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My Journal - Doug S - Heroic Growth


Irishrican950
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Day 1 

Hi - I'm 35 and I am ready to quit gaming.  

Gaming has been my greatest escape.  I'm an OG player.  Started in the 90s... have pride in playing some of the best OG RPG games of that era.  Went on many adventures... had these experiences shape me as a person.  Gave me an outlet to have a best friend - my cousin... who used to set up LAN connections in his home so we could play RPGs together - this was BEFORE Online MMOs like RuneScape came along and changed the game.  So ya my gaming community was him... he died on Jan 1, 2022.... first day of this year.  

He was a type 1 diabetic and that really what our family would tell you about how he came to pass... I know underneath that there was a very lonely soul that got caught up in the alternative landscapes that gaming provides.  We had a falling out 7 years ago and I knew from there he was going to be on his own mostly and succumb to such a fate.  What I didn't expect was to find myself relapsing into games after his passing... but I did this year and I literally had that self sabotage so much of my progress as an entrepreneur.  My problem is I have shame around gaming so much so that I don't want anything to do with gamers.  I have had a history of judging them unfairly without judging that I am one of them.  I historically only gamed with my cousin or alone and now that he's gone and I had a little bit of a relapse... I have had a window into seeing how being alone and gaming... much like he was in his last few years... can be so detrimental to one's health.  

I'd like to dedicate the next 90 days to him and I hope over time I can support this community and be an advocate for life outside of gaming.  Already I have knocked out some big wins over the years... I wrote a book, I quit my 6 figure job to pursue passions, became a DJ, hosted big events that brought people together, dated amazing women... bought a house... the list goes on... but over time I find I'll occasionally slide back into a game every once in a while and it throws off so much progress... so much so that I'm not as stable in my life as I could be.  I hope to address that over the course of the next 3 months... and in the coming years.  

What I can say right away is that I do have a book about what life can be like in college when a bunch of gamers come together and play BIG in real life - you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Heroic-Growth-Step-Step-Organizational-ebook/dp/B098PM7J5B/

If you can't afford my book - DM me and I'll hook you up... but ya it's a must read for this community!  

Anyways - this is day 1 for me... Stoked to meet you brave souls... we out here!  LFG! 

-D 
 

Edited by Irishrican950
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Day 2 

Watching NFL football at the moment and notice how I already am replacing football games from video games.  I uninstalled all my video games.  About to do the turn on module so I can fill up my calendar.  Noticing some resistance there and feelings of overwhelm to totally fill my schedule to brim (at least that's what I think I'll need to do).  I really like this format right now of journaling every day on this forum.  There's a part of me who really sees this as an alternative way of journaling.  

Was catching up with a girl today who I used to like but was too afraid to pursue back in the day and was admitting that and talking about where I am at now.  I'm really excited to see what the next 90 days looks like for me.  

Wishing you all the best on this path. 

-D 

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Day 3 

Feeling the withdraw take hold.  Flew today by plane to Puerto Rico.  Chatted up a cute girl next to me on my flight to Philly... got her number by the end of the ride.  That was great... felt slightly edgy but natural.  My second longer leg of flying - I was squeamish all the way to Puerto Rico.  I found myself unable to sleep or focus on any given thing for too long.  I'd read for 10 minutes, look out the window for 10, try to nap, ext.  I left my headphones in my bag so I would really be in silence and I could sense how off my mind is right now craving the distraction of games or the internet... none of which were available to me.  Today I dove into the module on replacing gaming with other activities.  Can really see how I am not quite doing that too well yet.  Been focused alot on NFL and World Cup scores and watching those instead of CREATING.  That's my focus moving forward.  It's been a long day and I am going to sign off but I look forward to taking the list of mental, social and restful activities and running with that tomorrow.  Should be really fun to see how I can best organize those better with my schedule.  

Hope this message finds you well... shout out to Paul, White Cloud and Captain Pilz for liking my posts.  Having eyes on this helps motivate me to keep showing up. 

