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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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*Deleted my Steam account.  Feels kinda good.  Here we go

Day 116 Wow, 4 days away from that 120 mark.  I keep saying I'd like to post more regularly, but again, I've been slacking, and it's almost been a month since my last post. I have to say it d

It sounds like you need to get some stress and frustration out. Sometimes you have so much on your mind that you avoid other things in life because you're already bogged down. It's avoidance procrasti

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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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  • 3 weeks later...

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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  • 2 weeks later...

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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  • 5 weeks later...

Day 90

Well, I haven't been too consistent about posting on here, but I have managed to stay away from gaming.  And it turns out today is actually day 90! I had no idea until a few minutes ago.

What's kept me away from gaming? I mentioned these things in my last post, but I think it's worth repeating..

- Definitely work.  Fortunately I've still had a full time job through all of this.  Work has been stressful at times, as work can be.  I'm not in love with my job, but it's not bad compared to previous jobs, and I know unless I figure something else out to do, I need income.  Me having my job and wanting to keep it is a sort of "safety net" against doing stupid things and keeping a schedule.  Included in the "stupid things" category is staying up until the wee hours of the morning gaming when I know I've got to wake up for work in the next few hours.  Or thinking I can binge on a game for "just a weekend" and it'll be off my mind by the time the work week starts.
- My Mom and my roommates.  Just being around other people.  Keeps me away from total isolation.  I used to live alone, and I think if I was still living alone, I might have already gamed within this virus period. 
- Disc golf.  It's a hobby I'm passionate about.  Sometimes I think I cross a line with it about being obsessive, as in it becomes something that controls me rather than the other way around.  I'm not talking about excessive time playing it, but rather excessive time on the internet about it.  It'd be good to limit my time online about it
- TV.  It's not the most edifying thing to do in spare time, but it has occupied my time and mind, and it's preferable to gaming.  Been running through a few TV series lately, Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul

What about going forward?
Fortunately, it looks like things are going to be opening up again.  I think that's going to provide some opportunities for me to get back on track (or on track for the first time) with a few things:  going into the office, counseling, support groups, church, seeing a personal trainer -- these are all things that could really help me achieve some important goals. 

I think it'll be easier to continue this streak as those opportunities become available. 
I'm pushing for 120 days now.  I don't want to get too carried away with the future, still just one day at a time.  I'm still having some itches every now and then, particularly to pull up some Twitch and see what's happening there. 

That's what I've got for now.  Until next time..

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Day 116

Wow, 4 days away from that 120 mark. 
I keep saying I'd like to post more regularly, but again, I've been slacking, and it's almost been a month since my last post.
I have to say it does get easier with time.  I still get some itches every now and then, especially to watch.  I don't have a gaming laptop and even if I did have a PC, I'm not even sure what game I'd be most susceptible to.  It's a great situation for me to be in.  But watching streams or recorded playthroughs....that's still just a website away and I could completely lose 30, 40, 50, or more hours watching some dude play a video game.  There was one particular game I was watching a lot of before I stopped...I believe they had a tournament scheduled sometime this year.  I've had a few itches to see if there's some Youtube videos on it.  But fortunately I haven't checked.  I know that by checking to see if its out there is the first step to actually watching it.  I've worked hard to keep distance between myself and gaming, and I really don't want to start back at ground zero.

All that being said, the itches to watch have been less often and with less intensity.

I wish I could say the month of May has been a great month, but it hasn't.  I missed 3 days of work, without notice and without a real reason.  Mentally, I didn't feel up to it.  I missed one day, then it became much easier to miss the next day, and then I took one more.  Fortunately, I didn't get reprimanded.  I was honest with my boss and told him I've been having a hard time mentally.  He was very accepting of that.  But that doesn't change the fact that my allotment of PTO days for the rest of the year is very low.  If I don't want to run out soon, I really need to buckle down and show up every day for the next 3 months or so.  It's not an ideal situation to be in. 

