Relapse!!!

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notsowildanymore
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Relapse!!!

Hello everyone. This is my first forum post here on olga-anon, but I've lurked in the forums for a while. I've found reading stories and seeing successes to be encouraging for me, in feeling some validation for my own struggle with games. Like any addiction I imagine (I'm fortunate that games are my only one), the reasons for the addiction are mystifying. Like... why am I powerless to the effects of this stimulus?

Anyway, I'm writing tonight because I've hit a pretty rough patch recently after ~3 months of non-gaming. About 3 weeks ago my long-distance GF and I found out we'd conceived a baby on my last visit. I flew out for a long weekend to be there while we decided what to do. It was really really stressful, mostly because we've only been together for 3 months. In the end we decided to have an abortion, though that was really hard to come to. And making that decision has really been too much for our new relationship to handle. So I come back and about a week later, my GF says she can't keep going with the relationship. A few days later, the relationship goes back on life support because the truth is that we still really love each other. Life just threw a ridiculous curveball at us, something that strained us to the breaking point.

Amidst all of this I decide it's okay if I buy a game for the iPhone, which I realized shortly after giving up computer games falls into the same category of addiction. I know it won't give me the comfort I'm looking for, but I get such a jolt out of tapping "Buy", then I watch the thing load until I play. 3 hours later it's 1am, I have to work tomorrow. I already feel depressed and drained from the life situation.

Next night, the same thing. F me, I think, I'm back into it. The dominoes start to fall into place, ready to fall. "Well, since I'm playing a phone game, what's really the difference between this at a Steam game?" I could reload steam and be playing Borderlands 2 in an hour. I'd get more "enjoyment" out of it, and since I'm back in the saddle, why not really go all the way.

Fortunately... those months of abstention hadn't evaporated yet and I was able to delete the game (today) and avoid Steam. Now I'm left contemplating whether Netflix and physical board games also fall into the category of scratching my addiction itch. It's so depressing to start thinking that the addiction may be more fundamental than video games. How much of my life and how many places where I find some enjoyment will I have to renounce?

I've come to realize the base fear I have is the fear of relating to the anxiety and space created by not reaching for a game. When life is good, it's easier. But when life is hard, if I let myself just be, I experience pain and confusion, and want something to make it go away.

The bonus of relapsing is now I know for sure when my new sobriety date is: 12/7. Back to a day at a time trying to find healthier ways to relate to the hard parts of life.

Bill F.
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I relate to your story alot

I relate to your story alot (not the fathering children part, but still, a lot.)

I've definitely had the experience of questioning whether or not "enjoyable" habits are really escapes for me or not. I've had the experience of being game-free for a while and then breaking it a little bit, and then throwing myself into my addiction again full-throttle.

The reality is, no one here can likely give you all the answers you're seeking. I've never found the answers to all my problems in th fellowship or the forums. However, when I do share my problems with another addict, usually (sometimes slowly sometimes quickly) I begin to see the solution.

So, I suggest for you (if your goal here is to get quit and stay quit) what worked for me: coming to chat meetings, getting a sponsor, working the steps, calling other people in recovery, and reaching out for help either on the forums or person-to-person or in meetings. All of these things (especially meetings) have had a near-magical effect on me and my attitude, enough to turn my perspective on it's head, and make mountains back into molehills again.

So keep coming back. I'm glad you posted your story finally after hanging around so long. And I hope to see you at the chat meeting tonight! :)

Last game played: April 24th 2014

dan1
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notsowildanymore
notsowildanymore wrote:

....

Fortunately... those months of abstention hadn't evaporated yet and I was able to delete the game (today) and avoid Steam. Now I'm left contemplating whether Netflix and physical board games also fall into the category of scratching my addiction itch. It's so depressing to start thinking that the addiction may be more fundamental than video games. How much of my life and how many places where I find some enjoyment will I have to renounce?

