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Moe Smith

Moe's Fantasy Writer Journal

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Ah! I'm back! I'm here! Present! Things are busy. Normal busy stuff plus holiday stuff for the last 2 days. 

Level Up: Game Free 22 Days (New Record)

I think the new record of me not gaming started yesterday, but just to be sure I didn't want to make a big deal out of it. But today I shall! As far as I can remember, I have never not gamed for 22 days straight before! And certainly not with quitting porn, t.v., and alcohol at the same time. That's pretty cool. My dad told me he was proud of me last night as I was catching him up on my process. That was pretty fantastic since I'm pretty sure he's been disappointed in me for a long time. But non-gaming Morgan isn't a disappointment! Woo!

I'm having some struggles right now. I'm being productive still, and my days are still good. But I feel like I'm slipping.... or rather coasting a little right now. Like I should be getting a lot better at things, but right now I've started to level out and not make much progress anymore. That's probably due to several things, my family is out of town so my sense of normalcy is off, my sleep schedule is completely whacked right now, and I'm super stressed about money and that's detracting from my focus on school.

Hopefully I can screw my head on straight here in the next few days. That would be nice. Haha.  

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As someone who's been on and off estranged with my Dad for years due to addictions, I know how powerful being told "I'm proud of you" can be. Good on you, Moe! Glad you posted again.

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Ah!... I just realized something. I quit my non-gaming streak last time after about 20 days. Currently I'm feeling a little sluggish and like I don't have the momentum I had 10 days ago. Maybe 20 days is part of my endurance cycle. I'm just gonna push through and see if I can make it out of this slump. Fingers crossed that all I'm going through is that. 

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Perhaps I should change some of my methods to deal with cravings. I'm trying to figure out how to bind myself onto studying civil engineering. I may fail someday if I use the same way as my first attempt....

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Yes, sometimes you lose the "honeymoon period", that initial period of excitement, pride, novelty. But the good moods can come back. Sometimes I feel like I'm in a long grind but other times I'm impressed at how far I've come. Hang in there, Moe!

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Ah!... I just realized something. I quit my non-gaming streak last time after about 20 days. Currently I'm feeling a little sluggish and like I don't have the momentum I had 10 days ago. Maybe 20 days is part of my endurance cycle. I'm just gonna push through and see if I can make it out of this slump. Fingers crossed that all I'm going through is that. 

You got this Moe! 

Try changing up your schedule, if you are feeling like your momentum is waning and that you a struggling a little bit, you might be stuck in a rut! I get that feeling a lot and sometimes something as little as changing my daily routine can kick start me again, such as instead of running after work changing it to running it at lunch, or doing chores in the morning etc. Give it a try!

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Level Up: Game Free 24 Days (New Record!)

Ok, today I need to be brief. Things are good, just super busy! Today I had a quiz and a paper due, I'll be asleep in about 15 minutes (8:30 p.m.) so I can wake up at 2 a.m. to drive to the next state and help my mom move, I'll drive from about 2-7 a.m., then I'll get out of the car to lift things into amazing Tetris compactness in the moving van, then we'll move stuff to the next town over (about an hour away), unload everything and set the house up, repeat until done, then I'll likely sleep for a few hours, and come home to Salt Lake around 7 a.m. again, then I need to do some homework in the rare few minutes I'll have to myself, then I need to clean the house, then my beautiful wife should come home from week long vacation and I'll be so happy to see her, then at 2 p.m. on Sunday I'll start a 12 hour video shoot where I'm an extra, that will finish at about 2 a.m., then I'll come home, sleep for hopefully more than just a few hours, then I have to meet with with a lab partner at 12 noon on Monday to finish a code project, then at 6 p.m. on Monday I have a class where I have to turn in 2 different assignments that I've been working on, then I'm off at 8 from that class, I'll go home, see my wonderful daughter for 30 minutes(who's been at grandpa's house for a week with an out of town friend), then I'll sit on the couches with my sweet wife, kiss her until my lips fall off, then we'll go to bed, then I'll stay in that bed forever... or until I have to get up at 8 a.m. on Tuesday to take my daughter to class. 

TL;DR

HOLY BALLS! My next 4 days are FREAKING NUTS! I'm good, I haven't fallen off the path, but I would be surprised if you hear from me before next Tuesday. Cheers friends! 

