Sharing our experience, strength and hope to support each other to recover from problems resulting from excessive game playing.
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celerec8, congratz on a month-plus of game-free living! That's a great accomplishment. It is smart not to let your guard down. There is a lot of research showing that once you have developed a habit like excessive gaming, the brain circuits (or whatever it is) are still there even after you have stopped gaming. If you start gaming again, they will fire back up and very soon you will be right back where you were before. My favorite analogy is that of an allergy. If you are allergic to peanuts or shellfish (as far as I know), you don't ever become un-allergic. You always have to avoid peanuts or shellfish or whatever it is, as well as possibly carry an Epi pen, or you could have a fatal reaction. Same with gaming. Once you've developed this problem, it doesn't ever completely go away. You may still have urges to play many years from now. They'll be easier to ignore, and they'll be rare and weak. But if you start playing again, you'll very likely be in the same place you were a month ago. Don't let your guard down. Don't assume you're cured. Don't start gaming again. Then all will be well, or at least as well as things can ever get in this life.
BrandNewday, it's great that you've gone 10 days without gaming now. I know what you mean about thinking it would be impossible. I think quitting gaming has helped me to realize that I am capable of a lot more than I thought I was. Just another reason to be grateful to Olga and everyone who participates and makes it work.
Wazzapp, thanks for the check-in! I'm glad to know you are ok and not gaming. Great work!
I'm all right today. No plans to game.
Wanted to check in and give a status update. I'm game free for 5 days and no urges to game. Granted, I've replace a lot of those urges with watching shows which could possible also turn into an addiction, but what I can say for certain is that by keeping my mind off of games, my mind is more clear. I am more aware of my surroundings and feel more in control of myself.
No games today. And no plans to game tomorrow either.
Thanks, McPhee! The allergy analogy is really good. Never thought of it that way before.
game free since 1/14/2016
I'm now one million seconds free of gaming. During this period, I've never played any game, though the fact that my friend gave me Flappy Bird to play for five seconds still bothers me. But I guess that's not really gaming. It's not something I'm addicted to nor find interesting, so it doesn't feed my addiction. I'll keep going with my plan to solve gaming and then internet addiction. I'll go for two weeks, then three weeks, then a month.
I need to be careful, still.
I don't want to game today.
"The trouble--it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found." - Home
BrandNewDay, congrats on the million game-free seconds! Outstanding!
SmartenUp4Life, I think it's probably okay to watch shows while you're still in the early days of not gaming. Often people get concerned about replacing one addiction with another, and I think it can be a concern. However, perfection is a difficult goal. Sometimes the best thing to do is just to try to be better, rather than be perfect. Replacing a life-suffocating gaming compulsion with a tendency to watch a lot of shows is probably, in the scheme of things, an improvement. You can overdo the shows, certainly, but are you watching them with anything like the same level of craziness you used to game with? You might think about giving yourself free rein with the shows until you get a little further along with the gaming cessation. Then if you want to cut back or quit watching shows later, you can do so without the distraction of also trying to give up gaming at the same time.
celerec8, there are worse things than being allergic to games. The remedy is to stay away from games, and you're doing that. Good work!
I am okay today. No plans to game.
I dreamt last night that I was back to playing games again for the entire day Sunday. And I woke up as I went to sleep in the dream. I think this dream is a warning for me to be extremely careful around games today, and tell me that I should never game again, despite the occasional longing and withdrawal. I am 13 days free of games right now. I am 18 hours away from two weeks of no gaming. I want to keep it that way, always. It's Sunday today; I need to watch out.
BrandNewDay, it sounds like that gaming dream was pretty upsetting. I'm not sure I've ever had a gaming dream, but dreams about drinking or drugging are common among people who are quitting alcohol and drugs. And those are upsetting, I know from personal experience. You wake up feeling so profoundly guilty and bad and ashamed. Even when you realize it didn't really happen, you still feel really awful, almost as if you had done it. So I feel for you. The good news is, it's just a dream. You didn't actually game. You're still on track to get games out of your life,
You are probably right that the best approach is not to game at all. Once you get a habit like compulsive excessive gaming, you will have a strong tendency to very quickly go right back to the same crazy level of excessive gaming if you try to play just a little. If moderation hasn't worked in the past, it's very likely not going to work in the future. You will probably do better if you accept the fact that you are not cut out for gaming. At all. Even a little. But that's okay. There are lots of other fun things to do in life that aren't so troublesome.
