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Getting a new grip on life - Ayuso's diary


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Firstly I want to thank everyone that comes to check how I am doing or just wants to know my story. I want this to be my diary, because although this is not the first time I tried to leave videogames, I want it to be the last one, and I am fully committing on it, so I will be posting my daily experiences on what I experience everyday and how I feel, in order not to lose sense and check in here daily.

DAY 1 (12/07/2020)

This happened yesterday so I am trying to write everything I felt as I can remember today. I remember it as another day, committing to my endless task of trying to grind my way on the one that was (well, I think I could say is ) my favourite game: Rocket League. I have been playing that game since 2016 and I have 2200 hours on it (now that I remember it from yesterday, my brain is craving for playing some Rocket League to be honest). So the thing is I warmed up as always, and then started playing competitive, and losing in every single match (I even tried different modes). After losing the last one (a 1v1), as other times, I wanted to hit the screen and throw the computer, so instead I hit the table with my fist, twice, as hard as I could, and I exit the game. You know? I feel like I LOVE that game, certainly there is no other game it gets me like this right now, if there wasn't for Rocket League, I would have probably stopped earlier this process, but RL for me feels amazing, the physics, the way I control the car flying, carrying the ball, hitting crazy touches, but I am just tired, I feel like I cannot deal with this anger anymore, and if I am always going to leave the game angrier and with bad mood, then why the heck I play? Someone would say: well but Álvaro, just don't take it that seriously, try to have fun, do not try to climb or rank up that much, and here it comes the addiction: if I don't see any improvements on me, on my gameplay, on my mechanics, ON MY RANK, I just feel I am shit, that I am losing my time and I CANNOT afford losing, because if I start accepting losing as something normal, I would never be EXCELLENT on what I want to be. Do not misunderstand me, at the beginning I knew I was going to lose a lot and I would need to learn a lot, but right now, with all the time invested, I feel like I am just a piece of crap if I keep losing this much, and that I am worth NOTHING, and the more time I invest, the worse that feeling goes, so I just wanted it to end.

Apart from RL, I have played many games, and when I felt I was tired of one I would go to the next one, until the point that the days I feel the worst cravings, even if I have to do something else, I would be gaming mindlessly for the entire day until I have to go to sleep, it is like feeding a monster who is never satisfied, it could be satisfied today, but tomorrow, as soon as I have energy, there it is, coming to make me keep playing until it is too tired to continue.

So after that huge rage I remembered I have seen some videos of Cam on youtube, talking about gaming addiction and how to deal with it, so I checked some of them, and after eating lunch and keep feeling this bad mood, I decided I had to do something, so I went into his website and bought 'Respawn', which by the way it is way better than I though in the beginning, and it is helping me a lot, so I read until the point where it says I should go and delete my accounts and my videogames from my computer, and that is what I did (well, I did not delete the entire Steam account, but I deleted every single videogame, uninstalled steam, left all discord servers about gaming and unsubscribed all the channels I used to follow about gaming), so since I did not have too much time left, I had to continue with my thesis, and so I did, until the end of the day, having some feelings of relief, anxiety, fear and excitement.

DAY 2 (12/08/2020)

Today I slept so well, certainly way better than any normal day, the anxiety levels were much lower (since yesterday I had this pulsating sensation on the left side of my head, and also my left eyelid twitching for the entire day), and I had motivation to go do things, and so I did! I ate breakfast, and worked on my thesis, while I was checking if someone would have replied my first message in the forum, since I am quite excited to be able to share, help and be helped around here, I am not gonna lie. Apart from that, chatting with some girls on a dating app, play a bit with my dog and help my grandma fixing a lamp has been all I have done today.

I haven't felt much cravings today to be honest, until at 21:00 I entered in discord and I started chatting with a couple of friends (who, by the way, support me on this decision), and I heard them while gaming, that made me feel  cravings, but I just fought them, so when one of them left, the other one and me were watching videos together and just chatting, which I certainly enjoyed.

Oh, by the way, I played a chess game against my father (who could not remember too well how to play) and it was fun to play against him, even if it was way too easy to win him, I hope we can play some more any other day, since our relation is not in its best to be honest, and this seems like an activity both of us enjoy. I love chess, I was the type of guy that in primary school wanted to play chess but none in the class wanted to play against (not because I was good or anything, but because none felt it was fun).

So, yea, that has been my day, quite relaxing until the end of it, when I started feeling the cravings from hearing my friends game and having to write the above text about Rocket League, but now I am gonna prepare my dinner, watch a video or something and go to sleep, I hope tomorrow starts as good as today :).

DAY 3 (12/09/2020)

Today it has been such a weird day. Firstly I could not sleep too well and I am not sure because if what, I think I went to sleep way too late and that usually affects me, since I am the kind of person that, doesn’t matter the hour I go to sleep, I always wake up quite early in the morning, so idk. During the morning I have been at class through videoconference and everything was going well. After that and before eating lunch, I worked out a bit, and since my workout was not too complete, I decided today I would start programming what I was going to work on and how, so I am able to see some progress on my body and on my endurance, which has been a bit stuck lately.

