Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Confession

I haven't been totally open. I've had a problem stepping out of the World of Warcraft and into the real world. I know that I don't want my life to be centered around video games anymore. But for some reason every few weeks I think that I want to still play WoW. So I'll log in (resubscribe if I have to) and play for a day. Then within the next few days I totally regret it, and uninstall the damn thing again. Then a few days later I transfer it back to my computer from the husband's (he never gets around to uninstalling!). I don't know why I do this, I think it's because I panic about failing in the real world and want to go back to my crutch, even if it's just for a day or a few hours. It's especially bad if something stressful happens, I freak out and the idea of losing myself in a fake world seems pretty tempting.

My last trip into WoW was this weekend, Saturday night I transferred it over and by Monday I had uninstalled it again. This time was different though. I met someone this month that I became pretty good friends with in game. She's a lot like me personality wise, but a few years older. She shares my feelings about the game, but she's not ready to leave it yet. Seeing her was a lot like seeing myself a year or so ago. Hating the game, but still wanting to play all the time for some reason. She's nearing 30 and has no plans for marriage or kids, despite having the man and the desire for both. She's educated and jobless. A huge part of all that I know, partly from experience, is from playing. It's obviously her choice to do what she wants, but it made me so sad to see someone who could be doing amazing things stuck in this game. And the worst thing is that I knew if I stopped playing, I'd probably never talk to her again. It's so hard to talk to people who are currently playing. It's like trying to communicate with someone in space, what can you discuss? "Well, I went to the store today and bought milk." "I floated around in outer space. Isn't that awesome?" It's two different planes of existence.

By Monday night I knew I was done. I was so tired of disappointing myself, and all the stress that quitting and then playing was putting on me. I logged off fully intending to quit. I called the husband and told him, and he said it was fine because he was bored already himself. Usually when I would "quit" I wouldn't inform anyone. Most of my in game friends have quit, or I've just lost touch with them. So I'd just log off quietly and plan on never coming back. This time I thought of my friend. I logged back on, and told her I was quitting. She told me that quitting was one of the best things you could ever do, although she was sad to see me go. I traded her all of my stuff, gold and everything and exchanged e-mails (although I doubt I'll ever hear from her!). The most important thing I did though: strip my account of all of my information that I could. And remove my authenticator, and change both the e-mail and password to something I'll never remember offhand. Then I tossed my authenticator in the trash. Every other time I quit I never got rid of my stuff or changed my email address. It was like I was expecting to come back, or just wanted my stuff there in case I did want to come back. But now I know that gold and gear are just pixels, and once you realize there's nothing special about them it doesn't feel like a big loss to get rid of them.

So, I confess that I hadn't really fully quit WoW yet. I thought I had, but I kept going back. Monday, April 25, I quit for real. And I've never felt so free in my life. The best part? I had a terrible, stressful day on Tuesday and I didn't even feel an urge to go back.


  1. The first few months are the hardest. And nobody can say that quiting wow addiction is easy. The brain's chemistry reactions while playing is the same as with drug addiction.
    It wasn't easy for me either.I felt the urge but my body warned me not to. I've found that reading about game addiction in wowdetox and other sites helped me in moments of weakness.Instead od logging on, I visited the sites and remembered why I had quited in the first place.
    I' m sure you'll make it. You're half way there already :) *hug

  2. I agree with the above comment, WoW detox has really helped me, you can just dip into the site quick and be reminded of a million reasons why you quit. It sounds like you've really done your best this time, good luck and I know you won't regret it!
    I've been WoW-clean for 2 months now and I'm going through a bit of a rough patch but chucking out the authenticator etc. has made it impossible for me to crack!

  3. WOOT HEATHER!!! I'm sorry that you had been struggling so much to stop. Good for you that you have finally come to terms with stopping for good. I sometimes stop and wonder why it is that Steve and I have never felt the urge to play again. I think that in OUR case, we did everything we wanted to. We achieved "greatness" for our mains--BOTH PAIRS--and we also knew that our real world would come crashing down around us if we didn't stop. Also, we had a deadline in another way: our Cataclysm raiding groups were set to go the very next week, so if we didn't stop then, we couldn't with a good conscience, knowing that we'd let the team down. Finally...both of us knew the strain that WoW had on our relationship and without it, our lives would be greatly improved.

    Good for you, Heather. It's hard to be honest about playing when you said you weren't, but I can understand why you did. You needed to be comfortable with stopping on your own terms, and it took a while to get there. I'm glad you're feeling better about yourself, and I'm sure glad that I get to know you on this other side and not in the game!

  4. Thanks for the comments you guys, it's good to know I'm not the only one who has issues with stopping! I'm glad it's been so easy for you though Janet, I guess you were just really ready to move on when you did :)

  5. I wouldn't say it was EASY...I mean, I still think about WoW every single day. I just don't want to play. WoW was my LIFE for YEARS...we were in the right place to stop, wasn't simple...I miss playing my Badjoojoo and Lakotah...and my other characters. I think about them all the time...I guess the difference is just that the timing was right and we were satisfied enough to stop. *hugs*