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cammyhammy

Episode 2 of Cameron Quits Video Games

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It's been a while. Since last I posted, my brother, who is now at college, came back home for a few weeks and during his time here, he persuaded me to play games with him. Although I knew I am susceptible to addiction I agreed to play because I thought I had grown from my experience and wouldn't fall into the trap anymore. I was wrong. Soon after he went back, I began playing on my own. Although I've been strong and mindful enough not to play for 12 hours at a time, I can feel myself slipping back into the rabbit hole. For this reason, I have uninstalled my games (for what feels like the 90th time) and I am restarting my journal on here. I am also going to be trying nofap, because I am tired of allowing my urges to control me, when I should be controlling them.

Right now I'm struggling with boredom. I am on summer break and although I have applied for a few jobs, I've not yet heard back from any of them. My days have nearly no schedule at all and I am very unproductive. I need hobbies badly. The problem is that when I look at Cam's list, although I am sure I may enjoy many of them, I cannot make myself interested enough to try them out. I want to learn to play the guitar, but I'm not sure that the hobby would last (I have a tendency to get REALLY into hobbies and then burn out and quit them within a few weeks) and guitars are expensive so this isn't the sort of thing I'm willing to take a chance on. 

I've realized that the days I feel most fulfilled are my most productive days. For this reason, I am (from this day forward) going to start the day by writing myself a todo list. I will apply for more jobs, work on my senior project, perhaps practice some art (which I like but haven't been doing), study for my ACT, and anything else I can think of. Right now I feel a sort of constant mental fog preventing me from being happy, and I am sick of it. I want to be happy. I want to feel that I deserve happiness. I know I will not feel fulfilled, however, if I continue with my bad habits (playing video games, being unproductive, procrastinating, fapping). 

Anyway, I wish the best of luck to all of you and hope that you're having an awesome Thursday!

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Good luck with your journey Cammy! 

I've found that uninstalling the games is not enough, you need to put more steps between the urge to play and playing again. If reinstalling is the only awkward step, that's pretty easy to overcome. I handed over control of all my gaming accounts to my mother. Now if I want to play a game I'd have to get the password from her somehow (very unlikely) or I'd have to start a whole new account, which is so stupid that even strong urges can be pretty easily countered by this. 

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On 6/7/2019 at 7:30 AM, ElectroNugget said:

Good luck with your journey Cammy! 

I've found that uninstalling the games is not enough, you need to put more steps between the urge to play and playing again. If reinstalling is the only awkward step, that's pretty easy to overcome. I handed over control of all my gaming accounts to my mother. Now if I want to play a game I'd have to get the password from her somehow (very unlikely) or I'd have to start a whole new account, which is so stupid that even strong urges can be pretty easily countered by this. 

I'd like to do something like this, but I'm not sure I can. My brother is away at college and video games are the only hobby him and I share. It's really one of our only ways to bond. In fact, as I write this, we are getting ready to play. I do not play frequently enough or for long enough periods of time with him to become addicted again, but it feels wrong to be still connected to my vice (even when the connection is weak). I've tried explaining that I do not like video games any more and that they make me angry, but it doesn't change the fact that they're the primary means we have of bonding. If not for my brother and my irl friends, with whom I play very very rarely, but who would be confused if I deleted my accounts, I would DELETE all my accounts and forever rid myself of this final connection. I'm not sure what to do.

 

The following things are mostly reminders to myself, but if any of you stumble on this and think my advice is helpful, feel free to take it.

 

I've gotten accepted for my first job. It's a summer job. If not for quitting video games, I would not have it. If not for quitting video games I would have been spending the last few weeks obsessively playing games that do not make me happy. I would be miserable and addicted and unable to progress in life. Keep this in mind. If not for quitting video games, I would not have hung out with friends multiple times over the course of the last few weeks. I would likely not be invited to social events because I lack social ability and confidence and if I was, by some miracle, invited, I would likely decline for some ingenuine reason, citing other plans or a lack of a ride. Hanging out with friends is enriching and fun. I want to do it more. I cannot do it more if I spend all my time playing video games and being unproductive.

