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Brian

Sometimes ambivalence, sometimes conviction.

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Day 38 journal:

I just returned from working away from home yesterday and MAAAAAAN, I feel proud of some things I did while I was away. The biggest success was in shifting my mindset by pausing throughout my day and expressing gratitude. I set reminders on my phone (using Habit Bull) for every two hours (during daylight hours) to pause and express gratitude. My thoughts were MUCH less negative overall. When expressing gratitude, I took some notes from Stoicism (I've been getting into this philosophy since beginning this detox) and engaged in 'flickering thoughts' of not having the things/people in my life that I love, or remembering that some day I will die and this moment might be my last on earth. I found that my gratitude was simpler (e.g. - appreciating gentle breezes moving tree branches in sunlight) and deeper (really feeling more) as a result. I'm excited to carry this practice onwards.

I also found that I'm most at risk to game when I first return home from work. I work in a very intense fashion away from home for about 48 hours straight, then upon returning home I feel a strong compulsion to detach from life, to tune the fuck out. Gaming did that for me - it allowed me to detach/escape from reality temporarily. I'm proud to say that I rode through that compulsion and still haven't gamed in 38 days. Developing lists of alternative habits/behaviors helped me ride through that intense craving... Also mindfulness meditation continues to strengthen my ability to notice intense emotions, name them, and not give in to them. 

I struggled with wanting to engage in PMO tonight and fortunately my website blockers were in place. I didn't engage. I'm noticing how important physical intimacy and sex is in my life though... I'm married and sometimes my partner and I go a week or a month without being intimate with each other. That's hard. It has currently been a week since we were intimate with each other, and thoughts of PMO trickle in. For those of you who also struggle with PMO, I'd like to hear from you. I feel conflicted because after engaging I feel a sense of release, but it's dangerous because of the high addictive potential when just orgasming for the sake of achieving a feeling. I also feel uncomfortable with what I just wrote (old family stuff) and am open to feedback if this isn't appropriate for this forum.

Thanks for reading! I'll check back in tomorrow.

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Imho this is absolutely fine to share. I think you and your partner could benefit greatly from discussing about the infrequent intimacy, and although it is a hard pill to swallow, a lot of times PMO is what gets in the way. Does your partner know of your struggles in this area? Women often suffer in silence when they know you're watching other women and getting satisfaction from the process, comparing themselves to the stars of those clips and always ending up thinking they're worthless. It can destroy the self esteem and confidence of a person and ruin the sex drive. Take a look at r/loveafterporn for context.

What is stopping you guys from setting some time aside each week to be relaxed and talk and maybe have sex? 

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@fawn_xoxo Thanks for the reply. I am fairly sure that she doesn't know about my struggles with PMO. I have been very secretive about it and have worked to insulate her from it. That's the biggest reason I am considering talking with her about it, as well as intimacy in general: I want to be transparent and not establish a rhythm of being secretive with the person I believe I should be sharing everything with. It's a big violation of my values. I'm really uncomfortable discussing sex and intimacy in general even though it's something I need. So that's one thing that is holding me back - my general discomfort with talking about it with her. Secondly, I mentioned a couple of days ago that we have been recovering from a natural disaster for several months. Things began to settle down at the beginning of December. The stress of that event took a toll on both of us, and intimacy was hard to come by. Video games and PMO were a way that I coped with the the stress of that time, in addition to being in 'survival mode' for several months. Now that we're more settled than we have been, it's time to have conversations with her about a lot of things that we've been putting off just to get by. PMO and intimacy is one of them.

Day 40 journal:

Yesterday was a busy day. 

