Daily Count Up and Accountability

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Silvertabby
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Daily Count Up and Accountability

Some people, including myself, like to check in daily or weekly or whatever to be accountable.  I know I need that accountability, so have started this topic.  Please feel free to check in here as often as you wish.

 

I've just stopped gaming again after 12 days of relapse, thanks to another gaming addict in recovery, who helped me to stop.  I found that I could access an old game that was formerly blocked (we have filtered interenet) after reseting my computer.  I couldn't resist the temptation to play it again and downloaded the client, made an account and started playing one evening.  As always, when I've relapsed, I thought I could moderate THIS time.  Of course, that's addict thinking and I ended up, by the end of the 12 days, playing most of the day and not ever wanting to stop.  I don't think I would have stopped yesterday, either, if it wasn't for my HP sending my friend to give me a hand in finding my way out.

So today, is my first day of getting back on track and being game-free once again.

Day 1

 

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~Maria Robinson

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Day 3 after continously

Day 3 after continously relapsing for 2 years. The quality of the addication has reached a new level these days, instead of binging on games for weeks, in the last couple of months its been a constant battle of installing, gaming a few hours, character deletion, deinstallation, rinse & repeat. I got rid of my steam account a few months ago, and today I sent my account deletion request to Blizzard. The hardest thing for me is trying to preserve that moment when I decided to quit gaming for good, the memory and awarebess of that moment seems to fade very quickly.

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Closing in on 8 weeks

It's such a huge relief to not be enslaved to this gaming addiction. Thank you so much Olga folks! I genuinely need the peer support and accountability provided by daily check-ins. Otherwise, experience has shown I will be back playing again.

Last time I got back in to gaming, after a couple of years off, it started with playing a computer game on my tablet. That pretty quickly became excessive and, even more importantly, got me on a slippery slope that landed me back in the same games I've been playing for many years.

I'm off now. Not planning to game today. Thanks and I hope you're well.

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Day 2

Congratulations on 3 days, Sven.  It's hard......I know.  But you've got 3 days game free now and keep at it and the days will add up.

So true, McPhee about being a relief not being enslaved to the game.  I felt that so strongly earlier this week.  It's like the game has you shackled to it and, even though you don't want to play, you are compelled to.  It's crazy.

I'm thankful to have 2 days game free now, even though I've been irritable today and ill-at-ease.  I did go and buy some flowers, though, and planted them in my flower pots.

 

 

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~Maria Robinson

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You work so hard on your

You work so hard on your addiction Silvertabby. You inspire me.

leveling in steps, serenity, sponcys, sponsors, exercise, and sleep, (sanity has been downsized)
sober from all electronic games since 11/19/2010

axisplayer
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Day Three

Today is the third day since I started this. I have never tried to give up before. It was only this year that it started. or that I KNEW it had started. Thanks for the encouragement from all. I have been here on and off constantly for the three days. Whenever I am not doing something actively I lapse into thinking about the games. Coming here to read or just stare at the screen keeps me away from them. This place helps if it just keeps me busy.....

 

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3 Days

Hi axisplayer.  Congratz on 3 days game-free.  I spent a lot  of time on Olga after I first quit too.  It really helped.  Meetings help too. 

Today was much better. I had some strong cravings to game, but they didn't last long.  Another day without gaming.

 

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~Maria Robinson

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4 Days

Today I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms, namely depression and apathy.  At least I know they shouldn't last too long.  But no gaming for me today.

 

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~Maria Robinson

Steele
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Thanks for starting this

Thanks for starting this thread Silvertabby. You are part of my first steps towards sobriety :-), ever grateful for that, and all you shared with us. It helped and helps me a lot. McPhee, Hirsch, nice to hear from you guys too. Sven and Axis! Nice to get to know you guys! Always good to meet new people. 

I dont think I have ever been 164 days off gaming, but today it is that number of days (my early childhood days may have been without gaming :-) ). In my day-to-day life I hardly think about games and gaming anymore. But it is still there, in the background. And every now and then urges do come back, and I have to be very careful. I try to go to face-to-face meetings, and I have found some new friends there. Those meetings really help me.

Life is a lot better now, but I am far from "safe". A bad period, some setbacks, and the urge to game comes back. And that can be scary. Not a nice rabbit hole to go into. I try to do sports, go to meetings, read psychology stuff, work on my emotional wellbeing. I am not there, but a lot healthier than ever before.

"I want to see people and I want to see life."

McPhee
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Counting up = Yes!

I am a big fan of counting up. It helps in many ways. You don't want to break your string and waste the effort you put into building it (even though it's not wasted and a day without gaming is great, whether or not it is preceded or followed by a day without gaming.) Also, you don't want to disappoint or look like a loser in front of the other people who are counting up with you. I guess that's the peer pressure part. And you get all kinds of useful, helpful tips, warnings, tricks, techniques, etc. Finally, the process and activity of helping and encouraging others also helps and encourages ourselves. You learn by teaching, as they say.

Basically, having a daily count-up check-in thread is, for me at least, like a silver bullet for not gaming. So I'm in. Yesterday was eight beautiful, glorious weeks of game-free living. No plans to game today.

 

Jamal
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12th days no gaming!

12th days, phew........! Never thought I will be able to make it. But somehow I feel today is the worst day of my recovery. I feel moody and restless at work and it seems every step is heavy. Can't focus well and even after I reached home from work, I feel that I just want to throw myself onto the bed. Just log on to OLGA at least it helps to fight my boredom. Pray that I stay strong.

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

Silvertabby
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Today will make 6 days game-free

Hi Steele.  Good to hear from you and congratulations on 164 days of game-freeness!!!  That's awesome!

Some good points, McPhee.  Congratulations on 8 weeks!

Congratz on 12 days, Jamal!  You're doing it!  Remember, you're going through withdrawals and it does get better.

