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CornishGameHen

Escaping a Virtual World

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I'm not very good at following a journal outline.  I'll just try to plot down my stream of thought as it comes and goes.  So, most of my journal will be tangential, zipping from one thought to another, and sometimes they won't be connected.  My apologies in advance.

There aren't many female posters in this forum, I noticed.  So I feel somewhat out of place.  Also, I'm a bit older too.  But we will see how this goes and whether I want to continue hashing up my private thoughts here.  

So I'm going to start this journal because it's a place wherein I can reflect about many things I ponder about life, and also to keep my gaming in check.  I typed an introduction last night, but I'll try to summarize what I wrote here.

I'm a casual gamer.  I don't play video games extensively, in that my gaming is probably one to two hours a day, four days a week.  I work part-time, I have a few other hobbies, and I'm more of a home-body.

Why am I here if I'm not even addicted?  Well, in my past I did experience addiction to video gaming six years ago.  My cousin passed away tragically and I found an MMORPG that I played from dawn til dusk, as a way to cope with that loss.  It was a very bad time in my life.  I didn't eat much, sleep, or socialize.  Gaming kept my thoughts distracted from emotional stress.  I had taken a leave off work too, so there was plenty of time to fuel this addiction.  Fast forward to today --- I can say that I don't feel the urge to login to any type of game.  I have a Steam account, one MMORPG that I've played for eight years, and then Runescape.  All of those games I haven't even played in three days due to loss of interest or burnout.  Especially burnout with the MMORPG.

I think gaming can be very addictive, especially when you are vulnerable to that form of addiction.  If you're stressed, you game.  If you feel lonely, you game.  If you are isolated and can't leave the house much, you game.  That's how I see it.  I'm not sure if there are studies to prove this, but that is how I fell into gaming addiction six years ago.

I'm also writing in my journal for the following reasons:

1)  To keep my gaming in check, as a way to prevent becoming addicted once again.

2)  Determine the reason why I still go back to casual gaming.  What purpose does it serve?  Is it actually making me happy?  How valuable is it in my life?

3) To be a part of a greater community that focuses on self-improvement unrelated to video games.

4) To establish an online network of like-minded individuals.

5) And most importantly, to accomplish new goals in my life, and to increase my sense of self-worth.

Anyhow, I hope you found my post helpful.  I don't know how to give advice very well, but I can tell you that I can relate to many struggles that people have about gaming addiction, even if I am not in that mindset right now.  I have been there before, trust me.

Blessings to you all.

 

 

Edited by CornishGameHen
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Journal Entry #1 (official)

Alright.  Here goes.

Three days and I haven't gamed.  I don't feel the slightest inclination to login to my games either.  My thoughts are focused on a knitting project that I'd like to complete today.  It is 95% finished.  All I need to do is wet-block it lightly and sew in the remaining strands.

Next project?  My sewing.  I'm creating a skirt out of material that I purchased two years ago.  I have such a large stash of material that I can pretty much establish my own fabric store if I wanted to.  Thankfully, I haven't bought new material in two years, so it's time to keep myself busy!

I'm carefully observing where my thoughts are veering, and sometimes I think about the MMORPG I used to play.  And the first thoughts that come up are:  I wonder if so-and-so is online and playing the game? Am I missing out? 

And here's the sad reality, everyone.  Your online gaming friends will eventually find other 'friends' to replace you.  Sad but true.  Especially if they are the progressive type of gamer, aiming to conquer dungeon after dungeon, and to obtain a shiny new object/weapon/jewelry.  They need 'you' to help them acquire these things, but are not really that interested in anything else.

If you decide to leave the game for a  season, you come back only to find out that you have to grind away to catch up with your friends.  Hours upon hours upon hours of grind.  Only to find out that when you catch up with your friends, there is another expansion awaiting, which boosts the level up again, and you must grind away your life to reach that new level. 

The carrot-on-the-stick method became very old, very fast.  I credit burnout for leading me to quit the MMORPG.

I am saddened about one thing, though.  The loss of a superficial connection with those friends.  Some of them I spoke to on Discord often.  We'd share jokes, or how our day was, or what other things we were doing besides gaming.  It was somewhat balanced in conversations.  I think I miss that the most.  The camaraderie.  But it wasn't always consistent.  Some people wouldn't login for days, or weeks.  Some friends left the game for good.  It became too sporadic.  Unreliable.  And when they'd return to the game, you'd get a message to group up again, and the cycle would begin.  I don't know exactly what that did to my brain, but emotionally I just became 'numb'.  Because in the gaming world, people come and go so quickly.  You don't know who is coming back or staying.  I started to realize that this type of 'friendship' was sub-par to what I truly need in life. 

