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NEW VIDEO: I Quit MMOs and THIS Happened

Moe Smith

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  1. Day 71/90 (79% complete... until I increase my goal!) Day 0/90 (0% complete... until I increase my goal!) So today I'm resetting my counter. I'm being honest with myself and acknowledging what my behavior has been like. At the beginning of this journey, I stated I was going to cut out media that threw free dopamine into my brain. I have not been good with that goal. I have not picket up a controller or mouse to play a game in 71 days, that is very real. However, I let porn creep back into my routine. Twice in the last few weeks, I've been reading manga on my (previously) preferred manga site. Just the regular ones that I keep myself up to date on. I haven't really binged on Manga in quite a long time. My previously preferred site always has gaming and fantasy sex game adds on the sides of the page. I gave in and clicked on them, and played for a few minutes both times for masturbation purposes, then I logged off. Overall, it feels like I've violated my own word and I can no longer continue with my previous counter, because it feels false now. Even though it wasn't truly gaming, I'm sure it was still doing the same thing to my brain, which is the problem overall, so we're back to zero starting today. I'm not too worried about this ^, I'll get there, and I've already made a lot of good progress in my life. In fact, I'm not at work today, because I got a new job!!!! THE SEARCH IS OVERRR!!!! YES! I start next Tuesday, and yesterday was my last day at my previous shitty company. I've got 5 days in a row to just enjoy myself. There has already been gym time and gardening today, plus some planning with my first business trip ever (which I'm very excited for). On my way back from the gym I had a weird moment that I wasn't expecting to have - I was craving gaming! That feeling hasn't shown up for me in weeks, so I was totally unprepared for it. Something about having 5 days to just do whatever I want with no obligations put me back to where I used to be. My endurance for not craving gaming might have diminished because I did the sexy fantasy gaming yesterday. It only lasted a moment, and I moved on. But it was kind of weird. I supposed the craving demon was going to pop it's sharp and wrinkled face up at some point. I'm very excited for my new job. It's a 47% increase in pay, the job description (information modeler/API diagrammer) is something I'm thrilled about because I'm a diagram geek, and the new company is already flying me out to San Fran for training and they have been begging me to accept the position. They are treating me VERY well in comparison to the shitty company I'm leaving. They're treating my skillset with a sense of awe and respect, which is a totally different environment to be in. I feel like I'm being treated as a professional right off the bat with these guys, and I love it! ... I think I'll keep it there for now. Not too much, but really good things on the horizon. ?
  2. @giblets! I love the Moe-gli pic, hahaha. I always felt very connected to the boy who was raised by wolves and climbed trees. There's lots of great symbology there for me. You're totally right! There are people in the world who suck, and there's not a damned thing I can do to force them to change. I have plans to change the general state of the world, which will teach those slugs of humans to be real people again. But that will come from an global mental/emotional shift that I create. They will eventually accept change in themselves and become better for it. But for now, can't do a damned thing, so I'll do my best to not let them stress me out. Plus! - I don't have to deal with her anymore, and I'm leaving the company so I don't have to see her anymore either. I'm moving on, to MUCH better things. Can't wait ?
  3. Day 59/90 (66% complete... until I increase my goal!) Wow, I posted 8 days ago, and it honestly feels like it's been 2-3 weeks since then. So much has happened. Job Search/Work My job search is finally over!!!!! I feel like a dam of stress has finally broken and I can breath again. I know it was probably unhealthy to let myself so caught up into the money of how much I was making, but it was honestly not enough to keep me satisfied. I'm not a greedy person, but I know what I'm worth. I know I have an exceptional mind, an incredible skillset, and a stellar work ethic. None of which was easy to come by. I know the value I bring to a company and it is massive. I also know that my current company (or rather their parent company) was taking advantage of me in an incredibly unethical way. I don't do well in environments where I know people are being sneaky and underhanded, and that was exactly what I was facing. (Not sure if I already said this or not) I had a meeting a couple of weeks ago with my manager, his manager, and his manager. It ultimately came down to the 3rd tier manager had to pass on the news that the business had decided that they couldn't afford to pay me a raise or give me a promotion. All three of these guys had been fighting for me to stick around with the company and for me to get promoted and paid more money. They knew the level of effort I put into my work and why I was worthy of it. A few days ago I told my manager that I was looking for other work, and that I would probably accept an offer soon (I accepted yesterday), he said "Yeah, I expected that you were there based on that meeting last week. I knew that's where you were, because if it was me, I'd be there too!" My manager is completely on-board with my moving jobs because the parent company has made it blatantly obvious that they will not put effort into keeping me around. Out of respect for my manager, I'm allowing the parent company the chance to counter the offer that I have. I'm doing so because he asked me for the opportunity to do so. There is nothing they could say, do, or offer me at this point that would make me want to stay. They've made it clear that they won't offer me more money in a normal situation. If