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NEW VIDEO: I Replaced Gaming With Real Life (Nicco Transformation)

Captain Taru's Log: Out of the Fog


Hitaru

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88 days. 

Feeling fine-ish. Today I'm receiving some good news. Aside from that, not much. I'll be back in my usual place by the day I hit 90 days. I think I'll organize something nice to celebrate with my pals this weekend. 

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89 days. 

Calm, happy, in my lane, etc etc. Still having heavy cravings but I'm safe so far, at least until the end of July. I've shared my worries about relapsing and disappointing my loved ones with them and that makes me feel a lot better. I must remember to keep asking for help. I would do the same things for them with no issue. 

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90 days! Yay! 

So, that's a second detox run done. I'll make another celebratory post in a bit. It doesn't feel like much of a victory tho, since I have 0 units of confidence in my ability to not relapse once my laptop is in my hands again. I know I've said this a lot of times and my insecurity is obnoxious, sorry. I just feel these days are something between a cheat and a training, and the real challenge will begin there.

My gut feeling is that I'll relapse for a while and then keep it under control again. But I want to do better. I want to be better. There won't be real improvement if I do the same old. If I really make an effort to avoid gaming with the tool for it in front of me, it will surely hurt a lot. I can imagine myself crying and relying on medication.

But that's where the real struggle will be. I'll need a good reason to keep going and it makes me very miserable to be aware that "care for my loved ones", "live by myself in my own terms", "finish my transition" or "discover new things that make me happy" are not good enough ones to keep me away from the fucking thing. 

Still, these 3 months I was able to keep up and commit to my therapy sessions, start medication, (almost) put in order important paperwork, write almost a hundred pages (22k words!) of various writings, reconnect with people from the past, fix a couple relationships, tie a bit better my security net, and give my future another honest round of thought, no matter if it hasn't arrived anywhere yet. Sure, I'm not at the level of a healthy person yet. But I was at a really low point. I kinda eat regularly now, if anything. 

I'm drained after writing this so I'll stop here for now. Let's keep the good times going. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/8/2022 at 10:17 PM, Martinof said:

Good job ! Be proud !

90 days are not enough to be perfect, and it wasn't the point. You did a lot during this short time.

Yeah, I agree. 90 days is the adaptation period and I've done a lot of stuff to set me in the right direction. Just gotta remember what am I doing this for and what do I stand to both win and lose. 

 

100 days.

Cravings came, cravings left. It helped to share my thoughts and rationalize how gaming was both unhealthy and honestly not that rewarding. I am looking forward to start rehabilitating my body, hopefully it's not too late to avoid chronic pains and nuisances.

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  • 1 month later...

I relapsed hard during the whole of July taking advantage of my mother's laptop, but I was able to do the stuff I had to do. Medical appointments mostly, then I enrolled myself in school again. University in hiatus for the time being, this year's crazy idea is industrial maintenance training.

I'm confident being surrounded by gruff mechanics will do wonders to polish and refine my butch aesthetic and vibes (?). You know, some witty zingers to counter catcalls and rude comments, and sorely needed strength of arm. Good things overall, if I can pull myself through my social anxiety.

I've learned what I do is not that important. I've only have one short and arbitrary life, I'm not bound to find the objectively best profession, the ultimate calling. There are simply too many, naturally I won't be able to try the vast majority of them. Instead I just need to be competent at whatever I can land in and be satisfied enough with my job to pass this side of life's requirements. Also, I've already burned my biggest passions and I'm not fit to make a living out of them. They'll have to stay at side hobbies. Picking something I'm mildly interested in and finding an unexpected joy is the smart choice, I think. 

The last 4 days of July (approximately) I quit again in order to emotionally prepare to finally travel to my study place after a month of procrastination, pack 3 years worth of stuff and make the move back hometown. It was a real pain and I can't begin to explain how much I struggled with it. Meds and breakdowns galore and in the end I couldn't do it without help, both traveling and packing, but I'm almost done now. Despite being probably the hardest time of this year, I haven't touched a game although I have the chance and the excuse. 

