My body hurts, my mind hurts, my spirit hurts

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Fishyyy
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Last seen: 1 year 3 weeks ago
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Joined: 05/02/2014 - 4:14pm
My body hurts, my mind hurts, my spirit hurts

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.

Hi friends,

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.

-Fishyyy

benek
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Last seen: 11 months 6 days ago
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Joined: 03/22/2014 - 4:20am
Hi Fishy, Welcome to OLGA,

Hi Fishy,

Welcome to OLGA, and thank you for your painfully honest share. And congratulations on day 3! Great job making the very difficult and smart and crucial decision to quit games.

I'm a recovering game addict, today is day 44 game-free for me. I remember the first week after quitting being particularly rough with withdrawals. I suffered big-time anxiety, exhaustion stemming from sleep deprivation, depression, stomach problems, headaches, and maybe a couple of more. They mostly relented between weeks one and two.

There is a lot in your story I can relate to: the obsessive thinking about the games; the violent behavior in-game; the fact that gaming was inconsistent with my values but I did it anyway; the impaired family and social relationships; the dishonesty.

I'm really glad you've reached out for help. Addiction is a serious disease. There is no reason to try and beat it on your own. I tried to quit by myself many times, and failed every time. Finding the OLGA community and starting to work the 12-step program is what is keeping me sober from gaming.

You're right that this isn't who you're supposed to be. There really is hope for a happy, fulfilling, game-free life. I encourage you to stay off games, one day at a time; continue posting in the forums, reading other experiences, educating yourself about the addiction; connect with other members by sending PMs, entering chat, and especially attending the scheduled meetings; and find a sponsor and start to work the recovery program. You may also want to enlist the help of a qualified mental health professional and/or a spiritual adviser you can trust.

Again, welcome, great job quitting. I encourage you to stick around and get all the help you can handle :)

thelonelyexgamer
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Last seen: 12 months 1 day ago
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Joined: 05/02/2014 - 5:56am
Hi Fishyyy,  I just found

Hi Fishyyy,

I just found OLGA yesterday. I read your story and I can relate to it. I have a little brother too. He was my gaming buddy since childhood. He and I used to role play with our imagination before gaming. I would be Golden Sonic, and I told him he can "Golden" Knuckles too. :D. He found I lied. Now, he quit high school and locked in his room most of the time. He'll get burst of anger from time to time. He even punched my dad once. He's recently turned 18. Now that you mention it, I feel that I should also follow your steps and not only quit gaming for myself, but also to be a role-model for my brother. Thank you for that.

I used to own Call of Duty: Black Ops. I was good; I got high on kill streaks also. I sold my gaming system in order to quit gaming, but now I found myself hook on League of Legends and Guild Wars 2. I deciding to quit yesterday. Today, hopefully, will be my first day free of gaming.

Today I felt the chills you mention. It was strong. When told myself I wouldn't play today, it hit my like a wave. I lied to myself that I wasn't really going to quit, and the chill stopped. I realize that not only my mind, but my body was addicted to gaming; this scares me.

I really hopes eventually gaming would be part of the past for you; for both of us.

I hope the members of OLGA will be able to help you. They were very nice to me today.

Best of Luck,

thelonelyexgamer (Paul)

LearningSerenity
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Last seen: 2 days 18 hours ago
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Joined: 05/12/2013 - 8:47pm
Welcome to OLGA, Fishyyy. 

Welcome to OLGA, Fishyyy. You aren't at all alone with facing this, and the fact that you're starting to realize some of the depths to which your addiction has brought you will be helpful if you decide to start working the steps with a sponsor (which I would highly recommend doing). It was great to see you at the meeting the other day, and there's not much to say beyond the saying that is often used to close the f2f meetings I go to..."It works if you work it and it won't if you don't."

There's a lot that goes into working the program, but some of the important things seem to be showing up to meetings, calling people, and working the steps with a sponsor. I look forward to seeing more of you around the site, and yes, there is hope. Hugs...

When you're going through hell...keep going. --Winston Churchill There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still --Corrie ten Boom

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