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Follow Me on this Journey of Success! Ryan Page's 90+ Day Challenge Starts NOW!


RyanGQ
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DAY ZERO

Well, yesterday was really day zero, but I was up until 12:00am writing in my journal about my decision to change my life around, so I didn't get to finishing up my "preparations" until today.

If you haven't read my introduction, I'd suggest you go to my profile, or I'll link it HERE: http://forum.gamequitters.com/topic/353-hey-im-ryan/

So here's what's going on right now. I'm busy with school, so trying to fit in the whole "not gaming thing" has been hard, and I'm writing this quick, because I have homework to do. I've already rid everything on my computer and phone of everything game related. That includes:

YouTube Subscriptions (gone), Twitch (all subscriptions, apps, and bookmark gone), Twitter (followers involved in gaming, gone), amazon gaming wishlist (gone), game deal website bookmarks (gone), all gaming desktop backgrounds and profile pictures / google chrome theme (gone), and finally, all games, and game services (steam, blizzard, origin), are all gone.

There is no semblance of gaming content within my reach, whatsoever. And I've already let it all go so fast, I wouldn't even know where to go to get it all back.

And I've got to admit, I'm fucking horrified. This is the first time in my entire life that I've ever attempted to do anything like this. I've been gaming my entire life, and surrounding and immersing myself in it, and I'm excited, but also, very, very worried.

I've already gotten over the idea of "missing out" (primarily on Dark Souls 3), and the "sunk cost" fallacy (including the 24 games on steam I deleted having never played), but what I'm really scared of, or more excited for, is finding out how life is going to be different now. I know it's got to be better, and I'm honestly not sure if I'm ready for that. My life has been so rinse and repeat for so long, that not having these games and this content as a crutch to fall back on in place of creatively driven projects and real social interaction is frightening. I can't just come home, watch YouTube videos, watch Twitch, browse Reddit, and then play Counter Strike anymore. I actually have to do the things I've wanted to do for so long, and maybe I'm just scared it won't turn out how I thought it would.

And all of my friends are gamers. Well, at least most of them. And it's not that our relationships are entirely built around gaming by any means, but we definetly DO play a lot of CS:GO together. I still haven't told any of them about my decision, and I think it's going to be a big shock to them (and my family, but I bet they don't really even care TBH, or they just won't believe me), and I don't know how they'll take it. And I don't know how to make new friends very easily, but I guess I'll have to get on top of that pretty soon.

And while I say I'm scared, I'm not regretting it at all. My life can't go anywhere but up. I've measured the pros and cons, and the decision was easy. I know that I'm not happy playing games, and by quitting them, I'll:

Have more time to spend with my girlfriend, instead of blowing her off to game. Have more time to focus on school, and furthering my education. Having more time to focus on reading, meditation, and nutrition, all things I've been procrastinating on. Finding time to learn Rubik's cube, chess, cooking, and a number of other small skills I've been meaning to pick up on. Fixing my sleep schedule, becoming more present, and becoming more positive, outgoing, and appreciative and excited for regular activities that don't involve gaming was a HUGE motivator for me. Finally, being able to finally put more focus into writing creatively and peruse a *possible* career in creative writing, for either movies, TV, or cartoons, is something I've been waiting to do for a long time (plus, if I collaborate with an artist, or a group of aspiring students on a student short film, that could be a great networking and social activity!). 

The cons, on the other hand, basically boil down to: having to finally leave my comfort zone, feeling nostalgia, missing out on all of the new games that I'll miss, and missing out on experiences with friends that I still do, whether I like it or not, care about greatly. I'd like for them to come on this journey with me, but there's only so much you can do for someone who doesn't want to change themselves FOR themselves. 

So yeah, here's to a strong, life changing 90 days, that hopefully, by the end of, will leave me not only exuberant and passionate, but also with no more desire to even play games anymore. And you know what, maybe one day, I'll go back to gaming, in strong moderation, but I doubt it. I've already played multiple lifetimes worth of video games, and for someone like me who has been a part of the gamer culture for almost my entire childhood life, I think this is a good time to close the chapter. 

Good luck to anyone else on this journey. I'm routing for you.

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DAY ONE

So I guess we're off to a good start. I have no games on my computer, and nothing involving games anywhere else. And surprisingly, I don't miss them. Maybe it just hasn't sunk in yet, but I actually think I have a shot at this. I'm tired from school, but with all of the extra time I have off from not watching videos and twitch, I think I'm going to have a much easier time getting my homework done, which in turn will get me more sleep, keep me less stressed, and just make me feel a lot more at ease overall.

I've come to wonder about a few things though. I decided to quit playing video games pretty abruptly, only one week before finals start, then winter break (in fact, I played hours and hours of CS:GO only a single day before I decided to do this). And now that I've got all of this free time, I know that I have a lot of stuff that I want to do, but it's like I don't even know where to begin. I'm thinking I should just give myself the rest of the week off to get as much sleep and studying in as possible, and then think about this over the winter break, when I'll have minimal responsibilities, other than looking into college application / scholarship details and preparing to take my SAT. I don't think I'm in the head space, or in possession of the motivation, to start a new hobby from the ground running. I've been on 5 hours of sleep + micro sleeping in class for the past couple of weeks. I need to get this shit handled.

I still haven't broken it to my friends that I've stopped gaming. What I'm hoping is that it will just come up naturally. For a while, I can just ignore it and say, "nah, sorry, I can't, I'm busy", but eventually it's got to come out somehow. I did tell my friends Joseph and Alex though, and Joseph at least seemed pretty proud of me (he's not a gamer). Alex didn't' really say anything, probably because he still games a decent bit, but it won't affect our friendship (he played PS4, I always played PC). In fact, in light of breaking this news to them, I asked them if they wanted to go out to eat at this asian buffet that I REALLY like eating at. They both said it would be cool, but not to my surprise, I doubt we'll be going, because all of us have some sort of work / studying / last minute projects to work on before the last week of school. Winter Break is when I really want to hit this shit hard. 

Anyways, that's been it for me. I don't know how long these posts will be from here on out, but I'm going to try and post every day for the next three months if I can help it. Peace.

END.

