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Trying to fix some things in my life

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Hello everyone,

My name is Anna, I'm 30 years old and I'm transgender, was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and I think I have a gaming problem.

Let me tell you how my life went in these past 12 years and you'll probably get the idea of what's happening.

So I started having these serious issues around my last year of high school, lack of motivation or clear idea of what I wanted to do with my life, I was always someone who was getting really good grades at school without trying and the last year of high school you could do these cheat sheets for maths / sciences which I didn't do that year and even tho I had 90%+ on all my grades through the year I almost failed with the final exams with around 60%~

After I finished high school I went in what is considered the hardest college course over here "pure sciences" thinking well I don't know what I want to do right now, so if I ever figure it out at least I'll have the requirements for it, well after 2 weeks of school, late night gaming and sleeping in some of the early morning classes I stopped going to classes. I did that for 3 whole semesters, living on government money (loans) and after 3 semester I was "banned" from that school, at least for 5 years.

After this everything else started going badly, I still had a rent to pay and no income. I had a girlfriend who helped me back then with the rent and which I planned to live with for the rest of my life (obviously not on these terms).

I went back to my old job (where she worked too) and after a couple of weeks was fired, not even because I didn't do the job properly but because I was not satisfied with how some employees were lazy and ranted a whole day about it, which to their defense was not a good thing to do on my part even if I had good reasons to complain, it shouldn't have been a public thing.

After I lost my job I started feeling depressed again, eventually I found out my girlfriend was cheating on me and I had suicidal ideas, which happened a numbers of times during my life but let's be fair I don't have the guts to go through with. We came back together but she also went back to cheating on me, I had no self worth and I was willing to get back with her even if she was cheating on me.

Eventually I started working in a convenience store just down my apartment building which was super convenient. I'd work 8 hours then game the rest of the time. I was a super good employee but my life still was not going anywhere. I eventually made a friend there (a girl) which I eventually fell in love with and had to break my friendship with her because she was in a relationship and the boundaries were starting to get thinner and thinner, for both her and me. So out of respect for her boyfriend I stopped said friendship and I was back alone, playing video games for a little bit.

Then tried to turn my life around and enlisted in the army. I liked the environment, I loved the people I was with and now I had a clear path I could follow, it wasn't easy but I had something. Until I fell "sick", I'm not sure anymore if I was faking it or if it was real but I was diagnosed with pneumonia and they left me in bed for a couple days, enough to feel like I was already starting to be way too far everyone else. It felt like these couple days I missed were now a huge mountain I would not be able to overcome, I started doubting myself again, felt like I failed once more in my life and started showing depression symptoms, I think I also lied at that point to "get out" of the army saying I was suicidal, I'm not sure but I was definitely depressed. I got medically discharged from the army at that point and went back on unemployment, once again I was playing video games all day and back in the same apartment.

I again did that for a while, until the unemployment payment were close to "end" and I decided to start going back to school (again on government loans) in something that interested me, computer sciences, I didn't know if it would work out because the career perspective in that domain here are not great but at least I was doing something I liked. I was again doing as little effort as possible, having almost 50% absenteeism but still passing all my classes when I was not in school I was gaming, again.

After school I started working in a computer shop, working minimum salary and again not giving much effort. I'd repair computers and computers problems with ease and would browse the web and even game on the job, which was fine with my boss because I was really good at my job.

I eventually started working for a telecom company, a job which I hate by the way but has a great salary and great advantages (insurances, retirement plan, etc.). I eventually also found myself dating again with a girl which I still am with to this day with and had 2 kids with her. None of this fixed any of my issues. Work was now causing way more stress on me, finances were not going well causing stress too and what was I doing when getting home? Playing games, again. My relationship went to shit, I was a terrible parent and all these things made me feel guilty and instead of fixing them, I'd use gaming as an escape.

On a good note I did have a good 2 years in that decade, it was during my transition. I again had good self esteem, I had a clear short term goal in mind (transitioning), I lost 95 pounds and was doing a way better job as a parent.

Then stress came back, it started with a medical work leave, while I still maintained going to the gym, but that changed with covid and gyms closing (they're still not open here by the way) and I went back to gaming, neglecting myself, barely taking showers, barely cleaning and again being a terrible parent.

I am not looking for a way out of video games but I am definitely looking for a way to reduce my playtime. When I don't play games I feel empty, I have nothing to do, I don't even know who I am anymore, what I like and even the things that made me happy once no longer fills that void. I don't have a problem trying new things, I have a problem maintaining them. For example if I start meditation, which was suggested to me by my psychiatrist, it does make me feel good but eventually I stop doing it and won't come back to it. I want to change but I have no motivation to do so or don't take the time to do so because whenever I try I don't know where to begin and I get bored / discouraged and go back to gaming.

I don't know if these kinds of post are unusual but I feel like I gave a clear picture of what my situation is right now and was trying to see if maybe talking about it to other people who might've felt the same way or had similar problems found a way to get through it. I apologize if my wall of text doesn't make sense, English is my second language and I tried my best, I also feel like I'm a bother writing all of these things, I feel like I'll get judged for a lot of things too but I truly want to change.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Anna,

I thank you for sharing. I too have had trouble replacing video games with other hobbies and have relapsed multiple times. I am currently in an 8 month university program in order distract myself from video games. I think you are courageous having written and reflected on your past for us to see here.

I just finished my first module in this course so I am in no position to know what will work for you.  But in by brief respites from gaming I always started out with small goals like getting up and going to bed at the same time everyday, or making my bed everyday. I wish you the best of luck in your search for meaning.



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