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Fawn_xoxo daily; thoughts, goals & evaluation

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Day 193.

It's weird how my mind is stuck in certain thinking patterns, and I suffer from it. With the help of those around me, I've come to the realization that isolation because of games has left me socially scarred, full of anxieties and self doubt. Talking over my issues in detail, using their clean mind and not my overwhelmed one, I arrived to the conclusion that I can not change any of that if I don't put in work. And for the most part I've neglected doing that, I just wished the pain away. What pain? It comes from the wrong image of myself, which bashes me at every turn ever since I touched games again. There is a lot of paranoia in my thoughts, worst case scenarios that not only include myself but also other people, my love ones or just friends, online or not. And there's this ever awake voice in my head that judges everything I do, looking at me through a lens unrealistic and blurry. I'll explain soon.

I have so far managed to figure out my mental problems have the following cores: One is the judge voice, the other is the voice of paranoia.

The judge voice is ever present to comment on the things I do, saying that I should do things differently and that I am problematic, an addict, a loser, a person unworthy of love or good things in general, incapable in many fields.. you get it. This voice exists in most people's heads, I know, and doubts about my worth aren't uncommon when it comes to other aspects of life but this voice of mine is never more vocal than when it has to do with something that relates to gaming. How does it express itself? It talks to me, putting enormous expectations on me, sometimes standards that come from my imagination of that perfect would be like, even if I've never heard anyone do it. An example? If I stay up late gaming on a weekend, I'm still going to wake up at my usual time the next day because of my inner clock. Of course, normal people can just go back to sleep after seeing they don't have to be up yet, right? Well, not if there's a part of you that says how you messed up and can't even sleep the right way cause you're already up after four hours. That's what then puts me in a state of deep stress and also anger towards myself. Can you sleep if you feel that way? Of course not. And yet another person, even if they regret that decision cause, say, it wasn't the weekend, would just move on, sleep more or not sleep more but they'd just move with the flow, something so far made impossible for me because of that inner critic. Are you feeling bored with this task at work and get an urge to leave it for a while to play a game or two? The inner critic will then make a big deal out of it. Not if it was a tv show episode though or a YouTube video. The intense judgment targets primarily events that are tied, ironically or reasonably, to the reason behind my past self destructive behavior. My conclusion is I scared and scarred myself during those times.

I have not been able to do anything about the inner critic , I've let those words get to me without evaluating their accuracy and truth, which leads me to becoming very overwhelmed with negative emotions and leads to more shame and guilt regarding any choice that isn't anti-gaming. 

Are you still reading? You're in for a ride. xD

The voice of paranoia acts similarly but also differently to that of the inner judge. Instead of saying bad things about me, it takes any situation that I'm not 100% certain about, fears and phobias of mine, and suggests to me of a "likely" outcome. That outcome is usually the worst case scenario. Now, again, I've had those paranoid ideas in my life from time to time without gaming being part of it, when in an uncertain situation, but nothing as exaggerated and triggering as this when it's gaming related. Those worst case scenarios could be really upsetting things in situations with online friends (such as them hating me, manipulating me, being fake to me etc), really upsetting things about my identity (I'm only here for the attention, I'm doomed to an addict's life, I'm immoral, It's my fault people if people treat me certain ways) and the list goes on. 

So why not just walk away from it all? Well, because I realized these problematic voices that I have given so much time and space to in my mind aren't actually here only for gaming moments. Although I have made steps in expanding my social life, there were moments during which I experienced severe anxiety and panic over doom scenarios of multiple kinds, while being in company of people. I was able to hold it together, it helped that on all accounts I was in groups where I could just stay silent if I wanted to. But the point is, the false beliefs I have allowed to become established in my mind for a lot of years don't only make my life difficult in game but also in the real world. And I understand now that avoidance does relieve, but I would be no more whole without working on my inner voices telling the freaking truth. 

It's not easy at all. What do I have to do? I have to do work. I have to take time out of my schedule every day to use the Socratic method on the anti-affirmations that so naturally come to me. Why is that so hard? Well firstly because I don't like admitting these things do happen in my mind in the first place. Writing about them makes them actually real. That's why I've been avoiding it. But that's also the reason why it works. No matter how ugly a thing you've been calling yourself all day, how you've tried to forget about it, ignore it or tell yourself you know it's not real, you have to write it down this time and find out, after deep thought that renders you as certain as your mental capacity allows, what merit those words really have or whether they're bull. After that, you're confident about the truth. You might still feel bad even though you know they're false, but that's time to move on to another activity and stop the attention to that train of thought since you know it's not the truth. You shouldn't judge yourself for still not feeling perfectly fine, at that moment, either. It's a process that needs time when you do it, and also needs repetition to replace falsehoods with truths until you no longer give them any attention when they pop up. And because they're not an instant fix, I haven't done almost any of this. But today onwards, as I continue gaming (only when my work and duties are finished) and getting triggered, I will do the work. 

Again, don't try this alone. It's just that I personally don't see another way to fix those stress attacks and beliefs. I have to replace them with healthier behaviors and realistic beliefs and I won't do that if I keep the box in the basement.

Of course I have fun playing games again, and that's nice. The inner critic though says that the truth is I'm only keeping games in my life because I want a fix and can't walk away from them. But is that true? I do feel the things I've described in previous posts, those tendencies to have more even though I already have a good thing/experience. I do feel urges to leave my work and come back later to it so that I can play a bit. But food has been in that slot of escapism too, and chatting with people, and series and YouTube. I never felt dread for getting the urge towards those other things. But then it seems that it's just a lot of untrained skills in me, like logical thought, and self discipline. 

Lots of text today, and I haven't even started doing that evaluation. Why does this have to be work? Guess the endless hours of fun in my younger years have to be redeemed some way. I played hard then, now I gotta work hard.

Edited by fawn_xoxo
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6 hours ago, fawn_xoxo said:

Lots of text today, and I haven't even started doing that evaluation. Why does this have to be work? Guess the endless hours of fun in my younger years have to be redeemed some way. I played hard then, now I gotta work hard.

There's some reconciliation in that. Gaming wasn't always fun, but sometimes it was. You could say you "worked" while gaming, just in the wrong direction or on the wrong project. 

