You Matter: The Show Must Go On

No Matter What

I know it may sound cliche, but for those who are struggling, know this: you are not alone. A lot of us tend to take on the heavy task of trying to fix the pain ourselves, whether it comes from crippling loneliness or social awkwardness, and gamers are no exception. I’ve talked with many of my buddies on the low about these very real problems, and some of them even chose to commit suicide, feeling like there was no way out. As horrific as these feelings can be, I’m here to tell you that someone out there cares!

As for myself, I’m going through a nasty breakup that involves claims of betrayal, emotional manipulation, the whole nine yards. It’s like something out of a cheesy Netflix series or shitty rom-com, but that doesn’t make it any less painful. I even had to laugh at myself, given my family’s horrific track record with relationships, but again, this didn’t reduce my pain. A lot of it was my fault, as I allowed the mental and verbal abuse to continue for far too long before I pulled the plug. In the end, I’m just a sucker for pleasing people, even if it’s at my own expense, and it’s something I’m actively working on.

However, during this time, I knew two things:

  1. She decided to take the Wii U that I bought with my own money, and
  2. The show must go on! 

Clown or not, folks, life goes on. If you’re here, you more than likely took up video games as a hobby at some point in your life, and fantasized about being the heroic protagonist as much as I did.

Every time I popped in Castlevania, was Simon Belmont! Whenever I decided to play Gun.Smoke, was Billy Bob! And then it hit me: regardless of the bullshit these characters endured, they got right back up and kept trekking on, whether they wanted to or not, and I had the power to steer them towards victory! 

It’s built right into the design: the game encourages us to plow onward despite the obstacles thrown in our way!

Depression is a Life-Long Struggle

My whole life, I’ve struggled with depression that stemmed from my parents and their spouses not being who I needed them to be at the time. One was even outright verbally and emotionally abusive, so it came as no surprise that I unconsciously sought out relationships that were exactly like that. If you think I’m playing, find out what type of person that your lonely, withdrawn buddy from high school wound up with.

History has a sick, ironic sense of humor at times. We all know deep down that this behavior is wrong, and yet, we still seek it out in long-term partners. Why is that, exactly?

As for myself, I’m still trying to figure that out. All I know is that going forward, I’ll never forget about me, and that’s where I feel a lot of us get it wrong. Even someone you’ve known for years may do an about face and turn into a monster, but it’s never overnight; it’s spread out over time and escalates to an unbearable pitch that you never thought was even possible when you first met.

It’s been almost a month now of just me in this place, and I’ve discovered and rediscovered things about myself:

  1. Video games have always been my escape, not life preserver,
  2. Even if relations with my family are fractured and outright broken in spots, there are awesome people that love, care about and count on me, especially this amazing little guy, and
  3. I still want to be the hero that conquered the impossible. 

As painful as it’s been, I don’t feel that this is the end, but rather the beginning of something beautiful, amazing, and all mine!

It’s time to not crutch on others for my happiness, but rather to find it within myself. Even if she decided to take every single one of my systems, there’s one flame that no one on this Planet Earth can extinguish: my passion for video games and for life. That beautiful little hobby of mine has seen me through some difficult times, and despite the ugly shit I’ve experienced over the years, I still feel that my life has value and that tomorrow could be absolutely amazing if I’m brave enough to face it.

I Challenge You to See What Tomorrow Brings

Here’s my challenge to you: take your favorite hero’s determination out of the screen and into your own life to fight for your own tomorrow! 

Did Leon Kennedy just take out a huge sewer crocodile?! Holy shit! Now, I’m not saying to go out there and decimate any wildlife, but I am saying that we should take Leon’s dogged determination to survive seriously! Going in, Leon knew that no matter what, he was going to save Ada from the big, bad crocodile, and dammit, he did! 

Some of the people in our favorite video games have suffered incredible losses, but did the game simply end there? Hell no!

The list of problems that we all can endure as human beings is seemingly endless, but can include:

  • Family problems
  • Divorce
  • Custody issues
  • Financial trouble
  • Abuse
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger

This is my own laundry list of personal issues over the years that contribute to my ongoing battle with depression, and is not meant to be exhaustive.

Talk to Someone, Take Care of Yourself

At the risk of again sounding terribly cliched, many of these can be solved through one outlet: communication. Talking to someone else can ease the burden that seems to sit on your shoulders and chest like the world’s biggest boulder, believe me! Much of my own anger rested in my desire to make my parents into someone they’re not. After I accepted them for who they are, it made it much easier to love them and find peace with it.

As for romantic relationships, I’ll tell you this: we cannot depend on another person to provide the entirety of our own happiness and self-worth. If you find yourself grinding your gears for hours over something small (he left his socks in the living room again, she never cleans up after her pets, etc.), telling them about it and nothing changes, you either learn to accept it or send them packing. Anything else is simply devaluing yourself.

Bottom line, stated in my own clowny, ineloquent fashion: stop being someone’s bitch! Be true to yourself, and you’ll never go wrong. Nurturing relationships are supposed to build you up and enhance your life, not make it harder. If you continue to stay in a toxic relationship and bitch to all of your buddies on social media about it, you’re not fixing the problem, and alienating your friends who more than likely feel powerless to do anything about it.

Take a note from Leon Kennedy: drop the fire extinguisher, blow the head clean off that problem, and move on with your life. I truly believe that we were all put here for a reason, and if you choose to squander it, whether through silence and/or lone attrition, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice.

You want to get your life in order? Drop the passive-aggressive social media posts, get rid of the toxic relationships in your life, spend some quality time with yourself, and find out what matters to you. There’s gotta be a reason why air is still pumping into your lungs and blood continues to flow through your veins. Why don’t you take from the examples of Billy Bob and Simon Belmont, and find out why?

Links to help lines are included below if you need someone to talk to. Please, please, please reach out if you need help.

Hit Continue or even Reset if you must, but never Power! Lumpz the Clown OUT!

 

P.S. I bought another Wii U! 🙂

wiiu

 

Suicide Hotline: 1 (800) 273-8255

Kids’ Helpline: 1-877-KIDS-400

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