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Talby

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  1. Thanks. I didn't get on top of it for at least another year until my daughter was born in March. After spending 4 weeks gaming whilst cuddling her and feeling myself being sucked in more and more I decided just to walk away again. Since then I've been desperate to play at times. I was even googling mmos earlier this morning after my cravings got triggered, but I made a promise to myself and realistically don't have the time to do it anymore. I just need time to put distance between it and me. I actually came back on to check how long I quit last time so in a way you replying to that thread was really helpful as I was able to find it much quicker Can't believe it was 6 months. In a way it makes me anxious about this time as I'm only just coming up to 3 months, Ive said nothing through summer and then hoping I'll just carry on beyond then. But it was so easy to justify it after 6 months last time, I'm on the watch for similar stressors and life events that might justify going back.
  2. Thanks for weighing in! The pen and paper vs pc thing is interesting for me because I'm a data scientist so work at a computer intensively all day, writing journal entries and plans digitally can seem like just an extension of the work day. But I just lose paper all the time! Or find it hard to access info because it hasn't been indexed in a way that my favourite journal application or planning app will. That's something for me to perhaps plan to move towards in the near future if I start to feel overloaded with screen time.
  3. Last week I wrote an interesting private journal entry on how I self sabotaged my journaling last year by convincing myself that it was hurting me by opening up the stream of consciousness Pandoras box. Truth be told I don't know whether that's right or not but I certainly feel like I'm starting to make better decisions now that I've started doing it again and doing it honestly. Now that I'm not bullahitting myself about how much gaming I'm doing or how I can control it or how I deserve to have a little bit. Neither am I lording it over other people that I've quit or having arguments with myself about enormous life events or philosophical debates. Really I just want to process all the raging and screaming and ranting about the world's problems I've overstimulated myself with online. I want to see it for what it is and pull back from from being addicted to the drama because I don't think it's good for me. Who I am now regrets all the time wasted on these things in the past. Who I will be in 6 months time wants to look back and be truthful with himself about whether he actually did anything about it or not. The me in 6 months wants to be able to go for a long run, crack open a beer, eat an indulgent dinner and play with his daughter, love his wife and laugh with his friends without feeling ashamed. Without feeling like gaming is the reality and that all these other activities are just a distraction away from what I really need to do. Nothing is ever really finished with mental health, but I'm already consistently getting up in the morning and taking more care of myself than I was before. That trend is starting to reverse and I want t keep it that way. When I get up I'm either going to run or do some other type of exercise after checking on my wife and daughter, even if that's just yoga. After that I'm going to shower so that I feel clean and refreshed and ready for the day. When I've changed into proper clothes I'll assess whether I want breakfast or whether Sarah needs any help with anything before I either start work or we go do whatever it is we've got planned. I haven't got evenings planned too much yet because I think the mornings are so important and really want to get those cracked first. After better habits are set in then I can look at later in the day. Ooh on the morning front if I can spend even 5 minutes meditating just after I get up then I'll be really grateful. 5 minutes is nothing and will help build the habit. Throughout all this habit stacking, asking my wife if she needs anything and communicating with her is really important because she's not psychic and doesn't know what I've got planned. She might be expecting me to take our daughter for 2 hours whilst she goes and sleeps. Some adaptation or negotiations will be needed there. Right. Life 2.0 sorted. Time to relax in front of a good film after day full of life and love with friends and family.
  4. Thanks! It's good to get different perspectives on approaching the structural elements of quitting/cutting back. I know respawn goes in heavy with the environmental aspects and making sure your free time is filled, even if that is time to yourself but not gaming. A friend bought me atomic habits last year and it completely changed how I approach planning and execution. I trialled it on my running and after a few months I was running 6 days per week, covering a minimum of 30 miles. I've always struggled with consistency, I've liked to go in hard in the past and burnt out or not been able to cope with it so it was a revelation to start small and build up regularity.
