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it's time to grow up

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It's almost 3am of a Wednesday, and I've stayed up until now because of FFXIV. I was able to stay away from it for almost 90 days until last Friday, but I hurt my arm and was feeling depressed, so I decided to play when, of course, not playing would have been way better for my arm to heal. I am in a weird situation regarding this game because a lot of close people that I've known irl for other reasons play it, even though they don't know each other, and I rarely can meet them because I've lived in another country for most of the time in the last few years, so playing it became a fun way to keep in contact with them. I rarely played anything before it, but the combination of loneliness + being interested in someone who turned out to be a heavy player + the pointlessness of my job made me basically start living my life in there. The game showed up in my life in a time I was vulnerable, and now I am having difficulties getting rid of it in great part because I want to spend more time with the people around me that play it.

Despite wanting that, unfortunately I've been addicted to the internet for a long time now, and playing games always strengthens it. When I'm not playing, however, I finally feel strong enough to get over it. After around a decade trying, I am finally finding a healthy path to deal with it, but there is no way for me to really become healthy if I spend so much time playing in front of a screen. And to be honest I don't even like the game that much -- I just keep on coming back to it to stay close to the people I love. However, what I've realized today is that I'm setting myself on fire to keep other people warm by doing this. During the 81 days of detox, I was able to start sleeping at the right time and having a better established routine, something I've struggled with since I was a teenager. During the detox I was on top of my obligations. I was finally starting to exercise and following a healthy diet, because I felt less anxious without the internet as a crutch. And, honestly, this is one of the points that bothers me the most about videogames: as much as people say they are not only for children, I feel pretty childish when I, who have just turned 26, spend so much time on my computer, in a fantasy land, putting my whole life aside just to reach some random goals that don't mean much to me. I should not, as an adult, spend my life playing and running away from life. I have almost 300 hours in FFXIV, which I've accumulated since January, and I'm not even halfway through it. I'd certainly have to spend at last 300 hours more just to reach my friends' level, when I could be using this time to learn so many things and invest in a new career. I do not want it. Thinking about these 300 hours I have spent is, at its best, very bittersweet. Mostly, it's just a time I wasted and of which I don't remember almost anything. I was just a zombie in front of my screen.

Thus, today I decided to stop playing once and for all and to take my internet use under control. I was about to reach 90 days, but I did not feel this time was enough for me to get rid of my addiction, so I want to establish another deadline: December 31st, 2019, and possibly longer, but let's get there first.

One thing I lacked during the detox were clear goals. I want to think about it in more detail today during the day, but the things I want to do instead of spending time online and gaming are:

* finding hobbies;
* reading ten books until the end of the year;
* exercising every day;
* losing ~30kg;
* visiting museums, going to the movies and to the theater and to libraries (I should make a list of all the places I want to visit).

The first steps I am going to take towards it are:
* defining a clear routine;
* blocking my computer outside of work hours and my cellphone at night.

I have already uninstalled all games and given my account to my wife, so there is no way back to it now.

Today, I will get up at 9am and exercise. If there is time left after work, I will exercise again. I will also follow the Keto diet regularly from now on.


Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.
–W. Clement Stone


Edited by coulibri
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Hey, welcome! I think you’ve made the right choice coming to these forums. 

I love the goals you’ve set for yourself. I only have two suggestions for you. The first would be to take it slow and be forgiving on yourself. You are going from a lifetime of unbridled gaming straight to cold turkey, so don’t worry if you miss a few days at the gym, cheat on your keto, etc. You’ll have a much better chance of reaching the end of 2019 clean if you do a little bit for yourself every day, versus going extremely hard at first and quickly burning out. The second suggestion would be to prioritize socializing with other people, rather than a new workout plan or a fancy diet. At the end of the day we’re all social creatures, and without enough social stimulation there’s a good chance that you could relapse out of sheer boredom. 


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