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Dear Diary...


BooksandTrees
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Someone said that the coronavirus is the most "loneliest of diseases" and honestly that person was right. These days, it really does feel like we're being crushed underneath the weight of being stuck at home and no way to release that energy, other than the easy way out.

Before the pandemic, I relapsed a bit but still managed to game in moderation with mobile games because I had other activities that I found were pleasant during the detox attempt - going to hangouts with my uni clubs, jogging, attending extracurricular seminars - just being outside in general really helped move my mind away from video games and towards other things like studying. But now? I've been stuck at home for the good part of 4 months now, back at a country where I can't really do any of those things. So I relapsed.

It felt minor at first - going through my Steam Library and seeing a game that I haven't played but recently it has spiralled out into 6+ hours of the same few PC games that honestly I don't even have fun playing but I still did because it became a habit again. My marks suffered again because why would I study when I could just waste time in-front of a screen? And now, with the possibility that my family is going to pull me out of university and do... something, my crows are coming home to roost. 

I've decided to detox again, and reading your journals has been a way to keep me motivated and going when I could easily slip back into picking up the PC and mouse again. Hearing that other people could endure this when it is so easy to give in and play games again is helping me drive my own detox. 

 Keep on writing my good man, people might not reply but it's always a joy to read your thoughts.

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@BooksandTrees This website is about individuals trying to get out of a rut, sometimes supporting each other. I get the vibe you are empathetic than most, but sometimes the best way to help others is to help yourself.

There is a bunch of guys with +100 days posting regularly, if you want some longer-term cooperation. But most people come on here, make an entry or two, post in another topic or two and then leave forever. I just went through my first 10 pages of my diary and out of all the people that made a post in it only you and @Icandothis are still active on the forum (were here the last month). Most people relapse or find out journaling doesn't cut it for them and find a better solution or finish the detox and stop posting after etc. And that's all actually fine, because they all have their reasons and they act upon them.

Myself, I am finding what I want from this forum, so I am here even after 500 days. I hope you find what works for you here on the forum as well.

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@BooksandTrees You helped me a lot. I’m reading your journal every day. I know that community is not very active here and if you’re seeking feedback then this might not be the best place. I don’t know either why am I writing here, just to keep track of my progress or to share my experience with someone. I don’t fucking know. But journaling helps me a lot in many ways and I don’t want to give up.

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@BooksandTrees

Don't let the staleness get you down. We are all in a time where it would be too easy to get discouraged and let the lack of activity from others get you down. Plus, it's too easy for video game addicts to get re addicted during this time as a lot of them are stuck at home due to not being able to return to school in person, have recently lost their job due to the pandemic, or other negative circumstances that we don't know about. Don't feel like you are responsible for those who leave or relapse. You are not responsible for them. Their decisions are their own. Appreciate the ones who stay and talk and remain strong, and let go of the ones who ultimately leave. 

I would like to encourage you. Your story has been an encouragement to me and countless others even if there are no words written to express that. Appreciate the times when others on this forum express their appreciation and let you know what your story has done for them. If you want to actively help and get real time feedback from others, maybe see if you can start a Game Quitters Outreach either through an online support group centered around people in your area or you can start an in person one once this craziness comes to an end. 

I'm still pretty active on here and I still intend to be for a long time until such time where a lot of my personal commitments start to take up a lot of time. In the end, I am not in this for others but ultimately for helping myself stay on the straight and narrow and remain conscious rather than being on autopilot and running on my subconscious. 

Cheer up! There are still those of us here who love and appreciate you. 😄

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Thanks for the responses. I can't reply individually to all at the moment.

I think I post on here because it's nice to channel my thoughts into something that's organized and allows me to gain a new perspective. The issue I have is I get lonely and these times are much lonelier than times in our past. So sometimes I just crave attention and socialization. I get disappointed not seeing or talking to some people I've talked to in the past, but I understand relapses happen etc. Other people just move on or just write less. I also stopped writing as much but I just haven't been motivated to do it for a plethora of reasons.

