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DW1909X13

Long Road to Redemption Journal

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Day 5. Finally sitting down to start my journal and I hope in doing so, will help at least one other person with this. The aim now is to take some time everyday and journal the experience here in the hope of finding the balance and perspective I feel I have been without for...well...ever really.

The last few days I have done a lot of reflecting and its scary to think of all the hours, days, weeks and months I now feel I've thrown away for the last 25+ years. All that time I felt I was enjoying myself, achieving and succeeding, when in reality i was doing nothing at all and now, none of it matters. Not one minute of it. That is one of the toughest realizations I've ever had to come to terms with.

In reflecting on my life so far, I've dealt with family relationships breaking, my own issues with alcoholism (now 10.4 years sober), friends and relatives with mental health issues and I realize that my gaming all stemmed from wanting to just simply escape and not deal with any of it. After all, who wants to face real life with all its baggage and problems when you can achieve dreams in a virtual space in your head? I've had great gaming moments and successes but none of it was real and now I'm really facing reality, that has hit me like a tonne of bricks.

So the last 5 days... on good side, I have worked on my business that I have neglected,  I've started reading regularly again and have enrolled in a professional training course. On the bad side, I have really struggled to maintain focus, my emotions have been erratic - one minute I'm laughing, next minute I'm angry, next minute I'm emotional. To combat this, I dusted off my dumbbells and if I feel uptight or anxious or angry, I lift heavy and its a great way to release that negative energy. I've started taking early morning runs for when I cant sleep (5am-ish) and that often makes me feel better too.

My wife has been very supportive for which I so immensely grateful as I know not everyone is as fortunate. She wants us to start a family and I am so excited about it and that is my main motivation to sorting my self out with this. I want to enjoy every day and every moment and not feel that feeling of total self-loathing when I've realized I've binged on games for 12/14+ hours. I'm determined, if we are lucky enough to become parents, that I will be the best father I can possibly be and that means devoting my time and energy to being the best version of myself.

I have found reading Marcus Aurelius' Meditations to be eye opening and the subjects of Digital Minimalism, Personal Finance, Self-Improvement and Stoicism to be really inspirational. It is my belief that if everyone learnt something about these things, we would all be better for it in the modern world.

I have also taken the drastic action of deleting my steam account, gog.com account and adjusting my smartphone apps (no games, social media or unnecessary apps). I have also put controls in place (with wife's help) so that the XBox1 is simply a Blu-Ray/Sky Go player, although I am considering just selling it. All this has been done to remove that 'just a quick game' or 'I have an hour to myself' mentality/temptation. To form positive habits, you have to destroy the negative ones.

5 days without gaming. Already I can feel the heavy cloud lifting ever so slightly. Its a long road, but I know I will get there and I'm sure we will all come out of this, which ever road we walk down, better people.

 

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Day 6. This has been a tough day to say the least. I’ve been having strong cravings to escape into a virtual world and its taking everything for me to resist.

I feel like I am really struggling to keep perspective today. Our washing machine needed urgent repair and has taken a pro 5.5 hrs to fix (should have taken 30 mins), and I’ve waited in the house whilst this has been happening which has been frustrating for us both. My dog is desperate and whining to go out for run but I can’t, some clients of mine have not paid when they said they would – which has big impact on cashflow, a result came back from the doctors saying I need another test and tbh I just feel like chucking the day in plugging into a game and blanking out the world.

But then what would I achieve? The feelings and emotions are still there plus more afterwards such as crippling guilt. By running away from them I will not learn and come out of it better. Recently, I’ve come to realize that all the negativity is never going to go away and that actually we should embrace it all. If we can get through it, we come out the other side with a more balanced approach to dealing with life and it all gets easier.

I watched the movie ‘About Time’ last night with my wife and I have to say it struck a chord with me. Time is our most valuable asset and there are no guarantees so we must try to live each day with total freedom because we don’t know how much time we have. Things happen out of our control and that's ok. It's how we react that's important. I know, like many people here, I have thrown time away and I can't change that but I can use it to make the most of it going forward.

So after a day of negativity, feeling like crap and wanting to hide away, I realize that actually, I will better for going through it, tomorrow.

No gaming today and day 7 tomorrow. Also, more PMA

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DW1909X13,

How are you doing, mate?

I am also starting to quit gaming after 30 years of playing, and am looking into starting a business working from home.

I wish you all the best and hope to that you'll keep talking your developments. I think keeping up a regular (incognito) journal is a great way to keep honest and develop thoughts and feelings consciously.

 

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Its been almost a month since I last sat down to write on this journal and I have had to reset myself as I relapsed soon after my last journal entry and have been on and off since. Today is day 2 without gaming.

I realize that honesty and accountability to myself is the only way I will give this up for good, so here goes.

Why the relapse? Looking back, I feel like I took the easy way out to deal with some upsetting news. Basically, soon after my last journal entry, My wife and I have been told that its likely that we may not be able to have children as we both have fertility issues and whilst there are some tests/IVF still to be done, it has hit me hard as having kids and a family is something that my wife and I really want.

We have gone through the emotions and are now feeling more positive and we realize that its a long road and we will get there one way or another.

So to bring this back to gaming, I have also realized that retreating into my gaming habit/addiction has not helped me in any way at all but has instead just distracted me from dealing with the real issues that actually matter in my life. I feel like I let myself down and whilst I felt worse for playing, it has helped me to be even more determined to give up for good this time with a reboot.

I told my wife, (who was frustrated but understanding) and we have again removed all games from the xbox 1 and am now looking to sell it just to get rid of temptation and get some cash back. I am back in to regular running/workouts and feel like I'm ready to regain control and make some progress.

One thing that has really come to light over the last few weeks, is just how much more aware I am of silence. When I sit reading or just sitting and thinking - I feel like a weight is slowly lifting and am really aware that there is no tech noise around me. Its fantastic. I tried meditating for the first time yesterday and I felt like I was starting to dust off my mind and starting to rebuild.

Yes I've had a set back, but I am taking ownership of it and turning into a positive to get me through each day as it comes. I believe that we all fall to stand back up more informed, more determined and stronger. Looking forward to tomorrow.

 

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On 10/6/2019 at 2:18 AM, LordArjuna said:

DW1909X13,

How are you doing, mate?

I am also starting to quit gaming after 30 years of playing, and am looking into starting a business working from home.

I wish you all the best and hope to that you'll keep talking your developments. I think keeping up a regular (incognito) journal is a great way to keep honest and develop thoughts and feelings consciously.

 

LordArjuna,

Hi - I'm doing ok thank you. Hope you are good too.

As per my update its been hard few weeks but I will get there as I believe we all will.

30 years of gaming is damn hard to break but it sounds like an awesome plan to work on your own business! All that redirected time an energy will no doubt make it a success for you and you will feel so proud of yourself.

Totally agree RE journalling - I have missed it and will now aim to complete it every day.

Good luck to you aswell - I will keep an eye out for your entries-posts

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