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About sinirad

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  1. Welcome to the community and congrats on taking your first step. I know it's not easy to face this challenge, but you're not alone, we are all in this together!
  2. Your daily journal has been really comforting and motivating for me. I really see a lot of similarities in your story. Like you, I also have a family of gamers. My mother, siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews; family gatherings always involve party games on the Switch or the PC. It's also really hard to separate myself from the conversations about video games. Especially since we used to enjoy those conversations in the past, and now it's hard for them to understand why I'm cutting myself out. I have been trying to share other interests with my friends and family, and it was a bit of a challenge at first, but we have started to discover other similar interests that aren't related to video games. I also had to go through a video game "purge" outside of the games themselves. T-shirts, posters, memorabilia, search recommendations on my browser, songs on my playlists. Every day I seem to discover a new thing that acts as a trigger and causes a thought to enter my mind which leads to a craving. It was also hard to wrestle with my own identity as a gamer. Even now, when I think about past moments playing videos games with friends and family, the memories feel so warm and nostalgic. There's like a cognitive dissonance between the joyful memories of the past and the negative reality of the present. Congrats on sticking to it for 38 days. Keep it up!
  3. Those are some great steps that you have taken. Those small actions will have a huge impact over time. Keep at it! I know you can do it. As for hobbies, I have personally started exercising. And I specifically chose to focus on calisthenics (body weight training). I don't need a gym or any fancy equipment. If you type in calisthenics in Youtube, you can see how far calisthenics can go, not only will your body look amazing, but you'll be in great shape, and you can also perform some impressive moves. I have been following the "Reddit Recommended Routine" which is a great, easy, simple, straightforward workout routine that I think anyone can follow. I have also been focusing on flexibility exercises which have been really great for those times when I just want to take a 5-10 minute break. I follow routines from Ido Portal, and The Kneesovertoesguy (Youtube channels). The great things about those exercises is that you can also do them anywhere, they are great for your physical health, flexibility, and I also feel great after a 5 minute stretch. I have always found yoga kind of boring, but Ido Portal and The Kneesovertoesguy make stretching really fun and interesting. I really enjoy doing their exercises. If you have any questions about any of the exercises mentioned above, feel free to let me know 😄 You got this friend.
  4. Hey BooksandTrees, Congratulations on keeping this up! This is an amazing feat and a huge motivation for me. I remember we started on these forums around the same time, your story was one of the first posts that I read, and it really resonated with me. Throughout my addiction, I often thought I was the only one who had this problem, all of my friends didn't seem to have a problem with gaming. Your story really helped me a lot back in 2018. Unfortunately I kind of drifted away from the forum in 2018. I started a personal journal because I wrote about really deeply personal thoughts and feelings that I wasn't ready to share. Initially I managed to go a whole year without gaming, but I relapsed hard during the pandemic. Now I am back on the detox, and I am back on these forums. Not only am I glad to see that you're still around on these forums, but you were also able to overcome your addiction and improve your life. You are an inspiration friend! Thank you!
  5. Thank you for your kind words. I also read your introduction and I think we are both in similar situations. When I first tried to quit gaming, I also tried to switch to single player games and game in moderation. But I failed every time. I have also been gaming since I can remember, my first console was an NES, and I also had and played just about every major console that came out after that. At one point in my life, when I was struggling to find a balance between work and gaming, I often considered trying to find video game related work, so that I could mix pleasure and play, and maybe I wouldn't feel as guilty about time being wasted playing video games. But deep down inside I knew I was lying to myself, and your situation certainly confirms what I thought would happen to me. You have certainly made the right choice to quit for good. You are absolutely right about how important it is to remember that we are not alone. Sometimes I would beat myself up over my inability to moderate. It really helps to know that we are all here working together to move towards that better point in our life. We can do it!
  6. There are a lot of things you can do with a gaming PC besides gaming. I also bought a gaming PC when I was a gamer, which I now use to work online, and run my business. The nice thing about gaming PCs, is that they will also last longer before you need an upgrade. So think of it as something you can use in the long term for learning, growing, developing. Video editing is something I really enjoy as a hobby. I have made videos for friends and family for birthdays and special events. It doesn't matter if it's a super expensive PC that you use for simple tasks, the important thing is that you use it for something worthwhile. You could open up notepad and write a novel on that PC. Sure, you don't need a powerful PC to do that, but if you sell that novel for a million dollars, does it really matter? I know this is a bit of a crazy example, but it's just to put things into perspective.