Respect,

D

Edited by Irishrican950
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Hey Doug,

Welcome to the forum! First off, thanks for sharing your story with us. I was touched by the story of your late cousin, and how you’re devoting these 90 days to him. Keep at it! As well, I can resonate with you about the struggle with replacement activities. I’ve also kind of thrown myself into sports as a way to fill time, at the expense of more creative outlets. I’m sure we’ll figure out better alternatives as time goes on. At any rate, I’ll be keeping posted with your journal and I’ll be here to offer a word or two when I feel so compelled. Feel free to reach out for anything. You got this!

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On 12/4/2022 at 5:27 PM, Irishrican950 said:

About to do the turn on module so I can fill up my calendar.  Noticing some resistance there and feelings of overwhelm to totally fill my schedule to brim (at least that's what I think I'll need to do).

Perhaps I sort of relate, but in resisting the idea of committing to a schedule outside of work. Recently attempting to start module #5, it is possible to overthink the calendar format itself, and it can be easy to avoid engaging with life after obligations if that is already a habit.

 

On 12/5/2022 at 9:23 PM, Irishrican950 said:

Chatted up a cute girl next to me on my flight to Philly... got her number by the end of the ride.  That was great... felt slightly edgy but natural.

Whoah, I guess we have a player in these forums :4_joy:
I kid, but props to you for initiating a social interaction regardless!
 

On 12/5/2022 at 9:23 PM, Irishrican950 said:

My second longer leg of flying - I was squeamish all the way to Puerto Rico.  I found myself unable to sleep or focus on any given thing for too long.

An airline flight could be a somewhat limiting environment for creation activities compared to consuming ones. Your destination might serve better for gauging how you are coping with your initial detox.

Nonetheless, I hope you have fun with your organization process!

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Day 4 + 5 

Right now I am at a cafe with this Puerto Rican woman that is such a good vibe to hang with.  Taking a moment now to get on here and just share from the heart how much richer social connection is in person vs online.  I am really working to be more present to this and reminding myself this.  Yesterday was a great day for me as I was able to get back into a flow of co-working with friends I have here on the island and have that morph into some fun after hours.  Woke up early today and attended a men's group on the beach this morning.  Went for a group run and did Breathwork.  We then opened up the space to share our struggles and feelings around what we are all presently navigating.  I came to a deep realization that I've been essentially counter balancing the habit of gaming with the very activities that are suggested to replace gaming with... but I haven't stopped gaming.  Thus I haven't been able to fully unleash the power of these other activities because I do in times of boredom or stress at times still default to a mobile game.  This is an exciting time for me as I really let go of that and continue to lean into the activities I can sense will replace my needs met by gaming.  

This desire for more community, connection, love and happiness that is so prevalent in the gaming community is something I know over time I can lean into and invite more gamers to share in the experiences that I am enjoying right now.  Tonight I am going to a full moon ceremony on the beach where people from all over the island come and bring instruments and share in song and dance.  I am looking forward to it so much right now.  

I've also got 3 live DJ sets starting Thursday and Friday... with out games all of this is now much more exciting and I feel more energy for it.  

I so appreciate hearing from some of you so thank you for your replies Resonant_Shell & Paul A.  

Resonant_Shell - I've always had a fear of initiating social contact... I know it stems from being in small private schools as a kid where I didn't meet a lot of new people and when I did it was a big deal/had a lot of social pressure.  That said - I know this is such a big issue collectively now a days with social media and all these different ways to connect without actually having to physically go up to someone and initiate contact.  I hope to continue to cultivate this skill sets as I know it's value and sense that it's something future generations need to relearn how to do with all this tech at our fingers.   

Keep up the comments, fam!  So fueling!! 

May the force be with you all,  
-D 

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On 12/4/2022 at 2:05 AM, Irishrican950 said:

Day 1 

My name is Doug.  I'm 35 and I am ready to quit gaming.  
 

Courageous move to admit at this point in life that you have this struggle, after accomplishing all of that.
Hope for a quick reset back on the king's path.

 

6 hours ago, Irishrican950 said:

 Tonight I am going to a full moon ceremony on the beach where people from all over the island come and bring instruments and share in song and dance.  I am looking forward to it so much right now.  
 

Which Island is that?
Is that where you live?

On another note, I suggest to write shorter messages at least for the beginning, and just concentrate on frequency so that you could build the habit of journaling daily. What do you think?