Apart from that, I had some cravings during the afternoon, again thinking on Rocket League, but I managed to make them disappear quite fast when I thought on the process of gaming: feeling ashamed again, raging, the bad mood and the anxiety, and I managed to make those cravings stop.

After that, I checked GameQuitters and I also had some responses on this topic from WorkinProgress, who kindly exchanged some ideas and reflexions about different topics around my life experience and I appreciated it quite a lot, I got some interesting thoughts from this conversation that I am gonna take notes of.

I also had another game of chess with my father, who is tryharding so obviously, taking 10-20 min to move while I never take more than 1 min, and we are having an interesting game due to some very awful mistakes I did. I like things are getting interesting but I told him we cannot take days to play a game, so we are gonna have some kind of limit in the time to move, so we can finish a game per day at least!

Right now I am writing this on my iPhone while I am warm under the blankets of my bed, and I think it is time to go to sleep. 

DAY 4 (12/10/2020)

Today I slept much better, I think the reason why I could not sleep well yesterday was bc I ate something pretty salty on the night and I had to wake up and drink water way too much. Anyway, on the morning I attended my classes as always. I could not be progressing on the thesis I am working on bc on class they were revising the exams we did last week, and I had to pay attention. When it finished, around 12:00, I started checking videos on how to fix posture. I have spent most of my life sitting on a chair, and that plus my low self esteem made me develop a very poor posture, which I am convinced to fix, since it makes me feel bad about myself and it makes it more difficult to be able to workout properly, efficiently and preventing injuries, so that is what I am gonna focus now. 

After creating the program I am gonna follow, I kept watching some videos about bodyweight training, since I do not have any equipment but a pull up bar, and I think I could do something just with that. I am sure it is not going to be able to create as much muscle as weight training, but I think it could be very interesting, so I saved some of the videos I most liked and went to eat lunch.

After eating lunch I realized I lost way too much time flirting with girls over a dating app, which made me lose part of the evening, but after that I just worked on my thesis until was around 20:30, when a friend came to my discord server and we chatted a whole bunch about music. I was thinking about buying a piano or a keyboard, to start practicing and use some of the free time learning an instrument, which would be great. I mostly love beats, (hip hop, mostly 'slowed+reverb' songs and lofi hip hop), so we started thinking about a keyboard, and we kept watching some of them, but to be honest I am not sure how much free time I am going to have, since I should speed up the process of finishing my thesis to be able to work 100% on my classes... So I am starting to decline the idea of learning an instrument. I have the workout, the mountain bike, podcasts, chess, books, and maybe right now it is not the moment to start trying to learn how to edit music on the computer and so... I may end buying a cheap keyboard so I can start learning how to play it just a lil bit (with any extra time I have, I don't know to be honest).

Apart from that, I received a message on GameQuitters, on my introduction, from a guy with who apparently, I share a lot of personal issues and psychological traits, so I replied him, quite excited to be honest, finding it as a learning opportunity, since sometimes you are too much inside the forest to see the tree, and with the experiences of others sometimes you can see the problems, and you can apply them to yourself, so I wrote some things about my experiences, the reasons that, in my opinion, dragged me into the paths I have followed during my entire life. It was too late by that time so I decided to go to sleep, and see how tomorrow goes.

Edited by alvayuso
DAY 4
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Welcome to the forums! You have started in the right direction with quitting games! I'm glad for the first two days things went well for you, but be aware that it's not always going to be easy in the first few days, it can be tough at points. I wish you luck, and hope you can shake this addiction!

Best Jason

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9 hours ago, alvayuso said:

I hope tomorrow starts as good as today :).

Seemed like a good day. Glad you were able to enjoy some things on Day 2, and you had a friend to support you.

9 hours ago, alvayuso said:

so I went into his website and bought 'Respawn'

Super solid stuff in here. I still go back to reference it and the reflections I wrote down from it. 

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@Jason70 That is true, yesterday when I felt the cravings I tried to focus on the bad mood I had, the feeling of being stuck and the anxiety it produces me, and certainly has helped. I have to keep going, one day at a time. I am so proud of myself I can tell you, I have spent years without even 1 day off, so this must be the path.

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@championealAbsolutely, as I told Jason70, when I feel the cravings, I focus on why I decided to quit: the meaningless existence, the anxiety, the rages, the feeling of being stuck, I try to remember it as vivid as possible, and that way I can feel like the urges slowly go away (as well as having a friend or two supporting me, that actually helps a lot too in order not to feel weird)

Respawn is better than I though in the first place, when I bought it I was like: here I go, another guy profiting other people’s addictions, but it was not the case and I am glad I commit into buying it! I need to keep going on it bc I have not finished it tho.

Edited by alvayuso
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@alvayuso

Hey welcome to the forum and the detox.

