My name is Josh, and I’m hoping you probably remember me from this site once upon a time.
If you’ve been following this site for a little while, you probably remember this post from Lauren a few months ago just giving a brief overview of what was going on with the site, with us and why content had slowed (nearly stopping completely).
Well, I’m here to give a little more – about me – and my story.
In October of 2016, I ended a five-year relationship, five weeks before my wedding date. As well as losing the woman whom I had called my best friend for that entire time, I lost a lot of other friends. Some from their choosing, to do away with “that guy who hurt their friend” and others from my choosing because well, that is what depression does to you. It takes every beautiful thing that you love and hides it in the darkest corner of your mind, replacing it with bitterness, judgment, loathing and fear. I distanced myself from every single person who cared about me, who loved me and who wanted to see me get better. Every person, besides two. I can honestly say that without Lauren and David, I would not be here to write this long overdue post to you all and I’m really glad that I am here.
I’ve always been not too bad at the word making but I don’t think I will ever find the words to exactly portray how grateful I am to both Lauren and David. For never losing patience with me. For never making it feel like I was overburdening them. For being the perfect friends that anybody could ever ask for. And guys, if you’re reading this, I may never be able to say it out loud, but I love you both, to the ends of the earth and beyond.
One of the fatalities from all of this was my love for video games. It’s a love that I know all of you share, else you would not be here on the site reading this. Unless you’re my Mum (Hi, Denise!). The simple task of sitting down with a controller in my hand and paying attention to something for even 20-minutes felt like a monumental task. And it’s okay to fall out of love with video games, but not when you’ve spent the last two years trying to make something wonderful revolving entirely around the damn things.
So I just…stopped. I stopped reading news stories, I stopped following releases, I being a video game fan. And what hurts the most was I stopped writing. The engine that drove me to be better, that drove me to turn this into something incredible and something that I could be proud of had been flooded with dark resentment for the industry, for the players, for the developers and even for the games themselves. I started drinking. A lot. I was angry all the time. Performance at my “Real job” plummeted and I made some terrible decisions. Decisions that, if life were black and white – good and bad – would put me firmly in the bad column.
I do not know if you have ever loved something as much as I love video games, but to have something you love turn (seemingly overnight) into something your resent is a scary thing. Couple that with the ever-present fear that you’ve lost everyone who once cared about you and that you’re burdening the few who stuck around and it makes getting out of bed a pretty mountainous task. I made a few attempts to get back on track. I would post in our group chat semi-sparingly and the podcast took a bit of a downturn (we blamed technical issues, but really I was just a little sad).
I’m writing this, not so much as an exposition piece. But as a warning. There’s a very high chance that you or someone you know is facing or will face this Boss (video game reference, ahoy!) before too long. And I am here to say, it does get better. But you need to work at it. You need to work at it every single day. If you lose passion for something, 5 minutes a day can quickly turn into 10, which can quickly turn into an hour, which can turn into things being just like they used to be. And that, it the greatest feeling in the world. For things to be just like they used to be. There will be setbacks, they will be plentiful and they will hurt like hell. One day you might be on top of the world and that night you might be lying on your bathroom floor having thrown up the entire bottle of sleeping pills you just ingested. But you don’t give up. You never give up.
No matter how dark the night, morning always comes, and our journey begins anew.
Where would a big ol’ life update be without a relevant Final Fantasy X quote?
So where ae we now? What’s going on in the head and what can we expect. Well, I’m not going to hit you with the whole “We’re back, baby!” because that’s not something that can just happen overnight. But what I will say is that I played four hours of Persona V yesterday and it was amazing.
Wish me luck.
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