A place wherein this Dwarven Cleric can share his love of maps, dice, miniatures, and all things involving gaming and general geekery--not to mention the occasional witty non-gaming observations--whilst escaping from the humdrum existence of his routine Terran existence.

Hail and Well Met, fellow traveler! May my Stronghold provide a place for enlightenment and amusement, and somewhere to keep your dice dry. Enter and rest awhile.

28 September 2015

Shamless Plea for Help

OK, dear readers. I realize that I've dropped off the face of the planet. I barely have the energy to make this post, but I really need some help. Here comes the "shameless plea."

Well, actually, it comes as part of a great big "thank you" to you all in the gaming community. A great big "thank you" because of what you all mean to me, and how your unspoken--and possibly unrealized--support has gotten me through some bad times.

I've had a bad couple of years. After a dozen-plus years slaving for a modern day Ebenezer Scrooge, I bought him out and hung out my shingle. Then I slowly realized, more and more, that he'd taken advantage of me, and had incurred a lot of secret debt that now had my name stuck to it. In the past couple years I've sunk everything I have into this firm and have finally come to the conclusion that my desire to help people has not been outweighed and overcome by my inability to bring in business. I haven't made a mortgage payment in a year; heck, I've not taken a paycheck home in a year. There's been game-related spending, but it's been driven by extreme depression.

You see, I've been suffering from depression for nearly 5 years. I will confess, I was always one who kinda scoffed at depression. I was raised by parents who were nearly a generation older than most of my friends' parents, and were of the "pull up your boots and get back to work" mentality of the Nineteen Forties generation. I'll tell you, that mentality lasts only until the moment you realize that it's all true: depression has a definite mental, emotional, and physical effect on your life.

Then add to that the food allergies that hit about the time I bought out the old man, "Grampa Asshat" as my staff calls him. Severe food allergies. To the point that I have maybe a dozen things I can eat...at most.

I'm not saying this because I'm craving sympathy or pity. I'm getting to my point here soon.

Putting together The Stronghold has helped, putting out this blog has helped, proven a distraction, at least.

Fast forward to about 6 weeks ago. Due to circumstances beyond my control, someone close to me--professionally--screwed me over. I felt like I was the victim in a bad prison movie. I dropped emotionally, mentally, and physically lower than I had ever before experienced. I determined that I was closing my doors. I felt like a failure, even though I knew (and everyone around me knew) that I had been set up for failure by Grampa Asshat. Since that day, I have been nearly incapable of producing any gaming material. Heck, it's been tough to even get up the gumption to game. A few of you've provided some little goodies in the mail that have acted as defib paddles. A month ago, a colleague offered me a job in his firm, providing me an open window to the door I'd just closed. This past 3 weeks I've worked harder than I have in several years; my depression and medical issues have severely inhibited my thinking and processing abilities. All of this? It's exhausted me. Severely. Exhausted. It certainly hasn't helped my desire or ability to produce, game, or think straight. In addition to client deadlines from my new firm and my old firm I also have self-imposed deadlines: editing deadlines for a couple of OSR projects, writing deadlines for several anthologies, and, of course (potentially) Issue #3 of The Stronghold. None of this takes into consideration family stuff, of course.

Now the plea: I'm relying on you all. I've relied on all your support (see above) for the past several years to get me through the past several years.

Do I keep going with this? do I keep going with the blog? with The Stronghold 'Zine? with gaming? I need some reasons. I need your support. Call it prayers, karma, or positive vibes. Yeah, it's selfish, it's self-serving, it's shameless. I think of you all as my friends, and I wanted you--as my friends--to know what's been going on and what you all mean. And yeah, to beg for some positive support as well.

Maybe this is overly dramatic. I certainly don't want to give all this up. I really don't. It's probably all emotional and mental burn-out. I'm sure I'll get past it.

Thanks for listening.

And I certainly can't conceive of WHAT I can use as a Joesky tax for this post. Hope y'all will forgive the intentional oversight.


Terl Obar said...

Yes. You keep going. Maybe not with all of it all at the same time but as you said, it's your outlet and what helps you through some of the dark times. Would you throw away a life preserver if you were stranded in the ocean? Keep a hold of the things that bring you happiness and joy.

You're probably right that it is probably emotional and mental burn-out. While I haven't had nearly the struggles you are going through, I've definitely had my periods of down time where I've been ready to throw in the towel and call it quits over the last few years. And every time I've been glad I didn't. And you're also right that you'll get past it.

Hang in there. Focus on the have to do's and then schedule in some time for the gaming stuff as stress relief and outlet valve. If you have some time you know you're going to be gaming (or doing game related stuff like writing) on your schedule, it gives you something to look forward to and can make things go by easier or more quickly.

Maybe we need to schedule a Star Frontiers night and get all the locals together for a game of blasting Sathar. Although fitting that into our schedules is probably easier said than done.

Stelios V. Perdios said...

I'm sending positive vibes your way.

If you feel like you need to take a break, then do so. Recuperate and rejuvenate.

I enjoy reading you posts and have done so since I started following your blog almost three years ago. And I'll read them in the future.

ravencrowking said...

Depression is real, my friend, and it can hit any one of us.

Here's my $.02:

As much as I love gaming, it is not real life. Get your house in order. Write gaming stuff only when you want to. Do not let others pressure you into doing extras. When your feet are on the ground again, and you are feeling rejuvenated, everyone who matters will still be here.

If writing gaming stuff helps, then do it. If not, don't. You can still be part of the community.

It's okay to be down. It's okay to need a hand.

Now get yourself back up. Let the rest of us worry about ourselves until you are ready.

ravencrowking said...

Do what you need to do. The important people will still be here when you are ready. This kind of thing can happen to anyone. Depression is real, and you are 100% allowed to take the time you need to deal with it.

Tim Shorts said...

Hey Boric, you probably already know my answer...hang in there, but don't put the things you enjoy to the side. While you might not h ave the time or energy to do them now, no need to give them up. Maybe in a month or two or more, you'll rekindle that creative energy. And you know if you need any help with The Stronghold, I will be more than happy to lend a hand and do whatever I can to see issue 3 find daylight. Take care my friend.

Kyle Maxwell said...

As a fellow sufferer of anxiety and depression, I want you to know that there are a lot of us who understand just what you wrote above. You have all of my support, but you should also know that producing stuff is valuable to the extent that it helps you. When it feels like a burden, it's okay to take some time to straighten your head out a little. When it feels like a joy, it's also okay to indulge in feeling good about the good stuff you do.

Taylor Frank said...

I will be happy to contribute something! I love your 'zine and I unconditionally love anyone who seeks help for mental illness. I know the exactly some of the feelings and difficulties you are going through, and often have trouble making things or even getting up some days. It's called Executive Dysfunction, and its a symptom of many mental illneses or developmental disorders. Don't feel ashamed for having a symptom of an illness, even though I know how hard that can be. Love you man! Stay strong, you've been fighting a war for years now... You now have reinforcements!

Erik Tenkar said...

Do what you feel you need to do. Gaming will always wait for your return if that's the decision you make.

Whatever you decide to do, if I can help, I will.

Linneman said...

Do whatever your life and happiness demand. I think it's safe to say that whatever you choose, the readers of this blog will be on your side!

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