Jump to content

NEW VIDEO: The EASIEST Way to Stop Gaming

The Purge


Recommended Posts

Day One: The Purge

My house burned down ten years ago.  

shutting steam felt worse

100 GB of free memory on my main drive.

I will have to construct a character IRL

LOL - deleted all my characters, have to make a new one.... for myself.

Special thx to Cam, whose 6-min TEDx talk was honest, inspiring, and bold.  

ManGodWhyNo used Self-Control.... it was super-effective!

Edited by ManGodWhyNo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Guest pinned this topic
  • Replies 120
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Day 2: The Urge

Good tip Kortheo, gave control to my gf.  Otherwise I'd be on steam right now.

What withdrawals look like:

Gaming dreams: check 

gaming cravings - check

irritability - check

gaming flashbacks - check

Sense of loss and regret - check

I hear this is only few a few days and get better.  

Cravings are bad, but realizing I'm addicted is pretty shameful.  I remember reading a kids book on gaming addiction decades ago and laughing at the cartoony addict.

Karma is a bitch.

Positive postscript: no gaming = no rage quits 

I'm all about enhancing some m-f'n calm.




Link to comment
Share on other sites


Day 3: the Binge

relapsed on stupid internet clicker games.  Up at 2am.  Pointless!

Wasted time, lost sleep, sore wrist, work undone.

I'm a grown ass man with an electronic security blanket.

im going to have to block some sites and be honest about secret gaming. 

positive postscript : even with the binge, I still worked out, saw a friend, ate healthy, got stuff done.  Gaming time was less than usual.

If I didn't game I could have helped Bernie win NY...


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 2: The Urge

Good tip Kortheo, gave control to my gf.  Otherwise I'd be on steam right now.

What withdrawals look like:

Gaming dreams: check 

gaming cravings - check

irritability - check

gaming flashbacks - check

Sense of loss and regret - check

I hear this is only few a few days and get better.  

Cravings are bad, but realizing I'm addicted is pretty shameful.  I remember reading a kids book on gaming addiction decades ago and laughing at the cartoony addict.

Karma is a bitch.

Positive postscript: no gaming = no rage quits 

I'm all about enhancing some m-f'n calm.




I like that "no gaming = no rage quits"



Hope your detox goes well.

Edited by Somebodyelse
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 5: The Surge

It's working.  I made a friend, aced an exam, and went out for live music and it didn't suck. 

I've exercised and walked and chilled.  

I got shit done and looked good doing it.  

I caught myself playing a browser game and realized it wasn't satisfying.  I turned it off and moved on.  

I got cravings but there's also this intense electricity, reality is popping, I feel high but focused.

i have this panic thought- what am I gonna do?!  If not games, what?

Right now just breathing.  A meeting, some guitar maybe.  

Positive postscript: no gaming = no wrist and elbow and back pain from hours of bad posture.

Thx for this space and support.  Cam, fellow quitters, you're awesome.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Guest unpinned this topic

Day 6: The Agony and The Ecstasy

In the words of a wise rapper, "today was a good day"

But it was also hard and full of painful rage and barely controllable feelings.

The void left by gaming has expanded, and I've noticed it's easier to throw away some related compulsive behaviors - 

1. Binging on Reddit / political events, controversies, and conspiracies. At first I thought I was informed , but now I barely read the articles.  It's more like poking a "wound that would heal if I could just stop tonguing it."

I am Jack's crackling synapses.

I feel guilty for not saving the world by drowning in the noise machines and outrage alerts.  Don't get me wrong, I still donate- but I'm an investor,not an obsessed democracy-hooligan.

2. Porn.  I'm not a NoFap guy, but time with screen often ends... Well, you know (wink wink nudge nudge say no more eh?)

Unsurprisingly, my gf, like the rest of reality, is brighter and sexier.  Yakzemash!  Very nice!

3. Binge Eating.  It's a long story full of calories, food as love, and denial.  Gaming is like eating Taco Bell- it's hot going in , but burns you in the end.  For some reason, I'm less hungry.  Why?  Discuss.

But then-Void Rage!!!- today I got angry at my boss after getting yanked around.  This injustice made me so mad my face flushed, my head assploded, and my chest hurt.  I wanted to Hulk out.  

I tried to channel this anger for good just like Oprah and the Buddha and Yoda say, and it was a little better.  I got more done than usual, and I am going to make peAce tomorrow.

i spent some QT with my bro at the gym.  Seriously, you couldn't pay me to not go.  I am just getting back in, but the guy in the mirror had a smile. I remember I smiled before.  

Resurrected Habit: meditation - cam, Headspace is the bomb.com.  I'm Zen like Flynn.  By 90 days, I'll transcend physics.  That's levitation, Holmes!

I found a fun guitar teacher- first lesson next week.  No Stairway!? Denied!

I have so much time for activities!  

Didn't even go to my gaming room today.  

Positive postscript: No gaming = money for guitar, yoga, and silly dates.  

I'm detoxing so hard I'm pooping unlocked achievements

Be well, citizens






Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 7: Lost and Found and a Bonus Level for Active Readers

Lost - a major addiction that was consuming my life

Found - time to breathe and think and nurture a neglected life

Lost - a desire to obliterate my brain and body with marginal stimuli, another level, another taco, another very special episode / DLC of mediocre art

Found - a desire to be with the person I live with and the body I'm in.  

