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Kad

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Hey all,

My story is like so many others although I'm at a later stage of life.  I have a career and family.  I found my first game thru my son, he was twelve and I was checking this online game, WOW to see if appropriate.  It was fun...it was the beginning.  For six years it has been my life with a few other games thrown in from time to time.  The usual players, FF14, TOR, Dark Souls, Terraria.  I was hardcore wow type and my raid buddies my social network.  My life was work and game.  It was fun, it was not and like so many others it was my stress release and my place to hide from life and it's pain.  I have been aware for a long time I needed off game and was not happy there.  My longest cold turkey attempt was 2 weeks...it was not pretty.  I recognized that other areas of my life were a mess and I was learning and applying to strats to getting healthier in those areas.  who knew research and practice works in real life too! I was working hard to conquer the fear of going anywhere by sheer determination...it gets easier over time. Fear won't kill you (or any emotion) it just makes you feel like you are dying.  My gaming analogy - bad place in head, use an interrupt to stop the cycle, get your mind in the midst of it and use positive thoughts to walk through it.  ie You got this, breath, just do your best and your best is pretty damn good.  Etc.  We gamers optimize strats and timing. It works in real life too.  Anyway, in order to improve my fitness goals I had to attack my game time.  Work, game...barely sleep for 6 six years.  All I wanted was to cut down gaming to do 10-30 minutes of activity.  You can do anything for just ten minutes and a great way to start what you are resisting.  Apparently, you can't stop gaming for it when its pathological gaming.  I was determined and coupled with my unhappiness on games.  I turned them off on my own and was fine, initially.  Was coming up on the 2 week point....stress increasing..work intense...coping down.  Three weeks...still doing ok but maybe it's time to find some back up support solutions.  Gaming buds are trying to get my interest back and I am not saying what I am really doing..I am quitting and afraid to fail.  Proactive approach...been here before...knew what was coming..so I searched the internet and found Cam's stuff.  I found the TED talk and moved onto respawn and it was all good.  The extra vids are helpful.  Been offline since Feb. 23rd...deleted games, deleted battlenet but I have steam up for chat although I deleted the games (we all know this stuff is easy to get back).  Back to steam chat, not ready to cut that cord yet and leave those guys.  Some will make the transition to real life...most won't.  I know it but im not ready for it yet.  I want my feet under me better for those losses.  The mmorpgs that I gave my life too are not the problem,  I am staying busy, I have my tasks/projects I am learning and working on with measurable goal and achievements.  All great stuff from Cam.  My life is working, it is real and some days it is really hard but it is better.  I am reconnecting with my family and trying to build a real life social network. I am posting instead of lurking because I found a trigger, rather a surprising trigger tbh.  My gamer buds linked me the trailor for dark souls 3. In the past we would play different classes and beat the game with its love/hate relationship most have with darksouls.  I won - I love this game...dammit..i hate this game.  It was never my main game...it is the one tempting me to go back online.  The lies you tell yourself are there..it has limited replayability so not a serious problem.  Its ok its not a MMORPG.  It will be a test that my goals and changes are working etc.  End of day it is not what I really want and it is not where I see myself in life...yet it still tempts.  So I am posting my story, trying the mindfulness stuff to keep my mind off of it...limited success atm.  I wonder is it like chocolate...you crave you allow a same bite. your satisfied and you move on?  This is the longest I have been offline in 6 years....I don't want to fuck up my recovery and yet im tempted to play. I think it would be the slippery slope back and I am actively avoiding but it waits there every minute for me to yield even with what I have and what I am building.  Let me know your thoughts on this please and thanks in advance.

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Hi Kad,

First of all, give a BIG round of applause to yourself! I mean, according to my calculation, you did not game for 40 days, or so. Congratulations! 

