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This is something I've needed to do for a while

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Hey Everyone,

My name is Misha, and I am 21 from California and I've been suffering from this video game addiction for almost all my life. Gaming has been a destructive force in my life, and recently it has caused me a lot of pain, self-hatred, and loneliness.

I started gaming 13 years ago, at my friends house on the N64. I was hooked to video games ever since that time, I eventually got a gamecube two years later and I remember that it playing on it every chance that I could. Childhood was rough for me, my parents where strict, and I changed schools constantly. I remember how alienating it was trying to fit into a group of friends constantly, and trying to deal with the fact that I lost the friends I previously had. It was especially tough for me as I was a awkward and shy kid. Video games was one the few constant forces I had in my life and it helped me cope with life. But this coping measure started to take over my life.

I burned out in High School. My first year everything went well, I was a A-B student that did all my work and didn't miss a single day of class. But the beginning of the next year I absolutely lost it, as my mother signed me up -without my knowledge- to a extra class that would "prepare me for college." Problem was my schedule was already full and I had to take a zero period (a class every day that started at 7:00). I had enough, of her, of school, and life in general. This is the time I first started compulsively playing games. It was one of the few activities that gave me pleasure. My grades dropped, I started ditching school, and experimenting with drugs and alcohol. But video games were always my main form of escapism.

Senior year I woke up and realized that I should probably go to college. I had no clue what I wanted by my only goal was to leave. I had to pull two extra classes during my first semester and pass the ones I was taking that year, and I completed my first semester. It was a incredible feeling, that I had won, that I could leave, and all my problems would go away. Or so I thought.

The final semester of senior year I started to slack off big time. Its here that I first had a feeling deep down that I had a problem with gaming. My friend introduced me to DOTA 2 and I became obsessed with the game. I played non-stop, as soon I started got home every day to about 3-4 in the morning. I started sleeping in school, half assing all the work I had to do. My grade dipped and by the end I got D (I needed a C for college) in the one class that I was mandatory. Luckily I had enough to graduate, but my plan had backfired.     

I spent my time after High School playing video games obsessively. Every single free moment I had poured into games. I went to a nearby culinary school just so I could avoid getting a job and devote more of my time to games. The few friends I had in my life left and moved on. The only people I interacted with where the friends I had online. But as I sunk all my times into games I found that the pleasure I got from them where few and far between. I tried to sink more and more time in, or changing the games I played but It didn't help.

Deep down I think I knew that I had a problem. But as time went on, I started to feel shame, desperation, and hopelessness. As I played I found myself uninterested, with the same thoughts in the back of my mind; "Why are you doing this?" or "You can't do this forever." But the next day I would do the same as the day before trying to convince myself that it was alright and I enjoyed this.

I decided to go back to school at the local community college. It went well at first, then I started to have problems. I kept staying up late playing games. Then I started missing class, and ignoring my work. I ended up flunking half the classes I took, and its a miracle that I passed the others. The feelings of Depression, Anxiety, and Loneliness got worse and I found myself playing at every moment I got just to try and suppress these feelings. These feelings climaxed at one point where one night I just wanted to die. In the end I didn't but it was the lowest point of my life. 

Since that time I was suicidal I have taken a look back on my life and accepted that I have problems. Gaming has been my way of escapism from life, and even though it brought me joy in the past, I know that I need to quit. It is going to be the hardest thing I have ever done.           

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