Disclaimer: I do not have a degree in psychology or any sort of training relating to it. These are my own experiences and opinions. They should be treated as such.
It happens to us from time to time. We get overly excited about one thing or another and can sometimes become overly enthusiastic about it. Even to the point of obsession. For a lot of people it’s an escape from their reality. A focus on something that makes them happy, gives pleasure, etc. at the cost of other things in their life. Obsession, I believe, can be both good and bad depending on the severity. The word and its context usually implies something negative, but when harnessed and kept in check, can lead to great things.
I was obsessed with gaming. I loved the community that I built around me and still do. I loved being in the know about things coming down the pipe, meeting new people just as obsessed as I was, and it helped me not think about all the other bad things going on in my life. I was able to escape and feel purposeful in the things I did. For every team victory, every level beaten, every game finished, I felt like I accomplished something. For a while it satiated my need to feel I am moving forward. In reality I was standing still with other important parts of my life.
I ignored my mental problems, I ignored the fact that I didn’t feel right in my own skin. I ignored that I was miserable when not gaming. I ignored relationship problems, my health, my career goals. All I wanted to do was play games for hours. The plus side was I never felt alone. I had lots of friends to talk to online. Lots of people to spend time with, game, or just have social interaction in general. Deep down though, I was unhappy and had emotional issues. The obsession helped me not have to think about or deal with these problems.
But eventually those problems become to big to ignore.
Most people who read my blog know what happened when I started to listen to myself and start caring about myself. So I will not go into that here. Obsession lead to making me blind to the issues I really needed to deal with. But, without that obsession, I would not have the friends I have now. I would not have had the experiences with those friends. I will never forget the fun I had playing Smite and having victories, playing Mega Man Death Match with my podcast friends. I would not have made the connections that I continue to have with them.
I regret the negatives of my obsession, but I can not discount the positives I gained from it. I am happy I realized that my obsession was an issue. I still game, I still stream, but life is much fuller and balanced. I will always have some obsession, something I strive for. Where would we be without some kind of goal? But I feel this time I am more aware of myself and my need to do things I love. Obsession can lead to great things, but must not takeover and make us blind to the other things in our lives.