The First Step

They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Well, they say that about drugs and booze, so I guess it can apply to any addiction, right? OK, well here it is – I have a problem. I am addicted to cheap piles of plastic (and metal, and even resin) crack. There, done. Problem solved, right?

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Okay, so I know it’s going to take a bit more action and will power from me to sort this mess out, and that’s exactly what I intend to do. Even sitting here now, I can hear my phone pinging away in the other room as email notifications stream in from EBay telling me what I have and have not won. This madness needs to stop. Having searched my soul, looked at the AA’s 12 steps to recovery and begun the process of resolving the problem, I am now a man with a plan.

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What is even going on here?!?

The first thing is to go through the 12 steps in more detail. For those of you that have read it (and maybe even used it), they are a pretty sensible and reasonable list of actions that are intended to put you back on the right track. I’m not looking to make light of that here – I know it has helped many people the world over and save them from the abyss of real addiction – but I will be adjusting the heaviness level to a scale more appropriate for my specific addition (in this case, pathetic bordering on the comical). The original twelve steps are also a bit ‘god heavy’, and as a dyed-in-the-wool agnostic, I will be substituting the ‘higher power’ mentioned in the steps for something a bit more tangible – my wife.

The 12 Steps

Step 1Admit you are powerless over the addiction and it has become unmanageable. Hereby admitted. Done.

Step 2Believe that a Power greater than myself can restore me to sanity. Absolutely – my wife.

Step 3Decide to turn my will over to the care of my Wife. No problem, did it when we got married. In legally binding contractual manner no less.

Step 4Make a fearless moral inventory of myself (hobbywise). I think the last two posts count as this, bearing all my hobby sins to the world (well, the three guys who read this blog anyway –hey guys!)

Step 5Admit to my wife the exact nature of my wrongs. Ohhhh yeah, she knows alright. Turns out she does keep an eye on the blog after all (hi honey!).

Step 6Be entirely ready to have my wife remove all these defects of character. Always have been, and she is definitely up to the task.

Step 7Humbly asked my Wife to remove my shortcomings. Done – Ebay app deleted, parcel embargo in place,

Step 8Made a list of all persons we had harmed – Again, pretty much just my Wife.

Step 9Made direct amends to such people wherever possible. Done – dinner and flowers to follow in short order, regular date nights to be reinstated in the long run (kids allowing of course)

Step 10Continued to take personal inventory. I take this to read ‘buy no more fething minis’, but also be better and more appreciative to you wife. Well, this is the plan.

Steps 11 and 12 are a bit harder to follow for agnostics, but I think the gist of it is to keep your act together and one day it will all be fine. So, I guess we will just see how it goes.

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Ok Jackie, settle down

Anyway, time to move on from the heaviness and talk specifics, because words are cheap and actions speak a thousand pictures (or something to that effect). Having discussed all the issues with my higher force, she has laid down some suggestions on how to find a way forward in dealing with this mess, and here they are:

1 – Delete Ebay App and stop buying bargain buys cheap plastic tat when I see it. That means no more browsing Elemental / Wayland Games sale pages or the swap it forum on Dakkadakka. Well, big red tick here – already done.

2 – Sell some stuff. This is a bit tougher for me, but it makes perfect cold hearted sense. I have way more stuff than I can ever paint, let alone game with, so it makes sense to offload some stuff. The self contained board games kits are ok for now, so I think it makes sense to look at the number of factions (14!!!) and maybe thin it down a bit. The main contenders for the chop are:

  • Space Wolves. Pretty small collection anyway so won’t be entirely missed
  • Blood Angels. Same here, but I will hang on to the Space Hulk & Lost Patrol stuff naturally.
  • Ultramarines. A tough wrench, but it makes sense. May even tidy them up and give them to a relative who had shown an interest in the hobby. Or just sell them.
  • Legion of the Damned. Get rid of the home brewed half, paint up the rest and get them into use
  • Dark Angels. Offload all the spares and duplicates.
  • Eldar warband. Just a ridiculous collection anyway, time to move it on (but keep the ‘Gangs of Commarragh, stuff, because the game looks fun)
  • Tyranids. Keep some genestealers, but get rid of all the other Nid stuff.

