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guitar1986x
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1 month and 27 days - game cravings are getting seriously less

Hi All,

Sorry for checking in so little. I just read through all of your stories. It made me wish I came on a little more often to try and share my story and share some inspiration. Things are looking up for me, I want to share some of my state will all of you.

Wazzaap- thanks for sharing your short relapse with us. I think you needed to experience going down that path once more to once again experience how it made you feel. I do not mean the following is any other way than completely genuine and literal: It's a great achievement that you managed to get to such a negative state in such a short amount of time. It means that you are already "over" doing this in a way if relapsing makes you feel THIS misterable this quickly. Like a decision that's REALLY off your path. I guess that's not going to make it much easier to get through these struggles, cravings, after effects and withdrawal effects. But at least it makes your path of retreat harder, knowing it will make you this miserable. I think what needs to happen is that your IDENTITY needs to change to a point where you do not see youself as someone that plays games. You are well on your way when playing games for 3 days makes you that sick.

McPhee, thank you for sharing your stories and updates. I can recognize where you are at. What really helped me was the realization up front that i was going to REALLY miserable for a REALLY long time. I literally set my expectation that I was going to be absolutely misterable for the first 2 months after quitting gaming laying in bed wailing all day. I decided I was willing to pay that price to get rid of this terribly insidious habit that was ruining my life. I decided this strongly because there was a lot at stake. (1) Firstly, my marriage, which was starting to suffer from my addiction. Not to any point like some of the horror stories I read on the forum (that show where I would have been at 5 years down that road of disconnection and addiction) but still pretty serious. (2) Secondly my children (2 daughters) the eldest of which is now nearly 3 years old and ready to start taking over my habits, be they bad or good. (3) And thirdly it was costing me MY LIFE. I am in the blessed condition of running a business from home that is generating cash to live off which we can run in 2 hours per day from anywhere in the world where we have internet. It's almost like the "Free money for everyone" situation you mentioned. You know what happened to me? Indeed, that freedom made me play more games. It actually cost me ALL of the FREEDOM that my business state could bring. Taking away all of the value from it.
It guess bottom line, you need a reason to quit that's strong. To clearly realize the pain more gaming will bring down the road. Then if you have enough motivation to accept the WORST price (being VERY miserable for a LONG time) and it can only get better than that. When I was feeling DOWN and wailing, I felt "Ok - this is what I was expecting - I'll pay the price and get through it". When I started to feel better even a little better I felt "hey - this isn't so bad". It's all down to your frame of reference.

ahimsa - thank you for sharing that story where you installed a game and in the end did not play it. That happened to me twice during the past two months. In that moment where you thought to yourself "this path will bring me no good", it is THAT moment of decision where you shape your destiny. You've truly come a long way. Take a moment to enjoy the pride in your decision there. It means A LOT. It deserves your own praise and that of everyone that knows you. It's a monumental achievement. I truly believe that you need only a handful of true moments like that to permanently shake off the game addiction. 

planner - thanks for always coming back and sharing your story. I've seen a few of your stories in the different topics on this forum. I've been where you were at for the better part of 10 years while building up power to really quit. I must have quit gaming 100s of times in endless cycles of decision, uninstall, break, relapse. I'm just going to share with you what worked for me, hoping that you may be similar and could get some value out of it. Be kind to yourself. Don't punish yourself for your relapses nor anything else. I did that for 5 years and it got me absolutely nowhere. Things for me started to truly change when I went and talked to a coach that made me realize that I had been my own worst slave driving tyrant all my life. Never giving myself recognition for anything. Always expecting myself to be "perfect" and trying to live up to some artificial made up story of how I "should be". When doing the deep digging I finally realized my personal reason for playing games was to get away from this terrible tyrant that I was being to myself. It was the inner child in me rebelling against this unkind unfair negative force i was trying to apply to myself. I let go of all of that and became kind to myself. I've become my own best friends. I cheer on my success. I celebrate my every achievement. I give myself love. I try to catch myself in those moments where I am about to go into my habit of being harsh on myself again. And I turn it around to acknowledging my positive qualities, how hard I work, what I've achieved. It was only after that point that I "found" the power to quit gaming.

My own update

The past few weeks have been both really hard and really positive. I do feel that my identity, how I see myself, has truly change to no longer see myself as a gamer. Even when I crave to play games to deal with something, when I imagine myself playing the game, it feels foreign and alien. It doesn't feel like "me" anymore, but like some vague old character that supposedly once was me, but which I can't even imagine anymore.

My game cravings are pretty much gone. I sometimes feel them when I encounter something I'm uncomfortable with. Then I get an insanely strong urge to game. But somehow it doesn't seem serious. In other words, it just feels like this huge surge of AAAAAAAAARGH going through my body while I'm just being aware of that emotion instead of "being" that emotion. I'm more observing it from a detached place, allowing it to be and come out. But the game cravings don't continue after that. I've gotten used to my new life without games, which is TRULY a wonderful thing to say and feel.

To build on the previous paragraph - I'm FEELING a lot more. I'm feeling depression, anger, fear. I'm feeling joy, happiness, gratitude, awe. Now that I don't use games to push away my feelings anymore they are free to come and go. I feel that's one thing where I'm really making progress. Allowing myself to feel those negative emotions and just living them out without adding further fuel to them. They're slowly getting worn out. It's a really SLOW and interesting to observe process though.

I've finished The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsson, this book has made a great impact on my past month. I've started a number of positive habits that are starting to (slightly) increase my positivity. I'll write them down below and be honest about the things I really did and the things I am still struggling to do.
* (Trying to) never using the snooze button on my alarm again - that was really taking out 1.5 hours of my morning daily (have missed a few days, maybe 5 in a month)
* Taking a morning walk - it's really a wonderful start of the day (I've missed many days, probably half)
* Daily writing down one positive experience I had in the past 24 hours in full detail - causes the brain to relive it and doubles it's positive effect (havn't missed a day)
* Daily writing 3 new  things I'm grateful for - practice gratitide (havn't missed a day)
* 10 pages of a great life-changing book daily (have only missed like 1-2 days)
* reflect on what I've achieved during the day after it's over (missed like 2-3 days)
* Make DAILY progress towards my dreams and EAT A FROG (do something I really fear that's really outside of my comform zone and that's really important to move towards my dream). For me that is doing the things that will drive our business to the next level of revenue while I'm still elated (and slightly uncomfortable) with how successful we already are.
* Taking 3 days per week off (except maybe 2-3 hours of work some days) just to have fun, enjoy life, and do something nice with my family.

