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My journal - Martinof


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Hi, after reading a lot of things on this forum for a long time, I finally start my own journal.

I uninstalled my game (guild wars 2) last night, after too much gaming. I can't even count how many times I uninstalled and reinstalled this game.

So October 15 is Day 0 ✔️

I will post today's result tomorrow, but I'm quite confident it will be ok. I think the best I did was about 3 weeks without gaming. But in general I resist only a few days.

I hope I will get rid of it definitely, my use of this game (and other games also) is too harmful : not enough sleep, skipping meals...

Wish me luck !

Martinof

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Day 1 ✔️

After work, I spent the evening chilling, no pressure. I listened to music, and even danced a bit ^^. I spent a lot of time on the internet. There was a bit of content related to video games on 9gag and youtube. It wasn't tempting this time, but it can be a problem later. 

I spent a few minutes practicing Spanish (duolingo), it's been a long time I wanted to do it, that was nice.

No meal skipped, and I went to bed earlier than usual. In general it's around 2-3 am, and I need to wake up around 7 during the week for work, so it's can be really exhausting (daily reset in the game is at 2 am in spring and summer, and 1 am in fall and winter).

And this time I went to bed before 1 am, and I could do it before midnight, but my partner needed help.

So day 2 and day 3 are the weekend, I can't spend it chilling, or I'll get bored and be tempted to play.

I have a lot of things to do at home (housework, tidy up, etc.), and I need to work on that. I will spend also more time with my family (partner and daughter).

There are others things I want to do to feel good about myself : sport (workout) and language (Spanish).

Edited by Martinof
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I've had friends who have tried to quit who find the early days the easiest (def not me lol). They get all optimistic and are energetic to start their new life, but that wears off quickly and they are left with the reality of boredom/difficulty finding joy in new hobbies. Is that your experience too? If not, what generally causes your relapse?

Good luck, hope you make it through the weekend and it's enjoyable

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Yes, that's me ^^ Boredom is my main problem when I relapse. I have to keep me busy with other things.

And the fact that I will miss some "rewards"/content in the game (daily, weekly, monthly...).

Thank you, I relax and do some chores for now. It's satisfying to get rid of these chores ^^

Edited by Martinof
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Day 2 ✔️

As I said, I relaxed (music, surfing on the web, a bit of a tv show...) and did some chores. I haven't done a lot of chores, but it was better than nothing.

I spent more time with my family.

I practiced Spanish, but I didn't work out. I'll try to do this today.

I went to bed pretty late (~2am), I could have done better.

But since my primary objective for now is not playing games, it's ok for me. I wasn't even tempted at all 🙂

I also used excel to write all the tasks done yesterday, with green check marks. I write also about Spanish and work out, and put a red x mark if it's not done.

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Welcome to game quitters Forum Martinof! Some questions to clarify: what emotions and thoughts did you experience in the past when you decided to go back to gaming? If you can acknowledge these emotions and thoughts you will be able to see how you have been misled a number of times.

You are already a fighter because you chose to target a culprit that has been hidden for a long time. There are many cynical grown up people in developed countries who believe they can combine work and family with gaming 2-3 hours per day. They carry on and everything seems to be on track, until their attitude causes a serious crisis. In fact, many of us were like this until we confronted ourselves. 

I’d say it is a good idea to visualize who you want to become and strive for this new identity. This will open many roads for development and give you a recovery. Abstinence on its own is not recovery because a person can still be longing to play games. Recovery is when you don’t see any point in playing because there are so many more important and interesting things in your life.

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Hi, when I decided to go back to gaming, it was because I didn't want to miss new things in the game (guild wars 2 is an online game, with regular updates). And the fact that I spent so much time doing nothing really productive (a lot of surfing on the internet) : at least I could be "productive" in the game, by getting "achievements", rewards, etc.

I would check the website of the game, and their forum, to see the new contents, the current topics.

Now I don't check these sites, so I am not tempted.

When I was gaming, it was during almost all the evening after work (and a part of the night), and it could be almost all the weekend so a huge part of my free time (with little sleep and sometimes meals skipped).

I want to have enough time for subjects that are important to me : languages, sport... And I want a tidy home, because it's a mess.

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Okay, from your post I can see that you want to be a part of a community to discuss a common subject of interest. Internet game forums served that purpose for you in the past. 

Another aspect is the anticipation of upcoming new game releases. That is one of the strongest magnets for any gamer. It elicits a lot of excitement from curiosity. These are your particular needs which still need to be accommodated. I firmly believe from the reading I have done, that you just have to find a healthy replacement activity that will meet these needs. The suitable replacement activity depends on your character and circumstances in life. Cam Adair mentions the types of gamers and what they are looking for in games. 

I for example, started working on my back because of bad posture and now it is like a whole journey. Every step of the way I am learning new things and improving my mental and physical state. As you progress, you only find there is more and more to do. It isn’t as easy as a video game at times, but if you are consistent and don’t overexert yourself, your habits transform over the months and change you as a person.

Habits can be transformed by acknowledging who you are in the present, how people react to you, what do they think of you. If you find out that, you will know your strengths and weaknesses. Then as you become aware of what you have to do to become the greater version of yourself that will stun the critics, there will be so much fuel in the way of desire that your priorities will change.

