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Feeding my Addiction

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  • Feeding my Addiction

    Let me just start by saying that I've been living primal for about a year now. Its been on and off but slowly and surly I've become more and more consistent. I'm 20 years old at 5'5" 147 pounds now and about 15% body fat (try to drop at least another 5% but keep plateauing). Making the switch was easy enough the trick is to substitute not deny. i.e. instead of saying I'm not going to have sweets say if i crave something sweet i will have some fruit. You replace old vices with satisfying healthier choices.

    Now let me be clear with my subject topic, I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't do drugs...I play video games and let me say that I believe my addiction is vastly superior to any of the above substances. At first I thought I was kicking the habit over the summer, but the problem is that there is no substantial replacement. Nothing can keep me as interested, emotionally invested, strategically thinking, or feel as heroic as playing a good video game with teammates online. It has gotten to the point where it has started to affect my life. Now, i go to school, fall asleep in class, get home, play for at least 8 hours strait, put off doing homework, go to sleep, repeat.

    At the very least I added F.lux to both my computers to help get my circadian rhythm back on track (thanks for the Insider on getting better sleep Mark), but sleeping at the right time doesn't change the fact that I'm still not doing my work.

    Any ideas on how to deal?

  • #2
    I read about a program you can put on your computer to bug you that you've been on too long. Btw, 15% body fat woul be very good. lists these:




    User Time Control

    User Time Administrator
    This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
    Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism


    • #3
      Start drinking. Ha! Ok, not very funny ... First, I applaud you for recognizing that you may have a problem. Personally, I do not think there is anything wrong with gaming -- but like you mentioned, there is something wrong with any activity that negatively affects other important aspects of your life, like work, sleep, school, etc. It's easy for someone to come and say "if you know this is bad for you, just stop" but obviously it's not so easy to do. So practically speaking, don't try to find some other habit to replace gaming -- instead, maybe you can start thinking of gaming as a reward for getting your work done, for not falling asleep in class, and for sleeping a solid 7-8 hours every night. And just imagine how much more satisfying gaming will be when you realize that you deserve to be playing because you've done all your work -- you'll practically be Superman. It helps if you live with someone who can kind of keep track of you taking care of your responsibilities and just keep you on track with your goal -- sometimes we need another person to hold us accountable, esp when we aren't able to do it for ourselves (for whatever reason).
      Just start making small changes today -- starting is always the hardest part!
      Everything in moderation, including moderation.


      • #4
        First, Digby that seems interesting I might look into those programs, but not sure if i want something bugging me on my computer I might just uninstall it out of sheer frustration

        Second, Maria I live at home with my mother and grandmother and my mom pesters me about doing my homework. I'm at the point now where I just lie and say my work is done after a few hours of being locked in my room playing games. She gets a lot of stress when I don't do my work and it upsets her, so I just tell her what she wants to hear then convince myself that I have time and I'll get it done later. I constantly watch the clock and make deadlines for when I should start and keep playing. Then I lose a game, look at the clock, then push my deadline further to try and figure out what I was doing wrong and practice to try and fix my strategy. Look at the clock again 3 A.M. just say "fuck it" play another hour go to sleep and convince myself that I don't care and its OK to miss 1 assignment, rinse and repeat = fail.

        If you want more context, I've missed 1 homework assignment now for Applied Linear Algebra where homework is 20% of the grade, 1 homework assignment for Fluid Mechanics when we've only had 2 assignments. I have an Applied Linear Algebra Exam tomorrow that I haven't even started studying for. Additionally, I have another homework assignment due in my Circuits class Thursday haven't started. Also to note I can't pay attention in my Circuits and Materials for Manufacturing classes because the teachers use slide shows and put them online so I don't see the point in taking notes. (I said to myself that I would just look at the slides online and look them over myself). We're about 3 or 4 chapters in my classes and haven't looked at a single set of slides.

        In addition to school work, I need to finish making a 3D model of a racing seat for my school's BAJA team with the Society of Automotive Engineers and finish working on a resume to apply for an internship this summer.

        I've had this pattern before and it only snowballs from here. The problem is if its not games then its TV and if not TV then music and if not music then games again its a cycle of moving from one thing to the next when i get bored, more lying in between and more grades that should be better


        • #5
          Addressing the downside to not having the addiction is key. EFT can be really helpful for addictions. Addictions we can't easily kick are almost never about the substance or activity we are addicted to.
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          • #6
            This may or may not be helpful, but you've got me thinking about an article I read recently. It might get you thinking about WHY you have so much trouble quitting, and why you are addicted. It's somewhat long, but surprisingly informative.


            I do agree with the advice others have given you -- idealize what kind of perks you will see in your life when you play less. Do you WANT good grades? Do you want your mom to get off your back and stay off? Then you have to take the responsibility for kicking your gaming addiction! Good luck! I know it can be hard.
            Type 1 Diabetic. Controlling blood sugar through primal life.

            2012 Goals:
            Maintain A1c of 6.0 or lower
            More dietary fat, less carbs, moderate protein
            LHT and sprint as per PB fitness
            Play more!


            • #7
              Quit. cold turkey.

              I played WoW for 2.5 years, like it was a second job. Games like that are made to suck every bit of time out of your life, that way you keep playing and paying the subscription fees. I quit multiple times for like a month at a time, but it was always still there. I finally just had to delete all my characters, cancel my account, uninstall and move on. You have to decide that it's not you anymore. Don't be like "i'll quit after I finish that one thing in game" because there's always another quest, item to get, boss to vanquish. So you want your life back? quit today. figure out what to replace it with afterwards.
              Originally posted by runnergal
              You just didn't define Healthy Whole Grains properly. Many steak recipes refer to cutting "against the grain" when slicing. Therefore beef has grains. If you eat everything on your plate, you have eaten the whole thing. Eating an entire steak is eating healthy whole grains.


