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Question of the Week: Have you ever tried meditation?

Mettermrck

Bob's Journey

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You're doing a great job Bob! History podcasts seem to be triggers for you, perhaps you should consider taking a longer break from them. Start with a week or your own measure of realistic goal.

Same goes with soda. I don't recommend you quitting junk food right now, changing your eating habits takes time and you wouldn't have a way to cope with the anxiety of the first weeks of the detox. Basically if you quit everything at the same time you'll feel overwhelmed (which is a completely natural reaction) It's a necessary evil now. But by quitting soda your anxiety levels won't be impacted and you'll be doing a huge improvement. The bad news is soda makes you feel sated very quick (same as milk) and you might compensate this by eating more junk food, be aware of this. 

Instead of viewing it with a negative undertone (quitting things) why don't you try introducing good habits little by little? For example, a "healthy food day" (opposed to "a day without junk")

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Day 5. Relaxing morning. I read a little in a history book and listened to a couple of history podcast episodes. I didn't feel too overwhelmed but I have to be careful. I tend to veer from overdoing it and having giant reading lists, etc., and then feeling overwhelmed, recoiling, and quitting it all. I've done that with gaming many times, overdoing it vs recoiling and quitting. Plus I run to the internet to see what others think. Hence, the detox to help sort out my thoughts.

I want to start exercising again. I used to walk a bit last time I quit gaming a couple years ago. I almost wrote "I'll start tomorrow..." just now. But I got up and went outside for a 5 minute walk and did 1 push up/sit up. Haha. Each week I'll add 5 min and +1 pu/su. I used this method before with some success. I'll start tracking this in my journal.

Still iffy on the podcasts, Hitaru. History is my passion and as I go through this process, I want to learn how to express my passion somehow...maybe writing or even a podcast of my own. But let's not get ahead of myself. Podcasts can inspire me...but I have to take it in moderation. Worst case, another detox. ???? 

Soda I was leaning towards abstinence or even a detox. My therapist counsels avoiding too many "hard plans". I'm hoping quitting gaming or exercising will be a keystone habit that will spill over into these areas naturally.

Btw, my new job is in a call center. A good place to practice social skills, even if it's over the phone.

Gratitude:

1. I walked a whole 5 min haha!

2. This journal...I'm really starting to buy into it more.

3. My job. Not a dream career. But an opportunity to get on my feet again.

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I want to start exercising again. I used to walk a bit last time I quit gaming a couple years ago. I almost wrote "I'll start tomorrow..." just now. But I got up and went outside for a 5 minute walk and did 1 push up/sit up. Haha. Each week I'll add 5 min and +1 pu/su. I used this method before with some success. I'll start tracking this in my journal.

this is exactly the right approach. Improving slowly but persistently beat short leaps every time if you want improve substantial things in your life. That is just the nature of building habits. People don't do it because it is not sexy and unexciting. But it works.

Edited by WorkInProgress

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So I've decided to do this. Not just try but do this. This is my 4th run at the detox.but I know this will be it. Why? Because I'm tired. Tired of the mental debates raging in my head. Tired of thinking of moderation and what that will look like. Tired of staring at a computer screen while my life, my wife, my marriage, my job slip away. Tired of fits and starts. Tired of half measures. Tired of being 41 and feeling like my potential is slipping away. Tired of isolating myself from those who want to help.

    Truth be told, I'm embarrassed to come back. My old delusions of being this great success story that everyone can point to are gone now. I just want to prove that I'm more than a computer gamer. I'm just tired. Tomorrow I will begin the detox again.

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You CAN do this! Truth be told, MOST people on here tried to quit MANY times before finding or stumbling across Cam's resources. I know I did. Don't worry about how many times you tried and failed. Recognize that you are still trying NOW. Old habits are hard to break, but you CAN do it. My best days detoxing are the days I am the most physically active.

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Day 0. This is embarassing but I'm not giving up right now. What is this, my 4th or 5th try haha? I actually feel most confident about this try than all the others. Why? Because this is day 6 of my being off soda (and therefore fast food) as well as porn, two addictions I consider to be harder for me to give up than gaming. 

