&: WHAT WORKS FOR YOU???

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Grriffion
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Well for me visiting this

Well for me visiting this forum at least once a day, making sure i continuous work on building new and better habits for myself. Im almost positive i would have failed out of my college but i withdrew from my courses because i knew i was in a deep hole. i wonder if ill ever be allowed back =P

"I love playing these video games"
"But they ruin my life"
"But aren't I supposed to do whats fun and what makes me happy?"
"If ruining and sacrificing your life for playing video games made you happy, Then you probably wouldnt be looking at this website"
"But we all die in the end, doesn't it really not matter if I just do what I want?"
"Well, you COULD do what you want but in all practicality you cannot function properly in this life and play video games as your past has proven."
"So I must make a sacrifice"

Gamersmom
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Welcome flashback88! You

Welcome flashback88! You will find way more video gamers than gamblers here, but we do have a few gamblers who have found us and gotten help here. The two addictions seem to be very similar, and I suspect that the neurochemistry is the same. I have heard that it is possible to have yourself banned from casinos. If that is true, you could consider doing that at your nearest casinos.

"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

tuzieq
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For me personally it is

For me personally it is prayer, turning it over to God. Which in turn gives me the vision of the big picture. They taught us in AA, to see the whole picture, think it thro, all the way thro. What is the outcome of playing the game one more time, the first drink etc. and the last time i played after uninstalling three times,,,,i saw the whole picture, my life was a mess. i messed up so much, and now i am sick and tired of being sick and tired. And of course coming here and hearing the hope and encouragement from those who are dealing with it on a daily basis. and the pain of those who are still trying and the families of those who are suffering. Filling the void that the gaming leaves with something positive. Fake it until u make it means until you like feeling good in the REAL and dont like the feeling anymore of the UNREAL. Journaling is helping also,,,,get it out, and let it go.

doki
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I really appreciate the site

I really appreciate the site and being able to listen to so many people working out these issues in their lives. :grouphug: That helps me a lot. Instead of playing a game coming here for awhile and getting re-focused. For me perhaps one of the biggest helps is getting more sleep. When I am too tired I could play for hours and hours without ever having meant to play at all. Too much to do in life and even my relationship to devote so much to gaming.

Desu-desu
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This situation was kind of

This situation was kind of complicated for me, but I think it might be informative for people interested in the subject, or anyone who might be in a similar situation.

For me, a drive to find a real girlfriend and finish college kind of worked. These were only goals though, and the motivation would always fade due to boredom at home, and lack of progress. Also, I have very mild symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome, and was diagnosed with this at a young age. I've had few interests other than computers and video games throughout my life, and an unwillingness to even try certain things, and my communication skills aren't always the most spectacular.

At some point I became more enlightened and adopted a new philosophy that I came up with on my own while pacing around my room anxiously in thought. My thought process went sort of like this:

"Why are little kids afraid of the dark?"

"What is dark?"

"Dark is the absence of light."

"If the kid knows that, they will no longer fear dark."

"What about things that come with the dark?"

"Most of the horrific creatures you see in horror entertainment (books, movies, games) don't exist at all in the real world."

"Some of them do, though. What if a real person hides in a dark corner and waits to ambush me?"

"I'll check this dark corner now...there's nothing there. I'll hide in it. I'll ambush them if they try anything."

"Can this logic be applied to conquer any fear?"

And then I realized: Most of the lesser fears I'd ever encountered in life were defeated simply by understanding more about the concept or source of the fear. Many of the greater fears I've conquered in life, I had done so ultimately by devising an approach to solving a real-life problem. Either way, the first step I'd take would always be to identify and learn more about what's troubling me. I'm very intellectual and I enjoy reading interesting articles online, and I was able to find information I needed to understand many general things I once knew little about (and was uncertain or afraid of) on Wikipedia or other informative sites. Being an online gamer actually helped in this situation: I practically have constant high-speed Internet access!

I had known for a few years that I was an online gaming addict. I was becoming increasingly open-minded and more social after adopting and practicing this new philosophy, though, and I did notice an instant increase in my confidence after learning more about my specific troubles. Other problems I'd had at the time, specifically anxiety and an irregular sleep schedule, began to solve themselves as I tried new approaches and conquered more fears. Not all of these changes happened overnight, but I could tell that something was working. Sometimes I would look up information on Wikipedia about something I wanted to do, but felt I couldn't, and then I would learn whether I could do it that way or not, as well as a reason "why not" if applicable. Then I would try to find a way around the reason "why not", or an alternate approach altogether, and I'd always come out with more knowledge either way.

