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dweems

Need Help Quitting Early

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Hello everyone!

My name is Doug and I'm currently 14 years old. I have been addicted to gaming for almost 8 years. I understand that this amount isn't as long as other's addictions, but I want to stop early before I go down a path that I will regret. I play video games every second of my free-time (typically 8 hours a day on weekdays and 16 on weekends). I have tried to quit in the past a couple times but every try that I take I always give up. What happens is that one day I'll decide I need to change, and I'll try. But shortly after my thoughts of "It's just a harmless hobby" or "Video-games make me happy" come back to end my streak of quitting. I have heard of the 90 day refresh but I couldn't even image myself quitting for more than 2 days. I really want to change and have a good life, but I need some help to get started.

EDIT = I also have no idea what I would do to replace video games.

Edited by dweems
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What is your family situation like? Car or bike or public transit situation? (Can you get around)

What do you think you might do with your hobby time? Sports? Woodshop? Boy scouts? Choir? Studying? Learning an instrument or another language?

If you can give what might interest you that would be a great place to start. And we can figure out a plan from there!

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Doug, you're already winning.  

  1. You realize you have an issue with it
  2. You desire change.

Doug, I am 56 years old.  You may think I'm a Dad (which I am) but I am also a cautionary tale

I used to game at work, before companies started installing firewalls to prevent screwing around on work time.  I started working from home when the economy took a dive in 2008 and I found that I was missing my daughters major events and other family stuff because I used to go in to my office, work about 2 hours, and from 10AM to sometimes 1AM I would game all friggin day.

What do I have to show for it?  I have made billions of points, earned a barge full of gold and attained oh, say 7,000 levels.  None of that helps me now.  My daughters are grown (no thanks to me), and I am old.  My vision is going, my reflexes are going, I have diabetes because I never moved my ass for 3 or 4 decades.  What's important for you here is this...

  1. Realize that no one outside of the games cares what you did in the game.
  2. Lean that your guild-mates, and others who "like" you online are not real friends.  If they have never been to your house, they are not your friends.
  3. I have worked my whole life, and I have come to think of the money I earn as points, and promotions or other accolades I get at work as levelling. 
  4. I have had several hobbies that gaming has shut down for me.
    1. I used to play bass guitar, but I dropped it
    2. I have tried to write about 30 books and never made it out of chapter 3 or 4
    3. I played for a time with animation and computer graphics - I used to be pretty good.
    4. I have even tried my hand at designing video games.
    5. I now realize that the millions of hours of my life that I have wasted on gaming could easily have been spent on making me more successful at any of these ventures.
  5. Gaming at our level stunts your social growth
    1. Interacting with real people in real life helps you feel less awkward around people.
    2. I know it's embarrassing to make social mistakes, but that's how we learn what people expect of us.  No faux pas at school will end your life, or even harm it much.
    3. I am 56 but my social learning is still at about a 17 year old's level.  I just haven't matured much beyond that as far as  social interaction is concerned.
  6. Gaming will never bring you love or true satisfaction.
  7. Gaming will never make you wealthy or famous.
  8. Games only care about one thing: parting you with enough money to pay their programmers and keep their massive server farms online.

What I'm saying Doug is, you don't want to end up like me, struggling to be social with almost no experience, only a couple of real friends, terrible negotiation and debating skills, overweight and on anti-depressants.  

There are plenty of suggestions on this site for things to do that help you grow into a real person, and since I am this much of a failure at this stuff I won't presume to recommend anything.  Just think of this as yourself in 42 years time sending a note to your own past to warn you about this path.

I know this kind of got into the TL;DR zone, sorry.  Just realize that I'm rooting for you.  I hope you make a better life than I did.  There's still plenty of time for you.

 

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7 hours ago, Laney said:

What is your family situation like? Car or bike or public transit situation? (Can you get around)

What do you think you might do with your hobby time? Sports? Woodshop? Boy scouts? Choir? Studying? Learning an instrument or another language?

