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Wildermyth

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As a way to start the new year fresh and to recollect myself from my recent relapse I decided to make this new journal. It marks the beginning of what I believe is my final and most honest attempt to have a video game free life. I recently allowed myself to explore a certain set of games, hoping for some kind of change that would make it work this time. And for a moment it felt like it did... until it didn't. I have ultimately run out of options, backup plans or any more excuses and I see no more reason to indulge in this tangle - I must simply go on without this old hobby of mine.

My main goal with this journal will not only be to reflect on my past and present struggles, but also to inspire people to find a life that is worth living without video games. I have a strong will to explore and I want to use this driving force to share my experiences through photos and journals. I think it's important that we teach ourselves to write about the good stuff to inspire hope, and to remind ourselves that we are always moving forward. So in the end this journal is not only for me, but also for anyone that comes by and takes a moment to read and reflect.

I hope I'll see you here in the future!┬á­čĺŤ

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1 hour ago, Wildermyth said:

As a way to start the new year fresh and to recollect myself from my recent relapse I decided to make this new journal. It marks the beginning of what I believe is my final and most honest attempt to have a video game free life.

On writing about the good stuff, I just wanted to let you know that I for one will support whatever thread you start. My relapse was mostly fun, so even the last day and a half it has still been hard for me to see that happy future. However, the feeling of what I achieved last year is already starting to return. Good luck! - and my best wishes to you today, tomorrow, and so on.

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So I need some community input on how to proceed in regards to the sim racing. Technically the sim rig that I built is still in my possession since it's gonna take a while If I decide to sell it off. It's a rather expensive piece of equipment and I'm living in a part of my country where there's not a lot of buyers for this kind of stuff around.

I am thoroughly done with any other form of gaming, that's blatantly clear. The only salvation for the rig is to exclusively partake in F1 sims as that was my main reason from the beginning. My motivation then was to be able to have some kind of engagement with the real sport off-track in order to fully understand it and also make it an exercise of the body. It all went good until I started to mess with the boundries.

So is there any point in my trying to get back on the track that I began on or should I just abandon this all together? What resources could I use for my decision to go back and where should I look if I decide to just quit it all?

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Take my opinion as just that, an opinion, but I think it would be pretty dumb to partake in something heavily video game adjacent, even if your intentions are good, this early on in your sobriety. Not an exact and fair comparison, but it might be like going to a wine tasting event as someone who just recently admitted they were alcoholic, who... works as a server/waiter or something. Yeah, you technically aren't drinking and are supposed to spit out the wine after you taste it. But do you really want to get that close to the thing that's been killing you spiritually, mentally, physically, when you're barely starting out this new path?

As for resources either way, I'm not sure of any. Ultimately it's your decision.

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Posted (edited)
On 1/2/2024 at 2:30 AM, DanielG said:

Take my opinion as just that, an opinion, but I think it would be pretty dumb to partake in something heavily video game adjacent, even if your intentions are good, this early on in your sobriety. Not an exact and fair comparison, but it might be like going to a wine tasting event as someone who just recently admitted they were alcoholic, who... works as a server/waiter or something. Yeah, you technically aren't drinking and are supposed to spit out the wine after you taste it. But do you really want to get that close to the thing that's been killing you spiritually, mentally, physically, when you're barely starting out this new path?

As for resources either way, I'm not sure of any. Ultimately it's your decision.

Thanks for your honest opinion! This is indeed the thought process I'm struggling with at the moment so it's nice to hear someone else acknowledging it. I think it's pretty clear what I have to do so I can move forwards properly. Having some kind of gaming left in my life will indeed be triggering in the future, no matter what kind of willpower or mindset I can conjure up. It's simply not worth it the more I think about it. I've informed my friends and family now that I'm quitting for good and that I need support with this decision. ­čÖé

Edited by Wildermyth
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Posted (edited)

┬áSo IÔÇÖve been reflecting on why it all went south this time, even though my mindset and determination seemed to be in the right place. But as IÔÇÖve come ro realize it was all just a trick by my unruly brain to get me back where I once started. Fortunately I catched on rather quickly and took back control, but not without struggle and some feelings of guilt. ItÔÇÖs hard to fall back when youÔÇÖve been so healthy for so long but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. Due to this recent relapse IÔÇÖve had the time to reflect on the broader issues relating to my addiction. And I think this is the first time I view myself as a dopamine addict, rather than being an addict of a specific thing. I have issues with everything from gaming to food, sweets, porn, masturbation, social media and basically anything that triggers a dopamine urgent response. I believe IÔÇÖll have to work with this entire part of me in order to truly conquer my tendencies towards these destructive patterns.┬á

My original idea was to only play racing sim games as I hoped they would exhaust my need for other games, but then I tore down the boundries and started playing indie games as well. This is when it really dawned on me that I was losing control. 

