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Regular Robert

21st century Ulysses.

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Ah, I'll do it tomorrow. Just a little side-joke.

Currently, I am on day 3 of my detox and boy, I do not know what I feel right now. But I will still try to write my journal since I read some of the others and it seems to be a great way to reflect one-self.

Day 1:
The first day was probably the easiest and greatest. I spent the whole day with my girlfriend. Mostly outside, doing daily routines. That is probably why it was that easy. I was not alone. I was not at home. I finished many things that I procrastinated for a long, freaking time. But when the night came, major problems appeared. Before the detox, I mostly played at night. So on night one, I was laying in bed with "nothing to do". Sleeping would just not work. My thoughts were elsewhere, even though I felt tired as can be. And after hours of waiting in the dark, while my girlfriend was sleeping next to me, my mind went ape. To not think about games - and I even thought about how great those games were that I actually never liked - I tried to focus on other things. In my mind, I tidied the basement, renovated the apartment and wrote several books. At some point, I could not stand it anymore, since I felt that these thoughts of being productive generated huge amounts of energy, which is good, but not at 3 am. So I got up, out of bed, dressed and walked around the apartment to find something to do. It had to be something that would not create noise. I found my old running shoes. One lace has been torn apart a long time ago and the other had a huge knot in it that nobody in this universe could open with his or her hands. So I cut them both, searched for my stack of para-cord and made some new, awesome looking shoe laces. Well, that was done in no time and I went back to bed, in hopes of being able to sleep. I wasn't. So I continued waiting and when the sun was up and I could hear the cars outside, I fell asleep and slept til noon.

Day 2:
After waking up at noon, I got up and tried to apply some basic structure, even though I was way behind any idea of a schedule. But I still tried. I changed my clothes and took a shower, which is basic structure. To be entirely honest, changing clothes was not a strength during my excessive gaming phase. After showering, I walked the dog. I took my time. I really wanted to experience it and it worked. I wasn't able to feel so connected to my dog for a long time. So, that was a success. After that, I opened my laptop. Oh, I should mention that on day 1, I abstained from the PC in general. So, I opened it up and looked at my sticky notes. There were about 12 stickies with stuff that I successfully procrastinated for ... months, partly. Within a couple of hours, there were only 3 stickies left and those left are long-term stickies like "Workout!" and such. Stuff that you can basically do every day. After that, I felt insecure. I did not feel great for getting something done. I felt lost. So I tidied up, cooked, did the dishes. At some point, the apartment was sparkling clean and the emptiness, the loneliness and the huge "nothingness" came back.
Thus, I remembered Cam's videos and I thought, it is about time to set some daily goals. So, I set my first daily goal: Write at least one dinA4 page. I wrote 3. After that, it was too hard to concentrate and I was left with nothing to do ... again! Luckily, my girlfriend came home from work and I could spent the rest of the evening talking to her. At night, it was hard to sleep again. But I had some sleeping pills left. (I am struggling with a sleeping disorder ever since I could think.) And so, I finally got some sleep.

Day 3:
4:30 am, the alarm clock went off, my girlfriend had to go to work. Also, my neighbors seem to like some pleasure in the early morning. My dog though seems to like vomiting when the sun comes up. I myself tried to snooze until it actually made sense to get out of bed. 8:30 am, I applied my daily structure again. Clothing, showering, walking the dog with no pressure. It was nice. Though, when I came home, the apartment was still sparkling clean. Damn you dust! Where are you when I need you? So I had to find something else to do. I decided that it was too soon to start writing. (I can usually write when the sun goes down.) So, I said to myself, that day 3 is a great thing to celebrate. I walked to a grocery store, a huge one, that I usually avoided because I would have panic attacks inside. But this time, I had a goal. I went in and bought myself a green smoothie. I like them and I like the placebo effect of feeling healthy. I was really happy afterwards, because I managed to succeed in something I would usually fail. Then, I opened the laptop and checked facebook. I read a message of my brother and since we do not have the best relation, I got kind of furious about it. That is one large thing I noticed about myself within these three days: My feelings are weird! And they tend to .... go up and down in a second. Thus, I surfed to YouTube and focused on opening ONE TAB with the song I wanted to hear. I banged my head to the sound of Metallica for a while, always trying to not get distracted, which wasn't easy because "Damn you YouTube and your recommendations"! One of them was Battlefield 1 but "Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I don't do games anymore". It is so easy to say that. To avoid all that temptation, I tried going back to my daily goals. Write one page. I wrote three, again. Three seems to be my current number. I would have written on, but it was almost impossible to concentrate. All these years of mindlessly browsing the web, porn and games jinxed my capabilities to concentrate. My wife came home and brought my future mother-in-law along. I really like her and I would love to say that I had a great time, but to be entirely honest, I constantly wanted to punch myself in the face in order to not think about games. I suddenly remembered the great days I had with Fallout 1 when I was a child. It is still the best game I have ever played but these days are gone. But. Must. Not. Steam. So, I opened up steam and checked my friend-list to see if I could have some small-type with friends. But of course, they were in games. After shutting down steam again, I tried to join the real life conversation. That did not work too well, even though I really like to talk to interesting people and of course, listen to what they have to say. But every sentence was just too damn long for me to handle. When my beloved mother-in-law left, my girlfriend began to watch a concert on YouTube. So, back to being "alone" again. Another thing I had to realize: I have too much time. I smoked some cigarettes and had a glass of wine and decided to chisel my introduction into the forum, which I did. Smoking is one of the things I want to give up aswell, but my girlfriend is right in saying that it might be too much to stop everything at once. The chance to relapse is high and "failure" can easily lead to relapse. My mind is still unsure if that is procrastination again, but for now I will quit one thing at a time. May be in a couple of days or weeks, when I feel a little more stable, with a good working daily structure, I will be able to quit the other bad habits aswell. The evening was filled with half-done things, but I am happy to be here and now and I am kind of happy to not have installed any game. I even thought about "trying my luck" and installing a game, just to delete it afterwards. But that is just "another game" to trigger some hormones.

