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MmmWatermelon

Watermelon's Second Attempt at the 90 Day Detox

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Hi there,

Back after a lengthy pause from this forum. My last several months have been a mix of half-hearted attempts to stop gaming which lasted at most a week at a time, and time spent binging on Hearthstone and Minecraft. It was an odd experience for me getting pretty involved in a Minecraft online community for a while, since the majority of the gaming I did through most of the last ten years has been offline old games. Anyway, I am really tired of the negativity I've been experiencing with online gaming, yet another reason to walk away from this, and decided to come back to this forum as extra support. Looking back on the last few months, I think it was a lot easier for me to be posting on here when I thought I was succeeding at the 90 day detox and have kept putting it off until I might have some forum of success to speak of. Sadly, I haven't gotten there yet and I think I need to accept that I just need to come here more for the support than anything, even if that is mostly from me getting my thoughts out there in written form.

I think importantly, what I am also learning is that I keep going back to gaming because of my seeming lack of capacity to deal with built up emotions that I've been carrying with me for a long time. One of the things I resolve to do this week is to look for a therapist or counselor kind of person to help me in this area.

What else? I have been meditating and practicing yoga from online videos quite regularly lately and this is something I'm really enjoying has been becoming part of my routine. I completed the Headspace pack on anxiety and I'm currently in the middle of the one on self-esteem. I think it can be quite helpful.

Day 0 gratitude:

-having some good laughs over the phone with my friend tonight

-taking a nice walk in the evening when the sun was setting and running into a neighbor I like and then walking and chatting with her for a while

Well, that's it for this entry, I will probably feel more wordy on a different occasion. I hope everyone else on here who has been trying to walk away from gaming has had better self discipline than me and things are going well!

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Very good. Relapsing is really just a part of the process, and I'll be forever suspicious of a person who hasn't relapsed at least once. I mean, it's probably possible, but it's not what happens from what I've seen in both gaming and drink addiction. Most people, if you look at the big journals here, have relapsed at one point.

So don't feel bad and welcome back ^^. (If anything, you should be glad that you've come back since a lot of people drop out and disappear forever.)

I am really tired of the negativity I've been experiencing with online gaming

This is one of the major reasons that keep me from relapsing. I'm still willing to maintain that 80% of gamers are miserable on one significant level or another.

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Thank you all for the warm welcomes, nice to be back

Day 1 & 2:

Wasn't in the best mood most of yesterday...I had a lot of trouble sleeping the previous night and finally fell asleep in the morning and slept into the early afternoon, but still felt tired. I lounged around playing some chess online for a while and watching some Netflix, not feeling like I could consider myself very awake...I was feeling a bit stressed out over a work project that I was really wanting to get done so I finally decided to get into beast mode and at least crank that out before evening since I had some phone calls with friends planned. I was feeling really angry while working for some reason because it was something I wasn't enjoying but just wanting to be done with it. Once that was all done and over with I was able to relax by walking around on a very pleasant evening and listening to the crickets and then talking to two good friends on the phone for a couple hours. That really relaxed me and put me in a good mood then I did yoga for over an hour and meditated for 20 minutes right before bed. By the time I hit the hay I was as peaceful as a baby and had a sound sleep..

Today felt like the total opposite...woke up completely refreshed around 6am and was ready to go go...I think the difference may have been that the previous night I had done some work after doing yoga and meditating and also had a bit of a heavy late night meal while working...seems likely that's what contributed to my sleeplessness so I will try to avoid eating late in the future and stick with doing a slow, relaxing yoga sequence right before bed which I have mostly been doing the last few weeks and it works to put me to sleep, and probably avoid any computer time right before bed, this probably just makes my body "prepare" to have a whole night of gaming or something, who knows :P. I just made some dandy blend tea and got to work this morning completely unstressed and able to work slowly...noticing the reflection of some trees outside in my mug of milky tea as something that made a nice photo. After working for a couple hours I did a bit of neck & shoulder yoga and meditated, which was quite nice. Then I finally had breakfast at 10am and now I'm planning out the rest of my day. First on the list is to go get a blood test after talking to a doctor the other week. If I'm going to go see a therapist about anxiety I think it'd be good to rule out something physical like a thyroid problem as being the cause, plus it's a good opportunity to get some general picture of what's going on with my body as I haven't done anything like this in a long time. Also planning on grabbing a few groceries and then spending part of the afternoon figuring some stuff out about my insurance and looking for local therapists. Then it's kind of freeform but I might write some e-mails and letters or maybe do something creative like draw or play some harmonica, we'll see what feels good!

