Jump to content

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

Ari's Recovery Journey


Recommended Posts

19 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

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 feel you. I think that's how my relationship ended 5 years ago as well. My X got just tired of me not getting a job and gaming all day. I think she wanted to improve her life, but it's hard to do that if you have a partner who is just stagnant and perhaps even sabotaging your process. 

19 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

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.

I get a feeling that stagnation (for sure over 6 years) in other people means they are fairly happy with how things are. Her mental issues suck, but you can't let that hold you hostage, much less your daughter. My girlfriend depends on me as well, but not in a way that an addict would be on their drug. I hope you can take that into account while searching for a solution.

19 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

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...

Can you mobilize someone to help you out? It's sad when kids get caught up in the middle by no fault of their own 😞

  • Like 1
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Today I actually spent most of the day with my partner, but I did take our daughter overnight and I am still spending the rest of the week here at my mom's house.

I checked off a bucket list item today, I did an art display at my local library. After I got the display set up I asked my partner if she was done with her appointment (meeting a new therapist, which went pretty well!) And we went out for lunch together.

She seemed in genuinely good spirits, probably because she was relieved to see and talk to me. I let her know my plans for this week, to finish it out as an experiment. If we don't work out in the end, we already know what split custody and living apart feel like.

She is fully aware of how precarious our situation is. In short, if she doesn't get her shit together and fast, we're done. I don't expect leaps and bounds overnight, but simple achievable changes that will point her in the right direction need to be put into effect immediately. It seems that she is already doing this, without me having to lay it all out for her.

She expressed she realizes she must find things to live for besides our daughter and myself, and this will be difficult but she's willing to try.

I did make her aware it is very important to me that she starts practicing gratitude. I don't mean to say that I do all the chores and it's a thankless task, that's not what I'm talking about here. It's the constant complaining about things such as our financial situation, without regards to how frankly PRIVILEGED we are.

Yes we're both disabled, yes neither of us is currently fit to work. Yes that comes with frustrations. But we live with her father who not only provides for us a roof over our head, but a genuine sense of security and welcomeness. He isn't the type to say "I love you" regularly, but he shows it in his actions. We live in a beautiful and safe neighborhood in a pretty large house. We are currently able to pay rent with our benefits and it genuinely helps dad. We never go hungry, in fact we often have TOO MUCH food, to the extent we have to donate things close to expiring!! We have blessed lives, despite some unfortunate circumstances.

Tangent aside, I have told her exactly what I need from her on the day I left as per her request. I need her to get help and to get back on medication, I need her to seek out human connection and new hobbies, I need her to attempt to connect with me by participating in family activities on a reasonable basis. There was more but I'm drawing blanks right now I am quite tired. Anyway she seems to understand these suggestions and how critical they are and is already taking action.

Again I don't expect overnight success and I know very well that this may all be for nothing, but I'm willing to give this a shot if she's willing to fight to save herself. Lord knows she's stuck with me through some shit I didn't deserve to be stuck with through... I wasn't always the person I am today. And I still have plenty to work on myself, no delusions about that!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speaking of things to work on, patience. Especially with technology. I get so angry at technology when it does not respond as expected immediately. I was able to be relatively patient today with my phone being an absolute butthead, I got through it without yelling at the thing which I consider a small victory.

Thankfully since quitting gaming the number of tantrums I have in a week has been slashed drastically! That was one of my primary motivations for quitting.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

Today I actually spent most of the day with my partner, but I did take our daughter overnight and I am still spending the rest of the week here at my mom's house.

I checked off a bucket list item today, I did an art display at my local library. After I got the display set up I asked my partner if she was done with her appointment (meeting a new therapist, which went pretty well!) And we went out for lunch together.

She seemed in genuinely good spirits, probably because she was relieved to see and talk to me. I let her know my plans for this week, to finish it out as an experiment. If we don't work out in the end, we already know what split custody and living apart feel like.

She is fully aware of how precarious our situation is. In short, if she doesn't get her shit together and fast, we're done. I don't expect leaps and bounds overnight, but simple achievable changes that will point her in the right direction need to be put into effect immediately. It seems that she is already doing this, without me having to lay it all out for her.

She expressed she realizes she must find things to live for besides our daughter and myself, and this will be difficult but she's willing to try.

I did make her aware it is very important to me that she starts practicing gratitude. I don't mean to say that I do all the chores and it's a thankless task, that's not what I'm talking about here. It's the constant complaining about things such as our financial situation, without regards to how frankly PRIVILEGED we are.

