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NEW VIDEO: I Replaced Gaming With Real Life (Nicco Transformation)

Ari's Recovery Journey


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Hey GrainSilo, I feel for you.

I have gone through somewhat similar circumanstances myself. My parents were both physically and verbally abusive towards me and my 3 siblings growing up; corporal punishment, sometimes with objects, and demeaning insults on our appearance and intelligence. Almost every day they would yell and fight in front of us, often yelling at us too. They are also both alcoholics, growing up they would drink every day to the point of at least getting buzzed. I still have some trauma leftover from that, something that I don't think will go away ever.

I would even say they are a factor for why I started abusing weed to cope during my teens, and also why I started escaping into online gacha games after getting married; it was easier to say I was busy doing other things (weed and games) than dealing with them and the stress they caused (eventually to my wife too during and after our wedding; they were very controlling). It was actually when I detoxed myself from gacha games, that's when I worked out the time and courage to set boundaries with them; to which they got very defensive towards and led to us not speaking with them for several months. Things got harder before they got easier.

My partner herself also suffers from situational anxiety and situational depression. So I get how you feel in regards to dealing with episodes; when she goes through them, it will affect my mental health and similarly affects my work performance. It's very hard to deal, the worst was after we went through a miscarriage which is a traumic enough event; I had to encourage her continously to seek a doctor's appointment so that she could get proper mental help. Through that there was one thought I kept top of mind; her depression and anxiety doesn't define her, she is more than that.

Now I know my situation is pretty different, but hopefully it can help you too with where you find similarities. All I can do is share my own experience.

One thing that really helps me is this theory called "The Circle of Control, Influence and Concern". The link I have has a diagram to help explain it. Things inside the inner circle are thigs that you control, that's the circle of control; that includes how I react and how much time my family and I spend with my parents in my above scenario with them. The middle circle is the circle of influence; which includes the boundaries I set up with my parents. The outer circle is the circle of concern; that includes what my parents do and how they act. I like that theory myself because it helps me put into perspective the things I should spend my energy and time towards (the things I can control) without letting the things outside of it expend too much mental energy.

Now that's easier said than done, and it is also not to say that you don't care for your parents or your partner; but by accepting that you don't control what they decide and do, that helps alliaviate a lot of mental effort and put it into areas which you can influence and control. I really encourage you to draw it out on a board or similar, and try putting together some sticky notes with things that are top of mind. Then arrange and categorize them on the the three circles.

I hope that also helps with your Animal Crossing cravings too 😛 Indeed you have too much control in that game, over how villagers dress, how your island/town looks, even the catchphrases they use (I think?). It has been a while since I played the Switch game so I might be misremembering. But the point is, life just doesn't work that way. So your cravings right now make total sense. The three circles exercise is nice for that reason though, because it puts into perspective that we don't need absolute control to feel empowered.

Best wishes,

D_Cozy

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8 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

Mad cravings for Animal Crossing lately. It's almost as if I feel out of control of my life and want to run away to an easy happy fantasy life? Hahaha...

Well yeah, it would be SO easy, I imagine (got cravings starting from holidaying 2 weeks ago here). Even 'objective me' is having trouble. 

But someone asked me for directions this morning on the way to a coffee meet, and I was fully present to help guide them - he also finished my answering sentence correctly, and it perked me up for the day.

We're all about to change seasons this week, right? It's like my choosing whether to start a high school essay/exam study the night before, or homework, versus leaving it til the morning/'winging it' the next day.

I've had doubts about my family and friends' personalities all the time since living alone a year ago, when really all that most of them do is their best - when I get eventual moments of proper reflection to recognise that. Just as often, tellingly, I think it's also me. 

I believe continuing to stay available to Mother Earth and her creatures and creations (I've never used that string of terms before) while keeping our most essential limits in mind is the best that can be done when we're tested like this. If you really want to know, my virtual world through the years was Gielinor. 😅

Remember what Cam said somewhere? Games like ours that hooked us didn't do so because we are bad people - it could be closer to the opposite; maybe we just never wanted to risk doing further harm to people around us who have been in pain. 

Posting because yours called out to me,

~ Matt

Edited by wheatbiscuit
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13 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

Mad cravings for Animal Crossing lately. It's almost as if I feel out of control of my life and want to run away to an easy happy fantasy life? Hahaha...

