Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Random

Ramblings of a Random

Recommended Posts

I couldn't fall asleep last night. My mind was still racing after 10+ hours of gaming. I stopped playing at midnight and realized I had only eaten one portion of oatmeal and some Christmas chocolates during the day. Quickly snacked something from the fridge and went to bed. Yet another day wasted, another day when I only moved further from all my goals in life. Here I was lying in the bed at 2 am, eyes wide open and thoughts still in the game I had been playing.

Disgusted at my lack of willpower to not binge on games, I once again decided that I will uninstall all games once I wake up the next morning. I've gone through the same motions multiple times during the past year, but always after a week or two I've come into the conclusion that my life is still miserable, so I might as well start playing again to escape it all. However, last night I found this site, the idea of a 90-day detox and the journals and I feel I’m better prepared this time. For example, I learned that watching streams and videos of games will probably result in a relapse (surprise!).

I knew from experience that the determination to quit will probably be gone once the sun rises, so here's what I did:

On my phone, I wrote a message to my fiancée who was sleeping next to me. I described to her why I want to give a dedicated go at the 90-day detox. Rules are no games, no game streams or videos. If I fail, I will give her 100 €. For a moment I hesitated on sending the message, because I know how hard this will be and I would not like to pay a 100 € fine.

I sent the message. Today is day 0. Everything good so far, uninstalled steam successfully. Went for a walk and because I wasn’t in a rush to go back playing, the walk ended up taking more than an hour.

Also arranged to go for beers with a friend tomorrow. I can already see the benefits from this detox (;)), because I basically never suggest any social activity with anyone, because I’d always prefer to be gaming. Now I have plenty of time to get bored and I need to come up with activities.

The text is getting really unorganized at this point but what the heck. My history with games is the same old story. Got a Game Boy when I was 3 years old and it’s been a downhill ever since (;)). I’ve been battling with depression all my life with better and worse periods but I don’t blame gaming for it. I’ve lately realized, that gaming is my thing to numb the anxiety. I know that stopping gaming and facing the anxiety and depressive thoughts will probably make me feel worse in the short term, but better in the long term. This too I know from experience, because a few years ago I went to a psychiatrist because of the depression, and among other things he suggested that I would take a few weeks off any form of electrical entertainment, even internet browsing.

To emphasize the severity of my situation, I will introduce one more issue, but I’ll keep it short. Basically it’s now week 5 of my two month sabbatical from work. I got the sabbatical so that I could get my master’s thesis started and going so that I’d hopefully graduate during 2017. But I’ve used maybe 10 hours total on the thesis and rest of the time on playing games, watching streams and videos. Feels bad. For today my meager goal is to spend 1 hour with the thesis. Reporting back tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the community, we're happy you're here with us. Although it can be difficult to find yourself in the position you do, you can turn this situation around - so many in this community are examples of that and we will help you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome! 
Great job on starting your journey! It is going to be difficult for you, since you are at home, and can't leave your computer, if you want to write on your project, but taking this first step is important! Every time you get an urge to play, remember that playing will not help you. You might be satisfied while playing, but afterwards you'll feel like shit. Fill your lifes with activities and actions, which fill your life with joy both while you do them, and when your done. We are all here for you, and if you have any questions or anything, don't hesitate to write. Everyone here wants you the best, and we believe that you will see that you have the real power, not your urges.

I look forward to following your journal!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the welcomes and encouragement.

Day 1

Managed to spend the planned 1 hour with the thesis yesterday. I have the same goal for today. It's not much, but it's something and I just made a plan to build a routine and increase the time spent gradually. Let's say 1 hour each day for the remainder of this week and 2 hours starting next week. Of course, more is allowed if I can't stop myself. ;)

Some thoughts about gaming:
I used to think that gaming is just plain awesome, best thing in the world and a great hobby too and that I'd want to continue gaming for the rest of my life. But some years ago my thoughts on gaming changed completely. Purely rationally, I no longer want to play at all. I don't want to be able to play in moderation one day. For me, games don't serve to any need I couldn't fullfill elsewhere and better. And needless to say I don't wish to demonize gaming to those who truly appreciate the experiences gaming offers.