I'm good here. No plans to game today.
Hi everyone, I'm new to OLGA, pleased to meet you :)
After a few years away from gaming I recently had a relapse, but was able to stop without doing too much harm...unfortunately I've realised that moderation simply doesn't work for me - the urge to play these games simply overrides my willpower and common sense. I've decided to quit (again) and hopefully this time I'll make it stick. What's different this time around is that I don't plan on doing it alone!
So today is Day 1 of my recovery - hoping for a better future and free from games.
I've been game free for 8 days and can say that as of a few minutes ago, I was so close to reinstalling a computer game. I had an important interview today on a dream job and blew it. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. Couldn't find a taxi willing to take me there so ended up taking the metro and showed up late dripping with sweat. Couldn't focus on the conversation as I kept being busy wiping away the sweat on my face. I ended up selling myself short.
Felt really devestated and all I wanted to do after going home was to lock myself in my room and drown out my frustrations with mindless gaming. As I was about to reinstall steam, I decided to do my routine visit on OLGA and was slightly brought back to inner conflict about my vow and original determination. I am going to listen in on tonight's group meeting and afterwards just leave the house. My strong urges are more abated now as I am writing this.
Struggling hard to keep that promise to myself. No plans to game today.
SmartenUp4Life, you can do this! Keep going and always motivate yourself to not game along the way. I agree that a routine visit to OLGA is very helpful; keep that up! Congratulations on one week and one day of gamelessness!
I promised to myself last night that I was going to stay away from gaming from then on, forever. I don't need gaming in my life any more. It's never necessary. I looked into the future and decided to see someone who did not game since February 8th. I am two weeks free of gaming right now. I have had immense pressure from school and homework, but did not back down. I still have problems now caused by the gaming two weeks ago, but I am now so much more confident and motivated to keep going. I'm going to face my problems and solve them.
I'll be careful around games.
Striving For Freedom, congrats on the years off gaming. I've previously had years away from gaming too, so I know from personal experience how you can get back into it again. It stinks! You are probably right that you can't game moderately any more. There's something about it, once you get the point of being out of control. It's like the parts of your brain are permanently wired in a certain way after you develop this crazy habit. You may not activate that wiring for years, but if you start gaming again, you almost immediately go right back to gaming like a loon once again. Often, it's even worse. It's not just gaming. People who are trying to lose weight, stop drinking, give up drugs, quit smoking, etc. find the same thing. Once you have developed one of these complex maladaptive behaviors, the best and often only way to deal with it effectively is complete abstention. You just don't game. At all. Welcome to Olga and I hope it goes well for you here.
Smartup4life, I'm sorry to hear about the cascade of trouble that caused your interview to be so difficult. Have you heard back that you definitely did not get the job? It doesn't sound too promising, and you probably want to temper your hopes for a good outcome, but I'd wait to be truly devastated at least until I heard for sure. I am often surprised by how things turn out, losing when I thought I'd won and vice versa. Meanwhile, I'd start lining up an interview for my next dream job. Having another prospect in the future can be a great way to deal with disappointment. And be sure to remember your lesson here: When things get rocky and you're stressed and disappointed, that's when you're likely to turn to a game. Finally, major congrats on avoiding getting sucked back into a game! You did very well in what sounds like a trmendously difficult situation. Good work!
BrandNewDay, you are doing great! You are like the poster child for doing this right. Great stuff! I would caution you that a lot of people, including me, are careful about saying they will never play games again. You really don't have to make that vow. You can't not game forever today. All you can do today is not game today. So why place extra pressure on yourself by trying not to game ever again, when you can't really do it? My approach, and that of many others (although not all), is to focus on not gaming today. To be fair, some people do say you should commit today to never gaming again and, of course, that's really what we're all hoping for. But if you feel extra stress from trying to commit to never gaming again for the rest of your life, you might consider backing off from that and concentrating on not gaming today. You can deal with tomorrow when it gets here.
