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Kona’s Journal


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Day 1. 
I am just going to start with writing down some thoughts and ideas about this whole process and if I am successful with quitting gaming for an extended time (god-willing) then I can start formatting it in a more organized way. 
Another quick introduction on me - I am also a compulsive gambler but I have been gambling free for almost 11 months now. I attempted to quit gaming through these forums, etc about a year ago as well. Trying to quit gambling and gaming at the same time did not work for me most likely because of all the spare time I had.  So starting again. 
   I am going to approach this with the same attitude I approached in stopping gambling. I attend a 12 step GA program that has helped tremendously. In that program you take it 1 day at a time. You tell yourself when you get up in the morning I am not going to gamble/ game today and you stick with it. 
  I started listening to the Gaming the System Podcast today. Lots of great information there. I have the luxury at work to wear headphones and am able to listen to the podcast while working. It’s great. I am going to look for more self- help podcasts similar to this one when I’ve gone through listening to all the episodes. 
   I have deleted all the games from my phone  I also have deleted YouTube and reddit as they are part of my excessive gaming addiction. Lots of time spent watching strategy videos and streamers which I need to control in order to help prevent any relapse. 
    It has also really helped me to see and talk with a Counsellor.  I am fortunate to have free counselling in my area because I was a problem gambler. I have banned myself from the local casinos and that launches counselling sessions if you ask for them. This detoxification came as a result of my last counselling session where I realized I have been wasting a lot of my time during the day with technology - YouTube, Reddit, and the phone in general. 
  I haven’t discussed this with my wife yet but I intend to. Just a note that she doesn’t see my gaming habits as unhealthy at this point. However my experience lately of quitting gambling I have learned a lot about myself and my habits.  I was split from my wife for the last year. We have recently gotten back together and are actually living together again. My thought was that gaming caused a lot of neglect on my part and was part of the reason for the split-up. 
Enough for today. Thanks for reading and have a great 2-4. 

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Day 2

A full day of work today. Thursday night is bowling night for me. One of the things I have been doing a long time. It’s a good replacement for gaming as the league I am in is competitive so the activity is challenging as well as somewhat physical. Some may disagree on the physical part ?
  Here are some of my goals and ideas on what to do after giving up gaming:

1. Learn a new language - Spanish, or brush up on my French again. 
2. Start playing music again. I played trombone in my high school band. I joined A band after high school but quickly dropped out of them because of the video games. 
3. Spend more time with my family. I want to develop better relationships with my 2 sons (both have moved out from home) and with my teenage daughter. Of course also with my wife - we need to figure some stuff out still as well. 
4.  Exercise more - I am over 40 and I am not happy with the shape I am in. I lose my breath too often even when tying my shoes. I will start with perhaps more walking dr maybe I will attempt some workouts at a gym (I have never done this before)

   One thing I have learned from some of the recent podcasts I have heard is that self care is probably the single most important thing to work on. I have always wanted to help others in some capacity or another and I can’t do that if I don’t look after myself first. As much as I want to prioritize being a great Father, husband or friend, I first need to become the best version of Kona that I can. 

Please note - I am still not comfortable with using even my first name here. I hope everyone is okay with that.  

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Good for you, man.  For exercise, I would HIGHLY recommend starting with walking and some bodyweight exercises if you're getting winded easily.  Pushups, Squats, Reverse-Lunges, Planks are all good low-impact exercises that will make you stronger with a low risk of hurting yourself.  Start small, then ramp up.  Can you walk for 10 minutes straight? 20 minutes? 30? If that becomes easy, can you walk up and down hills for that time?  Can you do a pushup from your knees? Once you can do 20 of them, try a pushup on your toes.  Commit to a small amount of exercise every day, even if it's just 10 minutes of walking, do that EVERY DAY and post here whether you did it or not.

The goals you've laid out look good. But make them concrete.  "I will exercise more" doesn't mean anything.  "I will walk for at least 10 minutes every day" does.

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@Big Adam  Thanks for the advice. This is what I was looking for. Advice along with some accountability. I really need someone to call me on my sh**. 
I actually have a job that requires a lot of walking. I would say on average 15,000 steps per day. It’s the bending over that’s a problem it seems so sit-ups or pushups would probably benefit me. I don’t have time today but I was actually thinking I would start swimming again. I enjoyed it when I was younger and I was in a habit a while ago of going once per week. I don’t have time today but will go on Saturday for a half hour session and see how it goes. 
Thanks also to you @ismailkanaan for the motivation to keep going

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Definitely try out swimming and see what you can do.  Remember, there's no shame in starting small.  Be honest with yourself about what you're capable of.  You said you sometimes get winded tying your shoes.  I'm going to guess that means you're significantly overweight.  Building a habit of daily exercise and slowly losing the weight will work wonders.  If you already do a lot of walking through your job, then some bodyweight exercises might be what you need.  Below is the program I started with when I first got into working out.  Take it with a grain of salt and scale it to your level of ability.  I'm 9 years younger than you and was 7 years younger when I started working out, so you might not be able to do all this the first day.  Do what you can and do it consistently.

Beginner Bodyweight Workout:

Do this as a circuit workout. Meaning: Do pushups, then lunges, then plank with minimal rest between each exercise.  Then take a 1-2 minute break, then do the three exercises again.  Then take a 1-2 minute break, then do the three exercises again.  I recommend starting with 3 circuits (total of 30 pushups, 10 lunges, 3 minutes of plank).

