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wookieshark88

My Journal - Joe

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By all outward appearances, today was a good day for me. I continued my habit of meditating in the morning, got to work on time, learned more about my new job, and got my first non training assignment today. I played with my little girl when I got home and tired her out. I'm posting now because she's asleep from all the fun we had.

Inside, I haven't felt quite right all day. My morning meditation was riddled with distraction and negative feelings. I opened my eyes and was staring around for stretches of it while feeling an angry, independent of myself presence near me when my eyes were closed. I'm not much of a believer in spirits or anything, but it was creepy. After work, I felt quick bursts of anger when I was playing with my daughter. I absolutely would NEVER hurt her, but even feeling anger when I was in the middle of having fun really troubled me.

I don't know what to make of these things. I figured I would just browse around and post on these forums for a while because I've gotten plenty of positive experiences from the short time I've been a poster here.

I've had no gaming urges today. My grandmother has started hospice care yesterday which is a sad thing for me, but she's been suffering for years and deserves to rest. I'm just throwing out thoughts to try to figure this out.

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?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.

?I still can't believe he made it. Good for him though, he kept working hard and persevered. Earned his spot.

I don't know what to make of these things.

?Keep up with the meditation. Remember what it talks about in the practice: sometimes you'll be distracted with a lot of thoughts, and in these times just refocus on coming back to the center. There could be many reasons why you're feeling the way you did. It could be a detox from gaming, it could be your internal resistance to change. Whatever it is, it's all good. Recognize it as something that is flowing through you and it will pass.

Life is a wave. Things will come and go. Just like these emotions came out of nowhere, they will also go away out of nowhere. Be still and let them pass. Be extra mindful in times like these. Emotions are a crazy thing. ;)

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Yesterday was a good day! I almost always have good days when I'm not at work. The wife, child, and I were able to go on a nice walk and went to the farmers market. Meditation was better this morning, and my mental state was much better. I'm sure starting a new job where I have a lot to learn after four weeks off has a lot to do with my rough day two days ago.

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Farmer's markets are awesome! I enjoy the fair like atmosphere, the food trucks, and the extra tasty local produce. One very good aspect of the farmer's market I go to is that I usually see people there that I haven't seen in a while.

This morning's meditation was excellent. It's such a valuable time to observe the body and mind and notice the subtleties in each that usually go unnoticed. I find that I'm starting to be able to nurture the positive feelings and address the negative ones that I find through meditation. This is the opposite of video games. Playing them made me not notice anything and made me less likely to deal with anything I needed to.

Going back to the book, my habit loop for video games usually went like this: bordem/anxiety => video games => escaping negative feelings

Using the Golden Rule for habits, I can replace video games like this: bordem/anxiety => meditation => escaping negative feelings

The bonus here is that the negative feelings are actually dealt with instead of left to accumulate and amplify.

The book also said that the key to succeeding is belief and community. This is actually the first thing I realized and why I joined. It's nice to have such a good book validate this for me.

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It's such a valuable time to observe the body and mind and notice the subtleties in each that usually go unnoticed.

?Yes, this is one of the best ways to develop more mindfulness which helps immensely as we move forward in our life and we experience different emotions or situations. I've currently been traveling for 24 hours straight from Northern Thailand to an island (almost there!) and during this time I've been on buses, taxis, a plane and now a ferry. We've had delays, lack of food, etc. So it's been really important for me to be mindful of how I'm feeling and what I need. :)

Happy to hear the community is helping. I'm really happy you're a part of it!

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Yesterday evening was rough for me. I got home from work at my usual time and was thrilled to see my baby. We were laughing and playing for about half an hour then she started crying. I did all of the usual things (feed, burp, change diaper, sing, dance, hold, put down, leg rubs, etc.) and she was screaming at the top of her lungs. This went on for an hour and a half until my wife got home and she immediately cheered up. I felt like complete shit after that. My baby girl is usually too fussy, but last night she hated me. I didn't feel the urge to play video games at least.

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Two things:

1) The fact that you didn't have urges is fantastic. This would be the normal time you'd want to game to escape, so this is a positive!

2) Now that you'll be more present for your daughter your relationship will only improve from here. There will be ups and downs but it will continue to progress in a meaningful direction. Keep going. :)

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In my last post, l meant to say she isn't too fussy. I was pretty stressed when I wrote that.

Today was better with my baby. She had a rough patch, but we both got through it much better than yesterday. I feel like the champion of the world today, haha. It's funny how parenthood is. The highs are so extremely high, and the lows feel like the depths of hell. On the average though, it's still awesome. I'm so glad that I can experience them for what they are without the numbness of video games.

In the book, I've been reading about how habits can form haphazardly, or they can be formed more intentionally. Small habits and small victories add up to giant gains as time goes on. That's why I keep this journal, meditate, and read. These small victories are starting to add up to more self confidence, a calmer mind, and clearer thoughts. All of that should add up to better decisions. I also read about how willpower is like a muscle that needs to be exercised to become stronger. It can be depleted if used unnecessarily. The proper mindset and social climate can also greatly amplify willpower as well.

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I can only imagine how wild parenthood is. I'm happy to delay that for a few more years, haha.

Celebrating the small wins - as I shared in my latest video - is one of the concepts that has had the biggest impact on my life. When we do poorly we are quick to judge and shame ourselves, yet when we do well we rarely acknowledge it.

If you haven't seen this TEDx talk on willpower I think you'd enjoy it.

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I can only imagine how wild parenthood is. I'm happy to delay that for a few more years, haha.

Celebrating the small wins - as I shared in my latest video - is one of the concepts that has had the biggest impact on my life. When we do poorly we are quick to judge and shame ourselves, yet when we do well we rarely acknowledge it.

If you haven't seen this TEDx talk on willpower I think you'd enjoy it.

?I'm happy I delayed parenthood! I had her at 31 years old, and feel like that was just right for me. A few extra years of living, learning, and earning have given me the foundation and perspective to really enjoy it. I couldn't imagine having her in my early twenties. I have to get my morning meditation in before work, so I'll make a real post tonight.

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31 seems about right. I'm still only 27 so I have a number of years to continue building my foundation. :D

Have a great day!

?Yup, keep building that foundation! It's funny because I was talking to somebody yesterday about how one of my role models is younger than me. The work you put in to supporting video game addicts is awesome and has changed my life. When I made the decision to quit the games, I didn't expect it to go as well as it has.

Anyways, I got married at 21 and divorced at 25. Video game addiction was something that my ex and I shared through much of our relationship. Because of the early marriage, video games, and a bunch of other reasons I didn't really develop a strong sense of self identity. Getting divorced, getting rid of my religion, and spending my days in my apartment alone with video games stripped what little bit I had left. I ended up having a nervous breakdown. This crisis left me in pieces and helped me to make some great changes in my life (I also read about this phenomenon in the book). I had to learn who I was. It sounds simple enough, but it really wasn't for me. I faced many self aggrandizing and self depreciating illusions of myself. Once I understood myself, I had to learn how to like myself. This is something I had never done before. Eventually, I became comfortable in my own skin, and was okay with being my own person. I didn't date anybody seriously until I got all of that done. When I started dating my wife, it was so different than anybody else I ever dated. I was so well versed in liking and dating the wrong women that I knew she was the one simply because it was so different from what I was used to. I guess I'm a little rambly because I'm exhaused, but my point is do not get married or have kids until you figure out who you are and why you like who you are.

TLDR; You have plenty of time.

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I'm shaking right now. I've been home alone with my daughter who has just finished a two hour screaming session. I don't want to game, but I feel like I want to vomit. My nerves are shot. She's been screaming a lot at me this week, and it's been about 80% of our one on one interactions this week. She's asleep now, and I can't move off of the couch.

I'm not necessarily looking for somebody who can relate to my exact situation, but I could really use some nice words right about now. Has anybody been stressed to the point of shaking and a feeling of paralysis? I'm very open to some coping techniques, or something. I sometimes like to unwind with a beer after a hard day, but I know that drinking to numb my feelings would be a really bad habit to develop.

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Hello from Shanghai! It appears I can't access anything here (everything is censored) but luckily they haven't blocked the forums! ;)

I've definitely been through experiences that have left me shaking and in paralysis. In those moments I focus on returning to my breath first, breathing new life in and releasing the stress with my breathe out.