I'm good. No plans to game today.
I'm fifteen days free of gaming now. I still need to be careful, especially today because I didn't slept well last night and will be tired in the evening. I'll also practice keeping my emotions steady and under control. I heard this has many benefits.
Gaming destroyed my life. I shall take it back.
I don't want to game today.
I didn't refresh my page before submitting the last one. What you wrote makes complete sense. I agree it might cause more pressure than is necessary. I'll now just focus on not gaming, one day at a time.
BrandNewDay, 15 days is fantastic! You've made it through two entire weekends, which for many of us is the riskiest time for insane gaming. I have a theory that we all have to learn to be non-gamers in every situation in which we used to game. That means any time you're confronted with a situation in which you used to game, you are likely to feel strong urges, seemingly out of the blue. Even months or years after quitting gaming, this can happen. That's why it's so important to get through the first weekend or two. Other risky times can be when you are alone, like a roommate goes out of town for a few days (maybe we think, who will know?), or after you've finished a grueling project such as studying for a test (here we could think we can game as a reward), etc. If we can think about these times, identify them beforehand and be ready with a plan to deal with the urges, it can increase the odds we'll navigate them successfully.
You're doing great, BND, and I don't tell you about the "one day at a time" thing in order to criticize or insist you follow some orthodox path to game-free living. We all want to never game again (except maybe for the idea that someday we could do it again that some of us secretly have) and not everybody feels any pressure when confronted by the idea of never gaming again. If you are comfortable with that as your stated goal, no problem. But if you're feeling stressed about committing to never play again forever, then taking it a day at a time is a good option. That's all I'm saying. Anyway, very good work!
No plans to game today.
I am doing well this morning. No plans to game.
Thank you for your encouragement McPhee! I do feel that I'm not stressed out when I commit to not gaming in the future as well; it only boosts my motivation and confidence. So here I go again: I will not game, from now on. At the end of this year, I want to see someone who has not gamed since Feb 8. I'll keep myself accountable.
I slept quite a bit last night. This energy will help me combat the urges today. I still hate gaming. It has made my life at least ten times harder, and the impact of not doing homework still affects me today. I hate games. It's been 16 days without games for me. I'll keep going, forever.
I have so much homework that I haven't done before class in one and a half hours. I only slept 5 hours last night. I don't know if I will survive this day at school. I will try not to fall asleep during class. I wasted so much time yesterday doing anything but homework. I still can't face homework, no matter my resolve. I did not game yesterday, but I was nearly equally unproductive. I'm afraid if this continues, my gaming habits will return in no time. I'm noticing that I'm only using one sentence structure where I begin with the word "I." I can't help it. I will definitely have to fix all of my internet addiction at once, just like I needed to quit all of my games at once, I now need to quit all websites. I will start blocking all sites except the ones that I need. Hopefully I survive this miserable day.
I am 17 days clean from games. I want to keep it that way.
I don't want to waste time on the internet today.
BrandNewDay, great job staying away from the games for another day! 17! Outstanding!
Try to keep in mind that you're focusing on quitting games. Games are the big problem. If you are having trouble with other activities, that's not ideal, but unless you really think that fooling around on the Internet is going to be a bigger problem than gaming, then I suggest you focus right now on quitting gaming and accept that you may still have a few other issues to work on in a few months when you're feeling stronger about not gaming. These things take time and it can overwhelm your willpower to try to quit too many things at once, making it harder to accomplish the main goal.
Having said that, you can probably help your procrastination problem at least a little -- and even a very small improvement can be so encouraging when it just seems like things are getting worse -- by learning to focus better.
I recommend a meditation exercise that is so easy it sounds trivial and unlikely to help. But it actually is likely to help. Just two minutes of focusing on your breathing once a day can really make a difference. It is not about being all Eastern and mystical and communing with the spirits. It's like weightlifting for attention. By spending a short time focusing on the way your breath is going in and out of your body, you will get better at focusing on the work you have to do. It will be harder for attractive things like surfing the web to distract you.
