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Ending the Loop


Pochatok
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No Games: 30. Yayyy a full month. The urges are definitely there but I'm just simply too busy at the moment to install a game. Maybe over the weekend, but certainly not now.

The day today was fine. The morning was okay, I did some more of the internship application- will have some things to finish tomorrow, and then I shall hit the submit button. Scary! I also had class for almost 4 hours straight, that was a bit tiring but I honestly enjoy it. The rest of the day was kind of lazy; I did stuff here and there but could have been much more productive 😕 

Good thing from today: starting a new painting!

Hope you are doing well,

Po

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No Games: 31. Keep it going! Stronger urges day to day as I am getting back into gaming communities, step by step. Today I watched a lot of Youtube videos that were gaming-related. One thing that has helped me not get too much into this (again) is thinking of consequences, and how different I am from the people that I watch play games. With my lifestyle, responsibilities, and dreams, gaming is simply not affordable. I can not let myself play games right now. Maybe when I retire.

In terms of quitting porn, it has been going okay. I still get urges, but am able to counter them well enough to not get drawn back into the void again. 

Today was okay. I wasn't very productive, but at the same time have done a lot of smaller, more important things like sending pics to my grandpa, joining an art community, and sending tons of emails. Overall, I am feeling very tired, and full of unfulfilled gaming urges, but also satisfied.

Stay safe!

Po

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No Games: 32. Doing well right now, less urges and more time spent doing valuable things.

A busy day. Not super productive, but far from being a lazy one. Just could have been a bit more effective with how I do things. Other than that, I am feeling stressed out by resisting my urges all week, but hope to stay strong!

be well, Po

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On 1/17/2021 at 12:58 PM, Pochatok said:

Oh, it's "Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe". A bit plain in terms of how it's written, but the topic itself is very interesting to me. Next up, I have "Heavy, An American Memoir", and "A Little Life". I have been trying to read challenging, different-from-what-I-would-usually-prefer kind of books. What about you?

 

I just put the books you said on my list. They look like great selections! It's definitely a wide variety like you were saying. I just finished John Barleycorn by Jack London, which is a memoir about his struggles with alcoholic addiction. I could really relate to the story even though it was a different addiction. He talks a lot about how he didn't think about alcohol much, but it was just the thing to do to hang out and get to know people. Very similar in my mind to the internet, social media, and video games nowadays. It's just the thing people do without thinking about it. It was written awhile ago, so keep that in mind, but I otherwise I definitely recommend.

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On 1/28/2021 at 11:00 PM, championeal said:

I just put the books you said on my list. They look like great selections! It's definitely a wide variety like you were saying. I just finished John Barleycorn by Jack London, which is a memoir about his struggles with alcoholic addiction. I could really relate to the story even though it was a different addiction. He talks a lot about how he didn't think about alcohol much, but it was just the thing to do to hang out and get to know people. Very similar in my mind to the internet, social media, and video games nowadays. It's just the thing people do without thinking about it. It was written awhile ago, so keep that in mind, but I otherwise I definitely recommend.

Yay, glad to be helpful! I got the book you recommended, will check it out next weekend 🙂

No Games: 34. I'm super busy again, so gaming has not been on my mind much today. I am regaining interest in some of my hobbies and trying to read more, so hopefully that will keep me away from games for now!

What I've been noticing lately is that I'm noticing things less (haha funny pun). I'm making more small mistakes in my schedule that honestly don't impact anything but my own productivity (things like getting done a piece of homework that is due in a week instead of the one that is due tomorrow). I am still very productive and all, but not as effective as I am. I think I'd attribute that to my business- I have been packing my to-do list like it's my last day on earth, and have been having less time to properly think everything out.

Hopefully I will be able to relax more without getting urges to game in the coming weeks, and write out my schedule more effectively. 

Other than that, my urges have been stronger somewhat due to my habit of mindlessly opening media all the time getting more common again. I think that is also due to my metacognition going down, and also due to my high levels of stress. I have to be more mindful of how I choose to relax and when.

Oof, long day today, can't wait for it to be over. 

Take care of yourself all those kind people reading my journal,

Po

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No Games: 35. Have quite a few urges right now (watched some gaming videos), but just thinking of how long it takes me to install the things makes me feel not like it. Like, first get steam, then get the game, then wait for it to load. Plus, I deleted all my save files so ehhh nah I'll probably paint instead. 

Haven't watched any porn at all today, and I think I don't have urges for it anymore. Good work so far, but will have to keep it up from now!

Very long day, and very eventful. First of all, I have a sister!!! That is so exciting 🙂 She was born today at 4:20AM heh. Niiiceee. Besides that, me and my partner scored 4th in a small badminton tournament (10 teams initially). I could have done better, but it is what it is- I am just not very used to a "sports" mindset. I also have had two long night shifts today and yesterday, so can't wait to sleep in a bit tonight. I am overall happy right now, but am very stressed out as well. Oh also, I have almost finished my art project, which has been a very fun ride so far! 