Yesterday, I joined a knitting circle group that meets once a week close to my home.  I got in touch with the lady who leads it, and she sounds quite friendly and nice.  It's a smaller group of people, but I find this rather suits me, as I'm very shy and quiet at first.  Walking into a large group is quite intimidating.  I'm looking forward to it.  :)

Quit Gaming

Sleep

Exercise

Reading

Computer use

Hobbies

Social Activities

Positive Thoughts

Edited by CornishGameHen
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Gosh journal writing is addicting!  lol

Ok, I'm back again to figure out how I want to format my journal.  I looked at a few journals and I really like the idea of plotting my sleeping schedule, which truthfully has gone amok.  I normally get about eight hours of sleep a night, but on my days off work I don't really regulate it.  I'll also jot down the activities I did and goals I accomplished the day before, or end of the day.  So, I might have to schedule my journaling to a certain time of the day too.  I don't want to be writing all day at various times.  It defeats the purpose, and I'm transferring one obsession to another.  Here goes.

Quit Gaming

  • Day three, quit cold turkey on Friday October 11, 2019.
  • goal - quit gaming for one month initially. After a month, I'll decide whether to go another two months = 90 days.
  • determine what draws me back to gaming on a casual basis, and do I need to eradicate it from my life entirely, or can moderation be an option without guilt?

Sleep

  • went to bed yesterday at 1:00 a.m., and woke up at 9:30 a.m.
  • total of 8.5 hours of sleep
  • still felt tired after waking up
  • goal is to wake up at 6:00 a.m.

Exercise

  • no exercise yesterday. 
  • goal is to attend the gym early morning, work out for one hour
  • sadly I haven't been to the gym in seven months, and I have a monthly membership going to waste!

Reading

  • I read a sewing blog yesterday to learn the basics.  I'm a novice sewer.  Read it for about an hour.

Computer use

  • I spent an hour watching a sewing tutorial about how to make a skirt
  • 1 -2 hours reading Game Quitters forums (this will be cut down substantially over time)
  • 15 minutes sending messages to my friends on Discord that I'm taking a break from gaming
  • 30 minutes watching a documentary

Hobbies

  • yesterday I knit for about two hours, almost finished my leg warmers
  • spent an hour cutting out the sewing pattern onto traceable paper

Social Activities

  • none.  Sadly, I didn't go to my family's Thanksgiving dinner.  I was not feeling well, and didn't have the energy to exert for socializing. 

Positive Thoughts

  • Be kind to yourself.  You can have bad days too, but it doesn't mean you are a bad person for it.  We are only human.

Freedom.jpg

Edited by CornishGameHen
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Social Anxiety

I work in a career that caters to helping sick people.  It's a people-job, yet I am not very well suited to it.  I hide a lot of my social anxiety through a mask that I wear to my job every single day.  I'm also introverted, so the energy required to be around people is overwhelming to me and I end up feeling quite drained.  That's why I chose to go part-time for now, to allow my mind and body rest until the next shift at work.

Gaming with strangers online, talking to them on Discord or TeamSpeak, was an easy way to socialize.  It also kept me house-bound, and a bit isolated from meeting people face to face. I suspect that a lot of gamers are introverts or have shyness/social anxiety issues. 

I have felt a lot of shame about my SA.  Despite coping with it, I did have two long-term relationships in my life, and a large social circle.  When my relationships ended, I was back to square one,  being alone.  My significant others' friends also left, as it was too awkward socializing with them after the break-ups.  Understandable. 

I just turned forty last year, and I'm still alone. I haven't been on a date in over seven  years.  Yup, it's been a while.  I'm scared as heck of the dating scene too, and I am definitely not an online dater.  Consequently, while gaming, I developed a crush on somebody that I gamed with regularly.  But he was off limits due to his own relationship problems, and other issues he had to sort out.  I confided in him that I had a crush, and he quickly dismissed it with a laugh.  We continued to game together, but I knew that my naïve decision to tell him about my feelings had somewhat changed how we behaved around each other while gaming.  It resulted in just a friendship, which did not extend itself outside the gaming arena.  . 

I felt lonelier than ever.

