Jump to content

NEW INTERVIEW: How Pauline Narvas Overcame Gaming Addiction to Become a Programmer and Build an Incredible Life!

Zala

In search of bravery

Recommended Posts

Hey guys, less optimistic this time around :(. I still haven't had a gaming relapse. But I definitely spend too much time staring at my laptop screen since last Friday. Haven't done anything else on Friday, yesterday and today. On weekend I had some family business and basically had no time for myself.

Last week I had a strange talk with a friend, who should also limit her screen time. And she knows it. Or at least knows it most of the time but she hasn't come around to doing anything about it yet. She keeps saying: If watching episode after episode and then show after show makes you happy or at least content, how is it different from any other hobby? How is it different from running every day, reading, making models a few hours a day, or going out having endless conversations with random people or your friends&family? I said to her that those activities are socially acceptable or have greater value. That they promote a set of skills that can help you live a better life or help you help another person. Lying around just passively watching pixels changing and following lives of imaginary characters, does nothing for your personal growth, leaves your brain foggy and takes time away from people that would like to spend it with you. 

I haven't persuaded her. :S I failed to even persuade myself. My life without games is as empty as it was before I stopped gaming. I do other stuff to fill in the time, I enjoy some of the things I do, but in the great scheme of things, nothing has changed. I try to set goals but then they just seem pointless. I was thinking of learning another language, but when would I use it? Planned on running a 10k run in a town nearby, but what would I do with a result? Besides bragging rights and lost time, what do I expect to gain from these activities? I am hoping that I would feel good about myself after I achieve my goal. Or at least feel proud in that final moment. But would I? Would I really? Achievements&goals that I have reached so far, haven't done much for my confidence and well-being. I remember only the work that I had to put in, stress, worry and then the "great finale". The only thing great about it, was, that I was able to return to my normal life, that the pressure&stress were gone.

The only things that make me stop overthinking are exercising, reading and writing. But I doubt I can do any of them in order to survive. I am sure that I do none of them well enough to survive. And I doubt I'm young enough to change that. - I mean well enough to pay the bills and put the food on the table. So I try not to do them too much, in excess. I'm affraid that they will become just another self-served obsession. Obsession that makes time fly by and keeps me dependent on my boyfriend's or family's money. Any input would be great.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle? I think that would be a great book for you to read right now. Alternatively his book A New Earth would also be good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't. I just started reading Now. I don't like it so far :S. I will try to stick to it. I rarely leave a book halfway.

I was rewatching some of your videos Cam and I was thinking of making an old school daily schedule for myself. Include stuff I used to do, but now just seem pointless. Like drawing, painting, sculpturing, learning how to cook :) . Changing activities every hour or so. Just to create some sort of educational scenario. At least from 9am to 5 pm. Problem is if, like yesterday, I get a call from a friend that I haven't seen for a long time. And I go and grab a cup of coffee with them. Puff and three hours have passed. Women and conversations you know :) . It seems like when I make a schedule for myself, someone always calls. And I have to make changes on the first or second day. I should probably stick to it for at least a week and then meet with other people during "my" hours. I can only hope that my friends will understand. I do get excited even when I'm thinking of planning my day. I need to learn how to be productive when I'm alone. Because there will always be a time when I'm alone.

Or it might all be just an excuse that lets me stay in my comfy little world. Because I know I could go to a library every day. And I simply wouldn't be able to watch one video after another. Like today three 90+ minute movies and counting. I just don't feel like going out of my apartment at this point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A schedule is just an outline, even when you have things pop up that's ok, it's just about adapting to them when they come. You could also have time you have scheduled off to yourself and then have time you are available for others.

The thing is, you are able to find a lot of time for other things - 270 minutes in movies today - so it's all about where you are putting your priorities. IMO, getting out of the house first thing in the morning is crucial to get your momentum going. When you're at home you're comfortable, and you easily justify laying around doing nothing. I do the same when I'm at home, so I put a lot of effort into not being at home. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#Wookieshark88 I really do have some sort of crisis. I talked to my brother today. He is also a heavy gamer, I think he plays more than I ever did. He asked me what I do all day and when he heard I still watch a lot of movies, he said that I should return to gaming. That there is more sense, that at least it's more active ... I dunno. In my twisted mind it all kind of made sense :(. I will not reinstall games. I won't do it. Nothing good can come out of it. At least not today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you get further away from the games, your mind will start to clear up.  As that happens you'll start to be able to expand yourself into different activities.  I often justified my gaming by using the same logic.  I told myself that it was much better than watching TV because my mind was much more of an active participant in the activity.  The problem with the games is that I would never feel like I had satisfied my appetite for games no matter how much I played them.  I could play 16 hours a day and still feel like I wanted to play more.  That is why I have a problem.  If I could play for an hour and feel like I was ready to move on to another activity, I wouldn't be be here.  There is no activity in my life, including studying, working, or other "positive" things, that I should feel that way about.  It leads to a horribly unbalanced and unhappy life.  That is my answer to your brother's (and my old) justification of gaming.  I hope these words make it feel a little clearer to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Zala!

