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Demogoblin2

Demogoblin2's journal

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(Copied from intro thread)

I'm Demogoblin2, and I've been gaming since time immemorial.

I just wrapped up a really bad gaming binge of Saint's Row 2, my guilty-pleasure-favorite-game. While 10+ hours a day for several days of gaming would be hard on scheduling in any situation, I happened to dive into this zombie state in the midst of a ton of pending homework and group case study projects for my Cyber Security degree.

I accomplished nothing all week except 100% completion in Saint's Row. Sacrificed horrifying hours of work for it. So that means I can finally move on and get back to work, right?

Well I started playing Saint's Row 3 instead.

I've behaved like this since junior high school. I always blamed my lack of progress on my broken home, my alcoholic mom, shiftless dad, and on and on and on, but I came to this realization that my coping mechanism for these things ended up being the biggest problem in my life.

I know it's addiction because I've tried to stop before and couldn't. There's a difference between enjoying something and being addicted to it. I enjoy eating salmon. I do not have 600 cans of salmon in my cabinet, and I do not visualize how I'm going to cook the salmon when I'm supposed to be at work/studying, and I do not spend 10 hours a day cooking various salmon dinners, coming up empty every time.

After procrastinating on all of my homework today, I showed up 2 minutes before class. I was frustrated that I didn't have time to play Pokemon Red on my phone before class started.

That's kind of disgusting.

Games are nothing but counters. You have a health bar that represents a value, you want it to be full. You want the bad guy's health bar to be empty. You want the sword that does 57 damage instead of the sword that does 35 damage. You want to level up to that nice, crisp, even Level 100. This mission is worth 2% completion. Flap the bird between the pipes as many times as you can. It's all counting, all of it. I should be tired of it, but I'm not. As I'm typing, I want to play something.

Anyways, after reaching all of these conclusions, I impulsively googled "Why do I escape from my problems with video games?" This lead to a blog post that linked this forum. I decided I'd try it out, y'all. I'm gonna go for it. I un-installed every game, rom and emulator from my phone and computer, uninstalled Steam, unplugged and packed away my Playstation 4, Switch and Snes Mini. I rifled through various drawers and shelves around my apartment, digging out the stray GBCs and DS lites, PSPs, and any other handhelds I was hording like an alcoholic. I wrapped up and packed my rock band controllers. It's all out of sight. I don't know what's going to happen, but the worst it can be is boredom.

Tomorrow begins day 1. Wish me luck, my dudes!

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Day 1:

So, the first day went alright. I started this whole thing impulsively and without expectations, so I'm not really sure what will happen still.

Since I didn't have that gaming hobby, I sat in bed, basically worthless, for about 3 hours. I'm kind of okay with that as a start, it communicates to me that if I am not going to do something productive, I'm gonna go ahead and do nothing. Nothing is boring. Hopefully that message reinforces itself.

I had a lot of homework and project work to do, about a week's worth, but I didn't really do anything. I mainly vegetated on youtube and browsed the internet. That's problematic, for sure. I'll have to figure out ways to get better at that. I feel like books will be dangerous too for me. Also, while on youtube, I found a series where Nolan North played through Uncharted 1, and just seeing the graphics and colored pipes totally set off a strong urge to plug in that playstation and re-install that series. I expected that, but not so soon. Still, I resisted!

Anyways, I completed the one assignment that was due today, but I decided to take the hit on not having more project work prepared for the group. The group will be frustrated with me. I deserve that.

Class is starting up for me in about an hour, so this is a pretty short post. I'll keep truckin'!

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Day 2:

Today was really interesting.

It was the first day in years that I would describe as a "good day." Just like yesterday, I sat in bed for a really long time watching youtube. I didn't do any schoolwork again. When I got up, I floated from task to task, certainly feeling a void in the absence of gaming. I decided to play with my two cats that haven't warmed up to eachother yet.

After a while, something weird happened. I had an impulse to do sit-ups. I used to do ~115 sit-ups as a teenager, and I hadn't done any in about 12 years, or any exercise at all, for that matter. I turned on IT Crowd on netflix, wedged my feet under the couch and tried to knock out 25.

I did 26 and stopped, feeling like I hit my current limit. I then wondered how many push-ups I was capable of. Back in the day, my peak was about 50 or so. Today I managed 15.

I'm not sure why, but I felt really happy about still being able to do at least that many. My torso and arms felt tight and sore, and my heart rate was up a little for the first time in possibly years. I suddenly felt like I needed to move around more. I went to dust off my bike, only to discover that the tires were flat and rotted from lack of use. That was a bummer because I used to love aimless bike rides, and I was really jonesing for one. Then, remembered that I had a key-fob for the community fitness center next door (I hadn't ever checked the place out before, but it came with the apartment).