Found - urges to move and be with people.  Quality experiences are like home cooking - they stick to my bones and fill me up in a way that my 1000th Azazel run on BOi did not.

Lost - a blackhole of time and energy and money and comfort

Found - real life is both harder and easier than games.  I am anxious about the future, I worry about the long stretches of time without something to do, the way a prisoner would- and that makes me realize that I was in a prison.

I'm not in prison, but I still think like a prisoner sometimes.  

After 3 days of successful evening meditation (HEADSPACE FTW), I couldn't wait for that feeling and I started off the morning with a some chill tunes and breathing.  I heard music in the distance and realized that there's a YOOGE music festival in my town - and I never realized I could go, wanted to go, needed to go.

When you're in prison, every day's the same, even if the blinking lights on the wall say Fallout or Skyrim or whatever.  

Positive postscript: Permadeath makes life special.

------------------ <- Casual quitters stop reading here.  Hardcore Personal Demon-Slayers, strap in.

BONUS LEVEL: Confessions and Breakthroughs.  I'm sharing this, but you don't have to read on.  Blue or Red pill?  You decide, O Chosen Quitters.

Confession: I have social anxiety.  People can't tell all the time.  I was really shy and stuttered and mumbled my way through a lot of childhood and adulthood.  Paradoxically, I did some improv and comedy and even had a small following.  I taught others to come out of their shells and experience real contact.  But I left that world to go back to school, and I didn't replace it with anything, except games and isolation.  I went from an established tribe to Netflix and Steam, and I guess I did chill for a while.  I was burned out, to be honest.  Is 16 hour days at the theatre better than 16 hours of games?  I couldn't find a balance, and I couldn't quit, until I did.  Truth was, I was ashamed - I never finished college, I was a spectacular burnout that everybody thought was going to Harvard from grade school.  One of those kids.  

I didn't ask to be that way, and I didn't want to be weird and different.  I didn't choose to have emotionally unstable, chemically addicted parents and live near the poverty line in a fly-over state with no social safety net.  I didn't choose to be brought up in a fundamentalist white supremacist doomsday prepper family cult.  I grew up thinking the world was going to end and that it was somehow my fault.  As a result, no matter what I achieved, from scholarships to standing ovations, everything went into this hole inside of me, an inevitable certainty of doom and failure.  I avoided others when I could, and those who showed interest, I was suspicious of.  Arrested Development?  More like Solitary Confinement.  Needless to say, the few friends I did make were just as weird.  Most of them met bad ends - drugs, jail, small town syndrome, shut-ins, alcoholics, 

My first love wasn't video games, it was the library.  That's like an app store for kindles, kiddos.  When I was 6, I read 50 books.  Yeah, they weren't even as long as this novella, but I read them.  I heard the author's words and saw the people and the battles and it was amazing.  I read regular books.  I read joke books, drawing books, mystery books.  But I loved sci-fi books.  In science fiction, the heroes used wits and technology to fight and outwit barbarians, evil empires (I'm so # Feel the Bern ya'll).  They took the best of the past and made a new life with it.  Asimov and Gaiman and Pratchett and Brin and Bear and Bradbury and Piers Anthony, Diane Duane and Susan Cooper and Ursela LeGuin.

If the Bible is our ancient ancestors grandparents, these science fiction books were my real parents, the way an orphan dreams of being adopted by world-traveling diplomats to take her away from the orphanage and the misery.  I dreamed this, and I knew my heroes went to school, so I did.  I paid attention.  I wasn't killing time.  I wanted to be noticed and sent into Freaking Space.  I wanted to be Ender Wiggin, minus the Xenocide.  Just wanted out.  For some, religion is helpful.  For me, it was a cult.  I was the first acolyte, and I was in charge of investigating taboos and threats.  I read about drugs and rock 'n roll and yoga, it was all satanic.  It didn't seem so satanic to me.

I did leave home, but I forgot to learn a new way to live.  I crashed so hard in college I should have got a mulligan.  Hindenburg.  I turned to the coping behaviors from my youth.  I grew depressed and unclean.  I gave up on a bright future and hated existence.  I moved back home and served french fries to the kids who used to beat me up in their new pickups with their shiny children.  "Yes, I want fries with that.  Harvard didn't work out?"  

For a long time, I was stuck between a life I didn't want to return to and a life I couldn't get to.  This netherrealm was my home for a decade.  Others finished school and started families.  I existed like last year's frozen Thanksgiving turkey - it looks like stasis, but underneath the surface, a rot is growing, slowly, unseen.

Games were an escape and the cool toy that the kids with allowances and sane, calm parents got to play.  I made friends with whoever had them - maybe some of you had "that rich kid" friend, or maybe no one had money, or maybe everyone did.  I just wanted to play or watch and never go home.

I remember trying to convince my father that Castlevania wasn't satanic because the hero was valiantly fighting the forces of darkness.  What's more heroic than slaying armies of the undead and sacrificing yourself and your sanity to destroy evil, even if you're cursed and get some of the evil on yourself in the process?  That's what war is.