Edited by RyanGQ
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Hey Ryan! Everything you are experiencing is a normal part of the process. When we go to move from one chapter of our lives to the next there is a bit of cleaning up we need to do, such as letting our friends know we are moving in a different direction. Our friends tend to be people we have things in common with, and especially when we're younger (I don't mean that in a "I'm older than you way"), the things we have in common tend to be specific things, activities, sports. What I've found is that as you move forward in your life, your friendships (or I would say, more meaningful relationships) tend to have values in common more so than specific activities.

So what I'd encourage you to do is two things:

1) Use this new chapter in your life as an opportunity to improve your social skills. Learn how to make new friends. It's an invaluable skill that will make a difference in your life, regardless of where your life leads you. Move to a new city? No problem, you can make new friends. It's like knowing sales, if you have the skill of salesmanship, you will always have job security.

2) You can talk with your current friends about how you're moving on from games, but be gentle about it. Just say you're going to focus more on these other areas of your life you're excited about - this will help you avoid triggering your friends and making them defensive. Some friends will support you (keep them), while others may not (create a boundary with them.) I'd recommend finding new ways to interact with your friends outside of games, so talking to them on Facebook instead of Steam, hanging out with them outside of your place or their place (where gaming is likely to be suggested as something to do), and instead go to a park or something like that.

I have a video on these topics which you can find here:

How to Stay Friends With Your Gamer Friends
How To Make New Friends And Improve Your Social Skills
How To Grow And Expand Your Social Circle

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DAY TWO (late)

So I'll admit that it completely slipped my mind to update this yesterday. I had it open on my computer, and amidst taking a shower, power-napping, and doing other things, I just didn't get to it. It's only 5:20am right now, so I'm making up for it as early as I can. 

Anyways, it's been 2 full days without games (3 if you really want to get technical) and I'm still feeling it. I'm looking forward to this weekend leading into the break; I think it'll be the real test to see if I'm committed to this. It's easy to say that I "don't miss gaming" when I have a billion other things to worry about with finals and SAT coming up. 

Anyways, I gotta take a shower. The bus comes in 40 minutes. I'll update this again for day 3 as soon as I get home. 

END.

Edited by RyanGQ
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Hey Ryan,

It's great to see another game quitter join the community with such pure determination to further the quality of their own lives and those around them. Good on you for removing every trace of gaming around you, it will serve you all the better in the future (but make sure they're completely inaccessible...).

The community is here to help you in any way you need, so ask us, and the community will answer over and over again.

I appreciate the effort you've put in to improve your life, and helps me to relate to how much worse my life was before quitting games. I have faith in your efforts, so keep it up! :D

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DAY THREE - FOUR

It's still been going good. I got a lot of homework done today with a friend over Skype, and I'm gonna keep at it tomorrow. Finals are coming up so I've been trying to get my mind right. I figured that at least for me, the rhythm of my day starts off in the morning. If I can get my morning off to a good start, I more often than not have a very productive day. If I sleep in, and end up having to rush out the door, I usually have a shit day.

I've been focusing on waking up earlier and getting ready as soon as I can. I have a morning ritual that I made for myself, however, for the past couple of months I haven't been the best at following it (or at least to its full effect). I'm going to make that my #1 goal for the next month - getting every day started productively.

On another note, I haven't been getting the best sleep as it is. I should probably buy a new mattress. But not only that, I've been dreaming about video games. It's not that I have any desire to play them, but I think it's just the shock from not having stimulus from them. I think it might also be having a toll on my mood. First dream was about World of Warcraft; second about Dark Souls mixed with Pokemon. They were pretty fucking awesome dreams, to be fair, but I'm just kind of surprised that I'm actually DREAMING about video games. I didn't know that they were that deeply routed in my subconscious.

Anyways, I was planning on going out with my GF today, but she flaked. Apparently she had to go Christmas shopping, which is a fair point. Can't be mad at her for that. Me and my friend Kegan ended up just working all day on finance and pre-cal homework, so at least I got something done. We're thinking about hitting up the buffet tomorrow, but Idk if that'll happen. Neither of us can drive, and we've both gotten to the age where it feels like a burden to ask our parents to drive us somewhere that we might only be at for around an hour. It's only a few minutes away to be fair, but taking two trips to pick us up just seems wrong. I'm currently saving up for a car, so I should be driving before my senior year (in fact I actually have to be, because my school is getting redistricted next year and I'm not transferring schools on my last year of high school).

So anyways, life's been busy and stressful lately, but I actually think that the time that not playing or focusing on video games has given me is already starting to benefit me. I just need to work on getting better quality sleep. Also, thanks to Cam and Alex for responding, I'll definitely keep at it and browse the forums some time. And to Cam, I've already started trying to make plans with people ahead of time, but a lot of people are busy around this time with finals, so it's understandable that I don't have much going on but work (along with everyone else). Winter Break is going to be where it's at.

END.

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And to Cam, I've already started trying to make plans with people ahead of time, but a lot of people are busy around this time with finals, so it's understandable that I don't have much going on but work (along with everyone else). Winter Break is going to be where it's at.

This time of year is harder to make solid plans with people.  A lot of events have been planned in advance, so it becomes harder to make new plans now.

Not impossible, and if you can get plans organized, go for it.  But as it gets closer to Christmas, it's a good idea to reduce expectations that people will be available.

 

I'm not sure where you live, but wouldn't it be possible to ride a bike to the buffet?

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The buffet is down the highway, so I can't ride my bike there because there's no sidewalks. I live in the suburbs near a major mall, and I'm in the 8th largest school district in the country, but admittedly, there isn't much to do around here within walking / bike riding distance. The Skatepark got shut down close to a decade ago. The ice skating rink got shut down even longer ago. There's nothing at the mall but clothing stores, restaurants, and the movie theater (which can be fun, but basically just serves as a way for you and your friends to sit around watching TV, on a giant TV). 

You really need a car to do anything around here. I don't know when it'l happen, but I've always dreamed of travelling around the country. Hopefully it'll happen before I'm 20, because I really want to visit Chicago, Austin, Boston, New York, Manhattan, New Orleans, Denver, Boulder, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. I don't know exactly how I'm going to make that happen yet, but I'll make it happen. 11 cities. I live frugally enough to figure out how to do that cheaply. I want to really figure out where I want to set down the stick to be home base, you know? I don't want to be stuck in Atlanta forever. It's hot as hell down here, full of racist rednecks, and the traffic to the city is abysmal.

