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Day 21:

It's the beginning of the day, but I've got plans for later so I might as well write this now.

Three weeks have past and I wanted to summarize what has happened, what is happening, and what I'm going to do. I just tried to skim over all the posts in my journal since day 0 to remind myself what had been going through my mind, but it's hard to sum up since it was such an emotional storm and since I was so scatter brained. I think that I can sum it up in four phases since day 0 though...

Days 0 - 2, Committing:

On day 0, I didn't actually commit to any sort of detox. In the past 6 months, I had attempted probably 10-15 personal gaming detoxes where I'd swear to god, "this is the day I take charge and change my life" but would give up within 2-3 days. I have attempted detoxes here and there in the past 5 years, but the severity of my issues have really displayed in the past half year. This cycle fed into itself to the point where I no longer had and trust in myself or any self respect.

About 5 weeks ago (from today) I left home to stay with my folks to do a summer internship. I hadn't seen them in a very long time or the friends that still lived in my childhood area. Despite having coming home, I would go to work, get home around 7pm, lock myself in my room, and play video games or binge watch gaming content until I fell asleep at 1 or 2am. I would wake up 5 hours later extremely tired since I spent the last night gaming and repeat the cycle. The weekend were worse since I would wake up, play games, maybe do a thing or two in the day, then game again at night until I went to bed. I did not spend much time with my family in the first two weeks, nor was I very excited to see friends from my home town. It wasn't that I didn't want to spend time with my parents or my friends, but I was so hooked that I made excuses like, "I just don't have the energy. I'll see them soon some other time. I'm working hard right now and just need some alone time." All that bullshit I've forever fed myself.

Three weeks ago in the midst of a youtube gaming binge, one of Cams videos was recommended to me which I remembered to have seen four years back. I remembered a serious detox I did after seeing that 4 years ago that lasted I think for 18 days. I didn't post on GQ, but just in a personal journal. At the time, I thought, "in a year I'll be clean of gaming and be the person I was always meant to be." It's now four years later and I have a worse addiction to gaming now than I had back then.

Seeing the video made me evaluate everything about myself, which led to a serious mental meltdown. I collected myself overnight and decided to make a GQ account to rant about everything on my mind. I just needed to vent.

On day 1, I spent all day evaluating myself and my life while reading through random peoples journals on GQ. I'd begun to consider "committing" to another detox but was hesitant to since I didn't trust myself to get further than 3 days, and another broken self promise would have put me over the edge. I somehow pulled it together and wrote that I'd do a 30 day detox. I knew I was full of shit then and really believed I'd delete my posts, my account, and go back to gaming by day 3.

I still don't know where the strength came from, but at the end of day 2 my mentality totally changed and I'd put both feet into the detox. I think it was just that I'd been reading stories all day for the second day on GQ of peoples who's experience I could relate to, which I'd never had before. I'd watched videos online about addiction in the past, but reading story after story on GQ of others who had the same problem as me and to read what had come from it was truly inspiring. I said I'd commit to 90 days no solo gaming and absolutely no gaming social media. I'd sort of half assed it by saying when I'd got home from this internship on day 42, I'd allow myself to play video games with friends as long as we're side by side. Almost all of my gaming was done alone or online (which I personally consider to be alone) so I still somewhat think it's ok for me as long as I use gaming socially. I'm strongly beginning to reconsider this position now that it's been three weeks and seen what wonders this detox has done for me.

But by the end of day 2, I'd made a commitment. 

Days 3 - 10, Depression, Anxiety, Self-hatred, Stress, Boredom, etc.:

These days hit me hard. I immediately fell into a pretty deep depression that came crashing down on day 7 and 8. Every day I didn't know what to do with myself in my free time and I'd spent all my energy trying to simply not re-download video games I'd played or go on twitch or youtube to watch gaming videos all day. This phase was all fighting temptation.

My brain constantly tried to play tricks on itself like always telling me, "today was a rough day, it's okay to reward yourself after hard work." Or, "If you just played for an hour and quit it would be proof that you have control over the activity. Just take it easy for an hour." All that crap I'm way too familiar with. The voices in my head tortured me as I just sat there trying not to game, but I was able to break through. The boredom then creeped in and disturbed me as well.

All this extra time that I realized I had was so painful. Both because I just wanted to game and because of the realization that I've been lying to myself for years saying I don't have time for self improvement. This time gave me an opportunity to evaluate my mental state since video games weren't present to cloud my judgement. It gave me the freedom to really be honest with myself, which first led to extreme self hatred. I sat laying in my bed staring at my walls for three hours straight on night 4 just thinking about how much of a piece of shit I really am. I'm supposed to be an adult and I'm physically, mentally, and emotionally struggling not to log onto a computer and play video games. I was 23, but felt like a 12 year old.

I kept on coming home from work hating myself for small problems that would occur. I'd call myself an idiot, worthless, or someone with zero value to the world. Every little thing was putting me on edge because my brain for once wasn't clouded by the constant stimuli of video games. I felt like I was actually thinking for the first time in years, but this of course didn't mean I was filled with encouraging thoughts.

Those first 10 days were filled with very dark thoughts, but I think they were necessary for me to have that moment to move onto my next phase.

Days 11 - 16, Reflection, and Realization:

It took about 10 full days for what I call the brain-fog (the haziness that the drug of gaming causes, making you live on auto-pilot and without critical self thought) to clear and allow me to reflect. I'd realized I'd fallen into a self destructive state of mind and could slip back into gaming if I didn't actively try to change this. This reflection led me to realize a few things. Gaming was only the root of a greater problem. I needed to cut gaming out, but that alone wasn't going to make an impactful difference in my life. I'm afraid of the world and gaming and the internet allow me to hide from it. I wasn't only addicted to gaming, but the internet, surfing the internet while I was alone in my room, and any other activity that would allow me to hide in my shell.

