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I got my first episode of my podcast produced and onto youtube.  This is so special for me.  Over the past week I've worked hours each day just to get this posted and I enjoyed every second of it.  This is the hobby I've been searching for.  I kept searching for that special feeling after completing a project and never felt fulfilled or happy.  Last night after posting my episode I just felt like I was king of the world.  I told all my friends and they all listened.  I can't wait to produce more content.  I keep working on it and just really enjoy it.

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Today was decent. I woke up late again and made breakfast, went for a 2 hour walk, made food, watched TV, had therapy, had my online date, and then sculpted in Blender for about 2 hours. So far t

Today I'm 1 year free from video games. 52 weeks. I'm not stopping here. I'm also 54 weeks free from social media. I'm not stopping here either. I wanted to write and reflect on my brief journey

Today I'm 104 weeks or also 2 years on my journey free from gaming. I can't believe it's been this long. I feel like a different person and don't really have the words to describe how much this means

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This was a great week for me with the success of my podcast, getting back to the gym, going to special yoga classes, getting chores done for myself, and going for walks outdoors. I'm starting to feel less pressure to do well outside of work because I have attainable goals now. The most difficult part of all these steps is just creating a proper structure for myself because i know how much effort it is going to take. 

I've also taken steps to see and make new friends through board games and yoga. Eventually I'll make some through my podcast and going to do more activities, but I'm happy with myself so far. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I did the 90 day detox and found that it's going to take longer to get this done than I thought. I have a podcast now and have been making a big effort to spend time with friends on weekends and slow down during the week. Unfortunately, I've been paying video games 2 or 3 days per week, but if I have other things to do first I do those. They don't really control my life anymore, which is nice. I'm also not binge watching tv anymore and set it up to do 3 shows per week, 1 episode at a time like we used to do years ago before the age of streaming and binge watching. 

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10/28/2018 - Coming to Grips

I have not been fair or honest to myself recently.  I made efforts to find new hobbies in life, but once I felt the success of these hobbies, I quickly felt better and thought it was fine to play video games again.  I started mixing video games and my hobbies together and finally started just playing video games until 4 AM again.  I'm trying hard not to destroy myself for being a failure in this regard.  But I have been playing games back and forth for the past 2 months now and it is just proof that if you start playing just a little bit you can spiral out of control and mess up your routines again.

I made good progress with my podcast, but the issue here is that I edit the podcast for the length of its recording time.  I would play runescape and do an AFK skill while editing my podcast to make the hours go by faster.  This got me back into making incredible exp gains and then just do that entirely.  I think solution to this problem might be to draw a picture for my cartoon I put aside or something else.  I also started playing and watching TV at the same time.  This just fuels my need to play the game passively.  This is bad because it makes me feel like I should be gaming at all times instead of just focusing on my one hobby or task.

I'll keep you guys updated my frequently.  I was a little ashamed of what I've been doing and just avoided the website entirely because I felt bad.

On a side note, does anyone use the discord to talk?

 

Matt

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Do you have a day-job besides all this? 

Trying to moderate almost always leads to a destructive spiral of addiction. Now that you've tried it, you can also feel it ? Keep posting regurarly, it's better than not to, even if you're gaming. When it comes to that though - what are you planning to do? 

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I work as an engineer 40-50 hours per week and my gaming habits never impact my work life.  I just feel like a wonderful person at work who is accomplishing great things, working with my great coworkers, and having the ability to be confident, talkative, happy, and social there.

It's just when I get home I kind of get depressed.  I feel lonely and that any hobby I try is daunting and terrible.  My life isn't terrible anymore, but I just find that I lack that drive to commit to being more social, meeting better friends who love life instead of just play video games and stuff.  I'm impacted by my atmosphere I think.

Edited by Matt S
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It is exactly the same for me, brother. 

