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Deku

Journey to something better

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Hey guys.

As many of you know, the last journey didn't go so well. Actually, it went pretty well for almost a year, and before suddenly completely reversing course and turning into a humongous dumpster fire. The support I've received since then from so many members of this community has really been overwhelmingly positive, so first off thank you so much to everyone who reached out, and sorry for dropping off the face of the earth. I was so incredibly stressed back then, and looking back I think the whole Stanford thing ending might even have been good for me. I just wish that I handled myself better, and took my dreams more seriously when I still had a shot at accomplishing them. I probably should have at least reached out to someone for help, rather than letting the situation build until it all just blew up in my face.

I want so badly to say that I learned my lesson since Journey to my White Coat's untimely end, but the truth is that my gaming addiction has worsened to a degree that I've never experienced before in my entire life. In fact I've done very little except game over 15 hours a day in the last month. I've had almost nothing to be excited about recently, and gaming was able to give me that purpose to wake up to every day. Importantly I think gaming also provided me with that safe world to run from the many problems and failures that had suddenly sprung up in my life.

I guess I'm back now because I've realized that my problems aren't going to go away (frankly they're only getting worse by the day), and that I can either keep hiding from them using gaming or I can try to face them head on and improve my situation. I was strongly considering starting over here with a brand new account, but I think it's best to be honest about who I am and the decisions I made that brought me here. I'm Deku, I'm 24, and I recently fucked up horribly and let gaming take away my life's dream. I'm here to salvage what I can of my life, rehab myself, and support others undergoing similar journeys. And I promise that I will never play another computer game again.

Edited by Deku
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Ahhh- we are so excited you are back! It takes so much courage to show vulnerability and come just as you are! 
 

You are learning and growing. Don’t ever lose sight of your dream. My last doctor went back to medical school at 40 and graduated at 48. Actually so I worked for a health care system and many many physicians and clinicians started at a point much older than you! 
 

We need you. So glad you are here!

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Success is determined by how high we bounce back after hitting rock bottom. It's time for you to harness the feeling of loss, regret, anger, pain, and shame you've felt from this event and use it as a core of energy to sculpt your future and propel you into becoming the person you were meant to be. We are always changing, but this energy should and will fuel you. Games are toxic for people like us. We can't handle it. 

Good job coming back and being accountable. You've gotten far before and can go further now. This is your time. It's right now. Don't you forget it.

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Thanks everyone for the kind words. It really is great to be back. Like many other detox Day 1's today was my big cleanse--throwing out the trash, washing dishes, doing laundry, and importantly removing all traces of games from my computer. I agree completely that I made it way too easy for myself to relapse last time, so I set up multiple layers of security (uninstalling, deleting accounts, unsubscribing from youtube and setting up multiple extensions to block relevant sites) to make it as hard as possible for the relapses to happen again. 

I've got some goals for what I want to do in the next couple months or so, but it's getting late so I'll talk about them at a later date.

Thanks again guys. Your support truly means a lot.

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Hey @Deku welcome back!!!

It took me 8 years for me to fail before I got my act together enough to complete my degree and actually start working. So much I wish I had learned sooner including asking for help right away instead of leaning on games as my escape route.

You probably needed this time to grieve and try and process the loss so I wouldn't feel to bad about relapsing. It's all part of the process of becoming better.

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Thanks @Avnat Netzer. It's great to know I'm not the only one that has struggled this much with this problem.

It's the morning of Day 4 and I'm still working on fixing my god awful sleep schedule. When I was in the thick of it I would regularly sleep at 4 or 5 in the morning, and at this point even going to bed at midnight is a very difficult task. At this point I honestly think that pulling an all nighter and just hard resetting my circadian rhythms might be the fastest and easiest solution.

On day 2 and 3 it was really difficult not to relapse. I ended up going for a really long (7-8 hour) hike on day 2 which gave me a lot of time to think about where I want to go in life and the person that I really want to be. I really would still like to be a doctor, but at my age I just don't think it's realistic to spend another couple of years trying to start Journey to my White Coat all over again from scratch. I ended up looking up alternative jobs and discovered the Physician Assistant career, which I think would be a better fit for me at this point in my life. It's much easier to get into PA school than medical school and I can make enough money to survive while preparing to apply. I can always be a doctor later as well, since PA to MD seems to actually be a pretty common transition after a few years in the workforce.

On day 2 I also thought about other goals for myself. Above all I want to live a happy and healthy life, so I decided to put a bigger emphasis on my physical and mental health after letting them take a backseat during Journey to my White Coat. Now that I have a lot more time I think I'm going to spend a lot more effort getting enough sleep and food, and actually making healthy meals for myself instead of eating junk food every day. I think I want to try and start meditating too, or at least a relaxation routine. I've never tried it myself, but things like meditation and yoga seem to play a large part in a number of successful peoples' lives, so maybe it would be nice to pick that up.

