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Just a quick check in. I woke up quite late and had a slow morning. I just finished breakfast like half an hour ago and had a coffee now. I really want to shift my sleeping rythm a little. I would rather wake up at 8 or even 7. I feel like when you get up early the day can be so much more productive. Especially because I dont like to work late.

Another thing I noticed is that I really need to plan my days in advance. I did that the last couple of days and it was much easier to be productive because I already knew what I was going to do. Today it takes quite some willpower to do productive stuff instead of just hanging around. 

Lets see how this day will go though.

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1 hour ago, dirac said:

I really want to shift my sleeping rythm a little. I would rather wake up at 8 or even 7. I feel like when you get up early the day can be so much more productive. Especially because I dont like to work late.

Try Alarmy. I used to sleep till 1 PM, now I'm waking at 8 AM. This shit won't let you sleep, trust me. I prefer turning off after solving math problems, but photo and QR code work well too. This app is just saving my life, can't imagine what I would do without it.

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Day 4 of no dota

Today was a bit odd, I slept way too long as I mentioned in my post this morning. This always makes me feel like the day was unproductive but I think I made the best out of it. I read my machine learning book, I went to the gym and had a nice and long workout and I successfully did two coding challenges. I think the day also suffered a little because I didnt plan it in advance. Because its hard to come up with productive stuff on the spot. For me atleast. I also played some singleplayer stuff today but not for too long and I really enjoyed it. 

I also realized that I should cut down on my small term goals a little. My to do lists for the last days always were way too long with too many different goals. Even on thursday which was an insanely productive and awesome day, I only met 2/3 of my planned activities. And especially in science there is a big need for long and deep work. Doing 6 things for 1 hour each will not bear too many fruits. So I will try to do 2 things for 3 hours each instead. 

I have to add that I am very proud and happy that I went to the gym because I actually felt more like staying at home. But I went and it was a great workout.

Definitely was a good day !

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Day 5 of no dota

Today I woke up quite tired. I just need my 8 hours of sleep to fully function. Did 1 coding challenge and worked with a collegue on something for about 2 hours. The rest of the day I wasnt really productive. I played quite a bit some skyrim but I dont regret it. I have to get a better sleeping rythm though. Would rather wake up at 8 instead of 9/9:30. Not much else to say just a quick post.

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Ok time for another post. Sadly I didnt manage to post yesterday.

Well I decided to change my previous approach because apparently I deluded myself again 🙂

Believing that only online games like dota are a problem for me, I bought a singleplayer game. And it was fine. I played mostly on the evenings for about 2 hours. But then I decided to get the skyrim special edition (I already owned and played the normal one). With better graphics etc. because why not? 

And here I am with 30 hours on the skyrim special edition just 3 days after I bought it hehe. So who would have thougt, its not just about dota or online competitive games. Its about all games. 

But as I am learning and open to my own fallacies I will accept this and continue. So no more games at all from now on. Iam also starting to use an app that counts my days of abstinence. 

I also realised that my approach was not working in general. The main reason why I want to stop games is to be more productive. But in the end I have to acknowledge that one of the reasons why I play games in the first place is to not be productive. To escape, to procrastinate, to do something that just makes the monkey inside my head smash his cymbals together and produce some damn endorphines and dopamine and whatever else my brain enjoys.

If I want to stop gaming I have to find some of those activities as well. Something that is purely for entertainment purposes. To be honest I have no idea what that could be but I will keep looking and find it. Maybe sport will do the trick already? 

For the rest of october my main goal is to stop gaming. Doesnt matter if I am productive or not. Of course I will also not binge netflix/youtube or spend too much time on my phone because I feel like its the same thing and will just make my recovery take even longer.

I have been thinking about entertainment in general. When I look at different people in my life I feel like they all have a very different need for entertainment. One friend of mine who also studies physics with me for example: he basically works on computer science projects or physics related stuff all day. Sometimes more than 10-12 hours and hes happy with it. He doesnt game or watch netflix. He goes to sport about 2 times a week and hes really happy with everything. I just dont know how he does it. I wish I could spend this much time on uni stuff or private projects in that sector. But even though I really enjoy working on all of that, at the end of the day I just have such a longing for games or netflix or whatever. 

