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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. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. "Addiction takes hold in the absence of value or purpose as related to self worth." These words came to me from an old mentor of mine, and rocked my mind! It became so clear to me! After I accomplished something big last month, I let my production drop. My morale and self worth is directly tied to the results I'm getting and the production I'm creating. When my self worth dropped, it opened up holes inside of me. When those holes opened up, my urge to game came swooping back in like air entering a former vacuum. Wow wow wow! So huge for me! I hope that helps you in your quest as well! :D
  4. Today I woke up at 6:00. Feeling pretty good. I was on my phone, scrolling through Facebook for a few minutes (which is about all I spend each day). One thing caught my eye this morning. It was a post from one of my first mentors, regarding addiction. He shared something of his, then he shared what a colleague (Medical Doctor) had said about a patient. "Addiction takes hold in the absence of value or purpose as related to self worth." Holy shit... That's it! A few weeks ago in my capstone project, I had nothing but self worth! Now, about a month later since my school has gotten on break, I've been struggling with keeping myself off gaming much more! Not coincidentally, I haven't been producing very much that I consider significant. My production is directly tied to my self worth, and thus my self worth has been down. When my self worth fell, it opened up the holes inside of me and gaming urges came swooping back in! Damn... 15 words made me understand myself much much better! Day 92/241 of life! Day 127/277 of school! 45.8% complete! Day 4/90 of no-fap!
  5. Day 86/241 I've been accomplishing a lot in my life lately, and I've been experiencing a lot of success. Yesterday, however, I failed to win a financial award I was competing for. It would have bought my a booth a Comic Con for my new business, as well as business cards and such. I'll have another chance to do get that money next month, and I can go with other investors as well, so it's not a huge thing. Overall, I relied on inaccurate data, and I failed to engage my audience. That's my lesson learned for next time. While I can diagnose all this from an analytical standpoint, I am still emotional and frustrated by it. Today I've been in a bit of a slump. Add in the gaming itch I've been feeling creep on me lately (especially during my vacation I just went on!) and I'm having a hard time. I came really close to downloading a game and just blasting through my frustration. Then I came to work, and had some mechanical work where I could watch some Youtube and get good work done. Today I chose to watch a few of @Cam Adair's videos. I'm so glad I did! Those videos definitely helped me out, and reminded me of why I'm going through this process in the first place. It also reminded me of what my epiphany was last time I started my detox back up! "I could beat gaming, but the amount of time it would take isn't worth it because I can apply that time elsewhere." I'm still in pain, and my internal compass needs to be repaired a bit, but at least I'm using my stress to forge a new version of myself and move forward. I can do this.
  6. I'll post again later, but I realized something was wrong with my data. I am only 72 days into my 241 days. I am currently 109 days into my 277 tracker until the end of my schooling, and I got it wrong. So hold please on my 90 days celebration! Woops! But still good things are happening.
  7. Keep going brother. I can't impress to you how true this is: the you that you've always wanted to be? He's buried right under the muck that we call gaming. All you have to do is clear away a bit of the muck.
  8. Days of life: 97/241 34.9% Complete! (New Record!) Yesterday, I presented my capstone project. Capstone, for my school, is basically the make or break moment that determines if I graduate or not. IT COULD NOT HAVE GONE BETTER! I put in about 250 hours over the last 8.5 weeks and I know my subject material like the back of my hand. It went so well! My slides were great, my presentation was spot on, I breezed through the Q&A portion, and when I said "Thank you very much!" and the applause started, I teared up. I've had yesterday in my sights for 10 years now, and I finally got to my goal and I utterly crushed it! :D I'm very proud of myself and the things that I've accomplished along this journey. I officially graduate in August and I'm SO pumped to look someone in the eye and tell them, "Pay me $80-$100k, because I'm worth it." These results would not have been possible if I was gaming. I never have to negotiate my time like I used to "Can I get away with playing for 30 minutes? Oh I mean 2 hours? Oh I mean can I get away with running on 3 hours of sleep tonight? No sleep?!" The way I prioritize my time is now, "Ok I stop working when I get home for the day, I'll eat dinner with my girls, do playtime, read books for bed, hangout with my wife for a bit, then sleep. I'll get up early before my girls and get the day started off at 5 a.m." I feel fucking powerful. I want something, I put my mind to it, it happens. 100% guaranteed. Oh, I also broke 90 days for my second time, and I've already blasted past it by a week. So that's cool!
