Sharing our experience, strength and hope to support each other to recover from problems resulting from excessive game playing.
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Congrats on 10 weeks McPhee awesome accomplishment there !!
I appreciate the approval, Sven. That is one of the forces that keeps me going. I also benefit from the warnings, tips, tricks, encouragement and advice I get here. And it helps me a lot to know that I am helping others, while also helping myself. So I hope, for selfish as well as unselfish reasons, that you're doing well. Thanks again.
I am at 10 weeks and one day since I last played. It's been wonderful to have that particular monkey off my back. There are still a few other primates hanging on there -- sometimes it seems like my back is providing monkey public transit -- but one thing at a time. No plans to game today.
Potential relapse day today. Started to think about games during office hours so I decided to leave my work computer at the office as a precaution.
I definately want to get back into computing at some point, maybe get actively involved in one or two open source projects but I realize now is not the time.
No computer at hand = no gaming as simple as that.
Hope everybody doing ok.
Congratz, McPhee, on making it to 10 weeks (+). I agree with you about helping others helps ourselves. I think this is why the recovery community works so well.
Good thinking, Sven. Keep up the good work!
Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~Maria Robinson
You know how sometimes you can have these odd dreams? That suddenly you are again walking around with an old friend from primary school, or something similar?
I woke up this morning with an odd dream. The people walking around were dressed in clothes similar to the units from a game I played. Completely rediculous.
Nothing special happening over here. Just a regular working day. No gaming, no desire to game. Working on a project that had been "on-hold" for a long time. Going good. Content.
"I want to see people and I want to see life."
Sven, sounds like isolating yourself from the computer is working. Sometimes it takes an actual physical barrier to keep us from getting mixed up in a game. Deleting games and accounts and destroying disks and the like are fairly easy to overcome if you are determined to play. (I know this from experience.) But adding some barriers gives you a little time to think and perhaps change your mind. And it does create some incovenience about gaming, which reduces its appeal. Nice move.
Silvertabby, thanks for the props. It feels good at 10 weeks. Hoping for more. You have helped a lot of people here, incuding me, for which I am profoundly grateful.
Steele, that sounds like quite a strange dream. Not sure I've ever had one like that. I have had and heard of drinking dreams, when trying to quit drinking alcohol, but I'm not sure I've heard of a gaming-type dream. How did it make you feel? The drinking dreams are often associated with intense feelings of guilt and failure when you wake up, because you think for a moment at least that you really did drink. Anything like that with gaming dreams?
I am okay here. I got a little distracted yesterday and didn't get as much done as I'd hoped. I did get some things done, but I wound up feeling pretty unhappy at the end of the day. Hoping to more effectively engage with life today. No plans to game. Thanks to all for your help with that.
Hey all, I'm doing okay. Good to see everyone else stays strong in our recovery.. During my gaming days, I always dreamed about the games, all images of the dream appears in gaming scenarios. Everyone who talk in my dreams appear in texting form just like we chatting in the game. Can not hear their voices but I can only hear the game background music.
But now my dreams are only like in my face to face meeting scenarios. I dreamt that we were talking about recovery most of the time.
I keep myself busy as my work place supervisor want me to guide and train the 2 new workers that just joined our company. I becomes their preceptors and provide in-house training for them all the skills and knowledge they need to know. I also busy with our sub committee in our department on fire safety and environmental committee. So I do a lot of planning and research for the team.
Today I'm 27 days free from gaming and no plan to game today.
addiction isn't a disease
addiction is an adaptation
it's not you
it's the cage you live in
ALEXANDRA, BRUCE K
Steele, I used to have dreams in which I went back to gaming. I'd wake up thinking I blew it until I realized it was just a dream. Then I'd feel relieved. Haven't had any of those in awhile.
Thanks McPhee. I have days that it seems I don't get a thing done. But at least I'm not gaming, so it's a good day anyway.
Jamal, glad to see you're keeping busy. That really helps in those early days. It's good you have lots to do at work.
I'm plodding along, but seem to have lost my motivation to do much of anything. I have to force myself to do stuff. It's annoying and I don't want to feel that way. But at least I'm not gaming, although at times I wish I was.
Whatever things that I need to start to do is always hard. Usually the first step need plenty of motivation for me to begin. I guess we need faith and courage especially the change we decided to get into, whether it's good or bad. Of course on our recovery we need replacement for the addiction that left us with big void in our life and to recover our self-esteem.
For me my next step is the 12 steps recovery program which I found it quite challenging as these mentioned of Higher Power. God is to my understanding of Higher Power. The issue to me at one stage of my life I believe GOD have deserted me, GOD never answered my prayers, GOD hates me and I beginning to believe GOD doesn't exist.