That's the baseline. Next I focus on trying to build a little bit of movement/momentum. This can start with just moving fingers, toes, etc. I want to work up to getting up and walking around a bit. Some fresh air is always nice, even for a moment.

A gratitude practice is something you may want to look at next. Here's an excerpt from Day 5 of the Challenge where I talk about that:

BRIEFING

Today I wanted to share two more that are easy and add less than five minutes to your morning (at most!), but again the return is incredible.

One of them I spoke about in Respawn, and that's having a gratitude journal. As a gamer I know you're a highly intelligent person, which is what drew you to gaming in the first place

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Thanks, as always, for the kind words. I'll definitely make a gratitude post in the mornings!

Today has been an excellent day. When the wife and I spend the day together, we're always both so energized. I think my little girl senses it too. We all had fun! I gave my wife her birthday gifts today because we'll both be busy on her birthday. I got her a high end French press and some fancy coffee to go along with it. It's so funny that coffee kept coming up in your post because it was a big part of making today awesome. I had never had coffee from a French press before today and it was awesome! Today was just a nice day of leisurely catching up on chores, playing with our baby, and cooking fun stuff for lunch and dinner. It was exactly the kind of day that I needed after the grinding week. The best part of the day was in the morning when I came downstairs in the morning. I was the last one up (the wife was so kind to just let me sleep after the week I had). When I came into the living room, she and my daughter gave me the biggest smiles! I was able to play and just enjoy the time with them. I felt like a billionaire! I'm back on top of the world after 24 hours, haha. Such is the life of being a dad.

Shortly after my post yesterday, I tried the SOS meditation session on headspace. It really did help a lot.

I figure I should write a bit about my state of affairs as far as my video game quitting is going. It's been over two weeks since I played, and it hasn't been too hard yet. I've gone about a month without playing before so we'll see if it keeps going smoothly. I've picked up some really good habits since I joined the forum. I journal, meditate, read, and try to be supportive of others as they quit. My anxiety has been getting better, and my attention span has been increasing. I feel more engaged in the world around me. I've been working on maintaining my four good habits, and have found success so far.

Adding more habits is something that I've purposefully avoided so far because I wanted to really focus on the main four, but I think it's time that I add some light physical exercise to my routine. Most of my life, I've gotten good exercise, but that habit has faded since I've been taking classes. I was running six miles every couple of days. Once I was in school again, I just plainly didn't have the time to do that so I ended up not exercising at all. If I can make a habit of doing 15 minutes of exercise a day, I think I'll feel much better. Alternating treadmill days and yoga days should work well for me.

I broke my leg playing hockey years ago before I had began my active fight against anxiety and depression. I was in peak physical shape at that point, and being active was a very important part of my life. I sunk into a deep depression which really wasn't too uncommon for me to do those days. To help pull out of that depression, I told myself that I would heal up and run a marathon. After I healed and went through rehab, I began to run. Unfortunately, my leg has given me difficulties that I never had before my injury, and I still haven't run a marathon. The most I've done is six miles. If I can just accomplish the small victory of exercising every day for 15 minutes, I'm sure I can eventually run my marathon. Of course the time restraints that come from school, work, and family won't allow me to train for a full marathon, but I can establish good habits now, and up the ante once I'm done with school.

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I am thankful for:

  1. The beautiful smiles my daughter gave me this morning
  2. The delicious coffee I drank
  3. My ridiculous pets
  4. My morning meditation
  5. My understanding wife
  6. The great day I had yesterday
  7. The progress I've made since quitting
  8. This site
  9. My goals for the day
  10. The positive mindset that I've gotten from writing this out

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Great to see your update and the day you had with your family. It brought a smile to my face.

The foundation you've been building is fantastic. Adding some light exercise is good. You could maybe do a regular walk with your family, which I've always found is a good way to connect more (walking helps me have better conversations). If you're looking for something similar to Headspace but for exercise, try the 7-minute routine. App is available here. Web version here.

Have a great day today! I'm back on North American soil after a few days in China. Excited to be on the same timezone as most members here again. :D

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As a matter of fact, my daily exercise was a walk with my family! I love walking and talking with people. I always find that the quality of conversation is always great when I walk with people.

Your trip sounds like a dream trip. I've only ventured out of the USA once in my life, and that was for my honeymoon last year. I was a little nervous to leave the country, but it was such an awesome experience! I want to do it again in a few years.

I'll have to check out that link when I have a spare moment. I've become more open minded about trying different things since I joined this site. It's probably because of all the positive discoveries I've had trying new things. This site, headspace, and the book I'm reading have been great additions to my daily routine.

I'm having another evening where I feel like a billionaire. My baby tried her first solid food today! She just let it drool out of her mouth, but she didn't grimace when we gave it to her. That means that she's ready to start eating solid food, but she wasn't that hungry at the moment.

I saw an old friend today, and we're going to hang out soon! This is really good for me because I don't really hang out with many of my pre-fatherhood friends these days. I just don't really have the urge to hang out late at bars or party hard these days. Being home with my family is so much more awesome than that. I need to make more parenthood compatible friends.

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I am thankful for:

  1. My wonderful weekend
  2. My new job which is definitely better than my last job
  3. The wife's French press
  4. My meditation
  5. Reconnecting with an old friend
  6. Being able to accomplish a lot this weekend
  7. My wonderful family
  8. My new exercise routine
  9. My pets
  10. My progress

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That's awesome! I know Steve Jobs always walking meetings and I try to do the same. I'm much more interested in a conversation while I'm walking than I am sitting down.

Meetups might be a way for you to meet other parenthood compatible friends.

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Today was a success! I started walking at work. I've been going up and down the stairwells and taking the long way to get anywhere. It's such an easy way to get a good habit started without using my scarce down time at home. One of my coworkers showed me a great website for food journaling too. I'm going to focus on establishing these two good habits while maintaining the ones I already have going.

Home time with my baby was much more peaceful than any day from last week! That helps a ton.

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I've been at the top of the world for two consecutive work days! I meditated, read, exercised, and food journaled today. This post completes my important habits of the day (journaling).

As I've been reading the Slight Edge, it all seems vaguely familiar to me. I think I might have read it about 10 years ago. I probably wasn't every receptive to this kind of book back then, but these days I'm all about it. Sometimes when I'm halfway through watching a movie, I realize that I've seen it before and remember the ending. I think this is going to happen to me with the book. Either way, I was always a believer in what I've read so far. The smallest of prudent actions will snowball into huge success. This is why habits are so important.

I left my university, home, and state at the age of 19 years old after three semesters. I was getting decent grades, but I just wasn't really happy with any aspect of my life. I didn't join the military, but I got a job with the company I'm in now. For years it's been my goal to get my degree while keeping my job. At first, the thought of getting my degree seemed so impossible and depressing because I knew it would take a long time. It just felt hopeless. As I started taking classes, I learned how vital it is to enjoy the process of going to school and not worry about finishing. This mentality completely changed my relationship with school. I admitted that I was unhappy with my major and switched to architecture because I knew it was better to take a step backwards and enjoy the process rather than slog through miserably and fail. My new philosophy of enjoying school has gotten me farther than I would have ever gotten otherwise. Even if I stuck out my original major and "succeeded", I would have a degree in something I didn't want to do anyways. That certainly wouldn't be an ideal scenario. I didn't let the fear of delaying graduation deter me from pursuing a passion, and I'm so happy I did that.

Time to list what I'm thankful for:

  1. I'm thankful I was able to wake my wife up in the morning with a hot cup of her favorite coffee. Her smile was awesome.
  2. I'm thankful that I had a wonderful evening with my child. It was one of the best ones in days.
  3. I'm thankful that I have an opportunity to get involved in a few projects at work. It's nice to start feeling useful in my new job.
  4. I'm thankful that my coworker showed me a great food journaling site.
  5. I'm thankful that this community is helping me maintain good habits for longer than I could by myself.
  6. I'm thankful that my morning meditation felt more powerful than it usually does.
  7. I'm thankful that my mother in law provides us with babysitting. She's amazing for doing that.
  8. I'm thankful that the books I've been reading have had a positive impact on me.
  9. I'm thankful to my mom for helping me plan a trip to visit my family.
  10. I'm thankful for the unpredictability of life. I find that surprises in life, the good and bad together, make life better than knowing how everything is going to turn out.

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