  • My spouse and I talked about some insights we have been gaining in therapy and the meaning we are making in light of events that have occurred over the last several months. I feel so happy to be connecting with her in a more vulnerable way. Both of us have had to put on a strong face recently, and while we have supported each other when one of us has felt overwhelmed, it hasn't seemed like we have had time to breathe. Now we're breathing again and making sense of what has been happening.
  • I spoke to my bosses boss yesterday about a raise I proposed in October. This one is a mixed bag of feelings for me. I love the work I do with this organization. It is perhaps the most meaningful and impactful work I have ever done. I also haven't received a raise in the 2.5 years I have been working here, despite increasing my capacity and job performance. The counter-offer I was proposed with was significantly less than what I asked for. I learned that my position is 'capped' at a certain rate which doesn't surprise me, but also sucks. However, the company is making efforts to help me create income in other ways which I appreciate. So it's a mixed bag. I could change to a different position with higher financial rewards but higher risk and performance demands. At this point, I am resolving to counter their proposal again and give this one year in order to assess how I feel in my overhauled position and find out if the salary becomes what I need.
  • I went to therapy and talked out a number of issues, including the ones I'm writing about in this post. My therapist described our (my partner and I) situation with the natural disasters beautifully: he likened it to the wind blowing hard, us leaning into it just to move forward, the wind ceasing to blow as hard, and us needing to find our equilibrium again. That's what this period of time since the beginning of December has felt like - trying to find equilibrium again, trying to figure out how to relax again, and also preparing for the next wave of possible stressors. Gaming and PMO were big coping skills for me during this time, and have been coping skills for a long time. They have become 'maladaptive'... meaning that they are no longer adequate for my current situation. 
  • I spent several hours hanging out with my spouse and some friends last night! This was a lot of fun. We had some drinks, ate some food, walked downtown, and were generally silly. 
Thanks for reading! I hope y'all have a blessed day. 
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Sorry to hear you're going through all of this and I'm glad you survived the natural disaster. Pmo has been a struggle for me as well, but I've been successful at cutting down my watch time from 5 times per day to maybe 5 times per week or less. I suggest starting with cutting off the triggers caused by being hungry, angry, thirsty, lonely, and tired. Listen to your body and provide it the nutrients and sustenance it requires. This will also make you less depressed as your body isn't pumping dopamine and serotonin everywhere at crazy rates. 

Next I think you did a good job having fun with your wife and friends. Keep doing things like this where you can get opportunities to do activites with her, but allowing yourself to flirt with her. When you flirt with her and remember your passion and love with her, as well as the safety feeling of her embrace, not the fake safety of porn, then you will start to crave her and want more intimacy. I just suggest you don't try to have sex every time you're stressed because she'll know and that can also be bad. 

There must be a way for you to physically release your frustration naturally like the gym or swimming, walks, hiking, etc. Keep going, I personally think pmo is brutally more difficult to quit than gaming.

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@BooksandTrees Thank you for the support! I'll pay closer attention to HALT (plus thirsty... HALTT??) as it relates to PMO triggers and cravings. Going to the gym regularly has been super helpful in releasing pent-up stress and anxiety while also building confidence. I lapsed on that last weekend and noticed that I felt much more spastic. I'm heading to the gym in an hour and am greatly looking forward to it. 

Day 45 journal:

Holy halfway, Batman!! I feel excited, proud, and a sense of awe thinking about having not gamed in 45 days. Despite this, thoughts about gaming have popped into consciousness more frequently this week. Thoughts like, "Will I ever play again?" are more persistent and are harder to dispel. Just for today. Just for today. I will not play today. I'm fairly certain that my consistent practice of mindfulness meditation is helping when these thoughts come up... I notice the thoughts, label them/name them as thoughts, then shift my awareness to sounds, sensations, or breathing. I think that the detox has also helped to decrease the intensity of these thoughts and associated cravings because I haven't acted on them. 

Peace.

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Day 48 journal:

What a weekend! Some accomplishments, curiosities, and struggles:

  • I went to the gym four days in a row! This is a feat not only because of the intensity of the workouts, but because I can't go to the gym Monday through Wednesday because of my work schedule. My connections to the community really seem to have picked up in the last couple of months and I'm really enjoying seeing people I know consistently. It's like having 20+ accountability-buddies, which is great for consistency. 
  • I had a big 'Aha!' moment in therapy. A little backstory: I went to my first-ever 'vision quest' in November 2017 and came into contact with a primal, beast-like force within myself. It's sort of like The Hulk when Bruce Banner is about to be killed or seriously injured... A kind of power and grit that shifts me into another level of determination and drive when the going gets REALLY tough. I also came into contact with how I have 'caged' myself... Video games were a part of that. The cage basically consists of comfort, security (although a false sense of it), and routine. Letting my internal beast of the cage was a big part of the vision quest. Fast forward to this summer when natural disasters struck. My 'Aha!' moment was that this internal-beast-force granted me with the wherewithal to endure in the face of overwhelming negative events. I put in a lot of physical labor to try to save our home. Blood, sweat, and tears all happened because I was on the front-lines. Then a second wave of disaster happened about a week after the first. Primal screaming happened. There was nothing I could do to stop nature's course. But DAMN IT, I was going to let nature know that I wasn't going to be beaten. The 'Aha!' was that, without really knowing what I was doing, I saved myself from trauma. Bodily movement, tears, sweat, screaming at storms all happened and these were the things that allowed me to move grief, overwhelm, anger, hopelessness through my system. 
  • The next Civ expansion releases next week and I'm having trouble with that. I watched the developer livestream this weekend and I'm tempted to reinstall and reboot. It's amazing how much mental and emotional energy is tied up with the release of an expansion that I won't be playing right away. I'm committed to this 90 day detox. I have given some thought to what I might do after the 90 days is up though... I want to try another 'experiment' where I allow myself to game with limits. I have some ideas as to how I might do this and may post about them in the future. I think I need to know that I can't game, or that it's possible with strict limitations. Gaming definitely got out of control before I started this detox, I'm not denying that. It seems like the purpose of this detox is to reset my brain from the reward system of gaming, to establish healthy habits and hobbies, and do a deep-dive into my values and purpose in life. I'm interested in hearing what y'all think about this.

