Where Has That Scott Free Guy Been?!?
I'm an asshole.
Let me rephrase that. What I meant to say was that I've always gone through these patterns in my life where I repeat the same mistakes I've made in the past. Most likely I do this because I'm trying to learn something from those experiences that continually passes me by because I don't seize the lesson inherent in the situation.
We've all had players like that at our gaming tables, so it's not much of a surprise that we as "real people" follow the same patterns in our daily lives.
Many of the mistakes I've made in the last decade have had to do with a girl. Isn't that always the way? Ha! I'm not going to air out my linens on Gamegrene, but suffice to say that sometimes people grow apart. Often those people grew apart long before the final blow is struck...long before they see the situation for what it is. I went through this realization/denial cycle with her for a few years and didn't take action on it. That came up to bite me in the ass; by the time I took action it was at the point where there was no way I could do it without looking like a complete jerk.
Like I said...I'm an asshole.
It's funny now, looking back, how I coped with the situation. I would drop things from my life or shelf projects or ideas so I could dedicate more of my time to something that was destined to fail anyways. I knew this, but I did it anyways. It seemed there was a distinct effort on my part not to use player knowledge to influence my characters decisions. The only campaigns I was running, for example, were solo capaigns for her because she didn't seem to get along with other players very well.
She didn't consider herself a "gamer". I was always proud to have her as a player because she was so damn good at it, but in retrospect she took something away by always trying to be the center of attention. I suppose in the solo campaigns she got exactly that, but then it started to feel as though she was taking something about the setting away from me as well.
I should have known...she did, afterall, always want to play someone that scratched their way to the top and ended up in charge, making all the decisions. "I want to play a princess", without actually saying it.
All of this led to a lengthy introspection of my life that lasted several months. I withdrew from things on purpose to see what I would miss so that I would genuinely come to know where I stopped and she started. After 11 years, this is necessary.
Our gaming group was divided between those who chose her side when she put them in that position, and those who chose no side at all. We'd all been together for ages, so I guess that was natural. The ones who chose no side at all were the ones moving away for the summer anyways, and the ones that chose to turn against me in some of the most socially dramatic ways possible weren't really people I wanted in my life now.
It was during this time that I realized my medication wasn't helping me anymore. I started to "forget" to take it. I looked back over things I had done in the most recent few years, from a distant observer point of view. I started to read things I had written from a different angle. I looked over the last few things I had posted or written on Gamegrene for instance and saw two things...1) gaming is so essentially important to my life that I cannot do without it; and 2) I had completely lost the plot somewhere along the line.
So, I stopped taking my failed medication. I feel amazing now. It seems that if you mentally overcome something like the severe severe severe OCD I suffered from, don't realize it, and continue taking your meds anyways you are doing yourself more harm than good.
Wait wait...continuing to take them had been her idea as well. Holy snap, I really had lost the plot. In a lot of ways.
After a couple more mothes to ground myself, I formed another gaming group. I started planning another campaign. I began the arduous process of building a new setting that would rival my old one in every way. My studio for making music took on a drastic transformation, and now all the walls are covered with maps and notes and post-its.
It feels like the first time again. It reminds me of the zest with which I approached world building 20 years ago.
Really, I just want to say, "Hey Gamegrene! I was only on vacation! I'm back now!", and to let everyone know how good it feels to really truly find yourself and realize that you weren't lost...you were hidden under layers of bullshit that were self-applied for one reason or another.