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Talby's Journal

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Day 7

It's been a week since I last gamed but not since I made the decision to quit.  There's a been a lot of ups and downs since I came clean and talked it over with close friends and loved ones, but people are starting to understand my behaviour over the last 10 years or so and supporting my decision.  More important than anything else, people are understanding why it's a problem and how it develops.  Thank god the WHO is taking this seriously now, maybe we can put the pressure on the industry to start funding research and support for addiction.  

I'm starting to feel the light again, that association with all the things I loved doing when I went to university is breaking through now that I've made the decision to leave it all behind and push through with more positive choices.

Gratitude journal

Today I'm grateful for having a good friend who came out for a hike with me and chatted about everything I'm going through (he had a similar experience with addiction that I helped him through).  I'm also really grateful to my beautiful fiancee who is supporting me and works hard so that we can live in a nice home.

I managed to get in a decent hike and then fit in a good Yoga session, which I don't normally manage to achieve on a weekend.

Going to keep it short but this week I want to continue this momentum forward.  I want to keep running, doing yoga, having a positive attitude towards those I love and adore, and have hope that I can change the circumstances I don't like given the time and opportunities.

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Day 31

Wow.  Where does the time go.  I can't believe it's been about a month since I quit.  There's been times when I've been tempted to go back, even little blips where I've nearly replaced it with something equally as addictive...however I've always managed to haul myself back from the brink.  I also decided a couple of weeks in to give a few other things up that went hand in hand with gaming, things I feel more inclined to use and obsess about if I game.  That's actually been harder than the gaming, as I've been tempted to fill the void with those activities.  All in all though it's gone as well as I could have expected.  I'm starting to rediscover my mojo for life, am much easier to be around and am pouring a lot of my time and effort into exercise, relationships and work.

Don't get me wrong, there's been ups and downs.  Certainly the first couple of weeks were rough, and there's been times when I really haven't been myself due to the cravings and mood swings.  Plus I know that my intake of sugar, fat and alcohol is certainly more than average when I maybe gamed.  At the moment I'm managing to keep those things to moderate levels that don't waste time or even add value to my life because they're part of social situations.  As a runner, my health and diet are important to me...however the best advice I've read is to try not to cut out too many things at once, and I'd rather focus on getting my training mojo back consistently before I look at making marginal gains through improvements to diet.

All in all going pretty well.  I have a job interview next week at an organisation whose values appear to align to my own, and who would be a lot closer to home with a higher salary and more career development.  Fingers crossed for that. 

I've also started listening to some mental health podcasts, such as The Naked Professors (Seriously, check it out.).  One of the most useful things that they reinforced was that the mind is designed to protect you from harm and keep you safe, called negative bias.  That's why when you have time to think, it's mostly negative or scary.  But it's not an inherently negative thing.  It's actually good for you as a healthy human to have this.  What's important is your relationship with your mind and general identity.  Imagine if somebody else spoke to you in the way you think and speak to yourself sometimes, you'd walk away or lose it with them...probably decide never to see them again.  Well we all need to be kinder to ourselves.  I've tried meditating on and off, it does seem to help in small doses, but this feels different.  Every time I get lost in thoughts now and I realise it, rather than stressing and worrying about whatever is going on, I just tell my mind that I'm grateful that it's trying to look after me and that I'm happy it's aware of danger, but that in this moment, I'm safe.  Unless obviously I'm really not safe!  BUt most of the time it's just whirring away when I'm travelling or trying to do mundane stuff like chores.  Then I just gently tell it that everything is fine, that I'm safe but that I'm not cross with it for thinking that way.

So be kinder to yourselves, accept your mind for what it is and be thankful that it's trying to protect you, but understand that a lot of the things that go on up there don't reflect reality.

Gratitude journal

Today I'm grateful to everybody on this forum trying to support one another, and particularly for being able to meet so many people who are willing to share their stories and open their hearts.  I know it all sounds cheesy and tacky, but I mean it 100%.  I spent a bit more time on here the last few days, responding and reading comments.  It's helped me to feel like I'm not alone and that I'm not pathetic for having these issues.

I'm still eternally grateful to my finacee and friends for accepting all this, accepting me for who I am.  It makes such a huge difference.  I'm also grateful to be part of a running community again, it means a lot.

Take care all.  Remember, your mind is trying to help 🙂  

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Day 34

This one is about being honest around some of the more negative stuff going on. I haven't really spoken much about the here and now of stuff, I'm struggling with, more the stuff I know lurks in my past that I don't want to go back to. But of course it doesn't work like that.


Crashed and burned a little this week. As I've mentioned I've plowed a lot of the time I'd spend gaming into being out running or at the gym. I have spent more time with other people as a result of quitting, but I still need the endorphins and adrenaline rush gaming used to give otherwise I'll sink into a depressed state. Been there, done it all before. But I have to admit I've probably sunk a little too much time into it and not focused as much as I wanted to on the mental side of things. It's a tough balance because the physical side is important for my self esteem. I don't need to look ripped and impress the ladies, but I'm a skinny guy and running just burns away the muscle and fat so I've been trying to maintain a body shape I'm comfortable with whilst I train harder.

Turns out when you ignore your mind and just keep pushing it deeper onto something when you know it needs attention, it snaps back at you eventually. This week I've been a ball of unpredictable, excitable and angry energy which culminated in me nearly losing my shit with a client and some colleagues at work. I didn't, but I could feel something was wrong deep down. Truth is I've been expecting a lot of myself after admitting the addiction. This time is different, this time I'll feel better... Etc etc. But truth hurts, and I know I'm suffering in exactly the same way I have all the other times I've quit but eventually given in. This time I know what I'm fighting against and have brought other people on board so there's no out. I've been honest with my mind and not approached it as a gaming ban cause I read somewhere that the best way to overcome a desire for something is to allow yourself the option, but be very clear about what the consequences are of making that choice. That way whatever you're trying to give up has less of a temptation around it. Less of a forbidden fruit vibe. Anyway, yes it hurts again. Yes the need for instant gratification is there, yes I've tried to replace it with other stuff so I know I'm on the right track... But I've also been a bit of a self righteous arsehole about the whole thing, projecting my high expectations of my recovery and change onto others.

It's my first really big negative point of the whole process so I'm not too down about it. Guess there's a beauty in accepting it's a bumpy road, that you might take a few steps back in order to move forward. I think what this has made me realise is that the detox period isn't just about giving up the gaming. It's about facing up to all stuff that made you retreat into game worlds with such intensity. Trying to find a balance between putting your time and energy back into the activities you used to love that you know will give long term satisfaction and actually stepping back from constantly doing things and taking the time to work on how your mind is doing.


Anyway, I'm going to leave it there. Had a lot on my mind and had to get it down. It's nice to just get the bad shit out sometimes.

I'm doing well. This is progress 😁


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