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Day 8:

Today I had the urge to play again. I installed Linux to avoid the temptation, and to focus on my learning (programming). The urge was big enough for me to download a Windows 10 ISO and install Windows again. But here's the funniest thing: The feeling to play was gone by the time I installed them. So I haven't played yet, I haven't even bothered with installing a game. Maybe I'll go back to Linux and try not to take my urges literally next time.

I also watched Star Wars with my mother. It wasn't the best SW movie but we both enjoyed it. I'm going to make dinner and probably install Linux again or read manga. 

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Day 9:

I've spent most of my day customizing my new Linux desktop. I had plans to meditate, couldn't bother. I had plans to study, got carried away. I'm cutting myself a lot of slack because I recognize how hard it is to keep clean for the first days. 

I almost relapsed but held back. I grabbed the controller and almost plugged it in but paused and counted to 20 before taking it back to the cupboard. I had no installed games anyways.

Now I'm reinstalling linux. I think the core idea works but it wastes a lot of time: Install Linux so that when the urge comes I have to wait until I download Windows, install Windows, install their updates etc. So it's the "stop before you act" except that it lasts about 2 hours. Not bad.

Hopefully I'll be able to be actually productive by the end of the week.

Edited by BornAgain40
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Good stuff. It's hard to depend on willpower alone not to pick up the games. Uninstalling completely definitely helped me, and it's cool to see that it looks to he helping out on your end. Got to build those barriers to entry when you've got the commitment, to hold you through those moments when it wanes a bit. Keep it up!

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Day 10 (I'm thinking about just stop counting past 30 days):

I reinstalled Windows. I installed Steam, emulators etc. and then nothing. I was scrolling my Steam library half-depressed. I didn't like anything. Not even browsing through retro games on a certain site I won't mention.

You know the moment when you're quitting smoking and all of a sudden you smell the smoke and you think "oof, is this the kind of thing I was inhaling like a maniac to feel good? what the hell was I thinking"? Because that's exactly what happened with me and video games.

Things I did: I started reading interviews of famous programmers. Donald Knuth, Peter Norvig, John Carmack. They got loads of advice and stories around programming to share, and opinions on whether programming is for young people or not. Me? I'm 40 (name gives that for free) and I'm changing careers. It's going to be hard but I try to keep a positive outlook about it. I know ageism is a thing in tech, but I'll keep on trying.

Anyways, back to linux in a few days. I want to finish reading a book first. And maybe I'll finally take a short walk outside tomorrow - haven't been out since last week. Coronavirus and stuff.

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Hey @BornAgain40, good job on not relapsing and also props to you for pursuing that career change. The best thing about programming is you can just keep creating regardless of your resources, and since there is a huge open-source community on the internet, you still have ways to build a portfolio even if the job offers don't come in right away. Keep moving forward though.

2 hours ago, BornAgain40 said:

You know the moment when you're quitting smoking and all of a sudden you smell the smoke and you think "oof, is this the kind of thing I was inhaling like a maniac to feel good? what the hell was I thinking"? Because that's exactly what happened with me and video games.

Something that's really key in your recovery is understanding why you game, smoke, etc. Is there anything that cues you to want to game or makes you feel like you want to game? You don't have to share if you don't want, but once you figure that out, you can devise ways to either meet your needs differently and in a healthier manner. Just a thought if you haven't considered it yet.

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21 hours ago, BornAgain40 said:

reinstalled Windows. I installed Steam, emulators etc. and then nothing. I was scrolling my Steam library half-depressed. I didn't like anything. Not even browsing through retro games on a certain site I won't mention.

Did you uninstall again? I'm noticing in your entries a lot of the same impulses I struggle with. I've found that eventually I don't catch the impulse in time, blink, and I'm gaming instead of working towards my goals. Fighting those impulses all the time is taxing.

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On 11/11/2020 at 10:41 PM, Lampshade said:

Did you uninstall again? I'm noticing in your entries a lot of the same impulses I struggle with. I've found that eventually I don't catch the impulse in time, blink, and I'm gaming instead of working towards my goals. Fighting those impulses all the time is taxing.

Update: I relapsed. I installed Windows, Steam and all.

Here's the kicker, however: I can't play more than 20 to 30 minutes. It's almost like I'm genuinely bored of them but I have to play out of sheer habit. As if I'm deeply dissatisfied but I can only tell that I am after about 10-20 minutes of playing. 

If that doesn't scream "gamerholic" nothing else does.

Oh well, I'll be trying to jump back to Linux tomorrow but I want to finish a programming book first, I don't want to get back in the procrastination loop of jumping through distributions ever again.

Edited by BornAgain40
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15 hours ago, BornAgain40 said:

Here's the kicker, however: I can't play more than 20 to 30 minutes. It's almost like I'm genuinely bored of them but I have to play out of sheer habit. As if I'm deeply dissatisfied but I can only tell that I am after about 10-20 minutes of playing. 

If that doesn't scream "gamerholic" nothing else does.

Yeah I remember that feeling. Sitting there and thinking to myself 'what am I even doing here'. Have you read Atomic Habits? There's nothing particularly earth-shattering in there but one thing they mention as a way to build good habits is that even if you can't/don't want to do the full habit, just a small session helps solidify it way more than not doing it at all. I imagine it works the same for bad habits, like gaming.

Important to remember that you're after a change of trend above all else though. As long as that usage-over-time line continues to decline, you're heading in the right direction.

Good luck in the coming days

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