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NEW VIDEO: The EASIEST Way to Stop Gaming

It's time to stop!


John Cuba

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Hey, welcome to my story of how I ended up here and decided to take my life into my own hands. I'll write this story mostly for anyone, who would find this story and might find himself in a similar situation.

To start things off, I actually don't remember when I starting playing computer games. I can barely remember when I played my first game. I was probably 5 about that time. Since then, I think I never really left them. Even when my parents got divorced, I still had my Gameboy with me. To makes things short, mum eventually bought a computer and I started playing games basically non-stop after school (about mine 8 years).

There was a try about in my 12 years by my mum, taking my computer away for some time, but in the end, I ended up back on it again. 9 years on the elementary school went away like nothing. Since the sixth grade, when my class got separated and only about 1/3 of my classmates stayed with me, while new kids joining the new class, I found out, I have problems creating new connections and friendships unlike other classmates. Started to feel frustrated because of this. I started feeling inferior, since I could feel the communication barrier, making everyone irritated from talking with me without me knowing why. Though I managed to lose my overweight in 8th grade I felt so bad for (used a girl I liked in our class as a motivation), everything else remained the same despite my hopes this would break the barrier. Despite my problems, I managed to get through the elementary school with decent marks.

I left elementary school and again, despite my hopes that without anyone knowing me, thinking I have a chance to make people like me this time, I fell into the category of "outcast" again. Fortunately, people in my class are quite smart and "decent" and so there was no attempt to bully me. As time went on, I started wondering why are things the way they are and slowly started moving forward, exploring and changing myself, bit by bit. And here I'm now, in 4th (last) grade, slowly getting the grip of my life again, understanding what made people so frustrated when talking to me. Though, obviously, that was just a half of the problem.

And so here I'm, to finally solve the second half of the problem, about which I had never a clue was there. I always thought that games were my way to escape from the cruel reality where nobody liked me. Thought that I'm just simply apparently somewhat retarded, when having such problems with communication with others. That my problems with focus in lessons is just the way I was born and that the fact I give up every time when I'm trying to program something and I reach a problem is just being afraid of more fails/pain, finding out I'm actually stupid. "Maybe I'm not interested into programming after all? The fact that I'm interesting in nothing else then computer games is just because other activities are boring or have to deal with other people. After all, I loved gardening. If we had a garden, I'm pretty sure I would have had surely not spent all my time playing video games. Well, either way, we don't have a garden and I just deserve to die off like a defective individual eventually. I'll just wait it out, playing games just like when someone drinks alcohol to get rid of all that pain, because I don't know what else can I do." I remember all that self-pity.

I actually started thinking about a year ago and kept the idea about becoming a pro player, possibly a streamer. I tried creating videos a few years ago, but found out my commentary was poor and gave up on the idea. So I started playing LoL more, trying to become better and play nothing else. I found out I cant manage to climb as fast as I've imagined I would, so I gave up after some time, started playing Arma. However, just about a month ago, I managed to get the grip on the game with a proper approach (instead of playing for the rank, playing to become better and having fun). I started climbing really fast as I had already experience from before I just could not utilize because of my frustration (--> mistakes). And suddenly in the middle of this climbing, I found out about the video game obsession. I just accidentally stumbled upon it on the internet when I was bored. And that was the first time I actually got to think about my addiction. In the end, I ended up here, studying the symptoms and taking the decision to try the 90-day detox. "After all, a 3 month break is not that much and I can always come back to league and keep climbing." 

 

The story is quite long, even though I tried to make it short. You can skip it and just read the text below, as that is when I actually found out about the term  "game addiction".

 

But I think with a certainty I can say, that that will not happen. I believe I finally found the cause of my problems. It's like I can feel the strings I'm being pulled by now. I can actually feel being pulled towards games by my brain every time I can't grasp something in programming, having a tough time solving the problem or understanding something, when feeling even slightly frustrated. I started with the detox 4 days ago and I can already feel the effects. When I try to focus programming and I can't, because my brain just keep trying to break my focus on the problem, trying to convince me it's not worth the effort. And so when I just can't focus, I start thinking about what can I do. But I already know the answer. It's either go watch something on youtube/twitch or play a game. Instead, I go lay down in a bed for 10 minutes and if I can't "refocus" after that, I usually just go on yt or twitch and watch something for another hour, relaxing. I can feel how strong this habit of giving up has become, as I have tried many times in the past and always gave up. And breaking that habit now feels so hard, when I'm actually aware of it. Especially when you know, you are just 3 clicks away from starting LoL.

I think I can safely say I feel a lot better already. I don't think I'll ever give up on gaming and I'm sure I'll come back to it once, just to try and reach that semi-professional level of gameplay, just to prove myself I can do it, but that will have to probably wait a few years, as now, I have to chase for all the time I've lost. I sure love learning new things about programming when I actually can keep my focus steady.

Yes, the title is a reference to Filthy Frank

 

Edited by John Cuba
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Welcome to the forum @John Cuba!

