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Quit for 90 Days? Post here!

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Alright, I've finally decided to get this 90 Day Detox post down, I've been procrastinating as I have an expectation of myself to write a lot for this since I've relapsed twice. I hope you enjoy my story!

On my third detox attempt, I have finished 90 days without gaming!

I've gone 90 days without gaming, but as of Tuesday (when I hit 90 days) it's been 176 days since I officially quit gaming in the Game Quitters Community. I'm proud of myself for having persevered through this, and I thank everybody that's helped me along the way.

It's been a long journey for me, and very difficult at times. It's not over yet, but I've come a long way since I started and the ride should be a lot easier from here. I've relapsed twice whilst trying to do the detox, and I've learned key lessons from these experiences.

The advice below may not be the most original, but I did my best to avoid regurgitating the same information that other 90-day finishers.

Here are the most important things I've learnt from my time quitting:

Avoid triggers.

To get through quitting gaming successfully, I had to not play video games. To not play video games, I needed to minimise the amount of time spent being 'triggered', being prompted to think of my time gaming, as having video games played in the house by other people convinced me of how fun and worthwhile gaming could be (ending up in relapse both times). Not being reminded of the virtual rewards gaming provides is paramount to moving on from them, so it is important to minimise the ways you can be triggered by not associating yourself with any gaming related activities wherever possible.

Closure to gaming has to be self-initiated.

If you haven't found closure to gaming in the past, you're very unlikely to find closure to gaming in the future by playing. This means that as long as gaming fulfills some of your needs such as the need for accomplishment, social interaction, a temporary escape, a challenge, and/or a sense of purpose, there always be that 'one last game' you want to play or 'one last thing' you want to accomplish in a video game. I've found I craved gaming when those needs weren't being met, and that I couldn't find closure to gaming by gaining virtual rewards as my needs would only be fulfilled temporarily. If you want to find closure to gaming and you just can't play in moderation, perhaps you need to just fresh without gaming, but to also find activities that fulfill those needs that gaming did.

Be intentional about new activities.

To get through quitting gaming successfully, I had to not play video games. But get through to an improved life that I wanted, I needed to involve myself in new, engaging activities, and be intentional about how I do them (I am still needing to work on this one!). When I hadn't been intentionally doing a handful of activities that together provided engagement, provided social opportunity, provided rest from daily activities, and developed a sense of accomplishment or growth, I fell into the dark well of using gaming to fulfill those needs. It took a lot of courage to get back out and start over, I learned that I need to take my needs seriously and take steps towards making sure they are fulfilled in positive and productive ways.

Acknowledge how you have viewed gaming in the past, and the need to move on.

Before I could quit in the long term, I needed to fully acknowledge what gaming had meant to me in the past and the reasons for and against playing them. I only had a good sit down to say goodbye to my games in my third attempt at quitting, and it was a very emotional experience. I put on a sad song from one of my old games (this helped emphasize the isolation gaming has caused me) whilst I thought about my previous times gaming. I looked back and relished the time I spent growing up with gaming as the pinnacle of enjoyment, excitement, and friendship with my twin brother in my life (gaming was a way of bonding together), and acknowledged that it had been a significant part of my identity and that gaming meant a lot to me. I then moved on to reflect on how that had changed over the years and why I needed to move on to make the most of my adult life. I cried, and it was an important ritual or 'rite-of-passage' type of activity I needed to get my head around to fully accept and acknowledge the implications of quitting gaming.

Consistent journal posting is key for accountability aids long term success.

Posting in an online journal is both an important opportunity and obligation. Doing so has helped to keep me accountable for making positive change consistently in my life, and although it may seem like an obligation, is paramount to improving consistently. Through keeping a journal I've been able to implement daily habits to help me get through the day with flying colours, keeping motivated, working productively, and enjoying my day more. On the days I haven't been journalling, I noticeably slacken off and under-perform in many areas of my life. It's connected me with many people in the community and enabled me to receive much-needed support to continue my journey and provide the same help to others.

Energise our body to make the most of your day.