Yes, it is crucial for me to cut out gaming to begin to change, but that has only caused me to fall back on my other forms of addictions more heavily. I realized that I needed to find activities to replace the time I used to spend gaming that were productive or I would one day end up hooked to my old habits without even realizing. I first thought this was straightforward, but quickly realized straightforward didn't necessarily mean easy to accomplish. I tried cutting laptop use from my room, but have already failed three times since I didn't commit to the activities that I said I'd do to replace my computer use.

I realized activities and goals weren't enough and that specific projects were necessary for me to take active action. I "committed" to two projects, which were developing a chess game from scratch, and being able to do 3 sets of 10 pull-ups by the end of August. I began working on both these goals, but failed to maintain the consistency that I wanted.

Getting tired of writing this long post so I'm gonna shorten the rest and get back to it another day...

Days 17 - Present, Stability without Positive Progress :

  • Have almost no cravings to game aside from random moments of intense cravings. I have good control over them though
  • Been busier than usual so I haven't thought much about my mental state like I had been during the first three phases
    • This is good in that I'm able to be emotionally stable without having to combat the serious cravings of gaming
    • This is bad in that I haven't been as serious about addressing the problems that rose during phase 3 like cutting out laptop usage in my room or actively
    • Basically this aspect has been a HUGE improvement when comparing me to day 0 me, but I still don't feel like I'm moving towards the big picture.
  • I've been very social lately! Went out to see friends multiple times in the last week and didn't feel the usual cravings of wanting to go home and play video games instead. This was one of the goals I've been working towards. I meant to balance this out with the projects I mentioned, but you know, one step at a time.

My plan

Will make another post about this, but I have a few solutions to my current problems.

  • Laptop usage in my room is banned for 10 days. If I break this promise, I go back to day 1 of my detox
  • I need to make a general weekly plan every Sunday night that indicates which days I work on which goals. The importance of this is to set up my days ahead of time to prepare the best environment possible to achieve my goals. For example, on days that I want to go to gym after work, I can leave my laptop at work. For days I want to work on my chess game project, I put a 2 hour timer on youtube using StayFocused app to force myself to use my time wisely.
    • I learned that I am actually very good at sticking to the work I need to do ONCE I GET STARTED! I have a lot of trouble getting started and that's the current mental barrier I need to break down. I think this is the single biggest wall to self improvement that I face currently and I should be focusing all my energy on this.

Wow this rant felt great! Needed to take a moment to think about what's happened since the beginning. It's felt like 2 months when it's only been 3 weeks, but the gaming aspect has gotten a lot easier to manage. I've still got a long ways to go, so I can't let up.

There're probably a ton of grammatical errors in this since I'm definitely not going back to edit this, but whatever. Gonna make a much shorter post tomorrow regarding my new plan. Today was just venting.

Edited by RB1
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On 7/31/2019 at 10:31 PM, fawn_xoxo said:

Hey, good job on not gaming! What do your days look like now? Boredom with laziness might potentially push you closer to a relapse purely out of a lowered guard and habit. It's still early and there's usually some way to go still. 

Just made a disgustingly long post about this, but I'll make a shorter, more reasonable one tomorrow 🙂 Things are going well and I have a plan for what is next. I'm feeling confident and ready for my next step in self-improvement!

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On 8/1/2019 at 10:17 AM, DaBest said:

To answer your question, no. Thinking about it now, most of them I have picked up after reducing internet usage/not gaming. I have more time for that and my brain refuses to be bored. But some of them, like curling, I had from before. I have definitely also increased my time in those hobbies the less time I spend on the Internet. It's like an 80/20 split.

Also, I'm glad you're enjoying StayFocusd already! I hope it works out for you and makes things a bit easier.

That's awesome! I need to make a post about what kind of activities that I'd like to pursue during my detox. Haven't really made an official post about that yet. I've got a few things on my mind, but wish I had a comprehensive list like you man.

I actually haven't used StayFocused yet. I did just download it though. It looks like it's got the features I've been needing my life. I think this will really help me work toward my next step in self-improvement. Thanks!

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Day 22:

No gaming day 22. No laptop in room day 2/10.

Gonna do an early post again since I'm feeling sooooooooo lazzzzyyyyyyyyyy today. Can't force myself to do shit. Got some pretty bad cravings an hour ago since I've just been sitting around today and something slightly upsetting happened... Don't wanna talk about that though. Got it under control now. That's all that matters.

Here's a short bullet point list of the three week summary I ended up writing an essay about yesterday morning.

