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DAY # - 1

Physical task: work done

Mental task: read some articles

Projects: quit gaming

 

Summary of Day #:1

Today I got a newsletter from Cam, he talks about Aug 31 and the running time. It is true, especially at the age of 39. It feels like I just woke up in the morning but it is late at night, without realizing it at all. 

Woke up relatively early and went to work earlier as usual. While working, temporarily forgot about all games. The work, looking at the green trees and all the beauty makes my honestly happy. Then took a nap, and continued a strategic game for 1900 golds in a fighting game. It is a free offer, looks like I messed it up, because I had to reinstall the games and everything is interconnected. My short time goal is to leave the fighting game forever. I wasted 3.5 days of total active playing time in this, from my life, in 3 months. Someone else, a core gamer put more than 365 days into this game in a span of 7 years, so he wasted a full year of his life just to this single player game. He says that "nothing is impossible", I feel sorry for him.

At work I heard the boss talking about a well known online fighting game, she is around 40 years old. One of my previous colleagues spent 5 months of his salary for a gaming PC. 

Yesterday I've played a rally game and makes me relaxed, an old favorite offline game. Scientists say that the "running" type games, like racing, platformers are not to dangerous, and I must agree. Unfortunately it caused a system crash, so I went back to the online strategy game and got immersed for an hour. I have to wait 2 more days for a very powerful weapon in the fighting game, it is annoying. I spent the last year searching for a "good game" and I settled with rally. After the PC crash I have lost my saved progress, need to start over. What a mess... 

Tomorrow I meet my therapist, and I kind of had enough of him. He digs deep into my mind, and it is painful, but seems to be beneficial in the long run. 

Some days ago also started reading books. I was shocked that books are way more interesting than games, and enhance thinking, a bit more boring though. I can't read books 24/7.

Sorry for the long winded start, and some inconsistency, I will keep it shorter next time. Just came out of my chest.

What I am grateful for today:

Hot weather ended overnight
Got a newsletter from Cam

 

Edited by R. Daneel Olivaw
deleted game titles to prevent triggers and correct spelling
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That's far from a long winded start, that's the length of just a normal post for me! Haha.

Reading is a skill and the more you do it the easier it gets to read for long periods of time and not feel bored. You'll also feel bored just because you aren't gaming, most likely. Games give us so much feedback and chemical reward that other activities don't even register as enjoyable. Fortunately, when you abstain from gaming this threshold resets over time and you'll start to enjoy normal things again.

If you don't click with your therapist, I'd recommend trying another one. Enjoying the therapeutic process is an important part to it working, I've learned. I've had five therapists throughout my life and there have only been two who seemed to help me (or even seemed to have an interest in helping me to be honest). Certainly if you have a lot of past trauma and bad habits there will be times that it's uncomfortable even if you're working with a great therapist, but I don't think you should hate going.

Welcome to GQ! Just do your best and keep coming. 🙂

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1 hour ago, ceponatia said:

That's far from a long winded start, that's the length of just a normal post for me! Haha.

Reading is a skill and the more you do it the easier it gets to read for long periods of time and not feel bored. You'll also feel bored just because you aren't gaming, most likely. Games give us so much feedback and chemical reward that other activities don't even register as enjoyable. Fortunately, when you abstain from gaming this threshold resets over time and you'll start to enjoy normal things again.

If you don't click with your therapist, I'd recommend trying another one. Enjoying the therapeutic process is an important part to it working, I've learned. I've had five therapists throughout my life and there have only been two who seemed to help me (or even seemed to have an interest in helping me to be honest). Certainly if you have a lot of past trauma and bad habits there will be times that it's uncomfortable even if you're working with a great therapist, but I don't think you should hate going.

Welcome to GQ! Just do your best and keep coming. 🙂

Thank you for the welcome message, I really need feedback. It turned out that I don't have your deep experience. If I stop playing, I have nightmares and small panic attacks. Also games distract my attention from real life duties. And yes, the dopamin hit is the key issue. It is a trap, and being in a trap causes abnormal behaviour. That's what I have learned from books. 