Tomorrow will be a hard day, since the to-do list is empty and the day has so damn many hours. But, one goal for my future is to not WASTE hours, but SPEND hours. I readied my para-cord and will try to write again.

Also, I am glad I found this forum and I am glad that I am not alone with this issue. I respect everybody who is able to abstain from gaming, even if it is just one day. It is a hell of a process and rehab is never easy. You're great guys. See you tomorrow.

 

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I've read your introduction and your journal and I love your story, it's really well written. I'm almost your age and have gone through a lot of what you've described. I know this is a bold step you are making now. Just be sure to know, that we've got your back. We are all on this journey together. I am currently on day 83 of my detox and since I'm also German, I kindly invite you to send me a message whenever you feel the need to talk to someone in German. I will follow your journal to accompany your progress.

I've seen that you've already had some success in your first days. Congratulations!

 

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One step at a time. You've made your first today. 

PS: I've been people try multiple challenges here (mostly no games and no fap at the same time). Maybe you can find some light in other journals regarding this.

Welcome, Robert!

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These emotional swings at the start of a gaming detox are normal. My theory to this fact is, that we use games to surpress bad feelings. When we stop, playing these things come up more often. Your mind need some time to calm the resulting emotional turmoil.

I wouldn't advcice you either to stop smokinga the same time. There is a lot of research about willpower out there which suggests that willpower works basically like battery which you load with sleep and rest. You have only the power to make a limited amount of good decisions per day. Every decision uses willpower. That's the reason why you need good habits. If you manage to build habits by doing small stuff  every day, you'll build a positive habit and it won't take you willpower anymore to fulfill it. You build habits by repeting actions after a special Trigger (like waking up for example) over and over again. To break bad habits and addictions it takes a big amount of willpower every day.

For some it is helpful to stop related addictions though. I did for example often times fap in breaks between online gaming( while queuing). This led to a connection between both addictions. If I watched porn I got cravings to play games and vice versa. For me it would have been better to stop both at the same time. The same thing applies to fast food.

But smoking is most of the time an unrelated addiction and the physical part of a smoking detox is not to be underestimated.

Good books about this Topic are "The Willpower Instinct" and "The Power of Habit".

It seems like your main Problem is that you have "too much time". You should try to to find something you enjoy so you can develop new passions. Writing is a good start but if your concentration is a problem you could maybe also need some relaxing or at least mindless activities. For me reading and listening to podcasts(i.e. http://podbay.fm/show/863897795) are great for this. As an engaging activity I started programming and learning about Linux(my main OS at them moment) and have lot of fun with it. Physical exercise is also highly recommended. I do this bodyweight routine(https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/wiki/kb/recommended_routine) for some months now and enjoy it really much. If you need Inspiration feel free to read through the journals of other people around here. The journals wiht a star are recommended by cam and are really a worthwhile read.

Sorry for this wall of text but I hope I could give you some useful informations. Feel free to message me or ask here in your journal if you have any questions.

You had a great start and we got your back! good luck, it is worth the effort.

 

Edited by WorkInProgress
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Your are not alone buddy :) Wow we share quite some similarities. We both like to write, both have a dog and we both dont really know what to do when wife/gf is not at home. Oh also both german

Keep it up after one week I started to feel the a lot better and could actually appreciate the time I won.

Also very interesting read about the willpower @Workinprogress could explain why my hunger for chocolate went crazy after I quit (still fighting with that sadly)

 

 

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First of all, I would like to thank everybody that took the time to read and comment. It really means a lot to me. And I do not say that easily. In fact, knowing that others went through this process eases the actual struggle. You know, in my real life many people would probably laugh or simply shake their heads, because "come on ... it is video games. Just don't play them". It feels great to know that there are people who know how that this is a real addiction and people who are addicted do actually suffer. So, once again:

THANK YOU!