  7. Hi there! I'm in the same boat as you. I also work as a freelancer and run my own business. Video games are the bane to independent work because unlike 9 to 5 jobs, we have to have the discipline to put in the time and get the work done. I also used to think in the back of my mind, that if I could just get my addiction in check, I could enjoy video games as a pastime hobby. After all, I know there are people who game casually and it isn't a problem for them, and even Elon Musk enjoys the occasional video game. But something I have realized for myself, is that I simply can't moderate, and my life is better off without it. There are people who can enjoy the occasional alcoholic drink, decadent cake, or night at the casino, and it seems to have no effect on them. And then there are others who have to completely abstain, and their lives are better off without it. Have you tried to imagine your life without video games?
  8. Hello jatinverma31, I know exactly how you feel. I actually gamed through my college and university years. I didn't fully commit myself to my studies. Often when I had tests to study for, or papers to write, I told myself I would game for "just a bit" to energize myself, and then ended up gaming for hours. I pulled a lot of all nighters because of gaming. I also did what you did. There were times when I stopped gaming, but I just watched videos, read reviews or browsed Steam, just to see what was new. But I can honestly tell you that all of these little actions have long term effects. They plant a seed in your mind, which grows into a craving. I noticed my cravings really decreased when I stopped reading, watching, or doing anything related to video games. One thing I did on Youtube was I clicked the settings button (the three dots next to the title of the video) on every single video game video, and I clicked "not interested." For certain channels that kept popping up, I clicked "don't recommend channel." I think it's better to completely eliminate any video game temptations from Youtube, and it's interesting to see what you are left with. By watching other videos, I started to discover other interesting topics and Youtube stopped recommending video game topics to me. It sounds like you are still a student and still young. I know the pressure of being a student can be really stressful, but suicide is never the answer. My grades were so bad in college, I almost didn't get in to university. It might feel like the whole world is coming to an end, but I guarantee you there is always another side to that door, there is always a quiet place after the storm. Don't give up, you can do it.
  9. Hello everyone, I’d like to introduce myself again. I originally joined this forum in 2018. The first time I posted on this forum was honestly a life changing moment for me. That first post was the catalyst to a series of small steps that would lead me to my first initial success. Video games had been a part of my life for as long as I could remember, as I grew up in a family of gamers. It took a really long time for me to realize that I was addicted, but when I finally did, and finally admitted that I was addicted (by posting on this forum), my life really did begin to change. I originally started with the 90-day detox, and succeeded. While it was a struggle at first, I started to focus more on exercise, freelancing, reading, writing, and just general personal development. My relationships improved, my health improved, life in general was more fulfilling and enjoyable. It’s amazing how getting out of video game addiction is like emerging from a fog. While I was addicted, all I could think about was video games. Time, energy, thoughts, everything was consumed by video games as I tried to squeeze in as much as I could to playing. When I finally overcame my addiction, it was like seeing the world with new eyes. Thoughts and ambitions that I’d never known I’d had, began to appear. Which led my wife and I to make the biggest decision of our lives. We decided to pack our things, and move half way across the world, (literally from North America to Asia) to start our own business in 2019. The fear and excitement were intoxicating, everything moved so fast, but with each frightening leap into the unknown, not only did we land safely, little successes came with it, and this motivated us to plunge further forward. Things were going well, and the momentum was thrilling. And then came the pandemic. I suppose this is why time and time again, we see and hear the proverb the higher you climb the harder you fall. Our business came to a complete stop, as we were unable to operate during the pandemic. At that time we had no idea what was coming next and we constantly wrestled with the ideas whether to wait it out, or call it quits. The constant waiting for the unknown became an unbearable burden on our minds. I managed to get back into freelancing so that we could maintain our income. But this is when I started to relapse. The lockdowns began to reveal underlying problems that I had refused to face. While living in another country was exciting at first, the excitement from starting our first business was masking the fact that I was terribly lonely. It’s hard to say exactly when I started to become depressed, but the lockdown forced me to come face to face with the fact that I was dealing with loneliness and depression, along with the stress of the pandemic. Unfortunately, my solution for myself at that time was to start online gaming with my old gaming group. The relief from the pain was