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 My Story 
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Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:35 pm
Posts: 17
State/Province/Country: Alberta Canada
Hey guys and gals, my name is Jock M, and i'm a gaming addict. I've been through quite the experience in the last 6 months of my life and since i found both this website and fellowship, i feel kind of drawn to post my story, or at least part of it. I'm not a fantastic storyteller, so bear with me but if you feel like reading, either to see hope that their is life past gaming and being plugged in, or if you're already a recovering member who would love some support, this is for you.

I was born and raised in northern Alberta, Canada. My name, obviously, is Jock. I'm 22, married with a beautiful wife, a son, and I've just recently gotten out of a 4 month rehab facility stay in Nanaimo BC, for an gaming addiction, among other things. The primary part of my story however, is gaming. I started gaming at 9, on a gameboy colour with a pokemon red or blue. I started lying, and sneaking time spent on screen gaming at age 11, and i'm fairly positive that's when i became an addict. The draw to be online, plugged in, and escape reality completely has turned into what destroys me very quickly. I grew up with gaming. My mother (bless her soul, she's also in recovery of her own) tried limiting, structuring, and restricting my use and my brothers from a young age. For reasons i didn't understand at the time, the thought of actually listening to those guidelines never came into the equation. My answer to her regulations was how can i get around this without getting caught. Classic addict thinking.

There's so much to my life i want to say, to touch on, and to weave some complex epic about the entirety of my journey, but that's entirely unfeasible and hopeless. I'll simply highlight my experience and if anyone has questions for me, or would like to get into contact with me, i think that can all be done on this forum. Anyhow. Back to my story.

I gamed more progressively throughout high school, with failed relationships and a party life style highlighting the rest of what I did. By the time i got to grade 12, I'd been to 4 high schools, done worse academically at each one, and eventually failed grade 12 and walked away without a diploma or graduating. I didn't understand at the time how any of this had to do with my gaming, i assumed it was just what i enjoyed doing, all i enjoyed doing. For some reason it made total sense to me to fail high school and go to work in a shop job or on my family's farm instead of complete the minimum education required for any decent college or job. I never assumed that i was addicted to it. I mean, how could i be, it's not drinking, drugs, or gambling or something. It's just a game. Just fun. Right. Well, it escalated for me from there over the years.

As i went through life, my use increased exponentially. As failed relationships piled up, i retreated into drinking, partying, sex, and of course, gaming when i was alone and my party crowd couldn't see me. I was secretly ashamed of my use, and used it as my perfect retreat from reality when i was just "done". This same escape, ironically, also applies to me with anything fantasy related, whether it's a book or a movie, i get drawn in the same way and have had to largely cut it all out of my life. More's the pity, i reeeeeeally wanted to read the last book in the kingkiller chronicles. (forgive me tangenting. I'm new to this)

When i was 20, my old flame came back into my life. THE girl. The one I'd been with off and on for years, through junior high and high school. She, in her own story, had a son of her own at this point, who i met and promptly fell in love with. He now calls me dad, and is the source of huge amounts of joy in my life. Anyway. In the desperate state I'd got to by this point in my mind, rather depressed as I'd been through a very traumatic relationship with a girl who i hurt very badly, I was gaming more. I had fallen in love with the app that eventually brought my family to attention and me into treatment, Battle Camp. Shit, i get anxiety even writing that name. I loved it. It was the perfect online reality where i could be great, have people look up to me, win, and be liked and admired. Of course, all i had to do was add money. Which i did. When i was single and working in the oilpatch, this wasn't an issue. There was tons of opportunity for money, and i poured all of mine into it. But when i settled down with my wife and her son, now mine, money got tighter, and my stress level jacked up. Of course the thought of quitting never crossed my mind, that's the nature of the disease i have. I needed it more than life. I literally checked it first thing in the morning, and stayed up obscenely late to make sure everything in my online event was progressing perfectly. I lived and breathed battle camp. And i was good. If there's any ex-BC players here i was a candy boy. Jockers. Top 10 in the world for a time. I'm rather ashamed of that now.

I couldn't maintain my highs and win the way i wanted to without increasing my spending the same. So i started to steal. Small at first, and then huge from my family and my parents in the end, which i'm really ashamed to say. By the time my family caught on and caught me, i'd spent almost 20000 dollars. My wife found out i'd been lying to her about trying to find a job, having played hookie from life for a week, and started getting curious with my mother in recovery. Together they discovered the missing money, the time spent, and where it had gone. And they organized my intervention.

I was lucky enough to have them intervene for me, as i really had my head very far up my ass. I went to what i was told was my mothers "birthday breakfast" (seriously, such a bad excuse. i can't believe i fell for that) on march 30th. My whole family, friends, and in-laws were there and i was offered an option of 2 months of treatment in Edgewood, which is on Vancouver island, in Nanaimo. I said yes, to please them at the time, though for some reason assumed i didn't have a problem even at that point. Over the next 2 months i had my delusion shattered, my eyes opened, and a ton of guilt and shame dealt with. At the end of my 2 months there, i was recommended to stay on for extended treatment, which i fought to the bitter end and then accepted. In total, I stayed there for 4 months, where i began my own recovery journey. There is so much i could say about the program and place and my experiences there, but that's a whole nother thing.

At present day, I have returned home to my family. I am part time living with my parents and with my wife and son. I am active in the local AA and other 12 step fellowships. Im a few days shy of 6 months of clean time and I am much happier than i have ever been. Life is hard sober, and clean, but better. I'm currently working on my step 9, doing my amends which i have dreaded since the beginning. And right now i want to reach out to others. To anyone struggling with knowing if they have a problem, or don't know where to get help, or feel isolated and alone, you're not. I know what it's like to be there. Alone, assuming no one loves, or even likes you because of the damage you've done, or because you think you're just a shitty human being. You're not. You're loved. I may not know you, but i love you for the bare fact that you're reading my story, and curious about what's out there.

So i hope someone somewhere gets something from my experience strength and hope. I pray that you get sober, stay sober, and life can change for you because it has for me.

Love Jock.


Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:15 am
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 4:43 pm
Posts: 343
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
State/Province/Country: Cleveland, Ohio
Welcome Jock!! Your story truly helped me this morning. I am currently game free but struggling with fully facing/inventorying and making amends for the financial damage caused by my gaming and was beating myself up. Reading your story made me realize I'm not the only one with financial mess from this and the fact you are facing it, gave me more courage to do the same. Hope to see you in one of the online meetings!

_________________
Hugs,

Lisa


Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:05 am
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 3:06 pm
Posts: 886
Location: Charlottesville
State/Province/Country: Virginia
Thanks for sharing your story Jock. I'm glad you found us here and hope to see you around the meetings. Welcome!


Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:33 pm
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