&: To the "Real" heroes...

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Diggo McDiggity
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&: To the "Real" heroes...

You are our partners, and are our mothers and fathers. You are even our children, and other family members. You are our friends and our acquaintances. And, you are even those whom we don't know. You are the heroes of our lives, and it's time we've told you why. You knew us before we found our gaming, and you watched us begin. You watched the eagerness with which we returned to the game over and over. You watched as we changed, over time, and as we started to turn down invitations to do things we used to do together. You watched patiently as we kept on playing until late in the evening when we used to go to bed on time. You watched us play on weekends when that used to be "our" time. You watched us slowly discontinue those activities we used to do regularly, so that we could now play this game. When you tried to point these changes out to us, we laughed, or we denied it. We lashed out at you and yelled. Some of us lashed out physically. Over time, we began to neglect our health and our responsibilities. Our lives became disheveled and unkempt. We weren't just destroying our lives, we were destroying your lives as well, but we didn't see it, or we didn't seem to care, as long as we could get back to our game. Day after day, you struggled to understand what was happening to us, but you stood by us. You came to hate this game, to hate computers, to hate the people who made the game and the people who sold it. You felt alone, angry, sad. You felt neglected, abused, betrayed, and you were right. You came to feel like you were the only one going through this and had no idea where to turn. We didn't see you crying. Or we didn't seem to care. Some of us didn't stop there. Some of us thought we found someone online who loved us more than you did, and so we went to visit with that person, and we were unfaithful. Some of us even moved out and went to live with that person for a while. Some of you left yourselves and with good reason. We cannot blame you for that. But the rest of you stood by us, and when we came back, sniveling and vowing to never hurt you again, you took us back. Others would say that was a stupid thing to do and that you should have just let us rot out there. But you took us back, anyway. Many of us got into holes so deep that we not only lost our jobs, we lost our careers. We lost our homes and were sued by creditors. We developed physical and mental problems that we never had before gaming. We stopped taking care of ourselves and put on weight, and stopped caring about how we looked. We became so out of shape that we couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath. But for some reason, you continued to stand by us, and through everything that has happened, you still loved us. And for some reason, you still do. You are able to see through our anger and our irrationality. You are able to see through the hurtful things that we say and know that we are in such great pain and are so shamed ourselves that we don't even know anymore how to express ourselves. We play now to hide from the responsibilities of life and to hide from our disgrace. Between our gaming binges, we have moments of clarity in which we see, if only for a few minutes, just how pathetic we are and how much we have hurt those we love most. We have no idea how to break free and are scared to face you. We are embarrassed and ashamed. But somehow, you still love us. You still see an occasional moment when our true self sparkles through the musty, dingy shell of gaming that has grown around us. You have faith that we can overcome this problem and so, somehow, you find the strength to stand by us, day after day. How can you do this? For most of us, we wake up one day, and notice that the sun is shining. It's not so much that the sun is shining but that we have noticed in the first place. Things are clear to us, for the first time in perhaps, years. We look around at the havoc we caused in our lives, at the carnage of lost and broken dreams, hurt relationships, clutter and loneliness. There we are, in the middle of it all, awakened, saddened, depressed, naked, with no idea where to go from here. Amidst the blackened chaos which is now the life we need to somehow take control of and fix, is you...the mother, the father, the partner, child, friend or family member, standing there, facing us, hopeful. You look so different, so apprehensive. You've been crying and have been angry. Did we...do this...to you??? we've never really seen you like this...or it's just that we haven't noticed. But through this expression, we see and recognize the one thing that we are sure about, and which we finally realize we are probably not deserving of...your unconditional love for us. And THAT is what will help us get our lives back. Yes, you are our heroes, in every respect, and we love you more than you know for standing by us day after day! ========== I would like to ask my fellow gamers to thank the loved one(s) in your life who stood by you and who continue to stand by you and tell them how sorry you are and how much you love them for sticking by you. Please. do this now, in this thread. Let your public apology and expression of love help you heal the wounds, not only in you, but in the ones you love so much. Please thank the REAL heroes in your life, because they really, really need to know that their persistance and unwavering belief in you was not misguided. To my wife Sally, I am sorry for all of those times I neglected spending time with you and for all those times when I lashed out at you simply for wanting to spend time with me. I am sorry I ignored your pain over those years and ask that you forgive me. I really love you and thank you for standing by me during my healing. I love you! Ron

Co-Founder of OLGA and member since 2002

BigH501
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Re: To the "Real" heroes...

[size=14]To my wife Sharon, I have caused you immeasurable pain, frustration and suffering over the years. I was very very wrong in my actions. I am deeply sorry. I really love you.[/size]

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

Denjamin
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Re: To the "Real" heroes...

Very well said Diggo.....................Cheers ;)

solid snake 665
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Re: To the "Real" heroes...

To my Dad, I am sorry for the worrying and tension i caused, i wish we could have spend more time getting to know each other to my Mum, You passed away before i got the chance to say I'm sorry. You saw what I could not. Life is more precious than any fantasy world!

Solei
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Re: To the "Real" heroes...

