Daily Count Up and Accountability

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McPhee
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Well said

Wazzapp, that was very well put.Thanks!

It's an escapable fact of life that some days we just don't feel good. Sometimes the reason seems apparent; other times it seems like we should feel better than we do. It's a good idea to take the attitude that rotten feelings are inescapable, even if they don't have to be present at all times. But we don't have to feel bad about feeling bad. It's okay to be down at times. You'll feel better. You are doing great!

I am okay here. No plans to game today.

Isyckle
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Day 79

Good evening folks, today is day 79 for me. Almost three months have passed since I last played an online game. I used to post updates on a thread, just to track the progress and rant. I feel I need to reconnect with other OLGA members that can understand all the hard work we have to do every day. See you soon

Facing what consumes you, is the only way to be free. -Hatebreed

wazzapp
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Congratulations Isyckle =)

Congratulations Isyckle =)

Aaah the paradoxes of life. Accepting my negative emotions and at the same time use different practices to avoid unneccesary negativity. I think these paradoxes arise because i'm using "words". The reality towards that which the words point probably doesn't contain a paradox. Addiction is pre-verbal.

I was thinking about this today, the paradox that i should "want" success, but not "need" success... Success is something to strive towards, but it doesn't make me complete as a person. When i think about "want" and "need", i think about concepts, but the reality towards which it points is some kind of emotional/pre-verbal/pre-thinking state.

Sorry for my rant, just theorising lol.....

No plans to game today, thanks to you, olga, NA, sponsor, steps, service

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

ahimsa
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Hi all

Nice to meet you guys and thanks all for sharing your journey! My depression has flared up recently and I have relapsed several times. I only relapse for 1-2 days and I felt guilty so I deleted all my games and start being clean again but this vicious cycle keep repeating several times. I felt so numb when I didn't game and I don't have any substitute so I think this is why I get relapsed. I'm planning to stick with TV series or anime series as I think it is less impact than playing game. As I have TV series substitute for my addiction, I will develop other hobbies such as swimming or reading good books. I will take meeting more serious and attend as much as possible.

This is my day 1st day gaming free (again) and 1st time posting here. No plan to game today and may all the power be with all you guys who fight for freedom !!!!!!!!!!!!

Game free since 19th October 2015 !!!!
"Once you addict to something, you lose freedom to everything"

McPhee
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Good morning

Ahimsa, that's a good plan. You simply have to have positive, constructive, enjoyable, engaging activities to fill the time you used to spend gaming. It's absolutely essential. What do you like doing? What would you do if you could do anything you wanted? Start doing or working toward doing those things and you will likely find that the time not gaming is more enjoyable.

wazzapp, you are doing some good thinking! I suggest you take a look at some of the books of Albert Ellis. He wrote a lot of practical stuff about dealing with those exact issues.

lsyckle, congrats on 79 game-free days! It's great, isn't it? I personally am at about seven months of game-less living and am really enjoying. Urges are rare, weak and brief and easily deflected. I hope it keeps up. I think you are smart to check in here when you start feeling unsure about your commitment. Interacting with the great people here may help remind you of why you quit gaming, why you don't want to start again and what it takes to keep from getting back into it.

I'm good here. No plans to game today.

wazzapp
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This is my addiction cycle:

This is my addiction cycle: quitting, becoming depressed, can't live without games, back to gaming, guilt.

I can't live with games and i can't live without games, because i have a sickness called addiction, and i use games to escape my life. When i stop gaming, all that pain that i was trying to escape with games comes to surface, it's an unbearable experience. Having a sponsor, working the steps and go to olga & NA meetings have helped me to live an enjoyable life without games. Before that, it was an unbearingly struggle

No plans to game today, thanks for ur help with that

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

McPhee
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Sounds familiar

wazzapp, I have struggled with games since 1989, when I first got a PC that would play games. I recall my roommate walking in and seeing that I was still playing the same game I'd been playing when he left several hours earlier. The look on his face made it clear that I was acting crazy. Today, I  am still the same crazy person and subject to periods of depression and anxiety. But as long as I don't play the games, I'm a happier and more productive and reliable and trustworthy and decent person too.

