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Question of the Week: Have you ever tried meditation?

fawn_xoxo

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  1. You do need a plan, but you also need to realize you're still be early in this, you caught the addiction at an early stage and you can do so much because of that. At first we all feel lost, and now after almost 200 days and 175 gaming free I will tell you I'm still lost in ways, it's just I've accepted this is how things will be. We can't discover ourselves in a month, but we can try things we think we might enjoy, for a month. This will give us the knowledge of whether we do enjoy that or not. So my suggestion is, plan of things to try this summer. Try, and fail, cause failure is how we get smarter in our attempts. I have also been lazy, but the good thing is we're not defined by how we were, but by how we act in the present moment. And being hard working isn't pleasant in the present, but when you're done with a day of hard work you get this satisfaction and that's how you get nice things in life, by choosing to do the unpleasant ones first. It's all in your hands, you're young and you got a lot of time to "fail". So do it!
  2. Day 196. Days without games: 175/196 No caffeine: Day 3No sweets: Day 4Will I play today? Nooooope. I went to bed before midnight yesterday and I woke up without alarm after 7 hours. It felt right, I don't feel tired, so if it's 7 I need right now so be it! I'm still in bed though, being a little lazy. Rant: I logged on to chat a bit but instead got some messages from someone weird. This reminds me how toxic the community can be and how many people with serious issues are hiding behind screens. I don't want to be around this person cause just reading their opinions makes me negative, rolling my eyes and wanting them to just disappear from my online life because they are so selfish and want everyone to appease them. They have no idea of boundaries and they want everyone else to do things that benefit them, or they throw tantrums. I really want no contact with the person and I don't contact them myself. With that said, I can see how my urges are more like I want to be the class clown and make people laugh and I want to have fun socially, I don't like being alone for so long. But if I go outside then what will I get that won't have caffeine or sugar? So hard.
  3. Just want to share with you that I have had to deal with morning depression too and the mistake I did was counting on it feelings. If I'm feeling bad, something is wrong with me, and then I'd linger in that state of mind which was not the right approach. The right approach is what you said, we accept we have bad feelings but we make a choice to do some activity. It can actually change our feelings, whereas just staying static has zero chance to do that.
  4. You're half way in your detox almost, good job! Regarding your meals, can you plan them in advance? With everything I like to indulge in, planning is the only thing that can save me. Taking the time to consider beforehand and "force my hand" by having the right choice ready when the time comes.
  5. That's because you are in this phase that you are aware of where you are, skill wise, and you are also aware of where you want to go. To say you're not good enough is firstly vague and we should be specific when we tell ourselves things, especially bad things. Good enough.. for what? For a job? Maybe you are not up to par with those artists you admire yet. Yet. But are you better than 2 weeks ago? Because we have to be realistic and know that everyone who is at this point a leader in a field, once was a zero in that field. So remember that, and just try to find time to practice as much as you can, to earn time. If you are getting into challenging things and thus getting better learning from mistakes, you should at least tell yourself that side of the story too.
  6. Day 195.Days without games: 175/195 No caffeine: Day 2No sweets: Day 3Will I play today? Yes, 2 hours. I went to bed around midnight and set my technology aside. I read a book for ten minutes before I turned off my little light and went to sleep. I was tired and I focused on just not thinking anything at all. I focused on observing myself and refocusing on being in a mindful state without thinking anything and I fell asleep in what feels like a more natural manner. I woke up after six plus hours, but I'm not sure why. Was it my open door and my family walking around? It just so happened that I woke up at that moment. Or is it that I didn't need more sleep? I did sleep in yesterday. I don't feel like going back to sleep, but I stayed in bed for an hour so far. I guess I'm fixated on getting 8 hours, because I have it established in my mind that anything less is a problem coming from gaming. Turns out that right after that hour, I relaxed and fell asleep again till my alarm. I should practice relaxation and mindfulness more I guess, that's what's helped so far. Lying down and not thinking, that's how a normal person falls asleep I guess, and by having issues I've messed with the process. Today I intend to stay away from socializing online and just game, so that I may see what results I get on sleep, then I will abstain from both and observe what happens. So far it feels like gaming only 3 days per week has me more calm and at ease, though I'm having trouble staying away from the social aspect. So far so good, I intend to stay outdoors as much as possible today, where it's easier to not get urges to go online, cause I'm surrounded by people one way or another, real ones. Later on today: I did stay outdoors till the sun started to set and my urges to go online and socialize weren't half as bad as at home. They were like, ten? No urges to play really but it's more like I wanna do something fun while at the moment I'm going through some boring and tedious stuff. I did play 2 hours and then logged off. I feel so much better after yesterday and I have started feeling positive. What I've learned is, when you feel positive you have to continue doing what you did that made you feel this way, not feel confident and go into mistakes. That's why the 2 hours are staying as they are and I am trying to do more of outdoors activities. Also will look into mindfulness. I ate fruits today too, and mostly only ate when I needed to. No sweets, no fizzy drinks. So far so good, weight is dropping again.
