Jump to content

NEW VIDEO: The EASIEST Way to Stop Gaming

Ari's Recovery Journey


Recommended Posts

Oh no, @BooksandTree´╗┐s! I must have used confusing wording.

I don't want to delete my diary, I just want to change the title completely. However I've noticed I have a few consistent readers and I wouldn't want them to get lost, I know I am easily confused so that's something I hold in consideration for other people.

Thank you for the information though, I really appreciate the time you took to write all of that out for me!! ­čą░

 

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

I'm wondering if you can only change the title of a journal once, or if I am just forgetting how I did it that first time! Under moderation actions is only the option to delete. It's okay though, if I'm stuck with this current title forever I won't be that upset about it.

---

Anyway I came here to talk about my rules, goals, and intentions.

Rules for building in TS4:

>My daughter always comes first.

>Other responsibilities, especially those pertaining to other human relationships, also come first.

>Only TS4, only Build Mode and CAS. No Live Mode. (It's the worst part anyway lol)

>Play testing, if necessary, can be done by my partner. Supervision of testing is allowed.

>My partner always gets first dibs on the computer, and I must stop any time she asks to use it.

>I will not build on Shabbat, it is a creative activity which I must rest from.

>If I start to get that feeling that I have relapsed I will quit again.

>I must take breaks when I feel frustrated and I must not take my frustrations out on other people.

>Feeling stressed or frustrated is a sign it's time to stop for now.

>8pm cut off time, must prioritize healthy sleep patterns.

Goals for this new phase in my journey:

>Maintain a healthy balance between hobbies and responsibilities. (Including my other hobbies lol I am very obsessive in general.)

>Build things I can use as references for drawings!

>Actually draw at least some of them ­čś╣

>Strengthen my imagination!

>Use this as a bonding activity for my partner and I.

Intentions:

>Follow the rules I set for myself.

>Continue journaling about my recovery!

>Treat this as an experiment, knowing full well this could go either way.

>Use what is learned from this experiment to help others in their recovery!

>Be more creative in general. (Lately I have been shying away from creative activities and more drawn to consumption activities. I don't think this is inherently wrong or bad but I feel better when I have a balance between creating and consuming.)

---

We still have not actually moved forward with starting to build anything! Yesterday was Shabbat for most of the day anyway, and today is still the weekend, so our daughter takes up most of our time.

That being said today my partner started playing a new video game which has left me in charge of the kiddo a lot. I'm feeling a bit resentful. She is good about getting off when I ask her to help, but when I'm not explicitly asking for help she drifts back to the computer. Not that I never do this with my puzzles though, lmao...

I might start building tomorrow but it's literally the only day of the entire week I have to do it. I have plans to see my mom on Tuesday. There is no school Wed, Thur, or Fri this week. So she will be off from the 22nd through the 27th. I'm not sure it's a good idea for me to start something if I won't be able to work on it for over a week.

I'm also pretty sure I'm going to lose my f***ing mind over those 5 days because the weekends already feel too long as it is.

Dreading Xmas break too, it doesn't benefit me at all as someone who doesn't currently celebrate Xmas and can't afford to travel or do anything fun.

I really can't wait until our daughter is like, 5 or so, I have a lot more experience with older children than toddlers and babies. There's so many activities I'd like her to participate in that she's just not ready for, and I already have her participate in a lot of "not age appropriate" activities. We do a lot of Montessori stuff too, like having her help with real chores. I'm really impressed with what she's capable of now, but I think our relationship will improve with time and age.

Anyways, just taking it easy today. Got to put this kid down for a nap soon which is the worst part of my day ­čÖâ

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

Oh no, @BooksandTree´╗┐s! I must have used confusing wording.

I don't want to delete my diary, I just want to change the title completely. However I've noticed I have a few consistent readers and I wouldn't want them to get lost, I know I am easily confused so that's something I hold in consideration for other people.

Thank you for the information though, I really appreciate the time you took to write all of that out for me!! ­čą░

 

Oh ok good! I may have read it wrong lol. I'm glad you're keeping it though. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having two hours before the 8pm cut off time and finally getting a little bit of free time I decided maybe I'd try starting tonight. I really have no idea how these things work anymore so I asked my partner how to find it on the computer and she told me to open Steam.

It gave me the same feeling as walking into the weed store when I relapsed on that. Now I'm feeling really apprehensive!

It was more seeing all the other games and the Steam interface itself than anything to do with TS4, but still.