One thing that's really helped me is finding fun activities to do instead of game. Is there anything you really like doing? Can you do it or start working towards doing it or something like that? Please open up all possibilities. If you've always wanted to, say, be a race car driver, it might seem ridiculous so you'd just not even consider it as a possibility. But what if you looked up local racing schools and started saving up the money to attend? Making progress toward a long-sought, worthwhile real-life goal can really take your mind off the gaming. What do you like to do?

Since I quit gaming nearly seven months ago, I've decided I want to reconnect with my lifelong dream of being a fiction writer. When a friend confessed to the same dream, I suggested we both try to write novels and meet once a month to support each other and offer advice and criticism. We've had several meetings now and I just finished my first short story and sent it to him to review. Next, I'm going to start sending it to publishers. I've got a long list of possible magazines and websites that might publish it. And I'm now thinking about the second short story I'm going to write. It's very interesting and fulfilling, even though I've just started and basically haven't achieved any success at all beyond writing a single story. Is there anything like that you've always wanted to do?

Here's some info about a new book by a psychologist that sums up the research into video games, including their addictive characteristics:

http://www.mystatesman.com/news/technology/austin-video-game-researchers-book-opens-up-areas-/nn4mG/

http://blog.rkowert.com/the-video-game-debate---/#more

I hope all are well. No plans to game today.

McPhee
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Anxiety, yes

I keep waking up at 2, 3 or 4 in the morning (sometimes all three) and feeling anxious. My mind immediately turns to some situation that is botherig me. It may be some person who is blocking me, an organization that I'm feeling frustrated with, a deadline that is looming, etc. Often, later when I'm awake I can't even recall what I was thinking about during these episodes. But at the time, in the wee-hours darkness, it consumes my mind and I have difficulty going back to sleep and lie there for an hour or more, fretting. I get sad, upset and often angry. Sometimes, believe it or not, I am angry about something that hasn't even happened yet, or something that someone could have said or done, but didn't. I find this behavior strange and don't like it. I wonder why my mind turns so quickly to such upsetting thoughts when I would rather be sleeping, and whether there is anything I could do to avoid or minimize these episodes. I suspect I naturally am somewhat of an anxious person, for whatever reason, and this is what's behind it. No doubt, avoiding anxiety about real life is one of the reasons I'd bury myself in games. Well, I'm not buried in games any more and things are much, much better, but still not perfect.

No plans to game today.

ahimsa
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Good evening !

I found that swimming excessively really lift my depression up. Today, I stayed home all day and notice the craving but It was mild , probably due to swimming.

I can feel you, McPhee. I have the same reaction the night before my medical entrance exams. I couldn't sleep at all, the harder I try to force myself to sleep the more anxiety I got. Hope you get through this soon : ) 

No plan to game today !

Game free since 19th October 2015 !!!!
"Once you addict to something, you lose freedom to everything"

McPhee
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Exercise

ahimsa, exercise is something that many excessive gamers say helps them when they're trying to quit. I hope you're able to keep swimming and stay away from the games. That is good self-awareness to see something that is helping you and try to do it regularly. Smart! And, good luck on the medical exams!

I have been hurt for the past week and a half after injuring my knee in a fall and so have been unable to exercise much. I did spend several hours doing hard physical labor around the house on Monday, trimming trees. Despite not exercising, I have been feeling all right mentally, with no gaming urges to speak of. But I hope to get back to regular exercise next week if not sooner. It helps with the mood and, besides, I like doing it.

No plans to game today. Thanks for your help.

McPhee
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Craziness

It's weird but even though I haven't been exercising much lately my weight loss has continued. It's very slow. Over the last four months I have averaged losing just 1 lb per month. It may be so slow because I don't have that much to lose. Althouhgh I weigh close to 200 lbs, which is not a lightweight, I'm also pretty tall, over six feet. So I'm getting fairly close, about 8 lbs away, from a healthy body mass index. And that's with being a weight lifter and having less fat than a less muscular person at this weight. Still, it's amazingly slow. I hope I can keep it up and get down to my healthy BMI. I think at a lighter weight I'll be able to run without as much risk of injury. It seems I can only run for a few months at a time without injury cropping up. Annoying. I'd like to start training for the 10K next spring soon, and my achilles tendon is still sore.

Weight loss is a sub-game in the infinitely complex, challenging and rewarding game that is real life. I wonder why the relatively pale, flimsy and boring world of games is so much more engaging than real life for some of us. I suppose a lot of it is due to the desire to avoid the challenges of real life by hiding out in the much easier world of games. Anyway, I am glad to be out of games for the last seven months or so and into real life. It is often not much fun, but ultimately far, far more intersting and enjoyable than a made-up, meaningless, bloodless computer game. Duh.

No plans to game today. Thanks for your help with that.

wazzapp
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Yes there are some things I

Yes there are some things I want to pursue and are pursuing, things connected to art and my expression. I sometimes make it too important thought, and get paralyzed in action, but generally speaking i've been taking steps pursuing my dreams almost every day since last time i've gamed. Being game-free has definately helped me a lot with things like productivity. However, my well.being sometimes paralyzes me. I feel apathy and negativity.

The way for me to deal with this apathy and negativity is mainly to call my sponsor, go to meetings, work the steps, pray, and listen to certain audiobooks. I know what to do, but it's like i "want to forget" what works, when im in a bad mood. For example, 30mins ago i felt like sh**, and now i did some things to improve my well-being, (listen to audiobook) and i actually feel better, it's amazing that i can do things for myself. I hope i keep coming back and use these tools when i feel negative and apathy next time

 

no plans to game today, thanks

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

Isyckle
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Day 85

Hi people,

day 85, i wanted to write more but my date just got here ;)

I will not game tonight :)

Facing what consumes you, is the only way to be free. -Hatebreed

McPhee
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Smart folks

Isyckle, well done!

Wazzapp, sounds like you're doing better. It may be asking too much to feel great all the time. I am not sure how many people actually get to experience that. You are making smart decisions about helping yourself feel better and that is huge. Really, it is. You get credit for that.

You could try a Pleasure Predicting worksheet if you want. You write down an activity, then next to it your prediction on a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 being horrible and 100 being ecstasy, how much you think you'll enjoy it. After you've completed the activity, you write down how much you actually enjoyed it, using the same 1-100 scale. This will help you identify things that help you feel better, as well as things that don't. You'll have a written record of stuff you can do to feel better. That may help jog your memory when you're feeling blue and don't know what to do. Could work. McPhee says: Check it out.

I'm good. No plans to game.

McPhee
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Smooth sailing

I am having no major problems here today. Long may it last. No plans to game. Thanks to all for your help with that.

wazzapp
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Thanks for the support

Thanks for the support Islycke, McPhee =)

Im working step 3, found this video-series about the steps originally for AA, quite helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZ36-qJ7v04

Doing service in NA, opening, making coffee and leading a meeting once a week

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

McPhee
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Very good!

Wazzapp, that's good to hear. The more we work on this, the better the results. Attitude follows action, it turns out, and not the other way around. Not drinking or drugging tends to lead to more not drinking or drugging. And getting involved in a community of NA, AA, Olga or other is a great way to get that virtuous cycle started.

By the way, anybody reading this is welcome to post and discuss your count-up, whether it's a day or a decade. Basically, there are few if any rules. I, for one, am not inclined to think anybody shouldn't post here because he or she doesn't have any or enough days off gaming, or doesn't have any brilliant insights, or whatever. We would love to hear from you, and I think posting here is likely to help you stay off the games. It has really helped me for the last seven months. I am loving the game-free life. I think you will too.

No plans to game today.

wazzapp
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Yes, any1 feel welcome and

Yes, any1 feel welcome and write =))

My day has been great, thanks to olga & NA

no plans to game

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

wazzapp
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Working step 3 today, really

Working step 3 today, really interesting stuff. here is the Stepguide for NA btw, it contains info and excersises for each step, i feel it's nice to have a lot to work on in each step so i dont rush it too quickly. plan on working one step per month

http://coastalcarolinaarea.org/literature/books/swg.pdf

 

 

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

ahimsa
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Struggling

Hi, studying at medical school really make me stress and I have an urge to play games all the time. I have been sick for 3 - 4 months and my depressed really flared up. I feel that I have lost a lot of interest due to gaming addiction, chronic sickness etc. Even though I want to get back to gaming really bad, I know it was just one bad way of hiding problems and by the time you finish, the problem is there waiting for you. I will try to find my new stress coping mechanism and be free from this bond with addiction.