It will be 6 days for me today.  I've been feeling rather apathetic and depressed for a couple of days, no desire to do anything.  I know it's due to withdrawals and I hope it goes away soon.  I realize it's my own fault, however, because of my choice to play that first game once again.  I'm thankful to be game-free, though.

 

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~Maria Robinson

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8 1/2

Yes, folks, it's not just the name of a Fellini movie. 8 1/2 is the number of weeks I gone game-less, as of today, approximately. Every day that goes by since I left that world I am happier that it's gone and less interested in returning there. Real life, it turns out, is far richer, more complex, varied and interesting than a computer game. Who'd a thunk, right?

I know from repeated personal experience (I have quit gaming before, of course) that boredom is a big issue for many of us in the early days and weeks. It has not been bad for me this time in part because I have cultured lots of activities I am interested in other than gaming, and also because I am easy on myself when quitting gaming. That is, I give myself a free pass to indulge in other things, such as eating non-ideal but delicious foods. I also have been getting way into reading, which I know some people find has great potential for abuse, but I am okay with spending hours in a book. It doesn't have nearly that edge of insanity that gaming does.

I do not give myself free rein to drink alcohol, since I have had even worse problems with that than gaming. In fact, I don't drink alcohol at all, and haven't for five years. You have to be realistic about this. Booze will really kill you dead. Gaming just makes you wish you were dead.

Nor do I smoke cigarettes, having done my rounds with that addiction many years ago and possessing no desire for a rematch. I try to avoid activities that are somehow tempting but guaranteed to make me feel bad, such as engaging in online political arguments. But if I can think of some activity that appeals, and has only moderate potential for abuse, I am on it. For me, these may include exercising, playing music, reading, watching movies, eating bad-for-you treats, shopping, aimless websurfing, interesting projects around the house, etc. You can't get carried away here, but I think it's important to:

a) reward yourself for not gaming,

b) avoid the boredom that can drive you back into gaming, and

c) develop some new, at least somewhat healthier activities you can use to fill the 50 or 60 or more hours a week not gaming has left empty.

A basic concept here is: Don't punish yourself for not gaming. Not gaming is good. It's also hard. Don't make it harder than it has to be. Make it easier by rewarding yourself for doing the right thing.

This means now is not the ideal time to also quit smoking, quit caffeine, quit sugar, quit reading about the Kardashians or whatever other unsavory habits you have. Indulge yourself until you get a few game-free months under your belt. Then you can explode in a blinding flare of self-denial and absolute purity, if you want to. But one thing at a time. Not gaming first.

Not gaming is the essential initial step. Building a real life is a critical next step. Try to find something to reward yourself with to help you with that first step. Also try to find something you like doing that will help you re-engage with real life. If it takes a litle money -- consider spending it. If it takes time -- great! Energy -- invest it. Courage -- find it. Don't dive back into a game.

What do you want to do with your real life?

Here's your chance -- do it!

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

Jamal
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13th days no game

Yup 13 days no game! No games because I don't have any smart phone, no VISA card and no access to internet whenever I left my home.
Each time I left home for work, on the walkways, on the bus, on the train and cafeteria, everywhere...... I see people with smart phones. Ouch, I felt miserable. The urge and craving for my game really challenging. My breath are short and fast . Restless.....Lonely...... I feel emptiness. There goes another boring day for me. Today I try breathing techniques I learned during my rehab program 2 weeks ago. It works..... I breathing easy and slow, I feel more calmer. I looking the nature around me admirably and I realize how beautiful they are. I feel better and when I reached my working place I'm more positive and cheerful. After work I attended the face to face Gambling Anonymous meeting with high note. Well 13th days not bad for me though.
I believe I can live without gaming now and building a real life as McPhee said is inspiring.
Thanks (*V) V*)

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

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One Week

Today I'm one week game free.  No cravings today, as I've been busy most of the day.  And I'll be busy much of the day tomorrow and all day Saturday, so won't have time to think of gaming.

 

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~Maria Robinson

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Nice work, folks

Jamal, well done! 13 days game-free is a significant accomplishment. It sounds like you have given some thought to putting up barriers to keep you away from gaming. I think barriers really help because it can slow down our ability to act on urges, and give us a chance to think again and decide not to give in to the urge. Good job! What are you are doing to engage your attention and occupy all that free time? Any ideas about new interests?

Silvertabby, I am so happy you have notched a game-less week. It's highly significant to hit these milestones. Now you have gone through a whole weekend, a blue Monday, a mid-week hump day and, possibly, a payday as well. All of those can be triggers for gaming and you have successfully negotiated them. Great!

I wanted to say something about the fact that Silvertabby and I joined Olga about the same time in 2010 and, lo and behold, here we are still or at least again, struggling with gaming. This may make folks think that it's hopeless, that they'll never be able to beat gaming and they are doomed to waste their lives playing computer games. That is not so, however.

One lesson to take away from the obvious fact that some of us struggle for years with games is that this can be -- although it isn't always -- an enduring issue. For a lot of us, it's not something you beat and it never returns. Having a problem with games is sort of a part of who we are. For example, I have stayed away from games for probably a litle more than half of the five years since I joined Olga. Possibly for as long as we live, we'll have a risk of diving back into a game and hiding out from real life. That's not ideal, but it's not the worst thing that could happen. And there are plenty of examples of similar issues people have in their lives.

Problems people have that are typically lifelong include diabetes, epilepsy and schizophrenia. You may have a limp, you may be bald, you may be mentally challenged, and so on. These can't be cured, but only managed. There is no guarantee that any of us will get through life without incurring some sort of more or less permanent disability. In fact, if you look around you'll see that a sizable minority, or even a majority if not quite every last one of us, have some sort of lingering issue that is tricky to deal with.

