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Everything posted by fawn_xoxo

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Day 187. This is like a Pandora's box at every turn. There are people I left behind when I quit that make me feel bad and stressed when I see their name because I remember fights we'd get into, the toxicity of online comms. I feel bad for my past behavior, I haven't forgiven myself at all. Every day that I remember something, there's that goblin in my mind trying to find the worst explanation for it, how I was a bad person for going that, even if reality isn't that. It's just excessive doom thinking as a result of being in a triggering environment. I haven't accepted I was addicted and acted in ways that were wrong. Not deeply, not in a way that allows for moving on. I'm still mentally in that state of guilt and shame and regret, even if my actions are for the most part aligned perfectly with my goals at the moment. Exactly how many leftover garbage bags are there within my heart and mind when it comes to gaming? There's a false, distorted opinion on things at every turn. That's what's giving me the stress and tension in my muscles. I feel as if I'm in a dangerous jungle and if I don't deal with my emotionally (fear) created illusion I'll never be able to move on, only close the box again. I have had to correct opinions about myself the last months, a lot of them, sitting down and evaluating them. I'm honestly hesitant to share that about games, what if doing that "publicly" here triggers people? I don't want anyone else to hurt. My struggle and pain is self induced and within a certain frame. I don't want anyone going back to it because of my posts, thinking it can be done. That's still an experiment here. What do I feel when I'm near gaming? Shame of 6/10 and anxiety of 8/10 What's a thought that's crossing my mind when I feel that way? "You're an addict, you're out of control. You're fooling yourself, this is all a trap. Your whole life is just about games and nothing more. You're a loser and you're going to end up right where you started, you can't do this." What's false about the thoughts? Well first of all I'm not a fucking loser. I've been doing really well professionally and in the social life aspect so far, and this hasn't taken a back seat since I gamed again either. I have a professional vision for myself and I have goals for myself that I work on diligently, and when my schedule frees up from certain duties I'll try to learn some new stuff to add to my resume so to speak. My life isn't about games. I'm not out of control at all, I'm in this supervising myself very closely. What's true about the thoughts? My life isn't about games but I enjoy and get excited about them. I get an adrenaline rush because of them, and that makes me feel good. And I like feeling good. How do I feel after evaluating the thoughts? Shame 4/10 and anxiety 3/10
  9. It's hard, but after all these months, after having a change of heart and mind on what I want from life, I know deep within me that spending the majority of my time in games isn't what I deeply desire. Still, I do not go into the hobby calmly or lightly yet. My past has left me with a lot of shame and I feel guilty just by reconnecting to that world. I'm scarred by my own past actions. I can draw a parallel with having one too many drinks on a usual basis and getting sexually abused a few times while drunk, then forever keeping drinking and abuse connected. I abused myself while I gamed, it was me. And it's both easier and harder to deal with feelings towards yourself, for different reasons. But that's rehabilitation, changing your relationship to the triggers of bad behavior. It's not meant to be easy, but it's meant to be worth it and make you a stronger person. Don't try this unless you got a solid support system to watch you from outside and see if you're still moving forward with your life while trying to rehab. I feel much safer getting opinions on my routines from people outside the gaming sphere.
  10. Dear @BooksandTrees, you are always looking for help from other people, sounds like. You wish your mother was different, you wish people in general acted differently. You are fighting reality. If you don't accept the state of the world and that each and every of us is responsible, that no one is coming to the rescue and that's normal, things will only get worse and I really don't wish that on you. Do you try to control those negative thoughts? Do you try to evaluate whether whatever you're thinking is accurate and fair and realistic? Your ideas about how relationships should be are imho very distorted. You're always looking for the easy way, someone else to do the problem solving for you, someone else to blame. The only way there is is that of accepting that you are in control of your fate, no one else. This world is different for each person because of the beliefs they hold for it. What are you doing to help yourself? Are you spending the majority of your resources to help yourself? Stop trying to escape the process, just do what needs to be done. Do your cartoon stuff and whatever else is on your list, consistently. Push yourself to do it, it'll not come naturally, we're used to getting rewards for sitting on our asses all day, but you gotta realize the focus of your days should be the progress you achieve, the main thing should be that. Do you have a schedule? Do you remind yourself of your purpose? Just because you're gamefree for weeks doesn't mean your process is finished. You need the structure to lean on, the enforced routine that includes doing something productive every day, to carry you out of this pit. You're freaking out, and I absolutely understand that cause I experience those things too, but the only way out is to keep moving on with your goals and routines. And stop having illusions that you being at home or being on your own will change much. That's just you postponing working on yourself, that's all there is to it. There are never perfect circumstances. If people get out of poverty and run away from Iraq wars for a better life, we have it hella easy over here in the Western world. Nothing is stopping you, it's not your mom or your circumstances. It's you, you're fighting the hard work it requires to get out of this state, but there's no other way out. Just look at your own journal entries and see where and when you were the most stable. It's when you did something that mattered, your goals. You know what's easy? Sitting on your computer all day and pretending everything is fine. Lots of people do it, cause it's hella easy. Do you want to be like that? Do you want it easy? Because our demons are still there when we shut down the computer anyway. There's either the easy way, which we've all been doing for years, or the right way. Accept that, and make your choice and stick with it. With the best of intentions, Fawn.