Somehow deep inside me the TRUTH of Higher Power still exist.
My next step that I need to work on is , The first step towards finding GOD, WHO IS TRUTH, is to discover the truth about myself, and if I have been in error, this first step of the truth is to discovery of my error.
I tend to be critic with myself: I am not doing enough, wasting time here, wasting time there. And if I am honest, well, yes, that is sometimes true. I am not the robot that can work and work and work. The other day I also did not get done what I wanted to get done. But at least I am doing ALOT more than if I was gaming. Also, when I do get stuff done, it gives a good feeling. Thats nice. I guess it works better if I praise myself for doing stuff instead of bashing myself for the stuff I have not done.
The "gaming dream" was without emotion attached, it was just weird. I do remember having dreams about smoking a sigarette, and when I had those, I felt really guilty waking up. :-)
Silvertabby, I remember having some weeks of very low motivation. I also had some weeks in which I was angry with the world. I guess it is ok. Just recognize it in yourself, acknowlege it, sit it out. Then suddenly one day you will realize that it has passed. Not sure if your situation is the same, but this was how it worked with me.
Jamal, there are a lot of higher powers (God works in mysterious ways). For me it has been helpful to connect with other people. Somehow my higher power is my friends, family, loved ones. I remember that with my sponsor we worked on some activities to do. When I stopped gaming, suddenly there was this world opening up: you can do whatever you want. We made a list of things I would like to do (hiking, surfing, going to this place, that place, music, volunteer work, whatever). Then I started searching for places and people I could do this with. Most of the ideas never sticked, but some of the ideas did stick. The important thing is that you are free to give it a try. Maybe that is something to keep in mind when we are thinking of "how to fill the time".
Today is really a special day for me. I came to this website in 2010. I have had a long history of relapsing, cleantime, relapsing, cleantime. For a long time it was 3 months cool, 3 months bad. It sucks to relapse, it is a huge blow to self-confidence. But I think I needed those relapses, and I also needed the cleantime. Little by little I guess you become more conscious about the craziness of addiction. I hope to stay free of relapses in the future, although I do not trust my mind :-). (one day at a time) Anyway, I am happy. I cannot remember any episode in my life since childhood that I have been without gaming for half a year. Today is 180 days, and I am very happy having (some) say in how my life is going, instead of being controlled by gaming. It is soooo much better.
Steele, way to go! 180 days is huge! Now you have been through an entire half-year, so you've seen a large majority of recurring events witnout gaming, including year-end holidays and lots of weekends, paydays, birthdays, etc. There are still challenges in the months ahead, like perhaps summer vacation. But you are well on the way, to say the least. Congratz!
Sounds like the gaming dreams are very common, although I personally don't recall any. May have blanked that out. Anyway, what I do in dreamland is of very little consequence. It's all about reality. And in reality, we all are doing pretty well right now. That's a lot to be thankful for.
To test my theory that activity will help my mood, I got up off my fanny and ran a bunch of stairs yesterday, in addition to devoting steady effort at work. The stairs were hard but good. Unfortunately, the work effort wasn't very productive. I'm exceptionally low on my backlog of assignments (I work as a freelance journalist) but all I can do is send out proposals. I can't control how editors will respond. So I'm doing what I can and anticipating it will eventually work. If it doesn't ... I don't have a great plan for that. But I've made my living this way for many years, so it seems reasonable to think it will work. The stair workout helped my mood a good bit, as did forcing myself to participate in a local songwriter circle in the evening. I think the activity-boosts-mood theory is looking strong. I'm feeling pretty energized and optimistic this morning. We'll see how it goes.
No plans to game. Thanks for your help with that.
Steele, congratulations on 180 days of game-freeness! I, too, want to stay relapse free. I think this last one showed the insanity of gaming and what it does to me better than all the others, probably because I wrote down what I was feeling day by day. I have a written record of how gaming takes over my will to not game and how I can't NOT game, once I start. It really does amaze me what it does to me.
Had a busy day today, gone most of the day so no thoughts of gaming. Just enjoying life.
Silvertabby, that sounds really smart to write down a journal about your gaming. To me, it is essential to remember what gaming is really like once I get into it -- the aching wrist, the aching spirit, poor personal hygiene, lousy diet, inadequate sleep, dirty house, ignored friends, blown work deadlnes and all the rest. When you look at gaming in its totality, not just the first little while when it's fun and not screwing up your life, it seems clear that this is not something that you want to get involved in. The problem seems to be remembering all that bad stuff and using that memory to overwhelm the thought of the relatively fun early going. I'm thinking a journal like that will help. (The technique of remembering what it's going to be like after you've gamed for many hours and days is called "playing the tape to the end." Keep playing the tape to the end, with the help of the journal and I think it will help you keep from starting up again.)
