One day at a time.

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kluebirby
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One day at a time.

Hello,

My name is Chris, I'm 29 years old, from the Netherlands and for the past months have been addicted to a PC game. This is not the first time, however it is the first time that I'm searching for help.

I fortunately do not play many video games, but when I find one that I like I become completely absorbed in it and can easily play 40+ hours a week. And if I am not playing, then I am likely on a forum or website reading about the game. I'm writing this on Monday morning after having spent almost all my time since Thursday afternoon playing. I've neglected other aspects of my life and all this gaming has led to general feelings of depression and helplessness.

In my mind I know it is the right decision to quit cold turkey, but I find it a challenging endeavor. My past attempts at trying to quit have failed with me convincing myself that there is nothing wrong with playing a game for an hour or two (which never is an hour or two). But I do recognize the importance of needing to quit cold turkey - just as an alcoholic or a smoker also cannot quit their addiction by first "cutting back".

Having said this, I'd like to start today taking the first steps to quitting this addiction and getting my life back on track. I look forward to sharing my progress with you.

Regards,

Chris

MOBA
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Good luck Chris! :)

Good luck Chris! :)

kluebirby
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Wow! What a quick reply!

Wow! What a quick reply! Thank you :)

kluebirby
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I want to write a post about

I want to write a post about what I find so addicting about games.

I feel that my addiction to games is driven by the feeling of accomplishment provided by these games. The ingame badges, levels, rewards, etc. all make it feel like I'm acheiving something, and that feels good. My addiction is also driven by a desire for recognition, thinking that I somehow can distinguish myself in the game by being very good at it and being admired by fellow players. However, this is far from reality. The acheivements are entirely virtual and have no real world value and the recognition is absent.

I recognize these desires in real life as well, and without a doubt I've had periods that I've also been "addicted" to real life things, even things such as my job or my studies. However the difficulty with video games is the rewards and potential recognition are always palpable, while in real life on the other hand, it is not always clear.

I am currently addicted to video games because I find myself in a difficult period in my life: I am not really sure what I want to accomplish in life. I have no set goal of where I want to be in 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, or whatever. Outside of gaming I have my daily responsibilities that keep me busy, but other than that I do not have a burning desire that motivates me in my free time. For this reason I turn to my video game which is easily accessible and provides me with a feeling of having "accomplished" something.

I understand that if I want to quit this addiction it is important I find these feelings in other aspects of life. This I find a daunting task and one to which I have no answer (yet). But one day at a time, right?

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Hoi Chris, Ik ben Pete en ik

Hoi Chris,

Ik ben Pete en ik woon ook in Nederland. I heb met gaming gestopt 4 jaar geleden dankzij Olganon, mijn sponsor en de 12 stappen.

Hartelijke welkom

Olga/non member since Dec. 2008 Check out my latest video on Gaming Addiction and public awareness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-6JZLnQ29o

kluebirby
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Tommi wrote: Hoi Chris, Ik
Tommi wrote:

Hoi Chris,

Ik ben Pete en ik woon ook in Nederland. I heb met gaming gestopt 4 jaar geleden dankzij Olganon, mijn sponsor en de 12 stappen.

Hartelijke welkom

Dank je! Best veel Nederlanders hier zag ik! Voel me nu al thuis :D

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Welcome Chris!  Glad you

Welcome Chris! Glad you found us. I've had the same problems with obsessive gaming. I tried many times to deal with it using the sensible approach limits and moderation. It was my repeated failures and the downward spiral of problems that convinced me that abstinence is the only workable solution for me.

I hope you can make the Wednesday and Saturday meetings held in the evening in your time zone. Meetings have been very helpful to me. Hope to hear more from you! Glad you're here.

What you feed grows, and what you starve withers away.

dinges
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Hallo Chris, welkom

Hallo Chris, welkom mede-Nederlander!

I just quit a week ago and wish you success with your endevours as well. The community is very supportive in helping you through.

The first days were surreal for me, I hope you will be able to keep it up as well!!