That's been the worst part, but it's also been a lot of me putting off things like church and support groups.  I don't have a good reason not to make some effort there.  I guess I like the comfort of not experiencing any tension or conflict in my life.  but the irony is when I DON'T do these things, the tension and conflict still come -- they just come in different forms, like me feeling bad about myself and just not being happy or at peace.

Some good did come out of my stint of missing work.  After the 2nd day, I accepted that I need some help and scheduled a session with my counselor.  I basically put my sessions on hold b/c of the pandemic.  I could have kept seeing him, but I rationalized I didn't know how bad things were going to get and I should save my money.  Anyways, it was good to see him again and catch up.  I plan on seeing him weekly going forward, until I've accomplished some of my goals.

There's another piece of good news too.  Unless something goes unexpectedly wrong, it looks like I will be debt free in a couple of weeks.  Going from red to in the black is something I've been working on for the last 2 and 1/2 years, and I think this will be an immense relief.  This has been a huge goal of mine.  I took a step from living alone to living with roommates, and it's paid off, in more ways than one.

That's about all I've got for now.  Hope you guys are doing good, and I will check in later

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It sounds like you need to get some stress and frustration out. Sometimes you have so much on your mind that you avoid other things in life because you're already bogged down. It's avoidance procrastination and anxiety. 

When you're feeling down and want to hide, do the opposite. Listen to an aggressive song, do some jumping jacks and then get pumped up. Get your stress out and then attack your tasks by accomplishing small checkpoints on large tasks. You'll feel relieved after and start doing your normal activities again. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/29/2020 at 12:39 AM, BooksandTrees said:

It sounds like you need to get some stress and frustration out. Sometimes you have so much on your mind that you avoid other things in life because you're already bogged down. It's avoidance procrastination and anxiety. 

When you're feeling down and want to hide, do the opposite. Listen to an aggressive song, do some jumping jacks and then get pumped up. Get your stress out and then attack your tasks by accomplishing small checkpoints on large tasks. You'll feel relieved after and start doing your normal activities again. 

That's an interesting approach, I hadn't really thought of that.  Thanks for the pointer!

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Day 142
Sobriety date:  2/3/20

Wow.  The days are getting up there.  I'd really like to get 180 or about 6 months, which is a little over a month away.
It's kind of mind blowing to me that I've been able to keep this up, when at this time it would seem to be the easiest time to fall for it.  Being forced to be shut in and working from home would seem to be the perfect recipe for gaming, but somehow I've managed.  There's been a lot of other things I wanted to quit as well (excessive eating, alcohol, porn), but this and giving up caffeine have been the 2 things I've been able to stick with.

Work has definitely been an adjustment.  I heard news recently that the shift to working from home may be permanent.  I'm not a fan.  Yes, it's a lot more convenient, and even cost-efficient for me.  Not driving, more time sleeping, ability to eat from my own pantry/fridge, using my own bathroom, more quiet - yes, these are all big pros of staying home.  But it doesn't replace the face to face interactions I had almost daily.  And it takes away a lot of accountability.  I know myself.  I know without accountability, I easily dwindle.  This isn't a good setup for me.

But, it's not in my hands.  I either adjust or I look into other jobs...or I go broke.  And at this point, I'm not particularly interested in any other jobs. 
I've had a few ideas for helping out, but haven't implemented them much.  One would be leaving my door to my room open throughout the day....being open to having my roommate pop in is a form of accountability.  Also, getting some software on my computer that tracks and blocks websites, and sending those to someone, for accountability.
if anyone else has some suggestions, please let me know.

It hasn't been all bad though.  I'm grateful that I have a team member that I work closely with....we basically contact each other every day about our work.  If he wasn't around, I'd surely be more unproductive and may slip into some more risky behaviors.  We also have a daily call with our team to check in.  Sometimes I dread it, but I also recognize how important it is to keep us on task....without those calls, again, I could fall to the wayside and not do much, as well as my manager.  All in all, I'm just thankful to have kept my job.

