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dwalk77

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Day 24

Wow, it's almost been 30 days.  I feel great about that.

I took a vacation a few weeks ago to Hawaii, and it was incredible.  There was very little pull towards gaming.  I was around my family for almost all the trip, and we were on the go for most of it.  It was by far the most beautiful place I've ever been.  In a week we went through the heart of a rainforest, to the top of a mountain, and beaches with crystal clear water.  I haven't been on a true "vacation" like that in 6 or 7 years.   I'm very grateful my Mom invited me and took the heavy share of the costs.  Once I get my finances in order, I think it's a good idea to do something like that on at least an annual basis.  Maybe not on that scale, but some sort of getaway, b/c I really did experience a sort of "surreal" that I couldn't have imagined in my day-to-day life.

I wasn't perfect though.  My counselor said something to the effect of "you can change your environment, but you can't leave yourself".  In other words, my struggles that I have here crept back in.  Especially lust.  Towards the end of the trip I fell into some destructive patterns.  Seeing gorgeous women wearing string bikinis escalated those tendencies.  I got back and had 4 more days off of work.  Lots of time and no plans laid the path for me to isolate and indulge.  I did.  I even had some thoughts of getting a hotel room for a few nights so I could truly be isolated for a few more nights and not be around my roommates, but fortunately I didn't take that step.

I had some thoughts to game in that time period, but I didn't.  I really wanted to pull up some Twitch and check up on some streamers, but I was able to entertain myself with some TV and movies.  No doubt, having some time and space from the gaming world certainly helped keep that distance.

I went back to work Monday, a few days ago, and things went pretty well.  Last night I went to counseling and it was good to get some sort of recovery going again and check in with someone about everything that's going on.  I missed work this morning though.  It sort of hit me out of nowhere.  I can't say I fully understand why I seem to be so much worse at showing up to work than other people do.  It annoys me.  I'm fortunate to work for a company and managers that have been lenient, and I have a lot of paid time off, but it still feels crappy when I take an unexpected day off.  I usually feel weak and call myself names after I do it.  I don't particularly like my job, maybe that's part of it.  But then I think most people don't like their jobs.

Anyways...it does feel that I'm having some progress with the gaming front, and that's good.  30 days is around the corner, and that's my current goal. 
I do have my laptop on me now.  Previously I had gotten rid of my desktop and was living PC-free.  I usually keep this laptop at my Mom's house, but after our trip I grabbed it so I could get in full indulge-mode before having to go back to work.  I've made arrangements to drop the laptop back over to her this weekend, and I believe that'll help me in my fight against lust/porn and gaming.

I need to take some extra steps here, soon.  Getting back to work tomorrow is the first step.  But work and counseling...is not enough.  I believe I need to get into a routine that incorporates prayer/reading/journaling.  I was making a little headway on that before I left.  But still, need to get out and connect more, and I think 12-step groups are the best option for me to do that.  I've also recently found a guy with a Youtube channel that has really caught my attention as far as my faith goes.  I think that could be helpful as well.

That's all I have for now.  Until next time..

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Day 30 

Yup, today is 30 days.  Wow.  Feels good man.  I won't say it's been easy.  I've especially felt pulled towards Twitch over some recent weekends, and I know how that can be a gateway to actual gaming.  But I've held out.  

What's helped me get through 30 days:
- getting rid of the desktop.  I've still had a laptop around some of the time, but it's basically incapable of playing any of the games I've been addicted to in the past.  This is probably the biggest thing
- for the most part, I didn't have my laptop either (update on that forthcoming).  Which means my only means of watching Twitch was on my phone.  And when you compare watching Twitch on a 16" screen (or 46") to a 5" screen, it's just not the same.  It loses A LOT of luster and it's much easier to turn down
- going on vacation.  it sort of feels like "cheating", but about half of that 30 days was spent on vacation, where circumstances made it much easier to not game.  I was basically surrounded with family the majority of the time and it was just a beautiful place to be.  Gaming was the last thing on my mind.  but I'll take it....God provided those circumstances and I used it
- counseling.  Counseling helped me follow through with ditching my pc and tv.  he didn't talk me into it (it was my idea), but he did help me follow through with it.  and just having someone to check in with, break me out of my own head for a bit, and not live so isolated

what will it take for 60 days?

