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Everything posted by dwalk77

  1. Wanted to give an update.. In short, the last few weeks there hasn't been much change. There are 2 "moves" I'd say I made, which were going to a meeting and getting rid of my television. But those haven't given the results I need. I've still been spending a crazy amount of time numbing out in front of my computer. I'm seriously considering getting rid of my PC entirely. I've tried some things, to limit my screen time and my exposure to those bad sites. But it seems inevitable, it ends up right back in my bedroom, me spending loads of hours playing games, watching games, or browsing porn. The bottom line: what I've been trying hasn't been working. I go to counseling tonight so it'd be good to talk over this with him.
  2. Welcome! Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you've already taken a few steps in the right direction, keep it up!
  3. Thanks for the input guys. Still debating on what I'm going to do, but there's some good ideas in here.
  4. I know this may sound a little extreme, but I'm considering ditching my personal computer because I'm so damned attached to the thing. Does anyone else have experience with this or have any thoughts on it? It's sort of tricky b/c I use it for things other than entertainment too, but I've been thinking about it and....I don't use it for work, I'm not in school, and I'd say at least 90% of my time on it is used for entertainment. I'm thinking for those "computer things" I could either use my phone or go to a library. I know that getting rid of my computer isn't going to solve my problems, but I also feel like it's a step in the right direction, and it could make change easier. I fully expect it to be a pain in the butt and inconvenient, especially at first, but if it helps me to change to a better person I think it'd be worth it.
  5. Warning - this is going to be a long post, and I don’t expect anyone to read through all of it. But I’ve found that writing on this site, with the possibility of others reading it, drives me to write more and think more about what I’m writing. And I like to write. Basically wanted to get caught up after my vacation. The New Year is here. Yesterday was my first day returning to work after a 2-week break . No surprise, but I pushed the limits the night before my first day back. I went to bed well beyond “bed time”. It wasn’t gaming or even watching gaming. It was the Internet. Youtube. I found a musically talented guy, and I just couldn’t freaking stop watching his videos. I paid the price and got about 4 hours of sleep. Four hours isn’t going to cut it. Not sustainable. I’m thankful to be back in the routine of work though. Sometimes work is boring, sometimes it’s stressful. But I realize I need that structure in my life. I can’t rely on myself to create that structure. In my 2 weeks off, there basically was no structure. I developed habits of going to bed late and sleeping in. I overate and overdrank. I had lots of energy drinks. I completely indulged in my porn/sex addiction. And I spent more time in isolation within that period than I have in quite some time. There was a 4-day period in which I basically had 0 interactions with other people (I say basically b/c I went out to get some food and maybe talked to my roommate for a couple minutes). I also made up a lie about feeling sick so I could skip out on family Christmas on my Mom’s side. She has a big family, and it felt like too much mental effort to see everyone. I barely wanted to see anybody, much less 20 people. I don’t like parties in my current state of mind. Too much conversing, I’m not good at it. And it just seems boring. It doesn’t give the same mental hits that I get from this other entertainment I’ve been immersed in. So what did I do during that 4-day period? Watching stuff, mostly watching gaming. It does seem kind of funny that I’m seeing talking to people sounds “boring” when I’m choosing instead to sit in a recliner in front of a TV all day. The break wasn’t ALL bad though. The beginning of the break was much better, where I did spend time with family. And I did have fun with them. We played some games, we shared some great food, we watched some good entertainment. And I’m grateful for that. But about half the break, especially the last part…was just not good at all. I knew going into this period I wasn’t going to “work” at being better. I left myself open to indulging in whatever I felt like doing. And what did that end up looking like? Well, to be honest, self-destruction. Yeah, it felt good, being comfortable in my cave, watching all the porn and video games I wanted, having some delicious food, caffeine for some energy, alcohol to give me that buzz. It felt damn good . That “cozy” feeling of being comfortable, intensified by that cold weather. But…that feeling…it’s not deep. It’s fleeting. There is no intimacy there. And I need intimacy in my life. I’ve tried and tried to numb my self to that, but isolation doesn’t work. I could play the best games, experience the best sex with the most beautiful women, watch the best entertainment, have the best “buzz” from food or alcohol, but it’s not going to be enough. None of that will ever compare to person-to-person intimacy. What I’m saying is I need people in my life, and there’s no way around that. And that’s another crucial part of getting back to work. There’s people around me. We socialize 5 days of the week. We all need to make a living, so it’s not “optional” to come here. I can’t just “bail” on work. Well, that’s my rambling for now.. What’s next? Getting back into the work routine is a start. It’s going to force me to be around people more often, and not be in front of my own tv/monitor. Other items are getting my sleep schedule back, to where I’m in bed by 11 and waking up before 7 most days, limiting the caffeine to one coffee a day, and phasing that out to 0., and moving my computer back to the living room. It doesn’t guarantee I’ll stop looking at porn or watch gaming, but it’s going to help, it’s going to encourage me to make other moves. Counseling ramps back up next week. That’s a start too, checking in with someone on a weekly basis. But that’s just what it is, a start. I’ll need to get to some meetings. I think that’s where it really starts. Talking with other guys going through the same things, other guys that have actually had success. To be honest, I’m feeling a lack of hope now, and I have for months. I feel like I’m fighting a culture that I can’t get away from, that I don’t agree with, but still pulls me in time after time, and I end up wasting my life. The last 15 years…how much time have I wasted on porn and video games? It’s insane. And I think I should grieve for that time lost. But there’s a difference between grieving and dwelling. I’ve also got to move on and focus on what’s ahead of me, which is much, much more important, and actually within my control! I can’t change the past, no matter how much I think about it. So next steps: keep up with work, counseling on Tuesday, and get my butt to a meeting by end of next week. Sorry for the unusually long post, but it feels good to write all that out. And if you did read this, I appreciate it, and good luck in your journeys as well.
