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NEW VIDEO: Letting go of gaming


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About Talby

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  • Birthday 05/31/1986

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  1. Cheers mate. Running has been such an important pillar in my life for over 10 years now and there's been huge moments in my life where I've said to myself "it's either running or gaming, you can't commit to both and hold down your job, relationship, friends etc" Sometimes that decision has gone either way and it's that bouncing around I'm trying to finally stop. It's now not even a choice I have anymore, I see it as "it's running and tons of other exciting stuff, including job, relationship, friends etc". It's such a liberating experience changing your perspective of something that you struggled with for such a long time, particularly as there's still people I know/knew and in the media trying to tell me that I'm not addicted, that's an unhealthy way of looking at it blah blah blah. People see what they want to see. The way I see it, it's my life and I decide whether it's a problem or not. Which gives me control over my behaviours and what I say. As I said, liberating. Thank you for your reassurance and to everyone on here for opening their hearts and minds 🙂
  2. I love the idea of an itch that gets easier to ignore. I'm playing with a fly buzzing around my head, eventually landing on my shoulder that I just flick away and crack on with life.
  3. Great start @A Single Step, you're looking at all the right things to make small changes to. And you're amongst fellow addicts here who want to heal 🙂 As somebody who felt very similar to you at 25, I can vouch that wanting to turn things around and not feeling like you've unlocked your potential is very difficult to process emotionally. As others have said really well, it really is about the little stuff and looking at making improvements to yourself every day. Other people, even your closest and dearest, will always be moving in their lives, whether forwards or backwards and comparing yourself to them is just one of those things we humans naturally do. The emotional growth comes from being able to accept that feeling like that isn't right or wrong, it's just a feeling. In time, we can train ourselves to not let the feelings determine what our behaviours are. One thing I do want to really emphasis is that you haven't messed up ANYTHING beyond repair, and this process won't be just about salvaging what's left because you've got SO much time left. When I was 25, I was in an abusive relationship with a fellow gamer and hating life. I started volunteering, spending more time out of the house and eventually qualified as a Teacher. The important thing about my point here is that I didn't even make it in that career, it didn't work out for me. I ended up having to face down a lot of the issues from my past. honestly and without deceit. The challenges involved in that career weren't the ones I wanted in life, but I learnt more about myself from making real, everyday human mistakes than I ever did from achieving level 60...;) Time is the great healer if you start with forgiveness of yourself. Focus on one day at a time and let yourself be vulnerable. We're all here for you whenever you need reassurance.
  4. I'm celebrating finally admitting to myself and those closest to me that I have an addiction and that I have a plan to do something about it. I've been here so many times before but given up when things got too hard. I'm celebrating nearly 3 weeks game free (and all the associated mindless browsing and YouTube watching that substitutes it). Struggling with some withdrawal and still getting in touch with a lot of the emotions that have been repressed, but my relationship with my fiancee has been better and we've made loads of plans to do stuff in the near future. I'm also really happy with my commitment to fitness again, particularly getting back up to 30+ mile weeks running and putting in some strength training. I'll soon be ready to start learning some new skills that gaming kept taking over. Finally I'm happy to have joined this forum full of amazing people making huge commitments to change their lives and that of those around them.
