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Introduction - my history


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So I realized gaming was not healthy for me over a decade ago. It was something that slowly increased in my life until I would not eat all day because I didn't want to get up and make food. Maybe I'd find something to snack on, but mostly I'd be hungry, telling myself just until I met this next goal, then I would take a break. Before I knew it, it would be 1 or 2 in the morning and I'd hardly eaten anything. I wasn't even having fun. Sometimes I'd be physically in pain from a neck cramp, or hunger, or shivering with cold, but I wouldn't get up to fix the problem. It felt like I "had to" play, even if I didn't want to. Anyway, at some point I got fed up and quit.

Most of the time now, I'm on the wagon, but every now and then something pushes me off and I go on a few-day binge. I got an app last year to track my days away (Quitzilla) and I recently made it 110 days. Then my life got too stressful. I'm taking anatomy and physiology and have a full time job. I'm supposed to be going to grad school next year (Exercise Science), but I don't know how I am going to do it with these work hours. This semester has been so stressful. I can't imagine two more years of this. So, one day I came to a breaking point. I needed an escape from my life. To cease to exist for a few days. I played Don't Starve for 16 hours a day for three days straight (skipping work on Friday).

Last year, I had some serious anxiety for mostly unrelated reasons (COVID, fear of death, fun stuff). I'm doing a lot better now. As I gamed for three days straight, I felt it creeping back. I'd get up to pee and get heart palpitations. ...that's not supposed to happen. But the threat of anxiety relapse wasn't enough to stop me. I played through the whole weekend. My housemates we're enjoying spring, trying to entice me to jump in the waterfall with them, but I could not be moved. Late Sunday night, I deleted Steam, and resolved to quit again.

That was a week ago. It didn't quite last. This week saw the culmination of some stressful things at work. They actually resolved really well, but I wanted some time off afterward. And I still had the taste of dopamine in my mouth. I played a few times this week and weekend, and finally resolved to quit again. This time deleting things more thoroughly. I think it will stick this time. But... what happens the next time stress gets too much? The truth is, I need better coping mechanisms. It might take a couple weeks to get my anxiety back down. Why would I do ANYTHING to risk returning to the anxiety I suffered a year ago?? That was literally the worst experience of my life. How could I game now that I know it will give me heart palpitations? But, I don't have a better solution. I may have other escapes, but there is nothing more effective than games. The same reason it is so bad for me is why I want to do it.

Edited by EmG
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On 5/1/2022 at 9:18 PM, EmG said:

Late Sunday night, I deleted Steam, and resolved to quit again.

It's great, I get so much more accomplished in my life when I stop gaming and get the feeling we here are going places.

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I too have been negligent in my health because of video games.

I had to quit my job of four years, at Costco, because it was such a negative environment for me. I was so unhappy there, so all I wanted to do was go home and play games.

I think making this decision to change my environment will have a huge impact on my recovery.

WE can do this!

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