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How fast did anyone recover from gaming addiction? I feel lost


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I have been gambling for a year and I have lost everything I have. I owe everyone I know and I also lost my job due to this addiction. I didn’t realize what was happening until I was consumed by it. I feel like I can’t live anymore. Where do I start from? How can I stop? Who will help me? Pls give me suggestions on how long it took you to stop and if you ever felt like going back to it. I need answers. I can’t do this anymore 

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12 hours ago, Cynthia said:

I have been gambling for a year and I have lost everything I have. I owe everyone I know and I also lost my job due to this addiction. I didn’t realize what was happening until I was consumed by it. I feel like I can’t live anymore. Where do I start from? How can I stop? Who will help me? Pls give me suggestions on how long it took you to stop and if you ever felt like going back to it. I need answers. I can’t do this anymore 

I never got too deep into gambling, but.. did you ever get into instant scratch-its? Even though you technically don't have to scratch anything to find out if your ticket is a winner, there was always effort involved in completely rubbing off the layer of material with a thin coin, or something similar. This was only to discover that at least 50% (almost definitely much more) of the time, there would be no 'winners' at all on the ticket.

The idea is finding something that makes you feel like you've found a 'winner' almost every time, for the equivalent amount of work - which should make gambling feel pointless and unattractive soon enough. For example, a single, well-written sentence in a book that gives you amazing insight or clarity (like the Bible, I'm sure) - or the satisfaction of throwing a secure ball, or bag of sand to the ground with all your might. Those are probably some of the faster ways. 

Even computer gaming could be a step up from what I assume has been gambling with cash, though I actually recommend finding an official support group of people. If I were you, I'd go to almost any physical group where people are likely to really understand your experience and are willing to talk about how they felt and possibly how they feel now. 

That's pretty much all I can think of.

Good on you for calling "Time out" on gambling.

~ Matt

 

Edited by wheatbiscuit
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  • 3 weeks later...

https://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/

Well the thing is, we're never fully recovered. Because it is far too easy to slip back into addiction if you stop taking recovery seriously, no matter how long you've been clean.

My personal suggestion about how to stop is to get a support circle, which is why I linked you to GA. You need people in your life who understand your problem and want to help you get through it. You need people who will hold you accountable and expect you to stay clean, but will also help you back on your feet if you mess up.

You also need new hobbies, especially something that is creative and can keep your hands busy.

Stay away from people, places, and things that trigger your urges to gamble. No Casinos, even if you're telling yourself it's just to socialize or they have great burgers.

With all of my heart, from one addict to another, best of luck. 💜

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TLDR: I can recommend something like a silence retreat or a time off in a monastery. I attended a Zen Sesshin and that was the only thing that really helped me despite fighting my gaming addiction for 8 months.

 

I was addicted to gaming, not to gambling. I also lost my job. I got a new one though. But it was much worse than the old job. When I quit gaming I started reading a book called "Think like a monk". This helped a lot to stop gaming. But I could not really quit. I was constantly drawn back. I did not play for more than 8 months but I did think of gaming nearly every day. Then I started playing just about 2 hours a week again for about one month. It felt managable but I also wanted to get rid of it somehow and felt a little guilty. I did not know how to really quit and stop the thinking about games. I took part in many activities as substitutes for gaming. I also started gardening and went out to nature a lot. Being there reminded me of the beauty of some games and how exciting they felt compared to what I experienced in the real world. When I started my gaming pause I did also start meditating every week for like 2 hours. That somehow brought me in contact with Zazen. I did not try Zazen. It is not exactly a meditation. It is similar though. I thought I needed real meditation and Zazen would not help me. Now in my holidays I attended a Zen Sesshin for one week. I was practicing Zazen there for more than 10 hours a day. Surprisingly it was never boring. Only when I had a break. The breaks were boring. I did have many thoughts about gaming during the Sesshin. I also was sure that this Sesshin would not help me at all to quit gaming. In my head I was revisiting some of my gaming experiences and was really excited to play some games when the Sesshin would be over. I wanted to reward myself for being so disciplined for the whole week. As I came home the first thing I did was starting my computer and start my game launcher. I was disgusted by all the advertisements and was now extremely excited to play one of my favourite games. And so I did - for 2 minutes. Then I shut down the computer and prepared it for Ebay. I was simply shocked by what I was seeing there: All the violence and the sheer unmanagable amount of cognitive load. Also I saw that this virtual world was absolutely malfunctioning. It was just a really bad copy of the real world. I looked out of the window and was amazed of the beauty of nature compared to what I just saw in the video game. I could not understand why I was never able to see all that before. During the Sesshin nothing really happened. But when I came back my senses felt extremely sharpened. I was able to solve some of my problems I was not able to solve in years. I suddenly have really good ideas and can approach problems much better than ever before. Also my job seems to be much more interesting. I don't know how this works and there is probably a scientific explanation. But I don't care about that. Now after 10 months struggling I finally am completely fine and happy to never play games again. I happily deleted my steam account and sold my computer.

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