I need to increase levels in life.

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I need to increase levels in life.

Postby Liam on Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:29 pm

I wrote this the day I quit, it wasn't intended for anyone else really but then I saw this sight, sent it to Sherry, and I figure it might be an insight as to the realities of addiction.... or something.

I should start from the beginning. When I was six years old we lived in a basement suite. The owners upstairs had two kids a few years older than me, and they bought a Nintendo. After I tried it, it seemed as though I was visiting them far more often than I normally would. I had so much fun playing the games, I needed to go up and play. This is the first memory that I have of imposing myself on people for the sake of playing a videogame. I remember feeling as though I'd overstayed my welcome but even though I was acknowledging that I stayed until the bitter end in order to play the game.

Throughout my childhood, I'd wake up on weekends really early on in order to play Nintendo. I'd spend countless dollars on rentals and in some instances dedicate weekends to a new game I was going to rent. I had to of course appease and combat my parents for the amount of time they'd let me play. My dad would always tell me to shut it off and go outside, which I would for awhile and then when the coast was clear, head back in for some more of whatever game I was engrossed in. I remember loving the games that you could cooperatively play with a friend and would always have friends over for those.

During Highschool, I played a lot of hockey, and after playing hockey, would play videogame hockey for just as long. It became a weekend ritual, as much as it was a ritual to get up really early and play Nintendo while my parents weren't up so they wouldn't know how long I'd been playing for.

I liked and still do like being up early in the morning to play a game, it's the strangest feeling but it's always been there. It feels like a time when nobody else is around and I can do as I please, and I please, when I'm engrossed in a game.

When I was a kid though, there were all kinds of things that would prevent me from playing as much as I'd have liked to, but I had and have never worked so hard as I've worked to play a game that I'm in to. ... I'm kind of losing track of any organization to these thoughts since so many others are flooding in. Maybe I'll just write them as they pop into my head and then organize them later.

I can remember more weekends than I can put a number to of sleeping over at somebodies house, getting up early and quitely playing games early in the morning, or if it was a coop game, being extremely frustrated that my buddy wasn't awake yet to play.

This carried through into... well really it's never stopped until maybe now... we'll see. So during later years of Highschool, I'd be at it again, going to my friends house to play counterstrike, even when nobody was home I'd be there playing as much as I liked... and eating the delicious food in his house :)

My friends were the only one's who stopped me from playing. They'd always get tired of it, and I'd agree to do something else if only to appease them so that later we'd get back to it. When a game came out that I really wanted, I'd go to great lengths to go buy it and play it. Lying about being sick, getting down to the mall, getting the money to buy the s***, these were all skills that miraculously came to fruition and I would have all kinds of intricate plots in order to have everything come together flawlessly so that I could play my videogame... If this level of manipulation, strategizing, and the rest could be applied to anything useful, I'd be something perhaps instead of almost nothing.

But the drive has only been there with videogames. Until I met my first love. She became the "other" love of my life, and I'd go to great lengths to spend time with her. Videogames became much less a focus for me and she became my world. After what should have been me not being with her at all I did manage to snatch her up from the improbable position I was in. I did everything I could to be with her. I loved and still love her to this day but after I'd had her, the old addiction came knocking at the door. My drive for her fell drastically as an old friend was now vying for my time. At first I could balance them both but as she became more constant, more secure, I did less and less to keep her.

It got to the point where we'd be talking on the phone and she'd fall asleep at night, and while she was sleeping I'd be playing whatever game I was playing at the time. While we lived together I'd constantly be playing while she wasn't around, or if there was a lack of videogames, I'd watch movies, chat to my buddies on the internet, anything but something productive. I'm not sure if this is so much an addiction to videogames as it's an interrelated addiction to sloth (If there is such a thing?).

I'd do the bare minimum to maintain my relationship and be wholly invested in doing... Nothing.

I've also noticed that I don't care about anything. ANYTHING, getting screwed over for money doesn't bother me a whole lot, being screwed out of work, money from bills, negligence.... If there was one word to describe my attitude towards myself it's Negligent.

This doesn't necessarily translate to my work, though in many cases it had, but the one time you'll find me doing hard work is when somebody needs me to. That's why I liked the army. It was my job to help others accomplish a task that I didn't have time to excuse as pointless or whatever, I just did the work. Even now I think I'm a better worker than I've ever been, certainly bulking up a bit helped, because the bigger I was the more people would ask of me to do whatever it was that needed doing and I'm happy to help, but at the end of the day, to deal with the monotony of everyday life, there was always my blessed Nintendo.