I think the same goes for life in general. Don't be afraid to work. Happiness isn't drinking margaritas on a beach for the rest of your life, if you happen to win the lottery. It's the continuous pursuit of something meaningful (that you can define yourself) until your death. The realization of that idea is terrifying and liberating at the same time.

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Day 193, later on.

I am at such a loss. I know I should practice gratitude, replace my negative thoughts with realistic ones, and journal, and I know I haven't done everything in this list yet today. I have been working. But all through out the day that I spend working from my living room I feel cravings, I feel like I am missing out even though none of my friends plays during the 'working' times anyway cause obviously they are busy with other things. I feel those things intensely and I hate myself that this is what I have to deal with. It's a form of pain, and although I don't want it, I just got to talk with some old friends once more, who game as part of their killing-some-time habit, and the connection and promise of fun when we get to game together keeps me static in this place. One part of me says I should leave it all behind, since keeping the pandora's box tucked away in the basement worked great for me through time. Another part of me says this is me just avoiding doing the aforementioned work in the mental department. That part also says how other people are absolutely fine gaming a couple hours per day without having any cravings, and for some games I am the same, but for this one I keep thinking about it, thinking how I can get better at it, what combinations I can do and the like. It upsets me so much.

I am writing here because I am trying to look into me and see what the hell is wrong with me, what the hell I can do to make it better. It's the way I feel and it primarily started from the cravings today. Checking whether my friends are online, checking if I have any messages, just trying to escape my work. But I wasn't trying to escape my work this way when I wasn't gaming. I was focused, much more focused, and I had gotten into a flow of appreciating all the good things I achieve every day (nothing big, but even doing the tasks I have planned out for myself and ticking things from my to do list feels good, plus all the luxuries of living in a western civilization, plus the emotional support system around me). Right now I feel like those cravings make me not enjoy life, unless it's time to game after I'm done with my tasks. 

I don't know if I dived into this crap too fast. Like, maybe getting triggered and getting my brain stimulated every day is just not good for me for now. I will say this, and as I write this I feel those urges metaphorically scream at me not to, but today I will not game. I want to, but the fact that I get such strong urges and really don't want to not game tells me it's unhealthy, and thus abstaining is the right decision. It will surely give me peace of mind for one, even if it hurts to want to something exciting and not doing it. But maybe I'm still sick. Because I sure don't get strong urges to avoid my work to do other distracting hobbies like series or youtube, I just do them whenever I want and then don't think about it. People who have a healthy relationship towards gaming don't have to fight urges to game, they just 'naturally' don't get that strong urges.

Logic says, underneath all of this, it's all about your beliefs towards a situation. It also supports that actions are the ones which matter. And I get such strong feelings, sitting around not taking a different action, but somehow wishing that my situation, my feelings change. I am unrealistic. Gaming every day gives me anxiety/urges/negative thoughts and it's too much to handle. So today I will not game. Maybe exposure was too abrupt, or it's been too often, and I've not had the time to process things, because within 24 hours I'm back in the environment that I wasted my years in. 

I should check in tomorrow with how I feel after avoiding getting triggered. We'll see what I'll do with my evening since gaming is out of the options. It shouldn't be a necessity, it's not like that for a healthy and balanced person.

Thank you for reading and thank you for contributing. This is really hard to go through (again).


 


I am adding these here in case it makes it easier on my lazy self to actually copy paste and fill.

The Socratic Method
Thoughts are like a running dialogue in your brain. They come and go fast. So fast in fact that we rarely have the time to question them. Because our thoughts determine how we feel, and how we act, it's important to challenge any thoughts that cause us harm.
Spend a moment thinking about each of the following questions and record thorough responses. Elaborate, and explain why or why not, in your responses.


Thought to be questioned: 
What is the evidence for this thought?
What is the evidence against this thought?
Am I basing this thought on facts, or feelings?
Is this thought black and white, when reality is more complicated?
Could I be misinterpreting the evidence?
Am I making any assumptions?
Might other people have different interpretations of the same situation? If so, what are they?
Am I looking at all the evidence, or just what supports my thought?
Could my thought be an exaggeration of what is true?
Am I having this thought out of habit, or do the facts support it?
Did someone pass this thought or belief to me? If so, are they a reliable source?
Is my thought a likely scenario, or is it the worst case scenario?

 


from https://www.therapistaid.com/therapy-worksheets/none/adults

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Day 193.
I'm giving tracking here another go. Not sure what else I'll add but here goes.
Days without games: 175/193 
No sweets: Day 1
Did I play today? No

I am feeling better already just with the decision I took. It might be the 'motivational high' of the start, but I at least feel good now. 

Looking back at my day, and other days that I had intense urges to game, they are blurry in my mind (except for the gaming) and I can't help but draw a parallel between my behavior and horniness. When someone is too horny and can't take their mind off sex, they might spend their day thinking about it, they might change their usual behavior so that they can get an many chances for sex as possible, might change plans in their day so that they can get a little dopamine hit, right? When in that state, maybe nothing else matters and it's urgent to the person, they really want to do the things they're thinking about. And it seems so similar a state of mind to the one of me as an addict or unhealthy gamer, if you replace the subject. Only in my case there's no natural mechanism in place to regulate it, it seems I can't have enough gaming. This is just a thought of mine, seemed funny to me.

Thought to be questioned: My life is a mess and I'm out of control
 What is the evidence for this thought? Irregular, little sleep since I gamed again, my emotions are all over the place, I'm anxious and stressed
What is the evidence against this thought? I am doing the work I have assigned to myself per day mostly accurately (more or less I finish what I'm supposed to finish)
Am I basing this thought on facts, or feelings? I am basing this thought on both. The times I went to bed are facts, and how long I slept is also a fact. But it's also my shame and anxiety that supports the thought.
Is this thought black and white, when reality is more complicated? Yes.
Could I be misinterpreting the evidence? Not in the specific scenario, I actually made some wrong calls about timing my gaming
Am I making any assumptions? I'm assuming this is my eternal, broken state. But only a couple of weeks ago I was feeling completely different is the truth.
Might other people have different interpretations of the same situation? If so, what are they? My loved ones tell me that they see me do my duties like I did before, and that it's not so dramatic, what compromises I made in order to play.
Am I looking at all the evidence, or just what supports my thought? All the evidence.
Could my thought be an exaggeration of what is true? Me being a loser is an exaggeration of having made some bad choices. The choices were bad for me, but they don't enclose my whole being in them. And I can choose to do differently at any point.
Am I having this thought out of habit, or do the facts support it? It's ingrained in me because of how poorly I dealt with this hobby and the personal consequences I had to deal with because of it. I'm traumatized and scared by my own past, immature decisions.
Did someone pass this thought or belief to me? If so, are they a reliable source? I did because I felt horrible about how I wasted my time (and more bad things) and so I attached these things to my identity as a way to.. I guess.. keep me from doing the same mistakes again..?
Is my thought a likely scenario, or is it the worst casescenario? It's happened before, to be consumed by games and have no life. So it's possible but I won't let it happen. So it's not likely, and it's surely my worst nightmare to waste my life behind a computer screen.

