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Mouxine

Daily journal of a nervous father

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It's time for me to start my daily journal, so here it is.

Day 1

I was really wishing to want totally quitting but I wasn't completely sure I wanted to. I was still hooked a bit, having the craving to finish that one last game I was on. I was not so motivated, even if I knew I had to, so I pushed myself to start quitting. I searched for all the reasons to quit as asked in the first chapter of Respawn and it became clearer. I want to quit to become a better man and to please God. God has the most important place in my life, my life was meaningless without him : I was only seeking to have the most pleasure in my life, but that's so lame. At the age of 15 I read the Gospel and I was totally hooked, I still am now. However, becoming faithful didn't erase my craving for games, it made way easier to struggle against it, but I had win and loss against it. Many times I wanted to quit for God, but high stress has always took me back to gaming, so this day I realized I wasn't sure anymore I wanted to quit because I'm tired of relaspsing and I was thinking maybe I should admit I need games to entertain myself when I'm really stressed. Then I read the topic on dopamine release in one's brain when he plays and I'm forced to admit it : my brain needs a cure to think correctly. So when I looked at all the reasons to quit, I found some strength to really want to quit, not thinking if tomorrow it will disappear. I want to quit games : for God, because it's clearly polluting my relation with him, for my wife and my children because I'm becoming selfish and angry when I play on a regular basis.

Once I made this first step, to really take the decision to quit gaming forever, It was painful but I continued the work reading Respawn. It gave me something to do, and since it's about video games, even if it's quitting, it's not so boring for me. I'm bored really quickly, especially since I studied philosophy, because I feel like it's always the same ideas coming back, with some little changes. I feel jaded of many things, much like the author of the Book of Ecclesiastes whose thoughts I sumarise like this : everything is vain, don't forget to give yourself a bit of pleasure and serve God from all your heart. I admit it's very easy to fall for video games with that kind of thoughts.

Anyway, starting to write on this forum gave me more insight about my motivations and my reasons, so it's great. Half a day past the decision to quit, I felt deeply touched, something like God saying to me : I'm proud you made the good choice my son. The light which fled from my soul 6 months ago came back now, and it feels so good. I feel also miserable, but with a huge peace of mind. I was much less angry at my 3 kids, and I felt less tired.

I went to sleep late that day, but wasn't because of obsession with games, and it's nice. That night, my 16 month son woke up at 1A.M and stayed awake for 2 hours, but I have been much more patient.

 

Day 2

I woke up being in a good mood, it's been 15 days since last time. My mother came to have lunch with us, and I didn't look at my laptop at all until 7 P.M It's starting well. I realized too, I need to write a daily journal like this, helps me to express my stress. I have almost no friends, not only because of gaming, but because I moved away from my good friends and lost contact. It's really not fit for me to keep contact on facebook and others social media. I always cheerished 1 or 2 friends until the time were separation was unavoidable because of life choices. Now I'm looking for one, but it's not so easely found.

The craving for game became stronger, and the usual "a little game won't kill you, and you deserve it with your lifestyle". Not too hard to resist the urge to play, but I fear that I might forget that this kind of thoughts are a trap. I relaspsed so many times in the past because of this trap, I feel weaker to it than by the past.

I had time to give class to the children and it went really well this time (they are homeschooled and since my wife health is really fragile, I have to stay home, good for us we have savings and know how to live a modest life, it will probably change when the kids are older : the oldest has 4 years and the youngest 16 months... It's draining the whole day !). I had fun doing it.

Everyone sleeps now here, and I will probably log out soon !

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Day 3

Not a funny day at all.  The sleeping part of the night was too short. I woke up 45 min latter than my schedule. My wife was out the morning to help a friend with a cancer. I managed the 3 children, they were sweet. Afternoon was tiring, I spent too much time on internet, had a too small nap, yelled after the kids too much, and got really angry twice. I was exhausted after the kids bath, I wanted to relax... Good luck relaxing with 3 children running, sreaming (the usual way they laugh), poking my laptop. I tried to find something interesting on Youtube : almost nothing worth it, and the oldest asking "Can you put on Peppa Pig ?"... It was no, but it turned again into a tiring confrontation. So nothing on Youtube worth looking, I think I won't go back there without something really specific in mind. Tried also to look on Google Play, nothing really appealing. So I wasted all my free time looking for something relaxing. I can't watch Crunchyroll anime because most of them aren't fit if the children peek at the screen, but at least I found something interesting to look when they sleep at night... If it's not too late like now. I ended the day with a argument with my wife... I'm super stupid, I feel I have to express my negative feelings, then I wound the people I love. Why can't I just shut up ?

 

Anyway, the cravings weren't that bad today, but I really need quickly something to replace gaming to relax a bit. It's surely the n°1 reason of my past relapses, not boredom but being full of stress because the kids are super tiring. But it's so complicated : I can't play a board or a card game, I can't watch most of videos because they are too scary for the children, and for reading, I don't have relaxing books : most of them are highly intellectual or spiritual and I can't relax with that ! So I have to find entertaining books, or start writing. But I don't know what kind of things I should write. I feel discouraged each time I try writing something. Ironic for someone who studied philosophy and think "I was really smart" when I read my own exams.

 

Also to help me quit video games, I put an image of Maria Magdalena in my room and as a my laptop wallpaper. She's so inspiring and strong, rising from the lowest of what human can become up to become a true flame of divine love. I like her so much and looking at her gives me courage.

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Yes Mouxine! God loves you and he is SO HAPPY that you are doing this! Thank you for sharing! You are an inspiration and encouragement to me to also quit gaming to get closer to God! It's so good that you want to quit gaming for God! I'm so glad that you read Ecclesiastes and you know that everything worldly including gaming is hevel, a mist, simply meaningless. But doing God's work is not meaningless, it is the complete opposite! (Matthew 6:19–20) Keep praying to Him for strength and to feel His love for you and that you can love others the way He loves you!  God is working in you :D I will be praying hard for you to use your time not gaming to seek God and to spread His love! I can't wait to see more of your updates! Keep close to your father in heaven and may everything you do be for His glory :)

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Day 4

I started the day with bad mood, usually the case when I got to sleep being angry or sad. It was the case because of the argument with my wife before sleep.

Class with the kids went well, a smiling atmosphere came back at house and the day was good.

It's saturday evening, we went to the anticipated mass because tomorrow we have family at home, I hate mundane talks on Saturdays, but I have no choice.

Not much cravings today. My wife gamed next to me before going to bed, I watched her with bearable craving. It's easy yet because I have everything in mind, it won't always be.

I was searching also for the famous activities or hobbies to replace gaming. Priority for me are relaxing activities : I have always something to do, you can't get bored with 3 homescholed children, but it can become unbearable ! Boredom occurs more when they go to sleep... Social activities don't hook me much... I like being by myself, I enjoy silence and freedom. Profond conversations are nice too but not too long.  I guess that's why I'm confortable writing on this forum.

@Splitstep Thank you for your post, it made me smile. You seem much more enthousiastic than I am, that is great.

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Some advices: 

Get up early

Exercise

Affirmation: I have great potential to create value in my life

Start reading autobiography

Check some books about manliness: No More Mr. Nice Guy - Robert A. Glover, The Way of the Superior Man - David Deida and Iron John: A Book About Men - Robert Bly. 

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@katsudo19 Thanks for the advices !

Get up early : I love this one, but I'm already short on sleep. Trust me, I hate oversleeping, I prefer by far taking a 15 min nap after lunch if I'm too tired.

Exercise : I get bored so quickly exercising. It's surely one of the fastest way to relapse because I'm so bored after ! I can't exercise without an imposed goal, if it's self imposed, I won't make it, it feels meaningless to me.

Affirmation : it's not easy for us, french people, to think like that. I feel entangled by all the norms and rules in France : you can't even mop the floor without a diploma now ! I know I have to progress in selfconfidence, it's true. There's a christian way to have it : with God by my side, I can do anything ! 

Reading autobiography : I love that, but only with people that I actually admire or has a really interresting life from my point of view.

Books about manliness... I won't read them, I hate all this debate about be a true male. I'm generally mocked by my male friends because they think I'm acting too womanly. My true male model it's the soldier spirit : you don't get into danger for fun but because it's a necessity, you experience fear during battle but you overcome it for an ideal like freedom or fatherland, if you win war you know it's because your fellow soldiers battled with you, not only because of your own efforts even if they contribute to it. Many males confuse selfishness with manliness, I just despise that. I've got a friend like that, assertive and all the manly blablah and I sleept with loads of women, he doesn't want anyone to show him disrepect. Now his wife has cancer and he hasn't the courage to go visit her when she's in the hospital : he's a coward not a man... I don't care if I don't please women, my wife and my kids are proud of me that is enough. If women are stupid not to be attracted by Nice Guys, so be it, they have to assume too.

Day 5

Had family at home, not much time to pray. It was a tiring saturday, not so bad, but it's so better when I'm free to read and pray on Sundays.

No cravings, except around 3 P.M and around 19P.M when my wife was gaming a bit. We watched Trolls, common but not bad.

Edited by Mouxine
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Day 6

My wife's birthday. She had friends at home, I passed the whole day talking, taking care of the children (3 mine + 1 of our friend). My wife received a Monopoly gaming Mariokart, a board game reminding gaming. No special cravings with it. Nothing special aside from that.

 

Day 7

I had a restaurant 1 on 1 with my wife. Nothing special to say, we were laughting about us, we're so unlike other couples in many ways : dressing, talking, interests... We are silent or talk slowly, not because we look at our phone, but we have really nothing to say aside from our routine, except I love you gazing at each other.

Homeschool was terrible today, the children weren't concentrated at all. I suppose it was because it was in the afternoon after grandma left. She's too lenient with smartphone so the kids' brains were saturated during class.

I listened to some game music, maybe it's risky but anyway I spent most of the day humming them. By experience, it's much less dangerous for me than reading a FAQ on Gamefaq or watching a speedrun. I get super hard cravings when I look at speedruns, and it's the n°2 temptation after garming. Since the first day I had the temptation 1 time or 2 but I'm much weaker on this side, it's generally the first wall to crumble before relapsing.

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Day 8

Daily routine aside going to my biblical study group.

Day 9

Daily routine. At 17 P.M my oldest daughter had a friend at home and she slept home.

Tried to find the hobbies to stay clear from video games. Game books and board games seem to work a bit, I don't have yet the motivation to invest in it. Most of video games I played were cheap or free, yet awesome for some of them. I seriously thinking about creating my own board games to fit my way of gaming. I'm think I'm to lazy to start, or scared from failure, like putting 80h creating something not fun... I would love to make a gamebook in the style of the pc game Tower of the Sorcerer, a huge maze with puzzle elements. I can't find a decent one to buy yet.

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Day 10

Today I could enjoy playing a maze game with my 4 year old daughter at nap time. A peaceful day ! Searched a bit more for gamebooks, I found project Aon editing Lone Wolf for free, it seems interesting. I hadn't heard from it at all, I was already sticking my noze in video games when it had some success.

Other than that and routine, I fixed a trashed white board (90cm x 60 cm) and hung it in the dining room for class. I like fixing things, especially if I can recycle trash.

Day 11

I finally managed to make my Kindle work ! After 4 years... Anyway, it's the cheapest way the read Lone Wolf without been stuck at my laptop. I would have liked to print it but at 15€ per book I can buy them in French, and I'm not ready to do that yet.

I realized that since I can't go out of my house so often, my best way to relax is relying on imagination (it was my n°1 reason for gaming) and oration (it's like meditation but orienting our hearts toward God). I stared to ceiling during 5 minutes when I was nervous, it helped me calm down by a lot. I'm much more a creative man than I thought, I used to think I was a pure thinking type but I was wrong : I'm an idealist dreamer.

Gaming abstinence starts to be really fruitful : I control my anger better, I spend more quality time with my children, my prayers are deeper.

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Your story is so interesting! I think you can make a prototype of your board game out of paper, for example, I'm sure you have loads of colored paper, so why not? 

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@Vera I'm kindly surprised ! I was actually thinking that my story was boring because I have a lot of daily routine and I'm mostly sharing my thoughts and emotions on so simple events of the day. I wonder what you do find interesting in my simple story. Also I have loads of colored paper for the children as you figured, I never tought of using them for me ! 

Day 12

A too short night to start. I was awoke from 3 A.M to 6 A.M. Staying 1h30m in bed I couldn't sleep. I started to read the first book of Lone Wolf. I didn't the hour and half pass ! At least there's something way better with paper or board games than video games : you can change the rules according to what you feel is funny very easely and that is great !

My wife cooked for a little charity group for lonely and poor people. I had to deliver the meal. We played a board game with my wife and my oldest child, she's finally grown enough to play with us ! I read to the same child a part of an adapted Bible for kids. I took a little nap, made 1,5 kg of pancakes, then we went to the mass at 6P.M. at the Cathedrale of Chartres, I could pray because the children were calm (thank God for the miracle ! during these 4 last years praying at the mass on Sundays is difficult because of the children moving, screaming, whining...). Then it was diner time and I was exhausted after. When I'm nervous and tired, my eyes hurt and usually I start getting angry, but this evening it's great, I didn't scream : it's because of a fruitful communion and gaming abstinence. I'm always enthusiastic about this, only someone who experiences it knows how you get better doing almost nothing except giving all your heart to the Christ during communion. What is really sad, it's when you read the memories of saints who had the grace to see the Christ after his resurrection (Saint Catherine of Siena, Saint Theresa of Avila, Saint Faustine Kowalska, Saint Padre Pio...), Our Lord is always saying His love is not taken seriously, especially during communion.  I'm seriously thinking going to the mass on Wednesday also, I should already have taken this resolution long time before to get better.

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Day 13

Daily routine until midday when we had lunch with a woman whom we're charge by our priest to teach her christian doctrine. She stayed with us until 5 P.M.

I had much self control today, except between 6P.M. and 7P.M when I was scotched on my Kindle reading Lone Wolf while my wife was struggling with the children and responding to her mail. At least I didn't explose like I was doing before when I was on a video game. I'm wondering if my anger-explosion wasn't also due to a high level dopamine being lowered instantly by having to act quickly when a child does something foolish. If that's the case, and I think it is, then I have a true reason to hate video games, just like I hate drugs or anything that weakens our self control by nature, not only because of lack of good will.

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Day 14

We went to my parent's farm, had lunch with them and my sister, did some disemcumberment in my mother's storage room, helped her feed her horses. We had diner early and came home to sleep. No cravings for video games, but for board games !

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Day 15

No relapse but so much anger inside me because I pushed my limit yersterday. I didn't give myself a nap time and I played with my oldest daughter. I screamed way too much in the evening.

Day 16

I almost made the same mistake but I didn't, I rested a bit. I was angry and bored in the evening. My wife is sick so it's even more difficult than usual. I thought of gaming during the time I was bored, but even when I was foreseeing me playing, it didn't feel appealing...

I got a phone call for a job offer at 8 P.M mainly to sell religious books near the Cathedral of Chartres. I was so surprised to be on the top priority list, but it's too bad, I can"t accept it.

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Hey Mouxine, I'm wishing you the best on your journey to enlightenment.  To me it looks like you're becoming more patients, I'll be looking forward to see what other good things come from this.

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Thank to all who read my journal and also to the responding ones, it's encouraging feeling supported !

Day 17

An exhausting day : I drove my wife to the medic after dressing up all the children, bought some pastries, went to the park, retrieved my wife, made lunch, cleaned up everything, went to outside to retrieve some dishes, call a friend to see if he was interested in the job offer I declined (he is more suited for it than me), get back home and take care of everyone in the house while doing the chores which as been delayed... From 8 A.M to 10 P.M almost no time to breathe. I went to sleep without recreating, because I was broken. Not much anger, and no time for cravings !

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Day 18

Same kind of day as last one, except a bit gentler on my nerves overall. I got careless and didn't took time to pray 10 min peacefully when the children were in the garden (it was the only favorable moment) : huge mistake. I smashed my 4 year old daughter's hair brush (mainly used for her puppet) on the table because I stepped on it and I got overwhelmed by chores at diner time. The hair brush is broken, the table has the mark on it (of course !), and the children... they didn't cry of fear but they looked at me with an expression like "are you stupid or what ?!"... That surprised me a lot ! And my wife acted as a true angel, not even scolding me (she knows I'm already blaming myself innermost), reassuring the children and helping me out even if she didn't feel well. I apologized to everyone and got forgiven, they are so kind to me. We had a very cute family hug time and fun after diner.

I noticed or learned major things today :

1 - Before I get really mad, I usually have the sensation of "scortching eyes" like after been 2 hours in front of a screen. So I have a biological alarm I must trust, if my eyes hurts, it's time to sit down, close them and pray 5 minutes. Otherwise, I'm sure I'll do evil by going frenzy. That is also a serious reason to avoid spending too much time on the computer (just to give an idea, I use the program F.lux to avoid blue light from my screen and I put lightning very low because I'm very sensitive to light).

2 - When I truly don't have time to pray (that is super rare), God's offer graces to compensate for that (e.g in Day 17). If I do neglect to pray, even if there little time to do it, I fall into sin lamentably even if I do my best not to. It's logical, it's taught by serious catholic doctors (St Alphonsus Maria of Liguori), but now it's also proven by personal experience. I have no excuse, except from being naturally light-minded.

3 - I liked a huge post of BooksandTrees on TSL's journal. It made me realize that my tendency to do anything fun or resting compulsory comes also from my bad habit of gaming. I know I crave for too much leisure, I thought it was a common struggle for everyone not only for gamers, but it looks like my brain is really shaped in a bad way because of games. Now I'm angry at them !

General feeling during the day : a heavy feeling of austerity, because I didn't have much fun during the past two day. 

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Aww your family is so goood!!! ❤️ Bro those are HUGE things that you learned! Thanks for sharing Mouxine cause we can now learn from them! Well done man you've had a crazy 2 days, you must be exhausted but you can always find true rest in God.

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Day 19

3 hours of sleep then 3 hours of sleep again after being awaken by the youngest son. I was tired and in an horrible mood the whole day.

Day 20 & 21

My wife is better, the week is full of appointements. I feel something heavy in life now, games helped me to escape and dream. Now I don't dream that much, and life feels less enjoyable. It's really harder to resist it than basic cravings because it's not violent like a impulse to play, it's something sneaking in everything you do in the day making them even more tiring ! Despite that, I don't want to play again, it's just inbearable to think I can"t enjoy my life to the most without games ! I just want to crush that part of myself and have a deeper relation to God. Thanks to BooksandTrees again, I realized I wasn't angry enough at games, and that was the main reason I relapsed. I know that Cam says it's okay to be grateful to games for the past fun and just pass to something else, but I can't. It averted me so much times away from my main goal, I can't just be grateful or indifferent. They messed up with my brain without me knowing it, they are not getting away with a smile even if it was because of my weakness that I lost control.

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Day 22

My mother, my father and a friend came to our house today, it was nervously exhausting. I'm starting to feel lazy to write my daily journal. It seems to me it will always turn around the same things.

Day 23

I went to see my new spiritual counselor. It was great at first then it felt bad. First I admited having a impulse to judge everything people with power do, "If I were them, I would do this. They do bas because this and that...". That was the great part because it's bad pride I see now. The other part I didn't like was the way he was pushing me to embrace a social hobby, mainly a sportly one. I just hate when priests says "you should do sport", because I dislike sport ! I'm certainly lazy, but I can"t motivate myself to do sport except with spiritual reasons (sacrificing myself, talking about God to other people). I would rather do the cleaning to someone else's house to help them. I have to do meaningful things, and sport, in my eyes, is totally vain if it's not for fun or for solving health problems. Jesus Christ didn't say "you should do sport to be healthy !", in addiction to this, St Paul said that olympical sportsmen are running for a crown which perish, will we christian are running for an eternal crown. I'm angry, I'm really angry about that, especially because I value obedience a lot, I don't like sport, and I'm almost sure my spiritual councelor will insist about it as I know him for some time now. I guess I have to do this sacrifice of my own will and obey to something I find useless, just to fix my prideful nature.

I'm suposed to find something social to do for Lent, so I suppose continuing to write my journal is something I should do !