    I'm 9 months separated from my wife. In three months she can divorce me. I don't know if my getting away from my addictions will save my marriage but I am not going down fighting. 

    I already went through severe withdrawal symptoms with the soda/porn. It was intense anxiety, crying, chest heaves, panic attacks, and a desperate loneliness and need for human contact. After day 3 or 4 it really subsided and now I'm just light headed and feeling deprived hehe. So I don't think gaming's dopamine hit is as comparable. But it's still important enough to quit.

     I've been walking and losing some weight, sometimes 3-5 miles/day. I have a possible ambition I'd like to explore...starting a history podcast. But I'll discuss this more later, maybe when my headaches go away.

   Btw, kudos to Cam's new podcast. I listen to tons of history podcasts when I walk but I listened to episode 2 of the Game Quitters podcast today and it was great. Jason's story about finding love and life in Mexico was beautiful and Cam tying porn and gaming together really clicked for me.

    I almost decided to use gaming a crutch addiction until I got over soda/porn but when Cam said the brain chemistry was similar with gaming and porn, I decided to go for it. I'll be working on time management and finding things to do on the weekend when I'm not at work.

    So here goes! Seriously...for real this time. I mean it....yes...?

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Day 1/90. I almost failed out of the gate. I made the mental decision to quit yesterday afternoon. For most of the day I was fine and made my plans. I worked on a time management list for the weekends to fill in those massive 8 hour blocks of free time. I returned to this forum. I watched back episodes of 'Genius' about Einstein on Nat Geo. I uninstalled my games. But once I tried to go to bed, that anxiety returned.

That night I got out of bed and had a talk with my Mom. She thinks I'm doing too much and that I should gaming be while I focus on the soda and porn quitting. I've reinstalled my games though I haven't played them yet.

    Did anyone ever have this night anxiety? It's like a deep frightening existential terror of being alone, scared of the future. As if gaming is remaining bandage I have on, the last distraction, the last mask, the last smokescreen between me and terrifying reality. I cry sometimes, I sit up a lot in bed, I wake up and talk to my Mom for comfort.

      Part of me wants to run back to gaming. I'm already quitting soda and porn. Isn't that enough? Use gaming as a crutch to get those two big ones under control and then let gaming die or assume a natural place as my weight falls off and I get more self confident.

     But part of me doesn't like gaming solely to keep out boogie man feelings. Part of me wants to fight. I don't mind the boredom, the slow passing days. But I am scared of the deep fears, the chest heaves, the crying, the lack of sleep.

I think I'm terrified of losing my marriage and being alone forever. I made this bed however. I believe gaming had a role in it. Not as strong as porn and soda, true. But I'm not sure. Am I biting off more than I can chew? Or is this the final piece of the puzzle that I need to fight through?

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Only you can tell. Gaming was the one doing the most impact in my life, and yet the easiest of the three to quit (in my case change soda for YouTube). And it was Hell, mind you. In other circumstances I would advise you to quit one at a time (and probably in this order: soda, games, porn) but maybe the urgency of your situation will help you get through. If you did that you would positively become one of the major legends of this community. It's already amazing that you are even trying. 

I would have given up a long time ago. I salute you. Don't take it as "You've fought enough" but "You have the perseverance to make it" Trust me on this. Each try makes you stronger and more resolute. We're rooting for you man.

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     Thanks, Hitaru. I'm so glad to get a response especially as I keep diving in and out of the community. I get embarassed hehe.

   I think I agree with your saying that I'm just ready for this. I listened to episode 3 of the podcast today and Cam said he was just ready for quitting. I am too. Even if I lose my marriage, I will have given it my all and be positioned for a better life even so afterwards.

    And it bothers me that any activity gives me night terrors in its absence. Almost like it's taunting me: "You'll never be rid of me, muhahaha." I'm actually ok now in the day time. Just being light outside relaxes me. I installed the game but didn't play it. I have no urge to play it. I just left it there on the computer. 

