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nowaydown1

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Day 0

So I decided to charge ahead and stop gaming after realizing some of the negative impacts it's having on my life.  I couldn't quite bring myself to nuke my Steam library just yet, so I changed all my passwords to randomly generated strings, sent the passwords to my wife, asked her not to surrender them under any circumstances and then deleted the email from my sent emails.  Not ideal, but I think it's still a step forward so I'm taking it as a win.  I talked with my wife for some time and asked her to be my accountability partner to which she's agreed.  

Emotions: Anxious, Stressed, Depressed
Accomplishments: Read Respawn.  Took action to take control and improve things instead of continually going through the motions.
Goals For Tomorrow:  Build a daily schedule.  Meditate.  Drink more water.  Zero games.

 

 

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Day 1

Today was my first full day without gaming in a long time.  I was able to accomplish all four of the goals I set.  I built out a schedule, meditated, drank water and didn't game.  I'm doing my mediation using Calm, and I like it so far.  I was surprised by how much time I had in my day without gaming.  I was able to make some progress cleaning out some junk from my bedroom closet -- a project I've been putting off for weeks now.  I was able to put together a daily schedule, which I'll start on tomorrow.

Grateful For: My daughter and a supportive wife.
Emotions: Calm, Patient
Goals For Tomorrow:  Meditation.  Do a load of laundry, fold it and put it away.  Clean for 30 minutes.  Exercise.  Have 30 minutes of mindful play time with my daughter.  Follow the daily schedule.

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Day 2 & 3

My daughter helped me discover the schedule that I set for weekends is too rigid.  She's four now, so I told her to call my receptionist to see if there was some way I could pencil her in -- but she wasn't having it.  Just kidding.  But it's clear that I need to just block off larger blocks of flexible time that can keep up with her needs.  The weekend was sort of a train wreck for hitting goals.  I did manage to get some exercise and have some good play time with my daughter, but I totally procrastinated on laundry and getting some of the work tasks I had on my plate wrapped up. 

I have been starting to feel some withdrawal these past two days.  My wife is a gamer (in a much more healthy manner) so it's hard being in the same area when she's gaming without feeling some withdrawal pangs.  Introspectively, I think it's more of a nostalgia thing than an action that I would genuinely derive enjoyment from. Brains are weird. So far no relapse, but these past two days were certainly harder than the first.  I bought a few used electronics books off eBay to use as a new mental activity.  Should keep me busy for a while.

Tomorrow begins a new week, so I'm looking forward to making some adjustments and trying to get the schedule system back in place.  

Grateful For:  Discovering meditation.  It's something I look forward to in the mornings now.
Emotions:  Kinda bummed that I wasn't able to get things on the rails a bit more over the weekend.
Goals For Tomorrow:  Meditation.  Do the laundry I've been putting off.  Clean for 30 minutes.  Come up with a new schedule for weekends.

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@Remigjus Thanks for the encouragement.  Don't worry it looks like I'm catching up to you.  What would you say the hardest part of the transition for you has been?

Well, I guess the hardest part was saying goodbye to my gamer friends from all arround the world. I remember it was a really heartbreaking moment for me. It took me like 30mins to hit enter just to send a farewell message. They were people that I'd sometimes spend like 6 hours a day playing games with. If only I knew that by quitting games, I'd automaticaly spend less time with them lol

Edited by Remigjus
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Day 4

I managed to knock out the laundry I was putting off and do about an hour of cleaning.  I made some tweaks to my weekend schedule to allocate way more flex time for my daughter.  Rather than using a strict schedule, I've just broken things down into two different categories, things I must get done that day, and things that would be nice to do if time permits.  I'm going to try that this coming weekend and see how it goes.  I've still been doing meditation and it seems to be helping with my patience and focus.

I was really feeling the withdrawal today.  I caught myself trying to rationalize excuses.... "Well if I went and bought a Switch it wouldn't be as bad since I wouldn't be gaming online.... AND I'm sure I'd be able to balance that a lot better..... just play for a little while and then do what I need to do".  Quiet, brain.  I didn't cave, but I was feeling weak in that moment for sure.  I got up and walked into the other room for a bit which seemed to help.

I'm finding it somewhat difficult to get into a regular rhythm with my daily schedule.  On occasion I'll oversleep and then guilt sets in.  I keep trying to remind myself that I can still just get on board with wherever I am in that day's schedule and make the best of what's left of the day.  Harder than it sounds.  

