Monday, 15 April 2013

Sometimes it takes someone else to show you why...

        
        

My life is still a bit f a chaotic mess, and despite my best efforts to get back on top of everything, it's not going too well. I keep thinking I'm getting on top of things and sit down to write an article when something else pops up!!! Still that's life I guess, and we have to put up with it until we die. I've been doing writing of different varieties, mainly non-blogging stuff, and maybe one day you might get to see it, especially if I can figure out what to do about self publishing stuff. But I digress.

This morning I received an email from a chap I had an email conversation with over a year ago now. He stumbled across my little corner of the Interwebs while searching for anime images and stuff to inspire his own work. He was a non-wargamer, and the sight of some of the Infinity models and artwork got him all hot and bothered... in way only us nerds can get hot and bothered. He's never really heard of this wargaming hobby, living in the cultural backwater that is Australia.


Hang on, I thought Australia has a big gaming community. Right? Turns out he's never stumbled across a Games Workshop store (bang goes their theory on passing trade huh), or heard of toy soldiers. At first I thought he was pulling my leg. Turns out he was being 100% genuine, and he wanted to learn the ways of the wargame geek. I spent about 3 months answering emails and offering support to him and his two friends. I even managed to put him in touch with some local Infinity players in his corner of Auz, thanks to the awesome community of gamers in the Official Infinity forums.

I helped him pick factions, I explained some of the more complex concepts and ideas in the rules. I even gave him hints on glues, pinning and painting... even though I told him there were far better sources of information out there for him than I. So I guess I acted as a sort of hobby mentor. The last email conversation I had with this guy though was 7 months ago now, just after I helped him put an order together for some Sarissa Precision scenery. I assumed he'd either got bored of it all, or had just grown up and flown the nest. They do grow into nerds so fast these days.

Either way, my good hobby deed was done, I had tried to support the growth of the Australian gaming community all the way from little old Blighty, and I could hold my head up high. Still it would have been nice to know how his hobby was getting on... well, fast forward to this morning and I've received an email showing a fully painted Infinity force (dirty space gypsies if you must know), and a nicely arranged Infinity board. Turns out things are going great for him and his buddies. They've all finally got their forces painted and are happily playing games. They've even run Infinity intro games themselves. AWESOME!!!

When I've sat down over the past 3 months or so to write articles for this Blog I'm going to be honest, it's not just other pressures that have stopped me writing my thoughts. Sure, things got hectic for me, and sadly more accurately my other half around Christmas time, and I was needed to step up my familial duties... but... there were other things stopping me from writing. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't felt a little depressed by everything that has been going on in my life. I have. Mental illness is nothing to be scoffed at, and truth is I suffer with bipolar disorder. There I said it. It has taken all of my strength to just get through the days and do what I needed to do to keep the household ticking over.

I haven't hit the depths of despair that I used to when I was much younger and people thought it was just typical teenage mood swings; but it's been tough having to deal with things that I thought I was well on top of yet again. But I love my hobby, and I loved writing my Blog. However, as some of you may know I received an awful lot of very nasty emails concerning certain subjects I'd written about on here. It started being something negative for me. If you like the asshats out there started to ruin one of the things that I pour my creative energies into... and I have an abundance of that!!!

In short, they made me forget that actually far more positive things have come out of writing this Blog. Things that have helped other people, something I really like doing. So receiving that email this morning made me realise that actually perhaps the whole Blogging thing could be a positive thing again. I certainly was filled with far less dread sitting down and typing this than I have been for some time. So if you have any stories of how this, or any other Blog has had a positive impact on you then let the authors know. It makes a difference to us as well you know. Peace out!

PS. Sorry about the lack of pics but I felt I needed to just bang this out in 10 mins and get it posted. Otherwise there was a distinct possibility I'd never have posted this.

62 comments:

  1. You are not alone. I've only just myself crawled out from under that oily black cloud. Know that there is an end - as you can objectively assess your condition I suspect you are starting toward it - and that you will find it. There is support everywhere. Congratulations for having the bravery to post this.

