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KDY

The second 90 days - relapse

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I just got Cam's e-mail with a link to the Las Vegas presentation.  Watched the whole thing because of one word in the e-mail:  depression.

I finished the 90 day de-tox in June, and was well on my way to six full months game-free.  I also started pretty much ignoring Gamequitters, because - HEY! I GRADUATED FROM DETOX, RIGHT?  And besides, one forum member mentioned that Gamequitters itself could become a crutch.  But exercise drifted away, and I wasn't recovering fully from a 4-way break in my right arm (January), so music also fell away.  Meaningful stuff was falling away.  In mid-September, I went back to "occasional" gaming on a (former favorite) website.  I thought I'd allow myself half an hour once a week.  Ahem.

That lasted one week.  Next week, it was twice.  This past week it's been every night.  The half hour grew to the usual play-til-ya-drop.  I had been getting my (completely screwed up) sleep cycle into something reasonably human, but in the past week I pulled at least 3 all-nighters, slept a couple of hours by day, then did a few (internet based) tasks for groups I'm involved with . . . and didn't get off the computer when they were done.  I even black-lined the dates on my game-free "thermometer" strip that's posted above my tower, so I could see the spread of the contamination.  I was in near-panic mode when I realized I had blown most of the time I needed to get (effectively) ready for meetings, falling behind on paperwork, etc. 

Into all this, I've packed back on 10 pounds I had lost (I also watched Nick Bayerly's interview with Cam!  Thanks Nick!)  -- I actually once did serious weight training.   Now it's just serious weight (and in women -- listen up, ladies -- arthritis is directly linked to overweight -- I already have the beginnings).

But the kicker is that the black dog of depression is back.  Complete lack of motivation to get up in the morning, to control my weight, to deal with the stuff of daily life.  I even shower less -- pretty appalling.

So Cam, when your e-mail said

"We know from the research we've done with Dr. Daniel King that depression and gaming go hand-in-hand. In our recent study, 48% of our members met criteria for Moderate+ Depression, which can cause real difficulties with social, work, and domestic activities, including a lack of interest in normal pleasurable activities, and motivation. "

it hit like a punch -- an alarm bell going off.

So I watched the Vegas video, and Nick's interview, and your Relapse video on You Tube.  You said
"Remember that gaming isn't going to fix anything!"  
It definitely didn't -- but like you said in the Vegas presentation, knowing that I could go completely cold turkey for 90 days already, makes it easier to get back on the wagon.  Knowing that you, and Nick, and a lot of other people in the community survived a relapse means I know I can too.  But this time, I'm aiming for 12 months.  I have to tell myself that, to motivate myself to keep the black lines off my game-free "thermometer".

And I have to keep reminding myself how much better I felt without the extra 10 pounds (I still need to lose as much as Nick did), how much more I accomplished, and how much less intimidated I felt by the daily challenges we all face.  Nick's point about health control and confidence is really, really important.   When I was weight training, I felt like I could cope with anything. 

Anyway, thanks again to Cam and Co. for leading the way on gaming addictions.

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