A phenomenal amount of my life is spent writing: it has become the constant, therapeutic heart of existence. When it is difficult to explain something, or a subject invokes anxiousness or unhappiness, that’s a sure-fire sign that there’s a part of the past which has not been reconciled with the present. Most times that also means attacking the issue head on so that life can continue unabated. Except, for a long time, there’s been a period of the past which has been left alone for a very good reason. Last month, all that changed.
I’ve written about the precise moment that altered my outlook on Substack, but it’s not the whole story. There is so much complexity involved in this and the time period around it that, even fourteen years on, there are knots of emotional terror and uncertainty that are yet to be unpicked. So, it seems like the right time to do something about it. I’ve set up this mini-site with one intention: to allow myself the space and time to explain what happened around the period of my life in 2009 when I came close to committing suicide.
Warcraft was my life at that point: as a mother and wife, self-esteem was non-existent and there was depression unlike anything I have experienced since. What happened to change this was the belief that writing might yet give me a purpose, and it did. If it were also as simple as that, then this would not require an additional narrative, but there is a lot more at play. As the poetry is written about that time and what happened afterwards, there is already the beginnings of acceptance and closure.
When people were asked via social media what was the first thing they associated with Warcraft, friends and friendship was the top answer. It’s easy to forget sometimes just how many people there still are in my life who first found me via Azeroth (the home world on which the Warcraft factions, the Horde and the Alliance exist) and that countless people still live and play there. The reasons for my final departure have very little to do with the game itself, and a lot to do with the people who run the company. It does not mean those times are tarnished too, a fact that’s only just beginning to become apparent.
There are a lot of stories to be told, too: some of them reflect the early days of internet stalking and online abuse. Others document the terror of how online relationships can suddenly and unexpectedly go sour. These moments however are massively outweighed by generosity, camaraderie and sheer brilliance in both heart and spirit that were encountered across multiple virtual continents, in situations that still have the potential to make me cry unprompted, or laugh until there are tears of joy. It truly was the best and worst of times, and it is time to accept both for what they were.
In time, issues can begin to be reconciled, in a manner that makes me feel comfortable that the right road has finally been travelled.
This is a story of how a virtual world allowed one neurodivergent to live better in the real one.