    But something about the night, when it's dark and quiet, gets me nervous. Maybe I'm 41 and going through a mid life crisis I don't know. Maybe the night reminds me of my eventual death. I can be morbid like that. I need a better strategy. I'm going to try a shower, some meditation and spiritual time, and then a couple melatonin before I go to bed. From what I've read, this sudden anxiety is a common gaming withdrawal symptom and can last a week or so. I want to push through it and see what is on the other side.

Edited by Mettermrck

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      Day 2/90. I made it through the night yay. I had a good talk with a spirital counselor yesterday after work and that helped. I followed through with my plan before bed: spiritual reading, meditation, melatonin. I slept very well. I imagine I'll need the melatonin for the first week or so to get used to not having the games 

    I did uninstall the games this morning. I am ready to let them go, at least for 90 days, probably forever. I felt a twinge of anxiety and loss, like deleting an old friend, but it was muted. Whatever happens I will be a different person in 90 days that's for sure.

     I'm reaching my one week mark for soda and porn today and I'm happy about that. Quitting the trifecta is hard but I tend to overcompensate in one area if I quit the other(s). Quitting these three is a true change for me.

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Keep it up! Ya, I am glad I quit soda a couple years ago now. Though I drink a lot of seltzer water instead, same carbonation but not corn syrup/sugar or caffeine.

You got this.

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Keep up the hard-work! 

After reading your post, it made me think about the additional areas I have to work on too! One area I've been struggling with is being able to lower my gaze when I see an attractive person. If I fail at this, I notice it lead to me becoming hypersensitive and extra focused on sexual nonverbal and verbal cues, increases my overall intrusive sexual thoughts, and then leads to behavior of watching porn, and eventual acting out behaviors. I need to remember the slow progression and the triggers so I don't go down that road! Thanks for this! 

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Thanks, End. Soda is quite possibly the hardest thing I've ever had to give up. It wasn't the soda itself. It was the fact that I drank 2 liters a day and wanted a burger to go with it. The way I gamed was wrapped up in a culture and lifestyle that included overeating...and I just need to excise that whole way of being out of my life.

Ha535, yeah porn started in my life after I dropped out of college and my weight started piling on, from a place of self-loathing and worthlessness. I think the more I overcome my problems and clean up my life, including gaming, the better my sense of self worth will be and therefore less temptation to look at that stuff.

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Day 3/90. I made it through the night. Reading, meditation, and melatonin helps. I slept well, got up and did my morning walk for 40 min and had a good start. I'm feeling more hope each day. I am doing it. I feel more serious this time. I know I can't get cocky, I can't let my guard down. But I am doing this.

    From Cam's podcast episode 4 with Tyler...the role identity plays in my life. Before, I had an ideal life I was moving towards in my head. It was moderate and comfortable. A good job, a good marriage, some money, church on sundays, some friends, with some soda and some gaming...relaxed, comfortable. But whenever I tried moderation there was what I call "turbulence", stressors that knocked me out of my path and caused me to binge and regret. Detox is the only way I can think of to short circuit that tape.

     Now I think of it more as floating around the river bend. I've thrown my baggage overboard, the soda gaming and porn. I don't know what's around the bend but I'm excited about it. I want my wife to be there but I just don't know.

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Day 4/90. I'm hanging in there. There was only some anxiety yesterday, actually during the day instead of at night. I had a bout of crying over money issues with my Mom and I. I've blown so much money on games, soda, fast food. We're tight right now but only because of ourselves. We'll recover thanks to my abstinence but it takes time and it's nerve wracking in the meantime.

I felt light headed but that's probably due to my calorie drop. My boss at work said I looked taller and skinnier and stuff like that makes it all worth it. 

I listened to Cam's podcast interview with Adam Roa yesterday on my morning walk. I liked when they talked about taking the time to grow your container so that you'll have the capacity for leadership and such. This was big for me because I tend to get impatient with myself. Ok, so now you've quit gaming, time to find your life changing purpose and get going! 