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Journal for Day 6 + 7 + 8, 

Want to acknowledge Yan in this community right out of the gate for making a suggestion to write shorter passages to be able to write daily.  Will do.  It's been an interesting 3 days here in Puerto Rico.  I find myself in my downtime more addicted now to dating apps and scrolling on my phone without access to games.  That said, I've also had some solid DJ sets go down that have boosted my confidence and helped me see that there's definitely opportunity to play more if I really commit to it.   I've been a rather on and off DJ/producer.  Games seems to fuck up my consistent ability to practice my craft and be creative.  

I've also been prolonging the module that focuses on scheduling myself so I stay on task.  I'm flying back to the states tomorrow.  Going to commit to really rocking the scheduling this week and that starts with scheduling these daily journal briefs.  

Again - massive shout out to the community here.  You all rock for reading my posts.  

Big love, 

D

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Day 9,

Woke up in a funk.  Wrapping up my trip here in Puerto Rico.  Returning back to my parents house for the holidays in MA.  I feel accomplished yet a little empty.  I'm feeling the lack of longer term connections I have established in my life as I starve myself of the gaming escapism.  Find the desire strong to scroll on my phone in bed.  Did that for like an hour.  I think once I quit gaming... I need to move on to quitting or attempting to minimize the scrolling.  I just cleaned the apartment I am staying at and feel that post clean high from doing that.  The cleaning itself was tough tho... I really am realizing just how much I will escape to avoid discomfort and pain at times.  

All and all I am excited to return back home and get after this next week.  

Will be reviewing some modules today during my layover.  

Big love fam, 

D

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A huge part of gaming is the escapism aspect. Even after we quit, there’s still a powerful tendency to want to escape difficult emotions and experiences. Quitting games opens up an avenue for us to be able to tackle this issue, but simply quitting by itself is not enough. We’ll have to learn how tackle that tendency towards escapism in other ways, whether through seeking professional counsel or through taking another route. It’s a battle we’re all fighting, myself included. But you’re on the right track! Be sure to keep us posted

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9 hours ago, Irishrican950 said:

Find the desire strong to scroll on my phone in bed.  Did that for like an hour.  I think once I quit gaming... I need to move on to quitting or attempting to minimize the scrolling.

I think at this point this is a very common occurence, I see that a lot of people here once they quit gaming indulge in consuming other content, myself included. Definitely should be quitting scrolling right after the 90 day mark of no-games. Even better if you could start the count right now simultaneously(If you feel that the gaming habit is very draining as is, better wait with it, after all, our willpower is limited) .
Here's how I approach the subject: I have set a habit of watching social media 15 minutes a day (all of them including whatsapp email etc.) Unless it is directly needed for the task I am doing at the current moment, and it works quite well for a few years now. (This is just a possible format for you. Maybe you want to set a different limit or habit).
In any case, remember how much you have accomplished, this is a piece of cake for you! Plus, men keep their word so if you said 90 days, we'll be waiting for you at the other end 🙂

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Day 10,

We out here fam... 

On 12/11/2022 at 1:45 PM, Paul A. said:

We’ll have to learn how tackle that tendency towards escapism in other ways, whether through seeking professional counsel or through taking another route. It’s a battle we’re all fighting, myself included. But you’re on the right track! Be sure to keep us posted

It's nice to have you guys in my corner.  That community feeling of being in the trenches together - the brotherhood in this... such medicine.  

17 hours ago, Yan said:

Here's how I approach the subject: I have set a habit of watching social media 15 minutes a day (all of them including whatsapp email etc.) Unless it is directly needed for the task I am doing at the current moment, and it works quite well for a few years now. (This is just a possible format for you. Maybe you want to set a different limit or habit).

This is great feedback, Yan!

 Will try and implement.  

17 hours ago, Yan said:

In any case, remember how much you have accomplished, this is a piece of cake for you! Plus, men keep their word so if you said 90 days, we'll be waiting for you at the other end 🙂

Love this - yes as men we hold each other accountable in that light.  Just having made that promise - I feel even more able to do this so I don't let myself and the community down and we rise together.  

I notice that another area of escapism is my dreams!  I dream about things better than the real world and so I will sometimes stay in bed dreaming some vivid badass dreams instead of getting going.  That fucked up my schedule today.  I'm just hoping that over time that I can regulate more and not have the escapist pull be so damn enticing no matter where it comes from.  

