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Moe Smith

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  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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!
  6. Hahaha. Aint that the truth? It's losing its vice grip slowly though.
  7. @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.
  8. 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.
  9. Hello, My name is Moe, and I'm a gaming addict. I haven't allowed myself to say that with sincere meaning maybe ever. I humbly return to these forums because I am committed to being, even in this current moment, myself. A while ago I defined a term for myself called "shit layers". This referrers to the layers of guilt, pain, lying, and other gunk that I've built up around myself in order to "protect" myself from harm. But really those layers are poisonous and they destroy certain parts of my life, which truly damages me instead of protect me. One of the major shit layers is gaming and how I use it to hide from the world and numb me out. I refuse to accept the side effects from those layers as a part of who I am any longer! Today I am here declaring my clear intent to leave my old life behind and live in the wonderful life that I know surrounds me. I graduate from my University on August 31st, 2018. Until that day, I will not indulge myself in destructive media of any kind! No gaming, no t.v. without loved ones watching with me, no porn, not even detrimental music. This thread is titled "Life is precious" for two reasons. One, I found out one of the most influential people in my life, who happens to be one of my best friends, will be dead in a matter of months from cancer. Two, my life is precious to me, and it's about time I started treating it like that. I'll be back tomorrow for Day 1 no media. P.S. I did complete my 90 day detox previously. This time I'm going for longer in order to make it stick. Cheers! @giblets @Cam Adair, I'm back! 1/278 Days to graduation
  10. Moe Smith


    Yesterday was my 90 day marker. It's been a good, long, hard, and worth it process. Things have really turned out great overall, and I feel like I am finally in a place where I can control my life how I go about it! My official finished post is below, but I wanted to post on here for the record: I DID IT! HELL YEAH! https://forum.gamequitters.com/topic/3810-moes-fantasy-writer-journal/?page=8#comment-36462 I'm moving on from tracking gaming and my other vices, to tracking when I binge. That's been a huge highlight of my time here, is that I am a binging addict, and the content doesn't actually matter so much as the act of binging itself. So starting yesterday, I'm keeping track of when I binge, and for how much. I think that's the next thing I need to do to get my life in order. I'm still working out all the rules that I want to apply to this process, but I'm well on my way. I want to hit 6 months next! 180 day binge detox! Let's do it!
  11. Level Up: Game Free 90 Days (New Record!) So! Here it is! My big 90! WOOHOO!!!! MAN THAT FEELS GOOD TO SAY! I know this process has only been for 3 months, but it's felt like I've been doing this for a year! I'm thrilled that I was actually able to pull this off, and reach my goal! Since I started gaming when I was approximately 5 years old, I don't think I've ever made it to a 90 day streak of non-gaming! This is a first in my life and it's great to know that I can actually live a very fulfilling life without gaming in it! @Mettermrck listed his largest takeaways from his entire process on his 90 day mark about a week ago. I liked that so I think I'll do the same. #1: Strength The biggest thing I took away from this entire experience is a knowledge of my own strength! For the longest time I've had an idea of what I wanted to do, to create, and to be in my life. The vision was never the problem for me, I've always had direction. My problem has always been in the development of momentum and movement on my determined vectors. Now, I feel like I can make worthwhile impact on my desires. I'm a year away from finishing school. I finished my last quarter with a 3.9 GPA (WHICH WAS BRUTAL). I started working on my startup business, and even recruited a couple of talented students to help me pursue the finished product. I won a couple of small contests in school regarding startup, and I even have two people who have expressed interest in investing! And the cherry on top is that my family life is pretty damn great! My wife and I are settling into a decent routine with the new house, we're participating with friends on a regular basis, and we've got a space that we're fond of and that we actually want to spend project time on! I now know, that whatever I chose to do in my life, I can do it. And I do mean anything. #2: Self Appreciation This one I'll keep simple. I used to HATE myself. I thought it was part of my personality to be lazy and useless in accomplishing things. After doing research and listening to Cam's findings, I realize that it wasn't me. It was my addictions. I am actually the type of person who loves being productive and creating things. That side of my takes center stage every day now. #3: Humility I used to carry around a lot of false vibrato in an effort to disguise my weaknesses. I was constantly terrified of showing who I really was, because then everyone would see that I was nothing but an amalgamation of flaws. I used to boast and beat my chest in subtle ways to help me deal with how lame I was feeling. As I started to climb out of that habit, I gained a lot of confidence. With that newfound confidence, I made a few mistakes and some things blew up in my face. After having that happen a couple of times, I took a step back and figured out where I was, where I was going, and what I could do. When I really analyzed things, I figured out that I can do anything I want to, but I don't have the time to do everything on my own. That was when I decided to reach out to other people and have them help me on my project. By doing so, I gave myself a lot of great exposure to leadership and the opinions of others. While I know that I can do anything, I also know that I can't do it all, and therefore I know what I won't do. Overall, I feel like I'm a much stronger person that I was three months ago. I can achieve my dreams, keep my life in balance, and maintain happy relationships with those around me. Most of all, I'm happiest with my new relationship with myself! It's the one that was in the need of most repair, and patch job has been done beautifully thus far. Now, I'm no longer broken. I'm strong. Below is a blueprint of the new tracking system that I'm going to use for binging. It's a work in progress, but I think it will work. Let me know what you think! I would love to incorporate any great ideas people have. There's going to be a workflow diagram to accompany this eventually, just wanted to get these rules established first.