 

I want to become a freelance writer. I have for years, despite only consciously recognizing this relatively recently. This will not come without work. I cannot sit at my computer and fantasize about what is to be in a few years once I've put in the work. I HAVE TO PUT IN THE WORK. I WILL NOT WAKE UP ONE DAY AS A SUCCESSFUL WRITER. NO ONE IS COMING TO SAVE YOU. NO ONE IS COMING TO SAVE YOU. NO ONE IS COMING TO SAVE YOU. NO ONE IS COMING TO SAVE YOU. NO ONE IS COMING TO SAVE YOU. NO ONE IS COMING TO SAVE YOU. NO ONE IS COMING TO SAVE YOU. I must become organized. Starting tomorrow I will write. I will enter a writing competition, perhaps. I will begin a short story. I will decide an area of interest for me to advertise my skills in. I will practice. I will read one of the two books I've downloaded to my kindle on writing. I will be productive. There is no other possible way that I become what I want to become. I refuse to turn into that kind of person which I've always despised. I refuse to be a wishful thinker, always hoping that one day all my dreams will come true without me ever having to put in work. I refuse to take a 9-5 job that I hate because it's the societal standard. I refuse to believe all that is said on the impossibility of becoming successful as a freelancer. If I put work toward producing an attractive writing portfolio, if I actively try to improve my writing, and if I am aggressive in seeking out customers, I can be successful.

I've purchased a guitar. I recognize that I have a problem with hobbies; I become very invested in them for the first few weeks then get absolutely burnt out and never want to do them again. I am now conscious and mindful enough of my own behavior to realize this and to want to avoid it. I will not force myself to play the guitar as I have forced myself into other activities. I will not spend all my free time watching youtube videos about guitar playing. I will not put all my eggs into one basket by only playing guitar and neglecting my other hobbies. I will still be productive. I will stop playing guitar if I become disinterested or frustrated, returning only when I want to. I will not chastise myself for not progressing in guitar as fast I wish or for having fun playing guitar when there is productive work to be done. This brings me to my final point.

 

I also have a problem having fun. Perhaps it's a self-esteem issue, and I don't believe myself deserving of fun when there is work to be done. I compare myself to successful people and I tell myself that they don't "squander" their free time as I do. What I have trouble realizing is that so many successful people, especially with modern-day media and social platforms, are able to curate the way others see them. Of course they boast online about their accomplishments and their success. Of course they want themselves to be seen in the eye of the public as unfaltering in dedication to their craft. This is not the reality of their situations. They have free time. Although they are likely more productive than the average person, they are not without hobbies or moments of absolute recreation. They "waste" nights watching TV or relaxing. They are not constantly working, and I don't have to be either. 

 

I could likely expand on the last paragraph, but I think what I've written is a sufficient reminder for myself as of now. If any of you are reading this, I hope you have a wonderful and game-free week. Wish I had friends who wanted to improve themselves as you guys do.

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18 hours ago, cammyhammy said:

if I deleted my accounts, I would DELETE all my accounts and forever rid myself of this final connection

U talking about your relation with your brother and friends right? These are just excuses, act in accordance with your heart, and everything will be fine. This bound with brother will never expire, try to find another together activity. Remember, friends come and go all the time, but you and your real goals never!

Good luck! 🙂

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6/28/2019

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Aren't hobbies supposed to help you relax and unwind? They don't help me do that. I've tried doing art, I've tried speedsolving (rubik's cubes), I've tried reading (helps somewhat, but I can't fill all my time with it), I've recently bought a guitar and started playing, I've tried writing, and probably a dozen other things that are slipping my mind at the moment. I think there's something wrong with me if I can try so many hobbies that a vast majority of people enjoy and still get stressed out by them. I just want to relax. I cannot relax. 

 

I've started my job and it gives me frequent opportunities to socialize, which is nice. I'm actively trying to become more social.

 

I feel so unfulfilled in my life right now. I make to do lists, but feel nothing when I accomplish the things on my to do lists. I make goals, but don't feel accomplished when I accomplish those goals. It's like I'm never good enough. I am constantly struggling to find any semblance of meaning in my life. Please help.

 

In case you couldn't tell, I'm going through a bit of a rough patch. Some other posters recommended permanently deleting my accounts. I was scared to delete my accounts because I thought it would hurt my relationship with my brother. I decided to do it anyway. Turns out, deleting accounts is a bit time-consuming and complicated. I needed to have the credit card # used for purchases to delete my steam account, so I asked my mom for it as I don't have a card and have been using hers. She, the person who has told me for years that I spend too much time on the computer and who has witnessed me slowly descend into addiction and social alienation, told me that I shouldn't delete my account and that I should just "have some willpower". My brother told me I'd end up playing them again anyway. Jesus Christ they frustrate me. I admit that I'm jealous of people on these forums who have support from their families and friends because everyone I've talked to IRL about video game addiction doesn't believe its real or doesn't understand that I'm trying to better myself. 

 

I'm almost positive I've done the right thing (I deleted my Blizzard Account and changed the email on my Steam to a random one I don't have access to so I can't use it anymore), but it's hard to stay convinced of that when everyone around you tells you you're wrong. I'm so glad this community exists because otherwise I really wouldn't have any positive feedback at all about quitting video games.

