Drugs and Tampons

I had experienced a very short, yet rather disturbing dream last week. It woke me in the middle of the night so I knew I needed to remember the dream. I replayed each deranged and confusing scene in my mind until I knew I would remember it the next day. Because of the strange and disturbing nature of my dream, I wanted my therapist to help me unravel its hidden metaphorical meaning. Here is the dream, and the conclusion we came to.


The Dream:

I was in my parents basement. I used to live in this part of their home when I was young. It isn’t the damp, unfinished type of basement. The floors are carpeted, walls painted and there are small, half windows towards the top of the ceilings. This particular room looked identical in the dream as it does in real life. The only comparable difference with the room in my dream was this lonely mini-refrigerator against one of the walls. There was nothing else in the room except for this plugged-in appliance.

As I started to walk towards the mini-fridge, I noticed I was not alone. I was being trailed by an old friend of mine that I used to do drugs with, before my addiction took a firm hold. In real life, this friend had gotten sober but later died from an aggressive type of brain cancer.

As we approached the fridge, I told him “don’t worry, I have one for you.” I was assuming he was asking me for drugs or I at least thought he was wanting drugs.

I knelt down on a knee and opened the door on the mini-fridge. I reached in the fridge and pulled out a neatly wrapped tampon. I handed my friend the tampon. He then carefully peeled the wrapping off the tampon but there was no tampon in the wrapper. It was a syringe. He pulled the plunger back on the needle until the black rubber grommet came out of the clear cylinder. “POP!”

He then put the plunger into his mouth like it was a thermometer, or a sucker stick.

This was the end of the dream…


Possible meanings:

Parents’ basement¬†– Unresolved issues; deep, dark secrets.

Old friend (now deceased) – A quality of the friend that stands out most in myself. Not necessarily about the friend himself.

Tampon – A tampon is a solution to a problem.

Taking something out of a fridge – Is a continuation of a situation(s).

Syringe – Influence/drugs.

Syringe in the mouth – Drugs as a solution.


My friend putting a tampon/syringe into his mouth in my parents’ basement represents either a latent or former desire to turn to drugs as a solution to my childhood/familial issues. The issues remain, therefore the desire remains. It suggests that if the unresolved issues remain unresolved, I may be at risk of relapse. This dream may have been a warning from my subconscious brain.


Dream analysis is not science. It’s not proof of anything. It could be complete nonsense. I am fully aware of this. However, I have found this extremely helpful and absolutely mind blowing. I also believe there is utility in analyzing the complex and complicated world that is our subconscious mind.

Have any of you analyzed one of your dreams?

Thank you all for taking the time to read about my strange tampon dream. ūüôā


Is the buying/selling/using of drugs immoral?


Have you noticed that drugs¬†are always portrayed as “evil” or “bad”? Since I have been old enough to understand language, society “as a whole” speaks about drugs with a morality factor attached to them. They, or “we”¬†claim that the using, selling, and doing of drugs is somehow immoral. Philosophically speaking, this is just not true.

I should mention first the religious aspect to this right up front. As you may already know, I accept atheism as a valid methodology so my¬†morality, or rather my¬†ethics have to come from a universal¬†standpoint. Ethics that are not universal are merely preferences or opinions. Some religious edicts state that our body is a temple and therefore to do harm to it is immoral. In that case, it is immoral to put sugar in your body. Rationally, that circle can’t be squared. Also, ethics that are brought forth by a power that is exempt from¬†the same¬†ethics put in place by that power¬†is just rank hypocrisy. Thou shalt not murder! Great idea! I think we can all agree on that so lets not then turn around and create a global genocide.

As noted by early philosophers, ethics were invented by evil people to control and oppress good people.¬†What that means is ethics are like a diet book for skinny people.¬†Bad or evil people don’t care about ethics except as a means to lower their competition and for human control of the good.

It may seem like I am cheering on drug consumption and sales but¬†as a former heroin addict,¬†that is not the case. I am looking at drugs from a purely moral perspective; I’m trying to analyze drug use¬†using philosophical¬†first principles.