  11. So tell her this isn't how things are, tell her you need more of her. Things get better with honesty and transparency.
  12. Day 185. I'm tired, literally. Ever since I tried to rehabilitate myself, my tension levels skyrocketed. I've been having a hard time falling asleep because I'm thinking negatively. And I only stay asleep for 6 hours or less. Today that was 5 hours. I don't deserve this. I'm so afraid of gaming that I think too much about not messing up. Psychologically, my days have slowly been getting better, I've been practicing focusing my energy to something else when I find myself stressing. But God damn, my sleep is messed up because of it even without gaming, I assume cause I got triggered. I just want to go to bed and fall asleep at any time I go and stay asleep for 8 hours. Why does it have to be so complicated with me? I could just ban the whole world of gaming again to get back to safety, but it feels like I'd be backpedaling into a comfort zone without getting actually stronger. I'm so mentally tired too, I'm upset with the consequences of rehab, I have so much tension within me. I know I'm not doing any acceptance for the most part. It's all fear fear fear, negative projections, and worrying. Am I capable of fixing myself, even? This exposure to game-phobia is really giving me a hard time. Might add more, submitting for now so that I don't lose the text.
  13. Day 184. I might not be ready for this. I stress about negative outcomes a lot, I'm unable to look at gaming neutrally. My family tells me I'm still kicking it, doing my job etc, but I am afraid. I'm too emotional and it's hard to control that. When I game I feel impulsive and hyper and those things make me afraid cause they remind me of what my life looked like when I was ruled by those emotions. I feel a pull towards hype, but I also find it toxic for my body. Gaming is stimulating, but it creates chemicals that I have nowhere to channel after I'm done with it. And they stay in my body till the next day, and they accumulate if I game the next day. It's only been a week but I am already noticing stress side effects. Maybe I'm sensitive to adrenaline and that's what made me an addict in the first place. But I don't want to feel tense all the time, and I sure as hell don't want to go back to gaming being my priority because of such a sensitivity. Maybe the fun of competition is the carrot stick, but I'm really not in a place where I can get it without getting triggered and afraid yet. It's okay to backpedal out of this situation if it hurts me, body and mind. And that's what I'm doing for a few days, to see what happens with myself. Thank you all for understanding my reasoning for giving this a try and not judging me.
  14. Day 182. I am deeply satisfied with myself and at peace with my actions for the moment. I am grateful for the support I have and do receive, and I see now, discipline and making up my mind without impulse is what I need to feel in control. There is no one rushing me to decide how to act towards games or the people in them, and I am now learning not to rush indeed. There is however something that seems impossible to fix and that is how I can not sleep properly like I did before, if I'm playing till bedtime. Thus I commit to pushing the limit for games to end one hour before my bedtime, in hopes of getting 8 relaxed hours of rest. Because after I reunited with them, I have almost consistently been only getting 6, and it's not because of alarms. I think my body is unable to let go of the adrenaline and thus wakes up asa it gets the minimum rest. Maybe it thinks I'm in a stressful situation. And so, since I don't have power over that, I accept it and will try to give it time away from mental stimulation. I want to be a healthy human, I won't be a slave to "fun". That's something I love about games, they stimulate so well, but I think that type of intense fun is not suitable to the evening time, for me at least. All in all I feel well, even if my situation isn't perfect. Life doesn't need to be perfect, it just needs to be meaningful, mindful and fun. I want to achieve a good balance of those.