Overall got things going and am doing well today but ya noticing the paths of escapism is a start: dreams, sporting games, phone scrolling, games, ext.  And then replacing them with the engaging activities that are healthy are key... 

How do you guys start your day?  Do you do something engaging right away to get into a better headspace?  I took my brothers dog for a long walk today and that was helpful... not super stimulating but just good to get out and walking around and let some feels/urges run through my body and have my mind start to get into a more active headspace.  

Anyways back to it... 

Big love, 

D

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4 hours ago, Irishrican950 said:

 How do you guys start your day?  Do you do something engaging right away to get into a better headspace?  I took my brothers dog for a long walk today and that was helpful... not super stimulating but just good to get out and walking around and let some feels/urges run through my body and have my mind start to get into a more active headspace.  

Anyways back to it.

Usually my morning routine before working on marketing/working out is 
Brush teeth and drink a cup of water - 10 minutes
Meditation - 10 minutes
Morning journal - 5/10 minutes
Organize stuff in room - 10 minutes
Finances - 5 minutes.

Headspace is awesome! I'd opt for a meditation or just a walk without dogs though 🙂 Keep at it.

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19 hours ago, Yan said:

Usually my morning routine before working on marketing/working out is 
Brush teeth and drink a cup of water - 10 minutes
Meditation - 10 minutes
Morning journal - 5/10 minutes
Organize stuff in room - 10 minutes
Finances - 5 minutes.

Headspace is awesome! I'd opt for a meditation or just a walk without dogs though 🙂 Keep at it.

Day 11, 

I need to start my days like this again.  I used to have a routine similar to this in play.  Just lost it over months of time.  It's noon and this morning I found myself in self sabotage mode again.  Sleeping in and dragging my feet from working (I work remote at the moment and make my own hours).  I seem to lack all sorts of motivation and am trading the games in for sleep/scrolling.  I also take meds occasionally for my ADD and I notice that I'll even delay doing that some mornings.  Lunch is usually a good moment for me because I'll feel the pain of letting my morning go and that usually motivates me to get going in the afternoon.  I typically won't even schedule calls/meetings in the morning for fear of self sabotage.  

What I hate about scheduling too is it really shows me how I self sabotage and rebel against my own commitments as I constantly reshuffle things.   

Hard to reign in my life when I really have done a good number over the years trying to escape it.  I hope this gets easier over time!  This journaling really helps... can't really hide as long as I get on here and say what's real.  

Back on the horse... 

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Day 12, 

The struggle to wake up from great dreams continues... the struggle to not start my day scrolling continues but I am working more on my calendar these days.  Probably completed 30% of what I scheduled as a scheduled it yesterday... progress over perfection.  Been reading the subtle art of not giving a fuck at the moment.  That's adding some perspective... what are some other books you guys think would be of value to read during the next 90 days? 

Regards,

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Day 13, 

Basically pushing three weeks... I had stopped gaming a week before I joined.  That said the craving is down but the replacement to scroll/look at the news on my phone, ext. is real.  I'm thinking what is the right balance of like putting my phone away on a charger vs having it around.  I'd like to minimize it pulling me out and away.  I def feel the urge too at mornings and at night to check it so I need to continue to be mindful of that as that can be such a time suck and a bad way to start/end the day.  

All and all I am grateful to be reading the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck and discerning how to best take inventory of what's most important and leave the rest behind.  It's a process.. it's a process... it's a process...

Regards, 

D

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Day 14,

I continue to wake up feeling so comfortable in my bed - it's hard to wake up and get going.  The journey for me is to work to get going earlier and earlier in the day and to appreciate my life more and more so I am motivated to act on it more.  Practicing gratitude is key.  I'll end right now with 10 things I am grateful for:

  1. I am grateful for this community and all the men on here that are following along and inspiring me to follow their journeys.
  2. Grateful for my brothers dog who has been a source of love and kept me company lately and forced me on walks every day
  3. For my parents who continue to be supportive as I transition jobs and move closer to them 
  4. For my community in Puerto Rico which allows me to fly back there occasionally to play shows and continue to enjoy my roots 
  5. For my cousin who connected me with a project that could help gamers with mental health (like myself) 
  6. For music - a constant source of inspiration and imagination 
  7. For the warmth of the home I am in - it's cold AF these days in MA
  8. For coffee 
  9. For NFL football - a slightly less addictive distraction to replace the gaming urge 
  10. For the my brother who keeps pushing me to work out and make music 