Initiating force or violence against another person when not in self-defense and¬†¬†violating the property rights of another person are the fundamental core ideas of first principles.¬† Violating either of these principles is immoral. (If you are questioning “what makes first principles valid?” I can make that case but to do that here would take this post too far off topic and it would also make it far too long. If you want more info on first principles please comment below.)

So the next question is- Does using, selling, or buying drugs violate either of these principles?

Without the state sanctioned “illegalities”¬† of drugs, it would be easy to argue the crimes woven into the black market of todays drug world would disappear. When the government creates a prohibition law, what inevitably happens to the value of the now illegal good? It sky rockets. Every time, without failure. Not only does the value of the illegal good go up exponentially, crime rates rise too. One instance of this is the alcohol prohibition in the early 1900s. The rise in crime that followed was¬†a major driver in the state’s decision to¬†reverse the prohibition.

Back when heroin was legal, it cost 10 cents a hit. As soon as it went into the black market, it shot up

Prohibitions are also¬†the main ingredient for mafias and gangs. How could mafias’ or gangs’ function without a black market? When you¬†push things into the black and gray markets of the economy you are causing harm to the natural economic flow¬†of the market. Drug lords now have a lucrative and prosperous foundation to build their violent mini empires. All this because we believe that using violence (using the state to create a law)¬†to solve social problems is a legitimate way to fix complicated social issues. Same holds true for prostitution and illegal gambling.¬†

Prohibition is a real gun pointed at real people. We need to stop thinking we can solve problems by pointing guns at people.

Prohibition is a real gun pointed at real people. We need to stop thinking we can solve problems by pointing guns at people.

The amount of harm caused by prohibition is far worse than the harm caused by a drug itself.

1- With prohibition, there is no dispute resolution for buyers and dealers so weapons and other violence must be used.

2- With prohibition, there is no way to know the potency of the drug you are buying therefore you raise the risk of overdose and poisoning.

3- With prohibition, you may lose professional licensing or become un-hirable to companies for decades.

4- With prohibition, families are torn apart by incarcerations, financial fines, court and lawyer fees and the negative social stigma.

5- With prohibition, as mentioned above, the cost of product increases hundreds of percent causing more illegal activity. (I eventually had to break other laws to continue using heroin. It was too expensive.)

6- With prohibition, people who are addicted to drugs can’t come forward for help because it is treated as a criminal problem instead of a health care issue.

7- With prohibition, illnesses like Hepatitis and AIDS are spread around the drug circles because access to clean needles and other paraphernalia is made difficult.

8- With prohibition, many women turn to prostitution to supply their addiction.

This list could go on and on…

As we know, drugs are handled by the government as a criminal problem. The budget for the War on Drugs in 2013 was 26 billion dollars. Less than 2% of that was used in a treatment or preventative means. The vast majority of the budget every year is used on incarceration costs, police force, and other violent and aggressive tactics like multi-operation sting-ops that cost massive amounts of tax payer resources.

Confucius said “The beginning of wisdom is calling things by their proper name.”

What an amazing quote. Lets put this into practice. Lets call the “War on Drugs”¬†by its proper name. The war on drugs insinuates that the state is at war AGAINST drugs. Is this the case? Have you ever seen a sack of weed in handcuffs?¬†I know I have been in handcuffs but the heroin I had on me got off without a single charge.

With just a couple of seconds of thought, its easy to see that the clever wording of “the war on drugs” was used because it is hard to argue against. Most people don’t want drugs in their family structure so a war against drugs sounds great to the average person. “You are against the war on drugs? You must want babies to die too, right?”

It’s not a war on drugs. It is a war on families. Particularly minority families. Making drugs illegal will NEVER cause the problem to get better. When you use force and violence to attack a complex¬†social problem you will see a short-term advantage and the long-term will be much worse. This is why the drug problem in the US has continually gotten worse since the WOD was initiated.

So how can we accept that legalizing drugs is the right thing to do? I know when I first heard about these arguments, I had a recoiling emotional response and I thought that legalizing drugs would be a terrible idea. Of course that was not based on any facts or evidence. It was an emotional response that was threatening my incorrect belief. Based on facts and evidence, I have now changed my stance.

Are drugs dangerous? Well, of course they can be but so can a paperclip.

Are drugs bad for your body? Overall, they can be very harmful to us. But so can cheesecake.

