I have that come from a wrong opinion still. 

Thank you for your post in my journal, I was relieved by reading it. Hope this is of use to you. Search cognitive distortions worksheets online to find more about this, I suggest you do one of those every two days at least. Don't be lazy about self care like me. XD

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It is rough to sacrifice the present for the future. Everyone in their lives makes progress, to stop means death. If you are convinced you want to be an artist, you have to put in the hours and I believe you do that.

Sometimes you got to remember the hell you would be in if you had not decided to quit. You got something better going for you now!

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Thanks for the feedback guys.

@NannerZ Thanks man. It's good to know I'm not alone. I think you're right in that without gaming I don't have a way to deal with negative emotions properly. And I am also very lonely and isolated without a job. Guess it's natural to feel down at the moment.

@fawn_xoxo Thanks fawn! Really good advice here. I'll look into getting my hands on some of those worksheets. 

@Ikar Thing is, I'm no longer sure I want to be an artist. Or at least, I would love to be an artist, but I don't feel like the stress, fear and pain is worth it. I also became an artist in order to work on videogames, so that's doubly weird now. My portfolio feels like my last gasp at being an artist tbh. That said, I love this: Sometimes you got to remember the hell you would be in if you had not decided to quit. Fuck man, I need to tattoo that somewhere, really important thing to remind myself of when I'm down. Thanks.

DAY 81:

I fucking did it, 40 hours of drawing this week! Truly a huge goal for me to smash, it feels really good to know that I have finally figured out how to be productive on my own while beholden to no one but myself. I've struggled with personal responsibility and productivity my whole life, and now I finally managed it. I can look back on this week and actually know that I accomplished a lot on my own for once. Hopefully, this is just the first of many such victories to come.

So today I had more driving theory, and then I went to work even though it was a Saturday, and finished another piece. Fucking awesome. I've completed four this week, nearly five. The total amount I'm aiming for is 14, so that's huge, really much faster than I anticipated. Apparently I really can apply myself, I just needed to cut away distractions and come up with a good way of motivating myself. Without games, it's absolutely clear what I need to do with free time: learn and grow somehow. 

It's ironic that it comes at a time when I'm about to sorta give up on art. 😛 I've been thinking a lot about it this week, and it's really hard for me to see how I can continue to be an artist in the entertainment industry in good faith. Not only has the industry treated me poorly and been partly responsible for my depression and anxiety, but I don't know if I can work at a videogame company, making games, when I object to the whole idea of them now. It's like a former alcoholic working at a brewery.... But, the reason I became an artist in the first place was to work on games, to build worlds to get lost in. So that's weird. I'm still happy I'm finally making my portfolio happen, because it's a test of my discipline, and it's something I've been meaning to do for more than a year. Finishing it will be a milestone in my life if nothing else. But I'm going to have to think long and hard about what I really want to achieve as an artist with my life, or if it's time to close the book on it along with the chapter that contains video games.

That said, if I can work 40hrs on art in a week, I guess I can apply that skill to whatever I decide to pick up next. Who knows, maybe I'll love programming?

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Edited by ElectroNugget
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The ways of how the world works are weird, but I got into my English business primarily based on what my gaming career provided. I am still working on the university, just in case I do poorly. 

I read a proposition somewhere that you should thoroughly think about stuff you do daily (I guess weekly works too) for more than two hours. Massive pattern interrupt like I am doing right now is pretty amazing for thinking what do I need in life and what I do not need. All that is related to the hell one man's life can be without a real schedule, even if it would be imposed externally.

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On 6/30/2019 at 11:26 AM, Ikar said:

I read a proposition somewhere that you should thoroughly think about stuff you do daily (I guess weekly works too) for more than two hours. Massive pattern interrupt like I am doing right now is pretty amazing for thinking what do I need in life and what I do not need. All that is related to the hell one man's life can be without a real schedule, even if it would be imposed externally.

Care to expand on this @Ikar? This interests me. Think in what way?

DAY 82 - 84:

Sorry for the absence again guys, I’ve had a weird couple of days tbh. 😄

After I beat my 40hr goal I had to take a first aid course for my driving lesson on Sunday, so I had to get up really early again to get to the lesson on time. Then when I got there it turned out there had been a scheduling error, and the lesson was cancelled. Very annoying. Luckily I went and spent the rest of the day playing dnd with some friends as they had a session going, but with all the activity the past week, I ended up completely exhausted by the time I got home on Sunday, and have kind of coasted into this week in the same state. 

This week I decided I really need to get moving finding an apartment in Copenhagen. My course at the university starts on the 22nd of August, and Copenhagen is a notoriously difficult city to find student housing in. So I’ve spent the last two days in a haze clicking through Facebook and various online roommate sites, etc, trying to find a pad. It’s been very stressful! Everything else has kind of fallen by the wayside and I’ve stopped doing my good habits, my brain turned to mush by the stress of it all. This is just another example that I’m not very good at managing my stress when it comes. Usually I’d game to unwind, now I just get uptight and stop brushing my teeth and tidying up, etc. Clearly I need to learn to handle it better. So I’ll try to remember this when this saga is over.

I’ve  lined up a few places to visit which I’ll see Thursday and Friday, and I’m hoping I can close the deal on one of them. Then I won’t have to worry about it until next month when I actually have to move in, and I can enjoy the rest of the summer and finish my portfolio with peace of mind. 

I’ve decided that the next thing that has to go definitely has to be YouTube, Netflix and Reddit. And hopefully with that, electronics from the bedroom. I get to thinking it’s amazing how much time I spend on these things, when just twenty years ago none of this existed. Humans have done without the distractions of electronics most of their history, hopefully I can learn to do the same. 

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Edited by ElectroNugget
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9 hours ago, ElectroNugget said:

Care to expand on this @Ikar? This interests me. Think in what way?

Be mindful about what you do and how you feel about it. Perhaps by living a life that is exciting for you, as well as others? I am not sure what else to write!

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DAY 85:

Only five days till I hit 90 days! How nuts is that? 😮

I'm super blasted right now, these past few days have been really stressful trying to arrange places in CPH, but in the end it seems my stress made me do my job TOO well, now I've got 6 places to see in the next two days, and I had to turn down quite a few others because I just had too many offers... So, I guess that's good? To be fair, I worked really hard on it and spent a lot of time on Monday and Tuesday on it. More than I usually would I think. So, I guess even though I did get all worked up, and it was really stressful and awful, I was still really productive, pushed through the pain and did what needed to be done. A good thing maybe? 

I just need to manage my fucking stress better. Today I meditated again for the first time in months and it felt really good, and then I went and made a full schedule for the rest of the week so I could lay out my tasks in a clear way, and that helped too... So yeah, I just need to make sure I do these things. And start doing them all the time, not just when I'm about to hit breaking point.

So, off to Copenhagen tomorrow to look at these places! Hopefully one of them will stick, and then I'll basically be able to chill for the next month or so. Fingers crossed.

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DAY 86-87:

Just got back and it's super late, so short entry for now.

I got a place! It's really awesome, with a nice roommate in a new part of town. I'll be moving in on the 1st of August. All that hard work and stressing paid off in the end. I also got to explore the university campus a little bit. Things are starting to feel a little more real: before now ITU was far away, now I've been there and the wheels are in motion, I'm getting hopeful again. I'm looking forward to meeting new people, learning new skills and perhaps growing into a better version of myself. On top of that, Copenhagen seems like a really great city, definitely going to be cool to live there for two years.

Maybe this can be the fresh start I've needed for so long.

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