Trying to rid all addictions....

This forum is for those of you who are in the middle of or have successfuly beat the addiction. Whether your addiction was gaming, smoking, eating, etc. you are welcome to use this forum to help you get through it or share your story of how you got through it!

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Trying to rid all addictions....

Postby happiness on Sat Apr 19, 2008 4:04 am

Or should I say the battle for perfection?

Here is the thing: Im a bit tired of myself - ok Im not on wow-crack anymore or any gaming-crack for that matter. But Im not satisfied. I tend to eat too much candy and spend too much meaningless time surfing the internet. These are addictions I would like to be rid of. I would also like to do more exercise. So what has all of this to do with Gamerwidow?

Well these things are related to my former wow-addiction. The addiction I had served a purpose - it filled some void that I couldnt work out how to fill otherwise. When I quitted wow I had withdrawal symptoms that lasted for about 3 weeks. I then tried to replace my time spend on the game with usefull time. I managed to get a lot more done around my appartment for instance. But an immediate forum-addiction here at this site also filled part of that void - but I considered this a very positive addiction - if there ever was such.

Since I quitted wow 1st of July 2007 Ive been doing all kinds of things on and off - and then on and off Ive been coming back to semi-addictive behaviour in different fields. Spending too much time on the internet just browsing news and reading forums is definately something that takes away too much time. I have manged to do some exercise but not consitently and minor injuries have given me too good excuses to sit at home.

In a way I've felt sorry for myself through all of this - especially a couple of months ago when my love-life was in ruins. When I feel sorry for myself I make sure that I have plenty of candy and chocolate in my home - and I eat it. Im not overweight in any sense - never have been - but playing wow for over 2 years and not exercising has taken some sort of toll on my weight. And in spite of not being overweight - its not healthy for me and Im not satisfied with myself when I dissapoint myself regularily. So something needs to be done. Ive managed to quit the bad habbits for a few weeks but it allways comes back - especially when life seems rough and work is hard and plenty.

There is a danger here for me because I tend to strive towards perfection. And a part of feeling good about yourself is to accept yourself - so these two things dont match up very well. On one hand I would like to give myself more mental space and accept all my actions - and on the other hand I would want to shape up and demand more from myself so I dont fall down in a black hole. So how do I hit that perfect equilibirum where I do what I really want to do and feel good about myself in an athmosphere of acceptance. I guess I dont know.

So here is what I want to try now:
1) I want to limit my internet-activites so I get to spend more time on real hobbies - including casual console-gaming, reading books, sorting papers and even reading up on some of my work.
2) I want to do more exercise. Ive bought running shoes, my injuries are fading - I have no excuses left to be honest. I want to be able to pad myself on the back and feel good about my level of exercise.
3) Eat healthier food. None to very little candy and more fruit.

How will I do it?:
1) Focus 30 minutes of the day on the internet. This is where I get to check all the sport results, browse these forums and my facebook-profile, check email and such. It must not last more than 30 minutes - and it should all be done at the same time of the day.
2) Writing an exercise diary - and aim for 2-3 weekly practices consistenly for the first month-and-a-half.
3) Not buy candy. Buy fruit instead. Continue weighing myself regularily.

This is where it all begins. My 30 minutes are up.
Sorry for a messy post. Im not perfect :-)
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Re: Trying to rid all addictions....

Postby Cheximus on Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:41 am

We are actually quite similar in our situations.

I quit WoW over a year ago now, but find myself being bored from time to time and just pointlessly browsing the internet.

I took up exercise, joined a gym, but in the end I wasn’t motivated and quit.

One passion I have though is playing the guitar, and I find this to take up a lot of my time. Have you thought about learning an instrument?

Maybe you could set an alarm for 30 mins, and once it is up just turn off the internet.

As for eating fruit instead of candy, that shouldn’t be too hard to do if you really are dedicated on getting back into shape.

I know it’s hard to step out of routine, even now I find myself putting my guitar down and logging onto the internet to check forums/facebook etc.

Let us know how you get on and what you think.
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Re: Trying to rid all addictions....

Postby chibichan on Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:22 am

Hey there,

I know how you feel. I have a similar 'addiction' to trivial things like surfing the internet and watching TV shows I don't even enjoy. The thing is, for me it's a procrastination issue... although I've behaved similarly throughout my life even without approaching deadlines. I'm currently a university student, somehow the anxiety (cramming for exams, applying to schools, excessively worrying about my future) is killing me these days. It frustrates me that I can't just get things done efficiently, but try to avoid the task at hand by distracting myself from the negative stress they cause. I'm worried that this kind of behavior will only get worse once I leave the structured environment of the university, and the stresses brought on by real life responsibilities increase. If anyone has any advice for dealing with anxiety and procrastination-based compulsive behavior, I'd really appreciate it.