Now I really don't want to get into it until my partner is also with me. It doesn't feel right starting alone. I'm going to have her take the wheel at first and I'll just be a backseat driver until I know how I really feel about all this.

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

I spilled my guts about this on the Discord server and the one person who responded told me I was obsessing too much and to just "stop worrying about it so much"
So that was worse than nothing kinda wish I never even said anything!

Even people in recovery for this addiction don't take it seriously ­čÖä how am I ever supposed to have real conversations about this, how am I ever supposed to feel supported?

I feel more supported recovering from this in NA where most of them don't understand it and even play games but know it's important to me so they take it seriously anyway.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

We just tried, backseat and all, and I just felt absolutely terrible the entire time. Didn't even get 5 minutes into it, didn't even get to actually loading up the building part.

I guess the emotion of hate/anger towards "what gaming did to me" is still too strong.

12 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

I spilled my guts about this on the Discord server and the one person who responded told me I was obsessing too much and to just "stop worrying about it so much"
So that was worse than nothing kinda wish I never even said anything!

Even people in recovery for this addiction don't take it seriously ­čÖä how am I ever supposed to have real conversations about this, how am I ever supposed to feel supported?

I feel more supported recovering from this in NA where most of them don't understand it and even play games but know it's important to me so they take it seriously anyway.

It's not obsessing, what you're doing is thinking. Discord is "too fast" of a medium to discuss this, journaling and NA are "slow", so people usually think before they say or write something. I'd argue the guy either doesn't care or doesn't have a gaming problem at all.

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

16 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

I spilled my guts about this on the Discord server and the one person who responded told me I was obsessing too much and to just "stop worrying about it so much"
So that was worse than nothing kinda wish I never even said anything!

Even people in recovery for this addiction don't take it seriously ­čÖä how am I ever supposed to have real conversations about this, how am I ever supposed to feel supported?

I feel more supported recovering from this in NA where most of them don't understand it and even play games but know it's important to me so they take it seriously anyway.

I'm on my 6th month journey of gaming detox, but last month, I almost relapsed because I was interested on this new city simulation game, which I really liked the concept. I'm in the architecture industry and I liked urban planning a lot, so I almost decided to buy it. I spent days thinking about it, if I should do it or not but, in the end, I decided to not do it since I know I can't moderate it. I have this addictive personality which I can easily spend mindless hours to anything instant gratifying, from watching movies/shows, eating junk foods or social media, etc.  After several days thinking about it, I decided to keep my detox streak and to spend my time instead in learning a new Computer-Aided Design software which could help me upskill on my industry.

What helped me to decide is asking myself what other options do I have? I know there are more activities that I can practice my creativity such as sketching, learning new software, and maybe reading books? I also don't want to break my 6th month streak for a thing that I'm not sure about if I'll enjoy. I also considered what would I feel if I relapse? maybe guilt? regret?

I just wanted to share my thoughts as I experienced a kind of similar situation. I'm not against moderation either, to be honest, I envy those productive people who can balance both productive activities and play. I'm also happy that you're able to recognize it and stopped yourself from getting in to the trap. Good luck! 

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

Thank both of you so much. Your support is absolutely crucial to me right now, I have been feeling so lost since yesterday night.

I really appreciate you sharing that with me, @Antoni! Your story is exactly what I needed to read right now.

Moderating is something I am going to put off again for the foreseeable future. I'm not going to say "I will never play another video game for as long as I live" (even though sometimes I do feel like saying that!) but right now is definitely not the time to try.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/20/2023 at 2:30 AM, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

I spilled my guts about this on the Discord server and the one person who responded told me I was obsessing too much and to just "stop worrying about it so much"
So that was worse than nothing kinda wish I never even said anything!

Even people in recovery for this addiction don't take it seriously ­čÖä how am I ever supposed to have real conversations about this, how am I ever supposed to feel supported?

I feel more supported recovering from this in NA where most of them don't understand it and even play games but know it's important to me so they take it seriously anyway.

I agree with @Ikar, mediums like Discord make it very easy to blast something off without thinking. However, there are people who have joined this community without gaming/internet problems and I still am baffled as to why.

It's very hard when people don't take it seriously. I ran into something similar with my YouTube and podcast issue. "Everyone watches YouTube... don't we all listen to podcasts? You would listen more if you had a long commute like me... but there are so many things to learn from YouTube/podcasts!" Not that those two mediums are inherently bad, but it's the same thing of listening to someone who either has the same problem as you and doesn't know it, or someone who doesn't really think about these things too much because it isn't a problem for them. It can be incredibly frustrating trying to get someone to understand.