If I was selling you a $20 hit of heroin and I hand you the heroin and you hand me the $20, is either one of us using violence to get want we want? Is it not peaceful trade? Isn’t it a praxeological axiom¬†that we both consider ourselves to be better off because of the trade? If it wasn’t, why did we trade?¬†Is it fundamentally no different than if I was selling you a cheesecake or a box of paperclips? Trading, buying, selling drugs peacefully is not an immoral action. It may not be honorable or preferable, but it is not immoral.

People who need drugs are going to acquire them by any means necessary. Even if they are illegal. Even if they know they will go to jail. Even if they know they will lose their home. Even if they know they may die. We can see this very clearly now. The war on drugs; the criminalization of drugs is making this much worse. If drugs were legalized, we could rid society of the stigma associated with addicts who suffer under the life crushing violence of the state. Funds could then be used to help people who suffer from addiction problems. Open up more recovery options and widen the grasp of addiction treatment facilities. The possibilities would be opened up enormously and some real change could begin.

I believe this is moving humanity forward and extending the value of personhood. If you look back through history you can see the major leaps forward in mankind. Those moral shifts have allowed freedom and growth to take place in the human species. We used to eat each others flesh. Then we realized “hey this is kind of gross and wrong…and used up too much salt and pepper.” Then we enslaved other humans. Women had little to no rights. Then we realized “we are all human beings.” We kept universalizing and extending our ethical guidelines. I hope soon we will do this for the little people. Our children. Once we start treating them as full individual human beings we will see a growth in the world like no other. If we could evaluate the last few decades of the war on drugs, we would see the disaster for what it is. Making more laws around the same system will not help fix the disaster the state created. We must legalize all drugs, gambling, and prostitution if we truly want to make the problem better for our society.

I don’t want children or future children to believe that drugs are okay to use and that there are no problems with drugs. But you don’t solve that problem by creating laws against drugs. You do it through the peaceful raising of children and maintaining a nuclear family. There is no more of a non-answer in solving the drug problem than believing that creating more laws is helping the situation.

I understand I am making some pretty wild claims. If you disagree with me, please tell me where I am mistaken. I will correct my mistakes if better and more truthful arguments are brought forward. I believe it is important to accept reason and evidence, especially when talking about the zeitgeist of societies. 

Win a Free $25 Amazon Gift Card



I have not given anything away to my followers yet and its long overdue. It’s not much, but it is free and quite easy to win. For a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card, just follow the steps below.

1- Reblog/reshare this post.

2- Follow this blog via email, if your not already.

3- Share any one (1) of my posts from www.jdusty45.wordpress.com on any other social media site.

4- Comment “Done!” on this post.

If you enter to win, your name will be drawn at random. From a hat, a real hat. My hat. I will have my wife draw the lucky winner on June 7. (next Sunday) Good luck!

Drug Dreams and Buck teeth Unicorns

photo courtesy of creepypasta.wikia.com

photo courtesy of creepypasta.wikia.com

Last night I had a nightmare. My neck and chest was soaking wet and beads of sweat were running down my forehead. My upper body was ice-cold from being outside the blanket and the sheets underneath me were damp and cold. I woke in a panic, trying to make sense of what was going on. Trying to figure out where I was. I was in my own bed of course but 45 seconds prior I was shooting up heroin with my wife in my drug dealers shabby basement apartment. Paraphernalia strewn all over the bedroom- used syringes covering the top of his rickety nightstand. A puke-green ragged blanket masquerading as a curtain but failing miserably as the sun ripped through the massive hole in the middle. Their were no lightbulbs in the ceiling fixture but that didn’t seem unusual in a place like that. The hole in the blanket allowed the sun to shine a perfect beam of light into the room that lit up a small statue of a unicorn that had huge buck teeth. Like the donkey from Shrek, only not a donkey. The statue was out-of-place and I remember looking at it going “what the f#$k? Why does my drug dealer have a buck tooth unicorn?”

My wife didn’t notice the unicorn but I could tell she was disgusted at all the paraphernalia scattered about. I wanted to get her out of there but when I turned around to walk out, the door had turned into a wall.