Interesting indeed, I've read a lot of books easily before, and they were very interesting. But not now. I have to read 200 pages until I get my dopamin hit, when finally turns out who committed the crime in a detective story. I play with the thought of being a detective, because I like order, and games are a disorder. 

Everything depends on time, as you pointed out. The brain chemical issues wear off over time. It is a little pain now, or a lifetime of suffering. Maybe I need a day without games and suffer, then two days until it gets easier.

Also, I'm in a trap in real life too, it is more difficult to explain. Simply put, if I leave my current job for a better one, I can find myself unemployed again, with zero money. I have around 10 helping people around me, they give some help, meanwhile causing just more trouble. I think I'd better keep this job for now until I feel more safe to move on. With my work experience, I could find any kind of job, but I must keep my eyes peeled, not to make the same mistakes, what I made before. I had a good humour sense, but I lost it a while ago.

You already distracted my attention from games, thank you!

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DAY # - 2

Time I woke up: 7 am

Time I went to sleep yesterday:  1 am

 

Physical task: work done

Mental task: therapy done

Projects: first day without playing

 

Miscellaneous accomplishments: 

~ contacted other support groups

~ work done well

~ i received additional help and guidance, my protective social network is growing

~ learned a lot about my current job

~ i help other people at work, in turn they help me

 

Summary of Day #2: no progress

Today I played for 5 hours, all my free time. Now planning my first day of detox tomorrow. Just one day, to see how it works. What will happen with my game rewards? I'm a bit worried about it. Maybe go cold turkey and start 90 day detox? I'm afraid of boredom.

 

What I am grateful for today:

~ planning my first day of detox tomorrow

~ received help from others on this forum

 

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17 hours ago, R. Daneel Olivaw said:

ow. Just one day, to see how it works. What will happen with my game rewards? I'm a bit worried about it. Maybe go cold turkey and start 90 day detox? I'm afraid of boredom.

Yes, indeed you should go cold turkey. As long as there are some rewards in the game, the attachment will pull you toward it. I am also in the same process of struggling; I submitted a request to the support to remove my steam account. 

For the boredom, definitely you need something strong to replace it. I think this is also my challenge. The gaming temptation is so strong when I feel bored. It is good to have some fun plans for the free time beforehand. 

I relapsed by playing two hours last night so I am starting a new detox as well. Lets go together...

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I am fighting with the urges. Woke up, first thing popped into my mind is the game rewards, but I read articles instead. Got messaged by the boss, there is no work today. I immediately thought: oh no, guaranteed failure. Somehow distractions come in a row, and realized that I have a load of neglected things.

Then I bumped into a book about old games, and this addiction, started realizing the scale of the problem. It is much bigger than I thought. I started playing not with PC or electronic devices, but books. It is not a misunderstanding. I remember reading dungeon type books somewhere around 1992. It seems that our local writers copied US writers, they used fake names, there was some confusion, who is the actual writer. I tracked him back last year, he is a local fantasy writer. The point is that I've played a role playing book, I needed a cube, and a pencil. It started on page 1, and I was able to choose where to continue the story. Accordingly I read eg. page 206, then page 85 whatever the story guided me. Also was able to defeat monsters, with this cube and the given points. 

A guy played such a book in the US,  and was found dead in the basement of Michigan University. The case was covered in a movie called Caves and monsters, starring Tom Hanks in the 80s. The problem is not the devices. 

I also read about another gamer, who's father was a top secret agent and a soldier. It is a true story from the early 70's.  He found his son playing games secretly, he was against it. Once he discovered the 11 old playing again, and the answer was no joke. Dad hit him in the face, his eyes swollen, nose started bleeding, then he was ordered 2 weeks of room quarantine. Actually this kid became a game legend later... so the problem is not the parents.