  12. Level Up: Game Free Day 88 (New Record!) Days Productive: 0 Last Unproductive Binge: 9/8/2017 Number of Binge Days Since Start: 1 Year Long No-Binge Attempt #: 1 So as I'm nearing the end of my initial detox, I'm contemplating several things. I've mentioned my eventual (yet extremely controlled) return back to gaming. I still believe I am going to do just that. As I continue to read about people who move on in their life and continue their detox, like @Mettermrck and @giblets, I've been wondering what my real struggle with this whole process has been. It's become clear that after the 90 days, there's no stopping. You just keep moving forward. I've been wondering what I'm going to do after my 90 days. One of the things that I've brought up several times in my journals is my tendency to binge. I'm a binger, not an addict. If anyone doesn't know the difference (at least in my mind), an addict is perpetually compelled to indulge in their vices, and the urges never stop. It's constant. A binger is someone who takes a vice, and dives DEEP down with it and doesn't come back up for air for some time. While an addict is perpetual, a binger is more intense. To use gaming as an example, there are probably loads of gamers who have played more hours overall than I have. But as a binger, it would be very rare for me to meet other people who put more concentrated chunks of time towards gaming. As a binger, I've probably got 95% of gamers beats for the number of hours I could have dedicated in a single week. Over a single month would be much more difficult to keep up. SO... what I think I want to do now is start keeping track of my binges. I'm honestly not worried about how I'll handle gaming when it's back in my life. What I am concerned about is letting myself fall into a pit and not coming out, thus screwing my life track up more. I finish my gaming detox in 3.5 days (End of day 90 is when I'm considering myself finished). Then, as a birthday present, I'll do some game. Maybe League, maybe Pokemon, maybe something else fun and new that a friend wants me to play with him. After the 12th, I will no longer keep track of my gaming/non-gaming days. Instead, I'll be switching over to a binge/no-binge tracker. I'll be working on a system to establish different criteria for what binging actual means to me. It will likely have to do with how many days in a row I've done something, and how many hours in a day I've done it. I'll keep track of the non-binge days with a "Days Productive" counter, and I'll keep track of the binge days with a counter, and a last date marker. With this new process, I'm aiming for a YEAR! To be honest, I don't expect to make my year long no-binge attempt on my first try. But I will do my best to make it happen. If I fail, then there's still something for me to learn. If I make it, then I'll create a new goal. Anytime I do fail, I'll increase my counter to keep track of that for myself. Also, I'll need to come up with a way to allow my self days of relaxation, without being productive, and without binging. That might be the hardest part. Especially since I've been binging for two days straight since I'm on break from school. Rare down times like that when I don't have anything planned are the hardest days for me to be productive. We'll see how it all goes, but for now, that's the plan!