Its the same with me and candy. I either eat a whole bar of chocolate or I despise sweets because I want to be healthy. My mother for example worked from 8 in the morning till 3 in the afternoon while I was in school. Then she would come home and take care of all the housework. Cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, buying groceries. I never saw her even once procrastinating on household duties or basically anything. In the evening she would watch one show that went for about 90 minutes. Then she went to bed and read a little. 

I once asked here (after I already moved out) how she always took care of a household while still having a job and why she didnt just skip it sometimes. She said because it needed to be done so she did it. I admire her so much for that. Taking care of two people and a cat and a house all by herself while working. I often struggle to take care of myself in a way. I cant count the amount of times I didnt have any clothes left because I put off washing for several days. Or that I couldnt eat because I forgot to wash the dishes. 

I really hope that if I quit gaming that at some point I might be able to be satisfied with less entertainment in my life. To not feel a need to binge on everything. That I could just work a whole day, come home do housework and go to bed, without feeling entitled to be entertained. I mean my grandparents didnt have any kind of technology and they made it through their twenties. I mean I am not unhappy or depressed or anything. I like life. But I am really scared that I will just be depressed if I dont game. That I might find out that this incredibly strong need for entertainment, especially technological entertainment, is something that I will always have to live with.

But I guess I will find out now. 

 

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Ok so another unsuccessful day. 

I woke up had breakfast and then a productive meeting for about 2 hours. I felt motivated and I was interested and participated. Then after I was done I layed down on the couch and was thinking "ok what now?". I had literally no motivation or pull for anything. I didnt feel like reading, cooking, going outside, programming etc. The only thing I felt like doing was staring at my phone. After like 10 or 20 minutes I just gave up and went back to gaming.

I even played dota instead of skyrim which I still consider the worse option. But to be honest I didnt enjoy the gaming either. I just played to "kill time". 

I actually wanted to go to the gym but I didnt. One reason for why I am a little unmotivated is that my bike is broken and I cant really use it anymore and public transport just sucks a lot. I have been wanting to repair my bike since two weeks but I didnt do it yet. Tomorrow I will call my bike shop and ask for a repair appointment (yes you have to make an appointment now because of corona). If I am lucky I will get an appointment next monday/tuesday because I am going hiking with a friend from wednesday till sunday.

Regarding my plans on how to proceed: I think I cant just wait for myself to be motivated to do stuff that is apparently not gonna work. I will just tell myself what I am gonna do now. Even if this might mean planning every hour of my day so I dont even have the choice to game. From experience I know that motivation usually comes with the activity itself so if I force myself for a couple of days motivation should take over.

Man quitting gaming is really hard but through this forum and the daily journaling I feel like I am really getting behind my addiction. I already know so much more about myself and how my brain works than three weeks ago.

Now I will clean up my desk and prepare a little so tomorrow goes smooth 🙂

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The last two days were also very unsuccessful 🙂

Friday I was atleast trying to do some other stuff but after those 3 or 4 activities I just went straight back to gaming. I basically gamed the whole friday until like 7pm and then I went on a goodbye party to a good friend of mine. He also just finished his physics bachelor with me and is now traveling the world with his boyfriend. I had quite a few drinks and stayed till 3 am. But I have to say it was a really cool evening!

Today I woke up at 12:30 and slightly hungover. I made myself a nice breakfast and the again I gamed all day. 

I still feel quite lost in my journey to stop gaming mostly because at the moment I dont even know why I want to stop and what I would do with my time then. I might just read the respawn guide again to get inspired..

 

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Ok so a quick check in because I felt like it. I woke up well rested and made myself a nice breakfast. During breakfast I experienced such strong urges. Like all I could think about was downloading skyrim again and playing as much as I can. 

But then I took a shower and cleaned the flat a little and now I am fine again. The craving is gone. Instead I checked the celebrate part of the forum and found some very inspiring stories.

I am committed to the 90 days. Also because I really want to be able to make a post to this forum!!

In about an hour I will help a friend carrying some boxes out of his flat and I decided to take my longboard which means the trip will be a bit longer, so I can spend some time outside 🙂

Later I want to inform myself about a company where I have a job interview tomorrow, so I can be as prepared as possible.

The evening I will spend with my girlfriend. 

