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(Another) new start

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Posted

Hi everyone,

I'm Chris and I'm from Poland. I started serious playing computer games when I was 11 years old. Now I'm 26, but let me start from the beginning. My parents divorced when I have had 7 years old, so since then I wasn't really happy in my life, but still in primary school I had friends, I liked to play soccer and riding a bicycle, all in all, it wasn't so bad. When I was about 8-9 years old, my cousin introduced me to diablo 2 since then I walked whenever I could to internet cafe to play this game. I wanted computer in my home. I got one when I was 11 years old. I was playing all the types of games. FPS, aRPG and game with TPP was my favored. I was buying games magazines I read all the news, new informations I played demos just to try new game. In the meanwhile I still had pretty descent grades in school and I was riding a bike a lot (I loved that), but I played about 3-4 hours a day and pretty much I never skipped a day to just go in front of computer screen (except maybe holidays when I was abroad or visiting grandma at countryside).

When I was 13 years old (If I remember this correctly) I have got internet access without limits. It was for educational purposes... but we all know how it ends. Eventually it was for my entertainment and I really fell in love with MMORPGs, because at the time, my friends played it so it was enjoyment and social interaction in one. That led to 6-7 hours in weekends sometimes a lot lot more. One day I didn't sleep one night, I was playing games. I remembered seeing sunshine at 5am and I was really tired. At the time that doesn't bother me (in terms of addiction). When I was about 15 years old me friend from class introduced me to Capoeira (you know, that brazillian martial art that could be percieved as a dance). And I fell in love with that more than games. It was really refreshing feeling. I trained, I was skipping days filled with games, but sometimes I mixed it up for maximum enjoyment. You know what they say "if you want to be good and sports you have to be fully engaged" (or at least now I see that) and at the time I wasn't. I manage my time to play games and going to capoeira classes which leds to skipping meals, eating bad food, sleeping now enough etc. After about 1 year of this type of "training" I had couple serious injuries: in my right knee and my shoulders and elbows and I overstretched nearly all kind of muscles (sedentary -> into no warm up high kicks = injurie, same goes to bridges, handstands). Eventually I stopped capoeira, stopped riding a bike (because of knee injurie) I felt depressed and weak and I played video games like crazy. I still prioritized friends > games, maybe because I have them so few (but they are my friends till now). Meanwhile my health colapsed dramaticly, I won't go to details, because that's another different chapter.

When I went to work in sawmill at my dad's company (at school vacations) I was frightened, because it was my first job and I had to move to place where there was no computer nor internet. All in all after 2 hard weeks of work + cravings for gaming was painful, but getting social interaction, fullfilment + money, my health went better I get back on bike and it was like heaven after that. After 2 months when I was coming back to school I was frightening to loose this "heaven". And I lost it. I went back to capoeira did the same mistake I overused my joint in calves and again played games like crazy. My health was getting worse and worse I went to see different doctors. And since then up to college is huge gap, where I didn't do nothing with my addiction.

I decided one day - enough is enough. I knew there was another way to live (sawmill experience). I tried different approaches to deal with addiction and finally found this 3 3 3 approach. Start with 3 days in a row, if you succeed, try 3 weeks, months, years. Of course 3 days were nearly always 3 days and I went back to playing games. I finally start to go full on. I don't remember exact days, but it was over 300 without playing even snake on phone, but It was such an depressing experience and with all the problems I had, I crashed within myself and have no purpose to live, so it was like hell not heaven. When I came back to games, yes, felt guilt, but my mood was better. I didn't understand why it is so difficult to overcome addiction.

I try to live according to christian beliefs so I decided to not to play games during christian fast to make some purpose for my antigaming plan and all in all, it was fixed period of time, simple rules. Again it was painful experience, but I made it 3 fasts in a row as I remember. At one point it was a lot easier than I expect, so eventually I was making progress, but at 4th I just lost it and then later fasts too. 

About 2,5 years ago I started my first full-time job. Thanks to financial flexibility I decided to invest into myself. I bought very good book The 7 habits of highly effective people I read it 3-4 times and since then my life changed in positive way, but still I was playing games, but I have had now purpose to leave it far behind. And at some point I didn't want to even play, because I was focused on my goals and activities that I always wanted to have and I even forgot how to play to that extend that when I went back to Counter-strike and I was really bad, and at the moment I though "wait a minute, I forgot how to play, it isn't even fun, why am I doing this? Mental exhaustion isn't even worth my time" and after couple of minutes I turned off the game. It was really powerful experience. 