I've come to realize the base fear I have is the fear of relating to the anxiety and space created by not reaching for a game. When life is good, it's easier. But when life is hard, if I let myself just be, I experience pain and confusion, and want something to make it go away.

....

I also gamed to escape the pain and stress of some very difficult life experiences. And I've had to give up some other things that I obviously do in an addictive way--gambling (actually a more intense experience for me than gaming, if that's possible) and playing solitaire with real cards, which I really enjoyed. I also gave up TV, but not because it's addictive, just because I think it's mostly silly.

For me, board games don't fall into the same category--I gamed to escape and isolate myself, and when I'm playing with people and enjoying their company, I'm not isolating and that's good. So I personally don't worry about those.

There are lots of things I can use to escape. But most of them don't seem to totally take over like games did. So I'm more concerned with trying to moderate most of those things. It's the addictive things that give you big slugs of dopamine that I need to avoid.

It's too bad you experienced this painful situation. I hope that you and your girlfriend emerge from it strong and healthy. That will probably take some time. Hugs.

Best wishes to you.

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.

hirshthg
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Welcome to the front stage

Welcome to the front stage not so wild anymore!

I too strugled with the questions of what is considered part of my addiction and what was not. My addiction didn't only effect me when I was gaming, so everthing looks like it is part of gaming, yet on the other hand I didn't recognize my gaming at all for the longest time!

Good luck on your journey and recovring a meaningfull and productive life.

leveling in steps, serenity, sponcys, sponsors, exercise, and sleep, (sanity has been downsized)
sober from all electronic games since 11/19/2010

Maggie
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Hi notsowildanymore, Welcome

Hi notsowildanymore,

Welcome to Olga! you are not alone, I could relates to your story about using the game as a way of escape. Sometimes the pain and stress are too overwhelming and I simply can not deal with it at that moment. I just take out all the games from my life because I don't want myself to rely on the game as a way of escape anymore. With this decision, it opens other doors as well in my life. I was forced with a choice of learning how to cope with life differently and to be honest, I can be addicted with everything that I enjoy. With this in mind, I try to balance my real life in the best of my ability. We all have our problems to deal with. I do believe I can do better than my past, but if gaming continues to lingering around in my recovery. I don't think I would give myself an opportunity to explore that options.

I also have created a personal blog to share with newcomers who are suffering and I hope you will find it helpful.

http://olganon.org/?q=node/41941

Hugs,

Maggie

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

terindas
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Welcome to the club. Ive

Welcome to the club. Ive only just started sobriety myself and speaking out is so liberatating. Im glad to see you joined us on the forums and hope to see you in live chat some nites. As far as the long distance thing that I can understand completely. My wife and I knew each other for a few months long distance before moving in together. It hard being happy being so far apart from the one you hold dear to your heart. Stay strong and keep up the possts I am learning it does start to get easier.

MammaTam
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Joined: 09/28/2012 - 6:29am
Hi Notsowildanyore, I see

Hi Notsowildanyore,

I see your point about playing board games and whether or not its a trigger for you. I have a friend who will not play solitaire or any other card games with real cards because its too much of a trigger for him. He doesn't play board games either.

For me though playing board games was a great way to connect face to face with my family. There was no isoalting or hiding and we would switch off all screens including the TV for entire weekends. It was really good for us.

I think you need to figure out what your triggers are and whether or not board games cause a trigger. For me I know if I am reading an online newspaper and my face gets warm and my heart starts to race then its time to exit that website. Just thinking about flash games will cause my "face to get warm and my heart to race" so I avoid them like the plague. Board games were just plain fun and family bonding so for me they were okay. And here at OLGA I set a timer and when my 15mins is up, I finish browsing/typing and sign out. Too much time here can be dangerous for me.

Keep coming back, what you've just been through is really hard but with support from ppl here you can get through it.

Good Luck and I hope you and your lady can work through it together.

Tam

"It has become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity"
Albert Einstein.

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