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Blab

I don't want to quit games, and that's eaxctly why I have to

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Hi everyone. I'm Blab and I'm not here because I want to quit gaming. I really, really don't. The idea of never playing video games again gives me anxiety and makes me feel like throwing up. And that's exactly why I have to quit.

I closed down three clicker games before I started writing this post. Three! All boring and worthless, but the compulsion of watching the numbers go up and the fear of losing "progress" has me trapped.

I came across Gamequitters after Jim Sterling's video on the WHO definition of video game addiction. I looked at the 90 day program and immediately my brain went into negotiation mode:
"I don't have to quit, I can just cut down a bit"
"I'll start soon, I juuuust have to play through this new content patch"
"12 hours of gaming is *so much better* than 12 hours of netflix. InTeRacTiVE StoRyTELliNg!"
"But I'll miss out on so many good games"
"I'll just play this and that and try out new one and *then* I'll be ready to quit forever"

That's the brain of an addict talking. Just one more drink, just one more pill, just one more level. I can stop any time I want!

But I haven't stopped. I started playing too much at around 12 years old and never, ever stopped. I'm now, my home is filthy, my body is unhealthy, I haven't seen my  friends in weeks, and I have spent my entire Saturday playing video games. Literally from the moment I woke up. My PC is next to my bed, the monitor and keyboard are ON my bed. I haven't emptied the trashcan or washed the dishes in over a week and I can't remember the last time I vacuumed. This is what almost every day has been like for the past ten years. And I've only just begun to realize it.

Gaming is an objectively negative influence in my life, so why does the thought of quitting terrify me? I tried to look inwards and be honest with myself for a bit, and these are some of the reasons:

  • I feel so much shame and embarrassment that I've gotten to this point
  • I have to face the fact that video games are not just an escape from my problems; they *are* the problem.
  • I have to take responsibility for the fact that my gaming addiction is the main why I'm not where I want to be in life
  • I have to confront the sorrow and anger I feel over the time and opportunities I have wasted.
  • So much of my time is devoted to games and gaming related media that I struggle to imagine what my life would be like without it
  • It's a part of my identity and has been since childhood.
  • The thought of leaving all the "progress" behind makes me feel guilty and stressed.
  • I don't have a lot I'm proud of in real life; nearly all my feelings of progress and accomplishment come from games. I'm terrified of confronting the fact that all my "progress" is illusory and ultimately worthless.

While I'm being honest with myself, I've realized a few things:

  • None of my happy memories are related to playing games. A few are related to people I met through games, but never the games themselves.
  • There are large parts of my life (months and years) I genuinely don't remember a single thing about. I don't remember what my life was like, what events I experienced, what people I met. (Spoiler alert: I was sitting at home with the curtains closed, playing games. All. The. Time. But I can't even recall which games I played.)
  • I don't enjoy games that much. I start playing because I don't know what else to do, and I often force myself to keep playing to reach the next bit of progress
  • My excessive gaming may have started as an escape from other problems, but then they became a crutch, then an excuse, then the whole problem itself.

Gaming is an objectively negative influence in my life. I need to quit to save myself and I need to do it now. And yet, my brain is telling me to load up a game and play as much as possible before midnight so I can start my 90 days tomorrow and still call it a fresh start.

But my 90 days start right now.

And typing that made me cry.

Edited by Blab
Edited to remove real name
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Hi Blab!

Welcome and good call on doing a detox. 

Not going to lie, these first couple of weeks are going to be really hard, but you can do this. Try to spend more time outside of your house if you can, or at least create some physical distance between yourself and your games. 

Best of luck! 

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Blab,

Just to start, I think you're an amazing writer, and there is so much potential with that. I think if you started a book, we could influence each other and push each other to keep going.

I'll admit, I'm not perfect, not even by a small margin. However I made the decision to quite last weekend, and I've since relapsed twice.

I caught myself making the same arguments with myself as well as bargaining with my own inner demons screaming, "It's not a big deal! Just push those emotions down and JUST get to the next level. You're almost there anyways!"

Yeah, I get it.

I'd love to be your friend, and I want you to know that I'm here to message as I hope you are free to get a hold of as well. I'm responsive, and I think since we're both starting this uphill journey together, maybe we can stay in touch. Let me know what you think.

You'll find that I'm very lovable and honest, and want to help.

Thank you for reading my post, and my heart goes out to you, Blab. I want so much for you to succeed.

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You've got this, Blab! As I read your post, my only thought was, "They are describing ME." I'm expecting this journey to be hard (I'm just starting), so thanks for sharing your thoughts--I feel less alone. 

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Thanks for sharing, OP.  I appreciate your words and honesty.  There are stages of withdrawal and it will be hard for probably the first month.  I think it's a grieving process too.  I mean, you spent all that time developing certain gaming skills, things you have mastered.  Letting that history go is a major ordeal, so I don't blame you for the thought-wars going on in your head. 

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