I've been gaming since I was in 2nd grade, and as a 23 year old, it's still a heavily ingrained behavior. I've definitely spent more time gaming than any other activity in my life and a lot of my childhood friends still game. The first time I tried to quit was in the spring of 2016. It was after a breakup with my girlfriend at the time, and I ended up just spending all my free time on social media. I lasted about 6 months and relapsed in the autumn of that year because I felt isolated from my friends. I tried to quit again in December of 2017 and lasted until November of 2018. During this time period I had a mental health crisis and didn't have the time or desire to game. Once I got better, I wanted to reconnect with some of my friends. I played for a month and quit in January of 2019. I quit very abruptly because I was alarmed at how quickly playing for just a few hours a day turned into all day. From January 2019 to the autumn of 2020, I managed to avoid any cravings for videogames by making new friends, spending time in nature, and engaging in hobbies like art, acting, reading, and writing. However, in the autumn, my brother moved to Hawaii, two of my new friends that I had met during 2019 became born-again Christians and broke off contact, and also my best friend since 2011 parted ways with me. I relapsed by January 2021. For the whole year of 2021 I went back and forth. I'd play videogames for a few months, take some time off, then start playing again. I ended up spending about half the year playing, and the other half fighting the urge to play. The only positive is that when I was playing with my old gamer friends from childhood, I felt more connected socially. But when my brother came to visit for Christmas, I felt ashamed of my gaming habit, and put my Xbox in my closet. I've managed to curb my craving since Christmas, but the urges are getting stronger again. What I've noticed is that the times that I was successful in quitting for extended periods of time, I had a vibrant social life outside of gaming, lots of hobbies and activities that were fufilling, and a sense of purpose and direction. Since the society turned upside down in 2020, I've had a really hard time filling those needs and have ended up using gaming as a coping mechanism. Whenever I'm not gaming I'm just wasting the same amount of time scrolling mindlessly on youtube, instagram, and facebook. In many ways I'd rather be gaming than abusing social media because at least with gaming I'm developing a stronger attention span. At the end of the day, I wish I had never been exposed to gaming but I can't go back in time to change that. So I have to recognize that I have a problem and try to fix it. Any ideas?