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Hey Chris. Good luck beating

Hey Chris. Good luck beating this addiction. This site can be a huge help :)

Stopped Gaming: June 22nd, 2014.

kluebirby
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Hi everyone,   I started

Hi everyone,

I started this thread 3 weeks ago on a monday morning, and I had a relapse that same evening and the next day :(. Since then I was too embarassed to return to the this site, however I really need to quit this addiction so I'm going to reach out to you guys again in search of help.

I relapsed the same evening that I made my first post. I had a good day, was very productive, and managed to avoid everything related to my addiction all day. When I got home that night, I still had a few hours to kill, with nothing scheduled. I began to reason with myself that playing just for a bit would be okay. Funny thing is, I managed to limit my gaming to about 2 hours, and I went to bed a very reasonable time. Things only got bad the next morning, when the first thing on my mind was the game after which I couldn't stop thinking about it. Since then things were back to square one, as if I never even had started this topic in the first place (given by the fact that I was afraid to return here).

I'm now writing this on a sunday evening, after having played all weekend and feeling quite disgusted with myself. In the back of my mind there are all these things that I need to do, but I just have trouble prioritizing and organizing them, so in the end I push back all my "deadlines" and just keep playing. And I have a feeling that if I don't stop myself now, then tomorrow, Monday, will be another wasted day of gaming. Tomorrow (as is often my case) I am not commited to needing to be anywhere, and on such days I usually end up waking up a bit late, deciding that I'll "work from home", and reason that I can start work after first playing "1 game" .. . . .

I don't really know how to approach this addiction. I guess one day at a time.. But I feel powerless at the moment. I don't know if I can do it. I fear that tomorrow will be at best similar to the night 3 weeks ago.

What tips can you share with me? I feel one of the largest challenges is trying to do to much at once. I fear that I don't have the willpower to constrain myself long enough. I feel like, maybe I can get throw tomorrow morning, maybe I can do a few things that I've been putting off. But I fear that I'll run out of steam and simply cave at some point. Are these things that you've also experienced? How can I best deal with this?

Anyway, to end this long post. I guess it might be best to at least commit to something. My only commitment for tomorrow (Monday) will be to return to this thread in the evening to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Even if it means admitting that I caved.. I guess that would be a good start.

Regards,

Chris

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Welcome back Chris.  I can

Welcome back Chris. I can relate to most everything you wrote, especially worries about how long my will power could hold out while trying to stop gaming on my own. The last time I relapsed, I spent nine months going back & forth about whether to try stopping again, with the voice of addiction constantly talking me out of it. I kept having gaming binge after gaming binge... because I was about to quit, so better get one last good one in! I had so many crazy fears and worries and rationalizations.

One day, I hit bottom and finally decided to take action. I got a sponsor, asked for help, took his suggestions, worked a thorough first step, and started attending as many meetings as I could. Mentally fighting this thing does not work, not for me. I needed action.

I needed to set as my #1 goal above all else to not start that first game between now and bedtime. If that's all I could accomplish that day, that day was a success. When one day at a time was too much, I went one hour at a time. And I didn't just sit on my hands and grit my teeth! That would drive me nuts and I'd be gaming again in no time. I made a list of things to do, kept it at hand and I did those things when the urge to game hit.

I read threads on OLGA, attended OLGA meetings, spent more time with my kids, got outside, did a few cleaning chores, talked with a friend, called my sponsor, reached out to others in OLGA and encouraged them, went for a walk in the woods, found a good book to read (although it was a couple weeks before I could really focus enough to read), called my parents (for the first time in a couple months), found an ultimate frisbee game to join, re-connected with an old friend, put some extra time in at work (partly to make up for past neglect)... these are just some examples. It helped much to have a list with a mix of fun, fulfilling, relaxing, cleaning, relationship building and active things to do. When the urge hit, I picked one or two things from the list and just did them, ignoring the voices in my head that tried to talk me out of it.

The first weeks can be really hard. Stick with it! You're worth it. And it gets easier.

