Notes

Hope Is Alive

Hope Is Alive's Notes

I was raised in a pretty religious family and growing up I was taught that homosexuality was a terrible sin. In my pretty hardcore religious school, I was taught that homosexuality was one of the worst sins and only brought onto the worst of people. When I started realizing my sexual orientation, I had a very hard time coming to terms with it and struggled with the belief that God hated me. It led me to think about suicide. Thank fully with time, I was able to come to terms before making a te... Read More
I was raised in a pretty religious family and growing up I was taught that homosexuality was a terrible sin. In my pretty hardcore religious school, I was taught that homosexuality was one of the worst sins and only brought onto the worst of people. When I started realizing my sexual orientation, I had a very hard time coming to terms with it and struggled with the belief that God hated me. It led me to think about suicide. Thank fully with time, I was able to come to terms before making a terrible decision.

This last year has been pretty stressful for all of us. I’ve been very lucky to have some really good friends in SGN to help listen to me moaning about my problems and offer advice on how to overcome. Not to mention, all the late night gaming sessions and joking around on Discord helps a lot too.

Journaling: I’ve kept a personal journal for several years. When I have thoughts running through my head that I just can’t stop, journaling has always been a great way to relieve them. Putting it into text lets me get it out of my mind with the knowledge that I can always come back to it if it’s important. It also makes me examine my thoughts so I can put them precisely. This often makes me realize how inconsistent or nonsensical they really are.

ASMR: When I’m feeling really anxious, listening to some ASMR generally helps me calm down. That’s usually a roleplay or personal attention video. I’ve got a dedicated youtube account just for cute ASMRtists that I like.
Mediation: I’ve never been good about doing it regularly. Probably only strung together 30 days in a row, but when I mediate regularly it really helps prevent ruminations and increases my focus. Mediation has been proven scientifically to help with depression and anxiety too.

Exercise: Nothing clears my head, helps me feel more centered, or calms me down more than heading to the gym and getting a good work out it in. Usually this means a good cardio session with the intensity depending on my current mood. Read Less
3 people liked this
Ted Hembach

TLara

My text was way too long for this note. I created a new thread for Hope Is Alive here.
hippiepunk liked this
Martin Ler

jperko

I’ve dealt with severe depression all of my life, as well as PTSD stemming from being raised in an abusive single-parent household as an only child. I’d experienced just about every kind of abuse from a young age well into adulthood, and it’s negatively impacted my psyche.

Once I left that environment, I found that because I was unaware of my own mental states, I had been retraumatizing myself through repeating patterns of the abuse I’d faced, through unhealthy relationships and friends... Read More
I’ve dealt with severe depression all of my life, as well as PTSD stemming from being raised in an abusive single-parent household as an only child. I’d experienced just about every kind of abuse from a young age well into adulthood, and it’s negatively impacted my psyche.

Once I left that environment, I found that because I was unaware of my own mental states, I had been retraumatizing myself through repeating patterns of the abuse I’d faced, through unhealthy relationships and friendships, and even jobs - until I decided to seek professional help, many years later. I’m still on the mend, as you don’t undo a lifetime of trauma in months, but I’ve become more aware of my needs, in terms of mental health and self-care.

Of course, everybody will have different needs. Personally, I don’t think there is a substitute for professional therapy, although I know not everyone is comfortable or has access to it. But there's still other ways to deal.

These are some things that help me when the depression hits.

1. Assessing my thoughts and feelings.

If my internal monologue is negative and I’m realizing it’s headed towards a downward spiral, I question the thoughts to stop it in its tracks. Is what I’m feeling based in reality, or is it just the trauma talking? If it is indeed based in reality, I try to think of how I can solve that problem. If it’s the trauma talking, and more often than not, it is, I remind myself that that’s what it is. And then I allow myself to feel sad, low, etc. so I can move on from it. And if I’m not in immediate danger or anything, I make sure to assure myself that I’m safe, things are okay; I’m just sad, and that’s perfectly fine.

