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Avnat Netzer

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2019-11-03: day 3

This is day 3 of joining game quitters and of my 90 day detox. So far I have had no serious craving to play anything in my steam library.
Nothing surprising there. It's typical for me to abstain from games for a little bit after a serious binge which was only last Sunday.
It's been made even easier since my fiance is back in town. We typically spend time together hanging out with friends or planning our upcoming wedding.
The problem for me is mostly at night. For the past few months I've been staying up late to game often ruining my sleep for the entire week.
It's a mostly manageable pattern. I hop onto my laptop after we say goodnight, open up steam, and try to promise myself I won't play past 1am.
Sometimes it works but even then I'm so wired it's tough to get my brain to quiet down.

My game of choice has been, for most of my life, the strategy game. Civ 3 to 5, a bunch of total war games, and paradox games. It's the sense of accomplishment that draws me back to them again and again. The thrill of starting off small, cracking open a larger opponent, and building an empire out of the ashes. These are usually big games that require planning and research and learning from past failures. I've tried for a while to prove to myself that these lengthy playthroughs are somehow enriching because of how much mental energy I put into them.

I know i'm supposed to not only delete these games from my laptop but also delete my entire steam account. So much money and time put into compiling my steam library. There still are games that, even last week, I've been anticipating adding to my collection and carving out time I don't have to play them. It's tough. I know I should but it would be like burning away a part of my identity.
I've kind of proudly marked myself as a gamer for so long. It's one of my traits as an active member of the geek culture I subscribe to.
I think I just need more time to think about it. A part of me hopes that after the 90 days I can come back to games as a more healthier consumer.

So far I've been fine. All of Friday was spent at work and getting ready for the weekend. Saturday was with friends and today was all about wedding planning. Tonight no craving though I'm very awake and might have trouble falling asleep. Usually this would translate to me playing until I get exhausted. Instead I'm going to read, maybe I'll draw a bit too, and hopefully days and nights like these will lead me to being healthier and free.

Goodnight

- A. N.

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2019-11-05: day 5
90 day detox: | ##~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | 5.6% Complete

Past couple of days have been me going to work, coming home, putting together a quick dinner, and doing wedding planning stuff with my fiance.
No real craving for games but I haven't spent time on some of my other activities either aside for reading before bed.

I've managed to wake up relatively early 6.45 but it takes me a while to get out of bed. My hope is to continue working on learning a new programming language, Scala, in the mornings before the day really gets going and my mind starts to turn into jelly. So far haven't really managed to do much of it.

The break down of my day (ideally)

  • wake up 6am
    • morning routine 1hr
    • learn Scala 1.5 hr
  • leave for work 8.30am
  • come home from work 6.30pm
  • cook dinner and work on the wedding until 10.45pm

What I've done in the past is, after 10.45pm, my fiance will go to sleep and then I'm free to game until about 1 or 1.30am.
Which was manageable except that it tended to ruin my sleep and the next day my mind would constantly be thinking about the current playthrough.

How do I feel after 5 days committing to no games?
Fine. I miss my games. They're still all installed and I look at their desktop icons with a kind of faint excitement.

  • Marching armies across the battlefield in Shogun Total War
  • Building my squad of alien killers in xcom
  • Carving my dynasty's name into history in Crusader Kings 2

I love them and at the same time hate the amount of control these games have taken from me.

The original stresses in my life, the ones that led me to video games, are mostly gone now. I'm left with a lot of regret and a fear that I'm not really good enough.
The regret is easy for me to explain. I dumped 8 years into a degree that should have only taken 4 years. I Regret giving into my own anxieties and turning to games as the solution. Sometimes, when I'm alone and I start thinking again about all my time wasted in college, I think about how much I wish I could travel back in time and stop myself. I wish I could tell myself not to be afraid, that things will actually work out if I face the challenges in front of me.
The fear is harder for me to manage. It's a fear that I really lack the intelligence and charisma to succeed in my career, with family, with being part of a community.
Even with boardgames, which I love, I find that I'm typically a much weaker player than a whole lot of my peers.

This fear is perfectly solved by video games. They're single player games so I never have to remember I'm inferior. If the computer starts to strangle my playthrough, I just turn it off, watch a few more guides online, and come back and try again. Nothing lost, nothing gained. My imagined opponents crumble in front of me and the map slowly turns the color of my faction.

Here's an anecdote from one of my most favorite games, Crusader Kings 2. 
If you know anything about Paradox games is that they can be fairly abstract, systems heavy, simulations. They have steep learning curves, not to the level of dwarf fortress but steep enough to scare away your typical strategy gamer. Crusader Kings 2 is an attempt to simulate controlling a medieval dynasty one character at a time. The game ends after a few centuries or when you (or you die and your heir) lose all your land.

In this playthrough my character is a Welsh lord on his way to unite the kingdom under his dynasty. He is well liked by his vassals but unfortunately dies. His less capable heir takes over and ends up having problems immediately with one of his father's strongest supporters. Turns out the old supporter is his rival because my current character, the heir (now ruler), was sleeping with his wife. The rival is now trying to form a rebellion against the current ruler.
The realm splits in two. The rival ends up murdering his own wife. My character orders his arrest and attempts have him taken to justice but the rival slips away and calls up his banners in revolt.
The two go to war. My character fights for the loss of his lover, his rival fights for the sake of his anger and jealousy.
It's medieval warfare at its most romantic and none of it was scripted.
At the end of the day it's just a bunch of numbers on a screen and a story I made up in my head.

In another game of crusader kings I was a Sicilian lord under Byzantine rule desperately trying to protect the emperor and save the empire from falling. And another game I was an anglo-saxon king fighting off viking invaders.

It's these kinds of stories I create that I miss the most.

Edited by Avnat Netzer

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2019-11-06: day 6
90 day detox: | ##~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | 6.7% Complete

Today:

  • went to sleep late, 2am
    • read a book to help me fall asleep
  • woke up late, 7.45am
  • went to work
  • went with my fiance to see her family

Activities:

  • mostly just wedding related stuff

 

Woke up too late today mostly because I had trouble falling asleep right away and I stayed up later than I should have to write my journal entry.
Didn't get to do any of my morning routine so I didn't learn any Scala.
Work was basically fine. Not much happened other than me continuing with a project I've been holding onto for the past week, writing unit tests in Python. I'm actually pretty new to the language. Most of what I know is Java and C#. Python is fun to work with because it's much more flexible and the syntax is so much cleaner. Also I'm really enjoying mocking objects in Python. It feels like magic especially when compared to some of the other mocking frameworks I've used in Java & C#.

I found I'm having the most fun at any time when I'm learning something new. Acquiring some new skill and adding some value to myself. I only really discovered that this year.
It's also something my fiance showed me by having the confidence in me that I've seemed to lack all this time.

I used to think I hated learning. Growing up I never did particularly well in school. I used to draw a lot, especially in class. At some point my teachers were afraid I might have a learning disability but when I was assessed it turned out I actually scored above average.

The rest of my night went pretty well. We took a train to go see my fiance's family and so she could go dress shopping. I stayed behind and did a little bit of extra work. I got a free home cooked meal also!

Overall I'm feeling good which is rare and I'm trying to enjoy it. I feel a kind of extra energy and I want to put it to use somehow. It's almost like an itch and my first thought is to turn on one of the games on my laptop (they're still all installed). It's not a strong craving but I'm familiar with it. Often, on a Sunday, when I have a lot time that I want to use for something productive, instead I'll take all that energy and dump it into a 12 hour campaign marching armies across Europe.

I'd really rather take my energy and put it towards a side project. Something I really want to do right now is build a small 2d video game probably written in Java.

My plan for tomorrow:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 6.30am
    • morning routine
    • take a shower
    • learn Scala
  • go to work
  • Cook dinner
  • Do activities
  • go to sleep by 12am
    • read a book or draw

Activities:

  • wedding planning
  • Learn Scala
  • Work on video game

 

Wish me luck!

Edited by Avnat Netzer

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2019-11-07: day 7
90 day detox: | ##~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | 7.8% Complete

Today:

  • went to sleep, 1.30am
    • read a book to help me fall asleep
  • woke up 7.53am
    • made time to learn Scala
  • worked from home

Activities:

  • tutored someone in Python
  • wedding planning stuff; we're looking up vendors

So today I woke up late which was kind of disappointing. My alarms exploded at 6.30 but I ended up drifting off anyway until close to 8. My departure time I try to set for 8.30 but today I worked from home. This means I actually did spend time diving back into the Scala course I've been neglecting past couple months.
It was nice. I'm up to the assignment of the second week of the second course on Coursera called Functional Programming Design in Scala. It's tougher than the first course.
There are a few more concepts here I'm not as familiar like Lazy evaluation and infinite streams and I'm still not fully comfortable with the way for loop expressions are done.

The assignment itself is pretty cool. I'm writing a kind of puzzle solver and I have to use infinite streams.

Despite waking up later I felt good. Like actually happy and hopeful. Most days I'm kind of tired, and anxious so I take my good mood as a good omen. Made tea, sat down in front of my laptop, turned on music and put a whole hour into the Scala assignment. Then got to work.

Work itself was fine. More time writing unit tests and learning about mocking in Python. Not much more to say except we had a meeting where I felt like I had something to contribute.

After work a friend of mine messaged me about help with his programming assignment. He's going for his masters in Data science so some of the mathy statistical stuff I was useless with but the core programming stuff I know. I walked him through some basic stuff like iterating over a double array. It felt great.
Afterwards he was super thankful and I was just glad I got the opportunity to teach someone. I know how tough some of this stuff can be starting out. I struggled for a while in the beginning learning programming and constantly doubting whether I was smart enough to really be in the field. I'll take any chance I can get to help walk someone else out of that hell.

Would definitely want to be doing more of that if I can.

After work my fiance came home and we quickly reheated something and sat down to sort out some of our next steps in the wedding planning. A lot of the heavy lifting is on us. We have a venue and now we need to source a band, photography, flowers and a bunch of other minor items that all kind of feed into to this big celebration. It's exciting, we've been building up to this time for a while now and some days I can't even believe it's happening, but also oh so stressful.

It also pretty much sucks up the rest of the evening. As far as cravings go I can't say I've had much. This afternoon, when I was feeling particularly happy with myself and nostalgic for the holidays as a kid, I had a slight urge to game. This is around the time, about 20 years ago, I got my first gaming console and dove deep into a couple of elder scrolls game. It became my obsession a long side of my love for the Lord of the Rings movies (and all of the gaming titles that spilled out from that).

Now I can't really get into fantasy like I used to. Back then I would really get lost in them. I can't tell if it's maturity or because of a kind of built up tolerance after years of trying to transport myself into other worlds.

Tomorrow is Friday so it's my work from home day. Also my roommate is hosting a murder mystery meal Friday night. It's basically where we play a kind of one shot role playing game where we have to figure out which one of us is secretly the killer. There will be 12 of us and will definitely be a lot of fun.

