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Road to Finding New Passions!


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Hello! Thanks for coming!

Brief Backstory

I feel like most of us have a very similar foundation for why we want to quit gaming: wanting to improve our lives. The same goes here. Been gaming since first grade and didn't think about stopping until my high school counsellor told me I might not be able to graduate because I wouldn't be able to finish my credits in time. I'm now about to graduate college and realised all the potential and effort that I spent playing video games which should have been put anywhere else. I had a lot of gamer friends, but most of them were never real friends. Many of them were bullies, deeply insecure people who would put me and other friends down because of their own issues. I'm happy to have left them behind. So now, I've sold my PC, ditched the poor influences and bullies, and ready to have fun IRL.

Realisation

I came to realise that I lacked a lot of development over the years because of my addiction. I had a lot of trauma from growing up which I never processed and they manifested in the form of anxiety, depression and a lack of trust. I occasionally have volatile thinking as a result of my poor thinking habits. I didn't actually understand I was using video games to escape these feelings until I quit. 

First Few Days

I think I quit gaming 2-3 days ago. I sold my PC and bought a Macbook Air M1. I actually have money left over from that switch (Praise BTC) which is great to start another hobby with! I love MacOS and being a nerd I've learned a lot of its quirks and features. Still have a lot of parts to sell, I'm thinking about turning my old PC case into a green box of plants and dirt. I'm still finishing exams right now as well.

Overall, I've felt on top of game in a way that I haven't for years. My thinking is clear, I can actually achieve my goals! I have done so much work that I have put off. I managed to finally do the laundry, I've ran everyday (except today) and gotten other tasks done as well. My sleeping schedule has fixed itself, when the clock hits around 11pm, I get tired. This has never happened before, I used to do all this research about insomnia and sleep, but quit gaming has helped me more than anything. My mind is clearer because I'm not focusing on some nonsense task in the back of my mind in a video game. 

When I watch a documentary now, I feel more connected. I used to watch and think, wow these people are superheroes, I could never be whatever job, characteristic, etc. Now when I watch a documentary, I feel truly inspired, like "Hey I could do that, I have so much time now!"

Feeling so great lately. Huge boulder has lifted from my back.

Another thing I want to do is to leave this discord server I'm in. No one in there is really a "friend", I think I'll slowly phase out of there because I don't want to cause drama or questions. Also it seems like the more polite thing to do. 

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Hey there!

I'm glad to hear so much has been going so well for you already! I remember feeling really similar the first time I severely cut back on gaming, seeing clearer, having a whole new perspective on how time I have and what I want to do with it, and finally getting to damn sleep haha.

What documentary(s) have you watched since quiting?

On your realization: I also came to a very similar realization, though I didn't really face it until years after I first stepped away from gaming. Definitely recommend talking to a therapist if you're able to - it's so incredibly helpful to have someone be able to listen to you and then ask questions that you'd never think of to steer you into areas that you might have mentally blockaded or don't quite know how to work through on your own + having someone that both keeps you accountable and gives you meaningful feedback. Either way, one of the best pieces of advice that sticks with me my therapist gave me is to be kind to yourself, the sort of way a parent might to their child, when working through that trauma. It's all too easy to criticize yourself and compare yourself to others, but it'll be so much smoother of a process to give yourself the benefit of the doubt, be forgiving, and just take your time.

Hope the good feelings keep flowing, and best of luck on your exams!

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17 hours ago, WeSufferToSurvive said:

Hey there!

I'm glad to hear so much has been going so well for you already! I remember feeling really similar the first time I severely cut back on gaming, seeing clearer, having a whole new perspective on how time I have and what I want to do with it, and finally getting to damn sleep haha.

What documentary(s) have you watched since quiting?