  6. Today is my first day of my vacation break from work. I have exactly 2 weeks off. I've been racking my brain about what to play and if to play something. I just went to Steam. I couldn't get into the game that I played most recently. Just feel burned out on it, I'm over it. I thought about playing one of my favorite older games....but it's the same thing. I'm over it. There's no "fresh" games that I really want to play right now. So I made the decision to request Steam delete my account. I believe it's a 30-day waiting period before they finalize it and I have a chance to cancel my request within that time period. But at least I've started the process. I'm tired of this unsettled feeling of wanting to play something but not finding anything. I hope deleting the account can free up my mind to doing other things that are more fruitful. I'm going on a date tonight. It's something I don't have a whole lot of experience with, and I'm not sure I'm ready. But what I've realized is since my mid 20's (I'm 34 now), it's just been a whole lot of me saying "I'm not ready, I'm not ready" but then not taking any action, and now, 10 years later, I'm still saying the same thing. In other words, I don't think I have too much to lose by putting myself out there and trying to connect with someone. And if it doesn't work, well, I'm sure there's something I can learn from it. I may watch some gaming over the break. But as of now...I don't think I'm going to play. And when the New Year hits...I want to let go of all of it completely
  7. Welcome to the community, thanks for sharing your story.
  8. I'm glad to say that I did not dive into playing any games the day of that last post, and haven't been gaming since then. Yes, I have been watching...but that's not the same as gaming. I'm basically at the same place I was last time. The only thing that's changed is I'm closer to this 2-week break I get from work. My break starts this Thursday. The situation is: (a) I want to lose myself in a good game over the break, and (b) There's only one game I really want to play, and my PC isn't powerful enough to handle it. It's so ironic to me that I've spent so much time gaming this year, and now for the first time that I'm going to have a chunk of planned time off, I don't know what to play. The games I've played earlier in the year I just feel burned out on. So I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I at least wanted to post on here. There was one game I was planning on playing, but now that I've had a few weeks without it, I'm really not pulled to that game at all. I've already put over 300 hours into that game. I don't see myself enjoying a new playthrough of it. It's lost its luster. This other game that I want...Well, in my stubbornness, I've looked up how to install graphic cards on my PC and done some research about how much a new PC w/ a graphics card would cost. But I can't get myself to follow through with those ideas b/c it just seems ridiculous to put that much effort into something for one game and just a few weeks of entertainment. After all, the end goal here is to get OFF of games. Upgrading my computer is taking me in the opposite direction of that. As of now...I'm just leaning towards finishing out this streamer's playthrough of this game on Youtube, and maybe I can move on with my life after that. But it is concerning, how much I've been fighting the idea of upgrading or finding something to play. Regardless of what I do, I will be with some family over the break, and I should try to soak that in and enjoy it.
