So weird. I was going to make an account and apparently I already have an account. From 2 years, 8 months ago. I don't even remember doing that. Sounds about right, though.
I think I mostly wanted to make a thread to introduce myself. I feel a little bit like a poser because I'm passed the worst of my addiction, by quite a while. From 2004-2009, I played World of Warcraft to an unbelievable extent. My life went on pause. I tried to do college several times and always ending up dropping classes. At one point in 2007, I lost 30 pounds in a semester because TBC just came out and I just stopped eating so I could play all day. I would come home to visit my parents and not be able to survive in their internetless house, so drive 1.5 hours to get to an internet cafe (this was also around 2007, things have obviously changed since then). I used to stay at internet cafes for over 24 hours without leaving, just getting up to go to the bathroom or buy another energy drink from the vending machine.
In 2009, a fluke happened. I applied to college for the upteenth time. It was at an art school out of state. I somehow actually quit the game. It was possibly because my topranked guild had beaten all the content and there was a natural lull in the game, but still, I quit. I ended up having to drop a class that quarter because I had developed some pretty bad anxiety from never dealing with the world for 5 years, but I stayed at full-time status and got a 3.0. I ended up being WOW free for 3 years and graduated college with honors, and secured a good job.
I thought I was cured you know. I had so much self confidence (well, relatively speaking) after being away from the game for 3 years. But after a year at my job, I was laid off, and couldn't get another job. This was 2013. I started playing WOW on a private server basically all day everyday. I went to job interviews but I lied and said my mom was sick and couldn't work on certain days (so I wouldn't miss raids). Of course, I didn't get hired. After no job for about 6 months, I ended up getting very depressed. Bad thoughts depressed. I wouldn't get a new job for 2 years, but I did in November 2015.
I still played WOW "casually" when I got the job, but I did some pretty stupid things. Since I was playing on a private server, I opted to play in a European guild even though I'm American, just because they were more competitive, but this meant they raided during American work times. I would take long lunches to raid on my laptop or on our work from home day I would just play WOW all day. This stopped about April/May 2016, when I spilled a glass of water on my laptop and never replaced it (I use my work computer at both work and home, but it's a Macbook Air and not really suitable for gaming).
I assumed when I killed my computer, I wouldn't be able to go long without replacing it, but I was somewhat incentivized to not. With my new job, I was paying off debts and I liked that feeling. I kept telling myself I'd wait to buy a computer until x, y, z was paid off. I've now been at that job 1 year, 1 month, and still haven't replaced the computer.
Over this holiday, I went to visit my mom and I have an old PC of mine at her house with WOW on it. I played on it one day for about 10 hours and afterwards I felt really depressed. I realized I didn't even enjoy it. I also realized whenever I take a long break from the game I convince myself that "I'm good now," and no longer addicted and can totally play it here and there casually (hence the title of this post). I don't think that's true.
One time in college a professor (who I shared my experience with) told me that some people can only treat things addictively. I don't think think that was the exact phrasing, but he basically meant, for an addict there is no other way to consume whatever your vice is except obsessively. For some reason that was eye opening to me. I always blamed the game. I always told myself the only way to play the game was to play constantly or else you would get behind etc. When he said that I realized there are people who play games in a healthy way, and I don't. It's almost as if I can't.
It's weird that my first post isn't from a state of being "too far in" but rather "almost letting things slip" after a long period of doing well. But I'm actually pretty intrigued by this community. I hope it's ok for someone not compeltely in the throes of it to hang around because I think keeping my thinking straight even if I'm not currently playing could be healthy.