Scott

What you feed grows, and what you starve withers away.

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Welcome Chris, I missed your

Welcome Chris,

I missed your thread the first time around, but I'm glad I found it now. What you just posted reminds me alot of my own experience with trying to quit games. I too would "quit." I would give someone a vital piece of my hardware, uninstall my games, or just say that I wasn't going to play. At best, most of these attempts got me through a few small periods of time. At one point I even just decided to make it literally impossible for me to game in my own house...or so I thought. That stint lasted me a few months, but then as soon as I had a mouse and a computer I was back to gaming. I too, made myself play only for an hour I think it was, and felt great about how I "moderated." I woke up the next day feeling somewhat like you described: panicky and itching for my game.

This is a rough stuff to deal with, but you're starting to deal with it the right way. coming here and posting, reading others' posts, and getting to meetings are what get me through my urges now. I also talk to a sponsor every day, and work the 12 step program that (I think?) Tommi mentioned above. Above all else, I would say just Keep coming back. If you can do that, and just keep posting or coming to meetings, I believe that you would have a much better chance at beating this. It made the difference for me.

Additionally, I noticed you mention the "One day at a time" saying. I'm not sure if you're familiar with 12 step programs or not, but my understanding of the saying is that I (as an addict) focus only on the current 24 hours. I'm only going to try to not game, make it to the next meeting tonight, and turn the rest over to my higher power for today. I'm not going to worry about not gaming tomorrow, or the next day. If I do I'll just scare myself back to gaming and get hopeless.

Big props for posting. It takes guts to come here and put yourself out on the forums, and it's been the first step towards recovery from games for a lot of members here. I hope to see you around in either the meetings or on the forum.

"It works if you work it, so work it. You're worth it!" :)

Keep coming back bud.

Last game played: April 24th 2014

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kluebirby wrote: ..... I'm
kluebirby wrote:

.....

I'm now writing this on a sunday evening, after having played all weekend and feeling quite disgusted with myself.

....

I don't really know how to approach this addiction. I guess one day at a time.. But I feel powerless at the moment. I don't know if I can do it. I fear that tomorrow will be at best similar to the night 3 weeks ago.

....

My only commitment for tomorrow (Monday) will be to return to this thread in the evening to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Even if it means admitting that I caved.. I guess that would be a good start.

Chris,

It's natural for us addicts to feel disgusted with ourselves. I'm with you on that. The good and bad news is that it's not really about willpower. It's an addiction. That means that it has its teeth sunk deep into your brain. It hijacks you. It's not some moral failure--it's not like you either don't know what's right, or know it and don't want to do it. It's that once you start gaming, you *can't.*

How to quit? Everybody above gave good tips. Come to OLGA and read and post when you feel like gaming. Your commitment to return and become part of a recovery community is probably the biggest step you can take. If you keep coming back here, you will get the support you need to do what you need.

For the first few days and weeks, it's all about not starting that first game. Do anything (legal) to avoid that. After you have gone through your "detox" period, you will need a more comprehensive program of recovery. We all construct our own recovery, sometimes with the help of a therapist or sponsor, sometimes using a method like the 12 steps. The key to recovery is changing the way you deal with life--it's not so much about games as it is about how you handle the stress of existence (it's failing to manage that stress that drove you to gaming probably, just like the rest of ius).

In any case, I'm glad you're back, and I'm not horrified you relapsed. Relapse happens. I am sorry, though, since it does set back recovery--when you play that first game (and then a couple more), your brain goes right back into addiction mode, as if it had never left. Then you have to quit and go through detox again. That's why it's worth it to quit and be ruthless about not starting up that first game again.

Best wishes, Chris. See you around.

I am a recovering computer game and gambling addict. My recovery birthday: On May 6, 2012 I quit games and began working a program of recovery through OLGA No computer games or slot games for me since December 12, 2012. No solitaire games with real cards since June 2013.

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Hello everyone,   Thank you

Hello everyone,

Thank you for your kind and warm replies! I thought I had written a really long post last night that people would at most skim through, so I'm pleasantly surprised that you all have taken the time to read it and give me useful and meaningful advice.