  9. Just wanted to do a quick update since my last post a few days ago. It's Sunday afternoon now, and I did not game this weekend, but I did watch a lot of gaming. It's not a shock, but I've gradually had an increased desire to play the game I've been watching. This has not been a quick playthrough to watch. I've been watching recorded uploads on Youtube from a streamer. He has about 110 hours or material uploaded, just for this game, and I've watched about 40 hours of it over the past week. At first I had no interest in playing the game and was content watching, for multiple reasons (time, mental effort learning a new game, a lot of the game is already spoiled by me watching it, and this is a (complex) PC game when I'm not a good PC gamer), but today was the strongest urge I've felt so far. I actually went to Steam to browse for the game, but then I saw it's going for 45 bucks, and that gave me pause. Not sure what to do now, but I just wanted to take a minute, pause, and air things out. If I bought this game, I could reallllly lose myself, and I have no idea when I would come back from it. I actually learned that from the last game I bought. I spent a ton more time on it than I expected. So it seems clear -- best case scenario is that I don't play OR watch the game. But if I'm going to succumb to one or the other.. playing the game is going to take me down a much, much deeper hole to get out of. I think it's worth going over the arguments for not playing the game: As I just said, it's $45. Yeah, that's not chump change. That's enough to where if I buy it and I'm not committed to playing it I'm going to be kicking myself. And right now I definitely don't feel "committed" to this game by any means, I feel very wavering about if I should play it at all I don't have time. I've read it takes the average player 80 hours to get through this game. Yes, I have 2 weeks off of work at the end of this month, but all of those days aren't completely to myself. I have obligations with family. It's really more like 6 or 7 unplanned days in that timeframe. And 80 hours over a week is definitely cramming. I could easily see myself still immersed in the game when it's time to get back to work, and that's a horrible way to start the new year and getting back into my job. I'd much rather come back to my job feeling "refreshed" than attached to something. Learning a new game, especially a complex one, is mentally exhausting. It's intense. The stress is higher, the frustration is higher. It takes so much longer to progress b/c there's so much more to get hung up on. I could see myself spending a few hours trying to find out how to do something the right way or going back to make up for something I didn't know. And my personality, being a completionist/perfectionist -- it means even MORE time to get things right. The story and experience is already spoiled, at least for the first 1/3 of the game. I've been watching this other guy play it. That's one of the huge appeals of this game, is the story development. That first 30-40 hours....is going to be dulled a ton b/c I've already seen it all and know exactly what to expect. I can finish out watching this playthrough and get a similar satisfaction out of it. No, it's not the same as playing. But it saves a bunch of time and frustration. So no, it's not the right decision to play this game, or any game for that matter right now. It's Sunday afternoon, I've got a full work week that begins tomorrow. Keep myself busy in other ways for the next 6 or 7 hours..
  10. I don't have a whole lot to post since my last update. It's not been a great period for me. Thanksgiving was a good break b/c I chose to spend time with family rather than game some more. But after the break, I got right back into watching a lot of gaming on Youtube. I have a few weeks off work at the end of this month, and at this point it's hard for me to imagine not being involved with gaming within that period. I tend to have a hard time with self-discipline this time of the year, and I don't see this year being any different. But I thought it'd be better to post on here than not say anything at all. Hope everyone has a good Christmas break.
  11. Going to post on here even though I don't want to.. Following up on my 2 goals above -- I did not accomplish 1 (counseling). I did accomplish 2 (going to work). I believe it's 11 days in a row that I've played this game. Surprisingly, I've managed to keep a sort of balance between work and playing the game. Go to work during the day. Play the game at night. Last weekend I lied so I could play the game some more. I had an outing planned with some friends but made up something. It still wasn't enough. In short, the game is bigger than I anticipated and I learned a lot of things I did inefficiently so I wanted to restart a game. I feel exactly the same way I did in the last post: I wish I could have a week or two off and do nothing but savor this game. But the reality is I don't have the ability to do that and keep my job. The timing of this does seem a bit unfortunate b/c I actually do have a few weeks off from work at the end of December. But for me in my "gaming mindset", that seems ages away from now and I hope to God I'm over this game by then. I have plans this weekend to see some family. My brothers are coming in from California along with my niece. So this is a social engagement I really don't feel alright with missing. But again, the timing seems terrible b/c I really want more time with the game this weekend and think I could make some good headway towards getting done with it. Not just that, but there's nothing like pulling up a game on a Saturday morning when you know you've got the next 2 days free from any worries of work. I think the common theme here is "me, me, me, me". For the short term, I think the plan is to see my family this weekend (drop the game) and go to counseling on Tuesday. But as far as the game goes, I don't see myself putting this down for good until I really explore and conquer this map I'm on. Realistically I think that could be done in another..30 hours or so..maybe grind through the same schedule next week and finish it out next weekend? That seems to be best case scenario for me. I really hope this doesn't burn me though and I miss another work day unexpectedly. Feel like I'm playing with fire here..
