In a couple of days 2016 will hopefully Exit, pursued by a bear.
I won’t lie, it’s been a difficult year. Sometime down the line I may also see it as a useful, productive, or possibly even personally strengthening year, but for the time being the main word that comes to mind is “shitty”. Not that I’m looking for sympathy — for many others it’s been an even worse year. RIP so damn many famous / fun / influential / brave / honest / talented people I cared for since I hit the age of 12. Oh wait, earlier – Richard Adams also died just the other day. And we’re not even going to talk about Syria, world politics, Brexit, American politics, or money.
To misquote (or fix, that’s how I see it) her Majesty ERII, this has been an Anus Horribilis.
It’s been kind of bleh on the gaming front too. I’ve hopped from MMO to MMO for a few weeks here and there but nothing sticks. Ditto single-player stuff. I don’t have the headspace and/or I have better things to be doing, like figuring out ways to approach my upended selbstanschauung. I dropped out of the face-to-face tabletop RPG group I was in, and shortly thereafter dropped out of the VTT-RPG group I was in. Both were good decisions at the time, and while I miss spending time and having fun with all those people, I couldn’t handle being around anyone, in person or online, for the greater part of this year.
(Quick reminder: In June or July I was diagnosed with both Sensory Processing Disorder and Asperger’s. You’d think that in 47 [now 48] years on the planet I’d have noticed those things for myself by now, but apparently that’s not how it works, especially when you’re ‘high functioning’ and really good at hiding things. Anyway, different discussion for another time. The salient fact right now is that my issues had been getting much worse since the death of my dad in 2012, got even worser (it’s a word) (now) starting in Feb this year, and made it extremely difficult for me to work, go out, or basically function in any way generally considered ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’.)
Long story short, I have started taking a tricyclic medication which — cautious hurrah! — appears to have a greatly calming effect on the anxiety that basically comes along for the ride with the above-named issues. It does nothing for said issues, but not being in a constant state of dread sure is helpful. Therapy (just CBT for now) seems like it may also be helpful, but with only 2 sessions under my belt I can’t really comment for sure.
The good thing about that is that for the first time in months I feel able to be around people again. So I’ve joined a local tabletop RPG listing/meetup group thingy and have posted that I’d like to run a one-off session of something light and fun.
We’ll see if anything comes of it. Chances are nobody will reply because that’s the nature of these things — and if nobody does, that’s ok. I’ve put myself out there in whatever tiny way — but for just one session, which means I can flee if it’s too much. I won’t be committing myself to something lasting/regular and therefore won’t feel awful if/when I flee and let people down (as per the two groups this year). That same meetup collective holds single-session gatherings every week, and while they’re too late in the day and too far away for me right now (evenings + distance are a bit of an issue), maybe that will change.
Baby steps. And of course, there have been some good points this year as well, because life is rarely just black or white. I have made some new friends. I’m learning things about myself (however bloody painfully), about others, and about mental health, which has always fascinated me. I might start writing again (someday – freaking baby steps, people).
Have a lovely, warm, safe and alone/surrounded New Year, as your preferences and needs dictate. Let’s bury 2016 somewhere deep and dark, surrounded in garlic and with its head cut off just to be on the safe side.