one week into detox
I started playing wow about a year ago. And soon it went into an addiction. I had loads of fun, met some new people there and was thrilled by the excitement of raids and dungeons. I think at some point though I stopped enjoying it, maybe after my first character leveled to 80. Or maybe when the leader of my first guild started ordering me around. Or maybe it was the people screaming at me in randoms because I didn't have a prefab spec. Probably it was a combination of things, but I didn't really notice it myself.
The first guild experience I had wasn't all that good, apart from it being small which I liked, the leader was very bossy. I met a few nice people there though. After a while I got to know the guild leader a bit better and I thought I could trust him with some of my personal beliefs. Made me into a total fool and the next day torn me down publicly in the guild. So it was bye bye guild.
I was pretty shaken up after this, how foolish to trust someone I never met. Eventhough I met my boyfriend (with who i now live together and have been together for 5 years) during another game online. So i became more tentative towards people in the game. The next guild I was to join couldnt have been better. Though it took one of the members several weeks to convince me to join. This guild was a bit better, but it had a lot of diferent personalities in it that all seemed to work together somehow and have loads of fun. The very warmly took me and my boyfriend in and made me feel very welcome. Some people in that guild really went out of their way to help other people or have some fun together.
If it weren't for this guild I would have probably stopped playing earlier, not that I'm blaming them or anything. But soon I was leveling alts to 80 as well and started to put more and more time in the game. My real life started to suffer quite bad. One time I was hacked and didn't know that reinstating all the stuff was that easy, so I had alreayd figured I would stop playing cause I would never be able to muster the energy to do all that work again. It felt like a relief, and I should have stopped right then and there because of that realisation. But soon people told me how easy it was to get my stuff back, and so I did.
On uni my work started to slack... called my friends less and less.. slowly stopped doing all the things I like... neglecting the need for meaningful and constructive activities. My boyfriend also imersed himself in the game, but since he works fulltime only had the opportunity to play in the evenings. So he never got as addicted as I was. But our relationship did go downhill, we were gaming together.. but so disconnected from eachother at times... very sad.
I tried limiting my gametime in a number of ways, but I wasn't strong enough, so I went on the internet and looked for similar stories. I was amazed at the amount of people in the exact same, or even way worse trouble than me. Reading their stories convinced me I needed to stop, which is now about a week ago.
The first few days I had big moodswings, from enjoying life to the fullest to being so irritable I didn't know what to do. BUt I guess thats part of the detox really. I'm amazed about the amount of things I've been able to do. When you quit wow after being addicted, suddenly you have this endless sea of time. I started doing wonderful things and useful things, meaningful and constructive stuff. To be honest, just after a week I don't really think about it a lot anymore. The worst thing is not being able to chat with all those lovely people in the guild every evening. But the game itself I'm not really missing.
After reading the processes behind the game, how people are made to be addicts I don't think I will ever go back. Push the button and get a treat, it's that simple. I don't want my brain to be tampered with or controled by simple conditioning. Do a quest, get gold, gear, rep, exp.. you finished a task so easily, but then theres endless other tasks waiting for you in the neverending spiral of questing, gearing, leveling, rep, professions, pvp etc etc etc.
This is why the game got boring for me. I don't like to do the same thing over and over again, especially not if I'm paying to be entertained. Reading a book, going outside or even playing different types of games feels much better now.
What did I gain from this? I know now that I'm susceptible to this kind of thing. I know that when i will become a parent once to watch out for these processes and protect my children. And surely not become one of those gaming moms that don't have a moment for their kids... those are the saddest stories I read about wow :(
What did I loose in the proces? a whole lot of time, energy and temper. But I just discovered a few days ago how cheery I can actually be. Quit wow guys and discover what a nice person you really are!! :)