Also have a tentative Skype call with a new accountability partner in the late evening, if his schedule allows it.

Feeling energetic and excited today...grateful for:

- all the awesome yoga teachers that upload videos to Youtube

- having a delicious breakfast and in being in a good mood to enjoy it

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Hey missed you! I'm glad to see you here again! Looking forward to your entries and your strange love for ingesting and digesting things. :P

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Day 3: Got everything done I wanted to do yesterday, felt like I really used the energy I found myself with and seized the day. It was a great feeling! Even went for a longer hike in the evening after everything and tired myself out; beautiful sunset! Also to relax in the evening, got started on a drawing I'm pretty happy with so far, just a portrait of someone working off a photograph. Also had a great chat  Skype with Alex, new accountability partner, I think we will have a good partnership since we are starting these 90 day detox at about the same time. I'm looking forward to trying the detox with this as extra support this time around. Last time I had also found an accountability partner who is a great person and fun to chat with, but he was far ahead in having quit games for a long time and having a busy family and school life so he wasn't visiting the forum much anymore.

Today I'm feeling tired though still not as tired as Day 1 and I slept quite well, having a bunch of pleasant dreams and waking up a bit later in the morning. One of the dreams from later toward morning was playing chess with my sister oddly enough, which I don't think we've done since being little kids : ) Yes tired...I guess I'm just feeling the fact that I was pretty active yesterday and got a bunch of blood drawn that my body is rebuilding. I meditated after waking up even though my mind felt pretty foggy, I guess that's just how things are today. Been sitting down to work for a few hours even if it feels like it's going pretty slowly (currently working at home on the computer part-time). The thought of checking the forum of my previous online Minecraft community definitely easily comes up while I'm at my computer working, since it was something to easily do mindlessly in the background while waiting for something to upload for example. I resisted this temptation yesterday and gave in to it once today for a minute today then quickly decided to change my password on the account there so I wouldn't be tempted to even involve myself on the forum in the future; I resolve to do my best to let go of this piece too because it wouldn't make any sense to keep this connection to something I'm letting go of.

Anywho, I will try to keep having a semi productive afternoon and maybe I'll have a bit more energy by the time the evening rolls around to go dancing, even if for a little while.

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Day 4: after I wrote my day 3 journal I kinda crashed and took a 4 hour nap; feels like there's a lot of rebalancing to be done with my body and mind...I think constantly switching between playing games all night (sometimes for 24 hours straight :( ) and waking up early in the morning for several months has been pretty confusing on my body's circadian rhythms...what makes sense right now is just be patient with myself and try to be as mindful as I can of what I need to rebalance my system. My energy did come back in the evening and I took a nice walk in the darkness. I oftentimes find it relaxing to walk at night on the trail near my house and sometimes play my best harmonica in the quiet of the evening. Last night I felt called to just sit quietly and listen attentively to the song of the crickets for a good forty minutes and just pay attention to all the subtleties going on. I was a little bummed to miss the dancing especially since being more social is something I acutely need to work on, but that's alright, there'll be more opportunities. I did a pretty intense hour long hip-opening yoga sequence and slept quite well despite the long nap.