To Bryan: I am sorry I was a less-than-mediocre wife. I am sorry I spent our honeymoon chatting on-line with a man from Ultima Online. I am sorry that the second we came home from our honeymoon, I bolted to the PC. I am sorry we did not work out. I am sorry I wasted 2 years of your life. I'm sorry I hurt you. To James: I love you. You're the only light that the dimness of MMORPGs had brough into my life. You've been through it all with me ~ and still remain my trusted angel, my confidant, my best friend. They say you have a guardian angel.A They say that he or she lives in Heaven.A They are wrong, my James, you are my true guardian angel here on Earth. I thank you. I owe you endless hours and love. You've always said "One day of a happy and content Katey makes up for a year of a depressed & gaming Katey." I fully intend to spend the rest of our long lives together in quiet determination of becoming a year long happy wife and friend to you. You deserve so much more.A I love you and cherish you. You are, indeed, a good man. To My Parents: I know you wanted better for me. I am sorry I spent from age 24-28 lost in an MMO. I am sorry you had to see your little girl waste away infront of the PC, getting a little more sick by each level gained. I am grateful for your unconditional love. You are my inspiration. Your solid marriage and friendship is all I aspire to be, all I ever wish to be. All I ever will be. PS. I have 0 problems admitting that this was the most, hands down, difficult thing that I have ever had to write.

-6 Years Free of Online Gaming-

Xandtar
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Re: To the "Real" heroes...

Thank you.

Leveling in Real Life

Gamersmom
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Re: To the "Real" heroes...

That was beautiful Solei,

"Small service is true service while it lasts.  Of humblest friends, bright creature! scorn not one

The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,

Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun." -------William Wordsworth

SnowWhite
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Re: To the "Real" heroes...

Good job Katey - that's awesome! KUDOS!

"This is the end...." The Doors

gwc1961
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Re: To the "Real" heroes...

That was beautiful, Katey

Rohons
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Re: To the "Real" heroes...

To my parents I know you love me, and you show it everyday. I'm sorry for not going out in family reunions I'm sorry for failing my classes I'm sorry for not being the son you want I'm sorry to get sucked into a game and forget to tell you how much I love you everday I'm sorry I don't hug and kiss you everyday because I'm busy raiding I'm sorry.

Diggo McDiggity
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Re: To the "Real" heroes...

Thanks, Rohons! Ron

Co-Founder of OLGA and member since 2002

lema
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Re: To the "Real" heroes...

To my Husband Ed~ I dont deserve you for all that I have done to you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and tear filled eyes...Thank you.... You are my rock ....I love you!

kidsnut
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Re: To the "Real" heroes...

To my co-workers, I'm sorry I neglected you and your clients. I'm sorry I made such insane excuses for gaming instead of working. Thank you God for giving me the consequences I needed to FINALLY give it up and return to real life. Living life on life's terms ain't as bad as my sick thinking convinced me it would be. Sigh, I hope to regain the respect of the people I have neglected. Amends are in the making of changed behavior. Thank you for letting me share. D

Arriz
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Re: To the "Real" heroes...

oh god this could be a long list.... and I'm already in tears hehe... Mom, I'm sorry I have been such a jerk when I've talked to you... I haven't spent as much time with you as both of us wants.. My brothers, I'm sorry that I haven't talked to you about this earlier... I'm sorry for the way I treated mom, I'm sorry that I didn't try hard enough to stay in touch. My girlfriend, I'm sorry I have yelled at you, I'm sorry I've neglected you as much as I have, I'm sorry I haven't shared my feelings with you as much as you want me too, I'm sorry I forget what you say to me, I'm sorry that I've been to focused on me the last couple of months,
I'm sorry I haven't tried harder to help you spend time with your father. Too all my old friends, I'm sorry I have neglected you..
I'm sorry I have hurt your feelings..
I'm sorry I've lied to you so many times....

warcrackhead
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Re: To the "Real" heroes...

For my kids.. You don't know the full extent to which my gaming affected you ... but I do. I am sorry. I am sorry for two yearsl of missed opportunites to spend time with you and know you.
I am sorry for every single time you came home and I wasn't there because I too busy lvling and building a fictional character.
I am sorry that you went through struggles and pains and I was too distracted to notice.
I am sorry for all of the things I didn't do for you, the things you deserve. Thank you for your patience and love.
I love you all so much.

TheGitt
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Re: To the "Real" heroes...

To be neglected, ignored, and rejected. Is there a deeper cut? Does anything stab the heart like the words "Leave me alone." or "I don't care." and "Just go away."?
To my son, I am so very sorry. My Daughter in law, please forgive me for hurting you, your husband and your sons. To the grandsons: you have no idea why grandpa
was too busy to play with you, to watch your cartoons or read to you. Why I failed so many times to buy the ice cream, go to a movie, or just take a walk. For my friends; I hope you believe me when I tell you I was lost in a world of grief and dispair and hiding in a e-world, where nothing really mattered. It isn't too late. I can be and do the things I missed. Thanks for being there still.

EHAZE
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Re: To the "Real" heroes...

