Board games, depression and me

Hello. My name is Mike and I am a board game addict. As a child of the late ‘80s games have been a part of my life. From computer to board, card, even pen and paper RPGs, games have always been there. Computer games and RPGs provide an escape from reality and card games have a strategic element to them. Board games bring something different to the table, sometimes quite literally. Each person addicted to board games has their own reason and I would like to explore my reasoning with you. 

About two years ago, I was diagnosed with depression. I was starting to become an adult. I was starting to think about my career, where I wanted to go and I had a small group of friends, but we were a tight nit group. My career plans hit snag after snag, my friend circle started drifting apart and I was going no where fast. With help and support I got through the dark times. 

Mike’s Beddie (Like a Shelfie but more comfortable)

I bet your wondering where board games come into this? Well, while board games didn’t help me get through the depression (I do not doubt that board games could have helped me and do help others) they did help me heal afterwards. Once I came through the other side of the tunnel, my world had changed. I had changed. My friend circle was still there, but the connections had changed. To some degree, I felt like an outsider and I still do on the rare occasion we meet. I tried to fix it, to get it back to how it was, but I just couldn’t. I tried meeting new people and making new friends, but it wasn’t the same. It felt forced and contrived. 

It got to the point where I was going out and socialising once a week, if that. The majority of my days were spent working or sleeping and the nights were spent working or snuggled up with YouTube. I saw an advert for a board game charity day and I saw this as an opportunity to get out of my rut before depression crept back in. I get my rota and find out I’m working. Boo! The same group ends up setting up a monthly board game evening. I manage to find the courage to attend and I’m warmly welcomed into the group. From there, I was invited to another games night and welcomed into that group also. At first, I wondered if I was just there to make up the numbers, but I quickly realised that the people around me enjoy my company and I enjoy theirs.  

So, while board games didn’t help me, personally out of the darkness, they have provided a life line to keep me out of the darkness, by providing me with new friends, new experiences and new motivation. That being said, board games haven’t done much to help my collecting addiction. This time last year I had one game and now I have twenty, but that it a story for another time…

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