I have struggled with depression since I was 13 years old. I did not know what it was called then. It was more just a crippling loneliness, a feeling I was unwanted or forgotten and through the years the condition did more to wreak havoc on my life then any other force, destroying relationships, causing health problems and loosing more friends than I care to count.
That said, when I caved and sought a therapist she encouraged me to be social. I decided the best way to do that was to get back into what I had called and addiction, Magic the Gathering.
I’d first left magic in huff because of my depression. I equated any loss with a personal attack, for me loosing was judgment, a reaffirmation of what I believed inside, that I was a loser, and any win was a fluke, the cards gave it to me. Every pack I did not pull a card worth more than the pack was a gut shot, proof god hated me. I was a mess, and I took it out on those around me, Including my first magic mentor, and a good friend that I grew to hate simply because he was a better player than me, and would say still is. The culmiation of this came when I lost to him on at friday night magic, our relationship already strained I threw a fit at loosing badly at draft, the situation was of course ridiculousness My freind had put in the hours, researched how to draft m12, and picked an amazing deck out of the card pool, I had practiced but not as much as he had, and I was already in a bad mood drawing poorly, and again blaming either god or fate, I remeber now with a cringe saying “obviously something doesn’t want me to play magic.”
I walked away after getting 300 dollars deep in a then defunct Mage blade, deck. I did not do anything with magic, and I wanted nothing to do with it, I felt like an addict withdrawing, and I tore down all the posters and stopped playing it with my friends. I went into one of my classic tropes, the video game stupor. 5 hours daily of Skyrim later I was still unhappy and Finally caved and sought professional help.
My therapist told me I had to go be social. I had all but failed at it when I met a friend of mine randomly, he was working and told me about a new magic store in town that had just opened. I reluctantly visited, and my life has been different ever since.
I found a new world, a world full of people who liked me, people who would teach me, and encourage me not to give up. Not only that I found myself wanting to learn about my hobby and so I became a student of the game. Magic began to teach me lessons, like focus on the present moment, persistence and practice pays off, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel but sometimes it is fun to, and to never give up until the game is over.
Now, as I struggle onwards with depression I find myself less and less affected by it.