Today I woke up earlier again, around 6 and had a filling breakfast of an omelette with veggies and sausage; felt hungry since I had dinner quite early last night. Then I went for a walk and my body felt quite good after the yoga last night. I feel like since I started practicing yoga more and more regularly during the last few weeks I've been able to slowly walk longer and longer without much discomfort in my back, which is very reassuring. Definitely something that feels positive and I intend to keep doing! I decided not to go right into work but do some drawing for a while which I got really into and it was very enjoyable. This is definitely a good activity for me for just relaxing if I'm going to have cravings in the next couple of weeks and to fill the time and it gives me a good feeling of satisfaction. I think I'm going to challenge myself to go work in a coffee shop for a while today just to change my routine around a bit.

I definitely do have this difficult to describe feeling in the background of my mind as if something is missing or a bit of fogginess in my brain which I at least think is related to the lack of gaming. It's sort of like my brain is asking "when are we going to get to...you know, that thing that feels good!" It's a bit difficult to describe, not sure that does it justice, but it's sort of both in the background while also somewhat acute. I suppose this is related to the whole dopamine thing and so on and goes away after a while, but it's a little disconcerting to notice it : ) and it probably has to do with what cause me to relapse before. Well I suppose what everyone always says is to try to just stay present with what is happening so I will try my best...take care all!

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A great way to reset your body's circadian rhythm is camping! No back-lit screens, turning in reasonably soon after the sun has set, and waking up with the sun. A few days of that schedule make me feel invincible. 

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Day 5, early afternoon

Yesterday I went out and worked in a nearby juice place I had never been in before, which was nice. Enjoyed some fresh organic hippy-dippy veggie juice and felt productive for the hour or so I stayed. Worked some more at home afterwards and got done with the current piece of the project I'm working on which left me feeling like I got something done. I then spent a bit more time looking up local therapists and left some messages. One of them called me back this morning and I scheduled something for next week; I don't think seeing a therapist is something I'm going to make a big deal out of...it's completely covered by my insurance to go once a week apparently so at the very least it'll just be talking to another human and bouncing thoughts off of them. At best I might gain some significant insight and maybe strategies to cope with difficult emotions. I definitely feel good not having to pay for this since I am trying to scrape some money together :) I did splurge a little bit on a few new drawing pencils this morning...accidentally bought some more expensive ones than maybe cost me $10 extra. Either way, it was time, some of the ones I was using were getting so short there was nothing to grab and I probably won't need to get any new ones for two years; feels good to have a 2B again, probably my favorite hardness pencil and I've been drawing without one lately! Yesterday went to the ocean in the evening and watched the surfers at one of my favorite spots and walked along the shore in the deepening dusk, digging my feet in the delicious sand. Also had a chance to catch up over the phone with a good friend in Boulder which was very fun.

Had very relaxing yoga sessions both last night and this morning, feeling as though I'm really starting to breathe off some of that tension accumulated from sitting crunched at a desk for too many hours...that's a nice thing to notice. Thinking of breakfast this morning I started salivating for a bagel with eggs and mushrooms...used to live near some places that served some good ones like that. So since I had eggs and mushrooms and cheese in the fridge I picked up plain bagels and made meself a delicious (and budget conscious!) poached egg bagel, yum; now if I could just figure out how to contain all the runny things next time..hehe

Not much to do for work today until I hear back from somebody else so I'm just taking it easy playing around with my new pencils.

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I agree 100% Alex...someone just sent me this nice Mary Oliver poem on this very theme : )

Sleeping in the Forest / Mary Oliver

I thought the earth remembered me,

she took me back so tenderly,

arranging her dark skirts, her pockets

full of lichens and seeds.

I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,

nothing between me and the white fire of the stars

but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths

among the branches of the perfect trees.

All night I heard the small kingdoms

breathing around me, the insects,

and the birds who do their work in the darkness.

All night I rose and fell, as if in water,

grappling with a luminous doom. By morning,

I had vanished at least a dozen times

into something better.

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Welcome back to the community @MmmWatermelon! There's no shame in asking for support from the community, that's what we're here for. I relapsed twice whilst trying to complete the 90 day detox, but I've made it through and it's been some 128 days since I finished the detox. Just letting you know it's completely possible to pull through despite adversity and initial resistance. :D

Best of luck for you completing the detox!