No plan to game today !

Game free since 19th October 2015 !!!!
"Once you addict to something, you lose freedom to everything"

wazzapp
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Ahimsa, im happy your here!

Ahimsa, im happy your here!

im ok today. Have some fun stuff planned

no plans to game today

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

McPhee
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Roger that

ahimsa, it sounds like you have the gaming figured out. Like me, you gamed to escape stress and uncertainty in daily life, but found that when gaming was over, the stress and uncertainty were still there. It may be better to accept that some stress and uncertainty are inescapable. Also to find other activities that can help you get a break from the troubling parts of life, without having the addictive, destructive quality of excessive gaming.

What do you like to do? I'm sure medical school takes up just about all your time. Can you find a way to take part of the time you used to spend gaming and spend it on something enjoyable and productive? Exercise? Sports? Hobbies? Clubs? Reading? I have really gotten into a lot of activities by thinking of better ways to use the 16 or so hours I could devote to gaming. Good luck with it and congrats on being game-free since Oct. 19!

wazzapp, you are sounding good. Keep it up! The further you get from your gaming-addicted life, the better things are going to be. (With occasional exceptions like urges.)

I'm good here. No urges and plans to game today. Thanks for your help with that.

LuneSol
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It is only been 3 days, but

It is only been 3 days, but today I felt an urge to play because I had a frustrating conversation with someone. I felt that I was getting angry, so I just went to my computer and wanted so much play...thankfully I deleted my account so it made it harder for me to do so...

I realise my urge to play comes when I feel angry, frustrated or stressed. I just want to escape these unpleasant feelings...

ahimsa
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Thank you

Thank you, McPhee. I will try to play sports more often. I will join Nofap in my country. Do you think this will help? LoL. 

Lunesol, I could relate to you. I used to feel depressed and used game as a coping mechanism. When I quit playing games and don't have anything to substitute, I finally return to my old habits. I watch TV series as the substitute, I'm also a little bit addicted to it, but it's manageable. So I think the key is making a new habit, not trying to get rid of the old one. I hope this help : )

No plan to game today, Thanks all!

Game free since 19th October 2015 !!!!
"Once you addict to something, you lose freedom to everything"

McPhee
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Yess!

Welcome, LuneSol. Great job recognizing what your gaming triggers are. It's hard to come up with a good plan for doing anything when you don't see what's happening. And, strangely enough, I think most of us don't realize why we're gaming. You already are seeing what your triggers are. Very well done! Congratz on three days! It gets easier. It may help if you look ahead to spot situations that are likely to generate challenging feelings and try to come up with a plan to deal with them without gaming. Deleting your games is a great idea. You can reinstall them, of course, but as you experienced, it creates delay and during the delay you can decide not to reinstall them and play. Great work!

ahimsa, I had hever heard of NoFap but I have spent more time than I would like watching online porn, so maybe I will join myself! Actually, however, my recommendation when trying to quit excessive gaming or any complex maladaptive behavior is to take one thing at a time. Often, we get started trying to quit something and want to then quit everything, or at least a lot of things, all at once.

But there is a problem with that. Willpower, which is necessarily going to be used when quitting something, is like a muscle and it gets tired. If you don't let it rest, it will fail. Basically, I'm saying you should get several months of game-free living behind you before you start trying to quit anything else, whether it's smoking or watching porn or drinking or overeating or whatever. It's a good idea to get rid of habits that are doing you harm, but all at once is too difficult. It may seem foolish to "trade one addiction for another," as I have heard it put, but I'm not sure it's all that bad. If the second activity is less harmful than the first, then I see it as beneficial.

When I was quitting drinking a few years ago, I gave myself permission to game all I wanted. Drinking was literally killing me. Gaming was, by comparison, a mildly annoying habit. Then several months later I decided to quit gaming and gave myself permission to eat all the chocolate I wanted. Later, I tried to improve my diet. Unfortunately after a year or two I got back in to gaming, which I am now about seven months into quitting again.

Gradually, over time, with many false starts and slips, I have gotten rid of several undesirable habits, including procrastination, which is a bad one. I've also picked up many desirable habits and they have helped to make my life much more fulfilling.