 It quickly dawned on me that I can't spend the rest of my life hiding behind a computer, and filling a void.  Online friendships are no substitute for real life relationships.   Don't get me wrong, I still consider these people my friends.  They know things about me that are quite personal, and vice versa. It's quite a phenomenal occurrence, actually, that people are brought together through a gaming experience.

But I digress.  My social anxiety has continued to be a crutch, deterring me from getting out there to mix and mingle, not necessarily to find a date, but to find new friends again.   I'm doing my best, though.  I'm starting with a small meet-up group that shares the same interests as I do.  I'm boring..lol....I just love doing crafts, so I joined this group.  I'm not big on sports or clubbing, or all of the modern things that maybe younger people are up to these days.  I just want to test the waters a little, to see if I still have the ability to make new friends and brave the outcome no matter how it turns out. 

So yeah.  I don't want to use gaming as an easy fix, or a place to hide away from the world anymore.   I also want to be a bit choosy about which social outlets I want to attend.  I guess I'm finnicky that way.  When you've been tucked away in a clam shell for so long, you don't want to throw yourself into some frenzied crowded and noisy room.  I have to start gradually and aim for small successes.  Baby steps!

Lastly, even if I do end up alone in life, meaning without a significant other, it doesn't mean I have failed, or that I am doomed.  At least I can say that I tried, and I put forth a brave face in a world that can sometimes be cruel.  I hope that I can learn from these experiences no matter if they result in good or bad outcomes. 

Peace all, and thanks for reading.  I am so long-winded!  lol

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Hi!!!

I am so glad you’re here!  I really relate to your posts. I too used gaming to escape the emotional pain of my husband’s affair. I just could not deal with it. The pain was so intense that I felt dead. The only thing that made me feel anything was playing.  
 

I have taken up knitting and maybe I could learn a few pointers from you. All I know is the knit and pearl stitch. But I keep messing up, then I have to undo the loops to correct my mistakes! I am trying to get through a beginners pair of gloves. 
 

And I also hear you on the social anxiety. I don’t have social media accounts as the information is just to much for me to consume and I make it into a negative experience. I am trying to build up the courage to join LinkIn for job purposes, but it terrifies me. Showing up is something that I am working on slowly!

Sending hugs to you my friend. Please keep posting.... you’re doing great!!!

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2 hours ago, Icandothis said:

Hi!!!

I am so glad you’re here!  I really relate to your posts. I too used gaming to escape the emotional pain of my husband’s affair. I just could not deal with it. The pain was so intense that I felt dead. The only thing that made me feel anything was playing.  
 

I have taken up knitting and maybe I could learn a few pointers from you. All I know is the knit and pearl stitch. But I keep messing up, then I have to undo the loops to correct my mistakes! I am trying to get through a beginners pair of gloves. 
 

And I also hear you on the social anxiety. I don’t have social media accounts as the information is just to much for me to consume and I make it into a negative experience. I am trying to build up the courage to join LinkIn for job purposes, but it terrifies me. Showing up is something that I am working on slowly!

Sending hugs to you my friend. Please keep posting.... you’re doing great!!!

It's really cool to meet another female ex-gamer on here.  Thanks for responding to my journal.  Like I said before, this forum has a large male demographic, and I felt a bit uncomfortable joining in the first place.  And many are also younger than I am.  Needless to say, we're all in this together for a single purpose;  to quit gaming, and rejuvenate our lives.  For that, I am grateful for Game Quitters.

As for knitting, yes, I do knit.  But I am also a novice...lol.  So, not sure if I can give you good pointers (pun intended).

Good idea to abstain from social media.  I don't have a Facebook account for that very reason.  I think it triggers me to compare myself to others.  But in reality, those people also go through the trials of life too, perhaps some less traumatic than others, but life is not easy sometimes.  We all put on this brave face or façade to make it appear ideal, maybe as a buffer to prevent ridicule or judgement.  In hindsight, I think that just builds walls.  People gravitate to others when they can empathize and relate to circumstances they've also experienced.  You can't really relate to people on Facebook that way.  It's quite superficial.

I am doing alright.  I believe in the motto 'slow but steady' wins the race.  I'm not sure I'll be posting on a daily basis.  I tend to pitter out over time with journals, unfortunately.  And at this stage of the game, I think I'm brain-farting all over the place with thoughts at random.  Nothing really has any coherence.  Maybe this is the emotional build-up of detox?  lol.  Well, whatever it is, at least I'm getting to the root of the problem.  Processing.

