10 Things I Learned from Not Playing Video Games or Watching Twitch for 90 Days.
“In the past there have been days when I’ve missed work so I could binge on a game for another day.”
I set a goal to make it 90 days without gaming, and I also included not watching Twitch for a detox. Today marks the 90th day.
What I Learned:
- Actually permanently deleting my Steam account was a massive boost. Knowing all the games I had on there were gone forever was ultimately a relief and a weight off my shoulders. If I was tempted to game, not having a steam account was a noticeable barrier.
- Reading Respawn was a great way to start. As well as reading others’ posts on here and keeping a journal. Journaling daily, especially at the start, was important.
- Ditching my laptop was also key. Having my desktop stationed in the living room as opposed to my bedroom decreased my desire to game.
- Keeping a calendar and a to-do list are very important. I now have a weekly dry-erase calendar – I like to look at the upcoming week and plot a few things on there. If I’ve got nothing to look forward to, it’s much easier to fall into despair and making some poor decisions.
- Weekends are the biggest challenges, this is when I have large blocks of free time. It’s helpful to journal out possible things to do that day on those mornings.
Watch: Is It Ok To Play Video Games on the Weekends Only?
- I’ve been more loose and open to connecting with other people. A great example is my roommates. Before when I was gaming I tensed up when they were around. I didn’t want them around so I could enjoy my game in solitude. But now I’m much more welcoming of the company.
- I read more. Over the last 3 months, I think I read at least 200 pages a month, which was much more than the preceding months.
- I went to work more. In the past there have been days when I’ve missed work so I could binge on a game for another day. 0% chance of that happening if I haven’t been gaming.
- It did get easier, and as it got easier, I was able to put more focus on other challenges and goals.
- When I began cutting out gaming there is some evidence that the addiction “switched over” to other things. I would drink more, binge on television, and watch more porn. It’s important for me to be aware of when this happens and actually work recovery rather than allow myself to give in to other things that aren’t healthy for me. My recovery especially involves giving it over to my higher power and connecting with others.
- After completing the detox, I have no plans to go back to gaming or watching Twitch. There have been too many benefits of not doing it, and too many poor consequences in the past of when I was doing it.
- I will experience urges from time to time, it’s just part of being human.
- There may be some times when I’m hanging out with some friends or family and they’re playing a multiplayer game. In those situations, I’ll need to assess the situation and how I’m feeling before I dive in. In some of those situations, I think it’s okay for me to game. In others, it’s better for me to pass. Playing a light game for an hour or two is much different than playing a more intense game for 6 hours straight into the wee hours of the morning.
- My next goal is 180 days. I will continue to post on the forums once every week or two, read others’ journals, and welcome newcomers. This site is a wonderful reminder of why I chose to quit.
- Now that my cravings for gaming seem to be more under control, I’d like to focus more of my willpower on giving up porn. This is the other addiction that has been with me since I was a boy. Other goals include getting fit and getting more involved with my church. All this, of course, means getting out of my house more.
Thanks to everyone in the community who have shared their own journeys and given me some support along the way.
This post originally appeared on the Game Quitters Forum. If you care about this issue, SHARE this article to let others to know that life is so much better without gaming.
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