Work is a little stressful at this particular time.  Our boss has tasked 3 of us to complete a project, and I feel he's expecting us to come up with something that's....not feasible.  Like asking to fit a square peg through a round hole.  We've been working on it for months, and I'm afraid he's not going to be happy with our progress.  But I also feel that he's been very passive about the whole thing, and that's more on him.  Anyways, I think it's going to come to a head soon....that he's actually going to see where we're at and what we're struggling with.  Hopefully after that, we can get some sort of plan together on how to move forward.

I mentioned in my last post I finally took care of my debt and moved into the positive again.  Well, I did some stupid things over the last month, and I have a little more work to do there.  I've been beating myself up about that a bit lately.  It took so long to get out of it, and then within a few days I blew it.  I'm anxious about my car holding up.  I'd really like for it to hold out for another year, so I start SAVING money for a better one, but it's old and it feels like it's falling apart.  We'll see how it goes..

Other than that, continuing with counseling.  I called someone from a support group last week.  That was a big move, but I need to do more of it.  I've been somewhat social the last month.  Making some efforts to initiate going out, usually disc golf.  This whole pandemic thing....I wonder if it'll ever be like it was before.  I took some things for granted.  Recently I reached out to see if there were some church groups around I could try to get involved with.  No response.  All those face to face groups seem to be cancelled.  Sure, there might be some Zoom calls to get on...but that's not the same. 

That's all I got for now.  Take care

 

 

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Hello, congrats on your progress quitting so far. Disco golf seems like it could be chill. No running. Sorry there's no church groups around. We all have to stay home more since CV happened. They're sending me back to work though. I've got to go in person starting Wednesday next week. I'd kind of prefer to stay home at this point, but like you said the face to face interactions are a lot more fulfilling and invigorating than zoom.

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On 6/27/2020 at 9:48 AM, Erik2.0 said:

Hello, congrats on your progress quitting so far. Disco golf seems like it could be chill. No running. Sorry there's no church groups around. We all have to stay home more since CV happened. They're sending me back to work though. I've got to go in person starting Wednesday next week. I'd kind of prefer to stay home at this point, but like you said the face to face interactions are a lot more fulfilling and invigorating than zoom.

Thanks Erik! Yeah, disc(o) golf has definitely been a great hobby for me, but I definitely need to find some more things to compliment it as well.  I hope going back to work is invigorating for you!

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It definitely makes me feel more alive. I like how work takes up time. I have so much time lately since I don't have to commute and clients don't work with me as often anymore. I feel like eventually I'm going to have a ridiculous load of clients to see and it'll be too much though. So I hope that it stays at a low maintenance level. Haha disco golf typo is funny. You gotta dance after you throw it. I could use some more things to do myself. Good luck finding stuff it'll eventually come.

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Good luck and strength with your job in homeoffice. I also think accountability is super important 
when working from home. 

I somehow went as a freelancer only working from home. I ended up depressed because of the
isolation. But as you keep track with your team mates it sounds like you have a good way to cope with it.

Slipping into isolation is super hard and comes with small micro conveniences... I needed a lot of help
and time to get out of it.

Good luck and strength! Keep it up!

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Day 157
Sobriety date: 2/3/20

I broke 150, which is about 5 months.  I'll be honest though, last weekend felt like a close call.  With July 4th, I had a 3-day weekend, and that extra day was enough to get my mind going.  I actually had something going on everyday too.  Mostly hanging out with friends (and yes, disc golf).  I planned a round of disc Friday morning, which was a smart move, b/c having wide open days with nothing planned normally doesn't end good for me.  I think the temptation started to hit Saturday.  I had some options to visit some people, but instead I wanted to isolate. 

Considering it will at least be another 5 months working from home, I was looking at computers online.  My laptop does the job, but I think I'd prefer the desktop for a little more reliability and power, or a laptop with a little bigger monitor.  Well, it didn't take me long to connect the dots and think "If I buy a more powerful computer, I could game."  My current laptop just can't handle the games I used to play (I chose it intentionally for that reason).   But I liked thinking of that, reminiscing of a few games I left behind, thoughts of booting them back up and diving in again. 