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Day 3 ✔️

Spanish : ok (only a few minutes), workout : nok, went to bed around : 3:30 (nok)

A little moment of sadness in the evening. Since I wasn’t really productive during the weekend, I told myself : “What’s the difference between now and when I play ? If I play or not, I am not productive. So what’s the point of quitting video games ?”

And I remember that it is basically my state of mind when I relapse : “no great difference than before, so let’s go back to gaming, at least I will be “productive” (“achievements”, rewards, etc.)”

So for now it isn’t an urge to play, but an urge to be productive. But in real life, we don’t get rewards every 5 minutes because we do some stupid tasks lol.

So I wasn’t really tempted to play, each time I was thinking a little about my game, I told myself : “no no no, don’t think about that” and then I was thinking about something else. It’s working so far.

Providing advices on this forum is a great feeling, I hope I can help other people that struggle with this problem like me. I feel I mustn’t disappoint them. How can I give advices, and then fail to apply my own advices ? I have to be strong and be a good example, for me and the others.

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Thanks for sharing Martinof! I know the feeling of rationalizing that its okay to play video games. But those reasons never make any sense when you look at them with a clear mind. I always tell myself that I will only play for 1 or 2 hours a day, but I've never been able to have that much self restraint.

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How can I give advices, and then fail to apply my own advices ?

This has been key for me too. I remember seeing someone post a screenshot in the discord of them deleting their steam. It was hard to tell them how it was the right move without doing it myself. It'd be hypocritical.

I get the feeling of rationalizing too. The productive-ness from video games isn't real, though. At least in real life there's the potential to be actually productive. It's still early days so I think that as long as you aren't playing, you are in a way being productive. There's a book I like, based on a lecture series, called The Willpower Instinct. Here is a podcast episode about the author talking about it. In the book, she talks about seperiating willpower into "I-will-power" (as in 'I will do this everyday') and "I-won't-power" ('I won't do that'), and how they are two separate skills. As long as you are resisting video games, you are strengthening your "I-won't-power". I also think that you need some time to get back to a normal baseline. It's hard to be productive when your energy and focus has been sucked into games. I's going to take some time to begin to recover that and have it available for other things.

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Day 4 ✔️

I feel like it’s been 14 days, but no, only 4. Maybe because I have too much time on my hands now.

Even if I haven’t slept enough, I felt good this day.

Work wasn’t stressful, that was nice.

When I came home, I focused on my chores, without internet, without music. And when I was done with a chore, I did another chore, etc. Only when I was done with almost everything, I relaxed.

Usually I never do that, I do the bare minimum, and tell myself that I’ll do the rest during the weekend, and it never works ^^

Spanish : ok, work out : not yet, went to bed around : before 1:30 (nok)

Maybe I won’t post every day, so don’t worry about it. I know now that I should never play video games again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good stuff Martinof, how about the sport activities? They are natural replacements because they can combine any or all of the following: sense of challenge, progression and development, socializing (member of a team etc.).

I am doing daily exercises and have increased the reps and quality on nearly all of my exercises. I get a clearer mind because physical fitness improves blood circulation and endurance. I was attending a boxing group before quarantine set in and I am looking forward to restarting training sessions as the virus epidemic is overcome. 

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  • 3 months later...

Day 1 : ok

I was really tired this evening, because of the lack of sleep, and not being excited with video games.

I will go to sleep earlier than usual 👍

I also did some tasks this evening, because I didn't spend hours with video games, or surf on the internet.

I was really bored a moment, so I listened to a dynamic music, that was better.

See you

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Day 2 ✔️

This day, I felt more focused during work, maybe because of a slightly better sleep, or the lack or video games (or both).

But this evening, I was really tired, maybe more than yesterday. I guess the excitation I get usually with video games prevents me to feel tired.

I know I need to sleep more, but it's hard to go to bed early.

Yesterday, I checked the news about a video game on the internet, but didn't find anything. I shouldn't do that, that's why I didn't do it today.

See you

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Day 3 & 4 ✔️

Again these days, I've been tired during the evenings. I even took a nap of 1h30 on day 3, it wasn't on purpose. Need to sleep earlier :s

Day 5 ✔️ (not finished yet, but I guess it will be fine)

Not tired, since I could sleep in (it's Saturday), but I wasn't motivated. I spent a lot of my free time watching anime, at least it's not video games.

I'd like to do more productive things, but it's not easy.

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Day 6-10 ✔️

Yeah, ten days ! 

But during these days, like a lot of people, I wasn't motivated, and so I wasn't really productive.

I'll try to be more ambitious about the things I want to do :

Sleep : going to bed before 0:00

Shower : take one

Meals : take all of them

Sport : 15min

Spanish : 15min

Task : doing 1 long or unusual task

Internet : surfing 45min max

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Day 11 ✔️

That was a productive day, that was nice 🙂

Sleep : going to bed before 0:00 -> not ok, it was ~1:00, but it's not so bad, since I could sleep in

Shower : take one -> ok

Meals : take all of them -> ok

Sport : 15min -> ok (happy for that)

Spanish : 15min -> ok

Task : doing 1 long or unusual task -> ok, I said that was a productive day (I tidied up and cleaned) : 1 long+unusual, 1 long and 1 unusual

Internet : surfing 45min max -> I didn't measure it, but it wasn't excessive

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