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MuMuMelon
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So this is day 9 - should have started this sooner but here we are. I don't have a lot of time but I just wanted to put some stuff out there to make myself accountable. I haven't been doing much since I quit other then exercising. I have a lot of time so I've been doing Yoga (following along with youtube vids), hiking or biking everyday, and I've been learning the Wim Hof breathing method. When this quarantine if finally over I'd like to start taking a martial art  - maybe Judo or Jiu-Jitsu. Also, I'd like to pick archery back up. 

I purchased some Udemy courses about two years ago but I have never so much as looked at them. Spanish classes and FL Studio (music creation software) classes. I've wanted to make electronic music since I was young and Spanish since I went to Cuba over 10 years ago. Also, I really want to complete a board game I've been working on for the past couple of years. 

These are my current goals for the next while...

Spanish Classes - to be completed by Jan. 8th, 2021

FL Studio Classes - to be completed by November 1st, 2020

Finish version 2 of Board Game - End of July, 2020. (testing to follow - may have to send Print and Play copies to people depending on the situation)

Run 2K -  I know it's not much but I've been a smoker for a very long time. I'd like to put my lungs to the test. (Sept. 30/2020)

That's my focus for now. 

 

Edited by MuMuMelon
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Okay, day 11. Still haven't played any games. Feeling really good about that. I quit playing video games the same time that I quit smoking cigarettes and weed. I have known for a while now that all of these things fuel each other. Physically, I'm feeling better all around. Mentally though, that's a whole other thing. My mood flip flops from giddy to miserable for no reason at all. Because I've quit these three things at once it's hard to pinpoint what the actual cause is. 

I dream about playing video games. A couple of days ago I woke up and was sure that I'd cheated. Then I realized I was just gaming in my dream. The really tough part for me is finding something, anything that is remotely exciting as video games. I know that sounds f'd up but I can't fly a spaceship in real life. I can't drive a car at full speed through the mountains in real life. I know that over time these thoughts will lessen in intensity but sometimes it's just hard for me to imagine finding something that can fulfill me the same way games have. I hate that I'm even having that thought. Feels so weak. 

I have gamed for nearly 34 years, and I never games mildly. I remember how video games made me feel, even when I was a kid. The excitement they provided was like nothing else I had experienced. I remember always wanting to play. I remember stealing $20 from my mothers purse so I could go play Mrs. Pacman.  I remember taking a hammer to my Sega Genesis when I was a teenager because I knew I was addicted and I remember going out and buying the next console that came out, willfully allowing myself to keep playing. I was a straight up junkie right from the very beginning. I'm really ashamed of the life I led. 

It's hard for me to feel proud of going through this transformation because I know I should have done it years (fuck decades) ago. I feel bad for the kids that are getting into gaming now. I found gaming addictive in it's infancy. These days companies hire psychologists to intentionally make their games as addictive as possible. They strive for it. Crazy. 

Anyway, that's enough feeling like shit for one day. I'm going to sit down and work on my goals. Time to learn some Spanish and make some beats. Hopefully that will make me feel a little better about myself. 

 

Edited by MuMuMelon
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Day 16

I'm sad and angry a lot lately. The truth is my relationship with my wife has been strained for years. I can count the number of times we've had sex over the last 5 years on my fingers. It was easier to ignore when I was playing video games but these days it's almost always the first thing on my mind upon waking. In the early stages of our marriage I tried. I wanted us to have a fun, loving, healthy sex life. But she rejected me a lot. To the point that it was far easier to not try then to continue to be rejected. 

I realize that playing video games constantly hasn't helped things (Obviously), but I know it isn't healthy to have a nearly non-existent sex life. On top of that she works from home (she has her own sewing business) and she's very busy. I mean, morning to night busy. So, even though we have both been home during these Corona times, we have fooled around twice this year. 2...times. Sometimes I really feel like I'm dying inside. 

Now, I'm not pretending that she is the sole person responsible for our lackluster sex life. I realize that I stopped trying a long time ago. (A year or two of rejection works wonders on your ego). These days I honestly don't know if I ever want to have sex with her again. I fantasize about sleeping with other women all the time. 

