Monday, April 19, 2010

Is This Addiction?

*** submitted by Anonymous

This is my reality.

I was going to post this on my blog, but then I got scared. This is a joke to some people. They don't think this is a "real" addiction. I don't know who to talk to because there's no 12-step for this.

It's all I can think about sometimes. I'd rather do it than anything else. It's the first thing I think about when I wake up, and the last thing I think about at night before I go to sleep. When I'm away from home, all I can think about is getting back home so I can do it again. I try to find ways to steer conversations to it.

If I can't do it, I start to get anxious. The longer I'm not doing it, the worse it gets. I start to get crabby and cranky and snap at my husband and lose patience with my son. I do it before anything else because it calms me, and I tell myself that it helps me focus so it's okay to do it at the same time as I'm trying to do other things. I want to do it right now. In fact, I am doing it right now.

I find reasons to do it instead of things I should be doing, like cleaning the house, working out, spending time with my 2-year-old son, or taking a shower.

I find new goals to attain while I'm doing it, just to have a reason to keep doing it.
I might fail this term at school because I do it instead of my reports and projects, still. I have a job that I can do from home that pays depending on how much work I put into it. I could make a dollar every 5 minutes. I don't. I do it instead.

Is this addiction?

I feel like I am throwing my life away but I can't seem to stop. I'm afraid to admit it because I'm afraid people will laugh. I think they will think I am making fun of people who have "real" addictions, like alcohol and drugs. But I'm not.

I promise you, I am not.

I think I am addicted to MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game). Right now it's
Lord of the Rings Online. Before that it was City of Heroes. Before that it was EverQuest. When I quit playing EverQuest (to play City of Heroes) my character play time was over 500 days. This was from 2000 to 2004. I spent over a year and a half of my life playing EverQuest. I'm sure I have more time in City of Heroes. Three accounts, and over 72 characters on the main server I played on. I don't play City of Heroes so much these days because I'm busy playing LOTRO.

I started playing LOTRO in April of 2007. The total amount of play time on my current characters is 136 days, 1 hour and 18 minutes, and this doesn't include time I put into characters then deleted or started over. I made a new character last week. Wednesday, I think. I already have 3 days 6 hours of play time on that character. Three of the past 7 days have been spent playing that character.

I'm logged in right now. I feel like I can't help it. I log in first thing in the morning, between 8am and 9am. I log out at 10pm, now. I used to log out at 2am. 12-18 hours a day playing. Yes. A day.

Is this addiction?

I'm scared that it is.


  1. I read this post with my heart in my throat, because it is so familiar to me.

    I know gaming is taking over my life - it is all I can think about. I even look at the world differenly - if I have been playing for a while, I go outside and I feel like I'm in a game, not real life. It's an escape from everything - boredom and loneliness especially.

    I'm a professional, I have a job, I have an apartment, so I think that I can't have a problem. But I know I do. I can't stop, though. I don't want to stop.

  2. Dear Anonymous - Your addiction is absolutely no less serious than any other. A dear friend, who was very into gaming on-line, met someone within a certain game, and for months and months had a "virtual" but very real relationship with her. Now, his marriage, to a woman I know he loves very much,is in jeopardy. He came to me, knowing of my addictions and recovery. I hope my experiences and knowledge, although different, can help him or you or anyone else suffering.

    We all have our "something" to relax and unwind. When that "something" becomes an escape from real life, and an absolute need, it is a problem. Whether drugs, alcohol, gaming, sex, etc. And if you "think" it is a problem? It probably is. Awareness is huge. Much love to you.

  3. It is absolutely an addiction. I have to keep myself from playing games. In college, I once played Civilization for 24 hours straight. Although I don't let myself play games now, I notice the same tendencies in myself with respect to checking the internet, reading blogs, etc. It seems so similar to my former boozing ways -- like checking out from real life. I hope that things work out for you. It is great that you have noticed this and articulated it.

  4. Yes, this is an addiction. For a while I had something sort of similar. I was part of an online mom's community (similar to Baby Center) and I would spend hours every day reading, writing and responding to posts. Way, way more time than I do now on blogs, and that is probably too much too. Laying in bed at night I would think about topics to post the next day. Everytime something good, or bad would happen anywhere instead of enjoying it I'd think about how I couldn't wait to get to a computer to tell people about it. I got so caught up that it spilled into my 'real' life with major dramas, IMs,emails, phone calls and all my time and thoughts consumed by it. It was an escape from dealing with reality. Like anon @ 5:54 said, it was a way to check out. That made it an addiction. If you are playing the games so much that your life, your relationships, your school work are all suffering then yes, it is an addiction. Good for you for taking the first step and recognizing it.