There was a game championship of total price $100.000 in Dallas (year 2000?), it included 72 hours of playing without interruption. The hardcore gamers fall asleep on the keyboard or under the table. Player with the highest numbers of kills won, they were playing against each other. No internet was included, it was LAN with 100 computers and a thousand gamers.

Then what is the problem? Well, I am not the one who can tell the answer. Maybe such books and games themselves, or even worse, human nature. If we have no books, then we have tobacco or whatever else. 

Logging off now, I am tired. 

Edited by R. Daneel Olivaw
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On 9/2/2020 at 5:19 PM, Mohammad said:

Yes, indeed you should go cold turkey. As long as there are some rewards in the game, the attachment will pull you toward it. I am also in the same process of struggling; I submitted a request to the support to remove my steam account. 

For the boredom, definitely you need something strong to replace it. I think this is also my challenge. The gaming temptation is so strong when I feel bored. It is good to have some fun plans for the free time beforehand. 

I relapsed by playing two hours last night so I am starting a new detox as well. Lets go together...

Relapsed? No worries, there must be a way out of this. Maybe I was the one who carelessly posted something and it was the final trigger.

I don't tell anyone not to play, because it can be dangerous. He will probably seek other pleasures subcounsciously, and ending up in alcoholism or anything else, that is worse than gaming. At least it is not a type of addiction, what can kill 100% surely.

Fatalities are relatively low compared to other addictions. It is so painful to say this, even if it sounds very cold and logical! What about hiking and making the wrong step, then slipping down the mountain? It almost happened to me. 

Have a nice day!

Edited by R. Daneel Olivaw
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DAY # - 3

Projects: first day without playing

Summary of Day #3: first day of detox, success, zero game (updated)

I think that I can make it, some hours left until next day. Took a nap and the dream was about a game. I relapsed! Upon waking up, realized that it was just a dream. Not sure what is the goal of this whole project. It gave back a day from my life and it was productive, but no fun. If can make it until midnight, then what? True happiness awaits? I doubt, because this day was bad.

On the other hand, it is so miserable and infantile. Why do I want that green item so badly in the game, if it is a terribly boring game? The other one is not better, just one more gun in the collection. I'm not a kid after all to play, at 39. 

My brain does everything with a purpose. Can see people biting nails or taking their thumb in their mouth, when stressed. They go back to breastfeeding period for a moment, then the other moment coming back to adulthood. This infantilism is with a purpose, to lower stress. So I need fighting games to lower stress, it doesn't make any sense.

Or maybe it makes, because the bigger stress annihilates the lower stress. I found myself in risky situations when making photos, lost the way in the wild at dark. It was stressful enough to forget the workplace. I can recall this fear after several years, and it was not so risky at all, rather a real life experience in nature. I knew the way out well and had a lamp, the fear came only some yards from safety of the pavement. I can hardly remember games so vividly, if at all.

I jumped another threshold, when even intense games can't entertain me anymore.

That's it for today, I wish all of us is well.

Update: success, feeling a real reward now.

Really got to sleep.

Edited by R. Daneel Olivaw
first success
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@MuMuMelon @Mohammad Gaming is nowhere at the top 10. Good to know what is the priority. The hiking case scared my a ton, I climbed on a tree not to fall down on the slope, I went up there to take really good photos. That's why I refrain to tell anyone what should he do. But addictions make each other stronger, I smoke much more when playing, used to drink much more. All my really bad accidents happened only after excessive gaming. I'm among the few people, who almost lost his life to games. The direct cause of death is always heart attack by excitement, or murdery like in Florida championship case. High school murder cases committed by kids are often associated with games. If I read articles, can read  about another accident by gaming, another lost life. 

Top 10 global causes of deaths 2016

Edited by R. Daneel Olivaw
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No idea where is the signature so I post it here.