  5. Thanks for the comments 🙂 I've felt like coming back so many times but I managed to manipulate myself into a position where I'd just kick the can down the road again. I'm already a week or so down and I'm already starting to feel like I have a little more patience and capacity to handle the stress of being a working parent. My daughter is fantastic, she's just started smiling and responding to funny faces and songs. My wife is growing in confidence after a rough few weeks and our family and friends all love her. I feel very blessed. In all honesty, I'm just spending a bit more time on YouTube or watching TV in the spare time that I can't go anywhere or do anything, sometimes getting distracted at work. But I'm aware that's not the ideal solution to this and I'm the type of person who feels more able to cut back on those habits than gaming, where there's inherent rewards and tangible progress. I'm proud of my intention and am just taking it day by day, not fixating on how many days I've not gamed for, but trying to enjoy every moment I get to spend with loved ones and make the most of the time I have to myself. The change from previous attempts seems to be that I have more hope because there's no lockdowns and that I'm recognising the emotional space I'm in when I think about how I spend my time. Whilst gaming I really tried to learn how to draw and write short stories, but gaming just took over cause it was easier. There's some expectation about picking those up again now but I recognise that I'm not quite in the right place to suddenly learn new skills whilst I'm supervising a small infant. Feels like there's a healthy dose of compassion and self respect there that was missing before. Alongside acceptance that I'll be grieving the loss of certain things for a while and that it's OK to feel upset and empty for a while until things rebalance. Hope is a great feeling.
  6. If you don't mind me being so blunt. You may not be able to engage with him. It sounds like you've tried. This is difficult because I don't want to assume too much or criticise your relationship. Nor do I want to tell you what to do. If I were in a similar position, I'd be laying down the boundaries in the relationship and being honest about expectations. If you want him to cut back (or cut it out) so that he helps more around the house, or takes work more seriously, then you need to be clear and open about it. I'm worried about your comment about him being confrontational and aggressive when you brought this up. You seem to be looking for answers for how to reach him given you now expect him to react like that. He obviously needs help but maybe he isn't ready. He has to want to change. No amount of intervention can help if the person in question doesn't see a problem. If you're scared of him reacting aggressively then you might need to consider protecting yourself or putting your needs first. I say this as someone who was in a relationship with someone who was aggressive and even violent when confronted about relationship stuff. I had to put myself first and get out, even though at the time I felt that I loved her. She just couldn't help herself and I couldn't fix her.
  7. I want to come at this from a place of sensitivity as it sounds like a very difficult position to be in, but I will be honest and give you my opinion on things. You two need an honest conversation about his habits and how they impact you. Without knowing anything about either of you and your lifestyles, I think there's probably a lot going unsaid between the two of you. First let's clear something up. He can't self diagnose himself with a mental health condition. If it's that serious that he believes he has a pathological condition then he needs to see some professionals and get it diagnosed so they can offer support. Treating these conditions isn't easy and takes time. Obviously he can say whatever he wants about his own mental health, but it sounds to me like he's making excuses for his behavior and lack of commitment to your relationship by finding a 'diagnosis'. Ultimately what are his priorities? Are they spending time with you? Working to support himself and share in life's experiences with you? Contribute to a loving and decent place to live? Or just entertaining himself endlessly and being mothered? How do you feel about your relationship with him? Do you feel like there's actually one there or that he's just hanging around expecting you to look after him? Also how is this making you feel about yourself? Standing up for yourself and being on your own side is important when dealing with things like this.
  8. Question for the community. How do people go about being disciplined, making plans and then balancing out following that plan with an acceptance that not everything on it will happen. It's something I generally don't like doing but I'm keen to get better at it. It's even tougher during the 90 day but essential I feel?
  9. This. I identify so much with the skipping aspect. Because in my favorite games I can skip any tedious bits to get to the action, I find myself just not doing things people ask me to at work until it becomes an issue for me because my brain is trained to just ignore anything that isn't shit loads of fun.