I was raised, Jesus Camp-style, to fight in a spiritual war.  Games were a snooze button on the apocalypse.  Games were a treat, a vacation at the homes of family and friends who had it better, were better.  

I sneaked games, I played late at night and early morning.  I played on tiny screens and big screens.  I rented and traded and bought games.  I read Nintendo Power (oh yes- are you playing with POWER?!!) and checked out gaming code books for GameShark/GameGenie from the library.  I knew the Konami Code at 8 - I didn't even know my own address.

I loved not just the rush of playing, but the rush of searching for and buying the games.  Looking for a fix with that birthday card money.  The guy next door got his kid an ATV.  The next block went to Europe.  Why shouldn't I get a first-run Super Mario 3?  How silly I must have looked to everyone.  When I was grounded from games, I cried, I panicked.  I sneaked some more.  

Shortly before my grandfather died, he came on a rare visit to our house.  I spent the day (Thanksgiving, actually) playing Metal Gear Solid on playstation.  I ignored him.  My mother asked me to come with her to take him home.  I don't remember what we talked about, but I do remember spending the whole trip looking a my map and poster for the Legend of Zelda.  

I was a cave-troll at an early age.  I used to be an exploring, active kid.  I loved camp and the smell of the out of doors, and I used to look at the sky more than once a year or during tornado season.  When I was in junior high, a classmate who lived near me asked, "Why don't you come outside?  Why don't I ever see you around the neighborhood?"  I had no answer.  I didn't realize I had a problem.  I rode a bike (haven't in 10 years).  I played sports (not since high school).  

I used to be a human, then I learned to be something else.  Maybe out of desperation, maybe out of boredom, maybe because games made me a normal kid and not the weird 10 year old who still believed in Santa (not making that up) AND the Tribulation (see Kirk Cameron movie, not Nicholas Cage Left Behind) and looming Armageddon.

Games were a Triforce of Fun, Escape, and Stability, but like Gannon in the Light World, the experience became corrupted.  

Now, the spell is temporarily broken.  I say temporary because, as you hardcore quitters know, as all addicts know, that the demon can wait.  This is not a depressing idea, that the battle is never really over.  What could be more heroic than a valiant hero fighting to save himself and his loved ones from the ever-present forces of evil?

I'm off to meet 1000 people this morning, and tonight I'll join 1000s at the Festival.  Not a bad first week.

Cronos, wake up!  You're going to miss the Millennium Festival!

If you get that joke, you're almost as old as me.

Stay thirsty, my friends.  


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 8 - A Date with Deadpool with a Bonus Level for Night Owls

You guys, and I'ma let you finish, but Deadpool is one of the greatest super-asshole movies of all time.  The gf insisted on going - this is true!- as a "makeup" date.

Closed her eyes most of the way through.  Hung in there though.  Keeper.

Also, I totally bit her head off (figuratively).  Turns out - surprise!- I have issues with privacy, personal space, and dealing with all. of. this. free. time.

Goes like this: Instead of hiding out from her and work and household chores and whatever by gaming and redditting into double digit hours on my first weekend without THE GAMEZ, I'm doing Something Else, but like a new superhero, I don't know how to handle this.

QUESTION FOR THE GROUP: How have you made reparations, atonement, amends for the pain you've caused with your compulsive / problem gaming?

Sometimes I'm grateful for something to do, a request, an invite, a meal, a distraction.

Sometimes I have a "startle" response.  This is defined as a hyper-over-reaction.  This happened before when I was learning to relax/meditate for the first time.  

apparently, underneath my Keanu-esque Buddha-like calm, is a freaking Mark Ruffalo "I'm always angry."  Why is this?

I'm murderously upset at the interruption.  Shouldn't i be more relaxed?  Or is calm so rare that I protect it like the last twinkie in Zombieland?

I have spent half this week apologizing for my crazy, and the other half celebrating some newfound sanity.

Positive postscript: no gaming = no staring at the load screen of LOL, waiting for the tone of battle like a Pavlov Dog.  



You know the drill.  Beyond this point, we go deep, like an over-achieving proctologist on a speedrun.  TL;DR : Won a gaming tournament at 8, s**t is deeply ingrained.

When I was 7, I was in awe of good gamers.  I was also in awe of Hulk Hogan and Randy "Macho Man" Savage.  If you could knock out Mike Tyson in Punch-Out, I idolized you.  (Fun Fact: it took me 10 years to beat Punch-Out.  Original NES.  Blow that cartridge, party people.  You know what's up)

When I was 8, I entered a Super Mario tournament at the local video/game store.  Like a baby Hastings.  For you youngin's, RENTING is like PIRATING for few days for physical MONEY.

Actually, my whole family entered.  Mom, too.  We trained as a family.  Other families do stuff together- ride bikes, help the poor, train to be ninja assassins (lookin' at you, Talia and Damien and Batman).  We had just moved to town, so I didn't really know anyone.  We had time.

We trained at Mario.  It was retro by then, because Super Mario 2 was out (not really canon, btw).  We picked up tricks through rumors and phone calls and Nintendo Power magazine.  We had, as the CCG gamers say, a "strategy."  

Weeks later, we executed as a family, and brought home 1st and 3rd in the kids, Mom took 3rd in adults.  Some families have college graduates, doctors, medals for sports.  We got 90 free rentals and 9 tickets to the water park.  It was like the lottery.