they turn around and match my offer (which is a 47% increase), then that just shows me another layer of what I hate about working for them. They're not willing to exchange with me at a better rate, unless they see a threat to their ability to produce their products. The company is basically everything I hate about corporate America. I start the new position on the 27th, and I couldn't be more thrilled. In contrast to the parent company I work for currently, the company I accepted has been begging me to work for them. Not just verbally either. It's a contractor job, and they bumped their initial offer by an extra $10k, added 100% paid family level benefits, a 401k, and some sick leave - all just to make the deal more attractive to me so I would accept. They've called me every day for 2 weeks and have been gushing over how much they want I'me to work for them, and that I have the exact skillset they need. They even stopped interviewing other candidates after my first 45 minute phone call with them. I'll be doing information modeling for them, and diagramming interactions between APIs. My diagram will serve as a self-diagnosis tool for how they can discover the solution to failures in their API. I LOVE information modeling - always have, I'm a geek for diagrams - so this seems like a seriously ideal job for me as my next step. Three or four weeks ago, I wrote what my ideal scene looked like for a job. I wrote several versions of the list of qualities I wanted the job to have, and refined the list each time. Four weeks later, I accepted an offer that I believe has all those elements I identified. It feels REALLY good to know that in about a month and a half, I will be playing a game with money, instead of cowering away from my phone calls because I don't have any. I'm so ready to move on with my life into a different phase where I'm not constantly worrying about money, and allowing my attention units to stay with my family, my hobbies, and my projects. That sounds so nice to think about. When I wake up at 4:00 a.m. on Monday morning - I don't have to spend the next 3 hours job searching. I can go to the gym, I can sketch, I can clean the house, I can read, I can write some of my book, I can cook breakfast, I can work on my startup business, I can take my dog on a run, I can go back to bed if I want to!!!! This next phase is when adulting gets a hell of a lot easier, and I cannot FUCKING wait! Be kind to yourself, Morgan Smith
  4. Day 51/90 (57% Complete! ... before I increase my goal) Truly a quick update today. At work, my 9 month project is eeking ever closer to closing up! We completed some things this week that were vital to the launch of the new website and I'm extremely excited to finish things up. There's a few things that are still a pain in the ass though, one of which is unfortunately a coworker who acts like a 45 year old child throwing a tantrum. I was officially told I can't communicate with her directly anymore yesterday, which I find to be extremely stupid. As an adult, she should be able to handle confrontation and take criticism when it's warranted. My Project Manager comes back today, which should supply some reprieve from having to handle both our roles. Yay! Yesterday my boss, his boss, and his boss all had a meeting about (long overdue) raises/promotions for me. Ultimately it came down to a "No can do." I was slated to get a raise about 8 months ago, now they're saying in October maybe. I don't blame my boss, his boss, or his boss at all. They're all on my side and I've seen evidence that they are fighting like hell to get me more money so my personal life is more comfortable against my student loans. The parent company is showing its true colors and they are massively unethical. They've used a bait and switch method to lull a false sense of security throughout the company. I love my managers and they are great people. Unfortunately, after yesterday the parent company burned through the good will they had been building with me. I'm leaving this company as soon as I have a job offer I'm interested in. Speaking of which, I should have my first job offer after searching for a new position for 8 months this year! I'm not truly interested in the role, but I am quite interested in having a job offer as a negotiation tactic for other jobs. I've got 2 more very promising roles that should secure themselves maybe next week. I'm hoping today will be a great day. I could use one of those right about now.
  5. Day 48/90 (54% Complete! ... before I increase my goal) Art Still reading a lot! I multi-tasked a bit on a large werewolf boss "mini". Took me about an hour, but I got the other half of him covered in Elmer's Glue. It's a 3D model made by a friend of mine, and it's PLA so there's lots of ridges. The glue helps smooth him out so it's not so topographical looking when the paint is on there. It felt good to do a little bit of that. Marriage My wife and I had a rough couple of days, where it seemed like we kept pissing each other off on accident. That's past us now, and as we were partway through it I realized it was probably because of PMS. I'm not defaulting to the obvious victim, but she and I have learned that about 2-3 days before she starts that she gets really moody and is easily upset. We usually figure out what it is in retrospect, but this time I figured it out as we were going through it. That was kind of cool. Besides that, we're in a really good spot now. We had some good conversations yesterday about health and the kind of lives we want to live, we played a board game for a bit, and snuggled as we went to bed. Overall yesterday was a good day together. Family My firstborn (8 year old) and I have been getting along better lately. She is an angel of a child, but she doesn't always think things through and in the past that's pissed me off. She's definitely got a different type of mind which clashes with my logic based mind. I yelled at her once the other day because she kept talking quietly though. I still feel bad about that. Besides that though, she and I are having better conversations, and we're spending more time together. I