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NEW PODCAST: Do Loot Boxes Lead to Problem Gambling?

Some Fool

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  1. Thanks everyone for the responses! I think a 90 day detox should be in order. I will uninstall my games, although, I don't know if I can delete all my modding progress... Wow, thank you for the encouragement! Yeah I'm glad I'm far away from that woman haha. My current goals are to do well in school, change my behavior to make good things happen for me, and replace gaming with different pursuits, although what those are specifically I'm not sure yet. Diet I could work on, although I think getting stricter on when I go to bed, when I wake up, and exercising would make a bigger difference. Thank you for asking :).
  2. Hey Sanctia, thanks for responding to my post earlier, and keep your head up :). Know that we've got your back, even if out there you don't have support. That's what's so great about the age we're in, you can make friendships anywhere. A little advice to you, since you gave me some, you might try writing down a set of realistic/positive affirmations on a sheet of paper, and pin it where you can see it easily. Some of my favorites are: "what we achieve inwardly will change outer reality" and "it's the interpretations I make of an event, during the process of self-talk, that determines my feelings. Not all interpretations are correct so many debilitative emotions can be avoided" and "it is by small steps taken each day that we can arrive at the doorstep of transformation" and "my self worth is determined not by how others treat me, but by how I decide to treat others." Hope this gives you some inspiration.
  3. Hey guys, I've been watching Cam's videos for a few months now. I thought it was a good idea to come on here and get involved with you guys. So, a little about me: I'm 28 years old, and have been gaming ever since I first got hooked to Halo oh so long ago. Man, I went from playing the occasional Mortal Combat 2 on the sega, to full-fledged lifelike (at the time) 3d grumpkins and lazer beams. I couldn't get enough, and my friend would agree; he'd roll his eyes everytime I'd come over to his house to play that magical holy grail of virtual greatness. It didn't end there (obviously): then came Starcraft, Morrowind (LOTS of hrs on that one), Halo 2-Halo 4, Mass Effect 1-3, Oblivion, Third Age: Total War, Fallout 3, Mount and Blade, Skyrim, Skyrim MODDED, New Vegas, New Vegas MODDED, Starcraft 2, Far Cry 3 (soo great, lol) and on and on and on. It didn't help that at school I didn't fit in. Being a small, shy, sensitive kid, I was an easy target for bullies, and after my first week of Middle School, I was subject to the sadistic whims of one or two punks. I felt defeated and traumatized, and from the 6th-12th grade, life took on a new meaning: escape to survive. Video games and fantasy books were my escape. One positive side effect of growing up in a difficult environment, is I invested time in some great literature, like in stories of King Arthur and his Knights, Tolkien's work, and in other mythologies. I holed myself up and worked hard in school, applying myself well enough to get good grades. I also stuck to extra curricular activities like Cross Country, which I did for 3 years and found satisfaction in seeing personal improvements in my time. All of these positives, however, were outweighed by the way I consistently felt. The events I went through left me feeling numb. I had zero sense of self-worth: my confidence from doing something well one minute, could be immediately circumvented by one mistake here, one laugh at how I spoke there, one stare from a person the next moment. My life was fueled by anxiety, depression, and insecurity. Video games and (later on) pornography, were my go to relief. I might not amount to anything, but at least I'll never get bored, and nobody needs to care what I do with my free time, right? At least I'll never have to be in any uncomfortable environments ever again; I can hide away in fantasy land... forever. Fast forward a good 8 years: past some shitty jobs, some mediocre college grades, a lot of modding, missed opportunities, a lot of going with the flow and never figuring things out, until September, 2015. I had just left my old apartment about five months earlier. I had been living there for about a year and a half. It was the PERFECT setup. I had a 250 sq ft basement to myself: own entrance, huge storage closet, enough room for my projector with 92" screen, epic sound system, rocking game computer, tapestries (yeah, they are legit), the works. Same as usual, I'd go to work, come home blast my music, then end with some Halo 4 online - rain epic pain on them NOOBZ - haha no but I was pretty good. I'd wake up late with the day off and mod Skyrim like crazy: getting closer to that perfect gaming ideal. And then there was my roommate. She was trouble. She called herself the "Black Widow baby", because she'd pull guys in with her flirtatious ways, get what she wanted from them, and then hang them dry. She was definitely one of those shallow, ungrateful, self-obsorbed, narcissistic, yet beautiful and charming girls who you hate to love. I steered clear of her at first, because I knew better. But sooner or later, she got to me, as is won't to happen to those inexperienced, lonely guys out there. I started going to bars with her - I had always stayed sober up until that point - and the experiences I was having, although a big shock at first, ended up becoming the salve to my wounds. I was actually at bars, dancing, not holed up in my room, getting wasted with a hot girl and her friends! We hung out more and more, and then, one evening, she invited me upstairs to dance with her, and we did, and we kissed, and