I'm a 47-year old woman with a grown son, daughter-in-law and two beautiful grandchildren. Married, but separated due to my addiction consuming so much of me. My life is in a box at this age (storage unit) and I'm staying with my parents. I also have ptsd and a sever mental illness and symptoms are mostly managed by meds as long as I take them according to regimen - one of my recovery strategies is to be more disciplined in this area.
I journal prolifically and I'm good at authenticity, recognizing my failings, being self-aware and planning recovery strategies, but - up until this time - have been poor at follow through after minimal attempts before falling back into the impulse to game excessively. I don't play MMOs, but a single player Elder Scrolls game, Skyrim. I am on my 4th character in six months and still find new things to do... enough about that.
I haven't given up on recovery, though I tend to feel very discouraged. Trying to encourage myself now and recommit to all the healthy behaviors I suspect will help me if I only stick to them. I have a good support system in my family and they celebrate my progress with me, though they are much better at telling me what I ought to do than truly understanding the nature of my issues or telling me how I can do what they believe I should "just do."
A great challenge I'm dealing with right now is the cognitive dissonance I'm experiencing between between my compulsions to game and my healthier values of personal responsibility and being other-centered rather than so self-absorbed. I'm torn with the inner conflict, trying (unsuccessfully until now) to hold onto an honorable life while living like I care about it very little. I've lived with various addictions for many years - relationships, spirituality, alcohol and now gaming. I wish I could say I am recovered from the first three due to abstinence, but I have only traded one thing for another time and again. Though I was sick and overly fixated with the spirituality when I practiced it, I was healthier then than in my whole life. Because of my illness and cognitive processing, I have exhausted and overexhausted any chance to believe in the higher purpose that I did before, though I crave that relationship I once believed I had with the divine.
Another challenge is that I have recently returned to work after 3 months of disability with which I have recently come to terms was due as much by my addiction problems as by my illness. I feel inept, unable to enjoy my wonderful job or life without gaming as a coping skill when I can clearly see gaming only makes real life harder. I've enjoyed this time off so much, having no accountability to my husband or anyone, not having yet jeopardized my other relationships and living on a good disability to make ends meet. I'm sure it all ends badly if I continue, but my mind still tries to convince me I can somehow have it all in balance if I can be on my own without my loving husband and go on long term disability. I strongly suspect the loss of my husband would only be the first of many if I continue to give this addiction a place in my life.
I need help and hope to establish some connections here. Up until now, I have not had much success with healthy friendships, mostly preferring to isolate and avoid the investment they require. One of my recovery strategies is to do at least one thing every day, however big or small, for someone else without expectation of reward, starting with my elderly parents. I have much opportunity for this at work as well as I work in a helping profession.
Thanks for reading and for any response.