  7. Day 194.Days without games: 175/194 No caffeine: Day 1No sweets: Day 2Did I play today? Yes, 2 hours as planned. I got up and wasn't rested. Then, because sleep has turned into a problem for me the last weeks, I was frustrated and focused on it too much. I couldn't sleep again. I kept at it though, I slept one hour or one hour and a half more at some point. That pushed my schedule a couple of hours further than intended, but I started working either way. I felt urges during the work hours, I felt like escaping what I am doing so that I can get online and chat with friends. I wasn't feeling the urge to game, I realized. A lot of my urges are connected to having feelings like tension and being wired. This got me thinking. And I remembered something JustTom said, about having to have 'extreme circumstances' to do well in life and I thought about it. When I was in school, my schedule was always full, because I had school in the morning and then in the afternoons I attended french and other languages classes, or was enrolled in some type of exercising hobby and such. This started around the age of 10 maximum, until then I used to do my homework right after coming home from school and then watch tv for the rest of the day till bedtime. When it was like 9 or 10 I would pick up a book (novels) and read, falling asleep while at it. When I went to college, I didn't have a schedule like that, my afternoons were all for myself and I gamed most of them till the night and then overnight too. I had no one waiting for me to achieve and on the contrary, college was bad cause professors really hated us, or so it felt for soft me back then. They were cruel, in my eyes, I wasn't enjoying it. I wasn't motivated by them, and the subject was new to me, but it wasn't stimulating. It wasn't exciting. And the situation all in all wasn't fun at all. I wasn't getting rewarded for doing homework and stuff, like in school. I wasn't special, nobody cared. But I achieved so much so smoothly in school / high school when I was socially rewarded for it. I realize that nowadays, after opening the door to gaming again I am always looking to distract myself. It's not always though, I also realize. It might be that my work (from a computer, 0 social side to it) doesn't offer me the stimuli I need. My biggest urges come not when I am working outside of the house, or with people. They don't come when I am walking and looking around my environment. I find myself having the strongest urges when I am at home, working on something that I don't like (and I have a very low tolerance for boredom sadly), and I have noticed it's not exactly the urge to game but more so to engage in the social aspect, of joking around or just talking with other gamers about the game (since that's our common ground). I am searching for an escape from my boring situation of the moment, that's what I am noticing. And somehow this makes me feel better than the previous days, because all the previous days that I felt the urges to escape my work (which I didn't do before, when online socialization wasn't an option cause I had games under ban) I compared to working without urges and I felt horrible. I felt, what the heck is wrong with me horrible, and it affected my ability to relax enough to fall asleep even. Today I didn't consume any refined sugars, I ate fruits and I didn't drink anything with caffeine in it. I did this mostly to help myself with the pent up energy and this tension and feeling wired. Now it's late at night and near my bedtime and I feel relaxed. I gamed for a couple of hours, as I had told myself I'd try to do since yesterday. I don't want to jeopardize my mood, but I'm still searching for the balance in all this. It could be the coffee, it could be the sugar, it could be my computer-based work and other duties I do via computer that don't help me release my energy and it turns into negative thinking, anxiety I'll mess up and other things. But right now, as I write this, I feel satisfied with myself and at peace with what I did today. It wasn't perfect, but it was good. I did get that extra sleep, I did stay away from sugar and caffeine as I yesterday decided to, and I did game but I don't feel the urge to game now that I've logged off the game. I don't feel the urge to socialize further either. Yesterday as I was lying in bed trying to sleep, I thought that I need to define the identity I want for myself. It might have been hard on me, trying to re-include gaming in my life, but I think what it's taught me so far is that even though I was doing the things I should be doing all these months and weeks prior, I had not established who I want to be. I didn't have defined things that resonate with me that I want to have in my every day life that will make me happy, and that's why I have urges to do this one other thing that I have seen can make me happy in the past (gaming). And so I began asking myself what are things I'd like to be, that would resonate with my values? So far I've thought of a few things. One thing I'd like is to identify as a healthy person with a fit body, capable of carrying weights for household chores and grocery shopping, capable of exploring places without getting tired and out of breath, capable of good posture. Another thing I'd like to identify as is an artist. I love artistic anything, and I am good at a lot of things art related. I am not skilled at a lot of things, but I know I have it in me, the tendency and the preference, which would make learning more in that field an easier thing. So far those are things that I could put in my schedule to make it fuller with things I care about and things that will keep me mentally participating in them when I do them. I think my urges come from having an otherwise unfitting lifestyle for myself, a lifestyle I know I adopted because of gaming and has stuck with me for all these years. So, I'd better become serious about trying new things again, force myself into some exercise situations and artistic situations, so that I may become passionate about something. I like being driven by intense emotions and passions. It makes me feel right and alive. For some reason I feel good now and I am gonna enjoy it while it lasts. Maybe it's also the reason and logic questioning I did yesterday that helped me, too. 😊
