Jump to content

Read: A Guide to Quit Gaming for One Year

Sign in to follow this  
Peluconus

Pelu's logbook: The journey to recovery

Recommended Posts

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.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Notes:

(*): 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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×