 

Anyway, hope you guys are having a good week. What plans do you guys have for the weekend? Have any of you struggled with finding meaning in life?

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7/1/2019

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I think I was right about me having an attitude problem with hobbies. I've started trying to approach my hobbies with a "do it if I want" instead of a "I need to do this" attitude and it seems to help me stay more relaxed. I'm starting to learn Javascript and I like the concept of being able to make my own app, so that's keeping me entertained.

My job, although part-time, is also taking up a lot of my time, which is nice. My days don't feel unfulfilling when I have work because I'm almost constantly doing something. I also enjoy improving at socializing with people, and am trying to improve my small-talk skills right now.

I know the point of this forum is resisting the urge to play video games, but I don't really get urges to play video games. I think I've successfully conditioned myself into believing that video games aren't good for me and make me unhappy, so my brain doesn't want them anymore. Who knows. 

I also said earlier I was starting nofap. I've been consistent with this, although it might just be because I've not gotten the urge to break my streak once. Kind of worries me lol. I'm a young man with presumably high amounts of hormones and I get NO urges to fap? Might've screwed up my libido somehow, yikes. 

I'm trying to set myself up with a couple new habits right now, taking it slowly because I know if I rush into it I won't stick with it. I'm trying to go to bed/eliminate technology usage by 8:30, read until 9:30, then fall asleep before 10:00 so I can wake up at 6:00am. I used to go to sleep even earlier than that for school, so I think the odds of me being successful in this are high. I'm also (for the 100th time) trying to establish a habit of meditation. I think I overdid it before with high requirements for the amount of time to meditate so this time I have no time requirement, I just ask myself that I meditate. Could be for 1 minute, but often times once I sit down I like it and want to do more. I think this will allow me to stick with it.

Anyway, I hope you guys are doing well and have a good week. Anyone got plans for the 4th of July?

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On 6/28/2019 at 5:44 PM, cammyhammy said:

I feel so unfulfilled in my life right now. I make to do lists, but feel nothing when I accomplish the things on my to do lists. I make goals, but don't feel accomplished when I accomplish those goals. It's like I'm never good enough. I am constantly struggling to find any semblance of meaning in my life. Please help.

You are not alone in this. Going away from the things we knew is always difficult. I have been struggling with my identity as a person for a long time ever since I started this journey. The label of an addict has stuck with me, and games taking up all my time (free or not) have done wonders to put my self esteem to zero. I will tell you my own experience, maybe it will align with yours, maybe not, but this is how I thought I might be useful to you. 
   Realizing I messed up made me feel really bad about myself. It wasn't just the games, but rather the consequences of being only a gamer and nothing else for years which led me to feel so horrible, worthless etc. Truth is, for me, there was no meaning in my life, because I had spent all my years, years other people spend to self-discover, hidden in my house, behind a screen. And it was scary to be in that place, not knowing what I like and what I don't like, if we exclude games. I started doing things no matter whether I felt like doing them or not, and it helped. TL;DR we have to give a lot of things a go, and we will read our own reactions, and get conclusions like that. 
   The other side of the low self esteem and all the consequences of gaming is.. well, as you might read in mine and other people's journals, we all have this negative mindset. All or nothing, black and white, catastrophizing etc. I have learned that it has a name, it's called cognitive distortions, and there are tools (worksheets) you can find online to put those twisted opinions we have about ourselves into perspective and reality-check them. It is also called the Socratic Method and other things like that, but basically we don't get satisfaction from completing goals because we have unrealistic ideas about what success looks like, what we should be like etc. I suggest you look into that, but also do worksheets you will find online. Else nothing will change. 

And surely I struggle with finding meaning in life, but the more things I try (the more time passes), the more I can exclude things from my potential desires/to-do lists/dreams and such. For me it's been a trial and error thing, and relapses really hurt the process cause they distract me with that sense of purpose that's really fake in the end.
 

8 hours ago, cammyhammy said:

I also said earlier I was starting nofap. I've been consistent with this, although it might just be because I've not gotten the urge to break my streak once. Kind of worries me lol. I'm a young man with presumably high amounts of hormones and I get NO urges to fap? Might've screwed up my libido somehow, yikes. 

