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Pelu's logbook: The journey to recovery


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Welcome to my personal thread about my gaming addiction and related thoughts. I joined the forum this morning (Spanish time), and I've been thinking about how would I start writing this journal since then.

First off, I want to say some things about my mental state. I went for some time (1 year and a half, approx.) to a psychologist, who kinda helped me realize gaming was a bad habit and somehow pushed me in the right direction... at first. Even though she made a very good effort, and even "diagnosed" me with this addiction in my lowest point (before it was recognized as such, around December 2015), she couldn't help me when I had a great relapse. I was screened to find depression, which she couldn't find as well, but it is actually there inside. So, summarizing, I had (and still have) depression, and I could quit harmful gaming for like 6 months, but I still feel addicted from time to time (which is why I am here writing this journal).

It has rained a lot since that moment when I found myself in a state where I just couldn't be lower. I've been through high and low, I have relapsed some times, I have quitted some other times, and now I feel like I'm stuck in a loop. Not in a gaming loop like, playing nonstop some times and then stop; but in a loop with my addiction. I want to believe there is a way to overcome it, but in my lowest lows I just can't help myself and I start playing again. It's like I have no other way of facing life and evading myself when I feel anxious than playing a game.

I guess the best way for me to handle my situation right now is to write all my context, which would be long to write and boring to read, so I think I'll maybe write it someday in a spoiler block, just in case someone wants to read it. But for now, I just want to reach out for help with my addiction, because I was so close to end this academic year flawless, but in the end I got caught in a stress spiral and messed everything up, and I can't let that happen again, like it already happened many times before, being the worst the last one (or at least it was the one when I realized the problem was back with me).

I came here because of a friend's advice. I think it's worth to try to write my own journal in which I can see my progress, get feedback and read other experiences of people who are in a similar situation, and maybe help them if it's possible. I'll try to get the habit of writing my journal before going to bed, starting tonight (Spanish time again).

So for now, this should do for the first post in my thread. Feel free to post if you want to, it would actually help me if you give me some feedback, thoughts or whatever. I'll try to help as much as I can too, I can give some advices and share my experience with quitting.

TL;DR: I recently messed everything up after successfully quitting because of a huge relapse due to high stress and anxiety and need some help to recover again. I think some words of courage and the habit of writing my progress would be enough. I am willing to help too, sharing my experience with quitting or whatever you need.

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Welcome to the forum Peluconus. I'm glad you've ended up here with us. :)

Take your time writing that block of context. I feel like it would be good for you to write it into words and maybe reflect over it. Also I would love to read it. I find it exciting to read other peoples stories. Reading other peoples stories makes you realize that you are not alone and that there is a way out. The context makes the understanding that much better. Go for it ;)

I have found a daily journal to be hard to stick with when I write it out on paper. On this forum however, I feel some kind of obligation to myself and others to actually keep it up to date. I think you will have a good experience with it too. 

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Day 1.5

So far I've been doing well. I wanted to write last night, but while I was just having a walk thinking about the things I wrote above, some friends (well, actually they are just some folks that share some things with me and I know them of a few times, not like true friends. I don't even have all of their phone numbers) appeared walking towards me. We talked for like 3 minutes and then I said something like, call me if you're hanging out tonight, and they were even excited to tell me to come with them and grab a beer. That felt very good.

So I spent the night out with friends and had a great time. My cousin suddenly appeared too, and that was a great surprise because he lives in other city. Those friends said they were leaving the bar, and I stayed with my cousin. That was a great choice. We could talk about our lives, his friends came shortly after and I felt more comfortable with them. We left at 4:30 am. I don't drink too much because of my condition (I have diabetes, I'll probably write more about it if I ever write my memories somewhere) so I could get up early enough and seize the day.

I have to say that I have always been a lucky guy. I don't believe in any god or anything similar, but this always happens to me: everytime I do something correct, good things happen around me, and viceversa. So I'll take this stress-relieving night as a starting gift for my journey and I'll give my best effort to achieve my goals.

Now that I think about it, I have to set my goals yet. So let's do it:

• Pass my September tests. This is necessary for me. Not because I can be expelled from university, a person has to fail all the subjects and I have passed 4 (4/10, when it should have been 8/10 if I didn't relapsed), but because if I can show myself I can do it, I will start the next year with better mood and better approach.

• Improve my health condition. Gaming has taken away (almost) all my self-care about my illness (diabetes) and other aspects of my health. I've been running away from visiting my doctors because I knew they would give me bad results, and I was scared of that. I know that if I stop gaming, I'll be more aware of my needs and willing to face bad results, because I know that I've been just covering my eyes from it and now I'll face it and put effort in being healthy (yeah, I have diabetes but I thought that insulin wasn't as necessary as it was to get another achievement in some game... And now I'm paying for it with my health).

Improve my relationships. Anger has never been a problem for me, but I feel a huge urge to leave every situation where the people around me isn't just enough. I can't really explain it, it's like I need something more from people that not everyone can give me. So I've turned into a kinda embittered guy, and I always prejudge everyone and think I will not fit, instead of giving a chance. This urge to leave is fueled by my desire of returning to my comfort zone: my soft chair and my PC. No gaming will mean my comfort zone can expand, and my urge will decrease because I won't play even if I return from where I am, so I can give the people a proper chance.

So those are my goals right now. They are not final: If I find something else I want to improve, I will surely add it to the list, but for now I think those are the most important in my life.

And how will I try to achieve them? Let's try some things:

Stop playing at all. I want to do a detox during all the summer. No gaming, even if my friends try to convince me. I have to put this barrier between gaming and my life if I want to improve. I have to be strong.

