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 Hoping to change 
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:00 pm
Posts: 12
State/Province/Country: Arizona

I've BRIEFLY come by this group a few times over the last few years but haven't stayed game free long for any of those times. I struggle with another addiction too and figured I would use games to get over that other addiction, THEN get over the games. Well that plan hasn't worked at all, I haven't been sober from the other one either and gaming totally interferes in my recovery for that too. So anyway, I'm 38 and live alone, I've gamed / isolated my whole life so in a lot of ways I'm stuck in like a teenage mind of maturity having never developed just gaming to deal with all life / escape all life. I don't want to die this way so I would like to give this an honest go this time. It's very VERY scary to envision life without my games or other addiction, but I want to learn how to truly live for the first time, this isn't a life I want to continue to live.

I'm Alan by the way, from Phoenix. I think there is another Alan too who also now lives in AZ but I'm not him haha

Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:13 am
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 7:54 pm
Posts: 216
Welcome Alan, glad you're gonna give it a real go this time. I can relate to being 30s and feeling like I've matured no further than teenage years when gaming became the prime focus and interest in my life.
Struggled for many years with many bad habits that I'm still working on improving but gaming being in my life guarantees I will never grow beyond that emotionally immature and isolated person I was for my entire adult life.
Check the site for meeting schedule and start coming regularly, it'll become easier in time if you're surrounding yourself with support.

Good luck and look forward to seeing you at a meeting.


    skype: jslinden
    other: Ascender or Zenn

Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:41 am

Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 3:06 pm
Posts: 968
Location: Charlottesville
State/Province/Country: Virginia
Welcome back Alan, glad you're here.

I remember very well how terrifying it was to think about living without my drug of choice back when I was in active addiction. I went through this twice, the first time with alcohol when I was in my 20s. In my mind, life was over. I thought I'd be bored and boring and isolated and ostracized and sad and stressed out, that I'd never have fun again, that I'd never make it through the tough times. In hindsight, it is easy to see how my addict brain was throwing every overblown crazy fear it could conjure at me. It is easy to see how crazy my alcoholic thinking was, that in fact I had been living pathetically in the prison of active addiction, life passing me by, not maturing or learning or growing, substituting fake fun for the real thing and the drinking scene for a real social life and drinking buddies for real relationships.

So, the second time I got caught up in active addiction with video gaming, I had very similar fears and crazy thinking, but I was able to recognize it to some extent and overcome it.

Life in recovery is awesome. That doesn't mean that it's fun all the time or easy all the time or rewarding all the time. Real life isn't like that. What it means is that I'm no longer trying to fake fun, ease, calm and accomplishment with gaming, and instead I'm often experiencing the real things. The transition is hard as hell, but I'm no longer compelled to choose ease over value so I can work through the tough times and come out the other side, where I reap all kinds of benefits: more meaningful relationships, self worth, peace of mind, physical health, mental health, much better sleep, better moods, success at work, time on hobbies that fulfill me.

Give yourself a shot. Come listen to lots of meetings. Get to know people, ask questions, accept help. If you don't game one day at a time and keep making little steps in a positive direction, you can't help but end up in better places.

Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:32 pm

Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:00 pm
Posts: 12
State/Province/Country: Arizona
Appreciate the feedback so far - this is really hard. A couple days in a row now I've gotten rid of my games then woken up in the middle of the night in a panic and re-downloaded some again like a desperate grasp for my blankie as though I'm 4 years old and need my comfort blankie. WTF, this is crazy. I mean how hard is this just to get one single day away??? Apparently very. Anyway, it was helpful to hear what life is like on the other side, I can't really conceive of it. And yes, it sounds boring and awful, but it's funny because gaming is pretty much awful, lonely and not that great anymore either, I'm just always searching for another game to fill the void and none of them do anymore. I intellectually know it has to be better without the games, but then I get these insane compulsions mixed with terror and grab back for them.

Going to keep trying, can't give up. Hoping tonight/tomorrow I make it through without the desperate grasp back. Yes I need to hit some meetings.

Thanks guys.

Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:02 am

Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 3:06 pm
Posts: 968
Location: Charlottesville
State/Province/Country: Virginia
Yes, it's hard and crazy. An addiction disorder is cunning, baffling, and powerful. I could never have overcome it on my own.

I too was scared of being bored in recovery when in fact at the end, 98% of my gaming was a tedious boring frustrating grind. I was scared of not having games to relieve stress when in fact my compulsive gaming was creating tremendous amounts of stress. I was scared of losing gaming friends and being lonely when in fact my compulsive gaming had alienated me from all my friends and family and isolated me the majority of the time and sunk me to extreme loneliness.

I couldn't make it more than a week when I was trying to stop on my own. Most times that I decided to quit, I didn't even make it a whole day. It was not until I started coming to a lot of meetings and getting connected in CGAA that I started staying off games long term and recovering. Some people commit to making 90 meetings in 90 days. Of the people who did this, I have yet to hear of one who regretted it afterward. I have seen some major changes in attitude and outlook in those who immersed themselves in recovery for those first 90 days.

I struggle when I don't go to meetings. The past few weeks I have been traveling and my internet has been terribly slow so that I haven't been to face-to-face or online voice meetings. My thinking has become more negative, and I'm feeling more disconnected from recovery, and I'm more vulnerable to a relapse. I've been off games for almost five years now, and still I struggle without meetings. There's no way I could have successfully stayed off games in my first six months without all the help, encouragement, guidance, accountability, and support that I got from the fellowship in the meetings. Hope to soon see you there (once my internet is fixed)!

Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:51 am

Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 323
Location: Detroit, MI
It's definitely a real addiction. I haven't had an urge to game in a long time at this point, but I do get regular urges in my other addictions, and there are definitely times when I find myself being reminded of just how much of an addict I am by how intense those desires can be.

Going it alone would never have worked for me...I needed meetings (and lots of them), phone calls (and lots of them), and all the step work I could manage, and I still couldn't stay sober for any length of time over the first ~9 months of my recovery. About the only thing I did right was I kept coming back and I refused to lie about what was going on with me. It wasn't easy, and I even did kind of give up at one point before realizing that it was only making things worse, but today I'm very grateful that I stuck it out. Staying sober isn't easy, but it's so much better than the alternative that it's not even funny.

I would definitely suggest getting to some meetings if you can make it. Feeling alone with my problems always makes them much harder to deal with, and meetings are a great place to be reminded of the fact that I'm not alone.

Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:06 pm

Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 3:35 am
Posts: 5
State/Province/Country: Sweden
Thanks for sharing Serenityinaz12

I can really relate to your experience of staying clean from games the first period. Gaming was a way for me to escape my emotions and "feel safe". Problem is, it didn't work anymore and it messed up other parts of my life. In reality gaming was a misery.

Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:02 am
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