Opening my eyes, for yet another time in my life that I am out of control.

11 posts / 0 new
Last post
WickedRegret
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 10 months ago
OLGA member
Joined: 05/29/2014 - 10:54pm
Opening my eyes, for yet another time in my life that I am out of control.

Hi, I just discovered this website a few days ago and read through some of the posts. I've been through this several times in my past and keep getting caught up with this addiction. I would like to get my situation off of my chest before moving forward because I haven't actually spoken to anybody about what I am going through. Tonight I spoke to my wife, confessing that I acknowledge my serious gaming addiction and understand that it is severe and I need to change. I however have not got in to detail with the emotions that come with my addiction and how I feel, or better yet the emotions and feelings that I run away from by turning to my addiction.

I have been here before, and have shaken this. I call it my addiction a lot to myself and joke about it a lot (often laughing about it) with my wife. Truth is I am unbelievably angry. I am struggling with choosing appropriate vocabullary to express how I feel as I do not want to offend, though I am sure everybody whos been where I am would not mind. I want to stand up as I type this and put my fist through my monitor, and throw my computer against the wall. I HATE this part of my life and want to scream about it and curse myself. I hate what I have done to myself by wasting so much time on this computer.

I am a step-father to two wonderful children that I treat as my own, and I have my first child on the way (who is due in about a month). I started my relationship with my wife and our children very well where I was not gaming (I had broken the addiction for a good period of time). It slowly creeped back in to my life with the illusion that I was strong enough to control it. It started by playing games that I could hop in and out of and not feel like I was losing anything by not playing. Then I began playing more games that had a strong sense of progression. I could not allow others to progess faster or more than myself, which would cause me to play for more hours. I don't enjoy playing the games any more, I just play to stream line my progression and make it more and more efficient so that I could be better than others. Others... People I have never met, random strangers with a better Rating/Rank than I in some stupid game.

Sorry if this is reading like a rant, because it is hard to articulate and compose an explenation of why I've spent 15 years of my life and thousands of dollars on nothing. Nothing to show for anything I've done in 15 years. I spent 5 years playing Everquest, from 1999 to 2004. I spent $1000+ and thats my parents money, before I had even graduated high school (which I didn't even do because of this sh**). I dropped out my senior year of high school because I wanted to stay home and game more than I wanted to try in school. I have spent months playing 18+ hours a day.

Anyway, here I am again. Fighting the urge to finish this post quickly so I can open up my current game of choice. It saddens me that I've turned angry at the beginning of this post, to now calm and relaxed enough that I want to go play again. Do I even want help, or just attention? Anybody else felt this way?

Help. Please

SheeshMode
SheeshMode's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 9 months ago
OLGA member
Joined: 09/20/2012 - 8:01am
Wicked Regret. We are here

Wicked Regret. We are here for you man, we really are. There are a lot of people on this site who are sober and more than happy to help a fellow addict who is in a tough place. I am 20 years old and relate with everything you have posted. I began when I was 5 years old and loved the challenge and excitement of the game, but over time I found that I wasn't fulfilling anything else in my life. I was just gaming. Hour after hour after hour.

Fear and self-centerdness are the root of our disease and I was most certainly afraid throughout my life. That fear has dissipated over time as i continue to progress as a sober member of Online Gamers Anonymous and Computer Game Addicts Anonymous. I am more confident, more disciplined, and more understanding.

We cannot give you what we have found, but we can show you the way to get it. Do you think you are so powerless that you might have to rely on others for help? It is up to you.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me to be realistic about the challenge I'm facing and to take good care of myself. If you need help PM me! I will gladly offer you whatever aid I can.

WickedRegret
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 10 months ago
OLGA member
Joined: 05/29/2014 - 10:54pm
Thank you for the words of

Thank you for the words of encouragement Sheeshmode. I don't think I am ready to relinquish control over this addiction. I go through these different emotions. One moment I am angry and hate Video Games for how they have effected my life negatively. Then I will calm down and continue with my usual habbits and not make any changes to better myself. I feel completely content at times with gaming for hours. Even now I am calmed down enough that unless I am focusing on the problems gaming has caused, I don't want to stop. I know that is the addiction drawing me back in, and distracting me.