To my Wife: The real hero, the only reason I am alive with my family still part of my life. I long to make up every minute that I was not available.
I want to show and give love to you every minute without smothering you.
I desire that you will never doubt my feelings for you. Your beauty shines from the inside out to make the most beautiful blossom I know. Thank you again for being the captain, vessel and anchor for the family. Saying I love you seems short of my feelings, but yet it does say it all.

Fallen
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Re: To the "Real" heroes...

To my mom I'm sorry for lying to you I'm sorry for letting you down
I'm sorry for blaming you I'm sorry for the all harm that I've done to you Im sorry I couldn't see how much you loved me I'm sorry :'(

The things you're most afraid of have already happened to you.

Maschinca
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To my husband, I am sorry

To my husband, I am sorry for withdrawing myself from you and fleeing into a virtual world. I am sorry for making you suffer while you watched me slip away from you more and more... I am sorry for not seeing how much you really love me and how you tried to support me and that I choose a path which led me away from you. I am sorry for making you think it was you who had a problem instead of me when our marriage got in trouble. I am sorry for all those times I yelled at you, accusing you of being jealous of the fun I had, accusing you of trying to control me. I am sorry for all the times I ignored you when you wanted to spend time together. I am sorry for not really being there on moments I didn't game, slowly but surely loosing the connection to real live. I am sorry for putting up a big fight when you tried to make me see what really was going on with me and us. I am sorry I was not able at the time to admit I can't handle these games, for closing my eyes to the truth and pushing you away when you reached out to me. Most of all I am sorry for the heartache and despair I made you go through, for making you lonely. You deserve so much better then what I gave you and I am so thankful you didn't give up on me and helped me free myself of WoW. "Lonelyboy", I love you with all my heart, you are not lonely anymore and never will be again.

"Be the change you want to see in the world" -------Mahatma Gandhi.

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To my husband: Thank you for

To my husband: Thank you for not losing faith that your wife would return. I know you felt guilty because you were the one who introduced me to this game. I was not even a aEUoegameraEU, but I often took interest in your hobbies. This game was becoming all-consuming to you, so I wanted to be a part of it. At first we played together - telling concerned friends that this was just a hobby we enjoyed as a couple. Eventually though, you realized it was eating away at all that we were. We would play obsessively, never looking each other in the eye - chatting through text on a screen. We would argue about stupid things in the game, like they meant the world to us. You realized when things were getting bad and were able to pull yourself away. I, however, kept floundering. Through my layoff, lost hobbies, and lost friends - my self-esteem suffered. Even when I found a new job, I still could not seem to let go of this source of comfort the game provided. In the game I felt important, in control, and untouchable - while the real world suddenly seemed so unmanageable and cold. I am sorry for all the times you went out with our friends alone and felt you had to make up excuses for my absence. I am sorry for all the nights you felt lonely and that I loved the game more than you. You finally decided to try to intervene when you could not take the neglect anymore. I love you so much, but the game had become a crutch I was afraid to let go of. I met your concerns with hostility and anger. I accused you of trying to control me, and blamed our marriage for my depression and anger. I remember the day I came into the kitchen and I told you I thought our marriage was not working. You looked right at me and said, aEUoeIt is not us, it is the game. You need to quit.aEU I denied it at first, but then all I could do was cry on the kitchen floor. I knew you were right, but I felt so trapped and powerless. This game had messed with my head so completely. I hardly recognized the fun, social, creative person I was before I started playing. Our relationship was like a beautiful garden that we both neglected to tend - and then we blamed the garden for no longer being lovely. I had to believe I was still that person you married underneath all of the layers of addicted pollution. Looking back now, I donaEU(tm)t know how you got though it all. You must have had faith that I would return to you, get on my knees, and begin the work of rebuilding what we had. You must have believed I was still that woman you fell in love with many years ago. Since quitting, life has returned to what it once was. In our garden, we have placed a memorial to remind us of how precious this place is - so hopefully, we will never make this mistake again. I love you and thank you for never giving up on me. If I did not have you, I donaEU(tm)t know that I could have broken away from this addiction.I needed someone in my life that could remind me that I had been a better person, that I was a better person , and I deserved to be a better erson. Thank you.

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

Puterguy72
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To GOD I am sorry for loving

To GOD I am sorry for loving myself first, and everyone else in my life second. I broke your commandment and I have no excuse. I put a game, a fantasy world above you and the real world you perfectly created. Thank you for bringing me out and thank you for making me see. Thank you for loving me when I least deserved it and thank you for always watching over me. To Tam I am sorry for planting the seed of anger that is still in your heart to this day. I am sorry for not fulfilling my duties as a husband as I promised I would. I am sorry for givng you more than you could bear, God knows you tried. I am sorry for making you so lonley, I am sorry for making you kick the walls to get my attention, and I am sorry for not waking up. I am sorry for snapping at you because of a game. I am sorry for wasting over 5 years of your life with grief and worry. I am sorry you had to deal with my addiction ,and i am sorry that this list is so long. You hung in there as long as you could , you lost your husband and you don't even understand why. I am sorry. To Patricia, Zack, and Jenn I am sorry for being a lousy father. I am sorry for all the time we lost due to my stupidity. I am sorry for the pain and problems you guys still suffer with because of me. I am sorry for giving you a broken home to grow up in. I'm sorry for not being there, during my addiction, and afterwards when me and your mother seperated. I'm sorry we don't have a closer relationship, but thats my fault as well. Thank you for still loving your old dad despite it all, I cherish the time we do spend together more than you know. ....and to the rest of my family...Its amazing how you can work so hard to hide a problem when you don't even know you have a problem. I guess thats the proof that I always knew, just denied. I'm sorry and Thank you to those still in my life who care for me and only want the best for me. Dad/Son/Ex/Fred

