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Nancy S.

Hello

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Hi all, my name is Nancy and I'm an undergraduate student in Canada studying biochemistry. I have a very long story ahead that I want to share, but I bolded the important parts in case some of you guys prefer a TL DR.

When I was 14, I came to Canada from China on my own, and the language barrier + my horrible social skills quickly sealed my fate as one of the loners in high school. I didn't have friends, got harassed and stalked by a fellow male classmate(and the school just gave him a slap on the back of his hand, of course), not to mention the derogatory terms called behind my back(e.g. chink) - the school was predominantly white, as ESL students were placed to other schools. My parents and I had a very tense relationship and just told me to study more whenever I told them my troubles, I called them less than twice per month.

I started playing the game League of Legends in Season 3(grade 10-11 ish?) and became a diamond player within one year playing Vayne and Orianna. I was surprised by how good I got at the game and gained a lot of popularity online. People respected me, and I made many friends - exactly what I lacked in real life. I still talk to a few of my League freinds today; they fully support my decision and are having fun with my account, and I don't plan on cutting them out of my life.

Despite me staying up all night playing video games and skipping class for two years, I was still able to make it out of high school with a 90+ average and into the top university of Canada. However, it was first year where everything fell apart. Being the insecure e-girl with low self-esteem, I dated a fellow League player online and I would skip class to duo queue with him, stay up all night just to Skype with him, and so on. University is a lot different from high school, and if you skip class and put all your eggs in the basket called cramming the night before the midterm, you will fail. And that's exactly what I did. I not only failed first semester but also the second. I was extremely lucky to withdraw from the courses before the deadline, so although my transcript looks a bit weird my GPA isn't affected at all. 

Eventually the guy got bored and told me that he was also talking to other girls and I was left alone again. I dated another League dude later on, who moved to my city from the other side of the country(very sweet gesture on his part), but we didn't work out either. It wasn't until April of last year when I realized my life could be ruined, because video games weren't going to get me anywhere in life(I wasn't good enough to go pro, and I'm sure my parents would rather kill themselves than let their child go play games for a living), and I will get kicked out of university if this keeps going. My parents finally realized something was up and took me home in China, where they made me quit the game for one summer, devised a study plan, before my mom accompanied me back to Canada in September again. I restarted from first year.

Recovery was very difficult, as I have been addicted to it for years. In my first year, I would install the game, play for a few weeks before deleting it in guilt, then back again. It was a vicious cycle; every time I played the game, I felt worse about myself and I fought with my mother so many times because she got suspicious about my online activity; I cried myself to sleep, hating myself for not having the mental capacity to say no to the game once and for all. However, things were starting to come together again, as I finished first year with a 3.97 GPA and got into one of the most competitive programs at my school. I also made many friends in real life and got involved with campus activity. 

I haven't touched the game for about 5 months now, but I still find my self binge watching streams and YouTube videos(not to mention the LoL world championships last night, SKT wins again what a surprise...). I also get quite jealous of my fellow classmates who still play the game while maintaining an impressive average. I fear that I will go back to the game again, and forget school, forget my friends, and forget the life I was leading, and make everything fall apart again. It's a nightmare that keeps coming back and haunting me.

And that's why I signed up and posted here, because I know I can and will do better. I have put on so much weight over the years and I could have been using this time to work out, or to catch up with sleep, or to be helping my mother with chores since her health is declining. And that is my goal now, to completely quit watching streams/YouTube montages of the game. After I hit submit on this post, I will go and unsubscribe from all the YouTube channels that are gaming related. I will also use a website blocking software to block twitch.tv so I cannot watch streams. I want to make the most out of my university years and see if I can do something brilliant(I would love to go to med school or an Ivy League for grad school, but I will need a little more improvement with my grades)!

Whether you've read the whole thing or not, I appreciate you for coming here and listening to me. Very few of my friends know about this past, and it feels damn great to finally get it out there(even if it's an online forum).

I wish all of you the best of luck in your respective journeys of recovery! Years later, we will all look back at our choices and thank ourselves. 

Lots of love,

NS

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Hi Nancy! Welcome to the forum. I read your full story and want to thank you for sharing it. That takes a lot of courage but you'll find a lot of love here. We're all in this together. We are with you. :)

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Welcome Nancy!

As a REALLY fresh newcomer myself it's good to know that other people are joining at the same time with me :)

We also seem to have a lot of things in common too. One of them is the League history :D I played for almost 5 years and day before yesterday I played my last LoL match ever. I also dated a fellow player (a girl). These things might not seem too relevant but I think that when we have similarities with each other here, the feeling of belonging here and doing the right thing becomes more powerful :)

Best of luck, Nancy!

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Welcome aboard the ship, @Nancy S.! I'm also recovering from the disease called League of Legends, so I can relate strongly to what you're saying. The better you get at that game, the harder it is to let it go, since it becomes such a huge part of your identity. The champs you're playing, your playstyle, your ranking, your social circle - these things get so entangled with your identity that you can't picture being someone without the game. 

But it seems like you were sucessful in quitting, and that's so awesome to hear. Really. It's awesome. 

I believe we get shaped, or hardened if you'd like, by our experiences - like steel forged in iron, like broken bones growing stronger after healing. It sounds like you have had quite a rough time; moving to a foreign country, the addiction, the lonliness. It also sounds like you are quite a brilliant person; getting to diamond in league isn't the easiest thing, and finishing with a GPA of 3.97 is pretty decent insanely good. This day is the beginning of the rest of your life, and I believe you can make something great out of it, in part thanks to the tough experiences you've gone through. The hardships have granted you something other people doesn't have. Embrace it.

You've been able to quit gaming. What could possibly stop you now? 

Again, welcome. We've got your back. And good luck (if you need it).

Edited by Simon E

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Welcome and thanks for sharing your story; every time you try to get out of that hole in the street you get a little better at it until one day you're ready to walk down a different street : ) I'm still working on it, but this community has been a terrific help, best to you Nancy!

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Hi Nancy ! Welcome to the forum. I have read your whole story which I could relate a lot, stress from early age and low self-esteem stuff. I have relapsed more than 10 times but everytime it gets shorter, instead of feeling guilty about relapse, I try to learn about cons of gaming. I recommend the book "The Slight Edge" which you could have heard from this forum, it's a pretty good start. I am studying in 4th year med school, it's pretty tough. I think if I still addict to gaming, I could have never come this far. Get all the support you need !! Good luck : )

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Welcome Nancy :)

I wish you all the best on your journey! You already have the skills and potential for a great life - and by stopping to watch streams and such you did another important step in getting it !

 

PS

The more I read about Leage of Legends the happier I am that I never even tried it out. That game must be an absolute killer. :o

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