Overcoming my Addiction

This forum is for those of you who are in the middle of or have successfuly beat the addiction. Whether your addiction was gaming, smoking, eating, etc. you are welcome to use this forum to help you get through it or share your story of how you got through it!

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Overcoming my Addiction

Postby EQaddicted23 on Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:07 am

I am new to the forum. I am posting here because I was able to quit EQ about 8 months ago, but I sometimes feel like I want to play the game again even though I know it is bad for me.

I say I was "able to quit" because I know it is not easy when you are addicted. I had actually gotten away from the game several times before, but always got sucked back into it. The last time I ended up playing because I got a free month and then couldn't stop. One day I played the game for 8 hours and didn't talk to my fiance at all (when she was near me all day in our apartment). I had intended to play for an hour but got carried away. The decision was easy at that point that I had to quit.

I had a dream recently that revealed why I am addicted to the game. I believe that my addiction is sort of like a pseudo-financial problem. I pay to play, so I feel like I have to play a lot or I don't get my money's worth. Then I feel like I have invested a lot of my time playing, so I pay for the next month so I don't lose all of what I gained. As you can imagine, this problem continues to perpetuate itself until the point inevitably comes that I realize I don't enjoy the game and it is ruining my life.

So writing this was maybe somewhat of a self-help therapy for me. It reminds me that I truly don't enjoy EQ anymore but feel like I need to play to maintain the character I have built. My money and time will be better spent improving myself then some imaginary character. So hopefully this revelation will help someone else who may stumble on this board and read it.

I would like to also share my thoughts on people who are addicted for social reasons...
None of these friends you meet are real and will disappear on you one day when they quit. They probably won't care enough to contact you ever. EQ will leave you socially awkward if that is the only friends you have. If you have trouble making friends in real life, the trick to it is that you be polite and find a common interest with people. This requires you to talk to people. but don't talk to them about EQ and make sure to give them a chance to talk too. Most of all LISTEN to what they have to say. The nice thing about friends outside of EQ is that you can do all sorts of activities with them, not just playing EQ!

And my thoughts on people who are addicted because they find it overwhelmingly fun...
Is it honestly that much fun? I'm sure you had fun times at one point when you played this game, but if you have gotten to the addicted stage then ask yourself if you REALLY think it is fun still. You know that you are hunting endlessly for virtual rewards. If you don't quit now, in a few years you will realize all of these virtual rewards you've gained are like some sort of twisted trophy room that commemorates each step taken towards your life spiraling into an atrocity.
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Re: Overcoming my Addiction

Postby Karmons on Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:48 pm

Hello, and wellcome to the forum.

I have spent about the same time as you without playing and also keep feeling the desire to do it. Take care with that dreams, they seem to be convincing you that "free to play" games wont be a problem for you since you wont be pushed to play to "not loose" your money. Take care with that.

After I stop playing online games (not saying it is your case, just mine), I wanted to play non online games. PC games mostly, if not PC games, mobile games became appealing enougth. If not, board games, Risk never was so temptating like it is now. I let myself play board or mobile games from time to time, with my own rules (just with friends in social enviroment), but I do realize the danger behind and I do realize I will never enjoy a "fantasy" game the same way a normal person does. I allways have a "adrenaline" component with those games that makes me want more.

Hollidays are the worst part. Free time, ouch!

Best wishes with your EQ healing, and ....

HAPPY NEW YEAR! For you and for everyone who uses this forum, specially those people who post mostly to help others after they have already healed. Best whishes for this 2009.
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Re: Overcoming my Addiction

Postby vandigeth on Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:38 pm

Hello EQaddict!

Well now, someone I can relate to very well. First let me say cudos to you and your decision, I certainly hope you can keep with it. Don't slip back! It is so easy to do. Perhaps if I share a little bit about my story, then it will help you with yours...

I started playing Ultima Online at 13/14 years old (time gets fuzzy). I was a homeschooled kid with no friends save my family. So, I played to make friends and got sucked in because of that. Oddly enough, I met someone who lived in my very same town while playing the game and from there things got out of hand. I was playing online with him as much as I could, try to rake in all the cash I could. etc etc

I played EQ on release for 6 months or so (quit at Kunark). I played it like a heroine addict looks for more heroine. I had a level 50 dwarf warrior, I remember, by the same name I use now (which, coincidentally, was the same name as my smith on UO) but I digress! I filtered through several others... FFXI, DAoC, WoW, etc etc.

Which brings me to where I agree with you. Those who are convinced that they are having too much fun, step back and look at what you are doing for a moment. It's the *same* redundant task over and over again... get a group, go out and kill a 3D mob (over and over!) and get some epic drop that one has to roll a dice roll for? And then not get it and have to do it for another 5 hours? I mean, when I finally stepped back and saw the stupidity of it all (and the definition of stupidity is repeating a task without meeting the desired results within a reasonable number of attempts) I gave it up. Pure and simple. I agree with you on the social aspect as well, except for the friend I did make locally -- he and I are still best friends.

