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Not quite sure how to start and I am sorry if my English is weird and this gets too long.

Hi,

I tried to blind out my gaming addiction for a long time. I’m in my mid thirties (I honestly don’t know if I am 34 or 35 and I can’t find my wallet)
and played quite obsessively for about 20 years now. I found the videos of Cam Adair by accident while browsing TED - congratulations for the Talk,
what a great achievement! Because of that, I arrived at this forum.

I lurked around for a while, made an account yesterday and deleted all my games about two hours ago.
First time in my life without any games (except for formatting my PC). Yay.

Most people here seem to be amazing for me, really.
I feel like a complete looser and I am more of a burden for society and the people around me, than anything else.

My main goal is to decide what could be my goal, I guess. I am old, depressed, demotivated and I have very little experience with life as a human being.
I have a crappy job and am stuck at university for years. Mostly because of anxiety and the loop of:
I am scared -> Play some games -> now the problems got even scarier! -> play some more..!

My biggest obstacle (besides the addiction) will probably be that I am not in my twenties anymore and I feel I have missed out on pretty much everything.
I never finished anything. Also, my whole life resolves around the computer. I work as a programmer from home, I study bioinformatics (without much success),
my other hobbies are digital art and programming. That’s it. My PC is my home.

I mainly played single player games (extensive Steam library of 200+ games) and when I get in contact with other people, it’s my sister
who lures me out of my apartment occasionally with Magic the Gathering, Anime and boardgames. I know her friends don’t like me, and I am super awkward in conversations.
Basically, imagine a neckbeard without the beard.

Thank you for reading and for this great forum.

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Your story spoke to me strongly enough that I made an account. You can do this. You really can do this.

The doctor down the road from me applied to medical school at about 40 and started practicing as a GP at around 50. You live in a country with a life expectancy of 80 - you're not even halfway yet. Programming is an incredibly powerful and flexible skillset. I'm a mediocre programmer and it has opened hundreds of doors to me each year. Your main roadblocks are the ones you build for yourself, in your own mind.

Remember that everyone starts out really, really crap at everything. Incompetence is our basic state. It takes a long time to improve any skill. Your missing social skills, and self-care skills, and happiness skills, and any others you feel you're lacking are just as easy to learn at 35 as they are earlier in life. It will take months, maybe years, but it's a worthwhile investment, because you still have decades ahead of you.

Small, consistent steps. If you're overweight, try to eat one healthy meal each day. Try to speak to a human every day, or every second day, even if it means pointless trips to the shops to thank the cashier. And so on, for everything you want to improve.

If you make the steps too big, you will get too uncomfortable and retreat. The trick is to make them small enough to be doable, and then to do them consistently.

Are your games still uninstalled? Cold turkey is a hell of a thing. It doesn't work for everyone, but if it works for you it could be really powerful.

Therapists can be tedious or they can be magical. If you haven't experimented with them, hunting for a good one could be well worth your time. It also gives you another person to talk to regularly.

Last, and most importantly, you have to learn how to be kind to yourself. This is the most important skill you can learn. Think about how you would respond to someone who was struggling with mental disease, who makes mistakes along the path to recovery. Hopefully you'd feel compassion and sympathy for them. Extend it to yourself! Beating yourself up about your failures - and you will fail, a lot, before you succeed - is a quick way to send yourself spiraling. Compassion is the way.

Good luck, and keep us updated! You can do this.

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Hey mate, greetings from Germany. 

Good Job at taking the first job, this will not be an easy journey but you acknowledged you're addiction and try to move on - that's great. I know the feeling of missing out and I am also stuck at the computer (I am an artist). Deciding to seperate play from work was an important step for me when I deinstalled everything from the computer. 

The feeling of missing out and regret is some of the worst there is. Don't try to beat yourself up but also look into the future. It is easy to suffer the pain of discipline than the one of regret for sure. But I also want to say - I did parties, drugs, travel and stuff as well when i was "young" (i am 33 now) and know I lean towards a bit more honest to the "Nerd" Side of life. I play Magic as well, love fantasy movies, games etc - its ok we are in 2020 don't try to be someone you are not. 

Could you manage to find some goals for yourself? By the way lot of psychologist suggest not picking goals (which can be failed - starting the cycle of feeling bad about yourself) but rather improve your life from day to day on the actions you take (like drawing, going to the gym etc) So start building strong habits instead of saying "I am going to loose 20 kg of weight in 3 months"*
Good luck on your journey, hit me up when you are in doubt, we can also talk german. 

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Hey Man,

I started just now also from germany and I wanted to congratulate on the first step. to old is just an idea and not a real thing. I believe you did a great first step by being honest about the situation.

If you want to go through the detox together lets connect.

cheers

Martin

also everyone else who wants to move through changes together is welcome to connect.

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