This intrusive thought process went as follows:

  1. I almost immediate bought a larger number of indie games on sale and felt stressed about finishing them all as quickly as possible.
  2. I noticed that I thought a lot about games during my ski vacation and I wanted to shorten the days and get back home earlier to start working on my big library of games. 
  3. I felt that I was slowly starting to lose enjoyment in socializing  with others as I was afraid that that it was going to take away from my gaming time.
  4. I felt stressed about the simulation game because I had now started to gravitate towards indie games and I couldnÔÇÖt fint the time to manage them all.┬á
  5. I quickly grew a habit of checking Steam for new sales of both new games and games that I had already completed in the past but wanted in my collection. I was never satisfied with the number of games I bought. 
  6. I started to entertain the possibility to also explore AAA games in the future, thinking about some of my old favourites and how they would look nice in my collection.
  7. I was more than often left with feelings of guilt and shame as I wanted to do more productive stuff or socialize with people. I could never feel full satisfaction and was lost in too much internal conflict.  
  8. I eventually started falling into the habit of restarting a game in order to get a sensation of perfection. This was the dealbreaker that ultimately made me quit for real. The last time I was caught in this loop I was left crying, sitting on my living room floor. 

With this reflection I hope I can inspire hope in someone that is falling into the same trap as me, so that they can act just as quickly. I was fortunate to have built up a lot of awareness and willpower during my abscence from gaming and this only shows how much strength you can gain from quitting for barely a year. Just imagine what you can accomplish if you decide to quit for good. I at least hope I will have that experience in the future as IÔÇÖm now saying goodbye to gaming for good.┬á­čÖůÔÇŹÔÖé´ŞĆ

Edited by Wildermyth
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1 hour ago, Wildermyth said:

And I think this is the first time I view myself as a dopamine addict, rather than being an addict of a specific thing. I have issues with everything from gaming to food, sweets, porn, masturbation, social media and basically anything that triggers a dopamine urgent response. I believe IÔÇÖll have to work with this entire part of me in order to truly conquer my tendencies towards these destructive patterns.

This resonates with me.

I want to compliment you on your ability to reflect.

Here's to an insightful new year and action towards our goals.

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┬áYou stated that you strive for perfection. I think that this trait carried over into your journaling: you started this new journal to be perfect because the old was tainted with a relapse. This attitude may present problems if you only view relapses as a bad thing (which you donÔÇÖt). Relapses carry important information and analyzing them to better understand the self repeating cycle can give a strategic picture to enable you to break out of that cycle. Your record is very good and is certainly not lost by that controlled relapse.

booksandtrees presented a good topic for identifying a reason for a relapse. The acronym HALTED enabled me to stop just in time and reflect why I want to play a game.

Then at some point, we get the idea that living without these mind blockers (internet, games) makes us healthier and more aware but may also make us sad because we understand our value and weaknesses and that there is a lot of work ahead.

I say to myself to fight the sadness with patience, consistency , brave action and persevere to do good for my community and find supporters.

Edited by Amphibian220
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13 hours ago, Amphibian220 said:

┬áYou stated that you strive for perfection. I think that this trait carried over into your journaling: you started this new journal to be perfect because the old was tainted with a relapse. This attitude may present problems if you only view relapses as a bad thing (which you donÔÇÖt). Relapses carry important information and analyzing them to better understand the self repeating cycle can give a strategic picture to enable you to break out of that cycle. Your record is very good and is certainly not lost by that controlled relapse.

booksandtrees presented a good topic for identifying a reason for a relapse. The acronym HALTED enabled me to stop just in time and reflect why I want to play a game.

Then at some point, we get the idea that living without these mind blockers (internet, games) makes us healthier and more aware but may also make us sad because we understand our value and weaknesses and that there is a lot of work ahead.

I say to myself to fight the sadness with patience, consistency , brave action and persevere to do good for my community and find supporters.

