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Hey! My name is Max and I’m 17 yo Russian guy. A little intro how I fucked up my life. 
 

I wasn’t big fan of computer games until 13. That year I decided to move from regular school to online education. I thought that education system in my country is a mess and I’m wasting time on things that aren’t important to me. Thought that I could better manage my time. After I started studying online indeed I had much more free time, lessons and homework were taking only 2-3 hours a day. But instead of filling that void with something healthy and meaningful I started playing games on PS4. That wasn’t really the issue back then. I was playing casually a couple of hours a day and after that managed to reduce it to only 1 hour a day (I set a timer every time I played). I was learning programming and electronics, and even tho I didn’t communicate with others a lot I didn’t feel the need at all. I was happy with what I got in general. And then Overwatch open beta came out...

I installed Overwatch on my console just because everyone in gaming community was talking about it, and beta was totally free, so why not give it a try? And I liked that game, it felt so fast, gameplay on every hero was different. So I started to play overwatch casually for a couple of hours a week alongside other games I had. After half a year or so I lost interest in other games and switched to Overwatch. After a while I felt that console is holding me back because all good players and pros were playing on PC. I bought Overwatch for my laptop and it felt a lot better aiming on mouse compared to controller, but my game was lagging a bit so after half a year I raged and broke my laptop with a hammer (I still despise myself for doing it). But instead of quitting and investing my time on something else I was thinking only about playing Overwatch and after 3 months of suffering without gaming I built my own PC for Overwatch. I played like this for 2 more years, my rank was slowly improving (I was trying to get better at the game, constantly trying to climb on another rank, after that setting my goal on rank higher etc. Every win gets you rank points and I became addicted to them). All that time I was barely studying, not interested in anything but Overwatch. Constantly watching streams of good players and thinking on what could I improve in my play. I was more than addicted, Overwatch became my reality.

After reaching master (second best rank in the game) I joined a team of players of my skill level. We were practicing together and playing tournaments. At that period of time I was thinking about being a pro player despite my dream of being engineer. Nothing else mattered to me. 

One year ago I became grand master (best rank in the game) and then reached position in top 500 players in Europe. I was playing with teams and solo. Always in need to reach rank higher than my current. Last 2 years sometimes I was getting angry on myself for wasting all my time on useless game instead of studying and talking to people, making friends, working out and doing hobbies. I uninstalled the game more than 30 times past few years, but I always relapsed. Sometimes I managed to stay clean for a month, sometimes relapsing in less than a day. When I am not in a game I realize how lonely I am and how empty my life is, so I start to think about the game and good moments I had in it. I reached the point where I’m not even having fun in the game anymore, Overwatch is toxic with trash community, people are always insulting each other in the game, so I rage all the time when someone in my team is playing poorly or insulting me. I’m just playing it to fill my life with something, I don’t know how to live differently. I tried to play other games instead, like The Witcher 3, Sekiro or even Minecraft. And every time I am getting bored after a couple of hours, they remind me of Overwatch and I’m ending up playing it. So I am not addicted to computer games in general, I am addicted to Overwatch. I guess it’s because I’m good at the game and don’t need to learn anything new or because Overwatch is the only place where I interact with people.

So, I guess the main reasons I’m addicted to Overwatch are: 1) Interacting with people 2) Being good at the game which makes me feel happy 3) Ranking system without skill ceiling 4) Competing with other players 5) Escaping real life where I’m miserable 6) Killing time 

But everything’s changed recently, 6 days ago I uninstalled [again]. I made a promise to myself that this time I won’t relapse. I gave away my gaming 144 Hz monitor and bought 60 Hz instead. I’m thinking about selling my GPU and buying something not powerful enough to run Overwatch. I also think about getting rid of Windows (I use Linux as my main OS, but I have Windows installed alongside on another hard drive). I uninstalled all games I had even tho I didn’t play anything but Overwatch. I deleted my twitch and unsubscribed of all gaming channels on youtube.