I wish I had never started playing video games at all. This addiction has caused me to completely lose sight of my life. At this point, I'm 44 years old, and I still don't really know what I want out of life. Most of my friendships revolved around playing video games so I don't really talk to many people these days. At home, things are just shit for lack of a better word. The most peace I get is going out for a nice, long walk everyday. But then I get home and it's right back to feeling like shit. 

I'm glad I'm not playing video games, smoking herb or smoking cigarettes anymore (I quit all three 16 days ago). Although my head has been foggy I still have a sense of clarity in my life that I haven't in a very long time. It makes me sad to see how I've been ignoring my problems for years but I'm glad that I'm starting to face them now. I'm not entirely sure where life will go from here. I hope I'm brave enough to navigate this stage in my life with honesty, because I feel like I've been lying to myself for a very long time.

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I think it's important to have open conversations with your wife about your decreased sex life. It's important to let her know how important sex is to you because if you're not having sex then you're not really mates anymore, but roommates instead. 

There needs to be lust and romance in relationships and it's important for both members of the relationship to be attractive to one another both physically and mentally. If you let her know how it's important maybe things can change. You might find out why she's not interested in sex. 

I wouldn't let her know that you've been playing games to avoid the conversation or anything. I'd just tell her how you feel so much better away from smoking, drugs, and gaming. Let her know how you feel you've neglected the relationship a bit and pay her compliments. Let her know you find her sexy and be playful. You might be able to arouse her and rekindle the lust in your relationship. 

If it doesn't work then keep the conversation open. If that doesn't work then couples counseling is an option. If nothing works then it's time for a divorce or rethinking it. 

I wouldn't make that divorce thought for quite some time. It's important to remember your mind will fluctuate between intense and vague thoughts sporadically while you're overcoming 3 addictions. This means you need 3to 6 months of being clean before you think in a stable and logical way. 

So be patient and try your best over the next 6 months to make her feel sexy and support her emotionally. Maybe you can spark that flame. Make her some food during her long day and initiate touch from a shoulder massage while complimenting her work ethic during the quarantine. 

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really well said @BooksandTrees !

and also by my opinion if you keep moving on the right path in your journal ( like you are now) things start to become better because you are doing better . also don't regret what you have done or haven't in the past , just focus on yourself getting better and better every day .  

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4 hours ago, MuMuMelon said:

I wish I had never started playing video games at all.

Me too! I was just thinking about how much better my life would have been if I never played games or did substances. I could've been a good student and worked to get a scholarship and a good job. Had better hobbies and friends. Maybe even a girlfriend. I can see you have a lot of things you are starting to deal with. Good on you for working towards a better life for yourself. Sorry to hear about your situation with your wife. Maybe you guys could go to couples counseling or find something to do together. Maybe she'd go on walks with you or something. She sounds pretty withdrawn from the relationship too. Is she? I think it's a good idea to ask her how come she doesn't want to have sex. Also to try to find ways to connect by doing stuff together that makes you both happy. You both probably have a list of things to share of what you'd like to receive from the other person. I wish you good luck with that.

Edited by Erik2.0
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We have a lot to work on. Unfortunately, we have the same argument pretty much every other month, as we have for the past five years or so. She without a doubt she knows how I feel. 

I honestly don't know it I can even be bothered to put the effort in at this point. I've been rejected so much that the thought of having sex with her actually makes me angry. 

I'm not pretending that I'm not partly responsible for our relationship ending up this way. I'm just really tired of living with somebody I barely talk to and have almost zero intimacy with. 

I'm going to shelf this topic for a while. I know I need to come back to it with a clear head. I don't know if I even want to try to rebuild things at the moment. My head is just a mess of emotions and I don't really know what's what. I'll give myself six months to clear my head. I don't know if I can make things work in the meantime but I'll try. Just need to get past this extremely frustrated phase. 

Thanks for replying gang. That was very helpful.

 

 

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Day 17. Did some Yoga in the morning and that was a nice way to start the day. Had a pretty nice day with my wife but by the end of the day I was angry again. We had a fight yesterday and we're working through it but trying to make things work doesn't mean the past isn't affecting how I feel. I've just got to push through and really get this addiction under control. I feel like I'm doing good. Even though quitting is bringing all this stuff to the surface, I'm kind of happy about it. Today it feels good to acknowledge my problems and try to accept them. It doesn't everyday that's for sure. 

