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So yeah I have decide that I will start to keep a journal on here, hopefully I can write down my journey and see how I progress from here.

So I have quit gaming cold turkey( 30th September , it feels important that I keep the date somewhere),and I am now on my sixth day of no games, as I detailed in my introduction post, my finacee walking out the door has triggered what can only be described as an epiphany in me and has removed the scales from my eyes. But it has taken me a while to post and as a result I am already in six days.

I just wanted to use this first post as an opportunity to recap on the week so far so I am just going to throw down a quick summary of each day, and then from this point it is my intention to post every day, even if it is a short post.

 

Day 1 D-Day - having been devastated by the events of the day I had no intention whatsoever in going on the games and took this as an opportunity to do some self-insight and I bumped across this forum. This marks the day where I have truly accepted that I have a gaming addiction, I couldn't get to sleep until 3am.

Day 2 awake at 6am up for 6:30 this is a good start , most mornings I spend around 20 minutes in bed playing on games on my mobile, my justification for this was it would help me to wake up. I was out of the house and got to work for 08:00, the main focus of my work day was a meeting with senior managers that I was co-hosting I found it really good to be around them and to see how they interacted with each other, Hit the gym straight after work and told one of my mates about what’s happened. When I got in I deleted all the games on my mobile.

Day 3 I got up again at 06:30 to drive to another office that I work out of semi frequently, it was a hour commute so I bough an audiobook of the The Chimp Paradox by prof Steven Peters to listen to on the way up. I found it to be really good and I could relate to a lot of what he was saying. Had a constructive meeting and then headed back. Went to the gym straight away which is good as I usually find myself too tired after the commute. Signed up to a manvsfat football team nearby.

Day 4 Got up a bit later at 07:00am and went into work had a few constructive meetings and then a really good meeting in the afternoon with a partner organisation, the only issue is I had to travel to work , travel to my meeting which is near where I live, then travel back to the gym which is near my work to then travel home again. When I got in I had something to eat, deleted all 129 games off my steam account and then cleaned up my laptop.

Day 5 got up at 06:30 , got a response from a counsellor I had emailed earlier in the week and arranged a session for Friday, I went to the gym and listened to my audiobook when I got home.

Day 6 Went into work, explained to my line manager what was happening including about my addiction. They said they would give me any support that I needed and that I should have spoke to them earlier. I didn’t go to the gym as I had my first counselling session booked in.

I was a bit nervous as I have never had a male counsellor but we kicked off really well and he said he knew exactly where I was coming from and that he would really like to work with me to make things better, I felt really positive when I left his office

Day 7 As I am typing this it will be seven days since I last played a game Today, the weekend  Woke up at 09:00am did a bit of tidying up and then went to the gym, went to the shops and bought a beard trimmer ( Something I’ve been meaning to get for ages) and a book to read (nothing self-help focused , just something to read on my down time). Had a few strong urges to play games but I have overcome this by looking on these forums instead.

So that is a really quick summary, I hope to post on a more frequent basis from this point onwards.

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Thanks Deku , hope you are getting on well.

 

Day 8, really tough day today, everything has kind of got on top of me, I honestly don't think my relationship with my fiancée is salvageable at this point and this is devastating and means I will at some point have to pack my life up in a box and move.

It has been particularly tough filling in the spare time that I have had today, I went to do my weekly shop and then bought some items when I was out, all good for clean eating, although I did indulge in some Maltesers.

However I have almost constantly had a craving to go on the computer and play games, the one positive of this is that I can fully accept now that I am addicted, there is no doubt given how much of a strong urge I have had today.

I have also decided that the first hobby/activity I am going to attempt is…… wait for it….. Crochet

At the risk of losing several man points here I am sure a lot of you are thinking, why in the hell would you do Crochet? But fuck it why not.

I kind of figured the following, when me and my fiancée were together she was big into crochet for reducing her stress levels and one day I thought “meh lets have a good and see what its like” and it actually felt really relaxing. I also think it will be beneficial for the following reasons.

·       Having gamed for so long I must have at least half decent hand dexterity, and whilst I cannot put this to a beneficial use whilst gaming, I can use it for other, more constructive things.

·       I could make items and look to give them to charities to either sell or use in the winter months.

·       It helps to take my mind off the current situation.

