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In search of bravery


Zala
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I think this is the word I've been searching for. Be brave. I need to roll up my sleeves and confront the real world. A totally new concept for me, since many of my friends and acquaintances know me as a fearful, anxious person. I worry too much about everything!

The good news is, I haven't played any games since I got up. The bad news is, I still have quite a few hours until I go to sleep. It's a cold rainy day, not much to do outside. I've been reading Game of Thrones for a couple of hours, did some housework, some job search. Small stuff basically. Actually thinking of a stupid plan. That I should keep playing games until 9th of October. Casually playing. Because the 10.10 simply sounds like a great date to remember. All-round, cute and lovely. A great day for new beginnings. Where 7.10 doesn't sound like a good enough date. That just might be the stupidest reason for sticking with my addiction. But I can already feel the excitement ... just by thinking of gaming in an hour or two.

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Hey Zala. So you started your journal. That's great! Keep it up!

How about you take some time to read what's on this forum to ward off temptation? You will find many fine examples of bravery. I'm sure they will inspire you like they are inspiring me.

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Awful day. Woke up, had a dream about The Sims. With emotions I usually feel, when I start playing a new game. You know excitement, joy and all that. For f. sake. I used to have exciting, imaginative dreams that brought me joy and now this? Dreaming of planting plants? All I could do today is keep myself from installing the Sims on my new laptop, they don't work on my old one. Of course I had to play another online game. Not as reward, just to distract me. Another excuse I know. Result: Eight hours of gaming, ate some soup and here is the evening. All I can do right now is promise myself to stop playing games for 90 days, starting this Saturday. Great date and I always do better on weekends since my bf is at home and we do some stuff together at least part of the time.

I obviously can't keep it in moderation. I actually know a guy that smokes 3 cigarettes per day and he has been doing that for 25 years. Luckily I'm not a smoker, because I'm quite certain I would smoke 4packs a day. I'm also not a person of 2 hours of gaming per day, which would make it ok. Which would make it a "normal" hobby. But the only time I kept it as low, was when my family still had some control over what I did.

Tomorrow I will go in to the local animal shelter, where I volunteer once in while. Haven't been there for a couple of months, so I'm kind of nervous about it. I promised a friend, that I will join her, just so it won't be as easy to back out. Then I will go home, clean the apartment, cook lunch and go to the library. Where I will stay till my bf comes home. Fingers crossed that is.

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Nice, only two days two go until Saturday! And you are already writing a journal.

If you care about getting your dreams back, that's something I'm doing too. Every morning as soon as I wake up I write my dreams down. It helps to remember and you get better every time. I use the dream journal on Lucidipedia.

Have fun tomorrow!

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Awful day. Woke up, had a dream about The Sims. With emotions I usually feel, when I start playing a new game. You know excitement, joy and all that. For f. sake. I used to have exciting, imaginative dreams that brought me joy and now this? Dreaming of planting plants? All I could do today is keep myself from installing the Sims on my new laptop, they don't work on my old one. Of course I had to play another online game. Not as reward, just to distract me. Another excuse I know. Result: Eight hours of gaming, ate some soup and here is the evening. All I can do right now is promise myself to stop playing games for 90 days, starting this Saturday. Great date and I always do better on weekends since my bf is at home and we do some stuff together at least part of the time.

I obviously can't keep it in moderation. I actually know a guy that smokes 3 cigarettes per day and he has been doing that for 25 years. Luckily I'm not a smoker, because I'm quite certain I would smoke 4packs a day. I'm also not a person of 2 hours of gaming per day, which would make it ok. Which would make it a "normal" hobby. But the only time I kept it as low, was when my family still had some control over what I did.

Tomorrow I will go in to the local animal shelter, where I volunteer once in while. Haven't been there for a couple of months, so I'm kind of nervous about it. I promised a friend, that I will join her, just so it won't be as easy to back out. Then I will go home, clean the apartment, cook lunch and go to the library. Where I will stay till my bf comes home. Fingers crossed that is.

?It's alright to have dreams about games. We're all here because it went too far, but the first step I found to help with that is to accept the feelings I have. I wrote a letter to one of my games detailing the good times I had, the meaning it had to me and the need to move on, Koyotecarus posted his own on the forums and it really helped for his recovery process.

Tom also had a great idea! Writing your dreams down may help you to identify why you are drawn to games, so you can identify what activities you could do to fill that gap it filled for you, whether it be because it gave you a sense of person or the ability to connect with people easily.

Keep up your journal! I look forward to hearing back from you. :)

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Thank you guys for responding. It's so nice to see that someone actually follows up on my resolution. I also feel I can be really open with you guys, which is quite liberating.

