&: Relapse - Re-entering the gaming world

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lizwool
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&: Relapse - Re-entering the gaming world

What if you decide to "try" it again? After quitting for a period, the game addict may feel it is safe to try play a few games, or limit his game time. This can mislead the person back into gaming binges again. But it is not too long before the game addict is back in the old pattern of too many hours on the game, in spite of all efforts to set limits for only moderate, social gaming. The answer, based on OLGA. experience, is that if you are a game addict, you will never be able to control your gaming for any length of time. That leaves two paths open: to let your gaming become worse and worse with all the damaging results that follow, or to quit completely and to develop a new pattern of game-free, constructive living.

I can quit gaming quite a while between binges; how can I tell whether I need OLGA.? Most OLGA members will say that it's how you game, not how often, that determines whether or not you are an addicted gamer. Many addicted gamers can go weeks, months, and occasionally years between their excessive gaming bouts. During these periods, they may not give gaming a second thought. Without mental or emotional effort, they are able to take it or leave it alone, and they prefer to leave it alone. Then, for some unaccountable reason, or for no reason at all, they go off on a first-class binge. They neglect job, family, and other civic and social responsibilities. The spree may be prolonged for days or weeks. When it is over, the addicted gamer is usually weak and remorseful, determined never to let it happen again. But it does happen again. This type of "periodic" excessive gaming is baffling, not only to those around the addicted gamer, but also to the person still gaming. He or she cannot understand why there should be so little interest in gaming at times, and so little control over it once they start gaming again. The periodic gamer may or may not be a game addict. But if gaming has become unmanageable and if the periods between excessive gaming becomes shorter, chances are the time has come to face up to the problem. If the person is ready to admit to being an addicted gamer, then the first step has been taken toward the continuing sobriety enjoyed by others of OLGA members. The primary purpose of OLGA. is to carry its message of recovery to the addicted gamer seeking help. Regardless of the road we follow, we all head for the same destination, recovery of the addicted gamer. Together, we can do what none of us could accomplish alone. We can serve as a source of personal experience and be an ongoing support system for recovering gamers.

Edited by: Xandtar at: 11/25/06 23:24

Liz Woolley

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Relapse - Re-entering the gaming world

This is what I wrote last July:

******************************
Heyas:

So, I've got all my chars and credits on eBay, getting out of Anarchy Online. That's the good news.

Many of you know I haven't been able to hold down a job for a while, partly due to illness, but also compulsive gaming. In what seems like a cruel twist of fate, but perhaps a blessing (?) the district sales manager for Electronics Boutique called me the other day and offered me a job in a new store.

(EB is expecting to have 40% more stores in Canada in a couple years than they do now, so they are always looking for more people. I gave them a resume a while back and hadn't heard much until now).

Anyway, the district sales manager tells me that I can probably be running my own store in less than a year. I smiled and accepted the job, feeling like Jesus staring down from the pinnacle of the temple.

Can an alcoholic be a bartender? I need work and I certainly know the product. Am I playing with fire?
************************************

I never did sell my Anarchy Online characters, and I started playing again with a vengeance when the Shadowlands expansion was released.

I just got off the phone with Liz (thank God for long distance calling plans) and had her witness the destruction of my disks. They're all cut up in front of me, waiting to take a one-way trip to Wisconsin tomorrow morning. (The hard drive was cleaned and defragged too, but I won't mail that to you, Liz).

I also deleted ALL my Anarchy Online toons, starting with my level 106 main. I'm gonna miss the Tiger Claw guild - they're good peoples.

My relapse occured because I failed to be painfully honest with myself, my wife, my friends and my God.

I wound up in a psychiatric ward last November, wanting to die. I never appreciated how loved I am until I stumbled into that deep, deep hole.

I quit my job at E.B. after an angry confrontation with the manager after my absence due to illness.

I work a bit, desktop publishing and volunteer work. I'm striving to get back into the workforce to use my gifts and experience more fully.

Please rejoice with me and follow my progress in my online journal:

www.livejournal.com/users/alphaboy

I really needed an impartial witness for this stage, and so I am grateful to Liz. The idea of going without my 'precious' games makes my stomach turn, but I couldn't keep up this sickening addiction.

Blessings,
BGH

__________________________________

We stand for freedom. That is our conviction for ourselves; that is our only commitment to others.
John F. Kennedy

The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.
-Alfred Lord Tennyson
____________________________________

Silence WAR
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Re: Relapse - Re-entering the gaming world

BGH I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!

