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RB1

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Recently, I completed 37 days for my detox. I relapsed on day 38.

Here're the big things I learned:

  • Gaming is not the source of my problems. The source of my problems is that there's an empty void in my life, specifically, a lack of purpose and passion. With all my addictions, I fill that empty void with mind numbing nonsense, gaming being at the top of that list. During my detox, I cleared that void of all the garbage I filled it with, which gave me the mental capacity to contemplate my issues, but I never filled it with fulfilling activities. Both are necessary.
  • A little bit of truth can take you a long way. Once you begin to be honest with yourself, the gates open and you're led to a world of self discovery. Until you stop lying to yourself, you can't begin to fix your problems since you probably don't even know they exist. In my experience, a single truth uncovered another, which uncovered another,  and another... This allowed me to dig deep.
  • My addiction wont go away after 90 days, but it will get easier. The first two weeks were the most rough, then the cravings slowly declined from there. Sudden and unexpected spikes in my cravings always came until the surge was too much on day 38 for me to handle. I really thought about what I could've done and my conclusion was as @Deku said, nothing. At that time... I think the only thing I can do is continue with these detoxes so the intensity of those spikes diminish as I progress. As I become more familiar with spikes in cravings, I think I can reach a point where I can deal with them no matter how stressful of a situation I come across.
  • Communication is vital. I've done numerous detoxes in the past, but always journaling privately and without telling anybody what I was going through. I almost always relapsed within the first 3-4 days, getting to days 10-20 on only two occasions. I didn't have anybody to talk about my gaming problems with in person, so writing in this forum was a game changer for me. I have no problem letting myself down (which is a problem I'd like to address during this detox), but I have a huge problem with letting others down. Many people liked and commented on my posts, which meant a huge deal to me. It was the main driving force for me to continue with the detox. I didn't want to let those people down by giving up, especially after reading the struggles they were going through.
    • Here's a quick thank you to everyone who has read, liked, and commented on my journal! Special thanks to @fawn_xoxo and @NannerZ since they were the first two to actively make comments in my journal. I think it's absolutely insane (awesome) that people who I've never met were willing to take time out of their day to write such encouraging words for me. It really made all the difference during the tough early stage of my last detox to continue through. It really means a lot and I truly think that communication is the driving force of this community. I always read, but didn't comment on others journals early on since I didn't feel like I had any useful feedback as someone who hasn't completed a full detox. But I learned that something simple like, "keep it up!" or, "you're doing great!" can make all the difference. I still don't comment on others journals as much as I'd wish to, and if anyone felt the way I did, I encourage everyone to do so as well :)
  • I don't always need to be happy. Ups and downs are inevitable and the best thing to do is just to understand that fact. In the past, I'd always numb myself with gaming during my lows, so I never recognized when I was down in the dumps, nor could I face my demons. Learning to recognize when you're at your lows can be unbelievably powerful since those are the moments you can make the most impactful decisions. The greatest moments in my last detox weren't when I went through long periods without cravings, but they were when my cravings were their worst and I consciously decided not to game.

Here're some other things I learned that specifically cater to me:

