Read and apply this to your life, and I promise you it will help any addict if followed correctly. It is long, but what I have to say cannot really be shortcutted or things cut out very easily, as there are so many aspects to cover and for some it has to be broken down in order to be understood...
yeah take it from someone whos been highly addicted to SL. I have been set back financially, poor performance at work and in every day life due to massive sleep deprivation (when that "few more minutes" turned into "few more hours" on days when I had to go to work the next morning)... the list of RL detriments to my health goes way on. From someone who knows what its like to experience addiction to SL, my best advice for now is
1. first and foremost
"There is a way to forsake much and lose nothing; and to do this is to gain much, much more."( -Me)
What that means is, and what I personally believe that God showed me when I quit before is that you have to see that you're gaining more than you're forsaking when you leave an addiction behind.
Think on the things you gain by losing the addiction, think of the bad things the addiction causes for you (and dont forget and only remember the good in it because if you do, you start to want to come back... people do this with partners too).
2. Keep making RL personal goals and striving for those because when one stops making goals, one falls behind. (Or as I like to say, "If you're not moving forward you're moving backward.") This, too, makes room for relapse. 3. Small doors lead to big doors.
For any addiction it starts out as just a little bit.
Then a little more...
A little more...
Until eventually it's a full fledged problem.
It's easier to say no to going through, or actually to shut the smaller doors than it is to close the bigger ones... trust me, they get heavier with size. For instance, I cannot play computer games, video games, dress-up apps, draw furries or nekos, because it is a trigger effect for me and makes me want to return to Second Life. Everything I look for from those things is what I actually find in SL, so because the want for those triggers is not as great as my want for what the triggers lead to, I have to shut down those triggers.
4. one more thing...
I've noticed that literally every. single. addiction. releases dopamine / seratonin / "a happy chemical" in our brain. If we didnt find pleasure in it, we wouldn't want it to begin with so this makes sense.
That being said, I believe one thing that is VITAL is to find healthy replacements for that pleasure, such as spending time outdoors or spending time with family / friends. If not, one often becomes miserable for lack of pleasure and seeks out that addictive pleasure once again.
Regardless of who on this forum doesn't believe you're addicted, deep down you know whether you are and probably how strongly you are/have been as well. If you know you are then dont let anyone convince you otherwise because you have to admit it in order to solve it; if you're not solving it you're causing yourself troubles. If you're admitting it and you quit before stick with it.
Me personally, I always say, "Am I really going to let some inanimate object have control over me??"
Funny thing is, it can't. It's an illusion. I am in control all along but choosing to do what I strongly desire to do because I see value in that way I am choosing. Thats why it is soooo important for addicts to utterly uproot their beliefs and change their priorities and what they see value in.
If you dont control yourself, SOMEONE is bound to come in and control you for you. (example if you have attendance problems because you are playing SL, there are consequences; loss of job, etc.)
I hope this helps others along the way. I know it's a lot to read but thanks for sticking it through and reading it anyway, to all who did. Good luck and best wishes to all. :cathappy: