Hello everyone, I’ve been gaming off and on since my pre-teen years. I’m currently 27 and getting married in the fall. I had a tough reality check when I almost hit rock bottom last year financially. Gaming took a firm hold on my life in high school; weekend halo parties turned into weekend WoW raids, and gradually video games replaced almost all social interactions I had. I was a heavy set kid, so on top of not having strong social skills I was the receiving end of a lot of bullying. This manifested as quite severe social anxiety in college, which lead me to drop out after 4 semesters and enlist in the military. The military was a positive force, as it forced a new lifestyle and routine on me, but it lacked any staying power because the mindset was never addressed. I got out of the military in 2015 after semi-successfully moderating my gaming habits. I say semi-successfully: I wish I had made more meaningful and lasting relationships with the people I served with, but there were some Friday nights that I would opt to play Dota or Starcraft instead of go out with guys in my division. After getting out, however, my lifestyle took a bad turn. I felt like I had lost the identity I had found through the military, and realized I was (at the time) a 24 year old with no college degree, a part time income as a bartender, and a lot of debt from the college I had attempted. For the past 3 years, gaming has allowed me to avoid dealing with life. I have put off finishing a college degree, I have put off achieving health and strength goals (weightlifting became important to me while in the military, but has since taken a backseat), and I have felt crushed in my self esteem as I hide from dealing with real world issues (I didn’t have health insurance until this past winter). Gaming is a crutch I have used to deal with the realities and struggles of life. I am entering into a new chapter of my life in the fall (I’m getting married, as well as starting a new full time job with a navy friend). I found this website via Reddit, and am committing to a different me. Both for my own health and happiness, as well as being able to bring the best to my job and the family I’ll be starting with my wife.