9 Lessons Schwing Learned from Quitting Gaming and Porn

“For the first time in my life I feel as if I have purpose, and I am not alone in the world.”

gabriel barletta

I hit 90 days of no video games. This marked a period of 3 months into my self development that kicked off around November 2016.

It’s been one bumpy ride, but it’s also been the most significant portion of my life as a person. Why quit gaming for 90 days, though? Why turn my life in a completely new direction?

As a kid I grew up in a dysfunctional family. My mum was the one who worked. I didn’t spend much time with her, but she was a good person. Instead I was treated to hanging around with my dad who was a complete loser. I don’t think he is a bad person, but he wasn’t able to be a father. This had a severe impact on me psychologically.

I would take to the world of fantasy and imagination; a place where I could feel emotion in a safe controlled manner; where I could be happy, or do anything without anyone interfering. At school I was always a bit of a pussy. I had no problem making friends, but soon things changed.

Secondary School

I was filtered out into the nerdy group, of course. This is when my video game addiction started to bud. I started getting into all sorts of games. I would spend the majority of my free time just sitting around playing them. I have always been a dreamer. I had hobbies, but I was too weak to take responsibility, so I let them fade away.

blur

This is also about the time that my brother died. I coped with it by convincing myself that I didn’t care. I had mastered hiding my emotions from others and suppressing any affection. My dad sorted that out for me.

My early teens are just a blur. I started getting into heavier music around that time to help me feel stronger. I also got heavily into porn which also fucked me up. All I was really excited about was going from game to game. I thought about girls, sure, but I was too afraid to talk to them. I had a fear of the world, and I would retreat to my shell at any given moment.

At 16 years of age it all kicked off with me watching this video on YouTube about how porn is bad for you on some conservative channel. I immediately started looking into it, and decided to quit. This led me down a rabbit hole, and soon video games was the next target.

I remember sitting at my computer desk, and staring at the wall completely dumbstruck. Was I really destroying myself all these years? I then found Game Quitters, and the journey began.

I started picking up the pieces of the bombshell. I erased my entire Steam library, dumped all my pc gamer mags, and removed anything to do with games from my PC. I also deleted all my porn.

The first couple of months were the hardest. I had never been so depressed in my life. But I kept at it no matter what. I started climbing, doing art more, reading, learning German, and writing down notes for a book.

Getting My Shit Together

Things got better though. I had grown so much as a person. My view of life had completely changed. I was beginning to understand things that I never bothered to look at earlier on.

One day I looked in the mirror and thought: “you’re becoming a man now.” I started getting into fitness a lot more. I meditated a lot too. I also started getting into other types of music. At the age of 17, after casting off a lot of my childhood ignorance, I had learned a lot.

What I’ve Learned So Far:

Always stay grounded. Life is full of ups and downs. You must never be caught up by emotions in victory, or defeat, and maintain the path of reason. The universe is chaotic in nature.

The purpose of life is to feel a sense of purpose. If you were to try and rationalize a purpose to life you would become engulfed by nihilism. Humans are emotional beings, and our emotional needs must be met as these reinforce our will to live.

Pick something and do it. Ever started a new hobby and just given up because you weren’t enjoying it anymore? I had that all the time, but then I found out I just had to pick something and do the thing.

Do the thing. This is my motto now. Forcing yourself to do something consistently is important – even if you don’t feel like it. It’s important to commit to something on a daily basis, or you will sink into bad habits.

The body, mind and soul are all real things and they are all linked. At first I thought this was some retarded spiritual hippy meme, but it’s actually real. The soul is the body of emotion and it’s what separates us from machines. Your soul can lead you all sorts of dumb places though; and so can your mind. So the two have to really work together, and you have to listen to your innermost desire, but fend off petty desires.

Pushing yourself physically also makes you more determined. It is important to take care of your body by eating healthy and getting exercise so you wont feel depressed and have poor cognitive functions. Bioenergetics and meditation are great too. The mind is a muscle and meditation trains it.

Life is a video game, and it’s really, really fun. Sometimes I feel like I am missing out on video games. But the reality is I am missing tons, and tons of shit in the real world. The ultimate question is – do you value the world of reality… or virtual reality to the same extent?

Take opportunities to do shit whenever you can. If it turns out bad then you know. Can’t bash it ’till you try it.

A man spends his whole life learning. I haven’t magically become my dream self yet. In fact, the dream self is a false ideal. When you climb a mountain do you stare at the summit, and flop your arms and legs about aimlessly? No. You get your head down, and fucking climb. It’s important to have vision, but it’s more important to focus on the struggle.

Your ego is an important social tool, but don’t let it consume you! You have to be open, and serious with people to reach a deeper level of understanding with them.

My path is my own, and is no greater than the next man’s. As I said before: the purpose of life is to feel a sense of purpose. So my way of doing things is just my way of doing things, and I shouldn’t force that on other people.

I am a lot more accepting of other people’s beliefs now, but I can’t help but let my ego take hold sometimes. Just because I am saying shit here about how I do things doesn’t make it the handbook to life. Everyone has to find their own way. There is a Chinese proverb:

What I hear; I forget. What I see; I remember. What I do; I understand.

Even though I have said these are all lessons I have learned; I still need to improve myself massively, and that is a good thing. What is bad is not having the vision.

I never thought I was really an addict. I was able to slide into my detox without any cravings. Video games were just the stabilizers I persisted to keep on me. They were part of my childhood chapter in life. It’s time to turn a new page though.

Game Quitters has changed my life, and still is. I met extraordinary people. For the first time in my life I feel as if I have purpose, and I am not alone in the world. Some people on this site are like the uncle I never had. I am truly grateful to be exposed to such a community at such a young age. It has really bolstered my development to be immersed in an environment populated by so many awesome people.

A while ago I committed to the 1,000 days challenge with a small group of fellow Game Quitters. That’s almost 3 years of changing my life. I will be 19 when I finish. If you are a young gamer, and you are unhappy with your life (or know one), please do not hesitate to join us here on the forums.

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