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  1. April 15-17 I'm more aware of the difficulties of planning to replace some major computer habits again, like last year. One thing I've hardly done is text messaged on my phone, as I noticed it taxing me in a way or two. I've felt a bit lazy if anything, not checking in, even if it would just be on a game, for routine, time of day rituals. The last few nights for example, I had the option to go to the computer, open it up and 'vote' for the game for rewards. It has been possible 12-hourly, but I've just done it once per day. It was an easy calculation to determine that, come Winter, the reward would have stacked up to be redeemable for the best 'cloak'. I figure that only matters to me because I've never really had goals much further than a month away that are a major talking point in real life, aside from surviving or celebrating a season for the sake of it. Anyway, my emotions/mood are (and predictably should have been) fluctuating, not because I feel compelled to play (the last weekend glows on), but because I'm trying to re-value things like the tidiness of my room, and the patronage of the cafes and shops on my street when I go out - really realer things, because my particularly lone gaming rituals had next to no bearing on how the food on my grocery list got to the store. 🥲 I hope to start waking up brighter again soon, and more in tune. __________________ Gratitude: ~ No one looking at me funny walking out the door and circuiting around for an hour in what were basically my pyjamas ~ A super regular birthday ~ My job agent's manner in telling me about their changing workplace ~ Knowing when to call time on my weights-room visit today Glad to be here, ~ Matt
  2. When my mom was rejoining the workforce, she was lucky enough to be recognised by old workmates from 10+ years previously. I've heard that some people don't even like the word 'authentic' now - me, I think any term can be called a buzzword if overused. I just played Charles Wright's 'Express Yourself' twice because it popped into my head, as a lot of older things do when I'm feeling challenged. Anyway, my mom sort of treats the world like a village (I am at risk of turning that into a buzz word now). Even the person who's been helping me in finding new work has now said that the world is small (they will be in new work too soon, handing me to another person in the agency) - because we're likely to recognise each other socially, but also maybe because one way or another, we're supposed to recognise certain qualities first in other people, then they come into focus fully (again, perhaps). Do you let or encourage people to make big impressions on you? I wouldn't now underestimate the value of remembering probably small things others have said or done but meant a lot to me, then bringing them up, because it can be very flattering. Then it's like I'm suddenly welcome in their life. Had I known that and found better outlets than gaming earlier in my life to process and wait until people needed it.. retreating into my head might never have posed such a problem. We shouldn't give up so easily. ~ Matt
  3. April 12-14 I turn 30 next week. There have been a lot, and I mean a relatively large number of birthdays in my men's group alone in the past couple of weeks (go April!). So today, one of them arranged an unofficial (our men's group is like a paid subscription for events planned for us) get-together at the bowling alley, then the bar afterward. The thing I liked the most was that almost none of the silences were awkward. Yesterday was an official event, which we spent at AXE throwing again! Now, this time I was outclassed by a few people and I made it to the finale and lost, however my partner/opponent called a second chance with the larger, heavier axe to hit the target with - to be the winner - and I made a better throw. So, with honour mainly to him, I might call that a tie. Both days of the weekend were largely comfortable, though I remained switched on for 90% of the time, which meant minimal side-tracked thoughts or rumination. I want to say that it was like being shown a very good time, and they sort of deserve my best for awhile after that. ^ Without counting the days in tally during this period, I will be trying to find different outlets than gaming and erotic material. I was imagining how grand it would be to say to future family that I knew I'd had my fill of messing around on the internet by age 30, and that it was just a large phase. It'll hopefully be about and with replacement in mind, rather than avoidance. ___________________ Friday was my main birthday celebration already, and I managed to get home in one piece at just before midnight. With a bit of awkwardness and apprehension to get over, we eventually sat down to a barbecue meal, followed by sweets - then after my mum and her partner left, I witnessed some more eye-opening scenes on a reality TV show with my brother and his girlfriend. I wondered whether they even wanted me to go home, because I stopped at the door, opening and closing it slightly as we kept getting in final words. 🧐 __________________ Gratitude: ~ More good weather: some cold, some warm ~ Drinking water again, honestly ~ My family and the guys being open and accommodating (almost misspelt there!) ~ Being able to forgive myself for smaller slip-ups a little more Good luck, everyone. ~ Matt
  4. Make sure that you're not alone and have contact with other parents too! I was 19 when I first read 'it takes a village', and knew it was true then, even being me. You're doing a great job.
