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dhitts Introduction


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So, here's my introduction...

I'm pretty old. Just turned 40. Been gaming since I was around 8. I took to it like a fish to water - my parents claim they had trouble getting me to stop even back then. I've never really stopped for any extended period of time since I started... part of me can't believe that I will really stop now.

I think the big thing for me has always been escape. I definitely get anxious, I definitely get down, I have ADHD. Games have been a whole other world for me where those things weren't as true. It wasn't as bad when I was young because I was always doing other things that required attendance (school, sports, etc.) - but it was always an issue. Once I got to college, that's where the real problems began. I almost failed out twice - the only thing that kept me in and graduated me were these marathon work binges at the end of semesters. Sometimes I would be up for days catching up on a semester of work.

When I graduated I fell behind my peers, moved home, and gamed for 12+ hours daily. It was Warcraft 3 then, Starcraft before that. It led to the end of my college relationship. I kinda pulled back for a bit, focused on moving forward and started grad school. This is not to stay I stopped (I was regularly putting in hours a day on games like Civ 3/4 and Age of Wonders 2) I just shifted away from the online games that were like crack to me. After I got into a master's program and got a real job things seemed to be getting better. Then I downloaded WoW with the Frozen throne update and things got real bad. 8+ hours a day again. Raid leader, community presence, on the forums while at work. Somehow I held it together despite the investment of time, but my then GF was definitely upset.

When I got into my next grad school I put it down for a bit. That was a good thing - but boy did my anxiety go up. I had to deal with the negative feelings of wasted time, plus the unexpected negative feelings around actually trying things. Plus I was single for the first time in a long time after choosing to end a long relationship that I realized (In my increased free time) wasn't leading to a permanent thing. I was able to return to a "harm reduction" approach", quit WoW, and stuck to console and single player games. Some binges, but largely functioning in life.

Fast forward 2 years and I found league of legends. It got bad again. I was pulling all nighters to game, I was pulling away from my friendships. Struggling to complete my own work for school again. It definitely extended the time it took me to complete my degree and while I kept it from most people, the ones closest to me could tell things had gone wrong. In keeping with my pattern, enough parts of my life went well that I could convince myself I wasn't too bad - wasn't too addicted. I got married, I graduated. I got a job. Maybe I was ok?

Fast forward to now. I just had a baby. It's COVID times. I thought having the baby would push me to finally quit. I love her. She's amazing. But, habits just don't stop like that. And, working from home has made the compulsions so much worse. I've fallen so far behind at work that I am actually worried I could be fired. My wife is freaked, I'm freaked. It's time.

Today is supposed to be the first day. I've been sneaking a few minutes of gaming in here and there while my wife naps. I haven't erased things yet and haven't changed my passwords. But that's the next step.

Honestly, I'm scared to quit. But it's time. It's definitely time.

Here I go. 

Edited by dhitts
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I am speechless. Your story is almost identical to mine. It is resonating hard! I don't think we are that old though 😉 You're only as old as you feel, right?

When I get worried about the wasted time, or the wasted money spent on games (or online subscriptions), there was a great quote that I saw on the forums here a long time ago -

 

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.

 

There is no value in wondering what could of been or what you should have done. You can't change that now, no matter how much you want to. All you can focus on is right now, and how to make things better from right now.

 

Going cold turkey is bullshit hard. But it's the only way it's going to work. We're here to help you. If you feel the urges, change your environment, get some fresh air, or talk to someone about it. I'll be following you mate and looking forward to your journey!

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Thanks Giblets. I really appreciate the response, it's good to know that others resonate and have made it to the other side of this thing.

Yesterday was an improvement, but definitely not the cold turkey day I'd hoped for. Today I start the journaling process. I've been up for an hour and no games yet (I'd usually have put at least 20-30 minutes in by now...)

 

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I did start my journal! Yesterday was the first entry since it was the first game free day. Day 2 happened today. It was a bit harder as I was alone in the house all day - and would normally have gamed a bunch. But I am proud to say I held back. Thanks for checking!

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