While I do not reply to every comment personally today, I will do that in the future when the storm in my head begins to cease. So, please do not feel offended or taken for granted. I will find the time to answer, just not right now. Now, I will continue with the journal.

Day 4:
I did not get the sleep I actually desired to get. In fact, I slept horribly. So today, I was "unable" to get out of bed in the morning, but got up at noon. But since I did not want to let my "sleepiness" determine how my day was going to be, I continued with my daily routines. I like the long walks with the dog, although I feel it is probably the worst time of the year to quit gaming. The weather does not make is easy to go outside. But as said, I enjoy the long walks and today, I decided that I want to start my future days with going out to run a little. It's been quite some time since I went running. But today, after I came home, I opened up my laptop to get to my daily goals, I kind of made the "mistake" to check facebook. I had a message from my brother again, which made me really angry. So I was back to going nuts to the tunes of Metallica. This time though, something was different. My anger turned into joy. It might be that it simply is my current condition. Like I said before, I am literally ridin' the emotional roller-coaster. But I like to believe something different. When I banged my head, danced and just went epileptic to the music, I moved my body. I remembered one of Cam's videos where he said that movement generates energy and for the first time in a looooong time, I felt that. I felt energetic, which fulfilled me with joy. It is good to know that I am not lazy or fatigued all the time.

After that, I tried to sit down and write my daily one page, which again, turned into three pages. I like that. But soon my concentration was gone. My feelings told me that it is awesome to write and I wanted to go on, but my head gave me a hard time. I noticed that my eyes would randomly focus something else. I realized that I get real nervous. So, I decided to stop to not ruin this experience. The time that followed was not great. I was nervous, filled with anxiety and my thoughts dragged me to memories of video games. I never realized how much of my brain is actually working on thoughts that involve video games. Now, that I abstain, I see them everywhere. I even misspell words sometimes and when I see what I just wrote, I can't believe my eyes: It is always something that has to do with video games. It got worse over the time of the day. At one point, I was so annoyed by my own thoughts that I would have loved to eat the top board of my desk. I tried to imagine it. Chewing on wood with all the splinters in my gingiva. And in my thoughts, I smiled in entire madness. Just imagine it, a guy smiling, while all the splinters peek out of his bleeding mouth.

So, I knew I had to do something to counter this feeling and this state of irritation. What I did first is a thing that I can recommend to others too: I served to quotefancy.com and downloaded a ton of backgrounds for my PC. I stopped before I would go into a kind of substitute gaming condition. I saved them and I set my Windows to change my background every 12 hours to a random picture from that background folder. After seeing my first background, I was instantly in love!

"The spirit of the individual is determined by his dominating thought habits." Thank you, Bruce Lee. I can't wait to see another one tomorrow. After that, I remembered that I still had a ton of unused Steam-keys for various games. Since I was in a giveaway group, I posted them all in a thread. I posted about 50 keys so that people can enjoy the games while I get rid of this "burden". I also gave away the games that I had in my inventory. It felt good, like cleaning up the apartment. A good thing to do.

When my girlfriend came home, she was pretty tired. That was okay. I still had a nice conversation with her and when she felt asleep, I cooked and walked the dog again. She was happy that she did not have to cook. It feels good to connect with others and to make them smile. After that, I went back to my para-cord project and picked up an old idea I once had. I wanted to make my own dog leash that I could connect to my bike. So I have a new project for the future to work on when I need to rest. Though, I had to say, I was scared to open up amazon to look for a hook. Because, in my past I used to play games and when I was not playing, I would mindlessly watch series, check social media or ... and that's the point ... put stuff on my amazon wishlist. I am not kidding. I filled my wishlist with all kinds of stuff I convinced myself to "need" for this or that. A lot of this stuff still waits to be used. Which leads me to another thing:

Books. Right now, I cannot really read a book. My concentration is basically non-existent. If you would look at my shelves, you would see tons of books. But don't get fooled, I read none of them. Well, okay. I read like 8. So, I have another vision for the future. I would love to finish at least one book. Or even 10 pages.

Now, after spamming this board with my egocentric stuff ( ;) ), I will go and clean the kitchen, so that I can go to bed in a nice and tidy environment. If anybody read this, know that I love you and that I put my faith in your journey as well. We are all struggling, but as long as we keep doing it, we cannot lose. This is a battle that can only be lost by giving up. As long as you move towards your goals, you cannot fail. Love you all, my hearties.

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Don't worry about replying too much. I am glad if I can help you but this should never lead to any pressure. This is your Change. You do what is hte best for you and this is totally fine.

Great Job giving all These keys away and doing smth for your gf. These Little things add up if you keep doing them. You'll be surprised what can happen in 3 months if you just do a few good things every day. We always overestimate the things we can do with a big one time effort and underestimate the consistent little steps in the right direction. Don't get fooled by your mind. They matter!

