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Welcome! Any newcomer or member struggling with compulsive gaming is welcome to post here. We encourage you to post an introduction and ask for help.

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 I can't do it alone 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:17 am
Posts: 3
State/Province/Country: Nederland
Hey everyone, It's good to be back here. Two years ago, I was active here for a short time, but have been out of touch since then. Now, over the last couple of days, I've been trying to make new choices and changes, to break from my old habits, and a new account here fits with that :)

I've been struggling with gaming for a long time, for 10 years if it's not longer. From the outside I was functioning well, getting high grades, I was always interacting with a lot of people at my studies and clubs I went to. But my free time was made up mainly of gaming, and I hardly had any real friends that knew me.

3 years ago, I took the step to get help, and since then my life got much better. I quit gaming. I learned how to communicate with people, how to open up. Slowly I learned of the different causes for my behaviour all these years. But I was still struggling.

This week, I realized it's up to me to change my life. Over the last years, I've been ignoring and denying, that gaming is still a problem in my life. Every now and then, I would start up a game and lose a couple of minutes, hours or sometimes days. But then I would go back to my normal life and act as if nothing happened. I would want to be that person, who doesn't have a problem with gaming, but I would be lying if I would say that's the case at this moment. The relapses kept getting more and more frequent over the last couple of months.

I realized, that my gaming is part of a bigger pattern. I feel insecure and afraid about having free time, about not having a purpose or not having anything worthwile to do, so I'm always keeping myself busy. Or when I'm almost done with all my tasks, I'm fleeing, into watching Youtube or series or surfing the weg or gaming or eating chocolate or whatever, as long as I can prevent myself from finishing. I want to have control over my life, and in playing games, I can control everything in detail, and feel like I'm successful, until I get back in the real world.
But I have a choice, whether to continue living that way, or breaking with my old habits.

So, I had a talk with my girlfriend and with my therapist about this, which reinforced my resolve. I deleted all the lists with to-do's and articles I thought I should read and things I might do in the future and all the other crap I collected over the years. And my mind rebelled again yesterday, and fled into gaming.

So I realized, I also can't ignore and deny my gaming addiction anymore. I should do something about it. And I can't do it alone.
The parts of the 12 steps that talk about a higher power restoring our sanity scared me away in the past. I want to be responsible for my own life and my health, I don't want to feel powerless.
But I now also realize, that I can't flee from it anymore. And my standard solution of wanting to battle this thing on my own, have not worked in the past. So I plan on coming back here more often, to look for a sense of community, and for help if I need it. And I think I'm ready to start working the Steps, to really learn what they mean and to see how I can make them my own.

Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:53 am

Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:55 am
Posts: 131
State/Province/Country: The Netherlands
Welcome Thomas,

Addiction, the liar. It makes us believe we can do it on our own again. And when we do, we find ourselves gaming again eventually. Before we know it, we are loosing everything because we're too busy with our games and forgot about the rest of life.

Glad to read you identified that addiction was pulling you in again before things got worse. We would certainly love to see you at a meeting.

Did you know there's a face-to-face meeting in Nijmegen (details on the website here)? Also, there are Dutch meetings on mumble Sundays and Tuesdays (here's the schedule for the whole week).

Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:07 pm

Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 3:06 pm
Posts: 968
Location: Charlottesville
State/Province/Country: Virginia
Welcome back Thomas! Good realizations you've had. Me too, I realized that my attempts at control had failed, that I had to take more serious measures, and that I couldn't do it alone.

As with any problem, it's better to address underlying causes rather than to try to eliminate or cover up the symptoms. By going to meetings and trying the suggestions of people who have had success in turning their lives around for the better, I got similar results. Every area of my life is improved. I hope you give yourself a shot. You deserve it.

All of the parts of the program are suggestions, including the steps. They worked well for me and I suggest them to others, but I just want to point out that we have a lot of tools and the program is not all-or-nothing. I suggest trying out a few tools (like meetings and sponsorship) for now, and trying out others later on.

Also, with the starting the steps, it's best to just take it one at a time. There's no need to think about later steps now. Best to focus on the first step, listening to others stories, trying to relate rather than compare, getting honest, and talking it over with a sponsor.
I want to be responsible for my own life and my health, I don't want to feel powerless.

Yes yes, me too. I am responsible for my own life and health, and part of that is responsibly seeking and accepting support where and when I need it. And I am not powerless. Playing the powerless victim in situations where I want to shirk responsibility and blame others has been a major character defect of mine (and most people I know.) We do have the power of choice, the power of choosing positive action, and we do have will power. My problem isn't that I have no power. It's that I lack sufficient power in dealing with my addiction, and the power I do have has often been used to self destructive ends. In other words, I have plenty of will power but my addiction is highly skilled at diverting it away from healthy action and choices, and toward self harm and sick choices.

Hope to see you at a meeting!

Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:35 pm
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