·       It shows I’m in touch with my feminine (elderly) side

·       And at the very least it will make and interesting story for the future, i.e. “do you remember that time I took up Crochet to get over a gaming addiction?”

I finished the day and the weekend sitting down with a mate who very kindly agreed to come over to come to the pub with me for a couple of pints.

And now I have to dash, I’m up at 05:00 am tomorrow …eeeek

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I actively burst out laughing in the library when I read "Crochet," so thanks for that.

I'm sorry about your relationship with your fiancee, and I sincerely hope that whatever route you end up taking it ends up working out in the end. At the very least it's better to have it happen now than when you're married. 

Whether it's crocheting or other things, I'm glad to hear that you're staying busy with your life. I think it's already a big win that you didn't go back to gaming despite the difficulties you are currently going through. Keep up the good work!

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It takes a lot of courage to admit to your problems/addiction and it is the most important step towards fixing your life.

You'll get there man. I believe in you. Just don't quit on this forum. 
Even if you had a bad day just write something on here.

🙂

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Thanks guys I really appreciate your messages.

Day 9 First day back in work after the weekend, up at 05:00am to catch a train to a meeting in another office, decided to walk the one and a half miles  to the train station excepting a nice sunrise...it was pitch black.

I got on the train and sat down for my two hour journey, about an hour in I realised that I would normally be playing a mobile game at this point, however I had actually been content with just looking out of the train window, watching the world go by whilst listening to my audiobook.

The meeting went well , something that I created on the fly has gone national as good practice which is always good, everyone else in the room was senior to me but it was great I could tlak and relate to their discussion on their level.  About halfway through my meeting my phone started beeping, The organisers of the manvsfat football that I had signed up for in the week had pared me up with a team and I had been added to the WhatsApp group  that ironically shared the name of the football team I support ( Which is the team of the city I was born in, They are not a huge football team and the stadium  is two hundred and fifty miles away form where I live now which in terms of the UK means the other side of the earth, making it much more of a co-incidence then you would think)). This is good as it means I have plenty of the right coloured tops to wear.

Got the train hoe and again just looked out of the window watching the world go by, got a message from my mate to ask if I wanted to go to the gym, I was shattered but said I would go anyway. So rolled in through my front door at 18:50 and then back out with my gym kit at 19:00, didn't do a huge session as I was exhausted, now I’m home and absolutely ready for bed.

 

 

 

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Day 10 - Today went fairly standard, was knackered from yesterday so didn't get up until seven, I went to the gym after work butfelt absolutely wiped so I only managed about half a workout, I think my body is telling me I need t have a rest day.

I batch cooked my next five meals tonight so that means I should actually have some free time tommorow to focus on activities.

As an aside I have found that my sleeping paterns have improved massivley, before it would take me around two hours to get to sleep as I would be thinking about work constantly, I think all the games did was push my reflection back to this time and therfore I always had to catch up on my sleep on the weekend. But now within twenty minutes of me getting into bed i'm falling asleep.

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Day 11

So when I got into bed after my post yesterday BANG hit by a massive dose of anxiety, I really struggled to sleep and had bizarre feelings of existential dread, I think some of this was linked to today. At work I have a bit of a massive day by actioning something that I have been working on partners with for nine months, naturally I was worried about something going wrong , however it went well and now I feel a massive sense of relief. It is bizarre that I wasn't specifically about it and my anxiety was manifesting in a completely different way.

I was up again at 6 to drive to where I needed to be for 08:30 , the drive was fantastic, I got to watch a beautiful sunrise over the hills as I listened to my Chimp Paradox audiobook, it was amazing.

When I got home I felt tired but I cleaned the microwave ( I have been meaning to do this for a while it was ...not very clean) so this was good and then I started on my crochet, still can't believe im doing it but it felt relaxing.

All in all it was a good day, I am starting to look at medium to long term goals but these are early days yet.

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On 10/11/2018 at 3:21 AM, Cam Adair said:

One day at a time! The small things you do now will compound into bigger results long-term.

Thanks Cam much appriciated.

Day 12  So this was was one of days where I didn't have to travel which was a bit of a relief, I went to work, found out I had been rejected for a job application I had submitted weeks ago for the next grade above me ( I was gutted about this ). But then I had to look forward to my first day of football , I was a bit nervous meeting the guys for the first time, but they were great, a really sound bunch. Unfortunatly we were playing the best team in the league , however after a gripping game we drew 3-3 with them. I was absolutly knackered and gasping for water, so I just got in and crashed.

