I’ve been rather agitated for past few weeks.
I felt angry a lot. I felt like a failure often, regardless of the quality of my work. I felt like I was being constantly ignored by people, either at work or elsewhere. .
I also wanted to drive my car into a wall a couple of times.
Eventually, when I couldn’t handle it anymore, my mom decided for me to have me go talk to my therapist again. I probably should have gone earlier, but either life got in the way before or I was just too stubborn to admit I needed a safe space to discuss things.
I am depressed. Perhaps I should say I am suffering from moderate depression.
Perhaps I should be more accurate by saying that, if my self-report holds true, I’m a few points shy of being severely depressed.
My therapist changed up my meds. I can think a bit more clearly about how I feel, but basically, everything is now one big hunk of meh. I can function, but nothing really strikes me as worth caring about unless it makes me angry.
This also means I have to sort of figure out why I bother to do certain things even if there’s no joy in doing them anymore, like work or even playing games.
As far as I’m able to tell, it’s basically been building up for a while.
I thought dates with someone were going well but that turned out to not be going well. A few months later, I try again, I got a little further, but then she up and changes her mind.
At work, I feel like what I do has purpose, but I also feel like I don’t belong, or that my inputs are useless. I guess I don’t feel valued as a person or as an asset. Even though I still like what I’m doing, I’m finding it difficult to properly speak up for myself or assert myself, because no one really seems to pay attention when I do speak up.
I’m writing this now because I’ve finally got time to think clearly about why I feel so down, and I could say it comes down to (dramatically) feeling less like someone who matters.
A writer — and, I believe, generally all persons — must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.
–From “Twenty Conversations with Borges, Including a Selection of Poems: Interviews by Roberto Alifano, 1981-1983.”
The above is one of my favorite quotes about writing. As someone who thinks himself a writer, I’ve come to realize that every experience we have shapes us and changes us little by little, and by writing about these things, I’ve come to effect change both in myself and perhaps in the minds and hearts of people who read my writings.
Now Jorge Luis Borges probably never expected me to take it to the interpretation of shared experiences in the virtual spaces of MMORPGs, but I’d think he’d be okay with them, as they are still interactions with a world, and the things that do happen to us in games mold us if we are receptive enough to learn from them.
Now, World of Warcraft is my second MMO (Ragnarok Online Philippines came before it), and despite it being the second MMORPG I’ve ever played for longer than three weeks (six month stint in vanilla WoW, and then returns here and there), there’s a strong enough connection between WoW and myself that I feel compelled to write about how World of Warcraft effected change in my life.
Perhaps the most poignant tale I can think of related to World of Warcraft and my life was that prior to playing WoW, I felt deeply compelled to earn gear and become stronger and feel epic. I wanted to be cool in a game space because I didn’t feel cool in real life. In Ragnarok Online, I farmed and purchased enough wood to acquire a Sakkat, a korean straw hat basically, because I thought a warrior in-game looked awesome in it. I would run around killing treants repeatedly in one zone for their loot. This mindset traveled with me from playing Ragnarok Online back in college to a point after graduation, when I was jobless and depressed and wanted to feel better about myself through playing WoW.
There was this one time, when my guild and I were in Blackrock Spire, that I was so frustrated with not getting any loot, that I essentially rolled on a purple ring that didn’t have stats useful for me, winning it, and leaving the run because I felt so angry.
My guild leader and I had a talk through email, and I got a reprimand, and I basically felt like crap afterwards because they were congratulating me on the winning roll even if the ring wasn’t right for me.
It was then that I realized that while gear is in important in the game to winning battles, the acquisition of gear should not be the driving force for playing something. I changed myself. I apologized to my guildies, and I basically spent the remainder of my time in Vanilla WoW (up till now even) espousing the virtues of not focusing on the loot. I talked to new guildies about how getting loot to members who needed the stats on an item would ultimately help the guild as a whole progress through content.
Basically, I became really gung-ho about being a good person above being a good raider or player or whatnot.
Of course, there are other things I could talk about regarding how WoW changed me, such as souring me towards overly streamlined mechanics, and raiding and whatnot, but I’d rather look at WoW as a positive force in my life. Without the experience of a guild in WoW, I may not have been as receptive to being nicer to people and thinking about the good of others.