This is why I like this community so much, because there's so much insight and self-reflection. I'm glad you shared your observations because it's absolutely true tha part of the reason why I started the new thread is to have some kind of new beginning. Making the change just in time for new years eve also played into this of course. I struggle with this both as part of my personality and due to my autism, which gets fixated on patterns/symmetry that most easily can be described as a strvive for perfection. I'm not sure if anyone ever noticed but for many posts in my very first thread there were almost no edits. Not because I didn't edit the texts but because I didn't like the edit notification on the bottom so I copy/pasted the text and replaced the old one entirely with a new post. This pattern has started to change with the end of my last thread because I'm really working with this part of myself.

This topic has also been a part of my recent therapy where I try to deal with stress related to things that don't present themselves or develop exactly the way I want them. It's a challenge because it can be anything from a small stain on my pants to something that didn't go well at work. If I'm at work I have a coping strategy where I sit in one of the bathrooms on the floor putting my hands on my ears and closing my eyes, doing some breathing exercises. It helps when the stress is just too much. And I'm also making everyone around me aware that I need to do these things every now and then and so far it has landed really well.

 

Not sure what "booksandtrees" and HALTED are. Are they methods or litterature made for overcoming addiction? ­čÖé

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On 1/1/2024 at 3:26 PM, Wildermyth said:

So I need some community input on how to proceed in regards to the sim racing. Technically the sim rig that I built is still in my possession since it's gonna take a while If I decide to sell it off. It's a rather expensive piece of equipment and I'm living in a part of my country where there's not a lot of buyers for this kind of stuff around.

I am thoroughly done with any other form of gaming, that's blatantly clear. The only salvation for the rig is to exclusively partake in F1 sims as that was my main reason from the beginning. My motivation then was to be able to have some kind of engagement with the real sport off-track in order to fully understand it and also make it an exercise of the body. It all went good until I started to mess with the boundries.

So is there any point in my trying to get back on the track that I began on or should I just abandon this all together? What resources could I use for my decision to go back and where should I look if I decide to just quit it all?

I tried only playing certain games and they're almost always a gateway back into old gaming habits or worse ones. I read how drug addicts start clean until they drink alcohol and then get drunk and start looking for drugs again. They can spiral. 

If it were me I'd get rid of it. It's just tough because that gaming rig and F1 are a big portion of your current identity so it feels like you're abandoning yourself. 

I was the best ea sports nhl player in the world for 3 years and it was tough to watch real hockey for a while. But it went away and I enjoy hockey now. 

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1 hour ago, Wildermyth said:

Not sure what "booksandtrees" and HALTED are. Are they methods or litterature made for overcoming addiction? ­čÖé

Lol I'm books and HALTED stands for hungry, angry, lonely, tired, environment, and dehydration. 

Those 6 words can have impacts on your mood and cause stress. Stress triggers gaming or things we use to resolve stress. So sometimes if you're feeling a craving, check to see if you're hungry, angry, thirsty, tired, lonely, or in a bad place mentally or physically. A lot of the time I'm dehydrated. Most of the time my trigger was environment. It's because I hated my work environment and my boss. So I quit my job and have much fewer cravings. 

Just be careful that you don't solve all your issues with identifying hunger for example. Stress eating is another addiction. So just be mindful when you go through these. 

A lot of time I recommend seeing a therapist and discussing why you play games, why they make you unhappy, why they make you happy, what you're missing in life, etc. 

Always seek professional help and never try doing this alone in my opinion. 

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16 hours ago, BooksandTree´╗┐s said:

I tried only playing certain games and they're almost always a gateway back into old gaming habits or worse ones. I read how drug addicts start clean until they drink alcohol and then get drunk and start looking for drugs again. They can spiral. 

If it were me I'd get rid of it. It's just tough because that gaming rig and F1 are a big portion of your current identity so it feels like you're abandoning yourself. 

I was the best ea sports nhl player in the world for 3 years and it was tough to watch real hockey for a while. But it went away and I enjoy hockey now. 

Yeah, I know that feeling all too well. One of my goals with the racing rig was to learn more about the tracks and mechanics of the real sport, which I really did. I didn't have time to finish every track before I let go of it all and it's going to bother me for some time when watching the sport on tv. But it is what it is - I'm confident I'll get over it.

 

16 hours ago, BooksandTree´╗┐s said:

Lol I'm books and HALTED stands for hungry, angry, lonely, tired, environment, and dehydration. 