As I became "addicted" to browsing these informative Wikipedia articles, I realized something. I was playing online games less and less, beginning to leave these games behind, citing that my leave would be "until I could manage my play time better." I would still talk to close friends I had met on the games, but only through instant messaging (IM) services instead of in the virtual worlds of the games we played together. My real world was becoming more real, and the virtual worlds online were becoming less real.

Now my original goals seem more reachable. I feel that I'm a lot more ready to get done with college so that I can work on my own one day. As for getting a girlfriend, I've read dating articles linked from the front page of Yahoo and AOL, and they've helped me with conversational and social skills that I've been able to woo women with more skillfully. I've even used some of them simply to talk to friends and maintain conversations longer. Here's an example: "People like for conversations to be interactive, and they don't want to hear all about you all the time." I came up with this as a practice solution to use online with instant messaging: Counting the periods/exclamation marks (assuming you use them) at the end of your sentences in an IM conversation, versus the number of questions you ask. If there aren't many questions, ask your friend more questions to show more interest! Now your conversation is more two-way.

I haven't logged into an online game for about a week now. I don't really plan to for a while, either. I'm looking at life much more positively now after thinking things through. I hope this story helps and inspires other gaming addicts in similar situations.

For anyone else curious, I was looking at Wikipedia tonight and discovered this article: ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_behavioral_therapy ) It turns out that I didn't even know about this approach, but apparently I employed some tactics from it in my solution, and kept using them simply because they proved effective, without realizing what it really was.

By the way, sorry this turned out to be so long. I've already edited it some. I'd shorten it more, but I need to sleep. I'll check for feedback or responses tomorrow.

the_real_me
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That is awesome, desu-desu.I

That is awesome, desu-desu.I too have been reading a book that employs the use of CBT and have found it very useful.

Whatever you can do to re-focus yourself on your gaols and stay away from the excessive gaming...is a good thing.

Welcome to OLGA.

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

Desu-desu
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Thank you. I might play

Thank you. I might play games socially still, but probably just for fun. MMORPGs can be grindfests, and can take hours even just to get started on, so I plan to stay away from those until I know I have more free time and can manage it properly.

I've found a lot more social acceptance even with my friends online now, and they see this as a positive thing, too. Any of my online contacts who might not see this decision in a positive light probably aren't really my friends, and they probably blocked me already, but maybe they'll get over themselves one day, and I refuse to let them drag me down. I've also noticed a lot more confidence in my attitude at home, and a lot less anxiety clouding my mind. I helped more with preparing meals this week than any other time in my life. I can definitely say that I'm much happier now.

LiveLoveLaugh
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Still figuring that out.

Still figuring that out.

Cindy
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I can relate to that. I've

I can relate to that. I've called it my phone phobia. Let's all answer our phones and make some calls, get connected to the real world.

Mario
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Connecting on the phone has

Connecting on the phone has been one of my best ways to contact people in 12 step groups. I fully support it.

Mario

cjl
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The thing that works best

The thing that works best for me is helping someone else. Saying hello to a newcomer, making phone calls, listening to someone who has this problem - seems to work every time I have the courage to offer help instead of picking up the game.

Mario
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Helping someone who suffers

Helping someone who suffers from video games find freedom is the ultimate high. That always works for me.

Mario

mrskaylaftw
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ahh korean dramas...i know

ahh korean dramas...i know thats insane..but ive been watching them with subs..and its really gotten my mind off runescape:D

also

taking it one day at a time..when bad stuff happens..my mind constantly says*go play rs* but i tell myself no..that its not worth it..it will cause more problems

so yeah

korean dramas and anime..

and um...taking it day by day:)

xoxo

kayla

Alone at last, we can sit and fight.And I've lost all faith in this blurring light,BUT STAY RIGHT HERE WE CAN
CHANGE OUR PLIGHT,WE'RE STORMING THROUGH THIS,DESPITE WHAT'S RIGHT.One final fight, for this tonight.Woah...With knives and pens we made our plight. -I can't go on without your love, you lost, you never held on.- bvb

fer
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That's what I did, whatever

That's what I did, whatever silly thing that worked. After a few weeks I started to be interested again in more constructive stuff. :)

Healthy enthusiasms add to life, addictions take away from it.

BigH501
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  In the early stages

In the early stages getting out of the house as much as possible worked for me ...

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

gr3g
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Developing a life physically

Developing a life physically and metaphysically displaced from the life that brought me back to the computer screen has made the biggest difference in my recovery.

Simply: a change of scenery.

Cultivate relationships, professionals, and interests that put you into a position to succeed. It amazes me that any gamer is able to quit with a gaming computer still physically in their home - for me I had to physically get rid of the thing. Pretty hard to relapse when my drug of choice is so inaccessible.

Freedom from relapse makes everything else easier. I don't worry about it anymore, I just live my life.

cidcid
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What works for me is

What works for me is acknowledging that I have a problem. I am not able to just play a little bit, for fun, the way other people can. The minute I doubt that I have a problem it begins to launch yet another attack on my life. I take it day by day and try to celebrate the fact that I'm writing this and not playing at just this moment.

As other people have said, getting out and getting involved in life instead of games can develop a momentum of its own. I have a list of things that make me feel good *afterwards* and looking at that can give me a direction when I get into the addicted place (where'd that list go!).

Uninstalling any games and deleting all saved games is a necessary step for me. One very little thing that helped was switching my OS from Windows to Linux (Ubuntu). A lot of the most addicting games for me won't run on Linux (yet). Unfortunately, I can still play flash-based games (in a browser).

Last night I learned that I can put aliases in my /etc/hosts file to effectively block myself from web sites that have games:

127.0.0.1 games.yahoo.com

127.0.0.1 ninjakiwi.com

Mac should have an /etc/hosts file. On Windows, it's C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts. It's a speed-bump, but sometimes a speed bump is enough of a foothold to not slide down the slope.

Thanks for being here today. I played for 18 hours yesterday (Monday) at the expense of work and sleep after roughly 6 years of remission, the last year of which I thought I was able to resume gaming without losing control. I may try a local Gamblers Anonymous meeting. I hope they will accept me if I go.

Patria
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Aw Cidcid, I am so sorry you

Aw Cidcid, I am so sorry you relapsed after 6 years. That insidious "maybe I can moderate now" thought running through the head is what scares me, but sticking close to the steps (if you use them), a sponsor or mentor, OLGA and the meetings here keep me from thinking like that.

At least it works for me.

LaurelS9
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Welcome, cidcid.  I lived

Welcome, cidcid. I lived in Greenville once for some months...very nice area. So glad to see your eyes are opened and the addict in you is well in your sights. We can dispell this obsession!

mary35
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-This board has helped me

-This board has helped me tremendously. Today I closed my FB account eliminating all contact from friends who wore trying to make me feel guilty about quitting.

-Talking to my mom also helped.

-Reading books.

-Praying.

bunic
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reading always helps, and

reading always helps, and music of course

brobuddy
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Nothing I've tried has

Nothing I've tried has worked so far. Practically the only time I don't play video games is when I'm physically unable to.

Patria
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Brobuddy, have you tried

Brobuddy, have you tried working/using the steps (either Athiest/Agnostic or original version?) with a sponsor?

People who have a hard time quitting gaming on their own, sometimes need that extra support.

And the steps keep us focused on recovery.

If we spend 80-100% enmeshed in the gaming environment; we'll need to spend 80-100% in the recovery environment.

cjl
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Service always works for

Service always works for me. I help someone else, I forget about what was bothering me, I feel better, and I don't game.

Jenatorre (not verified)
Diggo McDiggity wrote: I'd
Diggo McDiggity wrote:

I'd like to start a thread for those who have made progress away from the games and back into their real lives to share just one thing that was part of your healing process that helped you along the way. I'll start.

For me, I have to say it was reconnecting with friends I had 'forgotten' while in the midst of my playing. They served as helpers, helping me transition from my 'online' life back into my real life. It was a little hard at first approaching them, but when I shared my story, it really helped my healing process alot. Each time I told about how I was playing online games so much I healed a little more.

So what has worked for you?

Ron

Edited by: lizwool at: 10/1/06 13:05

I have not quit gaming yet, but I added voice lessons to my violin lessons, so I have no more money left for gaming. I continue with violin lessons next month, and start voice lessons next month, and I am really hoping I will begin my life again without gaming. I am suffering from withdrawal, but I am confident that I will be much happier taking music lessons than gaming. This is a big time for me as I do not exactly know what the outcome will be, but I am optimistic.

- Jena

Jenatorre (not verified)
I have not quit gaming yet,

I have not quit gaming yet, but I decided to add voice lessons to my violin lessons, so I have no more money left for gaming. I do not know what the outcome will be yet, but I know that taking music lessons will be of more value to me than video games. I have also cut down on my gaming and my spending gradually, while taking violin lessons. Adding voice lessons will give me another goal and project to work on and will distract me from gaming.

nykolas
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Hello, I suffer from very

Hello, I suffer from very bad bi polar, i used gaming as escapism from the real world, last year i played a total of 172 days in hours in World of warcraft. Little did i know that escaping in to a fantasy world was making my condition worse, i moved house since and cannot get an internet connection here, the only time i play is on some weekends, i quit world of warcraft and now play rift, strictly on weekends, i was forced to not play any longer, and i can tell you now, my life has improved so much so far this year, i only have a totalt of 2 days played in rift, and i can safely say, that my withdrawel symptoms have faded, and i actually get bored playing games at the moment. feeling great here, Pro tip #1 cut off your internet connection if you are addicted to an mmo, it will take a few weeks, but if i can do it anyone can.

dan1
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Thanks for posting

Thanks for posting this.

Having an underlying mental health issue makes so many things worse, and it's very bad to get into something that makes the disorder worse too. I have bipolar disorder as well, and it'svery unpleasant, and reduces my mental flexibility, my capacity to deal with stress, etc. I'm so glad you were able to get away. And improve your life. I'm having a tough time with that, but there has been significant progress for me since I quit.

Take care and be well. I hope you come by every once in a while to share your progress. It's always good to have an inspiring and positive story to read.

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.

nykolas
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Awwhhh you are such a

Awwhhh you are such a sweetheart, thank you, yeah it can be hard, WoW was one of the only outlets i had, It was the only way i could talk to people without feeling 'small' or 'out of place'. The main factor is that you use an avatar to comunicate with others, It makes talking to people a lot easier, what i did'nt realize was the strain it was putting on my social life, i thaught i was getting better, when infact i was just blocking out the real world to help me cope.

Gaming addiction is just as serious as any other addiction, it doesn't just affect you but everyone else around you too. I found this website just by chance, and felt like i should put something on here, Truly is a fantastic idea, its nice to see others take gaming addiction seriously, and to recognise it as a real thing. I just want to tell everyone suffering, It's not hard, like any addiction take its slow, reduce the hours you play, do other things outside of gaming, and eventually you will be playing for fun again, be it on the weekends or after work/school.

You don't have to quit gaming out right, but take it in moderation, the thing i noticed was that i didn't even enjoy playing that much, I just wanted to carry on being better than everyone else in-game.

Playing games is supposed to be fun, something you can enjoy every now and again, not a job.

Another thing i used to do, was to have a set timer on my phone, i would limit myself to 2 hours game time a day to wind down, when the alarm rang no matter how much i wanted to raid with the guild or pvp, i would say /G. hey guys gotta go have a nice night.

Small steps. Help in the long run, you will get more sleep, feel better about yourself, and your social life will improve ten fold!.

GrowingUp
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  I had to get really

I had to get really truthful with myself and I exposed myself to the Olganon group. I had been roleplaying females while really being a "guy" a "dude" a "male". The membership leaders exposed me on a number of things and I laid it all out on my blog.

I still have some issues [don't we all - ROFL] but this turned some corners.

GrowingUp

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

Patria
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dan939 wrote: I have bipolar
dan939 wrote:

I have bipolar disorder as well, and it'svery unpleasant, and reduces my mental flexibility, my capacity to deal with stress, etc.

I'm not diagnosed yet, haven't been to therapist, but also what I am dealing with at home with disabled husband is certainly not making mood swings fun and enjoyable.

Gaming stablized me, but BUT it also gave me arthritis, sleep deprivation, no exercise (I thought running my avatar around was good exercise), lousy food habits, kidney ailments, (hard to pee in a sock when you're a female), and other assorted ailments, like assorted hypersensitivity, heightened sense of narcissistic attitudes, attitude of entitlement, you name it I had it.

