Today’s post comes from Karegina, the tied second place winner of my Positive WoW Stories contest. Like me and many others, Karegina was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and forced to endure the rollercoaster ride of daily highs and lows; a safe haven while manic and a productive environment to pass the time while depressed.
And it’s even meant more than just therapy. It’s opened up doors and shed a whole new light on relationships she once thought lost.
This is Karegina’s story:
In 2005, I was married and had just moved into my first house. I had been playing a MUD called Xyllomer since 1999, but when we moved into our house I stopped playing it. Instead, I plays Sims 2 for hours on end. My online friends (at that time) were from Livejournal and one of them had started play World of Warcraft. I had no real real life friends at this time. My only friends were a couple that I’d met through a religious group. My husband was the same way but he didn’t care like I did.
When my brother in law gave me a 10 day free trial for WoW, I jumped on it. I installed the game, posted a message about getting the game on Livejournal and waited. My friend got back to me quickly with her server and faction, and I made a gnome rogue.
It was fun and it was pretty. It was social and I ended up making some wonderfully awesome friends, some that I’m still friends with despite them quitting the game and me switching factions/servers. I have traveled across the country many times to go visit these friends. I went alone and I wasn’t scared.
Then my husband started to play. And with him at my side, I explored all aspects of the game. I became more outgoing in real life and I reconnected with many friends from my past, two of which have become my best friends again.
Things haven’t always been fun and sunlight and rainbows, but through this game, I have reconnected to my husband on a level we hadn’t been connecting on for years. I met wonderful people who I know care about me and that I care about as well. (In fact, if one of them were to need me, I would hop on an airplane and go to them, no matter where they are, no matter if I had to beg, borrow or steal a plane ticket.)
This game gave me a place to hide when the world was too much for me. When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I came here and worked out my feelings through killing internet dragons. When my anxiety is overwhelming, I can come here and be ‘alone’ yet with a hundred people. I can be myself here, I can open my heart and my mind, and still be accepted for who I am. Not for who I am with, or work for or whatever.
Just recently, I have had a lot of drama surrounding my attitude. This was extremely difficult to deal with, however I was still able to log onto WoW, albeit not on my ‘main’ server, and play. I logged onto my Alliance toons and leveled them. I was playing and could still talk to all my friends via RealId. This made me feel braver and I was able to eventually face my fears and log onto my main character. I was able to work through my own emotions by channeling them into leveling and just getting from one place to the other.
It’s not perfect but it works for me. It was calming and let me sort out what was in my head. And the best part? I believe it’s more productive then sitting in a dark room crying helplessly. WoW has the ability to help me take control of my fears and anxieties, to work through them.
This video game has given me a large community to draw support from. The recent comments and visits to my blog show me that people care and are understanding. They’ve been here, they know.
And really, that’s more then I can ever expect from a video game.
Thanks for sharing your story, Karegina! I can definitely empathize and I’m so glad you’re able to find that much-needed outlet in WoW.