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Moe Smith

Moe's Fantasy Writer Journal

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Congrats mate! That's great news! A massive relief I am sure. They say a change is as good as a holiday as well!

 

Oh and my front door is open if you want to pop around and do our dishes ;)

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Level Up: Game Free Day 37 (New Record!)

Today one of my heroes took his own life, Chester Bennington, co-lead singer/screamer of Linkin Park.

I am utterly heartbroken. I'm not a crazy fanatic who dashed for their phone every time they posted on social media, but I am an enormous fan of their music. It changed my life completely.

I didn't understand the point of listening to music until my brother, Ryan, started blasting Hybrid Theory when it released in 2000, I was 12 years old. Up until this point, music didn't make sense to me, and I thought people were silly for listening to it. Then I heard songs like Crawling, Paper Cut, and In The End. The pain that I was going through as a too-smart nerdy kid who was getting bullied was brought to life in musical format. It made it OK for me to feel the way that I was, and I realized there were other people in the world who were hurting too. Knowing I wasn't alone in what I was going through made me stronger. I made more friends, I outgrew the bullies, and I gained the courage to stand up to them even when they were picking on others instead of me. Believe it or not they also helped me curb my temper and my violent streak I had as a kid.

A year later when I entered Jr. High, I enrolled in band. I played the clarinet for six years. When I got to highschool, I enrolled in choir and sang for 4 years (1 year college). I went to music festivals, and played first chair clarinet in an orchestra that SWEPT in competitions, won state every year, and I became the backbone of my college Concert Choir. I would never have understood music or spent any time learning it without this amazing band and their influence on me.

There are a thousand different instances in my life where I turned to LInkin Park in order to sort out what I was feeling, what I should do, and what I wanted my life to be. To this day, if I'm so pissed I can't function, I listen to their album Minutes To Midnight from start to finish, and it's 100% guaranteed to calm me down and help make sense of things.

Linkin Park has been the most influential artist/group (and I'm not just talking about music, ANY artist) in my life. They are a MAJOR factor in me being the man I am today. I wouldn't be me, I wouldn't be a musician, I wouldn't be strong.

Thank you for 17 years of AMAZING music Chester. You will be missed like a best friend that I could always confide in. I'm sorry you felt like you couldn't stay in this world. Hopefully someday people won't have to feel that way anymore. I love you and your work. You will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace.

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I was also devastated when I heard the news. Their music was huge in a lot of people's lives and watching their live performance was an amazing experience.

Hopefully something good will come from it.

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Level Up: Game Free Day 42 (New Record!)

Hey everyone, 

Sorry it's been such a long time since my last presence on here. As indicated by my last post, Chester's death on Thursday hit me pretty hard. I'm still reeling from it a bit, but I've had my moment of mourning. I'm the type of person who mourns once for a loss, I'll basically compress everything I'm feeling into one sitting or day worth of crying and huge emotions. In addition to my favorite artist's death, I'm moving about 20 minutes away from where I currently am. The last few weeks have felt SUPER draining because of that as well. I feel like I haven't had the chance have any time to myself, just for me. I'm pretty weary because of it. We move this weekend, so hopefully it's all on its way to being done and I can get back to a normal routine. 

Due to normal stresses, plus the added above ones, I'm feeling weak. I can feel my convictions on gaming and my other vices slipping. I'm not worried about falling off the wagon and relapsing on gaming right now, because I wouldn't have the time in my day to play anyways. I'm not really worried about T.V. shows either, because I decided a while ago the stories in T.V. shows weren't actually very exciting to me. They are mostly just entertaining and cool to see, but ultimately shallow. There might be a couple that are exceptions to that, like Game of Thrones and anything with Doug Jones in it. 

I've already relapsed on fapping and porn (though not hardcore porn). My primary goal was to quit gaming, and I'm still doing that, but this makes me feel like I'm interfering with my brain's ability to re-write itself away from the dopamine excess. So I'm feeling a little down because I've messed with that already. In addition to all this, I'm feeling like I've plateaued and I'm not getting any better. 

And my final worry right now, is that I've been having thoughts of re-introducing gaming into my life after I finish my 90 days (ish... we'll see if I need a little more time when I get there. Not in the way I used to do it. But I used to have a once-a-week scheduled time to play with some of my friends who were in their late 20's/early 30's. It was kind of nice to just jam with some friends and have something to do to connect with them. It was especially nice because it's hard to get everyone together with 5 adult's busy schedules. I'm not entirely convinced at this moment, that re-introducing this would be a bad thing for my life. I've got about half of my detox left in order to make up my mind about it though. 