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Hahaha! Thanks to all 3 of you guys. I appreciate the chuckles at the end of my 21 hour day. And yes, that does mean I started my day at 1:30 a.m.! I'm so tired right now, but I'm alive, and my parents wouldn't have been able to finish their move in one day if I wasn't here to help them out. 

Tomorrow, I still have the acting gig (I think... they changed the schedule so now it's way harder to make it), and best of all I get to see my wonderful, darling, amazing, passionate, beautiful wife tomorrow after not seeing her for a week! I'm so excited for that! It's gonna be great! :D

I'm sure I'll have a lot of catching up to do when all this madness ends, but I'll read all your recent posts and get back in touch with you guys! Thanks for the constant encouragement!

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Level Up: Game Free Day 29 (New Record)

Hello friends! I survived my week of insanity! Let's see what happened in the last 5 days: 

Helped my mom move and made $100: Check
Went to my acting gig and made $100: Check
From both activities above, work 32/48 hours for the weekend: Check
Programmed my lab WAY beyond what the teacher was expecting: Check
Got the response of "I want that app!" from the above teacher: Check
Get 100% on last Friday's Paper: Check
Get 100% on last Friday's Quiz: Check
Write 3 pages in my novel: Check
Get 100% on the largest assignment in my class so far: Check
Get 95% on my midterm: Check
Applied for a flexible student job at UPS: Check
Got the gears moving to join a Business Incubator club at school: Check
Got the gears moving for starting a Game Quitters club at my school!: CHECK!
Called 16 apartments so we can hopefully move in 3 weeks: Check
Spent time with my family all under the same roof again: Check
Finished the first Dune book (The Butlerian Jihad): Check
Made it 1/3 the way through my new book Ender's Shadow in a day: Check
Ate lots (but never enough) ice cream: Check :D 

So yeah. lots of crazy awesome things have happened in the last 5 days. It's been a whirlwind, and I am thoroughly exhausted from it all. Man this new life is something else. It's crazy, sometimes stressful, never dull, and my free time is so coveted and precious it's almost agonizing. There are some days that I wish I could just curl up, sleep, and drop all of my responsibilities like I used to. However, I find that when I face the responsibilities and I handle them appropriately, they stop bothering me and I don't have to stress out about them! It's like magic! Hahahaha. The feeling I was having of leveling out and not improving has washed away now. I've been riding a new high of kickassery, but I'm dropping a couple of things with my juggling act. I'm still building those muscles I guess. 

Things are amazing right now. This is the happiest I've ever been in my life, and it's because I'm me without the games. The former gaming me was worthy of self loathing, judgments from others, and a mediocre life. Now, I'm worthy of a beautiful family, building my dream software company within the next five years, and finishing my eventual bestselling novel. Get out of the way Superman! You're slowin me down grandpa!

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Go, Moe! You are an inspiration for turning your life around. I never did read beyond Enders Game. You'll have to let me know what you think of the series. Never got beyond the first Dune book either haha. I'm so psyched for you!

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Hey thanks man! That means a lot! I've slowly began to realize how much of an impact this change in me is having. My wife's happier, my daughter is happier, I even ran into an old friend that read my Facebook post at day 14 (I think), and said she watches less T.V. because of what I've accomplished! That was an awesome moment :D 

I have read Shadow of the Hegemon before and it was pretty awesome. It's all about the rise of power from Ender's siblings. Very well done. Not quite as astonishing and groundbreaking as Ender's Game. Ender's Shadow is the Ender's Game story told from Bean's perspective and it's rather awesome. It gives me a much much deeper appreciation for who Bean is, why he mattered so much, and how he helped Ender. 

The Dune book was awesome! I'm doing those in chronological order starting with the ones co-written by Kevin J. Anderson. It started a little slow, and was kind of disjointed, but overall it was great. I'm excited to get my hands on the second one. I'm all fired up from finishing the first book. DOWN WITH THE EVIL MACHINES! Hahaha

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Ooo I didn't know there were Dune prequels. I'll have to check that out. And I'll put Enders on my list to start again. I thought the Harrison Ford movie was well done and it prodded my interest again.