I know a few people who played this extensively and they described it as exactly this. They dread the grind but they love the control and escapism and the cute characters. 

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Thank all of you so much for the support 💕 it really means a lot to me.

From a phone call with my mom today, it sounds like she is gaining the strength and perseverance she needs to get through this without falling back into my dad's BS.

I had linked her an article about Narcissism and trauma bonding and it sounds like she really took it to heart, which is really reassuring for me.

My dad isn't taking any of this seriously enough, he's arrogantly assuming they're just taking a break and things will go back to normal soon enough. Thankfully he's still working towards moving into the other house even though he has this attitude about it. She even told him "once we're separated, even though it won't be on paper yet, consider us divorced."

I think if there's even the slightest chance of my father ever being a decent person, it's through losing my mom. He needs to face REAL, permanent consequences to his actions! Unfortunately most Narcissists do not recover due to the nature of the disorder, they can't see themselves as having done anything wrong, they will even completely disassociate themselves from any mistakes they make. He might just blame her for everything in the end.

Not currently having any cravings, that comes as a huge relief.

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@GrainSiloEnthusiast You're not alone. Either in cravings or witnessing rather strange relationships.

My mom was first hospitalized about ten years ago due to a mental breakdown. I think the story was that she was feeling stressed, her friend gave her some pills, it didn't go well and she fainted. Some three years ago she was sent to disability pension. She has had episodes where she was just blabbing random words and she is diagnosed bipolar. I believe that if it wasn't for the rest of our family, she'd be in some sort of asylum permanently.

My father is luckily mentally fine, although I'd argue their relationship is very far from a husband-wife one now. My mom depends on him like a child/teenager would on its parents. He decided to take up the role.

5 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

I think if there's even the slightest chance of my father ever being a decent person, it's through losing my mom. He needs to face REAL, permanent consequences to his actions! Unfortunately most Narcissists do not recover due to the nature of the disorder, they can't see themselves as having done anything wrong, they will even completely disassociate themselves from any mistakes they make. He might just blame her for everything in the end.

For another story I'm going to provide some background. Three years ago, I tried dating a girl. I was rejected. It took me some time re-aligning my perception of her, but I got over myself and we stayed friends. Looking at it from a long-term perspective, it was a blessing and I am convinced it wouldn't work out.

Her current relationship is telling. She has a savior syndrome. That means she'll do absolutely anything to justify her boyfriend's behavior. I think they've been on and off for the last two years. She writes that she doesn't want to see him anymore and in ten minutes that maybe they'll meet in the evening.

I don't think her boyfriend is a bad person. He has a well-paid job, fun for me to talk to every now and then, but has uncontrolled outbursts of emotions and ADHD. Sometimes a bit of drug abuse as well. He beat her once too. During his latest fit he just started jumping on a random car in the street and might even face prison for that.

Yet strangely, they still are in contact. I think they both love getting high on emotion, in a way that "it doesn't matter if the emotion the other person causes is good or bad; what matters is that it's intense". As you put it, I think he can start getting his life together like your father, but he needs her to really leave.

-

As for myself, I still face masturbation struggles. Coming back to your father, my ex-girlfriend had to break up with me almost five years ago too, because otherwise I wouldn't be able to get my life on a better track. I think that the relationship with my current girlfriend has become more challenging recently, as we are discussing and sorting out the manner of our communication and expectations. I'm willing to improve though 🙂

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When I get cravings I take it out on Duolingo. Since it's so gamified it satisfies the urges but it's also objectively helping me learn something.

I find myself remembering relevant phrases as I go about my day and thinking them or saying them aloud to myself!

Currently I'm actually tackling 3 courses: Hebrew, which is my main focus and my non-negotiable language to study at least a few minutes every day. Japanese, which I took in high school so it's my strongest 2nd language, it's helpful for refreshing what I know and injecting some new vocab. And German, which my brother took in high school, so I have a very basic foundation of that language to go on. He had taught me everything he learned so we had fun with that, and now the language feels really easy to re-learn.

