When my father passed away suddenly and painfully from pancreatic cancer in 2011 I was devastated. Since he was in his 60s and had been disabled for quite some time, the realization that someday I’d lose him was always there. However, nothing prepared me for the terrifying way pancreatic cancer can sneak up and ravage a person so quickly, turning them into an empty shell right before your eyes.
The death of a close family member is one of the most difficult experiences in life. Coping with that loss and the subsequent grief can be quite difficult with a thousand jumbled and raw emotions bombarding you from every direction. You can feel lost, alone, and completely overwhelmed. At times, parts of you can’t bear the truth. It’s extremely tempting to hide away from all the pain, seeking any means to escape, without realizing it only prolongs the pain.
My Attraction To Games
Those first few weeks after my father’s death are a blur. I cried sometimes, but mostly I was numb with shock. I slept as much as I could, trying desperately to heal from the trauma of my loss. Soon, though, nightmares of my solo hospital watch during my father’s final hours started to haunt me, and I no longer could sleep. They became so disturbing and intense, I attempted to go days without sleep. Yet, soon, even during my waking hours, I could no longer avoid them. If I didn’t meet the images in my sleep, they popped into my head while I was awake.
Consequently, my only concern became finding a way to ward off those disturbing images. I soon found refuge in playing video games on my computer. It didn’t matter what kind or whether they were online or offline. As long as they were keeping my mind busy at night, I was playing them. As long as I had some new puzzle to solve or some new level to beat, my mind was too occupied to remember the hero in my life was gone forever.
My Addiction’s Impact On My Life
Little did I know, though, that my gaming was slowly turning from a healthy grief outlet into an actual addiction. One morning, the reality hit me so hard it actually made me physically ill! As usual, I was sitting at my desk still playing games after pulling another all-nighter. My 5-year-old son was sitting next to me watching, and then he disappeared. A few moments later he returned with his favorite toy cars and asked if I could play with him.
I absentmindedly brushed him off, telling him I would later after I finished just one more level. Immediately, he ran off sobbing, “Mommy, I hate you! All you ever do is play games. You never play with me anymore!”
His words knocked the breath out of me. Although I was still caring for my children’s physical needs, I was an emotionless robot. As soon as one task was finished, I was returning to play games. Instead of being a guide in their own grief, I was completely oblivious that they were even affected at all!
Overcoming My Addiction
When I caught up with my son I apologized and we had a good cry together. We talked about missing my father. Then I vowed to myself that I was going to face my grief, not only for me but for my children. I put all my video games away and set out to find more healthy ways to get through my grief.
I started a journal to I vent my feelings. Instead of avoiding it all, I surrounded myself with things that reminded me of my father. I looked through old family photos with my children and told them stories from my childhood.
At first, when all the feelings started to resurface it hurt so much I thought I was going to die! Again, I was tempted to go right back to playing video games to escape. Every time, though, I reminded myself of that fateful morning and of how much my children needed me. As time passed, it got easier. The ‘need’ to play video games faded, and thankfully, now it’s disappeared altogether.
The horrible tragedy that me and my family went through and the trauma that we all endured cannot be explained in words and I pray that no one has to go through what I did and while video games did prove to be a welcome change by distracting me from my grief, it ended up doing more harm than good as mentioned above, which in a way was similar to the addiction I had for judi online terpercaya, but, as always, time has proven to be the best healer and things are coming back to normal at a slow and steady phase, though the loss still rankles in all of us.