I think these days have made the relapse worthy, in the sense that I've learned something. I already knew my addiction is a "tool", a crutch and mostly an escape from reality, but I was scared I would automatically fall back to my previous state when given the slightest chance (as I wrote in previous posts). That was the case for a while, but when enough pressure and urgency were applied, I could snap out of it. And most importantly, I could relapse again now. It's not like I've been very efficient with my time anyway but still how am I not playing. How it doesn't hurt that bad. The laptop's right there, unlocked.

And yet. It's been a week now. 

That is new. I think I may be entering the right mindset to properly quit. There truly is something else I want to do with my life now, besides quitting for the sake of quitting. I'm still terrified of everything, and some things have not changed in 7 years. But I've progressed, a lot. I can be a little more at peace with myself. 

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In an unfortunate but also honestly convenient turn of events, my mom accidentally broke her computer the same night I arrived. So it's been half a month without games and hey, pretty neat. I promised a significant other to avoid games at least until I begin my new studies, so this must be some kind of cosmic encouragement (it's not*, but sure I can draw subjective meaning and storytelling from it) 

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  • 5 months later...

During the last days of August I settled a long and complex situation with my friend/past lover/current... person I care about, and since it was one of the standing issues of the last two years it gave me a lot of peace of mind. After that I began my trade training.

It's nice, but class is all men and not particularly in touch with current feminism and LGBT issues. Also they're early twenties and damn it shows. And yet, I feel oddly comfortable there. They may subconsciously think I'm some kinda crossdresser or another brand of fag, BUT they don't say it to my face nor they "politely" try to "argue" that I'm a danger to women and society and therefore I should kindly die. The vibe is like I'm the 2000s high school dyke, playing football, throwing jabs and bro talk with the lads. Not the worst that could have happened for sure.

I had several rounds of quitting and relapsing until I gave up my laptop to my girlfriend for custody (previous countermeasures expired, had to restart it to factory settings). That was last November. This month I've been focusing on goal setting and I've also put timers/"digital wellbeing measures" in my phone and tablet. They come with the system, really nice; I feel our efforts spreading awareness in Game Quitters made a tangible part in mainstream industry starting to care about the issue, even if it's just token measures. They still work for me because I have someone for accountability. 

As someone on the Internet marvelously expressed:

IMG_20230128_015153.jpg.c4da88be0577202c99e7ba563a9eb513.jpg

So that's what I'm trying to do, keep up with my meals for love, both to someone else and little by little, self-love too. And... It's tough. Dying is easy, everyone who does it instantly becomes good at it (?) Having a healthy life is the real shit.

Progress is coming very slow. Infuriatingly slow at times. But that's just me being harsh on myself. By January I would have quit school, yet here I am, keeping in touch and slowly learning even if still a stubborn absent. I've started going to the gym. A couple times so far but I enjoy it a lot and I'm constantly thinking of going again. I even said fuck gender expectations and shamelessly used the male dressing rooms without feeling I was betraying myself. I did it by choice because my current looks are more androgynous and I feel more at ease there rather than surrounded by fit, cisnormative femininity. And the masculine eye candy is nothing to complain about either.

The bones in my hips don't stick out anymore, even if 3 meals a day is still a challenge. Got myself a book of recipes to treat my vegetarian girlfriend and a bunch of lovely queers in my life. I write less now, but I still do it semi-regularly. Made a couple trips to stores to make improvements to my room. Rescued a digital camera (a Nikon, I think they don't make those anymore) and I've been learning the basics of photography.

I'm not doing the big travels or flashy breakthroughs I used to, but this is what I wanted for so long and it's doing good to me. I knew I was damaged, but I wasn't aware. I lived as if it wasn't fully true or it was my fault somehow. 

I now know for a fact that I have ADHD and trauma, including Parent Issues (more Tumblr points woo, I even dyed my hair blue once) and some daily routines that may seem basic are really hard for me. Gotta play with my cards. And nah, I Do Am like other girls since I've met a few with the same problem and I'm learning a lot from them, strategies and backup plans and such.

