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The Purge


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28 Days Later: Dis-infection 

Well, the gaming detox has been a success.  1 month in, a lot of change.  Careful Readers may pick up that change isn't either negative or positive.

Regular readers, like our supportive founder @Cam Adair, know that I am in day 3 of what DC would call: The Infinity Crisis

I may be getting a sense of humor back.  


Hope level (on a scale of Sylvia Plath --> to a maximum of 2008 Election Night Barack Obama): Low-moderate.

Pain level: variable.  Some throbs, some stabs, some WTF, some grossness.  Like a Game of Thrones marathon.

Speaking of, still gonna throw a Long-Expected Party tonight.  Life goes on.  Not going to suffer in isolation.

Like the Buddha said, Life is suffering, so why not kick back with your crew for beer and a movie?

I may be paraphrasing, he said a lot of stuff.

Can't believe I'm not gaming.  Yeah, I snacked a little more.  

I haven't told my friends, though.  Or my work.  This will be challenging.


Some improvement in symptoms.  Sore back from supine all the time.  Found some home treatments, seem to help.  

Uncertainty until Monday.  Funny, checked my work email.  Everything is urgent.  Doesn't seem so urgent now.

Taking my friend indoor skydiving today.  Maybe I can fly too.  It'll be fun to see the look on his face.

Watching a bunch of shows.  Not gaming.  Comedy helps.  

Promised gf I'd be a human today, no biting her head off.

Pain transforms me into the Hulk.  Bad Hulk.  


Gonna try to be strong.  Baby steps drink some coffee.  Baby steps write the journal.

Am I in the Eye of the Hurricane?

Baby steps breathe in, breathe out.

Budd-ho  Budd-ho

Before enlightenment, chop onions, make enchiladas.

After enlightenment, chop onions, make enchiladas.


If your Zen is only strong when you have time, or health, or wealth, or good weather-

Your Zen is not strong.

A sage who knows this can be happy, even in the midst of Hell.

Am I this happy sage?

Let's not carried away.


Pos PS: Just realized I'll be the first person in my family to get a Master's degree.  Huh.  



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Baby steps breathe in, breathe out.


Pos PS: Just realized I'll be the first person in my family to get a Master's degree.  Huh.  



Yup, one step atta time.....you're not gonna leap or you'll crash.

Kudos to you for that Master's degree! 

p.s. sorry about your recent diagnosis.....take it day by day....yes, comedy helps...support from your loved ones....and being kind to yourself.  You'll make it through...

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Day 29: Diagnosis

Learning how to treat this thing is also learning how to prevent it down the road.

Got to the doctor.  Tough to wait, to be exposed, prodded.

"Doesn't look bad, not too good."  

I get most of a day in at work.  Mostly ok.  Not 100%  75% is good enough for now.

I tell my coworkers, my boss.  We laugh about it.  They are supportive.  A surprise.

Taking care of myself.  Healthy meals.  Relaxation.  Sleep.  Friends.  

Feeling nurtured actually helps being nurtured.

Diagnosis confirmed.  Consult with surgeon in two days.

I can deal with this, whatever happens.  Got support this time.

Looks a lot better than Friday.

Each day some improvement.

I know it won't always be like that.  

For now, it is enough.


Got invited to do a research project with an economist.  Got lots of free time, let's do this.

Got enrolled in my next year of classes.  Let's do this.

Threw a great GOT party with amazing homemade food I made.  Yeah, boyeez.

Admitted I was in trouble and got the right help.  I can change.

One foot after another.

Went indoor skydiving.  Made my friend's day.  He's moving away soon.  A great way to mark the moment.


Pos PS: no gaming = suddenly, so many friends.  Real human moments.  




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Day 30: Side Effects

All my routines are in chaos.  This is a rebuilding week, for sure.  Haven't done much guitar, meditation with pain is hard.  Mostly shows and internet distractions.

Was so excited to go to twice/week yoga.  Will try next week.

Used to be sore from good activity.  Now, sore from in-activity.

And now side effects.

Drugs are messing with my system.  Waiting for a response from a busy doctor.  Hope it's not serious.  Trying to catch a break.


You don't want to know where it hurts.

Some of you are younger.  Human biology peaks at 25, 26.  Aging is a ride.  Easy to look at others and see where they fail to adapt.

Harder to adapt yourself.  Denial is no longer a solution in my toolkit.

Fresh air, transparency, even if that means bitter medicine.

Sometimes you have to reopen a wound to heal, physical or otherwise.


Got my list of goals going.  Turns out I'm really good at goals at work, but I don't have goals for home.

Structuring my time sort of feels like prison, I'm reluctant to commit.  

On the other hand - I do really really well with a schedule.  I'm genuinely proud of myself for getting things done.

I have a fear from childhood that what I do doesn't matter, because it will be washed away by others, or by an evil, unjust world.

That's why this health crisis is so challenging.

All my fitness gains, my mental gains.  From one perspective, it looks like a catastrophic setback.

From another, it looks like a person dealing with a big life event.  

Yeah, it threw me for a loop.  On the gripping hand, it was always hanging over my head.

My reaction is as much guilt and the shattering of cognitive dissonance as it is surprise.


One of my New Year's Resolutions was to stop freaking out at setbacks.  Small things- a lost set of keys.  Big things - big car repair bill.  My goal is to take the good and the bad without losing too many strokes.

It's a marathon across the seas of the unknown.  Big waves ahead.  

First priority: that happened.  Don't drown.

Second priority: can I cope?  Can I heal some?

Third priority: can I adapt and thrive despite this?  


That's really the issue.  

Years ago, I hit a rock bottom.  No money, no job, no sanity, poor health, addicted.  Family disintegrating.  

Now, I'm a college graduate.  A professional.  I'm healthier, wiser.  I've traveled.  I've touched lives.  I've been published.

I've jumped out of a perfectly good airplane.

My number one limiting belief was that my failure before would prevent any progress, any redemption, any success.

Now I know, empirically, that's not true.


Was I slow to learn and acknowledge my physical issues?  Yes.  Childhood coping patterns still causing problems?  Yes.

Changeable?  yes.  The best thing that ever happened? No.  The worst?  Not by a mile.

I changed states.  I changed my brain.  I changed majors.  I changed relationships.  I changed careers.  I changed my body.  I changed my personality.

I changed my habits.  I changed my stars, my destiny.  It's not fixed.


That's the paradox of being a prophet of doom, as I have been.  If you predict disaster all the time, eventually, you'll be right.

But that doesn't mean my theory of the world is true.

I look at the lives of successful people and see that underneath the success, there is tremendous adversity.

Major deficiencies, disadvantages.  They overcame these.

There is no justice, but there are opportunities.  


Tomorrow I'm going to bring my guitar to work.  Why not?


Positive postscript: no gaming = my to-do list shrinking by the hour.




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Day 31: The Final Countdown

Thanks to all for support during this difficult time.  I know this place should be for gaming detox and urges - but it's all connected

The last few times games played a role in the onset and recovery process.  I'll need help to make it through without a relapse.


T - 9 days until the surgery.  Yep, it's that bad.  Yet, I like this surgeon.  I like my doctor.  I like the treatment plan.

Research has progressed since I was in last.  I'm smarter, have better friends.

Could have done it Friday.  Gave myself a week to get caught up at work, prepare my life.

Uncertainty is now reduced - there will be pain, but there's a good chance this will take care of the problem for good.

It's not my fault, the surgeon said.  This is huge, dear Readers.


All in all, it's the perfect time.  The slow season.  My boss out of the country.  A relaxed work environment.  I could work from home if I had to.

No more repressing and hiding issues.

Had a reckoning with my legacy friend yesterday.  

I'll do us both the favor of not holding anything in 

I said that, and I meant it.  

He didn't run away, or attack.  He's just a confused guy with Asperger's.  


He'll try, I'll try.  At least there're no festering emotional and physical wounds about.

This is working.  The plan is working.

Clean house, clean office, clean car, organized.  Clean body, clean routines, clean mind, clean eating.

This can happen.


Quite a roller-coaster in the past week.  I'm still here.  Moving towards solutions instead of 1 week further in non-coping.

Going out with friends tonight.  Human moments, I like being out and just being with people.

I used to not understand people at all.  Really, I didn't understand myself.

Understanding one is a big start on connecting with the rest of humanity.

are they all robots?  Yes - biological robots.  Just like me.



Positive postscript: I have spent more time thinking about my future.  A career in business?  A Ph.D. , stay at a uni?  So many options.


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Thanks to all for support during this difficult time.  I know this place should be for gaming detox and urges - but it's all connected

The site is about living a meaningful life. Gaming is just one thing we have in common that begins the journey. :)

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Day 32: Loose Ends

Goal: get caught up and then slightly ahead at work.

Challenges: clients in crisis, bureaucracy, exponential in-box, absentee boss, too many tasks taken on, disorganized office, pain from condishuns, distraction.

I'll be alone in my unit tomorrow.  Hopefully the quiet will lead to productivity.

There are some unresolved processes that I could get more guidance on.

There are some shorter tasks I could do first.


Hate to say it, I'm lapsing back into browser games.  Freaking browsers.  I have to be plugged into them almost constantly.

My job requires a bunch of open tabs and constant research.

I suppose I could minimize them when possible.  I could limit email checks to once every 30 minutes if needed.

I'm putting out small fires and letting the big ones burn.


