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In and Out of Relapse

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It's been a very long time since I've posted here.  I was too proud to admit that I had let my gaming get the better of me.  I originally quit gaming in November 2015.  This was before Game Quitters had its own website and was just on Reddit.  I stayed off them for months, and began working with Cam as a personal coach in 2016.

But I was complacent and played with my addiction fast and loose.  I still watched Youtube gaming videos for several months into my sobriety.  Some would argue that I never really quit gaming, though with how far down the rabbit hole I was, I saw it as a vast improvement.  Eventually, though, I did realize that the videos weren't helping me and I put them to an end.  And I did feel noticeably better after about a week of not watching them (mood improved, brain fog went away, etc.).  Of course, these positive effects occurred to a large extent once I stopped gaming itself, but the videos kept those effects clinging on kind of without my notice.  I even made some posts online telling others it was okay to watch videos and do "whatever works for you."  I was quickly called out for being a bad influence, and I got defensive.  But in hindsight, I see that they were right.  I was still watching videos till I was inspired to buy and play a game for 2 full days in July 2016.  After the 2 days I was disgusted with myself and stopped not only the games but the videos.

Anyway, to the point.

I moved to the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. from California in February 2017.  It wasn't the first large move I had made, but having to start over yet again at step one regarding making friends and building a social network (which for a strong introvert who doesn't like nightlife... hard to make friends!)... it was very daunting.  My new job also requires lots of travel... I'm flying to another part of the country 2 weeks every month.  So I'm not able to set roots down for long.  One of the things I used to cope was watch Youtube gaming videos.  This wasn't actually GAMING, so I hadn't actually relapsed.  I tried playing some casual games on the phone.  These seemed to have no effect... I would play them a bit and then stop, with no desire to return.  But those plane rides are long sometimes and reading books is great for a bit, but gets boring.  I've also weirdly had problems with watching movies.  They're too damn long!  Anyway.  So I started gaming on the plane rides.  I said "only when I'm on the plane!".  (classic addict bargaining) And that didn't last of course.  And then I would post on social media about me struggling and I would get back on the wagon.  Then the next time I would relapse a little worse, because then I would play something at home.  Then feel depressed and anxious, realize it's the gaming, and stop.

This week was bad.  I had been watching gaming videos again for a certain tactical strategy game.  I downloaded the game before this week then went to work elsewhere.  When I returned home very late Sunday... I went to work the next day, then I played a lot that night.  The next morning, I woke up and said "I'm calling into work." And I played games ALL DAY.  Then the next day I said "I'm calling in again."  And I spent the morning playing.  Then I made sure to get out of the apartment and take a walk because I knew this was crazy and I was starting to feel irritable and paranoid but the gaming felt so gooddddddd and I missed it so much and my brain was so happyyyyyy.  But then I was so sadddd and frustrated and pissy.  I played in smaller chunks because I knew what the hell was happening to me.  Today I did go to work, and I was going to game again when I got home but I made it a point to take a long walk first.  Then I called a friend.  And now I'm just like... I can't go back into it.  I just can't.

I'm very mad at myself for this.  Since I worked with Cam personally I also feel like a fool and that I have let him down.  I feel like I wasted his time.  And I've been too proud to admit how bad my addiction is.  Since I first quit in 2015, I NEVER called out of work again to game.  Prior to that, it was a frequent thing I would do.  Like at LEAST monthly, if not more.  This week, calling out of work... I mean, that to me is a huge warning flag.  I'm not okay.  The gaming is filling another void I have, I know.  But I am writing this here to let others like me know.  Because I was pissed off that none of my friends are gaming addicts and understand how it feels.  I feel like they don't get it or that it's stupid.  And that just infuriates me and makes me feel stupid and pathetic.

Anyway, back to Day 1.

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