   Sexuality is a very personal thing and no one person is the same with the next one, but I'll tell you what I think. If you want to have urges to fap, why are you doing nofap? Surely you must have seen something of a pattern in your alone-sexual-life that you wanted to change, right? I would be glad for not having urges, because it'd make my life easier. It's the same with gaming, I'm happy that urges aren't happening often.
     Why should you be worried? Busy people naturally don't get sex urges if they don't have free time. They think about other things. A lot of the times masturbation is just the result of boredom or habit, so I wouldn't be surprised if I were you, given you are leading a much busier life than you used to, right? I would only be worried if I was seeing a woman, I liked her, I was about to have sex with her but my body wasn't responding accordingly. I'm a simple person maybe, but that's the real use of libido the way I see it, so anything else I wouldn't care about.

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@fawn_xoxo checked out those Socratic worksheets, I'll try one out the next time I find myself polarizing an issue (like gaming, nofap) that isn't quite as one-sided as I'd like to believe. I appreciate the advice.

There's this belief central to Stoicism that it's our reaction and our interpretation of things that is the cause of our problems instead of the things themselves. I think this is especially true for those of us trying to break our addictions. Whatever we were addicted to was likely bad for us, given that we were trying to rid ourselves of it. However, by criticizing ourselves when we relapse and by being harsh toward our past selves for being addicted we make the problem much worse than it likely is and make it much harder to quit. Too bad it's not as easy to implement beliefs like that into our daily lives as it is to type them out, eh? 

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Come to a bit of a realization regarding addiction lately, thought I'd share.

I've been struggling to improve my relationship with my phone and to decrease my phone use. I haven't been very successful in the long-term. I made my phone gray-scale so I'd be less interested by colors, I removed games from my phone, I set limits for my usage. None of this helped for more than a few days, if even that. Then I figured it out: physical obstacles are not cures to our addictions. Making a physical barrier between me and my phone, even if it was as extreme as locking it in a safe for a month, would not solve my phone addiction. In the aforementioned hypothetical example, when the month was up and I took my phone out, I would've just become addicted again. 

Instead of trying to physically remove my access from my games, my phone, or any other vices I have, I should instead seek to understand why it is I am addicted. I understand that phone addiction and video game addiction and porn addiction are wrong for me. I can give you reasons. It's by a lack of awareness and thought that I pick up my phone, play video games, and watch porn. For this reason, I'm now trying to establish a habit of mindfulness in connection to these areas (phone and porn usage especially). I've gone so far as to take my phone lock-screen wallpaper and write "why?" on it to remind me to question why I'm picking up my phone every time I do.

Unfortunately, I feel I may struggle with breaking my porn addiction so far as this strategy is concerned. Hormones literally change the way my brain operates. Every time I break my streak, I think about if I should beforehand and convince myself with logic that appeals to my desire in the moment that porn isn't that bad for me, that plenty of successful people watch it and do fine. Of course now,  when I'm thinking clearly, I understand that porn is bad for me, that it warps my perspective on the value of women and that it rewires my dopamine receptors. It's difficult to remind myself of this when I want to watch it, though.

Rode my bike this morning before work, felt good man.

Starting coding a bit, learning Python. I'm struggling with it right now and it's hurting my ego. I can't help but feel stupid when there are tons of people on forums explaining issues I don't understand (like the use of the self argument in classes, for example) with what is, to them, the simplest of language and I don't understand it at all. Think I might be diving in too deep right now. I'm gonna tone it down and learn more slowly so I don't get discouraged.

I'm sorry this post is so long. I know a lot of my posts are kind of long. The wall-of-text discourages people from reading my writing. In fact, if you've read through this entire post, I commend you on being one of the few that did. I want to have thorough, constructive discussions on recovering from addiction and on general self-improvement, but I never really have. Half my motivation for writing these posts is to make my thoughts more clear to myself. It's easy, being addicted, to get stuck in a grey area where you're not sure if you think your addiction is wrong, but don't know why. I write these posts as reminders for myself, my reasoning for quitting video games and for doing the things I do. 

I wish I had a friend that is committed to self-improvement like I am. All my friends couldn't care less about self-improvement. If any of you are in EST and wanna keep each other accountable for our habits (i.e. not playing video games, meditation, exercise, whatever), let me know and we can set something up. 

Hope you all have had a good week! Anyone got plans for the weekend?

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Don't worry about long posts, this is YOUR journal first and foremost and you'll stop typing only when you feel like you're done. I write huge posts when I need to.

Addictions make us slaves but the good news is we hold the chains. When it comes to porn, there is a physical aspect to it that's part of human nature, and that's the sexual availability that most people sooner or later get in the habit of milking. "I can physically have an orgasm, so I will." You could try masturbation without porn for a few months to disconnect one from the other. Later, if giving up solo orgasms is in your goals, you can try no masturbation at all too. But maybe satisfying the desire to orgasm without porn is a good first step and easier to achieve?

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