Finding "fun" activities through which I can meet people has always been a struggle, and while I'm going to think about it more I might have a lead on something. Elections in the US are coming up, and I'm very passionate about a certain candidate, so I think I'm going to attend some volunteering events in support of them. It would give me the chance to do some good work while likely meeting people around my age, so I don't think it's a bad thing.

Day 3 was a pretty slow day. I looked up some diets online and went grocery and supplement shopping to replicate them. I also washed my bedding to make it as fresh and comfy as possible and maximize the quality of my sleep. Finally I signed up for a couple of volunteering trainings, and did some searching for jobs to survive for the time being.

Today's my all nighter day, so I don't think I'm going to get a whole lot done. Going to try and clean up a little more, do a little meal prepping, and watch some volunteer videos. The big priority is going to be getting to sleep early to get that hard reset in my sleep schedule.

That's all for now guys. Thanks for reading.

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Hey, you are back and I am sorry for one of the doors closing on you. It is okay. I am on a 100g carb and 80g protein-combo diet. Speaking of trying to use the relaxation routine, I think reading and journaling were maintained right now since high school so does milk before bed since I was around 10 or 11. About the volunteer work, let me think about my past experiences... I worked at a renewal food bank for the CAPStone project when I was in 9th grade. Occassionally, I just volunteered at my dad's kids ministry when I was growing up (specifically during my adolescent years and at one point in my college life). I have dealt with the set-up and take-down so much for literally every weekend since the great recession of 2008-09 up until the end of my college life, I can't wait to get a job at the wedding venue in the East Coast of America so bad. In 12th grade, it took me and my mom less than 50 hours to do the volunteering opportunity video for the senior culmulative project. Actually, it cannot be of myself but rather it is for others. I wasn't interested in volunteering. Why? At the time, I am already college-bound and I cannot wait to graduate from high school just one week and a day before Jill got married to Derrick. It took me an extra year after this to finally be able to move on with my life to go to college, and as a result my volunteership centers more of the local church and less everything else because I wasn't able to at least get ALL of my very own dreams accomplished. So what?! I got all my prerequisite courses I needed to do to get through life but not including the internships. Check! Science of Well-Being. Check! Sociology 249: Disability in Society. Check! Small Group Communications. Check! Business 101. Check! Leadership classes. Check! Some adult Sunday schooling. Check! Did you know that my college is partially full of internationals? That is because "we need diversity". Nuts to them! My local church is multicultural congregation-wise, but the theology when it comes to the preaching by a senior pastor is just old-fashioned (remember they have copies of the dark red New King James Version underneath the seats) and it was sprinkled in with real, inspiring stories to lift up the spirits and the facts that are shocking but surprisingly true. Sometimes, it was riddled with the history of western civilization, the American Dream, and the church history with the revivals of recent centuries. I know I am not some history major from a private university, but according to my sister she said that the sermons are theme-based. I totally agree with her! I am considering volunteering at the local library because I have volunteered at my old school library around the last month of 10th grade.

Edited by Natalie
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Almost a week since my last post, but the great news is I haven't relapsed back to League of Legends or Runescape. I do need to get a lot better at writing in my journal though.

It's the morning of Day 9 now, and since I've had a lot more time recently I've been going to the gym a lot more regularly, usually in the early morning when it's the least crowded. I went three times in the last week, which is probably the most I've gone since starting my journey on Gamequitters. I joined an online community on Facebook for working out, and it's really helped me get my questions answered and stay accountable to myself. Other than that, it hasn't been a super productive week. I've spent a lot of time just making meals, cleaning my living space, talking to friends, and watching movies on the internet. I've also been playing a lot of Chess as a sort of nicotine patch against the cravings, but frankly I'm feeling like that's kind of cheating the challenge, as I'm still staying in a lot and staying up late. Something to improve on for next week.

Overall though I'd say my mental health is a lot better, and life is starting to feel a little more exciting now than it did before. I'm figuring out how to make the PA dreams a reality, and it seems like the best way to do that with the time I have right now would be to get the GRE out of the way, while I don't have much going on in my life. I downloaded a vocab flashcard app with a few thousand words on it partitioned into 50 card sets, and I've been spending some time knocking that out (two sets done already)! I think I'm going to buy a practice question pack next week and spend the next month using the bulk of my time to grind GRE prep.

That's it for now. I'll do my best to try and write on here more frequently.

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Hi!

 

Thank you for updating us on your progress! Yes just focus on one step at a time. 
 

Have you registered for the GRE? Once you register that would give you a firm timeline to study and prepare. Just a thought. 
 

In just over a week you have made so many positive changes. So proud of you!

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Hey Deku! Just noticed this new topic of yours and super happy you haven't disappeared!

Secondly, I hope you update soon! How's it been going?

Even if you've relapsed on gaming, please do come back and leave a note 🙂

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