A few things stopped me:
1. I don't have the money to buy a new PC.  There's been this struggle with debt.  I actually think tomorrow I can eliminate it and start building some savings.  But even that needs to be allocated for a better car.
2. I remember SO many times that I tried gaming after a break, and the games didn't fulfill me.  I had to try to get myself back into them, and often, I still couldn't.  Other things that come off as more boring, like reading or hanging out with friends...they do fulfill me, in a way that games don't.  It's not always as obvious or exciting, but I'm much more likely to remember a specific time hanging out with another person than what I did in a video game
3. My job.  I'll admit, I haven't been the most diligent worker.  Even before the pandemic I wasn't, but now working remotely, there's less accountability, and I have a passive boss, so it's very easy to not put in a hard days work.  That being said, I still have my job, and it is my living.  I don't have savings to rely on if I lost it.  And I know deep down that having it creates a structure in my life that I need.  Video games have directly impacted my job performance, often making it from bad to worse.  I tend to binge while playing, which can ruin my sleep schedule, which in turn can cause me to call in to work.  That's a big problem when I don't have much PTO time left.  And even if I do log into work, I have spent time researching games and thinking about them rather than actual work.  So in short, I don't want to open myself up to gaming b/c it puts my job at risk, and I want my job.

Those were the 3 big reasons.  So I was able to abstain the rest of the weekend, not buy a new PC.  I had some thoughts of checking in on Twitch, but #2 applied.  I knew there's nothing there for me to see. 

It was a crappy start to the week.  I missed Monday b/c I didn't feel like logging in.  As mentioned, I have limited PTO left, so I really need to buckle down and show up for the next few months.  My job isn't that hard, but my mind is sometimes resilient to any conflict at all.  I don't feel so great about work lately either.  It's funny, but a few months ago I didn't like it b/c it was too hard, too demanding.  I was volunteering for a different task.  Now I've shifted to a more laid-back project, and I feel like it doesn't have enough structure, that I can basically do nothing for a week and nobody really cares.  I find a way to complain either way.  In this role, it's requiring more self-discipline, and I'm learning that I'm not so good at that.

I do have counseling going, bi-weekly.  It does give me some accountability.  I find that I tend to procrastinate working on things (which would include reading, meditating, making phone calls to support groups) until a few days before our session.  Kind of reminds me of school.  Homework is due next week....I wait until next week to start it. 

That's about all the updates I have for now.  Need to work on filling in more time, especially over the weekends, making some better habits, and connecting with others more regularly.

150 achieved, next goal is 180!

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3 hours ago, dwalk77 said:

Day 157
Sobriety date: 2/3/20

I broke 150, which is about 5 months.  I'll be honest though, last weekend felt like a close call.  With July 4th, I had a 3-day weekend, and that extra day was enough to get my mind going.  I actually had something going on everyday too.  Mostly hanging out with friends (and yes, disc golf).  I planned a round of disc Friday morning, which was a smart move, b/c having wide open days with nothing planned normally doesn't end good for me.  I think the temptation started to hit Saturday.  I had some options to visit some people, but instead I wanted to isolate. 

Considering it will at least be another 5 months working from home, I was looking at computers online.  My laptop does the job, but I think I'd prefer the desktop for a little more reliability and power, or a laptop with a little bigger monitor.  Well, it didn't take me long to connect the dots and think "If I buy a more powerful computer, I could game."  My current laptop just can't handle the games I used to play (I chose it intentionally for that reason).   But I liked thinking of that, reminiscing of a few games I left behind, thoughts of booting them back up and diving in again. 

