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Franco Sosa

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  1. Hey, thank you so much for replying. About finding ways to relax, you're right. I'm not good at taking time to chill, since I've either went all out on my projects and tasks or too much time doing nothing productive. Another reason is that many hobbies or activities I enjoyed doing, I turned into projects, so I still enjoy them, but relaxing is no longer the purpose when I'm doing them. I'll look into the respawn program, not sure if I can afford it but I'd sure love to get a guidance on some aspects. About this potentially being my last relapse, I dunno man, I'm not so sure about that, I already kind of accepted that these things just happen from time to time. I still wish this is the last time, though. Thank you so much again, it means a lot.
  2. Hey, glad to hear you've been able to quit! You won me, I gotta admit. I lasted 5 months or so, and relapsed about a week ago. I posted something just now and I was revising my previous posts when I found you replied this, so I guess we sort of keep each other going in a way. Also, congratulations for your daughter! You must be so happy. Look, I find it effective to completely cut off any relation I have with games. In my case, I like to research so I spend a lot of time on YouTube. So not only I uninstall my games, but also I unsubscribe from any gaming related channel, click on the feed's "don't recommend me this" option. This time I even deleted YouTube, as well as all my downloaded music from my phone, so I don't get tempted to waste time in any way. I also spend much time on my PC since I also use it to study for college. You cannot delete YouTube from there so what I did instead was installing this browser extension called "UnDistracted" which has some features that can allow you to block some sites at certain levels. For instance, with YT I'm able to block the recomendations feed and suggested videos, so that I can use it more objectively. I also can block certain domains for a period of time or permanently. There's a lot more strategies that I use to make it easier, but sometimes you still have a craving, and there's not much you can do. So making yourself that promise is a great thing to do! The moments where I was able to stop gaming and quitting, where those when I couldn't handle this feeling of regret, these "I had enough! I will stop now!" moments. Well, that's it. Hope it helps you keep going. Good luck on your journey! PD: at the time I'm writing this it's really late, so if some things don't make much sense, it's because I'm tired. Sorry for that!
  3. Hi guys, hope you're well. It's been a long time since I last logged in this forum, glad to be back. Today I just need to put some thoughts out of my head, so that's what I'll do. Where do I begin... After, like, 5 months since I finally quitted gaming, I relapsed. Again. I thought it'd be final, that it wouldn't happen again, that now I had it under control, got myself under control, but no. This strong temptation to play a game had to get the best of me one more time. I couldn't help but deceive myself. I gave up, and it's fucking frustrating, specially after all the progress I made in these months (or this year). I started a new carreer in college, got good grades (bc I studied), got to meet many new friends, I came to be more social... I even started talking with a girl I like recently. I'm usually optimistic in general, but the reason I'm mad with myself is the moment this relapse is happening. It's just the worst time possible to do it! During the past months, it was much easier to resist gaming, if I had a craving, that is. Because of college, I had many responsibilities I had to attend, so not even cravings were frequent at the time. But now that the period had just finished, I have a lot of free time again, and as opposite as in college, where things sort of arranges things for me, now I am responsible for managing my time and what to do with it. I feel that last part was one of the two most important reasons why I fell back into gaming. I... simply had forgotten which were my other goals. What do I want to do after finals are over? What had I planned for vacations? The other reason, was that I was tired. Well, I AM tired. From college. And now I don't feel I have the energy to do all those things I wanted. "I just want to relax", I thought. "I don't want to think much now, I'll wait a bit until I relaxed and then I'll continue with my projects again". The third reason, finally, is the one I mentioned before: I started making progress with a girl I like. To me, this is a really big deal. Look, for a long time I considered myself a shy, even anti-social guy. Today, though the social aspect is still difficult for me, I think I progressed a lot, specially with girls. I have some friends that are girls, I don't get as nervous when meeting new people or starting a conversation, I hold more eye contact... I'm still pretty naive, though more perceptive than before. And recently I got to know this girl in college, she's one of my classmates in a couple of classes. We met to study together for an exam, and quickly we had good vibes. From then we started hanging out before class, and at some time I noticed something was developing. We both couldn't stop smiling when talking to each other, I made her laugh (I'm horrible with humor)... I think I like her, and I had the chance to ask her out, but I missed it. Again, this social thing is still very difficult for me, but I'm trying my best. Now that classes are over, we no longer have those opportunities to hang out, so how I see it, this is the final chance. And in the worst moment possible, instead of trying to overcome this struggle, I gave up and got back to gaming. SO. FRUSTRATING. AARGGHHHH!!! Now it's been a week or two since we last met, but I like to think I still have a chance, that it's now or never, but each moment that passes makes it seem more difficult. I'll be really honest with you: this happened to me before. This is really embarassing for me, but I just don't want things to happen like those times. I don't want to lose oportunities anymore. Sorry for that part, I didn't want to deviate from the purpose of the post but like I said it's really important for me so I wanted to put it out of my head for a bit. So, it's just been a couple days of relapsing I think. Most of it was going all out, gaming many hours a day nonstop, then regretting it and uninstalling all games. I keep saying that I'm just spitting thoughts here, that you don't have to mind this, but you know what, maybe I do need some help. This things are tough for me to speak, and while it's easier for me to put out here on a post, it's hard for me to open up in front of other people. Didn't really had the oportunity to either. So if you please could send me good vibes, just supporting me with a quick reply will mean a lot. Thanks guys, really.
