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Trying to fill in the void


Gundham
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Start of the journal and day four of detox:
- I am starting my journal a bit later after starting this whole game-ending thing. I read through some materials from this community in the last few days and now i believe I am ready.
- My main focus is on being able to satisfy my urges without computer games and recover from moments of emptiness and exhaustion. I made a list of things i believe games give me the most:
1. Fun
2. Escape from reality
3. New challenges
4. Acceptance and forgiveness from mistakes
5. Limit-testing
6. New ideas, thoughts and introspection
7. Being part of something, something to relate
8. Aesthetics - Music, graphics
9. Drive of a good story
- So far most of my uncertainty comes from the feeling, that to satisfy everything in decent way is a huge task i am not up to. Hope the determination, detox itself and experience i will be able to accumulate during it will be able to help with this.

Why was today great:
- Cooked a good meal
- Went cycling
- Played quitar for a bit
- Had a board game evening
- Spent a lot of time outdoors

Notable points:
- Urges were strong today, first time from start of detox. Food and company helped.
- I can concentrate over nature sounds in the background
- Worries occured about repetition of the relapse cycle. Trying to let them be there/go away, but they stayed so far.

Good luck mate. You can do this.

Edited by Gundham
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Day five of detox:
- So far so good. Feelings are mixed, but I am determined to continue. Some big steps were done today. Following respawn helps me to keep myself occupied.

Why was today great:
- I managed to delete all my games, accounts and left most communities connected to gaming
- I cooked great meal
- Played guitar for a bit
- I made good progress towards working on my time schedule
- Reached out to a non-gaming friend i didnt speak to for months and had a great skype call with him
- Had a nice walk in the rain

Notable points:
- Deleting everything was spontaneous, until it happened i was sure i will not do it. It was painful, sad and hard, but I feel some weight lifted from my shoulders. I remembered previous relapses (and there were many) and how easy it was to reach games back when I had a place to start from. Not this time.
- I want to start working on getting in shape, but so far I am not sure how to do it properly. I want to start running, do some core excersises and pull-ups, since I have an outdoor place next to my flat to do those at. Not sure about scheduling tho, it just feels like it will take too much time.

Good luck mate, you can do this

Edited by Gundham
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Welcome to the forums! I definitely stress the importance of patience on your journey here. Definitely be introspective and research how you crave games and how certain things make you feel. 

Good luck and don't quit everything at once is my best advice. 

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Day 6 of detox:
"Don't push your luck" - Kaeya

BooksandTrees - Thank you for your kind reply and reminder to not rush things. I might be a bit hasty, because i am really scared of moments of void and numbness - that is when my craving for games is the strongest. I made a list of activities i would like to do when they come. Caring about my free time is a long road race and I will try to remain patient and virtuous.

Today was a calm day, cravings almost didnt occur. I spent lot of time just thinking and wondering about something and nothing. Lot of thoughts spinned about how to not optimize my time - I used to do it a lot to maximize the time I have to game to the point where i only cared about optimizing and not about the stuff i actually do. Might look for some book/videos about it.

Why today was great:
- Went to an aquahealing therapy and enjoyed it thoroughly
- Got to pet a random cat
- Spent a lot of time outdoors
- Started reading good philosophy book (C.S.Lewis - Four loves)
- Movie night with friend in the evening

Notable points:
- I still catch myself thinking/dreaming about games a lot. Not really surprised about it, trying to let it fade.
- In a bus I caught myself pulling out a phone and almost reaching my favourite meme page. Managed to stop myself, browsed sports for a bit instead and then pulled out a book. Good job me.

Good luck mate, you can do this.

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Day 7 of detox:
"Void rule number one - dont die" - Kai'Sa

Thank you for your support Wojciech and BooksandTrees. I read the post you recommended and I agree with most of what was written there. Just today I was thinking about activities and enviroments I could be part of. Also I will remember the part about not trying to give advices in new groups. That is often my poison.

