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Theresa
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Thanks Theresa. My new job is really good about getting me new clients, Thank God. How come you drive so much? Glad you could socialize

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Day 13

I realize that after a stressful workday I would game for hours to checkout of reality. I’ve found running and going outside to be tremendously helpful after these types of days. 
 I keep regretting all the time and money I spent this past year on gaming and I’m disappointed that I couldn’t control my gaming habits and perhaps never will. It feels so slavish that something so synthetic and constructed as gaming was so influential and that I couldn’t find moderation, but I don’t think it would be unhealthy or unnatural to cut out gaming entirely. If that’s the solution I am okay with that. It’s not a necessary thing like eating, drinking, and sleeping.
I’m so grateful for this forum and for all the others here who have allowed themselves to be vulnerable and have thus provided a lot of insight and inspiration through their stories. Rooting for you all!

 

 

 

 

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Day 13

I don’t count this as a relapse because my motives were for socialization rather than to escape or checkout, and I did not feel as if I was giving into a craving. One of my friends wanted to hangout to show his new flight simulator and laptop he had just purchased. We played for like 1 1/2 hours and it was easy to walk away from it. I thought it was actually a pretty convivial experience. I wonder where to draw the line. Give up all gaming or only the ones that are personally addictive? 
I’ve been meditating for 7 minutes in the morning and it has been really calming. I will start the 5 min ice showers as well for discipline, hella not excited 🙂 Hope you’re all well and rooting for you!

 

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Good luck with the ice showers. I hear they have all kinds of benefits. Meditation has a physical health benefit once you do 12 minutes a day. I'm glad to hear the meditation is going well. I was never into simulators for the most part. But I stay away from them, I'm as cautious as I can be about getting triggered again. I remember I watched my client play CoD and had to resist the urge to pick up the controller and play when he left the room and decided no more watching games after that. I guess figuring out where you want to draw the line is up to you. I hope the best for you.

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9 hours ago, TheNewMe2.0 said:

Good luck with the ice showers. I hear they have all kinds of benefits. Meditation has a physical health benefit once you do 12 minutes a day. I'm glad to hear the meditation is going well. I was never into simulators for the most part. But I stay away from them, I'm as cautious as I can be about getting triggered again. I remember I watched my client play CoD and had to resist the urge to pick up the controller and play when he left the room and decided no more watching games after that. I guess figuring out where you want to draw the line is up to you. I hope the best for you.

Ooh, I’ll have to work up to 12 minutes, 7 minutes feels long sometimes . Yah I think being on the lookout for triggers especially in the gray zones is really crucial. I don’t know how you can watch your clients play. That’s pretty messed up, in the sense that you have to deal with that. They play games in therapy?

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Day 14

I was so close to relapsing. If the game didn’t take so damn long to download I would have. I think I get periods of depression and that may have caused an altercation at work with a coworker who is also a friend. it’s a relationship that has been aggravating me for months. All the angry exchanges trigger the violence and upheavals in my past family life. Back the then I ’d turn to my Nintendo to escape. I want to turn to my mobile game to ease up a bit. I recognize the pattern, and even though I don’t feel ok I know this is just a bump in the road and I gotta get over it and that shit is gonna happen because that’s life. we can’t be sugar cookies. Hope you’re all well and I’m rooting for you

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Hey @Theresa,

good that you could stop yourself.It payed off that you deleted everything in the past and set-up this barrier.

It is fantastic that you recognize the pattern. Now you should think about how you want to handle a similar situation in the future. Because these emotional reactions and stresses will occur again and again. But you can choose how you want to react to these feelings. It helps if you prepared a strategy beforehand to not fall into old patterns again.

Ideas to handle the situation in a healthy way: Call a friend, go for a jog, listen to some loud music, journal about your emotions, eat a batch of ice cream, do any combination of this suggestions 😉

I am rooting for you too!

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You can go at your own pace and do what's comfy for you with the meditating. It's big time that you have a consistent practice, good for you. Take care of yourself and your triggers. We all want to see you here for a good long time with us. Yeah at my old job my client would smoke CBD which is like weed and play video games while I talked with him. It was super sketchy because I'm sober now and used to smoke weed. So I was like double triggered. I had to stop seeing him eventually, but that was because he wouldn't show up for sessions. I'm really glad I quit my old job for that reason, they basically needed me to play games with clients which I couldn't do so it was a bad fit. The new job some of my clients play games while i talk to them but I don't have to watch the game and ask them to mute it too. So it's not so bad. But they still talk to me about what they're doing in minecraft or whatever. I requested no more children to get away from the gaming so it's only like 2 clients like that. 'We can't be sugar cookies' hehe.

So I'm not dealing with anything as difficult as you're describing now with the coworker but I have before. I recommend everytime you are about to see them close your eyes and take a breath then open them. It really helps me deal with difficult stuff and I do it before I check email. You really do have to endure that nonsense and still not game though which can be difficult at first but make it 30 days and it'll become easier because it'll be a good habit by then.

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On 4/9/2021 at 3:19 AM, WorkInProgress said:

Hey @Theresa,

good that you could stop yourself.It payed off that you deleted everything in the past and set-up this barrier.