The only good thing about living in this state IMO is the hope scholarship, which I'm going to have to work pretty hard to get. It pays for 90% of the tuition cost of any in state college if I'm not mistaken, and all you need to do is maintain a 3.0 average in your core classes to get it (the only problem is that it doesn't count elective courses OR the extra 10 point boost on AP courses, so it's much harder to maintain that 3.0 than it sounds if you're taking all gifted / AP courses). I'm not stoked about having to stick it out in GA for another five years, but hey, if I have the chance at paying 1/10 of what it would regularly cost for a degree, I'm not passing that chance up. And I'm definitely looking at ways to receive early credits so that I can boost my way through school quicker. I'm not about the whole "college life", I just want to get the hell out of the system as fast as possible because I don't really have a choice in the matter. 

Anyways, that's enough rambling. I need sleep. If anyone has any tips / recommendations on how to travel as a student, or how to travel as a young person who's tight on money in general, I'd love to hear it. I'm not 18 yet so I can't exactly just get up and leave, but when I turn 18, it's going to be one of my major goals. Thanks in advance.

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DAY FIVE - SIX

Today marks the first day of finals week. I literally don't have time to write about stuff, other than to give a quick update to say that things have been good. My friends haven't been bothering me too much about video gaming, and I'm still not missing it. The dreams of video games have started to go away, and I'm feeling good without them around. 

Also, just to clarify about the dreams: I wasn't dreaming about playing video games, I was dreaming of actually being IN the video games. So it wasn't like it was just a fantasy of me missing these games and going back to playing them, but like I was actually a part of them. They were pretty awesome dreams, but I still see them as a warning sign to me that this is something that I really need to push for in my life.

Or maybe I just need a new bed. I've always had the "hot room" in whatever house that I've lived in, so I'm going to try and sleep downstairs on the daybed to see if I get better sleep. I live in a townhouse that's 3 stories, so it gets really cold downstairs in the winter, but it's still warm at the top of the house, and I hate sleeping when it's warm. I guess it doesn't really help that my fan just broke recently either.

On another note, a friend and I started brainstorming a ton of conceptual ideas for a story that we're looking to write. I'm hoping to start getting to work on it next week when the break starts, or potentially even this week, because we have shortened school days with finals going on. I'm excited to have something to do that's creatively challenging, and not just challenging in the sense that I have to shoot some dude in the head before he shoots at me back.

It's been almost a week, and I still have a long way to go. Here's to one more!

PS: Cam, I definitely agree. As soon as I graduate, I plan on making that happen in whatever way I can, if I'm not too busy with things like moving and such. But I think I'll be able to manage at least a week or two off, we'll see!

END.

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DAY SEVEN - EIGHT

It's kind of weird to think I've already made it this far. Despite having received invitations from friends to play video games, I still haven't given in, and I've just politely dejected. It's strange how surrounded by games I feel, now that I'm not part of them myself though. And I don't mean they're in my immediate access, but just from other people. I didn't realize how many mobile games people just sat around playing in their free time, even in class and WALKING THROUGH THE HALLS. It's crazy! And some people actually pay money for these "free to play" games too, when it's obviously a scam.

Anyways, my finals so far have gone fine, and I'm now just down to two last days, three more finals, and I'll be set. I put in a note to receive a bus pass to that I can go home with my girlfriend on Friday, which should be fun (I hope they don't realize I had someone forge it for me, but if so, my mom is in on it so she'll just confirm it for me). 

Other than that, I've had a sudden desire to start reading more as well. I don't have the time right now, but over the break. Reading was something I used to do a lot of. I'm really thankful my parents got me into reading at a young age, and unlike a lot of other kids, it was never something that I found boring. 

As I've mentioned before somewhere, I have a very extensive amazon wishlist of books that I haven't read but wish to. It'll end up taking me years to read them all, but I'm going to take a shot as small-chunking away those books for now. I'd list all of the ones I'm currently interested in, but that would take too long. But my basic thought process as to how I'd end up reading them would be by topic, for example, I'd read books on finance, investing, and marketing as a big group, and then books on health and nutrition, etc. 

Anyways, I've got work due tomorrow that can only be turned in tomorrow, and it's important I get to it if I want to keep my grade in History. Next post might be late, depending on what time I get home on Friday. But I like doing these posts every other day; every day just seems like a little too much for this type of blog. I feel like I can track my progress more accurately if I have longer periods to reflect on. 

END.

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Awesome to hear things are going well for you. Your perspective around how much of an influence gaming has had in your life (and thus, others) will continue to unfold for you over time. It's really amazing when you have space to consider how you life your life. 

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I am always so conscious of people being glued to their electronic devices in public place where interacting with the world around them should be much more gratifying.  I've done it here and there in the past, but it's nuts how people seem like they need to have their faces buried in a screen no matter where they are and what they're doing!

Also, great job on getting to day eight!  It's no small achievement!

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DAY NINE - TEN - ELEVEN

It's Saturday at 3:25 at the time I'm writing this. Today is the first official day of the Winter Break, and I'm digging it. Finals took a lot out of me, so after I got home from my girlfriend's house yesterday, I literally just watched movies and slept the stress out. I ended up with 5 A's and 1 B in my classes (all AP / Gifted courses), so I'm stoked. It looks like my late night grinding has payed off in a way, even though my sleep schedule is shit.

Today, I kicked it off well, I think. I woke up, showered, and I'm currently cleaning up my entire house in preparation for what I'm hoping to get done over the break (and I want my mom to be happy, she's stressed enough as it is, it's the least I can do). I've got most of the lower half done, now I just need to do laundry, vacuum, journal, brush my teeth, meditate, all that good stuff. One thing I really need to keep in check is my fitness over the break. If there's anything I need to not procrastinate on, it's that. I didn't work out much over the last week because I didn't have weight training, so starting tomorrow (because it's freezing right now and I'm busy) I'm going to make sure I get out and jog / work out at least an hour every day. This will hopefully prevent me from losing too much of my gains over these next 2 weeks (because let's face it I'm not squatting heavy weights in my basement), and force me to wake up early and kick off my days productively and healthily. In the past I've been bad at keeping that on track, even over the summer when I had a gym membership. It took me about 2 months to gain back the strength that i had lost over that time period, which was about as long as I'd stopped working out. First two days i was back in the gym I dryheaved. 

