Beating my game addiction in a centuries old way

Here I will laid out a method I used for breaking my bone stuck bad habit of game addiction. You can use this method to stop eating sweet food, stop smoking or to turn a beneficial action into a habit.

Addictions and bad habits are difficult to break because it has been stuck within us for long. If we try to stop, we are helpless, as if we have no control over our self. As if inside within us, there is an Alien controlling our hands and legs against our will. So, we need a strategy to beat this Alien.

The method was introduced 2,800 years ago by Homer. He sang about Odysseus (Odee-si-us) a master strategist, and the king of Greece returning home after fighting the Trojan War. To get there, his ship has to pass in between two islands where Sirens live.

The queen Circe (Pronounced Kirke) explains to Odysseus:

‘….As soon as Dawn arrives,
you’ll sail. I’ll show you your course and tell you
each sign to look for, so you’ll not suffer…..’

She goes on….

First of all, you’ll run into the Sirens.
They seduce all men who come across them.
Whoever unwittingly goes past them
and hears the Sirens’ call never gets back.
the Sirens’ clear-toned song
will captivate his heart. They’ll be sitting
in a meadow, surrounded by a pile,
a massive heap, of rotting human bones
…Row on past them.
Roll some sweet wax in your hand and stuff it
in your companions’ ears, so none of them
can listen. But if you’re keen to hear them,
make your crew tie you down in your swift ship.
Stand there with hands and feet lashed to the mast.
They must attach the rope ends there as well.
Then you can hear both Sirens as they sing.
You’ll enjoy their song. If you start to beg
your men, or order them, to let you go,
make sure they lash you there with still more rope.

Odysseus knew when he hears the sirens voice, he will no longer be in charge of himself. This is same like my game addiction where something pulls me towards the game. A battle I fight and lose every time. Since his will power is not enough, he armed from outside, that is to tie up, so when his will power loses, still the strength of the rope will hold him. I also realized that there are situations where will power alone is not sufficient to combat certain situations. Just like our muscle power is not enough to lift certain heavy objects. These situations must be dealt with by using external methods and forces.

In my case I installed a traffic monitor app, put a looooong password, and I didn’t note it down. So I don’t know the password. To uninstall the app, I have to format the PC. That’s a mountain of work. Once this part is done, I archived all the installation files of the game. The .rar files again I put a password and emailed it to several friends and deleted the email from my sent items. After that I all I had to do was uninstall the game. I couldn’t. The Alien has taken over.

Then I did something unusual. I open the game and started playing. After playing 3 hours straight. I was totally satisfied. I also began to get angry with myself for playing for such a long time. It’s like the guy who supposed to be on diet just had a full cup of ice cream. Now he is telling you how much he hates himself for breaking the diet schedule. I was in same situation.

But I took advantage of the moment went straight to uninstaller and click click click enter. The hardest part is done.

Let’s see what Odysseus is up to. Homer sings:

“….Our strong ship,
with a fair wind still driving us ahead,
came quickly to the island of the Sirens.
Then the wind died down. Everything was calm,
without a breeze……
…..Once I’d plugged my comrades’ ears with wax,
they tied me hand and foot onto the ship,
so I stood upright hard against the mast.
They lashed the rope ends to the mast as well,

As the sail began, Odysseus hears the Sirens sing:

you famous man, great glory of Achaeans,
come over here. Let your ship pause a while,
so you can hear the songs we …will sing.
No man has ever rowed in his black ship
past this island and not listened to us
sweet-voiced melodies sung from our lips.
That brings him joy, and he departs from here
a wiser man, for we two understand
all the things that went on there in Troy,
all Trojan and Achaean suffering,….

….The voice that reached me was so fine
my heart longed to listen. I told my crew
to set me free, sent them clear signals…
…with my eyebrows. But they fell to the oars
and rowed ahead. Then two of them got up,
…… bound me
with more rope and lashed me even tighter.

They passed the sirens island, Homer sings:

…Once they’d rowed on well beyond the Sirens,
my loyal crewmates quickly pulled out wax
I’d stuffed in each man’s ears and loosed my ropes.

And they kept rowing on…

…………………Stay by your oars,
and keep striking them against the surging sea.

Like Odysseus in bondage, I was tied. The game is not found. I tried to install it. But the .rar files has a password. And the passwords are not with me. And I gave clear instructions to them not to give it to me until next month. I logged into website where download file is located. I didn’t try to download. With so much difficulties and annoyance and anger and other explosive bursts, finally I have beaten the addiction. You too can beat an unwanted habit, or add a productive habit.

Odyssey by Homer
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

15.03.20 Original