The battle is over...or has just begun.

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The battle is over...or has just begun.

Postby bloodwrath on Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:56 pm

This is my first time to this website. I have been addicted to WoW for 15 months. Several times my wife and I tried to work through having me balance the game, but I continued to play 30 - 35 hours a week. This was on top of holding a 45 hour a week job and having three beautiful little children.

Well...over the course of this year it has put a horrible strain on my relationship with my wife and my kiddos. The last two weeks got really bad with the stress and the way I was reacting when my wife just wanted a little bit of my time (I would be a real jerk anytime I was interrupted when playing).

Well...on Saturday it reached a climax...and in my frustration I put my fist through one of our walls (I was angry with my own lack of understanding with it all). I reached the bottom. I promptly realized that if I wanted to lose my children and my wife I should keep going down the road I was going. So I booted up my laptop. Logged onto WoW, said goodbye to my guild, and deleted EVERYTHING. I then picked up the phone and made an appointment with a counselor for my wife and I. Honestly...this sent me from Unfriendly rep to Revered immediately with my wife. I had no idea it would have that kind of positive impact.

We met on Monday with the counselor and things went great! We have a few more sessions lined up and we have many things to learn and work through still. I have spent the last few evenings reading with my wife and playing with my kids. I have to admit though it is still hard. The longing to play is still there and I feel like a part of me has died. I know that's really pitiful, but it is the truth. I have been having some bad dreams and I cant wait till I no longer think about that game and my characters.

Has anyone else experienced the same battle after giving up WoW?
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Re: The battle is over...or has just begun.

Postby Purple Faerie on Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:00 pm

bloodwrath wrote:I have to admit though it is still hard. The longing to play is still there and I feel like a part of me has died. I know that's really pitiful, but it is the truth. I have been having some bad dreams and I cant wait till I no longer think about that game and my characters.

Has anyone else experienced the same battle after giving up WoW?

It's not pitiful, just an indication of how much control the game really had over you.
Don't worry, it fades.

Welcome. :)
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Postby FarleySC on Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:51 pm

It will fade SOO fast! The next year will be like the first year of a new life. At least that's how it's been for me. Just try to find the joy in things and you will be fine. Welcome to the boards, and welcome to the REHAB room. There are lots of stories of success here, and all you have to do is remember your wife and kids when you feel the urge to play, and hopefully it will help to keep you "clean". Congradulations, you've made a huge step towards a brighter, happier future. Your kids will thank you for the time you spend with them.
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Postby bloodwrath on Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:05 pm

Thanks PF and Farley.

Yeah It has been a real encouragement reading these boards today. Some of the ladies posting their stories has been really convicting. Some of the things they are thinking and saying are things my wife has said to me over the last year. So it is a real eye opener and reminder of what I have done...and where I can now go!

I know this will sound weird to those who dont believe in God...but I was driving home last night and was thinking about how I missed the neat graphics that I saw in Outland with the sky and mountains, etc...when I felt a tugging at my heart that which I can only say was God and I felt as though He was saying...but look at what I have made. I glanced to my left and saw the most amazing sunset. It hit home to me that I really have missed out on so much this year. Now whether you believe in God or not you must admit the beauty of this earth is so much more important than that of a game.

I often would think to myself of all the great places I could visit in WoW. But that has only meant I missed out on so many more REAL places I could have visited in RL.

Thanks for the welcome guys (and gals). Im looking forward to hanging here while I restabilize myself. :)
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Postby goodjuju on Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:20 pm

You should be so proud of yourself! Don't look back in regret and beat yourself up too much. You've already made changes that will affect your life and your family's life in a positive way so kudos.

:welcome
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Postby syn0s on Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:17 pm

:clap Congrats! Welcome... I am kind of new here myself, and trust me when I say that it WILL fade. I have been clean for over a month now, and even though the temptation strikes sometimes I usually do something to take my mind off of it.

