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Dear game quitters,

I have been lurking on the forums for a while, before I finally now decided to get involved myself. Before I start, I would like to pay respect to the founder of the community, Cam. The work you are doing is absolutely amazing and looking at the journals and stories people share, it is clear that your initiative is helping people. A big thanks to all the people that have shared their stories. Every contribution is an inspiration to people with similar struggles, just like myself.

I have to be honest that I have written this introduction several times over the past month, but I never submitted the post because I was afraid of coming forward and putting my story out in the open, available to everyone. I guess, to some extent, I have been a bit ashamed of myself. I am a video-game addict. Though I haven’t gamed for 4 months, I still think about them and I still catch myself arguing with myself, whether they are really that bad or whether my addiction is real. Over a 10-year period, I had spent every single free moment I had available on online-games and I am/was not really sure whether I was ready to just throw that away and start this new chapter of my life. The change is scary.

On the surface, video-games never really caused me to neglect anything (apart from myself, which I’ll come back to). I finished school, got through University and I even obtained a PhD (neurosciences) about a year ago. Subsequently, I even found myself a nice job. I am happily married and I recently became a father about 4 months ago. This is when I realized how much video-games really affected me and what role they played in my life. Becoming a father is the most intense and complex emotional experience I have ever had. I slept less than ever and my stress levels went through the roof. In this situation, I would game to cope. The problem was that there was simply no time in my new life. I was forced cold turkey. For the first time in my life, during the first week of two of my fatherhood, I was facing full blown anxiety. What should have been the most beautiful time of my life turned into a nightmare for all of us. At first I didn’t realize the role of my past gaming-behavior. I am not necessarily attributing everything to games, but it has become clear that through gaming I learned to block, ignore or shut out negative emotions, stress or problems in my life. In a sense I never learned to deal with life or confront problems. This is why I ended up here as I hope to learn from others and share my insights.

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Welcome to the forum! If you want Cam to see you mentioning him right away, you can do it like this: @Cam Adair (it needs to turn blue). Everyone loves praise after all!

It's always inspiring to read someone saying they used to lurk and took the leap. I used to be a lurker too, so I understand your feelings of uncertainty and concern for your privacy (and ego! It hurts to publicly admit certain things). It's a matter of taking the initiative, consciously ending the role of spectator when you begin to feel you are not anymore in a position of learning but also procrastinating taking part. Honestly speaking, I wish more people would join the conversation, regardless if they have a problem with gaming or not. That's the purpose of a forum, right?

Congrats on your 4 months and your child! We have several members who struggle or struggled with parenthood and gaming, such as @giblets@WorkInProgress or @wookieshark88, so you're not alone in this as well. Wookie's been away for a while but surely the other two will love two support you in that topic.

Looking forward to those insights! 

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Hey mate! Sorry I am a bit late to the party with my response. Congrats on getting your phD through all of this, I definitely want to try and achieve mine in the future, and there is no way I think I could have managed it with gaming and a family so I take my hat off to you.

You have similar reasons for starting the detox that I did, so our paths are quite similar. I couldn't justify spending more time away from my family for no gain or not contributing to our unit, so that was the catalyst to get me going, and I was studying as well and finding it hard to force myself to focus when all I could think about was games.

As for anxiety, if you use gaming to escape from it, then those feelings will stagnate and never get better. You need to face them head on. It's not going to be easy nor will it be an overnight solution, but if you do something little about it every time you feel anxious you will make progress, which is far better than stagnating. Don't fight the feelings, that will only make it worse, instead you need to learn how to deal with them or adapt with them in the moment.

I look forward to interacting with you on the forum!

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