But I realize that I have work to do on my container. For myself, for the next year or two, weight loss IS my project. I'm 6'0" 313lbs as of last week. I've been much bigger in my life (475 in 2004) but also much smaller (190 in 1998). That big jump was triggered by my getting overstressed, not asking for help, and dropping out of college.  For about 18 years since, I've been massively heavy. I've made fits of progress here and there but never followed through all the way. Gaming and eating out and porn have all been distractions from the pain.

    Now I am facing up to that. Yes, I have big dreams to express myself. But first I am going to slay my 18 year old dragon, my extra weight. That is my life changing purpose for now.

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Day 5/90. A bittersweet day. I talked to my wife and she believes the marriage is over. We have about 2.5 months until our separation is up and she can divorce me. I told her I still can't give up hope but that I would respect her wishes when the time comes. We even went to the beach with her niece. It was great and it was sad. I see what I've missed out on by hiding away, gaming and eating.

     The funny thing is, there was no temptation to relapse. I feel at peace in letting the games go. I am ready now. There's no thought of returning to them in the future. And even if the divorce happens, I am becoming a new man.

     I lost 2.4 lbs this week and down to 311. Just gotta keep walking and stay off the fast food. I just need to be patient and enjoy the ride. As Cam said in podcast episode 6 yesterday, I have to double down on what's working and not get complacent and cocky and let my guard down. I have hope because I have let go of my addictions. I need to hold to that.

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Day 6/90. I am still strong. It's easy enough in the sense of not gaming but I'm having to be tough in managing my time and finding things to do. I went to church in the morning which helps me spiritually. For the rest of the day I rotated reading, podcasts, Game Quitters youtube videos, and walking. I made it but I know I need more.

       Listened to the latest Cam's podcast episode, the speech in Vegas. Great episode. I need more material for my morning walk, Cam! ? Actually, I liked Jason's story about selling his games. You can't stay where you are, he said. I can't. I can't remain a child. I'm not sure I ever fully became an adult, even at 41. Now is my time.

      Had a brief temptation on YouTube. I was clearing off gaming videos from my suggested feed and marking the videos as "not interested". I let myself watch a video from Mass Effect 3 and wow was I sucked back into the world. I've finished that trilogy at least 3 times and I love that world. I watched it once and then said not interested and then stopped for the day. Wow those videos were powerful.

     I realize that my weight loss is perfect for an activity with measurable growth and achievements like a game. Tracking pounds gives me measurable results. Weight loss is my project.

   But I also need something creative. I don't want to go crazy early in my physical changes with all its withdrawal symptoms. But I need something to engage my mind and allow me to potentially express myself. I listen to a lot of historical podcasts. I'm thinking about doing one someday. In the meantime, I might start doing a little research on the weekends and work on planning, ideas, episodes, timelines, etc. I'll start with 1/2 hr/day next weekend and work my way up.

   Finally, I've been reconnecting with old friends and family on Facebook. The best thing about giving up gaming and soda is my sudden desire to connect with people and reestablish community. One of my friends is even trying to see if he can line me up a better paying job. No guarantees, but it felt great.

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Day 7/90. I have moved from the honeymoon into the grind. In the beginning, despite the withdrawal symptoms, you have the novelty of your changes as well as the hope and anticipation of the future and how different things will be. And that's still there for me. But now comes the realization that it'll really take 1-2 yrs on the weight loss front and that I'll need to fight through the hunger, light headedness, boredom, and anxiety for 300-600 more days. And there's a good chance I'll lose my marriage and there's worrisome job contract talks about the end of the year, and there'll still the worries over money etc.

     I'm not giving up and I don't feel tempted to game or have a soda. Just having a moment of self-pity I guess. I just have to grit my teeth and keep going. Sometimes 90 days or a year or two look smaller before you start. But they do have an ending, a really happy ending.

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You got this, keep it up. Just make smaller goals and get excited for those. Don't just look at the end goal, because that will be daunting. So break it up into 10lbs or 15lbs goals, give yourself some credit. You probably didn't gain the weight in just 300-600 days, so in the grand scheme, taking that long to lose it isn't all that bad. Just don't prematurely rest on your laurels and get off track, don't get complacent as you mentioned on the previous page.

