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Ikar

Ikar's Diary

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Hello there!

My name is Martin (Ikarases on the net) and I am 21. My backstory is that approximately from the age of 12, I spend most of my free time either playing games or browsing the Internet. I've even tried full-time streaming professionally recently, however I realized my gaming taste just doesn't drag enough attention, even though I still sometimes stream nowadays a few hours a day. I'd attribute my desire to stream to a lack of social connection IRL, at least back then when I started out streaming roughly three years ago.

Not until several months ago, I started uninstalling some games just to fall into the clutches of another one. In the years before, I felt burnt-out on games, but the recurrent theme always was "What the hell am I gonna do anyway?" I also started alternating playing myself with watching Twitch and even streaming myself occasionally, which helped with diversification, but didn't really solve the core issue. What I did with Twitch recently as well was to setup LeechBlock on morning hours to spare myself some time on other things like school, reading and other priorities I have in life. However both uninstalling games and LeechBlock are only in effect as long as you want them to be in effect. Reason I am writing this is that I feel gaming/watching streams suppresses my passions and impedes work on other projects and that they are my number 1 go-to activity when idle.

Main recent impulse I am here is my very first (and former?) girlfriend told me she needs to take a break from our relationship about a month ago (not on the "I hate you for LIFE." side of things though). After even struggling to acknowledge her current standpoint for a few weeks, I shifted my focus inwards; I started watching TED talks, got a new bike, deactivated my FB and started reading more. I think I'm a nice guy, but that only goes so far if about 12/16 hours of my waking time is spent behind a computer screen. I even started writing a diary on my own, mapping my thoughts and feelings every now and then, as I feel there's some "unfinished business" between the two of us and I plan to show her my diary and the posts on this forum too. Spending time with her was better than spending time gaming or watching streams!

I'm past the point where I'd HAVE TO spend my whole day behind computer, however I do it regardless for lack of motivation to do other things. I know my other hobbies are geography, English teaching, modern history, I even considered making models of WWII tanks among other things. I know I have several papers due to hand at the university, where I study geography, but mostly I just procrastinate that until there's just a few days left.

Creating a commitment on the Internet to cut down my Internet time seems paradoxical, but I'll give it a go regardless. I'll say this is my 1/90, because even though I watched a bit of streams today, I didn't game myself. I think it's about time to change my habit and take my life back.

Thanks for reading this and all the support is very appreciated! I consider this to be my day 1 entry.

 

MY GOALS:

1. No gaming/Twitch for 90 days

2. Beginning 1st June, consciously spend less time on PC to avoid falling into other digital traps (YT, series-binging etc.) These are likely the easiest ones to fall into for me because of the proximity.

Edited by Ikar
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Hi, I totally understand when you mentioned: "gaming/watching streams suppresses my passions and impedes work on other projects and that they are my number 1 go-to activity when idle." The damage is more obvious when it keeps adding up for years.

The decision you made today will be appreciated by future yourself. Quitting game/streaming is not easy, as you already realize, but definitely worthy. Hope you have all the resources you need to achieve the goal. 

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Hello goodbill, thanks for your post!

Indeed, those several attempts at breaking away from gaming during the years are a good proof to get away. In the past, I experienced this weird attitude, where if I had to travel or wait somewhere for a longer period of time, I was happy I could just take a book with me, as I knew that would be highly unlikely if I was just at home. I think that also points in the way of the addiction. To not make everything black and white however, I owe my English capabilities to the time spent on the Internet.

I decided to block Twitch as well. My point is not instead of 6/6 hours gaming/watching to have a 0/12 scenario, start massively watching YT or see whole series in a few days. I think I'd like to make an IRL stream explaining what's going on, but I'll see about that.

My attempts at moderation have not been as successful as I would've imagined. I have the resources to do without spending half my day on gaming and gaming related content.

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37 minutes ago, Ikar said:

My point is not instead of 6/6 hours gaming/watching to have a 0/12 scenario, start massively watching YT or see whole series in a few days.

Are you a genius? I was doing that 0/12 for longer than 2 years.

