I don't know where to begin my story, I am nearly crying as I write this, so anyways, I'm going to write my personal story that happened to me in hopes to help some of you out there who have an EQ addiction a chance to get out of it before it get's to late...
Before EverQuest I used to have nearly a perfect life, I was living the american dream if you will. I hade a wonderfull job, a great house, a beautiful and lovely wife and most importanly my 2 beautiful little girls wich I love dearly....now I've lost everything because of this game.
It all started out about 2 and a half years ago, when I went to Electronics Boutique to purchased the game EverQuest. I had read so much about it in magazines and on the web. It all sounded so good, that I just HAD to buy it since I was such a big RPG fan.
When I got to Electronic Boutique the clerk saw me looking in the RPG section and I had just picked up EverQuest off the shelves, he said to me " EQ huh? I can assure you sir that's a really cool game, I have loads of fun myself playing it when I get home from work" wich just urged me even more into buying it.
So finnaly I bought it and when I got home I installed it on my computer, got my credit card to subscribed and whitin seconds I was in the game playing.
It all was good at first nothing ever seemed to suggest that this was an "addicting" game (boy was I ever wrong...). I made many friends during the first week that I played got myself some decent equipment and wepons, and I was just generaly having a good time playing and getting away from some RL stress...
A few weeks past or mabe a month or so, and I started playing more and more. As my character got higher in level's it became more demanding for me to stay longer hours online to play and unconsciously I started ignoring my RL. This is where my story really begins...
You see me and my wife used to be really close to each other, I used to come home from work and eat a wonderfull meal cooked by my wife, I don't want to sound like I'm bragging here but, my wife was a great cook. We would eat together and talk about both our days at work.
Then I would usually spend some time with my 2 girls since I was at work most of the week and the only time I got to spend some time with them was in the evening.
I would usually take them both in my arms and put a book in-between us and read them a story. On other nights we would play with one of the big ballons that we had, throwing it around, oh how I miss those days!
After we'd put the kids in bed me and my wife would smooch on the couch a little bit while watching TV or just chatting. There is so much more things that I miss, such as going out with my wife to restaurants, or going together as a family to the movies and other social activities that we used to do together as a family.
This all changed when I started getting "addicted" to EQ. I would come home from work eat my dinner really fast, say a few words to my wife and kids and I would litterally rush myself to the computer room. I would then proceed to load up EQ, check up on how everyone in my guild was doing and see if there was any special event going on such as a raid or something.
You see the time that I would have normally spend in the evening with my daughters playing got replaced by EQ playing instead.
I started to ignore my wife, ALOT, and sadly, my 2 daughters even more. Many times I would forget to eat and drink because I was so consumed with this game. Sometimes I had to go to the bathroom but I didn't want to get up because most of the time it was in the middle of a tough fight and I just couldn't leave my computer because the thought of even dying in this game is scary, the penalty for it is quite severe.
So I decided to set up a little pot in my computer room so I wouldn't have to get up when I needed to go pee, as much as this may sound ubelivable I can assure you it's the truth. Many times I would stay up all night till 2-3am in the morning playing because in my mind it was really important to do planar and dragon raids with my guild, and not only that I had to get up in the morning to go to work.
Some times my wife would tell me to go to bed with her but I was so consummed with the game that I would usualy reply to her that I was on a corpse run or that we had just gotten a good group or a guild mate of mine needed help on a quest etc...
There are lot's of time I can recall when I called in sick at work because I had stayed up late the night before and just couldn't get up to go to work. There are also times when I called in sick because there was a guild raid that I wanted to attend because there were some good items to be had that I wanted for my character.
When I actually went work on weekdays I was always grumpy, I couldn't think as clearly or act properly like I normally did before EverQuest, I couldn't stop thinking about it and talking about it to my co-workers. wich got them concerned...
I eventually got fired, the boss was feed up with me missing all the time and not doing my job the way I was supposed to.