What you have done takes a lot of strength!

I remember the day i broke my CD's, I had my girlfriend as a witness and i send them off to liz!

You have taken such a huge step in your life!!

Now you can start really living!

I remmeber responding to your original post saying that online gaming addicts can not play games and that is true... Its like saying oh im an addict but i only snort cocaine once a week now... it just doesnt work you get right back into it.

I know you can get through the next trials in your life and you will find that whole new doors will open up to you now that you dont have the game to drag you down. I know how hard it is to delete your characters... I deleted my 2 lvl 65 Evcerquest characters and each character had over 100 AA points... thats 4 years of work down the drain but i knew i would come back if i did not deleted them.

I hope that you can find some more work and I would really love it if you could come to our meeting tommorrow!

I hope to see you there its at 8:30 central at www.recoverychat.com

i hope to see you around and again words can not express how happy i am for you.

Love
Aaron blair

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Re: Relapse - Re-entering the gaming world

Welcome back to your "real" life, Brad.

It was so good to hear from you.

You took some big steps yesterday, to show yourself that
you are serious about leaving the games.

I pray this will work for you.

You are a special person, and are worth being more than a body sitting in front of a computer.

I look forward to seeing you tonight, at the meeting.
Put as much into your game-free life, as you did into your gaming life, and you will do fine. If you work this simple
12-step program, it will work for you. Come and find out how.

Feel free to invite your wife to join us.

(Let me know when you send the CD's.)

Sincerely,
Liz

Liz Woolley

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Relapse - Re-entering the gaming world

Thanks guys.

The disks and manuals (1 kilogram) were mailed last night.

I'm journaling online now, and I invite anyone who's interested to check out my daily reflections at:

You can also sign up to get your own live journal... it's easy and FREE, FREE, FREE for their basic service.

Here's an entry I just posted:

That sweet fragrance
One of the things I'll miss about gaming is actually not the game itself, but the process of buying and installing the software.

The game comes in a smooth textured package, with slick graphics and screenshots. My heart races as I feel the bumps and ridges on the box. I pay the clerk, rush to the car and tear it open.

I savour that sweet fragrance. You know the one... like new car smell... it wafts from the roughly opened package. I don't remember encountering that crisp, inviting smell anywhere else. I think the game developers must have consulted with Chrysler or Ford on how to make that sweet, sweet fragrance.

I do the 15 minute drive from the mall in ten minutes, setting a new land speed record with my '96 Pontiac. Rushing into the house, my jacket is thrust onto the living room floor. I run downstairs with the shrink-wrapped CD in hand. My heart races faster.

The shrink wrap, apparently designed by NASA, only comes off with much profanity and the use of a sharp object. I drop the install CD into the tray, slide it in and watch the show...

God bless the people who created the WISE Installation wizard... it has been my constant companion these past years. That steadily progressing blue line foreshadows hours of endless entertainment.

40%

55%

Please insert Disk 2

I follow my marching orders and dutifully yank the second disk out of the jewel case roughly. The second installation CD teases me with its slow progress.

70%

Screenshots appear in the installation window. My brain rewards me with a rush of Dopamine or Adrenaline.

80%

The CD spins plaintively. Will it ever finish?

90%

Tick, tick... growing restless...

100%

Sweet success.

Now, to hide the evidence... I've just spent 60 bucks I DO NOT have, so I tear the box into little pieces, toss them into the trash, gather the kitchen waste, fill a black trash bag and rush it outside before my wife gets home...

The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.
-Alfred Lord Tennyson
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lizwool
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Re: Relapse - Re-entering the gaming world

Brad,

You need to get a sponsor. The next time you have an urge to buy a game, CALL him!

Later.
Liz

Liz Woolley

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Sponsor

Sponsor = "accountability partner" in church parlance.

I'm developing that kind of relationship with my church's associate pastor re: steering clear of porn on the internet. Gaming is another addiction for me, and he is aware of it. I'll speak to him tomorrow about specific measures to prevent me from buying or downloading games.

I'm finding that the journal helps, as it applies the creative energy wasted in-game into something useful and interesting. I imagine I'll look back at it in a few months and see how different my life has become.

The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.
-Alfred Lord Tennyson
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Re: Sponsor

Bravo on your progress! I know what you mean about a journal being helpful. I kept one during the rough time when I felt like my husband was ripping me away from all my "friends". I haven't kept it up as things are much better now, and I'm sure I could see a dramatic improvement in my relationship with my husband since those dark days.