Best of luck to you and your family in the future. I for one am inspired by your courage. Also, I like the metaphorical use of "rep" in your post. My "Wife Rep" is right around "honored," but I'm working for Exalted extremely hard!

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Postby thefeeny on Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:57 pm

Congratulations and well done

It does fade fast! It really does!

BUT also let me warn you - It can also come back faster than ever.
I hadnt played games in nearly 1.5 years and started playing NWN2 which has somehow found its way into my dreams and is becoming more a compulsion than anything else.
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Postby Kalen on Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:57 am

Bloodwrath, as I read your post I couldn't help but think of a situation I am aware of that is so similar to yours, except for one major piece. The indivdual involved does not have your courage and continues to place incredible amounts of stress on the already strained relationship.
I think what you did is amazing, yup it sucked that you let it get that far but you can keep that in your past and learn from it.
You're a heck of an individual to do what you did and also to share your story here, it's humbling.

Thank you
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Postby bloodwrath on Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:08 pm

Thank you for your kind words Kalen. It's just good to be back to normal and not feel like you are owned by a game...

Well...its been a week and a half...and I dont seem to have the "pull" to play WoW anymore! Praise God!! This has been one of the most awesome weeks of my life. I have to share some points on what has happened and how I have been doing:

*I've been getting home early from work (I used to stick around and do AH stuff before I came home in preparation for the night's raid) and the wife is loving it...and I am too.
*The kids have been doing really good...still having trouble with my sons attitude and temper...but that will take time. Been able to read the kids books and play with them almost every day.
*My wife and I started snuggling up on the couch each night and watching previous episodes of Heroes on the net (on my laptop). It is great to share something with her where we are actually spending quality time together.
*Ive gotten more "you know what" this last week than I have in the last 5 months...w00t!!!!!! Man it's good to be back baby!! ;)
*My parents told me they have noticed that "their son who has been gone for so long is back." Wow...
*I have always been a pretty avid gamer...but since I started WoW back in October 1995 I havent played a SINGLE other video game (even though I was given some as gifts and even bought a couple myself). Talk about addicted...even my other games suffered and I couldnt pull myself away. This last week I have been able to play a few games (VERY CASUALLY) and it is nice. Just an hour here...a couple hours there...and the kids are involved too. "Daddy...why did Link turn into a wolf?". "Daddy...go into the water over there...cool!!"...haha...and Im not aggrivated in sharing my game with them...like in WoW it would be..."NOT RIGHT NOW!! IM DOING SOMETHING!!". Ugh <shakes>
*I fixed up some of my old airplane Models this week. That was fun.
*I fixed the hole I put in the wall. That was a good thing to keep me busy...and teach me to control my anger. It reminded me of times when I had to write something on the chalkboard 100 times for doing something bad.
*I have slept 7-8 hours EVERY night since I quit...and Im not having nightmares anymore. Wow...what a difference my brain functions at work with sleep.

Well...theres kind of an update for you all of how things are going. Thank you for your continued support!
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Postby osprey on Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:55 pm

Hi bloodwrath :welcome

It is great to hear that you have turned your back to the pixels and rejoined the real world. I have now been free of EQ for over a year, and I know how difficult the initial stages of quitting can be. What do I do with all of my time? What will happen to my online friends without me? These feelings pass pretty quickly, and you'll be amazed at what you have time for now.

Keep it up, let us know how it goes. If it ever gets to be too much, just remember, you only have to not play today. Take it one day at a time.
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Postby FarleySC on Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:23 pm

Awesome! Just awesome. I'm thrilled that things are going so well for you now. I know exactly what you mean when you say your parents told you that their son who was gone for so long is back. Mine basically said the same thing.

Yep, more nooky, and it only gets better.
More sleep.
Better sleep.
Better communication with your family (esp. your spouse).
More relaxation.
Get more stuff done around the house.
Enjoy other hobbies.

All these things I've got to experience too, and I'm thrilled that you are getting to see things anew. A few things you'll see as time goes by:

More sleep will make you less irritable.
Your kids will feel closer to you because they will be.
You'll see even more clearly where you WERE in the game, and how far you've come.
That going back is never worth it.
That you love your family (you knew it before, but now you'll KNOW it)
Snuggling can be fun. :lol
Link is awesome.....

err, well except for that last one, those are some pretty hefty realizations. The longer I am away from the game, the more I see, and the more I appreciate what I came from, and what I conquered to be where I am today.

I am SO happy for you man. I got a huge high reading your post. Thanks so much for sharing.
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Postby Talhathier on Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:25 pm

Welcome. It's awesome that you've gotten past your feelings in respect to being sucked in by a mere game... and you're actually doing something about it! That's something you ought to be majorly proud of and something, as you mentioned, everyone else in your life notices too.

It's nice to realize the real world is, in fact, more beautiful than a fake, pixelated one. Three dimensions, real color, real physical interactions... real "content" is so much more fulfilling in a way that a game could never be. Welcome back to the real world :).
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Postby Tylin on Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:39 pm

Welcome! And well done! :clap

I used to have video game dreams while I was playing but they faded within weeks after I quit almost a year ago.

My husband and I were also quick tempered when PvPing (especially if someone was cheating!). I began realize my behavior and asked myself if it was EVER okay to respond heatedly to my husband when I was angry over something in a GAME... mere pixels. Never. I think that was also about the time I began to evaluate the entire situation (playing too many hours, barely covering my home responsibilities, scheduling raid time in my weekends, barely talking to my husband). Gaming just had to go.

The longing to play went away for me after a few weeks-- once I started replacing game time with real life hobbies. I still get nostalgic when I see cool screenshots, but its because I'm remembering the 10% of real fun I had and not the 90% of repetitive PvE, waiting around, and dealing with people that were immature.

I won't go back, not with the progress I've made in real life. I'm happier, healthier, and more educated than when I was gaming. That confidence helped me get a job promotion after quitting. My relationship with my husband is 100 times better because we're enjoying each other's company instead of gaming side by side and barely acknowledging one another. Life is good. I have too many goals now to waste time in a game.

Good luck, Bloodwrath. You've come this far and I know you'll make it.
Keep an image in your mind of what you want your life to be like and it will help you during the low times.
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Postby bloodwrath on Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:56 pm

Thanks Tylin.

You too have come far...very far. What a waste WoW has been (and im sure other things) for so many of us. But it is so encouraging to have such a great group of people here supporting each other. Thanks all.

BTW...I showed my wife your responses...and she was very encouraged. Thanks everyone.
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Postby bloodwrath on Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:37 am

Hello all.

Well...its been almost a year now. Sorry I havent shown my face around here for a long time. I have been so busy with work and the family it isnt even funny. WoW has finally become a distant memory for me. I think I stopped thinking about it this Summer. Oh thank God for that!

Anyhow...Im still gaming but its more like 7 - 10 hours a week and probably 2 - 3 hours of that is directly with my kids doing driving games on my Xbox or playing DS with my daughter (she and I both have one), I actually keep track of it on my calendar to make sure I dont play too much. The only online game I play is shooters with good friends (real friends) and those are always really easy to put down and get bored with.

Anyhow...my relationship with my wife is 1000% better, my relationships with my kids is great as well. Just wanted to give everyone an update. I still regret letting WoW get ahold of me and wish I could have said I only played a tiny bit here and there...but I know the truth...I spent like 55 days of game time (or something like that) playing that game. What a waste.

Have a blessed week everyone! Off to bed for another day awaits!!
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Postby happiness on Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:21 am

Lovely thread and lovely update! Very nice to hear that you are still free of WoW.

I too game on a casual basis. For me non-online games are just so much more easy to control. Games with an ending like a movie. WoW is a neverending game - there is no end point you can reach - I will allways have to steer clear of that kind of games!
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Re: The battle is over...or has just begun.

Postby ethan on Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:59 pm

Your story is amazing. When I read this
I promptly realized that if I wanted to lose my children and my wife I should keep going down the road I was going. So I booted up my laptop. Logged onto WoW, said goodbye to my guild, and deleted EVERYTHING.


I know about the immediate feeling of emptiness and pain that caused me. It took me a long time (several months) to say goodbye to my games (all of them -- I can't play anything w/o playing it excessively). the fact that you were able to do it, and then follow up with proactive measures
I then picked up the phone and made an appointment with a counselor for my wife and I.


is even more amazing, and i think speaks to your level of insight and maturity...i still refuse to see a counselor about this issue...but maybe soon...dunno...was it helpful for you??
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Re: The battle is over...or has just begun.

Postby 2ndHandRose on Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:34 pm

Bloodwrath hi. I salute you. I know how hard this is.

I just gave up WoW after playing for about four years or so. My husband and I met in a game actually about eleven years ago and have been gamers ever since. I changed, but my husband isn't ready to. I miss him very much.

He spends long hours typing or chatting on Vent with our guild (my former guild). What used to be our date night is now the raid night. You know how it goes -- progression, rep, and for what? The bar will always be raised higher.

Unfriendly to revered rep made me smile. In the long run, you're going to be very happy about this decision. But it's tough at first. When it comes down to it. 1's and 0's vs. family is a pretty clear decision.

It took me personally about two years to quit, mostly because my son and husband not only still play but still talk about it. I keep sorting it out with the help of friends on another recovery site and they've really helped.

Counseling is a step I may ask my husband to take soon. You spoke of anger and frustration. That's what I face when I ask him to spend just a few hours one night a week with me. But I also know this is his road. I can't control him or force his decision. (Tried it; bad idea.) So I decided I'm just going to "be the change" I want to see in my husband and son.

I wish you all the best and congratulate you on your strength.

Micky
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Re: The battle is over...or has just begun.

Postby bloodwrath on Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:40 pm

@Ethan - Well...you probably wont even see this response...as it's been 2 years...but I dont come to this board these days...but Ill still answer your question. Yes the counseling helped. Though it was still a tough road for years to come with the pain that was rooted in my wife's heart. We actually just went to counseling again a couple of months ago...but not because of any deep rooted issue. I just decided it was time to get a "check up". We have a very very nice Professional Christian Counselor. We discussed three main things...

1. Love and Respect - How women need Love and men need respect. And how women wont respect men without receiving love and men wont love women without receiving respect and the viscous cycle that can ensue.
2. We also talked about communication skills and learned something called the Listener/Speaker approach that allows us to discuss without getting heated. We dont use it as much as we should still...but it was great to learn.
3. Through #1 and #2 I was able to get some things off my chest about how while I understand that she has needs that need to be met (quality time) I need time to chill out too. The way I do this is through gaming. Through it all we came to a good healthy agreement on the amount of time to play and how to communicate with each other about it.

It has been perfect by far (the things we learned that is). But it was well worth the money spent to go. And my counselor NEVER made me feel bad or weird for being a gamer. If anything he made it clear that my wife needed to be sensitive to that and I need to keep focusing on her all the while too. It was awesome!!

@Mickey - Hang in there. That sounds like a tough situation! I do understand...I can still feel the remnants of the feelings I once had of bitterness and jealosy of my time just wanting to play WoW. Ill be super honest and share that there is a deep part inside me...an evil part...that thinks if I ever lost my family I would jump right back into WoW. I tell that part to shut up as soon as I hear it...but its there. So I understand how rooted it can become and how "resident" the "evil" can be. Pun intended.
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Re: The battle is over...or has just begun.

Postby ethan on Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:53 am

au contraire -- i'm not hanging around much, but i still read and respond to past threads :)

thanks much for the update. i am glad to read that you are doing so well and have made so much progress.

while i disagree about the gender binary "love" and "respect" (i think both men and women both deserve and need both love and respect), i read also that there is a sense of compromise, of fair negotiation, dialog, communication and connection that is happening. if i am reading that correctly, then that is very nice!
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