It's hard work. It feels almost like I've got the training regime of an Olympic Athlete. Today I was feeling truly tired. Truly outside of my comform zone by having done so many things that I feared to do the past weeks. Having worked so much harder and having had so much more discipline than I'm use to having. That much discipline is NOT part of my identity yet. I was Slightly worn out. I talked to dear friend tonight that made me realize my feelings are normal. I'm now living outside my comform zone and I need to give my body time to adapt and get "comfortable" with this person I'm being. In other words, I need to keep this up for long enough to have my identity (the way I see myself) change.

It takes patience... so much patience. So much trust in that these little baby steps every day are taking me to where I want to be. That they are eventually going to change my identity just like I no longer see myself as a "gamer" while just 2 months ago I truly did see myself so. Trust that even though I'm feeling crappy today that's not a signal that I'm not making progress and getting nowhere. I need to remind myself constantly that change doesn't come overnight and that I'm on the right track even though the improvements don't immediately and consistently materialize. Some of those habits mentioned above here, especially the one where I journal one positive thing that happed to me, 3 things which I'm gratefyl for, and reflecting on what I achieved the past day (and realizing what points I am PROUD of achieving) are really helping to move this forward.

Thank you guys! I hope my story can be of some value to some of you. If nothing else, it's wonderful to come here and write these stories to help sync my own thoughts :-)

With warm regards,

Bart

Sven
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Haven't been here for a while

Haven't been here for a while but still going strong. It's been 6 weeks already since my last mini-relapse, and these days I hardly think about gaming any more.

Have a great holiday season everybody.

Take care.

planner
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It’s nice to hear from you

It’s nice to hear from you again Sven and thanks Bart for your share. I relate to many things you have said and I think I am “building up my power to really quit”. I keep learning something new every time after a relapse and I feel stronger than before. I know now if I am going to face urges soon and what to do when they come. Most importantly is to work a recovery program and connect with other fellowships. I still need more practice and time to extend those clean days.

have a great game-free day all

"Recovery is not about dealing with gaming. Recovery is about dealing with Life"

McPhee
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Good work, folks

Sven, thanks for the update and check-in. Glad you are still doing well. Keep the faith! We are proud of you!

ahimsa, well done battling the urges. They always fade. You may think they'll drive you crazy, but they won't. They just go away if you can resist them for a while.

planner, you will very likely face urges, as you already know. Be ready, have a plan, and don't quit. You'll get to where urges are infrequent, weak and easily deflected, even if they never completely go away.

Bart, that is an excellent check-in. Thanks much. On your advice, I have been reading The Slight Edge too. It's a little over-enthusiastic for my taste, and I'm already doing a lot of that stuff anyway. I'm a big believer in making small changes that, over time, accomplish big changes. However, I've been writing down three things I'm grateful for and journaling about a postiive experience daily and, if it's not exactly making me ecstatic, it may be helping some. It's not a bad habit, that's for sure. Thanks much for the recommendation.

I'm okay today. No plans to game. I think I am a day or two past nine months since I last gamed. It's been great. Thanks much for all your help. I would not want to go back to the way I was living.

planner
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Thank you McPhee for

Thank you McPhee for mentioning “don’t quit” it is really something I have to learn and apply to my life.

"Recovery is not about dealing with gaming. Recovery is about dealing with Life"

McPhee
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Looking good

planner, you are doing well. It may get harder, it will likely get easier. But right now, you are great.

I'm doing fine. No plans to game today.

wazzapp
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Happy to hear from you all.

Happy to hear from you all.

Im feelinh good, nothing extraordinary going on and right now im quite happy for that, only studies, na, gym, friends, family

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

McPhee
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good news

wazzapp, I am glad to hear you are doing well. Thanks for the check-in and update.

I am also pretty good. Kind of busy today and looking at a packed week, so I'll get to it. No plans to game.

ahimsa
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Thank you everyone

thank you for all your cheerings. They really empowered me to continue in this journey. I have been fighting with anxiety and nausea from my antidepressant side effect. I have a really high urge to escape these feeling by being sucked into the game and lost touch to the world. Somehow I don't want to false fixed myself anymore. I'm still depressed but my inner-self is proud due to not gaming. Thank you all for that.

Game free since 19th October 2015 !!!!
"Once you addict to something, you lose freedom to everything"

McPhee
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Excellent!

ahimsa, very good! You sound strong. I am sorry to hear about the antidepressant side effects. I'm glad you're not gaming. Hiding from life in a game is not going to solve anything. It's like ignoring a cancer that is consuming your body. You have to take action to defeat the addiction or it will destroy you. You are taking action to get the gaming out of your life, so congratulations! Well done!

I am hanging in here. I have been reading "The Power of Habit," by Charles Duhigg. One thing it's done is give me an explanation for why, once we have gotten to where we game compulsively and excessively, it's so difficult to go back to gaming moderately. Apparently once we learn a habit, we can learn a new habit to replace it, but the old habit is still there. The brain circuitry that has been created by the old habit doesn't really go away. It's just kind of napping. So, even if it's been years since the last time you gamed, if you start gaming again the chances are very good that you'll wake the habit and soon go back to spending a ridiculous number of hours gaming, neglecting other important areas of life like bathing and speaking to your spouse, etc.

The lesson I get from this is: Don't plan to moderate. Gaming is not for me any more because I got into a bad habit of overdoing it. Now I just have to stay away completely. That's my plan for today. No gaming.

McPhee
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Not doing it

I just had a little episode this morning that was the kind of thing I might formerly have reacted to by hiding out in a game for several hours or days. But, this time I'm not going to do that. I'm going to check in here, do my other stuff like journaling and meditating and then have a regular day at work. No plans to game.