  15. I have been having the exact same problem for months on and off, stressing about falling asleep at the right time. After all these months, with help from my family I came to realize I need to accept the stress when it comes. Tell myself, alright, well, right now you're stressed and you might not sleep immediately. This acceptance, when real, actually releases the fighting energy, the thing that keeps getting upset at the possibility of not falling asleep. Then I pick a thing to do, read, or listen to music, and without having that hard expectation of myself to fall asleep right here right now, I fall asleep soon enough. Cause acceptance, and working with reality, actually relaxes me and since no thought of conflict keeps energizing me, I fall asleep. Not sure I described it perfectly but it all starts with accepting the problem and not fighting it, for me.
  16. Day 181. This is a stressful situation I am unable to deal with if I don't process everything on the daily, if not right after the appearance of negative thinking. I am scared something bad will happen just because I'm in proximity of games. Anxious negative thoughts that had gotten significantly lower during my no negativity period earlier in spring are now rampant. Yesterday the only way I could cope with it all was crying it out in the presence of family. And they told me something that I have a hard time seeing, myself. They told me I'm freaking out without actually having done anything like I did in the past. They pointed out to me that everything that I am worried about to be point of being overwhelmed are behaviours I did in the past which have barely come to surface now (prioritizing gaming over everything else, losing sleep to do it, becoming emotional about it). I see those tendencies in me though, I said, and they scare me, like knowing you like hurting people. I don't like them being here, in my brain. And then they reminded me that it doesn't matter what bad tendencies we have, if we decide to do the right thing. If I prioritize my job, spending time with family and doing my duties, it doesn't make me a bad person that I feel an urge to game. But I am confused about that. I feel bad when I notice such an urge. I feel bad because..? Because I judge myself for having that urge. Denial has always been an issue for me, I have a very hard time accepting flaws within myself, but that's exactly what I was working on before allowing games back in my life. Acceptance. I haven't found what the root issue is here. I don't know why I fight who I am. I know it causes me pain and I know it doesn't work in my favor when I desire to manage my weaknesses. It's like I close my eyes and I wish my flaws didn't exist, then I compulsively take actions to prove that to myself, but the process is wrong and within a few days I'm crushed because I can't keep up those actions and I identify as a loser. But what are those tendencies I see in myself? Firstly, if I'm at home instead of the working environment or some public place, now that the option of gaming has reentered my reality, I feel like gaming, instead of doing what I planned to do. I don't do it, but I feel like it, and while a lot of times I ignored it and did my duties either way, there are others which I felt bad for having that urge and that left its psychological mark on me, shame and guilt. It's much easier to do what I intended to do and think little of that urge in terms of judgment when I'm surrounded by people who are also working. It's probably cause I subconsciously know that all of us are here getting shit done even though we'd rather be sleeping/watching tv/gaming or whatever. At home I feel ten times worse for having the urge, because I have the luxury to linger and consider it and that makes it so much worse to have. I guess I lack perspective when I'm alone and one thought can derail me psychologically unless I bring logic into the equation. That's the type of intervention I need to practice on myself, facts to realign my panicked state of mind to truth, and that I am in control, that emotions don't define who I am but only actions do. For the moment, just writing this down alleviates stress. Another tendency is to act within the game in a way that gets affected by my emotions, then I am not my 'sober' self any more and I regret it later and I feel bad for myself because that's not the type of person I wanna be. And I need an intervention in this case too. I guess I need to pause when I catch myself getting in that state of mind and.. sober up? It sounds like so far my big all encompassing issue is discipline, really.. And it fits very well with the third urge I have, and that's postponing or sacrificing parts of my schedule because I want to play "a little more". I feel bad that I haven't slept full 8 hours straight ever since I allowed gaming again. But I didn't feel bad when I occasionally did that for other activities. I guess the difference here is the fact I haven't connected this to destructive consequences when it comes to watching a movie or staying up with friends at a bar. So yeah, these things trigger me big time and my first guttural reaction is flight, I get anxious and I feel like I am incapable of holding my own. I get overwhelmed and scared of what I might do and how I might end up gaming all day again. But what I need to do is give myself focused time to process the feelings, like how I've been sitting here just writing about it all on my phone and taking my time. I have been postponing doing this real vulnerable conversation with myself, and I have felt like giving up while writing, but I didn't stop even if digging in myself like this is a slow process and uncomfortable and "not pleasant" and I felt like fleeing from it too. But I did it anyway. This digging and evaluation and realignment makes me feel like I'm in control again. For some reason, I can't really achieve it without writing down my thoughts. I have tried doing it in my brain, alone, but my thoughts race and I can't tame them in logical order. I just become more confused and overwhelmed - unless someone can talk me through it, like how my family helped me yesterday. I feel like I'm really growing through this hardship, but I need to put in the mental health work like I was doing up until a few weeks ago when I felt like I'm at a good spot. I need to do my "brain fitness" tasks else I'll sink in anxiety. I just have too many emotions and haven't trained my logical side and discipline to tame them yet. I need to work dutifully on this.
