Depression? Anxiety? Challenge Accepted.

I’ve talked about approaching life as a game before, specifically in how I approached walking across America.  That approach doesn’t just apply for Epic Quests, but can be applied to every day life.  As with any game, you just have to understand what it is you’re playing and adjust your gameplay.

I clocked hours and hours of play time on my Walk, and leveled up pretty much to the max. The challenges were tougher, but level appropriate. When on the road, an acceptable goal and achievement to aim for was walking 20 miles, or crossing a state line, or maybe something more like talk to X amount of strangers.  But I’m not on the road anymore; the game has changed.

The name of the game: Depression and its less popular add-on, Anxiety

I’ve been stuck on a low level dungeon of this game since December.  I’ll level up and think I see the stairs up the next level, when BAM, killed by an ogre lurking in the shadows.  It’s been frustrating, to say the least.

You have to adjust expectations and achievements to the game. You have to tackle challenges and go after achievements that are level appropriate.  It’s not always easy, and you’ll find yourself getting frustrated, but that’s the way it is.

For example, today’s first achievement was Getting Dressed. (Okay, if I’m being honest here, the very first big achievement was Getting Out of Bed.) Achievements that followed were along the lines of Brushing My Teeth, and Eating a Healthy Breakfast.

These may seem overly simple or silly, but as I said, you have to adjust your expectations to the game you’re playing.  I have to remind myself that I’m starting off fresh. The game has changed; I lost all the XP and leveling up from walking across America, and I’m starting off a low-level noob.

So now I have to figure out how to level up in a whole new game.  It’ll be tough for awhile, but I’m up for the challenge.


9 thoughts on “Depression? Anxiety? Challenge Accepted.

  1. You’re awesome. Not many people have the ability/know-how to express these feelings without feeling stigmatized. Those of us “following” you appreciate your honesty and definitely learn from your words. I use the game metaphor myself. 🙂

  2. I can relate to this, as I’m sure most people do, to some degree. And as said above–your attitude is important. It’s worked before, and I’m sure it will again. Readjustment back to your other life is tough I’m sure. I think you’ll apply some of your new skills earned on that journey to this new challenge, and maybe just be able to change the game yourself.

  3. Wow, what a great idea/concept. I am there on level 0 myself, and I figured out the getting out of bed, but getting dressed?? Most days I can get that done before supper, but I am still struggling with that one sometimes. But now that I can think of it as a challenge, going in for my first day (OMG this will be horrible…etc.) tomorrow can actually be fun. Hopefully I don’t need to be resurrected more than a couple times 🙂
    PS: After all I did get my last GW mission done even though I “died” 10 times!

  4. I love your connections and analogies. Trying and failing, trying and failing, and then trying and failing again, is really exhausting. I have done it before in “game play” and in life. Keep your chin up! And remember to take breaks and hydrate.

    PS Saving often does NOT count against your “end game score”

  5. I’ve been where you are now, sweetie, and for me it took medication and counseling. With the meds I could feel for the first time in my life what ‘normal’ might feel like for other people. I can really only guess about that, actually, but that 20 ton load on my back was so much lessened that I could easily get out of bed, shower, etc, all tasks I couldn’t do before. It took a bit to get to that level and I’m not sure I would have done so without the meds. I don’t know what will work for you but you’ve got me rooting for you and applauding your attitude to take on this game. You’ve always been a special person to me and even more so today. Much love!

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  7. Sounds good
    when a person decides to do something for instance, like walk across america or even walk across your own state, we just have too decide to do it and celebrate after we accomplish it.
    Good luck on your walk.

  8. I got here through the GW2 facebook post and just wanted to say how impressed and inspired I was by how you approached your journey. I also watched the TED talk that was mentioned in the same post and ended up feeling so inspired that when I popped out to the supermarket the other day I genuinely tried to approach my day with the qualities I have when playing guild wars… Feeling courageous, strong and looking for ways to help and interact with people instead of keeping myself inside my own bubble. I was amazed at the impact it had upon how I experienced my day. And… it was FUN! I think hearing about your journey has given me something really important to use in my daily life. So… thank you!

    I am writing to you on this post because I wanted to give you a supportive cheer… this was back in January so I don’t know how you’re doing now but I hope you are continuing to face these daily challenges with this fantastic attitude. I have been there and I know how hard those ‘small’ things can become, and I also know how it is hard to imagine another world where you feel ‘okay’. I also know what it feels like to come out the other side and to feel so proud of yourself for meeting that challenge. So… just wanted to send a bit of encouragement… ‘keep on keeping on’ and things WILL be okay. The only thing that is constant is change, and so if you can keep going at some point change will take you to another place. Also… this is obviously quite an individual thing but if you have no luck with prescription medications I would highly recommend trying St. John’s Wort (herbal remedy for depression) instead… it was the only thing that eventually got me out of my hole.

    Anyway, thanks for the inspiration, good luck on this journey and I look forward to chatting with Ameranth in GW2 🙂 x

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