Let's talk about Mental Health..

KylanKylan Member Posts: 31 ✭✭✭
Hello everyone,

It has been a long time since I was truly active and put much into the community, I don't actually know that many people that I knew are still around, but.. here goes.

I have recently (By recently, I mean 3 years +) gone through what is probably the hardest time of my life. (I'll go more into this later) I have.. sort of.. come out on the other side of it. It is still a matter of recovering. As part of my own musings, I started wondering how I could do something positive on the back of it.

As it happens, Aetolia was in my mind recently and how much time I put into this, so, I thought that opening up about my own experiences "After Aetolia" might be of benefit. If speaking about my experiences helps but one person in this community I had (And still have) so much affection for, it is worth the time it takes me to write it.

So, that is the preamble out of the way. As the title says, I want to talk about Mental Health. In the last 3 years I hit a really dark place, but that is skipping a few steps, so I will start from the beginning.

Most of you know me as Kylan, but my name is Peter. This may seem silly to put my actual name forward, but I feel that I need to distance myself from "Kylan". I am an IT Pro of approximately 10 years of experience. Please bear with me, I feel that giving context is important.

At the start of 2015, I was on a mini career break. I just came out of a particularly grueling contract in November of 2014, so decided to take December out to recollect myself and plan the next step of my career. Earlier that year, I agreed to move to live with my father. He was struggling and was at risk of losing his home, so having my income would ensure that he was comfortable while he dealt with his struggles.

In March, I started a new contract, a rolling monthly contract for approximately 6 months. Things were going well and we reached the first weekend of April, which was a bank holiday (National holiday) weekend.

On April the 4th everything changed. My father stopped by to ask if I needed anything while he was in town, no, I wanted to lie in. I had put in a lot of hours the last week. Later, I went out - I was a smoker and needed cigarettes, so I was heading to a nearby shop for smokes.

A shout from next door drew my attention - someone was knocking on the doors on the street, looking for me.

My father had collapsed in the street near my house. Passers by had stopped to call an ambulance and administer CPR. An off duty nurse stopped to assist. What followed was the most surreal six hours of my life. I remember getting bundled into the front of the Ambulance and getting rushed to hospital.

After waiting for what felt like an hour, my father had passed away. The shock kind of gave way to adrenaline as my mind started racing. I had to stay at the hospital after identifying my father - I had to be interviewed by a police officer representing the coroners office. As my father had seen a doctor last 3 months ago and there were no signs of ill-health beyond manageable conditions, I had to be interviewed.

A note: I have a sister. She had been estranged from myself and my father for about 10 years.

As part of the "hand over" from the hospital, I was given options for bereavement counselling, for support. I declined all of it, my mind was racing with everything I needed to do.

As soon as I got home that day, I phoned everyone I knew as a friend of my father. I had to call my mother to contact my sister. The Sunday was more phone calls.

On the Monday (A bank holiday), I called the manager at my contract and explained what happened. I explained I could not fulfill the contract as I had to plan the funeral, so I would hand in my notice on the Tuesday morning. He (Thankfully) talked me out of "Doing anything stupid" and advised me to go in and speak to HR (As a contractor, HR strictly speaking did not cover me beyond my agreements with the company).

Thanks to advice from HR, I was able to begin looking at planning the funeral. There was a problem - I had no financial reserves. I had just taken a career break and my reserves had not recovered. I could not afford to pay even the deposit on the funeral.

This entire period was me running through purely on adrenaline. I struggled to secure a loan for the deposit because I had no "collateral" behind it. All I had was a rolling contract that I could not secure a loan against as it could be dropped with a week's notice. I went to my employer and asked for a longer contract if the intent was to keep me on for 6 months.

My employer did one better, they offered me a permanent contract due to my performance in the first month. I had the stability I needed to secure a very costly high-risk loan for the deposit.

The funeral went ahead as planned - my sister did nothing and was only interested in one thing: how much money will I get? Of course, I had no idea.

I approached my father's solicitors and found that he had left the house to myself and my sister (The will had not been updated since 2003, so his intention to leave my sister out was never realized). To further complicate things, the Executor of the Will (The person entrusted with the estate of the deceased) had not only retired, but had also passed away himself. This meant the duty of the Executor fell to me (The next of Kin).

