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Average_Guy

Forging a New Path

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Hello Everyone!

A little over a week ago I decided to quit video games (OSRS and League) for good.  I've struggled with a couple different addictions in my life: pornography, video games, partying, and smoking.  For me, each one of these addictions leads to more addictions.  Gaming has been a crutch for me for the last 3 years of my life, while I've had chronic fatigue, and in order to move on and improve myself and my life, I have to overcome it!

 

Here's a link to my back story - Long

 

Goals and Milestones:

Daily Counter: Day 30

Milestone Streaks for not Gaming: 14 Days / 30 Days / 60 Days / 90 Days/ 150 Days / 200 Days / 300 Days / Full Year

Find what career I want to pursue: 

Start a part time job: Meeting with an HR director next week   Fell through, looking for something else

 Travel to Japan: 0/1

Finish my first Japanese language workbook: Page 50 / Page 100 / Page 150 / Page 225 / Completed Workbook

 Become 100% healthy: 61/100%

 

 

My end goal for this Journey is to overcome gaming, my illness, and to go from dependent on my parents to an independent!

 

Interests:  

Working out and general fitness + Swimming

Photoshop, video editing, 3D modeling, general design

Love EDM, audiophile wanna-be

Everything Japanese, Terrace House

 

 

I will be updating this journal consistently, hopefully, but probably not daily.

 

Edited by Average_Guy
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Welcome and thanks for sharing your story. I also was heavily addicted to runescape, osrs, and halo. You can find my story in the introduction page if you're interested. You're in the right place so take your time, learn, and be patient. You got this. 

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Day 8 - 2/16/19

Today was rough.  I made the mistake of thinking I could watch a few gaming videos the other day when I wasn't having any withdraw symptoms.  It worked for a while, but it came back to bite me in the ass today.  It's almost the exact same thing as edging with Pmo.  My dad has always supported my gaming, mostly because it was an outlet for me when I was very sick, but today he encouraged me to stay strong another day and keep working on finding new hobbies.  This helped a bunch and I'm glad to say I made it out alive today.  No more gaming videos or streams for me.

I keep thinking of how much it really sucks that something I enjoyed so much brings in so many other problems.  I wish gaming didn't work like that for me.  But I also trust that God has a plan for my life and my life will be better because of this.

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Don't think of gaming as a reward for good behaviour, you know that after today. When I feel an urge to just look at the website of my game and catch up on some news, I always tell myself "Your satisfaction will be short, but misery will linger." I'm glad to hear that you resisted, be proud of yourself.

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Day 9 - 2/17/19

Actually had a productive Sunday today.  Talked to a friend after church, who low and behold, is also having issues with video games.  With the way games are made these days, it's difficult for almost anyone to manage their gaming habits. Either way, I did some video editing and socializing, and I'm going to practice my Japanese in a few minutes in between Netflix episodes.  Not a bad day.

8 hours ago, mattso said:

Don't think of gaming as a reward for good behaviour, you know that after today. When I feel an urge to just look at the website of my game and catch up on some news, I always tell myself "Your satisfaction will be short, but misery will linger." I'm glad to hear that you resisted, be proud of yourself.

I like this advice and I was probably using the gaming videos as a reward and excuse for my 'good behavior'.  I'm definitely going to be wary of this in the future.

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Day 11 - 2/19/19

I heard that at day 14 it gets easier to stay away from games. So when I get there that will be my first milestone.  I'm still having withdrawals though.  I keep thinking about what I would be doing with my OSRS character in game, or how I could potentially try to manage how much time I play, but I've tried that before and it didn't work so well.

I did write down a deal with myself yesterday.  When my health is fully better and when I have my career down, I can revisit video gaming.  It should also be no less than a year before that happens (mainly the health part), so I will get to see the full benefits of a year worth of not gaming.  It's not set in stone, but I am going to allow myself to revisit the topic and and weigh the pros and cons.  I also believe that if I choose to game in the future, I won't be able to play super grindy games like League or OSRS.  But I could see myself playing mario kart with friends or something much lighter.  Maybe just on the weekends.  Not sure yet.  And I also might be doing so well without games that I just won't continue to game at all.

In the last few days I've edited some footage I took in Japan, messed around with Fruity Loops studio, practiced learning Japanese much more, and gotten after it at the gym.  I'm feeling much more productive already even with the minor withdrawals.