- continuing with the above
- need to get out more.  more connection.  not complicated, but not easy either.  

Sunday I gave my laptop back over to my Mom, so I'm without a PC again.  Good step.  I don't think it's a coincidence that the very same day I did some reading and prayer (which I hadn't been doing at all).

My roommate mentioned yesterday hanging out on a weekly basis..I think that could definitely help.  Plan on giving up alcohol for the forseeeable future.  I didn't drink at all on our vacation, and I was totally fine with that.  

 

 

 

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Day 47

Been a few weeks since I've posted.  As far as gaming, I've managed well.  The first week I didn't have a computer, so that certainly made it easier. But overall...not exactly good stuff to report.  I haven't gone to support groups.  I really think there's no substitute for that if I want to heal from my other addiction.  I've had some bad days.  I missed a few work days last week b/c I was feeling anxious about leading some training.  I've missed a lot of work.  I'm surprised I get away with it. 

This whole Corona virus thing is depressing, but it's also given me ways to rationalize not living up to my potential.  Just because it's a good idea to be socially distant and there's not much opportunity to go to things like support groups and church, it doesn't mean I can't still challenge myself or try to be a better person.  I can still make phone calls, pray, exercise, cook, read.  And work during work hours.  Just b/c I'm shut in doesn't mean I have to give into bingeing on Netflix or watching porn. 

But that's kind of where my mind has been.  I did get my laptop back from my Mom's house last weekend, b/c our work is asking us to work from home for the time being.  So having the laptop here has made it easier to lose myself in some not so good stuff. 

I've had some thoughts that this would be the perfect setup for gaming.  What better way to kill tons of time and isolate yourself? There's been a few games come to mind that I reminisced about.  How good it felt to understand and master them, lose myself in them.  But then I have to remember a few things.  First, if I played those same games again, it wouldn't be the same.  Playing the game the first time is always the best, you can't replicate that.  Next, it's selective recall -- I'm choosing to forget the negative consequences associated with losing myself in those games.  Being so irritable towards other people in real life.  Getting terrible sleep.  Doing terrible at work or missing work all together. 

I could try to find a new game, but I'm very picky about games, and it's exhausting to find one that I'll actually find satisfying.  And the other thing is -- I don't have the capability, not for the good games.  I have a really small laptop without a graphics card - it's not ideal for gaming.  But the bottom line is I don't want to.  Sure, there's a part of me that craves it, but overall -  I like being free from games, and watching games.   Lately I've found a renewed interest in disc golf, and I would MUCH rather do something like that than game. 

I'm really hoping the virus stuff begins to die down or at least have some timelines of when to expect some normalcy to return.

That's where I'm at for now..

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2 hours ago, dwalk77 said:

Day 47

Been a few weeks since I've posted.  As far as gaming, I've managed well.  The first week I didn't have a computer, so that certainly made it easier. But overall...not exactly good stuff to report.  I haven't gone to support groups.  I really think there's no substitute for that if I want to heal from my other addiction.  I've had some bad days.  I missed a few work days last week b/c I was feeling anxious about leading some training.  I've missed a lot of work.  I'm surprised I get away with it. 

This whole Corona virus thing is depressing, but it's also given me ways to rationalize not living up to my potential.  Just because it's a good idea to be socially distant and there's not much opportunity to go to things like support groups and church, it doesn't mean I can't still challenge myself or try to be a better person.  I can still make phone calls, pray, exercise, cook, read.  And work during work hours.  Just b/c I'm shut in doesn't mean I have to give into bingeing on Netflix or watching porn. 

But that's kind of where my mind has been.  I did get my laptop back from my Mom's house last weekend, b/c our work is asking us to work from home for the time being.  So having the laptop here has made it easier to lose myself in some not so good stuff. 

I've had some thoughts that this would be the perfect setup for gaming.  What better way to kill tons of time and isolate yourself? There's been a few games come to mind that I reminisced about.  How good it felt to understand and master them, lose myself in them.  But then I have to remember a few things.  First, if I played those same games again, it wouldn't be the same.  Playing the game the first time is always the best, you can't replicate that.  Next, it's selective recall -- I'm choosing to forget the negative consequences associated with losing myself in those games.  Being so irritable towards other people in real life.  Getting terrible sleep.  Doing terrible at work or missing work all together. 

