Friday 29 December 2017

Rolling a Natural One: 2017

Often, as one year closes and another one starts, we become reflective and look back at the year that was. After 6 years of gaming pretty much weekly, I've had to take some time off due to various events and my own mental state. 2017 is the year depression and anxiety has kicked my arse.

It did'nt start well, personal life hit a shitter straight after Xmas, and a few months later my photography studio, also the then home of our gaming club, was hit with a break in. I lost my Space Marine army, Genestealer Cult, Daemons... Several of the club members lost armies too and this hurt me more than my own items being pinched. Knowing how many hours I'd put into painting, but more so how much time others had put into their collections broke me plain and simple. three or four weeks later I received a phonecall from a local second hand shop, and luckily most of the things that were taken were returned. But at this point, I still felt done.

I considered selling it all, as I'd already given up and seeing it ever again and just wanted away with it. The thought of continuing to paint what had now been tainted just affected me more than I could have imagined. Suddenly the hobby that had been my escape from depression became the source of it. Thats a world turner right there I can tell you. The thing with depression is the lack of feeling anything. When I would game I'd become passionate, inspired, creative... without that I had little to do, no motivation to do anything and literally just wanted the world to swallow me. I'd wake up, and immediately want to go back to sleep, or not wake up at all. Any little thing that goes wrong feels like you've been defeated for days, lose a fiver, drop some food, thats it. Day gone.

Things people would say to me would be analyzed beyond need, negative thoughts resulting from the smallest of comments even if they'd be reaching out to try and help. I would things in forums or threads and even if it wasn't aimed at me, I'd look into it far too much and believe things were. When people and gaming are driving you into deeper depths of depression you shy away from all things related to them, not going to see friends, not conversing with them online, I didn't paint for several months and I probably forgot how to roll a dice.

Getting back into the hobby has taken a lot of time. I'm still not 100% back to where I was before this all happened, but I'm getting there. I still take things to heart, I still don't always feel motivated to pick up a brush and theres certainly days where waking up is the last thing I want to do. But the thing to remember? This is all okay. I've suffered depression at various levels throughout most of my life, and I've been through this before but never had it affect me with something I love doing.

The first models I painted since the burglary were these and a new human Blood Bowl team I picked up at UKGE 2017. They're still not finished to this day, but Blood Bowl is what got me into the hobby, and its whats kept me going. In recent weeks my enthusiasm has come back, as you've seen from previous posts on this very blog. Necromunda has helped fuel my passion, 40k is also making its way back into my hobby as I'm currently painting some scenery, namely the Armoured Containers (which I'm enjoying painting). 

No matter who you are and what you do, if you suffer from depression, try to learn how to cope with it. I've never found a true way of dealing with it, as its always there in the back of my mind and any little thing can trigger its implosion and rear its ugly head. If you need someone to talk to there are onlive services that can help, even feel free to give me a shout. I feel experienced enough to offer advice or even just listen/read what you have to say and tell you, 'you're not alone'.

Its funny to me that we often look at numbers to tell us where we are and think 'when it goes up one, things will get better'. But as 2018 I truly believe that. 2017 has been an absolute shitter, and while I know there will be more moments to come where solitude seems like the best thing, it will not be another 2017. This coming year will be different and Death By Die will be a much more active place going forward.

May your 2018 not be my 2017, be safe everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Keep your chin up man. You were always a cornerstone of club in my eyes. I understand how crippling anxiety and depression can be but myself and all the other members of club have you back x