I wish you continued success and hope to see you at the meetings.

Cathy

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Re: &: Relapse - Re-entering the gaming world

I found myself saying this time it will be different! I have a blog that I started when I was playing EQ for the 2nd time. A while goes by in my archives and then I point out how my life is not working out and I am going to quit forever and sell my account. It was then my blog was being used more, then the entries stopped again, and I realized that's when I had rejoined the game and stopped blogging. I quit this time and sold my account on ebay for ten times what I had put into it. I tried playing the character that was my opposite but that was worse than ever. I recently found my game unsettling, boring and hated the obscenities that were being tolerated by the GM's. I am not blogging much, but I've gotten back to my garden and doing things with my friends and family. I would advise NOT engaging in any game whatsoever as this is continuing to feed the addiction.

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Re: &: Relapse - Re-entering the gaming world

Good for you longjohn!

Leveling in Real Life

Ryan44z
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Re: &: Relapse - Re-entering the gaming world

:oMan can I relate to what BGH said about purchasing a new game.

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Re: &: Relapse - Re-entering the gaming world
"lizwool " wrote:

Most O.L.G.A.s will say that it's how you game, not how often, that determines whether or not you are a obsessive gamer. Many problem gamers can go weeks, months, and occasionally years between their excessive gaming bouts. During these periods, they may not give gaming a second thought. Without mental or emotional effort, they are able to take it or leave it alone, and they prefer to leave it alone. Then, for some unaccountable reason, or for no reason at all, they go off on a first-class binge. They neglect job, family, and other civic and social responsibilities. The spree may be prolonged for days or weeks. When it is over, the gamer is usually weak and remorseful, determined never to let it happen again. But it does happen again.

I originally had a problem with playing excessive video games for a period of less than a year around 1992 when I was getting my computer consulting business going but without much initial success. However, when I started getting work, I got a lot of it and was able to quite easily stop playing completely with relatively little effort at the time. Nonetheless, about 5 years ago (i.e., about 10 years after my initial bout), after computer work dropped off due to the dot com implosion, I started playing regular video games again. This time, however, I was more hooked (due to various reasons like depression and financial stress) and, although I did not play a huge number of hours, as the quote says, I did not have much control and often played them at the wrong time such as when I had work to do. Thus, although I did get some work, I did not do some of that work in a timely manner, thus affecting my cash flow and relations with my clients. I am now getting better through means like getting counseling, being a member of OLGA, etc., but have had some recent minor relapses. Nonetheless, I am making it up to my client's now (that is part of OLGA's Step 9 that I am trying to follow) that I had not done a good job for earlier by doing their work more promptly, but it is not easy as I still have urges sometimes to escape. Thus, I am an example of somebody who had about a decade between bouts of excessive game playing, so it can be a long time as mentioned in this original post.

- John O.

[em]Carpe Diem![/em] (Seize the Day!)

lizwool
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Re: &: Relapse - Re-entering the gaming world

Glad to see you here..... Keep coming back. This works, IF you work it! Liz

Liz Woolley

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Re: &: Relapse - Re-entering the gaming world

I totally believe that if you relapse you will set yourself up for failure. I know this from when i quit smoking as well. A addict will convince himself that he can control it but after a period of time it controls you again. Its been 1 month for me so far with no eq2 but i havent got the guts to sell or delete my toons. Im workin on it but its so hard especially when i used to turn to it to block the world out.

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Re: &: Relapse - Re-entering the gaming world

welcome Scuz, I totally agree with you about relapse. I is also in a way getting harder with each relapse as you are establishing a pattern of trying to break out but not being able to make it, which is painful in itself.

kidsnut
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Re: &: Relapse - Re-entering the gaming world

Yah, I have to agree. I congitively know what I'm supposed to do, then the "buts" get in the way.
[list]
[*]but I.. am depressed (a choice when I choose to play games, it gets worse)
financial stress (gets worse if I don't do my job, as John mentioned)
physical health issues (again, gets worse when I play instead of..... a hundred other healthier things) I wish I could just think my way out of it. I get the shakes and my head starts to buzz until I play--for there is no such thing as just one game!!!! I'm glad I'm posting instead of playing. I've also been skipping meals, 1:00 and I still haven't stopped to eat.. I'll go feed myself and go through the pile at my left elbow. I KNOW I can get it done quickly, but I need to work with someone to motivate me enough to GET it done. I need to talk to the lady I chose for the task. See yah before I leave from work...
I do better with the internet turned off.
LOLove, D
[*]
[/list:u]