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Quit Gaming

  • Day 4
  • no urges to game, but felt urge to check Discord channel for responses to messages

Sleep

  • went to bed at 2:30 a.m. last night
  • woke up at 9:15 a.m.
  • about 7.5 hours of sleep
  • felt groggy waking up, not a good sign
  • browsed too much on Game Quitters last night, so must turn off all electronics/computer/phone an hour before going to sleep

Exercise

  • went for a nice walk outside in the park with my dog, gorgeous day too
  • 1 hour of brisk walking

Reading

  • nothing novel-based
  • can't seem to concentrate much on reading extensively right now, other than reading about sewing techniques online
  • sewing blogs = 1.5 hours reading

Computer use

  • approximately 3-4 hours of reading GQ, sewing tutorials, watched a documentary
  • I'm not beating myself over this right now, as it's not gaming, and I'm reading to build knowledge, especially with my crafts

Hobbies

  • finished my leg warmers yesterday, didn't need to wet-block them, wearing them right now! lol
  • cooked left-over turkey, brussel sprouts, gravy

Social Activities

  • spent the day with my dog yesterday lol
  • actually this was pretty cool, I saw a man feeding the birds at the park and we spoke for a short time.  Mostly about the weather and birds.  It was not my usual thing to stop and chat with strangers while strolling along the lane with my dog, but it was a nice experience.  Making these small connections matters in life. 

Positive Thoughts

  • I'm thankful for my faith in God, my sisters, parents, dog, and career.  I'm glad to be who I am; a creative and thoughtful individual who has faults but is willing to be brave and challenge herself.
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4 hours ago, Icandothis said:

I am trying to build up the courage to join LinkIn for job purposes, but it terrifies me. Showing up is something that I am working on slowly!

I think you're smart to join LinkedIn for future jobs.  It's a start and it will definitely get you networking with potential employers.  I think it's normal to feel anxious about this too, especially if it's something new to you.  But you'll do fine.  The important thing is to actually 'do' it, that is half of the battle.  :)

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Ok so I have no real urge to login to any game so far.  Instead, I feel relieved that I don't have to login to a game because at the moment I just don't have the energy to deal with all that visual stimulus.  It's the exact opposite of addiction.  I feel a loss of interest, especially with games that involve multi-players.  I'm avoiding them because it was turning me into somebody I didn't like.

  • highly irritable
  • impatient
  • fatigued
  • poor sitting posture and residual lower back pain
  • isolated
  •  distracted me from other hobbies that I enjoy
  • hyper-alert

The single player games that I have on Steam have also been avoided.  I finished 3/4 of them in the past, and have no real interest to do them all over again.  I'm bored of them too.

I'm really not sure if this is the forum I should be posting in, as the root of my problem is about increasing my social experiences and hopefully social circle, outside of a gaming environment.  I'm not sure if I'm really addicted to gaming.  And four days not gaming isn't really enough time to make any conclusions.

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Social Group Adventure

Wow.  Just wow.

So I came home tonight after spending two and a half hours at a local knitting group meet-up.  And I was shocked to my socks.  I met a bunch of ladies, of varying ages, ethnicities, and social backgrounds.  And man, were they ever bad-ass knitters.  And I mean that as a compliment.

Almost all of them sported tattoos, except for three people.  They talked (or rather 'we' talked) about everything under the sun.  Politics even, sex, movies, and everything in between.  I was laughing so hard throughout the entire night, and was so surprised at this outcome.

I've joined up to the next meet-up in two weeks.  I had such a good time lol.

For all of you naïve people out there who stereotype a typical knitter.....this group will throw that idea right out the window lol. 

Hm....now I'm thinking about getting a tattoo!  lololol

Peace out.

Edited by CornishGameHen
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I read your diary. I was also severely addicted to Runescape and owned two clans. One clan I owned was from 2007 to 2011 during my late teens and one I owned from 2016 to 2018 in my mid to late 20s. Each clan had people in my age group and I didn't feel alone. 

I wrote a few big diary entries over the year about how these people are not actually your friends. I miss the discord voice sessions and talking to people, but once you voice your displeasure in gaming you will lose them all. My therapist compared them to alcoholics at a bar trying to get you to drink with them. 

It took me years to understand why I was addicted to runescape. I always thought I was an introvert and stayed online most days. The issue was all I did online was try to make friends and talk to people. My life outside runescape was terrible. If I actually played the game for exp I would be so far past a max account both in rs2 and old school rs.

I'd play castle wars and then clan wars for hours. I wanted friends so badly. I now have many friends from college, work, and hobbies to keep me away from gaming and it has helped. 