Those 6 words can have impacts on your mood and cause stress. Stress triggers gaming or things we use to resolve stress. So sometimes if you're feeling a craving, check to see if you're hungry, angry, thirsty, tired, lonely, or in a bad place mentally or physically. A lot of the time I'm dehydrated. Most of the time my trigger was environment. It's because I hated my work environment and my boss. So I quit my job and have much fewer cravings. 

Just be careful that you don't solve all your issues with identifying hunger for example. Stress eating is another addiction. So just be mindful when you go through these. 

A lot of time I recommend seeing a therapist and discussing why you play games, why they make you unhappy, why they make you happy, what you're missing in life, etc. 

Always seek professional help and never try doing this alone in my opinion. 

Ok, I see. I'll write it down as something to carry with me in stressful times. Sounds very handy and helpful. ­čÖé

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22 minutes ago, Wildermyth said:

I didn't have time to finish every track before I let go of it all and it's going to bother me for some time when watching the sport on tv. But it is what it is - I'm confident I'll get over it.

And don't forget, even if you completed all of the tracks, the competitive side in you might try to go for new personal bests or beating certain f1 racers. So you never know when that really ends. Plus there's new tracks being used like Vegas. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, BooksandTree´╗┐s said:

And don't forget, even if you completed all of the tracks, the competitive side in you might try to go for new personal bests or beating certain f1 racers. So you never know when that really ends. Plus there's new tracks being used like Vegas. 

Yeah, it's sure to be a neverending cycle. And when I tire of the offical F1 game I'm gonna gravitate towards other F1 games and they in turn come with other racing content that get me into new racing disciplines with new types of tracks and so on and so fort.

Man, sometimes I just wish that most of the people on this forum lived like an hour at most away from each other. It would be so nice just to hang out, talk about good stuff and deal with this whole ordeal together. It's so hard to find people irl who are going through this themselves, or at least have the ability to own up to it.

Edited by Wildermyth
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23 minutes ago, Wildermyth said:

Yeah, it's sure to be a neverending cycle. And when I tire of the offical F1 game I'm gonna gravitate towards other F1 games and they in turn come with other racing content that get me into new racing disciplines with new types of tracks and so on and so fort.

Man, sometimes I just wish that most of the people on this forum lived like an hour at most away from each other. It would be so nice just to hang out, talk about good stuff and deal with this whole ordeal together. It's so hard to find people irl who are going through this themselves, or at least have the ability to own up to it.

It is ok. I wouldn't recommend joining the discord btw. It's a way different environment than here. But at least you have some people here. It's a start. 

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So I have been thinking about what initially made me start exploring video games again. When I read about HALTED It made me think about the different triggers there are and if they maybe applied to this relapse. In this particular situation I think the trigger was a false sense of safety, and the introduction of new gaming assignments through work. I had just been going through a rough time with a love interest that didn't turn out the way I wanted. I was rejected eventually, but it took a really long time for me to come clean and show my feelings. In that moment I had a mix of sorrow but also immense satisfaction that I could now move on and let go completely. I think this lead to me being very sensivite to inputs as I was both looking to comfort myself with the fact that it didn't pay off but I was also in a state where I wanted to reward myself for doing the right thing. Combined with this I also came in contact with the national e-sports association in Sweden which wanted to co-operate with my work place in terms of pitching e-sports to a new generation of gamers. I thought this could be a chance for me to use my knowledge about addiction to try to have a positive influence on young people who were struggling as well. In theory it all sounded great but it started to snowball when I realized that some of the people involved in the project liked F1 games and I saw this as an opportunity to give into sim racing games. I thought the opportunity to make it more social, learn about the real sport and grow more awareness about e-sports would justify me going into the hobby again. But I was left more lonely than I anticipated and of course I continued to game almost exclusively on my own individual time with no one to watch my boundries. And the rest is history I guess, as described earlier in this thread.

Btw, I think I'm gonna add a "+" sign to the thread title every year to show my progress with quitting gaming. That way it kind of also serves its purpose as the wordplay on gaming it is. So even if a year wasn't "perfect" in my sense I'm gonna try to stick with this one and just update the title. ­čÖé

I've also made an Instagram post about my relationship with perfection and with it I uploaded my least perfect picture in my album. It's a small thing I know but the meaning of it might be bigger than the actual effect. I'm still trying to notice my behaviour and be more satisfied with "less" when it comes to all manner of things. Gaming being gone is the biggest step but there are still many more things in my life where I indulge in manic episodes. I know that me growing more comfortable with this will also lead to new triggers where I might think that gaming has become more managable, but I'm gonna try to do my best to resist those urges. Dealing with these things in real life is one thing but in a gaming context the mountain is insanely steep, so there's really no point comparing the two challenges.