  10. I'm back here again after a major life event. My daughter, Kate, was born on 8th March. It was a difficult birth, emergency c section. Very stressful. She's just over one month old and I'd wanted to kick gaming before she arrived. Gave it a go a few times but never really got past 2 weeks. Found it tough as the more pregnant my wife got, the harder it was to go anywhere or do anything. We ended up self isolating to protect her health so I ended up slipping back into the same routines. I managed to build back into a really stable running routine starting in November and was up to running 6 days a week again by the time of the birth, but obviously all that fell off a cliff once she arrived. None of that matters now. What's concerned me is that for the first few weeks I took opportunities to let my wife nap whilst my daughter slept on me. To stay awake and enjoy the time, I turned back to gaming. Which was lovely for a while, but then I started trying to find time to game again. Then the arguing and snapping at my wife whenever I was asked to do things for her started. Then she mentioned how much I was doing it and that was the last straw. After a few days fighting with my thoughts I put the controller down again 4 days ago and haven't picked it up except to watch some anime and some films. I kind of knew this day would come when I kept trying to quit years before. I wanted to be more prepared to deal with the onslaught of having children without having to fight with this part of me (certainly not the compulsive reliance on it for getting any joy from life). The problem I have is that I stop, pick up better habits, get confident and then convince myself I can let it back in again. Abstaining feels like just as much effort than moderation, but I know I can moderate things in life because I do it all the time. This might just be my one vice that I really can't moderate. Which is sad. So I'm back to try again. With all the failures and emotions it might dredge up. Soon it will be summer and I'll have to entertain not just myself but a 3 month old. I don't want to be so craving playing video games that everything I need to do for her just becomes an interference. The last thing I want to do is resent her for taking up my time.
  11. Had a couple of really tough days. Although I promised myself this wasn't going to be a problem anymore it clearly is. The amount of times I've clicked on an installer package only to remember the commitments I've made to at least try to replace gaming with other things again and cancel the process is mad. Life is weird at the moment. I have lots of positive things to write home about. New job. Baby on the way. Loving wife. 16 weeks of marathon training behind me. But at the same time I still have this urge to just click self destruct and blow it all to hell. Almost like I don't feel like I deserve to be here, in this position. Although I've got a really strong relationship, we've had some horrible arguments over the last few days about some long standing wider family related issues that I've forgiven and started to move on from and she hasn't. It's not her fault, she feels more hurt and much more impacted by it than me, but I've been 'lucky' enough to have spent lots of time at home thinking about the person I want to be and deciding that forgiveness, compassion and letting go of my unrealistic expectations of other people is the only way that I can get myself out of the rut I worked myself into to end up feeling like I need games, internet and TV to fill the void for. I want to be a good father, good husband, good friend, good colleague and generally just try to leave the world a better place when I'm gone, no matter how small that impact might have been. But those things are very abstract and I'm aware that I need more concrete plans with more realistic targets rather than just holding up an example of 'good' and then berating myself when I don't meet it because the goalposts have moved again. Then again, goalposts move and that's just part of life. My motivation to do any work for the last few weeks of my current contracted role is incredibly low. I'm getting through it but it's getting harder and harder not to get distracted. Procrastinating has just become a default setting and I don't feel like I have a routine anymore. I know that's my own problem, I can blame the pandemic all I want. But it's feeling more and more like a challenge to fix it. But I can start by getting off here and getting back to what I want to be doing, which is getting through my work list. There we go.