That's all for now. Catch y'all on Wednesday or Thursday.

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Day 54 journal:

The release of the next Civ expansion has come and gone and I still haven't played. Booyah. 

I evaluated my habit progress yesterday. I have been using 'Habit Bull' to track my habits and found the graphs and hard data really helpful. I scaled up or scaled down some habits depending on how successful I have been. I am now tracking my nutrition and don't think I have been eating enough, especially protein. Connection with my spouse, family, and dog have also been added to my tracker. 

I relapsed with PMO Thursday morning, which I feel disappointed about. I felt EXHAUSTED when I came home from work on Wednesday and the exhaustion lingered throughout Thursday. I think that was the trigger: feeling so mentally and physically run out that I craved some form of pleasure and immediate gratification. I listened to an Art of Manliness podcast on 'Hyperfocus' with an author named Chris Bailey. A major takeaway from that podcast was that our brains are wired to seek pleasure, novelty, and to watch out for threats. I found this helpful because it normalizes what I'm experiencing - instead of feeling ashamed for relapsing into PMO, I can understand that my brain is susceptible to cravings for pleasure and novelty. Having the ability to 'name' something seems to take some of the power away from it.

Peace.

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Day 59 journal:

Brief check-in today. I feel grateful for:

  • The peace of mind I feel right now. I'm sitting on the couch next to my spouse having had a productive morning.
  • SNOW. We are getting HAMMERED with it this week and I LOVE IT.
  • Being able to say 'no' to my dog and he knows what that means. 
  • Feeling restored after a good night's sleep and watching my nutrition after coming home from a hard shift at work.
  • My mindset of turning to face, and embrace, challenges rather than my old mindset of complaining and feeling overwhelmed.
  • My privilege and blessing to own a home where I feel safe, warm, and dry.

That's all for now. Lata'.

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Day 60 journal:

Chuggin' along over here! Yesterday turned out to be a BIG work day. A lot of coordination between myself and co-workers about projects which turned out to be really fun. I feel like a detective... sleuthing around, gathering information, collaborating towards some end that isn't clear yet. I tried to call off sick for work next week because we have family coming to town next week and unfortunately it didn't fly. I feel disappointed because I won't be able to spend as much time with them because I will be working. This is one of those situations where my values clash: I feel a strong sense of drive and purpose at work because I'm helping people change AND I feel a loss because I am not spending time on my relationships with important family members. 

We got another foot of snow last night, which brings our total over the past week to between 2-3 feet!! I LOVE snow, and am STOKED about all of the new fluffy white stuff. I want to get out and ski today. Tonight is also planned: it's the first CrossFit games! I joined a team at the gym and we dress up in goofy costumes, cook meals, work out, and gain a greater sense of community. I feel excited and nervous about this!

I lapsed on PMO this morning... My partner and I have been on different schedules and our connection hasn't been very high. She also has had a really frustrating week, hasn't slept well, and has had a lot to deal with. I feel for her. I don't know... There's more here for me to process and it's hard because it hits so close to home for me. I want her to feel good but I can't make her feel good. I have let her know I'm available when she wants to chat. I even expressed interest in having a date sometime this weekend so that we can connect. Feeling into this more... I feel sad and lonely... sad/empathetic for her situation and lonely because we haven't connected romantically or intimately. 

Thanks for reading. I hope y'all have a sweet day.

 

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Day 69 journal:

Just a brief check in: All is well, and busy. Work picked up the pace recently, which feels simultaneously thrilling and tiring. My partner and I hosted some friends from out-of-town on a ski trip and we enjoyed a lot of quality time connecting and laughing together. My partner and I also road-tripped to witness another set of friends get married! We had some valuable conversations along the way. Back to work tomorrow. I'll do my best to check in later this week. 3 weeks to 90 days!

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Day 72 journal:

I just returned from working away from home for a few days. Some takeaways:

  • I have been thinking about games more frequently over the past week. I think this is because I am approaching 90 days and told myself I planned on playing again. Being honest with myself, that might be an indicator that I'm addicted. So I need to be REAAAAALLY careful over these next couple of weeks leading up to, and after, day 90. 
  • I self-disclosed to a client who has struggled with gaming and PMO. He was contemplating checking on his games during a transition day between treatment centers. He was saying things like:
    • "Games helped me escape and have a sense of control."
    • "I care about my progress in the game."
    • "I won't be able to play once I go to the next place and want to get some time in." 
  • I haven't told many people about this process I'm going through. Certainly not a client where I don't say much at all about my own internal processes. It was liberating for myself, and I think he got it: he can't play again without a strict plan or he risks going back to what he was doing before, which included a lot of detrimental behaviors.
  • I caught the flu over the last few days. Want to guess what a major pastime was when I was sick in the past?? :cough: gaming :cough: So this weekend is going to be a new experience. I'm going to be recovering from sickness without gaming. 

Lastly, I found this poem from William Ernest Henley recently. I have been speaking it aloud at the start of the day, and DAMN:

 

Invictus.jpg

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Great job on your progress! My personal 2 cents on playing in regulation: it's maybe too early? I'm 95 days clean but I know that for me it is too early, since I've barely started changing my life recently. Whatever you decide, play it safe!

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I really enjoy reading your posts.  I too struggle with PMO on top of video games, but it's encouraging to see your progress.  Hope today is a good day for you.

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@fawn_xoxo Thanks for the encouragement and sharing your 2 cents! The last 75 days have been an opportunity to allow other habits and desires to gain root and break through soil. They are still tender and need constant care, time, and attention. If I go back to what I was doing before, all of those new habits and desires will go dormant. Here's a rough idea of what I'm thinking: leverage my new habits against video games. Write and sign a 'habit contract' where I limit video game use and need to fulfill all other habits. There will be severe penalties if I break the contract. I'll post it here for feedback and accountability once I get it finalized.

@Average_Guy Thanks for the kind comment! I have read other forum members that are struggling with PMO in addition to video games and it seems like a theme where PMO is tougher to kick than video games. What I'm discovering about myself is that loneliness and a desire for instant gratification drive my PMO. The tricky thing about it is that masturbation and orgasm are normal and natural... which makes complete abstinence unreasonable. I have had to check my intentions and slow myself down a lot during these last couple of months. I have been REALLY secretive about this too and talking about it on these forums and with my therapist has been very, very helpful. 

Day 75 journal:

I refrained from playing games throughout the last few days of being sick! This feels like a big win. In the last few days, I have:

  • Read over 300 pages and completed book 6 of the 'Wheel of Time.' 
  • Connected with my wife despite both of us being sick. We saw 'Captain Marvel' today and went on a brunch date!
  • Gone for a walk/jog with my dog.
  • Resisted the urge to check work emails.
  • Turned on my 'do not disturb' function on my phone more frequently.
  • Completed our taxes.

I feel grateful and am enjoying the opportunity to slow down.

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Day 76 journal:

Alright, here we go:

THE BRIAN PROJECT

Version 1.03 (first version, 3rd draft)

This is one of those projects that will never be completed. It will always be a work in progress. It is informed by life events and edited as life works on me. 

 

My core purpose: To live a meaningful life and help others do the same.

  • Beliefs that inform this purpose:
    • Life events are going to happen whether I invite them or not. How I prepare myself for them and respond to them is everything. The primary thing I can control is my mindset and interpretation of life events.
    • Doing hard things stretches me. What was once uncomfortable becomes more bearable through trial and effort. At a minimum, this is the 'silver lining' or optimism I can find when in the midst of trials. It's how I can find meaning in struggle. It's how I can come back to feeling gratitude despite overwhelming circumstances.
    • Self-care and wellness is restorative and necessary to reflect on life events. These are the 'air pockets' between pushes. Like 'rest days' are important when weightlifting so that the body can recover, slowness and stillness are the mental 'rest days' that allow for reflection and meaning-making.
    • I am an instrument for the work of others. Through how I carry myself and relate with others, they are impacted. I think about this like a human hand: I can extend a hand to others, make a fist, create, carry, destroy, connect... Regardless of the form, I want to be aware of how I can impact others.

My core values:

Relationship

  • Connection, friendship, intimacy, quality time, gratitude, love, trust, appreciating the fragility and value of relationship, focus when in relationship.

Learning

  • Self-discovery, curiosity, inquiry, wisdom, reflection, meaning.

Growth through challenges

  • Courage, bravery, adventure, getting outside, natural beauty, feeling alive and embodied.

Skill development

  • Achievement, progress, competence, experience, mastery, passion, recognition of effort.

Health

  • Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, professional, relational/social.

(Name undecided... Maybe 'cohesive teamwork,' 'vision-oriented effort,' 'system oriented teamwork...' I don't like any of these yet.

  • Teamwork, respect, accountability, trustworthiness, responsibility, loyal opposition, justice, strategy, vision.

Guiding philosophy: Stoicism

Central concern/question: What must one do, or be, to flourish?

The goal: To live a fulfilled life with joy and tranquility.

5 Stoic Practices (drawn from 'The Art of Manliness' podcast and website):

  1. Visualize life without the things I love.
    1. Intention: to more appreciate my blessings, to feel gratitude for the things I do have.
    2. "Flickering thoughts" - don't dwell on this.
  2. Memento Mori - Remember Death.
    1. Intention: I will not live forever. Simply reminding myself of this helps me spend my time because it is a valuable and limited resource.
    2. How will I spend my time to live a fulfilled life?
  3. Set internal goals and detach from outcomes.
    1. Intention: To recognize what I can, and cannot, control and spend my energy on what I can.
    2. Set goals related to my own efforts, NOT results I am seeking.
  4. Welcome discomfort.
    1. Intention: To reach greater degrees of contentment and fulfillment through welcoming challenges.
    2. Embrace the grind: give it my all despite likely failure.
    3. Amor Fati: Love of fate. Not simply to become fatalistic, but to accept life on life's terms.
  5. Vigorously pursue character and virtue:
    1. Intention: Finding personal fulfillment AND enriching my community and society as a whole.
    2. What would my best self do in this situation?

Habits and Skills I wish to cultivate:

  • Emphasize physical health:
    • Exercise at least 5x/week
    • Track my nutrition at least 5x/week
    • Dance
  • A love of the outdoors:
    • Exploring new places
    • Walk/hike or snowshoe
    • Sail
    • Bike
    • Ski: downhill or cross-country
    • Climb
  • Actively pursue knowledge:
    • Reading at least 2 minutes every day for personal or professional growth
    • Podcasts
    • Listening to differing opinions
  • Creative pursuits (one of the following at least 1x/week):
    • Drumming
    • Wood carving
    • Poetry
    • Recording dreams
    • Working on my home
    • Sketching/drawing
    • Listen to music; read lyrics
  • Emphasize mental/emotional health:
    • Meditate for 20 minutes at least 5x/week
    • Write in my journal daily OR post on this forum
    • Reading at least 2 minutes every day for fun
    • Connection with my spouse at least 2x/week via vulnerable conversation, physical touch, or laughter
    • Connection with/training my dog at least 2x/week
    • Connection with family members at least 1x/week via phone, video, or in-person
  • Emphasize spiritual health:
    • Start and end each day with gratitude: right after meditating in the morning and right before bed
    • Pray; remember I am an instrument NOT the player
    • Ask for help
    • Amend 'The Brian Project' at least 1x/week
  • Emphasize professional health:
    • Be boundaried with myself: not allowed to check emails on the weekends unless absolutely necessary
    • Practice loyal opposition
    • Give and receive positive and constructive feedback
    • Engage in continuing education and professional development opportunities
  • Emphasize financial health:
    • Budget (this one needs a lot of work)
    • Dream and set goals financially; develop action plan to achieve these

Feedback welcome.

Edited by Brian
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Day 79 journal:

I just returned from a difficult shift at work. This was one of those challenging experiences that tests me and also raises doubts about my abilities. I encountered some of my growth edges: embracing conflict, setting firm boundaries, toying with the idea of objectivity versus joining my clients in their drama... I could go on. The doubt that comes up has the same roots that it always does: The belief that I'm not good enough. 