This may sound crazy, but think about this: What if you did 50 situps or crunches every morning? How long would that take? Probably about two minutes, right? And what would happen to your abs? They would be noticeably tighter quickly and in a week or two you'd be significantly stronger. Try two minutes of exercising your focus. Sit in a comfortable chair, close your eyes and concentrate on your breath going in and out. Don't get down on yourself when you lose focus on your breath and start thinking of something else. This is normal and inevitable. Just gently pull your attention back to your breath. Think of the weightlifting analogy. You get stronger by raising and lowering the weight. With meditation, your ability to focus gets stronger when your attention wanders and you pull it back. Pulling it back is where you get the exercise in. It's okay if you wander. Just pull it back. And don't sit down planning to meditate for two hours. You're strengthening a muscle (sort of) and you can't turn into Schwarzenegger in one session at the gym.
This has really helped me in my work. I am a self-employed, home-based freelance writer. It can be difficult for me to concentrate when I have a deadline. No one is watching and I have all my favorite distractions close to hand. But when I consistently do this brief meditation exercise, I find I am better able to pull my mind back to my writing project and get it done, rather than procrastinating and doing some interesting but trivial activity instead. Still not perfect, but better.
Remember: You are doing great in your primary goal, which at one time you thought was impossible to achieve. Congratz!
All good here. No plans to game today. Thanks to all for your help with that.
Thank you McPhee for your encouragement. I'm now 1.5 million seconds free from gaming. The analogy makes total sense. I meditated for two minutes yesterday, and already felt that it would help me with overcoming my fear of homework. Meditation makes us more in control of ourselves, which is a trait necessary to everyone who is quitting addiction. I'm also realizing that I would be much much worse now in my social and academic life if I continued gaming. Gaming is really pointless. Gaming only destroys.
I'm going to meditate right after this post.
I don't want game today.
I'm game free for 24 hours and counting. I'm new to the community here, but I'm spending a lot of time on the forums, you guys are really inspiring and it's helping a lot to have something else to do. Hope to have a good first weekend game free!
Congrats everyone, keep it up.
77 days game free. This morning, out of curiosity, I read an article on gaming leading to gaming news. Well, I can't stay I was attracted to any games they talked about. I just find it boring. Seems the brain is rewiring itself and not attracted by video games anymore. Still need my entertainment though. So far it has been TV series and building a few lego's for my son ^^
BrandNewDay, 1.5 million seconds of game-free living sounds wonderful. Excellent work! I have been reading scientific papers on the effectiveness of meditation and I don't think I've overstated anything or given out any bad info (at least on this subject; others, maybe.) Many studies by many researchers using many different methods point to similar conclusions: spending even short periods concentrating on something like the breath and gently pulling your attention back when it wanders helps you significantly to focus your attention on all kinds of things, which helps you in a lot of ways. It also boosts stuff like creativity and problem-solving, they say.
I'm going to keep trying to do my two minutes every day. Yesterday I did get distracted and was unable to achieve my primary goal of getting two articles written. Nor did I get to the gym. However, it wasn't because I spent a lot of time surfing the web or -- god forbid -- gaming. It was just other stuff coming up that needed attention. Like having to go vote, having to pick my son up earlier than I thought, having one of the articles take much longer to write than anticipated, etc. Apparently meditation doesn't control the world outside ourselves. But it can make us better at dealing with the world.
StartOver, you can do this. You are smart to pay attention to getting through the weekend. Weekends can be tough. My advice is to schedule some activities that will get you away from the computer. It is extremely difficult, almost impossible in fact, to sit there twidding your thumbs with the computer right in front of you and not game. It's not easy in any case. So don't make it harder than it has to be. Go for a hike, visit a museum, hang out with some friends and eat wings and watch sports, whatever. Especially, being with other people helps, since for many of us gaming is a solo occupation. Also, it's embarrassing to show others what knuckleheads we can be about gaming. So go. Get out of the house. Leave gaming behind. I hope you can wake up Monday knowing you got through a weekend game-free. It will be valuable info. We are with you!
