Installing WoW on our work computers was a big mistake. I ran a small office with my brother and he WoWed too. Maybe we thought that if we played at work more, we’d play at home less. I was trying to take a step toward not being glued to the computer every moment I was home, but it was definitely a step in the wrong direction.
Instead of going out and securing more clients when the well dried up, we just played more WoW with the obstruction of actual work out of the way. We enjoyed PVP, so I made a twinked out healing priest and leveled to 39, competing solely in Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin while I leveled my warlock on the side.
Eventually we closed our doors. No new clients meant no money for rent on the building, and we were all lucky to even be able to work from home. Home, where I had tried so hard to keep from playing. Home, where all of those memories were still waiting for me to turn back around and deal with them.
It was just too much.
My husband felt it too, and shortly after that we separated. At the time I thought it effin rocked because with him not there to judge me, no work to do, and my son looked after by someone else for most of the day, I could WoW at home without feeling any guilt. Armed with this supposed freedom, I decided to level my priest to 70 and start raiding. Every time we ran Kara I was drunk. So was everyone else in my guild.
But to me it didn’t matter. I found out that I loved healing. I felt useful and important as our guild’s main healer; I was righting wrongs, fixing mistakes, and cleaning up messes with every heal cast. I couldn’t save my daughter. I couldn’t save my marriage. I couldn’t save my job. But I could damn well save 10 people from power-hungry demons and crazed mages.
I can admit now that I was not in my right mind.
It took a massive upswing and the deterioration of my guild to give me the kick in the ass I needed to stop playing for a while. First it was just taking some raid nights off because I didn’t want to deal with the drama; these people who’d become my friends beyond knowing me as “the one whose kid died” were taking the game way too seriously. Eventually a few nights off became a few days off. Then a few weeks. I was able to look at myself from the outside and say, “What the fuck are YOU DOING?!?” It’s okay to do what makes you happy, just as long as you don’t hurt other people. And here I was… hurting other people. I was not okay with that.
In the summer of 2008, I finally let go.
And when I say I let go, I let go of absolutely everything. I again wanted to move forward with Real life, because my son needed me and he was finally my one and only priority. It was time for my replacement child to collect dust on the laptop. I sold everything except a mattress and our clothes and moved to San Diego.
“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.
That’s why we call it ‘The Present.’” -Eleanor Roosevelt