So yeah, now I have a lot of free time and I need to do something with it, otherwise I’ll relapse again. Currently I’m reading a very good book about how computers work (on transistor level in a chip). And I have a couple more good books to read about electronics and computers. I bought online courses to learn Java programming language as well. In a week I’ll resubscribe to my workout and nutrition program. I’m not really struggling with talking to people so I think when I’ll start going outside (maybe find some interesting courses or something like that) I’ll make some friends for sure. I have a lot of experience in relapsing (30+ times lol) so I think it is important to keep track of your time. I started using an app where you can set a timer for certain tasks, so in the end of the day you’ll have an idea what you’ve done. Ah, and it’s my last year in school so I need to prepare for exams properly this time. 
 

Special thanks to @Marek and @BooksandTrees. Your stories inspired me to write my own.
 

I guess that’s all I wanted to tell. Think I’m gonna update it weekly just because I feel like daily style is not for me.

Wish ya’ll a nice day!

Max

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Edited by WhoCares
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Hey everybody. I’m past 3 weeks milestone (20 days 21 hours 4 minutes). Last week was great and I would like to share my thoughts. The most important thing obviously is that I didn’t relapse. I d

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3 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

Welcome to the forums. I'm glad youI found my story relatable and I'm glad you're here. Be patient and willing to learn on this journey. There's a lot of good people in this community to learn from. Looking forward to seeing your diary. 

Thanks a lot. I’m ready to start a new life

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Hey everyone! So it’s been almost 2 weeks without Overwatch (13 days 13 hours 57 minutes actually). I’m doing pretty good. 
 

To be honest I’m not doing much work yet because I went to another city for a couple of weeks, but I guess it’s fine too take it slow and don’t burn yourself out in the beginning. I went to parties and had a good time socializing without any problems (and got drunk af in the end). A finished reading a book I mentioned before (“Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software” by Charles Petzold) and it was really good, especially as an overview of all main aspects in IT. Next book I’m gonna read will be “Electronics step by step” by Rudolph Svoren. Many people say it’s the best book about analog electronics, so I bought one from 1991, it was made in USSR and I think it would be very interesting for me to read it (I’ll attach the photo of it). I’ll start my Java courses when I finish this book. I didn’t resubscribe to workout and nutrition program yet because I’m not at home, I’ll do it right after I’m back (in a week or so I guess).

I have cravings to play Overwatch sometimes, but maximum 1-2 times a day. Some days I don’t have cravings at all. Sometimes I can suppress them almost instantly, sometimes it takes a bit of time, but good thing is I’m not home so can’t play even if I want to. Past 10 days I had dreams about Overwatch 2 or 3 times and every time even in a dream I was like “Fuck, I failed again!”. What a relief it was to wake up acknowledging it wasn’t real relapse lmao. Even tho I don’t even think about playing other games, I declined invite to play 2D indie game on PS4 with my cousins. I hid all videos in YouTube recommendations related to games, same with another services I use. 

Overall it feels great to finally start working on myself and overcome first challenges.

Wish ya’ll a nice day and see you next week!

Max.

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On 8/12/2020 at 8:58 PM, Erik2.0 said:

Welcome to the forums. This place will probably help you out a lot in game quitting. It made a big difference for me as I wasn't able to quit before I found GQ.

Thank you! I feel the same, it’s much easier to fight when you’re not alone. 

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I can certainly relate. While I was (am) addicted to gaming as a whole (I would play any game if it was exciting and fast paced enough). I spent an obscene amount of time playing Overwatch on PS4. I wasn't nearly as consistently good as you but that didn't matter to me. The social aspects and variety in gameplay got me hooked and kept me hooked for nearly four years. 

I'm glad you came to realize that you have an addiction. I certainly wouldn't say that you've "fucked up your life". You were intelligent enough to recognize that you have a problem and you're dealing with it. Good on you!

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11 minutes ago, MuMuMelon said:

I can certainly relate. While I was (am) addicted to gaming as a whole (I would play any game if it was exciting and fast paced enough). I spent an obscene amount of time playing Overwatch on PS4. I wasn't nearly as consistently good as you but that didn't matter to me. The social aspects and variety in gameplay got me hooked and kept me hooked for nearly four years. 

I'm glad you came to realize that you have an addiction. I certainly wouldn't say that you've "fucked up your life". You were intelligent enough to recognize that you have a problem and you're dealing with it. Good on you!

Thanks a lot, I’m trying my best! Hope you are doing good as well.

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18 minutes ago, Erik2.0 said:

Good job staying off the games. I still get cravings to play games too. But do my best to suppress them in my own way.