On your realization: I also came to a very similar realization, though I didn't really face it until years after I first stepped away from gaming. Definitely recommend talking to a therapist if you're able to - it's so incredibly helpful to have someone be able to listen to you and then ask questions that you'd never think of to steer you into areas that you might have mentally blockaded or don't quite know how to work through on your own + having someone that both keeps you accountable and gives you meaningful feedback. Either way, one of the best pieces of advice that sticks with me my therapist gave me is to be kind to yourself, the sort of way a parent might to their child, when working through that trauma. It's all too easy to criticize yourself and compare yourself to others, but it'll be so much smoother of a process to give yourself the benefit of the doubt, be forgiving, and just take your time.

Hope the good feelings keep flowing, and best of luck on your exams!

Hey! Thanks for posting to the journal, I really appreciate it! Also happy to hear that you are sleeping better and seeing life more clearly.

I've watched Icarus, which was about a Russian WADA lab director and the Russian state assisting athletes in cheating doping tests. It was cool to see people so passionate about biking as well as how eccentric the lab director was as a person. I really recommend it! 

I definitely will take that advice to heart. It's hard to practice it because of the relatively poor emotional upbringing I had, but I try my best everyday and that counts for a lot. I've seen therapists before, but I think this time I'm going to help myself and see how that goes. The therapists that I've had have often been unhelpful and feeling more like a broken clock twice a day type thing. I have a better time understanding myself than a therapist does I usually find. I prefer to read CBT resources  and other stuff and see how/if I can apply it to my life these days. I find the results to be more consistent (also much less expensive!).

Journal Update #2

I think this is day 4, so I'll just keep counting from here. My sense of time has gotten a lot better. Part of that is because I'm so much more mentally invested in my IRL activities. I have been feeling a sense of focus which I haven't felt in a long time. For the first time in a while, I actually feel collected and calm when doing things that aren't gaming. I still feel anxious and negative emotions, but the positive ones are coming out a lot more. 

Today I cooked a nice dinner for my girlfriend and baked bread for the first time by myself. It tasted really good and I'll be doing it more in the future! I even get to save a few dollars on bread, which comes to about... $8 a month? Haha it's not much, but I'll take it. Worked out in the morning as well. Taking it one step at a time, but I like the direction my life is going, which I couldn't say a week ago. Returned all of my gaming hardware that I could to Amazon and sold a lot more of my stuff! I have a big test on Friday and I haven't studied. 

A really important insight that I arrived at today on why I constantly felt anxious. When I was playing games all the time or thinking about video games, it began like a huge part of my identity. My only other identity that I was attached to was a student/worker. Outside of school/work I didn't invest mentally into a lot. I had my girlfriend and friends, but that's a different sort of investment and "identity". So if I failed or had a tough assignment ahead, I had a lot on the line. If I didn't do as well in school/work, I was only a gamer - and that's not really a lot to have for backup. 

However, with this big test coming up Friday, I don't feel as worried. Even if I fail this course, which could possibly happen, I know that I have a lot I can do. I can still enjoy baking, I can still learn how to cook more stuff, I can still work part-time. I am no longer just a gamer and student/worker. I feel finally a bit more mature about how I see myself. 

 

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Day 5

Studied a while for a test tomorrow, feeling more confident about passing and getting university over with (thank god). Learning about setting boundaries and self-control in order to maintain a healthy environment and mindset. Looking at resources to edit my resume and applying for jobs. Learning to control my emotions and living with less fear and worries. Overall, very good progress today and still a lot left to do. Gotta for a walk, workout and buy the cat some kibbles!

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Day 6!

I totally shat the bed with the test, but that's fine because I'm still going to pass the course. My GPA won't really be effected one way or another. Just very happy to almost be done, I have the final exam coming up and I feel good enough to pass on that. Very much so just looking to finish this course and graduate. Same plan today, clean up more of my room, read this anthropology book that my former prof wrote and work out.

I want to add another goal which is quitting porn as well. I'm experiencing the usual symptoms that other people have reported so I think it best to stop altogether. Overall, I feel weird and gross afterwards. I've tried abstaining many times, but I've had no luck, would greatly appreciate any advice! 

Have a good one people!

