Time to share my story

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Manx
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Time to share my story

Hey all

I just signed up today after reading other peoples struggle's. I wanted to share my story on my gaming addiction, where i'm currently at and to get others thoughts (this will probably be a long post so sorry in advance).

I started gaming when i was about 5 years old on the super nintendo and got pretty much every console since, i gamed passively up untill the age of about 13 at which point i found the game "Dark Age Of Camelot" an MMO for pc. As soon as i started playing DAoC i was hooked, at first i played at the local cyber cafe (also played counter strike alot at the cyber cafe) and then after convincing my dad to get internet i played at home. Gradually my play hours increased and i found myself going to bed at 4am having to get up for school at 7am. Because of this i scrapped through my exams getting only 2 grades worthy of note.

Around the time i left school and went to collage DAoC was going through a rough patch and new mmo's were on the scene so i quit and got caught up in the collage scene, smoked alot of pot made a few close friends and made it through the first year ok, went on to the second at which point somewhere thought this period i got back into gaming on fps style games, somewhere through the second year i basically bailed on the course, i was working but only part time, and by this point i was also hooked on weed. I began to give my close friend that i had met at collage excuses for not coming out so i could game and get stoned all the time. (im from the uk so collage is from the age of 16).

At this point i found myself a fulltime job to fund both my gaming habbit and pot addiction and moved into my own place with the girl i met at collage. I lost job after job over the years due to poor work performance and turning in late (or not at all) due to late nights gaming and being wasted. This continued up untill i was about 21 at which point my girlfriend got pregnant, and about a month before she was due i lost one of the best paid jobs i had ever had in the profesion i had actually trained for at collage (this job loss was actually due to layoffs rather than my incompetence "mostly"). So we spoke and decided it would be best for the time being to get our benefits in place and live off them and raise our son for the first year before searching for secure employment again as my girlfriend also lost her job due to disputes with maternity leave. Well this was probably the worst decision of my life.

I got back into MMO gaming hardcore, every mmo out there i was maxing characters and moving on to the next one, untill i came to EVE online, this game was like gold to me.. it was all i played for 4 years straight, trying to improve my K:D ratio every day which was alot more hardcore than any other game out there, i created my own corporation (guild) and built up a comunity of awsome guys who i personally trained and we were a high ranking pvp corp for its size, everything was great from a gaming perspective. Towards the end of my 4 years in eve there was a huge dispute between some members and my right hand guy who was going through a breakup and was becoming unstable, sh** hit the fan and i basically had to lock him out of the corp due to threats he was throwing around, stealing all our assets ect, he basically turned on me because of my actions after 3 years of friendship and quit the game, the corp slowly began to fall apart because of all the drama and i became distant.. i would still play but it just wasnt the same. so i took the leap and quit. at the same time quiting pot for unrelated reasons. after looking back i realised i had spent most of my last 4 years playing this 1 game between 10-14 hours per day with only occasional days off probably mostly due to my girlfriend demanding attention (which is understandable). I decided enough was enough and attempted to quit gaming all together.

Enough wasnt enough and i began trawling through the mmo scene again maxing toons and moving to the next never really being satisfied and being unable to imerse myself in any type of community. Eventually i did quit mmos about 6 months ago all together.

I am now at a stage where i am playing single player games alot.. much less than i played MMO's but still in an unhealthy ammount. i am currently trying to spend more time with my family and trying to occupy my mind with other things such as self help books and a recent 2 month stint at the gym which i have stoped for some reason. I am desperately trying to find the inner peace i need and the confidence to go back out into the world get a job and live a fullfilling life (im now 26 yr's old).

Again sorry for the length and if you managed to get through it all thanks for reading and let me hear your thoughts.

Scott

I am
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Hello Scott, Welcome! I am a

Hello Scott,

Welcome! I am a newcomer as well and I really feel great when I enter this website. I hope you find the same hospitality because everybody is here to help mate.

I read your post and I find your story so reminiscent to mine I wanted to give it a reply. I am happy that you could stop playing Eve Online. I know how MMORPG's are. Even though my main addiction for two years was League of Legends, I know how MMO's are and they can make you forget about life and all. My humble advice to you would be to stop gaming as a whole, because soon after you will realize you are not gonna get enough out of Single Player games - single player games are never enough for ones that tasted the bloody competition-.

If you ever feel gloomy, just pop this song up. It gives me strength.

Feel the lyrics:

Believe by Savatage

Sincerely

I wish the best for you and your precious family.

"Most valuable things in life is your relationships, the places you have been and the experiences you have had."
Steve "Lips" Kudlow
Anvil the Story of Anvil

Manx
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Thanks for you're reply I

Thanks for you're reply I am. I think playing single player is me hanging onto gaming in general.. iv tried to take your advice and i havent touched a game today (so far) altho iv very tempted to hit launch :/ so ill see how that goes.