I'm good at 10 weeks and four days of game-free living. No urges to report and no plans to game today. Thanks for your help with that.
Not much to report. One more week before I'm off for my summer vacation. Definately planning to go somewhere, staying at home would be total recipe for desaster.
180 days is really impressive, not sure if I have ever been without games this long since I was 10. Well done.
I have a busy day that is starting early. No plans to game. Thanks for your help with that.
Glad I forgot my mouse at work, otherwise I'd probably be dowloading Steam by now. Thats why I believe getting rid of hardware & accounts is so important. That alone of course doesn't prevent relapses but it does add another hurdle to overcome, and sometimes that's all it takes.
Today is my 30th day I'm free from gaming. It's freaking 30 days of completely free from any addiction. This is the first time I feel the total freedom and my life are more meaningful.
I always have multiple addiction which I usually crossed addiction from one to another to escape from my real life issues. My gaming addiction almost get myself killed and I am grateful that at same time I be able to abstinence from other addiction too.
Never imagined that I could see this day and I hope I stay strong to avoid any relapse in future. Grateful, really grateful this time God answer my prayers.
Congrats, Jamal. You sound great. Ain't life wonderful without messed-up games in it?
Sven, you are so right. The physical obstacles like deleting games and so on aren't impossible to overcome, or sometimes even difficult. But every little bit helps. A second's delay is a second during which you can remember that, oh yeah, I don't want to play this game because it will make me feel horrible, and I don't want to feel horrible.
No plans to game today. Thanks for your help with that.
I am good. Instead of gaming I have been struggling to learn some music recording software. This stuff is hideously complex. The instruction manual runs over 500 pages. It doesn't seem as if it would be nearly as engaging as playing a game would be, but yesterday I was almost compulsively recording stuff over and over, drying to figure out the many effects and just basic functionality. Time went by in a blur and suddenly I realized my butt was numb from sitting on this hard wooden chair. So in some ways it is similar to gaming. The big difference is, at the end, I'll actually have some useful knowledge of a valuable tool and, ultimately, the recordings I need to enter a songwriting competition. If I get really good, we could record a dozen songs, burn some CDs and have something to sell at shows. Big deal, right? I suppose in the end it all adds up to the same thing -- you live, you die, everything you've built crumbles and everybody forgets about you -- but stll it seems as though creating something and learning something is better than just gaming. Gaming seems like such a waste. Maybe someday the cyber-world will truly rival the real world, but so far it's not happening.
I may go swim a few laps if I can get to the pool before the crowds and/or the thunderstorms, both of which I believe are required by state law on Memorial Day. I want to do a triathlon, and my swimming is a little rusty. Also, I have this idea that I want to do a 2,000-meter open water swimming race we have here every year. Sounds crazy, of course, but that's just the type of thing I like. Otherwise, some work, perhaps a jog, dinner with my daughter, etc. No plans to game.
Hey McPhee, that sounds like a lot of fun learning music recording software. My son is a musician and has made some great recordings with this kind of program. It sounds like it's similar to learning graphics software which can also be extremely time consuming but, like you said, in the end you have something to show for it, unlike gaming. I think it sounds like a wonderful hobby. Keep it up and maybe you can share some of your songs when you get them done?
I'm still finding it hard to get motivated to do much, but on Thursday, I leave for Dallas for four days for a doll collecting convention, so I'm pretty excited about that. I think I'll come home energized and ready to get stuff done....I hope, anyway. At least I'm not getting any cravings to game, other than a thought about it here and there.
I am a day 1, and after 2 year bender, ive been deleting and installing one a regular basis, play for 3 days and get ****ed and delete and say im done then a day later ive a new game on my pone or talet, and then a week later i was full of games and gad to go through the process of deleteing again, and this cycle has gone on almost the full two years untill this week end when i came back looking for help.
i Pray this is the end of the ego diseased trip. Thanks for your share Sven
Finding a Spiritual solution to my everyday problems. My gratitude speaks when I care and share the OLGA way. Deciding to Celebrate the Day, regardless of what I think about that. :)
Silvertabby, congrats on the 24 days! Going out of town to a doll collecting convention seems like a great idea. I am a huge fan of diving into vitally absorbing creative interests as a replacement for gaming, and that one seems perfect. It gets you out of the house, interacting with other people face-to-face and is something you enjoy. Have a great time!
