My Story: Am I in need of help from OLGA?

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Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
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Joined: 01/28/2016 - 8:59pm
My Story: Am I in need of help from OLGA?

Hi, I am in a dark place in my life right now and in need of some answers. I do play video games, and my parents give me sh** for it, but I never saw it as a problem; however, now that I am an adult (23) I'm really starting to think it may be an issue. Please help.

I started playing games when I was younger, maybe 10? My first encounter was Pokemon Yellow for Gameboy. I loved this game, and soon started to play other games for Gameboy. It never seemed to affect my life as a child. I played sports, had friends, and never seemed to devote too much time to gaming. However, even then, my parents, especially my dad, gave me sh** for wanting to play it in my spare time in my room or whatever. It was always his focal point in conflicts - Dad: "blah blah blah, cause of those **** video games!" From Gameboy I went to Nintendo 64, to Playstation 2, to Xbox, to Xbox 360. I was an "efficient" gamer. I only had one system at a time, and only 4-5 games. After beating a game I would trade it in at Gamestop for another. I assume that untill this point, I was a "healthy" gamer.

In 2007, my sophomore year of high school, Halo 3 came out, and I was exposed to the "competitve" gaming scene. I dabbled in 3-4 other games a year, but 99% of my devotion was to Halo 3 and its online ranking system. I would have been content with just this game. After school and homework, I would spend hours playing this game with friends, with the intent of becoming the best. I don't know if it is worth noteing or not, but I only play(ed) with friends from "real life." To this day I don't have any notable friends that I met online. I feel a big reason for playing these games is because they do too. 

My senior year, 2010, I finally broke down and got into World of Warcraft, at my best friends' encouragement. There were four of us that got online together and played. We were into the player vs. player and would stay up all night trying to get our ranks up. We were all washed up jocks looking for a new competition to suceed at, which wasn't limited by our bodies.

However, I did well throughout grade school, and never got into too much trouble. Frankly, I was a GREAT kid. I was #1 GPA ranked for the longest time throughout high school (I think I finished 3rd), I didn't have my first drink until my junior year and I didn't touch drugs until my senior year (MJ), and I got into my desired college (Michigan). The only knock on my high school career, is that I gave up on all sports except baseball, which I played all four years. I'm personally mad that I didn't do more weight training - I'm pretty skinny, have always been so. Looking back, untill this point, I don't feel there was much of a problem.

When I started college is when problems seemed to start to pop up. It's long enough now that I really can't say what caused what, but my first year was rough. I posted a measly 2.3 GPA, which devastated me. I'll admit the transtition from a small high school with hardly any AP courses to a large university like Michigan was anything but easy, but I did play a lot of WoW. I did study and try my "hardest," but at the end of day all I wanted to do was relax and kill a few dwarves :P. Lucky for me, by the start of sophomore year the game fell to sh** and we all stopped paying the ridiculous $15 a month. This was in part due to the emergence of what would come be the free to play giant, League of Legends. 

During my sophomore year, I met some of my best college friends (I was a hermit my freshman year), and for the most part I replaced gaming with drinking and smoking MJ on weekends. I didn't do much better during this year grades wise, but I was definitely trying harder. I think I had a 2.4 cumulative. To be fair my first two years consisted of what most students consider "the most difficult courses." But gaming was almost at a zero.

Junior year it was all about League of Legends. I played with two of the three friends that used to play WoW at first, then convinced two of my new found college friends to give it a try (they had heard about it). We all got hooked and played a fair amount. This year was the first year I wasn't in a dorm, so the drinking and weed smoking also increased HEAVILY. I smoked probably 3-5 days a week and drank almost every weekend. Surprisingly, this is when my grades started improving - I think I got a 3.5 on the year. 

Senior year I moved into a house with four other guys, including the two that played LoL. The weed smoking and gaming hit a max. We were smoking every day, before and after class. We played LoL in our spare time. A LOT of LoL. Crazily, I posted my best GPA yet, 3.6. 

By some miracle, I got into grad school there, so I went back for a fifth year program. I moved into an apartment with this girl who was a good friend at the time, but whom I also had a crush on (BIG MISTAKE). The smoking and drinking slowed wayyy down, but I still played A LOT of LoL with my two buddies who were a year younger than me, so still in school. I did even better in class, posting a 3.8 GPA. Class ended in May 2015, and that is when things really started to look bad.

I spent the summer in the apartment working on my thesis. The bummer was all my friends went home for the summer, so I essentially only worked on my thesis and played LoL for four months. Working on my thesis and with my advisor was a nightmare. I'd do soo much and get little in return as to how well the project was coming. This combined with living with this girl who now had a boyfriend (sleeping over a lot) and the fact that I had NO friends to hang out with to relieve stress, really started to depress me. I could feel the spiral beginning to happen. I told myself I'd stop smoking in June so I could pass a folicle, but I smoked every day untill I left in August. I didn't finish my thesis in August, the expected finish date. Although to be fair, no one did in my class.  

I moved home at the end of August. Since then I've only smoked maybe 3 times when offered by friends and I only drink occassionally. The first month back I was just happy to be out of that apartment and the aweful situation I put myself in with that girl. It really wasn't her fault, was just a shy, insercure guy with high hopes. I was expected to finish my thesis in December, but that never happened. I have maybe worked on it a week total since moving home (last 5 months). I hate it soo much. The experience has been aweful. I feel petrified to do anything on it. Instead I have been applying to jobs most of the day then playing LoL at night. I wake up at 11am, send out apps until 4ish, B.S. around with dinner and talking to parents until 6pm or 7pm, and then play League untill 2am. I lie and say some of the time I'm up working on my thesis, but I'm pretty sure they know better by now.