Yes we're both disabled, yes neither of us is currently fit to work. Yes that comes with frustrations. But we live with her father who not only provides for us a roof over our head, but a genuine sense of security and welcomeness. He isn't the type to say "I love you" regularly, but he shows it in his actions. We live in a beautiful and safe neighborhood in a pretty large house. We are currently able to pay rent with our benefits and it genuinely helps dad. We never go hungry, in fact we often have TOO MUCH food, to the extent we have to donate things close to expiring!! We have blessed lives, despite some unfortunate circumstances.

Tangent aside, I have told her exactly what I need from her on the day I left as per her request. I need her to get help and to get back on medication, I need her to seek out human connection and new hobbies, I need her to attempt to connect with me by participating in family activities on a reasonable basis. There was more but I'm drawing blanks right now I am quite tired. Anyway she seems to understand these suggestions and how critical they are and is already taking action.

Again I don't expect overnight success and I know very well that this may all be for nothing, but I'm willing to give this a shot if she's willing to fight to save herself. Lord knows she's stuck with me through some shit I didn't deserve to be stuck with through... I wasn't always the person I am today. And I still have plenty to work on myself, no delusions about that!

 

Sounds like she's taking things onboard, fingers crossed it continues in a positive direction.

Congrats on the art display!

  • Like 2
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/3/2023 at 7:46 AM, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

Again I don't expect overnight success and I know very well that this may all be for nothing, but I'm willing to give this a shot if she's willing to fight to save herself. Lord knows she's stuck with me through some shit I didn't deserve to be stuck with through... I wasn't always the person I am today. And I still have plenty to work on myself, no delusions about that!

I hope it goes well!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope so, too. We spent a lot of time together today because we needed to go to DSHS and get our food stamps review done. It went well, but towards the end (after we had picked up our daughter and she was dropping me off at mom's) I could tell she was feeling a bit depressed.

She is planning on attending a couple of the group activities that are held by her therapy provider, such as the DND group. I'm really hoping that helps her... it'd be really nice if she could make more friends.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I came home on Sunday, it was actually quite a relief? It helped that my partner immediately took my daughter to put her down for a nap and they both slept for like 3 hours lol, it was good to have the house to myself for a while to relax and readjust.
Unpacking after they woke up was a hassle but of course it needed to be done. Next time I will pack a lot less because I will schedule and plan the break ahead of time!

Tomorrow I have an appointment with my Rabbi to discuss the essay I wrote wrt my conversion. I'm hoping to finish the process this summer if possible. (They do all conversion ceremonies in the summer because we use a lake for the mikveh lol.)

Edited by GrainSiloEnthusiast
  • Like 1
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's been an incredibly stressful week.

So obviously, the whole Israel / Hamas thing happened. I don't even want to get into that. I hate violence.

On Tuesday my POS dad called the police on my mom. Because she said "we blew up our whole world, why don't we just burn down the house?" You know, a hyperbolic metaphor. He jumped on this and decided to twist it into a threat to try to get her into legal trouble. I'm so sick of his manipulative narcissistic abusive BS.

Getting the text from my mom "I may not make the baby's birthday on Friday I think I'm going to jail" sent me into an absolute panic. I called her immediately and that's where I learned what happened. I was absolutely fuming. Yelling over the phone while waiting at the bus stop with my little toddler. I cannot put into words how much hatred I felt towards him at that moment.

My mom got lucky, she got nice cops. Everything was talked out, nobody got arrested. The cops in this town are notorious for killing mentally ill people though, so it's a good thing my mom was calm and collected and not freaking out. My dad put her safety on the line in a very serious way just for the sake of a power trip and I cannot forgive that.

I've given him way too many chances, and I'm completely spent. On Wednesday I made my choice to go No-contact for good, and I made it official. I sent him a long letter over email. I laid everything out on the table. I knew full well he wouldn't read the whole thing, he would shut down the conversation as soon as he realized he was being criticized. According to my mom that's exactly what happened. He called her screaming over the phone about it.

Thankfully they don't live together anymore so I can actually cut contact with him and still see my mom. I've been low-contact for quite a long time now.

I've been under an amount of stress lately that has been making me physically sick. I'm allowing myself to watch as much YouTube as I want, mostly Lego build videos. By the time I feel better I'll be sick of YouTube (I know from experience) so I should theoretically be more productive after the dust settles.