Onedayatatime, I feel your pain, and I'm not saying that ironically or with condescension, at all. I have also deleted and destroyed and trashed many games over the years. One of the problems with broadband connectivity is the ease with which you can download a game you have deleted. It used to take 45 minutes via dialup to download a game I have struggled with for decades, and half the time the file would be corrupted. Now that file downloads in less time than it takes to type this sentence. Having said that, I think deleting and trashing and destroying all help. In your case, as in mine, it doesn't seem like it's enough. I hope you can find what you need here to help you get away from re-installing those games.
I think you might do well to try some of the tools we use. For instance, I wrote out a cost-benefit analysis of gaming, listing all the things liked about gaming, then all the things I didn't like about it, then all the things I liked about not gaming and all the things I didn't like about not gaming. I was brutally honest, to the extent I could be. I tried not to sugarcoat any of it. I posted to Olga a cost-benefit analysis I did some years ago. If you'd like, I can find the link. I think it can help while you're downloading that game to do a gut-check on whether gaming is something you really want to get mixed up with again. Anyway, good luck! The great news is, you are going to love not gaming. It is so much better than being enslaved to a game.
I am good here, having survived the fatal Texas floods over the weekend without a scratch or any property damage, along with all my family and friends. I have a very busy four-day week coming up. No plans to game today. Thanks for your help with that.
4 days shy of a month. Not much to going on, the prospect of going to the coast for vacation next week helps a lot. I could never comfortably game with vacations or other appointments coming up, always worrying I wouldn't have enough time to play. It's pretty much the same feeling alcoholics have (speaking from experience here), 1-2 beer in the fridge are never enough, it always would have to be at least half a dozen, and more often after half of them I would worry where and how to get more. Same with gaming, just replace beer with game-time.
On the bright side, I noticed I'm more persistent about things these days. Still practicing on my violin, altgough progress is painfully slow, but I just keep working on it. I would have never gotten this far while still gaming. If things were turning out to be too difficult or required some extra persistence I would rather give up and fire up a game.
Hope everbody still doing well.
Sven, that is a great report. I am optimistic you are going to cruise through the four days and notch a month game-free. Good work!
I've found when I'm getting stressed or bored or anxious or something that used to make me think that I should take refuge in a game, I can get relief by taking a few minutes off to play through a song on my guitar, get coffee, take a short walk or just switch tasks to something that seems more appealing. While these types of activities are not helping me directly make progress on whatever is challenging me, they also don't turn into endless pits of distraction, like gaming does. I can divert for three minutes to play a song, then go back to work refreshed rather than diverting for "a few minutes" to play a game and not surfacing for several hours. Gaming, for me, is not just a diversion. It's got that edge of craziness that other activities that serve as diversions do not. Basically, almost anything is preferable to gaming. I'm glad to hear you're making progress on the violin. Music is one of the best activities, I think.
I am good here. 11 weeks and two days since I gamed last. No plans to game today.
I am not missing the games much, if at all. I did have a few minor twinges the other night as I was watching my son play an Xbox game. I was quizzing him about his strategy and how the game worked and felt some of the old interest in solving those kinds of puzzles. But not much.
I recall only too well how I tend to get deeply engrossed in these games to the exclusion of all other responsibilities, including personal hygiene and nutrition and even sleep, and I have no interest in being like that. (As it is I'm not even gaming and I haven't shaved in a couple of days and just had a Little Debbie snack cake for part of my breakfast. I did sleep fairly well last night, however.) I don't need or want to do anything that is going to cause me to feel the way I feel when I have been neglecting my many important duties to devote attention totally to playing a game that has, as far as I can tell, no meaning or importance or value whatsoever.
Not that everything has to have a huge pile of meaning or significance. But everything you're going to do 16 hours a day has to. I think that is a reasonable attitude.
Games themselves aren't bad. It's just the way that I and many other people play them. Because I tend to play them that way -- indeed, once I start I am absolutely compelled to play them that way -- I don't want to play them at all. That works much better. It's sort of like how a person who has a shellfish allergy can't eat shrimp. I can't game. Not that big a deal. I just stay away from the games, like the shellfish allergy sufferer stays away from Cajun food, and all is well. Simple, effective, foolproof. Nothing to be ashamed of. Just a weird allergy, now being effectively managed by abstention. People allergic to peanuts have to stay away from peanuts or they could die, people allergic to bee stings have to stay away from bees or they could die, etc. I stay away from games or I could waste my life. It's a problem, sure, but it could be worse and it can be dealt with. Not that many people actually die from gaming.
No plans to game today, 11 weeks and three days in. Thanks for your help with that.
Love that analogy, McPhee, of being allergic to games. Maybe games won't kill us like a bee sting could to a person allergic to bees. But, it certainly takes away our lives just the same. And even worse, I think, makes a huge mess of our lives because it ruins our relationships and can cause all kinds of worse problems for us in the long run.