Countering that belief: I can't control others, I can't control their desire to change, I cannot make others change. I knew, walking into this one, that it would be on the edge of my capacity and theirs. 

Invictus:

In the fell clutch of circumstance, I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance my head is bloody, but unbowed.

I feel grateful for:

  • Being home, being safe.
  • My dog sleeping next to me.
  • Being able-bodied and healthy. 
  • The roof over my head.
  • Feeling warm and dry.
Edited by Brian
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Day 81 journal:

Day 90 is coming soon and I'm going to try another experiment: controlled gaming that is leveraged against the continued development of the habits and pastimes that have begun during this initial detox. I want to find out if it is possible for me to control/moderate my gaming. If it isn't... sayonara gaming. Below is my drafted contract - please give me feedback. I want to know where gaps in my plan are so that I can take them into account.

Contract

This contract will take effect on 3/25/19, the day after Brian completes his 90 day detox from video games.

Permissions:

  • Brian will be allowed to play video games for up to two hours per day.

Restrictions:

  • Brian will not be allowed to “store” any time he does not spend playing video games on any particular day. Binging sessions longer than two hours per day are not allowed.

Additional requirements:

  • Brian must maintain the following daily, weekly, and monthly habits. All of the following habits must be fulfilled according to their guidelines or the consequences section of this contract will take effect.

    • Physical exercise for at least 30 minutes 5x/week.

    • All weekly chores completed (discuss with spouse).

    • Complete at least one home improvement project 1x/week.

    • Meditation at least 20 minutes 5x/week.

    • Daily journaling or forum post on GameQuitters.

    • Read at least 15 pages per day for fun, personal/professional development.

    • Connection with spouse at least 2x/week.

    • Connection/training dog 1x/day Wednesday through Sunday.

    • Connection with family 1x/week via phone, video, or in-person.

    • Amend ‘The Brian Project’ 1x/week.

    • Engage in one creative pursuit 1x/week.

Consequences:

  • Immediate uninstallation of games and Steam from laptop PC.

  • Immediate 90 day detox from video games, associated websites, and streams.

    • 90 day detox includes all video games, watching others play video games, reading news on game websites or web searches, forum posts, and streaming video.

  • Immediate post on GameQuitters forum admitting relapse and broken contract.

  • Spouse will immediately receive $300 to do whatever she pleases. Brian cannot have any say in what she uses this money for.

  • If this contract is broken three times, Brian is required to disassociate himself from his online accounts: Steam, Blizzard, etc. He is required to immediately turn over his laptop and other gaming devices to spouse. Laptop and gaming devices will be immediately posted for sale. Brian may never again play a video game on any platform EVER.

Limitations:

  • If a habit from the ‘additional requirements’ section is not met, Brian may appeal the immediate consequences for one of the following reasons:

    • Illness or injury.

    • Third parties named in a habit are not present or unable to connect.

  • Regardless of reason, time playing video games may not exceed two hours per day.

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Day 88 journal:

88 days, damn. I have been reflecting on what this 90 day experiment has been about as I near the end. This is what I have concluded so far:

  1. I was controlled by compulsive behaviors before the detox. Video games and PMO were the primary culprits, food/overeating were secondary. I knew I was controlled by these behaviors and I couldn't break the cycle. I was on the 'hedonic treadmill.' Knowledge isn't as powerful as we think - ACTION is power. And repetition. 
  2. I learned a lot about how my brain works, how I came to this point (hedonic treadmill, insanity = doing the same thing expecting different results), and what to do to interrupt this cycle. 
  3. I began practices that were better for my long-term mental/emotional/physical/spiritual health. I identified my values and have begun to live within them. A co-worker introduced me to the concept of "eudaimonic happiness." http://positivepsychology.org.uk/the-concept-of-eudaimonic-well-being/ I felt like I was wasting my time and life when I was playing video games all day and was enslaved by my hedonic desires. Now I feel much more fulfilled and 'on the right track.' 
  4. I feel better: I am more aware of my emotions, am physically stronger (from hitting the gym/exercising regularly), and am mentally more focused.

That's all I have time for right now. I'll check in again tonight or tomorrow.

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@Brian 88 days is awesome! What are your plans post-day 90? Gonna play in moderation or are you done with video games for good?

