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Sick, tired, and bored of gaming! So I'm quitting.


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On 7/4/2022 at 9:10 PM, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

EA sent me an email about a new addition coming to The Sims 4, triggering but I'm grateful to know I won't be wasting more money on their half baked products

Needless to say, I did of course unsubscribe from their mailing list!

Had a dream about Animal Crossing that filled me with nostalgia, but watching my wife browse through games looking for something to play really reminded me just how Not interested in gaming I really am right now.

Minimizing screen time has also been going quite well. Podcasts are very helpful for this. It's hard for me to overconsume podcasts or any audio really because I get overstimulated after a while and want to give my ears a break from wearing ear buds. Plus, with an 8 month old who loves screaming, sometimes I just want to embrace moments of quiet with my full attention.

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Today is day 40!

My wife is having a hard time understanding why I want to quit gaming. So I wrote this on paper to her. I am now transcribing it so that I may post it here.

...

I don't want to play video games anymore. The "why" feels quite simple to me really. When I compare my life during video game detoxes to my life when I'm gaming, I find that I simply like myself and my life better when I'm not gaming. Unfortunately for me explaining this to others isn't quite that simple.

Personally, even if I have 30 - 60 minutes of time that is not being taken up by anything else, not arts and crafts, not baby care, socializing, blah blah etc. even if I'm so bored I want to die... I still would prefer to not game. But why? I know why. It's simple to me. When I game I do not only game for 30 - 60 minutes, maybe for a short time right after ending a detox, but in my experience it never stays that way.

When I game it quickly becomes the thing to fill all voids in my life. My easiest way to escape. It's designed to be good at this. Gaming is a fully immersive experience. For me personally such things are addictive. It is very similar to why and how I used drugs. I saw this happen with RCT. All dull moments quickly were filled with my game and I felt fatigued by this. Our brains are not designed for constant simulation. I need true downtime and video games do not allow that for me.

My intention here is not to judge others and dictate how others should live their lives and spend their time. I just want to do what works best for me. I have found through trial and error that not gaming seems to work best for me.

I have noticed a dramatic difference in my overall behavior and mood when I am not gaming. The most obvious is that I can't be irritated by having my game interrupted if I don't do it in the first place. I also do not get angry at games (which have the power to enrage me quite easily) if I don't play them either. My attention span I have noticed is also improving. I have more desire to be social, active and creative.

Gaming is very reclusive and sedentary for me. Oftentimes it does however allow me to be creative, I won't forget that! But I can be creative in so many other ways, many of which give me a physical item as a result, and therefore feel more productive to me. My joints also thank me for not gaming as well since I overuse my fingers and wrists less and move my whole body more.

There are so many other ways in which I would prefer to spend my time, money, attention, etc. that now gaming feels unnecessary to me. Why game when I can draw, read, write, listen to music, swim, go on adventures, play with my daughter or cats, watch a movie, call someone, go to a meeting, do chores, even just think or daydream!? When I game I seldom leave time for these other activities. I even enjoy chores more when I don't game! I genuinely dread them less! That's huge for me. And I enjoy my hobbies and social activities more too.

Not just gaming though... Compulsive overuse of technology weighs me down. Keywords: compulsive, overuse. Technology still serves me, still has a place in my life. It is more of a tool now though, not 80% of my life. If I didn't feel such a stark difference from not gaming, I'd still be gaming. But I do. It's undenial to me. This isn't even my first detox. I have done this three times prior and each time I noticed the difference

I always returned to gaming with a strong intention to not let it take over my life again but unfortunately it always does. It is actually easier for me to not play than to moderate. It's so much like trying to only eat one potato chip, to only have one hit of weed. Moderation is so hard for me. It feels genuinely so much easier to just abstain instead.

Again, this is all very personal and I have no intention to try and make anyone else quit. I just want to live my life the way that makes me the most happy and contented overall. That's it.

 

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I skimmed through the first and last pages of this journal - you’ve made amazing progress! I’m happy you were able to deduce that moderation just wasn’t feasible for you, and that it makes more sense for you to cut them out altogether. Not everyone is able to come to terms with a decision like that, so be proud of yourself! I’ll be keeping up with your progress over the coming days. Keep it up!

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On 7/11/2022 at 1:06 AM, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

Personally, even if I have 30 - 60 minutes of time that is not being taken up by anything else, not arts and crafts, not baby care, socializing, blah blah etc. even if I'm so bored I want to die... I still would prefer to not game. But why? I know why. It's simple to me. When I game I do not only game for 30 - 60 minutes, maybe for a short time right after ending a detox, but in my experience it never stays that way.