immediate, and I tried to rationalize to myself that this was okay, but this was a false cure. I began to deliver the bare minimum to clients, and spent more and more time gaming. We had a separate quiet room where I could work online, and my wife would avoid entering in case I was speaking with a client. But this left me with more time to my own devices. Things really got out of control when my wife and I both had direct contact with someone who had had COVID. This was when Asia was dealing with the delta variant, there was a lack of vaccinations where we were, and fears were at an all time high. To make matters worse, my wife was pregnant at the time, and we both had a strong feeling that one of us was infected, but that perhaps we were asymptomatic. We were deathly afraid of my wife getting infected, so we decided to self-isolate. There was a small 3x3 meter room in the back of our house where I could isolate from my wife and we didn’t have to make any contact with each other. Since we wanted to completely eliminate the chance of my wife potentially getting infected from me, we decided to isolate for 21 days (we didn’t know what we know now about COVID!). I decided not to work during that quarantine period, and for three weeks I just gamed and slept. I had food delivered to my door, and I ate while I gamed. I never left that room, except to go to the bathroom. My friends and family were also dealing with the lockdown, so we all just allowed ourselves to get carried away with video games. It’s safe to say I was sleeping maybe 4-6 hours a day, and then the rest of the time was just spent gaming. Since I was in Asia, even when it was 3 am for me, this was just the afternoon for my friends and family in North America. The whole thing is just a blur to me now as I think about it. I don’t want to describe the games in too much detail lest I trigger someone reading this. But what was particularly addictive was that I was playing an MMO with my friends and family. I was allowing myself to get immersed in my character, the story, the lore, the world. I started to convince myself that there were elements of art to these aspects of the video games, convinced myself that these were things to be admired. Not only that, but my friends also immersed themselves in their characters, we were a guild, and we got carried away. This made it much harder to limit my gaming when our quarantine came to an end. Over the next couple of months, I just continued to do the absolute minimum when it came to work, and squeeze in as much time as I could into gaming. Flash forward to two months before today. The lockdowns had ended, lives were slowly getting back to normal. My wife and I were able to resume our business, but we still had a lot of obstacles as the threat of COVID and its effects on businesses still lingered. My wife had given birth and our child was almost a year old. Normal routines started to want to resume again, but I still couldn’t see beyond the fog of my addiction. My mind was back in that state where I could only think about video games. I no longer had the excuse of the lockdown to rationalize playing video games. My mind had also experienced what it had felt like to be addicted, get over it, and enjoy life again. But somehow, I couldn’t stop. I would game for hours and physically feel a hole of anxiety open up in my stomach and expand into my lungs, I could feel my heart pumping, a twist in my gut, my accelerated breathing, my mind telling me I need to stop, there’s so much to do, *but then I’ll just do this quest and just be over it.* During this time I also struggled with thoughts in my mind trying to rationalize video games. If they were such a problem, how would I have reached the point in my life that I am at now? I am not rich, but I also don’t really need to worry about money, and can live comfortably. I am also in complete control of my schedule, my clients are kind of like bosses, but I am also my own boss. I don’t have a traditional boss looking over me dictating what I have to do. Is my life so bad? Are video games so bad? Yes. They are. In the back of my mind there are still so many things I want to do with my life, and I know that video games are not only a fog for me, but a hungry little monster always wanting more. Another one of Cam’s videos was really an eye opener for me when he described people as moderators or abstainers. I am without a doubt an abstainer. Which has also made me realize that this is also linked to an underlying problem that I have which is sometimes when I get too focused on things I have a lot of difficulty letting go, and I can have tunnel vision on that one thing. That was beneficial when I was starting my business, but it also caused me to develop some unhealthy habits which also contributed to my relapse. Last week, I had an important presentation. I prepared for the presentation the night before with an all nighter, because I had been postponing the preparations with video games. I am someone who has kind of always gotten away with somehow delivering good results even when I procrastinated and rushed at the last minute. Except this time, I woke up, and felt like I had been hit by a truck. I couldn’t think at all. I had to cancel the presentation. What’s worse was that my wife was incredibly supportive, and said “it’s okay, you’ve been working so hard.” Right then and there I wanted to cry, I was so ashamed, disgusted, and furious with myself. Which brings me to today. I have uninstalled all my games and closed all my accounts. Here we go, again.