In other news I just finished David Goggins book, Can't Hurt Me.  Dis mans a freaking ANIMAL, and although it can be hard to imagine a life without gaming , when I look at guys like this or some of my heros, I see that it is not only very obtainable, but when you're deep in life's challenges, highs and lows, pushing yourself, you forget gaming even exists.

Stay strong brothers and sistas.

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Day 13 - 2/21/19

Went to the gym this morning and saw an old friend from highschool.  Talking to him felt more natural and comfortable than it usually does.  Talking to people has never really been a struggle for me, but today it just felt more enjoyable than it usually is.

In other news I've been keeping up with a Youtube series that is uploaded weekly on osrs.  It's a guy who's made some pretty innovative content, so it's pretty fun to watch.  I've heard and seen (a bit) of how streaming and watching gaming related videos can lead to relapses.  Personally when I tried to quit playing League of Legends a while ago, streams made me want to come back to the game.

I don't feel that I want to come back to Osrs after watching the videos though.  For some reason, I feel that I'm going have have lots of success quitting gaming, because to me it's the difference of absolutely thriving or suffering.  The stakes are high for me right now and I just can't jeopardize my success because of gaming, I refuse.

That being said, I'm going to experiment a little bit more with watching gaming videos.  I'm going to try and only do it once or twice a week, and if I see that it's leading me to failure, then I will stop.  The first time I tried this I was met with urges, but I was also having frequent urges because I had only stopped gaming for a little more than a week.  Tomorrow is day 14 which is a small milestone for me, and things should get easier from here.  The next milestone is day 30.  So I'm looking forward to getting there and to see how I keep progressing.

 

Small edit: I also noticed that when I look at myself in the mirror, I respect myself and I'm actually proud of myself.  For a couple years I've been devastated every time I had to look at myself, I looked miserable and didn't like myself.  I see that changing now.

 

 

Edited by Average_Guy
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Day 15 - 2/23/19

 

The last two days I haven't felt very motivated.  I've managed to get a few things done and have worked out both days, but I feel like I have a bit of a creative block or something like that.  I'm pretty sure this is caused by the constant stimulation and dopamine rewards from games.  So while it's not the most fun days, it's my brain readjusting to the real world.  I'm just gonna keep moving forward and trying my best to at least get in a few productive activities.  

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15 hours ago, Average_Guy said:

Day 15 - 2/23/19

 

The last two days I haven't felt very motivated.  I've managed to get a few things done and have worked out both days, but I feel like I have a bit of a creative block or something like that.  I'm pretty sure this is caused by the constant stimulation and dopamine rewards from games.  So while it's not the most fun days, it's my brain readjusting to the real world.  I'm just gonna keep moving forward and trying my best to at least get in a few productive activities.  

This is ok to experience.  Don't get down on yourself for lack of achievement.  Gaming, porn, and games like OSRS make you feel like a failure for not being efficient each day and getting something done.  A helpful thing I've learned is just trying to get comfortable with down time.  Sometimes your body and mind just want to relax and not focus.  This is like off days from the gym.  We can't control the days we need it sometimes and just have to go with it and make time elsewhere to be motivated.  

I've found it helpful to have "relaxing hobbies".  Like reading, a few TV shows (don't binge these, it's the same reward system as gaming.  I repeat, do not binge), talking to some friends online, or drawing random sketches that you're not trying to draw.  I think the mind enjoys sketching random things because you draw the way your emotions feel.  If you're agitated you might make deep and direct line strokes, but if you're mellow you might make calm and serene strokes. I also listen to music or a podcast and lie down.

After this, I feel more recharged for when I really want and need to accomplish something at work, the gym, or writing.

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Day 17 - 2/25/19

I'm still fine on the video game front, but I recently relapsed to pmo.  It started when I watched an anime on Netflix that was pretty graphic - Devilman Crybaby.  I knew going into it that it had mature content, but I thought I could just fast forward every scene.  Pretty much every episode had multiple scenes of nudity, so it was pretty hard to skip over it all.  On top of that, my chronic fatigue hasn't been great and I've been exhausted the last couple days.  Earlier I went to my main doctor with expectations of making a breakthrough with my chronic fatigue.  I was shut down and this discouraged me greatly.  