 

planner
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The last few days i was low

The last few days i was low in energy and had cravings to play. Somehow i did not game and i am glad for this. I hope to live my day in peace.  

"Recovery is not about dealing with gaming. Recovery is about dealing with Life"

McPhee
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Good job!

planner, well done resisting those urges! I hope your day goes more smoothly.

I am doing okay. No plans to game today.

McPhee
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Power of Habit

Here's a quote from a book I've been reading:

"The evidence is clear: if you want to change a habit, you must find an alternative routine, and your odds of success go up dramatically when you commit to changing as part of a group. Belief is essential, and it grows out of communal experience even if that community is only as large as two people."

I think that's pretty sound info. It's from The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg. He's a journalist and the book is presented in a pretty objective, non-cheerleading manner. It's also well-researched and insightful. Recommended.

One thing the research seems to show is that it's important to identify the cues or stimuli that get us started on gaming. So you can try this: Carry around an index card or small notebook for a week. Or just tap a note into your phone. Every time you get an urge to game, whether you give into it or not, write down what you were feeling at the time. Or just make an X on the card to show you had an urge. The idea is to identify the situations and moods that precede an urge. For instance, you may find that you want to game when you're bored. You may want to game when you're anxious, depressed, angry, frustrated, etc. The research has shown that identifying the cues is a very helpful first step in fighting these urges.

The next thing you do is substitute another activity, such as going for a walk, having a snack, reading a book, watching a movie, or just about anything, instead of the problem behavior. You don't try to erase the bad habit. You replace it with something that's better.

If this all sounds like a pain, let me assure you life without gaming is great. You can do this, and you will be so, so happy you did. Let's go!

I'm doing okay today. No plans to game.

ahimsa
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Thank you

Thank you, McPhee. I'm having problem with urge just now. I'm not sure that life without game is gonna be better or not. My inner voice knows exactly what is better but my emotion doesn't cooperate. I'm gonna try to identify my urge, Thank you, McPhee. Today, It's almost 2 month the day since I have last gamed. Nothing have changed much, I still have urge to play and depression everyday, But one thing that I have noticed is I'm proud of myself that I'm not in the prison that I could allow myself to go in and have fun playing game. I don't have to rush doing my work and go back to playing game. I'm enjoying the present more.

 

Thank you all for that. No plan to game today

Game free since 19th October 2015 !!!!
"Once you addict to something, you lose freedom to everything"

McPhee
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Nice work

ahimsa, two months is great! Very well done.I am impressed that you're living in the present and not rushing through your work to get back to gaming. I don't blame you for being proud of yourself. I am proud of you too. That is a great accomplishment.

Be sure to let me know how your program to track urges goes. This idea comes from a very good book called The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg. I borrowed it from my public library for free as an e-book. If you want to check it out, he has a website where he has all kinds of good stuff on changing habits, like this flow chart: http://charlesduhigg.com/flowchart-for-changing-habits/

It's possible that your depression is not related directly to gaming, although the gaming may be related to the depression. That is, you may have gaming urges as a response to feeling depressed. Obviously, I am no psychologist and nobody could diagnose or treat anything on the basis of a few posts, but I wonder if you might benefit from trying some cognitive behavoral therapy. A lot of people do pretty well with it as self-therapy. The way I got introduced to it was through a book called Feeling Good, by David Burns. You can get a copy from almost any library. I think it's the best selling self-help psychology book ever, with millions of copies in print. If not, there are lots of online resources on using cognitive therapy to overcome depression.

The basic approach with cognitive therapy is to identify negative thoughts that are bringing you down -- stuff like "I'm a loser and everybody hates me" -- and dispute them and replace them with more helpful and realistic thoughts. For instance, you  might replace that one with: "I don't win at everything, but I do win sometimes. And, while it's true that not everybody thinks I'm great, I do have some friends and people who love me." And so on. It may sound silly, but it can help. Good luck with it! You have accomplished a lot and I am hopeful you're going to feel better soon.

I am okay. No gaming or plans to.

McPhee
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The Power of Habit

Here's a handy flowchart showing how to break a bad habit:

http://charlesduhigg.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/How-to-Change-a-Habit.jpg

McPhee says: Check it out.

I am off to deliver presents and food to needy families this morning. This is a good example of a real-world activity that makes playing a computer game seem like what it is, namely, a pitifully thin fakery of what life is supposed to be about and in fact is about.

Put the games down and go do something real. Volunteer, exercise, read, work, love, cook, clean, garden, fix your car, go for a drive, call a friend you haven't talked to in forever, throw your dog's ball, start that novel you've always wanted to write, learn to play the ukulele, sign up for dancing lessons, plan a vacation, study for a test, do your homework, go to class, put up decorations for Christmas (or Kwanzaa or Hanukkah or other winter celebration you favor), go to a movie, meditate, practice yoga, register to run a 5K, look for a new job (or apartment or girlfriend/boyfriend), etc.

There is a huge world out there waiting for you. It's yours to claim. It's immeasurably vaster and richer and more challenging and exciting and rewarding than any virtual world ever conceived of. Also scarier, admittedly. But you have to overcome your fear. Step out. Grab it. It's yours.

Best of all, you're going to love living life game-free. Guaranteed. It may be tough at first, but it gets better, and better and better. Get up. Go.

No plans to game today. Thanks to all for your help with that.

guitar1986x
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2 MONTHS FINISHED :-)

2 Months and 5 days no games, whoohoo!

Right now I feel like crap.

I've been working hard the past days and weeks. Making good progress in our business. Having a wonderful Christmas sales season. Hiring a new team member (our second employee). Today I did something I'd been putting off for over a week - properly calculate our business cashflow and plan out our next moves.

It's times like this, when I'm sitting here in the evening, proud of my work, with nothing left to do than celebrate and relax a little, that the game cravings come. It's so clear to see how I used to reward myself with games. How I used to say "well - I just did something pretty useful - I DESERVE to play a game now". Or "my brain feels pretty tired right now - nothing more pleasant to do than relax and unwinds in a computer game". This is the power of a habit of seeing games as a way to reward myself.

