I’m a WoW addict. I fought Kel’Thuzad in Naxxramas hovering above the wastes of Eastern Plaguelands, defeated Illidan atop the Black Temple, and dethroned the Lich King at the peak of the Ice Crown Citadel. I saw the shattering of Azeroth, and the return of Deathwing to the lands, also partaking in his descent into madness, and banishment from this realm as he was destroyed in the maelstrom. The only expansions I’ve not taken part in are Mists of Pandaria and most of Warlords of Draenor; but, I have returned to fight the Legion on the Broken Shore.
The cowardly ways of the filthy Horde really have no place in our land of Azeroth, betraying our heroic king and causing his untimely death. In Legion, I have fought my way through the Emerald Nightmare, and returned to Karazhan after many years to relive a little nostalgia, and to see Little Red Riding Hood one more time. We have retaken the lands of Suramar and Suramar City after destroying Gul’Dan in the Nighthold, and most recently defeated Kil’Jaeden as I set my sights on Sargeras. That’s right, I’m a WoW addict.
World of Warcraft is at many times my “happy place”. Sometimes, the world just gets to be too much. Stress is overwhelming, work has me whipped, emotions have me down, and instead of turning to the bottle or something else, WoW is my escape from reality. See, in WoW, I can be whatever I want to be. For a small moment in time I can forget about the stresses of work, life, and everything in between. I’m a hero. I matter. I’m rewarded with new things every time I log in and put in some effort. It’s something that I’ve never really experienced with any other game, especially not a decade after the first time I played, and it has kept me coming back.
I can honestly say that World of Warcraft was a life saver for me. Back in 2008, when Wrath of the Lich King released, I remember going to the midnight release. It was actually the last midnight release I’ve ever been to. In 2009, my mother passed away. I was working as a contractor, building houses and things. After her passing, I took to drinking…heavily. It cost me a lot, but for some reason and I still don’t know why to this day, I just felt better when intoxicated. I’m not sure if it was just part of coping or what. My alcoholism got so bad that I ended up choosing alcohol over my career. I squandered away everything I had worked for. I had beaten and broken my body to the point I wasn’t able to do construction anymore.
For some reason, I sat down one evening in late 2009 and renewed my WoW subscription. I started playing again. It was around the time that I was a complete and utter mess. I drank from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed and was burning through my savings, and sadly I was drinking it away. I was going out night after night, and driving on top of it. It’s not a part of my life I’m exactly proud of or really ever go into great depths about. The “Fall of the Lich King” patch had just released and players were fighting their way through Ice Crown Citadel. I’m not sure why, but the story of Arthas just resonated with me. I could relate to it for some reason. Another one of those things that to this day, I still don’t understand the connection. I became a WoW addict.
I became obsessed with killing Arthas, the Lich King. Night after night, I went for attempt after attempt, pugging my way through it all. Some would say I was crazy, but I actually became known as the guy who led Lich King kill pugs weekly on my server. How did this save my life exactly? That’s simple. Had it not been for me becoming obsessed, I know the likelihood of me being dead in a ditch or wrapped around a tree one night was extremely high. I was at a point in my life that I just didn’t care about myself. My mind often wonders what could have happened had this game not came out at that time in my life, and given me that escape from reality. Given, I drank right up until the time that I got with my now ex-wife and became a stepfather. I spent a lot of my time in the World of Warcraft, which kept me from behind the wheel, and no real danger to anyone else. It terrifies me to this day to think of what COULD have happened.
In 2015, I decided to commemorate my time marching through Ice Crown with a tattoo of the Lich King himself. It serves as a reminder of where I have been. It reminds me of a place in my life I never really want to go back to. I’ve managed to meet some of the greatest friends I’ve ever had, and that I still chat with from time to time. Ben, Rose, Zach, Crystal, Bill and many more that were just there in a time when all I needed was a friend. They didn’t even know it. They just thought I was a tank that enjoyed the sauce and had no filter. So today I find myself with a long list of friends I’ve made over the years, and in just over the past year of stepping back into Legion regularly, many of which know me better than my own family knows me. They, in a sense, have become my family, which isn’t a bad thing.
Victory or Death
So onward I will charge into Battle for Azeroth even though I’m not totally sold on the expansion yet. It will continue to be my escape from reality. Now if only I could learn to balance it with everything else in life, so that I could be depended on by my guildies for raids. That would be a miraculous thing. I think everyone has some kind of escape that they partake in to help them cope with the stress and struggles of life. World of Warcraft just happens to be mine. Sadly, when I tell myself “I’m just going to log in and do my daily emmisary”, it turns into a 3-4 hour session of many other things. That, I really need to work on as it becomes counterproductive at that point. So yes, I am a WoW addict! Tell me about your guilty pleasures in the comments down below. What do you do to escape from everything in the world? I would love to hear from the #dodfam!