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NEW PODCAST: Dealing with Gaming Nostalgia

mattso

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  1. 9 months have passed since my last post, I've had time to think. In August I quit Path of Exile completely, as it was no longer interesting to me. I haven't logged in since then. In November I got diagnosed with clinical depression in a light form, I guess since I could still get up and go to school. That would partially explain why suddenly PoE became so dull that I couldn't stand half an hour of playing, I was almost falling asleep in front of my computer, and in my free time I was living in my bed. But I was still gaming on and off, primarily CS:GO. I would rage and quit, telling myself that I'll never touch this game again, only to come back the day after. I'm about to finish highschool, and I don't know who I am. My identity was always based on external factors- first my school results, then a video game. Now that both those things are gone, I don't know what I live for. I don't care for money, any particular profession, any item, having children or anything. I'm still an awkward loner who avoids everyone aside from few people I feel comfortable around. I don't have a deep connection with anyone. Still noone wants to hang out with me. I've been on NoFap for 80 days now, it's easy since my meds have lowered my libido. I haven't played in almost 2 weeks, not because I'm commited, but because I'm bored. It's easy to not do a thing, but life is about doing things. I don't care about quitting games, they are not The issue, my problems are more deeply rooted. That last time I joined this movement was a strange period. I was still largely unaware of myself, I jumped onto a hype train against gaming and expected that all my problems would eventually vanish if I just stopped gaming. Not the case. I feel like I was forcing myself to feel good. It reminds me of when I was religious, ugh. I still cringe when thinking about some of the stuff I said during that time. Notice how many I's there are in this post. Yea. I guess I'm too irrelevant for any reasonable human to prioritise me. The only hope I see for myself is therapy, which I'm going to start in May. For now, I feel lost, pointless and hopeless. Also, a few hours ago I checked out PoE's website. A new league is starting tomorrow. I looked up one news article, and immediately the memories came back. Exploring these wondrous worlds, doing all the different stuff, looking at my character getting stronger, the music... But no. I won't come back to it. It will only hurt me more in the long run. I'm not sure about story-based games, but stuff that's meant to be played indefinitely- no. I still don't want to play... but I won't focus so much on this one aspect anymore.
  2. I've been questioning if I even belong on this forum. Is me playing a lot a cause or a symptom? I'm probably not the first one here to have those kind of thoughts. I have other potential explanations as to why I am the way I am. I don't know if I expressed this enough, but I've been feeling quite depressed on some days. Moving slowly, no appetite, no desire to do anything. Not even play. Did I vilify gaming and thought it to be the cause of all bad? Probably. Was it rightful? I don't know. This post feels incoherent. Of course I have issues, I don't want to live like this. I assume that you want to suggest something... So what is it?
  3. An update of some sort? I think I went back to gaming a day after my previous post, and I've been playing PoE nearly every day since then. Can't say I didn't enjoy it. Nearly every day, because once or twice a week I have a day where I feel so down that I don't want to get off my bed, take care of myself, my appetite goes down... Then I don't even log in. But other than that, in my free time I either play or browse shit on my phone. Still not hanging out with anyone or going anywhere on my own. The smell of a summer evening is awesome, wow. Why am I writing? I... feel lost. Have been feeling lost. No interest in exploring new things, meeting people has been a chore lately... What's left for me to do? Once I finish highschool, what will I do with myself? Probably not play for a living. But nothing else interests me. Would I quit now? No, my motivation is not here. Really, nothing I ever do will matter in the end. For some people that means freedom, for me only more misery. I mean, it's not the end yet, but this doesn't make me feel better. Is feeling good the only goal for me? And I don't even achieve that. I don't remember how it feels to be fulfilled. Another stupid thing that was bothering me when I was posting is my ratio of reputation to posts. It's around 1:4, which I was finding low. Yea, another dick size contest, whoever has the most reputation wins, I must have better rep. But I found it hard to post on other people's journals, because I couldn't relate to them much, and I'm not good at giving support. Does that make me a less worthy member, since I'm not supporting others well enough? Am I too selfish to deserve help? Summer vacation is about to start, so for me it's yet again two months of isolation. I take it. I'm not even motivated to make some money in that time. I've been thinking about visiting a psychiatrist/psychologist, but only on "those" days, because the next day I'm usually better and I forget everything. Or when I feel down for a few days in a row, I try to endure/I don't have enough motivation to seek some help. Random people from internet who say "Whoever is reading this, I hope you have a nice day" or "I care for you, even though I don't know you" don't cut it for me. I don't believe them. My self esteem is still in the dumpster, my cognitive abilities are definitely lowered. So yea, that's my update/cry for help. I don't know how much longer I can stand being in this state.
