giantbuster added a topic in CelebrateOne year without gaming!x-post from /r/stopgaming:
One year ago on July 4th, I figured Independence Day would be a good day to declare independence from video games. I quit cold turkey, and haven't touched a video game (minus a few technicalities) since one year ago yesterday. Woohoo!
I was in a very difficult time. I had been working a job that I hated for two whole years and I was miserable, so I gamed a lot. Heroes of the Storm was my poison of choice. Around March of last year however, I got hit with a crippling back injury and laid off of my job right around the same time. The one-two combo was too much for me and I was in a pit of depression for many months, so I turned to gaming.
I'd always had a love-hate relationship with video games. On one hand, it's a medium for telling compelling stories and transports you into beautiful interactive worlds. On the other, it's a crutch that allows your depression and unhappiness to fester for too long, and can end up taking priority over your health and life in general. Plus, there's so much to experience in the world around you; why squander your time staring at a computer screen? I'd felt this way since I was little, and yet I always found myself coming back for more, even though I didn't really want to.
I knew enough was enough, and so I decided to quit gaming. I uninstalled Heroes of the Storm, uninstalled Steam, put away my consoles and games, and set out to do what I always felt like I needed to do. It's been one year since then, and I'm proud of myself. I'm still recovering from my injury, but since I've stopped playing games, I've spent a lot more time practicing music, reading, exercising, meditating, going out with friends and family, hanging out with the pets, seeking new projects and opportunities, and all-in-all enjoying life a lot more and becoming a healthier, happier, more thriving person.
Now I will admit, there were a number of instances where I did play a little bit which I can remember very clearly.
I played about 30 seconds or so of an arcade game at a festivalI played a tiny bit of Pokemon Go during the entire craze when literally everyone was playing itI played a tiny bit of Pacman on Google Maps by accident when they did their April Fools thing (curse you Google!)Every now and then when I'm using a free phone app, it'll give you an interactive gaming advertisement and prompt you to deploy troops or whateverSo technically, maybe I should reset my streak to any of these points in time, especially the arcade game or Pokemon Go. But I don't count these as relapses or major dings into my game-free lifestyle. Gaming exists on a spectrum so it's hard to say what is and isn't gaming. Is an interactive ad gaming? Is a word party game on a phone gaming? It'd be different if I spent hours or days playing a game and shutting out the outside world, but these were just minor stumbles along the journey.
Nonetheless, the main thing is that these days, I never touch video games and purposefully keep myself away from them in all shapes and forms. I don't watch let's plays, I don't follow game news, I don't engage in gaming conversations, I've distanced myself from people who game a lot, and so on. Comparing my lifestyle now to before I quit video games, I'm very proud of myself, and am a much happier and fulfilled person.
Of course this is only one small point in the journey, and this is going to be a lifelong journey. I think my next big goal should be to distance myself from technology in general. I have a lot of trouble with being glued to my phone, whipping it out and going on Facebook or Reddit whenever I have a second of downtime. It's usually the first thing I reach for in the morning and the last thing I do in bed. It's difficult because the phone plays such a vital role these days: it's where I communicate with friends and family, it's where my emails are, it's where my meditation app is, it's where my grocery list is, it's my camera... the list goes on.
Anyways, I'm rambling now so I'll cut this post here. One year game free, woo! Here's to a more fulfilling life.
To add to this, I recall signing up for Respawn on July 14th of 2016, and going through Cam's videos and his other materials. The guidance was super helpful, especially with learning about the causes of video game addiction and how it causes physical changes in the brain, and understanding that you need to add multiple things to your life to combat this addiction. Thank you Cam for the guidance and wisdom throughout this journey. Here's to many more years without games!
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giantbuster added a topic in RelapseNot exactly a relapse, but it sure feels like oneI don't post much here, but given how I've been feeling this week, I wanted to share my thoughts and feelings right now.
I've been game free since July 4th this year; 162 days. I also resolved to quit Facebook, Reddit, and YouTube (to a practical extent) about a month ago because they were my go-to places for procrastination.
Over the past week, things have gotten more difficult. I have a lot of unknowns with things like my car, my health insurance, and my health. Recovery from my back injury (herniated disc) and arm injury (tendonitis) has been very slow. My overall stress, anxiety, and depression levels have increased a lot. To this, I've found myself going on Facebook, Reddit, Youtube, and otherwise procrastinating a lot more. I haven't been following my diet. It's been harder to get out of bed in the morning.