Hey I'm off games for 100 days woohoo!! (watches youtube 8 hrs a day)  Makes me nauseous just looking back at my clueless & defensive state of depression.

I'm glad for you, you're on the right track. Welcome and good luck 😊

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Hi Taichi, welcome to my logs, thanks for the support!

I might be a genius, but it's not gonna be any good if I don't use it! The "0/12" concept I came up with came to me after watching Cam's video on "mindlessly browsing the Internet"; I don't want to replace one devil with another and I need to fill this time with something sensible. Point is to use the computer as my servant, not my master.

100 days is awesome, great work! I'm already slightly nervous, as I know this isn't a week on holidays, when I knew I'd be coming home and continue living like before.

By the way, are you OK with spending 8 hours a day on YT, or not? It's great you're feeling a lot better nowadays!

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Day 1 addendum:

I was mostly studying Cam's YT content, got on the forums and commented Cam's YT content. I was on Twitch a little bit too. After lunch, I went for a walk around the village with my dad. After that, grandma came in the afternoon for a barbecue. In the evening I watched some Simpsons. I thought of some activities to fill... uh, basically my whole day. Scheduling seems like a good idea, having already good experience from one of my exam terms on the university.

Day 2:

Studying some more of Cam's YT content, I decided to perma-block Twitch. I also decided to order a book from university's library he recommended in a reaction on my comment. I also removed all of my Discord servers, except mine, where I would get notified when a streamer went live on Twitch. Contacted several people on Discord regarding my Twitch absence to inform people, in case they ask if I died or what's wrong with me.

Brother came over for lunch and I also played Scrabble with my mom. What a nerd I am! During the day, I noticed some anxiety and more sweating than usual.

After a few weeks of no communication, I decided to inform my girl of my decision to drastically transform 95% of the free time I have. During the conversation (and after sending her my journal I wrote ever since we separated), I felt supremely anxious, I even wanted to cry and relapse... but in the end, she told me she still likes me and that she would support me and I could feel tears of joy immediately running down my face!

 

1 day at a time, 1-2 main objective(s) at a time, and a few optional ones. Rest of the day will be used to celebrate the achievements that truly matter and relaxation. Sometimes more of a thought-map rather than a schedule, I'll make sure to collect all the ideas I have scattered throughout my room, on desktop and in my head.

Schedule:

Tue: ICELAND JOBSEEKING + school project setup, basketball/workout, watch a WWII documentary world at war ep. 1

Wed: LOCAL JOBSEEKING (event) + school project finish, read some 4HB from Ferriss

Thu: WORKDAY SCHOOL PROJECT 1&2 + visit grandma

Fri: SCHOOLDAY (pick up books from library) + walk outside

 

TBD:

Sat: drum? get good morning/evening routines?

Sun: find out more to start own ENG business?

 

Edited by Ikar

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15 hours ago, Ikar said:

100 days is awesome, great work! I'm already slightly nervous, as I know this isn't a week on holidays, when I knew I'd be coming home and continue living like before.

By the way, are you OK with spending 8 hours a day on YT, or not? It's great you're feeling a lot better nowadays!

I did the 100-day "no gaming - but do anything on the PC if it's not really gaming" last autumn.

It started out very fun counting up the days until around the 30 mark, then I got bored of the process because it didn't mean anything more than number-counting.

Quote

This has been the longest I have come without playing video games, but I don't feel like that really makes a change.

I spend most of my days in front of my computer, mindlessly entertained.

Being in front of the screen puts me in a certain dazed state, and it does not feel nice.

This quote is from my journal on day 53 of that strange streak. So my answer: No. I am not OK with spending 8 hours on YouTube. Never want to go back.

 

Addiction is a brain disease, and the brain doesn't know if you are gaming or "not really gaming". It knows that rush of novelty/excitement and learns to crave it.

The only way to regain brain health is to eliminate that rush entirely for 2~3 months, allowing the brain to re-balance without it.

Edited by taichi

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Thanks for sharing the experience!