I am going to be spending my day today having fun at my doll collecting convention. It starts in a half hour and I'm so excited to be a part of it. No thoughts of gaming this weekend, that's for sure. I'll be too busy enjoying my real life!
I am pretty busy the next 48 hours or so, including playing a 4-hour music show tonight and doing a 12-hour shift as an EMT tomorrow. For fun, I have a 31-story stair race tomorrow morning in between. Before any of that I have several interviews to conduct and need to get at least one article written.
Everything's not perfect. I am worried about finances, as this has been the worst month for earning income that I have had in quite a while. But there has been some good news on that front, with a couple of new clients and some inquiries from other prospects, so I am not horribly pessimistic. Just kind of pessimistic. Meanwhile, today I have paying work to do, money in the bank and more coming in, and can cover the first-of-the-month bills without difficulty. That last is better than it has been quite often in the recent past, so I am grateful.
Its getting easier overall, yet at the same time the attacks are getting more viscious. Like I'm watching Star Wars and I want to play game X on the Xbox. Video games have been a way for me to express myself, as childish as it may sound. For instance I read Nietzsche and want take on an evil personality in a game, or watching the Pope on TV makes me want to impersonate a holy Paladin, I watch 300 and want to play the Greeks in a well known strategy game etc. Quite embarassing for a 37 year old male, but there's a whole industry catering for the need to 'role play' so I guess I'm not alone.
McPhee, I can relate to your financial issues, I remember 10 years ago I really hit bottom, personally as well as financially I remember how I dreaded emptying the mailbox because I knew it was going to be full of bills I wasn't going to be able to settle. I got drunk every night, both on alcohol and games, trying to escape my problems, of course making everything worse still. So as frustrating as it may be, just remember being sober is the first step to recognize any problems you may have in your life and staying away from games is the prerequisite to actually being abke to act on them.
Take care everbody.
Hey guys , stay strong , cheers.
During my gaming bingeing, I got myself into financial mess. I spend money on the in-game gems and I can't work. So I started to borrow money from family, friends and money lenders legal and illegally. For the past two years I'm paying back a portion :- 1/4 of my income every month consistently. Hopefully by another two years I will not owe anyone money any more. Thinking back how silly I was putting myself into this sh**. It's a painful experiences and I very determined not to fall back again.
Today is my 36 days free from gaming and no plan to game today, thanks for that.
Jamal, nice to see you here!!! Come to our meetings (see meetings tabs). You're not alone! Congrats on your road to recovery!
Andrew Doan MD PhD
My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story
*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.
Jamal and Sven, thanks for sharing your stories and for your encouragement. So far, I'm staying out of money trouble, but I worry it could strike again and I really don't want to go there. If it does, or doesn't, I don't plan to hide out from my trouble in a game.
Tomorrow will be 12 weeks, I believe, since I last gamed. It's a great feeling. Everything is not perfect and I do have stubborn and recurring problems, but it's slowly getting better in many ways over time. And that's a huge difference from steadily getting worse, as it seemed to be doing when I was failing to take on my problems and instead retreating into the gaming world.
No plans to game today. Thanks for your help.
Today my wife is going to perform umrah/hajj pilgrimage with her mother and her brother. She will fly out to Mecca Saudi Arabia this afternoon at 3pm ( Singapore Time ). She will be away for 12 days. This duration of time will be the big test for me to abstain from playing the game. She somehow play a role as a police officer checking on me not to fall again to my addiction. She is the source of my strengths for my recovery journey. I going to miss her.
Today is my 37 days free from gaming and I have no plan to game today not another 12 days when my wife not around, not to game forever till my last breath.
Jamal, you are showing great awareness by realizing that your wife's absence will create a big test for staying away from the games. Having other people around provides structure, and gaming tends to slip in when there is a lack of structure. How are you going to provide some structure while your wife is on pilgrimage? Maybe spend more time with friends? Volunteer activities? Social or leisure activities? I'm thinking you will want to get out of the house and be with other people. That might help. The main thing is you recognize the threat, so you won't be unprepared when the urges come. Nice work!
I'm really busy today so I will get to it. No plans to game. Thanks for your help with that.
Day 32. Doing ok, stocked up on Blu rays, music and books to keep me busy. I think in music I might have finally found a way to express myself creatively, which is something I have been doing in games almost exclusively. In the last couple of days I have been thinking more and more about picking up the piano as a second instrument. On the down side I'm still spending too much time on the internet, facebook etc, that will have to go also at some point, but for the moment its another tool in my toolbox to stay away from games, you can only fight so many battles at a time. Thursday I'm going up to the coast so I can confidentally say, no games for the next two weeks. Next milestone: 90 days.
