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First day here, First day "sober"


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Hello all, my name is Chris and as far as I can tell I am a video game addict. I have played video games since I was a child, and it has always been my main hobby, crutch, escape, you name it. I never got very competitive at playing, though I did always enjoy the micro improvements of leveling up, getting a new piece of gear, unlocking a new gun or attachment etc. I believe my addiction really set in throughout 2018, I was 22 living at home and had decided I would be moving to a new state with family in January of 2019. My girlfriend was also living with me at home with my mom and my brother at the time.

I had decided I was going to quit my job as a machinist (hated the job because I did not enjoy the work, boss was great and tried to teach me but I let the opportunity slip) and start an online drop shipping business (youtube entrepreneurs caught me at a vulnerable time and I drank the kool-aid.) After having a couple different ideas an business models fail (because I would spend 8 hours playing games and 2 hours looking at my lazy website and work) I decided I would try to justify playing Old School Runescape like a full time job to eventually make enough gold to sell online and have some income. Stupid I know but it was how i justified me playing video games all day to my girlfriend and family, never made a dime and just played to enjoy it. This is where I believe the addiction really set in and I just ran with it, once I was tired of osrs I went on to other games and played them just as much.

I have always allowed video games to be between me and achieving my goals, I have used them as an easy win to avoid having to do any real work. I use them to escape the reality of the situation I allowed myself to be in and have neglected my responsibilities to improve my situation and get my life together. My girlfriend and I are still together, we live together, and have a soon to be one year old son. Video games are a reason she is still my girlfriend and not yet my wife, not that she has said no, but that I have been to lazy and preoccupied to ask her.

We do not have a rocky relationship currently, but I fear that if I do not quit video games, and continue down this path it will tear our family apart. It has already cause me to neglect my responsibility as a provider, and has gotten me in a situation of stress and desperation as many are feeling right now.

My biggest motivation to quitting video games is my desire to remove the barrier between the right now, and my professional goals, I believe that video games are the key factor in my success as a father, a husband, and a provider.

I apologize for the long read as it is sort of a brain dump.

TL;DR

I have played games since a child, recently it became an addiction causing me to neglect my responsibilities and I believe video games are the key obstacle to me being a successful father, husband, and provider.

 

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I feel you mate. Having a family was the final nudge I needed to give them up once and for all. I remember the exact moment. I was playing WoW, doing some random quest and had to kill X amount of mobs. Then my son started crying, so I flew up in the air and went to comfort him. By the time I got back to the PC and sat down, I just stared at the screen. I asked myself what am I doing. Why am I just doing the minimal amount to comfort him so I can get back to gaming. Instead I should have laid with him longer, been present with him, provide him everything he needs as a child to grow and develop in his own way. I deleted everything off my computer that instant.

Since then it has been a bumpy ride. I few re-installs and a couple of devices later, I finally kicked the habit. I am now trying to take it further and kick mindless screen staring in front of him as well, so a similar process (though I find this one much harder).

What I can say to you is you will not regret your decision. I enjoy the really solid relationship with my son and his teachers comment about how confident and articulate he is compared to other kids, because it is evident we spend so much time talking to him and setting the environment to do what he wants and pave his own path. Then I see other parents using screens as the 'digital babysitter' and having little interaction with them or building their imagination outside of over the dinner table (assuming there is no screens).

You've got this, and we're here to help.

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Thanks for sharing your story, it definitely resonates, unfortunately I have done it multiple times of just doing the minimum to get him calm and happy to run back. Perhaps once I kick the gaming I too will kick the screen time, when i play with him we usually play upstairs where there are no screens, I just need to leave my phone downstairs during play time otherwise I tend to gravitate to looking up random crap. Downstairs we usually put on music for him, his favorite song is Money For Nothing by Dire Straits, he particularly loves the long intro when the drums peak and that guitar starts.

I often see parents bringing there kids in to their appointments with them at my current work, and they always have got a screen in their hands not paying attention to the world around them. It is sad, and makes me worried about the generation currently being raised with a strong dependence on screens. I do not plan on using devices to distract or preoccupy my son, I plan to teach him how to utilize devices to create things through programming though, if he shows an interest that is. Would be great if he takes it up and doesn't need an allowance!

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