Be forewarned, I'm not a writer, so I apologize for this being choppy or whatever. =)
Little about myself... I'm 29 year old female and I play or rather played Everquest for over 2 years. When I started playing my husband and I had been married for 4 years, I was not working and going through a few trials and tribulations due to the fact that I was trying to get pregnant and wasn't able too. A friend of mine had been playing EQ for a while at that time and she introduced me into the game. I played for fun back then. Had a character that I would run around and goof off with when I was bored. But at that moment in time I had one priority and that was getting pregnant. Well, I did get finally get pregnant. =) We were so excited, life continued, I still played EQ for about a week after that and then the worst happened. I miscarried. The miscarriage sent my world into a tailspin and too this day it still effects me as I'm sure it would anybody. However, my husband and I were very lucky in a bittersweet way, because we found out about a week later that I had been pregnant with twins and had lost one. I then spent the next 8 months struggling through a difficult pregnancy due to the trama of losing one and never signed onto EQ again until after our son was born.
Everquest then came back into my life when our baby was about 3 months old, my husband had just moved us from one state to another. I wouldn't say that my life was in turmoil because of this move, he and I were both very happy about it. We saw it as a brand new start for our new little family. However, I was a new mommy and felt like I was tied to the house because I was still nursing. So when my husband was at work the baby and I would stay at home. I would get bored during naptime because I'm not much of a TV watcher so I found other outlets to fill my time. That's when EQ came back into my life. I created a brand new character and fell in love with her in such a way that later on down the road she would become my obsession.
I started playing slowly, only when my little boy was napping and in the evenings when he was already tucked into bed. It was easy then. I didn't have a high level character, I wasn't raiding every single night and I wasn't in what is called an "uber" guild. I could sign on and off whenever I pleased. My character grew and I joined a guild, I actually joined quite a few guilds in EQ until I eventually ended up in one of the top guilds of the game.
Everquest only being on when the baby was sleeping eventually stayed on all the time, even when the baby was awake and playing too the point that I made sure that his playroom was also the computer room. I had the best of both worlds EQ and my baby boy. I would cook dinner while I was away from the keyboard during downtime on raids. I would usually eat at the computer and let my husband feed the our baby. And I can say honestly and openly that my life on EQ became my entire life. It was a world that I could control, I could be anyone and I could do anything. I didn't have to worry about how much money was in the bank, what was I going to fix for dinner, I could be this carefree, beautiful character and not have one single flaw.
I did this for over two years. My husband never really complained that much, he knew that I was raised on computers and that they were and always will be apart of my life. He never said much about me not going to bed with him and staying up all hours of the night, he just got used to it. He gave me the freedom that I wanted at nighttime (raidtime) while he took care of the baby. It was a happy arrangement for me and let me stress this one point. It was a HAPPY arrangement FOR ME and only ME.
Months passed, a couple of years passed. My marriage is still there, my baby boy is growing up before my eyes and I'm missing out on it. But my character was growing into this powerful person on EQ, the rewards were so great that I couldn't let it go. My husband would talk to me about having another baby and I would put him off, saying I'm not ready. But what I wasn't telling him was the fact that the reason why I wasn't ready is because I knew it was going to change my Everquest Career. (Keywords here are Everquest Career)
So here we are... Husband, Wife, Child. Husband goes to work everyday, Wife takes care of child during the day while playing EQ, Husband comes home and takes over wifes duties so she can go have her fantasy life of perfection. Happy hunky dorey if you ask me. Well, kinda sorta.
What people may not realize and maybe some do is that Everquest becomes a career that becomes addictive. Everyone wants to suceed in anything that they do and the only way to succeed is to work your hiney off. Working isn't fun for anyone, but hey you recieve fruits of your labor. The fruits in EQ weren't money they were the loot, the satisfaction of killing something before anyone in the entire game did it. What a complete rush it was. But it was growing so old and tiring because who likes to work? Right? The problem was, by the time the game was becoming too much like work and less fun, the addicition had already set in. I felt like I had an obligation to my guild to be there every single time they raided but because I was there every single night was receiving the benefits of it too. I had a job, just like my husband had a job. My job was just different and I didn't get paid for it in a way that I could pay the bills and it was destroying so many of my relationships including the one with my husband and my son.
Anyways, moving on. My husband takes a new position with the company he works for and moves us again. I was then forced to quit Everquest for a few weeks while the move was taking place and then the wait on DSL. What a blessing in disguise. DSL finally comes, I sign on to EQ and I raid for the first time in about 4 weeks. I was so miserable sitting here at the computer, I found myself making mistakes in the game because I was paying more attention and playing more with my son than I was the game. Eyeopener that was.
For quite a while EQ was not apart of my life and it wasn't by choice, it's because of the move. I started spending time with my son, really getting to know the beautiful little boy that he was becoming and most importantly I fell in love all over again with my husband and life became what it once was again.
However, this isn't the end of the story. After about another two weeks of not signing on to EQ, I started realizing that there were characters that were becoming greater than mine and that jealous little head of mine peaked out. I called my husband at work and asked him if he minded if I started playing again. And of course, him being the wonderful man that he is said not at all. So I started playing again, This lasted for about 2 weeks. I played every single night and I started to realize the work and the sacrifice that went into the game all over again and the moodieness and the obligation of always having to be there set in once more. Stress level rose, headaches started and within that two weeks my physical state went downhilll fast and medically was forced to quit. Another blessing in disguise.
It's been about a month and a half since I have played Everquest. I still have my account and yes I have signed on to speak to friends once or twice, which I think I was online for approx. 3 mins before I would be so tired of it, I would sign off. But this is all going to come to an end in about 2 weeks because the outlet won't be being paid for anymore. The account has been canceled as of last night. I'm not selling the account, I'm not giving the account to anyone. I'm just going to let it die and let the addiction of the game die with it. I thought about giving the account to a friend, but then I realized that doing that I'm just aiding in keeping the addiciton alive in someone else and I don't want that.
I have my life back, I didn't do any major damage to any of my realtionships, I didn't loose my house, my marriage, my son or anything. But I'm one of the lucky ones. I did loose one thing...I lost 2 years of my sons life. 2 precious years of his life that just slipped right through my fingers that I can never get back. I'm working on my relationship with my son more and more now. Letting him know that his mommy is always going to be here and that she's really here in HIS world and not her fantasy world.