This day was the benchmark of first week. First week free of gaming! And what a day it was... I woke up at a friends place after movie night - I couldnt really sleep well. Then I went to our family house that I am guarding today, parents are on vacation. It was exhausting to get here and craving started on the way already. My worst years regarding gaming addiction happened in this house. I remember often coming home exhausted from school and just slipping behind computer before anybody got home and playing for as long as i was able to. I could feel those feelings returning and banging on my head - started with simple "one cheat day wont kill you", ended on "might as well just kill yourself if you want to live like this." I didnt give in, luckily there was our family cat as well as my girlfriend and both were very supportive. I had a rest and a lunch, then read for a bit and booted up respawn and GQ. It was not nice, I wanted to start a game and my head hurt, but i did not give in and just stayed occupied for the rest of the day. In the evening i could go out for a walk and sing with myself happily again - cravings left and I survived another day gamefree. It was a tough challenge, first one in this detoxicating journey. Bring them on, I am ready.

Why today was great:
- Got to spend lot of time with my cat
- Made nice progress with respawn materials
- Played chess with a friend for a bit in the evening
- Cooked nice dinner
- Spent a lot of time outdoors, saw some beautiful horses and got to enjoy pretty sunset

Notable points:
- I am feeling very stressed about work, that starts tomorrow and there will be a lot of it during next week. I am staying hopeful that as my life is free of games longer, work will become less stressful.
- I played chess over the internet, but am pretty sure they have nothing to do with cravings - I used to play chess professionally and they activate same part of the brain as e.g. school does. I will watch it though and if i start getting competitive, I will stop playing it.
- A gaming friend messaged me today today and got me pretty nervous that we will talk about games, but he was actually supportive towards my decision and we just chatted about jobs and hobbies. Very grateful for it.

Good luck mate, you can do this

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I like read your posts. I see them insightful. This one for example comprehended me when yesterday I played some chess online, that during the game I felt like I am in a competition and I was nervous and an anxious once I lost some games. It was the same feeling I had when playing Battlefield 3. Once that happened I wanted to play even more to get even with the opponents. Same happened in chases plays yesterday. It started me worrying as probably I won’t be able to play any games in the future with non-competitive attitude

Take care m8.

 

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Day 8 of detox:
"Smiles, everyone, smiles!" - Jhin

Wojciech - that is an interesting comment, got me thinking. I dont think being competitive is generally bad - it often helps me recognize my weaknesses and work on them. I would think that playing for the sake of being as good as/better then someone else is not healthy in bigger picture. Recognizing what you can do better however is a good way to progress forward and not be hooked to some kind of barrier (for example beating that f....riendly opponent that wrecked you last time). It also helps me to recognize the person who defeated me is probably more experienced and it can be shown in a kind way. If he is a douche, that is his minus and you can feel good for yourself for being better in this department (and if you want to get extra hate, you can even try to show it, but i recommend sportslike behavior unless it is a well known person to you). Take care.

This day went surprisingly pretty well. I was scared of a lot of work i have to do after couple free days, but somehow i managed to wake up in a really good mood and it showed in the work department as well. I work as a personal assistant with seniors and today i didnt even care if it will be boring or i will mess something up. I just didnt.
I know that i cant let happy thoughts overwhelm me tho. Got to stay vigilant. The voices are still there, telling me that everything is okay already, i broke the 1 week barrier so I can give myself some treat... good try addicted me, good try. I am happy i could smile today, but I know it is part of my plan to get me back to gaming... and am also expecting a major fall down, as it usually comes after days this good. Well, all I can say is bring it.

Why today was great:
- I laughed a lot, even at work
- I found a mandala book and found out its a great resting activity to color it
- Returned home from parents house
- Saw two squirrels playing on a tree
- Shared some good music with a friend

Notable points:
- I am trying to implement an awarness of always having lunch prepared to work/having time to prepare lunch during workhours. I find it way more rewarding than buying it, it is cheaper and usually even tastier
- I have trouble implementing activity schedule, since my work hours are irregular and i get to know them only a week before. I can say which hours i want to have work at but it does not have to be fully filled. Will probably try to get myself regular time to work on my schedule for upcoming week.

Good luck mate, you can do this

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Day 9 of detox:
"Meaning in every snowflake" - Anivia

To my genuine surprise the fall on my face I was expecting didnt come. In the middle of the day the major thought was "it only needed over a week game-free and i am feeling this good? That has to be too good to be true, doesn't it?" Anyways, I am grateful for these kind of happy thoughts. Work went well today. Staying vigilant and on lookout for judging, I feel like saying "heck yeah, this is so much better than before" will just drag me down in the bad days, which will probably come still. Currently they are nowhere to be seen though.