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You are free to have these

You are free to have these opinions. But the premise behind this site is that gaming IS the problem, and we work on helping people fix themselves. Enjoy YOUR gaming. :|

Leveling in Real Life

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Well, to me, your both

Well, to me, your both right...and dosnt matter for me...as long as I understand what gaming does to me. The Steps only mention games once, in the first part of the first step...even with alcohol or drugs, its only mentioned once...so for me its about changing self...be it the clothes you wear - gaming, alcohol, herion, work, whatever...once ya detox ya self for the activity its about change. Addiction is cunning and changes forms of all kinds. Sometimes it relates to "intent" as well. For example. 1. driving your car, somone walks in front of it and is killed. 2. driving your car, your thinking about next best big expansion pack, guy walks in front of car and is killed. 3. driving your car, you delibratly kill a somone... 1st is accident, 2nd is manslaghter, third is murder... The first two have no "intent", last one "intent" Same thing goes with booze, or even gaming... No one intents to destroy families, harm others, become less educated (esp kids who are playing games 44.4 hours per week)...etc. So without intention its "no fault"...and with no fault its seen as a disease that is progressive, treatable, and deadly. So in turn gaming is addcition, as with other mediums. But always remeber, one can take the game away and still be "gamer" with same behaviors, attiudes and beliefs...as one can with alcohol (called dry drunk). Again, all about changing self,.. And "just.a.troll" always remeber...we are in this world for may reasons. Some say to reach our full potential. Does gaming limit that? or smoking Pot? Im not to preach...hated it myself when others preached to me about drinking, gaming, etc...but I always remember a counsselor stating to me "whats your full potential and does your "use" take that away?"...jsut something to think at in the very least.

Be Good to yourself! Rule #62: "Don't take yourself too **** seriously! " 12x12 Book And dont forget to donate... Donate

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I prefer to avoid any form

I prefer to avoid any form of electronic gaming, because I know myself, and I know that I will relap, I know that I won't play just 1 or 2 hours, I'll probably end playing 8-10 hours again in a single day. For me at least games are best to be left alone.

Visit my blog, http://sadron.wordpress.com/ "One man epic battle to overthrown an addiction"

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Hello I am new here and I am

Hello I am new here and I am not sure I belong here. I am unsure as to whether I should stop playing video games even though I know I am addicted. One day about two months ago, inspired by a coworker, I stopped playing games cold-turkey and have not played since. However, I was recently laid off from work. I have been looking for a job with little success and constant frustration. All the while, all I can think about is wanting to play video games again. All this stress of bills building up makes me want to escape and relax in a video game. I guess thataEU(tm)s why I am here I am afraid of relapsing. IaEU(tm)ve been playing video games very excessively all my life, since I was 5 years old. And I mean REALLY excessively, thataEU(tm)s all I did when I was a kid. Instead of spending summers chasing girls or out with friends I spent indoors and occasionally looking out my window day after day. I cannot even image how many days in my life that I had spent to waste on playing video games. I can confidently say it has been about A1/4 of my entire waking life. I didnaEU(tm)t have many friends and still donaEU(tm)t. I started off playing NES, then Super NES, Nintendo 64aEU|etc. The chapters in my life coincide with the latest and greatest video game. When I look back on my life and the toll video games have taken on my life I see that it denied me so much. There is so much that I could have done with this time. When youaEU(tm)re in the game and your playing it you cannot see that itaEU(tm)s a waste of your time, of your life. Maybe deep down inside I knew this but denied it to myself. When I think about how all this started, yet, another perspective unravels. Looking back on my early childhood video games in a sense preserved me from the aEUoenot so great lifeaEU I was given. Instead of the insanities that I would face at home I could escape into another world. One in which I was in control of, one that I was good at, one that could not hurt me. I grew and developed in these aEUoegamesaEU distilled and timeless perversions of reality. I learned words, moral obligations, the difference between right and wrong in the absence of my neglectful parentaEU(tm)s teachings. Growing up in my childhood I had little other choice then to embrace another life for emotional sustenance, comfort in knowing I could always escape, warmth, hope for change; all the feelings I had been denied. Regardless of the past, looking on to the future I donaEU(tm)t want the timeline of my life solely dependent on video games, while avoiding friends, family and other opportunities. I feel IaEU(tm)ve spent life enduring it, instead of living it. Video games are my vice and have been all my life. Yet, my life without them seems at times (like now) listless, uninteresting, overwhelming, and emotionally intolerable. I would like guidance and insight from those willing to provide it, specifically about why I should not relapse as I do not really have a strong answer for myself. When one is as self-loathing as I am, and his surrounding life is an undesirable one, is it not permissible to indulge in a new life? I have no dependents and very few friends which I see usually less then once a week, because they are busy with their own things. And itaEU(tm)s very difficult for me to make new ones and socialize, as I am very shy and a little afraid of people. IaEU(tm)m a huge mess I know. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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downandout, welcome to