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    1. TBH I've been on top of it all my adult life. I was properly diagnosed in my first year of university, after my personal tutor said I could be exceedingly dark at times, and overly hyperactive and full of the joys of spring at others. Glad she did. I've never once let it get in the way of my work or other aspects of my life like it did when I was supposedly a teenager with too much angst. I've been able to keep myself more or less at the equator so to speak. True I've had my moments, but I've been very good at spotting the warning signs in the past. This time it all just slowly crept up on me while my attentions had to be elsewhere. Then one day I woke up and the colour had gone from the world. That's the best way I can describe it.

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  2. Welcome back! We missed you. BPD is no joke and you have my sympathy. I've no idea why people get so stupidly worked up about peripheral subjects in wargames. I sometimes think it's the same dozen arse brains just repeating themselves over and over again.

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    1. Passion and emotion is what sets humans apart. We all like to think we're rational and sensible creators. Able to calculate and cogitate without recourse to our more emotional sides. Truth is most of us are ruled by our hearts and we use our minds to dupe us into thinking otherwise. I have no problems with people being emotionally attached to things that make them happy, I have no problem with people disagreeing with me either for that matter. I think it's healthy. But some just crossed the line a bit, and they did so at the wrong time for me personally. Normally I'd have shrugged it off, but my guard was down I guess.

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  3. Only just started following but I'll be patient with updates because the quality of what you've posted thus far has been pretty groovy and you're apparently off doing good deeds. I look forward to articles as and when ^___^

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    1. Well glad to have you on board. Please feel free to comment on any article I've written. I do read all comments and I do honestly try to respond, even on articles that are well over a year old. It does me good to look back at things I've written and see how I feel about the quality of my writing and indeed the topics themselves... although sometimes I think I could really do with an editor. ;)

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  4. In this day and age it is a shame that BPD still has a stigma surrounding it (as do many other conditions).
    Your blog has always been a great read and I really do hope that you continue with it.
    As for the posterior-wipes who were trying to bring you down, just ignore them. they are clearly immature jerks who are jealous of your creative talents.

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    1. Hey!!! I'm an immature jerk... well maybe not the jerk bit, but you know. As to ignoring the jerks... well I normally would, but I guess I got over confident with how well I was dealing with my personal demons that I sort of forgot they were there. If you start sliding slowly you don't notice that things are getting progressively worse, and I do become very sensitive to things around me. I've always viewed criticism as a positive thing you see, because normally I treat it fairly rationally and can take the personal out of it. Guess I sorta failed this time.

      As to BPD, yeah. It's not something I'd ever really talk about with prospective employers, or indeed many people, unless they ask directly. I have had some people ask in interviews, and these are supposed charitable organisations that one would think would be more sympathetic, and I've witnessed peoples body language visibly recoil at the mention of BPD. Never mind that prior to my recent employment hiccups my sickness record was exemplary and that previous managers have nothing but glowing praise for my attitude; no, mention BPD and people don't know what to think. So people like me usually keep our traps shut, because trying to do the noble thing and dispel myths ends up getting us busted.

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    2. And because the bystanders always miraculously know more than the people who suffer from it....*rolls eyes*

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    3. Minitrol, part of the problem with any mental health issue is that we as a society have only partially explained what it is all about. The whole '1 in 4 people' thing is a statistic I've never seen any real concrete proof of. So we've given out a little bit of information, and you know how the saying goes about that... it's a dangerous thing. I hardly ever suffer any episodes, and since being diagnosed I've been on top of it. Most of my work colleagues at my last place of work were stunned when I informed them I suffered from BPD. A colleague in another team had just been diagnosed and the managers weren't too sure what to do. I felt they were looking at ways to ease her from her position, although nobody would say it openly... so I chirped up and said "is that what you say about me behind my back?"

      They were a little dumbfounded until I explained. I had responses like "but you're normal", "you're normally the optimistic one" and so on and so forth. Still I can't blame people for not knowing about mental health issues, because society would just rather not talk about this stuff.

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  5. Glad to see you back.. hope things begin to get better for you. Am going through a funk as well, but am trying to plow through it as well. Just putting my head down, and keep a going.. not always easy though!

    Lean on the community if you need it, you know we are here for you!