I was so upset and angry at myself because I knew it had to be mostly my fault that my wife was now using too. She has never even smoked weed so the fact that she was shooting heroin all the sudden meant that I had persuaded her at some point. Why would I do something so vile? I thought. This must be a bad dream.

Seeing us that way was so vile and disgusting. In a way, I am glad I had that dream. That will never be an option for us in reality and the thought of it makes me nauseous. I wanted to share my dream before I forgot what happened. Thanks for reading.

My Trip To the West Coast

‚ô†Dustin and Maiju’s Road Trip‚ô†

Our trip to Sin City and California was absolutely fabulous. This post will be mostly visual due to a failing ability to redact some of the photographs. It’ll be more of a picture book than a blog post. ūüôā Some of you may prefer pictures to my snarky and opinionated posts.

On our first day, we (my wife and me) drove from Utah to Las Vegas. We got a room at the Caesars Palace. As most of you may know, this picture is in the Forum Shops at the Hotel.


This next picture is of our bathroom. The main reason I am posting a picture of the bathroom we had is because there was no bathroom door separating the bathroom from the rest of the room. I found this very odd. It did however, take my marriage to a new level. Rushing into the bathroom when I had to fart was no longer an option.

Beautiful bathroom but they forgot to install a door.

Not gonna lie, the mirror in the bathtub was great, but I would’ve traded it for a bathroom door.

The view outside our window. Not the greatest picture but this was the first time I had seen the new attraction “The Linq”. It is the mega ferris wheel in the background. Each sphere/cart is like a small bar/dance floor. How crazy! And of course the dreamy Donny Osmond plastered all over the adjacent casino wall. I was a bit disappointed at the swamp cooler and duct-work view until I saw Mr. Osmond. That brought it back up to par. :-/ Have any of you ridden on The Linq?


On our 2nd day, we drove from Las Vegas to California. These pictures are taken on “The Strip” of course.



Buffalo Bills Hotel and Casino off I-15. Has any of my followers stayed at Buffalo Bill’s or rode the roller coaster? I’ve heard the coaster is pretty rough. The traffic was stop-n-go for almost 2 hours in this picture. Luckily I had good audio books and the brilliant mind of my wife to keep me from going ballistic on careless and inconsiderate drivers.



This was at a gas station about 150 miles away from anything resembling life. Unfortunately, I had no choice but to fill’er up! Gas prices back home ——> $2.20/gal


This was an old abandoned motel. It was creepy so we stopped and got a closer look. Would you stay one night here if you got paid $100? How much money would it take for you to stay a night at the old Royal Hawaiian?

IMG_1949 IMG_1950IMG_1951

We don’t have palm trees in Utah and they are my favorite tree. This street was right by our hotel in California. Not to be confused with Hotel California. Had we went there, we couldn’t have left…so they say. And no, that is not a UFO in the sky. That is a dead bug on my windshield. ūüėČ



This was Maiju’s first time at Disneyland. That’s us standing under the sign. The lines were long but they moved rather quickly. She woke me up before the sun came up. I think she was excited. ūüėÄ

Here is a short clip of us walking through Disneyland. She pays the price when she walks ahead of me. ūüôā https://youtu.be/rkuoRYCBh7I







Space Mountain

Space Mountain




I gotta say, the new Cars Land section of the park is phenomenal. They did a great job recreating Radiator Springs. We spent a lot of time in Cars Land. The only down side was Adventureland only had two places to eat an actual meal. Cotton candy, churro’s and ice cream is tempting to eat all day but a hot meal is always a good thing to throw in there at some point.

Cars Land

Cars Land – Flo’s Cafe (they have delicious breakfast)

Maiju :)

Maiju in front of Radiator Springs souvenir shop. “Come to the geek side…we have pi”  ūüôā


Lightning McQueen and Tow-Mater are full-size vehicles complete with animated facial movements and voices. They are actually giant remote controls operated by a remote control that is worn around the neck of the operator. I know what I want for Christmas! (hint hint)

Von Lightning Mc-Q

Von Lightning Mc-Q


Tow-Mater the lady-killer



Radiator Springs Racer’s race car attraction is one of the most expensive theme park rides in the world. It cost over $200,000,000 (200 million) to build. When it first opened in 2012, the wait to go on the ride was 6+ hours. We rode it twice and waited about an hour, to an hour and a half each time. Well worth the wait. By far the best ride there.