One activity I started enjoying more after I stopped gaming was listening to audiobooks (I would recommend "Atomic Habits" to any one quitting gaming, Its short (~3hr, insightful, pragmatic and stays at the scientific side of popular "self-help" books). 

It seems like you are pretty competitive and the games gave you a way to fulfill the feeling of high status in comparison to your peers. That isn't something bad but you should keep this in mind, because gaming is imho a bad habit which is widely successful in fulfilling underlying needs for status, novelty, excitement and social connection. But it is only successful in the short term. The connections based only on gaming are often shallow, the success in gaming doesn't translate into your life and the novelty wears off if you realize your days look all the same. So my thesis is that you have a high need for status.

This means I would try out activities which have the potential to give you a feeling of high status with better side effects. Fitness training comes to mind here.  It has the benefit of tracable success if you measure yourself, and raising your health and perceived status by others. If your interested in that but don't have experience  I would recommend https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/wiki/minroutine to get the habit started and later (if you have the time) progress to  https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/wiki/kb/recommended_routine. I personally am not really compettetive but try to get into it more for the psychological and health benefits. Still struggling to prioritize the time to do the minimal routine though.

Other more social sports are also a great way to get new connections and to compete, with others. I enjoyed playing darts in a team with my wife and her brothers a lot

I can relate to this endless grinding on one game (Dota2/Lol were my cuplrits) and the frustration, and feeling of missing life. As someone who went through the detox some years ago and still doesn't game I can say it is worth it even if it is hard some times. 

What ever you like or try, I wish you success at your detox!

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@WorkInProgress

Thank you first for your wide response, I highly appreciate it bud.

I have tried audiobooks in the past, and I think they are excellent, but in most cases I prefer to read them by themselves (even if lately, I have had a hard time finishing any of the books I tried to finish due to my addiction), but I will definitely give the one you mentioned a try! I would also want to recommend you not only a book, but a person that has helped me to find purpose and meaning in life many times, and who I think is like the father figure for many who (like me) miss that figure in their lives, not because I do not have a father, but because I feel like the parenting I have received has indirectly pushed me towards some problems I have had in my life, and he is Jordan Peterson, I discovered him like 1 year ago and I have followed his career this last 5 years since then (he has more than 200 videos on youtube), and I have tried to read his book '12 rules for life: An Antidote To Chaos', which I am committed also to start again and read it completely.

I cannot agree more with you about how competitive I am, and how videogames just work on the short term, even if I have been dedicated to them and made progress on them, the more I put into games, the worst it seemed to feel inside, weirder, more freak,  more 'out of touch with reality and real people', and I am not sure if that is just a subjective perception, because you can see a lot of pro players having their lives and earning a living from this, and being able to control it (at least it looks like that), but that was not my case. I did not suffered much bullying to be honest, I cannot remember it, but I remember being quite lonely always, mostly when I was a teenager, none would match my expectations (or I could not match the expectations of them, so I wanted to think that none would match mine, I am not sure to be honest) so I would stay in the virtual world where I usually match expectations, and they usually also match mine, and sometimes I forged good relationships, but even like that, most of them faded away (even if I tried to keep in touch and this things), I can only think of 1 friend I made when I was 13 through the PS3 on Call of Duty WaW, that added me not so long ago to the social, and who was glad to know from me again (which made me truly happy, for real).

So, coming back to the activities I could use to replace that feeling of growth that videogames provided me with, yes definitely fitness is something I have had in mind since I started back when I was 18. I have found many rocks in the path and after several times leaving and coming back, nowadays I am working in my bodyweight training (since I live with my parents and my grandma and I cannot afford going out to a gym, even if I wanted to right now I am in a village, so that is absolutely not an option), and I am preparing a program to start to improve my posture, my mobility and the basic movements (pull ups, chin ups, push ups, dips, planks...), so yeah I could say I am working on that already ;), but thank you again for recommending me those ones, I am sure if I did not know enough about the subject I could just go and use those as a starting point! Social sports would be a huge help, but how I told you, in my situation (and since I am quite busy preparing my thesis and preparing the trials to join the Army as an engineer) I just cannot use them.

I also played LoL for 4 years and I stopped also because of the huge feelings of worthless and the toxicity, and it took me a long time until I could recover from that game, I had to move to other videogames until I felt some of them would fill me at least a little portion of what LoL did (I still do not know how, but that game drives you completely crazy, something I hardly felt in videogames), so I feel you bud, what a huge accomplishment to be out of that shit for all this time!

You will be able to check daily how I am doing, cause I will not fail even one day to come here and write about my entire day, all I want to tell. It makes me feel much more self aware of the situation.

Lastly, thank you for your wishes, I eventually find my real self, I just have to keep trying :27_sunglasses:.

 

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@alvayuso

My pleasure, I know how much these responses meant to me as I started to share here. It felt a little awkward at first, but real people caring helped a lot.

About Peterson: I watched a few of his videos like 2 years ago and listened to his whole book. But he never really hit the mark for me. I guess its subjective. And I can relate to the missing father figure...

