So it is kinda funny for me to be here and write an intro. At first, I thought I'd do this all by myself, but then I guess some support and having some place to write my feelings can't hurt, so here goes!
My name is Jean-Louis, I'm 30 years old and I live in Montreal, Quebec. I've been playing video games for longer than I can remember. Got a photo of me in my parents photo album, wearing a diaper and holding my dad's NES game controller... ? I guess that was cute when we talked about it, but now I am just realising how troubling it really is for me. I have never thought of video games as a potential addiction, but I realise how much time I lost, that I could have spent improving my life.
Short version: I dropped out of high school at 15, after changing schools a few times... Long version: It all began by getting late to class, not doing homework or doing them at the last possible minute. I am not quite certain when it all began to be honest. I remember getting late to school when I was in my last year of elementary school and I'm pretty sure I didn't do all my homework. Still, I had excellent grades. I then went to a private high school, for which my parents and grand-parents paid quite a lot. First year seemed to go fine as far as I can remember, but second and third year were where the problems began. I got put in detention almost every week in my 3rd year of high school for getting late to class or not doing my homework. I switched schools the next year because of my student record. I eventually switched schools a few more times before skipping class and eventually dropping out. When my parents were trying to find solutions, the only problem that came up was that I was too tired to get up early. Of course, I was always going to bed quite late after long sessions of video games.
Short version: I have known many ups and downs, while not being able to acknowledge that I had a video game addiction... Long version: I have had moments when I thought my life was not worth living a few times throughout my teenager years. Many reasons for that could be at cause, but I guess that spending so much time playing video games did not help. I played video games a lot to numb my feelings of despair and anxiety. At the time I thought that "at least i wasn't using drugs or doing anything bad" but I didn't ever consider that gaming was an addiction that was seriously affecting my whole life. At 17 I began attending a youth peer support group. Though it wasn't about video games at all, I apparently changed a lot around that time. My parents said I looked much happier and fulfilled. I also got a job around that time and was also doing other activities that I loved (acting, singing, dancing...). I got involved in the support group as an animator . I finally decided to go back to school and got my high school diploma at age 23. I got into cegep and was acing most my classes for a while. After a year my motivation started to dwindle for many reasons and though I did not consider it at the time, I wonder now how much gaming could have been at cause. Anyway, I changed programs and ended up getting enough credits to get a diploma that would allow me to go to college. So I went to university for about a year and a half with very low motivation. I quit university, at 27 during my second year and took a year to rethink my goals but I thought my motivation would never go back to what it was before.
Right now, I'm back in school but I am struggling with deadlines and getting to class on time. Today, I feel that I am just undertaking one of the most important projects of my life. I just admitted to myself that I was a game addict and decided to do something about it. I do believe it will be one of the biggest and toughest changes I will make to my life. I have so many aspirations that went off-course and I really want to get a hold of myself and start working on my dreams. As I am writing this I just achieved my first 24 hours without playing video games, posted about it on facebook to my friends and I just uninstalled the games on my computer. It made me quite anxious to be honest, ? but I believe I made the right choice. I hope tomorrow won't be as hard.
I'll be back to tell you more about it!
See you soon! ?