My guitar teacher moved away.  Sigh.  

It's cold and rainy in part of the country where it should be warm.

My face is broken out.

My symptoms flared last night.

It was a long, hard slog through the day.

I think I'll move to Austrailia.


The surgery is 8 days away.  I'll be off for 11.  I worked out a deal where I work from home, make up time, etc.  Only gonna cost me a fraction of saved vacation/leave.

At least that's something.

My job usually feels like me helping people and taking on challenges.

Today it felt like a giant DMV with stupid juice spraying from the ceiling, and piles of excrement being pushed off on the weak and unaware.

Looking forward to the next job now.


Positive PS: I think I can handle the surgery and rehab.  That's saying a lot.

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Day 33: The Shavening

After a brutal week, I looked rough - like Nick Nolte, Gary Busey rough.  I went to work looking like this.

Asked for help, starting cleaning my office, everything organized.  already progress.  I can do this.

Admitting it's a problem is halfway to solving it.

Came home, full makeover.  Shave, creams, fancy soaps.  I know this guy.  I remember this guy.

Honestly, I felt like a corpse before, now I am human again.

Going out tonight with friends I haven't seen in ages.

Mostly pain free today, too.


Tomorrow night it's date night with another couple at the grown-up pub with classic arcade games.  Not really a gaming problem.  No one gets addicted to Duck Hunt.

Had to postpone next therapy appointment due to surgery.  I can make it.

Got asked to be a part of new pilot project at work.  Very awesome.  

Got more done today.  Sometimes treading water is okay in tough times.


@workinprogress, thanks for the shoutout of support.  Yeah, I've made it this far.

 Keep going.  Nobody's gonna break my stride.  Oh no, I got to keep on moving.



Join local meditation/skeptic group.

Take art classes

Go to some concerts

Maybe do an open mic night


Pos PS: no gaming = a space for people and belonging.  






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Day 34: Adventures in Alternative Gaming

Turns out there's a board game bar down the street from me.  5 bucks for all you can game.  Nice!

Went on shopping adventures with neglected friends. picked up Sheriff of Nottingham.  

Smuggling and lying are so much fun.

Feeling good, finished the free version of Headspace.  gonna keep going.

Took a 2 hour nap today.  I know, only little kids and old people do that.  I needed it.


Went to an improv show last night.  It was weird.  After 2 years, the scene hadn't changed much.  

The same drama queens and kings, the same jokes, the same drinking to excess and bizarre conversations.

The show was pretty bad (I used to be a coach and director, remember), but I made human contact with some people that could be real friends.

I'm going to follow up on those leads.


Scared to go back, too.  Everybody looked to me for approval, or they were jealous, or they waited for me to fail.

Thought I was a weak person for having to walk away from my leadership role, from the stage, from that whole career path.

Turns out I was strong to leave.  The people who stayed don't have anything else.  

I made the bold choice, the right choice.  I can always put on a show.  I can rock a room.  

But I can also put myself first.


A few fun hours at the Retro-arcade.  Most games don't hold up when you're grown up with an infinite number of quarters.

It was amazing how dated and meager the experiences actually were.  

Hard to believe I lost so many hours.

Same with improv.  Yeah, lots of great moments, scores, discoveries, teamwork-

But the whole scene - the parties, the bullshit, the drama, the hangers-on, the ambitions and feelings and arguments- 

I could lose that completely.


I left the improv alone feeling drained.  I went out tonight with real friends and came back refreshed.

The path forward is clear.

Tomorrow: brunch and GOT party.  

Who is this social me?  I'm liking it.  


Pos PS: Realized I don't have to struggle so hard.  The struggle to end struggle, ya'll.







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Day 36: The Office

After 2 years, my office had become very disorganized.

Asked my gf for help, that wasn't easy.  I come from a family of hoarders.

Feeling much better now.  Lots of feng shui.


Being disorganized isn't a moral issue- it's inefficient, and it stops my forward progress.

I think games are easy b/c they handle much of the micromanagement for you.

Gonna keep it together at this last year at this job.  

Make adjustments that keep paying off down the road.


Today was hard.  A role model disappointed me.  Actually, my boss really did.

It's easy to put the whole organization on my shoulders.  I'm just one guy.

Can't let it sap my strength, my motivation.  No situation is perfect.


Got in some good yoga yesterday.  In a year, lots of progress.  

Body-mindfulness is one of the best things I do all week.  

I bet I can figure out how to do some basic stretching, even post-surgery.


Pos PS: Detoxing made me see that any situation is improvable.  




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Day 37: And then there were 2

Good day.  Took charge, got stuff done.  2 days left.

Came home.  Hadn't eaten.  Drank too much.  2 days left.

Turns out I was wrong about the retro-arcade.

downloaded a bunch of emulators and lost my way.