If you can give what might interest you that would be a great place to start. And we can figure out a plan from there!

My family has a car, and I have my own bike. Also, I enjoy hanging out and entertainment and sports. But at around 8pm when I can’t leave the house I’m not sure what I would do.

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6 hours ago, Some Yahoo said:

Doug, you're already winning.  

  1. You realize you have an issue with it
  2. You desire change.

Doug, I am 56 years old.  You may think I'm a Dad (which I am) but I am also a cautionary tale

I used to game at work, before companies started installing firewalls to prevent screwing around on work time.  I started working from home when the economy took a dive in 2008 and I found that I was missing my daughters major events and other family stuff because I used to go in to my office, work about 2 hours, and from 10AM to sometimes 1AM I would game all friggin day.

What do I have to show for it?  I have made billions of points, earned a barge full of gold and attained oh, say 7,000 levels.  None of that helps me now.  My daughters are grown (no thanks to me), and I am old.  My vision is going, my reflexes are going, I have diabetes because I never moved my ass for 3 or 4 decades.  What's important for you here is this...

  1. Realize that no one outside of the games cares what you did in the game.
  2. Lean that your guild-mates, and others who "like" you online are not real friends.  If they have never been to your house, they are not your friends.
  3. I have worked my whole life, and I have come to think of the money I earn as points, and promotions or other accolades I get at work as levelling. 
  4. I have had several hobbies that gaming has shut down for me.
    1. I used to play bass guitar, but I dropped it
    2. I have tried to write about 30 books and never made it out of chapter 3 or 4
    3. I played for a time with animation and computer graphics - I used to be pretty good.
    4. I have even tried my hand at designing video games.
    5. I now realize that the millions of hours of my life that I have wasted on gaming could easily have been spent on making me more successful at any of these ventures.
  5. Gaming at our level stunts your social growth
    1. Interacting with real people in real life helps you feel less awkward around people.
    2. I know it's embarrassing to make social mistakes, but that's how we learn what people expect of us.  No faux pas at school will end your life, or even harm it much.
    3. I am 56 but my social learning is still at about a 17 year old's level.  I just haven't matured much beyond that as far as  social interaction is concerned.
  6. Gaming will never bring you love or true satisfaction.
  7. Gaming will never make you wealthy or famous.
  8. Games only care about one thing: parting you with enough money to pay their programmers and keep their massive server farms online.

What I'm saying Doug is, you don't want to end up like me, struggling to be social with almost no experience, only a couple of real friends, terrible negotiation and debating skills, overweight and on anti-depressants.  

There are plenty of suggestions on this site for things to do that help you grow into a real person, and since I am this much of a failure at this stuff I won't presume to recommend anything.  Just think of this as yourself in 42 years time sending a note to your own past to warn you about this path.

I know this kind of got into the TL;DR zone, sorry.  Just realize that I'm rooting for you.  I hope you make a better life than I did.  There's still plenty of time for you.

 

I’m am very happy that you shared your story with me. I’m deeply moved. You have showed me the path that I should go down and a new way of thinking. Thank you so much!

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Welcome to the forum Doug! 

You can check this list of +60 hobby ideas if you need suggestions of new things to do. It's divided in 4 sections: Active (physically), Resting, Social and Challenging (mentally). You should have these 4 areas covered but probably there's one or several of them you find more lacking in your life.

You are really brave for taking this step at your age, we're fully aware that thinking about quitting video games at 14 is a completely different situation than, say, 20. Your awareness is inspiring; just by the way you write it's obvious that you have a good head over your shoulders. And since you seem to be really smart, probably you are tired to be hearing all the time that you have a long life before you, that you can do anything you set your mind to, etc. But hear me, you set your own terms man. If you want something, anything more out of life that's awesome, go for it like the world would end tomorrow. Be it at 14 or at 80. Any day and any age is right to start improving yourself and living the experience you believe you deserve.