  9. Oh lol. Was it not in Journals? My bad Yes I am finding answers, and yes I'm doing the walk. What's pretty great is that I still play games and I love them. But I don't play video games anymore. I play games of marketing, research, business, technology, health, family, and entrepreneurship. I LOVE these games. They are so rewarding and fulfilling and I'm starting to make my dent in the cosmos. Video games are a microscopic scale for me now, while my business games are global. There's a big difference in scale and power Day 78/90, Day 78/241, or 28.1% complete!
  10. Hello everyone! (Day 75/241, 15 days from my second 90 day detox) Short post today. Things are still going very well with my thesis project. I'm spending a lot of time working on it, and the results are spectacular. I'm a little disorganized with it right now, but I'm going to blame that on Finals week last week. I was denied entry into a competition that I won last month because my application was basically sloppy, yet again due to finals week. That stung a bit, but ultimately I don't blame them for the decision. When I was working on the application, I found myself in an odd situation where a buddy was playing an arcade game right in front of me on a huge tv. I was shocked to see how distracting it was even though I have been rock solid in my conviction and actions to not game. I was able to pull my attention back to my work, but like I said, ultimately it was rejected. I can't help but think that my application reflected my distraction in that moment. Went to a career fair at a local university today. It really sunk in that I'll be graduated in six months and that I have legitimacy when I ask employers for interviews Love the people on these forums, keep fighting, keep strong. Your perfect answer will come to you eventually.
  11. Day 66/241! 23.7% of the way there! HELL YEAH! Monday night, I attended the finals event for a small entrepreneurship contest. I competed against 9 other startups for a bit of seed money to go towards my business I've been working on for 9 months. It was a fantastic night full of seriously amazing innovations, networking, and friend making. I received my request for $1,000 to put towards my project! This is going towards a domain name purchase, AWS servers, version control software for my team, a business license, and a few other things. What a cool freaking experience! I even got my picture with a 4 foot long check! Yesterday something very cool, yet troubling, happened to me. I was making plans with my buddy who I haven't hung out with for a while. I know he and I both have a day off the regular routine coming up this Tuesday. As we talked we mentioned gaming as a form of hanging out that we could do. It would be in person, side by side on the couch with lots of laughter, interaction, and food as per our usual routine. We were talking about playing Monster Hunter World, which we played the first beta together a couple of months ago. SERIOUSLY cool game, so I immediately fell back and gave myself an excuse of "I've been busting my ass for 5 weeks, I can get away with one day without any repercussions." Which I honestly thought was true, until I realized that the worst repercussion would be me breaking my word to myself. That's always been the worst part of my relationship with myself, is when I lie to me. That's my slippery slope and that's when I start to spiral. This was the troubling part. My buddy that I was talking to, is totally aware of my gaming condition. He's been one of my best friends for 10 years and he knows my struggle. He struggles a bit with it too, but his is not anywhere as near as severe as mine. As we talked, my buddy bailed me out of my own bad habit. At one point, we were both entertaining the idea of a game day (or half day) and it was fun to think about. Then at one point he said, "You know what? Going to see a movie sounds really fun. Let's do that." He and I have always had a bond over cinema as well. I responded to his comment with "Yeah it does, and I'll get in less trouble with my wife!" Then we got to talking about where I was at with games, and I let him know that I kept being an addict because of my belief that I could beat it, but I decided to let that all go because it's not worth the time investment to come out on top. We then decided for sure, never mind on the gaming day, we're going to a movie instead. Conclusion: I'm very grateful for a buddy who knew when change gears, switch topics, and come up with a better solution. I had a moment of weakness, among several weeks of kickassery, but he still bailed me out and assisted me in making a healthy choice. And I'm very grateful that I don't have to reset my daily count. Sheesh! I just realized I'm only 24 days away from my second 90 day streak!
