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 Craving 
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Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:14 pm
Posts: 18
State/Province/Country: Vermont, USA
I find that I am craving, today, one of my last games that I played last winter. I think part of the reason it seems so appealing to me is that I did not actually push that game to the limit, where it wasn't fun anymore and I just couldn't put it down because of compulsion. But the thing is, I know if I did it enough, I would eventually reach that point. And in the meantime, I would lose so many valuable things -- like the new job I've just started.

So I've spent the last few minutes reading through recent threads on the forum. It always helps to be reminded of where the addiction leads. There are thousands of people out there suffering from the pain of addiction. Life in recovery is so much better; I need to remember that -- and not take the first steps down that road, that looks so tempting at the start, but leads inevitably to such a hell.

Carole/Otter

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Carole F. / caroleotter / ottergirl
CGAA member since Feb. 27, 2015
Game-free since Sep. 29, 2015


Mon Nov 23, 2015 12:26 pm
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:28 am
Posts: 56
Location: San Diego
State/Province/Country: California
Hugs. Sounds like a tough morning. Just in case you need more evidence of the insanity of that thinking... When I've relapsed, I often got sucked into games where I thought "maybe if I just got to X point in the game then I wouldn't feel the need to play it so badly." It never worked. There was either some other game out there to call to me, or I got to that point and the accomplishment just fueled the "just one more time" craving. Or I realized what I was doing before I got to the magic point X and had to deal with withdrawal and the other consequences of relapse all over again.


Mon Nov 23, 2015 1:12 pm
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 3:06 pm
Posts: 905
Location: Charlottesville
State/Province/Country: Virginia
Big hugs Carole. I have had urges to game too. Fortunately I'm able to think about it with some sanity today. I'm no longer delusionally thinking that to play a video game is simply to play a video game. I'm sane enough to see that to play a video game is to bring back into my life obsession, compulsive bingeing, late nights, sleep deprivation, moodiness, forgetfulness, anger fits, isolation from friends and family, work problems, neglect of family, hygiene and home responsibilities, loss of hobbies, poor diet, no exercise, health problems, a messy home, shame, guilt, self-loathing, and near-constant irritability. As much as I like gaming, I'd be insane if (and have been insane when) I consciously choose to bring those results down upon myself.

I have countless other options (which my addict brain likes to block out) for having fun, feeling accomplishment, connecting with people, and relaxing, and none of which carry the same insane self-destruction that compulsive gaming brings. I'm grateful to have the freedom to take these options, to identify wild edibles, and build a lean-to, and play at the playground with the kids, and learn songs on keyboards, and play in a band, and read books to my son, and play board games with friends, and meditate with a friend, and live in a clean home, and go for a jog or play Ultimate frisbee, and host a s'mores campfire or a karaoke night... all things I've been doing the past couple of years.

But alas... I'm not entirely sane about gaming yet... sometimes the urge hits and for a while it seems sensible enough.


Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:05 pm
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 7:54 pm
Posts: 216
Awesome that you posted Carole, way to be a positive example.

There's no shame in cravings since we all get them from time to time. The more "emotional sobriety" we experience, the less cravings tend to occur I think.

Justifications for certain games are sneaky. I can relate to the thought on a particular game or genre never being an "issue" for me so it seemed reasonable to dabble in it when I was getting cravings. But like you said, that's a dark rabbit hole that will lead me back to where I was when I first came here. Maybe not with that specific game but inevitably, any time I've relapsed and dabbled in a seemingly innocent game, within only a few days I'm already installing a number of others. It's only a matter of time until I'm back at the one that can't be justified as excusable...and then my shame will be even greater and I'll likely isolate even more. I know I certainly wouldn't be posting on here about it!

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Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:14 pm
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 323
Location: Detroit, MI
Hugs. Cravings aren't any fun at all, and it took some time to get to a point where my coping strategies became both 1) reflexive and 2) adequate to keep me sober. Things that I've found particularly helpful would include laughing at the insanity and absurdity of what my addict is telling me (and then moving on and thinking about something else), taking a moment to remind myself how I felt when I was bouncing along on "bottom" (and reminding myself that bottom is where relapsing will inevitably get me eventually), and calling somebody up so I don't have to deal with it alone. Good for you on posting.


Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:32 pm
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Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 3:42 pm
Posts: 109
Location: New York
Lots of people posted ideas already, so I just wanted to chime in and say I'm glad you posted, rather than jumping into the game. I hope you are over the worst of it by now. Do you know what triggered it? Is the new job being stressful?

Hugs.


Mon Nov 23, 2015 11:07 pm
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:57 am
Posts: 1
State/Province/Country: United States
Hi all,

My name is Sharon, and I'm new here and new to the program. I was feeling a craving just now, and I want to say a BIG thank you to ALL of you who posted here, because reading these posts helped me so much in coping with my craving! Thank you all!

Sharon


Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:11 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:21 pm
Posts: 91
State/Province/Country: NC, USA
Thank you for sharing, Carole! Almost a year later and your are still helping us stay sober :)

To echo some of what was already shared with slightly different words, I've been told to "play the tape through to the end." For me, it looks something like this:

1. I want to play xyz video game, just for a few minutes to relax. I deserve it.
2. I play xyz game for several hours.
3. *#$%, my night is wasted. Alright, well, no use now, I guess I'll keep playing (or swithc to another, more satisfying game...)
4. Midnight comes- I'll stop at 1
5. 1 AM comes- Just a little more, I'll stop at 130
6. 3 am comes- ^%$#, alright, a little more and then I will go to bed. I am tired.
7. 4 am comes- OK! I'm done.
8. Go to bed at 430, fall asleep 30 minutes to an hour later.
9. Sleep restlessly and dream about the game
10. Wake up at my usual 9 am, roll over, go back to sleep.
11. Get up between 11 and noon wiped out and useless. Ah, you know what, I'll chill out today, play some more to kill the time, then go to bed at a good hour tonight and get back on my normal schedule. No more gaming then.
12. Yeah that doesn't happen. Rinse and repeat.
13. Isolation. Shame. Anger. Denial. Escapism. Laziness.
14. Break the cycle only enough to perpetuate the illusion of control or manageability.
15. Don't get to do all the things I'd rather be doing (e.g. violin, photography, hiking outdoors, connecting with real people, finding a girlfriend/wife/future mother of my children, having said kids and being their to raise them, getting a job and doing something useful and meaningful for people, etc.)

Yeah, so I don't game. I've learned that the future costs (or future rewards) are far greater than the hour or so I might genuinely enjoy the gaming experience before all hell breaks loose.


Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:55 pm
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:10 am
Posts: 6
State/Province/Country: United Kingdom
When an obsession attacks me (I don't call it craving, I think craving is while I'm already playing and I want more and more of it) I pray (it's good if I'm on my knees).
I've learned that I am powerless over my obsession, so I need to ask for help and I do it via a prayer. Then I do some action, depends where my Higher Power directs me. It is very important for me to not try to face it on my own, because unlike people who are not addicted I have no power over my gaming. If I'd submit to impression that I can deal with my obsession by just using my brain then I'd step back from Step One and I think sooner or later gaming would come to my life to persuade me again that I am powerless. But it would cost me and people around me some more pain before I would be ready to do Step One again.


Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:38 pm
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