A New Start-- hopefully

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vsn611
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A New Start-- hopefully

For the first 18 years of my life, no one would have called me a gamer. I didn't even know the online gaming world existed, much less tasted anything beyond the teenage fascination of Runescape. I swam, was considered a leader in highschool, was admitted to one of the top 5 colleges in the country and go to (a different) college now on a merit based full ride. I don't know if I would classify as a clinical gaming addict because by some definitions I am quite functional. However, I've come to the realization that the definition is not as important as the next steps forward in my life. And, quite frankly, to go there, I have to give my story.

Gaming started for me once I came to college and was in a suite where it was common place to play COD while high until 4 a.m., sleep in to skip classes and repeat the next day. While I never wanted to join that group, I remember mentioning RTS games to a friend and how I knew "those were the types of games for me." I started playing starcraft, and soon enough, one game led me into the world of League of Legends.

The summer after my freshman year, I played LoL pretty much nonstop-- why, I still don't know. It appealed to a sense of flash and bang that is present in every teenage boy's heart. One game became two, became 3 became countless hours spent working on "last-hitting, and team play." And the more you play that game, the more you realize the entire community surrounding it-- "the pro scene" and the streamers. I guess it's one thing if you're playing at home for yourself making the videogame company money, but if you're good enough to make the dough for yourself, all the power to you. My problem is that once I got in, I could never make a clean break.

Before starting college my sophomore year, I promised my parents I wouldn't play again. As a gesture, I uninstalled LoL and left the mouse at home (because if you don't have a mouse, you really can't play). I lasted about a month before I spent 4 hours or however long it takes to install the game and remember sneaking off the gaming mouse from home. After the next trip back home and a similiar promise, I found it simpler to order a 12 dollar mouse from Amazon and not have to take "what I don't need." Over the entire semester, during times when I should be studying (including right now), I would either be playing the game or watching some streamer. It's not that I have an illusion about "becoming the next progamer," it's not happening and quite frankly, I know of plenty of other professions that appeal to me more, but it's an aching desire to play the game better. My GPA dropped, my major changed, and I was never happy.

The semester (this one), I attempted a similiar process where I would not touch or install LoL on my computer. I lasted about 4 weeks until my nonprofit student org hit 4 weeks of weather cancellations, record low attendence, and the thought of falling apart. All my effort, and my stipend from scholarship were dedicated to it, and now, it amounts to virtually nothing. And I fell back.

Right now, it's about 1/4 of the way through the semester and gaming along with not studying has cost me in terms of grades and happiness and I want to get over it. It's not right for me. I love my research in chemistry, my nonprofit organization, my friends, and my classes. But gaming along with laziness has put in me a slump that is so hard to recover from that I don't know what to do.

I used to sleep by 11-12 every night. One game could turn that into 3:00. I've decided that today will be the last day I ever play or watch a stream again. The plan is to not watch any streams or play any games simply because the former will lead to the latter and vice versa. In lieu of it, I hope to get more exercise and study more and report my active hours i.e. not sleeping every day here. Hopefully this works and I can be my old "highschool self" again. Any support is always much appreciated.

kyunga1214
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VSN all my support and heart

VSN all my support and heart out to you.

Exercise will definitely help regulate your sleep hours and keep your brain hormones in control in general. I believe it has been absolutely crucial in keeping me off from games too.

Take it one day at a time, VSN!

Scott
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Welcome to OLGA, VSN.  Glad

Welcome to OLGA, VSN. Glad you found us here, you're in the right place. I can relate to your gaming stories.

For an obsessive compulsive person like me, I have two choices: 1. game my brains out and ruin my life or 2. no gaming at all. This would be an easy choice for a non-addict. For people like me, we really struggle to decide what to do. Should I game and ruin my life? Or should I not game and have a shot at a good life? I don't know... how do I decide??? :)

Once my life became ruinous and painful enough, I was willing to try abstinence from gaming. It wasn't easy, with some withdrawal symptoms and a raging obsession bugging me to go back to the games. But I used OLGA, made connections, kept checking in, went to meetings, and went one day at a time, keeping my #1 priority to not start that first game today.