  5. Day #15 (regular journalling) So I got to thinking as I sometimes do about when my go-to game becomes unavailable officially - which it will, eventually, and most especially before I master its content. This is because I mostly use it for familiarity as I process difficult things and feelings. Most definitely, in the official game's absence, die-hard players would flock to the next best (or popular) replacement server, whoever runs it. I would not follow that crowd, for two reasons: 1) Too many players would be competing to complete or attain certain things, having mostly re-started, and 2) The custom-made functions on that/those servers would be too engaging, as I discovered on the server I just completed the level-ups on --> I also would probably not try to create my own server, as I would get too handy with the 'ban hammer' for people I would deem out-of-line, and would undoubtedly make enemies for excluding the small yet reliably harmful minority, which I doubt I'd be able to deal with. ______________ So, life after gaming, when I'm ready or forced into it, for someone like me might drive me to church, volunteering or becoming a library-fiend. Today, even though it felt good to have birthday plans coming up, even my mom kind of finished proving to me that my immediate family aren't able to alleviate all of my pain. Maybe with enough time, they would, but I'll probably have to start from the bottom of some real-world gig in the meantime. I just have to choose wisely, I think. I still feel bad about, but am beginning to move past the development that stalled in me since around puberty. The processing continues, for now. _____________ Gratitude: ~ A slightly better-feeling period of over-sleep ~ A full morning routine (brush, shave, shower, walk + a given resume) ~ Okay weather ~ Getting away with having last night's forgone dinner for breakfast (tofu and vegetables) Thanks, and peace, all ~ Matt
  6. Teenaged life, unless in a really bad scene (hard drugs and stuff), I think is hard to survive anyway. At least you're here 🤙 - welcome!
  7. Congrats on doing without games, and getting through a move 👏 The only thing I really remember doing is unpacking wrapped glasses and cups and putting them up in the cabinets. lol
  8. Day #14 (Tuesday morning in Aus) Yesterday and especially Sunday were tough. I think the social group's event was farther away to travel to than any I'd been to before, and the hour I allowed wasn't enough to get to the second, bus-half of the trip. I had spent awhile working with another member to make Sunday his first event in a long time, and it was a surprise to learn that it was his birthday, and that after a lot of progress he would be 'going with the flow' with his parents' birthday plans for him. - So I delayed planning my then solo trip (we were to travel together) until 2 hours before the event started, when really I should have been ready to leave, and known that hours ago. The thing is, I only did the math about halfway through the ride on the train, and with no one next to me to say 'oh crap' to, so my thoughts spiralled downward, almost predictably. ^ Then when I got to the planned bus stop, I actually noticed another group member who had to be running late too. I tried and failed to get his attention (he had earphones in and was staring into the distance), which try as I might have to prevent it, just piled up on my negative emotions. I decided that I'd had an exhausting enough experience on my own and caught another long-ish train back, with my planned bus already in sight. The funny thing was, I really did feel accomplished in that nothing worse happened; that I largely kept myself together - but I imagined that other people could sense my discomfort and perhaps pitied me or even wished that they didn't have to witness it in someone like me. That was one of the negative circuits. _______________ Yesterday, I saw my employment agency officer, whose wifi wasn't working until the end, and she told me that we'd just be there to 'talk'. I almost wish she hadn't, but it did make me notice the physical and emotional toll Sunday had taken and how it had lasted through a night's sleep. I picked up some of my favourite bread, and at the store was someone I had decided to avoid, for good reason (only to me, though). I think he saw me, but I was determined not to be potentially humiliated (feeling that way around him most of the time decided the avoidance) in public that I kept my eyes 2 metres ahead where I was going. I'm aware that for dealing with some people, this can only make any determination to get back at me for 'ghosting' worse, but I know that with my usual processing, I'll have something soothing to say if that happens - I already had 'I wasn't ready to be good friends yet' planned in my head. And finally, I realised a bit too late that all I wanted to do was lie down in silence and inactivity (which I did, at the end of the day), my conscience told me to ask my brother about my dad messaging me that he needed someone to look after the dog again for a few days, this time twice a day, which would almost warrant me staying there the whole time. I knew I wasn't up to that, and though I said I'd try to go yesterday evening just for dinner at first, no amount of positive self-talk could get me over the first busy road (I would have walked and taken the bus, as I have 50-odd times before). Having failed (in my view) big-time in two consecutive days (I had even forgotten to pick up my medication until just before then), I turned around, went into the pharmacy and eventually told them I was in a crisis. I'm lucky that they didn't have me carted away, because I was tempted to ask for that to happen when I got home and booked an initial GP appointment over the phone to get more scripts. That's all because of how afraid I was of my family's reactions to my performance; I think that they think that because I don't bring other people down that I must have everything else in order as well. A lot of the time, I'm just a boy. ______________ Gratitude: ~ I'm not going to recommend my RPG to anyone, but I was glad it was there as an option that I used. ~ Yesterday, my active self-talk (as opposed to idle rumination) carried me though fairly well, though it wasn't enough to make the hour trip and back from my brother's. ~ Being able to sleep yesterday off until I'm prompted to talk about it again today ~ Thanks trying to read my posts and liking them anyway, guys, I suspect it's hard to know what to say re: how loaded they might be Peace, ~ Matt
  9. Day #11 Under the Dome (Simpsons Movie reference) I started posting here again almost 2 weeks ago when my idea of my RPG's endgame was in sight. Today, I kind of thoughtlessly vented my energy at a highly interactive component of the game in the morning. What actually made my day was having arranged to meet a staff-member at the gym for a workout; upper-body after yesterday's squats. He let me on the body-scan machine, so I've got a sheet of paper of new metrics to look into online. Afterward, I sort of drifted between the kitchen and the computer, but also backed up some relations with a member(s) of my social group. I found perhaps 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon gaming fun; other than that, I just wondered (forgive me) WTH I was doing, and wished I felt that connection and healthy compulsion towards what I'm gonna call 'the system' and society. It's a Saturday night, and the world (or at least the suburb) is my oyster, but for now, I'm happy that I signed off of the game(s) early and am close to finishing reading this book (of my Dad's). I'm still scared of what some of the world might wish to make of me, but maybe the benefits outweigh the costs. I just wish there weren't any - except the old opportunity costs when hesitant/bored. Gratitude: ~ Beautiful weather when someone said twice that rain would pour (I hope to find out about how his day(s) went) ~ Water ~ The worst egg-in-microwave explosion didn't get me down for a minute as I cleaned up after; I was basically just so impressed that much mess could possibly be made. lol ~ The wonder of what might come in between slow, mindful, hyper-vigilance and tripping over my feet to get places in a hurry that ends up being healthy for me and everyone else Forza (as characters in an Italian comic said)! ~ Matt
  10. Day #10 of Liaison (lol) Gratitude: ~ My raincoat worked, worn over a weights vest on a couple of walks ~ Yesterday, I had an overall good time at a social club 9:30am-5:30pm, like a workday almost, because I put myself to use (as Dr. Larch says in The Cider House Rules) ~ ^ Relating to that book, I have mostly been enjoying reading it in the evening since the start of the year, games or no-games ~ Even though it might be seen as cheating or something, I am glad I can edit posts and messages online so that I might make more sense Summary: Well, Monday to Friday has passed, and which day of the week it's been has mattered quite little to me. Routine has been very important in the past, mostly because I talked with people who had them in the form of work and enjoyed seeing people wind down or get pumped for the weekend or the end of the day. I'm sure that I don't prefer chaos to routine, but I don't know how I'm going to grow if not forced out of my comfort zone in some way. I don't want to unnecessarily challenge people's points of view and become really unpopular as I did as a preteen, but what else is there? I picked up some maths books from the library in case I get bored. Reading and understanding them (with a teacher's verbal instruction) used to come naturally at school, but I found some of it challenging to revisit, so 3 of them left the building to come home with me. 😛 Wishing you all a pleasant weekend Peace, ~ Matt
  11. A swimming team that also does football, sweet! Hey Hemonkey, I'm also hanging around the forum for awhile again too. I have also had a momentary flash of rage recently, which I've put down to mostly the 9pm-3am sleep I had the night before, but also being close to finishing a gaming objective (my addiction, if I'd cared to give it a voice, would have said I was wasting time being social at the event (grouped basketball). The offence committed was real, sure, but I believed strongly enough that it should have been treated as an isolated incident, even if my offender actually did feel malice in the moment that he pushed me (edit: he wasn't facing me, staring me off or calling me names or anything, after all). Since I joined the group, at least, I knew I was one of the older ones, and so have tried to be the bigger/wiser 'man' in most situations. What bothered me, upon reflection, was that he is married and older than any of us, and in the same captaining position I am. In the end though, it was the many unsuccessful attempts at controlling my anger in younger years past, and the times where I let the offences slide. that won out and said 'take a break'. Perhaps regrettably, I also used my mental fallback of 'let potential psychos be psychos' until someone who is actually defenceless is on the receiving end - then demands to take the hit for them may be viable. I still don't think it should ever come to that. My offender had only just met me, and it was probably his way of determining what sort of friend I could be to them, if at all. That is what I decided. So good luck - mature sporting 'overzealousness' is a thing, according to my Dad - trying to forgive, even if you can't forget, is my advice. ~ Matt
  12. Fourteen kilometres definitely stretches out! That's the longest I've ever bothered to jog! I think It's probably better to see each of your courses to their ends instead of having started multiple to juggle. I sort of know that deal from a few attempts at goal-setting. But books, maybe some deeper browsing to find one that gets you shamelessly hooked! The last one I re-read with that commitment was Stephen King's 'The Stand'. It made me feel right in there next to the characters and the scenery. Good luck + Happy Easter Vee!
