I'm going to let you in on a little secret, it's something I've tried to hide, because I don't want people to see it as a weakness. I suffer from fibromyalgia. You're probably going fibro-what? I don't blame you, the disease was first coined in 1981, and it came at a time of complete confusion. Fibromyalgia is a disease where people suffer from extreme long-term, wide-spread body pain. Suffers also experience various tender points that range from their joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. I deal with chronic pain on a daily basis, and every day is a battle I have to fight. It's never not there, and there are few answers. Medications take a bit of the edge off, but there is no magic pill to make this go away. My sleep is also greatly disturbed by it, and for a long time, I've had a hard time getting over how this has impacted my quality of life.
There's nights I sit awake because I'm in a momentous amount of pain. Do you know what has helped me get through all those trying times? It's video games. I sit there, game, and try not to focus on the pain. As much as video games get flack, I don't think they always get credit for the good things that they do. For a brief moment, a game can take you to another place - lead you to a different path. It's an escape from reality, but it's also a chance to experience a character that sometimes we identify with and sometimes we don't: you can be a version of yourself or somebody different entirely. I mentioned in my previous post that BioWare does in excellent job of letting you experience a journey through a character you create with decisions that say a lot about you. This has been a fantastic way for me to experience an alternate life for a while. Suffering through chronic pain, I've seen the positives that can come from gaming. Sometimes, I'm not sure how else I would focus myself away from the pain if I didn't have it.
For those still reading, don't pity me here. Life throws a lot at everyone, and I'm sure you're dealing with some hardships yourself. People may think me suggesting to game through troubles is simply promoting escapism. But, so what? I think sometimes in life we need to be taken away from ourselves. That's why I love games; I can get lost in another world, a different reality. I could sit here and say more on how gaming has been my saving grace to fibromyalgia, but I don't want to bore you. I will say that having any type of illness or disease is not a weakness. If anything, I think people who go through these feats and come out on top are among some of the strongest people out there. It also teaches you to appreciate the little things.
For now, I'm hoping to be a positive person for people with fibromyalgia to look up to, it's what drives me to be the best game journalist I can be. I hope to keep up my work, and maybe, one day, I can take my talent to newer and even more exciting heights. I don't want it to destroy me or take away my dreams. We all must fight our own hardships, and I think gaming is a great way to keep it all in check - a great balance for the negative we often face in life. In the end, we really have only one life, I don't want to sit here and say I gave into the pain and stopped pursuing everything I want out of life, and you shouldn't either. And if you need to game to get through it? There's nothing to feel ashamed of...nobody said any of this was easy.