  8. Welcome to the forums! Don't worry about English, just write as you did, you're doing great. Stay focused.
  9. Day 193. I'm giving tracking here another go. Not sure what else I'll add but here goes. Days without games: 175/193 No sweets: Day 1 Did I play today? No I am feeling better already just with the decision I took. It might be the 'motivational high' of the start, but I at least feel good now. Looking back at my day, and other days that I had intense urges to game, they are blurry in my mind (except for the gaming) and I can't help but draw a parallel between my behavior and horniness. When someone is too horny and can't take their mind off sex, they might spend their day thinking about it, they might change their usual behavior so that they can get an many chances for sex as possible, might change plans in their day so that they can get a little dopamine hit, right? When in that state, maybe nothing else matters and it's urgent to the person, they really want to do the things they're thinking about. And it seems so similar a state of mind to the one of me as an addict or unhealthy gamer, if you replace the subject. Only in my case there's no natural mechanism in place to regulate it, it seems I can't have enough gaming. This is just a thought of mine, seemed funny to me. Thought to be questioned: My life is a mess and I'm out of control  What is the evidence for this thought? Irregular, little sleep since I gamed again, my emotions are all over the place, I'm anxious and stressed What is the evidence against this thought? I am doing the work I have assigned to myself per day mostly accurately (more or less I finish what I'm supposed to finish) Am I basing this thought on facts, or feelings? I am basing this thought on both. The times I went to bed are facts, and how long I slept is also a fact. But it's also my shame and anxiety that supports the thought. Is this thought black and white, when reality is more complicated? Yes. Could I be misinterpreting the evidence? Not in the specific scenario, I actually made some wrong calls about timing my gaming Am I making any assumptions? I'm assuming this is my eternal, broken state. But only a couple of weeks ago I was feeling completely different is the truth. Might other people have different interpretations of the same situation? If so, what are they? My loved ones tell me that they see me do my duties like I did before, and that it's not so dramatic, what compromises I made in order to play. Am I looking at all the evidence, or just what supports my thought? All the evidence. Could my thought be an exaggeration of what is true? Me being a loser is an exaggeration of having made some bad choices. The choices were bad for me, but they don't enclose my whole being in them. And I can choose to do differently at any point. Am I having this thought out of habit, or do the facts support it? It's ingrained in me because of how poorly I dealt with this hobby and the personal consequences I had to deal with because of it. I'm traumatized and scared by my own past, immature decisions. Did someone pass this thought or belief to me? If so, are they a reliable source? I did because I felt horrible about how I wasted my time (and more bad things) and so I attached these things to my identity as a way to.. I guess.. keep me from doing the same mistakes again..? Is my thought a likely scenario, or is it the worst casescenario? It's happened before, to be consumed by games and have no life. So it's possible but I won't let it happen. So it's not likely, and it's surely my worst nightmare to waste my life behind a computer screen.
  10. May I ask, how much does it bother you that she is like this, and does it effect you and your relationship expectations in some way?
  11. Welcome, there are people of all ages and backgrounds here. I suggest you spend some time reading any journal entries from people you might resonate with, it really helps.