I know that you're going through! As a guy living with 3 gamers, I felt the peer pressure to go back to gaming. All the suggestions they say to you is to make you back to where you were. They don't mean any harm, it's just to recover the balance (can't find a better word atm).

Watching movies for me it's way better than gaming. Atleast in the beginning. It's not as addicting! And if you start to watch some documentaries instead, even better :D I will state again that you should get into new things just to get your mind off of gaming. I really like Cam's suggestion of going out of home early. Try to go for a minute walk and add another minute each day.

Hang on in there. We're here for you! There are some periods that you really have doubts about what you're doing and it's very important not to think about it. You are in the best path you can be right now.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, 10 days since my last post. Went by fast. Not much has happened. I haven't played computer games or any sort of games apps. I've seen loads of terrible horror films, stupid tv shows, reality shows and dreary movies.

I would love to give some encouraging words to other forum members. But right now I think I should stick to what I've been doing - reading other journal entries and occasionally using the like option. I hope I will be more helpful in the future.

I'm going to give this "limited screen time" another go. I hope I will not become an alcoholic or a drug addict this time around. I wouldn't mind becoming a bookworm, might even be a good thing considering my past job. I feel this obsession with moving pixels already damaged the most important relationship I have. Sometimes I wonder why he doesn't leave me. Other times I blame him for not giving me the support that I need. No one deserves to get this much of crying, guilt, anger and unhappiness crammed into the box labeled "girlfriend". I swear everything jumps out as soon as he comes home. In a way I can't help it, but at times I realize that I need to try harder. I hope he will stay with me long enough for me to give at least some of his help and patience back.

Edited by Zala

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also struggle to give encouragement to others at time, but I want to do more. Great job on no gaming in the past 10 days! That counts for something.

Sorry to hear that your relationship is affected by this. I'm no expert, but I would say if you work on yourself, you'll help the relationship. Maybe that's too obvious.

Keep going, you can do it :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great job on 10 days Zala! Thanks for everything you contribute to the forum, even if it's just in the form of "likes" when you have a chance. It all makes a difference! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a strange encounter last Friday. I looked through random youtube videos, realized I might not have the best idea of how to ride a bike on a roundabout. From there I went to a page for children, you know one of those "how to" pages for young cyclists, later to the page that gives instructions to those that are learning how to drive a car and then I found a page that simulates driving and parking a car. An awful awful game. Not responsive, didn't make sense, bad graphics, kept freezing for no particular reason. I played for about 15 minutes and I believe my heartbeat went through the roof, I felt pure pleasure and also like this game was challenging me. I finished the game and there were these bright colored pop ups, congratulating me and telling me I'm the best. I couldn't help it, I just started laughing. I kept thinking to myself, no one would get that hooked on one silly game. I could almost see my friends going "Ugh, why are you playing this, it's awful". I didn't care. I had to finish it! I had to figure out how to get around all those stupid mistakes that made the game completely unrealistic. Had to. And in the same way right after that I had to go outside, just to get out of this "zone". And I did. And everything went back to normal in an hour or two.

So I'm obviously not out of the woods yet. It has been 44 days since I played a computer or a phone game, not counting this encounter last Friday. But I guess I will have to kick myself away from games for the rest of my life.

I'm still watching too many videos. Survivor is my new thing. I might wanna consider joining movie quitters type of thing. Cam do you have time for another forum and community  ;);)xD?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Halfway to 90 days :ph34r: developing ninja skills

Right there with ya! Well.. more like 50 days shy. 

It's cool though, been focused on other things for once! 

Keep doing what you're doing! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope I'm not annoying you guys too much. But there is another topic that keeps popping up lately. It's a dog story. I will try to keep it short.

I've always wanted a dog. Never had one, parents didn't agree, you know the story. Two years ago when my boyfriend and I finally came to this apartment, owned by my parents, we both had a job and some savings, I figured this is the right time. I did everything right. Did research, read all sorts of books, watched videos, went do dog shows. Spoke to a couple of breeders. I even got into volunteering in a shelter, where I finished clicker training class, met loads of people that owned dogs, had fun with lots of shelter dogs of all size and ages. My boyfriend wasn't too excited at first. But I think he understood that this was very important to me at first and got more interested later. After a year of serious preparations I finally found the right breed and breeders. Went to visit them a couple of times. Went through litter plans, waiting for ultrasound, counting puppies, expectations grew. In the meantime I tried to get every equipment I thought I could use. Did research on save environment, best food, save toys. Bought a bunch of stuff. I even made arrangements with my boss to work in the evenings for a year (my bf works till 4pm), so that the dog wouldn't be home alone for too long at first.

