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Log: 22-02-21

Mood/feelings: Frustrated, Determined

Aim today: Re-start ReSpawn 90 day challenge

Day: 1/90

Journal entry:

So, the time has come to restart my Respawn 90 day challenge due to gaming returning to my daily life. I'm not gaming for hours and hours a day, but it takes up a lot of my mental capacity, can impact my work and I've noticed that I get moody when I've not had a game at all during the day. I have a tendency to also hide my gaming habits from my wife as I feel guilty for doing it when I shouldn't.

Why now? Following a hard year of COVID & lockdowns here in the UK - perfect storm for gaming - gaming has crept up and up in my daily life. There are other things I want to do in life, and I am hoping that a 90 day detox will break that cycle and hopefully stop me gaming full stop.

Thoughts on gaming and its industry: In a nutshell, I feel it's all bullsh*t, none of it matters at all and it just seems to make me feel nothing but negative emotions. I haven't enjoyed it for a long time and I actually feel 'right, I have 30 minutes, I should game'. I feel used and laughed at by the companies who create the content who simply want me to pay hard earned money for virtual nothingness and I think this is an industry that, like gambling, is/will be driven by addiction. And that is just wrong. Gaming used to give me a sense of positive achievement. When younger, my life was a mess and I struggled with relationships and my father constantly put me down. I had no self-confidence. Gaming was the escape/answer I was after. I want to see more being done in terms of gaming addiction being taken seriously and for these companies to develop an awareness and ethical approach to gaming in the future (I'd be surprised if this ever happened) and be held accountable over the content they produce eg lootboxes etc.

Now I am older (34) and aware of all this, it scares me to think of the money I've thrown away on games in the past - let alone the time.

Moving forward: I have recently found out that I am infertile and my wife and I will have to go through IVF with a sperm donor. This has made me rethink my life, and what I want. I have recently taken up yoga, golf, meditation and general workouts/fitness. I'm focused on a healthy diet and the little things in life that mean so much to me and I'm sure others too. I've learnt recently, that small steps, lead to giant gains. so, today is the first small step to breaking this 25+ year habit that I feel has crushed and dominated me. One day at a time.

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Similar situation here with all of that. I think the hiding it from the partner is part of the Man Child Cave theory I have. 

Stick with the outdoor pursuits and if you're indoor, make sure you have a list of things to do inside that aren't gaming or adjacent to gaming.

If you want to see more being done, how about doing it yourself?

Good luck sir, and good luck with the IVF stuff. It's no joke but well worth it if you are successful.

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I feel the exact same way as you do towards the gaming industry. While playing games, no matter how long, you lose something, you lose your positivity, you lose memory, sleep, decrease in health and even worse, you lose money, you could lose your relationships, your friends, parents, house, and the list goes on. You gain nothing by playing games. All playing games does is give the creators money and gives you nothing. Hell they don't even give a shit about you if your life gets worse enough to where your losing the things close to you. The worst part is they can do all this by just sitting on their asses. All they care about is money, money money money. They care about themselves, selfish pricks. The gaming industry is just filled with assholes and traps. Again you gain nothing from it.

Now with that rant over, I am glad you are taking the first step to escape gaming, and take your life back! I wish you luck. With what you said about wanting more stuff getting done, you should start with writing down the goals you had when you were gaming (non gaming goals) and then find the hobbies that will help you towards those goals and dreams. It really helps a lot.

Remember, if you get down i want you not to worry, you have this whole community to help and support you through this journey!

Good luck!


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Log: 25-02-21

Mood/feelings: Reflective, grateful, little fatigued

Positive activities: Morning workout & meditation

Aim today: Get through today

Day: 4/90

Journal entry: Firstly, thank you for your replies. It's a comfort just to know this forum is here but to hear from others is a great boost. The point RE seeing more being done - yes, I am currently thinking of ways that I can get involved and make some sort of an impact. This week I have started listing daily goals and its a great feeling to tick those off - at least I know they have a meaningful impact to my life as opposed to a gaming 'achievement'.

So day 4, or the start of, as its 8.30 am here in UK. I have not played any video games on any format following account deletions etc on Monday and this time round, it all feels different. I feel ready, actually ready, to ditch games full stop. There is a 'however'. I do keep having moments of 'go. just a quick go' or 'just a match' (fifa21). And that little voice that says 'you're so near to completing that challenge and getting the [reward]...go on. It won't take long. You'd be done in time for work and no one will know'.  I have managed to tell that voice to get lost so far. Mind you, writing those thoughts down...damn. This is so screwed up just how ingrained this is. Silencing this voice will be possibly the best thing I'll ever do for myself.

So, get through today and keep taking it one step at a time.

To anyone reading this, I sincerely hope your journey through is successful. If we all support eachother, we will get there.

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Log: 26-02-21

Mood/feelings: Positive

Positive activities: Morning walk, meditation, gardening

Aim today: Carry on with the mometum

Day: 5/90 (midway through Day 5 at time of writing)

Journal entry: A fairly light entry today because the weather is so nice here (for a change) that I want to be in it as much as possible. The voice in my head is quieter today and hasn't really spoken which is great. Definitely like this feeling - hopefully this is a preview of what is to come although I am sure there will be worse days ahead. Just have to hold on to this rare feeling as much as possible. There is such a beautiful world outside of our 'bubbles', that whilst reflecting, it just confirms how much of a negative impact cg's have had on my life. Anyway, looking forward and hope to be writing about day 6 tomorrow. My best wishes to all of you going through this as well.

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Log: 28-02-21

Mood/feelings: Bit flat/sluggish

Positive activities: Meditation

Aim today: Complete this week

Day: 7/90 (start of day 7 at time of writing)

Journal entry: This morning already feels like a challenge. I've got the urge to sit down and chill out for a few hours in front of a game. Most mornings I'm up at 6:30am - 2 hours before my wife, and I have to busy myself or else I'll do what I used to do. Wake up at 6:30 and game for 2 hours. So this morning, I've done a meditation, about to do a yoga class and just hope my mood this morning lifts. Not sleeping well either lately. Dreams are becoming vivid with issues from the past keep rearing their head. Hopefully this is a 'phase' and will pass - just brings up a lot of negativity. On a plus, I've starting learning chess again which is great for my mental health & focus - and it calms me.

I tend to be very moody generally. And I don't know whether that's video gaming having an impact considering how long I've gamed for (25+ yrs). Thinking back, my mood would always go down if I couldn't complete an achievement or I got 'stuck' (think Dark Souls here - loved the game though) or even if I wasn't able to access the game or play. I am hoping that out of this, my mood can stabilise and I am not a grumpy miser that I have been at at times.

So I saw article the other day about how gaming has helped an individual and its got me thinking about the media and responsibilities. I've not seen many articles that criticise games/gaming unless its a sensationalist and extreme story and in fact, we have media that are almost encouraging gaming and eSports. It's like we have generally accepted that gaming is the new normal, and that if you don't game or you no longer want  to be part of community, then you are odd, uncool, not normal - which is so not the case. I have has a friend badgering me about playing FIFA21. And I've had to say sorry I'm having a time out and have barely heard from him since. 

I also hate the fact that I can seem to turn off game adverts from any site I go on lol. This has led me to basically avoid social media and reduced my phone usage overall which has actually been great this week. Like a lot of people, I use my mobile for work (calls and messaging mainly) but in my free time, I've started leaving it in my home office and it has felt like such a relief to get away from it and all its trappings.

Anyway, a random vent always does me good. Onto day 8 hopefully.


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Log: 01-03-21

Mood/feelings: Irritable/grumpy

Positive activities: Meditation & gardening

Aim today: Get through today without giving in

Day: 8/90 (near end of day at time of writing)

Journal entry: Today has been toughest day so far. I've been grumpy and moody however - I've managed to stay off the games which is a huge win. Previously, its this point that I've given in for that 'quick' game. Anyway, just a brief entry today. Onto day 9...

