The anxiety and the guild crash… and what’s next

It’s been hard to start this post. Or any other blog post for that matter, if I’m being completely honest. But this one, I don’t really know how to start. I know the things I have to say, but putting them in order is proving difficult. So how about we make a deal and pretend this is the middle of the blog post and flow on from there. Let’s give it a go.

The past few weeks (or months, really), haven’t been the greatest for me.

The guild crash

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Unrelated to the below (but in a way still very connected) my guild fell apart for good. We tried to keep it together but it was too much to try and push through. The gap between strong players and weaker players was becoming bigger and bigger. The in-game workload for officers and the GM was far too much, and the payoff wasn’t there. It was a really tough call, but it was the right decision in the end. So as of last week we stopped raiding mythic, and the guild officially went casual, with a social heroic run planned for every Saturday night so we could all still spend time together.

This week was the first week without raid, and it felt weird. Tonight was the first casual Saturday raid… and we only had a handful of people come along. So I really don’t know how that’s going to go in the future. Suffice it to say that I’m pretty sad at the moment.

For me, I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do. Raiding has always been a favourite thing for me in game, so to not do it feels weird. But trying to find another raid team… well I dunno how I’m going to go about it. I’ve never had much confidence in my skills as a raider. I do know that I’m not terrible. I do mechanics, I heal while I do them, and I try my damn hardest. It’s the same as when I try to apply for jobs – I know that I can contribute well, but I’m shit at selling myself. Especially with raiding. Logs are a thing, but my numbers always look shit because I hate overhealing, and I make sure I’m focusing on doing mechanics first and foremost.

And this shitty lack of confidence in myself doesn’t help when (now) ex-guildies are getting offers left and right from other teams wanting them to join. I haven’t had anything. Which is petty, I know, but it just reinforces that shitty feeling about myself not being good enough.

I’ve been looking on the forums to see what guilds are after, and I’m not finding any at the level I want to be at who are looking for restoration shamans. (Well, Alliance guilds, anyway). There’s a high chance I’m going to have to go Horde if I want to keep raiding, and that on its own is not at all appealing. I’ll need to give it some more time and thought, and hope something comes along.

Then there’s…

The anxiety

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There are a handful of things that I am good at in life, but the thing that I am the very best at is pretending that my anxiety isn’t as bad as it is, and that it doesn’t affect me as strongly as it does. I’m very good at putting on the face that the world needs to see on me, and pretending that everything is fine. I can laugh and joke and make others feel great, and I do it in an attempt to hide the panic that grumbles inside me on a constant basis. I’ve become very good at it. So good at it that people don’t believe I have anxiety at all, and when I bring it up with doctors, they laugh it off thinking I’m just being melodramatic or joking around.

And yet.

I struggle to sleep, laying there as my body tingles with terror, restless and exhausted all at once. If I am lucky to sleep, I wake up in the middle of the night with panic attacks so intense they make me gag. At work, I go to the bathroom for a short moment of solace, squeezing my legs in an attempt to calm the roaring in my ears, to breathe, to focus. It’s exhausting. And over the past few months, it has gotten worse, to the point where it’s crippled me. I’ve not been functioning properly. It’s affecting my health, my relationship, my friendships, my streaming and gaming; everything that is important to me.

I bring this up, because firstly, I wanted to explain my absence (noted or not). I wanted others who may be feeling the same way to know they aren’t alone. And I wanted to be accountable for trying to get better. It has taken awhile to build the courage, but I went to the doctor again this week (a different one) and insisted they help me do something so I can stop feeling like this. I have referrals for a psychologist, and some anti-anxiety meds to help me get out of this funk. I’m not going to let anxiety get the best of me.

What’s next

So then what’s next. Well, I’m starting to feel better, which is why I’ve written this post. And I’m taking steps to keep getting better. I don’t know what the future is going to hold for me and WoW. I know I will continue playing, but I don’t know to what extent. I had a great chat with Neuro after our Battletagged show on Tuesday, and he was telling me about how much more he’s been enjoying WoW since he stepped down from raiding. So maybe there is hope for me outside of raiding.

One of the things I’m saddest about though, with everything that has been going on, is my streaming. It turns out that I really, really enjoy streaming. I’m terrible at it, and I don’t think I’m interesting at all, but I just enjoy playing games with other people. Thor (who I just don’t deserve- he’s so freaking amazing) has been incredibly patient and wise, and we’ve been talking about what I might do. And it became obvious – I just stream something other than WoW. We looked in to what I might stream, and there a whole bunch of games on the Nintendo Switch I’d enjoy playing, and of course Steam and even Discord has a bunch of games now. So I’m looking at getting a capture card and expanding my gaming options.

I’m still ironing out the finer details, but some changes are on their way. I want to get back in to a regular streaming schedule. I will (of course!) still play and stream WoW, especially if I manage to find a new team, but between that, I’m going to try some other games. This also means that I’m going to do a bit of a “re-branding” of myself. Whilst I love my pandaren Shaman, I need to move away from the strictly WoW focus. So keep an eye out for some fun new things in the very near future.

Look, if you’ve made it this far through my post, thank you. Thank you for sticking it out with me when I disappear for lengths at a time. Thank you for reading this post and helping me feel like I’m not alone. You’re amazing, and I’m grateful for you.

xo

 

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9 Comments on “The anxiety and the guild crash… and what’s next

  1. gota look after your health.
    its tough when that final decision to stop raiding hardcore hits home.
    took me a while as first it was being a guild leader which i stopped after 7 yrs & then 3 yrs after that the end of my raiding.
    yup like you i always thought i was just a average player, nothing flash.
    & yep its tough
    BUT
    i’ve learnt that there are other things that can fill my time. raiding isn’t the only thing, just gota give yourself time to heal & then move onto something new.
    change is always the hardest but sometimes change is good, it gets us out of our comfort zone & expands us.
    its good you are getting professional help, just remember not every doc is a perfect fit, esp psychs. once you find the right one you’ll get the help you need.
    onward & upward ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Spanky. I’m glad after all the guild dramas you went through you’re still able to enjoy the game. Helps me see that there is light at the end of the tunnel 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Things like this do happen and it’s probably for the best. I was one of those people that raided five nights a week and finally burned out. I was also one of those so-called “good” raiders – over the years and things started happening with my health and I had to give all that up- now, I’m just your average casual player and to be honest, I’m enjoying the game a whole lot more.

    As for the anxiety and self-worth – it sounds as if you are getting the help that you need and I do hope it turns out well for you. I do wish you good luck and just keep going – I’ve actually had some of those issues over the years and it does some damage, however, it can be repaired .

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks lovely. I’m sorry you had such a hard burnout from raiding, but I am glad that you’ve found a way to enjoy the game more now. Thanks so much for your kind words xo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My wife suffers from heavy anxiety sometimes Conder, so whilst I don’t know the extent of the challenges you face first hand I certainly see them and understand how hard it must be for you. I know that for my wife, talking about it and understanding it helps a lot, so it’s great to see you on here doing something similar, I hope it helps 🙂

    As for the raiding, literally the best time of my long wow career were with you Thor and the Deadline gang. The amount you contribute and your consistently great performances will land you with a great team! You just have to wait for an equally great person to find you, not just some dick who looks at logs and makes decisions through ego.

    All the best mate, I hope you and Thor are both doing great 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ags, you’ve always been such a darling. Thank you for being so amazing.
      I agree, raiding with Deadline has been a true highlight in my WoW playing days. This guild that just collapsed was very much the same – just a bunch of awesome people dicking around and having a laugh and a good time. It really has felt like losing Deadline all over again, which is why I’ve been so sad about it. But I know things will get better.
      Thanks for your lovely words about my raiding, too. Here’s hoping I can find another great time!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I can relate to why this is so upsetting for you, Cinder. Press on. Your guild and game is, should be, about joy and a place to belong, so when that is shaken to the core (expression?), it is very natural for you to feel this way. I hope you, in time, find a new place to belong. Take the time to recover, and then when you feel you are ready, you can consider moving on. Perhaps a less hardcore raiding guild with a bit more focus on the social aspect would be a great way to do that.

    I’m so sorry you struggle with anxiety on such a level. You are doing great for keeping your life up, maintaining work and what not, don’t forget that, give yourself credit! Being open about it is an important step in taking better care of yourself, so well done on that too 🙂

    Do what you enjoy, and think about the reasons for why you enjoy it. All the best.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your message lovely. ❤ You are right in that losing a guild that you've grown close to is hard. Quite a few of us have said how much it feels like breaking up with someone. You get so used to spending so much time together, and then all of a sudden it's gone. But time heals all wounds as they say, and I know I'll figure things out.
      Thank you for stopping by and saying such sweet things. I really appreciate it xo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: A new Cinder | cinder says

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