downandout, welcome to OLGA. All of us who play/played addictively, like yourself, escaped into the virtual world....for many different reasons. The individual reasons may be different, but the end result is the same.: addictive game playing. Your post was extremely well-written. (I am a teacher.) Obviously you are educated and intelligent....so don't sell yourself short. You obviously had a rough childhood, but you seemed to objectively see it for what it was, learn lessons, and you are moving forward. I applaud your personal growth!!! Now that you have been game free for 2 months(Congrats btw!!!), you are in the re-building part of your life. Yes it is tough...for all of us. The virtual world is MUCH easier to achieve, find friends, etc.....as that's why we LIKE it. Real life is not especially easy...but the benefits of achieving in real life are what really count. Hang in there. You are only 2 months into a game free life. Create the life you want. Envision it. You can do it!

The question is....will you be able/courageous/adult enough to sacrifice that which merely pleases you...for that which will truly fulfill you? That is the question of personal growth.
~~~Dem518
~~~wow-free since 8/22/09

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Hello and Welcome downandout

Hello and Welcome downandout - I am a fellow gamer/ex-gamer like you. Also, like you, I was laid off and thought of turning to video games for comfort. That was over 2 years ago. Unfortunately, I gave into that temptation and spent the next year completely addicted. I cannot tell you how many days of my life I wasted trying to escape the feelings of rejection, isolation, and worthlessness I felt after losing my job. I had too much time on my hands and too much time to focus on the doom and gloom of my life. My job prospects seemed grim and the game gave me the things I needed - friendship, a feeling of control, and being able to use my leadership skills again (I became a guildmaster in WoW). While playing WoW did make me feel good for awhile, it became a crutch I felt I could not live without. Even when I did finally find another job (an even better one than the last one!), my mind was not focused on it. I was scared to trust that reality would not yank the rug out from under me again. I just waited out the time until 5pm when I could go home and play. I played excessively - everyday until midnight and all day long on weekends. Because of this, I was closing off opportunities in my real life. Instead of fully living in 1 life, I was half-living in 2. I nearly lost my new job because I could not let go of my gaming security blanket! I had to make a choice and I chose to quit gaming. My advice to you, for what it is worth, is to stay strong and donaEU(tm)t give into your desire to game! Gaming, as a method of escaping the troubles of reality, really solves nothing. In fact, it often makes things worse to bury your head in the sand. It beings you nothing but more heartache and failure. As far as your job goes, try not to internalize a layoff as a failure. Please know that you are not alone - The economy is shedding jobs faster than a stripper sheds a nurseaEU(tm)s uniform! This is, in fact, the worst job market in decades and should not be viewed as a personal refection on your self-worth! I had a hard time, after working at a company for 6 years, letting go of the fact that I was not aEUoeindispensableaEU. Even though I KNEW the company was losing business, I took it personally and have never done well with change. That only made it harder to be positive when I did land an interview. Because of my mental state, I believe it took me longer to find a job than if I had been looking at a job loss as a opportunity to try something new!! :D Please, take care and keep coming back here for support. We understand what you are going though because we are going through it ourselves. Please, learn from the mistakes of this humble soul - don't turn to gaming to deal with your job loss or you may lose more than your job.

Until we are tested, how do we know if we will pass?

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Hello downandout, Welcome

Hello downandout, Welcome to OLGA. I am also out of work now. These days are very volitle, with the financial situation and jobs and housing and Obama. It is very scary. I wanted to give you your 60 day chit as encouragement, for you to choose to stay in your real life. Here it is: I have found that the more time I spend in my real life the better it gets. You are welcome to spend the time you used to spend gaming here! This is still about games, but in a more healthy way. Feel free to share your story and support others as they come in! We have several on-line meetings you can attend. Go through the gamer message boards and read our history for more encouragement. I hope this helps. Sincerely, Liz

Liz Woolley

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Down and out, I can

Down and out, I can completely empathize with your story. Mine' s very similar. I'm only beginning my journey. I'm proud of your accomplishment so far. You're already an inspiration. Hang in there.

