1. Sneak on-line when spouse or family members are asleep or not at home with a sense of relief.
- Only you know if this is true. We become especially clever with our addictions, knowing exactly when and where to get on-line so that no one is aware of what we are doing.
- Do you feel zoned out once you get on.
- Addictions numb us out. We do this instead of feeling.
2. Use on-line services EVERYDAY, without skipping a day.
- We tell ourselves that we can stop if we want to, but we cannot go a day without getting on the site.
- One addiction is the same as any other; an addiction takes control of your life.
- You feel edgy and agitated if you cannot get on your site.
3. Lose track of time after making a connection and go out less and less.
- Time seems to just fly. Hours go by without leaving the computer screen.
- Sometimes you get on in daylight and get off when the sun goes down.
- Outer social life gets less and less as you spend more and more time in front of the computer. Your user name (you have many) becomes more a part of your life than your real name. You have a world of “friends” you have never met.
4. Others complain about your time in front of the computer and your time away from them and yet you continually deny what you are doing.
- Time you could be spending with your partner, family, or children is now spent on-line.
- You are late for dinner, late for appointments, forget to show-up, and forget obligations.
- Your addiction is consuming you more and more, - your loved ones less and less.
5. You log on several times a days when already busy at work.
- Your work, your livelihood is beginning to suffer. Even at work, when you are busy, you feel compelled to log on – to place a bet, to read an illicit email. You are now living a secret life and your life is becoming more and more toxic.
- Arguments about what you are doing and where you are become part of everyday life.
- Your family and friends miss you and want you back.