I think it's just the fact people still don't fully grasp the idea that gaming could be addictive. They've heard of smoking, drinking, gambling... but gaming? I am however confident there'll be more self-identified gaming/social media addicts coming out of the closet over time, as the "uniqueness" stigma lifts as the mainstream media talks about the issue more and more.

On 7/11/2022 at 1:06 AM, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

When I game it quickly becomes the thing to fill all voids in my life. My easiest way to escape.

...

I have noticed a dramatic difference in my overall behavior and mood when I am not gaming. The most obvious is that I can't be irritated by having my game interrupted if I don't do it in the first place. I also do not get angry at games (which have the power to enrage me quite easily) if I don't play them either.

Is there a clearer way to say something is addictive? I think it's one of the best descriptions of addiction I've ever read.

On 7/11/2022 at 1:06 AM, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

Again, this is all very personal...

Reading this part, I remembered reading or hearing somewhere that people often think that they are "ordinary people who have unique experiences", while the opposite is more likely - we are "unique individuals having common experiences". It's worth thinking about when facing a problem - probably billions of people had the same problem to solve at some point too.

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I wanted to share a few posts from my personal art blog, which I find relevant to the topic of digital minimalism:

http://arioctober.art.blog/2022/07/12/my-sketchbook-system-4-is-the-magic-number/

"I have to attribute a lot of this success to my change in lifestyle choices. I have not been playing video games for 42 days now, and over the last several years I have been working on cutting down on my internet consumption and overall screen time. Forcing oneself to allow for a healthy dose of boredom works wonders for increasing creativity and productivity, at least in my personal experience! Now I find drawing to be fun, a time for play and exploration, when previously it mostly felt like work and a chore compared to the instant gratification of the digital world.

Obviously technology still serves me, as I am currently writing this blog post on my smart phone. It has just become more of a tool than an entertainment device! I am currently very satisfied with my relationship to my tech and my art. It’s such a pleasure to be able to deliver such news!"

http://arioctober.art.blog/2022/04/29/why-you-cant-find-me-on-instagram/

"I’ll give you the TL;DR up front: I spent a large chunk of my youth on social media and I have experienced for myself just how damaging it can be. It is only through leaving, rejoining, and leaving again that I have come to see clearly what these sites do to me. I find myself much happier and less stressed now that I no longer participate on these sites."

 

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Ikar said:

I think it's just the fact people still don't fully grasp the idea that gaming could be addictive. They've heard of smoking, drinking, gambling... but gaming? I am however confident there'll be more self-identified gaming/social media addicts coming out of the closet over time, as the "uniqueness" stigma lifts as the mainstream media talks about the issue more and more.

Is there a clearer way to say something is addictive? I think it's one of the best descriptions of addiction I've ever read.

Reading this part, I remembered reading or hearing somewhere that people often think that they are "ordinary people who have unique experiences", while the opposite is more likely - we are "unique individuals having common experiences". It's worth thinking about when facing a problem - probably billions of people had the same problem to solve at some point too.

Very much appreciated, Ikar!!

And I love that, unique individuals having common experiences, I believe that is 100% it!

Edited by GrainSiloEnthusiast
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Most screen time I've had in a while, so far 3 and a half hours on my phone today. 2 hours and 22 minutes of that have been spent on the WordPress app, writing posts and then also re-reading my own blog, and checking up on some of the blogs I follow.

3 and a half hours is a lot, but I used to average 8 hours on my phone ALONE, combined with other screens was easily 12 hours every single day. How the times have changed!

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1 hour ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

Genuinely triggered today. I have a few ideas on why but still not exactly sure what's up with me.

One method I use to cope with cravings, urges, and other negative thoughts/emotions is the R.A.I.N. method. First, RECOGNIZE that you’re experiencing a craving in the first place. The other steps aren’t possible without this one. Second, ACCEPT your craving, don’t fight it. This doesn’t mean give into it, but merely accept that it is there. What you resist, persists. Third, INVESTIGATE the craving. Where did it come from? What may have caused it? Don’t dwell on the craving though. Fourth, NON-IDENTIFY with the craving. It’s not who you are, and therefore there’s no need to act on it. As suddenly as it appeared, it will pass. Let me know if this helps.

