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AssellusPrimus

The Road to Freedom

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Day 1 and New Years Eve

I was looking at the celebration forum where people post about there accomplishments and celebrate there consecutive days of sobriety and I must say it seems like a very quite place, maybe 5-8 posts, over the year. I am starting to look into the field of addiction recover and I am learning that their is very few resources out there specialized for gaming addiction. As much as I want this forum to work for me,  I seem to be repeating the same failures over and over again, and it is getting quite tiring. Does anyone else feel that they are stuck in a loop without the right tools to support them in making it through? 

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Day 2 New Years

Was really nice to reflect on my New Years Goals and I realize I have so much shit I would like to accomplish, none of which I can do if I spend all of my accomplishing time, doing the same repetitive mistakes over and over again. I have resolved to keep myself busy doing a number of different number of challenges which are focused on improving my overall quality of life. I must also remember to include activities in my life that I find relaxing and that can help me distress so that I don't feel that life is just a serious of accomplishments. 

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On 12/31/2019 at 9:28 PM, AssellusPrimus said:

Day 1 and New Years Eve

I was looking at the celebration forum where people post about there accomplishments and celebrate there consecutive days of sobriety and I must say it seems like a very quite place, maybe 5-8 posts, over the year. I am starting to look into the field of addiction recover and I am learning that their is very few resources out there specialized for gaming addiction. As much as I want this forum to work for me,  I seem to be repeating the same failures over and over again, and it is getting quite tiring. Does anyone else feel that they are stuck in a loop without the right tools to support them in making it through? 

Good to see you back. Hope things have been well overall.

I'm going to tell you a hard truth. It's up to you to break the loop. If I gave you a million dollars to make the best, most-perfect resource to stop your gaming habit, what would it look like and why? Whatever that might be, short of being physically restrained, it's probably going to be lacking since gaming is everywhere. You'll have to make the choice to stop.

Granted, while GameQuitters is great and all, there isn't much comparatively speaking for in-person about these specific issues. These social bonds that people foster in things like AA are a big thing accounting for it's success (relatively speaking!!! I'm trying to say AA would be far worse off if there was not in-person).  This is probably the one thing that gaming/internet addicts could use.

Keep working on yourself, keep analyzing your habits, create a hypothesis, test it, and iterate as necessary until you figure out what you need to do which will making that full commitment stick. All addictions have a neurochemical component, but there's usually a psychological component which drives that. Find the root, start digging it out, and you'll be surprised to see how you change. 

Hope this helps.

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Day 7

The first successful week went by, unfortunately, I have been keeping myself busy and haven't had a whole lot of time to post. I have been really focused on cooking, and exercising as well as tackling a number of goals on my list for 2020. These include working on my sleep health, diet, exercise, mental health, education, budgeting, pretty much a full 360. 

@DaBest Thanks for you post. I think you touched on what I was getting at, support systems like AA which are in-person, I think would be highly beneficial for supporting this gaming addicts. One of the biggest challenges I face and I am no I am not the only one is sharing your pain, and struggle. Gaming addicts don't receive the same response or have the same supports in places as say alcoholics and drug addicts, but as we can see from the numerous posts, lives are equally disrupted. 

I know it's my responsible and mine only to make the change, but if I had a million dollars I would spend it on connecting addicts and none addicts, sharing there stories and publicly (Game Quitters is doing a great job of this). I've been actually thinking about creating a meetup group for Game Quitters and maybe running it in a similar style to AA, or at least collaborating with them to develop some kind of trial program.

Thanks for sharing ideas, I would love to create a brain dump of solutions, as I do feel called to do something about this, as i am watching my younger brother begin to tread down this dark road and I need to be an example to him. 

 

 

@DaBest

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On 12/31/2019 at 9:28 PM, AssellusPrimus said:

Day 1 and New Years Eve

I was looking at the celebration forum where people post about there accomplishments and celebrate there consecutive days of sobriety and I must say it seems like a very quite place, maybe 5-8 posts, over the year. I am starting to look into the field of addiction recover and I am learning that their is very few resources out there specialized for gaming addiction. As much as I want this forum to work for me,  I seem to be repeating the same failures over and over again, and it is getting quite tiring. Does anyone else feel that they are stuck in a loop without the right tools to support them in making it through? 