Anewho, you are sounding great! TV and Legos haven't destroyed too many lives, I think, or at least not as many as gaming. So excellent job. I would caution you that there is a limit to the brain rewiring that goes on. You're building some new circuits to overlay the old ones (is one way to think about it) but those old circuits are still there. If you start playing again, those old circuits will light up like midtown Manhattan and you'll be gaming like a maniac again in no time. Most likely, anyway. So don't assume you're in the clear. This is not something that can be cured like a broken arm or the flu. It's more like an allergy. The only way to stay healthy is to stay away from the allergen, in this case, games. Which is what you're doing so I apologize for lecturing. It's just that it's easier to stay off the games than to get off of them, if you know what I mean. So I'm hoping you will continue. Sounds like you're doing that, so congrats again!
I am good today. No plans to game.
PS I can hardly believe it, but I'm coming up on one year of game-free living. Yes, as far as I can tell the date is March 9. Man. I am so happy about this. Thank you all so much for your help. Your being here means an enormous amount. I just couldn't do it on my own. Thanks again.
I just didn't want to do homework this morning. I found some friends to play a boardgame for a while, but, afterwards, they just turned to their phones and computers and started playing computer games. Normally, I would remove myself from the environment and not watch those games at all, but these were my close friends, and they directly asked me to watch them play the games. Although I'm not familiar with the games, I couldn't help but watch them play, and I am confident that it triggered some longing for games in me yet again. They told me to try the game out, so I did, for one minute, until I suddenly stood up and jumped away from the game, realizing that I was almost breaking my 19 day streak of no gaming. I'm glad I set an exception for no gaming, which was playing something I'm not addicted to for less than 5 minutes in a social environment and promising myself that I will not play it on my own. That's what I'm telling myself again and again right now. I don't find that game so fun, but it's intriguing. I need to keep away from it when I'm alone. But when my friends start to play it again, I'll not play it any more. My no-gaming timer continues. The incident this morning didn't count. I find it unfair that so many people at my school can play games without a problem, but I can't. I'm telling myself now that my life is going to be destroyed if I even just touch a game. I admit that I like games. But I hate the consequences and pointlessness of the games more than I like them. No gaming today. No. Gaming. Today.
I think it's necessary again for me to completely focus on not gaming now. My main source of confidence in my life right now is the fact that I haven't gamed. I need to keep this up, or else I see a very dark future for myself. I can see myself thinking, "What's the point in living any more, if I can't stop gaming?" This is such a sad scenario. I don't want to waste any moment of my life gaming. I know that, even for those who game without being addicted, I am going to use time more meaningfully than them if I don't game. So I'll not game today, nor tomorrow, nor any time in the future, no matter if my friends game or not.
Thank you for your post McPhee. I've tried to quit before, and I always found myself relapsing on the weekends because I didn't have anything else to do. I have had to watch myself carefully to ensure I don't end up at the computer with nothing to do but game. It's not easy, because gaming has been my entire life for about a year and a half. Finding other things to do can be challenging. I'm going to do some things with my family this weekend.
BrandNewDay, staying away from people who are still engaged in your complex maladaptive actvity is a universally recommended rule for quitting something. However, it's not always possible. You could pretty easily avoid heavy drinkers if you were a boozehound, but it's more difficult to avoid people who play games on phones, because they are everywhere. I think your rule about it being okay to play a game for a few minutes in a social setting is risky and unnecessary. You are making it harder to quit, and you don't have to do that.
Here's an idea: Next time you're with a sizable group of people and some of them are playing on their phones, see if anybody (besides yourself) is not participating. I'll bet you'll see some other people who aren't interested inn gaming. You may not want to be friends with these particular people and start hanging out with them all the time instead of your current game-playing friends. But I think you'll be comforted to know that not everybody plays games. It may look like it, but not everybody does.