I am happy that I made a difference in your lives and quitting experiences. I enjoy feeling useful and it feels good to have helped someone.

I will continue to write. I think it's a good activity for me and has become a good habit. Right now I'm focusing on creating a pool of exercises to do after work. I'm comparing it to buying a variety snack pack of chips. Some days you might want Doritos and some days you might want Lays. I think there are some days I have more stress and want to do some angry body exercises with heavy music. There are other days where I'm lonely and could want to walk with someone or try and play tennis or something. I  could also feel congested and tight and want to stretch and do yoga.

I get caught in the process of doing the same thing every day and I'm afraid of mixing it up, but I end up unhappy with the same thing every day. If I just put in that little effort to modify then i could benefit I think.

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@BooksandTrees

No worries. I often feel the same way as you at times (like I was last week). 

I often loathe doing the same thing every day and not being able to go to the office actually feels like a drag, but I always look forward to the day after and take things one day at a time like I did when I first quit for real. 

I also understand the need for.... I wouldn't say attention. We all need interactions with people especially in this time where we are all not able to do that with all the restrictions in place. I have often felt like that too where I feel lonely. However, I always have conversations with my parents (whom I am very close to) and I feel better after we make time to encourage each other.

As I am sure you have seen too, I also don't write on my journal every day either as there isn't always something to check in about. However, I still make it a must for myself to write every other day and not miss journaling for too many days as it's equivalent to not checking in for days. 

I'll still be on here like I said before and we can still message if you need someone to talk to. :D 

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16 minutes ago, amchow said:

@BooksandTrees

No worries. I often feel the same way as you at times (like I was last week). 

I often loathe doing the same thing every day and not being able to go to the office actually feels like a drag, but I always look forward to the day after and take things one day at a time like I did when I first quit for real. 

I also understand the need for.... I wouldn't say attention. We all need interactions with people especially in this time where we are all not able to do that with all the restrictions in place. I have often felt like that too where I feel lonely. However, I always have conversations with my parents (whom I am very close to) and I feel better after we make time to encourage each other.

As I am sure you have seen too, I also don't write on my journal every day either as there isn't always something to check in about. However, I still make it a must for myself to write every other day and not miss journaling for too many days as it's equivalent to not checking in for days. 

I'll still be on here like I said before and we can still message if you need someone to talk to. 😄

Thanks! I appreciate it. I keep a good log of conversations with friends during the week but I feel they're pretty stagnant sometimes so I enjoy talking here other times. 

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I'm having trouble falling asleep tonight because I've been thinking of women I could have dated but didn't. I don't know what started this. I was watching outlaw star before bed and a woman dies who the protagonist is attracted to and it made me think of women I was attracted to but never was able to date them either through timing or my own mental issues at the time. 

Porn won't help me forget these things. I won't watch more of it. I'm just tired. I've improved a lot and can date now. I want to pass the test first. 

I cut communication with the woman I was flirting with. I didn't feel comfortable. I want a woman to be interested in me only. I'm special and deserve it. 

I also masturbated too much today. I was tired and stressed out and needed relief. Not good. I have been trying to sleep for 2 hours now and just keep thinking. I need a better routine for bed. 

Edited by BooksandTrees
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I'm going to be doing sort of a media detox this week aside from my journals etc. I want to clear my mind. Although I'm not gaming or anything, I find that I'm staying up late watching YouTube or something and it's exhausting me. I have almost the same brain fog I felt from gaming.

I plan to detox for the week and then begin studying again for 2 months straight. I want to give this exam my full effort. If I pass I am able to have a limitless career in engineering and become a true project manager, which has been a goal of mine for almost a decade now. It would give me financial security and a life full of opportunity that I promised I'd give myself as a kid growing up in a poor family.

My life has opportunity and happiness in it now so I am not in a bad position. I'm actually in a good position. I just want to keep achieving my goals because this is one of the last major goals I have as a professional outside of accomplishments related to work. 

