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CornishGameHen

Escaping a Virtual World

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Quit Gaming

  • 13/30
  • no urge to game

Sleep

  • went to sleep at 10:30 pm yesterday
  • woke up this morning at 6:40 a.m.
  • about 8 hours sleep

Exercise

  • 45 minutes brisk walking outside, nice weather today, mild
  • prefer being outdoors versus inside a noisy gym

Reading

  • 1 hour reading The Shipping News, 1/4 of the way into the book
  • 20 minutes reading two sewing manuals for upcoming project

Computer use

  • 45 minutes browsing Independent Sewing Designers, purchased and downloaded three new patterns
  • 1 hour watching documentary

Hobbies

  • 1 hour knitting leg warmers while watching documentary

Social Activities

  • nothing much today, still enjoying my solitary time

Other Tasks

  • sorted through my large stash of fabrics, discarded scraps, sealed larger fabric cuts in air-tight plastic bags
  • bought groceries, recycled bottles

Positive Thoughts

  • I'm grateful that I'm finding meaning again in my life, and that I can look forward to the next day to start a new project.

Random Thoughts

It was good to sit quietly and let myself feel emotions.  I felt some loneliness again, but it passed after I remembered that I'll be meeting with my knitting group next week.  I think building relationships will just take time and effort.  On top of that, it's about me allowing myself to open up to others, unlike what I used to do before.  I reflected about my coworkers, who revealed some personal issues with me during the car ride to the casino.  It's not easy to discuss such things, even with coworkers you've known for five years.  I felt honored they trusted me.  I haven't said much about myself yet, in regards to personal struggles, but one day I would like to.  I guess it's all about timing.  

My brother and I chatted for a long time on the phone today.  He's the one person I look up to.  He's got his entire life together, raises a family, loves his wife, has a decent social circle, good career, etc.  Typical poster boy for the 'successful' life, I guess...lol.  I don't envy him at all;  I am really proud of him.  Anyway, I said that I was trying to come out of my shell a bit more, and he was very supportive.  He told me he'd been worried that I was becoming a recluse.  I didn't disagree.  Before we said good-bye, he invited me to a pot-luck at his house next week with a bunch of his coworkers and friends.  I didn't say yes or no.  I'm a bit intimidated by it, actually.  Shyness and social anxiety are kicking in pretty bad right now.  I'll most likely go.  It's the battle in my brain that's exhausting right before social events like these.  I'll try some meditation to calm my thoughts this week.  

Wishing you guys all the best out there.  ? 

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Quit Gaming

  • 14/30
  • no urge to game, too tired from work

Sleep

  • went to sleep at 11:00 p.m. yesterday
  • woke up this morning at 6:30 a.m.
  • 7.5 hours sleep

Exercise

  • 30 minute interval training after work, brought earplugs to the gym which worked like a charm

Reading

  • taking a day off reading due to being too tired, just need to sleep early tonight

Computer use

  • 30 minutes total = writing journal in GQ and reflecting
  • checked work emails and personal emails

Hobbies

  • no project work today

Social Activities

  • walked with coworkers during lunch break around nearby park

Positive Thoughts

  • I'm thankful for a comfortable bed to sleep on.

Additional Thoughts

I'm beat.  I could sleep for hours right now.  Work was hectic today.  I stayed half an hour over-time to chart, as there was a power outage for an hour and I didn't have access to a computer until later in the afternoon.  

I'm mid-way through my gaming abstinence.  Upon reflection, I have not experienced the withdrawal symptoms that many gamer addicts experienced.  I don't feel jittery, or restless, or even emotionally dead inside.  I don't have a craving to login to a game.  I don't think I'm on that addiction spectrum with gaming, which is what I was trying to determine in my 30-day experiment.   And when I look at the past two years of my life, I was so exhausted from work that sometimes I didn't even want to look at a computer.  I do so much charting at work, my eyes get so tired of looking at a computer screen, that I wonder how I even was able to game longer than an hour at a time.  

