The intensity of the cyber world overwhelms some people. They game excessively, turning away from family, friends and other activities they once enjoyed; some use social networking sites to excess. People, who in most cases are highly intelligent and creative, continue to turn away from the real world in spite of negative consequences. They turn their backs on reality and become absorbed in a world of imagination and fantasy. I used to be one of these people.
I am a recovering cyber addict. I wasted years of my life in front of a computer screen, squandering my potential. I felt pangs of guilt and sadness after gaming binges and Internet “marathons” that lasted for weeks, but this was not enough to get me to stop. I hid my behaviors from everyone for almost ten years and kept awareness of the problem from myself. Finally, I ‘hit bottom.’ I realized that my life was out of control. When I finally admitted I had a problem, I was overcome with disgust at myself because I had done absolutely nothing with my talents.
Through therapy, friends, family and a variety of support groups, I managed to start recovering from my addiction. After I had stayed away from games and social networking for a few years, I began to help others do the same. I befriended fellow gamers and cyber addicts and tried to help them the way my friends had helped me. At first, my assistance was informal, but slowly I began to organize and facilitate groups for cyber addicts. I now run support groups for people whose lives have been swallowed up by their insatiable cyber urges. They get the support they need to stop their addiction and many feel empowered to channel their energies in positive directions. I also consult with families who need help dealing with this insidious addiction in their loved ones.
This website and my book are rooted in my journey through addiction and my experiences with people I have helped professionally.