My plan for tomorrow:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 6.30am
    • morning routine
    • take a shower
    • learn Scala
  • work from home
  • Cook
  • go to sleep by 12am (though we'll see how long the game goes)

Activities:

  • Learn Scala
  • prepare for the weekend
Edited by Avnat Netzer

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2019-11-09: day 9
90 day detox: | ##~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | 10.0% Complete

Today:

  • went to sleep, 12am
    • fell asleep right away, yay!
  • woke up 8.30am
    • made time to learn Scala
  • no work, just play!

Activities:

  • Cooked coq a vin for the first time, my fiancee loved it
  • Spent most of the afternoon at a friends and we all hung out
  • Went to another friend's movie night. Watched Hero
  • Spent time there after the movie and we were all chatting

Really nice day all around. I made lunch for both me and my fiance. I'm trying to get better at cooking so that at least we can eat healthier and not have to order out all the time. Both of us are pretty much noobs in the kitchen.

Later int he afternoon we got to hang out with friends that we don't see very often since, after they got married, they moved far enough away that it's inconvenient to go and visit them by public transit. 

Pretty calm, cozy, relaxing day spent with people we care about. Mostly stayed in doors because the day itself was cold.

My fiancee needed to work tonight at a fund raising event. Not so fun for me but that meant my night was a little freer than usual. Thought about playing a game for about a split second but I remembered I'm still on a 90 day detox. About 10% in.
Instead I went to a friend's movie night. They do it bi-weekly and I didn't go last time. It was a lot of fun. We watched an old chinese film called Hero. No not the 2002 movie with Jet Li which was amazing. This was instead a martial arts action gangster movie from 1997 and it was awful but so much fun to watch.
After the movie we hung out and talked about comics, movies, and life. Was refreshing to just be with people that shared my same taste in media.

Also I borrowed Dune from my friend's roommate. I think I'm ready for something sci-fi and weird.

My plan for tomorrow:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 8.30am
    • morning routine
    • take a shower
    • learn Scala
  • have brunch with my fiance and her cousin
  • go to meet with a couple of vendors
  • go to sleep by 12am

Activities:

  • Learn Scala
  • hang out with friends/family
  • meet with at least one vendor
  • start reading dune

 

Goodnight all

Edited by Avnat Netzer

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2019-11-10: day 10
90 day detox: | ###~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | 11.1% Complete

Today:

  • went to sleep, 3am
    • stayed up waiting for my fiance
  • woke up 9.15am
    • made time to learn Scala
  • It's Sunday!

Activities:

  • worked on learning more Scala
  • brunch with my fiancee's cousin
  • met with a vendor for the wedding
  • went to my fiancee's aunt & uncle's for dinner

Stayed up late to wait for my fiancee to come home after her fund raising event. She said I should just go to sleep but I did the sweet thing of waiting up so I could welcome her home after a hard night's work.
It definitely made me groggy the entire day which I expected.

It's late so I probably won't read anything tonight like I planned to. Dune will have to wait.
I don't have work tomorrow which is the best. I get to try and be "super productive" tomorrow which hasn't happened in a while. Most of the time I try and have a "super" productive day I usually end having just a normal (or barely) productive one. But this time I'm feeling confident.

I'm going to wake up. Have breakfast. Take some time to be thankful and indulge in a bit of prayer.
Turn on my computer. Practice some Scala. Work on a video game as my programming side project.
Walk outside for a bit.
Call a vendor for the wedding, probably the photographer, and then update our budget spread sheet.

If I can do all that I'm going to draw a big gold star on a piece of paper that say's "you're fucking awesome" and give it to myself.

It's been 10 days and it feels like forever. This isn't the longest I've gone without games before but it feels longer by how I'm counting up the days consciously fasting. It's like those days where you skip breakfast and dinner because you're too busy or mentally preoccupied. But when compared to the days where you're actively fasting, missing breakfast is the worst. 
Can't wait to get to the 90 day marker so I can put my flag in the ground and say "I made it". I'm not really sure what happens after that but I hope feelings of pride and accomplishment ensue and encourage me to continue with this transition.
Games are a big part of most of my life. They have been both the cause of my distress and also what carried me through the hardest times. And now I want to be able to confidently say "those 20 years of gaming were great but now I'm going to do things that actually make me happy".

My plan for tomorrow: ("Be SUPER productive")

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 7.00am
    • morning routine
    • take a shower
    • learn Scala
  • have a "real" breakfast
  • work on a side project
  • work on wedding stuff
  • step outside to relax
  • go to sleep by 12am

Activities:

  • Learn Scala
  • pray
  • work on a video game
  • balance our wedding budget
  • call the photographer
  • get some fresh air
Edited by Avnat Netzer

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2019-11-11: day 11
90 day detox: | ###~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | 12.2% Complete

Today:

  • went to sleep, 2.45am
    • stayed up for basically no reason
  • woke up 8.30am
  • Day off... except not really

Activities:

  • took a shower
  • had tea and breakfast
  • and then worked from home because stuff broke
  • went to a friends birthday party

I really got very excited to accomplish stuff last night but basically got to do none of it. I guess going to sleep as late as I did last night didn't help my chances.
It's one of my major goals now to try and sleep earlier and it almost never happens. I think one thing that happens is my fiance doesn't fall asleep until about 11.15 most nights. Until then we're doing wedding related stuff and then when she goes to sleep is when I want to take time to think, relax, and try and write this journal entry. It ends up pushing my night back by at least an hour.
Another thing I see happening is I'm replacing the extra time I have with things like youtube. I don't feel as bad since it's never game related material. I've decided it's best to stay away from that stuff since it's really just a way for me to game vicariously. I like to watch historical stuff, pop science, and maybe some fantasy stuff (D&D related channel I love a lot called zee bashew. He's great and I wish I had his job).