want to play with her more, because I think she's learned that Mommy and Daddy don't want to play with her like a kid. It's too early for her to learn to not want to play with us. I've gotta fix that fast. My baby (9 months old) and I are doing really well too! I'm not trying to ditch my time with her in order to focus on something else and be productive (which is what I've done in the past sometimes if I'm being completely honest). We had a full day together when mommy had to be at a training all day, and we had a great time! We watched some shows, ate some food, hung out on the back porch, played some silly games together. It was great! By the end of it, she was excited to have Mommy back (read: breast milk). ? I went on my vacation last weekend, and had a great time with my family in the next state over! We had 4/7 of the siblings in the same house again, and another one had been there the week before. That hasn't happened in probably well over 10 years because the siblings are so spread out these days. 7 kids in 5-6 states, and the only one who still lives in the home state is me. It was a blast to see everyone and it really made me appreciate the ability to come over to see family. My stepdad told me something his mentor told him decades ago "As you get older you'll realize, life is just about a few good friends and family. That's it." I believe him. Social The other day, after my daddy-daughter day with my baby, I went out to a bar to catch up with a couple of buddies of mine. I was really glad to just get out and do something with friends for the sake of friendship. Unfortunately my time was cut short by a phonecall from my wife. One of her best friends, a lovely girl who I had become good friends with as well, died last Thursday. I believe she was only 26/27 years old. I don't know when the funeral is yet, but I imagine we'll be attending that sometime this week. This hit my wife, and me as well, pretty hard. We cried intensely together about it. After my wife went to sleep, I went to Walmart and bought some dairy free ice cream for her, some McDonalds for me, and some licorice for me. I decided I wanted to eat my feelings (which is not a normal thing for me, and I don't have an eating disorder or anything - shoveling food into me just sounded like it would give me some fast "havingness" after the loss). Media/Health ^ Continuing on. When I got home, I ate my McDonald's (which was not vegetarian, even though I am), and I added some Disarrano to my Dr. Pepper. Somewhere between the grief, the fact that I had watched a TON of anime that day, the caffeine from the DP, and the alcohol I had MASSIVE insomnia. I tried to go to bed 3 different times and failed miserably each time. Looking back on it, I might have been able to meditate myself past my brain's inability to wind down, or I could have read/taken a shower/gone on a run/other. Instead I binged an entire season of "Strong" on Netflix and I went to bed finally around 7/8 a.m. Not a great feeling. I woke up around 5:00 pm, which just made me feel discombobulated. I went to bed around 10:00, but I made good use of my time and still consider that I had a good day yesterday. Last night it took me quite a while to fall asleep, which usually takes me about 2 minutes. I woke up this morning feeling like I had slept hard and my shoulders hurt. Hopefully this means I'm back to my normal sleep routine. ... I think I'm getting a cold due to my insomnia night ? Health-wise (especially after binging "Strong") I'm on a fitness kick. When I went whitewater rafting during my vacation, it rose my body out of a workout slump and I've felt pretty energized for exercise since. I've been home for 4 days and I already have done a couple of in-home mini exercises and gone to the gym once. I plan on continuing this. I'm seeing some good results in my body, and my ability to perform. I want to keep it going. Skills Honestly, I don't have any new skills that I've been working on, or honing old ones. It's not much of my focus at the moment. Job Search/Work Still no job offers and it's pissing me off. I have a good relationship with a recruiter I'm working with and I told him "Lots of nibbles, but it doesn't matter unless you can cook the fish." He laughed at that ?. The seriousness of the statement, however, is frustrating. I'm a damn good candidate, and I have a good set of abilities and I work hard. It's beginning to get frustrating that other people are not willing to see that. I've got to check my emails for a couple of things recruiters are throwing my way. I'm not feeling great about the prospects though. I may just give up on the job search, or at least stop putting in so much of my time into it, and focus on my startup business instead. I'd rather work on my startup when my income is more comfortable, but at somewhere there's a tipping point where I just need to buckle down on the startup even if I'm still poor and strapped for cash. That's all I have today. Even though I woke up at 5:00 a.m., I can already feel my free time slipping by quickly. I'm going to hop over to the gym, and work on a job search thing. Then I've got my mid-year review today. It should all be good and be very busy. Be kind to yourself, Morgan
