A mis-leading title for a blog entry, I shall admit, because it has nothing to do with Bardic Inspirations, Bards or anything relating to the class. It does, still, have relevance to Pitfalls and Pixies. Bards are cool, for the record.
Perhaps it is how the summer is quickly winding down to a close, and my current DnD game I run with my local friends in my hometown rather then at the school I study at is going to be on hiatus while I go off to study. It has been making me think a little bit about why I even bother to play this past-time of utter nerdiness and don my ‘Dungeon Master: Your Deity’s Deity’ shirt.
To tell you the truth, for the longest time I thought that games like Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder and all mannerism of things such as them were boring and rather idiotic. I was invited to sit in on a game in high school and found it far too complex for my head to understand because there was constant math being tossed around, and too many people crammed into the basement of a local library. I came out of that session with a burning headache and no urge to even hear the words ‘tabletop gaming’ again in my life. Perhaps it was due to how they were playing 3.5 and all of the talk of prestige classes and too many mathematical equations made my head spin.
It was also at that time that a monster that I am still trying to tame today truly reared it’s hideous five-headed self. Perhaps depression is a cleverly disguised avatar of the chaos dragon goddess Tiamat (seen above, courtesy of Wizards of the Coast) because that is how I imagined it looking similar to. Five gnashing jaws, but named Sadness, Worthlessness, Suicide, Uninterest and Despair. Different colors to match the moods and personalities of both but all of them noxious and deadly to both the self and those around them. They do not care who you are and who the people you know and love are: all they wish is ruin upon you and those closest to your heart, to rip them apart and yourself then stitch you back together so they may do the same over and over again every time the sun rises and the moon sets.
Manic depression, coupled with my extreme case of bipolar, does a number to me. Past memories have filled me with pain when my head goes back to them: sitting alone, feeling like an out-cast even when among other people who I supposedly are “good friends” with (many of who I have completely lost contact with this day). Study hall was spent writing angst-filled poetry and the days were filled with me trying to pull of a failed pseudo-Gothic look with red bangs and black band T-shirts.
I don’t want this to sound like I am getting up on a soap box and preaching to the choir out there, but here I am, letting all of my self air out.
The worst was back then, like now, I don’t feel like anything really does help me get around this. Each day is a challenge, an encounter with a CR rating of something significantly higher then yourself. Even getting out of bed is a difficult task, and that’s before you even start to make breakfast or commute to your early-morning classes or job. And even though my thoughts don’t turn to me wondering why I haven’t grabbed a serrated blade in the knife block yet and ended it all, the days are still just as hard to cope with.
Sometimes my mind wanders back to that knife block. To the traffic on the highway and an unlocked car door. Passing silently in the night, peacefully and hugging the stuffed orca your boyfriend lets you have on extended loan when you go to school at least two and half hours away from your usual social group in your home town.
If it hadn’t been for these pen-and-paper activities, I doubt I would be the same person I am right now at my laptop. It’s a tad sad, maybe, that the weekly games I act as both player and the Dungeon Master have helped me cope with too many issues that the real world throws at me. My self-esteem goes down the drain but on Friday nights I play a Warlock who charms and sways others to get her way. The latest piece of writing that I did for my Fiction class received piss-poor criticism but my seven to eight PCs (Player Characters) are entranced by the tale that is woven before them on an Asian-inspired island.
I don’t think about the block of knives back at home as often as I used to when D&D comes up each week, three times usually last semester at school but who knows for sure for the next two. I just hope that it continues to do the job that my twice -a-day Trileptol and once-a-day depression medication lacks the potent punch of. A silly past-time has managed to get me through darkest times, enough that I can see the light of graduation at the end of the next year’s time and the meeting of friends that will travel with me until the very end of that tunnel.
And yes, it still hurts to think about, but for the time being, at least a double-beamed Eldritch Blast or trampling kobolds as a Giant Elk can serve as the therapy session I need. And at half the cost, as well.
I think that’s all my fingers can manage to type on this topic. I promise that the next post won’t be so “doom and gloom”! Stay nerdy and may you always roll natural 20’s.