  13. Level Up: Game Free Day 83 (New Record!) Today is a pretty cool, and surreal day for me. I've seen my two best friends on this forum reach their 90 day mark! @giblets met his goal a while ago, and he's been kicking even more ass since! @Mettermrck hit his 90 days TODAY! BOOM MAN! I've seen from these two rockstars that changing your life is massively possible, and they have done it with extraordinary grace, consideration from others, and a laser focus on what they want in their lives. I say today is surreal because I'm only 7 days away from 90 day mark as well! Seeing these guys finish with such flying colors makes me want to be better, and I fully intend to be better My 90 day mark also happens to be on September 11th which is a very meaningful day for me. I remember VERY vividly that terrorist day 16 years ago. Part of why it was such a stark and clear memory for me is because it's two days before my birthday. I don't believe in coincidences, I'm more of an interwoven through the universe type of guy. I think that there are opportunities that arise because the universe wants to see us succeed. My 90 days being on such a deep day for me, and having it land right next to my 29th birthday is huge for me. It feels like it was very much so on purpose, like threads coming together to form a tapestry. @Mettermrck @BigPete247, I'm still contemplating "moderation." I don't like that term for a couple of reasons though. 1: It's got such a negative connotation to it, that it feels like it's it's begging for people to fail with it. 2: It sounds consistent to me. For someone who games in moderation, I imagine that they only game 1 hour a day, or 3 hours a week, or things like that. I'm certainly not planning on having something consistent. The way that I'm thinking about it, is more like when you get a craving for a certain type of meal. For example, I crave a baked potato, or a PB&J, or chicken noodle soup, or lasagna, or a steak for dinner every once in a while. It might take me a few days to actually get myself that particular meal, but then when I do get it, I'm good! I don't want to continue that same meal and binge on it over and over. That's how it's been for me as I start to re-introduce the vices that I took away. Porn and masturbation, watching a t.v. show, and drinking (mostly wine), all come up as a craving once in a while, and I'll address them. When I do, I have the skillset to say "one show" and MEAN it, and FOLLOW it. I'm too busy to give into those unhealthy binges nowadays. But I do know how to take some time to address the moments when I need a break healthily. That's what I'm expecting, and I expect to stay in contact with this forum to make sure I'm not going over the edge.
  14. Hey Bob, As I said yesterday, I'm super proud of you man! You've persisted in your efforts, battled your demons into submission, changed your life, and finished your a major milestone in your new life. I think that the coolest thing about all this, however, is how much I've seen YOU change other people. You know where you were 90 days ago, and I haven't seen anyone else who is more dedicated to this forum, to making people stronger, or who is genuinely more passionate about helping other people. Sorry, @giblets, but Bob gets the crown on this one. You're definitely the close second though You've also changed my life. I truly hope that we get the chance to meet someday so I can say "Thank you!" face to face. You've got a passion for people that is only seen a few times in someone's lifetime. You are a rare and amazing individual, and I'm proud to call you my friend. I know this road has been super tough for you, but I also know that you've gone through something permanently life changing. I'm a little sad to hear that you're taking a half-step back from the forums as I finally have my chance to return. However! I'll just have to make sure our weekly correspondences are more heartfelt! Proud of you to the moon and back my friend! You did it! HELL YEAH!
  15. @Mettermrck my friend! You are so close! I'm sure this last day will feel like nothing compared to what you've already been through! I know you've had some really hard times through this process, but I imagine that you feel like a rockstar, because you should! You've made it through what thousands try to do, and you've done it while still considering others and being a foundation on this forum for a lot of people, myself included! Can't tell you enough how proud I am for how well you've done! EXCELLENT JOB!
