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Julius

Taking a Break

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Hey N-E,

This is something I've been going back and forth in my head over for a few months now, and while I'll get into it more below, the short and long of it is that I'm going to be taking a break from posting on and visiting the forums for a while due to my mental health. I'm not sure if it'll be a month, or two, or six, or longer. This didn't really feel like it belonged in the good, or bad, or neutral stuff threads, and the main reason I wanted to say something about taking a break is because I feel like I post regularly enough that just stopping out of the blue might be cause for concern, and I didn't want anyone worrying for my wellbeing, just based on some comments I've made in the past on here about my mental health not exactly being up to snuff. 

The reason that I've decided to take that step now is because I've been off work for the last month - one week of that as planned annual leave, though I spent the entirety of that week stuck in bed - initially due to episodes of vertigo, extreme levels of fatigue, and a few other symptoms. I do a lot of self-reflection and introspection, but looking back at the last few months as I've been able to with no distractions due to being cooped up in bed the last few weeks, I've realised that, deep down, I'm quite plainly not happy - I normally get down while I'm sick due to the sheer fact that I am sick, and it annoys me because I'm at a stage where I hate being sick with a passion, just because of what I've gone through over the last few years with being sick pretty incessantly. There's been a lot of middle-of-the-night outbursts of crying while I just stare out of the window, or sit up on my bed in a dark room.

In hindsight, for the last six months or so I think I've had every tell-tale sign of stress, or burnout, or however you want to label it, ranging from a burning scalp and shedding way more hair than usual (no family history of balding) to an eczema breakout basically looking like it has aged the skin on one of my fingers by some 50 years, to eating unhealthily and binge-eating to not eating at all and putting on a load of weight in a pretty small period of time (overweight for the first time in my life and a bunch of stretch marks can attest to the fact that my body wasn't built for this weight, though I can make peace with stretch marks as I still have a bunch from when I started working out in high school), to nearly collapsing a few times due to sheer exhaustion, to brain fog, to struggling to sleep and struggling to wake up, and so on. I think I've got out less this year than I did in 2020. On top of all this, my work life simply sucks these days - and that's all I'll say about that part of my life I think. And financially, while coping, out two-person apartment energy bills have gone from £60 to nearly £300 per month and apparently I'm £1000 in debt (yeah...I'm not going to be taking that lying down) due to some botched job at my energy provider. I have blood tests tomorrow and an eye test on Sunday to confirm that everything is as it should be, but reflecting on the last 5 or 6 years of my life and all of my previous illnesses, I think while maybe I could turn up deficient somewhere (because of eating inconsistently/binge-eating), I'm not remotely scared that it's something more serious, in terms of being a life-threatening X or Y (mental health is, of course, very serious). I'd kind of love for it to be, just because then I'd have answers, but I don't think that will be the case. I think it's most likely going to be mental.

Yesterday I placed a phone call that I've been putting off the last couple of years, which was to get the ball rolling on therapy. It was long overdue. And it was kind of heartbreaking, even just for an initial assessment, to explain some of the stuff I went through as a kid, whether it was with my family, or a particular friend in high school, or a bunch of other events, to a complete stranger over the phone. It got even more heartbreaking when, even after all of my introspection and reflection, a bunch of questions basically asking how often I find myself feeling down turned into "yeah, that's how I feel pretty much all the time...and I have done for years. I can't remember the last time I didn't feel like that."

Again, to reiterate: I don't self-harm, I won't start to; I haven't planned to do anything stupid and will continue not to, and I have my own personal reasons for having such a strong stance on this. I went through something with someone growing up which gave me a deep resolve that I could never seriously consider suicide as an option. I could never even remotely consider putting someone through what I went through at that age. I'm not looking forward to tackling all of that with someone, to be honest - but I know I need to. 

I was referred to see a clinical psychologist, and today I've started reaching out to some of their recommended practitioners in my local area. I'm scared, to be honest, but I feel like I'm already on my way to getting to the root of my issues from years of reflection on a lot of these events and my thoughts on them - but I need direction to dig deeper, ask harder questions, and learn how to manage things from here. I think it's going to be a struggle, but I've got to try to wrestle back some level of control over my life.

Which brings me onto taking a break from N-E: to be honest, I've struggled more and more as the year has gone on to post here, and when I have, looking back, I think it's mostly come from a place of trying to distract myself from everything that's been going on around me; same goes for how I've been treating games and other forms of escapism. I don't think I've even posted in this year's Gaming Diary thread, which is crazy, because it's a thread I normally love to write longer pieces for. The last couple of months I've been trying my best to step back and not rush to post something first - a habit I have definitely found myself getting into; this obviously isn't a fault of N-E's, but rather just shows what my relationship with this place has become, and it doesn't feel healthy to me deep down when I scramble to put up a thread. For the same reason, I'm even trying to delay gratification wherever I can elsewhere - even though I'm signed off from work I still haven't watched Andor, and probably won't until the weekend. It's going to be a bunch of small steps. 

While I'm definitely going to miss talking about games and everything else I talk about on here with you all, I think the best step for me right now is to focus as much as I can on my own path, and just putting one foot in front of the other until it becomes normal again. I have weight to lose, my mental health to improve, and just generally need to find a way to at least be more content, if not a bit happier, with my life. And I simply have no idea how long that's going to take. 

So, until next time, whenever that is, N-E - it's been a pleasure, and take care of yourselves while I'm gone! :peace:

Edited by Julius
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Mental health is always going to be more important then reading what drivel I decide to post on any given day. You take whatever time you need.

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Very sad to hear, we'll miss you around here.  But we'll also welcome you with open arms when you're ready to come back.  Take all the time you need :hug:

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I'll fire you a PM to go into more detail but I just wanted to say here that I'm sorry to hear that things have been rough for you. Just know that this place isn't just for gaming banter. There are people on here who would be willing to lend an ear should you feel the need to vent or get things off your chest. I know a few of us on here who also suffer from depression, myself included, and although everyone's depression is different, just know that said people will be able to sympathize and understand your situation a little.

Anyway, I'll leave it at that. As the others have said, you will be missed but take all the time you need. Again, I'll send you a more detailed PM, just in case you do sign in at some point.

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Sorry to hear how much you've been struggling, take care of yourself - hope you feel better soon

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Sorry to hear about things and I hope things get better for you soon.

For what it's worth I found therapy really useful (thankfully I clicked with the first therapist I had too) and I hope it works out for you as well.

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I'm sorry to hear about the troubles in your life, Julius, but thank you for sharing, in any case. If taking a break from N-E can help you through this rough patch, then take as much time as needed. Personal health (in body, mind, and overall life) is of chief importance, do what you must to recover.

From this side, I'll miss your absence (I very much enjoy reading your comprehensive viewpoints and reviews), but I'll be rooting for you as a person all the way.

I believe things will get better. Take care.

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Thinking of you, dude. Hope you're ok and that you get what you need. We'll be here for you. Always enjoy your posts in the football threads.

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