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Hey community,

First of all, I feel like I shouldn't take your time and attention for granted so... how are you? 🙂

My name is Patrick, though I have differing user names such as pdallair (or pdallair91), BuzyD (or buzy_d, or buzy-d), and TooManyNoodles (or 2ManyNoodleZ).  Pronouns: He/Him.

After trying and failing time and time again to moderate my "consumption" (EAT ALL THE FRAMES), I decided on Feb 12th 2021 to indefinitely abstain from most* video games.  I have uninstalled all of my PC games and put my consoles in storage.

Trigger Warning: Serious mental health issues

Folks,

Like most of you, I assume, I have been through a lot of traumatic shit throughout my entire life and this isn't the first time I deal with addictive behavior.  I'm not gonna dump it all right here and now but in Feb 2020, suffering from major depression, unable to get the psychiatric care (monitored prescription drug plan) that I reached out for, I had bought a rope with the intention of hanging myself.  Luckily, I was too lazy and geeky to go out to the store and buy a rope and I ordered it on Amazon.  This gave me time to think and reach out to my psychologist, who convinced me to go to my local ICU where my position in the psychiatric care waiting list was seriously advanced.  I've been through Short-Term Disability and am now on Long-Term Disability since.  I have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  I am going through lots of counseling and therapy (Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy).  There has been some noticeable progress. 🙌

Now, I feel quite privileged to have an income during this pandemic and job waiting for me to recover but let's not take this privilege for granted; it isn't going to last forever.  Every 4 to 8 weeks, my insurance company (yes, it's a private company that puts their profit margins above my well-being but hey, there's lots of room for improvement in the Canadian system), can "investigate" what I've been doing, how much I've progressed and whether I'm ready to go back to work or not.  In June 2021, I will need to go through a complete audit-like process in order to get a 2nd and last year of this Long-Term Disability benefit before they cut me off and the government gets involved.  But I have lots of free time right?  I could "easily" (according to some inhumane authorities) do some research, study, meditate, exercise, practice, organize, clean, recycle, upgrade, etc. to quickly get back on track!  ... But that's not what I crave the most... no, you know how it is for people like us?  Gotta get those achievements AMIRIGHT peeps!?  Gotta jump on those steam wishlist item that's on sale AMIRIGHT!?  Gotta play for 12 fucking hours while I put myself "invisible" on steam because I'm too ashamed to let people know I'm gaming AMIRIGHT!?  YOU KNOW I'M FU... *mic gets cut*... *deep breath*... *sigh*... every fuckin day I tell myself: "Tomorrow, I will do this and that.  You know?  Productive things!" But when the time comes: "just 1 hour, or 1 level, I deserve it, right?  I shouldn't be experiencing this much pain right?  Dear God, is doing the dishes really that painful?" The cycle repeats.  To be fair, even if we did have some UBI and I didn't have authorities breathing down my neck, I don't think I'd be happy to continue behaving like this.  I just keep procrastinating, not getting closer to my aspirations at a rate I find far from acceptable/admireable.

So here I am folks.  I've accepted the reality that my video game usage is currently causing me more pain than pleasure in the long-term and I'm going to do something about it.  I've managed to quit games before, when it weren't dealing with a global pandemic.  I don't remember exactly when and why I relapsed but I did.  I know this is going to be hard.  It's been less than 48 hours and I can feel distress and cravings rising within me but they too will pass.  It's going to take a while but it'll pass and I will learn to find joy in other aspects of my life; I was more than just a gamer.  And you can do this to.  We can do this, side by side.  Most of us will trip and fall sometimes, it's inevitable, but we will pick ourselves and each other up.  One of the most meaningful quotes I got recently was from Sharon Salzberg, a well known teacher in the Buddhist loving-kindness meditation circles, when she said "The healing is in the return; learning to begin again."  So, here I am, and some of you are and surely have been at some point, learning to begin again.

Thank you so much for being here, for reading this; having suffered from a lot of emotional neglect as a child, it means a lot for me to be seen, heard and understood.  May you feel safe, happy and healthy my friends.  Take care.

* I say most, for the time being, because I live alone and we are in pandemic lockdown here in Ottawa (the good ol' Canadian capital) and I need casual, fun, and friendly social interactions.  So I allow myself, occasionally, unless it proves to be too slippery of a slope, to play online board games, tabletop RPGs (via Tabletop Simulator and Roll20), and party games (like Jackbox Games and Among Us) with friends and peers (no randos [no offense if you're name is Rando]).  When the pandemic is over and people can finally start visiting each other safely again, I'm sure I will be able to find plenty of social activities that I would consider as "play" and don't involve this slippery slope.  Everyone needs to have fun every now and then.

EDITS: Fix typos, shit grammar and shit details that I noticed.

Edited by pdallair91
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