The irony of those 3 languages being what they are doesn't escape me. (If you know what I mean, then you know what I mean lol.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I added Español into the mix, which got my partner into Duolingo as well. This is the closest we've come to "gaming" together since I quit! She's gotten really into it. She took Spanish in high school so it's something she's already familiar with. It's been a good distraction for her from her depression. I look forward to exchanging some phrases en Español!! Perhaps we can even get our daughter to catch the polyglot bug as well haha.

Honestly the thought of Minecraft has been tempting lately... So I think I might buy a set of Legos. I made some extra money babysitting (which is so fun and fulfilling, probably the best work I can possibly do... If I was capable of working full-time I'd work in childcare!) so I think that's a good thing to spend it on. It's something me and my partner can do together. She really misses playing Minecraft with me and it's about the closest analog equivalent there is!

Our relationship has been kinda sucky lately so I'm looking for ways to reconnect. Even if romantically it doesn't work out in the end I want to be able to remain friends and be good co-parents. My parents divorce has really got me thinking about the future of this relationship... And a lot of the time it feels inevitable that we will split up some day. But I want to make the most of the time we spend together at the very least. If we could truly rekindle our flame that would be awesome!

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3 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

Our relationship has been kinda sucky lately so I'm looking for ways to reconnect. Even if romantically it doesn't work out in the end I want to be able to remain friends and be good co-parents. My parents divorce has really got me thinking about the future of this relationship... And a lot of the time it feels inevitable that we will split up some day. But I want to make the most of the time we spend together at the very least. If we could truly rekindle our flame that would be awesome!

I hope it works out for you and your partner. 

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I did end up buying some Legos, we've only played with them once and not for very long so far, we were busy yesterday, but it was fun! We might go to this shop in town that's all about buying and selling used Legos today...

But also I might have broken my pinky toe. If not broken probably sprained. Either way it really hurts. I slammed my foot against a door frame at full force by accident. This was yesterday morning, and I walked on it all day yesterday, which wasn't super pleasant. This morning though it's still hurting just as bad and I'm really having to rely on my cane.

So I'm currently in urgent care, already triaged but waiting for the doctor and an X-ray. 🙄

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On 9/12/2023 at 11:34 AM, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

I did end up buying some Legos, we've only played with them once and not for very long so far, we were busy yesterday, but it was fun! We might go to this shop in town that's all about buying and selling used Legos today...

But also I might have broken my pinky toe. If not broken probably sprained. Either way it really hurts. I slammed my foot against a door frame at full force by accident. This was yesterday morning, and I walked on it all day yesterday, which wasn't super pleasant. This morning though it's still hurting just as bad and I'm really having to rely on my cane.

So I'm currently in urgent care, already triaged but waiting for the doctor and an X-ray. 🙄

I've been building legos too !

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4 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

I've been building legos too !

It's way too much fun! Very easy to spend a lot of money too, I'll have to be careful hahaha. Luckily we checked out the pre-owned Legos store yesterday, and they have a massive bulk bin where you can get a lot for super cheap. That's probably gonna be my main source for my bricks! It's so fun to hunt through it. That store is so awesome I can't wait to go back!

And it seems like my toe, thankfully, isn't broken! They didn't see anything on the X-ray, but the doctor told me that doesn't rule out small fractures necessarily. But today it is feeling a whole lot better, so I think it really was just a nasty bruise. It was still worth the trip to urgent care, they taught me how to buddy wrap it nicely.

Edited by GrainSiloEnthusiast
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7 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

. It was still worth the trip to urgent care, they taught me how to buddy wrap it nicely.

I'm so glad you have this mindset! It's so important to take care of yourself when it is needed, and you have a very positive outlook on the visit despite not needing much care! 

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13 hours ago, Pochatok said:

I'm so glad you have this mindset! It's so important to take care of yourself when it is needed, and you have a very positive outlook on the visit despite not needing much care! 

I'm pretty privileged to even be able to go to urgent care over something so small, it's only because I'm on Medicaid that I even have that option. Ironic to be privileged in such a way since this medical insurance is only available to me for being severely impoverished.

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I have been under so much stress lately. The High Holidays have definitely added to that stress load, but the services have been nice and it's been good to get out of the house and be around people. Especially Jewish people honestly, since I'm the only person in my house who practices. (I will be raising our daughter Jewish but she's too young to participate in most things! Or have intellectual discussions with... Etc!)