I can relate to that, so that's why I am keeping a schedule, or just a list of activities to do. I'm not really a fan of schedules, but to live my life as I want it, it seems necessary, as my ability to do anything else than gaming/watching streams was heavily paralyzed. After all, a regular person spends 8 hours a day at work - also according to schedule.

So yes, gaming is the first challenge but turning computer time to something else goes hand-to-hand in my case!

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Day 3:

In the morning I did groceries. Then I had to make a call regarding my school project and regarding my temporary post job. School call went fine.

I've been basically fired from my temporary post job as I've made it possibly more temporary than they had planned. I decided to take it like a man and not make a big deal out of it, as I know precisely why it happened. I really couldn't give two damns about it. If I said I was gonna show up on Tuesday, I showed up on Tuesday. Main thing was that before, I felt bad because of stealing time from gaming to steal time from schoolwork/personal development. Didn't feel bad from stealing my jobtime however, as that kind of work didn't really interest me. My job as English teacher is still ongoing however and I enjoy it very much!

After the call, I went on a little bit of a panic mode and sought jobs both at home and on Iceland, both to decent effect. Afterwards, I prepared for English teaching, one TED talk and a few notes. I also worked out after about 9 months, reading some 4HB beforehand and sent a few videos of me working out to my (ex)girl, as I knew she'd be happy for me (and also because INSTANT GRATIFICATION, there, I wrote it). After that, I went on teaching. In the evening, I talked with mom, showed her the "Game Over" documentary, so I could introduce her to my new situation. After that, I watched the documentary as planned.

Feeling thoroughly tired from the workout; in my book, this day was a solid 8/10.

I noticed myself trying to fret three times during the day. Before job call, after job call and before workout. Realizing there's no gaming to run back to helped me stay on track, losing a few minutes to pick myself up compared to giving up a few hours gaming/watching streams with uncertain effect.

Overall, today went just as planned! I even did more than I had planned! 😄

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I missed reporting in the evening, because for basically the whole day I had a headache. I'm not a fan of painkillers, because then I'm not "sharp".

Day 4:

In the morning, I worked on the basic outline on school project 1 (building). I made a short school project 2 (presentation). I also prepared for English teaching. My filler activity would be watching YT videos, either TED or GQ.

In the afternoon, I went to a job fair and I was able to get two or three interesting propositions and separately got more offers to teach English, I'll look into these today. Then I went to teach English.

In the evening, I still had a headache, so I just watched some Simpsons, talked to mom and called it night at about 2000.

Despite the fact I had a headache the whole day, I still got all I wanted done, 8/10.

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To start off, I have to admit my productivity on my priorities is through the roof. Boredom or feeling burnt-out are a thing of the past. I also find I am more actionable on spontaneous ideas or ideas I get from other people. Less of them get done "later" (read never). Now I am almost afraid of running out of things to do!

Day 5:

In the morning, I got up, checked around the forums, took a bath. I mostly just fooled around, but I did send out some emails regarding job applications.

In the afternoon, I cycled to my grandma and stayed there for a few hours, confiding myself about my addiction. After that, I proceeded with job applications both locally and to Iceland. I sent out. A lot. I think the total might be around 60.

In the evening, I just watched some Simpsons, mostly just relaxing. I watered the plants and sent some pictures of them to my (ex)girl. Right now, I'm just winding down preparing to watch ep. 2 of the documentary while eating.

Oddly enough, I did hardly anything towards my school projects. I'll get one of them done in the morning, it shouldn't take more than an hour, but I feel I need to chill somehow for the day. Feeling content with how this day went!

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8 hours ago, ElectroNugget said:

Best of luck on your journey man sounds like you have a good action plan. I might need to copy that idea of having a list of activities to do. 

Thanks!

Truth to be told, plans have been on my mind for months, maybe even years. If something was a REALLY good idea, I wrote it down somewhere for future reference. Future is now! Go ahead 🙂

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Day 6:

In the morning, I took too long to on the project and didn't actually finish it, however there's still enough time during the weekend to pick up the slack. The school today went alright and I returned home in the evening, a bit later than expected too. I tried to shoot a video for my (ex)girl, as I was ready to have a presentation about my addiction at school, however I was only partly successful making it. I watched ep. 3 of the documentary.