Anyways, I've got some goals in mind for what I wanna do over the break. First and foremost, I need a haircut, and I need to go clothes shopping (I have one pair of pants and it's getting ridiculous at this point), and I also need to go Christmas shopping for my family. My sister is coming home from college tomorrow, so I want to spend time with her, and maybe we can go and do those things together. I've been hitting up some of my friends to see if anybody wants to do anything, and I've already gotten a reply from the friend that I've started to write with, so hopefully I'll have someone to hang out with over this time period too, besides my girlfriend (I don't wanna seem to overbearing / clingy, we've only been together a little over a month). 

Anyways, regarding not playing games, it's been eleven days already. I've got to say, it really hasn't been hard at all. In fact, I'm really refreshed. I don't know how in detail I went into this, but I've been falling progressively out of love with gaming for the past couple of weeks. I think the longest I went without playing games was just over three weeks, so it's not like this is the longest period I've gone. I've come out to most of my friends about the challenge, and none of them seem to be anything but supportive, despite the fact that they haven't taken part themselves. I'm not trying to force it on them though. I figure if any of them are interested, they'll come to me.

Also, one thing I do want to mention, is the dreams. I've already had two nights, in a row, where I've dreamed of playing video games / being inside them. It's a weird mix, but the dreams keep coming back. In the dreams, after I'm done playing the games, I felt this really, really intense feeling of guilt, like I'd failed at being a man or something. But then I wake up, and realize that I hadn't actually been playing at all. 

I hope playing video games subconsciously doesn't count as breaking the challenge, because it felt pretty legit. Of course, all of the games on my phone and PC are gone (and I don't own any consoles because PC master race of course). But I think the silver lining to all of this is how bad I felt for breaking the challenge, before I came to and realized that it was a dream. It really made me realize that this is something I'm serious about. 

So I'll hopefully update this in two days, if I have time. Sometimes I just have to stretch it to three, so if I ever don't update this blog, don't think it's because I quit the challenge, it's honestly just because I don't feel like writing sometimes, especially after writing loads of pages in my Journal.

Special thanks to Cam and wookieshark88 for the support. Keep up the grind, keep on being strong. Happy holidays people!

END.

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Thank you for joining us!  I had lots of video game dreams like you did.  They will go away in time.  I dreamed about relapsing so many times and was so upset.  The positive part of that was waking up and realizing that I was still on track.  The subconscious thing does not count as playing games.  Our minds were submersed in games so long that it's going to happen for a while until we adjust.

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Good job on your classes! I bet having grades like that makes you feel awesome. Dreams are normal and they will go away over time. If you're taking anything with melatonin in it, you can stop for now and that will help your "anxiety dreams." 

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DAY TWELVE - THIRTEEN - FOURTEEN

It's crazy to think it's already been 2 weeks. It feels like time is flying. I guess I gotta get a hold of it. 

Still working on making plans and getting out of the house. My sister and I went out and ran some errands, and went Christmas shopping for the fam yesterday. I'm gonna hopefully go on a jog today. I slept in more than I should have, and then I had to stick around the house for a few hours because we had an electrician swing by to check something out. But I'm good to go now, so I guess I'll see what I can do. I'm hopefully gonna get a book or two to start reading again for Christmas, so that's a thing. 

Anyways, I've still got a bit over a week to go before I break my record of not playing games. Even then, I'll still have a long ways to go. But I'm feeling good about it. Also, I made it a point to also delete reddit and ifunny. I figured those were just wasting my time just as much as gaming was, and it really doesn't add me any benefit past looking at funny pictures and reading hoards upon hoards of threads that have nothing to do with anything in my life (that often times just make me feel bad because a lot of messed up shit gets posted on reddit). 

Anyways that's about it. Nothing much more to touch on besides that. Come to think of it, I haven't had anything to eat today. Oh, that reminds me, I'm looking into starting a diet plan, so hopefully that will come into fruition over time. Eating healthy has always been something I've wanted to do but never really gotten into. But I've started to realize that my family has been cooking less, so I'm going to have to start learning it myself eventually. So yeah, here's to that.

END.

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Can't wait to hear what books you pick. I love Christmas time for reading. 

The Paleo diet is a good one to start with. Doing any sort of 30 day diet challenge is a good way to go. Go vegan for 30 days, you'll learn a ton about nutrition, cooking, etc. I did that a few years ago and although I'm not vegan anymore, it taught me a ton!

Wish you a great day today man. :)

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DAY FIFTEEN

I find it kind of ironic that in the middle of writing this post the first time, I mentioned that the sound of rain tapping on the outside of my window helped me write, only to quickly be cast into darkness, as the monsoon outside my house promptly and unapologetically shut off every electronic device in my house. I guess I had it coming.

So where was I? Oh yes. Boredom. I'm posting this one-day update because, well, I'm bored. Boredom is a feeling that I've been putting off for a long time. Far too long, if you ask me. And while I won't deny that video games definitely helped me through tough times in my life, I think I took it just a little bit too far. I should have quit playing video games months, or perhaps even years ago. And I'm not one to often dwell on the past (as dwelling on the past is for unconfident people, and I try my best to be confident), but I feel that it's sometimes necessary to take a moment of reflection. I've come to rediscover just how shitty the feeling of boredom is. Boredom on the surface sounds like the absolute epitome of a "first world problem", but it's a real thing that hundreds of millions of people suffer from all around the world. I actually sometimes envy wild animals, just for the fact that they've not evolved far enough to worry about anything outside of rampant hunting and reproduction. 

It's finding things to do with yourself that's the hardest part. And it's not that I haven't had any ideas, it's just that I haven't really set anything in motion yet. I had a pretty shit day today. Not because of anything that happened to me in particular, but just because of all of the shit that I'm surrounded by on a day to day basis, family wise. I often feel like I'm the only member of my family who isn't out of their fucking mind. I don't want to go into detail over the past 8 years of the shitstorm that is my family life, but that, and the fact that I have no real freedom, or incentive, to stay with any of these people, are the motivators that I hold onto to make sure that I make it out of this hellhole one day. 

That, and the fact that I slept in this morning (which I told myself I wouldn't do), are the two reasons that I haven't been feeling so "up". I've been trying to keep my own advice, but I just keep failing. And I'm not giving up on the no-game movement, but it gets aggravating sometimes man. It really does. I've found a new mantra though - something that Joe Rogan said, about "being the hero of your own story". That shit really hit me hard. Maybe "resonated" is the word for it. I don't know. I know I shouldn't be this hard on myself just for sleeping in, but I really feel like I let myself down. But tonight, I'm making a PROMISE, that I won't do it tomorrow. And I keep my promises. 

But truth be told, that's not all that's been on my mind. While I might still be better than I've ever been health-wise and motivation-wise, I still can't shake the feeling of loneliness that I get. It's come and gone in the past, but sometimes it just really hits me. I'm lonely. It takes a lot of courage to admit that to yourself, I think. And out of all of the things that I'm trying to get together in my life, that's probably got to be the hardest one to get right. 

Throughout the past couple of years, as I've been losing passion for gaming, I've always been trying to get my gamer-friends to step outside of the house, to no avail. It's not until you quit playing video games for a while that you start to realize that as a hardcore gamer, almost all of my meaningful relationships have been built over Skype calls and games of Counter-Strike. My mom always used to tell me, "you're stuck up in your room in that fantasy land, you should go do something with your friends". My justification for this was that I WAS with my friends. Whether or not I was seeing them face to face or not, or whether I had met them in real life at all, was irrelevant. I could hear their voices; they were and still ARE real people. But those kind of relationships aren't fulfilling. And I know that now. And knowing this, I have to let go of them.

I've still been in contact with the friends that I game with, but every time I talk to them, they're gaming, and I just get phased out of the conversation until I end up just getting off the computer (which I've been spending less and less time on to begin with). I've invited them to hang out, but all they want to do is sit in their rooms and talk to each other through their damn microphones, and I'm sick of it. But what's worse than that, is that one of these mentioned people has been trying to get me back into gaming. I've explained to him that I want nothing more to do with it, yet he treats it like a phase, or like some sort of joke. It's understandable, having only been two weeks, but I can tell he's dealing with the internal backlash of seeing someone move on. At least I think that's what it is, I don't want to try to diagnose anybody. What the hell do I know, anyways.

All I know is that throughout the past, I've let a lot of people drag me down because they themselves never wanted to move upwards. But I'm done with that. The thing is, he might be right. Sitting around, not doing much, isn't very much more productive than playing video games. But at least it's a step in the right direction. It's true: I really don't know what I want to do with my life. I'm not even all that sure what I DON'T want to do with my life. But one thing's for sure, and that's that what I've been doing so far is boring to me now, and I'm fed up with it. And I'm sick and tired of people trying to hold me in place as if they know what's best for me. Or not even that: they KNOW that I don't care about playing video games anymore, and I don't even think they like playing them either, it's just the fact that if they know that we're both miserable together, it doesn't feel so bad for them.

And that's what I call a really shitty friend. I've come to realize I've racked up a lot of those over the years. And like Joe Rogan said, if there's one thing that you can do to majorly fuck up your life and hold you back for a long time, is to keep stupid, shitty people in your life that don't belong there.

So yeah. I'm in the process of phasing out some of my old friends. I'm not telling them off, and I'm not trying to diss them in any way. I'm not really even arguing back, it's a waste of my time. I'm just not logging onto Skype anymore. I figure once second semester rolls around, I'll be able to get out there again. As for now, I'm kind of depressed. The only other friends that I have that I don't really game with are:

My stoner friend Joseph, who hasn't yet returned my text message.

My sort of eccentric best friend Jorden, who I haven't been able to get a hold of for over a month (I'm actually getting kind of worried about him, I've been thinking of swinging by his house to see if he's OK).

My quiet friend Alex, who if I'm not mistaken is on or is about-to-leave on a cruise.

And finally, my sort of girlfriend Grace, who's been busy for the past couple of days, and will be busy up until after Christmas, who hasn't returned my text yet either.

So I'm kind of just stuck here with my sister (who is also almost never here).

Anyways, this post has been going on for way too long. As I've said before, this feeling comes and goes. Everyone's busy with family stuff over the holidays, so I guess without video games I've been left with a lot of free time that I haven't had the drive to fill up.

Thanks Cam for being so resilient with your responses. Not just to me, but to everyone. I know that by the end of these three months, I'll be a better person. And I'm not gonna lie, I've thought about just going back to video games after the 90 days. It would make things just so much easier. I know that's just the messed up brain chemistry I've got going on right now talking, though. Even if I wanted to go back, I'd probably be too lazy to reinstall everything anyways.

Anyways, I'm gonna end this here. I might go check out some other threads tonight to talk to some people in the community too, maybe get their thoughts on some of this. Knowing I'm not alone in this makes it a lot easier.

END.

PS: Btw, yes, I do have about 15 books I'm looking into. I'll update you when I start on some of them, it all just depends on when I can get my hands on them. Shipping prices are NOT cool :/ .

PPS: Just broke it to my mom about me quitting video games. She seemed relieved, and proud of me. I guess it's what she's been waiting for, lol. It's a weight off my shoulders. I should really get some sleep.

Edited by RyanGQ
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DAY SIXTEEN

I'm feeling better. I decided I might as well write this post early too because I don't know if I'll be home later. I'm planning on swinging by a friend's house when my mom gets home later tonight. I haven't been able to get a hold of him in a month, so I want to go check up on him and see if he's alright. He's been known to suffer from depression, to the point where he had to drop out of normal public school to take GED courses at a local community college (which if you actually think about it isn't that bad of a plan, he technically could graduate high school a year early and go straight into prerequisites at community college and then transfer cheaply to a less "rigorous" university). He's a close friend, one that I really look up to and value our relationship, so I think I owe it to him to show that.