Radiator Springs Racer's

Radiator Springs Racer’s









CLICK HERE—> https://youtu.be/HgE7B01XD4M

My wife thinks I may have been on the coaster in this picture. It’s hard to tell so lets say that I am.




I turned 36 or 37 on this day. I always forget how old I am. I think I’m getting old too fast. The time just keeps flying by. Anyway, the day was a bit cooler than the previous days. I thought it was going to rain but it never did. Maiju had enough of the jarring rides and so did my neck. We spent most the day walking around the park and enjoying the views.


The worlds largest 3-D motion simulator where King Kong rips T-Rex’s jaw in half. Dinosaur spit literally hit me in my eyeball.


One of the original “JAWS” filming locations.







The Jurassic Park ride was the only ride my wife was looking forward to going on. It was closed for renovations. That was a bummer. Guess we have to go back now. Shucks.



I was informed of this place by a fellow blogger so my wife and I put in a reservation. This place is absolutely beautiful. The next few pictures are all taken here.










We walked down Hollywood Blvd, took pictures, ate, and went to the Museum of Death for the first time. This place is absolutely nuts. For anything gruesome, dead, jack-the-ripper, murderish, morbid, death cults of the past… this is the place. They have actual memorabilia/weapons from the most well-known serial killers. Way cool but EXTREMELY CREEPY! It costs $15/person and its an unguided tour. No photography allowed- that is probably best for all of us. ūüôā

The Museum of Death

The Museum of Death








Capitol Records Building

Capitol Records Building


This was somewhere between California and Nevada. Southbound traffic was a lot lighter. My road rage was at a fairly reasonable level.


Back in Sin City. I have always loved the bright flashing lights of a moon lit Vegas. Here is the Eiffel Tower Restaurant at the Paris Hotel and Casino. If any of my followers have eaten at this restaurant, how was it? Is it worth it? We have never been inside. I am interested to know what you thought. It’s a beautiful tower- no doubt on that.






When we finally settled into Vegas, we stayed at Treasure Island. We both agreed that Treasure Island was a far better place to stay compared to Caesar’s Palace. The bed was far more comfortable, the room was nicer, the bathroom had a door, the view was better and the in-room dining was the best $60 I’ve ever spent. It was heaven. I was hesitant to spend the extra money for room service food but it was by far a memory that will last me forever. It was just fantastic to sit on the bed with my wife, relax, chat and eat impressively good food.

You can tell by how much fun I was having in the dork-fest reflection pic below. What little you can see past my reflection, was the view of Vegas from our window. I always request our room as high up as possible because I go wild-crazy over silly things like that. I think we was on the 27th floor or somewhere close to that.


This street performer was floating in mid-air right in front of us. I was so fascinated with this ability, I had to google how she was doing it. Isn’t it just awesome?!

This was so mind blowing for a street performance, I had to throw down some cash for her ability to float in mid-air.

This was so mind-blowing for a street performance, I had to throw down some cash. The ability to float in mid-air!

Here’s one more angle just because it’s that cool!





Hope you enjoyed! Thank you for following. ūüôā

Emotional Growth


I often hear in the recovery community that some emotions are bad while others are good. I understand that point of view but I believe it is incorrect. It may not seem like a problem, but I think it is very important to be precise when talking about this topic so that we are not led astray. Emotions can be extremely powerful and if we perceive them incorrectly for a long period of time, it can be catastrophic for our recovery. It has always been an emotion that I acted on that caused a relapse.

Some people believe anger is an emotion that should be suppressed, ignored or outright avoided at all costs. Anger is healthy. Anger is the opposite of depression and is a valuable emotion that we should speak to, and evaluate in much more depth. If you begin to feel anger, that emotion is there for a very good reason. Suppressing it or ignoring it is only erasing your true self. Of course, it is possible to allow anger to get out of control. That means you are not listening to what it is saying to you. You are simply allowing it to operate you like a giant meat puppet. Figure out what it is telling you. Don’t confuse anger with rage. Rage can be destructive. If you are swinging a baseball bat through the flat-screen, it is safe to say that you are no longer angry. If you act as though your emotions are “against” you instead of there to help you, you are not going through optimal recovery and very little growth, if any, will occur. Your emotions are your friends. Your emotions are your true self. Don’t treat them with contempt or hatred. Each one of your emotions is a part of your personality eco-system. They are your Board of Directors. They are your Congress (a Congress that actually does something useful.)

