The funny thing about my addiction is that it completely took over my life. I was a gamer, and my life was totally focused on the next big game. Originally, my goal was to become a professional gamer. I just took that a bit too seriously. My days were nothing but gaming. I didn’t remember to get up and stretch. Heck, I didn’t even remember to eat or drink. It became obvious that I needed help when I realized that it had been about two weeks since my last shower. My life was quickly going downhill.
I had to learn some alternatives to gaming if I was ever going to get past my addiction. I loved gaming far too much. It was hurting me. My day revolved around gaming, or making it possible to game. Eating could wait, more often than not. I barely drank anything most days, and showers were a rarity as well. Gaming, literally, took over my life. I am grateful to have my life back, but I still have days where I want to play. Instead, I try some of these alternatives.
My gaming addiction didn’t start out as an obsession to get one more level. It started off as a way to have and keep friends, for me. All we wanted to do was just have fun. Gaming seemed like a great way to do that. I moved around a lot, so leaving friends behind got really old. Gaming kept us close. Somewhere along the time, I went from gaming for fun to obsessing over it. That obsession nearly killed me. It may sound odd, but gaming can be a lot more dangerous of an addiction than most people think.
There are many things that still make me think about my gaming addiction. It isn’t just games or playing cards or anything, either. It is memories and feelings I go through. The more I am in specific places, the more I remember what my gaming addiction was like. When I get excited about having something new come up, it brings back those feelings. I thought after rehab, things would get easier. In some ways, it has, but in others, it is harder now than it used to be.
One of the things I struggled with after I left rehab was avoiding a gaming addiction. I didn’t have the desire to get high anymore. However, I still had the desire to get some type of a rush. For me, gaming was a pastime I liked for many years. It was something I turned to without even realizing I was doing it. When I wanted to feel good, I’d accomplish a goal in the game. Then, I’d feel better and go about my day. The problem was, this wasn’t a healthy way of feeling good anymore than my addiction was.
For many years, I used gaming to escape. It helped me pretend that my life wasn’t seriously falling apart. It was a lie. I could escape into a world on a screen and tune out everything around me. Granted, it was a great way to relax, but it also screwed up my life. It wasn’t until my power got shut off from non-payment, and I couldn’t game, that I saw just how bad my addiction to gaming really was.
I went to a luxury rehab near the Pacific Ocean, where I accomplished a number of things. For one thing, I beat my drug addiction; for another, I won a massive video game tournament that spanned several weeks. Although the former is obviously more laudable than the latter, to be honest I’m not sure I could have achieved the former without the latter.
When you have struggled with an addiction, is any type of gaming safe after rehab? Or should you leave the gaming world behind for good? There are arguments on both sides of this discussion. Some people believe that you will simply transfer your old addiction to a new one. Others say you can safely game after rehab, with boundaries. The true and correct answer is going to depend on the addict, quite honestly.
I have always enjoyed watching football. I’m not necessarily a fan of any one team, though. Rather, I just enjoy watching the game. There is a tremendous amount of skill and coordination necessary to make a play work correctly. If you know the subtle nuances of the game, watching a game is almost like watching a chess match. So of course when I went to rehab I figured I would find a way to watch the games. I just had no idea I would get to watch them in such style!
Gaming addictions are difficult to treat without healthy substitutions to turn to when you want that reward. Typically, a person becomes addicted to gaming because they seek some type of validation and reward for their behaviors. It may sound odd to people who do not play games, but the simple rewards that come along with playing a game make you feel accomplished. In order to get past a gaming addiction, you need things that can give you the same basic feeling but in a way that is healthy for you.