Hello there fellow game quitters!
(Fasten your seat belts, this may be a long one)
I made this account recently, I'm not a huge fan of forums but this one I've been following for quite some time to hear your inspiring stories and advice that helped me through this journey. I just wanted to share with you my story, hoping that I will be able to repay you with at least this little for all the help I've got.
Exactly 90 days ago I quit playing games, I went from ~8h of gaming a day to literally 0. Even though I made it in just one try with no relapses, it doesn't mean it was easy at all, in the beginning it felt like a "boring hell" since gaming was pretty much all I got. I was a pretty lonely guy with few friends, no hobbies, unproductive and rarely leaving the house. Although gaming started as a passion for me, it slowly became just a way of wasting time quickly since I had nothing else to do and it also became a way of running away from my problems and fears.
As a part of my new year resolution, I kept a diary which I used for many things including dealing with gaming addiction. In that diary I was often analyzing the problems I had and I quickly realized gaming was one of them. So, you know, just like Cam said jokingly in a TED interview, I looked it up on Google and after a ton of shitty advice from people who had no idea what this problem truly is about, I've stumbled upon Game Quitters. I watched some of the videos, read some articles, visited the forum and I was goddamn motivated to quit the very next day, which I did. I gave away my Gaming PC to my father and he took it somewhere (I don't know exactly) and I told him I wanted to quit, he was very surprised and happy and also very supportive. I gave away my steam account to a cousin for free and told him to change the password and keep it forever, also deleted other gaming related stuff from my old laptop which I was using.
You know getting rid of this stuff seemed quite easy compared to what came next. I spent the first week watching a lot of Youtube videos and I felt like I was just switching drug dealers, so I quit Youtube as well (which I highly recommend since 95% of it is just a waste of time) and only then I realized what a big chunk of my life gaming was taking. I spend the next week literally staring at the ceiling, not knowing what to do, bored as hell as I was becoming more and more frustrated, angry, nervous and I wanted so bad to play something, but I had nothing to, I got rid of all of them. I then started to find activities to fill my time: started going again to the gym, started studying, going out more often, meditating,reading, cleaning the house etc. After a month, the urges were much weaker and I had a nice 30+ days streak which I didn't wanna lose.
Then blah blah... some bad events happened, I started procrastinating again but I didn't turn back to gaming as a coping mechanism, since I already knew how useless it was. It took some time but I've actually dealt with my problems directly. Even in hard times, I didn't play at all.
Then more time passes and here I am. I'm back on track with studying, recovering almost everything I didn't do while I was playing, never skipped a day at the gym since I started again, social interactions are much more enjoyable and anxiety is slowly fading away. Now I have new goals, new ambitions, and I find real life interactions much better than anything the virtual reality has to offer.
No way am I going back to gaming, not even in moderation(if that thing is even possible). Finishing this 90 challenge is by far the best accomplishment of this year so far. So many things have changed so much and so fast it's unbelievable. Pretty much everything Cam has talked about turned out to be true, quitting games has opened up so many possibilities
My friends called me insane for quitting and they found no sense in it. Although I have to admit that maybe gaming is less of a problem in their life than it was in mine, that doesn't mean they are fully in control of what they are doing. I usually like to challenge them to a week without gaming so that they get to see how empty they feel without it(nobody resisted more than 2 days). Despite the fact that I had no support from anyone but myself and this forum, I knew what had to be done and I don't regret anything.
This is the end of an journey for me and the beginning of many others. To all the people here struggling with their challenge, I tell you a relapse is not bad, giving up is(I've relapsed in many other challenges such as quitting sugar/porn/social media etc. so I know how it feels). You determine your own destiny, so don't give up fighting for what's worth it, nothing good comes with an easy fight. Today may be a day of celebration for me, tomorrow it will be a day of celebration for one of you. "If you are going through hell, keep going."
Thanks Cam for the inspiration, thanks everyone who kept a diary of what happened during their journey( I followed them although I never replied) and thanks for all the helpful advice I found on this forum(even outside gaming). You are amazing people and I hope you all do it in the end. Life is worth living, gaming is worth nothing. THANK YOU!!!
P.S. I will be here for a few more days to answer questions or replies, then I will no longer be active on this forum, gaming is over for me,it literally disgusts me, I've got other things to focus on. Thanks for reading and have an amazing day! Also, here is how I kept track of my streak using a pretty cool app called HabitBull, seeing all 90 days at once makes me the happiest man on this planet.