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    1. Not too sure I'm fully back yet, although the sunshine is helping today. That and for once my inbox isn't full of people asking me to do stuff post haste. I'm slowly getting on top of things, and part of that is down to the significant other finally getting back on her feet too. I too am a work through it type of guy, and that is exactly what I have done. It's just that to do that I had to proritise things and things like my Blog got cut from my daily schedule as my energies needed to be elsewhere.

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  6. We love you FG. I enjoy your articles. Write more whenever you have the time, don't put too much pressure on it. Haters gonna hate, FTW.

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    1. Yeah haters gonna hate is true. To be honest though the 'haters' have just been the tip of the iceberg for me. The article was supposed to be about me being happy I helped somebody in their hobby. I guess though if you drop the BPD Bomb people will want to talk about that.

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  7. Take whatever time you need, man.
    Life is just one of those things, you know? Sometimes it puts all the things on your plate at once and stuff goes super-crazy. But it'll work out. Hang in there and if you ever need someone to talk with, I'm generally around.

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    1. I think I've taken all the time I need. I got myself focused on work, and keeping the home ticking over. Took longer than I thought it would to cheer myself up... although that's a glib way of describing it. I'm honestly fine.

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  8. Life happens to all of us, in varying ways and degrees. The bonus about being a part of a community is that you have people here who can and will understand that life does indeed happen. My own blog suffered quite a bit this year in productivity, not to mention my hobby productivity, because my wife was diagnosed with a progressive neural disorder. You know what? Life's important, and you did the right thing placing your priorities where they should be. Our hobbies, including our blogs, are just that, a hobby to be enjoyed in our spare time.

    You do what you need to do. I, and the rest of your audience, will be here when you post to read the articles we enjoy reading from you. No worries, my friend. :)

    - Tim

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    1. Holy crap Tim that's awful. I'm really sorry to hear that, and I hope things aren't too bad for the two of you. You're both in my thoughts.

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  9. Very brave of you to post about such personal info.

    Get yerself sorted and post when you feel up to it in however much time it takes.

    You know there's an eager audience to read whatever you post, whenever you post.

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    1. I don't know about brave... history would suggest that unless I'm a famous popular celebrity talking about such things openly is actually harmful to ones career prospects. Ergo, I think it's probably dumb. Truth is though this Blog is sort of a log of y hobby activities, and this latest bout of depression has clearly impacted upon me. I just now need to ensure I don't go through a manic phase and end up exhausted in two months time in a hospital bed with a drip in my arm.

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    2. Then don't list this blog on one's CV and you shold be golden mate. :)

      Either way - this isn't a "publication" of any sort and nor should it be. It's a place to put your thoughts down as and when you see fit. Having an audience is just a little cheery on top really.

      Dealing with own battle with my own demons see's me in similar sounding lows, though, so you have my full sympathies and I truly do wish you the best sir.

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    3. Honestly, in my chosen field of work I think everybody already well and truly knows everything there is to know about me. I stupidly put myself on a panel about mental health issues at a national conference and spoke openly about BPD and many other things. At the time I was a fairly high profile figure and had been quoted in national broadsheets and was actually considered to be a quite positive happy go lucky guy. Afterwards people came up to me and were like "I had no idea you had it so bad", "Do you take much time off work"...

      o_0

      It was like they didn't listen to what I had to say. All anyone really hears when you mention any mental health issues is the mental health issue itself. You see, you aim to try and do some good, and what you get back is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding. I'm absolutely fine, and I've never taken a day off sick because of BPD. In fact my health / sickness record is on the whole exemplary, far better than most of my colleagues have been. I don't believe in sulking in a corner or lying in a bed, even when I feel it's all I can do. I brew a cup of tea and put an extra sugar in it and force myself to get on with things.

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  10. Missed your writings, just wanted to say that. Hang in there.

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  11. Pretty appalling that people have responded to things you've written with hate mail. Definitely a reality check needed in some quarters; consequence of anonymity and no accountability I guess.

    Missed your posts, it will be good to have you back. So long as you are getting joy out of it!

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    1. Well a certain individual wasn't as anonymous as the he thought he was and the Police paid him a visit and he had a nice day out in court. Certain States in the US take that sort of thing very seriously. Sadly for him he lived in one.

