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Living With Bipolar Disorder

Disclaimer: This is 2-3 times longer than my usual posts. I had thought about breaking it up in two, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I had heard of Bipolar and Manic/Depression; I learned about it in school but never put two and two together.

I was pregnant in 2009 with baby #3 when my brother handed me a school paper he was very proud of. A research paper on Bipolar Disorder. As I read the list of symptoms I felt strongly that he was trying to send me a message. Was he trying to tell me that I fit the description of this paper perfectly? And that I was bipolar? more…

Winning Contest Entry: Zerena Hoofs

Sometimes you can get so caught up in remembering the negative that you forget to even mention the positive. We do that with World of Warcraft, too. You’ve seen my blog posts on how excessive gaming (and a whole slew of other problems, I definitely can’t stress that enough!) buried me so deep in the hole I’d dug for myself that I thought I’d never get out.

If World of Warcraft wasn’t an overwhelmingly positive experience for me, however, I wouldn’t keep playing it, and I sure as hell wouldn’t be blogging about it!

So a few weeks ago I asked you guys to share your positive WoW stories with me. Specifically, stories that answered the question: “How has WoW affected your life in a positive way?” The responses I received were amazing. While each story brought me a smile and a renewed hope in the positive energy of the gaming community, one left me with that “feel-good” warm fuzziness from start to finish. more…

Balancing WoW and Real Life: Understanding the Psychology of Addiction

I’m on a quest for balance. Specifically: Balancing WoW and family life. I don’t spit out words that my actions can’t cash. So if I say that my family and my kids are important to me, then I damn well better make them a priority over my games. I lost my baby girl to a rare disease and if there’s one lesson I’ve learned, it is to make each moment count.

I find myself playing the game less and less these days, but it has taken me years to get to this point. One thing that brought some understanding was to know the psychology of addiction and the mechanics of how the game takes its hold over me. An article on http://www.cracked.com helped to open my eyes and I want to help others bring that balance to he lives of others too, but first allow me to explain that psychology of addiction. more…

Why Do You Game?

I’m super excited to welcome a guest to the blog for this week’s post. The following was submitted by Tshaddz, a fellow WoW-loving PvPer, on his thoughts about gaming and why it is that he games.

“Why do you game?” This is a question I am asked far too many times by friends, family and significant others, usually with a negative connotation. More often than not, I answer them with a simple: “Because it’s fun and my hobby.”

Is that really the answer though? Is there an underlying reason that I don’t bother to explain because I’m hiding from the truth? Or maybe I don’t bother explaining because I know they still won’t get it?

Before I jump in to answer why I game and why online gaming has become so popular, let me tell a little about myself. I am a 29-year-old man with an amazing girlfriend with whom I live, an ex-wife, a beautiful daughter and great career. All fairly normal things for someone my age, but that’s only part of my life. more…

WoW Couples: Out of the Game and Into Real Life

Each and every day in the World of Warcraft there are millions of gamers participating in one crazy and intense online experience. The social aspect is central to the game, encouraging families, friends, and complete strangers to get together in one big melting pot of questing, raiding, and PvP.

With so many people spending so much time working toward common goals, it’s only natural that relationships would form. Casual, serious, and even sometimes deceptive, these relationships can be as powerful as those in Real Life. Some even blossom into something real and lasting, creating what’s come to be known as a “WoW Couple.” more…

Is WoW Your Escape?

I used to play WoW every chance I got. Either at home, at work, or whether I had anything else to do that day or not. It just didn’t matter. I remember sitting and playing for huge stretches of time and not even noticing. 3pm came around, and I still hadn’t eaten breakfast. When I did recognize that I was playing way too much, it was something I got defensive about with anyone who brought it up.

For me, WoW was filling the void left behind by my daughter. It was a way to escape the pain of everyday life. It was a way to banish the tedium of responsibility that got lost in my depression-fueled haze. I’d rather stay inside and WoW, than to go outside and be reminded everywhere I turned that I no longer had a daughter. Seeing little children reminded me. Seeing parents reminded me. Looking at my rearview mirror and seeing an empty car seat reminded me. more…

Letting Go: Conquering My WoW Addiction Part 4

This is Part 4 (and the last) of a series. Click here for Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3.

Over the next few months, I manically tried to rebuild my life. I met a wonderful man who accepted that I was still a work in progress, and as far as I’d come I still had a long ways to go. I did eventually return to WoW when we moved back to Los Angeles. My life finally seemed to be somewhat stable again. And when I found out I was pregnant, I had to find low-impact activities to keep me occupied. So one night when I was bored and my son was asleep I decided to dust off the laptop. I seized every moment I had to spend with my son and my boyfriend and only played while my son was asleep or at school. WoW wasn’t my lifeline anymore; it was just a game.
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Letting Go: Conquering My WoW Addiction Part 3

(This is Part 3 of a Series. Click here for Part 1 / Part 2)

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.
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Letting Go: Conquering My WoW Addiction Part 2

(This is Part 2 of a series. Click here for Part 1).

Outside of the game, my husband and I were sleeping in separate beds. Divorce became the next logical step, instead of something we never thought we’d consider. And I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was painful to be with my son. Every time I looked at him, I just felt empty, reminded of the fact that he used to have a sister. I couldn’t take him to the park because the three of us had gone to the park, together. The sight of other young children was like a knife twisted in my chest. I couldn’t even walk by a Starbucks without remembering her asking, “Mommy, want coffee?”

This is what grief does. It carves a hole inside of you; a treacherous cavern that you know will cave in with just the slightest touch. But I didn’t want to face grief. I thought I could outpace it, and even if I was just one step ahead, it would be okay.
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Letting Go: Conquering My WoW Addiction Part 1

I never imagined I would need an escape from my day to day life.

At the age of 30 I was married, successful in my career, and mother to two beautiful children. But that year, my world came crashing down. My daughter – just two years old – was forced to fight a devastating bone marrow disorder called Aplastic Anemia. Her bone marrow was unable to produce new blood cells. My husband and I were left helpless and we agonized as our baby girl fought for her life.
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