Limit my YouTube consumption to 2h a day. This doesn't mean I have to fullfil the time, it means that if I ever find myself having absolutely nothing to do and enter YouTube, I'll set up an alarm to quit it after that time. I need to sleep properly, I need to focus on my studies, so I need to cut some hours from YouTube.

Tell my friends about this. Not all of them will agree with this decision, we all know what that is. But I need the support of my closest friends to achieve this, they can help me release stress, make me think in other things and take me out of my house. They will make a great difference if they choose to support me, at least at the beginning.

I've been reading some guidelines and other journals (not many, but more than one) and I've seen that it is a common practice to write things that I am grateful for. Let's try it as well.

Things that I am grateful for:

1- Last night's gift of seeing my cousin and his friends and hanging out with them.

2- My relationship with my mother hasn't been totally destroyed and she is always willing to improve it (even with her flaws).

3- My health hasn't been totally destroyed neither, so there is space for recovery.

P.D.: This is the first time ever I write a journal. And I'm doing it in a different language. So I know it's not going to be perfect, but it's going to be 100% sincere and mine. As I said yesterday, whatever feedback you migh want to give is highly appreciated. Thank you for reading it, and have a great day.

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2 minutes ago, sskieller said:

Welcome to the forum Peluconus. I'm glad you've ended up here with us. :)

Take your time writing that block of context. I feel like it would be good for you to write it into words and maybe reflect over it. Also I would love to read it. I find it exciting to read other peoples stories. Reading other peoples stories makes you realize that you are not alone and that there is a way out. The context makes the understanding that much better. Go for it ?

I have found a daily journal to be hard to stick with when I write it out on paper. On this forum however, I feel some kind of obligation to myself and others to actually keep it up to date. I think you will have a good experience with it too. 

Thank you! I'm glad to be finally here.

That story block will be written for sure. It's something I've been wanting to do since years ago, and now I have more things to tell, so it is something I just cannot turn away now that I want to get things done. I hope you (or someone) find it interesting! ?

I just posted my first entry and it was really helpful. It made me focus in what I want to do with my life and made me realize of everything that surrounds me, instead of closing myself to it. Let's see how it evolves.

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Day 2

Tonight I was finally able to communicate with a very good friend and exteriorized my gaming addiction in person. It felt very relieving. I told her about everything: how I had a relapse at the end of the academic year and failed the tests, the things that made me stressed and anxious, the way gaming acts towards feeding that stress and anxiety, and how I found myself trapped again and decided to quit gaming again. She was very supportive, just as I thought, and it helped me put some order in my head. She also asked the right questions, said the right sentences and the conversation really made me feel courageous about quitting. I can do this.

In the other hand, I was able to seize the afternoon too, and I made some serious progress in the project I'm working right now for university, which I have to deliver this Tuesday. That felt amazing, cause I've been struggling with it these days.

Things that felt good today:

- I was able to tell one of my best friends about my problem, which was one of the things I wanted to do. Getting things done, one at a time, but done after all!

- I was able to work in my career, which is one of the things I want to improve.

- I made an effort to care about my health and I succeeded.

Things that felt bad today:

- I'm still shy and insecure about writing here. I have relapsed, and I don't know if a word from me may be bad for someone. The last thing I would want is to make someone take a bad decision for a word I said that I shouldn't. I started to write in other threads but deleted everything. Maybe with some more time I'll be able to do it. This made me feel somehow bad.

- Usual little arguments with my mother. They piss me off, and push me in the direction of games, which feels bad. Maybe in some time, if I get better, I can stand a conversation with her. But for now, it is just arguments or minimal casual conversation. Feels bad.

Things that I'm grateful for:

1- Having a great friend to talk about this and get some understanding.

2- Finding this forum so I can dump my mind and put things in perspective.

3- Living in a city with reasonable good weather and beach so I can go out everyday if I want to and even have a bath to clear my mind and release stress.

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Day 3

This morning was hard. I had a serious argument with my mother.

She is that kind of person that wants to take control of everything, because she thinks she can do it better, but not in a bad way, just because she needs to help people around her, and has advices for everyone, even unwanted. This sounds like she is great but the truth is that she is VERY annoying and their advices are useless for me in the 99% of the time and sometimes even harmful. Talking with her is anxious for me, and when she enters this mode of wanting to control everything, I just can't stand her at all.

I want to write more about this because she is one of the main reasons I became an addict. Our relationship hasn't been good almost never. And still I can't really blame her, because even if she has harmed me many times, she just doesn't know how to do it better. She doesn't know I relapsed, but I know that if I tell her, she will loose her mind and make a bad decision for me. I still depend on her money to live in other city and pay the university, I just can't risk my whole life. I'll probably write more about this sometime, but I need to rest today because tomorrow I'll have a hard day too.

So we had an argument because she asked me about my plans for the summer. I said I wanted to pass 2 tests in September and 1 in December (*), but I still have one mark pending. Tomorrow I'll go to a critique for an exam I know I failed, but I'll try my best to pass the subject (**). So that is when everything became ugly.

She started by saying I wasn't doing enough to pass my tests, which is true, but it is indeed because of gaming, and she wanted me to do more in the summer. The thing is, I have already thought about how would I face the summer, and I know my limitations and my capacity. This isn't something I just said like a quick scape, this is how I organized myself after a long time of deliberation and analysing myself and the subjects. And this really pissed me off. She can't just take control of my life like she is playing The Sims.

The other leg of this argument was that she blamed me right in my face for failing the tests in June. That was so much for me. I felt like shit. But my instincts reacted before breaking and I just told her that I didn't deserved that from her, that I was under a lot of stress and that I'm in the way of doing things right. She didn't believe me and started blaming me again. I just left the table. This was in her breakfast rest, so she went back to work and I was left alone in the house.