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To my husband: I love you

To my husband: I love you and thank you for still being with me after all these years. I am sorry for all the harm and hurt I have caused you. For neglecting you and our marriage, our house, our children. I am sorry for all the lies and all the hours I put into the game, when I could've chosen to be with you instead. For every evening and night I'd rather spend online with a fantasy relationship, than with you. Instead I left you alone, confused and stressed. I am truly sorry... I am sorry for blaming you instead of looking at my own wrong-doings. I pray that will change and I can make amends and that you will start trusting me, and that I can give you something back after all this time. To my two children: I love you with all my heart. It is so hard to put my feelings into words...I am so sorry that I haven't been here for you as the mother you deserve to have. I chose a game and a fantasy life instead of spending time with you and showing interest in you or even caring for your basic needs sometimes. I missed hours of playing, reading, singing and hugging and loving you. I am sorry for being too tired in the morning to wave you goodbye when you left for school. I am sorry for all the times I wasn't really aware, when you came home, because my mind was elsewhere. I am sorry for every single minute I rather spent online, than caring for you. I am sorry for causing you sorrow and confusion, because I know you could feel and see I wasn't well. Thank you for loving me soooo much no matter what. I love reading and singing and cuddling with you. Thank you for the laughter and the joy you bring into my life. I thank God for both of you and pray that I will be the best mom ever, free from gaming. I love you! To my friends: Thank you for supporting me thru good and bad. I am sorry for pushing you away, not answering the phone, not wanting to see you etc...when I was in the game. I am sorry for lying and being distant. I am sorry for NOT choosing YOU and for being so selfish. I love you all dearly and I'm blessed to have you in my life. To my siblings and stepmom: I'm sorry for not caring for either of you when I was gaming. For not staying in touch or thinking about you guys. I am sorry for not being honest about my life. You are all amazing people and I hope to spend more time with you in the future. To ex-collegues: I am sorry that I lied and didn't show up for meetings. I ruined my own career and the opportunities I had, but I also wasn't a very good collegue since I was hardly ever there with you! And you wanted me to be there...I know that. Thank you for still being friends and for not judging me. I wish you all the best. To "the real me": I am sorry that I neglected my physical body, my feelings, my wounds and the inner child that was screaming for help. I almost killed her in the game, and I hurt everyone around me at the same time. I am sorry for not taking care of myself better, for pushing myself so far...not sleeping or eating.... not reaching out for support and being honest. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I just saw this thread today, and I couldn't let go of it....until I had written this out. There's an enormous pain inside, realising the cause and how crazy I have been in the game :( I never want to go back to gaming ever. Thank you God for helping find a solution, please help me stay game-free, one day at a time and share my experience strength and hope to others. Help me be honest and loving always. Anneli

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To my friends and former

To my friends and former flatmates (KH, JC, MK): I'm sorry for being such an obnoxious person to live with. I'm sorry for being so locked in my own little world that I blanked you guys despite living in the same house. I treated you guys so badly for no reason other than that I was painfully addicted to WoW. And I'm sorry for every time I frustrated you guys so much yet completely blanked it out. I hope that somehow we can repair our friendship, but I'll understand completely if you think things have become too fractured between us. To my best friend RMC: I'm sorry for spending so much of the last 2 years pushing you away every time you tried to get through to me about my addiction. I'm sorry that things got to the point that I felt every little comment you made was b****ing at me. And I'm sorry that I ignored everything you said to try and help me get off WoW. To RF and CM: I'm sorry I blanked you guys so much. You lived 6 houses down the road, and I almost never visited because I was so caught up in the game. I hope that I can help put things right between us before you guys move to London in 4 months. To my parents: I'm sorry I spent most of the last year trying to avoid seeing you. I'm sorry that I made excuses every Sunday so that I could raid rather than going to visit you. And I thank you for letting me move back into your house in early July so that I could start rebuilding my life. I am sorry that you had to see me return home as a sad, depressed lump who cared about nothing but her game. I'm sorry that you had to see me almost self-destruct as a third year student because of the game. And I'm sorry that you had to see me go from a healthy 21 year old to the 24 year old that hit rock bottom and realised she had to do *something* to save herself. To my ex: You were the most amazing thing that had ever happened to me when we were together. Yet I let WoW drive a wedge between us and eventually be the direct cause of our breakup. I threw away a true chance of happiness because of my addiction, and I will forever regret that. I wish you all the very best in your future, and I apologise completely for how I treated you. ------------------------ I'd seen this thread before, but hadn't felt ready to write in it, until now.