At some day (it was my stupidity) I looked for a game that would really interest me just for fun and I would let it go later just to check if everything is ok with my I-though-past-addiction. Be careful what you wish for - they say. It was probably about 6 months prior this writing. I went back to gaming. I had moment of 14 hours at one day non-stop playing. At Lent (christian fast) I failed to not play it after 3 weeks. I wanted the answers WHY and eventually I found Mr. Cam on youtube and again I'm on that journey of not playing video games from 16.04.2017 and I hope it won't ends.  

I wish you all the best in your journeys, best regards Chris.

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Posted

Hello Chris, or as I should say in our national language, Krzysztof!

It's nice to see you there in the community of GQ. I strongly recommend starting your own daily journal!

You can make it in Polish if you want to! There is a section for foreign languages in daily journals!

Greetings, Mad Pharmacist

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Posted

Welcome Chris. Great to have you here with us. 

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Posted

Wow very brave to post all that. Welcome to the community Chris. Have you thought about starting a journal? It really helped me get through my 90 days.

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Posted

How are you doing, Krzysztof?

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Posted

Thank you for all the replys and sorry for that I didn't answer earlier. Hycniejsy and simmsjt I'm planning to start my journal this weekend. Until this day things go pretty well. I'm planning to sell my gaming laptop in exchange of something just for general use. I have a buyer so I cannot hesitate now with my decision. I have hard time at sleep because I have literally nightmares that I didnt make it with my 90 day detox. I play video games in my dreams, but oddly enough I dont want to do this when I'm awake. Is that normal? When I'm awake I usually work or cook or excercise, been trying meditation and just relaxing in bath tub thats basicly what my day looks like. I'll try my best to keep up to date with my journal. Greetings Chris

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Posted

What you are describing is very normal. For the first two weeks I quit I would get random shaking in my hand and I cried myself to sleep everynight.

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Posted

Oh, that's super awesome to hear you're doing well!

Also, seems like you're kinda like early bird! That's because you wrote this post on 6 A.M in our time zone!

Btw. I also had dreams about me gaming during detox and also had cravings so strong after this that I barely resist them. However, the most important thing is to realise that this kind of dreams are not you. Not anymore.

This is just your brain lacking of dopamine. You've heard about it?

This is how it looks chemically:

Niepodpisana grafika związku chemicznego; prawdopodobnie struktura chemiczna bądź trójwymiarowy model cząsteczki

It's a cathecholamine (same group as adrenaline and noradrenaline).

As an activity I suggest you to make research on the Internet about it. and mechanisms.

 

About journal: I really suggest you to start it ASAP. Just go ahead, you don't have to write your whole story there, because you already did it here! You can just type "Hello, GameQuitters, I'm Krzysztof and this is my journal. I'm feeling pretty good right now." And that's it! You'll realise one day how big different this little activity can make!

Greetings, Mad Pharmacist

 

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Posted

simmjst, I had this similiar unpleasant thing, when I was preparing to work in sawmill, It was wow, so bad, my hands was constantly sweaty and shaky. Thanks for sharing this, that's very brave to share this kind of experience.

hycniejsy, Indeed I like to wake up early, I like sunshine a lot :) especially on days like today, no clouds, warm and nice.

Thanks for your insight I thought that I'm the only one with this kind of strange behavior. Yes, you're right that's not me. And I tell myself everyday that gaming was a chapter that I liked and now it's closed, that help me a lot to realize at what point I'm now.

Yes, I watched Cam video about it when he describe dopamine. As he said it will be back in right levels after I reach 90 day mark (or maybe more or less everybody is different) and I'm really looking forward to it.

Going to start my journal right now, after that I'm planning to make mini trip to lake nearby.

Greetings Chris

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Posted

Awesome! With dopamine I think that it's a longer story.

90 days is just a beginning when you just HAVE TO quit games and anything related to. Then you'll reevaluate and decide what to do next - most people decide to continue their journey called life without playing them. However, the choice is yours.

Gonna check your journal out!

Greetings, Mad Pharmacist

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