Edited by fawn_xoxo
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Keep trying! It's not an easy road we tread, but you just gotta keep picking yourself back up. As long as you do that, you're no loser.

 
 
 
 
3
2 hours ago, fawn_xoxo said:

I have been working. But all through out the day that I spend working from my living room I feel cravings, I feel like I am missing out even though none of my friends plays during the 'working' times anyway cause obviously they are busy with other things. I feel those things intensely and I hate myself that this is what I have to deal with. It's a form of pain, and although I don't want it, I just got to talk with some old friends once more, who game as part of their killing-some-time habit, and the connection and promise of fun when we get to game together keeps me static in this place.

I totally understand this feeling! It's really hard to work with. Two of my best friends in the whole world I stay in touch with through gaming. It's really hard to let it go, and I'm very envious of them for their ability to game and still function normally. For the first time I understand why some smokers talk about the social element of smoking. It's a huge motivator. It's OK to feel very sad and frustrated about this, just remember that in time you will find other friends and hobbies. And if need be, you can try to forge different ways of spending time with your friends online (I play DnD for example).

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Day 194.

Days without games: 175/194 
No caffeine:
Day 1
No sweets: Day 2
Did I play today? Yes, 2 hours as planned.

I got up and wasn't rested. Then, because sleep has turned into a problem for me the last weeks, I was frustrated and focused on it too much. I couldn't sleep again. I kept at it though, I slept one hour or one hour and a half more at some point. That pushed my schedule a couple of hours further than intended, but I started working either way. I felt urges during the work hours, I felt like escaping what I am doing so that I can get online and chat with friends. I wasn't feeling the urge to game, I realized. A lot of my urges are connected to having feelings like tension and being wired. This got me thinking. And I remembered something JustTom said, about having to have 'extreme circumstances' to do well in life and I thought about it.

When I was in school, my schedule was always full, because I had school in the morning and then in the afternoons I attended french and other languages classes, or was enrolled in some type of exercising hobby and such. This started around the age of 10 maximum, until then I used to do my homework right after coming home from school and then watch tv for the rest of the day till bedtime. When it was like 9 or 10 I would pick up a book (novels) and read, falling asleep while at it.

When I went to college, I didn't have a schedule like that, my afternoons were all for myself and I gamed most of them till the night and then overnight too. I had no one waiting for me to achieve and on the contrary, college was bad cause professors really hated us, or so it felt for soft me back then. They were cruel, in my eyes, I wasn't enjoying it. I wasn't motivated by them, and the subject was new to me, but it wasn't stimulating. It wasn't exciting. And the situation all in all wasn't fun at all. I wasn't getting rewarded for doing homework and stuff, like in school. I wasn't special, nobody cared. But I achieved so much so smoothly in school / high school when I was socially rewarded for it.

I realize that nowadays, after opening the door to gaming again I am always looking to distract myself. It's not always though, I also realize. It might be that my work (from a computer, 0 social side to it) doesn't offer me the stimuli I need. My biggest urges come not when I am working outside of the house, or with people. They don't come when I am walking and looking around my environment. I find myself having the strongest urges when I am at home, working on something that I don't like (and I have a very low tolerance for boredom sadly), and I have noticed it's not exactly the urge to game but more so to engage in the social aspect, of joking around or just talking with other gamers about the game (since that's our common ground). I am searching for an escape from my boring situation of the moment, that's what I am noticing. And somehow this makes me feel better than the previous days, because all the previous days that I felt the urges to escape my work (which I didn't do before, when online socialization wasn't an option cause I had games under ban) I compared to working without urges and I felt horrible. I felt, what the heck is wrong with me horrible, and it affected my ability to relax enough to fall asleep even.

Today I didn't consume any refined sugars, I ate fruits and I didn't drink anything with caffeine in it. I did this mostly to help myself with the pent up energy and this tension and feeling wired. Now it's late at night and near my bedtime and I feel relaxed. I gamed for a couple of hours, as I had told myself I'd try to do since yesterday. I don't want to jeopardize my mood, but I'm still searching for the balance in all this. It could be the coffee, it could be the sugar, it could be my computer-based work and other duties I do via computer that don't help me release my energy and it turns into negative thinking, anxiety I'll mess up and other things. But right now, as I write this, I feel satisfied with myself and at peace with what I did today. It wasn't perfect, but it was good. I did get that extra sleep, I did stay away from sugar and caffeine as I yesterday decided to, and I did game but I don't feel the urge to game now that I've logged off the game. I don't feel the urge to socialize further either.

Yesterday as I was lying in bed trying to sleep, I thought that I need to define the identity I want for myself. It might have been hard on me, trying to re-include gaming in my life, but I think what it's taught me so far is that even though I was doing the things I should be doing all these months and weeks prior, I had not established who I want to be. I didn't have defined things that resonate with me that I want to have in my every day life that will make me happy, and that's why I have urges to do this one other thing that I have seen can make me happy in the past (gaming). And so I began asking myself what are things I'd like to be, that would resonate with my values? 

So far I've thought of a few things. One thing I'd like is to identify as a healthy person with a fit body, capable of carrying weights for household chores and grocery shopping, capable of exploring places without getting tired and out of breath, capable of good posture. Another thing I'd like to identify as is an artist. I love artistic anything, and I am good at a lot of things art related. I am not skilled at a lot of things, but I know I have it in me, the tendency and the preference, which would make learning more in that field an easier thing. So far those are things that I could put in my schedule to make it fuller with things I care about and things that will keep me mentally participating in them when I do them. I think my urges come from having an otherwise unfitting lifestyle for myself, a lifestyle I know I adopted because of gaming and has stuck with me for all these years.