  6. Day 35/90 (39% Complete, until I increase my goal!) General I'm back and I'm still strong with no gaming. I've been crazy slammed at work, however, as we're launching a 9 month project next week and I'm essentially the most in charge on our side at the company. That was just a little FYI. Now onto the journal. Yesterday sucked. Yup. However, there's a silver lining for today. But you have to read to find out (I'm feeling snarky). Job Search/Pay/Promotion (Yesterday) I have been looking for a new job basically all year long. Sometimes I'm intensely looking and sometimes I'm looking casually. I've been looking intensely for about 2 months straight now and I've probably applied to 30 jobs this year. I've made it to a 4th round interview, a 3rd round interview, a couple of 2nd rounds, a lunch, and several getting-to-know-you type phone calls with recruiters (general purpose recruiters seem to be pretty useless given the lack of results I've seen so far). On the other side, I've gotten so many rejection emails that the pain of them has reduced to a simple "meh" and a swipe away of a notification. I got rejected by one company 8 time in the last 12 months. I need a new job, because I'm making about 15-40% less than what the market standard for my state is, and that's before factoring in the mid-level experience (bordering on low senior). The pay I'm getting is not enough to keep my family afloat for much longer with the student loans that have started sucking away at our bank accounts. It's causing me severe stress. I've got the experience, I've got the mindset, I've got the intelligence, and I've got the work ethic to be making a lot more money while still making a company very happy to have me. I absolutely know I'm being taken advantage of, which is why I'm searching for my next opportunity. 7.5 months and I haven't received 1 job offer. That sucks. Yesterday it became a crushing suck and I got swallowed by feelings of inadequacy. I spent most of my evening feeling sorry for myself and questioning what was wrong with me and why did no body want me to work for them? This is all compounded by the way I'm compensated at work right now. Now my manager, and his manager, and his manager are all very aware that I'm being jerked around by the big brother company. The three of them are going to bat hard against the powers at be to get me a promotion and a raise in an off-cycle timeline. They've gotten to the point where they're bypassing the partners of the company I work for, and they're going above their heads to get me a raise. I love them for that. If that goes through, I'll get a bump of 3-5%... that still puts me 10-35% below market rate for my skills at best. It's not going to be enough... but it's the only thing I have right now and I can't quit because I'm the breadwinner for my wife, two girls, and a dog. If big brother company says "No"... I have no cards to play. Like I said I can't quit... and I don't have a job offer to counter with, which is a major thing I've been going for. Even if I don't love the idea of the job or company, I've still done my very best to push forward so I can at least have a job offer as a playing card to use. More stress... work has been nuts like I said. We're launching a 9 month project, which has been pushed out a couple of times for launch. This has created a strange situation - my Technical Project Manager (I'm essentially his right hand) is in France for the Tour de France for the next 3 weeks. The project was supposed to be wrapped before he left. Shit. Now all of his work falls to me and the account manager. So not only am I scrambling to lead the team like I normally do, plus handle my normal work, plus handle training my clients in their own system, but not I have to do the Project Management work in addition to the Business Analysis work I usually do. To add onto it all, I have a non-negotiable vacation from this Friday to next Wednesday as well. So I also have to complete my work that I'm supposed to do in a week and half, in the next three days (last night's perspective on the three days part). After I went to sleep last night, I had nightmares about work and couldn't sleep. Yes I had nightmares while not actually being unconscious - limbo consciousness nightmares. I'm pretty sure that's the first time that's ever happened (the work nightmare part, not the limbo nightmare part). My dog kept me up for most of the night as well. Least restful night I've had in several months... and I have a 9 month old infant... that should tell you something. Yesterday was a clusterfuck of frustrating shit that blew up in my face. Work/Job Search (Today) Today rocked. Venting complete - this point forward is much better to read :) Work - Part of why I was feeling overwhelmed was because I was having a hard time balancing my work and the work that I was covering my TPM for. Today I started delegating a lot more to my people. Things that I would have done myself normally, I gave to different team members instead. Why? Because I literally didn't have the time, they don't need me to babysit them, and they are capable and they have more bandwidth than I do. I probably only saved myself 45 minutes today, but it was great to retain that extra time instead of coddling my people. That rocked. The next thing that rocked. We're in our hardening sprint this week for our software project. Which means all the little things that are wrong with the software project are getting thrown in front of Directors and VPs and they are suddenly treated like mountains. My client has literally been treating a list of 26 of these items as if they were all production stoppers or just slightly below that. Today I went through and re-adjusted the priorities for them and provided them some education on what the numbers should have been in the first place. I bought myself some extra time to work on, but I also bought myself a way to organize 31 items (by the end of the day) into 4 groups with decreasing priority instead of 2. Now as long as I accomplish the most major ones first, I'll be good to go on my vacation. I also go my client's Program Manager to back my play - that felt nice. There's more that rocked. We've had a couple of major bugs that were threatening the scope of what we could launch with. My developer knocked those out, after 3 days of intense work on them, and they worked when the client tested them. Awesome. As soon as that was done, my backend developer and my front end developer absolutely decimated the rest of the tickets I had for them in our To Do column. I'm going to have to get creative tomorrow on what things they can work on for the rest of the week because they knocked out so much work so fast. That rocked! Other thing that rocked was the one thing I was able to get myself to do on the job search yesterday - I reached out with a follow up email to a recruiter who I had a good relationship with. He's a recruiter for a specific company, not a generic recruiter for all companies, which means he doesn't suck. Today