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7:08 PM on 07.24.2015

My Dad Is Going To Die And It Feels Good To Feel Bad

..my dad was getting weaker and losing weight fast. For some of you these signs will immediately ring the alarm bells. For yes, it was cancer indeed. Of the lung kind, to be exact. My mom broke down in tears, I didn't budge much. For me it was just the logical thing to expect as all the signs were there. But at the time I wish I did break down. I wish I could cry my eyes out and it felt wrong, robotic, inhuman even. But even though my initial reaction was that of indifference (for a lack of a better word), things started to feel different in the days after the 'big news'. Things were never going to be the same again. For the very first time in my life that feeling started creeping up on me like a giant, mutated tarantula on a tasty little human. And I felt so utterly relieved. I was slowly getting sad about all this, and it felt so good.

Why? Well you know.. Depression. Depression, real depression of the treatment-resistant kind feels sort of like being dead in all aspects of life apart from the fact that you're still breathing. One of my biggest fears in life was to basically not give much of a damn about my parents dying. If you've read my past blog you already got a sense of why. My depression was so severe that it dulled my emotions to the point of not feeling emotionally connected to anything or anyone, and my parents were no exception. It felt bad not being able to feel bad, as weird as that may sound. Anti-depressants didn't change me in that aspect, but magic mushrooms did.

My dad is a simple man. All he needs in life was and still is my mom, me, a TV to watch soccer, a cigarette and a comfy bed for his afternoon rest. Even his last wishes are simple too but I'm keeping them private. As simple as he is, he is also very reserved. Too reserved and stubborn sometimes, but this is no time for judging. It doesn't matter anymore. What does matter is that me and my mom, our medical team, our neighbors, friends and the family are pulling together to help dad as much as possible. To make him feel loved even when things are turning increasingly grim. We haven't quite reached that point yet, but his affliction is progressing fast and I am quite scared that he will take an ever-lasting afternoon nap one of these days. But maybe that would be for the better. He doesn't like pain, he isn't a fighter and his dementia is working over time now that he has so much more bad shit to deal with. It isn't easy, but at least he is not alone.

So now we're all in the middle of it. It feels so weird and wrong to talk about arranging stuff like what he would like to wear at his funeral, about his last wishes and how we're going to manage the finances after he's gone and loads more stuff. Pretty practical stuff for the most part, which makes it so uncanny I guess. This taking place all the while mom and me and the family have to care for him increasingly in such a large variety of ways. He is weak and thin and panicks so easily that it cuts right through your soul. It feels surreal, it really does. And it should be. Scary too, really damn scary. My dad has been on benzo's for years to keep him calm and I'm starting to feel like I'll need them too. But I hope you can see that this is awful, yet at the same time it is so much better than just floating in that state of uncaring nothingness, desperately wishing you could show some real emotion. Now I don't have to wish. The emotion is back and oh boy does it feel real, hard and raw.

So yes.. In a way it does feel really good to feel really awful.

Oh, and Also Cocks.

 

P.s. I do still manage to find distraction in games. That and friends, also quite important. Conception II is so clichè yet an entertaining distraction, and Entwined is a pretty powerful and moving game despite its almost-boring simplicity. I wanted to do a write-up about how this little stylized gem almost made me break down in tears at some point, but not now. Maybe some day.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw

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4:20 PM on 05.30.2015

I Finally Bought A Playstation Vita And I'm Digging It!

At the very end of my previous blog I said I hoped to get back into videogames again now that my struggle with depression and anhedonia is pretty much over. I missed out on a lot of great games, simply because I couldn't get myself interested in them no matter how hard I tried, but yesterday I decided to take the plunge and pick up a 2nd hand Playstation Vita

The decision is a rather amusing one, to me. I've been eying the Vita for a long, long time because of it's power and dat OLED screen, but I never ever was much of a portable gamer! And yet I sort of envied the ones who felt entertained by pulling out their handhelds on a sunny day under the comforting shade of a tree. I tried. I've owned a Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advanced and a Playstation Portable in the past, buy they were always left under-used due to me simply being a huge console and PC enthusiast back in my good old 'gamer' years. I also never really felt the need to actually get portable with them.

Casting that aside I decided yesterday to give myself a last portable-gaming chance. A second-hand store in my town was selling a used Vita in tip-top condition with 2 years of warranty for a fair price. Too great an offer to resist, especially now that I'm feeling happier again and simply felt like I wanted to spoil myself.

I bought it and from the moment I turned it on I was pretty amazed. The screen is beautiful. Really, really beautiful. It's pretty much like carrying a plasma-TV in your pocket! The analog sticks work pretty well and the touch-screen really turns it into a device that combines the handy operation of a smartphone with the precise controls of a regular handheld. It's pretty handy! Having ample experience with the old Vita, I was also pretty impressed to see a browser that didn't suck balls, and loading times that didn't make me want to tear my hair out.

After the initial setup I downloaded a few demo's. Sadly the wifi-speeds aren't all that hot, even with good reception and the power-saving feature turned off, but that didn't spoil the fun. I tried Gravity Rush, Wipeout, Tearaway and Uncharted.
I wasn't all that impressed by Uncharted apart from its visuals, feeling like the console experience on a handheld was too finnicky. But man, Gravity Rush was neat, this time a lot more enticing than it was when I first tried it at a friend's, because during those 'dark' days I only felt annoyed at the disorienting controls and not much else. But now, I'll definitely pick that one up ASAP! Same goes for Wipeout and Tearaway. The latter being a bit awkward at first because it confronts me with my own mug inside the game. However, the art style is super charming and the touch controls appear to be implemented in a fun way. Ah, I also gave Rayman Origins a go, but I feel the game is better suited for a big screen. Even though it looks very impressive on the OLED display. It really pops.