  4. Hey everyone, I hope you are doing well. It's really late at the moment I'm writing this so I'm sleepy, but I really wanted to write this. Today I relapsed. Oh well. I could remain sober from videogames since mid february, so it'd be like, 3 months and a half? I did relapse during that time, but I got back up really fast, like a couple hours after I relapsed. But today I installed Terraria and played all day long, ignoring all the tasks and responsibilities I was supposed to be doing. The reason? Lately I've been having many cravings. All my friends from college play many videogames, and often they invited me to play with them. So I think hearing them talk all the time about how cool those games were, or how much fun they were getting, I started to think that I was missing on something important. I was burnt out, and thought that if I could start gaming in moderation, I could have fun with my friends too. I didn't want to. At the start I could deal really well with all these cravings, but with time, it slowly became more hard to manage. I started to miss the games I used to play real much, too. But I think that the thing that made me prone to game again the most, was forgetting my goals. Why I ended gaming for good, what did I want to do with my life. Since the very first moment I started to play again, I knew I shouldn't be doing it, and I started feeling bad. An hour ago, I forced myself to get out from the game and watch one of Cam's videos about relapsing. And then I remembered, and my perspective shifted. Right after watching the video, I uninstalled and completely deleted the game from my pc. I was reminded what I told myself: I gamed enough for life. I quitted for good. I also recalled all the good things I did in these three months: I started excercising everyday, studying for college (I even enjoyed it!), made new friends, and much more! So when I came here, I read Cam's post about relapsing, where it says that we shoudn't see relapse just as something bad, but also as a possibility to learn. And just after reading that, I understood. Between the many reasons I ended up playing again, the main ones were: 1. In my college almost everyone plays games a lot, so it becomes really hard not to have cravings if all the people around you talks about it on a regular basis. At the start I managed to meet many people and make new friends without having gaming in common, though. I learned that even if everyone around me games, it doesn't mean that I'm missing something if I don't do it too. I can still engage and have lots of fun without doing it. In fact, I already did! 2. I was working all the time. I was burnt out. Though I've progressed a bit on giving myself permission to rest or relax, irl it's also very likely that at some point you get bored. But I couldn't bare to be so, therefore, whenever I was bored or got nothing to do, I was thinking about gaming. So, I reminded that it's ok to be bored. It's even good, I'd say, cause then you come up with something to do. In conclusion, all I wanted to say was that it's ok to relapse. It just means you're struggling to better your life, and you just gotta learn from it. If you're depressed and believe that all that effort went to waste, you better think also about the things you did well! Be grateful about all what you achieved in your sober periods, no matter how many or how few they were. And no matter what will happen in the future, the only thing you have to remind is that you're getting better everyday. You. Are. Getting. Better. Believe it, cause it's true. Cause it's what you want. Have a great time!
  5. Hey there, hope you are well. I joined this site recently so I don't know if you keep having this problem or you overcame it. I'm sorry to hear it, I can totally relate. I had many relapses in the past, and I know that feeling of anger against oneself when you think all your progress is gone. But the truth is that it's not gone! If you could get out of it, that's an amazing thing! Addiction is something that I think never really goes out of your life, so cravings can come when you less expect them. You just get better with dealing with them. I just made a post about this. Just some months ago I was in a relapse that lasted like 3 months! I got back up again and STILL I relapsed 2 times again! But this time, it lasted less, cause I got better controlling it. I totally recomend you to try meditation. It's one of those things that help you relax and it also helped me to be more aware of my actions at any time. Hope it helps!