I couldn't just loose. I had to be stronger than my addiction. I have to be stronger than my mother. So I went to my PC and saw an episode of a series in Netflix. That was enough to calm me down, to make me reflect about my feelings and to make me think about how not to go back to games even in this situation. I know that, in the past, I would have spent the rest of the day playing, maybe skipping the dinner and the classes next day. But not now. I want to change, so I have to put my shit together and go on. So I did. And that, brothers and sisters, that felt awesome. I managed to stay strong in a situation where my body commanded me to play. This is the way. And having it written down will make me stay strong in the future, because I know I will return here and read it.

After that, my mother called me and asked me to forgive her. I did (like I have been doing since my childhood) and we could talk about how to prevent this kind of arguments during my time in her house. It doesn't matter, because we have already talked about this in the past and still nothing has really changed. But at least she is trying, and that gives me hope.

In the afternoon, I went with some friends to the beach. They are the ones that I hang out with usually. We are a group of 5, but one of them didn't say anything about coming and in fact he didn't come. I feel like he is having a bad time with games too, but he doesn't want to change. The others in the group have already told him that he is going to a very deep well, but he never listens to us. I don't want to see him fall, but one can't be saved if she or he doesn't want to. I am concerned about it, and I hope he finds his way before it's too late.

Anyway we had a great time. Finally went to the beach for the first time this year. I told them about my decision of quitting again and they were skeptical, as if I didn't need it. But they were supportive anyway, and respected my decision. One more step made.

Things that felt good today:

- Being strong enough to not relapse even in a typical situation where I would just have done it.

- I was able to tell more of my close friends about my decision, and they supported me.

- I spent the afternoon outside in the beach, sunbathing and swimming. Quite good.

- I ended my project for tomorrow's critique. I hope that's enough for me to pass.

Things that felt bad today:

- The argument with my mother went out of hand.

- I still can't feel good with myself because I failed in the past, and I should be more flexible about it. This will hold me down when trying to know other people, because if I can't stand myself, who will? So this is one thing I have to work on.

- I still eat more than I should. Eating relieves stress for me somehow, and even if I don't do it compulsively and I'm not fat (I've been always thin) I should face my stress instead and fight it somehow else. Eating more than I should (or less) is double harm for me because of my condition. But I feel good about this, and I think I'll be able to eat better if I commit to do it.

Things that I'm grateful for:

- I didn't lost my friends and I know I have someone to call if I'm bored (which is great, because we all know that boredom is a huge enemy in this journey).

- My mother's partner is a piece of cake. He is always willing to help and usually understands me when I fight with my mother, and acts towards reconciliation. Thank you for being around.

- The weather was good today so I could go to the beach and had a great afternoon. Very relaxing and constructive.


(*): I have 3 summons for every year. The year is split in 2 quarters: from September to January/February and from February to May/June. At the end of both, I have a series of tests for the subjects I had in those quarters. The next summon is in September, in which I can go to a test for every subject I didn't pass during the quarters, it doesn't matter which quarter the subject was in. And then I have one more summon in December, like the one in September. This one is special and not so many people go, but it is there and I will use it if I can.

(**): This subject is quite special. The mark we have is the average of the deliveries we made during the year (annual subject) and then we have 2 tests than don't have marks: they can only have "Pass" or "Fail". The deliveries are made in teams (my team was 5 persons including me), and we all obtain the same mark, but the tests are made individually. This tests are not theoretical, they are like an update to one of the deliveries, so we are asked to add more things to a project we made. We had an 8'89 in the first quarter and a 10 in the second. I passed the first test... But the relapse made me throw away all the work I did during the year and failed the second test. So what I did was to make the test at home, and tomorrow I'll try to convince the teacher that I just had a bad day and that I am able to make it right, and see if he can help me pass. Whatever happens tomorrow, I'll come here to write it because it will be important.

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Day 3.5

Quick update: I got up early this morning to go to the critique. My mother's partner took me by car to the city where my University is. All the work I did during this 3 days to finish the test at home have been rewarded: I passed. I can't almost believe it. The teacher was very nice to me. I almost left the class dancing haha. Only 3 days away from gaming have improved my life a lot.

I needed to write this down for my future me. I made a good change in my life and I need to go on to reach the life I want. It feels amazing when things go good and the effort is rewarded.

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Day 4

Today I met the face of boredom. It was a familiar face. I was about to start watching some gameplays on YouTube, but turned my head to my library and found a book I always wanted to read but never did. So I took the chance.

After having the "Pass" in the subject, I decided to have a break today. Still don't know if it was the best idea, because I felt focused and should have invested my time in studying for the September tests. Boredom came to say hello as well. But even if I wanted to do something related to games, I didn't. I remain strong, and that motivates me. The more time I spend without playing, the more motivated I feel to stay away from it. This doesn't mean it's easier, it means that I feel so good doing what I committed to do, that I just don't want to spoil it.

I went with my friends to have dinner. We spent a nice night. The friend I was worried about came today with us. He didn't have the best face, but at least he still leaves the house sometimes. I hope I can bring this matter up the next time I see him, but I couldn't today.

Things that felt good today:

- My effort has been rewarded with a "Pass" and a 10 in a subject I thought I would fail. Quitting from gaming has made this possible, if I didn't decide to quit, I would have failed.

- Had a great time with friends tonight.

- I am progressing in doing my best to stay healthy. Less eating between hours, and focusing on having all my meds every time.

Things that felt bad today:

- I wasn't able to tell my friend I decided to quit, because I know he is in a similar situation and this may cause him to feel bad. Somehow I know he needs to take consciousness about this problem, but he doesn't want to. So it feels bad not being able to help a friend, and it feels bad not being able to be honest with him and get his support.