So how is it almost 20 months (tomorrow) game-free? much much better. Not perfect, because I am human and humans aren't perfect. But I don't want to be perfect. Trying for perfection is a guaranteed day-ruiner and will mess up an entire day's worth of good feelings.

Just taking this a day at a time.

Jenatorre (not verified)
Patria: I have both bipolar

Patria:

I have both bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder, so I know what you mean by feeling a sense of entitlement. I also have feelings of grandiosity, and then I crash and have to face my reality.

I believe in striving for perfection because I am always trying to do my best in everything.

My violin teacher told me that you never reach perfection in violin, but you are always aspiring for perfection. And you enjoy that process when you practice.

Ballet is the same way. Ballet demands perfection and exactness, and we are always striving for that when we practice, and we enjoy the process.

I enjoy striving for perfection, because it teaches me discipline, and the fact that I never want to give up. I enjoy the process of never giving up so I can aim for perfection.

All the best in your recovery,

- Jennifer Ann de la Torre

Lessisntpossible
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lifeislife wrote: gaming
lifeislife wrote:

gaming makes my body feel bad.

I think this needs to be part of my list of quotes to help me when I start to dream of thinking I can be "moderate."

I've just started my list of quotes today, so sorry it's only two:

1. When I'm done playing, I have nothing to talk about.

2. Gaming makes my body feel bad.

Thanks, Lifeislife

Lessisntpossible

lessisntpossible No games since April 1st, 2013. Earliest addictive behavior that I recognize in hindsight: 1990ish. Longest run sober: 2-3 years, until the thoughts of "maybe I can be moderate now" creep in.

Gettingalife
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Lessisntpossible wrote: 1. 
Lessisntpossible wrote:

1. When I'm done playing, I have nothing to talk about.

Love that one. Spend hours upon hours totally engrossed in fantasy, then attempt to rejoin the real world and find ourselves out of touch with nothing to contribute. It's so true and a very big reason I'm glad I'm not there anymore.

Acceptance. When I am disturbed, it is because a person, place, thing, or situation is unacceptable to me. I find no serenity until I accept my life as being exactly the way it is meant to be. Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.  Acknowledge the problem, but live the solution!

Patria
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Gettingalife
Gettingalife wrote:
Lessisntpossible wrote:

1. When I'm done playing, I have nothing to talk about.

Love that one. Spend hours upon hours totally engrossed in fantasy, then attempt to rejoin the real world and find ourselves out of touch with nothing to contribute. It's so true and a very big reason I'm glad I'm not there anymore.

Oh me too.

After the month of withdrawals (might have been less; hard to remember) the next month was spent sleeping; I was totally exhausted from years of excessive gaming and didn't have adequate sleep.

At the third month I was bored and didn't know what to do with myself. And this surprises me now, because I can't imagine finding time for anything new, my life is full.

So I started reading again, history mostly to get and keep my attention. Dusted off the piano and practicing every day. Actually went outside in backyard and starting weeding, planting herbs, and because of herbs started learning how to cook. I love cooking now and I love using fresh herbs out of the garden.

Rediscovered the joys of Tai Chi and Yoga; very meditative activities. And listening to audio books usually on meditation or good music.

Life really is a banquet and when gaming I was starving to death. Now my life is rich.

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My son is 14 years old and

My son is 14 years old and addicted to Minecraft. We realized it was a problem when he no longer hung out with friends, his grades dropped drastically, got angry over having to take a break, lying about playing, and never wanting to leave the house. Last week we took all electronics away and he is in therapy for his addiction. He has ADD which probably contributed to him becoming addicted. This week his grades are already starting to improve and he has taken more of an interest in driving. He will get to take driver's ed in May, but only if his grades are up. We play the Wii as a family and it stays in the living room at all times. He is not allowed to play unless someone is with him and then it is a limited amount of time. I found a video about gaming addiction on Youtube and made my whole family watch it. My son never spoke a word as we watched it or during my speech afterwards. The other day he got a text message from a girl that he games with and he didn't respond so I hope that something is finally starting to click that he has a problem. I can only hope and pray that things will continue to get better. Dishing out the tough love is not an easy thing to do but I do it because I love him enough to do it. I know the battle to get my son back is only beginning but I hope and pray that one day I can post on here that he loves participating in life more than gaming.