  17. Day 180. I'm feeling better now and it's only the result of effort. Gaming reactivated all my fears and doubts about myself, brought all the guilt and shame back. And I knew that was going to happen, it's why I decided, six months later, to try it again. I started feeling better about it, if only slightly, once I practiced self control and a schedule. Having a hard limit over which I do not go at any cost, it gives me the sense of control I need. I need to feel that I am the one who decides, not gaming. And my approach to it is finding all the small weaknesses in me that once, piled up, lead me to dependence, and managing them. Impulsivity is one. Feeling like one more game, and going for that just because I feel like it. This has the biggest impact on my schedule and accomplishing things outside of the computer life, if I let it run rampant. Feelings are another. I have a lot of them and when gaming there are times when they try to make me act in ways I'll not be proud of later. I feel vulnerable sharing these, but it's okay. Finding out how my weaknesses appear and what they do is a step towards managing them. This is still a hard time for me, but I'm sure now that this is the only way to redeem myself to myself, by proving to myself that I am capable of not repeating the same mistakes. I can recognize my flaws, accept their presence in my personality, and soften them or manage them. I understand a lot of my troubles come from a place of conflict and denial of myself. I understand that for some reason I have been trying to deny my flaws, or when I realized I had them I tried to act straight away in the opposite way to prove I am not like that. But it was an impulsive way to deal with things and it didn't work long term. I always got hyped up for the new me, but a week after my disillusioned self image led me to doing the same mistakes. So, this is about me actually repairing the behaviors and decisions I take when faced with the very stimulating world of gaming, not just ignoring them forever. It still feels I am pacing on a tight rope, nothing left or right or below me to keep me safe. I only got Fawn to keep me safe and it lies in my steps whether I reach the other side or fall in nothingness again. I've always avoided responsibility too. But this outcome, like so many others, depends only on me. This is one more weakness I'm working on. In case you're reading this and it's not clear enough what "working on my flaws" really is, it's basically throwing myself back into the environment that once made me a basement dweller but this time in a clinical, monitored way, getting triggered as f$@k, then trying to find out what the triggers are and how to remove them so that the subject doesn't get self-roasted every time it comes in contact with the environment. And that is a slow process of repeatedly throwing the subject in the environment, testing its reactions with every new adjustment on it. Adjustments include factors like exposure duration, contact levels, levels of independent decision making while in the environment and others. It really isn't just throwing the subject in the environment it has labeled as horrible and wishing that away. The subject has to figure out how to change the parameters of its interaction until it no longer gets triggered.
  18. No you're not too depressed there to do your passion projects now. Your depression is the perfect signal from your brain that you need to act differently. You are responsible for your life. Negative emotions suck, but it's your choice to linger and stay in limbo instead of doing the things you told yourself you'd do. It's not easy and it'll never be. You have to accept that it's going to be hard and you'll not have the perfect conditions. You don't need perfect conditions, all you need is to do things despite not feeling like doing things. It's not about how you feel, ignore how you feel for a few days or weeks and just do what you said you would. Stop waiting, start doing, whatever it is you have written down as your goals and desires. You have the luxury of living with someone who loves you, and for free, she's flawed like anyone else but she loves you and she cares, so make use of that opportunity and leeway. Many other people have it way worse and they still pursue their dreams. It's not your mom's fault or the gamers' fault or anyone else's fault that you're not doing what you intend to. It's in your hands, your choice and at the same time your responsibility. Don't wish and don't 'talk' about the things you wanna do. Just start and do, no matter how bad you feel. You'll only feel better if you change how you spend your time. You feel like a loser because you're insecure about your desires being different than your mother's desires and this isn't your mother's fault. You need to work on knowing and accepting your personal beliefs and values. Your mom is your mom and you are you. All in all I took the liberty to respond here in this crude, harsh way because of the rapport we had in the past and because I can't really stand and watch you waste your time and being miserable, really, you need to wake up. You have much more than many people who went after their dreams and you better realize it and start appreciating it. Others don't even have a family, or savings, or a backup plan, and they still achieve. So stop with the excuses, you have potential, if you don't use it it's just cause you're too comfortable staying in a place of talk-talk-talk instead of doing the difficult things.
