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Part 3.1: Pulling out the weeds


karabas
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/21/2020 at 10:37 AM, BooksandTrees said:

I hope you and your wife are safe and recover. Good luck. 

Thanks! We all tested negative... although God knows if that's accurate. My wife got tested 4 days after symptoms, I got tested 11 days after my symptoms. COVID tests generally decrease in accuracy after 4 days or so, from what I've heard from doctors working with the disease. It's so sad that this is the situation in America... my wife is from a 3rd world country and her uncle back home got tested within 24 hours and received the results the next day.

Anyway, we're all feeling better now, thank God. And I guess it's day 32ish for my detox?

Got my Steam account deletion confirmation, so I've successfully stayed away from games during the "danger" period. At this point, getting a new account and buying games again is a significant difficulty. Obviously, it didn't stop me during my last relapse, but it did help me go over a year without games. Hoping this time I'm done for realz.

Honestly, I haven't had a lot of reason to crave games. My wife and I recently made some important life decisions for the future, including a trans-Atlantic move back to country of birth, so I've been busy planning that out. I've also been able to finally shift my schedule to dedicate a lot more time to working on my business. At this rate of progress, I'm hoping I could launch it in a few months, God willing. I'm pretty stoked about all of it and excited to get started.

I've restricted my video watching to 45mins/day using the Focus app & completely blocked Netflix & Amazon Prime. It's been working quite well. I mostly spend my video watching on educational content as it is, at least for now. I've been generally off of social media. Things have been getting so toxic, I don't really have the urge to go back. I have my password archived in my email somewhere so that I can log back in if necessary, but it's too much work and unnecessary.

have been spending more time just reading stuff online. Both related to our upcoming move and to just random interests. The latest one has been on the Proto-Indo-European language, which is fun for me since I know 3 languages, each from a different branch of the family. It's crazy how you can see the common roots once you understand how the sound changes happened. But overall, this past week has been my most productive since April, so I think it's a solid win. I've also been able to finally start going to bed at a decent hour. Praying that I can keep that up, because my sleep was getting absolutely nightmarish (sleeping in chunks of 3-4 hours at a time, broken up).

Overall, things are going well. Figured I'd check in and leave a note.

Hope everyone's detoxes are going well!

And success is only through God ❤️

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Hey guys, it's been about 72 days since quitting games now?

Gaming itself has not been an issue. Haven't thought about it, haven't looked back. Thank God.

Bigger issue has been getting into stuff that's not directly related to my goals (work, study, building my career). Lately I've really gotten into genealogy. Did a DNA test, dug up a lot of ancestors. Turns out the records from my grandmother's tiny village in Eastern Europe are fully scanned online, so I could figure out my ancestors a good 8 generations back to the early 1800s. Kinda nuts.

But the drawback has been that I've been fully immersed in this stuff and barely working. Work is slipping by... studies aren't happening.

And sure, OK, at some point I'll get bored with this (probably once it gets harder to find stuff, plus I'm exhausting the resources available online, at some point I'll need to go to the archives in various cities and countries in person and that's a heck of a lot harder).

But the problem is that inevitably, I find something else to occupy myself with. None of the stuff I get distracted with is truly a "waste of time". I haven't even been watching all that much video or movies (blocked netflix & amazon video on my computers, put a timer on youtube). But it inevitably takes me away from my actual responsibilities and things that I'd really like to accomplish within the next year or so.

It also makes me stay up late to catch up, but I inevitably just waste more time and go to sleep late.

Not sure how to fix this. I think lack of sleep is probably a major drain on focus. And the quarantine is starting to wear off on me. I'm in the Bay Area, we've been locked down since March. The city I'm in has had like 100 cases since the lockdown started (100K+ population), but everything's still closed. It's ridiculous. I'm not complaining about my own situation - I'm working from home and am in no way affected financially by any of this, so I recognize I'm super blessed to not be concerned about that right now. But I think I'm starting to go a bit stir-crazy from sitting in the same studio apartment in front of the same screen for over half a year.

Anyway, just writing this on here. Right now I don't have a lot of solutions except get a lot of sleep tomorrow and try to force myself to go to bed early the next day. But I've been singing that song for months now and it hasn't been happening.

Let's see how things go...

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  • 10 months later...

Wow, I can't believe it's been almost a year since my last post. I checked the dates and it's been just over a year since I last quit games. So far that's been going strong - unless you count some mobile gaming, but it's been fairly mild. No significant cravings either.

