School became hell. I was bullied, ridiculed, and stalked during every recess. I ran away from school many times, and became good at manipulating adults into doing what I wanted, while fearing and hating people my age. How could I endure years of that? How could anyone? Well, games.. Games gave me the release I craved, the peace of mind I needed, and a place to be myself. Or so I thought.
Life outside the game was at an all-time worst. I was out of shape, I didn’t have friends, and when I wasn’t failing tests or sleeping in class, I was faking sick and skipping school. I had thrown controllers before and gotten very angry over gaming, but this time was something completely different.
It really got crazy back then. I would wake up late, skip classes, steal a bit of breakfast from my flatmates, play video games, feel terrible (and nauseous), skip shower and meals (I wasn’t doing groceries and didn’t have the strength to raise my arms); then spend the night at the PC again.
I was ashamed to be seen (and smelled) in that state so I went out of my room less and less. I became a shut-in and the only thing I did was gaming. Until there was a time I spent a night in Psychiatric Ward after having my first serious suicide thoughts, become scared shitless and go to the hospital on my own accord. I had one last option to try before truly considering committing to the end. Everything converged into one single question. “What should I try first, quit gaming or killing myself?”
Gaming was something I did everyday for years on end. I enjoyed it, but in the end it wasn’t a good thing for me. I’m 16 years old, and I’m from the Netherlands.
Quitting gaming is a journey, and it is long from over. My life has improved overall, but I still have plenty of things to work on. My anxiety is still something I struggle with, but it is going so much better than before. My depression is practically gone at this point, although I still have some sad days. However, instead of hiding behind a PC playing games all day I try to do something about it now.