Here are of some things from the top of my mind I currently value highly:

  • spending time outside preferably close to nature
  • enduring physical hardships, being tired after physical activity
  • taking care of my body physically and in terms of food intake
  • creating/repairing things with my hands
  • creating/solving things with my mind
  • improving in skills/knowledge I can be proud of

Now I will take a look at how gaming holds with my values:

  • My gaming mostly happens indoor.
  • In my gaming, the only physical hardships are my aching wrists and back
  • My gaming habits are the exact opposite of taking care of my body physically. Even though I have a decent chair and try to maintain a good posture, when I focus deeply in fast paced games, afterwards I find myself hunching badly. Also I don't feel hunger when I'm really into a game so I often eat too little and don't have time to cook because I just play.
  • My gaming has nothing to do with creating/repairing things with my actual hands.
  • Many games include creating things with my mind so that's a plus.
  • In competitive multiplayer games I always want to improve my skills and get my rank high in the clouds. When I win I think: "Wow, I'm really good at this. Such a talented guy I am. On my way to the top." But when I lose, I can't help but to think: "I wonder how many hours that person has spent on this game. Probably thousands. My skills are nothing in comparison, but if getting that good will take thousands of hours of practising this useless skill, I don't even want to do it." And that thought is what makes me uninstall.

So, my gaming works towards 1/6 of the values and specifically works against 2/6 of the values. With simplified math, I could say that gaming actually takes from me and drags me down. For me, it's not even a neutral activity but negative. Just to name one hobby that is in line with my values and that I would like to do more of is hiking/camping.

Haven't had any real urges to play. Just a few flashbacks from games. I guess a part of my brain uses the flashbacks to remind me of an easy way to get the chemicals flowing again.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome Random!

Happy to see you here, journaling, and starting the same journey we're all on. It's tough, but in the end, worth it for us all.

I had tried to limit my gaming before as well, mostly I would just watch youtube LetsPlays to fill that void. It was a "Duh" moment for me as well when I realized I need to cut out ALL gaming related things.

The first few weeks tend to be the toughest, we're here for ya.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@phpsmith Thank you!

Day 2

Meeting the friend yesterday was just great! Ended up talking for 6 hours, which now seems like a really long time. I generally have a very low desire to socialize and mostly just feel drained afterwards. But this was not one of those occasions. The beers definitely helped with keeping the conversation going though.

I'm very happy to have this guy as my friend. We both have the "silent guy" personality in large groups. But when there is just the two of us in a quiet pub, it works really well.

I've taken a long walk everyday and today I included a bit of chin ups and afterwards did 15 minutes of stretching. I followed a stretching routine I used to do often, and noticed that while my flexibility hadn't suffered that much in other parts, hamstrings were extremely unflexible. So I'll add the stretching to my daily routine.

Still have to spend the 1 hour with the thesis for today. Motivation is still very low, but I will do it, just for the sake of keeping up the chain.

Overall feeling very good about the gaming detox. Haven't had this feeling in quite a long time, but maybe things will actually be alright. I'm hopeful. 9_9

Daily routine at the moment:

  • Go for a walk
  • Do the 15 minute stretching routine
  • Work on thesis for atleast one hour

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 3

Had a dream about gaming last night. Also more flashbacks of games during waking hours. Experienced some tiny urges to play. Sticking to the routines and about to leave the house for the gym.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 4

Added a minor thing to the daily routine. 5 minute mobility excercise after getting up in the morning. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aoyy3bKtD84)

Other than that, just grinding it out with the other routines and other stuff. Been enjoying listening to music, some fiction reading, cooking, internet browsing, etc.