We were used to begging and pleading and saving our 2.50 or 3.27 or whatever to rent a game or the newest system (poor, remember).  Now I was the Wolf of the Mushroom Kingdom.  I made it rain games and movies.  We bonded.  I got the 1st place, brought home the treasure.  I was a hero.  Gaming and redemption and the respect of my classmates - you're dang right I took that trophy to school!  I kept it until the trophy literally fell apart (and everything else, but that, young Sebastien, is another story)

We never competed in the proto-local-organic E-sports circuit again.  Went out on top (Boom! Phrasing!).

Christmas.  Birthday.  Special moments.  Sleepovers.  Camping.  The first time I beat a Metroid Game without a cheat code.  Special moments.

Sites like steam and gog exist in part on that nostalgia, but I've realized, as many of you, that the GAME wasn't the fond memory, it was everything else- the teamwork, the figuring out the special moves, the trash talk, the trepidation in cranking up the difficulty.  The special was the summer and the people, it was puberty and hanging out and laughing.

All of that can be done without a screen.  And there's something dark with the nostalgia, something inconvenient.  Like the Hulk-out moments in my Bruce Banner Zen.

I learned a lot from my folks.  I learned some bad habits.  Not just leaving the cap off the milk and toothpaste.  Like having the Punisher for a nanny.  I had brothers, and we paid the roughness forward.  We sniped, we hit, we teased mercilessly.  We mashed each others buttons, and gaming at home, like a bad DOTA chatroom, became toxic and violent.

One time my brother was playing a fishing game (oh yeah! Realistic tugging action!)  and I pissed him off so much that he lashed out blindly.  I had a glass tumbler in my hand, which shattered and nearly sliced off my thumb.  

What happens when games stop being recreation... and start getting REAL?

We all know that guy who broke his controller, his screen, in a ragequit.  I knew a guy who broke his hand after losing at NBA Jam (ooooon fiiiiiire!)

Games didn't relax me.  They pacified me.  I wasn't a cool executor of complex strategies.  I was an angry, neurotic kid who played angry.  I talked shit - not in fun.  I boiled over.  I screamed.  This didn't stop when I hit 10.  Or 20.  Or 30.  It's not pretty.

There's a video of some European kid on youtube where he's having a cursing, conniption fit over Unreal Tournament.  Not quite me, but close enough that I don't laugh at that kid.

I pity him.  I know that rage.  It's not really about the game.  The game is just the only outlet for the rage, frustration - at being fat, unhappy, boxed in, lonely, weird, poor - whatever.

Plenty of people have it worse, had it worse.  But games made worse as much or more as they made it better.

A wise man once told me. "Drugs don't solve your problems, they make you forget them or help you pretend you can fix them. The only way to fix them is to fix them." 

Same with games.  If games relaxed me, I'd be the Dalai Lama.

If food made me full, I wouldn't have to eat for 5 years.

I write too much, whatever.  Deal with it.  I haven't felt like writing a sentence in years.  

My gf told me it was "good to have me back."  I winced.  You're only back if you're away.  15 feet from our bedroom is my gaming cave.  Might as well be a 1000 miles.

Again, how do you make amends?  I've spent 700 hours in just 1 game over the past 3 years.  I have 100s.  700 hours of mowing the lawn? Of taking out the trash?  Of Gilmore Girl marathons?  Gaming isn't a silly hobby.  It's an uninvited guest, an adultery of attention and affection.  It's electronic polyamory, and it's not what my family and friends signed on for.

It's a very narrow path.  Too much guilt and I'll get back on the bitstream crack.  Too little and I'm the A-hole who makes everyone else deal with his problems and their fallout.

I read a lot of you guys' stories - lots of breakups, at least on first pass.  Not gonna lie, our fight tonight was fierce, and not in a good Beyonce way.  She said she "understood" what I was going through.  Bull-honky.  I don't understand it.  She plays a candy crush clone, words with friends, and classic GameCube Zelda.  She doesn't download a NEOGEO emulator at 3 am and sneak into bed at sunrise, faking illness.  She doesn't have to fight the urge to powerlevel for 5 hours.  She's satisfied with gin rummy (with paper cards!, no microtransactions!), how can she understand the anticipation of 6 months for the latest Bethesda title or whatever the hype machine is peddling.

Why do I write so frakking much?  Because my @$$ is welded to this chair, this keyboard, and what else is there.  I'm contents under pressure, that's why.  It keeps me off my phone and the subreddits and the blogs and "news."  I can't stay outraged 24/7.  My pattern was get worked up watching politics, then game for hours, sometimes with news/casts/tubes in the background.  Just seething and boiling. 

Who does that to themselves?  

2 confessions:

At Xmas, I gamed so hard I strained my right elbow and wrist.  It gets aggravated fairly often now, probably the mouse, non-ergonomical as heck.  I'm ashamed and afraid to admit I probably should stop using the mouse outside of work as much as possible, see a doctor.  What if it keeps me from yoga or working out or guitar?  I could have screwed myself once again.  That would be tragic.  I can get a little hypochondriac/hysterical over small aches and pains.  We'll see.

Confession 2: I wasn't enjoying games anymore.  You know the feeling.  A wall of games and folders.  Some you don't even remember buying, some you've never played more than once, shameful waste of money.  RPGs ,nostalgia, the "I will play through and enjoy this game I never got to play" feeling.  The "I'm finally going to beat that" feeling.  The "what the hell, it's on sale, it'd be a crime not to buy now" feeling.  The "I can't believe I paid 15$ for that piece of shit on Early Access."  

As I enjoyed games less over the past 2 years (hint: I got a job I really like and I'm good at it, I go to school at night to earn a Masters), I actually BOUGHT MORE GAMES.  As my free time and suffering and financial panic decreased, I bought weekly, daily.  I tracked my purchases for a month and found I'd spent 300$ on games and movies.  I stopped tracking, and I hadn't even hit the summer sales yet.  Or the winter sales.  Or the weekly bundles.  Or the nostalgia sites.

I realized I am not a gamer as much as I'm a GAME HOARDER.  I own perfect gaming experiences unblemished by actually PLAYING THE ACTUAL GAME.  

Sure, I have my comfort games and my challenge games and my retro games and whatnot.  But the majority are like NPCs in a bad RPGMaker game, not worth talking to.  Just names on an account, profit on a Valve spreadsheet.  

My dad kept these little plastic army men in his closet.  Hundreds, thousands of army men, from ages and nations and battles across history.  Most still in the packages.

I asked him if I could play with them - he always refused.  "I'm going to paint them and recreate the battles."  Someday, someday.  Another day came first.  Our house burned down.  Total loss.  I remember the ball of ash and melted plastic, the untold, unpainted legions of these soldiers who never fulfilled their promise.  Like the Chinese Clay Army of the ancient Emperor, a private wonder, an extravagant waste.

The student has become the master.  

I started my stopgaming(TM) journey a while back, when I gave my 360 to my little brother with all of my games and peripherals.  Kindness or sharing the addiction?  He's alright, he's got a life.  He's coaching me on guitar.  He learned real skills while I was still living virtually.  I know a guy who built his own house by hand.  Makes my Fallout settlement a little pale in comparison.  

People talk about gaming communities.  It's mostly crap.  There are a few authentic internet friendships, the occasional love story or lifesaving moment.  These are the exception, at least for me.  It's propaganda.  Weapons of mass distraction.  If gaming improved your hand/eye coordination we'd all be freaking neurosurgeons now.

Feels good to vent.  To discover the hidden story that I didn't even realize was there.  Life with hidden DLC.  I had an urge to quit.  Cam's TEDx talk.  6 minutes. That was last Sunday.  I listened to the talk while I was playing some shitty roguelike.  I listened to it again.  And again.  I went to his channel.  I listened to anything I could find.  It was fascinating.  It was dangerous.  DELETE games!?  STOP gaming? It was a crazy, childish idea.

I kept listening.  I kept clicking away at my games.  My elbow throbbed.  My gf watched TV alone and did the laundry.  I gamed and listened.  My heart raced.  The money, the time... the save files.  My sweet, beautiful save files!  The Cloud!!  My new games PLUS, my mod folders, my batch files, my editors and cracks and readmes and wishlists.

Cam had an angle, I was sure.  These guys, I was convinced, weren't REAL gamers, but self-promoting salesmen.  "No True Scotsmen" fallacy be damned. 

I kept listening anyway.  I brought up space sniffer.  I saw 100 GB of games.  I deleted an old one.  This was a new kind of game.  It felt like "Little Inferno," but with real stakes.

I kept listening.  I kept deleting.  I canceled auto-payments and cards on file.  I logged out and changed my passwords to random strings.  My girlfriend has hidden the passwords in a secure location.  The ultimate failsafe.  She loves me enough to give me the codes if I begged and cajoled and cried.  I trust her that she won't do so lightly.  At one week in, I don't plan on asking.

This first week came on like a car wreck, followed by a rollercoaster of rage and joy and withdrawals, little successes, little failures, relapses and victory laps.

It felt completely new, like discovering a new game mode for life.  A dangerous mode.  It was familiar too,  I quit nicotine.  I quit religion.  I'm still here.

I can do this.  

(drops mic, logs off)















Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just want to say that it is really interesting to read your story. Thanks for sharing in such detail. Even if you write this for your self I am sure it helps a lot of people who read this and see that there are people out there with similar problems.

How do you make amends? in my experience you can't. You can acknowledge the things your partner gone through with you and make things better from now on. Guilt and shame just hinder you. There is no sense in feeling bad about the past (easier said then done I know). The only thing you can do is get better and show your love and appreciation now. This will help her more then thousand praises and self-hate. If she can get over the hurting of the past, it is your obligation to get over hurting her in the past.

It is quite possible that that anger and irritation is a phase. I personally had some big mood swings in the first two weeks of my detox. But it got way more balanced later on. Recognize them, try to find the reason and let them pass.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just want to say that it is really interesting to read your story. Thanks for sharing in such detail. Even if you write this for your self I am sure it helps a lot of people who read this and see that there are people out there with similar problems.

How do you make amends? in my experience you can't. You can acknowledge the things your partner gone through with you and make things better from now on. Guilt and shame just hinder you. There is no sense in feeling bad about the past (easier said then done I know). The only thing you can do is get better and show your love and appreciation now. This will help her more then thousand praises and self-hate. If she can get over the hurting of the past, it is your obligation to get over hurting her in the past.