  12. Day 193, later on. I am at such a loss. I know I should practice gratitude, replace my negative thoughts with realistic ones, and journal, and I know I haven't done everything in this list yet today. I have been working. But all through out the day that I spend working from my living room I feel cravings, I feel like I am missing out even though none of my friends plays during the 'working' times anyway cause obviously they are busy with other things. I feel those things intensely and I hate myself that this is what I have to deal with. It's a form of pain, and although I don't want it, I just got to talk with some old friends once more, who game as part of their killing-some-time habit, and the connection and promise of fun when we get to game together keeps me static in this place. One part of me says I should leave it all behind, since keeping the pandora's box tucked away in the basement worked great for me through time. Another part of me says this is me just avoiding doing the aforementioned work in the mental department. That part also says how other people are absolutely fine gaming a couple hours per day without having any cravings, and for some games I am the same, but for this one I keep thinking about it, thinking how I can get better at it, what combinations I can do and the like. It upsets me so much. I am writing here because I am trying to look into me and see what the hell is wrong with me, what the hell I can do to make it better. It's the way I feel and it primarily started from the cravings today. Checking whether my friends are online, checking if I have any messages, just trying to escape my work. But I wasn't trying to escape my work this way when I wasn't gaming. I was focused, much more focused, and I had gotten into a flow of appreciating all the good things I achieve every day (nothing big, but even doing the tasks I have planned out for myself and ticking things from my to do list feels good, plus all the luxuries of living in a western civilization, plus the emotional support system around me). Right now I feel like those cravings make me not enjoy life, unless it's time to game after I'm done with my tasks. I don't know if I dived into this crap too fast. Like, maybe getting triggered and getting my brain stimulated every day is just not good for me for now. I will say this, and as I write this I feel those urges metaphorically scream at me not to, but today I will not game. I want to, but the fact that I get such strong urges and really don't want to not game tells me it's unhealthy, and thus abstaining is the right decision. It will surely give me peace of mind for one, even if it hurts to want to something exciting and not doing it. But maybe I'm still sick. Because I sure don't get strong urges to avoid my work to do other distracting hobbies like series or youtube, I just do them whenever I want and then don't think about it. People who have a healthy relationship towards gaming don't have to fight urges to game, they just 'naturally' don't get that strong urges. Logic says, underneath all of this, it's all about your beliefs towards a situation. It also supports that actions are the ones which matter. And I get such strong feelings, sitting around not taking a different action, but somehow wishing that my situation, my feelings change. I am unrealistic. Gaming every day gives me anxiety/urges/negative thoughts and it's too much to handle. So today I will not game. Maybe exposure was too abrupt, or it's been too often, and I've not had the time to process things, because within 24 hours I'm back in the environment that I wasted my years in. I should check in tomorrow with how I feel after avoiding getting triggered. We'll see what I'll do with my evening since gaming is out of the options. It shouldn't be a necessity, it's not like that for a healthy and balanced person. Thank you for reading and thank you for contributing. This is really hard to go through (again). I am adding these here in case it makes it easier on my lazy self to actually copy paste and fill. The Socratic Method Thoughts are like a running dialogue in your brain. They come and go fast. So fast in fact that we rarely have the time to question them. Because our thoughts determine how we feel, and how we act, it's important to challenge any thoughts that cause us harm. Spend a moment thinking about each of the following questions and record thorough responses. Elaborate, and explain why or why not, in your responses. Thought to be questioned: What is the evidence for this thought? What is the evidence against this thought? Am I basing this thought on facts, or feelings? Is this thought black and white, when reality is more complicated? Could I be misinterpreting the evidence? Am I making any assumptions? Might other people have different interpretations of the same situation? If so, what are they? Am I looking at all the evidence, or just what supports my thought? Could my thought be an exaggeration of what is true? Am I having this thought out of habit, or do the facts support it? Did someone pass this thought or belief to me? If so, are they a reliable source? Is my thought a likely scenario, or is it the worst case scenario? from https://www.therapistaid.com/therapy-worksheets/none/adults
  13. Day 193. It's weird how my mind is stuck in certain thinking patterns, and I suffer from it. With the help of those around me, I've come to the realization that isolation because of games has left me socially scarred, full of anxieties and self doubt. Talking over my issues in detail, using their clean mind and not my overwhelmed one, I arrived to the conclusion that I can not change any of that if I don't put in work. And for the most part I've neglected doing that, I just wished the pain away. What pain? It comes from the wrong image of myself, which bashes me at every turn ever since I touched games again. There is a lot of paranoia in my thoughts, worst case scenarios that not only include myself but also other people, my love ones or just friends, online or not. And there's this ever awake voice in my head that judges everything I do, looking at me through a lens unrealistic and blurry. I'll explain soon. I have so far managed to figure out my mental problems have the following cores: One is the judge voice, the other is the voice of paranoia. The judge voice is ever present to comment on the things I do, saying that I should do