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Games: was on and off again


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Hello, my name is Jason. Gaming has been a huge part of my life spanning back to when I was about 5.

Ah yes, I remember it so clearly, Christmas of 1996 my mom got me the N64 along with Mario 64. As the giddy 5 year old I was  never experiencing something like this before, I played it constantly. Never got in the way of school, but from when I first touched the controller and saw Mario saying "Itsa me Mario," I've been hooked on games until My junior year of high school 
 

That year I realized what horrors the games were causing for me. I still did my work but I never attended any extracurricular activities, I never went out on any family trips and on the work side of things, while I still completed my work, I pulled all nighters to do so, and didn't perform my best. I was always tired, cranky, and me spending hours on my computer or my Xbox is what caused the distance between my mother and I. I hated who I was at this moment, and so from that moment I decided to quit. 
 

I deleted my steam account and gave most of my consoles to my older brother, I didn't want to touch another game, and it benefitted me. I started going out more and built up courage and I noticed a change in my behavior. I wish this could have kept going but then something happened that spun this whole thing backwards. 
 

During the Spring of my Senior year of high school, I heard the news that one of my best friends, committed suicide. This just came out of nowhere and hit me like a bomb. The loss of my friend made me feel so empty, and I literally had no one to turn to. I remember after I installed steam again and just gaming away. The achievements I received felt so rewarding that some days I just didn't sleep, I just kept playing. Although I was sad, and rightfully so, this was the wrong move, my grades were hindered, I stopped talking to people and the anger came back, so did the headaches. The people who I talked to online I thought were the only ones who understood.  So I just talked with them, and I basically lived in my room.
 

My dad noticed this shift in me and started taking me to therapy. My therapist confirmed I was addicted to games and she actually helped me move past the grieving from the loss of my best friend. I owe the world to her. From there I started doing better again I quit steam, finished off my Senior year strong and got into my dream college. I didn't graduate top of my class but, I was still happy with my progress. Things were looking great for my future 

But then this pandemic hit, and now my life is a bunch of screens. Since this was new for me, I didn't know what to do, so I resorted to games. While it's not as bad as the previous times, I still played for the majority of the day. I would go to online classes and do homework, then game. For a while the brain fog was coming back and of course the headache and inadequate sleep. One day I remembered what hell gaming has caused for me in the past and I have decided no more. My issue is, with games having been a big part of my life, I don't know where to start with this whole quitting process. I already deleted steam and got rid of my games but other than that I'm stuck. I would pay for respawn but i don't wanna waste more money, than I already have with gaming. Hopefully this community will point me in the right direction!

Anyway, that was my story, I wish luck to anyone else who has decided to quit games! 
 

Best 

Jason

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Hi Jason! Welcome aboard. My story shares some similarities with yours (N64 was my first console as well but my first game was pokemon stadium ! I also struggled to balance schoolwork and sleep in highschool). I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. That's one of those things you can never be prepared for. It sounds like your therapist was a gem - that's good to hear. A good therapist can make all the difference (not sure how many you've had over the years, but I myself have cycled through a few and it was a trial and error process).

I was in your shoes ~41 days ago. Making the big decision amidst a pandemic, with no clear direction other than knowing that the gaming had to stop. I didn't purchase Respawn either, but what I've found most helpful is keeping a daily journal. It's very simple and it doesn't need to contain much, but it is an excellent way to keep accountable and to process your whole day's activities and feelings.

I still sometimes struggle with trying to fill gaps of time in my days, but it's good to have certain downtime activities to fall back to if you're left with nothing to do. I enjoy reading, doing word puzzles (I like crosswords), podcasts, listening to music, sometimes making a post on these forums, or watching a TV show.

Hopefully that's helpful - feel free to message me if you have questions/concerns. I am in no way an expert and am only ~halfway through my 90 day detox but I was where you were not too long ago so the starting out part is still fresh in my mind! I'm excited for you.

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54 minutes ago, Alejandro said:

was in your shoes ~41 days ago. Making the big decision amidst a pandemic, with no clear direction other than knowing that the gaming had to stop. I didn't purchase Respawn either, but what I've found most helpful is keeping a daily journal. It's very simple and it doesn't need to contain much, but it is an excellent way to keep accountable and to process your whole day's activities and feelings.

I still sometimes struggle with trying to fill gaps of time in my days, but it's good to have certain downtime activities to fall back to if you're left with nothing to do. I enjoy reading, doing word puzzles (I like crosswords), podcasts, listening to music, sometimes making a post on these forums, or watching a TV show.

Thanks for your kind words Alejandro! I'll definitely be starting a journal here. Also yes she was a gem, we were surprised too as most therapists in my town get a bad rap. The activities you mentioned I think are great, now I think I'm going to just take time to define my goals for life instead of deciding the specific hobbies or activities to do. I wish you luck on the rest of your detox!

Best 

Jason

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