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1 hour ago, Paul A. said:

One method I use to cope with cravings, urges, and other negative thoughts/emotions is the R.A.I.N. method. First, RECOGNIZE that you’re experiencing a craving in the first place. The other steps aren’t possible without this one. Second, ACCEPT your craving, don’t fight it. This doesn’t mean give into it, but merely accept that it is there. What you resist, persists. Third, INVESTIGATE the craving. Where did it come from? What may have caused it? Don’t dwell on the craving though. Fourth, NON-IDENTIFY with the craving. It’s not who you are, and therefore there’s no need to act on it. As suddenly as it appeared, it will pass. Let me know if this helps.

Yes, RAIN! My old therapist taught me that too, I had forgotten about it until you said it though.

I may try to make a poster for that so I can remember it!

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I'm gonna talk about something here that I HATE talking about, because I've been obsessing about it lately and I really want it to stop!! I wonder if taking about it will help.

As far as I am aware and have every reason to believe, I am 1/8 Cherokee. My mom's birth father's mother was Cherokee. Probably eastern band. Unfortunately our history is complicated and messed up. I'm not officially "registered" with the tribe, and don't know if we even can be. It's something we've been trying to figure out, but unfortunately it's hard when my mom can no longer have her father in her life (more on that later.)

I am sick and tired of being the butt of everyone's joke, especially because we just so happen to be of the tribe that so many people claim to have blood in for "cool points" or whatever. Not all mixed unregistered native people are lying, colonialism destroyed a lot of families. I know because of racism it's a big deal that people lie about this stuff. But as far as I am capable of knowing, I'm not lying. It matters to me because I don't want to throw away any of my ancestors and their ethnicities. I am a lot of different ethnicities, I am the same amount Portuguese as I am Cherokee, but nobody questions me being Portuguese! At least immigration records clearly prove my family being from the Azores... But then again that wasn't destroyed for the sake of trying to wipe out an entire group of people either...

I am going to mention alcoholism, racism, and sexual assault in the following paragraphs. This is your content warning.

My mother's father abandoned her and her mom when she was a baby. My mom was half-adopted by her step dad, an Irish dude. But my mom came to know her birth father when she graduated high school, and she ended up moving in with him. At some point when they were both drunk, he raped her.

Unfortunately my mom didn't cut him out of her life for a long time. I grew up knowing him because my mom wanted me to have grandparents in my life and we lived in the same city at the time. My mom needed all the help she could get, we were extremely impoverished and for the first year and a half of my life she was still a drunk. My father is extremely neglectful and was of no help at all to my mom (and unfortunately they're still married!!!)

My mom eventually told me what happened, and we decided together to cut ties with him. He's never truly made amends, he always blamed the alcohol and danced around the issue. I was a teenager at the time and the news was devastating. I'm honestly still a bit pissed that she let me be around him alone...

His story is fucked up too though. His dad's side of the family didn't like his mom being Cherokee. He married her to piss them off and they had two children together. When his dad went off to fight in the war she had no choice but to move in with them, and they were horribly racist. At some point, she left. Maybe she was even kicked out, no idea. He went searching for her later in life and she had died from alcoholism.

So basically, long story short, my 1/2 Cherokee grandfather that I grew up with, is a racist asshole because he was raised by his horrible racist white grandparents... Who also raped my mother and never even tried to make proper amends.

So yeah, me and my mom are on our own in trying to prove we are who we say we are.

I've been boiling over this thing I saw that was mocking people who claim to be Cherokee and can't prove it. Obviously there's white people who are just being ridiculous and Rachel Dolezal-esque, but that's not the case for probably most of us honestly. The whole concept of blood quota is steeped in a horrible violent history of colonialism. I don't see anyone asking for papers when I talk about being Scottish, Portuguese, or even Rromani (which is way more likely to not be true than being Cherokee, but again I only have what my parents have told me to go off!!!! Isn't that the case for most people???)

Sometimes I wish I knew everything or nothing. That I had proof or knew for sure it was all a lie. Even genetics tests can't be 100% trusted, so why waste $200. Sometimes I wish we were from ANY other tribe, other than the one everyone uses to mock a small group of obnoxious white people. I feel like I can never talk about my heritage because I always get treated like one of those people.

It really comes down to the fact that every aspect of myself has been invalidated by someone at some point.

I'm a lesbian. People love to debate that about me! Doesn't help that I do date women who have dicks if I happen to fall for one, because I'm not transphobic and I don't care about what's downstairs. I'm just attracted to people with feminine energy, and gender is performative nonsense anyway. Which leads into the fact that I'm also nonbinary, and being both nonbinary and a lesbian is a fucking shit show when it comes to identity politics.