I threw on a pair of shorts and walked to the fitness center, and the place was empty, save for the machines. For about a half hour, it was just me and the stationary bike while I listened to a podcast.

I haven't sweat in so long, man. And watching the numbers tick up on the distance I was traveling just felt so awesome. Since I haven't moved around in a long time, though, I figured I should stop before I hurt myself. I went home with a ton of energy, cooked potatoes and eggs at 2PM(lol), and ate it while pacing around the apartment.

I then had the urge to get into some school work. That is a huge step.

Unfortunately, I had a therapist appointment at 3, so there wasn't enough time to get started with that. I hadn't told my therapist about what I was doing here, but she was pleasantly surprised with it. We're both skeptical that I'm going to stick to the whole 90 day detox, but it was all really positive today. She recommended that I start scheduling these activities instead of floating around to them, so that I can plan some post-workout studying and really hammer away some of this backlog of work. Really productive conversation.

When I got home, I cooked really fancy pasta for muh girlfriend. I never cook, and here I am having cooked twice today.

I only had a few flashes of desire to play a game, but they were all completely disarmed by "Oh but no, I'm doing that thing." None of those urges felt obsessive, and I'm super stoked about that. If I attack my procrastination from all these different angles, I think I can really get into some good habits and get productive. I'm not sure yet if I want to stop gaming forever, but this seems like it's going to be a cool experience finding out who I am.

I want to thank all you guys for setting up and populating the community, even if this journal gets buried in other posts. This place really flipped a switch in my brain by simply being here.

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Day 3:

Only laid in bed for about an hour today, then I ate a bowl of cereal. Per my conversation with the therapist, I went to ride the bike machine at 9am, just after some light internet surfing. It was hard to get myself to do it, but I did it in the end, which is good. Biked for 20 minutes, then headed home to cook actual breakfast.

I ate while pacing around the apartment to avoid getting into youtube or something, because my therapist advised me to try following that impulse yesterday to do schoolwork after exercise and breakfast. It worked! I ended up knocking out everything that's due in one class about 5 days early. Afterward, I did situps again - this time, 36!

Therapist said as long as I got some work done, whatever I do for the rest of the day is "okay," which was a sentiment to keep me from hating myself for blobbing out a bit.

I allowed myself one episode of Breaking Bad, a show I've never finished, then I went to the store to get cat food. Came home, surfed the internet, watched another Breaking Bad. Just as the second episode ended, my cat fell asleep on my stomach, so I decided to watch a third. That behavior felt a little bit like a binge, but it was all pretty spaced out with dishes being done and stuff. I didn't get mad at myself, so that's cool.

I saw the name "Crash Bandicoot" in a youtube comment section and had the urge to play the entirety of the second game, but I swatted it down immediately. It really helps that the consoles just aren't set up. It means if I end up playing a game, it's a decision and not a passive habit.

 

Still truckin', yo!

Edited by Demogoblin2
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Day 4:

Really not much to report here! Today was a bit of a wash as far as productivity, and I slept in a bit, but I did ride the exercise bike again. Did some laundry and dishes and such.

Spent a lot of time on Netflix, but nothing too serious.

Still truckin, yo!

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Day 5:

Skipped the exercise bike, and instead went to the local Renaissance Fair with M'Lady. Very hot, lot of walking, some good food. After that, played some Dungeons and Dragons with a group of nerds and watched a Breaking Bad episode. No schoolwork done, going to have to get back on track tomorrow.

Also, I've been looking at my old bike and started considering refurbishing it. Lots of rust damage on the gears/chain, the tires are rotted away, the gear shifters have fallen apart, and so on. I'd have to take everything apart and soak the salvageable parts in like, Evapo-Rust or something, then probably replace the chain and gear shifters. Give the frame a good cleaning, replace all the nuts/bolts probably. Could be a fun project!

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Day 6:

Went back on the schedule from day 3, basically. Got heavy work done on the remainder of the schoolwork this week, then watched some breaking bad and cooked dinner.

No real urges to game today at all, which is cool!

Still truckin', yo!

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Day 7:

Man, this procrastination thing is rough.

I woke up at about 8, watched a Breaking Bad, then went out to the fitness center as planned. The bike machine was broken, so I decided to take a walk instead.