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@royal panda thank you for the kind words 🙂 I will definitely post how that interview went!

Day 1 - success

I did it ! I made it through the first day. After the craving I had during breakfast I was perfectly fine for the rest of the day. Reading in the celebrate part of the forum definitely helped. I also talked to one of my best friends about addiction because he has struggled with porn for a long time. We promised each other to shoot for the 90 days together. He in no porn and me in no game. It really helps to have someone close to you to talk about that kind of stuff. Because none of my other friends have any problems with addiction as far as I know. 

As I mentioned earlier I helped my friend to move some boxes. This took about 2 hours and then I walked home for an hour. That walk home was really nice and refreshing.

I have been thinking a lot about my gaming problem today. And about my life in general. I have to say I have been doing quite well in the past couple of years and I feel proud of what I achieved in university so far. Especially because I did all that fighting a gaming addiction. Now I have been thinking how well I could be doing without that. And this thougt really intrigues me. How much undiscovered potential might be there.

I also watched a video about dopamin today and how it affects your life. I think to be a better me I need to practice a more minimalistic lifestyle when it comes to entertainment. I mean how would I ever convince my brain to pick up a book where it actually has to work to be entertained via using imagination if I could just play games or watch netflix or porn. I think by living a life where those high dopamin activities are not an option you will have so much more joy in your daily life. 

My longest time without gaming was in 11th grade when I spent 6 months in new zealand as an exchange student. I was so happy with life there. I was happy walking around a forest or just hanging out with friends. I didnt care what I would do with my friends as long as we just spent time together. I was happy sitting at the beach or reading a book or training martial arts in the garden.

When I came back home I instantly fell back into gaming and all those feelings were gone. I only met with friends for drinking or smoking weed. I never met friends to just hang out because this didnt give enough of a kick. I also never took walks anymore. And I couldnt focus on things like reading anymore.

I always think that my gaming problem is not as severe as that of many other people because I dont play "that much". But it affected my life so much over the years. I mean I am 26 years and I think I had a problem with gaming since I got my gameboy color and pokemon crystal on my 6th birthday. I have been gaming 20 out of 26 years. And the insane problems I had the last week with quitting just shows me that its actually much more severe than I act like.

I feel like an anime character that always was considered weaker than his peers and then suddenly he realised that he has been poisened ages ago. And I really want to know what my life could be like once I remove that poison.

89 days to go lets do this !

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Just a quick check in. Day 2 is going well so far but I have my job interview in 2 hours and I am basically dying from excitement and nervousness. This is basically my dream job I am so scared of not being qualified enough or whatever.

Gonna write again as soon as its over.

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Day 2 -> success!

Today I didnt game again. I also didnt really experience any cravings which is nice. My mind was way to focused on that job interview. 

I would say the interview went quite well but it was a little odd. It was a phone call because the person who organized it failed around a little. But they two people I talked to were really nice and they said they would tell me if I got the job by next monday. So now all I can do is wait.

I also went to my jujutsu training and it was quite fun. We have lots of new people there and at the moment I am a bit confused how to train with them. Because many of them are much weaker than me physically and when you are doing wrestling this matters a lot. I will put some more thougt into that. I think the best way I see for myself now is to train certain techniques by leading into a certain position so I can train from there. I will try that out.

In general I felt a bit anxious today. Didnt feel like that in a long time I have to say. Might have also come from the job interview. But it didnt get any better after it. Maybe its also the no game but I will stay strong. I think my body might suffer a bit from the fact that I kind of starve it of dopamin at the moment. I am not eating any sweets, I am doing no fap, no game and I quit coffee. But I feel like I am on the right track. 

Tomorrow I have quite some errands to run. Get my bike fixed, go to the gym, meet with a friend at night and pack my stuff for the hiking trip that starts on wednesday.

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Day 3 -> success !

Today was a good day ! I did everything I wanted to and even went to the gym. I wasnt as anxious as yesterday and after the gym the anxiety was basically gone. 