  12. Well, I made it 38 days.. Then this weekend things came unraveled. Old habits came back in a fierce way. A familiar setup got me back into gaming..I was hungover on a Saturday morning. Didn't have any plans. Didn't "feel" like connecting with anyone or working on recovery. Bored with lots of time. So predictably, I went back to gaming. Gaming is an excellent way to kill time. I hesitated for the reasons mentioned in my last post. There was a barrier there by having so much time away from the gaming. But ultimately, the desire for gaming won me over. There were a couple games I wanted to play. I went with one that's a little more "happier" and I never really got the hang of. Well, as may have been predicted, I didn't just jump in and jump out. I only wanted to kill the time for a few days over the weekend. But Sunday night came around and I was still playing the game, playing around with stuff. I texted into work Monday morning so I could keep playing. And last night, it was past 1 a.m., a few hours past my bed time, and I was still at it. There were a few times during the weekend that I said I was done. I felt like the game was getting too tedious and I didn't feel like learning more, and I was annoyed at how some things in the game didn't make sense or at how difficult it was. But after a few hours off, I always came back to it. That's where I'm at now. Thankfully I came into work today. I really want to play the game for like a few weeks straight and then move on with my life, but the reality of the situation is holding my job is much more important than mastering this game. The game is just going to bring temporary pleasure and excitement. Having a job gives me purpose, structure, offers connections with other people, an income to eat and have shelter for, and long-term, the ability to provide for a girlfriend. And I can't do both. I can't game and work a full-time job at the same time. Maybe some people can balance it out, work during the day, game at night. But I'm an addict. The gaming side takes over and I suffer at my job for that. I have counseling tonight. The desire for the game is very, very strong, but I at least wanted to post on here and get outside of my own head a bit. I'm thankful for this forum and being able to relate to other people in the same boat as me. I think it's a good idea for me to change counseling from biweekly to weekly until I get things more straightened out and at least get 30 days away from both lust and gaming. It would have been really good for me to check in with someone last week about how my life is going, and counseling seems to be my easiest path to doing that. That's my update for now. Only 2 near-term goals, which are very important: Show up to counseling tonight and be honest and open Go to work the rest of this week (Wed, Thurs, Fri)
  13. Day 33 Well, things can turn quickly, and they have. Things went off the rails yesterday with my other issue. I touched on it in my last post, how lust and this are tied together. Well, I'll just say things got out of hand with the lust last night, and today I don't feel like doing much at all. I'm tired of fighting and trying so hard to be better. And when I don't feel like doing much at all...suddenly gaming comes back into the picture. I was on the edge of getting back into gaming today. Felt really pulled towards it, b/c I wanted to numb myself out to what happened last night and help the time go by. I've held off for a few reasons: One of the barriers I instilled previously is working. I deleted my Steam account. Which means for me to play one of the games I want, I'm going to have to create a new Steam account and buy the game again. Which isn't that hard if I really want to play. But it's still an obstacle, and I don't really want to play. So it worked. I'm on day 33 man. I don't want to lose this streak. I remember what it was like, bingeing on gaming. It never works out that I just go back in for "one day" or "one map" and then I quit it clean. If I break down for gaming, there's no guarantee of when I'll get off of it again The game that I wanted to play...is the game I never figured out. And I accept that it's just too much of a game for me to want to get into. I have the responsibility of a full-time job. I don't have the time to just sit and play a game non-stop for several days to figure this game out. And I don't want to. One way of saying it is the game's not "polished" enough for me to like it. Another is it's just too complex and hard for my liking. And I'm okay with that. The other option would be to watch some streamers on Twitch -- but that still goes to point 2 above. And...Twitch has led to me playing many times. Don't want to go down that road. So I think I'll watch a movie later. Just trying to hold myself over until work tomorrow..
  14. Day 32 Wow, I'm past 30 days. I still have had one game come to mind from time to time, especially over the weekends, but the idea eventually passes as long as I keep moving along and find something else to keep myself busy. For example - I made plans to go with my roommate to a church event today. It's a Saturday. I started thinking "Man, it would also be cool to hole myself up in the room the entire day and play this game. That would be really enjoyable." But in just a few hours, we'll actually be at the event, and that thought is going to be completely out of my mind, long gone. I've also gone to a few support groups lately, regarding another issue. I won't say I'm thrilled to be going there, but I also think it's crucial that I commit to one of those groups at minimum once a week. I've learned that my issues with lust and video games are integrated. If one isn't going well, chances are, the other is going to come up soon enough too. I cooked the other night, which for me, is something I basically never do and outside my comfort zone. I hope to continue that. It felt really good to cook for myself and not resort to the fast food I usually eat. That basically sums things up for now. Will post again later..
  15. Day 19 Almost to 3 weeks, and it feels awesome! Things haven't been perfect, but it's definitely been better. That binge lifestyle of hanging out in my room for entire weekends hasn't been there. It's easy for me to forget how it was, and that's why I think it's important to write on here. I've done a few things outside my comfort zone the last few weeks. I went to church in the morning before work a few weeks. I dressed up for church/work. My roommate threw a party at our house, and rather than try to run from it, I hung around and socialized. This weekend I went to a fundraiser event where we had dinner and danced. After a long stint without social media, I got Facebook and also tried out a dating app. I avoided it for so long b/c I REALLY liked not being attached to it. Not having it meant it was something I didn't have to fight. I have a history of being oversensitive to this sort of stuff. But, in the end, I decided it's time to change things up. I'm single and I'm not getting any younger. This technology can be a good way for me to connect with other people and see what's going on in the community. I still plan to limit my usage. I did have some ideas this morning of the last game I played. I never mastered that game, and that still irks me a bit. And I feel like it was a great game. But it was also massively time consuming, and I have to say it's been so much better not feeling that enormous pull to the game when it was affecting me negatively in ways such as sleep and work. Just gotta keep in mind that weekends are tough, especially if I don't have anything scheduled out. Seems I've really had a tough time on Sundays particularly. That's about it for now.
