Monday, May 4, 2015

New look and a look at the gamer life

So I was dabbling a bit around with Photoshop, trying to come up with a header for a comic of a friend, when I realized that I haven't really done anything to this blog since I started it. One reason for that is because I've pretty much just vented all my thoughts here unedited and not given any further thought to it, but the biggest reason is known as CBA.

This is my third year writing this too. Feels weird, so much has happened since I started this blog. One thing I have progressed a lot with is my crippling social anxiety. I've suffered quite heavy panic attacks for a bit over ten years now - something I have kept out of this blog as much as I have been able to, I have other vents for that - and the last two years have been steady progress for me.

Why am I talking about anxiety in a gaming blog?

Because, if we are brutally honest, that was what got me into World of Warcraft.

It's not really an unusual story, to be honest. I was depressed as I started my teenage years, part of it got brushed off as "she will grow out of it",  and by the age of 16 I was so afraid of other people and any kind of social interaction I had to take a year's sick leave from school. I conveniently started WoW around the same time, and as I became too afraid to go outside except on particular times (morning hour between 10.30 and 11.30; everyone had gotten to work/school already and no-one was around) my "time played on this character" hours increased a lot.

At that time, the concept of girls who play games was somewhat alien. People were talking about boys who had social issues or who escape the reality to the virtual worlds. Me? I was a missing number in the charts. I don't feel angry or bitter about this though; many say that WoW is a soul-consuming game, but for me it was my touch with outer world.

I had friends, I had social relationships, I knew what was going on with the world, and I saw other people living their normal lives along with the game. Boo hoo, little bby gal too weak to face the real world? At that point, yeah. The games were my shield.

I always knew I wouldn't want to spend the rest of my life holed up in my room. At some point I got help, and struggled myself off from that pit I had fallen into. The panic attacks didn't cease, and for the next 6 years, every two steps forward ended up me falling one backwards on my face. It hurt and it sucked in all possible ways.

But it did get better.

The panic attacks didn't mysteriously disappear, but I learned some tools for handling it - yoga, meditation, running and drawing are some which work for me, I've heard good things about Sensory kits too (google it if you're curious) - and got medication to surpass the sharpest edge of it. This was during Luxembourg, around the same time I started this blog.

I got to admit, things were really shitty back then. The meds were a short-term solution to a long-term problem, and just getting through the days demanded me to grind my teeth and bite my nails to tatters. Worth it? Oh god so yes.

The thing is, I'm not the only one. I know that many people out there are struggling with social anxiety and general depression.
"We're all fucked up", one of my guildies said, "that's why we play this game. That's why we excel at it."

There is something really comforting about games. You can wipe, you can save, you can load the game from the previous start point. No mistake is really fatal or final. However, I am certain that all you people out there will be able to go out at some point, too. Don't give up, there is more to life!

'sides gaming conventions, game cafeterias and LAN events are quite awesome. So get out there! Let's have a LAN party.

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