According to the Destructoid forums, I joined on the 10th of November 2011. I had been floating about the website prior to that but mainly just as a reader. Joining Destructoid forums had an unexpected effect on my life, and for the most part a very positive one.
I had been a frequenter of a handful of forums for a few years, but then everything went dead and it had been some years since any forum participation. In the latter half of 2011 I went through some pretty harrowing events that lead me into a deep depression; it was unlike anything I had ever felt before. It was constant, it was dark and it wrecked my heart, mind and tore at my soul.
I’m a bit scared of revealing this much…but here goes. Plunge!!
I was always extremely cautious online, I still am, but prior to 2011 I was conspiracy theory level secretive and wary with all things internet related. I am a private person and certain elements changed with my choice to join Dtoid.
I couldn’t leave the house; well I could, for long walks at unspeakable hours. So I dove into various hobbies (when I wasn’t in a ball of snotty heartbroken tears). Destructoid essentially introduced me to new friends, coming out of my shell more and ultimately lead me to seeing new places, one of which I had always to go to and will return hopefully many times.
The forums felt different from other forums, no cockyness or ridiculousess “I’m the king on the internet, but a wuss in real life” leading the masses. People were friendly, funny and it was great to talk games with people. Constantly talking games! And Pat Butcher.
Tarvu, ZombiePlatypus, Mechman and others were very welcoming. It wasn’t long after joining I participated in the Dtoid Secret Santa, which for me was a huge step, because I had to give my name and address to people I had not yet met in person and hope I didn’t get my throat sliced by a maniac with a sharpened Xbox case edge. I was still in a bad place, but I remember coming back from Christmas in Ireland and finding my package waiting for me and I was genuinely happy that night. Took me a while to figure out who it was but muhahaha I’m a persistent cow.
The thing about the forums is that everyone has their issues, their happy times and their sad times and you can talk about them without feeling like you’re a complete weirdo. I remember a lengthy period where (completely unlike ‘the me’ of before) I would plague the Depression Thread. It was therapeutic in a sort of diary form to get things out there, but with ever hit of “reply” I would worry I had said too much. I had people that would say kind, true things to me, I particularly remember a nice simple PM from Usedtabe that warmed my heart.
Being invited to join Skypetoid is where things really got interesting. Again this was all new to me, especially the initial talking to a group of strangers. A lot of the time I wouldn’t speak, mainly for fear of interruption or just because I dislike my own voice. Do you know how hard it is to listen to the Scary Granules Podcast? Ugh I sound like a constipated pot smoking farmer. But Skypetoid made me feel like I wasn’t always alone…when everyone was asleep and my own sleeping pattern was kaput. I spoke to a lovely guy who reminded me of a young Judi Dench and the fun/angst that came with the lead up and subsequent playing of Mass Effect 3 were amongst my favourites. I also fondly remember one late night several of us thrawling through Deviantart looking at airplane porn. What…?
I got into multiplayer, using Steam (where I got to know even more funky people, Dan Miri, Dr. Tom ect) and visa vie this new found “fuck it nothing to lose” mentality, met up with several Dtoidians. I would go so far as to have them in my home. The first person I had in my house, I’d never met before, barely spoke to on Skype or G+. From then on I would hang out with and enjoy the company of a bunch of lovely folk.
One of the best birthdays I have ever had was last year and people I met via Dtoid came, it really made me all grinny and cheery 'n' stuff.
Not everything has been peachy – there’s been some blows, some falling outs and some crazyness, some of which at the time really made me a sadbear. But for all that’s been negative it hasn’t diminished the good and I don’t regret ever chatting to a single person or hanging out with anyone. We can all be awesome badgers and stubborn ass mules from time to time.
My Dtoid memories have for 99.9% of the time been good ones, it was part of a routine that helped me come out of my shell. Dtoid didn’t ‘heal’ me, I did have caring friends, support from family and a lot of my effort to get out of that horrid abyss came from within me and I also believe God helped me mainly. But Dtoid took me to different parts of the world (ok UK and Germany :P ), gave me a boosting forum with which to get back into writing and do it frequently and it introduced me to fun drinking and excursion buddies and gave me people to talk to when I was eating my toast in the morning. It still does. I’m grateful for everyone I’ve interacted with, even those that I don’t anymore and I wish them the best and hopefully might see people that I haven’t for a while and meet more new groovy folk.
Thanks to you all and cheers Dtoid for accepting this batshit badger obsessed ramblin’ lush!