Why today was great:
- I was dancing like an idiot to a random song for no apparent reason in the morning
- I made a little surprise for my girlfriend and she was very happy
- I started to rally friends that i did not really talk to in past months and started talking with them about going out dancing or hiking
- I walked past group of four 40+ people who randomly started meowing at each other and it was hillarious (I am serious, that really happened 😄 )

Notable points:
- Dreams are being weird.
- I am catching myself thinking about how i will enjoy gaming after the end of the detox... Sucks to be these thoughts, if they preserve, the detox will not end after 90 days for sure
- I really enjoy coloring mandalas. Will probably share them here after i actually finish one.

Good luck mate, you can do this

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Day 10 of detox:

"Tireeeeed..." - Amber

- This is a phone report. Rip template. Today was a hard day in work (12h shift that included 2,5h meeting), i had almost no time for even having thoughts about games. Then i left to visit grandma place (about an hour train journey from my home). Currently she is getting me drunk. God bless grandmas.

Why today was great:

- I am feeling physically exhausted but psychically fullfiled

- Mandala is going great 

- Collective song listening with my girlfriend on train (there is a lot of Phantom of the opera versions. Like. Really lot.) 

- There was a cuddly doggo attending meeting and cat owned by one of the clients jumped in my lap today. 

Notable points:

- yesterday i decided helping my girlfriend with a quest that she was stuck on in one game and kept rambling about it, soo... Technically i gamed for like 3 minutes. Feeling conflicted about it, but for sanity reasons i am sure i did right thing. Hope it will not need to happen too often. 

- i didnt sleep well Last night. This one should be better tho. Should. 

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Day 11 of detox:
"Dance till you are dead" - Violette

I spent most of the day at grandmas place, mostly we just did something or played something, generally a standard day. In the evening I went socializing - trying to rekindle my love to swing dance. Good rest after hard yesterday.

Why today was great:
- I did some baking at grandmas place, hope I can learn more
- At swing dance not only did I met a random friend, but I also got the courage to ask random woman to dance (!)
- I helped save people from being locked on the train toilet by being locked there myself (just for a minute or two, got saved fast)
- The Philosophy book I am reading now (Four loves) is a recommended read for y'all.
- Downloaded an app to track my drinking routine (Water time on google play)


Notable points:
- Girlfriend (who was on the dance party) was pretty jealous of me dancing with random woman. She was very reflective and open about her feelings tho and does not seem angry at me. Grateful for it.
- I really slept well today. Lets keep it up, shall we?

Good luck mate, you can do this

Edited by Gundham
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Hello Gundham,

One question reg. this: - The Philosophy book I am reading now (Four loves) is a recommended read for y'all. What is the author?, I cannot find it.

Furthermore, I like you being so devoted to not gaming.

Take care and keep it rolling

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Hi Wojciech - the autor is C. S. Lewis. It is called Cztery miłości in Polish (sorry if its not your nationality, i just assumed from the name.) I have to say that knowing I am not alone in this helps tremendously. Like, i would have probably gave up already, but i know i said this will be 90 days to so many people who support me i just can't let it slide. Thanks for the support!

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Day 12 of detox:
"Fight time!" - Brightwing

One of the tougher days. Did not sleep well and dreams were very lively, so I woke up exhausted. Luckily my daily morning routine - wake up, shower, get some food, drink - worked and got me out of the flat. I had early shift today, was a bit scared how i would do, but work somehow cheered me up so I quickly got back in good mood that remained for the rest of the day. Cravings showed themselves though. In the morning, tried to make me stop going to work. After school (I had one lesson today), because thats when i always game. In the evening after I returned from family party, cause I was tired again. Gotta keep myself occupied. It always works. Right now after cleaning some kitchen and spending some time with my girl, cravings are nowhere to be seen again. Grateful for it and getting ready for kitchen no.2 as well as evening walk and sleep.

Why today was great:
- Happy birthday to me! (and hey, the family party was for me as well.)
- Got courage to talk to unknown fellow student in class
- Installed a recommended workout app, ready to start tomorrow with some basics
- Cuddly doggo in the office
- Shared the details of my journey with closest family

Notable points:
- Why is a woman that I was in love 10 years ago suddenly appearing in my dreams and making me emotional?
- I am reflecting on myself and selfishness... will take it to therapy tomorrow, because it makes too much sense and is scary

Good luck mate, you can do this

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Good day Gundham. Happy birthday, first of all. 