The next step we would recommend is opening a journal in the Journal Section, so you have your personal space to organize your thoughts and whatever you want to do next, share your thoughts and feelings, seek support or whatever you need. In the Main Section there are topics about video game addiction that you may find relatable or interesting, and the rest of the forum is more generic (topics about daily life, hobbies, social skills...). The forum is yours to browse.

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Welcome, Doug.

You are extremely mature for your age, love that. Love the fact that you make your own decisions. The spirit you have already shows that you have tons of potential to become whoever you want to be. Like I said, love it. Would have been great if I had been that aware when I was your age. Aaaaanyway, ...

... like already mentioned: You should start a journal on the forums. Why? Several positive effects. First of all: The community will support you. I guess you felt quite alone in the dark when you tried to quit gaming. But with experienced quitters behind you, it will be easier. Another thing is that you often need other people to show you what you cannot see. Like, what drags you back to gaming? What kind of stressors keep appearing during your daily battle? And so on and so forth. It is useful to have people read your journal and support you wherever they can.

Another thing is: Do not focus on the negative aspects. Like you said, you managed to quit for 2 days before you went back to gaming. Now you can focus on the fact that "it was only 2 days and than you failed to quit" or you can focus on the fact, that you managed to push back the addiction for 2 whole days. Next time you quit, you might hit 3 days. Or, after being well prepared, even longer. Every step in the right direction is a success in itself. When I read your post, I see a strong guy that will make his way. Why? Because instead of just giving in, you fight. And that shows character, Doug.

So, again: Welcome! Great to have you here. Find your way to the journal section and open your very own daily journal. Keep a positive attitude and ask if you need any help. You got this under control. :)

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Thank you to all that commented! I have read through all the posts and appreciate the help. I have watched some of Cam's videos and have decided on the best way to quit video games for my personal situation. I don't believe that I would be able to just immediately quit video games right this second. Instead I have come up with a plan to slowly decrease my playing time until it is either a healthy amount of time or until I don't play at all. This way the change in my life will not be so dramatic.

Currently I play from the second I get home until the second I go to bed (almost literally). This adds up to 7 hours give or take. So my plan is that the rest of this week I'll limit myself to 6 and a half a day. If that is manageable than I will decrease by 30 minutes every week. If one week is very hard than I'll stay with that time for an extra week. At this rate, on February 12th I'll be down to 1 hour of playtime. Who knows... maybe by then I'll have quit video game completely. :P

If I notice that I am struggling for help and need some advice, I'll make my way over to this website. Thanks for all the support guys!

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21 hours ago, dweems said:

Instead I have come up with a plan to slowly decrease my playing time until it is either a healthy amount of time or until I don't play at all. This way the change in my life will not be so dramatic.

I had no luck tapering off.  Maybe you'll do better, but I always found that if I told myself I'd quit at 9PM or whenever, there would always be that one day when I was just so close to level 19, I'd hate to quit playing now!  Or the group is forming up but someone says "AFK, BRB" and I end up waiting 20 minutes past my limit while everyone gets ready for a PVP or dungeon, and before I know it, it's 1AM.

I have tried this about 500 times.  The only thing that worked for me was to uninstall all the games so that if I want to play, I have to spend 3 days downloading it again.

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Welcome Dweems.  Was just reading through some of the introductions and saw yours.  If doing the whole 90 days sounds like too much, just take it one day at a time.  Once you've strung a group of days together, you may start to feel some more hope and momentum. 

I think it's awesome you're here, it takes some courage at your age to recognize you want to quit. 

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Welcome :] As others here have said its fantastic that you've recognized the addiction at such a young age and are open to change :D Is there something you've ever been curious about doing but never had the guts to do it? I remember I thought about joining the Tennis team in high school and I practiced all summer the summer before, but didn't have the guts to go to tryouts. If you have anything like that which you want to try, I think now is the perfect time to start.

Edited by BigOlBeartic

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