So, I'd better become serious about trying new things again, force myself into some exercise situations and artistic situations, so that I may become passionate about something. I like being driven by intense emotions and passions. It makes me feel right and alive.

For some reason I feel good now and I am gonna enjoy it while it lasts. Maybe it's also the reason and logic questioning I did yesterday that helped me, too.
😊

Edited by fawn_xoxo
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Hey fawn,

I just wanted to stop by to say I just picked up The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Dr. Branden. I kept seeing your recommendations around the forum about this so I figured it was worth a go. 

Thanks for bringing this up!

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Day 195.

Days without games: 175/195
No caffeine: 
Day 2
No sweets: Day 3
Will I play today? Yes, 2 hours.

I went to bed around midnight and set my technology aside. I read a book for ten minutes before I turned off my little light and went to sleep. I was tired and I focused on just not thinking anything at all. I focused on observing myself and refocusing on being in a mindful state without thinking anything and I fell asleep in what feels like a more natural manner. 

I woke up after six plus hours, but I'm not sure why. Was it my open door and my family walking around? It just so happened that I woke up at that moment. Or is it that I didn't need more sleep? I did sleep in yesterday. I don't feel like going back to sleep, but I stayed in bed for an hour so far. I guess I'm fixated on getting 8 hours, because I have it established in my mind that anything less is a problem coming from gaming. Turns out that right after that hour, I relaxed and fell asleep again till my alarm. I should practice relaxation and mindfulness more I guess, that's what's helped so far. Lying down and not thinking, that's how a normal person falls asleep I guess, and by having issues I've messed with the process.

Today I intend to stay away from socializing online and just game, so that I may see what results I get on sleep, then I will abstain from both and observe what happens. So far it feels like gaming only 3 days per week has me more calm and at ease, though I'm having trouble staying away from the social aspect.

So far so good, I intend to stay outdoors as much as possible today, where it's easier to not get urges to go online, cause I'm surrounded by people one way or another, real ones.

Later on today: 
I did stay outdoors till the sun started to set and my urges to go online and socialize weren't half as bad as at home. They were like, ten? No urges to play really but it's more like I wanna do something fun while at the moment I'm going through some boring and tedious stuff. I did play 2 hours and then logged off. I feel so much better after yesterday and I have started feeling positive. What I've learned is, when you feel positive you have to continue doing what you did that made you feel this way, not feel confident and go into mistakes. That's why the 2 hours are staying as they are and I am trying to do more of outdoors activities. Also will look into mindfulness.

I ate fruits today too, and mostly only ate when I needed to. No sweets, no fizzy drinks. So far so good, weight is dropping again.

Edited by fawn_xoxo
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Day 196.

Days without games: 175/196
No caffeine: 
Day 3
No sweets: Day 4
Will I play today? Nooooope.

I went to bed before midnight yesterday and I woke up without alarm after 7 hours. It felt right, I don't feel tired, so if it's 7 I need right now so be it! I'm still in bed though, being a little lazy.

Rant: I logged on to chat a bit but instead got some messages from someone weird. This reminds me how toxic the community can be and how many people with serious issues are hiding behind screens. I don't want to be around this person cause just reading their opinions makes me negative, rolling my eyes and wanting them to just disappear from my online life because they are so selfish and want everyone to appease them. They have no idea of boundaries and they want everyone else to do things that benefit them, or they throw tantrums. I really want no contact with the person and I don't contact them myself.

With that said, I can see how my urges are more like I want to be the class clown and make people laugh and I want to have fun socially, I don't like being alone for so long. But if I go outside then what will I get that won't have caffeine or sugar? So hard.

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Day 199.

Days without games: 175/199
No caffeine: 
Day 1
No sweets: Day 1
Will I play today? Yes, 2 hours.

I spent the weekend with my loved ones and there were many nice moments but I also gave in to caffeine and sweets. I also played both days, Saturday it was an unregulated situation afternoon onwards and Sunday it was like one hour here and there, something like that. I'm writing these down to process them and understand what I did wrong and why.

Caffeine on Saturday disrupted my sleep schedule and sweets on both days were eaten without consideration for the consequences. That's me going "Live a little" in the moment, but today that's Monday I feel like a couple of "live a little" days focused on pleasures only set me up to want more! And I'll tell myself it's okay to want more of those high reward for nothing activities, it's in our DNA to want to go after that sugar and dopamine but... I'm not a caveman so I'll not behave this way.  Today I'll not drink caffeine and I'll not eat sweets. 

Gaming. After I gamed without schedule on Saturday, on Sunday I felt this familiar urge to game only with the people I know can help me win. It feels like a dependency, really only wanting some friends to be online so we can do that stuff. It's like being selective, and it came after Saturday's "splurge", it's no coincidence. This dependency makes me feel like a loser and like an addict because just gaming feels not enough at such a time. It's nothing I have seen from other people explicitly expressed but do tell me guys if you've felt this way too or something similar, being very specific about how to game.

Writing things down is so beneficial to me I've found, because it's admitting to myself what I've done, good or bad, and makes it impossible to just let things slip through the cracks. It makes it easier to evaluate if some things were a good or a bad choice and it makes me commit to not redoing those which obviously had consequences I didn't like. And writing makes me think about consequences and relationships of cause and effect.

I have a great time when I am doing physical tasks that force me to be in the present. I don't go for those on my own however, I only do what's needed. When I'm mindful and in the present moment, focused at what I'm doing, I don't get urges to escape. But not all things can keep me focused like this and I'm exploring those differences currently.

Through time , through hardship, through tears and shame and guilt and regret, I've managed to feel much more satisfied with my life. During the last couple of months, excluding the weeks I got anxious by getting triggered, I've been feeling more carefree and happy with what I have, earned or not. I'm finding my old happy go lucky self, gradually.

I'm practicing acceptance of my flaws, not denial and fighting them. I'm not going to bash myself for the weekend, but I will make sure to be better organized and keep things in their proper frames. I need to revisit my hobbies and do more things away from a screen, but like actually do them since I know it helps me be a better me.

Should I celebrate 200 days tomorrow in some way?? Hmm

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Day 200.

Days without games: 175/200.
No caffeine: 
Day 2
No sweets: Day 2
Will I play today? No.