Anyway, good luck with coming up with some more desirable, or at least less undesirable, activities to replace gaming. And whatever you do, make sure you have a plan to do *something*! You can't not game successfully when you are just sitting around staring at the walls and thinking about how much you want to game. Distract yourself with a more positive activity. Sounds like you are working on a good plan for that.

Congrats on avoiding games! Living without games is great!

I'm good today. No plans to game.

Isyckle
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Day 90

Day 90? Did I just went through 3 months (or so) without gaming? I never thought it would be possible. Thank you everyone.

Facing what consumes you, is the only way to be free. -Hatebreed

wazzapp
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Congratulations Islycke!

Congratulations Islycke! Thanks for coming here and share your milestones, and show people that it works =)

Thanks for ur posts McPhee, u always inspire me and help me get a better perspective on my life.

Im game-free today. My well-being is a bit unstable. Gonna keep working on step 3 today. Going to approx one face-2-face meeting a day, It feels a bit like a stretch sometimes, but i really learn a lot by going to those meetings, and it helps me to stay game-free so it's worth it

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

LuneSol
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Wazzap some days are harder

Wazzap some days are harder than others. I hope you are feeling better today. Feelings like that are temporary.

Day 4...I relapsed yersterday and reactivated my account....I didn't download the game yet, but it was a close call.

Yesterday night i didn't want to stay at home because I felt I wasnt very strong so i went to see a play. It was good to be immersed in something else than gaming .

Reading all of you helps so much. Thank you for sharing , you are being very helpful. 

No plans to game today.

 

McPhee
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Drive-by check-in

I am in a hurry today but checking in game-free and without plans to game.

guitar1986x
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Backlog of my daily updates

I've so far been posting my daily updates in a special thread of my own. It makes much more sense to contribute to this wonderful thread instead, so I'm starting with posting a copy of my daily updates to date. I'll follow up with my latest update in a second message. See the backlog of my daily updates below.

 

 

Day 1 (introduction)

Bart from Netherlands here, from Eindhoven, Netherlands (Europe). Father of two kids and succesful self-employed entrepreneur. 29 years old. I have been addicted to games to some degree since 12 years old, so that's 17 years now. I've decided to give up gaming on 14 October in a beautiful way, writing a goodbye letter to my addiction. I feel I know exactly why I'm quitting and I'm feeling hardly and "cravings" to get back to gaming. My challenge is I'm feeling depressed since giving up gaming. It's not a very negative feeling but rather an empty feeling and lack of will to do basically anything. It might be a normal reaction I need to go through. I would be really interested to get to meet other people that have succesfully beaten their game addiction, to place my feelings into perspective and make this process of quitting more pleasant.

 

 

Day 7

Still happily depressed today. That is, I'm terribly depressed but happy I'm not having to deal with something worse: cravings for games that I need to kill with my willpower. So far so good. Reading this forum helps.

Lovely meeting you on chat yesterday wazzaap, appreciate you taking the time to answer so many of my questions.

 

 

Day 8 of no games, and no intention to game today.

I've read the forum topic "things I won't miss today", it really helped me see just how big of a terrible festering addiction gaming really is. This has strengthened my resolve to keep up with not gaming, and took away the game cravings I had, which where anyway quite weak. I've been dealing with depression and emptiness very heavily the past days, the "Symptoms of Withdrawal" topic tells me this is exactly normal.

I've added almost 20 things I don't miss to the forum topic, phew, it's really touching to see and re-read these points myself.

 

Day 11 of no games, and no intention to game today.

Yesterday was the first day since I quit that I was really able to get some good work done. I've finished a few very important things for our business that were due.

I've had to deal with really bad game cravings in the evening. I think it's due to that I used to always REWARD myself with games every time I made some real accomplisment like finished an important task. So working good today kind of fueled by game cravings to a new level.

That has combined itself with just the sheer growth of desire to game. It's really interesting, since quitting I have literally seen after-images (images in my mind) of pretty much all games I have ever played. I've played SO MANY games! Hundreds! I really forgot about so many of them, but it's all coming back to me now almost like what people say an almost-death experience is like.