A few things stopped me:
1. I don't have the money to buy a new PC.  There's been this struggle with debt.  I actually think tomorrow I can eliminate it and start building some savings.  But even that needs to be allocated for a better car.
2. I remember SO many times that I tried gaming after a break, and the games didn't fulfill me.  I had to try to get myself back into them, and often, I still couldn't.  Other things that come off as more boring, like reading or hanging out with friends...they do fulfill me, in a way that games don't.  It's not always as obvious or exciting, but I'm much more likely to remember a specific time hanging out with another person than what I did in a video game
3. My job.  I'll admit, I haven't been the most diligent worker.  Even before the pandemic I wasn't, but now working remotely, there's less accountability, and I have a passive boss, so it's very easy to not put in a hard days work.  That being said, I still have my job, and it is my living.  I don't have savings to rely on if I lost it.  And I know deep down that having it creates a structure in my life that I need.  Video games have directly impacted my job performance, often making it from bad to worse.  I tend to binge while playing, which can ruin my sleep schedule, which in turn can cause me to call in to work.  That's a big problem when I don't have much PTO time left.  And even if I do log into work, I have spent time researching games and thinking about them rather than actual work.  So in short, I don't want to open myself up to gaming b/c it puts my job at risk, and I want my job.

Those were the 3 big reasons.  So I was able to abstain the rest of the weekend, not buy a new PC.  I had some thoughts of checking in on Twitch, but #2 applied.  I knew there's nothing there for me to see. 

It was a crappy start to the week.  I missed Monday b/c I didn't feel like logging in.  As mentioned, I have limited PTO left, so I really need to buckle down and show up for the next few months.  My job isn't that hard, but my mind is sometimes resilient to any conflict at all.  I don't feel so great about work lately either.  It's funny, but a few months ago I didn't like it b/c it was too hard, too demanding.  I was volunteering for a different task.  Now I've shifted to a more laid-back project, and I feel like it doesn't have enough structure, that I can basically do nothing for a week and nobody really cares.  I find a way to complain either way.  In this role, it's requiring more self-discipline, and I'm learning that I'm not so good at that.

I do have counseling going, bi-weekly.  It does give me some accountability.  I find that I tend to procrastinate working on things (which would include reading, meditating, making phone calls to support groups) until a few days before our session.  Kind of reminds me of school.  Homework is due next week....I wait until next week to start it. 

That's about all the updates I have for now.  Need to work on filling in more time, especially over the weekends, making some better habits, and connecting with others more regularly.

150 achieved, next goal is 180!

Good job staying strong. I didn't stop getting cravings til about 180 days and then I started getting some around 550 days. They've subsided for a bit until I took a vacation, but I'm still strong.

Be patient. I think you've got the right path. Take a deep breath, change your environment, and keep going when you feel cravings coming.

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  • 1 month later...
On 7/9/2020 at 10:23 PM, BooksandTrees said:

Good job staying strong. I didn't stop getting cravings til about 180 days and then I started getting some around 550 days. They've subsided for a bit until I took a vacation, but I'm still strong.

Be patient. I think you've got the right path. Take a deep breath, change your environment, and keep going when you feel cravings coming.

Thank you, I appreciate the encouragement! It's also good to know that I need to keep my guard up, even if it's been 550 days

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Day 203
Sobriety date: 2/3/20

It's been a while since my last post, but I've been staying clean from gaming.  I'm over the 6 month-mark, over half a year.  Feels awesome.  I'm still amazed that of all the times to do it, it's been during this pandemic, which would have been the perfect excuse/reason to binge on gaming.  It kind of doesn't make sense to me.  But I guess I was just ready to be done with it.  I've had some thoughts here and there.  But then when I think of playing the games I've left again, I can "play the tape forward", as they say, and see myself being discontent.  Same with watching streamers.  Looking back on a weekend where I spent hours watching streamers play games, thinking "What did I do this weekend?" It's a bad feeling. 