Well here it is. One and a half days without gaming. Notice the s at the end ^_^. Not even phone game apps. Some short videos, one documentary during exercise on my stationary bike. Did some family meetings, random hangouts. Hopefully today I will continue my learning of html basics, which has been on pause for a couple of weeks. I'm still stuck on Game of Thrones 4, I need to finish this book and move on. I don't really like to read more than 2 or 3 books at the same time, because they usually have a different feel of things, or view of the world and I like to really get into specific view of things, if that makes sense. I had a New Year's resolution: read at least 100 books in 2015. Right now I'm at 53, so it's a long way to go. If I manage to read 4 books per week, which is doable, I should be ok ^_^.

Tomorrow I will probably be more tempted to play, since I will be alone most of the time. But I really think I can do it, if I just keep myself busy. I think it's helpful to know, what triggers and worries you, it makes you more prepared, I hope. Thank you again for reading :$.

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Hey Zala! Sounds like you're on the right track. That's great that you've now gone more than 1 day without games :D. Keep it up.

100 books!? That is an awesome goal. 53 books is already a ton, certainly more than I've read, and I read a lot. Maybe you can dedicate your new-found non-gaming time to reading as aggressively as you want to meet that goal haha. Good luck.

Knowing your triggers are definitely important to preventing relapse.

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Day 4, no gaming. But I haven't been productive either :(. Watched loads (probably too many) of long and short videos on different topics. I'm just trying to get through. Meanwhile time is passing me by and I'm not getting any younger. I'm trying not to get panicky, since three days are nothing compared to the time I've lost while gaming. I remember this one time I was playing Spore and got the badge for 100 hours of playing galaxy stage. And it really hit me. What I could do with that time. Learn a new language probably, do some serious reading, help another person or creature ... And Spore was a game I only played between other games, during the break, never a main game. Ok anyway, I like the whole gratitude aspect of your diaries, so here we go.

1. I'm grateful for the beginning of the new heating season. Our place in finally comfy and warm.

2. I'm grateful for my new hobby - swimming. I've played lots of sports, but swimming really helps me mute my negative inner dialogue.

3. I'm grateful for Cam and all of you guys, being active on this site and staying positive and encouraging.

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Nice! Here is my opinion: if you have done one thing you wouldn't have done because of gaming, you have been productive. Even just five minutes of introspection count. Baby steps :) You use way more energy to start than to keep momentum.

Earlier you wrote you want to learn HTML basics. Have you tried Codecademy? It's free and I found it quite useful.

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Some days you just need to pass the time. Just remember that in order to recover there are certain steps to take like having a daily agenda. It would be good to start a project you could up with to give you more purpose. This video shares more on that.

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#Tom Thank you, I'm not familiar with this page. But I'm sure it will come in handy.

#Wookieshark88 I guess you are right. But I think I let things get way out of hand by indulging myself so far:S.

#Cam Thank you. I guess writing down some goals would probably be a great thing to do atm. I've done it in the past, but when things were not going in the right direction, I got super sad. Not having a job is awful. Having written a goal to have a job and then not getting a particular type of job, or having no idea, what you would want to do in your life, is even more depressing.

Has anyone practiced writing down their goals? How specific do they have to be? How many steps or points in time do you have?

I see a lot of game quitters practice meditation/introspection. I'm kind of afraid to try it out. My friend used to do it on a regular basis. And the timing was just silly. For example we were just chatting or playing a board game with a bunch of people and she was like, ok, now I need to go sit in a room, alone and meditate. I thought to myself, why won't you go for a walk, or go take a nap. It seemed pretentious. You can't just leave us to go sit in a chair and ignore others o.O. Of course if you are fiddling with your phone, that is perfectly normal :D. You can have some alone time, just don't look so high and mighty while you do it.

And what if I only get cought in a flow of thought? I read somewhere that the best medicine for laziness is not to do anything. When you have stuff to do, don't do anything else. Don't turn on your tv, computer, leave you phone, don't go randomly looking for things to do around the house ... Just sit down, relax and wait for your strength. I tried this loads of time. All I got was a buzzing feeling in my head, endless flow of thought.

Perhaps I should time my first time of meditation. Just to get rid of fear of falling to far into my thoughts.

Oh and I'm reading The Power of Habit. Very interesting.

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Another day, another challenge :$. I think I have to decide to quit watching videos (short clips, movies, series ...) altogether. I think I knew that this needs to happen for quite some time now. I think I can allow myself:

- 30 minutes per day for emails, weather, news, browsing, forums.

- 30 minutes of Youtube videos while I'm eating my lunch, since eating alone can be incredibly boring.

- That sounds reasonable. Writing using Word doesn't count. But everything else: general browsing, funny pics, funny clips, searching for random information I suddenly need to know, awesome movies, playthroughs, obsessive research of random stuff, reading through different forums ... Everything has to go!

Luckily my boyfriend doesn't like to watch tv or movies in general. I can usually persuade him to watch one movie and one series per week, if I nag him long enough:$:$. I think 20.10 would be a great day to start this. Till then I will track my screen time, I still have no idea how much time I actually spent in front of a screen. Do you?