After these 2 months, if I pass the exam, I'll be able to relax a little more outside of work for sure. No more studying, no more stressing about the test, etc. I will focus more on hobbies again. I've been hesitant to start hobbies because I knew I'd have to pause for 2 months to study. I also used it as an excuse to avoid dating because I didn't want a relationship interfering with study time. I'm very invested in sexual behavior for stress relief so I think dating would be a distraction given how sexually active new couples are for the first few months of a relationship. Having not dated for 10 years I would have those feelings of desire amplified. And with my recent porn addiction I feel that I'd just want to have sex daily as much as possible. That would completely interfere with my studying.

Maybe I wouldn't act like that, but I think I would. I'm hoping I develop my exercise ideas into something more stress relieving than my porn addiction currently is. Getting the exam finished will be a big proponent of that.

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I think it's interesting to note that after just 4 days on detox I have no brain fog. Sometimes no brain fog introduces so much clarity that it makes me anxious. I'm trying to resist the urge to do things that are stimulating. This energy is what I want though. Eventually I'll have the energy to study more after work so I'm getting there. 

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I feel dumb because I ate a bunch of chocolate chip cookies I made and now I feel sick. I usually eat very healthy so my digestive system is just yelling at me like I'm a moron. So frustrating lol.

I'm happy I've become a better eater though. I just feel bad that I caused myself to feel sick. 

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I had a good day at work, talked to friends on the phone for an hour, talked to my neighbor, made pulled chicken, then just relaxed the rest of the night. 

I'm pretty bored to be honest. I tried watching porn and got bored so I stopped. I also read that a lot of websites are being threatened to be shut down due to a plethora of reasons that I won't talk about on here because it's not my goal. I felt bad for the victims and it made me avoid watching 2 websites and by the time I went to a 3rd I lost interest. 

I think it just sucks being bored. I don't really want to start anything new at the moment or put effort into anything. My mind is coming back strong and I know I'll be ready to study soon. 

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13 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

I think it just sucks being bored. I don't really want to start anything new at the moment or put effort into anything. My mind is coming back strong and I know I'll be ready to study soon. 

I agree with you, being bored is awful sometimes, but I also think it has its benefits. Whenever I don't know what to do or don't wanna do anything, I do nothing, I just lay on my bed or couch and think, think about how my life has been, how I've done in terms of progress etc., then when I am done I write it down so I don't forget it. I think boredom can be a really useful time for just checking in with yourself, see where you stand. 

Good to hear you're staying strong though

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9 hours ago, royal panda said:

I agree with you, being bored is awful sometimes, but I also think it has its benefits. Whenever I don't know what to do or don't wanna do anything, I do nothing, I just lay on my bed or couch and think, think about how my life has been, how I've done in terms of progress etc., then when I am done I write it down so I don't forget it. I think boredom can be a really useful time for just checking in with yourself, see where you stand. 

Good to hear you're staying strong though

I think boredom presents people a lot of anxiety due to lack of being preoccupied. I had a good system in place before the quarantine so it's been a challenge to avoid porn and YouTube e.t.c. thanks though. Staying strong for sure. 

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Today im 97 weeks free from gaming. I woke up with anxiety after a poor sleep. I watched porn unfortunately but made good breakfast and am watching one of my favorite movies after. I'm going on a  walk with my friend today too. I'm excited. 

For some reason I'm really yearning for a relationship today. I'm not sure what it is. I just want some affection and romance. It's so strange how nothing has caused this. I'll take it as a natural craving and move on. I vowed to wait until my exam ended and I will. 

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Today was ok. I woke up late and just didn't want to do anything. Not out of depression, though. I was just tired. I wanted to go back to bed but couldn't. I watched porn, then TV, then ate, then walked with my friend for 3 hours and was exhausted. I'm getting very tired of the porn. It's not helping me at all. It's becoming aggravating how I can be almost 2 years clean of video games, 8 months alcohol free, 2 years social media free, and I can barely get through a week before going back to porn. I've tried all the same tactics I did with gaming and it just doesn't work. 