Daily routine at the moment:

  • 5 minute mobility exercise after waking up
  • Go for a walk
  • Do the 15 minute stretching routine
  • Work on thesis for atleast one hour

From tomorrow I'll increase the time with thesis to 2 hours. At one point I'll probably have to plan a rest days, but for now I'll just grind every day, easier to keep going that way. I hope I don't turn into a robot from all these routines, but actually, I don't even mind because I already were a robot that had only one routine, playing computer games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing your journey! 


I totally get you when you talk about the cycle. How we've taken our attention from life and placed it into gaming. Then, we realize our life still sucks, so we game to escape that reality. I described a similar situation when I first detoxed.

Best of luck to you man! I'm sure your life will turn out way better with this decision to detox.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great progress already!
What's your thesis about?

Thanks! Somehow revealing the thesis/field of study feels really uncomfortable and I've been thinking a long time how to answer you. (It's a very small field). Even the country flag showing my country gives me a bit of creeps. (can I turn it off somehow? :$) I guess I'm afraid someone could use the very personal information against me somehow. The odds are extremely small though... Anyway, I'm overthinking this by far already. I'll PM you about the thesis just to keep my sanity :).

Edited by Random

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 5

Daily routine at the moment:

  • 5 minute mobility exercise after waking up
  • Go for a walk
  • Do the 15 minute stretching routine
  • Work on thesis for atleast 2 hours.

Day by day. My routines are still lacking a social component. The goal for tomorrow is to call someone but I need something to the routine as well. Probably not daily though :).

Edited by Random

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 6

Long story short, today for particular reasons I decided to take my daily walk to the office. I have one minor work task to do during this month, so I figured might as well go to the office and see my colleagues at the same time (I could also do it remote). Everything went just fine until my direct superior told me that due to some changes I might need to take on more responsibilites when I go back to work. Basically more direct contact with the clients. Started to stress out really badly. Goddamn social anxiety and general anxiety. Fuck, if it goes through, I'm not sure if I can take it. I just stress way too much, lose sleep over these things very easily.

One reason why I took the sabbatical from work was that I was starting to feel really burned out, then I promised to go back because the thesis wasn't progressing anyway and the isolation at home started to have bad effect on me. I'm lost now, I don't know what I am doing anymore. The news at work sent me to new lows moodwise...


I am now seriously considering to get professional help again for depression and social anxiety. Maybe this week I will reserve an appointment. Otherwise I see very little hope in the future. Visiting work reminded me how I used to feel before starting the sabbatical.

Daily goals almost completed. I still have 1 hour to go with the thesis, but honestly I'm not sure if I have the energy meet it today. We'll see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys, your support is highly appreciated!

Day 7

Overall mood is much better than yesterday. Slept poorly though, I stressed heavily because today I had a meeting about the thesis. When I'm stressed out, I tend to wake up after 4 or 5 hours of sleep and can't get more sleep because I can't stop thinking about the stressful thing. But if I have the time to read a book/on phone for an hour or two, then I will be able to get more sleep. Today was such day and I woke up second time at 11 am.

Even though I've felt a bit better today, I will try to gather the courage to arrange an appointment to get professional help tomorrow.

Daily routine checklist:

  • 5 minute mobility exercise after waking up - Done
  • Go for a walk - Done
  • Do the 15 minute stretching routine - Done
  • Work on thesis for atleast 2 hours. - Done (3 hours actually, because I only did 1 hour yesterday)

Other actions to celebrate:

  • Gym with SO
  • Attend a meeting on behalf of the thesis
  • Agree to meet a friend on friday. Last week I initiated, now he did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 8

 

Took the first step with getting help. I was terrified in the morning but I managed to call the student health system. The system works so that you have to call the number then press some buttons with your phone and wait for the nurses to call you during the day. I was a nerv wreck whole day, pretty much thinking about what I would say when I get the call. But there was no call and it's too late now. Maybe I messed something up, maybe they were too busy with more acute cases. Anyway, I'll try again tomorrow.