As for female posters on this website I would suggest talking to silverlining, vera, lea, and Catherine among others that I've followed over the past year. There are more. I just know them the best if you're looking for that perspective as well. 

If you have any questions feel free. Welcome to the forums. 

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20 hours ago, CornishGameHen said:

It's really cool to meet another female ex-gamer on here.  Thanks for responding to my journal.  Like I said before, this forum has a large male demographic, and I felt a bit uncomfortable joining in the first place.  And many are also younger than I am.  Needless to say, we're all in this together for a single purpose;  to quit gaming, and rejuvenate our lives.  For that, I am grateful for Game Quitters.

As for knitting, yes, I do knit.  But I am also a novice...lol.  So, not sure if I can give you good pointers (pun intended).

Good idea to abstain from social media.  I don't have a Facebook account for that very reason.  I think it triggers me to compare myself to others.  But in reality, those people also go through the trials of life too, perhaps some less traumatic than others, but life is not easy sometimes.  We all put on this brave face or façade to make it appear ideal, maybe as a buffer to prevent ridicule or judgement.  In hindsight, I think that just builds walls.  People gravitate to others when they can empathize and relate to circumstances they've also experienced.  You can't really relate to people on Facebook that way.  It's quite superficial.

I am doing alright.  I believe in the motto 'slow but steady' wins the race.  I'm not sure I'll be posting on a daily basis.  I tend to pitter out over time with journals, unfortunately.  And at this stage of the game, I think I'm brain-farting all over the place with thoughts at random.  Nothing really has any coherence.  Maybe this is the emotional build-up of detox?  lol.  Well, whatever it is, at least I'm getting to the root of the problem.  Processing.

Hi!

I feel that you are so brave for posting, and your journal will resonate with many who are reading, but not necessarily joining the forum. As the above poster mentioned, there are a handful of female posters. I actually went to go look for them..... they are a couple pages back but their journeys are well worth the read!!!!

I am glad to hear about your knitting adventure! Yes I found crafters of all sorts to be very different than the stereotype that is given to them. And I think it’s an awesome way to redirect mental energy... and create really cool pieces!!!!

I think stepping out into safe real life communities is key to recover. Online stuff is great but we are meant for real person interaction!!!

Yes, I struggle very much with social media... and I am putting the idea of rejoining on the back burner until I can further heal. I think it’s a tool and can be neutral, but for me right now the experience is negative. 
I love reading your thread and keep up the good work!!! Look forward to reading your posts!

Have a beautiful day my friend. 

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On 10/14/2019 at 10:46 AM, CornishGameHen said:

Gaming with strangers online, talking to them on Discord or TeamSpeak, was an easy way to socialize.  It also kept me house-bound, and a bit isolated from meeting people face to face. I suspect that a lot of gamers are introverts or have shyness/social anxiety issues. 

 

6 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

I always thought I was an introvert and stayed online most days. The issue was all I did online was try to make friends and talk to people. My life outside runescape was terrible.

I wouldn't think game addicts are always introverted, just because they spent double digit hours on PC. I've been streaming on a daily basis on Twitch and I basically used it as my extroverted social outlet. Half a year later, I'm still figuring out how extroverted am I IRL, so  I can relate to @BooksandTrees. It was just that life outside of computer sucked, but the expression "digital world" is dead on, because it is indeed a whole second world.

 

21 hours ago, CornishGameHen said:

Like I said before, this forum has a large male demographic, and I felt a bit uncomfortable joining in the first place.  And many are also younger than I am.  Needless to say, we're all in this together for a single purpose;  to quit gaming, and rejuvenate our lives.  For that, I am grateful for Game Quitters.

 

On 10/14/2019 at 10:46 AM, CornishGameHen said:

I just turned forty last year, and I'm still alone. I haven't been on a date in over seven  years.  Yup, it's been a while.  I'm scared as heck of the dating scene too, and I am definitely not an online dater.

Don't worry about the demographic, it's just a statistic! As for online dating, it's just one possibility, but it's not mandatory. In on itself, I'm not even sure how valuable/useless it is as a whole. I think dating/romantic opportunities organically happen IRL, unless you just consciously decide to not date or something is out of order. In my case, it was double digit hours on computer + the social unawareness that stemmed from it, even though I still managed to have a relationship for a while.

Welcome to the forum! Also, thanks for the reminder about LinkedIn, I got it updated. One never knows!

Edited by Ikar
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Thank you all who replied to my journal.  I'll respond to all posts very soon, please bear with me.  If I don't write down my immediate thoughts, they will fly out of my head like a bird leaving its gilded cage.

Quit Gaming

  • Day 5, why does it feel longer than this?
  • slight urge to game, I'm sorting out emotions associated with this, I will describe further in 'additional thoughts' section

Sleep

  • went to bed at 1:30 a.m. yesterday, attempted to sleep at 9:30 pm but was up thinking and knitting
  • woke up today at 7:00 a.m., not tired at all
  • total of 6.5 hours sleep

Exercise

  • yesterday I didn't exercise
  • goal today is walk around park for an hour, get outside and enjoy nature

Reading (yesterday)

  • I'm skimming through a book called "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff at Work"
  • attention span still limited to reading 20 minutes at a time, with long breaks in between
  • easily distracted at this point

Computer use (yesterday)

  • 1 hour browsing GQ forums, mostly reading other people's journals to get inspiration, posted to a few of them
  • 1 hour watching farming documentary

Hobbies (yesterday)

  • 2 hours knitting
  • 1 hour to prep another fabric --- ironed fabric first, then, cut out pieces with pattern outline, set this aside to sew today

Social Activities (yesterday)

  • 2 hours at knitting group, very fun
  • felt physically tired after, possibly an aftermath of exerting myself socially, need to recuperate again, withdrawing into my shell

Positive Thoughts

  • I'm grateful for the sunshine and fall weather.
  • I'm grateful for this forum and the supportive members.

Additional Thoughts

I had a slight urge to login to an MMORPG I used to play.  Today the weather is a bit greyish outside and gloomy.  It really affects my mood.   I set a bright lamp beside me on the desk.  It helps to have a well-lit room.  So, I think the emotion I feel about gaming is that I miss the 'sunny' virtual reality of that game.  Strange that a fake world can make me feel so uplifted. 

I'm not sure what I can do to off-set this.  One idea I had in mind was to watch travel videos on YouTube.  Why not look at real destinations that one day I can travel to?  It could become a travel goal for next year, depending on my finances.  So, I subscribed to Rick Steve's travel videos on YouTube.  Maybe I'll watch a few as I knit today.

Tomorrow is work again.  It has been a great long weekend and going back to the daily grind has absolutely no appeal.  Ah well.  One must work to live.  Typically, I'd go home after work and login to the game (mmorpg), wait for my online friends to login, and we'd trash some dungeons.  Or I'd aimlessly explore that world on my own, without any real purpose or goal.  I'd clock in about two hours of gaming, and go to sleep.  Most days after work I'd be too tired to stay up and game.  It is tiring to socially exert myself at my job, and thankfully this has prevented me from gaming beyond what my body was able to handle. 

As for the shunted sleeping pattern, I want to work on this.  The holiday weekend didn't help either.  So, this time I will turn off all computer devices two hours before bed, drink a warm glass of milk, attempt to meditate, and turn off all the lights an hour before bed.  Staying still and lying on the bed to meditate will be something new to me. 

Cheers.

Edited by CornishGameHen
yesterday's accomplishments
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9 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

I wrote a few big diary entries over the year about how these people are not actually your friends. I miss the discord voice sessions and talking to people, but once you voice your displeasure in gaming you will lose them all. My therapist compared them to alcoholics at a bar trying to get you to drink with them. 

@BooksandTrees Thank you for your thoughtful response.  To be a clan leader in Runescape must have felt exhilarating.  I haven't played RS to that extent, and only just started this year.  I think I was up to my neck in chopping down all those oak trees lol.  Yeah, so you were leagues beyond my level.   What I've noticed is that gamers on this forum are able to multi-task a variety of things, they have many hobbies, and are goal-oriented.  I mean, if there was one thing that came out of gaming which was positive, it's those traits.  Especially the goal-setting.  Can you imagine all the potential that gamers have that is stuck in gaming?  I mean, you guys are high achievers.   I'm not trying to boost anyone's ego, or even my own.  It's just an anecdotal observation.

I can see your point about online gaming friends and the alcoholism analogy.  I think it does apply to a majority of my online friends.  Except....and there is always an exception lol.....there was one person who  doesn't play online games very much anymore.  We had kept in touch out-of-game on Discord and we'd talk about non-gaming topics.  What he cooked, the crafts I made, his job, my job, whatever came up.  We have since parted ways, but I think that was a true friendship.  I might reconnect with him again, as I thought he was a very good person to converse with.  We also met each other in real life too, and I had a great time.  I have another gaming friend who I sometimes speak to on the phone or text.  What I'm trying to say is that not all gaming friends will leave you.  I guess it's a matter of keeping in touch in different ways.  Maybe my outcome is rare?  I don't know. I don't have a large social circle online. 

