2 intense personal things which I would categorize as:
1.) Work related trauma (EMS) 2.) Damage from a neighbor we tried to help (private, but it affected my entire family)
I guess, ultimately, some things that I'm processing led me to decide that while the decision to cut games completely out was initially necessary because of the huge impact on myself and my household, to escape for a few hours on the weekend as a diversion is not a detriment to my life at this time. My children played a few games on my wife's tablet. The weather is so nice that it was very short lived. I became disinterested too before long with the game I downloaded on my laptop. When I stopped, I did feel a little refreshed and was thinking better about some stuff that's been going on. Sure, the problems didn't go away, but the temporary delay was not without some benefit.
I don't know. I haven't played this weekend, but I could see myself gaming on a Friday or Saturday night moderately, if the rest of the day was active and productive. It doesn't have to be something I do to cope with other stressors. I do have a ton of responsibility on my shoulders and most of the time I feel like I'm treading water.
I'm open to any advice you might be willing to give on what I'm relating now. I'm sure some of this is quite common. Thanks.
Hi there. I really like the owl for your profile picture. Owls are my favorite. For real. I'm truly sorry for your trouble. Guilt for doing something that is wrong is actually NORMAL AND OKAY. If you suppress the negative emotions that come from making bad choices, you are actually stifling the innate motivation to STOP that's hard wired into you as a human being. Make sense? I don't think that religion based on absolutes of right and wrong, heaven and hell, is your problem right now. You DO seem to know where some the problems are at in your life. Religious meetings generally dish up the predigested beliefs and understanding of those leading the class or worship. That CAN be extremely unhelpful to sincere seekers. Try READING THE SOURCES for yourself. This can be VERY liberating. I'll use your topic of heaven and hell for an example rather than presuming a better starting place. This one has already been on your mind somewhat. Try to read the Bible for yourself WITHOUT the input of any other outside influences. I mean, what have you got to lose, right? Research the very topics you have been exposed to, but do the legwork yourself. Don't Google it. Go to the source. Not a blog. Get a hardcopy. I'm only SUGGESTING this because your experience with meetings seems to be a problem of confining you and stopping you from getting the answers you really want and NEED.
I hope something I said was helpful. Maybe the piece to YOUR puzzle in just another step away. I'll say a pray for you now. Hang in there! I hope today was a better day for you.
DAY # - XX - UNFINISHED! Time I woke up: 0930 Time I went to sleep yesterday: 0330 Physical task: House chores. Mental task: Reading. Projects: Completed one of two wooden benches. Very primitive. Needs sanded and stained next. My 3 younger sons helped. Miscellaneous accomplishments: ~ I am doing some personal research on the side. Summary of Day #: XX I am UNFINISHED. My resolve to RESPAWN has been DELAYED. I DID play games a little bit this week on my laptop. Things have been crazy busy and my wife has been out of town all week. I've successfully kept games off my phone even though EVERYONE at work is playing a new golf game on their phones. I simply have no support aside from my children right now locally. So I'm working plus taking care of six children by myself. I guess this detox is low on my list right now. If I play a little bit for diversion in the evening after the children are in bed, I'm not stressing it. They know I'm playing an "old boring" RPG on my laptop. They don't even mind a bit. At least the technology has been successfully curbed in my home in an EXTREME way. It's summer and my children are playing outside a lot. We have no consoles or handhelds for gaming anymore. We've never had cable TV. We have a slow internet connection so there's no streaming. My life is totally maxed out right now. I successfully did a 30 day detox from gaming. I can be happy about that. Hooray for me! Because I destroyed all the games and devices in my home dedicated for gaming, my home has been revolutionized. I plan on trying to do 30 days again and then 60. I do eventually want to follow through on a 90 day detox from gaming. We had someone gift us another baby. I've only seen him in pictures so far. That makes 7 total. One is leaving home in a week for college life. When my wife gets home, I doubt that I'll will have much time for gaming, much less journaling. An old friend called up and wants to go hunting in the morning for a few hours. I better cherish that! Glad my oldest is still here one more week to watch the children so I can go get out on the land. We have been having some quality time together in preparation for his departure. My life is a zoo right now. Hahahaha! Thanks GameQuitters for being there. This process is certainly helping and it has improved my quality of life. GRACE... What I am grateful for today: ~ It's Friday! ~ Gummi Bears. ~ Shotguns.
DAY # - 1 - UNFINISHED! (The Game Destroyer Strikes Back) Time I woke up: 0900 Time I went to sleep yesterday: 0200 Physical task: Light duty day. Ran 3 miles yesterday. Mental task: Job training 4 hours. Projects: Had 2 callouts for work again after a full day of work. No time for projects today, unless you count making popcorn for my children. Miscellaneous accomplishments: ~ I didn't play any video games today. Summary of Day #: 1 I am UNFINISHED. My resolve to RESPAWN has been renewed. I DID relapse. I planned it really. The game I downloaded took several hours to learn to play the first night. I spent maybe 2.5 hours setting up and doing the tutorial. The next night I played for maybe 3 hours. I got the feeling I get when I haven't had a Coca-Cola in a month. It just wasn't fulfilling or satisfying. My brain was obviously saying, "No. This is unhealthy or stale or something, but you don't need this." I set myself up for failure because it was a 20 year old game. I thought, I'll just play an older RPG game that I can chew up in little bits once a week. I was EXTREMELY bored and was actually thinking about other things that I could've been or needed to be doing. Not because I'm some kind of workaholic, but because I appreciate the refreshment of more meaningful activities in my off time that set me up to be stronger or more refreshed the next day. Part of the reason I relapsed is that I have a VERY trying and stressful family situation going on and I thought I was rewarding myself or dumping some stress by playing briefly. Nope. I'm back at ground zero, but I'm not beating myself up over this either. See you next week, folks. What I am grateful for today: ~ Focus. ~ Others that need me to do my job. ~ Fresh fruit and homemade popcorn.
DAY # - 30 - UNFINISHED! Time I woke up: 0900 Time I went to sleep yesterday: 0330 Physical task: Ran 4 miles yesterday. Today was a light duty day. Mental task: Reading and studying. Some for work and some for leisure. Projects: Learning another piece of equipment pertaining to my job. Miscellaneous accomplishments: ~ Hey, I'm still here. Summary of Day #: 30 I honestly feel like today is day one. It's been a month. Ugh. I've learned a lot so far. I remember doing something like this around this time last year. I went to the Philippines for a month and did no gaming of any kind. About a month after I came back I got deep into a working mode grind and began gaming more to balance the load. Two summers ago we put all the games away from April until school started at the end of the summer. We survived that. It was a good decision. It was a decent summer. I guess I have done similar detox sessions at different times in my life in the past. This time something is different. Sometimes we do things out of necessity. Sometimes we do things because life requires it of us. Sometimes we do things because we want to. We grow out of some things and grow into some things.
I can remember when FPS games no longer had any pull for me. The intensity just didn't grip me. I played Goldeneye like crazy on the N64. I tried the first COD and quickly got disinterested after less than a dozen hours. I never understood the need for all the sequels of endless killing. I guess I haven't been a "hard core" gamer for most of my adult life. I stayed away from the MMO types when they first began to affect the gaming world. I was busy with college. I worked full-time and went to school at night. I only played games like Mario on the weekends for a few hours. It was like hitting the reset button on my life for the next intense week. Even while growing up, I played sports, worked part-time, made good grades, took advanced classes, etc. etc. I did keep my social life pretty limited and underdeveloped in some ways. I can remember in my grade school days playing outside all day long and gaming with friends into the night.
I had one friend with a debilitating handicap that gamed all the time. A couple of my soccer buddies and I would hang out on a Friday night and spend time with him gaming. Because of the breaks in gaming during my life, I guess I have a broader perspective than I realized previously. I have been pretty thoughtful about much of this in the past. Gaming was a part of life. It was managed amidst many other aspects of life. Here I am. I'm still on this 90 day detox course. This has been tough. Why? I opened the door the Skyrim last summer. I poured many hours into that and moved into the online world of ESO. Even though my connection could barely handle the requirements, I was willing to struggle with that because the game was so interesting and engaging to me. I could only PVP a little in the early morning hours when most people were sleeping. Why was I awake? Because I work a job that requires me to be on call 24-7. If I get called out, I don't just switch off again. Gaming helped me cope with the insane hours I've been keeping. I've spent more time on this entry because I think I'm going to relapse. I wanted to limit my journaling to once a week, but I don't know if that is the problem. I've dealt with some TERRIBLE tragedies over the past two years. I talked to a man today that seems broken, but healing. Why? His father died when he was 10. His mother died a few years ago. They were very close. He hasn't recovered fully yet. That's okay. That's where he is right now in his life. I did in fact DESTROY all the video games in my house along with most of the electronic devices. I hated what it was doing to my home. I am responsible for that and I let it all spiral in an unhealthy direction. My children are using a few educational games in apps for spelling and math. They asked my wife today when I will get a gaming console again. I don't know that I ever will. But... I downloaded Steam again and added Baldur's Gate. I didn't play it, but I am thinking about it. Ho hum. I guess I just want some junk food for my brain. I don't know. What I am grateful for today: ~ Sunshine. ~ Family. ~ Salsa and chips.
Okay, I just realized that I've been so busy that my days are blurring together. I skipped journaling on Friday by mistake and have also messed up with my counting. I did get called out several time for work on Sunday. Sheesh. Technically, today is supposed to be DAY # 28.
