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NEW VIDEO: I Quit MMOs and THIS Happened

Awake and out of the fog!

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I can see myself now, am aware and ashamed, but recovering.


I have been an off and on gamer since the days of the Atari2600 where I first tasted the highs of gaming. One time that stands out was the time I flipped the scoreboard on Defender back to zeros after several hours straight with no drink, food, bathroom and a helluva blister on my thumb where I was unknowingly at the time using the joystick as a modern day thumb stick!


I spent the next 35yrs living an active outdoors lifestyle with 21 of them in the Army as a multiple tour Combat Veteran, Purple Heart recipient, Paratrooper and Advisor. I was very successful and among the top of my peers when I finally retired. I played games here and there as something to do socially on occasion or to pass the time at home. I got married at the tail end of my Army career to a most beautiful woman who also liked to play games. We played together! It was awesome! How lucky was I that she even loved FPS'? We played Halo, CoD, Rainbow Six, GoW, Skyrim, etc. and then finally my downfall game, World of Tanks. The grind, the unlocks, the ops, the leaderboards, the tactics, the frustration of crappy teammates became all-consuming. It became too much for my wife who played for fun and not as a potential life and death situation. I ruined it for her and in reality, for me as well. I just didn't understand it yet...but I would and do!


We even played on here Xbox account which I basically took over. When I started making "helpful" suggestions on better ways to maneuver and engage the enemy based on the type of tank it made it not fun anymore and she began refusing to play. No matter, I continued to fight on blindly. My fight and never ending grind to unlock the next tank or upgrade package went on for almost 3 yrs. Playing during spare time became almost any time. I found myself getting irritated when I was doing other things when I thought I could be playing "Tanks" instead. Long story short, I devalued my life and those loved ones that were along for the ride. I would quit for a week or two to satisfy my belief that could do it and that it didn't consume me. That worked for about the last 6 mos where each time I would tell myself I will just play a couple matches, no biggie. I lost valuable sleep, procrastinated on household work, didn't engage with our kids as much (unless they were playing it too, I taught my 3yr old how to play and he was decent tanker compared to a lot of other online players, lol) and most importantly, intimacy with my oh so beautiful wife. Looking back I have no idea what I was thinking.


I'm still trying to figure it out. I think I was looking to fill a gap that leaving the Army left by accomplishing personally challenging and satisfying tasks. Granted, "Tanks" was a poor facsimile, but I was kicking ass again right? Unfortunately and sadly I was only kicking my own. Almost 90 days ago and for the umpteenth time my wife was fighting valiantly for the man I used to be to arrive and banish this gaming fiend that I was. Something finally clicked in my selfish brain that said, "She is right, I have a real problem here." The only option I knew was to quit cold turkey and not look back. If your going to fight, go all in until you win!


So while I'm still sorting out all my various feelings, and trying to make amends to my loved ones and figure out my way ahead, I appreciate sites like this where I can gain inspiration and motivation to keep up the good fight. Thank you to all here and keep fighting for yourself because its worth it.


I know its all worth it because I see now and am finally aware.


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Welcome to the forum!

Whoa, kudos to your wife, she must be awesome by the way you talk about her. And you seem to love each other deeply. I can only respect and admire that.

Having people to rely on and have your back, to challenge and motivate you is really, really important. Since you are an army man, I'm sure you already know what discipline can accomplish even with the most imperfect people. 

You have the tools and you know the drill sir. 90 days, cold turkey. What we can recommend you is accountability, journaling, and filling the void of games with new engaging activities. We have success stories of people with a family (the most notable the legendary Joe, aka @wookieshark88). 

See you around! 

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Thank you Hitaru! Yes, my wife is awesome and I am so lucky to have her! Having that support is definitely critical and having non-judgmental support is even better. My wife and I have discussed it and tried to figure out the 'How and Why' it happened and like many other posters here it all seems to follow similar trends. Disassociation due to multiple personal reasons, stressors, boredom, self-gratification, self-aggrandizement, and void filling are a few that I can see. I have also done some research where a lot of veterans turn to intense gaming to seek out some of the feelings they experienced in combat environments. I can relate to this and from personal experience there's no real equivalent to being in a life and death situation and coming out the other side victorious, whole, healthy and amped up on adrenalin. Gaming can kind of replicate these intense situations, but with the knowledge there is always safety at the end. In real life there are no respawns!


