Life. We all know how well life can treat us. You can take life by the horns or you can have life beat you up. I think music of Green Day had it right when they wrote the song “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” The first stanza resonates with me: “I walk a lonely road, The only one that I have ever known, Don’t know where it goes, But it’s home to me and I walk alone.” This has been me my whole life. If you are trying to figure out where this post is going, I’ll tell you. I have depression.
It took a lot of courage to write this post. Not too many people encouraged me to write this but I believe that it is something I had to do. To know me you will have to travel into my past. As a child and still in adulthood I am a very introverted person. It is sad to say I never had any friends. Never having that player 2 next to me. I would go through life being picked on and bullied for 12 years, by not just kids my age but by the teachers too. My parents went through a lot with me. After high school ended, I did what any perpetual student did, go to college.
I gave college the “old college try” back in 2005. I went for the first semester and done great. My grade point was 3.75. Going into that second semester, that is where the problem lies. Halfway through I had left the college because disagreements with the staff. Now I tried to go to classes but the teachers said my name was not on the student roster list. I did try to go to college! Before I left, I talked to my adviser. He said to me “I don’t think you’re the college type”. He was an idiot and me too. About 5 years later, I confessed to my parents that I was not going to college when I told them I was. I lied to them. That was a huge mistake. For 5 yrs I was wasting time on the internet and trying to look for a job. Around 2010, I had the great pleasure to receive a kidney stone. At that point I walked away. I tell my mother: “You heard of that old saying of “That baby is a bundle of joy”, well I was just born with a bundle”.
I don’t think I ever contemplated suicide but I would ask myself “What would be the last video game I would ever play?” After thinking this, I click on IGN. On the homepage, there was Podcast Beyond: Episode 65 – Journey to the Center of Beyond. So, I click on it. About 5 mins in there was laughter. There was person who sounded like Goofy and choking on something. It was Greg Miller. I could not stop laughing. I still to this day have no idea what this podcast episode was about. Chris, Greg, Jeff and Ryan sounded like friends. All I needed was a friend. I wanted to become their friend. Obviously, I could not, this was because I did not know them. This still helped me and to this day it has helped me in my time of need.
Time to press the restart button!
About a few years ago into my second college try, I decided that I would strive to get into video game journalism. Like previous ideas I had, everyone laughed. My parents or teachers did not support this. Most people on the internet laughed too. Saying “video games are a fad”. No one would help me or support me. I get discouraged, nearly every day I think. I see kids younger than me scoring jobs at big sites like GameSpot and IGN, people straight out of high school. A combination no support and seeing my peers having a degree led me down into a spiraling depression.
A note to all of you who are my Facebook friends and Twitter followers. I care about each and every one of you. If I don’t respond to you on graduating college, getting that freelance gig, or having a fun life. Don’t worry. I am most likely jealous. This has nothing to do with you. I have issues to deal with. I know this and you should be congratulated in whatever you do.
After thinking all this, I still do not know what my life has come to. Am I destined to have a predetermined future of normal-ness? My problem is that I think too much. That is why I write. Writing helps me organize all my thoughts. It helps me weave a tale. Going in this game journalism, I know that millions upon millions want to do this. I might be in the minority to even get the job but I will try my best.
“It’s dangerous to go alone.”
I write about this, not for my sake but for others in the gaming community. Research suggests that 20-25% of adults in America suffer from emotional distress. That is about 1 in 4 people suffer. I recently found TakeThis.org. This from the video game The Legend of Zelda. When the old man said “It’s dangerous to go alone.” It was a simple offer to help. The mission of Take This is to provide empathy, education and support about mental health and wellness for those experiencing emotional distress, their families and greater institutions.
I still have depression. It is something that I will always have to deal with it. Life has gotten better to deal with. I am going back to college to pursue a degree in communications. I lost 45 lbs. Plus, I have a part-time job. Like I said before, I write because I am passionate about not only games, but the industry as a whole.
Let me end this post with a song from the Music Man himself: Billy Joel. He wrote a song called “You’re Only Human”. At the end of the song it states: “We’re only human, We’re supposed to make mistakes, But I survived all those long lonely days, When it seemed I did not have a friend, Cause all I needed was a little faith, So I could catch my breath and face the world again.”
I am a person who made some mistakes. I wanted to share this knowledge so that any other person would have a slightly easier time in this world. As they say “knowledge is useless if it isn’t shared”.