So right now I'm struggling a bit. Hopefully it will pass after this weekend and the move (the new house is a HUGE improvement over the last space. It's the home we've been looking for for over 3 years now). Also, another high note. My wife and I basically spent our 3-day weekend in the house packing ahead of time (which never happens), and playing a board game called Descent. My weekend was quite nice :) She's also been wonderful in supporting me after Chester died. So overall, the home life is good.

My girls are going to sleep early tonight, they're both super tired. So I'll finally take some time to do some writing on my book, read some posts from my friends on here: @Tom2, @Mettermrck, and especially @giblets (I've been totally failing as an accountability partner. Sorry brother.)

Hopefully I'll feel a little better after all that tonight, and some good sleep. 

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They are mostly just entertaining and cool to see, but ultimately shallow. There might be a couple that are exceptions to that, like Game of Thrones and anything with Doug Jones in it. 

 

And my final worry right now, is that I've been having thoughts of re-introducing gaming into my life after I finish my 90 days (ish... we'll see if I need a little more time when I get there. Not in the way I used to do it. But I used to have a once-a-week scheduled time to play with some of my friends who were in their late 20's/early 30's. It was kind of nice to just jam with some friends and have something to do to connect with them. It was especially nice because it's hard to get everyone together with 5 adult's busy schedules. I'm not entirely convinced at this moment, that re-introducing this would be a bad thing for my life. I've got about half of my detox left in order to make up my mind about it though. 

I agree with that TV shows are mostly shallow. I don't watch TV a lot these days. Before I quit video games, I loved to watch movies and TV shows, but now I lose my focus so easily when I watch these. I know those shows and movies don't give me anything helpful for my life.. 

I also thought about gaming in moderation after the detox. My conclusion was, 'it's not gonna be late to decide after detox'. It's been 37 days since I quit, so 'present myself' want to play some after the detox. But who knows? Maybe my opinion would change during the rest 53 days. I'm gonna decide whether to play games in moderation after my detox. I just want to let it go for now. I want to let 'future me' decide whether to do it or not.

I hope you have a great day! :) 

 

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Be cautious of any thoughts or decisions you're making when you're in a heightened emotional state. 

If you don't feel like you've been getting any time to yourself, how can you be more intentional with your schedule in the next few days to make sure that happens? It doesn't have to be a lot. 10-30 minutes is plenty when you're busy. The time won't magically appear though, you have to be intentional to create it.

When it comes to fapping and porn, the challenge I would pose to you is how is this serving you being more intimate with your wife? I will add that intimacy in this context is not sexual. Sit with that.

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Welcome back, Moe. I'm glad to see you again. All of those struggles you mention are my struggles as well. I relapsed on fapping and porn. I still resist gaming but I too think about doing it after the 90 days. I feel weaker sometimes. I just don't know if I would maintain my forward momentum if gaming came back into my life. That's the biggest fear for me.

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Don't worry about me @Moe, you're the #1 priority here. I had the vibe you were hurting mate but I didn't have any other contact details so I could reach out to you.

Latch onto the good things happening right now, like you have finished your move, the new place is awesome, and your wife has still been awesome throughout it all.

Have you suggested a different activity to your friends to jam with other than gaming? If you get on the front foot and suggest something else your mates might be interested. 

Once you hit that 90 day mark you'll be so proud of what you have accomplished and see that there is so much more to achieve that you will want to double down on your progress rather than go back to the beginning.

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Alright, I'm feeling more human again and not just a mechanical moving robot. 

The move was a big success :-) Lots of hard work, but very very worth it. The new house is amazing and we're already in love with the place. It fits our furniture better, we have an office, there's a playground, etc. It's a really his thing to be at the new place. It's the first place that felt like home, instead of just a temporary stop, since I met my wife :-)

I'll continue this later, but know I'm back. 

My gaming urge is strong today as I am super exhausted. But luckily, I have no idea which box my mouse is in. Haha

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Moe's back! I'm glad your move went ok. Yes exhaustion is a great temptation to just be lazy. For me it's a temptation to eat badly, even more so than a gaming urge.