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Heya! For meditation you could try Headspace. I've enjoyed the app so far. I have a code that lets you have a month free access to the Headspace content, so if you are interested just PM me and I will give you the code :P

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Thank you for the offer but I've checked the app and it seems my phone is too old :(. I'll hold you to that in case I upgrade my phone. It looks sweet though.

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About writing out your goals. I think it helps to be as much specific as you can. The keywords here are actionable and measurable. For example "I want to become a better person" won't lead you anywhere. What is it that will make you a better person? "I want to be more compassionate" is a bit better. How can you become more compassionate? "I want to volunteer". Keep refining! "I want to volunteer twice a month with children in a hospital". Good! Now that you know what you can plan how. Steps: 1) List hospitals and nonprofits (goal: knowing your options); 2) Call selected items in step 1 (goal: making an appointment); 3) Meet selected items in step 2 (goals: picking one),..

About pretentious "spiritual people". Yes, that happens. Quite a lot actually :D But don't worry that: it's the person, not the action. We all have our flaws. Wish them luck to overcome their insecurities and enjoy the benefits of whatever healthy activity they care to pursue.

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#Cam Calm.com is great!! Thank you so much! I did my first mini meditation:P. It really calmed me down. I haven't even realized how stressed out I felt before the meditation. I will definitely make this a habit. Thank you Cam.

#Tom I think I get it. it's just that I can at least imagine putting down some goals. For example family, friends, relationships, health, activity, learning, volunteer work, reading, meditation ... I have no idea how to even built a plan on making money or having a job or a career :(. I might just put this stuff on hold for a week, since there seem to be a lot of changes in my life at the moment. I have the information. I mean I have the resume, I know how to dress and what to say during interview, I have a bunch of ideas on how to look for a job. I'm checking a bunch of sites, but there doesn't seem to be any adds in my country for a person of my profile and my type of experience. And since in most of the companies they have a policy not to employ people with certain education for lower levels of work, that really limits me. I had a wish for the longest time to work from home, but at this point I'm not even sure, if that wish wasn't a product of my gaming addiction. You know .. just wishing I could spent more time at home and play games instead of actually working. And on the other hand I'm not even sure if I'm capable of doing anything that would eventually lead to regular pay :(. I'm sorry, I hope I wasn't too long, thank you for reading!

I feel grateful for two wonderfully sunny and warm days. Weather seems to have a big affect on how I feel.

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Seen some of Sims 4 videos on youtube. Felt the itch to play. Read your diaries. In a few hours I will start to limit my display time. I feel fear in my bones. I hope I can do this. I know I have to at least try. Did nothing all day. Again. Just stared passively at the screen. Again. Hope everyone is ok.

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Sure you can do it :) You had the strength to start your journey, you are still with us. You are strong.

Imagine how proud you'll be of yourself. Imagine how you will you celebrate your victory.

Have you tried keeping your hands occupied? I remember reading a study on pianists and the fact that using your hands and especially your fingers stimulates the brain in a very positive way. Writing, playing an instrument, making origami.,,

I believe that the longer you can stay away from a screen the more in control you will feel. If you must stay home, inviting a friend over can be an excellent disruption of your routine. What do you think?

So you are Slovenian! Nice! I used to study right across the border. Once I got great marks and I walked across it to award myself a La Edited by Tom

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You can do it! I believe in you!

Just don't stare at the screen haha!

My recommendation would be to play some music and dance a little bit if you are alone! B| What music do you like? Progressive metal or house or trap or dubstep or meditation music? Maybe don't dance to meditation music...

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Hello! It's my sixteenth day without games, sixth day with limited screen time. I've noticed it's harder for me to stick with my meal plans, probably because I'm still building my willpower muscles. Otherwise things are great! My bf ran a half a marathon this weekend and he did it under 1.35, which made him&I very happy :D. I'm not much of a runner, but I think I need to start running again. It would be so great if we could run at least some of the miles together. I did some reading as well, some volunteer work, nothing major. I still enjoy swimming twice a week. We have two coaches and they manage to bust my ass (is that the right term :)) every time! I love it! At the moment I'm following program given by my 10k Runner app. Today was week 2, day 2. Did about 2 miles running&walking today. I decided to try to expand my running time and not worry about the distance yet. Nothing new on the job front. I will get unemployment compensation till 15.1.2016, which will cover most of my bills. After that, if I don't find a job sooner, I will have to start eating away at my savings. We will see ...

I was also thinking of putting my roller-blades on after a year. I used to love them. I just somehow let the fear beat me even here. I got afraid of speed, traffic, running somebody over ... It was a great exercise but somehow I started to waaay overthink everything and got afraid as soon as I put them on. Well there is one challenge. I need more :)

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Hey Zala. Thanks for sharing. Congrats on 16 days without games, I hope you take a minute to recognize yourself and be proud. It's quite the accomplishment! I really enjoy running because it's like an active meditation and I love the energy boost I get from it. 

I love roller blading as well. Maybe find a park that is nice and quiet for you to play around in. :)

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