Sober for over two months, new hardships

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Alfagador
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Sober for over two months, new hardships

Hi guys,

I wanted to share my story with you, I'm feeling a bit lonely and it's making things harder because I have a lot on my plate right now. I'm 31, I have a great relationship with my girlfriend and we have a wonderful 2-year old. I work from home as a translator, so I'm always in front of the computer. My closest friends moved away a few years ago, so even though I still have a lot of friends, there are none that I can really fully open up to.

Anyway, you see it coming, don't you? Loneliness, the stress of leaving my job and trying to make it on my own, the stress of raising a small child, not having your good friends closeby... I became (and still am) sort of depressed and gamed during the day to escape. I've always gamed a little more obsessively than most of my friends, but I never felt it was problematic, until we had our child. Then as I became more tired and more stressed out, gaming really became an escape, especially RPGs like Morrowind and Skyrim.

I stopped for 3 months in late 2013 but it still wasn't clear to me that this might be an addiction, so when the Hearthstone beta key came in the mail, I relapsed. I gamed during the day, telling myself "just one hour" and then gaming all day long. I still managed to work and be a good father and boyfriend, but I hated myself and I hated lying about what I had done during the day. I lost thousands of dollars in contracts because of my idleness, and I finally snapped out of it last September when I almost defaulted on a major project because I was playing Skyrim instead of working.

Anyway, I started reading stuff like WoWDetox and I eventually found this forum. Reading the stories helped a lot. I quit on September 9th and it's been going well, but... (To be continued)

Alfagador
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...two months and a half

...two months and a half later, the "high" of successfully quitting video games is receding, and I have to face reality without being able to escape like I used to. So far I'm doing a fairly terrible job at it, I've turned to watching Youtube videos of Hearthstone and aimlessly surfing the Internet. Still, it's an improvement over gaming all day and lying about it.

I'm not sure how to proceed from here on out. It's obvious I need to face the issues that trigger the procrastination reflex and the thirst for escape but I'm not sure where to begin. I guess I'm ready for Step 4, the big ugly confrontation with the unspoken. Wish me luck...

Andrew_Doan
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Keep moving

Keep moving forward!

Remember X years into the addiction requires X years out of the addiction.

Andrew P. Doan, MPH, MD, PhD

My Gaming Addiction Videos on YouTube: YouTube.com/@DrAndrewDoan

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy, DHA or Department of Defense.

Lisa3333
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Hi Alfagador!  That is so

Hi Alfagador! That is so common - in AA they even refer to going through those first couple of months as the "pink cloud" phase where the sheer excitement of having quit carries us along. Two things hit me as I read your post. First, the importance of going to meetings with others and having a sponsor to help with the steps. Since addiction is a disease of selfcenteredness, I cannot get better alone. Each of the steps begins with the word "we". I think coming to some of the meetings here and working the steps with a sponsor will help. For me part of procrastination is rooted in my disease of addiction and is simply a form of selfcenteredness. I also have found procrastination/lack of motivation to be physically part of the process of my brain healing from subjecting it for so long to the overstimulation of gaming.

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

Alfagador
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Thank you for your

Thank you for your thoughtful answers guys, it feels good knowing I'm not alone. I'll try coming to some meetings.

Lisa, how is procrastination a form of selfcenteredness?

Lisa3333
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Hi Alfagador!  For me, when

Hi Alfagador! For me, when I am procrastinating I am wrapped up in my own thoughts - thoughts about why I don't want to do something/how I'm feeling/etc - so that is why I view it as self-centered. As I've heard said, "I can't think my way into right action, I have to act my way into right thinking", so when I'm procrastinating, I have to get up and do something constructive, even if it isn't the task I'm putting off, and have found it gets me out of my own head. I've also heard it said that "when I'm stuck in my own head, I'm in enemy territory". :)

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

YouAreNOTalone
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Hello Alf. Games updates

Hello Alf. Games updates tempted me a lot during my first weeks and they still tempt me. Last week I was not careful enough and I "sneaked a peek" but thank goodness I didn't relapse. I found that the updates and videos related to gaming are monstruous trigger so please try to stay away from them. Keep fighting and don't look back and remember that you are NOT alone in this.

Best wishes,

David

"The future is determined by our choices in the present." - Anonymous Author

Alfagador
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Thanks a lot for your

Thanks a lot for your thoughts David. You're right about gaming videos being triggers. I initially thought of them as a sort of nicotine patch, but now I see that I get an urge to watch videos that is very similar to the urge I used to feel for gaming. It's still better than gaming, because I only spend like 45 minutes watching them instead of the 5 hours I used to spend gaming.

That being said, as my recovery progresses, I will gradually let go of them. It seems like everything with a screen gets me into that mindless/compulsive zone, so I'll have to be careful.