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Log: 03-03-21

Mood/feelings: Tired & reflective

Positive activities: Meditation

Aim today: Get through today without gaming

Day: 10/90 (start of day at time of writing)

Journal entry: Main though this morning: 'I've managed to get this far. Don't screw it up now'. Really struggled this morning to 'get going' and as my wife has had to go out for medical appointment and shopping, I'm on my own in the house for 3 to 4 hours for the first time in ages. My first thought this morning was...'could have a little game session. no one would know and you've done so well to get to here.' That little @~!* of a 'voice' got very loud this morning so I feel today is my biggest test so far and all ok so far. Just keeping busy with work and ticking some things of a to do list.

The above has shown me just how serious this problem is and its actually pretty scary. The number of days I've given in to the above is terrifying to think about. Normally, my wife works in an office whilst I work here at home so the temptation is always there, so cracking that is going to be one huge success. For the obvious reason of COVID my wife is currently working at home which is helping stay on the 'straight and narrow' so I'm grateful for this at the moment.

I've also noticed that my internet usage has gone down and no porn at all for weeks (although I've not had any problems or compulsions with this historically) and social media is barley looked at these days. Really can't be arsed and find it such a waste of time, so only focusing on close friends and family & hobbies so I may spend 5/10 mins max a day on Instagram (only SM app I have) if any time at all.

I have started listening to podcasts/audible books which I've enjoyed. So overall, I am thankful that I've found these positives during this process. Just have to hang on to get through these testing days. 

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Log: 08-03-21

Mood/feelings: Tired & reflective

Positive activities: Meditation

Aim today: Focus on work

Day: 15/90 (midday at time of writing)

Journal entry: So, 15 days and not a game loaded up, played or watched. Things seem to be going well and I had a full weekend in the garden. Starting to walk more and overall the days seem to be flying by which is great with regard to 'the voice' lol Yes, I still have the odd thought about a quick hour but I then find something - anything - to do and shut it down. Luckily the weather has allowed me to get stuck into the garden. If the weather turns bad, I can still go for a walk or do some bits around the house - even read lol and I have noticed my technology usage has continued to drop overall. I only use the computer for work during the day but if not working, I'm managing to stay off phone and PC which is a good feeling.

There has been a development though in another area. I am involved with a support group for men going through 'male factor infertility' and although on this session  (via Zoom - as everything is these days!) there were only 10 of us, (main session there are 40+),  I couldn't say anything. My introverted shy self just couldn't get words out and I was quickly left behind in the general conversation. The others were talking, the odd laugh and joke and I just couldn't seem to find a way to 'join in'. Anyway, it would normally be after that, that I would dive in a game to escape the self analysis and overthinking of what happened. Obvs this time - no game. I was left to go through all the thoughts until my brain wore itself out. Basically, I've found the problem - I struggle with a form of 'social anxiety' and I think this is a typical trait of Introverts. We like to sit on the outside until we are comfortable to dive in.

I know I overthink things. I worry about being liked, judged etc which is silly because no one does this. But what makes it worse, is when someone points out that 'you're being quiet, are you alright?'. Normally I want to say back - 'yes I'm fine. Why are you all being so bloody loud and talking a load of BS!? Just because I'm not shouting across you all, spouting endless crap, why does that mean I'm not ok?' I usually just say the 'yep I'm fine'.

So, I've decided this month to make a change and push myself out of my comfort zone, and expand it. Do things I wouldn't normally do and try and interact with other people where possible - just to show myself that these situations are not as intimidating as they seem. After all, we all want to be heard, so I guess in these meetings you have to fight your corner a bit - without being rude - if you want to be heard. After all, you get out what you put in and I don't want to feel like that again. So, hopefully in the coming weeks, i will have pushed myself ad I'll feel more confident about myself.

Self-confidence is something I've always struggled with and I think that's why I escaped into games and earlier in my life why I succumbed to alcoholism until 23. I'm free of the drink (11 yrs now) and now hopefully games, there is no more 'armour' and I can start to deal with the deeper issue and regain some confidence. Quite excited to see how this next 'chapter' goes and where it will take me.

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