I read Cam Adair's latest post about reasons to not game, and in it he mentioned that there are people who can moderate, people who are not addicted, but who play games casually.  I've never had a game interfere with my work, never had to call in sick due to being up late gaming, never experienced a disruption of sleep or altered eating habits, I've never canceled out on important events (eg. family pot-lucks) because I'd rather stay home to finish a game.  And the list can go on.  

As I've said in my other journal entry, I wonder if my childhood was a buffer in that I didn't play video games until I turned 30.  Maybe the fact that I wasn't exposed to repeated dopamine hits from a game as a child, that my neurological network doesn't experience those types of withdrawals as an adult?   I played outdoors, was involved with sports, clubs, learning piano, arts and crafts.  You name it.  My parents took us kids to anything that was free in the community, apart from the music lessons.  No video games.  Period.  Fast forward to the current situation, I don't even crave the video games.  I think I actually have an aversion to them from a physiological point of view.  Too much visual stimulus and even auditory stimulus all at once.   It was over-powering me, thus I wondered why I was becoming so irritable.  I never gamed more than a couple of hours at a time, and not even every day.  I'd be too tired to game.

What I've learned from this experience so far is that it's about finding balance and feeling fulfilled with how you spend your time.  Without one activity compromising another, or preventing you from tending to important daily tasks in life, or impeding upon your relationships.  One can be addicted to gambling, and it would incur the same negative results.  Gaming disorder is real and it's something I never want to experience.  

I was able to see what areas of my life are lacking;  the social aspect.  I do have to be mindful still about isolating myself.  I love doing crafts on my own, but even this activity can be isolating if I don't re-evaluate my life from time to time.  So, I put myself in a craft guild to share my interest with like-minded people.  Or I make sure to keep in touch with my coworkers every so often, invite them to dinner or a movie for quality time.  

Thanks to everyone who reads my journal.  It's definitely a different perspective coming from somebody who is a casual gamer, and not an addict.  I think video games are still fun for me, after I've seen to all my responsibilities and projects.  I will likely go back to game in moderation, and due to my new passion for sewing and creating a personal fashion blog, I think my gaming time will be significantly reduced.    

Blessings to you all!  

 

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Quit Gaming

  • Day 18
  • too busy with life to feel like gaming

Sleep

  • totally screwed, kept waking up throughout the night
  • probably four hours sleep total

Exercise

  • brisk walk in park 45 minutes

Reading

  • 1/2 way through The Shipping News novel
  • read for 30 minutes yesterday

Computer use

  • no computer use for two days over the weekend, world record for me in over two years

Hobbies

  • some knitting here and there, probably 2 hours total over three days

Social Activities

  • spent time with brother and his wife on Friday night

Other Activities

  • house-sitting brother's house Saturday and Sunday

Positive Thoughts

  • I'm grateful to be at home today, in my own comfortable surroundings, eating my own home-cooked food.

Random Thoughts

Well, I was away for most of the weekend.  I spent my time house-sitting at my brother's home across the border.  I didn't ask him for his laptop password because I wanted it to be a computer-free weekend for me.  I expected myself to be bored and I was for a long time.  I really had to get myself outside to find any source of entertainment, other than watching Netflix all day or the news.  So, I went for a walk around the neighborhood, the local mall, ate at a few restaurants, went to see a movie.  Pretty much all outside activities.  I didn't sleep well either.  I missed my comfortable bed and cozy quilt and blankets.  My neck is quite sore too.  

Anyway, as soon as my brother and his wife returned from their weekend get-away, I raced back home in my car, and fell asleep for a couple of hours.  I still need sleep.  I'm irritable and lazy today.

I have absolutely no desire to do anything today.  I just want to sleep for a while and feel comfortable again at home.  I really don't like house-sitting. Maybe that's why I haven't been on a vacation in over three years away from home.  Yeah, I'm weird like that.  