things differently and that I am problematic, an addict, a loser, a person unworthy of love or good things in general, incapable in many fields.. you get it. This voice exists in most people's heads, I know, and doubts about my worth aren't uncommon when it comes to other aspects of life but this voice of mine is never more vocal than when it has to do with something that relates to gaming. How does it express itself? It talks to me, putting enormous expectations on me, sometimes standards that come from my imagination of that perfect would be like, even if I've never heard anyone do it. An example? If I stay up late gaming on a weekend, I'm still going to wake up at my usual time the next day because of my inner clock. Of course, normal people can just go back to sleep after seeing they don't have to be up yet, right? Well, not if there's a part of you that says how you messed up and can't even sleep the right way cause you're already up after four hours. That's what then puts me in a state of deep stress and also anger towards myself. Can you sleep if you feel that way? Of course not. And yet another person, even if they regret that decision cause, say, it wasn't the weekend, would just move on, sleep more or not sleep more but they'd just move with the flow, something so far made impossible for me because of that inner critic. Are you feeling bored with this task at work and get an urge to leave it for a while to play a game or two? The inner critic will then make a big deal out of it. Not if it was a tv show episode though or a YouTube video. The intense judgment targets primarily events that are tied, ironically or reasonably, to the reason behind my past self destructive behavior. My conclusion is I scared and scarred myself during those times. I have not been able to do anything about the inner critic , I've let those words get to me without evaluating their accuracy and truth, which leads me to becoming very overwhelmed with negative emotions and leads to more shame and guilt regarding any choice that isn't anti-gaming. Are you still reading? You're in for a ride. xD The voice of paranoia acts similarly but also differently to that of the inner judge. Instead of saying bad things about me, it takes any situation that I'm not 100% certain about, fears and phobias of mine, and suggests to me of a "likely" outcome. That outcome is usually the worst case scenario. Now, again, I've had those paranoid ideas in my life from time to time without gaming being part of it, when in an uncertain situation, but nothing as exaggerated and triggering as this when it's gaming related. Those worst case scenarios could be really upsetting things in situations with online friends (such as them hating me, manipulating me, being fake to me etc), really upsetting things about my identity (I'm only here for the attention, I'm doomed to an addict's life, I'm immoral, It's my fault people if people treat me certain ways) and the list goes on. So why not just walk away from it all? Well, because I realized these problematic voices that I have given so much time and space to in my mind aren't actually here only for gaming moments. Although I have made steps in expanding my social life, there were moments during which I experienced severe anxiety and panic over doom scenarios of multiple kinds, while being in company of people. I was able to hold it together, it helped that on all accounts I was in groups where I could just stay silent if I wanted to. But the point is, the false beliefs I have allowed to become established in my mind for a lot of years don't only make my life difficult in game but also in the real world. And I understand now that avoidance does relieve, but I would be no more whole without working on my inner voices telling the freaking truth. It's not easy at all. What do I have to do? I have to do work. I have to take time out of my schedule every day to use the Socratic method on the anti-affirmations that so naturally come to me. Why is that so hard? Well firstly because I don't like admitting these things do happen in my mind in the first place. Writing about them makes them actually real. That's why I've been avoiding it. But that's also the reason why it works. No matter how ugly a thing you've been calling yourself all day, how you've tried to forget about it, ignore it or tell yourself you know it's not real, you have to write it down this time and find out, after deep thought that renders you as certain as your mental capacity allows, what merit those words really have or whether they're bull. After that, you're confident about the truth. You might still feel bad even though you know they're false, but that's time to move on to another activity and stop the attention to that train of thought since you know it's not the truth. You shouldn't judge yourself for still not feeling perfectly fine, at that moment, either. It's a process that needs time when you do it, and also needs repetition to replace falsehoods with truths until you no longer give them any attention when they pop up. And because they're not an instant fix, I haven't done almost any of this. But today onwards, as I continue gaming (only when my work and duties are finished) and getting triggered, I will do the work. Again, don't try this alone. It's just that I personally don't see another way to fix those stress attacks and beliefs. I have to replace them with healthier behaviors and realistic beliefs and I won't do that if I keep the box in the basement. Of course I have fun playing games again, and that's nice. The inner critic though says that the truth is I'm only keeping games in my life because I want a fix and can't walk away from them. But is that true? I do feel the things I've described in previous posts, those tendencies to have more even though I already have a good thing/experience. I do feel urges to leave my work and come back later to it so that I can play a bit. But food has been in that slot of escapism too, and chatting with people, and series and YouTube. I never felt dread for getting the urge towards those other things. But then it seems that it's just a lot of untrained skills in me, like logical thought, and self discipline. Lots of text today, and I haven't even started doing that evaluation. Why does this have to be work? Guess the endless hours of fun in my younger years have to be redeemed some way. I played hard then, now I gotta work hard.