              • #8
                It sounds like you are using gaming as an escape from reality because....why? I take it you're an engineering student -- what year in college are you? Have you failed any courses? Are you secretly afraid of failure and using your escapist habit to make excuses to yourself? I've gone through similar phases -- always a period of high productivity, followed by one of total procrastination/self-destructive behaviors -- and unfortunately, sometimes the only way to end the vicious cycle is to hit rock bottom and finally "wake up". If you keep doing what you're doing, that is inevitable, but why let it get to that ugly point? You know for a fact that if you keep doing this, you will fail out of school, and not only will your mom be super disappointed, you will be unbearably disappointed in yourself. You stand to seriously fuck up your future. Knowing this, face up to your responsibilities. If you must, completely and totally stop gaming -- break disks (I know someone who finally had to do this to his WoW disk to keep from flunking out of college), cancel game accounts, whatever it takes -- make sure that you don't have an option to game, not even for 5 minutes.
                Everything in moderation, including moderation.


                • #9
                  Do a 'no gaming' challenge and see where you end up. I used to be a wow addict as well, and instead of giving up the game entirely, I first started giving it up 100% for 30 days. If that seems impossible, set a goal of a week, or 24 hours. Set it up for a time that seems challenging yet not impossible. Its hard to say I am going to give up my gaming, but can you honestly say you couldn't give it up for a few days in a row?

                  I tell everyone what I am doing, I close down everything and put it away if possible (like if it is a console pack it up in a hard to get spot), use blocking programs on my PC, I set up a plan with friends and family, and I go at it 100% for that set period of time. For me, I always gave up TV, computer (except for work), cell phone junk, and games at the same time. If I didn't I would just default to another bad habit. I also set myself up for success by laying out healthy things for me to do. Hikes with friends, goals for work (in your case school), plans to visit family or friends I had put off while being caught up on a game, things like that. This is a VERY planned out challenge, best way to succeed. Google '30 day challenges' for more ideas.

                  Anyways.....when I completed some of these challenges, I realized truly HOW much time I was wasting on TV and games. I became so productive otherwise, I found other things to get into, it truly was refreshing. When my challenge times were over, I went back to TV, electronics, computer time...but eventually I dumped games completely. I found I couldn't limit myself, so personally had to just walk away entirely. If I find TV time or social sites or something creeping up again, I give it up for a challenge period again, and usually that brings it back into perspective. I do the same thing with food, exercise, all sorts of things.

                  I account 30 day challenges to the majority of my personal growth. I go super extreme for a period, and by doing so I change or learn new habits through total immersion. When I am done with the challenge, its hard not to continue my new path to some degree. Plus you build discipline skills along the way, which truly are something like lifting have to practice and grow them.
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                  • #10
                    Get your computer out of your bedroom immediately. Move your computer into the family room/somewhere public, where your family can help to wean you off using it for hours. My oldest son had a WOW problem in high school...didn't see him for hours, grades plummeting. We moved all computers into the family room and it made a big difference. He's at college now, but I believe--based on grades!--that he's still managing his online time much better than he was.

                    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
                    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food


                    • #11
                      Thanks apple for the article on the gaming tricks. Now that I know their play book I can objectively see what they are trying to do to me it's easier to take the game with a grain of salt.

                      People seem to think that I'm playing WoW, well i used to play but not so much now at the moment I'm playing League of Legends. Free online game, no disks to break no characters to cancel nothing like that just strait PvP action and matches take about an hour so it's easy to say "just one more."

                      Last night your comments helped out a lot. Talked to my mom had a nice conversation (better than being shut up in my room). Of course I did play but I also got work done. I think I'm going to use matches as a reward for getting homework done they only take about an hour at the most. So this means I'm going to have the no play before work rule. By the way F.lux is helping out a lot by 12 AM I'm dying to get some sleep woke up before my alarm today as it should be lol.

                      Slightly off topic fire alarm went off in the middle of my exam so moved to Friday. Sitting in the computer lab at the moment waiting for next class.


                      • #12
                        Please check out:

                        I taught in a university for years and saw students under-performing or drop out only to return 2-3 times until they got the maturation to make good decisions. Personally, I think lots of young people would do well to take a couple years off between high school and college and do a job, or peace corps, etc. As the article states, the frontal lobe development can take in to the mid-twenties. Also, if you have a gaming addiction, just starting is all it takes. How many people stop in the middle of sex? We have primal drives to pleasure, and your gaming is feeding the same spot that sex and food and drug/alcohol act on.
                        This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

                        Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
                        Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Digby View Post
                          We have primal drives to pleasure, and your gaming is feeding the same spot that sex and food and drug/alcohol act on.
                          Its not about denying yourself dopamine, or limiting your pleasure, but about expanding the WAYS in which you get it; not JUST gaming or sex or alcohol or food, but if you can gain pleasure from all sorts of things, then none of them need become an addiction. Exercise is another good one. And watching double rainbows form.....


                          • #14
                            Thanks for the article Digby I already knew that brain development wasn't complete until your about 25 finally I know the specifics. By the way I thought you had to have a degree to enter the peace corps. Not sure you could enter without having a degree first it was something I've been wanting to do, (trying new things like the article said).

                            Anyways, going to go do some sprints at the gym in between classes at the moment and haven't worked out since last Wensday. (Live in Chicago, have had a crazy blizzard come through the week.


                            • #15
                              You are correct that most, but not all , need a degree for PC, but you have computer skills which might be highly desirable. There is Americorp that does not require degree.
                              I congratulate you on reaching out and being open about your gaming addiction, that is a sign of intelligence, growing maturity, and indicates you want things to change.

                              All the best!
                              This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

                              Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
                              Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism