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wookieshark88

My Journal - Joe

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I love video games. This is a really important thing for me to admit. I love the immersion, the challenges, and the rewards.

I hate video games. This is just as important for me to admit. I hate the isolation, my neglect of other things I love, the depression and anxiety I feel with I realize how I neglect things I love even more.

I would love to game in moderation, but in 25 years of gaming, I've never been able to do it.

Today is the day I choose my life over games.

I know I won't be able to do this without the support of others who understand this part of me, and this is why I'm here.

I hope to one day reach a point when I can support others in this struggle, but for now I can only ask for your support.

This is me reaching out to all of you because I feel this is a safe place for me to do so.

This is where I will lay it all out for you to see because I can't do this alone.

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Woot! I love seeing another journal up here, you and Ryan made my day! :D

We've got your back! You can do it!

?

Finding this site made my day!

Talking about video game addiction is a tough thing to do, but knowing that people here really care about and understand this problem inspires me to let the words flow.

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?Talking about video game addiction is a tough thing to do, but knowing that people here really care about and understand this problem inspires me to let the words flow.

?Exactly. It helps a lot to know you are not alone and have people around you who can help. We're all in this together.

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Day 2 of quitting has been successful so far. I've gone about a month without playing games before, but never with the intention of never playing them again. That month wasn't hard for me. This day is. I haven't had any strong urges to play. The difficult part for me that I feel a loss of the games. I really loved them, and never going back to them feels like walking away from a friend I cared about, but was such a bad influence in my life. Can anybody relate to this?

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Can anybody relate to this?

?Definitely. It's something I've gone through during breakups too. It passes over time. Remember, moving on from games doesn't take anything away from them and what they meant to you. It's just about embracing impermanence and recognizing that you are closing one chapter (with games) to start a new chapter (without games).

Spend some time reading about impermanence today. It will help lift your spirits. :)

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?Definitely. It's something I've gone through during breakups too. It passes over time. Remember, moving on from games doesn't take anything away from them and what they meant to you. It's just about embracing impermanence and recognizing that you are closing one chapter (with games) to start a new chapter (without games).

Spend some time reading about impermanence today. It will help lift your spirits. :)

?Does this mean that you have fond memories of games without feeling guilty about those memories? I feel like this is a very important statement, and I really want to understand what you mean.

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?Does this mean that you have fond memories of games without feeling guilty about those memories? I feel like this is a very important statement, and I really want to understand what you mean.

?Yes, exactly. It's that you can look back on it as something that was a fun time in your life and it was meaningful without feeling guilty or regret or that you need to continue it now. It's just a chapter in your life that has now closed to create space for something new.

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?Yes, exactly. It's that you can look back on it as something that was a fun time in your life and it was meaningful without feeling guilty or regret or that you need to continue it now. It's just a chapter in your life that has now closed to create space for something new.

?This has never occurred to me before! It's just like how I look back on partying like a young twenty-something fondly, but since I'm a family man now, I don't do that anymore. Thanks for this very helpful insight!

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Today was a good day for me! Taking a fellow game quitter's advice, I meditated for the first time ever. It has helped with the anxiety that has been plaguing me for the last week. I also started a private journal in addition to this one where I could write down things that I would rather keep to myself. While meditating, I felt a sense of peace about leaving games for good. I also felt a sense of security that my daughter will have the kind of father she needs. I was close to shedding a tear of happiness which is profound for me since I almost never cry.

I'm so thankful to all of the people who have given me kind words and advice. My goal is to continue on this path and help others once I "level up" my game quitting skills.

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?This has never occurred to me before! It's just like how I look back on partying like a young twenty-something fondly, but since I'm a family man now, I don't do that anymore.

?Exactly. It helps a lot to see our life from the point of different chapters and I think this really helps especially with gaming. We don't need to hold onto it, we can appreciate it for what it was and move forward towards something new!

I meditated for the first time ever. It has helped with the anxiety that has been plaguing me for the last week. I was close to shedding a tear of happiness which is profound for me since I almost never cry.

?This is perfect! Keep meditating each day and you'll continue to get a lot of amazing experiences and insights from it. Meditation allows us to slow down and reconnect with our true selves. The science behind it is crazy awesome too!