Phase 1: Day 0-2

  • Very depressed, couldn't commit to an actual detox and just needed to vent on GQ
  • Ended up reading peoples journals on GQ for two days and so inspired it pushed me to commit to a full 90 day detox

Phase 2: Day 3-10

  • Heavy cravings all week. Caused a ton of depression, anxiety, and self-hating thoughts.
  • Spent the free time I had not gaming to reflect on my life and current state of mind. Basically spent all my mental energy trying to think about "not-gaming" and learned about the triggers that lead me to gaming
  • Over time, the brain-fog from constant gaming mental stimuli began to fade and I felt like my life slowly was coming back into my control. Stopped auto-piloting

Phase 3: Day 11-16

  • Realized gaming is a huge problem for me, but not my only one. I'm an addict for many things. Cutting gaming is the start, but real improvement wouldn't begin until the rest of my addictions are dealt with
  • Realized I needed activities to replace my past time spent gaming or I'd likely end up relapsing at some point.
  • Told myself I'd make daily schedules and start new activities like developing a chess game from scratch and working out more. I did these things a few times, but never consistently
  • Had very few cravings this week

Phase 4: Day 17-Present

  • Busy week. Realized at some point that I was barely thinking about gaming, but also wasn't evaluating myself like I was for the past 16 days. This was good and bad since I didn't have the need to game, which is the main goal, but I also wasn't trying to fix the issues I addressed between days 11-16.
  • Realized activities weren't enough, but I need specific projects. Start and end dates to specific tasks I works on specific days of the week.
  • Was very social! Went out to see friends most nights of the week and didn't even think about going home early to give myself time to game like I would have done previously. Huge improvement!

So that's the bullet point summary of my experience so far. I've constructed a new plan to take the next step in self improvement that I think will be integral to my detox. So far I've been able to cut gaming for 22 days, which I am proud of, but I haven't made an attempt to fix the other issues I've discovered along the way that are just as deadly. I thought by cutting gaming my life would start to improve immediately, but with the discovery of these other issues I soon discovered this wouldn't be the case. My life style has only gotten, "less shitty", not "good." Here's another bullet point list regarding what I've learned about myself in the recent past and what I'm going to do to execute a take the next step in self improvement.

Recent Self Discovery Points

  • If I were able to do a small set of things for myself consistently, this would be enough for me to feel like my life is improving. Those things are straightforward, but they aren't easy for me to keep consistent. That consistency would make me satisfied with myself. These things don't have to be every night either. Just the nights I schedule in and tell myself I will do. These things consist of...
    • 30 minute work outs
    • 30 minute readings
    • 15-20 minutes working on personal projects
    • going out and being more social
  • I learned I am the least productive when I'm at home. Removing myself from home makes working on my goals 100x easier
  • ***My struggle isn't doing these activities, but the action of beginning them. This has always been my biggest hurdle in life. I set such short times for the activities above since I know once I can begin them, I go on a roll and will most likely do them for longer than 20 or 30 minutes. I just say those short times since I know just by doing them for that amount of time I can be satisfied with my day and myself.
    • Something about the act of beginning a task I say I'd do is the challenge. Once I begin it is never difficult. I have this strange mental block where I'd choose to do anything in the moment instead the one thing I tell myself I'd do that would make me happy.

Taking Action

  • To get myself to START my tasks, I need to make a rough schedule for the week every Sunday night to manage my free time. This way I can prepare my days and set up my environment to be ideal to increase the chance of me actually beginning these activities. What I mean is on nights where I say I'll go to the gym, leave my laptop at work. On nights where I want to work on my chess app, go from work to the local library where I'd be more likely to work on it. Things like that.
  • I committed yesterday to do a 10 day no-laptop-in-room detox. If I break this promise, I will reset my whole gaming detox back to day 1.
    • I plan to do this again in the near future, but I will be on vacation in 10 days where I have no choice but to have my laptop in my room. I'll try to resume this part of the detox again when I'm back from vacation

I believe these two very straightforward strategies are non-negotiable. I truly believe they're the only way I will begin to IMPROVE my life, not just make it, "less shitty" like I mentioned earlier in the post.

I'll make sure to post each day this week to talk about this new strategy I'll be implementing in my life.

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Day 24:

No laptop in room, Day 4/10

Yesterday, I didn't even want the option for me to be able to be on my laptop after work, so I just left it there. God, it was such a refreshing feeling! This thing truly is poison to me. Unfortunately I spent a little more time on my phone and of course ended up binge watching some youtube crap for a bit, but I spent less time on the internet with my phone than my laptop. I have such a terrible laptop addiction. I know people today say we're all phone obsessed, but I'm really not. My phone isn't a problem. I even deleted my social media from it and I don't give much of a fuck. I'm fucking laptop obsessed and it drives myself up the fucking wall. I don't know what to do about it.

I really do think at times that the best thing I could do for myself is to hike up an enormous mountain with my laptop, and just chuck this piece of shit off the summit and just watch it shatter into a million pieces. I wish I could just take a hammer and destroy this piece of junk until its metal disintegrates to dust. I wish I could throw this shit device against a concrete wall repeatedly till the screen, keyboard, mousepad, and all of its internal hardware separate and die. I could go on about this but you get the idea. Just playing these thoughts in my head is therapeutic. I seriously think I'd pay a couple hundred dollars for a therapy session that would let me take a baseball bat and just destroy as much computer hardware as possible. I really fucking hate this cancerous piece of shit.

I hate myself for being addicted to this nothing of a thing. I hate that I'm more comfortable staring at this screen than being in most social situations. I hate that I've chosen to spend entire weekends on this thing instead of being with friends or family that've warmly welcomed me to hanging out.

A friend of mine told me recently that his older brother and his mother haven't talked in years since she confronted him about his behavior with his laptop. She basically told him, "how can we consider you to be apart of our family when you'd rather spend time on your computer than with us. You love your computer more than you love us." This really struck a note for me. Although I've never been told this by my family, I know I've spent most my life acting just that way. I've lied so many times to my family so I could spend afternoons on my laptop rather than with them. I've lied countless times to friends saying I'm too busy so I can spend weekends alone my computer. I've lied to so many colleagues and classmates that were kind enough to invite me to dinners, drinks, and parties just so I could go home, lock myself in my room and stare at this fucking screen.