he called me back and gave me the feedback he received from my technical interview with his colleague. His colleague said everything I felt about myself - I have a strong set of communication skills, I was highly technical, could speak to anyone in the project on their level, I was a strong mid-level employee and I would make the switch to senior in a very short amount of time - but I just needed to gain some additional experience on that which comes with time. The recruiter guy was happy with the review I got and trusted it. Now I've got validation on my skills from an industry expert and a serious leader in my field. He's moving me to the top of his list for the type of mid-level jobs I'm interested in. That rocked! Skills I am going on a road trip (4 hours long) on Friday, but my check engine light has been on for a little while. That worries me, because I want to keep my family safe during our trip. In an effort to make the car ride safer I did my first bit of solo-auto-mechanics work in my life. :D I drained and changed the oil, replaced the oil filter, replaced the air filter, replaced a burnt out headlight (a sales dude at Auto Zone helped me there because it was new to me), and topped off the antifreeze/coolant in my car. Then I recycled 3.5 quarts of oil, an oil filter, an old car battery, and an old alternator (which I replaced with a friend two summers ago). I feel pretty proud of doing all of that by myself and based on my own volition as well. That also rocked! :D ... my check engine light is still on. Bahahaha! I'm going back to Auto Zone to see if they can help me diagnose the reason for the light. I'm doing everything I can to NOT take it into a shop and do it myself instead. ____________________________________________________________________________ Summary of the last two days: Yesterday I was crushed by my guilt, doubt, frustrations, and feelings of inadequacy. Today I decided to do something about it and my results were phenomenal not even a full 24 hours later. My lesson is that I can still make a terrible situation better, but if I give up I'll never have the change to do it. Marriage My wife and I are a little strained right now, because my work schedule is beastly and so is hers. The house is a mess, we don't see each other a lot right now, and she doesn't understand some of the priorities I make, because it's different than what she would do. We'll be just fine though. Last weekend we had lots of dancing, talking, romance, and sex. This week is just a little more trying. Social I saw the three best friends I have in my life right now within a span of 3 days last week :D I'll see two of them again on Wednesday most likely. That's a nice feeling to be around people that I want to be around, who also want to be around me. I'm also going on a road trip to see my nearby family members and be social with them for most of a week. That sounds really nice :) My mom, one of my dads, and my sister haven't seen my baby since she was about 5 months. She's grown so much in the last 4 months and I really want them to see! Media I'm still watching t.v. shows (cooking, gardening, glassblowing, and anime), which I feel pretty good about that selection. I'm probably still watching too much. I'm viewing some porn still when I need to escape things for a bit. I want that to become less and less as well. Even though it's not frequent, I want to keep struggling because I'll get stronger and more resilient at it slowly. I had a big win today for gaming cravings too! Divinity Original Sin II is a game I started playing with my wife. I stepped away from it at a really interesting point. I thought about that point over the last couple of days and I wanted to play it again. Today I thought about it some more, and my first thought was it's not worth it... I'll just become the person I don't want to be again. Then later I thought it might be ok if I only played that game and I only played it with my wife. My counter argument to that eventually was "But I'd lose so much time to it. I don't have any time I can afford to lose in my life right now!" That made me feel pretty solid and the craving died. Art I'm reading a lot lately, which I'm super happy with. I actually crave book time which is thrilling to me! I love books so much and I always have. Books are everything that I want my future career to look like. I'm not writing, sketching, or painting right now though which makes me sad. There's something inside of me that's just dying to come out soon, but it's been sealed away for so long that it's week. I need to find some ways of revitalizing my creativity and then producing with it. As I mentioned above, I've done dancing twice in the last two weeks. That feels pretty good too :) Exercise and art :) This has been the biggest post of my life and I applaud you if you actually read it. If you didn't, then you probably have something better to do than to listen to a novelist detail his life - and I don't blame you for that at all! Anyways though, I'm glad I took the time to re-enter the forums and write this all down. Feels like I can shift off the strain of a bad day and the elation from a good one. Now I can walk into tomorrow fresh and ready to get some more work done! Be kind to yourself, Morgan
  7. To answer your concerns, I was doing pretty well since I graduated. Yes I went back to gaming, no I didn't let it effect my life too bad. I had a bit of a distance on it this time. I held it at a distance this time, and of course there were negative impacts/moments on my life, however, they were fairly minimal this time around. It was ultimately just the last piece of the gradient I've been making for myself over the last two years to remove gaming completely. My life is already feeling much better and I feel more like my true self these days. Improvement, production, real connection with others, joy in my hobbies, etc. I've found I love working on my garden, and someday when I come visit you @giblets I would love to work on the garden a bit! It's very soothing for me to step out from behind the screen of work, and get my fingers into the earth.