 

 

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Thanks, End. My first measurable goal is 300 lbs, which I'm hoping to hit in the next two months. Further down, I have benchmark goals at weights I was at some years ago, a sort of turning back the clock hehe.

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Day 8/90. The mechanics of avoiding the gaming (and the soda and porn) are going well. I had a spell yesterday where I fapped a few times though I didn't look at anything. At first it was a sudden urge and then became intentional as a way to kill anxiety. I noticed I became lethargic, wanting to call the whole day a failure and just start over the next day, calling in sick to work and eating out. Wow that was bad! Fortunately I have my Quitzilla app on my phone which showed my 12 day soda streak and 7 for gaming. I couldn't give in. So I showered and got to work.

      I need socialization so badly. I was so caught up in my wife's world when we moved here. I love it here at the beach but I'm feeling lonely. I have the people at work and my mother at home and I'm reconnecting with friends and family online but I need friends in real life. I started going to church again but I tend to be anonymous there and it's my wife's church that I joined (not sure if I'll stay if we divorce to be honest). My counselor keeps talking about AA type groups (Celebrate Recovery, etc.). At night I can still feel alone and scared. Talking things over with my Mom helps and also prayer and meditation. Walking in the evening also wears me out and helps burn off the anxiety. Sigh, I have to work on it.

Edited by Mettermrck

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Day 8/90. The mechanics of avoiding the gaming (and the soda and porn) are going well. (Great job! Keep up the hardwork!) I had a spell yesterday where I fapped a few times though I didn't look at anything. At first it was a sudden urge and then became intentional as a way to kill anxiety. (Great awareness and insight!) I noticed I became lethargic, wanting to call the whole day a failure and just start over the next day, calling in sick to work and eating out. (Sounds about right! May have taken alot of your energry and willpower to overcome the urge to act out. Also sounds like your self-talk was telling you to "take a break on your recovery and resume the following day").  Wow that was bad! (Great awareness!) Fortunately I have my Quitzilla app on my phone which showed my 12 day soda streak and 7 for gaming. I couldn't give in. So I showered and got to work.( Seems like an external source, app, helped you remember all your progress and helped you make a decision you were pleased with! Awesome!)

      I need socialization so badly. I was so caught up in my wife's world when we moved here (Sounds like you were adjusting to a new setting). I love it here at the beach but I'm feeling lonely. I have the people at work and my mother at home and I'm reconnecting with friends and family online but I need friends in real life (Sounds like, although you have support from mom n people at work, n friends online, you are looking for more. Are you in any groups, gatherings, hobbies, community events, community service, and or school?) I started going to church again but I tend to be anonymous there and it's my wife's church that I joined (not sure if I'll stay if we divorce to be honest). My counselor keeps talking about AA type groups (Celebrate Recovery, etc.). ( pros and cons to joining? )At night I can still feel alone and scared. (What are you thinking that's making you feel scared? And how about feeling alone? Is it because of the seperation with your wife?) Talking things over with my Mom helps and also prayer and meditation. Walking in the evening also wears me out and helps burn off the anxiety. (Wow! Great insight into knowing what helps you.) Sigh, I have to work on it. (In summary, it sounds like: In addition to not gaming, watching porn, and or drinking soda, you are also adjusting in life to new circumstances and at times, this leads to feeling isolated and feeling scared( anxiety). Other times, lethargic and immobile.  And, you are also recognizing that you have certain needs that are being met by your mom, prayer, meditation, and walking, but also that you are desiring other needs that are currently being unmet like socialization. Although your counselor recommended a certain type of group to meet this need, it appears that may want to socialize in a different way, and there's something holding you back from doing this type of group. Overall, you are grateful and proud for not giving up, but you are still going to try because you haven't found solutions yet). - Does this sound accurate? 

 

Keep up the hardwork! You are dealing with alot, recovering, and are persevering! You're an inspiration for me in my recovery process! 

Edited by ha535065

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