  12. Hello again everyone! When someone disappears from the forums for a while, it's fairly indicative of a relapse. I'm happy to announce that is NOT the case for me. I've been busy out of mind lately, which has left me little time to chat with friends and on forums. I'm well into my capstone project, and it's going swimmingly. I've put some great progress behind me and I'm really looking forward to what I've got coming up! I also got a part time job as a data storage administrator at a technology/health company! This has been really cool because I'm working on IT stuff which is NOT what I went to school for, but I'm learning a lot about something that's out of my comfort zone. Additionally I can directly apply this current knowledge to my future employees who work on the IT side of my tech business. I've also been attending normal classes in addition to my capstone (which is a 20-40 hour/week project!), and I spend time with my family every night, and I dance on Friday nights. Every Thursday I schedule myself 17 seconds to breath and that oxygen lasts me for the rest of the week! JK, but I am probably busier than I ever have been in my life. The best part of this, is that I barely crave games ever. The first time I have in a couple of weeks when I realized I was ahead of schedule and I could relax a little. I chose to cook some food, see a musical, and spend some extra time with my wife. Which was amazing! If I could provide one piece of feedback for everyone here who's struggling: find something productive that you LOVE doing. Then make a plan for where you want it to go in the future, and what work you will need to do to get there, then do it! Track your progress and you'll see yourself, not just a character, level up constantly. For me, it's this capstone project, which will eventually become my own technology business, and my self-created dream job. Eventually I started to crave the chance to work on this project instead of gaming. I still have those moments when my little black imp whispers in my ear "You could game, it won't hurt anything." To which I respond, "Yeah I could, and I would be fine. But I would rather WORK!" and he dissolves into smoke and drifts away. In many videos @Cam Adair mentions finding something to replace gaming. This program hasn't stuck with my quite like now until I really took heed of what he was saying there. I am stronger and more confident than I have ever been in my life, because I can tell anyone that I'm building my own business before I'm 30, and I LOVE the work. Well, that's it for my rant today. Let me know what you think, I'm happy to talk to anyone regarding how to make this happen! I love this community! ... oh and it's 56/241 days of life right now. Holy crap! That climbed fast!
  13. Hahaha. Aint that the truth? It's losing its vice grip slowly though.
  14. @Mettermrck dude! I'm glad to hear that my post rang true with you too! I found it to be very cathartic to allow myself to believe I could conquer gaming, but choose not to do so. That belief has held me in my cycle for years and years. After my detox I thought that the stronger version of myself could handle games. I wasn't strong enough, disciplined enough, or determined enough at the time. However, that doesn't mean that I won't ever be that way. But in the long run, how many more minutes, hours, days, or weeks of my life will it take to break that unhealthy grip? The answer: too many. I can use that same time to pursue my startup, finish my degree, get in shape, write my book! So many more things that have value in my life. And sometimes I have to remind myself I actually do really enjoy things besides gaming. It kind of comes down to the different skills I've built up over the years. I'm good with computers, I'm savvy at business, I can design software, write a book, play basketball, and lots of other things. I also enjoy playing football, but I'm not training to be in the NFL. I like singing and dancing, but I'm never going to be in a ballet or opera. It's not that I am incapable of performing very well in those careers, it's just that I chose not to pursue those skills, because I don't have time to do everything. I absolutely could conquer gaming and make it a healthy habit someday, but I'd rather not and find other activities to replace it.
  15. Hey everyone, I'm back after a long period of ups and downs with gaming. The short version of things is I finished my 90 day detox, and immediately got back into gaming. I've had lots of ups and downs with it since then. A few weeks ago, however, I had a conversation with my lovely wife regarding my gaming. She doesn't hate gaming, she just knows gaming doesn't work for me specifically. We got to the root of why I've continued to game for so long and why I have such a hard time giving it up. My answer kind of surprised even me. I am convinced that I have the ability to have gaming in my life and make it a healthy activity instead of a destructive one. Basically I believe I can conquer my own behaviors and habits and change gaming into something that benefits my life instead of detriments it. I also don't want to look back on my life and feel like I've run away from this challenge. To this day, I still believe that to be true. However, I believe something else to be MORE true, and it comes in two parts: 1 - Time is the only truly limited resource we have in our lives. 2 - It is not worth it to spend my time conquering gaming when I could use it in other areas. This has been a wonderful realization for me. On one hand, it allows me to address gaming with a hopeful attitude instead of a defeated one. On the other hand, it provides a clear picture of the choice I made regarding gaming. I feel confident, strong, and determined regarding gaming now instead of feeling a sense of missing out, longing, nostalgia, social interactions, and other feelings that have been dark and pulled me back like a black hole. Thanks to my wife Cassi, my friend @giblets, the founder @CamAdair, and most of all thanks to me for making the choice to spend my time on other pieces of my life that I'm interested in. With that being said, I've been game sober for a couple of weeks now, not really sure when, but that doesn't matter to me. Today I am starting fresh with new goals in mind. In 241 days (1 day short of 8 months exactly), I will graduate with my bachelors degree. It will have taken me a total of 11 years to reach that point. For those 241 days I will spend my time on life, instead of media. I start my capstone project on Wednesday. My capstone will be the beginning steps in creating my own dream job that pays well. I started a free online calisthenic workout today that I will maintain. I'm working on increasing my skills as a writer, and embedding myself into a community of writers. I start a job soon that will expand my technology skills into a completely new area. I'm focusing on building stronger relationships with my wife and daughter. And I'm looking for new ways to be creative and artistic in my life. Plus many more avenues. Overall, today is Day 1/241. And it's already been great! I'll see you soon.
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