Do you ever get the feeling that something is slowly taking over your life, and there is nothing that you can possibly do to stop it? You're completely conscious of this slowly developing and crushing virus, and you're just sitting there twiddling your thumbs together and closing your eyes hoping that what you got a glimpse of isn't real?
I feel like that right now. With fandoms. I'm writing this in hope that perhaps somewhere, out there in the Outernet, has a cure or a plan that helped them overcome this disease.
My name is Ashleigh, and I am addicted to Fandoms.
I have always been crazy about geeky things. Crazy as in the most-passionate-froth-at-the-mouth-joy type of crazy. I think my earliest Fandom was Sims 2.
I spent hours on that game, and it slowly took over my life.
I then stopped playing Sims 2, and began playing World of Warcraft for 2 years...and that definitely took over my life.
After that though, I slowly dropped out of Fandoms. I began focusing on my studies, I made a huge life change when I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) and most of the things I used to do in my previous life before the Church was things that I was advised against doing, and things I had lost the desire to do. I spent about 3 years of my life really dedicated and focused on working on myself emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I went from this young kid who spent majority of her time at home, with either her dolls/video games/family/books, to this young teenager with all these new friends and new life decisions.
Then I went through a tough period in my life where I felt isolated and alone. I didn't really have anyone to turn to my age, and I was too old to play with dolls, I wasn't playing Video games anymore because majority of them were too violent for me now, and my family were preoccupied with the plethora of things that happen in their lives and we were making big family decisions at that point...so I turned to books. I asked my friends (Who I must say, didn't know about what I was going through 'cos I'm a very quiet person and don't like to inflict my problems onto others) to recommend me books that they love and from there it just kind of began...
*End of sob story*
So now I'm here with an entire bookshelf of fandom books, a never-ending list of TV Shows and movies that I obsess over and literally think about all the time, and this obsession that I can feel bubbling up in my chest towards my throat and it feels like I'm about to be overcome like when Neo was getting all tripped out and turning silver or something in the Matrix (I'm really shady on this...all I remember was really wanting to take a shower and bleaching my eyes)
Now, I'm not saying that the Fandom life is bad! I'm just saying...there is a very VERY VERY VERY thin line between a joyous experience of being a fan of something that is clearly amazing (CoughsherlockcoughcoughSHERLOCK)
and the other side of the line which is complete and utter obsession that feels like you're slowly being gutted each time you see your beautiful OTP do something so simple as looking at each other for less than a second. When it becomes something that you think about almost every day, you blog about it, you tumblr it, you pinterest it, you read about it and have pictures of the things you love on your phone...
Then it gets scary.
I slowly feel myself delving into that latter part of the line, whereas it is taking over my life like a violent disease, and I'm just sitting there putting on my safety goggle and harnessing my straight jacket.
That's not to say that I don't like the Fandom life, I actually do love it with all of my being. It's helped me to deal with the hard things in my life, it's given me some of the hardest laughs I've ever laughed and possibly even snorted, and then sometimes it's made me question my sanity...and my sense of humour.
Then things got intense.
I like to blame my friends mainly for this scary obsession. There were times after fangirling so hard, I just kind of laid on the ground afterwards and thinking - "This is how they are going to find my corpse. Death by cuteness from my OTP. They'll find me on my back, pterodactyl legs high in the air and my arms in the t-rex position"
My friends encouraged me to basically learn an entirely new vocabulary. Things like OTP, Shipping, NOTP, Canon, fan-fics, etc, didn't make sense to me, until I slowly but surely became more and more obsessed. Now my general sentences to my friends are -
"OH MY MINT CHOCOLATE, DID YOU SEE THE MOST RECENT EPISODE? MY OTP! MYYYY OTTTPPP!! THEY GLIMPSED AT EACH OTHER! THEY WERE IN THE SAME SCREEN TOGETHER! I JUST CAN'T. I CAN'T EVEN. I HAVE LOST ALL ABILITY TO CAN. WHAT EVEN IS AIR?! I reckon now they are totes canon. If they aren't canon, but my NOTP are canon, I will literally write a fan-fic describing every single detail that needs to happen between my OTP. I ship them so hard, I can feel it in the marrow of my bones"
Now include a lot of high kicking, ugly sobbing, high-pitched verbal non-sense, t-rex arms, shrieks of the nazgul, and possibly some mating sounds from a pterodactyl, and that's basically what I look and sound like.
There are times where, no joke, I am scared that I have fangirled so hard I can't kept up. I just lay there, rolling in my own tears because of just how much I need Fandoms in my life.
Moments come and go where I'll get short flashbacks of how my life was, and how I used to be a normal teenager who hung out with her friends and actually went outside. Now though, it's just me looking like a homeless person in my room, Nutella jars littered all over and my hair pulled into the cataclysm of messy-buns and a baggy t-shirt that has bite marks at the collar from the sheer amount of 'Can't-handle-this'ness.
And the scariest part isn't about the fangirling. It's about the emotions. It's about how much I feel connected and loved by these fictional characters. How I actually cry and think about their deaths ('COS LET'S FACE IT. ALL MY FAVOURITE CHARACTERS DIE. IT'S NOT EVEN A JOKE ANYMORE). How I am actually scared and concerned about them when they go through hardships that, in reality, don't exist.
These aren't fictional characters to me. They are like people I watch from a screen and follow their lives.
...I think I need help.
The only solution to fix this would be to find me a real life boyfriend. I mean, an actual boy who lives in the flesh and one that I can like...talk to, and eat with, and go out on cute aquarium/zoo dates with. Not this fictional stuff of Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch on my computer screen with a table set for one (That's me) in front of it.
I need help.
BUT IN THE MEANTIME! The rest of my friends basically brush me off and say -