Today I will not play games. Today I'll also not allow myself to satisfy any urges for online socialization. 

Yesterday was hard for me, wanting to eat something sweet but saying no to myself, getting up to get something sweet but sitting back down with just a glass of water instead.. But I didn't eat sweets and this will be day 2 now because of that choice.

I can't understand the reasons behind my urges to constantly check whether my gamer friends are online and wanting to escape my routines just to chat. Or rather, I'm a bit confused regarding this matter. I have put gaming into a certain frame and I keep it in there, a couple of hours when I play, that's it. But having not put the socializing online into a frame, and I think I'm indirectly getting gaming "puffs" via talking with gamer friends, I think that I'm just extending my contact with games like this. And if I talk to multiple people through out the day about games, then when am I really focused to my tasks? My brain is probably getting a fix like this, indirectly.

But I don't want to spend my days being distracted by games and so today I'll stay away from anything gaming related. After getting a good long fix during the weekend, today will be hard, but it's fine. I want to identify as someone who lives life and doesn't depend on gaming to be happy. But with that said, I don't blame myself for being like this. I think I require more social interaction in my tasks and that I dislike being alone. I used to have a really big circle of acquaintances but they weren't real friends and I don't care for fake friends at this age. I'm just trying to find what works best for me right now, still.

Edited by fawn_xoxo

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13 hours ago, fawn_xoxo said:

Yesterday was hard for me, wanting to eat something sweet but saying no to myself, getting up to get something sweet but sitting back down with just a glass of water instead.. But I didn't eat sweets and this will be day 2 now because of that choice.

Were you hungry for a type of meal (lunch, dinner, etc.) when you craved sweets or was it more of a sugar craving due to an emotional or environmental situation? If you were hungry, what size meals did you eat beforehand and did you do anything physically or mentally straining that might urge your body to crave sustenance?

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Day 201.

Days without games: 175/201.
No caffeine: 
Day 3
No sweets: Day 1
Will I play today? Yes, 4 hours.

Yesterday I succeeded in not playing games, but I did check in with my online gamer friends late in the day. I felt the urge to do so the moment I was home, alone, with nothing else to do. But I also felt bad for having that urge. Why does it feel bad ? It does. I feel guilty for having that urge.

I'll write more tomorrow 

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Day 202.

Days without games: 176/202.
No caffeine: 
Day 4
No sweets: Day 1
Will I play today? I'm not sure if I will.

I had a busy day yesterday and then started feeling a little ill. I did game more than 4 hours as a way to do something while I'm sick, and I do feel guilty about it, even though logically I shouldn't. I have been talking about this process with my loved ones, a lot, and they have been helping me feel less anxious about all this. My issue is the very negative association I have made towards gaming, which gives me feelings of anxiety and shame and guilt for enjoying certain aspects. I am still treating it like a phobia or fear that I need to expose myself to, exposing myself to it again and again and trying to correct my opinions about it.

I want to mention that so far, despite having games in my life again, my professional goals have been met properly as far as my part is concerned. I did what I had to do to the best of my ability, games didn't make me compromise on my professional life. 

My focus hasn't shifted from my life to games, however I do think about them nowadays whereas I didn't think about them at all when they were banned. Though, the truth is that I also spend a considerable amount of my free time thinking (worrying) about not turning into a games junkie again.

When I waste two plus hours watching a series or movie with my loved ones I don't feel bad, but replace the activity with games and my emotions change drastically. I have discussed this with people who don't game, my emotions, the negative correlation I have in my brain between games and doom, and I'm trying to work on these things so that I'm at peace with myself.

Again I want to reflect on my tendencies or urges. I don't actually often feel like I want to game more than I have said I will at the start of the day. I have noticed that the gaming part itself is interesting however if I have something more engaging to do, something social in example, I don't care that I won't get those two hours of fun. I am very fun oriented, and I noticed that even in professional settings I try to joke a lot and lighten up the mood even in difficult things. I feel at ease being like that, but if I compare it to the lifestyle I've been having so far it's really the opposite. Once more I see a connection between the social element and my mood and stable mental state. The more socialization I get, the more I want it, and so I understand why when I'm home alone I seek to speak about a common interest with my gaming friends. In the real world the friends I've made have other common interests with me and I talk with them about that. 

I haven't spoken about that part of my life, I realize. My friendship side of my life has improved very much, gradually and slowly, with only a couple more people than before but they are good and unique people which allow me to be myself with them. I didn't expect to find such friends in the real world. But I did and it's so nice to talk and laugh together, and be honest and share even my gaming issue with them, even if only lightly. 

I've been writing this entry for 40 minutes it seems. It really helps me handle my anxious and guilty feelings that I get, processing everything. I write and I stop and I think about why some things are like that, the connections between them and I can understand myself better and beat me up less. 

As much as I like my work, doing it home alone is unhealthy for me. Escaping it via chatting with online friends is a way for me to cope, I conclude so far, so I maybe got to look at it from an understanding and sympathetic point of view rather than judging, but at the same time seek to correct my unhealthy lonely situation. Truth is, the more social a day I have, the more joy I have and bring to my loved ones to share with them at home. I feel good when talking with people and I feel in my element. I feel engaged and present. I don't like being alone, getting in my head too much, worrying too much. So another thing in my life that needs repair is this, to make my life consist of more social activities even it not for entertainment.

When I'm sick I tend to stay in bed and watch TV so that the day might pass and I don't focus on myself too much. From that perspective I think it's the same if I game for a while, too. But I'm unsure cause I still have fears in my heart about it. We'll see what I'll do.

Edited by fawn_xoxo

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I can really understand that negative association with gaming. I think it comes from a place of finally realizing how problematic it was, and how huge a decision it was to get rid of it. Afterwards, when you start to see improvements in your life, you can begin to view gaming as a kind of root evil that made your life what it was before you quit. I feel tremendous guilt and go back and forth in my head when I have a powerful urge to play. Like you say, I worry that if I even play a little I will become a games 'junkie'.

But it's normal to want things that make you feel good, especially when you're unhappy. So I've tried not to give myself a hard time about the urges. After all, I didn't create the urges. My subconscious did. And really, problematic gaming was a symptom of a wider problem you had in your life. An inability to face your emotions perhaps, or to cope with stress in a constructive way. You are already so much more self-aware now when you do game. Now at least, when you sit down and play, you perhaps have an inkling of why and can try to do something about it.