---

Anyway in better news, I did have that appointment with my Rabbi, and it seems I am on track to finish converting this next summer! July or August. She also got me a copy of the textbook for an upcoming Hebrew language class, since I don't have the ability to attend (toddler, live 1.5 hours by bus away from the temple, it's on Sundays... it's a lot) and that textbook has all the answers in the back so I can even double check my work and everything! I'm so lucky to have the Rabbi that I have.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

DIL took us to Chuck E Cheese's for our daughter's actual birthday (her party was held the Friday before as to be convenient for guests) and that ended up being really fun.

There were actually a lot of "analog" games which was great for me. I avoided the games that were essentially video games.

There was this one motorcycle game that my partner really wanted me to play with her so I did, but as soon as it started and I realized how it was pretty literally just a video game I mentally checked out. I was like "oh, I'm in a video game. I don't like this. I'm gonna look around the room instead and pretend to be playing so my partner doesn't get sad about it" and then our daughter ran up to us so I put her on the bike in front of me and shifted all my focus onto her.

It's like being at a party and accidentally taking a sip of an alcoholic beverage. A slippery slope situation that can end in disaster but doesn't necessarily have to. I avoided the games with screens even moreso after that incident.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got my hands on two Lego Friends sets today. Both of the smaller variety as I don't have much money at the moment, and I actually got them both on a gift card I got for having a medical appointment (just a weird but nice benefit of my insurance I guess?)

They are so cute. I chose the sets I did because I want to play with them with my daughter. What she likes ends up being what I like because her joy gives me more joy than anything else!

Yes, I know standard Lego are a choking hazard for children her age, which is why she is only allowed to play with them under my direct supervision. She is actually very good about not even trying to put them (or most toys actually) in her mouth anymore which is a relief... but yeah I watch her like a hawk and I don't leave her alone with them for even literally a minute lol. She calls them "mommy Legos" and her Duplo "baby Legos" which is especially cute because she usually calls big things "mommy" and little things "baby".

Anyway this is relevant because man, building a Lego set gives me the same satisfaction as gaming did. It's a guided activity with simple achievable steps that guides you to a desirable outcome with a sense of achievement. And when you're done you get to do sandbox or freeplay. But it doesn't cause as much frustration or brain fog as gaming does, and it's a healthy* screen-free activity the whole family can enjoy!

*Not so healthy for one's wallet though lmao!!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

What she likes ends up being what I like because her joy gives me more joy than anything else!

Love this so much! Legos are amazing. I had a bunch of Star Wars ones as a kid - still have them, just in the basement at the moment waiting to be resurrected when I finally have my own kid. Not that I can't use them now... I was big into Bionicles, too. Sounds like an awesome activity to replace gaming!

  • Like 2
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Went to a gaming store today that I used to go to when I still played videogames, because my wife wanted to go. Turns out they have a LOT more than just video games, and I never really noticed because I was too busy looking at videogames. I was able to spend half an hour there without getting triggered at all, it was very easy not to look at the videogames. A pleasant surprise! I was really nervous when she initially asked to go, but now I'm glad we did. They've got all sorts of board and card games not to mention lots of delicious looking dice sets!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/2/2023 at 8:47 PM, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

Went to a gaming store today that I used to go to when I still played videogames, because my wife wanted to go. Turns out they have a LOT more than just video games, and I never really noticed because I was too busy looking at videogames. I was able to spend half an hour there without getting triggered at all, it was very easy not to look at the videogames. A pleasant surprise! I was really nervous when she initially asked to go, but now I'm glad we did. They've got all sorts of board and card games not to mention lots of delicious looking dice sets!

 

One of my housemates has over eighty board games, and several of them have rules for a single player variant. He really enjoys the puzzle-y aspects of single player ones, and there's a certain satisfaction in playing something with physical pieces. We play a lot of them as a group as well of course, but until I lived with him I didn't realise how many games had solo variants.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Vee said:

One of my housemates has over eighty board games, and several of them have rules for a single player variant. He really enjoys the puzzle-y aspects of single player ones, and there's a certain satisfaction in playing something with physical pieces. We play a lot of them as a group as well of course, but until I lived with him I didn't realise how many games had solo variants.

