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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'm bad at introductions 
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Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:03 pm
Posts: 2
State/Province/Country: British Columbia
Hi. The best thing in my life left me last week because of my addiction. I haven't played a game since. This is my first break in years, and I'm thinking clearly. But I need some advice. I was playing 80 hours a week. My fist day clean I sat and stared at a blank screen all day, thinking of all the potential I've wasted. Gaming is the only thing I know I'm good at yet it has strained or broken every relationship I've ever had. How do I fill this void.

Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:31 pm

Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 3:06 pm
Posts: 936
Location: Charlottesville
State/Province/Country: Virginia
Welcome, sounds like you're in the right place. Glad you found us.

Recovery from gaming addiction takes time, physically, mentally, in relationships, filling the void. We aim for small bits of progress, day by day, week by week. It can feel painfully slow, but that's how it goes. After a month, it's a bit easier. After three months, things can be a lot better. After a year, life can be completely different for those of us who have worked a program of recovery.

One of the best things to fill your time with is meetings. Some people go to 90 meetings in their first 90 days off games. The meetings felt strange at first but I soon came to look forward to hearing familiar voices, connecting with other people, and getting continually support and encouragement in turning my life around for the better.

You might find yourself filling your time with mindless pastimes like watching TV and reading fiction. If you do, don't beat yourself up about it. For me, I did those things at first, but they consumed 10-15 hours per week instead of the 20-40 hours I had been gaming. That's progress. I started getting the sleep I so badly needed. That's progress. Plus I was letting my brain heal by abstaining from all games. That's progress. Over time, my life filled up with old hobbies, new hobbies, a social life, dating, calling friends old and new, recovery meetings, talking with my sponsor and sponsees, reading, getting outdoors, meditating. It happened over the course of my first year.

You're at the start of a long and beautiful journey. The first months are very hard, and I never want to go through them again, but they pass quickly enough and soon enough you will be enjoying the benefits of recovery from addiction.

Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:33 pm

Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 323
Location: Detroit, MI
Welcome. I certainly felt like I wasted an awful lot of time and potential with all the time that I sank into playing games, and when I went to quit playing games I definitely found that there was a hole left behind by their absence.

Going to meetings regularly was a big help, and there was a while where I was going to close to two meetings a day (I didn't have a job back then), and it helped. Getting a sponsor and starting work on the Steps is also something that was really helpful for me, but I wasn't able to make much progress on the Steps at first. Taking things one day at a time, just trying to do today the things that would keep me sober for that day was the way to go, and I still need to make sure that I don't get very far ahead of "today", because when I do that I start to lose touch with reality.

Life is very different now, even when I'm having a hard time. Before, having a hard time meant gaming to make the pain or fear go away, but now, I can deal with hard times without needing to game. I've learned a lot of new skills for living in the real world, but taking things one day at a time and going to meetings are still "the basics" for much of what I do. I hope to see you around.

Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:16 pm
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