How do I resolve the issues that are pushing me towards my gaming addiction. I fear that if I try to quit video games cold turkey, that I will become angry and frustrated. I am scared of what will come after that power button is turned off and my escape is gone. What emotions will follow?

benek
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 9 months ago
OLGA member
Joined: 03/22/2014 - 4:20am
Hi Wicked Regret, Welcome to

Hi Wicked Regret,

Welcome to OLGA and thank you for sharing your story.

I'm sorry to hear about your gaming problem. I can relate to a great deal of what you said. I would alternate between phases of being frustrated with myself and my life, feeling that I had to quit...and then when my awareness of the size of the problem dissipated, I'd calm down and go back to gaming. I did this for many years.

Have a look at OLGA's diagnostic tests (the second one is better): http://www.olganon.org/?q=self_tests_on_gaming_addiction

The test can cut through the denial and clarify the extent of the problem.

When I first joined I didn't really want to quit either. I was terrified of the thought of living my life without the games. I didn't think I could do it. I didn't think I could enjoy anything else, either. I felt hopeless.

Now, with OLGA's help, I am 73 days game-free and counting.

What helped me was: educating myself about the addiction; connecting to other game addicts in recovery by PM, chat and skype; attending OLGA meetings (there are two daily); attending a face-to-face meeting where I live; support from my husband; support from my doctor, and hopefully support from a therapist in the near future; finding a sponsor and working the 12 steps; my relationship with a higher power.

Addiction is a big problem, and the issues underlying the addiction are often even bigger. However, it is possible to recover from addiction, and live a healthier way, one day at a time. There is plenty of help, and plenty of hope.

Gettingalife
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 8 months ago
OLGA member
Joined: 12/11/2011 - 5:41pm
Welcome, Wicked. Yes, I felt

Welcome, Wicked. Yes, I felt that way. I was angry, too - at myself mostly and at the world around me. After 2 years of not gaming at all and after 2 years of working very diligently to learn new ways of living, I get angry occasionally, but anger no longer pervades my life. Now I know that anger is one of a healthy spectrum of emotions I experience, and if I find myself angry a lot, it's a red flag that I need to make some changes.

What I'm going to say may, on the surface, seem so obvious as to be trite, but I hope you'll let it sink in. The most important realization I've made and accepted on a deep level is that life is incredibly challenging. And there is no getting around that fact. If I'm really living, facing life on life's terms, rather than avoiding or running from all that living requires of me - as I was every time I sat down to game - life is a daily challenge. The better equipped I am to face the challenges that present themselves each day, the better my life is - the happier I am, the better I feel about myself and my world.

Now, you may say,"Well, that's a no brainer. I just don't feel up to meeting the challenges in my life. Thanks anyway." What I found was that the obvious was slapping me in the face, and I'd been refusing to see it - that I was feeling ill equipped to meet my challenges because I WAS ill equipped. That simple. No explanation or blame needed. If I had known better, I would have done better. I did not know better. Once I got miserable enough doing what I did know to do - run from things I can't handle - I got motivated enough to do whatever it took to learn what I needed to learn to do better. That simple. And it isn't easy.

The very good news is that we can learn better methods of coping - not "perfect" ways that will eliminate all pain and suffering and transport me to nirvana - but good enough ways that shift the balance just enough that life is doable and life is satisfying.

For me, this is recovery in a nutshell: I become willing to admit that some of the things I'm doing are creating a lot of pain for me and for those who love me. (Step 1, you've done this) I become willing to be teachable, open to learning some new ways of looking at myself, at my life and putting what I learn into action. I wholeheartedly begin searching out new thoughts and behaviors that will sustain and strengthen me and practice those new thoughts and behaviors long enough over time that they become part of me.

It's that simple. It's not easy. There is no reason to beat yourself up. No reason to blame, to belittle, to call yourself "selfish" or "stupid" or "lazy" or any other disparaging label. In fact, one of the most basic and biggest changes, is resolutely changing your relationship with yourself from one of accusations and put downs to one of compassion and understanding.

So, my best advice given my own experience with addiction is this - let the pain you're feeling now propel you to make the changes you can make one day at a time. You are worth it.

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!