The reason why you find other hobbies daunting and terrible is most likely because you're used to the level of gratification spikes that gaming gives you(surprise, surprise!). Cams talks about this all the time, it can easily be considered a withdrawal syndrome. From the cases I've seen, this can go away for some periods of time - such as when you started your podcast, you've been enjoying doing that. But if you are not determined enough to quit gaming(for at least the 90 days, a good start), the vision of the thrill of gaming will come back and will overpower any other activity. These hobbies might be giving you more long-term satisfaction, but in order to match the level of dopamine-fueled escapism that gaming provides, you'd probably have to shoot heroin, to be honest. I'm rambling again, but what I'm trying to say is that this is quite normal and I am convinced you will start enjoying other hobbies more the longer you go game-free.

The same thing applies to social life. I mean, it's not easy to get into if you're not frequently going out etc. It takes some barrier-busting, you need to get out of your comfort zone and get out there with people. For some, it's effortless, but I'm one of those, who have to actually work for it, too! If you keep gaming, you make it so much harder to bust that barrier because you can easily just login into the gaming world and instantly connect with anonymous people doing the same activity as you. There are no repercussions, no trying, no going out of your comfort zone. Within a few clicks, you can connect with somebody. The reason why it's so appealing is that it's so easy. And that is also the reason why we need to cut it out if we want to be more social and build actual relationships. K, enough rambling, hopefully, it makes sense. 

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Lol like many of the other members of this forum, we share the same issues it seems.  I'm glad we are not alone. I have no issues socializing once I'm in the middle of it all and in fact crave that rush of attention from people in the event.  I thrive as the center of attention.  For some reason this doesn't give me the confidence I need to actually continue doing it on another stage or level.  I don't get it.  

I had a weekend 2 weeks ago where I went hiking with friends, went out for food, went to a farmer's market, and then hung out with coworkers for a few hours after.  It was the best day of the year for me.  I really felt alive, wanted, and happy.  It's something that I never feel with gaming.  I just try to remember that time to give me motivation.

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20 hours ago, Matt S said:

once I'm in the middle of it all and in fact crave that rush of attention from people in the event.  I thrive as the center of attention.  For some reason this doesn't give me the confidence I need to actually continue doing it on another stage or level. 

And that's the thing! You love it once you're in it, but in order to get there, you need to put in some effort. It's the good old "the hardest part is starting". My strategy to get better at this is to setup a structure that makes it as easy and automatic as possible, and then push myself really really hard with determination and commitment. There isn't really an easy way around it. If there was, I would have found it by now ?

Edited by JustTom
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Today's been better for me.  I'm starting to heal a bit.  I've noticed and mentioned previously how my mind was craving video games or stimulus during every day situations because I had been playing video games passive aggressively.  I'm starting to naturally tire out around 10 PM now instead of 2 or 4 AM.  This is much better for me obviously.  My thoughts are starting to come back and my fogginess is disappearing. I'm 2 days free of gaming.

For me, the fogginess and anxiety is always the toughest part of being a gamer.  My short term memory is trash and I'm constantly under anxiety.  I'm always worrying about something instead of relaxing and being confident in my abilities.  I feel my natural drive to pursue hobbies slowly returning.  I feel terrible because I started a podcast and I haven't produced one in a couple weeks.  I was so depressed and addicted to games during that stretch that I didn't even want to consider producing content.  I worry that I lost people, but it is ok.  I'm going to come back strong when I am ready.

For now,  I'm really looking forward to doing physical activities.  One of these mornings I'll go to the gym and do my routines.  Ideally, I'd like to wake up at 6 AM and work out for an hour, come home and shower, eat breakfast, work from 8 to 4:30, do yoga til 5:30 or 6, eat dinner, work on a hobby or relax/both, read for 30 mins to an hour and then sleep.

I will work on accomplishing this.  I'd do it cold turkey, but I just wanted to decelerate my sleep schedule instead of rapidly changing it.  I had been going to bed at 2 AM or 5 AM at times over the weekends.  I think it made more sense to shave 1-2 hours off each night.  Last night I fell asleep around 11:30 which is fine.  I really value sleep and think that 8 hours is important.