My life is very different. I take good care of myself most of the time. With dozens of hours freed from gaming, I spend time with my kids, playing piano, lifting weights, reading, connecting with friends, going to a few OLGA meetings, sleeping at night, excelling at work, keeping a clean house, eating healthily, meditating, and playing a face-to-face board or card game with friends on occasion. A huge weight is off my shoulders, so much guilt, shame, lying, hiding, self-loathing, despair has fallen away. Life is good.

Hope to see you at the meetings. You're worth it!

What you feed grows, and what you starve withers away.

Andrew_Doan
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I relate to you as I was a

I relate to you as I was a "functional addict" who loved online RTS games. So much I encouraged my wife to visit family for Christmas while I played nearly the entire week during my week off from medical internship. I logged in more than 100 hours that week!

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.

vsn611
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Well as promised, I

Well as promised, I mentioned I'd give brief updates on the forum here.

The first thing I must say is to everyone who posted back, thank you very much-- it really means a lot. Invisible faces helping an invisible man try to go through life is something I'd never thought I'd experience, but it feels increidble to know that I'm not alone.

Now to the more sad accounts. Day One was a failure by my own account. I got up at 8:00. My first thought was to do physics hw. I got on the computer (laptop) and 5 minutes later, I was watching more silly streaming. My midterm is tomorrow and my first thoughts of importance go towards a virtual reality. That lasted until 11:00. I don't know why or how it happened or even remember what happened during those 3 hours.

I guess the only positive I've drawn is that the game itself has stayed deleted off the computer. I don't think it counts as my own parameters, but I guess a start is a start and not all sucess exists as a linear upward motion. Additionally, at least for the short term, it feels like the impetus to play or even watch can be induced by just being on a computer with access to youtube.

I know what I have to do-- and this upcoming weekend, I'll probably be headed back home to "relinquish" my computer and make the only way for me to use the internet be through non gaming methods (i.e. libararies). I'm curious as to hear what you guys think about this as a potential solution (perhaps it's too much even). I used to try other things like "focus me" and the pomodoro method on browsers, but considering those haven't worked too well in the past, maybe introducing physical barriers is the only effective way.

Thanks again, and hopefully day 2 will go on to be better than day 1.

YouAreNOTalone
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Hi vsn. We have a lot in

Hi vsn. We have a lot in common, I was in exactly the same situation until last week. I failed some exams because of gaming, I promised to my parents the same things and played instead of studying and so on. But after many, many relapses and reading a lot of posts here and also posting, I managed to get over this so if I could do it then you can do it too. Don't let failures let you down , I tried to quit gaming hundreds of time and then played the next day more than 12 hours. I think an effective way to avoid gaming is to stay in a place without internet/PC (if that is possible) at least until you'll be taken all your exams. If you think you can't do it, then whenever you feel the burning desire to play, come here and read posts, blogs etc. On my first 3 days of recovery I spent more than 5 hours a day doing this and I don't regret it. Don't give up and be strong ! You can do it !

"The future is determined by our choices in the present." - Anonymous Author

Maggie
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Hi vsn, Welcome to Olga! You

Hi vsn,

Welcome to Olga! You have to decide if your future is important enough to quit. Because if it is, then choosing to quit the game is about making the right choice for youself. The choice that only you can make that for yourself. Just imagine 10 years from now, if you continue to game, what would your future be like? And if you stop gaming today and choose recovery path, what would it be like for you? Whichever answer would suit your heart and that you would be ok with the outcome of your action. No one can help us except ourselves. No one may and no one can. We must walk the path. The good thing is you don't have to do this alone. We have daily meeting at 9pm, you are welcome to join us.

Here is my personal blog, and I hope you will find it helpful in your recovery.

http://olganon.org/?q=node/41941

In the meeting, you probably can benefit from:

1. You can connect with recovery buddies at the end of the meeting.

2. You can listen to the share how others deal with their pain/stress/suffering without using the game.

3. You can listen what others did to succeed in their recovery.

4. You can see how their lives transform which gives hope.

5. You can learn that you are not alone.

6. You can learn that your experience does impacts on others.

7. You can just listen, if you don't want to share.

8. You can feel a sense of healing and belonging just by being a part of this community.

9. You can also inquire about 12 step program and start looking for sponsorship.

10. You can feel a sense of self-worth that someone else does care about you.

Hugs,

Maggie

It's good to have goals and dreams, but while you're waiting for things to change, waiting for promises to come to pass, don't be discontent with where you are. Learn to enjoy the season that you're in--Pastor Joel Osteen

LearningSerenity
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I went for a while where I

I went for a while where I didn't log onto my personal computer except for the chat meeting, and then I'd log off and go to bed right after. If using library computers and a flash drive to transfer whatever your materials are is a way to help yourself not play today, then by all means go for it. I did it for a little while, and it worked. I'm at a place now where I don't need to be that strict with myself, but it certainly helped at first.

