Posted this elsewhere before I realized it should be here. Apologies for the double post.
I used to have a horriffic addiction to Everquest many years ago. It affected my work, my family, etc. When I saw that my daughter was going to grow up with an absentee father (even though he lived in the same house) I knew I had to do something. I sold my EQ account and bought Hooked On Phonics and instead of gaming I spent my time teaching my daughter to read. It was a great time.
Over the course of the next twelve years however, games slowly creeped back into my life. We are currently living overseas in a city with no real other foreigners, so I made the excuse that I could start another MMO up again (this time Dungeons and Dragons Online) just to give me some "social interaction" with people who speak my language. My wife aquiesced and from February to August we had a scheduled time in the evenings when I would play, after everyone had gone to bed. In my mind I was getting my work done, not taking time from my family,etc. I proudly convinced myself I had my addiction licked.
Then we had to go to another city to get our passports renewed for a couple of weeks. We were free from work and "on vacation". We took a fmily trip where we did some sightseeing and hiking, but when we got back to the city we still had another week before our passports were ready. I told my wife and daughter that they could go and shop and do whatever they wanted, but that I wanted to spend some nonstop game time getting some things accomplished. The demon was back. For four days straight I was online gaming with few breaks just to take care of bio breaks, eating, etc. I was right back to ignoring my family and consumed by the game.
Day 4 came the meltdown. It was the biggest fight we had in years, and despite being very angry at her "selfishness" in not respecting my "me time" I knew I had to choose the game or my family. I sold all my stuff on all my toons, donated the proceeds to my guild, and deleted my characters. Nothing to return to I thought would me no regrets and nolooking back.
I was not prepared for what has happened the past two weeks. I have become increasingly irritable and lethargic. My work and family time is still happening, but I find I have no passion, excitement or drive to do anything. When I was gaming, I also enjoyed reading and writing fiction and watching movies as free time activities, but lately I cant bring myself to write, dont enjoy reading and even wont bother to watch a video. I mostly when I am not working or leading our family Bible study or anything, pretty much just want to sleep or lay on the couch staring at nothing. My 14 year old daughter had been asking if im ok and even quipped at me the other day trying to get me to laugh "Dad, depression hurts, Cymbalta can help". We both laughed but I cant seem to break myself out of this funk.
Can anyone tell me how long this is going to last or any way to speed up getting through it. I know beyond a doubt now I cannot let gaming in even a little. I even deleted my iPad games (including solitaire...) and now the only games I have put on the OK list are family board or card games or interactive wii games that I can do with family. No matter how much self control we have, an addiction will just crouch in the shadows and wait for your guard to be down to take over again. A game addict just "gaming a little" would be like a heroin addict only shooting up on weekends. It cant happen. I just hope I get through these DT's or whateveris happening with me soon and get bavk to being the husband and father and servant of God that I am supposed to be.