I had a chance to speak to my brother about my anxiety.  I told him I felt anxious about attending his pot-luck party this weekend.  He knows I'm shy, but I don't think he understands how bad my social anxiety gets when I'm around certain social functions.  At work, I'm fine.  I don't have problems socializing with coworkers, or public speaking.  It's become a routine, I guess.  He asked why I was anxious about his party, and I told him a few things.  I really don't like some of the people that will be attending.  One of his close friends is a real snob, along with his wife.  All they talk about is how incredible their life is.  100% 'me-focused'.  On top of the egocentric couple, all of his friends are married.  So, honestly, I'll be the only single person there.  Nice, how fun.  My brother laughed it off, and this made me feel so annoyed.  He's never had a problem in the area of socializing as I do, so I guess he just doesn't understand.  

Man, I'm too tired.  I'll write more later. 

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Quit Gaming

  • Day 19/30
  • reminisced about exploring a virtual world in video games today, but no frantic urge to start playing a game just to pass the time

Sleep

  • poor sleep from yesterday
  • went to sleep at 11:30 pm yesterday, woke up a few times throughout the night
  • woke up this morning at 5:45 a.m., feeling fatigued

Exercise

  • 30 minutes at local gym, interval training
  • walked around park, leisurely stroll, beautiful day outside, sunny

Reading

  • reviewed online course for workplace skill upgrade 
  • 30 minutes

Computer use

  • 30 minutes reviewing workplace module
  • 2 hours watching movie
  • 20 minutes writing in private journal

Hobbies

  • sat on park bench and knit for 20 minutes, while listening to music

Social Activities

  • not much today, too tired, need my alone time
  • spoke to brother on the phone tonight

Other Tasks

  • minor household chores; dishes, laundry
  • took my truck to auto-service to get oil change and have tires rotated, plus brake inspection

Positive Thoughts

  • I'm grateful for a beautiful park nearby

Random Thoughts

I missed a part of video gaming that I most enjoyed:  exploring the virtual reality.  Instead, I went for a walk around a nearby park to enjoy the scenery and to get some sunshine.  It's been pissing rain the last few weeks or so.  This is a nice change.

My brother called me tonight and said he'd change the social gathering to a restaurant instead of his house.  I asked why.  He said he thought about how I felt anxious around a few of his friends, and decided that a restaurant would be easier.  I guess people can just eat, talk a little bit, and then leave within a reasonable time frame.  Plus I don't really have to talk to everyone at the table.  I asked who I'd be sitting next to.  And he said he'll have me seated beside him and his wife, and two of his friends that I don't mind talking to.  I thanked him for considering my shyness and all that.  I felt a bit weird, though.  I don't expect people to go out of their way to accommodate me, that's all.  I felt a bit embarrassed too.  So, I said "Hey, thanks but you didn't have to do that. I'm sure I could manage otherwise."  He just laughed and said I shouldn't worry.

I'm not sure this is the best way for me to grow.  I can't expect myself to be protected all the time.  My brother's always been that way with me.  He's five years older and kind of my best friend too.  

Anyway, another day has passed, and I'm not too worried about the weekend gathering.  I'm just physically tired.  Takes me a few days to catch up on a botched sleeping schedule.  

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I too miss the ability to explore the virtual world of games. I remember that as a Runescape player I would sometimes just go for long walks in the game just admiring all the little details. Good on you for getting up and exploring the irl world instead of succumbing to those feelings.

I also think it's awesome that you have a great relationship with your brother. My sister is my best friend and we're very close, but since she surpassed me and went on to become very successful I feel like we've fallen apart a bit. All the best to you on that front. It's great to have a sibling to talk to whenever you need it.

PS I really like the template of your journal and stole a couple bits of it for my own. Hope that's okay. ?

Edited by Self made miracle
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1 hour ago, Self made miracle said:

I too miss the ability to explore the virtual world of games. I remember that as a Runescape player I would sometimes just go for long walks in the game just admiring all the little details. Good on you for getting up and exploring the irl world instead of succumbing to those feelings.