During my work up North, which I hated, I quickly became a recluse getting a hold of a small tv and vcr I had brought nothing but books and soon I was watching movies endlessly, until I caved and bought a Nintendo Gamecube, with hockey and a resident evil game. Then during every moment of my freetime, I'd be glued to that thing, that and calling my girlfriend.

I'll never forget this one morning when it was the last weekend we'd spend living together, we stayed at a friends place who had this game battlefield 1942, which I loved. The last morning with my beloved, I woke early, slowly started to get out of bed, and she woke a little, asking me to stay in bed. I chided her and said something to appease her or that she should just go back to sleep I can't remember, made my way downstairs and started playing. I knew she'd be really upset, but I just didn't care enough, a year of patchy relations later and we broke up. I think I had mentioned to her that I didn't know if she was the only person I should be with or something.

They say you shouldn't regret anything. But if you regret nearly your entire life, what does that mean? If the one thing you've really strived for was someone elses way of making money and has left you with no real skills, what does that say about you? How do you accept what you are? Better how do you deal with it without falling back into what's comfortable and that is doing what got you there to begin with?

My ex became the single biggest regret of my life, because I can see through to the moments when I made her happy, really happy which were few I think, I'm not sure, I'm sure she'd say so now. It was in those few moments of making her happy that I cherish until now. Every once in awhile I think of one and, I remember how happy I was, and how unhappy I've been for SO long.


I've done Terrible things with neglect, I've let countless people down, I've stopped myself from developing countless relationships, I don't care about myself or anyone, I don't care, but I can see that I should. Maybe not seeing it is what let it get this far but I swear I've seen it before and still just yesterday I stopped a f***ing marathon of videogaming because I was afraid if I didn't finish this piece of s*** game that I would find some f***ing excuse to pick it up again. I DON'T WANT TO PICK IT UP ANYMORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I f***ing don't I just want to have a life. I can't remember tha last time I've cried this much about anything as I am while typing these last few paragraphs. Damnit I hate my life, I can see now why people kill themselves maybe, I'm not going to kill myself though, I'm too lazy. Maybe people who kill themselves are lazy too and think it's finally the one thing they've done that wasn't. For me though that's not the way to go, I know I can do something. I want to volunteer abroad because it would get me away from the things I gravitate towards. I have the slightest incling of fear that if I was in some foreign country I'd find something to do that would distance myself or neglect people, but I think my chances are a s***load less there than here. I can't deal without restrictions. The military was great while I was training because I couldn't play f***ing games and I was constantly dedicated to helping the team. I had a great time for awhile, then when training was over we had some time off, and they had a f***ing tv with halo, and another guy wanted to play halo, so I did. I can't tell you HOW badly I wanted to play that s***. It was the strangest thing, as soon as it became possible almost my every thought went into how I could play that s***. I would and do create these fantastical scenarios about the game and what it'll be like, that never come true but the build up, the build up to playing a game I think is going to be good is something like an adventure that's going to be epic, maybe like an amazing movie for some people that they absolutely have to see (only for me I don't really care about movies the same way). I'm practically playing the game in my mind before I get it and it usually disappoints compared to the game in my mind. Like a book turning into a movie, never the same, never as good.

Well that last bit stopped me crying which is good. The worst part is that I've been slow at pretty much everything, slow and methodical in some cases but mostly if I don't care about it so much just slow. When it comes to games I'm f***ing slow and methodical, taking f***ing forever to beat the s***. If I could treat them more like movies and just have finished the f***ing things then it may not have been so bad or it might not be so bad. I don't stop though. My plan now is to not watch any tv or play any videogames for well let's say a year. Maybe that's unrealistic but in my case I think I have to go big or nothing will work it never has worked when I said just videogames cause then were all just watching tv and I figure might as well pick up a videogame since I've never cared for tv as much anyway.

I shudder to think what I could have been potentially if I wasn't who I am. Which is a little pointless to think about since I am who I am and if I'm to be anything I have to get myself out of this s***. I was thinking of doing my own research into videogame addiction but I'm not sure if there's a point since one click seems to have brought up a bunch of links to the subject.

My argument was always that there are a lot of people who don't watch tv who are degenerate idiots and if I didn't watch or play it doesn't mean I'd be any different. I'm not sure but I know I at least wouldn't be playing s***ty games and would likely develop some kind of life skill set. As it stands I'm a good listener I think, and can see the outs of other peoples problems but constantly neglect my own.

I had a "nightmare" this morning that I was playing this f***ing game again, after promising myself I wouldn't and after saying that if I did I would collapse the Will I'm trying to summon to take over this addiction. The dream was like a videogame where I was a Conan type character, I had just beat the game and was looking for other reasons to play it. Turns out the town guards were exiling me, killed all my cows and dogs, and were chasing me in order to kill me, I was chased up to a cliff where I still didn't want to play the game and wouldn't fight them, I jumped into the water, swam to shore, looked for my wife, promised her I'd come back, and she asked to make love before I left, so we did on this grassy hill, I guess if she went back to town she wouldn't get killed for whatever reason, and I made my way to a part of the game that in the dream I didn't think existed but that I'd found anyway. For whatever reason I was traveling an asphalt road which I'm pretty sure Conan wouldn't have run into and some guy started chasing me on a dirtbike which also seemed unlikely for Conan (who was me). I started riding a dirtbike I found and getting away from him all the while refusing to play the game and fight the guy. In the end I was sort of caught but the part where I would have killed the guy or he killed me I woke up. I don't know what the hell the dream is about but it's rediculous that I have to dream about not picking up a game I've been addicted to for two solid weeks. (P.S. after rereading this, I chuckled at the note of me making love to my wife as though that's useful information... what can I say dreams are dreams, at least we were married.)

I'm so scared of falling back into games. I need to find real distractions from them. I need to care about s*** enough to do something about it. I envision the process of coming off games to be filled with moments where I have those overwhelming urges to play and instead of following through my plan is to lie down in bed and listen to an audio book.... unfortunately the only one I have on my ipod is Mein Kempf, but damnit I'll learn what Hitler thought sooner than play a f***ing videogame. (No, I'm not a Nazi, it's just a part of history I was interested by, that's where the curiosity ends)

I'm not sure but I think social isolation will help. People always want to watch tv or movies and I just can't do that anymore. It seems so simple to see that which is gratifying to people. The recipe for a fulfilling life is plain and clear yet I can't seem to abide by it, no matter how simplistic it is. I WANT to train MMA, eat good food that I prepare from recipes if need be, more effort into food which is something I love and think would be beneficial also given how much I intend on training. Reading, though reading is a hard one cause that's what get's me into the mood for videogames. I find I can't focus on what I'm reading after a period of time but I don't feel like doing anything so I turn on the tv. My counter for that little fallback, is the bed and audio book thing, or more likely just meditating about everything in my life. We'll see how succesful it is. Maybe I could try keeping a journal via my gmail draft saves.

This has been good, I don't think i've ever cried while writing or typing something before so I may have hit something here, for that little bit there it was rough, about failing my ex and all. Maybe we weren't supposed to ever be together, but damnit she certainly is worth thinking so.
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Re: I need to increase levels in life.

Postby Karmons on Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:51 am

Very touching story,

Thank you for sharing.

Nature, sports, people, pets. Things that are not involved with computers or electronical devices should help you.

Good Luck in live game.
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Re: I need to increase levels in life.

Postby MaryBraveBird on Sat Nov 15, 2008 2:06 pm

hi, and welcome to the site :)

i don't think you are slow, or lazy. when you describe the way you are feeling - you don't care about anything, you don't want to do anything, etc. - that sounds like depression to me. one sign of a depression is the lack of energy, the lack of emotions, of ambition, of interest for pretty much anything. please, please, please see a doctor about this, i believe you when you say you wouldn't kill yourself but you seem very angry at yourself, and that's not healthy either. good luck and keep us posted :)
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Re: I need to increase levels in life.

Postby jkko on Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:11 pm


Thank you so much for sharing your story. I want you to know how helpful your post has been to me, and I thank you a million times over for posting it. My husband is in the exact same boat as you, he plays computer games all day and all night, and although he has a job, he has no real ambition for anything. He has told me before that he doesn't ever feel excited or really happy about anything in his life. I can see by looking at his face while he plays games that this not true, GAMES make him happy in a way that me, his wife, and his children will never be able to do unless he beats this addiction. And, like you, my husband has been playing games since he was a small child, starting with his parents buying him a Nintendo. He doesn't know how to amuse himself without it, he has no real actual hobbies besides gaming. But again, reading your post was like having insight into my husband's brain for just a second, and I had tears in my eyes while I read it. You sound like you're hurting very deeply, and you seem like a truly great person! You're just trapped deeply in an addiction, which just like alcoholism or drug abuse, is an illness. It really is. Don't call yourself lazy or stupid, you're not. You're ill, and you just need help beating your addiction. I agree with Mary that you sound depressed. Maybe you could talk to a Dr about that portion of it. Maybe you could talk to someone like a therapist about everything else. It sounds like you really want to get better, and because of that I am truly rooting for you!!

