Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Vallaquenta

Hi, my name is Jasper

Recommended Posts

Hi.

My name is Jasper.

At the moment of writing, I am 22 years old.

I have been addicted and continue to battle against my addiction to computer games for almost a decade now.

 

If you don't want to read the entire text, continue to the TL;DR!

I love virtual reality, as I’m sure most of you do. I love it so much that I actually get drowned in it. Virtual reality is my place to hide from real life. Virtual reality is my home for when life gets too hard. Virtual reality has exacted it’s heavy toll on me for so long and yet I keep going back into it. I keep getting drawn in, time and time again. People look up to me in games, people know me in games, people give me credit in games. In short, games give me everything that I can ask for and more, they make me feel like a better person.

Where did this all start? I don’t know for sure, I think it might have been in elementary school… I used to be someone who dove into books and absorbed all knowledge they offered. I say used to, because that’s no longer me. I got teased with being a bookworm and got bullied because I always had an answer readily available. I don’t think this was the deciding factor, however. The decisive factor to me is my puberty phase. As you all know your body starts changing and this made me really unsure about my body. It affected me greatly when I went into secondary school – roughly the equivalent of high school. I started getting unsure and I found my escape: RuneScape.

The usage of gaming to avoid my pain

RuneScape…. Aaaah… I’m sure many of you know that game… That was my first addiction. I started ramping up my playtime. My homework went unnoticed. I started failing tests, I failed homework checks by teachers and eventually I moved down a step in education, from pre-uni (VWO) to high school (HAVO) level (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_the_Netherlands). It was successful. I loved playing the game and I actually was good at it! However, short term satisfaction was not helping my long term satisfaction. By the end of high school I was playing a variety of games; World of Warcraft and RuneScape turned into the bane of my existence as well as  numerous other MMORPGS.

One thing was still keeping me in check though: I was not 18 yet so I still had to go to school every day and wasn’t able to skip classes. Looking back at it I still consider this as a period where I had control to some extent.

Then everything changed: I turned 18. I turned 18 after passing my final exams for high school. The results weren’t that good, but I can’t complain for doing next to nothing. I didn’t know what direction I wanted to go in or what education I wanted to follow so I decided to go back to the pre-uni level. This is where things went down the drain. I started skipping classes, I started playing games during day time as well. Both my parents worked full time. I always managed to make up excuses for when they would catch me in the act of gaming, I would deny their accusations but worst of all I would lie to them. Not simple lies, but elaborate structural lying.

I was eventually caught though; my parents had enough of it and this is the first time I went into therapy. I started going bi-weekly and had a lot of talks. When I look back at these talks and sessions I thoroughly doubt their effectiveness. Not because my therapist was incapable; she wasn’t, she was very nice and a great help. No, it wasn’t effective because gaming, as an addiction is so underestimated by the general audience. There was no effective treatment. We tried to come up with ideas and we tried to combat it, however, it only helped me reach temporary results, I would always have a relapse. I would go back into the habit of gaming and that would eventually spiral down again into addiction.

Enter my third and worst phase: college addiction. It sounds bad, but I’m telling you I have no words about how badly this has affected me. I’ve been in 3 different educations the past 4 years: I started doing IT. This introduced me to League of Legends, which is my demon and has been ever since. I started pulling all night gaming sessions: staying up until 4, 5, even 6 am and then only sleeping for a couple of hours before returning to gaming. As before my grades and school work suffered greatly. I had to give up on my first education after roughly half a year. I decided to change things and to try again next year. I went to a different study; Sport, Health and Management. To keep the story short: I fucked up again. Big time. I didn’t even last on semester.

Once again I decided to step up my game and I started working to pay off all debt. I worked in a factory, night shifts, rough lifting work and long hours. It earned me some nice money (all of which is blown into smithereens already by my addiction, by the way) and after a year we arrive in 2014. The new year for me.

My debts were paid off, I still played computer games all the time while working, but I was in great shape and felt great because I also went to the gym every once in a while. I enrolled for a degree in the hospitality industry; international hospitality management. I’ve been doing this degree for one and a half years now. I like it. I love it. I have a loving girlfriend and I have awesome friends.

Yet….

Yet still the bloody computer is here. I've managed to stay away from it for some time, but I’m not sure how people do it; maybe I’m weak. Maybe I’m just too retarded to make my way out on my own. Maybe my brain is just not functioning anymore. But I want out.

Every day I see it again and again; so much of my life has been destroyed. I have thrown away so much money. I have caused my loved ones so much hurt. But worst of all: I know I will do it all again if I let myself slip. Yet I can’t keep myself from doing it.

My goal

Of course I have my personal goals; I want to be rid of the games that take control of my life. I want to be able to life my life and give my beautiful and loving girlfriend the attention and man she deserves.

TL;DR

 

I am a recovering video gaming addict. Right now I’m 22 and I have spent almost a decade fighting my addiction. I'm fighting back now, after trying so hard already I feel like this time I might actually achieve it.

 

Edited by Vallaquenta

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing man. It might seem like stopping is impossible, but it isn't. You're in good hands here :) 

Yet still the bloody computer is here. Today I’ve played 2 games of League of Legends and I’ve done some work on my Minecraft build. I just now finished my second game of League of Legends and I can cry right now. I just can’t let go.

I’m not sure how people do it; maybe I’m weak. Maybe I’m just too retarded to make my way out on my own. Maybe my brain is just not functioning anymore. But I want out.

Every day I see it again and again; so much of my life has been destroyed. I have thrown away so much money. I have caused my loved ones so much hurt. But worst of all: I know I will do it all again if I let myself slip. Yet I can’t keep myself from doing it.