I know what you're talking about man. During my elementary and middle school, in terms of my own classmates, I couldn't "neither be myself (weird) nor pretend to blend in (fake)", so there was no option for me but to be an outcast. I also had my fair share of bullying and girl drama no matter how hard I tried to be "normal", "myself" or whatever in between. I even considered myself as mildly autist at several points of my life. To the point that I gamed alone most of the time (except when I did with friends in my teens) and I wasn't even good at them.

I think you can give up on gaming if you find a valid reason to do so, and that's up to you, it's your own decision and no one should interfere with it. Right now gaming is what you know, the safe option, the comfort zone. We (the vast majority of this community) used to believe gaming defined us as people, and that's far from the truth. Gaming is just something we do: to escape, to experience challenge and improvement, to connect with people that will only judge us for our skills in the game and nothing else. These are normal human needs, and gaming fulfilled those needs for us. They worked, so well that we ended doing nothing else, games could take the space of any other activity. Then we developed a chemical tolerance towards the dopamine surges that video games provided, which is one of the major reasons why you feel that pull. It's abstinence, both physical and psychological. You miss the games and your brain misses the games too, and this chemical imbalance is what makes everything else boring, no matter if you used to find other things fun, they now tend to feel like they're not anymore.

If you can't stop doing something without feeling abstinence, if something controls you and not the other way around, you should quit it. You could still play if you want, but there's an issue here and it's that you believe you're not good at anything else; that you are unable to be good at anything else, and you should adress that asap, because it's a big damn lie. You may want to use your detox as a chance to try a lot of new activities, the more the better. Expand your limits man, you're more than a fake ranking in a fake game.

Is there something you could do outside of games, some personal challenge that you could take?

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Thank you both for the welcome :) 

@Hitaru Heh, sounds definitely like me.

Well, tbh, I don't even want to quit now. It's just... It might be better to spend most of my time in bed, going through some anxiety then giving up on the detox and just coming back to what I've been doing my whole life and probably got me into this mess in the first place. Games never solved anything for me. I just kept running away and my mum had to take care for me and often help keep me out of troubles. 

I keep trying to think of what can I write, but I feel like I just can't manage to define myself in any way. Have I always actually been addicted? It feels so simple to just leave games behind, comparing myself to others, who have problems with it and keep relapsing. I don't know what to say, I feel so full of doubts. Am I a coward? Am I an idiot? Am I actually an egoist? More than having problems with games I've used to play for so long, I feel like the problem is actually me being unable to find a place in society for me to fit in. Being able to define myself as a person. What do I want to do in life, reach in life? I have no dreams, no ambition. I grew up safe with my games at my home with my mum taking care of me. Did I grew into someone with no passion, who just values safety and warm of his home over friendship and all that stuff life has to offer, scared of pain? Maybe it just means I should leave the protection of my mother, my "safe-zone" and try to wonder off into the world full of people, trying to make up for my own?

Maybe I just need to go out more, start random conversations with people and open up more. Or maybe I should just die. Just like my mum says, maybe I take myself or just simply everything too seriously, being unable to enjoy the joys of the life it offers. Meh, just thinking about it is starting to get me frustrated. So much babbling. Was thinking about visiting a psychologist, but in the end, I just rejected the idea.

Well, anyway, I'll stay on the detox and see how that goes. And about the challenge... I could start working out, try to go out between people and try to talk to some. I think I can't really think of anything that I would be actually willing to take on at the moment. Yet I guess that if I want anything to change, I should just start going out and try to communicate. Living all life just with computer is sad, unhealthy life. But if that's what it's going to boil down to, I think I'll choose the computer over other people. I might be laughed on, but the human relationships ain't no honey either. And who knows, maybe it's not as tragic as I imagine it to be. Only time will tell.

Either way, thanks for listening, considering you've read it this far.

 

Also @Hitaru, I've looked up the journal you linked up. Didn't think that some people might have such problem. It's interesting to read through it. Did not have time to read it all up yet, but definitely thumbs up man, your here, supporting others and meanwhile dealing with your own inner demons. I'm not really good with words when it comes down to this, so I'll just say what's on my mind. Good luck with that, as you seem to be surely slowly getting through it and don't give up, no matter what happens! (Not that I have to probably say that, after keeping yourself on the track for almost a year already) :) 

Edited by John Cuba
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I asked myself those questions as well. To be fair with you, you won't find a "place" and stay there forever, like a class in an RPG. Things like "Who am I?", "What should I be doing with my life?", "Where do I belong?", you won't be answering them tomorrow or next week while waiting in your bed. I tried! 

When I quit I didn't consider time. I only knew I had to stop right now and then, to break the routine and give me empty space to face those demons. Video games (and porn, and mindless browsing, etc) were numbing my mind and I literally couldn't think. I realized I was in that state on purpose. If you know Nietzsche, I took a break from the addiction circle to stop and stare at the void. It was a mess, really, but it worked. I think you need your space, to clear up your mind by doing nothing in particular, just stay away for a while from the things you use to escape and see what happens. And stuff happens. Trust me.