So what if we have a tendency to play games for many hours a day to the exclusion of all else? It's not great, admittedly. But it could be worse. We could be dead. A lot of people are, and that is not a great thing, as far as I can tell. Or we could have some worse addiction, like heroin, or crack, or methampetamine or alcohol. Those will kill you, rather than just seriously inconvenience and embarrass you, as excessive gaming does.

And there are things we can do to minimize or even eliminate the impact excessive gaming has on our lives. You are doing one of them right now, by seeking and using this online group support to deal with your addiction. So even if, a few years from now, you find yourself back on Olga or even still on Olga, trying to keep games out of your life, do not despair. There are lots of people in those shoes, and most if not all people have issues that are similar in some ways and often very much worse. (Also worth noting that some people, although I don't know how many, come to Olga, quit gaming and never game again.)

Cheer up. Work to get gaming out of your lives using the time-tested techniques and support you'll find here. You can do it. Accept that it may be a long struggle with missteps along the way. But it could be much, much worse. And you can make your life much, much better than it would be otherwise. I know I have. Although there is no way I can get back the time I wasted playing games, and no guarantee that I will not waste more time in the future the same way, I am happy and grateful for every minute I live in the real world (well, as long as nothing too horrible is going on at that exact minute.) It's good to be game-free.

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

Jamal
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hit the milestone

Just came back from Narcotic Anonymous meeting and the fellowship giving medallions to those who are clean for 30 days, 90 days, 6 months, a year, and 2,3,4 years free from their addiction. I can see that how happy and grateful they are sharing their stories on the recovery. Each time they hit the milestone is like a mark great significant in life which it's a often moment when we reflect on where we stand in our life.
They inspired me too that we can stop playing games and hit the milestones. As for new interest I like to start reading books. Just finished reading a book " Chasing The Scream, The First And Last Days Of The War On Drugs" by author Johann Hari. Interesting book on to understanding about addiction.
14 days no gaming and never plan to game today. Cheers.

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

Silvertabby
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Well said, McPhee

I admire those who have quit gaming and have kept their sobriety from day one.  I wish I could have done that.  But I haven't.  For some of us, the pull to game is just too strong to resist sometimes.  Or we don't use our recovery tools.  I've realized the best recovery tool for me is connecting with other addicts.  I need to have people that I can call when I'm feeling overwhelmed with urges to game again, and because of who I am, it's always been hard for me to reach out to others.  I don't want to bother them, or I think I should be able to handle it on my own.  Well, I can't handle it on my own.  And, I know if someone called me to help in a time of feeling vulnerable to going back to gaming, it wouldn't be a bit of a bother to me.  I'd be glad to help and I'm sure helping them would help me too.  

Gaming addiction definitely never goes away.  It will always be with us, although at times we may forget about it.  And then, at other times, it will raise it's ugly head and the desires to game again will return with a vengance.  This is why I stay connected with other addicts through websites like this.  I need to be connected with others in the same boat to be reminded that I am an addict, so that when that addict thinking tries to tell me that "I can game and moderate" or "one little game won't hurt anything" I can go to a meeting and be reminded that no, I can never moderate my gaming and one little game will hurt big time.  

Today will be 8 days game-free and I'm looking forward to a busy weekend with no time to think of gaming.

 

 

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~Maria Robinson

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Yeah, Silvertabby!

Silvertabby, it does kind of suck that some of us, at least, can't seem to just quit gaming and be done. My attitude on that, however, is that it's hard to be perfect, that life pretty much guarantees we all are going to have problems and weaknesses and this is (one of) mine. So what? It could be so, so, so much worse. Yes, with all my lame flat spots I am probably not likely to be celebrated for centuries as a matchless specimen of human magnificence. I am not much of a hero. Big deal. Who is?

I like to read about famous people I admire, like MLK and Mandela and Gandhi, and even these giants of human history, justly admired by billions (including the Nobel committee for King and Mandela) because of their incredible courage and desire to help others -- even these people had serious defects. Mandela was literally a terrorist, King a philanderer, Gandhi also a sexual aberrant. If these people, all candidates for saint-hood in my view, are not perfect, then how is it a problem that ordinary folks like us have some failings?

I work part-time on an ambulance, and -- believe me -- if you are feeling profoundly sorry for yourself because you play computer games too much, then you don't know what real trouble is. Yes, it really sucks to be addicted to a stupid game, and to damage relationships, finances, careers, studies, health, nutrition and personal cleanliness in order to click and type in front of a screen, with mouths hanging open like hypnotized fish. I know that.

But how would you like to be dying of some horrible disease that either 1) you got because of doing someting stupid like smoking or 2) you got even though you did nothing wrong? We transport lots of people who are dying of cancer and still just gotta hit the cigs. And we pick up lots of people who have contracted random diseases or had random accidents and are no better off. Like a 22-year-old quadraplegic due to a basketball injury. A 53-year-old who caught encephalitis from some unknown agent on a diving trip to Mexico and now can't speak or respond to commands or do anything but sit and hug a stuffed animal and look at you with these tortured eyes. Being afflicted with gaming addiction is like getting a cold compared to what could happen.

People, we do not have ideal lives. But we have much to be thankful for. So let's be thankful for what we have. And then let's try to make it better. Because even if gaming is not the worst that could happen, not gaming is way, way better. And you don't have to live like you have been. Come on! Let's do it together. I'll go first.

I am at 8 weeks and six days of gamelessness today. I spent an hour this morning running up and down some stairs training to run up a 31-story skyscraper to raise money for the Lung Association. Now I am resting, catching up on posts to my various support groups (gaming isn't the only thing I have trouble with) and preparing to go to a soccer game with my son this evening.

I am very grateful and happy to not be gaming and have no plans to game today. Thanks to you all for your help. I could not have done it without you. At least, I sure wasn't doing it without you. You are invaluable.