 

Day 13 got up at 06:00 and I was in for work nice and early, I had a national lead come up to visit so I was looking after him for most of the day but decided to have a civilised finish. I had a text from a mate saying to come down the nearby pub for a few drinks so I joined him there and met a few of the guys that I go to the same gym with ( Never had to courage to speak to them there). We had a really good laugh and  then  agreed that we would try to meet at the pub every Friday after work.

I have also managed to fill my weekend preety much with seeing people and doing chores so hopefully I will stay busy.

Thinking medium term I have been looking at booking a holiday , Me and the ex were going to go away but of course we spilt up so I am looking to travel to Ireland instead, I am half Irish and it has literally been twenty years since I last went to visit, So i'm focusing on this in the short term.

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Day 14 (Two weeks yaaay)  - So I was alway worried about the weekend, as it can be difficult to fill in the time but a mate form work invited me over and we went into town and had a chat and then took his dog for a long walk , My legs are sit sore from Thursday so I have no idea how I will hope tommorow. I thn headed home and met another mate for a few pints.

I think I am struggling to come to terms with the fact that my lrealtionship with my fiancee is over and it is tearing me up a bit, I feel like I am trapped in limbo and I am struggling to move on, I'm not even certin that I should move on.

The day has been good but the night has been challenging.

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Day 15 , So today I woke up and decided to fit in a quick gym session in the morning, My legs are still killing me so I decided to focus on weighs and strength. Before I would usually just not bother to go to the gym even if I could still do part of a workout.

I then went to see my mates dad who is an hours drive away. My dad died when I was very young so he is the closest person I have to a father figure. I spent most of the day with him and his wife on their boat ( they live on it) and we had a good time just talking and helping out in the boatyard. Although I nearly got attacked by the most bulked swan I have ever seen. They made me tea which ws really kind of them. 

I then headed for home and got in a few hours ago, On the drive there and back I listened to the Chimp Paradox audiobook, I am finding it one of the most intersting and useful books I have ever listended to/ picked up. It is really causing notable changes in my behaviour including my reaction to my game cravings.

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Day 16  Had my second counselling session today , was only supposed to stay for 50 minutes but ended up being there for two hours , I am really connecting with my Counsellor and he seems to have a really good idea of how my mind works. I understand and recognise that gaming isn't the problem in a sense, it is a very destructive symptom of an underlying anxiety issue which I am now starting to explore. The visit left me invigorated so I headed straight to the gym, where bumped into an ex-girlfriend from three years ago and her boyfriend, but I didn't care I just hammered out my workout.

Day 17 Another day of travelling and listening to audiobooks instead of heading straight home I headed to the gym and made an effort to talk to someone I was familiar with in the gym. They have swapped the changing rooms around temporarily which is causing some confusion, I had a good laugh with one of the PT's as people kept going to the wrong changing rooms. Apart from that I feel absolutely knackered so its an early night for me.

Edited by Peregrinator
Sorting out spelling

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Gaming is perhaps not the core problem, but it's like saying to an alcoholic that the unsatisfaction with life is actually the issue, so feel free to get hammered every night. Or telling a person with a bleeding wound to be more careful with knives. Well damn, of course! But the symptom absolutely needs to be treated, otherwise, we die 😄 For most, figuratively, but some even literally. Don't let this to be an excuse you will later use to convince yourself to game again. I've done it and it leads to despair. 

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On 10/17/2018 at 10:24 PM, JustTom said:

Gaming is perhaps not the core problem, but it's like saying to an alcoholic that the unsatisfaction with life is actually the issue, so feel free to get hammered every night. Or telling a person with a bleeding wound to be more careful with knives. Well damn, of course! But the symptom absolutely needs to be treated, otherwise, we die 😄 For most, figuratively, but some even literally. Don't let this to be an excuse you will later use to convince yourself to game again. I've done it and it leads to despair. 

Your absolutely right there @JustTom but I also have to deal with the core issue as to why I got so hooked on gaming in the first place. I think gaming is like any other drug it provides an escpae from reality but it really is just an unhealthy coping mechanism.