When temptation brings me to my knees, And I lay here drained of strength
Show me kindness, Show me beauty, Show me truth

(Dream Theater - Learning To Live, 1992)

WoW-free since July 11, 2008.

picklednoodles
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Dad-I'm sorry I moved into

Dad-I'm sorry I moved into your house last summer and did nearly nothing but game. I'm sorry for the confusion this caused you, I know you had no idea I was like that. You expected to get a cheerful daughter and to spend lots of time with me, when all you got was a blob that hardly left the computer until you asked. I'm sorry for disappointing you, for my terrible grades in school. It was a was a terrible way to thank you for your money and your shelter. I'm sorry for always making excuses for what I'd done. It hurt you so much but I didn't care. You have been so supportive and you tried so hard, and you deserve so much more than that. Thank you for giving me space while I figured things out and for being such a rock. I've never appreciated you as much as I should have until now. For so long I whined and dug my hole deeper when I had everything I needed right there with you. I love you more than I can probably ever say. Mom-I'm sorry for being so cranky over Christmas break last year. I know we've had a lot of problems, but I'm sure my addiction only made it worse and you didn't deserve it. My various roommates-I've probably been such a pain, and I'm sorry for it. I was so selfish and only wanted you to leave, when I'm sure you wanted me to get out too and you never complained. I hope that you'll find me a happier and more enjoyable roommate to have from now on. My friends-I'm sorry for abandoning you when you all went through things just as hard or harder than me at the same time. I'm sorry for never calling, never sympathizing, never making sure you were okay. I'm sorry all I did was make excuses for being such a poor friend to you. I became exactly the kind of friend that I detest (the one that is there only for the good times and hardly tries to be a friend) and I'm so sorry. I'm sorry that when you did manage to get me out, that I was so moody and didn't act like I wanted to be with you. I love you so much and I'm sorry I hurt you when all you wanted to do was help. ----------------------- I have to say that I cried as I was reading this, and continued crying as I wrote my own apologies. Even though the people I'm sorry to will probably never read this it was good to get it out. So much combined hurt from all of us...

"Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win." -Jonothan Kozol

Diggo McDiggity
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It's been almost two years

It's been almost two years since I wrote this post. It brings tears to my eyes still, even after coming so far in my life since the problems that led to my writing it. There is something amazingly cleansing about apologizing to those you have hurt, even if it's an open apology that they may never read. It's the acceptance that our behavior has negatively impacted the lives of those we love. And the simple act of acknowledging it begins the healing process, and a tremendous weight is suddenly removed from our shoulders. Thank you to everyone brave enough to share. Ron

Co-Founder of OLGA and member since 2002

Xandtar
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Thank you, Ron.

Thank you, Ron.

Leveling in Real Life

Xandtar
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All these years, and I've

All these years, and I've never posted here. Its time. Its funny, I don't know where to begin... Do I begin with my wife, who I deceived by not letting her know what I already knew, that I was an addict? I suppose so. To my dear wife, I am sorry to have hurt you so often, so many times during the past seven years. I'm sorry I couldn't hold a lousy job at a lousy school because I couldn't get past the games. I'm sorry I wasn't there for so many crises you have gone through, and that I'm still not there in person for the latest set. I'm sorry I spent so much time trying to find anyone else to blame including you, for my personal failures and my need to escape into another reality. I'm sorry I could not be the man you wanted me to be, and that I still fall short, to your pain and my sorrow. I'm sorry that I still so often give in to feelings of selfishness and pride, anger and arrogance. I'm sorry for every time I made you cry instead of smile, to bring you stress instead of relief, to leave you worse off than I might have. I'm sorry that I've been far less than the husband you wanted me to be, and that you deserve. To my former wife, I can never take back what I did. That when you had gotten me down to that last game, and I had to choose between accepting real life completely or else, I chose to leave you. All the other excuses I had were crap, at the bottom of the pile was, I could not give up that last game, so much so that I threw you and my four year old son to the wolves. There is really no good way to make amends, not now, and probably not ever. But I do not blame you in any way, and leaving you the way I did was perhaps the single biggest mistake of my life, and certainly the most hurtful thing I ever did to any human being. I am so sorry. To my firstborn, I am sorry I was not a very good father, though your love was unconditional then I certainly didn't deserve it. I try to do a better job now but its hard when you live far away, I thank God your mother is so good in contrast. I wish I could bring you and your brother together more, or that I could take you to see more of my side of your family, or any of a hundred other regrets that I created the day I left your mother for a game. To my teachers, I am sorry I did not become the person you had hoped I could be, that I never came close to reaching my potential, that when the chips were down, I always ran away and hid in another world of unreality rather than come to terms with what I had to do, and how I had to do it. I'm sorry that I always blamed other people for things that was in my power to restore, the grants I didn't write, the research I didn't do, the techniques and protocols I never learned even though I had years of opportunity. Even now, at the finest job I have ever held, I still struggle with the mismatch between my often overinflated ego and the promises it could make and my actual skills, so rusty in so many ways that I struggle to deliver on the promises I've made. I still have it within me to make amends and become at least partially what you hoped I could be, and in so doing make a difference to the lives of my students, my colleagues, and the nation I reside in. All without writing checks with my words that my actions can't cash. To those here, I'm sorry that I have so often been hypocritical, pretending to be clean when I was playing this or that game, just a little here or there. That I have had so many relapses great and small in silence, not sharing them for fear of how that would be perceived, when in reality, had I faced it properly, only by sharing them could I truly become free of the mixed pride and shame of hiding. There are no leaders here, only fellows in a fellowship. There are no icons, no holy grails, no saints. I have no business pretending to be such, even if such was never stated, only implied by my silence.

Leveling in Real Life

Gamersmom
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That was beautiful, Bruce.

That was beautiful, Bruce.

"Small service is true service while it lasts.  Of humblest friends, bright creature! scorn not one

The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,

Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun." -------William Wordsworth

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./hugs Xandtar

./hugs Xandtar

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

sladdiction
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You're still a hero and

You're still a hero and inspiration to me Xandtar. Thanks for the share.

Addicted to SL

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Take care, Bruce.

Take care, Bruce.

dawn
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thank you for sharing your

thank you for sharing your heart. gives me hope :grouphug:

Take the first step in faith. You donaEU(tm)t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.
~Bob Newhart
The minute you alter your perception of yourself and your future, both you and your future begin to change. ~Marilee Zdenek

curious
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TO MY MOM: I'm sorry for

TO MY MOM: I'm sorry for ignoring you all this time and disappointing you. TO MY TEACHERS AND COACHES (ESP. MR. BRANDENBURG): I'm sorry I did less than my best. I could have done way better, but I chose to game instead. TO MY GUITAR TEACHER: I'm sorry for not practicing enough TO MY CLASSMATES: If I had said some bad things whilst trying to be social or funny, I'm sorry. I don't have the best social skills in the world, but I just could have not said anything. TO ALL: It's not like gaming was the only choice for me Yuval L

The long-term outcome exceeds the short-term outcome.

lizwool
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Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for sharing.

Liz Woolley

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Bruce, you are a hero to all

Bruce, you are a hero to all of us at OLGA

"There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative." --W. Clement Stone

solar333
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_

_

jamesthree
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Hi Xandtar, Wow, the last

Hi Xandtar, Wow, the last paragraph was brilliant, really gives me food for thought, if only there was more honestly from gamers, parents of gamers, spouses of gamers, kids of gamers and those whose lives have blessfully never been touched by excessive gaming, then the world would be a better place. Thanks mate, that was just incredible. Maybe now I'll feel better about talking about my parents here. James

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A lot of the comments on

A lot of the comments on this board have hit home for me. Thank you to all of you for sharing...Reading that others are going through/have gone through the situation I find myself in now is helping me to wake up to the reality of my addiction and giving me more courage everyday to move on. To my husband, I am so sorry for all the times I made excuse after excuse as to why I didn't come to bed at night. For all the times I fell asleep on the couch after spending time online with a man I barely knew rather than snuggling up to you. For all those times you would come home from work to a mess and, without a word, begin to clean dishes, make dinner, fold laundry that had sat in baskets for weeks. I'm sorry I didn't come to you sooner--before the game had consumed me to a point where the depression set in and I could no longer function as a wife or a mother. I'm sorry I took my "fake life" more seriously than the REAL LIFE I had tried so hard to build with you. I'm sorry that even today, I still find it hard sometimes to talk to you, to look you in the eyes and tell you how much you truly mean to me. I'm sorry I still have yet to find the courage to just shut down the computer and walk away for good. I'm sorry that when you were hurting, I only thought of myself and of my own heartbreak when my relationship with another man crumbled--all the while, you remaining by my side, forgiving me, loving me, and telling me that all would be well in time. I'm sorry for all the missed opportunities to become closer to you, and for my misguided need for escape from our reality. But I thank you for remaining by my side, and for understanding that I AM TRYING to reclaim that which has been lost. To Ash, I am sorry that mom has become lost in cyberspace, and that I haven't been there for you when you needed me. I'm sorry for losing my temper so many times when you were simply trying to talk to me after a long day at school...or when you have lashed out at me for always spending time online, only to have me lash back and tell you to leave me alone and go to your room. Most of all, I'm sorry I've been such a bad influence and forged in you a habit that is so very hard to overcome. You are too young to be lost to this addiction, and I feel responsible for the fact that you are travelling down that road at such an early age. To Kay, I'm sorry that mommy has not done so many of the things you've wanted me to do with you--take you to the park, color with you, build castles with legos, make cookies when you've asked, or made animals with clay. I'm sorry I have not been the best teacher, and that you must now enter Kindergarten at a level far behind other kids whose mommies have taught them to read, write their letters and numbers, and sing songs. I'm sorry for losing my temper and letting out an annoyed sigh every time you asked me for a snack during the course of the day, or even simply for a hug or a kiss which you so willingly and unconditionally give. To my parents, my sister, my inlaws, and other family members, I'm sorry I have been so complacent, and that I have turned a deaf ear and blind eye to what you've seen all along. I'm sorry for all the missed and unreturned phone calls of the past year, all the excuses as to why I chose to escape into a virtual world, and all the lies as to why I didn't want to attend family functions. I'm sorry that you've all been placed second to the virtual family I've forged ingame. I'm sorry that you've had to stand by and watch me slowly lose myself as I wandered further and further into unknown territories. I'm sorry I have taken you all for granted. To my friends, I'm so sorry I haven't been there for you when you most needed me. For missed opportunities to connect with you. For all the times you reached out to me, and I wasn't there. For all the times that I would call you for solace and sympathy for my own heartaches, even when you had REAL issues where you needed a friend to confide in. To my best friend, I'm sorry I have brought you down this path with me. I'm sorry that my own ignorance to the power of this addiction has brought you even more problems in your own family. I'm sorry I can't be a stronger guiding force to lead you out of this terrible mess. To myself, I'm sorry I've neglected you. I'm sorry I've gone against all the values which you once held so dear. I'm sorry that I've compromised a year of your life after you worked so hard to obtain your college degree, only to spend a year not writing a single word. I've compromised all the goals you've set forth for yourself, and I've placed more importance into mindless pursuits rather than fostering your creativity and intelligence. To all of the above, I thank you for standing by me, even when it hurts to do so. I thank you for trying to understand, even when logically you shouldn't. I thank you for loving me enough to do these things, and I only hope you know how much I do love all of you despite my "absence."