I am doing ok. I had a bit of a lazy weekend, which is not good for my mood. So I want to try and do something more these days. Just try to do something useful after work: sports, see some friends, go to the library. Somehow being more active also gives energy, and when you have more energy you feel more positive.
So even though I do not feel like it.. will put on my running shoes. Here we go!
Just got home tonight from my doll collecting convention in Dallas. Had a wonderful time and never thought, for a moment, about gaming. It was great.
It is a huge pleasure to be exposed to such confident, engaged people as my fellow Olgans!
Sven, congrats on the 32 days. I am with you on the idea that you can only fight so many battles at a time. It's well-documented by research that willpower is a finite resource. It gets tapped out when you are refraining from some activity or substance, and needs rest. If you try to quit everything at once, it does not increase your chances of success. Nicely done.
Steele, I believe you are on the mark with your idea about activity. There is a time for inactivity, for sure. But generally speaking the more active you are, the more active you will be and the better you will feel. And action precedes motivation, it turns out. If we wait around until we feel like doing something, we will do less, not more. Sometimes it's best to just force yourself to start. I am rested up from my stair race Saturday and plan to jog, bike, swim or hit the gym today. I hope your run goes well.
Silvertabby, that's great about the doll convention. I hope you didn't get too flooded out in Dallas. The pics were impressive, and that's coming from someone who lives in Austin, where the recent floods were even worse, or at least more fatal. We are glad the five-year drought has been largely busted, but we are also ready to dry out a little. I am very pleased that you enjoyed the convention and didn't think about gaming. Long live vital absorbing creative interests!
I had a long, very busy work day yesterday, but it was also productive, which is encouraging. Today I have to find some more work, which I do by dreaming up ideas for articles and pitching them to editors. I enjoy that, usually. Also meeting with a friend to discuss supporting each other as we contemplate taking on novel-writing projects, and hoping to get in the aforementioned run, bike, swim or gym session. Basically, the usual.
I am now at 12 weeks and two days, I believe, since last time I gamed. Man, it is so great to not be doing that. Gaming is a horrible time-suck, and the fact is that there are only so many hours in the day, and we all have many things we need to be doing during those hours. To devote such a huge portion of them -- all of our waking hours, practically, for some of us, at least at times like during the weekend -- is simply not workable. It's not acceptable. It's not what I want for my life. I am very happy to be living my life more like the way I want to live it. I still do not have a supermodel girlfriend, a Lamborghini or a penthouse downtown condo, but I may be able to be happy without those things, it turns out.
I am contemplating a 12-hour shift of doing pretty much nothing. I am currently sitting in an ambulance by a helipad. If a patient arrives by air, I will load the patient into the ambulance and drive across the street to unload the patient at the emergency departmeht. Then I will have a bunch of paperwork. But no patient care, and it's probable that we'll have very few patients or even no patients for the entire shift. I would much rather have some patients to care for, but in the meantime I have brought my laptop, phone, e-book, printed book, legal pad and assorted chargers and plan to spend the day working on various articles and self-improvement projects. Could be worse, for sure.
I had a lot of short relapses during the last weeks. Some of them were about a few minutes, some of them a couple of hours. And today, after I came back from the written exam I was almost to give in but I didn't want to . I'm happy I made the right choice. By the way, lots of congrats McPhee, 12 weeks is awesome !
"The future is determined by our choices in the present." - Anonymous Author
YouareNOTalone, nice work! Sure, it's nice to pile of lots of days and weeks without gaming. But any day without gaming is a victory, and better than a day of gaming. So I'm pleased and proud of you for not gaming this time, even if you haven't always done perfectly.
A couple of years ago I did an exercise called "If I Could Be, Do and Have Anything I Wanted." It calls for you to let your greed, ambition and similar qualities go wild and write down your ultimate fantasy in several categories, such as money, accomplishments, possessions, etc. (I'm happy to tell more about the process if interested.) I think doing this helped me to focus on some of the things I wanted to do with my life, such as pay off all my debts, take an EMT course and work in emergency medicine AND stop gaming. I made great progress on those goals that I just mentioned, although not so great on others, like making more money. I am okay with not achieving all the goals (actually, they're not really goals but sort of dreams) because I was able to realize at least a few of them, and that's pretty cool. Plus, there's always next year, when I may get some of the other dreams under my belt.
The point of this little story is not to brag or anything like that. It's to discuss why this exercise worked and how it's helped me to feel better and, ultimately, quit gaming. I think what happened was I stopped thinking so much about what I was not, and started thinking more about what I wanted to become. For instance, I focused less on why and how I got into debt and what that said about me as a person, and more about how I was going to get out. This attitude change helped me come up with a way to get out of debt, and I think it's also made me happier and better able to do other stuff, like work as an EMT and quit gaming.