  8. Day 13/90 (14% complete ... until I increase my goal), Work It has been a whirlwind of days recently. Early last week, I was slacking off at work pretty badly. I wasn't feeling any passion in my work, and I was just over it all, ready to move onto my next job (whatever that will end up being). Part of how I was slacking off, was watching Critical Role - Season 2 on YouTube while I worked. I've had plenty of days where this was a fine technique and prevented me from burning out over a long day's work. Last week though it turned into purely avoidance. Overall I justified my actions, but truly I felt pretty shitty. On Wednesday my project (which launches in late July) started ramping up hard core. I decided I wasn't going to do any Critical Role, and I was going to focus on my work. The next 3 days blurred by and I kicked some major serious ass in my project! My role in the project is Business Analyst - which essentially translates to "I make documentation which serves as blueprints for software, then I give said blueprints to Software Developers for them to program." My documentation has been done for a while now, and at this point I'm acting more as a Project Manager since the real guy is over allocated by a ton. I communicated with stakeholders, guided the members of my team, and even ended up doing some content management for the client which was way outside of the purview of my role. In short I feel fucking proud of myself for the work I put in last week. I know, hands down, that the project would have crumbled without me as the linchpin last week! And I performed my best work as a paid professional even including the Monday and Tuesday's slack off. I feel like I am able to give myself permission to move on and land the new job now. I was holding onto a concept that I shouldn't move on while the project still needed me, and I feel like it would be ok now and that I'm leaving on a high note rather than a slump. Professionally I feel great. Now I need to put my nose to the grindstone and re-engineer my resume. I haven't really started on that yet, which was my goal from Thursday. Work ate up all my spare time, so I have to start it this morning while I've still got a few hours to myself. Marriage In my non-professional life, aka real life, things got a little tense with my wife. She felt like I wasn't focusing on her or making her important towards the end of the week, and we fought about it a couple of times. Ultimately she's right, but I pushed back on her a bit. She has a tendency to black and white things, and I didn't want her to do that with the situation. I was making some small efforts to make sure I wasn't just glued to my computer towards the end of the week. It could have been done more, which is why I feel she's right, but I made conscious effort to still say hi to her, be sweet on her, and thank her for making lunch when I was working from home on Friday. We're doing well now, and her mood has mellowed out. We're in an odd place with our communication. We've both agreed that we have too much communication training between the two of us and that we want to be less formal with each other. Transitioning out of that has made a bit of tension, but we're working on it. Parenting Saturday was my kiddo's birthday party and she is now 8 years old! I'm a very proud daddy and the birthday was a lot of fun. I'm really proud of the fact that I stayed present during her party and I wasn't in my head thinking about video games, or shows, or work, etc. I was there, I was her dad, and we all had a great time! Ah... shit the cake is still in my car! Oops. Lol. Being mentally available for my kids is something I'm working on doing every day. They're worth the effort and they make me so happy I literally cry when I'm around them. Social We had some friends over yesterday for snacks and board games which was nice. A long term friend got married and we've been reluctant to hang out with his wife because she seems like she doesn't care for us. I had a frank conversation with the husband, and he told me that wasn't the case. We just didn't understand her yet. It was really nice to hang with them and let that bias we were holding about her melt away. Media I started craving gaming yesterday after our friends left. I immediately told my wife and her response was "Ok, what can we do instead?" I love her! She's very much so onboard with this detox and keeping gaming out of my life permanently. We ended up cooking dinner together, which was delicious! Then we watched a food show on Netflix about an Australian Pub called Eaton Hills I think, it was pretty fascinating! (@giblets do you know that place?) Cooking made my cravings melt away as I was able to focus on something delicious and productive. After the show my wife and I went to bed. It's becoming more and more regular that we read before going to sleep. It's been really nice to see her, and also me, get back into reading. We tell each other a bit about our stories and we like being next to each other while we read. I feel very healthy when we do that! End It's been a swift few days since I posted last, so I wanted to do some recap. It's a lot of brain dump, but overall I feel pretty great! Now I'm going to go take a shower, get dressed, and since I don't have any make-up work or panic-work to do (thanks self from last week!), I can work on my resume for a full 2 hours before I have to go to work. WOO! Be kind to yourself, Morgan
  9. Day 9/90 (10% complete ... until I increase my goal that is), It's again been a few days since I posted. When I checked the journals page to start writing this post, I was happy to see that I was literally the last post on the page. It's great that the community is very active right now! I've had a duality type week so far. I was in a bit of a depressive state for Monday and Tuesday. I honestly didn't do very much work, and if I had a boss who kept a closer eye on me he would have been very displeased. Instead as I have a fair amount of autonomy I was left to my own devices and the results were sub-par (not nothing, just not good). I will admit that I abused that trust. I don't like doing that sort of thing. It makes me feel shitty and dishonest. I will also admit, that some days I am not as strong as others, and it's alright to be weak sometimes. Yesterday I worked my ass off! Part of it was to make up the lost ground from Monday + Tuesday, but another part of it was just because that's what my work projects required. I still think I only put in about 7 hours or so, but I performed about 10 hours worth of work in that time. I felt completely fried, but I walked out of the building with my head held high. I know I performed excellently and I'm honestly not quite sure what I'm going to be able to work on today. I'll discover that as I go. Working on my format for my journal: What's my goal today? Begin working on my new resume. I'm moving onto a 2 page format because I'm tired of omitting experiences just so I can keep to 1 page. Complete my Career Development plan at work, and send it to my boss. What's my goal this week (7 days)? Job Searching Complete my new resume Update my LinkedIn profile Update Glassdoor, Indeed, & Monster Profiles Seriously apply to 3 jobs this week Home Life Finish work on my lawn's island garden Buy a new lily Buy some annuals for the front Spread out 1-2 bags of topsoil Clean the kitchen & living room. Get them to an easy state of maintenance. What's my goal this month (30 days)? Job Searching Land an offer for a job I'm extremely excited about. No settling. I settled for my current job, because I didn't want to put in the work to find something better. Now it's a struggle to go to work these days. What habits am I working on forming? Consistent sleep routine (10 p.m. - 4 a.m.) Bed around 10:30 last night Woke up at 4:15 this morning (thanks puppy!) Healthy home lunch Going to pack a lunch today so I stop spending my money which I could put somewhere else Be punctual, make sure my family is punctual as well Going to wake my kiddos up early enough to not be rushed. I don't like being rushed because I get grumpy, and that's my issue not theirs. Exercise 3-4 times a week Work with my wife to figure out some times to exercise at the gym I think she doesn't start work until 8:30 which means I'm going to go right after finishing this post!