I have been definitely filling the gaming void with more personal engagements with my family and wife and am happier and more fulfilled for it! Household projects that have been procrastinated on are now being addressed and that sense of personal accomplishment is being satisfied to the point of looking forward to the next one.


I will def look up the legendary Joe aka @wookieshark88 to see what wisdom and future support I may gain in my journey. Again, thank you for the welcome and if there's anything I can do to help folks here I will.

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  • 1 month later...

Well I'm over the 90 day hump by a few weeks and doing very well I think. I am busy with lots of house projects and family stuff which is great. My positive interactions with them and especially my wife has increased a thousand percent! I still find myself with the occasional urge during boring times or those precursor situations where I would in the past easily find myself playing. I have had great support from my wife and kids and I appreciate that they see the change in me. My mood is better overall and I'm way more engaged and present than before which oddly enough caused some issues in my family getting adjusted to this and me not understanding why they weren't changing like I was. What I realized was old patterns are hard to break for everyone. You cant just quit something and make a lifestyle change and expect everyone around you to be all upbeat and change their own perceptions and interactions with you because they are just going with what they know. It's an adjustment for everyone and requires patience and empathy.

I do find myself wondering if I will ever be able to play a video game ever again or do I have to treat it like a heroin addiction? One time I was helping my son sort out the save/loading of a video on the Xbox and everyone was like looking at me holding the controller like it was a needle I was about to jam into my arm. It kind of irritated me but I understood it later after considering their point of view. Still, I would like to be able to play with the kids and even my wife on occasion but don't know if this is possible or should even be attempted or brought up as it may send the wrong message. Any advice or thoughts are appreciated!


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Hey mate! Glad to see you have smashed the 90 day detox already, that's impressive. I'm still working on it.

I think everyone's situation is different, but from what I can gather on the forums is that gaming in moderation for the majority of us doesn't work. It's similar to an alcoholic only having one beer! Never happens. I have found that when I even talk to someone about games or go to a couple of websites, it's all over for me for at least the day. All over as in, I lose all productivity and just sit around thinking about the good old times.

Would your family be upset if you didn't play socially with them?

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Thanks Giblets! I'm pretty sure they (my family) would be fine with me not playing games with them. Its a non-starter now anyways considering the kids don't play too much and mainly use the Xbox to watch YouTube or Minecraft and my wife is not really interested anymore. I ruined it for her she says. They don't ask me to play with them now because they know its a taboo subject. I think my asking that question above was, if I do some self-analysis, probably a way to rationalize playing again. That monster on my shoulder giving me helpful advice. I don't know. I think I just get bored and miss the action. I don't really do anything for myself other than read and watch the occasional movie. I'm coming out of the Army where there were some personally exciting and challenging things I did as an Advisor and Paratrooper both in and out of combat and I don't have that aspect in my life anymore. So I miss that.  Gaming was a cheap facsimile of that but would also get the adrenaline and dopamine moving. The most exciting or challenging thing I do now is my commute to work, lol. I've got to accept change and know its for the better.

I also have one more step to take in my detox that should help too. I'm changing jobs in the next month and that will take me away from a co-worker that still tries to engage me in "game-talk" because he says he has no one else to talk to about it. "I know your not playing anymore but check this out..." or "If you ever come back to playing...". I have told him several times in different ways that I have quit for the better and don't really want to go into it. He feels like its still ok to tell me all his gaming stories and exploits. I basically just stay straight faced and don't ask questions hoping he will get the picture, but it kind of gets me in the old mode and doing game play analysis in my mind whether I want to or not. So, changing jobs will also be helpful in my quest.

I do like your quote you had above. Something like a mantra I will remember to use when the urge hits. There's definitely always something better I could be doing with my time! Thanks again!

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Thanks Mettermrck! It's just another potential enabler that needs to be removed. I'm just trying to change other areas in my life (job) to get rid of old patterns, behaviors, and triggers for my old gaming life..

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