So today I got up. Took sometime to think and pray, be thankful for the world around me and try and visualize a serene and productive day. Instead I got a bunch of notifications on my phone. One of my work's cloud providers went down and it broke some stuff on our pipeline. I'm on "guard" duty basically and today was my last day. One day later and I wouldn't have to bother. The rest of the morning and the entire afternoon was spent tracking down error messages and trying to decipher their meaning.
Was a mess and it meant I accomplished almost nothing on my list from last night.

I did manage to call the photographer and get a price quote as well as a list of videographers we could work with. I also made a basic budget sheet from a template and added a couple of colorful graphs. Color is a great way to enhance mundane things.

Basically no gold star. I'm disappointed but I don't feel guilty about it.

The rest of the night was spent getting to a friends birthday party. Her boy friend worked really hard to surprise her and did a great job. We had dinner and painting. A professional came and guided us through a painting session. Another friend had the good sense to bring a bottle of wine. Best thing when waving around a paint brush is to be holding a glass of alcohol.
It was so much fun and I really enjoyed mixing the paints into different colors. Something I did a while ago when I took some basic painting classes back in college. Also just putting the brush to canvas and just not caring about the result is nice and freeing.

My plan for tomorrow:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 7.00am
    • morning routine
    • learn Scala
  • go to work
  • cook
  • go to sleep by 12am
    • read a book (currently Lord of the Rings)

Activities:

  • Learn Scala
  • pray
  • cook
  • more wedding planning.
    • Probably talk to more vendors
Edited by Avnat Netzer
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2019-11-12: day 12
90 day detox: | ###~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | 13.3% Complete

Today:

  • went to sleep ~1.30am
    • read a book (Lord of the Rings)
  • woke up 7.45am
  • Day off (this time for real)

Activities:

  • had tea and breakfast
  • prayed
  • watched a lot of youtube
  • practiced Scala
  • worked a little bit on Video Game
  • wedding planning
    • spoke to another vendor (photographer)
    • left a message with a florist
    • tweaked the guest list

So today was actually my day off. I asked my boss if I could take the day since yesterday was kind of a bust for me and I actually wanted to accomplish some personal items. He said yes which was great. I stayed home. Most of the morning was cold and rainy. I was really drowsy the whole day. Went to sleep latish last night again and it was tough to wake up in the morning.

I didn't end up having as much motivation today as yesterday. Ended up sitting on youtube a while watching world war 2 videos about the eastern front. Very dramatic stuff and I love watching videos on military tactics and troop deployments. It's similar to watching replay of a strategy game except these are events that actually happened.

The day kind of went by like a thick soup. No particular moments stand out and the rest I just remember with a sort of blurry fatigue. I did manage to work on Scala for the afternoon.
I finished the assignment for this week of the course. It was a puzzle solver performing state transitions but with immutable data and pure functions. Cool stuff. Not sure how I would use that in my actual job but it's fascinating.
I really enjoy functional programming and it makes me feel cool. I'm all about feeling cool.

Also took some time to work a bit on a video game. Want to make a 2d hex grid as a map. Following this guide --> https://www.redblobgames.com/grids/hexagons/ . It's super comprehensive and even has a basic blue print for how to design the grid in code.

My fiance came home from work a little on the later side (7pm) and she was fuming. We got straight to working on wedding planning but she was aggravated and I got aggravated also. The planning itself is tough and she has a demanding job and I'm also anxious about doing well at my job. All in all we didn't get as much done.
We had leftovers for dinner and just sat and relaxed on the couch for a bit. I felt very tired.

My plan for tomorrow:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 6.30am
    • morning routine
    • learn Scala
  • go to work
  • cook
  • go to sleep by 12am
    • read a book (currently Lord of the Rings)

Activities:

  • Learn Scala
  • pray
  • cook
  • more wedding planning.
    • Probably talk to more vendors
    • get people's emails for a save the date

GN fellow game quitters...

Edited by Avnat Netzer

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2019-11-13: day 13
90 day detox: | ###~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | 14.4% Complete

Today:

  • went to sleep ~12.30am (hurray)
    • read a book (Lord of the Rings)
  • woke up 6.30am (2x hurray)
    • morning routine
    • worked on video game a bit
  • went to work ~8.30am

Activities:

  • had tea and breakfast
  • prayed
  • worked on the video game
  • wedding planning
    • spoke to 2 vendors today

Today I actually woke up around the time I wanted to but my morning wasn't so productive. I managed to make tea and breakfast for myself, brush my teeth, put on clothes and I sat down to work on one of my goals. Debated whether or not I get started on week 3 of the Scala course early or if I switch to working on my video game. The video game has been fun. I like putting together the hex map framework and it is giving me a chance to write a stateful program but in an immutable and pure functional way. Doing my best to try and take what I'm learning into daily practice.
I chose to work on the game but got bogged down in an issue with my dev environment and didn't end up making much progress.
Eventually the clock struck 8.15 and it was time to pack it up and go.

Got to work at a decent time. Sat down with my phone for a bit while brooding over the work that I'm a little behind in. I'm constantly worried about my performance and I'm not sure whether or not I'm really hitting the "bar" for my team. Today we had a meeting about a recent project my team completed together. There was some feedback that we got that was related to the parts I was mostly responsible for. It made me question myself again and I'm always wondering whether or not I'm fully qualified to succeed in this field. I love programming which is what frustrates me at my job that this love doesn't immediately translate to success. So much of what I do depends on delivering a working and profitable project within a limited time frame. The quality and precise nature of the code is barely even tertiary to that.