We're gonna start filling it in. I just posted one and hopefully more people follow my example to spread some positivity here. 

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Day 8

Yesterday was a good, day, I always enjoy Mondays as I am back to work, I haven't had much trouble with cravings, though I am noticing I am having trouble getting to bed. I am finding myself smoking cannabis a bit more than I normally would, and these effects are keeping me up browsing my sleep at night. I have been of my behavior over the last few days, and monitoring it, and I know that I could feel more rested and more energetic in the morning if I moved away from this night ritual. @BooksandTrees Congratulations i am sure that was a difficult challenge, I really admire those who complete the days, I hope you can continue to share your tips and wisdom to support those of us on our way there 🙂

I also started carrying a notepad around, which has been really amazing, as I never forget anything anymore and can always look back on ideas I had this morning to ponder them further. 

I am gonna try and be more open with my goals, approach to self-improvement, moving forward as I invite both critics and compliments. My goals for 2020  have been broken into 6 main categories which directly effect my life. I know there is alot on the list, but with the some 1000 hours I spent last year gaming and small tweaks to my habits, i feel most of them can be accomplished.

Health

1. Improve Diet

2. Improve Quality of Sleep – Develop a Consistent Sleep Schedule that meets your personal needs.

3.  Address Anterior Pelvic Tilt 

4.  Free yourself from Addiction

5.   Research Holistic ADHD Treatments

6.   improve Habits

7.       Improve Mental Health

8.       Exercise Daily

Education

1.       More Reading

2.       Finish School

3.       Learn Spanish

4.       Study Naturopathy

5.       Learn to Shave

6.       Learn to Cook

7.       Learn to Program

8.       Build Skills on Guitar

Finance

1.       Investments

2.       Debt Free

3.       Become Financially Educated

4.       Live with a Budget

5.       Have a Money Mentor

6.       Increase Income

7.       Emergency Savings

 

Work

1.       Earn 100k

2.       First Job in Programing

3.       Launch Startup

4.       Begin Producing Content

5.       Start a Business

 

Social

1.       Travel with Wifey

2.       Meet New Friends

3.       Maintain Relationships

4.       Connect with Family

5.       Strengthen Sibling Relations

6.       Married

 

Spiritual

1.       Vision Quest

2.       Reconnect with God

3.       Medicine Ceremonies

4.       Learn Medicine Songs

5.       Meditation

6.       Develop a relationship with Cannabis

7.       Discover Spiritual Teacher

8.       Explore my Individual Spirituality

 

 

Edited by AssellusPrimus
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Day 9

Had a great day today, noticing the cravings are dissapearing and I actually find a distaste for it. I feel like the reason for this is the new purpose I have given to my life. I have created a plan and really focused in on it, and instead of using my time escaping, I am engaged in the lifestyle i am trying to create for myself. Its easy to see how a laspe in the right mentallity or negitive thoughts could create a spiral. I think thats why people take about momentum and how important it is. Lets keep the ball rolling as we come to day 10! 

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Day 10

I feel very inspired reading the posts today. To be quite honest I have been struggling, last night was up until 2am in the morning, browsing the internet and playing some reading games on my phone. It seems, I have smoking more at night before bed and it has been keeping me up. This causes me to sleep later and really throws off my goals in the morning not to mention leaving me feeling like shit. I'm looking forward to the weekend to recover. Work has been going great, and I prepared all my meals today, which was good cause I had eaten out twice in the last two days. Now that the weekend is here I have a lot of unstructured time. I plan on working out, seeing family, cleaning my home, and practicing 6 hours of programming. 

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Day 11

I really feel the urge pulling me tonight, it alone at my house, nothing really to do for the next 3 hours. It seems so harmless, I am struggling with ways to cope, looking for minigames on my phone, but nothing really satisfies me like the rush I get playing my own game. It didnt help that I went to see my siblings today and he was playing such a great game, some really incredible plays, i had to fight really hard not to download steam when i turned on my laptop. 

So here I am stuck... knowing it wouldn't be so bad if I played in moderation... yet knowing I am unable to play in moderations, ive tried for years. Perhaps these are the moments, which make a break, a person and mold them into the people they want to be. Truth is I wouldn't know because I never choose to push forward... so today when I finish my day I will learn what it feels like to continue to hold a commitment to oneself. 

I can for one more day...

