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fedya

Relapsed and bad. How do you entertain yourself?

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Hello all. I got into gamequitting about a year and half before I knew about this community. I sold my gaming PC, got a cheap one for school, and cut off ties with my toxic group. I had to leave the country for about a year for work and in that time I had no opportunity to play games except for some little indie games here and there that I would play on and off, and for once in my life I used gaming as a very healthy little escape instead of a life consuming addiction. I came back to the states and immediately got a low end gaming laptop and started to slip back into addiction. This thing couldn't handle the really addicting stuff but I still managed to get hooked to games quite quickly. I went on a rollercoaster of uninstalling, reinstalling and playing these little indie games for hours on end, and uninstalling again. It was unhealthy but not as bad as before my year abroad when I had a huge rig. 

I made the blunder this Christmas of buying a mid range gaming rig, even though I'm trying to budget to save money for a yearlong study abroad program in St. Petersburg that has been my dream for the past 3 years. I told myself I'd develop good habits alongside it and use it as a reward. Ofcourse, this didn't work. I have burned an embarrassingly large amount of time playing Escape from Tarkov. Ruining my sleep schedule, my grades even are beginning to sag, I started to notice irritability and the constant desire to run home after whatever class and spend the next 10 hours at my desk. 

I have a really great support network for getting rid of this addiction outside of this website thankfully, but it still makes it very hard. I lied to the current group of dudes I game with and told them a buddy spilt beer straight into the rig and its fried, and now I'm working on selling it. But now all I see is all this free time and no desire to do any of the things I said I would do when I was at the height of this timewasting a week ago: practice my Russian, work out, read, etc. I just wish I could manage myself enough to game just 1-2 hours at max per day and work on the stuff I need to work on, but I can't.

So all that aside, how do you guys spend your free time? The first time I gamequitted I was living with my 2 best friends and it was very easy. But now all my friends have left town since I was gone and its extremely inconvenient to meet them regularly. I'm at college right now but it just seems like most groups I run into their ideas of fun are, go figure, gaming, or having parties where we just drink to the point of near death. I wish I could go out there and hang out with people and spend the whole day with another human being doing fun stuff but its like this whole damn city (Atlanta) is just a giant stripclub or bar.

 

TL;DR: It's a vicious cycle, I spend too much time playing vidya and get depressed because I do nothing productive for days, weeks on end, and then when I give it up and do these productive things I realize that I am, most of the time, entirely alone and bored to death. Sorry if this is pretty bitchy but I really need to see the light at the end of the tunnel here. If I can just solve the problem of perpetual boredom in my downtime I'll be free. 

Edited by fedya
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Hi! Fellow college student here. 

I think you've come a long way already. The feelings of boredom are to be expected actually: games are efficient at getting you entertained (that's why we get hooked) so when we stop everything else feels 'toned down'; less appealing somehow, even if we like it, did it in the past or promised ourselves we would start it as soon as we quit gaming. This feeling is normal and, to be honest, it's a bother. 

Something that helps me is thinking about how entertained is not the same as fulfilled. Starting a game is easy, but after you stop playing you feel tired, void and unsatisfied (I used to feel like that at least). Like a video game hangover. Instead, going to class takes me an enormous effort, but in the end I love what I'm studying so I always get home satisfied, happy, no matter if the lesson was boring or I have a lot of work, the feeling runs deeper. It's the same for leisure activities, those take me an extra effort because I can always talk myself into doing them later (while I can think about class as a responsibility or duty). 

My advice:

1. Remember what you used to enjoy, still enjoy or what to start, write it down. 

2. Find people who are already doing that and stick to them, they can help you commit into keep doing the thing. 

3. Be extra strict with the limitations with gaming. If you know by experience that buying gaming rig leads you to play, you gotta make it so you keep your cool and not fall for that again. It sucks and maybe you could be able to play moderately in the future, but you gotta ask yourself honestly if right now is that time or not. 

4. Be kind with yourself and have patience. Honestly. Gaming gives rewards easily with relatively low effort. Other things take time, but the rewards are massive in comparison. You're playing the long game here, no pun intended. It's not as much about gaming or not gaming as about who you really want to be.

EDIT: Also, welcome to the forum! The folks here can tell you about what they do, a lot of us are also struggling with filling our day with other things than gaming. Hope you feel welcomed here and find it useful!

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Thanks, that really put it into perspective, I'll be trying hard to remember that when I get the urge to play. 

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No problem. We also have a hobby list if you need some ideas of new activities. Some of them may be out of reach for you but it can give you a general picture 😶

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