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Matt's Journal


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Posted (edited)

Hey guys (I've basically always called any group of people I want to be with 'guys'), I've read and listed a few things from chapter 1 of Respawn in a notebook, and this is me starting a journal topic. This stuff is a little like homework, but it doesn't seem like we ought to be getting marks out of 20. ūüôā¬†I've found myself smiling frequently enough reading your own journals - things like making the family dinner @DanielG or mutual reading of parents' minds @jailbreaker. are on the (long, really) list of things I know I like doing.

So basically, since I found GameQuitters at the start of the month, I went 6 and then 4 day stretches in consecutive weeks without gaming, before I was lured back by impulse or activity I was made aware of. This happened while I was bored, and after a lot of productivity in the days leading up. Since it's Thursday here, - and again like last week, I was making up my mind whether or not to really start posting here - I want to kickstart what would be the first weekend I'll have spent not gaming. Anyway, here's one of the templates for journal entry #1(plus 3 full days, though I hope to eventually lose count and find the idea of gaming kind of ludicrous, like Cam).

DAY # - 1

Time I woke up: 7:30 am

Time I went to sleep yesterday:  9:00 pm, thereabouts

 

Physical task: Walking to a distant commercial gym for 30 minutes, staying for what felt like a quick 2.5 hours, and then back

Mental task: Reading(?) for about 90 minutes from 7:30 am

Projects: Going through some more of this medium-length fitness career blueprint which has activities not unlike Respawn - will re-visit before bed.

 

Miscellaneous accomplishments: 

~ Writing down why I've gamed and why I want to quit: (competition(earlier days), habit, social, tracked goals and general challenge - then because I was stalling chores, looking for work and studying

~ I was still awkward in the gym but not as anxious - I was proud of how present I felt, maybe

~ Only crossed the road with green pedestrian lights (from what I remember)

~ Only had to watch one motivational video, each lasting 10 minutes before leaving for gym and before showering - much less time than my standard gaming achievement would have taken, I think), though the time spend reading should be factored in

~ Didn't feel awkward liking a few of everyone else's posts - I usually fear the significance interpreted by doing the same on popular social media

 

Summary of Day #: (almost left this blank, oops)

- Woke up, reading after breakfast (ate twice before heading out), gym (got in and mostly finished before the lunchtime crowd), walked home (it was busy), texted my Dad, standard lunch, more videos, got into Respawn and browsed around here - the sun's already setting at 5pm (Winter approaches in the south, brr)

 

What I am grateful for today:

~ A decent night's sleep

~ Warm clothing and residual warmth from exercise

~ The relative peace and quiet in the downstairs part of the gym compared to the loud music on the above floor

~ Seeing more new forum posts from fellow game quitters

Over and out! (will probably use this template again straight away next time)

 

Edited by wheatbiscuit
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DAY # - 2

Time I woke up: 8 am

Time I went to sleep yesterday:  9 pm

 

Physical task: I walked 2x1 hours, covering the same ground.

Mental task: If it counts, the first walk I played soothing music (Jon Foreman, of Switchfoot, really good for some days!), while the second walk I tried staying mindful without it.

Projects: I talked with my step-nan about J.K. Rowling (I'm re-reading the original Harry Potters, book 6/7 almost done) and how she supposedly had basically all of it ready in her mind to start writing/typing. I would need a mind-map on paper, I said. Any ideas for stories, guys? Haha. Really though, an idea took hold of me in the last 24 hours that I might overcome my fear of heights if I were with 4+ friends. Back in young teenaged years, me and my friends roamed the schoolyard together, but I didn't want to hit the streets after lessons, preferring to game instead. I would go almost anywhere with them now, if we all wanted to - something to bring up sometime I guess. But my ongoing project is to feel okay being me in the real world no matter where I am. Will see how the weekend goes.

 

Miscellaneous accomplishments: 

~ Made mostly comfortable small-talk with someone inspecting a neighbouring unit in our building

~ Didn't freak out at someone who had gotten into the backyard and talked to me through my open windows (they are barred, but still. We shook hands and fist-bumped through them after I assured him I was very uninteresting and average. Hahaha. I might have to poke my head out first-thing tomorrow and check what's going on around the building before I get comfortable so I'm not so surprised if it happens again.

~ I dunno, I didn't force much to happen today, other than signing on here after calling it 'dishes-time'. I did, however, realise I was feeling hopeless and decided to kinda do something¬†about it. ūüėõ¬†

~ I reached out to my old and new case-workers at the health centre, the latter I'm set to meet on Monday. Maybe I'll put my best foot forward.

~ Tried boiling eggs. 2/3 were set without a timer! lol

 

Summary of Day #:

I think my medication keeps me active most of the day, but then very tired near its end. I dreamt a lot last night, and woke up feeling angry at make-believe versions of people I know, kind of like when I imagine difficult discussions going poorly. Anyway, on Friday mornings I basically always have a phone call with my step-nan, lasting at least an hour (today it was two!), and though I was on my stomach while she was on her treadmill (I'd walked my favourite circuit on the street for 60 minutes beforehand), she filled the time with stuff about our family's pasts following a slow first 20 minutes, and the time flew. 

I was probably tired from yesterday's physical activity too, but I'm two walks down now, and almost no desire to game, save for 5 minutes sometime earlier on. Went for groceries, did the dishes pretty efficiently. Also dreamt of a health and safety issue in my kitchen, which I may have fixed. The night is on!

What I am grateful for today:

~ My step-nan's almost-harmless joint-ruminations with me over the phone about our families. Passed a lot of time understanding.

~ Blue, sunny, partly-cloudy skies.

~ Zippered, hooded jumpers.

~ Just being alive, and not feeling so lost in my dreams that I still know the important differences.Over and out! 

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Posted (edited)

DAY # - 3

Time I woke up:  7:30 am

Time I went to sleep yesterday:  10:00 pm

 

Physical task: Trekked (walking) the trail of a popular yearly fun run (took a few hours!)

Mental task: ^ The above was kind of a mental challenge too, as I was on the lookout for intimidating heights (there really weren't any, save for one which I didn't have to tackle, looking at it today), and taking in more surroundings as I wasn't in a gaming-induced stupor.

Projects: I relatively quickly wrote down a weekday and weekend day schedule over 1 A4 page of the workbook I started for Respawn, and just having one that I'd actually sort of follow moved me to get out a second time for some more resistance training (which for now was categorised as 'work' and 'self-help' - this forum is 'social' for today. lol 

 

Miscellaneous accomplishments: 

~ Didn't feel very talkative outside in person today, but felt mostly at ease around other people.

~ Wrote down activities and their backups for 'mentally engaging', 'resting' and 'social' as per some action steps.

~ Wrote down 6 places I'd be happy to go and hangout/move about, carrying out some of the ^ above.

~ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows initiated!

~ I thought about motivations for next weekend - it used to be that I exercised to prove to myself I wasn't 'just a gamer', and that I had an actual life (yeah, I've beaten myself up plenty). I got nostalgia walking the trail on my own and contemplated celebrating, but without gaming. All I did was buy a medium protein bar when I was finished. <.<  

 

Summary of Day #: 3

Really vivid dreaming last night. Felt like I've been living the whole 24 hours. Weird! Slow start in the morning, but decided I was gonna do what I'd been thinking of doing but hadn't committed to until the last minute - walking the fun-run trail for the first time since the event was on 9 months ago - something like 9.5 miles. Next weekend or soon after I'll give it a jogging attempt. It was the pull-up bars in the last 90 minutes. So many feelings have arisen though it's only day 3 journalling. I did wake up in a panic, because strangely enough I was really excited to start the day, but remembered where I am and how many people would be about and worried about looking weird or erratic or something if I burst out onto the street. Self-consciousness maybe, and I know within minutes someone would say or do something normal and I'd start feeling normal too. Not such a bad thing, perhaps.. Tomorrow will have been 7 days without gaming though - first milestone.

 

What I am grateful for today:

~ More good weather, getting out in the middle of the day.

~ A peaceable yet crowded bus ride back home 

~ First deliberately sans-gaming Saturday I felt good about in awhile

~ Kids who don't look at me funny!

Over and out! 

 

Edited by wheatbiscuit
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Posted (edited)

DAY # - 4 

Time I woke up: 7:30 am

Time I went to sleep yesterday:  10:00 pm

Summary of Day #: I shortened the template today. This is the first Sunday I've spent alone not gaming, and I've just had a few urges because I could feel myself getting frustrated, and some aspects of my ex-favourite game were so blissfully easy and familiar at times to get lost in - so that's now listed as one of my 'feelings' triggers. Hopefully I'll keep recognising and learn to deal with it.

Miscellaneous accomplishments: 

~ Basically committed to hunting down high school maths books for interest in re-acquaintance

~ Cooked curry after yesterday's post, surprising flavour (from bottle)

~ Did dishes/laundry/hygiene without much thought or strain

~ Revisited business homework

~ Two/maybe three walks today

What I am grateful for today:

~ Old pens that still write wonders

~ Dishwashers and microwaves

~ Attention and focus

~ J.K. Rowling, heh

Peace,

~ Matt

Edited by wheatbiscuit
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Day # 5

Different journal template today!

Gratitude journal

I dreamt I kept putting off/getting interrupted during a shower, and woke up feeling grimy, so I hopped almost straight in! I usually walk first, daring to show my bed-hair so at least some of the day's exercise comes before I clean myself up again. Useful. My social worker said I should come see him whenever I was ready, so came straight out of the house into beautiful weather. Good start. I'm grateful that I live across the road from a proper supermarket, and though I finished the milk last night and ate milk-less oatmeal for breakfast, it was still great. I was also afraid of putting off going to the gym, even though I knew I'd go eventually - but a friend texted me 2 hours before my self-imposed deadline, and we went together. He only arrived back in town this morning, but still wanted to go! Lastly, I'm grateful for this forum; reading everyone's differing typing styles is very interesting, especially when I can sort of see different personalities at work!

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

I finally saw one of the trainers at the gym do some heavy lifting. He's not thickset, but it was very clean and strong. I had maybe 60-70% of the same in me. ūüėõ¬†

Workout/run

Pretty textbook workout for me, though I swapped in a machine warmup because I hadn't used it in a particular order before, I think. It lasted 80 or so minutes. Drank through a sports drink, because bench pressing and rowing actually takes a lot out of me.

Meditation

I usually sit in silence before I stand up and really get going in the morning, including using the restroom. Having said that, I know of 2 benches at the top of a hill in a nearby park that would be ideal for it halfway through the day. Probably Wednesday.

Visualisation

I visualise a lot. This should probably relate to life without gaming. Today I walked past a fence dividing the sidewalk from a medium drop-off into a backyard/park space for the first time since I began game-quitting, and I didn't visualise falling, though still got a little dizzy. Then I walked back, retracing my steps to meet my friend outside the gym at his early text and saw some nice-looking stairs into the park-space, and I thought, "see, someone's planned a far better way to get to that space for us!" Because I used to do a lot of adventuring on my own, before I started feeling guilty for not more directly making other people's lives better. That was one of the ways I justified gaming - social engagement. But I know I can do better offline. I'm having trouble visualising a version of me that would be comfortable casually going through someone's goals in the gym as a PT, and not getting super-excited for them and us, and losing track of the process, or the visible bodily results I'll probably have to promise some of. I think that there might be people who'll just want to practise doing consultations with me, hopefully.

