There are many (many) posts in this category which detail my battles with depression and other low points in my social, mental, or emotional state. Writing is largely how I process my feelings, to try to give them shape and form so I’m not just stewing in a disorganized brain soup. I have learned recently that at least one reader of this private section of my blog feels I too often paint myself as a malcontent and someone struggling with deep issues, and that such things could reflect poorly on friends and family. While I don’t have a fantastic response to that critique, I did want to take this opportunity to talk about a really, really good day I had recently. So good in fact that I made specific note of how I felt because I wanted to show the privileged few who have ready access to these posts that not everything in my life is doom and gloom.
All of these events took place last Friday, and made me feel quite good about what I had accomplished that day, and that there was a path moving forward. I took a half day at work, and I think it made all the difference to know that I had other, productive, things on my schedule rather than idle listlessness.
I find no small measure of satisfaction in posting content to this blog, particularly content I think others would enjoy. I wrote up a story stemming from a role-playing campaign I run, talked at some length about the enjoyment and disappointment I feel with the video game EVE Online, reminisced about some great times in high school, and offered my advice on how to be a more effective specialist in the game Heroes of the Storm. While I try not to put a huge value on raw wordcount, I was pretty happy that over the course I was able to put up more than 4,000 words of content for others to enjoy.
Leaving from work at noon, I had a quiet and relaxing lunch by myself, just playing some mobile games and letting the stress of work wash away. I probably shouldn’t have but I ultimately ordered a milkshake to go with my burger and savored it before heading to my next appointment.
For the past several years I’ve been on a daily anti-depressant, and of late I haven’t felt like it was doing much for me; I had to really figure out whether it was a case of my brain chemistry changing or situations in life—read: my workplace—were more impactful than previous. After a scheduled sit-down with my psychiatrist, we agreed on a step-down plan for the SSRI, and replacing it with an SNRI once it was out of my system. It felt really good to have support and to identify an actual forward path, to have new goals and new milestones.
After the doctor’s appointment I went ice skating, which is something I used to do quite often, but I haven’t been in more than a year. What made for a special occasion was an old theatre friend of mine, having spent years and years living in and teaching stage combat in London, joined me. I hadn’t seen him in more than a year, and it was a fantastic time catching up with him and meeting his girlfriend, with whom I absolutely clicked. We three had a great time, and grabbed frozen yogurt afterward. Reconnecting with an old friend and getting some actual exercise—let alone having a good experience meeting someone new—was a great cap to the afternoon, and something I don’t experience very often.
As the day settled into evening I watched an acquaintance broadcast one of his first-ever public DJ sets. It was a steady stream of uptempo electronic music, a fair number of “interesting” song mashups, and more than half of it was music I could see myself listening to. It felt good to support him and interact with him during his set, and to see that there were other people in the audience as well. As someone who used to perform on internet radio stations, I know that starting out with a helpful audience goes a long way to building confidence and build a solid foundation on which to continue performing.
The video game speed running community—people who attempt to complete games as quickly as possible—have made a very positive name for themselves with events sponsored by the group Games Done Quick. Their semi-annual events have raised over $22 million for charities including Doctors Without Borders and the Prevent Cancer Foundation, and draw ever-increasing viewership and donations from around the world. Because twice a year wasn’t enough for this ever-budding community, there is now a bi-monthly European Speedrunner Assembly which streams its small events online, with the similar goals of raising money to fight terminal disease and enhance the accessibility of youth education. Though I’ve watched many of the events and videos thereby, I hadn’t ever contributed before. There was a lull in an evening (for me) broadcast of the ESA’s most recent event, and I felt I could and should contribute. While the GDQ events pull in millions of dollars each time, the smaller ESA presentations usually manage a few thousand, and it felt good to be able to meaningfully contribute toward their goal. They read my name on-air and the small message I attached, which really made me feel good. That the entirety of my donation was going to the charity also made me very happy, as I know that the more bureaucracy a donation goes through, the less actually makes it to the people in need at the other side.
All in all, it was a very rewarding Friday, mentally, socially, and emotionally, and it was remarkable enough in both its depth and its infrequency to warrant attention. I sincerely hope that some people who have read the doom and gloom posts elsewhere in this category, and those posts which will likely occur in the future, take the opportunity to visit this entry and know that not everything is perpetually gloomy in my day-to-day.
Header image inspired from the Gorillaz music video for “Feel Good, Inc“