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I also used to have these visions like you mentioned, for me it was even worse for example I was thinking about hacking things (not people) with an axe. Not because I was angry or wanted to kill someone I am a very peacefull guy and could never hurt anyone, but that thought was just satsifying for some odd reason. I got rid of them when I started to do yoga and focus on my own mind more. Maybe its the way of my brain to empty the trash bin? ^^

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Day 5:
Today was a hard day. I spent quite some time with my girlfriend and we even watched a movie. A nice event to get the dust off of the beamer. I wrote 3 pages when my daily goal was 2. But still, today was hard. I had a lot of cravings for general distraction and I have to be careful that I don't compensate gaming with watching recordings of podcast and such. I am still in charge of my mind but it feels like a massive battlefield right now. My emotions tend to drive me crazy. It's a constant up and down but in extremes. I can be awkwardly happy and the next moment I'd love to cry. I smoked more than usual and one thing really bugs me: I am kind of anxious about going to bed. The darkness, the silence ... it's just hard to concentrate to not concentrate. I just hope that I can carry myself through these rough days. Also, I ate more than usual until the point that my belly hurt. I want to keep it short today. I just hope to have the strength to carry on.

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Day 6:
Today I start my journal early, because I feel the need to unload a few things. I will probably add more later on. Some good and some bad feelings came up today. I should probably start with the bad ones:
Writing was a horrid process today. I raised my daily goal to 2 pages per day, which was fine the other days since I constantly wrote 3 until my head left me staring at the sheet of paper. Today, I could not really get anything going. Every typed word felt like a drag. Every third word had to be deleted or corrected. Misspellings were all over the place. I managed to get to like ... half a page. I have high hopes that I will continue after a glass of wine. Wine has the ability to somehow make it easy for me to focus on the things I actually like. Not sure if it helps today.

I had cravings and weird feelings of losing something. I actively thought about deleting my steam account or at least the steam software. But I usually like to talk to some of the people on my list and I am an admin in a steam group, which is about roleplaying games. Not video games. We have forum based roleplaying games, which is a nice thing, because the player can contribute to the actual game and he cannot play without his mind. It's like pen and paper games, just with people over the internet. And being a game master always helped me when it comes to being creative. So, in that case, steam can really be useful to me. But I still have these hesitations, these doubts.

One thing has been a huge issue for me for about 2 years now. Even way before I wanted to quit gaming. It's the pressure I generate myself. I think I mentioned it before: I have been plagued by a sickness for 12 years. Ever since I was a youngster. At the age of 14 I had my first colic, which is basically a multiple hour long pain and seizure in the belly. Something that really puts a human out of order. Ever since then, they came on a regular basis. Every day I had pain in my stomach, regular pain. I had massive digestive problems. Every day, all the time. In school, at home, sports made it worse, coffee almost killed me. Over the years, this issue grew, because the doctors were unable to diagnose the sickness. Instead, they constantly said I was too sensitive, because they thought it would be caused by stress. The last part was actually very true. The symptoms were caused by food and stress. But that created the first, fatal downward spiral. And I say "fatal", because the doctors were unable to diagnose this sickness until I was on the brink of death at the age of 27. The colics came more often and with a higher intensity over the passing years. In the end, I would constantly have 2 colics per week, that endured more than 14 hours per colic. I would vomit to the point where there was nothing left to vomit. I would lie on the ground, having a cold fever. I lost a lot of weight to the point when I was down to 58 KGs. I was nearly unable to eat and when I got to the hospital, I was entirely unable to eat. And they still took 4 weeks to find the actual issue. A friend of mine visited me and told me that I look like a concentration camp jew in an episode of the Simpsons, because my skin, my eyes and fingernails were yellow. A sign of kidney failure. Over all these years, people either told me that I am dumb, lazy or too sensitive. I had a "hard time" finishing school, keeping up at the job. At the age of 24, my daily routines were: Get out of bed at 4:30, walk the dog, go to work, come back home, walk the dog, go to bed to regenerate energy. Because of the pain in my belly, my entire way of sitting, standing and walking changed, which generated back problems. I had disc herniations in my back about 3 times per year. They sent me to mental clinics to correct my strange behavior. Nobody, except for my girlfriend that I met shortly before the fatal collapse, wanted to believe me. I constantly had to fight for "my right to be sick" and I still have to. Often, I would lie on the ground in my apartment, hoping to get cancer or lose an arm. Because then, I thought, people would accept the fact that I am sick. But my sickness stayed hidden in my body. Nothing helped me. Meditation, Yoga, mental institutions, meds, nothing helped me. When I was in hospital at the age of 26, I knew I would die. I just knew it. And I hoped for it, because after 12 years of suffering and being the "too sensitive, lazy, dumb guy", I could only hope for some redemption. People told me that I was "too weak" or "too soft". In hindsight, I would say, I am the toughest guy I know. I know, there is no way to compare such things, it's just for my on mind. Because I was right, the entire time. And the misjudgements of "other people" around me would have lead to my certain death. The surgery was supposed to take 45 minutes. A routine. It took 4,5 hours. My girlfriend was waiting for me the entire time. Nobody, but her. After I woke up after surgery, the surgeon visited me and told me, if she had known, she would have invited a bunch of surgery students to witness this surgery. Because, she had never seen such a transformed gall bladder like mine. The bile duct is supposed to have a radius of 2-3 millimeters. Mine had the size or her index finger. The reason why the surgery took so long, was because they did not have clamps for such an oversized bile duct. So they had to get aortal clamps from another surgery room.
That is the backstory. The short one. The actual torture had to be left out, otherwise this would be a horror story. Still, a few issues arose from this whole story. The major one is what I have to deal with right now:
The surgery was 3 years ago. Ever since then, I promised myself to pursue my own life goals. Life showed me that I know myself best. So I should follow my own goals, not the ones I ought to be following. Though, 12 years of my life were occupied by a sickness. Fighting it on a daily basis, managing to survive, day by day, does not leave much room to follow goals. So, many people at my age are way ahead of me when it comes to education, careers, family and such. I was unable to travel the world, though I spent a month in the US. But still, I lost a lot of time. And now, I keep pushing me, often way too hard. That leads to failures, which lead to depressive states where I believe I will never reach my goals. It is hard to "be calm" after being handicapped for 12 years and suddenly, the chains are gone. I want to live now. I want to make progress. But often I want it to happen now or yesterday or the day before yesterday. I know there is a maximum amount of progress one can achieve per day, but it is hard to accept one's own limits. At least for me. Yeah, that's my current main issue.