The next year is a blur of me, a novice, trying to piece all of the financials together. This involves speaking to creditors, solicitors and trying to settle everything for all parties to the Will satisfactorily. We agreed that I would buy the house.

I agreed with my sister that I would pay for all bills up front and all expenses would come out of the estate. Everything that was left would be split evenly. It took me a year alone to get "Probate", which is the right to act on behalf of the deceased. I had to declare all financial details. One problem was that there was a debt that the debt holder could not tell me about -this took almost 8 months alone.

After I got probate, I could negotiate with the creditors and arrange the sale of the property. I reached October 2016 and had agreements in place with all creditors. Over the last year, my finances were stretched to breaking point. I could just about afford to go to work and back and continue paying for all of the expenses of the estate.

February of last year, I finally got a mortgage approved and it had to go through the legal frame work.

Due to the legal complexity of the case, the supplied lawyers could not complete it, so the mortgage provider agreed to use my own. Due to the complexity of the case, this would go on for several months.

April of 2017, I was finally able to grieve my father. In the time between him passing away and now, I just did not have the time outside of a few minutes at the funeral service. I had to give a speech, then I could cry, then I would have to put my mask back on and greet his friends and distant family.

I did my grieving on the anniversary of his passing in 2017. I was drinking and talking to a friend. She was supportive throughout the past years. She had some.. bad news and it hit me hard. I distanced myself from my friend - something I regret even now.

I continued with working with my solicitors, then in June we were ready to go. Then a letter from a lawyer for my sister came, demanding to see all of the financial information, which I provided.

They kept coming back with more and more questions - I could not cope. I went to my solicitor and deferred it to them. My sister was denying all knowledge of our agreements, claiming that I should pay for everything for the estate, etc. Her solicitors blocked the sale of the property and added a string of demands.

Finally, in September, I broke. I had a very limited support network and got myself through the previous two and a half years by gritting my teeth and pushing on and on. "I will get past this" turned into my personal mantra. "This will not break me" "I will not be defeated by this".

Every set back, felt like I was being knocked to my knees before I had even got back on to my feet. Each time, I tried picking myself up. This time I could not.

So there I was in September of 2017 - I am sure I had been dealing with depression for at least two years, but there was always something more important for me to tackle - something else to turn my mind to.

I identify my breaking point as when I first thought about committing suicide. Any time I contemplated, there was still this defiant side of me that stopped me from acting on this. I could not count on it. I could not burden a friend I rarely spoke to about this.

I sought help.

My doctor advised me to approach the mental health service (Which I did) and they put me on a high priority - I was effectively on suicide watch.

My mood was so low and I was so stuck in my own mind that I got into a routine that if I wasn't working, I was sleeping. On one occasion, I slept the entire afternoon of a Saturday. My mom was calling me every weekend - I think to reassure herself that I was alive as much as to make sure I was okay. On this Saturday, she tried calling me. No answer. She thought I was sleeping, so waited an hour and tried again. No answer.

She called what I call "my surrogate family" - an old family friend nearby that look after me as one of their own. They sent their son to check on me. Of course, the door was locked and there was no answer.

My mother had called the police, fearing that she would get confirmation that I had taken my own life.

However, the police officer knocking on the door woke me up - it is now almost 9pm. My step father had got home from a day out at the pub and was driving from my mom's to check on me. I called my mom to let her know I was okay.

The officer spoke to me about my problems and offered encouragement - he has dealt with mental health problems himself. My step father turned up after the officer had left (Probably for the best) - saw me through my window and left without speaking to me.

I continued seeing someone every week to monitor my health, talk to them about everything that had happened. Christmas came and went, as did the New Year. I had no hopes for this year.

So this year, I finally got the go ahead from my sisters lawyers who agreed with everything I had told them last year after speaking to my solicitors.

I finally got my mortgage and the house completed in April of this year.

Since then, I have been working on rebuilding my life. It is still very much a matter of recovery for me. I own my home, I have time to look at my own life and work out what I want. For the last three years, my life has been on hold while I dealt with everything.

I don't know how I got so far. How I did not break sooner. I distanced myself from friends, locked myself into focusing on everything else. People attributed it to me being "strong" when I felt anything but.

