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 In Person Recovery 
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Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:35 pm
Posts: 17
State/Province/Country: Alberta Canada
So, something that has come up for me with a sponsee of mine in this fellowship is his fear of joining an in person fellowship, or support group to help him stay sober. Just wanted to touch on it for newcomers, or people struggling with this.

For me, and that's all any of this is, is my experience, I'd have never stayed sober without all the connections i've made in person. Online, i can be whoever i want to be. It's a huge part of why i fell so quickly into oblivion in my active addiction. I never had to be the scared broken human i knew i was online. I could mask that with confidence, and charm and wit. I was able to create the image of myself that i so desired, and held onto this image to insane extents.

It took being forced to interact with people in a treatment centre to get past my tea of myself for the first time. I had people call me on the crap, the lies i had paste to my identity about who i was and wanted to be, and the walls that kept any one at a distance. I had people finally tell me that they saw through my walls, and masks, and loved me anyway. They actually hated the mask part, but love the real, the genuine, the vulnerable. I found out in recovery rooms, of many fellowships that i was loved for the broken human i am, and as soon as i accepted that that's what i was, the easier it became to be just me. No longer shame kicking myself when I'm short tempered, or rude, or sad, hurt, scared, or imperfect in general. But i had to be vulnerable first.

I couldn't have done it online, without the face to face connection, the love that comes from that and the truth. It seems so terrifying, but its actually the most liberating experience imaginable. We, as recovering gaming addicts, fear reality and being real with others in a way even most other types of addicts don't understand and i know this from very real personal experience. This is why it is IMPERATIVE that if you're serious here about coming into recovery, and a new way of life, it is crucial make face to face connections.

What this can be for you, i don't know. For me, they have ranged from treatment centre workers, to counsellors, my wife and family, NA fellowship and AA fellowship, christian based 12 step organizations, and many more i can't even count. The point is, i have found people that love me, and love has been the agent of change that has brought me to where i am, a year and a half clean and sober from all drugs, alcohol, and gaming.

So good luck! God bless you. Find people. if you don't know where to start and are serious about your desire to find people, send out a prayer. I did this many many times, said god show me the men. Show me the people you want in my life, and the journey of how i got the ones i have is more insane than i could possibly explain.

If you're canadian (no offence to others) please feel free to call or text me, i will give out my number in a personal email. All others, feel free to email me.

Love for you all, i and others here, will love you until you learn to love yourself.

Jockers in another life

Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:28 pm

Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 3:06 pm
Posts: 968
Location: Charlottesville
State/Province/Country: Virginia
Thanks for sharing your experience Jock. It's similar to mine.

It seems true that everyone in our fellowship who has stopped long term has had regular involvement with face-to-face meetings of one kind or another. I tried to think of an exception and couldn't think of anyone.

Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:38 pm

Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:45 pm
Posts: 98
I didn't do so well with my f2f meeting experiences to be honest. They were very nice people, but it had a different vibe from CGAA. I think today that meeting would feel different, but at that point I had very mixed feelings about it.

What was your sponsee afraid of? And what are the things that make HIM feel connected to the fellowship?

I don't know how I feel about a sponsor telling me that something is imperative because it worked for the sponsor. Each of us have such unique experiences and differences, and at different times different things are helpful. I would prefer it if my sponsor just said that this worked for them, and I was free to explore it whenever I felt I was ready.

I used to feel inadequate about how I was doing this program because I don't go for meetings or make phone calls every day etc, and now I've realised that it's okay - what's important is to feel the connection, and not HOW you feel it. For me, one email from someone in CGAA can last me a fortnight - I think about it/process it etc. Daily meetings and phone calls can be pretty overwhelming.

My two cents :p

Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:23 am

Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:35 pm
Posts: 17
State/Province/Country: Alberta Canada
I do just want to reiterate for you, Iamhuman, i started my post stating that this was only my experience, and certainly not the end all be all of recovery. if your experience has been primarily online, i would be very interested to know what you've done! I think it could help a lot of people to know your journey, as there are certainly many who fear the in person aspects of recovery.

For me, i have found that Love is the greatest agent of change in recovery, and it is most clearly communicated and felt face to face. You can connect with humans when you look them in the eye, hug them, and transmit love, in a way that i have not been able to experience without it. Without being able to see tears, and vulnerability and true strength and willingness to change for the first time, i cannot imagine where i would be.

The fear, i think, for my sponsee comes partially from feeling terminally unique. Gaming is an addiction, and as such fits the criteria for membership in other fellowships, but i have seen a lot of hesitation to join in groups that deal with drugs as well. The other source i think, especially, is just fear of humans in general. I know that for me the biggest reason i loved gaming the way i did, the reason it became my DOC, was because i didn't even have to interact with humans. Online was a perfect mask for me, and in person i couldn't hide properly. That was my struggle. Even in the days leading up to my intervention, and my whole family and world knew my life was a total shambles, online no one knew my real story. No one knew how far down the line id gone to feed the beast online, and the damage id done to escape reality. They just saw the charming pleasant side of me, who succeeded online. Not the broken, terrified human.

Thats just my two bits! I really would love to hear your story if you've been able to stay clean for long term, primarily online. I think that would be very useful for many people, and a different story for me to see!!

Thanks for the feedback, i certainly don't mean that the way I've recovered is the only way. I simply know that its what worked for me, and thats all i can give.

Jock <3

Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:04 pm

Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:45 pm
Posts: 98
I hear what you're saying, and perhaps I'm doing that scared-sponsee thing of resisting the thing that involves being authentic and shedding the persona. It's more than possible :)

Apologies if what I posted sounded like a pushback in that sense - I just meant that people handle things at a different pace.

In fact, I used to be really afraid of phone calls and felt it would just alienate me from the friendly-online person, but hearing people's voice was really effective. But it took me 1.5 years or more to get to a point where I was okay to talk to people. Once that changed, I was more than okay - in fact preferred - voice conversations.

So yeah, not really disagreeing about what you said as much as the pace/timing.

Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:54 pm

Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 3:06 pm
Posts: 968
Location: Charlottesville
State/Province/Country: Virginia
A lot of people who finally find the motivation to seek help in CGAA have been pushed there by chaos, pain, problems and desperation. Many of them are on the verge of major losses like losing jobs, dropping out of school, losing marriages and relationships, and even attempting suicide. Everybody is different, and some people can slowly take their time, but many of us when we get here do not have the luxury of waiting a year or more before taking the actions that will start to turn our lives around.

It seems to me that the motivation from hitting a painful bottom fades pretty quickly leaving a small window of opportunity (a week to a month maybe) for the newcomer to break through denial enough and start making enough connections to keep them in the fellowship and off games. That's why I always encourage newcomers to start making connections with other people in recovery.

Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:05 am
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Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 11:37 pm
Posts: 168
Location: Rockland NY
State/Province/Country: Rockland NY
At about a year into my recovery I realized that I needed in-person meetings. There was only so much personal interaction I could gain over a chat meeting or forum. I tried going to other fellowships f2f but I didn't feel like I fit in. We have enough trouble fitting in with our own people... I am very grateful for the one f2f meeting that I do have and I encourage everyone to start and attend f2f CGAA meetings whenever possible.


leveling in steps, serenity, sponcys, sponsors, exercise, and sleep, (sanity has been downsized)

Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:11 pm
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 2:38 pm
Posts: 85

No matter what the medium, an addict will be dishonest if they choose to do so. Whether it is online, or face to face. It is up to the individual to determine what they need in their recovery, whether it works or not depends on whether they keep with the program. It is not for any of us to say for certain what is best for the individual addict, we already do a pretty terrible job deciding what's best for us. Never mind someone else.

I empathize with your perspective, as I have come to a similar conclusion in the past. In fact, I still prefer face to face meetings over the online meetings. Still, I have since learned that any way a newcomer can connect with the fellowship is good. Sure, we all have preferences, but nothings perfect. Whatever helps someone reach the rooms is good enough for that first time.

That being said: While this is a valuable topic that can be used to discuss how we can make more face to face meetings, this is not a format for inventorying other members. Whether they are our sponsor or sponsee.

Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:25 pm
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 4:59 pm
Posts: 680
Location: Colorado (Front Range Urban Corridor)
State/Province/Country: Colorado, USA
Thanks, everyone. As Jock pointed out, his only intention is to share his experience of ftf, why it was helpful to him, and how he managed it. I think it's good for newcomers to see that there is a variety of experience.

It's important for me to keep in mind that we are just sharing experience, strength and hope. My experience is my experience. I don't have an expectation that it will be helpful for everyone else (and maybe not anyone else!), but because of the similarities among us, we often find SOME of what others share to be helpful to us. I take what is helpful to me and leave the rest.

About the face-to-face experience: Although I have been to ftf meetings, some for my other addiction (GA) and some AA meetings, and one NA meeting, they are certainly not the backbone of my recovery. My recovery is here at CGAA, and that's where I have gotten the most support and where I have learned the most, by far; it's where my recovery friends are. My sponsor and all of the people I talk with regularly are gaming addicts. So I'm about as close as you can get to someone with long-term recovery who doesn't have ongoing ftf experience (I went to a meeting the other morning, but before that I hadn't been for a month or two, and that's fairly typical right now). I attend about 3-5 CGAA meetings most weeks. For me, that's where the action is.

I have gotten one thing from face-to-face meetings that I haven't gotten at CGAA. There I have gotten to know some people who have long-term recovery from addiction. People with 20+ years. Some of the people like that that I've found at meetings are really CALM. They aren't saints, but they clearly have stability and serenity, both in their lives and their recovery. Sometimes I just listened to the sound of their voices, regardless of what they were saying. That has helped me to see that (hopefully) my growth will continue, and can continue, for the rest of my life. So that's been good. But this isn't so much because it's face-to-face as because of the fact that these folks have a long time sober. I've also gotten a few real hugs, which is nice.

The most important thing for me when I first came to our fellowship was going to lots of meetings and making connections with people outside of meetings (on the phone). That was huge for me. I also read a bunch of stuff about addiction and listened to some talks from various sources (addiction doctors, AA speakers), and I get good support for recovery from my therapist. It takes a village to save an addict. I'm extremely grateful that I found this one.

You have to go the way the way your blood beats:
If you don't live the only life you have,
You won't live some other life,
You just won't live any life at all.

I was dan1 in a former life.

skype: dan939f
reddit: DansNewLife

Sat Aug 20, 2016 3:49 pm

Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:01 am
Posts: 1
State/Province/Country: Canada
Thank you for sharing.

Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:46 am
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