As for trying to improve oneself, accomplishing goals and spending time efficiently... well I can try to offer some tips (but do as I say, not as I do...) I am surrounded by many examples of people who manage their time excellently and meet their goals, that is, being a biology student, I'm surrounded by pre-meds. So I will try to draw from their examples and what has somewhat worked for me...

I find that if you have a hard time finding the discipline to structuring your own time, an external source of structure may help. For example, try joining a community club or start taking classes for something you always wanted to learn how to do. Some examples are hiking clubs, music lessons (like the guitar mentioned previously), kickboxing, dancing, yoga, judo, whathaveyou. That makes exercising & getting out fun, lets you meet new people and also provides some structure with regular schedules for classes and meetings. Also getting involved in your local community, volunteering at a senior center, library, school or hospital for example, can give you a great sense of fulfillment outside of your work. I think that the more activities you schedule into your life (not all at once, but on a manageable level) the more full your day will feel and the less you'll feel bored and end up doing the things you don't like doing.

I don't know much, but I hope that helps in some way. Please keep us updated!
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Re: Trying to rid all addictions....

Postby Liam on Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:37 pm

I've justified that posting on this forum, or site, for the benefit of overcoming videogame/procrastination problems does not fall into the problem category itself.

I severely procrastinate, and until recently videogames were the leading contributor. After going through the cycles of realizing games were a problem and vowing to overcome them by reducing my playing time only to eventually end up at square one in a few months or however long it takes I've settled on one final solution.

The games are crack. I've been at them since I was a little kid, and despite being able to juggle life and daydream life in some ways, I have to put an end to it if I want to be content with my life. The arguments that games or tv and dicking around isn't that bad and is actually better than giving up your life for other people's needs is not only selfish it's bulls***.

I once enjoyed agreeing with the concept that by playing a game or doing what "I" wanted to do, I wasn't dolling along with the rest of the herd working hard and buying trucks, having a snivelling family that didn't understand me and working for the evenings we all go out for beers.

Then I realized that I'm no better and in many ways I'm worse. It's obvious to me now that both are dismal existences that lead to the same end. By practicing either or both lifestyles you've basically become a tool for other men who profit from you. You're paying someone to waste your time, or you're being trapped because other people know what easily entertains you, or what you'll chose above something YOU actually want.

The bottom line is after spending ungodly amounts of time playing a game, or reflecting on my life as a whole and thinking of the time dedicated to someone elses distractions whether it be tv or games or drugs or porn, none of it is yours.

I challenge ANYBODY to search deep and tell me that the time at summercamp, or nights walking about with friends, or big dinner parties, or risking yourself in some way (playing a sport etc..), tell me those true memories are less valuable than collecting some bulls*** armour with some wiener kids you may not even know from a cave that someone else constructed in a virtual universe that has seemingly no limits due to it's cyclical nature.

Addiction is based on a reward pattern, seemingly you like it because it's easier to get a reward doing whatever it is you're doing than actually risking yourself for a physically tangible reward. It's easier to be a part of social relationships in a drama or an anime or whatever because you don't have to do s***all and the people seem to lead much more interesting lives than we normally do. It's easy to be rewarded with High adventure collecting some turds mystical armour because in real life there isn't mystical armour and you certainly can't cast a thunderbolt or chop a guys head (leastways you shouldn't) in order to get it.

Once you've gotten the armour, once you've seen every episode and the conclusion is past, what are you left with apart from the desire to relive the experience maybe? Nothing. The great irony about being rewarded is there is no reward. Partaking in someone elses creative display can open your eyes to how they see things but endlessly running around a virtual world collecting s*** is a far cry from creative.

Maybe if you learnt history from games, MAYBE, or if you're obsessed with the history channel or documentaries then it's a lot better than a soap opera because at least it may inspire you to see the things you've learned and experience an aspect of real life.

But as it stands too much of tv preys on our inability to really look upon our easily appeased nature... So i'm treating it like crack and I'm done with it. All the times I've tried to quit playing games and stuff all resulted in me still watching tv, maybe at a friends house were watching and they have a videogame they just got or some crap came out that looked super fun, and I'm back in the saddle. No more, it won't be easy, but I won't be satisfied to go to a friends house anymore and laze away with a movie no matter how comforting it can be, it's this endless access to comforts that's gotten me where I am. Since I have an addictive personality or I take it to unhealthy levels or whatever it is, I know for ME there is only one option and that's to stop watching tv. Currently I'm going through withdrawal symptoms I think, since it's been a few days now and last night I had pretty strong urges to pick up this nightmare game I'd recently finished and concluded my videogame days with, but I will prevail. I know crack or heroin can cause some pretty miserable reactions and at this point I'm taking my chances with misery rather than prolong the real misery.

