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The second flame


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Day 3

It came upon me three days ago

melting away like winter snow

the uncertainty, the hesitation

showing me a destination.

From deep suffering, clarity entered my mind

of what to do, what to leave behind.

This was not the way to go

drifting like a leaf in wind's blow.

Not how I wanted my life to cease

in my quest to find relief.

There was no fight

no more self-inflicted pain.

Clearly I saw the light

and what was mine to gain.


It is always just this one step

on the other side.

But so easy to forget

so easy to regret.

So easy to turn and hide

away from the light.


But not this time.

This time is mine.





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Welcome to the forum!


Don’t turn away from the light,

If you cannot step towards it, you can crawl,

If it makes you squint, your heart will see the light and guide you,

if even so it is hard, your brothers will be by your side

Edited by Amphibian220
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Day 5

Pressure and pain make me play.

Shame and guilt then force me to stay.

Day after day goes by.

Decline I cannot deny.

All my dreams and aspirations,

turn against me in litigations.

Trial I hold over my sanity,

why escape from reality?



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Shame and guilt is inappropriate.

You don’t have complete control over your soul at the moment, but you have always got ability to plan your day, set up your environment to be healthy, practice gratitude and counter sabotage.

Counter Sabotage

From experience, having activities that don’t serve a greater purpose will precipitate a relapse at a point in he future. Relapse is sabotage of your recovery. I can name moments that bring you closer to relapse:

(1) finishing daily plans “too soon”. Now you’ve got a good part of the day to “waste”. Notice the terminology in inverted commas. For a healthy man doesn’t rush his tasks but does them in a measured way, looks after his hygiene, clothes, there never is an underlying need to depart into absent mindedness. There never is time to waste.

(2) Task is “hard” to complete or “boring”. Gamer gives up prematurely and has no interest in working out a solution. This also shows that he is terrified of making a mistake (mistakes are cool, they turn you into a man). Once he puts off the task, his plan is in disarray.

I can counter sabotage the two moments above. I will treat the tasks as seriously as possible. I will never have excess time because I have worked out goals that are achievable, great in scale, meaningful and valuable for the basic needs of my community, have intermediate measurable milestones.

Intermediate milestones take into account my psychological needs and constant replenishment of strength.

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Day 6

It is time, my friend, to show you the mystery,

the way to escape this misery.

All there is to do, is not to turn.

Just examine the pain and burn.

For the fire is not real.

For nothing is there to feel,

but what you bring with you.

That is all I do.

It is as simple as that

and there is no way to forget.

What made me suffer, made me flee

is not part of reality, can’t you see?

@Amphibian220 Thank you for your response. At the moment there are no activities that do not serve a greater purpose. I have 6 weeks until my exams. So there is indeed no time to "waste", and there is no way to ever finish "too soon" or to have excess time (1).

Today I had several tasks that were either "hard" or "boring". I gave up several times, but there was no escape. Somehow I can't relapse to games, watch youtube, netflix, porn or do anything like that. There is an intense premonition of the horror that awaits me when I digress into these things. All my tasks will still be unfinished and waiting for me, but I have lost time. To be caught between hard and boring tasks and not even having the possibility to procrastinate was a frustrating experience today.

I have goals (passing all exams) that are achievable (I do hope so), great in scale (I fear they are), meaningful and valuable for the basic needs of my community (well, my wife would appreciate it), have intermediate measurable milestones (maybe my learning progress?).

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On 5/26/2020 at 8:10 AM, Amphibian220 said:

The fear, is it of failing exams ? Is that why you have no interest in watching a film on youtube?

What healthy activity is there for you when you get tired of revising?

I think it is the fear of failing my life, of not being able to function in society and of not finding a job and earn my own living.

The healthy activity after revising is doing sports outside, reading or listening to some guided meditation. So far, exercising in the nature has been the most important aspect.

On 5/26/2020 at 10:11 AM, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

I love your use of poetry. Very creative!

Thank you!

Day 9

The first 5 days were so easy. I was able to deal with all cravings. The next five days up to now have been only struggle. I feel restless, aggressive and can't concentrate. I have an immense inner resistance against everything in my life. I tried to figure out, what I did different in the first days. And I'm very grateful, that I wrote these poems, since I wrote them during the first days.

"All there is to do, is not to turn.

Just examine the pain and burn.

For the fire is not real

For nothing is there to feel,

but what you bring with you.

That is all I do."

In the first days I did not turn away from any unpleasent feeling. Instead I faced it, examined it and I've let it just be as it is. Somehow I forgot this and started to resist all my emotions inside me and the events in my environment. I fell back to my usual pattern of not facing things. And gaming is usually the best way to escape the contact with your life, your feelings and all your problems. That's why the cravings came back.

Edited by Fagus
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Something to share from Cam Adair’s vlogs: gaming companies have invested in research that helped develop games that create strong habits to play. Your choice quickly fades away once the game has created a habitual loop. The focus is on breaking the loop and substituting good habits.

Why your post matters here is because there are thousands of gamers in denial whereas you chose to fight. Your choice to fight is important. You have interestingly decided now, this is not a coincidence. This will be a holy war only many people don’t grasp this.

Games warp your mind and make you emotionally volatile. Let me share with you, your exams are going to go okay, other issues are going to improve.

 Look after yourself and get affirmations from your close friends, be honest with yourself in executing daily plans and developing a steady tempo of recovery.

Push yourself to become physically fit

can you give an idea how many modules you’ve got and how much time left to revise?

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Day 12

@Amphibian220 There are games that are just developed to create strong habits to play. You are right in that. But there are also games, that are very complicated and demanding and can make you stop playing after some time. I think that I've played games just to escape and not because of a real addiction.

The last days I had the urge to play, but when I thought about the feeling of playing the exact game, it appeared to me rather boring. So I don't actually want to play a special game, I just want to escape my life and get into an environment I can control. But you are right that games do warp my mind and make me emotionally volatile.

The last days I realized how much I still have to do for work and university. And I also need to apply for an internship. To answer your question: I have 11 modules this semester and about 1.5 months left. But some of these modules are just projects. So my plan is to finish the projects as fast as possible and then focus in the other modules. It's still a lot and quite overwhelming. But relapsing now would just break my neck. At the moment I just try to accept everything and make one step each time.

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This may sound obvious to you.

I think you should plan out realistically how much you will cover each day with enough breaks to keep yourself healthy.  

look at the more important modules and allocate more time to them. Prioritizing will also help you to save energy. When you plan it out, your worrying will immediately go down.

When I was short on time during my academic career, this approach to visualise progress over time and see that it is doable calmed me down and got me to pass the exams. 


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