Keep it up. Keep being honest and digging and writing to try and find the truth. In time, you'll get there.

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Day 203.

Days without games: 176/203.
No caffeine: 
Day 5
No sweets: Day 1
Will I play today? I feel like I shouldn't.

I wake up after having stayed up late gaming yesterday and I feel upset. I feel angry, I think. I open my eyes and they are dry and tired from the reduced sleep duration, and it's a trigger for me to be upset at myself. If it was because I was out clubbing, I wouldn't be upset. I would accept it as a consequence but wouldn't be mad at myself. But just like back in the past when I stayed up late, now as I wake up I feel tense. I look at the clock and obsess over the exact amount of shuteye time I got or didn't get. And that stops me from sleeping again, while I still have time and all. 

But writing it helps. After I wrote this I relaxed some. I need to let go of anger and practice acceptance for the things in my life, cause I deny/fight things a lot. I slept some more after I wrote here and I might sleep more yet. 

Sometimes I think I should be more lax with myself and allow me some slack. That's then countered by the fears that I'll go back to being a junkie. So I am looking for the middle ground here.

Edited by fawn_xoxo
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Day 204.

Days without games: 176/204.
No caffeine: 
Day 6
No sweets: Day 1
Will I play today? 2 hours, if that.

I wake up after only 5.5 hours of sleep and I get upset. It isn't the gaming alone, but it's the gaming too. Being ill was my excuse for doing nothing productive yesterday too and I played instead, a grand total of 7 hours. 

The pattern I am seeing in myself is boredom. It's peculiar how I am, one, avoiding responsibility by staying in bed, yet at the same time feeling frustrated and restless with nothing to do, choosing to fill the gap with something easy and familiar, games.

During the past week I've lost, or set aside, my sense of good measure. I have spent too much time talking with gaming friends and the nearly everyday gaming of 2 hours only increases the numbers of my wasted time. I set aside what's good for me and chose what's fun for me, a hedonistic inclination of mine that, if left unchecked, will take me back to where I started. And so today I'll practice self discipline and accept that I'll feel a little social media withdrawal, but it's for the best. 

Right now it's clear to me that my job being lonely isn't helping me be a balanced person, so I've tried escaping that loneliness and boredom by going online. I don't judge myself for that as much as when I started writing here, no. I understand I have needs for a busier social life, or a different work environment, or another change. I understand myself better now, and although I don't always have the means to make drastic changes, I can at least persevere and do the right thing. 

I feel regret only for one thing lately, my sleep. I have given up on my morning and night routine and that's bad of me. I don't get ready for bed by relaxing and I keep on doing brain stimulating stuff till right before bedtime. This makes me fall asleep in a state of rush, which results in me waking up asap too. That's how I've been able to explain it at least. And so I need to stop this, and go back to respecting my unique needs in order to live a healthy, balanced life. Otherwise I am a junkie, and a slave to "fun". 

It's kind of hard to give up this online socialization part, cause it makes my loneliness momentarily go away at times. I need to find different coping mechanisms, I really do. I should make my days busier from Monday on.

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Day 205.

Days without games: 176/205.
No caffeine: 
Day 7
Will I play today? Probably?

I'm unable to stay away from sweets it seems, and I feel really unstable emotionally. I am not out of control, on the contrary I'm monitoring myself very closely and my loved ones are helping me with that, but I am afraid of myself. 

Because I play every day, I feel that I depend on it. Unlike series, I like gaming so much that I look forward to it, and socializing with gamers regarding games. But yesterday was different and it was both good and bad, but I feel very bad as a result.

I feel so guilty about wanting to play, even if it doesn't take away from my time. I feel guilty even if my loved ones tell me that I've been doing great with all my duties in life. It's like I'm trapped in this junkie identity and I feel like I am a really bad person for liking games, no matter what my reality is. 

I spent a big chunk of my day yesterday with loved ones and as a result, as has been the case the last weeks, I find myself uninterested in gaming and socializing online when I have the real thing. When I have real people in front of me to talk to, I don't look for people online. And it's good to see this, to understand my needs. But I feel bad because of how big a change I go through between these states.

When I'm with people, whether they're close to me or not, I almost don't care about the online people. I don't find the same things to say as I do when I'm alone with nothing to do. When I'm alone with nothing to do, I notice now in comparison, it's like I focus on trying to have something to talk about, that I talk with people without a real reason, I talk with them for a subject, repeating it over and over, just so I can do the activity "talking" and I can waste my time like that. I feel like I use online people like this to waste my time with them, and I feel it really isn't in tune with who I am offline. And that makes me feel guilty. 

I feel like I change my behavior drastically, from a person with values and manners and genuine interactions in the real world, to someone superficial and only after one thing online. I feel like the online version of me is unfair to other people and when I am faced with this realization I feel shame.

I know that I don't become this other persona online accidentally. I understand that it's a switch that happens because I'm desperately trying to use online chatting as a hobby, something to spend my time on, when I have nothing better to do. And once more that leads me to wonder about the things I should include in my life. 

I get so overwhelmed emotionally from all this, and I really need to write things down like this, so I can process it. Otherwise I just sit with my guilt and shame about my actions, and I don't see reason, I don't realize that it's not that dramatic. 

How many people behave differently online than in the real world? Probably many, if not the majority. I'm not the only one who uses the internet to waste time using hobby topics as a crutch. But I feel that it is really not good for my self esteem, I want truth and honestly and transparency with myself. I don't want to feel bad about my actions online, when I see the differences between that and my offline human interactions. And right now I feel bad, but it's okay. I need to do something about it, correct this behavior, and then I will not feel bad about it. 

This describes the whole idea behind this time of my life in general. I'm struggling to correct the bad things I did with games, because I feel like, unless I ban them completely from my life again, I will carry these negative feelings with me about them always. But the truth is, whatever behaviors I did earlier in life, whatever behaviors I notice myself do now, I have the choice whether I think they suit me.  I just need to think more, it feels like. Because one bad emotion can take me feel such a burden if I don't attend to it and extract what it wants to tell me.

Without a schedule, I have all this free time that I am not prepared to deal with, without any purpose except those I create and choose for myself. 200 days later and I am still unsure about it, that's how it works, really slowly. 