I'm sure none of what I've written has made much sense, but I'll end on a recent realization is that while I've played games because I'm unhappy or maybe because it makes me feel less miserable, I've never experienced any misery greater than that I've felt after having played games for a decent chunk of my life.

If boredom becomes strong enough and you don't go the easy way with tv or games, you'll do some productive s***, I hope, I'll see.
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Re: Trying to rid all addictions....

Postby happiness on Sat Nov 15, 2008 8:20 am

Your entire post made sense. Just so you know.

Ill add something including an update one of these days....

Welcome btw, Kind Regards
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Re: Trying to rid all addictions....

Postby Whippetartist on Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:25 pm

Liam, Thank you for your candid opinions.

Yes, you DO have it right! And, I thank you for it as you hit the nail on the head, for me, when saying: ". . . You are being trapped because others know what easily entertains you, or what you'll choose {settle for} above something you actually want to do . . ." (my apologies for paraphrasing you)

You helped me realize, like looking into a mirror that was once fogged, what has been troubling me with my relationships with my family, specifically my sister & her family. :clap Thanks! Now I know I've been working too hard to give my sister, etc., a "free ride."

Yes! I am looking forward to the holidays because I know how to make myself happy, and to the coming new year, to work harder, and try new things in my career. :joy Yeah! I'm finally going to afford (sometime in 2009,) to buy my Mom a new washer & dryer, Yeah! A great goal for 2009!
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Re: Trying to rid all addictions....

Postby shahin100 on Sat May 16, 2009 5:54 am

Cut off connections to old friends who entice bad habits, i had to move out of the state i was living in because i got caught with some bad stuff and had no job or reliable friends. I had to lose a lot so the sooner you quit the better. Get help from a local organization because there are lots of places that are willing to help you for free.

Drug rehab
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Re: Trying to rid all addictions....

Postby Djorn on Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:19 am

Internet 'addiction' is extremely common. I think of it more os obsessive compulsive than addiction. I think most people are obsessive compulsive about something, it's in our nature. I certainly get obsessive compulsive/addicted/whatever about the things that I do. Once I realised that this wasn't going to change, I decided the only thing I could do is decide what to get obsessive compulsive about!

Choose something you'd be proud to spend a lot of time doing, don't set your sights too high, you can't do everything. First things first just turn off your computer, just do it. It won't be nearly as boring without as you think. Do nothing for half an hour, let your mind be free of stimuli, there are plenty of thoughts in there which need to swirl and mull around in peace, without new input for you to feel at ease. After a short while, ideas will come to you, ideas of what you want to do.

oh, and, hi :)
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Re: Trying to rid all addictions....

Postby acolorado on Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:17 pm

Happ this is the second awesome post of yours' I've read today!

I've found I do exactly the same thing. After I quit drinking years ago I started to fill in the void you describe with whatever was handy. Caffiene, nicotine, food, romance, sex, and of course video games. All substitute addictions. The only thing that has helped is when I apply something truly different.

I know for me the reason is simple. I used my first addiction as my major coping mechanism. Regardless of the problem I was facing, or the discomfort, drinking was my solution - my escape. It was also my solution to social awkwardness, my reward for doing anything, and my way to relax. When I quit drinking... well :lol . I had no way to deal with the huge number of problems I had created, no strategy to cope with pain, no idea how to socialize without booze, the list goes on and on. (Ditto for gaming - what are you going to talk to people about now instead of WoW?). The most natural thing in the world was to pick up something else that gave me that same release, something else to anesthetize me. From my experience in AA, NA, Al-anon, etc. this is very common in early recovery. I've been thinking alot about this now that I quit gaming, and am making sure to keep a close eye on what I'm doing. Just as I turned gaming into a major addiction, and for the same reasons, I don't want to replace it with something else destructive.

The solution I found in the 12-steps is thankfully very simple too (as long as I apply it). I fill that void with something positive and more importantly, powerful enough to help me cope with any problem I face in a constructive manner (as long as I apply it). Nothing is perfect and we're all human, and we all have failings, even in recovery. I sure have :lol . I'll always have problems, and probably always have unhealthy coping mechanisms too. I'll never reach perfection. Not even a little bit. But the point is that considering the life I used to live and the problems I used to have, I've moved miles up the ladder since then. Even now - I'm quitting another addiction, but I have hope and knowledge about what to do. And what not to. And I havn't let it become as destructive as my first addiction before taking action. I've made progress - that's the key. For me, my solution is in the 12-steps and although I would never have gone that route until I absolutely had to in order to survive, it's the best thing that's ever happened to me. I now have a way to cope with all my problems (as long as I apply it), without having to drink, drug, smoke 3 packs of Marlboro's, sleep with scuzzy strangers, send the aforementioned scuzzy strangers love letters, or most recently, log into WoW.

I havn't figured out the candy yet though. I think it's just a given that candy makes everything better.
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