  10. You're absolutely right about the hard transition. I realize now that I'm going through a bit of a stressful time so the urge to game comes up even more because it's so much easier to log in and feel like I've accomplished something, only to log off and feel worse off than before, tempting me to play even more, but then hating myself even more! Causing that vicious cycle... I've also started some new types of exercise and they leave me feeling refreshed, motivated, and positive. We got this ?
  11. @Cam Adair Thanks for the motivation Cam! I'm definitely going to make an effort to post every day even if it's just a little Day 2 Leading up to introducing myself on this site, I was already feeling the empowerment of admitting I had an addiction and making the commitment to quitting video games. Day 1 came and went and I was on top of the world, reflecting, seeing clearly, on my way to detoxification! Here we are at day 2, and I've noticed how hard it is to sit with myself in silence. When I wasn't gaming, I was interacting with people at work, talking to students, spending time with my wife, exercising (while listening to video game music), and then when I had any sort of free time, my go-to activity was video games. Today I thought I would try some meditation and it was not at all easy. In the silence, I would close my eyes and get flashes of the video game which had prompted me to quit. I know this is all part of the process, and why I will need the 90 day detox to rewire my brain, but it's interesting to reflect on the fact of how uncomfortable I am with complete silence. As a teacher, I spend a lot of time grading things, correcting, and sometimes writing material. Even in those moments I would play some instrumental music, sometimes melodic rock, chillwave, or classical, but I never really do anything in silence. It's funny because sometimes a track with lyrics would come on and I would find that too distracting, but I was unable to eliminate the noise altogether and so I would play instrumental music instead, you'd think I would have stopped the music altogether! Even as I write this, I'm trying to do it without anything playing in the background and the experience is ... jarring. One of the things I'm also going to try to do going forward is continue to try to spend more time with myself in silence and let this stimulation withdrawal take its course. Now if only I could fall asleep...
  12. Gaming is why I haven't done more with my life Gaming is why I'm disappointed in myself Gaming is why I haven't learned all the skills I said would learn Gaming is why my business hasn't moved forward Gaming is why I can't write without distraction Gaming is why I can't afford to buy a house Gaming is why I can't afford to buy a car Gaming is why I haven't finished learning the languages I started learning Gaming is why I lost my athletic physique Gaming is why I feel ashamed when I look in the mirror Gaming is why I go to bed disappointed with what I had accomplished in that day Gaming will no longer ruin my life!
  13. Day 1 Here I am. My first day. I had actually stopped playing games a few days before but I didn't feel like it would really become real until I admitted to my friends and family that I had to stop gaming. Naturally, everyone was confused, it seemed like I had been able to manage a normal life and play games without a problem. But the problem was that I couldn't look in the mirror without feeling a tinge of disappointment. There are so many things I want to do with my life, but day in and day out I would get by going to work and doing my job, only to spend all my free time gaming. For a long time, I had been trying convince myself that I'd be able to play moderately, but its the games themselves that are the problem. I'm now realizing it actually doesn't matter what that magic number is of what is considered an appropriate amount of time to play games. All that time playing, is time that I could be doing something else. I really can't thank Cam enough for starting this community. I had struggled with trying to quit before and had always made a mental note that today would be the day! All my hopes and aspirations of breaking free were kept to myself and deep down inside at that time, I told myself I just needed to get it together in that moment, and then I could game again in moderation. For the first time ever I really feel empowered in my conviction to quit because it's something that I've put out there on this forum and in this universe. And it's nice to know that in this battle against our temptations, we're not alone!