The good news is that I've made it an entire day without gaming or anything related to the addiction. Today was very similar to the day 3 weeks ago, I again had a very productive day and at the end had a few hours to spare with nothing planned. Usually I would get behind my PC and play, however I stayed strong and found other things to do (go to the gym and prepare my meals for tomorrow).

I also sent a ticket to the support department of the game I'm addicted to asking them to delete my accounts. I have yet to get a reply with a confirmation, but according to the terms of use this is allowed. This of course was a difficult decision, with the "what-if" thoughts that I'm sure all of you have experienced.. But I might as well do it now while I'm at my strongest.

@Scott: I can understand where you're coming from when you write that your #1 goal was to simply avoid playing for 1 day. I hopefully learnt this lesson after my previous relapse (I don't want to speak to soon), but today this thought definitely made all the difference. Thanks!

I got some questions about the lists you use. Do you still use them? Did you find them in particular useful at the start? Or did it take you a while before you started using them?

My experiences with gaming is that it is so accessible and mindless while this is not always the case with other activities, some require preparation, etc. But I can see how having a list ready makes it easier to get into something else.

@CrissCross: I can relate with thinking that making games inacessible doesn't solve the problem. I've tried multiple times to uninstall the game (which takes like 1hour to install), but in the end I was always patient enough to reinstall it. As you can read above, I've now requested to have my accounts deleted, but as you also have experienced in your own ways, this won't be a solve all solution.

I'm not really familiar with the meetings? Are these online? How do they work? Where can I find more information about them?

@Dan939: I really like what you wrote, "The key to recovery is changing the way you deal with life" and about the distinction between the detox and the recovery period. I don't know how it is with others here, but in my case its not like I've been gaming for years on end. But over the past few years I've definitely had periods of on and off binge gaming (easily periods of 3-6+ months), and whenever I find a game I like I definitely am addicted. For this reason I've never felt "addicted" in the past because I knew that I also have gone very long periods without gaming, making me think that I am in control. But your words are a real eye opener, they tell me that whenever I do become addicted again has to do with me as a person and how I "deal with life". I will keep your words in mind as I continue on this journey.

Tomorrow's goal: Same as todays! Check in here from a day from now with my daily progress.

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Hi all! Today another good,

Hi all!

Today another good, game free day!

I had a busy day with plenty to do, and am quite tired now so will keep it short. I did a lot of walking today (1hr20min walk in the morning + 50min walk in the late afternoon). In particular the morning walk I found very helpful as it helped me get my thoughts straight for the day.

In the morning I did have some small bouts of anxiety, thinking about gaming, but nothing to bad. Fortunately I have enough deadlines at the moment to keep me busy. What worries me more are the weekends when I have more time to spare and my willpower is drained after a long week... But one day at a time. Just like Scott suggested I've started to think about some things to do to distract myself, so hopefully this will help me get through the weekend when it comes.

Anyway, tomorrow's goal will be the same again: just keep checking in.

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The walking is huge! Nothing

The walking is huge! Nothing clears my head and my body like exercise, and if we can get outside to do it, all the better. You're doing great, Klue.

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!

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kluebirby wrote: @Scott: I
kluebirby wrote:

@Scott: I can understand where you're coming from when you write that your #1 goal was to simply avoid playing for 1 day. I hopefully learnt this lesson after my previous relapse (I don't want to speak to soon), but today this thought definitely made all the difference. Thanks!

I got some questions about the lists you use. Do you still use them? Did you find them in particular useful at the start? Or did it take you a while before you started using them?

My experiences with gaming is that it is so accessible and mindless while this is not always the case with other activities, some require preparation, etc. But I can see how having a list ready makes it easier to get into something else.