- Still shy and insecure. Can't stop thinking I'm not going to fit if I try to know more people and that they would turn me down for not being good enough. I definitely have to improve my self esteem.

Things that I'm grateful for:

- Having a flexible and positive teacher. He really was involved in helping me pass the subject.

- Again, my mother's partner is a gift from the skies for me. He loves me a lot and cares about me and that means a lot.

- My family can sustain my expenses so I can go out with my friends if I want to (caring about how much I expend but it's more than enough).

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Day 5

Nothing really important happened today. I decided to have a relax day to "celebrate" yesterday's event. Some Netflix, some reading and some hanging out. No games nor youtube. Tomorrow I will start studying for my September's tests.

Things that felt good today:

- I needed something from a shop, and I actually went to buy it. This is something that wouldn't have happened if I were still playing. I had a tough moment in which I was about to not go out. I feel good because I was able to do what I had to do instead of letting it be.

- I was able to stop myself from eating between hours when I was almost starving. I'm stronger than I thought!

- I'm starting to care more about my health and hygiene, and that shows progress, so it obviously feels good.

Things that felt bad today:

- I think i'm hanging out too much. I'm starting to worry about my money and my drinking habits. I didn't drink too much, but I've been drinking beers for 5 days straight. I should stop and be responsible with my money, and maybe not drink alcohol the next time I go out.

- The friend I'm worried about didn't catch the hint when I said I wanted to quit games. I think he doesn't want to recognize his problems with his habits. If he doesn't want to help himself, no one will be able to do it.

Things that I'm grateful for:

- Local weather is good to go out.

- The shop had the thing I was looking for.

- I have things to do to replace gaming. It's easier if I can fill the time gaming took from me with other things.

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Day 6

Almost a week away since I did my last thing related to gaming. Sometimes it feels like it was today, and sometimes it feels like it was months ago...

I had a peaceful day. Nothing relevant in the morning, nothing relevant in the afternoon. I find it very hard to focus in studying lately. Maybe the more I study, the easier it will be. If this lack of focus continues, I'll have to see a psychologist or something because I can't almost complete 5 minutes straight. Let's see what happens tomorrow.

My mother had an argument with her partner just before dinner. I started to write about my feelings about it while they where arguing. I had to write about it or I would have lost an important piece of information about how I feel about my mother. I came here after I finished polishing that writing. I wrote it in Spanish, so I may translate it for tomorrow and post it here, because I found some valuable concepts that may help me understand why did I become addicted to games. I could even start to write my story soon.

Things that felt good today:

- I helped someone and prevented him to buy an absurdly overpriced device that he didn't need... But he bought a not much cheaper and still overpriced device that he didn't need. I have the feeling that I did the best I could, so it feels good.

- I had the courage to ask forgiveness to someone that I think I hurted in the past when I was an addict. There hasn't been any answers yet (it was via message), but doing it felt very good.

- I discovered some things about my addiction when I started to write that have been wanting to exit my mind for a long time. It was liberating in some way.

Things that felt bad today:

- I can't improve fast enough to feel like I'm making progress. I feel like I'm not doing my best and that harms my self esteem. I feel week and like I'm going to disappoint everyone for not being good enough. This has to change: I have to either be faster or relax my expectations.

- I could not control myself when eating between hours and had a pretty bad stomach ache. Feels bad that I seem to be unable to not eat if I'm bored. Need to work on this.

- My friends were ill and I couldn't go out today. That's nothing I could have avoided, but it sucks anyway.

Things that I'm grateful for:

- My mother's partner.

- Being able to study what I want to.

- Living in the first world.

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Day 7

A whole week sober! ?

I'm having the same routine every day. Getting up early, having breakfast, then going to my PC to study, not being able to focus longer than 5 minutes straight, taking a little break, going back to try and study again, feeling frustrated, making a break again, having lunch, relaxing for some time, having a snack (this is mandatory because of my condition), trying to study again, the same happens, one more break, then going out with friends and writing here once I'm home again.

This routine has a few problems. I need to make an extra effort and study properly, or I'll fail the September's tests. I think tomorrow I'll be able to do it because I won't be alone at home and that will press me. We'll see. The other problem is that every time a take a break, I feel the need to eat. And most times, I do it. Although I don't eat fats, I eat between hours and that's bad. I'm getting used to eat a lot and that needs to stop. And the last one, I'm starting to think that going out is a way to escape from my home. Specifically from my mother.

For the first one, tomorrow I'll try a new way of facing the subject. For the second, I'll take it as if I was detoxing from bad eating habits. And for the third... I will still go out every day I can. My mother is just too much for me. There is nothing I can do to change our relationship. I'll cross out days in the calendar until I can leave again in two more weeks. I can afford to spend this money, and it makes me more good than bad. So I'll keep this in my routine.

Things that felt good today:

- Going out with friends.

- 1 week sober in a row!

- I didn't drink any alcohol today, which feels good because I wanted to stop drinking every time I go out.

Things that felt bad today:

- Not being able to focus.

- Not being able to abandon my bat eating habits.

- I came late home, so I won't sleep much.

Things that I'm grateful for:

- Having friends to go out.

- Having money to go out.

- Deciding to quit gaming.

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Day 8

Finally, I could start studying today. For me, the worst part of studying is the first step, I always feel overwhelmed and the urge to run away and just play games comes to me. I've been dodging thay urge for the last days, but I just replaced gaming for watching series. Now that I have started, I should be able to continue studying. And there is one more good point about studying: I don't feel the need to eat.

Being able to accomplish what I wanted to is a very rewarding feeling.

Things that felt good today:

- Started to study.

- Ate less.

- Went to the beach with friends and out for a beer.