Although I've been doing great as far as not gaming, I don't have a whole lot more going than that.  I have ideas of what I want.  Cutting out porn, exercising more, going back to church, getting to some support group meetings, getting into some other hobbies, like fishing, cooking and guitar.  But I haven't executed.  I haven't initiated.  I've been going to counseling, but I honestly think I've been using that as a sort of crutch.  I will think "Well, at least I've been going to counseling", and that's enough to satisfy me from doing more.  I may take a hiatus from it.  I'm not saying counseling is bad or mine hasn't been helpful, but until I take some bigger steps on my own, I don't think it's going to be all that helpful.  I've been in limbo, and our sessions have also been in limbo for the same past weeks.  I may also try a different counselor in the future, see if they can't get me through this hump.

Lately it's been working from home, a lot of disc golf, and watching TV (sometimes news, but mostly sitcoms).  I'm really thankful for my job in all this.  Disc golf has been the most satisfying.  Not surprising b/c it checks so many boxes (it's outdoors, it's social, it's athletic, it's a skill, it's cheap, etc.) It's not a bad life, but I know there's more out there.

Next time hopefully I can update that I've at least been to one of these support groups I keep talking about.

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  • 2 months later...

Day 268
Sobriety Date: 2/3/20

Wow, it's been a long time.  I'm almost at 9 months.  I've maintained my distance from gaming, but it's still been on my mind. 

In the last few months, there hasn't been any major positive changes.  I cut ties with my counselor for reasons mentioned above.  I didn't think it was helping and I was using it as a sort of crutch.  And it was lots of money.  I also got into online poker for about a month.  This was already cause for alarm b/c I have a history with online poker.  I dropped out of my second year of college b/c I won a large tournament and thought I could make a career out of it.  In the end, I lost all that money and more and caused my parents a lot of heartache.  I had some really low times in that year.  The loneliness was at an extreme high.  My sleep schedule was flipped and I would play from around 3 p.m. to 6 a.m.  There's no doubt, it was an addiction.  I ended up moving back home and the support of my family helped me to move on from it and focus on working a part-time job and getting my associate's degree at a smaller community college.  Around that time it also became illegal and the site I played on was no longer available.

But a few months ago, a friend mentioned he had been playing poker online.  I was immediately drawn to it, but was just a little curious.  A few days later I was watching a sitcom and they made a reference to poker.  At that point I browsed online to see what options were out there.  I was starting to get an itch to play a few hands again.  Well, the rest is history.  That same night I had registered an account and deposited 50 bucks, and away I went.  For the next month I proceeded to dump about $1500 into loads of online poker tournaments, playing every day and even during work hours.  I thought I might have changed, that I had matured and could handle it better this time.  At the beginning I made plans to only play once a week, and then that became twice a week, and then that became "I'll just play every day this week and then cut back".  I tried systems to track my profitability.  I tried to learn as much as I could.  At first I thought I was playing too tight, then I thought I was playing too loose.  In the end, none of that really mattered.  The bottom line was I was engaging in unhealthy behavior, and it was obvious poker wasn't for me.

Thankfully, after about a month and playing in about 40 tournaments, rather than try to push the issue, I recognized "defeat".  Online poker wasn't for me.  It's been about a month since I've played. 

I know that has nothing to do with gaming, but I needed to check that in b/c it was a major development, and I need to stay away from poker if I'm going to grow as a person.  There's a lot of similarities to my attachment to poker and gaming.  They both cause lack of sleep, poor work performance (if I show up at all), poor eating and exercise habits, and deep isolation.  But poker might even be more dangerous b/c I can lose some big-time money in a short amount of time.

I also got into a more healthy hobby, baseball.  It started with my cousin calling about his excitement about getting back into baseball cards.  This was a really fun hobby growing up as a kid.  So I looked through my own cards and bought some myself.  I overspent and spent money I didn't have, but fortunately this also seemed to be just a phase, and I haven't bought any more cards in about 3 weeks.  More importantly, I got back into watching the game itself.  I've been watching the postseason and falling back into love with the game.  The World Series ended last night, but I'm looking forward to watching more games and keeping up more next season.  It's not the most active hobby, watching a sport and being a fan, but it beats a lot of other stuff.

