Press Start: Stop Chasing Dreams, Start Living Them
Press Start is a new introspective column on gaming, life, and recovery. Periodically I want to bring something more to the table than a standard gaming preview or review. While it is true that I don’t want to preach recovery, if you, the reader, get anything out of this then it is completely worth it to me. If you don’t, I understand.
It’s time to stop chasing dreams and start living dreams.
This is my new mantra. Addicted-Gamers.com is part of that dream. It started as an experiment on a blog that I realized I wanted to grow into something more. Sure, every gamer wants to play video games for a living. I want more than that. I want to write for a living. I want to run a successful website for a living. I want to be able to express and share my viewpoint and experiences to those that will find them enlightening and/or entertaining. It isn’t an easy task, but like my recovery, I’m committed and willing to the dream.
It feels there are times when people have some level of expectation of me because I’m a recovering alcoholic. It is ironic because of all of the expectations of me when I was drinking and pissing my life away. It’s as if I’m all better now so I can do all of the things I was supposed to do during those dark times in my life where I could barely muster the strength, emotionally and physically, to get out of bed and live a reality I was too scared to face. I can’t force anyone to change their perception of me. What I can do is change my perceptions and show people through action the changes taking place in me and my life. With time and a lot of effort (it takes just as much effort to be sober as it did to be a drunk), I can be a productive member of the human race rather than an outcast that doesn’t know what I am or what I want to do.
When I was a raging drunk stuck in the black morass of anxiety and depression, I couldn’t get anything accomplished. I talked the big game. I wanted to do the grandiose things my best friends, my brothers, talked about doing. I couldn’t take the action though. I was afraid of taking the challenges and meeting them head-on. I didn’t want to fail again. I’d been failing enough most of my life. My brother flat out told me that I was wasting my potential and that I wasn’t committed. I wanted to tell him to fuck himself sideways because he had no idea what was going on in my life. The truth is he didn’t have any idea what was going on in my life. I don’t think either of my best friends or family knew what was going on in my life. I didn’t even know.
He was also right. I was completely wasting my potential. Nothing on God’s Green Earth could’ve gone right while I was mired in the quicksand of alcoholism. It doesn’t matter what grand opportunity might’ve presented itself, I would’ve still found a way to blow it up. I couldn’t meet any expectations placed on me, whether they were someone else’s or my own.
Now that I’m close to a year sober and working a program that has truly changed my life for the better, why do I feel that I am still trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations? Or are they my own preconceived expectations for everyone else? I’m not sure. If I may be selfish for a moment, because what’s stopped me from being selfish my whole alcoholic life, the greatest gift I’ve gotten is ambition. I can set goals and I get to work towards them now. I don’t think people truly understand how important that is to me and the worst part is me saying it doesn’t seem to be enough. Now it seems that with all of the things I need to do and prioritize, I’m still wasting my time and potential. All I can say is I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got. If I’m not doing what is expected of me by other people, well that’s not my priority. I need to be doing what I expect of myself and my higher power. The trick, and believe me it is tricky, is balancing it all.
This is why I started Addicted-Gamers.com. It is a project I’ve always said I would do. It started with a logo idea that I had to do. Then it turned into a blog. Now it is a full blown website. I’ve learned to ask for help because I couldn’t do that in the past. That help may not be going the way I want or expect it to and that’s okay. I want to grow Addicted-Gamers.com into something bigger and better. It’s a tough balancing act, working a full-time job (while looking for a new one), working a recovery that is like a part-time job, updating a website in spare time, oh and finding time to play games in order to be able to do those updates. I also have to find time to strengthen my relationship with the love of my life, my children and family because of all of the time lost or hurting my loved ones. These are the things I do on a daily basis.
Live your dreams. Don’t chase them.