  10. Day 5/90 (5.6% complete! ... until I increase my goal that is), It's been a pretty busy few days since I started my new detox. I've been working, dancing, playing games with my family, and having a wonderful Father's Day today. I'm going to be brief because I have more life to attend! Things have been fast moving, but very very good. There are times when gaming is not even on my radar, and it feels great to say that. There are also times when I am tired and I just want to relax for the evening and I catch myself thinking I will play some games. It was a sad moment for me when I realized that wasn't part of my life anymore. While it was sad, and I allowed it to be sad for a moment, I changed my attitude and instead I decided to feel strong and proud of myself, even though I was still struggling. This time around in my detox, I'm not getting a lot of peer pressure. My main friends who I gamed with have kind of trickled out of my life and I'm focusing on friends where Gaming was never part of the foundation of our relationship. It's highly rewarding to think that if I see those people, there could be a ton of different activities we could do. Historically it's been like... oh what game are we going to play? All and all, it's been pretty easy so far and I'm quite happy with my progress and the results I'm seeing. I feel like I'm beginning to live life again, and actually feel it! I had fun with my kiddo today. I felt a giddy sense of fun when we were playing today. That was worth every struggle I've had this week. I'll keep moving on, and making progress in my life. Eventually I'll stop thinking about gaming, and I'll reach the goals I want. Be kind to yourself, Morgan
  11. @James Good! You're pretty much spot on yes. For me, my passion fuels a lot of what I do in my life. But when I'm gaming, but passion drops to a drip. Therefore my fuel is non-existent and I mostly do the minimal required in life. I've got a lot I want to do with my life, as I've listed, and after some honest reflection I realized gaming was the right thing to change in my life so I can move forward. Some days it's all about revitalizing passion and living life, and some days it's just about sticking with it and behaving in the way I want to, even if I don't feel like it. It would be so much easier to return to gaming and hide in that shell. Instead I'm choosing to be scared, vulnerable, and chase a dream that will be worth it regardless of the outcome.
  12. Thanks @macpowers1! Having done it before is pretty nice at this point. It's one of the reasons I think I'm good to say "no gaming forever." Because this time I'm not focusing on completing the detox. I've already proven I can do it. That's a good question on the severity between detoxes. Each time it got less extreme honestly. In my last stint I swore off PVP games (specifically League of Legends) because there is literally no end to the amount of effort and time that I could put into it. Even if I was to become the best gamer in the entire world, then I would have to keep practicing to become better, and someone would eventually dethrone me. What's also made this decision super easy for me to make is that there are other things that have become more and more important to me which have filled the void that gaming held. Working as a professional, my wife and kids, my dog, my yard, the business I want to make this year, it all built up into a wave that eventually crushed my defensive gaming responses. It used to be a challenge to speak with my wife about my gaming struggles. She's a very composed person and for her if she makes a decision then it's a done deal. So she didn't really understand why I was having a struggle keeping my word when I was saying "I'm done gaming" every year. Eventually, through many conversations, we gained enough understanding of each side that we could speak as if we were in the other person's shoes/viewpoint. That's when it got easier for sure. I'd recommend continuing to have honest conversations with your girlfriend, and maybe correlating it to something she's been doing for a long time (not sure if your lady is a shopaholic, but that's a pretty standard comparison point that could be made). I sincerely hope some of that was helpful to you! I'm in this group to go through the process again, but this time I'm much more service oriented than just getting the benefit of support for myself. Let me know if you have other questions! Be kind to yourself, Morgan
  13. Here's my introduction post if you are interested in reading it for more context. Today is day 1/90 for my detox. Yesterday I wasn't feeling well so I decided to work from home instead of going into the office. That in itself isn't a big deal, my work is pretty chill about things like that. Instead of working my full 8 hours, however, I probably worked like 2.5 maybe? I was gaming the rest of the time. I justified it because my work load is pretty light at the moment, and I'll be able to make up the lost work this morning. I'm beginning that work right after this post + a shower. I've done this type of thing before, and it never feels great. Yesterday I put on a pot of water, on high gas, in order to boil some tortellini that I wanted to have for lunch. While I was waiting I went into the other room and kept playing my game. Eventually I started to smell something weird, and thought it was my new laptop getting hot and burning off some production chemicals. Eventually