Iv been reading through alot more threads on this site and its making me realise how far i still have to go with this addiction, its motivating but also daunting, i think the ones that hit home the most are the threads from gamers wife's/girlfriends :(

I have never been one for forum posting but creating this account and begining to talk about this stuff has definately lifted a weight of my chest knowing that im not alone in this.

LearningSerenity
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Welcome to OLGA, Scott.  My

Welcome to OLGA, Scott. My addiction to games came along without my ever touching MMOs, so I can say with great confidence that MMOs aren't the only addicting games out there. The fact that trying to quit single-player games produces some really strong urges to go back should tell you that there's something bigger going on here than an MMO addiction, and I think that what I am says is also on point...you'll likely wind up going back to the MMOs unless you're able to quit entirely.

In addition to posting here on the forums, I try to attend meetings as often as I can. They help out a lot, and although your time zone is going to make it really hard to attend some of them, there are a few that you might be able to make (click on the "meetings" tab at the top of the page for a complete meeting calendar). Addiction to games is a very real thing, and it comes complete with withdrawal symptoms and cravings. I look forward to seeing more of you around the site. 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

Maggie
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Welcome Scott! First I want

Welcome Scott! First I want to congratulate you on taking the first step in recovery. It takes courage to make this kind of change. You are not alone, and together we can share our experience and strength and walk together on this path. It is fun to be able to walk along with others who are going through the same thing. We all want to get better and that is something we have in common. Olga meeting is essential in my early recovery, and I rarely missed any meetings in the first 30 days. I also create a personal blog to share what has helped me in my recovery, and I hope you will find it helpful.

http://www.olganon.org/?q=node/41941

Hugs,

Maggie

It's good to have goals and dreams, but while you're waiting for things to change, waiting for promises to come to pass, don't be discontent with where you are. Learn to enjoy the season that you're in--Pastor Joel Osteen

Manx
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Thanks for you're responses

Thanks for you're responses and support guys (and ladies), sorry i havent replied in a while christmas has kept me pretty busy both with family and unfortunately a bit of gaming.

I got dayz over christmas a game i was waiting for for over a year and couldnt resist, fortunately it was short lived i only ended up putting about 15 hours into it over a few days. my new years resolution was to focus on improving myself, my life and catch up on all the things i have put on hold for so long.

Since new year i havent touched a game i have been steaming ahead with my course work trying to catch up and its actually going really well, i still have a long way to go but iv got more done in the past week than i have since i started the course, iv also been getting jobs done around the house that have been on hold for over a year and i started back at the gym today.

Iv been doing alot of soul searching and self evaluating, iv been reading self improvement books and articles and i had a realisation, if i had had spent all the hours in the last 10-15 years working on improving myself over improving a character that is both not real and something that will not last i would be living a completely different life by now, who knows where i could have been. Its sad to think about, but the motivation is i dont want to get to 50, look back at my life and see my only acheivements in life being digital ones.

Maybe this was a process i had to go through to FINALLY leave the start line at top speed. I know its only been a week since i touched a game and im not going to try and fool myself or you guys into thinking that im cured, but currently the thought of games leaves me with a hollow/empty feeling inside, like a black hole that has already taken so much of my life, i dont want to give it another second!

I havent posted on anyone elses threads just yet as i dont feel i can help others untill i have helped myself, but i have been quietly reading in the shadows and my thoughts go out to all of you still struggling with quiting games. I'm going to post a few quotes that rang true to me and helped me see where some of my problems lie, maybe they will give some of you that push you need.

"The discontent and frustration that you feel is entirely your own creation."
-- Stephen Richards

"We first make our habits, then our habits make us."
-- John Dryden

"You willed yourself to where you are today, so will yourself out of it."
-- Stephen Richards

"We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day."
-- Richard G. Scott

"A barrier is a limitation only when you perceive it as one."
-- Stephen Richards

And this next one is probably my favorite for my situation.

"Minds are like flowers, they only open when the time is right."
-- Stephen Richards

Ill update again in a few weeks and hopefully my willpower will have persevered!

Scott

Maggie
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Thanks for the update. It is

Thanks for the update. It is never too late to quit again. Keep it up!

It's good to have goals and dreams, but while you're waiting for things to change, waiting for promises to come to pass, don't be discontent with where you are. Learn to enjoy the season that you're in--Pastor Joel Osteen

MammaTam
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Hey Manx,  Its great that

Hey Manx,

Its great that you're trying to make progress, I've found attending meetings and reaching out to other ppl on OLGA really helpful. When I first started my recovery journey I relapsed over and over. The question I asked myself each time was "What did you learn?" The fact that you are reading lots of books is great because it gets you reflecting and thinking about what to do next time. Have you read the AA Big Book? Its a great resource, even though its about Alcohol the concepts are readily applied to any type of addiction and I found it a great tool to work with in my own recovery.

