It's often difficult to know where to start. So I guess I'll start fairly early on.
I've always had a naturally addictive personality. It wasn't always a problem. In grade 4 I read the entire encyclopedia set. In grade 5 and beyond I developed a love of math, that eventually took me all the way to placing in national competitions (grades 9 and 10). I played hockey in grade 6, and was playing competitive hockey and then high school hockey. (Canadian here). By the end of high school, I fully enjoyed 3 team sports (hockey, soccer, and volleyball) at the AAA level, as well as performing in musical productions and maintained high averages. I guess you'd say I was your classic overachiever.
All along I knew I liked video games, but with only a rudimentary computer and no video game consoles, I never had a big problem.
That all changed in university. I had a $4,000 dollar a year renewable scholarship, a $1,200 dollar a year RESP, and a nest egg of $5,000 from working through summers. To top it off I was staying at home. So I had a choice of buying a road bike (wanted to get into triathlon) or a computer... and I chose a computer. I sometimes think of that fateful decision. I rue the day, but at least have learned to let it go.
Through first and second years I got addicted to CIV3 and AoE2. Thankfully the games were fairly repetitive, and AoE had the necessity of sound, making it impossible to play late into the night as my parents would flip out. All in all it still afected my marks. I know FOR CERTAIN that I could have had a 4.2 GPA my first two years. Instead I was willing to settle for 3.7; deans list, but barely.
Then, I bought WoW, and got the internet. My physical activity approached zero, I stopped eating properly, as well as sleeping. I bought a headset, making it possible to hear everything without waking a soul.
My natural tendecy to want to be the best at everything took over. Soon enough I was in a fairly high end guild.
More importantly, my marks started to drop off precipitously. I developed first an anxiety disorder, then depression. My parents all but kicked me out of the house in frustration. Being alone in an apartment only made things worse. I spent ~9 hours a day on that game.
This past summer a few events same together in that "I NEED HELP" fashion.
Firstly, a girl whom I had been going to dance lessons with (My ONLY connection to reality) and I were becming romantically interested. I knew I wouldn't be half the boyfriend she deserved. My self esteem was at an all time low, and I felt completely undeserving of any relationship. In addition I how a huge fear that she would discover what I was "really" like. Somehow I knew she was the one... June 20th I asked for a serious relationship. More later.
Secondly, I had a job that did not pay well, nor had good hours. I wasn't making enough to go to university.
I had a complete and utter break down. I cried in my room. At my parents house the next day, while trying to explain to them why there was an emotional distance, (All they ever seemed to say was "get to work!" or "snap out of it!") I again broke down. I admitted to them that I felt absaolutely powerless. For me this was an incredibly hard admission. I am not one who has ever had to say "I can't". I was always capable of excelling. The admission "I can't stop" broke me.
July 17th I cancelled my subscription and uninstalled the game.
I went to the doctor, and on July 28th I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression. In August, my girlfriend's parents hired me to paint their place of work. It was steady and better paying work. It was hot and dry work, but I got to be close to my girlfriend and get paid at the same time.
The registrar gave me three "W's" in courses that would've been "F's". I'll need to take the courses again, but they'll not drag my GPA down. As a result, my 3rd year GPA is 3.3 (It would've been faaaar worse).
Now I have a problem. I've stopped playing the game, but the addiction is still present. I surf thottbot (A loot site) and still frequent the realm / class forums. I'm still recovering from depression, but I KNOW I'm placing everything in jeopardy of a relapse if this continues. I need to stay off the bloody forums. I also need to stay away from sites like addictinggames that will do exactly what the title suggests.
I guess this is about as close to a cry for help as it gets. I need help. I want a future without F's. I want a future with my girfriend, with whom I am falling deeper in love each day. I want a shot at med school, and I know I'm certainly capable. I want to get back into shape again.
I KNOW I'm not strong enough to do this alone. I also know that there's no way my parents will ever understand. Heck, my friends don't, leastways those who have stuck around despite my social reclusiveness for 2 years.
I know there is no magic button, despite all my wishes. :/ I'm willing to stick this through, if not just for the joy of the fresh air. I want to be someone worth "being with". Who's with me?