  5. Keplaris, Your situation sounds almost exactly like mine, particularly as I did an MSc in Geographical Information Systems. Whilst studying after a period of absence I started convincing myself that playing civilisation, Simcity or anything that was essentially a fantasy of what my degree could be was going to be helpful. It got worse and worse, put enormous strain on my relationship, work and education. I got through it but at a huge cost to my mental and physical health. Studying and working is difficult anyway, introducing addictive gaming sessions in just makes it like trying to survive the apocalypse. As somebody has mentioned earlier, as soon as you bring it back in it can take over and the cravings just get worse and worse. Once that starts, it’s a slippery slope and in my opinion it starts to take much more mental strain and physical effort trying to contain the cravings and moderate than if you’re just feeling a bit empty from missing the sessions. This scenario for me was 2-3 years ago, and I’m STILL suffering from the ramifications. I’ve only now admitted the addiction and took the decision to abstain, deleting all games and promising to my loved ones that I won’t go back. I have a distinction in my MSc but if I’m being brutally honest, I’m in a job I really don’t enjoy and could have done a lot better for myself if I’d have stayed focused to the important things. Success is never guaranteed from any education, but you can put yourself in the best position to gain employment or move forward with what you know is right. Without judging myself too harshly, because judgement and self-hatred really isn’t the goal here, the question I ask myself is “Did I do everything I could and that was within my control to succeed at that endeavour?” Obviously the ‘within my control’ bit is important because there’s a ton of stuff that can halt you in your tracks or upend your life. For me, I was going through some stuff that was a little out of my control…and I’ve used that as an excuse for not achieving what I thought I could during that period. But I CANNOT honestly answer that question with a yes, knowing what I do about how much time I spent gaming when I had my studies…and the decisions that led to me embarking on my studies…and the decision to study in the way I did etc etc. Gaming comes into a lot of my decision making over the last few years and I regret not getting it under control sooner. As TwoSidedLife said, people in control don't have an issue with it, their lifestyles and probably don't stress too much about whether they're out of control or not. If you're thinking about it and it's having a negative impact on your studies and lifestyle, it's most likely a problem. My advice is don’t regret it. Take control of it now and don’t make excuses to yourself. It can be very liberating, which comes with it's own anxieties and fear...but they're far more interesting to get to know than the isolation of gaming addiction 😊 Let me know if you want to chat more about it.
  6. Day 7 It's been a week since I last gamed but not since I made the decision to quit. There's a been a lot of ups and downs since I came clean and talked it over with close friends and loved ones, but people are starting to understand my behaviour over the last 10 years or so and supporting my decision. More important than anything else, people are understanding why it's a problem and how it develops. Thank god the WHO is taking this seriously now, maybe we can put the pressure on the industry to start funding research and support for addiction. I'm starting to feel the light again, that association with all the things I loved doing when I went to university is breaking through now that I've made the decision to leave it all behind and push through with more positive choices. Gratitude journal Today I'm grateful for having a good friend who came out for a hike with me and chatted about everything I'm going through (he had a similar experience with addiction that I helped him through). I'm also really grateful to my beautiful fiancee who is supporting me and works hard so that we can live in a nice home. I managed to get in a decent hike and then fit in a good Yoga session, which I don't normally manage to achieve on a weekend. Going to keep it short but this week I want to continue this momentum forward. I want to keep running, doing yoga, having a positive attitude towards those I love and adore, and have hope that I can change the circumstances I don't like given the time and opportunities.
  7. Hi Kevin, Your post reminds me very much of my own journey with gaming. The constant time sink and losing yourself in the progression when you were younger, then the self-realisation and research you do around it with attempts to stop, before you decide that it can be controlled and then you let it back into your life and it takes over again until you don't want anything else. I share your vision to cut it off completely, with no celebratory gaming sessions because I've achieved something tangible in the real world. Your comment about running a mile made me smile a lot. As a runner I understand how much patience and dedication it takes to develop your fitness and train, but do get frustrated about how you don't get that instant feedback like in a game. What I've found with anything that isn't developed to be addictive like gaming, you have to enjoy the sense of identity it gives you despite what you might be feeling. If you're training for a race, visualise yourself smashing it at the Olympics, if you're learning an instrument and nail a tune/song, visualise yourself in front of a cheering crowd. It sounds daft and obviously it isn't real, but I find that stimulating my imagination in this way helps me achieve my goals and be more creative with life. Good luck with it all 🙂
  8. Hey dude, Thanks for taking the time to read all that and respond 🙂 It's interesting to get a take from somebody who works and has experienced a good portion of life, yet had this as an issue in the background. For me, it's always been something that I've never really been proud of but always thought "I've got the rest of my life to worry about other bullshit, and things will work out fine in the end". But now I'm at the stage in my life where I'm more about taking action, trying to punch through barriers and do more things that challenge me, to keep going back to that abusive relationship (there, I said it) just seems totally counter intuitive. Like, I absolutely adore and love running, trekking and generally being outdoors. Trying to fit that around 'normal life' (relationship, work, friends) and keep crowbarring gaming into any bit of free time I get is like trying to force the two north poles of a magnet together for the rest of your life. It's mentally draining and puts an enormous strain on everything. So many of those points above strike a chord. The dog one in particular makes me a little teary as we had the most beautiful German poodle when I was a kid, and although I gave him attention, a lot of the time I couldn't be bothered with him because of gaming. He died not long after I graduated from university and I always regret not focusing more on him. I've spent years moaning about how wrong things keep going for me, well now I'm taking back control of a huge portion of my life that keeps sending me into a spiral of self destruction.