And it's ironic what I'd spend my time on my laptop doing after rejecting social invitations. If I wasn't gaming, I would go on twitch to see if my favorite streamers are online. I'd watch and rewatch content of my favorite youtube gaming channels. Cycle through gamers twitter accounts to see what's going on in their lives. Then when the gaming content binge ends, I check out what's going on with other celebrities like talk show hosts, comedians, and some actors. It's like I'd rather check in on what exciting things are going on in their lives rather than my own. I would so much rather see what's happening in others lives than work on myself. I don't know if its because I don't respect myself, or have just given up on trying to change... I don't know why.

All I know is I seriously need an extended break from my laptop. As much as I'd like to chuck it in the garbage, I've gotta figure out a way to live with this thing. Funny thing is I'm studying to be a software engineer at the moment.

I've seriously have got to figure something out. I need to take a real break from all electronics sometime soon though... I don't know...

Despite my rage filled rant, I actually had a great day. Just had to type up a storm today after what went through my mind yesterday without my laptop. Don't know really know how to end this post so I'll just leave it at that.

Edited by RB1
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I can relate to most of what you've written here. Don't beat yourself up too much about your past life. What's important is what you do now that you are "woke." It's very easy to dwell on all the negative stuff but you've got to find a way past that and start living a life that you are proud of, one that provides true fulfillment. I really consider myself unplugged from the matrix since I started this detox. Everything is different. I care about my personal relationships more than I ever have now (not an exaggeration), I care about myself; my mental and physical health, and my future.

Once that gaming fog is gone and you can think clearly, you realize how harmful being a gaming addict has been. I'll never game like I used to ever again. Stay strong, keep it up!

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Day 26:

Edit: Forgot to mention, no computer in room day 6/10

26 days no gaming. Almost 1 month! Very proud of that!

Unfortunately, I haven't been doing all this other stuff like going to the gym, working on chess game programming project, and reading like I've been saying I'd do. I haven't really made a schedule for myself to stick to, to manage my free time. I've stayed away from gaming, I haven't actively made many other changes in my life besides that. The other big issue being spending wayyy too much time on the internet hasn't gotten too much better. Slightly, but not by the degree I've hoped.

I have been very social in the past two weeks which is a great accomplishment for me though!

Honestly, I think I might be being a bit to tough on myself. Cutting out gaming has been a lot and I have done a few of the things I've been saying I'd do in my free time. I've been away from home and out of my element because of that. I'm also about go on vacation for a week.

To be honest, other than with cutting gaming, I've lost that huge initial boost of motivation to make improvements in my life for the past two weeks. I'm staring to lie to myself again, which makes me feel like a letdown to myself. I think what I need to do is to continue to cut out gaming for the next two weeks while I finish out my internship here and go on vacation, but let everything else in my life just be. I'm still 100% committed to this detox for gaming, but I'm getting a bit tired of yelling at myself to change. I think taking a step back might actually help. I hope I'm not just lying to myself again. I think I might be...

So that's what I'll do for the next two weeks, so till day 40. Continue this gaming detox, but let the rest of my life just be. I think this might be a better method to get me back to the gym and start working on my own projects. Whatever I'm doing right now just isn't working. I've accomplish a lot in 26 days, and have learned a lot about myself in 26 days. The change will come. I know it will. If it doesn't, I'll try to make it again. For now, I just want to enjoy the rest of my time with my family while I'm still here, and enjoy my vacation.

Despite my last few upsetting posts, I've actually been most positive and a lot happier overall in the past few weeks. I know there's a lot more for me to work on, but he detox from gaming has been one of the most refreshing experiences in my life so far. 

4 more days and I break my all time detox record! I will make it there, past it, and all the way to 90 days this time!

Edited by RB1
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Day 27:

No computer in room day 7/10

Great day today! Had a lot of awesome things happen today. Suddenly felt down in the afternoon. Spent the rest of the afternoon feeling pretty crappy, but that happens you know.

This doesn't mean I had a bad afternoon though! I felt down and depressed, but I was able to take control of the emotion and the moment just by recognizing it. Ups and downs happen all the time and I'm going to face a million more of both. I've got to learn to be grateful for the sad and painful moments in life since they're the best opportunities to grow.

Every time a moment like this came along in the past, I always had that moment of internal conflict where I'd chose either to give in a do a destructive activity like game, or really do something about it. I always lost these battles in the past, but I've been winning more lately. I've started to notice how impactful this exact moment always is in my life. It's really what molds us all as people.

I know what I'm saying sounds stupid since all I'm really saying is, 'I need to make the right decision in tough moments.' Of course! Simply put, that really is all I'm saying, but I think it's important to say this out loud just to remind myself that it's the case every now and then. Sometimes these moments fly by so fast I don't recognize it's happening. All of a sudden I'm back home on my laptop wasting my afternoon again and I don't know how I got there again. Sometimes the rest of your life is happening so fast that you autopilot through these moments. It's hard to catch at times the smaller moments that lead to your smaller but deadly habits.

I don't even know what I'm saying anymore haha. Just ramblin.

I just wanted to remind myself to be grateful for the good and bad. I've got a great life and great people around me. This gaming detox has been painful for me, but it's a chance to really turn my life around. I think the end result will be more empowering than anything I've ever done for myself.

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Day 28:

Really hoping for some encouragement right now.

Got through 8/10 days no computer in my room. It's past midnight and I feel like I'm gonna relapse with this, 'no computer in room' goal though.