  16. Level Up: Game Free Day 81 (New Record) Yesterday I finished my first quarter as sober-from-gaming Morgan. As a point of reference, gaming addict Morgan from last quarter had an average GPA of 1.17, and the previous quarters before that weren't that different. This time around I will have either a 4.0 or a 3.9 GPA depending on last minute grading. I also convinced two of my professors to use my startup business as course material for two of my groups. We spent five weeks developing the business strategy. Said business won a simple entrepreneurship contest at school, made it into the school's entrepreneurship center, and received runner up for "Best in show," in a two-school project display contest. I've also recruited two other students to dedicate their capstone to helping me create the initial product now that the business design is complete. Oh, and I've got two people already that said they want updates, and they want to invest. Oh, and one last thing, because my program is in the Entrepreneurship Center, and is the first major project to be in the center, my team and I gave a presentation to the higher ups in the university to show the possibilities of the new center (President, CFO, Chief Academic Officer, Senior Student Life Coordinator, Career Services Manager). The questions were on point, and the response from people who make tough decisions every day was extremely positive! Overall, I would say my life has made a decent improvement from 81 days of sobriety
  17. Level Up: Game Free Day 75 (New Record!) I'm supposed to be doing homework right now, but I didn't feel quite ready for it, so I figured this was as healthy a distraction as I could do I've got one week left of this hell schedule in school. I'll be passing all of my classes with flying colors, but I might not end up with a 4.0 like I wanted to (perfect grades in the American system). However, I will be just shy of a perfect run, and I'll definitely end up on the President's List for my school. I'm not sure if other places have that, but the President's List is better than the Dean's List! So school has been exhausting, stressful, hard on my family, and has prevented me from doing anything remotely artistic in the last 4 weeks, but I'm almost done! Also, this set of classes has been going very well for me regarding a business that I'm establishing. I've gotten two different teachers to allow me to use my class time to build up my business. I'll hopefully get a chance to present that business to the higher ups in my University tomorrow or on Tuesday, and I'll be competing in a school wide project contest on Friday. I'm not sure if anyone's ever presented a startup business in that contest, so it should be rather fun. My next set of classes should be MUCH better. Instead of 11 hours, I'll have between 4-6 hours of classes after I test out of a basic math credit I don't have yet. Hallelujah! With that kind of a schedule, I can actually get a part time job in the morning, I can write my book, I can work on art projects, and I can unpack the house. It should be great. I've had an unexpected reaction to my detox on gaming lately. I haven't broken my streak, and I know I won't before I'm done with my 90. It might be because of the high amounts of stress in my life with the 11 sucky schoolness, but I've been craving games more as I go on, not less. However, I'm at a point where I can converse with myself about my cravings and work through them instead of just giving into them and behaving like an addicted robot. The more I think about it, the more I think I'm going to re-introduce gaming into my life when my detox is done. However, I've grown very fond of being productive and having a good and accomplished life. Therefore, gaming doesn't get to be a major point in my life, it gets to be a sometimes entertainment and relaxation venue. It gets to be a planned and timed event with friends who want to hang out without the need to travel. I used to do some League of Legends with a group of older guys on Saturday mornings before our wives and kids woke up for the day. I want to do that once again. This detox process has taught my a few things. I know how to prioritize things and do the most important ones first. I know how to take pleasure in learning again, which is something I haven't felt since I was a child. I know how to look at a challenge and feel excited about tackling it, instead of retracting into the shadows and hope it goes away. I know how to long for moments where I can use my free time to be productive on a project that I want to do, instead of defaulting any free time to screen-based entertainment. I know how to take pleasure in board games with my wife, daughter, friends, and family. I know how to be happy with myself, and to have confidence in who I am and what I can accomplish. I know how to be happy. With all of that said, not having games in my life has been an incredible journey and process. I've learned more about myself in these last 75 days than any other point in my life. I also know, however, that I am strong enough to handle anything that comes into my life. I know how to control myself. And I know that I classify myself as a binging addict, not a gaming addict. My former gaming addiction was just because my binging took the form of games for many years. I have a side of myself that is really good at being obsessive over one thing at a time. Currently it's school. After school, it will likely be running my business. I've learned that when I control my bingeness and direct it into a productive direction then the rest of the things in my life can be used in a touch-and-go/need be basis. Having a drink every once in a while, masturbating, watching a show, eating ice cream, and gaming won't be a problem for me anymore. When I allow myself to do those things (except gaming... haven't done that yet), I enjoy them for the intended purpose and the tendency to repeat them into addiction no longer penetrates my defenses. It's like I have a "That was nice, now let's move on," relationship with them now. I'm excited to complete my journey and re-introduce games back into my life in a healthy way. As a computer scientist, it's a part of my culture that I'll never be able to escape, so I might as well create a strong and healthy relationship with gaming. Also, as a storyteller and story lover, I can't ignore that there are some games that have an AMAZING amount of story potential that I won't find anywhere else. To this day, some of my favorite stories have come from games, and it wouldn't have been the same if I just read the plot. At this point, I might be rambling, but that's where I'm at, and it's where I intend to go. My wife's supporting my decision, and so is one of my school representatives who's been going through this whole thing with me. And I didn't even have to convince either of them of my plan, I just told them what I was thinking and why I was thinking it, and they both agreed that creating a healthy relationship was better for me than staying cold turkey forever. Anyways, I need to get to my homework now, and anything else I try to say will be tangential most likely. Hopefully I can make a new post in a few days when my school is done. Thanks for everything to those that read this. I know I haven't been super active lately (stupid school), but I still appreciate the support I get from everyone on here. Peace out! Bring it on homework! RAHHH!!