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  12. Always great to hear from you FG. And it's encouraging to see you've got such a loyal following!

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    1. I know. I thought you'd all be off reading other stuff!!! Did not expect many people to read this at all.

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  13. "He's never really heard of this wargaming hobby, living in the cultural backwater that is Australia."

    Watch yourself old bean! There are plenty of us in the antipodes who have a thoroughly immersive wargaming culture! Fantastic to hear it had a great outcome.

    Regarding blogging - I have discovered a raft of new friends through the wonderful online community. Sure there are some 'asshats' as you call them- but they are everywhere in real life and you don't worry about them too much right? You focus on the people that matter. Online is no different.

    I've met several bloggers in real life since and made some great friends. Others I probably never will, but they and their comments on my painting/modelling/thoughts enrich my hobby and I thoroughly enjoy them.

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    1. lol.

      The cultural backwater bit was an in joke with the chap involved. I did wonder whether or not some of my Aussie friends would take offence. I assure you none was intended. It was he who described Australia as a cultural backwater... although some GW execs seem to hold the same opinion!!! :P I knew that actually he was living near two clubs in Aus, so I was able to put him in touch with people at them. So yeah, it appears to have had a happy ending.

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    2. None taken I assure you in return. As a scout leader I love to hear tales of people 'doing good turns' for no reward. Good karma returns in due course, keep the faith!

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    3. Well I'm glad to see no offence was taken. As to doing good deeds... I just don't see it as that. I just do things that make me feel happy, just so happens helping others and being useful seems to make me happy. I guess I'm one of those people who believe there is such a thing as society... ooooh, topical!!! ;)

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  14. Sorry to hear that you've been feeling down. I myself go through fits and starts. Right now I am struggling to keep up with what I term "active' blogging. Just try to find the kernel of truth in what the asshats say if there is some room for improvement and otherwise tell them to fuck off. I think you'll find a high percentage of your readers really appreciate your blog. Write what you want, when you want. We appreciate your efforts.

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    1. Yeah, I'm no going to over do it. Yesterday I got a bit of an energy rush on and ended up doing way more than I should have done and got to bed quite late. Need to calm that down a bit. Still I'm starting to feel like I can face the world again.

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  15. I've no experience with the ups but plenty with the downs, though thankfully mine were never too low. You gotta keep an eye on it constantly though, never let up for a second or it sneaks up from behind.

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    1. My very low, lows were a very long time ago now. Way before university. They seemed to take the form of extreme inactivity and involuntary outbursts of outrage at the injustice of pillows... or something or other. I don't really have much of a clue as to what used to make me feel angry or desperate, because I don't think there was anything. I just felt like it. I just tried to rationalise the way I was feeling by picking on a hot topic. This though is honestly the first bout I've had where it knocked me for 6 for well over a decade, and it wasn't as bad as it was when I was younger. It was more the surprise that it had happened again. Then I was disappointed at myself for not spotting it, and that made me feel worse. Still I wouldn't swap my interesting defective brain for anything in the world, it's what gives me my insight and often unique way of looking at things.

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  16. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. We'll be here when you get back.

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    1. Well I hope you aren't all just sitting at home in front of your computer screens hitting refresh on my home page!!! :P

      Sentiment appreciated.

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  17. FG. You're blog inspired my own work that started almost a year ago. Now my Job is gone come Thursday and I'm still banging out posts, albite short ones sometimes, on my hobbies and activities. You're blog was the kicker to get me to do my own work. I've got mates and family with the same raw deal you work with. I do not envy you and your kin. I wish you best health in all manner of things, I hope you're able to put out some more of your insights on our hobbies and the various aspects of being a nerd.

    Cheers.

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    1. Wow, another soul on the mass unemployment bandwagon. I don't know what's more worrying, that so many people are unemployed and struggling at the moment... or that it has got so bad in most places people have just stopped talking about it and are ignoring it. I hope you find things to keep you ticking over like I have, it's not always easy, but it beats having to sit in Jobcenters and listen to the drivel they spout. My top tip would be always apply to at least three jobs a week and for the love of God try to get out of the house. Even if it is to walk round the block. Seen too many former colleagues from the last redundancy slip into a serious malaise... I'm nearly one of them, but I keep on going and I keep trying, some others have just given up.