My plan for tomorrow:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 6.30am
    • morning routine
    • learn Scala
  • go to work
  • cook
  • go to sleep by 12am
    • read a book (currently Lord of the Rings)

Activities:

  • Learn Scala
  • pray
  • more wedding planning.
    • Probably talk to more vendors
      • need to find more photographers for comparison
    • need to call my mom to get family emails
  • figure out my plans for thanksgiving
Edited by Avnat Netzer

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2019-11-14: day 14
90 day detox: | ####~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | 15.6% Complete

Today:

  • went to sleep ~1.30am
    • read about a page of Lord of the Rings
  • woke up 7.35am
    • brush teeth, breakfast, no tea ? 
  • went to work ~8.30am

Activities:

  • breakfast but no tea ?
  • prayed
  • spoke to my mom about family emails
  • figured out thanksgiving plans
  • worked on Scala after work

Went to sleep late last night so in the morning I woke up an hour later than I like to and was drowsy most of the morning.
Drank tea once I got to work.
Turned on my computer and got cracking. Was actually very focused on work and the project I'm currently on. I still feel kind of insecure about my position within my team and I've been there over a year at this point.

I managed to practice some Scala after work. Up to week 3 and it's all about handling stateful programs functionally which should prove actually useful for me.

After work my fiance and I took a break from wedding planning and went out to eat. Was pricey but very good. 

Once we got home my fiance sat down to write a couple messages to family members. I looked at my newsfeed and saw a kotaku article on a game called Unity of Command 2. It's WWII strategy game and it looked interesting from the review. I've also watched a bunch of youtube videos on the eastern front of the war and am kind of itching now to try and play out the logistics and supply war but in a game.
It makes me sad because I so wish I could enjoy something like that but I know what it's going to turn into for me.
I wish I could rather make something as cool as that rather then be tempted by it.

Tomorrow won't be so productive because it's Friday:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 6.30am
    • morning routine
    • learn Scala
  • work from home
  • cook for the weekend
  • go to sleep by 12am
    • read Lord of the Rings before bed

Activities:

  • Learn Scala
  • pray
  • cook all the food
  • call a vendor for the wedding
Edited by Avnat Netzer

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2019-11-16: day 16
90 day detox: | ####~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | 17.8% Complete

Today:

  • went to sleep ~11.30pm (perfect)
  • woke up 8.20am
    • brush teeth, breakfast, tea
    • read two books (Scala, Rich Dad Poor Dad) 
  • Hung out with friends

Activities:

  • breakfast and tea
  • prayed
  • studied a bit of Scala
  • Had a birthday movie night for a friend

Here's my placeholder for now. It's late and I need to sleep but will fill in the rest tomorrow morning.

UPDATE:
Not much done on Friday like I thought though in the morning I was able to figure out what was wrong with my IDE for writing unit tests in the Game Library I'm using.
Something about Gradle that I don't fully get... but it works now!

It was my friend's birthday this weekend so me and a bunch of others planned a whole thing. I helped out with some of the cooking and setting stuff up in the evening for the party. Was really nice and I felt part of the group. It's something I've really only had the chance of experiencing the past two years.
All my years struggling through college were spent alone. I had few friends and those I had I receded from completely to hide from my issues and play games instead.

Now I have a group of friends I hang out with but I still have trouble watering that garden. It's difficult for me to stay in touch with people unless I see them face to face regularly. It's lost me a good number of my friends in the past and video gaming made it even worse.

Saturday was just relaxing. I woke up around 8.30am which is before my fiance wakes up and I had a couple of hours to myself.
Sat down with a handbook on Scala reading more on handling state transitions in a purely functional way. It's a paradigm that I'm realizing is going to take me a while to get used to.
The other book I'm currently working through is a basic book on personal finance called Rich Dad Poor Dad. It's a very easy read. The first few chapters are him talking about growing up and how he first learned about money. It hooked me in easily. The rest so far has him bashing the middle class understanding of finance and how they trap themselves in debt and things they think are assets but really are just draining them of money. It described my dad so well that is kind of scary.
This part of the book feels more like a prophecy of what's going to happen to me.

The rest of the day went as I expected it. Nice and slow. We had lunch and a few of us stayed in my apartment and hung out talking. That night I picked up the pizza and we had a "birthday" movie night for our friend. Was really just an excuse to eat junk food and watch a late nineties movie.

My plan for tomorrow:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 7.30am
    • morning routine
    • learn Scala
  • do some wedding planning
  • go to sleep by 12am
    • read Lord of the Rings before bed

Activities:

  • Learn Scala
  • pray
  • cook
  • call a vendor for the wedding
Edited by Avnat Netzer

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2019-11-17: day 17
90 day detox: | ####~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | 18.9% Complete

Today:

  • went to sleep ~12.30am
  • woke up 8.30am
    • brush teeth, breakfast, tea
  • Wedding Planning

Activities:

  • breakfast and tea
  • prayed
  • Called vendors
  • Went to networking event

Today was tough. We spent most of the day working on parts of the wedding that need to come together. All of the vendors are still a question for us. We do the research but then find ourselves choosing between the cheaper option and the better option which means adjusting our budget. The thing about a budget is if you add money somewhere you need to take it from somewhere else.

On top of that my fiance and I got into a fight over something really didn't need to turn into an argument. I got very upset and went for a walk where we talked on the phone still arguing. I came back, we hugged each other and cried for a bit. The issue itself is still unresolved for me.

I really wanted to end the conversation and just switch on a game and switch off. I guess the one victory here for me is I didn't

My plan for tomorrow:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 6.30am
    • morning routine
    • learn Scala
  • go to work
  • go to sleep by 12am
    • read Lord of the Rings before bed

Activities:

  • Learn Scala
  • pray
  • cook
  • work on video game a bit at night

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2019-11-18: day 18
90 day detox: | ####~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | 20.0% Complete

Today:

  • went to sleep ~12.30am
    • read lord of the rings
  • woke up 7.50am
    • brush teeth
  • went to work ~8.30am

Activities:

  • prayed
  • Called florists today

Still simmering from yesterday. I felt kind of tired and numb the whole day.
Managed to finish up last parts to a project at work and now moving on to the next.

I haven't had any time to focus on learning Scala which has been kind of frustrating. No time spent on my side project, the game.

I've been using youtube as a handy substitute for gaming to keep my frustration at bay.

I did manage to speak to a couple of florists today for the wedding and schedule appointments with them. Hopefully we can find someone soon. I'm getting anxious as the weeks go by and we haven't locked down any one of our vendors.
Tonight both my fiance and I came home tired and couldn't muster any energy to put towards wedding planning.

Hoping tomorrow to feel better

My plan for tomorrow:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 6.30am
    • morning routine
    • learn Scala
  • go to work
  • go to sleep by 12am
    • read Lord of the Rings before bed

Activities:

  • Learn Scala
  • pray
  • cook
  • work on video game a bit at night
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2019-11-19: day 19
90 day detox: | #####~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | 21.1% Complete

Today:

  • went to sleep ~1.00am
    • read lord of the rings
  • woke up 6.50am
    • brush teeth, breakfast, tea
  • worked from home

Activities:

  • prayed
  • wedding planning
  • cooked dinner
  • practice typing
    • 38 word per min

Didn't sleep the greatest last night so I worked from home instead. Kept dreaming about writing unit tests for my game.
I'm now transitioning from my previous project to a new one which can be hard for me sometimes if I'm not sure where to start. This time I am since it's just an extension of a previous task I've worked on.

I haven't spent any time on Scala or my side project today which is disappointing. Instead filled a lot of whatever time I had with either Youtube or netflix.
I have a setting on my phone that deactivates either app once I've gone over my "budget" with them.

Was watching some more history related stuff on YT about Italy. When I ran out of that I switched to netflix and burned down my hour long budget for it.
I know I should be avoiding this kind of behavior. My mind is looking for ways to distract itself when I should be putting my energy towards my goals.

I decided it's about time I become better at typing. I have a kind of bastardized form of touch typing where I don't really need to look at the keyboard but I'm really only using like the same 3 fingers at most and my hand is flying all over the keyboard.
Right now looks like my speed is up to about 38 words per minute which is probably only slightly above average.
I would like to be at 75 which is very fast.

My job requires enough typing where by now this is a skill I really should have mastered. I've just convinced myself I don't need to since I can more or less type.

Tonight I cooked which is great. I usually don't stockpile ingredients I would need to cook since I can never be sure when I'll actually do it. I worked from home today so I went to the store picked up stuff and made lentil soup.
Second time so far and my fiance really appreciated it.

It was really nice to eat something fresh and home made for once. We were both in a good mood for the rest of the evening.
Amazing what home cooking can do.

My plan for tomorrow:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 6.30am
    • morning routine
    • learn Scala
  • go to work
  • go to sleep by 12am
    • read Lord of the Rings before bed

Activities:

  • Learn Scala
  • pray
  • work on video game a bit at night
  • go to a networking event
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2019-11-20: day 20
90 day detox: | #####~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | 22.2% Complete

Today:

  • went to sleep ~1.30am
    • read lord of the rings
  • woke up ~10.00am
    • brush teeth, breakfast, tea
  • worked from home

Activities:

  • prayed
  • practice typing
    • 34 word per min
  • side project game
  • draw

Another night of low quality sleep. I have this cold that doesn't seem to want to go away. Ended up waking up in the middle of the night, took a shower and read lord of the rings to try and put myself back to sleep. I'm halfway into the two towers and Frodo and Sam have been following Gollum through Ilthilien to Minas Morgul. I relate to Frodo because he's exhausted and his only goal for the entire book is to just keep going no matter what the odds are.

I slept for most of the morning trying to recover lost sleep and I worked from home because I just can hardly even think about public transit let alone go outside in the cold. When trying to quit gaming it would be nice if I could actually feel well rested, healthy and motivated all the time. It would help but I guess not a guaranteed.

Around lunch I took a break and practiced some typing. I'm using keybr.com and am enjoying it. I'm pretty slow especially on my right hand which is weird because that's my dominant hand.

After work I spent some more time working on my side project. I didn't end up going to a networking event I planned to. Would have been nice to be social today but I enjoyed the time alone. Time to be by myself and relax.

Sadly no Scala today though it was part of my plan. My fiance is working late tonight so I have the whole night to myself. A couple of times my mind started thinking about turning on a game. I miss crusader kings 2. But it passed and I was able to sit down and draw for the first time in a very long time.
I poured 2 hours into it and it felt good.
I used to draw a lot in high school. I would often idly scratch something into my notebook during class. At one point I wanted to be able to draw actual characters so I drilled for at least 10 minutes a day sketching character poses and portraits. Was around the time I fell in love with anime and decided I wanted to create my own manga. I haven't done much of that since college but maybe now I'll have more time to spend on still-lifes. If I ever get a drawing tablet I would like to get into digital art.

Not feeling the best so I may work from home again and I'm definitely not even going to try waking up early tomorrow morning.

My plan for tomorrow:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 8.00am
    • morning routine
    • learn Scala
  • work from home (probably)
  • go to sleep by 12am
    • read Lord of the Rings before bed

Activities:

  • Learn Scala
  • pray
  • work on video game a bit at night
  • typing
  • Call a vendor for wedding
Edited by Avnat Netzer
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Hi!

Thank you for sharing your journey. I relate to much of what you say.... I think many of us on here do!

