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Fern

Fern's Journal

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@Mettermrck Yeah, it's been helpful so far. I'm finding that a mix of different recovery strategies is working for me pretty well :) 

Day #13

Another day game free, and I'm thankful for that. Yesterday was really tough, but here I am. I'm lucky to have multiple game-recovery communities (this one included! :) ) to help me get through the rough patches. No martial arts classes today or Monday due to an extended holiday weekend and the place being closed, so I got out and went for a long walk today and will probably do the same Monday. Using the extra time to catch up on work since soon I'm going to be even more busy as I have multiple volunteering things starting up this month. I'm having a bit of a hard time with becoming better with productivity and time management. I'm a pretty go-with-the-flow person, which I think hasn't always served me well, so I want to get more comfortable with planning. So far I'm just trying to set base goals each night for the next day so I know what I need to get done, and then also trying to get more into the habit of planning by day into time-blocks with my calendar as well. 

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Day #14

Two weeks! I'm really grateful to have made it here and to feel good about continuing on this path. Today was a nice productive day and this week is nice and busy so I'm looking forward to it :)

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Day #16

Had a nice relaxing day, caught up with some computer work on the couch. I noticed that since I didn't have any going-out activities today there seemed to be more urges, but that makes sense since I wasn't focused on being busy the entire day. On one hand the urges were harder, but on the other I'm really glad that I got to rest because I think may have been getting a bit close to burning out by going out so much and taking so much on every day without any break days. I managed to have a healthy day even though it was a rest day, so I'm proud of that. In the past on my rest days I'd just watch shows or game the entire day and do nothing productive or healthy. Today I worked (easy work that involved me uploading stuff on the computer, inputting info, etc), made homemade ramen-inspired soup for lunch and spaghetti with homemade sauce for dinner, did some social networking, and went on two walks. I feel a lot better at the end of today then I used to feel at the end of my 'completely do nothing' rest days, so I think I'm going to try and stick with these healthier ones from now on. 

Tomorrow is back to being busy, appointments/work stuff all day tomorrow and the next day, running around town to different places. I'm looking forward to it though, back when  Iwas gaming I never wanted to leave the house but now that I've quit and gotten myself more used to going out I don't think I'd enjoy multiple days of staying home in a row.  

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Day #17

Today had ups and downs with life, but not many bad urges. Busy days and meeting new people/growing my range of experiences really seems to be helping. Always on top of it anyways though, saying positive thoughts about wanting a better life without gaming every morning and night, meditating, reading. Trying something new with time management tomorrow, will see how it goes. 

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Day #20

Sticking to it. Installed Cold Turkey and blocked all gaming sites, and anything related. My partner has also stopped and installed Cold Turkey as well, so that makes it easier. There was a scary few weeks where they were slipping back into gaming really deep, so I'm glad that they're trying to come out of it too. 

Currently I'm doing alright, been staying active. My depression/anxiety runs a bit cyclical for me with hormones though (won't go into detail about my lady issues, don't worry!) and currently those problems are starting to roll back around. I'm trying to stay on top of it this time, found myself doing less each day so today I made a point out of taking small steps against the depression by cleaning the kitchen and answering emails I let build up, as well as trying to re-frame anxious and illogical thoughts with positive and logical ones. My anxiety got quite ahold of me to the point where I was googling about stuff that freaked me out/health stuff (never a good idea, I know) but before the end of today I did catch that and pull myself out of it by going outside for a meditation/photography walk. 

My volunteering and some community courses I'm taking on writing start next week, so my brain shouldn't have so much free time to think silly things once I"m busier again.

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Day #22

Today I had a lot of emotion come up, like about not feeling fulfilled by my job and my current life path, and realized that a large part of why I don't try to change that is because I'm very afraid to fail. I think a key part of staying off games for me is going to working at confronting that fear and building a life that gives me more purpose and is fulfilling. Haven't been watching the Respawn vids lately since I've been telling myself I 'don't have time'. Well, I reflected on how I use my time, and honestly it's not in a very organized way. I tried to do the method of scheduling blocks of time for activities but fell off with that when I hit my depression downswing. I still haven't gamed, but would like to also be able to say that I'm improving in time management and life in general. Then again to no be too negative, I should also focus on good things I did today, like a good 20 minute meditation, healthy connection with my partner, and cooking healthy dinners two nights in a row. Tomorrow is a new day to get back at it with improving my time management.

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It's only those who do nothing that make no mistakes, I suppose. Joseph Conrad

It's ok to be afraid of failure, it's not ok to let that fear paralyze you. It is better to do anything constructive, even if it turns out a mistake. 

Why not try and cook something special, something new, something hard to make. Try making a soufflé, try your best to follow the recipe but don't worry if it doesn't come out right. It's ok to fail, and sometimes ordering in because you burnt the dinner to a crisp can be a fun experience (I do know something about serving charcoal).

Start small and see that the world doesn't end when you fail, learn from the mistake and come back stronger. In life there is no quiksave so we need to do the next best thing which is to learn from the mistakes we make.

Stay strong my friend.

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Thanks @Manun, that was a big help to read today. I enjoy trying new recipes so I might try that next time I go shopping for cooking ingredients :) 

Day 24

Yesterday was a really great day, but I think I may have actually pushed too hard as I didn't have much energy left today and had some anxiety waves hit. I'm proud though because I still took care of the things I was supposed to regardless of the anxiety and fatigue. I know as I keep going doing more will get easier, just to take it a day at a time and learn as I go. Journaling has been really good for learning from my days to improve gradually. 

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Day #29

Getting things sorted out, had a big work project that I managed to finish in two days, so now I'm just editing it before delivery. It feels really good to have accomplished something big in a short amount of time. In the past when gaming I would have procrastinated a lot more than I did with this one and it would have taken me much longer than one weekend. Almost at one month in and I'm starting to feel so solid positive changes. 