I also have an addiction that is supporting these same cravings. It's an addiction to instant gratification. All of the work I put into our business is going to bear fruit 6 months from now. Games used to be something to balance that out and indulge in instant gratification. 2 Months without that........ that addiction is screaming for attention.

No plans to game today. Not even in the worst episodes of this feelings I've had recently did I once consider actually doing those things I'm craving. It's funny how I don't see myself as someone that plays computer games anymore. How I realize how disgusting and damaging this old habit was and could continue to be.

So I'm feeling miserable and craving. But at least I'm feeling something. I used to play games so that I didn't have to feel this pain and fear underneath. Now at least it out in the open and I can heal it.

I had a wonderful coaching session recently. I realized that I was seeing my game addiction, my fears of change, loss, change, the unknown, that I was seeing those things as EGO. I was judging them. In that session I realized the ego was not in those fears, it was in the judging of those fears. The saying "these feelings are bad" or "these feelings are old crap I need to get rid of".

It's really helped, I'm just feeling this feeling right now without judging it or feeling the need to instantly change it. I'm welcoming it. It's the only way I'll ever get through this.

Good job guys on all of your progress! I like you stuff on habits McPhee, it's similar to this The Slight Edge book. I'm proud of you ahimsa, the inner pride you feel for not gaming - I can really relate to that. Also good job to you planner, keep on winging those urges and take it one day at a time!

Thanks for giving me a place where I can write about my feelings!

Get in line, and STAY in line!

Warm regards,

Bart

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hi ppl!

hi ppl!

i just wanted to write something. I feel ashamed of being in a negative mood. Feels like im speading negativity. Im gonna take some fish oil and vitamins. See u later!

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

McPhee
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Way to go

Wazzapp, I've been feeling very blue lately as well. Don't know wny. I'm doing everything you're supposed to -- exercise, counting blessings, etc -- but it persists. I think a lot of people have this around this time of year. Short days, holiday expectations coming up short, etc. Who knows? One thing's sure: There is no guarantee you won't feel bad from time to time without knowing why. You'll feel better soon, I bet. Thanks for posting. Feel free to spread negativity. I mean that. This is not just a place to come to brag about successes.

Guitar/Bart: What a great post. You seem so self-aware, recognizing your cues that prompt urges and resisting them doggedly. Nice work! Thanks for letting us know what's going on.

I'm good. Did my volunteer work yesterday and that was a pleasure. I recommend volunteer work for anybody who's getting really wrapped up in their own dramas. It helps, in many ways.

No plans to game today. Thanks for your help with that.

planner
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It is very difficult to just

It is very difficult to just spend the day resisting urges to play again. There should be a plan to substitute our gaming habit. It helps to have two to-do lists. One for days when we feel well and one for days with urges when we have very little energy. The second one should contain very simple things, such as calling a family member, going for a walk, talking a bath or reading some encouragement sentences such as “It Will get better, I just need to Not game today”. In both lists there must be a task about relieving and removing stress because it is a big reason why we game. So mediating, walking in the parks, breathing deeply and smoothly, praying, or reading a gratitude list really help and are Important. Knowing that our brain will differently choose something to get rid of the stress, we have to control this something because most likely in our case the brain would choose to game again. Here we should recognise this and do another activities such as going to see our friends, going to the gym,  sleeping, watching movies, listening or anything that we like and easy to do.

Congratulations Bart, I have hope that I will get to where you are now! Wazzapp, write whatever you feel, you will help yourself and you will help us. Thanks McPhee for your posts, it really helps. Ahimsa, I had a difficult last week with extremely strong urges at the end that took completely my well and energy. Without my wife, coming to the meetings, I don’t know where I would be now that’s why its Important for me to connect and stay with others! 

Happy Holidays my dear fellowships, it will take me sometime till I post again because I am not at home for a week or so. 

 

"Recovery is not about dealing with gaming. Recovery is about dealing with Life"

McPhee
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that's what I'm talking about

planner, you are getting it! It's not about iron will power and gritting our teeth and not playing games. You can't realistically expect to avoid gaming when the games are there and you're just sitting there doing nothing. You absolutely must substitute another activitiy. Ideally, this will be an activity that gives you some of the rewards you are getting from gaming. So if you like the social aspect of online gaming, find a real world social activity. Etc. Good job!

I'm fine here. Lotsa work today. I'm off to it.

McPhee
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Doing ok

I am good. No plans to game today. Thanks for your help with that. I hope all are well.

McPhee
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Cruisin' on

I have been horrifically busy lately, but with mostly good stuff -- shopping for gifts, putting up decorations, trying to end the year with a burst of income generation, exercising, spending time with  my son, etc. It's been easy not to think about gaming, and I haven't.

Thanks for all your help. No plans to game today.

wazzapp
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Thanks for ur encouragement

Thanks for ur encouragement McPhee, i'll spread some negativity! 

Im sad because i haven't finished school yet. In my imagination of my perfect self i should be done with all that, having a god job etc. I spend some time with people more successful than me, god jobs, an entreprenour... I kinda stand out as the odd one, not able to join for trips etc. Lol.. writing it out really helps clear my mind, i realize these are kind of mind-made problems.. i sound like a brat!

I think these thoughts come specificaly at christmas, when all relatives ask me the "how's school?" question

im not having any serious cravings for games right now, i feel like it would be impossible to handle so i just block them from my mind, for now. Im getting tired of my emotions playing games with me when it comes to relationships. First my emotions tells me to get exclusive with girl A. After making that decision my emotion tells me to leave that relationship so i can be with B, C and D, which my emotions tells me i love aswell. I break up, hurt A. Hang out with B,C and D for a while. I start getting anxiety attacks for leaving A. Then all of a sudden i decide i miss A to much, that im a sex-addict and i should be exclusive with A again. Now i've been that for 2 weeks, guess what my emotions are telling me now? ;) I might subconciously be looking for a solution to my emotions in different relationships. It's just a theory, i really dont know. Did my emotions tell me to get back with A simply because of the coolidge effect? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coolidge_effect). Im staying with A for now, telling myself "it's not forever" and "i need to relax and heal". 

The only good change in my behaviour is that i atleast have been relatively honest, and not been lying when asked a direct question.

It's just a mess. I wish i could stand for something and be decisive and clear in that. 

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

McPhee
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Holidays

wazzapp, having been divorced now for a decade I have a pretty wary view of female entanglements. I have had the same girlfriend for several years, but am always ready for it to be over for whatever reason. I guess I just don't take them too seriously. They may promise this and that, but in the end they are likely to do something else. Sounds like you are doing good with the gaming. That means a lot, I'm sure. Congrats!

I'm okay. Got through Christmas travel and visiting and hanging out with family okay. No major urges and no plans to game. Thanks for your help with that.

McPhee
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All good

No plans to game today. Thanks for your help with that.

Anewho
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HI there,

HI there,

I hope you are all doing ok!

I've read my last message here and can't remember when/how or what trigerred it but I relapsed. Although I remember the day I described in my last message with my son at the park ;)

So yes, I relapsed. I sold a few of my PS4 games but that wasn't enough. Between now and then, I bought a few games and played. I also continued to play those online browser games I was playing. So I never really left gaming 100%, until now. I've stopped playing all games 16 days ago. I

sold the PS4 and all the games, and sabotaged my browser games accounts. One is closing tomorrow and the other will close when my team will be bankrupt, that's very soon.

That's what it takes to really quit gaming for good and making it difficult to relpase. I feel more focused on this task and more confident. Not lying to myself anymore. Oh and I deleted all games from my smartphone, even if I rarely played them, but hey, that could be a relapse!! ;)

I still have to work on myself A LOT, because gaming addiction wasn't the problem, there surely are other problems hidden under it that I have to pinpoint and cure if possible.

wazzapp
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Glad to see ur back Anewho =)

Glad to see ur back Anewho =)

I'm feeling prett good today. Working, studying mainly today. Recently i've been watching ytube gaming material and although it's not as bad as actualy playing, it still hooks me pretty hard and long. Cutting it out now, i feel the consequenses of it. 

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

McPhee
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Sounding good

anewho, those are smart moves. The more barriers you can put up to getting back into gaming, the more likely you are to be able to resist the urges when they come. Of course, you can still overcome them and game again if you're determined to. Deleting accounts and selling games and consoles isn't a foolproof solution. But it can help a lot. When it you make it harder and more time-consuming to start again, you increase the chances that even if someday in a moment of weakness you decide you'll game again, you'll wise up and decide not to before you get back into it. Good work!

wazzapp, yes, I have felt similar urges when watching my son game or watch gaming videos. It's probably best not to watch gaming videos, especially if you are feeling significant urges when you do it. What are you thinking, feeling, doing when you get the urge to watch these videos? What are you getting out of it? Is there something else you could do -- take a walk, eat a snack, talk with a friend, etc -- that would give you a similar reward without making these urges bubble up? Figure these questions out and subsitute something else for watching gaming videos.

I spent much of today at the hospital where my girlfriend's brother was having surgery. A couple of the elderly women waiting with us were talking about themselves and their friends and spouses getting hooked on computer games. One said she showed a game to a friend and the friend dropped out of sight for days. It turned out the friend had been compulsively playing the game. When they resurfaced they were angry because they'd been exposed to the addictive games.

The point is, we're not the only ones. Even people with great life experience who were born long before the first computer was invented get hooked on computer games. So don't be too hard on yourself. You're not a loser because you have trouble with games. You're a human. And you're smart enough to see you're in trouble and come here for help. And you can do it. You can quit these games and live happy, engaged, productive, fulfilled lives instead of hiding out from life in an artificial game world. Try to find other activities to do instead of game. You can do it.

No plans to game today.

McPhee
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All is well

No gaming. No plans to game. Thanks for your help with that.

Anewho
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It's true that if one is

It's true that if one is dedicated enough to game, he will game soon enough. I'm dedicated to not game anymore. I read this quote from Muhammad Ali yesterday :

"Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even."

I know what it is to relpase, so know I have multiple views. The partially game quitting, the relapse, and the cold turkey quitting! ;)

Today was an ok day, I didn't do much. The washing machine didn't drain the water anymore. Well I'm proud I could actually repair it by myself. Draining it manyally and cleaning the filter! Easy peasy one would say, well I have never been great at doing things like that and always relied on my dad for help.

One of my goals, and I'd like to actually focus on this one, is to buy a house. My wife and I are both working, we didn't save anything, but everything is possible. It's either time to save a bit or I could be bald and try to get a loan at a bank without any personal contribution.

 

Isyckle
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5 months free

Hi everyone, hope you all had great holidays with friends an family.

I had a great challenge during these holidays. Since I work in the construction industry, I am not working until january 4th, and with all that free time, many people have had the chance to put social pressure on my shoulders regarding my gaming addiction. I can remember that at a certain moment in the movie series "Saw" Jigsaw talks about addiction and says something like: "It's part of the human nature to be addicted to something".

My roomate is a gaming addict, not recognising he has a problem, and for that matter it is not my duty to open his eyes. He always wants me to try new games even though he knows about my ongoing recovery.

During christmas time, in the same day, two of my cousins at two different locations almost begged me to play video games with them and I wanted to please them. So that day I played  a few minutes of Marvel Puzzel or something and some Bowling on Wii. I don't consider this as a relapse since I wasn't the one who initiated it.

But still if this was not a relapse, today, all I want is to take my old psp ou and blow my face with some old RPG's. But I won't, because I can. I have learned much in the past few months.

Thank you everyone, i will not game today because of you all and OLGANON.

Facing what consumes you, is the only way to be free. -Hatebreed

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Outstanding!

lsyckle, thanks for the post and update. You sound like you're doing very well. That seemed like some very powerful social pressure to game and you did fantastic resisting it. Also the later urges that came up on their own. As you see, if you resist the urges long enough, they fade away. Great job!

anewho, I love the story about fixing the washer. It is interesting how something so seemingly unexciting as repairing a balky appliance can be so fulfilling. Did you take away any lesson from that? Perhaps you could look around for something else to repair? I mean, you'd like more of that feeling, right? Is anything else broken or in need of some work? (Something always is around my house, for sure.)