  16. Day 8 I've stayed clear of the gaming stuff for a week, so that's great. I've had some ideas of going back to the last game I played, but they haven't been strong enough to pull me in. I went to church a couple times last week as well as a support group. Sunday night I fell back into some poor choices, but thankfully I bounced back on Monday. I was listening to the rules of St. Ignatius, and the 5th rule really struck me. Basically says be firm in your spiritual resolutions. Stick with what you planned. You're not going to want to do it, but man, life is so much better if you do. Been trying to pray more. One day at a time. Having days without plans is risky. Plan something, even if it's just taking a walk, watching a film, or reading for half an hour.
  17. Day 1 I finally feel like I actually have a resolve to stop playing and watching games. Yesterday I was in a low place. I texted in to work. I stayed home and watched a streamer play a game for around 14 hours or so. It's a little insane to think how I could spend 14 hours of my day watching someone playing a game, or playing a game. I've been doing that a lot though. I feel pain (not physical pain), but I can't put my finger on what it is. And when I spend an entire day around gaming, it pushes that pain away, but not for good. Once I get to bed, my brain instantly goes to things other than the game. I think it's a sign that gaming is not all that fulfilling. I went to work today and it was a completely different feel. I'm thankful I had the resilience to get back in there. It's not an easy place to go to, but I just feel better about myself if I do what I'm supposed to be doing, and showing up to work is one of those things. This all started when I had a stretch of days alone at my Mom's house weeks ago. I had no idea the effects would last this long. That's something to remember. I still have so long to go, but I've done this before, and I believe I can do it again. I moved my computer and tv back into the living room, which is a good start. This weekend is going to be a big challenge. One day at a time..
  18. Been a week since my last post. I can't say a whole lot has changed, but I wanted to go ahead and post on here anyways. I hadn't made a firm resolution to stop. I did the same thing again this weekend. I took a day off on Friday and made it a 3-day weekend so I play the game some more. I wanted to master the game more. I wanted to beat that last map more than just once and prove that I had it figured out. And rolling a new map (each map is unique) has a certain thrill with it, especially getting a "good" map and being able to set things up just how I like. Well, I did what I wanted. I beat that last level 3 more times over the weekend. I played Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and watched lots of streams in my other waking hours. I'm not sure what I'm doing at this point. It still doesn't feel like closure. Even with back to back 3-day weekends, it still didn't feel like enough time. In both cases, I was pushing past my bed time Sunday night, still involved with gaming and watching streams. I still envision rolling a perfect map, set up just the way I want it. And...while watching other streamers I saw another, completely different game I'm intrigued about. So just by dipping my toe in the water of the streaming world, I feel I'm now battling the desire to play something I didn't even know about a few days ago. Because I could definitely see myself sinking a lot of time in this other game as well. Not sure where to go from here. The only thing in the near future I have to pull myself away from these games is work this week and a volleyball league in a few days..
  19. I'm going to post even though I don't want to.. In my previous post I still had plans to game. I knew I didn't feel done yet. I had one last level I wanted to beat. I actually took this past Friday off from work so I could get back at the game and focus on it. This was actually a planned day off from work so it felt much better, rather than me texting in at the last minute. My favorite time to game is in the morning, that's when my brain seems to be the most rested and adept. I don't like playing at night b/c there's that impending doom feeling that either I'm about to have to go to bed or I should already be in bed. So I had a 3-day weekend to get in all the gaming I want, get it "out of my system". Well, I beat the level. I beat it Saturday morning. But guess what? I went back to the game after that. I still had a lot of weekend left and I just didn't want to let go of the game yet. I re-played the level and lost. And then I lost again. And again. I was starting to think me winning the one time was a fluke, an anomaly. Me being stubborn, I really wanted to figure this out and show I had mastered this. It's not like I was playing on the toughest difficulty or anything. I ended up playing the game through Saturday and Sunday night. Between Saturday and Sunday it was more of me either playing or watching the game more than 12 hours a day. It was an absolute binge this weekend. And it still feels unresolved. I never got a 2nd win on this last level, which nags at me. Now it's back to the work week for me today. I won't have another day off for another 5 days. I could play after work this week, but it just doesn't feel the same. I feel very conflicted right now. I want to play the game some more but I want to leave it. Just being honest, that's where I'm at..