What really helped me was reading the forum to read some of the dreadful stories of what game addiction has cost some, and realizing that could have been me. I've gotten really lucky and blessed that gaming did not cost me my marriage and other dear things. And I have no intention of taking a risk in the future of those awful things happening.

I've also started writing to myself. I feel while not gaming I'm every day growing my understanding of what I was doing to myself, what emotional voids I was filling. I'm really growing from the confrontation with myself that Not-Gaming is creating. There is no where to run or hide anymore. It's not easy, I'm having to deal with a lot of old baggage. But at least I know I'm making real progress and creating something of real LASTING value.

I'm scared of seeking out Face2Face meetings and a sponsor in my area and even to join the daily OLGA meetings. I'm not a shy person, but I guess I fear that going to those events will give me an even heavier reality check that reading the forums already has.

What should I do? Why should I push myself to get out there and find a face2face? Any help or advice is very welcome.

guitar1986x
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Day 16

Day 16
It's hard to believe it has only been 5 days since my last update, it felt like two weeks!
I've had a really intense time. Anywhere from getting stomach flu that kept me unable to do anything much for 1.5 days, heavy waves of depression, the birthday of my lovely Wife, and my responsibilities causing me to have very limited time available for myself to reflect, read OLGA, write about my feelings, or do other “coping” activities.

 

Even though the increased stress and no time to “deal” with the heavy feelings coming up, I have not once been tempted to game the past days. This is really an achievement and surprise for me, because so far every time when things would get really hard like this I would cave in and relapse, being “unable to deal with this feeling anymore” and “seeing no other option then to game 'a little' again just to deal with these feelings”.

 

I've just reflected on why, all of the sudden, I am so much stronger, so much more willing to accept these horrible feelings I'm doing to myself by quitting gaming, and push on to permanent recovery through these challenging days.

I feel these are the reasons:

1. Through reading OLGA I've come to realize just how terribly serious and destructive a gaming addition truly is. Reading stories about people that lost their their marriage and family being unable to quit (even though they later successfully quit) and readings stories written by desperate husbands and wives of addicted gamers, considering if they should get a divorce, was eye opening. I'm married with 2 daughters of 2.5 years and 7 months myself. I've realized how close I've gotten to throwing my own life and marriage away because of gaming. It's only the boundless unconditional love binding me and my wife that has kept us together and created willingness to change in me. And I'm not going to EVER myself to throw away the bountiful happiness life has thrown in my lap by presenting me with the love of my life. I MUST AND WILL beat this addiction right now, I'd rather pay the price quitting costs me than having to pay the terrible price of losing what I love. In other words, I've decided I love my wife and life more than I love games.

 

2. Though reading OLGA I've also come to realize just how hard it is to quit gaming. Reading so many stories of quitting and relapsing for 5 YEARS and MORE. And realizing I'm just another one of those stories, even though I only found OLGA when I was really ready to change (now) instead of ten years ago, when I was already trying to stop gaming.
All of this made me realize how incredibly meaningful and how enormous of an achievement it will be when I quit gaming without relapsing ever again.
I used to think gaming was so meaningful, how just that ONE hour or ONE week of gaming would mean so much, give me so much joy. But now, I see it the other way around. Gaming now would take away the meaning from the EPIC achievement of beating this terrible affliction. And not gaming will be a HUGE improvement in the quality of my life. So I feel happy not to game today and feel strong in my resolve not to game for the coming 10 years.

 

I could talk much longer about several more reasons, but these are the most important ones. I would love to hear your thoughts on my rant if it is of interest of value.

With warm regards,

Bart

McPhee
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Welcome

Thanks for joining and posting, Guitar1986x. It is good to meet you.

I am in a horrible hurry this morning, and also just got two emergency service texts alerting me to the fact that we are under warnings for both flash floods and tornadoes -- both significant threats here in Texas. It is indeed quite a storm out there right now. Often real life is as interesting as gaming, it turns out. Anyway, no plans to game today or even, should I survive this storm without being drowned or whirled up into a cloud, tomorrow. Thanks for your help on that.

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Still at it

I'm still here, still not gaming and still not planning to start. I think I am coming up on eight months of game-free living next week. It's been good, or even great.

Bart, thanks for the post. Keep it up! For me, at least, regular posting seems to be very important for keeping off the games. It takes a few minutes, but it's well worth it.