About Games: I had some relapses in between but I think the max. time was a one or two weeks. My issue with games (or instant gratification in general) is that I use it to distract myself from negative feelings. If somethings is hard or boring or scary my habits are strong. I lately blocked youtube and catch me like 5 times a day (and I am not a lot at the computer these days) typing in youtube and hitting enter. I don't know you but your writing suggest to me that your problems are different. Like you focus too much on the negative feelings. Maybe you could benefit from a gratefulness practice, to focus more on whats good in your life. And what people are good in your life. In the end quality of life is proportional to the quality of relationships you have. So its great that you enjoyed playing chess with him.In my experience most people have interesting and admirable qualities which are worth to find. Maybe you can take some of the won time trying learning more of these qualities in your parents and your grandma. 

About Training: I think Body weight training is fine. At least thats what I did before I had my first son and it was really good for me.

About finding your self: I think you are what you do on a consistent basis. And you can change what you do on a consistent basis. Not radically in one step, but all these little changes accumulate. So it isn't so much a question of finding yourself and more a question of building yourself. This takes time and constant effort. I think not gaming alone will give you some time to think and act in new ways. The most striking change, as I stopped gaming was that I felt like I could have original thoughts again instead of just consuming content. 

Sorry for that minddump. I hope there are some valuable tidbits in it. 😉 

Regards Mario

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@WorkInProgress

Well I felt awkward some years ago when I started to open myself to other people, but I was on a point where I cared about nothing, so that and constant exposure to this kind of things have left me with no fear or weird feelings when I am trying to open myself to other people, because I know that primarily what I am going to achieve is better knowledge about myself and my problems and, who cares about what other people think about you? As long as this is helpful for you (and the other person is being helpful also), there is no problem. And yes, definitely this kind of responses mean a lot to me.

You are right, I primarily focus on the negative, but don't take me wrong, I know there are a lot of good things around me and I remember those to myself every morning (that I remember x)), but to be constantly improving, you have to be able to spot the errors and the negative things, so I have also became addicted to that, thinking that just by that I could improve in whatever I want to do, but that also creates some sort of anxiety and feelings of not being worth enough, so I definitely have to learn how to balance that, for sure. I just don't wanna end up someday finding myself being too comfortable and not wanting to improve (my lifestyle, or whatever it it), that is something that makes me sick if I see it in someone. If there is someone like that in every aspect of their life (or at least in most), I try to leave as fast as possible.

I agree that you are what you do on a consistent basis, that is exactly what people are, a bunch of chatterboxes with habits, and those are what creates the personality of the individual (not only the habits of doing but also the habits of thinking). And without doubt, gaming makes you a consumer instead of a creator of ideas, that is something I have been feeling this last days now that you mention it!

I also find myself browsing too much on YouTube, and I am trying to stick to the things that are really interesting (like, I am gonna apply this information in a short term), and if not, I try not to watch it. I guess this firsts days could be a little bit overwhelming too (talking about boredom, which I felt today), and for fuck sake, how many times I have said I was gonna do something boring or hard tomorrow, or this afternoon, and I ended up postponing it waay too much, so yea, gaming is by far, the god of procrastination, mostly to people that develop this kind of habits of escapism. After it, you can find YouTube hahah.

Right now, my idea on videogames is that, I have a very good friend from Mexico, a girl who helped me from almost the very beginning and with who I created a very deep connection, and we started to play Silent Hill 2, a game that I am loving and I'd love to end with her. We play once a week and I decided to end it with her. That will be my only touch with videogames. I think it wont be a big deal because I do not find myself obsessed with that game, plus I wanna play it with her, so I would not call that a relapse... Would you?

 

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@alvayuso

Did you promise yourself not to game for the 90 days?If yes I think it is a relapse. If you promised not to play RL or any other online games or smth like this it isn't a relapse. What matters is taking yourself seriously. And not rationalizing yourself out of your promises. Otherwise you'll loose the most rewarding experience after the 90 days. The experience that you can promise your self a hard thing and stay true to this promise.

If you actually committed to 90 days without games (whatever kind) then find another way to spend time with her (chat, watch stuff together, talk about other things, get drunk virtually whatever), and finish it after the detox. Its only three months. This shouldn't matter to her.

So basically. Only you can answer this. But don't bullshit yourself 😉 

 

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@alvayuso

About watching good/bad things. The main thing is that we need to try to separate our actions from our self-worth. Actions can be bad, and you shouldn't find excuses for your bad actions. Yourself should always feel worthy. Otherwise this becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. I.e.Bad action. -> I am bad ->  im the kind of person who does bad things. This is a shitty circly for you mental health. With another evaluation of reality you don't have to fool yourself but still have a healthier response. This shit I have done is fucked up -> I realize that is fucked up because I have a moral compass and this isn't who I am -> I do less of the fuckedup stuff.