Random Thought: So many movies/TV shows show character progression in terms of "steps" without often showing the work it takes to take those steps. Like, you see a character, let's say, struggling at volleyball. Within a few days/weeks of "smart, consistent practice" they are performing much better. Although yes, that does feel like real life, the amount of time/focus given to practice vs. its results is very uneven. For me, that has been often creating this illusion that just a little practice will give me the desired result; that if I put in x amount of hours, I will suddenly take the "next step" and significantly improve. But very rarely does simple hard work pay off quickly or efficiently. Practice has to be focused, dedicated, persistent, self-conscious and highly self-critical, and only then it will lead to greater results. Everyone tells me to "work hard", but that is rarely enough. 

Hope y'all are doing well, stay awesome!

Po

Edited by Pochatok
Uhh stylistical errors
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No Games: 37. Having urges, but I know I am too busy and can't let it slip. I do want to just sit down and relax for 20-30 minutes, but can not allow that to happen right now. After all, spending some extra time painting or hanging out with my GF is so much nicer anyways!

Very busy day, still working actually. I finished my art project, and am making good progress with the latest digital painting, which has made me pretty happy heh. And, got to have dinner with my partner for the first time in a while, and watched a bit of HunterxHunter together. Gotta get some homework done soon, can't believe it's Wednesday already.

Here's the thing (faar from finished):

No description available.

Edited by Pochatok
smol thingy
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Entry for yesterday:

No Games: 38 🙂

Today was soo insane. I've had over 10 meetings back-to-back on all kinds of things. The three jobs are finally catching up to me I guess, all at the same time. Certainly no gaming today lol. Although I've been having urges, it is very important for me to understand and acknowledge how successful and happy I am despite being so incredibly busy- and that is because of that extra 30 minutes I get by not playing games. Yay!

 

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No Games: 39

Porn tracker has been reset (I think it has been almost a week, so not bad!). I've been reading more about porn from all kinds of perspective and my brain has tricked me into mis-interpreting some of the texts which led to relapse, bahhh. Not gonna do this again! I'll keep reading!

A good day, not as insane as yesterday, although up until 8PM I had virtually no free time. It is very nice to just be able to relax right now, even just for an hour, on my own. I haven't been working on my art project, so I will have to catch up on that over the weekend. I feel like there are some things I have simply forgotten about; I will need to revisit my to-do list tomorrow cuz it is looking rather empty right now. Not having urges to play; some minor urges to watch but honestly just seeing other people play makes me realize even more why I no longer want to do gaming. Hope to keep up this attitude, almost half way through the 90-day detox, although I haven't planned it lol.

Hope y'all are staying well,

Po.

Picture I took today:

No description available.

(internet points if you can guess what this is hehe)

Edited by Pochatok
hehe
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I'm glad you're doing fine. 39 days is insane, I think I've never been that far yet. Nice picture, I guess it's snow on your window, but I'm not completely sure 🙂

 

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3 hours ago, WhoCares said:

I'm glad you're doing fine. 39 days is insane, I think I've never been that far yet. Nice picture, I guess it's snow on your window, but I'm not completely sure 🙂

 

Haha yes, honestly hard to believe I've gone so far already. I think I am just too busy for games right now- if I were to start playing my schedule would get really messed up. And yes, it is snow on a window hehe 🙂

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Entry for yesterday.

No Games: 40

Resetting porn again. Made the same mistake as yesterday, grrrr!!!! Really got to build my habits.

I am dead tired today- my partner's cat was meowing all night and I got maybe 5 hours of sleep. Took a nap after my 1st class. Overall though, it has been really fun and productive! I enjoyed the things I've achieved- a good trombone lesson, helpful tutoring sessions, being happy with my partner. There have been many thoughts of relapsing, but I managed to make my painting super fun and honestly am now only looking forward to painting more haha. 

Be well all ye who read this

Po

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No Games: 41. Yes, past the 40 days mark! It has been getting more difficult lately, largely due to me getting more into gaming subreddits again. Gotta stop- gaming brings me nothing besides relaxation, while reading, painting, or simply watching a music video all improve not only my wellbeing but my professional skills. Gaming does nothing good for my future, only leaving sweet memories (that are filled with guilt and regret nonetheless). If I want my tomorrow be better than today, I need to stay away from gaming. 

Whew. Honestly journaling cuz I'm feeling sooo close to a relapse. It's getting dangerous lol. I think after I put this entry in I'll go do some arts stuff- paint while listening to a tutorial. After that, I have a few more duties to complete before the night ends + extensive HW for tomorrow. I have to keep myself busy!