Exercising daily is a physical motivator. Although it may be difficult in the morning to get out of bed and do exercise (I still struggle to be consistent with this), exercising daily energises your body to function fully and allows you to live the day in the fullest. It is the equivalent of getting a car an oil change and replacing its tyres, it will run much smoother and more reliably. Running most mornings wakes my body up and helps me to work and think well in the early hours of day, has helped lighten my mood significantly, and generally has kept me more active throughout the day. The days I haven't run, I notice a lack of motivation to do anything difficult and feel much lazier in comparison, which highlights the importance of keeping your body active.

 

I have plenty of other advice for anybody who needs it, but those are the most important ones that come to my mind at this time. I hope my advice has helped you, the reader, and I wish you have a wonderful day! :D

 

Thank you to all the people that have helped me along this journey so far, I am very appreciative of your inspiration that has supported me throughout my journey quitting. :)

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I had suffered from less than ideal hygiene before quitting games so don't feel alone in that.

?I think this is a topic/video I should do (so many gamers have this problem lol...) but it's not a problem I specifically had. If I was going to cover it, what would the key points be from your gamer perspective?

 

This is something I can talk about given it's been a big problem for me.

I don't think gaming itself is the cause of this. I think it's more because people who are addicted to games generally have low self esteem, and part of the reason they use gaming is to try to get a sense of self worth. Unfortunately, once the game is over, you are again reminded that you actually live in the real world where your self esteem is low. Low self esteem, in my experience, also leads to the idea that I just don't care what other people think of me or not caring much about yourself. If you don't care about yourself, then why would you exercise daily hygiene?

I personally didn't start showering on a regular basis until after high school. I would often go to school having not showered for days at a time, at least. To be honest, I'm very surprised nobody ever commented on me being smelly or something in school. As far as brushing teeth, I still have an issue with that. I simply don't do it regularly. This was the case even during my quitting attempts.

Again, I think it's tied to the way you view yourself. You're not likely to take care of something you don't care about. There might be outside reasons that force you to take care of yourself (say, working at a job or dating a girl), but once those are gone you go back to the way things were before. I know, because that's exactly the pattern for me. On days where I have nothing planned, I may skip showering entirely still, although this doesn't happen often anymore, as I have become quite grossed out by greasy hair.

Hope this helps.

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Here I am! Proud finisher of the 90 day detox. Give me that badge Cam ;)

I don't have time right now to make an epic post like Alex or Kortheo but I will eventually edit it later on too share my way in a comprehensive way.

So long i stay with:

FUCK YEAH!

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Here I am! Proud finisher of the 90 day detox. Give me that badge Cam ;)

I don't have time right now to make an epic post like Alex or Kortheo but I will eventually edit it later on too share my way in a comprehensive way.

So long i stay with:

FUCK YEAH!

giphy.thumb.gif.07113933caad88590fad2859

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Well completed the final days of the detox. Enjoyed it and I liked how with journal I can see the progress I made from the beginning up until now.

 

1. More clear headed

2. More social, but not on the level I want to be on

3. Less frustration & more patience

4. More money saved and spent to help people like my mom

5. Learned different things because I had the time to listen and wasn't occupied with video games.

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Well completed the final days of the detox. Enjoyed it and I liked how with journal I can see the progress I made from the beginning up until now.

 

1. More clear headed

2. More social, but not on the level I want to be on

3. Less frustration & more patience

4. More money saved and spent to help people like my mom

5. Learned different things because I had the time to listen and wasn't occupied with video games.

giphy.thumb.gif.07113933caad88590fad2859

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Well completed the final days of the detox. Enjoyed it and I liked how with journal I can see the progress I made from the beginning up until now.

 

1. More clear headed

2. More social, but not on the level I want to be on

3. Less frustration & more patience

4. More money saved and spent to help people like my mom

5. Learned different things because I had the time to listen and wasn't occupied with video games.

Congrats! This is a new beginning for you and I am so glad you made it. :D

I am excited to get there too. :)

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Well completed the final days of the detox. Enjoyed it and I liked how with journal I can see the progress I made from the beginning up until now.

 

1. More clear headed

2. More social, but not on the level I want to be on

3. Less frustration & more patience

4. More money saved and spent to help people like my mom

5. Learned different things because I had the time to listen and wasn't occupied with video games.

Congrats! This is a new beginning for you and I am so glad you made it. :D

I am excited to get there too. :)

Thank you very much for this encouragment.