*Warning: Only attempt if one can moderate their time!* I keep an Eve Online account active. I pay for it with the oodles of ISK I made when I played. The game is built on the model of skill gain over time, not over play. Even when I paid, I felt like I was getting my money's worth even though I'm not playing. So it's ok if I play for 3 hours *one* night a week, and it gains over time even when I'm not playing. It really helped me moderate my time so I can play for fun without getting crazy about it. Sometimes I go 3 or 6 months without playing.

Finally, don't let your mind rationalize anything about excessive playing (i.e., getting your money's worth). It's not healthy. Find something you don't want to lose and make that your cornerstone for staying quit. Thoughts like keeping up with your characters (even though you don't feel that way anymore) can lead to a relapse even if they help keep you away for now (just by thinking about it not being important anymore can lead to more thoughts about gaming! It's like sex, in a way). Perhaps it's easier to have a rationale, but it only led to rationalizing a return to the game for me. I just had to tell myself that my wife is too important for this crap and I will not risk it over something so silly. She is my cornerstone for staying moderate (and quit from hardcore gaming). Furthermore, if she did leave me, I would probably relapse into it a total game craze, so she really keeps me afloat.

So, I am sorry for the long post, but I wanted to share my story with you. Maybe it's therapuetic for me as well. The bottom line is that you are not alone. I am like you, except after 11 years I have gotten it under control for over a year (finally!!). Find something you don't want to lose, and make that your incentive for not playing. Thanks for you time, and good luck,

*EDIT*: I said "in my very same time" and meant "in my very same town"
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Re: Overcoming my Addiction

Postby EQaddicted23 on Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:47 pm

Thanks for the responses!

Good point about trying to rationalize it to a financial addiction. If I blame it on a financial issue, then I guess I am not accepting that it really is my own fault for becoming addicted. I want to have a good reason why I became addicted in the first place, but it might just be beyond me.

You guys did make me realize though that I stay quit very easily while I am occupied. It is this few weeks off of work that I feel like I want to play again. I just bought a house, so if I keep fixing it up as my priority then I think I can stay away until I am overwhelmed with work again.

I don't know why I have such a problem with EQ. I have smoked three or four cigarettes a month for several years now and never felt like I wanted to smoke more or had an addiction. With EQ it has just been a constant battle for me to stay away. And I know the feeling that if my wife ever left me then I would probably start playing again.

The good news is that my EQ addiction never hurt me too badly. I was socially awkward in my first year of college, but was able to turn it around quickly. I know it could be much worse and that it could get worse if I let it.

Happy new years to you both!
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Re: Overcoming my Addiction

Postby annemary100 on Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:32 am

1. Admit there is a problem and be willing and open to change. Admit that we are powerless over drugs and that your lives have become unmanageable. Most people can't or won't. Most people won't admit they don't want to quit. They say they should and that they want to, but deep down they don't really want to. But that's okay, you can still get help. There are two main types of treatment: community-based or 12 step, both can work. They usually don't because people continue to be unable to accept
2. Try community-based if it suits you. Joining a new club, sports team, or other kinds of community will help you make new friends and start a new chapter of your life in which addiction is not a part.
3. Try a 12 Step program if it suits you. If you want to try a 12 step program, go to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), NA (Narcotics Anonymous), SA (Smokers Anonymous), or one of the other programs that use the set of guiding principles for recovery from addictive, compulsive, or other behavioral problems that was originally developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. Unfortunately most people won't go until they are so desperate and have run out of any other options so now they are ready to listen.
4. If neither of these approaches suit your needs, you can still try Rational Recovery. This method allows you to gain confidence, take charge, and leave your addiction behind in a healthy and private manner.
5. As everyone should, get rid of all prejudices and be willing and open-minded.

Drug rehab
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Re: Overcoming my Addiction

Postby tiffychick on Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:43 am

Your post was very inspirational to me. I feel that's party of Husband's reasoning too. I also feel that it's his way of being someone else, like he can do things in the game that he can't in real life. I know he likes his job but living in Florida is really expensive so once taxes, etc come out then the rent usually eats his pay. It really helps me to read what you've gone through and I commend you for staying strong and only hope that it will continue and that I too can maybe one day have my husband write a post on how he "quit World of Warcraft".
"Reach high for stars lie hidden in your soul; dream deep for every dream preceeds the goal."
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Re: Overcoming my Addiction

Postby iggysaps on Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:22 am

Hello there, I have recovered from a previous WoW addiction, and also an Everquest addiction. I almost didn't get my college diploma because of Everquest. I had to take two classes in the summer to make up for low grades. After that I quit EQ. Then Warcraft III came, it was RTS so I was quite addicted but was easier to control. Finally WoW came, and I got hooked. I failed 6 of 8 subjects that I was taking and meant I was delayed for a year taking up law. What was scary was at that point I didn't care that much.

Now I no longer play at all. I have a beautiful wife and a handsome baby boy. They were my main reasons for leaving my gaming addiction. They mean more to me than any game.

I suggest that you find some more important reason, some inspiration to leave the game completely. It can even be another addiction, just choose a productive addiction. Find something you love and like to do that feels fun, and at the same time can earn you money.

I found my new addiction in writing. I also get paid for what I write. The more I write, the more cash I can earn. But just remember to keep everything in moderation. Moderation I think is the key.
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