I've taken steps to spend more time with friends.  I have a group from work who is going to a hockey game with me next week.  I'm looking forward to that so much.  I really love spending time with them and hockey is my favorite thing in the world.  I also arranged a dinner with my friend and his fiance (also my friend before the met), and have yoga scheduled for Wednesday and Friday.  I'll be recording my podcast this Thursday and tomorrow night.  I also am going to try to attend my first meetup group this weekend for a morning hike somewhere.

A funny video I watched today was this YouTube poop of Paula Deen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBBchnDdJYY

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On 10/28/2018 at 2:51 PM, Matt S said:

Lol like many of the other members of this forum, we share the same issues it seems.  I'm glad we are not alone. I have no issues socializing once I'm in the middle of it all and in fact crave that rush of attention from people in the event.  I thrive as the center of attention.  For some reason this doesn't give me the confidence I need to actually continue doing it on another stage or level.  I don't get it.  

I had a weekend 2 weeks ago where I went hiking with friends, went out for food, went to a farmer's market, and then hung out with coworkers for a few hours after.  It was the best day of the year for me.  I really felt alive, wanted, and happy.  It's something that I never feel with gaming.  I just try to remember that time to give me motivation.

Among my game friends there was this saying: "You should go out, spend time with your family, go hiking and shopping, and read, etc. Then you will find out that gaming is much more fun."

It's funny, because it's true! Gaming is fun and exciting. I suppose getting high is also a lot of fun, but I have never done drugs and I will always stay away from drugs. And for the same reason, I will stay away from games.

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It's an interesting quote.  I used to think the same thing, but when I began spending time with people in real life and acting like I did online, but in public, I really thrived.  As you can tell I was not one of the cancerous gamers, but more of a kind leader who worked hard in game.  Now I just do that in real life.

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Today is my 3rd day without gaming.  It was a better day for me mentally.  I'm really getting down on myself about not recording a podcast recently.  I just fell behind and got upset.  I did a full analytics portion on hockey teams who were playing above or below what their standings reflected.  I made predictions of who would move up and down the standings and my predictions all came true, but I didn't publish the episode.

Moving on from this I can't beat myself up.  Whenever I fail at something I just beat myself up and make myself feel terrible, which is what used to lead me to playing video games in my abusive environment previously.  I'm going to take positives from this.  I still have a following on social media and online, my predictions were correct, and I'm still getting asked where my episodes are.  I'm going to come back strong this week and produce something fun for people to see and for me to feel better about.  

Tonight I'm starting my reading again.  I want to read for an hour or so before bed each night.  I also had several more people at working telling me to do stand up comedy.  I'm very close and just want to make plans with people to see a live show soon.  Tonight I have more energy than I've had in a while.  I feel my life coming back to me slowly. I feel like I can grab this energy now and work on my podcast a bit or another hobby.  I'm also getting tired around 9 (right now).  This is good for me.

I also have been watching 1 episode of a show each week.  Sundays I watch Handmaid's tale, Tuesdays I watch The League, Wednesdays I watch This Is Us, and Thursdays I watch South Park.  I am doing this because I remember how excited I'd get after school when I was younger to watch shows.  Binge watching them is like playing video games and makes you get that dopamine rush.  Also, I don't want any TV show recommendations.  I don't really care what you like to watch to be honest and am sorry for sounding rude.  I just get annoyed when I tell people I'm watching a show and they blurt "Oh My GoD hAve Y oU SeEn RiCk AnD mORtY??? WHaT a BoUT gAmE Of ThRoNeS?"  Stop....I don't care...please just let me watch my shows.  

Matt

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On ‎9‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 5:14 AM, Matt S said:

Today was a great day for learning.  I realized that I'm being a little too ambitious with this cartoon I wanted to make.  That takes dozens of people and several months to produce.  Those people went to college full time and got degrees.  I am alone and did none of that.  I can't be that unrealistic.  

