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About Joesulc

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  1. Hello all, Today marks the end of my 90 day detox, and I'm feeling great, but also know that there is a long (but exciting) path still ahead in this journey. I want to share my experience with my detox and a summary of what led me down this rewarding path. I started gaming at the age of 3 back in 1997. Ever since then, gaming had been my main hobby and what occupied the majority of my thoughts day in and day out. Even though I participated in sports and marching band throughout school, I only used these activities as a way to satisfy my parents so they would be fine with me playing more video games. This theme dominated pretty much every aspect of my life: Achieving just enough to barely scrape through and satisfy my parents and teachers, but favoring my gaming at every opportunity possible. That being said, my story with toxic gaming never involved a "rock bottom," or ultimate failure that pushed me to finally quit gaming. The fact that I was passing school, went through college, and even found a good job in my field of study made it all the easier to ignore and deny my problems that were constantly impeding my potential, quality of relationships, and overall feelings of worth. "I make money, exercise every now and then, and pay rent, how dare you say I have a problem!" It took me through most of college to realize what I was: A functional game-aholic. After my initial realization that my gaming was a serious problem, I began my first attempt to quit... then my second, and third and so on. My attempts to quit usually occurred when I got mad after losing an online game (and trolled) or realized I had been playing for 8 hours or more in one sitting, usually forgetting meals. "That's it, I'm quitting forever. No more gaming ever again!" I would delete my data, sell the games I had beef with, and begin my new life... that usually lasted 2 weeks before moodiness, restlessness and boredom prevailed. Then came the bargaining: "Well, if I just manage my playing and promise to not get upset, I can still game." It never took long for a full relapse. "Why should I quit? I've got my life together." The damage that my problematic gaming was causing was subtle, easy to lock away, but real nonetheless. And the cracks started to spread. The last straw for me came recently after a relapse. My wife (who has been so patient and supportive throughout this process) told me how lonely she felt because of my gaming. I would talk to her without really talking to her (pausing Skyrim for 5 seconds to respond as quickly as possible so I could keep playing). I finally realized: "I could lose the most important person in my life if I continue this cycle. I could wake up in 20 years and realize in horror what I've chosen to spend my time, my effort, and my potential on. No more." I attribute 2 reasons this attempt succeeded over the others: 1. I had a vision and wrote down clear reasons for why I wanted to quit. 2. I sought out support (shout out to Game Quitters). This 90 day detox has been a fantastic, difficult, and often not fun experience. During quarantine (where I also work from home), I have dealt with powerful gaming nostalgia, dangerous bargaining, and pressure from my friends to buy Halo on steam (to the point where they said they would buy it for me). I've often felt bored, sometimes sitting on the couch instead of working out or doing other hobbies. I've felt frustration when starting a new hobby and thinking: "gaming was way more fun and pleasurable than this! I'm not even good at *insert new hobby here*!" However, despite these negative feelings, I now look at myself in 3rd person and realize these things: 1. My relationship with my wife has improved dramatically. 2. I eat more consistently and healthier. 3. I go to bed, and wake up on time. 4. I read the news and have been learning more about the world. 5. My professional aspirations are making real progress. 6. Despite all of these difficulties. I truly feel better My biggest take away from this success is to seek out continuous support throughout this process. My wife and Game Quitters media were my biggest supports and motivators to continue on my journey. There are so many of us here who are all working toward the same goal. We must reach out to each other and lean on each other. I strongly believe that this is a journey that should not be taken alone, and I thank Game Quitters for hammering home this point in their messages. From here I hope I can embody the mission of this community to help others including some of my friends who are damaging their own lives with toxic gaming. Thank you for bringing us together Game Quitters. -Josef
  2. Thanks for this post! Got on the forums today for this very reason. It's been hard working from home, especially only 1.5 months into my detox. It's great to have this community to come to when I'm feeling alone in my journey to end my bad gaming habits (solo and all forms of online gaming). My heart goes out to you all at Game Quitters. It has been a huge facilitator and motivator in this process. I'll lend my support in any way I can. -J
  3. Hey Talby, The two of us seem to share a whole lot in common (see my post for better idea). My gaming habits were like being a functional alcoholic. I have a good job in my field of study, I have friends who I do not game with, I love backpacking and hiking, and just got married. Yet gaming has a strange way of creeping back into our lives sometimes even though our conscious selves know we should not. A couple months ago, I suddenly decided to start paying and playing for Runescape again after almost 12 years! Why?? I always got this feeling of excitement thinking about playing a game, going on an adventure from the comfort of my home. Making an identity for my character. Maybe playing make-believe a bit? But most nights when I got into bed, I regretted my decision to play for several hours. My final decision to quit for good came only last week when I realized how I was hurting my wife by interacting with a screen instead of building and nurturing our relationship. We're all in this together, and we are all here to give support for our respective journeys! Let's all do this thing for real.
  4. Hi all, I just started my journey to a brighter, video gameless future a week ago at the age of 26. I was introduced to VGs at the age of 3 and have been addicted ever since. Problems in school, athletics, and my social life only pushed me farther into the virtual world. For nearly my whole life, VGs have dominated my thoughts and motivations, stunted my aspirations, and damaged relationships. Although I curbed my game playing during and after college, it continued to affect my life negatively, but in a way that was easier to deny since I had a stable job at a good company. During evenings after work I preferred to play Skyrim or Smash Bros than exercise, develop my future, or spend time with my loved ones. Even though I was well aware of how they drained me and my drive to do anything else, I continued to play night after night for several hours at a time. I have always been so scared of quitting for good. Scared of losing my identity and a skill I am good at. I was scared that the second I quit for good, I would fully realize the potential I wasted for myself, whether it was physically, academically, or anything other number of things. I thought to myself if I never quit, nothing will have been wasted. I have tried over and over again to quit , but never fully committing, always returning to the screen after usually a single week. However, last week I came to the full realization of the pain my lingering addiction had been inflicting on myself and especially my loving, supportive wife. She told me how much she missed talking to me and spending actual time with me. Not just sitting next to me while I played games. At that moment I made a true promise to myself: I am done with gaming. And this time, I feel different. The detox has been much, much more difficult. I believe this is because I know turning back is not an option anymore, I feel like I have finally fully committed. It is very difficult, but liberating at the same time. Thank you Game Quitters for finally helping me get started with this process. I connected with your message only a few weeks before this. Your words and support to all struggling gamers is a beacon for us all to gather and support each others journeys. -J