As far as gaming goes, I've been feeling the itch quite a bit the last few weeks.  Colder weather, still working from home, not being able to play as much disc golf -- these all add up.  I was thinking about getting a desktop, regardless of if I wanted to game or not, b/c it'd be more powerful and I may find it easier to detach myself from my computer if it wasn't as portable as my laptop.  But getting a desktop would certainly bring another level of temptation to gaming that I don't have right now b/c my laptop simply can't handle the games I used to play.

That's most of what's going on right now.  Still need to break through and work on connecting with others regularly, and I think the best method would be support groups.  I don't have a good reason not to start, but I don't feel the motivation to do it either.  It's been that way for quite some time, and I'm not sure how to change that, or if I really want to..

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  • 2 months later...

I've been putting this off for a while, but I broke my "sobriety" back at the end of October. 
I had made it about 9 months without playing or watching any games.

That was a while ago, so it's hard to remember what exactly triggered me.  I bought a new computer, and that seemed to spur a lot of it.  Previously, I was using a laptop which wasn't capable of handling the games I used to play.  But, after working from home for so long and considering it seems there's no immediate plan for us to go back into the office, I rationalized it was alright for me to get a nice desktop -  something a little faster, more powerful.  So I did.  It's not a "gaming" computer.  It doesn't have a dedicated graphics card.  BUT...it's able to play the games I was hooked on before.

Well, that alone, that action of buying the new computer, seemed to be enough to push me over the edge into gaming again.  There was one game specifically I wanted to get back into.  I felt pulled to this game b/c the last time I played it, although you could argue I beat it, I felt like I could dig a bit deeper into it.  You play on certain seeded maps, and the last time I didn't really fully explore/utilize the whole map. 

I downloaded the game within a few days of receiving the computer.  The first few days of playing the game, it didn't stick.  I just couldn't get into it.  I had mixed feelings about that.  On one hand, it showed that I had built some resilience to gaming and maybe I had matured from being entertained by the things that I used to, and that's a good thing.  But on the other, I felt let down...like I had high expectations that the game would fill a hole in me, and it wasn't.  I persisted though.  And about the 3rd or 4th day, after putting in 20 hours or so, I got hooked.  The game had its teeth in me.  I was captive again.  Off to the races.  Spending 12 to 16 hours a day, obsessing about the game, neglecting everything else.  Junk food, poor sleep, playing during work, calling into work. 

I played that specific game for a few weeks and felt satisfied.  Ironically, I didn't make much more progress than I did the last time I played it.  Selective recall I guess.  I wanted to think that playing the game again would be a more fulfilling experience and I'd go further.  It was a smoother experience, but....it wasn't all that different.  After putting a few weeks into it....I honestly didn't want to play it anymore.  I watched some Youtube videos of gamers after that.  And then got into another game I used to play.   This second game was a little more intense and fast paced.  I struggled with it.  It was harder than i remembered, and I made it even harder on myself by trying to beat it using certain conditions, being a perfectionist.  It took a while, but I ended up feeling pretty confident with it and having enough of that game too.  There was one other game, a third, that I got into.  One that I preferred watching, but I somewhat enjoyed playing on an easier difficulty.  This is the one i played the least.

So it was those 3 games, but also a ton of Twitch.  It was like once I opened myself up to that one game, it created this uncontrollable thirst for more, more, and more gaming.  I would also stay up late watching streamers and watch them during work. 

It's been about 2 and 1/2 months, and that's what I've been doing.  It's basically been an all-out binge.  The winter time, the holidays, the Covid crap....it only encouraged it more.  But I've about had enough, and that's why I'm writing here.  I want to get back on track.  Just get few days behind me with no Twitch or gaming.  I haven't been playing much lately, mostly watching, but the watching is out of control.  I'm basically going to Twitch compulsively.

Going forward, I really think I need to call into some support groups and start going to church again.  I honestly don't see a way around that. 
That's all I've got for now, hopefully I post again soon with some good news..

 

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