  • I get nothing productive done at home. I get tons of productive things done outside of home. For now, I should stop trying to learn to be productive at home, but just spend more time away from home. I'll work on being productive at home later.
  • Youtube is by far my greatest problem. I banned myself from twitch, following gamers on twitter, and youtube gaming channels, but not from youtube itself. I thought this would do the trick, but I defaulted to other garbage on youtube as a supplement to all of that. I went from obsessively following gamers on youtube to talk show hosts, celebrities, comedians, political commentators, and some other things as well. Not that all that is bad stuff, but its not the point of my detox. I also convinced myself that I need youtube as a source to study since videos help me a great deal, but I grossly over-exaggerated how much I needed it. This is not the case and I need to limit or outright ban its usage at various times of the day.
  • I need to begin skateboarding again. I quit a little less than two years ago due to a severe injury, and my life has steadily gotten worse since then. It's the only outdoor activity that I'd willingly do consistently. Also its a great opportunity to socialize.
  • I need to find a group of friends that I can consistently rely on who aren't gamers. I was back in my hometown (far from my current home) when doing my last detox, where a lot of my childhood friends were. I have friends there who aren't gamers and I could consistently hit up to do non-gaming activities. I do not have this where I live now. This made my detox much easier.
  • I am bad at starting an activity. I am good at sustaining an activity that I've started. I need to put myself into positions to make starting an activity the easiest it can possibly be. This means scheduling my activities ahead of time and preparing my environment for success. If I want to work out after school or work, I should put that in my calendar and bring my gym clothes with me to school or work so I can go to the gym without stopping by home where I could easily be distracted or even change my mind.
  • I need to plan specific projects rather than vague activities. Instead of telling myself to, "workout more" or, "cook consistently" I need to begin saying to myself, "I will workout chest and triceps today by doing bench presses, pushups, and tricep extensions at 6pm tomorrow after I get off of work" or, "I will cook lasagna this Thursday and buy the materials I need for it on Wednesday."
  • My relationships are astronomically better when I'm not gaming. I never mentioned my girlfriend in the past since I want to keep that part of my life private, but I want to remind myself of this in my post this one time. When I wasn't doing the detox I hid my gaming habits from her. I gamed when she wasn't around and thought about gaming when she was around. The detox ameliorated both of these things. I forgot I used to do this, but when actively gaming (meaning not doing a detox), I would wait for her to go to sleep so I can watch gaming videos. Not only is this embarrassing in itself, but I lost a lot of sleep doing that. Even when we were spending time together, I'd spend the little moments she was away watching gaming content like if she was in the shower, eating a meal, or just in another room doing something. The worst thing is, deep down I always wished she'd spend a little bit longer in the shower, cooking, or eating etc. so I can spend a little bit more time on twitch or whatever. Just thinking about this makes me cringe. Also, I meant all relationships are better with not gaming, not just with my girlfriend.

So that's what I learned from my last detox. There's even more, but I'll cut it there. This was mainly a rant for myself, but thanks for reading if you did!

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Day 2:

Just wrote a huge post so I can't be bothered to write more. Just will mention I'm limiting my time on youtube to 1 hour a day for now using the google chrome extension, "StayFocused." The hope is to reduce that time further, but I'll keep it there for now. I also need to learn to manage this for times that I actually need to use youtube for studies without losing focus of the goal. That's gonna be the eventual challenge.

Other than that, had a decent day.

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Day 3:

Saw some friends, got some exercise, did some studying, did some life pondering. Good day, but could have been better. My restriction on youtube time I think is working. This application's features really work well for me. Although 1 hour a day seems a little long, I think it might be the sweet spot for me personally, at least right now. Gonna try to keep this all up.

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Well, 1 hour is probably really good for a guy with your background. Wouldnt change that much. Sometimes I think you have to quit all these things, so your dopamin system refresh completely, but not sure... I know youtube is kind of a safe place. Just hiding out problems for some time. That can be helpful. But not 7hours a day or so..

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17 hours ago, Adminiculum said:

Sometimes I think you have to quit all these things, so your dopamin system refresh completely, but not sure..

Honestly, I agree with you, but I don't think I have it in me yet to cut youtube out 100% yet. I'm not sure, but it may cause more problems if I did so. For now, 1 hour is good and I'm hoping to cut it down to 45 minutes in the near future, and eventually down to 30 minute a day. 

