Monday, August 26, 2013

No, It's Not an Addiction, But Still . . .

Every once in a while, an event happens in your life that is all too revealing of your true self.

On one of our trips down to SA to visit before the move, my daughter introduced me to Candy Crush Saga, just as something to pass the time in the airport.  And it served that purpose quite well.  Mindless activity that could be interrupted at anytime yet made the minutes tick by a bit quicker. 

I'd heard a lot about my friends who were addicted to the game, but I didn't expect myself to get too hooked.  You only get five "lives" at a time, and you have to wait 30 minutes for another "life" when you've used them up.  Unless I decided to pay for more lives (which I had no intention of doing), there was a built-in monitor to keep me from going on too long.

I still have never paid for more lives . . . although, when I got stuck on level 65 for a few weeks, I did pay for one of the extra help things to try to move the game along (see?  I don't even know what they are called -- I can't be addicted).  The extra help didn't help me; now I know not to waste my money again.

Last week, I was stuck completing a "quest" to move on to a higher level (if you play, you know what I mean; if you don't, it doesn't matter).  It was a level I'd completed earlier, so it really annoyed me that I was not able to clear all this stupid jelly again.  Finally, in one glorious round filled with striped candies and sprinkled chocolates, the jelly was all eliminated and I rejoiced to move forward.

Except it didn't let me move forward.  It said I failed to complete the level.  Apparently, there was a point goal in addition to the blast-all-the-jelly goal, and I didn't get enough points.  (Never had that happen before . . . I didn't know it could happen . . . )

Here's the thing, folks:  I almost cried.  To have that moment of exultation and then suddenly crash down to the pit of failure again just about brought me to tears.

And that little voice inside of me said to my despairing self, Really? This is who you are now?  You've let a stupid, monotonous game on your phone that has no connection with or consequence on reality drag you into a pit of despair?

Now, I do realize that my emotions are a little more on edge these days just because of the general stress level in my life, so I don't blame the game entirely.  But it was definitely a wake up call.  Games are supposed to relax you . . . and this game is not relaxing me.

So, I've put myself in rehab.  I'm not allowing myself to play Candy Crush at home any more.  I'm limiting that game to times when I'm out and about and have a few minutes I have to wait for something and little else to do with my time.  At least until the rest of my life has calmed down and my emotions are more settled.

Now, Sudoku . . . no restrictions there.  I can control that habit.  Yes, I can.

No comments: