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NEW INTERVIEW: How Pauline Narvas Overcame Gaming Addiction to Become a Programmer and Build an Incredible Life!


My intro rant

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Hi, I'm a 36 y/o and this is might not be the first time I've quit games but probably the first time where I'm 100% intentional about it. In my head I'm struggling with typical mental traps of creating exceptions (of how and when to play) or once I'm better I can play again. However, it's not what I want anymore, I want to live a most fulfilling life with my wife, family and friends. To see the world without the worry of missing bounties or special limited events. I've been detoxing for 3 days and today will be my fourth. Cutting down on distractions and reminders of games as well is slowly helping to free my mind and have energy to do other things. What a gift to be bored! To have the opportunity to grow and learn. It's hard work tho. Going through the first exercises of Respawn feels like waking up my brain! I'm also seeking counseling, I find it valuable and an additional tool to break through. Anxiety, fear, and other feelings ebb and flow but also hope and peace. 

I've been playing video games since I was a child and got my first NES when I was 6/7. Back in those days we also had long gaming sessions. It took me easily 3-5 hours to get through Super Mario 3 in it's entirety, not to mention how much you had to memorize and practically train to get to the end of Battletoads. I have great memories with games but also not so great. I must have logged almost 2000 hours playing Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox. Perhaps something similar with Destiny and Destiny 2. I was very proud to have almost never used my money on micro transactions, I thought I was strong and would not fall to the entrapment some games use. Then I got a really good phone, I have a great career and salary, a great relationship and family, but then I got a game that looked fun, strategic, competitive and I wanted something that I could play on little bits of downtime. That little bit became a bigger bit, squeeze a match here, multi tasking there. But this time I said, i can spend 99 cents on this, it's only a buck; 2.49? That's less than the coffees I don't get anymore, I got that. 20? Another excuse, and so on. I spent over 500 dollars in 3 months. That's bad but not the worst. I lied to my spouse, I lied about stupid things, I got distracted at home, at work, everywhere to just play a little. When I was caught, I was shocked and stupified about my own behavior. "That would never happen to me." I gamed but never like this. So, that was a few days ago, I deleted the game, recovery keys, deleted other games, removed gaming references from my feeds, got respawn, and I setup an appointment with a counselor. I'm determined and motivated to do this right. It's been fun with video games but greater things await and I'm just getting started.

Edited by CharlesGP

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It's great to see such strong commitment from you and I also find it quite inspiring! Thanks for sharing your story with us! 

It sounds like your wife is helping you through this which is great! :)

What Respawn exercises did you find most helpful? :) 

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4 hours ago, Leo B said:

What Respawn exercises did you find most helpful? ?

Thanks Leo, 

Definitely starting to write down things, the feelings, the goals and this forum. It's helping me vent and keep me in check. It's a different type of release when you are open with your thoughts and feelings instead of letting them fester in your head.

Writing for me has always helped me and I stopped for dumb reasons. I was blogging before it was cool but stopped a long time ago. I knew how helpful it would be but still didn't do it. It's something that I will talk about with a counselor, not the stopping but the why I stopped.

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