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Finding Joy in Gaming

I have a pretty good job; I like what I do and I get along with the people I work with, but there are two co-workers that I really enjoy working with. I would consider them good friends, people whom I could hang out with at work or after work. They are people who bring joy to my work life. I have an amazing wife, we do not have a perfect relationship, but we have a relationship that I work hard to maintain and improve each day. She brings joy to my life. I have a regular game night each week and have friends who attend on a very regular basis, some driving 20 plus minutes to get there. We play a wide variety of games and I have many fond memories with these folks. They bring joy to my game night.

Why do I focus on these joys? Well, I am a person who struggles with depression and finding joy. Depression is an overwhelming feeling of dread, a crippling feeling of zero self-worth, and has a devastating ability to disrupt, destroy, and frustrate all levels of my life, work, marital, personal, and professional life. I know I am not the only person that faces these issues and I am not seeking for compassion, or sympathy, or to be told how brave I am to continue to progress through everyday life. There was a quote from an actor, and I do not remember it exactly, so since I am paraphrasing their quote, I will omit the actors name.

The quote, more or less, is as follows:

Depression, anxiety, and mental illness is very much a real thing, but if we are not exercising, getting out, and forcing ourselves to seek out and find positive experiences, we are choosing to cripple our issues further.

For this reason I strive to get out and to find folks that I enjoy being with, who will still accept me when I am less fun to be around and people who love and respect me, and seek to build me up.

Having a great gaming group is amazing. I have had a regular game group for over 25 years. I have friends who have sat and listened to my life woes while sitting at a table in the middle of a convention gaming hall, or shared common trials while gathered around a restaurant table. These faces have changed over the years and many of these friends have played essential roles in my growth and development as a person, and for better or worse, their influence has been a key part of who I am today.

I recently moved, and the amount of support I received from my gaming friends far outweighed the support I got from any other aspect in my social circles. I would not have survived this move successfully without their support. They have been there to help fix electrical outlets, move heavy items of furniture and then to help me move them again, in two weeks when my family and I changed our minds on where we wanted items located. Support and strength of friends strengthen one's soul and help anchor them in life. I am truly grateful to both my wife, who is the most important person in my life, to those who I game with who provide an amazing supporting cast.

I want to publicly thank all those who are a part of my gaming community and are an essential part of my life. Be kind to all those around you, be wise with those who you game with and above all take care of yourself and allow those closest to you to be a support and persevere when drifting in troubled waters. Life is hard, when we understand that life is hard, life gets easier.

How has your gaming group improved your life?

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Nathan Tenney
Nathan Tenney
Nov 08, 2022

I'm glad that gaming has been so good for you. While I can't say that it's helped me combat depressive feelings, for a long time gaming was one of the reasons that I stayed at my current job. Even when the work was tough, the environment was better because I had my game group.

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