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Day 24

I was still angry and disoriented by my spiritual counceling. I became less angry and tried to think obey the whole part : I looked for 3 hours what kind of hobby I could in my city. Well it's almost lost since I didn't find anything really appealing. However there's a good point, since I tried my best to obey despite my anger, light came back into my soul and peace with it. I remembred I was ordered to pray so that I find some activity which helps me to be more free. He insisted for something like sport, but the mandatory part was only to pray ! So I was angry for... a misunderstanding, by my fault... (Even with 4 years of philosophical studies and the considerable amount of theological books I read, I stay light-headed... It's very difficult for me to concentrate on many details : my brain gets full of knots). I also started to think, what does he mean by "more free" ? And since I was so disoriented by my search of hobbies I could do, I think God doesn't want me to find something else, but he wants me to concentrate on my duties. I have so many DIY to do at home, school to do with my children, play with them, and the chores to do, I seriously don't have that much time for a hobby, except when they are sleeping which is from 9 P.M to 8:30 A.M. During this time I have to : finish my daily prayers (mainly a 2/3 decate from the rosary), write my daily journal, go to sleep as early as I can... So I think I don't need to add something else, which will annoy me more than anything else. Writing my journal helps me so much, I think that is what I really need : take the time to write. It ease my heart even better than talking to my wife.

Now, I must hurry to sleep, before someone wakes up again in the middle of the night.

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On 3/1/2019 at 7:05 PM, Mouxine said:

Day 24

I was still angry and disoriented by my spiritual counceling. I became less angry and tried to think obey the whole part : I looked for 3 hours what kind of hobby I could in my city. Well it's almost lost since I didn't find anything really appealing. However there's a good point, since I tried my best to obey despite my anger, light came back into my soul and peace with it. I remembred I was ordered to pray so that I find some activity which helps me to be more free. He insisted for something like sport, but the mandatory part was only to pray ! So I was angry for... a misunderstanding, by my fault... (Even with 4 years of philosophical studies and the considerable amount of theological books I read, I stay light-headed... It's very difficult for me to concentrate on many details : my brain gets full of knots). I also started to think, what does he mean by "more free" ? And since I was so disoriented by my search of hobbies I could do, I think God doesn't want me to find something else, but he wants me to concentrate on my duties. I have so many DIY to do at home, school to do with my children, play with them, and the chores to do, I seriously don't have that much time for a hobby, except when they are sleeping which is from 9 P.M to 8:30 A.M. During this time I have to : finish my daily prayers (mainly a 2/3 decate from the rosary), write my daily journal, go to sleep as early as I can... So I think I don't need to add something else, which will annoy me more than anything else. Writing my journal helps me so much, I think that is what I really need : take the time to write. It ease my heart even better than talking to my wife.

Now, I must hurry to sleep, before someone wakes up again in the middle of the night.

Be patient with your quest for hobbies. I think a hobby involving movement is freeing because it releases the chemicals our minds released during video games, but at the correct rate that our bodies were created to do. It frees your mind of anxiety, worry, stress, and builds confidence, creates happiness, and promotes more love for yourself by physically caring for yourself. Maybe you can play sports with your wife and kids for 30 minutes a day or make time to go to the gym in the morning at 6. Even if you sleep at 10 you'd get your 8 hours of sleep. 

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@BooksandTrees Thanks for the advice about the chemicals and giving the idea to make the children participate, it motivates me a bit more and makes it doable because getting up early is really hard.  I get awaken 1, 2 or sometimes even 4 times in the night by cries... It's been 4 and a half years now I can't sleep quietly. Sleeping less is suicide.

Day 25

We had two more people with us from 9 AM to 10 PM. We talked a lot, played a board game and took a walk. I had to do 5 decade at 23 P.M to end my rosary to fulfill my confraternity commitement.

Day 26

Horrible night, 6 hours of sleep cut into 3 parts... I confessed my sins thursday, and boom I got angry like an horrible idiot on the little boy because of tireness. I understood something HUGE for myself : I must not pray before I go into the room of the boy, I must pray when I open the door because it's at that precise moment my reason falls to my anger. That way, there's much more chance I don't go mad. Seriously, the calm of Jesus during his Passion is probably the most divine but discrete sign he gave us : "I can call an army of angels to defend me" he says to Peter, and not even once he flinches into anger while he was in a terrible shape... That's just impossible to any man.

We went to the mass in the evening at the Cathedrale. We saw some friends there. The priest commented the summit of Catholic Church on child abuse and it was greatly done. (For the record, my own director was an abuser. resisted him because I'm hot headed and I denounced him to his superiors 1 year later, far too late. Now he's reduced to Laity state. So I'm concerned about this topic). The day was good even if I was tired.

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