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downandout - work the

downandout - work the steps...your already there! Change requires action...God can move mountains, he gave us shovals!

Be Good to yourself! Rule #62: "Don't take yourself too **** seriously! " 12x12 Book And dont forget to donate... Donate

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I managed to stay "clean"

I managed to stay "clean" for three days and then I played games again today. I'm off the MMOs (hopefully forever) but it's the little games that still have me hooked. I know I play games to avoid the things in RL that cause me anxiety. Right now there is way too much going on and I guess I don't have another healthy way to cope. (Binge eating used to be my alt coping mechanism). I just don't know what to do. How do I resist the pull?

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Let me ask you this. Does

Let me ask you this. Does playing games help those RL problems get solved? I'm willing to bet you are even more anxious afterwards since you now have less time to address the problems. You'll find you anxiety goes down as you address them and thus your 'need' to game will go down. Take small bites out of the RL problems and solve them one at a time. That's what I do. Slade

-Slade
"Falling down is not a failure. Not getting back up is the true failure"

BarbieO
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Delirium wrote: Take

8)

Delirium wrote:

Take small bites out of the RL problems and solve them one at a time. That's what I do. Slade

This is great advice, Slade. My good friend always asks: "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." ;)

Whenever God closes a door, He opens a window ~~ Mother Superior

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Yes over the years I have

Yes over the years I have come to find that the biggest pile of work is more quickly accomplished by breaking it down into very small pieces and then just focus on the one piece in front of you. Don't worry about the whole pile, just that one piece. When done move to the next piece, etc... You will be surpirsed how much more than what you orginally thought, you can actually get accomplished this way 8)

" ... don't question it just go" "... where the body goes the mind will follow"
.
Borrowed from "Desire to Stop"

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Say that to the pile of

Say that to the pile of project folders on my 2nd desk extension! But it is true. I started trying to rewrite an operations plan for one of our clients. The first submission was 200 pages by one of my co workers. the client was unhappy and wanted all the 'engineering' taken out of it and reduce to like 20 pages supporting the same conclusion. I literally sat for 2 days trying to grasp the whole of the plan. Eventually I just said "screw it...I'm going to start with this one segment and move from there". Sure, the format and content has changed half a dozen times as I go along, but progress is being made. It's like my father taught me when I was learning to paint. His first lesson was to put a canvas up in front of me...and told me to pick a color, put it on the brush, and make some mark on the canvas. I looked at him puzzled but after I did it, it was much easier to paint since the canvas wasn't blank anymore. I'm not an abstract painter, but I still make that first mark every time.

-Slade
"Falling down is not a failure. Not getting back up is the true failure"

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slackermom wrote: I managed
slackermom wrote:

I managed to stay "clean" for three days and then I played games again today. I'm off the MMOs (hopefully forever) but it's the little games that still have me hooked. I know I play games to avoid the things in RL that cause me anxiety. Right now there is way too much going on and I guess I don't have another healthy way to cope. (Binge eating used to be my alt coping mechanism). I just don't know what to do. How do I resist the pull?

Ahem.... that's the addict's dilemma.... trying to solve problems with A problem. And sometime down the road we learn that it won't work, only make things work, and we find better healthier ways. Look for the solution. It's here and it's not gaming.

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I relapsed again and taking

I relapsed again and taking things back into full throttle. I went on a walk the other day to try to clear my head when it occurred to me that there were so many thoughts, worries, and unresolved issues that I have been fleeing from, that were now flooding my mind. I could not think straight when there is so much to think about. IaEU(tm)m starting to realize that itaEU(tm)s not the addiction to video games that is significant, but more so my avoidance of self and my lack of dedication to this real life. There are a lot of games that I do enjoy, but there are also a lot of times that I find myself bored playing, yet I continue immerse myself in its meager entertainment. Perhaps it is just to avoid the internal noise or maybe it is my lack of interest in the life around me, nothing else seems more deserving of my time. Even if I am no longer seeking joy from it, it is still a comforting shell that I may crawl into and forget about the world even if it crumbles beside me. I guess a lot of it is how I feel inside. Life often feels too difficult to face. Sometimes it feels too hard to invest my time in. Partially, I have given up on myself. Video games may be perceived as an unnecessary crutch, but with the same eye it can be seen as an antidepressant. What better to occupy the idle mind, perhaps this is a storm I need not weather, but enjoy the rain. I am confused to which poison to swallow, the desensitization and detachment of self through a daily dose of video games or to continue unmasked and bait for my undiluted concentrated self-loathing appetite. Are video games my savior or catalyst of self-destruction? I know the answer beckons a hero, but I do not know that I have the grace or strength to aspire to one.

