A few months ago, somebody(I wish I knew who) sent me a game request for a game called, Candy Crush Saga. I figured, "why not"? It looked harmless enough and I love games, so I tried it. It is puzzle game created by King.com. The object of the game is to match candies, break chocolate and destroy gummies to move on to the next levels. It is an interactive game where your friends can help you progress by sending you, "lives" or "tickets" to continue your game play. It starts out harmless and easy enough. You get on, play a level and get off, no big deal.
For me and several others I know, it became an obsession very quickly. Soon, I was waiting until I could find a minute to play Candy Crush. (or Candy Crack Saga as some of us now call it) I was excusing myself from the dinner table just to have a "candy break". Taking longer and longer bathroom breaks. Staying awake until the wee hours of the morning just so I could play while everyone else was sleeping. I was going along just fine so I thought, until I hit the dreaded, LEVEL 65.
This level was so evil and sinister, it had me questioning my intelligence. And, as I saw other players breezing through Level 65 with no problem, I grew even more despondent. It got so bad at one point my husband, (who also plays) was afraid to tell me that he too had beaten the level and left me in the proverbial dust.
I vowed to never play Candy Crush Saga again. Actually, I vowed the same thing every time I picked up my ipad, phone or got on my computer and was sucked into playing again. Each time succumbing to lure of this addictive game and each time failing the same level for 4 WEEKS!!!
I decided to take a break and regroup. Surely I could not be defeated by a game. I mean, I know I may have lost a few brain cells after raising four sons, but I had to be able to beat this level. So, I decided to go zen. I had to remember how to breathe and unclinch my jaw which seemed to have been gotten much tighter over the past month. I began to relax and do other things. I even picked up and resumed reading a novel I have been trying to finish since last year.
I felt a calm come over me. I hadn't played in a whole TWO days. One morning, after my husband had gone to work and the house was still quiet. I picked up my Galaxy S 3 and stared at the seemingly innocent Candy Crush app. With its' cute colorful candies covered in sprinkles I knew the true evil that lurked inside. I decided to open the app. I turned the mind bending music and sound effects all the way down, and began to play. I told myself that this would be the day I would beat it. I would take my time, strategize and conquer Level 65......Hopefully.
I looked at every candy, I made my connections with the precision of a surgeon. I held my breath and when the last candy fell, I stared at the screen. Was it true? Had I finally done it? YES!!!! I was victorious! I had finally beaten Level 65! I wanted to yell, but I didn't want to wake up my children. So, I just sat there in my bed with a goofy grin on my face for about 5 minutes.
It has been about a 2 weeks since I beat that level. Since then, I have effortlessly made it all the way to level 79 where I am currently stuck. However, the feeling is totally different this time. No stress, no feelings of inadequacy or moments of doubting my intelligence. I even go days without even thinking of playing. Well, not exactly days. Maybe a day or a few hours. BUT, that is progress.
Playing Candy Crush saga has taught me a lot about myself. I learned that I definitely need to relax more. I learned that no game is worth making me feel that crazy and that games are supposed to be fun. Not require a stay in rehab. So, I will continue playing this game along with the literally hundreds of other friends I have playing with me. But, I will take it easy this time and not curse at the screens anymore. I will enjoy figuring out these brain-seizing puzzles candy by candy. Why stress it?
There are only a little less than 300 levels left to beat....until the next update.