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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


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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