And thanks for pointing out the female gamers in this forum!  I appreciate it.  I've read @Catherine17  journal and have yet to reply.  I think she's done a fantastic job handling university while abstaining from gaming.  It is very inspirational.  I've also connected with @Icandothis who is very sweet and has an upbeat personality.  I have yet to respond to her journal as well.  I take the time to read their personal journeys and do my best to contribute a thoughtful response. 

Cheers, and I hope you have a fantastic day.  :)

Edited by CornishGameHen
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3 hours ago, Icandothis said:

Hi!

I feel that you are so brave for posting, and your journal will resonate with many who are reading, but not necessarily joining the forum. As the above poster mentioned, there are a handful of female posters. I actually went to go look for them..... they are a couple pages back but their journeys are well worth the read!!!!

I am glad to hear about your knitting adventure! Yes I found crafters of all sorts to be very different than the stereotype that is given to them. And I think it’s an awesome way to redirect mental energy... and create really cool pieces!!!!

I think stepping out into safe real life communities is key to recover. Online stuff is great but we are meant for real person interaction!!!

Yes, I struggle very much with social media... and I am putting the idea of rejoining on the back burner until I can further heal. I think it’s a tool and can be neutral, but for me right now the experience is negative. 
I love reading your thread and keep up the good work!!! Look forward to reading your posts!

Have a beautiful day my friend. 

@Icandothis Greetings!  We are all brave for posting, but thank you for that positivity.  :)  You hit the nail spot-on about stepping out into real life communities.  Real person interaction by far surpasses any online communication.  It's all about a person's 'presence' if you know what I mean?  I'm a empathic person, and I can pick up on someone's vibes just by standing a few feet away from them, and observing their facial reactions, their body posture, their tone of voice, and even the delayed answers to questions I ask.  It's all observatory communication and interaction.  That is something a computer screen will never allow us to do, unless we Skype.  But even Skyping has nothing on face-to-face interpersonal relationships.  It's all about 'presence', I tell you.  

Have yourself an amazing day.  I'll be reading your journal soon and will comment there too.  :)

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3 hours ago, Ikar said:

Don't worry about the demographic, it's just a statistic! As for online dating, it's just one possibility, but it's not mandatory. In on itself, I'm not even sure how valuable/useless it is as a whole. I think dating/romantic opportunities organically happen IRL, unless you just consciously decide to not date or something is out of order. In my case, it was double digit hours on computer + the social unawareness that stemmed from it, even though I still managed to have a relationship for a while.

Welcome to the forum! Also, thanks for the reminder about LinkedIn, I got it updated. One never knows!

Thanks, @Ikar!  I like how you describe dating opportunities as being organic.  It really seems that way to me.  I mean, we do live in an age of technology and ease of communication through online services, but it just doesn't feel natural to me.  Natural?  Is that the right word to use?  lol.  I don't know.  My last two boyfriends were people I met in school.  My first love was my highschool sweetheart, he was the class clown.  We were like the best of friends.  My second relationship, I met him at university.  He was kind of the 'hidden' relationship.  Nobody in my immediate family knew I was dating someone at Uni, as I lived far away from family while attending school.  Both relationships were long-term, my first one being the longest of five years.  But point is, I met them in an environment that was an atmosphere for building relationships.  At school, you saw them often.  So, heck...you start a friendship, get to know each other, and start going out!  lol.  I guess It was easier then.  Nowadays, you post your profile and selfie, and play a game of 'go-fish-for-a-potential-match'.  No thank you.   It is not for me.

At this point in my life, I am not seeking to date people.  Yes, I'll put myself out there in social situations, but I'm going to let the chips fall where they may.  Being content and doing things that make me happiest is what I'm going to keep doing until I die, whether or not I'm single or with a partner.

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On 10/14/2019 at 7:46 PM, CornishGameHen said:

Social Anxiety

independence! Dreckly!😂

Edited by LordArjuna
CornishGameHen I have removed the post that upset you
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4 hours ago, LordArjuna said:

 

But I digress,

I read a couple of your entries and thought I'd put in my $0.02.

Hi @LordArjuna.  I know you meant well despite it bordering on psycho-analysis. 