I also think it's awesome that you have a great relationship with your brother. My sister is my best friend and we're very close, but since she surpassed me and went on to become very successful I feel like we've fallen apart a bit. All the best to you on that front. It's great to have a sibling to talk to whenever you need it.

PS I really like the template of your journal and stole a couple bits of it for my own. Hope that's okay. ?

Hey thanks, @Self made miracle!  I don't mind if you take some ideas from my journal profile.  I also keep a private journal too, to reflect on my thoughts and progress.  

Welcome to GQ forums!  

 

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Dear Journal,

I am going to skip the usual drill of typing out what I've done today and goals and whatever.  It's way past my bed-time, so I'll write a brief synopsis.

As a person who enjoys crafting, I think this hobby has saved me from the perils of boredom many-a-time.  I have a series of projects that I'm doing; knitting, sewing, coloring books, paper crafts, to name a few.  

I spent the rest of my time after work today organizing and rearranging my craft room.  I bought a bunch of new items from Ikea such as shelves, two sewing tables, and two comfortable chairs.  Oh, and also one bright and adjustable working lamp that I can attach to the end of each table.  I love how everything looks.  Organized, bright, clean, and colorful!  I hung on the ceiling some cool paper flowers I made.  It reminds me of Spring time.  

The environment I work in must have inspiration.  I love color, and especially anything that reminds me of the great outdoors, particularly the ocean.  Yes, it's my craft working space, but it's also a space of serenity.  I don't want it to be cluttered with junk or debris, or scraps, etc.  So I made sure to put two garbage pails beside each work station.  

Tomorrow, I'll start stacking the shelves with boxes of materials:  ribbons, colored paper scraps, fabrics, stencils, stamps, etc.  

Not once did I think about turning on my computer to game today.  I was too excited about my new crafting room and how to decorate it.  

It's too bad not many people here are into crafts.  This hobby gives you a great deal of satisfaction, and pride, and possibly monetary reward.  I am going to reopen my online Etsy shop, and start selling what I sew, which will be children's plush toys that I"ll make from scrap material.  

Blessings to you all! 

 

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Dear Journal,

Yesterday was a fun day.  My nephew went trick or treating with his mum, and I stayed at their home to hand out candy.  It was pizza, pop, candy, and chocolates the entire night.  I felt like I gained 50 lbs.  Oh well.  It's a once-a-year celebration which will require 365 days of recuperation.  

I got home at 9:30 p.m. and worked on a knitting project while watching The Twilight Zone, older episodes.  Overall, a nice night.  I'm very grateful.

 

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Quit Gaming

  • 24/30
  • no gaming urges

Sleep

  • went to bed last night at 2:00 a.m.
  • woke up at 10:30 a.m.
  • I feel refreshed due to uninterrupted sleep 

Exercise

  • Plan is to go outside for a brisk Autumn walk in the park, it's a bright sunny day

Reading

  • day off reading

Computer use

  • yesterday I watched a documentary for two hours
  • 20 minutes writing in my private journal
  • 20 minutes watching sewing tutorials and browsing for free clothing patterns that I can download

Hobbies

  • yesterday I spent a good deal of time working on my projects:  knitting and sewing
  • completed sewing a blouse, and also finished a toy

Social Activities

  • on Saturday I had lunch with my brother, his wife, and a handful of his friends/coworkers

Other Tasks

  • today I will cook spaghetti and bake a New York cheesecake
  • laundry to do

Positive Thoughts

  • I am grateful for the weekend.

Random Thoughts

Slow down.  

Traffic.  Media.  News.  People rushing here and there.  We're on an internal time schedule clock.  

I had to get off the hamster wheel.

The thought "slow down" popped into my head several times yesterday as I went about town doing tasks like grocery shopping, looking for a new book at the library, and rushing to get to my brother's lunch get-together.  Every task and direction I took was steadily becoming blurred into one long stream of RUSH.  I think my mind disconnected from my body and I was on auto-pilot, doing my daily tasks without much thought, really.

Slow down.

