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Detox Day 2...Need Advices!


Lunaa__
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Hello all, 

For seven months, I have been easily playing 6 to 8 hours daily on this online game, mostly to socialize. Ever since quitting cold turkey two days ago, I've been having sudden cravings here and there throughout the day and even considered playing in moderation for 5 or 10 minutes today. But I was able to dismiss the whole idea as foolish because I know I'd lose self-control once I log in. The thing I need advice on is I have given myself 7 detox days and am wondering if I should make it longer? I just read Cam's article on how he just completely quit gaming, and I'd love to follow his example but don't know if I can. I could already imagine myself logging in one day for 30 min or 1 hour then logging out.

The thing about this online game is you can meet people from different countries. And you are a character in the game so you could be whoever you display yourself to be in the game. But after socializing and playing for hours and logging off, I am smacked on the face hard on the wall with reality as I come to realization that I've just wasted this chunk of time and neglected my responsibilities. It leaves a horrible feeling inside me after playing for hours, yet I have been playing every single day for 6-8 hours (it's been pretty much killing me alive). I'm thinking of allowing myself to play maximum of 2 hours one day a week. I believe I have enough self-control not to go over that time limit I've set up for myself. I've also asked a real life friend to help keep me accountable to play within that time frame. But the thing is, if I play in moderation, especially after only 7 days after quitting cold turkey, is there a high chance I'll get addicted again?

From your perspective, do you think it's okay for me to play like this in moderation, once a week? Or would it be even better if I just got rid of the game, never log into it again, forever? The latter sounds more promising but the little cravings in me are telling me not to do that and go with the first option. And I worked hard to earn game money and also have a couple of friends from other countries that I enjoy talking to. 

What are your thoughts? It's ok to play in moderation (2 hrs a week) or quit altogether?

Edited by Lunaa__
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Ultimately it's up to you of course, but it is a little worrying that you are making deals with yourself already. It's only been two days. Truthfully, seven days isn't that long. I think you should consider going even longer but for now I'd just get through these seven days. 

You got this. 

 

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Hey, @Lunaa__, it's not my place to ask but I just wanted to check in and see how you'be been doing? I hope that you continued to stay quit, but I'm not here to judge either. 

I realized that I really didn't answer your question properly the first time I responded. You asked if it was okay to play in moderation, maybe two hours per week. I never answered that question specifically. 

My answer is no, at least not right now and maybe never....let me explain, and please understand that this is only coming from my personal experience. If you truly believe that you have an addiction then letting yourself play for a couple hours won't work. You'll tell yourself that you're only going to play a few hours a week. Then you'll end up playing longer then two hours because, why not, your having so much fun anyway. Then, because you let it slide that one time, why not let it slide again. After all, you're got the time so why not? There will always be a sensible justification to play. Addiction allows you to so easily convince yourself that you can play when you want, when in your heart, you know it isn't true. Addiction makes you lie to yourself and convinces you that you believe the lies. 

I say, maybe never, because I've found that things we are truly addicted to (in my case nicotine and video games) will forever be on your mind. I quit smoking for nearly two years once and I realized that no matter how long I stayed quit, and even though I honestly had no desire to smoke again, every so often my brain would remind me of that good feeling hit smoking would give. I still woke up some mornings in a sweat because I smoked in a dream and thought I had cheated. I realized that this shit was with me forever. Now, that I've quit playing video games, I get the sense that the same issues will pop up. Addiction is addiction. I've already been having dreams of playing video games. 

What I'm trying to say is that if you claim you are addicted, then allowing yourself to have (even a little) something you are addicted to you are just furthering and strengthening that addiction. Giving in makes it easier to give in in the future. 

To truly answer your question...I think you should quit altogether. 

Hope that helps. Good luck. Stay strong. 

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@MuMuMelon I feel like it gets tougher as days go by. Yesterday, I felt like I was gonna defeat this addiction altogether, but today after a long day at work, I've been feeling like 20-30 min of gaming wouldn't hurt. And I need to confess, that is exactly what I did. I played for 20 minutes to see if anything updated online, if any friends were online (thankfully there were none). And what you said is exactly right. Playing even for 20 minutes got me thinking, "Oh I need to come back later to see if any friends will be online."

