Well, it’s partially due to Mikein2Ds amazing work with his ‘Positivity in Gaming’ article series, but mostly because I am in the process of overcoming the hardest moment in my life so far: Breaking up with my wife of 10 years (married for 3) and living apart from my two beautiful babies.
What better way to kick start this series again by telling my readers about this? Some may say that I’m simply running out of ideas, or that I couldn’t be arsed putting interview questions together for another lovely guest. Readers, one thing about mental health struggles rings true no matter what walk of life you are from: Face your demons head on and tell everyone you physically can.
This isn’t just another article proving that gaming can help with struggles with mental health, this is putting myself on an open platform and telling you all how much this site, our readers, our authors and our industry contacts helped me through a living nightmare.
Once Upon A Time
I thought I had it all: A beautiful wife who was by my side no matter what, 2 Beautiful children, 2 dogs, 5 fish, 2 guinea pigs and a great support network. What’s more? I was finally making some headway as a gaming journalist cutting my teeth at EliteGamer and Vodafone UK prior to launching ReggieReviews
Sounds perfect doesn’t it? But as time went by, myself and my wife grew apart whilst still having love and respect for each other. In many ways, this situation is much harder to process. There’s no one to blame, it just happened. Between us both working, taking care of the kids and pursuing our goals, we had both changed as people.
As arguments became more and more petty we both decided it would be best for us to live separately and to action this whilst the kids are still young so they can adjust without any social biases. I know what readers might be thinking, I sound so formal and blunt about the situation, right?
Logical Thinking vs Emotional Denial
Learning from my depression and attempted suicide earlier this year, I had to think logically in an attempt to manage my emotions and expectations for what was to come. This style of approach lead to an interview on TV with ‘That’s Manchester TV’ to discuss Mental Health in Gaming and my own struggles. This blended wonderfully with my open book policy on my own mental health.
So, I packed up my things, my now Ex Wife packed up hers and we moved out of the family home. My greatest fear in life at the time was waking up in a morning and my kids not being there, and it shook me to the core when I realised that this was going to be my way of life 4/5 days a week.
Mikein2D, AmbearReviews and the team here @ Reggie Reviews ensured that the site would be maintained whilst I rebuilt. My first mistake during that transition was letting go of all positivity in my life at the time. That was a dark period, drinking and smoking every night so I didn’t have to face the new situation I was in.
Living In Excess
I was turning into a self-indulging hermit whilst basking in a warranted but turbulent well of self-pity, which is a very easy trap to fall into when dealing with such a traumatic time. It rotted me to the core thinking about the kids having a father who couldn’t function as a human being.
My support network of AmbearReviews, her lovely fella (Who can be seen being attacked at EGX here) and Mikein2D made me realise what I had to live for and how to adjust. I needed to focus on the positivity in my life. I stopped drinking, cut down the smoking, made the most out of the time I had with the kids and knuckled down on ReggieReviews.
What Does This Have To Do With Gaming?
I began to take an active role with the site once again by editing my teams work and started to write reviews again. I invested in a portable setup which allowed me to continue my work whilst on the commute to work and subsequently surrounded myself with my support network and passion for delivering ‘To the Point’ Content.
Getting stuck into writing articles and borrowing from my engagement within the gaming industry made me realise what my new life is all about. Living is all about following your dreams, ambitions and expressing one’s unconditional love for their kids / loved ones and craft.
As I’m sure my readers will know, Q4 of the gaming industry is packed full of unique Indie experiences, AAA Titles and most importantly, opportunity. There is so much content to cover and to be excited about right now that there isn’t any room in my life currently for negativity.
Waking up in a morning to a delivery of fresh titles that my lovely contacts have sent for Reggie Reviews consideration is a true blessing, I honestly do not know where my mental and physical state would be right now without this platform to expel my passion for the Gaming Industry and the awesome people contained within it.
Filling The Void
The void of loss that was originally 90% of my very being is slowly being filled with quality time with the kids and the excitement of being able to deliver content with the backing of a well-oiled and passionate team. Originally, I brought in team members to take some of the burden in delivering articles such as Jason. This was the wrong attitude to take towards such a positive aspect of my life.
Having a team you can trust and expect solid content from just makes this job complete. Banter on Discord, sharing writing tips and opinions has created a mini culture that is unbreakable and based on respect.
No Black Friday for Pain
Whilst I cannot discount the pain I still feel waiving the kids off when they go back to their other home, or negate that void that is still waiting to be filled, I know that Gaming and writing about my exploits has served as a form of redemption for this writer.
The motivation behind me writing this isn’t simply to get things off my chest and to make the world know I’m having a hard time. If just one person reads this and manages to ease their suffering just a little, gamer or not, then it has served its purpose.
So what now? Well, right this second, it’s time to light my Bourbon Wood Barrels Yankee Candle, put on a face mask and use that Tom Ford bath bomb I’ve been saving. Seriously, you all wish you were as comfortable as me:
I urge my readers to reach out to anyone when suffering with Mental Health issues or going through a traumatic period of their lives. Below are some helpful links in case you need them, no one should be alone with their suffering.
I love you all for your support since ReggieReviews went live earlier this year, stay awesome!
Has this edition of Mental Health In Gaming inspired you to tell your story? Please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the interview process.