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  18. Mental illness is hard for people to understand. I don't blame them for it. It's hard enough to understand if you are experiencing it. I suffered from pretty severe PTSD after my first trip to war. My second one was a lot more interesting (Fallujah in 2004) but I came back better than the first time, though still not great. I was home for a few years and getting back to normal, though I was changed forever from who I had been. My last trip was to Helmand. Oddly, I've reached an inner peace that I've never really felt before following that one, even though it was for me, the hardest period of my life. The thing is, you're never better. The monster can come leaping out of a dark corner when you least expect it and savage you. I spend a lot of time thinking about what I'm thinking. When the funk comes on, I notice pretty quickly. The focus on it is what I need to pull it around, but not all days are sunny and happy. You're not alone, for whatever that's worth.

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    1. No I don't blame people for not understanding mental illness. I don't even profess to understand it myself... and I've studied psychology to a fairly advanced level as well. All you can ever really say is that you can feel some sort of empathy for people, because we all respond in different ways.

      As to PTSD, I thankfully have never been in any situations that could potentially leave me suffering from PTSD. Nor do I know anyone who suffers with that particular demon. I hope as you say you've been able to find some sort of peace or equilibrium, as I'm sure it must be exceedingly tough to deal with. I wish you nothing but the best.

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  19. First reaction, ooh new frontline gamer article, not been many of them of recent. Second reaction, ohh, interesting annecdoete of positive impact of blog. Third reaction, wow, don't see that every day!

    I previously came across mental health through my work, as an auditor, I worked on a charity called SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) which really opened my eyes to some of the good work that is being done to help people out in just trying to live a 'normal' life. All sorts of things I take for granted which can be a struggle and it's usually all about managing the triggers for what sets people off. Seems you've been in control of this but it's always one of these things that can sneak up on you isn't it.

    Anyway, hopefully you can see from the feedback here that your work is appreciated and ignore the detractors, it's a sad fact of the internet that people love to sling mud in the relatively safety of anonymity.

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    1. Well it isn't normally something I'd talk about myself to be honest. I'm not one of these people who defines myself by the disorder either. So I'm not likely to think on it or dwell on it much. Other people seem far more interested in it than I do myself. However, it is a part of who I am, and it explains why I myself always try to be understanding of others... I guess it has a bigger influence actually on my outlook than it probably does my emotional states. So as it does have an impact in who I have been as a hobbyist over the past few months I felt I might as well let the cat out of the bag. Not after sympathy or understanding, just putting it out there and saying "hey, this is part of who I am".

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  20. Well it's good to know yer alive, bro.
    Sigh.
    I know all about depression, my friend. The girl I dated through high school and eventually married suffered from depression, and she took her own life in 2006. You know what happened to me after that.

    It was brave of you to write this, but you should know you've helped me in many ways. Not the least of which was offering me advice and encouragement when I was first starting out as a blogger. I have liked and admired you since the first time you left a comment.
    You are one of the beacons out here, man. One of the best. And it would be a goddamn shame if you were to quit blogging.
    Damn, dude...I've missed you.
    I can't tell you how happy Infinity has made me over the last few months. I think of you every time I play it. Thanks fer that.
    I don't think you'll find anything but well-wishers here. Add mine to the pile.
    :)
    Be eezy.

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    1. Yeah I'm still alive and wasting oxygen!!! :P

      Not so sure I'll ever really quit blogging Lee. I think far too much of the sound of my own voice... I bloody sound marvelous. All joking aside I do enjoy get the feedback on my thoughts from around the globe. But more importantly I genuinely enjoy getting the emails like I had on Monday morning when somebody sends me a message saying thanks for the advice etc. makes me feel like I've done some good I guess. I like that.

      Also I knew you'd bloody love Infinity.

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  21. P.S.

    Say hi to the cats fer me.

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    1. The cats don't want your greetings alien!!!

      All they want to know is do you have cat treats and fish for them? They're very demanding, Dinah even nicked off with my house keys for a few days because we ran out of biscuits... serves me right I guess.

