I posted the above statement, but I didn’t really have the strength to go into more detail last night. Essentially I have been sifting through my blog in an attempt to summarize the year… which is one of those things that you feel like you SHOULD do at the end of a given year. There are so many end of year traditions going on in the blogosphere, and I guess in some what I felt like I needed to do something. The problem with this notion is it seems like the person that existed in the first half of the year, was one hell of a lot happier than the person for the last half of the year. In January I had just attended my first gaming convention, and was super excited about Final Fantasy XIV and the raid… and still pretty damned excited about the progress being made in World of Warcraft. I was somehow juggling as many as four nights of raiding a week, streaming pretty regularly, along with a new column on MMOGames and a second podcast in the form of Bel Folks Stuff. Now zooming back to today, both the FFXIV and WoW raids are dead in the water… and I have backed almost completely out of MMOGames and essentially killed off the Bel Folks Stuff podcast… and it has been several months since I have even vaguely attempted to stream anything.
I know at some point I just got overwhelmed and started locking up… and I guess I never quite unlocked. I am still in trauma mode where I am moving from day to day on mostly muscle memory. There are a lot of things that I just don’t do anymore, not the least of which is read blogs on a regular basis. During the “Bonanza” column I was reading roughly 450 blogs and every post on them all in preparation for my weekly column highlighting the posts contained within. Once I handed that column off to another blogger… I quite literally stopped reading blogs all together for awhile. I had turned this thing that I got a lot of enjoyment out of into a job, and that is the sure fire way to make me stop wanting to do something. I now read blogs… but do so extremely infrequently… and feel like a complete failure for allowing myself to get to that state. I think as a result my own blog has suffered, because so often there would be a topic going around the blogosphere… and reading the thoughts of another friend would end up sparking me to write my own take on it. Now I sit down each morning and struggle to come up with anything to write about at all.
There have been several points this year where I have contemplated just stopping all of it. I’ve considered backing out of the podcast, and stopping with the daily posting. It feels like I have been pushing away from all of the things I have cared about, one by one… and each time I do it I just feel more of a failure for doing so. I have been struggling greatly with just existing, let alone being happy and excited and engaging. What makes this even harder is looking back and seeing that apparently I had whatever magical sauce there is at the beginning of the year, but it is almost completely gone now. The frustrating part about it is… I am not sure how to get it back. I realize I have to start putting myself out there, a little bit at a time… but even the thought of logging into voice chat on a nightly basis feels like the biggest possible hill to climb. It has been at least three months since I have regularly logged into voice chat on a nightly basis, and maybe that is a good first step. The problem being that the games that I am playing right now and not the games that the rest of the AggroChat and Stalwart crews are playing. I really am enjoying World of Warcraft again, but even when I am logged in it feels like I am completely disconnected from everyone in it.
There were moments last night where I was asked to help out a few friends, and it felt like it took all of the effort in the world to accept. I spent time with Giulietta doing the Pit daily quest, and I need to do this more often since I too need a bunch of them to complete the flying requirement. I had fun while doing it, but it always requires so much effort to get over that hurdle to put myself out there… and actually do something with another human being. Similarly I forced myself to go do stuff with Finni/Qav when I was hordeside because I knew once I got started I would enjoy myself, but it is entirely too easy to stay mired in my own oblivious world. I realize what I am describing is depression, and I have battled it my entire life. I am going through what I would term as a “down cycle” but this one seems to have been going on longer than most. Generally I go through a few weeks of retreat and then that energizes me to the point of being able to engage again. This time… it just seems to keep dragging on and no amount of “fake it until you make it” is working this time. There just seems to always bee some external stress force bearing down on me, and I am hoping that being off for the Christmas break will help some of this.
As far as gaming goes… I feel like I had a night without a lot of progress. The focus of my evening was largely the holiday event, where I complete all of the daily quests on the four characters that can do them… mail all of the tokens to Belgrace… and then become crushed when I realize that yet again I have no mounts. Lodur and I decided that we are going to create #Team360NoMount and the only requirement is that RNG and Blizzard hates you too. I have this lengthy history of not getting holiday mounts to drop. I have the two from Brew Fest, but other than that I have a perfect record of always participating… but never getting the mount. The sorest point for me is always going to be the Headless Horseman mount, because it is probably the one I want the most… but will never actually see. I do admit though that this years Yeti mount is going to be a close second in the amount of pining I will do if I don’t get it to drop. There are few cooler things than riding around on the back of a big damned Yeti.
As far as actual game progress I managed to push my Warlock to 21 and am now sitting in Ashenvale. I took the start quest from the adventure guide, and happily cancelled all of the quests from the Northern Barrens. I am wondering just how long I will actually be questing in Ashenvale before I do the same and move on to whatever zone comes after it. The biggest positive of this of course is the fact that I can actually summon my Vendor Mammoth and sell things whenever I feel like it. This is the toughest part of the sub 20 game in World of Warcraft, is being so insanely used to summoning a vendor whenever you want… but suddenly not having that ability. I swear that mount is the single best item I have ever purchased in this game. If I can ever get the cash to purchase the Yak from Pandaria, I am sure I will say the same about it…. since being able to Transmog my gear is just about of equal importance to me. If I could summon a transmog vendor at any time I would never look fugly again! Other than that I managed to knock out a few parts of the Hellfire LFR on the Cow, but didn’t really get anything worth writing home about other than a few more runes and some gold thanks to queuing as a partial group.