I don't know if this would help other people, since everybody's different. But for me, I plan to keep thinking less about all the ways I am a failure, a loser, inadequate, weak, cowardly and a generally bad person, and more about the kind of person I want to become and the things I want to do with my life, the experiences I want to have and the accomplishments I want to achieve. (I'm not much into possessions, so getting fancy cars and fancy guitars and the like isn't a big issue for me.)
If you're feeling down on yourself, you might consider trying to steer your thoughts from negative ones about how you are not measuring up, and into more positive areas like what you are going to do to make things better. Come up with a reasonable plan for achieving a desirable, worthwhile, challenging goal. It's worked for me and might for others.
Last night was mostly ok - spent some time with my husband who came home late, so I wasn't really earlier to bed than I used to be.
This morning was the toughest - I always start gaming over breakfast, and then spend 4-5 hours fast. This morning I spilled coffee on my chair by accident, so I had to get up and clean up. That was good - I cleaned up after my breakfast at the same time, dropped (again by accident) a tablemat over the side of the second floor patio, so I used the opportunity to put on trainers and go for a long walk. A sunny day - the first one in weeks! - which always helps. Came home, napped a bit, gritted my teeth a lot, messaged a friend, napped and read a comic book some more before starting on the new patio flower boxes, then took a shower and cleaned the bathroom.
And ran a computer update. I'd always postpone those because restarting would get in the way of the game - despite often having login issues and was constantly refreshing for up to half an hour.
Sidsel, well done! I don't know if the first 24 hours is the toughest. It may well be, although there will be other tests later on, most likely. One thing for sure is that the first 24 hours is absolutely essential. You have to take that first step before you can hope to succeed with qutting gaming. You have done that and that is huge. Outstanding! One thing I think might help you is to get out of the house. Sometimes you have to be home, of course, but if you have the option of doing something outside -- going for a walk, shopping, visiting friends, whatever -- it has the great benefit of making it impossible to game. Hanging around the house, temptation is pretty much constant. Anyway, wonderful work!
I am a couple days short of 13 weeks game-free. It's been great, urges now are rare and easily deflected and I have no plans to game today. Instead, I plan to swim some laps, take my son and his buddies to play soccer and get some work done. Thanks for your help.
Great work, McPhee!
Two days now. Last night we put on a starwars movie - so weird not to be sitting gaming at the same time! But I put aside my computer entirely, and when I started yawning around 10:30, I simply went to bed. Today I've been busy with errands so far, and it's another fine day which helps. Tonight I'm alone again (dear husband travelling a fair bit), and I plan to dig up some old, unused crafts things to busy myself with. I live in the middle of nowhere, and the local villagers are a bit insular, so despite having lived here 10 years, I still find it hard to make friends.
Congratulations, sidsel, on two days away from the games. You're doing it! I do crafts, too, and find doing them very relaxing and enjoyable. Plus, in those early days, I found it very helpful to keep my hands busy.
13 weeks McPhee, that's awesome. That exercise you did sounds very interesting. I was talking to someone not too long ago, that said we need to look at what we want our future selves to be like and then work towards that. That really hit home with me because when I thought about it, what I want to be like in 20 years or so wasn't going to happen if I continued on the path I was on. Mainly it had to do with my wanting to still be active and in good health as I got older. Eating too much of the wrong kinds of food and not exercising definately wasn't going to get me there, so recently I've taken steps to get on a better path by joining Weight Watchers at least. Now I just need to figure out an exercise program.
The days have turned into weeks now, since my last relapse. Soon the weeks will turn into months, as I have no intention of playing that first game again, at least for today.
Guys you're really inspiring...I had a short relapse yesterday :( but I didn't want to go on and make things worse. I want to think positively, seriously. Today I worked in construction from morning till evening and I feel SO TIRED ( physically ) but I feel so good ! I really needed this.
Good job, Sidsel! It sounds like you are getting some positive benefits from not gaming. But watch out! The weekend for many people is a real challenge. You may want to be very alert to any rising urges, and do something like check in here, get out of the house or whatever it takes to keep from giving in. You are on a roll!
Silvertabby, that's great you are thinking about the future. As I've gotten older, one of the most profound insights I have gotten (at least it feels profound for me) is the understanding that I am capable of far more than I have given myself credit for. I hope you'll give yourself credit for being able to be healthy, keep a good weight, start an exercise program or whatever else you want to do. I feel certain these things are well within your ability. If you want to know more, the "If I Could Do, Be and Have Anything" process is described in a book by Jerrold Mundis called "How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt and Live Prosperously." Lots of libraries have it. It is just a couple of pages in a sizable book that is really on a separate subject, but it really was powerful for me.