The other one is different but related. Before the surgery, I was good as dead. And when they applied the narcotics, something changed. Ever since that day, I sometimes get into "weird states". Like now, when quitting games. My mind is in a weird state already but additionally, I will often sit around, asking myself if I ever woke up from the surgery. It is hard to describe, but that day, a part of me left my body and I have trouble accepting that I am awake. I know that sounds, like I am a nut job, but I guess it is the "near death experience" combined with an experience, that is kind of a "death experience". When the narcotics kick in, it is kind of like dying. In a nice way. Well, yeah. Strange stuff, I know. But that's what I have to deal with ... currently.

I will probably continue this journal later, since today is a strange day. It's this "day off" feeling, that leaves one with the blankness inside, that makes one question his own existence.

Edit: I think the biggest problem TODAY is, that I remember too much of this time and now I feel, that I become very sad and angry. And I feel the need to play video game. It's like taking this mind numbing pill. You don't feel the pain anymore. Right now, I would really love to play video games. Somehow, that is good. I think, I found the reason why I played video games excessively. To forget. To forget how many people wronged me. Many people that are supposed to be my friends and family. It all makes sense. Before the surgery, three years ago, I was not addicted to video games. I loved to play them and I confess, I played too much, but it was different. And I wasn't plagued with social anxieties. It's good to know what makes me want to game. The memory of all the cruelty.

Journals are awesome. I mean, I always knew that this time would somewhat haunt me. But now, I feel like I understand. UNDERSTAND. I see the connection. I feel the connection. Sometimes it takes a while until you feel that you understand. That's a moment of clarity, I guess.

Edited by Robert Arctor

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@hycniejsy
Thank you, matey! But you know, it is kind of important to me right now. Because sometimes I get lost in my thoughts and having them in front of me helps me to grip them. It helps me understand. And understanding is everything to me. It's always easy to say "Shit, I relapses; I have cravings; I am a loser" and blame myself or somebody else. But its not about guilt or blame, itss about knowing why things happen. When I know why they happen, I can find solutions. So this is why this journal is so important to me right now. And its always great if people read the stuff and show me their perspective. The more perspectives I have, the more I will be able to see and thus, to understand.

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@hycniejsy
Thank you, matey! But you know, it is kind of important to me right now. Because sometimes I get lost in my thoughts and having them in front of me helps me to grip them. It helps me understand. And understanding is everything to me. It's always easy to say "Shit, I relapses; I have cravings; I am a loser" and blame myself or somebody else. But its not about guilt or blame, itss about knowing why things happen. When I know why they happen, I can find solutions. So this is why this journal is so important to me right now. And its always great if people read the stuff and show me their perspective. The more perspectives I have, the more I will be able to see and thus, to understand.

That's awesome man, especially when you are courageus enough to share it on this forum.

Have you ever tried 750words.com ? It's awesome website, and it's running an awesome challenge called NaNoWriMo in November. I strongly recommend it for you! :)

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Day 6 (cont'd):
Since today seems to be a day of internal reflection, I had some more thoughts that I would like to chisel into the virtual stone: I said, that I grew up - or let's say, I was born INTO technological distraction. I was not born with an addiction for the web, video games, porn, YouTube and such. But I was born into a world, where all this kind of distraction was trivialized. When I look at my pack of cigarettes, I can read the words "Smoking will cause cancer". This kind of education, awareness, explanation did not exist and still does not really exist for virtual distraction. There is no sticker on my router that says "Browsing the web can lead to failing one's life".