it was good. The end. LOL. Ok, so I had a fun night! No harm in that, right? well, not so much, because I was a confused, lonely, insecure guy who wanted to sleep with her, the girl who must never be tangled with. Let me just get this out, we did not sleep together. Anyway, so from then on my behavior changed around her. I would go out of my way to flirt with her. Almost every time I was around her, I would scrutinize my behavior to make sure I wasn't being foolish. Even when she brought guys over and slept with them right above where I slept, I wanted to sleep with her. I'm laughing now as I type this - man that killed me. Yet, I still couldn't get her out of my mind. It ended up getting weird sometimes when we were around each other, and I developed a love hate relationship with her. On the one hand, I hated her behavior, lifestyle, and how rude she was sometimes, yet on the other, I felt empathy for what she'd been through as well as being enticed immensely by her charm and beauty. In the end, before I moved out, I told her how I felt about her and left feeling frustrated, confused, and abused. Living with my parents now, about 12 minutes down the road. Laying in bed, thinking about how my life got me to where I was. Why had I given up my independence and esteem on a selfish, inconsistent, slutty behaving woman? Why was it so hard for me to feel confident in myself or feel good about myself? Why wasn't I living my life fully like the people outside? What was holding me back? Why was it so hard for me to see myself in a better light? Why did I always sabotage my life by giving up? How did I become comfortable with a mediocre life? I looked at my character, attributes and skill sets, and I did not like what I saw. I had lived my life in the shadows so I wouldn't have to face my fears. I was afraid of sticking up for myself. I was afraid of failure and even more so, afraid of success. I had reached a point where I wanted to feel bad about myself, so I could continue to have a reason to do nothing with my life; to keep modding, playing video games, and cruising the easy life. But what cost was this lifestyle having on my sanity, my development and my confidence? I was 27 and I hadn't finished college, I hadn't had a girlfriend, I hadn't learned any significant skills, I hadn't gone to a concert, I hadn't really left the country; I hadn't done jack. I became so fed up with my lack of knowledge and my living conditions that I set out to make some changes. I started going to bed before midnight; I started to write in my journal (this really helped me find clarity); I limited the amount of time I spent gaming; I started reading up on interpersonal communication and specifically how our thoughts influence how we feel, etc; I started reading Chivalry Now, a book that teaches how we can become better men; I started volunteering at St. Mary's hospital (it was intimidating at first, but became very enjoyable); I started reading the scriptures and going to addiction recovery classes. I finally got a damn job. Progress was slow at first. I still struggled with depression and had relapses with pornography and video games. Little by little, I started to feel better. My mind and my spirit started to come to life. I found I enjoyed learning new philosophy and staying active outside more than playing video games. I could remember things better and I was proud of my lifestyle. I was actually doing good things for myself, and learning new mental techniques and integrating sound beliefs. I started to feel confident when going out into society, because I had a stronger grasp on who I was and I was proud of who I was becoming. It did not matter that I was imperfect or what people thought of me, because as long as I was actively progressing, that gave me free reign to be myself and make mistakes. I could see past the poor behavior of other people, and knew what to avoid for my self. The immature and the sort of enticing things on the internet no longer drew me in; in fact, they became repulsive. So, I was feeling great about myself and about life. I went to my sister's wedding in October and had a good time there. I made a big mistake, though. I brought my laptop and my modded Skyrim copy. What's the harm in modding again, now that I've got my life together? Gosh, what was I thinking. I started modding again, and upon coming back, that's all I did. For the next 8 months. All progress I made went down the drain. I forgot most everything I had learned and all the healthy limitations I put upon myself, evaporated into thin air. I've been playing catch up for the last couple months, but I fear it will be even harder to get back to where I was, emotionally and mentally. I'm in college now, and I'm really working hard to do well in school and join up with clubs. I've given up pornography (about 2 months clean), which is amazing for me. Video games I'm still working on - I play Starcraft 2 on the weekends, but it is much better that what I was. I've completely stopped modding Skyrim altogether, even though I still want to do it. Being in college and around other people is hard sometimes, as it can get lonely feeling like I'm out of the societal loop so to speak - plus add to that my social anxiety and low energy. I'm learning to just be patient with myself. I'm turning to God for help and trying to surround myself with good, non-judgmental people. And, of course, coming on here to you guys. If you've made it this far, you better get a life... Just kidding! Thanks for reading, gosh I know it's a lot of baggage just thrown out there into the world, but it does help. It helps get some of this off my chest. I hope to be involved in the forums here, and please, don't be a stranger and say hi. -Jared
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