  19. Day 177. I've had to face stressful situations in the past months, demons I'd created within my own mind by isolating myself from the real world, phobias. I didn't expect to feel that way, that triggered, just by being in contact with the gaming community. I haven't gotten over any of it, it's plain for me to see. The negative self talk just for being part of it again for a few hours is very real, the guilt even though I am not actually doing anything wrong. I took my distance from a part of me I hated and feared, put all my past in a box and hid it in my basement, that's basically how I was able to move on so far. And I was really happy and positive and grateful and me, right before I realized I'm still afraid of.. me. Emotions, I got a lot of them, and in the past couple of months I dealt with them successfully, I learned how to handle myself when I get unreasonable, when I freak out thinking the worst will happen. My way of reacting to that is just waiting it out until all the intense emotions are gone and my logic can work again. Only then can I deal with the negativity, by doing things and not paying it as much mind until I've had time to process everything. Taking action right when I feel bad is not a good idea, at best it's desperate and at worst it's like an obsessive compulsive ritual to make me feel like something is now right but never for long. I need to feel in control, in order to feel unafraid again. At this stage, I just have a lot of negative feelings that I need time to process, so that anything that's false in my thoughts gets corrected by logical thinking and anything that I actually do wrong gets changed by my behavior. But as of now, I'm still very emotional and not peaceful enough to do that soberly. I didn't realize that distance didn't change anything in my self image when it comes to this hobby, everything is just how I left it months ago: miserable, guilty, shameful and terrified. And I can only change that by opening the damn box and deciding what's rotten and what just needs repairing and dusting off before getting out of the basement and into plain sight. This is difficult, but I'll only grow confident and raise my self esteem by processing it and facing it and doing it right. Otherwise I can just let it stay hidden somewhere in me. But not sure I want that now I have realized how it is. Thanks for the words @JustTom, gave me a push towards a better state of mind.
  20. @BooksandTrees It's not as much a test, or at least the test is not the purpose. I am afraid of gaming, which is a problem for me. Being afraid isn't what I want to be, and being ashamed and regretful, no, I don't want to be either of these things. When I come in contact with games, those feelings come back and I almost get triggered nervous and fearful of what might happen. I don't want to be like that, I want to feel in control. And the only way to 'erase' those feelings is to replace them with healthy feelings towards that part of myself and my hobby, which is by replacing my old, unhealthy behavior towards the hobby itself. Sure it's good to be back, in a way. But for the most part, this is just part of rehabilitation for me, that's how I see it. Like an alcoholic now re-introducing whiskey in their life, but only in normal, acceptable ways. I want to make things right within me, and get over the fact I was addicted.