McPhee

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9 days of game-freeness

I got home tonight from a Ball Jointed Doll convention.  if you have no idea what ball jointed dolls are, just google BJD and you'll get the picture.  It was so much fun.  I went alone and didn't know anybody there, but it was easy to talk to others about dolls.  And just about everybody, old and young, male and female, carried a doll around with them.  It was such fun.  And to top it all off, I won a very expensive doll, the top prize of the dool prizes.  It was pretty awesome.   If I were still gaming, there would be no way I'd have gone to this.  I would have been home sitting in front of my computer playing my game, thinking I was having so much fun when in reality I was just wasting away my life.  Living real life is just so much better.

 

 

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~Maria Robinson

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Well put

Silvertabby said: "Living real life is just so much better." That is so true. The victories are sweeter, the defeats are more painful (you don't re-spawn in real life; you're just dead.) Thanks for the reminder. And congrats on the new doll!

On the real-v-fake life theme, I like to go dove hunting every September. Whle I understand and respect that many people regard hunting as a barbaric and unacceptable holdover from the Pleistocene, I personally consider it a legitimate expression of our cultural and biological heritage. If our ancestors didn't hunt, none of us would be here, unless there is a culture somewhere that has always been exclusively vegetarian, and I'm not aware of any like that. (At least not earlier than a few thousand years ago; maybe with the Jainists.)

Also, it's way fun. I compare it to a video game in real life, but extraordinarily better. In hunting, you have real opponents, living creatures that want to go on living. There are real firearms, with real bullets. When the shotgun goes off, there's a really loud noise and a serious bang on your shoulder. (If the hunting is good and you go through more than a couple of boxes of shells, youl'll have a real bruise there for the next week or so.) There's real danger -- when not fatal, hunting accidents can produce serious injury, disfigurement and disability. There's real blood, real death and, at the end, real food. It's also really difficult. The average dove hunter in my state expends five shells for every bird in the bag, and I've never seen anyone so skilled they didn't miss most of the time.

Hunting is not for everybody, obviously. Among other issues, cleaning the game and preparing it for cooking is reliably disgusting and smelly. And it's not even for me except once or twice a year. But when it comes to vivid emotional impact and the unmatched grandeur of true life-and-death struggle in the natural world, it makes any shoot-em-up video game ever invented look like a puppet show put on by kindergartners. I will likely quit hunting one of these days -- I didn't go last year -- but I don't plan to leave real life for a computer game soon. Whether it's doll collecting or something else, I recommend real life over virtual life.

Tomorrow will be nine weeks since the last time I played a computer game. Urges are infrequent, weak and easily deflected. However, I am very far from complacent. I recall going more than two years without gaming, from 2010 to 2012 or 2013, and then starting back up by indulging in playing what seemed like a harmless and even beneficial computer chess game on my tablet. But that re-awakened the old gaming brain pathways and within a few months, I was downloading and booting up the games that have infected my life like so much electronic Ebola since about 1989.

I regret starting back up, certainly, and I would like to have the last two or three years back and spend all those gaming hours (thousands? probably) on something more fun and worthwhile in real life. However, that's not an option. The past is gone irretrievably. All I can do is try to make today and, when it arrives, tomorrow better. So, on to that.

No plans to game today. Thanks, Silvertabby and the rest of you, for your help. I hope you're well.

 

Jamal
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happy mother's day

Today in Singapore is Mother's day. My two daughters called me to bring along my wife to Orchard road ( an area in Singapore where all the big shopping centre locate ) . So we met at one of the biggest shopping mall after my daughter work and we had dinner together. Went shopping and my daughters bought hand bag and a pair of shoes for their mum. Only then I realized that today is Mother's day. We have fun chatting and laughing together. How I missed this life when I was hooked to gaming I always find reasons to avoid going out with them. Love real life it's more colorful than the virtual life that I addicted to now. Grateful to you my Olga friends, thanks for your support.
16 days no gaming and never plan to game today. Cheers.

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

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checking in

Just happy to see some of my old "partners in crime" from my early days here in the thread. It is very nice to know you are still here, still working on it, still wanting to change, and that we share this situation.

Addiction sucks. But also, in a strange way, I see addiction as a good thing. Something was going wrong in a big way, and it forced me to rethink what I do, how you think about things. In my addiction I felt like I was standing still, just going around in circles, over and over again, for years and years and years. Now that I am "recovering" I have the feeling that I am growing and changing slowly, and I believe for the better. 

I noticed that I had some really strange episodes after stopping with gaming as well. At first there was the "pink cloud", and the world looks ful of oportunity. But I had some bad periods as well, sometimes lasting a couple of weeks: "nobody likes me / everybody is ignoring me", or "I just feel angry, and I dont know why", or "I am feeling depressed and without energy". But what I try to do is to not take myself too seriously at these times. That does not mean that I then suddenly feel o.k., but it does help to recognize to yourself that it is probably just a phase, that it will pass, and that it does not make much sense. What I try to do is to sit it out, and not live into it. I guess it is all part of the process of becomming more stable as a person ((?) I am not a psychologist :-) ).

I really like the comment from mcphee on "I try to avoid activities that are somehow tempting but guaranteed to make me feel bad, such as engaging in online political arguments.".. I so totally agree with that. I would also say, if there are people causing you a lot of stress, consider just avoiding them if possible. Not all problems can be fixed (quickly).

This weekend I climbed a high mountain with a couple of friends. We slept up high in the mountains, early in the morning we continued on our hike. Very tiring, but very satisfying as well. Lots of sore muscles. A good weekend!

"I want to see people and I want to see life."

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Ok, Day 12. Been on a

Ok, Day 12. Been on a business trip last week, so no problems so far. Today I'm back home and I can already tell its more difficult, but I think I will manage just fine, its next weekend I dread. If it wasn't enough Thursday is a bank holiday over here, which means I will probably take of Friday as well, so this will be the first real challenge. I definately have to come up with a plan, maybe go some place nice, even if I have to get myself a hotel room, but at least it will keep my mind occupied.