Honestly, it felt like a pretty shitty situation for a few days.  But I'm back on the rebuild.  I'm angry and very frustrated, but I want to channel that into something good.  I've tried to make the necessary adjustments to not make the same mistake again, which is: zero tolerance for any content with anything promiscuous.  

I also am looking for a different doctor to work with, because him not agreeing with me on something I think is very important didn't sit very well, and I want to look at other options for a bit.  

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2 hours ago, Average_Guy said:

Day 17 - 2/25/19

I'm still fine on the video game front, but I recently relapsed to pmo.  It started when I watched an anime on Netflix that was pretty graphic - Devilman Crybaby.  I knew going into it that it had mature content, but I thought I could just fast forward every scene.  Pretty much every episode had multiple scenes of nudity, so it was pretty hard to skip over it all.  On top of that, my chronic fatigue hasn't been great and I've been exhausted the last couple days.  Earlier I went to my main doctor with expectations of making a breakthrough with my chronic fatigue.  I was shut down and this discouraged me greatly.  

Honestly, it felt like a pretty shitty situation for a few days.  But I'm back on the rebuild.  I'm angry and very frustrated, but I want to channel that into something good.  I've tried to make the necessary adjustments to not make the same mistake again, which is: zero tolerance for any content with anything promiscuous.  

I also am looking for a different doctor to work with, because him not agreeing with me on something I think is very important didn't sit very well, and I want to look at other options for a bit.  

What did he not agree with you on if you don't mind me asking?  If not, don't worry about it.  No pressure.  I'd just take the porn relapse in stride and work hard to achieve something you would normally put off due to fatigue.  It might act as a win for you.  I decided to force myself to the gym today to make up for the porn relapse.  It helped my mentality a bit.

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14 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

What did he not agree with you on if you don't mind me asking?  If not, don't worry about it.  No pressure.  I'd just take the porn relapse in stride and work hard to achieve something you would normally put off due to fatigue.  It might act as a win for you.  I decided to force myself to the gym today to make up for the porn relapse.  It helped my mentality a bit.

It's complicated but I can try to explain .  Basically I've been going to an O.M.D (Oriental Medicine Doctor) certified doctor, arguably the best eastern medicine doctor in the city where I live.  I've been going for so many years and researching the treatments so I know a bit about he's doing, at least on how he's treating me.  In the last 6 months I've developed problems with my kidneys do to my body being so weak in certain areas that it can't recover from mundane deficiencies.  So in Chinese medicine the kidneys are associated with yang or life force.  Basically, my body has a difficult time replenishing itself of yang, and on top of that, pmo only makes things worse and further depletes the kidneys.  Sorry if this is kinda gross.

But, as an addict, I'm still struggling with pmo.  Albeit, I'm having much better success and streaks in general, but I still fail from time to time.  My doctor has a generally quick fix for this kidney issue which only takes a week to get back to normal, but every now and then if I pmo, it'll become out of wack - I know, all the more reason not to.   So he's fixed it twice before (a couple months ago) and so I generally don't ask him about it because he's workin on the main issues which are with my spleen, digestive system, and liver.  But in the last two months I've only asked once for him to help me with that problem and he didn't fix the issue.  And this last time, a few days ago, I really asked him if he could help me out with the kidney issue - which I was expecting to get treated then and there, and he ended up kind of ignoring my request and kept working on the main issues.

But good on you for getting to the gym!  I need to go myself, but I have a stationary bike at home, so I might just stay in and do that today.

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Day 18 - 2/26/19

I slept for a long, long time last night.  Thanks goodness, because I needed it and I wanted today to go by fast.  I'm meeting with a new doctor tomorrow that will hopefully help me recover better and have some better communication.  

But, I managed to stay productive.  I worked on my Japanese for a bit, sketched some ideas for a future project in photoshop and got an email back for a job interview.  Also, 18 days down with no gaming, that's decent, almost 20 then the next step is 30.  I can definitely be happy about that.

Edit:   I just remembered I had some good thoughts I wanted to share before I fell asleep last night.  I thought my end goal would be to reboot my brain, then possible work in gaming in moderation.  I realized, there's so much more out there in the world that's far more fulfilling and fun, and I don't think I'll ever need to go back to video games if I don't want.  In fact, I'm pretty content right now without them.

Edited by Average_Guy
Remembered a thought from 2/26/19

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Day 19 - 2/27/19

It's the morning, and I've figured out that I really enjoy journaling.  I've journaled off and on on my own for a few years, but on this website the the support everyone has for each other is really cool and very helpful I think.