To make the example more real I tell you a little story of a quite recent slip-off of mine:

I had problems at work, So I went on youtube watching old WC3 games instead of working in working hours, I didn't told my wife.

Inner monolog was: I am a Fuck-Up, thats as shitty as playing games. -> Led to me playing hearthstone in secret 

But then the other kind of thinking domineered: Im not that person anymore, I don't play games and hide it -> I deleted my account and told my wife -> started looking at gamequitters again -> Watch less youtube on work and faced my problems there.

If you focus loose your self-worth you also loose your aspiration to be better. Focusing on the good things in your life makes it easier to fell self-worth.

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@WorkInProgress

I did not commit into any 90 day detox cause I wanted to quit forever, but I also said I wanted to quit forever from the anxiety, the bad mood and from being constantly escaping into videogames to avoid problems, and the experience I had the last time we played (which btw was the first) it was relaxing, funny cause I would try to joke around the game to laugh with her,  trying to solve the puzzles of the game with her, learning the story from the game and sharing it with her (which I think is excellent) plus the funny moments when I get jumpscared from an enemy sometimes XD. Having said that, I will think about it, because I don’t know if a different option would even be better (and I do not feel the need to play it, I just wanted to do something different with her and have fun with her, since we mainly chat on WhatsApp through audio messages every two days more or less).

Talking about your last response, exactly! That is how I feel about it, I feel that I do things the wrong way because that is how it has been forever, and I just have the ability to improve and fuck up less, but that if I don’t pay much attention I will fuck up surely, just because it is me, and I found your reflexion about the idea so interesting, I am going to take notes on that, that would be something worth remembering for sure! Thanks!

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Hey @alvayuso,

I just read an interesting long-form article / essay which let me think of you. 

https://longreads.com/2020/09/08/out-there-on-not-finishing/?utm_source=hackernewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=longreads

Btw. If you just edit your first postcover and over again its harder to follow up on you because we willalso have to remember what yourlast post was and the thread doesn't get pushed to the top. I don't mind but just some thi g you maybe didn't notice. The bebefit will be that the comments will be clearly separated from the diary, which is quite nice. 

Hope your doing good. Flirting isn't the wkrst time waster. Maybe it will be more important to yourlife to flirt with the right woman then writing you thesis. 

Regards Mario

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How you doing @WorkInProgress?

Oh shit, so I have been doing it wrong all the time? Hahaha, yeah you are right, you should know when a comment is done after the 3rd or the 4th day, whatever I have never been too much into forums not gonna lie, I would be doing it that way from now on, thank you for saying it x).

I have been reading that article, I have to say that it was a bit hard for me to read it, not bc I couldn't but bc it was so long and I am so slow reading in English that it took me probably one hour and half or so to read it, but it was interesting nonetheless. I can understand how this man felt in those moments, and I want to share with you my opinions about it:

Firstly, as he said several times during the post, the event was all but a race (at least for him), he had some good friends coming, he saw it as a moment of spirituality to connect with his friends without worries, because they all seem to have a good relationship and to be nice people to be honest, and let me tell you that is not usual. He did not realize how to differ the race from the true event he could have enjoyed (just having fun with his friends, just getting drunk and singing or so). And that happened because his sense of self esteem depend on the races (I think), so he could not do what he really wanted to, his self esteem gripped his mindset hard. 

Now, let me tell you that, having your goals and working really hard for them REALLY helps the person to realize how worthy is. It would be nice if you shouldn't have to push yourself too hard and be loved by the opposite sex, or respected by your same sex, but that is not how it works. We all have this self esteem, and it does not depend on if you are this big (in the sense of workout) or you are this fast or you are able to endurance this much (in the sense of running), but how much you are working for it, and if you are also doing progress. I experienced it, before quitting from videogames I always thought my self esteem depended so hard from RL, because I was so proud of myself, on how I played and how I realized how I had to train to improve, but after quitting, I realized that I felt much prouder on how I had willpower to go on running (I also run, even if right now I have a small injury and I am not doing, since July until November I have been running without stopping more than 3 days), and the willpower to workout (things that are, in reality, much harder psychologically and physically than playing a videogame, even if it is the hardest videogame).

Also, that feeling of loneliness the writer feels is normal, again what was wrong was the moment. If you are on top, on any activity you can imagine, you are going to feel lonely sometimes, but it doesn't have to be bad, unless you are putting your self esteem above something else, like family, or true friends, those are the moments when you feel bad, lonely, losing the purpose, asking yourself why you do it. Apart from that, eventual loneliness make us appreciate true friendships, pain makes us appreciate pleasure, fatigue makes us appreciate rest, and so on, it is the balance of life, and if you want to feel something you have to feel the opposite (I am so into Buddhism, you can guess it right? haha)

Those are important lessons you have to learn through the process of trying hard on anything, and they are only learnt by fucking up, and ironically, you feel so relieved when you realize and you are able to distinguish between situations, because you can still be the open and loving person you want to be with your friends and family, while you push yourself hard on what keeps your self esteem growing and your self worth high, because there will always exist situations where you have to defend yourself, and then is when you want to trust and believe yourself because, you won't have probably much time to think.