It is quite possible that that anger and irritation is a phase. I personally had some big mood swings in the first two weeks of my detox. But it got way more balanced later on. Recognize them, try to find the reason and let them pass.

Thanks for the feedback, WIP.  I respect your experience.  I hope the feelings modulate eventually.  Truth be told, I've dealt (or not dealt) with anger and other difficult feelings for a long time.  Games are 1-way (multiplayer an exception) and don't care if they are treated poorly.  I like people, I like my relationships, but one reason I quit games was loneliness and isolation.  I have great acquaintances, but even my best friends are at a distance.  I reach for the controller first, friends last.

I really preferred single-player games.  I compared myself with myself, or the PvE setup. It's so easy for me to compare myself with others, too easy, and that's a black hole of despair.  Some of my former classmates are very, very successful.  Just thinking about them can send me over the edge.  I tried MMOs several times and I couldn't take the noob-bashing.  It embarrassed me.  I didn't know what feats to choose, what quests to grind.  I wanted adventure, but they were already playing the game like a job.  Grinding is for machines, I say.  Is the end-game a high-stakes frontier of evolving tactics, or a senseless melee of hacks, exploits, and meta-flavor of the week?  

Man, suddenly I'm back in grade school, having moved yet again, knowing no one, watching the other kids play.  More often than not, I don't join.  Even at 7, 8 years old, I feel like everyone's staring.  I'll embarrass myself.  Games are private portals to success and failure.  Paradox: I never feel like I have the time or skill or comfort to join games (electronic or social or physical or otherwise), but I did spend most of my time gaming.

Even when I had my own small business for a while, working from home was mostly games and internet, occasional work.  I guess that's why it failed.

Confession: I see a group and I'm afraid to join in the conversation.  When I do join, even when everyone is laughing and having a good time, I secretly suspect that everyone thinks I'm crazy.  Just yesterday, I was in such a moment.  Co-workers who respected me.  Even then, I felt anxious and my thoughts raced towards comfortable things: food, beer, games - being a vegetable.

I think they call this insecure attachment.  Strangely, my gf always notices that I chew my tongue while gaming, but never any other time.  An ancient oral fixation?  Stress relief?  I used to grind my teeth as a kid.  They say it's from stress.  Like Ben Stiller in Mystery Men, I'm a "dormant volcano of explosive fury."  

I've got a watch party for GoT tonight.  I'm proud to put myself out there and be a good host.  I wish there were more people coming, like in my college years, when 20 people could show up on any given night for singing, gaming, improv, whatever.  I will express my gratitude to those that do come.  Better 2 real friends than 10 lukewarm imposters.  Still, I'd like to expand my circle.

It's true that I am writing for myself, but it's more accurate to say that I'm writing about myself to others, in order to understand myself better.  It's hard to have perspective from the inside.  I'm a storyteller at heart.  I wish sometimes that I was a warrior, or a scientist, or an engineer.  But in words I find comfort, in the telling I find peace.  The words are a soothing hum that quell the stormy seas within.  

If you hadn't noticed, I have a flair for the dramatic.  I'm always a bit over the top - a little too much, TMI, overshare, "I'm learning so much about you," - Should I make a peace with my nature?  Should I begin with an apology at every interaction, every post, every contact?  That's outrageous.  Or have I adopted outrageousness as a shield?  Which came first, the self or the self-defense?

That'll be a fun koan to contemplate in the next Headspace voyage.  Damn, that guy's voice is soothing as hell.  I guess we all could use a British monk giving us mental guidance.  St. Mr. Bean?

WIP, you're a solid frood who knows where his towel is.  I see you give fellow warrior advice to new and old alike.  I appreciate you read my story.

I don't think I'll always write a million words.  I think the words come from an imbalance in the force, a great chasm between How Things Are and How They Might Be.  I think the words are a bridge and a wish and compass.  

Go I now to my work like an ass in the desert - Gurney Halleck, Dune 

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield"  - Tennyson, "Ulysses"


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 7: The Long War (a lost update)

Here comes the pep talk....

Made peace with the boss.  Unafraid, I met his gaze. And asserted myself.  Mutual respect restored. We laughed. It's a good relationship , all things considered.

Made good progress at work and home.  Organization and daily goal setting are now needed to deal with so much, yet so little time.

So what did I do all week?

Cut Internet / Reddit by 75%

Gym for 5 workouts, 1 yoga, 3 runs, 1    Weights.

1 new friend and saw many more.

initiated social events at my home and spontaneously dropped by others.

Laughed really hard, feeling more alive.  Coping with the major brain upheaval.  It's so crazy it's funny .

3 days of meditation with headspace.  So good, one of my favorite new games.

Went out for live music and had a great interaction with strangers who I thought were hostile but we're actually needing some help adopting a child - that really happened.

Relapsed on 3 stupid browser games - gotta block armor and kongrgate.  Quit after a few hours - deleted saves, no temptation to return 

Ate healthy, much less meat, no binging, felt less hungry , replaced Coke Zero with water . Felt much better. This is Yoooge.

pretty good sleep and personal hygiene.  These are linked, it seems .

Drinking more than 1 drink made me wanna binge on food and games.  

High anxiety the same.  Gotta watch these triggers.

I would have spent 40 or more $$ this week on games.   Gonna see Deadpool and host a GOT watch party instead.

Still see visions and flashbacks of games. 

Positive postscript: no games = time and space, maaaaaan


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 9: meditation on failure

i did not game.  DAy still sucked tho

i did make mistakes and some poor choices.


near heat exhaustion on weekend.  Suck 

ate 2 shitty hot dogs and 3 slices papa johns And 1 pc cake.

Hosted an work event and no one came.  150$ in the can.

built a website that caused a shitstorm for my company.  Got summoned to boss' office.  

12 hours on job, 2 massive failures and bad food choices.

I did yoga and tried not to Puke hot dogs.  Success.  Forgot my deodorant. Fail.

I'll hang in there .  Wanted to game so bad.  Feel so down .

tomorriw will be better.  

Time to sleep - I'm grateful for my bed.


pos ps - no gaming = no elbow pain today

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 10: Two Storms

one outside, one inside.  Surges of hail and cravings.  Gust of wind and desire.

Games were once a refuge.  Who has not sought the embrace of dual shock , of mouse and board, of screen and sliders?

I once gamed so intently I was oblivious to an F2 tornado a block away.

without games, it's time travel.  I feel like the Middle Ages.  

My gf does genealogy, traces bloodlines.

i watch a movie, play terrible chords, comfort myself with meditation and the dogs with Benadryl 

life after games is like the pilgrims.  Sitting in chairs and making your own entErtainment .  What's next? Crochet?

i got sucked back in to r/politics a bit.  With my new reference level of calm, I notice how upsetting it is.  

This isn't being informed; its main lining anxiety, paranoia, outrage.  

I have never been optimistic about the future.  Games were just my way of giving up on life.  

I quit trying to level up in the real world in favor of a virtual one.

im forgiving myself for not knowing a better alternative , for getting addicted 

i forgive myself for trying to soothe a wounded heart with nostalgia and achievements 

I forgive my family for not recognizing the problem, for being lost in their own.

im free now, to grow or be bored or to do or to stagnate.  

I am retrieving my soul , my attention, my imagination, from the endless cycle of automatic game worship. 

Like a whirling dervish, I grind and respawn and unlock, but I never got to heaven.

i feel like I'm in an alternate universe, one where games weren't invented. 

How to live in this world?  As my gf looks into the lives of my pre-PC ancestors- I wonder-

what was cool?  What satisfied them?  What fired their neurons?  Made their eyes wide?

my brain wants to eat and play and $@&& to save the species, but it's just confused

I will teach this cyber monkey new games.  I will remember the wild past, the great traditions.

i used to explore, loved the smell of outside, the feelings of sunlight and breeze.  I loved to run in the woods and fight with sticks.  I read books and waited for the blastoff feeling where the fantasy shot my inner eye into inconceivable worlds.

i never wanted to come back, but here I am.

i meditated between the 2 storms.  Flashes of lightning and flashbacks, power flashes and flash kicks.

i will let these feels move through me, and when they are gone, only I will remain.

Positive postscript : no gaming = hyper senses, richer tastes, louder sounds, deeper feels.  Every human has a body, but now I live in mine.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 11: Recognition and Re-cognition

Confession: I'm a professional burnout.  I burned out in college.  I burned out in my comedy "career" after college.  Yes, gaming played a role.

People you've seen on TV wanted me to go to Chicago, New York, LA.  I loved the applause, applause, applause.

To chase the dream, play at the highest level.

I was too afraid to move, to start over, to put it all on the line, to risk rejection and land back home anyway.

With no hope for real future in the biz, I grew tired of practicing, hustling, teaching, motivating, pushing myself and others.

I rotted from the inside.  I went from shy to outgoing to awesome back to afraid.  

I gamed away the hours I should have been practicing, booking shows, recording podcasts, writing lesson plans.

I told everyone I was a professional, but I was the opposite.  

Eventually, I couldn't handle the lie i was living.  

I couldn't even step foot on stage.  Every joke felt like a hack.  Every skit felt like a rehash.  Every silence, an infinity, of NOT FUNNY, NOT FUNNY AT ALL.

I left my tribe that had taken years to build.  They felt abandoned.  I felt like a failure.  Months passed.  A year.  Two years.  

The moments I never wanted to forget became memories I didn't want to relive.  


Like flowers through the cracks in the sidewalk, I feel like it's spring again.

I'm funny again, I'm playful, and best of all, it's not forced, it's not for a paycheck, it's not 2 shows nightly.

It's dangerous sometimes - my playfulness is transgressive - it's one thing to push the boundaries and cross them on stage

It's another thing in the business world.  But it's me, my authentic self.  

When I'm not hamstrung by addiction to food and sedentary pursuits and gaming marathons,

I'm quick, I'm curious, I ask questions, I share (overshare?), I make things happen.


What we've got here is a bona-fide Renaissance.  

I'm winning awards.  I'm hitting deadlines.  I'm becoming "the guy" in a lot of circles.  

I'm known in the company.  An up-and-comer.  

I had to tighten my belt a notch or two this month.  The weight is coming off.

