My 90-day detox is complete! I have a few thoughts on my mind that I'd like to share, some of which may come in another post, anyway...
Firstly, @Ironfly, @Danielk, @Primmulla, @WorkInProgress, @Merdoc_Rowboat, @Falky, @Dannigan (I know there are others, apologies if I didn't tag you!), I'd like to thank those who I have interacted with over the course of my detox, be it in my journal, or on other parts of the site, all of whom have been supportive of myself and others, and come across as genuinely nice people. Last but certainly not least, a big thank you to @Cam Adair for creating this amazing site, dedicating so much of his time into helping others. I'm so glad to see that his little part of the internet is getting bigger and bigger (seriously, the rate of growth from when I first joined to now is ridiculous!).
Coming into this detox, I was coming into it from a slightly different angle than someone like Cam for example, who was spending so many hours a day, everyday, playing video games. Over the years my average playing time gradually reduced to a couple of hours every day, with the occasional binge of 5/6 hours, which in itself had become a rarity. That being said however, I am in no doubt that I showed symptoms of addictions when playing certain genres of games, notably multiplayer shooters. Thankfully, I haven't touched Left 4 Dead 2 and Team Fortress 2 for two and four-years respectively, and this detox has helped me to ascertain that online games of this ilk are a problem for me, and I will not return to playing them, period. I don't even want to play these games again, which is a great feeling in itself.
Something which has troubled me in its own weird way over the course of this detox, is that I found it quite easy to complete, easy to the point that it raises more questions than it answers. It was long yes, and the temptation to play was present in occasional moments of boredom, but I didn't crave it, I wasn't desperate, I never felt in danger of relapsing. I've gradually weened myself off gaming over the years through various means to get to the point to where I was at the start of the detox, and I have to believe this partly explains why the detox wasn't that difficult for me personally.
It is my intention to return to gaming in some capacity, but it will only be single-player games, and I will be very particular about which games I do play. I will not moderate in the sense that I will allocate a set number of hours each day/week to play. I will not play for the sake of playing, that is when it becomes a negative habit. My future presence on this site will focus more on other aspects of my life that I wish to change, and to respond to other topics which I feel I can contribute to, but I will continue to monitor any time I dedicate to game, self-awareness is key. I will be sure to act on the first sign that gaming is having a negative impact on my life again. For now, gaming will be nothing more than an occasional hobby I pick up.
Something that I feel like I can't stress enough. Please don't use my experience to justify your gaming habits, not only is everybody's situation unique, but there is every chance that I might be full of horse shit! Only time will tell on that one.
Whether you are/were playing for 16 hours a day, or a couple of hours a day, if you are on this site as a registered user or as a lurker, something has clicked in your brain to tell you that something isn't quite right in your relationship with gaming. Whether you want to quit playing video games forever, or whether you want to moderate your playing time. Take a break, not for a couple of days, not for a couple of weeks, do your utmost to complete the whole detox. This allows you time to become aware of other aspects of your life, to reflect on your gaming habits, and to see how you can improve as a person. What is involved in that? Complete the detox and find out!