I could try to find a new game, but I'm very picky about games, and it's exhausting to find one that I'll actually find satisfying.  And the other thing is -- I don't have the capability, not for the good games.  I have a really small laptop without a graphics card - it's not ideal for gaming.  But the bottom line is I don't want to.  Sure, there's a part of me that craves it, but overall -  I like being free from games, and watching games.   Lately I've found a renewed interest in disc golf, and I would MUCH rather do something like that than game. 

I'm really hoping the virus stuff begins to die down or at least have some timelines of when to expect some normalcy to return.

That's where I'm at for now..

You're doing the right thing holding back and thinking about gaming in a negative way and how it wouldn't be the same. I'd be realistic and say you're going to be in isolation anywhere from 4-8 weeks. So you're going to inevitably have to face some cravings and urges. Remember what I wrote in the COVID19 post. Make a list of reasons why you should stay away from gaming and keep that. Also, find ways to keep yourself busy and look forward to being busy. This is your time.

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Day 61

Indeed, I've made it to the 60 day mark!

However, to be honest, I'm feeling more pulled to gaming today than have been in at least a few weeks.  They extended the stay-at-home order in my area until at least May 20th, which is about a month and a half out.  Fortunately, I still do have a job and am able to work from home.  I am SO grateful for that.  The unfortunate part of that is that it's forced me to use a computer in my house -- prior to this virus, I did not have a PC in my home.   So, that brings the potential for gaming and porn right back into the equation.  My porn use has been terrible, but I knew that one would be more tough.  The gaming I've been able to fend off.  But with several weeks remaining stuck in my house and no clear end date in sight, it's becoming more appealing.  Or at least Twitch.  But I know where Twitch leads -- it leads to wanting to game.

Wanted to take a moment to think about what has helped keep me from gaming:
- Work.  It takes up a large chunk of my waking day.  Even if I'm not being the most productive, I've at least been staying logged into my work account and showing active there.  In other words, I know that if I tried to game WHILE logged into my work account, I risk some major consequences (including possible termination), and that's going down an addictive path.
- Disc golf.  At least for now, the parks have still been open.  I also went to my Mom's to last weekend where she has some land.  When not actually throwing, watching Youtube videos or researching what discs to use, reflecting on my previous rounds
- TV.  Went through the Office again and watched a series called Better Call Saul. 
- Youtube.  Current events like Ben Shapiro/Joe Rogan.

I think that's a start.  Keep at it with work.  Keep playing disc.  Keep visiting my Mom.  Find some other TV programs I can check out.  Keep watching Youtube.
But I don't think it's enough.  I think I'm lacking a few things:  a more spiritually fulfilling life, more self-discipline, and exercise.  I also have always struggled with making an effort to connect with other people, and that's still been true lately.  Although I can't connect with groups of people right now, it doesn't mean I can't make some efforts with my roommates or my family or a few other friends.

I think what I'm really lacking is a routine.  Even with my work, I haven't been taking it seriously.  I've been logging in haphazardly and basically just hoping management doesn't call me out for be unproductive.  It's something to think about.  Take some pride in my work and set some goals.  Waking up early and getting some exercise in.  Some daily meditation/reading/prayers.  Maybe even a regular phone call or something scheduled with my roommates.   These are the things I think I need if I'm going to keep pushing on without gaming.  Because, like I said, today is a tough day, and the gaming feels like it's right there for the taking.

I also need to remember the consequences that I so easily forget.  It's especially important for my situation because I do have something to lose - I have my job.  With gaming comes lack of sleep, which is absolutely crucial.  It's going to make me more cranky around other people, particularly my roommates and Mom.  It's going to completely overtake my mind - which means it'll be harder to do any work whatsoever, and it won't allow me some moments to reflect and think about what's going on around me.  Even if the current circumstances may seem depressing, there's always something positive to take in from the world around me.  Financially - I'd have to buy a gaming computer, which I...don't have money for considering I'm in debt right now.  Those are just some things to consider.

That's all I've got for now.  I hope everyone is staying safe and keeping their sanity.   I'm thankful for this website to vent on, especially at times like this.

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