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  22. A'right, Mr. Frontline, I'll tell you a story.

    I have blogged, on and off, since I was about sixteen years old - since Angelfire was still a thing that people used, and since before the ghastly portmanteau 'weblog' had made itself noticeable to me. I've tended to drift in and out of the practice and it's pretty much depended on how unhappy I've been at the time. As a teenager it's fairly safe to say I was an overwrought little soul, prone to bouts of highly public shrieking angst and an awful lot of typing everything in lower case. As a student, particularly as an MA student after my first effort at self-employment had collapsed, my confidence had been badly shaken and talking loudly about things I was qualified to have opinions about seemed to help with rebuilding that. And, well, for the first year or two of GAME OVER, I'd moved away from almost all my friends, drifted into a profession that I hadn't necessarily chosen, and taken a job that almost wiped me out altogether. 2008-2010 was a bloody awful three years with a few really good bits of gaming, writing and acting in the middle of it, and while Hark deserves a lot of the credit for pulling me through that, so do the readers of GAME OVER, so do the bloggers who were writing interesting stuff that made me engage with them at greater and greater length until I realised that seven-paragraph comments really belonged somewhere of their own.

    It would never have happened with the likes of Stelek, Chumbalaya and TKE laying out a vision of gameplay with which I didn't entirely agree, but with which I was (and still am) fascinated; without the excellent Ratshag making me want to find some way of blogging about World of Warcraft without boring myself and others to tears; without the DIY D&D movement broadening my roleplaying horizons and doing something which demanded my engagement; and I'd never have wanted to keep doing it if people hadn't been engaging and commenting and making me feel like I had something to offer to some community, somewhere.

    So... thank you, you feckless mutants, because without you I can't say with complete confidence that I'd still be alive today. I definitely wouldn't be half as functional or secure.

    <3, basically.

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    1. Aingulfyre? what's that then? I'm far too young to remember the mid 90's guvnor... honest!!! Christ is that still going?

      You prone to bouts of public shrieking!!! You jest surely good sir. I know what you mean though, sad to say I still feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. And every time humanity does something ghastly to one and other I feel that keenly too. I'm told that's partly to do with BPD, however I also feel it is somewhat intrinsically linked with being a decent soul. I'm very lucky to have a great bunch of friends around me who I've not totally alienated... and for some reason seem to like me. So I have a great support network. Still sometimes all I need is a good book, a bar of chocolate and some decent music. Lock myself away for a few evenings until I wake up and realise what a tit I'm being. :P

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  23. Hey there Jody. I can certainly understand how a bunch of hate mail could make you want to pack in the blog. I would have under those circumstances. I am also very glad that you didn't, and that you've taken some time and come back with a positive spin on things. I was actually just thinking about your blog today, and about how you have such passion to aid the community. Most blogs, even the entertaining, thoughtful, and high quality ones never ultimately reach beyond being a personal voice that wants to be heard. Mine was no exception.

    Yours however is. You clearly have a mission, and a passion not just for gaming but for community-building. This is a valuable thing and showed me what blogs can be if the writer can rise above, well, let's face it: vanity.

    It seems most people here have some experience with BPD. My sister suffers from it quite severely, but was only diagnosed a couple of years ago. I have watched her go through a variety of jobs and courses, working hard and then slowly coming apart until she was sleeping all day and calling in sick constantly. The diagnosis (and treatment) have really turned her around, and helped my family a lot. I myself have never suffered from depression. I do tend to lose touch with reality sometimes though and take foolish risks - physical, financial, and drug and alcohol related at various times.

    I have never felt that I fit in completely, anywhere. Life has ended up shoe-horning me into a philosophy department and I still look at all my colleagues who are clearly relieved that they have finally found their niche, and I think, I don't belong here either.

    Discussion on gaming blogs and forums has helped to keep me anchored in many ways, as I always feel as though I am accepted. I think this has a lot to do with the one dimensional nature of talking about such a specific subject anonymously. People don't see the rest of me, only the bit about gaming. Does that make sense?

    And here I go again, talking about myself. Vanity. I guess I just wanted to say good on you man, keep on doing what you do because it's a good thing.

