December 28, 2017 at 3:39 pm #380jim4 Posts
To start it off, my name is Jim I am dislexic. I am 26 years old and have been avidly gaming online since I was just 6 years old on one of the first online games Diablo 1. I had gamed previously on the nes and sega a considerable amount, but what really got me was multi-player. It didn’t take long before gaming turned into complete competition. I played soccer and basketball for 10 years each and as soon as I was getting really good at basketball around 15-16 years old I quit when a new shiny game destroyed me, that game being halo 2 a game that people my age were finally starting to play because since I was so young almost no one in my school played any games online. At that point I had been playing counter-strike and diablo 2 for several years and halo 2 was a breath of fresh air and were some of the most amazing times of my life at lans/tournaments but made it so my grades were in shambles through highschool and therefore I had to do almost 2 years of school in one month or my dad was going to kick me out of his house(thankfully I drank a case of monster and did it).
Shortly after this period competing in gaming became extremely intense and started to take the fun out of gaming entirely. Stress started outweighing the fun I was having, but this didn’t stop me. I continued onward with competing, but one day in 2009 while competing at an mlg event my sister died. Having gamed avidly all my life I feel I never learned coping skills that I should have learned. My parents also broke up right around when I quit basketball as well to game full time. Luckily I had a friend pull me out of the gutter and nurse me back to health.
The thought of gaming made me sick and I completely stopped for 2 amazing years. During this period I feel I was mentally very healthy. I replaced gaming with working out and hanging out with friends and it really did work. But in late 2010 I met a girl and moved away from my friends and family with her. In 2011 I got so bored I started gaming again. But not just gaming. SUPER BINGE gaming. in 2012 my girlfriend asked if I would like to compete again and she would work and I would play games. After a lot of long talks about it. I said okay. Since then I’ve spent countless hours gaming(6-14 hour days). I played so much I had to switch games multiple time because I could tell it was hazardous to my health like the game was the problem and not all games.
I’ve recently come into another family crisis and my mental health is going to complete garbage(depression, anxiety). I’ve done some things to combat it, I started working out and eating healthy(about 1 month now) and just started up school again which can be frustrating because I am dislexic… Every single one of my friends game at this point since all I have done is game for the last 4 years straight. Distracting myself from games seems impossible right now and the other day when I stopped depression and moodswings were the worst they’ve ever been and I know a huge part of it is the games because I rationalized playing when only my real life friends were on but when I got on it made me feel so good I couldn’t stop. The only time I get enjoyment out of games at this point is destroying the best players in the world and unfortunately that doesn’t happen every game. I was hoping there would be some in person meetings in the bay area but unfortunately I didn’t see any. At this point in my life if I don’t quit gaming I will become a game creator and make games that don’t suck which will probably just add to the problem that is me for others.
Anyways, thanks for reading my life and let me know if any of you can help in any way!
December 28, 2017 at 3:41 pm #325dave17 Posts
Welcome Jim! I could so relate to gaming becoming all about competition and achievement and stressful and to the horrible mood swings when I would try to not game for a day or two. What helped me get free was the online meetings here. Hearing others who went through exactly what I did and got out, gave me hope and direction and a feeling I didn’t have to do this all alone. I went through about 8 days of agonizing withdrawal with the moodswings, depression, empty feeling, but can say it lifted after that so don’t be surprised. Gaming addiction is real and affects our brains the same way stimulant drugs like meth or cocaine do and so there is real physical/mental/emotional withdrawal when we’ve been doing the type of gaming you have been.
The 10pm EST mumble meetings have the most people and you can share by type or voice or choose to just listen. You deserve a whole life in the real world – if you are like me, I would bet you haven’t gone outside to a park or felt the sun and wind on your face and truly smiled at the beauty of the real world. Instead, you have probably been locked in your small gaming room for hours and hours every day, like a prison cell like I was.
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