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Hey, 

sorry you failed the test, it's good your GPA won't be impacted that much. I wish you luck on the final exam.

I fortunately never had an issue with porn, so unfortunately I can't give you much advice. What I can say though, is with any addiction you should know why you tend to those things, study your habits, and maybe your able to create a plan that will help you abstain from porn. 
 

With me never experiencing this, I hope this at least helped

Best

Jason 

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1 hour ago, Jason70 said:

Hey, 

sorry you failed the test, it's good your GPA won't be impacted that much. I wish you luck on the final exam.

I fortunately never had an issue with porn, so unfortunately I can't give you much advice. What I can say though, is with any addiction you should know why you tend to those things, study your habits, and maybe your able to create a plan that will help you abstain from porn. 
 

With me never experiencing this, I hope this at least helped

Best

Jason 

Hey thanks for replying to the journal!

I'm not sure if there is a trigger for porn. It's more or less whenever I'm at the desk. However, I will say that it does occur mostly when I'm bored or watching a show. Those tend to be my triggers, so I'll make sure to leave my desk when I get the urge or to spend less free time at the desk in general.

Thanks for pointing that out for me 🙂

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Day 9 of No Gaming

Feeling an awful lot of negative emotions lately. These final exams are really beating the shit out of me. To be honest, I've broken down once because I'm not sure if I can pass on of the courses. However, it's also something which I have come to see a learning experience. A two part lesson. The first, that failure is okay. I haven't particularly failed something that I've started, nothing big or significant in several years, so it'll be a life lesson. The second lesson, that I have a lot of nonsense in my life.

YouTube is one of these nonsense areas. I'll be having a good day and then see the news about something awful that happened in the world. I'll be invested in someone's drama without even realizing that I've been played by the algorithm. Funny thing is, I'm a very drama free person in real life, I like to keep things on the level if possible. I've switched my main YouTube to include a few and very select amount of creators. Small rant, but why is there so much drama and why is it always being broadcasted? Why get random online people riled up especially when it's a personal matter? Attention? I don't agree with it, so I'm staying away by limiting my exposure. Ideally, I would log out entirely, but youtube and gmail are interconnected now so Google can harvest my precious metadata.

Other nonsense includes just bad thinking habits. I get in my own way and ruin a lot of progress by being hyper-critical. Even when I don't make a mistake and no one else thinks I have, I'm constantly battling this nagging thought of having done something wrong. I want to improve that as well. Subconsciously, I also compare myself too much to others as well, most of that is superficial matters as well. I don't intend for it and I certainly don't advocate for comparing to others for motivation or anything really. It's a lot of mental baggage that I plan to get rid of as well. It's certainly hindered my progress in this tough course because I think I'm not as good as others. True that I'm not good at this course, but I've kicked ass in other courses. Life's a give and take, and there's a balance for the most part. I need to find that balance and maintain it. Part of that is stop watching YouTube apart from certain creators and other searches which I dictate instead of creators I've outgrown or what is suggested. 

Still very happy that I'm not gaming. I would have never thought things out and wrote a journal about how I was processing if I was still gaming. Right now, I'd probably still be in a game and feeling awful about myself, but not knowing really why. Progress is slow and doesn't often feel like it IRL I suppose.

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Day 10 of no gaming. 

Urges to game are sky high today. However, I watched another documentary about tech start ups, housing markets, etc. and I realized as a gaming addict, I could never do any of those things if I went back to my old habits. Feeling a lot less stressed today. Had a good talk with my mother about what would happen if I failed. It's not the end of the world to retake one course. Studied all morning and that was brutal, but I think I'm starting to understand the material. Been trying to improve my sleep and nutrition which will help with memory and cognitive performance for my exam in less than two weeks. I feel pretty crappy, but also occasionally proud that I'm really trying my best. I haven't really put my foot forward like this in a while and I'm starting to enjoy performing again. 