When you do find someone who says, "You know, I don't have that issue but I definitely see how it is a problem and I support you," it changes everything. Or even better, someone who struggles with the same issue. You don't feel crazy anymore, like you're the only one struggling with this.

That's why it's great to be part of this community!

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

On 11/20/2023 at 2:30 AM, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

I spilled my guts about this on the Discord server and the one person who responded told me I was obsessing too much and to just "stop worrying about it so much"
So that was worse than nothing kinda wish I never even said anything!

Even people in recovery for this addiction don't take it seriously ­čÖä how am I ever supposed to have real conversations about this, how am I ever supposed to feel supported?

I feel more supported recovering from this in NA where most of them don't understand it and even play games but know it's important to me so they take it seriously anyway.

I honestly think the discord for this community is toxic. It's too volatile of an environment to properly write out our emotions and sit with them. I did not enjoy it on there. 

Sorry that you dealt with that. 

Edited by BooksandTree´╗┐s
  • Like 1
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, BooksandTree´╗┐s said:

I honestly think the discord for this community is toxic. It's too volatile of an environment to properly write out our emotions and sit with them. I did not enjoy it on there

Agreed. I hopped on for about 10 minutes and was witness to a long reactionary debate about religion vs atheism. Not really the place for that. I felt like I was on Reddit or something. I only use the forum now. It's important that people are encouraging to one another on this journey. Things like that don't help. There also seems to be those who are there specifically to make others' lives more difficult, almost like putting a bottle of wine in front of an alcoholic and saying, "It's not cheating if you just smell it."

Edited by FDRx7
  • Like 2
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/28/2023 at 8:32 AM, FDRx7 said:

Agreed. I hopped on for about 10 minutes and was witness to a long reactionary debate about religion vs atheism. Not really the place for that. I felt like I was on Reddit or something. I only use the forum now. It's important that people are encouraging to one another on this journey. Things like that don't help. There also seems to be those who are there specifically to make others' lives more difficult, almost like putting a bottle of wine in front of an alcoholic and saying, "It's not cheating if you just smell it."

It's a bad environment for sure. I honestly wrote a huge rant about it and edited my post because it wasn't worth it. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

TRIGGER WARNING: MODERATION

I don't recommend anyone with less than 90 days free of gaming to read this entry.

I believe anyone struggling with gaming addiction should detox for at least 90 days before even CONSIDERING moderation.

Anyway, onto the actual journal entry:

A lot has happened since my last entry, but to summarize: one thing led to another, and I've decided to allow myself to do some gaming again. But there's a catch. My tradeoff is actually that I need to avoid socializing on the internet, and any games I play must feel "cozy." I'll explain better what I mean by that in a moment.

January 10th is when I made the choice to start gaming again, and before that I had been detoxing since June 1 2022. So that makes my current standing record for longest detox being 588 days, or 19 months and 9 days. That also means today marks 2 weeks since I started gaming again.

This time I didn't write up a serious contract with myself, I just decided I would feel it out. The whole contract thing stressed me out big time last time, and the whole point of this experiment is an attempt to reduce stress in my life.

Let me now try to explain what I mean by "cozy" games. Games must feel relaxing and not stressful. No grinding and gritting my teeth through that to get to the next big goal, just taking it all at a very leisurely pace. I ask myself "if I were to quit gaming again tomorrow, what would I regret the most about this experience?" and avoid those regretful things.

For example, I've always regretted not trying to play Animal Crossing without time traveling, so this time I am not time traveling, even when it's inconvenient or slow. I have other things to do with my life now, unlike before, so a little bit of waiting doesn't bother me as much as it used to. Animal Crossing is one of those cozy games I am allowing myself to play, even when I wasn't gaming the memories I had of this game never felt like a true waste of time (except, of course, the time I had spent grinding even when it was stressing me out.)

Also, games I play must be easy to quit at any time, as my daughter takes top priority over all other things, not to mention the other responsibilities in my life. Unlike before I find it very easy to walk away from a game whenever something else demands my attention, as it is quite literally just a game.

"It's just a game" has become my mantra for any time something in a game begins to frustrate me. Then I laugh about it and continue on, or I take a break and do something else until I feel better. I'm surprised how well this simple trick has worked for managing my emotions while gaming.

As for quitting online socialization, that's a very broad statement. But really, it's as broad as it needs to be. The feeling of anonymity that comes from being behind a screen rather than face-to-face brings out the worst in people. So I am avoiding social media, comments sections, even forums, and everything else like that. Even YouTube videos, I will only watch them on the TV where I can't access the comments and I will only watch one or two videos at a time, I'm averaging 2-3 videos a week now besides ambience videos (nature footage, fireplace, things like that.)