Things that felt bad today:

- My relationship with my mother gives me anxiety and my cravings get more intense when we are close or talking. I guess that I'll have to get away from her if I want to quit games and have a good life. More about her soon.

Things that I'm grateful for:

- I didn't left my career completely, so I can still finish it.

- Every device I have is working fine.

- My friends. They help me stay out of my house and give me other perspectives.

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Day 9.5

Woah, I forgot to write here last night. I was a little bit more drunk than usually.

The same routine. I am in a bit of a hurry so this time I won't follow the scheme. The important things are that I didn't play, no urges, no YouTube (even if I said that no more than 2 hours per day, I feel like that would be cheating on myself every time I consider watching some gameplays, so I don't do it neither), some studying, seen my father and half-brother, my uncle and aunt, had a good family evening and then went out with friends. We decided to drink gin tonics this time instead of beers so that's why I forgot to write. I started to follow Nanatsu no Taizai again. The second season was not released when I watched the first and remembered that now it is. Good anime so far.

If nothing serious happens today, tonight I may start writting something about my past. Why I became addicted and this kind of things.

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Day 10

Standing strong against the urges. I'm noticing some mechanical movements towards the games folder. Luckily I deleted it from my computer when I started the detox. Also when I open Mozilla I just start to type YouTube but before hitting enter I realize and stop. I guess this is just because I'm used to do it for many days. As long as I'm aware, it shouldn't be a problem.

Well, I promised I would write my story if nothing serious happened, so let's do it.



I was born 24 years and some months ago, in a medium-low class family, in the south of Spain. We never had serious financial problems, enough to have a good life. I can't complain about that.

I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was two years old. I just don't know any other way of life that isn't surrounded of syringes and diet food. And I have zero problems with this. Actually, it really helped me, because I would have stopped eating when I was addicted if it wasn't because of the serious problems that that behavior brings for someone with this condition.

But my parents... Oh, my parents. I think they hated each other even before I was born. Having me was just the trigger of a bomb they had been feeding for years. And my condition just made it worse. They would argue for everything, anytime and anywhere. They separated when I was 7. I think they are the perfect example of a couple of baby-boomers that wanted to have a child before it was too late, and thought that a baby would fix a broken marriage. I still don't know if I was even wanted. But well, it doesn't really matter. My parents hate each other, but they love me. It's something, I guess.

Both of them introduced me to videogames at a very young age. They bought some educational games when I was a child, and I would play with both some games. My father was a fan of Tomb Raider and strategy games, and my mother liked to play more arcade games, like Pac-Man or Pinball. I would watch them play or just play with them, and if they weren't there, I would play by myself with the educational games. I remember I already memorized the answers at some points and I knew how to cheat them to get better scores.

When they separated, my life changed a lot. My parents, even if they love me, in those days they were blinded by their hatred. They used me many times to spy on each other, to give messages because they didn't want to speak, and to cause harm. The only one who took damage was me. They are stupidly proud to even care about what the other would say. But I was a child. And I was in the middle of a fight that I didn't even understand.

This is how I lost all my bounds with my parents. They were persons that would just hurt me because they wanted to do something bad to the other. And they were my parents, I loved them. But at some point, I realized it was foolish to catch all the bullets without even complaining. I started to put distance between them and me.

This is where the problem with videogames started. To evade myself from this, I resorted to what I knew it would be effective: gaming. One of my closest friends was also a gamer so we gathered from time to time to play games together, and also talked about games. We were enthusiasts at a young age.

And now that I talk about friends, here comes the second leg of the childhood part.

I have always been a social guy. Making friends has never been a problem for me. Actually, every time I am invited to an event where I don't know anyone, I make new friends. So my time in school was always surrounded by people.

But there were two guys that were special. They had something the others didn't. Maybe someone who just looks at them without putting attention would thought they were the most opposites, but they had something in common, unique in some way. And I wasn't wrong. We were friends for all the school years and some high school years. After that, well, we made our lifes and took separate paths, etc. That will come soon.

The thing is when my friends and my parents (specially my mother) converge. While one of them would get low marks, the other was just a prodigy. He was the best in the class, even the best in the school. The perfect child. My mother couldn't stand this. She needed me to be better than him, just for her pride. She had to brag about her son, and there was other kid that was better than hers. She asked me every time what was his mark and whether mine was better or not. If it wasn't (the typical situation) she said to me that I wasn't a good son, that I had to be the best, that I wasn't doing enough effort, etc. I didn't want to be the best, I just wanted to have a life. This made my relationship with her much worse, and pushed me to play even more, because she made me think I just wasn't enough, so what would be the point in trying if I was destined to fail?

This marked me and pushed me to play since my early years. Games gave me something I couldn't get in my mother. I was congratulated every time I did something good, I had a sense of growth and rewards. It wasn't just a good feeling, it was something I needed as a child. Recognition for my effort. The chance to repeat if something failed. I was risking nothing and getting a lot. They also were a challenge, and I love challenges. And they have collectables, and achievements. So there was always something to do in a game. This was my best time spending activity at that point.

I think that is already enough for today. The next time I don't have anything new to say, I will write the next years and how my relationship with videogames evolved.

I won't write the other usual sections of the journal because there was nothing new today and I'm tired.

EDIT: I replaced the quote tag with the spoiler tag. I used the quote thing because I wrote it from my phone and couldn't find the spoiler tag. It should be easier to avoid the whole block this way and make the navigation more fluent.

Edited by Peluconus
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Day 11

The concentration problem has returned. I was so hyped with the series I was watching that I just let myself go and didn't realized until I finished the season. So I have decided to be careful about this too. I need to set some limits in this matter. Maybe a couple of episodes at a time, or only one, depending on the time I have and the length of the episodes.