I have to be so much more vigilant. If I don't get out of bed right away I'll relapse. If I do nothing all day and get bored I'll relapse. If I am lonely I'll relapse, if I stay up too late I'll relapse, if I'm mindlessly relaxing I'll instantly search for stuff out of habit and eventually relapse, and if I relapse I relapse more.

It's tough to be so vigilant all of the time. With video games I'll get the odd craving or something, but porn it's just like a roommate or something you can't escape from. Something you need. Idk. Some weeks are better than others.

The other thing that's bothering me is even after a week long detox I still don't want to put any effort into studying for this exam. I haven't studied all weekend. I don't want to study for it. It's such a ridiculous requirement to study for 2 months for an 8 hour test. That's such a long time. It's frustrating to me. But oh well.

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I think I'm gonna start waking up with more intention for my day. I wanted to add that to my post today. I'm waking up in such a lethargic and negative mood and it doesn't matter how much sleep I get. I just want to take note of my day, plan things out, and just appreciate things and build some anticipation and excitement for the day. I keep having these slow starts and don't want to leave my bed. I'm not depressed. I just feel there's nothing imperative to get me going in the morning. So even without my distractions I'm still finding other things to do than study. I'm just being irresponsible and lackluster. 

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Masturbation is only a problem for me when I am around my bed and when I stop and think "what the hell" for a minute or two, there's a good chance I do something more productive than masturbating. I don't think this will ever be successfully "solved", though I think things would be somewhat better if I had a functioning relationship and sex 1-2x a week within it.

Getting up is hard, sometimes it's useful to feel hungry or thirsty or wanting to pee, but it's hard to plan those! Setting up some obligations with others might be useful (usually work), but even if it's purely purpose-built, such as a Skype call with a friend for 5 minutes every day at 0600 or whenever you set it up.

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59 minutes ago, Ikar said:

Masturbation is only a problem for me when I am around my bed and when I stop and think "what the hell" for a minute or two, there's a good chance I do something more productive than masturbating. I don't think this will ever be successfully "solved", though I think things would be somewhat better if I had a functioning relationship and sex 1-2x a week within it.

Getting up is hard, sometimes it's useful to feel hungry or thirsty or wanting to pee, but it's hard to plan those! Setting up some obligations with others might be useful (usually work), but even if it's purely purpose-built, such as a Skype call with a friend for 5 minutes every day at 0600 or whenever you set it up.

Thanks. I think it just has to do with the fact that I mentioned last week about it being similar to food and water since it's a human need as opposed to gaming where that's just artificial. 

My system can hopefully remove stone triggers and I like your idea.

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I'm annoyed because I went to bed at a good time and woke up because I had a dream where I got something gross in my mouth and spit. But for some reason I woke up because I had a feeling I spit in real life and I did lol. 

It's kind of funny to think about but now I'm awake. It makes me wonder if I ever talk in my sleep or move along with my dreams. 

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Today was pretty much a waste. I had my 3 meals instead of 2, felt more energized, sat outside, listened to music, talked to 3 family members, watched hockey, meal prepped, did laundry, took out trash, paid bills, talked to a friend, didn't study, idk. 

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I also didn't watch porn today. I wanted to, but I felt it doesn't help me and I am tired of fantasizing over people I'll never meet. It's pathetic and I'm tired. I also want to heal myself physically from the damage I've caused myself. I think if I can at least make 1 month clean I'll heal a lot. 

Edited by BooksandTrees
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I keep sleeping like shit and it's pissing me off. I'm eating 3 meals, I'm exercising, I'm drinking water, I've avoided porn, I'm eating healthy, I'm not playing games, I'm not reading any news articles to give me anxiety, I'm not drinking alcohol etc.

I might just be stressed about this exam. Work isn't giving me stress. They've been great about work life balance and treating me well as usual. Working has been the best part of my quarantine to be honest. 

I'm starting to think my bed is not comfortable or something. It's almost 8 years old and has those body impressions from me sleeping in the same spots. I rotate the mattress, but after 8 years it's just not salvageable. I was reading online that you typically replace mattresses after 6 or 7 years. I had thought it was 10-15 years. We'll see.

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