To make everything just that much more "lovely" our elderly cat took a fat piss on our living room carpet this morning. That made me angry and confused, and then my partner yelled at me for being angry, and now I'm being told by my mom she probably is having age-related health issues. So I get to expect more of this, and her impending death as well. Great, just awesome.

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10 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

I have been under so much stress lately. The High Holidays have definitely added to that stress load, but the services have been nice and it's been good to get out of the house and be around people. Especially Jewish people honestly, since I'm the only person in my house who practices. (I will be raising our daughter Jewish but she's too young to participate in most things! Or have intellectual discussions with... Etc!)

To make everything just that much more "lovely" our elderly cat took a fat piss on our living room carpet this morning. That made me angry and confused, and then my partner yelled at me for being angry, and now I'm being told by my mom she probably is having age-related health issues. So I get to expect more of this, and her impending death as well. Great, just awesome.

Long walks, sometimes jogs are my antidote to stress. My family is caring for our second pet dog of 9 years, and I definitely took the first one's health for granted. Probably not so, this time. 

Gotta love invalidated emotions, hey? At least there was context. 😛 I briefly got to talking about church/practising religion with someone from high school this morning, and how maybe there were more moral lessons to be learnt there growing up rather than from movies. He said 'we've gone from discipline to achievement focus' in society, leading to 'burnout'. It left me wondering what's next to return to or adopt. 😮 

 

Edited by wheatbiscuit
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Went to the local art museum with my partner today, and the main attraction at the moment is the Minecraft exhibit.

It's an incredible exhibit! I am very impressed! They built a bunch of Minecraft things to real life scale and it's very immersive.

At the same time though, to no surprise, this is all very triggering for me. I feel a lot of conflicting emotions.

I probably wouldn't have come to this exhibit if it was just me, but I came because my partner wanted both of us to go... Minecraft used to be a really big and important part of our relationship.

I have more Lego Duplo coming in the mail soon though, my daughter has been getting an absolute kick out of the set I bought a couple days ago. I love having something her and I can do together and we both genuinely enjoy it. Her imagination is already enormous! The things she comes up with on her own are adorable and incredible.

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I've been really triggered lately. I lament not being able to have a healthy relationship to gaming, because of the few good things. For example, Minecraft is truly an art medium. But even with that in mind, I'm afraid to ruin my life, so I abstain.

I had a short relapse dream last night, that's what brought this to mind. There were many dreams after that which distracted me from that throughout the rest of the night, but I guess that one really impacted me.

Yom Kippur was beautiful and meaningful. I'm so glad I have this in my life again. I truly felt like part of my community, which was a huge relief. I was even able to actually fast this year, which shows a vast improvement to my health! I brought snacks, I knew where the water was, but at no point did I feel so weak or terrible that I needed to actually eat or drink. I played it by ear and it ended up working out that way! I feel so much gratitude for my body, I never thought fasting would ever be an option for me.

It was on Yom Kippur 4 years ago that I started to feel the urge to run away, and during Hanukkah I actually left. I had felt so overwhelmingly lonely, I'd believed nobody wanted me there. I was so wrong. People I didn't even realize liked me were glad to see me again when I returned in March, and I've since made new friends and strengthened old relationships too.

Take away this: your anxiety may be lying to you. If you just assume how other people feel about you, you may never find out the truth!

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6 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

Take away this: your anxiety may be lying to you. If you just assume how other people feel about you, you may never find out the truth!

That was part of the social allure of gaming. When online playing them, we all had bird's eye views of each other and it felt easy (at least for me) to work out who else was feeling what by observing their avatar's movements or what they typed.

This apparently only contrasts to the physical world because so many of the people I've met feel so compelled to keep 'busy' or 'moving 'forward'', so that simple answers are either heavily laden with other meanings or hard to receive/accept at all. Online, if in doubt, some of us would invite others to PvP (clicking contests - almost guaranteed to be engaging) - whereas offline, there are usually an all-manner of avoidant behaviours at play. Of course, my old game is a bit dated now anyway, so the behaviours of most hangers-on got a bit extreme - one of the ringing bells as to why I gave it up. That, and ignoring brain messages of physical and psychological energy supply. The enduring replacement? A real sense of humour, perhaps. lol 

Edited by wheatbiscuit
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I have to admit I waffled over the idea of playing Minecraft for the sake of connection with my partner. In the end though, after thinking and praying on it, I decided against it.