2. Externalizing.

Externalizing my thoughts and feelings is very important to me. I’m a musician and songwriting has usually been my tool to do so, and it’s very cathartic. But also, having very close friends with whom I feel safe to be vulnerable, and being able to be honest with them about how I feel and where I’m at, has helped me just as much. I make sure I’m aware of what I need from them and communicate that as much as possible: like, I’m not looking to be helped or fixed, or cheered up; I need the company and to talk.

3. Catharsis.

This is another big one for me. I usually find a movie or music or a book that helps me feel better. For some people, happy movies or music helps. For me, finding things that are more in line with how I’m feeling helps the most. It relates to me, it understands where I’m at, and feels like a hug. I’m careful to choose sad movies, music, or books that heal me, rather than those that pick at the wounds. The latter can be harmful, as it encourages wallowing rather than letting you work through your emotions. Horror movies are great for me; there’s actually a study about how people find catharsis through horror because they can experience fear in a safe way, and see that fear come to an end. Then on less intense days, sitcoms also help me, because they’re sitcoms. Golden Girls, Full House, etc. I actually find comfort in live audience laugh tracks, helps me feel a little less alone.

4. Distractions.

I’ve been in a very dark place in recent months due to some rough things that partially involve the aforementioned trauma. I haven’t felt very much like myself, and I’ve been feeling too weak most of the time to try to process my feelings and thoughts as I usually do. During times like these, I find distraction helps me a lot. Getting lost in video games helps, particularly immersive games and open-world games where I can get lost in another life for a little while.

5. Touch.

Touch is a big thing for me, and I hug my pillows when I feel alone or lonely. Being under a blanket helps, as well. I would much rather be hugging friends and animals, though.

6. Going outside.

I used to like just going around my city and take walks, people watch, and see the sights. I haven’t gotten out much since the pandemic, and going out right now isn’t particularly helpful for me. But in general, it does help lift my mood to change my environment and take in some sun and fresh air.

7. Hotlines.

When I’d be at my darkest before I could afford therapy, I would call a mental health support hotline to talk through what happened or what I’m dealing with. There’s a limit to what the people who work at the hotlines can say to you, but they have helped me, at least in the beginning.

Though, like I said, everyone’s needs are different and it’s ultimately important to find things that are helpful for you. Read Less
9 people liked this
Edward Lloris

Saintplazma

I was never the type to worry about my own mental health, honestly I've always been the type to be more concerned about the people around me. That was until my life took a left turn last year, it's safe to say I've had a crash course in self care.

Coping strategies

1. Kindness
It’s something small, it’s free, and it can make a huge difference in someone's day. I can’t describe the feeling when people tell me they had a bad day and I made a difference.

2. My Dog
“A dog is the only thing on... Read More
I was never the type to worry about my own mental health, honestly I've always been the type to be more concerned about the people around me. That was until my life took a left turn last year, it's safe to say I've had a crash course in self care.

Coping strategies

1. Kindness
It’s something small, it’s free, and it can make a huge difference in someone's day. I can’t describe the feeling when people tell me they had a bad day and I made a difference.

2. My Dog
“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”– Josh Billings
Tilly is amazing, and the embodiment of this quote, she loves me for me.

3. Music
Most of us had said this, music helps me disconnect even if it’s sad.


4. Stonewall
I’ve been in leadership here for a long time, you all mean alot to me… even if we never talked

5. My Customers
It’s all about having that support network, even if it comes from an unexpected place. My customers remind me everyday of the importance of taking care of each other.

6. Cooking
Nothing more exciting or distracting as finding, researching, and trying a new recipe

7. Writing
A friend got me into a table top, so I got back into writing. Honestly I’m terrible, but I’m so grateful

8. I got a tattoo
My ex hated tattoos, but I always wanted a second. Last year I got Capable d'être terrible tattooed on my left arm

10. Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise
I tell myself this everyday it’s going to get better Read Less
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Hippiepunk The Second Ted

hippiepunk

For me, suicide was never an option. Commiting suicide would mean for me, that the others would win. That kind of satisfaction I don't want to grant to others. Following that thought brings us to the main issue of that matter, meaning how to deal with problem situations that are unsolvable for me, no matter how much effort I put into it. In a way I developed a technique to do it, which is only a workaround, because I don't solve the problem. I imagine myself as part of an away team from a spa... Read More
For me, suicide was never an option. Commiting suicide would mean for me, that the others would win. That kind of satisfaction I don't want to grant to others. Following that thought brings us to the main issue of that matter, meaning how to deal with problem situations that are unsolvable for me, no matter how much effort I put into it. In a way I developed a technique to do it, which is only a workaround, because I don't solve the problem. I imagine myself as part of an away team from a spacefaring civilization, say something like a United Federation of Planets. In this Federation there is a non-interfering order called the Prime Directive, which prevents away teams like mine to interact with others for problem solutions. So I'm left with the ability to observe, which is what I do in real life. Concluding this thought, this means also that there is something really cool about this approach: I like getting experience, and so I can get an amazing one, being a witness of the apocalypse. You could also call it the madness of humanity, but I think the two are roughly the same thing.

So I sit here, in the restaurant at the end of universe, watching the dolphins preparing their departure. I like it.

Hey waiter, can I have another drink please? Read Less
2 people liked this
Dave (Voleron)

Voleron

Work has been a big source of stress for me the last few years. My role has shifted into more of a managerial one lately, and the task of looking after and caring for my staff on top of my regular work load has been anxiety inducing to say the least. I'm not sure if the pandemic has increased the stress, or just changed the nature of it in a way that has rendered some of my previous coping mechanisms less effective. I've found myself feeling more anxious lately and having to find health wa... Read More
Work has been a big source of stress for me the last few years. My role has shifted into more of a managerial one lately, and the task of looking after and caring for my staff on top of my regular work load has been anxiety inducing to say the least. I'm not sure if the pandemic has increased the stress, or just changed the nature of it in a way that has rendered some of my previous coping mechanisms less effective. I've found myself feeling more anxious lately and having to find health ways to adapt.

Without as much of the social connection because of the pandemic, and stuck in the depth of a cold, Canadian winter, SGN has been that social interaction that hasn't existed elsewhere. Whether it's gaming with you all, watching your streams or just hanging out and chatting, this community has been an important part of my mental wellness. Above and beyond gaming, the projects I take on for the community give me a sense of purpose and a hobby to occupy my down-time. I think we're all eager to get back out into the world and resume a sense of normality, but I'm thankful for you all and the friendships we've formed here. The journey through lockdown would've been a lot more challenging without you.

My own coping strategies, some healthy / some maybe not, are:

  1. Gaming: Losing myself in a different world for a while. I think we can all appreciate this escapism and while too much of anything can obviously be unhealthy, a few hours of this a day does help me clear my mind and forget about the stressors of the world
  2. Projects: Gaming can get boring after a while. The recipe for so many games is Battle Pass style grinding that while incentivizing, can be draining if you have a few games on the go. Instead of hardcore leveling, I like to take on projects for SGN - whether that's a community event I'm planning or a forum post I want to make to get discussion going. I enjoy giving back to the community and it's become a hobby for me that occupies my time in what I like to think, is a healthy way.
  3. Music: I like leaning back in my chair, closing my eyes, burning some incense and listening to music while day dreaming. Whether it's throwing on some of the Star Trek soundtracks I have on vinyl or just old fashioned listening to tunes, it's a great form of escapism for me. Because the visual input isn't there like it is when playing video games, I supplement my music listening experience with incense to help carry my mind away to somewhere else. I get most of my creative project ideas like this.
  4. Getting Out: Like any community or group of friends that you're with for extended periods of time, too much of anything isn't necessarily a healthy thing. While I love our community and gaming, there's nothing more mind clearing than going for a daily walk with the dogs (if they're behaving), finding a nice, remote vista to sit down at for a while and taking in the world around me, with my best buds in my arms and deeply breathing the fresh air. This is the best way I've found to clear my mind, body and soul. It's important to do this regularly and not just when stress has overwhelmed you to the point where this is the last line of defense.


If you're needing some ideas for how to cope, hopefully you can find some ideas in mine. We're here for you if you need us - don't be afraid to reach out. Read Less
8 people liked this