When I tried to explained this to my wife that I had lost my job she was really upset since I was the only one who provided income for our family. We got into a really big argument and she didn't know what we were gonna do for money and to be honest neither did I.
I search everywhere for a job, I even went back in to my old workplace and litterally begged my manager to give me my old job back...but it was too late he had alredy replaced me with somebody else.
We enventually fell on wellfare while I was on my job hunt, but I gotta admit I didn't search very long mabe a week at the very most 2 weeks, after a while I was so depressed that I just began to loose interrest in finding a better job. I didn't care to find work anymore, all I cared about was playing my game.
At this point my wife started to become VERY concerned with me, and she came over to talk to me about it while I was on the computer. We got into a big argument and I said some mean things to her that I know now, looking back at it today, that I shouldn't have said at that time.
She decided to move over to her father and mother's house wich was about half an hour drive from our house and she also took our 2 girls with her. I didn't care really since I thought to myself "Great! I'll be alone, finally!". I guess I didn't really think that she would be going for REAL and thought to myself that she would come back after a while.
The first week that my wife had left, I stayed up all day and night playing EQ, eating whatever we had left in the house, I didn't even bother calling them, I didn't care either. I had totally lost sight of reality, all that mattered to me was playing the game.
I didn't even bother to brush my theeth in the morning nor did I take a bath or shower, much less shave. I didn't do my laundry and never wore clean cloths. Most of the time I would keep on the same cloths that I had sleept in and wore the day before. I didn't clean my house either and dirty dishes were all over the place and I almost never took out the trash.
I would order food from one of my local restaurants for supper and sometimes would eat the leftovers for breakfast. I would sit in front of the computer for hours on end all day long and play the game, it didn't matter to me, the only life I knew of was the life of EverQuest.
I then met a girl in the game, I was so in love with her that I was up to a point where I had totally forgot about my RL wife and my RL in general, that I began living this "virtural" life if you will.
I proceeded a few weeks later to ask my "virtural girlfriend" to marry me in game, she agreed. We made preparations, announced it to the whole guild, we told the GM where we wanted the wedding to be held, arranged a time and we got married.
I would constantly tell her how much I loved her and that I couldn't stop thinking about her, she became my obsession.
After a while I think that she eventually got so fustrated about the coments that I was making that she probably thought that I was some sort of a cyber perv (wich I will shamely admit that I probably was).
She then decided to end the relationship that we had, and even changed her last name back to her old one and removed mine, and as if that wasn't enough she decided to put me on her /ignore list and I never talked to her ever again.
A few weeks past after that incident and I woke up one morning and turned my computer on just like I did evey other day and it was then that it hit me, like a slap in the face...
I thought to myself that I used to have a great wife ( a REAL one) and that I had trown it all away for a @#%$'ING VIDEO GAME. It all started to swirl so fast in my head. "Why?" I asked myself "How the hell could I allow this to happen to me?".
I decided to turn off my computer immediately and to contact my wife wich I hadn't spoke too in nearly 4-5 months. I was so mad at myself for doing this. I couldn't belive my actions.
I didn't really know what to do and the only thing that seemed logical was to call my wife's parents house. So after alot of thinking about what I wanted to say to her I finnally came over my fear of calling her and picked up the phone and called.
Her dad ansered the phone and I said "hello, can I speak to my wife please?" and he said "Oh it's you, how dare you call my house after what you've done to her, do you even think you deserve to talk to her after eveything you've put her through? FU you idiot! I hope that @#%$'ing game keeps you happy, stay the hell away from my daughter! Do ya hear? Don't you ever dare call this place again!"
I could obviously tell by his anser and the tone of his voice that he was really angry with me, I said "yes sir I'm really sorry, this is not the way..., hello, hello?" He hung up on me before I could even finished my sentence.