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6 minutes ago, BooksandTree´╗┐s said:

It is ok. I wouldn't recommend joining the discord btw. It's a way different environment than here. But at least you have some people here. It's a start. 

I've never been much for voice chatting, or talking on the phone for that matter. But how is it different from here and why wouldn't you recommend it?

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7 minutes ago, Wildermyth said:

I've never been much for voice chatting, or talking on the phone for that matter. But how is it different from here and why wouldn't you recommend it?

Most of the people in there have relapsed and are not participating in quitting games. You can see what games they're playing on the right. Most people just post memes and shitpost others or go on there to talk badly. Or they just sit there and think they're socializing rather than going out and meeting people or doing another hobby.  Some of them are nice and the moderators are great. It's just not a conducive place for recovery in my opinion. 

Picture people playing video games and sitting on discord. Now picture them without gaming but they're still sitting on discord. A good portion are going to relapse and it's a negative environment. 

Edited by BooksandTree´╗┐s
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14 minutes ago, BooksandTree´╗┐s said:

Most of the people in there have relapsed and are not participating in quitting games. You can see what games they're playing on the right. Most people just post memes and shitpost others or go on there to talk badly. Or they just sit there and think they're socializing rather than going out and meeting people or doing another hobby.  Some of them are nice and the moderators are great. It's just not a conducive place for recovery in my opinion. 

Picture people playing video games and sitting on discord. Now picture them without gaming but they're still sitting on discord. A good portion are going to relapse and it's a negative environment. 

Thanks for the warning, it sounds exactly like the kind of harmful environment that I want to avoid right now. I already had problems with those kind of chat rooms when I gamed and it was one of the reasons why I felt that it had lost its meaning. I really do not understand why a group of guys online so often leads to just trash talk, memes and misogynistic stuff. It's embarrassing to say the least.

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35 minutes ago, Wildermyth said:

Thanks for the warning, it sounds exactly like the kind of harmful environment that I want to avoid right now. I already had problems with those kind of chat rooms when I gamed and it was one of the reasons why I felt that it had lost its meaning. I really do not understand why a group of guys online so often leads to just trash talk, memes and misogynistic stuff. It's embarrassing to say the least.

Yeah. A few members on here have had issues on the Discord and I just don't recommend it. I'm sure they'll let you know if they read this or you see their diary. 

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Posted (edited)

IÔÇÖm at a spa today trying to cool off a bit and reflect over the recent relapse. IÔÇÖve been taking to my mother about my relapse and sheÔÇÖs been very supportive. At the same time sheÔÇÖs a bit stressed about me constantly trying to better myself. ItÔÇÖs only natural for a parent to be concerned about their child when theyÔÇÖre not fully satisfied with who they are. ┬áBut she understands that the gaming can become really troublesome for me as sheÔÇÖs witnessed this hobby as a bystander for so long. She just doesnÔÇÖt want me to bring myself down too much for not living up to these high standards, which is understandable.┬á

IÔÇÖm really trying to work with my satisfaction with my attempt to do less, when there is an option to make a flawless attempt. With gaming I always wanted to hunt for achievements and uncover every single element about a game. It made me feel complete somehow, like I was totally done with the experience and could move on. And this principle has followed me in my real life as well where I can grow frustrated with attempts that donÔÇÖt feel 100%. It can be things like writing a text in a certain way, not having any stains on my clothes, making sure every photo frame hangs perfect on the wall etc. But at the end of the day it really doesnÔÇÖt kill me to just accept these thoughts and try to move past them. Because when I think about it there are loads of things around me that are not perfect, and for some reason I donÔÇÖt think about them at all.┬á

Trying to recognize this behaviour as quickly as possible and then just pause, recollect myself and move on is the place that I want to be. And I donÔÇÖt want to make it a new form of fixation where becoming less perfect is the true attempt for perfection. Gah, itÔÇÖs all so paradoxal and confusing sometimes. But thatÔÇÖs the human brain I guessÔÇŽ

 

Edited by Wildermyth
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16 minutes ago, Wildermyth said:

Hobby. I donÔÇÖt want to associate it with work so itÔÇÖs mainly during spare time. ­čÖé

That's awesome! I want to possibly explore this as a hobby myself. Happy for you.

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