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Level Up: Game Free Day 62 (New Record)

Still going! No relapses! (Oh... I watched one episode of NCIS with my wife after a long day where we both just wanted to veg and snuggle in the air conditioning. It was actually really nice, and no relapse stress at all)

So it's definitely been a while since I've been on here. That is primarily due to time. I've learned a lot about time management since I've been through this. I no longer consider myself a procrastinator. I don't always get things done as soon as I possibly can, but that's because things aren't priorities until they are. When I was procrastinating, I used to game a bunch when I needed to work on other things, and the thought was of course "I'll do it later." Nowadays, when I look at my to-do list (Mow the lawn, clean the house, fold my laundry, do homework X, do homework Y, do homework Z, go do freelance work, etc.) I plan things out and I decide which thing I'm doing when. Sometimes my homework still gets done an hour before it's due, but it's not because I didn't think about it, or I blew it off, it's because all the time before I started working on my project, I was doing something else worthwhile. I had assignments due that were more pressing, I was spending my time with my family, I was taking time for my personal sanity in my busy days, and so on. I don't procrastinate anymore, I prioritize. 

I've been going through some rough times due to time, lol. I've currently got classes from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday. This is probably the biggest hell schedule I'll have for the rest of my academic career. I've got about three hours worth of gaps spaced between my classes. About 90% of that time is dedicated to homework, then I have homework at home as well (about 2 hours a night), and I've got travel time to and from school too. So at BEST, I'm looking at about 13 hour days, and at worse, I'm looking at about 15 or 16 hour days for school every day right now. I'm so fucking exhausted, and my brain has been running on full blast for weeks now. I'm ready for this schedule to be over, which will occur in 12 more days. I can't wait. 

I got some new books to read for fun! Reading those before bed is helping to keep me sane. Speaking of, Monster Hunter International (book 2) awaits! Love and miss you guys. I'll do my best to post, read, and comment. 

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Level Up: Game Free Day 75 (New Record!)

I'm supposed to be doing homework right now, but I didn't feel quite ready for it, so I figured this was as healthy a distraction as I could do :)

I've got one week left of this hell schedule in school. I'll be passing all of my classes with flying colors, but I might not end up with a 4.0 like I wanted to (perfect grades in the American system). However, I will be just shy of a perfect run, and I'll definitely end up on the President's List for my school. I'm not sure if other places have that, but the President's List is better than the Dean's List! So school has been exhausting, stressful, hard on my family, and has prevented me from doing anything remotely artistic in the last 4 weeks, but I'm almost done! 

Also, this set of classes has been going very well for me regarding a business that I'm establishing. I've gotten two different teachers to allow me to use my class time to build up my business. I'll hopefully get a chance to present that business to the higher ups in my University tomorrow or on Tuesday, and I'll be competing in a school wide project contest on Friday. I'm not sure if anyone's ever presented a startup business in that contest, so it should be rather fun. 

My next set of classes should be MUCH better. Instead of 11 hours, I'll have between  4-6 hours of classes after I test out of a basic math credit I don't have yet. Hallelujah! With that kind of a schedule, I can actually get a part time job in the morning, I can write my book, I can work on art projects, and I can unpack the house. It should be great. 

 

I've had an unexpected reaction to my detox on gaming lately. I haven't broken my streak, and I know I won't before I'm done with my 90. It might be because of the high amounts of stress in my life with the 11 sucky schoolness, but I've been craving games more as I go on, not less. However, I'm at a point where I can converse with myself about my cravings and work through them instead of just giving into them and behaving like an addicted robot. 

The more I think about it, the more I think I'm going to re-introduce gaming into my life when my detox is done. However, I've grown very fond of being productive and having a good and accomplished life. Therefore, gaming doesn't get to be a major point in my life, it gets to be a sometimes entertainment and relaxation venue. It gets to be a planned and timed event with friends who want to hang out without the need to travel. I used to do some League of Legends with a group of older guys on Saturday mornings before our wives and kids woke up for the day. I want to do that once again. 

This detox process has taught my a few things. I know how to prioritize things and do the most important ones first. I know how to take pleasure in learning again, which is something I haven't felt since I was a child. I know how to look at a challenge and feel excited about tackling it, instead of retracting into the shadows and hope it goes away. I know how to long for moments where I can use my free time to be productive on a project that I want to do, instead of defaulting any free time to screen-based entertainment. I know how to take pleasure in board games with my wife, daughter, friends, and family. I know how to be happy with myself, and to have confidence in who I am and what I can accomplish. I know how to be happy. 