  13. Day #5 (Of Gaming Doubt, Self-Actualisation + Gratitude) Last night, I slept from ~8pm to ~4am; still a solid 8 hours, but more than that - I made sure that I was not still tired before getting online for some ritual play. It may have been too early to type this immediately when I woke up, but who really knows? What did happen was after 2 hours somehow passed, I went for arguably the best hour-long walk I've had; my original route, with 10kg comfortably around my shoulders in the backpack. Somehow, keeping my head up - if only to admire the sunrise, trees, buildings and general Easter weekend peace this morning (I probably strayed far into gratitude material there, but at least they got their mentions). I also think I had a bit of a breakthrough psychologically this morning. Many present themselves throughout the day, so I can mentally prepare for random things, but this was one that really made me stop and think about my gaming addiction. It went something like this (as my 'better self' conversed with the rest of me): "Why, for what reason, are you spending all of this mental energy on things you're already so familiar with?" - Well tbh, I probably am still lingering on the same feelings that my long-time pizza-making job trained me in; fiddling around with things at my fingertips, trying to make a 'perfect' picture. "Or an image/a reflection of us on a game, perhaps? On a pixellated screen?" - Yeah, I guess. "And what do you think would happen if you tried to wrap your head around more difficult, challenging concepts, like the ones presented whilst reading stories or studying things that actually interest you?" - I can imagine it paying off in the medium to long-term, if I could just open myself up to learning about what's real to the wider world and what might slowly begin to benefit everyone, I guess. "Is there anything you would miss about not playing Runescape, where you constantly pit your touted patience, concentration and energy against others, even when you don't feel good about it?" - I'm afraid of having to set a pace that enables me to leave all of that (while sitting alone at my computer) behind, while bringing everyone along with me (because I feel that I have to include everyone I am aware plays a part or role in my life (many!). I suppose it's also the flicking by of familiar images and the comfort they bring. ___________________ That ^ was where the conversation (that had to be lengthened out a bit, but really was what I thought in the space of a few minutes - while kettle water boiled :X) ceased. I also had a dream last night, where I raced some of the people I really admired socially in high school in a jog around like all the places I love from memory. I think that was about, as long as we are in a good place, a bit of individual effort and/or competition can feel positive. Yesterday in waking life, I realised after taking a break from a basketball game where my peer was shouldering up against me that I was irritable because I'd only slept 6 hours the night before last (9pm-3am). I also wished that I held reading the fiction novel from my dad in high enough regard to at least make me feel social/understanding of others' struggles, instead of believing they wanted to impact me negatively with the way they expressed themselves. That, combined with it kind of being mental illness talking, was difficult. Perhaps it shouldn't have been. Gratitude: ~ The sunrise/skyline this morning ~ Feeling refreshed enough not to dwell or play negative scenarios in my head much ~ Not even being strongly motivated by the 'last legs' of my gameplay. I actually wish it were interesting and fun, so that the ease and comfort might continue, but I realise that in the future, it will have take more collaborative (with the outside world) effort - since I want to live a long and full enough life to land me in a happy enough place, sort of like my grandparents have. I also want to look in from the outside as well, with my peers, and be proud of what I see. ~ To you who are still online here with me, for being good to each other and positively contributing to others' journeys Peace, ~ Matt Happy Easter!