  12. Wow. How out of control things got after August. I managed to stay pretty focused until the stress of managing a lot of different things and spinning lots of plates got to me and I cracked. I remember being sat at home after helping one of my mates to navigate on some fells for a race we were both doing. He was doing the 30 mile distance, I the 12. The routes overlapped so it was a good opportunity for us to get the lay of the land, have a good day out and then eat some well deserved food. Unfortunately we got a tad lost and rather than covering 15 miles, we ended up going 19. It might not seem like much but it was hot and the terrain is tough going. the extra 4 miles equated to an extra hour of running/fast hiking which at the time just floored me. I remember getting home and being a mixture of elated that I'd managed to push myself but also feeling dog rough. That's when I cracked. I remember having a conversation with my mate about addictions and relapses. He had a problem with alcohol and drugs, we spoke at length about moderation and allowing ourselves something as a reward, particularly during the times of COVID. I think that sparked something in my brain. I finally had the permission and excuse I'd been angling for to start gaming again, but with the promise that I was going to control it. Even my wife, who had agreed to be my voice of reason wasn't bothered about me doing it, as long as it didn't take time away from us (which was one of the huge reasons why I stopped). Anyway it got out of control. I reconnected with a friend who is a big gamer and we started essentially competing with each other to play and finish certain games. It got a bit out of hand, eventually the 'allowed' time crept more and more into everyday life until I was gaming again during the day when I was supposed to be working. I'll stop there because it's just more of the same really. It hasn't stopped me from achieving things in the last year. I've done very well on an internship I started in October 2020. That's finishing soon and I've secured employment on a really competitive graduate scheme. My wife is pregnant with our first child and we celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary. But I can't shake the feeling that it's all come at a great cost because I was always fighting with myself over what I should be doing in my spare time. It's a difficult one because with lockdowns, there was so many activities that I'd started to put the feelers out to at the start of 2020 that just got shuttered. After the panic and chaos of the last year, going back to look at those isn't a simple choice as it was before. With the pregnancy, we're both scared of putting the baby at unnecessary risk. I don't know how I feel about joining indoor clubs or spending time in crowded places if I really don't have to. Not easy choices. I also am running a marathon in 3 weeks, my first in years. I've trained well, but running and gaming have this strange relationship where one enables the other but only in a certain direction. I tend to reward myself for running and achieving with gaming sessions because although I get a lot out of running, it's hard work. So my brain often comes up with the idea that because I've smashed a 50 mile week, I deserve to sit and do nothing but play video games all day/week. Well. That's me as is now. It was hard writing all that. I'm sure that as I move forward I'll focus less on what I haven't done or haven't got and start to think about what I want and the things I'm doing to try and achieve that. I will give myself time. I will break things down into management chunks of time and plan my days out a little better again. I will plan for weather, I will plan for seasons, I will plan for what I do when I finish something or achieve something and want to reward myself. Ultimately, I will try to be on my own side going forward rather than being big brother, always focusing on everything I'm not doing and berating myself for not making things happen the way I feel like they should have in my mind. Thank you to anybody who read this and stay strong y'all.
  13. Totally didn't control it. Didn't have a plan. Just went back to using it as a way to hide from stress. The stress of a new job, the stress of dealing with isolation over winter, the stress of feeling like a failure a lot, the stress I was having from going to counselling and talking about some more of my issues. I've decided to come back and ease my way back into the community, try to be a bit more compassionate with myself and others. I looked back over a few of my old posts and noticed how angry I was at myself, which started to project onto lots of other things in life. It's been a rough year, for everybody I suspect.
  14. This is really fascinating. Whilst I'm not against the idea of gaming detox, in my experience I think people place too much emphasis on it as a cure all. It's a great idea to shelve the habit as much as possible so that you free up some time to figure things out, I'm very keen on the ideas of habit stacking, changing your environment and like you say, deciding what identity you want and working towards that. Atomic Habits is one of my favourite books. Somebody bought me it earlier this year and I've been trying to follow many of the ideas and principles in it. I know Cam does talk a lot about rebuilding your identity in his videos and respawn stuff and doesn't really push the detox too much as an endpoint. I think a lot of people see that as an easy fix with their frazzled brains and think it's as simple as just giving up, but we should all be compassionate on ourselves and each other right? It's a long learning process. Let's be hear to encourage and catch each other when we fall.
  15. This is really interesting. I come at this after having a really difficult year. I managed to quit for over the 90 days but became a bit too focused on just counting the days and expecting things to get better. After pushing myself really hard towards the end of the summer last year (managing wedding arrangements, doing a big fell race, getting a new job etc) all whilst during fluctuating UK lockdown conditions, I finally gave in and allowed myself to game again after 6 months of nothing. Of course there was the sneaky internet rabbit holes that I told myself were an ok replacement but really were doing me just as much damage, probably leading me to still feel just as bad as when I was gaming too much. Anyway, fast forward a year and I've been trying to 'game in moderation' but really don't know how to feel about it. The stuff about coupling liking and wanting is really useful because it shines a light on why I'm constantly writing and thinking about wanting to not fill my time endlessly with TV, gaming and browsing the internet but why I keep going back to it as a default. I know this discussion was from last year but thought I'd offer a thanks for it being here.