  20. It's been a while, too long. I think it'd be good for me to post on here once a week. Coming here helps remind me the impact gaming has had on my life. I made it about 80 days, which was awesome. It was actually getting easier. I absolutely dove into disc golf. I was playing and practicing multiple times a week. I actually got too far into it, to where I was obsessing about which discs to get (there are a lot of options) and would look at forums online at work. That being said, it was a way healthier obsession than video games. Getting outside, being physical, and sometimes playing with friends too -- all way better than gaming. So much more real. I was still struggling with my other issue, but I've kept with the counseling. But then I had a weekend where I agreed to do some dog-sitting at my Mom's house while she was out of town. I love going out there b/c she's got lots of land and space. There aren't even any neighbors to speak of. It's quiet, isolated. A much different place from where I usually live, where the houses are packed together. And I love the dogs too. It's a beautiful place to watch the sunset and maybe have a beer and a cigar too. Well, the downside is I feel a certain comfort there that I feel nowhere else. Which means I don't really push myself. There's a tendency for me to fall into whatever feels good. This is where porn and video games started in my life. I know I bring them up together, but both of them came into my life at an early age, around 12 or so, and they both impacted my life in a major negative way. So that's basically what happened over the weekend. I had time to kill, I was alone, and I did what felt good, regardless of the negative consequences and risk they could bring. That included video games. I created a Steam account and played a game I haven't played for almost 3 months. I played one "map" in the game, beginning on Saturday afternoon and finishing it Sunday afternoon. Maybe about 8 hours between the 2 days. Then I uninstalled Steam and requested this new account be deleted. I wasn't done there though. I watched some streamers play the same game later that night. The next morning I texted into work, and watched more streamers. I watched about 8 hours of streamers within the 2 days. The next day my Mom came back and I went back to my house. I thought I was done at that point, time to start fresh. Back to living with roommates, back to work, already started the process of deleting my account; the circumstances weren't as favorable to me gaming more. I almost posted on here. I wish I would have. I made it 4 days without. Gaming was barely on my mind. I went to counseling, and even to a support group. Things were looking up. But Friday I had some drinks with some friends. Saturday morning I was a bit hungover and tired -- that's a recipe for gaming. I cancelled my plans of going to another support group and church later. And then I remembered I still have a Steam account with the game. I could play some more maps in the game. And I did. I went on a binge this last weekend, and it was much more severe than the previous weekend. Between Saturday and Sunday, I played the game at least 12 hours a day. The weekend wasn't enough though. There was one more "level" that I wanted to get through, but it's the hardest one. Thank God I made it to work yesterday, but I went straight back to the game and that last level after work. And I failed at it, again and again and again. I didn't want to post on here yet b/c I'm basically set in my mind that I'm going to play this game until I beat this last level, and I'd rather post on here when I'm committed to stop for good. But I figured it's better to go ahead and get current and reflect. I know that I don't need to beat this game, that I'd be better off not being a "completionist" in this case. But I just don't feel I can stop at this point. So the plan is to hopefully beat this last map within the next few days and move on with my life. I've got to go to work this week, it's not optional. After I beat that level, leave the games and the streams behind, like I was doing before. Sorry for the long post -- that's what happens when I haven't in multiple months! Thanks for reading if you made it this far..
  21. Day 41 I want to be honest and say from the start that I did play a video game last weekend, but I'm not restarting my days. Here's why: I do think, with this particular count, the circumstance does matter. This isn't like porn, which I believe is objectively immoral in its own right. No, I don't believe it's "wrong" to simply play a video game, assuming the game itself is wholesome. If I'm too hard on myself about this, I could make myself believe I'm doing worse than I really am and I'm not making progress. The term "scrupulous" comes to mind -- in my religion, it usually brings a negative connotation with it. Here's what happened, and then I'll move on. I was at my Mom's house for the weekend. I was sick. I had time to kill, gaming was not going to take me away from any sort of previous obligations or commitments. I spent a good chunk of the weekend watching a Major golf tournament, the U.S. Open. As part of the golf experience, I pulled out one of our old PS2's with a Tiger Woods' game and played a few rounds on Saturday. This amounted to maybe 1 hour of play. After I was done, I put everything back up and moved on. There were a few factors that make me believe I was never in real danger of going into the deep end and completely losing myself: 1. This was an old game (2003 Tiger Woods, over 15 years old) -- the graphics by today's standards were atrocious. 2. It's a sports game. From my previous experience, I never had much of an issue limiting my time spent on sports games. It was the role playing games that I really lost myself in. 3. I actually found the game itself to be pretty boring once I started playing a few holes. An interesting question though: What would consist of me needing to reset my days? As mentioned above, if it took me away from some sort of commitment (i.e., going to church, going to work). Spending 5 or more hours in one day playing, especially alone. Playing 3 or more days consecutively. In my case, watching an online stream or recorded video for more than 2 hours. Those seem like pretty clear guidelines that I could use for future reference. Moving on.. I feel alright about other things in my life. Not great, but alright. Here's an update on some stuff: Been continuing counseling, which I see myself doing for a long time to come. I think it's good b/c it gets me out of my own head and it provides a place for me to check in with my challenges and goals on a regular basis. It's accountability. One of the key things he pointed out is my mind is likely attached to a sense of "excitement", which can sometimes lead me away from doing the right thing. For example, I remember I skipped a good amount of classes in college. There was this initial rush I got when my mind flipped from "I'm going to class" to "I'm not going to class and I'm going to do X instead." I need to work on steadying my mind and keep my resolve. Keep the body moving towards the goal, even if the mind is resisting. Eventually it won't be a deal anymore. A huge goal of mine has been to either get to confession or go to a support group. Well, I've attempted to do both within the last few weeks. One time it was cancelled and another time it was moved to another location without my knowledge (that can happen if you don't show up regularly). I think my initial response to have self-pity when I finally made an effort to pursue these things and it didn't go the way I foresaw it. Like I felt abandoned and that something beyond me was going against me. But after some more reflection, I realized that if I had been working harder previously on maintaining some connections within those groups -- I likely would have avoided all that pain in the first place. So the plan is to just keep at it. I've shown I can go to those things, build on that. And I also made a call to a guy from one of the groups. Have continued playing disc golf and volleyball. It's getting unpleasantly hot here, but hasn't stopped me from getting out and taking advantage of the longer days. A guy from work asked me to sign up for a workout program that starts in a few weeks. I'm nervous as hell, especially about how out of shape I am and how hard this is going to be, but I'm also excited about the potential of getting fit and losing weight. It felt like an opportunity to build something with a workout buddy, and I hope it works out. It's been really nice not dealing with gaming. Pushing for 50 days now..