We're in the process of the trans-Atlantic move now. It's kinda thrown me out of whack. During the lockdown I stayed at home a lot and was able to develop some habits and good routines. I was quite productive. So when I traveled back to my home country this May to sort out some paperwork, it wrecked my habits big time. I got back into watching Netflix and Youtube, stopped a lot of my productive habits.

I still haven't recovered 2 months later. To be fair, we've had very unstable lives in that time. Lots of moving around, packing, working out of cafes and the like. But it's having a very detrimental impact on my productivity. Before May, I was doing 15-min pomodorros with a 5 minute break after each and I was thinking of increasing it to 20 minutes. Now I find 15 minutes of focus unbearable.

The other culprit of this has been the smartphone - I've stuck to my flip phone for most of the past year, but I needed a smartphone for my trip in May and I haven't gone back to the flip phone since. This has also been a drain on my focus (and time).

I don't really know what to do about this. It'll be another couple of months until our lives stabilize somewhat. I don't have a lot of ideas about how to get my life in order. I know that this forum is about gaming and that's not what I'm struggling with, but  I think the problem is the same. Gaming, Netflix, Youtube - these things are a distraction from what really matters in life.

I've come to realize that I'm not really going to be able to ever beat my distractions. An alcoholic can't stay sober if he's constantly surrounded by free bottles of liquor - neither can I. So I've made some life plans to get away from the computer as much as possible in the medium to long term. God only knows if I'll be successful.

I'm not sure if I'll be posting more, but I just wanted to write about these things to give myself some motivation to take productivity seriously again.

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  • 6 months later...

Hey all!

Just wanted to write here, not sure why. I relapsed on Jan 9, so I was off of games for about 18 months, which is longer than my last streak (about 14, if I remember correctly).

This time was interesting. On the one hand, it was like every other relapse - it started out OK, slowly sucked me in. Started wasting a lot of my time. But on the other hand, it wasn't the same. I wasn't as much into it. It seemed lame playing with some made up pixels on the screen and feeling great about something that didn't actually happen. Don't get me wrong, I still gamed excessively, but I found myself a few times quitting because I got bored. I won't even consider any new games anymore - they all look uninteresting.

I quit again yesterday. So my relapse was just over a month, which is probably the shortest relapse I've had in my life. To be fair, my steam account hasn't gotten deleted yet (takes 30 days) and even if it does, it doesn't guarantee I won't come back to gaming. But for now I'm feeling like I can pull it off and hoping that I do, God willing. I'm hoping that this is the overall trend in my life - longer no-gaming streaks, shorter relapses.

Otherwise, life's good. Too busy for my own good, still not productive enough. Without gaming, I spend altogether way too much time on my phone watching and reading stuff. But, one battle at a time eh?

Hope everyone is doing well!

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On 2/10/2022 at 7:30 PM, karabas said:

This time was interesting. On the one hand, it was like every other relapse - it started out OK, slowly sucked me in. Started wasting a lot of my time. But on the other hand, it wasn't the same. I wasn't as much into it. It seemed lame playing with some made up pixels on the screen and feeling great about something that didn't actually happen. Don't get me wrong, I still gamed excessively, but I found myself a few times quitting because I got bored. I won't even consider any new games anymore - they all look uninteresting.

I go through the same thing. If I spend some time away from games in general, they don't seem as interesting anymore even if I relapse. However, I find that if you keep pushing through this initial boredom (maybe because you're feeling lost without videogames in your life), I slowly start getting hooked on them again and the addictive behavior comes back in full force, so I realized it's better not to test too much this "resistance" that you get when you get away from them.

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18 hours ago, s_nitta said:

I go through the same thing. If I spend some time away from games in general, they don't seem as interesting anymore even if I relapse. However, I find that if you keep pushing through this initial boredom (maybe because you're feeling lost without videogames in your life), I slowly start getting hooked on them again and the addictive behavior comes back in full force, so I realized it's better not to test too much this "resistance" that you get when you get away from them.

Oh for sure, I'm not trying to test anything. Just a regular relapse where I got hooked on it again. Before I quit I stayed up until 7am gaming. Threw off my whole week. Anyway I'm back off of games, although my steam account is still valid for another 28 days or so and the temptation to go back is there. But right now the desire to live a productive life is stronger. Let's see 🙂

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