Have a plan: Next time somebody urges you to play a game, have a response ready. "Not right now, thanks," is my favorite one when somebody offers me an alcoholic drink. It is friendy and doesn't imply any sort of rejection, but as a rule once you've turned somebody down in this way, they don't come back and bother you again. With gaming, it might be, "Nah, I'm just going to watch you play right now." Think about what you're going to do in this situation. Have a plan. You can do it!
StartOver, finding ways to fill the many hours we used to spend gaming is a major challenge. Everybody has trouble with it. Activities with family is an excellent idea. You also might try sitting down and asking yourself: What would I do with this time if I could do anything -- no limits whatsoever -- that I wanted? Chances are good you will identify some activity that will thrill you to the core and will make it easy to forget gaming, at least for a while.
I suspect that many of us indulge in the essentially futile and profit-less activity of gaming because, while there are other more interesting and productive things we could be doing, for some reason we don't feel we can attempt those preferable activities. We may think, for example, that we're not good enough, it's too hard, it costs too much, we don't know where to start, people will laugh, etc. But if you shove all those excuses out of the way and start thinking, "What would it take for me to get to do this?" it can really put a major shine into life.
What's your dream? Have you always wanted to play an instrument? Drive a race car? Run a marathon? Date someone incredibly good-looking? Research it, come up with a plan that could possibly work and take the first step. Even if that first step is just googling to find out the name of local piano teachers, exotic car rental agencies, running shoe stores or online dating sites -- there is incredible power in beginning. Begin something that would give you a reward you secretly lust after but never believed you could have. A real-life quest is so much better than a gaming quest.
I'm good today. No plans to game.
Still alive and well, aswell as gamefree
Today im grateful for: Having all my limbs, Not being in physical pain, Having an appartment, Having people who care about me, Having people I care about, Having money for food
See u later aligators
Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3
Good so far today. I'm getting through my first weekend surprisingly well. I've been lucky enough to be free of many withdrawal symptoms I read about. Sometimes I have found myself thinking about gaming, and I always try to distract myself.
McPhee, with regard to what you said, taking a moment to think about my dreams was an excellent idea. I do still possess a lot of ambition. For example, this probably seems small, but I've wanted to learn Spanish for a long time. Running would probably be one of my favorite activities if I had time to get in better physical shape. I don't know if I'll ever seriously take it up, but it's amazing how many more things are possible with a game-free life.
Also, I wanted to mention that I really appreciate your encouraging, fast responses to my posts. Support means a lot to me to keep going.
StartOver, I'm so glad that you have kept off gaming so far! I was in a hurry, so couldn't respond to you yesterday. You are very lucky to have found this site. I've visited and posted on it everyday for the last three weeks and thus kept off games for that long as well. You have a bright future ahead of you; I believe that you can recover from the dark times when you gamed and find a meaningful, happy life.
Wazzapp, thanks for checking in! I'm glad you are finding things to be grateful for in life. That keeps you going. Keep going without gaming!
McPhee, I definitely agree with you that playing even a second of games is risky. I have started using the strategy of declining people's offers for me to play videogames. I think I should redefine not playing games as not even a second of gaming. This seems harder than my looser definition before, so I'll not yet commit to not playing games forever, but just for today.
I'm going to do my best to not game today. Gaming has made my life miserable; I want to end this.
wazzapp, thanks for checking in. Glad to hear you are doing well.
BrandNewDay, if you can game in moderation, great. If not, you can live without gaming at all, ever. Plenty of people do.
StartOver, I'm glad you've started thinking about your dreams. It is kind of amazing and a little sad the way we all, myself included for sure, tend to decide that we just will never be able to do something, even though we really want to, and so we give up on ever trying. But it's almost certainly not too late in your case. If you have a library card or can get one, odds are excellent you can download a high-quality Spanish course without it costing you a penny. If you try to spend even a few minutes a day with it, you could be on your way to speaking Spanish very soon.
I did exactly that with a French course a couple of months ago. My girlfriend and I want to visit Paris and I'd like to be able to understand the waiters' rude put-downs. I have slipped on that effort -- there is only so much time in the day. But I hope to pick it back up soon. And if nothing else I brushed up a little on my French skills.