I have noticed this in the past, and also this time, as soon as gaming is off my mind I can actually read and enjoy books again. It just doesn't work while gaming, I could never concentrate on anything and my thoughts were drifting all over the place, so I'm pleased I finally made some progress with Games of Thromes last week (excellent read by the way). A couple of weeks ago I also started to learn an instrument (violin), because I knew I was going to have a lot spare time on my hands and this something I always wanted to do. I hope at some point my mind will think of this as a new challenge if you know what I mean, instead of beating level X in a game, mastering an instrument and its also great fun, even tho its not as effortless as gaming.

Also hope to receive some sort of acknowledgement from Blizzard this week, that my account has been closed permantly.

Only thing that concerns me right now is, when I quit alkohol I knew it was going to be for good, I just didn't want to go there ever again. I cannot say this re gaming at this point, but maybe I don't have to if I keep going one day at a time.

So long,

Sven

 

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Out-freaking-standing!

Jamal, Steele and Sven, thanks so much for these updates. It sounds like you are all doing very well with your efforts to avoid the games, and also turning over some mossy rocks in your heads and coming up with some impressive insights about yousevles, the attraction and pain of gaming and life in general. It's such a pleasure to correspond with thoughtful, self-aware folks like you. I feel fortunate and like I have profited enormously from being exposed to this environment. Not that I think it's worth all the damage I did with the abusive gaming, but it's a good consolation. Thanks again.

I am okay. No gaming or plans to. Today marks nine weeks since I last gamed and the urges are rare and faint. I am staying pretty busy with a lot of varied activities, which helps.

 

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Checking in

I like checking in every day, or almost every day. I have this sort of magical belief that if I just check in every day, I won't start gaming again. I think it's not magical to recognize that if you don't check in, you're likely to forget all the reasons you don't want to game, as well as all the tricks to keep yourself from gaming, and wind up gaming again. Anyway, here I am, at nine weeks and one day of gamelessness. It's going great, I am really enjoying not being an idiot about the games and I have no plans to game today. Thanks for your help with that.

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Checking in as well

Yesterday had a good day, normal day. I went to a face2face meeting, which was good. Some of the people there I have a hard time to relate to, but with others I can. Yesterday, listening to one of the guys I had a connection. He was talking about his "dark side", and how he is struggling with it. It was like listening to myself, but then 10 times better voiced. When that happens, that is really motivating and comforting.

Glad to not game, glad to not be obsessed & glad to be present. Dont want to game today.

"I want to see people and I want to see life."

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Weekend rears its ugly head,

Weekend rears its ugly head, this will be as tough as expected.

I've been staying up late till 2-3 am most nights for the last couple of months. Naturally I sleep long into the next morning. Next thing I usually notice is my apartment being a mess (not one of those extreme messies, but its enough to make me feel depressed). Getting up depressed, its already tough hitting the shower. So thats been my routine for months, depressed and tired sitting in front of the computer in my pyjamas gaming away.

Its been like this ever since I had a major mental breakdown Feb last year. It's difficult to figure out where to start,  but clearly thats key in order to quit gaming. Another factor is I stupidly picked up smoking again after being in hospital (after staying clean for 10 years mind you). My smoking adds to the apartment problem, and also I won't be doing any sports, but I'm not sure fighting two addictions at the same time is a good idea. I probably should get a cleaning person to get the apartment out of the way.

Sorry for the incoherent drivel, but I needed to write this down in some way to get my thoughts in order.

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Ok, hit the shower, got a

Ok, hit the shower, got a hair cut and whipped out the vacuum. Feeling a lot better. No gaming today.

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When my apartment is a mess I

When my apartment is a mess I almost always listen to some nice music and sometimes when I was in the "switching addictions interval" I even watched TV series on my phone while cleaning lol. That's how cleaning became a little bit enjoyable. If you really can't clean, well, you know what to do but that's true, having a messy house is really depressing but a clean one is awesome. In my case, it gives me a warm and nice feeling . You know , it's so interesting that after you give up gaming you find yourself such a busy person and sometimes so busy that you can't even come to OLGA , call a friend for support or even pray/meditate etc . When I was gaming, time didn't matter to me , only after I noticed that it was night again. This addict brain is so weird...

"The future is determined by our choices in the present." - Anonymous Author

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Doing okay

Steele, I know what you mean about hearing other people voice what you are thinking. It's really amazing how that makes you feel when it's some thought that you are pretty sure nobody else is having. One time for a year I went to Al-Anon meetings just about every week, never saying a word myself, just because it was so interesting and mind-expanding to hear other guys (this was men-only) really open up and talk about what scared and infuriated and moved them. Mostly us guys just posture about how great and invulnerable we are, of course. I learned a few things from that experience. I am glad you are here, still not gaming and trying all kinds of things to stay well. Something is bound to work for you, I'm sure. Keep it up!

Sven, there is a lot to be said for having somebody clean up where you live. It feels great to have a clean house, even when you can't motivate yourself to do it. I had regular cleaners for many years and really miss them since I dropped the service a couple of years ago for financial reasons. You are probably right that it's a lot harder to quit two addictions at the same time. It might be best to get a couple of game-free months under your belt before quitting smoking. Then again, it seems smoking might interfere with your anti-gaming campaign if it keeps you from other interesting, engaging activities like sports. Sounds like you're thinking it thruogh carefully and I suspect you will come to a wise conclusion. Well done, my man.

I am okay. A couple of days into the 10th week without gaming. It feels good. I am having no problem avoiding the games, or at least not much. Urges don't come often and when they do I can quickly recall important reasons why I don't want to play, so I have not been seriously tempted or, say, tried downloading and reinstalling one of them. I hope that continues, because I really don't want to go back to gaming my life away. That is not a good way to live, for me at least.

Thanks to all for your help. I hope you're well.

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Ok, did some washing and

Ok, did some washing and cleaned the windows, things starting to look a lot better.

I've noticed this a long time ago, when I was quitting alkohol it all adds up. You get home, start to game, because you game you don't do your chores, because of that the apartment is a mess, a messed up environment gets you depressed, you game some more to flee the depression. Its all a vicious circle.

Thanks for your feedback, its helping a lot checking in every day.

10 weeks is a great accomplishment, McPhee keep it up.

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It's nice to read how everybody is doing and I'm glad to see that all are doing well.  I've been getting a few cravings to get back on my game, especially when I use my pc (I mostly use my Mac) to do graphics.  That's the one I used to game on and now, whenever I use it, it reminds me of gaming and I think how easy it would be to download that silly game again.  I just have to remind myself of what happened last time I played and that seems to do the trick of making the cravings go away.  I hate that feeling of compulsion to be on the game all the time.  I like the freedom to choose what I want to do each day.  

Today I'll choose not to start that first game!

 

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~Maria Robinson

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Day 14. Off work today, and

Day 14. Off work today, and not nearly as bad as expected. Plan for today: visit a nearby castle ruin, do some chores, then enjoying a book outside. Defintely no gaming today. 

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20th days free gaming

I feel good, yesterday I had to work on my on-call duty that means I have to work for 24 hours duty and I did not have the urge to play games. I work in a operating theatre in a hospital, I'm a operating theatre technician and sometimes in between surgery cases I got a lot of free time. That's when my craving to play my game really challenging. I used to play and sometimes when they needed me to attend to the surgical team need I will be always late to respond ( my common excuse was that I can't hear their paging or I was in toilet ). Just can't focus on my duty when playing games.
Now without gaming I am more responsible person and could contribute more on my team work. When at home I help my wife with her household cores, yeah there plenty housework to do and I m enjoying more now to help my wife.
No gaming is blessing, I'm a better man.
Cheers all Olga members.

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

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All good!

It sounds like everybody is doing okay extending their game-free count-ups and resisting the urges. It's reassuring to see others conquering this annoying habit. A lot of this is sort of intellectual, it seems to me. You learn the specific traits of the times you are going to be tempted to game, and how to forecast when one of those times is coming up. Then you develop some coping strategies that will help you get through those times without gaming. You apply them and you don't game. That's not all of it, most likely, but it's a chunk.

I am now at about nine and a half weeks game-free. I am enjoying not gaming. It's been really beneficial in many ways. I'm still not perfect. The last few days I've been vulnerable to web-surfing and sessions of several hours in the evenings spent slumped in my recliner reading. Still, those aren't as damaging as gaming, in my opinion. There's just something very different about an activity I'll engage in non-stop day and night until my wrist aches, my eyes hurt from not blinking, I'm falling asleep in my chair and it's still not enough. With reading and surfing, I may be indulging in some hiding out from life, but it doesn't feel as borderline insane. Also, so far at least, I'm not doing either during my normal working hours. Anyway, the not gaming is going well. No plans to game today.

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Hello to all

Everybody is doing so good ! Congrats everyone :) I just can stress enough how many benefits the physical work has. I've just did some brutal construction work while helping my father and although I'm really tired i feel pretty awesome. I bet these endorphins are doing their job now . I have a few days off gaming and I hope I'll catch up too :) . Good luck everyone !

"The future is determined by our choices in the present." - Anonymous Author

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I'm kind of in the same place

I'm kind of in the same place as you, Silvertabby. I've written a new blog post about my latest relapse, so everyone can hit the link below to read.

On the good news front, I have an interview next Monday for a job, where the employer called to ask if I was interested, after applying for another position. *crosses_fingers*

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Semi-off work today and its

Semi-off work today and its difficult. Did some reading, which I enjoyed but you can only do that much reading a day. Violin practice was next up, now learning notes but I need to find something to keep me occupied for the rest of the day. Will do some chores and then watch a movie or listen to some music. Maybe its time to improve my cooking skills, I've been living on like 10 dishes for the last 10 years, and non of them all too healthy.

Tomorrow morning I need to pick up my car from inspection, so no time to game in the morning which is good. Sunday I'm going to a concert so I more or less covered for the weekend.

So long.

 

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All's well

Nicely done, Jamal, Sven, YouareNOTalone and Clayaqin!

I see a theme of people staying busy to keep them from gaming. That's pretty sensible, since I think being bored is one of the most common scenarios where people say they are strongly tempted to game. I don't normally get bored. It's not a common feeling for me. But I have really enjoyed layering on the activities in areas I'm interested in. as part of my anti-gaming campaign. In addition to keeping away boredom, I get the benefit of the physical activity if it's fitness or sports, the glow of accomplishment if it's almost anything, the human connection if it has a social component and the draw of being exposed to interesting problems. Staying busy works on a lot of levels for me and has helped me stay game-less for the last 9 and 1/2 weeks.

I was out untl 2 a.m. last night hanging out with a couple of buddies from high school that I don't see very often. Maybe not for 20 years in the case of one of them. It's good to do that. I like staying in touch with my roots. I'm not one who hated or loved every minute of high school, but it's a formative experience and always interesting to see how people have managed their lives. I didn't mention my problems with games. That one seems like a really embarrassing, simple-minded problem to have. It's great to be able to be open about it here. Olganon is a very valuable resource.

I got up late this morning, for obvious reasons, and have quite a bit of work to do in my office before heading off to a four-hour show that ends at midnight. Then I'm due to climb a thousand or so steps tomorrow at  9 a.m. as part of training for a stair race. And I work as an EMT at a special event at the university in the evening. Maybe I will be tempted to game on Sunday, but I don't see it before then.

Thanks for your help. I hope all are well.