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This morning I meditated again. It was helpful just like it was yesterday. During my meditation I experienced a bit of fear of letting myself down and not continuing to build and progress on this journey. Throughout my life, I have had difficulties with keeping good habits. Even small things like taking my medication every day can sometimes be a struggle for me. I am just wrapping up a month off for paternity leave which allowed me to confront my video game addiction and take active steps to deal with it. My normal life is very busy. I work a full time job, have a new baby, and I will be taking a university course in the fall. My days when I'm taking courses are typically to work six hour days on school days, drive about 90 minutes to school, be in class for an hour, drive 90 minutes home, and take care of house and family matters until it's time for bed. My non school days involve working 10 hours, going home to study, and taking care of house and family matters until it's time for bed.

It is a dream of mine to finish my education, and I have been doing what it takes for years to get there. Hopefully I am two years away from wrapping it up. I can wait to achieve this dream of mine, but the price I pay is high to support my family and chase my dream.

I guess what I'm saying is that I need help being held accountable to continue my progress. That's why I'm here. I know I need all the support I can get.

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Awesome! Keep up with the meditation habit, it's a perfect way to start your morning and will help you maintain more stability in your day.

And great job with your education. That's a big goal and one you should feel proud of that you're working towards each day you do.

One question: On your 90 minute commute, what do you listen to? Is it music? Radio? News? Podcasts? I'd highly recommend either listening to podcasts (see a list here) or listening to audiobooks (use Audible). You'll be blown away by how many books you can "read" (which will help you not only help you learn but keep you in a more positive growth mindset) by using the 180 minutes (commute both ways) each day. Podcasts can also be really interesting and inspiring.

Try it out. One book to add to your list is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. It'll help you understand how you can maintain the habits you sometimes have a hard time with. :)

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Awesome! Keep up with the meditation habit, it's a perfect way to start your morning and will help you maintain more stability in your day.

And great job with your education. That's a big goal and one you should feel proud of that you're working towards each day you do.

One question: On your 90 minute commute, what do you listen to? Is it music? Radio? News? Podcasts? I'd highly recommend either listening to podcasts (see a list here) or listening to audiobooks (use Audible). You'll be blown away by how many books you can "read" (which will help you not only help you learn but keep you in a more positive growth mindset) by using the 180 minutes (commute both ways) each day. Podcasts can also be really interesting and inspiring.

Try it out. One book to add to your list is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. It'll help you understand how you can maintain the habits you sometimes have a hard time with. :)

?I usually listen to NPR because it's usually thought provoking on my drive unless I'm getting sleepy. In that case I switch to energy filled music.

It sounds like The Power of Habit needs to be my first read! I'm going to check it out right away!

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Today was a success even if it wasn't easy. I had received news that a dear family member of mine was injured and in the hospital. Her chances of survival are fair, but uncertain. I was so upset to hear this. The urge to play Candy Crush so bad, but I thought about how much better life is becoming without games. Sitting in the couch with my phone in my hand, I willed myself to stop and control this urge. I then sat there still for a few minutes just collecting myself. I feel proud of myself for this.

I also started reading The Power of Habit and am enjoying it. Hardwiring Happiness is a similar read that I had forgotten about until today.

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Hey! NPR can be good for sure. Check out the Tim Ferriss Podcast, it's one of my favorites. I bet you'd enjoy it a lot.

Happy to hear you're reading The Power of Habit. When it comes to Habits, it's one of the best. If you want to track your habits (this helps immensely), try Coach.me

The most important thing for today is to notice that there are going to be times in your life (many times!) where you have stress or different emotions, so it's not about avoiding these (although designing your life in a way that minimizes them is optimal imo), because they will still occur, but how you respond to them and adapt is crucial. So, props to you for doing that today and I just want to encourage you to continue this in the future! :)

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Today was a good day for me! Taking a fellow game quitter's advice, I meditated for the first time ever. It has helped with the anxiety that has been plaguing me for the last week. I also started a private journal in addition to this one where I could write down things that I would rather keep to myself. While meditating, I felt a sense of peace about leaving games for good. I also felt a sense of security that my daughter will have the kind of father she needs. I was close to shedding a tear of happiness which is profound for me since I almost never cry.

I'm so thankful to all of the people who have given me kind words and advice. My goal is to continue on this path and help others once I "level up" my game quitting skills.

?try calm.com

It has a phone app that costs $50 a year. But the app is INCREDIBLE for learning/being guided/in general.

Best $50 (besides the one i just spent on the gamer challenge <3 ) ever

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Hey! NPR can be good for sure. Check out the Tim Ferriss Podcast, it's one of my favorites. I bet you'd enjoy it a lot.