Lisa3333
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
OLGA memberOLGA moderator
Joined: 04/21/2014 - 3:03pm
Hi Wicked and welcome!  I

Hi Wicked and welcome! I went through all the progression with my gaming addiction that you described and the last few months I wasn't even enjoying the game, I was playing because I wanted to keep up and progress my characters in it and not fall behind. The problem though was my mmo kept adding new content every few months so it was a never ending progression spending 6+ and many times 12+ hours a day.

The last days of my gaming my emotions were identical to what you shared. It was literal hell of emotional roller coaster of hating the game, hating myself, playing the game anyway, not wanting to stop but knowing I needed to stop. Today is 43 days game free for me - probably the longest ever in 10 years. The miracle is by coming to the online meetings here at 3 and 9pm EST and hearing others share the same feelings and hearing how they recovered and are happy gave me hope that maybe if I listened and did what they did that could happen to me, and it has worked. I am happy, peaceful, and amazingly have no strong urge to play any video games. I had no clue video games could be an addiction let alone that they were actually the cause of my problems and negative feelings because for me they had been I thought the solution to my problems and feelings. I remembered something I had heard in AA where they suggested giving it a try for 90 days and if after that time life hasn't gotten better I could be refunded my misery. At day 43 game free and through this fellowship of others recovering from the same addiction, my life really is dramatically better. I no longer have the intense emotional ups and downs and self hate that I had every day for that 10 months I was gaming. Thank you for sharing and reminding me of the same misery I had and that I don't want to have refunded.

You don't have to keep living this way. You deserve far better. Hope to see you in one of the meetings here and hugs.

Hugs, Lisa Video game free since 4/17/2014

WickedRegret
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 10 months ago
OLGA member
Joined: 05/29/2014 - 10:54pm
Thanks everybody for taking

Thanks everybody for taking the time to read what I had to say and giving support. I sat down at the computer this morning with the intent of getting on my game. Though I decided to check this post first and I think after reading what you all have to say, I am going to try not playing any games today.

Though I have an urge to add that I may not make it through the day without playing. I feel this is the addiction already wanting me to fail. I am going to turn my computer off, and finish watching the Lego Movie with my son this morning before starting my day. I will turn the computer on later tonight and add an update on here to share how the day went. I feel weather anybody cares to follow up or not, it will give me some sense of accountability. Wish me luck (this sounds so silly typing this out, but what ever, it makes me feel better about trying to do something)

benek
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 9 months ago
OLGA member
Joined: 03/22/2014 - 4:20am
WR, That's great news! Good

WR,

That's great news! Good luck making it through the day! Just do whatever it takes not to game.

I suggest coming to both the daily meetings, at 3pm and 9pm. If you're about to game, do what you did this morning: come to OLGA instead. Drop in chat if anyone's there, and talk. Read the forums. Check out the "Videos for Recovery" section and watch some of those. I can recommend the videos of addiction specialists Gabor Mate and Kevin McCauley on Youtube; this one was especially interesting for me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpHiFqXCYKc

Here's a useful thread about what to do when you feel cravings: http://www.olganon.org/?q=node/44185

You're right, that your addiction wants you to fail. But there is also plenty fighting for you to succeed. OLGA wants you to succeed. Your son definitely wants you to succeed. And at the end of the day, if you have a relapse, you can always try again. There is no limit to the number of tries you get.

angelochek
angelochek's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 9 months ago
OLGA member
Joined: 04/30/2014 - 10:42pm
Hi wicked, I'm glad you

Hi wicked,

I'm glad you found this fellowship and came to share what has accumulated inside of you over time. It's not easy to take the first step but it helps tremendously to let it all out and seek for help.

Believe it, there are many people struggling with similar emotions as you described including me. I really thought I could just game at the end of the day for couple hours with no harm done and be satisfied. I wanted to escape from all the repetitive daily house chores, taking care of my children, cooking, cleaning, all the stress that filled me at the end of the day I thought I found it in game and it provided me with temporary relief and satisfaction. But as I deeply got into playing the game and progressing my character and playstyle, couple hours that I spent at night turned into couple more hours, and then into few more and more, and there was no stop at that point, I have already invested so much energy and time into game (and even money) that I didn't want to throw it all away. I couldn't control it and thus I even lied and made fake promises that I would quit. I didn't think I needed help because I could stop at any time I wanted. But I didn't see how much my game addiction affected my family until I was bored of the game and was quite frustrated with a lot of things. I found this community right at that moment. I almost turned into trying a different game but was stopped because of this place. I actually still can't believe what made me even check this site out; it was just a click of a mouse I guess since someone from my family sent an email to me with the link to this site (hoping to make me come to my senses I guess). So with a click of a mouse I started reading about this place and its purpose, then attended first meeting and talked to other people and realized how really addicted I was and that I had a hope to recover from it.