  14. As a side note, I remembered that I tend to linger in my feelings (is my nature). The truth is feelings are a good factor to judge whether you are going the right way or not with your actions, but they aren't definite. I can be sad and suddenly laugh if I hear a joke. Why do I say this? Because on top of having a bad experience or negative thought, I beat myself up and sink in the bad state of mind, I guess you could call that dramaqueen behavior? I don't know. But I do that, and it doesn't help me, it doesn't serve me. I should ignore bad feelings that I have fact checked to be based on something false. And I should take action and be mindfully present in that action, so that I can experience new emotions in the moment. As far as mental disorders go, I meant the thrill seeking tendencies I've had all my life.
  15. I feel so stressed because of all this. It's not an easy period in my life in general due to some external factors but.. just coming in contact with games turned on the addict freaking switch, why? Why do I have to be thinking about escaping every responsibility again, after going in that space? Why can't I be like so many other people, why can't it be like Facebook or Instagram, that I log in to kill some time when I'm waiting for a while or something, then not thinking about it at all? Why do I have to feel like prioritizing games, then feeling like I'm out of control again because of that? Why, why, why? I'm not healed by any means, I feel so broken because of the urges. I feel so much in general. I want to be a normal freaking person that can touch "alcohol" like the rest of the healthy, socially drinking population, not an "alcoholic". Is my life just empty, still? I feel like I'm a little like Tom, from this forum, not really good at a peaceful life. I need high stimulation from life at all times to feel alive and well. I can look back at my life before games and I see actions I took that categorized me as a thrill seeker. I looked for the next hit, even if it wasn't drugs or anything, it was behavioral. I need those high impact situations. I don't know why. But I've been like this forever, and it turned into a gaming addiction once I started playing games. It just took on another shape, I guess. Just needed to write things down, cause they're on my mind and I can't focus on getting stuff done. This makes me feel like I've not progressed as much as I thought. This is my whole life's pattern it seems like. Always wanting more, wanting the next thing, the better feeling, not being satisfied with what I have once things are calm and steady. Is it possible I have a mental disorder? These things just pop up in my mind in these emotional moments.
  16. This is not the way towards relapse! This is the way to growth! But I suggest an acceptance approach instead of a fight- accepting those bad tendencies as the younger brother of yours, you wouldn't fight him for acting immaturely would you? You would just accept him and show him a better way. Acting differently is how we shape a different identity. If you like to identify as a hard worker, you don't need to like doing the work in time, you just need to DO THE WORK in time. The result is what we want but the process is hard, as it should be for anything worth it. Keep on moving forward! Mistakes is how we learn what we need to fix.
  17. Day 189. I have so many feelings, it's overwhelming to deal with. Even if it was only my sleep that went backwards for those days, I carry it so heavily within me. I tend to linger in emotions, even if I do my things, do my duties, my work, I still carry that shame, that anxiety. After I came in contact with this trigger I became anxious and fearful and I no longer woke up feeling light and happy. The whole day I felt just like I felt in the past when I gamed all day, everything came back. What is wrong with me? I fight reality in my mind when I realize I have a trait I don't like. I wish that I could behave differently, even if I can't. I am not other people, I am me. Why do I keep comparing myself to other people? If my friend can only game for two hours a day, I should too. But it's not like that. I have to accept my circumstances and my specific strengths and weaknesses. I can not act the same way as other people do, same as they can't act towards other parts of life the same way I do. I am stronger in self control in other parts of life, they might be stronger in self control in gaming. I am emotionally lingering in the guilt and fear so much. I am told by those around me that my actions are not wrong, I did not revert back to old habits for the most part, and yet just those little things were enough to make me go back to negative self talk all day long. I don't want that in my head, I don't want that burden in my mind and my heart. I need to accept that what happened in the past is in the past and even if I feel urges, I should not feel bad for having urges. I don't give in the urges, why do I freaking feel bad about even having them? I don't feel bad for having an urge to eat sugar, I just ignore it, I don't blame myself for having the urge, I don't get upset and anxious and fearful of 'what might happen now that I got this urge' for wanting to eat the wrong food, or binge watch a show one evening or something. But I feel terrible just for getting an urge to game. I know that I have advised so many people here that only actions matter, how you feel doesn't dictate who you are, only what you do does. And yet my negative emotions have been so big and been left unchecked for all the previous days that they led me to a mountain of upcoming doom, even if only small things happened. So here I am, trying to check them, trying to proof read them. Did I do something utterly horrible? What did I do that was bad? What did I do right? I have to do this factual checking, else my thoughts run rampant on how horrible I am. And it feels really vulnerable doing it here, but I think it's the right thing, and maybe someone else going through the same negative self talk no matter at which point in their journey, they might find it useful. So what did I do wrong the past days? Well, I stayed up late most of the days and then I didn't get enough sleep. Then