My Iphone Addiction


I wanted to write a short post on my latest issue I have overcome. About 3 years ago, I started playing games/apps on my IPhone. Clash of Clans, Boom Beach, This Means War, Candy Crush, Castle Clash, Game of War, Hay Day, Fruit Ninja, Temple Run, Words with Friends, Bike Race- to name a few. It started off as a fun and entertaining time killer when standing in a long line or when I was waiting for my pizza pocket to finish heating up. As time went by, I noticed I was playing these games more and more. Collecting my fictitious gold and elixor, tapping the screen thousands of times manipulating the lighted pixels. Attacking other players across the world. Slowly, I became addicted.

Upgrading buildings and valiant fighters to the highest levels took maximum amounts of fake yellow stuff and fake purple stuff that accrue slowly over time. Once I had enough theoretical gold for my next upgrade, I had to wait up to 14 days for the upgrade to complete. It sounds absolutely ridiculous but for some reason waiting two weeks for an imaginary missile air defense to upgrade was satisfying and fulfilled my life as I knew it. Did I survive heroin addiction for this?

My everyday schedule consisted of checking all my games first thing out of bed. Well, actually, before I got out of bed. The more games you have, the longer this task takes. At times, I had up to 15 games. Usually I would delete the ones that didn’t keep my interest but there were 4 or 5 that I had played steadily for about 3 years. When I could get away with it, I played them at work and even while driving to and from work. I couldn’t go to bed without checking my games because I might get attacked! While my wife would try and talk to me, she had to talk to a man who was staring down at his phone. I tried the best I could to listen to my wife and collect my gold at the same time. There is definitely no problem here…

The games/apps are usually free to download but they have in-app purchases you can buy with real money. This is where the trigger flipped for me. The couple times my wife knew I wanted to spend real money on these games she was okay with. When I talked with her about spending real money to speed up the upgrades, I felt really embarrassed because spending real money on a bag of imaginary gems is preposterous. I knew deep down, it was a problem for me. I started spending money without anyone knowing. I knew it was something I couldn’t hide forever. Our bank statements would tell the real story and after hundreds of dollars and numerous secret purchases, I knew I had to stop.

Luckily for me, my wife understood my addiction to these games. I hated that I couldn’t leave my phone for even a second. I have since deleted all my games/apps from my phone. The first week was extremely difficult. I was used to grabbing for my phone first thing in the morning. Now, I had to learn to get out of bed like a normal human being. The extra time I get to spend with my wife makes it completely worth it. Not to mention productivity in every day life. Over the past 3 years, countless hours, as well as a good chunk of change has been wasted on these games. I have too much to offer to allow it to continue. I have big plans that will never manifest if I continue to do what I was doing.

There was some great things that came from these games. I met my wife playing Texas Holdem Poker and have also met some great people. But because of the addictive pull in playing these games, I had to thrown in the towel.

If anyone else has had this issue as well or is currently playing phone games/apps, I would love to hear your view and experience on this topic. Thanks for reading!



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Bulletproofing My Relationships in Sobriety


My sobriety in the past– I noticed a reoccurring pattern.

1) I would get sober.

2) I would get lonely.

3) I would search fearlessly for a girlfriend.

4) I would find a girlfriend.

5) Our relationship would fall apart.

6) I would relapse.

7) Rinse and repeat.

After realizing why this continued to happen and what I was doing wrong, it all seemed so simple. There is a very important reason addicts are told to wait until they have acquired at least one year of continuous sobriety before they start any kind of intimate relationship. I think this is great advise and if you truly want long term sobriety, please follow AAs simple relationship advise. I think its a good first step, but to have a meaningful, happy, non-toxic relationship, a lot more is required.

Once I heard this in an AA meeting, I took it very serious (waiting at least 1 year). I knew I needed some time to learn more about myself and why I kept ending up freezing cold, homeless, running from the law- and self-inflicted needle scars up and down my battered arms. A real catch for any woman, right?