Kind of hating MacOS at times because of how unfamiliar I am with it. Sometimes I just need efficient use of my OS instead of having to learn things over again. Switching to Chrome for some websites has helped a lot. Safari is really buggy with certain websites. Debating if I should keep the Mac or get a windows laptop. But if I get the Windows laptop, I might relapse. Thinking... 

 

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It sounds like you’re stressed with school, understandably. Stress can definitely cause triggers. I’m not sure what your interests are but maybe you can find some sort of hobby that is relaxing. Not to undermine your good efforts in studying, but everyone needs to recreate at some time after serious work. Way to go!

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Dude, I switched to mac when I started gamequitting and I'm at over a year in. Switching was the best idea ever. Please trust me for a second here and just recognize that what you're saying is extremely valid and important. The more barriers you have to gamign the better. Stay with the macbook. I know safari is buggy. I use mozilla firefox for certain sites. But seriously try to stick with the mac if you can manage to. It'll give you that much more willpower and energy to maintain the streak. Plus macbooks generally last longer because they're much less prone to getting viruses and other reasons.

Good luck

Edited by TheNewMe2.0
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3 hours ago, TheNewMe2.0 said:

Dude, I switched to mac when I started gamequitting and I'm at over a year in. Switching was the best idea ever. Please trust me for a second here and just recognize that what you're saying is extremely valid and important. The more barriers you have to gamign the better. Stay with the macbook. I know safari is buggy. I use mozilla firefox for certain sites. But seriously try to stick with the mac if you can manage to. It'll give you that much more willpower and energy to maintain the streak. Plus macbooks generally last longer because they're much less prone to getting viruses and other reasons.

Good luck

Hey again! I definitely agree with that sentiment. Right now it's just a combination of time crunch and not knowing the OS, but over time I'm sure I can master it just like I did with Windows. The best part about MacOS is that there aren't many games that support the platform! Furthermore, I don't associate gaming with my Macbook so my temptations are far lower than if I was using a Windows system. Another thing is that MacBook retain value so much better than windows laptops! I definitely will keep it 🙂

14 hours ago, Theresa said:

It sounds like you’re stressed with school, understandably. Stress can definitely cause triggers. I’m not sure what your interests are but maybe you can find some sort of hobby that is relaxing. Not to undermine your good efforts in studying, but everyone needs to recreate at some time after serious work. Way to go!

Hello! Thank you for replying to the journal! Yes for sure I try to do some hobby that keeps my mind off the work. Usually, I will study very hard in the morning when my mental energy is highest. Then when I can't study any longer, I will just goof off. Seeing friends/girlfriend helps the most, but you can't do that these days in my area due to COVID. When there is a big stressor, I'm unable to do anything else, but that thing which is unhealthy, but I had no energy the last few days to do anything else except my studies. Good news is, I've figured out the largest unit of the exam and that should mean I can pass the course. Yesterday, when I was studying, it felt like an endurance round. I didn't know when/if I would ever understand the material. I went to office hours and the TA was very very good at explaining the problems and I understood it after sleeping on it overnight. So now my studying is far less stressful because now it's more of a review and clarification! Feeling much less stressed out than before. I know at the most, I'll need 39% to pass the course, assuming I got a 0% on my previous test (I think I got at most 10% haha!). So it's not fully over yet, I want to guarantee that I pass, but my stress is at least halved from yesterday.

Never would have been able to achieve this or understand the material with my video game addiction because I 100% know I would just be stress playing Valorant right now.

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Day 11 of no gaming.

Found out just now I made a huge fuck up. On my third test, one of my questions didn't save. I had a copy on my old PC with the time stamp to show I completed during the test time. I missed the deadline to ask for a regrade by just two days. If I had been more diligent this semester and realized that we get to see where we lost marks on our tests, I would be guaranteed 100% to pass this course. I'm really kicking myself right now because of this mistake. I am happy however, that I've been taking every step possible to ensure it doesn't bite me in the butt. Still studying and trying to get that passing grade. I hate that I was so lazy and wasted all that time on gaming and sleeping too late. What did I even have to show for it? Nothing.