This week has been real weird. When I abstain or cut habits out of my life, I get depressed, have terrible negative self talk, and experience high levels of stress, but I'm experiencing something completely different now. For probably the last 3 or 4 days, I've just been incredibly angry at night. Just filled with total rage. I'm not an angry person either. Never have been. Even with gaming, I very rarely got upset. I've had a few minor phases of being an angry gamer, but for the majority I've had my anger under control. For all aspects of life too, not just gaming.

I seriously don't know what it is. Probably a part of the detox. I've been drinking every night with people for the last 4 nights, which when saying out loud sounds like, "duhh, this is why you're feeling angry" but this has never been the case with drinking either. I'm either a friendly drunk, or a depressed drunk. Not even ONCE have I gotten angry while drinking. I don't know man... This is all just very new for me and I don't know how to deal with it.

Today's been the worst day cravings wise in my detox by far. By far. It hit me out of nowhere. I've barely had any need to game for over two weeks, but this unexplainable anger just came out of nowhere and I just feel like giving in. I don't know what else would calm me down. Maybe I wont game, but this goal where I don't bring my computer to my room to control my internet addiction feels like its about to go out the window. I made a deal with myself 8 days ago saying I'd reset my entire gaming addiction if i brought my computer to my room at all. I really wish I could take that back now. Feel like going on a binge for the next 4 hours. This all sounds so pathetic, but that's just how it is right now. I don't know...

I made a post less than 24 hours ago how we're molded by the decisions we make in difficult moments and how sometimes things go by so fast we don't realize when those difficult moments are so we give in without even realizing. Well, this is definitely one of those difficult moments for me and I feel like giving in. Its so worthless and hypocritical, but I just don't really give a fuck about what I was saying yesterday now that I'm in that moment.

Guess I'll end my post, sit down for a few minutes and decide what to do then.

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The anger can surely come with the detox. You want to game badly, but you forbid yourself to. This can make yourself angry with yourself, surely. But its not a permanent situation.

I know those situations pretty good. EVERYTHING seems to be SHIT, and you just want to forget everything and do something so you can. Most people drink alcohol, take drugs etc. for you its probably the internet binge. Its really individual how people deal with these situations and its individual what really helps. Try to find that out for you. Of course it shouldnt be alcohol or gaming etc. I think you did a good thing to post here directly. That helps. 

I hope you didnt relapse, but even if, doesnt matter start again. Now you are smarter 

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Day 31:

8.13.19

New personal record! 

After making that post, I surfed through GQ for a while, just reading random posts. I came across some inspiring posts, but nothing to alleviate the cravings. Then I saw a post of someone on day 60-70 saying he'd broken his personal record. I forgot then that in three days, I would reach my personal record. Afterwards, I ended up just sitting on my couch for a whole hour doing nothing. I just sat there drinking another beer while dealing with thoughts. I kept thinking about relapsing, but the time allowed me to evaluate the consequences of my actions. In the end, I knew I would be crushed to let myself down, especially since I was so close to my personal record. I'd come too far and worked to hard for this. It would have been detrimental to my new mentality.

Regardless, I still felt like going upstairs to my room with my laptop and at least binge watching some gaming content. I was positive that I'd relapse if I went to my room with my laptop, so I decided to stay downstairs. So I drank a few more cans of beer and ended up passing out on the couch. It's not the best solution, but hey, I didn't relapse 🙂

1/3 of the way there! The experience has been life changing so far. Can't wait for what's to come.

Edited by RB1
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Day 34:

Past one month!

Been on vacation for a few days. Been having a great time, but it's a little hard to avoid the cravings during times where I'm just relaxing. Don't feel like posting much here while I'm on break. Been doing good though!

I download the Kindle app on my phone and have been reading two books. The main one is, "How the Internet is Changing out Brains" by Nicholas Carr and the side one is, "Animal Farm" by George Orwell of course. I really need to make a post about Nicholas Carrs book when I'm done with it. It's been confirming many suspicions I've had in the past couple of years with how my mind is starting to feel regularly due to increased use of the internet and video games. It's absolutely worth a read, especially for people in our position. It's just another reminder for me to stay away from video games and to decrease my time on the internet as well as the way I utilize it. I'll talk about this soon when I'm through with the book.

Went to the gym for the first time in I think a month yesterday. Damn I'm sore! It's the good kind of sore though! The kind that reminds you, you need to get back to work and want to get back to work. I'm going to go again tomorrow! Hopefully I keep this up.

I can't believe it's been more than a month into my detox! I've only felt better since beginning this program and I know things will only continue to get better. A few of the things I've been trying to forcefully implement into my life have been coming a bit more naturally, which is my dream come true. This method of avoiding gaming and just letting the rest of my life be, is certainly working better for me as of now. Trying to force activities and exercise just wasn't working for me. I'm just gonna go with the flow till I hit a wall, then I'll start making changes. Loving life at the moment 🙂

If you're reading this, please let me know what you think about the below!!!

On day 1 or 2, when I decided to commit to the detox, I said that I'd stay away from gaming alone (including online gaming) and gaming content like youtube gaming channels, twitch, and twitter for 90 days. However, I also said once I get back to my normal life, (I've been away from home, staying with my family for about two months to do an internship. I'm currently on vacation before going back to my regular life next week.) on day 42, I'd allow myself to play video games with friends as long as I'm in the same room with them, side by side. I've been contemplating whether to actually allow myself to do this or not, and I've decided I would. I just miss hanging out with my friends back home and playing some games together when we do get to hang out. I've made it clear that my main issue is staying away from gaming content more than playing video games throughout my detox, so I think this is ok for me. HOWEVER, I've decided if this causes my cravings for binge watching gaming content to surge, I will explain to my friends what I've been going through with this gaming detox and avoid hanging out with them at least till the 90 days is up.