I'm going to be meeting with my potentially new doctor this afternoon.  I'm not to anxious, I just want her to be the right one and be able to heal me. 

In other news, I was just contacted by a person in the company I want to work at part time.  I scheduled lunch for late next week and hopefully can start working soon after that.  I think a part time job will be a great, productive way to use my time while I'm living at home.  It's one step closer to independence and will help me be more social, which is probably going to be great for my mental.

Edited by Average_Guy
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I tried to schedule with the new doctor today, and unfortunately she was out of town.  So this forced me to go to my current doctor, which turned out to be a good thing.  We've had different priorities and I usually just let him decide whether I like it or not.  I can be passive at times, I'm a peacemaker on the Enneagram if you've ever heard of it.

Anyways, I asked him to sit down at his desk and have a chat.  He was a little stubborn, and I can understand why, but in the end, we met in the middle and he helped me out with a special request for a certain Chinese herbal medicine I'm taking, starting today.  I have high hopes, but I won't know until tomorrow if it's 100% what I asked for.  

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Day 20 - 2/28/19

Kinda having some urges today.  I used to watch OSRS videos a bit about a week ago.  I felt like it never made me want to go back to Oldschool Runescape, but it could eat up a lot of time if I let it.  After I relapsed to pmo a few days ago, I decided to make a few more rules for myself in hopes to have more success in the future with abstaining.  One of those rules was no gaming videos (less consuming in general).  

I made a deal with myself to test this hypothesis.  If I'm more successful with pmo this time around, maybe not watching video game related content is part of the formula that has given me more success.  Idk.  It probably has more to do with the other rules like avoiding any Movies/Tv shows with any promiscuous content at all.

Overall, I just want to watch a video that's come out in an OSRS series I was enjoying.  Instead, I'm just gonna make some food and hop on my stationary bike.  Maybe I'll get some more insight into whether or not I can consume gaming content (videos not streaming) at all later.. 

If anyone reads this, I'd love to know your thoughts.

Edited by Average_Guy

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3/1/2019 - Day 21

Having mild urges to play video games today unlike yesterday where I just wanted to watch OSRS videos.  Despite that, I'm managing to stay productive in between bouts of fatigue.  Someone said in a different topic on the forum that once you take away gaming, your problems don't go away, you still have to address those problems, like what to do with your time.

And boy do I have a lot of free time on my hands.. but I am slowly but surely building up my willpower and getting more productive.  Today I've already studied Japanese, read my book, biked for 30 minutes, did a morning devo and some stretching.  As for the rest of the day, I'll finish editing a small project for my sister and just kinda repeat what I did this morning.  I don't necessarily enjoy the studying or some of the other things, but at least it's not making me feel depressed and empty and hopefully I'll get some payoff someday.

 

Edit:  It's 8:05 and I'm freaking lonely.  My parents are out of town again, and besides that I only have 1 or 2 friends in town, and that's pushing it.  I pretty much cut ties with all my former friends because I had different priorities than them.  I think I just grew up a bit faster.

I used to suppress my loneliness with video games and chatting on discord, but I don't have that outlet anymore.  This is weird, but I almost want to game for the social aspect, which is something I never would have thought I'd do.  In the end, I definitely won't game tonight.  I'm too determined to see this thing through, it just sucks that I don't have friends and my health is hardly in a spot where I can go out and make friends easily.  Guess I'll read or something.

Edited by Average_Guy

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3/2/2019 - Day 21

My parents will be home in a few hours, which will be nice so I won't have the house to myself.  I'm having another micro-urge to watch OSRS videos again and I'm not sure why.  I don't know if I'm having a mini-detox from watching gaming content in the past during my video game playing detox.   

Instead, I'm just going to hop on my cheap, exercise bike and get close to finishing my book Killing Commendatore.  It's easily been one of the top 5 fiction books I've ever read if anyones interested.  Hopefully after 30 minutes of peddling, I will be able to build up enough motivation to do something productive later.  If not, at least I can blame it on being a lazy-restful Saturday.  

Edit: It's later in the day, and as I do a small pros and cons list, I feel like I have a very good excuse to game..  Since quitting I've become marginally more productive.  I'm probably exercising better, but other than that, when I was gaming I would be on my exercise bike for upwards of an hour to an hour and a half a day.  I'm stretching more and definitely reading a lot more, but I'm also consuming more Netflix now that I'm not gaming.  I've picked up some new software, and I haven't painted yet, but other than that. I haven't seen much difference in productivity.  