Today was an incredibly productive day, I have done over 3 hours of tutoring (over 10 total for this week), which is like 3 times the 'norm'. Feels great to be helping so many people with their writing. I also played badminton for an hour- it was an amazing workout. Overall, I am happy about how today has been- although I think I should reduce my time on social media even more. It is still more than I need (although it is only about 20 mins/day total lol). 

Hope y'all are having an okay Winter, and are staying well!

Po

 

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Ooops how is it Tuesday already....

No games: 44 -- Having some serious urges, but honestly I've been having them for awhile now. There is just too much of everything else that I want to do instead of games. I just gotta remember how not rewarding games are, and that should help me stay away from it.

I think Sunday was quite busy, I spent lots of time painting. Monday has been okay; not super productive, but not lazy either. I think I need to increase how effective I am this week in order to catch up with schoolwork and other things. There is lots on my shoulders right now, and I am not doing enough to balance it. Faster, stronger, harder! 

Today has just started, but I spent 15-ish minutes on social media. Not much, I know, but doing social media in the morning just impacts me weirdly. Honestly should try to hold off the media as much as possible until afternoon. Morning is for work, period.

Hope y'all gonna have a nice and sweet Tuesday,

Po

Edited by Pochatok
Day -> Games
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No Games: 49. Damn, one day till another zero! Honestly unbelievable how I am this far. I want to play pretty badly and quite often, but my other passions just don't let me relapse. I feel like this is the closest to quitting for good I've ever been to- I shall see if this holds as strong over Spring Break (coming in a few weeks), fingers crossed!

I've visited family over the weekend. It was a really nice break. Feels weird being in my room again- I haven't really done anything for the last hour or so. Really should try to make the rest of the day productive- I still have so much to do. Hopefully, this coming week my body will be feeling okay- I've been sleeping much longer than usual, and really won't be able to next week. 

Other than that, feeling a bit sad- being in my house was super awesome. Local responsibilities (like doing dishes, vacuuming, walking the dogs), mostly physical labor (rather than intellectual), cooking my own food (instead of university food), and my cats/mom/sisters/dad/dogs/brothers- honestly I missed it all so much, and the visit I got was faar too short. It's okay though, I am here for a reason- to help a broader range of people, to forge a better future. Time to work!

Po

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No games: 53. Hey look at me mom I am past 50!!! Honestly, I have 25ish days of school, so it should be quite an easy road towards 80 days. But then, the break kicks in! I know what to do to keep myself busy, and if possible will just leave the PC at school for the whole break- that should get me past 90 days easy then. 

However, there are still a couple instances where I could relapse- right after finals are over. I will have to come up with a plan for those days. I really wouldn't mind relapsing then, but so far (and all my life) every time I relapse has brought too many problems in despite all the satisfaction I get from gaming. It just never comes without consequences. Gotta quit for good!!!

Other than that, been a very busy few days this week, but I'm holding it together, and even catching up in school! At the same time, I've been painting less and watching more porn again- have been doing better the last two days but porn is certainly eating away the time I would otherwise spend making art.

Hope you are having a good week 🙂

Po

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Congratulations on being over 50 days clean! That's a big accomplishment!

I think the point you brought up in your last entry and this entry is important. We have found new activities, so even though we have cravings of relapsing, why would we when our life and new activities are so much better? However, like you said that statement is only one side of the coin. The other side is, we have a time where we want to play games again and we have time, and perhaps we didn't find activities / aren't enjoying the ones we picked. In that instance, as I mentioned to someone else we need to remember our "Why." Why were games destructive for me? Why do I want to quit? Why did I play in the first place? (Not a why but,,,) What activities will I replace gaming with? What are my goals? These questions to me are essential when leaning towards relapse, I actually had cravings yesterday and today, today I even had cravings to go back to discord, but these questions have proved helpful. And like you said, relapsing only causes the same consequences and destruction to your life as I did before, sometimes makes me wonder why we even do it, despite understanding. It's a bit strange! (not relapsing, just the me understanding but not understanding xd)

Hope you're doing good

Best 

Jason

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It's insane that even after nearly two months urges still persist. That kind of scares me to push through, but I'm faithful that it will be worthwhile some day. Be proud of yourself for pushing through the urges! Don't forget to reward yourself occasionally. 

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@Code haha they always do. But they are much weaker and never get a hold of me. Plus, it has only been 50 days- not all that long for the brain to completely rewire itself. After all, I'll probably have memories of gaming for the rest of my life, and so some urges possibly could always persist- but that doesn't mean I will be feeling unhappy or controlled by any means, and certianly doesn't mean your journey will be the same. I honestly don't mind urges- I find the feeling rather nice, although distracting. Plus (totally a secret) I still watch gaming videos about 10-20mins a day; that probably keeps my urges "alive" as well.

