Hello, my name is uh Tariana, this post may be very long but I simply have had too much on my mind the last few weeks to cope with it all on my own. I suffer from severe social anxiety disorder, and agoraphobia that has developed from my addiction. I barely go outside, only about 3 times a month to see my psychiatrist, but other than that, my life has been the internet and 2 mmorpgs for 9 years. To even write this message brings me tremendous anxiety to the point I can barely control my body's shaking, but I need to reach out to someone, anyone really.
I'm not sure if my problem isn't really that relatable to anyone here but I will try. Throughout my entire childhood I always felt something was wrong with me, that something wasn't right, that to be blunt, I felt as if I was born incorrectly. I had an unyielding desire, a feeling that I was really a girl and not a boy, I had no internet access growing up so I felt like I was alone, a freak.
To cope with all these feelings I started playing Final Fantasy XI Online, I had assumed a female identity and immediately fell in love with the game. I felt whole, like I was my true self, but this attachment made me forget more and more about the real world. The junior high school I attended at the time was very lenient with me due to my superb grades, they let me pass grade 7 despite my very low attendance and let me do summer school at to pass grade 8. Grade 9 however they no longer said I had any leeway and I had to attend to pass to High School, but at that point it was too late, my entire existence became centered on one thing: Living my female life on FFXI. People loved me, thought I was cute and adorable, it gave me such a feeling of warmth and happiness I never felt before, I was also in a group of friends who become my foster family as other than my mom the rest of my family basically stopped associating with me, including the one real life friend I had.
I ended up eventually started getting into endgame on FFXI, the real meat of the game, and that is where I met the only person up to this point I've had a serious relationship with. Also at this point I felt confident enough to tell some of my closest people I knew that I was transgender, and the reaction was suprisingly positive, enough so that I finally came out about it in real life, where the reception wasn't as pleasant. No one believed me, they said it was just the game warping my brain since I had no real social interactions for a few years at this point, they refused to acknowledge how I felt even when I was little, it was completely devestating, and only gravitated me even deeper into the game. The only person who believed me was my Mother, who set me up with therapists yet again. I been seeing therapists for years for my social anxiety while hiding how I was feeling, and none of them helped me. Even after knowing my true feelings the doctors still refused to help me, saying my gaming habits and my anxiety were too much of a hinderance, I started to feel hopeless.
On FFXI I delevoped a serious online relationship with a guy who deeply cared about me, he also knew how I was in real life so I was overjoyed. He too had troubles managing his playtime, and our relationship didn't help that much, we'd be with each other for days, glued together. We'd stay up all night at times just talking, it was the first time I fell in love. He was also a very prestigious endgame player and got me into the server's number 1 english endgame group. I was in this group till I stopped playing FFXI, we were always regarded as elite, the best of the best, we'd do events every day to make money for our members, we'd make millions of in game money, which I used to acquire pretty much all the top end gear in the game for my classes. It all came at a cost though, the extensive 'work days' kept me away from my online family who felt like I abandoned them, which they had a right to feel. I had so much in game money at this point that I had nothing to do with it, so I'd buy stuff for my boyfriend or my friends, 50 million spent here, another 20m there, 30m here, it was no biggie, but people were not happy. They wanted me and not my money, they wanted their friend back. It all felt like I had my life sort out: I had a job where I was extremely wealthy, a lovely boyfriend, and friends who cared a lot for me, what I failed to realize, is that it was all a game, all meaningless, and that reality hit me hard one day...
My boyfriend wanted to break up with me, even though he loved me dearly, he felt like he was doing a bad job cause I was always unhappy, always sad. He also wanted to end his gaming habit and enlisted in college, saying it was time to change his life, and that he prayed I would too, so we could meet one day. Our 3 year relationship came to an end, and I was heartbroken, he was my only friend in my endgame team, I felt alone and isolated, my other friends had moved on to FFXI's successor: Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn, they insisted I joined them for a while, but I was deeply hesitant. I would lose everything I garnered in FFXI over my 8 year 'career' but it was at that point I realized, it was the friends that always mattered and not the game, and I made the switch.
I feel as if the cycle is beginning anew on FFXIV, and I feel like if it truly does, it'll be the end of my life, I've been playing for 9 months now and I've become just as attached to 14 as I was to 11. I've met a whole assortment of new friends, all of them who I greatly value and enjoy, I've even been open with my anxiety due to FFXIV raid teams using voice communication (my group on 11 didn't use it). I was able to fool people with my voice that I am a biological female and the result has been amazing, I get commented and complimented all the time about my skill on the game just like 11, It's just too addicting, too satisfying.
Now I talk finally about what has motivated me to reach out. My laptop which I used to play my other life has suffered a hard drive failure, and I've been unable to play for 2 weeks now while it has been sent away for repairs. I've been going through severe withdrawl and depression, thoughts are constantly rushing through my head about how this is the end result of abandoning my life 9 years ago. I have no friends, no family, I sit in my bedroom alone all day with nothing to do, and thoughts of suicide are all I think about. I can't handle it anymore, my therapist is about to terminate her relationship with me and the last time I called suicide crisis it felt futile as I couldn't properly express myself. I sit here writing this, with my 1500 and 120 days spent on 11/14, as if I'm on my last thread of life, to call out to a place where I feel people could somewhat understand me. I'm dearly sorry for the essay I just wrote, I just... just had to express myself or I felt like I'll die. With sincere regards, thank you for taking the time if you did to read this.