Funny story about the job I applied to

This morning I got an email that looked like it was automatically sent out to everyone who was rejected. I was pretty sad because I felt like the job interview went really well and as I mentioned before this was kind of my dream job. But half an hour later I got a phonecall from the company. The woman who called said that they actually really wanted me for the job because they found me to be an interesting person and felt like I was definitely qualified but the executive floor canceled the job all together because of corona. However they told me that I should apply again to any other position as soon as I found one that I am interested in because they were sad that couldnt hire me. Thats also why they wanted to tell me personally.

That made me really happy I have to say. I mean I didnt get the job but it was not because I was inadequate. So now I will start to work in a research group at my university. I am also excited for this! The contract will be until 14. february. I might check if by that time there might be a new application for the company that canceled the job. Because I dont give up that easily 🙂

The main reason why I would rather work at a company outside that university is that I can work more in the holidays. Holidays in university are usually wayyyy too long. I have had holidays this year from mid of august till november. Thats almost 3 months !!!! And without a job its just so hard to do something with that time and not falling into a gaming hole (like it happened to me the last two holidays).

Good thing is that spring holidays are much short.

However tomorrow I will go hiking with a friend till sunday. I will try to post daily if I manage to log in with my phone x)

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Day 4 -> success!

Didnt manage to post yesterday because I traveled all day and after I had dinner I was just way too tired. 

But I am happy I stayed strong and didnt play any mobile games on the train 🙂

This is our balcony: 

 

20201015_092328.jpg

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Day 5,6,7,8 ->> huge success!

I came back from my hiking trip today and I stayed clean through the whole time 🙂 Of course it is easier when you arent home but I definitely had to fight some mobile game urges on the way back!

I honestly dont have that much to say because nothing noteworthy happened. But I had a talk about gaming with the friend I went. He is also a gamer but has always been in control. He does occasionally play a little more but he never had any problems with it. He could not get it at all that I want to quit. He cant understand that as long as gaming is an option for me I will never be able to do things like reading or coding or basically anything. He thinks I should just try to make those things a habit which just shows that he does not grasp the problem whatsoever.

But thats fine, not everyone will understand why I am quitting but I knew that from the beginning. It did not at all affect my motivation though. I am still committed to 90 days of no gaming ! 

Tomorrow morning I will meet my professor for my new job as a research assistant. Its only 7 hours per week but I am still a fulltime student. I am very excited though. I will also start a 3 week project for uni tomorrow. So I am gonna be more busy again which is great!

Gonna post daily again from today!!

Cant wait to make it to two weeks ! Only 6 days to go.

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Conscious Substitutions 

Day 9 did go well indeed if you just look at the fact that I didnt play any games. However I was watching anime for like 6 hours straight. I believe the problem is a bit more fundamental than just gaming itself. I still think that watching anime is better than playing competitive online games like dota but to be honest I think there is not much of a difference between playing skyrim or watching netflix all day.

Its so easy to just substitute one addiction with another and its a trap that is very easy to fall into. But I dont think the solution is to forbid yourself everything until all you can do is reading and uni stuff. Thats why its so important to make concious substitutions and not let your brain come up with stuff on the spot. Because in the end your brain will always just pick the highest dopamin activities possible. That will be gaming, porn, netflix, youtube or whatever but its not gonna be a book about finance.

Luckily my job and my lab work starts this week so there is less free time that I have to find things to do with. But I will put more effort into that now. I set myself a two episode per day limit for anime. I am confident that I am able to stick with this. 

Today I have a lot on my plate lets see if I can get everything done.

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That is something I really dont want to do for instance. Mostly because I think it wouldnt do anything for me. I could just make a new steam account and download dota 2 again because its all free. I would just lose tons of money that I already invested in steam. And I dont know if I want to quit games forever. I just want to do this 90 day detox for now and see how it feels. 

Day 10 -> success

Was quite productive today, did almost everything I wanted to but that two anime limit didnt work out that well 😄 because I was done with everything at around 8 I didnt really know what to do with myself so just watched anime for 4 hours hehe. Its not ideal but as I got my work done I dont mind it too much. I just have to find an activity that I can do in the evening, something to wind down. The only thing I can think of at the moment is reading but its still hard for me to read if I could also do something else. I think I will try to implement a reading habit next. Like read as much as I like before I start watching anything.

Tomorrow should also be a busy day , lets see!

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Is no game really the cure?