You said you were thinking about volunteering, is there a Boys and Girls club or Big Brothers thing in your area? That could be something you could volunteer to do that would have you feeling like you were making a real difference. I don't agree with you that social isolation would work, I actually think that might have the opposite effect, making you only want to play more because you're lonely. Go buy a puppy, and take your dog to obedience school, that's a great way to meet women and friends! Same with taking your dog for walks to a dog park, etc. You said you liked reading, what about joining a book club? That would ensure that you were reading interesting books and you could meet people with similar interests as you. And what about reaching out to family and asking for their help with your addiction? No one should have to deal with this alone.

Sorry that I am rambling on and on...I have done absolutely nothing successful in my real life in helping my own husband with his addiction, so what I have to say probably amounts to nothing.

Good luck and post here more! We would love to hear from you again.
~Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better~
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Re: I need to increase levels in life.

Postby Liam on Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:04 pm

jkko wrote:Liam,

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I want you to know how helpful your post has been to me, and I thank you a million times over for posting it. My husband is in the exact same boat as you...

I'm glad it could help in some way. I thought maybe it would help people to sort of see what the other side is dealing with in some cases.

I also want to say that your advice is not at all unappreciated. Despite it kind of staring at me in the face, I've never really thought of myself as depressed... Though I never thought I really had a problem with games either and I suppose that became clear after one too many bouts of wasted time.

You and Mary are probably right, I should probably at least talk to a therapist or doctor. I'm not a big fan of drugs though, and would be reluctant to see that as a solution. The book club definitely seems like a good idea, or school.. Since I mostly read textbooks and the like without actually going to any college or university. After spending a lot of time alone it has been a pretty negative effect, given that I have badly wanted to delve back into the game I recently gave up. I haven't given in yet and despite wanting to, I for whatever reason really can't see myself giving in this time, not sure why but it feels like an ultimate resolve has been instilled in me. Now if I could just get some of the things done in life apart from reading I'd be on my way but as of yet the motivation to accomplish greater things hasn't come to me yet..... That's where I think a little therapy might help.

Anyway, again I hope that piece of me will help, unfortunately I won't probably be able to type exactly the way I speak again but that essay was pretty well word for word (or thought for thought as that's how fast I was writing) how I actually speak as opposed to typing where I throw in all kinds of "howevers" and other bulls*** I'd normally never use as frequently. My point is that it's nice to see what you really look like in your own words instead of the premeditated writing you're expecting other people to see and I suppose judge you by.
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Re: I need to increase levels in life.

Postby Whippetartist on Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:32 am

:clap Thank you for telling us about your life. And thank you for your service to your country. I am glad you found it rewarding to your life now.

My exhusband was in the Navy. Retirement & separation was really difficult for him. I got him counselling that the military paid for.

Your nightmares are evidence you are working towards change in your life. The harder you work at changing your life, getting away from the gaming, the nightmares of the game will return, but you are now the master!

Each morning you wake up, you make a new decision about how you spend the day.
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Re: I need to increase levels in life.

Postby chibichan on Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:55 pm

First of all, I want to say how amazing you are for serving your country and thank you for sharing your story. Please don't think that everything you've done is meaningless! It is not, and you are not.

As far as practical advice goes I agree with Karmons about seeking hobbies that separate you from being indoors too much or by electronics. Continuing along the lines of community service, maybe you could volunteer to coach local boys hockey teams in your free time. Try new things. Ask your friends and coworkers about their hobbies and ask if you can tag along next time. Pick up seasonal hobbies or recreational clubs / teams. That should help keep life less monotonous. You mentioned you like to envision scenarios in games - sparring in martial arts might be pretty fun if you haven't tried it already. Oh yeah, and definitely take up cooking. Have fun and good luck!
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Re: I need to increase levels in life.

Postby Shadow Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:21 pm

Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations so far on your endeavor to over come your addiction!

Your life hasn’t been nothing, there are some people who can’t even come out of that trace of not only gaming, but neglect. You became aware of your problem, its time for the solution. It’s a learning process, as is life. So don’t spend all your time looking back or else you’re going to miss everything that’s in front of you.

But, you have to make it for yourself. Anything worth having is worth working for. You have served your country and played hockey, both of which I know require a fair amount of physical and mental dedication. So don’t doubt your abilities! I know its hard, but once you find the stuff that’s really worth focusing on, it becomes a distant memory some days. So surround yourself with family and friends. Go out more often and maybe try new things.

I would also like to add that maybe you should consider seeking counseling, you may have depression as well. It worth looking into, for your own well being. That much I do understand, currently suffering from it myself. But if you fortunately don’t, it could be good just have someone to talk to about your feelings and every day battles. Don’t think you’re in it alone!

So I wish the best for you and hope you know that you have a great group of understanding and knowledgeable people to support you on t his forum. :grouphug
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