People would tell me I "am a great person" or something similar. I could not find that in my darkest moments. I could not look into a mirror and see anything to admire.

Were it not for a small spark of defiance left, I don't know that I'd have made it through. I isolated myself from everyone close to me. I am "better" now, but still recovering. My darkest hours are behind me, and so I have also banished any thoughts of taking my own life.

During the struggles over the last two years, I did return to Aetolia a few times to lose myself in something else. Kylan was everything I was not, a familiar mask I could put on. My returns to Aetolia did not last for long - I told no one about my struggles. I wanted to forget them. Kylan was confident, a pillar of support to few. When Kylan's experience got even in the same sort of place that I was in, I withdrew from Aetolia again and isolated myself.

I want to finish up by saying that if you find yourself in hardship, seek help. Speak to friends, family and seek professional help.

If you are in the UK, you can contact The Samaritans or Your Doctor.

I do feel that I owe a few apologies to some people:

Anyone that I/Kylan committed to working on a project with/for. I am sorry.

@Sofiel - You provided a bright spark for Kylan and gave me something small to at least smile at. I am sorry I disappeared without explanation.

@Nola You were one of the few Aetolians I kept in somewhat regular contact with. Thank you.

I hope this offers some explanation.

If you have made it this far, thank you. I don't know if I will commit to Aetolia again for more than brief stops, but it may be that I find myself compelled to return in the future. If you do want to contact me, however, I am on Discord under the name Sid#9463

If you find yourself going through personal hardship - it doesn't matter what it is - seek help. You are worth it. People care about you. Do not forget that, no matter how hard it is to remember. Do not be like me and try to force yourself through it. Things will get better, but we have to work at it and that requires help sometimes.

- Peter / Kylan



  • LeanaLeana Member Posts: 225 ✭✭✭
    Thank you

  • AloliAloli Member Posts: 352 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Hello Peter,

    Thank you for sharing such a private part of your life with everyone. I am sorry you have been through this but I am glad to see you came out better for it. It really is uplifting to hear about your happy ending and that you're inspired to reach out to others.

    This helped me keep my head up.
  • MimoteshMimotesh Member Posts: 30 ✭✭
    Hello, Peter.

    You don't know me and I don't know you, we've only rped a few times on old chars of mine, but thank you for speaking out.

    I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my father very suddenly last year. It's numbing. Thankfully, I have good contact with my sister, who has handled everything perfectly. I'm sorry you couldn't have that support from your sister.

    I am so proud of you, for pushing through this. I can't even begin to fathom how difficult it must have been. I've never been truly suicidal, but I have had undistinct thoughts of harming myself severely. Even though every day is still a struggle, you did it. You pulled through and I'm so grateful for that.

    It's so easy to forget there is a person behind the characters. As you said, where your character might be confident and strong, the player behind could be anything but. We need to keep that in mind in this game.

    Continue to get stronger. Remember you are loved.
  • SofielSofiel AusMember Posts: 6

    This post is beautiful and deeply courageous. Thank you so much for sharing. I relate to a lot of it, and I think I needed the reminder that it's okay to get help. We don't have to do it alone.

    You *are* strong. You are the steel beneath the hammer. You were beat, and beat, and beat, but you never broke. I'm so proud of you and inspired by you.

    While I sorely wish I could've given you some more direct means of support, to know that I was able to provide some tiny instances of joy is comforting and touching. Please know that it was mutual. When you smiled, I was smiling with you.

    I'm smiling for you now, because I know you're going to be okay. I have absolute faith in your recovery, best wishes and excitement for your future, and the fondest memories of our time spent creating a story together.

    Thank you.
  • BenedictoBenedicto Tentacles Errywhere! Member Posts: 812 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Mate, I had no idea that this was going on and, being a fellow UK based Aetolian and you being someone who I've known within the game IG and OOC for a long time, I'm saddened that I was not aware of this and that I could not provide you with more support.

    I'm relieved to hear that you've come out the other side and are on the slow, but steady mend. If you need anything at all, even if it's just a friendly face, I'm happy to drive to meet you somewhere for a pint or something.
    (Leaders): Tiur says, "I'll remember not to delete you when the time comes, Bene. Good people."

  • TeaniTeani Shadow Mistress SwedenMember Posts: 2,156 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'll share where what I shared with @Kylan. It's something I wrote to sort of get all the frustrations of recovering from depression out of my head. I have come a lot farther on my path of recovery, but this might help some people understand what it can be like, in other words.

    If you like it, feel free to share it wherever. Same as above, I hope more people become aware of what it can be like.

  • ArbreArbre Arbrelina Jolie BraavosMember Posts: 2,094 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I wasn't going to write about this, but Kylan opened up the forum for it, so I thought I might. Assuming I can get something appropriate written.

    I have bipolar disorder, which comes with a whole host of other problems from not being diagnosed for such a long time. I hit a high around the time I was 20 and it stayed with me the longest I've ever been hypomanic. I started behaving.. not quite erratically, but without deep thought to my actions. The biggest thing I can give an example of is my decision to join the Navy. I literally came up with the idea, went to the recruiter, and signed the papers, THEN came home and told my fiancee what I'd done. I don't regret joining the Navy, though, it was one of my better decisions.

    Anyways, I made it through almost a year before the hypomania faded and I spiralled into a deep depression. I started getting into trouble for not being where I was supposed to be just because I was sleeping. During this time, I married Justin (Ansnom) and he moved down to where I was stationed. Within the first month of our marriage, we were at home in the evening and I snapped. He spent four hours holding me down and trying to call 911 while I kicked and screamed and cried and twisted his broken wrist, did whatever I could to get out of his grip, outside, and into traffic - we lived on a busy highway. Eventually I ran out of energy and he took me to the hospital, whereupon I ended up in the psych ward for three days.

    The Navy doesn't want any of that, so I was swiftly discharged from what was the best thing I ever had going for me. The next maybe six or seven years were a progression of Justin dragging me to doctors' appointments and doing most of the talking there because I wouldn't. Justin spending all day at work and then coming home to me hysterically crying every night until I ran out of energy and passed out. I took a thousand different kinds of antidepressants that didn't help and went to therapy that didn't do anything for me because I wouldn't talk about important things. I lost most of my friends during this period of time, and hurt a lot of people I care about a lot (Xavin). It was a horrible period in my life. I ended up in the psych ward voluntarily one more time, which helped a lot. I even did electroconvulsive therapy (electroshock) which was... an experience.

    Finally, Justin got me to a doctor that asked about my whole life, not just what was happening lately. When you look at it from a distance, you can clearly see the ups and downs, even in my childhood. He diagnosed me with bipolar disorder and gave me a mood stabilizer that I'm still on today. It was the first medication that ever did anything positive for me - finally there was calm. Not happiness, but calm. Over time and trying other medications, I found a combination that helped.

    Once meds were solved, my anxiety had gone out of control. I wouldn't leave the house without my mom, husband, or best friend and even then I avoided it if at all possible. In tackling that challenge, I ended up getting a service dog, which changed my life almost immediately. He's trained to alert me when I start having a panic attack because I frequently don't notice them coming on until I'm in the full throes of crying and screaming in public. If he alerts me at the beginning, I can take meds and do what needs to be done to calm the storm before it comes.

    By the time I was 30, I was having more good days than bad ones, starting to make friends, and going to school again. I'm still having trouble finding a therapist I feel comfortable talking to, but it's not so integral to my recovery that it's a thing to be concerned about. I worked at H&R Block for a season and succeeded well there. Now Justin and I are finally moving out of my parents' house (with me unable to work, we had to move in with them for years) on our own and I'm starting to work on the second half of my BA.

    I never thought I would be able to find the light at the end of the tunnel; everything hurt for so long that I became accustomed to the pain and was genuinely scared to not have it. But now that things have cleared up, my life is so much better. I'm looking forward to the future finally.

    If you're having troubles and you live in the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. You don't have to be suicidal to use this line either - you decide what being in crisis means for you, and if you feel you need it, call.

    That was a brief overview of my story. If you have any questions, want to know more, or just want to talk, feel free to contact me.

    Also, you're hella handsome Kylan.
  • KylanKylan Member Posts: 31 ✭✭✭
    Thank you, Arbre. (For the compliment too!)