  22. Day 30 It's been quite some time since I've posted on here. I haven't been gaming or watching Twitch, so that's a big plus. I can't really point to a specific day when it happened. I wish I would have tracked when i stopped so I could know how many days, but I'm not sure it matters that much. I know at the end of April, I had deleted all my Steam accounts (yes, I had 3 of them). I may have stopped since the last post. I'm just going to say it's been about 30 days. Here's some updates: I've been seeing a counselor. I believe I've seen him 2 sessions and today is the third. I didn't exactly expect him to turn my life around in a short period, but I do find myself relying on him mentally from time to time. For example, when I'm getting really down on myself about not doing something I feel like I should, I think "That's something I can check in with my counselor." I've come full circle about seeing a counselor. I used to think he was basically just a stepping stone for me to get help with going to 12-step groups and it was better for me to be putting that money towards debt than on sessions, but I've come to realize my life is better and has more accountability if I'm seeing a counselor. Period. I started a new job about 3 weeks ago. It's been completely different than my last one. I felt overloaded with work in my previous role and had a lot of hard deadlines to meet. But there was structure and, for the most part, I knew what I was doing and how to do it. In this new role, my manager has been very hands off. There's basically been 0 training, a lot of me learning on my own. It's up to me to approach him for work and guidance. The expectations of what I produce haven't been very clear or detailed. It seems a lot more laid back, but I also have a fear that I'm not really contributing much, b/c it is a lot of new things for me to learn about. Just have to take it one day at a time I suppose and build on my knowledge as time goes on. At the very least, it's been nice to be able to breathe and not be as stressed about my workload As I mentioned, it's probably been at least 30 days without gaming or watching streams. This has certainly been a positive change, probably more than I give credit for. Over the last few weeks, I've spent more time reading, writing, and meditating. I've basically been obsessed with the sport of disc golf, which I think is overall a wonderful thing. I'm so grateful to have that as a hobby. It's so much better than gaming or porn. I'm not nearly as afraid to "lose myself" in something like that as I am those other things. My other addiction has been going terribly. It's affected me significantly financially. I could have made much more headway in my debt so far this year if I was putting in the work for healing from this addiction. It is the hardest thing I've had in my entire life. I feel disheartened sometimes and that I'm not actually making any progress at all. I'm concerned about my future, especially financially, but also that I'll never be able to attract the right woman for me. I have to try to stay positive. Starting to see a counselor was a good step. Stick with it. Last week I drove to go to confession, which historically has been a really positive experience for me. It turned out to be cancelled, but still, I made the effort and took the action. Don't give up on these things. It's still been 8-10 months since I've been to a meeting, but there's no good reason why I can't go in the very near future. My goal is to post on here once a week, probably on Sundays, so hopefully I'll be checking again soon.