It's normal to think a bit too big when you start out. But it's great to have a goal - so you know what you have to learn. Maybe scale it down a little bit. Make a short story comic - or just work on the first chapter. As long as it makes YOU happy. Going to college full time and degrees doesn't say anything about your skills. The only edge it gives is forcing you to work. With a little internet research and practicing on a regular basis you can get INSANELY good at anything. And who knows, maybe after practicing some time you find someone at a similar skill level to collaborate with.

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This is very true.  I think I just see how much effort the end goal is going to take and don't want to do it.  There are times when I come home from work and am just so tired I can't possibly work on something new.  That's why it is so easy to fall into old gaming habits.  I really like that mentality of practice makes perfect, but practice what you preach, and preach love.  I'd like to draw a bit soon.  I really enjoyed my cartoon storyline and wrote almost 10 episodes.  I got really let down by the animation and drawing aspect since i know nothing about it.

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Today is my 4th day without gaming.  I woke up early today and got a great start to my morning.  I also finished a large submittal at work.  This allowed me to move to another project that I was not originally assigned to work on, but it allows me to help my coworkers who need help to reach another deadline next week.  I had more fun with coworkers today and came home feeling accomplished, but tired.

Instead of taking a nap I set in phase another thing I wanted to do, which was practice Yoga for 30 minutes when I get home.  I wanted to do this because my mind needs a break from staring at the computer all day.  I don't want to come home and look directly at a computer again.  I took 2 hours to clean my room, do laundry, and practice to gain peace of mind, exercise, and feel good.

Now I am ready to go out for that dinner and then relax and be ready for tomorrow.  The next thing I'd like to get in action for my daily routines is going to the gym in the mornings, but one thing at a time.  I'm really happy I got my yoga in today and want to continue doing this after work.  I don't really enjoy being online all day.

Matt

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I'm 5 days without gaming right now.  I had another night where I read my book.  I'm currently reading "Going Bovine" by Libba Bray.  The first few pages were terrible, but I actually enjoy the story now.  I'm about 60 pages in and hooked.  I had a great day at work getting a lot done.  I went out for lunch with some great people and then went out for a birthday dinner with other coworkers after.  It was really nice spending time with them and it's just a great community.

Tonight I'm going to relax, read, and go to bed early.  I'd like to go to the gym tomorrow morning.  I didn't do yoga tonight because of the birthday party, but it is ok.  I still stretched a lot today and stood at my standing desk at work to help my posture.  I really enjoy it.

Matt

Edited by Matt S
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Pride

Today was my 6th day without gaming and I decided to push my comfort zone very far.  I went to a night club by myself in a city I never go to.  To say I am proud of myself is such an understatement.  I have wanted to go to a club and dance with people for years.  I dreamed of it.  None of my friends want to go to clubs and I was so afraid to go alone, but I did it.  I found a meetup group and just went.  I was so nervous all last night and today that I had a severe anxiety attack and just started swearing at myself all day and night.  I called my mom and my friends and they told me I had nothing to fear or worry about.  Dancing with people and grabbing a drink isn't hard.  Overcoming an abusive life, neglect, almost failing out of college and turning out to be in the top 5 students of engineering, getting a great job twice by myself, and becoming a leader in everything I do is harder than that.  

Today was a victory for me and I'm beaming from ear to ear.

Thanks to everyone for believing in me and I'm gonna keep going.

Matt

Edited by BooksandTrees
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59 minutes ago, Matt S said:

Thank you!  I was really proud of the whole thing and just felt like I can expand my life a lot more now.  It was a huge moment for me and I'm gonna work to figure out how to improve each time.

"Every great journey begins with a step" I also read your story and I got a vibe that you got quite good organizational skills.

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24 minutes ago, Niko_Buccellati said:

"Every great journey begins with a step" I also read your story and I got a vibe that you got quite good organizational skills.

That's great.  We just gotta keep moving forward and recognize the things we desire most in life.  I just was giving up too easily all the time.  Thanks for reading my story.  I hope it helps you and others move forward with their addiction recovery and achieving their goals.

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