As far as running, the best way to get into it is with a coached group. Having a coach gives the training some structure so you get better, hopefully, without overdoing it and getting hurt. And having a group adds the all-important peer pressure. If all your running buds are expecting you to show up, it makes it a lot easier. Also, having somebody to talk with before, during and after a run is a huge plus. If you google for a coached running group that meets near you, you will have a great chance of becoming a runner.
I am okay today. No gaming and no plans to.
Just checking in quickly. I made it through the weekend and I'm not going to game today!
Hi all, great to see such an activity in this thread
Today im greatful for: Having all my limbs functioning, Living in this time period (pre-modern life seems tought), Friends, Space horror movies, Olganon and this thread in particular, Coca-cola (i know...)
I feel some lack of motivation and direction. It feels like im waiting for something to happen in my life instead of making it happen. I have some nice books at home on these subjects, i might take some time reading a bit
I found a community called "Habitica", where I can level a character RPG style by doing useful tasks in real life. I dont know if i should recommend it, it might trigger someone, but atleast it made me clean my appartment and study a tiny bit.
See u soon
Hi StartOver, here's another useful application that I've found that teaches you Spanish, French, German, and some other languages quite well. It's called Duolingo. You can spend as little as two minutes on it per day. Its score system motivates you to learn a little bit everyday. https://en.duolingo.com/
22 days. I'm getting better everyday right now. I can notice already that I'm catching up to my peers in homework and social activities. Life is hard, but it's getting better. I can't deny that the pressure here is extremely high, but because I have overcome it so far, I have no excuse to give up living life to the fullest. And, I still need to be careful around games. Right now, I tell myself, schoolwork comes first, before Youtube and Facebook.
Well done, wazzapp, StartOver and BrandNewDay! You people inspire me. Habitica sounds awesome. Also the language app. Why not gamify life? Levels and badges and that kind of stuff work great in games. We can do it in real life too. I know I respond amazingly well to things like keeping a graph of the dollar amount of the articles I've written each month. I always want to keep the line in that graph pointing up and some months I will work late into the night -- almost like gaming -- to get more articles written so I can keep the graph looking good. Crazy? Undoubtedly, but it's a good kind of crazy I can use to my advantage.
Thanks again to all of you for your help. I am just one week and one day from notching a solid year without gaming. It feels great! I love it! Thanks again and again. You are much apprecated. No plans to game today.
I'm in a difficult period in school right now. I hope I will overcome all this pressure soon.
McPhee, congratulations! You can definitely get to a year without gaming! I'm looking forward to hearing from you on that day!
One week to go to notch a solid year of game-free living! Onward!
BrandNewDay, hang in there. You can do this.
Nice McPhee =)
Im pretty good.
Today im thankful for: Living in a timeperiod with opportunity, living in a country with opportunity, free education, great friends, a functioning law-enforcement, this community, health-care, the walking dead tv-series, the ability to use a phone to call or text people (life before phones must've been annoying)
Celebrating another game-free day, see u soon
Today i've been working early and im a bit tired.
Im thankful for: living in a time and place where i can go to the supermarket and buy meat to cook, that i have an apartment, friends, netflix, ocassional feeling of motivation, cheap flighs, human rights
wazzapp, well done listing all the things you are grateful for! I have read a number of things that say simply writing a few things you are grateful for on a regular basis, like three things every morning, can lead to long-lasting improvements in your optimism and happiness. It seems like a big payoff for a very low investment. Maybe too good to be true, but I have been doing it for a few months and it seems to be helping me. I feel as though I'm sort of waking up, or learning to use new senses. I'm perceiving more positive and uplifting things, and taking a different attitude toward what I want to accomplish in activities and interactions. I'm not as negative and not as inclined to put others down and lift myself up at their expense. I'm hoping this continues, because I like it. Thanks for what you write here and for your great and inspiring efforts to stay away from games and engage more fully and enjoyably with real life. I really appreciate you.