Happy to hear you're reading The Power of Habit. When it comes to Habits, it's one of the best. If you want to track your habits (this helps immensely), try Coach.me

The most important thing for today is to notice that there are going to be times in your life (many times!) where you have stress or different emotions, so it's not about avoiding these (although designing your life in a way that minimizes them is optimal imo), because they will still occur, but how you respond to them and adapt is crucial. So, props to you for doing that today and I just want to encourage you to continue this in the future! :)

I read about the keystone habit which is the habit that serves as a foundation for other good habits to be formed. I feel like this journal has become my keystone habit. The feedback has been instrumental in my second good habit, meditation, and third, reading a good book. Thanks to all who have posted here for that! Even if I don't post much, I'm going to prioritize posting.

Today I started a new job at my company. It seems like a much better environment than my last job. I also found the time to meditate in the morning before work (I typically struggle with mornings) and will meditate before bed. Also, my child has just begun teething! She's growing up so fast!

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I read about the keystone habit which is the habit that serves as a foundation for other good habits to be formed. I feel like this journal has become my keystone habit. The feedback has been instrumental in my second good habit, meditation, and third, reading a good book. Thanks to all who have posted here for that! Even if I don't post much, I'm going to prioritize posting.

Today I started a new job at my company. It seems like a much better environment than my last job. I also found the time to meditate in the morning before work (I typically struggle with mornings) and will meditate before bed. Also, my child has just begun teething! She's growing up so fast!

Yes, that's exactly right. One of my keystone habits is making my bed every morning. It takes 20 seconds and feels great.

What's amazing is by continuing to invest in yourself by writing in your journal, meditating and reading, in a year you will be blown away at how much of a positive change you've had in your life. BIG change doesn't happen through BIG changes. It happens through small ones done consistently.

A new job can also make a significant difference. The important of your environment is something I truly believe in.

Great to hear about your kid, that must be an incredible experience every day.

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Yes, that's exactly right. One of my keystone habits is making my bed every morning. It takes 20 seconds and feels great.

What's amazing is by continuing to invest in yourself by writing in your journal, meditating and reading, in a year you will be blown away at how much of a positive change you've had in your life. BIG change doesn't happen through BIG changes. It happens through small ones done consistently.

A new job can also make a significant difference. The important of your environment is something I truly believe in.

Great to hear about your kid, that must be an incredible experience every day.

?I was a little skeptical about how reading a book would impact my ability to form habits, but it really has changed the way I see habits. Last night, I read about the habit loop. This is where a person (or monkey in the book) is presented with a cue (an image on a screen). Then if the person correctly responds to the cue (monkey pulls the lever that corresponds to the image on the screen) the person is rewarded (the monkey is given a drop of blackberry juice). When the person (or monkey) receives this reward, the brain experiences satisfaction. After many repetitions of this cycle, the brain begins to anticipate satisfaction upon seeing the cue. The book says that this anticipation is what cravings are, and cravings are an extremely powerful motivator.

I write what I've read about here because I have always gauged my understanding of a concept as satisfactory if I can explain the concept without external prompts. Also, the process of explanation helps me to internalize what I've learned.

When I first read about the keystone habit concept, meditation immediately popped into my head as what my keystone habit is. It seemed fairly obvious to me. However, when I was meditating (ironically), it occurred to me that I began to meditate after receiving feedback from my journal and from others in /r/stopgaming. Also, the habit of reading was a result of journal feedback. I then (a hipster level of irony) needed to gently guide my mind back to being an observer of thoughts rather than a chaser of thoughts.