Big love, 

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Day 15+16, 

Been a somewhat unproductive weekend.  I find myself sleeping in on Saturday... caught up in my dreams.  I went down to the bar scene in New Haven with a friend on mine on Saturday night and I noticed my age at this point catching up to me.  Like time has gone by and I've grown out of the scene but somehow I am single and still stuck in my old ways of going out and trying to meet girls.  I've always been a casual dater and never have relationships that last long.  I always chase after hot women and my friend does too.  We got drunk and had fun but I was over it by the end of the night.  I spoke with him this morning and I talked about my addiction to beautiful women and how I want to break it.  I want to be with beautiful women and I have accomplished some amazing flings/relationships over the years with beautiful women but they all seem to not last too long.  

I am committed to finding a way to just settle for someone without factoring in physical beauty so highly in my judgement.  I want to settle down hopefully close to my family and I want to figure out a way to do all this while finding ways to satisfy my adventurous nature that RPG games inspired me to become... I can go to any major city in the states and in a matter of weeks really tap into the community and get connected with so many amazing humans.  I think I want to finally land home and just cultivate that community more long term... and draw that crowd in more instead of always seeking and traveling... I am starting to ramble a little but ya... 

RPGs shaped me to a revolutionary of sorts... I love bring people together around new ideas and good ideals... and making shifts and new trends in the world... to ulitmately make the world a better place.  I hope my choosing to not game grounds me and gives me better outlets to cultivate love and community around me... to invest in others as I have in games... time and time again.   

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Day 17, 

At a coffee shop right now attempting to be more productive than sitting in front of my computer at home.  I am so behind and feeling the overwhelm.  Luckily the urge to game is gone.  Replacing it is the urge to do things on my to do list that are more interesting than what is more pressing.  Progress over perfection lol.  I am just glad to feel the urges of gaming subside significantly.  

Got a few key job interviews and tasks this week.  The self sabotagist in me is going to try and throw me off but I'm hopeful to get through this week and be in a good spot from all this soon.

Sending lots of love to the community, 

D

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Day 18, 

Finding more of a groove today with work.  The gaming craving is subsided a lot.  Replacing it is still the internet.  I need to really be mindful of leaving my phone away from my bed.  That's a huge one for me to address.  Overall I've been fairly productive today so I'm just going to keep this short and keep at it.  

Big love fam, 

D

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Day 19, 

Despite another more challenging night of rest where it took me a few hours to fall asleep - I started my day with Chi Gong and Tai Chi thanks to my mom who showed me what she does in the morning.  Figured I would hop on here and share how I feel post doing that.  I feel more at peace and without craving to game at all at the moment.  About to eat breakfast and get to work.  Really want to capture how great of a morning start this is for me.  I would love to incorporate this type of routine as I kick off 2023.  

Regards, 

Doug 

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Day 20, 

Another solid start to the morning despite some challenges sleeping.  I turned to reading a book around midnight and that helped me get tired and fall asleep.  Getting up early made me feel ok to ease into the workday and really look and schedule my day.  It's about 3pm and I feel very tired and my productivity feels like it's slipping but it's been a solid day so far.  I look forward to picking up more healthy habits instead of gaming that can keep me more active and give me more energy to work.  I am not in the best shape right now and hope to change that.  

Regards, 

D

PS

On 12/21/2022 at 10:00 AM, Paul A. said:

Go for it! Sounds like it could be super beneficial for you

Yes - Paul!  That's the game plan.  Added it to my key goals going into 2023.  

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Day 21, 

4 weeks for me without games... three since starting this 90 day challenge... Feeling so much less of a drive to play any games these days.  I also started a 30 day planner to really dial up my day to day schedule so I am also journalling in there.  Overall I feel like more of my motivation and energy is coming back to me.  So blessed to make this commitment and have support here.

Sending you all love and wishing you and your families a Happy Holiday weekend.  

Regards, 

D

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