In terms of rewards: Life is so rewarding! Just reflecting on how much better I am doing since I stopped gaming is amazing on its own- the amount of things I am doing, learning, and most of all enjoying is at an all-time peak that just keeps surging higher. Life is better, and that's enough 🙂 

 

@Jason70Haha yes totally! These questions have been really helpful whenever I get close to a relapse, or any "questionable" activity in general. Thank you for your insight, glad to see other people have a similar mindset when it comes to dealing with urges!

Edited by Pochatok
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No Games: 56. Overall, my self-control keeps improving on a weekly basis. Don't really feel urges that much anymore, and when I do it is rather to watch gameplay than to actually play.

The last few days have been rather busy and a bit depressing. Lots of shitty things happening around the world that get overwhelming fairly quickly, and just stressful time of the year in general. Fortunately, it will be soon over, and I still have a lot of things to look forward to every day. 

Hope you all are doing well; keep reminding yourself why you want to quit, and try to come up with more reasons every time! You got this!

Po

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No Games: 58! So close to sixty u_u --Although, it's honestly easy at this point. Haven't visited a gaming forum all day today 🙂

Overall not that busy, kind of lazy even. I think I'm getting a little bit worn out; hope to be able to push it through the finals (this term is looking not as great as the previous, I really gotta step it up to keep my GPA high)

Other than that, I'm fairly happy. Watching Death Note is interesting, doing drawing and school work is mostly exciting. Have been exercising a bit less, but I'll get on top of it again right now 🙂

Have a good one everyone, remember where you started and how far you've gone!

Po

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No Games: 60! Yay yay.

Funny enough, currently hanging out at an online Video Game Sound Design event. Really don't feel the urge to play right now, but do have an urge to make music for video games. I guess it's time to reflect a bit on what video games have meant and mean to me now...

------

Why did I start playing?

 As a child, I was really isolated socially- lacked friends and didn't spend much time with family (for many various reasons, most of which I was too young to have control over). Discovering video games, I think I was attempting to compensate for that social isolation- multiplayer games would draw me in specifically. There was also not much that was more rewarding for me in life than video games just due to my environment. 

Why did I keep playing?

 Circumstances have led me into an endless loop- I felt socially isolated, and so desired to get that social interaction (and other things you cannot get when being lonely) via video games and porn. This would only lead to more social isolation in the long run- and so I would play even more games. There were moments when I would be doing better- when I would be doing well socially; those were rare moments, and I did not understand that if I were to try a bit harder in that direction, I would be able to quit video games and be much happier. Eventually, this loop lead to the creation of other loops, such as normalizing a sequence of "good" and "bad" days- I would allow myself to game for multiple hours every time something good in real life happened. Oh well, look where I'm at now 🙂 

Why was I unable to quit?

I would have valid reasons for quitting- that instead of hanging out with friends or doing things I enjoy I am sending my time into something that will never give me value (and neither will it ever be unavailable to me, unlike making friends or getting hw done on time). However, instead of trying to find more passion and ways of improvement towards things I loved, I simply tried to quit. And it would never work out- for about 2 years I was actively trying to play less or not play at all, but it was like trying to open a bank account while having no money- I was simply tackling things in incorrect order. Had I focused on improving my life first and then quitting, I would be more likely to be successful. Eventually, that did happen- I went to college, and my life got better- I found a partner I've been together for over a year, made some meaningful friendships and overall began to value real life more. And now, I am able to stay away from games- porn is still a WIP tho, I really hate it 😠 

How do I feel now?

I think it would be unfair to say that games were always bad for me- some games helped me gain unique perspectives, develop my passions, and improve problem-solving. I still use video games as a source of inspiration and joy from time to time, without actually playing. I think some videogames are designed with malicious intent- to get the player addicted, to lure them into a loop of some sort. However, other games have no intention but to provide a good time, and educate the player about a thing or two that can be applied to real life- those used to be my favorite games.

And lastly, there is a very small amount of games that focuses on giving the player as much or more than real life value/education as being fun- those are the games I still am keeping in my life in one way or another. They're a positive addition to my everyday life, and I never have urges to play them, because I've learned from them that real world is more important than what they have to offer. Such games are rare for they are self-destructive in a way, and certainly not mainstream- they encourage the player to play less rather than play more. But, they will always have a special place in my heart 😆

------

Alright, that was a long reflection. Big thank you and congratulations if you have managed to read it all, and I hope that you have something to take away from it.

Today has been really fun, I've been more busy and more productive, and that is quite enjoyable. Lots of fun things to do tomorrow, excite excite 🙂

Have a great weekend,

Po

Edited by Pochatok
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