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How to help with gaming addiction

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    I have a bright college student who is spending more time gaming than studying. Grades are starting to suffer. I’m trying to figure out what to do/not do while said kid is home, and I’m watching the negative effect on family life & siblings because of the time spent gaming. Praying for wisdom and guidance. I feel like God told me to find stories to share with my kid, so now I’m asking God to help me find the stories, and asking here for help. I thought I might read Scott’s testimony to all my kids.

    NathanNathan McDaniel

    I have been struggling with this addiction myself. I’m 28 now and am only just starting to grasp how much gaming and social media are taking control of my life. If my personal story can help then I’m happy to share.

    I’ve been gaming most of my youth into adulthood. Only recently has it really began to bother me how much I play and how much I’m losing as a result. I find more and more things that I need to accomplish or, what bothers me more, things that I want to accomplish being thrown to the side in favor of another random youtube video or another mission to complete in a game. I’d be up till 5am and sleep till late in the afternoon. It was miserable and besides youtube videos and games, I’d get nothing else done.

    Despite desires to pray a daily rosary, complete work on stories I’m writing, or games I’m designing, or artwork I’m accomplishing, I’d keep gaming or watching videos instead. I found myself helpless to the whims of just another video or just another game. I’m a year away from graduating college and this pass semester suffered as this addiction ramped up due to covid-19.

    I’ve begun reading Scott Weenan’s “The Twelve Steps and the Sacraments” to help me work through my addiction. I’ve also been doing research on “process additions” as a gaming addiction falls into that category of addictions.

    The 2 biggest things for me to realize were as follows. A, gaming is an addiction I have and not a hobby I enjoy. I was subservient to it and could not accomplish things I wanted to do or knew I needed to do. B, I need to control my gaming , not eliminate it. This has been the hardest and slipperiest one to manage. When thinking of addiction and “being sober” it usually means being completely without. Not all addictions function this way. An eating addiction can’t be solved by not eating. Thus “being sober” may come to be that it is within acceptable parameters.

    I currently put my “sobriety” as being able to keep videos and gaming between the hours of 5pm-11pm. Beyond those hours, I have to keep away from videos and games and be doing what either needs to be done or things I’ve been working towards accomplishing. I need to be in bed by 12am and up by 7am.

    It’s taken me a week and a half just to even begin to even come close to this. Last night was the first time in a while I got a decent amount of sleep and got up at 7am today. I still get instances of watching a video here and there, and I still find myself playing phone games in bed so I’m still working towards sobriety. I’m working towards participating in the online recovery sessions here on the site, though my anxiety has been keeping me from them thus far. Perhaps this post will be a step in that direction.

    I hope that some of that helps in some way. I know when my parents came to me about my gaming, it usually resulted in a fight and made the addiction get worse not better. I had to realize myself how it was hurting me. That’s probably the biggest thing I can emphasize, be very careful about how to approach them. Maybe try to work with them to implement a schedule/conditions that have to be met before gaming. Take up reading or drawing or something else when it’s not game time. It’s gotta come from them though/they gotta be on board or it’ll just get push back and ignored.

    No matter what you do, it’ll take great patience and understanding. All things are possible with God. The soul is willing, but the flesh is weak. Into Your hand Lord I commend my spirit.

    God Bless +JMJ+

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