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Moe Smith

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About Moe Smith

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  • Birthday 09/13/1988

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  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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!
  5. As promised I'm all caught up on your posts. @James Good it sounds like you're struggling. That's great news! Many times in my life, people have tried to convince me that struggling was a bad thing. I fully disagree with them. Struggling means there's a vision for something better and going through the pain of getting closer to it. I know it's a bit over-stated, but my mind always comes back to caterpillars transforming into butterflies. First of all, they literally liquefy their own bodies to reform them into a butterfly (sounds like you're working on re-discovering your base self as well), then they change into something greater (which you're doing), then when they're done they have to struggle to escape the chrysalis. Experiments have been done and it's been proven that if the butterfly receives assistance when breaking out of the chrysalis, then they won't be strong enough to use their body properly and they die. Struggling is an essential part of their survival. I think the same applies to people. Without going through the pains of becoming something better, we end up spoiled rotten or lazy. Keep fighting against both of those lifestyles and you'll find yourself surprisingly happy and competent. @Ikar I've loved your posts so far, and I'm now following you as well. ^ I read the article. Those Fortnight people sound like they know exactly what's happening and refuse to do anything about it. It's almost hilarious, but mostly just pisses me off.
  6. Hey @James Good, I just read your first post about your history and a few of the wins you've had. I'll read the rest of the some other time, but way to go on changing your life around. Looks like we're in fairly similar boats with having prior successes in gaming and now making sure that we're set up for success in the future. We're also in a similar timeline to one another on our most recent break from gaming. I look forward to talking with you more and hearing about the awesome things you're doing. Be kind to yourself, Morgan
  7. 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
  8. @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.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. Hi Game Quitters, It feels nice to come back to this community. This is not a new process for me. My name is Morgan, and I've been an addict to games since gradeschool. I'm now 30. I've won some battles with gaming before, including completing the 90 day detox 2 times (maybe 3?). My last time was actually 3/4 of a year completely sober. I made it that long, because I had a goal in mind. I was 9 months out from finishing college, and I knew that if I kept gaming I would fuck it up and lose my chances of finally graduating. It wasn't worth it to me. My previous goal was "No gaming until I'm graduated." I made that goal and I was stronger for it. Afterwards, I went back to gaming with decent success. Decent is no longer an acceptable status for my life. I've got a fantastic partner and wife, a smart as hell 7 year old princess, a 7 month old infant who makes my heart swell, and a goofy dog who is one of my best friends. I've also go a business I want to start and work full time for as well as a book I want to finish. I've felt a massive barrier between myself and those things that are important to me. This brings me to the title of my post - "What the hell happened to my passion?"... I know I'm a passionate guy and that I love art and life. Lately however, my emotional abilities most of the time are flat-lined. I don't feel much, and when I do it's because I've put in extra effort to live my life purposefully. I've been stubbornly holding onto the idea that I can have gaming in my life in a healthy way. There's a deep conversation I need to have with my wife on this subject. Besides that, I'm ready to remove gaming from my life for good. I've wasted so much time and attention already in my life, and I can't get it back. But I can fix my habits and make the rest of my life worthwhile. Thank you for reading if you did. I'd love to hear what you're going through if any of this resonates. Human connection is something I'm looking forward to revitalizing as well. Be kind to yourself, Morgan
  14. Days sober - 191! Days till graduation - 50! Woo! It's been a minute. Several reasons for that, finishing up school, I've got a baby on the way, I'm working a farm (which rocks overall!), and I've got some new friends and hobbies. To be the most honest I can be, however, I haven't been online and posting because I have a thought that I believe will be unpopular on this forum. Luckily tonight I'm feeling brave enough to express it: I'm going back to gaming after I graduate. Now, before the Game Quitters community blows up in my face, which they have every right to especially considering my spotty history with returning to gaming, please let me explain. I made the goal to be game free for 241 days this year. That's the distance from January 1st - August 30th, the day I finish my classes for college. Let me be clear, this was NOT a New Years resolution, the timing is coincidental (in fact I've been sober since halfway through December of 2017, but I'm not focusing on last year's numbers). I decided on this timeline because it was a clear stretch of time and I wanted to give myself every tool possible to finish my degree. Even without gaming in my life, my last 3 quarters have not been easy. This timeline has given me a lot of time to reflect on who I am, what's important, and what I want to do. One of the pieces I came to connect with is that I am a gamer. #1: Gaming is a hobby. When I joined Game Quitters, I never truly set out to quit games, but rather figure out how to live my life powerfully, and learn to have gaming as a hobby. I'm certainly not looking to dive right back into my old gaming habits and think I can handle it just because I don't have school anymore. I'd lose it quickly for sure. Instead I want to treat gaming like I do the other hobbies in my life. For example, I love to dance! I go dancing a few times a month. Also I love board games! I usually play a board game with my wife and daughter between 1-3 nights a week, I have a board game night with friends once a month, and I am DMing a D&D campaign 2-3 nights a month. Reading, swimming, hiking, writing, yard work, etc. are all hobbies that I like doing in my life, but none of them are daily activities and none of them distract me from what's important in my life: supporting my various families, improving