    I personally refused medication when it was offered to me by my doctor. My doctor was excellent and understanding, but I still was stubborn about what kind of help I would accept. I still felt that I HAD to get through this on my own strength, I just needed someone to help me do it. If it is an option, I would still discuss it with your doctor. If it is right for you, go for it.

    I am really happy that you are feeling much better about the future now, Arbre. It sounds like you had a really tough run of it, and over such a long period of time too.
  • SibattiSibatti Amidst vibrant flora and treesMember Posts: 275 ✭✭✭✭
    Hey buddy (another oldbie here)! I don't have anything to add to this aside from saying that I'm glad you're doing okay, and thank you for sharing.
  • EowynEowyn SomewhereMember Posts: 106 ✭✭✭
    Hey Kylan - I used to play Solaria a while back, so don't mind the new name to an old face. Thanks for posting this. I'm glad you are on the path upward, and wish all the best for you.

    I think a lot of us struggle and don't speak out. I do, all the time, and have a hard time reaching out for help. I probably need help now, honestly, but I don't really know where to start this time. So, I'll use what both you and Arbre posted about and try to get that help.
  • OonaghOonagh Member Posts: 387 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2018
    As someone who also deals with this and has a hard time communicating intent and meaning, I understand this struggle as well. Truth be told, I have been working to detach Oonagh as a character from any previous incarnations of self, but in part, I have found doing so to create more stress and anxiety than is appropriate. When I read about how Kylan was an escape to you it resonated super hard with me and made me reflect upon myself.

    I made Oonagh to be everything I am not, and it made him neurotic and meek, and it in part has caused me undue anxiety.

    I just love that you have created an outlet to discuss mental health as a broad and important cause that covers such a spectrum of things which effect us on different scales and to different reason.

    I can be candid, I played aetolia before, I created this persona to avoid any remarks relative to my former characters, but for what its worth I was once in the Daru with Kylan, and I found him as an amazing resource of knowledge and feel that he and you in turn enriched my experience as a player. I am glad to hear you were able to overcome this hardship in your life and are working on instilling value in your experiences in life after getting through a low, to recover and find the high.

    I appreciate anyone able to discuss this openly, and it has produced alot of insight for me as a person, to better myself and/or work on bettering the experiences of those around me.

    To those who have seen me struggle in character, its because I have been trying so hard to not uncover who I am and finally enjoy an experience, and in part this has given me great anxiety and pain OOCly, something I normally can deal with but has contributed to my being absent more frequently because I fear I have ruined the experience by living a lie so to speak by existing as a persona within a persona to hide myself.

    Thanks for opening this venue for me to discuss feelings and my personal status, it does feel better to get this off my chest and be candid. Thank you to people like @Phoenecia @Eowyn @Kanivara and @Daren who have listened to my struggles and kept my secret, I need to search my own mind and just be honest though at some point as I think that will help me be better, and not create the struggle I exist in now.

    EDIT: I came clean in the discord and I feel really relieved, thank you for being a great community everyone here.
    Post edited by Oonagh on
    Oonagh has been slain by the might of the toxic atmosphere of Ulangi.
  • SeirSeir Seein' All the Things Getting high off your emotionMember Posts: 992 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Cheers @Oonagh

    You had accidentally let it slip to me at one point in private on who you were, but I'm glad you were comfortable in revealing who you are on the Discord.

    I'm going to post something really quickly on this subject, as it is a pretty personal one and an issue that I have suffered from, as many of you have:

    When I originally went to a therapist, I was told there were two kinds of depression. Behaviorial-based and genetic. At first, my therapist believed I had the former and then later on, it was discovered that I had both. Depression can be an outright unicorns to tackle and everyone manages to tackle it in a different way, but something I've commonly seen in every person that has had it is a belief that you are inherently flawed and in some cases, permanently flawed. Please, please, please let me assure you of one thing:

    You are not.