"Progress, not perfection". I try to accept progress for what it is...progress. I also try to remember that making mistakes is part of what I do as a human being, and to not be upset with myself when it happens. Being angry at myself for "screwing up" just makes me feel bad, and what idea to I have to make the bad feeling go away? Games, of course... :(

Being patient with myself helps. Hugs...

When you're going through hell...keep going. --Winston Churchill There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still --Corrie ten Boom

vsn611
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Well, it's been a few days.

Well, it's been a few days. I haven't gone back to gaming yet. My watching of "professional LoL play" continues from time to time. But that too seems to have decreased.
I guess the biggest thing is I told my mother which was among the hardest decisions of my life. She always told me I had the potential to do anything I ever wanted and to her and to me gaming has become a direct threat to that potential. And honestly, the last people in my life I want to let down are those who have supported me for so long. I'm hoping that soon the compulsion to play a game the moment I go online decreases. Once again, thank you everyone for all of your support so far. It really means a lot.

LearningSerenity
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Have you tried coming to a

Have you tried coming to a meeting yet? I found that accountability helped some at first, but the first time I played a game after I had some measure of accountability and the world didn't collapse, the usefulness of the accountability diminished rapidly. Meetings help me consistently though, and their usefulness hasn't yet diminished even though I've had multiple relapses at various points. Hugs...

When you're going through hell...keep going. --Winston Churchill There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still --Corrie ten Boom

vsn611
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Hey guys,I haven't been as

Hey guys,
I haven't been as diligent with this as I initially promised doing. Right now, I haven't played any games, but have watched decreasingly less "streaming and youtube" content over the past week. (no more than 1 hour a day-- which is a significant, significant decrease). It's kind of funny because the thing that is keeping me most accountable is the whole that gaming led me into-- now I literally have to study my head off to maintain the grades I want. Additionally, my lab has been a god send in that I finally have a place where I would rather be than gaming-- any second of the day. And I just want to do the best I can there-- who knows, maybe I can look at this compulsion later on in life and laugh as it is what "indirectly compelled" me into a career in the sciences.
Once again, I just want to thank everyone for their kindness and the Olganon comm. for providing a stable backbone of support.

kyunga1214
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vsn611 wrote: Hey guys,I
vsn611 wrote:

Hey guys,
I haven't been as diligent with this as I initially promised doing. Right now, I haven't played any games, but have watched decreasingly less "streaming and youtube" content over the past week. (no more than 1 hour a day-- which is a significant, significant decrease). It's kind of funny because the thing that is keeping me most accountable is the whole that gaming led me into-- now I literally have to study my head off to maintain the grades I want. Additionally, my lab has been a god send in that I finally have a place where I would rather be than gaming-- any second of the day. And I just want to do the best I can there-- who knows, maybe I can look at this compulsion later on in life and laugh as it is what "indirectly compelled" me into a career in the sciences.
Once again, I just want to thank everyone for their kindness and the Olganon comm. for providing a stable backbone of support.

Oftentimes, external life circumstances CAN help us toward keeping off videogames ... I definitely felt the same way when my job forced me to move to another state and live in a new apartment (I had no computer or TV there so I ended up spending a lot of time socially). My current job also forces over-time on me so there was no realistic way that I could fit-in any gaming after work because I was so exhausted and just fell asleep right afterwards.

I'm glad you found a place where you could pursue something with full focus and flow other than video-gaming ... because sometimes, I feel like it's the "flow" that we crave from the videogames, and not just the videogames themselves. It feels good to be in that "flow" where everything else seems irrelevant and all you wanna do is just focus and get that character leveled up or beat a certain task.

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