Turns out I love walks, but they make me pretty aimless. Instead of a 20 minute bike ride, I walked for an hour and a half, burning something like 300k calories. Then, when I got home, I browsed youtube. Then I watched Breaking Bad. Then I ate lunch. Then I watched Breaking Bad. Then I browsed youtube. After a bit of a blur of these activities, I ate dinner, did 45 sit-ups, then I went to class.

I still have a ton of homework for tomorrow's class, and because of my procrastination over the last week or so, I am doing a feverish homework binge tomorrow. I have to.

I hate adhering to a strict daily schedule, but I think I need to start growing up, fast.

Anyways, still truckin', yo!

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Day 8:

As planned, the feverish binge was successful at the cost of my daily workout. Got a lot done and out of the way. Actually, I found out that I can be productive with schoolwork if I do it while watching Breaking Bad. It doesn't get done as quickly, but I certainly interrupt myself a lot less with other floating activities.

Tomorrow is therapist day again. Last week, she gave me a sheet of negative thought examples, asking me to take note of when I feel them. I don't know if it's the detox, or the last therapy session, but I haven't felt a single one of these thoughts of self-deprecation. That's major for me. I also haven't felt stressed out all week.

Assuming I can stabilize all of that, I'll have to see if I can get over my... agoraphobia? I've always been apprehensive of going out in public places. I hate groups of people. I've really isolated myself over the years, and I'm interested to see if I can change that.

Still truckin', yo!

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Day 9:

Woah, 10% there!

Therapist session went good. We're both a little skeptical about how well this all seems to be going for me, but it's all certainly on the right track.
She didn't have any advice as far as my avoidance of public spaces, but she did encourage me to use my afternoons/evenings to explore my creative interests, such as writing, drawing, music making, etc. In the meantime, still a bunch of schoolwork to do.

Had a few of those "I oughta turn on that game" urges today, but they got stamped out pretty quick.

Still truckin', yo!

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Day 10:

I had a weird nightmare last night.

In the dream, someone was playing Spyro: The Dragon. They couldn't find all the gems in a level, and I knew where every single one was. I demanded the controller and completed the level 100%. Then, in the dream, I remembered the gaming detox, I remembered I was on day 9, and I felt devastated about what I had just done. "You threw it all away just for this?" was the thought in my head. Weird.

Anyway, the day itself turned out pretty good. Took a long walk, made breakfast, did more homework and watched some breaking bad. Did a lot of cat maintenance as well. The dream kind of shook me, though.

On the walk, I stopped at a thrift store and found a Playstation 2 for $20. Very tempting, took a pass on it. Hopefully these thoughts aren't emblematic of any major impulses in the future.

Still truckin', yo!

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Day 11:

I took another walk this morning, around an hour. The $20 Playstation 2 at the thrift store was nagging at me, so I stopped in to see if it was still there. It was. I didn't buy it again.

I think I might want to go there frequently to keep deciding not to buy it. Every time I walk away from it I feel a little better about myself. I did talk to my girlfriend about buying it though, and remembered that I tend to obsess over stuff I want a lot. The thought of the item keeps eating away at me until I end up buying whatever it is just to shut my brain up. So maybe I should keep my distance and avoid the matter entirely.

Watched a lot of Breaking Bad today, then dove back into reading finally. I'm about 1/3 through four different books, and I kind of want to knock em out one at a time to clear the docket. I'm way ahead on school stuff so far, which is a good feeling. Haven't cooked in a while, so I should probably do that soon.

I think I prefer walks over the exercise bike. More scenic, more private and personal. I've always liked walks. Maybe I should start working on my actual bicycle soon.

Still truckin', yo!

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Day 12:

Very blobby day. Walked around town a lot to shop for a bicycle, but didn't see anything I liked. Lots of breaking bad today, and I finally cracked a book open again. Just a bunch of consumption all day, really, but the walk felt good.

Still truckin', yo!

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Day 13:

Empty day, and I accept that it's by choice. I have an urge to get Breaking Bad out of my life, ASAP, so now I'm in a binge mode to finish it. It's a good thing I did most of my schoolwork at the end of last week.

Don't really have much else to update. Feeling bleh, but still no games.

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Hey man I read your posts and I am keeping track of your daily reports! I wish you good fortune on trying to keep free of video games!

I also have a problem when it comes to TV shows addiction. Breaking bad was one of the "best" (and thus more addictive) series of my life. Are you seeing it for the first time? I find that it is really hard to stop seeing a series once I get into it so decided not to start any new ones for a while.

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23 hours ago, dasvira said:

Hey man I read your posts and I am keeping track of your daily reports! I wish you good fortune on trying to keep free of video games!