Despite the fact that it may be possible for me now to have a balanced relationship to gaming, especially if I'm limiting myself to only one game, the risks are just so immense it doesn't feel worth it.

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My partner and I are having a like... separation? or something. I don't know if it'll last only a few days, a week, weeks, indefinitely...

It's too exhausting to retell everything that happened but to put it in a metaphor like... she always has a cloud over her head... sometimes it's just cloudy other times it's a thunderstorm. I'm tired of being wet all the time and afraid of when the lightning strikes

I'm just so tired. I have made myself sick with stress lately too. It's hard to eat even 1000 calories because I have no appetite. Fasting on Yom Kippur had come as a relief, no obligation to eat food I don't even want to eat.

I'm currently staying with my mom across town, and I left my daughter with my partner for the weekend. I'll collect her from school on Monday. I miss my daughter a lot. The way she cried when I left made me feel like "oh okay I'm stuck here forever then."

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1 hour ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

My partner and I are having a like... separation? or something. I don't know if it'll last only a few days, a week, weeks, indefinitely...

It's too exhausting to retell everything that happened but to put it in a metaphor like... she always has a cloud over her head... sometimes it's just cloudy other times it's a thunderstorm. I'm tired of being wet all the time and afraid of when the lightning strikes

I'm just so tired. I have made myself sick with stress lately too. It's hard to eat even 1000 calories because I have no appetite. Fasting on Yom Kippur had come as a relief, no obligation to eat food I don't even want to eat.

I'm currently staying with my mom across town, and I left my daughter with my partner for the weekend. I'll collect her from school on Monday. I miss my daughter a lot. The way she cried when I left made me feel like "oh okay I'm stuck here forever then."

I 'get' neglecting to eat, before starting training with weights. When my dad was still around, I'd only eat/enjoy a meal if non-immediate family gave me permission, when sneaking around for 'nibbles', or when, indeed, there was respite from storms. Heavier exercise than just walking/jogging jams me back into my body for at least half the day, instead of staying in my head and ignoring it from stress. 

Breaks from solid/adult relationships, aside from actual re-charging, I dunno. Peace be with you. 🤕

Edited by wheatbiscuit
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5 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

My partner and I are having a like... separation? or something. I don't know if it'll last only a few days, a week, weeks, indefinitely...

It's too exhausting to retell everything that happened but to put it in a metaphor like... she always has a cloud over her head... sometimes it's just cloudy other times it's a thunderstorm. I'm tired of being wet all the time and afraid of when the lightning strikes

I'm just so tired. I have made myself sick with stress lately too. It's hard to eat even 1000 calories because I have no appetite. Fasting on Yom Kippur had come as a relief, no obligation to eat food I don't even want to eat.

I'm currently staying with my mom across town, and I left my daughter with my partner for the weekend. I'll collect her from school on Monday. I miss my daughter a lot. The way she cried when I left made me feel like "oh okay I'm stuck here forever then."

In times/cases like yours I wonder: What has changed in the relationship? How does one go from being happily pregnant with a partner to this situation? What are the factors that contributed to this? I know that these don't only have to be negative; maybe you grew in your life so much over the past few years while your partner stagnated and that created a big rift, as you could relate to each other less.

Whatever the result is, I hope you'll be able to remain strong through this and work out a solution with your partner.

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It's definitely the stagnation. We were a lot more compatible when we first met, a suicidal drug addict (me) and a suicidal extreme depressive hermit (her.)

I have grown and changed SO much in the last 6 years (our anniversary is on the 25th of this month...) But she is more or less the same person I got together with. She's had better times and we've had hard times, this probably isn't even the hardest time we've had, I'm just EXHAUSTED.

I am literally her only friend, besides our daughter. It's exhausting to be her lover, friend, therapist, mommy, maid... etc blah blah blah all at the same time.

She's actually a really good mom though. That's part of why I left my daughter with her for the weekend, I can at least trust her to take care of our child.

But she almost feels like my teenage child. She feels like my Responsibility, even though she's not supposed to be.

But the way our daughter cried for me when I left, the way she desperately banged on the door... I'm not ready to rip our daughter's life in half...

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