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I am addicted to video games.

There was a time when I didn't think I was, but about 2 years ago, I realized I was wrong.  I've known about my addiction, but kept on playing anyway despite what I was losing and ignoring in my life.  Every now and then I would have these half-hearted thoughts about stopping, but knew I wouldn't, even though I knew my life would be better without them.  That all changed yesterday.

Yesterday morning started out the way it normally does for me.  Wake up at 6am, make coffee and a bagel, then start gaming.  When my notification came up on my phone to start my workout at 6:45, I ignored it.  This was the 4th consecutive day I'd done that.  I knew I should not start another game, I even said out loud, "Don't press play," but I did.  Something inside me compelled me to keep going.  I had to win, had to get better, had to progress... that has always been my driving force for gaming: competition and progression.  It felt awful, but I did it anyway.  I felt a massive rush of depression and shame... even more than usual.  I played on until 8am, when the servers went offline for maintenance.  This is around the same time my wife leaves for work, so I went to make another cup of coffee, chat with her for a bit, and wish her a good day (which I just now realize wouldn't have happened had the server maintenance not happened when it did).  I don't typically wear my emotions on my sleeve, but I apparently couldn't hide what I was feeling because my wife's voice was full of concern when she asked me, "What's wrong?"  I decided it would be best to tell her what I was feeling and why.  She's an amazing woman.  She gave me a big hug, told me it would all be ok and that I could do anything I could put my mind to because I was a strong and amazing man (I can't help but tear up as I type this because I feel like I don't deserve her).  Video games have always been a strain on our relationship.  They were also the main reason why it took me 12 years to graduate college.  They have always been holding me back from excelling at work.  I have a job that I would consider a dream job.  Its incredibly interesting and exciting, I get to travel around the country, it challenges my thinking and analytical skills, I work from home a lot and have flexibility, the people I work with are amazing, its a small company that is rapidly growing, and the money is great.  I can see myself doing this work for this company until I retire.  Yet there have been times that I should have been working but found myself gaming... even though I knew better.  Yesterday changed everything.

After my wife went to work, I got ready to leave for a work-related day trip.  As I was getting ready to leave, I couldn't help but feel like I had to do something to stop gaming, so I decided to try to find a podcast on video game addiction to listen to while I drove, so I downloaded a few.  The first was about how gaming addiction is starting to be recognized.  I already knew that.  The second was a radio show playback interviewing Dr. David Greenfield, which was informative, but not very helpful.  The third was episode 1 of the Game Quitters podcast.  All of a sudden, I knew I could do it.  I knew it was possible and that people were there to support me who have been through some of the same struggles.  I ended up listening to episodes 2 and 3 for the rest of the trip, and got home knowing I could make my life as great as I wanted it to be.

Yesterday started out the way every day did.  Then yesterday was the day I found Game Quitters.  Yesterday then became the day I started the 90-day detox.  One of my new goals is to make yesterday the last day I played video games.

Thank you, server maintenance.

Edited by Doug
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Thank you all for the support.  Detox day 4 and going strong.  It has been a challenge, but I come to the forums and read peoples' stories which helps a lot.  I think I'm going to start a journal today or tomorrow for some additional help getting through it.

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17 hours ago, Doug said:

Thank you all for the support.  Detox day 4 and going strong.  It has been a challenge, but I come to the forums and read peoples' stories which helps a lot.  I think I'm going to start a journal today or tomorrow for some additional help getting through it.

One day at a time 🙂

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