Face it, there are reasons why someone chooses to play MMORPGs.
Everyone has different reasons, of course, and we often do not know exactly why and might never figure out all the whys, but to play for fun and relaxation seems reasonable.
Up to a point. When it becomes obsessive gaming, it doesn't take too long for the player or their loved ones to clue in that there a significant change has occured in the environment. Unfortunately, realization is not even half the battle required to re-surface back into reality.
Still, many might stop playing after several years, either because they realize the impact of their non-existence in reality or / and because they are frustrated by the games. Some will move over to a new game and resume the same fervor of playing. Some will simply stop.
Quitting is do-able but staying away from the obsessiveness is the really tough challenge. Have you ever wondered why?
"I have always been a bit antisocial - I don't feel comfortable interacting with people, and in the game, I had tons of friends and did a lot of chatting."
"I was always into D & D and reading fantasy / sci fi."
"Reality is boring and mundane."
"I can forget about my stresses and pressures when I play."
If you find yourself nodding with some of the above comments, chances are that you know your reasons for playing MMORPGs obsessively. Which will also likely be the reasons why you may be tempted to return to that state.
Here's the thing though: MMORPGs don't offer growth. I know it's easy to jump up and say "That's not true! I made friends from another country and learned about their culture". But really, if you think about it, what are you learning? How relevant to your own well-being is it, really?
I used to think that I was enriching my life and my intellect by engaging in interactions online and with people from all parts of the world. But guess what: You don't learn how to socially interact with people by being on an MMORPG. You don't learn how to have a good relationship. You don't learn about new cultures. You don't learn anything new about yourself. It's all pretend. The knowledge you acquire is neither as permanent as the knowledge gained from books and other sources nor is is applicable to anything outside of the narrow domain of MMORPGs.
Playing MMORPGs obsessively is not unlike the caged hamster running in its wheel - a futile attempt at mimicking the actual experiences. But unlike the hamster, you aren't being locked into a cage by external forces. You actually have a choice to open yourself up to new experiences in reality.
MMORPGS are basic simulations of reality. What is really keeping you from going after the real thing? I know the answer for me was fear.