About 2 years ago, I had some trouble with my router, which caused a 2 week long disconnection from the web. During this time, I felt more alive, more connected and was able to get shit done. After all, it all comes down to willpower. But how should one have willpower to not distract himself when distractions were never thematized? I was born into "computer-world". When I was 12, we had an ISDN connection with pay-per-minute internet. Everything was exciting and I grew into a world of high-speed internet. Everything is accessible to me at ANY GIVEN TIME. I have it all available. My parents told me to safe money in order to be able to buy this or that. But in my life, I can just browse the web for the cheapest price and it will be delivered over night right to my doorstep. Consuming stuff was never easier.

I grew up in a time where people would say reading, watching and hearing the news was important. There are more online news that I could ever consume in my life. It is basically like gifting somebody a fast car while he does not even have a drivers license. There was no course at school teaching me how to use the internet properly. In fact, school taught me how to use a PC for my later job. The computer and its possibilities were always glorified. "Its the future". But every given thing that makes something better, makes a different thing worse. Today, from my perspective, I am not trying to blame anybody for my mischief. But I feel that it is heavily important to educate people when it comes to computers, the internet and everything that is connected to it.
When I see youngsters sitting in a café, photographing their meals, not talking to each other but using their phones, I feel sad. But I know, that I am a pioneer of that generation. I am that old laboratory animal that paved the way for today's techno-addictions. That being said, I am extremely grateful for Cam's work, trying to educate all the other laboratory animals about the destructive successions that arise from the daily use of what was supposed to be a tool to help people communicate information.

I feel like a guy that once had a broken leg and needed crutches, but now that he can walk, he still uses his crutches. Thus, they make him into a different kind of cripple again.

Edit: When I read about a kid that walks in front of a bus because he or she was staring at his or her palm, in which the display rests, I know that I was the pioneer, the light version of him or her. And I feel that it is my duty to drag him back onto the pavement so that the public service bus does not hit him or her. Today is a strange day.

Edited by Robert Arctor

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I don't understand your current situation. You say that you had big issues with your health until 3 years ago and surgery removed those issues and gave you a new perspective on life. You say that you got social anxiety now and apparently you do not work or go to university, but you worked and had no anxiety back then when you still have been troubled by those colics regularly. Why this? I have problems comparable to yours. I am sick as well and it is hard to understand for someone who does not experience the pain. But I suffer from anxiety now and would be completely free if there was an equal surgery available in my case. So what is holding you back now that didn't hold you back when you were still suffering?

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It is an absolute eye opener and pleasure to read your journal Robert. I also have often be told to be a hypersensible person and still to this day I have no idea why my body often behaves weird... why I often have this feeling of getting sick like a flu  and then from one moment to the other it's gone. Why my right arm sometimes gets all weak and fuzzy, or my left foot hurts in a very strange way for some time when I wear certain shoes. Why I am sometimes unable to focus or feel dizzy. (the list goes on)

Like you I suffered and still do to some extend of from this feeling of, I must be crazy it is me I am just a mentally weak hypersensible p**y. After the third neurologist  told me that it's "all in your head" I just told myself that I have to accept this fact... Sometimes when my wife asked me why I was so focused on gaming I told her because I want to be distracted because deep down in my heart I was so incredibly pissed off at me and myself, at my weird body which just couldn't be "normal" like all the others out there. And like you I actually wanted to have something at some point just to have a freaking explanation.

 

Now today after I changed a lot of things in my life it has become much better. But this wierd feeling is still there.

I was scared shitless the last three years when my weird symptoms first started I unfortunately told a friend about this and he said "Oh maybe you have MS"   Even more stupidly I researched MS in the internet... you get the idea I was absolutely certain I got MS or something even worse. It took me me a lot of doctors + 3 MRIs + and a liquor analysis (beautifull experience highly recommend that /s) to get to the point where I was starting to accept that I could actually NOT be THAT sick. But the stress stayed... it did its damage, I don't know why but still now my nervous system seems to be out of whack when I am stressed. Every time the weather changes I get a headache, when I am stressed I do mind blowing stupid things, under pressure I talk like a maniac and so on. And don't even start me on my bladder when I need my body to behave (the wedding was a nightmare because of that)

And every time I told people about this I had this feeling that I was just getting on everybody's nerves, that while not saying it openly people were thinking "just pull yourself together man" :/

 

All the time "gaming" was my way of "relaxation". In the game world I was "normal" like many others on equal footing if you can say that. But actually it brought new stress into my life stealth stress.

Now after being clean for almost 80 days some ( not all) of my symptoms have somewhat improved. I am still not 100% sure since there are phases where my body behaves normal and then BANG from one day to the other its back. But you noticed the reduced stress!

Stay strong my friend. Keep writing when you feel like it! It really feels good to read your journal. And sorry for hijacking it :P

 

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I don't understand your current situation. You say that you had big issues with your health until 3 years ago and surgery removed those issues and gave you a new perspective on life. You say that you got social anxiety now and apparently you do not work or go to university, but you worked and had no anxiety back then when you still have been troubled by those colics regularly. Why this? I have problems comparable to yours. I am sick as well and it is hard to understand for someone who does not experience the pain. But I suffer from anxiety now and would be completely free if there was an equal surgery available in my case. So what is holding you back now that didn't hold you back when you were still suffering?