I am also disabled. And as someone who was previously an ambulatory wheelchair user, I got all sorts of shit about being a faker. People come up to me less now that I'm mostly using my cane again, but I still get dirty looks. It doesn't help that the whole process of getting SSI is so fucking incredibly invalidating.

Oh yeah, I'm also several different flavors of mentally ill, including being autistic. I wasn't diagnosed until I was 19 years old!!!! That being said, I wasn't diagnosed with my physical disability until then either!!!! I was just treated as a bad kid, not a troubled one.

I was also severely abused growing up and no one believed me or cared on the few occasions I did speak out.

It's just a cycle of invalidation after invalidation after invalidation. I'm so fucking sick of it. It's not of anybody's goddamn business anyway! Now that I'm an adult with my own private life, most people don't care about this stuff, but it still affects mentally.

So anyway as I was saying, I've been obsessing about this shit ever since I saw the thing that pissed me off on Wednesday. My screen time has been way higher than I want it to be. I haven't played games, I haven't used drugs, I haven't self-injured, but I feel like I'm hitting my bottom lines when it comes to my tech addiction. 

I'm not sure how exactly relevant this all is to quitting gaming... But it's definitely relevant to my mental health and I think that's relevant to quitting gaming. I just needed somewhere to vent where I'm not super attached to the people and their opinions of me!

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Your story made me feel more thankful of my life sinceI have the chance to struggle against my addiction without most of the issues you face.

Suppose you might have gotten this from NA already but let's take it one day at a time I suppose. Pretty sure last few days you have done well for yourself. As a fellow gamequitter, I am rooting for you, even though you are not attached to my opinion (haha).

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6 hours ago, LostRiver said:

Your story made me feel more thankful of my life sinceI have the chance to struggle against my addiction without most of the issues you face.

Suppose you might have gotten this from NA already but let's take it one day at a time I suppose. Pretty sure last few days you have done well for yourself. As a fellow gamequitter, I am rooting for you, even though you are not attached to my opinion (haha).

Just because I'm not attached to your opinion doesn't mean I don't value it at all haha. I very much appreciate the kind words!

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I am going to set a new challenge for myself: Nothing New 90.

Essentially for 90 days I will only spend money on: food, experiences, and utilitarian necessities.

The goal is not just to reduce spending but to reduce accumulation and clutter. Spending isn't really what I'm concerned about, so even if I'm spending more but I'm not accumulating more shit that's fine by me.

This is actually perfect because by starting today it will end exactly on my daughter's birthday!

I am still allowed to accept gifts. However as always, if it cannot actually serve me, I will find another home for it. I don't keep things just because someone special gave it to me anymore. I think regifting something is more respectful if the item would otherwise just collect dust.

I am allowed to buy things we genuinely need.

For example: We have to buy some shorts for our daughter because she hates clothes that go on over her head, but she's learn to take her own diaper off. We need something for her to wear when we are relaxing at home, because normally we don't make her wear clothes at home since she doesn't like to wear them. We only have two pairs of pants for her and they are kindof long so they get in the way of her mobility. She does seem to like only wearing pants though, so I need to get her at least a couple of pairs of shorts.

Another obvious example is things like replacement toothbrushes, toothpaste, sponges, dish soap, cat litter... Actual necessities that we buy regularly. 

I don't need to buy more books. I don't need to buy more knick knacks. I don't even need to buy more stickers to go in my sketchbooks!!

I have a library card. I am considering getting a yearly membership to the museum so we can go whenever we feel like it (pays for itself after like two trips!) I have a YMCA membership. I will still be allowing myself to eat out. I do not need to go shopping for fun!!

I've been combating my hoarding since 2019, when the tidying up show came out on Netflix. I have completely turned around my life since then, and I think I'm tidier than the average American. However, in my eyes we still have too much shit. There are a lot of spaces in our living area (We share our home with my wife's extended family so not all of it can be controlled) that are not as tidy as I'd like them to be.

While doing this challenge I am also going to focus on reducing clutter around the house. Again, our living spaces are already relatively tidy, but they could be better. I'm striving for the best I can do!

I'm going to make a list of all the rooms in the house that we have dominion over, and then I'm going to make sub lists of each problem area in those rooms.

Wish me luck!

