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Hello fellas!

My name is Álvaro and I am a 25 year old guy from Spain. As you can guess, I am here because I have a serious addiction to videogames. I remember I first touched a videogame with the Nintendo 64 when I was 5 or 6 and it clicked on me, since then I have never stopped gaming (apart from when I was 14 to 15 when I had a girlfriend, and I was so in love I left almost everything to be with her, but that is a different kind of problem, not to be discussed here). 

I am so used to have this addiction I cannot remember a time when I was not feeling urges of playing a videogame, really, it sounds fucked up but it is the reality, when I was a teenager I left many friends because I thought what we used to do was too boring (just hang out, speak about anything and maybe drink a coke), so I could spend some more time playing videogames. During some time I competed in an amateur team on a shooter, being always between the 4th and 3rd place of Spain (in esl.com), and after that I wanted to believe that, someday, I could earn a living from playing videogames, but the more time passes, the more I realize I was just having an addiction and that I have always been delusional on that topic (something I really had a hard time admitting).

I have used videogames as a replacement for everything: escapism, social interaction, measurable sense of growth and a challenge, but it wasn't always that way, at the beginning it was just for escapism and for the challenge, but this addiction has grown until it has eaten almost everything of my life, (the remaining life I had was eaten by weed after I was 16 and overuse of porn after 19, so yea, you can say I literally dedicated my life to addictions). My therapist has shown me that I'm surely a person with obsessive traits and I feel it is kind of true, because when I found something I really liked (like videogames and weed) I just can't stop doing it, but I truly think I always had those addictions cause I did not know how to deal with my personal problems, and that was a fast reliever of the anxiety, finding myself right now (8 months of no weed and high reduction of porn usage) as a person with a lot of anxiety, that cannot stop biting its fingers and a feeling of an annoying pulsation on the left side of my head, which started 3 years ago, and with not much in life apart from videogames and the friends it brought me (I even had an anxiety attack like 5 years ago, due to risking too much my college education (cause I was constantly high and playing videogames, depressed).

Apart from the lack of life in general, I accomplished being able to stop smoking weed, working out every week at least 4 times and eating healthier, but I have this videogame addiction and I am gonna aim to destroy it, since I am tired of feeling depressed, anxious and meaningless, plus I want to live a real life, acquire social skills, and in general step up above my last and worst addiction: gaming.

Thanks everyone reading this, I know it is long but it was needed to frame my situation a little bit, hope we can help each other on this journey. I am going to start a diary in its section tomorrow, so this will be the prologue of it.

Stay hard. Peace.

Edited by alvayuso
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  • alvayuso changed the title to Introducing myself

Hey Alvaro, glad you are deciding to make positive change and being honest with yourself about addiction. I used to smoke weed too, for 15 years and have been gaming for 25 (just recently decided to quit again.) I relate with you on using these addictions as a psychological crutch, to avoid your natural feelings and ignore your problems. I think the two addictions are very similar at least for me because part of me truly does love weed and video games, but another part realizes that the only way to accomplish the things I want to do even more is to cut them out entirely. I am also a very compulsive and obsessive personality so I know that unfortunately I'm just unable to do these things in moderation. It's ok though- I'm trying to look on the positive side and realize that not doing them at all is going to give me more time to do the things that are really important. 

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Hey @rivers, thank you to come around here and drop your comment, I felt pretty interesting to find someone with who I share this many psychological traits, I mean, I am sorry you also have to deal with them, but at the same time, it feels pretty exciting to be able to share experiences with someone that seems to be this similar to me, not gonna lie!

Some things triggered this traits early on in my life in my case: my parents did not spend much time with my big brother and I, we were mostly with my grandma, my mother has always had big problems with the way she expresses herself and her personality, she used to scream for almost everything, obsessed with having everything clean, and they did not really know how to feed a child. My brother was lucky, he has always been the type of guy that eat whatever he wants literally and do not get fat, but I was the opposite, so that mixed with a father that did not like sport or anything of that, I got fat and spent many hours with videogames (much more exciting than hanging out with kids back when you are 8 or so).

So here you have, a low self esteemed guy addicted to videogames early on, what happened when I wanted to interact with other people when I was 14, 15, 16? I got really nervous, I felt it was hard, and after my gf left me when I was almost 16, I tried weed. I had tried alcohol and tobacco (I used both but pretty controlled to be honest, nothing crazy), but after trying weed 2 or 3 times, dude I was BLASTING on confidence, on good feelings when I was smoking with other guys and girls, like a feeling of connection between us, like on the same vibe. THAT was what hooked me, the confidence it gave me, the perspective it gave me, allowing me to not be anxious (which I have been all my life) or nervous, even feeling myself cool you know? 