Man, talk about a bummer. Nothing else I can do now except for doing my best. 

EDIT:

Turns out, both of my previous tests had a question that was not saved. I could have gotten a 10% on my final and passed if those questions saved... FUCK. I'm really kicking myself right now. I had a high average and I threw it away because I didn't ask for a remark. I'm never gaming again. I've ruined my grade and stressed myself for the past few days, but this could have all been avoided.

Edited by ReturnToNormal
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15 hours ago, ReturnToNormal said:

What did I even have to show for it? Nothing.

I've had this exact same thought after living x number of years and just realizing that I didn't achieve much with my life because I was busy giving into my addictions. It sucks about your test but at least you're on the right track now so keep going.

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3 hours ago, TheNewMe2.0 said:

I've had this exact same thought after living x number of years and just realizing that I didn't achieve much with my life because I was busy giving into my addictions. It sucks about your test but at least you're on the right track now so keep going.

At this point, I see it like a ship drifting in the wrong direction with a captain and crew (that's me!) who has been distracted the entire time. And by the time I realized the ship was heading for the rocks, it was a bit too late despite the rapid steering that I've done in the last few days. I guess this is just collateral and it's a good reminder to not let things slip going forward. Speaking about not letting things slip, I'm going to workout again today. Last few days I've been too stressed about the idea of this exam. Thank you again for replying, it helps a lot to discuss this stuff with likeminded people. My gamer friends mostly just try to get me back to playing haha.

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Hehe yeah people who are using will usually try to get you to use with them. I guess that's just human nature to want other people to do what you do so you can share in it and have company while doing said activity. Exercise is good just remember to exercise caution as well and not push your body into an injury.

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Day 13 of no gaming. 

A lot of has happened in the last few days. Got a job interview and passed first round. In person interview in a few days, I've had to order new pants because I gained some weight this last year for the interview. Very excited and I really hope to get this job. To celebrate... I tried to play Terraria. Played a few minutes and I hated it. It was boring and just a bad time. I'm not going to count that as breaking the streak because it wasn't significant, but reaffirmed that I don't want to play games again. 

Been really trying to figure out where I want my life to go and all that stuff. I got nothing concrete right now, so nothing to really report. Still going through lots of changes. 

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Day 14 of no gaming.

My god I gained fat haha! I went from 170 very good shape to 204 in a year. Granted I did gain some good size from that and my frame has widen in a good way, but so has my weight. I used to look very good in a suit, but now I'm built kind of like a doorframe! So today I'm going to go for more walks with my mother as we're stuck in quarantine. Haven't seen a gym in almost a year because they're never opened. They also closed my local money bar workout zone so I've had to find alternatives to staying fit. 

It's not all negative because I had really bad relationships with food, very restrictive and unhappy with my diet and lifestyle to maintain my physique. I was very into bodybuilding so I was always at the gym, but my body felt really busted 24/7. Now that I'm doing body weight workouts, I feel much better and my joints feel stronger instead of weakened. 

So that's my second big goal. The first is that I wanted to find a full-time job, and it seems that I'm on my way to that. Second goal is to get into better shape and reduce my waist a bit. My first step is to eat more vegetables and whole proteins instead of processed foods. I used to love eating beans and lean meats, but now I eat a bunch of junk... I'm going to try to gain my lifestyle instead of my weight. I wanted to change things around and focus on the end goal first. The goal should be longevity and health, not weight and abs. So this time I'm going to improve my cardiovascular performance. My friend gave me a bike so now I'm going to go biking more often. I don't want to put numbers to the equation just yet, I'm going to take it step by step and slowly make sustainable changes.

When I was a kid, I was very overweight so I jumped into fitness right away hard. That led to frequent burn outs and I was mentally exhausted, so I don't want to it that way again. This time, I'm going to take things slow and make it last long term! I want to decrease my waist line for sure because I don't want to buy new clothes.

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