My dad is starting to be a real prick to me, but there is nothing I can do, he is right. I have nothing to show for the last 5 months. To be fair I am a Geology major, and wished to get into the Oil and Gas industry, but it is in the sh**ter right now. No one is hiring, tons of layoffs are occurring. What throws salt in the wound, is that my roommate was smart and met with a recruiter over summer and got a really good job in O&G in Houston, which I would kill for. 

The driving conflict with my dad is money. We are a middle class family and so I needed students loans, which are requiring repayment now. My dad is helping, but upped his work week to seven days some weeks. I don't know our actual financial situation but he likes to tell me that it's so he can pay my loans. I love him, but he is one of the worst humans I have met when it comes to his family. He says the meanest sh** to me, my mom, and brother. And he HATES video games. 

I feel like if I quit playing League, a lot of my problems may go away. But I enjoy the game so much I really hope I don't have to quit, but the same time I want to start going to the gym, and living a different lifestyle.

I've lost track a little by now, so if I need to elaborate, please let know.

Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
OLGA member
Joined: 07/19/2015 - 11:53pm
Hi Shotcolla.

Hi Shotcolla.

Welcome on Olganon. And thanks for sharing your story. I do think you need help, but you can only help yourself. By reading the forum I think you can gather the needed support.

You say it yourself, you want to live another lifestyle but at the same time you hope you don't have to quit gaming. That's the addiction talking. I know what I'm saying, because when I quit gaming the first time, I didn't go cold turkey. I still had a few games on the side, didn't sell my consoles, etc ...

Instead of playing, get rid of all the games. Use the time to find a job, and talk to your father.

Human beings all react differently to different situations. Your dad might react in an anti social way to your gaming addiction. Maybe he is sad/angry/dissapointed seeing you gaming for hours and not focusing on studies / jobs like he though you would?

A little bit of gaming isn't bad, but for the addict (and I think that the moment someone posts about his gaming experienxe / problems on Olga, he is an addict), it's just impossible.

What do you gain from gaming? Only instant gratification and fun. It isn't going to help in your career or future life. You are still young so don't waste more time on gaming, quit cold turkey, and explore the other ways of life. :)

Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
OLGA member
Joined: 08/27/2010 - 1:01pm
Welcome! I echo what Anewho

Welcome! I echo what Anewho says. If you're an addict you can't have even a little gaming. Moderation doesn't exist with us. Every fight my husband and I have goes back to my gaming. He's hurt, he's angry and he's frustrated. He sees more potential in me than I do and as long as I'm gaming it's lost. I've quit several times but always left my "options open" to go back. I think this time is different because I've made myself accountable to 3 or 4 other people who I know will hold me to it. I also attend Celebrate Recovery meetings (a Christ centered recovery program). This time the urge to game isn't nearly as strong as my fear of a binge. Don't get me wrong - this is HARD! The urges are strong and the simply not knowing what to do in the real world or not having a game to escape into when things are overwhelming is almost unbearable at times. Sometimes it's minute by minute of focused breathing or counting or whatever you have to do to make it through. I do encourage you to find other activities that don't involve electronics if possible. There is a list on here of things to do instead of gaming. I also encourage you to find an accountability partner and/or a sponsor. If you know someone is going to be checking on you and encouraging you to get back up after you fall is priceless. If your dad sees you're genuinely, trying he may be more likely to come around. Good luck and keep coming back! This is a great first step!

game free since 1/14/2016

Last seen: 10 hours 18 min ago
OLGA member
Joined: 06/04/2015 - 3:09pm
Welcome Kyle.  I second the

Welcome Kyle.  I second the suggestions made.  Come listen in on a few meetings.

You'll meet some people a lot like yourself who have managed to stay off games completely and turn their lives around for the better.  If we can do it, so can you.

Last seen: 3 years 6 months ago
OLGA member
Joined: 12/07/2014 - 12:59am

Welcome to olga! I relate to a number of the things you said... being able to succeed in school despite gaming some of the time but not always, having a really hard time with actually finishing my thesis, difficult family relationships (especially around money!)... Only you can say for sure whether or not you're an addict, but a couple things may help you to know:

Come to some meetings. The mumble ones have the most people at them. That was where I felt the most connected with people, started to see how much other people's stories were like my own, began to feel that there might be some hope, and learned about what I could do to help with recovery.

There's also a youtube channel with people's stories if you like listening to things:

Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
OLGA memberOLGA moderator
Joined: 04/21/2014 - 3:03pm

Welcome!!!  I went through that same thing with lack of motivation and being "stuck" and like paralyzed to make progress on things because of my gaming.  I echo what other's have said but also wanted to let you know there is a guy in our fellowship, probably your age, was or is still in grad school there in Michigan and who has been game free for over a year and doing well.  He also holds a face-to-face meeting in Detroit, but suggest double checking days/times.  Best thing is to catch him in one of the meetings here online or you can email him and add him in Skype - his info is on our contacts page but here it is:

LearningSerenity (email)
learning.serenity (skype)
Michigan USA

The Detroit meeting used to be held at (and may still be but check with LS):

Student Center
Wayne State University
5221 Gullen Mall
Detroit, MI

Hope to see you in one of the meetings!!

Hugs, Lisa Video game free since 4/17/2014

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