  18. Level Up: Game Free Day 62 (New Record) Still going! No relapses! (Oh... I watched one episode of NCIS with my wife after a long day where we both just wanted to veg and snuggle in the air conditioning. It was actually really nice, and no relapse stress at all) So it's definitely been a while since I've been on here. That is primarily due to time. I've learned a lot about time management since I've been through this. I no longer consider myself a procrastinator. I don't always get things done as soon as I possibly can, but that's because things aren't priorities until they are. When I was procrastinating, I used to game a bunch when I needed to work on other things, and the thought was of course "I'll do it later." Nowadays, when I look at my to-do list (Mow the lawn, clean the house, fold my laundry, do homework X, do homework Y, do homework Z, go do freelance work, etc.) I plan things out and I decide which thing I'm doing when. Sometimes my homework still gets done an hour before it's due, but it's not because I didn't think about it, or I blew it off, it's because all the time before I started working on my project, I was doing something else worthwhile. I had assignments due that were more pressing, I was spending my time with my family, I was taking time for my personal sanity in my busy days, and so on. I don't procrastinate anymore, I prioritize. I've been going through some rough times due to time, lol. I've currently got classes from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday. This is probably the biggest hell schedule I'll have for the rest of my academic career. I've got about three hours worth of gaps spaced between my classes. About 90% of that time is dedicated to homework, then I have homework at home as well (about 2 hours a night), and I've got travel time to and from school too. So at BEST, I'm looking at about 13 hour days, and at worse, I'm looking at about 15 or 16 hour days for school every day right now. I'm so fucking exhausted, and my brain has been running on full blast for weeks now. I'm ready for this schedule to be over, which will occur in 12 more days. I can't wait. I got some new books to read for fun! Reading those before bed is helping to keep me sane. Speaking of, Monster Hunter International (book 2) awaits! Love and miss you guys. I'll do my best to post, read, and comment.
  19. Alright, I'm feeling more human again and not just a mechanical moving robot. The move was a big success :-) Lots of hard work, but very very worth it. The new house is amazing and we're already in love with the place. It fits our furniture better, we have an office, there's a playground, etc. It's a really his thing to be at the new place. It's the first place that felt like home, instead of just a temporary stop, since I met my wife :-) I'll continue this later, but know I'm back. My gaming urge is strong today as I am super exhausted. But luckily, I have no idea which box my mouse is in. Haha
  20. Level Up: Game Free Day 42 (New Record!) Hey everyone, Sorry it's been such a long time since my last presence on here. As indicated by my last post, Chester's death on Thursday hit me pretty hard. I'm still reeling from it a bit, but I've had my moment of mourning. I'm the type of person who mourns once for a loss, I'll basically compress everything I'm feeling into one sitting or day worth of crying and huge emotions. In addition to my favorite artist's death, I'm moving about 20 minutes away from where I currently am. The last few weeks have felt SUPER draining because of that as well. I feel like I haven't had the chance have any time to myself, just for me. I'm pretty weary because of it. We move this weekend, so hopefully it's all on its way to being done and I can get back to a normal routine. Due to normal stresses, plus the added above ones, I'm feeling weak. I can feel my convictions on gaming and my other vices slipping. I'm not worried about falling off the wagon and relapsing on gaming right now, because I wouldn't have the time in my day to play anyways. I'm not really worried about T.V. shows either, because I decided a while ago the stories in T.V. shows weren't actually very exciting to me. They are mostly just entertaining and cool to see, but ultimately shallow. There might be a couple that are exceptions to that, like Game of Thrones and anything with Doug Jones in it. I've already relapsed on fapping and porn (though not hardcore porn). My primary goal was to quit gaming, and I'm still doing that, but this makes me feel like I'm interfering with my brain's ability to re-write itself away from the dopamine excess. So I'm feeling a little down because I've messed with that already. In addition to all this, I'm feeling like I've plateaued and I'm not getting any better. And my final worry right now, is that I've been having thoughts of re-introducing gaming into my life after I finish my 90 days (ish... we'll see if I need a little more time when I get there. Not in the way I used to do it. But I used to have a once-a-week scheduled time to play with some of my friends who were in their late 20's/early 30's. It was kind of nice to just jam with some friends and have something to do to connect with them. It was especially nice because it's hard to get everyone together with 5 adult's busy schedules. I'm not entirely convinced at this moment, that re-introducing this would be a bad thing for my life. I've got about half of my detox left in order to make up my mind about it though. So right now I'm struggling a bit. Hopefully it will pass after this weekend and the move (the new house is a HUGE improvement over the last space. It's the home we've been looking for for over 3 years now). Also, another high note. My wife and I basically spent our 3-day weekend in the house packing ahead of time (which never happens), and playing a board game called Descent. My weekend was quite nice She's also been wonderful in supporting me after Chester died. So overall, the home life is good. My girls are going to sleep early tonight, they're both super tired. So I'll finally take some time to do some writing on my book, read some posts from my friends on here: @Tom2, @Mettermrck, and especially @giblets (I've been totally failing as an accountability partner. Sorry brother.) Hopefully I'll feel a little better after all that tonight, and some good sleep.
