I am here for help with self-control

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Last seen: 5 years 5 months ago
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Joined: 06/11/2014 - 10:31pm
I am here for help with self-control

The title is misleading, I know--there is no controlling an addiction.

I've come here for help because, well, this......will take some time to explain, as it's about more than just my videogaming addiction.

My name--not my full name--is Alex. I was born in Canada in 1988, and--due in part to my father's job in the IT sector--I discovered videogames at the tender age of eight in 1996 right, unfortunately, as such popular titles like the Command & Conquer series (Westwood Studios) and Descent (Parallax Games) were beginning to emerge onto the market. Needless to say, I was hooked. Even in those early days, I would often wake up early--waking up friends or their parents as well--in order to get at that fun thing. So it grew; by 2000--when my family first became even dimly aware of what might be wrong--I was actively using my friends to get at videogames; by 2006 I was actively hacking into family computers--or building my own--in order to bypass common restrictions. Needless to say, my family tried everything--batteries of psychologists (five, to be precise), setting rules and restrictions, being forced into going cold turkey only to relapse weeks or months later because I was simply waiting...I was kicked out of the family home twice, the second time resulting in an unsuccessful attempt at a career in the military, which in turn resulted in--somehow--a successful attainment of a BA in History after four years of study...This has been a battle fought for 18 years largely without my cooperation; I either skirted around the problem(s) or achieved what I achieved in spite of them, and not without help from my family whose persistence in the face of all this is mind-boggling......

And I am here because they have, finally, given up. They gave an ultimatum to me; no matter the circumstances, no matter how much money I have, I will be evicted on September 1st of this year; I have all of $1k saved up--largely due to being required to hand over large sums of my earnings to my family--and a job at a call center that pays well enough but leads exactly nowhere in terms of further career opportunities.

Needless to say, I am hosed...but not just because of the videogaming, which I have been off of for 8 days now, largely because I was given the choice of either giving them up or being evicted instantly. Put simply in the words of Mark Lundholm, the addict-turned-comedian whom I have met personally, I am one of those people who is "addicted to one, addicted to all." Videogames? Check. Internet? Check. Internet news? Check. Kindle reader? Check. Pornography? Almost Certainly. Spends like a maniac? Oh most certainly. Put more simply, I have an impulse control disorder, but calling it that is akin to saying that the Sun, at 10 million degrees C, is only "mildly hot." A better description would be that, overall, I am addicted to most any form of electronic leisure. To make things worse, I have Aspergers, a high-functioning form of autism, which only exacerbates the above.

And so I am in need of help--not just in dealing with the above, but in getting my affairs, such as they are, in order.......so that in 6 months time I am not, as my mother and father have been incessantly and loudly predicting for the past five years, "dead in a ditch somewhere."

Polga's picture
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Joined: 02/17/2014 - 11:33am
Welcome to OLGA Alex Thanks

Welcome to OLGA Alex

Thanks for sharing your story. I am the mother of a gamer. You have come to a good place here. Admitting you have a problem is hard but necessary. It's positive you are doing this. You will be able to move forward. People here can support you if that is what you want.

All the best xx


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Last seen: 5 years 3 months ago
OLGA member
Joined: 12/11/2011 - 5:41pm
Welcome, Alex. You've

Welcome, Alex. You've arrived at OLGA at a time when the site is in transition. Currently, there are many active parents and spouses of addicted gamers but, regrettably, few active recovering addicts themselves. It may take some time for voices of those working to overcome addiction to return here, or perhaps, the site is evolving into more of a help for those with addicts in their lives than one for addicts themselves. Time will tell, but you're definitely welcome and understood here. Read posts, reply to posts, come to the evening chat meetings if you can. It helps. I know. I've been there.

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!

Silvertabby's picture
Last seen: 2 weeks 5 days ago
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Joined: 11/23/2010 - 4:42pm
Hi Alex and welcome to Olga.

Hi Alex and welcome to Olga. It seems, for many of us, that some form of addiction is in many different parts of our lives and I can certainly relate to what you are saying. It seems that, if we stop one addiction, a different one pops up. It makes it that much harder. But all we can do is keep on trying, one day at a time, to find balance in our lives. And starting with stopping the gaming addiction is a good start. That was my worst one and pretty much took over my life. And for that, this website has been a great help. I come here when I get cravings to game and I read posts, respond to posts, and write posts to get support and encouragement from others going through the same thing. I also attend the chat meetings at 9 pm EST, when I can. It all helps. For me, just having the accountability of the people here is really helpful. I hope you can find your way out and I wish you all the best.


Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~Maria Robinson

Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
OLGA member
Joined: 04/01/2014 - 6:53pm
Hi Alex, Welcome to OLGA.