Woke up to an alarm clock today at 7 am. Much earlier than usual, but making effort to fix the sleep schedule. The low amount of sleep plus the anxiety of waiting for the call really exhausted me. So I've mostly lied in bed almost paralyzed of anxiety. Funny thing is, the anxiety went away when I realized the time window when the call could happen had closed.

@Cam Adair a big thank you for starting this movement and creating the community around it. I'm 100% certain that I would have cowarded out of making the call for help today, if I was still gaming and didn't have the support. In gratitude I grabbed a copy of Respawn and started reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 10

So... I missed yesterdays journal entry. Seems like the energy I had in the start of the detox has completely vanished. But first the good news:

  • I managed to proceed with getting help. I'll be having a phone discussion with a nurse next week to figure out the next steps.
  • Met my friend at the pub again yesterday. Hours of great conversation again!
  • Read through Respawn, tried meditation using Headspace and liked it. Added it to daily routine.

The bad news is that I've been feeling exceptionally tired starting from Wednesday and haven't touched the thesis after that. There's no explaining, I just lacked the discipline and I still do. If I made a goal to work on it today, I already know I would fail. So, I'll just consider these 3 days as a break, and make a goal to continue normally tomorrow. Other routines I've kept going.

Gaming temptations have been quite minor. Pretty much the only times I wanted to play were when I was extremely stressed and would've liked the stress to go away with a push of a button. I already mentioned this in the last entry, but the hours I was waiting for the call back from a nurse, I was so anxious that I felt physically sick and just lied in bed. I felt so bad I couldn't even focus on reading fiction. I'm hoping that meditation could become the tool to push away the anxiety away to remain somewhat functional.

Also, noticed how easy and great it is to come here on the forum and share the small victories. But yesterday having skipped on the hours with the thesis, I didn't feel like coming to share that at all and pretty much avoided the whole site.

Daily routine checklist:

  • 5 minute mobility exercise and 1 session of Headspace after waking up - Done
  • Go for a walk - Planned later today.
  • 15 minutes stretching exercise - Planned after the walk.
  • Work on thesis for atleast 2 hours. - Not today...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is important to still come in if your day gone shitty and stuff goes south. I can't speak for everyone but I would never judge anyone struggling. I know how much I struggle myself. It is ok to struggle sometimes. Good job on getting help you will get through this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is important to still come in if your day gone shitty and stuff goes south.

I agree and obviously I got some work to do on that matter.

The past 3 days when I haven't written the journal have been really bad days emotionally. Not sure why, maybe mood swings from not gaming or too much free time to lament on the depressive thoughts. Either way, I have been skipping on the daily routines, mostly with the thesis, but skipped a meditation here and a stretch there as well. I guess I feel too embarrased to come report the lack of discipline.

Day 14

Its 6 days since I was last able to complete all the daily routines succesfully. Today I was finally able to get everything done again. So here's to that:

Daily routine checklist:

  • 5 minute mobility exercise and 1 session of Headspace after waking up - Done
  • Go for a walk - Done
  • 15 minutes stretching exercise - Done
  • Work on thesis for atleast 2 hours. - Done

The getting help part is progressing quite slowly. Today I was supposed to have a phone discussion about my situation, but unfortunately it got delayed to Friday (not because of me).

About gaming, I've now had some serious cravings to play a game so that I could just forget everything and have a peaceful mind for a change. I've had some pretty bad moments where I've not been able to break an unconstructive thought loops and feeling like I'm getting crushed by the anxiety. I guess going for a walk starts to help after couple of kilometers, but it's not an easy thing to get going when I am at a point where I feel like throwing up because of the anxiety. (Now that I think of it, I have actually thrown up only because of anxiety once in the history). Anyway, I need to figure out a way to stop the negative thought loops faster before spiraling down to desperate.

Lastly to balance the negative stuff, highlights of recent days:

  • Met my brothers
  • Cooked fantastic food
  • Finished previous book I was reading and started reading another one.

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.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...