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    1. By the way, I'd really like to talk to you about mental illness (BPD in particular) and it's social ramifications.

      I'm happy to do that here. If you'd rather not, send me an email if you get time and you'd like to chat about it :)

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    2. There is nothing wrong with being self obsessed, or self interested. In a way Blogs are at there best when it is a single voice, a single message. I find that interesting, but I guess if I were to have a mission statement it would certainly be around highlighting the depth and breadth of the hobby to as many people as possible. although this Blog is mine and in some ways very descriptive of who I am and what I'm about, I guess the fact that I have always been about so much more than 'me' means that it comes across that way.

      I'm honestly genuinely interested to hear what other people have to say about things. It's one of the reasons I always try and take the time to respond to as many comments as I can. Although I don't always respond to every single one... something I still beat myself up about today. I'm still vain, every human is to some degree. I mean, I might just be vain about different things. I certainly feel that some of my articles could be accused of naval gazing.

      As to BPD, yep as a sulky teenager who played guitar in a number of bands, and sorta hated the world I can definitely relate to the crushing despair and tiredness that your sister felt. I'd have bouts of energy and euphoria where I'd write songs, read a stupid amount of books, paint and do whatever... including partying really hard. Then I'd hit a barrier and just feel exhausted and everything just seemed like a struggle. My mom was convinced there was something wrong, the rest of my family thought I was just a pain in the neck teenager.

      I got it sorted out though fairly early into my academic career and I can honestly say he turn around has been phenomenal. Sure, you could attribute some of it to just growing up and maturing, and some of it almost certainly is... But there was the overnight stuff as well that was a clear change due to therapeutic interventions. Plus now knowing what it is (not that I have something wrong with me, I'm just wired differently) allows me to rationalise things and take my moods for what they are, a chemical imbalance in my brain. I just a much happier person in and of myself now, and I guess I'd like others to feel the same way.

      Delete
    3. PS James, I don't actually have your email address.

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    4. Yes you do lol, I've emailed you twice before! No worries though, I've got a new one address anyway.

      I've sent you an email now :)

      Delete
    5. Oh I know I've had chats with you, but your email address wasn't instantly coming up when I type "James" into Gmail. I have lots and lots of conversations with lots and lots of people, and keeping track of all the emails is difficult. Yours is one I relied on Gmail to sort for me and it clearly bloody didn't. I've responded now.

      Delete
  24. I will say I think you've had a massive impact for good since you started blogging here, and maybe for very good. We might never know how much, but the effects are rippling out still, and maybe in surprising ways - and bringing positive changes personally, socially, culturally and economically, on a large scale. Internationally as well. That's the world changing, and that's you mate. Honestly, just knowing you're there makes me feel better.

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    Replies
    1. I've honestly gone through all the people I've convinced to try different products, and indeed the people I've introduced to the hobby as a whole. I was always the excitable intro game guy, and I'm forever bumping into people who I gave intro games to decades ago even to this day... but you're right. My Blog has taken that to a whole different level;

      *I have been responsible it seems for roughly 350 people starting Infinity via this Blog.
      *I've convinced countless more to try out multiple boardgames, something they'd never done before.
      *Nearly 100 people have started Freebooters Fate because of me.
      *Roughly the same amount have got Heavy Gear Blitz forces too.
      *I'm up to exactly 62 completely new recruits to the hobby as well.
      *I'm also supposedly responsible for some 30 or so people starting their own Blogs.

      But I think it's more than that. I think the fact that I have promoted other peoples Blogs, that I do encourage others t "have a go" and that my overall positive attitude has started to rub off on others. That sort of stuff I'm not sure you can measure if I'm honest. I'm never going to have the impact that more extablished websites such as Beasts of War or BoLS will have, but I hope when I do have an impact on someone else that it is a deeper more meaningful impact because of the way I write and how I approach our hobby. Quality of quantity if you will.

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  25. /lurkermode off/
    It's always the bad ones that are the loudest. I'm sure countless lurkers like me are (silently but intensely) inspired by your blog. Your "golden age of gaming" gave me the motivation to go around and shop for other systems. Keep up the good work and please, don't hesitate with posts like this when you need them.
    /lurkermode on/

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