If you're having trouble getting started saving money you could try Digit. This is an app that saves money for you. It analyzes your income and expense patterns and automatically withdraws a small amount every now and then -- say, $25 a week, perhaps -- and puts it in a savings account. This is not likely to allow you save up enough to buy a house. But if you can just get started saving, it can snowball and you can start saving much more on your own. Think about it.

I have a house story: In 2007, just before the great recession, I bought a house with zero money down, 100 percent financing. Then in 2014, seven years later, I sold it and wound up with $76,000 in my pocket when it was all over with. I used some of the money to buy another house (I don't think you can get 100 percent anymore but I got an FHA loan which requires only 3.5 percent down) and used most of the rest to pay off $45,000 in credit card debt I had built up. I had been strugglng for several years to pay off those cards, and had made zero progress. Selling the house and paying them off seemed like a miracle. Needless to say, I am a big believe in buying a house. Good luck with your effort and feel free to post here to let us know how you are doing. There is great power both in writing stuff down and in discussing with others.

No plans to game today.

 

Jamal
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hi guys

Just to drop by and say hi, miss you guys and I'm doing fine now (6 month 27 days no gaming ). But I'm still allergic to Internet connection . Take care all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

addiction isn't a disease
addiction is an adaptation
it's not you
it's the cage you live in
ALEXANDRA, BRUCE K

McPhee
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Happy New Year

Jamal, that's outstanding! Congrats! You are an inspiration.

I just wrote down a list of the best things that happened to me in 2015 and quitting games was at the top. Thanks so much to everybody who has participated here and, by doing that, been a part of helping me accomplish this stupendous, long-sought, much-desired and yet very frustrating goal. I hope in 2016 to continue my avoidance of computer games. Life is so, so much better now.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

No plans to game today.

McPhee
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Good year so far

I am doing well today. No gaming, no booze hangover and I even got to bed before midnight last night. I kind of needed to do that because I have to go to work shortly and spend 12 hours on an ambulance. I doubt we'll be too busy but you never know. It's a good way to start the year because being around all these people with health problems reminds me of how fortunate I am. And being grateful is an important part of being happy, they say.

No plans to game today. Thanks for your help with that.

Anewho
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Happy New Year everyone!

Happy New Year everyone!

McPhee, nice little story about the house. I'm looking forward to manage my finances like it should be managed, tracking expenses etc ... so I could save a bit and use it for the house / furniture. 

I have to work on making a few new habits : Going to bed early and read or listen audiobook before falling asleep, waking up early every day, budgeting / saving money, avoid mindlessly browsing.

These are already a few! ;)

wazzapp
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Happy new year!

Happy new year!

I was playing some console-games with old friends on new year, and i feel somewhat ashamed of it. I dont feel it was a serious relapse thought... no plan to continue....

talk to u later

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

McPhee
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Moving on

anewho, good luck with the financial changes. I have struggled mightily with finances for many years and it is so gratifying to finally feel as though I'm making progress lately, actually increasing my savings rather than going into debt or living hand-to-mouth because of the burden of paying for past borrowing. I love the feeling and am trying to get more of it.

wazzapp, it is probably a good idea for you to completely avoid playing any computer games of any kind. I think you will be happiest if you just take the position that it is something you don't do, ever. Having said that, it doesn't sound like any harm was done by playing some games with a few friends. Keep in mind that there is a high likelihood that if you keep doing that harmless activity, it will again turn into a compulsive obsession that will obliterate hours, days, weeks, months, years and even decades from your life and cripple your career, finances, relationships, hobbies, etc. I suspect you already know this. So I wouldn't beat myself up about what happened, but don't kid yourself either. Nothing has changed. You are still allergic to games. If you want to be happy and fulfilled, stay away from them. That's just my opinion, of course, and I could be wrong.

I have quite a list of activities to keep me occupied and engaged today. Some are not that exciting, such as laundry and cleaning the floors. Actually, none of them are all that exciting, come to think of it. But I still find it pretty pleasing to do things like submit a story to a fiction magazine, look for the ways the squirrels are getting into the attic and practice some more with my music recording software. These are all activities that in some way advance schemes that I have determined are important to me. And I plan to do all of them with as much joy as I can. I anticipate a pretty enjoyable and fulfilling day.

No plans to game.

McPhee
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Hanging in

I am doing okay. I think I'm coming up on nine months since last time I played. No plans to game today.

guitar1986x
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Two months and 21 days

Hi everyone,

Wow, 14 days since my last check in, a bit longer than the normal 10 day interval I had been on for a while now.

Thank you for your stories planner, wazzaap, isycle, anewho, in each of them I could find some really recognizable things.

It's interesting what you say about cutting out the browser games as well anewho. I have been quitting games but continuing "minor" browser games for years before I quit. It never worked. It's simply exactly the SAME neurological patterns, the same behaviors and feelings that get triggered and make me crave other games more. Much about my successful continued quitting close to 3 months now has been about building up a newfound "character" and faith in myself. Likewise, that same faith inmyself I was in the past destroying by playing browser games to the point I "proved" to myself I basically was a gamer, so I might as well game. There is real power in defining who I think I am, I no longer see myself as a gamer that's not allowed to game, but as a healthy person that still craves his old addictions, it feels very different.

The only way to get out of this addiction in my experience is to stop doing anything that triggers the same addictive patterns in my head. That includes browser games, watching movies about games or any other material about games. It even includes reading fiction and comic books. Both fiction and comic books I had a moment during my recovery where I started to read them and after 1-3 days noticed that the same addictive patterns of "escape" and "dissociation with my life" and "obsessive focus on one thing" were being triggered. So I cut both out completely basically making them equal to playing games in my mind and applying the same decision to stop to them as well.