Anyways, I didn't sleep in today, and I got up and got my day going pretty well. Unfortunately for me, I'm kind of stuck inside. It's been raining like CRAZY these past two days in the southeast. Thunder has been shaking my house for what seems like minutes on end, my lights and power have flickered off and on twice, and it's pretty freezing outside (by southern standards, of course). I've mentioned before that I live close to the mall, and it IS close enough to jog to, but not in this weather. Not even by bike. On top of the monsoon outside, I also have to deal with the Christmas shopping traffic. If you go anywhere by car, you have to wait about 5 minutes at each stoplight because they're all backed up a mile each. And if you go anywhere on bike, you're at risk of being hit at every crosswalk you go through because people aren't paying attention. It's absurd to me how many people actually shop at the mall, given how overpriced everything in it is.

I've come to the realization that I really, REALLY need to start getting out more. I think I have what you would call "cabin fever". So I'm hoping once I get a couple of good books, I'll be able to start getting out of the house to read them. I know of a couple places I could potentially go to do that, so I'm excited to see what's out there. And I also feel like an idiot for not knowing what any of the words on the starbucks menu mean, even though I've never really been one for coffee.

I'm also looking into buying a laptop so that I can write, take notes on my reading, and, of course, update this blog outside of my house. I'll need some sort of laptop for college anyways, so it's not like I'm buying it just for the sake of buying it. I'm looking into this one here. It's pricey, but I think it's just what I'm looking for, as a student (you have to buy the keyboard separately, but my friend has an older model and it's pretty cool).

http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Surface-Pro-Intel-Core/dp/B01606IDL0/ref=sr_1_4?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1450968188&sr=1-4&keywords=surface+pro+4

It's got mixed reviews but maybe there will be a newer model by the time I'm really serious about getting one that addresses some of the issues.

Anyways, I'm gonna head off and get something to eat. I have to go grocery shopping later, thank god. I've been surviving on protein-oatmeal and yogurt for the past eon it seems. Next update will probably be the day after Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone!

END.

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Hey dude! Thanks for the heartfelt posts - continuing to do this is exactly what you want to do. What you're experiencing is exactly what you need to experience right now, even when it's hard. Ultimately by quitting games you're "waking up" in your life and taking a stand for what you truly want in the world. Although you may not know exactly that right now, what I found was over time without games I was able to see more and more what it was. For instance, I also wanted better friends. I wanted to start keeping my word to myself (integrity), I wanted to get out of the house more. Although going back to games is easy, it's not going to solve any of the problems/feelings you're experiencing. And that's where the tension comes in. You know that is true, so it creates tension because you have no choice but to keep moving forward. You're on the right path, trust me. :)

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DAY SEVENTEEN THROUGH TWENTY TWO (this is a long one, please read it through though).

A lot has happened, and I apologize for not updating this journal as frequently as I should. I guess I owe everyone who's taken part in this an explanation, as I most likely won't be updating this again (beyond replies) until 2016 rolls around. Having not kept track of the days that have gone by, I'd be happy to say that had I not slipped up once over this last week, I would have been on my longest trek without gaming in what would have been my life. I still am on my lowest AMOUNT of gaming during a three week period of my life, however, we'll get more into that later.

I believe I left off posting this the day before Christmas. For the TL;DR readers, I've had a REALLY, REALLY shitty week. I don't mean to rain on anybody's holiday spirit, but I feel like in order for everybody and I to get the most out of these personal journals and missions, we have to be 100% honest. So to sum up what I want to talk about, here's what's happened: Christmas was awful, I fell into a deep depression, I went to a friend's house and ended up playing a video game (for fifteen minutes), I hung out with a friend who fell into a deep depression himself (who I hadn't seen or heard from in a month), and then my girlfriend dumped me yesterday.

So, where to begin?

Christmas was a disaster. It almost always is in my family, so I was kind of expecting what happened. Basically, my mom flipped out and had a mental breakdown. She kicked my sister out of the house, threatened to do some things that I will not mention, and I ended up spending the entire night in my room, and to be honest, I don't even remember what I did. All that I remember absolutely was my mother forcing me to call my grandmother (who I'm pretty sure hates my guts - long story), which was awkward, and then I sent my dad a heavily worded 3 page long text message, which he still hasn't responded to (for all I know I'll never see him again because I believe he already moved to Florida). 

This obviously didn't put me in a very good mood. I got a lot more depressed than I would have liked to, and I ended up sitting inside for a long time. Things in my family have settled down now (at least to a point that's tolerable), and my sister is back home, which I'm thankful for. 

The next day I ended up going to my friend's house. In times where I feel the worst, I feel like that's the time where it's most important to reach out to other people and not be alone. Anyways, while I was there, he ended up enticing me to play a match of GranTurismo 5 (which probably lasted about 8 mintues), and a game of Motorstorm (which also lasted only around 8 minutes). I objected at first, but the "peer pressure" got to me, and in the moment, being as angry and confused as I was at the time, I couldn't really think of a reason not to. I didn't feel good about it, and in a way still don't, but to be honest, I don't really regret it in full. 

Because overlooking the fact that I did slip up on the challenge, it taught me a few things about myself. First of all, I've figured that the times where I'm most likely to slip up and start gaming again are when I'm depressed and when my willpower is at its lowest. And second of all, I've learned that by going back to video games just once, I still don't have a real desire to get back into it full throttle. It was definitely fun while I was playing it, but this time off from gaming and the mental shifts that I've been making have really changed my perspective as far as my DESIRE to play games. 

Maybe it's unfair to make the rationalization that I only did it because we were playing 1v1 video games in person and not online on my own time, and we were really only playing while we waited for the rest of our friends to arrive, but I don't think it was enough of a "session" to warrant restarting the entire challenge. More of like a progress-check, which I think indicates that I really have grown since starting this in only 3 short weeks.

Anyways, I spent the rest of that night eating out at the buffet and playing monopoly with friends, which was a blast.

During this time period (up until last night), I had noticed that my girlfriend had been ignoring me. The last text message exchange we had had had been on the Wednesday before Christmas, and the last snapchat we had sent was on Christmas day, when she sent me one (probably a mass sendout), and then opened my reply, with no reply back. I tried to call her the next day, and she actually REJECTED my call (two rings to voicemail = she hit decline button). This all lead up to what happened last night, so I'll get more into that after this next section.