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I finished the 90 days a couple of days ago, and now I have time to share the things that I have learned and can hopefully also help someone else :) . It was actually easier than expected, I'm in a frame of mind now where I very much realise that gaming isn't worth it for me anymore. If gaming has even the most tiny chance to block the person I want to become, it can't have a place in my life.

My 5 most important lessons that I learned

1. For me by far the most important one of the 5 and yet so simple; if you're busy enough in your life, it's a big protection against gaming. The past couple of months I had a time-consuming internship, played a bunch of tennis competition and had to work in the evening for school, ... . When I actually had a bit of spare time, I even didn't consider spending it on gaming, because I just wanted to relax. Not having the time to game, helps a lot to stay away from it.

2. Handling negative and difficult situations in your life differently. Before I found this website, when I encountered a difficult situation in my life or felt very negative about something, I would run away and disconnect emotionally, numb the pain by playing video games. During this detox I also had a couple of negative and difficult situations that hurt me, but the difference I made now was handling it completely different. I accepted the pain and the negative emotions I felt, I told myself that with improvement in life, comes adversity. It means that you're on the right track and it's ok to feel bad in life sometimes, everyone has that.

3. Be very clear about the person you want to be in life and the goals that are important for you. It can be very scary to think about those thing and painful to not know what you want with your life, but it's so important. When you begin to realize what kind of person you want to be and what you want to accomplish in life, the urge to play games will not be so high, because it doesn't help you to become that person. 

4. Other people in life are everything. From my point of view, no one can feel really satisfied when there's no connection with other people in your life. Gaming can make you isolating from other people, emotionally and mentally distant. I noticed when I wasn't gaming anymore, that I was much more aware of everything else and of other people in life. I was listening much more, I was sharing things and this helped me to connect to people. This connection with people is much more fulfilling than playing games.

5. The realization that time is limited. In the period I was gaming regulary, every day could look like I was the same day, and before you knew it a couple of months had passed. But if this goes on for a while, a whole chunk of time could have passed in your life and nothing will have changed. I'm very aware now that life keeps going on and I don't want to waste any bit of it by playing an activity that doesn't improve me as a person and has so many negative side-effects.

This was a pretty long post, hopefully my lessons can be useful to some people :) . I'm pretty confident that I can stay game-free after this detox, because my attitude and thinking process has changed, so I see gaming as something pretty negative and harmful for my life.

To any one out there doing this detox or on the road of staying game-free, I sincerely wish you the best of luck with it and I believe you can do it :) .

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FedererMagic,

Thanks for taking the time to write out your accomplishments and congratulations for completing the 90 day detox!

You focused on a lot of good points, and I learned from your experience.  The number one thing I relate to is the connection with other people.  I'm glad you reconnected by simply being generous with your time, and also listening to your friends.  I think that listening is one of the things that people can practice doing more of, especially in intimate relationships (friends/family).  Sometimes we end up talking so much about ourselves, that the conversations end up being very one-sided.  It's a real skill, learning and practicing how to listen to others.

Sincerely,

Danni

Edited by Dannigan

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Reached 90 two days ago!  Longest I have been off gaming since 2010 when I discovered WOW with all my other attempts only reaching week 2-3. From what I have read, my years on game are small potatoes to many.  I did game more than my full time job each week.  There have been some easy parts like at day 57 the cravings really reduced just to come back full swing at the moment.  Success sabotage? idk, I will get through it.  What I learned and what helped me more or less in the order I dealt with it:

1. Keep moving - both physically and mentally.  Time passes quickly when you have stuff to do and it keeps the cravings and relapse potential down. The first month was the hardest.  I was so agitated that I could not read, study or anything.  I could learn about what was going on in the head and body though.  Cam's workbook was worth every penny, his videos are rather simplistic but perfect in that initial raw state.  The forum was good and read of other people going through the same thing. The sunk loss fallacy and the dopamine effects had the most impact.

2. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.  All those years of avoidance, I had/have some serious life issues to work on and fix.  It was overwhelming.  I tried to make some realistic plans with small doable forward steps. Guilt - I had to learn to forgive myself for my actions.  Own them, accept and move on.  I think my family forgave me quicker than I have forgiven myself.  It amazes me how busy I am doing life's stuff that needs to be done and what I want to be done that I ever had time to game.

3. Having fun IRL and being connected to people.  This was honestly one of the best things about my recovery.  I have fun memories of games and now I am making fun ones in real life with people in my life.  Learning to balance work and fun at the moment as it is easy to do nothing but work stuff and chores.  I have some dreams now and am trying to put them into my life.  It is scary, excited and I feel alive.

4. Self care:  I have more sleep than I have ever gotten in my life and its still under the amount I need/recommended.  I am learning to eat healthier and trying to squeeze more physical activity into my life.  I already have way more than I had while gaming.  My changes have started a nice slow weight loss of about 18 pounds so far.  Learning you have value even if you are not downing a raid boss, best gear etc.  Learning that value is still there - even on the days that are not working out as u intended.

5.  It is not over - I am learning who I am without games and where I want to be.  I feel it is really hard to lose your identity as a gamer even with all the stigma.  The loss is real and I was rather surprised at the pain of rejecting it that I dealt/deal with. It is what you know and I was good at it.  I had a social network and place there.  That is no longer true and I am in transition to something else.  Not sure where it will end up..but life is the best game!

Not sure if I will ever game again or not only time will tell and when I am in control of them and not the other way around. I feel like mmorpg's are done for me.  They do not fit my life plan of short segments of mindless entertainment. My 90 detox actually is only the beginning of the journey in my opinion.  Thanks for all the support yawl!

Edited by Kad

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Well Ladies & Gentlemen, the time has come. Today I finished my 90 day!! WOO!

It has been an amazing journey and I've learnt so much about myself plus the world around me. When you finally learn to switch off the computer or console, you will finally notice things you never had before. The birds singing, the trees blowing in the wind and more importantly your thoughts inside your head. For the first time in 17 years I started to acknowledge my feelings instead of shutting them away and gaming.

After a while I started to enjoy life outside of gaming and since I've done this detox games will never again have their hold on me. Below are some of the major things I've learnt whilst and gained whilst on this detox:

  1. Discovered how I personally can achieve challenges. I tend to complete something when I'm only trying to focus on 1-2 things, If I try more than that I become burnt out and I struggle to complete anything.
  2. Increased Willpower. This is pretty self explanatory. Through this detox there have been times where I have struggled even when depressed and I still managed to push through. Normally I couldn't do this.
  3. Become Calmer. Every now and again I get agitated but no where near the amount I used to whilst gaming.
  4. Bonded with my Fiancee. The detox has given me a chance to actually sit down with the Mrs and watch films and talk with her. Even though towards the end we did start bickering a fair amount more ^^
  5. Clear Headed. I've definitely come out a lot more clear headed from this detox. I no longer wake up with a foggy head like a drug addict who has spend all night shooting up. (gaming)

Everything that I have learnt in this detox will be applied to other challenges in my life...heck I've even given up caffeine whilst on this detox! This detox is the best thing that I've done personally.

I just want to thanks every on this forum for all the support and I've met some amazing people here. Keep up the good work everyone! :) I'll still be around the forums and now I've done my detox I can focus on losing my fat.

Peace.

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Congratulations on completing your detox :) Are you going back to playing moderately, or are you done with games forever? I like what you wrote about discovering things outside such as birds singing, these are really beautiful things. I love listening to the birds singing outside my window in the afternoon, birds are generally great as they can be observed through the window and as could not leave the house much due to my allergy, I could watch them through the windows and they inspired many a poem :) Though the thing which helped me to appreciate and rediscover the world outside was the book on creative writing by Barbara Baig and the freewriting and observation exercises she included. Are you interested in creative writing too? I recall that you have a blog?

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Congrats on reaching 90 days Falky, I'm sure many more will follow :) . 

You gave me actually a good tip with number 1 on your list, right now I'm very busy with internships and school assignments and have like 4-5 big tasks at the same time. I am actually focussing on all those things at the same time and it makes me feel burnt out and having a big mountain to climb. I will try with focussing on 1-2 things, thanks for the tip I guess ;) .

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