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Firewithin89

I'm done with be controlled by a game. I need my life and mind back.

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My name is Laura and I am 30 years old. I have been a member on here for a month or two, but I am just now feeling courageous enough to tell you about my story. My story did not start at a young age. Although I played video games some on play station and computer, I never had a problem with stopping to live out my life and I always was pretty focused on my goals and dreams in life. Before my addiction, I loved the person I was. I was very active, I was a runner and ran around 30 miles a week. I loved the outdoors, I loved being around people, I loved working and achieving goals daily. My addiction began in December of 2018. Yes, I have only been addicted for a little over a year, but this addiction has brought so much destruction in my life that it is overwhelming sometimes to even think about. The first game I came across in December of 2018 was not really a game, but more of a virtual world called " Avakin Life" I honestly don't know why I even downloaded the game, I was just curious about the virtual interaction, but little did I know, this would become very toxic and ultimately I quit a job of 5 years that I loved because of this game, I think that has to be the worst mistake I have ever made and I don't know if i will ever forgive myself for it. The next game I downloaded was "Imvu". It is similar to "Avakin Life", but it is more graphic and explicit. This kind of led into something else that I don't feel comfortable discussing on here, but for the most part, I am not addicted to those games anymore. The game that I can say I am fully addicted to is "PUBG", there have been weeks that I have played it for 80 hours. I feel like this game has control of me. I dream of this game. Its the first thing I think about when I wake up. This is scary. What is the most scary is my mental health right now. I could probably write a book about what all this addiction has cost my life. I can sit here and say that I am at the worst place I have ever been in in my entire life and I know for a fact it is because of this addiction. I have ruined my relationships, jobs, my health, my mind. I have lost so much because of this addiction. I also find I am addicted to the social interaction of video gaming. I put my gaming relationships first before the people in my real life and 9 times out of 10 my social relationships on games ends very badly. I want to stop gaming, but my addiction is so severe that I don't know how I will ever overcome this to be honest. I am very thankful I found this group though because no one in my life really knows all of this happened because of my addiction, my family thinks it is my mental health. 

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Hi Laura,

Welcome to the forums and don't feel ashamed. This is a good place. I encourage you to make a diary so you can journal and share your journey with others along with learning from them. I had tried quitting for years and am finally almost at 500 consecutive days without video games. I no longer have pulls to play. I no longer dream of gaming. I no longer enjoy the social interaction gaming gave. I got my life back, made friends, and have hobbies. 

You can do it. Relapse is inevitable, but as long as you build good habits and are committed to becoming clean, you will succeed.

Good luck and if you have any questions feel free to post them in your journal or reach out in private messages as well once you feel comfortable enough with some of the community members.

Matt

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2 hours ago, Firewithin89 said:

My name is Laura and I am 30 years old. I have been a member on here for a month or two, but I am just now feeling courageous enough to tell you about my story. My story did not start at a young age. Although I played video games some on play station and computer, I never had a problem with stopping to live out my life and I always was pretty focused on my goals and dreams in life. Before my addiction, I loved the person I was. I was very active, I was a runner and ran around 30 miles a week. I loved the outdoors, I loved being around people, I loved working and achieving goals daily. My addiction began in December of 2018. Yes, I have only been addicted for a little over a year, but this addiction has brought so much destruction in my life that it is overwhelming sometimes to even think about. The first game I came across in December of 2018 was not really a game, but more of a virtual world called " Avakin Life" I honestly don't know why I even downloaded the game, I was just curious about the virtual interaction, but little did I know, this would become very toxic and ultimately I quit a job of 5 years that I loved because of this game, I think that has to be the worst mistake I have ever made and I don't know if i will ever forgive myself for it. The next game I downloaded was "Imvu". It is similar to "Avakin Life", but it is more graphic and explicit. This kind of led into something else that I don't feel comfortable discussing on here, but for the most part, I am not addicted to those games anymore. The game that I can say I am fully addicted to is "PUBG", there have been weeks that I have played it for 80 hours. I feel like this game has control of me. I dream of this game. Its the first thing I think about when I wake up. This is scary. What is the most scary is my mental health right now. I could probably write a book about what all this addiction has cost my life. I can sit here and say that I am at the worst place I have ever been in in my entire life and I know for a fact it is because of this addiction. I have ruined my relationships, jobs, my health, my mind. I have lost so much because of this addiction. I also find I am addicted to the social interaction of video gaming. I put my gaming relationships first before the people in my real life and 9 times out of 10 my social relationships on games ends very badly. I want to stop gaming, but my addiction is so severe that I don't know how I will ever overcome this to be honest. I am very thankful I found this group though because no one in my life really knows all of this happened because of my addiction, my family thinks it is my mental health. 