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Day 35:

Week 5/13. Nearly half way

Holllly shit I almost relapsed today without even really noticing. I've just been bored and in bed today and haven't had much energy to go do anything. Without really thinking about it, I got on youtube and typed in the name of a gaming channel I used to go to all the time. I just sat there scrolling through the channel looking at what new videos were out without clicking on any of them. All of a sudden, I remembered I'm on a detox and can't watch any of them. I exited out of the screen and just sat there thinking about what happened. Just visiting that page for 20-30 seconds had me heavily consider if I should just say, "screw it" and relapse and deal with the consequences later. I literally spent two hours craving heavily until I fell asleep. Took a nap and just woke up. Feeling like shit and still kind of want to go back to the page, but I'm in a little bit more of control now. I'm so glad I didn't relapse.

Honestly didn't do anything today. I'll take not relapsing as enough of an accomplishment for the day though.

Edit: Made it to the gym for a workout! Was a quick one, but at least I went 🙂

Edited by RB1

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The cravings finally gone from earlier...

Realized how guilty and disappointed I would have been in myself if I relapsed. Made me realize how far I've come. Before I would've given in and felt guilty for a bit and told myself its ok and, "tomorrow will be the day I fix myself" and ended back in that self destructive loop I'm too familiar with.

This also made me realize that it's time for me to take this detox to its next level. I've got to get rid of youtube. I've somehow convinced myself all this time I can still use youtube as long as I stay away from gaming, but I've spend a lotttttt of time on it in the last month without gaming channels. Once I'm back from my break on day 42, I've gotta cut that shit out...

Gotta go right now, I'll continue this post later.

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Day 36:

Limited Youtube - day 0

Very important moment for me.

I've got to cut this Youtube shit out. I've always known I've had to deep deep (deep deep deep) down, but I've never admitted it. I've always used it as a source to study since I learn way better and faster watching a video than from reading, but I've got to be honest with myself with the way I use it. Calculating all the time I spend on youtube, it's probably like 10% studying and 90% just dicking around. And that's when I'm active in school! I'm not taking classes at the moment, so it's been 1% studying, 99% dicking around.

I convinced myself when beginning this detox that I just had to stop watching gaming content on youtube, but I've just gotta stop using this website period. I've cut out gaming and gaming content in the last 36 days, but I've still spent a tremendous amount of time on youtube. It's just shifted from gaming content to video podcasts, clips from TV shows, political content, celebrity content, and all this other crap that isn't important to me. The politics and the podcasts could be educational, but I'm not watching those videos with the intent to learn anything right now. I'm just trying to kill time. Its sad how quickly I went from watching youtube gaming content of my favorite gamers to my favorite celebrities since it illustrates how much I'd rather watch others enjoy and improve their lives than my own.

I've been afraid to admit it since it's really the last big layer of my heavy video game, internet, screen, etc. addiction. Once I toss this out of the list of things I can do, I've really got nothing left to hide behind. Youtube has been always this zone of comfort for me, especially since beginning this detox. I took one giant step out of my comfort zone by banning gaming and gaming content, but I never took the full leap. Cutting out youtube would be that leap. I didn't think this 5 weeks ago, but this might actually be scarier for me than giving up gaming and watching gaming content itself. I feel like a turtle without its shell just thinking about it.

When beginning the detox, I had all this extra time that I didn't know what to do with. I put a lot of it into being more socially active (good), some into exercising (good), some into reading and studying (good), but I put the majority of it into watching other content on youtube (horrible). Once I cut out youtube, I'm really gonna have to get out of my comfort zone and figure out what to do with whatever free time I have. It's crazy to think how afraid I am of having free time. I should be so grateful for whatever free time I have left and should want to use it in a way that's good for me, but I'm actually afraid of it. I know the boredom it's going to make me face, which I know will lead to some depression, which I know will lead to further cravings. I don't know how I could be so afraid of giving this up when the gain from it is more free time. It's like I don't know what to do with myself since maybe I don't actually know myself.

God, why am I afraid of this? I think it's because now I'm REALLY going to have to face myself, and I'm afraid of what I'll see. Someone more boring than I thought, weaker than I thought, not as smart, not as interesting, someone lacking character, someone much, much lazier than I thought... God just so many negative things come to mind when trying to be honest with myself.

With that being said, I've got to take this step and officially take the real leap in my detox. I think it's gonna be like the first two painful weeks all over again. With this though, I'll officially have nothing left to hide behind. I hope I get through this. I hope it doesn't throw me into some immediate relapse, because I think that's possible.

Here's how I'm gonna deal with this new addition of my detox

  • I will start by making a 120 minute timer per day on youtube using the chrome extension, "StayFocused." 
    • Once I feel like the addiction gets easier, I'll cut it down to 60 minutes, then maybe 45 or even 30 minutes
      • Based on how I feel, I might just make it so I can't use youtube at home, since that's where I always procrastinate on the site. When I'm at school or at a library is when I really use it practically.
  • I'll make a, "limited youtube" counter below the day entree of each post. I'll see how long this lasts
    • Once I relapse, I'll set a certain number of days that I can't use youtube, where if I relapse in that time period, I relapse for the entire detox and have to start back at day 0

I don't know how this is going to go, but cheers to big change.