I couldn't leave the house today. This is a major disappointment. I have been forcing myself to go out every day at least once and today my plans cancelled, and I felt too lazy to organize something else, so I just stayed home. At least I don't feel like gaming.

This is a thing that has been in my head for a few days. I don't feel like gaming anymore. I mean, I still have the mechanical impulse of clicking the folder where my games were and the impulse of typing YouTube or Twitch and press enter, but... It feels like it is because of the muscular memory that I trained along the years. I've been doing this for a long time, and now it's become an automated movement. But the instant I realize and wake up, I just don't do it, and I feel nothing about it. I remember that the first time I quitted, a few years ago, there was always some kind of voice in my head that said: "Come on, just do it, no one will ever know. And you deserve it. Go on a play a little bit, it's okay". But this time I don't even have to answer nor fight this thoughts: they just leave me in the same second that they cross my mind. It feels weird... Like it's too easy? I don't want to lower my defenses. So I'm a bit confused. But as long as I can stay away from games, it's ok.

The other day with my friends I realized that they are crossing days in the calendar, waiting for me to come back to games once I finish my September tests. I don't know how to feel about that neither. I mean, I don't even know if I'll want to play a videogame again once I finish my 90 days. This is my 11th day away from games and I already don't want to play. It's like I have so much things to do, so many things to see and enjoy from life, that gaming is just a waste of time. Don't get me wrong, I would enjoy a good game too. But I want to truly enjoy it, not playing nonsense for an insane number of hours just to get more achievements. And I don't want to think about what will I do after the detox now, because that will make the process useless. I need to stick to the present and live now, and leave the future to the future me. But this matter is still bugging me...

Since yesterday's writing of my early days with videogames and the causes, I've been looking to the past trying to get to the root of it all. And I kinda realized that there isn't one root. There are a lot of things that, combined, pushed me in the gaming direction. I'll try to sort some of them out in the next travel to my past and we'll see what comes out from it.

This 11 days have been good for me. I think I'm getting my focus skills back little by little, I'm enjoying life more, getting things done, improving my health little by little too, acquiring new good habits... Everything feels like they are going upwards, which gives me strength to keep things this way.

Things that felt good today:

- My new good habits are starting to merge with my routine. This feels good, because I am noticing the improvement.

- I reunited the courage to talk to a new match on Tinder. She is nice but doesn't seem to know/care about too much, at least she is answering. But I don't care, I feel good about talking, not about the talk itself. Let's see what can I learn and take from this.

Things that felt bad today:

- Still struggling with my focus issues. I think it's becoming less problematic lately but it is indeed a problem. Tomorrow I'll be more strict and see what happens.

- Still struggling to eat properly between hours. Eating healthy meals is stupid if I can't stop eating like I'm constantly starving between them. I think I can solve this and the above in a single movement: I'll set a new rule for which I can only eat if I study for a long enough time. If I follow my schedule, I should have time for only one break in the morning, the moment when I can eat. Once it's finished, I won't eat again until launch. Doing this will reward effort and reduce mindless eating.

- I had to help someone today with her computer, but I didn't remember to prepare for it yesterday and I couldn't make it today. We have set another appointment for Friday, and I'm already prepared, so I should be able to make it. I feel very bad for failing her.

Things that I am grateful for:

- This person I was going to help still trusts me.

- I finally have a night for myself and can actually go to bed early.

- The musicians who create the music I hear.

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Day 12

Exactly as I thought, once the series I was watching ended, I had no problems to concentrate and study for some hours. I even started a new one, but I set the rule of watching only 2 episodes at a time, and so far it's working good.

On the other hand, I feel like I'm starving when I press the play button. This is the reason why I eat so much: I have associated that if I'm watching a series, I have to eat. This is a problem because when I want to relax, I want to watch an episode of a series and if I do that, then I have to eat or I won't be relaxed at all. Hmmm. I need to keep the working time tomorrow as I did today or even more, that's my priority. If I can do that, maybe the day after tomorrow I'll try to introduce the habit of not eating when I watch a series.

I also felt like a friend of mine is upset for something I did (or didn't), but he denies me the possibility of talking. I don't know what is this thing about. I hope it's just my imagination.

Things that felt good today:

- I met some friends I haven't seen in a long time.

- I went to a festival (for free!) and had a great time.

- Concentration came back to me.

Things that felt bad today:

- The fact that I can't relax if I don't eat.

- My friend acts weird and I don't know why.

- The usual friends were today a little bit more drunk and we had a rough moment. For a moment, i felt like I don't really belong anywhere... Besides, this friends have started to play Pokemon Go and I refuse to play that game. Even if I were still gaming I wouldn't ever return to that game. I need new friends.

Things that I am grateful for:

- The festival of today

- The fact that today's entrance was free.

- Meeting the friends of the past.

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Day 13.5

I came back to my house very late last night. My friends and I were talking about politics and related things, when I realized, it was 4am. I woke up today at the same time I usually do, but I feel extremely exhausted. Not many hours of sleep plus we were walking for hours in the night plus we went to the beach in the afternoon. I feel like my batteries are empty. Might take a nap later and probably won't go out tonight.

One of my friends and I were talking about going to a gym during the summer. I have never gone to a gym before, but lately I realized that I need to do some exercise. I want to be healthy, and low key I want to look good. So this is a great chance. I hope this won't remain in words only.

I'll be alone in my house for the whole weekend. This means the risk of a relapse might increase. I have to plan my days so I don't find myself doing nothing, because this could be deadly.

My friends are starting to joke about my decision of quitting and all of that, but I understand it, this is how we go. We joke about the others at all times for whatever reason, and now that this has been a thing for some time, it's not dangerous to make fun of it. But I don't know if they are truly joking or if they really want me to fail. These guys are now stuck with their lives for some time now. One of them is struggling with his engineering career and the others finished some years ago but couldn't find a job yet, so they feel like they are wasting their time. So I am a little bit paranoid... What if they want me to fail? Shit, that would be so bad... They are my closest friends... But I can't make any guesses yet. I'll stay alert and see what happens.