when I got up and did my things, I wasn't at full mental capacity. Then I felt bad, really bad, knowing this was "like old times" when I'd run on minimum sleep just to game one more hour and one more hour. That was so triggering for my anxiety. But I stopped that. I went to bed at the right time the night before and I woke up at a good time today. I didn't do anything else wrong, it was just this, and logic says it was a mistake, but it wasn't that bad since I went back to sleeping right and distanced myself from it all. What did I do right the past days? I ate well for the most part, still on the weight loss journey. I did the tasks I had planned for myself, professionally, and I still got out of the house for social meet ups as intended. I attended to the social needs of my family too, i didn't ignore anyone just to game. So, the facts say it wasn't perfect but it wasn't like old times. I really need to reality-check the thoughts that cause negative feelings it seems. I even need to re-read them to really make it stick, what really happened and that the doom thinking in my head doesn't equal reality. Adding more later on: I have neglected doing introspection as things got better for me and I took that good mood and feeling for granted. I stopped journaling and gratitude practice, and then that led me to this, where it was hard for me to force myself to write, cause it would mean admitting things aren't perfect, whereas postponing it gave my ego the leeway to think it got this, it can do it. But it's not true. I need to talk with myself about what happens to me and that thoughts come to me and discuss with myself on paper. That's what got me where I am, that's how I managed to deal with phobias and fears, by admitting them to myself on paper, then moving to committing to doing something about it and doing it, even if it's scary.
  18. The uncertainty is natural. The more immersed you were in games, the more lost you will feel without them. I'm still struggling with understanding who I am, but only through putting myself in uncomfortable situations did I gain some knowledge on this. I say this regarding your worries about career and art, but also about your schedule. If you have more than a couple hours unaccounted for in your day, habitually your brain will remind you of a nice overdose of dopamine. Make yourself very busy. If it feels like you don't want to do the things you planned to do, take that as proof that your brain hasn't adjusted yet and the only way to make it is to stick with the plan anyway. If nothing else, at the the of the day you will be able to put a checkmark on staying sober and discipline practiced.
  19. You're on the right track. Bravo. I'm not a shining example, but this time I managed to make progress when I quit gaming (I had tried multiple times in the past, always relapsed). If you have nothing better to do, maybe you will find it helpful to see how I leaned very heavily on a routine I forced on myself for the first thirty or fifty days. My life was very empty (like your one coming week, but all the time) and only that way I managed to get through the hardship successfully. Prepare for not feeling like doing things, it's normal even if it sucks. It will pass in some weeks. For now if it comes, you have to accept it and allow it, but do activities anyway so it's not the only thing going on emotionally inside you. Feeling bored while doing hobbies you thought you're into is also normal, it's the adaptation from high adrenaline from games that takes a while.
  20. Yes, most of us start life like that. And a lot of people continue like that, even live life based on what other people like, just so they can get their approval. Did you even read the Self esteem book? I think you're continuing the cycle still, with the situation with your mom. Why do you have to keep excusing yourself as if whatever you do it's someone else's fault? Your mom's, your dad's, your employers'.. You can limit your interactions with people if you consider them a bad influence, but if you continue being around people who give you bad emotions, that's your responsibility, not theirs. If I hang out with a guy who wants to sexually abuse me, and I know it, it's my responsibility that I am jeopardizing my safety. So if you think all these people are a bad influence, then put distance between you and them. You can establish a clear routine of things that serve you and only do those things. You have the choice to socialize with people as little or much as you like. But I think that's not the problem. After all, you can just ignore the people that don't offer anything to you and still reap the benefits they offer you, like a freaking free room and food? But no, you have demands from them. Why? Do they owe you to be the type of person you want them to be? Are you the person other people want you to be? What sort of unhealthy perspective is this?! I'll ask you this, who is in control of your schedule? Who is in control of your success? Changing house, going back to work, living alone, going on vacation.. Wishful thinking that other people, or your environment will do the work you don't want to do, or at least haven't done so far. There's no way around it, you've been procrastinating putting in the work to become a better you. It's all in the future, you will do it when <insert external variable>. I'm being completely honest and just telling you what I see. What are you doing, not thinking of doing but really doing, that contributes to your goals? Or are you spending the whole day sitting around ranting about the past, your family and social circle? Because that's equal to doing nothing, so you can't expect your situation to magically change when you change nothing yourself. Albert Einstein(maybe): The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Who's insane now? Look back at your journals and see which days you were the most stable. Then repeat those behaviors, NOT the decisions that brought you to this distress. You love logic, don't you? So use it and follow the path that worked! Come on, you can do it. Nobody is coming to the rescue, and you're responsible. You've survived so much, you can do this easier, you only have your laziness to control.
