Hello, my name is Rachel and I am addicted to playing computer and app games.  It has been three weeks since I stopped playing Cookie Jam.

Whew… what a trip.

Yes, I miss it at times. I suppose you can’t do something for so long and spend so much time on it and not miss it. I may have wasted a lot of time while playing it, and I didn’t use it as a truly good way to relax or decompress, but I did enjoy playing it. I just didn’t enjoy wasting so much time with it.

I did notice some “withdrawal symptoms.” I would want to play and think about opening the app just for, you know, “one or two games. As if I’ve *ever* been able to play only one or two games. Then I would frustrated and not know quite what to do. Still, I think stopping cold turkey really was the only way to make it work for me.

So, what’s the result of three weeks without it?

Well, I can honestly say that my word count HAS increased. And that’s my word count on my work in progress, not just word count on Facebook. I still find myself clicking off what I’m working on and clicking over to the internet, but at least I’m not playing games. I am either reading sites that support my writing (some are writing sites, some are research). And, yes, there’s quite a bit of falling down the social media rabbit hole, but at least it’s more interacting with people. I post and respond to other people’s posts which is a lot more fun that matching colors and getting annoyed when things don’t line up and I can’t pass a level.

I’m not completely “cured”. While I’m not playing any Facebook or other online games, Trivia Crack is still on my phone and I use that while watching television, waiting in lines, or during down times at my son’s baseball games. I haven’t been able to kick the habit completely, but as several people pointed out, it’s only a problem if/when it’s interfering with my getting things done or I’m using for relaxing and it’s not doing anything to relax me. I am definitely more deliberate when I play and I avoid it when I’m supposed to be working.

And what have I learned?

Well first of all, I learned that I actually COULD just stop playing. I really thought it would take a couple of tries but after that post three weeks ago I stopped and I haven’t gone back. Putting it out here as a blog (and letting folks know about that on Facebook) definitely helped. It made me feel accountable. It’s been three weeks, that means not playing is my new habit.

I also learned – okay maybe it’s more of a reminder – that when something becomes important to me, when it’s something that matters I can do what needs to be done. I can even undo what needs to be undone when that’s called for. It’s good to be reminded of this, good to have an example for the next time I’m facing a change or commitment that intimidates me.

For all of you who commented on the first post about this, who sent words of encouragement, and who believed I could do this – THANK YOU. There is nothing like support when you’re heading into the waters of the unsure and unknown.

I’m ready to sail onto a new challenge.

 

 

Level 3000 – Part Two
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