I'm feeling rather bewildered about the day as a whole, but I can laugh at it! I plan on staying home tomorrow and getting stuff done during the weekend, so that should work out fine for me!

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Day 7:

In the morning, I watched ep. 3 of the documentary while I was eating breakfast. After that, I reacted to some emails regarding jobs again and searched a bit myself. I started out on one of the projects slowly.

Afternoon I spent socializing, holding a conversation in English IRL. Later on, I had my mom help me out on the project (as she's an expert in the field), watched Simpsons and right now I'm discussing my Iceland venture with another friend.

A day well spent. I wanted to work out, but it was raining outside! I think I'll have to step up on the project, I will get both of them done tomorrow, as it should be calmer!

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So that'd be my first week. I feel that my initial hype from quitting is over. However, I am feeling steady with my decision and I know it was a good one.

I notice I sometimes escape into YouTube, chat or something else, but I rather spend 3-4 hours into them than 13-14 hours into gaming. Those activities still give me at least some feedback, as I mostly watch some GQ-related stuff. I can supervise them a lot better as well, because I'm very aware of this idea in myself and in others, so I generally just slack for half an hour and get back to work.

Overall, I am very content with my progress so far and I am not afraid to tackle anything that needs tackling.

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Day 8:

In the morning, I watched ep. 4 of the documentary while I was eating breakfast. I like doing that, as I eat slowly and I don't need to pay 100% attention to the documentary. Afterwards I finished school project number 2, which took longer than expected but it's done and gone!

Brother came for lunch and then we hanged out on the playground with basketball, had a good time even though it was dreary outside. After that, I got my hair cut, read up something more on addiction, conflict avoidance and went on working on school project number 3. I got some decent progress in and I'm happy with it.

Feeling worn out, but again, another good day down for the count. Turns out life is busy even without playing games and watching streams for 12 hours a day 😄

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Day 9:

In the morning, I watched ep. 6 of the WWII documentary while I was eating breakfast (I noticed I've watched ep. 3 twice according to the diary!). I had two job interviews, both involved English and I think I left a good impression on both of them. However I felt a bit anxious on the second one, because I literally set it up an hour before it happened, because I happened to be nearby. I became more anxious as I was going home, so my main objective was to not crash the car!

I came home fine, became self-aware, watched Cam's video on Escapism, acknowledged my anxiety and got over it. It's sometimes funny how a bit of uncertainty about youself (like if the interviewer was happy with my English, as if I didn't know already that I'm good at it!) can spiral out further (I wasn't sure if I could get down to work on project 3, because I had to teach later on and I had "only" three hours until then). I managed to sit down on it and get some progress in in the end.

After that, I taught beginners and worked on project 3, as per the rule, "Due tomorrow? Do tomorrow!" 😄

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Hey I checked out your journal! It's pretty awesome that you decided to start working on yourself considering your girlfriend's decision to take time off. My first relationship started off really needy.  I was really too dependent on her for my own happiness. Things didn't go to well, but I guess you live and learn.  I'm happy you weren't too stagnant from that feeling of withdrawal, and made a decision to help yourself.  👍 So best of luck man. Really digging the positive attitude you have.

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1 hour ago, Person said:

Hey I checked out your journal! It's pretty awesome that you decided to start working on yourself considering your girlfriend's decision to take time off. My first relationship started off really needy.  I was really too dependent on her for my own happiness. Things didn't go to well, but I guess you live and learn.  I'm happy you weren't too stagnant from that feeling of withdrawal, and made a decision to help yourself.  👍 So best of luck man. Really digging the positive attitude you have.

Thanks!

She actually tried to actively change/add some of my habits before that, but obviously I felt defensive about it and I took it in the way of needing to make a stand against her. She tried to make me work out, but without her working out and being a role model, there was no way that she would accomplish that. Now I'm in a different spot however and I work out because I want to!