Hi Alex,

Welcome to OLGA. This is a great place to get help. There are some wonderful resources as well as meetings everyday at 9pm EST. I highly recommend the meetings as they are a place where you can talk about your recovery as well as hear about how other people are doing the same thing you are trying to do.

Also there is a very useful feature where it shows who is in chat on every screen you go to. So if you need to talk to someone, just pop into chat and very soon someone will see you and come say hi.

Talk to you soon!


Last seen: 3 years 12 months ago
OLGA member
Joined: 02/08/2011 - 9:56am
Hi Alex, I'm glad you found

Hi Alex,

I'm glad you found this resource. I know exactly what you mean about being addicted to all. But as Silvertabby said, you have to start somewhere, and it makes sense to start with the one causing you the biggest problem. Congratulations on your 8 days game-free.

I suggest you attend chat meetings daily for now. I know, it's another online activity, but it puts you in touch with people who have experienced what you have. It helped me a lot when I first quit. So has working the steps with a sponsor. If you post a request for a sponsor, someone will likely respond.

"She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it)." --Lewis Carroll

Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
OLGA memberOLGA moderator
Joined: 04/21/2014 - 3:03pm
Welcome Alex! Look forward

Welcome Alex!

Look forward to seeing you in the chat meetings here!

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

Last seen: 5 years 2 months ago
OLGA member
Joined: 02/17/2010 - 1:46am
You need to realize, Alex,

You need to realize, Alex, that you can't have everything. It's okay to stop when you have enough of good things. You don't need to pursue every option that is available to you all the way to the bitter end. Ask yourself what would give you the peace of mind to stop whatever activity you are engaged in. If you can't answer that question, there may be more subtle reasons preventing you from freeing yourself.

We are all in constant battles against the tyranny of our instincts. But we cannot kill it, because in doing so, it would reincarnate through the means with which we've used to kill it, turning more of ourselves into itself. That's why in many lores and myths, the villain or monster or 'great evil' is rarely killed but more often banished, locked away, imprisoned, or exiled, for villainy is not so much a thing or entity as certain forms of relationship and context under which things take place, and that context likes to form especially when anyone is being demanding about anything, even what may pass at first glance as well-intentioned ones (we've all been conditioned to react to certain things in certain ways, even when they don't make any sense or turn out to be a real detriment), and forcing yourself and/or others to go through with it; that is when the slumbering monster is again released.

Last seen: 5 years 3 months ago
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Joined: 12/11/2011 - 5:41pm
I love what Danfeb's added

I love what Danfeb's added here for a couple of reasons -

1. My dear father, God rest his soul, was of a mindset that "there's never too much of a good thing." Thankfully, my mother knew better and was an example of comfortable discipline - meaning she learned (over the course of my life with her I witnessed her progression, which in itself has been a gift of hope for me) to choose to do what was healthy in order to *be* healthy. And by comfortable, I mean the discipline she practiced wasn't rigid or stifling in any way as a result of her intention.

2. Reminds me why meditation is so valuable to me. The practice of choosing to calm down, breathe deeply, notice the gap between me and my thoughts helps me allow life to pass through me, me pass through living without such a tight grip, with less fear, with more trust, with more acceptance. Rather than constant battle against all within and without me, I can take a stance of acknowledging a rub, a trouble without engaging with it so intensely.

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!

Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
OLGA member
Joined: 12/23/2013 - 6:07pm
Hi and welcome Alex :) Will

Hi and welcome Alex :)

Will start off by re-iterating what almost everyone has said here, but cant be put across enough, congratulations for the steps youve taken so far. not only identifying the issue, but seeking help. The hardest thing any of us can do as addicts is take responsibility for what we are doing. its very easy for us to place the blame on those around us as an excuse to keep doing what we do.

We as addicts can only help each other through our own experiences, I'm in a similar boat to you, my addictions are not nailed down to gaming per se, i found when i first attempted to seek help and give up gaming my addictions seemed to (unknowingly to me) simply transfer into another medium.

As a result Im finding i have to try and be vigilant with almost every aspect of my life. As i said i attempted to tackle the gaming issue (25years odd of daily gaming) but simply doing that wasnt enough. There were (and are) core issues in me that lead me to try and do these things. sometimes escapism, sometimes hedonism, sometimes just pure self destruction, but i learnt if i dont try and tackle these core issues, i dont stand much of a chance of dealing with the addiction.

I sincerely wish you luck on your path. As the others have said, there are lots of people here able to understand or at least relate on some level to your experiences, from both sides of the "problem". if you can, come back and use them, attend meetings where possible and talk to people, even if its just to vent!

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