It really got crazy back then. I would wake up late, skip classes, steal a bit of breakfast from my flatmates, play video games, feel terrible (and nauseous), skip shower and meals (I wasn’t doing groceries and didn’t have the strength to raise my arms); then spend the night at the PC again.
I was ashamed to be seen (and smelled) in that state so I went out of my room less and less. I became a shut-in and the only thing I did was gaming. Until there was a time I spent a night in Psychiatric Ward after having my first serious suicide thoughts, become scared shitless and go to the hospital on my own accord. I had one last option to try before truly considering committing to the end. Everything converged into one single question. “What should I try first, quit gaming or killing myself?”
Gaming was something I did everyday for years on end. I enjoyed it, but in the end it wasn’t a good thing for me. I’m 16 years old, and I’m from the Netherlands.
Quitting gaming is a journey, and it is long from over. My life has improved overall, but I still have plenty of things to work on. My anxiety is still something I struggle with, but it is going so much better than before. My depression is practically gone at this point, although I still have some sad days. However, instead of hiding behind a PC playing games all day I try to do something about it now.
The apex of my compulsive gaming was Skyrim! It was incredible! I don’t know how many hours I spent in that fantasy world. It didn’t matter what my buddies where doing, if I had exams or not, or whether it was 30 degrees outside. No matter what, I was going to be an orc mage warrior, and I was going to kill dragons! This went on for months. Until I realized I wasn’t that happy. I hadn’t been for a long while.
The existential crisis I had postponed since I was 17 finally caught on. Like a tidal wave of realism and pain gulfing over the fragile ego I had left. I was 24 now, what the heck was I doing with my life? Where was I going? Was I just going to sit inside for the rest of my life – gaming, jacking off, sleeping and repeating? What about my graduation that was long due? What about all the experiences life had to offer? What about girls?
I did it! I successfully quit gaming for 90 days. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d make it, but I did and today I had a bit of a skip in my step knowing today was the day. There were eight lessons I learned on my journey that I hope help you be successful on yours.
I started with Hearthstone, discovered Diablo 3, Heroes of the Storm, and League of Legends. My brain got hooked immediately to the competitiveness, and sense of purpose I got out of it. What I didn’t know at the time is that I was unhappy in my relationship, and was avoiding this by dulling my mind with gaming.