I really sympathize with your situation and all those years you have wasted as you stated. It's not too late for you to change it and turn a bad habit into a new habit. I'm still in my early recovery and I'm not saying it's easy, no, but I'm trying to come here and make new connections, share at the meetings, read useful resources, etc. It really helps me. I'm also doing it day at a time and my current goal is to hit one month of game free time, which will be June 11th. Hope you have a game-free day today! Keep us posted!

Hugs,

Oksana

"We can suppress anger and aggression or act it out, either way making things worse for ourselves and others. Or we can practice patience: wait, experience the anger and investigate its nature" (Pema Chodron)

WickedRegret
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 10 months ago
OLGA member
Joined: 05/29/2014 - 10:54pm
Just a quick update before

Just a quick update before bed. I managed to not touch any games today. It was pretty rough at times. A few moments I kept wanting reward myself for not playing for like 5 or 6 by getting to play games lol. It seems so backwards but I had to convince myself not to.

I end up going to a used bookstore here in town at 8 pm and buying two books (which I never read, because the level of stimulations holds no water compared to gaming). I just need something to pass the time. I kept catching myself sitting in front of my computer, fidgeting or bouncing my knees just itching to play.

Let's see what tomorrow brings. I haven't build up the courage to join a meeting yet or go into the chat room. Though I still haven't told my wife I'm using this website yet. I don't know why I am keeping it a secret but it feels a bit lame to admit that I need help for my video game addiction (and I mean no disrespect in that statement, I believe 100% that video game addiction is as serious as any other addiction out there and just as dangerous). Anyway I'm tired. Thanks again everybody for the support. It is really helping me start this process.

benek
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 9 months ago
OLGA member
Joined: 03/22/2014 - 4:20am
Hi WR, That's wonderful

Hi WR,

That's wonderful news! Congratulations on day one game-free!

I can very much relate to the twisted logic of "I haven't gamed, so I deserve to game!" I used to game not only to escape from negative feelings, but to reward myself for good behavior. Any excuse I could come up with was good enough for my addict brain.

I don't know why you haven't told your wife, but I know why I didn't tell my husband. I wanted to leave the exit-door to my recovery wide open for a while. Telling my husband was a way of sealing that exit door. I also wasn't anticipating much support, and thought I could be opening another door to a crapload of resentment that I wasn't ready to deal with. And that's ok. I told him when I was ready, and it was good that I did. You can inform your wife when you're ready. The most important thing right now to focus on, is to get through the withdrawals without gaming.

I had a lot of anxiety during withdrawals, as well as depression, exhaustion from sleep deprivation, boredom, stomach problems, headaches. These largely cleared up after about a week or two. Here is a list of possible withdrawal symptoms: http://www.olganon.org/?q=game_addiction_withdrawal_symptoms

Reading is a good alternative activity. I found it hard to read at first...still do, but it gets easier. Gaming and internet use interfere with our memory. We train our minds to expect that instant gratification is just a couple clicks away, and our concentration and long-term memory get weakened and short-circuited. The brain can heal but it takes time and effort. When reading, I try to finish at least one chapter at a time before I take a break. Here is a thread with other ideas on what to do about cravings: http://www.olganon.org/?q=node/44185

I strongly encourage you to take the leap and attend a meeting. You can also connect with other members by sending PMs and meeting up in the chat room off-hours. Here is a list of contact information for some members if you'd like to connect via email or skype: http://www.olganon.org/?q=node/45094

Addiction is a serious mental illness. You don't need to recover alone; in fact, you can't. I definitely couldn't. Open up to receiving the help the other addicts in recovery can offer you. Without the OLGA fellowship I'd be gaming right now, no question.

Log in or register to post comments