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Replacing the cycle of addiction with a cycle of growth and connection

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I'm new here but not new to the process of trying to quit things. 

For years it's been porn that I've been trying to quit. I still am but generally I use it much less than I used to. 

Right now it's gaming. A decision that has been a very long time coming. For background reference, I'm 28 years old, male, living in Australia. I started playing games when I was 5 on a Gameboy. From then until now it has been my most regular hobby. All throughout my teenage years it was what I woke up with on a Saturday and what I did when I got home from school. 

I'm on Day 7 now of no gaming and no watching Twitch.

It's been so far not that difficult with the gaming, especially days 1-3 I felt a lot of motivation and very empowered in my decision.

The issue I'm facing is that since the night of Day 3 or 4, I've been using porn daily, something which I hadn't done in a long time. I can really feel the lack of dopamine in my brain due to not gaming and not watching Twitch. I realise now I was probably on average gaming 2 hrs per day, and then watching 4-6hrs of streams, depending on the day - generally late into the night, too. So bedtime is when things are hardest as my body and brain are expecting to sit back and let the pleasure and entertainment roll in.

When I was watching streams and I had an urge to watch porn it was easier to ignore that urge and focus on the streams. Now when I have the urge it's full-on and I seem to just do it. I'm reminded of the mice who keep pressing the lever for more cocaine. So tonight I'm going to plug my phone in away from the bed and have my book at the ready. In the past when I was dealing with porn I also used to do headstands or something physical to distract myself, so I might try doing that again before bed. I find headstands really flush all the blood from the bottom of the body upwards, and that seems to make the physical desire to watch porn dissipate. 

Despite this new challenge I'm facing now that I've stopped gaming I am really proud of myself for not gaming, and I've noticed a difference in how I am and where my mind goes in my downtime. I've been playing much more guitar, reading more and also writing. I've also been thinking about how I can write in a way that might get published or might be useful on a blog for others to engage with. I'm noticing the clutter around me in my bedroom and I have a desire to clean things up and straighten it out - I haven't acted on it yet though, ha! 

I'll leave it here for today, with some little reminders. 


- No watching of pornography
- Stretches and a headstand before I get into bed
- Phone on charge away from my bed on my the far end of my desk
- Kindle at my bedside for reading

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Welcome to the forum!

Some tips on the detox,

walking long distances and fasting will control desires in an excellent way. Walking burns excess carbohydrates and takes away the need for a bad habit. It also makes me sober and focused.

I also control snacks intake. When you can control your diet, you start to become the master of your habits. 


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On 6/22/2022 at 2:15 AM, Amphibian220 said:

Welcome to the forum!

Some tips on the detox,

walking long distances and fasting will control desires in an excellent way. Walking burns excess carbohydrates and takes away the need for a bad habit. It also makes me sober and focused.

I also control snacks intake. When you can control your diet, you start to become the master of your habits. 


Thanks Amphibian. 

That does make some sense to me. I have thought a lot about walking more. It's a cold winter down here in Melbourne, Australia at the moment, so it's harder to get up early and get out. 

I have definitely been snacking more since stopping video games, something to watch out for. 

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Posted (edited)

My second update:

13 days game free - still working on my other habits

The not gaming is continuing to be a successful decision and experiment. I really haven't struggled that much with urges for gaming because the last few months I had such a consistent experience of not enjoying the gaming, or feeling really dissatisfied and empty afterwards. 

But the porn usage has been harder to kick. I've had some days off it but mostly been watching. Surprisingly though, despite the porn usage increase and watching more Netflix, I still feel a lot better than when I was gaming. I think there's something to be said about diversifying bad habits, and also perhaps actually enjoying the guilty pleasures. For example, I've been really enjoying the story and excitement of the Netflix show and I'm not ashamed to say I've also really enjoyed the pornography (well maybe there's a little bit of shame there). I used to feel a lot of guilt about it. But that never really helped me. And I guess I don't watch any hardcore stuff whatsoever, and have always been pretty clean and had standards for what I watch. 

That doesn't make it healthy for me though, and I am working towards cutting down the usage, and more generally towards bringing more healthy habit replacements in. I did some great cleaning and cooking today, and i've got a night shift this evening, and day shifts through Thursday. The next few days will be focused on eating well, doing some stretches each day, cutting out porn, and sleeping better. 

I also plan for my next update to be sooner. 

Edited by blueclouds
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It actually is a stepped erosion of decency. First step is all the films and tv shows that are deemed acceptable because they pass the censorship board, but contain indecency. Even younger children are permitted to watch them.

There was a lot of information on the news in the past decade about the financial crisis that was a result of rampant fraud and unchecked speculative activity by rogue traders.

The big Media con is now getting exposed slowly, as more detailed and rigorous research into media products reveals the insidious tactics used to control the consumer.

And it is not only the fault of other people who misappropriate our money or rob our time through addictive products. Its the lack of our discipline that does that. 


Edited by Amphibian220
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  • 2 weeks later...

23 days mostly game free

Mostly because I played some Super Smash alone for short periods twice, which was in part testing my new TV for friends coming over. I had 2 nights in the last week where friends came over and we played socially. Which were really fun. It definitely stimulated that part of my brain that loves games and I found myself thinking about Super Smash and also I watched probably 2 hours of YouTube over the last 3 days which was gaming related. Asides from that though, I haven't opened Twitch for 23 days, nor have I turned on my PC. On the Sunday past I felt tempted but it wasn't near strong enough to get past my resolve to live differently and the memories of what it was like to have so much of my time and attention disappear. 

I feel like in the last week the absence of gaming has been very noticeable in deeper and subtler ways. I haven't watched porn in 3 days which is in part because my partner is back from a long trip and because I'm consciously trying to avoid it.

My uncle died on unexpectedly on Sunday as well. I'm still processing that. I have 6 uncles and two aunties and he is the first to pass. After I found out in the evening I had a dream of his son and some of my cousins playing a guitar solo together to honour his death. Since then the realisation and implications of his death has come in waves. Yesterday I took some time off work. I called my dad and my mum and spoke with them about it. It was my dad's brother and he seems to be doing OK with it; he's also slowly processing and also in shock. 

I said earlier that the absence of gaming has been very noticeable in subtler and deep ways. I'm not even sure what I mean by that. It just feels like it's not there, and that feeling is sometimes mild and almost unnoticeable and at other times obvious but surreal. Which is actually quite analogous to the feeling of losing my uncle. My emotions feel thicker and seem to last longer. I'm kind of flat and irritated at times. I still find. myself confused at what to do with my time. And I feel like this is only the beginning. Because gaming still feels like a part of me and my consciousness. I can easily fantasise and imagine what it would be like to game. I can still practice how to play games mentally - something which improved my skill in games a lot. I do it for guitar as well. So I'm very curious how my brain and the places my mind wander will change over the next few months of not gaming. I feel almost terrified writing that sentence. It's like taking the safety off, or making a jump without a parachute. 

I meditated yesterday. That felt good. Pretty much after the first week of quitting I had a daily impulse to meditate but I kept resisting it or finding reasons not to follow through. But yesterday I did it and it made me hungry for more. It also showed me how stiff and sore parts of my back and legs were, which was good inspiration to keep practicing sitting on the floor and working on my posture. 

So.. to continued progress and healing. I hope things feel a little easier and flowing over the next few days, as I feel fragile and like I could breakdown right now. 

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