I mean, you could stay in your bed at your mother's place and wait until one of the two dies, and this is not dialectic gymnastics to convince you of anything. You've been doing that, waiting and looking somewhere else as if life had nothing to do with you. You could do that today. And tomorrow. And who knows for how long. And you could be moderately entertained and comfortable. But the thing is, is this what you really want to do with your life? Not what you should be doing or are entitled to do, or the place you deserve, or the only place left because you can't do anything else, all of that is in your head. I mean what you want. Think of what you want. And if nothing comes, think of what you don't want, and start from there.

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Thanks man. I think that by laying into a

bed I was trying to imply that just like you stared into void and thought of nothing, I just go and lay down when I get the urges to go and just play. Can't tell if it's because how I just used to deal with frustration - go and play some games, or if it's just to escape the frustration itself. When I come back from school, frustrated and upset, because it's another shitty day and I've been the laughing stock again, I can't think of actually doing something. Sure, I can try to go and program something. But most probably, I'll just give up after starting the computer, and spend most of the time laying on the desk, drowning in self-pity, ending up playing games or watching youtube in bed anyway. If there was any mindless activity, sure. If I had a garden (might happen soon), I would just probably go there and spend my time there, doing something useful. You don't have to use your mind for pulling out weed or such. I believe you get me on that one.

I think that's a good advice. I think I have a certain vision of what I want to do. I want to become a good programmer, get through high school, get on collage and keep learning. When I get tired, frustrated or need a break, just go back to my garden and relax. After all, we nature is our mother, that can be very calming. Not sure when it comes to the question of my relationships. I don't want to end up alone, but I don't want to force it and just run around making clown of myself, trying to talk to people. What I don't want? Waste my life and end up as a wreck. Maybe help a few people here and there if I can, give some advice and live a good, decent live, living up to my morals and set values. Can't change the world just myself after all, but I believe that if everyone lived up to that, the world would be a better place.

Not sure if this is the right place for discussion, but thinking about it, I wonder what are your personal goals. Do you know what you want to reach/do in life?

Edited by John Cuba
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10 hours ago, John Cuba said:

Not sure if this is the right place for discussion, but thinking about it, I wonder what are your personal goals. Do you know what you want to reach/do in life?

Beeing someone who is proud his life. I want to be the best husband, father, son and friend I can be. I want deep relationsships and a stable job wiht interesting problems. I want to be healthy and be in control of my own life and my own choices. Even if it sounds vain I also want to be rich and look awesome (I must stop to feeling bad for these points though).

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's been a month, so I just came back to write a small continuation to my little diary. 

I have tried, I have kept going for about two weeks before the relapse. Some of my friends offered me to play games with them so I could not refuse, hoping I would get some social interaction I seemed to be missing. Well, from there, it eventually went down back to League, just wanting to go back to my comfort zone. Coming back home frustrated, not knowing what to do. Always feeling like a piece of crap. I'm so confused about my feelings. At one side, my friend helped me multiple times, yet it's just that he programs and he's just so good, the way he thinks, well, simply I often find myself comparing myself to him, finding out I'm good for nothing. Wasted all my time playing games and now when I'm supposed to know how stuff goes and go to work soon, I'm starting to learn? How can I ever get to his level? I don't even seem as passionate as he is. I'm good for nothing who will end up cleaning toilets. And then, sometimes, I just find him making fun of me, when I miss something out because I'm reading during a lesson or something (or I just space out which seems to happen a lot and I manage to miss a lot of information somehow), it happens quite often, he just starts making fun of me, saying shit like: Did you listen? Not to say: Hey, listen, it's important or something, nah. It's just: Did you listen? Well, haha, your bad. I ain't going to ask him what did the teacher say with him using such arrogant tone. I don't know, I just feel misunderstood, I'm always up to help if someone needs, but it feels like everyone else would rather make fun of me. I'm just trying my best now to distance myself, forcing myself to keep the mouth shut. I feel like a retard. I just want to distance myself from any people, hide away, run, sit away from all of them in my own, personal corner hoping none notices me. But I can't and realizing this is painful. I want to socialize, yet just run away from the frustration and pain. I have no thoughts of programming or progressing forward. What for? Almost every day, I just feel anxiety. Frustrated, upset, wanting to hide in my bed and just keep watching youtube like I did last few days, trying to prevent myself from hiding in games again. Sure, feels warm, watching people talk and play, laugh, read the comments in the warmth of my bed, having nothing to think about, not even feeling guilty, because this time I'm not playing games, which don't even give me this warm feeling of socializing-like. And then you just think about how the day when you'll have to go to work and show what you got is closing in and your just wasting your time, your life, your energy, everything, becoming a loser. And then it just feels like: "So what? Fuck this society. I've tried. I don't know what to do. Youtube videos, comments, people seem so nice in them, yet I've never met such nice people." And the more you become a loser and keep missing in on school, the more your just becoming a laughing stock, so I just keep spacing out more, dreaming of my own happy world.

I'll just cut this rumble. I've got things to do, like try to force myself to program. I might feel down today, so I supposed I'll just write another note next month. Maybe I'll get a rope to hang myself with on Christmas. I feel disgusted and disgusting. Sorry.

Happy Christmas and Happy New Year! Also congratulations Hitaru on passing the one year on your NoFap Journal :)

Edited by John Cuba
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