Directional signs, one saying "HOPE" and the other, smaller one, saying "Despair".
Coping Skills

Excited For A “Good Day”

I had a great day yesterday! I missed Church and was quite depressed about it!

Wait, why is that a good day?

I say it’s a good day because I learned a lot from it. I was very sad to miss Church because I love my Church family and I feel supported there, but the thing is, I know why I missed Church. I missed it because I had spent too much time gaming on Saturday. I played games all day on Saturday, and that messed me up. This comes back to addiction, so let me start at the beginning.

I have an addiction to video games. I play them all the time, sometimes continuously throughout an entire day, and then sometimes that problem for several days in a row. I’ve noticed that if I play games too long, I get a sort of buzz from it, and find myself dazed, as if on drugs. I’ve never been much of a drug user, but I feel that the sort of adrenaline I get from gaming is probably another type of drug use. For a time, I intended to quit gaming altogether just as some people quit hard drugs like heroin altogether. I thought there was no other way.

For years, I considered myself in “Contemplation Stage” regarding my video game addiction. I knew that I had to quit altogether, but I was not even trying to do so. I was not really in Recovery in that aspect of my life.

Then I started to read a book called “The Freedom Model for Addictions”. This book argues that for drug addiction, the best approach is often Moderation, rather than Abstinence. At the very least, it suggests that whether one chooses Moderation or Abstinence, it should be a willing choice, rather than a fear of addiction. It’s an interesting book, and while I don’t 100% agree with everything I read so far, I enjoyed it and feel that I learned from it. I haven’t finished it yet, but I liked what I got already.

My therapist also asked me to do a “Mood Diary” of how I feel before and after gaming. I found that for me, a couple hours of gaming actually gave me energy and positivity. But gaming more than that brought on depression and a feeling of being dazed, as if on drugs. I learned from that, that perhaps the best approach for me is moderation. Use games for a couple hours a day, but no more than that. This is how I decided to tailor my recovery to my specific needs.

[I think a big part of this lesson was that I learn from many sources how to recover and live my best life. In the same way, I hope my blog is helpful to you, Gentle Readers, but I also strongly desire that you not rely solely on this blog. I am not a god and I don’t know everything you need to learn. I merely hope that what I’ve learned can be a useful tool in your Recovery or the Recovery of your loved ones, whoever reads this.]

On Saturday, I did not moderate my usage. I got dazed and depressed. I called a friend in despair because I didn’t know how to pull out of it. I tried some coping skills such as driving around, and getting a shake from Steak ‘N Shake, but it wasn’t enough. I did too much damage that day for me to get to Church on Sunday. But that’s alright. I learned my lesson. If I truly do apply this lesson, then my Church attendance will be even stronger, and my faith and wellness will continue to improve. I’m excited that I made a mistake because it helped me learn. It’s the role of a student of healing!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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How I Entered Into Recovery

December 9, 2019