Whoa! I would LOVE to know what some of those are. I really enjoy board games but often don’t have enough people around to play. Single-player variants would be great

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

Whoa! I would LOVE to know what some of those are. I really enjoy board games but often don’t have enough people around to play. Single-player variants would be great

 
 
 

For ones that are solo-player only, he recommends Legacy of Yu and Under Falling Skies. His favourite one with good solo play that is also multiplayer: Bullet♥︎. I've played it as a group and it's an excellent game with good re-playability. The solo variant would feel quite different as there's no time pressure.

He recommended a bunch of others, that I've put in order of least complex>most complex according to Board Game Geek (as you might be more interested in lighter games to start with): Grove (2021), Crystallo, Rove, Ancient Realm, Turing Machine, Welcome To The Moon, Marvel Champions, Hadrian's Wall, Fields of Arle, Hallertau, Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition.

Alas, I haven't played any of those, so I can't comment!

  • Like 1
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Vee said:

For ones that are solo-player only, he recommends Legacy of Yu and Under Falling Skies. His favourite one with good solo play that is also multiplayer: Bullet♥︎. I've played it as a group and it's an excellent game with good re-playability. The solo variant would feel quite different as there's no time pressure.

He recommended a bunch of others, that I've put in order of least complex>most complex according to Board Game Geek (as you might be more interested in lighter games to start with): Grove (2021), Crystallo, Rove, Ancient Realm, Turing Machine, Welcome To The Moon, Marvel Champions, Hadrian's Wall, Fields of Arle, Hallertau, Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition.

Alas, I haven't played any of those, so I can't comment!

This is great, thank you for finding that out for me!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to play the board game Life by myself all the time, I would just play as multiple characters. It was really fun actually, and since there was no real competition involved I wouldn't get pissed about losing lol. That was back when I was still a kid.

If you make up your own rules a lot of 2+ player games can be modified into single player!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Things I've been considering lately:

A jigsaw puzzle app, which is technically a video game isn't it? But it'd be nice to be able to puzzle from anywhere. It's probably better for me than YouTube shorts lol... I know the guy that runs this whole show does play virtual chess so I guess there are definitely exceptions to the rules sometimes if one can handle it. I'm still uncertain though.

The blanket goal of "use phone less" is simply something I have not had any success with, despite a lot of attempts to do so. The best I've done is found healthier ways to use my phone, such as forums instead of social media, digital scrapbooking, reading, etc. I also tend to shut my phone all the way off for either part of or the entirety of Shabbat.

And yet again, I'm considering allowing building in the Sims. The reason for this is that every alternative I've tried to take up has failed to catch... or is extremely expensive.

I realized the isometric dot grid notebook I bought 6 months ago was collecting dust and ended up being decluttered when I needed to force all my art supplies to fit into 2 cabinets instead of 3. (Gave up another one to my toddler lol, the "supervised only" toys like real Lego are in there since it has a child lock!)

And speaking of real Lego, Lego is an awesome alternative to Minecraft and Sims but it's extremely cost prohibitive. We simply do not make a lot of money, so we have to spend that money wisely! The amount of Lego I'd need to build the stuff I used to build in the Sims... well I'd need a lot more money to fund that kind of thing let's just say that lol.

It's also that learning new software is such a huge pain and doesn't come easily to me anymore. I actually struggle to use computers at all because it's been so long! I generally use my phone for everything now.

The thing about letting myself build on the Sims is that there's already a lot of failsafes in place to keep me from overdoing it.

>I'm a parent with very little free time to begin with, when my child is home all of my energy has to go towards her. I would only have a couple hours a week to dedicate to this because I would only be able to do it during school hours of weekdays that I stay home.

>My partner and I share one computer now, and it's mostly hers. It's in her bedroom. I generally don't even really like being in her bedroom because it's messier than mine and I'm really bothered by that LOL.

>I have a bunch of other hobbies now that I genuinely love (like Lego and puzzles!) Which I would definitely still do and need child-free time to do those too.

Anyway even if I took this up again, it'd be under a "contract" with myself in which I'd set a bunch of boundaries about how it's used. It would only allow for this one thing, not general moderation.

I think at this point in my life, with the experience of 17 months off games under my belt and a lot more responsibilities etc, healthy moderation of any games might be possible. However, the risks are huge if I'm wrong!

I'm not looking for excuses to relapse, if I wanted to just straight up relapse I would. Nearly did in Texas because I was at my lowest of lows on that trip.