 

With all of that said, not having games in my life has been an incredible journey and process. I've learned more about myself in these last 75 days than any other point in my life. I also know, however, that I am strong enough to handle anything that comes into my life. I know how to control myself. And I know that I classify myself as a binging addict, not a gaming addict. My former gaming addiction was just because my binging took the form of games for many years. I have a side of myself that is really good at being obsessive over one thing at a time. Currently it's school. After school, it will likely be running my business. I've learned that when I control my bingeness and direct it into a productive direction then the rest of the things in my life can be used in a touch-and-go/need be basis. Having a drink every once in a while, masturbating, watching a show, eating ice cream, and gaming won't be a problem for me anymore. When I allow myself to do those things (except gaming... haven't done that yet), I enjoy them for the intended purpose and the tendency to repeat them into addiction no longer penetrates my defenses. It's like I have a "That was nice, now let's move on," relationship with them now. 

I'm excited to complete my journey and re-introduce games back into my life in a healthy way. As a computer scientist, it's a part of my culture that I'll never be able to escape, so I might as well create a strong and healthy relationship with gaming. Also, as a storyteller and story lover, I can't ignore that there are some games that have an AMAZING amount of story potential that I won't find anywhere else. To this day, some of my favorite stories have come from games, and it wouldn't have been the same if I just read the plot. 

At this point, I might be rambling, but that's where I'm at, and it's where I intend to go. My wife's supporting my decision, and so is one of my school representatives who's been going through this whole thing with me. And I didn't even have to convince either of them of my plan, I just told them what I was thinking and why I was thinking it, and they both agreed that creating a healthy relationship was better for me than staying cold turkey forever.

 

Anyways, I need to get to my homework now, and anything else I try to say will be tangential most likely. Hopefully I can make a new post in a few days when my school is done. Thanks for everything to those that read this. I know I haven't been super active lately (stupid school), but I still appreciate the support I get from everyone on here. Peace out! Bring it on homework! RAHHH!!

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Moe! Great to see you again. I can completely understand your decision to go for moderation. As I approach the end of my detox, it's really been on my mind lately. I'm glad you're waiting until the 90 days are up before doing so and I hope you'll keep posting about how it works out for you.

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Maybe you're lucky to be of those people who can do moderation. For me it's all like cigarettes: the less frequently you do it the longer you wait for it, the harder it gets.But if you go cold turkey, you just forget it with time.

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Moderation is like putting a timer in your brain and having it go off, just like sleeping and waking up with a second alarm if the first one didn't work, good way to control your urges. But remember to keep on producing good productive things.

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@Moegli, these forums are peppered with people who tried moderation and it hasn't worked. We all go through those thoughts, trying to rationalize it to ourselves on why we could go back to gaming, especially at the 90 day mark. The reality is it isn't going to work out for us. The fact we have ended up on a website called GameQuitters, in a community full of fellow digital addicts, means that no matter how addicted we think we are (or aren't), moderation is not a skill we have.

If you are a binge addict, what is stopping you from "only" gaming for 15 minutes, then 30 minutes, then 60 minutes, then suddenly you are back to square one? Why not use the binging quality to your advantage in other areas, maybe a hobby that you can do with your family, is more social, or generates income. Rather than meeting up with mates to play a game, why not meet up with them early in the morning to discuss news, politics, spots, or just simply have a coffee and complain about how the world is doing it the wrong way?

I think you're a real success story on here mate, one that students over the globe can look to on how to turn their life around from being on the verge of being expelled/removed from course to being on the President's list by changing your environment and refocusing your life. We would love to see it continue!

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Level Up: Game Free Day 81 (New Record)

Yesterday I finished my first quarter as sober-from-gaming Morgan. As a point of reference, gaming addict Morgan from last quarter had an average GPA of 1.17, and the previous quarters before that weren't that different. This time around I will have either a 4.0 or a 3.9 GPA depending on last minute grading.

I also convinced two of my professors to use my startup business as course material for two of my groups. We spent five weeks developing the business strategy. Said business won a simple entrepreneurship contest at school, made it into the school's entrepreneurship center, and received runner up for "Best in show," in a two-school project display contest. I've also recruited two other students to dedicate their capstone to helping me create the initial product now that the business design is complete. Oh, and I've got two people already that said they want updates, and they want to invest. 1f603.png:D

Oh, and one last thing, because my program is in the Entrepreneurship Center, and is the first major project to be in the center, my team and I gave a presentation to the higher ups in the university to show the possibilities of the new center (President, CFO, Chief Academic Officer, Senior Student Life Coordinator, Career Services Manager). The questions were on point, and the response from people who make tough decisions every day was extremely positive!

Overall, I would say my life has made a decent improvement from 81 days of sobriety 1f603.png:D

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