I've been learning FL Studio - just finished a beginner's course that I got on Udemy. That's been a nice change of pace. It's hard to get excited over though. I'm just so used to that instant gratification that games provide that everything, even something I know I want to do, seems uninteresting. I realize that it's my brain chemistry being all messed up from years of dopamine overload due to gaming, but knowing that doesn't make things feel better. I know I've only just begun this journey and I have a long way to go, I just wish things would hurry the fuck along. 

I've also taken up meditating more seriously. Before I quit I maybe attempted it 20 times in my life. Since I've quit I've tried to do it everyday. I can't say I'm really doing it well, as I'm just picking random Youtube meditation audio and going with it. It's almost always something different every time. I have noticed that after a few attempts though, that at a point in my meditation I can feel myself going into low gear. That's the best way I can describe it. Like my mind and body just get heavy and my mind sort of blanks. It's a nice sensation. I try to do 25 minutes a day but sometimes I go for 40. I think it's something that I will continue to do forever. There really is a sense of peace to it even when my mind is overloaded with thoughts. Hard to describe. 

I'm proud of myself for coming this far. I still get urges to play games, and hang out with my friends online quite often, but I know this is the right path. I'm really looking forward to a time when my head is clearer and my desire for gaming has subsided. I realize that gaming is an addiction and as such will likely remain on my mind for the rest of my life, just like nicotine. I just know that there is clarity in the future. I need that. 

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42 minutes ago, MuMuMelon said:

Even though quitting is bringing all this stuff to the surface, I'm kind of happy about it. Today it feels good to acknowledge my problems and try to accept them.

Hey there, @MuMuMelon! I'm sorry to hear about your problem and bringing this topic out of the shelf again. I wanted to help so here's what my friend told me: sex is 10% in the body and 90% in the mind. As little as sweet acts like cooking her breakfast, making her a cup of coffee or tea in the afternoon, and massaging her at night after a long tiring day are factors of her mood. The idea of you quitting might not sunk into her head yet. Give it a week or a month. She'll eventually realize, sooner than we think, that you really had quit. 😄  I've neglected my past relationships as well because of gaming. I hope everything gets better with your relationship now that you've quit gaming! 👍 

I feel you man. I had a trio too—games, smoking and caffeine. I quit games and smoking, I can't quit caffeine totally for now... I'm drinking decaf coffee at the moment! Maybe after this detoxification. One at a time. 😄 After 2 months of not smoking, since the quarantine started, I relapsed last week because I was just so bored at waiting for the car maintenance to finish and started quitting all over again. It's because of that 1 stick that I thought I could handle. Please don't be trapped by the idea of it's just one cigarette. Haha!

Good luck and take it easy, my friend! I think you're very brave. Thanks for today's inspiration. Looking forward for your next entries. 😁👌

Edited by chiliflavor
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Thanks @chiliflavor, I really appreciate your thoughts. These things are hard to talk about to anybody, my good friends included. On the one hand, quitting video games doesn't seem like an addiction to most people. It's not in your face like a heroin addiction or alcoholism. So talking about it to people feels strange, like I know I'm most likely not being taken seriously. On the other hand, I don't want to burden people with my problems. It's enough that my wife has to deal with my childish emotional outbursts and constant, unpredictable mood swings. If I had the choice I would have put myself in an isolation tank while I deal with withdrawals. Honestly, I hate that my wife has to deal with any of this. Sure, we've had our problems and life isn't perfect, but it's still not cool that she puts up with me in this state too. I just want to fast forward to the point where my emotions are under control and I'm thinking clearly. The fucked up thing is that my head has been a mess for so long I don't even remember what having a clear head is like. Sometimes I worry that all the pot smoking I've done in the past has permanently screwed up my brain. 