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Thanks AlexTheGrape, really appreciate the message. Great going on sticking with it and focusing your life in positive directions!

Morning of Day 6:

Yesterday I hit a bit of a difficult stretch. I realized it was really tiring of thinking of planning my day in terms of filling it with things so that I could avoid something. It felt sort of artificial and I didn't feel particularly in the mood to do anything including drawing. By and by and I ate a bunch of chocolate and watched a bunch of Netflix and kind of got in a sour mood all day. Of course that didn't make me feel any better about how I spent the rest of my day so I at least went to bed at a semi reasonable hour. Woke up feeling a bit frustrated but also more open trying to figure out the feelings I'm going through that made me want to disconnect like that. I think it's the lack of certainty and feeling of unknown that I was having a hard time being with. Sitting around gaming or watching Netflix mindlessly for hours of course at least involves some degree of certainty because you know you'll be in the same place (or maybe worse?) afterwards but if you are trying to improve your situation I suppose you introduce the fear of failure into the equation.

Where is my optimism? I feel like I had developed an almost naive faith in things working out and an optimism in myself being able to figure things out during my last few years but I feel painfully cut off from that part of myself at the moment.

Well, I decided I had to do something with all that frustrated energy and went for a brisk walk for an hour after waking up and that's made me feel better and somewhat back on track. I didn't game or was even tempted to but I recognize that feeling unable to deal with certain things is what will lead me to gaming so conversely, trying to work through things as they come up is that will make this successful. And trying not to read too hard into these sharp up and down swings...

Edited by MmmWatermelon

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Consider the mindset of not avoiding things like boredom but choosing to be engaged in things that bring you purpose and fulfillment instead. Video I did on FB live today might help with some of that.

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Start of Day 7:

Had a really nice day yesterday, continuing after my morning hike. Went to the farmer's market and bought some veggies then I sat in the park and read until the afternoon and walked around some more. Later in the afternoon I went home for some lunch (salmon and brown rice with veggies) and read some more; was getting back into Ishi, a book I started a few months ago and hadn't gotten around to finishing yet. I did a yoga nidra meditation in the afternoon though I felt a bit distracted, or rather restless in my body. I got my blood test results back in the mail and most things are looking pretty good! The only thing that's a bit worrisome are my vitamin D levels are in the deficiency zone, guess I haven't been seeing enough sun :\ This can cause aches in the joints and general pain in the body, as well as fatigue which definitely fits the bill with what I've been feeling sometimes. Decided to start acting on this right away and went to the community pool nearby to expose as much skin as possible to the afternoon sun and swam a little bit. In the evening I let myself watch some Netflix just for a little while, talked on the phone a bit then had plenty of time to do some yoga and meditate right before bed which felt really good and I was able to get into it.

Grateful for:

-feeling like my sleep and energy levels are significantly stabilizing

-moving around and being outside a lot

-support from friends, this community, and other inspirational sources

-Walt Whitman poetry

 

 

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I realized it was really tiring of thinking of planning my day in terms of filling it with things so that I could avoid something. It felt sort of artificial and I didn't feel particularly in the mood to do anything

I'm right there with you, buddy. Tough day for me too.  

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Start of day 8 (made it a week, hooray!)

Yesterday I felt kind of sore when waking up and decided to go for a shorter walk, yet as an experiment ended up walking the same longer route as yesterday. My mental space while walking was a bit taken up with some difficult thoughts which was a little extra tiring, but it also felt good getting another morning walk in and then particularly enjoying breakfast. I've been working on perfecting the poached egg with roasted mushrooms on toasted onion bagel (yesterday with farmer's market avocados!).