 

Orsolya Király, assistant professor, and Zsolt Demetrovics, full professor, called attention to the risks of using ICT tools in their study published together with other leading researchers of the discipline in the journal Comprehensive Psychiatry.

The coronavirus pandemic and related restrictive lockdown measures may lead to stress, depression, and anxiety due to fear of the virus, financial insecurity, uncertainty about the future, and confinement. Psychoactive substances and various activities that trigger behavioural addiction (gambling, video games, watching serials, social media usage, adult content consumption, and Internet usage) are frequently used tools to reduce negative feelings. While these activities are not addictive for most people, their use may become problematic for a smaller, more vulnerable part of the society, often resulting in the decrease of social interactions and other normal daily activities. Maladaptive coping mechanisms tend to become established habits over time, which are then difficult to overcome.

Researchers at the ELTE Faculty of Education and Psychology, Orsolya Király, assistant professor, and Zsolt Demetrovics, full professor, together with other leading researchers of the field (including Mark D. Griffiths and Marc N. Potenza, honorary doctors of ELTE), made recommendations on the use of information and communications technology (ICT) during the epidemic in the journal Comprehensive Psychiatry.

ICT tools, on the one hand, make possible working and learning from a distance, help access to information and communication with family and friends, but – as the researchers say – they also have inherent risks. Consuming certain contents or carrying out the online activities mentioned above may also lead to serious problems and increase the risk of developing addiction. To prevent these, the researchers

made specific recommendations concerning general lifestyle and Internet usage.

The former group includes, among other things, developing and following a regular schedule, establishing daily routines, regular sleep, appropriate food and fluid intake, using relaxation techniques, keeping in touch with friends and family, making time for self-care, and acquiring authentic information of the epidemic without over-consuming the news.

Specific recommendations for using the Internet include conscious usage, limiting the time spent in front of the screen, managing children’s online presence, and using digital wellbeing tools. It also helps a lot if certain regular activities (such as checking the time) are done on an analogue device (e.g. a watch) instead of a computer. Researchers advise everyone to seek professional help in the case of losing control over the usage of digital devices. According to the authors, it is important to ensure that one does not develop new, unhealthy habits due to the increased usage of digital devices during the lockdown restrictions.

The ELTE Faculty of Education and Psychology takes part in the European Problematic Use of the Internet Research Network COST project. The members of the international cooperation were to meet in Budapest between 16 and 18 March and present their research results in public as part of their annual conference.

 
 
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day 0, relapsed. Project halted

@BooksandTrees you asked @Mohammad about the waste of time, and some people find games entertaining. I am one of those who feels some improvement by games. Game was the one what prevented me from feeling very bad emotions, it was a strong protection. When I stopped it long ago, soon after i developed psychosis, and my life went down rapidly. Chains of worse addictions kept on coming until I found myself in a much worse trap. Now I try balance, not doing one thing to the excess. Little bit of everything. Learned most of my written English from game forums, I know... it is still trash, better than nothing though. If I think about the big picture I have learned all of my foreign language skills from consuming media, movies. Never understood a sentence in spoken English, now no need for subtitles anymore. After developing my skills in English, with the help of the Internet, the world opened for me. I already knew a ton of HW/SW abbreviations by using PC. 

Edited by R. Daneel Olivaw
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11 hours ago, R. Daneel Olivaw said:

day 0, relapsed. Project halted

@BooksandTrees you asked @Mohammad about the waste of time, and some people find games entertaining. I am one of those who feels some improvement by games. Game was the one what prevented me from feeling very bad emotions, it was a strong protection. When I stopped it long ago, soon after i developed psychosis, and my life went down rapidly. Chains of worse addictions kept on coming until I found myself in a much worse trap. Now I try balance, not doing one thing to the excess. Little bit of everything. Learned most of my written English from game forums, I know... it is still trash, better than nothing though. If I think about the big picture I have learned all of my foreign language skills from consuming media, movies. Never understood a sentence in spoken English, now no need for subtitles anymore. After developing my skills in English, with the help of the Internet, the world opened for me. I already knew a ton of HW/SW abbreviations by using PC. 