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Your quote rings so true to

Your quote rings so true to me:

Quote:

IaEU(tm)m starting to realize that itaEU(tm)s not the addiction to video games that is significant, but more so my avoidance of self and my lack of dedication to this real life.

However, I am working on exploring myself; whereas you said:

Quote:

I am confused to which poison to swallow, the desensitization and detachment of self through a daily dose of video games or to continue unmasked and bait for my undiluted concentrated self-loathing appetite.

Life is a journey filled with many learning experiences. If our head is always in a game, our can we self-evaluate, self-reflect, learn, and apply our new wisdom?

The question is....will you be able/courageous/adult enough to sacrifice that which merely pleases you...for that which will truly fulfill you? That is the question of personal growth.
~~~Dem518
~~~wow-free since 8/22/09

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I believe in the past some

I believe in the past some people, here, may have recommened some meditation techniques as a way to get control of a calming and focusing ones thoughts. Just stopping for 5 - 10 minutes when you feel most overwhelmed can go a long way to refocusing yourself and getting away from that out of control thoughts flitting in every direction at once feeling. . There are a number of differnet meditation techniques out there to try. You have to find what works for you. Even just taking a deep breath and counting to 10 before letting it out can help. Just after the deep breath, try to focus on just one thing.

" ... don't question it just go" "... where the body goes the mind will follow"
.
Borrowed from "Desire to Stop"

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Hello. I am new to this, but

This comment has been moved here.

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This is a great group of

This is a great group of postings. I wish I had read this last year (when I had my last relasp.) Thanks for the posts.

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other"
-Abraham Lincoln

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The initial post in this

The initial post in this forum,

Relapse - Re-entering the gaming world

by Liz Wool above has a phrase that particularly struck me:

"...it's how you game, not how often, that determines whether or not you are a obsessive gamer. Many problem gamers can go weeks, months, and occasionally years between their excessive gaming bouts. During these periods, they may not give gaming a second thought. Without mental or emotional effort, they are able to take it or leave it alone, and they prefer to leave it alone."

That is me! I don't often think about it [Second Life], but if I were

to venture back in, I would soon be literally HYPNOTIZED by it all...

Serena

"A person starts to live when he can live outside himself." Albert Einstein

"You don't get to choose how you are going to die. Or when.
You can only decide how you are going to live. Now." Joan Baez

illi
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I had remove myself from

I had remove myself from computers entirely because of World of Warcraft. I havent played in about 3 and a half months buts I still feel the urge, like a craving... I moved in with a roomate and got rid of my computer. The first few weeks were hell without my game. I would have frequent panic attacks and bouts of depression. I'm just recently moved again and I'm so tempted to start playing WoW again because I'm a nanny to school kids and theres nothing to do all day.

About a week after I first moved I cancelled my subscription to WoW and it was so hard to do, even though I couldnt play, I kept in contact with those that did and it just made me hurt more. I lost a part of me, the only identity that I actually had.

I miss my friends in game, and noone else contacts me as much as them to tell me they miss me and wish I would come back. I was also one of the best players. Im having a rough time with anxiety too and WoW was my escape. My drug. I want to go back, but I remember how secluded I made myself, I missed out on two years of my life because of the game. But I have this urge, this need to go on. But I know, even if its for 2 minutes, it will eventually turn into 12 hour sessions again.

Blah I need some ideas how to get over the craving. Like seriously, its annoying, even putting my fingers on the W A S D keys gets my brain thinking about it.

One step at a time.
-ex WoW player Since June 12, 2010.-

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Well, after getting so

Well, after getting so inspired, and knowing about how much in life, i have missed I Deleted my charecters.. And uninstalled the game. Not having the disks anymore has really helped, Because i know i cant get it back. Over 8000 hours i have on there, i checked before i logged off for the last time.333 full days Ive wasted on Online gaming, and im done. Im not wasting anymore of my life on that. Thanks for everything, the creator and the members.

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Liz and all, This is a

Liz and all,

This is a classic / excellent thread. When you KNOW that you can't go into your software again - it will just be a disaster - you have to make a choice.

Thanks to all who have written so elequently before me.