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Day 12  = Relaspe

Well Sunday came around and I relapsed, I was at the library working on some coding, and using the promodoro technique and I got the urge to game. Thinking about it, it came before yesterday, I felt it when I went to my siblings house and he was playing, I got caught up in hype. Thankfully, this is probably my most successful relapse, as normally I use the excuse of relapse to countine to play, until it gets really bad and my life is falling apart,  but I will take a new approach, I have already uninstalled and I am ready to countine where I left off starting Monday. 

I really stuggle with develop some sort of routine for the weekends. 

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Day 1 

XGaming - Day 1, XFap- Day 2, XSmoking - Day 0

I am proud of myself to containing my relaspe to only one day. Sometimes it takes me weeks to be ready to have another go at quitting, a time in which I usually, refrain from sharing in my journal because of shame, as I know I should be trying harder. One think I will try to commit to this year is writing despite whether or not I relapse. Today, I started the morning a bit later than usual as I was tired from last night. I still managed to study some programming, and prepare all my meals before work. Tomorrow I will am to wake up earlier around 8, complete some of my homework from university, work on coding, and take my car to shop as im having some issues with it. I also will try to start a no fap and Quit Smoking Streak along with my decision to quit gaming. 

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Day 1 - Relaspe! 

Wow guys, I think today might have been the first time that I am able to acknowledge the benefits of the journal. I have really been struggling these couple days, and when I struggle I realize I lose focus on the goal and all my prior motivations, its like they all disappear and I am left lost until I find something that resembles my previous of motivation and grab on to them. Taking the time today to read through the journal made me realize that it does get better and I don't always feel this way, and that when I am not gaming I do feel good, and most of all satisfied with my life (most of the time). Heres too not smoking weed tonight and playing video games! 

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1 hour ago, AssellusPrimus said:

Taking the time today to read through the journal made me realize that it does get better and I don't always feel this way, and that when I am not gaming I do feel good, and most of all satisfied with my life (most of the time). Heres too not smoking weed tonight and playing video games! 

Great realization to have! You've got this 😄

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Monday - 2020, January, 20th

I've decided I am going to use this journal as my primary journal over the next 90 days and possibly longer, as previously I used a journal for game quitters but also a journal for my personal thoughts. I made this decision as I think it would be beneficial to have others contribute to my thought processes, and to reduce the hassle of trying to manage and censor two different journals, this is it. This is the raw deal. I am hoping from this decision to let go of the fear of not being enough and simply being who I am, and additionally I hope my successes and failures might contribute to support someone else life in a good way. 

Since January 13th, I have been gaming every single day, mostly at night which has interrupted my sleep patterns causing me to wake up late, with little motivation or intentions for the day. During this binge, I have also been smoking greater quantities of marijuana, though yesterday I stopped by disposing of any left overs (by smoking it... ugh). Since weed was legalized in Canada, I have found enjoyment and relief in smoking CBD, but have noticed increasingly over time, I am smoking more frequently and with higher concentrations of THC. Recognizing the signs of addiction, I stopped thankfully with enough time to still be able to manage the cravings, though I am a sure they were managed by my gaming addiction. 

I had finally had enough courage to come clean to my partner about my addiction, these last two weeks I have been neglecting the relationship and today when she told me she wanted to come live with me, instead of embracing the idea, thought of reasons why it wouldn't work because I was scared I would have to change, and I don't know who I am without this label as gaming addict. I had fear should she know who I am, and my own challenges I wouldn't be enough and she would leave me. She didn't know this and felt maybe the relationship is not working if I don't want to spend our lives together (we are in a long distance relationship Canada and Ecuador so living together was the next step). I realized that I can't hide my most recent relapse anymore because it was going to destroy our relationship so I came clean and shared everything, I told her about my late night binges, how I had fear about her leaving me if she new and most of all how I while I would love to say this is all going to go way, I am failing miserably at coming up with a long term solution for this addiction. She told me she loves me, as an addict, and that she wants to support me so I need to be open and honest because she can now understand whats going on. I am so grateful for her. 

I think the next step is professional addiction counselling, I have tried a number of times to come up with solutions on my own and failed for 8 years, growing up in poverty I could never justify spending 100 a session on therapy, I don't know many people who can? Will it even work? Who knows, if anyone has tried it I would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions? Is there a particular type of therapy that works best? Should it be gaming specific or just addictions in general, as I know its not just gaming that I have a problem with, but a number of different addictive behaviors such as porn, marijuana, anything that gets a dopamine rush. 