What does this mean to me?  I'm taking time today to ponder that thought, and to apply it to my day.  I'll write more about it later.  

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Quit Gaming

  • 25/30
  • wow, the end is near.....no gaming urges

Sleep

  • went to bed yesterday at 10:00 p.m
  • woke up today at 6;45 a.m.
  • I felt well rested for a change

Exercise

  • 30 minutes interval training at local gym
  • walked the dog around the park 25 minutes

Reading

  • yesterday I read for 45 minutes, The Shipping News, almost done the book

Computer use

  • today I spent about 20 minutes reading GQ and responding to a couple of posts, wrote in journal
  • 20 minutes writing in private online journal
  • tonight I'll spend an hour watching a movie

Hobbies

  • currently working on my third knitting project for Christmas gift

Social Activities

  • resting day from social activity, a bit burned out from last weekend and work today

Positive Thoughts

  • I am grateful for a warm home.

Random Thoughts

On Saturday I went to my brother's social get-together with his friends and coworkers at a restaurant.  It was nice.  I sat with my brother and his wife, and then two of his very outgoing coworkers sat with us.  In total there were about ten people there.  I didn't have a chance to speak with everyone but I wasn't crying over that.  Most of the conversations I had were driven and lead by other people.  I listened, smiled, and commented when there was opportunity. Everyone was in good spirits, and we didn't stay long either.  Overall, I had a nice time.  

When I arrived back home, I instantly felt a relief.  It was calm, quiet, and warm.  I just wanted to wrap myself up in a cozy blanket, watch a movie, and sip some hot tea.  Which I did, hahaha.  

Did I feel like I made a connection with others at the lunch?  Not really.  I mean, I get along with my brother and his wife well enough, but it felt more like a 'function'.  Similar to having a potluck at my work.  I won't see these people again for maybe several months at the summer barbecue.  So, I didn't really feel like I was missing out on much at all.

This week, my goal is to invite my coworker to a movie.  She's the lady who's into gambling.  She shared some personal things with me about her struggles, and I kind of want to share some things with her too.  This is a different approach for me.  I've always been 'kept to myself' these last few years.  

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On 11/3/2019 at 12:15 PM, CornishGameHen said:

Quit Gaming

  • 24/30
  • no gaming urges

Sleep

  • went to bed last night at 2:00 a.m.
  • woke up at 10:30 a.m.
  • I feel refreshed due to uninterrupted sleep 

Exercise

  • Plan is to go outside for a brisk Autumn walk in the park, it's a bright sunny day

Reading

  • day off reading

Computer use

  • yesterday I watched a documentary for two hours
  • 20 minutes writing in my private journal
  • 20 minutes watching sewing tutorials and browsing for free clothing patterns that I can download

Hobbies

  • yesterday I spent a good deal of time working on my projects:  knitting and sewing
  • completed sewing a blouse, and also finished a toy

Social Activities

  • on Saturday I had lunch with my brother, his wife, and a handful of his friends/coworkers

Other Tasks

  • today I will cook spaghetti and bake a New York cheesecake
  • laundry to do

Positive Thoughts

  • I am grateful for the weekend.

Random Thoughts

Slow down.  

Traffic.  Media.  News.  People rushing here and there.  We're on an internal time schedule clock.  

I had to get off the hamster wheel.

The thought "slow down" popped into my head several times yesterday as I went about town doing tasks like grocery shopping, looking for a new book at the library, and rushing to get to my brother's lunch get-together.  Every task and direction I took was steadily becoming blurred into one long stream of RUSH.  I think my mind disconnected from my body and I was on auto-pilot, doing my daily tasks without much thought, really.

Slow down.

What does this mean to me?  I'm taking time today to ponder that thought, and to apply it to my day.  I'll write more about it later.  

Hi my friend!

 

I completely agree. Sometimes I just stop and wonder what everyone is rushing towards. With the horns, disgruntled looks and inpatient faces. 
 

I hope you have been able to meditate on this more! Sending love my friend. Have a beautiful day!!

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