I'm glad about your Facebook friend. I've sort of kept dark on Facebook. I really want to appear a year from now at my family reunion in TN and just shock people! But I know the value of communicating your struggle too. I get some of that when I text friends almost daily.

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Crushing it Moe!

I think the biggest contributor to your path was your relapse. You are definitely a lot more determined this time around and have a clear defined schedule/timetable. With the amount of stuff you are doing the 90 days will be a blur, just don't burn yourself out mate! If you go constant "red lining" then eventually you might blow a gasket. Have you still got a method or task to relax? Is that your reading time? 

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Yeah I made my Facebook post when I re-entered school after my relapse. I had just about 2 weeks worth of detox under my belt. I wanted to let people know that I was going back and that I was different this time around. 

Yeah the Ender's Game movie was very well done. It's my single most favorite book and they crushed it! Almost a prefect representation. :-D 

Yeah you're totally right about my last relapse. This last time around I was able to form a few new thoughts that I needed. Add those to the new research I had from Cam about the effects on my brain and bam! I was hooked on NOT being hooked. It's been a great process this far. 

And yes I do have downtime :-) Board games with the family, reading, cooking, writing my book, chatting for fun with my wife. All of these are nice ways for me to relax. That and the ice cream :-) I will never regret I've cream!

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Level Up: Game Free Day 32 (New Record!)

Oh... lol. I feel like I have been fairly active in the forums since my last post, but I totally spaced making my own post! Haha. Oops. 

So I made it past 30 days! That's awesome. :D 

Things have been pretty good overall. Still kicking ass in my class. I was one of 4 students chosen to be a project lead for the next phase of the course. Basically that means I get to have my own team (25% of the class), and I will coordinate with the other 3 team leaders to deliver an actual software product in 5 weeks. It's going to be a bit crazy, but it should be fun as well. We haven't figured out what kind of software we're making yet, but I'm really excited to get even more project management experience. 

My wife and I have having a bit of a hiccup right now. She admitted that she doesn't view most of my activities as productive, which included school, game quitters, personal projects that I need for my own sanity, etc. That caused a harsh discussion last night. It was unpleasant. She said that can't appreciate it if she can't see any results from the efforts. Most of what I'm doing right now is for long term goals, and long term results, so it's really frustrating to no have anything tangible to show her. I think we probably got through most of the muck... there's probably a bit more to wade through though. I'll keep trying to make things better for the family, and hopefully she'll see that at in a while. One thing I know I can do, is keep the house looking nice, make sure breakfast is made, lunch is packed, and dinner is planned. Those are physical things that she looks for, and appreciates. Maybe I can start working on my body in earnest. That would be a physical change she would notice too ;) haha. 

Another thing to report is that I had a bit of a slip regarding porn/masturbation. I got onto Deviant Art yesterday, looking for examples of a painting technique that I really like. I'm thinking of starting a series of art projects based on this technique, and I wanted to see if anyone was doing similar things. Looks like no, I couldn't find anything. Haha. Anyways, I got myself into a bad spot and I started looking at artistic nudes. You can imagine what happened after that. The thing is, I don't really regret what happened. It was a very different experience than what the normal version of porn+masturbation is. I wasn't looking at people fucking each other, or being dirty, kinky, or quirky, etc. I was looking at artistically shot women's bodies. I think woman are like walking pieces of art. The shape of their bodies, the curve of their lips, the shine in their eyes, all of it is gorgeous to me. I am an artist, and I can look at a wonderfully sketched piece of art, listen to a great piece of music, view a beautiful painting and appreciate the creativity and the beauty within it. When I look at a woman, especially my wife, I get that same feeling of deep appreciation for the way their bodies look. This time around, I was looking at women from this beautiful sensual perspective, and not from a pornographic perspective. The experience was vastly different from the norm, and my body reacted very differently as well. Anyways, it was an interesting experience. I don't think I should be doing that again, because it falls right into the dopamine category of "Click = new high" and that's the main reason I'm going through this detox, is to rewire my brain away from those things. However, I don't regret it, and it helped to shed some light on a perspective that I already had, and it showed me how to appreciate the way I think of women a little better. Basically, they're not just potential sex partners (that's a bit extreme overall, but it gets the point across), they're artistic bodies piloted by beautiful souls. I think that's a win for me overall. 