After having spent the night at my friend's house, I went to check up on a friend of mine who I hadn't been able to get a hold of in over a month. I went to his house, and he had been sleeping in until 2:00pm, and he looked and sounded pretty warn out. I could tell he was going through some shit, so we sat and talked for a while about what had been going on. He told me that he had actually been ignoring me (somewhat like my GF had been), and that he had been going through a very serious stage of his depression (clinical, unlike mine), and that he was sorry for ignoring me, and that it wasn't personal, as he had pretty much shut himself off from everybody.

It didn't surprise me, really, that he's depressed though. His problems outweigh mine by a lot. He never knew his real father, his mother jumped from man to man having two more kids who often leave their household to be with the father, and he's often left at home alone for weeks at a time. He dropped out of school because he couldn't take it, and just before getting his GED, he had to drop that too, because his mom decided to stop taking him once she got a job (finally), and he also can't get a driver's licence because he doesn't have the required school records to apply for one, so he has to wait until he's 18 (3 months away) just to get one.

So basically on top of all of the shit that he's been through, he's stuck at home by himself with no means of getting anywhere, and no real social interaction going on as he was forced to drop out of his schooling. 

When we hung out, I think we both really helped get each other into a more positive head space though. We had to stay inside at his house all day (because we have no transportation and it was raining all day), which wasn't very exciting, but he's the type of person that you can really trust and talk to for a long time. I tried to talk him into taking more action to better his situation, getting back into his social circles in whatever way possible, and all that good stuff, and he listened to me ramble on about my relationship problems for quite a while as well. I ended up sleeping over at his house and leaving in the morning. As bad as I feel about leaving him there alone for the next week, it's not like I can just take him home with me. I hope he's doing OK, and I plan on going with him to see the new StarWars movie before the break is over. He's been really supportive, and being there for someone who needs me really helps to take my mind off of myself.

Anyways, the afternoon on the day when I came back from his house, yesterday, was the day that I broke up with my now ex-girlfriend. When I got home, I was sitting on the sofa next to my sister, talking to her about her previous breakups (as she's much more experienced than I), when I had noticed that she had updated her snapchat story. This confirmed a number of things, being that she wasn't injured, that her phone wasn't broken or taken away, and that she really was just ignoring me over this period of time.

So I sent her a text that read exactly like this. Keep in mind, it had been 6 days since we had talked at all, and over a week since we had been together.

"Hey Grace. I'm not sure what I did to upset you, but I can only take our lack of communication as a sign that you're not interested in continuing this, which is fine. I don't harbor any bad feelings toward you, however, I think that ignoring me wasn't the most mature way to deal with the situation. Communication is important in any relationship, and it's pretty inconsiderate to just phase someone out without any explanation after getting close to them. Forgive me if I've completely misinterpreted your absence, but I don't know what else to make of this. I wish you the best."

I deleted snapchat before I watched her story. My sister told me that watching it would only make me more sad. Thinking back on it, she was right. I figure I may as well reinstall snapchat, but removing her is going to be the first thing I do.

We ended up talking later that night, and it was the most uncomfortable conversation that I've ever had in my life. The first minute on the phone, neither of us said anything but "hi". Neither of us knew what to say, but by the tone in her voice, I could tell that she was having a hard time grasping at her words. Like she wanted to tell me something but she didn't know how, like she didn't want to hurt me.

I don't want to go into everything that was said. Even if I did I couldn't because my heart was beating so fast and I was so on edge that I couldn't even remember all of what was said. I can take out specific lines of dialogue, but nothing in order. 

The only important part was that she told me that she couldn't do this anymore, and that we couldn't be friends anymore (which I agreed on). We said our final goodbyes, and it was over.

We were only a thing for a little bit over a month. But my heart is still broken. I'm still trying to put it back together piece by piece. She was the first person that I ever really fell in love with, and whether or not you think I'm too young and too immature to really understand what that means doesn't change the fact that the feeling is real and it's just as intense. No amount of rationalization will help me in the moment.

While we were on the phone, I tried to reason with her. I was trying to ask her if we could just talk things out and work through this, but she wasn't having it. I wish I had talked to her more. Just one last time. But it's too late now. And I stopped myself before I called her back, because I knew that nothing that I said would change her mind. 

And the hardest part about it was just the not knowing. Everything was fine the last Friday that we hung out. We were still talking here and there after that. And then, out of nowhere, she just cut me off. I didn't do anything wrong, yet I felt as if I had. I didn't, and still don't understand, how you can just walk into someone's life and get so close, and then just decide out of the fucking blue that you can't be with them anymore.

It's not my place to try and assume what she's thinking and feeling though; my sister really had to hammer that in. Maybe she really is just going through something and she isn't in a place where she can be with someone else right now. Maybe she thinks I'm a lame loser and she hates my guts and is already getting gorilla fucked by five other guys. But all that really matters in the end is that whatever compelled her to feel love for me is gone now. Whatever she's doing and whatever her reasoning was isn't going to make me feel any better about her decision. She said on the phone that she didn't want to hurt me, which is probably why she couldn't muster the courage to call me.

I still love her. But as a man who loves her, I should want what's best for her, even if that means being with someone else. I wasn't lying when I said that I don't harbor any ill will towards her. She's still the same amazing person that I fell in love with, whether or not she wants anything to do with me. I do, however, think that she handled the situation very immaturely. I was pulling my hair out a little bit more every day that I didn't hear anything from her. Her inability to tell me how she really felt out of not wanting to hurt my feelings, really just put me through the most miserable week of my life, when I already had enough shit going on. It's a very inconsiderate thing to do, especially during the holidays, and I hope that she learns from it.

Anyways, we haven't talked since. I don't know what will happen when we go back to school, but as far as I can tell, we're on a strict no-communication policy. It's the only way I'll get over her completely. And it's not going to help that I'm going to have to see her every single day for the next couple of months in Language Arts class. But who knows what might end up happening.

One thing that's for sure is that I have no plans of trying to win her back, or get back together with her if she ever wanted to. In order for me to learn and grow from this experience, I'm going to have to completely cut her off. She's dead to me now. I hope that she's happy, and I hope that she finds what she's looking for. I'll probably never know what changed her mind about me, but I have to remember that there's nothing wrong with me as a person and eventually, in time, I WILL get over her. And one day, I will find someone who loves me just as much as she did, if not more, and I'll love her even more than I loved my ex.

