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BooksandTrees

Dear Diary...

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I'm holding myself hostage.  I got angry about video games because I'd choose to play games over any other hobby that I was interested in trying.  I even only played the MMORPG or online multiplayer games over single player games.  I didn't play my gameboy or the NES classic or anything.

Now that I've quit video games I haven't done a single new hobby.  It's fucking incredible.  I went rock climbing twice, enjoyed it sort of, but don't want to go alone.  I liked going hiking, but hated going alone.  I liked photography, but I wanted to share my work instead of just taking pictures alone.  I liked Podcasting about hockey, but got stressed by it after a while because the podcasts were too long and I didn't want to do it alone.  I liked yoga and doing fun exercises at the gym, but lost sight of what the purpose of doing them was.  I can't enjoy anything in moderation now and think I'm fucked up.  I really want to relapse and play games right now.  I think I'm just being dumb.  I haven't done anything new or pursued it.  I really miss gaming because I was established in it.

I end up spending hours alone each night now and have been for months.  I did this over the summer and feel a relapse happening soon.  I played for months and just realized I didn't care much about doing other things in life because they didn't interest me. I'd see a movie and then that's it.  I'd go kayaking, or to the forest to walk and take pictures, and that's it.  I'd go to a brewery or a restaurant...and it's over.  Gaming you can just keep playing.  That's what I want and miss.  I miss being able to just keep playing and playing.

But that was making me sick.  I'd keep playing until like 6 AM.  I couldn't stop playing.  Once I gamed again I wouldn't even watch TV or make food.  I just wanted to game.  I don't think I understand the concept of balance, appreciating things, or knowing what happiness is.  I am suffering right now because I'm just putting myself through hell and making myself feel bad.  I watch hockey and that's fine.  I want to podcast once per week about hockey, but get angry and don't do it because it feels like work and effort.  I don't see the point of yoga or the gym anymore.  If I do this, who cares?  I don't know if I care.  All I care about is just getting better at a game.  And when I play that game, I don't care about anything else in life and I stop talking to friends, family.  Then I just get isolated and alone and realize I need to quit.  I get angry at other online gamers.  I don't play single player games.  I just want to be elite at gaming again and nothing else.  And then I realize how useless being amazing at a game is.  

I've talked to a few people recently and I'm just thinking too much.  I'm analyzing too much.  Starting tonight I'm just going to do.  I'm going to work out because I miss being strong.  I like looking and feeling healthy.  It makes my mind feel happier and I love myself more.  I will do yoga or stretch because it helps me meditate and be happier,  I'm going to read at night because I love adventure, I'll watch hockey because I love it, I'll try to schedule time with friends to bowl, play pool, or eat somewhere just to socialize and laugh, and I'll keep learning about stuff.  Gaming is desirable because I can just do.  I am going to take a break from my diary and analyzing myself because I'm driving myself insane not living.  I'm isolating my heart and mind and it's sickening me.

Matt

P.S. I'm changing my username on here.

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I can't sleep tonight. I gotta wake for work soon and I just can't stop thinking about video games. I miss being the best in the world at nhl goalie. I miss playing against and with the best players. I'm just wondering if I played a little if it would help. I just haven't tried hobbies yet so I don't think my life had changed in 10 weeks of me not gaming. I just haven't played or replaced it yet. I'm struggling and craving it badly. Night sweats and everything. 

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This is your brain screaming at change, if you play now you're gonna do another half a year relapse. This is your turning point. Watch a class online and you'll fall asleep probably. Quick reply cause I'm off to do work stuff sorry

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4 hours ago, fawn_xoxo said:

This is your brain screaming at change, if you play now you're gonna do another half a year relapse. This is your turning point. Watch a class online and you'll fall asleep probably. Quick reply cause I'm off to do work stuff sorry

thank you 

Edited by Matt S

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Breathe.

I can't type much because of work. But you are not alone, buddy. Keep it together. I will write you some proper advice in 8h. For now, just try to be calm. Don't be too hard on yourself. Do anything but relapse. It is not worth it. You will set yourself back quite a bit and hurt yourself and none of us want that. Just breathe. 

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We all probably know what you are feeling right now. You want to play so badly and you even push yourself to the moment you will say yes to"hey one game". We all know that from ourselves. In the end we can talk much but its about what you want to do. 