Start with knee pushups.  If that is too easy, go to toe pushups.  If that's too hard and you need something in-between: do an elevated pushup, which is a toe pushup but your hands are pushing up off an elevated surface like a couch or coffee table. This makes them easier.

Same thing for Plank.  There is a good progression of difficulty in this video.  Start at whatever level of difficulty feels difficult but not impossible for a minute.

The above exercises can be done without equipment and most people know how to do them with proper form.  If you know how to do bodyweight squats properly, you can add those. If not, lunges are fine.  If you have a pullup bar, there is a progression of pullup exercises you can do.


Feel free to disregard this if you have your own program you'd like to follow.  But if you do decide to do this, I'd recommend doing it 3 times a week.

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Day 3

Just a quick note that today went well with no gaming. Had some family commitments after work that made it so I couldn’t start exercising yet. After those commitments, we went home and went straight to bed. No time to play video games so that aspect is good. 

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With all the podcasts I’ve listened to in the past few days I have done some reflecting. For those that don’t know I am a compulsive gambler and my last bet was about 11 months ago. I am in a 12 step program for it which has helped me get to this point. 
This is an incredible realization about the whole thing:  I actually turned to gambling because gaming wasn’t “doing it” for me anymore.   I would continue to do the gaming binge thing despite it not being rewarding enough for me.  Besides, I couldn’t always go gambling because I tried to hide it from my wife or there simply wasn’t enough “spare cash” to go. 

To me it’s ironic, but also makes some sense that the coverup problem (gambling) has to be worked on before you can work on the more serious or first problem (gaming). 
In that I do realize both have been used to cover up social, or self esteem issues (or any self debilitating issues) that I have been trying to cover up or forget about. 

So speaking of covering up stuff. My first addiction was actually a porn addiction and I still struggle with it now. I am not going to mention it often in this journal as i grew up in a generation that does not openly talk about subjects like that and frankly I find it uncomfortable. Just know that my game quitting detox is currently coinciding with my porn detox and I am quitting both at same time. I feel I can because I am a stronger person than I was 11 months ago. 
12 step programs teach you to not get overconfident and to take things 1 day at a time. Learn from your past and put blockers up to help stop any possible relapses. When I say I am a stronger person this is not over confidence this is higher self esteem because I am aware of my surroundings and can deal with life’s pressures no matter how they present themselves. 

I know this may not be the place for this because it’s my journal but a shout out  goes to @James Good for sharing his struggles on the recent podcast of Gaming the System.  Good luck with all your efforts and thank you for sharing your story.

Thank you so much for Game Quitters and this strong community for supporting me and everyone else with their daily struggles. 

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Ok. Back to day 0. I went back and did like 1 hour of my favourite game last night. There was nothing to do yesterday because my wife and I decided to stay home and clean the house a bit. We had movies on the tv throughout the day and we would sit down and watch for a little bit. Then go back to housework or organizing. I found myself not helping a lot and I think my wife was frustrated but didn’t say anything.  
When the day was done and we were unwinding I just went and said screw it and I turned on the computer and just delved into it for about an hour. I feel dumb about it now of course. When I woke up this morning I even felt worse and turned back to some self motivating podcasts. 
I feel better now and will try again. 

Here is what I learned from this recent experience:  When I feel the urge to discuss these important things and ideas with my wife then I should just do it. Saturday night I went through the night thinking about talking to her about my fears/ doubts/ my progress, etc. Sunday morning came around and I chickened out and it was weighing on my mind all day. I couldn’t approach the subject readily as my 13 yo daughter was home and I don’t want to discuss these situations around her at this point.  I also feel bad about not even attempting to do some of the things I have said I want to do (swimming, daily/weekly exercising) 
Anyway it feels good to journal this if only that and get some of my thought process down so I can at least learn from it. Enough for now. 
Everyone have a great 2-4. 

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First thanks @ismailkanaan for your encouragement and advice. 
The last 24 hours have been good. Full day of work and then was not able to attend my 12 step meeting which is always Monday nights. I had to pickup my daughter from dance lessons which is exactly same time as the meetings.  I am not upset about it because at least my daughter is still part of my life. It’s not every week I have to pick her up so next week should be good to go back to meeting. After we got home, I sat and relaxed while having dinner, which my wife lovingly prepared before going off to her function. After dinner, I decided to do a little housework (kitchen cleanup and laundry). Felt good to do something other than load around. I continue to listen to podcasts and I was listening again to game quitters podcast and some suggestions there moved me.  I will put into practice those suggestions starting today after work. Things like writing an agenda for the next day and outlining your larger goals with series of smaller more achievable goals that will aid you in achieving those life goals.  I also vow to do a little bit of housework daily. 
Thanks everyone for being here. Have a great 2-4!

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  • 1 month later...

I’m back and this time with a vengeance. I am doing this today because I feel good about this again. I have stopped and started and stopped with video games So many times now it’s incredible. Anyway I have found that writing on these forums does not help me that much so I won’t be writing daily journals on here. I have found pen to paper to be much more powerful for me. I will just pop in from time to time and do some reading and make a few comments as it’s the stories of success that I crave the most. 
I am just past 1 year of being gambling free and this is what has prompted me today to be here. I am also 14 days free from playing video games and it feels great. I have deleted my games and have signed up for the Respawn program.  I am working on the Respawn program slowly and am on Module 5 to those who know what that is. I am in the process of developing a schedule for myself and have chosen some new things that I am going to try and it’s exciting for me. 
I tend to write long paragraphs that probably don’t make a lot of sense so sorry about that. 
Regardless just wanted to update those who are interested. See you next time

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