Hi Laura, welcome to the forums.

It's entirely possible that your addiction is because of an underlying mental health issue. I wouldn't rule it out and if you can make it work I would strongly advise you to speak to a professional about it. At the very least your family doctor. It might be an issue that you've been carrying "under the hood" your entire life and that specific video game you mentioned may have dragged it out of you.

At the very least, there are some questions that would be worth exploring, such as if you've experienced any serious trauma in your life (mental or physical), whether you've struggled with making friends, etc. Also think about if there's any specific need that the video game may have fulfilled for you. Were you lonely? Sad about something? Think about how the video game made you feel and what about it made you keep coming back. You say you didn't have problems in your life until that game and I believe you, but there is obviously something it gave you that nothing in real life did that you desperately wanted. Otherwise you wouldn't have kept coming back.

Additionally, please let us know if there's anything specific you need help with that we might be able to do for you.

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To answer your question about trauma in my life.. no, I thankfully haven’t had anything serious happen to me other than I’m going through a marriage separation right now. We have been married for almost 10 years. I won’t blame games on this separation, but I will say i my marriage is probably the reason I kept coming back because yes I felt lonely in my marriage. 

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1 hour ago, Firewithin89 said:

To answer your question about trauma in my life.. no, I thankfully haven’t had anything serious happen to me other than I’m going through a marriage separation right now. We have been married for almost 10 years. I won’t blame games on this separation, but I will say i my marriage is probably the reason I kept coming back because yes I felt lonely in my marriage. 

Don't discredit even seemingly minor events that happen in our lives. If someone prods you with a spoon 1000 times you're probably going to be pretty upset after a while, but each individual poke won't do a whole lot. You say you felt lonely in your marriage. Would you say over that 10 years that there was a significant amount of neglect on your partner's part? Did you ever try to reconcile the issues with your partner, or were you just taking it and accepting their position, even if you didn't agree? I might be wrong but I wouldn't be surprised if your marriage is the reason you turned to video games in the first place. We are social creatures. We crave company. If you aren't getting it in real life you'll find other ways to satisfy that need. In your case that may have been video games.

Assuming this is all true, and your marriage has left you scarred, finding a way to forgive your partner and especially yourself (if you do hold any self-blame for the breakup) will be an important step in your recovery. It's not necessarily important to tell them you forgive them. Forgiving them in your mind may be enough for you.

I would definitely recommend seeking some kind of mental health professional to discuss this if you think it's a critical issue.

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yes, i did turn to video games i know without a doubt because of my marriage and I have been to a mental health professional a few times this past year. I didn't come on here to talk about my marriage though to be honest, I came here because I needed a place to feel comfortable and to get help with my gaming addiction. I had marriage problems before the games, but I didn't have any mental health issues until i became addicted to these games. I had a social life before, I have a wonderful support system as far as people that are here for me in my real life, but I don't feel comfortable talking with them about this addiction because they wouldn't understand it. 

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1 hour ago, Firewithin89 said:

yes, i did turn to video games i know without a doubt because of my marriage and I have been to a mental health professional a few times this past year. I didn't come on here to talk about my marriage though to be honest, I came here because I needed a place to feel comfortable and to get help with my gaming addiction. I had marriage problems before the games, but I didn't have any mental health issues until i became addicted to these games. I had a social life before, I have a wonderful support system as far as people that are here for me in my real life, but I don't feel comfortable talking with them about this addiction because they wouldn't understand it. 

Alright, well obviously I don't want to discuss anything you're not comfortable talking about. 🙂

What do you feel we can do to help you at this time? Do you have any specific questions?

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