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Crumpet's Journal


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Hi all!

This journal is starting 4 days into my detox, so I'll sum those up a bit.

From the get go, I want to be forward with you people: I've been very lucky to find this community before things got too bad. I'll probably have a much easier time of this process, because it hasn't gotten too bad yet. I guess I can mostly thank my job for that (which I got by getting my act together for 2 months of my university degree, right before the end, to job hunt. Also by making games from time to time).

Anyway, tl;dr, things should hopefully not be too difficult for me. I've always gotten a bit frustrated at that kid in class who would get "only" 90% of the total mark, and say they felt like such an idiot, so to be absolutely clear with you all:

I've read through the journals a bit. I've spoken to some of you. I have such an immeasurable amount of respect for what you guys are doing here. You've all inspired me to better my life, by dealing with a problem before it becomes a major problem. You as a collective have my unending gratitude.

Anyway, hopefully this journal will document me turning from someone who can't do anything but relax in his evenings, into someone who works passionately at their job at day, comes home, and does the game dev they truly love to do. I know this person exists, because I used to be like that, so here's to a good recovery!

Day 1

I could claim I chose an excellent day to start this detox, but really that was sheer dumb luck. On my first day, I had to travel to my cousin's wedding in France. Worked all morning, travelled all afternoon, hung out with my family all evening. Even if I hadn't started the detox, I wouldn't have had a moment to play any games. I guess that made my first small victory a bit free.

Which was handy, because the real challenge for me was always going to be coming to terms with my gaming problem, or rather acknowledging it as a problem. To start a detox, you have to accept that what you were doing was wrong. And the huge reason that's difficult for me is just how much good has come out of gaming (which I went over extensively in my introductory post).

I guess in the end, what helped me see the thornbush for the thorns, rather than the rose, was my latest addiction, Overwatch. Thank goodness they have a total playtime on your player profile, because that sure was a kick to the teeth. I haven't had the game for long at all. I don't get much time in the evenings. The fact I'd even had 80 hours of spare time since I bought the game came as a surprise to me (goes to show just how much the game ate into my sleeping time). And what do I have for it?

Well I got a really sweet Play of the Game as McCree that one time in a game full of much better players than I. And I've had some great times with one friend.

Now, how many good times and memories would I have if I'd spent that time making games instead? 80 hours is enough time to turn a non-programmer into a game dev with at least 10 small games finished. It's a lot of time.

Anyway, I was filled with anxiety most of the day, fear of how well the detox was going to go. Afraid of the person I could have been, and how much worse I am than them. Ashamed of how well I'd hidden this problem from everyone else, how everyone thought everything was so OK.

I told a close friend of mine, as well as my partner of 5 years (well, almost 5!) about it. I wasn't sure what to expect. Their reactions were both a tad underwhelming, which contributes to my belief that people didn't know how bad things were. I don't know if I should tell them, or leave that to be forgotten...

Either way, the day ended with me worried, but part of this community. Which is a huge step forwards from the day before, and hey, Rome wasn't built in a day.

Day 2

Once more, very little spare time. I got a bit, and used it to write my intro post, but this was the actual wedding day. And what a beautiful day it was. It was lovely to meet all my family again, to see my cousin so incredibly happy, to spend time with the wonderful man she's married.

The only time I got to even think about gaming on this exhausting day was after breakfast and before I went to the wedding itself, which I managed to fill up with writing my intro post.

Day 3

While the morning was full of recovering from last night, and the afternoon with travel, here's where my first real challenge appeared.

All my travel was filled with horrible delays. Delays of the type London public transport has waaayyy too often, so the fact it's not the first time these kind of delays have happened ground at my patience even more.

Then, when I got home, housemate A decided to confront me about all the mess housemate B left just after I headed off. Housemate A tends to use me as an intermediary to communicate to B, because I know B better. We're a wonderful house of three people who all have social anxiety in some way shape or form, so this kind of roundabout communication doesn't work for any of us, but happens anyway.

On top of that, after the stressful trip, all I wanted was a nice horrible unhealthy greasy meal from the local Fish and Chips place, but they were closed because of sunday trading laws. So I had to go on an adventure to find a shop still open.

All in all, I came back hideously stressed. So I spoke to B, my housemate who's just overcome a long lasting with depression (as described in my intro post), the guy who initially inspired me to fix my gaming problem, and told him about my new commitment to stop gaming. That helped mount the pressure against gaming.

But then I was highly stressed, with no exhaust. Tried playing guitar, watching videos, but neither of those worked. Eventually, my social anxiety kept me afraid enough of A talking to me anymore that I turned off all the lights and lay in bed, to pretend to sleep, and hopefully eventually sleep. This was at 9pm, about 4 hours off what my body clock would normally let me do. But then the wedding saved me again. I was pretty physically worn out from the dance that I just drifted off at some point.

Thank goodness for the wedding.

Day 4

Once more managed to keep away from gaming, but this was mostly by browsing reddit, watching 2 hours of animated cartoons on youtube, doing a bit of gamedev, then going to bed super early again. Sleep wasn't so easy this time, but I managed to keep myself glued to bed, rather than playing games.

I swear my hatred of "casual" mobile games, and my lack of knowing any non casual mobile games I like is a lifesaver here.

Got a bit of gamedev done, specifically I did some animation, which I hate. So doing a bit of what you hate is quite a big victory here. Proud of that. More of that to come tomorrow.

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I see that you did well on your first four days.

Thart can be an inspiration for anyone.

However, where are next entries? I hope you'll stick to your consistence and write a bit about  your story. Trust me, it's reassuring not only for me, but for every other gamer or ex-gamer that needs support and wants a bit of help in closing this mourning chapter of life.

Can't to see next entries!

Greetings, Mad Pharmacist

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Starting your journal is a great first step. Your experience of telling your closest ones (the friend and the partner) really mirrors my own. People who haven't played games, or even more so people who haven't experienced the addictiveness of games simply won't understand how sever it can be, or just how strong of a grip the games have on you. 

I pride myself of being a pretty disciplined individual; I exercise, avoid sugar etc all with incredible ease, but when it comes to games, my willpower crumble down to pieces in seconds. It's serious, which todays society do not understand (yet, hopefully).

But you'll find that everyone here do know of the struggle, and are open to talking about it. Good luck with your detox, and the game development.

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