Maybe one thing I haven't touched upon that much in this journal is my living situation with my parents. I've been staying with them since sometime last year when I had some pretty acute health problems and wasn't able to function very well. Long story short, at some point I basically had diarrhea for several months in connection with an intestinal parasite and left me feeling for a way too long period of time like I had no appetite for anything and no kind of food was sustaining me. My body felt very weak and lacking vitality, and to top it all I had a terrible reaction to the anti biotics I was given. I guess the dealing with that whole situation plus needing to live with my parents is what plunged me into the depression \ difficult emotions that led to this particular gaming streak; before this last year, gaming had been a problem when staying with \ visiting my parents in the past because I suppose I have somewhat of a difficult \ distanced relationship with them (lots of complexity there, as is usually the case...) and often felt the need to disconnect. I've also had a lot else to my life of course where gaming didn't play a central role and lots of positive things happened, learned lots of things, met lots of people, was challenged a lot, lots of life that I am eternally grateful for happened to put it shortly. I'm kind of losing track of where I was going with this, but I guess the point is I definitely think my problem periods of gaming have a lot to do with my unfulfilling relationships with my family members, which I know I've read is the case for some other people on here too, particularly the younger folks. I was even aware of this even ten years ago when I went off to college when I had my first attempt to quit gaming and didn't touch a game for two years straight...however gaming had a way to pop back up for me like a sort of annoying whack a mole, most often though not always when I came back to visit parents now and then. Anyway, I think one reason it's been easy to be hard on myself during the months of gaming I've had in the past year is that it's something I tried hard to work at letting go of during the past ten years. I really thought I was getting better also about two years ago when I was dating someone who I felt particularly able to talk about my history of gaming with openly and who had a lot of helpful things to say about it. That was one of the hardest things about quitting on my own ten years ago, is that I didn't really talk to anyone about it and naturally avoided hanging out with gamers so I felt pretty isolated as someone who had gamed a lot all of my childhood but wasn't doing it at all anymore. Sometimes I wasn't thinking of it much or at all but once in a while it nagged me I suppose. I still remember once after I had made a good friend at a summer forestry program in the mountains, we were having lunch and talking and somehow the subject of video games came up and he told me he used to be a pretty hardcore WoW player; I couldn't believe it and then the remainder of the lunch I think we reminisced about old games we had played and it felt like a big relief to talk about games with somebody I felt close to and rather admired in many ways. I think I oddly carry a lot of judgements / self-judgments about gamers and for a long time had a tendency to try to repress / reject that part of myself instead of accepting and healing it.

Well, just getting carried off my thoughts here, not sure if I am going anywhere with that, but it feels good to do that while journaling sometimes, to see what thoughts and memories connect. I think the point I was trying to make from the start is that it feels like a big emotional drain to be living with my parents...as well as not having much money at the moment. It's also a big piece of resistance to getting a more permanent job, because I don't really want to be living here much longer. Fortunately I've been able to put a bit of money together through my job working at home. At some point I just need to take the plunge and figure out a new living situation. My thought keeps coming back to figuring out a place I can car camp and have a wi-fi connection at the same time so I can enjoy some outdoors time for the rest of the summer while also working a bit every day...it could be awesome and I wouldn't need pay rent for a little bit, and my camping / outdoor skills are one of my strengths :)

Last night had a really nice yoga 40 minute yoga session (it was a lot more athletic than I had anticipated when I started the video, and it felt good so I just kept doing it, felt quite worked out at the end! This morning I decided it'd be nice to take it easy and just have a really short, mellow walk) and a nice meditation. Feeling very emotional during the past day or so and like I'm sort of processing some things that have been on the backburner; also, this morning I woke up from the middle of a very distinct gaming dream. It left me with a really unpleasant feeling for a couple of minutes, as if I had just woken up after a sleep slept right after a long gaming session. Funny how when I do have gaming dreams it's often not even a game that exists but some sort of creation / concoction of my strange imagination. Oh, brains are strange things, who knows what they are ever doing!?

Edited by MmmWatermelon

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This morning I decided it'd be nice to take it easy and just have a really short, mellow walk) and a nice meditation. Feeling very emotional during the past day or so and like I'm sort of processing some things that have been on the backburner;

Processing with mediation, yoga, mellow walks and journaling is a good recipe for success. Well done man. :)

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