 

A couple posts up you talk about fear. The fear and shame of not succeeding or measuring up to others. Then using video games as a way to numb the pain. I think this pattern is so common and it’s great that you have recognized this! 
 

Connecting with your highest truth, I see that you pray, and connecting with others is the best way to see that we are not alone in this. You are doing so amazing, I will be following along.

 

And good luck with the wedding planning! Have a beautiful day my friend. 

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Thanks @Icandothis . really appreciate your thoughts and wishes.
Hardly any of my friends have struggled with games. For them it was a thing they did as kids and wasn't important anymore.
I started to feel alone and I withdrew from a lot of my original friends. I felt like I was stunted. Forever trapped as a 14 yr old while my friends continued to succeed.
While I was still trying to climb out of the academic hole I had dug they were moving on, graduating, getting jobs, and some of them were even getting married (though I realize now that that was actually a pretty young age for it).

I resented them for it and hated myself for being so weak. For a little while though I started to believe that my gaming was actually a healthy hobby. But there's simply nothing healthy about my relationship with games.
Reading everyone's journals here has been eye opening. Like you said, my experience is common to so many of us and it's comforting and inspiring for me.

Edited by Avnat Netzer
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2019-11-21: day 21
90 day detox: | #####~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | 23.3% Complete

Today:

  • went to sleep ~2.00am (oof...)
    • read lord of the rings
  • woke up ~10.00am
    • brush teeth, breakfast, tea
  • worked from home

Activities:

  • practice typing
    • 33 word per min (my speed is dropping as I learn more keys)
  • side project game
  • spoke with a vendor for music

Still have this cold and had to really fight to go to sleep last night. Took medicine and a shower and a cup of tea. Was finally able to drift off.
Needless to say my day went pretty slow.

Worked from home today. I managed to practice typing and worked on the game in the evening. Ran into a large issue with it that had to do with pixel to game world coordinate conversion. Had to do with a really bad assumption I was making about shapes... because I never paid attention in geometry class.

For dinner tonight we had left overs. My fiance and I hung out with a friend afterwards and we were all over tired. Joking and sharing weird funny videos on youtube. Was nice.
Afterwards called a couple vendors about the wedding but the night was pretty simple and relaxing.

Tomorrow we're going to my mom's to spend the weekend. 

Friday so I don't expect to be that productive:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 7.00am
    • breakfast, tea, shower
  • go to work 8.30am
  • go to sleep by 1.30am
    • read Lord of the Rings before bed

Activities:

  • pray
  • breakfast, tea
  • typing
  • travel to my mom's for the weekend

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2019-11-24: day 24
90 day detox: | ######~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | 26.7% Complete

Today:

  • went to sleep ~12.30am
    • read lord of the rings
  • woke up ~10.30am
    • brush teeth, breakfast, tea
  • Sunday, no work

Activities:

  • went to a wedding
  • cleaned up my room

Recap from last couple of days:

Friday, as usual was a pretty simple day. Work was light and my fiance and I went to my mom's for the weekend. I was still getting over my cold so I slept for most of the time.

On Saturday I drank lots of tea. We took my mom's dog and my nephew to the park. Was cold and I had trouble sleeping the night before because of how cold my room was. It's an old house and the heating is not the greatest.

Today (Sunday) we had a wedding to go to. Was the daughter of close family friends so we were all invited including my recently engaged fiance. We spent the morning getting ready and I focused on cleaning my old room. I haven't lived in my mom's house for years already but have a lot of left over garbage. I found a couple of letters with my dad's name on it. Some correspondence between him and old friends. My dad passed a way several years ago so now any words he left behind are precious to me. I slipped the letters into my bag to take back with me. Most of what was in my room is garbage though.

The wedding was really nice. Was such a blessing to be able to celebrate with our family friends. My fiance and I danced. I'm a really bad dancer but she doesn't mind. I made sure to drink a lot to make it through the night and now I'm buzzed and too wired to go to sleep.

I was so awake I felt the urge to play a game but instead turned on netflix and started to watch a really bad sci-fi film. A decent replacement and the urge kind of dissipated.

Hopefully I will fall asleep soon. Good night fellow game quitters!

My plan for tomorrow:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 7.45am
    • breakfast, tea
  • work from home
  • go to sleep by 12.00am
    • read Lord of the Rings before bed

Activities:

  • pray
  • breakfast, tea
  • typing
  • scala
  • side project, video game
Edited by Avnat Netzer

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I see you were into Paradox games as well! I played Hearts of Iron, Steel Division 1944 and a couple of other games from them. I surely enjoyed all the thinking, strategizing and analyzing myself.

Does your fiance know that you quit games? I'm not sure how many hours you spend on games (perhaps also YouTube and Twitch), but chances are the more you spent there, the more your life will seem to shake with everything within it.

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@Ikar yeah I love all that stuff! Paradox has real talent except for one of their most recent titles, Imperator. I was actually hyped for it's release until I watched reviews that said how bad it was.

And no I haven't really addressed the issue with her and I'm afraid to talk about it with her. Planning our wedding is already so stressful and I don't want to make her anxious about me and having a relapse. But as far as she knows gaming is just another nerdy thing I do. She's not aware of how harmful gaming has been for me and my attempts to manage it.

Plenty of our other friends who are married have spouses that game. I don't really know if they have a gaming problem per se, or if they had to kind of negotiate how gaming is actually handled within the relationship.

I know that if I ever tried to tell her I need "3 or 4 hours a night" where I completely ignore her and just sit in front of my computer pushing soldiers around the screen, it's not something she would really understand. And she would consider it something that's not entirely healthy... rightfully so.