Edited by RB1
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Oh yes man. Do it!! I am literally feeling the same way and I just want to join this detox. But there are 2) things

1) YouTube is one of the ‚last‘ places I can simply relax and forget the stress. So I wonder how I could deal with it without yt. Like I said in my Journal: I need a healthy alternative. Otherwise there will be just boredom, which leads to just feeling bad(because u are after that dopamin seeing others people success(why tf is there even dopamin outcome in such things??)) and maybe to relapse.

2) What comes after YT? If I dont have an alternative I will read surely all evening some newspaper, news shows, wikipedia stuff etc Its not like that those things are bad. But I have no direct benefit from

it. of course u get some general knowledge. But this thinking is part of the internet addiction. All the ‚information overload‘ is not healthy imo, but u say to yourself u get knowledge which u can use one day. But I overcome this and now I know its bad. So after youtube could be just another bad way to procrastinate in front of the pc. Therefore there must be an alternative(sports, just talking with family etc)

 

I feel the same way bad when I am thinking I need to get rid of those things. 

i am rn on the way to library otherwise i would write more.

 

 

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Insane cravings today... Thought this would get easier and easier, but it looks like week 5 is the worst of it all... :(

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Excuses my brain has tried to make today to forgive a relapse...

  • "It's been 36 days. You've gained enough control to watch a few videos and stop by now. For sure. I've heard it only takes 30 days to overcome a bad habit. You deserve this."
  • "You're on vacation right now! You're gonna be home in a couple of days, then you're gonna be working full time again. If you don't relax now, you'll probably relapse when you're back home and stressed out. Just get it out of the way now, and you get get back with the detox when it really matters."
  • "It's almost day 40. Hold off till the 40th, but then you deserve a quick break. Just watch a few gaming videos and get back to your detox. Well... If you're gonna watch some videos on the 40th, might as well just watch a few now. No difference really. Get caught up with all the content you've missed out on in the last 36 days and leave it all behind again and continue with your detox."
  • "What's this detox really about anyways? Once you get to day 90 you're just gonna go back to your old self anyways? Just enjoy yourself!"
  • "This is a gaming detox, so watching gaming content doesn't really count. If you just watch a couple of gaming videos, it's not like it counts as a relapse or anything. (My detox is literally centered around avoiding watching gaming content more than gaming itself)
  • "Fuck it"

Gonna get out of the house and avoid this catastrophe altogether.

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Good call on getting out of the house. That's a great way to stop that kind of thinking in its tracks. I should do more of that too, in retrospect.

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Day 38:

RELAPSED.

Unfortunately I relapsed today... I actually got through the entire day yesterday after making my post about the cravings I was having. I got out of the house, refreshed myself, and got into a great mind set. Got through day 37 feeling very good and accomplished.

I wasn't feeling very good about the detox for the past three days, but I woke up this morning feeling great about it after dealing with my cravings. I was willing and ready to continue with my detox. I opened my e-mails and got an e-mail from my boss and co-workers saying that my hours at work would be cut in half once I got back from my vacation. I was expecting to work 40 hours a week, and now I'll be working 20 or maybe even a little less a week. This immediately put me in a very stressful situation since I went on this break expecting to have 40 hours of week, which would keep me in a comfortable position. The fact that I'll only be working 20 doesn't immediately put me in a bad spot, but definitely not a good one or the one I expected and planned for.

This stress caused to to relapse instantly. I didn't even think about it. I just went from this state of bliss from being on vacation, a proud feeling of accomplishment for pushing past heavy cravings for a few days in a row, to this instant state of stress, frustration, and panic. That gave me the need for instant gratification. Anything to take the edge off immediately. I closed my e-mail and ended up binging youtube gaming content from about 10:30am to 5pm, then again from 6pm to 8pm. That's 8.5 hours of youtube gaming videos in a day...

Well, I'm extremely disappointed in myself now... I feel like 37 days of hard work instantly went down the drain. I don't feel as hooked right now as I did in the past. I feel like it's gonna take a good amount of effort to put down the games and gaming content again, but not as bad as what it took 38 days ago. I'm feeling that brain fog that gaming gives you along with a lack of control over myself. Very, very disappointed in myself...

I have a lot more to say, but I'm gonna leave that for another post. I don't feel like I can immediately start my detox over right now. I need a few days to collect my thoughts. I'll be back to it again in a few days, week, or maybe two, but I'll definitely be back.

I'm trying to stay positive since I know relapses happen. Once I get over how upset I am, I'll really take the time to reflect on the last 37 days and what I'll do next to make sure this doesn't happen again. I wanna say I'm proud for how far I got. I broke my record. I thought my record was 31 days, but I went through my old journals I wrote privately and realized my longest record was actually 21 days... Beat it by 16 days, which I guess is nice... I honestly don't feel very proud at all though. Just extremely disappointed in myself.

I'll be back, hopefully sooner than later. But I need some time like I said to recollect.

To anybody reading this, please let me know how I could've gotten past a moment like this. I've gotten past multiple instances where something stressed me out, I got heavy cravings, and I got past it, but this time I feel like I just got stressed, skipped the need for cravings, and my brain just said, "I'm gaming fuck it" without giving me a chance to let my self calm down or think. At the moment, I can't really think of what I could've done to prevent this.

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Hey! For what it's worth I think you did amazing. Beating your record by 16 days (like, two whole weeks!) is outstanding and probably something you thought you could never do when you started your challenge. I know you're intensely disappointed now, but imo that's a really good thing, as it's far better than feeling indifferent or even being satisfied with yourself. That disappointment shows that you still care about this journey that you've put yourself on. It shows that you still care about becoming the best possible version of yourself.

Which is the point, isn't it? This was never about reaching a number for you. Your ultimate goal was always self-improvement, and attaining a life that you could look upon and feel satisfied with. Yes you relapsed and yes that sucks, but I think it would help you to realize that you're still on the path to reaching that ultimate goal. You've progressed incredibly far in the last month, and you'll only keep growing if you choose to continue. This setback is only a loss if you let it steer you off the path, and back into your old ways.

What could you have done differently? I'm going to give you a rather controversial answer: nothing. You didn't ask to have your work hours slashed. You felt a huge amount of stress, and so your body resorted to the best coping method it had. Even people that have quit their addictions for decades can relapse if put into a similar situation. I think a better question to ask is, what can you do differently for next time? Stress is an unavoidable part of life, especially when you're working hard to improve yourself, and you can't let yourself relapse whenever that happens. The methods you use in the future to keep yourself from relapsing under stress will be critical to the success of your journey.

I really hope you come back and choose to continue! And if you need someone to talk to, please don't hesitate to hit me up. ^_^

As a diehard anime fan, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

tumblr_nfxebt5Bj71u4xo8zo1_640.jpg.f7e8a574628de475aa7fd8ea94a071ac.jpg

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The real battle starts, when you are getting challenged. Start detox = start making cash, start getting good grades, start getting dates, start getting friends, start getting healthy, start getting everything  you always wanted? Why should you even think to game again? 

 

But this is not how it works. Starting detox mean to feel sometimes shitty, sometimes proud of yourself and so on. But its not like you are a prototyp after it.

What I want to say? Everybody can stay strong as long it runs good. Doing sport for 3 months, seeing huge benefits and progress leads to more sport. But what if there is no much positiv feedback? What if  there is no progress? Then most of the people will stop. 

 

So when everything runs good in your life, its easy to keep up the detox. But the challenge is to stay strong when the life doesnt run like you want it. I know those situation pretty well. Its like a free ticket to start gaming again, when I have a failure(what kind doesnt matter). Its like a reason to game. But it should be the opposite. You must even try to be stronger, keep the routine and detox up.

 

Learn of thise relapse. Hard times will come 100% again(sadly). But you have to stay strong. I know you want to know how to do that. But I think everyone has an own answer to that... The best would be to stay stress free for 1 year, so you can build up new routines and new ways to relieve stress(sport etc), but not everyone can have that.. The rest has to go the hard way and stay strong even in hard times

 

Take your time, come back again, we are waiting here 

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Day 0

I'm back. Not ready for the next take of my 90 day detox, but I'm never going to 'feel' ready. Might as well make a post and try and start again.

I think I relapsed exactly a week ago. I'm very disappointed in myself for relapsing, especially when I think how if I stuck with it, I would be on 44. That's just about half way through the 90 day detox...

Well, I'm disappointed, but I learned a lot from my first round, which is progress. In fact, I probably learned more about my self in that 5 week period than I ever have in my life. I'll go into the details in another post since I'm feeling tired right now, but the big thing I learned is not my underlying problem. My underlying problem is that there's a dark void in my life that I am afraid to face, and I'll do anything to ignore it. All my addictions whether it's gaming, the internet, gaming content on twitch, twitter, and especially youtube, reclusive behavior... all of that crap fogs my brain, allowing me to forget about that dark void. It allows me to go into auto pilot so I never have to face myself. Watching gaming content is just my main method of avoidance.

I've learned a whole lot more about myself, but I'll talk about that tomorrow, or some other time. I think I've learned from my first detox what I'm going to need to do to get through this next detox as well as what I need to do to have a more effective detox. I'll post again tomorrow night.

Quick thanks to @Deku and @Adminiculum for the responses after my relapse. I saw them the a three or four days ago, but didn't feel like responding right then. It reminded me I needed to get back to this. Thank you!

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Day 1

Still got a lot to say, but I'm tired right now so I'll make a big meaningful post tomorrow or the day after when I've got more time.

No games or gaming content today (just gonna say gaming to refer to both things again). My hearts still not in the detox, so discipline is gonna have to carry me. Hopefully I'll feel like I want to do the detox soon, like I felt during my first one.

I'm finally home and back to my regular life. Had work all day today. Got home and chilled out for an hour, then went on a bike ride. I've gone to the gym maybe 9 or 10 time in the last two busy months, but never really did cardio. Rode up and down a couple of big hills, so I got that feeling where your chest gets tight and heart feels cold. It hurts, but the, 'runners high' afterwards is so rewarding. I needa get out on my bike more while it's still warm out.

I downloaded the kindle app on my phone about two weeks ago, and have really enjoyed reading on it! This is the first time in a very long time I've been able to enjoy reading. I think it's the fact that I can just tap on a word and the definition comes up. It's such a nice perk to tablet reading. I hate having to pick up a dictionary or go on my computer to look up a word. Something about it irks me. Now I can bypass that hectic process.

So far I've read, "What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains" which I still would like to make a post about in the future, "Animal Farm", and I'm currently working on, "Brief Answers to the Big Questions" by Stephen Hawking. I've enjoyed every book I've read so far. Stephen Hawkings book is so interesting and I always love reading a book on physics and space. Sometimes I feel like it's pointless for me to read into complex scientific topics since I can't actually understand what's being explained at like a mathematical level or anything, but it's always interesting to hear brilliant people illustrate the most insane theories and try to explain how they were conceived. 

Today, I thought it'd be a great outdoor activity if I combined biking with reading by biking far out to some park or nature-filled area, parking out there, reading for a while and biking back. That's an activity I can get on board with. Maybe I'll do something like that this weekend.

Edited by RB1

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