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.