  21. You're doing a good job. 12 rules for life speaks about important life truths, but I suggest you read the book about self esteem in my signature. Then read it another couple of times slowly, going only to the chapter you feel you need more work at at each time of your life. Long story short, your disappointment is a usual thing, but it's an emotion that comes because you view the world through a broken prism. That's how I was too, but now I know that wishing someone approved me and having that as a criterion for feeling good is a surreal illusion. All you and I need is to be approved by our honest inner self. Nobody can ever truly fill that void, take it from someone who's got a solid support system and people who approved of me. It's all about our own selves, that's what it takes to feel good.
  22. I'd like to suggest a different perspective to this. You don't need to fight that voice at all. When it speaks to you it's better to approach it and react to it as if it was a younger sibling that doesn't know better. Accept its existence, allow yourself to hear what it has to say, but then say, I accept you think this is a good idea and I understand why you think that, but things are different than that. And then revisit your goals and motivations for quitting to fuel your argument. Then immediately pick one thing from your new planned tasks and hobbies and do it no matter whether you feel like it or not. Because the most important thing about the process is leaning on the routine and schedule especially for the first couple of months. So don't procrastinate and schedule your next days thoroughly. You need this, a pre-planned set of tasks to fall back to, a guide you create for yourself. A lot of things will feel like a chore but remind yourself that's your brain slowly getting it's rewiring done. Cause the skyrocketed dopamine levels from gaming have made us have unrealistic expectations from life. Plan, plan, plan. Stay with the schedule even if sucks at the moment.
  23. Never give up. It's a mindset and it's also the truth about life. Animals don't give up when they try to fly for the first time, or jump from the first time. They have no ego, no fear of failure. There's nothing to lose by trying again, quite the opposite. But you'll try smarter.
  24. Day 188. I can not do this, and it's okay. I wanted to give it a go and measure my strength but it's not worth it. I don't feel bad for trying to overcome the negative emotions, but if it's unbearable and the side effects don't subside with exposure, I don't intend to jeopardize my happiness just to get stronger. I'm not healed completely yet, but the distance had successfully left me to re-become a more carefree version of me. I liked that, waking up with positive thoughts and hopes and smiles. So the "experiment" is officially over for me. The conclusions are, I'm in a better place than I was 6 months ago, but I'm still healing and there's no reason to poke my wounds. Looking forward to living carefree again, without immense negative self talk and the like. Life has so much to offer, I will flourish elsewhere for now, not this specific weakness. It's still a Pandora's box, but for now it will stay in the basement. Thanks for the support everyone, for understanding me.
  25. I think it would help to add this schedule here in your journal as a start, and every time you come and write here make sure to evaluate whether you did what you had planned to do, and how it went and why it went that way, be it good or bad. Include that critical thinking of yours in the process as a first step. On the anger, that's because you feel deeply, and I also feel very deeply. We need to evaluate where the feelings come from, what are the words we say to ourselves that create that emotion, and then see if it's accurate. Then we need to remind ourselves that emotions are instinctive, like when the doctor pokes the knee and it goes up in reflex. It has a purpose for existing, but it's not a criterion. Yes, it's hard to stick with the schedule, most of us are used to chaos, especially myself. But push yourself even if it feels uncomfortable at first. We need to build the discipline is all. And even though I understand where your mom is coming from, you decide what's fun for you. Listen to people's words, but go the extra mile and evaluate what they're telling you, ideally before you react to it. But even after, I'd say you include fun in your schedule just fine. Some people are happier being busy, some people are happier being laid back. Think for yourself and decide based on you. This is the whole point of the process, self discovery and betterment.
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