Alyberry
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Along with videos of gaming,

Along with videos of gaming, I also find TV to be extra brutal with all those gaming commercials airing all the time! I don't normally watch TV, but over the holidays i happened to catch up on some TV with my family. I was amazed at how many of these short commercials were shown. Television just hasn't caught up to how addicting these games can be. They would never show a pro-cigarette commercial anymore and there are hardly any casino commercials out there as well (I do live in a non-gambling state) but it's amazing what's out there. I've been a recovering gamer for the past year but am only a month in. Still going strong! Don't tempt yourself with any YouTube videos and change the channel when these commercials come on. I find it's also helpful to stay active. I make my own schedule so it's been hard for me at certain times of the day. I've made little awards for myself and posted them next to my bed and find this helpful. For ex: one week not gaming! And one month as well. It's creative for me and provides a visual reference to stay away. anyway just my thoughts! -Alyssa

bdsaint
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Hi Alfa. I too am 31, but

Hi Alfa. I too am 31, but married and have a baby girl. I consider myself a thorough Hearthstone addict... building new decks, watching top streamers on Twitch and reading more and more about how to improve my game.

While I do consider myself addicted to the game, it doesn't affect my family life on a daily basis as I try and devote my evenings to my wife and baby girl. On days off though, i'm pretty hooked onto Hearthstone reading up / watching other play.

While my battle is different from yours (my body shape / confidence / desired weight loss, vs. your struggles), perhaps our posts can shed some understanding into each others cases to help wherever possible. Here's a link to the post I created yesterday:

http://www.olganon.org/?q=node/49773

Cheers

Alfagador
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Hi bdsaint, Our story is

Hi bdsaint,

Our story is pretty similar! I'm 31 and we have two young kids. I stole money for Magic the Gathering when I was a kid, and I used to love large open world RPGs. Plus Hearthstone, obviously. :)

I haven't found any magical answer to my plight, although thanks to work and the kids, I'm just too busy to worry about it at night. I used to game during the day because building a business felt like too much, but now I've removed all games as well as my speakers, and I've blocked Youtube on my work computer, so it's easier to stay focused. Plus after 4 months I just don't feel the urge to game anymore.

That being said, pain, fear and shame don't just go away, so I'm trying to learn to face them instead of escaping like I used to. It's a work in progress, I still watch about 15-30 minute of Trump videos a day and I read a lot of (unrelated) blogs to avoid doing the work that needs to be done.

I'll post something on your thread. Keep your chin up, you're smart, aware and responsible, you can beat this!

Getsuya
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Alfagador, I'm so glad I

Alfagador, I'm so glad I read your thread today. I've been struggling with some of the same things. At first when I swore off video games I told myself I'd need to avoid looking at them on Youtube or surfing game news sites. Slowly my resistance to that broke down because there was a little voice telling me 'Even if I'm not playing, I still at least want to see what's been happening in the game world'. I also cheated by saying things like Game Grumps were okay because, even though it's gaming videos, I watch them for the comedy. And, through a natural progression I find myself today reading Let's Plays of games I never 'got around' to playing when I was addicted and I was seriously considering breaking down and picking up an old retro game system so I could just finish up some of the classic games I never got around to playing. 'Once I'm done with those' the voice would tell me 'I'll be more satisfied and will be able to make a cleaner break away'.

But, reading your thread has reminded me that I need to get rid of -all- the video game stuff. The videos and news and things are still triggering our brains in the same way playing games used to, and beyond that they're filling us with the temptations that get harder and harder to ignore. My argument at buying a system was going to be 'well if I'm going to spend time watching other people play, why not just play myself? I'd enjoy it more then, and be spending the same amount of time as long as I keep my playing under control'.

But we all know it doesn't work like that. So I'm going to block myself from all the game news sites and unsubscribe to any game-related youtube channels and try to get away from my computer more. We've got to treat this stuff like the dangerous, insidious drug it is. Maybe some people can play games and be fine, but we can't and we've got to be vigilant.

Getsuya
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Alfagador, I'm so glad I

Alfagador, I'm so glad I read your thread today. I've been struggling with some of the same things. At first when I swore off video games I told myself I'd need to avoid looking at them on Youtube or surfing game news sites. Slowly my resistance to that broke down because there was a little voice telling me 'Even if I'm not playing, I still at least want to see what's been happening in the game world'. I also cheated by saying things like Game Grumps were okay because, even though it's gaming videos, I watch them for the comedy. And, through a natural progression I find myself today reading Let's Plays of games I never 'got around' to playing when I was addicted and I was seriously considering breaking down and picking up an old retro game system so I could just finish up some of the classic games I never got around to playing. 'Once I'm done with those' the voice would tell me 'I'll be more satisfied and will be able to make a cleaner break away'.

But, reading your thread has reminded me that I need to get rid of -all- the video game stuff. The videos and news and things are still triggering our brains in the same way playing games used to, and beyond that they're filling us with the temptations that get harder and harder to ignore. My argument at buying a system was going to be 'well if I'm going to spend time watching other people play, why not just play myself? I'd enjoy it more then, and be spending the same amount of time as long as I keep my playing under control'.

But we all know it doesn't work like that. So I'm going to block myself from all the game news sites and unsubscribe to any game-related youtube channels and try to get away from my computer more. We've got to treat this stuff like the dangerous, insidious drug it is. Maybe some people can play games and be fine, but we can't and we've got to be vigilant.

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