Free from SL since April 2009!

Anli
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To my wife: I am

To my wife: I am sorry... For neglecting you, for wasting years of your life, for pushing you away, for yelling at you, for not respecting, for everything that my problems did to you, for not listening to you when you were trying to save me; I am sorry. I know you say that the pain I feel and the way we have become is all my fault and it is. You say that I had it coming and I did. But no one deserves to lose themselves or their family in a world that does not exist. Most of all, no one deserves to be neglected, alone, angry, and treated like you have been. If it seems like I never have anything to say it is because I don't have anything to say that will show how much I am ashamed and hurt by what has happened to our lives. It is very hard to deal with the mess that I have become. I do hope for a miracle every day. A miracle that we can be a family that will be close, that we can have a great relationship for the rest of our lives, But most of all I hope you can find peace one day. Thank you for staying with me through my addiction and hoping I would be me again. I am sorry that I only really saw and admitted to what I had become after you gave up hope. Maybe one day we can pick up the pieces of our lives and finish what we started seven years ago. I do love you and always will. To my boys: I am sorry... For not teaching you, for all of the wasted time. for neglecting your feelings, for yelling about everything, for letting the television care for you more than me, for the not so perfect holidays, for not being a husband to your mother; I am sorry. I have not done right by anyone of you boys. I wasted so much of your childhood caught up in my own selfish existence. I am not proud of how harsh I have been on you for just being children and exploring your world. I will try to give you the father you deserve and the family you should never have been without. One day we will be a family again. Thank you for loving me when I don't deserve the love you give. I love you guys with all of my heart, I don't know what would happen if I lost any of you.

"The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present." - Alice Morse Earle

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To you all: I have cried

To you all: I have cried since reading the first lines of the first post on this topic. I am sorry that you all had to go through what you had to go through as well. Be well everyone.

Dignified_dude
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Diggo that was absolutely

Diggo that was absolutely amazing...beautiful words. For whatever reason I feel the damage I've cause has been primarily to me , however for the sake of healing I'm going dig deep and apologize to those I hurt that cared for me, whether they knew about my gaming or not. To Randy a friend , a coworker and my supervisor - I'm sorry I did not listen to you when you tried to warn me of impending doom at work. I'm sorry I did not take heed your advice to get my act together. I'm sorry I did not value the efforts you made to give me several chances to improve my behavior and performance. I'm sorry my gaming had to ruin a personal and professional relationship I had for 6 years. I wish you the best in your life. To Heidi an old love and friend - I'm sorry I avoided your calls and made attempts to leave early from evenings spent with you to go home and game. I'm sorry I used the game as a way to avoid getting too close and falling in love with you. I'm sorry you have found another but I'm happy for you. I'm sorry that the way I am makes me selfish and self aborbed so much so that I didn't listen to you when you needed it. Thank you for continuing to be one of my heros To my older brother...I'm sorry for talking nonstop about a game you had no interest in. I'm sorry for the last arguement we had about me trying to make some extra money while unemployed and me forcing you to make a choice to cut off contact with me. I'm sorry I turned down camping trips and movie night invites to your home to stay home and game. I'm sorry that when you came to visit the few times you did that I sat at my computer raiding while you laid on the couch and watched tv. I'm sorry I ignored you To my father and mother...I'm sorry I've lied to you about the extent of my gaming. I'm sorry I've lied about trying to find work all the while hiding in the game. Dad I'm sorry I've dissappointed you and in some ways become a burden you bare. Mother I'm sorry I did not call you and tell you I love you on Mothers Day cause I was to involved in leveling a new character To my dog that has passed away..I'm sorry I let you lay in the apartment for way too long without walks..cause it would take me away from the game. I'm sorry for yelling at you for urinating on the floor by the door cause I wouldn't get out of the game to take you for a walk. To my niece and nephew of my younger brother..I'm sorry I haven't taken more iterest in your lives however far the distance is between us. To my sister who lives overseas..I know I promised to not lose touch again..but here we are three years later and that's exactly what I have done..I was lost in gaming and thusly have lost touch with you again. I'm sorry Dignified Dude

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To my Mom: I'm sorry for all

To my Mom: I'm sorry for all the pain that I've caused you. I'm sorry that I concentrated more on my gaming than I did on my school work and lost my scholarships because of it. I'm sorry that I never helped you out with anything, even though you worked 11 hours a day on your feet to provide for me and all I did was smoke dope and play Counter-Strike. I'm trying to fix things now, but its not easy. I'm sorry.

