Fanfiction More Real Than Real Life

My addiction started after I got sick with mono for over a month. One of the side effects that I got was my loss of concentration. I used to read a lot of books but after being sick I couldn't concentrate long enough to read like before.
After two years I found a book series that managed to make me read again and I felt so happy, but once I had read the series 4 times I wanted more and found fanfiction.net In the beginning I both read and wrote stories, but as time went I read more and wrote less. I don't really know when it became a problem. After two years when my grades were failing and my friends had given up on me I asked for help, for someone to talk to who could help me, but they laughed at me and said it wasn't a problem and that I should just quit. I tried and for three whole weeks I went without before I cracked and things got worse.

When it was at it's worst I read all the times I could at school, I downloaded the sites so I could read them on the bus, at home I read all the time I could get away with and all night. My parents didn't notice anything other than my falling grades and my moodienes everytime they called me away from my computer. This went on until the summer after I had managed to graduate and I was turning 18.

That summer my mom confronted me with my addiction. I wanted to stop because I saw how it took over my life but at the same time I didn't want to. I cried for days after they blocked my computer. I managed to go the rest of the summer without, but then I got a new cellphone with internet access and I was back.

I thought I could handle it and just read a chapter or two a day or something like that. For a periode it worked as my real life was almost better than the fantasy world as I went away a year to a special boarding school. But once I came back home and went to university and didn't manage to get any friends I went back to my escape.

In January I saw how this was ruining my life. I had barely managed to get in to the university and had already failed one exam. So I unsubscribed from every single thing on fanfiction and made sure that I would not recieve any mails from that page and decided to stop. I have been "clean" since then and my life has started to get so much better.

But it created problems that will follow me for the rest of my life. I will never be able to better my grades and I will never regain those friends I lost. And because I sat so much still and read all the time even through the entire night I gained a lot of weight and now have problems sleeping.

So I know how truly bad it can get and my parents actually was conviced for a time that I was on drugs as I was showing all the signs. But don't give up. It is hard to stop but it is possible. One of the most important things you can do is to not tell yourself to not think about fanfictions, it will only make sure that you will think about it. What works is to allow yourself to think about it, but only to think. It might even help to write your own stories but not post it will help to keep it a bit in check and every time you get "cravings" decide to do something else instead, like go for a walk, call a friend or clean your room.
Henny1991 Henny1991
18-21
2 Responses May 21, 2012

Oh man you had it bad. But I hate when people don't understand that it is a LEGIT addiction, and write it off as nothing. It is impossible for me to quit. Fanfiction doesn't quite rule my life like it did yours, but every now and then I find a particularly juicy story that will keep me up for days on end. I'm glad you are doing better, and I hope you continue to do so. ^^

This feels like what's happening to me now, I've got exams that will affect the rest of my life. The first one starts tomorrow and I haven't prepared, I just keep reading and reading and the exams don't seem real. Every time I stop I end up coming back, it's just always in the back of my head.