I want to find ways to balance my need for creative output and this new way I've been living my life. I have been missing building so much it's kinda painful sometimes... but I also love the life that not gaming has given me!

Stepping back and looking at our goals and intentions with all of this is something we just have to do sometimes. I like to put it all out on the table here for the sake of accountability. If anyone else struggles with anything similar I want them to know there's others who do and I'm here to talk about it if anyone wants to!

I'd really love to hear from anyone who has had success moderating anything they completely cut out during their detoxes. Whether it's gaming in general, or maybe just things like YouTube. If anyone's tried and failed to moderate anything like that, I'd like to hear those experiences too! My journal is open, please share!

Edited by GrainSiloEnthusiast
typo
  • Like 2
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

Things I've been considering lately:

Wow this ended up being really really long lol.

TLDR:

I might try a jigsaw puzzle app if I can find one that is literally just that and nothing else.

I have also been considering building in the Sims again, like I was going to after a year of no-gaming, but at that time I decided I'd hold off a while longer.

I'd love to hear experiences of moderation after detoxes, whether successful or not. Not just gaming but maybe you cut out YouTube or something during a detox and now you moderate even if you still don't game. Anything like that, I'd love to know your experience to help me with my considerations!

Edited by GrainSiloEnthusiast
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This morning I rolled a die 🎲 about the whole building in the Sims thing.

Sometimes I cannot decide for myself so I let "chance" decide. Never for anything truly hugely important, only on things where I'm okay with either outcome.

It was actually a die with colors on it rather than numbers. I chose yellow as my "yes go ahead" and all the other colors meant "no don't do it"

It landed on yellow.

So I have given myself permission but I also have yet to act on it quite yet lol. I'm very enthralled with the puzzle I'm currently working on, and I was busy all day before this.

So if I do actually decide to build in the Sims again, under my personal contract that allows just this one activity under a certain set of boundaries, I will let all of you know how it goes!

If content pertaining to moderation is triggering to you, you may not want to read this journal anymore if I do decide to take that route.

  • Like 1
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • GrainSiloEnthusiast changed the title to (CW Moderation) Sick, tired, and bored of gaming! - Ari's Recovery Journey

Hello friends, I'm sure you noticed I changed the title of this journal. I tried to keep a portion of it the same so it would still be recognizable! I may delete that in the future which is why I added Ari's Recovery Journey, so that can become the recognizable part eventually.

Since TS4 is still technically a video game no matter how you use it, I am considering this moderation rather than abstinence, so if that is triggering for anyone I suggest no longer following along. Your own recovery comes first 💕

I've also come to realize that moving forward it may begin to be more difficult and isolating than necessary to completely abstain from games for the rest of my life, especially as a parent. But that doesn't have to mean jumping right back into my old ways, I can use the tools I've gained from the last 17 months to keep balance and perspective. I can always do another detox, and I can always quit entirely again.

There's so much more to life than video games, and spending an entire year away from them is probably one of the best things I have ever done for myself. I highly recommend it to anyone who's completed a 90 day detox and is looking for a bigger challenge and more personal growth.

Some people definitely can not moderate, it has not and will never work for them. I guess I'm going to find out for myself if I'm one of them. Either way I hope to use this as an experiment for the sake of our recovery community.

Video games are here to stay and that means video game addiction is too. We are each a part of history by being part of the early video game addiction recovery movement. All our triumphs and failures will be the examples for generations to come. What we do here is so incredibly important, please never forget that!

That is why I am going nowhere. I am still going to continue to check in using this journal to let you all know how this is working out for me.

Even if this were to end in disaster, that would be a learning experience, and perhaps I could save someone else time and energy by letting them learn through my mistakes instead of their own.

Wish me luck! 🤞🏻I'll try my absolute best not to muck this up!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good luck. You can ask cam to give you moderation tools on your diary if you want control over locking it. 

I once considered deleting my diary and almost did. I was ashamed of how much I swore and my emotional outbursts in the first two years of my recovery. I'd write paragraphs about how much I hate something and felt I looked like an incel. But I realize it's part of the process. I think it's important that I keep that public because I think people in recovery should know that even though this isn't heroin or other drugs, some months are going to be absolute hell and you have to face it.

I like that my diary shows how much my emotions have settled down. So I kept it.

But I understand wanting to one day delete it. Do what feels best to you. Cam will recommend you download it for your private reading in the future before deleting. I think that's a good idea too.

Good luck

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...