Cheers, Tam

"It has become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity"
Albert Einstein.

Manx
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Thanks for the advice tam,

Thanks for the advice tam, the types of books i have been reading are more along the lines of improving comunication confidence stuff like that, but i will check out the book you mentioned once i get through my current one.

Think i overdid the "leaving the start line at top speed" i stated in my last post, after second day at the gym yesterday (which was an insane session) the 8-10 hours a day of course work iv been doing everyday and housework ect i hit burnout today :/ feel drained, low and sore, found myself looking at game review sites on the net. realised what i was doing and came here to remind myself whats what. Is burnout normal over a 9 day period with no break, feel like im letting myself down not keeping it going today.

Also being experiencing some insomnia which doesnt make sence with how drained i feel. seems like i just cant shut my mind down on a night last few days.

Also what do the OLGA meetings consist of ?

Edit: Also my m8 wants me to play the new elder scroll mmo with him over the weekend as we both just got beta invites, feel pretty torn, hes as addicted to gaming as i was/ am? and i havent told him what im trying to do with quiting gaming because hes the typical gamer troll that would just lol at it and give me the man up speech ect. *sigh*

Scott

LearningSerenity
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Hugs, Scott.  It takes a

Hugs, Scott. It takes a lot of time for the brain and body to adjust away from the gaming mode, and to be honest I'm a bit surprised you were able to put in as many days of hard studying as you could before starting to feel burned out. Physical exercise can help, but dealing with the transition from games to no games takes a lot of psychological energy anyway, so even with some exercise to balance things back out a bit, I've learned to expect that my limits are much stricter than they used to be. I'm told that things get better with time, but for right now, I'm learning to stay inside of my current limits.

Have you looked at the common withdrawal symptoms lately? (http://olganon.org/?q=game_addiction_withdrawal_symptoms) I hear more about people sleeping a whole bunch, but that's not the only type of sleep disruption that can happen when people are getting clean off of the games. It might be interesting for you to take a look at the list and see how many of them you're experiencing.

The OLGA meetings are our best effort to make a chat-based environment work like a typical 12-Step recovery group meeting would. Basically, people show up and we share about what our experience is and has been with dealing with our addiction. It's been really helpful for me, and if you can make it to one, I would highly recommend it.

When it comes to the friend, you are allowed to say "no, I'm taking some time away from games right now" and leave it at that. You don't need to explain anything or defend what you're doing, and if he's invested in the relationship because he cares about YOU, then he'll support you. If he's invested in the relationship because it supports him in what appears to be an addiction of his own, then of course he's going to be unhappy with you for quitting, so why give him any talking points? Quite frankly, quitting and staying quit from games is much harder for an addict than any non-addict is likely to understand, so to be honest, making a serious effort to quit is plenty of "manning up" as it is...just saying... :)

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

Patria
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It's time to get honest with

It's time to get honest with your friend about games and gaming, or at least tell him--as LS suggested--I don't play games right now, I'm taking a break from them.

This is kind of like when I quit drinking and my drinking buddies wanted me to just sit in the bar with them (I could just have a 7-Up) while they kept on drinking...sure!! No way.

Games for people who have no problems playing will never understand us who became addicted to them. Heck! I don't even understand why I became addicted to them. But I did. The fact is, I did. It would be wonderful if someone would sprinkle fairy dust over me and declare me ok with games now...but that ain't gonna happen.

Here is a short 3 min video on What Addiction is (you might find it interesting)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=T5sOh4gKPIg

Gettingalife
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Scott, re-read your own

Scott, re-read your own post:

Quote:

Its sad to think about, but the motivation is i dont want to get to 50, look back at my life and see my only acheivements in life being digital ones.

Print that out and put it where you'll see it often. And remember, slow and steady wins the race. We shoot out of the gates with lots of resolve and determination, but going the distance requires pacing ourselves. Hence the slogan "Easy does it" is heard a lot around here.

Plenty of exercise is essential for my mental health and makes all the difference in the quality of my sleep. It really helped with the craziness of withdrawl when I was first quitting. Also, decide on a good bedtime and wake time, then create something of a ritual to get ready to sleep - dress for bed, make the bed inviting with fresh clean linens, etc. No electronics an hour before going to bed, and no electronics in the bedroom itself will help, too. Good luck!

Acceptance. When I am disturbed, it is because a person, place, thing, or situation is unacceptable to me. I find no serenity until I accept my life as being exactly the way it is meant to be. Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.  Acknowledge the problem, but live the solution!

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