I think it's wonderful you shared this jounal with a close family. How does that feel ?  How did that family member react after seeing the jounal ? How long does it take for that family member to start to accept you on this issue ? 

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Day 13 of detox:
"Time to clean up" - Noelle

Thank you for your birthday wishes good people! 
@White Draco Edge as for your question, i didnt literally show them the journal, I just talked about it and asked them if they want a link to see it. I personally have difficult relationship with my parents... i am kind of hooked on making them proud of me (which possibly come from being overlooked during childhood) and it went as usual... they showed some interest, but it faded away quickly. I doubt they will look it up. My siblings on the other hand showed more interest, so maybe at least they will see it. If yes, hi there! I think my parents accepted my journey but not really became part of it, as for i feel like they are too interested in their own. Its sad, but luckily I have more people to share it with. Maybe it will change in the future.

This day started with a pretty interesting therapy session. Therapist offered me some trauma-soothing methods that can be applied to addictions as well, so we will be doing that next session. Also she motivated me to do some modern self defence and helped me with my dreams and scheduling problem... But she was happy the most about me having a gaming break (didnt tell her up until now). After that until the evening it was a standard workday joined with some housework, cause I randomly decided to hold board game evening at my place and it went pretty well. There was a call for another one on sunday, so I will be looking forward to that. Day ended with a quick hop to a shop to get meat for the soup I want to make tomorrow before work.

Why today was great:
- Grateful for my therapist (She actually admitted to planning the journey leading to me quitting games. Like, I even shouted at her and she didnt budge.)
- Home-made lunch mentality is settling in
- Cuddly doggo in office
- I got to organize something and it went well!
- I have a better idea about my overall scheduling. Its not in motion yet, but we are getting there

Notable points:
- we were talking with my friend about gaming for a bit and he actually mentioned in a little sad way that after 90 days I could not join games anymore. Also he was open to just not talk about it if its unconfortable for me. Seriously, how do i deserve this kind of people.
- Might start writing down my dreams. It sounds like they actually do have meaning
- Didnt do any workout yet, no time. Heck, starting is actually hard. 

Good luck mate, you can do this

Edited by Gundham
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Day 14 of detox:
"Hell, it's about damn time" - Tychus

Okay, one more saturday like this and I am officially declaring war to those. Good thing i have a break tomorrow. Whole day at work I was exhausted and cravings just kept getting stronger. I had very late lunch combined with dinner, overall i don't think i ate or drank very well. It all peaked during the evening where my head was just filled with those little fairy voices saying "Hey, listen! Go play! You need it! You deserve it!" Well yeah, I also deserve some good damn silence, why don't you just shut up. Sigh. I indulged myself with some chess with friend, actually got somewhat into it and managed to relax. It continued into a discussion that got out of hand a little, but at least awakened some feelings that actually told me that It is okay to feel tired, for the first time today. Heck. I need some good sleep (which probably means rip sleep).

Why today was great:
- Work was fun, even though it was exhausting
- There was a hot soup made by girlfriend waiting for me in the evening
- Cuddly cat at the clients place
- One of the chess matches was actually pretty hillarious

Notable points:
- workout starts tomorrow. I should not be THIS exhausted from work, need to work on my physique.
- will try to practice awareness to my surroundings during evening walks
- I should watch my feelings more. My head is not only a little overworked, but also a little confused. Okay, its probably more than little.

Good luck mate, you can do this

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You mentioned seeking approval from parents. I find that resonating wiht me since my situation is very similar. I think: my parent did not have dreams, so they rely on my success fot them to gain self satisfaction, because that's the only way they know to get validation for their purpose. They are not aware that happiness need to be somthing they can keep doing by themselves. I accept them for that, and it is like they are my children sometimes; my hapiness will make them happy, which is the best gift parents can give to thier children. Which means: I now have one more reason to controll my addictions.

A psychologist named Gabor (on youtube) said childhood has a significant link to addiction. I believe it's ture, which leads to acceptance and forgivness for parents and more focus on self-improvement. 