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Day #31

Woke up at 2AM with intense gaming urges. Breathed through it and fell back asleep. Woke up this morning with some leftover urges still hanging around but I'm accepting that they're here without acting on them and focusing on what I need to do today. I'm trying a new thing where I keep loose track of how I spend my time throughout the day in my journal, and its helping quite a bit so far in that I tend to stay more on task and focused on positive things because I don't want to have to note down that I spent hours just wandering around the internet or watching Netflix. 

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It's been long since I had cravings, but I still remember how tough they can be. Just ignore them and they'll tire of bothering you eventually :P 

Also, props for tracking your time. Scheduling in advance and reviewing in retrospect are two habits that work like miracles.

Keep growing stronger. 

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@Simon E thanks for the support, you were right about the cravings they were rough for a couple of days but then starting yesterday they've gone away again. Reading what you said really helped me remember they're temporary and get me through the last of it though :) 

Day #33

Pulled myself out of my slump by writing and getting myself to martial arts class. Writing was day before yesterday, and it was difficult since I have a lot of things to face that feel like they want released by writing, and there's this fear of like... potential overwhelm if I let that happen, I guess? And then of course the fear I always have with any writing that is expressive/artistic which is that I fear it will just be crap xD I read some of 'Art & Fear' which has been on my shelf for months and it got me writing anyways though, and I feel MUCH better after letting some of whatever it was go. Then yesterday was martial arts, I'd just taken a week off so it was intimidating to go back, but everyone was pleased to see me and even though the session kicked my butt it was in a good way, and I feel great today after getting the good exercise in. 

I'm really thankful today and have a lot of gratitude for all these new opportunities I'm finding for expression and growth, and also all the people I'm meeting on these new paths. I think gaming for so long from 19-25 stunted my self-discovery quite a bit so this is a time where that growth and discovery is now happening. It's a bit scary feeling sometimes but also feels just like... really mind-opening and expansive in a good way.

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Glad I could be of help :D 

I surely recognize myself in that fear of writing you mention (which is troublesome... Since I aspire to become an author). The only solution seems to be pushing through, writing despite the risk it might turn to shit.

"Do the thing you fear the most and the death of fear is certain." Emerson was a wise man.

Happy to see things are going better for you again (even though it's slightly uncomfortable/scary. Guess what? It's supposed to be :P)

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@Fern I totally understand how scary writing can be. Great job acknowledging the fear and pushing on regardless. And I'm happy to hear you went back to martial arts after taking a week off. It's so easy to let that one week slide into two, then three, but you didn't. Even if the session kicked your butt, I think you kicked ass for turning up!

 

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Day 41

Sorry about the gap in posting, was really busy for a bit. Both of my volunteering commitments started up around the same time so I was doing some frantic juggling until I settled in to the new amount of things I'm doing. During my away time I stuck to no-gaming, proud of that since there were some rough spots with stress. I did rework my schedule though to have set days for heavy work as opposed to doing medium work seven days a week. I'm hoping it'll help me feel less stressed and encompassed by my job to have multiple days off from work in a row. I realized that I also check my e-mail for work notifications way too much as well, so doing that less is something I'm currently focusing on. 

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Day 42

Having a good day. There was a small arts festival downtown so I stuck around after volunteering longer than normal to enjoy. I ended up finding a really nice vintage clothing store, so I'm glad I stayed and adventured a bit. Didn't buy anything as I'm trying to stick to my budget, but I'll probably use my monthly spending allocation there next month :) I'm continuously improving in Martial Arts gradually, I think at first it was really hard for me because the all the 'easy wins' in gaming made sticking to anything difficult well... difficult. Today at home I did all the first three forms I'm working on by myself without any guidance, and it felt really good to hit a new stage of progression in something real. Now hopefully I don't just freeze when I have to do the forms in front of everyone to advance. I'm going to keep practicing at home to really get the movements ingrained in my muscle memory so even if I get a bit of panic when doing them in front of a group I'll be able to move through it. 

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Day 43

Had a great meditation yesterday evening. I had gone down to 10 minutes instead of 20 in the evenings for a while, but last night decided to try bumping it back up to 20. There were a few restless moments but I made it through the entire 20 minutes without checking the time. I live near some pretty gardens so I meditate there, and the wind blew through the trees and plants and made a really relaxing sound. Today I completed a project that I've been putting off for a while. I'm in the situation again where I bunch of work came in at once, and now that there's so much to do I have the urge to freeze. Instead of freezing I'm going through the work pile one piece at a time and getting it done that way, not looking at the full amount all at once, which is helping. I've had some new ideas for work that I feel passionate about and want to start on, but first I need to finish my current projects and make a full plan. 

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Day 45

Working on doing the next right thing today, taking each thing one at a time. Getting quite a bit done this way - cleaned the garbage can out really well, got some paperwork done. Next up is turning in another project I completed to get another work thing off the to-do list. I'm thinking of going back to school for Nursing, not 100% sure yet though. I'm trying not to get too far ahead of myself, so currently focusing on looking into the high school courses I'd have to retake first to meet pre-requirements. 

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Hey guys, I'm still gaming-free, but after some thought have realized that I'm currently spread a bit thin between volunteering, work, hobbies, and keeping up with multiple recovery communities. Respawn was a great help for me and so was keeping this journal, but as I already keep a nightly personal journal this is one of the things that I've chosen to cut to achieve better balance. I'm really appreciative of everyone who commented/posted/helped me along the journey to where I am now. I'm going to continue to work at staying game-free and hope you all do as well, thanks! 

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