Thanks for sharing Mario, have a nice weekend.

Edited by alvayuso
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DAY 5 (12/11/2020)

Wow, I can't believe I am 5 days off videogames. I am experiencing the same feelings than when I stopped smoking weed. I truly believed I could not be the person I wanted to be if I stopped to smoke weed or play videogames, because I thought I relied on them to give me the perspective or whatever it is, but really, that was just BULLSHIT, I am feeling much free now, I am discovering myself in a better mood, motivated to do my tasks (well I keep procrastinating sometimes, but in general, the feeling is that I am more driven towards anything I wanna do.

Today I also slept well, no major issues with that, I keep working on my thesis, plus recording my classes, and I have not felt much cravings to be honest. The worst moments is before and after lunch. Those were my favourite moments to game. It reminds me to tobacco addiction, I remember when I smoked tobacco for some time, I felt it was harder to stop smoking some of them (the ones after meals for example) than other ones, so I am just trying to endure it, trying to shift my focus into anything else. Sometimes is into any video on youtube, and sometimes I can shift into something more productive, it depends on how hard are the cravings I think, I am not sure by now, I will keep attention on how that works.

During the afternoon I did a physio session, since I have an ultrasounds machine, I found myself I was suffering from a tendinitis on my shoulders (due to trying to hard on some exercises I have been trying lately), and my adductor also suffers from overload for 1 month now and it is not getting much better, I decided to start having this sessions of using heat, then massage, then ultrasounds for 10/20 min (depending on the size of the area, adductors need 20 since tendons just need 10) and then some chill blocks to help the fibbers heal. My shoulders are better but my adductor actually hurts a bit more, but I think it is part of the process, since my shoulders just hurt that day, but my adductor hurt 1 month ago, and I think the pain there is more about having an inflammation process down there that allows more blood and oxygen reach the area and heal it, so I am not worried, I will just take it ease this days, let my shoulders 3 or 4 days until they are alright and keep going on my workout.

After that, I had some time to continue my thesis and have a shower, after which I scheduled a date with my Mexican friend through discord. we were talking about our shit, how I am looking for a keyboard or a MIDI controller that could help me beat the cravings, plus learning how to produce some music which is so cool to be honest. We spent like 3 hours there just talking about things, until I was too tired to continue and I decided to say goodbye, bring some food to dinner and go to sleep after it.

I am writing this on 12/12, and I guess by now I am used to write about the day before, I find very difficult to take some mins at the end of the day and try to write about everything then bc I find myself tired and lazy, and this is something I want to do as good as I could, so I think I will write on the diary after lunch every day, about the previous day.

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Hey @alvayuso

Thanks for asking. Right now I am "in between" jobs so I have more time and trying to end in a better state of myself after this period. That's why I blocked all feed media and youtube and trying to have less input in general and focus more on my relationships and good habits. The relationships part is working fine, the part with the good habits not so much. Havin two small kids is making time based routines hard and I am not very good in finding flexible "triggers" for habits or prioritizing myself over my family. So most of the time I am reacting and in the evening when both kids are sleeping, I am tired and not disciplined enough to do what's hard. But the relationships are right now the most important part for me (because with the young kids and work I got lonely in the last over the last year). So I think I am doing okay.

It is great that the article made you think and reflect. I found the perspective kind of refreshing. It was more Zen and less American then most stuff I read the last days so it kind of stuck in my brain. And yeah the key lesson is to know what you want and how you feel so you can react in the best way for yourself. And not in a way society, past goals, misguided ambitions or similar things pressure you to act.)

Congratz on day 5 of journaling and beeing gamefree.

Maybe you should consider aiming for achievements a little less ambitious then never gaming again. Not because it is impossible but because its really not rewarding to follow such a goal. Maybe a good goal would be to wake up and not identify yourself not as a gamer anymore. If someone asks you what games you play you are then not thinking anymore: At the moment I am not playing anything, but I am not playing videogames. IN the same way a non smoker would say no thank you I don't smoke. tt's atleast my goal. And as I write this I realize that I still identify as an addicted gamer with his addiction under control. Not gaming isn't an ingrained value for me. It's more like a rational conclusion (If I game even a little bit my life goes to shit again and I don't want that, not I don't game because I value my time and other things are more important). That kinda sucks.

Thanks for the dialog.

 

 

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Glad to hear from you @WorkInProgress!

Before answering your last message, let me tell you that I started to listen to 'Atomic habits', and now I understand all you talking about not identifying anymore as a gamer, and that you are not very good in finding flexible 'triggers' or 'queues' as they are mentioned in the book. Well let me tell you that you have some responsibilities now, and your range of 'habit movement' is gonna be limited because of that, so I would ask you if you did the exercise of prioritizing (you know, putting on a paper which kind of habits you need the most in your life so your quality of life is gonna improve the most). If you did not I would ask you to do that and start one step at a time. Imagine that it is essential that you prioritize 3 habits, then guess improvements that are small enough so you can achieve them, but big enough so they are a challenge for your conscious mind, and stick to those improvements for 3-4 weeks. After that period of time repeat the process. After listening to the first hour of the audio book, I am pretty satisfied of the content (I thought it was going to be something like: you should workout to feel good, or something like that hahah), and those are the conclusions I got from it by now: prioritize, enough improvements, stick to those for enough time, repeat.