  9. Hi everyone, I’m currently in a tough period of reflection where I’ve had to be really honest with myself about my addiction to gaming. It’s difficult because from the outside to people who know me, it might not seem like it, but I know it’s there. Let me explain a bit more. I’ve had a games console since the original mega drive back when I was a kid. Since then it’s always been a big part of my life. When I moved up to secondary school and then college the addiction really started when I discovered RPGs (Final Fantasy and Fallout were the culprits). Although I made it through both school and college with ok results, I’ve always felt like I could have done better and used games to cope with all sorts of negative feelings that come from being a skinny, geeky kid with glasses and curly hair. Eventually this all culminated in the mother of all addictions: World of Warcraft. I remember playing through days and nights. I remember skipping college to play. I remember it being all I could think about whilst I was trying to study. I bombed my first year of college so dropped 3 A levels and took up an AVCE in ICT. This went well, but deep down it caused longer term problems because I became associated with a lot of people who played videos games…a lot. I fell into playing a lot of online gaming, mostly from the comfort of my bedroom at home in our small village. Connecting with other people but not really building any solid, dependable friendships with anybody who wanted the best for me. This was a very lonely time for me, I started working full-time because I didn’t know what to do after college and wanted to carry on subscribing to WoW. In the end I made it to University, saw that nobody else was doing this stuff and managed to kick it for a few years. I swore off MMORPGs and only rarely played anything. The problem was as soon as I met anybody who did play, I was instantly sucked back in to that world, to what they were playing. It was like I wanted to leave it all behind, but as soon as I had permission from somebody else that it was ok, the floodgates opened. This has been the case up and down for the last 10-12 years now, through multiple career changes and studies. I’ve always moved forward and tried to escape from it, but found myself getting sucked back in as soon as I felt that I deserved it or had permission to. Even downloading MMORPGs again. At one point last year I had 3 on the go, which feels much worse than simply going on WoW and raiding with a community. I’ve read a lot about the psychology of addiction and have tried various things to quit. The problem is, I want to have it as an escape every now and again, as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. I want to be able to sit down on the couch, boot up something fun on the ps4, play for an hour or two and then move on. The problem is with the history I have with it all, the enjoyment always comes with a huge cost. It has such enormous feelings of failure attached to it because as a reflective 33 year old, I look at my situation now and associate all the things I believe I’ve failed to achieve as being a result of being addicted to gaming. Of course the gaming is not to blame, it’s just the biggest coping mechanism I’ve had for my social anxiety, insecurity and depression. There’s been periods when I’ve not gamed much but drank more so I understand the reasons behind the way I feel. I tried a year teetotal, but I just played more PC games to fill that void. I do feel very lonely, not in that I don’t have anybody because I have a wonderful fiancée who I’d be in big trouble without, a loving family and some really good friends. But it’s so hard sharing this with any of them because they just do-not-understand. I barely talk about my gaming with them, I’m ashamed of it as a hobby. I met them all through a running club I joined when I eventually found something else to be addicted to, so it’s a real mixed bag of interests…however we all share that addictive personality. I think the vulnerability they feel to certain vices that they’ve escaped from makes it hard for me to be open about it. Sorry this is getting a bit long-winded for an intro, but I’m in a position that maybe I feel not a lot of people might be in. I discovered my addiction, kicked it, replaced it with something else…only for it to creep its way back in as I approach a pivotal time of my life (getting married later this year). Thank you for bearing with me, I had a lot to get off my chest and needed a first step.
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