It is fantastic that you recognize the pattern. Now you should think about how you want to handle a similar situation in the future. Because these emotional reactions and stresses will occur again and again. But you can choose how you want to react to these feelings. It helps if you prepared a strategy beforehand to not fall into old patterns again.

Ideas to handle the situation in a healthy way: Call a friend, go for a jog, listen to some loud music, journal about your emotions, eat a batch of ice cream, do any combination of this suggestions 😉

I am rooting for you too!

@WorkInProgress thanks so much for your support and suggestions. I think thats a good idea to have a plan for the future or EAP for real life. I’ll work in that.  Thanks for saying that eating a batch of ice cream is a healthy way to handle the situation. That made my day and also cracked me up😊 

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1 minute ago, Theresa said:

@WorkInProgress thanks so much for your support and suggestions. I think thats a good idea to have a plan for the future or EAP for real life. I’ll work in that.  Thanks for saying that eating a batch of ice cream is a healthy way to handle the situation. That made my day and also cracked me up😊 

Especially if it's a batch of ice cream you make yourself. Hobby idea?

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On 4/9/2021 at 10:26 AM, TheNewMe2.0 said:

You can go at your own pace and do what's comfy for you with the meditating. It's big time that you have a consistent practice, good for you. Take care of yourself and your triggers. We all want to see you here for a good long time with us. Yeah at my old job my client would smoke CBD which is like weed and play video games while I talked with him. It was super sketchy because I'm sober now and used to smoke weed. So I was like double triggered. I had to stop seeing him eventually, but that was because he wouldn't show up for sessions. I'm really glad I quit my old job for that reason, they basically needed me to play games with clients which I couldn't do so it was a bad fit. The new job some of my clients play games while i talk to them but I don't have to watch the game and ask them to mute it too. So it's not so bad. But they still talk to me about what they're doing in minecraft or whatever. I requested no more children to get away from the gaming so it's only like 2 clients like that. 'We can't be sugar cookies' hehe.

So I'm not dealing with anything as difficult as you're describing now with the coworker but I have before. I recommend everytime you are about to see them close your eyes and take a breath then open them. It really helps me deal with difficult stuff and I do it before I check email. You really do have to endure that nonsense and still not game though which can be difficult at first but make it 30 days and it'll become easier because it'll be a good habit by then.

Well I’m glad you found patients who are a little more cooperative. Double triggered, have to say honestly that must have sucked. It must be difficult to counsel them if their attention is divided?
I’ll keep trying that approach before encountering the coworker. It definitely is calming if nothing else. Thanks for all the advice.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Zeno said:

Especially if it's a batch of ice cream you make yourself. Hobby idea?

Aha! Actually made 6 gallons of homemade ice cream yesterday. 

Edited by Theresa
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2 minutes ago, Theresa said:

Aha! Actually made 6 gallons of homemade I cream yesterday. 

This reminds me that I have an ice cream maker around here somewhere . . .

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Posted (edited)

Day 16. Missed writing yesterday. I have been feeling down this week and missed a couple days of this 30 day challenge, journaling, and exercising. I think, however, that I have found new solutions. Last night some friends crashed the apartment and we watched a movie, had ciders, and chatted. I would have hands down turned down an event like this previously and gamed instead, but I think this experience was just as satisfying. Unfortunately today I scrolled through some Reddit posts on the game I used to play. I was really craving that game. After I swam a mile and I felt loads better and the cravings were gone. What I have learned and actually experienced is that socializing and exercise really fulfill some needs that gaming did. This realization definitely isn’t a novel idea but it sure as hec feels like it after finding fulfillment in a virtual reality for the past however long. Hope you’re well and rooting for you as always.

Edited by Theresa
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That's epic you made that much ice cream. Oh yeah not that much counseling got done doing community based work. It was mostly just chilling and not getting paid much, hehe. It was a lot easier than my current job temptation aside. I'm a real therapist at the new job though. You're welcome, I hope something I say might be of use. Good realization. That's impressive swimming you're doing.

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Day 17

Today was great. No cravings and I spent most of the day outside shooting clay pigeons with a 12 gage, canoing, and mucking out a horse paddock. I am so grateful to be in the fresh air. I didn’t do meditation or exercise today but I have been able to read more. Hope you’re all well and rooting for you!

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Posted (edited)

Day 19

Im going to post less, but everything has been going pretty well. I feel so much more alert and less anxious with this detox so far. Going for a jog before and after work really helps with the tension and stress of the day. 
I was talking with some friends about video games and one friend shared how there was this mother who was really tired because she was raising the kids all day and she asked her husband to hold the baby for like 10 minutes so she could change into pajamas or whatever; and he responded, “No! I’m in the middle of something!” I recognized myself in that story, rejecting family and friends who really needed help so that I could play my video game; and this is another motivator. I don’t want to be that person anymore or ever again. I don’t want to be so absorbed in a hobby or entertainment that it takes priority over immediate family or friends. I don’t want any relationships to be wrecked because I need to level up or “help” my “friends” in game. I also feel responsible and guilty for being and accomplice to all the others who I played online with. Some had kids other were students etc. but we were all logging onto this communal addiction which indeed deprived each of us from cultivating relationships right there before us in reality.
I’m reading this book which proposes the theory of the “slight edge.” Basically one’s every day actions, especially the small repetitive ones, over an extended period of time can be compounded into success or failure. If one performs an action that is beneficial to him in some way and continues to do so, his growth and success will increase slowly but as more time passes, the increase in his growth will be exponential, like compound interest. The same applies to bad habits, the outcome being years of compounded negative action. I like this theory because it appeals to that longevity which character development and habit building evoke.  Change doesn’t happen overnight, but by doing a single good action such as reading 10 pages every day or doing one thing that you’re afraid of every day, after 3 years, the results will be phenomenal.
Anyway those are my latest thoughts. I hope you’re all well and rooting for you as always!

 

 

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I feel you on that family story. I realized I was just leeching off my families good will towards me when I was gaming and living with them not doing much else to contribute. I read the slight edge too that book was inspiring. Made me want to keep up good habits. It's okay if you want to post less often I mean some people post every few days and have been clean for years. So whatever works for you is good. I just would like to encourage you to be cautious and scientific about it. Try to experiment with how long between posts you go to find the optimal consistency for your maximum resilience. For me I felt like once a day was good, anymore was too much and any less I'd feel like I was thinking about gaming again. If less often works for you that's good too, but if you get lots of urges or whatever coming to post and read on here might be a good like emergency plan. Nice thoughts btw you're really intelligent and articulate. I find your posts to often be wise and supportive. I wouldn't be surprised to see you thriving as a therapist someday. You make me consider getting to that next level with the PsyD too but I kind of don't want to get more debt as I'm just now paying off the MA debt.

Good luck T

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Thanks for the support and encouragement @TheNewMe2.0. I really appreciate your being here. Yah I’ll experiment with this and see what happens. All the best with your student debt. I’m sure it’s a lot and the idea of grad school debt makes me feel sick, but I’m sure over time you’ll come out even and you’ll find your Ma useful and fulfilling.

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Oh you're welcome, glad you're here too. Yeah I think it'll be fine either way. As long as I make it through licensure that'll probably be good enough. I don't think I'll need the PsyD for income. It would just be for the prestige of being the only person in my family to get past the MA level and to potentially be a teacher at certain schools that require a PhD. What's your motivation to do the PsyD instead of just an MA? The debt is a pain in the butt. However, I think it's worth it to have a job that pays better and you (hopefully) enjoy.

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12 hours ago, TheNewMe2.0 said:

Oh you're welcome, glad you're here too. Yeah I think it'll be fine either way. As long as I make it through licensure that'll probably be good enough. I don't think I'll need the PsyD for income. It would just be for the prestige of being the only person in my family to get past the MA level and to potentially be a teacher at certain schools that require a PhD. What's your motivation to do the PsyD instead of just an MA? The debt is a pain in the butt. However, I think it's worth it to have a job that pays better and you (hopefully) enjoy.

@TheNewMe2.0 yes, becoming the first doctor in the family would be awesome. I won’t say that thought didn’t cross my mind. With the PsyD one can have a private practice and teach, no? I’m in contact with some admissions counselors to get clarity on that. My dream is to get a 50% scholarship they offer.

 

Day 21

Work has been crazy this week I feel sorta restless. I’ve been trying to stay on top of journaling and completing the tasks I schedule in my planner, but often I only get 1 or 2 done. I gave up on the ice shower because I’m weak and kept hyperventilating lmao, but reading and jogging have been splendid.
I haven’t really been craving which is good but I miss the online friends....
anyway hope you’re all well and I’m rooting for you as always! 

 

 

 

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dang 50% would be a huge discount. I hope you get it. Yeah you can do those things with a PsyD. Hehe I gave up on the ice shower too. So cold. Glad the other stuff is going well. It's good to have hobbies.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Day 44

I am very happy to have quit gaming. After being sent home from college senior year last March because of the pandemic, gaming was my alternative to accepting this. When I was hoping to quit, one question I always asked was, will I be a happier person? Yes, deciding to act rather than withdraw into gaming has combatted many of the anxieties or fears I had. So far I have been able to do a much better job at work, cultivate better relationships, and become more financially stable. I have found making a general daily schedule to be very helpful. It helps fill those time voids especially after work when I would resort to gaming and it also gives me small goals to accomplish, satisfying that desire for achieving or concrete progress. I have felt triggered because of stress and resorted to watching a YouTube video of the game update, but I have no intention of downloading the game ever again. Gaming addiction really promotes a crippling worldview. It changes your perception of reality. You perceive accomplishment and perhaps some societal customs through these artificial experiences where there is no congruity between the character development in game and character development in real life. It’s a disservice to your real talents and to your unique person in real life. I’m really grateful for this community. Knowing that there really are others who are also struggling and fighting the same addiction gives me so much hope and inspiration. No one is alone in this journey! Hope you’re all well and rooting for you!

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Hey, @Theresa! It's been a minute since the last time you posted.

It's good to know things are going well with you, and that you're finding goals and structures to remain in charge of your own life.

Rooting for you, too!

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