  21. Day 175. What's an addict? It pains me to identify as one. I don't want to be, but I was addicted. Gaming scares me, it brings all my past mistakes right in front of my eyes, reminds me of the worst in me, my lack of discipline, my impulsivity, my carelessness, my lack of responsibility. But I don't want to be afraid of it, or myself. I don't want to feel powerless and scared next to it, just like I didn't want to be a slave to negative thinking. I don't want to be trapped in a box where I avoid a bunch of things and people because they remind me that I was a worse me in the past. And just like I've been facing my fears in the past weeks in other, personal matters, yesterday I was nervous and hesitant and excited and afraid to game. Because of all the above, the whole subject has turned into a skeleton in my closet and I don't want to have those. So I decided to face the fear, get in touch with old friends and communities. It was triggering and I was nervous, but I know that's the process, you can't get over your fear of dogs without getting near dogs. I don't want to game like I used to, there is no space in the new life I built for myself for that sort of habit. And I'm afraid of that, of me, of what I might become if I let gaming take control. But after six months and the self discovery and betterment I've been through, I thought why not try to get better at facing my flaws when it comes to this? I've been in a journey of living life free, and for me that has always been synonymous with taking control of my life and choices. I feel like I'll be judged, even if only silently, for my decision to lift the ban, the strict rule. It might just be my inner critic, my fear that I will fail me again though. But all these weeks, from December till May, I've been trying to change the way I see myself and empower myself. Mind you, knowing yourself includes knowing your limits and what's good or bad for you. So I'm going to try and change the unhealthy, addiction like relationship I had with games to something like my time watching TV. I don't feel guilty when I turn off the TV after watching for a couple hours. I want to be free of the negative emotions games bring me, and not just by putting them away in a box in the basement. I want to work with my guilt and make amends to myself, show myself I'm better than I used to be, that I can do it, that I can be in control. And if you wonder about the day counter, that's my journey and it doesn't stop. This is part of it.
  22. Alright so, I have been dealing with self negativity a lot, not just now but ever since I realized I had/have a gaming problem. Subconsciously my self worth hit rock bottom and my mind was full of bad thoughts and beliefs about myself. It's important, as a first step, to recognize the things we do that aren't helpful, so I get why you included things in your list which you want to remove or stop. Though when/while I was in that stage, I focused on that, the negative, the things I was doing wrong, and for a while I was stuck in negativity even though I knew I had a problem with negativity! It's complicated right? I started feeling better when I decided to take action to replace the things I considered I'd been doing wrong with things I considered to be right, and that's really difficult at first you know, cause my brain told me no fawn, this isn't true, or.. no fawn, I can't be bothered to think differently. It helped me to revisit some articles about how and why our brains are made to follow the neural pathways we've paved, even if they're wrong. It helped me knowing that trying to look for the good in me, the gray areas, isn't hard because it's fake, but it's hard cause I've not done it for a while. When you ruminate and stress and tell yourself bad stuff about yourself, you get used to that being the truth. But truth is always somewhere in the middle, there's good and bad in everything, and looking into cognitive distortions and worksheets about them (and DOING them) really helped. I want to tell you, it's a WIP. It doesn't change overnight or overweek even. I'm not talking about affirmations, that stuff doesn't work for me. What worked and works for me is trying to see the full picture about myself, putting my thoughts and beliefs about myself to the test (as if someone else was saying it about themselves, what would I say to them?) and also as frightening as it's been, keeping brave in uncertainty. When I removed gaming from my life, I felt like I lost my identity, that I didn't know what to choose, who I am, what I like etc. Bravery is to act despite fear, not without fear. I wanted to write this post with more structure but I have no access to a keyboard right now, so even though it's not coming out as nicely as I'd thought it would I wanna add another thing. Try to focus on <positive opposite> of your negative habits, even when you write your list again, because our brains don't really understand the "not" thing. Try not to think about a pink elephant with a green bowtie. Did it work or did you just think about the pink elephant with the bowtie? That's what I mean. Hope it's helpful in some way!
  23. Very well done George! Reading your bank of habits list, I think I could offer some info on how I dealt with at least half the things there, maybe you'll find some use in that? Didn't want to intrude in your journal though, so just offering!
  24. Hey Jay, I think this has to do with your gaming past. I experience this too but it gets better the more time passes and the more faded my memories of strong adrenaline times become. You can't avoid or change the feeling of these hobbies being work, your mind is used to video games mechanics which reward us all the time for barely anything. What you can do is, because you know one is a real self improvement thing whereas gaming wasn't, you can insist and do the hobbies anyway. You'll probably rewire your brain like this, because you'll give it new experiences that include satisfaction despite the initial bias. In other words, accept the bias and just do it anyway. It was unavoidable for me, but if you read my journal it's what got me away from it all for good this time.
  25. You are doing well man, good job. I also leaned heavily on a set schedule and routine at first, to help me just take my distance from things as a start. Regarding health and sexuality, thankfully our bodies are really smart and they have ways to deal with too much product in our storage rooms if you get what I mean. That's natural and if anything, it'll be a proof of your discipline all the previous days. In my experience, keeping busy on purpose is the single most effective thing in this process. To this day, empty days are always potential trouble days.