As for the cigarettes, I've been down the 'just one cigarette' path many times. For me, it always ends with going right back to smoking like I always would (About a pack a day). I smoked for roughly 23 years. About ten years ago I managed to quit for about a year and a half. Unfortunately, I caved after a very painful breakup - a breakup that came about because of my video game addiction. That was one of the lowest points of my life. My girlfriend of nearly 8 years left me because she knew I wouldn't stop playing video games. That shit was tough. But did I quit playing video games? Hell no! I dug in harder to try and forget that I was ruining my life. As a result I let them continue to ruin me for another 14 years. Jesus, this journal is really bringing things to the surface. I mean, it's not like I haven't thought about these things on the reg, it's just that with a clearer head I'm really feeling the emotional weight of them. I hate that I let myself fall into this shit. I really wish I could go back in time and smack the Atari 2600 controller out of my hand. I wish 10 year old me could feel what it's like to be 44 year old me. Maybe then I would have gotten outside and enjoyed the world, instead of hiding from it. 

If anything, I hope people reading this can see just how bad a video game addiction can get. Playing video games as long as I did, all of my relationships are built around them. All I ever talked about, to anybody, was video games, because that's all I fucking knew. If I was watching videos it was video game reviews, previews, etc. (Never got into watching streaming as I never enjoyed watching other people playing games - I had to be the one playing). The point is my whole life revolved around video games. They were my identity. I didn't know anything else because I never bothered to give myself the time to learn anything else. Every time my brain attempted to acknowledge this fact I was sent into a spiral of depression that led me right back to gaming. It was a constant struggle that, for me, was incredibly easy to fall back into time and time again. 

To everybody here, I really do wish you all the best in quitting. It's like giving yourself a gift that you don't think you want, but In the future, when you open it, you'll realize that it was the perfect gift. All the best everybody. Stay strong.

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Day 20

Today, although my head is still quite foggy, I'm not feeling angry so much. I don't feel like my head is clearing but maybe hopefully my moods will get stable. 

I've been starting my days doing a short, beginners yoga session. It really helps to work out the kinks and stiffness I get after sleeping. In the morning I find my neck and shoulders are incredibly tense but after doing 20-30 minutes of Yoga things really loosen up. I have noticed that my flexibility has been improving also. I'm going to add Yoga and meditation to my daily routine. They just make me feel good. Also, starting tomorrow I plan to start jogging. I've been going on long walks (10,000 - 12,000 steps) everyday but I believe it's time to step up my game. I would like to slowly work on improving my lung capacity after having smoked for so long. Also, I've got 20-30 pounds that I would like to lose. Jogging should help. That and I should probably try to not eat so much junk food. I've been allowing myself a little too much junk while I've been going through this initial quit phase. 

Haven't really missed playing video games the last couple of days. I'm selling my Nintendo Switch this week to somebody online. I plan to use the money to get the rest of archery equipment. I took archery lessons last year and was really enjoying them but I simply didn't have the money at the time....well, that's not entirely true. The truth is I spent my money on games instead. Not this time. 

I'm feeling good today. Hope you all are too. 

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Day 22 - Still going strong

Mornings are tough these days. I'm not sure if I'm having nightmares or what but I'm always waking up way earlier then usual and with crazy tension in my neck and shoulders. Lately I've been waking up at 5 am, which is strange as I usually get up around 8. Today I woke up at 4:30 in the morning feeling terrible. All the relationships that I neglected or didn't foster because of my game playing were on my mind. I felt guilty and ashamed. Every morning for the past week or two has been the same. Waking up to reminders of my past failings and regrets. Nice. 

Although the day started off crummy, I do feel much better at the moment. After I got out of bed I made a healthy breakfast (fried egg with avocado on toast) and then did some Yoga. The tension in my neck and back was much improved after that. After that I went out to do some errands. Once the sun hit my face I started to feel better about things. I realized that for the first time since I quit I felt more in control of my emotions again. It's still not perfect but I do feel a lot better in that area. Little things can still set me off but not as much as before. I also realized that I need to stop watching the news, going on Facebook, and just stop surfing the net in general if I want to feel better. There is so much bad news today and it really affects me. I want to pay attention and be informed but right now it's just not worth it. I asked my wife to let me know if anything truly important comes up but otherwise I'm done with all of it. I've got enough negativity floating around in my head. I don't need anything else added to it. 