Hi Chris

When I suggested "a mix of fun, fulfilling, relaxing, cleaning, relationship building and active things" on a list, I wasn't very clear. By heading the list with "fun" I didn't mean to imply that it's a list of fun distractions. I was trying to say that the list of things to do works better when it includes a variety of things. Some fulfilling things. Some cleaning chores. Some relationship building. Some active things. Some fun things. My list had many important chore-type work-type exercise-type goals on it too.

I used them for several months, but not lately. At first it was all about dealing with urges to game, for the first month. It was very helpful there, because I felt drawn to my computer and kept the list right next to it. So while my mind was floundering to come up with an alternative to numbing out on the computer, I could just look down at the paper and see the alternatives. With the variety of things I wrote down, it was fairly easy to find at least one thing I could motivate myself to get moving on.

After that, it was about contending with procrastination and substitute escapes. I found it very helpful. My addict brain, when focused on relief, just seems to block out all thought of meaningful accomplishments I could be working on. With the list handy, it made it so much easier to remember those things and motivate myself to pick one or two and get going.

Scott

What you feed grows, and what you starve withers away.

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Today another good day! I

Today another good day! I was physically really tired from the gym monday and all the walking yesterday and got home early for a change. Regardless, it was a productive day.

I was dreading going home early though, normally I'd either play a game all night or go to the gym. I was physically too tired to go to the gym, so that was out of the window. But in the end everything went alright. I watched a movie and did a few things that have been on my to-do list for a long time..

So in conclusion a good day :)

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Just a short update. It's

Just a short update.

It's Sunday afternoon, and I still haven't played. So almost a full week without gaming! I have mixed feelings about it though and there is definitely a burning itch in me to want to play, but I've managed to stay strong. I was afraid of the weekend, thinking I'd fall into boredom and cave and play, fortunately I had enough to do this weekend so I stayed busy.

In general I'm really happy with the past week. I lived healthier than I did the weeks before and was a lot more productive. However I definitely still have a yearning to want to play. It feels unfair to deny myself the pleasure of playing, I wish I could just play once as a sort of reward. But I know that if I play as little as one game I'll succumb and give it all up. I stay strong by remaining rational and not giving in to my emotions. I am also convinced that the feelings will pass with time.

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kluebirby wrote: I feel
kluebirby wrote:

I feel that my addiction to games is driven by the feeling of accomplishment provided by these games. The ingame badges, levels, rewards, etc. all make it feel like I'm acheiving something, and that feels good. ... I recognize these desires in real life as well, and without a doubt I've had periods that I've also been "addicted" to real life things, even things such as my job or my studies. However the difficulty with video games is the rewards and potential recognition are always palpable, while in real life on the other hand, it is not always clear.

Yes ! Both to the "empy achievement calories" provided by games and to getting addicted to real life things.

I just overstressed my knee by running 4 miles every two days for the last 3 weeks on old running shoes. Sports is healthy right ? But not if you are doing it for the runners high, or the icecream you can eat afterwards, or to cover up any negative feeling. I am not saying I should not excercise. It is just that too soon I end up in the same unbalanced situation as I get in with gaming, where the rush of achievement makes me forget other important things: that I am only human, not a game character that keeps improving by simple repetition, that I should balance exercise with rest, that maybe I need to look at my feelings when I am angry or frustrated instead of making myself feel better by running and running alone.

Yes kluebirby, this is what makes us addicted, our ability to lose ourselves in the things we enjoy. I like to think this is also a strength, when employed with caution. As with all things, it needs to be balanced.

Perhaps a man who is worthy of the name should put aside this question of how long he will live ..., and turn his attention to this instead, to how he can live the best life possible in the time that is granted to him
Marcus Aurelius

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Ok, so I’ve now completely

Ok, so I've now completely relapsed into my gaming addiction and am finally ready to admit it and start over with eliminating gaming from my life. The progression over the past couple of months from game-free to full-blown addict was gradual, and logically started with me thinking that I was still in control. To be honest, I find it difficult to post here, because I still feel like I'm in control and that I can quit if I had to. But the reality of it is that I am not. I, probably like many of you, have argued with myself time and time again, saying something to the lines of, "tomorrow I quit." But tomorrow was two days ago, and still I find myself in the same ditch, now saying, "Ok, I'll give myself 1 more day..."