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This idea of getting the house all tidied the way I want it to be... That's a dream I've been having for a long time. Not gaming has given me the time and energy to actually pursue this dream! And I couldn't do that without this community, stumbling across game quitters on YouTube a few years ago now, that was actually a life-changing experience. Even though I haven't been game free this entire time, the idea has been in the back of my mind ever since then. I'm feeling a lot of gratitude right now.

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16 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

I am going to set a new challenge for myself: Nothing New 90.

Essentially for 90 days I will only spend money on: food, experiences, and utilitarian necessities.

The goal is not just to reduce spending but to reduce accumulation and clutter. Spending isn't really what I'm concerned about, so even if I'm spending more but I'm not accumulating more shit that's fine by me.

This is actually perfect because by starting today it will end exactly on my daughter's birthday!

I am still allowed to accept gifts. However as always, if it cannot actually serve me, I will find another home for it. I don't keep things just because someone special gave it to me anymore. I think regifting something is more respectful if the item would otherwise just collect dust.

I am allowed to buy things we genuinely need.

For example: We have to buy some shorts for our daughter because she hates clothes that go on over her head, but she's learn to take her own diaper off. We need something for her to wear when we are relaxing at home, because normally we don't make her wear clothes at home since she doesn't like to wear them. We only have two pairs of pants for her and they are kindof long so they get in the way of her mobility. She does seem to like only wearing pants though, so I need to get her at least a couple of pairs of shorts.

Another obvious example is things like replacement toothbrushes, toothpaste, sponges, dish soap, cat litter... Actual necessities that we buy regularly. 

I don't need to buy more books. I don't need to buy more knick knacks. I don't even need to buy more stickers to go in my sketchbooks!!

I have a library card. I am considering getting a yearly membership to the museum so we can go whenever we feel like it (pays for itself after like two trips!) I have a YMCA membership. I will still be allowing myself to eat out. I do not need to go shopping for fun!!

I feel you. I do have some gifts sitting in my room, collecting dust. I think my family and close friends mostly got the drift by this point, however I still sometimes get something, when upon seeing it, I know I'm not gonna use it. Myself, I prefer to give some experience (e.g. invite my brother for sushi) or food (meat, nuts, alcohol), so the chance is low that it won't be used, or at least re-gifted. 

16 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

I've been combating my hoarding since 2019, when the tidying up show came out on Netflix. I have completely turned around my life since then, and I think I'm tidier than the average American. However, in my eyes we still have too much shit. There are a lot of spaces in our living area (We share our home with my wife's extended family so not all of it can be controlled) that are not as tidy as I'd like them to be.

While doing this challenge I am also going to focus on reducing clutter around the house. Again, our living spaces are already relatively tidy, but they could be better. I'm striving for the best I can do!

I'm going to make a list of all the rooms in the house that we have dominion over, and then I'm going to make sub lists of each problem area in those rooms.

Wish me luck!

I also very much prefer to have my own system in my own room and it's usually reasonably tidy, except when I'm in stretches when I am busy. It's not a nice sight when everything is everywhere, also because it's easy to lose track of the stuff.

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Posted (edited)

Another gaming dream last night. It really is funny how I only tend to dream about drugs when I'm sober, about gaming when I'm detoxing. I felt really disappointed about relapsing in that dream. I felt very pulled into the game and was having a really hard time breaking away. Good reminder! I'm actually very grateful for these using dreams.

I didn't have much energy yesterday, and spent the whole day alternating between reading manga on my phone and watching a couple shows on Netflix, or just zoning out. I wanted to draw and feel like I haven't in a few days, but that isn't even true. I've actually been drawing a LOT lately, I just didn't do it yesterday and somehow with that it feels like it's been a week. I have like, drawing amnesia. I always feel like I "haven't been drawing enough recently" unless there's literally a pen or brush in my hand!!! As long as today can be more productive somehow I don't actually mind having had a rest day though. The shows I watched were inspiring for my decluttering and tidying goals, the manga I'm reading is Blue Period which is very inspiring for my art goals.

 

Today we need to try to go get some shorts for our babygirl and hopefully (fingers crossed) some effective storage bins for our room. The ones we have are "tapered" (so the bottoms are more narrow than the tops) and those are very wasteful of space. There are some things sitting on top of our dresser that could easily fit inside if we had bins with vertical walls rather than slanted ones. Since I consider it a utilitarian purchase and it is with the goal of cutting down on visible clutter, this does not count against my Nothing New 90. Assuming of course, I keep my head straight and only buy what I went in intending to buy!!

Edited by GrainSiloEnthusiast
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