Yes I also know that introversion is separate from shyness or social anxiety; I do not relate these terms as being identical.  

I really am an introvert.  I'm not ashamed of my nature either.  I don't feel energized socializing.  I like my own company too.   But yes I also cope with social anxiety and I understand my social anxiety very well.  Please read my post about social anxiety in the General section, which I posted earlier today before your response here.  I have had therapy and have learned from it.  Which is why I'm using that therapy now to cope when my SA acts up.  In my career I do much public speaking, as I teach classes for patients awaiting surgery.  I feel very confident about public speaking but my SA does creep up especially if I isolate when I'm experiencing depression.  I feel like I have to defend myself but it is what it is.  I know my triggers and I have the tools to cope.  Not all days are good but when I succeed I feel good about myself.   Like my attempt at socializing with people yesterday was, in my eyes, a success.  

Edited by CornishGameHen
Clarity

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14 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

I wrote a few big diary entries over the year about how these people are not actually your friends. I miss the discord voice sessions and talking to people, but once you voice your displeasure in gaming you will lose them all. 

@BooksandTrees I would like to read this.  I think it will help me.  The other friends I gamed with haven't kept in touch, except for these two individuals who I talk to occasionally.  If distance were not a factor I would probably invite these two gamer friends to dinner or something.  But most gamers don't really extend themselves beyond a gaming relationship.  That is true.  

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20 minutes ago, CornishGameHen said:

@BooksandTrees I would like to read this.  I think it will help me.  The other friends I gamed with haven't kept in touch, except for these two individuals who I talk to occasionally.  If distance were not a factor I would probably invite these two gamer friends to dinner or something.  But most gamers don't really extend themselves beyond a gaming relationship.  That is true.  

I'll try to find it, but it will take some digging. I have almost 25 pages of posts lol. I've just found friends from hobbies like Rick climbing, board games, and work to be more dynamic, empathetic, and wholesome than people I've met online. It irks me how I could spend 6 to 18 hours a day talking to people and right when I quit it's like they never knew me. It's such a hollow feeling. I deserve better than that. We all do. 

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Random Thoughts

I really don't think I'm addicted to gaming, at this point.  I don't really feel an urge to game.  I left gaming due to boredom and also largely because I was becoming irritable.  I've read several journals in my short time here, and many people describe very intense cravings after being off games for a while.

I don't experience those sensations. 

I wonder if this is also because I never grew up with games.  I didn't even own Atari, the popular console back in the day.  We just played outside, on swing-sets, or used our imagination and pretended we were in a dinosaur park, or a huge castle, etc.  We'd watch movies on VHS.  And then our parents enrolled us in after-school activities like Girl Scouts, piano lessons, badminton, soccer, and even ping-pong tournaments.  Of course, we did not have internet either back in my days of childhood. 

I remember playing Bingo and Monopoly, or checkers, chess, Lego, Scrabble, Trivia Pursuit.  Lots of table top games, from what I can recall. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This journey for me isn't about complete abstinence from gaming.  I worried that I would discourage people here.  But like Cam mentioned in a video, there are people who can game in moderation, so we can leave them in peace to play their games.  Furthermore, I didn't even play online computer games very much throughout the week.  I was too tired from work to go beyond two hours of gaming each night, and I'd skip other nights and not game at all.   

What I'm getting at, is that ultimately I was not happy with my life, whether gaming was in it or not.  I think if it wasn't gaming, I'd probably be addicted to just watching movies all night after work.  Gaming filled up that void, which I'm now replacing with more social activities.  Just the right amount of social interaction that I can handle, otherwise I'd feel overwhelmed. 

So, overall, this experiment has been very rewarding and eye-opening.  I'm not sure if the experiment is over just yet.  I still have a few more weeks to go to complete my one-month abstinence.  But I'll continue to write in my journal when I can, and read others' posts. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I wonder if this forum can also be used for people who want to quit video games for a short time, in order to reprioritize their lives, and not necessarily to quit gaming altogether if they do not have an addiction.  At least that was my sole purpose in coming here.  I've been so grateful to communicate with the forum members through journals, and have given my viewpoints about social anxiety as well and how I cope.  I'm very grateful for Game Quitters.

Edited by CornishGameHen
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Only you can decide how much you need to commit without gaming and whatever you write in your journal is above all a help to you, I have no doubt the majority here supports that. This place has never really enforced an all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to quitting games as I understand. I am always happy to see new folk check in to share their progress and I welcome you to stay however long you like this is a really good forum.

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