I want you to say clearly "STOP" when ever you think about gaming. It just seems like we cant handle our thoughts, but we can. So just handle them while saying loud "STOP". Stop even think about letting yourself play, because i surely now you just want to allow yourself to play. Maybe just think about the fact also that you will be just one of those gamers again as soon as you relapse. No sense in life, thinking a to be good at a game is important and means something. Well yea, it means you are a no lifer without any purpose in life. You dont want to be one of them!

 

 

With the advice above you will stop the urgent thoughts to play. But you have to something against the disease not the sympthom!

I think your main problem is that you still didnt get used to other hobbys. You tried so much, thats nice, but in the same way, its clear you will not doing all of those frequently on a regular base. Take one or two hobbys you really want to do. By really want to do i dont mean you should compare them to gaming and think whether they are as much fun. I want you think about meaningful things to you. To those things. After you got some of those hobbys: do them frequently! I know its hard to do a podcast, i know its not easy to go yoga everytime or to do sports. Thats the point where you can lose or win. You need NEW habbits, but its hard to establish those at the beginning. But with time it will get easier and it will stop taking you effort to do them! You will enjoy them in the future! Keep that in mind

You write pretty often that you dont want to do things alone. So maybe getting new friends while doing those activities would be good. Have you tried something to get in contact with someone who maybe share the same hobby? I know this is hard but you have to do that. For example I am searching a friend I can go to sports with him. But I dont find anyone. So I will join a sportsclub because there are already people who do the saming thing which I like to do. Its so much easier than asking your people in whatsapp whether they want to join you, because they usually doesnt want to do productive things like sports or maybe they just dont like the things you do.

wish you the best man, keep it up

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I agree with what everyone else has said, and I know it's tough because I am pretty sure we have all been and will continue to be where you are right now. I have been in your position, the old " just one more game" or " I will just have a break and play games over the Xmas period, I deserve it after all" and that craving is huge, in some cases it has felt like it takes over your body it is a tough conflict but you are fighting back and can get through it.

The new hobbies thing is difficult, because hey nothing compares to the feeling of playing games right? Everything feels a little duller in comparison. But outside of a select group of people, being the best in the world at NHL goalie isn't going to push your life forward, you will never know how far your hobbies could take you, who you could meet and what relationships may develop. The future is a blank page in the story of your own RPG, your life.

As for doing stuff alone, is it all that bad? Don't get me wrong, none of us want to be alone, we want that social interaction. But sometimes doing something on your own can be a massive boost both mentally and spiritually.

I don't know the reasons why you don't like doing stuff alone and there are a number of valid reasons, I won't try and second guess but I will share my thoughts.

I have deliberately done things alone to make me more of a complete person, I have seen it as very important to my own development and do not get we wrong here it hasn't been easy.

I have had weird looks at the cinema because I was there on my own. I was absolutely terrified to travel to Dublin on my own. I had to literally take everything one step at a time and I nearly turned back. In my head In was quoting Rogue One " I'll take the next chance, and the next until I win or all the chances are spent". It's cheesy but it got me past the point of no return and onto that airplane, it worked.

But once that boundary of doing things alone was crossed well freedom kind of opened up, a year ago I would never have done a walking my own, I walked 20km on my own about a week ago because I felt like it. Don't get me wrong it still feels weird, but it also feels incredibly free.

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I get it man. I crashed a couple of weeks ago. I had the feeling everything was piling up and I just didn't see the point anymore. Everything felt like a chore. That's when it hit me that I hadn't exercised for a while, I hadn't gone to Krav Maga practice, I hadn't been feeling any progress. I finally just cracked and luckily had my good friend Laura to confide in. After I poured my heart out, I started feeling a bit better. Then I started cleaning up my place a bit and doing groceries. After that I went to practice twice that week. 

What I'm trying to say is, don't try do everything at once. Be kind to yourself and allow your head to wind down from time to time. Take down the mountain pebble by pebble.

Try to get through the day and just focus on recovery for now. Don't overexert yourself with achievements and goals, reset your body. Sleep, eat, some exercise maybe. Look at it as medicine or therapy if you have to. Do a few things that know would make you happy. Go see friends and be social, have drink or go out to eat. See a cool movie you were curious about. 

Then after you've taken a breather, look at what's going on, what you feel and why and try to, by using only babysteps, adapt to something new.

It's understandable to want to go back because you felt like you owned that place. You were good at something. But if you look at it from an outsider's perspective, you were good at sitting down and looking at screen and pressing some buttons at the right time. I get it. I miss some aspects of it all too. But it's dangerous to us. It takes us over and destroys the potential we have in other fields we haven't explored yet. Field that aren't dangerous to us. Don't sacrifice your possible joy and happiness for something that you know will make you dissappointed in yourself at some point. In the beginning you'll feel a rush and then you'll feel numb and then it will wear off and you'll realize what you've done. It's totally not worth it, buddy.