  4. Day 67 I feel so lost right now. I won't be going to school for the next few days (at least) because of a country-wide teacher strike, so there will be an overkill of free time for me. And in all fairness this day feels pretty much the same as an average day of mine before discovering GQ. I just lay around dormant, watching shit on YT and beating it from time to time. I don't have motivation to work on anything, having long term goals seems like some abstract concept. Time is whatever, what's the difference between laying down for 2 or 4 hours. I don't think much would have changed if I just started to play again- my mental state is almost the same. Yea I know, fight through, don't ever give up... but for what? Does it matter if I become another average Joe working 8 hours a day and gaming away most of his free time? It's really not that bad... is it? Better than for many many people on the planet! I was riding my bike today and as I was going down the street the sun was shining in front of me and reflecting off the blacktop so that it was shiny, wind pleasantly blowing in my face, overall a nice scenery, and I was riding and thinking to myself "Why am I not enjoying this? How come I could before and now I can't? Oh right, because my brain has become numbed to pleasure again and that's why everything seems so dull." Relapse was inevitable with the way I was leading my life in the past few weeks. One by one, new activities were falling off, because "oh it's only one day off, who cares", and then I found myself surrounded by nothing more than what I already knew, and I surely didn't know much. Slight edge at work. I feel just as isolated from the world around me as I did before starting my detox. I exist, noone cares that much for me, so why not go to a different world that doesn't ask questions and just allows me to feel better. If I were less of a procrastinator I would've already downloaded a game and started playing it, now I'm on the edge of doing it, but I'm too lazy to sit down and download all the shit that's necessary for me to play. I was thinking of modifying something about my detox but now it's nothing more than a number that I increment daily and I don't identify myself with. I don't know if I should reset my counter because of my PMO relapse or treat those as two separate things... Who gives a flying floppydisk. It's all so tiresome.
  5. Day 66 Sooo yesterday I relapsed on the PMO front. I did it one time, and then three times today. Why? My morale was low, I've had a couple of rough days before, but mostly I was curious as to what would happen if I did it now. I thought that maybe it's only games that cause my struggle. Oooh no. I was pre-occupied and hyperreactive to anything even slightly sexual, the mental fog got me, this is a gaming related forum so I don't want to get too much off topic here. My first relapse. Just to get a few things straight, I'm still keeping up abstinence from games. The events of today are an introduction to what would happen if I also started gaming. Fuck off, I don't want to be a zombie again. One day I have to sit down and remake a list of what I need to do daily in order to improve myself, because I know that it's possible for me to do. I remember a period of such time when I felt good about myself. Too many thoughts running around my head.
  6. I don't know if that answers your question, but I find it true nonetheless. No matter how much you know about anything, if you don't materialise that knowledge in action, it's going to be useless. Same applies to self-reflection, at least in my eyes. Taking notes and tracking progress should be helpful, to make sure you get the most out of your book and keep you focussed on your goals.