Oddly enough, I was happy just to have her nearby, she literally didn't have to do anything, apart from being herself.

My main objective is to show her that now I am in a good spot and I'll do that just by showing up. Anything else will be a bonus afterwards.

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Day 10:

In the morning, I watched ep. 7 of the WWII documentary while I was eating breakfast. I even brushed my teeth during the time! I worked on finishing school project 3, as today was the deadline and being already halfway done from yesterday helped immensely.

In the afternoon, I cycled to go English teaching. Much to my dismay, I left my preparation for it at home on my USB! I was a bit confused and nervous, because part of my plan was gone, however I managed to pull through.

In the evening, I finalized my paper and sent it, watched some Simpsons, some GQ videos and right now I'm chilling for the rest of the night, while creating the schedule below.

Schedule:

Mon: SCHOOL PROJECT 3

Tue: SCHOOL PROJECT 3

Wed: SCHEDULE SCHEDULE (lol) + emails, work out, reflect

Thu: FIND OUT MORE TO START OWN BUSINESS = SCHOOL PROJECT + reflect

Fri: SCHOOLTRIP 1

Sat: SCHOOLTRIP 2

Sun: find out more to start own ENG business? drum? get good morning/evening routines?

I also see exams on uni creeping up.

Edited by Ikar

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Day 11:

This has to be the weirdest day since I started this journal.

I started the day off with a headache, so I naturally wasn't happy about getting up at all. When I finally managed to do that, I took a painkiller (though I really dislike doing that) I watched ep. 8 of the WWII documentary while I was eating breakfast. Hour later, I still had a headache, so I decided to take a hot bath and I was just in time for lunch.

After lunch however, I slept for three more hours, until I managed to get up at roughly 1500. I played some Scrabble, watched a few videos and went outside with basketball to get moving. As I feel my need for social ramping up with the absence of Twitch, I wrote my friend who lives nearby and asked him if he'd go out have a beer with me and he wrote me we can probably set up something during the weekend, so I'm looking forward to that!

After that, I was chatting with my (ex)girl when she suddenly mentioned she and a guy, who she's been writing with for four years, want to meet because they understand other. I was literally neutrally surprised when I got the message. I think nothing of it, as I don't think I am in a position to do anything and I won't be there until June to share "lessons learned", so after a small lag, I casually continued in the conversation.

Later on, I went onto watching some Preston Smiles and Jordan Peterson, as I felt I needed something new.

Glory be to the ambivalence of life, I'm happy the headache didn't last the whole day!

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Day 12:

In the morning, I went for the groceries. I watched ep. 9 of the WWII documentary while I was eating breakfast. Then I started figuring out the (ROCKET) SCIENCE OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS! I got a decent draft of my message for my ex.

After lunch, I watched some Location Rebel videos and got mildly confused and discouraged because of that, but I'll just need more time to dive into it again. After that, I worked out a little bit while finalizing the message in my head.

I sent my ex a message of my reflections on our past relationship as honestly and accurately as I could, and I'm hoping she will share hers with me as well.

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Day 13:

I got up, ate and went on the school trip. We saw some nice exhibits, sights and nature. After all that, we just hanged out in a pub, so I got a beer. It felt nice to collectively socialize after some time. We also walked a bunch, meaning I am fairly tired as I am writing this. I think I'll be able to collectively socialize tomorrow as well, so that should be good!

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Day 14:

I got up, ate and went on the school trip. It was another nice trip outside and later on I hanged out with a buddy of mine until the evening. Yet again, I was tired after spending the whole day outside, so all I did in the evening was to chat a little on the Internet, watch ep. 10 of the WWII documentary and just slack for the day.

I'll pick up the pace tomorrow, get through some emails and videos at the very least.

Another note, I didn't really mention it in my journal, as I wasn't very proud of it, but I am in the habit of daily masturbation and I'd like to cut it down to every other day/every third day. Unless I'd find a very special lady, but I'm not planning on a relationship after I just got out of one!

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