It seems like you might need to take to social media or some kind of club to get your fix. Maybe there's a rock climbing subreddit you could join and meet up with some of those people? Or is there some kind of photography club nearby? Maybe what you need is to meet new people that share your interests?

I'll share one final bit with you that my job coach taught me. When are you really in 'the zone'. When is your body at it's best. When do you get in some sort of flow? For me it's when I'm on stage or when I'm talking to somebody new, or when I'm learning about something cool that interests me or when I'm talking a walk in nature or listening to music. Maybe try to distill something out of when you're in your zone? I figured out that I like writing, handling emotions, self-improvement and communication so I'm going to be starting a blog soon! I'm so excited by that and it takes up a lot of my time so I'll be doing lots of stuff so I won't get idle hands and I'll be doing something that I like and fascinates me. I'm sure there's something in that noggin' of yours that is still undiscovered. All you need to do is bump into it 🙂 Or maybe you already found something and it could be waiting to be taken to the next level.

Take it easy, buddy. There's a whole gang of cheerleaders on here who have your back. You're not alone. We're in this together! Just take a second to catch your breath and start moving sloooooowly forward again.

 

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I had a bit of a meltdown last night.  I got anxious about going back to work.  I keep wanting to make all of this change in my life and although I'm making change, it's not fast enough or fun enough.  I'm having trouble constantly staying on top of myself to plan things out for myself to stay balanced.

I view this as a sign of me overwhelming myself and not meditating.  I don't mean like a yogi or anything, but just taking some time during the day to stretch, relax, close my eyes, slow down, and reflect on my feelings.  I'm antsy and not expressing myself and filled with tons of anxiety and energy.  This is a sign I need to exercise, socialize, and have fun to let off some steam.  Today I got a new gym membership at this gym I've discussed visiting and created my gym routine.  I then organized a trip to go bowling this weekend with friends and grab some beer.

I ordered those 3 books Fawn keeps telling me to read.  I also listened to half of the self esteem one on YouTube today. I enjoyed what he was saying and related to a lot of what he was saying.  I won't comment on that right now because I'm exhausted after only sleeping 2 hours.

Although I didn't relapse with gaming, I did watch porn a few times during my panic attacks.  I'm disappointed.  

I don't take enough action. As I previously noted, I have been trying to take on too many hobbies at once and just not doing any of them and holding myself hostage.  I'm taking a new approach.  I'm going to start getting in tune with my feelings and see what I need to have in my life.  I want to read myself and figure out whether I want to draw, write, learn, watch tv, exercise, etc.  

I would like to thank all of the people who posted today and gave the kind words.  I did not relapse and managed to sleep.  I was watching old YouTube videos of me in the world championships and against top players around the world and got sad.  I missed it badly.  But that's in my past now and it made me depressed watching it.

I'm going to relax and sleep early tonight.  I am tired.

Matt

P.S. My name is different on here now as well as Discord.

 

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Sometimes things come into your life when you need them most.  This movie called 'Manic' has always been the most powerful movie I've ever watched.  It's about a boy with anger problems who tries to mask his emotions with anger and fight his way out, running away from who he truly is, and fighting it along the way.  There are other dynamic characters in there, but it's a powerful and relatable movie.  It's free on YouTube: 

 

Edited by BooksandTrees
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That's good to know!

I have realized that many of us have gained the same ability since we quit gaming -- we still face all kinds of problems and we get depressed from time to time, but we all have learnt to be resilient by analyzing ourselves, meditating, asking for help and helping each other. I'm so proud of you guys 😄

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Don't be disappointed, be a student; learn from your mistakes, and you'll get better by implementing the lessons learned through them. 

Kudos on the gym membership, that's a step in the right direction for sure. You do need to take action, because by sitting still after you're done with work, a work that doesn't fulfill you for the most part, what you do to yourself is forcing him to suffer in restlessness and boredom. It's a remnant from sitting still because of gaming, I get it, absolutely, but nothing changes if you change nothing, yeah? 

Stop procrastinating, embrace the hardship of change and then the change will reward you with feelings of accomplishment and self affirmation.

Force yourself to a sleep routine, it isn't fun, but fun shouldn't be our guide tbh. What will future me thank present me for? That's what we should be guided by, that's how I find deeper satisfaction with myself personally. Cause in 8 or 16 hours that future me will have become present me, so it's literally treating myself with good choices. 