From what I understand the "organic" issues are gone but the damage to the psyche is done. He feels like he missed a lot out in his life and was hold back all the time. Sometimes freedom can be frustrating since even a personal crisis can be part of your identity (Küchenpychologe hier :P)

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@Fagus

The problem is that, before the surgery, I was free of anxieties. I was gamin a lot, but I still managed to survive and to get my shit done. Though, I was sick at that point. "Blessed" with a fatal sickness. But humans are able to adapt to any sickness and will still manage to "live a life", no matter how horrible it is. I managed to go to work and to school while being sick. But when the sickness was "removed" from my body, a very important valve went missing. Before surgery, I always knew, something is holding me back. Now, that I am healed, there is no valve for my negativity and - that is very important - my whole world collapsed. Everybody told me that I was wrong. Everybody told me I was weak, soft, lazy. Now, boom, I suddenly realized that I was right the whole time. Try to grip that. Try to grip that for 12(!) years everybody told you, that you suck, while you were right the entire time. And try to grip that you lost so much time because of a sickness that could have been diagnosed when you were 16. And now, that you are "healthy" again, you can begin the life you should have began when you were 16. I began my life when I was 27. Before that time, I knew that I was ill, sick, destined to die. After the surgery, I knew I could begin living the life. That creates A LOT of pressure. I am 30 and way behind people of my age. That lead me into distractions. Distractions I already knew and that felt right. Before I was 27, I wasn't addicted. I was just entertained a little too much. After my 27ths birthday, I had to get all these thoughts out of my head. I nearly gave up on me because people told me that I suck. While I was right the whole time. Try to imagine how much sadness, loneliness, hatred, anger and frustration comes from the knowledge, that for 12 years of your life - ever since you were young - people failed on doing their job and destined your life to be a horrible fight for survival. And now that I can "kick off" ... I am trying to catch up with those, that had 12 years to get their lives sorted out. I am a underdog that is still full of anger because of what happened.

Edit: Even while typing this, I can feel that my thoughts tell me to distract myself from the devastating truth that is my life. I know now, what drove me into the "distraction-addiction".

Edited by Robert Arctor

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It is an absolute eye opener and pleasure to read your journal Robert. I also have...

 

First of all: Feel free to hijack my words when you feel the need to. They are published and thus property of the public.

Now, let me speak some words that come straight from my heart: YOU know yourself. Its YOU who knows what is going on inside of you right now. NEVER let anybody take over control of the ship that is actually YOU. Especially when a storm arises at the horizon. I have been told the weirdest things from so many "professionals". Don't get me wrong, not every doctor is a liar. But see the reality. Many people in school get good grades because they repeat the stuff that the testers want to hear. Thus, many professionals are not professional. They just managed to succeed in a system that is not designed to see the whole human being. If you go to a cardial doctor and ask him about your nerves, he will not have much to say. We live in a society of professionals where people cannot see past their own horizon.

Regarding MS, I can back you up, my friend. I have been able to convince myself to have MS and I went through all the tests. At the time that I am writing this reply, I do not have MS and I never had. But I wanted to find the solution to my problem. Back then, I wanted a solution. Today, I am able to accept that my body reacts in certain ways. Whenever I have an important meeting, you can meet me on the toilet. That might sound dumb, but that is how my body reacts to stress. Ever since I went through surgery, I have seizures when the stress reaches a limit where my mind cannot handle it. There is no diagnose to his "feature". Our minds and bodies react to what happens to them. If somebody tries to punch you, your eyes will close in order to shelter your eyeballs. The best way - in my humble opinion - is to ACCEPT these reactions. There is no life manual on how to live YOUR life. You will find your own life manual. If your bladder reacts to stress, that is good. At least you know that. Surround yourself with people that are willing to accept this. Do not surround yourself with false prophets that want to see you fail because they failed once in their life. Once, when I was in hospital - and I have visited a lot of doctors and hospitals because of my sickness - one doctor told me, that I am healthy BUT he also told me, that I(!) am the one living in my body. I know myself best. Nobody else. He told me, that if I feel sick, I am sick. No diagnose will change that.

Our minds are often very underestimated. What we think is what we become. If we feel bad, we stand before a choice: Sit it out or change it. Both are okay. Both lead to a next step. Afterwards our feelings will change. But ... and that is very important ... we do not have to be what we feel. If we feel bad, that does not mean we are bad. We, as gamers, should know that. If a quest seems unsolvable, we still know that there is a way to solve it and finish it afterwards. Life is not designed to fail on you. We can always find ways to solve our puzzles. If we feel bad in certain situations, we as humans, will adapt to them. We will find ways to solve this mean, little puzzle. A failure made does not make us a failure.