Daily affirmation

One day, I'll be back at proper performance. I want to bring all the lessons I've learnt, even while gaming, to a fuller life that doesn't take place as much on a screen. - Did I do that right? lol

Reading + taking notes

More Harry Potter - just past halfway point of book #7. Had trouble putting into words some characteristics and behaviours I'd like to change in myself. My parents and school conditioned me well, I thought. Basically, I'm afraid of stepping on toes and leaving people out while too-hastily chasing success. Likewise with learning/improving skills; I guess I take for granted all the steps people who coach take in providing reasoning for certain courses of action. Usually, I've just skipped to, "Oh, have/did you try this?" Most people, I've found, aren't in the moment enough to just suddenly commit to exploring an idea like that (my mind is on exercising on the gym floor). Having well-set out reasoning for plans of action might be it. And goals for life beyond Respawn. I dunno, I think managing gaming is going to be a thing for a lot of people at many different life stages. Like everyone else who's on this journey maybe, in the future I'll be able to put my hand up to say, "I can help with that." Otherwise for me, it's business as usual. I did have the thought now though that I'll eventually want to have life-talks with my Dad that would impress upon him how much I'll hopefully learn, in time. People's minds seem to work at such fast paces though, these days, perhaps hindering deep learning (what I want to call it).

Getting to bed before 9pm

I have been, and it then takes 30-60 minutes to drift off.

Weekly Goal(s)

It's Monday again, so week 2 without gaming and maybe making sure that hygiene practices all go on in the a.m.

Monthly Goal

I'll make this about May. On the last Friday of the month, a social club has a BBQ an hour's travel away. The one before last, I spent too long with them then and the day before, while still in my gaming stupor. I felt really bad for 5 days afterwards, and I don't know why. I want to see what happens if I turn up again this week.

3 Month Goal

Ooh. Well, Winter's about to officially hit here. I'll want to have a productive routine established during the season.

What went well today:

My pre-gym warmup walk was pretty peaceful, and it took less time today.

What I could have done to make my day better:

I've been toying with the idea of packing all my food and staying out all day, so I don't just absent-mindedly microwave, toast and boil water throughout. I might even buy a thermos and stuff. lol

What I will do differently tomorrow:

Hard to say. I'll find ways to get in the mood for tooth brushing/flossing/washing. Sometimes how fiddly tooth floss is bothers me greatly.

Thanks for the company!

~ Matt 

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Day #6

This'll be a brief entry in case I fall asleep too soon later. I was happy just to wake up in a regular state, went for a walk with music before showering and giving my apartment a decent enough clean. Then I went to a second Tuesday's tutorial on basic exercise coaching. Next Tuesday's is sales. I read a bit of news and more Harry Potter. 

Today, I am grateful for:

- Society, honestly. I don't think I'd have made it so far without so many structures.

- Clean water.

- The human body; my back seemed almost out of action from yesterday but is already easing up.

- Vacuum-cleaners - I just rapped the dirt-trap over the trash and everything came out; I used to scrape it out with a fork. EW!

Should have more time tomorrow evening to post around!

Peace, 

~ Matt

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DAY # - 7

Time I woke up: 8:00 am

Time I went to sleep yesterday:  10:00 pm

Physical task: One hour of climbing up and down a hill in a local park

Mental task: Doing ^ the above without music

Projects: Reading a new book in spare time, as well as hoping to finish LOTR 2 Towers + Return of the King at night before bed

Miscellaneous accomplishments: 

~ Teamwork scanning (she) and bagging groceries (I) with a checkout staff member while I was in the supermarket. lol

~ Made mostly comfortable eye contact with several people at the park, but no real talking (unless you count trying to be friendly to a dog!)

~ Recognised some figures of speech used in Harry Potter, small things like acknowledging the reader's experience in some ways (original 7-book series now finished, hooray! I really read them properly this time)

~ Listened to a couple of interviews on Respawn (the Matt Chow & Clayton Eliott ones). Cool perspectives

~ Didn't let much aggravate me today, if anything

Summary of Day #:

I woke up to finish the last few chapters of Harry Potter 7, and fuelled up for what I didn't know was just going to be a long hour of just walking up and down the side of a hill at the park. By that time it was 1pm, and I did end up climbing one last time after doing some stretches to take a moment and admire the view of the city and the suburban apartment buildings in opposite directions. A few people were sitting kind of picnic-style in various spots on the hill, and I almost talked to one who was drinking what I thought was disguised alcohol in a paper bag, but ended up deciding we weren't going to get along. I couldn't see an approach, I guess. I mulled around at home 2-4pm, showering habitually when I got back and almost got a cramp from how tense I was under the water. Weird. Now I'm catching up on these here forums ūüėĄ¬†

What I am grateful for today:

~ Public restrooms, soap and toilet paper in the absence of dryers/paper towels (the park's is interesting!)