Yes, I'm still a quasi-NEET. But, and I hope this doesn't come across as arrogant, I finally have reason to believe I am a decent amount of mature. I don't dread "the day I would find my mom dead in the living room couch" anymore, as I wrote at the start of my journal. Aside from finding myself in a bit of economic hot water. But the person I am now, for all my struggles and fears and sometimes regret... Yeah, I think this person can thrive. At my own pace. Perhaps traversing a road I had not considered until very recently.

Edit: My current quitting streak, even if I'm aiming for long term would be 61 days atm.

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12 hours ago, Hitaru said:

. Yeah, I think this person can thrive. At my own pace. Perhaps traversing a road I had not considered until very recently.

So happy you're able to keep focus on the progress, however slow! I understand the difficulty of that as someone working slowly on three 10-week projects at once... sometimes it feels that I get so little done, does it even matter? 

Also, I'm glad you're able to feel comfortable in your class in spite of the ignorance of men around you 🙂 Hope it will stay at the same level of comfort!

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On 1/28/2023 at 3:02 PM, Pochatok said:

I understand the difficulty of that as someone working slowly on three 10-week projects at once... sometimes it feels that I get so little done, does it even matter?

It does matter. Living life trying to compete with some ghost in your head, "what I am supposed to be achieving" is dreadful and I had to learn that the hard way:

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On 1/28/2023 at 3:02 PM, Pochatok said:

I'm glad you're able to feel comfortable in your class in spite of the ignorance of men around you 🙂 Hope it will stay at the same level of comfort

Mileage may vary as kids these days would say, but personally I'd rather deal with ignorance in my daily life rather than bigotry. Bigotry is some sort of pseudo-educated ignorance turned into ideology. And university circles are full of it. Once you are indoctrinated it's very hard to step back, while ignorance can still be reasoned with. There are some fine folks in academia and people to look up to, but ultimately that world was not for me.

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Day 4 of limiting internet use. Got my ears pierced today! I've been postponing it because I wanted to be sure it was a changed that I wanted without any external agenda ("looking more like what "a girl" should look like"). I feel great, but everyone around me insisted that it would barely hurt and I think it did quite a bit. I can't picture myself with any more than these two because of this apparently nonexistent pain tolerance, but who knows. 

Limiting internet has been even harder than video games, since I can't put a strong barrier. Even worse, with the last screens gone now I truly have my head clean and ripe for intrusive thoughts and anxiety to settle. But I've been taking care of myself like never before and feeling much healthier since I started. I know I am in the right path.

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22 hours ago, Hitaru said:

I think it did quite a bit

Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear that 😞 I'm glad you did get the piercings tho, I hope you'll find creating your own earring collection exciting hehe

22 hours ago, Hitaru said:

I know I am in the right path.

I believe (in) you! When I first started quitting Internet (I used UnDistracted for desktop and "Stay Focused" for phone), I was struggling tremendously and my self-esteem went to record lows. And also, I believed that this was the best I could do for myself then- I'm glad you think so too. I wish you courage and strength on this journey!

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  • 2 months later...

It took me yet another mental breakdown after quitting yet another trade learning (indeterminate hiatus at least) BUT starting yesterday I have an official ADHD diagnosis, severe degree, and I'm on the road to be declared partially disabled.

Which, considering my life trajectory, it totally makes sense despite the heavy 'weight' of the word. Meds prescription coming up soon, fingers crossed.

I am happy in a weird way. I'm feeling grief and anger, but it doesn't feel like my usual self-victimization/internal drama. I feel cheated by a system that failed to notice my struggles despite the many hours an euros (couple thousands at least) I invested to find them out. Two decades. No one noticed my gaming addiction, my transness, my ADHD. Can't help but be pissed off and I will be for a while. It's a healthy thing to learn to tell apart where did your fuck-ups end and others' fuck-ups begin.

But aside from that, now I have an excelent framework to change a lot of stuff. Do things my own way. Forgive myself for a lot, an industrial amount, of past shit. That is amazing. It's a bigger thing than the gender thing, because it has made me suffer much more. 

So a massive cleanup is coming. How could I not be happy, even if it's scary and it's gonna take a lot of work? It's not a life reset, but it definitely feels like a bugfix.

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155 days of no games and counting, my friends. 

 

I'm allowing myself to trust that I'm experiencing burnout, from dragging the mental weight of all the projects I cut short and my failed relationships of any kind. I'm trying to forgive myself for my past and I think it's going well, I'm more worried about having to set new boundaries in the present. I don't know what I'll be able to do for a living. I don't know if I'll be able to keep long-term friends and lovers. 

But that's in the future, right now I have a lot of health issues that are priority. I found out that if I have *something* that is bothering me now, I can't focus on anything else. Normally I would felt guilty, because the "normal" thing is to be able to, say, enjoy a date with your girlfriend while worrying about a medical appointment. You can go to the date, have a good time, make the appointment the next day. 

I can't. It's weird but I just can't. Do that fifty times and your girlfriend may say "Listen, you're lovely but also a logistical nightmare." So if that's what needs to happen... Well, it sucks but there's no other way. That's why I'm saying I'm trusting myself. I truly, honest to god have tried a lot of different approaches, I've done lots of therapy, etc. etc. If this is the way it works then it is how it is. 

That's the issue with the boundaries. I'm going to have to be clear about what works for me and what doesn't. And a lot of people is going to question me and think it extravagant and uncompromising. But I have literally tried everything else already. At some point in my life I have to start believing that I know more about myself than whatever random opinion that comes in my way.

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165 days.

Cravings got so bad that I allowed myself to do something I had not done before: watch a live stream of someone playing my favorite game and help her through chat. It was fun and my head gets tired after a few hours unlike when I play alone. In my personal experience with addiction, my games were *my* thing, my solitary coping mechanism. So this was a refreshing experience, feeling something else rather than guilt and shame.

But I also feel sad now, and I think it's a good thing to experience this sadness fully. I wish I was able to play games as most people. No, actually, I wish more that I was able to do streams about topics unrelated to games, make friends and connections through them since my hometown is a bit isolated, but I can't do that either because the temptation of having a laptop or any other system at home would be too much. I regret having less impulse control than the average person, rather than just not being able to game in particular. I was born with that issue and it does not define me as a human being. But it sucks. I gotta take a deep breath, and tell myself that it's ok that it sucks. I have to deal with this in my life, other people have other stuff. It's ok.

I think most of my current emotional struggle comes from thinking about responsibilities as something I'm meant to have, rather than means to an end. I don't *have* to work. I can choose to die instead. But that's a very pessimistic perspective. I should choose to work, so my salary pays for the things I wanna do with my time on Earth. I should choose to live, unironically speaking, since it's the only thing I can choose between dying and being born.

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11 minutes ago, Hitaru said:

165 days.

Cravings got so bad that I allowed myself to do something I had not done before: watch a live stream of someone playing my favorite game and help her through chat. It was fun and my head gets tired after a few hours unlike when I play alone. In my personal experience with addiction, my games were *my* thing, my solitary coping mechanism. So this was a refreshing experience, feeling something else rather than guilt and shame.

But I also feel sad now, and I think it's a good thing to experience this sadness fully. I wish I was able to play games as most people. No, actually, I wish more that I was able to do streams about topics unrelated to games, make friends and connections through them since my hometown is a bit isolated, but I can't do that either because the temptation of having a laptop or any other system at home would be too much. I regret having less impulse control than the average person, rather than just not being able to game in particular. I was born with that issue and it does not define me as a human being. But it sucks. I gotta take a deep breath, and tell myself that it's ok that it sucks. I have to deal with this in my life, other people have other stuff. It's ok.

I think most of my current emotional struggle comes from thinking about responsibilities as something I'm meant to have, rather than means to an end. I don't *have* to work. I can choose to die instead. But that's a very pessimistic perspective. I should choose to work, so my salary pays for the things I wanna do with my time on Earth. I should choose to live, unironically speaking, since it's the only thing I can choose between dying and being born.

You got this. Hopefully there will be better days for you.

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