Now I realize how my life has gone so bad for this long time, it is really easy to neglect small bad habits, and then introduce them to your daily basis, that one day you wake up depressed, out of shape, with a terrible stomach-ache or headache (or both) and craving some kind of drugs or videogames or food... I am gonna stick to the process of developing better habits, and I am gonna start realizing the queue, the craving, the response and the reward of every habit I want to adopt/improve and then start the process of adopting and identifying myself as the person I want to be, and ask myself how this person would act, and in my case, I want to start to identify as a cold person (cold in the sense that is able to control the emotions and the impulses, like letting anxiety build up when something is not exactly going as expected or so), that is the most important to me, and I am gonna develop an entire new section of my journal here just focused on habits.

Hope my words inspire you to continue Mario. Have a nice day.

Álvaro.

Edited by alvayuso
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DAY 7 (12/13/2020)

Since the 4th day or so creating this journal, I used to write about my previous day, since at night I feel myself pretty tired and I am not able to remember well my thoughts or my actions, so I think it is a good way to train my brain into remembering things from yesterday, and also I find other moments when I have more energy to write about my day. I am not sure if it is a good practice in reality, in my mind it sounds good, but I could be creating excuses to not do it the same day. I'd like to know what any of my readers think about it.

Apart from it, yesterday I found myself without time, not because I was doing anything too productive, but because I became interested in a specific kind of instrument. Well, it is not an instrument, it is a MIDI controller, in particular the mini versions of them. They are relatively small gadgets that come with a 25 key keyboard, some pads and some knobs, in addition to some other buttons that allow you to control different aspects of the music you playing or even the entire session. My father listened to me speaking with a friend about it, and he told me that he was looking for one of those, since he wants to record some instruments to help him while practicing with the guitar or the drums (that he plays at a beginner level), so I have been checking videos, gathering information about them and the DAWs (the software you use to load the instruments and everything into the MIDI controller, and I lost way too much time since I felt it was so interesting (and I had to continue with my thesis, which is basically much more boring), and I ended up losing way too much time.

Nothing really interesting happened this two days. I have barely cravings to play videogames. Sometimes flashbacks of Rocket League come to my mind, and I have some cravings not gonna lie, but I have to fight it, the feeling I have about it like if it is my 'passion' is not that much a 'passion' but my source of escapism, challenge and measured growth, and I need to find those outside of videogames. To be honest, I don't miss much the social aspect of videogames, I usually found myself into situations where I am playing a game in reality I don't want to play, with people that I do not really enjoy being with, so that aspect is not really something I feel cravings towards right now, to be honest (not saying I do not need to fill it tho, it is important but to be honest, not the highest priority right now).

I am looking forward to get one of those MIDI controllers and start practicing and learning how it works, how Ableton (the DAW I choose to use) works and start creating something interesting with them.  Not that I want to speed that process, but I feel it would help me to have something interesting, challenging and with measured growth, so I do not think that much on videogames.

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1 hour ago, Bird By Bird said:

That MIDI controller is an instrument. Snobs who live 2 centuries in the past may scoff but we ignore them.

 

Dude, I am asking myself what is your motivation on writing this kind of comments...

Have you checked what defines a musical instrument? Let me tell you it takes 1 min and a MIDI controller does not fit into that definition. It is nothing worse, neither better, it is what it is.

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@alvayuso

Glad you get some value out of my book recommondation. Yeah I wasn't to convinced on the premise of the book at start too (especially because I read another Habit book some years ago and couldn't take too much out of it). But I really like how he makes the stuff applicable and straight forward.

Cold is maybe a bit to negative (implies of not beeing able to show positive emotions either). How do you like controlled/stoic? 

Priorization is a good point. I will focus on two habits. Focus (atleast 1 Pomodorro session at knowledge work tasks) and Memorization (Memorizing Names, Dates and Numbers with anki at least for 25minutes) each day. I think these are the most important right now for me.

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Hey  @WorkInProgress

I have been a bit off GameQuitters, I started feeling like it is a task, and I lost the... drive or motivation to keep doing it consistently, but I am back!

Yea, tbh I have several things in my life right now and I should also prioritize, but shit quitting games have opened so much time, and between the workout, my thesis, now I started skateboarding, which I discovered it releases a lot of anxiety, dude I forgot to keep going with 'Respawn', and also to keep going with the audiobook, although I have kept this couple of concepts I could learn from it in my head, I found them really interesting.