I left the room and went back into the kitchen. It had been hours... I'm not even sure how many hours. The stove was still on high, and my nice pan was now blackened on the outside, it had a film of gunk on the inside of the long evaporated water, and it was giving off a horrible smell that permeated the house. I turned it off immediately. As I was staring at it, I started to berate myself mentally. That only lasted a couple of seconds, and was swiftly replaced by a single question. "Is this how I want to live my life?" It wasn't rhetorical, full of self directed malice, or even sarcastic. It was an honest question that would have accepted any answer that came to it. If I wanted my life to include gaming and for things in my life to be easy, I could have said yes to that. In reality though, as soon as I asked the question I knew what the answer was. "No... I want to be a great husband, an incredible caring father, a physically strong and active person, and I want to open a business idea I have that I believe will change the world. None of that is possible for me when I'm playing video games." I immediately deleted the games I had on my laptop and my phone, and I packed up all the solo console games in the house. I'll be giving the discs/cartridges I have to some work friends that want them. Now the only thing that remains in my house that I will play is Just Dance for the Switch (which is far closer to a workout video than a video game) and Mario Party (which my 7 year old likes to play as a family for 1 hour every 3 weeks). I also came back to the Game Quitters community immediately, because I know this place works. It worked for me previously, and I was able to make it through a 90 day detox, and a 9 month detox. This time something is very strongly different. I'm no longer holding onto the notion that gaming will be alright for me sometime in the future. I've decided that I'm done for the rest of my life. Yesterday was the last day that I will ever exist as a Gamer. From now on, I am a Game Quitter and a Board Gamer (which is a big thing in our family). Not only that, but I'm also going to reduce the amount of TV I watch. I've recently been very attracted to cooking shows because cooking is one of the things I love to do. Gardening shows have been high on my list as well. I like the sound of sticking to those types because they provide me with knowledge I didn't have before. I'm dropping shows that are purely for entertainment and getting ratings from people based on drama. Also also, I'm done with porn and masturbation. I've used that as a crutch in my marriage for a while now. My wife knows about it, and she's doesn't care that I do it. So this is purely for me. I don't like the way my mental conversations about women go when I'm watching porn. I get nasty and aggressive and start thinking about women as if the only scenario with them is "Would they look good naked and would I fuck them?". That's not how I normally am. I love women as a group, and I think they should be treated with respect and dignity, and I believe women are not an object. Those two mindsets are obviously at odds with each other so I'm cutting porn out as well. I've also lost touch romantically with my wife and we're not intimate very often anymore. Somewhere along the way I figured "That's ok. If she doesn't want to have sex I can just masturbate instead." This thought gave me permission to stop putting in effort to the romance between my wife and I, and making sure she is in the mood for sex, instead of just putting on the moves and crossing my fingers that she wants to as well. Everything that gives me a repetitive and consistent dopamine high without earning it through hard work is out. I want my brain to change and to start feeling my life the way I know it should be felt: Passionately. This entire journey for me is going to be about rediscovering my passions, removing the drunk-like disconnected veil that hangs over my eyes, repairing my relationships, being productive, and making my body strong and capable. So that's my brain dump for the day. Things may be this long consistently because I like to write, and I have no problem jotting down all the thoughts in my head. So now I am going to take my first shower as a Game Quitter, sit down at my computer, and get some good work done for the day. Cheers! Be kind to yourself, Morgan
  14. Well done on your recognition of needing change. The statement "I'm a gamer." has been in my mind for more than 2 decades at this point. It's completely terrifying to give up that part of my life. However, I've had some really good successes with quitting games before (much like you), and in reality it's more like I'm choosing to support the rest of my life, instead of just one destructive piece of myself. Stay strong, keep going. Let me know if you ever want to chat 1 x 1. Be kind to yourself, Morgan
  15. Hey man, Welcome to the group. This place is an incredible area where you can let that stress you're talking about go. Dig into the process and the detox. Be honest in both your successes and your failures, and talk about your journey with that new gorgeous wife of yours. I personally used League as my own poison and escape for 4 years. If you want to chat about that, let me know. I spent years climbing and being bound by my friend's expectations to keep playing. Best of luck. Be kind to yourself, Morgan
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