On New Years Eve at some point I was home alone at 2:30am and pretty drunk. I ended up having 3 more beers and watching Skyrim video speedrun playthroughs until 4:00am. The next day, understandably, I had a huge hangover. But when the hangover started to clear I noticed I was still feeling a deeper level of terribly bad than even before. Bottom line, during that day I realized that watching those movies really made me crave games and basically triggered the same patterns in me. It felt JUST AS BAD as if I had gamed for a few hours that new years eve.

What I did that evening was pretty much the same as if I had had a girlfriend that was bad for me for 10 years that I broke up with finally to rid myself of the bad impact of that relationship on my life. And if I had then gotten drunk on new years eve and made out with that ex girlfriend again. And that she would have been texting me the day after to please get back with her and come over for sex. And me then having to re-decide why I broke up with her in the first place and turn her down. That's basically how I felt the day after I watched those game movies. It's helped me to see just how serious the impact of doing something like this is, it can make it really hard for me to not relapse, and it can definately make me truly miserable.

Bottom line, when I decided to not game, I also decided not to watch movies about games or do anything else that triggers those patterns unless I really can't help it. Sure, it's better to make out with that ex-BAD-girlfriend than to get back into a relationship with her, but it's both only making it REALLY hard for myself. It took me 2 days to feel better again.

+++

Apart from that story, a little update on my progress. I've been working on our business taking steps to make progress to the next level of revenue. I'm feeling really affraid to take the steps that will help us grow. It's feeling truly uncomfortable and right in those moments where I try to get myself to make progress and I have strong resistance is when I feel the strongest urge to "cop out" and "escape" in games. I'm trying to take a baby step every day, but it's still not easy. I'll get there eventually, but dang is it hard to expand my comfort zone around money and just accept that I'll be able to re-double my income again just by applying the same strategies.

I'm also really have to turn around and stop doing things out of fear and doing things ONLY out of loving to do them. Our business is at a level where it can easily sustain us and then same. So there is zero incentive to grow it further out of fear that we won't eat tomorrow. It all comes down to our desires of the other things we want to do in our life, such as being able to afford to retire our parents. The strength to change and grow further must now come out of things like that. And it's a 180 degree turnaround compared to how I used to motivate myself (mostly with fear of loss and pain). That's the process I'm personally going through.

I can connect to your story Isycle of "having time to game". Because I make my own schedule that's always the situation for me, and it's still a struggle to deal with. When I had a 9-6 job it was easier not to game. Now I need to find the discipline all on my own, which is especially hard combined with my fear to grow and develop even further and having nothing "forcing" me to make those steps.

 

Wazzaap, thanks for your stories. I do recognize your behavior in my old behavior. I was always pretty hard on myself and keeping myself to a very strict 'ideal image' of how I should be. I was pretty much a tyrant to myself, forcing myself to making progress with terrible images of fear in my mind, and at the same time not seeing my own progress when I tried my best and did a "70% perfect" job. I would always focus most of my attention on the 30% that was not perfect. I think I took and learned this behavior from my parents. I think that my whole gaming addition is caused by the insecurity and sorrow / pain I created in myself by being so hard on myself.  I realized this at some point when working with a coach and started to be more gentle towards myself and noticing my achievements and good points. That was the catalysor that allowed me to decide to quit gaming a month after starting being more gentle to myself.

Your stories about relationships are really interesting. I was personally finding that even though I am married to a beautiful woman and the love of my life, sex was an issue for me. I was trying to use it to build my weakened self-image and get confirmation and identity from it, which was really messing the flow up for us big time. I've been actively working on that with my wife for the past weeks, letting go of old associations with sex and starting to experience it in a more pure loving non-identified non-egoic way. There is two books I can really recommend that we're using in our process. I feel especially the first one "Barry Long - Making Love" could help give you some serious clues as well to what's happening to you in these different relationships and help you grow in your relationships and intention. The second is kind of similar and also looks at how to get back into the pure experience of love and sex and moving the ego out of the way, but from a more female-oriented angle: Slow Sex - Nicole Daedone. I'm finding this aspect of my personal development really synergetic with not gaming, it's all about the same thing, letting go of old identifications, patterns, and behaviors that cut you off from who you really are deep inside, and letting your love come out a tiny bit more each day.

No plans to game at all.

wazzapp
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thanks McPhee, i think i

thanks McPhee, i think i needed that reality-check

thanks huitar1986 for ur reply =)

im feeling ok. Struggling with my thesis. Generally everything is fine

see u later

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

McPhee
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Same old

Guitar, nice post! You are developing great self-awareness of the cues and triggers that set off gaming urges. And I likfe the plan to take baby steps. Somebody, possibly you, recommended The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson to me and I read and profited from it. If you were that recommender, then you already know about the great power of making small steps on a regular basis. If not, you might want to check out The Slight Edge. Great work!

wazzapp, good luck with the thesis! My ex-wife got all the requirements done for a master's degree but never completed her thesis. I hope that doesn't happen to you. I think it's pretty annoying. As far as reality, I think reality is that once you have developed these habits, ways of thinking, addictions or whatever you want to call them, you are never 100 percent free of them. The analogy I like is allergy. Once you're allergic to bee stings, you are always allergic to them. The only way to deal with it is to avoid getting stung. (Also maybe to keep epinephrine handy, but there's no analogy for that in gaming.) Anyway, I recommend abandoning thoughts of going back to moderate gaming. That's just a door that has closed to us, it seems. Fortunately, it's no great loss. Real life is way better than gaming.

I am good today. My 11-year-old PC finally died so I am in the throes of moving to a new machine with all the headaches that entails. So far it's not too awful. I am moving to my son's old PC, so there are lots of games to delete, but I'm not feeling tempted to play any.

No plans to game today. 

McPhee
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All good

I have a few little annoyances nibbling at my enjoyment of life right now, but nothing too awful.