So this is the starting point – the first tier if you will. If I manage to do this (and some of it will be tough), then I will look at those things on the second tier in my mind (Chaos Marines, Imperial Guard, Daemons, maybe even the Imperial Fists) but for now I think baby steps is the best approach.

As to how I dispose of them, I will either try and sell them as is (ok for the new stuff) or tidy them up first paint/base wise and see if I can turn a profit on them (Eldar/Ultramarines). Giving them away to people I know are interested in taking up the hobby also appeals as it will save them money and give me more people to game with, however it does sit a little uncomfortably – like a drug dealing giving away samples to kids on the street.

OK, so it’s nothing like that, but there is the faint glimmer of an ethical dilemma there I’m sure….

3 – Build the rest. This next step I rather novel, but as my wife pointed out I’m not looking to give up the hobby – rather just wrestle control of it back from the weak willed impulse centre of my brain. Having stuff sat around in boxes unbuilt while buying more is just the height of insanity. Get on with building what I have, and then I will have more to paint, more to game with, and more to keep me busy and away from the sales bucket at my local gaming store. Well, it’s a grand idea, and one I will cover in more detail when I do my ‘2017/18 Hobby Season to do list’.

So, with my head held high (and my wife’s hands firmly on the reins) it is time to head off into the brave new world of hobby Sobriety.

Hello, my name is iapedus, and I am 1 days without buying plastic crack.

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Yeah, and we all know what happened to Porkins…

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11 thoughts on “The First Step

  1. I’m not the 40kaddict just for giggles. I can relate completely, although my spending is pretty self contained, I now keep a record. If I can keep my spends to £20-£30 a month I’m happy as that’s roughly what my ‘higher power’ spends on her stupid unnecessarily expensive phone contract she’s only paying to get a Samsung S7.

    So I’m genuinely interested in the overview above as I regularly admit my addiction, it’s just my obsessive nature about the hobby as a whole. I do have quite a grey tide to paint but it’s only a drop in the ocean compared to some… [I won’t name you 😉 ] and as you know I have made significant in-roads in un-painted models over the past few years.

    Unfortunately I don’t think I can submit to the higher power taking responsibility just yet. It might be helpful in getting me to bed before 12:30 when I have a 5:20 alarm but the other view of my hobby is that it is my ‘mistress’ and you can’t really ask your wife to manage how much time you spend with it?! But that’s just me and I’m a functioning 40kaddict so I’ll take one day at a time, I’ll only be sober when I kick the 40k habit altogether…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cheers Dave. I’ve been pretty lucky actually – since moving back form Hong Kong the Work/Family/Hobby balance has been better than it ever was overseas. This has mostly been due to the fact that my ‘hobby’ was on a boat for the majority of the time we have been back, but also now that I do not have a relatively accessible Gaming Store to go off to on a whim for a few hours.

      The only part that was/is out of control was the bargain hunting on EBay, which is something I was happy to get the ‘higher force’ involved in – hopefully she will help me keep that in check while I can rebalance my approach to the hobby. This means keeping away from the quick, easy ‘fixes’ of an EBay purchase and back towards the more balanced and productive ‘highs’ like getting some painting and modelling done, maybe even squeezing in a game a month or so (if I can find somewhere to play that is…).

      Its a long road, but I take inspiration from the in roads you have made through the Hobby Season Lists – I like the idea of a functioning 40k addict, as like you I am not ready to go cold turkey on the hobby just yet!

      Like

      • I keep looking for bargains too, when I don’t really need anything. I’m after some Sentinels for my Genestealer Cult as I think they’d work with my Armies on Parade theme but really I’ve enough unpainted stuff to be going on with. But I’ve seen a deal on eBay for a Sentinel, Land Speeder and bits for the old metal ‘crayon’ whirlwind for around £24. These are all things I’ve wanted for a while…

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    • Cheers Thor! I’ve been meaning to check in with you for a while to see how it was going, hope all is well on the blog.

      The first step is definitely the hardest, especially when it is in relation to something so pathetic as an obsession with toy soldiers! I just need to channel some of that obsessiveness back into more productive and diverse endeavors now, and going back to the writing will definitely be one of them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • All good. Things are plodding along on the blog. Bit slow these days, but it’s always ebbs and flows.

        Rechanneling is a great way to go about it. Enthusiasm is a great thing when properly utilized in the right areas.

        Liked by 1 person

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