So imagine, that kept growing, and when I reached college (with some mediocre marks to be honest, although I have to say I passed every year at first) and I started Electrical Engineer, boom. Long story short, I had to go to a small village to pass college bc it was the easiest campus, and there bc I could not connect with anyone (problems with room mates, none on the same vibe, quite depressed after the last year where I got kicked from that campus for not even passing 1 subject) I started smoking even more, playing even more, eating even worse, not working out, overusing porn..... all of that for like 4 years.

I have been working in all that and now I am much better, but it has been tough dude. I hope I have not tired you with all this long shit hahah I felt it would be interesting for you to know how I developed this traits, if you wanna share it with me too, I would be pleased to read it from you 😉

 

Edited by alvayuso
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Hey Alvaro, you are right, we definitely have some similarities. I lived with my mom growing up since my dad was always in and out of jail for crack I think. My mom also yelled a lot at my sister and I about keeping the house clean. She was an ok cook but she didn't pack me lunches most of the time and I hated the school food so I would often be very hungry at school which probably had an affect on my learning. Then I would come home and eat of lot of junk food before she got off work. The thing I resent most about her is that she never really encouraged me. Instead of sitting down with me to try to help me learn she would just yell at me and punish me for having bad grades. Then she would go and watch television all night. I always wanted to be an artist even as a kid, but when I told her this she would say that it would be very hard to do and instead I should try to become a dentist or something like that. 

I got picked on a lot in middle school, getting pushed around, called names like faggot, spit on, belongings broken or stolen, etc. I did have a few close friends that were gamers. But then we moved to a different town when I was in high school and that all pretty much went away. I met some guys who smoked weed, and I instantly fell in love with it. I too had a surge in confidence and a feeling of belonging as well. I started listening to a lot of punk rock and really identified with it so I think that had something to do with it. Also I loved to toke and draw, it made me feel like I was more creative somehow. I drank alcohol too but for most of my life weed was my drug of choice. 

Did you ever finish college? I went for three years then dropped out mostly because I was so tired, stressed and struggling to pass while keeping a job at the same time. Now I am in massive debt so I can't really go back. It's ok though because it means I have more time to work on art which is what I have always wanted to do. I work as a school bus driver now which is the best job I've ever had. I'm super grateful for it but I still want to be able to live without having to answer to someone else. I have no idea if I will ever be able to do so but I figure if I try my best from here on out then at least I won't have so many regrets.

Anyway, I enjoyed reading your story, I will keep checking back here if you want to keep talking about stuff.

Edited by rivers
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Yo @rivers, I just read your message, and let me tell you that you had a harder childhood than I had, in my case it was more like neglecting things than ignoring. That childhood was rough dude, and to be honest just having your high school completed is a huge achievement in my opinion. I always had been encouraged (not only with punishments but providing me a good room to study, I had a couple of teachers that would come almost every day on the afternoon to help me on it..), and I am not sure if I would have done it if I were you, I think you should be proud of yourself for being that responsible in that aspect.

But anyway, I am glad you did it, I heard about you dropping out of college, yeah to be honest college is some kind of trap. Let me tell you the long story:

The year I got kicked out of the bigger campus, I barely played ANY game. My parents got me high once or idk when I can’t remember well so they has always been so dramatic around weed and they started to control me by using this urine tests, so I could only smoke like 1 pot or so, right after they made me pee on that bottle with some cool guys I met in college (in the first campus). Ah, I also started working out, preparing my meals... I really tried to pass but dude, it was somehow impossible, there was always another exam, another home assignment, and since I was a newbie, I focused in every single subject, and that strategy made me fail everyone. I can also remember that at the end of the year, I was so devastated from my marks, that I just decided to forfeit, I bought a PS2 from a rasta, a guy that sometimes came to play poker with us (we usually had a poker game on the weekends) and since my parents were not making that many tests lately, I just started smoking again as much as I wanted to. That year was pretty good on some sense (I could get out of the group of friends I had, which was pretty toxic, since they were starting to take MDMA or cocaine just in a regular basis), I met this cool guys that made me feel much more comfortable, and I had so much fun living alone, meeting new people... But the bad would cover any good I felt that year, I did not pass even 1 subject, and that was devastating to me really...

So one of this guys told me about this little campus in a village, that it was easier, but you would have to live in a village, and I was desperate, I did not care. In the end he did not come with me so I went alone, and I was still pretty devastated from that year. When I reached that village, I entered in a house with a nasty smell of fried oil, due to the bar we had below and I was going to live with the brother of one of this guys and his friend. They were like 6 and 7 years older. Due to my attitude back then, (I was pretty paranoid, and I would think all the time they were laughing at me bc I was playing videogames a lot or smth) I was pretty angry and resentful all the time, and when I discovered some guys that smoked weed like me at college, I started hanging out a bit with them, the enough to be known by them so I could come and buy weed (once I bought like 150 €, just not to come back again bc I just wanted to play as much as I could). Then I mixed weed, videogames, and started abusing from porn bc, if I always had it hard with girls, imaging now in a village, I was like: fuck that I will overcome my urges doing this. And like that passed months, until I saw I was not passing as much as i thought, that here nobody was gifting anything, it was easier but there was always work obviously, and some subjects were still pretty hard not gonna lie, so I started getting more and more anxiety from inside, thinking that I should do more and play and smoke less, but by that time it was too late to make me stop, I just couldn’t... so I had an anxiety attack and I had to go to the hospital... that draw a line in my history...

