girl and tablet

Image courtesy of yingyo/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sometimes I think I’ve never grown up—-that I can get lost in the land of play and stay for hours. Sometimes that is exactly what my soul needs to rejuvenate itself.  Last night I downloaded a free game on my KindleHD, and I played it for about thirty minutes. It “sucked the juice” out of my Kindle, and I had to stop playing and recharge “my toy.”  While it was charging I got on my laptop and purchased the PC version of the game —–then I stayed up until almost 1:00 AM playing the new game.  When I went to bed I immediately fell asleep, but one of the images I remember seeing right before I woke up this morning was an image of the new game’s screen.

So, am I caught in yet another addiction? If so, as long as it does no harm, I am not going to worry about it. If it becomes all I do, if I stop loving and feeding my dogs, if I stop eating, exercising, drinking fluids, etc. so I can continue playing “the game” then I am in trouble! If my game playing starts to interfere with my functioning then I am approaching the land of “disorder” as it is defined by those who work in mental health.

I must admit, though, that my childhood games were healthier for me. They involved no electricity, and they taught my mind to be creative and introduced me to the land of imagination. I did not have any other children to play with on my isolated farm, but that didn’t stop the fun. There were trees, moss, baby birds, frogs, terrapins (Latin and “hillbilly” for land turtle), fireflies, and June Bugs to play with, and the games got my body  moving and exercising right along with my brain. If I encountered a snake, wasp, spider, or scorpion I knew to keep as far away as possible.  It was another day and time, and children could play freely without fearing abduction or worse.

I need to go back to analyzing what is happening when I get deeply engrossed in playing an electronic game.  One of the ways I cope with anxiety or stress is to engage in “comfort activity.” In the past that has been drinking alcohol and compulsively eating. Both of these activities are turned over to my Higher Power now on a daily basis, so I think the allure of last night’s game was a direct response to my not so healthy co-dependency needs to control and fix other people. Yesterday I wrote about a friend’s terminal addiction to alcohol, and I think my deep excursion into electronic game playing last night was a means of escaping into a “comfort activity” so I would stop worrying about something I cannot fix.

Praying helps me a lot with accepting and living with things I cannot change, but once in a while, escape into something that totally occupies my mind and gives me a “time-out”  from obsessive thinking about whatever is bothering me is extremely helpful. The “recovery guru” who sits in my head and facilitates the “healthier committee meetings” that take place therein has not failed, however, to remind me to be careful that whatever escape I find does not become just another addictive crutch.

Enough. I know severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes are forecast for our region today, so I wish all my readers who live nearby a safe and hopefully uneventful day.  Come to think of it, that is not a bad wish for everyone!  May God bless and keep you.

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