I recently read a book on video game addiction, in hope that I'd find the holy grail of how to quit, but unfortunately things are not that easy. I can relate to many of the things that I read and it is abundantly clear that I'm addicted, yet even after reading such a book I still find myself starting up my computer and gaming until the middle of the night.

In the past I feel like posting here and starting to quit was easier, because I found myself at the peak of my addiction and it was very clear how gaming got in the way of my life. Now I find this more difficult because at this moment in my life I have very few obligations and a lot of free time. So every thought I've given to quitting I disregarded with the thought, "but what will I do otherwise with all the free time?" But the fact of the matter is, that even with all this free time I'm still not managing to do the few things that I need to do. Worst of all is that right now my internet connection has been down for the past 3 hours, and instead of seizing the moment to get stuff done, I wasted the time away leeching internet off of my neighbors to read gaming forums.

I need to come to terms with the thought that "Once an addict always an addict." These words are difficult to accept since they imply giving up something you enjoy forever, and this thought is difficult to bear.

I'd like to finish with at least one positive note. The last time I was here dealing with this addiction, I didn't think much of it. I am now however coming to terms with realizing that my addiction is fueled by underlying issues and I look forward to dealing with these in hope to beat the addiction for good. However I know that I do not possess the knowledge, tools, or skills to deal with this single handedly, and I therefore turn to all of you reading this for guidance. Please advice me in how I can best recognize and deal with my addiction and its underlying issues. I will do my best to surrender myself entirely to the process, but recognize that sometimes things might be difficult.

I appreciate your time.

Regards,

Chris

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p.s. Is there a way to

p.s. Is there a way to subscribe to replies? I'd like to receive email notifications of replies to this thread, to make sure I don't "accidentally forget" about this commitment.

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I don't think so Chris about

I don't think so Chris about suscribing to replies. I can relates to you Chris. For me, people can tell me 100 times and I still don't get it until I tried and fail myself and then....ok I have accepted it that I can not change who I am with gaming (only the war game).

It's good to have goals and dreams, but while you're waiting for things to change, waiting for promises to come to pass, don't be discontent with where you are. Learn to enjoy the season that you're in--Pastor Joel Osteen

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Hugs, Chris.  If you stop

Hugs, Chris. If you stop by OLGA and click on the "recent forum posts" link, you'll get a pretty quick way of finding out if people have replied to you. I'm not aware of any way to get an automatic email notification though...

That being said, the things that I've found most helpful for me are (in no particular order) 1) OLGA meetings, both chat and otherwise, 2) posting regularly on OLGA, 3) getting a sponsor and starting work on the steps. Given the time zone difference, only some of our meetings will work out well for you, but some of them are at a time that you should find to be pretty accessible. I look forward to seeing you around some more...(and just for the record, I very much relate to a lot of what you're talking about). Hugs...

When you're going through hell...keep going. --Winston Churchill There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still --Corrie ten Boom

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Good luck Chris

Good luck Chris

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Yesterday I got back from a

Yesterday I got back from a long weekend in Milan. I had a good trip and it kept my mind off of gaming. I did however have 1-2 moments where I really missed the game.

Monday I start a new job, and until then I don't really have that much to do. So it still is difficult at times. Part of me says, "you might as well enjoy yourself now and quit on Monday." But so far I've managed to stay strong and haven't succumbed to the temptations.

I've been passing my time reading a lot (I think my new addiction is buying ebooks ). I've been reading both fiction (the divergent series) and nonfiction (the charisma myth). Although I enjoy reading it's more difficult for me to really get completely emerged in a book like I would in a game..So it remains a bit of a struggle, but I'm pretty happy with how its going.

@Maggie and @freewill98, thank you for your replies and for reading.

@LearningSerenity, also thank you for your reply, reading, and the additional information on how to carry on. I think I'm going to stick with posting regularly here for now and soon I'd like to move onto working on the 12 steps.

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