It all came to a head this morning while I was meditating. My mind constantly wandered over and over again to unpleasant thoughts and feelings, and I could barely hold my focus on my breath. I realized something was very wrong today.
I managed to pull myself together a bit. I recognized what was going on in my head as thoughts and feelings just like any other, not so much resisting them but acknowledging them. I remembered what Cam said about being able to say "oh well" about these kinds of feelings. I did a short reflective vlog as a therapeutic activity to unpack what was going on in my mind. I continued with my day. I went down my to-do list and knocked out a bunch of items. I took a shower, shaved, brushed my teeth, and ate breakfast. I listened to my favorite music. I pet my cats. Some old friends in a group text sent some silly messages for the first time in forever, and we had a laugh. Life continues onwards.
Anyways, I guess what I'm trying to say is that as life got more hectic, although I didn't fall back into playing video games, I fell into some old toxic habits that only made things worse. I realized this and did what I could to pick myself up and get back on my feet, and back on track with my goals. I feel like relapsing for me is more than just playing video games; it's falling into the old habits that you're trying to move on from.
Has anyone had a similar experience?
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giantbuster added a topic in Celebrate90 days game free!I just hit my 90 days on October 2nd. Damn it feels good!
My life has gotten more rewarding in ways that I think I could do without video games from now on. My days are more filled with things I enjoy doing, such as reading, meditating, exercising, cooking up delicious meals, and studying/listening to music. It still feels like the beginning of the journey, because now and then I do still get bored and browse the internet and watching online videos, which of course serves the same purpose as playing video games. But, it's a learning process, and with a bit of effort and determination, I will continue to improve the quality of my life, one step at a time.
Part of me was hoping I would be able develop a healthier relationship with video games after this detox and play some games. I do believe video games are a very powerful medium for telling stories, similar to movies and books. But, I still feel triggered whenever I see something video game related, so I know to stay away. Perhaps in a year or two, or maybe never again. I can live with that.
As Cam has mentioned many times before, this is just the beginning of the journey, and it certainly feels that way. I was thinking the other day, I am only 26, and with a little bit of luck, I will live up to 80 years or longer. What can I fill up my life with for today, tomorrow, the next year, the next 5 years, 10 years, 20, 50? It's mind boggling to try and grasp that much time, and it's incredibly beautiful.
I want to thank Cam and this community for the guidance, and being the much needed support network for those of us who suffer from video game addiction. Thank you all!
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giantbuster added a topic in Main RoomVideo game addiction is a new phenomenon, and we're the first victimsHere's a thought: video game addiction is a new "disease" born of modern technology, and we're the first victims of it. Now that it's become an identifiable phenomenon, current and new generations will be more informed of the risks of video game addiction (hopefully) and live accordingly.
Consider other harmful and/or addictive activities, like gambling, smoking, and drinking. Growing up, you likely heard about how you shouldn't do these things. Maybe you even knew some people who were smokers, gamblers, or alcoholics, and you knew you didn't want to be like them. The dangers of these "substances" are common knowledge due to lots of research, awareness campaigns, word of mouth, and so on. We all know about Alcoholics Anonymous, we all know that smoking causes lung cancer, and we all know that you can throw all your money away gambling. But when these things first popped up in the public eye, these risks weren't known. It was only with time, experience, and research that we learned the dangers of these things.
This list of shiny new things that people love, only to later discover the dangers of, goes on. Tanning, drinking and driving, processed meats, cocaine in Coca Cola, and so on. I'm sure there's plenty more things we currently do as a society that we don't realize are dangerous yet. But newly added to this list now is video games.
For many of us who struggle with video game addiction, I assume that we all grew up with video games. In fact, we were the first generation to ever grow up with video games. As such, people couldn't know that video game addiction could be a thing. Because of our collective ignorance and lack of experience and research, now lots of people suffer from video game addiction. However, now that this problem is slowly coming into the public eye, maybe more people will be aware of the dangers of video game addiction and act accordingly. It'll be as common of a thing to worry about as gambling, smoking, and other potentially harmful behavior.
I know for a fact that if I have kids, I'll limit the number of hours my kids get to play video games and encourage them to take on other hobbies as well. I don't want them to grow up the same way as me and develop a dependence on video games. I sometimes see kids and teens with their eyes glued to a screen at a dinner table playing some game, and it makes me sad, knowing that they could be developing a dependence on it without anyone realizing there's a problem. I hope that there'll be public awareness programs to help people realize the dangers of video game addiction.
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