Things that felt good today

- I have noticed an improvement in my health.

- I stayed out for most of the day, so I didn't eat much. Luckily that will help me as a first step towards eating better

- My friend told me about going to the gym. This means we could actually go. The first step towards being healthier.

Things that felt bad today:

- My friends seem to be boycotting me. Geez, I don't know how am I going to handle this if it's true.

- Went to bed so late. I should have ended the talk earlier.

Things that I am grateful for:

- I found an old friend at the beach and we could talk a little.

- One of my friends' father gives my friend his car every night that we go out, so we can go wherever we want.

- I will have a weekend alone to think.

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Day 14

Two weeks have past since the day I decided to quit videogames. I could feel the benefits of this decision since day 2 or 3, and I'm still feeling them. Every day that I stay strong against videogames gives me more strenghts to do this. In only two weeks there have been highs and lows of course. I take every chance to learn to understand my emotions and how am I trying to achieve my goals. This habit of writting a journal is the best for this. The way I designed it makes me think about what did I do good so I can keep those things, and what did I do bad or what is different from the life I want to live so I can change it, or at least minimize its damage. And the last section makes me realize the good things that just happen around me, which would go unnoticed if I didn't write it.

Leaving that aside. Today was a normal day. I didn't go out with my friends, I needed to rest. But we talked by telegram, and in that conversation I realized that they are not boycotting me... They expect me to fall. It's not a matter of they feeling bad because I'm making changes. They see me as a "looser", a guy that lacks the motivation to make progress and achieve goals. That's interesting in some way, because I learned something about how the people with whom I spend more time see me, and about their personalities. I already cleaned my friends list once, but it seems like I'm in need of other kind of friends. The thing is, my addiction made all my other friends leave me. So I'm stuck in this point, at least until the new course starts. Even with their flaws, I don't plan to stop hanging out with them. I just have to learn how to handle this situations.

The gym thing seems to be taking shape. We have to go to the gym on Monday and we'll see what happens. It will be good for me to make some exercise.

I want to start a new personal journal in Spanish, probably hand written if I have the time. This whole thing is awesome to get feedback and take ideas from others, but when it comes to express emotions or just rant, it's not that good. I have to use the google translator to be sure that I'm not making mistakes when I write, and that somehow makes this whole process a bit slow and demotivates me. When I finish translating, I forget what I wanted to say next.

Things that felt good today:

- Made some progress studying.

- This day completes the second week without videogames in my life.

- My friend is making progress in taking us both to the gym.

Things that felt bad today:

- It seems like I don't project the image of what I want to become and people don't trust me. I feel a little betrayed tbh.

- My concentration is still really bad.

- I need too much time to heal when something bad happens. I'm used to just let it pass and turn my eyes to videogames, that I don't know how to manage this situations.

Things that I am grateful for:

I don't want to repeat the things I am grateful for, but I don't have new things that I can be grateful for. So from now, if nothing new happens, I'll say:

- Being born in a first world country and in a family with enough resources to survive.

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Day 15

"Hm. This is not working."

That was my first thought when I woke up today. Yeah, I stopped gaming and any related activities, but there is no real progress right now. I'm completely stuck. Even worse: something is going really bad. And I know it because of 3 things:

1. I can't focus on studying/get distracted very easily.

2. I am afraid of difficult commitments/having to do more than usual to get something I want.

3. I am starting to feel addicted to other things to replace gaming.

I had a long time to think about those points today and I got a conclusion: For some reason, I don't want to make changes in my life. Not that I don't want to, but a part of me says "no". And it's not going to stop. This is the thing that I need to change right now in order to become the person I want to be. And I think I found out why this is happening: I don't see myself achieving the goals and reaching the point where I want to be. This change in my mind will make the real impact on my life. But we have a problem here...

I lost all my self-confidence a long time ago.

There was a point in my life where videogames stopped me from growing my skills, more concretely my willpower. After many years, I learned where my limit is. This makes me know if I will be able to accomplish a task before taking it. For me, quitting games was hard, but doable. Regaining self-confidence... It's far from my confort zone. Being able to do this, and also change my mind to see myself doing what I want to...

It just seems impossible... At least right now.

But hey, I quitted games, right? I have been away from it 15 days.

I thought I couldn't stop watching gameplays, but I did it.

I thought I wouldn't pass the subject in the critique, but I worked hard and I did it. 

I thought I couldn't improve my health and, step by step, I'm doing it.

Everything was out of my comfort zone. But I did it. The first step was the most important one, and it was deciding to quit. After that, I realized that I have to work hard to achieve the goals.

It's not enough to quit gaming. I need to believe that I can do what I want to and that I can make my dream life come true to truly be able to do it.

This will be my main focus now.

Things that felt good today:

- I was able to survive by myself for two days now.

- I took the initiative and spoke to a band that is looking for a bassist, and we have set a meeting for next Wednesday

- I realized the things that were holding me back, and I feel like it's a great improvement.

Things that felt bad today:

- Unable to stop eating when relaxing or bored.

- My friends seem to be unable to meet or organize anything if I don't lead them. Or are they meeting without me...?

- I spent the majority of the day watching an anime and couldn't study too much...

Things that I am grateful for:

- The band I contacted was still looking for a bassist. This is a great chance, but I'm scared af. We'll see what happens.

- I have the whole weekend to be calm and take the time to think about my things.