It's too bad I can't delete my account. I even emailed the game company twice to delete my account but they never got back and never deleted it for me. I think my next step is to delete all the friends I made in the game. It'd suck when they find out I deleted them, but I don't want to be tied to that game in any way anymore.

And I completely agree with you in quitting altogether. My friends and family have been just telling me to play in moderation. I've been considering their advice but determined to stick with the 90 day detox. Until today, I just gave in. 

But! I'm gonna start again. Today will be day 1....again lol. Thanks for your advice. I'll take it. And good luck to you as well! 

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It's easy for people who don't have (or don't realize they have) an addiction to something to tell people how you should play. The three times I brought up my video game addiction to my friends in the past I got the same kind of responses you did. Just play in moderation. That's like telling a drug addict to just do drugs every once in a while. 

I know it sucks that you don't get to hang out with your online friends. I too have a bunch of friends that I've made over the years through gaming. Some of them have become friends of mine in real life. Unfortunately, the only things that we really have in common are video games. 

I'm glad you're going for another attempt. Every time gets a little easier in my experience. I wish you all the best! 

 

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@Lunaa__

I completely understand how you are feeling. I am now about 53 days into my own detox (which is going on for the rest of my life) and I can assure you. You can do it. 

It is a battle of emotions and the mind. Find activities to replace games. I have about 5 alternative activities I make a point to do daily and it is so much more worth it building a 3D model for example. 

Here's a couple other pointers/encouragement I have for you:

1) I would not listen to what family members are suggesting with moderation. If they choose to not see games as being problematic, that is a problem on their end. You make your journey your own and one day, your testimony will turn them around and you can give a good 'before and after' story of how not gaming has made your life better. 

2) I wouldn't worry about deleting game accounts. The problem with games (as Cam has said) is the low barrier of entry. These accounts can be created again as soon as they are deleted. In my case, I had so many accounts I had set up for quite a number of games and it would be time consuming to get all of them deleted. What I opted to do for myself is distance myself mentally from those things and make the conscious choice to not to touch them again. Eventually, they will get taken down anyway due to long periods of inactivity. Better to distance oneself from games as soon as possible rather than spending more time dancing on the edge of the pit after just getting out of it. 

3) Find other activities that interest you to replace gaming. While it seems daunting (and yes I was terrified the first time I had to consider this), the long term reward from real life activities feels SO much better than playing games in the short term. Don't be afraid to pick up activities on the computer. Gaming is definitely not the only activity to be done on a computer. There is so much more than that available. Examples: music production, graphics design, 3D modeling and design, writing, computer programming/coding, video making/editing, learning a new language on Duolingo, free online classes.

While the first couple weeks will feel difficult emotionally, I want to encourage you that it will get easier. Be patient with yourself and take it a day at a time. Don't look forward so far in time. It makes it harder. 

Read the diaries of others who have made it far in their journeys to help provide encouragement. I strongly recommend BooksAndTree's journal as he is going 2 years and counting. 😄 

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A couple things: First, game friends are not friends.  If you doubt this, imagine you are on your death bed.  How many of them would come to visit you?  If your game friends were sick, how many of them would you go spend time with?

Friends are people who have been to your house.  People you share meals and actual activities with.  Gamers are not your friends.

Also, while games themselves are not evil, they are for us.  Like an alcoholic, we have a glitch that makes us unable to game responsibly.  You would never advise your recovering alcoholic friend to just drink a little whiskey every day, would you?

Lastly, think of the things you could get done with your life when you reclaim your 6 - 8 hours a day.  Most of us live about 80 years.  That's about 29220 days.  taking out weekends, that's about 20871 days.  at 7 hours a day, that's 146,097 hours.  That's 16.66 years of solid time.  Now if you waste that all gaming, you have nothing to show for it.  You could literally use that time for almost anything else and have a lot to show for it.

At $15 an hour (most people only work minimum wage for a few years) - but let's say even at $15, that's $2,191,455 you could earn with that time.  Or you could use the time to learn, read great books, spend time with actual friends, write, draw, take pictures... All these things make you a better person, while gaming just puts your personal and social development on hold.

Lastly, if you think you can dial it back to 30 minutes a day, I urge you to read the relapse section of this blog.  You'll see that for us gamers, relapsing is about the most heartbreaking thing that we can do.

Hope this helps.

 
Edited by Some Yahoo
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