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14 Days

I think boredom is a major trigger for many of us.  I know, for me it is.  I have tons of things I could do, but sometime I just feel bored with life in general and don't feel like doing anything.  That's when the addict brain goes into action and puts thoughts of the "excitment" of gaming into my head.  I need to be prepared for that and have things I can do to obliterate those cunning thoughts, like getting to a meeting, coming here and reading posts, or texting, emailing or calling a friend in recovery.  Or maybe I just need to chill out and watch a movie.  

The times I've relapsed have come out of the blue with my feeling bored and suddenly thinking of playing a game.  I wasn't prepared to deal with that and ended up giving in to those evil addict thoughs.  So it's good to know that, if boredom is a trigger for us, we need to watch for it and be prepared to take action.  I just hope I'll remember this the next time it happens to me!

 

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~Maria Robinson

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I found an awesome proverb on

I found an awesome proverb on the internet which says something like : " Idle hands are the devil's workshop" . This really struck me like a lightningbolt and I thought, wow this is so much like me. I got bored  so many times and stayed unproductive and of course I crashed. BUT there was and is still hope, right? :)

"The future is determined by our choices in the present." - Anonymous Author

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Well, it's been the worst day

Well, it's been the worst day so far. I've been angry with myself and the rest of the world for the better part of the morning. People tell me I shouldn't game because it gets in the way of pursuing more important stuff in my life, but it makes me wonder what that stuff is and why it's more important. What's the point of pursuing your career? In 30-40 years I will be dead, and nobody will care whether I've been successful in my life nor not. What's successful anyway? It's not like you can take anything with you. I should make friends and find a girl and have a family. But to what end? 
Ultimately I think the reason why I game, drink etc is that deep down I feel like life is essentially pointless. That's pretty grim, I know but I guess thats just the way it is.
It's this state of mind that drives me towards gaming. 
Other days I'm able to develop a more positive outlook. Even if there's no point to life or I am unable to perceive one, the *search* for a reason to live becomes a good reason all by itself. Those are the days I indulge myself in philosophical discussions, I read classical texts by Aristotle, Kant and Nietzsche. I listen to Mozart, Beethoven or Wagner and marvel at paintings of Jan Vermeer. I read about astronomy and the universe and sometimes if the skies are clear pick up my binoculars and just look at the stars thinking there has to be a reason why we are, why we are here.
So today will be all about the struggle of these two mindsets, hopefully the more positive one will prevail. 
 

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Boredom

Silvertabby, that scenario of not feeling like doing anything is something I can relate to. I'm not sure why it comes along. I am pretty sure that the remedy for being inactive is activity. People are sort of like billiard balls. When at rest, they tend to remain at rest. Once you start doing something, you tend to continue doing it. For that reason, you need to be careful what you start! But I find it very gratifying to force myself to take even a single step toward doing something, if it's no more than doing an Internet search for an interesting book to read. I have found that one, grudging, forced step very often leads to a great deal of interested, involved, enjoyable activity. Also, it keeps me from gaming, which I hate. Well done!

YouareNOTalone, there is definitely still hope. Never give up. It is amazing what steady, focused persistent effort can accomplish. Very often, things turn around suddenly after long periods of no progress or loss of progress. Keep trying, is my approach. 

Sven, I tend to agree that there is very little point to life. You live, you die, everybody but a few people close to you forget about you and all the things you've built crumble and that's it. You're gone. It's like you were never there. That's not true for everyone, but it is for most of us. The one exception is kids, and not all of us have kids. I do, and that is the source of one of my most gratifying and also frustrating activities. I am activist for equal custody in divorce cases. I'm divorced and was horrified, shocked and seriously stricken at the way I was summarily shoved to the fringes of my children's lives, despite the fact that I had done nothing wrong. I am motivated to keep this from happening to my son, to other boys and men and to the children of other boys and men. I work trying to get articles and letters to the editor published, trying to get meetings with legislators to discuss changing the law, trying to get opportunities to speak to any group that will listen and so on. It is very frustrating, as this is not a popular issue, to say the least. But I do feel it's important and a way I can make a real, significant difference. My other stuff -- music, fitness, emergency medicine, making a living as a freelance writer -- is not as important I think. But it's interesting enough to me to get me to get up and make an effort to get bookings, go for a run, get an EMT certificate and a job on an ambulance, etc. Try to find something you're interested in and take a single step to do something on it.

One of the reasons we're bored is that we think it's useless to even try to do something we would really like to do. Like, we want to lose weight, but we figure what's the point? I can't lose weight. Etc. You need to fight these negative attitudes if you want to be productively active. When you say things like that to yourself that are keeping you from doing things you want, debate them, dispute them, deny them. Find their weaknesses. Like, who says you can't lose weight? Lots of people lose weight all the time? Are you that different? Sure, it may not be easy or fast, and you may not lose every last bit of weight you'd like to, but you can lose weight. That sort of thing. Be alert to what is really fear or self-doubt kind of masquerading as boredom. Does that make any sense?

I am good here. Up late last night playing a long show, up early running stairs this morning, going to work as an EMT at a special event tonight. That could be boring. Last time I did one, I worked 16 hours and had not one patient. Hopefully for everybody else's sake, that will happen again. But it would also be okay if there was something to do. First, I think an nap is in order.

No plans to game, two days from reaching 10 weeks. Thanks very much for  your help with that.

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Yes, it does make a lot of

Yes, it does make a lot of sense, thanks McPhee. I suffer from social anxiety also, and by questioning the point of being a more social person I guess I'm really just avoiding people in order to not having to confront these fears. Likewise they keep me from pursuing a more interesting career, because even tho I work in IT my job usually requires sitting through a lot of meetings and giving all sorts of presentations. I say usually because I've been working in place where people have gotten used to the fact that I don't do any of these activities, basically staying within my comfort zone and never getting challenged in this regard. So I make up excuses, second guessing the point of pursuing a career, and ultimately game not having to think about these inadequancies.