my skills, preparing myself to open my own businesses. I will treat gaming as a sometimes hobby when I feel like it. There have been times this year, after a long day of being awesomely productive, that I just want to sit down on the couch and recharge my internal battery by playing a game for an hour. Not a binge, not a marathon of days, just a once every 3 weeks kind of feeling. Anyways, the portion of my life that I am giving back to gaming will still be extremely small. #2: I am not returning to all gaming. For many years my poison on games has been League of Legends. It's the only PVP game I ever took seriously. My PVP time in original Starcraft, Halo, and WoW combined pale in comparison to my LoL time. For me, PVP is poisonous and dangerous - thus I'm not returning to it. I'm done with PVP games. Party games like Super Smash or Mario Party, while actually at a party, are probably the only exception to this. The reason I'm staying away from PVP is the infinity of the gaming model. With League I would train for a year to reach as high as I could in the ladder, I'd do well, get prizes, and start the pattern all over again the next year. There's no end to it, there is no finish, there is no 'good enough', and there is no game over. The other type of game I'm not returning to, for the exact same infinity reason as PVP, is the Endless Grind games. Diablo 3, Warframe, & Path of Exile all fall under this category for me, and they are my primary culprits. Just like PVP, there's no end to these types of games. There's only more stuff, more stuff, more stuff. Even if it was possible to get all the gear I could ever possibly want in these games, which it isn't possible at all, a new patch in a few weeks or months would nullify the finality of it and I'd be back into the grind once again. In short, I am no longer playing games that don't end. #3: Having the option. One of the tough parts about me being sober this year, is that my friends have been really good about not enabling me in my bad gaming habits. No one's been pissed at me for bailing. Don't get me wrong, this is awesome proof that I have great friends and I love them for that. However, I feel pitied by them. I feel like they see me as this broken person whom they can't talk about gaming with. It feels like "Oh he's still our friend, but it's so sad that he couldn't make it with gaming in his life so he had to cut it out... No we can't invite him to our E3 reveal party, and we certainly can't tell him about our quarterly Retro Game Night in the office. If we tell him about those things, he might break." The E3 and Retro nights are real examples for me. Basically this one boils down to this - if there's a fun event that I want to be a part of with my friends or coworkers, or even by myself, then I want to give myself permission to say yes and permission to say no. #4: Experiencing a story If you've ready any of my posts, or had any conversations with me, you probably know I'm a writer and a story junkie. Man I STILL love a good story. Something unique, something awesome, something comical, clever, sad, wondrous, bizarre, dark, terrifying, exceptional - I love stories for all this and more. Gaming was originally a way for me to have fun while experiencing a story. The first games that I really connected with were titles like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 6, Fire Emblem, Mega Man, Diablo 2, Starcraft, Warcraft 2&3, and Super Mario RPG. These all have a really incredible story to tell, or a world to explore. There were characters to fall in love with: Shadow - a brave ninja with doberman, Gau - an abandoned wild child who mimics animals, Locke - a thief with a heart of gold and a tragic secret, Vol'Jin - a Jamaican troll leader indebted to an orc warchief, Kerrigan - the a futuristic sniper with a tortured soul, Mallow - a cloud who thought they were a frog who controls the weather! I'm still wildly fond of these characters and they resonate with me just as strong as any comic, movie, or book characters! I feel like if I cut myself off from gaming completely, then I miss out on the opportunity to learn to love these characters. I no longer want to play games just to zone out and ignore the world. I want to use games to transport myself to other worlds in the same way as I use my love for reading. An additional benefit of focusing on stories instead of gameplay is that RPGs are the type of game which has a beginning, middle, and end! A finite completion! FF6 is the only Final Fantasy I've ever completed, and I've 100%'ed the game probably 3 times already. When I think back on the time I spent doing that, I don't feel self loathing & regret like I do when I think about my time with League. Instead I feel a sense of amazement and awe. I remember the world, the characters, the setting, the plot, the villains, the monsters, and I love it all! So much so in fact, that the story I've been working on for the last 15 years pulls heavily from the game. I miss that feeling and experiencing something new like that. So overall, like I said, I'm going back to gaming after I graduate from college. This break that I've taken from it has been a wonderful experience and I'm really glad that I took the promise I made to myself seriously. 241 days of life! And man have I lived during this time! ? Moving forward, using the 4 principles I've listed above, I'll continue to live my life - but with the occasional game... like the occasional beer... and occasionally both at the same time. If you've got an opinion on anything I've said, I'd love to hear it. Ask me questions, refute my logic, come at me with emotions, let's interact. I'm willing to bet that conversation heals more people than most forms of medicine. @giblets man, I so owe you an email. If you're tenacious enough to read through all of this, I'm sure it will prompt you for many questions and moments of tough love for me. I welcome them all!
  15. It's 5:15 a.m. and it's already been a really cool day for me. I have an Excel document that I use to keep track of my degree and my graduation progress. I'm very close to graduating after 11 years of work! Tomorrow I will be in double digits for days away from graduation! This is also double digits away from my 241 days! This has been an awesome experience, giving myself that much time to just work on myself and the things I feel are valuable in my life. There have been times where I've been so close to breaking my streak. The only thing that stopped me was that I had a VERY clear goal for not gaming and I knew what my target was. Nowadays, I don't really crave it. I'm more interested in spending time with my family, working on my startup, rocking my school studies, or just reading! I've got a damn good life, and that value only diminishes with gaming.
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