YouareNOTalone, that is great! I'm glad you are feeling good. That's pretty much what it's all about, in a lot of ways. I'm sorry to hear about the short relapse, but it doesn't seem too bad the way you describe it. And today is what counts. I hope you have a great one!
I am good. Tired still from a 5-mile run this morning. I am training hard for this upcoming triathlon. I hope I enjoy the actual race in two weeks. Whatever, I have no plans to game today. Thanks for your help with that.
Good job, Sidsel! It sounds like you are getting some positive benefits from not gaming. But watch out! The weekend for many people is a real challenge. You may want to be very alert to any rising urges, and do something like check in here, get out of the house or whatever it takes to keep from giving in. You are on a roll!
Thankyou. 3 days now. Rain today, which makes everything a little bit harder. But I went to bed at a reasonable time last night, after playing with the kids, and had a slow breakfast this morning. Now.. now I think housework is on the agenda. I guess I just have to be careful not to focus too much on chores. I've tried that before and rebelled and ended up ignoring everything useful to escape into games instead. "All work and no play..." Redefining 'play' for myself - what can I play with that doesn't involve the computer..?
Triathlon sounds awesome! Good luck on that!
Sidsel, you are showing great awareness about the rain being a possible problem. Also about the possible risk of loading yourself down with too many unpleasant activities while you are trying to avoid gaming. It's well established by research that willpower is a finite resource. It's like a muscle. If you use it a lot, it gets tired and needs rest. Then if it rests, you can tap it again. That dynamic is why I think for many of us it's not ideal to try to quit a bunch of things at one time. Some people quit gaming and then immediately want to also quit smoking, watching videos, reading trashy novels, etc. Personally, I think this can be a mistake. I think it's best to quit gaming for an extended period, such as several months, and only then start taking on other rotten habits. Getting behind on housework may or may not be one of those habits. That depends on you and your situation and your strengths and weaknesses, etc. Anyway, sounds like you are on top of the possibility that forcing yourself to do too many unpleasant activities could interfere with your main current goal, which is not gaming. That's smart. Congratz on the three days!
Personally, when I was starting to give up gaming, I gave myself free rein to eat all the sweets I wanted. I found this comforting and a reward for the exertion required to not game. Then when I got the gaming out of my system for the most part, I took a stab at improving my diet. One thing at a time, is the way I looked at it. This may or may not apply to you, of course.
I am okay. Sore from the long run yesterday and about to go for a swim and then bike ride. Nothing too lengthy, however. Then it's indoor sky diving with my younger daughter, who is something of a thrill seeker. Should be a good day. No plans to game. Thanks for your help with that.
The start of the work week may be good news for recovering gamers who have managed to get through the boredom and opportunity of the weekend without gaming. If you are still trying to put down the games for even a single day, today may be a good one to start. The structure and oversight and accountability imposed by work can help us avoid gaming. Of course, work also often pretty much sucks in general, but it does have its uses.
If you are reading this and have not tried to put down the games, I encourage you to give it a whirl. And you might try posting to this daily check-in thread to announce your plan or to discuss what's keeping you from having a plan to quit gaming. This is a non-judgmental community. You will not be seen as weak, bad, stupid or anything negative if you are having trouble with games. We are all in the same boat. No matter how bad you are, I guarantee you there is someone else here who is about as bad or worse.
I also want to reassure you that life without gaming is good. In fact, it's great. That's why I keep posting here almost every day. It is 13 weeks today since the last time I played a game and now the urge to play comes only once a week or so and is weak and fleeting and easily deflected. But I'm not relaxing my guard. Life is so much better now that I'm not gaming that I am determined I am not going back to that messed-up way of living. And, for me, daily posting and the accountability and support and encouragement and peer pressure and advice and tips and tricks and warnings and general help I get from reading and posting to a daily check-in thread is what makes the difference. It will likely not be exactly like that for you. But you might get some help from posting here. I urge you to give it a try. If if doesn't work, try something else. I believe in you. You can put the games down and live a better life. I am proof of it. Come join me!
No plans to game today.
Emotional rollercoaster day, lots of depression things coming up. No shinies, but I felt very lonely and on my own on this journey, which makes it harder to keep on guard. Walked to the grocery store and back - a 45 min round trip, and spent some time in the garden with my daughter. Also read the article http://kingpinlifestyle.com/how-to-quit-playing-video-games/ and picked up the author's ebook on creating a new life forwards.