Anyway, day 18. Got up early (sort of), hit the shower, did some washing. Naturally my brain keeps asking for a "reward".  Keep asking, no gaming today...

 

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Good work

Well done, Sven! Resist that urge!

It kills me the way we twist our thinking so that something we know is bad and will make us unhappy looks like something desirable. What kind of wacko rewards themselves for good behavior by doing something that will hurt them? It's like, "Ok, I finished my tax return, now I will hit myself in the head with a hammer as payment for being a good boy." It's a good idea to remember that gaming is not going to be an enjoyable experience, overall. We tend to forget all the bad stuff, and only focus on the good stuff in the beginning, before we're cramped, dirty, miserable, behind at work and on chores, hiding out from everyone in shame and basically horrifed at our own weakness and stupidity in gaming like an addicted rat pressing a lever for cheese that never comes. In the business of avoiding self-destructive activities, we call remembering the sad ending of the movie as well as the happy opening scenes "playing the tape to the end." If you play the tape to the end, resisting urges gets a little easier. Sounds like you did something like that. Smart.

I am okay here. Feet hurt from too much standing last night at work on top of running stairs yesterday morning. I will rest up before tonight's show, which is going to involve more standing. Gotta take care of the feet!

No plans to game before I hit 10 weeks of gamelessness tomorrow. Thanks for being here. Something about having a group to be accountable too, even a nameless faceless group of lame-o game addicts, is very helpful for me. In fact, it seems to be the only thing that can keep me from wasting my one life playing a stupid computer game. I am very grateful.

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Nice to hear everybody is

Nice to hear everybody is doing so well. 

Sven, I can relate to your "big questions". You had an entire list of them, and they all have been in my mind as well. They tend to be de-motivating, like walking through thick mud. I recognize the situation a lot.

In my experience these questions are during a time, and little by little they become less and less. When I stopped gaming I was thinking to myself that I had given up the only thing that I really enjoyed, and all other things did not really have any meaning. (while actually the gaming was making everything else feel meaning-less) But the way you feel and think does change over time. I am now very different from a couple of years ago, I think. 

Mcphee, I enjoy you encouraging words. Good to hear your doing well :-).

What I find very important is being there for others. I try to do it as best as I can. Related to this, one of the things which is very gratifying for me now, now that I do not game, is that I can be present. I remember birthdays (a lot more), I call and ask how people are doing, I am aware of issues going on with people I love, and I can help. For me, this is probably the most important and gratifying thing there is.

I am doubting about my carreer (do I even have one?), I do not know what I will be doing in a couple of year, I do not know where I am going with my life, or if I am making the right decisions. Ofcourse all of this worries me. I would suspect that almost everybody is worrying about this at one point or another. But that is also ok. I try to take it one step at a time, and I will see if it ends up somewhere :-).

"I want to see people and I want to see life."

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@Steele thanks. I certainly

@Steele thanks. I certainly hope my "brain patterns" will change over time. I can certainly keep up that resistance for a number of weeks or months even, but at some point my brain will have to start cooperating :)

Checking in here once a day is definately helping. Keep it up everybody!

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Not feeling too bad today,

Not feeling too bad today, but slightly annoyed with myself because I was going to go to a concert tonight but fell asleep at home and no energy left to get up now. On second thought its more than an annoyance I'm all tensed up. This is one of the very reason I'm trying to quit gaming after all, enjoying other things, and yet I cannot motivate myself today (tho I went to another concert yesterday).

I need to cut myself some slack here I guess, as long as I don't game. There will be days when I will be up to nothing much even sober. I'm restless at nights and tired during the day, clearly these have to be withdrawal symptoms I've been there before when quitting alkohol and lorazepam.

Bottom line: no gaming today.

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Joined: 11/23/2010 - 4:42pm
17 Days Game-free

The days are adding up.  I went to a ladies' retreat this weekend and, with no internet connection nor even phone connection, I didn't miss it a bit.  I can't even imagine, if I were still gaming, what I would have been feeling if I'd gone.  But then, I probably wouldn't have gone in the first place.  I remember, back when I was gaming, losing the internet for a day.  I felt very agitated and irritable because I couldn't game.  Thinking back now, it was horrible to feel that way when I couldn't get my "fix".  It's so good to be free from that.  And yet, there are times when I want to go back so desperately, but I know going back would only make me more miserable in the long run.  I'm so glad to be out and I have no plans to go back today.

 

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~Maria Robinson

McPhee
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Last seen: 3 weeks 6 days ago
OLGA member
Joined: 04/29/2010 - 9:43am
Nice

Steele and Sven, I very much appreciate the opportunity to swap messages with the likes of you.

Steele, I also feel that the opportunity to help others, to whatever extent I can, is one of the main benefits and reasons for me to visit this site. It's pretty selfish, admittedly, since I am also helping myself. It's no secret that in helping others we also help ourselves, and by encouraging other people to stay away from games, I encourage myself to do the same thing as much or more. Either benefit makes the whole thing worthwhile. Together, it's a no-brainer.

Sven, it sounds like you are doing a lot better. Some tension and anxiety is to be expected early on. In fact, some tension and anxiety is to be expected period. Nobody lives without some tension and anxiety, it's safe to say. The fact that you feel uneasy is not necessarily an indication that something is terribly wrong. There certainly is no guarantee that we'll live our lives without feeling unhappy without any discernible cause from time to time. From here, I think you sound good. Most importantly, you are not gaming. Every day spent away from that mess is a day well spent, in my book. (I guess there are some replacement activities that are worse than gaming, but you don't seem to be indulging in any of those.)

10 weeks game-free today! Yesss! I am so pleased to be at this point. I have no plans to game today. Thanks so much for being here and helping me.

 

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