But I appriciate your shout out as it being an excuse for me to relapse later I think I have to be very concious about that, at this stage I am just prefeing the clarity of thought and purpose that being off the games is giving me.

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So I haven’t had a chance to respond over the past few days , but this is because I have been really busy and not because I've relapsed.

Day 18 So I was up at 05:30 to go catch a train for another two hour commute (I think I travel more for work than I realise) , walked to the train station which was really nice, and then got on the train and again listened to audiobooks. I have noticed that I am sleeping a lot better since stopping gaming and therefore it is getting easier for me to get up in the mornings. It used to take me two hours to fall asleep when I was on the games.

I met up with the rest of my team in Birmingham (They are all based remotely from me) and we had a really good meeting , unfortunately there was far too many sweet treats and nice cakes put on so I ended up stuffing my face slightly. Afterwards we went for a meal and a couple of drinks, we went to a Turkish restaurant and this was the first time I had tried Turkish food, needless to say it was a lovely meal. We then went back to the hotel (it was an overnight stay)

Day 19 Up and out of the hotel early to meet everyone and go for another team meeting for 08:30, We all got the train together and I got to chatting with one of our more recent team members and we discussed fitness and going to the gym which helped to pass the time. Again, it was a really good meeting, we talked a lot about some really interesting topics and it’s good to see that I am on the same page as the rest of the team. Discovered One note which has absolutely blown my mind and will make note taking a lot easier for me.

I got back to where I live for 18:00 but had to go for football at 18:30 so rushed around a bit trying to get my kit ready and then rushed out, I felt tired from the journey but my fitness has improved massively so I felt a lot better, We won 5-3 but my weight had gone up slightly(not good). I finally got in at 21:00 with a slight twinge in my leg muscle.

Day 20 Today has been a lot slower than the past two days which is great, as I have felt shattered from all the travel and activity. I finished work early and went to see my counsellor, after that I went to the gym for a short workout and then came home.

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Hey,

Glad to see you’re doing ok. Check out those 30 day challenges from gamequitters.com. You pay a bit of money but you sure get some sort of “mission” feel as a fun during the day. Im at mision 6 or 7 now and it’s starting to be really fun!

Take care!

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4 hours ago, KMD said:

Hey,

Glad to see you’re doing ok. Check out those 30 day challenges from gamequitters.com. You pay a bit of money but you sure get some sort of “mission” feel as a fun during the day. Im at mision 6 or 7 now and it’s starting to be really fun!

Take care!

I've seen it on your journal, its awesome what you have done so far i'm finding it really inspirational.

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Day 21 So this Saturday felt like the most amount of free time that I have had to myself in a while so I used it as an opportunity to sort some elements of my life out, I recognise that I will have to move from this house eventually and in order to do this I need to get a rid of a load of stuff. I have a tendency to hold onto items for sentimental value and this means I have some clothes that are ten years old...well not anymore , I took the clothes that were in a decent condition to charity and the rest to the tip with another two black bin bags of crap, I went up town and sold my PS3 and I took my old TV to a homeless charity so they could refurbish it and sell it. It felt really good to have some control back in my life.

I had been invited to my mate’s wife’s birthday party so I drove up there in the afternoon, part of this journey involves driving through some hills (Big hills). The time of evening was just right and as the sunset the sky over the hills went dark and broody as if a light had been turned off. the tops of the hills were shrouded in dark, boiling clouds and the sky seemed to roll, there was no rain even though I was convinced it was going to. On one side of the Road the sky was dark and ominous, on the other due to a break in the cloud I could see the orange hues of sunset on the sky. It was such a contrast, beautiful and terrifying in the same breath. I thought about this and how I would never have experienced this had I been playing computer games.

I got to my mate’s house and met everyone there, it was such a laugh I had a great time.

Day 22 I stayed over at my mates house with a bit of a hangover, but had a nice bacon sarnie and then relaxed for the morning , I decided to go up to Scotland (it’s not far from my mates) to do some shopping so I decided to spend some money on myself, I bought a pair of jeans a jumper and a nice polo top to replace my old clothes that I have thrown away the day before. I then drove home and have just had a relaxing bath.