On top of all of this, I am reading more, getting back into making art, and making a real effort to move my body more often. I am even cooking a little more than I used to, once or twice a week, always making lots of leftovers so I can meal prep.

I am starting to feel that perhaps my internet usage was more of a problem overall than gaming ever was, and if I ever detox or quit gaming again I need to avoid replacing gaming with internet usage...

If you've tried and failed to moderate in the past you may have read this as a long justification of a relapse, and are assuming bad things are soon to follow. That's totally fine. You might even be right, only time will tell. As long as I feel mentally well and like my life is in order then I will continue on as I am, but I am more than willing to quit again should the need arise.

I just wanted to be transparent about my situation, especially if that need does arise! I still consider myself to be in recovery from gaming addiction and I have had this mindset since the very first time I detoxed. It's an ongoing process, learning to live with my natural inclination towards addiction.

I am thinking I might end up detoxing over the summer even if gaming isn't causing any issues in my life, because summer tends to be a very busy time and I have a strong association of gaming detoxes with summer at this point haha. We'll see!

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a chapter in the basic text for another recovery program that describes the subtle insanity that is addiction. I will paraphrase here:

"The idea that somehow, someday he will enjoy and control his (addiction) is the great obsession of every abnormal (gamer). The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death."

If you are truly able to moderate and believe that the value of playing with that kind of fire is worth it, and believe that the arbitrary rules you have set on it will stop you from going down the all-familiar path, then I suppose this will message will be just another warning for other people to read.

You even put warnings around your text and told people of the inherent danger and folly of what you are describing. Yet, you felt compelled to do it anyway. And you decided to cut out internet usage including what I'm going to assume is this forum, which I believe at its best serves as an accountability tool. It seems to me a recipe for disaster, and a good example of rationalization written in a forum post if it turns out badly. How can you call yourself in recovery from an addiction if you're actively using the thing you were addicted to? That's pretty wild.

It is, ultimately, your decision, and while I might find it extremely questionable and irrational given the context of video game addiction, I'm just another random on the internet.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your response has given me hope because I have felt like most people aren't taking this seriously, especially after that bad interaction on the Discord server. I'm glad to see someone protecting their own recovery.

Unfortunately at the same time, it has strengthened my feeling that maybe I don't fit in here. After reading this, I've begun to question if I ever belonged here in the first place. Perhaps I'm not the target audience.

If I'm being completely honest, I think this abstinence-only approach is isolating more people than it is helping. It feels like a form of gatekeeping. "If your goal is moderation, then you don't belong here. Come back when you're ready to quit for real." That's the message I'm getting from that.

Unfortunately, this is one of the only resources for this issue in the entire world. It reminds me of how there are so many people doing alcohol addiction recovery on their own because AA isn't a good suit for them, and they don't realize there are alternatives. For a long time there weren't any alternatives at all, and that's the situation our community is in. Although we may wish it, there is no one size fits all solution to these issues.

At least 12-step programs are upfront about it, they specify "this is a program of complete abstinence from all _____" but that isn't as clearly laid out here. If that is the goal and intention, I think it should be stated as such.

This community helped me a lot in the past, I'm disheartened to realize I probably shouldn't continue to journal here. My intention was not to cause any harm, only to share my journey, whatever form that may take.

I'll return if complete abstinence becomes my goal again. I'm glad there's a place for that, even if I have to look elsewhere for support in my current endeavors.

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

I barely post on here, so I wouldn't be a good yardstick for the community in general. I'm a random on the internet, if my words are enough to push you away after you've been journaling here for literal years, you're giving them a lot of power over your own well-being. Either that or you're simply using them as an excuse to disconnect yourself from a community that seems to have been a place where you felt welcomed enough to share openly and honestly about where you're at.

If my response seemed insensitive, it was not intended to be. I come from the viewpoint that I have warped my relationship with video games to the point that going back to playing them would be a very dumb idea. That's where I'm coming from, and if I had reached the point where you are now someday, I'd want people to call me out on it. For me, that's compassion and understanding. Saying, roughly, "Hey, that thing that was hurting you a lot, you want to go back to that, really? That's a bad idea."

Still, it is ultimately your own journey. I'm not super active on either the forums or the Discord these days, so even if you find my words irritating or disheartening, you won't be subject to them very often. Good luck to you.

  • 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...