Like you, I am also working on my "dream list". I list my dreams, the things I need to do and avoid, and I look at them, meditate, and say them out loud, first thing in the morning.

It's good to have dogs and cats around. They probably will make you less lonely when having urges for games ? But I imagine we all have moments of being alone. I think that's where the trails begin.

Hang in there, comrade.  

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Day 15 of detox:
"If it was easy, everyone would do it" - Li-ming

White Draco Edge - yeah, being the validation sucks. Luckily I do not have to care about my parents that much. I mean, I still love them, that is why I keep them at the distance right now. 
I actually have my dreams hung on wall above my workplace, so directly above computer (or more like reasons I am quitting rn, they are not really sky-high). It helps me concentrate on not playing, thats for sure. Hang in there as well.

This day was like being in the stormy sea - on the edge of euphoria before noon, exhausted and strong cravings towards the evening and now I am closing on the euphoria again (still tired tho)... This day had 2 main activities - board games at my place and fixing my schedule. I thought fixing my schedule would be the hard part, opposite was the truth - I probably overdid the amount of board gaming this week. Its nice to see the people, but I probably should have stayed alone or at least not learn new games. I did not rest as well as I wanted to and being exhausted and having cravings at the same time is just not cool... Ironically the thing that helped me was excersise. I bet the rest of my evening on wildcard of me needing to move, so I found 30 minutes long full body workout (my favourite excersise youtube channel - yoga with Kassandra) and it was painful, but also fulfilling. Rest of the evening went well, my schedule is starting to look managable finally.

Why today was great:
- Made a great lunch
- Was running around stationery shops (i hope thats what they are called in english). I love these kind of shops.
- I managed to hold board games even over being tired and decently enjoyed it
- Had fun with colours and scissors
- speaking of colours, hey, they are here as well

Notable points:
- the workout app needs to wait for a bit, I really enjoyed the full-body thing and probably will do it more often. Will keep the app for the case some part of the body will need extra treatment
- My hydratation regime is getting much better, I can sleep almost all night without waking up thirsty - grateful for it
- Dreams are still weird. Didnt start writing them down yet, might try to implement it as a part of my morning routine.

Good luck mate, you can do this

 

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Day 16 of detox:
"Your tardiness is unacceptable" - Kiyotaka Ishimaru

I woke up with a sore throat, so i gave note to work if i could get replaced on my services today. Luckily it went all fine, unluckily, thats when the cravings kicked in. Having unexpected free time is like a fuel in the fire and it took me a good hour to get back on track of what i actually wanted to do today. I just slowed it down so my throat does not get worse. Craving were all over the place. A couple times I had blank 5-20 minutes while waiting on something, I didnt want to start any activity as it would get distracted by whatever i needed to do and i also didnt want mindlessly scroll memes or facebook... I will have to think of something, cause it was messing with my discipline today. Nevertheless, I focused on being as productive as i could, still I feel like I did very little. Well, small steps to victory I guess. Also need to work on my energy management somehow.

Why today was great:
- Played quitar for a bit
- My schedule plans are halfway done (Am doing handmade version, i dislike calendar and excel sheet schedules)
- Managed to care about my absence at work (and to care about myself by asking for absence)
- Experimented in the kitchen in the evening (and it didnt even blow up, heck yea)
- Did some morning stretch (full body) and evening stretch (wrists)

Notable points:
- I can feel a bit of tension with my girl. Might talk with her about it if it preserves
- Feeling super tired (but it also feels good)
- I find company enjoyable even if I do something alone (and dont need to fully focus). Thoughts are more relaxed and open.

Good luck mate, you can do this

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Day 17 of detox
"I feel icky!" - Lepper gnome

Okay, I am so tired. Just a quick summary - throat is still sore, but it was bearable today, so i not only left for work, but also managed to do evening workout. Am scared of school swimming tomorrow. lot of unknown people and I still cant breathe that well. I think I also found bearable solution for now for the time windows, named ted talks... they have such various time lengths, I can just squeeze one anywhere. Cravings were strong towards morning, weakened throughout the day. Am also almost done with scheduling, but energy management is stil a problem.

Why today was great:
- Heavenly lunch
- I got a decent amount of work done over not feeling so well

Notable points:
- Cant. think. too. tired. 

Good luck mate, you can do this

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