My wife is super into a game right now that she keeps raving about.  If it keeps up I'm not sure if it's something I should talk to her about or what.  On the one hand, she just does it to chill out and her behaviors are way more healthy than mine ever were, so it'd feel weird for her to spend her evening different on account of me.  On the other hand I could do something else to distance myself from the situation during her times when she's gaming, but I know she will ask me why I'm always making myself scarce in the evenings.  I don't want to make her feel bad, as it's something she enjoys, but it's almost like trying to stop drinking and then going and hanging at the pub every night with a bunch of friends that drink.  

I'm sure as the days continue on I'll figure out strategies that work for me.  Just a learning experience.

 

 

 

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Good going, keep it up!

Day 4

My wife is super into a game right now that she keeps raving about.  If it keeps up I'm not sure if it's something I should talk to her about or what.  On the one hand, she just does it to chill out and her behaviors are way more healthy than mine ever were, so it'd feel weird for her to spend her evening different on account of me.  On the other hand I could do something else to distance myself from the situation during her times when she's gaming, but I know she will ask me why I'm always making myself scarce in the evenings.  I don't want to make her feel bad, as it's something she enjoys, but it's almost like trying to stop drinking and then going and hanging at the pub every night with a bunch of friends that drink. 

 

I would definitely bring it up. Of course she doesn't need to stop gaming if it's a healthy habit for her, but talking about it with passion really puts you in a vulnerable spot while quitting. I was lucky my hubby had different favourite games then me and didn't talk about it much, but I can't imagine it having any good effect on me when I just quit. Sharing a little less about it (for now) is not too much to ask I hope. Better yet, I'm sure there's also lot's of other things to talk about besides games and other activities to fill the evening with together. I played a lot of games together with my husband; now we just play one game every once in a while (not recommended at when just quitting :)), play board games, go out for walks, talk over dinner, watch a movie, etc. You could propose doing other things together instead of gaming.

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Day 9

Eek.  I haven't kept up with my Daily Journal very well.  I'm still experiencing some withdrawal symptoms, but they've changed a bit in nature.  Before, where my desire would be somewhat constant, I now get shorter periods of super intense desire to do some gaming.  It doesn't seem to correlate to any real world stress or trigger that I can identify, so I guess it's just my brain's way of saying that it's pissed that I'm not giving it the sweet sweet dopamine surge it desires.  To combat this, I've been keeping super busy.  I received some of my electronics books in the mail, and I'm spending a bunch of time reading them every day.  It takes up a huge chunk of time.  My brain is still trying to rationalize the gaming habit, I get thoughts like "You're spending hours just sitting here reading, you could be using that time to have some fun gaming instead!".  

I've found a few things that seem to help me during these times:

  • Going back and looking at the 'Reasons I Want To Quit' list I created after reading Respawn.
  • A change in scenery.  Getting up and walking away from whatever I'm doing at that moment, if only for a few minutes.
  • Reminding myself that the time I'm putting towards studying is getting me closer to a real goal that has real world value.  
  • Browsing /r/StopGaming and reading other people's stories.

@Mhyrion Thanks for the good advice.  It helped and I'm happy to report things are no longer an issue.  

Some of the things that I'm still struggling with are my long term projects that I want to accomplish (Finish writing my book, and finish building a software product that I've been working on forever).  Every time I sit down to try to work on either of these I just can't seem to get any forward traction.  Because of the gaming habit, both projects have been stalled for a long time now.  I guess in some ways, those projects have negative emotions tied to them because I was forever chastising myself for not being disciplined enough to do what needs to be done with them.

So now that all the bummer stuff is covered, on to the good stuff.  I have noticed some life improvements that I'm super happy about:

  • I'm spending way more time with my wife and daughter than I used to.  If my daughter is trying to get my attention and is excited about something, I have no problem setting aside whatever it is I'm doing at that moment to engage with her.  I've also noticed that my patience has improved on days where she's acting out.
  • I'm doing a better job of keeping in touch with real life friends and trying to nurture those relationships.  My social circle is extremely small, but the people in it are friends I've had for the majority of my life.
  • I do feel a small sense of pride knowing that the things I'm dedicating my time towards now are the things that count.  It's not perfect everywhere, but I still feel like I've achieved something by heading in the right direction.

Things I'm Grateful For:  An understanding and supportive wife.  My brother who has always been an ear and a rock I can turn to during tough times.  
Goals:  Drop my wife and daughter off so I can heist our car for the day.  Run errands.  Work on my software project for 30 minutes, even if all I do is run down the clock staring at it.

 

Edited by nowaydown1
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