“The line that spoke to me the most was, “There are some people out there who are gaming, and they don’t want to be.” I knew that I was one of those people.”
Meet Joe. After 25 years of gaming he decided to make a change in his life. Like most of us who want to quit gaming, Joe faced challenges at first.
He had a fear of missing out once he decided to get rid of his games, he had fond memories of gaming in the past, and felt a sense of loss from the amount of time he’d invested in gaming over so many years.
Joe hid his recovery from those around him; it made him feel fake doing so, but he feared how others would react if they knew of his addiction. Admitting recovery meant admitting the problems he was facing to those he loved the most.
He Found a Support Community
Then Joe discovered Game Quitters and realized he wasn’t alone on this journey, and that there were many people like him with hopes and dreams of a life beyond gaming.
For Joe, a life beyond gaming meant being a better husband to his wife, and a better father to his newborn daughter. Through Game Quitters he developed the courage to discuss his addiction and recovery with those closest to him.
As the days and months have passed, he has felt less and less tempted to pick up games again. Communication with his wife is better than its ever been, his daughter is now a toddler and he is enjoying being there for her as she grows up.
Just imagine if Joe had continued gaming to this day? He chose a different path.
One Year Game Free
Now Joe has been game free for an entire year and we’re going to explore how he did it, and how you can follow in his footsteps.
One of the strengths Joe had is that he has been very clear on his reason for quitting games from day one, in his own words:
Having a great family is my biggest definition of success – The reason I quit is because I have a lot to lose. I have a wonderful wife and a baby daughter who I want to be fully engaged with.
I cannot have games as a part of my life because I cannot play in moderation. I want to be the father I always wish I had, and provide my daughter with the childhood I missed out on. My wife is such a wonderful and understanding person, and I would be a fool to let games ruin our relationship.
Answering the “why” question gave Joe the motivation necessary to persevere and quit games for good. Self awareness is critical for success in quitting games – recognizing the problem is the first step towards finding the solution.
Joe Is Happier Now
A key part of the Game Quitters community is that we all learn from one another, and Joe took this to heart from day one. Being open to suggestions from others helped Joe discover meditation. Joe highly recommends meditation for any fellow game quitters, and had this to say about the positive effects its had for him:
Meditation is worth the small amount of time it takes. Learning to be still for a while and carry a sense of mindfulness throughout the day makes me more capable, organized, and energetic.
Joe realized through being mindful that he didn’t need to feel guilty about the positive memories he had of some of his experiences gaming in the past.
Through letting go of his attachment to that stage of his life, Joe was able to feel more at peace with both accepting there were times he enjoyed games in the past, but that it’s now something that no longer serves him.
Happiness and entertainment are not the same
An important insight for Joe about the ‘positives’ of gaming is that “happiness and entertainment are not the same thing.” Gaming may provide entertainment, but it didn’t make Joe feel proud or happy about what he was doing in his life. All the hours Joe put into gaming over the years did nothing to make him feel fulfilled as a person.
Since quitting gaming, Joe has also engaged in self development. Joe admitted that at first he wasn’t a fan of self development books. He thought reading a self development book meant admitting he was a loser, but his mindset completely changed after reading “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg.
He credits this book with the new approach he’s taken to building habits. A key aspect of this is focusing on enjoyment of the present moment and of the activity itself rather than relying on willpower alone to get him to keep his habits. Joe has never felt more empowered about his ability to change any part of his life.
“Learning to live in the present moment is my favorite benefit from quitting games.” Click to Tweet
Over the days and months since he quit gaming, Joe slowly began to open up about his old addiction. Communication to his wife about his addiction has allowed their relationship to improve, and allowed Joe to become the kind of husband and father he always wanted to be.
He Now Supports Others to Quit
Joe has now taken a leadership role within the Game Quitters Forum as a moderator, and being over one year game free, has gained a great sense of purpose and fulfillment from helping those who are still on their journey towards quitting games and recovering from their addiction.
Opening up about his experiences has given Joe a sense of freedom, as we’ve all been able to follow his journey and support him along the way. Just as the suggestions and guidance of others in the community were critical to Joe’s success, he is now paying it forward to others.
Finally, quitting games has allowed Joe to feel more at peace with himself and more satisfied in life, I’ll leave you with the following words:
I’ve learned that I should dream, and I should take little steps every day to achieve those grand dreams. Also, it’s vital for me to be able to enjoy the journey towards my dreams. In the end, it’s not really about whether or not I get to the finish line, but whether I found joy in the days, weeks, months, and years of experiences in pursuit of that dream.
If you think Joe’s story is inspiring, imagine how inspiring your own story will be too. If you’re ready to quit playing video games and turn your life around, grab Respawn.