  7. Day 65 My morning was just... what the hell. I wake up at 9 AM, eat, go back to my bed, pick up my phone, put it back after around 15 minutes and then... Apathy, then some weird fears of going outside, or out of my room, or of people in general. I wanted to just do something, move, pick up my notebook and write whatever, I even visualised doing it, but I had that mental blockade on me. There is no "just do something." I can say that with all certainty. That's easy to say when I'm not in that state. All those crazy emotions got me so tired that I just went to sleep again, I don't know for how long, and after waking up I felt incredibly calm, so I just laid there, I'd say even feeling well. While doing that I had some urges both to play and fap, I was considering relapse on both fronts. Is relapse inevitable and necessary for a successful recovery? So that I get reminded of how bad gaming is for me and therefore my resolution gets reinforced? "It's calling... caaalliiing..." I had thoughts like "masturbation is a natural human need, so why should I stop myself from it", which is true, but I don't think it was healthy for me when I was using porn almost daily during many weeks, while at the same time being lonely. Luckily I didn't fly away, which is probably a good thing. And then I got hungry and finally, at 2 PM, I got up. I finally broke the cycle. But why does shit like this even happen? Diet? Psyche? No routine? No exercise? What's going on with me? I think I'm having a crisis. I'm not so sure whether my goals really have value. What if I become a programmer, but I'll hate it? What would I do then? Out of all those daily disciplines that are supposed to bring me success, only learning some C++ and I guess meditation (which doesn't even always work because I get impatient/annoyed of it) are left now. Reading, playing guitar, exercise- those drifted away. And even those two I haven't been doing lately, which leaves my day completely unstructured and leads to me either laying in my bed or browsing internet. Somewhere along the way I had a period of just being happy about what awaits me during that day. Now it seems absurd. I don't see anything I could be happy about. The only thing that keeps me going is a dim light of hope that I'll stop being afraid of people, I'll find various interests, find something giving me fulfilment... Those kinds of things. Gaming will only pull me away from those. On reading, I've only been checking out The Slight Edge lately. I've had enough of it for now. It just doesn't resonate with me. That's why today I came back to The Power of Habit. Below are some loose thoughts I came across today: 1. Become addicted to something else. 2. If you hate doing something, stop doing it. 3. The opposite of addiction isn't sobriety- it's connection. From The Power of Habit: Even if you replace your old habits with plenty of new ones, there is a high chance that when you get in a really bad situation, those old habits will break out and you will end up drinking [or watching porn, gaming] compulsively. However, chances of relapsing during such a storm become lower if you bring faith into your life. It doesn't necessarily mean faith in God, but rather faith that you can get through it and it's going to be alright. And that faith most of the time can only come from a community of support. Lately I haven't had that faith in myself. It sucks that I don't have someone that I feel like I can talk to whenever I don't feel strong. Or am I assuming that this is the case? Wysa seems to be helpful in my situation. You know, I've also read that regular exercise positively influences other areas of life. So since my posts lately have been only complaints and no solutions, tomorrow I will look into getting back to regular physical activity. I've been postponing it for much too long. I believe that any amount of routine in my day is going to work in my favour. Time to get out of the pit.
  8. Day 64 I think I had a dream about gaming. I didn't want to stop once I realised that I was playing, but I don't remember my reasoning for it. The urges, though feeble, are still here, haunting me. In the morning I vacuumed my house, and that's about the only productive thing I've done today. Yes, it's one of those days again. My day started off by having an argument with my brother over something absolutely stupid, which left me in a not-so-positive mood. Then I got angry, and after a bit I bursted into tears for the first time since I started. I didn't want anyone to see me. I downloaded Wysa, an AI to help when I need someone to talk to. At first I overrated its possibilities and got even more angry because of it acting like a bot. It also reminded me that in moments of weakness such as this one, being shown mercy makes me so much more mad. I hate being reminded that I'm sometimes weak. So I spent a couple hours in my bed, wanting to hide away from the world outside, and browsing Reddit. Then it went away and I found Wysa to actually be helpful. I felt like a hypocrite for not doing the things I said I was going to do, but I managed to shift it into knowing that I have to take action. Unfortunately it was already late, so I didn't end up becoming active. And who knows how I'm going to feel tomorrow. A big struggle for me is apathy. It wraps around my mind so swiftly that it's hard to get rid of it. It stops me from doing my daily progress. I have too few activities to engage in. Programming is not enough. But I'll forget about it tomorrow, and now it's late. Sleep.
