Welcome New Members!
I just wanted to write a post on how I quit my compulsive playing of Everquest. I hope that you can find one or two tips in here to help you along the way. And if any member has any other idea of how to quit, please feel free to add your comments to this thread.
First of all I want to preface this by saying that you can't do this without first having a WANT to quit. After you have admitted to yourself that you do indeed have a problem, then you need to tell yourself that you want to quit. The time frame between admitting that you have a problem to wanting to quit can be a short time as in quitting cold turkey one night, or a long time as in my case a couple of months of continued realization of what I was doing to myself.
If you are just admitting to yourself that you have a problem but dont quite have the desire to quit, that is fine! You are not weak, it is normal to feel this way.
When I first woke up and realized that I was not in control of my life, it was a scary feeling to be honest. My first reaction was to hide myself back in the land of Norrath, which is what I did. But little by little the disgust I had with myself and the frustration with the game itself led me to taking the step of actually ending my EQ life and restarting my Real Life.
So following are a few of the tips that I followed during this transition.
1. Start a journal. Write down your feelings about the game, the people in the game, how you feel when you play the game vs when you are not playing the game. It doesn't have to be just about the game, it can be what is happening or what has happened to you in your life that you need to resolve in your mind. The few mins a day that it takes to write these feelings down will be amazing to you. The first day that I opened my journal I sat there thinking where do I start, but I just started writing and I couldnt stop for almost an hour and several pages later. Of course every day does not take an hour, but just 10 - 15 mins. Recently I decided to go back and read what I had wrote back in May when I quit and wow what a revelation it was to me. I didnt know that I had come so far in my thinking about myself, EQ, and life in general.
2. If you are still playing the game, just be aware of what you are doing while playing. Are you really having fun? Is it more work than fun? Do you find yourself logging off in a ****ed-off mood most nights? Then ask yourself is this really what I want for my life?
3. Write down your goals in life. This can be done in your journal also. And don't say that you don't have goals, because I know everybody does, you just have to reach down and remember them. Do you want to finish school (H.S. or College)? Do you want to get married or have a better marriage? Do you want a family or be a better parent to the children you have? What about that career is it what you wanted when you first started it? Can you better it somehow? After you have done this ask yourself is my game playing getting in the way of these goals?
4. Write down 20 things you love to do (thanks Morf for that idea) BESIDES play the game or anything game related. What did you do before you played the game? Do you like to read, figure out how things work, play with your children, play a sport, go to a movie, spend time with your friends who don't play or the family that you haven't seen for a while. Whatever it is write those down. Then you have a list of activities to do besides play EQ.
5. Pick one night a week where you will NOT play EQ and keep to it. I don't care if the guild has decided to go on a raid for the last item of your epic or what, you will NOT log on that night. Instead you will do one or more of the activities on your list above. After a couple of weeks, step it up to 2 nights, 3 nights, etc. It is of my opinion that one needs to detox themselves from EQ because of the immersive aspects of the game.
6. Continue coming to this site for the needed support and encouragement. Update us on how you are doing, we are here for you and interested only in seeing you recover. If you need to talk to somebody on the phone call the number that is listed on the OLGA webpage. If Liz doesn't answer leave a message. If you want to talk to me, I can be reached through Liz. I am very willing to talk on the phone and lend my support.
I hope this helps and again please members who have gone through the process of quitting, please feel free to add your own ideas.