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Circle's Journal

6 posts in this topic

Posted

Day 6

Life has already improved for me. Gaming took up so much of my time and energy that everything else in my life suffered. I'm sure everyone here knows what it's like to never REALLY stop playing games, even when you're away from the computer. When you game like we do (did), you think about it all the time, going through strategies and narratives, aching to get back to the comfortable world inside your favourite games when at work, school or play. Staying up until the middle of the night to game more and more, and then having your brain continue those same game-related thoughts as you sleep, leaving you exhausted in the morning

I can't say I've done anything productive, really, in the past 6 days. But my mind is facing outward now, towards the real world. I've felt myself naturally engaging with people more, listening to music in a way and a rate I haven't been able to do for years, and even when I do stay up too late, I'm much less tired than if I'd been up gaming. I feel quicker, happier and more creative.

I'm still procrastinating, wasting time on mindless browsing, smoking too much weed, etc. But my mental energy is no longer trapped inside a gameworld and it's being used in much healthier ways. My schedule is no longer based around how I can maximize my screen time by minimizing everything else. I've tried many times to quit marijuana and failed, in no small part to being triggered by gaming, as well as the fact that so many people around me smoke. I'm not surrounded by gamers, so the temptation is rarely brought up in social situations. It's made me realize how destructive gaming really was for me; there are actually some productive and creative things I can do while I'm high. But if I'm gaming, I'm gaming and gaming alone.

Building new habits, including cutting back on marijuana, is the next step for me. But this was a very important first step in removing the largest and least healthy obsession in my life. I'm grateful to myself for keeping myself at least somewhat afloat all these years. My university GPA is very good,my options are still open, and I'm in decent shape, if a lot less muscular than I was at one point. But I'm more grateful that I've found this place and managed to grab ahold of my life before I gamed it out of existence.

My short-term goals are:

Catching up/preparing for university courses. Speaking to advisors and professors and developing a plan for the next few years and after university.

working out 30 min - 1 hour a day

learning french every day (started a few online apps to refresh my basic french, then would like to sign up for a course)

developing songs I've had bouncing around in my head for years and years

writing 4-5 times a week

Practicing bass/drums 4-5 times a week.

 

Thanks to everyone who is reading and good luck to us all!

 

-Circle

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Posted

Good job on starting your journal!

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Posted

Great job! Love this: "My schedule is no longer based around how I can maximize my screen time by minimizing everything else."

How was the weekend for you?

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Posted

Good job on starting your journal!

Thanks :)

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Posted

Great job! Love this: "My schedule is no longer based around how I can maximize my screen time by minimizing everything else."

How was the weekend for you?

Thanks Cam! The weekend was okay. Friday and Saturday I managed to spend a lot of time with friends after work and band practice which was good. I'm still enjoying how my engagement with the world has changed, how I'm focusing my energy on the people and the real things in my life instead of my fantasy world(s). I also managed to work out a bit.

Sunday was challenging. I woke up and basically sat in front of my computer all day until I finally managed to turn it off around 8:00 to do some schoolwork. I've still not replaced the gaming with any real attempts at productivity so I watched a ton of Futurama and some documentaries while smoking pot. Around 3 or 4 I started to get my first strong craving for games. I think it was a combination of the fact that I was smoking pot on a Sunday (always a prime time and state of mind for gaming), and that I was really craving some sense of accomplishment. I ended up relapsing for just over an hour after telling myself that Sundays could maybe be an exception. Happy to say I didn't enjoy it. Without the desire to escape into the game and fully immerse myself in the fantasy it's not very attractive to me anymore. So I turned it off and haven't played since.

Since then I've had a lot of feelings of hopelessness as to my future. I've spent so many years with gaming as my focus that I just don't know what I really want out of life anymore, and when I do decide on something, I get overwhelmed at the sheer amount of work it takes to actually achieve it. My passions have always been in the arts and humanities and those are fields which are harder than ever before to make it in, and even though I'm an A student I have zero experience in my major outside of class (and little in my minor). I also worry about my work ethic which has not been developed very much through gaming!

I know the answer is to get out there and start making up for lost time! And I'll feel better when I start doing that for real, even if I don't succeed in the end. Maybe it's inevitable that I mourn a bit for the person who was buried under fantasy for so long. I guess I just hope that I didn't do more damage to my life than I realize.

But I'm grateful that I've quit gaming and I know it could be worse. I'm going to speak with some advisors this week and focus on the assignments that are coming due soon. Working out every day and spending time writing, reading and playing music are my next goals.

Day 10 - Wrote a long journal post and articulated some hopes and fears. Nervous but looking forward. Grateful for everyone who takes the time to read these!

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Posted

Thanks for sharing. There's going to be ups and downs and that's ok. The key is to be aware of them and keep going. Keep learning from your experience and make the necessary adjustments to move forward. 

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