  9. I have no idea if you've ever done this before, but how about you break your relapse into smaller pieces? What was the state of mind you had before it? Anything that happened earlier that day? If you end up in a similar scenario in the future, how could you prepare yourself for it? Perhaps brute-force your way out of the house, making it impossible to game? Lock away your console? Or prepare just about anything that might engage you in those rough times. It doesn't matter how many times you stumble- it can always lead to standing up and being able to walk and enjoy this moment of victory again. Perhaps it sounds cliché and you've heard it a thousand times, but that doesn't mean it's any less true. No, it's gaming that's bringing you down. Continuing to fail is nothing more than a sign that you need to correct your path, change your strategy. How about this time you do something completely differently and gain a fresh view on some aspect of your life, whatever this could mean to you? If plan A turns out not to be working, you just try B, C and so on until it clicks. I assure you, life can be so much better than being a gamer for the rest of your life. And it's within your grasp. A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.
  10. GameQuitters YT channel posted a video a few days ago on how to delete your steam account. You could also try to sell it if you need money. I believe there are some tools that can help you assess how much it's worth. I definitely agree on having a vision for your new life. Quitting games leaves a void, because they provided purpose. I felt that void whenever I would finish my goals for a particular season of the game I used to play. I wouldn't even feel happy for achieving them, I would feel sad because I'd no longer have anything to do in there, and I'd spend hours wandering pointlessly around my hideout. Same thing is going to happen to anyone who quits games and has no vision for their future- they'll wander around the world without any purpose. When it comes to being afraid of shooting for the moon, it's not possible to achieve anything notable without risk. As cliché as it may sound, the greatest limits are in your head, and once you defeat yourself, nothing will stand in your way. And here's a video on going from "Yeah, but..." to "Yes, and..." mentality.
  11. I was aware and ashamed of having no interest in anything in life outside of gaming. I knew I wasn't utilizing my potential. I was sick of my mind being completely obsessed with gaming. I had no idea where I was heading with my life and I couldn't stand it.
  12. Day 63 Haha, well that's easy to say when I'm feeling good. I actually did no work today. I didn't binge on YT, so that's a slight positive, but still I just wasted my afternoon browsing random bullshit. I mean I educated myself a bit on the Vietnam War, so some of it was somewhat valuable. In my head I still have those old thinking patterns where I consider myself more intelligent than everyone around me, while still being aware that this is not true, so I pick some easy targets and let my ego feed on them. That sounds even worse when I type it out. But I think it's true. In all of this process I've been focusing on myself a lot, but isn't this natural since it's my transformation? And at the same time it's so hard to appreciate others- I must admit that I view them as a secondary component of my life. In theory it seems so simple to find a balance between narcissism and no self-esteem, so just loving myself. It's so much harder than it seems. In addition to that I still have trust issues, which probably come from my middle school years. What a shitty day. Edit: A big and important thought. If my self esteem relies mostly on being superior in comparison to others, it will crash inevitably as soon as I encounter evidence that I'm not the best one around. This is not something I should invest into.
  13. Day 62 Well, my maths test went preeetty good, so I'm definitely happy with that. My 30 minute nap turned into 2 hours of sleep, but I don't mind it. Five Pomodoros today. Lately I've been thinking that I'm fairly self-centered. It's hard for me to appreciate others, when doing my gratitude list I definitely focus more on myself. Well, I've just read an article on this topic and it seems that I can't describe this aspect of me in two sentences, and it's late, so another time. I like how my nofap started 2 days after nogame- it means I can have twice as many celebrations for hitting a milestone! So, 60 days on nofap so far.
  14. Day 61 Lately my mornings have been too rushed, because I don't start going immediately after standing up to turn off my alarm. I did 1 hour of programming (though I was too tired to think effectively so I went to sleep afterwards) + 3 hours of studying for a maths test. I still need to get better at planning ahead, because it means less situations of having to do a lot of work last-moment, and it makes me less able to think that I have nothing to do. I really can't afford to lay down and do nothing. There is no such thing as "having nothing to do for 3 hours in the evening." I bet there's always something for me to do, but I just trick myself into thinking that it's not the case. Anything, doesn't even have to be mentally engaging. Gratitude: - It's warm. - I'm able to run. Finally. - I'm free from having to check my phone every evening and going to sleep at 1 AM. - I'm able to resist urges.
  15. Over 2 weeks passed since your last post, how are you doing?
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