Hoping you had a good rest! And remember, any activity that doesn't destroy your self image is better than boredom, or the bad habits that used to occupy that time slot after work. Pick one, act on it. 

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16 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

I'm emotionally drained after a long few weeks and just don't feel like writing.  My sleep is improving and I'm just tired of not taking action in life.  That's over now.

It's cool man. Nobody expects you to write a small novel. Just focus on recovery 🙂

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This weekend I set out to get a lot accomplished around my home, see friends, and live a bit.  I did all of this.  I went bowling and to the arcade and out for beers with 4 friends.  I then watched my hockey team win.  I had fun.  I then bought my mom her Christmas gifts finally because we didn't have a chance to shop for each other with me moving home, etc.  We also cleaned a ton of the house and it looks great.  I'm now 11 weeks free of video games.  I also did yoga, worked out, and ate food and cooked new foods.

You know what stinks?  I got mad at myself after all of this.  What the fuck?  I got mad because I wasn't creating something.  I'm starting to think I don't really want to create something.  I get angry at the word PODCAST because I haven't worked on my podcast in 3 months.  I view creating content and learning as work.  I don't want to work more than I have to.  I hate working.  My work ethic is good when it's on the line, but other than that I don't want to work and I just want to do nothing.  I don't really like to do anything that requires work at all in fact.

The issue is that I get extreme compliments for my work.  I work well.  I get told by professional cartoonists to pursue my cartoon because it would be successful.  I'm not doing it.  I got told my local hockey fans to keep podcasting and improve.  I'm not doing it.  I get told by all of my friends, therapists, doctors, family, and random people to do stand up comedy.  I'm not doing it.  I don't want to do anything and it bothers me.  I don't get what the fucking deal is?  I don't want to learn anything new.  I'm just tired all of the time.  I know I'm depressed.

I've quit gaming for 11 weeks and porn for 1 week and cut down on porn from 3-5 times per day to 0-3 times per week.  I'm making improvements.  I'm just confused because I had a great weekend, did everything I set out to do, and then got mad at myself.  I still found ways to get mad at myself.  I'm not appreciating and being grateful for the steps I'm making.  I did a lot of great things and I'm just mad because I still don't have a girlfriend, didn't work on any new hobbies, didn't read, and didn't go to the gym (but I still worked out for an hour with free weights at home).  I'm hoping that these books I got and my continued therapy and mindset will improve and keep me focused on gradual happiness improvement and caring more about myself.

I don't want to do these hobbies because I am going into them with the expectation that I'll need to be perfect and come up with a marketing system, etc, to one day sell this as a full time thing and make lots of money off of it and be happy.  That pressure is what's preventing me from doing it.  I can't just do it for fun because in the back of my mind it's what I really want to do for a living one day.  College was so hard and I never want to repeat that again.  

 

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The problem is you're doing a job you hate and that's poisoning you day after day like an abusing partner, it holds you back. When you have free time you try to find ways to cope with that, so you don't do anything creative, just killing time.

There's not much to tell you we haven't discussed before. Good luck coping, or good luck finding another job. I don't see any other alternative given your personality and situation. 

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Remember that time you told me that I was being way too hard on myself, and way too demanding? When you showed me that I should appreciate progress and mentally give myself a pat on the back when I take even a babystep forwards? Yeah. Let that one marinate 😉 

Take a second to catch your breath and try to realize you're not only being very ambitious in something that's rather hard to accomplish, you're also still struggling with a lot of things that require lots of attention and recovery time. It's like trying to run a race with a broken leg and getting angry at your own body for not being fast enough to get to the level you're wanting to be at. 

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I hear you. It is very hard to practice self care and I think it's only administered through reminders and outer perspective. When we struggle with things in life we go into survival mode of fight or flight. That's why it's so much easier to tell someone to calm down, like I've done with you, than heed my advice myself. 

It's getting better. I agree with stuff said and can't explicitly post on here how unhappy I am with something, but that unhappiness does impact my life. I do think it's wise to be patient and heal a bit. I'm happy I'm making progress and doing a little better.  Just get unenthused about the daily motions. 

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I'm 12 weeks without gaming.  I think I've found a strategy to help be easier on myself.  If you've ever worked out in a gym you know it's not good for muscle development to over train a muscle.  It's not great to do biceps 2 hours a day, 7 days a week.  They'll never grow, they'll never repair, and you're going to keep harming them until you get seriously injured.

