Boy, she’s a whacko!

Today was good.  The Depression Monster lost again.  I’m still struggling with insomnia and nightmares, but since I set the criteria for a good day, most of my days are good.  If I’m still alive, and can think of one thing I’m looking forward to witnessing, it’s a good day.  I’m looking forward to leveling my new Demon Hunter to the new max level 110.  I created her yesterday, and then did all the quests available so far.  It was at least 50, because that’s an achievement.  It didn’t seem like that many, but several quest givers gave multiple quests.  I had no trouble figuring out what to do, and finished by doing a battle scenario with several other players in a field just outside of Stormwind.

That battle was intense, and I must have messed up when picking my talents, because I have no healing ability whatsoever, and my health doesn’t regenerate over time.  I was so close to dying, but didn’t have any food, potions, bandages, etc.  I didn’t even have the necessary skills to create them yet.  So I started begging low level players who were watching us to heal me.  Fortunately, someone did.  He was far lower in level, and couldn’t heal me much, but I thanked him profusely for giving me enough life to make it through the battle.  I love it when other players are cool like that.

After that, I spent time acquiring some skills.  I went with skinning and leatherworking.  Then I got first aid, fishing, cooking, and archaeology.  I did the cooking and fishing dailies in Stormwind, and then logged out.  I play standing up or else on my treadmill now, which is working out much better for me.  It just never felt right to me to play while sitting in a chair.  I can play with the sound on now, and use a headset.  For the first 9 years of playing, I had to not only have the sound off completely, I also had to play Abba: Gold on a low volume at the same time to keep from getting too excited/scared/panicked.

The guild I was in back then was mostly guys from Canada, and they thought I was hilarious, when in reality I was freaked out.  Blizzard has a strange dichotomy of funny and disturbing content within WoW.  I love the geek references, jokes, and funny voices.  But the torture scenes are disturbing.  I focus on what I like in the game, and ignore the rest.  There’s plenty of content for everyone to find something they like.  Every so often, I pay attention to people whining in trade chat about the “good old days” when the game was more difficult.  Then I remind them of Cataclysm.  I took a year off from playing when that expansion came out.  I bought it, installed it, and played it for about an hour.  Then I ran into an extremely frustrating quest, and quit playing for a year.

They’ve nerfed the game periodically because their obvious goal is to make as much money as possible, and the ones who bring in the most are casual gamers.  We just want to play, have fun, and not have to spend too much time doing research/reading/studying videos in order to play.  There will always be the hard core players who make those videos and websites the rest of us rely on, and they are probably justified in resenting us a little.  I, like most other casual players, am grateful, but we’d rather play than spend a lot of time stroking their egos.  Yes, they’re way better at raiding, and have the highest gear scores on the server.  Yes, they notice when the game has been nerfed in order to keep us casuals from getting too frustrated and quitting.  Yes, they’re awesome gamers who don’t get enough credit for their skills.  There.

I’m allowing myself to enjoy my interests without the usual limits for a while.  That means a lot of reading, gaming, and coding.  It will never cease to amaze me how much even a single day of doing these activities can help me when recovering from a meltdown.  It does mess up any hope of my keeping track of time, though.  I still have that military paranoia about being late for anything.  It’s unsettling how upset I get when I see I’m going to be late, before I remind myself that I’m a civilian now, and any potential repercussions are no big deal in comparison.  But it’s also fascinating to me.  I have a twisted sense of respect for the tremendously effective brainwashing the military has mastered.

I’m reading the 3rd book of Peter F. Hamilton’s Night’s Dawn Trilogy.  I’ve read the majority of his novels, which is a good thing, because I don’t think I would have finished this trilogy if I didn’t trust the author.  The subject matter is disturbing af, but he doesn’t traumatize his readers.  He’s one of my favorite space opera writers.  He holds my interest from cover to cover, even when the material is horrifying.  Had it been an unfamiliar author, I would have bailed long ago.  Hamilton is good with details and descriptions.  His stories include diverse characters, and he doesn’t lace them with primitive mindsets and agendas.  It’s refreshing, and has become something I require from all authors I read.  I quit reading the series by Robin Hobb because I got disgusted by the gay shaming.  In the back of my mind, I wondered what it would do to the psyche of a gay teenager, and recognized how damaging and irresponsible it is.

My sister is ill, and in the hospital.  It’s a big part of what caused my meltdown.  I’ve lost so many close family members already, and even though I don’t know if her illness is serious, my mind instantly went to the prospect of losing her.  It’s probably ironic, considering how much I whine about the amount of control she has over my life.  It’s made me aware of how much I still need her assistance.  Between that, too much traveling, and other things going on… Well, I’m not going to focus on that.  Distraction is my buddy right now.  I’m off to read.