    You are a unique individual and we live in a world that is often like a cruel and harsh river, forcing us to go along with it in order just to stay afloat. Yet, for all the pain and struggle you can feel, it does not mean you are flawed. It simply means that you, like many others, are hurting for your own reasons. If you're like me, you constantly have this internal voice in your head that is constantly criticizing you or making you think that others think you're ugly, hideous, a bad person, or what have you. You might be like me in that you need affirmation from others to assure you that this is not the case, but we are often our own worst critics and we can make mistakes that cause us to do silly things to those we care about, act out for a general desire of acceptance, constantly think that we are missing out on life because we are too afraid to take that next step and thus life is pointless, that nothing will ever get better. I want to say something, as cheesy as it is, that my Dad often tells me and it's something I remind myself of when I am feeling depressed: "As dark and scary as night can be, the sun always comes up in the morning." The quote is fairly self-explanatory. While life can be cruel and harsh, it is still life. It is also full of love, acceptance, laughter, and happiness. Your depression isn't just a negative. You can view it as a positive, because it helped you become more empathetic towards others, it allowed you to better understand yourself, or perhaps it simply gives you a greater appreciation for the people and things you do have in your life.

    Anyway, if any of you are ever feeling as if you're in a dark place, many of you know I try to be as approachable as I can be on Discord. I am always willing to listen and help out wherever and however I can, because I've often been where a lot of you are coming from. Don't try to tackle depression alone, because then it's just you and the voice in your head.

    As an aside, I do want to talk on the subject of what Oonagh felt he had to do as well, because I think it's a symptom of a greater issue that IRE as a whole (and perhaps people as a whole can suffer from)

    Many times, I've had to struggle with the idea of preconceived notions for my actions as a player in IRE over the 19-20 years I've played. It can sometimes feel difficult to bloom or be given a "second chance" if players have an idea in their head that you are a net negative to be around, even if they were actions that you did a long time ago -- perhaps even as a teenager when you weren't the most mature person in the world. You may sometimes feel that there is no way for your reputation to ever recover, or you might believe that everyone sees the worst in you. This is not (always) the case. There was a point in time that I was a terrible griefer on a game called Lusternia. I was so conflict starved that I, according to Lusternia's administration, spent more time in enemy organization territory than in my own org's territory. As a result, I obtained a reputation. I wasn't completely unreasonable as a player, as if a person from that org asked me to leave, I usually would if they did it politely. Yet, there was no doubt in my mind that I was being a negative influence to the game and playing to the detriment of others. While my own org (mostly) loved me, I was pretty much loathed by the opposite side of the game. While my attitude improved somewhat (or at least became self-aware to what I was doing as Nienla) when I started playing as Seir, I acquired a reputation here not as a griefer, but as a generally hostile person if I felt that someone was trying to take my enjoyment of the game away or playing to my detriment. I lashed out at many people as a result and obtained a sense of paranoia with people, keeping them at arm's length because I didn't know who was genuinely being nice to me or just playing at it. I also struggled with the idea of "preconceived notions" from players who didn't even know me. There was a point in time where I was flat out verbally assaulted from a person who, by their own admission, didn't even really know me aside from "reputation" but cursed me out and condemned me for just having an opinion on something in-game. It was around this point that I realized how unhealthy Aetolia was, how much it was stoking negativity in myself, and making me paranoid about people and whether they were truly friends. After a break, I came back after growing up as a person. While there some folks who still treated me with disdain and negativity, there were many who acknowledged that I grew and developed as a person, that I matured, and in some cases apologized to me because they were judging me based off of the hearsay of others and realized that I was a fairly friendly and compassionate person (their words) once they got to know me.

    The whole point of the above diatribe is that no player is above "redemption". Your actions as a teenager or as an older player will never permanently define you with every player in the game. Some may always hold your actions against you for their own reasons, but people should always be open to allowing someone the potential to change or develop into a better person. Otherwise, you're just creating a self-fulfilling prophesy where they reinforce their negative behaviors because they believe everyone is against them. I've seen this self-destructive spiral, and been a participant of it myself, so many times that I understand its origin and how to stop it. Also, do not base your judgments of a player based off the hearsay of others. Judge them for yourselves and always keep an open mind. If I listened to every person who told me to pre-emptively ban "XYZ" in the Discord, we'd have no one there because nearly everyone (including myself) would probably be banned. I've made it a point for every person to be allowed into the Delve Discord, regardless of what 'reputation' they might possess. I inherently believe that every player simply wants to get along and have a nice time. However, if you feel that nothing will get better on your current character, there is absolutely nothing wrong with starting a new under different pretenses. I did that with a vampire alt whose identity remains concealed to this day because I did not want anyone knowing that I was Seir. I even used a Virtual Machine and VPN to log in from a different location to obscure who I was to admins because I didn't trust them (at the time) with my Seconds information either. Even more so, if I wanted credits, I'd use pre-paid credit cards with no identifiable information. Funnily enough, the people who often were my loudest opponents on Seir became some of my closest friends on my vampire. This is right around the time I came to realize the danger of preconceived notions about other players, that self-destructive paranoia spiral, and how there is nothing wrong with a fresh, new start as someone else if you feel it's necessary and healthy.