On a different note, I realize I need to make myself more accountable to the goals that I set out for myself for the day. I've been letting things slip and always with the excuse that "I'm going through some shit right now, it's okay to just not do anything". I think part of the problem is that I've been giving myself too many goals to accomplish in a day. I need to go more easy on what I expect from myself for the next few months. 

Things with my wife have been improving too. We talk more now and we're trying to get out when we can. Usually that means going to the grocery store together or for short walks in the evenings but it's still more then what we used to do. Here schedule is always so crazy that she barely has time for herself, let alone free time to hang out. I respect the hell out of how hard she works, I just hope when I get back to work, she'll give herself time to relax. 

Anyway, I'm off to make some dinner. Good luck everybody!

 

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I think you're doing a great job. The regret is natural, but don't let it define you in the moment. It's so easy to panic during spells of regret. When you feel this just change your physical and mental environment. Move to a different room and think about something else. Do stretches or deep breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth 10 times while thinking about your lungs inflating and deflating. 

I think you're making the right choices by doing yoga after and also spending time with your wife. 

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Day 25

I'm been out of town visiting some friends and I will be till Sunday. I just realized that I'm supposed to be adding entries to this journal everyday. I certainly haven't been doing that up until now. I plan to change that starting today. I'll add some more before bed but for now I'm going to hang out with my friends.

So, I felt a little bad about something today. My friends 5 year old son really wanted me to play video games with him, but I had to say no. I didn't get into why. I just told him that I would watch and help if he wanted. I never got the urge to play but I did feel bad for playing with him. He's a good kid. We ended playing outside later and we had some fun running around. I never realized just how out of shape I've become with all the smoking. 

Cardio is now a priority.

Edited by MuMuMelon
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Day 26

Still out of town at my friends place. Had a nice day. Did some work on his new Gazeebo and then spent the rest of the day chatting. I'm leaving in the morning bright and early. It's been nice to get out of town for a while but I'm looking forward to getting home to spend some time with my wife.

I'm typing this on my cell phone so it's a little more challenging to get a lot out. I'll have more to say tomorrow.

Night all.

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Day 27

Had a nice visit with my friends but I'm glad to be home. I thought being around them would be a bit of a challenge as they are both seasoned pot smokers. Interestingly, watching them smoke joints actually made me glad that I've stopped. I'm not sure what it was but watching them smoke really made me not want to. So I call that a win so far. 

I'm starting to enjoy the process of quitting. I'm getting more clarity every day. I continue to do Yoga and (try to) meditate every day, sometimes twice. I'm getting a lot more flexible too. Before I quit I could barely touch my toes. Now I can nearly place my palms on the floor. 

Things with my wife are improving too. We talk a lot more and we try to spend time together every day. It's been a very nice change. I was very happy to get home and see her.

Tomorrow I'm going to get back to learning FL Studio and do a few Spanish lessons as well. I've still got a long way to go but it's nice to learn some new things. 

I'm going back to work on August 4th, so that will be nice but also a little scary. I swear if somebody comes to work sick I'll lose it!

All in all I'm very happy with myself. I haven't played video games, smoked weed or smoked cigarettes for nearly a month. I physically feel better and I'm getting mentally clearer. Really glad I found this site. 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, MuMuMelon said:

All in all I'm very happy with myself. I haven't played video games, smoked weed or smoked cigarettes for nearly a month. I physically feel better and I'm getting mentally clearer. Really glad I found this site. 

Glad you're doing great and everything's fine! 😁

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Day 28

Did a bunch of errands today. Running around picking up stuff for my father who's moving on the 1st of August. Managed to get some Yoga in this morning. I'm trying to do it everyday. I'm going to do some meditation tonight before bed as well. 

I tidied up around the apartment and cooked some healthy meals - oatmeal with almond butter and raspberries for breakfast, and a nice chicken soup with Kimchi for dinner. I had a sandwich when we were out, for lunch, which was tasty, but wasn't the healthiest. 

Tomorrow I'm going to visit my Dad for the afternoon. When I get back I'm going to work on learning FL Studio some more and take another Spanish lesson or two. Might have to re-watch lesson 1 as I fear I've forgotten most of it. 

Anyway, off to get some meditation on.

Hope everybody is doing well and staying quit! 