  6. Hello! How are you doing? Making progress aroung here! In the past, when I was trying to overcome my addiction, I would usually go down during a couple MONTHS, or a week if I was lucky. The first days, I'd think "It's ok, I can get back up!", but my actions didn't follow my thoughts, so I'd sort of giving up while deceiving myself. Recovering was a really though thing for me back then. Recently, I had been getting many cravings, since I was stressed. The stress came not so much because of the events of the moment, but more from the fact that I was studying pretty much all the time, but neglecting to have a time to relax or doing other things that I enjoy. I remember thinking in that moment "I'll finish all my tasks first, then I'll relax". Because of this, I relapsed a few days ago. My cravings made me start missing a phone game I used to play a lot. It's called "Brawl Stars" (I stopped playing it cause I realised it was REAL addictive). So, as my phone is already too old to be able to run that game properly, I installed it in my PC, through an Android emulator, and played it right away, when I was supposed to go to sleep. I thought I'd be the beginning of a bad relapse, playing all night and the day after... But instead, I just played 2 HOURS. After that I uninstalled the game, the emulator and went back to normal as if nothing happened in the first place. And yesterday, I kind of relapsed again (but with other entertainment sources). I woke up early, but started the day watching a webcomic. The previous day I wasn't able to watch the new chapter of a series I like, so I wanted to watch it and then keep with my routine as usual, but I got hooked. It was like 6pm when I stopped for a moment and thought: "Oh man, I think I'll lose the day at this rate. I wanted to do so many things today, yet it went so wrong". But then I remembered: "The most difficult thing (for me at least) is STARTING. Just go and start doing the thing, don't think about it!", and so I did. I wasn't able to do everything I wanted to do that day, but still felt great, cause I recovered my day. I consider this 2 events really great accomplishments in my view. Prove to myself that I'm different from the guy I was before, I'm more capable to control my cravings.
  7. Hello there! My name is Franco and I'm from Argentina! I'm happy to meet you all! A bit of my story I was badly addicted to videogames for around 8 years, and I during that time I tried many things to overcome it, but I always failed or lasted for a short time. Since I was a gamer, I know what it is like. You may think you're having fun, that you have many friends, or even that you have a purpose by gaming. I lied to myself every single day with these things, and it was DREADFUL, cause I was aware at every moment that was not the case. That I should be doing something else. That gaming was bad for me. I was reminded by myself constantly about all of my dreams and aspirations that I wasn't taking action towards. And knowing all this, I still kept playing, many hours a day. It started with an old Family Game console, then a PS2, the PS3, and finally, phone & PC games. At the beggining, my excessive gaming habits were just something at the back of my head that I didn't take seriously. But I am a very self-reflective person, therefore as time passed, these thoughts increased in frequency and intensity, until I reached a period where I couldn't bear myself. I wasn't able to enjoy videogames anymore, but somehow I kept doing it. I remember thinking about playing Minecraft, and getting really anxious before I even opened the game launcher. It was nasty. And when you get to that point where you can no longer stand the situation, sooner or later you decide to do something about it. I know that some people, when they hit rock bottom, they decide they no longer want to carry the burden of their lives, and begin to contemplate suicide. I too know there are people that come out stronger than ever before, and even some people became popular or succesful after a critical moment, telling all these crazy life experiences. I didn't have a crazy story, but I had lost faith in myself, and I was really depressed. I felt powerless, as I was in a loop that I created by myself, and no matter what I did, I couldn't bring myself to get out of it. But despite it all, I am a persistent guy. I didn't want to give up. Yes, I was badly addicted, but I couldn't stand the thought of me wasting my life and never achieving anything. To me, that was something that I would never EVER accept. "I have to keep trying", I thought. Like before, I told myself "There has to be a way to end this, for good! To finally free myself from gaming and actually start taking action towards my dreams!", and that triggered something deep inside of me. My stubborness and dreams got me out of there once again... Except that it would finally be different. Someday around mid February this year, I took the decision to stop gaming, and since that day, I seriously commited to it. Yes, I've had relapses, but I recovered. I Want to Help! Sooo, that was my relationship with videogames (I think I was a little dramatic there didn't I? Hehe, sorry). These last years, I did a 5-month challenge to leave videogame addiction, and I also started posting my experience on gaming adiction-related subreddits. Then I found Cam and his amazing YouTube channel, which absolutely blew me up, cause I didn't think something like that would exist. Nowadays (or at least when I started), there's not many people yet who takes this matter seriously. My parents tried to help me at the moment, but couldn't find a way. Many people around me games excessively, but I think that despite the concern about it has increased lately, it's still a topic that has a long way to have the importance and attention that it deserves, especially regarding the dissemination of an effective procedure in these situations. I'm confident that the gigantic growth of the video game industry is difficulting this proccess. So, I turned to this kind of communities, hoping that by sharing some advice or what works for me, I get to help you at least a bit. I will always give my best to offer you an original perspective, something you may not tried before, or something I think is the most valuable to do. Oh, I also love to write, as you can see. So you could expect a REALLY complete answer from me, hahaha! So that's it! I hope I can help you in any way. I'm truly grateful for joining this community! Have a good day, everyone!