Finally the puppies came. We visited the breeders regularly. And finally the day came when we could take our puppy home. And then the nightmare started. I got totally depressed. Cried more than ever. More in the first week than all other years in my life put together. Like at least 2-3 hours straight every day. Almost everyday I invited at least one person over for a visit. I was totally afraid of being alone. I basically couldn't handle the responsibility. I felt nothing for the cute little puppy. Other people, including my bf, adored him. I was just afraid for him all the time. I couldn't eat, had trouble sleeping. I was ok when we were all at home. But being alone with the puppy was too much. I remember watching loads of videos, playing games and even those couldn't even began cheering me up. I remember playing with a puppy and I felt nothing. I did everything that I was supposed to, as far as maintenance and socialization goes, because I knew he needed it. At the same time I was totally sure that, in some way or another, I will kill this puppy. Either he will pick something up outside and choke, his collar will brake and a car will run over him, he will fall from a couch or stairs, a random dog hating person will kick him, an un-socialized dog will hurt him ... I remember he was lying on the floor in the apartment. Sleeping. And thoughts were running through my head like "is he sleeping too much, did I take him outside for too long, did he catch a cold, am I feeding him enough" ... All the time!! Completely irrational.

After 2,5 weeks I contacted the breeder and told her, what was going on. We decided, that I should bring the puppy back. He is in a great home now, his new owner and I are fb friends and everyone is doing great. No trauma whatsoever on the puppies part.

My boyfriend couldn't understand what I was going through and didn't know how to help me. I love all dogs but I couldn't love our puppy. He got really attached to him and was awfully sad after we took him back to a breeder. I am still trying to figure out how much wear and tear this has done to our relationship. I know it made us seriously doubt the option of having a child, ever. I know I was overly preparing and overly complicating things. I needed to do everything right and of course that is impossible. I still feel like I need to try again. I feel like a total failure for not being able to handle the responsibility of taking care of a puppy. And I feel like I won't be able to think of myself as a good person, until I try again and succeed. Does that make sense?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zala, thank you for sharing such a powerful story.

Our mind and feelings can play such tricks on us. For what it's worth I believe you took great care of the puppy, to the point of giving it back when you felt you couldn't take it anymore. That takes courage.

If you want to try again, by all means! How about taking it step by step? That could help with your anxiety. You could try with plants, or fish, or a small rodent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all! Long time no see :D. Cam's new video caught me by surprise, since I was considering the weekend gaming

I finished 90 day detox. It's been about 140 days since my last game now. Nothing miraculous happened after 90 days or after 100 ... For me it was hard from the beginning and still is. I wouldn't say I think of gaming all the time. But I just changed gaming into sleeping more, browsing the net, watching movies, videos ... I try to look at 140 days as an achievement, but I don't think games make less sense than any other loss of time. Having coffee with friends, meditation, sports, reading might be socially more acceptable. But I tried and tried to stick to these kind of activities and I simply lack the passion. My brain seems to keeps turning into mush. Even leisure activities feel like work if I try to do them on regular basis. I haven't laughed (except at times with my bf) for weeks now. I am thinking of trying moderation this time around.

Or maybe I just wish someone would say to me: don't go there! You can't get rid of one problem (watching too many videos) by returning to an old problem (gaming). I dunno, I'm installing my old&favorite game as I am writing this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Cam, I will do it. I promise. But it seems I spoke too soon. I got obsessed with the most stupid thing ... ever. I can't believe it. It seems in the last couple of months, I started a new circle of bad habits all over again. It started slowly, half hour, one hour and of course now I'm up to god knows how many hours per week and on top of that full avoidance of family, friends, obligations, housework ...

Cookie clicker. I freakin can't believe it. I know right? Not the super-technological, problem-solving, or at least social game(s). Nooooo. I found the most repetitive thing ever. I have a part time job at the moment, so that is basically the only thing that is keeping me away from clicking. But my contract ends at the end of May and I am terrified.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all! Long time no see :D. Cam's new video caught me by surprise, since I was considering the weekend gaming

I finished 90 day detox. It's been about 140 days since my last game now. Nothing miraculous happened after 90 days or after 100 ... For me it was hard from the beginning and still is. I wouldn't say I think of gaming all the time. But I just changed gaming into sleeping more, browsing the net, watching movies, videos ... I try to look at 140 days as an achievement, but I don't think games make less sense than any other loss of time. Having coffee with friends, meditation, sports, reading might be socially more acceptable. But I tried and tried to stick to these kind of activities and I simply lack the passion. My brain seems to keeps turning into mush. Even leisure activities feel like work if I try to do them on regular basis. I haven't laughed (except at times with my bf) for weeks now. I am thinking of trying moderation this time around.

 

Someone like me :D. Maybe you're just introverted ? Not everyone has the energy to deal with people all day long and if you do something as a task instead of just for enjoyment it will feel like a chore. I think the whole point is to occupy your time with things you enjoy (and if they lose said enjoyment switch up). And yes, as a newbie I myself lose quite a bit of time doing what you described, it's just hours less than I did on games (and for me it's beneficial atm). Anyway, congrats on reaching 90.


Saw the second post : if it becomes a problem again repeat the process. Also, why exactly are you playing ? There must be a reason (find it and deal with it, I know what I am avoiding by gaming and in my case it's exactly that: habit + avoidance). Also, sorry to hear about the bad relapse.

 

Thing about addiction is, if you try to quit (or go for moderation), it's not a decision you make once. It's a decision you'll make every day. 

Edited by DuckyMcDuck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...