I really had to accept that fact that trying to fix the relationship was pointless. My sister told me that if I'm anything like her, I'd try to fix it. That's just who we are. Fixers. It's very rare that me or my sister are (or in my case, will) the ones breaking up with people; we're usually the ones getting dumped. Whereas other people just get stuck in a situation and just want it to end, we try desperately to hang onto it. But for a relationship to work, it has to be 100/100. For us to be happy, we have to be with people who really love us. There's nothing better than that, and trying to drag on a relationship that didn't have that dynamic would have just made it hurt more over a longer period of time.

Me and my sister had a very long talk after the split. I found myself not being able to make out sentences and spacing out for long periods of time. I didn't cry, but I was holding back the tears in order to make sentences that were understandable. I then chatted with Dorian on Skype about it, and messaged Jorden and Kegan, both of who were really nice to me.

I had a nightmare last night. Or more like a hallucination. 4 different dreams in one. First I was in sleep paralysis, unable to move a muscle. A giant figure appeared before me; a ghostlike face that spanned the entirity of my cieling. I went back to sleep, realizing it was only a hallucination, and began to lucid dream that I was in a strange world that seemed like it was out of mario. Really strange. I can tell that I won't be able to sleep tightly for a while, as much as I hate to admit that.

The scary part is where I'm going to go from here. You know, it's not easy being the kid who's never had a girlfriend up until his junior year of highschool. Relationships with the opposite sex have never been something that has come naturally to me.

However, if I had to take anything out of this, is that for once in my life, I have proof that it's possible. For a long time I was honestly starting to believe that some guys just "have it", and others don't. I felt for a long time like I was one of the people who just had a bad mix of genes from two crazy, fucked up parents, that was put through too much shit to ever be able to relate to a woman, much less turn her on sexually.

Just the idea of getting to know an entirely new person and make a new relationship blossom is daunting. It takes a LOT of work to get to know someone and start a new relationship. The approach, the first couple of conversations, getting the number, texting for hours, asking her on the first date, going on the first date, talking ALL THE TIME, it's insane. I never realized how much me and Grace talked until I looked back through all of the messages we sent. And that's just texting alone. That isn't counting skype messaging, skype calling, phone calls, and snapchat. I don't even want to THINK about having to start all over again. Yet maybe, it'll be fun. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm only putting myself through all the trouble of getting to know someone because the experiences and the times that you spend together are what make life itself really matter. It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all, and I figure I might as well keep loving and keep losing because the alternative is just being lonely forever, which is quite literally paramount to death.

On a side note, I don't want to go out to meet new girls to think of them as a "replacement" for Grace. If I did that, it wouldn't really be getting over her. I have to really get it through my head that whoever I meet next is going to be a completely new and different person from her. It's important not to make comparisons.

Breaking up with her has been a sort of a wake-up call. Even though it hurts and I feel like shit, I've been using it as leverage to really start investing in myself again. I started jogging and working out over the break, finally, and I'm starting to reach out to my friends more than ever, even if it is just the few that I have. I'm looking to order a couple books as soon as I can get money into my mom's bank account, and I'm going to use those to get myself out of the house as much as I can. 

Most importantly, I have literally NO interest in going back to gaming, and a newfound interest in meeting new people and socializing. It's like a drug almost. Anything to keep my mind off of her. I don't want to be alone. Ever. Maybe that's bad, but I'm really thankful for all of the people who have helped me work through this. Primarily my sister, and my friends Dorian, Kegan, and Jorden. I know they have my back through think and thin. 

I don't know how I'm going to start making new friends, and I've never made new year's resolutions because they're mostly bullshit, but next year, I'm going to make it a point to improve every aspect of my social life, including male/female relationships, going into the last three semesters of my schooling and 2016. Having a car soon is definitely going to help out, I hope.

Thanks to everyone on the Forum, especially Cam, and I hope that you all have a radical day tomorrow. Here's to a new year. Scary to think that we're closer in number to 2020 now than 2010. If any of you read this far, just remember this: life has its ups and downs. The ups wouldn't be ups if they weren't contrasted by the downs. Life is a constant struggle between life and death, light and dark, good vs. evil. I don't want pity by anyone. I just want everyone to know what we're all here to grow stronger together, and that whatever you're going through now will get better IF you work to make it better. Thank you all for reading. I'll be answering all responses.

END.

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Hey Ryan,

I only read your most recent post, so that's all the context I have. I'm sorry to hear that you're going through a rough time. Sounds like you're dealing with a lot. Here are my thoughts:

First, it sounds like your family environment is rather emotionally toxic and unhealthy. Obviously you're still in high school, so there's not much you can do about it. But I would recommend moving away as soon as possible, whether it's to go to college or what. You will be better off not in an environment with crazy emotional drama like that. Many families/living situations are like yours, but many aren't. Your environment has a huge impact on your emotional health. Just food for thought.

Second, your girlfriend. Really sorry to hear that you got broken up with. If I got that right, this was your first relationship? First breakups are awful - it's a lot of new emotions and pain you've never had to process before. It's confusing, scary, new. So yeah, sorry you're going through that - but you'll get through it, we all do! It seemed like you were self-conscious about having your first girlfriend at junior year of high school? Well, that's not a big deal. Not unusual at all. I didn't have a girlfriend until college... and I'm doing okay these days. Things that seem like a big deal in high school become insignificant later. If you want to learn more about relationships, I would highly recommend this podcast http://thematinggrounds.com/. There is a lot of great info here, much of it aimed at young guys like you. One big take-away from that podcast is that no, some guys don't just 'have it' - anyone can make themselves more attractive and learn to relate better to woman and be successful. The fact that you got broken up with has nothing to do with your worth as a person; relationships are about the fit between two people - it just wasn't a match that was going to work between you two at this time.

Third, even though you're dealing with a lot of shit right now, I just want you to know that the fact that you're here means that you're on the right path. You're setting yourself up for success. You're already deciding to quit games and improve your life. You're journaling and getting your feelings out and processing them, and getting feedback. You sound like you're being social and you're having relationships. And best of all you are still really young - you have so much time to improve the stuff you want to improve; that's a great position to be in. You should be proud of that.

Travis

Edited by kortheo
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