Why do the same thing to our brains, hearts, and emotions?  I've decided to just focus on certain goals, brief details about things that bother me, and also treat things in life as "I want to do this" instead of "I need or should do this".  If I start treating hobbies as "I should do this" then it's gonna be like work.  I also have this thing where I want to do something fun, and then think about how stressful it will be to get there and talk myself out of it and just stay home doing nothing.  I am practicing saying "I want to go make this recipe" for example and then just go to the store.  I used to just say "I want to make this recipe" and then stress out about going to the store, how many people would be there, how much of my day I'd be wasting, and how frustrating the whole experience would be.

These are small thoughts of mine that have helped and allowed me to focus on other aspects of my life.  I think I'm over gaming.  I might go back one day if I find enough stuff to enjoy.  The real battle I'm experiencing in life is wanting to do things.  I honestly wake up on the weekends not wanting to do anything at all.  It is sad.  Nothing excites me enough to wake up in the mornings.  I still haven't found things I'm passionate about, but at least now I'm beginning to try.  I'm now just allowing myself to try things instead of talking myself out of them.  I had some great progress last weekend and hopefully I can continue.

It's allowing yourself to enjoy free time and life without addictive and compulsive behaviors.  If I start to enjoy going to the gym and working out as well as yoga sometimes after work, then that's another 1 hour each day that I've enjoyed. I bolded that because I was trying to fill up hours in my day to make the day pass by and not play games.  This was leading to unenjoyment.  I simply wasn't enjoying my time.  I'm still not enjoying my time.  But if I get these thoughts in my head for wanting to do something, I just want to do it and I will try to apply that.  If I don't, I'll keep watching porn in my spare time and eventually relapse with gaming.  

Matt

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I also wanted to post this video to get people interested in winter activities.  I think most of us remember winter and winter vacations from childhood as "NO HOMEWORK LET'S WATCH MOVIES, PLAY VIDEO GAMES, AND BUILD BLANKET FORTS BITCHES!!!"

This is in Columbus, but there's probably shit like this everywhere: 

 

 

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I started writing my cartoon again.  I'm very happy about this.  I'm also starting to get really detached from my career because I slightly want to get famous and entertain people.  I might end up never going back to my hockey podcast but maybe something related to comedy.  Who knows.  I'm just going to focus on whatever my heart desires at the moment so I can start having fun with these hobbies.

I'm also starting my second online class for fun.

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I'm struggling today with wanting to play games. I got depressed with work today and just been miserable. 

It's strange because last night I went to the gym and started my workouts and enjoyed it. I'm glad to be back at the gym. I'm eating healthy, I'm making plans to see friends on weekends or during the week, I'm working on my hobbies again and trying to get my life more well rounded. I've been easier on myself and done really well with my anger management. 

It's just the lingering thoughts about gaming and stuff. I miss gaming, anime, etc. I want to find a girlfriend, but I'm working on it. I'm honestly just working on everything and having my time well. I'm scheduling things, getting a routine sleep schedule to the point where I'm waking up at 615 without an alarm for 2 weeks straight. I have vacation booked and looking forward to it. 

I still want to play. 

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59 minutes ago, BooksandTrees said:

I'm struggling today with wanting to play games. I got depressed with work today and just been miserable. 

It's strange because last night I went to the gym and started my workouts and enjoyed it. I'm glad to be back at the gym. I'm eating healthy, I'm making plans to see friends on weekends or during the week, I'm working on my hobbies again and trying to get my life more well rounded. I've been easier on myself and done really well with my anger management. 

It's just the lingering thoughts about gaming and stuff. I miss gaming, anime, etc. I want to find a girlfriend, but I'm working on it. I'm honestly just working on everything and having my time well. I'm scheduling things, getting a routine sleep schedule to the point where I'm waking up at 615 without an alarm for 2 weeks straight. I have vacation booked and looking forward to it. 

I still want to play. 

That's OK.

I'm gonna say subjectively that you don't really want to play games. You want to have fun by challenging yourself, or to relax. 

Sometimes when I have been working hard and living a healthy life, I get this feeling that I "deserve" to waste something 😃 So I would "waste" some time watching TV shows (in small amounts). Or I would "waste" some money to buy unnecessary things (also in small amounts). Then I would feel a little bit guilty, which is enough to motivate myself to continue studying or working, and yet not too much so that I would feel depressed. 

I'm not saying that you should follow my example. Just that there are plenty of challenging or relaxing activities which are not disastrous to your life. We chose to quit gaming for a reason. Keep that reason in mind.

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