  14. Hey guys, so I'm back because I have a problem, or multiple, with a root cause. I'm pretty sure that I've been battling mental illness all of my life, and trying to meet a constant need to retreat to where nothing matters but the task at hand, usually in a playful manner. This has gotten harder and harder to find, because, while I have probably stalled a bit more than the average person in this way, some maturity has inevitably presented itself in my personality. Last year, for 5 months, (between May and October) I stopped all wilful gaming, and thoroughly enjoyed sharing and reading all of our journal entries together. I tried to make them fun and upbeat, as often as I could. I had committed to my first detox, whilst among you doing the same. That was meaningful. But people in my life forget about the illness when I seem to be doing well, though it never really goes away; I dream vividly almost every night, even and especially when I am happy, perhaps a reminder of a greater purpose. Sometimes, I wish it wasn't there, and I could simply ask my peers 'why would I do this' (unnecessary thing - even if it's incredibly altruistic and kind), as I overhear so many people saying, which I've usually found really cringe-worthy. Even in hard times, I never asked that question. I was rarely ever complacent, likely often because I had my online game to remind me that the 'quest' was never over. ______________ If I thought that this, or any other website, could turn into a paradise - offering reprieve and soulful fulfilment (our GQ Discord was relatively hard to get in the mood with), I would commit again to 'no-gaming'; a sincerity that I could carry around in the longest-term. But when jokes have been made by those I know about real, painful things, I dwell and wish that I didn't have to be a part of those scenes. Sometimes I wonder about 'the warrior gene', which sometimes gains traction in online discussions. For the last 2 weeks, I loaded my backpack with 10kg for my multiple-a-day, hour-long walks. I had forgotten what it was like to feel light, in several senses of the word. I think I did that because I wanted my body and mind to feel the same way about my life. _______________ So maybe this journal should be just as much about what I want to be as what I don't want to do. To finish up the entry, I'll share a memory (1) and some gratitude (2) for things that seemed to go right, regardless: 1) I saw 'The Blind Side' movie in the cinemas with my mum and partner when it came out. The credits, with that Five For Fighting song left me feeling good like very few movies did. I think before the movie, a large clump of earwax fell out of one of my ears, perhaps enhancing the experience. 😅 That might have even been while I gave up my computer game (though not all games) for approximately 3 months (because of a very negative PvP experience - I gave away all of my high-value 'items'). I guess that says a lot, huh? 2) - Clouds and nature; we never really say that a cloud or a tree has an incorrect shape. It's pretty much always is the way it is, pretty-looking and natural - Not getting physically sick; yes, whilst gaming, I read a couple of players' histories of nearly dying with sepsis. I felt incredibly fortunate both to be healthy and there to witness such openness - Warm drinks, again; I've made 4 or 5 different ones a day for awhile now. They are both calming and a reason to sit down and reflect, or in this case, type and share. - The little bits of appreciation I've gotten as my most recent gaming endeavours have reached their end - like the sounds around me upon waking in the morning, and the fresh air that comes in after I've opened all of my windows. That's all. I'm going to call this Day #1 of simply and hopefully being and staying active with a community that, if nothing else, got me through a hard Winter and the start of a life-long journey. Peace, ~ Matt
  15. Well, yeah, last year it seemed like only 1% of my time could be taken up healthily by games, and those ones were with people I knew in person - but the other 99% of daily life, I felt like I had so little sway over what happened around me and it was really disempowering. It seems that during most places I'm at/things I do, something saddens or disappoints me, and I strongly suspect that almost no one will tolerate any voiced problem I have with those things, which is often why I've preferred checking out the little pixellated avatars and hi-scored representations of real people for so long. Usually, no one can tell that I'm checking them out any more than anyone else does. Gaming is definitely an unbalancing force at times, but the fact that I've stayed on the same platform for over half of my life only bothers me when people are quietly but evidently surprised that I haven't got expertise across several other consoles. If it weren't gaming, it would be gardening or something, and I would probably get tired of explaining the benefits of weeding, watering and soiling to others - unlike strenuous exercise/sport. _______________ As for any commitments to gaming, I sort of only have a 30-minutes-per-day kind of April goal (in the middle of which is my birthday, where I hope to bring up to my family why I'm still spending time on it without disparaging the efforts that they actually have managed to make - the NPD runs deep, but it's like Hannibal; discussing the symptoms and signs will probably not help matters unless with more professional guidance, and even then..). I want to be and say that I am not special, merely lagging behind socially, so that my family and others might be able to follow that lead and we may be functional once more.
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