Working up the strength to delete them all.


I know it's the stress of the the surgery.  Freaking out about what to do.

The upcoming boredom hasn't even started yet!!


The old games hold nostalgia but are actually mostly ugly and tedious.

If I have to power grind, use turbo, or fast-forward time just to play them, they aren't designed to be playable.  Nothing is fun about that.

Why did I even play these?  


I remember the fun of going in the arcade - a quarter was like a lottery ticket.

Renting games (that was a thing!) meant you had a day, 2 days, a week to game the crap out of a title even if it wasn't good.

I'd play just to justify the expense.

So marginal.  Like going to a nice restaurant and only eating bread and water.


PS: Nervous, but I'm sure it'll be ok.















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Day 38: The Diplomat

Used to be 180 pounds.  Great shape.  Football, yoga, running.  So hot.  Yeah!

3 surgeries and cyclical moods and life happened.  Depression.  

250 pounds.  Tough to hang in there.  Food is an opioid for me, no Lortab needed.

A year of yoga, now 2x/ week.  Man, I feel good. 

A colleague remarked "ManGod doesn't showcase it, but he's really flexible!"

Watch out, laydeez!  Somebody's about to showcase his smooth moves


Friday, it will all change.  Gonna try to get active ASAP.  Not gonna let the pain stop me like before.

Trying to get caught up at work before leaving.  So many problems, all the key staff are gone.  My boss is out of the country.

So I end up meeting with some serious folks above my paygrade.  Major plays being made.  I thought it was going to be friendly, but it was a negotiation.

Donny, you're out of your element

I did my best and brought in some big guns.  I saw a way forward, at least.

If the bosses don't take my solution, they can either ditch a huge project years in the making, or find a workaround.

I just met you guys, and this is crazy, but I just thought of something...


PPS: There are dragons to be slain, but they are disguised as complex bureaucratic intrigues.  Can't let the quagmire stop you.  Look at Varys and Tyrion.  You gotta make deals.














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Yoga's easily one of my favorite things. Don't know any others on the forum who are into it but I'm glad you are. :D

Cam, I never realized this until yoga got really popular, but there's a perception that it's for women only.  This is bizarre, and actually a little ironic, considering it used to be only taught to men.  My class is 92% female. 3 guys, 30 women.  I think the bodyweight/proto-pilates is a big draw for women intimidated or discouraged by weight rooms and a fear of "getting big".  Likewise, men see a bunch of women in a class and think it's in a league with Zumba or Pilates or whatever fad is going on.  

Also, a good way to meet people for dating, which is probably the number 1 way to fill up an empty schedule.

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Day 41: Through the Looking Glass

Thanks to everyone for kind words and helping me hold it together in a perfect storm of physical, mental, and professional challenges.

1 day post-surgery.  Could be routine, could be complicated, could be unfixable, permanent.  

Fortune rolls the dice....

Critical Success!  Surgeon says it was easy, uncomplicated, a little as 1 month recovery.

Pain level: low.

Discomfort: low

Medication side effects: a little groggy, a little sleepy, very tolerable.

Possibly the hardest thing is the ghost of surgeries, illnesses past.


So far, so good.  Focusing on nutrition, sleep.

Today got back on guitar and did some baby yoga.  

DAE realize how much you use your pelvis for everything?

So I used the pull up bar instead.  I once did 70 pullups in a day.  Now, back to 1.  

Let's get this party started


Got 10 days off work.  Gonna reflect, recharge, reconnect with others.

Feels good enough to have the weekly GOT party at my place.

I can do this.

This has revealed a lot of baggage and trust issues on my part.

It's really hard for me to trust in the recovery process. 

I am super-defensive, even paranoid of my gf's attempts to help.

Never got the care I needed as a kid.  Paradoxically, I both hide my issues and then fear others won't help AND drive people away.

Knock it off!


So I'm apologizing every couple of hours.  I am not a calm Buddha.  

I survived, and will heal.

FUN FACT: 15 years ago today, I was hospitalized for depression and anxiety.  Thought my life was over.  Very nearly was.

Fast-forward to now- I'm on my way, and I'm handling this issue the best I ever have.

It's going to be okay.


POS PS: I have a really great SO.  Post-surgery pumpkin pancakes and homemade soup, and a good nurse.  Life is better in co-op mode.






















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I just started reading journals and I am entertained by yours and impressed with how your are handling your situation.  It is obviously tough and it hit you hard.  You fall down you get back up.  Never down for the count. You stepped up, faced it and coped!  This is what no one wants in detox or ever and yet you are handling it the best you can and then you go on and freakin learn more about yourself and heal old wounds.  I hope your recovery is smooth and all goes well.  All I can do is be in awe at your strength and fortitude.  You are living life in challenge mode and coming out on top.

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