-Tory

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It is a day-by-day struggle

It is a day-by-day struggle for many. I don't know that I am free from video games. Everyday, I have to choose not to. I agree with Tory 100%. It isn't a knowledge, it is a choice. Recovery from video games isn't an event, it is a process. You don't just wake up one morn and go, "Well, I'm done with video games and will never play them again." It is a moment by moment thing. A day-by-day agreement with yourself that you will not play no matter what. No matter how bad you feel.

Mario

GrowingUp
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I was on my game for a

I was on my game for a couple of years. It was good and I loved it. I quit for a while and then came back to it. I've been back for a while and darn it if I don't really love it. BUT..... I know it's not the thing I NEED to do.

We're going on vacation and I will not have access to the computer. I'll quit then, that will be 11 days not using. That should be a good start. Wash it out of my brain...

Hey, If quitting was easy, everyone would have done it.

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hey zoe,  glad you came by

hey zoe, glad you came by and started posting.

Sounds like a good head start forcing you out of the games, yeah. If you can access our meetings in the evening it might help to plug in and chat with fellow recoveries here. 9EST every night. Otherwise, start that when you get back. Look into the 12 step process OLGA advocates and avail yourself of all the help we can provide to get yourself further thru the process.

Hope to see you back soon!-)

OLGA Home Page: "We advocate and provide a 12-Step Program of recovery. For those who are interested in a formalized meeting approach, we provide both a traditional 12-step program and a modified program for atheists and agnostics." I advocate and use the 12 steps programs, which have helped tens of millions of addicts of all kinds recover.

GrowingUp
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Thank you -  I am going to

Thank you - I am going to print out the 12 steps and read closely. My brother succeeded in overcoming alcohol with the AA and speaks highly of it. The game is messing up my life and I need to get clear.

Hey, If quitting was easy, everyone would have done it.

GrowingUp
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I'm going to start this

I'm going to start this weekend. Weekends are easier for me as my Husband keeps things moving and I don't have time to visit my online game.

The tough one will be the next three days before we go on vacation. I will have plenty to do, getting ready, packing and making sure all is prepared. When I make those three days then I'll have 11 days without a computer that can handle the gaming software. After returning it will be back to work and limited time to use my game. I made it once, but it seems even harder now.

Hey, If quitting was easy, everyone would have done it.

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Good for you for making this

Good for you for making this decision, Zoe. See you in the chat meetings after you return from vacation?

"She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it)." --Lewis Carroll

GrowingUp
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Thanks operetta for the note

Thanks operetta for the note of confidence and bebetterhusband. I wish I had as faith and confidence.

I just decided to do it now...It's 2:00 PM August 10th. I didn't do anything fancy with my game pieces but I just had to let it go and say I've quit. Done.

I hope to post with some feelings of loss but mostly of success.

Hey, If quitting was easy, everyone would have done it.

zoom
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good for you zoe. get a

good for you zoe. get a sponsor. I find it easier to work the steps with a sponsor.

Just do it ONE DAY AT A TIME

GrowingUp
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  Zoom,  thanks for

Zoom, thanks for finding me on this list! This probably sounds dumbo but I have now made it for 2 hours. THOUGHT a LOT about all this stuff that is just SO important that I need to do, but I put it away from my thoughts. The electronics have been in my brain for a while. I don't expect them to leave overnight.

Hey, If quitting was easy, everyone would have done it.

GrowingUp
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Over the weekend, I had a

Over the weekend, I had a lot of daydreams about the game, people I know and will be leaving, plus lots of thoughts about minor events I should have done before leaving and will just have to forget now.

So I'm up to Monday. Full day of possible access to gaming, but I hope to not log in. Lots to do before our trip. So... time to work on that.

That one day at a time thing is so true!

Quit 8/10/12 - Easy numbers to remember.

Hey, If quitting was easy, everyone would have done it.

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Zoe, when I use to game I

Zoe, when I use to game I had the same feelings, couldn't even enjoy a vacation because my mind was always on the game and the people I thought I knew. I say "thought I knew" because everything in the game (people included) was based on lies and manipulation.

Even when I saw the truth, my addict brain wouldn't allow me to believe it. Long story short, I had to delete everything, and acknowledge it as a bad chapter in my life. Do I still think about it? Yes, I do, but I think of the people and the game as a bad book I read, one that is fading in memory the longer I go without gaming. I've been game free since beginning of April/12.

Don't worry about an unfinished game, the only way to come out a winner is to shut it down. Welcome back to the game of life, thank-you for posting. If you must log into something, log into Olga, it works :)

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