That's all for the journal today, pretty much a brain dump of the last few weeks as I have been failing to follow through with my journaling, I just wanted to say a big thanks to everyone who comments on my journal as it really motivates me, I am going to try to be more active on the forum and comment on the journals of others, sometimes I just don't know where to start. 

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Tuesday  21/1/2020 - Day 1

Today is day one without gaming. This is an accomplishment in a way as I haven't had a day without gaming for the last 7 days. I had to fight for this victory and had an urge to game earlier this evening which I overcame by going to the gym and exercising. 

I had a terrible sleep last night falling asleep at 3am and forcing myself to wake up at 8am, this was very difficult for me, and the reasons for my recent insomnia is unknown. I am really hoping that I can fall asleep right away tonight as I am starting to feel the toll that comes from a lack of sleep in my body. 

This morning I cooked some excellent meals for myself and continued on my quest of seeking a therapist for my gaming addiction, I received a quote and wasn't to surprised to find the cost of therapy to range from 150$ to $200 a session, these numbers certainly discouraged me but I am looking for alternative methods of payments as well as other online resources that provided more affordable options. 

It frustrates me to think that other black youth, minorities and persons living near poverty,  such as my brother who come from homes where affording professional treatment would be impossible are really, remain chained to systems which oppress them. Unfortunately, only the rich and middle class would be able to receive professional treatment. This made me think about the amount of minority groups present in forums and social groups regarding game addiction and I think these groups of people are and will be the last persons to access supports and resources. Guess I felt like ranting and feeling sorry for myself, its my journal I can do that.

I won't drag it out today as I am exahusted and want to put myself to bed as early as possible to try and regain some mana before my day starts tomorrow.

...zzzZZZ 

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Wednesday 22/01/2020 - Day 2

Made it to Day 2. I need to make a note to self that it becomes so much easier to not game after the first initial day of relapsing. Today I woke up early and repaired my vehicle, then went to get a massage as I continued to have trouble sleeping. I had read that a massage might remedy the situation, though I tried to have a nap with little luck. Productivity was very low today because I am feeling really exhausted, so my intention is to keep the journal short, and make a quick call to a friend who I was scheduled to talk to today.  

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Sunday 26/01/2020

It's been a very difficult last four days, I have relapsed multiple times, sometimes I question whether or not I am ready to take on this challenge but feel like I must continue to push myself and try, as I don't see much of a future without moving past this. I am really not sure what to do except beginning to question and challenge all of my impulses, emotions and thoughts trusting no feeling without careful introspection and examination. This is certainly a difficult habit to maintain, and seems easier to accomplish in theory. I have also come to the conclusion that no amount of research, will provide the results of developing my own solution. So here are the facts:

I am capable of identifying certain addictive behaviors as addictive behaviors before they occur. For example I am aware that my behavior to game, smoke, ect. is habitual and destructive in my life. Having this knowledge I think is the first step, as if I was unable to identify the behavior before it occurs I would have little power to change my behaviors. That said the first logical step seems to be Identification of  Craving. 

What comes next is often a thought process, which is often neglected. The craving occurs and along with this craving is a feeling of lack, such as the present moment is not complete without the addition of what ever I am craving in this moment. Or that the current moment would be improved with a game or a smoke, though this often true temporary after I feel like shit. So my thoughts surrounding my addictive behaviors seems to be flawed. While I am struggling to Identify this exact step, I know that it is separate from the craving as the craving must happen first followed by a particular though process, which determines how I respond to the craving. Lets call this, the Thought Response Process. During this process I feel their is a lot of rationalization justifying oneself as to the reasons why participating in an addictive behavior would be beneficial, this usually occurs because it reduces stress, pain, feelings of lack. 

I think it is important to realize, that during this thought response process, it is very difficult to abstain from an addictive behavior based on logic, in fact if using logic was possible and a successful way of treating addiction, reading about addiction and understanding it, would be all the preventative measures we would need? I also find, that the more I contemplate my cravings during this thought response process the more likely I am to relapse. This makes sense as I am giving the craving more of my emotional attention, and more attention I give it the more important it becomes, and the more important it becomes the more difficult it is to resist. 