I just watched your rejection TEDx talk. I LOVE hockey too (but I suck, haha)!!! I grew up in San Jose, CA which was awarded an NHL franchise and entered the league in 1991. Unlike in Canada, hockey was largely unknown or ignored here, and I was no exception. Being only eight years old in 1991, I really didn't have a way to be exposed to the game. In 1994 that would change though. I was in a mall with my mom and we walked by the video game store in there. The guy in the store was playing NHL 95 on the SNES and invited me to try the game. Being the video game addict I am, I was sucked into the game. I was elated when I scored my first goal in the game and promptly proceeded to beg my mom for this game. Every free moment I has was spent guiding the San Jose Sharks to their first of many virtual Stanley Cup championships. Upon winning the Stanley Cup, I decided that I wanted to win the actual Stanley Cup. I begged my mom for roller blades and a hockey stick. Ice skates were a pointless investment in California at the time because access to ice was nearly nonexistent. I remember being 12 years old and spending my summer vacation days playing NHL95 then going outside to practice skating, stick handling, and shooting with reckless abandon. I fell in love with hockey. I had played football, soccer, and other sports during recess at school, but they never appealed to me in the same way. I practiced every day and convinced my mom that joining a hockey league would not be a waste of her money. I remember being so nervous that I wouldn't be good, and I would be rejected. The awesome thing is that I did great despite starting to play the game by myself at age 12! I joined more advanced leagues as I got older until I was completely outclassed by the other players. It was such a frustrating thing for me to realize that the Stanley Cup was probably not in my future. It stopped being fun for me until I went down a level and was an average player in a mid level league. I still try to play in the company league when I can balance it with school, work, and my kid. What a game... I was in the first generation of kids in my area that played hockey, and I'm tremendously proud of it. I used to be made fun of by other kids in school for being obsessed with such an obscure game. Now, there are some kids in the NHL from my hometown area. I feel like the abuse I took for loving hockey helped to pave the way for the popularization of the game and the eventual production of professional level talent in the area.

Edited by wookieshark88

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?Haha I love reading your journals. Especially the meditation experience made me laugh over here in Thailand. You're learning a lot and this is going to be foundational for you moving forward. Keep going. :)

Thanks for watching the rejection talk. That was such an amazing experience. What's the nearest big city to you now? Maybe I'll be there some time and we can catch a game, or go shoot some pucks around. Let me know!

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The nearest city near me is Providence, RI. For big cities near me, I'm about halfway between NYC and Boston. I love NYC, and my wife loves Boston. The best thing about this area is there are four AHL teams in decent driving range from me (Providence, Hartford, Bridgeport, and Springfield). I'm pretty sure that $20 or so will get good to decent tickets at all of these locations. My favorite AHL team just moved from Worcester, MA (70 minute drive) to San Jose, CA (7 hour flight) which saddened me.

What position do/did you play? If I had to guess from your TED talk, I would guess primarily RW and occasionally center. I play/played LD on roller and floor (I love playing PP QB and clearing the crease) and LW on ice (because my ice skating is very weak compared to roller and I hate being a defensive liability). Two of my favorite memories out there would be scoring a hat trick (all point shots) and scoring twice in about 20 seconds (both wristers from the high slot). Also, the few times when people tried to drop the gloves with me, I would just get in close, hug them as strongly as I could, and confess my undying love for them repeatedly. For the untold legions of virtual Nazis and terrorists I have systematically and mercilessly slain, I'm surprisingly non violent!

The last few times I have meditated, I have taken some time just to consciously revel in the peacefulness of the moment. I figure that these thoughts will help create the cravings needed to enhance the habit loop of meditation.

Here's a fun and random hockey fact for the day: San Jose, CA has (the last time I checked) the largest recreational hockey program in North America with around twenty divisions. Retired NHLers have been known to play in the top division!

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Just wanted to drop in and say it sounds like everything is going in a positive direction for you - well done! I will take a leaf out of your book and try meditation.

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I'll be out in the NYC area in September. Not sure if AHL will be starting yet, but if not I'll keep everything in mind the next time I'm up in the area. :D

I played defence mostly. I was an in-your-face stay at home defencemen who liked to hit. Here's a pic. (This guy was 200lbs. I've never been more than 145 in my life. haha.)

1934184_23771710397_119_n.jpg

My biggest rival growing up was T.J. Galiardi. He just played a few years in the NHL. The battles him and I had growing up happened for years. We really didn't like each other much. Thomas Hickey (NYI) is also a player I played against every year growing up. Great player.

Edited by Cam Adair

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My biggest rival growing up was T.J. Galiardi. He just played a few years in the NHL. The battles him and I had growing up happened for years. We really didn't like each other much. Thomas Hickey (NYI) is also a player I played against every year growing up. Great player.

?Galiardi played on my Sharks for a year or two. He left to play his hometown Flames, and was really excited when he signed with them. I don't think his stint there went the way he wanted it to.

If you played against a future NHLer, I don't think we really belong on the same sheet of ice at the same time. xD

I wish I was able to get into hockey at 4 or 5 years old instead of 11 or 12.

That picture is awesome. Seems like you have a high intensity level in whatever you pursue.

Edited by wookieshark88

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