I've been playing video games since I was two and half years old. Starting with Commodore systems and owning pretty much every console since along with keeping a PC upgraded for any games available on that platform. I mainly play on Xbox 360 and PC, but own other platforms for exclusives.
I enjoy any genre of game. I love so many different titles that it's hard to get through the backlog, especially when you go for completions and you're a self confessed achievement whore.
Metal and rock are my main music loves, but I do have a broad taste and venture into many other avenues of music. Unless it's produced by 15 minutes of fame, talentless contests that have taken over the pop industry.
You'll find me posting regularly in the basement, where Destructoid has become my net home since March 2012.
The shadow is still here, but it's weaker thanks to you
This post is essentially a thank you, to all of you who contribute to this grand website. Be you staff, cbloggers, active in post comments or dwelling in the basement. Thank you.
For a long time now I've suffered with depression and I've been diagnosed and treated for it over the last 3-4 years. I finally sought medication for my mental illness at the start of this year, while also taking a substantial amount of time off work to correct my mind and become a functioning human being again.
I'd already lurked here a while, enjoying entertaining posts from staff, along with those in the community blogs and the place that stole my heart and my spare time, the forums. My initial introduction to this site was links from other gaming news networks who had linked something Destructoid had picked up on first or had posted a differing view they wished to comment on. My taste for those other sites had become stale and I'm thankful that via them I found the site that would become my Internet home. Sadly, at the time I started to read the site I had no power to comment or make any posts, my confidence had been drained and I'd become a recluse online as well as in my everyday life. My only associate in the world was a shadow, a shadow that kept me down and isolated from the world.
Me and my shadow
I can't truly express the level of appreciation Destructoid and it's community deserves in helping me in my rehabilitation. Initially it was the entertaining posts, hilarious videos and of course Podtoid that helped to distract me everyday. Podtoid has helped to raise a smile and sometimes a guffaw at some of my weakest moments, thank you to the current hosts Jim, Jonathan, Conrad and also to those who were part of the show previously.
I soon moved onto reading the interesting views of others in the cblogs and forums. I still hadn't joined the site at this point, but there was something clicking with me in the forums, this felt like a community I could be a part of, something I hadn't done for a very long time. My previous forum home was at the Voodoo PC forums, which were shutdown by HP when they bought out them out. I wasn't there for the end as I'd already cut off ties to many sites and friends before it closed down, sadly I have no way to contact those people as I'd ripped myself from all social networking sites and cleared my friends lists on LIVE, PSN, Steam and Live Messenger.
I was missing one thing before I could join this site, confidence. Now I know that may seem a little silly, many people post their opinions and thoughts on the web without thinking, they know there's very little chance of it affecting them in their everyday lives. But I had lost all confidence in interacting with others, especially the one place I'd become comfortable doing it when I first had the Internet back in the early 2000's. I still don't know what gave me the push of confidence to join the forums back in March of this year, it's something that will remain a mystery.
Isolation is what my mind wanted, my entertainment choices were no longer a form of escapism or entertainment to share with friends. They were something my illness could use to force people out of my life, help me to zone out in front a flashing screen and have no interaction with the world. To those people I lost due to that, I'm sorry. At that time I felt I needed isolation to cope and also to spare others from the darkness brewing within me. I would never harm another person physically, but I knew what my mind could be capable of in bringing me down, never mind what it could come up with in it's quest to have me lose all my friends.
During my toughest moments, video games were no longer fun, they were just there to take my mind off other thoughts and processes that were trying to break me. Distraction is a great thing to have, you have moments where you can't get distracted at all and those are some of the worst times to live through. One of those moments is when I finally registered to Destructoid.
As mentioned above, I don't know why I registered, I thought this kind of interaction was dead to me because I just wouldn't be able to cope knowing if I would (or most likely, wouldn't) be accepted, it would just add a whole lot more questions to an already worried and fragile mind. But I signed up, wrote my long intro thread that started with lyrics by Meat Loaf and I was away. I kept posting for a few days, getting used to the regular posters and figuring out these online personalities and whether I would fit in.
I'd read one of my favourite forum threads in the past, it's home is in the off topic section of The Bar and it's the Depression Thread.
But Edd, why would you sign up to a forum to help with your depression and then read a thread all about it, surely that doesn't help?
Well for me, it did help, it helped a whole bunch because I began posting on it. I was terribly worried when I first posted on that thread, airing my mental illness issues could make people want to avoid or interact with me less on this site I had come to love. Mental illness in any form, sadly, is still very much a taboo subject. It makes people feel uneasy, even those that know you well and love you can fall into an area of fearing who you are, what you could become, what you could do to them, but most likely... what you could do to yourself.
I'd like to end this post by saying that a website isn't a miracle cure. In my experience, neither are loved ones, friends, medication, therapy or distraction. It's a combination of all these things that helped me feel more like a human being again. If you do suffer, I ask you to seek help from a professional, only a doctor can determine what is the correct course of action to help you and your illness. But also, if you can and you feel comfortable doing it, get talking. Talking is one of the best distractions and even if you don't actively look to talk about exactly what's on your mind, through getting more comfortable with general chit chat, you could just loosen up and get what's on your mind out there for others to digest and give a helping hand.
I wish to thank to my wonderful girlfriend, Jenni. Not only has she been one of the strongest characters in my life, my love, my best friend. She also drew the pictures you see in this blog. All I had to do was give a brief description as to how I felt and these flew out of her pencil.
Once again, thank you all and I'll see you around the site.