I can only wish you the best and since you managed to abstain from gaming for so long, have managed to marry another human and still roam in these forums to help others, you are a strong person that will manage to find his way through this strange adventure that is life. Never see yourself as a failure, because you failed. Never let others determine your fate. Always listen to your inner voice. Always reflect yourself and accept the victories you have accomplished!

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Thank you so much for these kind words! You made my weekend Robert.

 

It's funnymy dentist (who extracted 2 wisdom teeth) told me actually the same like that one doctor you met (first doctor to ever tell me that) I am in my body and not hers. I have to suffer the consequenzes but I can also make the decisions...

I will head to bed now and think about that. Looking forward to hear from you again :)

 

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Day 7:
Sundays are hard. I never understood why people bury themselves in work or watch TV while there is nothing they really want to watch. I gave my TV away when I turned 19. But now that I abstain from playing video games, I feel the urge to bury myself under something. Let it be work or entertainment. Sundays are hard.

Even harder is describing the day I had. Nothing special happened. At least, that is how I feel. And that is one major point today. After yesterday's peak, the moment of clarity when I finally understood why I wasted so much time in games, I feel a huge emptiness today. A huge void. I know that feeling. Whenever I wrote a lot, the day after that "success" would be a day filled with depression and doubts. I felt really empty today. I felt in dire need of a friend. I would have loved to sit around with somebody, just to listen to the words of another human. My girlfriend had 2 days off but she felt the need to relax after 10 hard days of work. So she played video games and watched several movies. I, myself, well ... I passed some time, I guess. I wrote, I watched a movie, but I was mostly stuck in my head. At one point, I browsed through the ebay auctions to look for an old game that I loved. "Discworld", a point & click adventure, adapted from the Terry Pratchett books. I thought it would be nice to have it and place it in one of my shelves. Just to look at it and remember the good times I had. But that was nostalgia, nothing more. I was trying to catch the dragon.

My daily goal was writing at least 2 pages. I wrote 3, again. 3 is the magic number. But it was a drag. Every word was made of rubber and putting them on paper was exhausting. I felt like a zombie while writing. That feeling got a little better in the evening. Evenings, when it is dark outside, often help me concentrate. I am not sure why but somehow, the world around me shrinks and I like to be in a small world. Small worlds are easy to manage. It is harder to get lost in them.

My nutrition wasn't great either. My girlfriend wanted to have some trashy food to relax, so we ordered two meals from Burger King. I never ordered a meal from Burger King before. It tasted like moist cardboard. Nothing I would want to do again.

I am missing a friend. Since 2 of my 3 friends died and the last one lives 800 KMs away from me, I am left with my online friends and I can hardly call them "friends". It is somewhat fascinating. I have 38 people on my steam friends list and I cannot talk to any of them except, may be 2. The only thing we had in common were games. Games. Nothing more. Now that I don't have any games anymore, I don't have friends anymore.

I think that is basically it for today. Nothing really interesting happened. Just another baby step towards sobriety.

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A baby step forward every day is the key to success. Regardless of any other improvements you can make, baby steps each day will make the difference.

What can you plan for next Sunday to make it the best day of your week? 

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Hi Robert,

I've just read through your Journal and I wanted to thank you for being so open. It is very inspiring to see you working towards this change and being so active with your Journal! I had the very same enlightment during my Journal and began to understand the things that were going on instead of simply knowing them in my head as soon as I wrote them down in my Journal. I'm happy to see you having these discoveries because they really are life changing and show that you are going the right path and make progress!

With that being said: I have immense respect for you and you're a hero for me. Depression took 4 years from me and there was a point where I simply woke up and realized that I am now at the point where I should had been 4 years ago and there is nothing I can do about it. And you're facing this situation with a gap of 12 years. You're insanely strong for the decision to change yourself and not give up after such a long time and therefore you are my hero.

The beautiful thing about success is that you can define it for yourself. This is a thing that you realize as soon as you drop out of the regular system. It is not about making the best results in the shortest time and living the regular life, it is about me being successful and only I can decide what success is for me. And to be honest: Achieving my goals, no matter if they are still the same as before, even though I had a 4 years gap makes my success just even more impressive for me. I think my breast would explode from the pride that I would have if I would achieve my goals after a 12 years gap! ;)

You're doing great and while reading through these entries I couldn't see any reasons why you shouldn't succeed in your journey. Keep it up! I'm excited to read more about you and your development :)

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Day 7:
Sundays are hard. I never understood why people bury themselves in work or watch TV while there is nothing they really want to watch. I gave my TV away when I turned 19. But now that I abstain from playing video games, I feel the urge to bury myself under something. Let it be work or entertainment. Sundays are hard.

Well, just like me, I did it when I was 15.

TV is a complete rubbish nowadays.

But also you should be aware, that YouTube is also becoming a new TV, total rubbish with no content in many cases. But at least if you spend enough time to find what interest you then you can watch it anytime instead of programmed time just like on TV.

Greetings, Mad Pharmacist

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