Okay well I feel quite silly for making myself vulnerable in an online forum (and it seems ironic that I would spend more time on the internet when I know the internet is my problem), but I guess I have to start somewhere. So here goes nothing.
I am currently a college student who is going through a difficult time because of my addiction to video games. I have been living a life of denial while gaming at least 1-2 hours a day. I've finally come face-to-face with this problem and I'm trying to stop this evil from taking over my life and consuming me from the inside out. I came here not just to admit that I have an addiction. I came here to reach out and ask for help. I need help - desperately. I am currently on Day 3 of not playing video games and I am experiencing very severe withdrawal symptoms. It feels as though some part of me is missing. Yet I know for a fact that it's not me. I feel video games tempting me and calling me back into the desolate wasteland.
I am religious (I prefer the term "spiritual") in many ways except this one way - video games. I used to have a lust for first person shooter games like Call of Duty and Battlefield. I got highs from getting killstreaks and making video game montages and at one point I had a youtube channel of those montages with thousands of subscribers and I was making hundreds of dollars from video views. I deleted the channel right after I realized that it was consuming my life and that the money I was earning was not honest money. I don't believe in earning money off of people wasting time watching my vain handiwork. I don't think it edifies them any more than it edifies me. I sincerely want to live by the principles of the Bible and live according to how God would want me to live. I want to live by the question "What would Jesus do?" I want to live as though God is in the room with me.
I've lied to my parents about playing video games, using the infamous Alt-Tab method every time my mom would come into the room. I've lied to my mom about our house not having wifi. I've lied to God about my video game addictions. I've made video games my idol and I've tried to deny that it was my idol. But I've spent more time with video games than with friends and I've spent more time with video games than with my parents and I've spent more time with video games than with God. The worst part is, I've gotten my little brother hooked on games. I'm supposed to be a role model for him, yet I've made it clear to him that playing video games several hours a day and lying about it is alright. But it is NOT alright. It's wrong. It's blatant lying and idolatry and almost adulterous in a way (because I loved video games more than I loved God).
But just because I tell the truth to you and to God doesn't mean I'm not going through temptations or withdrawal symptoms. That's precisely why I came here. I've tried to quit games multiple times. I don't do Lent but I've used that as an excuse to quit games. It worked for 2 weeks and then I was back on the path of killing zombies and aliens and terrorists, fueling my lust for killstreaks and violence. When I don't play games for a long time without occupying myself (by hanging out with friends, etc.), I experience confusion and physical turmoil. My whole body shakes. My brain constantly tries to remind me that I have to go home and play video games. My mind tries to make me watch youtube videos of video games whenever I'm on the computer. My thoughts aren't filled with thoughts of blessings and good works for others, but rather with thoughts of keyboard presses and macros and combinations for MOBA games and strategizing and map details. It's almost like I have some sort of virus inside me that's controlling my mind. It's satanic. It's horrifying.
Right now as I type this, my hands are trembling, because I'm being tempted heavily. It feels so oppressing and I feel so weak. I feel as though I'm going to go back and play video games again as soon as I log off. This isn't right. This isn't who I'm supposed to be. I'm better than this. I KNOW I NEED TO CHANGE. But knowing something is completely different from doing something. I NEED TO CHANGE.
Thank you, and thank you again for listening to me.