Do I really have a game addiction?

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Yaox25
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Do I really have a game addiction?

Hi, my name is Humberto and I've been a gamer since i can recall the first memories of my life. I think it was when I was 6 years old that my dad bought me an Intellevision and then my "hobbie" began.  All my life I had been sorrounded by the likes of me, my best friends are also gamers, or at least were gamers when I met them, and in true honesty until now (I'm currently 32 years old) I believe that gaming has never impacted my life or others in a significant way.

When I was a kid my gaming hours were controlled by my parents, i usually got out of school , got home and started doing my homework, after that I  had physical activities classes like Karate, Baseball, Swimming and such , and only after that i got a little time to play (mostly 1 or 2 hours per day and no more than that) . When I was in my teen years I believe things changed, I began playing more and more, and enjoyed less and less doing sports or physical activities, playing games was better, more enjoyable and it was something that I was actually good at, this didn't mean that i didn't spend time with my friends or family, or that i didn't get out of my house. I did that, is just that i rather be playing than doing those things. This carried out till now.

Two years ago I married my girlfriend of 5 years, both started living together since then, and we never had problems regarding my gaming hours. It is true that sometimes she got angry because of the time i spend playing videogames, but when that happened I stopped playing and spent more time with her, told her i was sorry and that I had it under control, I tried to talk to her and appease her usually until she was "happy" , and then it all happened again like a loop a few weeks later. Recently we had a rather sad and hurting talk, she said to me that she have had enough, and that she was tired. Told me how I was hurting her, it broke my heart and I promised her I was going to change and spend more time with her. The thing I want you guys to understand is that I don't consider myself the type of guy that plays a game 10 or 12 hours a day. I'm not like that, I like spending time with my friends, talking , i like my work, and the time i spend with my co workers. I admit that i play more than what is "ok" for a person, the problem is that spend more time playing videogames that sharing time with my wife and I know that is not right. The last 2 or 3 months my routine was waking up in the morning, go to work, then I got home from work around 6 pm and sat on my computer and played till 11 pm more or less making breaks to eat dinner with my wife but not more than that , this carried out for around 2 months. I feel is a little harsh to cut gaming all together from my life, I wish that i could still play videogames but not as a priority. I want to believe it can be done. There's been 3 days since I had that talk with my wife and i haven't play video games since, I know is not a lot... My problem is that I believe that showing her that i rather be with her than playing video games will get her to say eventually "go on love play a little bit I don't mind, i know you have changed" and then these things will happen again. I don't want to quit gaming i really don't. I just want it to be a pass time hobbie, nothing major. Do you guys think it can be done? Or I'm just being naive?

Sorry for my english but I'm not a English native speaker. Thank you for your understanding.

 

Allerseelen
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Some key points

Humberto,

Thanks for having the courage to seek us out. Be welcome here. Whatever your ultimate decision is, please keep coming back.

You've identified a few points that I think are key. First, and most telling to my eyes, is that this has been a cycle, a pattern in your life: the people in your life feel abandoned; you tell them you're going to make a change; you tell yourself that you're going to make a change, and for a little while, you do. "And then it all happened like a loop a few weeks later" sums up pretty perfectly what a lot of us here at OLGA have experienced—that feeling of trying the same thing over and over, each time hoping that it will be different, each time getting disappointed.

Second, and this is just a personal theory of mine about addiction, is that you're very conscious of how much time you spend gaming. As a kid, I was always glancing at the clock while gaming, not only because I feared that someone would come and take me away from it, but also because some part of my mind was whispering that I had been doing this for too long, that I should stop. You're aware of your hours—6:00 to 11:00 every day—and keep to them regularly.

That brings me to my third point, however: the things that people keep to regularly are usually necessary to their survival. We take medicine regularly; we sleep and eat and drink regularly; we see friends regularly. Those are necessary for our health and well-being. If gaming is something you feel compelled to do from the time you get home from work to the time you go to sleep, however, it has stopped being a hobby and started being a drug that you need a hit from every day. I'm guessing you burn through the last few tasks of the day extra fast and think about gaming on your commute back home from work, if you're at all like me. I could never wait to get back online, and fantasized about gaming more intensely as I got closer and closer to playing.

My fourth point is about how to define addiction. When I self-diagnosed as an addict, I was in college. I was an all-honors student with a 3.89 grade point average; I exercised nearly every day; I had a close-knit group of friends with whom I got together most nights. Clearly, I hadn't hit rock bottom, right? I mean, you hear stories of people who lost everything to their addiction—the wife, the children, the job, the house, the car, the sense of self. That's obviously not me, I told myself. Here's the real secret, though: you don't have to have a story that looks like that in order to be an addict. I didn't lose my family, but I did nearly sleep through my grandfather's funeral because I was up until 4:00 a.m. gaming the night before. I didn't lose my friends, but I did invent excuses for why I couldn't be with them more often than I should have. I wasn't the worst I could have been, but I wasn't the person I wanted to be. Addiction is about how you play, not how much you play. A person can still have a very toxic relationship with gaming without being glued to the monitor every hour of every day. I know because I had that relationship, and I can't have been playing more than about 3 hours a day.

Already you're seeing some very compelling reasons why gaming might be more than just a regular problem for you, Humberto: you've tried it multiple times, and it hasn't worked; your wife, probably the most important person in your life, misses you and feels you're not present in the relationship; you're hoping that by not gaming for a little while, she'll relent and give you permission to go back. You've seen for yourself that, in the context of your life, gaming is something that expands to fill the space that you give it. If you give it an hour, it will take at least an hour, probably more, and if you give it more, then it will ask for more. It's never satisfied. Because addiction takes any tiny opening you give it and forces its way through, most people on OLGA will recommend that you quit gaming. I recommend that, too. You don't have to think about quitting forever; just commit to quitting for today, or this hour, or this minute. Get out of the house. Exercise. Be in nature. Spend time with your wife. Play board games. Indulge your creativity. Explore other hobbies. Call a friend. Learn something new. You'd be amazed how fast those hours and minutes will add up, and I think you will be amazed by how full life can feel when you're not pouring a lot of your energy into the empty hole of addiction.

Taking Steps toward recovery since November 2, 2012. The difficulty of the path makes it worth the walking.

Yaox25
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Thank you for your support.

Hi Allerseelen, thank you for your support, it is comforting to read the words you wrote and know that there are people who experience the same things that I do. I think that you made a key comment with "Addiction is about how you play, not how much you play". I'll try my best to stay away from gaming for a few weeks (i think the most time i've been away is 2 weeks on a holiday trip) but this time is going to be different, just want the time to reevalute myself and show my wife that she is priority for me over things like gaming and mean it.

Thanks again,

 

Polga
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Thanks for sharing Humberto

Thanks for sharing Humberto

I think many of the spouses of gamers and the gamers will relate to your story, you have put it into words very clearly.

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wazzapp
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Thanks for coming here and

Thanks for coming here and sharing your story,

Hugs!

Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3

 

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