  23. I guess it's been over a month since my last post -- it is amazing how time goes by. Things haven't been going so well. Today was another "work from home" day, and I've done almost 0 work. I was sick yesterday and didn't make it in either. So after a solid week of hard work last week, I'm dreading tomorrow and the rest of this week b/c I've dug myself in a hole and have a ton to do to catch up. It's so irritating to me how quickly I can lose momentum at work. If I take a few days off, I get way behind. And it's not just easy stuff with simple solutions. So that's one negative aspect of my life - the stress and tension I feel about work. As far as gaming, I've been watching Twitch regularly. There's a particular streamer that I keep coming back to. It's hard to explain why b/c I've seen him play the game so much that it's lost it's luster. Yet, I continue to be drawn to watching him play. It's an amazing timekiller. I can be absolutely mindless while watching him. So those are a few negative things. But I do have a few things to build on.. I have counseling later today. I've been so tired of saying that I'm going to go to a support group and not going, that I decided to try a different approach and talk to someone 1 on 1 about it. I don't really expect him to completely turn my life around in 1 session, especially given right now, where I don't feel all that motivated and feel a lot of apathy. But I know it can't hurt. And from past experience -- talking things out with a counselor often does help me make some steps that I just couldn't do on my own. So while I'm a little concerned that I may have put too much hope into this session today and I'm also not sure how well we'll click since it is the first session, I can also already say I made a move to better myself, and I'm grateful for that I deleted my Steam accounts. Yeah, I had 3 different Steam accounts. B/c if I tried to put myself in self-exile from one, I'd just open another one. Well, all 3 are permanently deleted now. That's not going to prevent me from gaming if I want to in the future. But it is a barrier. I moved my computer out of my bedroom into my living room. There's more accountability when I have it out here. I was sick yesterday, but feeling much better today. I got to spend a lot of time over the weekend with family. Even though I haven't been consistent with it the last few days, I have a job and steady income. If I work hard the rest of the week, I'll make progress. Just need to take things one step at a time. Speaking of the job - it appears I'm going to be transferred to a different department I applied for, I'm just waiting to get the official offer. I think that would be a great move for me - starting fresh somewhere and I don't actually like what I'm doing now. I'll try to post more regularly on here. I need to stop watching Twitch if I'm going to get serious about bettering myself. Need to think about giving it up completely for a few days.
  24. Well, I successfully made it 30 days without gaming or streaming. And it felt pretty good. I didn't make the big step of getting to a support group, but I did pick up on a few good habits like reading more, actually flossing my teeth, and made an effort to see an old friend over one of the weekends. But then it all came crashing down. A few weekends ago, I was bored and thought I could get away with gaming for "just one day". As is often the case, the reality was much longer. I moved my computer back into my bedroom, which was a bad sign to begin with. It probably would have been a good idea for me to post on here before I went through with that. The rest is history. I've spent the last few weeks living like a slob, watching a ton of Twitch and playing a ton of They Are Billions. I missed work again. Decided to take last Friday off so I could binge on the game for 3 days straight. Today I "worked from home" and reinstalled Steam and the game and played again. I just lost a game. I feel frustrated, and there's a part of me that wants to master this game, especially this last "level" that is so difficult. I've beat it, but I want to be able to beat it consistently and with style. But, for now, there was a bigger part of me that wanted to say "I'm done with this game" and move on with my life. And that's why I'm posting here. I know the temptation will come back. Video games do such an amazing job of stimulating the mind and helping you escape and kill time. But the highs of gaming also comes with the inevitable lows, at least for me. The depressed thoughts, feeling of emptiness, irritation that I've pass so much of my life on this and have forgone opportunities like meeting a potential girlfriend or developing strong friendships. I'm tired of the lows. It's not worth it. So it's time to get back on the horse again. I got bucked off for the last few weeks, but it's time to keep at it.. Where I've been, what the symptoms were: Missing work without planning it, texting boss at last minute that I'm going to take the day off so I can game Moving computer back into my bedroom Eating in my room and making an effort to avoid my roommate. Piling trash in my room from fast food Watching porn basically daily Avoiding social opportunities - my Dad invited me to have lunch with him, and I declined so I could game Where to go from here (be specific): Move my computer into the living room by 10 p.m. tonight Go to a support group meeting by Saturday. 3 Things I'm grateful for: I love this time of the year. The weather is perfect. Not too hot, not too cold. And the days are getting longer again. I will be starting beach volleyball soon, a passion of mine. I have a job and an income, even with my inconsistency at work
  25. Day 29 I had my car towed to the shop this morning. On one hand, it's not how I wanted it to go down. I would have rather the car started on its own and me not have to pay the tow fee. On the other, the tow fee was less than I expected and the process was actually pretty quick and painless. Progress was made. Now I can have peace of mind my car is where it should be, at the shop, rather than sitting in a parking lot. I should hear back about the car by the end of the day. I'm hoping I can get it back within the next few days and it'll be $200 or less, but we'll see. I set a goal of working for 4 hours today. I've worked about 2 and 1/2. I had some initial motivation after getting the car done this morning, but it's sort of dissipated and I don't feel like doing any more. I feel checked out, want to put it off until tomorrow. Feeling a bit down right now, unmotivated to do anything. Being behind on work and the car in the shop contribute to the feeling. I did just do some reading of past journal entries, and I realized I haven't reached out to my ex-girlfriend in 15 months. Once I found out she got married, I never contacted her again. Some may not understand, but that's a big deal for me. I was having a real hard time keeping boundaries with her. Granted, she did the same with me, but not to the same extent, and not after a certain point. It's tough sometimes, to think back on her. I don't think the pain will truly ease until I face myself and work on some things.