I can keep up with the story but I do not want to be too tiring so I will let you read and tell me what you think.

Hearing your devotion towards art makes me think you have something inside that really pushes you towards it, and that if that is the case you should not deny it. Let me be honest: earning a living as an artist may not be your future, it could be, but you have to play in the worst case scenario, and it is that artists usually have it very hard, so the average or even in most cases, they need another job while they develop their creations and they may earn some money from there, but if you know something about art is that, if you primarily focus on earning money you will probably feel stuck and without inspiration and this kind of things, so try not to focus on that. Instead, I think you should try to enjoy what you doing as much as possible. Imagine that you are living the best life you could ever live right now (which none know), what would you do? Drag yourself down, thinking how pity your life is because you are not something greater than a bus driver? I would tell you you embrace that life and try to squeeze all you can from it, develop your true character, be happier, do not be too stressed out of the situations and enjoy them, even the worst ones, because that is how life truly feels great, I can tell you. This kind of thoughts made me feel like relieved inside and allowed me to be happier and not be so stressed every day that you are not even feeling rested the next day, so after the months you get older much faster than you should (I hope you understand what I mean xd)

Oh btw, I am finishing my thesis right now so, yea I am going to finish it, but I will tell you more in depth about that in the next one. During my high school I was listening to hip hop and rap (mostly spanish) and I also felt pretty identified with it, in the group of friends I had before I went to college all of us listened to hip hop, and all of us smoked weed, so even if they were pretty toxic, I considered them like my brothers, even if later they mostly forgot about me. I’m glad you working as the school bus driver now and that you feeling much happier now with that job. I am pretty sure it is better than fking Wallmart, I hope you are remembering everyday how grateful you should be because of that dude!

Stay strong buddy! 

Edited by alvayuso
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23 hours ago, rivers said:

she would just yell at me and punish me for having bad grades. Then she would go and watch television all night. I always wanted to be an artist even as a kid, but when I told her this she would say that it would be very hard to do and instead I should try to become a dentist or something like that. 

That's my mom too. I've wasted so much time on bullshit when I could have been honing my art skills if I had a competent parental figure and not a bunch of broken manchildren and womanchildren in adult-suits.

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16 hours ago, Bird By Bird said:

That's my mom too. I've wasted so much time on bullshit when I could have been honing my art skills if I had a competent parental figure and not a bunch of broken manchildren and womanchildren in adult-suits

I can totally understand why you are angry about it, I am sometimes too, but it won't help you in any way to step up above your problems. Actually, it will keep you in a negative side of emotions, therefore just try to find your own solutions to live the life you want to. You have realized those negative aspects, and you have been angry for long enough about them, you should leave that behind bro.

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Hey, sorry for the late reply. Your parents drug tested you? That is pretty hardcore man.. I like hip hop too. I got into it later on when I was in my twenties. That's cool that you are an engineer. I'm glad you made that happen. I know what you mean about embracing life. I definitely try to enjoy each and every day as much as possible. I have always had a hard time with the ladies as well haha. It doesn't bother me as much as it used to but I don't think I will ever stop feeling that desire. Anyway, sorry I don't have a lot to say right now, it's pretty late, but I wanted you to know that I read your whole story. I wish the best for you friend. 

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Yo @rivers ! Nah don't worry, I  also took some time off GameQuitters. I mean, no doubts that it is helpful but it is also like... a task to do, and if I am doing this (replying people or writing on my journal), I want it to be as fun as it could be for me. 

Well, my parents are this kind of ignorant people that say that they do not do drugs, but they drink some wine (not much not gonna lie), my father drinks literally 4-5 coffees a day, and I am pretty sure he uses  some kind of anxiolytic to sleep better, so yea hahah, definitely they do not do drugs. And also they tended to think that smoking weed equals almost to injecting heroine, so... quite rough on that. I have never had proper drug education at home. Neither education to be a man proud of himself or his relationships, I had to discover all by myself, which is rewarding, but tough, so many years lost in denial of my own problems, and thinking not accurately which the problems are.

Yea same to you dude, I hope you embrace life and the best of the luck. There is always a bright side on anything ;).

 

Edited by alvayuso
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