I have not written anything here in over six months or even more. I had people hitting my blog from different sites but not much conversation. Which is to be expected unless your one of the big blogger types or just resonate right with people. I started this site more for myself to get back to writing and it was working for a while. Then I was hitting my own road blocks in life. I could not add anymore to the book I was trying to write. Sleep was hard to come by. I was having issues with myself and relationships with people.
I removed myself after a nasty incident from the Warmahordes community about two years ago. This was not really a hard decision as there was no competition for me at all. I was being asked to do things by community leaders that I was not comfortable with and there was lots of blood bad on all sides. But I handled it in very poor form and burned bridges for it.
About a year an half ago I was diagnosed with severe depression and bipolar disorder after I went to the doctor about my lack of feeling. My job was stressful and causing issues with me and my wife. My wife and I were toxic with one another at a very unhealthy level. I was looking around and I was just not happy with things. One good thing was I had started playing Encounters at a local store just help me get out of the house and not drown in my depression.
A little over a year ago I had a complete psychotic break. The one thing that I learned the hard way is that depression medicine makes you able to feel again which is great but you have to be able to handle it. And if your medication stops working and no one is there to notice the subtle changes really bad things can happen. I ended up having to rebuild my life from scratch as I lost my job, my wife, my own self worth and friends who I thought were there to help me with my problem.
In this year since the incident I have picked myself up and begun to rebuild myself. My career has picked up in a new direction maybe not as monetarily rewarding but more rewarding in what I am doing. My D&D game has kept up and my friends are there and supportive of me. While I await a bitter divorce fight and rebuilding myself financially I began to do small things to ingratiate myself back so I could feel human again. One can not shut oneself completely as it can lead to possible setbacks or even full on regression.
I went back to people I had hurt and told them about my disease and apologized and explained what I was doing to remedy it. I was scoffed at, laughed, ignored because they felt I was using it as an excuse. A few took the time to listen and knew that I was trying to do things the right way. Those relationships have become stronger because of it.
I started by going to local depression anonymous groups to get my legs back under me. When I got to a point where I was stable enough with myself, I went back and played in my local encounters game and told no one of my issue. Meetup.com became my friend as I looked at different things to try. I’ve added tennis to my Saturday morning routine and really enjoyed getting back to a sport I played so long ago. Not playing competitively mind you just mixed and regular doubles in friendly sets. Board game meetups where my next step could I handle being with people who were super competitive and I be okay?
I pulled out the book I had started writing over six years ago and gave it to one of my friends who understood what I had been going through. This was a book I could not get any of my friends, my wife, or any of my in-laws to read to help me out. With their help I hope to go back and finish it just because.
I went back to my community after two years and asked to come back not telling anyone of what I was doing, what had happened to me, etc. Unfortunately I was asked by the press gangers that I could not come back because people were afraid I would have another episode. So, doing what I hated I explained to the press gangers of my disease, what I had done to rebuild myself, and I was not coming back to the fire pit without lots of hesitation. I did not want to have to explain to them what things occurred in my life that I was ashamed of. Maybe it was wrong to let people know that I had a disability and was taking the correct steps to overcome it. Sometimes honesty and getting yourself back on the path hurts.
I write this as a cautionary tale for gamers and others who may have depression. Its okay it can be helped and treated and there are several of us out there. ChattyDM has a seminary at Gen Con about the importance of the tribe. Those of you who have some sort of depression or know someone who is I would suggest going to this panel