  14. Hey man, I've been doing something that has worked wonders for me, and really changed the way I channel my energy and even build up negativity in general, which is something that happens less and less now as I find myself feeling less frustrated, angry, anxious, and depressed. It might work for you, it might not, but I see no harm in trying so why not give it a shot? What I'm talking about is: Writing. You might be wondering "that's it? Cam already told us to start a journal!" While I believe 100% in starting a journal on this forum, I also do some writing on the side which is just for me, and no one else. I think it's important to have a space for yourself where you can write, rant, vent, and reflect, without thinking about who's going to read this? Unlike the posts I make on this forum, when I'm writing for myself, I write by hand with a pen and paper and I let the thoughts flow from my mind to the blank page. Now there are a few writing activities that I recommend: 1) Write a freeflow journal - Anytime you're upset, or after you're upset, or you've come home from a bad day. Grab a pen and paper and write exactly how you feel. Sometimes I write the exact thoughts going through my mind like "WHAT THE HELL WAS HE THINKING!?" Sometimes I scribble in frustration, or draw little angry faces or what I think of some less than polite people. One important thing when you do this, is don't stop to think about "what" you should write, just write. Sometimes I'm thinking to myself "I really don't know how I should feel about that situation, or what to think about it but..." let yourself get into a flow, let those emotions move from your mind, to your, hand, to the blank canvas that is your page. Another rule that I have, is that you are never EVER are allowed to erase, or go back and cross something out. Why? I think this is an important part of the reflection process, sometimes I feel really bad that I thought someone was a bitch, or a jerk, and looking back at that moment a couple of days later, when I look at the page, I can see, sense, feel the anger coming out of the page, and I ask myself, why was I so angry in the first place? Sometimes I regret something I said, thought, or wrote, and I connect to my writing a couple of days later, and then I write about that, what was really going on? What was it that really upset me? From there, I could go into a whole other post about what we should do afterwards, but I think the important thing to truly understand our feelings, our energy, and where they all come from, is to transfer them outside of our body and into something physical, and for me, I can accomplish that with writing. Like I said, don't think about "what" or "how" you should write, just write! Sometimes when we confine ourselves to writing for an audience, we don't tap into how we really feel. Furthermore, when we sit down and say "I'm going to write a journal" sometimes that confines how we expect to interact with the page. But if you allow yourself to just feel and write, if you feel like spelling something incorrectly, if you feel like referring to yourself in the third person, if you feel like writing as if you're talking to the person, event, or object; just write! My second writing activity is something I've recently started doing and it to, has given me clarity and control over my emotions: 2) Personify ideas, emotions, events, or people into characters in a story. Again, this isn't for anyone else, it's just for you. I think to truly understand our feelings, we have to be able to look at them externally in some way. One way that I've been able to do that is by personifying different things and putting them into a fictional story. It doesn't matter if your story makes sense, is interesting, or if it's grammatically correct. Maybe someone said something that really ticked you off. Maybe that comment ticked you off because it represents a kind of stereotype that you're sick of hearing. Well what if that stereotype were represented by a dark wizard who slowly gains control by spreading his hatred through dark magic. How would a hero defeat this dark wizard? What if that nasty comment were personified as a vase? What would it look like? What would people say when they saw it? There is no wrong way to do this activity, forget what you learned in English class about stories that have to have a beginning, a middle, or an ending. It doesn't matter if no one else can see the connection between the thing that made you angry and what you described it as in your story. Don't even think about whether or not your writing is good or bad, just write! And again, see how you feel days after writing. Do you still feel the same a week later? A month? A year? Sometimes, having the ability look back and connect with how I felt in that moment really allows me to understand myself and what I was feeling. With that insight, I find I'm no able to identify the feelings and the energy around me in a way that I no longer feel like negativity is able to take control. Speaking of writing, I didn't mean to write a novel of a post! Hope this helps ?
  15. Hey man, Your story really resonates with me, I also started off enjoying console gaming and really lost it when I moved to online social games. Like you, I had formed a really meaningful and tight-knit community online, which was why it was so hard to turn my back on it. Years later, I always thought of "going back" to the game during tough times and I think the deceptively tempting sense of nostalgia always had an effect on me. Things were simple, fun, easily engaging, and meaningful back then, and with a present life that doesn't reflect what I want, it's so much easier to go back to those good old days. But it's a vicious cycle, because the more we try to go to back to the past, the unhappier we become in the present. I also have close friends who continue to game and I used to think I could game "moderately", but after joining this forum and watching a lot of Cam's videos, something I've realized is...even if I could game moderately, and even if others can do it, is it really going to contribute to my happiness? Moderate gaming in our lives would just be a slow drug that kills us slowly. You've definitely made the right choice by deciding to quit for good. Keep at it friend!