I'm a little more confident and my heads clearer, but on the other side of things I'm still tired as hell for 50-70% of the day.  And I feel that with this chronic fatigue, among other symptoms, isn't allowing me to be as productive as I could be, and I'm not even close to preforming how I have when I was healthy.  The last semester I was at school, I killed it with my grades, and a few summers before that I played 100 rounds of golf in 1 summer.  I have so much potential, but while I'm still sick it feels like for the majority of the time, I'm just waiting.  Waiting til I can get back to my normal self.

I'll have a job in a few weeks, and that'll give me some more stability with whatever decision I make.  That being said, I still can't get myself to game.  I have no idea why, but I just can't yet.  On Wednesday I'm meeting with a new doctor that might be able to help me with a big problem that my current doctor refused to help me with.  In all honesty, if this doctor can't help me with my issue that would greatly help my chronic fatigue, then I really can't see much of a reason why I shouldn't just play OSRS while I'm in this phase of life where I have to wait.  

Gamings addicting to me, but I've quit multiple times successfully.  I quit after high school when I wanted to be social and I quit over a year ago when I went back to school.  I didn't think about it once until I got so sick I had to drop out and move home with my parents again.  Then I was so sick I needed something to entertain me because I could hardly do anything.

Maybe my brains trying to justify playing right now.  It's not that the urges are overwhelming, if anything their underwhelming.  I'm just sick of being sick and stuck, not able to put forth my best effort, and not having control over these things.  Going to talk it over with my parents and see what they think.

Sorry for such a lengthy post..

Edited by Average_Guy

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On 2/28/2019 at 11:16 PM, Average_Guy said:

Maybe I'll get some more insight into whether or not I can consume gaming content (videos not streaming) at all later.. 

No. Absolutely not, don't do it, it's a trap. Consuming gaming content only makes you cling to the old life and identity of a gamer, it reinforces your mental relationships with the players/streamers and makes you want to play again. And EVEN IF that would somehow magically not be the case - what would be the point of consuming gaming media anyway? Ask yourself why do you want to watch that stuff? Does it help you progress towards your goals? Does it help you relax? If so, is there not enough amazing non-gaming content that does the same or better job? Does it make you happier? More healthy? More present? I would wager it's the opposite. Quitting gaming is just the first essential step, but there is more to this whole process - it's to change your lifestyle to be more aligned with your values and aspirations. For that, we need to give up some of this comfort, it's just not worth it. 

Cam also has a video about this.

Edited by JustTom
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@JustTom Thanks for this advice.  I completely understand where you're coming from.  At the same time, the point of consuming gaming content would be to 'waste' time, intentionally.  With chronic fatigue and the symptoms I'm having right now, I really don't have many outlets.  I'm just trying to wait until I make more progress with my health, where I can start pushing myself a little.  It all depends on my doctors appointment in 3 days and nothing is set in stone yet, there's just a lot of other variables for at the moment.

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Are you sure you can't think of other outlets? And do you even want to just find an outlet to 'waste time'? I can think of tens of ideas on the spot even if I broke both of my legs(I really don't know what you have so I'm just kidding around:) ). Try to sleep on it, meditate, visualize, think of what you want to do with time and then if you can't figure anything out, let us know. Of course it's always 100% your decision, I'm just verbalizing how I would approach things(theoretically, the implementation is a struggle for me too!)

Edited by JustTom

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@JustTom Yeah, it's a decision I'm gonna make on Wednesday.  And it's extremely complicated, but I appreciate your willingness to help me think this through.  My biggest concern is to try and not come at this with a victim-like mentality.  Even though I'm having health issues, I still want to try and do, at least, something productive each day.  But, the chronic fatigue issue stems from problems w/ my liver and spleen and they also contribute to what I can only explain as mental exhaustion, very little motivation and other things that make it extremely hard to do any work, which is the main reason I couldn't continue school.  It's like an extreme version of Epstein-Barr or Mono.  

But in the end, I'm really hoping I won't have to go back to relying on video games, I hope this new doctor can tell me that there's a plan to fix my issues.  I'm praying about it and hoping I can continue to make progress somehow or other.  

Edited by Average_Guy
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