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it" 1 Corinthians 10:13

MAGZ
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Thanks for this post.  My

Thanks for this post. My husband isn't bi-polar, but he is ADHD and borderline OCD, so I understand how tempting the gaming world is for him. Because of this, I have often reached the point of hopelessness that he will ever overcome his addiction. But you are living proof that it doesn't have to be this way; just because it may make it harder to quit and get involved in the real world again doesn't mean that it is impossible!

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This is the first time I've

This is the first time I've seen anyone mention Minecraft. That is the game I've been addicted to all year. My kids got me started on it. I had never played any computer games my whole life.. I just was way too busy raising five kids. I could never understand why my family all liked computer games, though no one seemed to struggle with being addicted.

In many ways, I was 'mom' to so many kids on the server. I also loved helping make the server 'successful' and I think I liked being needed. The game itself .. the survival.. really appealed to me. I found this website and finally realized I had a real problem.

One day I prayed and finally asked the Lord to help me. I had not wanted help up to that point because I couldn't bear the thought of leaving my little minecraft friends as I called them or the game. Then I decided to do a search as I wasn't sure there even was such a thing as online addiction. And I found you guys.

I gave up the game (though sadly, not the forums) for about three weeks.. and I literally cried for the first two. Just sheer loneliness.

After the first week of giving up Minecraft, and crying and just being miserable and watching tv to while away the hours, I finally started caring about life again.

Things that helped-

Skyping with my adult daughter who would constantly ask me what I was doing and send me encouraging notes and cheer at every real life task I did.

Making appointments to go places.. so I'd have to get out. Getting out helped tremendously,

and most important of all.. prayer .. prayer and more prayer. Reading God's word to get my head straight. At first I just endured but eventually I found prayer helped so much more.

By week three, I still missed the game very much but I was loving life again and enjoying the sunshine.. and picking back up hobbies. I started working on my diet. I was afraid to go back to blogging as it was just another form of addiction really.

Week four I started thinking maybe I could play in the evenings again.. and moderate it.

Then my son, the one who loves games, decided to give up not just computers but all forms of Electronic entertainment.. movies .. everything for Lent. (one whole month). I couldn't leave him to do that alone.. and my typing away, so I joined him. Again.. withdrawals.

But in this month, I also gave up the forums for the most part.. and we have been doing things together. Reading, boardgames, sewing, writing more letters, and living by a schedule again.

Having a schedule helps so much! It helped me figure out what to do with all that time. I used to be so busy! I don't know how I ever got 'unbusy' but now.. my 'to do list' is happily nice and long again.

I came back here to re-read your posts.. which help most of all! Easter is almost here and I think I seriously need to accept that going back is not an option and that I can never really play 'moderately' again.

Thanks to everyone who posts here. Your stories are helping me so much.

Jenatorre (not verified)
Carolyn: Congratulations on

Carolyn:

Congratulations on your new life and your new schedule!!! I have a schedule as well, but I keep eating sugar, which is triggering my irritable bowel syndrome. My sickness is preventing me from following through.

For Lent, I pray the Examen Prayer every day, which helps me review my day, and be grateful for each day. The Examen Prayer is based on St. Ignatius Layola (a Jesuit saint). It is also a form of meditation.

I am happy to hear you are praying more, and that it is helping with your recovery.

- Jennifer Ann de la Torre

MAGZ
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I love hearing your journey

I love hearing your journey here. I have been through so many ups and downs with my husband over his WoW addiction that it gets hard to believe sometimes that he will ever really let go. Like you, his head is not on straight even though he thinks he does all the things you have mentioned above. Yet, he has not really. He, too, has 'quit' for a very short period of time--for a week or two--but only the raids and still in total denial of addiction. He still held onto all the online forums, daytime play, and Diablo III. Spending an extremely rare whole day away from technology with him yesterday, I was reminded again of the bigger 'issues' behind his addiction. It made me sad instead of angry, but it also helped refocus me to the reality that until he is willing to recognize and deal with those issues, he will either not leave this addiction or simply trade this one for another one. I applaud you for the progress you've been making toward complete freedom--body, mind, and spirit--and being able to recognize other potential addictions in your life. That is a huge step! I pray that my husband will by God's grace somehow be able to find the same...

Jenatorre (not verified)
I decided to name my addict

I decided to name my addict self Veronica. Veronica is the broken part of myself that I need to heal. Now that I have a name for my addiction, it becomes more real and personal, and it motivates me to heal it by doing what is good for my health: making the right decisions; honoring commitments; exercise and ballet; studying violin and the Arts; eating healthy; getting enough sleep; and surrounding myself with nature and people who care and love me.

- Jennifer Ann de la Torre

MAGZ
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Jennifer: I really like this

Jennifer: I really like this approach. I have found that one of the biggest deceptions for my husband is that he believes that his alter-ego, so to speak, is his entire real-life identity. Consequently, in game he thinks he is a certain kind of person that translates to real-world value when in actuality he is a very different person outside the gaming construct. I constantly struggle with the pathologies this brings to our life together; when so much of his inner life is spent in virtual reality and he make little distinction between the two, his perspective on life becomes very skewed and his decisions extremely irrational. And yet, because I do express my emotions as a woman more than he does, it becomes easy for him to brand my challenges to his lack of reason as nothing more than an 'emotional response'. I get hot pretty quickly when our conversation devolves to this place. Yet, I have been greatly strengthened by the testimony of a recovering addict from my church; a couple of weeks ago, she reminded us that one of the characteristics of addicts is that they manipulate others to justify themselves. This has helped me target my own anger/frustration at the addiction rather than at my husband. I too often allow myself to get sucked into that false understanding that he and his addiction are the same. Now, I understand that for him that the experience of the death of his addiction is like a death of himself and a death of his manhood to him. But I know that my actions do not have to be governed like this; I can choose to still differentiate between his gaming self and his real-life self. I can see those deeper issues in his life experience and character, those broken places, an dhave compassion rather than hatred. I can hold onto hope that change is possible, that I can still love and support my husband as a person without enabling his virtual self. I can move on with my own real-world life by taking care of myself, surrounding myself with others who have a true perspective on reality, and focusing on all the things in my life that I CAN change for the better (instead of the one thing I can't). Anyway, I really like that you have given your addiction a face and a name, making it personal to you but not your whole identity.

Kiddiepool16
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One of the things that

One of the things that jarred me into quitting was the realization that it didn't improve my skill at socializing. I never really thought of it, but talking to people is a skill, too; the more time you devote to it, the better you get. I never did afterschool activities during middle school, and I think I truly did suffer in socializing because of that. I only started dating my senior year in high school, for example.

Jenatorre (not verified)
MAGZ: Thank you for liking

MAGZ:

Thank you for liking my approach to naming my addiction!!! I got this idea from another member....Since naming my addiction Veronica, she went away after a short time because I tried taking care of her. I think when she heals, she goes away....

When I was gaming, I believed I was my pet. So I indulged her in the game. I gave her everything that I have always wanted: the best outfits, the best furniture, the best designs, the best scenery (indoor and outdoor scenes, especially the outdoor scenes). I gave her a lot of nature scenes. I also gave her 100-200 friends!!! I paid real money for all of this!!! If I was my pet, then of course I would spend a lot of money on her.

My pet and I had popularity, "respect," and maybe even a little bit of fame. We were very well known and liked. I paid real money for my pet's status. And why would I not??? I became my pet!!!

Naming your addiction does help you to identify your real self and your addicted self. And when you heal your addicted self, you become one. I have not heard from or seen Veronica lately, so this means I am healing.

God bless you, MAGZ.

- Jennifer Ann de la Torre

Trent_Eastwood
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I first want to congratulate

I first want to congratulate on everyone and their struggles. It makes me admire all of you for the effort you made.

I used to go on this website 9 months ago. Everything was going fantastic. I was completely sober, nothing to distract me from anything! I was so smart and sharp as a nail! I never missed any homework and never felt tempted to do any other game. I played games on my phone like chess or sudoku, but they weren't online and they weren't in my own home.

It started one night just out of the blue I decided to pull out my video games because I wanted to feel what it was like again. The rush and the feeling of being alive. I was invited to come over to my friends. I didn't bring my xbox along because we were doing split screen black ops. After accepting that I do have a life and I am better than video games, the image of me gradually faded. No longer was I hyped up into my own life, I was psyched about this virtual reality of another world. But it has no excitement, no one is going to listen to me tell of the awesome experiences I played in a vidoe game!

I started to play minecraft on the PC, and at first it too was nothing. But this week after playing for awhile, I want to get banned because its controlling my life! I want to destroy other peoples' bases and raid them with 5 other factions I am allied with, but I know that life is more than just this. Destruction is awesome, but I want to do more than that.

After I became sober, I became an avid reader. Reading anything from science fiction into textbooks and teaching myself alot of knowledge and information. I even was able to memorize and think alot clearer and I would go to school excited and ready and hyped up for the next lesson. Now I am lazy, lethargic, and addicted. I cannot game light or keep my games even near me, I have to disable them to keep me away. The best method was hiding the chords to the systems. If they are all the way behind covered in my closet, I will be too lazy to get them. It will have to think about how to get them out of there and then I will just realize that it would be a COMPLETE waste of time.

As for minecraft, I am going to change my password to a bunch of numbers, write it down on a piece of paper, throw it somewhere so I will also be too lazy to type it in.

I really am quite excited to start again and try and learn from my mistakes. I would feel very left out not being in the video game world, but I am old enough to realize that this is not what I can be doing with my life. If I was sober for 9 months, then I am still strong and I know how to control it. I am just happy to be here again. I will listen to all of you and learn from you. I want to get better.

hirshthg
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Trent_Eastwood wrote: I
Trent_Eastwood wrote:

I first want to congratulate on everyone and their struggles. It makes me admire all of you for the effort you made.

I used to go on this website 9 months ago.

Welcome back Sean!

It is people like you that remind me that I can forget the stugle I went through, and go back to gaming at the tip of the hat.

Keep coming back, good luck this time around

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

Trent_Eastwood
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Thank you for the powerful

Thank you for the powerful support. I want to heal again and I miss the old me, the one without video games. I am so unhappy and tired and sick of not being able to do anything anymore. I can't give up, and I am really happy I got the courage to come back here again.

Thanks again

Scott
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Welcome back Sean!  Thanks

Welcome back Sean! Thanks for sharing your experiences, it helps me so much. Sometimes I get the idea that it would be okay to play a game again. Hearing stories like yours snaps me out of that insane fantasy and back into reality. I have proven to myself again and again what the inevitable consequences of that first game are: gaming binges, late nights, neglected responsibilities, isolation, sleep deprivation, moodiness, anger, self loathing, disconnection from friends, relationship problems, problems at work, etc, etc. A non-addict who suffered these problems would quit or moderate. A gaming addict like myself will keep trying it again and again. Nuts.

Our meetings are helpful for sharing, learning, making connections. See you there!

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

Patria
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Glad you are back Sean! Come

Glad you are back Sean!

Come to the meetings here every night. In fact, today Scott leads a newcomers meeting one hour earlier than the regular meeting.

Scott wrote:

I have proven to myself again and again what the inevitable consequences of that first game are: gaming binges, late nights, neglected responsibilities, isolation, sleep deprivation, moodiness, anger, self loathing, disconnection from friends, relationship problems, problems at work, etc, etc. A non-addict who suffered these problems would quit or moderate. A gaming addict like myself will keep trying it again and again. Nuts.

Thank you for reminding me, Scott. Now I don't have to do my own research.

Relapses are just research, and I already have a Ph.D. in gaming addiction.

Exavatar
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I never knew that so many

I never knew that so many people suffered from what I do. While I was in Second Life for four years, it was the only thing I lived for. I used it for escapism from my marriage and my chronic pain and to try and feel in control, and over the years I justified my behaviors to the point of actually believing them. There's where my mind went completely crazy. The stress caused inside me from all this made me not even want to be here. I just wanted to die I felt so horrible. I started taking more and more pain pills and everything was spiraling out of control.

I think a crisis sometimes has to happen before one has the desire to change, at least that's what happened to me. I had so many things going on at the same time...I had two surgeries in one year and was facing a knee replacement in December; my marriage was on the rocks; I was waking up from a lifetime of living underneath a narcisstic mother; and my "partner" in Second Life did not like the fact that I wanted to end it. He threatened to send my hubby all the chat logs and pictures. ugh, yes.

I finally confessed to my husband what was going on just a week ago. I couldn't take it anymore and I couldn't take the fact that I was lying to him. What worked for me was finally finding my inner truth and voicing it. I'm learning to communicate more directly about my emotions instead of shoving them down.

You are all inspirational and I really thank God that I found all of you. Reading your experiences and hearing your struggles and accomplishments helps me enormously!

Hugs

"Even when you think it's about you, it's not about you." Dr. Bill

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