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Day 16

Wasted day. I couldn't write a single sentence. No progress in my studies. I had some time to think about my current situation, but mostly I spent the day watching an anime. At least I didn't play or watched gameplays...

This can't go on. I will go to sleep today knowing that I will be able to study tomorrow and seize the day. Well, not tomorrow, because I have to do something else, and it's important. But the day after tomorrow I'll do it.

So... Nothing happened today. I think I won't be doing those parts like a "rule" anymore. I will write them when I feel like there is something to say. Today was a wasted day, I did nothing, I almost didn't communicate. This makes me feel bad, and it also emptied the day. No more things to say.

Tomorrow I'll probably write more because there is this thing I said before. Time to sleep, learn from my mistakes and regain strength.

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Day 17

Geez this day has been really exhausting. I woke up early, had breakfast and left to my father's house. He had to take a test at the hospital and asked me to go with him. I spent the whole morning on that. It was a routine test, and everything was fine, so nothing to worry.

I had lunch and went to the gym with my friend. The first week is free, so we started today learning how the machines work and all of that stuff. We had a good time. Sport is always good too. I spent the whole afternoon on this.

When we left the gym, I asked my friends to go out, and they replied yes. I spent the whole night (until now 2 a.m.) on this. Now I'm in the bed only thinking about sleeping. If my friend and I are not very tired or hurting, we might go to the gym again tomorrow. 

So I had absolutely no time for anything. This is good, because I was kept away from this bad habits that I was having lately. And it felt so good going to the gym. I hope we can go more times until I leave for the next course.

Tomorrow I will focus on seeing the study from a better perspective, so I can finally make it happen. I am very tired now, so no other sections. We'll see tomorrow.

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Day 18

F*ck my life. Why can't I just focus on studying. At least I went to the gym for the second day and went out with my friends.

I won't surrender. I will set an alarm for tomorrow so I can concentrate. I still have some ideas that might work. 

The time at the gym feels great. I finally have someone that goes with me and we are both very excited. We haven't gone too far yet, but I just want to improve my health, not to become a hyper musculated guy, so I don't feel the need to rush or the need to be instantly good. I just hope that I can keep doing exercise when the new course starts. My health would appreciate it.

Nothing new besides this. I forgot to call the guy of the band that was looking for a new bassist. I can't let the chance escape, so I'll try to reach him tomorrow.

No games or gameplays. This is still going pretty good. I made a commitment that I can still fulfill, and that alone is a great step for me. Definitely it's time to improve and make new commitments.

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Day 20.5

It's been two nights since the last entry. I feel really tired when it's time to write the journal, I just think "well, it doesn't matter, I'll write the entry later" and here we are more than 48h since the last entry. Well, I'll summarize the events the best I can. The most important is that I haven't played or watched gameplays at all.

On day 19 my friend and I were so tired that we didn't go to the gym. It would have been the 3rd day in a row. For people that are not fit at all and that are starting to get the habit of workout, I think three consecutive days are too much, so I didn't feel bad for it. I also got a few hours of study. Not bad!

On day 20 (yesterday) we were almost craving to go to the gym. I think the fact that we are slowly improving and that our bodies feel so good when we finish make us just want to repeat. I have never wanted to do any kind of sport or exercise before. And I know why: I was forced by my parents. They would always try something to get me moving, without asking. Feeling forced by them was what always discouraged me. This time I had the initiative, so I am actually motivated to go and give it all. I had more hours of study too. Slowly improving!

Today I want to talk about my friends, one of them specifically. I think that the strongest bound I had with him was videogames. Now that I commited to stay away from games, our friendship has become weaker. We find ourselves trying to pull up a theme to talk but it seems almost impossible. Of course, there are still some things we can talk about, like politics or technology, but his level of knowledge about technology is far superior than mine, and the politics talk usually dries out quickly after a few times. I think that I should hang out less with them to make our nights more interesting.

One of the other friends doesn't even care about the subjects that my friends talk, and usually we start talking about whatever other thing comes to mind, like shows or movies, books, cats, ... But I think she is just out of place when she is with us. Most of the time she is just reading reddit or scrolling through pages of memes. For some reason, I feel like if I don't play games to talk with my friends, I will end like her. I won't have much more opportunities to hang out with them after september comes, so maybe I'll be able to make more friends after I move. We'll see.

I have a meeting this afternoon with a guy from the band I want to join. I'm freaking scared about what will happen. The guy has been a bit rude to me through text messages, but I think he was just trying to test my willingness to commit with the band. I'll talk about this in my next entry when everything has finished.

Things that felt good these days:

- I improved my concentration skills a bit. Now I can study for an hour or so. This is important because of my september exams.

- The gym is having a good impact on me. My mind is clearer and my body feels better. The fact that I commited to do it and I'm actually doing it feels great too.

- I'm making the bond with this friend much stronger. For some time I thought my friend and I were starting to lose this bond, but now it's becoming tighter.

Things that felt bad these days:

- Since I have almost no time to eat between hours, I'm starving when the time for dinner comes. This makes me order more food and eat it quicker, so I feel really bad for the next few hours. I need to be more aware of this problem and realize that I need to relax when it's time to eat.

- I haven't recovered my self-esteem and anything that suppose taking a risk or anything that depends on me makes me feel anxious. I think that I will recover it with the time. The more I can accomplish, the more confident I will become. Slow but steady, right?

- It's almost august and I haven't make much progress in my study. I'll need to make extra effort to complete the subject, and I'm barely starting to recover the concentration. I don't even know how am I going to make this happen. I just can't fail my tests if I want to end my career next year. Having to take one more year at this point would be devastating.

Things that I am grateful for:

- My gym friend is as excited as me to keep going.

- The gym itself is properly equipped and the instructors are kind and careful.

- My friends haven't turned me out after I quitted games.

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