  21. Level Up: Game Free Day 37 (New Record!) Today one of my heroes took his own life, Chester Bennington, co-lead singer/screamer of Linkin Park. I am utterly heartbroken. I'm not a crazy fanatic who dashed for their phone every time they posted on social media, but I am an enormous fan of their music. It changed my life completely. I didn't understand the point of listening to music until my brother, Ryan, started blasting Hybrid Theory when it released in 2000, I was 12 years old. Up until this point, music didn't make sense to me, and I thought people were silly for listening to it. Then I heard songs like Crawling, Paper Cut, and In The End. The pain that I was going through as a too-smart nerdy kid who was getting bullied was brought to life in musical format. It made it OK for me to feel the way that I was, and I realized there were other people in the world who were hurting too. Knowing I wasn't alone in what I was going through made me stronger. I made more friends, I outgrew the bullies, and I gained the courage to stand up to them even when they were picking on others instead of me. Believe it or not they also helped me curb my temper and my violent streak I had as a kid. A year later when I entered Jr. High, I enrolled in band. I played the clarinet for six years. When I got to highschool, I enrolled in choir and sang for 4 years (1 year college). I went to music festivals, and played first chair clarinet in an orchestra that SWEPT in competitions, won state every year, and I became the backbone of my college Concert Choir. I would never have understood music or spent any time learning it without this amazing band and their influence on me. There are a thousand different instances in my life where I turned to LInkin Park in order to sort out what I was feeling, what I should do, and what I wanted my life to be. To this day, if I'm so pissed I can't function, I listen to their album Minutes To Midnight from start to finish, and it's 100% guaranteed to calm me down and help make sense of things. Linkin Park has been the most influential artist/group (and I'm not just talking about music, ANY artist) in my life. They are a MAJOR factor in me being the man I am today. I wouldn't be me, I wouldn't be a musician, I wouldn't be strong. Thank you for 17 years of AMAZING music Chester. You will be missed like a best friend that I could always confide in. I'm sorry you felt like you couldn't stay in this world. Hopefully someday people won't have to feel that way anymore. I love you and your work. You will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace.
  22. Lol. I don't understand our credit system well either. All I know is it HURTS if you're not perfect. Ugg... Onward and upward. Our credit is worse now than it will ever be in our lives, so we can only go up from here! Mwahaha. Yeah we were able to find a really cool dude who's our landlord. We were totally transparent on things, and we negotiated some things out so that he felt comfortable even with the credit score. AND he's a lawyer who specializes in home/rental law! I successfully negotiated with a lawyer, that's a first! Woohoo! Haha My wife and I get into little tussles like every one in a while... maybe like 4 times a year. So truly not bad. When something like this happens, we obsess over the communication and how things should be for the future. We never let anything just simmer and fester, we face it and debug it like a program. Haha. Good news!!! Credit check was bad, criminal check was flawless, last landlord review recommended us, current landlord raved about us, plus negotiations, and *drumroll* we'll be signing the lease on 1/2 an awesome house probably tomorrow or Wednesday! YEAH!!!! ... it's been a stressful day, but with good results... Oh, and all the dishes in the house are clean now. Yay!