Thanks to all for your presence, your posts and your help. You are all invaluable to me and I am very glad you are here.

wazzapp
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Thanks all for writing in

Thanks all for writing in this thread, great to see u all. 

Im ok today, My emotions are going up and down. gonna be 2 meetings today. Work step 3. I feel more calm when i do step3-prayer

no plans to game today

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

wazzapp
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Opened up an NA meeting today

Opened up an NA meeting today, we where only 2 people. It was really nice cause i felt i could share with more honesty, and also for longer time, like 20 mins. 

No plans to game today

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

McPhee
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Good work

Wazzapp, well done! Meetings, mind-bender work, it all adds up. Everybody, gamer or not, has bad days sometimes. Not gaming won't make you immune to any mental upset forever or transform your life into endless perfection. It will pretty reliably make your life better. So good job.

I am okay. No plans to game today.

McPhee
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Onward

I went up to the game store last night to buy the new Halo game for my son. A guy was in there buying a game and a kid about eight years old was going on about how playing games was really wonderful. The guy told the kid that he should spend more time playing outside and the kid basically said, "No way." I was on the guy's side. He was living it, too. Even though he was in there buying a game, he was wearing a shirt from a half-marathon. My kind of dude, except for the game part. My son spent a good bit of the evening playing his new game, but he also spent 90 minutes running around outside at soccer practice. So I'm okay with it.

Balance is good. It's when it gets totally out of balance, and you are spending 16 hours a day gaming while pretending the rest of life doesn't exist that it gets crazy and bad. I know this from personal experience.

No plans to game today. Thanks for your help with that.

wazzapp
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Ye, some ppl can do things in

Ye, some ppl can do things in moderation, drink, play games, and then let it go. I cant however :p .....

im feeling better than the previous 2 weeks, maybe from just attending a sh**-ton of NA meetings... 1-2 per day... they give me serenity somehow

 

no plans to game today

 

 

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

McPhee
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Well done!

Wazzapp, good work hitting the meetings hard. It can seem like quite an unfair imposition and burden to have to go to meetings, post here, do step-work and thought-management exercises, read helpful books, try to come up with new healthy activities and the rest of what we do here to keep from being such major screwups. However, it's really not that bad. It may help to recall that there is no guarantee that any of us will sail through life without a few challenges. And there are lots of challenges far, far worse than having a compulsion to game excessively. Just trot down to your local dialysis center if you want to see what I mean. Folks, we don't have it so bad. I have suffered a lot from this gaming illness, over a period of 25 years, but I am not complaining. I am doing okay now and it could have been a lot worse. It may get worse. But right now, I'm not gaming and have no plans to. Thanks for your help with that. I am very pleased and grateful to have a resource like Olga I can turn to, and it wouldn't work without your presence and participation. You are invaluable to me.

planner
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progress

Yesterday i was feeling down and did nothing productive then i told myself at least i have not played today. after a second i said, wait a minute did i say that i haven’t played today…. wow That Is A Great Achievement. what more progress i need than this! then i felt grateful and happy for the end of the day! 

There is a meetings going today at 3pm est time (8pm utc)..... see you there!

"Recovery is not about dealing with gaming. Recovery is about dealing with Life"

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Outstanding!

Planner, nice work! You really do have to do this one day at a time. You can't not game forever today. All you can do is not game today. You did that, so to my mind, you did perfectly. Congrats!

I will say that it's going to be a lot easier going forward if you avoid stting around doing nothing. You need to replace the bad activities with good activities. What do you like doing? What would you love to do but have never done? Come up with some kind of plan for doing it and take the first step. You don't even have to leave the house to start. Look on Meetup for a group that is connected to your activity. Check Craiglist to see if there is a cheap musical instrument you can buy to learn to play. Etc.

There is something incredibly powerful about taking that first step, no matter how small it may seem. Be careful! Don't take a step down a road you don't want to travel to the end. We are a lot like the weather. What we do today, we'll usually do tomorrow. Try to do something smart and good today and you'll be more likely to be smart and good tomorrow. Be a fool today and you'll likely waste a large part of your life as I've done. I don't recommend it.

