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flockhobnob

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I am a 28 year-old male that has been thoroughly invested in gaming and porn since before I was a teenager. Pretty much have been addicted to both for most of my life and video games have 100% been used as a crux to numb the dullness of life and past toxic relationships. Instead of committing to my significant other, or realizing that I needed out of that relationship, I would spend all my time getting high, playing video games, and watching porn instead of working on myself.

I'm currently in a healthy, happy relationship with a partner of 3 years. We're getting married and I'm trying to not let some of my addictive tendencies to ruin our relationship. There have already been several times where I've relapsed on all fronts and every time that happens, I feel it negatively impacts our relationship because of how much it negatively impacts me.

I think my biggest trigger is boredom, which leads to intrusive thoughts about watching porn or watching YouTube videos of people playing games and having fun, which lead to me wanting to play games. There are many things in life that are inherently boring at first that I want to do - like earn certifications for my career, or learn new skills (like singing/playing guitar), or working out, - and I need to figure out how to allow my brain to be bored while I get past the initial difficulty hump of trying anything new for the first time and sucking for a while.

I feel like my addictive tendencies have also lead way to being addicted to a wide range of things that give instant gratification: doom scrolling, video games, shopping (sometimes), and sex to name a few. I feel these things are all related and I need to approach all these things under the same umbrella because they seem to all be triggered by the same thing.

Goals

  • Abstain from any intentional viewing of porn
  • Limit chronic masturbation to 1/week max, not masturbating to porn or induced thoughts of porn to get off but instead relying on my own fantasies and thoughts. I feel like this will lead to less masturbation overall because I am not artificially inducing an erection through external stimulus like porn. Also try to engage my partner first before masturbating at all.
  • Abstain from PC gaming
  • Limit console gaming for end of the day decompression (past 8PM) / no longer than 1 hour per day. (I do not find myself triggered or binging console games ever because of the learning curve for me, as I never grew up playing them, so it's often much more challenging.)
  • Abstain from prolonged doom scrolling distractions including Reddit and YouTube (no more than 30 minutes a day.)

Steps
Here are the steps I've taken so far to help me accomplish my goals:

  • Put my gaming PC in storage
  • Set up Adult/Porn DNS block on all my laptops and phone
  • Set up Productivity app on my phone to limit Reddit/YouTube/other distractions to 30 minutes/day max before locking with a long password.
  • Blocked all social media (Facebook, TikTok, etc.) on all devices.
  • Signed up for weekly NoFap community drop-ins
  • Created journal (here) to log progress to keep myself accountable and put my feelings into something tangible
  • Allow myself to be bored, acknowledge cravings, but do not succumb to them
  • Invest more in my hobbies/skills I want to learn including: rock climbing, music production, guitar, singing, exercise, career advancement, and making new friends.
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DAY 1

I've realized I may be doing marijuana a little bit too much as well. I tell myself that it's okay because I only ever do it right before bed - no sooner than 8:00 PM, but it's getting to the point where I feel very fatigued and dehydrated the next day. It doesn't seem like it's doing any good for my mental fortitude and perhaps I am relying too much on getting high at night to decompress for the day. I used to be a huge pot head when I was younger and that married with video gaming a lot. I'm going to try to limit getting high to once a week max.

I have some books collecting dust. Perhaps I'll try to read more to decompress at night.

Today I'm going to work on guitar lessons and keep making progress on a song that I'm producing, which I'm very excited about.

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Upon relapsing so quickly, I realized something that I think would be beneficial to future progress. A trigger that I had not previously identified is being home alone. I’ve lived with some type of roommate for the past 10 years of my life, and upon reflection, I think some of my most regretful binges have been when I was left to my own devices without feeling the shame of knowing someone else knew what I was up to.

 

I think back upon my last relationship and I was so miserable. I wasted YEARS of my life on a relationship I knew wasn’t going to work out for a long time, but I numbed a lot of those feelings with things like video games, masturbation, and weed. I think this is the overarching issue - that I use these things as a crux when my life feels empty, regardless of how empty the gauge is at any given point.

 

I read a post on here that seemed helpful. When thoughts of binging again fill my brain, instead of trying to fight them - let them in, accept them for what they are, and allow myself to wait for it to pass. I tried that earlier today and it seemed to work. I need to remember this and remind myself that these thoughts will pass if I give it just a few minutes rather than trying so hard to fight them.

 

This past year I’ve learned I get a lot of fulfillment rock climbing with friends, playing guitar, and making music. I want to focus more time on that.

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DAY 2

No thoughts of playing video games today, but I certainly caught my mind drifting towards other things like sex and doom scrolling, which I’m going to try and take more active measures to proactively prevent.

Today I spent time working on new music and sharing it with an indie music community I’m apart of. People really liked it, and I’m excited to add it to the EP I plan on releasing later this year. I also downloaded the book “Atomic Habits” which I hope to read at least a little bit every day, and I downloaded a digital minimalism launcher on my Android phone to strip it down to its bare essentials. I’m really trying to unscrew my brain and all the bad habits I’ve accrued over the years. Hopefully as I start on doing all these detoxing changes, I can stick to them.

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