The following is another blog in our series of true stories in which cyber addicts openly discuss their situation. Randy messaged me through Facebook and wanted to discuss his addiction. A young adult with ADHD, Randy exemplifies the tendency for ADHDers to make excessive use of the offerings of the cyber world, a fact that disturbingly parallels the increased incidence of addiction among people with ADHD. Randy’s recollections show many of the telltale signs of addiction, and highlight the crucial role of finding support in successfully overcoming an addiction.
September 10, 2011:
My addiction started 4 years ago when I started seeing advertisements for World of Warcraft on the internet and on TV, and even in school on shirts. So, Ii walked to the local Best Buy and bought my first copy of my World of Warcraft (WoW). I paid a mere $15 that night to start playing. It was an occasional amusement early, but became an addiction when my relationship with my ex-girlfriend started going south. The emotional turmoil of the unraveling of my relationship was hard to bear, a fact which sent me into logging more and more hours on the game. I started skipping school to go home and play WoW. My room started getting messier and became a gaming “lair.” I never left my room except to use the bathroom, get something to eat, or go to the store for snacks. Later, I bought the expansion to the game, which turned out to be one of the most serious mistakes of my life. I started getting deeper and deeper into my addiction, even lashing out at my family for no reason. My cyber addiction broadened into substance abuse, as I started on the path to drugs and alcohol. A year after my relationship ended, my entire universe revolved around WoW. I was always talking about the game. When i was away from it, my mind obsessed on my what I was going to do when I got back to it. I would say things to myself like, “I need to get home; a Raid is coming up and I need to be there. While I shunned contact with the REAL people in my life, I focused on cyber relationships with people on WoW. I was always in the game, and my ability to differentiate between the game and real life had greatly diminished. I stopped before the last expansion came out and woke up one day and was about to go on WoW. I don’t know why, but on that day, I paused and looked around me, looked at myself in the mirror and saw that my life had taken a turn years before for the worse. I fought my addiction with new friends in the real world. Family members allowed me to stay at their houses for a few days to sometimes weeks to help and support me. I”m now two year off of World of Warcraft and my addiction is still here calling me back, but I fight it by spending time with the ones I love and care about. One thing i have learned from my experience is we all have an addiction, and it will always be there, we just need to know how to fight it. We must help and support each other, and we must NAME the addiction. Simply by naming it for what it is, I have found, we begin to exercise some power over it. I was motivated to tell my story because someone else told her story on Kevin’s blog. Telling our stories holds great power.
Randy, thank you for telling your story. You have helped me continue to act with purpose and intention in my life, rather than waste my life in the throes of cyber addiction. I think you are a powerful person, and I see great things in your future.