All in all, I've figured out a lot of bad things for me come from being so lazy and wanting to be comfortable and also having that option in the first place. I need so much more action in my life to feel happy. I need to be doing a lot of things, and progress, and I need little free time to recharge. I want to do well, I want to grow, because being in challenging situations makes me work better and motivates me, but I have made my life so easy that work bores me and games and chatting seem like a more interesting alternative, yet still leave me feeling like I want more, like I'm not fulfilled with them. 

I don't condemn games, not really, even if I get very ashamed of myself for liking them, in my personal struggle. I understand that when someone wants to just waste some time, they're just like a movie or a series or a phone call with someone. But I think that my life doesn't have anything in it that creates that routine people have, their 9-5 jobs (which often satisfy multiple needs) and then the defined me-time that they don't feel bad for wasting. But lately I haven't had my priorities straight, and that's because of all this freedom to do as I please. To stay in bed all day, if I choose to, or play all day if I choose to. I did nothing of those, but even if I did I would have no consequences, and that's a bad thing. There is no elder relying on me, or any small one crying for my attention. I've worked smart and I could go months without working and still live decently. I need.. nothing. And in games there are always quests and they make you need something, which I guess.. is a big reason why I got hooked before and why I get urges nowadays too. 

It's because they give me something fake for me to need and thus achieve, whereas I have made my life easy and it needing nothing from me. But maybe I'm too complacent and my wants are too small? I don't need a big house or expensive furniture, or special food and whatever else. Mostly everything I want, or at least think I want, I have. And shouldn't I be happy? Instead I'm looking for more through games? 

I guess that's the nature of man, always needing to achieve something. But I'd better think hard and figure out what REAL things I'd actually enjoy achieving. Else I'll just ultimately stick to fake achievement in screens.

 

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I follow you with being superficial on the internet, but I think it really comes from boredom if you just chat about nothing with someone. It can happen IRL too though. I prefer talking about profound things with people and while a well-asked question can snap me into that mode, it takes some time to engage in a genuine conversation. I noticed a spike in total time in that mode after my ex broke up with me and I think that's good.

Schedules are also good or at least to-do lists. Yesterday-me probably had a good reason to put these things in for tomorrow!

As for achieving in games, it's rough. Generally, it's a good idea to not stake 90% on one card in life to define your purpose/meaning, because if it's gone, you're 90% gone too. The chaos either kills you or perhaps makes you realize there are more things in life to live for that was previously your 10%.

The point is to have a plan in games, before you get sucked in and have the game plan for you by reaching the unreachable top. Games are great for marking progress too. Maybe your plan is to have rank 10 in HS, have a K/D over 2 in CS or play some old-school 2000s single-player RPG from start to finish with all the quests, but you gotta decide for yourself.

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Day 205, later on.

I am grateful for having people who love me, appreciate me, respect me and accept me. I am thankful for having material goods, a roof over my head, food to eat, clothes to wear and in general all my basic needs covered and then some. I am grateful for nice views, having the option to be lazy and not work, and having options in general. I am grateful for being free and living in the western world, which is better than the eastern world in many ways. I am grateful for having gotten hooked to video games and not something else, something with long term damage to myself that is beyond repair.

I don't know why I feel bad. I wrote that long post earlier, and after it I felt better. But I didn't take action on what I said I should do, and maybe it's been eating me from inside. I don't feel good, sitting around wasting time, even if it's the weekend, it seems. I told myself I can start my new schedule from monday, but spending my sunday doing nothing much left me feeling bad. I think I am majorly traumatized by my past with games, because I feel bad just being in their proximity. I am trying to repair my relationship to them but it's not going great. 

Truth is, I was doing better before, and I was away from games, even away from this forum. I was working hard, accepting that I had negative thoughts but ignoring them and taking action anyway. I spent my days doing things, and I didn't have to come in contact with my triggers. So, I don't know if it's a good idea. Maybe I'm foolish, staying in proximity when it causes me pain. My mind is otherwise empty these last days, having no specific task to do, no full schedule, or even half full. I am doing whatever I want, yet my mind manages to instead fill up with negativity. It is so much work to have to correct all the twisted negative thoughts that occur to me, too, and I haven't done it. I have become overwhelmed by them and I am sitting here, doing nothing productive, but expecting to feel better somehow? It's unrealistic, and it's just wishful thinking. 

Sitting around and trying to enjoy being lazy is not a good idea when I am also getting triggered and the negativity floods my mind. Playing games because I 'deserve some time off' is also not a good idea, cause.. I need to deal with those bad feelings that linger in the back of my mind. And thus, I need to take action. When am I going to do the things I should be doing? I will make a schedule today, for the day to come. And like before, I will make a schedule for the next day every day, at the end of it, and keep to it as much as life allows.

I might revisit my self-esteem book, refuel my belief in myself and remind myself I hold the keys to this life and what flavor it will have. I have been lazy, and I have not been focused on my goals except one in my professional life. But I have sort of achieved what I needed to achieve there and been without purpose for a week or so. I haven't been achieving anything, really, just been sitting around, and it's not done anything for me. It's only contributed to making me feel like a loser.

Maybe this has all been a trap for me, thinking I can do it, when I can't, cause I still feel so bad about it. Or maybe the problem is the focus. Without focusing on what I can and will do, all my energy goes to the negative, what I fear will happen and so on. Either way, I commit to making a schedule for myself for tomorrow in which I will fill all the hours with productive things, or free time spent doing social activities, or things that contribute to my self esteem.

Getting back into the gaming community sucked all my energy, with the fears and all. It's like having PTSD in a way. And I forgot how to schedule my life, and focus on me and what I want to do. I forgot. But through this hardship, this difficult emotional situation that's been going on for a few weeks now, I see that I did this 'return' all wrong. I put games into a frame, but everything else faded out of the frame, I planned when to game but didn't plan anything else. 

I feel better, thinking this will help me. It worked before. It made me feel good every day, even if I had negative thoughts. I felt in control, I did something good for me and my future everyday and I knew it, I had my schedule and agenda to show it to myself, ticking things off my to do list. I have put all of those things aside, even before returning to gaming, because of some other circumstances with my RL. 

But now I will get back on that horse. Tomorrow I will do things for my current professional life, and invest time to get better opportunities in the future too. I will do something to improve my health and my appearance. And this will make me feel good, because it will be in tune with my inner values and my goals. I will write these things down here, even though I won't be tracking them on the forum.

Goals
Get fitter
Get lighter
Work every weekday
Improve my skills in my profession so that I have more chances for future jobs
Have quality relaxation time
Have quality time with loved ones, return the love and support I have received, and be present
Do artsy/creative things and channel my creativity through that
Have a morning and a night routine that is consistent
Get acquainted with spirituality
Start a class for another professional direction


These are what I should be focused on. Not how to play so that I won't turn into an addict again. That was the wrong focus. Fear was my guide and it was wrong. It was negative. Now I will look at who I want to be, and do things that take me to that direction. 

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Day 206.                                            No games, day 1.

I count the last month as a relapse, part of the journey, sure, but a relapse. I deleted everything and I'm not going to give myself even 2 hours of games. I can not deal with them, the last four weeks were an unnecessary(?) experiment and now I gotta continue my journey, living my life, not focused on something else.

It was hard to commit to removing them again but I did it and here I am again. I can not do what I wrote yesterday without removing the games. I can not just play for 2 hours. I can't.
I am done feeling bad for myself, I need my carefree days back, true relaxation, quality time with myself, and to have fun without guilt. 

I have been feeling guilty and ashamed and angry and frustrated, but with the help of my support system I went ahead and took action, not just words, to change my situation. Games are no longer an option for my schedule, they will have no slots. It sucks for my addicted part of the brain, but long term it will make me happy and balanced again, at least better than I have been the last weeks.

Bye games.
Hello life.

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Day 207.                              No games, day 2.
 

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

I got up and exercised some, I've been up for an hour and a half but my mind is glued to negativity. One bad thought attracts others, and they become an ever growing metallic magnet ball that gets bigger and bigger, drawing more pins and needles to it.  

My process is, I get a negative thought and it makes me feel bad. I might feel guilty, if my negative thinking is about someone else, or I might get sad if it's about myself. I don't like these thoughts and their existence, the mere fact they pop up upsets me. Here we go again, I say internally, here come your negative thoughts. I wish them away, I fight them. I don't want to have them, but something inside me struggles. I make people around me concerned, and I feel pressure to be well and with a good mood, because it affects them too. I feel like I should be another way, I feel under scrutiny even if it's not their intention. 

I wish I could wave a magic wand and go back a month and stop myself. If only I had stopped myself, I wouldn't feel so bad now. But it can't change now. I deny reality, because I don't like it. I don't like facing these negative thoughts again but gaming refueled them.

 

...I napped while trying to write this. Silver lining is I'd not fall asleep easily while gaming, now it's not an issue it seems. 

On top of having negative thoughts, which I cling to, I have the luxury to linger in them and feel bad about myself. I want to find my neural paths back to positivity though. Maybe all my laziness and privilege is stopping me from doing what's right. I have the luxury of staying in bed and mourning and whining about myself, so I do it. And it didn't help but it's easy, cause I'm not taking any action.

What did I do before I went back to gaming? I had negative thoughts too, and they tortured me. But I made an effort. I challenged them by filling in cognitive distortions worksheets to find a more realistic thought. I moved on to do my work either way. But now I haven't done any of that so far, I'm just sitting here, lingering in misery. 

Stimuli -> Freedom of choice -> Response 

I might have negative stimuli as I get bombarded by negative thoughts, but I have the freedom to choose what to do with them.

Earlier this year I remember writing to someone else, at a point when I was strong and feeling good, that we are not our feelings. I remember telling someone else that when depressed, it's not going to work to lie down and make our feelings, us. It's same for our thoughts. We are not the thoughts, we are not the feelings, we are the consciousness that has a choice how to act and what to do. It's scary to know and take responsibility for ourselves like this. I feel it now, how I feel like it's more weight on my shoulders that I can choose to do differently. It's weird.

Later on the same day:
It only started getting better once I got to work.And now around 3 hours later I am better than I was before. I am thankful. I have to keep on taking action. I have to remember, when I feel down, I need to do something, despite not feeling like doing that something. And I should focus on me, my progress, and my life. Nothing else.

Edited by fawn_xoxo
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Day 209.                              No games, day 4.
 

Nothing changes if nothing changes. So I changed some things, I worked a little, spent a lot of time with loved ones and contemplated. Most of all things, it's time that I need to get better when I feel bad. Time with activities different than what I had been doing till the point of breakdown. I have been getting more and more stable emotionally ever since I left games behind once more. I had a dream about gaming today, and when I woke up I realized it was a dream, and I was happy it was a dream and not reality. I don't want the side effects of it, as sweet a distraction as it was. It was ruining my life AGAIN. So no more.

When I have no responsibilities and duties to do, and if I am emotionally stable more or less, I am okay with just 'wasting time' with family and loved ones. I can 'waste time' the whole day, and still I feel quite fine with myself and my day. I just need to not waste full days in a row, else I'll feel without purpose and such.

Going back to gaming brought my self esteem issues back, low self worth, doubts about myself, my identity and all around anxious, negative thoughts about impending doom for my life. I don't know why I am unable to detach one from the other, but I don't care for that Pandora's box any more. As much as I'd have liked to have recovered fully in the past six months, it wasn't enough recovery to keep gaming from becoming a nagging little voice always urging me to act differently from my schedule/routines/goals. Now I don't have that voice, cause I don't feed that voice. I haven't gamed since Sunday and my mental/emotional state has been getting better and better. I'll keep my distance, and will get my sanity back.

I realize that the environment we are in also plays a role. Some people will react to my bad emotional state one way, others in another way. And as a reaction, I might feel better or worse about it. Some people are just better at dealing with people's feelings than others, but I need to recognize that I owe it to no one to feel or be a certain way, no matter if my state affects them. If I get sad because feeling bad makes other people feel bad, then it's obviously not a good dynamic. When I feel bad, the type of person I need around me is a strong person who can show me the positive way forward, show me that I can turn the page, but still allow me to feel how I feel and go through those feelings (of mourning, in a way) on my own time and pace. If I make people sad by being sad, then I guess I should put some distance between them and me? So that they don't feel sad, and so that I don't feel worse than I already did. Which is hard when you love people and care about them, but I need to remember these strategies, else my emotional state becomes worse, and so does that of other people. I am still learning strategies like these, really. 

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