Look, I won't sugarcoat it. I don't know precisely what your reasons are, but in order to quit this thing, you have to want it very, very badly. You have to want a better life for yourself, a better relationship with your family, a healthier body and soul more, than you want to game. God knows this is quite hard, I know, I myself am there, facing this choice daily. And I also know that the craving can be overwhelming. All this is normal, there is nothing wrong with it. What I try to do in these situations (suggested by Cam actually: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjLmwn_0GWM) is to just accept it: "Yeah, I am craving for this thing. I really want to find out about it" or maybe "Man, the stress and angst is really getting to me. I have to relax somehow.". Then also accept the fact, that this is not a big deal. Thousands of people feel the same way as you do. Then, do something productive about it. For example: you are tired, go sleep for half an hour, meditate, do yoga; you are curios, learn something new (https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/gamequitters/Products/60%2B+New+Hobby+Ideas/60-Hobby-Ideas-v2.pdf). And most importantly give yourself time to deal with those feelings. You are still feeling like gaming after watching the video about cravings? Go watch another game quitters video. Still not quite there yet? Go watch a motivational video, or even better, read a book about the topic. There are countless things that you can do in these situations, you just have to find them. You are changing your life, of course there will be tough times, plus you have never done something like this before.

About your gamer friends, and this is really only my opinion: Ask yourself, why do you want to remain friends with them? Are they really worth sacrificing all your progress till this point and sliding back into the life that you had before? If they are real friends, they should understand / accept, that this thing is very important to you, and exclude gaming from the topics that you talk about. If gaming is the only thing that you have in common with them, guess what: they are not really your friends, even now. I understand that you might miss the feeling that you got when doing something together with them (like clearing out a dungeon together or playing fifa), but you can have the same experiences in the real world with real people. Again this is only my opinion.

I know that you said you watched Cam's videos, but in case you missed these ones:
"Life can be fun without games" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAmCXbLtkdE
"fear of missing out" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnMR0IxNeDI
"relapse" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTeV0yIpMig
"gamer friends" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoQJ1RfPQko
"deal with stress without games" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2231TLb1A4
"gaming nostalgia" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBJeuyo8p_s

 

Good luck on your journey!

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Hey Kad! Welcome to the forum and it's great to know that you decided to start posting instead of just lurking - I'm sure that will inspire other lurkers to start engaging as well! 

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Welcome Kad, you're definitely in the right place to quit gaming! My advice to you with your gamer friends is to either totally pull away from them or to tell them what your doing and ask them to support you.

I found my non-gaming days easier by occupying my brain with another activity. For me at the moment it's learning Spanish, gardening and learning new stuff. I unsubbed from all the gaming channels on YouTube and clicked Not Interested for YouTube recommendations. I do the same for Facebook Ads as well. (click on the X in the top right hand corner)

All the best. :) 

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update - still off games on day 56!  I don't know if its my rewiring working or not but a few days ago I realized I am going to make it.  I am going to win and not play anymore. I have spent a couple of days 'watching" to see if that feeling is real and it is holding.  I am not tempted by the new dark souls and wow thoughts turn my stomach (how did I play over 6 years).  I have told my gaming friends I have quit.  They can accept me as I am or not.   I do still chill on steam chat etc with them. We discuss life, what are you doing now and politics etc.  i have told them about this site.  They talk about games and i find myself rather bored and its harder to hang with them.  Not that I don't care or enjoy the conversation but I cant seem to sit still like that anymore. lol  I am still committed to the 90 day detox thing but I am so damn grateful it is getting easier and I am finally not hanging on by my fingernails.

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Hey Kad,

I'm only on Day 3 of my Detox so this might not be the best advice, but you can login to the Steam website and chat with your friends from there.

The web chat isn't quite as good as the Steam client. But if you uninstall Steam and use the web interface the games in your Library aren't 'just a click away' from installation like in the full Steam client. It might be a good intermediary step so you can get 1 step further away from your games but not 1 step further away from your friends.

GL and thanks for your post.

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Hey Kad,

I'm only on Day 3 of my Detox so this might not be the best advice, but you can login to the Steam website and chat with your friends from there.

The web chat isn't quite as good as the Steam client. But if you uninstall Steam and use the web interface the games in your Library aren't 'just a click away' from installation like in the full Steam client. It might be a good intermediary step so you can get 1 step further away from your games but not 1 step further away from your friends.

GL and thanks for your post.

This is a better step than being on steam but I would definitely recommend if you guys want to stay in touch with your gamer friends, move those conversations to Skype, Facebook and so forth. 

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I found the mobile phone app works ok and the games are not playable there for me.  Grats on beginning your detox

 

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