It happens. I think it's important to keep documenting reasons for relapse, effects it has on you, what the intended reason for relapse was, how you feel now compared to how you felt when you were fighting the urge to relapse, etc. It can help you realize you're better off not releasing or something and you can learn more each time by asking creative questions and being honest with yourself. Good luck. 

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On 9/4/2020 at 9:19 AM, BooksandTrees said:

It happens. I think it's important to keep documenting reasons for relapse, effects it has on you, what the intended reason for relapse was, how you feel now compared to how you felt when you were fighting the urge to relapse, etc. It can help you realize you're better off not releasing or something and you can learn more each time by asking creative questions and being honest with yourself. Good luck. 

@BooksandTrees Yes, I am here again, starting the day not running after some new items, but journaling. I had one day off from games, feeling very thankful about it. I used my whole day productively, but suddenly bad things happened. After browsing the net, I realized that my health problem is more serious that I thought. The games robbed so much time for me previously, I got distracted from the really important issues.  

What a waste of a healthy person! My whole September is already scheduled with medical and other mess things. I use this weekend for some fun, I simply need it to lower stress. The above things and bunch of other stuff is too much for me. I can spend the whole day with problems. Or game and relax.

I will check your journal sometime, have a nice day.

Edited by R. Daneel Olivaw
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I've just found my smartphone log in my account, I had no idea that this log exists and collects data. I thought that I've turned off all logging activity right at the beginning. It covers all devices from 2016 and all apps, even broken and sold phones. The log shows that I've installed a total of 470 apps. 

The HDD photo recovery is more shocking. I've found tens of thousands of pictures, not only mine, but a family members and even photos from neighbors. These pictures date back to the year 2000. 

My boss requested to check out a social media group for work. I've realized that there is no need to social media registration to see all content of this group. To get rid of such a social media account is not easy. Even after deleting the account, the posts and likes remain there forever. So I had to delete all these activity one by one, it took a month of my free time. And I achieved nothing, because my data still remains on other peoples devices, accounts, e-mail folders. There is an "account deleters" movement going on.

I still play, but only if I have nothing else to do, or tired doing real life things in vain. 

Have a nice day!

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Yesterday I've unlinked my games from the account. Today I got some automated message.

"Confirm to verify your identity.
By clicking it, you are subscribing to the ... Games newsletter.
To show our appreciation, we’ve got some great rewards for ..."

Also I'm interested in technology and got this newsletter:
"Get ... (this game) when you buy .... this processor. Play with the elite performance that you deserve and AAA games demand. Play this game with the most advanced desktop processors in the world"

Same when I read tech news, it is part of my interest. They often cover game news as well, it is easy to fall this way.

Uploaded old pictures.a.JPG

 

plant 2010.jpg

Edited by R. Daneel Olivaw
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On 9/11/2020 at 3:43 AM, R. Daneel Olivaw said:

Yesterday I've unlinked my games from the account. Today I got some automated message.

"Confirm to verify your identity.
By clicking it, you are subscribing to the ... Games newsletter.
To show our appreciation, we’ve got some great rewards for ..."

Also I'm interested in technology and got this newsletter:
"Get ... (this game) when you buy .... this processor. Play with the elite performance that you deserve and AAA games demand. Play this game with the most advanced desktop processors in the world"

Same when I read tech news, it is part of my interest. They often cover game news as well, it is easy to fall this way.

Uploaded old pictures.a.JPG

 

plant 2010.jpg

Great photo here. What kind of camera do you use?

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 9/14/2020 at 12:34 AM, BooksandTrees said:

Great photo here. What kind of camera do you use?

The second one is Canon 350D.

I had only one game-free day, started reading books, improving my life, and then relapsed. Back to social media, however I can keep some balance. Doing household chores, work, therapy.

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  • 4 months later...

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