Hello all. So today I decided to give up gaming after a relapse and to make myself accountable. I must do this, It's so difficult right now for me since I practically lived almost all my life in the virtual world. My life is too precious to waste it so...I won't game today.
Nothing is impossible. Thats only if you believe it.
24 days. Hard times, even after quitting games. It might even be getting worse. I cannot game. I do not want to game. I have to do homework before anything else.
No more games today.
Dave, it's difficult to quit games in the first two days, then first week, then month. But I was in the same position as you just a month ago, and now I have quit games for three weeks already, thanks to the support from this community. Keep checking in here and reading motivational posts. I believe you can get through this and live a fulfilling life!
No. Games. Today.
I found a way to motivate myself to do the things that I don't really like more efficiently instead of procrastinating. I'm breaking down the homework into sections, and at the end of each one, I reward myself by listening to some songs. I've also told myself that I will get to watch movies and shows once I finish all of my homework. So far, this strategy has worked well.
I am 600 hours free from gaming by now.
No games today.
BrandNewday, that technique of rewarding yourself for not procrastinating is brilliant! Keep it up! Gamifying your life can reveal all the wonderful things real life has to offer. There are all kinds of ways to reward yourself with treats, badges, levels, etc. I recently started using a fitness app called MapMyRide and it is amazing how hard I will push myself in order to get a little badge that says I was the fastest person to ride up some hill this month. My legs were killng me the other night. But by god I got that badge. The chits they give out here at Olganon work the same way. Well done!
DavethePilgrim, welcome! You sound very determined to quit gaming and that is often what it takes. It helps to really want this. It's not always easy. By the time you've reached Olga, a lot folks are in pretty bad shape. The good news is, it can be done. There is no physical reason why you can't stop gaming. Habits can be broken. You can do this!
Personally, I started being weird with games in 1989 and have suffered from it off and on ever since. Twenty-five years of damaged relationships, lies, hiding, sneaking, hamstrung career prospects, carpal tunnel syndrome and just acting like a fool. I have gotten in a year or two free of games here and there, but it never seems to really go away completely and forever. Right now I'm coming up on a year of game-less living and it's been great.
Hey guys just checking in.
Welcome DaveThePilgram, I've been 20 days free of gaming so far and I still feel like cutting games from life has been one of the best decisions.
BrandNewDay, thanks for sharing your tip on procrastination. I'll start implementing something similar since I've been having self-discipline issues with productivity lately.
McPhee, thanks for always being so encouraging. Really happy to see you reaching the 1 year game free mark!
For me, following a pre-determined schedule is quite hard, because I'm usually distracted by all the things happening around me. But, today, I'm planning on sticking to my schedule for the entire day, so that I can see whether the schedule is truly effective. I've planned three meditation sessions; I'll hopefully do them all.
I will not game today.
Smartenup, thanks for the checkin. I'm glad to know you are still doing well.
BrandNewDay, that sounds like a great plan for staying focused. Three meditation sessions a day is a lot, but whatever it takes, right? I personally get a good bit of benefit from a single morning session of two minutes, but your mileage may vary. I also sometimes close my eyes for a second at challenging moments during the day and remind myself to focus, that I am an experienced meditator (this basically a lie but an acceptable one, I think) and skilled at retaining focus, so I can just blow past these distractions and stay on task. Often it actually works. I'm not trying to be perfect, just better.
I saw a haiku (?) the other day that addresses focus and procrastination succinctly and memorably. It goes like this:
One thing at a time.
Most important thing first.
That pretty much sums it up Sometimes it can stil be hard to get started. You can help get started by asking yourself this:
What is the very smallest first step I could take to start?
The idea is to lower the bar to beginning as far as you can. Like, if you want to prepare your tax return, you don't have "do tax return" on your to-do list. That's very unpleasant-sounding, hard and time-consuming. It's a big hurdle to get over. So instead, you have "get file folder with tax info out of drawer" or even "sit down at desk" or "sharpen pencil." What you're trying to do is break the seal and get even the tiniest bit of forward momentum going toward your objective. It can help. Try it.