I’ve been feeling a bit conflicted lately, my friends. I’ve been spending a lot of time logged into WoW, but not so much the beta. I’ve talked before, and I’m sure by now many of you have experienced, just how busy the beta is. It’s hard for me to feel comfortable questing in busy areas, and because there are so many people, I don’t think I could comfortable and objectively give good beta feedback. Because of that, and because I don’t need a reason to enrage at the moment, I have been avoiding the beta.
That isn’t to say I have ignored the updates. I’ve been paying semi-close attention to the changes going on with the classes. I’ve been spending time enjoying LFR, playing more League, leveling alts, and spending more time unplugged from Azeroth. I have still watched the various sites for patch updates, and I try to comb through them when I have a few spare moments. While I have been checking out other class’ talents and schemes, new rotations, etc, I have been watching the priest changes the most, as Exlucis is a priest after all.
Exlucis is a Troll. He is in a raiding guild on a raiding-heavy server. He is accompanied by a baby DK tank, whom I am also fond of. He has not been touched in a month or more. Why would I ignore my true love, the priest? Why would I not invest as much time in his gear as I am in my alts? Why would I ignore the tank I had started with pride in favor of a PvP centric hunter?em
Because most Twitterland Raiding is Alliance. Because most of my friends are Alliance. Because Alliance has kickass story coming their way. Because Exlucis is in a guild where he is relatively unknown. Because the people he got to knew ditched his guild for ToR, as many people did. Because as welcomed as he was, he never felt wanted by the guild he joined. Because maybe he isn’t the character I want to level first OR second in the new panda land.
I don’t play Exlucis much these days because I am conflicted. I want to invest as much time into Exlucis as I can, but I don’t know many people Horde side. I could make much more effort to get to know my guildies in Ride The Lightning, or other Real ID people I know. I could transfer him to a guild of Horde players I feel connected to. I could even do the server/race swap AGAIN. But I’m not sure if that’s what I want. I’m indecisive about this, and many other things both in AND out of game.
Do I want to mess around with the Warlock and help lead a legion of new players to return the class to glory? Do I want to try my hand at a totem-redux Shaman, Ascendance and all? Do I want to level the Hunter more and melt face with my noisy rifle? Do I want to level an other Priest Alliance side and experience the leveling game renewed? Do I want to swap Exlucis at the expense of $50, only to face more uncertainty? Do I want to make an effort to get to know the guild he’s a part of? Do I wait until Pandaria comes out to make any decisions?
I wish there was a manual. I wish there was a manual to help with the tough choices. We make a lot of tough choices in game and out. In game, we choose if we spend the gold on the expensive enchant. Out of game, we choose if it’s worth the money to make our character more enjoyable or playable. In game, we spend time working on achievements or farming pets or mounts. Out of game, we work on hobbies or chores to give us a sense of accomplishment. In game we raid, or PvP, or level, or sit in Stormwind chatting. Out of game we go to work, school, home, the library, or maybe a coffee shop, also chatting. In game if we have trouble with a class, or we mess up our rotation, or we perform poorly, or we get chided or trolled, we can turn the game off.
Out of game, if we are having problems, we can lean on others for help. We can look to guide books, or the internet. We can ignore online bullies and fight indiscretions at work or wherever. But it’s not that easy. Nobody tells you how. In game, the help guide tells you how to deal with negative behavior, to make your experience more enjoyable. The closest thing to a guide book in real life, one that can answer any ticket you submit, would be a therapist.
It’s May. May is Mental Health Month for 2012. It’s a call to action for getting people the help they need. And I’m conflicted. I’m conflicted because most people have heard the story I’ve told, but the truth is that the story is a heavily abridged version. There is more, much more. Some of it has played out just recently, some of it I have been dealing with for years. In all of it, I’ve been conflicted about sharing it, with anyone. I’ve been conflicted on sharing it with myself. I’ve let all of these things bottle up inside, afraid to admit that I was one of the 1 in 4 adults who have a mental health issue. I was overwhelmed with self-deprication and fear, and truth be told I still am. I was scared I would never be able to play out my fantasies or desires. I was afraid that I would never be cared about, let alone believe that I COULD be cared about, by anyone. I was afraid of the truth. And I was afraid I was getting too close to the ledge.
The truth is I’m depressed. I suffer from depression, officially. Yes, The Anxious Gamer is now The Anxious/Depressed Gamer. Catchy, isn’t it? My point in this is that I was on the fence about coming out with some of these things, to my family, friends, and people I care about (like those I share my blog with). But I can’t be afraid. The fact of the matter is I need help. I am getting professional help to treat the illness. I want help from my friends, to know that despite any ultra highs or mega lows I come to on this journey, I am cared for and supported, even if seemingly superficial. I want to accept it. And although I have much work to do, I know that coming out with this admission is a good first step to quash the demons, step back from the ledge, and rise to the light. Because the Light never forsakes its champions, at least that’s what A’dal said (right?)…
So what happens with Exlucis? I’m not sure. What happens with my alts? I’m not sure. What happens the next time I feel negative or overwhelmed? I’m not sure. Will I tell my family and closest friends about my depression? I’m also not sure. I’m trying to take things a day at a time, as they come, deciding what’s really important and what’s fleeting. I’m trying to live more uninhibited by fear and doubt. I’m trying to live free of confliction and indecision, and go as the wind goes. It goes against everything I’ve done, but with help and patience I can achieve anything I want to accomplish. Of that I am certain.
Update: Remember, if you or a loved one are having suicidal thoughts, DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL 911!! If you are close to the ledge, please call a friend or loved one, call the National Crisis Line at 1-800-273-TALK, or call your local hospital or emergency line. Help is available, and no matter the eventual cost, nothing is worth more than your life! Even if you do not see it in a time of darkness, your life has value and you are cared about!