Desu-desu
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Let me start by bluntly

Let me start by bluntly saying that I will NOT get all mushy with regret here. I currently do not regret any major decisions I've made in life. To regret every single mistake I've ever made would imply "I regret not being perfect" and no human being is perfect. Although I feel that I've had some problems in the past regarding short-term choices, and I will likely make other small mistakes in the future, I have not, and would never do any drugs or anything that could completely ruin the rest of my life. Most of the minor choices I've made that have not been too favorable, I have learned a lot from.

That being said, I think I've been a bit of an inconvenience to a couple of fine folks who are more important to me than I gave them credit for. Although my gaming addiction and recovery was a learning experience, it caused a rather extreme and undeserved stress mess lasting quite a few years for these two people.

Mom and Dad,

Thank you for all of your support throughout my gaming addiction. I'm sorry for a lot of the grief I have given you with your daily schedule at work, and I'm sorry for all the times I got angry at you or threatened you when you didn't leave me alone or didn't meet my outrageous demands. I'm thankful for the encouragement I get from our family in the real world, and I hope this can continue even more positively as it has been. I also want to say thanks for your respect of my privacy during intense gaming sessions, but for being there for me when I needed it, and for providing me with meals, residence, and transportation.

Mickey
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to my son nicholas i am

to my son nicholas

i am sorry i've ignored you and taught you how to escape the same way i did. you deserve to learn how to be a real person, and i'm going to stand up and take your hand and teach you about real life.

to my first husband duwayne

i am sorry i ignored you when you begged me to come to bed. i am sorry i left you. i am sorry i cut you out of my family. and i am sorry for the children we never had together.

to my second husband brian

i am sorry i ignored you, yelled at you, hurt you.

to my pet guinea pig charlie

i'm sorry i didn't play with you more.

Is This What You Do With Eternity? ~Groundhog Day

bobbi
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To Vanessa, I am sorry for

To Vanessa,

I am sorry for ignoring you when you needed attention.

I am sorry for not helping you when you were down.

I am sorry I didn't listen too you.

I am sorry I didn't cuddle you goodnight.

I am sorry I didn't kiss you hello when i left for work.

I am sorry I didn't kiss you when you came back from work.

I am sorry that I lost myself.

I am sorry that I didn't prove too you.

I am sorry to have left you in charge of everything.

I am sorry to have put mass weight on your shoulders.

I am sorry that I waited too long.

I am sorry to haven't loved Myself.

I miss you,

kalelro
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To my wife and kids and

To my wife and kids and everybody

I am truly sorry that game have took over my life and runied the relatonship. I hope we can be able to repair our marriage, friends, the life.

I love you all. I am gettin help as much I can.

Miss you all

Rob

-----
Rob
Gamer 1995 - 2010

hayley
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Oh broke my heart reading

Oh broke my heart reading the posts of apologise. Really wonderful stuff, ace, brill, well done. xxx

Mario
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This illness never took my

This illness never took my life, my partnership, or my family. However, I appreciate others sharing their experience, strength and hope. I learn so much from all of you that have suffered in these areas. May gamers learn from your lead and never have to experience such things again.

Mario

Fredella
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Real Heroes is an initiative

Real Heroes is an initiative that recognises and acknowledges ordinary Indians who are making a difference to people's lives.

Jenatorre (not verified)
To My Parents: I am sorry

To My Parents:

I am sorry for the pain and worry I have caused you. I am sorry for getting caught up in a game that cannot love me back. Thank you so much for being there when I needed you. I want to be happy and healthy. I know now that a game cannot give me these things. Thank you for loving me even when I did not feel the love.

- Jennifer Ann

To My Sister:

I am sorry for the way I treated you when I was heavy into gaming. You even bought me game cards, and I would get mad at you for buying the wrong ones!!! I know that you were trying to make me happy. But the truth is that a game will not bring me happiness. Only God and the love and support of family and friends will bring me happiness.

- Jennifer Ann

To My Niece, Elizabeth:

I am sorry for getting you hooked on video games at such a very young age (age 6 or younger). I am sorry I introduced you to something that can very evil and misguided. I pray that you will not become a video game addict like me. If you do become one; I pray that you will get out of it. Please know that I want the best for you, even if I cannot always provide the best environment for you.

- Aunt Jennifer

dan1
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What a wonderful, beautiful

What a wonderful, beautiful step to take, Jenatorre. You are wise beyond your years. I believe that doing this will definitely help you move forward. 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.

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