Stoic seems much appropriated, it is something so hard to me tho. I consider myself an extrovert even if I sometimes have a hard time trying to socialize with new people because of my lack of experience, when I am comfortable with people I tend to share a lot of ideas, and I literally have to tell myself to shut up a bit. That is something that I felt weed helped with, when I was high I did not feel the drive to keep going on thinking or talking, so I do not put myself in embarrassing situations when I find that I kept talking way too much, or that I am asking too many questions. I would like to know your opinion on this aspect.

 

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DAY 13 (12/20/2020)

Almost 2 weeks off... Damn, I can't believe this to be honest. This days I have been continuing my thesis and working out primarily, although I have lost way too much time in Youtube, I feel like I can control better that than playing videogames, which was uncontrollable for me. 

Today I helped my father to face his denials. He tried to make me give him a massage on the leg, because he has psoriatic arthritis and he has pains because he does not move at all, never, he even complains when my mother tells him to go for a little walk, so I showed him reality, which is that he cannot be taking care  of his mobility problems only when he cannot walk or even move, he had to start taking care of them long time ago, and if he wants it to not get worse, he will have to work on getting fitter and doing some exercise. I have talked with him about this many times and he has never done it. He ends up eating bad and not moving at all and I told him long time ago that he will face further problems and I am not taking responsibility of his actions (he is 59, weights 79.3 kg and has a 30.58% body fat), so I hope this time, he could see that he is not doing enough, therefore he has to do something about it, and start now.

Apart from that, I faced a little argument (well it was not an argument, but he said something that really pissed me off), I was trying to buy a second hand music keyboard, and the woman (I say woman because in the picture you could see a medium age woman, like 45-50 years old), when I asked if it came with a power supply, she told me it works with batteries, which are a comfortable power supply and that they last quite long, so it made me laugh and I sent it to my friend to show him, he told me that she has no idea, and I should not buy from her, I told him literally: bah, it is a woman (trying to refer it as a quite old woman), I am pretty sure she doesn't even know how electricity works. And don't take me wrong, I know well that there are some women into technology, and that know more than I do, I am not referring that women know nothing cause they are women, but because they are not usually interested in knowing what it is about. Well, my friend referred my thought as machismo,  and started telling me that there are also men than don't know what a power supply is (which I am pretty sure it does), so I got really confused, surprised and pissed off, and I did not want to start an argument, so I just let him day those things and I answered sincerely and he finally said: but whatever, you should not buy from her because she has no idea. I am pretty sure I am not misogynist person, I just think women and men (IN GENERAL) have different interests, and that do not transform me into a  misogynist person just for calling it out, so after this last incident I am gonna give him his space, because it is not the first time we argue about something and lately we ended having too much tension between us and I do not want to do something wrong, so I am gonna get the fuck out and do my things.

I have also been trying to ride the skate, since I always wanted to learn, and I never could (videogames were safer, faster and less embarrassing), but now, at 25, I really want to learn how to skate, and I am pretty happy with that, I think I am developing a pretty big pool of hobbies and that is quite nice, since I do not have many urges, I have had some, but not many, and I am pretty proud of myself on that. Let's see how thigs come the next days.

Edited by alvayuso
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Hey @alvayuso,

I missed our discussions a little bit (guess the responses of a real person give me a nice little boost). While I can empathise that if the novelty of a thing wears off after a few weeks it is exactly then when you should keep posting (even if it is only a few sentences) to keep the habit alive and keep yourself in check. From my experience as soon as I stopped posting, because I didn't feel like it things slip away. Even if these retrospectives feel a little repetetive or boring they are worth it (especially while you still newer to not gaming). But welp. I am really no good example of this 🙂 I only posted a lot here as I quit gaming because it became my replacing habit if I wanted to evade "real" work. It was interestingly still worth it so I would advise you to set you a fixed schedule to write in the journal and only allow yourself to change it in extreme cases and in longer intervals (maybe every 2weeks). This way you can be disciplined but still are able to reduce the time spent here if you don't get enough value from it.

It sucks that your father has this problems. I am sorry to hear of it. This must be hard for you, especially if he isn't able to do anything against it so far. This sounds like a problem were rational arguments (you need to train!) most likely won't do anything, because the information status isn't the problem. I am sure he knows what he has to do. The problem are in these cases most of the time the underlying emotions. I don't know if you have the relationship to go on an emotional level with him here, but if you want to change behavior based on emotions you will need him to address this emotions and then guide him to find a way to overcome them. But you are able to give advice he is ready to hear you will need to give him the feeling that you understand him. Otherwise this won't do shit. I atleast don't give a shit about advices of people who seem not to understand me (however great the advice objectively is). (And yes I see the irony of giving a random person on the internet advice :D) 

To your seconde paragraph: Why did it piss you off so much? You sound a little bit wounded by this. I guess he has some other world view then you do. Either you try to understand his point of view or you ignore it, but either way you shouldn't be pissed off. These emotions are worth to investigate because they are the basis of your relationsships (not just to your friend). 

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