~ Seeing a man open up and assemble a clarinet at the park bench (ground level) and hearing him play for a bit

~ The kebab shop on a local corner, they're a reliable sight I walk by at least daily. It would almost make sense to apply there.

~ News channel(s) coming out with what feels like exactly what I ought to be hearing about, for awhile at least

Over!

Edited by wheatbiscuit
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7 hours ago, wheatbiscuit said:

 

~ Listened to a couple of interviews on Respawn (the Matt Chow & Clayton Eliott ones). Cool perspectives

It's a pretty powerful thing, hearing other people's experience.

Congratulations on a week! Keep it up, man ūüôā

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DAY # - 8 

Time I woke up: 7:30 am

Time I went to sleep yesterday:  6:30 pm

Physical task: Gym day - long, long warmup 

Mental task: Walk before gym, no music - tried to tune in to all the people making their way to work

Projects:¬†ūüėź

Miscellaneous accomplishments: I'm supposed to be learning to give myself credit for what I've done, so here goes again.

~ Making hot drinks without burning myself

~ Following processes (traffic lights, applications)

~ Treating most situations delicately

~ Working my memory

~ Knowing when to call 'time'

Summary of Day #:

Long sleep too. Woke up at 1 am feeling semi-refreshed, but it was dark, quiet and warm so I didn't have much trouble staying down until normal time. Tea and oatmeal with no milk, then straight out for a walk before gym. Saw my social workers about some stuff, then went home for some sad texting. Called a friend for comfort. Walked again in a pair of sandals which are getting well-worn, and that's that.

What I am grateful for today:

~ The velcro on my sandals still sticks if pressed together right.

~ Concerned citizens (friends who just guess why I'm calling)

~ Felt lucky, no really bad feelings out and about, only family. I've always been here for an honest chat, but they are few there.

~ A warmer day - walked out at supposedly 12C in t-shirt and shorts, still warm (oatmeal probably helped)

If things are always going to be this hard without gaming, I might have to really change some things. I love walking, but being socially awkward and avoiding eye contact (sometimes for very good reasons) makes it only half as valuable as it could be. I dunno. I have to fill my head with something worth knowing and sharing, but how will I recognise it when I see it?

Peace,

~ Matt

 

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DAY # - 9

Time I woke up: 8:00 am

Time I went to sleep yesterday:  10:00 pm

Miscellaneous accomplishments: 

~ Remained calm despite several 'triggers' during my walks

~ Didn't game, even though I was remembering and even dreaming about some good times on them last night

~ I guess today makes 10% of a 90-day detox. I'm thinking to try and speed it up with some learning/volunteering but still narrowing that down

~ ^ Did ascertain on the phone that what I miss many days is having a place to 'go to and come back from', and since this process is far from over, even things like going to the public library + park or council area for leisure could work

~ Made tacos for the first time in what, 5 years? lol

Summary of Day #:

It went really quick. Talked on the phone with an extended family member for ages about learning to be motivated and mature, among other things. I went on the same hour-long walk twice - once with earphones in and once without (found the rest of Jon Foreman's songs to play (I liked 'Terminal')). Did my usual dismissing of haughty behaviour on the street ("much more suffering there than here", is what I assume to myself, "I can't choose facades for others") along the way. How can I initiate a change for all that in a few seconds' passing by? Has something really got the world feeling down lately? Otherwise, it's been a regular deal.