When I was in early sobriety, I remember how powerful and overwhelming my emotions were. So I understand the early random flooding bombardment of uncontrolled guilt-cry-happy-joyous-disgust fits that hit without warning. I also know that I made it through that time and I am still alive. Emotions always fade away. That is why it is so important to understand what they are trying to tell us and why.

Relapsing because of a non-harmful emotion seems kind of silly in hindsight. When my father passed away, I felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest. The pain felt so powerful, so intense. I knew the pain wasn’t going to kill me and even though it felt similar to physical pain, I knew it was just a deep sadness and grieving in knowing I could never see him again. I allowed myself to wail over his death. I remember sobbing loudly and uncontrollably on my mother’s couch with my wife at my side. Right in the middle of my emotional deluge, a thought popped into my head. I realized at that moment that my father’s death was not a good enough reason for me to relapse. I knew I would be okay.

For so much of my life, I have misunderstood my emotions. I have let my emotions overrun my life by my misguided reactions and irrationality. I’ve mainly focused on anger and sadness in this post but all of our emotions are legitimate mind/body awareness that tell us everything we need to know. The hard part is figuring out what they are trying to say. As long as we don’t push them away and suppress them as unnecessary glitches in the system, we can grow and learn everything we need to know about who we are. Just remember there is always a thought before an emotion. You have that “magic quarter of a second” to beat your emotion to the punch. But don’t punch your emotion, violence is bad.

My Wife Stopped Breathing

The past couple weeks have been rough. Wait, no- I have been rough on myself the last couple of weeks. There, that sounds better. Wait, nooo- not better, just more truthful.

I was locked and loaded at the first of January to reach towards some new goals. War paint, tactical gear, and high-powered ammunition; all ready to set a blazing path of absolute rambo-style badassary through these puny underpowered and unarmed goals. And then…..

And then my wife stopped breathing. I know right?! That’s what I said! How could she be so selfish and stop breathing at a time like this?

After I realized “oh shit! she really can’t breathe!” I washed off my face paint, threw my night-vision goggles on the bedroom floor (it’s really hard to drive with them on), and I rushed her to the Emergency Room.

Come to find out, she had an unpronounceable virus in her vocal chords that became so inflamed that when she coughed, it would close off her airway. Her asthma was pretty pissed off as well. She was given some breathing treatments and a kettle full of various medications.

She is still getting over the sickness but she is doing much better. She also has her voice back. That is unfortunate for me because when she wakes up and reads this, I may be next in line for the Emergency Room.

All jokes aside, I don’t want to sound scornful¬†or unsympathetic that my wife became ill. At the time, it was horrifying. The only thing that mattered to me was taking care of my wife. She is everything to me. She is my entire world. Without her I would¬†live in a world of darkness¬†and seeing her gasping;¬†struggling for even the smallest drop of air,¬†completely stopped¬†my world from turning.

My silly little goals to become healthier, stronger, or just to become a better person will always be there waiting for me. (Was that an excellent way to make procrastination sound tender¬†and inviting?) Anyway, my point is my wife needed me. I wanted to use my energy to help her through that nasty sickness because that’s what life is really about. Being there for each other when we need it most. The times when it is hardest for them to¬†laugh or smile are the times we need to dig deep, and throw a big shovel-full of love right on top of them.

Despite the small deviation to “A Better Me”, I was not able to quit sugar cold turkey, but that is hardly a surprise. I have cut it back drastically. I have drunk 3- 12oz sodas in 11 days and I have been able to cut back on candy as well. I think I have eaten 3 pieces maybe 4 since Jan 1. One of those pieces was a piece of Finnish candy that tasted like overused¬†engine oil with a hint of black licorice. I have also gained 2.5 pounds. That’s¬†not a whole lot by that snippet of measurement but if I continue to gain a pound a week, I will weigh 692 pounds by the year 2025. Not bad Dustin…not bad!

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!