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Had another hectic week so I have only now just had a chance to update

Day 23 Up at 07:30 (think the weekends causing an impact) and then went into work , saw my counsellor and had a good session he says he is really impressed at how I am taking back control of my life, I felt really good during the day, Hit the gym and then got home, But I had really bad feelings of existential dread, my mind kept racing thinking about the future and having to move out of the house and how uncertain my life is going to be, and that left me worried. I’ll be honest I did some drawing and stayed up till past midnight and after that I seemed to calm down.

Day 24 Up again at 07:30 and into work, another pretty routine day in work ( I don't have to travel anywhere this week, thank god) , After work I met up with some mates and we went to watch the champions league game, we went to a new sports bar in town which was really nice and then to the usual pub, we played a couple of games of pool, I used to be good but I seem to have slipped downhill, I potted the white three times in a row.

Day 25 Up at 08:00(getting worse) and then went to work, again another ordinary day at work, Went to the gym and talked to one of the guys in there.

Now interestingly my ex-Girlfriend from a few years ago joined my gym the day after I split up with my last Girlfriend , which at least tells us the universe has some sense of irony, today was the first time I saw her in the gym along with her new Boyfriend, however she didn't come up and approach me, I don't have feeling for her, but it is just enough competitive wise for me to push myself that little bit harder.

When I came home I looked into the Ireland trip I was looking at a few days back and went to book it, but unfortunately an error on the system meant I couldn't book it, I'm going to leave it now till tomorrow. I also caught up with the new series of Dr Who, and I must say I am enjoying it despite all the controversy.

Day 26 up at 07:00 and into work, tonight was the weekly football game I started playing and I was really looking forward to it, I really wish I could do it more often, which is great seeing how nervous I was about it a few weeks ago.  Unfortunately we got absolutely hammered 7-1, on the plus side though I have lost 1.8 kg of weight since the weight in last week.  I came back afterwards and did my meal prep for the next three days.

Over this period I have also stared to really hammer into some confidence podcasts whilst I have been driving or walking about, having now listened to the chimp paradox three times in a row. It is interesting how all of them really boil down to the same notion around how to build confidence, by taking risk, it has given me something to think about.

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Day 27  So Friday was another standard day , went to work went to the gym, I tired sqauts for the first time in a long time, I think I have nailed the form , but my leg muscles are far too weak to do any significant weight on it, So I will just have to keep practising.

Day 28  This weekend was one of those were I hadn't planned on doing much social interaction as I wanted to focus on sorting the house out before moving. I went to the landlords and gave in the notice, I now have five weeks to find somewhere else to live. I was upset as I came out of the landlords as I knew my time here will soon be coming to an end. I went to the shop and bought a paper shredder, so I can start clearing out about two years of accumulated paper work. My next-door neighbour had got some free tickets for a football (Soccer) match so we both went to that, but my god was it cold. Once that had finished I then went back home to sort some stuff out, but I ended up buying a DVD and watching that.

Day 29 Today has been really tough, I deliberately hadn't planned anything to sort the house out, but today has taken its toll, I'm a total wreck. between shredding paperwork and buying boxes/ trying to find a new place to live, I have felt so alone and so isolated, it has been horrible. I just got to a point of desperation where I so badly wanted to text my ex to say I miss her, and that I want her back and I just wanted to game to take away some of the pain and anxiety.

I am terrified as to what the future holds, if I’m honest I have enjoyed having a place of my own and now I will have to go back to a house share at the age of 30, it feels horrible it feels like my life has just been a waste for the past three years. As a result I can't help thinking back and wondering if I hadn't of gamed who I still be in a relationship? would I have more skills and hobbies to take an interest in?

I am just finding everything so hard and so overwhelming , I am actually desperate for the counsellors session tomorrow.

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Hang in there! Things might have been better, things might have been worse. Doesn't matter. All you have is your current state and a set of actions you can take. As long as you keep taking the one you consciously decide is best, you're being successful. 

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20 hours ago, JustTom said:

Hang in there! Things might have been better, things might have been worse. Doesn't matter. All you have is your current state and a set of actions you can take. As long as you keep taking the one you consciously decide is best, you're being successful. 

Thanks Pal means a lot, hope your having a good day

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Day 30 ( 33% through , yaaay)  So today was the counsellors session which I was clinging on to and thankfully I felt a lot better after I had left. It helped me to rationalise the horrible day that I had yesterday and that my morale had broken for a moment. He said that I am starting on a journey and that already I am much different from the person I was three weeks ago. That the fear I was feeling was totally understandable but also mixed in with that fear is opportunity.

The annoying thing for me is that I understand a lot of this. The fear , the abject terror that I had yesterday is all a result of this deep lying anxiety, and this stems back way into my childhood and has only been negatively re-enforced up until now. It kind of clicked for me today. Its like my mental state is a broken bone that hasn't healed properly, some of my function has returned and the pain has gone away, but it is still crippling , My mind is in a much healthier place than it was eight years ago but I am still not functioning how I should be and in a metaphorical sense I have to re break that bone so it can heal properly( i.e I am going to have to go through pain and anxiety to ultimately heal myself).

In order to do this, I need to draw on every available resource, every person that I know to support me. This is ironically like the epic final boss battle of life. and to be honest I still feel nervous about it. But I just need to keep hammering the audio books and the podcasts, building up my resources to defeat this once and for all.

I also looked at a place today to move into, it’s a nice share but I’m worried that the room is quite small and that there isn't enough parking , I was nervous at first. What if I didn't like it ? what If I said no and they got upset with me ? in the end the guy was very accommodating (if a little handsy) but it went ok , which was good.

 

 

 

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Day 31 I went to work and when I returned there was a to let sign outside the house that I currently let, the letting agents aren't messing around and I got notified that there was a visit already planned for Thursday, I had a house viewing but once that was finished I had to do a frantic tidy up. As a result, I didn't get a chance to go to the gym and I felt bad about this.

Day 32 I had a long commute to work today and once I had finished, I drove to my best mates which is thirty miles away from my house as I offered to help him move into this new room in a shared house. The journey was long, and we moved his stuff across to the new place, which isn't in the nicest area. There was a full-on rave with kids launching fireworks at each other and houses. I felt nervous about my car being damaged, so I declined staying overnight in the house although I did stay till midnight before heading home.

Day 33 Another busy day at work trying to focus on what needs doing, I had no visits tonight but I did have football and a weigh in , ( I had lost 2 kg of weight by this point and more importantly I scored 2 goals!!. My fitness is still improving and I was opening up runs on the pitch , which is vastly different to how I was three weeks ago.

Day34 Whilst travelling I have been listening to an audiobook about how to not be nice and to be more assertive, I am still listening through the book but on Wednesday I decided to start applying some of this to try an tackle some of my issues that lie underneath the gaming. Alos I booked a holiday to Ireland in two weeks, eeeek I am so scared!! this will be the first time I have been abroad on my own.

Day 35 First day of the weekend and my first chance to sit back and reflect on the week, I still have a dilemma about which house to move to and I just need to think more about it. But the thought of moving on and away is tremendously nerve wracking. I know that I need to face my fears head on, but I just want to go on the games and distract myself from reality.

Fortunately I had asked a mate if I could go over so I went over to his house and on the way I took one of my coats to be repaired. This sounds crazy but this was something that use to scare me a few years ago, the nervousness of going to an unknown location. But this time it was fine and I handed over the coat with no big issues, I have ticked it off those as a challenge around being uncomfortable.

When I got to my mates we went into town for a bit of shopping and then took his dog around a nearby reservoir for a walk. It was really nice and scenic and I really enjoyed it, although at one point the tennis ball we had for the dog ended up in the reservoir (luckily the wind blew it back to shore ) and we had to do a bit of a scramble to get it. We then went to the local club to watch Liverpool vs Arsenal.

When I got home my neighbour invited me out for a drink and we went to the pub to play a bit of snooker, I was crap, but it was better than playing games.

Day 36  Today has been an admin day, I have spent most of the time shredding paperwork that me and my ex accumulated in the house, this was heart-breaking at first but then I started to feel freedom and relief, it was bizarre. I also took a load of clothes down to the charity shop and then went to the gym. I absolutely hammered my work out , running a mile and a half within 12 minutes 15. I did this by sprinting fast for 30 second and then slowing down for 30 seconds. I felt great but I still need to build up.

On getting home from the gym I have found it hard to not play games, I didn't have anything planned (crochet has failed miserably) so I am left with not doing much apart from self-help. I probably do need to keep planning thinks as the craving creeps in when I have nothing to do.

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