No plans to game today. Thanks much to all for your help with that.

ahimsa
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Happy new year, guys

Thanks for all your story, McPhee, Wazzapp, Bart and everyone. I feel  hope again after I read all of your story :))

I have been disappeared for quite a while. I have my second relapse!! I think I got relapse before new year eve. I had been stressful lately before I got relapse. I want to use gaming as my stress-relieve tool with minimal addictive side effect. I have been hesitating between hearthstone and dota2 because it's not MMORPG it can not be that addictive ! I was wrong!! I start with hearthstone. I think I could control my gaming, on first day, I can manage to stop whenever I want but I could feel the strong force to play it massively . I decide to quit and delete the game from my ipad. I tried dota2, hoping it will be different. It it not! It is the same addictive pattern. I continue playing eventhough I don't enjoy it anymore, I think about games whenever I'm not playing. I don't want to be in this situation anymore. The game can relieve my stress but I can see it could ruin my life in long term. I decided to quit once again.

I learned from my relapse that

1. Devil(urge to play game) has it own reason too. If you listen to your thoughts and follow those thoughts without conciousness. It can lead you to bad path. 

2. I have to have a subsitute for my gaming. 

3. I will come here more often 

4. I have to fix my depression too. It's an awful combination and I can not fix only my addiction to stay clean in long term

5. I feel like not having goal in my life. I'm still 21, a medical student, having to study hard made me pretty bored and want to use gaming to escape my stress. I will find my other activity to fullfil void in my life!!

6. I'm changing my psychiatrist !!

7. I will try come to meeting at my weekend

no plan to game today. Thank you guys :))

Game free since 19th October 2015 !!!!
"Once you addict to something, you lose freedom to everything"

planner
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I am back my friends :)  I

I am back my friends :)  I will write you more soon !

Happy New Every Day This Year

"Recovery is not about dealing with gaming. Recovery is about dealing with Life"

guitar1986x
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To Ahimsha

To Ahimsha,

I read your post and just wanted to share my 2 cents. Maybe it helps, maybe not, just want to share my perspective.

Maybe have a look and perhaps re-read this page:
http://www.olganon.org/game_addiction_withdrawal_symptoms

It helped my self-awareness a lot of what was going on.
1.) Depression is a very normal side-effect from stopping gaming. It's a withdrawal effect from our addiction to the chemical rush of "feel good" chemicals that games release in our body. Without games to give us those chemical rushes, depression is the result.

2.) Urge to go back to games and try to control the time played. We all feel this urge. It's a very popular trick our mind uses in it's desperation to create the same chemical rushes again. Like an alcoholic or drug addict can make up any number of reasons why it's fine to do "just one more time" and "I can stop whenever I want". It's a lie, an illusion, a trick, it NEVER works.

What helped me quit without relapsing so far:
- I knew what I would be dealing with: severe terrible depression. I decided that the things games were costing me (all of my happiness and my life basically) were an even high price to pay. So I accept to feel depressed.
- I knew the tricks I would try to use on myself to get away from the depression and back into the rush of the addiction. Instead of following those thoughts I calmly realize "I'm feeling an illusion and a lie right now".
- I don't want to pay the terrible price of re-lapsing. So I'm willing to deal with this depression, these cravings, these thoughts I have pulling me back to games. I'm willing to accept them and accept the fact they're not going away anytime soon. I'm willing to accept having them for months in a row, because I realize there is no easier way out. There are no shortcuts in changing my terrible misguided addictive "running" behaviors apart from paying this price.

My advice is to accept and come to terms with just how big the price you'll have to pay for giving up games really is. It's nothing less than consciously doing a depression to yourself (at least in my experience). Then decide if you want to pay that price or if you want to continue paying the price playing computer games is costing you. It doesn't matter what you decide, if you choose to go down the path of gaming you'll eventually build up enough pain and misery that you'll be willing to pay the price. And then you really decide to quit :-)

I've pasted the list below here for convenience:

A feeling of emptiness
Depression
A disruption in sleep pattern
Excessive amounts of time spent sleeping
"Brain fog:" Difficulty with focus, concentration and completing complex tasks
Fantasies and dreams about the game
Restless, unfulfilling, taunting dreams
The urge to go back to gaming and try to control the time played
Thinking about the game for extended periods of time
Irritability or restlessness
Relief
Uncontrollable feelings or rampant mood swings
Anger and verbal abuse, sometimes extreme*
Excessive crying
Anxiety
Fear
Sadness
Loneliness
Boredom/inability to find an activity of interest
Lack of motivation/direction
Difficulty facing obligations, procrastination
Feeling as though a return to gaming will make you feel better
Physical illness ie. colds, allergies
Nausea

McPhee
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Joined: 04/29/2010 - 9:43am
Sounding good

Ahimsa, that's what they call "field research" in 12-step programs. You decided to try gaming just a little, using a different game, and you found out that the compulsion just came on like always, and you hated it just like always. So thanks to your field research, you learned something. That's good. You can take that and next time you think you'll play just a little, using a different game, you'll know that it's probably not going to work.

That's a great list of steps you plan to take. I especially encourage you to develop new activities to fill the time formerly spent gaming. It is extraordinarily difficult to just sit there doing nothing and trying not to game. If you can find some other activity that really engages you, it becomes much, much easier.

The key question is: What activity do you really enjoy and find fulfilling? Before you ask it, remove all barriers. Assume you can do and have anything you want. What would it be? If it's gaming, okay. But what else? Date a supermodel? Learn to paint? Drive a race car? Whatever it is, assume you can do it. Then come up with a halfway reasonable plan that just might work. Now, what's the first step? Get a haircut (supermodels may appreciate good grooming)? Look for art classes at your local college? Send an email to a race driving school? Next, take that first step. If it's too hard, make the step smaller: Ask Google or Siri where the nearest hair styling salon is, or get a pencil and piece of paper and try a few sketches, etc. Make it as small and easy as you need, but take that first step toward achieving a goal that you really desire.

When you are pursuing or engaging in a real life activity that really fulfills you, it's much easier to not even think about the comparatively thin, flat, lifeless appeal of gaming. Try it. You may be amazed at how powerful a single step can be.

I'm doing okay. Struggling with getting all my data and apps on a new PC after my 11-year-old one finally quit the other day. It was running Microsoft XP, so it was well past time.

No plans to game. Thanks for your help with that.

wazzapp
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Joined: 01/04/2015 - 10:59am
Thanks for your replies, have

Thanks for your replies, have a great day

game-free just for today

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

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