What we can learn from addictive gaming

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ImprovingMe
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What we can learn from addictive gaming

Hello all,

First, I would like to thank everyone who is active on this site. Thank you everyone for the love and support. I haven't visited here in over a year, and unfortunately have returned to addictive gaming for a while now. The only times I have been able to stop gaming for relatively long periods of time was from visiting and reading posts on this site. I have decided to try to take a more active role here by donating and by discussing more.

I created this forum topic so people can express what they learned from periods of addictive gaming and periods of remaining game free. I have learned so much, but I'll try to keep this short. First and foremost, having been through addictive gaming has allowed me to stop being so judgemental. Seeing myself go through periods where I felt as if I couldn't control my life and actions has allowed me to see the beauty in everyone no matter where they are in life or what they have gone through. I have learned that although controlling addictions is difficult, it can be done through the help and kindness of others. Although I thought the first time I quit gaming was through my own strength and willpower, I realized what really gave me the strength to quit was a close friendship. I have learned that although going game-free is much more desirable, it does not make life easy. There will always be struggles and pain, but having the guts and determination to fight them (not just ignore them by gaming) will make us better and increase our happiness in the long run.

I am interested to hear what everyone else has learned. Thanks for hearing me out and looking forward to your responses.

-Chris

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. Mahatma Gandhi

Scott
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I learned that I have a

I learned that I have a powerful mental condition that requires ongoing treatment or else it trashes my life. The condition doesn't have a nice technical name like Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or acronym like OCD... unfortunately it's called by a heavily loaded word that carries a lot of misconceptions with it: addiction. (It's confusing because the same word is used for both a physical dependence on a substance, which can happen to anyone, and for an obsessive-compulsive mental disorder, which only a minority of people have.)

I learned that part of my condition is denial of the condition, and that for as long as I remain in denial, I will suffer chronic relapse and misery.

I learned that other addicts have escaped the vicious cycle and that I can escape it too if I follow their lead. The program of recovery is simple, but not easy, which is fine because I don't have to practice it perfectly. I do very well as long as I'm consistently making bits of progress.

I learned that I'm not such a bad person and that all my self-loathing was unjustified. I learned that I was a sick person, and as I get well, my behavior and attitudes get much better. My mood and thinking are much better too. My life today is better than it has ever been, far better than when I was trapped in active addiction and even better than before I got into gaming.

I learned to stop fighting too. I used to fight people, fight my impulses, fight for control, fight my bad thinking, fight, fight, fight, fight. That combative way of thinking led to a fear-driven selfish self-loathing existence. Today, I don't want to fight at all. I learned to just do my best at doing the next right thing and let higher principles guide my life. I learned that this approach works very well for me and that I have a fraction of the stress and fear I used to suffer.

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

Allerseelen
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• Strength is not always a

* Strength is not always a desirable quality. Strength prevents us from asking for help; strength denies to us the wisdom we could gain by listening to advice; strength makes us believe that this time, things will be different.

* Some people may hate you for the illness you have--and, as Scott pointed out, it really is an illness. These people are not the kinds of people you want to have in your life! Anyone who degrades you for honestly and courageously confronting and attempting to change a maladaptive behavior as debilitating as addiction does not deserve your time, energy, or love.

* That said, people are in your corner. Addiction is not nearly as stigmatized as it once was, and that includes "lesser known" addictions like gaming. People love you. People will not let you stand alone. People want you to succeed, and they want to help you do it.

* Just because you're not at the bottom of the barrel doesn't mean everything's fine. I wasn't nearly bottomed out when I first quit two and a half years ago, but in the time since then I've become tough, practical, accepting, forgiving, proactive, engaged...my life today is a dream compared to what it was three years ago, but I never could have gotten there if I'd waited for the worst of the worst. What if it had never come? Would I still be waiting in my dark room?

* It's okay to fall down. In fact, it's better than okay. I wish I could go back in time and relapse more earlier on, because every time I did, I learned more about all the persuasive tricks my brain used to try to lure me back to gaming. Now I know every single argument my addiction could make, and rather than engage with them, I just play them out to their logical conclusion, seeing them for what they are: empty, cold, ultimately destructive. Mistakes matter much more than successes, as far as I'm concerned.

Taking Steps toward recovery since November 2, 2012. The difficulty of the path makes it worth the walking.

Andrew_Doan
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I learned that GOD healed me

I learned that GOD healed me from my addictions and continues to fix my life! PRAISE HIM!

Andrew P. Doan, MPH, MD, PhD

My Gaming Addiction Videos on YouTube: YouTube.com/@DrAndrewDoan

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy, DHA or Department of Defense.

OutOfAzeroth
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In game our sick minds focus

In game our sick minds focus on absurd goals and we lose our values, our priorities and our humanity in exchange for pixels.

However, the same can also exist in reality for objects or concepts that, while more "real" than pixels, are nonetheless very artificial.

Amassing virtual gold is ridiculous, but you can also lose your soul to amassing real money when you are not going to use this money for something actually useful. Putting your pride in a virtual possession is sad, but then putting your pride in owning a car can be equally sad. And finally, becoming desperate and throwing a tantrum because you couldn't get an item or an achievement is tragic, but so is feeling desperate because you don't belong to this or that club or human group.

In other words, my addiction to gaming, and getting out of it (at least up to now) opened my eyes to the other traps where we can lose ourselves in real life.

Ascender
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I learned that I have pride

I learned that I have pride in my gaming persona and accomplishments and to avoid wanting to tap into that, I have to ask God to remove that shortcoming from me.

I learned that my pain in my life was something I never wanted to confront and that gaming gave me an escape from it.

I learned that despite the number of "underlying issues" I've always recognized, they cannot ever reliably be dealt with when I'm actively engaged in my addiction.

I learned that honesty also involves vulnerability, and I have to accept that with the tools I've learned from this program, with the help from my HP and those in the fellowship that make me feel unashamed and welcome.

I learned that there is no such thing as moderation. There is no "negotiation" with myself that will ever work when it comes to my gaming addiction. I learned that abstinence and this program are the only way for me to find peace.

I learned that I have to be conscious of my shortcomings (step 4) on a daily basis, ask my HP to remove them every day, and this can help bring me to an eventual emotional sobriety.

A wise man once told me to shutup.
\\ Free from games since 03.13.2014 //

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