As for Eudaimonic well being, I've never heard of the formal name for it, but I've definitely heard of the concept. Jordan Peterson gives out advice basically along the lines of the theory, saying that (and I'm paraphrasing) you should stop looking to live a "happy" life and starting trying to live a meaningful life. So many of our addictions are fueled by us trying to seek the short-term pleasure you get from checking social media or playing video games or some other activity that makes you feel good for a little, only to make you feel so worthless in the end. I definitely think we should spread the word more about this concept, I'm sure many of our members can benefit from it. 

Hope you have an awesome Friday!

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Thanks @cammyhammy! My plan is outlined in the drafted 'contract' from Day 81. I am going to try to limit my video game use to two hours per day and leverage my desire to play against other habits/skills/pastimes. There are steep penalties if my video game use goes beyond two hours per day or if the other habits/skills/pastimes aren't fulfilled. I'll post about my progress here under a separate thread. This plan may fail, and if it does then I know I need to completely abstain from gaming because I can't handle it. 

Thanks for your comments about Jordan Peterson and living a meaningful life. That's how I'm currently defining my core purpose: To live a meaningful life and help others do the same. Jordan Peterson has been on my list of people to look up... I'll get on that later this weekend.

Day 89 journal:

I can't understate how effective physical exercise is for stabilizing my mental/emotional health. I just went for a jog/run with my dog and I feel physically relaxed and my mind seems de-cluttered. 

I listened to the following podcast from 'Art of Manliness:' https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/podcast-491-everything-you-know-about-passion-is-wrong/

This stirred up a lot for me, especially related to work. I love the work I do, I feel passionate about it, and I know it helps people. It also taxes me, drains me, and I give away a lot of my energy in doing it. This, I believe, aligns with what they discuss about passion on the show: It has a double-edge. 

My plan going forward is to continue carving out time for short practices I can do at work that restore me: reading, walking alone, meditating, other introverted activities. I also plan on continuing to be boundaried, to say 'no,' and to demonstrate "loyal opposition." I will be mindful of my values and time being out of balance and will act to correct this. Lastly, regular vacations are necessary and I'm happy to say that I'm on PTO next week! I have cleared my work schedule and will not check work email until next Friday. 

Have a good one.

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I'm late to the party but.. my two cents: Don't play games again. 90 days is too early. I'm only speaking from personal experience, mine and other people's here on the forums. Those 14 hours per week, those 56 hours per month, you don't need to waste them doing things that will undo the progress you've done so far. You don't need to give your brain these chemicals again, these highs, you don't need to make the routines you have established so far harder. 

Would you accept an alcoholic spouse going back to two drinks a day after 3 months of abstinence? 

Isn't your brain still addicted, when it asks you to play 2 hours per day?

Isn't there more life to live for 2 hours per day?

You don't need to answer any of these, but maybe consider if you have good enough answers.

I played for 4, then 2 hours per day for a while. Nothing changed for the better while I was getting at least some of the surreal adrenaline hit from gaming. Things only changed when it was removed completely.

 

Check this out?

 

Edited by fawn_xoxo
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@fawn_xoxo Thanks for challenging me. Now that I've gone 90 days without them, I want to know if I can play video games "in moderation." I want to know if I really can't control my use when it comes to gaming. I might be able to, or I might not. I want to find out, definitively. Fortunately my negative consequences of gaming weren't high risk before this detox. I say this in a risk management context: the risk of an experiment like this one for an alcoholic could result it jails, institutions, or death. My worst-case scenario is that I play for more time than I want to each day and start to neglect my other habits and relationships. Quality of life diminishes. The intention of the contract I posted is to catch myself when/if I start to slide and arrest my behavior. 

Day 90 y'all.

Today just feels like another day. I don't feel this big sense of accomplishment that I probably would have predicted in my first week. I feel content, which is pretty awesome considering how discontent I felt at the beginning of this thing. (I re-read my first posts in this journal.) Thank you to everyone who has posted/commented on this journal - the encouragement and challenges were invaluable. Having not tried to make a big behavioral change like this before, I undervalued the strength of a supportive community. I get it now that I've experienced it firsthand!

Onwards to the next adventure.

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@Brian Congratulations Brian, very inspiring accomplishment! Please keep us posted about your decision to play in moderation, as someone who has been trying to play in moderation for the past 8 years, I can say in a state of consciousness that it not worth, the struggle of having gaming taking over my life again. Everyone is different places and have different reasons for playing, but the truth is if moderation wasn't a problem we wouldn't be here. Good Luck. 

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