So, maybe you've heard some nasty shit went down in the forum last week? I was caught up in it, and I was one of the people who didn't quite see eye to eye with Niero and moved to the Digital Confederacy, though most of you don't know that because I didn't write a blog or made a big deal out of it. Partly because there was plenty of drama going on already and it's not like anybody cared about yet another user departing either way, and two because I'm not severing ties for good. I've never been a fan of the forum/front page/C-blog divide, to me everything is Destructoid. I visit less often these days, but there are many cool people around who don't go to the forums, have nothing to do with what happened and I don't want to part ways with them.
This mess came at a time when I'm in a very dark place IRL, and if nothing else gave me a little push to do some much needed soul searching. I've talked a little about my struggles before, and I can't say it has really gotten that much better. Looking back, I realize most of my forum participation was in the GmC thread, and without even realizing it I let myself be swallowed by a metric ton of negativity. While my opinions on the issues discussed are largely unchanged, it was never worth getting that invested in the first place, and I can't help but wonder: would I have wasted so much time and wallowed in so much negativity if my life was in a great place? Probably not. Would I have gotten so damn attached to that forum if I was in a different place? Again, I doubt it. I'd likely simply have used it, made friends there, and that was that. You know, like a healthy person.
Less than two weeks ago I bought a PS4 on impulse. I wasn't planning to, I have plenty of games already, and the raw truth is, it wasn't an act of joy so much as an act of desperation. I was looking for something, anything, to give me that temporary rush and help me forget, and I promptly lost myself in the world of The Witcher 3. Despite a very important upcoming exam, I couldn't tear myself away from it like a godamn child. But hey, at least it was making me temporarily happy, right? I wish. If hiding from the world inside a videogame was so effective, how come some nights I'd weep like a godamn baby?
Sadly, this isn't a new phenomenon either. I was a very healthy teenager, but became mentally ill in my early twenties, and ever since then, videogames gradually went from an awesome, healthy source of joy to a crutch I used to hide from my pain. And I didn't want to admit that. It's one of the few things in my life that gives me genuine joy, so why should I give that up? And hey, almost everyone plays videogames in a healthy manner, why not me, right? Surely I can do it too. Well, I'm sure I can, as I have before, but as much as it hurt my pride, the truth is, right now I can't.
So, a couple days ago I put my PS4, PS3, Wii U, 3DS and all my games in a suitcase and raced to gamestop to get rid of them all before I changed my mind. And I did. Well, almost everything, I still have a computer and I need it, and there's nothing stopping me from playing games here either, but if it becomes a problem again I'll simply get rid of it and buy myself a crappy computer than only runs a word processor and an Internet Browser.
If I didn't write anything about the forum mess, why am I writing this? I wasn't going to, but I decided to do it for two reasons. First, so my e-friends know I'm not dead or ignoring them, and two, as a sort of public shaming control mechanism. I have a great track record of keeping promises I make to other people, a very poor one of keeping promises to myself. I'm not broke (yet), so there's nothing besides my (poor) willpower stopping me from giving up and buying a new Playstation tomorrow, so I'm putting this here, so that everybody knows. And if I decide to lose myself gaming again next month, I'll remember that I made a big deal out of quitting and everybody will point and laugh at me if I fail so spectacularly, and at the very least it will give me second thoughts.
And this is the promise I'm making to myself: I will not buy another videogame before I'm fit, healthy, with a well-structured life and my career on track. I want to be a diplomat, which is one of the hardest and most grueling selection processes in the country, and by god, I'm going to buy a PS4 and spend a whole damn month playing videogames 24/7 to celebrate when I pass it, and not a day before. And if the diplomat dream fails, you can replace that with "achieving a stable and prosperous career".
And I'm sharing this promise with you, so you can all hold me to it. I'm not saying goodbye, I'll probably still hang around here and the Digital Confederacy, but I honestly have no idea how much, definitely not as much as before, so if I suddenly disappear, this why. Well, hopefully this is why and not because I was in a plane crash or something.
Much love to you all. It's time to bury my extended adolescence for good and grow the fuck up. And when I finally do that, one of the first things I'll do is come back here and to the Digital Confederacy to celebrate and play some game with my lovely old friends. Hopefully at least some of you will still be here by then.
Wish me luck and strength. I'm gonna need it.