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I can relate, Moe. When I tried quitting gaming before, my wife would always ask, "what's in it for me?". In our relationship, she was asking how my habit changes and personal development were going to improve our intimacy, which it wasn't short term 

As for porn/masturbation, I don't regret it either if I see a hot girl in real life or in TV or something and I relapse. That's a natural guy response. It's when you intentionally go looking for it that it becomes a problem, especially when it's some messed up stuff you're looking at. If I am going to fap, I just make sure I leave my phone somewhere else. ?

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I am surprised she doesn't see it as being productive old chum! Surely she is seeing you be more happy, getting more stuff done, or are you still locked behind your desk staring at a PC screen? She might not see that while your activities have changed, you're still displaying the same behaviours of being non-interactive, etc. For example, I became very self conscious of how much time I spent studying towards the end of the semester, as I replaced one activity where I never interacted with them with another. Even though I was being productive, my family still saw me as sitting behind the computer not talking to them.

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Level Up: Game Free Day 34 (New Record!)

Overall things have improved in our family quite a bit. It's kind of a stressful time overall for us. We're trying to move, my wife is looking for a new job, I'm in school, our daughter is in school, I'm not working much, etc. We're doing very well now. Last Friday was just a particularly hard day for us to deal with. We talked it through, and I know what I need to do moving forward and she knows what she needs to do. I think we're both still getting used to this new version of me, and that newness just caused some sparks to fly for one evening. 

I was able to point out that she and I are a lot more passionate with each other since I stopped gaming. We have a LOT more sex, which is awesome for both of us. And I pointed out that I'm not so grumpy anymore and I don't make our daughter cry every day like I used to. I still make her cry sometimes, but that's usually when I have to do some tough love parenting and she just wants sugar instead of dinner. Lol. 

Overall though, things are better between us, and we were able to say some things that we've needed to say. Right now, we've got our fingers crossed so hard our fingers have no blood in them. We applied to rent the upper portion of a house that we LOVE! Our credit is super bad (thank you very much government for fucking students over SO hard on student loans), and so he's hesitating a bit. Hopefully we've negotiated well enough that he'll accept us, and we can move in there for three years, and he's got his rent set up so that consistent on-time payments can actually help our credit! God this would be the PERFECT move for us and so we're really hoping that he liked us well enough to trust us, rather than trusting a credit report. 

That's mostly what's going on right now. We start packing for our move tonight. Hopefully this time around will be easy. We've been trying to get rid of our extra stuff all year long so this move would be light. This week we'll see if we actually succeeded. Lol.

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I've been there with the student loans. Good luck with the new place. Most landlords have usually let me stay, especially if I level with them up front about my credit.

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I have never really thought about lines of credit when applying for places to rent - I didn't know they checked that! Or maybe they don't over here. Who knows. I think I don't understand our credit system as well as I should!

Sparks are sparks mate, it's better than nothing at all! I generally avoid confrontation in my house because everyone gets emotional and I know you can't reason with someone who is emotional. Ultimately it doesn't achieve anything because the problems stagnate or get worse. 

You're crushing it!

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Lol. I don't understand our credit system well either. All I know is it HURTS if you're not perfect. Ugg... Onward and upward. Our credit is worse now than it will ever be in our lives, so we can only go up from here! Mwahaha. Yeah we were able to find a really cool dude who's our landlord. We were totally transparent on things, and we negotiated some things out so that he felt comfortable even with the credit score. AND he's a lawyer who specializes in home/rental law! I successfully negotiated with a lawyer, that's a first! Woohoo! Haha

My wife and I get into little tussles like every one in a while... maybe like 4 times a year. :P So truly not bad. When something like this happens, we obsess over the communication and how things should be for the future. We never let anything just simmer and fester, we face it and debug it like a program. Haha. 

Good news!!! Credit check was bad, criminal check was flawless, last landlord review recommended us, current landlord raved about us, plus negotiations, and *drumroll* we'll be signing the lease on 1/2 an awesome house probably tomorrow or Wednesday! YEAH!!!! ... it's been a stressful day, but with good results... 

Oh, and all the dishes in the house are clean now. Yay!

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