Near is a neat little 'spy' app, the UI works okay and looks good, the system boots really fast and uses next to no power on standby just like with the old PSP. And even though I have yet to buy a game for the Vita, I'm already digging it!

And yes I did fiddle with it on the go. I now understand what makes portable gamers tick a bit better. It's simply fun to have a few minutes of gaming with you wherever you are.

Funny how I may start appreciating portable gaming after all. Hell, it's about time!

 

Ps. My PSN ID is Forsakeneyes, feel free to add me! And if you have any must-have recommendations then please share 'em!

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4:45 PM on 05.19.2015

How Magic Mushrooms Lifted My Treatment-Resistant Depression

This is a slightly edited repost from a MyTake I posted on girlsaskguys.com.

Warning: Even though mushrooms have 'cured' me, they are not without dangers. I am not condoning its use without some serious reading, careful dosing and doing it with a trip-sitter or other professional!

Drugs
Talking about drugs is never an easy subject. Most people already judge you for the fact that you take them. Still, I want to break through this taboo because Magic Mushrooms have the potential to make a positive impact on loads of lives, as it did for mine.

Never-ending Depression
I've dealt with depression for almost 10 years. It was a terrible time that only got worse as the years dragged on. I lost my ability to be social, I wasn't interesting in going out or doing anything else but sit at the computer all day, browsing all matter of questionable websites such as 4chan (got nothing against it, but it's not healthy). Also, videogames, my biggest hobby at the time fell totally apart. I was in my head a lot instead of connecting to my feelings, which got increasingly hopeless. I pushed many friends away over the years.

At some point I got help and was described anti-depressants. They didn't work. They either made me sleepy, agitated or downright suicidal. Whenever I took them I felt like a zombie: Alive to keep going, but not much else.

Then I read about Magic Mushrooms. The substance in Magic Mushrooms is Psilocybin, and how it was being researched as a strong anti-depressant. This interested me loads, but I was too scared to try...

The Trip
I live in The Netherlands, so weed as well as mushrooms can be legally bought here. Finding myself increasingly hopeless I bought a pack of mushrooms when I was in the city one day. That night I took about 2 grams of the stuff and that's where the magic literally happened.

At some point I began to feel warm. Not the kind of heat when you turn on the heater, but warm and fuzzy inside my body. My worries started to disappear, and I could see the bright side of certain things again. I put on a piece of music and I was amazed at how good it sounded! No longer wishing to hide behind my computer, I took the bus to the city, smoked a little bit of weed and proceeded to have an absolute blast of an evening! I had fun with so many different things, it was incredible! I felt confident, I felt beautiful and I felt like the ladies were genuinely interested in me while before I hard a hard time to look them in the eyes! Needless to say I flirted a lot that night.

The Future
When I woke up the next day, the positive vibes were still there! Now I'm working on my future again. I want to get my pilot's license and find a nice woman to share my life with. No more stalling, no more overthinking things. It's time to live my life! And hopefully do a lot of gaming again, I've been out of it for far, far too long!

Thank you for reading, and rest in piece my friend. I also would like to thank anyone who has supported me over the years, Destructoid will always have a special place in my heart.

For anyone interesting in finding out more:
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/magic-mushrooms-may-help-treat-depression-how/

And of course I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please do not get them out of the blue because they are certainly not without danger.

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7:49 PM on 12.18.2011

Thanks Dtoid and Squeenix! - Child's Play

Maybe it's a bit 'not done' to brag about winning a prize from a charity giveaway, but let's just say I'm really happy with what came in the mail two days ago:



I'm actually not much of a Final Fantasy fan myself, I was hooked on VIII, yet never really explored the universe beyond that game. My friend however, is a big fan, and I want to share something about him which relates to all this.

You see, my friend has suffered from an extremely rare condition since childhood. It has messed up his body in a lot of ways, the biggest of them all being total renal failure at an early age.

So far, he's been through two kidney transplants. Both however, didn't last for more than a couple of years. Going through dialysis for two hours per day, six times per week is no joke, but for him it's simply a part of life. At least it's a part of life which he can do from the comfort of his own home, a luxury not every kidney-patient is able to get.

When he was a kid, he eagerly made use of the Super Nintendo on the dialysis department. It only had a handful of games, but it worked like magic to kill time for a kid hooked up on a dialysis machine for hours on end. From that moment on he was destined to become a gamer and still is to this day. Very proud of what is still his biggest hobby. I really can't imagine him ever giving up on his passion, which is good. Everyone needs a passion in life, it can be anything really, and for a lot of us that passion is video games.

I'm honestly not that much of a philanthropist and I would be lying if I said that Dtoid's massive giveaway wasn't an incentive to donate more than I would have. But it also made me think of my friend and how hospital-white was pretty much the color of his childhood. It's not very fun, a place you don't want children to be calling a second home like he did.

So in the end it's all good. My donation will help sick kids to kill time with something fun and my stroke of luck is going to make my friend a very happy gamer.

Thanks to Destructoid for being awesome, to Square Enix for being very generous and kudos to everyone who donated. See you guys next year!

Edit 19-5-2015

I bring you the sad news that my gamer friend passed away in 2014. Game on in heaven, Commander Bart.

Bart

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