Obsession

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.

Advertisements

Gaming Friends, a letter to you.

I use to game a whole lot as a lot of you know.  I loved when I would stream and have the company of people all over the nation and sometimes world.  It’s fun having that company while gaming and it also helped my social skills.  When I’m not anxious, I am able to just talk to people, even if it’s just a little bit.  Gaming became an obsession.  Come home, hop on the computer and start playing something.  I spent HOURS on games like Smite, Minecraft, various platformers, Star Trek online, and the list goes on.  I also really enjoyed having a collection of retro games and collecting more systems, games, etc.  Was a part of a fun podcast where we talked about games, the gaming industry, shared opinions and just generally had fun with our passion.

Lots of things have changed.  Am I still a gamer, but I haven’t played them very much lately.  Most of you already know why.  But I do miss the community I had helped build.  I am very much still a part of it in some ways, but I feel like I’m being left further and further behind as far as game experiences go.  I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing though.  The obsession I had, for me personally, was not healthy or maintainable.  I spent most of my time gaming and much less on doing anything else.  I was letting life pass me by as I mined endlessly for diamonds or spent hours in online arena battles.  And when not doing that, I was watching stream after stream after stream while doing those other things.  It’s just not maintainable for me anymore.

I love to stream and share experiences with friends.  I love to watch streams and spend time with online friends where we wouldn’t get to hang out otherwise.  I loved making and creating and entertaining when I could.  I loved the jokes, the laughs, the research, the sharing of ideas, all of the social aspects of gaming.  That is what I miss most.  The games are really just a means to an end.  I am a very social gamer.  I want to play with others, not just by myself.  It’s depressing to game alone.  I want to have that fun social interaction with the passions we share.

It’s just not possible to do that anymore.  I am in love with someone very special to me and want to experience more things with her.  I have so many other things going on in “RL” as we all say.  I am getting some of the same social experiences I was getting before without gaming.  I don’t think I will ever stream again.  I try to catch a stream when I can.  I still enjoy the company and conversations I have on occasion with my gaming friends.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that I miss you all.  I am still here and love you all the same as before.  I wish I had more time to spend with you all like before.  But life has changed so much.  I am a much happier person after making some major life changes.  I would not trade it for anything.  But I have not forgotten about you all.  I hope that you have not forgotten about me.