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Day 4:

Good day today! Got some studying in and saw my friends. If I topped that off with a good workout, I'd be much more proud of my day. Maybe tomorrow :)

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Keys to Success for this detox:

  • Limit youtube to an hour a day and block it between 12am-12pm.
  • Start skateboarding again
    • So I have a physical activity that I want to do
    • To use as an outlet for when I get cravings
    • To reconnect with old friends and spend time with people who aren't gamers
  • Work out the first thing in the morning at least three days a week
  • Meditate for 5-10 minutes before going to bed and when waking up
    • Morning meditation - clear my mind
    • Nighttime meditation - remind myself why I'm doing this detox, what I'm going to do tomorrow, and to get out of bed immediately to meditate and exercise
  • Plan out my next day in my iPhone calendar right my nighttime meditation
    • ***NEVER plan to do any work or activities at home. ALWAYS plan work and activities somewhere outside of home. (I've proven to myself enough times that I don't have the capability of being productive or honest with myself when I am at home. Plus it is where I am most likely to experience cravings and where my brain begins to bargain with itself to take a quick and harmless, "gaming break."

I think if I can successfully execute these the above, my detox will be much more successful than last. By successful, I mean both that I will stick to the detox, and the value of my detox will be greater.

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Day 6:

(0, 0)

Honestly. I relapsed again today.

I decided early in the day I didn't want to do my detox anymore. I than just binge watched about 3-4 hours of gaming content. My craving brain successfully convinced myself that if I allowed myself to use my hour of youtube time a day to watch gaming content, than I wouldn't have these cravings and would be productive for the rest of the day. Then it successfully convinced me that if I add twitch into the hour of gaming videos a day, it would be the same thing so that would be ok.

I watched gaming videos for an hour after waking up, then went to do some productive things. After I was done with all that, I had more and more cravings so I took the easy measures it takes to get around the restrictive website blockers that I set for myself to watch more gaming content. I can't keep losing this argument with my brain. It sounds so convincing in the moment, but I'm always left disappointed after I let it convince me that a bit of gaming wont lead to more.

Well, I was gonna give up on the detox all together, but I decided, no, I'll continue with it. I know this means that I'm supposed to reset back to day 1, but for this occasion I'm not going to. I know its against the rules of the website, but it's what I want to do. When I get through the 90 day detox, I'll address this day and maybe extend my detox for 5 more days or something to compensate.

I also want to make a template for my posts that I see some other people do. I don't think I'll use the same template, but I just wanna make a little check list of the things I successfully did during the day like meditation, exercise, cook a healthy meal, etc.

Sorry about the relapse yall, but I'm gonna get right back to it this time. No break between my last relapse and detox like last time. I want to say I'm as determined as ever, but honestly I'm not. But I want to prove to myself that even without that feeling of determination that I have the discipline to go through with this.

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And just to be transparent, my detox this time around is focused around staying away from watching gaming content. Below is what I'm considering to be part of my detox:

  • ***No watching gaming content on youtube, twitch, twitter, or on any other platform
  • No gaming alone or online at home
  • I CAN however play games with friends when side by side someone away from home.

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Sorry guys, can't do it. I keep saying i'll step up my game, but then relapse immediately after. Too mentally weak, don't know what to do or how to approach this.

I'm doing what I said initially in my first detox. I keep lying to myself. It's just making it worse on me. So sick of my own bullshit. Going insane listening to my own bullshit.

I need to stay away from this and maybe do personal journaling or maybe focus on fixing other aspects of my life that are easier to fix. Honestly I don't  know what's gonna help me at this point. Maybe I need to find someone to speak to about this all in person. All I know is I don't wanna commit right now since I know whatever I say is gonna be bull shit and I'm just gonna break whatever promise I make immediately.

Hope everyone else's detoxes are working for them. I'll be back sometime. Don't know when this time, but whether its a week month or a few months, I'll be back sometime. I just need to take a step back from the GQ forums for now.

Best of luck to yall.

 

Edited by RB1

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jea The The first detox is normally the easiest, because people have trust in theirself. The oftener you fail, the lesser you trust you trust yourself that you can actually make it. That makes it hard. So you need a clear break between the first try and the next one, so you can commit 100% again Its easier to quit detox at the first 5min than quit at day 100. Thats also a factor

Personally I think you have to get more hobbys. Otherwise boredom will lead you directly to gaming again.

Edited by Adminiculum

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