    In any event, sorry this all went on for a long time. These are two subjects I feel pretty passionate about as a player. I hope, to some extent, it can help some of you that are either struggling with depression or as a player in terms of 'reputation'. As always, I am here if any of you need a helping hand.
  • EydisEydis Member Posts: 135 ✭✭✭
    I found this thread buried in 2018 and I have some reservations rezzing it but I agree with @Oonagh that this is a really cool outlet. 

    A lot of my Aetolian friends know I have PTSD. For context, it’s from childhood stuff and an abusive relationship with an Aetolian that lasted all through out high school. During my freshman year of college at 19, it turned physically abusive when I tried to leave him. Ironically we were in second place for best couple in the Senior rankings. Lol. 

    Anyway, I was pretty much at the lowest point. I had two loops that formed: a.) internal and b.) external. The internal loop was a constant laundry list of things to blame myself for, all of the ways that I was at fault, that I should change, that I should’ve done better and the things I should’ve protected myself from. The external loop was my way of protecting myself, of dealing with uncertainty and uncovering nefarious plots lol. I was always battling someone or something, I was hyper aware of everything. My paranoia and general mental health meant I would disappear or pull away for sometimes a year at a time from intimate connections. I hear semi-consistently that other players, or baffled friends, think maybe I’m looking down on them or I don’t like them when I stop interacting. While that could be true it most likely isn’t. I’m probably just turtling. Lol. 

    Anyway, when I was 21 I was finally diagnosed. At that point I knew that I essentially had two choices: 1.) Lose to PTSD, which I obviously had no intention of doing or 2.) Face it directly and have the life I wanted and deserved. Soon after I went into remission. I slipped out of remission completely about three years later and while it’s still a work in progress, I’ve recovered a lot.

    I learned some important, if not obvious, lessons about resiliency and boundaries I’ve kept in mind. Maybe someone else needs to hear them. :) 

    a.) I’m a bad unicorns capable of doing pretty much anything. I mean seriously, I survived -that-. And I STILL graduated from college and rebuilt my life. What else do you even have for me universe? Lol. Whatever it is, I’m ready. 

    No matter how bad it gets, no matter if I’m at rock bottom and I’m sure there’s no way up, I’m looking closer honey because I’m getting up there. No excuses! 

    b.) I am undeniably worth someone who loves me, is honest with me, treats me with respect, and is willing to do their share of the work. You are too, unless you’re an unicorns then first you should see: d. 

    c.) My worth is not, and never will be, defined by the opinions of a romantic partner. Ever. My partner’s worth is not defined by me. 

    d.) I’m responsible for my own behavior, even while triggered. This should be a hard limit across connections and relationships in general. It’s no one else’s fault for “making me act” a certain way, diagnosis or not. I owe it to everyone in my life to take accountability and make the decisions that elevate me to becoming the partner, daughter, and friend they deserve. I owe it to myself. I’ll make mistakes but the important thing is to keep going, listening, evaluating my behavior with a realistic perspective, and ultimately- changing. 

    e.) Going to counseling doesn’t make me weak. By stepping in the room I’ve chosen to become a stronger person. 

    f.) Laugh at yourself and the situation you’re in, it helps! 

    (Spinesreach): Xiuhcoatl says, "Oh man, grab the children-corn. This is gonna be good."
  • KalinaarKalinaar Member Posts: 157 ✭✭✭
    This was a tough read because I've been through this and you described it out in such detail. My parents weren't there. My mom was a prostitute and my dad was a drug addict. My grandmother raised me and I had to deal with her death alone. I'm sure many reading this have no faith but I'll still add that without my church family (and of course prayer) I would have had a very difficult time getting through several massive soul draining moments in my life. 
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