I think it’ll get better as time goes by. Also good activities will replace thoughts about gaming. 

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Totally, my cravings changed to being for different games over time. I suppose they have gotten better overall. Or I'm just better at dealing with them now. Activities will definitely come in and replace your previous gaming.

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Welcome to the forums, it is great to hear that you have found my story inspirational. GQ was a great help to me and I do not think that I would be able to stay off games without it. I wish you all the best on your journey of quitting games. 

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Posted (edited)


Hey everybody. I’m past 3 weeks milestone (20 days 21 hours 4 minutes). Last week was great and I would like to share my thoughts.

The most important thing obviously is that I didn’t relapse. I don’t dream about Overwatch anymore and my cravings are weaker. I think it is because I’m constantly working, studying or hanging out with friends, so I’m never bored and in need to kill time. Enough Overwatch, let’s talk about something more interesting.

I still haven’t returned to my city so subscription to workout & nutrition plan will wait a bit more unfortunately. But the good thing is I found a job at small manufactory in a town I’m currently staying. They’re making doors, windows and stuff related to that. And they even gonna pay me although I don’t need money that much, I guess experience that I’ll receive from that work is much more valuable. I have been working already for 2 days, I think I’ll work for a week. It is hard physical work and in the end of the day I’m really exhausted. I am learning electronics and programming, hoping I will be able to make a career in IT, but I think starting with something basic like working in a factory is a great life lesson. I start to feel real value of money, how hard can it be to earn something. I’m not a spoiled kid IMO, but I never seriously worked before, I had better things to do (waste my time on a stupid game). I’ll attach a picture of me during a small break at work.

So I started reading a book a talked about last time called “Electronics step by step” and it’s awesome. I never really understood basics of electronics like Ohm’s law (I know I’m dumb) and a lot more, but this book covers it all, so now I understand it perfectly. It’s a bit hard to read because it gives you a lot of information, so to remember everything I started a notebook where I write formulas, constants and other stuff I want to remember. It feels great to finally understand something you’ve been struggling with. Can’t wait to start learning Java after finishing this book but it looks like it’ll take a while.

Well, that’s all for now, see ya’ll next week!

Max.

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Edited by WhoCares
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11 hours ago, Marek said:

Welcome to the forums, it is great to hear that you have found my story inspirational. GQ was a great help to me and I do not think that I would be able to stay off games without it. I wish you all the best on your journey of quitting games. 

Thanks man. For 4 years I’ve been stuck in one place, but now it seems like I finally started to move forward. Желаю удачи с русским языком)

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G'day mate!

It's amazing how using Linux really helps the detox! I always dabbled with it for years, but used to dual boot it so I could still jump back to Winblows to play games. When I went through the detox, I dumped the install entirely and just forced myself to stay on Linux, even if I didn't know how to do things. When the cravings to play games came back, there was that added barrier of not having a system to play them on that made me feel like playing games was too much effort. I transitioned even further after that like you are talking about, I gave away my video card, and eventually just used a Raspberry Pi Zero to study with. I loved it. I would still be doing that now if there was a portable laptop setup for it.

I still use nothing but Linux and I don't really know how to do much more on it after all these years! Although I have upgraded to an 11 inch laptop, I won't allow myself to go back to a gaming rig ever again. I can do office work and surf the internet and thats about it. I am glad I don't have Winblows though, because I would be trying to install a game on it within minutes if I did - any old piece of crap game too.

I really like the idea of working in the factory! I admire people who at the end of a working day can show an object or a creation that they have made - something that I can't do with the office work I do. Being an engineer would be fantastic, being able to drive past buildings or infrastructure and being able to tell people "hey, I built that".

All the best!

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18 hours ago, giblets said:

G'day mate!

It's amazing how using Linux really helps the detox! I always dabbled with it for years, but used to dual boot it so I could still jump back to Winblows to play games. When I went through the detox, I dumped the install entirely and just forced myself to stay on Linux, even if I didn't know how to do things. When the cravings to play games came back, there was that added barrier of not having a system to play them on that made me feel like playing games was too much effort. I transitioned even further after that like you are talking about, I gave away my video card, and eventually just used a Raspberry Pi Zero to study with. I loved it. I would still be doing that now if there was a portable laptop setup for it.