What I am grateful for today:

~ Absence of the forecasted rain while I was out

~ Better concentration reading without gaming (started a big book I tackled last year in about a week while I had the flu over again - y'all should laugh; it's Stephen King's 'The Stand') Only some chapters in, not sure if it'll catch on over other books but I know I liked it

~ Said it before and will again - good drinking water

~ My head trying to plan and psych up for tomorrow's 1/3 marathon (lol) attempt

Over and out! 

Edited by wheatbiscuit
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13 hours ago, wheatbiscuit said:

 

~ Made tacos for the first time in what, 5 years? lol

Tacos are delicious. Good choice ūüôā

13 hours ago, wheatbiscuit said:

 

~ Didn't game, even though I was remembering and even dreaming about some good times on them last night

I've had dreams about gaming pretty well every night. Just about shy 2 weeks and it's still happening. It's wild.

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DAY # - 10

Time I woke up: 7:00 am

Time I went to sleep yesterday:  9:00 pm

Physical task: Gym visit with dad and roommate, went straight for the heavy stuff

Mental task: Jogging a full trail, just keeping a footstep rhythm

Projects: Listened to the Calvin Johanssen interview on Respawn. Echoed Stephen King's 'On Writing' book about setting aside 1-3 hours to plough through an activity that contributes to a goal, without distractions. Made me feel like typing/writing about something, maybe - because I've been able to really focus while reading lately without games.

 

Miscellaneous accomplishments: 

~ Gratefully eavesdropped and watched a group of 3 friends up the back of the bus, returning from my jog, felt like one of them without really knowing any.

~ Gym almost straight after getting home from running. Risk of collapse paid off, I guess.

~ First time I bought and carried two bottles of milk home without a bag since moving out. Put them down to unlock the door. Little things. lol

~ Mostly un-awkward in the gym, despite there being a lot of anti-social vibes. I still don't want to use earphones and music in there though.

~ Making it out the door this morning to run even after a spell of laying down reading first

~ Oh right, and giving myself several minutes to scrunch up all my bad feelings into a ball and toss it so I could sit down and wait before meeting my dad at the gym peacefully

 

Summary of Day #: I basically summed it up already ^ above, but thought about what I would do after 90 days no gaming. Listening to the Calvin Johanssen interview, I heard him say 'each day is a new day' (what better time to start a productive/goal-conducive habit?). I mostly do that already, and have almost gone as far as to treat each one like my last. I'm just afraid of feeling exactly the same as I do now after the next 80 days. I'm already committed to detoxing, but to strike up a long-term personal goal I'm serious about while in this process? It could go quite wrong, I dunno. New paid work would be okay though.

What I am grateful for today: Barely stopped today to appreciate, but I'll try

~ Seeing those 3 friends at the back of the bus talk and put aside negativity for the better of their conversation and outing (don't ask what I noticed; it's always small things :X)

~ The nice neighbourhood scenery on the running trail, soft noise in the background

~ Being semi-able to be present with uncomfortable feelings reading or listening and wait for them to pass/resolve themselves

~ Looking at people and recognising they probably felt tired/self-conscious or whatever else similar to the way I do. I would opt for this feeling most of the time, maybe in intense grief with people I don't really know, if possible. I'm just used to hiding behind my gaming avatar. Checkmate. lol

Over and out! 

Edited by wheatbiscuit
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DAY # - 11

Time I woke up: 8:00 am

Time I went to sleep yesterday:  9:00 pm

Summary of Day #:

Normal start; walked after breakfast then read through the day until cleaning myself up and visiting my brother. We watched a survival show over dinner. Just got back at 10:00 pm, ready to sleep normal hours (not so long, maybe). My left leg is sore from yesterday, a downer but I'll see it out. 

 

What I am grateful for today:

~ I dunno how they handle it, my brother and his partner but what sounded like hostilities were probably just normal bickering - they saw us through the evening fine enough.

~ The walk to my brother's place was casual and pleasant too, while returning felt about the same.

~ Routine - but glad I got to go visiting after all.

~ I can't help but try to back people up when they feel bad, even if I reflect on it being weird sometimes. I like thinking I set things up that way though.

Over and out! 

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