I feel a bit disillusioned into the whole no gaming thing right now. I didnt experience any cravings since day 3 and so far its actually been rather easy to stay off games. However the only reason why I started no gaming in the first place was because I wanted to use my private time more productively but so far I havent done so at all. I was hoping to get motivated and excited for other stuff again but its not happening. I feel basically exactly the same as when I was gaming just that I am more aware of things like this. I am gonna stick to the no gaming atleast till the holidays are over which is about two weeks and see how its going till then. 

I am not saying that no game is pointless or anything but I am starting to realise that it might not be the answer to all my problems. Removing a bad thing from your life does not necessary mean it will automatically be exchanged for something good. I suppose I have to put more work into that myself. Like finding out what I want to do with my time. And from experience I also know that motivation does not precede actions but comes from them.

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@Dirac I have the same question: how do you put pressure on yourself to go the extra mile when your brain is switching off and you just want to fall down on the couch and watch a series? 

The craving I think is to get distracted. That has been conditioned by internet and tv. Correct me if that is not the case with you. How did people get distracted before that. I guess personal communication and spending time in the nature? Can you give more examples Dirac? What would your grandparents do to get distracted after a long day’s work.

If I will enploy Duhigg’s terminology, the cue for it is tiredness, the response action is to watch a series or other content. I remember in my teenage years I would knock on my neighbour’s door and we’d chat about things, goof about and retell funny stories. We would carry on until dusk and say our goodbyes with recharged spirits. As I am remembering this, if you ask me: what is better, Internet or interaction I’ve had with my friend in the past? Absolutely it is personal communication with him. But I cannot talk about the things like I used to at school. I moved to a new country and people just don’t seem to have the interest to talk with me about anything except if I’ve got some business with them. So many things have to be right with a counterpart before this channel of communication gets established. He must be in the same kind of position as you (school, university or in the same sports team) and have similar interests. Ironically, my neighbour was a gamer so that games movies were frequently our subject of discussion. 

 

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8 hours ago, dirac said:

I was hoping to get motivated and excited for other stuff again but its not happening.

What you feel now is the normal level of stimulation that everyone has felt for thousands of years of human history as we have lived our lives on this Earth. Things might seem boring or painful because the feel-good rewards of constant gaming are no longer there. A subtle motivation, a cold fire that blends into the background of things is what drives most great works - that's what I'd like to think. I'm experimenting to see if this is true.

1 hour ago, Amphibian220 said:

How did people get distracted before that.

They didn't. Passive distractions are unique to our era. Before, all distractions involved activity whether that be getting off your ass and walking to the theater or the bar or picking up a book and manually moving your eyes across the words and manually creating a moving picture in your mind's eye using the descriptions in the text. Nobody had cellphones. There were long carriage rides with nothing to do but look out the window.

Edited by Bird By Bird
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@Amphibian220 Yeah I agree I guess it all comes down to distracting yourself somehow. I dont know what my grandparents did to distract themselves I just know that my parents watch tv and I guess thats a generational thing. I hardly know anyone my age who watches tv. Our digital generation watches netflix or youtube or porn or plays games. I guess this is kind of the problem also. 

The fact that you find it hard to find people to just chat with is probably also because many people just wanna get home and watch netflix. All this internet/gaming/netflix stuff is so new that most people are very unaware of the effects.

@Bird By Bird  "They didn't. Passive distractions are unique to our era."

man thats a very true statement. Never really thougt about it like that. But its definitely true. 

 

"What you feel now is the normal level of stimulation that everyone has felt for thousands of years of human history as we have lived our lives on this Earth."

You are dropping some solid truth bombs here 😄 . I actually thougt about that this morning while I was reading something for uni. I always have this picture in my mind that I am insanely motivated for uni but if I actually observe it more closely it happens quite often that I am not really motivated. I also dont despise it because I enjoy it but its not like I can hardly sit still because I want to read that paper about dark matter detection experiments. But I still do it. And maybe thats just the way its supposed to be. Maybe I dont have to wait till motivation knocks me off my feet to start coding or reading. Maybe I should just do it. Just get up take the book and sit down with it.

But thats where I believe the no gaming might come in very handy. Because if you dont have cravings and arent super excited to game , those "mundane" activities like reading or spending time with a friend will not have to compete with the thrill of gaming anymore. 

 

 

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