After this process, there are usually two outcomes. One, I engage in the behavior, and the cravings, addictive process is strengthen, I feel relief only temporarily. Or two I resist temptation, and successfully abstain from an addictive behavior, while still feeling a sense of loss, as I am feel I am not meeting my emotional needs at the time. It occurs to me that some form of reinforcement needs to take place after a successful outcome, to promote my desire to abstain in the future. Often I hear others talk about other habits, that one may engage but it occurs to me, that we might just be transferring our cravings to other  behaviors. I would like to feel outcome of abstaining from my descriptive desires to be enough motivation to promote the continued abstinence. I think this where knowing yourself is very important. While I would love to be the perfect stoic, I will achieve my goals if I am introspective and aware of my strengths and limitations. Given my current need for dopamine, my outcome needs to be another behavior that offers a similar dopamine reward, but also practices delayed gratification something that will strengthen my ability to control my impulsive behaviors, while also teaching my how to generate dopamine in anticipation for the future. Perhaps I can develop a reward systems, one in which I achieve a point for each successful addictive impulse which is averted.  After a certain number of points, I am rewarded by the fullfillment of another desire that I have which is healthier, such as a sushi dinner with a friend, I can slowly increase the amount of cravings required to reach that desire or leave it the same as I believe my cravings will ..... I just realized that perhaps I am not address the root of the suffering or craving so after the thought response process, I must identify how I am feeling and engage in a behavior that addresses my needs in the moment in a healthy way. i realize if I reward myself based on the amount of cravings I abstain from I may be training my mind to feel cravings just to be rewarded. 

It seems like their is a final step which should also be identified, and that is triggering my dopamine release after the new behavior has been chosen. I realize that I can do this manually with concentration and imagination if I focus on the future and results I want to achieve in my life, lets call this step reinforcement. The last and final step in which I strengthen my neural networks by postivley reinforcing my ability to remain virtuous to my beliefs while moving in the direction of my goals. 

In Summary

1. Identification of Craving (Craving Occurs) - No control over this stage, though we can control the environment to remove triggers. I prefer to focus less on this as I don't want to be restrict my environment and it seems much more difficult to control as we are not always in the environment of our creating. 

2. Thought Response Process - Justification - The addict struggles with process which if often based on feelings and emotions, we try to rationalize the behavior. In order to overcome this decision, we must let go of the craving through breathing and meditation until it fades. Acknowledge the craving as being something which we didn't create nor do we have control over. As it appears it will disappear. 

3. a) Outcome - Engage in Behavior - If we successfully through meditation, breathing and bringing our attention to something else we will avoid engaging in the behavior. Try to focus on where it is coming from.  If we engage in the behaviour perhaps we need to adjust our technique. 

3. b) Outcome - Abstain from Behavior -   Alternative Behavior - If we successfully through meditation, breathing and bringing our attention to something else we will avoid engaging in the behavior. Try to focus on where it is coming from.   Select a behavior that successful meets the needs that you have identified in a healthy way. 

4. a) Reflection - Should the intervention be unsuccessful, immediately, stop the behavior and reflecting on the lead up to the behavior, and your thought processes. Did you follow the steps? What didn't work?

4. b)  Reinforcement. - After a successful outcome, positively reinforce yourself using imagery, imagining the positive outcomes of your choices.  

 

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Tuesday - 2020/01/28 - Day 3

Happy to say I made it to day 3, and I have my first therapy session coming on Thursday, using a online tool called better help. I am looking forward to exploring more of myself and digging deep into my subconscious mind to begin healing in new ways. I think for along time I have been desiring somebody to talk to about how I am feeling and someone to validate that the way I am feeling is ok. I have also picked a book on the 12 steps of AA which I am hoping will also help guide me through new ways of learning about myself. 

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Friday - 2020/1/31 - Day 6

This week has been going exceptionally well, as I had my first therapy session on Thursday. The gentleman I am working with is quite kind and his rates are very affordable. He shared a number of resources with me that focus on mindfulness and heart math. Learning to control body automatic body response to cravings by practicing breathing and other mindfulness techniques. I am currently reading Eckhart Tolle, the Power of Now which I find quite enlightening. I have also started meditating for 10 minutes before bed and 10 minutes when I wake up. 

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