I also have a problem when it comes to TV shows addiction. Breaking bad was one of the "best" (and thus more addictive) series of my life. Are you seeing it for the first time? I find that it is really hard to stop seeing a series once I get into it so decided not to start any new ones for a while.

I had watched most of it years ago, but stopped at the start of season 4. I figured with the movie coming out, I may as well try watching it all the way through! It's probably the best show I've watched.

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Day 14:

Hoo, boy. I think I'm in a rut here. Maybe I'm getting sick or something.

I didn't do anything today again. I don't know how I fell off of the schedule, but I just haven't been going out to exercise at 9 am like I'm supposed to. That one thing in the morning simply needs to happen. I'm not behind with schoolwork, so I'm not stressing out about it, but not doing anything all day is a bit much for 3 days straight, right?

The main victory to celebrate is, still no games. That void in my life is getting more and more noticeable though. I keep wanting to turn a game on. I started out really strong with it, and I'm still staying away (It helps to have packed away the consoles and uninstalled everything), but it would be just so easy to install like, Dragon Quest on my phone or whatever.

It honestly feels like it's been a lot longer than 2 weeks. I really gotta be better about finding ways to stay busy. Netflix doesn't count 😕

Still truckin', yo!

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Day 15:

Trying to keep a positive mindset, but the first words in my head were "I am losing the battle with procrastination." Just have had a very empty, media-consuming week. I tend to be too hard on myself, so I am trying to remember that I did basically all of my homework last Thursday, but I really could have achieved a lot more these last few days than making it to season 5 of Breaking Bad.

On the plus, I bought a bike while I was out on a walk this morning. I love it. I feel like a kid on that thing, and I can tell it's going to be much more impactful in terms of fitness. Just riding home from the store left me drenched in sweat and gasping for air, way beyond any level of exhaustion at the gym. I loved it so much that I went on a second bike ride to get lunch.

I'm not going to lie, I really want to sink my teeth into a long narrative game. Something like GTA V. Open world and everything. I am really craving that "Push button, get feedback" sensation, and I really want to look at neat graphics and enjoy a cool story. But, took no steps to entertain that urge today.

Still truckin', yo!

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Day 16:

Felt really low today, but fortunately had a therapist session today to iron out the wrinkles.

I mainly just didn't want to even move today. I really gotta shake this rust off tomorrow.

Still truckin', yo!

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Day 17:

I didn't shake this rust off. Still a vegetable.

I did go and see Joker today. It was really good.

Tomorrow is zero hour on the big project, and the ball's in my court. High pressure.

Still truckin', yo!

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Day 18:

Joker impacted me way more than I thought.

I won't post how, because I don't want to spoil the experience for anybody. I used to make music for films and games, but I stopped because I was letting it kill me. The score for this movie really stirred up those old desires, though.

But yeah, no video games today. I did really want to play Arkham Asylum, though 😛

Still truckin', yo!

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Day 19 & 20:

Hoo hoo, forgot a post yesterday. I'll combine it with today's, and post a little early.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm starting to mentally talk myself out of this whole thing. I really want to start playing games again, getting really weak willed about it. I started watching some let's plays of games I feel like playing.

As far as productivity, I finally have that giant project out of the way. I don't think it's got a great grade but, it's done. I did a couple more things today too, and my girlfriend helped enforce the bike ride this morning.

Still truckin', yo!

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Hey man! I read your whole journal at work today and it was definitely an enjoyable one. You're just a day away from 3 weeks now, which is huge--congrats on that!

In regards to your procrastination--I'm super self conscious, so one thing that's helped me be productive is working in an open space outside my house (coffee shop, library, etc) where other people can see my computer screen. With all those judgey eyes watching me I just can't bring myself to go on Youtube or watch anime, even if I really want to.

Either way, best of luck! Dealing with the urges is never easy, and personally for me it's something I'm still learning how to do. But just know that if you can find a way to keep yourself busy and push past it, there is something greater waiting on the other side. Rooting for you!!

Also, crash bandicoot? Spyro?? Damn those are names I have not heard in a loooooong time 😂

Edited by Deku
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Day 21:

Starting to lean in on reading in an effort to distract myself from the gaming urges. It's helping, but it's still me sitting around for an hour or so.

Gonna try to have my car fixed up tomorrow, after running it into the ground for the last 4 or 5 years. I think I'm going to end up watching a lets play of a game this week, I keep sort of peeking at them. Idunno.

Still no games, and still truckin'. Thx for the support

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