 I felt the same way when I first started. The habits we've built over the years are really difficult to shed, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. A friend of mine once said: Just because you don't see a change on the outside, that doesn't mean the change isn't happening. If you really want to quit, it probably will take a while, maybe even up to a year or two, but it will happen eventually. 

Id like to share what I'd do if I were you:

Watch this if you haven't yet. That video should get you up and running.

Understand that you are not your thoughts, you are not your addiction and you are not your mood. These things all come and go. It's not you who is addicted, it is your brain. For me, this was a key breakthrough.

Start meditating (if you don't already). Mindfulness is both a great habit and almost a superpower. 

There are more steps than this, but I think it's better to take it one step at a time. Good luck

Edited by Suritus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing man. It might seem like stopping is impossible, but it isn't. You're in good hands here :) 

Yet still the bloody computer is here. Today I’ve played 2 games of League of Legends and I’ve done some work on my Minecraft build. I just now finished my second game of League of Legends and I can cry right now. I just can’t let go.

I’m not sure how people do it; maybe I’m weak. Maybe I’m just too retarded to make my way out on my own. Maybe my brain is just not functioning anymore. But I want out.

Every day I see it again and again; so much of my life has been destroyed. I have thrown away so much money. I have caused my loved ones so much hurt. But worst of all: I know I will do it all again if I let myself slip. Yet I can’t keep myself from doing it.

 I felt the same way when I first started. The habits we've built over the years are really difficult to shed, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. A friend of mine once said: Just because you don't see a change on the outside, that doesn't mean the change isn't happening. If you really want to quit, it probably will take a while, maybe even up to a year or two, but it will happen eventually. 

Id like to share what I'd do if I were you:

Watch this if you haven't yet. That video should get you up and running.

Understand that you are not your thoughts, you are not your addiction and you are not your mood. These things all come and go. It's not you who is addicted, it is your brain. For me, this was a key breakthrough.

Start meditating (if you don't already). Mindfulness is both a great habit and almost a superpower. 

There are more steps than this, but I think it's better to take it one step at a time. Good luck

Thank you Suritus!

I know stopping is not impossible; I've tried it before, yet it only works temporarily. It will happen eventually, but I want to be in a place where I'm surrounded by people who are of the same mind as I am. I'm watching everything that I can, thank you :)

Meditating, however, is not my thing I think. However, I greatly appreciate the advice and I will give it a shot. Do you have any tips for me to get started?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

stuff

Thank you Suritus!

I know stopping is not impossible; I've tried it before, yet it only works temporarily. It will happen eventually, but I want to be in a place where I'm surrounded by people who are of the same mind as I am. I'm watching everything that I can, thank you :)

Meditating, however, is not my thing I think. However, I greatly appreciate the advice and I will give it a shot. Do you have any tips for me to get started?

Okay, let's see

Read up on the sunken cost fallacy, the all-or-nothing fallacy and loss aversion. These concepts are really helpful in addiction.

I'm big on books, so I'd recommend you read a few of those. There's another GQ video on books, you can watch that and pick from those. Power of Habit is probably my favorite on the list, Hungry Ghosts is kinda long, but really worth the read, and Slight Edge was also good, but for some reason I didn't like it as much. I'm going through Hooked right now and can't recommend nor caution against yet. Another related book I really enjoyed was Mindset by Carol Dweck. So that's that.

When it comes to games, don't only uninstall but delete what you can. Not sure about league, whether that's possible or not, but you can message the support. For Minecraft, just delete the world. Think of it as a test of your commitment. It will probably hurt like hell, which is why I did most of my deletions after a long binge when I hated myself - I just never wanted to touch a game again. This makes it harder to return. Yes, you can make new accounts, but you don't have the progress anymore and the grind isn't as enjoyable anymore.

I personally use a lot of filters such as News Feed Eradicator, BlockSite and so on for social media. They are not 100% effective, but they raise the barrier, which helps with weaker cravings. With stronger cravings, it's better to be out of the house.

That's what I can think of right now. Hopefully some of that is useful :)

Oh, one last thing. Don't remove games, replace them. I use programming, some friends use going out, music or other things. If you know why you played, it's easier to know what to replace games with.

Edited by Suritus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yet still the bloody computer is here. I've managed to stay away from it for some time, but I’m not sure how people do it; maybe I’m weak. Maybe I’m just too retarded to make my way out on my own. Maybe my brain is just not functioning anymore. But I want out.

 

Maybe the best option would be to sell the computer, if you cannot resist using it for gaming? If you need it for work/study, you can always use computers in the local library, university, or a cybercafe (I don't know if these are in the Netherlands, they used to be in Poland and I used to visit one before I had my own PC, but I've read most of them were closed when fast Internet in private homes became more popular).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A great idea would be to replace the gaming pc with a laptop! It will feel different and it'd be a good way to create new internet habits on a computer. Pc's aren't really needed in most professions, and a laptop is portable too. It will not trigger the same urges as your big screens, fancy mice and keyboard. (If you need a pc for say, CAD or something. Perhaps replacing any shiny gaming esque accessories with normal ones)

I'm 22 and I just began this journey as well. I believe you can do this and go clean for the rest of your life. Welcome to the forums and I look forward to reading your updates :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another option would be to use Linux, I have not tried it but I've read that Windows games do not work well on Linux. I have also came across some information about Windows 10, some gamers complain that after updating to Windows 10 they cannot play the games they used to, the update is blocking the games somehow. So maybe upgrade to Windows 10 if you are eligible for a free update.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...