 

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Day 29

I meant to work on FL Studio and some Spanish lessons today but I got back from my Dad's later then expected and when I got home my wife wanted to run some errands. After that she asked me if I wanted to go on a walk. We don't get too much time to spend together so I said yes. To my surprise she wanted to go for a lengthy walk. (Usually she only wants to go on short walks) Took us about an hour and a half.  We got in about a half an hour ago and I'm beat. 

I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't get to my goals for the day but I'm glad I got to spend spend some time with my wife. 

Hope everybody had a good day.

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Day 30

I woke up this morning with the strangest thought - what if Mr.Rogers was a phone scammer? For some reason that was hilarious to me. So a good start to the day. 

Another day of running around doing errands. My father is getting a divorce and my wife and I have been driving around the city picking up useful items that people are donating. Managed to get him an electric kettle and a DVD player today. He really is moving out with basically nothing, so I'm glad we can do this for him. I owe it all to my wife. She has been awesome during this. As soon as she heard my father was moving into an apartment she started putting feelers out for things he might need in online groups and whatnot. People have been extremely generous is response. Really kinda makes these tough times more bearable. 

I'm still quit. No vids, no weed, no smokes. Starting to feel better than I have in a long time. Me flexibility is really improving due to the yoga. I'm seriously considering joining a class when everything is officially up and running. 

I'm still not doing great at completing the goals I've been setting out for myself but I'm trying. Getting lots of exercise everyday at least. 

Hope everybody is doing good. 

 

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Day 31

Thanks @Erik2.0

I don't know what the deal is. Yesterday I was feeling great, like I was coming to terms with my new life. Today, I'm angry at the world (to be fair things are a little f'd up out there) and more or less just miserable. The only peace that I've had today was when I meditated and did Yoga. So about an hour. I mean, don't get wrong I'm grateful for any amount of time where my mind isn't being sucked down a dark hole. And I know it's only been a month and this is most likely normal. I just don't like it is all. Okay, complaining over.

After my morning Yoga and meditation session I went on my usual two hour walk. I've been trying out some new "barefoot" shoes so my walks have been a little slower then normal. I'm nearly finished a book I've been reading called The Urban Monk. It's been a surprisingly good read. I don't normally go in for "self help" types of books but I've found that every bit of wisdom he passes on is a gem. He certainly doesn't feel as though he's holding anything back. It feels genuine.

Yesterday, I purchased a course on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy from Udemy. This course speaks to me more then wanting to learn Spanish at the moment. Starting tomorrow I'm going to begin this class. Also, I'm going to stop putting so much on my plate for the following day. I keep making plans for myself that are nearly impossible to achieve. From now on, only one class per day. That's achievable, even after I go back to work starting on the 4th. My focus has been not so focused to say the least. I'm going to seriously try to work on that. I'm going to make the classes a priority. I will get them done earlier in the day so they are easier to achieve. Expect my thoughts on my first class tomorrow. 

Good luck everybody. Keep your quit on!

Edited by MuMuMelon
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Thanks for the encouragement. Sounds like you're getting a lot out of your yoga, meditation and walks. That's nice. I like those things too. Although it's generally too hot in the summer to go walking for me. You'll probably feel better after a few months of quitting. Your brain has to reset.

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Day 32

Today was another good day, although I think I've been overdoing it on the exercise. I tweaked my lower back a little bit today doing some stretches. Going to take tomorrow off to recover. 

Started my CBT course today. It seems good but I think the class may be geared towards therapists that are looking to add another type of therapy to their repertoire. Whatever, I bought the course, so I'm going to finish it. It is interesting to learn. I'm sure I'll get some use out of it in the end. It's nice to just learn something for the sake of learning.

Twice today I had some cravings to play games. I saw this YouTube video of a guy hiding from the cops. The music from Metal Gear Solid Played in the background. Just hearing that music really made me want to play. The funny thing is I wasn't even a fan of Metal Gear. 

Later in the day I got thinking of God of War and I really wanted to play that too. I really liked those games. 

I find it strange that I seem to be having more cravings the further along I go. I don't feel like I'm going to break or anything. I'm just surprised at how potent those memories were.

I'm glad I found this site. Just being able to talk about this stuff makes everything a little easier.

Stay strong all you ex-gamers! 

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