I'm okay. No plans to game today.

wazzapp
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I dont feel as negative today

I dont feel as negative today. Feels like the cloud is parting a bit. Im not sure why. Meetings, meditation, books probably.

Yeah it feels like a stretch sometimes but i view it like "manage the insanity". These are the things that i need to do in order to feel normal, the base so to speak...

No plans to game today

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

Sven
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Reboot

I haven't been here for a while, and its time for an update.
After my relapse a couple weeks ago I spent several more weeks
agonizing about getting back into gaming, and when I finally did
relapse again, its actually been a somewhat healthy experience
as it put me back on track. I basically spend all of last
Sunday morning gaming away on my Ipad, when I realized it had
to be the most beautiful fall day this year and it became clear
to me (again) why I decided to quit in the first place and that
I don't want to waste my life in this way.

The relapse itself lasted less than a day, but I found that
those weeks in which I wasn't actually  gaming but *thinking*
about gaming qualify as a major relapse all by themself, so
I've started to count up again from day 1.

I realize that all this started because I was avoiding fun
activities lest I'm not spreading myself too thin, if you
know what I mean, but that thinking was flawed in more than one
way. Engaging in too many activities was something I feared
because it was taking away time from gaming, which I wasn't
doing anymore, but still this thought prevailed, so I wasn't
really replacing my game time with more fullfilling pastimes,
and ultimately falling back into old habits.

Day 5 and I'm feeling great.
Take care.

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Soopah

wazzapp, glad you are feeling better. Sometimes we feel bad and can't pinpoint the reason. But that's okay, I think. We don't have to have an explanation for everything. The great thing is that, with very few exceptions, the bad feelings go away as mysteriously as they came and we feel fine again. Meanwhile, we can do a lot to help the return of the good stuff -- exercise, engaging in activities we enjoy, examining whether our thoughts are contributing to the blahs, helping others, etc. Nice work!

Sven, it sounds like you have made a sizable breakthrough on understanding why you don't want to game all the time. It's often reported that people have trouble getting into activities to fill all the empty hours formerly spent gaming. I hadn't considered what you mentioned, which is that we have all this practice at  not getting into other activities so we can keep time free for gaming. That's another obstructive thought process that needs to be dismantled if we are to live fulfilling lives. Sounds like you're making great progress on it. At the very least, you've recognized it, which seems pretty big.

I am okay today. No gaming or plans to.

wazzapp
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Thank u all for being here

Thank u all for being here

no planz to game todayz

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

McPhee
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Onward through the fog

No plans to game today. Thanks for all for your help with that.

McPhee
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All well

A normal Monday. Much work to get started on. No plans to game.

wazzapp
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Today i was feeling really

Today i was feeling really miserable

Then i admitted my insanity (step 2) and started talking to myself in a more caring, more forgiving and friendly-tone. It helped a lot =)

see u later!

no plans to game today

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

wazzapp
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The self-pity is strong in me

The self-pity is strong in me...

Meetings, meditation, calling sponsor, working the steps is the solution

no plans to game today

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

McPhee
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Watch out!

wazzapp, self-pity can be a real trigger for urges to game. I try to stay alert for any signs of self-pity. Two approaches that help me out:

1) Try to keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. This is from a song by Ray Wiley Hubbard called "Mother Blues." The song is about the life of a rock musician, which is not relevant to our discussion. But the last line describes the above philosophy, which I think is a good one. If you can just visualize a balance beam like a cartoon scale for weighing things, and concentrate on being grateful and reducing expectations until the gratitude side is slightly higher than the expectations side, you will likely experience a surge of relief. It works for me, anyway.

2) I have found volunteering and working with the less fortunate helps me avoid self-pity. For a few years I delivered food for Meals on Wheels every week, bring hot lunches to elderly and sick people who were unable to fetch and prepare their own groceries. That helped a lot. More recently, I got a  job working for an ambulance company. Mostly what I do there is take sick people from hospitals to nursing homes, dialysis appointment, radiation treatments, hospices, etc. This makes it very clear to me that I don't have it so bad. It is like a vaccination against self-pity.

Having a problem with excessive computer gaming is a pretty minor issue, compared to what you could be dealing with. So let's pick ourselves up and deal with it.

No plans to game today.

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