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#447327 - 09/15/13 11:22 PM 4000 Hours: A confession of sorts
Publius Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 396
Loc: OH
That equates to about 6 months or 24 weeks or 167 days total of time spent playing video games since this all began three years ago. It averages out to about 4 hours a day and in truth it has been much worse since the recovery zero hour. In my mind it comes to about 350 books I could have read, want to have read, instead of wasting away my mind. When I was 4 years old and my abuse started I didn't have alcohol, drugs, or really anything else I could use to "check out" from the emotional turmoil. Since then I have played video games compulsively (maybe it is more of a maladaptive behavior given its association with my early survival mechanism) and excessively in order to deal with stress and success alike despite a strong desire to pursue more worthwhile/rewarding activities be they personal or social in nature. I hide this problem fairly well from the people who know me but it is a shameful reality I've faced since childhood and especially since my recovery started even though I began to recognize the underlying theme for my gaming problem. I know I could have it so much better, be so much better, be more helpful to my fellow survivors and citizens but twenty years of momentum has been more difficult to reverse than I previously imagined : /

I want you to know I do wish to change, to improve myself, and that I can sort of envision a day where I play games responsibly or not at all. But I am afraid without this emotional valve I might not be able to survive because it is all I have ever known : ( Has anyone here dealt with similar problems with television, internet, or video games? What do you guys who don't play video games do to unwind or relieve stress that I might be able to try out? How do those activities make you feel? I know it seems wholly unorthodox but for me this is the most vulnerable I have felt reaching out to the MaleSurvivor community since my original introductory story and I could really use your support
_________________________
"Life is like this dark tunnel. You may not always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place." ~ General Iroh

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#447329 - 09/15/13 11:40 PM Re: 4000 Hours: A confession of sorts [Re: Publius]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
I think a lot of us can relate there.

After I was raped I spent the bulk of the day living in a fantasy world a la World of Warcraft. It might as well have been heroin. My wife kept complaining that it was all I did, and she was right. I mentally wasn't able to handle reality at the time though, and I had no way of telling anyone why.

I think the more you are able to talk about what happened to you, the more connections you can build (or in my case, rebuild) with others. The more connected to reality you feel, and the less need you feel to disconnect from reality and enter the world of video games.

my son was born and I gave up WOW then. I made a decision to engage with the world for him. so I spent a lot of my time changing diapers and holding him. so... that might not be typical. But maybe try starting a new project in your life to work on? or maybe get a dog... someone that depends onyou and needs you?
_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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#447355 - 09/16/13 12:12 PM Re: 4000 Hours: A confession of sorts [Re: Publius]
Rambler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/11/06
Posts: 134
Loc: Planet Earth
Publius, hopefully you are an animal person (I think very human should be). One of the biggest stress relievers are my pets. My Cats have been with me since they were young and I can always count on them to drop what they are doing and either play with me or let me hold them for comfort. My Dog has been with me for just over a year (he's 6) and the bond that is between us is amazing. They demand attention at times and they also need maintenance. Which helps when we seem to be spending too much time doing things like playing video games, surfing the net, etc. It keeps
us aware of our immediate surroundings and the routine needed for feeding, etc of our friends also keeps us 'present'.

Much love,

John

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#447402 - 09/16/13 09:56 PM Re: 4000 Hours: A confession of sorts [Re: Publius]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1096
Loc: The ATL

Hi Publius. I wish I could help you in your search for a healthier outlet but most of my outlets are unhealthy as well. I can also identify with feeling like you have outlets that have kept you from achieving things in life. Sometimes it feels as if there is no other option though. None that come naturally anyway. When your head is filled with turmoil and chaos the ability to "check out" is just to powerful of a draw. I can somewhat identify with the video game addiction too. At 38, I have been playing video games for most of my life and while these days I only sit down to play them a couple of times a week, I won't sit down to play them unless I know I can play for hours and hours. In that way I suppose you could say I'm kind of a "binge" video game addict. Good luck moderating your own video game addiction. I can't imagine my life without video games either. Peace,

Ken

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#447561 - 09/18/13 05:04 PM Re: 4000 Hours: A confession of sorts [Re: Publius]
concerned_husky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 585
Hey Publius,

First off, I'm glad and proud of you for wanting to change. It's not easy breaking old habits, especially addictions. Don't be too hard on yourself, as you do give a lot of help to other members on MS already.

I feel like I can contribute a little something, having been an addict myself. Mine was gambling - might seem a little different to video games at first, but I think there are lots of things in common, especially if it comes to playing poker online in front of a computer screen. Now, I know this might sound profoundly simple, and this is quite contrary to the comments others have made, but my biggest advice to you would be: get rid of them. That's my two cents. For me, there is no 'moderation' with addictions. Getting rid of gambling completely (e.g. barring myself from casinos, installing programs on my laptop that's prevented me from playing online, and kicking my gambling-'social circle') has turned my life upside down, and I'm a lot happier for it. The temptations - the urge to escape - are always there, but if you CAN'T give in (i.e. it's physically impossible) then you're FORCED to find alternatives. Friends and sports have given me a great alternative. Even simple things like hanging out in coffee shops by myself, and reading books (usually psychology-related stuff). Movies. The list is endless, but you have to find what works for you.
_________________________
Husky

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#447575 - 09/18/13 07:51 PM Re: 4000 Hours: A confession of sorts [Re: Publius]
Rich1967 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/17/13
Posts: 270
Loc: PA
Publius,

I had a friend once that played games all the time as well and he worked hard to make sure no one knew how much time and money he spent on those games. For him it came down to a choice of what he wanted more in life. Living life eventually won out when he realized life was going to leave him behind if he didn't engage it.

For you games sound more like a coping mechanism or maybe even a defense mechanism - something that helped you survive for as long as you have. That's probably why you feel so vulnerable about giving it up. It's probably something more to you than what it was to my friend.

For me my escape was into a fantasy world in my head. I would make up whole new stories in my head placed in the Star Trek universe. I also spent countless hours watching TV show and movies. Anything to escape the pain of my reality, of my loneliness.

I still watch TV, but in moderation now. No more Star Trek fantasies though :-) I spend more time trying to push my boundaries created by my CSA. In my case that's reaching out to other guys and trying to create healthy friendships with them.

I guess for me the things I missed out on in life and want to regain became more important to me than the things I did to avoid life. I wanted them enough to endure the pain of trying new things. So far it's been worth it.
_________________________
Rich

"Me too" - I don't think I will ever get tired of saying or hearing these two words.

My Story:
http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=441625#Post441625

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#447577 - 09/18/13 08:05 PM Re: 4000 Hours: A confession of sorts [Re: Publius]
Onesimus75 Offline


Registered: 08/22/13
Posts: 158
Loc: Minnesota
Going with a big "Me too" on the video games. Though I've cut back a lot since going back to school and finishing my degree. It isn't that I don't like the escape.

I don't hurt anyone. I get a big score as a reward. And I don't have to deal with all of my real-life drama.

BUT... there's just so much I need to accomplish that I'm down to 30-60 minutes a day out of sheer necessity.

But I hear you. I hit the rank of Legend at Halo Reach, and looked at the controller and thought... or I could have learned French.


Edited by Onesimus75 (09/18/13 08:16 PM)
_________________________
We are not defined by our faults, or our wounds, but by the truth within us, which nothing can take away.

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