I still use nothing but Linux and I don't really know how to do much more on it after all these years! Although I have upgraded to an 11 inch laptop, I won't allow myself to go back to a gaming rig ever again. I can do office work and surf the internet and thats about it. I am glad I don't have Winblows though, because I would be trying to install a game on it within minutes if I did - any old piece of crap game too.

I really like the idea of working in the factory! I admire people who at the end of a working day can show an object or a creation that they have made - something that I can't do with the office work I do. Being an engineer would be fantastic, being able to drive past buildings or infrastructure and being able to tell people "hey, I built that".

All the best!

Thank you! I am using Linux since 2015 and I actually like it much more than Windows or Mac. I like messing around with the system and customizing everything. I use Ubuntu, but sometimes I install and try other distributions just for fun haha.

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15 hours ago, Erik2.0 said:

Sounds like things are going well for you at work and in your career. Working in IT is a lucrative career path and if you stay with it I'm sure it'll be good for you.

Thanks, I like computer related stuff since first grade and I’m sure that this is what I actually enjoy doing. Still not sure what exactly I should choose: software coding, electronic engineering or logic (processor design). I guess I’ll figure it out this year, I’ll try everything.

 

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7 hours ago, AbjurationWizard said:

Hey, just skimmed through your log. Well done! You have great drive with a great field of interest. It's not a field for everyone either. You are on a fantastic path, just stay vigilant and keep posting until you need to. 

 

Have fun!

Thank you! Sure I’ll keep going!

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Software engineering, and particularly web development, is a huge industry right now (speaking for in the US). I transitioned from an unrelated field to web development right after college by attending a 3-month bootcamp virtually. I naturally transitioned to more backend development from there, now focusing mostly on Python / AWS development. If the jump to systems programming or electronics design is too far a leap to make career-wise, that might be an option that will make the transition easier later on.

The bootcamp I attended virtually was intense - 11 hours a day, 6 days a week. It pretty much requires that you don't have a full-time job while you do it. If you're still in school, not feasible, it depends on if you're planning to go to college or not. There are less demanding ones out there, though. PM me if you want more info on what I did!

Also +1 on the Code book. I just read it a few months ago, it was great.

Edited by Kam
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25 minutes ago, Kam said:

Software engineering, and particularly web development, is a huge industry right now (speaking for in the US). I transitioned from an unrelated field to web development right after college by attending a 3-month bootcamp virtually. I naturally transitioned to more backend development from there, now focusing mostly on Python / AWS development. If the jump to systems programming or electronics design is too far a leap to make career-wise, that might be an option that will make the transition easier later on.

The bootcamp I attended virtually was intense - 11 hours a day, 6 days a week. It pretty much requires that you don't have a full-time job while you do it. If you're still in school, not feasible, it depends on if you're planning to go to college or not. There are less demanding ones out there, though. PM me if you want more info on what I did!

Also +1 on the Code book. I just read it a few months ago, it was great.

I’ll start with learning Java, I mean kinda deep learning because I’ve written on Java a bit. I also used to write on C/C++ so Java seems a good choice. But building logic circuits inside a chip is very interesting too. I attended to courses where professional hardware design engineer taught us basics of making a processor. To build a logic circuit you use a code like in programming language, it’s called Hardware Description Language (HDL). But instead of programming language, where your code compiles to instructions which a CPU executes, HDL defines physical circuit. We used FPGA boards that are able to change according to uploaded HDL code. Folks in AMD, Intel and Nvidia are using FPGA to test their code before sending it to the factory where ASICs are made and nothing can be changed. It’s a very hard job and requires a decade to learn to be able to design hardware on a proper level, but it’s very interesting and extremely lucrative. So I think that I’ll try everything in the beginning and then decide what I enjoy the most.

Holy shit, 11 hours a day is intense indeed. I personally prefer small breaks during work, otherwise my brain would melt from information.

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That's great. The fact that you're 17 and grasping those concepts while also being focused on cutting down video game time is great. You're young and you have plenty of time!

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5 hours ago, Kam said:

That's great. The fact that you're 17 and grasping those concepts while also being focused on cutting down video game time is great. You're young and you have plenty of time!

I am much more productive since I quit, so I hope to learn a lot of new stuff this year. 

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