I had to rewrite my resume.  The shame is coming off.

I had to put new strings on the guitar.  The rust is coming off.

It's not all wine and roses.  It's not a cakewalk.  It's not all downhill.

It's throwing half a cookie away, a perfectly good cookie, because you don't need it.

It's inviting yourself to breakfast and turning down the biscuits and gravy.

It's going to the App Store and refusing to push "GET"

It's through the looking glass, having the pride to change despite the shame of addiction

It's finding strength to fight a weakness.  


And go, "What the hell was I doing before I went down that rabbit hole of a trainwreck of a relation-shit?"

That's where I am after pulling the plug.

I just woke up on the frakking island.  

There's friends and foes and hatches and even a friggin' polar bear.  

But it's new.  And I'm new, too.


Positive Postscript: no gaming = no struggling to go to sleep after hours of bright screens screwing up my circadian rhythms.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 11: Bonus update - Guitar Man

Played a two chord song along with a youtube video.

I felt the rock within me.  I shredded those 2 ugly chords like a (beginner) demon.

My gf clapped.  We cheered.

Laughed till I cried.

Quitting games made this moment possible.

What's your #WorthIt moment?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 12: Hello from the Other Side

I absolutely exhausted every thing I could think of doing last night by 9 pm.  

I fidgeted at the computer, but my new StayFocused extension cut off the reddits.

I had a weird craving.  I wanted to talk to a real person.  

I missed my old friends.  I realized I was ashamed to have dropped the ball on those friendships.

I mass texted and facebooked and tweeted my most recent contacts (recent = 4 mos ago!)

I confessed to being a hermit.  I confessed to being a gamer.  I thought they would shun me.

They did not.  They were supportive, as you guys have been.  They shared their problems.

I helped somebody with a research paper.  I helped somebody with a board game.

I helped somebody with a girl problem.  I helped somebody with a gaming problem.

The gamer guy was embarrassed to reach out after going silent for so long, too.

We laughed and talked for an hour.

It's not selfish to want others.  We need others.  They need us. 

That's what humans are: eusocial - obigatory social creatures.  Look it up - We're not meant to go it alone.  It's dangerous to go alone.

I realize that so many in my close circles have the same problem: gaming addiction

That's why we're developmentally delayed, socially awkward, with children and stable partners the exception.

Maybe I'm the first, maybe I will lead them all out of exile, or Summoner's Rift, or the Boston Wasteland, or the Browsers of Doom.

Maybe I should chill on the messiah complex and take care of my own shit.

I'm going to keep reaching out.  It's too hard to make new friends to just let the old ones wither.

What are they going to think?  That guy really wants to be friends - how desperate!  

Yep, I want friends.  

Those of you who have read my other posts know my childhood was weird.

My father used to interrogate the kids I brought home about their religious beliefs-

If you're imagining the inquisition, except for 10 year olds, that would be close.


Surprisingly, I didn't have many friends, or keep them long.  Go figure.

I've since learned that controlling, dominating people keep that control by limiting social contacts and communications of their family / cult members.

I thought this was normal.

It was not.

I learned to shut people out - I didn't want them to find out about my messy, hoarded home full of loose animals and smoke and religious pamphlets.

I learned to keep my failures, complaints, problems, fears to myself, and I made jokes to deflect, or if pressed, got angry.

They learned to keep away.  This reinforced my beliefs about being cursed, alone, apart.

But that was the past.  #ThatHappened.  

So yeah, I'm going to learn to live in a new way.  

Thanks, GameQuitters, for being a safe, transformational space.

Positive Postscript: no gaming = having a friend say "I missed your voice."   Noyce!





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 13: Prime

Note: For expressive challenge, this post will not use "I" or conjugations of "be" (called "e prime" writing)

Finished a big, frustrating project.  Reconnected with friends.  Thrilled to have a social life again.

Talk with a buddy, chat with a sibling, text with an acquaintance.  This way leads to new habits, new neurons.  Ah, the warmth of connections.

A cool thing happened, a hidden combo discovered-

First the gym, then some meditation.  This time with "astral projection beats."

Oh boy!

The body expanded to fill the mind, the room, the world.

A glowing, happy, pressure.  

Power Level: over 9000!

It the midst of bliss, a thought comes - "This, too, shall pass."

Who can know without trying?

Challenge accepted.


Excited for first real guitar lesson. 

Rapport established, a happy hour passes.

The fingers, like toddlers, require training and space to play.

Not quite playing, but participating in songs.

Six strings, so, so many.

Vague remembrances of theory, do-mi-so, and scales.

On the tuba, it took just a few buttons and a lot of air.

For Senior Guitar, patience and time and a Shaolin level of humility.

Yes, this instrument promised a challenge.

Feels like a nearly-vertical wall.

Challenge accepted.


Back to work to make choices, solve problems, get 'er done.

A pleasure in this doing as well, but not as obvious.

The hard work of bureaucracy and rules and forms.

Innovation must wait.

The Dude Abides.


Positive Postscript: no gaming = the most amazing dream about Dolph Lundgren.  Underrated, that one.  Oh, and a few moments of bliss.  






Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Join Our Discord Server!

Connect, discuss, and have fun with fellow members on our official Discord server.

Join Now

  • Create New...