I do spend a lot of time watching videos on YouTube and stuff and that's something I think is more recognizable to her. She might get annoyed at me if she feels like we're not spending any time together. Truth is I do actually need time alone to be quiet and dig into some kind of craft whether it's programming or drawing.
She's more of an extrovert and I'm an introvert so there's tension there.

I feel like I need to understand my own abuse of gaming before I try explaining it to her.

Edited by Avnat Netzer

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2019-11-25: day 25
90 day detox: | ######~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | 27.8% Complete

Today:

  • went to sleep ~5.30am (?)
    • read lord of the rings
  • woke up ~9.00am
    • brush teeth
  • Worked from home

Activities:

  • more wedding planning

So I didn't fall asleep until extremely late. Like around 5.30 in the morning which, since it's almost winter, is still not early enough for the sun to start coming out, but it's really late. I was up watching the entire first season of a show on netflix. I'm very familiar with this kind of behavior by now. I don't feel as bad because I was able to fall asleep pretty quickly at that point. Usually if I have gamed that far past the night and into early morning it would be actual hell for me to fall asleep. My mind would be swirling with images from my session and hatching plans for my next moves against a computer that couldn't care less if I win or lose. It would be a miracle I even tried to rip my eyes from the screen and attempt to sleep at all.
I guess netflix is much the same but gaming is a lot stickier for me.
I think one of the more harmful things my abuse of gaming did was take sleep away from me.

I managed to catch a few hours sleep and I worked from home today. The work day was light and it's a short week this week so not much pressure at work for the moment.

I did spend a good portion of my day trying to refill a prescription for my asthma. My primary doctor decided to go on vacation and it was impossible to reach him. Eventually got the prescription sent to a nearby pharmacy and spent 40 minutes on line. By the time I was home my fiance was annoyed because we were supposed to be calling vendors and price matching them and we had lost an hour and a half. No time to cook so we ordered chinese and got to work.

We managed to get a bunch of stuff done and the rest of the night went well. Chinese place forgot to give us fortune cookies though. At the end we stopped, watched a movie, and my fiance put her head on my lap and dozed off.

Overall the night was nice but I worked on basically none of my goals because I went to bed late and spent the better part of my day ruining my doctor's vacation.

Tomorrow will be better:

Tomorrow:

  • wake up 7.00am
    • breakfast, tea
    • Scala
  • Go to work 8.30am
  • go to sleep by 12.30am
    • read Lord of the Rings before bed

Activities:

  • pray
  • breakfast, tea
  • typing
  • scala
  • side project, video game
  • draw something
Edited by Avnat Netzer

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2 hours ago, Avnat Netzer said:

@Ikar yeah I love all that stuff! Paradox has real talent except for one of their most recent titles, Imperator. I was actually hyped for it's release until I watched reviews that said how bad it was.

And no I haven't really addressed the issue with her and I'm afraid to talk about it with her. Planning our wedding is already so stressful and I don't want to make her anxious about me and having a relapse. But as far as she knows gaming is just another nerdy thing I do. She's not aware of how harmful gaming has been for me and my attempts to manage it.

Plenty of our other friends who are married have spouses that game. I don't really know if they have a gaming problem per se, or if they had to kind of negotiate how gaming is actually handled within the relationship.

I know that if I ever tried to tell her I need "3 or 4 hours a night" where I completely ignore her and just sit in front of my computer pushing soldiers around the screen, it's not something she would really understand. And she would consider it something that's not entirely healthy... rightfully so.

I do spend a lot of time watching videos on YouTube and stuff and that's something I think is more recognizable to her. She might get annoyed at me if she feels like we're not spending any time together. Truth is I do actually need time alone to be quiet and dig into some kind of craft whether it's programming or drawing.
She's more of an extrovert and I'm an introvert so there's tension there.

I feel like I need to understand my own abuse of gaming before I try explaining it to her.

What I am thinking of is that gaming is an addiction as any else.

Imagine that instead of a gaming problem, you'd have an alcohol problem, downing three beers each night. I think she would notice more easily you are not drinking anymore compared to quitting games. I observed a lot of the standing GQ members and the result of quitting games is a lot more than having X more hours to do other things.

The main thing is that you also notice how your gaming lifestyle got you involved with similarly oriented people. If you are able to spend a couple of hours a day hopelessly sucked into something, people who associate with you will likely have some skeletons in their closet as well.

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@Ikar yeah I don't know what affect quitting games is having on my life right now.

Quote

I observed a lot of the standing GQ members and the result of quitting games is a lot more than having X more hours to do other things

Yeah I've gotten sort of the same feeling from creeping around other people's journals. I'm not sure I see the same change for myself since I'm always so busy with planning this wedding I never have the kind of down time I used to.
Though during school I actually had no realistic amount of free time and yet played hours of civilization anyway. I think there I was suffering so much more from the fear of failing and not being as smart as some of my classmates. When it comes to wedding planning there isn't that same fear and inadequacy and there's a second person sharing the burden of it. We do compliment each other in certain ways. I've handled price comparisons and compiling everything into spreadsheets (so many spreadsheets) and she's handled a lot of the calls and follow up emails.
Once we got engaged I changed up my gaming schedule to be later and later and night until sometimes I would play the entire night and have to pretend like I wasn't as tired as I actually was. A few weeks ago, when she went away for several days, that's when I was pulling 12-16hr game sessions and it scared me.
I'm afraid of what happens when we're married and I end up playing again and I'm craving another 12 hour sessions. Another Sunday burnt at my computer and we have kids that need to be taken care of.
I think that's the real reason I'm here, on this forum, hoping to change myself. Of course I want to be more "successful" and actually grow as a person but I'm also quitting games because of my fiance and the possible damage games could do to my future.

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