DAY # - 27 - UNFINISHED! Time I woke up: 0830 Time I went to sleep yesterday: 0230 Physical task: Worked in the garage, cleaning, staging, sorting, etc. etc. Mental task: Some mild reading. Projects: Invested extra time in my children after work. Miscellaneous accomplishments: ~ I didn't lapse even though my co-workers are gaming on their break daily. Ugh. This is though. Summary of Day #: 27 I am UNFINISHED. My resolve to RESPAWN continues. Pressure. I read that there is good stress and bad stress. Some stress tears us down past nothing and some stress helps us do our best. I want to game again. My day was full. I have a ton of responsibility. I am chipping away at some neglected aspects of life now that I don't game at all. This is terrible. My life is good. It just want to check out for a while. Meh. Ordered parts for the busted water heater. Had a problem with a fuel pump that ensures heat for the upstairs. Fixed it. My wife is very busy spring cleaning and in a sort of nesting mode. Laters... What I am grateful for today: ~ Children. ~ Responsibility. ~ Slightly warmer weather.
DAY # - 25 - UNFINISHED! Time I woke up: 1030 Time I went to sleep yesterday: midnight Physical task: Worked on my busted oil-fired hot water heater for 8 hours. I think it's really broken. Do I chase replacing parts or buy a new one? Mental task: Read some RESPAWN stuff. Studied Bible. Projects: Gave some specific heart-to-heart counseling to my oldest son and his girlfriend. Miscellaneous accomplishments: ~ Hmmmmmm. I'm at a loss at the moment. Summary of Day #: 25 I am UNFINISHED. My resolve to truly RESPAWN remains. Caught part of a movie with my children last night. Got called out for work after sitting with them for 30 minutes. Worked most of my day off either on studies or maintenance issues around the house. Didn't have much time for my mind to wander and contemplate gaming. Long day. Overall, I feel good about it. Right after I finished getting the hot water heater put back together I got called out for work. Would be nice to play a game now. No choice, but to have a cold shower tomorrow morning. Sunday is one of my busiest days. Oh, did I mention that I woke up yesterday to some weird neck pain. It got worst throughout the day. Woke up again in pain. Seems to have worn off mostly. Very tired. ZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. What I am grateful for today: ~ Family. ~ Work. ~ Life.
Welcome! It looks like we started around the same time. The days when I have too much free time are the hardest for me. It's no shame to struggle. We all do. You're in good company here. Even if you relapsed, no one is here to tear you down about it. You mentioned an Al-Anon meeting that didn't seem to help you. Might I suggest, even as an experiment, try visiting some different churches? Even if you don't find a good fit, it is sure to be an education. Maybe something or someone at a meeting will strike a chord with you. Don't give up. If you did give up, try again.
DAY # - 23 - UNFINISHED! Time I woke up: 0930 Time I went to sleep yesterday: I don't remember. Been recovering from a flu bug and not sleeping well. Physical task: Ran 4 miles on the treadmill. Mental task: Reading. I actually finished my first book since starting the detox! I start lots of books, but don't finish many. This is a big deal! Projects: Bible study. Miscellaneous accomplishments: ~ Today is the first day that I haven't really missed gaming since the detox started! YEAH!!! Summary of Day #: 23 I am UNFINISHED. My resolve to truly RESPAWN remains. Rumors of The Game Destroyer are TRUE!!! I had been running 3 miles twice a week for the past few months. Today, I pushed it to 4 miles! I still didn't start my real workout plan though. I'm getting over a flu bug so I think I did well today. Did some serious writing yesterday. I totally threw myself into a writing project that burned up about 5 hours. Very happy about that. My YouTube and social media consumption is slowly getting starved out by other things. Yesterday, I was toying with the idea of when or if I could moderately game again in my home, but today I didn't really think about video games at all. I think this is due to two things: (1) heeding the advice of the RESPAWN materials put out by Cam and (2) simply sticking to the detox. I personally believe God is blessing this decision. My family is doing well with the changes. The harder days are days when I have more free time. Today was a full day. Ready to continue this PUSH to rebuild and fortify my life after DESTROYING ALL THE GAMES IN MY HOUSE. Muahahahahahaha! What I am grateful for today: ~ Work. ~ Friends. ~ Exercise. ~ Prayer.
We can never really assess our relationship to gaming fully until completing the 90 day purge. I try to look at is as a great experiment in my life right now. I don't have anything judgmental to say. Try again. I'm just over 3 weeks without gaming and my thought processes are steadily improving. It's like coming out of a fog. If watching TV shows is a trigger then you should cut it out of your digital diet. Take this one step at a time. One day at a time. You had a lapse. Learn from it and get back on track. We're all here to support you on your journey. You CAN do it.
After my first week without games, I started limiting Facebook use to weekends only. Reducing this compulsive screen time is helping my cravings subside somewhat. I'm on day 21 of the 90 day detox. Another I just started doing is only journaling on the forum every other day. I'm going to try to space out my entries more in the future.