My life changed drastically (for the better) in 2006 when I spent 13 months behind bars for various drug related charges and theft. When I was released from jail in 2007, I decided to continue on the path to self-knowledge, sobriety, and continued celibacy.  No dating, no searching for women. Only self knowledge, spirituality, and the repairing and paying off of past restitution. I had dug a huge crater and I knew if I were to drag a new, unsuspecting woman into it, it could only end in despair. Relapse would most likely follow.

Waiting (including jail time) almost 3 years before I entered into a new relationship gave me greater hope that things would finally work out. I had built my life back to the point where my confidence and charm was second only to my sobriety and happiness. Guess what happened? The relationship fell apart and shortly after, I relapsed. Why? What did I do wrong this time? Did I not do things right this time? Nope. I sure didn’t. I didn’t put on the Kevlar. The relationship was not bulletproofed.


Until I met my current wife, I have ALWAYS done relationships the wrong way. Whether it was lack of knowledge, too young, or too dumb… No it was none of those. It was fear. Now I no longer have any excuse. If a relationship starts wrong, it will inherently end wrong. It will be too weak to continue on. If I build my home on sand, it will eventually wash away. There is love and there is lust. What is the difference? When I say I love someone, is it really love- or is it lust? I believe that “love” must have moral and virtuous objective qualities attached. That person must possess continual virtuous traits; empathetic, warm, caring, helpful, non-violent, slow to anger, etc. This is fundamental in separating this love-lust dichotomy. For Dustin to love someone, they must have virtuous qualities about them!  Being pretty or sexy or beautiful is not virtuous, it is accidental, historical genetics. Relationships are so often founded on base-of-the-brain, mammal instinct; you are delicious so lets bump our nasty-bits. Relationships will often go years without either partner knowing even the most basic of questions about the other. Important, fundamental questions about compatibility. What is your definition of love? What religion are you? Do you believe in God? Will a difference in religion be a problem? Do you want kids? How will you discipline your children? Can you even have kids? What was your childhood like? Do you have unresolved childhood issues or abuse? What are you political views? Some relationships will start and end without either party asking any of these questions. We are often too concerned with manipulation, playing games, lying, jealousy and lust. Any relationship structured on these unethical premises will cause insurmountable problems, but we see it all the time (including my own past relationships.) They are weak and can’t create anything healthy or worthwhile.

The problem was- I was too afraid to ask these kind of questions. I thought I would push the other person away from me if we talked about such big and scary topics early on in the relationship. Instead, I let two or three years of wasted time and energy dictate our relationship compatibility. It is much easier to just have lustful sex with an empty and hollow relationship and think we are in love when we really don’t know anything about each other. Just agreeing with whatever. Not having any kind of opinion or identity. Enabling each other because its the short-term path of less fear and resistance.Then when the relationship ends with hostility, bitterness and anger, I would wonder what went wrong. It is so much easier to be “liked” then to be honest. This is true even for every day friendships. Do you have friends who work harder to be liked rather than being honest? I wonder often if there is a diminishing amount of people left in the world with real honesty, real integrity. Someone who will call you out on your shit. That’s what I need in my life. If they aren’t calling me out on my shit, then they are doing behind my back, amongst other people. I may have mentioned this before but the other day, someone had posted something to online that was clearly a bad idea for that person and yet all of their so-called friends posted how great of an idea it was. Not one person mentioned how it could cause serious long term concerns or issues. Yes you should run out in front of a moving train! In today’s world, honesty is very unpopular. I want to continue striving for “unpopular.”

I have made many mistakes in my life. I do accept that I still screw up often, I accept that I still make mistakes, of course- but I continue to work at not repeating these mistakes.I want to become a better person. If I can’t accept that I am doing something wrong, I will never try to change it. Being aware of what I was doing wrong in the past has now allowed my current relationship with my wife to continue to grow stronger. We do not argue, we do not raise our voices at each other, we do not call each other names and we both try to work with moral and ethical principles. When we disagree with each other, we negotiate some form of win-win situation that makes us both happy. There is no concerns or issues over jealousy and that is a first for me. I never thought it could work, but I promise you, it does. Like S. Molyneux says “The only thing that will separate my wife and I will be a coffin lid.”

Relationships that are founded on moral ethics will be bulletproof!