I’m onto my PlayStation 3 again. Once I start, I can’t stop. Fortunately, I manage to divorce this addiction with the help of coaching. I’ve been a gamer since young, from Nintendo, Sega, PlayStation 1, 2 and 3. Of course not forgetting the PC games as well. There were times the playing time went out of control. There were times I wanted to play it daily just like a junkie who wanted to have a daily fix.
I was irritated, when my parent brought me for visitation. I blamed my mum for lingering at my relative’s place for such a long hours as I wanted to be at home early to play Delta Force or Dragonball on the Nintendo.
When I was serving national service, I actually had a 1 week leave accompanied by Final Fantasy 7 via PlayStation 1.
With playing those games, I got hours of entertainment, and nothing else. Since playing games is not giving me anything, how come I got hooked onto it?
Isn’t this addiction?
Not serving you on anything yet you enjoy the fix. Well, I did benefit from playing games in my work somehow, I will share it later in the post.
What makes addiction an addiction? You have an addiction, when this formula stands true in areas of your life.
Addiction = Activities + Out of Control + Guilt
What leads us to an addiction?
On surface, addiction seems like it’s the way to life and enjoyment. But when we dig deeper, usually there are something else about the addiction.
Usually addictions are not serving us in anyway. But what made us stuck to them? Worse if you are into drugs, gambling, alcohol or porn. In terms of values or moral of the society, these vices are not widely accepted. Yet they are the worst kind of addiction that no only harm self, they also harm those around you. I have 2 main reasons that got us addicted to something, see if you agree.
Avoidance or Filling A Gap
The 2 reasons are either to avoid something or to fill something or both.
For some avoidance of the reality brings them to addiction. Some got stress up in work, so they sink in pubs and drown themselves with alcohol to avoid the problems in work. These addictions become a panadol, it helps to reduce the pain.
Then we have the other reason which is filling a gap. A gap that people are searching in their inner world. It could be providing them with thrill, drama, emotion engagements, confidence etc.
Playing PlayStation 3 fills my gap. It provides me with excitement and thrill. It gives me a fantasy of me being thehero in the virtual world slaying Minotaurs(God of War), exploring caves(Uncharted) and assassinating corrupted officials(Assassin’s Creed). In real life, I’m just a normal human being. But in the game, I possess super human abilities, achieving things that a normal human can never achieve.
It feels like plugging in and being transported to a world of possibilities. I got addicted into this fantasy world.
We can have a third reason. Both avoidance and filling a gap.
An example of having both the reasons is when I was having a mild depression, playing game becomes an avoidance. I escaped into the game world to avoid facing the reality. The game world became a place to forget my worries. At the same time, I found thrill and provides me a place to be a hero again.
The thing is we know that addiction doesn’t support our lives, but we just love to indulge in them, isn’t it? Is there no way out? How can we divorce our addiction?
The formula to addiction:
Addiction = Activities + Out of Control + Guilt
There is is nothing wrong in the activity itself. Now you add Out of Control + Guilt, you have addiction. Replace Out of Control + Guilt with CONTROL, and you will have:
Activities + Control
You successfully divorce your addiction.
It seems so simple. How do you apply it practically?
Before you can replace anything, finding what is this CONTROL about is critical. Ask:
“With this addiction am I avoiding or filling a gap?”
Your answer to the above question will determine a different method of divorce.
If the answer is avoiding:
Here’s the simplified account of my example in avoiding due to mild depression.
“What am I avoiding?” – Meeting people.
“What do I make meeting people means?” – Not trustworthy.
“Who took away the trust?” – XYZ on this incident.
“When do I like to complete regarding XYZ?” – Now.
(At this point, I will go through a couple of completion tools to support my client to have a closure.)
“What would I take on to completely reduce the addiction?”
At this point, you can include a replacement. (Explain this in a while)
If the answer is to fill a gap:
My example of having thrill, drama and being a hero.
“What does thrill, drama and being a hero provides me?” – Fun, control, immediate gratification.
“What does control provides me?” – Power.
“What does a powerful person means?” – authority, confident
“How else can I access confident?” – Knowing that I am good enough.
“How will I be good enough?” – I decide that I’m good enough.
“When am I going to decide?” – Now.
“What steps will I take on to remove this addiction?” – Reducing time spent on it.
At this point, you can again include a replacement. (Explain this in a while)
Like replacing Out of Control + Guilt with CONTROL, you replace the addiction with another activity. Say I am addicted to PlayStation 3, and whenever I have that urge again, instead of switching on the machine, I go for a swim. Because when I swim more laps in a shorter time, that provides me with power too.
Then you may ask what if you get addicted to the new replacement. Well, swimming is definitely a better addiction than PlayStation 3. Preferably have the replacement as something that deems to be a better hobby.
A replacement is necessary because most people will find it strange to have an emptiness when they stop engaging in a particular addiction suddenly. We have to fill this emptiness quickly before they will return to their old addiction.
I have successfully divorce my love for anime and comics. And I have been able to keep PlayStation 3 under control.