  23. Level Up: Game Free Day 34 (New Record!) Overall things have improved in our family quite a bit. It's kind of a stressful time overall for us. We're trying to move, my wife is looking for a new job, I'm in school, our daughter is in school, I'm not working much, etc. We're doing very well now. Last Friday was just a particularly hard day for us to deal with. We talked it through, and I know what I need to do moving forward and she knows what she needs to do. I think we're both still getting used to this new version of me, and that newness just caused some sparks to fly for one evening. I was able to point out that she and I are a lot more passionate with each other since I stopped gaming. We have a LOT more sex, which is awesome for both of us. And I pointed out that I'm not so grumpy anymore and I don't make our daughter cry every day like I used to. I still make her cry sometimes, but that's usually when I have to do some tough love parenting and she just wants sugar instead of dinner. Lol. Overall though, things are better between us, and we were able to say some things that we've needed to say. Right now, we've got our fingers crossed so hard our fingers have no blood in them. We applied to rent the upper portion of a house that we LOVE! Our credit is super bad (thank you very much government for fucking students over SO hard on student loans), and so he's hesitating a bit. Hopefully we've negotiated well enough that he'll accept us, and we can move in there for three years, and he's got his rent set up so that consistent on-time payments can actually help our credit! God this would be the PERFECT move for us and so we're really hoping that he liked us well enough to trust us, rather than trusting a credit report. That's mostly what's going on right now. We start packing for our move tonight. Hopefully this time around will be easy. We've been trying to get rid of our extra stuff all year long so this move would be light. This week we'll see if we actually succeeded. Lol.
  24. Level Up: Game Free Day 32 (New Record!) Oh... lol. I feel like I have been fairly active in the forums since my last post, but I totally spaced making my own post! Haha. Oops. So I made it past 30 days! That's awesome. Things have been pretty good overall. Still kicking ass in my class. I was one of 4 students chosen to be a project lead for the next phase of the course. Basically that means I get to have my own team (25% of the class), and I will coordinate with the other 3 team leaders to deliver an actual software product in 5 weeks. It's going to be a bit crazy, but it should be fun as well. We haven't figured out what kind of software we're making yet, but I'm really excited to get even more project management experience. My wife and I have having a bit of a hiccup right now. She admitted that she doesn't view most of my activities as productive, which included school, game quitters, personal projects that I need for my own sanity, etc. That caused a harsh discussion last night. It was unpleasant. She said that can't appreciate it if she can't see any results from the efforts. Most of what I'm doing right now is for long term goals, and long term results, so it's really frustrating to no have anything tangible to show her. I think we probably got through most of the muck... there's probably a bit more to wade through though. I'll keep trying to make things better for the family, and hopefully she'll see that at in a while. One thing I know I can do, is keep the house looking nice, make sure breakfast is made, lunch is packed, and dinner is planned. Those are physical things that she looks for, and appreciates. Maybe I can start working on my body in earnest. That would be a physical change she would notice too haha. Another thing to report is that I had a bit of a slip regarding porn/masturbation. I got onto Deviant Art yesterday, looking for examples of a painting technique that I really like. I'm thinking of starting a series of art projects based on this technique, and I wanted to see if anyone was doing similar things. Looks like no, I couldn't find anything. Haha. Anyways, I got myself into a bad spot and I started looking at artistic nudes. You can imagine what happened after that. The thing is, I don't really regret what happened. It was a very different experience than what the normal version of porn+masturbation is. I wasn't looking at people fucking each other, or being dirty, kinky, or quirky, etc. I was looking at artistically shot women's bodies. I think woman are like walking pieces of art. The shape of their bodies, the curve of their lips, the shine in their eyes, all of it is gorgeous to me. I am an artist, and I can look at a wonderfully sketched piece of art, listen to a great piece of music, view a beautiful painting and appreciate the creativity and the beauty within it. When I look at a woman, especially my wife, I get that same feeling of deep appreciation for the way their bodies look. This time around, I was looking at women from this beautiful sensual perspective, and not from a pornographic perspective. The experience was vastly different from the norm, and my body reacted very differently as well. Anyways, it was an interesting experience. I don't think I should be doing that again, because it falls right into the dopamine category of "Click = new high" and that's the main reason I'm going through this detox, is to rewire my brain away from those things. However, I don't regret it, and it helped to shed some light on a perspective that I already had, and it showed me how to appreciate the way I think of women a little better. Basically, they're not just potential sex partners (that's a bit extreme overall, but it gets the point across), they're artistic bodies piloted by beautiful souls. I think that's a win for me overall.
  25. Man! That's some seriously cool change you're making. I'm glad you're changing yourself in ways that you enjoy. Remember to be proud of yourself, what you've done is certainly worthy of pride.
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