I tried calling within the next couple of days, with no luck. He didn't want anything to do with me. I knew where her parents lived so I got in my car and drove over to their house. When her dad ansered the door I BEGGED, and BEGGED him to let me see her and for the sakes of my little girls to please let me see them as well.
He then told me to go away and that his daughter didn't live there anymore. I asked him where she had moved too so I could see my girls. To my suprise he agreed to give me the adress to her appartment. It wasn't so far as I thought, only a couple of blocks away. I thanked him very much and told him that he didn't know how much his help meant to me.
So after a while of driving around I finanly found my wife's appartment. I knocked on the door, I was so affraid to talk to her that I was litteraly shaking I had TONS of things I wanted to say to her and even more to my girls.
The door opened and a MAN ansered. I was so SHOCKED, I can't even explain the feeling I got when I saw him, I thought to myself "this is obviously the wrong adress". I asked to see my wife I told him who I was and if (insert my wife's name here) lived here, and to my complete suprise I saw her walking towards the door, and I could tell by the look on her face that she wasn't happy to see me...
I told her that I was so sorry and asked for her forgiveness for what I had done. I then asked if I could see my girls and she hesitated a bit but she said yes and called them.
They both came running into my arms as they saw me, screaming "Daddy! Daddy! We missed you so much" then one of my girls asked me "why did you leave us daddy?"
I just couldn't anser those questions, I was so ashamed of my actions that I couldn't even speek to them and bursed out in tears.
It soon became quite clear to me that the man who ansered the door was my wife's new boyfriend, since he gave her a kiss as he was leaving for work and he couldn't stick around any longer.
I'm sure my wife must have told him about me as he didn't look too pleased to see me there either as he left the house my wife told him "Well talk about this later honey, have a good day at work"
As much as I hated the fact that she had found someone else, I know deep down inside that I couldn't really blame her, but the fact is that it made me even more sad and angry towards myself. I just couldn't accept the cold hard fact that I had let this game take over my life like it did.
My wife got custody of our two dauther's by the court a few months afterwards. I tried really hard to explain myself to the judge but it didn't help, not one bit. I was also ordered by the court to seek profesonal help, wich I did, and I can really say that it helped me greatly since I was in a deep depression at that time
Eventually a few weeks later I finnaly got myself back on track. I got my self a job (not a good one like my last one, but a job none the less). Unfortunatly I had to sell my house since I couldn't afford to pay for it anymore, I was way pass due in payments because the job I had couldn't provide enough money to pay for the house/food etc.
I found a small appartment neer by and mooved in there. I still go over to see my 2 dauther's as much as I can, but not as much as I would like too. Howerver I still get a chance to see them on weekends a bit more, though.
Christmas is around the corner and I am sure that I will probably spend it alone, hell I don't even have a Christmas tree to put up this year...
I would love to go see my girls on Christmas morning but my wife alredy planed to take them on a vacation with her new boyfriend. I alredy bought my 2 girls their gifts and I'll have to give it to them in advance, before they leave. It makes me really sad and even angryer to even think about it.
There is an old saying that goes like this: "You don't know what you've had, until you've lost it". I can easily relate to that, I didn't know what I had until I lost it...
I wish my wife would be laying next to me when I go to sleep tonight, but I know the fact is that she isn't here anymore. She was so warm under those covers and I used to love hugging her before she went to sleep in my arms.
To all of you out there who have a wife/Girlfriend or kids, hug/kiss them tonight and think about what your doing if you see that your relationship with them is starting to go down hill because your spending to much time on the computer instead of spending time with them.
Here I am now sitting in my appartment tonight, alone, no wife and no kids by my side. I could have avoided this if I hadn't played so much, but I did the contrary and that is a fact that I will have to live with for the rest of my life....
I am typping this message in great hopes that NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE who plays EQ ever has to go through what I did, because in the end my friends I can assure you that it's not worthed, to lose your real life over what I know now is only a videogame...
Edited by: lizwool at: 11/25/06 14:38